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Pittwater Life March 2023 Issue

2023 NSW ELECTION SPECIAL MEET THE CANDIDATES + ROB STOKES FAREWELL INTERVIEW DOUGIE: FREE & BACK HOME / GENTLE GIANT BRAD DALTON THE WAY WE WERE / ARTISTS TRAIL / SEEN... HEARD... ABSURD...

2023 NSW ELECTION SPECIAL
MEET THE CANDIDATES + ROB STOKES FAREWELL INTERVIEW
DOUGIE: FREE & BACK HOME / GENTLE GIANT BRAD DALTON
THE WAY WE WERE / ARTISTS TRAIL / SEEN... HEARD... ABSURD...

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The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

FREE<br />

pittwaterlife<br />

<strong>2023</strong> NSW ELECTION SPECIAL<br />

MEET THE CANDIDATES + ROB STOKES FAREWELL INTERVIEW<br />

DOUGIE: FREE & BACK HOME / GENTLE GIANT BRAD DALTON<br />

THE WAY WE WERE / ARTISTS TRAIL / SEEN... HEARD... ABSURD...


Editorial<br />

Is that the end of the PEP talk?<br />

There’s been more than a<br />

mouthful spoken about<br />

the controversial PEP11 gas<br />

exploration lease application<br />

by all leanings of politics<br />

recently – and it seems no-one<br />

supports it.<br />

Dr Sophie Scamps and the<br />

Federal ‘Teal’ Independents<br />

are applying the blowtorch<br />

to the belly of the Albanese<br />

Labor Government to follow<br />

through on its pre-election<br />

verbal commitment to cancel<br />

the application; the NSW<br />

Liberal Government has<br />

vowed to introduce legislation<br />

to ban offshore coal and gas<br />

mining; and Independent<br />

candidates running in the State<br />

Election including <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s<br />

Jacqui Scruby have proposed<br />

a bill that would amend the<br />

State Planning Act and stop<br />

certain offshore projects from<br />

progressing.<br />

Looks like it will be a great<br />

outcome for the community<br />

– unless you happen to have<br />

shares in PEP11 lease applicant<br />

Asset Energy.<br />

* * *<br />

NSW heads to the polls on<br />

<strong>March</strong> 25 – and <strong>Pittwater</strong> is<br />

guaranteed a new MP given the<br />

retirement of Rob Stokes.<br />

We posed a series of<br />

questions to the candidates –<br />

for Liberal, Labor, Independent<br />

for <strong>Pittwater</strong> and The Greens.<br />

Their replies form our special<br />

<strong>2023</strong> Election Preview (see p44)<br />

which we hope will assist you<br />

to make an informed decision<br />

at the ballot box.<br />

We also take the opportunity<br />

to say farewell to Mr Stokes,<br />

with an interview to cover off<br />

his time in office (see p55).<br />

As is the polarising<br />

nature of politics, Mr Stokes<br />

experienced support as well<br />

as criticism during his four<br />

terms. Regardless, we should<br />

be thankful for his 16 years of<br />

serving the community; and he<br />

is to be congratulated for this<br />

commitment. – Nigel Wall<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 3


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Publisher: Nigel Wall<br />

Managing Editor: Lisa Offord<br />

Graphic Design:<br />

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Photography: Adobe / Staff<br />

Contributors: Rob Pegley,<br />

Steve Meacham, Rosamund<br />

Burton, Gabrielle Bryant,<br />

Beverley Hudec, Brian Hrnjak,<br />

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* The complete <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong><br />

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Vol 32 No 8<br />

Celebrating 32 years<br />

36<br />

74<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

FREE<br />

pittwaterlife<br />

<strong>2023</strong> NSW ELECTION SPECIAL<br />

MEET THE CANDIDATES + ROB STOKES FAREWELL INTERVIEW<br />

DOUGIE: FREE & BACK HOME / GENTLE GIANT BRAD DALTON<br />

THE WAY WE WERE / ARTISTS TRAIL / SEEN... HEARD... ABSURD...<br />

PWL_MAR23_p001.indd 1 27/2/<strong>2023</strong> 5:47 pm<br />

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thislife<br />

INSIDE: In a backflip, Council says it will revisit its proposed<br />

rezoning of land lots in <strong>Pittwater</strong> (p9); former <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Independent MP Alex McTaggart takes a look at the ‘mood’<br />

of community heading into this month’s NSW Election (p12);<br />

Darko Desic is out of detention and back living in Avalon<br />

(p14); readers have their say (p20); we look at the remarkable<br />

career of Australian basketball legend Brad Dalton<br />

(p26); and read the pitches from the <strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate<br />

candidates contesting this month’s crucial State vote (p44).<br />

COVER: <strong>Pittwater</strong> glimpse / Sharon Green<br />

XXXXX 2022<br />

also this month<br />

Editorial 3<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Local News & Features 8-35<br />

The Way We Were 26<br />

Seen... Heard... Absurd... 28<br />

Briefs & Community News 30-35<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Story 36-38<br />

Art 42-43<br />

<strong>2023</strong> NSW Election Special Preview 44-53<br />

Rob Stokes: Farewell Interview 54-55<br />

Health & Wellbeing; Hair & Beauty 56-63<br />

Money & Law 64-67<br />

Crossword 72<br />

Food & Tasty Morsels 74-77<br />

Gardening 78-80<br />

ATTENTION ADVERTISERS!<br />

Bookings & advertising material to set for<br />

our APRIL issue MUST be supplied by<br />

FRIDAY 10 MARCH<br />

Finished art & editorial submissions deadline:<br />

FRIDAY 17 MARCH<br />

The APRIL issue will be published<br />

on WEDNESDAY 29 MARCH<br />

COPYRIGHT<br />

All contents are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced except with the<br />

written consent of the copyright owner. All advertising rates are subject to GST.<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

Satellites a local ‘game-changer’<br />

Northern<br />

Beaches<br />

Council has signed<br />

a game-changing<br />

deal for broadband<br />

powered by<br />

a constellation of<br />

satellites.<br />

It will ensure<br />

Council can<br />

continue to operate<br />

and provide<br />

critical services to<br />

the community when networks are down<br />

– especially during emergencies or natural<br />

disasters.<br />

Council confirmed it had signed a new<br />

contract with tech billionaire Elon Musk’s<br />

telco Vocus Satellite – Starlink; it becomes<br />

the first Council and first government agency<br />

in NSW to access their high-performance<br />

low-earth-orbit satellite broadband service.<br />

“Our community, like the rest of Australia,<br />

has experienced its fair share of<br />

environmental threats and challenges,”<br />

Council CEO Ray Brownlee said.<br />

“These events have reminded us of the<br />

need to plan and prepare for future challenges,<br />

as set out in our recent Resilience<br />

Strategy. We need to ensure our teams remain<br />

operational in times of crisis, so we<br />

can continue to provide critical services to<br />

RECEPTION: The Starlink network.<br />

the community.<br />

“Satellite broadband<br />

is a real<br />

game changer for<br />

Council. It doesn’t<br />

require the traditional<br />

infrastructure<br />

of cables and<br />

fibre optics which<br />

can be disrupted<br />

during floods and<br />

fires.<br />

“We are a<br />

Council that is focused on innovation and<br />

we are proud to be the first government<br />

agency in NSW to sign an agreement with<br />

this service provider.”<br />

Integration with Starlink-powered<br />

broadband will improve Council’s delivery<br />

of critical services, including child-care<br />

centres and Surf <strong>Life</strong> Saving clubs.<br />

Council will also avoid heavy costs associated<br />

with network engineers troubleshooting<br />

unreliable network connections<br />

or black spot locations. It will also reduce<br />

network downtime thanks to dual reliable<br />

links installed at critical locations.<br />

Vocus is the local Australian provider<br />

of Starlink. The high-speed connectivity<br />

is made possible by a constellation of<br />

low-earth-orbit satellites the size of pizza<br />

boxes.<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

HCF rebates back<br />

at Beaches Hospital<br />

Healthscope has confirmed it has<br />

reached an agreement for a new<br />

two-year contract with private medical<br />

fund the HCF Group.<br />

The announcement comes as a<br />

huge relief to thousands of <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

residents who feared their private<br />

medical expenses would no longer be<br />

covered at the Healthscope-operated<br />

Northern Beaches hospital.<br />

Healthscope CEO Greg Horan said<br />

he was pleased the hospital group<br />

and HCF had secured an agreement<br />

which fairly recognised the cost<br />

inflation associated with provision<br />

of services to HCF members, and was<br />

commercially viable and sustainable<br />

for both parties.<br />

“We are delighted to be continuing<br />

our long-standing agreement with<br />

HCF,” Mr Horan said.<br />

“We acknowledge that the recent<br />

negotiation process has created uncertainty<br />

for HCF members and patients.<br />

I’m pleased this new agreement means<br />

HCF members can continue to be<br />

treated in our hospitals with no additional<br />

out of pocket charges.”<br />

The new agreement includes HCF,<br />

rt health and Transport Health. – LO<br />

8 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Council backflips on Zone review<br />

Northern Beaches Council will go back<br />

to the drawing board and review the<br />

methodology for its controversial Conservation<br />

Zones Review.<br />

It follows revelations of a precedent set<br />

by neighbouring Mosman Council where<br />

scenic values and other criteria were<br />

considered in its zoning process, resulting<br />

in formerly residential zoned land being<br />

rezoned as environmentally sensitive land.<br />

Council’s rewind is a victory for local<br />

residents groups, including the Mona Vale<br />

Residents Association which lobbied <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

MP Rob Stokes to clarify why Northern<br />

Beaches Council had asserted that the<br />

NSW Department of Planning and Environment<br />

had specifically advised Council<br />

that scenic values should not be used as a<br />

criteria to establish conservation zones.<br />

Council’s position was first reported by<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> in November last year.<br />

It prompted significant community<br />

backlash as <strong>Pittwater</strong> residents struggled<br />

to understand why some blocks of formerly<br />

environmentally sensitive land (E4<br />

Environmental Living) were proposed for<br />

rezoning as R2 Low Density Residential.<br />

Some 940 submissions were received<br />

between Council’s exhibition period September<br />

– December 2022.<br />

In correspondence seen by <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>,<br />

EXCLUSIVE<br />

Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts<br />

wrote to Mr Stokes to confirm his Department’s<br />

previous advice was that scenic<br />

values should not be used as the sole criterion<br />

to inform a conservation zone, and<br />

that other criteria should be considered to<br />

strengthen the rationale behind a proposed<br />

conservation zone.<br />

“I note that you raised questions about<br />

the approach to the Mosman Scenic Protection<br />

Area and its possible relevance to the<br />

review – Mosman Council’s previous planning<br />

proposal sought to rezone land from<br />

within the Mosman Scenic Protection Area<br />

from R2 Low Density Residential to E4<br />

Environmental Living,” Mr Roberts wrote.<br />

CONTROVERSY: Rezoning.<br />

“Mosman’s proposal, which has now<br />

been finalised, established multiple criteria<br />

that supported the rezoning of land, including<br />

areas of special aesthetic attributes,<br />

native vegetation, wetland protection<br />

areas and culturally significant lands.”<br />

Northern Beaches Council disputes Minister<br />

Roberts’ version of events.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> has asked Council for any<br />

documents that would support its assertion<br />

it was acting within the guidelines set<br />

by the Government.<br />

“Council was advised by staff in the<br />

Department of Planning that the use of<br />

scenic values as a criteria to establish Conservation<br />

Zones would not be supported,”<br />

Council’s latest statement said.<br />

“Since this time it has become apparent<br />

that Mosman Council were able to rely (in<br />

part) on scenic values to inform the distribution<br />

of the C4 Environmental Living<br />

zone within the Mosman Local Government<br />

Area.<br />

“In light of this and in response to<br />

submissions received, Council staff are<br />

reviewing the methodology, including giving<br />

active consideration to the addition of<br />

scenic values as a criteria.<br />

“We will continue to work with the<br />

community as we refine our work on this<br />

project.”<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 9


The mural of the story is…<br />

News<br />

Leonardo da Vinci spent<br />

a reputed three years<br />

painting his most famous<br />

fresco, The Last Supper – one<br />

of Milan’s artistic drawcards.<br />

Roving artist Daniel Hend,<br />

28, is a lot quicker.<br />

Daniel took just four days to<br />

complete the expansive mural<br />

of Northern Beaches bush life<br />

which now adorns the Bowling<br />

Green Lane side of Avalon<br />

Beach RSL.<br />

Look carefully and you’ll<br />

spot lots of familiar fauna and<br />

flora.<br />

However, three creatures are<br />

depicted, ghost-like in grey.<br />

“The wildlife that still exists<br />

in Avalon is painted realistically,”<br />

Daniel says. “But the<br />

three that are now extinct<br />

(in the neighbourhood) – the<br />

koala, the swamp wallaby and<br />

the echidna – appear as ghosts<br />

as a reminder of what has<br />

been lost.”<br />

The $4000 mural is largely<br />

crowd-funded, with a $2000<br />

donation from Avalon Beach<br />

RSL, and owes its existence to<br />

local businesswoman Jasmine<br />

Hopcraft.<br />

After spotting Daniel’s request<br />

for mural commissions<br />

on the Avalon What’s On social<br />

media site, Jasmine contacted<br />

the itinerant artist who roams<br />

along the east coast of Australia<br />

from “my two homes<br />

in Mullumbimby (in northern<br />

NSW) and Tasmania”.<br />

“I thought his work was outstanding,”<br />

says Jasmine, whose<br />

family has lived in the beachside<br />

suburb for two decades.<br />

“So I put a post out saying,<br />

‘Why don’t we set up a Go<br />

Fund Me page to get a mural<br />

here in Avalon to celebrate our<br />

gum trees and natural fauna<br />

and flora?’<br />

“The public just jumped on<br />

it. We had over 46 donations.<br />

Some people put in $200.<br />

“I scoped Avalon looking for<br />

suitable walls, and decided the<br />

Bowling Green Lane side of the<br />

RSL was the best spot.”<br />

Jasmine took her proposal<br />

to Cristo Tracy, the RSL’s affable<br />

General Manager, who<br />

promised to run it past the<br />

club’s board – which agreed<br />

“unanimously”.<br />

A slight hiccup came when<br />

STREET ART: The mural painted by Daniel Hend and depicting ‘ghost’ and living local wildlife, came about thanks<br />

to crowd funding and negotiations between Jasmine Hopcroft and Avalon Beach RSL, which donated $2000.<br />

a Northern Beaches councillor<br />

“suggested we approach<br />

the Council in case we needed<br />

financial help,” Jasmine continues.<br />

“We didn’t. But the Council<br />

was keen to support it, and<br />

helped ensure we ticked all the<br />

(planning) boxes… and they<br />

helped to make sure we could<br />

go ahead in the timeframe<br />

before Daniel moved on.”<br />

Daniel – who never went to<br />

art school – learned his skills<br />

from “my father, Len (Hend), a<br />

landscape artist”.<br />

When Daniel was 19, his<br />

father was offered a mural<br />

commission but turned it<br />

down – recommending his son<br />

instead.<br />

Since then, Daniel hasn’t<br />

looked back – with a dozen<br />

murals queuing up to be<br />

started when we talk. The RSL<br />

one was painted using brush<br />

and roller and normal exterior<br />

household paint.<br />

To research the Avalon<br />

mural, he was guided around<br />

Angophora Bushland Reserve<br />

(between Avalon, Clareville<br />

and Bilgola plateau) by “two<br />

of my new friends, Tom and<br />

Jaidon”.<br />

According to Jasmine, both<br />

the Council and the RSL are<br />

keen to re-commission Daniel<br />

to extend his mural up the<br />

entire wall.<br />

“The Council also suggested<br />

we apply an anti-graffiti finish.<br />

“Daniel has painted it so the<br />

trees can become taller, exposing<br />

the canopy with cockatoos,<br />

sea eagles and the sky,” she<br />

says.<br />

However, there are two<br />

problems.<br />

To extend the mural – with<br />

all the scaffolding and scissor<br />

lifts that would entail – will<br />

cost an extra $15,000.<br />

Plus it would probably entail<br />

the relocation of the muchloved<br />

signature emblem which<br />

the prominent Palm Beach<br />

artist Bruce Goold – a founder<br />

member of the famous Yellow<br />

House collective largely funded<br />

by the late Martin Sharpe<br />

—created to celebrate Avalon<br />

Beach’s centenary in 2021.<br />

“Bruce can select the most<br />

appropriate position if the<br />

Avalon centenary logo is<br />

relocated to another position<br />

on the building,” Cristo<br />

explained. “The board and<br />

myself are very interested<br />

in extending Daniel’s mural<br />

when possible.<br />

“What already is up is<br />

fantastic. Taking up the whole<br />

wall would complete the artwork<br />

perfectly.”<br />

– Steve Meacham<br />

10 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

McTaggart on Independents days<br />

The only Independent to win the seat of<br />

He noted the media landscape had<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Alex McTaggart believes the<br />

changed over the past 16 years.<br />

chances of success for Independent for<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> candidate Jacqui Scruby at the<br />

NSW State Election this month hinge on<br />

how hungry the evolved local community’s<br />

appetite is for change.<br />

He also questions whether issues external<br />

to the area will trigger the level of support<br />

generated for Mackellar MP Dr Sophie<br />

Scamps at the 2022 Federal Election.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> asked Mr McTaggart, who<br />

was elected to NSW Parliament in 2005<br />

while Mayor of <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council, for<br />

his observations about the differences<br />

between independent campaigns then and<br />

“Social media was non-existent – The<br />

Manly Daily was in all houses five days a<br />

week, with a Letters page that made everyone’s<br />

views clear.”<br />

He said his observation of community<br />

today was that residents generally felt<br />

sanitised.<br />

“[The people] have moved to the left,<br />

not in ideology but through frustration<br />

because they are being given lip service by<br />

a Council, dependent on grants, that does<br />

not stick up for its Community.”<br />

He added that Independents in the past<br />

had served Council “apprenticeships” and<br />

now.<br />

got to know “where every drain, footpath,<br />

REFLECTION: Alex McTaggart with Liberal<br />

In determining which way the community<br />

candidate for the NSW Election Rory Amon. vocal resident, community contributor and<br />

might vote, Mr McTaggart said it was<br />

important to reflect on the political and<br />

social climate that existed in the lead-up<br />

to his election in 2005 – and look at those<br />

factors as they apply today.<br />

“Labor was in government with a large<br />

majority and not likely to lose at the 2007<br />

election,” he said.<br />

“Labor was planning to close Mona Vale<br />

Hospital with the support of the Manly<br />

Independent (Dr Peter Macdonald), with the<br />

other local Liberals mute.<br />

station. And made a dud deal over Currawong.”<br />

Mr McTaggart noted the voice of the local<br />

community back then was strong, with<br />

eight community groups that met regularly;<br />

each had a large membership base<br />

and a newsletter, with their main targets of<br />

discussion local or Council issues.<br />

“My recollection of the only State issues<br />

that impacted 2000 to 2007 were the hospital,<br />

overdevelopment and Council needing<br />

president of the sporting association was”.<br />

“The Independent movement right at<br />

this moment is a federal independent<br />

movement, not a local movement,” he said.<br />

Mr McTaggart has publicly endorsed<br />

Liberal candidate Rory Amon for the upcoming<br />

poll; he worked alongside Mr Amon<br />

on Northern Beaches Council from 2017 to<br />

2022.<br />

“We need somebody who knows the area,<br />

the community groups, the people, that’s<br />

what you need. I absolutely endorse Rory<br />

“Labor had sold the Avalon Ambulance grants for sports fields and clubs,” he said. Amon.”<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

PHOTO: Northern Beaches Advocate<br />

12 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Council CEO heading ‘home’<br />

Northern Beaches Council<br />

seats of Wakehurst and <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

as Independent and Liberal ship set the Council up for<br />

“Ray’s outstanding leader-<br />

is set for a shock administration<br />

upheaval following<br />

the resignation of its Chief<br />

Executive Officer and possible<br />

departure of two of its 15<br />

councillors – including Mayor<br />

Michael Regan.<br />

In <strong>March</strong>, Council CEO Ray<br />

Brownlee announced he is<br />

leaving the Northern Beaches<br />

after five years to head up<br />

Randwick City Council – where<br />

he was General Manager for 14<br />

years up until 2018.<br />

Mr Brownlee said it was not<br />

a position he sought, noting<br />

it was a significant community<br />

campaign undertaken<br />

by stakeholders, groups, and<br />

residents at Randwick that<br />

requested he return.<br />

“It was an extremely difficult<br />

decision for me, as I have<br />

had the honour to work with<br />

the most outstanding group of<br />

Directors, Executive Managers,<br />

and staff, here at Northern<br />

Beaches, who have achieved so<br />

much for the Council and their<br />

community,” he said.<br />

EXIT: Ray Brownlee.<br />

“I am proud of our achievements,<br />

especially in customer<br />

service, industry leadership,<br />

and our work towards becoming<br />

an employer of choice.<br />

“Now I feel is the right time<br />

for new leadership to continue<br />

the journey.”<br />

Mr Brownlee will leave<br />

Council’s Dee Why chambers<br />

in late <strong>March</strong> – one week after<br />

the NSW State Election in<br />

which Mayor Michael Regan<br />

and <strong>Pittwater</strong> Ward Councillor<br />

Rory Amon are contesting the<br />

candidates respectively.<br />

Under laws introduced in<br />

2012, should Cr Regan be<br />

elected to State Parliament he<br />

cannot continue as Northern<br />

Beaches Mayor.<br />

However, both he and Councillor<br />

Amon can continue their<br />

term as Ward councillors.<br />

Should they decide to discontinue<br />

their Council duties,<br />

a vote countback in Frenchs<br />

Forest and <strong>Pittwater</strong> Wards<br />

from the 2022 Council election<br />

would determine the new<br />

Ward representatives.<br />

Cr Regan’s Your Northern<br />

Beaches Team currently hold<br />

seven of the 15 Councillor<br />

roles across the Beaches LGA.<br />

An interim CEO has yet to be<br />

determined.<br />

Mayor Regan said Mr<br />

Brownlee’s tenure had seen<br />

the merged Council reinvest<br />

over $29.5 million in savings<br />

each year for the community<br />

and the sustained delivery of a<br />

balanced budget.<br />

success and built a great working<br />

relationship between the<br />

organisation and the elected<br />

Council,” he said.<br />

“While we are sorry to see<br />

him go, we understand these<br />

opportunities are important to<br />

pursue and we are grateful for<br />

his leadership, direction, and<br />

commitment to our community<br />

over the past five years.<br />

Meanwhile Cr Regan said<br />

he would run for the seat of<br />

Wakehurst as an Independent<br />

under the banner ‘Safe hands.<br />

Smart solutions’ as a nod to his<br />

14 years’ community service.<br />

He is lobbying for urban<br />

centres at Frenchs Forest and<br />

Brookvale – “backed by the<br />

right infrastructure”.<br />

Cr Regan’s campaign pillars<br />

include housing affordability,<br />

lower energy bills, climate protection,<br />

health and education<br />

and fixing bottleneck traffic.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*More info visit Michael-<br />

Regan4MP.com<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 13


News<br />

Darko tale has a happy ending<br />

PHOTO: Supplied<br />

HOMECOMING: Darko celebrates with Scott, Belle and Peter; and revisiting some of his local stonemasonry.<br />

Darko ‘Dougie’ Desic’s first<br />

taste of freedom – after<br />

a home-cooked spaghetti<br />

bolognaise with friends – was a<br />

morning walk with a dog to the<br />

dunes behind Avalon Beach.<br />

These same dunes provided<br />

shelter for Dougie at the height<br />

of COVID – before things got<br />

too difficult and the then-fugitive<br />

handed himself in to Dee<br />

Why police, explaining he had<br />

escaped from the high security<br />

jail in Grafton in 1992.<br />

Hitch-hiking a ride, he ended<br />

up in Avalon – living under the<br />

police and social security radar<br />

for three decades, even pulling<br />

out his own teeth rather than<br />

risk going to a dentist to expose<br />

his non-citizen status.<br />

The Northern Beaches community<br />

backed Dougie when<br />

his story went global, contributing<br />

to a GoFundMe page to<br />

the tune of $30,000-plus as<br />

well as erecting numerous ‘Free<br />

Dougie’ signs around <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

However, few but his most<br />

ardent supporters thought he’d<br />

be allowed to re-settle in what<br />

he’s called home for 30 years.<br />

After serving his remaining<br />

prison sentence, Dougie was<br />

dispatched to Villawood Detention<br />

Centre before New Year’s<br />

Eve. The guy in the bunk below<br />

had endured those conditions<br />

for seven years, without any<br />

whisper of an outcome.<br />

However, Dougie was backed<br />

by a high-profile legal team led<br />

by Paul McGirr who represented<br />

him pro-bono and a<br />

Free Dougie campaign funded<br />

by Avalon entrepreneur Peter<br />

Higgins – as well as grass roots<br />

support from the community.<br />

Hardly anyone leaves Villawood<br />

happy. But on February<br />

6, Dougie was doing washing<br />

at the detention centre when he<br />

was approached by a guard.<br />

“Good news,” the officer told<br />

him. “You’re being released in<br />

two hours’ time.”<br />

His friends Nina and Scott<br />

Matthewson in Avalon had offered<br />

him a bedsit and a job.<br />

But two hours is barely<br />

enough time to check into an<br />

airport, let alone take the Freedom<br />

Ride. He made multiple<br />

calls to his <strong>Pittwater</strong> friends.<br />

Eventually Scott – who had<br />

been out of phone range – rang<br />

him back.<br />

“Mate, I’m being released”<br />

Dougie said. “Can I come to<br />

your place?”<br />

He was delivered from Villawood<br />

by taxi, utterly bewildered<br />

at not being sent back to<br />

Croatia as he expected.<br />

“He thought he was a goner,”<br />

Scott tells <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>.<br />

As dinner was being cooked,<br />

Dougie was shown all the stories<br />

written about him.<br />

“Dougie’s very much a keepto-yourself<br />

kind of bloke,” the<br />

friend says. “He can’t work out<br />

why so many people would be<br />

so interested in his story.”<br />

Nina’s home-made spag bol<br />

came with fresh salad, Scott<br />

recalls. “It was the first time<br />

Dougie had tasted anything<br />

fresh for 17 months.”<br />

It was washed down with a<br />

ginger beer.<br />

Then, exhausted, he retired<br />

to the spare room. “That was<br />

the first time he’d slept alone<br />

in a room since he handed<br />

himself in,” Scott said.<br />

“He had a few nightmares<br />

as anyone would who has<br />

been through what he’s been<br />

through.<br />

“But he’s just so thankful<br />

to be back here – and overwhelmed<br />

by the local support.”<br />

There are still procedures<br />

Dougie has to go through. He’s<br />

on parole and has to register<br />

for the multiple government<br />

services – tax, Medicare, social<br />

security – he avoided as a fugitive.<br />

He’s back enthusiastically<br />

working as a stonemason, but<br />

has more red tape to go<br />

through first – like a photo ID.<br />

“I don’t understand how the<br />

authorities can lock him in jail<br />

but can’t issue him a photo<br />

ID when he’s a free man,” Scott<br />

says.<br />

However, Dougie’s “notoriety”<br />

has reaped dividends.<br />

Because of the worldwide<br />

publicity he’s been contacted by<br />

nieces and nephews in Croatia<br />

he never knew he had.<br />

But his home is here in <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

“It was this local community<br />

which kept pushing for him to<br />

get back,” Scott says.<br />

“His release is a great result:<br />

David v Goliath.<br />

“It just goes to show you<br />

need to get involved, and keep<br />

going.<br />

“This whole thing has taught<br />

me a lot of things about a lot of<br />

people.<br />

“It’s been like the Australia<br />

when I was a kid.<br />

“We’ve got our values back.”<br />

– Steve Meacham<br />

14 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

Bus stop madness: gimme shelter!<br />

The pensioner, clutching two heavy<br />

bags of shopping, staggered from<br />

Woolies at Avalon to the latest 192<br />

bus stop.<br />

It was the height of midsummer. There<br />

was no level path to guide her there, and<br />

no bus shelter or seat for her to rest.<br />

So she sat down on the grass like a<br />

kindy kid, with no shade or protection<br />

had it been raining, until the bus arrived.<br />

No-one is more embarrassed than<br />

the bus drivers.<br />

They can’t believe how Northern<br />

Beaches Council and their employer<br />

– Transport for NSW – have cocked<br />

up the redesign of Avalon public<br />

transport since the controversial<br />

Streets as Shared Spaces project,<br />

funded by the NSW Government.<br />

The six-months ‘trial’ involving the<br />

northern part of Avalon’s Old Barrenjoey<br />

Road is now two months in.<br />

For Avalon PS students, nothing<br />

much has changed. At going home<br />

time the 192 still leaves from outside<br />

the school, pausing to pick up<br />

Maria Regina students on the way.<br />

If you’re an adult however, the regular<br />

shifts to the bus stops have changed<br />

countless times over the Summer, with<br />

little regard to passengers’ needs, comfort<br />

or convenience.<br />

Take the current starting point of the<br />

192 service to Stokes Point and return.<br />

You’d be hard-pressed to find it, around<br />

50 metres north of the Barrenjoey Road<br />

traffic lights.<br />

Yes, there’s a post signalling that it’s a<br />

bus stop – and a bus timetable. Though<br />

that timetable is for the 199 Manly to<br />

Palm Beach service which doesn’t stop<br />

here, and never did.<br />

There’s also a sign saying the 191<br />

service – via Bilgola Plateau and Clareville<br />

OPINION<br />

STARTING POINT: The new bus stop on Barrenjoey Rd.<br />

– no longer departs from here. Instead, it<br />

departs a pedestrian crossing away from<br />

Ecodownunder on Avalon Parade.<br />

Helpful if you’ve struggled here with<br />

your shopping.<br />

The bus drivers volunteer their opinions.<br />

Most seriously, they warn the current<br />

192 bus stop is a traffic hazard. Two<br />

of them confide they fear children will<br />

be injured dodging the northern flow to<br />

Palm Beach via the ludicrously placed<br />

traffic island to Avalon Beach Surf Club.<br />

So, what’s to happen now?<br />

It’s probably no surprise Council and<br />

Transport for NSW blame each other –<br />

albeit in the politest possible prose.<br />

Our questions weren’t difficult: What<br />

consultation was there between Council<br />

and Transport for NSW before the bus<br />

stops were moved? Why did the bus stops<br />

move so often in the Christmas period?<br />

Will the current bus stops stay? When will<br />

the 192 bus stop get a seat or shelter?<br />

The spokesperson for Transport for NSW<br />

replied with gobbledygook, referring<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> to Council: “Engagement of<br />

