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This Is Northern New South Wales

Kenya Dig it!

This Saturday (September 10th), we will see an incredible fundraising concept go down at the Byron Bay Brewery thanks mostly to the efforts of local lad Tim Horrocks… Kenya Dig it! is the name of the fundraising game which is seeing the proceeds from Saturday nights event go towards two very worthwhile causes, the Familia Moja Childrens Home in Kenya, and the Australia for UNHCR’s East Africa Appeal.

So how about we let Tim take it from here…

Tim, how did you find yourself living in Byron Bay?
Initially I moved to the bay to study Media & Design at SCU in Lismore. I’d been studying photography in my hometown of Melbourne and working odd jobs on the side and figured it was time for a change. After a year and half at SCU I started to get restless and perhaps a little disillusioned with the path I was on. It became apparent to me that I was enjoying my life in Byron more than I was attending classes at uni. Around the same time as this, life intervened by way of a girl and shortly thereafter I found myself in a tiny town in the Canadian Rockies working as a carpenter. I chased the snow and surf for a couple of years before moving back to the bay where I can be found today working as a carpenter, furniture designer and general tinkerer.

Tell us a bit about the fundraiser event you are organising on September 10th?
Kenya Dig It! is a fundraising concept we came up with in an effort to raise money for 2 exceptionally worthwhile causes, the Familia Moja Childrens Home in Kenya and the Australia for UNHCR’s East Africa Appeal. I approached Woody from the Byron Bay Brewery about hosting a gig and when they jumped onboard it just rolled on from there. We have white hot band out of Melbourne, LOON LAKE, coming up to play. They’ve been getting a lot of support from JJJ this year and are local lads. THE GRAINS are coming in to play fresh off a tour with Ash Grunwald. BEAU YOUNG is doing a set and I think you might see RUSTY MILLER get up on stage to jam with him. Plus Jessie from THE LUCKY WONDERS will kick it off with a delightful folk inspired solo set. It’s all going to happen on September 10th at The Brewery with the doors to swing open at 7.p.m.
Tix are $12 pre-sale or $15 on the door with pre-sale tix available from the venue or Sulis Hair Salon in town. 100% of proceeds from the night will go partly toward the construction costs of the new Familia Moja Childrens Home with a percentage also going toward the Australia for UNHCR’s East Africa Appeal.

You are heading over to Kenya to get a hands on approach, have you done something of this magnitude before?
No. I’ve travelled through developing countries before and have seen how other cultures live and have tried to get my head around the hardships they face just to put food on the table or shelter above it but I haven’t been involved in such a hands on way as I will be for this project. An opportunity to go to Tanzania fell through a couple years back so when Jess (good buddy and founder of Familia Moja) asked me to be involved on this one I didn’t have to weigh it up for too long.

How can the lives of Byron Shire residents relate to those of Kenya?
I think every person on the planet grapples with their desire to live a good life and to be able to provide food, shelter and opportunity for their families and loved ones. It’s the basic human condition that everybody can relate to. We all face limitations and obstacles, self imposed or otherwise, in our effort to do that but for those of us living in developed countries it’s just far easier to overcome them. By comparison, opportunity is on our doorstep. We have access to clean water from the moment we wake up, we have the ability to not just provide food for ourselves but be bombarded for choice and we have universal access to a health care safety net to catch us when we fall. That’s a foreign concept to most people in the developing world. For me personally, life was getting a little too easy around the shire. I’m grateful for the fact that I can wake up and go for a surf, meet friends for a beer, go catch a movie or whatever…but the best way I felt I could get a better understanding of what’s actually happening over there, and gain a better perspective of my life here in Byron, is to try and live their experience and walk in their shoes albeit temporarily. All the volunteers involved in the January project will be staying with Kenyan families and will be immersed in their day to day lives. Hopefully we all come away with a greater understanding of not just the hardships that they face, but where those big smiles come from too. A deeper appreciation of how good we have it back home won’t hurt either…

How else can people support the appeal?
Rolling up to Kenya Dig It! this Saturday (September 10th) would be ideal because it’s going to be epic! But if folk can’t can’t make it down on the night their are ways in which you can help. You can visit and to learn more about what they’re doing and also click through to the donation pages to offer your financial support. Otherwise head down and see the lovely ladies at Sulis hair salon in town to leave a donation. There are still few spots open on the volunteer project, so if anybody is seriously interested in being a part of it they can contact Jess through the Familia Moja website or give me a call on 0421835704 or pull me aside at the gig.

Hope to see you there!