Banskia Drive recognise the Bundjalung Arakwal people, the Minjungbal people and the Widjabul people as Traditional Owners and custodians for the lands on which we live, work and create.

A Note To Our Community

Evolving together: stories and connections from Banksia Drive.

Words: Anna Hutchcroft
Photography: Jessie Prince

A Note To Our Community

This is the digital publication of Banksia Drive, a recently established marketing entity dedicated to spotlighting businesses in and around the Banksia Drive precinct. This publication aims to serve as a node of connection, linking readers to their community through cultural exchange and storytelling. It carries on the vibrant tradition of creativity, exploration, and experimentation established in the precinct in the 1970s.

The importance of connection is starkly revealed when examining its absence. Boundary lines and fragmentation prohibit the natural functions of a landscape; natural systems fail when prevented from commingling with one another. Humans are not exempt from this. In a healthy social world, neighbours are collaborators: each cafe, studio, or workshop can be reimagined as a living cell, pulsing with energy and exchanging resources with its surroundings. Creators of all kinds converge, becoming part of a greater whole – an ecosystem of cross-pollination. This publication will host photographs, interviews, essays, and dispatches from the community, adding layers to the thriving discourse that has existed here for decades. 

Place-making is often considered by residents as a domain inhabited by local government and developers. The Byron Arts & Industry Estate is a counter-example of this. Once an isolated industrial area, it has organically grown into a hub with its own gravitational pull. Over the past 50 years, it’s seen significant change. From hippie communes, steel works, and fish processing facilities to yoga studios, design warehouses, and bakeries, the participatory reorientation of this place has been shaped and defined by its industry and its surrounding residents. 

Banksia Drive is the design precinct of Byron Bay. Embodying more than just physical structures, it represents a vibrant social hub that fosters community interaction and creativity. This precinct serves as a catalyst for social engagement, providing digital and physical spaces that encourage spontaneous gatherings, collaborative endeavours, and cultural exchanges. By integrating elements that promote connectivity and interaction, Banksia Drive aims to cultivate a sense of belonging and shared identity among residents and visitors alike. 

It must be acknowledged that this publication arrives into a rapidly changing landscape. Similar to this landscape, there are parts of Banksia Drive that are changing, too – yet to be defined. That being said, there is no rush to define them. There is an impetus to intentionally leave room to allow things to morph, evolve, emerge, or express themselves spontaneously. It’s neither possible nor desirable to know everything, and that’s the beauty of it. The only thing to be done is to listen to those who have been here longer, to learn from others, and to create opportunities for the unknown to reveal itself. Banksia Drive is in a state of becoming – always will be. Join in. 

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