this nature takes place through the Northern<br />

Beaches Council Traffic Committee, of<br />

which bus operators are a member.<br />

“Determinations regarding timing of<br />

implementation take place within this<br />

forum.”<br />

In December, the 192 service, which<br />

formerly commenced opposite the<br />

‘Barefoot Boulevard’ shopping strip<br />

was moved while “roadworks were<br />

underway to remove parking north<br />

of the pedestrian crossing”.<br />

And the bus shelter/seat? “Council<br />

is responsible for bus stop infrastructure.<br />

Please refer to Council.”<br />

Naturally, Council was equally<br />

into pointing the finger away from<br />

itself.<br />

“Works will recommence in late<br />

February to complete the Streets As<br />

Shared Spaces project,” said CEO<br />

Ray Brownlee. “This will include<br />

completion of the footpaths and<br />

additional civil works.<br />

“We look forward to continuing<br />

to receive feedback from the community<br />

during the trial period. Feedback will be<br />

considered in the project evaluation.<br />

“Council has been working through<br />

commuter issues with Transport for NSW<br />

and contractor Keolis Downer to address<br />

concerns over access to bus stops.”<br />

As for improving amenity at the bus<br />

stop?<br />

Council says it has committed to installing<br />

a shelter and a seat.<br />

“We are working with our supplier<br />

to finalise timings associated with this<br />

installation,” said a spokesperson.<br />

Maybe by next Summer then?<br />

– Steve Meacham<br />

PHOTO: Steve Meacham<br />

16 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Local Kayak club making waves<br />

Tucked away towards the<br />

back of Narrabeen Lake,<br />

great things are happening<br />

every morning – often<br />

before many of us are out of<br />

bed. The humble Northern<br />

Beaches Kayak club, based at<br />

the Academy of Sport at Narrabeen,<br />

is making waves at a<br />

State and National level.<br />

Under the expert tuition of<br />

Christine Duff – ‘Duffy’ to her<br />

friends – kids aged from 12<br />

upwards are often transformed<br />

into national kayak<br />

representatives. Some 60 kids<br />

from the club have gone on<br />

to represent national junior<br />

teams since Duffy started the<br />

club in the mid-’90s.<br />

So great is the recognition<br />

for what the club achieves, it<br />

has been named NSW State<br />

Championship Club of the<br />

year for the second year running<br />

– and recently won the<br />

Australian Club of the Year<br />

title.<br />

Cherie Lovett is one of the<br />

parents who gets up at 5.30am<br />

every morning to take her<br />

child Harper, 14, to train on<br />

the lake from 5.45am to 7am<br />

before school. Hard though<br />

it is, she definitely thinks it’s<br />

worth it.<br />

“The kids train all year<br />

round, and it can be cold on<br />

the Lake at 5.30am in the middle<br />

of Winter, so we’re often<br />

sat in the car with a warm<br />

coffee.<br />

“Duffy is one of those<br />

coaches that just gets results<br />

though. She’s been doing it for<br />

30 years and is very hard on<br />

the kids, but she earns a lot of<br />

respect. There are 18-year-old<br />

boys who always say ‘thank<br />

you, Duffy’ after a session.<br />

“She never wants credit for<br />

what she does and isn’t very<br />

good at self-promotion, but<br />

she’s great at what she does.<br />

And with the 2032 Olympics<br />

being held in Brisbane, the<br />

push is on for the next set of<br />

champions.<br />

“Firm, but fair,” is how<br />

Duffy (inset) herself describes<br />

her style.<br />

Double Olympian Jo<br />

Brigden-Jones and Paralympian<br />

Dylan Littlehales are two<br />

of Duffy’s graduates, along<br />

with Simon McTavish, who cut<br />

his teeth at Narrabeen before<br />

returning to Canada to compete<br />

in the Olympics.<br />

You don’t necessarily need<br />

to have any Kayak experience<br />

when you join the club<br />

at 12 years old, you just be<br />

into sport and ready to follow<br />

Duffy’s instruction.<br />

“Hard work will out-trump<br />

talent every day,” says Duffy.<br />

“We just take on fit young<br />

kids with backgrounds in<br />

other sports; anything from<br />

surf lifesaving to netball.<br />

“Kids with a gymnastics<br />

background tend to have a<br />

strong core, which is good for<br />

Kayak. A good running and<br />

aerobic base also helps.<br />

“But we just want kids prepared<br />

to do the work.”<br />

And work they do…<br />

In the first year as 12-yearolds,<br />

the kids paddle two<br />

mornings a week before<br />

school. The under-14s then<br />

progress to four mornings a<br />

week. Then as a 16-year-old<br />

the club members paddle six<br />

mornings a week – having<br />

Sunday off – and train in the<br />

gym every day from 4pm to<br />

5.30pm.<br />

Duffy started the club<br />

in 1993 after the Barcelona<br />

Olympics. She was working<br />

at the Academy of Sport at<br />

the time and a paper had just<br />

come out about the way ahead<br />

for Australian sport.<br />

“It was just girls we took on<br />

originally as numbers needed<br />

boosting in sport, but then a<br />

year later the boys joined.<br />

“The links with the Institute<br />

MOTIVATED: The<br />

early-risers train on<br />

Narrabeen Lake.<br />

of Sport have always helped<br />

and many of the kids have<br />

gone up to the Institute after<br />

they finish our program.<br />

“I’ve always run the club on<br />

a voluntary basis alongside my<br />

career, but I retired eight years<br />

ago and have continued with<br />

it. It’s really a labour of love.”<br />

And that love is definitely<br />

reciprocated.<br />

“Duffy does a great job,”<br />

says Cherie. “Us parents have<br />

even started paddling in the<br />

morning. We bought boats<br />

and have some fun while the<br />

kids are training.”<br />

The parent paddlers may<br />

not have Brisbane 2032 in<br />

their sights, but there are<br />

plenty of Duffy’s charges who<br />

do.<br />

– Rob Pegley<br />

*The Club is holding an Open<br />

Day from 8am on 1 April;<br />

more info email snbkayakclub@gmail.com<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 17


Upbeat Merissa on a roll<br />

News<br />

Merrisa Wills is capable of landing a<br />

lawn bowl on a jack from 35 metres<br />

away – not a particularly remarkable feat.<br />

Other than she is totally blind.<br />

After losing her sight in a car accident<br />

in Western Sydney 33 years ago, Merrisa,<br />

49, is preparing to compete for Australia<br />

in the International Blind Bowls Association<br />

<strong>2023</strong> World Championships in<br />

Tweed Heads from <strong>March</strong> 6 to 16.<br />

While Merrisa has won a swag of medals<br />

at NSW State and National titles since taking<br />

up lawn bowls in 2015, the worlds will<br />

be her first major, international event.<br />

“It’s scary, bloody scary,” Merrisa said.<br />

“My goal is to come out alive. I don’t care<br />

if I win. I’m doing it for the experience.<br />

I’m just going to enjoy it.”<br />

Eleven days after her 17th birthday<br />

Merrisa was in the passenger seat of a car<br />

that ran into the back of a bobcat trailer<br />

without reflectors, attached to a truck in a<br />

no-parking zone, during a thunderstorm.<br />

Merrisa’s side of the car slid under the<br />

bobcat trailer, the roof “rolling in like a<br />

tin can”, shattering her forehead.<br />

Taken to Westmead Hospital, Merrisa’s<br />

optic nerves died as a result of a lack of<br />

blood. In a coma for 14 days, she spent<br />

five months in hospital, learning to walk<br />

and talk all over again. She still suffers<br />

from hemiparesis, which is characterised<br />

by weakness on the left side of her body.<br />

“It was like being a baby in an adult’s<br />

body,” Merrisa explained.<br />

After living like a recluse for two<br />

years, Merrisa had an epiphany.<br />

“Something went ‘ping’ inside my head,”<br />

she said. “I’ve got a life ahead of me. I<br />

started going to the gym, got a personal<br />

trainer. I rang a friend from school and<br />

asked if they went to nightclubs. That’s<br />

when life started happening again.”<br />

Merrisa worked for the national youth<br />

mental health foundation, Headspace,<br />

part-time, gave talks on road safety and<br />

took up tenpin bowling.<br />

Nine years ago Merrisa moved from<br />

Lidcombe to Narrabeen where she<br />

PHOTOS: Bret Harris<br />

TEAM: Blind lawn bowler Merrisa<br />

Wills with her director Maureen Eves.<br />

lives independently in a unit above her<br />

mother Merril.<br />

It was at a monthly gathering of the<br />

Northern Beaches Vision Impaired<br />

Group at the Dee Why RSL that Merrisa<br />

met Maureen Eves, who runs the Avalon<br />

Vision Impaired Bowls Group, which<br />

started in 2005.<br />

At first, it was difficult to find a club<br />

that would accommodate the blind bowlers,<br />

but Avalon Bowlo, a little club with<br />

a big heart, welcomed them with open<br />

arms, providing the players with free use<br />

of the greens, club shirts and coaching.<br />

Merrisa joined the Avalon Vision<br />

Impaired Bowls Group in 2015. The nine<br />

blind bowlers have a set routine of morning<br />

tea every Tuesday, an hour or so of<br />

bowls and lunch at the nearby Avalon RSL<br />

Club.<br />

“People who are visually impaired<br />

have a tendency to be hermits,” Merrisa<br />

said. “It’s a good social atmosphere, a bit<br />

of a workout, and it’s enjoyable.”<br />

Maureen became Merrisa’s director,<br />

acting as her “eyes” while she is bowling.<br />

She describes Merrisa as “street-smart”.<br />

“I admire Merrisa greatly because she<br />

has lost all of her vision and she gets out<br />

and lives her life in the world,” said Maureen,<br />

who received a Northern Beaches<br />

Australia Day Award for Community<br />

Service. “The loss of vision doesn’t stop<br />

her doing anything.”<br />

Merrisa’s coach Peter Ward, who is<br />

chairman of Mona Vale Bowls Club where<br />

she has been training, believes she will be<br />

competitive in the world championships.<br />

“Merrisa has got very good ball sense,”<br />

Peter said. “She’s got all the shots. She<br />

will hold her own.”<br />

Whether Merrisa wins a medal or not,<br />

she has already demonstrated champion<br />

qualities.<br />

“My life’s a trilogy,” Merrisa said. “The<br />

first one was life before the accident.<br />

The part of the book that’s open now is<br />

the second part. And the third one is my<br />

future and what I make it.” – Bret Harris<br />

18 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

Letters: Readers have their say<br />

Barrenjoey for all<br />

Since the excellent work done<br />

to create the stone path to the<br />

top of Barrenjoey Headland,<br />

the number of visitors<br />

making the trek to the top<br />

has increased dramatically.<br />

The number that was just<br />

a few every week increased<br />

into the thousands.<br />

As a regular trekker to<br />

the top, I find most of those<br />

making the walk along<br />

Station Beach and up the path<br />

are visitors from other parts<br />

of Sydney and overseas. One<br />

of the common questions<br />

asked at reception in Sydney<br />

hotels by guests looking<br />

for information about an<br />

adventurous day out are told<br />

about Barrenjoey Headland.<br />

I think we have to<br />

recognise that the area where<br />

we live is enjoyed by others<br />

and that there are people who<br />

would love to stay and spend<br />

time in one of the cottages<br />

on the headland, and they<br />

should be welcomed.<br />

There’s no coffee bar at<br />

the top but there are many<br />

who remain hopeful that will<br />

change soone.<br />

Allan Porter<br />

Avalon Beach<br />

Don’t erode the<br />

Barrenjoey ‘magic’<br />

Is holiday accommodation<br />

in short supply in Sydney?<br />

Definitely not. I checked and<br />

found 600 options on just<br />

one of the many booking<br />

sites. But we are short of<br />

unique places like Barrenjoey<br />

Headland.<br />

Each year thousands<br />

of people walk up the<br />

beautifully crafted path to<br />

the lighthouse, admiring the<br />

bush and glorious views on<br />

the way.<br />

Why would anyone want to<br />

erode the magic of this place<br />

for financial profit?<br />

The NSW National Parks<br />

and Wildlife Service states<br />

their aim is to “preserve...<br />

(not develop)... biodiversity,<br />

heritage sites and Aboriginal<br />

culture” and to “provide<br />

peaceful places of inspiration<br />

and seclusion that are<br />

important for human health<br />

and wellbeing”.<br />

Barrenjoey Headland is a<br />

national park which fulfils<br />

these aims. It is a welcome<br />

escape from the urban sprawl<br />

of our city. We need to keep<br />

Barrenjoey Headland as it is.<br />

Sylvia Saszczak<br />

Avalon Beach<br />

Fried rice follow-up<br />

To Mike Musgrave and<br />

cooking fried rice without gas<br />

(<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> Feb): I have had<br />

an electric induction cooktop<br />

for 18 years and can cook a<br />

superb fried rice using a nonstick<br />

frypan and have done so<br />

for years.<br />

When Independent for<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> candidate Jacqui<br />

Scruby advocates electric<br />

cooking, she is absolutely<br />

correct; no noxious gases,<br />

no fossil fuels, no dirty gas<br />

burners and fabulously fast<br />

cooking. Further, my solar<br />

panels make most of my<br />

cooking free!<br />

Electric: the only way<br />

forward.<br />

Ian Roberts<br />

Warriewood<br />

A ‘dog’s brekkie’<br />

Can the powers that be in all<br />

honesty assess the traffic and<br />

seating changes in Avalon as<br />

an improvement?<br />

It is now a visual ‘dog’s<br />

breakfast’ and reminds me<br />

of a common Food Court at<br />

a Westfield shopping centre.<br />

Wooden traffic bollards<br />

are everywhere… weatherexposed<br />

seating and tacky,<br />

cheap, ugly planter pots with<br />

bland, dying plants.<br />

What is the practical point<br />

of the road now having a<br />

curve in it? Is traffic now<br />

flowing better? No. And how<br />

is removing so many parking<br />

spaces good for commerce?<br />

Bring back <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Council ASAP.<br />

Jason Keegan<br />

Avalon Beach<br />

20 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Scamps’ community survey results<br />

Climate Change and protecting the environment are the top<br />

national and local issues for Mackellar residents, according<br />

to the results of Mackellar MP Dr Sophie Scamps’ first community<br />

survey.<br />

Dr Scamps said the survey, conducted between October and<br />

December 2022, attracted more than 3,400<br />

responses with 1,311 surveys completed online<br />

and 2,091 paper surveys completed following<br />

an electorate-wide letterbox and “street listening”<br />

campaign.<br />

The results have been released in a report<br />

outlining the top 10 national and local issues<br />

identified by the survey, and how Dr Scamps<br />

will act to represent the community on these<br />

issues.<br />

Dr Scamps said the survey provided a valuable<br />

insight into the issues the community<br />

wanted to see more action on.<br />

“Listening is a two-way exercise so while<br />

many MPs conduct community surveys, it was<br />

important to me that I also shared the results<br />

of this community survey in a timely, transparent<br />

and clear way,” she said.<br />

“To get over 3,400 responses is a fantastic<br />

result, and what really struck me is the high<br />

level of community concern about climate change and the state<br />

of our environment.<br />

“People in Mackellar want to see firmer and faster action on<br />

climate change and they want the government to lead and accelerate<br />

the transition to net zero.<br />

“I’ll continue to hold the Albanese Government to account on<br />

LISTENING: Dr Scamps.<br />

climate policy, and push for strong policies that help us meet<br />

and beat our 2030 climate target.<br />

“Our community is also incredibly concerned about the<br />

health of our local environment. The legacy of Scott Morrison’s<br />

multiple ministry scandal is that our coastline is still under<br />

threat from the PEP-11 oil and gas drilling<br />

licence.<br />

“Our bushland is also under threat from<br />

overdevelopment and projects like the Lizard<br />

Rock development. I commit to continuing to<br />

fight for our community so neither of these<br />

projects go ahead.”<br />

She said that at a national level, the survey<br />

also found that restoring integrity in federal<br />

politics was a top issue for our community.<br />

“To that end, I’ll be introducing my ‘Ending<br />

Jobs for Mates’ Private Members Bill when Parliament<br />

resumes in a bid to end the decades of<br />

cronyism that has eroded faith in the institutions<br />

that underpin our democracy.”<br />

The top 10 local issues (in order) were:<br />

Protecting our local environment; hospitals<br />

and health services; over-development; major<br />

road upgrades; public transport; mental health<br />

services; housing and affordability; waste and<br />

recycling services; coastal erosion; and schools.<br />

The top 10 national issues were: Climate change; environmental<br />

protection; integrity and tackling corruption; cost of living;<br />

orderly transition to net zero; economic growth; housing affordability;<br />

ensuring multinationals pay their fair share of tax; the<br />

cost of energy; and improving public health. – Nigel Wall<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 21


Tween Taskers spark up<br />

News<br />

PHOTO: Connor Neil<br />

WINNERS: Tween Taskers Thomas, Elias, Cooper N, Cooper T, and Charlie<br />

(with their new Spark mentor Anthony Ballesty, Founding Director of id8<br />

Studio), raked in over $6500 at the Spark Tank event.<br />

Share the Spark loves to give<br />

young people a reason to<br />

smile – at their annual Spark<br />

Tank event, held at the Glen<br />

Street Theatre with the support<br />

of the Northern Beaches Council,<br />

over 200 people watched 19<br />

local youth pitch their business<br />

ideas to a panel of eight successful<br />

entrepreneurs.<br />

Tween Taskers was a big<br />

winner and is gearing up to<br />

launch its youth-run services<br />

of dog walking, pet sitting,<br />

lawn mowing and car washing.<br />

Relax Brand design is<br />

helping them create their logo<br />

and their mentor Anthony<br />

Ballesty, Founding Director of<br />

id8 Studio, is certain they will<br />

be a huge success.<br />

Inspiring and empowering<br />

young people was the reason<br />

Share the Spark Inc. was created<br />

in 2017.<br />

“The organisation provides<br />

free long-term mentoring services<br />

to youth from diverse<br />

backgrounds and circumstances,<br />

with a focus on helping<br />

them develop the skills<br />

and confidence they need to<br />

succeed in life,” said founder<br />

Kimberly Clouthier.<br />

“Mentors are carefully<br />

selected and trained to<br />

provide personalised support<br />

and guidance, helping young<br />

people to overcome the challenges<br />

they face, achieve their<br />

goals, and keep their spark<br />

for life alive.<br />

“Their impact has been<br />

tremendous. Well over a 100<br />

young people have benefited<br />

from its programs, and many<br />

have gone on to achieve great<br />

things. From starting their<br />

own business, to pursuing<br />

successful careers and giving<br />

back to their communities, the<br />

stories of these young people<br />

are a testament to the power<br />

of ‘sharing your spark’.”<br />

On <strong>March</strong> 31, Share the<br />

Spark will be hosting a fundraising<br />

dinner to support its<br />

mission and provide muchneeded<br />

resources for its programs.<br />

This event will bring<br />

together community members,<br />

business leaders, and supporters<br />

of the organisation.<br />

The dinner will be held at<br />

the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht<br />

Club in Newport, beginning at<br />

6.30pm. The evening features<br />

a three-course meal, dancing,<br />

and a silent auction with<br />

a variety of exciting items.<br />

By attending the dinner and<br />

participating in the silent<br />

auction, attendees can make<br />

a tangible difference in the<br />

lives of young people and<br />

help build a brighter future<br />

for the community.<br />

Tickets are $160 with proceeds<br />

going directly to Share<br />

the Spark, providing essential<br />

support for its mentoring<br />

programs and events.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*Ticket sales close <strong>March</strong> 14;<br />

for more info or to purchase,<br />

head to sharethespark.org.au.<br />

22 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

6THINGS<br />

THIS MONTH<br />

Hospital support. The Mona<br />

Vale Hospital Auxiliary has stalls<br />

at <strong>Pittwater</strong> Place on the first<br />

Saturday of the month (In <strong>March</strong><br />

that’s the 4th) from 9am to 3pm<br />

and Bunnings, Belrose on the<br />

third Saturday of the month (the<br />

18th) from 9am to 3pm, selling<br />

handmade sewing, knitting, craft<br />

and jam.<br />

Music concert. International<br />

Canadian Violinist Alexander<br />

Da Costa will perform on a 1701<br />

Stradivarius violin accompanied<br />

by well-known Australian pianist<br />

John Martin many Baroque and<br />

well-known classical works<br />

reimagined with some jazz and<br />

pop influences at St Luke’s<br />

Grammar Bayview Campus<br />

at 8pm on Fri 10. Tickets only<br />

$30, students under 18, $10<br />

or free when accompanied by<br />

an adult. Contact Peninsula<br />

Music Club on 0407 441 213 or<br />

peninsulamusicclub.com.au.<br />

Women’s Day. Join The<br />

Possibility Project for a<br />

beautiful morning of meaningful<br />

conversation around the theme:<br />

FASHION ‘For What It’s Worth’ on<br />

International Women’s Day Wed<br />

8 from 10.30am-11.30am in The<br />

Pelican Room. Mona Vale Library.<br />

Bush Tucker. Discover where<br />

you can find bush tucker and<br />

how to eat it at the Aboriginal<br />

Support Group Manly Warringah<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> ‘Bush Tucker Night’<br />

on Wed 8 from 7.30pm-9pm at<br />

Mona Vale Memorial Hall. Free.<br />

Details at asgmwp.net.<br />

Ocean Swim. The Newport to<br />

Avalon Swim & Surf Swim event<br />

is on Sun 12 from 8am-11am with<br />

a 1.2km ‘family’ swim around the<br />

buoys off Avalon Beach and the<br />

pinnacle event, the 2.5km pointto-point<br />

journey swim ‘Around<br />

The Bends’ from Newport to<br />

Avalon Beach. Book online<br />

through oceanswims.com.<br />

Community awards.<br />

Shine a light on people who<br />

make a positive impact on<br />

our community through the<br />

Westfield Local Heroes program.<br />

Nominations close on Thurs 30<br />

<strong>March</strong>; the community vote will<br />

be held between 22 Aug and 11<br />

Sept with the grant recipients<br />

announced on 10 Oct; visit<br />

westfield.com.au/local-heroes.<br />

24 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


LAUNCH: Garry<br />

(far right) and<br />

beaches-based<br />

punk rockers<br />

RUST.<br />

A new spot of RUST<br />

More than 18 years spent in a punk<br />

rock band can be something of a<br />

rollercoaster, but nothing like the<br />

surprising rollercoaster ride that RUST<br />

front man Garry Campbell sings about,<br />

on a track from the Narrabeen band’s<br />

sixth album, to be released in <strong>March</strong>.<br />

“We played a gig in Munich a few years<br />

ago and identical sisters who were longtime<br />

fans travelled across Germany to<br />

attend,” Garry explains. “We’d never met<br />

them and it turned out they were both<br />

blind. They stood at the front among a<br />

raucous crowd and sang all the lyrics.<br />

“They then followed us to a festival<br />

held in Blackpool, and said they’d always<br />

wanted to ride a rollercoaster but had nobody<br />

to take them, and asked if we would.<br />

I took them on twice, had ice cream with<br />

them afterwards and they loved it.<br />

“I wrote a song about it for the latest<br />

album afterwards and they were stoked<br />

when we told them.”<br />

That album, ‘Double Denim and a Bottle<br />

of Bleach’, gets its official launch at<br />

North Narrabeen Surf Club on 18 <strong>March</strong>.<br />

Starting at 4pm, local bands The Buddz,<br />

4 Barrel Hemi and The Darrans will provide<br />

support slots, with ska and reggae<br />

tunes playing in between bands.<br />

“It’s really a bit of a party for our local<br />

friends and followers, as we don’t play<br />

on The Beaches that often,” Garry said.<br />

“We’ll play a mix of the new tracks and<br />

old favourites.<br />

“It was a COVID album really, and so<br />

we didn’t get to iron out the songs live<br />

as we normally do, but for some reason<br />

people in-the-know, who have followed<br />

us a long time, think it’s the best we’ve<br />

recorded.”<br />

Expect an afternoon of explosive Aussie<br />

rock ’n’ roll. But dig deeper and RUST<br />

are not your normal skinhead punk<br />

band. Covered in tattoos and sweat,<br />

Garry thrashes around on stage with<br />

every performance, but at 55 he is now<br />

a grandfather, and has also been sober<br />

for more than 24 years. And rather than<br />

a bottle of Jack Daniels, he warms up for<br />

gigs with an apple and a quick workout.<br />

The band started almost two decades<br />

ago with longtime members Garry,<br />

drummer ‘Smurf’ and bassist ‘Ferns’<br />

coming together from other punk bands<br />

on the Beaches, to play covers of Rose<br />

Tattoo, Motorhead and Radio Birdman.<br />

After recording their first album, overseas<br />

tours started happening and the<br />

band have a big following in Europe, as<br />

well as having toured the USA.<br />

“We played to a crowd of 5000 in the<br />

UK, which for a band like us which is<br />

under the underground, is incredible,”<br />

says Garry.<br />

“We even had a fan propose to his girlfriend<br />

in the UK. He told us he wanted to<br />

do it beforehand and so we stopped playing<br />

after four tracks for him to propose.”<br />

While the original trio have remained<br />

solid, RUST guitarists have been a pretty<br />

fluid proposition throughout.<br />

“It’s been like Spinal Tap with guitarists,”<br />

laughs Garry. “We were a five-piece<br />

originally, but we got interstate gigs and<br />

the original guitarists didn’t really want<br />

to leave the garage days. So we’ve been<br />

back and forward between four-piece<br />

and five-piece, and even a six-piece when<br />

old guitarists have been back to visit.<br />

“It’s almost like a footy team mentality,<br />

and when reserves are on the bench<br />

we’ll get them on to play. There’s never<br />

been any animosity, our guitarists lives<br />

have changed and they’ve run their<br />

course with the band.”<br />

The current line-up has no intention of<br />

stopping anytime soon.<br />

“No year has ever been the same and<br />

no show has ever been the same. I don’t<br />

know how long I’ll keep doing it, but I<br />

try to keep as fit as possible. I put myself<br />

through the wringer on stage, but I like<br />

that and want to keep doing it. As long as<br />

I’m enjoying it, that’s what it’s all about.”<br />

– Rob Pegley<br />

*Album launch at North Narrabeen Surf<br />

Club, 4pm on 18 <strong>March</strong>; tickets eventbrite.com<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 25


