Parachutist Luke Oliver, of Ocean Shores, descends towards Tyagarah Airstrip
Parachutist Luke Oliver, of Ocean Shores, descends towards Tyagarah Airstrip

Giant leap of faith for world peace

By STEPHANIE FORESTER

JUMPING for peace is one thing, but couple that with an Australian skydiving first and local skyjumper Luke Oliver couldn't be happier. Luke will jump with Byron Shire's $5000, 185-square-metre peace flag into the Byron Peace Carnival tomorrow. Yesterday, he took the flag for its first test jump. Skydive Byron Bay's Matt Cheers was on deck for the historic leap. "Nothing like this has ever been done before in Byron Bay, and I believe it's the biggest flag ever jumped in Australia," said Mr Cheers, who with fellow aviator Dieter Horstmann funded the flag. "World peace is a great cause and this will be a spectacular visual statement. "We hope this is the beginning of an awesome annual event that will put Byron Bay on the world peace map." Mr Oliver said tomorrow would be a 'pressure situation' for skydivers. "It's very much a test of skills and accuracy," he said. "It'll definitely get our heart rates up." The jump will be filmed and beamed around the world during tomorrow's International Peace Day celebrations. "There is too much conflict in our world, our country, our neighbourhoods, our homes, our families," Mr Oliver said. "This flag symbolises our vision for getting along with each other, and I'm pleased to be a part of this statement." Tomorrow's peace rally kicks off from Main Beach in Byron Bay at 11am. The parade will head for the Byron Bay market site, where the flag will be unfurled from the sky at midday.



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