Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, Margaret Olley Trust representative Phillip Bacon, and Lismore Regional Gallery director Brett Adlington. Works by Olley from the gallery’s collection include (left) Spare Bedroom (1970) and Lemons and Ginger Jar (c1980

One of Australia’s most highly regarded painters Margaret Olley (1923-2011) may no longer be with us but her spirit was omnipresent at Lismore Regional Gallery on March 18 when a $500,000 cheque from her foundation was handed to Lismore City Council, which runs the gallery.

The donation will be added to a Federal Government grant of $2.85m and Lismore City Council co-funding to develop the Lismore Quadrangle cultural centre on Keen and Magellan Streets. A feature of the project is a new art gallery.

Bearing the good tidings and the donation was renowned Brisbane gallery owner Phillip Bacon who represents some of Australia’s best known artists - alive and not - including Jeffrey Smart, Robert Dickerson and Olley herself (a show of her works opens there on 26 July).

On behalf of the Margaret Olley Trust he presented the cheque to Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell who recalled feeling intimidated when meeting the Lismore-born artist when she visited the city towards the end of her life.

The new Byron Central Hospital (BCH) in Ewingsdale is hosting a Community Open Day on Saturday 9 April 2016, with free guided tours to give the public a preview of the facility.

The 30-minute tours of the new hospital will visit key areas such as the Emergency Department, Inpatient Unit, and Birthing Unit. To ensure the smooth scheduling of tours, visitors are asked to register their preferred time.

The $88M hospital is funded by the NSW Government and brings together the full range of acute and ambulatory care (community health and nursing, allied health) services now provided in Mullumbimby, Bangalow, and Byron Shires.

While the date for the 2016 federal election is yet to be announced, politicians actual and aspiring are already out of the blocks, with the Northern Rivers seat of Page being an early focus for combat.

Highlighting that Page is a ‘bellwether seat’, and as such potentially winnable, Opposition leader Bill Shorten came to Lismore, Page’s major centre, on 10 March for an old-fashioned town hall meeting.

The event was organised by the former Member for Page Janelle Saffin who won the seat for Labor in 2007, and held it with an increased majority in 2010.

Three years later Page reverted to the Nationals, with the 6.7% swing to Kevin Hogan almost matching that gained by Ms Saffin the previous time around.

It’s become an annual event that flags a year-long season of stimulating modern theatre, comedy, physical circus, cabaret, music, and more.

NORPA’s 2016 season was launched at the end of February, with the first show, comedian Hannah Gadsby’s Dogmatic, set to kick off the season on 18 March. Following in succession are kids’ comics The Listies, Nazeem Hussain’s acclaimed solo show Legally Brown, and writer Reg (Last Cab to Darwin) Cribb’s new play, Thomas Murray & The Upside Down River, a play based on five generations of a family living along the Darling River.

Sugarland is another play, this one set in Katherine, NT and focusing on very different 16-year old girls, one Aboriginal, the other not, who share a love for music.

Sex and drugs and rock and roll ... and death, all essential ingredients of a good Australian miniseries, are raised in this issue of GPSpeak.

Each year Lismore plays host to the Tropical Fruits Festival. Our cover and page 12 story feature pictures of the parade taken by talented local photographer Brad Mustow.

However, when the party's over, one can feel a little down. Staff specialist, Emanuel Vlahakis, gives practical advice to general practitioners on dealing with Gender Dysphoria (GD, page 21). Discrimination against transgender patients contributes to high levels of depression and suicidality. Recognising this risk and tapping into local resources to help such patients is a first step.

The acronym, MYEFO, sounds vaguely threatening. It is to the medical profession this year. Robin Osborne (page 18) outlines the changes to health in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Sussan Ley's doublespeak and doublethink defense of the changes attests to her being a most valued minister in the Turnbull government.