The Way We Were<br />

Every month we pore over three decades of <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>, providing a snapshot<br />

of the area’s recent history – and confirming that quite often the more things change, t<br />

he more they stay the same! Compiled by Lisa Offord<br />

25 Years Ago…<br />

The Way We Were<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Council’s General Manager<br />

Angus Gordon had been approached by<br />

several Councillors from Warringah to<br />

apply for the position of General Manager<br />

there: “… a more highly paid job offering<br />

a package of $160,000 to $170,000 a year<br />

against Mr Gordon’s current $138,000…<br />

It will be ironic if Mr Gordon applies, gets<br />

the job and then finds he has perhaps<br />

to oversee a merger of Warringah with<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> and Manly”. An exclusive report<br />

revealed <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council was looking<br />

at options for development of its assets<br />

in Avalon and Newport and seeking<br />

expressions of interest from developers.<br />

“The recurring theme [in a report from the<br />

Department of Public Works] is that Old<br />

Barrenjoey Road should be closed to traffic<br />

at the Northern end, a proposal which the<br />

Chamber of Commerce and local shopkeepers<br />

have long opposed. Its recommended option is<br />

to take the Avalon Parade car park and<br />

seek expressions of interest from a developer to provide<br />

a library, 8 shops, 20 residential units above the shops and<br />

15 Years Ago…<br />

library, 64 car parking spaces for the<br />

development and 136 parking spaces<br />

for the public in a decked car park.<br />

Another unfavoured option included<br />

more home units and fewer car parking<br />

spaces. Other options were to do as little as<br />

possible.” Concepts for Newport included<br />

selling the site at 17 and 19 Foamcrest<br />

Avenue and using funds to develop<br />

another site “taking in properties on<br />

Robertson Road to create a new retail and<br />

public square in Robertson Road”. In other<br />

news, the 1998 <strong>Pittwater</strong> Festival was to<br />

be held from <strong>March</strong> 21-29 with around<br />

100 events ranging from readings of<br />

plays to a “lively debate between Tom<br />

Keneally and Bob Ellis”, music, art, a<br />

film festival, a display by local<br />

architects of their work under the<br />

theme of living with the environment<br />

and walks led by local historians. “The week ends<br />

at Barrenjoey Lighthouse with poetry readings in the lighthouse<br />

keeper’s cottage – limited to 50 people, bookings essential, no<br />

dogs please.”<br />

5 Years Ago…<br />

Marking his first year as MP for <strong>Pittwater</strong>, we must keep up the pressure to have<br />

The proposal<br />

Rob Stokes wrote an opinion piece<br />

Currawong bought by the government and to build a<br />

entitled ‘<strong>Pittwater</strong>’s Coastline Under<br />

returned to the people as part of a National seniors living<br />

Threat’. He wrote: “Government must plan Park. My job is to see this is done.” Friends development<br />

how to manage our coast and determine of Currawong Convenor Shane Withington comprising<br />

proposals for coastal development, in light said the development “was just another 95 retirement<br />

of the most recent evidence on climate example of a State Government on decay units on a<br />

change. Otherwise, our precious waterfront with Labor looking after its mates.” In<br />

parcel of<br />

may be headed for a watery grave.”<br />

other news, businesses in Avalon were<br />

Bayview Golf<br />

Meanwhile, the future of Currawong considering reviving the ‘Don’t Go Round Club land<br />

was looking bleak as the controversial The Bends’ campaign of the early 1990s to sparked<br />

plans for its development were due<br />

persuade people to shop locally; Residents some debate<br />

to be lodged with the<br />

were encouraged to pack about the best environmental<br />

NSW Planning Minister<br />

a picnic and head to<br />

outcome; residents were<br />

Frank Sartor “… and<br />

Avalon Beach for Earth concerned an off-leash dog<br />

the Federal Environment<br />

Hour on <strong>March</strong> 29; the park trial at Avalon Beach<br />

Minister Peter Garrett is<br />

Northern Beaches Youth reserve “was set up to fail”; there<br />

refusing to agree with<br />

Orchestra was taking<br />

were more parking dramas<br />

local MP Bronwyn Bishop<br />

shape thanks to good<br />

on the horizon at Palm Beach<br />

that he should use his<br />

financial support to<br />

with “residents requesting NB<br />

emergency powers to<br />

the tune of $42,184<br />

Council revise their landscaping<br />

enter the property in the<br />

from Manly, Warringah masterplan for the “Kiddies<br />

National Heritage List.<br />

and <strong>Pittwater</strong> Councils; Corner” area including a<br />

Mrs Bishop accused Mr<br />

and <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council<br />

proposal for a boardwalk, after<br />

Garrett of giving in to<br />

said it was sticking with learning up to 20 much-needed<br />

Mr Sartor saying his<br />

its proposal to have<br />

beachside parking spots would<br />

action proved that the<br />

Norfolk Pines planted<br />

be lost”; and we went behind the<br />

Labor Government was<br />

down the centre strip<br />

scenes of a gruelling pre-season<br />

never serious about<br />

of the Newport Beach<br />

training session with Shute<br />

environmental issues”…<br />

Shopping Centre on<br />

Shield premiers, The Warringah<br />

Rob Stokes said: “…<br />

Barrenjoey Rd.<br />

Rats.<br />

26 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

SEEN…<br />

Spare a thought for the pair of Eastern Ospreys that built a<br />

large nest two years ago on top of the counterweight on the<br />

yellow and green MLP rotatable crane on the building site near<br />

2129 <strong>Pittwater</strong> Rd Church Point. Local John Price reports the<br />

ospreys seem to delight in perching upon the rotating arm of<br />

the crane as it deposits loads of building materials about the<br />

site below. “In early February a hard-hat rigger climbed to the<br />

top of the crane and with the help of a second large crane set<br />

about removing the osprey’s nest, piece by piece, and lowering<br />

the detritus to the ground,” John said. “This action, we<br />

imagine, was intended to serve as an eviction notice. However,<br />

in mid-February, the ospreys are still there enjoying the rides.”<br />

He added removal of the nest would have required a threatened<br />

species licence from the NSW Government to mitigate potential<br />

impacts to the birds. “Unfortunately we have never spotted any<br />

chicks. And as the crane is only temporary, presumably it will<br />

shortly be removed. C’est la vie!”<br />

HEARD…<br />

The new MoWaNa Safe Space has found a temporary home at The<br />

Mind Café at Narrabeen while it raises funds for its own space<br />

within <strong>Pittwater</strong>. MoWaNa (short for Mona Vale, Warriewood<br />

and Narrabeen) opened on February 17; it is a peer-led service<br />

to support people who are experiencing emotional or suicidal<br />

distress. It offers a drop-in style place (initially Fridays and<br />

Saturdays 5-9pm) that’s a non-clinical alternative to acute<br />

clinical services such as hospital Emergency Departments.<br />

The Safe Space will operate with a ‘companion’ team of up to<br />

40 trained volunteers. More info 0478 007 722 (only available<br />

Friday and Saturdays 5-9pm); email support@mowana.org.au;<br />

or Facebook: MoWaNa Northern Beaches Safe Space.<br />

ABSURD…<br />

There’s so much to unpack from Council’s commission – and<br />

subsequent suspension – of new coast walk public art at Mona<br />

Vale. So much that could have been done better. And so much<br />

besmirching (albeit unintentionally) of the reputations of<br />

award-winning artists caught up in this storm. To summarise:<br />

Last year Council’s own Public Art Selection Panel selected<br />

Sulman Prize-winning Australian art collective Claire Healy<br />

and Sean Cordeiro to design a work for Robert Dunn Reserve<br />

at South Mona Vale. Their text-based sculpture ‘You Are Here’<br />

(pictured) involved 25cm-high sandstone blocks spelling<br />

out its message, plus an ‘X’ to mark the spot. At Council’s<br />

November meeting, councillors were asked to endorse the<br />

project and commission the artists, at a cost of $170,000 plus<br />

GST. (Curiously, the venue changed from South Mona Vale to<br />

North Mona Vale Headland, without explanation…) Following<br />

some robust debate the art was endorsed by a 6-5 vote.<br />

(<strong>Pittwater</strong> Ward Councillor Miranda Korzy voted for it – the<br />

Ward’s other councillors Michael Gencher and Rory Amon were<br />

absent from the Chamber, as was Mayor Michael Regan). That<br />

may have been all she wrote – until social media lit up like a<br />

Catherine Wheel, spitting fireballs of outrage. On February 20<br />

Mayor Regan posted on his Facebook page that he intended to<br />

bring the project to a halt “and ask for options for a review of<br />

the way Public Art is chosen and more importantly consulted<br />

with our local community”. Woah there! <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong><br />

acknowledges that art is subjective; that’s why you must place<br />

trust in process – in this case, Council’s well-credentialled<br />

Public Art Selection Panel. (It’s disappointing that one<br />

Councillor we approached explained one of the reasons<br />

they voted against the art was because they didn’t know the<br />

evaluation committee’s make-up or credentials – newsflash:<br />

it’s on Council’s website.) Other councillors bemoaned the<br />

“misrepresentation” of the graphic circulating on social media<br />

which wasn’t the image they were shown – another newsflash:<br />

it’s the one on Council’s Your Say page. The last thing the<br />

community needs is art selected by uninformed committee.<br />

Sure, have consultation. But ultimately follow process and<br />

don’t bend with the breeze. After all, imagine if we’d all had a<br />

say on the purchase of Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles?<br />

28 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Earth Hour offer<br />

Each year, millions of people,<br />

households and businesses<br />

around the world turn off<br />

their lights and appliances for<br />

one hour during Earth Hour<br />

as a symbolic gesture to show<br />

the need for stronger climate<br />

action. Since its 2007 inception<br />

in Sydney, Earth Hour has<br />

grown into a global event, with<br />

over 190 countries taking part<br />

this year to raise awareness<br />

for energy consumption and<br />

its effects on the environment.<br />

Besides showing that you care<br />

about our planet’s future,<br />

turning off the artificial<br />

lights at night can also be<br />

greatly beneficial to your<br />

(mental) health. Enjoying a less<br />

illuminated, candlelit evening<br />

can still the mind, help you<br />

sleep better, and offers a great<br />

opportunity to reconnect by<br />

turning off the screens and<br />

talking, playing games and<br />

sharing a meal. This year’s<br />

Earth Hour event will take<br />

place on Saturday <strong>March</strong> 25<br />

from 8.30pm-9.30pm. To help<br />

raise awareness for this great<br />

cause, Northern Beaches’<br />

based Candle Kiosk Supply Co.<br />

is offering a complimentary<br />

candle for every reader.<br />

Don’t be in the dark: head to<br />

candlekiosk.com.au/earthhour<br />

to find out more.<br />

Chess is worth<br />

a check, mate<br />

The Sydney Academy of<br />

Chess is holding an under-18s<br />

chess tournament on Sunday<br />

26 <strong>March</strong> at the Tramshed<br />

Arts & Community Centre in<br />

Narrabeen, and it may surprise<br />

you to know that it’s been a<br />

regular event over the last few<br />

years. Prior to 2020-21, there<br />

have been four tournaments a<br />

year on the Northern Beaches.<br />

Players taking part start at<br />

as young as five. The cost is<br />

$40, and after registration<br />

at 12.40pm the first round<br />

starts at 1pm. Players compete<br />

in a ‘Swiss’ competition with<br />

every competitor playing six<br />

games with a time limit of<br />

15 minutes per player per<br />

game. Nobody is knocked out,<br />

but instead a ranking system<br />

lists players in a winning<br />

order. You’ll get six games no<br />

matter your standard and it’s<br />

a great learning experience.<br />

Trophies are given at around<br />

3.50pm. All players receive<br />

a certificate of participation<br />

and the tournament is<br />

NSWJCL-rated (the NSW Junior<br />

Chess League). More info<br />

sydneyacademyofchess.com.au<br />

State funding for<br />

local pothole repairs<br />

Northern Beaches Council<br />

is one of the 35 councils<br />

to benefit from funding to<br />

repair locally damaged roads<br />

following severe weather<br />

events last year. The $9.13M<br />

allocated to Council will assist<br />

in the repair of a vast number<br />

of unbudgeted repairs. These<br />

works have commenced and<br />

will be undertaken over the<br />

next 12 months. Council<br />

manages 844 kilometres of<br />

local roads. “In the last 12<br />

months Council has repaired<br />

SailGP inspires local youth<br />

Youngsters from Narrabeen Lakes<br />

Sailing Club, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht<br />

Club and Bayview Yacht Racing Association<br />

rubbed shoulders with the world’s top<br />

sailors last month when the fast-paced<br />

extreme catamaran racing event SailGP<br />

came to town.<br />

As part of SailGP’s youth and community<br />

outreach initiative, nine competing<br />

nations ‘adopted’ clubs around the state<br />

to promote the event, its numerous onshore<br />

career opportunities and inspire<br />

athletes of the future – NLSC was paired<br />

with France, RPAYC with Great Britain and<br />

team USA took BYRA under its wing.<br />

While BYRA may be a small volunteerrun<br />

community club it harbours a big<br />

vision – to lead the way in introducing<br />

learners to foiling sailing.<br />

So they were delighted when the US<br />

teams’ master-foiling craftsman Jimmy<br />

Spithill popped down to Bayview to talk<br />

to juniors and casually mingle with<br />

members a few days before the SailGP on<br />

Sydney Harbour.<br />

Spithill’s special appearance was topped<br />

off by an unboxing of the Nikki – the first<br />

foiling dinghy specifically designed for<br />

kids and lighter sailors – and an on-water<br />

display of various foiling sailing craft.<br />

over 8,500 road maintenance<br />

requests. We’re grateful to<br />

the NSW Government for the<br />

contribution to help us get<br />

on with the job and return<br />

our roads to an adequate<br />

condition,” said Council CEO<br />

Ray Brownlee. Members of<br />

the public can report damage<br />

to local roads via Council’s<br />

Customer Service number<br />

1300 434 434 or online. For<br />

state-owned roads – such<br />

as Barrenjoey and <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Roads and Wakehurst Parkway<br />

– please report them to<br />

Transport for NSW.<br />

Local Probus<br />

Club News<br />

Scamming is a scourge and<br />

knowing what to do about<br />

it is essential. In <strong>March</strong>,<br />

Palm Beach and Peninsula<br />

Probus members will hear<br />

from two Cyber Crimes<br />

Prevention officers from<br />

Northern Beaches Police Area<br />

Command at its meeting<br />

on Wednesday 15 <strong>March</strong> at<br />

Continued on page 32<br />

30 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Collaroy Beach posts Centenary<br />

Collaroy Beach postal service<br />

celebrated 100 years<br />

of operation last month with<br />

staff marking the occasion<br />

with a display of historical<br />

photographs, a charity raffle,<br />

giveaways and cake.<br />

Although the local post<br />

office has changed dramatically<br />

since it opened on 12<br />

February 1932, the one thing<br />

that has remained constant<br />

is its vital role in the community<br />

– a role the new licensee<br />

Sheetal Bansal loves.<br />

The mother of four and<br />

former yoga, art and Bollywood<br />

dance teacher admitted<br />

although she’s been on<br />

a steep learning curve since<br />

taking over the “tired old”<br />

newsagency and licensed<br />

post office on <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Road eight months ago, she<br />

has been buoyed by the support<br />

and encouragement of<br />

locals as she puts her own<br />

stamp on the business.<br />

“I feel blessed and very<br />

fortunate to be surrounded<br />

by this warm and welcoming<br />

community,” Sheetal<br />

said. “Our longstanding customers<br />

have witnessed the<br />

business grow and diversify<br />

over many years and it’s<br />

been wonderful hearing all<br />

their stories.”<br />

Managers from Australia<br />

Post along with NSW Government<br />

Minister Natasha<br />

Maclaren-Jones, Liberal<br />

candidate for Wakehurst<br />

Toby Williams and Mayor<br />

Michael Regan joined locals<br />

in celebrating the centenary.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 31


News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Continued from page 31<br />

Club Palm Beach. Starts at<br />

9.45am with a short formal<br />

meeting, followed by morning<br />

tea then the talk from 11am.<br />

Visitors welcome; enquiries<br />

Carmel (0414 978 465). The<br />

speaker at the next Newport<br />

Probus Club meeting will<br />

be Sue Alexander, one of<br />

only three sister and brother<br />

pairings to have played on the<br />

centre court at Wimbledon.<br />

Sue and her brother John<br />

lost, unfortunately, against<br />

Margaret Court and Marty<br />

Reissen. At the meeting<br />

Sue will be recounting her<br />

travels, especially in Spain,<br />

which she has published<br />

in a book ‘A Spanish Love<br />

Affair’. The meeting will be<br />

held at Newport Bowling<br />

Club on Thursday 2 <strong>March</strong>,<br />

commencing at 10am. Visitors<br />

welcome; more info David<br />

Newton-Ross (0418 298 572).<br />

The next meeting of the<br />

Combined Probus Club of<br />

Mona Vale will be held on<br />

Tuesday 21 <strong>March</strong>, in the<br />

auditorium at <strong>Pittwater</strong> RSL<br />

(from 10am). Guest speaker<br />

is author Vivien Wilson who<br />

self-published the fictionalised<br />

memoir of her mother’s<br />

remarkable life ‘Ursula’s Story:<br />

From Berlin to Bayview’ in<br />

June 2021, just as Coronavirus<br />

forced Sydney into lockdown.<br />

Visitors welcome; call 1300<br />

630 488 to find out more. The<br />

next meeting of the Bilgola<br />

Plateau Probus Club is on<br />

Friday 3 <strong>March</strong> at the Newport<br />

Bowling Club (commencing<br />

10am). Guest speaker is Taylor<br />

Harrison from Active Seniors.<br />

The Club will hold a second<br />

meeting in <strong>March</strong> on Friday 31<br />

(no meeting in April). Visitors<br />

welcome; more info Patricia<br />

(0438 281 573).<br />

Candidates’ policies<br />

Before community<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Community Alliance<br />

has invited candidates for the<br />

NSW Election to make brief<br />

presentations on their policies,<br />

Continued on page 34<br />

Help for Resilience Centre<br />

onnecting Women’, an<br />

‘Cannual networking<br />

and fundraising event at<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> RSL Club, will be<br />

launched on <strong>March</strong><br />

24 with profits<br />

donated to The<br />

Women’s Resilience<br />

Centre in Mona<br />

Vale.<br />

Club CEO Jason<br />

Manning said <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

would also<br />

announce a new<br />

partnership with<br />

the centre.<br />

“Our funding will support<br />

women in our community<br />

who have or are, experiencing<br />

a trauma response to an<br />

incredibly challenging situation<br />

in their life,” he said.<br />

“<strong>Pittwater</strong> is honoured to<br />

sponsor the Caring Conversation<br />

program and support<br />

women in our community<br />

as they bravely step forward<br />

into a brighter future with<br />

opportunity and hope.”<br />

The event will include a<br />

keynote presentation and<br />

Q&A hosted by author and<br />

philanthropist<br />

Sarah Wilson,<br />

known globally<br />

for founding the I<br />

Quit Sugar movement<br />

– a digital<br />

wellness program<br />

and 13 award-winning<br />

books that<br />

sell in 52 countries<br />

(in 2022 Sarah sold<br />

the business and<br />

gave everything to charity).<br />

Also speaking will be<br />

Simone Allan, founder of<br />

the Women’s Resilience<br />

Centre which has been set<br />

up as a place of hope and<br />

healing for women who have<br />

suffered domestic violence,<br />

deep loss or trauma and<br />

who need support in stepping<br />

forward to reset and<br />

rebuild their lives.<br />

32 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Have a ball across <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

It’s that time of year: a morning chill in<br />

the air, the smell of sausage sizzle and the<br />

sound of studs on concrete. Footy is back.<br />

And footy. And more footy. Plus of course,<br />

netball.<br />

Registrations and grading are well underway,<br />

but it’s never too late to get involved<br />

and <strong>Pittwater</strong> has a wealth of options for all<br />

ages, gender and sports.<br />

Soccer – <strong>Pittwater</strong> RSL FC play at Kitchener<br />

Park in Mona Vale; Avalon FC play at Careel<br />

Bay; and Narrabeen FC play at Warriewood.<br />

Registrations for most soccer clubs range<br />

from around $200 for the under-6s up to<br />

$350 for men’s football, but that does cover a<br />

whole season and kit. Teams range from U-6s<br />

through to U-18s, Senior Men’s and Over-45s.<br />

Pre-season training starts early <strong>March</strong>.<br />

Netball – Packing the courts at Curl Curl<br />

Saturday mornings and creating a noise a jet<br />

engine would be proud of, will be hundreds<br />

of girls and women competing in the Manly<br />

Warringah Netball League. Teams come from<br />

all over the Beaches, but Mona Vale Commodores<br />

(pictured), <strong>Pittwater</strong> Peninsula,<br />

Narrabeen and Newport are four clubs on<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> that are always looking for players.<br />

Rugby Union – For fans of the Waratahs<br />

and Wallabies, there are plenty of options<br />

to scrum down this Winter. <strong>Pittwater</strong> Rugby<br />

incorporating <strong>Pittwater</strong> Dolphins train at<br />

Narrabeen Sports High, while the Narrabeen<br />

Tigers are nearby. Newport Rugby<br />

Club including Newport Breakers play their<br />

games at the north end of Newport Beach,<br />

and Warringah Rugby Club are home to the<br />

Warringah Rats.<br />

Rugby League – Players and supporters<br />

who prefer the league game will be aware<br />

the Manly Sea Eagles kick off their season<br />

against the Bulldogs on Saturday 4 <strong>March</strong>.<br />

But for a more grass roots game there are<br />

the Avalon Bulldogs, Mona Vale Raiders and<br />

the Narrabeen Sharks. All have A-Grade,<br />

Junior and Masters teams.<br />

AFL – There are male and female teams<br />

at the <strong>Pittwater</strong> Tigers who play at North<br />

Narrabeen. The team have been highly successful<br />

at producing players for the national<br />

women’s league and popularity in the sport<br />

is growing quickly for both sexes.<br />

*More info on clubs’ websites.<br />

Continued from page 32<br />

and to answer questions from<br />

the floor. The meeting will be<br />

held on Wednesday 15 <strong>March</strong><br />

<strong>2023</strong> at Newport Community<br />

Centre, commencing 7pm. The<br />

public information session will<br />

give candidates an opportunity<br />

to inform electors about their<br />

policies, and electors a chance<br />

to hear from candidates before<br />

polling day of <strong>March</strong> 25. More<br />

info Gavin Butler (0409 395 102).<br />

Stand-up<br />

comedy show<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> RSL is the venue for<br />

an Australian Comedy Festival<br />

Show on Saturday <strong>March</strong> 18<br />

commencing 8pm. It’s a twohour<br />

professional stand-up<br />

comedy show; the comedians to<br />

appear have been handpicked<br />

from Sydney’s hottest and most<br />

talented, headlining comedians<br />

on the circuit: Steve Hoskins,<br />

Mick Meredith, Simon Kennedy,<br />

Julia Wilson, Al del Bene. Steve<br />

says; “What makes our show<br />

so unique and popular, is that<br />

every show is different and we<br />

only choose the best, leading<br />

comedians that appeal to a wide<br />

audience.” Tickets are $30, more<br />

info pittwaterrsl.com.au or (02)<br />

9997 3833. Group table seating<br />

available.<br />

Av Chamber revival<br />

Avalon & Palm Beach Business<br />

Chamber has recently been<br />

reformed and reinvigorated –<br />

and is calling for new members!<br />

34 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


A core group of local business<br />

people have joined forces<br />

to form a working group.<br />

Ironically this occurred just<br />

prior to the controversial<br />

execution of the ‘Shared Zone’<br />

at the southern end of Avalon<br />

Village. However, the group is<br />

keen to develop a long-term<br />

strategy for the economic<br />

and cultural development<br />

of the area. On 30 <strong>March</strong> at<br />

4pm, the Chamber will host<br />

a gathering (with live music<br />

and pizza) at the Avalon Bowlo<br />

and wish to invite all local<br />

business owners (not only<br />

those with shopfronts!) to<br />

become members. Organisers<br />

say no businesses will be<br />

considered too big or too small.<br />

The Chamber hopes to attract<br />

skilled, passionate individuals<br />

to be part of a development<br />

process to help execute positive<br />

change and growth in the local<br />

area. Membership can entail as<br />

little or as much involvement<br />

as individual businesses<br />

wish. More info avalonpalmbeachbusinesschamber.com.au<br />

and Facebook and Instagram.<br />

New RPAYC Patron<br />

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club<br />

Commodore Allen Storman<br />

has announced Governor<br />

of NSW Margaret Beazley<br />

as the Club’s new Patron. In<br />

a written statement CDRE<br />

Storman thanked outgoing<br />

patron Bronwyn Bishop for her<br />

service. “She has represented<br />

our Club with distinction<br />

and will continue to be an<br />

Ambassador for our club with<br />

the local community.”<br />

Surfing Awards<br />

Two <strong>Pittwater</strong> locals were<br />

recognised at the Australian<br />

Surfing Awards held on the<br />

Gold Coast last month. Emma<br />

Dieters was awarded Female<br />

Para Surfer of the Year and<br />

Cooper Chapman was named<br />

the Reeftip Great Good Award<br />

winner for the mental health<br />

organisation, The Good Human<br />

Factory.<br />

Vet<br />

on call<br />

with Dr Brown<br />

As our furry friends age, it<br />

is so important to make<br />

sure that we provide them<br />

with the best care possible. It<br />

can be difficult to know how<br />

to do this when they enter<br />

their senior years. Here are<br />

some essential tips on caring<br />

for older pets.<br />

Regular Vet Check-Ups –<br />

Many health problems can<br />

develop quickly and without<br />

any warning signs, so regular<br />

vet visits become even more<br />

important. Your vet will be<br />

able to assess your pet’s<br />

overall health and recommend<br />

treatments or lifestyle<br />

changes if needed. They may<br />

also suggest supplements,<br />

medications or vaccinations.<br />

Adjust Diet / Exercise – As<br />

pets age, their dietary needs<br />

change as well. Older pets<br />

may require different levels<br />

of protein, carbohydrates,<br />

and fats than when they were<br />

younger. In addition, exercise<br />

should be adjusted based on<br />

your pet’s age and activity<br />

level. Make sure you talk to<br />

your vet about what diet and<br />

exercise routine is best for<br />

your aging pet before making<br />

any changes on your own!<br />

Provide Comfort – An<br />

older pet’s needs don’t stop at<br />

physical health; mental health<br />

is just as important! Providing<br />

comfort and companionship<br />

will help keep them feeling<br />

happy and loved as they age<br />

gracefully. This could mean<br />

anything from giving them<br />

extra cuddles each day to<br />

getting them a companion (if<br />

applicable). If you work all day<br />

or travel frequently, leaving an<br />

interactive toy or two in the<br />

home may provide some entertainment<br />

while you’re away<br />

– just make sure it doesn’t get<br />

too noisy!<br />

Caring for an older pet requires<br />

a bit of extra effort but<br />

can be incredibly rewarding.<br />

Taking these simple steps will<br />

ensure that both you and your<br />

aging pet enjoy quality time<br />

together for years to come!<br />

*For more info call your local<br />

Sydney Animal Hospitals<br />

Avalon (9918 0833) or Newport<br />

(9997 4609) sydneyanimalhospitals.com.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 35


