From Letterboxes To Shelterboxes

Request a postcard! When your postcard finds a home in your letterbox, provide a new home for someone through Shelterbox.

Beguiling Beaches via Battered Beastie


After Coffs Harbour we went to stay in Alstonville with Mike Greenslade (Shelterbox Director/Communications Officer), his partner Danielle and their two kids. They were extremely welcoming and we felt completely at home. Joe and I had a great time bonding with their kids.

Flora and I cooked up an ANZAC biscuit storm along with a melt-in-your-mouth apple, pear and strawberry crumble (I bet Mike and Danielle were REAL excited about having two sugar-high kids that day..).

Flora and I in our chefing finery

We also went out for lunch dressed like the Blues Brothers (Blues Sisters?)

Joe versed Monty in synth-music production and Monty was a natural! We couldn’t get him away from the boards…all part of the plan. Joe is building a string of DJ initiates along our route.

Mike and I discussed ideas about further publicity and press for the fundraiser, as well as how to gain sponsorship to assist with covering costs for the journey. We also tested out the new Shelterbox Australia app for Andriod that Mike designed and created himself! It’s very professional, easy to use and best of all it’s FREE! The app has been developed so you can access Shelterbox Australia’s website, blog, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter all in one place. You can also view upcoming events, donate online, send photos and email the communications officer. It has a great ‘find us’ google map feature so you can locate the nearest Shelterbox representative and gain access to a box to use for talks at your community event. To download this app for FREE please click here.

The iPhone version is in its ‘beta’ stage and will be launched soon.

Screenshot of Shelterbox Australia’s app for Android


We made a quick detour to Ballina on our way to Byron Bay, as I had a postcard request for The Big Prawn and I thought it would be worth a visit. This is what we found:


The poor tacker was run-down, graffitied and fenced off! We dropped by the Tourist Information Centre to see if I could get a postcard anyway, and they don’t sell ANY because the Big Prawn is in such a sorry state. So what to do to hold to my postcard commitment?! I had a solution thanks to Liz Smith Yeats, a Rotarian and Shelterbox rep in the USA who sent me a ‘photo postcard’ recently. So I jumped online and sent the requester a postcard of the image above – who doesn’t want a caged prawn in the mail?!

And what will become of our large sea-dwelling icon? According to the woman at the Tourist Information Centre, Bunnings is going to buy him and turn the buildings below into a giant Bunnings warehouse. Soon you will be able to get your pop-rivets, tarp and a patriotic tourist photo, all at once! Australian efficiency at its best.

The Ballina Rotary Club were kind enough to have me as a guest speaker at short notice, and were amazed that I had put together this project with no previous studies or experience in website design or visual media. It was great to get their feedback and also accept some donations from club members.

Byron Bay

My experience of Byron Bay can be summed up in this photo:

Hippies, gaudy retail therapy, plus a visible police presence to keep the revelers at bay.

I wasn’t sure whether I would warm to Byron Bay – so many people rave about the place, whilst others have said it’s just a ‘tourist hole’. For me it was an interesting mix of a tourist mecca with a plethora of alternative lifestyles choices and courses. People are relaxed and you can’t help but go along with that vibe. Short-shorts and no shoes are in vogue, and skateboard is the main mode of transport for many locals.

The main beach is stunning no matter whether the waves lap quietly below grey clouds,

or bathed beneath the warm glow of a sunset.

These two photos were taken only 90 minutes apart! I can see why people gravitate to this place and end up staying a while.


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This entry was posted on August 10, 2012 by in Past Locations and tagged , , , , , , .

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