Tweed Heads has a very strong arts community. This spills over to the wider Tweed region with the Shire's Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah and to the arts-cape shops of Coolangatta and Kirra.
I too am an artist, have run for many years ‘Art Ministry' – this has developed good relationships with many institutions with art displayed at the Calders Restaurant at Kingscliff TAFE, to art at both Peppers and Mantra Salt, promotion in the Gold Coast Visitors Guide and for some time, with the Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce winner of the 2009 Coolangatta Restaurant of the Year 'Cooli's Steak and Seafood'.
I paint under the name 'Tronson du Coudray - the missionary painter' and when I initiated this Art Ministry way back in 2000, has always found willing partners for fund raising art in various restaurants and resorts.
Prior to moving to the Tweed in December 2005 to duplicate the Well-Being Australia respite ministry from Moruya on the New South Wales south coast, I established the Basil Sellers Art Centre in Moruya and the Basil Sellers $10,000 Bi-Annual Art Prize, now $15,000.
With such a background in the arts and how this public activity can bring such good-will within a community, it was a delight to me when so many local places liked these art ideas.
The GFC hit many Tweed Heads and Coolangatta business houses let alone the service industry such as restaurants. A recent Tweed Heads resident, a neighbour of mine, a brick layer by trade, could not get enough work in 2010 and returned to Sydney. These past 19 years has seen an uptake.
The Tweed Shire has the highest seniors percentage of population in New South Wales and tradesman realise they cannot charge too much for their work as the money is simply not available.
When the GFC hit the Tweed region, it affected many small business houses and the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce heard first person of this time and time again. Ultimately, business people make business decisions and close their doors.
Nonetheless it falls on the wider community to help pick up the pieces. It affects schools, hospitals, Centrelink services, welfare agencies and the like.
In 2019 business has picked up and with a new hospital approved, a new police station, highways improved, a light rail to the Coolangatta airport on the planning board ….. a fair and just society applies to Government and its funding of local community projects.
The Scriptures place a great deal of emphasis on justice, a theme that many Christians hold dear and exercise their right of speech. It is to this area that upright people call upon the government of the day along with big business to help create a society in which every person might live with dignity.
In evangelical circles of which there are many such churches in the Tweed Heads – Coolangatta region, justice is not to be confused with Salvation. Justice is an outcome of people being saved to Salvation, not the other way round.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html