<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

The<br />

Gentle<br />

Giant<br />

Australian basketball Hall-of-Famer Brad<br />

Dalton, comes from a family of famous<br />

hoop stars. Known as an aggressive<br />

player in his time, he presents as a most<br />

serene individual who is now helping<br />

kids to shape their love of basketball.<br />

The term Gentle Giant<br />

could have been made<br />

for Brad Dalton. It<br />

shouldn’t be a surprise that an<br />

ex-Olympian basketballer has<br />

height, but at 6’8” (he adds,<br />

in bare feet), it’s still a slight<br />

shock how tall he actually is.<br />

Brad is broad as well and still<br />

in good shape; he would have<br />

been an imposing character<br />

on court in the ’80s. And yet<br />

he has a quiet and calm grace,<br />

and with his shoulder-length<br />

hair, jeans and bare feet, he<br />

gives off more of a retired<br />

rocker vibe. As he leads me<br />

through his North Narrabeen<br />

cottage, past Buddhas and<br />

crystals, to a tranquil back<br />

yard, you can’t help but think<br />

how different his home is<br />

to the characterless Ubermodern<br />

mansions of Michael<br />

Jordan and his ‘Last Dance’<br />

teammates.<br />

The serene picture is<br />

completed as he talks about<br />

his healthy approach to<br />

life. “I’m a vegan now,” Brad<br />

reveals, “and I haven’t drunk<br />

alcohol for around 30 years.<br />

I started picking up injuries<br />

and wanted to help my body<br />

heal quicker.<br />

“My joints were over-used<br />

and I was sick of not being<br />

able to move around like I<br />

wanted to, so I gave up alcohol<br />

and red meat and started to<br />

change my lifestyle.”<br />

The crystals, he says, are a<br />

hobby that started around the<br />

same time, as Brad started to<br />

embrace self-care and protect<br />

his body. He looks younger<br />

than most in their early 60s.<br />

But it’s a body that has been<br />

through a lot; even now Brad<br />

is recovering from a ruptured<br />

Achilles. It’s a body that went<br />

through 13 seasons in the<br />

Australian basketball league<br />

and two Olympic Games. And<br />

a body that was inherited<br />

from his statuesque sporting<br />

Story by Rob Pegley<br />

parents, along with his four<br />

siblings.<br />

“Mark and Karen were<br />

obviously great players, but<br />

I’ve got two other sisters who<br />

were also handy basketball<br />

players, and I can’t leave them<br />

out – one played in the WNBL<br />

and the other represented<br />

the area. We all grew up at<br />

Warriewood Beach and both<br />

mum and dad were good at<br />

sports – dad was a big part<br />

of the lifesaving community,<br />

played a bit of rugby and<br />

basketball, and he was six foot<br />

six. Mum was a league tennis<br />

player and they were both<br />

really encouraging when it<br />

came to sport.”<br />

If the Daltons had formed<br />

their own basketball team,<br />

they would have been a force<br />

to be reckoned with. Brad<br />

himself played for Sydney,<br />

Adelaide and Geelong<br />

throughout the ’80s, as<br />

well as competing in the<br />

’84 LA Olympics and Seoul<br />

in ’88 – where the Boomers<br />

were defeated by the USA<br />

in the Bronze Medal playoff<br />

game. Brother Mark played<br />

15 seasons in the NBL from<br />

1984, and played alongside his<br />

brother in LA – the first AIS<br />

graduate to ever represent the<br />

Boomers. Karen played more<br />

than 250 games for Australia<br />

between 1983 and 1994, and<br />

was inducted into the Hall<br />

of Fame in 2007. Brad was<br />

inducted himself in 2019.<br />

Apart from brief spells with<br />

basketball teams in Adelaide<br />

and Victoria, Brad has always<br />

lived on the Northern Beaches<br />

and still loves it here.<br />

“I went to school in<br />

Brookvale, and mum and<br />

dad had a great place near<br />

Warriewood beach that we’d<br />

all hang out at. I still like body<br />

surfing when I’m not injured<br />

and I haven’t been to too<br />

many bad restaurants on the<br />

36 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Beaches – my local Indian and<br />

Thai are great.<br />

“Growing up we were all<br />

into sport – Nippers, rugby<br />

from under-7s onwards… AFL.<br />

Early on basketball for me was<br />

just once a week with friends.<br />

Myself, Mark and Karen were<br />

all state champion swimmers.<br />

Leanne and Janelle both won<br />

swimming medals in the<br />

district area.<br />

“I didn’t actually start<br />

playing basketball seriously<br />

until I was 18. I played for the<br />

Rats U-14s rugby, then I was<br />

asked to play AFL. I started<br />

playing for Warringah, then<br />

the North Shore and then was<br />

picked for a Sydney team to<br />

play a team on the border of<br />

Sydney and Victoria.”<br />

Tragedy on that trip would<br />

swing Brad’s life in a whole<br />

new direction.<br />

“The bus crashed on the way<br />

back and one of the local boys<br />

was killed,” says Brad. “I think<br />

that dampened everyone’s<br />

enthusiasm for AFL after<br />

that.”<br />

Around that time Brad’s<br />

cousin started badgering<br />

him to play basketball more<br />

regularly.<br />

“I played for the City<br />

of Sydney club and really<br />

enjoyed it. They asked me to<br />

try out for the U-20s, and then<br />

the following year I made the<br />

state U-20s and then the U-20s<br />

national team.”<br />

The City of Sydney club<br />

entered the national league in<br />

1979, and Brad found himself<br />

a regular starter after some<br />

time on the bench. While<br />

Sydney struggled for form and<br />

lacked drive, Brad himself was<br />

spotted by an Adelaide team<br />

on the rise and recruited to<br />

help fulfil their ambitions.<br />

“They said to me that they<br />

needed one more big guy –<br />

me – to give things a shake. It<br />

was a great move and I met my<br />

wife there,” Brad adds. “The<br />

group of athletes there had<br />

a really professional attitude<br />

to training, and it was a real<br />

kick up the arse for me. We<br />

made the semis that year<br />

and then won the national<br />

league the following year. And<br />

I progressed to the national<br />

senior team.<br />

“There was no money back<br />

then though, so I had various<br />

jobs like cleaning; then every<br />

afternoon and evening I was<br />

playing or training.”<br />

Brad was tempted back to<br />

Sydney in 1983 with promises<br />

of a more professional set<br />

-up. And while the team were<br />

minor premiers, the club got<br />

into financial trouble and<br />

didn’t finish the season.<br />

“People weren’t being paid<br />

and it really affected us –<br />

players were going to other<br />

teammate’s places to get a feed<br />

and some couldn’t pay their<br />

rent.”<br />

A four-year spell followed<br />

at Geelong and another minor<br />

premiership, before he joined<br />

the Sydney Kings when they<br />

formed in 1988. By then, Brad<br />

was a seasoned international.<br />

“I played in the 1982 world<br />

champs in Columbia and<br />

made the Rest of the World<br />

team – the best 10 players<br />

from outside Europe. That was<br />

a real honour for me.<br />

“And myself, Mark and<br />

Karen all made the 1984<br />

Olympic Team in LA. That was<br />

great. Lindsay Gaze was the<br />

coach and he liked aggressive<br />

players.”<br />

The “aggressive” tag sounds<br />

unimaginable as Brad pauses<br />

quietly to take a sip of green<br />

tea.<br />

I ask if he got to see Michael<br />

Jordan in action there and<br />

whether he was a freak.<br />

“Yeah, he was,” smiles Brad.<br />

“Athletically he was very<br />

Continued on page 38<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Brad at Boondah Rd courts at Warriewood;<br />

with wife Inge after being selected for the 1984 LA Olympics; Brad<br />

with sister Karen and bother Mark; aggressive play, blocking a shot<br />

versus Ivory Coast; battling the USA; success with Geelong in the<br />

mid-1980s; Brad (#14) on court for Boomers team pic LA 1984.<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 37


<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

Continued from page 37<br />

gifted. I think there were four<br />

players at the time who had<br />

a 42-inch vertical standing<br />

jump and he was the smallest<br />

of them. But it was more the<br />

way he saw and read the game<br />

quicker than anyone else. One<br />

of the plays I saw him do in LA<br />

was like nothing I’d ever seen<br />

in my life.”<br />

In addition to the Olympics,<br />

Brad and the Boomers<br />

also made the 1986 World<br />

Champs. He says he always<br />

saw a difference in standards<br />

between international and<br />

domestic games.<br />

“You come back from an<br />

international tournament<br />

feeling you have all the time in<br />

the world when you play back<br />

in the league again – like it’s all<br />

in slow motion. The quickness<br />

and efficiency at that level is<br />

like high-speed chess.”<br />

Brad started coaching as<br />

far back as 1984 when he<br />

was at Geelong. Then after<br />

1984 Olympics the Victorian<br />

Government – where he was<br />

then based – gave out sports<br />

grants to up the quality<br />

of the game. Lindsay Gaze<br />

asked Brad to apply for one<br />

and he ended up working<br />

for the Victoria Basketball<br />

Association, going out to<br />

schools to promote the game.<br />

“I wasn’t sure about it at all,<br />

but I really enjoyed it, and I’ve<br />

pretty much done that from<br />

then on in different capacities.<br />

I’m not as physically fit as I<br />

was, but I’m still involved with<br />

that back here in Sydney now.”<br />

“I still love the sport and<br />

have just put my hand up<br />

to coach the NBL 1 team in<br />

Manly.”<br />

It sounds an idyllic life,<br />

but it is one that was again<br />

shattered by tragedy two years<br />

ago when Brad’s beloved wife<br />

Inge died.<br />

“We’d been in COVID<br />

lockdown and the day after<br />

lockdown ended, we had all<br />

the kids and grandkids over.<br />

They’d just arrived and Inge<br />

had hugs with them all in<br />

the yard. She then went into<br />

the kitchen to finish lunch<br />

and collapsed on the floor<br />

with a major brain aneurysm.<br />

Apparently it was something<br />

she’d carried around the whole<br />

of her life waiting to happen.<br />

We called an ambulance and<br />

they couldn’t revive her.”<br />

Brad and Inge had met in<br />

1981 and been married since<br />

1986.<br />

“I’ve coped okay,” says Brad<br />

sadly but resolutely. “I just try<br />

to look at all the good times<br />

we had together. The girls are<br />

all really close to me. (Brad<br />

has three daughters who have<br />

all played basketball to a good<br />

standard.) Jade and Chloe live<br />

on the Beaches and Lauren<br />

lives with me, and we get<br />

together a lot.<br />

“Inge was my best friend<br />

as well as a wife. She was<br />

always very supportive of my<br />

basketball, and I’ll forever be<br />

grateful for that. But it often<br />

meant I was at a tournament<br />

or training, and not at home.<br />

I’m still doing that stuff and<br />

try to keep in that routine.<br />

Keeping busy with basketball<br />

helps, but I obviously miss her<br />

every day.”<br />

Of all the bumps and<br />

bruises Brad has suffered,<br />

it’s clear that this one is by<br />

far the biggest, and yet with<br />

calmness, good grace and an<br />

inner strength he continues<br />

to live a life in Basketball. It’s<br />

been good to him, and he’s<br />

certainly been good for it.<br />

38 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Hot Property<br />

Hot Property<br />

‘Meet the market’ correction advice<br />

Sellers have been warned<br />

to meet the market –<br />

or face a longer sales<br />

campaign and larger discount.<br />

New Domain data shows<br />

Sydney houses were<br />

discounted by an average<br />

of 7.9 per cent in the three<br />

months to January – the<br />

largest discount since the<br />

three months to July 2019,<br />

when the property market<br />

was emerging from its last<br />

downturn.<br />

The average is for<br />

properties sold via private<br />

treaty and is based on the<br />

difference between the<br />

advertised price and the sale<br />

price.<br />

The average discount for<br />

Sydney houses has increased<br />

every month since its low<br />

of 4.9 per cent in the three<br />

months to July 2021.<br />

Units were discounted by<br />

an average of 7 per cent, the<br />

largest price drop since the<br />

three months to September<br />

2019.<br />

Domain’s chief of research<br />

and economics Dr Nicola<br />

Powell told Nine Media in<br />

February that the increase<br />

in the level of discounting<br />

pointed to a still-declining<br />

market.<br />

“[Discounting levels] have<br />

gone back to the previous<br />

downturn. When discounting<br />

is rising it means overall<br />

prices are falling. Historically,<br />

LOCAL OFFERING: 44a Kalang Rd, Elanora Heights is for sale between<br />

$2.95m to $3.2m through Hunter Estate Agents.<br />

you do tend to find that<br />

higher priced areas see<br />

greater rates of discounting,”<br />

Powell said.<br />

She warned sellers to “meet<br />

the market”.<br />

“The longer a home sits on<br />

the market the deeper the<br />

discount. Sellers need to be<br />

more open to accepting those<br />

[lower] offers.”<br />

According to Domain data,<br />

the largest discounting was<br />

in the eastern suburbs, where<br />

houses sold for an average<br />

of 11.8 per cent below their<br />

advertised price, up from 5<br />

per cent the previous year.<br />

This was followed by<br />

the Northern Beaches and<br />

the Ryde region where the<br />

average discount was 10 per<br />

cent for both, up from 6.5<br />

per cent and 7.4 per cent,<br />

respectively, the previous<br />

year.<br />

Praise for agent<br />

John and Jenny Bassetto aren’t<br />

in any great rush to jump<br />

back into the property market<br />

after finding a buyer for their<br />

remarkable resort-style home<br />

in Bayview.<br />

While the couple debate<br />

what type of property they will<br />

settle on next, they won’t have<br />

any difficulty downsizing from<br />

the place they created across<br />

a 1.517 square metre parcel<br />

of land at 1903-1905 <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Road.<br />

Designed by John, the<br />

couple recruited architect<br />

Paris Spana to help bring<br />

their vast 610 square metre<br />

double-storey dream home to<br />

life while they were living in<br />

Singapore.<br />

With six ensuite bedrooms,<br />

stone-topped kitchen, multiple<br />

living/dining zones, games/<br />

sports room, home theatre,<br />

alfresco terrace, lush lawns,<br />

wine cellar, mosaic tiled pool<br />

with swim-up bar, there was<br />

more than enough space for<br />

all the family.<br />

“John supervised<br />

everything while we were<br />

living overseas, construction<br />

took three years and it wasn’t<br />

until we returned that I<br />

understood the sheer size of<br />

it, it is big! and we have loved<br />

it,” Jenny said.<br />

“Our kids grew up there,<br />

we’ve had every significant<br />

party there, 18s, 21sts… you<br />

name it… we actually got<br />

married there on one of the<br />

blocks of land before we<br />

moved to Singapore, so while<br />

we are happy it has been<br />

sold, there’s some sadness<br />

there too,” she said.<br />

The property was<br />

marketed by Ray White<br />

Prestige Palm Beach principal<br />

Noel Nicholson and sold via<br />

expressions of interest last<br />

month for $6.6m.<br />

“We can’t speak highly<br />

enough of Noel,” Jenny said.<br />

“As soon as he set foot on<br />

the property, we knew Noel<br />

truly appreciated just how<br />

much work had gone into<br />

creating our home.<br />

“Noel was professional,<br />

open and honest with us<br />

from the beginning, he<br />

always kept us in the loop, he<br />

was wonderful to deal with,”<br />

Jenny said. – Lisa Offord<br />

40 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

Steph’s art future is sorted<br />

Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

Ring the secret bell at<br />

Avalon Post Office and the<br />

early morning collection hatch<br />

opens – to the amazing world<br />

of Steph Brown, mail sorter<br />

extraordinaire with a hidden<br />

creative talent.<br />

Steph has looked after<br />

Avalon’s early risers for the<br />

past six years. Before the Post<br />

Office opens, her customers<br />

are swimmers heading home<br />

after a dip and chirpy locals<br />

on their coffee and mail runs.<br />

Everyone is greeted with a<br />

smile and a quick chat – and<br />

with the special parcel they’ve<br />

been waiting for: wine, coffee,<br />

records (the black vinyl<br />

kind)… even lawnmowers.<br />

“The early morning regulars<br />

are lovely, they’re bright and<br />

happy,” Steph says. “I enjoy<br />

seeing them and if I haven’t<br />

seen them for a while I get a<br />

little bit concerned!”<br />

“A lot of the regulars know<br />

that I have two lives.”<br />

Steph’s hidden talent is<br />

she’s an acclaimed artist. She<br />

brilliantly captures the essence<br />

of people in her portrait<br />

paintings – cinematographer<br />

John Ogden and Gretel Pinniger<br />

(aka Madam Lash) are<br />

two local identities she has<br />

painted.<br />

Twice selected for display<br />

in the Salon des Refuses for<br />

her portraits entered in the<br />

Archibald Prize, Steph is<br />

aiming for the <strong>2023</strong> Official<br />

Exhibition.<br />

Her portrait will be of a local<br />

lady of Japanese heritage –<br />

an origami exponent and volunteer<br />

interpreter and guide<br />

for the Japanese community<br />

during the Archibald Prize.<br />

“It’s quite hard actually selecting<br />

somebody,” she says.<br />

“It does help a lot if you<br />

paint someone well-known. I<br />

don’t know how the judging<br />

panel thinks but they may be<br />

thinking of drawcards to pull<br />

people into the exhibition.”<br />

A dairy farm in Matamata<br />

in New Zealand’s North Island<br />

was Steph’s childhood home.<br />

Art was always on her radar.<br />

“I did art at high school and<br />

I loved it – and I didn’t like it<br />

when kids played up in class!”<br />

she laughs.<br />

Steph left her mark on Matamata<br />

– her town mural at Firth<br />

Primary School is still there 40<br />

years later. Tourists flock to<br />

see it (and, perhaps, the Hobbiton<br />

movie set created for<br />

the Lord of the Rings and The<br />

Hobbit films).<br />

A graphic design career<br />

and teaching art were creative<br />

outlets before Steph took the<br />

leap into portrait painting.<br />

Steph says portraits demand<br />

exacting, intricate work<br />

and she needs several sittings<br />

with her subjects, getting to<br />

know them.<br />

“You get to work out<br />

people’s character and how<br />

they hold themselves,” she<br />

explains.<br />

Energy gained from her<br />

Next wave Express opinions<br />

Sharp, visual social commentary from<br />

Northern Beaches youth will be on display<br />

at the <strong>2023</strong> Express Yourself exhibition at<br />

Manly Art Gallery & Museum from <strong>March</strong> 3.<br />

Express Yourself comprises more than<br />

50 artworks by HSC Visual Arts students,<br />

selected from the 20<br />

secondary schools across<br />

the peninsula.<br />

“At its core, the exhibition<br />

displays the voice<br />

of youth and presents<br />

young artists as commentators<br />

and advocates,<br />

questioning the<br />

status quo, and opening<br />

minds and conversations<br />

to help us imagine new<br />

futures,” said Northern<br />

Beaches Mayor Michael Regan.<br />

The exhibition has been an important part<br />

of the Gallery’s program since 1995.<br />

“Express Yourself provides a chance every<br />

year to connect with the artists emerging<br />

from secondary schools across the region,”<br />

Cr Regan said.<br />

“It’s a loved centrepiece of the annual program<br />

and an exhibition that brings new life<br />

and ideas into the Gallery to be celebrated<br />

and exposed to new audiences.<br />

IMPRESSIVE: Joe Boaler (Barrenjoey High) –<br />

‘The Land is ours; this land owns me’.<br />

“I’d like to congratulate each and every<br />

artist selected to take part in <strong>2023</strong> and to acknowledge<br />

the tremendous work they have<br />

put in to be included,” Mayor Regan said.<br />

The works by 2022 HSC students show<br />

incredible diversity, depth and skill.<br />

Some artworks reflect<br />

very personal themes of<br />

family and relationships,<br />

or draw on their cultural<br />

heritage; some explore<br />

the environmental crisis,<br />

and our connection to the<br />

land and to place; while<br />

others reflect on all that it<br />

is to be human in an everchanging<br />

world.<br />

A ‘Meet The Artists’<br />

session will be held on<br />

Sunday <strong>March</strong> 26, when visitors can engage<br />

with selected artists as they move through<br />

the gallery, listening to stories of inspiration<br />

and the creative process (2-3pm), followed<br />

by live performances by top young local<br />

musicians.<br />

Now in its 29th year, Express Yourself<br />

is presented in partnership with Northern<br />

Beaches secondary schools and the MAG&M<br />

Society.<br />

*More info Council website.<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

Avalon Post Office customers<br />

helps by flowing into the ‘art<br />

part’ of Steph’s day.<br />

“I can still have enough<br />

energy and focus to go<br />

home and switch my brain to<br />

something that really can be<br />

quite draining and intense,”<br />

she says.<br />

Draining and intense also<br />

describes the experiences of<br />

the volunteer firefighters in<br />

the Victorian Black Saturday<br />

fires.<br />

Steph saw the destruction<br />

and upheaval the fires caused.<br />

“The firefighters took me<br />

out into the actual areas that<br />

were all burnt out – it was just<br />

devastating. I couldn’t believe<br />

it and I couldn’t believe what<br />

these everyday volunteer<br />

people would do – just for the<br />

community.”<br />

She’s painted a picture of<br />

firefighter Sandra, as “salt of<br />

the earth”, “as rugged as you<br />

get” and “all expletives with<br />

a few normal English words<br />

Trail<br />

bolstered<br />

by 10 new<br />

artists<br />

The <strong>2023</strong> <strong>Pittwater</strong> Artists<br />

Trail is bigger and<br />

better than ever – they’re an<br />

energetic and vibrant creative<br />

community right here on our<br />

doorstep.<br />

The 21 Trail members –<br />

including 10 newcomers in the<br />

past 12 months – have diverse<br />

approaches but all are united<br />

by their passion for creation<br />

and innovation.<br />

This year’s popular annual<br />

group exhibition – featuring<br />

the stunning work of all Trail<br />

members – kicks off at the<br />

Newport Community Centre<br />

with an opening night on<br />

Friday 24 <strong>March</strong>.<br />

“This is a unique opportunity<br />

to see the work of a mix<br />

of emerging and established<br />

creatives under one roof, a<br />

chance to talk to them about<br />

what inspires their work and<br />

42 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

PHOTO: Greg McHugh


NEW FOCUS:<br />

Steph Brown in<br />

her studio.<br />

thrown in”.<br />

The firefighters inspired<br />

Steph’s Extraordinary Faces:<br />

Volunteers project – portraits<br />

and personal stories of 22<br />

volunteers depicting the<br />

incredible people and can-do<br />

attitudes that make a community.<br />

After focusing on portraits<br />

for 15 years, Steph is ready for<br />

the next adventure.<br />

“In my head I always wanted<br />

buy special pieces direct from<br />

the artist,” said Trail committee<br />

member Karen Hick.<br />

“With 10 new creatives, this<br />

year’s exhibition cannot help<br />

but excite visitors old and new<br />

to the Trail.<br />

“Carol Lamb creates bold<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

to do big, colourful scenes<br />

and bright loose paintings.<br />

This year I’m not doing so<br />

many portraits and I’m doing<br />

a lot more scenery. Lovely little<br />

colourful things!” she says.<br />

– Greg McHugh<br />

*You can see Steph and her<br />

colourful art at the <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Artists Trail at<br />

Newport Community Centre<br />

– opening night 24 <strong>March</strong><br />

and exhibition 25-26 <strong>March</strong>.<br />

sculptural wall art using traditional<br />

macrame techniques,<br />

but not as you know it!<br />

“Meanwhile photographer<br />

Leisel Edis produces ethereal<br />

underwater images that transport<br />

the viewer to a watery<br />

world. “<br />

Karen said the Trail would<br />

present five new painters –<br />

Bob Richardson, Stephanie<br />

Galloway Brown (see story<br />

above), Liz Muir, Dennis King,<br />

Jennifer Rosnell – working in<br />

a range of media including<br />

watercolour, impasto, oils and<br />

beeswax.<br />

“Wendy Cummings will<br />

delight with her playful felted<br />

images of native birdlife; and<br />

Christine Sadler combines<br />

silver, beadwork and embroidery<br />

in her exquisite wearable<br />

designs.<br />

“Wrapping up the new lineup<br />

is the basketry of Louise<br />

Nade, featuring sustainably<br />

gathered natural and found<br />

materials.” – NW<br />

* <strong>Pittwater</strong> Artists Trail runs<br />

Friday 24 <strong>March</strong> (6-8pm)<br />

through the weekend of 25-<br />

26 <strong>March</strong> (10am-4pm). More<br />

info pittwaterartiststrail.com<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

43<br />

Art <strong>Life</strong>


<strong>2023</strong> New South Wales Election Preview<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> decides<br />

New South Wales heads to the polling<br />

booths on Saturday <strong>March</strong> 25,<br />

with the seat of <strong>Pittwater</strong> pivotal<br />

to the Liberal Government’s hopes of<br />

re-election.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> was formed in 1973; the<br />

Liberals have held power after every<br />

election except when Independent Alex<br />

McTaggart (the then Mayor of <strong>Pittwater</strong>)<br />

triumphed in 2005.<br />

Rob Stokes, who has held <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

since 2007 (when he defeated Mr McTaggart),<br />

has retired. Mr Stokes won a fourth<br />

term in 2019, attracting 55% of the primary<br />

vote; the Greens tallied 15.3% and<br />

Labor 12.6%.<br />

Further breakdown from 2019 showed<br />

five minor community candidates,<br />

including one independent, attracted<br />

nearly 15% of votes.<br />

Four candidates will contest this year’s<br />

election.<br />

Over the following pages we provide a<br />

snapshot of these candidates’ opinions<br />

on <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s present, and their visions<br />

for its future, based on questions posed<br />

by <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>. Compiled by Nigel Wall<br />

Election <strong>2023</strong><br />

Jacqui Scruby<br />

Independent for <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Jacqui Scruby has been a small<br />

business owner, environmental<br />

lawyer, and most recently was an<br />

advisor to Mackellar Independent<br />

MP Dr Sophie Scamps.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> is her family’s home.<br />

