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This Is Northern New South Wales

Hotel Brunswick’s welcomes home Sea Shepherd


BrunsHotel-HighRes-21Shaded by giant Poinciana trees and offering 180-degree views of Simpsons Creek, Hotel Brunswick in Brunswick Heads has been a popular watering hole since famed Queensland hotelier Jim Cavill built it in 1940. The combination of classic pub cuisine, shady beer garden and free Sunday sessions has enabled Hotel Brunswick to retain much of its original charm while navigating the changing face of traditional Aussie pubs.

While late-night lockouts and one-punch laws seek to reform a beleaguered hospitality industry, this iconic North Coast pub is using music to engage the community in bigger social and environmental issues. “Music has the ability to move a person, be it to tears, to smile, to dance or to listen,” said Sea Shepherd Australia (SSA) Music Events Coordinator, Katie Watts. “What better way to engage a demographic by sharing a message of importance to a crowd of people with music?!” She said engaging with artists often brought a crowd who shared a conscience about the oceans and the importance of protecting it. “This makes for a humble, passionate and successful way to raise awareness and much needed funds towards the NGO.”

To kick off its alliance with SSA, Hotel Brunswick took part in a fundraising campaign last November in support of  Operation Relentless, the annual anti-whaling campaign which shines the spotlight on Japanese whaling fleet’s illegally operating in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Established by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1994 with 23 countries supporting the agreement and Japan opposing it, the 50 million square kilometres surrounding Antarctica is governed by Australia and New Zealand. “SSA is financially responsible in being able fund this multi-million dollar campaign and it is with the contributions and donations from the Australian public that makes sure the ships and crew are able to successfully engage in their mission,” said Katie. The family-friendly event, which raised a whopping $41,000, exceeded everybody’s expectations. “It was evident that the mix was right,” Katie said.

The location, the venue, the management and staff of the hotel, the artists involved, the supportive community, the sense of passionate people united, the SSA volunteers helping out, the incredible speech by Captain Peter Hammarstedt of the Sea Shepherd vessel, the Bob Barker, and the people’s love and support for the oceans. The campaign kitty, which included a $10,000 contribution from Hotel Brunswick, went straight into fueling the ships, which cost a staggering $4 million each season.

Having bore witness to what Katie called ’A Magical Moment’, Hotel Brunswick management asked the SSA fleet if they would like to bookend Operation Relentless with fundraising events, the next scheduled for Saturday April 5. The stellar lineup so far includes: Mat McHugh (The Beautiful Girls), Darren Middleton (Powderfinger), Pilots, Wandering Eyes, Dubarray, Chris Mapstone, James Brook and Milan Martin. Guest speakers include Sea Shepherd Australian Managing Director Jeff Hansen, Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson, Dave Rastovich and Howie Cooke from Surfers for Cetaceans, and a number of Sea Shepherd Antarctic crewmembers. Kids will be entertained with free face painting and activities in the Amazing Whale Tepee, while Sea Shepherd Byron Bay will have a merchandise stall where all sales go into repairing and re-supplying the ships. “Both Dave Ryan and Kyle Douglas at Hotel Brunswick are always willing and able to offer help and advice, support and guidance, as well as ensuring SSA has everything it needs to produce an outstanding event,” Katie said. “Hotel Brunswick has all the elements to hold an event of this kind but it was the heart and soul of the management and owners that has made this relationship a successful and enjoyable one.”

Sea Shepherd Benefit Show is on this Saturday April 5. Doors open at 11am and entry is $5. Hotel Brunswick is located at 4 Mullumbimbi Street in Brunswick Heads. BrunsHotel-HighRes-12 10765405064_8ab34d1dc4_b10758576655_02fd9ac81c_b 10758459603_e6e1bccc7e_b