Anti-violence advocate our 2019 Australia Day ambassador

Anti-violence campaigner and founder of the award-winning KYUP! project Mel Thomas has been announced as Lismore’s 2019 Australia Day Ambassador.

Mel is a black-belt martial artist, passionate public speaker, published writer and advocate for breaking the cycle of violence against women and children across Australia.

Mel is a survivor of childhood domestic violence and both a victim and perpetrator of teen bullying. In 2013, she established the violence prevention education program KYUP!

Pronounced ‘Key-up’ after a warrior power shout, KYUP! tackles uncomfortable issues surrounding bullying, gender equality, domestic violence and consent with practical life protection skills.

It was launched in response to the growing number of domestic violence reports in Australia and more than 10,000 students and young women have completed the program since 2013.

Mel is now the ambassador for Layne Beachley’s Aim for the Stars Foundation and was also named the Game Changer of the Year winner in the Women of the Year Awards in 2018.

“We are very excited to welcome Mel as our Australia Day Ambassador – she is an amazing role model for young people and I am looking forward to hearing her story at our Australia Day Awards ceremony,” Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said.

“I am particularly pleased that our young Australia Day nominees and winners will get a chance to hear her keynote address on the day. She has obviously overcome some big challenges in life to not only succeed personally but to reach out and help others, and I think her journey is one that any young person can learn from.”

World surfing champion Layne Beachley is a great fan of Mel’s work in working to end violence against women and children.

“Mel embodies passion and strength and shares my goal to assist all girls to fulfil their potential,” Layne said.

“Mel’s approach to self-worth and self-protection is real, enormous fun, accessible and empowering.”

Mel Thomas will give the Australia Day address and present Australia Day Awards at the official ceremony on Saturday, 26 January at Lismore City Hall.

The ceremony begins at 9am and will be followed by a community morning tea.

Image: Lismore's 2019 Australia Day Ambassador Mel Thomas.



Apply now to be a member of our Sister City Advisory Panel

The Sister City Advisory Panel oversees and provides guidance on key aspects of Council’s cultural relationships, from student exchange programs to cross-cultural visits and events.

Lismore has the following cultural relationships with other cities around the world:

  • Sister city relationship with Yamato Takada, Japan. Commenced 7 August 1963 and was the first sister city relationship forged between Australia and Japan.
  • Twin relationship with Makassar, Indonesia. Commenced 18 September 1981.
  • Mutual Friendship Declaration with Conegliano and Vittorio Veneto, Italy. Commenced 10 June 1991.
  • Sister city relationship with Lismore, Ireland. Commenced 31 October 2000.
  • Sister city relationship with Eau Claire, USA. Commenced 23 January 2001.

Members of the Sister City Advisory Panel meet once a month and are committed to ensuring these relationships continue to grow and develop.

Interested people need to complete the expression of interest form below and email to by 2 November 2018.

For more information, phone Michella Wade on 1300 87 83 87.

Expression of Interest - Sister City Advisory Panel 2018


Information for residents on the Fire and Emergency Services Levy

The NSW Government has changed the way the community contributes to the provision of fire and emergency services. From 1 July 2017, a Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) will be collected by local government on behalf of the NSW Government. This will be included in annual rates and separately shown on the rates notices.

Please note the FESL is a NSW Government charge, not a Council increase in rates. Council's role is to collect the funds on behalf of the NSW Government.

The levy is applicable to all residential, farmland, industrial and commercial properties.

The levy will include a fixed amount: $100 for assessments classified as residential or public benefit and $200 for assessments classified as farmland, industrial, or commercial, plus a component based on land value.

In the past, these charges have been collected through property insurance. NSW Treasury indicates that the average fully insured residential property owner currently pays around $233 per year, but will now pay around $185 under the new system, giving a net benefit of $47 per year. A pension concession of $50 is applicable for those ratepayers that meet Council’s normal eligibility criteria.

Letters to all property owners, which includes FESL classification information, have been issued. The information in this letter, combined with your 2016 Land Valuation, which was recently issued by Land and Property Information, will allow you to estimate your FESL for 2017/18 by using the FESL Calculator.

Further details about the FESL are available in the fact sheets below, at or by phoning 1300 787 872.

If you disagree with your property's classification, you can request a review by completing the FESL Classification and Vacant Land Review Application Form.

Alternatively, for more information visit the Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor website or phone 1300 607 723.

FESL Fact Sheet

FESL Frequently Asked Questions