Ms Scruby says that like so many<br />

other families, she and her husband<br />

and two daughters live here<br />

because they love <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s beauty<br />

and sense of community.<br />

Among her achievements, Ms<br />

Scruby developed and delivered an online course – 6 Weeks<br />

to Plastic Free – internationally, including through Northern<br />

Beaches Council, to help individuals reduce waste, helping NSW<br />

achieve its target of 10% household waste reduction<br />

Ms Scruby says she is running to preserve <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s way of<br />

life: protecting its environment, supporting its small businesses,<br />

and doing so all while seeking to restore trust and integrity<br />

in State politics.<br />

Rory Amon<br />

NSW Liberals<br />

community advocate, volunteer<br />

firefighter and family<br />

A<br />

lawyer for a decade, Rory Amon is<br />

a lifelong Northern Beaches local<br />

who proudly calls Narrabeen home.<br />

Mr Amon has been an active<br />

volunteer firefighter for a decade<br />

and was awarded the NSW Premier’s<br />

Bushfire Emergency Citation<br />

and the Governor General’s<br />

National Emergency Medal for his<br />

services fighting the devastating<br />

2019-20 Black Summer bushfires on the NSW South Coast.<br />

Mr Amon has been a Northern Beaches Councillor since 2017;<br />

he says he is most proud of having helped secure $2.5 million to<br />

fast-track the re-build of the Mona Vale Surf Club, and working<br />

with Councillor Alex McTaggart to secure $4.6 million to protect<br />

Newport Littoral Rainforest from development.<br />

Having graduated from Macquarie University with first class<br />

honours, Mr Amon is on the Roll of Solicitors of the Supreme<br />

Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia.<br />

Hilary Green<br />

The Greens<br />

Hilary Green says that after<br />

years of activism, she now has<br />

the opportunity to step up, speak<br />

up and push for change. Ms Green<br />

has worked in education for 42<br />

years – as a high school teacher<br />

plus three decades in universities.<br />

She says she is an adept listener,<br />

investigator and problem solver<br />

who knows how to work with<br />

those from all walks of life.<br />

She adds she has worked as<br />

cleaner and nanny whilst studying and being a single mother<br />

– leading a hyper-busy life whilst remaining organised and ontask;<br />

which she says are invaluable skills for any MP.<br />

Ms Green has a PhD in Statistics; she says the statistics<br />

field is based on common sense, as are Greens policies.<br />

She is passionate about a range of Greens policies, including<br />

tackling the climate crisis.<br />

She is urging voters to cast votes for change.<br />

Jeffrey Quinn<br />

NSW Labor<br />

J<br />

effrey Quinn grew up on the<br />

North Narrabeen peninsula and<br />

lives in the electorate.<br />

A dedicated member of the Narrabeen/<strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Branch of the<br />

Australian Labor Party, he owns<br />

and operates a business in the area.<br />

He says he wants to make a positive<br />

difference in the community an<br />

area he has lived in all his life.<br />

In particular, Mr Quinn says he is<br />

conscious that after the formation<br />

of the new Northern Beaches Council, <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s natural and built<br />

environment had felt the threat of overdevelopment and habitat<br />

destruction.<br />

He says a Labor MP would ensure that development harmoniously<br />

regenerates the urban environment with a long-term habitation<br />

viewpoint – scrutinising current policies that see Council<br />

pushing for changes to zoning in <strong>Pittwater</strong> “that could facilitate<br />

undesirable development that destroys the natural environment<br />

with buildings that change the characteristics of the place”.<br />

44 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


INDEPENDENT FOR PITTWATER – Jacqui Scruby<br />

‘We need to protect beautiful <strong>Pittwater</strong>’<br />

Election <strong>2023</strong><br />

Q: What are the three main <strong>Pittwater</strong>specific<br />

issues you think need addressing?<br />

First we need to protect beautiful <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

so our children can enjoy it like<br />

we do. We are defined by homes nestled<br />

in trees and a lifestyle that relies on the<br />

health of our environment. I will be a<br />

strong voice at State level to push back<br />

on inappropriate development, while<br />

advocating for a community-centric approach<br />

to planning for the future, and<br />

pushing to shop local and revitalise our<br />

chambers of commerce.<br />

People miss the <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council days<br />

– and they know we can do so much better<br />

to retain our bushland and conservation<br />

zones, and prioritise environment<br />

and character criteria.<br />

We need to address climate change by<br />

fighting oil and gas drilling projects off<br />

our beach and making our infrastructure<br />

and beaches climate resilient. I’ve<br />

already taken action. I have a bill ready<br />

jects – I’ll address this. We need our fair Q: Do you think the <strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate<br />

to go – that has the support of six independents,<br />

including Alex Greenwich MP<br />

share of State funding for projects that is in a better or worse position/condition<br />

than it was 4 years ago?<br />

have been pending for years.<br />

– that makes PEP-11 unworkable.<br />

Public transport services need to be People feel generally worse off. We’ve<br />

Second, we need better access to<br />

improved. We can start by holding bus had declining services due to privatisation<br />

of buses and hospitals, threats of<br />

health care – I’m calling for a solutionsbased<br />

inquiry into the Northern Beaches<br />

operators to their contracted terms and<br />

increasing Keorides.<br />

overdevelopment and loss of <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Hospital. I’d like transparency on the<br />

Q: Are there any issues external to Council and our roads need updating<br />

commercial arrangements and claims by<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate you are campaigning<br />

on?<br />

Q: Should the newly elected Govern-<br />

and floodproofing.<br />

HCF and residents that the hospital puts<br />

profits before people.<br />

Beyond <strong>Pittwater</strong> this community cares ment consider dissolving Northern<br />

We need expanded hospital services deeply about genuine climate action, Beaches Council and at least return the<br />

for the whole community, including responsible economic management, integrity<br />

and pokies reform, and more. I believe our community deserves a<br />

former <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council?<br />

mental health, regardless of health cover,<br />

and more services closer to home on the NSW could be a renewables superpower<br />

and with interest-free loans for clear our community is concerned about<br />

strong voice in local government. It’s<br />

former Mona Vale Hospital site.<br />

Third, we need to keep the Wakehurst solar and batteries and ensuring strata, the loss of conservation zones, and<br />

Parkway open and transparency on the renters and commercial properties can non-conforming developments are a key<br />

Beaches Link Tunnel. The Wakehurst access them, we can cut power bills for threat.<br />

Parkway is a major arterial road and the households and businesses. To address There is a strong case to see an independent<br />

main route to our hospital. I’ll work to cost of living pressures we need to<br />

review as a first step to inform<br />

make sure it’s open, even when it rains, prevent more mortgages hikes – the NSW all <strong>Pittwater</strong> constituents of the pros and<br />

by keeping Northern Beaches Council government should not be handing out cons of each model.<br />

and Transport for NSW accountable. more vouchers, risking fuelling inflation. Q: Why should voters consider ticking<br />

There are serious integrity questions Climate action means no new coal your box on the ballot paper?<br />

about the Beaches Link, raised by a NSW and gas – the Liberal/Nationals have I will represent <strong>Pittwater</strong>, not a party,<br />

Parliamentary Inquiry. The business case approved 26 new projects since the and be a voice on both local issues and<br />

must be publicly released immediately. Paris agreement. Ending native forest on state-wide issues. Only 12 days after I<br />

Q: What are the other important <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

logging will cut emissions, protect our announced a draft bill to stop PEP-11 the<br />

issues?<br />

iconic koalas and save taxpayers $12m in Liberal government announced a similar<br />

The shortage of teachers is a big issue for subsidies.<br />

bill after years of inaction – that is testament<br />

families. We should implement recommendations<br />

It’s also time to ensure our governfering<br />

to the positive force an Independ-<br />

of the Gallop Inquiry – ofment<br />

acts in all our interests, not their ent for <strong>Pittwater</strong> can be.<br />

teachers permanent places over parties’ interests. I plan to introduce a We do politics differently. We make<br />

casual employment, increasing wages bill to end ‘jobs for mates’ and stop porkbarrelling.<br />

good policy better. A vote for me is a<br />

and removing hurdles to entering teaching.<br />

vote for a strong independent voice for<br />

Locally, we need affordable housing We need to seize this moment on <strong>Pittwater</strong>. I will vote in the community’s<br />

for teachers and nurses, as proposed in pokies reform. Neither party currently interests each and every time. I’ll be your<br />

Brookvale.<br />

goes far enough. My support depends on representative in Parliament, not a political<br />

We are 1,200+ students more than we effective reform, including a compulsory<br />

party representative in <strong>Pittwater</strong>. And<br />

have school places for and our funding cashless card and $1 per spin maximum we’ll make history, voting in our first<br />

has been focused on only a couple of pro-<br />

bets.<br />

female State MP.<br />

46 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


LIBERAL – Rory Amon<br />

‘I’ll continue legacy of improving services’<br />

Election <strong>2023</strong><br />

Q: What are the main<br />

posed amalgamation now<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong>-specific issues<br />

tell me they are satisfied<br />

that you think need addressing?<br />

with the Council and no<br />

longer press for de-amalga-<br />

The biggest issue locals<br />

mation.<br />

raise with me is cost of living.<br />

As a local ratepayer and<br />

The next are preserving<br />

Northern Beaches Coun-<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong>’s natural beauty<br />

cillor, I see first-hand the<br />

and continuing to improve<br />

benefits of having a single<br />

local services and infrastructureern<br />

Council across the North-<br />

Beaches. We’ve been<br />

The NSW Liberal Government<br />

able to lower residential<br />

has a strong record of<br />

rates overall in <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

delivering on these issues,<br />

while also funding record<br />

including strong economic<br />

infrastructure, including<br />

management. This allows<br />

an 80% increase in<br />

us to deliver programs that<br />

new footpath spending,<br />

help to reduce the cost of<br />

surf club and RFS Brigade<br />

living, including the Energy<br />

upgrades, and the Narrabeen<br />

Bill Saving Program, backto-school<br />

Lagoon overwater<br />

vouchers and free<br />

boardwalk.<br />

universal pre-kindergarten<br />

Q: The Pitch: Why should<br />

childcare.<br />

voters consider ticking<br />

The NSW Liberal Government<br />

has nation-leading climate and in favour of calling on the NSW Gov-<br />

paper?<br />

a Northern Beaches Councillor, I voted<br />

your box on the ballot<br />

energy policies that preserve our environment<br />

through initiatives such as ban-<br />

poker machine licences on the Northern who is passionate about our community<br />

ernment to put an immediate cap on I am a lifelong Northern Beaches local<br />

ning single-use plastics, expanding the Beaches. I fully support the Premier’s and way of life. Whether it be my five<br />

Return and Earn scheme, and increasing landmark gambling reform package years delivering for the community as a<br />

the size of national parks by more than that protects the vulnerable and stands Northern Beaches Councillor, or my time<br />

600,000 hectares since 2019.<br />

up against organised crime and money as a volunteer firefighter and family<br />

And it has delivered and will continue laundering. I am asking Council’s February<br />

lawyer, I have a proven track record of<br />

to deliver improved services and infrastructure<br />

meeting to affirm its support for standing up and delivering for <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

including better public transport,<br />

these reforms.<br />

As interest rates and inflation rise, I<br />

upgrades to local schools and roads, Q: Do you think the <strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate understand that cost-of-living pressures<br />

and improved local health services. is in a better or worse position/condition<br />

are mounting. The Perrottet Liberal Gov-<br />

Q: What are the other important <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

than it was 4 years ago?<br />

ernment has a track record of providing<br />

issues?<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> is in a far better position now targeted and effective relief. This election<br />

Overdevelopment; as a Northern Beaches thanks to the NSW Liberal Government.<br />

is about who you trust to continue<br />

Councillor, I have worked hard to prevent In addition to the B-Line bus service and reducing cost of living pressures.<br />

inappropriate overdevelopment, including<br />

new commuter car parks, we’ve ex-<br />

I will also ensure we protect and<br />

in Newport, Warriewood and Inglepanded<br />

the successful Keoride service; enhance the natural beauty of <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

side. One of my proudest achievements delivered the $50 million upgrade of and continue Rob Stokes’ legacy of improving<br />

as a Councillor was working alongside Mona Vale Public School and the $350<br />

services and increasing invest-<br />

Independent Councillor Alex McTaggart million duplication of Mona Vale Road ment in local infrastructure, including<br />

to secure $4.6 million to protect Newport (East); invested over $5 million in Mona surf clubs, community facilities, schools<br />

Littoral Rainforest from development. Vale and Warriewood Surf Clubs and and roads.<br />

Q: Are there any issues external to committed $75 million for Wakehurst If elected, I will advocate to finish the<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate you are campaigning<br />

Parkway upgrades; and invested more duplication of Mona Vale Road (West),<br />

on?<br />

than $90 million for improved health ensure the Wakehurst Parkway is flood-<br />

Protecting the vulnerable in our community<br />

services at Mona Vale Hospital including proofed, and fight for upgrades to New-<br />

is particularly important to me. the 24/7 urgent care centre, dialysis serport<br />

Surf Club, North Narrabeen Public<br />

As a family lawyer, I’ve spent a decade<br />

vices, palliative care, and rehabilitation and Narrabeen Sports High.<br />

helping clients, often survivors of facilities.<br />

A vote for Labor, the Greens, a minor<br />

domestic and family violence, navigate Q: Should the newly elected government<br />

party, or Independent is a vote for a<br />

the difficulties of family breakdown.<br />

consider dissolving Northern Chris Minns Labor Government – Labor<br />

The Government has a strong record of Beaches Council and at least returning has promised to increase development<br />

delivering initiatives to prevent domestic<br />

the former <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council?<br />

on the Northern Beaches and cancel in-<br />

violence and support survivors, <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council was a wonderful frastructure projects, including funding<br />

including doubling down on perpetrators,<br />

organisation. As a Councillor, I have for the Wakehurst Parkway upgrade and<br />

removing barriers to housing for worked hard to ensure that Northern Beaches Link Tunnel. Our local environ-<br />

survivors, and delivering more women’s Beaches Council delivers the benefits of ment will be trashed, and our roads will<br />

refuges across NSW.<br />

a smaller council and the scale of a bigger<br />

reach gridlock.<br />

Problem gambling is another scourge<br />

council.<br />

Only the Perrottet Government has a<br />

on our society. That is why in 2017 as Local resident associations that op-<br />

plan for NSW and <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

48 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

PHOTO: Northern Beaches Advocate


LABOR – Jeffrey Quinn<br />

‘Only Labor can stop overdevelopment’<br />

Election <strong>2023</strong><br />

Q: What are the three main <strong>Pittwater</strong>specific<br />

issues you think need addressing?<br />

First, protecting our unique local environment<br />

from overdevelopment. We<br />

have seen inappropriate developments<br />

not in harmony with <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s unique<br />

environment or our community’s needs.<br />

Overdevelopment places a huge strain on<br />

already choked roads, health and transport<br />

services. <strong>Pittwater</strong> is a rare natural<br />

wonder with more tree canopy than the<br />

rest of Sydney. Making sure the needs<br />

and wants of the Terrey Hills and Duffys<br />

Forest citizens receive the quality of<br />

careful planning they deserve is intrinsically<br />

important too.<br />

Second, returning the people of <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s<br />

democratic rights: Labor promises<br />

to facilitate a vote on the de-amalgamation<br />

of <strong>Pittwater</strong> from the Northern<br />

ever proceeding.<br />

getting to local health services. A new<br />

Last, it’s important to create careers vision for public transport in <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Beaches Council. Residents deserve the<br />

with fully funded and resourced TAFE, is timely.<br />

right to choose whether or not they remain<br />

part of a huge local council with a<br />

so our local people who do not want<br />

Lowering the cost of living will be<br />

to attend university are educated and helped by Labor’s recently announced<br />

very low level of representation, or have<br />

trained, ready for entry into life after NSW Energy Security Corporation and<br />

their council restored so democratic<br />

school.<br />

our ability to deliver more stability and<br />

representation is also restored.<br />

Q: Are there any issues external to reliability in our State’s energy supply by<br />

Third, rebuilding and expanding public<br />

health services. The downgrading and<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate you are campaigning<br />

on?<br />

The State Government has taken a<br />

building community batteries.<br />

demolition of Mona Vale Hospital and The Wakehurst Parkway (pictured) is a hands-off approach to urban development,<br />

meaning that there is a constant<br />

the privatisation and sale of Northern crucial road for <strong>Pittwater</strong> residents and<br />

Beaches Hospital have disadvantaged visitors. We need a permanent solution to struggle to prevent over-development<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong>’s community. We deserve much the flooding problems so we never have that threatens the unique natural environment.<br />

better. I will fight to have Mona Vale to close it again. A land bridge spanning<br />

Hospital clinics and medical services the floodplain will be an efficient and Unfortunately, the government has<br />

upgraded and a public hospital rebuilt cost-effective long-term solution. Moreover,<br />

the answer I propose will provide of <strong>Pittwater</strong> for granted.<br />

become complacent and taken the people<br />

as, at the very least, a Level 4 Emergency<br />

and Acute Care Public Hospital so that it safe passage for wildlife.<br />

Q: Should the newly elected government<br />

provides much-needed services for the Lizard Rock, as it is presently structured,<br />

consider dissolving Northern<br />

community.<br />

is an inappropriate development Beaches Council and at least returning<br />

Q: What are the other important <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

that will be out of keeping with the local the former <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council?<br />

issues?<br />

environment and will add enormous Labor promises to facilitate a vote on the<br />

Improving and restoring affordable public<br />

pressure to the already stretched infra-<br />

de-amalgamation of <strong>Pittwater</strong> from the<br />

transport services. The privatisation structure in the area.<br />

Northern Beaches Council.<br />

of bus services has led to a degradation Q: Do you think the <strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate Q: The Pitch: Why should voters consider<br />

in the quality of service with delays, long is in a better or worse position/condition<br />

ticking your box on the ballot paper?<br />

queues and damaged electronic signage<br />

than it was 4 years ago?<br />

This district needs me to restore public<br />

that causes frustration and inconvenience.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> has been largely ignored by health systems in balance with private<br />

the Government over the past four years systems, so all the community members<br />

Also, building roads that cannot be and, as a result, our public health, public are safe and cared for in a manner that is<br />

flooded and do not kill our native species.<br />

transport and public education services better than adequate.<br />

have deteriorated.<br />

I want to be part of a Minns Labor Gov-<br />

There should be a proactive permanent<br />

Local health services have been<br />

ernment that focuses on our people’s,<br />

police presence north of the Bilgola degraded, and the Northern Beaches the environment’s and the economy’s<br />

Bends that could be part of a multi-function<br />

Hospital is now further away for Pit-<br />

real needs. A Labor member of an active<br />

centre in the existing ambulance twater residents. It can’t even be reached government will be <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s only hope<br />

station.<br />

via Wakehurst Pathway in the event of a to stop overdevelopment, restore public<br />

Ensuring there is a fully staffed<br />

flood.<br />

health and our hospital services.<br />

ambulance station open around the<br />

Privatised public transport services I have watched how 12 years of the Perrottet<br />

clock is important… as is preventing are less affordable and frequently delayed<br />

Liberal Government has seen the<br />

the commercialisation of the Barrenjoey<br />

and cancelled, causing incredible area stagnate at a time when our stand-<br />

Headland.<br />

frustration for commuters.<br />

ard of living should be improving.<br />

I will maintain Labor policy to oppose Roads have become choked. It has<br />

It’s only a Labor government – not the<br />

and never allow offshore exploration or become a battle for people trying to get Coalition and not independents – that<br />

drilling – including stopping PEP-11 from work, dropping off kids at school, or can actually deliver.<br />

50 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


THE GREENS – Hilary Green<br />

‘Every Greens vote is for the greater good’<br />

Election <strong>2023</strong><br />

Q: What are the three main <strong>Pittwater</strong>specific<br />

issues that you think need<br />

addressing?<br />

First, we need a publicly owned and run<br />

emergency and acute services hospital<br />

reinstated at Mona Vale. We’ll need<br />

it – with the extra population, tourism,<br />

unreliable roads and roadworks. We need<br />

mental health and paediatric services.<br />

Second, the Greens will not allow the<br />

bulldozers to reduce the natural beauty<br />

of the area. Greens will not allow any<br />

State government to override environmental<br />

decisions made by our local<br />

Council.<br />

Third, we need an efficient, electrified<br />

and expanded bus service in public<br />

hands. Time spent in traffic is wasted<br />

time. Transport is our biggest contributor<br />

to greenhouse gas emissions and so<br />

to climate change.<br />

Q: What are the other important <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

issues?<br />

Housing affordability – we need the people<br />

who care for us to live here. There<br />

are plenty of areas that we can develop vulnerable folk. These are State-controlled<br />

tising, and rebuild our public services.<br />

sustainably without encroaching on the<br />

scamming machines that cause Q: Do you think the <strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate<br />

natural landscape. Greens want at least chronic addiction and heartbreak. They is in a better or worse position/condition<br />

30 per cent of all new houses built to be enable the crime of money laundering.<br />

than it was 4 years ago?<br />

social housing.<br />

Gambling is a win-lose activity – they The good: We have the B-line bus service,<br />

The Greens will immediately introduce win, you lose. The Greens plan to pull a new surf club at Mona Vale and Mona<br />

a rent freeze and get rents back under the pin on pokies in NSW. We’ll make Vale Public School has been refurbished.<br />

control. We will end unfair no-grounds pubs and clubs pay for the harm they’ve We have three electric vehicle charging<br />

evictions. In <strong>Pittwater</strong>, we will support caused with a pokies ‘super tax’ and stations in <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

renters enabling them access to cheaper reparation fund for affected communities.<br />

The Bad: We have lost our public<br />

renewable energy.<br />

Also, phasing out poker machines hospital. We have privatised our “public”<br />

Public education needs to be properly from pubs in five years, clubs in 10 years transport. Our roads are more congested,<br />

funded. Teachers are overworked, underpaid<br />

and introducing a mandatory cashless<br />

our schools are understaffed, the<br />

and over-supervised. Pay them gambling card.<br />

cost of living has increased. Rents have<br />

fairly and let them teach our children! Logging in native forests releases soared. Many small businesses have had<br />

We need to maintain the pressure on millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere<br />

to close. People are mentally and finan-<br />

all levels of government so that absurd<br />

and costs millions to support. It is cially stressed. More and more people<br />

environmentally destructive projects like a loss-making industry, which only directly<br />

can’t afford to live here. We only have<br />

PEP-11 never see the light of day.<br />

employs about 1000 people. These three electric vehicle charging stations<br />

And the Wakehurst Parkway needs to jobs can easily be replaced with similar in <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

be sensitively upgraded, with minimal employment.<br />

Q: Should the newly elected government<br />

harm to the environment.<br />

The Greens policy is to end logging<br />

consider dissolving Northern<br />

Q: Are there any issues external to our public native forests immediately, Beaches Council and at least returning<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate you will be campaigning<br />

protect this vital habitat for threatened the former <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council?<br />

on?<br />

wildlife and maintain native forests so Yes.<br />

The State Government is seriously considering<br />

that the carbon they store protects us Q: The Pitch: Why should voters consid-<br />

proposals to expand coal mines from climate change.<br />

er ticking your box on the ballot paper?<br />

in Narrabri, the Hunter Valley, and more. The Greens will make the big banks, The Greens have been raising the alarm<br />

They have approved Narrabri Gas project fossil fuel companies, property developers<br />

about climate change, the environment<br />

– overriding the science, economics, the<br />

and the gambling industry pay their and social justice for decades. It’s in our<br />

First Nations traditional owners’ and fair share of tax, so we can invest in DNA – it’s who we are. The Greens are a<br />

farmers’ protests. Exporting CO2 emissions<br />

climate action, affordable housing and progressive party and we are in a position<br />

does not reduce emissions. The public services for all.<br />

of leverage. We can make demands on the<br />

major parties are not reducing emissions Most importantly, we need to bring government of the day – make them listen<br />

effectively. The Greens have a plan to integrity back into politics, so that those to our voice of reason. The stronger we<br />

immediately ban the construction of new in government work for the better of the are, the sooner we achieve our goals<br />

coal and gas infrastructure and phase people and not corporate donors. The You get two opportunities to vote<br />

out coal and gas by 2030.<br />

Greens will tackle corruption; ban all Green – in the Lower House and in the<br />

We’ve had enough of the thieving corporate political donations, stop porkbarrelling,<br />

Upper House. Every vote for the Greens is<br />

poker machines gouging the pockets of<br />

bring truth to political adver-<br />

a vote for the greater good.<br />

52 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Election <strong>2023</strong><br />

‘I’ll leave it to others to judge’<br />

Rob Stokes reflects on his time as <strong>Pittwater</strong>’s Member of Parliament. Interview by Nigel Wall<br />

Q: Congratulations on your<br />

16 years’ service to <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

Did you envisage you would<br />

serve that long when you<br />

were first elected in 2007?<br />

When I was first elected I<br />

made a personal commitment<br />

that I would serve a minimum<br />

of eight years and a maximum<br />

of 16 years, assuming I was<br />

elected each term.<br />

Q: The world has changed<br />

considerably in 16 years<br />

(smart phones, social media):<br />

has that made it easier or<br />

harder for politicians to<br />

deliver their messages and<br />

services?<br />

Politics has become more<br />

flexible and immediate. Media<br />

and communications is less<br />

relational, more transactional,<br />

so it is easier to communicate<br />

directly to the community,<br />

but there is less editorial<br />

scrutiny of political claims<br />

and messaging.<br />

Q: You served your first<br />

term in opposition – was it<br />

difficult to achieve outcomes<br />

for the local community?<br />

Yes! Opposition was an<br />

amazing training ground; it<br />

is possible to deliver small<br />

wins in opposition, but the<br />

last Labor Government had<br />

so little money and so little<br />

capacity to deliver, that being<br />

at the end of the queue was<br />

hard work.<br />

Q: What achievements within<br />

the <strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate are<br />

you most proud of?<br />

I’ll leave that to others to<br />

judge!<br />

Q: What achievements<br />

external to <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

electorate are you most<br />

proud of being associated<br />

with?<br />

I don’t really feel comfortable<br />

being a judge in my own<br />

cause… I guess it was great<br />

to be part of a team that<br />

formulated an economic plan<br />

to be in a position to deliver<br />

infrastructure, social and<br />

environment outcomes. We<br />

haven’t been a government<br />

that merely transacted the<br />

business in front of us, but<br />

we really sought to transform<br />

the State.<br />

Q: The most surprisingly<br />

easy – and most surprisingly<br />

NOW & THEN: Rob Stokes at the opening of the new Mona Vale Surf <strong>Life</strong><br />

Saving club in 2022; and his first pic as MP in 2007.<br />

difficult – things to achieve?<br />

Easy – funding for stage two<br />

Mona Vale Road. The biggest<br />

single budget outcome for<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> was easy because<br />

we had done all the hard<br />

work arguing for the initial<br />

funding. The hardest would<br />

be the B-Line and Keoride. A<br />

service that has transformed<br />

access to public transport<br />

across <strong>Pittwater</strong> met strong<br />

opposition from people who<br />

thought it was a Trojan horse<br />

for high-density development.<br />

Q: Any things/projects you<br />

have been associated with<br />

that you wish could have<br />

been actioned/finished but<br />

for whatever reason have not<br />

been able to?<br />

I’d love to be in office to<br />

see the completion of Mona<br />

Vale and Narrabeen North<br />

Public School upgrades, as<br />

well as the upgrades to Mona<br />

Vale Road and Wakehurst<br />

Parkway. But my main job<br />

was to get the funding – so<br />

the important work is done.<br />

The unfinished work includes<br />

the completion of the final<br />

configuration of services at<br />

Mona Vale Hospital and the<br />

upgrade of Newport Surf Club<br />

– and I’ll happily help from<br />

the sidelines.<br />

Q: There are some voters<br />

who view candidates or<br />

sitting MPs in major parties<br />

such as Liberal or Labor as<br />

beholden to powerbrokers<br />

and majority faction<br />

members of their Party;<br />

what’s your view?<br />

Well, you have to be part of a<br />

team in power to get anything<br />

done – so the trick is to be a<br />

leader of the team in power.<br />

To become a leader you need<br />

to work hard and collegiately<br />

with others to prove yourself<br />

and build trust. It’s the same<br />

in any organisation.<br />

Q: How has the political<br />

landscape changed over the<br />

past 16 years and what is<br />

your view on the rise of the<br />

Independents at both Federal<br />

and potentially State level?<br />

The left and right are moving<br />

further apart. Both the<br />

Australian Democrats and<br />

the Christian Democrats have<br />

disappeared, replaced by the<br />

Greens to the left and One<br />

Nation and the Shooters to the<br />

right. Both Liberal and Labor<br />

get punished by protest-style<br />

independents when either<br />

stray too far from the centre<br />

ground. As the extremes get<br />

more vociferous, the need<br />

to listen to the majority is<br />

becoming more important.<br />

This means the major parties<br />

need to realise they have<br />

more in common than they do<br />

with those parties and groups<br />

to their left and right.<br />

Q: You can’t please everyone:<br />

what’s your message to<br />

those in the community<br />

who remain vocally critical<br />

about the redevelopment of<br />

Mona Vale Hospital precinct<br />

(or in their words closure);<br />

the amalgamated Northern<br />

Beaches Council; and a<br />

perceived overdevelopment<br />

in <strong>Pittwater</strong>?<br />

Mona Vale Hospital is open!<br />

More than 400 amazing<br />

health professionals work at<br />

Mona Vale Hospital providing<br />

incredible services to our<br />

local community. Sure,<br />

the role of the hospital<br />

has changed, but let’s not<br />

disrespect the hospital<br />

staff by downplaying the<br />

significance of their work.<br />

As to the Council – the<br />

boundaries of the three<br />

councils on the Northern<br />

Beaches never made any<br />

sense. They split catchments<br />

in half, so that many<br />

intractable drainage and<br />

environmental issues were<br />

never properly addressed.<br />

I still think 15 councillors<br />

is a lot (I reckon five Ward<br />

councillors and a popular<br />

Mayor is a model worth<br />

considering) – but there will<br />

never be an administrative<br />

arrangement that will keep<br />

everyone happy.<br />

Q: Any individuals or groups<br />

you would like to thank?<br />

Everyone! There is literally<br />

no-one in the community I<br />

don’t want to thank… I have<br />

been so blessed to work with<br />

an amazing community<br />

whose support I will always<br />

cherish. But a special shoutout<br />

must go to Andrew, Jane<br />

and Melissa in the Electorate<br />

Office.<br />

Q: How would you like to be<br />

remembered in 20 years?<br />

As a loving husband and<br />

father!<br />

Q: You’re only 48 years old;<br />

what’s next for Rob Stokes?<br />

Not sure yet…<br />

Q: Anything else?<br />

Thank you <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> for<br />

being a remarkably resilient<br />

little journal. One of the<br />

special delights of <strong>Pittwater</strong> is<br />

having a beautiful magazine<br />

that encapsulates our way of<br />

life and our unique character<br />

as a community.<br />

54 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Stokes’ 10 top<br />

contributions<br />

Major local projects secured or delivered by Rob<br />

Stokes since 2007 include:<br />

• $600 million upgrade of Mona Vale Road.<br />

• Retention of entire Mona Vale Hospital campus in<br />

public ownership and more than $90 million invested<br />

in new hospital buildings, medical services and<br />

technology enhancements.<br />

• Introduction of Keoride on-demand public transport<br />

service, high-frequency B-Line buses and new<br />

transport interchanges.<br />

• Declaration of Currawong Beach State Park and<br />

Narrabeen Lagoon State Park (pictured).<br />

• Landmark commercial fishing reforms introduced to<br />

ensure the long-term sustainability of the <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

estuary.<br />

• Major education infrastructure upgrades secured for<br />

Mona Vale PS, Narrabeen North PS and Narrabeen<br />

Sports High.<br />

• More than $90 million secured for flood mitigation<br />

and traffic flow improvements along Wakehurst<br />

Parkway.<br />

• Introduction of ‘Return and Earn’ recycling initiative.<br />

• Funding secured for major infrastructure<br />

improvements to local surf life saving clubs –<br />

including Palm Beach, Avalon Beach, Mona Vale and<br />

Warriewood.<br />

• Comprehensive heritage restoration works and visitor<br />

access improvements introduced at Barrenjoey Headland.<br />

Election <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 55


Health & Wellbeing<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Son’s mental health focus<br />

In the Florian Zeller film The Son, Hugh<br />

Jackman plays a successful New York<br />

lawyer whose son suffers mental health<br />

issues.<br />

Jackman has been nominated for<br />

Golden Globe for his exceptional performance;<br />

his character Peter Miller and his<br />

partner Beth, played by Vanessa Kirby,<br />

have a new baby and he is about to accept<br />

the offer of a dream job working on<br />

a political campaign in Washington. Then<br />

his former wife Kate (Laura Dern) tells<br />

him their 17-year-old son Nicholas (played<br />

by Australian Zen McGrath) has not<br />

attended school for a month. Nicholas<br />

moves in with his father and Beth, starts<br />

seeing a therapist and descends into<br />

greater depths of depression.<br />

Anthony Hopkins makes a cameo as<br />

Peter’s cruel and uncaring father, whose<br />

behaviour in Peter’s youth led to a lifetime<br />

loathing of his father.<br />

The beautifully shot film is harrowing.<br />

“It was hard to watch at times,” says<br />

Elanora’s Gus Worland, who hosted a<br />

special preview screening last month.<br />

But for him it is also hugely significant<br />

that his best friend from childhood is<br />

raising awareness of mental health on the<br />

big screen.<br />

Jackman and Worland have been close<br />

friends since attending primary school<br />

and then Knox Grammar together.<br />

“Jacko lived with us for three or four<br />

months of every year, because his father<br />

worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers and<br />

his parents were overseas.”<br />

In 2017, Worland founded Gotcha4<strong>Life</strong>,<br />

a not-for-profit with a goal of zero suicides,<br />

and Jackman joined the board.<br />

“He was on the board for the first four<br />

and a half years, and he was always saying<br />

to me, ‘I’ve got an idea. I heard this.<br />

Read that’.”<br />

In 2009, one of Worland’s closest<br />

friends, Angus Roberts, took his own life.<br />

Worland describes him as his “go-to guy<br />

AWARENESS:<br />

Hugh Jackman<br />

in The Son.<br />

not just for personal stuff, but business<br />

stuff”, and the person who helped him<br />

land his first job “with proper money”.<br />

For seven years Worland didn’t talk about<br />

Angus’ death, then he spoke on air – he<br />

was one of the Triple M Radio’s breakfast<br />

presenters at the time – about what had<br />

happened and the effect it had on him.<br />

Worland’s openness led him to present<br />

the three-part series Man Up, a documentary<br />

exploring masculinity and men’s<br />

mental health, which was shown on the<br />

ABC in 2016.<br />

A year later Worland founded Gotcha4<strong>Life</strong>.<br />

“I don’t want anyone worrying alone.<br />

Find someone, whether it’s a friend, a<br />

professional, a family member, a coach,<br />

whoever it is, just don’t worry alone<br />

about the important stuff,” he says. “And<br />

it’s also good to build a village around<br />

you that you can share good and bad<br />

with.”<br />

Worland stresses that people can<br />

often be lonely even with a big group of<br />

friends. Also it takes, on average, visits<br />

to six counselors before you find one<br />

with whom you really connect, and many<br />

people give up after seeing two or three.<br />

And he says if you get some meds, and<br />

they don’t make you feel better, then you<br />

might go, “I’ve tried that”. But you’ve got<br />

to stick at it.<br />

“I call it mental fitness – you’ve just got<br />

to keep going back and keep practicing<br />

and trying. It’s like going to the gym.<br />

You’ve got to build up emotional muscle,<br />

but it’s bloody hard work.”<br />

Worland admits that only two weeks<br />

ago he felt utterly overwhelmed by everything<br />

life was throwing at him and arrived<br />

at a friend’s place and burst into tears.<br />

“I’m learning as I go along here as<br />

well,” he says. But he acknowledges the<br />

ups as well as the downs:<br />

“Jacko and my friendship is deeper now<br />

than it ever was, and that’s purely based<br />

on stuff that we’re learning all the time,<br />

and having the guts to be vulnerable with<br />

each other. To be honest… like completely<br />

honest.” – Rosamund Burton<br />

* Head Above Water’s annual 24-hour<br />

Swimathon is on 4-5 <strong>March</strong> – all funds<br />

raised help support people and organisations<br />

on the Beaches; headabovewater.com.au;<br />

gotcha4life.org<br />

56 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Carers rise to the Occasion<br />

Two young Northern<br />

day-to-day care options<br />

Beaches-based aged<br />

on offer, we are offering a<br />

care professionals have<br />

unique and very personal<br />

come up with a caring<br />

service designed to benefit<br />

all family members<br />

solution for families who<br />

want loved ones to be<br />

on some of their most<br />

together and feel comfortable<br />

on special occasions.<br />

“Our goal is to connect<br />

memorable occasions.<br />

Colleagues Taylor and<br />

people… to help people<br />

Harriet explain they were<br />

attend and enjoy events<br />

working in an aged care<br />

they may not have been<br />

facility when they noticed<br />

able to attend without<br />

many clients were missing<br />

support.”<br />

out on special occasions<br />

Harriet has a certificate<br />

due to accessibility and<br />

IV in aged care support<br />

support needs.<br />

and a certificate IV in<br />

So they launched Occasion<br />

Care – a service where<br />

aged care. Harriet has<br />

leisure and lifestyle within<br />

they help with the transport<br />

and care of people<br />

working within the aged<br />

eight years’ experience<br />

with declining physical<br />

care sector and is trained<br />

and mental capabilities at<br />

in providing support and<br />

weddings, engagements,<br />

care for people living with<br />

CONNECTING PEOPLE: Occasion Care.<br />

birthdays, christenings and<br />

dementia.<br />

funerals.<br />

“We understand everybody is different, so we<br />

Taylor is a registered nurse specialising in offer quality assistance for a range of support<br />

palliative care and geriatrics. She has nine needs,” Harriet said.<br />

years’ experience working within the aged care “Overall, our service is all about inclusion<br />

sector providing support and utilising established<br />

care programs for people living with knowing those that need extra help will receive<br />

and enables everyone to enjoy family events,<br />

dementia.<br />

the necessary care and support.” – Lisa Offord<br />

She explained: “While there are excellent *More info occasioncare.com.au<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 57


Health & Wellbeing<br />

with Bec Johnson, M.Pharm<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Good & bad fats: how they<br />

affect cholesterol levels<br />

Cholesterol and triglycerides<br />

are a vital part of<br />

human life, including the<br />

synthesis of hormones, vitamin<br />

D, and cell membranes, and as<br />

a source of energy. However,<br />

having too much ‘bad’ cholesterol<br />

circulating in the bloodstream<br />

can increase the risk<br />

of developing certain medical<br />

conditions.<br />

It is recommended for certain<br />

people to get regular blood<br />

tests to monitor their cholesterol<br />

levels. This is particularly<br />

important if you:<br />

n Are over 45 years of age, or<br />

over 35 years of age if you<br />

are from Aboriginal or Torres<br />

Strait Island heritage;<br />

n Have a family history of heart<br />

disease, high cholesterol,<br />

diabetes, or kidney disease,<br />

or have been diagnosed with<br />

these conditions yourself;<br />

n Have had a heart attack or<br />

stroke;<br />

n Are a smoker;<br />

n Are overweight;<br />

n Regularly eat fatty foods.<br />

When measuring cholesterol<br />

levels, they will look for the<br />

following:<br />

n Low-density lipoproteins<br />

(LDL) – responsible for supplying<br />

cholesterol to cells.<br />

However, excess LDL can<br />

build up in the arteries as<br />

plaques and reduce blood<br />

flow, or even block the<br />

arteries entirely. Therefore,<br />

LDL is known as the ‘bad’<br />

cholesterol.<br />

n High-density lipoproteins<br />

(HDL) – absorb the LDL<br />

cholesterol in the tissues and<br />

bloodstream and transport<br />

it to the liver for removal<br />

from the body. Therefore,<br />

HDL is known as the ‘good’<br />

cholesterol.<br />

n Triglycerides – carried by<br />

very low-density lipoproteins<br />

(VLDL) from the liver to be<br />

stored in the body as ‘body<br />

fat’ or to be used for energy.<br />

High levels of LDL or triglycerides<br />

can cause weight<br />

gain, and increase the risk of<br />

having a heart attack or stroke,<br />

or developing coronary heart<br />

disease, angina, hypertension,<br />

or kidney disease. The most<br />

common cause of high LDL or<br />

triglycerides is consuming too<br />

much food containing saturated<br />

or trans fats, however this<br />

may also be due to a genetic<br />

difference in the way fats are<br />

metabolised by the body. This<br />

can be inherited.<br />

The key to reducing your<br />

intake of cholesterol-raising fats<br />

is to know about the types of<br />

fats, and the foods these are<br />

found in. Polyunsaturated and<br />

monounsaturated fats can improve<br />

blood cholesterol levels<br />

and are the ‘good fats’. They<br />

are most commonly found in<br />

oily fish and fish oils, plant and<br />

seed oils, nuts, avocados. The<br />

fats to avoid are the saturated<br />

and trans fats:<br />

n Saturated fats occur mainly in<br />

foods from animals, including<br />

milk, cream, cheeses, butter,<br />

yoghurt, and some meats.<br />

However, these are also<br />

found in coconut and palm<br />

oils, commercially baked<br />

products such as pastries,<br />

cakes, biscuits, pies, buns,<br />

and deep-fried fast foods.<br />

n Trans fats occur mainly in<br />

commercially baked products<br />

and deep fried fast foods using<br />

hydrogenated or partially<br />

hydrogenated vegetable fats<br />

or oils.<br />

While it may be beneficial to<br />

see a dietician if you are struggling<br />

with managing your diet,<br />

there are several useful resources<br />

on the Heart Foundation<br />

Australia website to support<br />

this. A few major points are to<br />

eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, and<br />

cereals, as they support lowering<br />

cholesterol.<br />

Also, aim for low-fat cooking<br />

methods, such as baking/grilling/poaching/steaming<br />

instead<br />

of shallow or deep frying.<br />

Use reduced-fat dairy products<br />

and lower fat cheeses,<br />

such as light cheddar or mozzarella,<br />

ricotta, and cottage<br />

cheese. Note that children<br />

under two years of age usually<br />

need to eat full fat dairy foods.<br />

Aim to eat 2-3 serves of fish<br />

or other seafood per week; and<br />

when selecting meat, aim for<br />

leaner meats and poultry. Trim<br />

all visible fat from the meat<br />

before cooking, and remove the<br />

skins from poultry. Limit the<br />

intake of processed meats, such<br />

as sausages, salami, and pâté.<br />

Limit the intake of takeaway<br />

foods, as these are often high<br />

in fats, sugar, and salts.<br />

Also limit the intake of fatty<br />

snacks, such as crisps, cakes,<br />

pastries, biscuits, and chocolate.<br />

Other important lifestyle<br />

management points include reducing<br />

alcohol intake, smoking<br />

cessation, regular moderateintensity<br />

exercise, keeping to<br />

a healthy body weight, and<br />

drinking an adequate amount<br />

of water (to keep your urine<br />

light coloured) unless otherwise<br />

advised by your doctor.<br />

If changing your lifestyle<br />

has been difficult or has not<br />

lowered your cholesterol or<br />

triglyceride levels enough, there<br />

are medications which your<br />

doctor can prescribe to help<br />

support this.<br />

These medications are very<br />

commonly used and are generally<br />

well-tolerated. Have a chat<br />

with your local pharmacist or<br />

GP for more information about<br />

managing cholesterol.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Pharmacy &<br />

Compounding Chemist<br />

at Mona Vale has operated<br />

as a family-run business<br />

since 1977. Open seven days;<br />

drop in & meet the highly<br />

qualified and experienced<br />

team of Len, Sam and Amy<br />

Papandrea, Andrew Snow<br />

and Bec Johnson. Find them<br />

at 1771 <strong>Pittwater</strong> Rd;<br />

call 9999 3398.<br />

58 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Sleep hygiene for clean thinking<br />

Sleep is an almost mythical<br />

component of life,<br />

with that all-too-famous<br />

question “when we fall asleep,<br />

where do we go?” becoming<br />

clear only in recent years.<br />

With schools back and<br />

Autumn here, a deep dive into<br />

sleep and its powerful effects<br />

can do us all the world of<br />

good.<br />

The 2017 release of English<br />

scientist Dr Matthew Walker’s<br />

‘Why We Sleep’ was a gamechanger<br />

to help us understand<br />

how sleep affects our waking<br />

life. Sleep deprivation was<br />

once a misguided badge of<br />

honour, and almost an expectation<br />

of anyone deemed<br />

“busy” – from students to<br />

CEOs. Thankfully, the damaging<br />

belief system of sleep as a<br />

luxury is changing.<br />

Sleep supercharges everything<br />

from beauty routines to<br />

mental and physical health.<br />

We know that the development<br />

of long-term memory<br />

happens during sleep, and if<br />

we want to amplify a workout<br />

or study session, one of<br />

the best tips is take a nap<br />

afterwards. Try it out! The<br />

next time you need to learn<br />

or create something, schedule<br />

a nap. There are plenty of<br />

breakthroughs in history that<br />

have involved a good snooze,<br />

from the Rolling Stones to<br />

Mendeleev. The benefits of<br />

sleep are also harnessed by<br />

world-class athletes to boost<br />

the body’s rate of recovery<br />

and the mind’s capacity to<br />

remember new skills.<br />

However, even the best naps<br />

can’t replace a full sleep cycle.<br />

Biologically, adults are hardwired<br />

to need eight hours’<br />

sleep a night. The two types<br />

of sleep our body needs are<br />

REM (when the mind dreams)<br />

and non-REM (when the body<br />

regenerates). Importantly,<br />

they are not evenly distributed<br />

throughout the night,<br />

and most of our REM sleep<br />

happens near the end. That<br />

means that if we cut our sleep<br />

short by a couple of hours,<br />

we can miss up to half of the<br />

dream sleep that we need.<br />

Chronic sleep deprivation<br />

negatively impacts our<br />

wellbeing. The good news<br />

is that setting good habits<br />

is a sure way to support our<br />

body’s natural sleep/wake<br />

rhythm. Dimming the lights<br />

before bed, avoiding caffeine<br />

at night, isolating our sleep<br />

space from where we study<br />

or eat and going to bed at<br />

regular hours are just some<br />

of the many ways to maintain<br />

good sleep hygiene.<br />

Quality sleep is a literal<br />

life-changer and should be enjoyed<br />

as the sport enhancing,<br />

memory boosting and beauty<br />

revolutionising feature of our<br />

wellbeing that it is.<br />

*By Tracy Milenko – Creative<br />

Director of Ecotopia,<br />

Warriewood. Tracy has been<br />

a passionate advocate of the<br />

Human Potential movement<br />

and stress management<br />

since the mid-1980s.<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 59


Health & Wellbeing<br />

Coastrek a Walk of <strong>Life</strong><br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

For it’s 15th Northern Beaches event,<br />

Coastrek is really getting to the heart<br />

of women’s health. The event has<br />

come a long way – both figuratively and<br />

literally – since its inception in 2009.<br />

With 200 participants at the first event,<br />

it was one small step for women and one<br />

giant leap for womenkind. On <strong>March</strong> 24<br />

this year, the event will boast over 2,500<br />

entrants on the walk from Palm Beach to<br />

Balgowlah Heights, via 30km, 45km and<br />

60km routes.<br />

Coastrek walks now exist in five states<br />

across Australia, including the original<br />

Northern Beaches walk (events also take<br />

place in Margaret River in WA, the Sunshine<br />

Coast in Qld, Mornington Peninsula<br />

in Vic, and Fleurieu Peninsula in SA).<br />

Indeed since that inaugural walk, over<br />

64,000 trekkers have completed a Coastrek<br />

walk, raising more than $45 million<br />

for previous charity partners The Fred<br />

Follows Foundation and, more recently,<br />

Beyond Blue. An amazing two million<br />

kilometres have been hiked in that time<br />

– that’s more than 40 times around the<br />

globe.<br />

It has been a massive success for<br />

Founder & CEO of Wild Women On Top,<br />

Di Westaway, who in 2022 was awarded<br />

an OAM for services to women’s health,<br />

fitness and charity services. Discovering<br />

hiking in her 40s, she has been a true<br />

evangelist for women getting back to<br />

nature and enjoying fitness outdoors.<br />

For <strong>2023</strong>, the new charity partner will<br />

be the Heart Foundation, recognising how<br />

important walking can be in warding off<br />

heart disease – and also how little focus<br />

there is on females and heart problems.<br />

Mathlide is one entrant in the walk who<br />

knows only too well how heart disease<br />

can affect women, as she will be walking<br />

in honour of her friend Ana who died last<br />

year at only 38 years of age.<br />

GOOD CAUSE:<br />

Coastrek has<br />

raised more<br />

than $45 million<br />

since 2009.<br />

“A beautiful Portuguese lady, who was<br />

a loving wife and devoted mum to three<br />

young children, Ana worked on programs<br />

to combat infectious diseases, primarily<br />

in third-world countries,” explains Mathilde.<br />

“In late 2021 though, Ana had her<br />

first heart attack, just three months after<br />

giving birth to her third child, a daughter<br />

she named Mathilde, after me…<br />

“She had felt a pain in her chest and<br />

arm, but the pain faded and she didn’t<br />

think much of it. Why would she? She was<br />

a healthy 37-year-old woman. A couple<br />

of days later the pain came back. She<br />

phoned her GP who verified signs of a<br />

heart attack and she was taken to hospital<br />

by ambulance straight away.”<br />

The medical team discovered that Ana<br />

had experienced a Spontaneous Coronary<br />

Artery Disceciton (SCAD) where the inner<br />

wall of the artery collapses. It’s a rare<br />

type of heart attack but more prominent<br />

in postpartum women. After a second<br />

heart attack she underwent emergency<br />

bypass surgery which was sadly unsuccessful.<br />

Doctors fitted a LVAD – a pump that<br />

is used for patients that reach end-stage<br />

heart failure. After 33 days in ICU she<br />

went home and lived life as fully as possible<br />

for another eight months, until she<br />

passed away in October 2022.<br />

Then there’s Ann Jenkins who will be<br />

completing her 20th Coastrek walk, after<br />

only starting hiking in her 40s.<br />

“It has taught me to be gutsy when I’m<br />

uncertain,” says Ann. “It’s taught me that<br />

I can do things I never dreamed I could<br />

do. It’s taught me that I’m not a middleaged,<br />

average woman, but that I’m strong<br />

and that I can make a difference to so<br />

many people.”<br />

And conversely a young team of<br />

20-year-olds from the Beaches called ‘Hot<br />

Girl Walkies’ will make their debut in the<br />

event.<br />

– Rob Pegley<br />

*While entries are closed for this year’s<br />

event, there is plenty of time to pledge<br />

support for walkers in this amazing<br />

initiative, via coastrek.com.au<br />

60 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 61


Health & Wellbeing<br />

With Li Wen Chen<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Avoid long-term eye damage<br />

from exposure to UV Rays<br />

Australians just love the<br />

warm weather of Summer<br />

and early Autumn.<br />

Here on the Northern Beaches,<br />

we’ve chosen a lifestyle that is<br />

surrounded by beautiful beaches.<br />

When the sun is out, so are<br />

the surfboards, sails, kayaks,<br />

windsurfs, wakeboards, dragon<br />

boats, jet skis…<br />

Unfortunately, there is a<br />

downside. The sun’s ultraviolet<br />

(UV) rays can be dangerous to<br />

unprotected skin, as well as to<br />

unprotected eyes. Understanding<br />

UV eye damage is a lesson<br />

that many Australians have<br />

learnt the hard way.<br />

It is well-known that longterm<br />

exposure to UV rays can<br />

cause serious damage to our<br />

eyes. Vision impairments –<br />

like macular degeneration,<br />

pterygium, ocular melanoma<br />

or cataracts (a clouding of the<br />

lenses) – are common complications.<br />

In the short term, overexposure<br />

to UV rays can cause<br />

‘snow-blindness’ – a condition<br />

known as ‘photokeratitis.’<br />

Fortunately, our awareness<br />

and attitudes about sun protection<br />

are changing, and healthy<br />

Kathy Hill says she doesn’t mind being<br />

a “regular visitor” to Arcadia <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Private Hospital which focusses on<br />

delivering sub-acute care in a boutique,<br />

hotel-like environment.<br />

Mrs Hill, of Wheeler Heights, was the<br />

first patient to be treated at the 85-bed<br />

facility when it opened in Warriewood<br />

on 6 February, 2018 and she was there<br />

again last month to help celebrate its<br />

fifth anniversary.<br />

Five years ago the 60-year-old underwent<br />

back surgery – and coincidently<br />

returned a year later coinciding with its<br />

first anniversary.<br />

She has been back several times since<br />

for care and support and served on the<br />

hospital’s consumer representative committee.<br />

“The experience was fantastic,” she<br />

said. “They try to make it as comfortable<br />

as possible.<br />

sun behaviours are becoming<br />

more common.<br />

Even though rates for skin<br />

cancer are declining, it is not<br />

the case for eye damage caused<br />

by the sun. Today, experts predict<br />

a sharp rise in the number<br />

of Australians who will develop<br />

cataracts in the next 20 year.<br />

There are many possible causes<br />

of cataracts, but prolonged<br />

overexposure to the sun has<br />

been determined as a major<br />

factor.<br />

This doesn’t happen in one<br />

afternoon at the beach without<br />

sunglasses; cataracts are built<br />

up cumulatively, through years<br />

of repeated overexposure. That<br />

is why small measures, like<br />

developing sun-safe habits, are<br />

so important.<br />

Sun Safety Essentials<br />

Launched in 1981, the ‘Slip,<br />

Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide’ campaign<br />

by the Cancer Council of<br />

Australia has become a regular<br />

part of every Australian summer.<br />

It is one of the most successful<br />

public health campaigns<br />

in the world, and it is a message<br />

that all optometrist strongly<br />

support and encourage.<br />

Remember to…<br />

Slip on clothing that provides<br />

a barrier between you and UV<br />

rays.<br />

Slop on sunscreen, preferably<br />

SPF30+ and reapply every two<br />

hours.<br />

Slap on a hat that shades the<br />

whole face – a proper hat can<br />

reduce the amount of UV rays<br />

that reach your eyes by 50%.<br />

Seek the shade of trees, bushes<br />

or pergolas and shade sails.<br />

Babies under 12 months should<br />

always be kept out of direct<br />

sunlight.<br />

Slide on some close-fitting sunglasses<br />

that meet the Australian<br />

Standard for UV protection.<br />

Sun protection for kids<br />

The risk of eye damage from<br />

over-exposure to UV rays is<br />

particularly high for children;<br />

so the earlier they develop the<br />

habits of protecting their eyes,<br />

the better.<br />

When selecting sunglasses<br />

for children, remember that<br />

the most important thing is: do<br />

they provide sun protection?<br />

Choose sunglasses that fit<br />

closely to the child’s face –<br />

wraparounds are often the best<br />

option.<br />

Avoid toy sunglasses or<br />

sunglasses bought at costume<br />

shops for dress-ups. They may<br />

look cute or cool, but they<br />

won’t help at the beach.<br />

Remember: what you do now<br />

can shape the future when it<br />

comes to the health of your<br />

eyes.<br />

*Li is a principal optometrist<br />

at Eyecare Plus Avalon<br />

Beach; call 9918 2400 to<br />

make an appointment.<br />

Arcadia celebrates anniversary<br />

“If you’re in a hospital environment,<br />

it can be very sterile and it can affect<br />

some people as far as getting better, so<br />

I think the fact it doesn’t feel like that is<br />

important to recovery.”<br />

Mrs Hill isn’t the only “regular”– many<br />

of the 6,800 inpatients have returned for<br />

subsequent visits and the hospital has<br />

provided healthcare support for some<br />

47,000 day rehabilitation visits.<br />

Her 85- and 88-year-old parents have<br />

also been cared for there.<br />

“It’s been very difficult getting help for<br />

them, but the hospital has been fantastic,<br />

helping with rehab and physio,” she<br />

said.<br />

General Manager and Director of Nursing<br />

Ruth Ryburn said the five-year milestone<br />

was a huge achievement considering<br />

the challenges faced by healthcare<br />

service providers over the past few years<br />

due to COVID.<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

FIVE YEARS: Ruth Ryburn, Melissa Metcalfe, Kathy<br />

Hill, Volkan Enginay and Annemaree Montgomery.<br />

62 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Hair & Beauty<br />

with Sue Carroll<br />

You should trust your gut<br />

for the sake of your skin<br />

For your skin to look<br />

good, it depends on how<br />

you treat it from the<br />

outside and the inside. You<br />

may have heard the term<br />

“gut-skin axis”. Our skin is<br />

like a window to our gut;<br />

if you suffer constipation,<br />

diarrhea, bloating or gas,<br />

there is a good chance you<br />

may be experiencing facial<br />

dryness, rosacea, acne or<br />

other inflammatory skin<br />

conditions. These are some<br />

of the symptoms of poor<br />

gut health and research has<br />

shown by addressing your gut<br />

health through diet, lifestyle<br />

and supplemental support,<br />

you will be glowing from the<br />

inside out.<br />

The gut is often referred<br />

to as our second brain and<br />

is linked with our wellbeing<br />

and skin health. However our<br />

gut is certainly not one of the<br />

most glamorous organs in our<br />

body – 1-2 kg of microbes that<br />

live there form each person’s<br />

unique microbiome. Our brain<br />

isn’t the only organ in control<br />

of our emotions – 95% of<br />

serotonin, the body’s happy<br />

hormone, is created in the gut<br />

and profoundly affects our<br />

physical, mental and emotional<br />

balance. Without good gut<br />

health, we are unlikely to<br />

absorb the nutrients we take<br />

inefficiently; therefore, our<br />

skin will reflect our poor<br />

health. Our gut bacteria<br />

are essential to assist with<br />

producing micro-nutrients like<br />

vitamins and antioxidants from<br />

the food we ingest. Our gut will<br />

also support the breakdown<br />

of macronutrients such as<br />

carbohydrates, proteins and<br />

fats to ease digestion and keep<br />

our colon healthy.<br />

Some of the signs of poor<br />

gut health might be food<br />

allergies, poor memory,<br />

autoimmune disease, diabetes,<br />

anxiety, depression, hormonal<br />

imbalances, low energy, dark<br />

circles under the eyes, frequent<br />

infections, mood swings,<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

interrupted sleep, acne,<br />

dry skin, rosacea, eczema,<br />

psoriasis and dermatitis.<br />

When the regulatory<br />

balance in the gut is evident,<br />

this creates an inflammatory<br />

response that will often show<br />

up in the skin with one or<br />

more of the above conditions.<br />

Remember, our skin is our<br />

largest organ and is often<br />

the outside mirror for what is<br />

happening inside. If the skin<br />

is inflamed, it usually means<br />

our inside screams for help.<br />

The gut microbiome and the<br />

skin are intrinsically connected,<br />

offering a defence against<br />

environmental pathogens. This<br />

gut-skin axis links to many<br />

inflammatory skin disorders.<br />

When there is disease within<br />

the gut, there is often<br />

inflammation in the skin.<br />

So how can you keep your<br />

gut healthy? A good rule of<br />

thumb is to eat a wide variety<br />

of nutritious whole foods from<br />

all food groups, which will also<br />

contain a lot of plant foods<br />

that are beneficial for your gut<br />

bacteria. An easy way to think<br />

of good food compared to that<br />

which may not be so healthy<br />

is to limit food drastically in a<br />

packet. One of the best kinds<br />

of food for good gut health is<br />

fermented, such as yoghurt,<br />

kimchi and apple cider vinegar,<br />

as they are overflowing with<br />

good probiotics. These support<br />

our immune defences and can<br />

also help break down foods we<br />

find hard to digest.<br />

The second way to keep<br />

good gut health is through<br />

prebiotics in foods like barley,<br />

beans, garlic, onions, cabbage,<br />

asparagus and legumes. An<br />

experienced nutritionist or<br />

naturopath may assist with<br />

your gut health.<br />

While working on your<br />

inside with a good health<br />

professional, external<br />

inflammation can be reduced<br />

with Clinic treatments such<br />

as the JetPeel Exfoliation and<br />

Infusion. Often the skin will<br />

experience dryness, flaking,<br />

acne and inflammation. When<br />

these are reduced through<br />

gentle but effective cooling<br />

exfoliation techniques,<br />

hydrating and calming serums<br />

can be absorbed much more<br />

effectively, assisting with<br />

topical results.<br />

By making simple changes<br />

to your diet and correcting<br />

any underlying imbalances<br />

in your gut, your skin will<br />

thank you for it with a radiant<br />

complexion.<br />

Sue Carroll is at the forefront<br />

of the beauty, wellness<br />

and para-medical profession<br />

with 35 years’ experience on<br />

Sydney’s Northern Beaches.<br />

She leads a dedicated team<br />

of professionals who are<br />

passionate about results for<br />

men and women.<br />

info@skininspiration.com.au<br />

www.skininspiration.com.au<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 63<br />

Hair & Beauty


Business <strong>Life</strong>: Money<br />

with Brian Hrnjak<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong><br />

Land whacks: not too much<br />

value in Govt’s new process<br />

This month as property<br />

investors open their<br />

land tax notices we look<br />

at what has the potential to<br />

become another governmentinitiated<br />

robo-debt fiasco.<br />

There may be a million ways<br />

to die in the west but there<br />

are a million and one ways to<br />

fleece a property investor and<br />

most pathways start and finish<br />

with a government. Once<br />

the lawyers, property portals,<br />

agents, trades, utilities,<br />

insurers, banks, tenants and<br />

tribunals have finished with<br />

you there’s always the government:<br />

with rates, stamp duty,<br />

land tax and capital gains tax.<br />

With a state election now<br />

only weeks away we have<br />

Dominic Perrottet going allout<br />

on a signature tax reform<br />

– in this case land tax in lieu<br />

of stamp duty for first home<br />

buyers purchasing a new or<br />

existing home valued up to<br />

$1.5 million. The annual land<br />

tax in this case is based on<br />

$400 plus 0.3% of land value<br />

and would be a substantial<br />

saving over the approximate<br />

$66,000 of stamp duty that<br />

would otherwise have been<br />

payable at a $1.5 million<br />

purchase price. Most first<br />

home buyers who typically<br />

turn over their first property<br />

after a few years are likely to<br />

benefit but whenever governments<br />

put in reforms such as<br />

ing the house. (You can find<br />

this number on the periodical<br />

notices sent to you by the<br />

Valuer General (VG) or on<br />

your Council rates notice as it<br />

also used as a basis for local<br />

government rating.)<br />

This year the Government<br />

increased the threshold<br />

amount from $822,000 to<br />

$969,000, a seemingly generous<br />

increase of 18%.<br />

Just to complete the picture,<br />

there is also a premium rate of<br />

land tax applying to properties<br />

valued at over $5,925,000<br />

at the rate of $79,396 plus<br />

2% of the amount over the<br />

threshold.<br />

If we know the rate and we<br />

know the threshold all we<br />

these the savings in tax have<br />

a way of creeping into the<br />

selling price of the property<br />

– if you need that tax saving<br />

to get across the line you can<br />

bet that someone has saved<br />

that amount and will use it to<br />

secure the property.<br />

What first home buyers are<br />

being offered is a form of<br />

‘land tax lite’. Property owners<br />

who are not first home<br />

buyers pay land tax in NSW<br />

at the general rate of $100<br />

plus 1.6% over a threshold<br />

of $969,000. The threshold<br />

applies to the UCV or unimproved<br />

capital value of the<br />

land your property sits on;<br />

in other words the value of<br />

the serviced land not includhave<br />

left to talk about then are<br />

the valuations, right? Precisely,<br />

and this is where the problem<br />

lies. Valuations are undertaken<br />

by the VG annually but are<br />

applied on an average basis<br />

over three years. Your land tax<br />

notice will show you values<br />

for 2021, 2022 and <strong>2023</strong> and<br />

the average (or averages if you<br />

have multiple holdings) used<br />

as the basis for the calculation.<br />

When valuations are rising<br />

this process works in the<br />

taxpayers’ favour – valuation<br />

increases and the amount of<br />

tax payable is slowed through<br />

the averaging process. When<br />

there’s an inflection point and<br />

values start falling it works<br />

against taxpayers as reduc-<br />

64 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


tions in tax are passed on<br />

more slowly due to the lagging<br />

effects of averaging. This is the<br />

situation we have now but it’s<br />

not the whole problem.<br />

The rest of the problem<br />

relates to the determination<br />

of valuations. My understanding<br />

is the VG undertakes<br />

broad-brush, desktop-based<br />

valuations to come up with<br />

numbers that have little<br />

resemblance to what you or I<br />

may equate to the value of a<br />

property when advertised for<br />

sale by a real estate agent, the<br />

percentage changes between<br />

the years however should be<br />

roughly in line with that of<br />

property markets.<br />

Over the past few weeks<br />

we have seen a steady stream<br />

of clients call to enquire how<br />

their land tax notices could<br />

have jumped so dramatically,<br />

in some cases by more<br />

than 300%. In all cases the<br />

valuation uplifts have been<br />

breathtaking.<br />

A couple of examples<br />

include: a townhouse at Warriewood<br />

rising 28% between<br />

July 2020 and July 2021 and<br />

23% between July 2021 and<br />

July 2022. A commercial property<br />

at Mona Vale showing<br />

growth of 13% between 2020<br />

and 2021 and 36% between<br />

2021 and 2022; a south coast<br />

clifftop property rising 68%<br />

from 2020 to 2021 and 46%<br />

from 2021 to 2022.<br />

In the Warriewood example<br />

our property database shows<br />

the change in Warriewood properties<br />

to be a reduction of 6% in<br />

median prices for houses and<br />

2.6% for units between calendar<br />

years 2021 and 2022 on sales<br />

volume that is approximately<br />

40% down on the prior year.<br />

In the South Coast example,<br />

the percentages roughly line<br />

up with the database: 65.5%<br />

for 2020 to 2021 and 31.9%<br />

for 2021 to 2022; the sales<br />

volume however is less than a<br />

third of normal. The inclusion<br />

of only one or two high sales<br />

will drag the averages up and<br />

will impact any broad-brush<br />

valuations.<br />

What do you if you disagree<br />

with your valuation? Here is<br />

where this has the potential<br />

to become another robo-debt<br />

problem. There is an objection<br />

mechanism but it doesn’t<br />

involve speaking to a person.<br />

You still need to pay the notice<br />

sent to you (or interest ap-<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

plies) and the objection needs<br />

to be undertaken within 60<br />

days of the receipt of the land<br />

tax notice – these have been<br />

mailed out since mid-January<br />

with a few still reaching clients<br />

in mid-February.<br />

The VG’s website outlines<br />

how to go about the objection<br />

process but you can<br />

also engage your own valuer<br />

to prepare a case on your<br />

behalf – and it may be a good<br />

investment. Referring back<br />

to the earlier South Coast<br />

example, there were only 12<br />

property sales in that calendar<br />

year, a weak sample size to<br />

justify such a material price<br />

uplift. The subject property<br />

was clifftop but without direct<br />

beach access and it was valued<br />

equivalently to one that<br />

had better views, no adjoining<br />

neighbour and direct access<br />

to the beach. A property may<br />

have a range of topographical<br />

features or limitations that<br />

may impact UCV that are not<br />

obvious to someone undertaking<br />

a desk top valuation.<br />

It would be my guess that<br />

the VG is going to have many,<br />

many objections to process.<br />

The other thing investors<br />

should check for themselves<br />

is whether their property has<br />

now become subject to land<br />

tax for the first time. The valuation<br />

changes in our local area<br />

and in some typical holiday<br />

areas are well in excess of the<br />

18% increase in the general<br />

land tax threshold – a good<br />

example of bracket creep. The<br />

Office of State Revenue<br />

doesn’t typically work through<br />

tax agents as the ATO does<br />

and your accountant may not<br />

be in position to judge the<br />

UCV of the rental property<br />

included in your annual tax<br />

return.<br />

Brian Hrnjak B Bus CPA (FPS) is<br />

a Director of GHR Accounting<br />

Group Pty Ltd, Certified<br />

Practising Accountants. Offices<br />

at: Suite 12, Ground Floor,<br />

20 Bungan Street Mona Vale<br />

NSW 2103 and Shop 8, 9 – 15<br />

Central Ave Manly NSW 2095,<br />

Telephone: 02 9979-4300,<br />

Webs: www.ghr.com.au and<br />

www.altre.com.au Email:<br />

brian@ghr.com.au<br />

These comments are of a<br />

general nature only and are<br />

not intended as a substitute<br />

for professional advice.<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 65<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong>


Business <strong>Life</strong>: Law<br />

with Jennifer Harris<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong><br />

Family members & entering<br />

financial arrangements<br />

The thought of<br />

documenting a written<br />

agreement between<br />

family members detailing<br />

the obligations of a loving<br />

and caring relationship is<br />

understandably abhorrent to<br />

most families.<br />

This may be viewed as a<br />

cultural issue which mainly<br />

involves the duty of families<br />

caring for older or infirmed<br />

relatives within the family unit.<br />

Post-war, say 60 years ago,<br />

families were still preparing<br />

for older members by having<br />

them move in with one of<br />

their children. This in a sense<br />

was made possible by the fact<br />

that most women fulfilled<br />

the role of homemakers and<br />

were not part of the workforce<br />

and so were available to<br />

care for elderly parents; plus<br />

life expectancy was not as<br />

extensive as it is today.<br />

In the 1950s and ’60s the<br />

churches and charitable<br />

organisations provided a form<br />

of institutional care in the<br />

development of convalescent<br />

homes.<br />

As time passed and more<br />

women entered the workforce<br />

full time, the convalescent<br />

home developed into the hostel<br />

care or nursing home and<br />

the elderly parent or relative<br />

moved from their home or<br />

accommodation into that<br />

institution and the demand for<br />

such facilities accelerated.<br />

At the same time, federal<br />

governments embarked on a<br />

policy of encouraging aging<br />

people to remain in their own<br />

homes by the provision of<br />

community care packages.<br />

This has had the effect<br />

of placing pressure on the<br />

families of aging parents to<br />

once again embrace the caring<br />

role. The caring role has<br />

meant that an adult child or<br />

relative has often had to give<br />

up their career to care for the<br />

family member.<br />

Today, the consequence<br />

of change has meant that<br />

the development of a<br />

family agreement, that is, a<br />

compensatable contractual<br />

obligation between family<br />

members is developed and is<br />

entered into.<br />

The recognition of the need<br />

for such agreements within<br />

the family can prove to be<br />

particularly difficult.<br />

A lifetime care contract<br />

or an agreement known<br />

as an ‘Independent Care<br />

Agreement’ or a ‘Personal<br />

Services Agreement’ sets out<br />

the specific arrangements by<br />

which aged parents, relatives<br />

or friends transfer property or<br />

pay compensation to someone<br />

in exchange for a provision of<br />

‘Care for <strong>Life</strong>’.<br />

Why have a contractual<br />

agreement covering the issues<br />

of care?<br />

So often the adult children<br />

are paying off mortgages,<br />

paying school or other fees for<br />

their children and their home<br />

may not be large enough to<br />

accommodate someone else.<br />

Therefore, a parent may<br />

have a house in which they<br />

no longer reside, or assets<br />

they can liquidate to pay<br />

for extensions to the child’s<br />

house, or to substantially<br />

contribute to the family with<br />

whom they are living.<br />

The problems this can<br />

cause with the siblings can be<br />

damaging and destructive, as<br />

some fear their inheritance<br />

is dwindling away as one<br />

child receives the permanent<br />

benefit of funds from a parent<br />

or family member to increase<br />

the value of an asset for a<br />

brother or sister.<br />

For families in this position<br />

it is therefore most desirable<br />

that they gather together to<br />

discuss the process by which<br />

such arrangements can be<br />

documented or in an open<br />

and frank discussion and in<br />

doing so to concentrate on the<br />

welfare of the aged relative.<br />

Transparency about<br />

arrangements and the<br />

processes by which they are<br />

implemented are essential for<br />

a peaceful care agreement.<br />

Care agreements should be<br />

between the carer/adult child,<br />

the person to be cared for and<br />

all siblings. It should cover<br />

matters such as the person<br />

being cared for providing<br />

funds or other assets to<br />

66 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


improve the child/carer’s<br />

property.<br />

What happens if there<br />

is a marital breakdown<br />

between the child/carer and<br />

his/her partner? In these<br />

circumstances, how can the<br />

person cared for get their<br />

money back?<br />

It is essential to define and<br />

document as to whatever the<br />

funds are and whether they<br />

are advanced as a loan, or<br />

are a gift. If the funds are for<br />

additions to the child/carer’s<br />

property, should the person<br />

cared for be on the Title?<br />

There are many other<br />

aspects of the overall issue<br />

of dealing with financial<br />

and property arrangements<br />

between children and their<br />

elderly parents and it is<br />

proposed to revisit this issue.<br />

Next month – ‘The Bank of<br />

Mum and Dad.<br />

Comment supplied by<br />

Jennifer Harris, of Jennifer<br />

Harris & Associates,<br />

Solicitors, 4/57 Avalon<br />

Parade, Avalon Beach.<br />

T: 9973 2011. F: 9918 3290.<br />

E: jennifer@jenniferharris.com.au<br />

W: www.jenniferharris.com.au<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 67


Trades & Services<br />

Trades & Services<br />

AIR CONDITIONING<br />

Alliance Climate Control<br />

Call 02 9186 4179<br />

Air Conditioning & Electrical Professionals. Specialists<br />

in Air Conditioning Installation, Service, Repair &<br />

Replacement.<br />

BATTERIES<br />

Battery Business<br />

Call 9970 6999<br />

Batteries for all applications. Won’t be beaten on price<br />

or service. Free testing, 7 days.<br />

BUILDING<br />

Acecase Pty Ltd<br />

Call Dan 0419 160 883<br />

Professional building and carpentry services,<br />

renovations, decks, pergolas. Fully licensed & insured.<br />

Local business operating for 25 years. Lic No. 362901C<br />

CARPENTRY<br />

Able Carpentry & Joinery<br />

Call Cameron 0418 608 398<br />

Doors & locks, timber gates & handrails; decking<br />

repairs + more; 25 years’ experience.<br />

CLEANING<br />

Amazing Clean<br />

Call Andrew 0412 475 2871<br />

Specialists in blinds, curtains and awnings. Clean,<br />

repair, supply new.<br />

Aussie Clean Team<br />

Call John 0478 799 680<br />

For a good clean inside and outside, windows, gutters<br />

and small repairs.<br />

Housewashing -<br />

northernbeaches.com.au<br />

Call Ben 0408 682 525<br />

Established 1999 in Avalon & Collaroy.<br />

We specialise in soft and pressure washes, plus<br />

window and gutter cleaning, driveways and rooftops.<br />

CONCRETING<br />

Adrians Concrete<br />

Call Adrian 0404 172 435<br />

Driveways, paths, slabs… all your concreting needs;<br />

Northern Beaches-based.<br />

ELECTRICAL<br />

Alliance Service Group<br />

Call Adrian 9063 4658<br />

All services & repairs, 24hr. Lighting installation,<br />

switchboard upgrade. Seniors discount 5%.<br />

Eamon Dowling Electrical<br />

Call Eamon 0410 457 373<br />

For all electrical needs including phone, TV and<br />

data. <strong>Pittwater</strong>-based. Reliable; quality service<br />

guaranteed.<br />

Warrick Leggo<br />

Call Warrick 0403 981 941<br />

Specialising in domestic work; small jobs welcome.<br />

Seniors’ discount; Narrabeen-based.<br />

FLOOR COVERINGS<br />

Blue Tongue Carpets<br />

Call Stephan or Roslyn 9979 7292<br />

Northern Beaches Flooring Centre has been family<br />

owned & run for over 20 years. Carpets, Tiles, Timber,<br />

Laminates, Hybrids & Vinyls. Open 6 days.<br />

GARDENS<br />

!Abloom Ace Gardening<br />

Call 0415 817 880<br />

Full range of gardening services including landscaping,<br />

maintenance and rubbish removal.<br />

Conscious Gardener Avalon<br />

Call Matt 0411 750 791<br />

Professional local team offering quality garden<br />

maintenance, horticultural advice; also garden<br />

makeovers.<br />

68 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Living Gardens Landscape<br />

Call Richy 0475 148417<br />

Lawn & garden maintenance, garden regeneration,<br />

stone work, residential & commercial.<br />

Melaleuca Landscapes<br />

Call Sandy 0416 276 066<br />

Professional design and construction for every<br />

garden situation. Sustainable vegetable gardens and<br />

waterfront specialist.<br />

Precision Tree Services<br />

Call Adam 0410 736 105<br />

Adam Bridger; professional tree care by qualified<br />

arborists and tree surgeons.<br />

GUTTERS & ROOFING<br />

Cloud9 R&G<br />

Call Tommy 0447 999 929<br />

Prompt and reliable service; gutter cleaning and<br />

installation, leak detection, roof installation and painting.<br />

Also roof repairs specialist.<br />

Ken Wilson Roofing<br />

Call 0419 466 783<br />

Leaking roofs, tile repairs, tiles replaced, metal roof<br />

repairs, gutter cleaning, valley irons replaced.<br />

HANDYMEN<br />

Local Handyman<br />

Call Jono 0413 313299<br />

Small and medium-sized building jobs, also welding &<br />

metalwork; licensed.<br />

HOT WATER<br />

Hot Water Maintenance NB<br />

Call 9982 1265<br />

Local emergency specialists, 7 days. Sales, service,<br />

installation. Warranty agents, fully accredited.<br />

KITCHENS<br />

Collaroy Kitchen Centre<br />

Call 9972 9300<br />

Danish design excellence. Local beaches specialists in<br />

kitchens, bathrooms and joinery. Visit the showroom in<br />

Collaroy.<br />

Seabreeze Kitchens<br />

Call 9938 5477<br />

Specialists in all kitchen needs; design, fitting,<br />

consultation. Excellent trades.<br />

KNIFE & TOOL SHARPENING<br />

Simply Sharper<br />

Call Dave 0411 192 429<br />

Professional knife and tool sharpening. Using slow-speed<br />

water-cooled grinding and polishing wheels.<br />

MASSAGE & FITNESS<br />

Avalon Physiotherapy<br />

Call 9918 3373<br />

Provide specialist treatment for neck & back pain, sports<br />

injuries, orthopaedic problems.<br />

PAINTING<br />

Cloud9 Painting<br />

Call 0447 999 929<br />

Your one-stop shop for home or office painting; interiors,<br />

exteriors and also roof painting. Call for a quote.<br />

Tom Wood Master Painters<br />

Call 0406 824 189<br />

Residential specialists in new work & repaints / interior &<br />

exterior. Premium paints; 17 years’ experience.<br />

PEST CONTROL<br />

Predator Pest Control<br />

Call 0417 276 962<br />

predatorpestcontrol.com.au<br />

Environmental services at their best. Comprehensive<br />

control. Eliminate all manner of pests.<br />

Trades & Services<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 69


Trades & Services<br />

PLUMBING<br />

Mark Ellison Plumbing<br />

Call 0431 000 400<br />

Advanced solutions for sewer & stormwater pipe<br />

relining: Upfront price, 25-year warranty.<br />

Total Pipe Relining<br />

Call Josh 0423 600 455<br />

Repair pipe problems without replacement. Drain<br />

systems fully relined; 50 years’ guaranty. Latest<br />

technology, best price.<br />

R AINWATER TANKS<br />

Aquarius Watermaster<br />

Call 1300 794 850<br />

Rainwater tanks & pumps to capture and use the rain.<br />

Sales, service & installation. View large display area at<br />

Terrey Hills.<br />

RUBBISH REMOVAL<br />

Jack’s Rubbish Removals<br />

Call Jack 0403 385 312<br />

Up to 45% cheaper than skips. Latest health regulations.<br />

Old-fashioned honesty & reliability. Free quotes.<br />

household rubbish, construction, commercial plus<br />

vegetation. Also car removals.<br />

SLIDING DOOR REPAIRS<br />

Beautiful Sliding Door Repairs<br />

Call 0407 546 738<br />

Fix anything that slides in your home; door specialists<br />

– wooden / aluminium. Free quote. Same-day repair;<br />

5-year warranty.<br />

UPHOLSTERY<br />

Luxafoam North<br />

Call 0414 468 434<br />

Local specialists in all aspects of outdoor & indoor<br />

seating. Custom service, expert advice.<br />

Trades & Services<br />

One 2 Dump<br />

Call Josh 0450 712 779<br />

Seven-days-a-week pick-up service includes general<br />

DISCLAIMER: The editorial and advertising content in <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> has been provided<br />

by a number of sources. Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor<br />

or Publisher of <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> and no responsibility is taken for the accuracy of the<br />

information contained within. Readers should make their own enquiries directly to<br />

any organisations or businesses prior to making any plans or taking any action.<br />

70 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Trades & Services<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 71


<strong>Pittwater</strong> Puzzler<br />

Compiled by David Stickley<br />

Collaroy (9,5)<br />

26 A jocular name for a remote<br />

outback town or district (4,4)<br />

27 Darko Desic’s nickname (6)<br />

29 Areas set aside for our canine<br />

friends to run free (3,5)<br />

30 A distant view of a wide area,<br />

especially one that is pleasant to<br />

look at (6)<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Puzzler<br />

ACROSS<br />

1 Organisation whose primary<br />

motto is ‘Service Above Self’ (6)<br />

4 What’s available at LARX<br />

Boutique in Newport (8)<br />

9 A local division or office etc.<br />

of a large business, as of a bank,<br />

library, etc. (6)<br />

10 A ringing in the ears (8)<br />

12 Small suburb south of Clareville<br />

and Avalon (7,7)<br />

14 & 2-down An alliance of<br />

creative people who collectively<br />

open their studios to the public<br />

twice a year (7,5)<br />

16 Local who will be competing<br />

at the International Blind<br />

Bowls Association <strong>2023</strong> World<br />

Championships, _______ Wills (7)<br />

17 Rocks at the bar (3)<br />

18 Clear enough to be deciphered<br />

(7)<br />

20 A long, narrow craft propelled<br />

with a paddle by the rider (4,3)<br />

22 Stretch of sand just north of<br />

DOWN<br />

1 Member of the New South Wales<br />

Legislative Assembly representing<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong>, ___ Stokes (3)<br />

2 See 14-across<br />

3 Senior clergymen in the<br />

Anglican church (7)<br />

5 Revolve rapidly (5)<br />

6 Lizard of the genus Varanus,<br />

of Australia, Africa, and Asia,<br />

supposed to give warning of the<br />

approach of crocodiles (7)<br />

7 The wide parts of a river where<br />

it nears the sea (9)<br />

8 Local punk rock band that is<br />

fronted by Garry Campbell (4)<br />

11 Island state of Australia (6)<br />

12 A small, short-legged smoothcoated<br />

breed of hound (6)<br />

13 An ecclesiastical district having<br />

its own church and clergyman (6)<br />

15 Follows closely, usually<br />

uninvited (4,5)<br />

16 Interlocked or coordinated (6)<br />

19 Train station between Mount<br />

Kuring-gai and Cowan (7)<br />

21 Narrow strips or bands<br />

of fabric, used especially for<br />

trimming or decoration (7)<br />

23 A large building<br />

containing individual units of<br />

accommodation, etc. (5)<br />

24 To fish (5)<br />

25 Was in the red (4)<br />

28 Dine at Jonah’s, Whale Beach,<br />

for example (3)<br />

[Solution page 80]<br />

72 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

with Janelle Bloom<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

Recipes: janellebloom.com.au; FB: facebook.com/culinaryinbloom Insta: instagram.com/janellegbloom/<br />

Wok solid cooking: Get ready<br />

to cause a stir in the kitchen<br />

The two most important factors to successful Wok cooking<br />

are a well-seasoned wok and very high heat. It’s one of my<br />

favourite methods of cooking: it’s quick, easy, (mostly)<br />

healthy and fabulous for midweek meals. Below are some of my<br />

favourite wok recipes, plus great tips and tricks I have learned<br />

from numerous experts over the years.<br />

Pork and prawn<br />

dumplings<br />

Makes 40<br />

and bring the water to the<br />

boil. Place the dumplings<br />

into a bamboo steamer<br />

basket, allowing space for<br />

expansion, cover with the<br />

steamer basket lid, place<br />

over the wok, making sure<br />

the base doesn’t touch the<br />

water. Cook for 5-7 minutes<br />

until cooked through.<br />

Repeat in batches with the<br />

remaining dumplings.<br />

5. Combine all the sauce<br />

ingredients together and<br />

serve with the dumplings.<br />

Gyoza Style: For crisp-fried<br />

base, heat 1 tbs oil in the wok<br />

over medium high heat. Place<br />

about 12 gyoza in 2 rows of 6,<br />

slightly overlapping each other<br />

into the wok. Cook 2-3 minutes<br />

or until the base is golden, then<br />

pour 1/3 cup (80ml) of water<br />

around the gyoza and cover<br />

the wok with a lid. Cook for<br />

3-5 minutes until the water has<br />

completely evaporated (so base<br />

is not wet). Remove to platter,<br />

golden side up and serve with<br />

the dipping sauce.<br />

60ml (¼ cup) light soy sauce<br />

60ml (¼ cup) dark soy sauce<br />

60ml (¼ cup) oyster sauce<br />

2 tbs honey<br />

2 tsp rice wine vinegar<br />

1 garlic clove, crushed<br />

1 long red chilli, finely<br />

chopped, optional<br />

1 tbs vegetable oil<br />

200g fresh shiitake or button<br />

mushrooms, thickly sliced<br />

425g can baby corn, drained,<br />

halved lengthways<br />

1 bunch baby buk choy,<br />

quartered lengthways, washed<br />

1 red capsicum, quartered,<br />

sliced<br />

2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted<br />

Sliced green shallots, to serve<br />

1. Heat noodles following<br />

packet directions, drain well.<br />

2. Combine the light soy sauce,<br />

dark soy sauce, oyster sauce,<br />

honey, vinegar, garlic and<br />

chilli in a jug.<br />

3. Heat wok over high heat until<br />

hot. Add oil and mushroom.<br />

Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until<br />

browned.<br />

4. Add the corn, buk choy<br />

and capsicum. Stir-fry for<br />

2 minutes or until the buk<br />

choy is bright green. Add the<br />

noodles and sauce mixture.<br />

Stir-fry for 2 minutes or<br />

until heated through.<br />

Sprinkle with sesame<br />

seeds and shallots. Serve.<br />

2. Heat the oil in wok over<br />

medium-high heat. Add<br />

shallots, garlic and ginger.<br />

Stir-fry 1 minute until soft. Udon noodles with<br />

Add the cabbage, cook 30 shiitake and baby<br />

200g frozen raw prawns<br />

seconds until softened.<br />

2 tsp vegetable oil<br />

buk choy<br />

Remove to a bowl, set aside<br />

3 green shallots, finely<br />

Serves 4<br />

to cool. Wipe the wok clean.<br />

chopped<br />

3. Add the mince, prawns,<br />

1 garlic clove, crushed<br />

2x 400g packets udon noodles<br />

sesame oil, cornflour and<br />

3 tsp grated ginger<br />

soy to the cabbage mixture,<br />

1½ cups green cabbage, very mix until well combined.<br />

finely chopped<br />

Place 1 wrapper on clean<br />

400g pork mince<br />

work surface. Lightly<br />

1 tsp sesame oil<br />

brush the edge of half<br />

1 tbs cornflour<br />

the wrapper with water.<br />

3 tsp soy sauce<br />

Spoon 3 teaspoons of<br />

40 Gow Gee wrapper<br />

filling on the wrapper. Fold<br />

dipping sauce<br />

wrapper over to enclose<br />

2 tbs soy sauce<br />

the filling, removing air<br />

1 tbs oyster sauce<br />

pockets, pleat the edge to<br />

1 tbs rice wine vinegar<br />

seal. Place onto a tray lined<br />

2-3 tsp hot chilli sauce<br />

with baking paper, making<br />

1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted sure they not touching one<br />

another (as they will stick<br />

1. Place the prawns onto a plate together). Repeat to make 40<br />

lined with paper towel, allow dumplings.<br />

to thaw then finely chop the 4. To cook the dumplings, pour<br />

prawns.<br />

1 cup water into the wok<br />

74 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Janelle’s Tip: To add protein,<br />

consider 400g minced pork or<br />

beef in Step 3 with the oil and<br />

mushrooms; or cut 400g firm<br />

tofu into cubes and fry in the<br />

wok until golden, remove to<br />

a plate and follow Steps 3-4<br />

above – return the tofu with the<br />

noodles and sauce in Step 4.<br />

Sweet and sour pork<br />

Serves 4<br />

1½ tbs cornflour<br />

1 tbs shao Hsing (Shaoxing)<br />

cooking wine<br />

2 egg yolks<br />

2 tbs soy sauce<br />

2 tsp white sugar<br />

1 tbs grated ginger<br />

600g pork fillet, thinly sliced<br />

vegetable or peanut oil, for<br />

deep frying<br />

¼ cup cornflour, extra<br />

¼ cup plain flour<br />

1 large red and green<br />

capsicum, cut into 2½cm cubes<br />

6 green shallots, cut into 4cm<br />

lengths<br />

1½ cups chopped fresh or can<br />

pineapple<br />

Steamed long grain rice, to<br />

serve<br />

Sweet and sour sauce<br />

2 tsp cornflour<br />

100ml water<br />

2 tbs white sugar<br />

1/3 cup pineapple juice<br />

1 chicken stock cube, crumbled<br />

2 tbs tomato sauce<br />

1 tbs soy sauce<br />

1. Whisk the cornflour and<br />

cooking wine in a large bowl<br />

until smooth. Stir in the egg<br />

yolks, soy, sugar and ginger.<br />

Add the pork, stir to coat.<br />

Cover and refrigerate for 30-<br />

60 minutes if time permits or<br />

overnight.<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

2. Meanwhile, for the sauce,<br />

stir the cornflour with 1<br />

tablespoon of the water in a<br />

small saucepan until smooth.<br />

Stir in the remaining water.<br />

Add the sugar, pineapple<br />

juice, stock cube, tomato<br />

sauce and soy. Bring to the<br />

boil, stirring constantly over<br />

medium-high heat. Reduce<br />

heat to medium, simmer for<br />

30 seconds. Remove from<br />

heat. Set aside.<br />

3. Pour enough oil into the wok<br />

so its quarter-full, heat over<br />

high heat until hot. Combine<br />

the extra cornflour and plain<br />

flour in a snap lock bag,<br />

add the pork and shake to<br />

coat. Deep fry the pork, in<br />

batches for 3 minutes until<br />

golden. Use a slotted spoon<br />

to remove the pork to a wire<br />

rack over a tray. Carefully<br />

pour the oil into a saucepan<br />

and set aside to cool before<br />

discarding. Wipe wok clean<br />

and heat over medium high.<br />

4. Add the capsicum, shallots<br />

For more recipes go to janellebloom.com.au<br />

and pineapple to the hot<br />

wok. Stir fry 1 minute. Add<br />

the sauce and bring to the<br />

boil. Add the pork, stir to<br />

coat. Serve with rice.<br />

Janelle’s go-to beef<br />

& broccoli stir fry<br />

Serves 4<br />

2 tbs sweet chilli sauce<br />

2 tbs sweet soy sauce (Ketcup<br />

Manis)<br />

2 tbs oyster sauce<br />

3 tsp sesame seeds<br />

2 tbs peanut oil<br />

600g beef rump or fillet, thinly<br />

sliced across the grain<br />

1 red onion, cut into thin<br />

wedges<br />

2 garlic cloves, crushed<br />

400g broccoli or broccolini, cut<br />

into florets<br />

cooked jasmine rice or rice<br />

noodles, to serve<br />

1. Combine the sweet chilli, soy<br />

and oyster sauce in a bowl.<br />

Set aside.<br />

2. Spoon the sesame seeds into<br />

the wok, place over medium<br />

heat and cook, stirring for 5<br />

minutes until lightly toasted.<br />

Remove the seeds to a bowl.<br />

3. Increase the heat to high,<br />

and heat wok until hot. Add<br />

2 tsp of the oil to the wok,<br />

add 1/3 of the beef, stir fry<br />

1-2 minutes or until brown.<br />

Remove to a bowl. Repeat<br />

with oil and beef in 2 more<br />

batches.<br />

4. Add the remaining oil to<br />

the wok. Add the onion and<br />

garlic, stir-fry for 1-2 minutes<br />

until soft. Add the broccoli,<br />

stir-fry for 1 minute. Add<br />

2 teaspoons water, cover<br />

6 Top Tips for<br />

no-miss stir-frying<br />

1. Stir frying is best in a<br />

metal or cast-iron wok<br />

over gas; if you have an<br />

electric stovetop, invest in<br />

an electric wok that is nonstick<br />

and has 2 heating<br />

elements.<br />

2. Heat dry, well-seasoned<br />

wok over high heat until<br />

very hot. Add a little<br />

oil once the wok is hot<br />

(peanut, vegetable, rice<br />

bran or extra light olive oil<br />

are good choices as they<br />

have a high burning point<br />

so they will not burn as<br />

quickly as other oils over<br />

high temperatures). Cook<br />

meat or seafood in small<br />

batches, this way the wok<br />

stays hot, frying the meat<br />

not stewing it. Each piece<br />

should come in contact<br />

with the hot surface of<br />

the wok. If cooking for<br />

4 people usually cook<br />

protein in 4 batches.<br />

3. Once all the protein<br />

is cooked, add a little<br />

more oil and stir-fry the<br />

vegetables starting with<br />

harder ones like onion,<br />

baby corn, then peas,<br />

beans, capsicum and<br />

last soft vegetables like<br />

mushrooms, Asian greens.<br />

4. When you add vegetables,<br />

particularly green<br />

vegetables, add 2-3<br />

teaspoons cold water and<br />

cover wok with a lid for 30<br />

seconds, the greens will<br />

stay bright and crisp.<br />

5. When marinating food,<br />

drain the marinade so<br />

the protein is not too wet<br />

before adding to the wok,<br />

if marinade is added as it<br />

heats, it falls to the base<br />

of the wok and the meat<br />

floats in the sauce which<br />

causes it to stew not fry.<br />

6. If you use sweet sauces<br />

like hoisin, sweet chilli etc<br />

they leave a sugar black<br />

surface over the wok<br />

surface. The best way to<br />

clean the wok is wipe it<br />

dry as you can then place<br />

it back over high heat until<br />

the sugary sauce burns<br />

and flakes; remove from<br />

the heat, add a little salt<br />

and rub into the wok – the<br />

salt acts as an abrasive<br />

to clean the wok without<br />

removing the seal.<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 75<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong>


Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

5 Top Tips for<br />

Wok ‘Seasoning’<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

quickly and allow broccoli<br />

to steam for 30-50 seconds<br />

until bright green and just<br />

tender.<br />

5. Return the beef and any<br />

juices, add the sauce and<br />

stir fry until heated through.<br />

Sprinkle over the sesame<br />

seeds and serve with rice or<br />

noodles.<br />

Vietnamese crispy<br />

coconut pancakes<br />

(Bánh Xèo Tôm)<br />

Makes 8<br />

1 cup rice flour<br />

2 tbs cornflour<br />

1 tsp ground turmeric<br />

1 tsp sea salt flakes<br />

320ml coconut milk<br />

1 cup water<br />

1/3 cup vegetable oil<br />

400g pork mince<br />

600g medium green prawns,<br />

peeled, deveined<br />

4 green shallots, finely<br />

chopped<br />

1 cup beansprouts<br />

lettuce leaves, shredded carrot,<br />

sliced cucumber, Asian herbs<br />

like Vietnamese mint; thai basil<br />

and coriander, to serve<br />

Sauce<br />

3 tbs fish sauce<br />

3 tbs grated palm sugar or<br />

brown sugar<br />

3 tbs lemon juice<br />

1 red chilli, seeds in, finely<br />

chopped<br />

1. Combine all the sauce<br />

ingredients together and set<br />

aside.<br />

2. For the pancakes, sift the<br />

flours, turmeric and salt into<br />

a bowl. Combine coconut<br />

milk and water in a jug.<br />

Gradually pour into the<br />

flour mixture, whisking to<br />

a smooth batter (the batter<br />

should be the consistency<br />

of thin cream). Stand 15<br />

minutes.<br />

3. Heat wok over medium-high<br />

heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil<br />

and swirl over the base and<br />

side. Pour 1/3-cup pancake<br />

batter into the wok then<br />

tilt the wok back and form<br />

an 18cm pancake. Cover<br />

with a lid, cook, for 2-3<br />

minutes until base is lacy<br />

and light golden (this helps<br />

steam pancake slightly so<br />

easy to remove). Slide the<br />

pancake onto a tray, fold in<br />

half, cover and keep warm<br />

while cooking remaining<br />

pancakes.<br />

4. Increase heat to high. make<br />

sure the wok is hot. Add<br />

1 tablespoon oil and pork<br />

mince. Cook, stirring with a<br />

wooden spoon for 3 minutes<br />

until mince changes colour.<br />

Add the prawns, shallots,<br />

and 2 tablespoons of the<br />

sauce. Cook 3-4 minutes<br />

until sauce thickened and the<br />

pork is sticky. Add the bean<br />

sprouts.<br />

5. Spoon the pork and prawn<br />

mixture into the pancakes.<br />

Serve with lettuce, carrot<br />

cucumber, herbs and<br />

remaining sauce.<br />

Janelle’s Tip: You can cook<br />

the pancakes in a 18cm (base)<br />

shallow frying if you don’t have<br />

a wok with a lid.<br />

Stainless steel and castiron<br />

woks need to be<br />

seasoned to prevent the<br />

food from sticking (NB:<br />

non-stick coated woks do<br />

not require seasoning).<br />

1. Wash wok in warm soapy<br />

water and dry well.<br />

2. Place the dry wok over<br />

high heat until it is<br />

smoking (don’t add any<br />

oil at this stage as the oil<br />

will burn before the wok<br />

is hot enough). Turn the<br />

heat off.<br />

3. Add 1 tablespoon of<br />

peanut oil, swirl the oil<br />

all around the surface of<br />

the wok.<br />

4. Add 2 teaspoons fine<br />

table salt, rub the salt<br />

and oil into the surface<br />

of wok using thick wad<br />

of paper towel (the salt<br />

will change colour to a<br />

grey black, that’s good<br />

sign as its absorbing<br />

the impurities in the<br />

steel). Set aside to cool<br />

completely. Wipe all the<br />

salt out with clean paper<br />

towel and repeat steps<br />

2-4 again three more<br />

times. The wok is now<br />

seasoned.<br />

5. DON’T wash the wok<br />

in soapy water, as the<br />

soap will remove the<br />

seasoning. After cooking,<br />

wash in hot water, dry<br />

well. Rub peanut oil into<br />

the surface of the wok,<br />

cover with paper towel<br />

and store until ready to<br />

use again. If you do use<br />

soap, you need to reseason<br />

the wok following<br />

steps above.<br />

76 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Tasty Morsels<br />

with Beverley Hudec<br />

Some Tiny Morsels to savour in <strong>March</strong><br />

Paloma hints at an<br />

Av-meets-Mex feel<br />

A leafy Avalon street is now home to<br />

coffee van man David Trevena’s brand<br />

new cafe, Paloma. The coffee machine<br />

pumps out Single O brews, treats are<br />

made in-house and there’s always<br />

a bacon and egg roll on the menu.<br />

Lunchtime favours burrito bowls,<br />

wraps stuffed with beans, brown rice,<br />

cabbage, cheese and salad rolls.<br />

Cafe back on menu at<br />

Narra Sports Centre<br />

Nutritionist Kelly Jones is the driving<br />

force behind The Kitchen. Her cafe<br />

and ready-prepped meals business<br />

is located in Narrabeen’s <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Sports Centre. Go for Barrel One<br />

Coffee, babycinos and kombucha, as<br />

well as fun and healthy dishes. Cafe<br />

eats include raw slices, bircher muesli<br />

and salads.<br />

Sir Duncan<br />

deserves more<br />

than a dunkin'<br />

Fancy a shady spot for<br />

brunch? Newport’s Sir<br />

Duncan now has an all-day<br />

breakfast and brunch menu.<br />

Granola and bacon and<br />

egg rolls get the nod, as do<br />

several pimped egg dishes.<br />

Fried eggs pop up in huevos<br />

rancheros, a tangy Mexican<br />

mix of black beans, salsa<br />

roja, avocado, feta and corn<br />

tortilla.<br />

Terrey Hills bar with<br />

breezy wow factor<br />

The trip to Bar Berkelo in Terrey Hills<br />

is worth it for the wow factor alone.<br />

Tom Eadie’s latest project is a light-andbreezy<br />

garden restaurant set within The<br />

Palms nursery. Breakfast bites include<br />

posh sausage sangers. Lunch flits<br />

between trendy wood-fired breads and<br />

buffalo curd with crudités and staples<br />

like organic beef burgers.<br />

Tasty Dining Morsels Guide<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

Three of a kind: light and easy<br />

Avalon’s Momo Bar double<br />

dips into light, build-your-own<br />

meals with momos, traditional<br />

Nepalese-style dumplings or<br />

poke bowls (pictured). You can<br />

top six types of dumplings<br />

with extras like vegetable<br />

broth or paprika butter.<br />

Alternatively, the poke bowls<br />

are a colourful assortment<br />

of proteins, vegetables and<br />

crunchy toppings.<br />

Banana Blossom has been<br />

the Mona Vale home to Asianinspired<br />

salads for well over<br />

a decade now. Its signature<br />

dishes include Tokyo Classic,<br />

a popular combo of green<br />

tea soba noodles, cucumber,<br />

avocado and a white sesame<br />

sweet soy dressing. Or you<br />

may choose to turn up the<br />

heat with the fiery rice noodle<br />

Triple Chilli bowl.<br />

Whole Leaf neatly wraps up<br />

breakfast and lunch orders<br />

with smoothie bowls and<br />

salad bowls. Morning visits to<br />

the Narrabeen cafe showcase<br />

blended delights like a green<br />

goddess, made with banana,<br />

mango, baby spinach and<br />

coconut water. Lunchtime<br />

salad bowl ingredients span<br />

the globe from Mexico to<br />

Vietnam.<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 77


Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

with Gabrielle Bryant<br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Queen of the Night an<br />

exquisite orchid cactus<br />

Queen of the Night is an epyphitic member<br />

of the cactus family, but unlike the cactus<br />

that live in the hot arid areas of the<br />

world, she is native to the rainforests of Mexico<br />

where she climbs through the foliage of trees<br />

clinging to the branches as she grows. She uses<br />

the branches to support the long, flat, thornless<br />

leaves that hang down, living on fallen leaves and<br />

debris, doing no harm to her host.<br />

The exquisite, sweetly scented pure white<br />

flowers of the orchid cactus, epiphyllum<br />

oxypetalum, bloom between dusk and dawn. As<br />

the light fades these amazingly beautiful flowers<br />

open, filling the night air with their fragrance.<br />

(The flowers last for just one night, so be sure to<br />

check each evening once the buds appear).<br />

There are several varieties of epiphyllums and<br />

since the 1800s plant lovers have been crossing<br />

them to produce many colours and shapes. Look<br />

out for other colours of scarlet, pink or yellow. All<br />

have stunningly beautiful flowers; some will have<br />

blooms that will last for a couple of days – but<br />

none will have the same heady fragrance as The<br />

Queen of the Night.<br />

Queen of the Night (right) is easy to grow,<br />

either trailing from a large hanging basket, in a<br />

large tub, or in the garden where she will have<br />

some support. She asks for very little attention.<br />

Plant her in a coarse cactus or succulent mix<br />

that has free drainage with some added bark for<br />

moisture retention.<br />

She needs regular water, but she must not be<br />

left with her roots in water-logged soil. Water<br />

once a week in Summer but less in Winter.<br />

Feed this royal member of your plant collection<br />

with Thrive every three weeks in Summer, to<br />

encourage new flowers.<br />

Queen of the Night needs bright light and<br />

grows best in dappled shade. Early morning sun<br />

will encourage flowers, but she will burn in the<br />

hot midday sun.<br />

If you have an older damaged leaf, use it to<br />

make a new pot of orchid cactus. New plants can<br />

easily be grown from cuttings. Take old mature<br />

leaves, allow the cut stem to dry for a couple of<br />

days before planting into fresh cactus mix. They<br />

will root very quickly, sending new shoots from<br />

the central rib. Each leaf can be cut into several<br />

pieces. Be sure to plant the cuttings the correct<br />

way up. Half a dozen cuttings will fill a new pot<br />

or basket.<br />

Colourful<br />

Crotons<br />

The colourful crotons<br />

have flourished over<br />

the past few wet and<br />

humid summer months.<br />

There are so many<br />

different ones that it is<br />

hard to choose, with leaves<br />

that are black, scarlet,<br />

orange green or gold, but<br />

no matter which you grow<br />

it is impossible to find two<br />

leaves the same on any<br />

plant.<br />

They are slow-growing,<br />

but don’t be deceived: the<br />

small potted plants once<br />

potted into the garden will<br />

soon be above the fence.<br />

Don’t be afraid to cut<br />

them back; new growth<br />

will soon appear, which is<br />

why crotons make a great<br />

hedge.<br />

78 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Nesting time for ferns<br />

Take a look at any damp<br />

rock or timber wall or in<br />

the gutter of a house that<br />

has been left undisturbed<br />

for several months, and you<br />

are bound to find a bird’s<br />

nest fern. Asplenium nidus<br />

is a native fern that loves<br />

moisture. It gets its name<br />

from its favourite habitat that<br />

is high in the branches of<br />

rain forest trees.<br />

Bird’s nest ferns only use<br />

their roots for stability; they<br />

feed from moisture in the air<br />

and fallen debris that lands<br />

in the crown of the “nest”.<br />

In the garden they will<br />

grow quickly in any shaded<br />

damp spot, under trees on a<br />

southern wall or on a fence.<br />

Grown as indoor plants<br />

they are great plants for<br />

the beginner; they will last<br />

for many months with little<br />

attention and will only need<br />

repotting when they grow so<br />

large that they tip over.<br />

When repotting, use a<br />

It is time to plant sweet peas.<br />

Seeds should be planted on<br />

<strong>March</strong> 17 – St Patricks day.<br />

Seedlings can be planted later,<br />

but they are not as strong and<br />

healthy as those that begin<br />

from seed where they are going<br />

to grow. A few tips will make a<br />

healthy harvest of deliciously<br />

fragrant flowers in Spring. Then<br />

your Sweet Peas will begin to<br />

flower 12-14 weeks from when<br />

they first appear.<br />

Before planting, prepare the<br />

soil. Add plenty of compost<br />

or organic matter to feed the<br />

seeds. Make sure that the soil<br />

is damp but that the drainage<br />

is good. Wet or soggy soil<br />

will rot the seeds. Prepare an<br />

application of potash or add<br />

some liquid lime. (Sweet Peas<br />

love an alkaline soil.)<br />

Make sure that you choose a<br />

sunny position that is protected<br />

from the wind, and if you are<br />

growing the tall Sweet Peas<br />

that have the best flowers for<br />

picking, build a frame or a<br />

tripod for the plants to climb<br />

before you plant. If you have<br />

a north-facing fence this is a<br />

perfect support for the Sweet<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

peat-based potting mix with<br />

additional fine bark that<br />

will maintain the moisture.<br />

Water under the fronds and<br />

try to avoid water sitting<br />

in the crown. Our native<br />

species is simple, with wide<br />

flat bright green leaves that<br />

have slightly crinkly edges.<br />

However, there are several<br />

different forms available as<br />

houseplants. One of the most<br />

popular being Victoria, who<br />

has long glossy leaves with<br />

rippled edges; or Osaka with<br />

narrow, strap-like fronds with<br />

wavy edges.<br />

Bird’s nest ferns love<br />

warmth and humidity,<br />

making them perfect for<br />

bathrooms – close to the<br />

shower is perfect! Although<br />

they need good light to<br />

flourish, keep them out of<br />

direct sunlight that will burn<br />

the leaves. As your fern<br />

grows it is exciting to watch<br />

as the delicate new fronds<br />

unfurl from the centre.<br />

Sweet Peas are made of this<br />

Peas. Just attach some wires or<br />

netting to hold them.<br />

Soak the seeds over night<br />

to soften the coating, then<br />

plant into their new home in<br />

pairs. Seed love company – and<br />

double planted seeds do better!<br />

Once the new shoots appear<br />

after about two weeks, let them<br />

grow to 5cm before pinching<br />

out the top to encourage lateral<br />

growth.<br />

Feed at two-weekly intervals<br />

with a soluble fertiliser such as<br />

Thrive. Sit back and wait for the<br />

flowers to pick. Make sure that<br />

you pick the flowers every day<br />

to prolong the life of the crop.<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 79<br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong>


Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Jobs this Month<br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

The rain has caused so<br />

many problems: Root<br />

rot, powdery mildew<br />

and more. Let’s hope that the<br />

weather will dry out. All the<br />

problems in the garden are<br />

from the rain! However, some<br />

plants have thrived. Hibiscus<br />

are flowering as never before.<br />

Keep them fed with slowrelease<br />

fertiliser.<br />

Seasons change<br />

If you haven’t already pulled<br />

out Summer veggies and<br />

annuals, do it now. Plant<br />

Winter and Spring season<br />

seedlings. Silver beet, peas,<br />

carrots, broccolini, spring<br />

onions, lettuce and caulies<br />

can all go in now. It is<br />

also time to plant pansies<br />

primula, viola, marigolds,<br />

allysum, lobelia, cineraria<br />

and snapdragons. Mulch well<br />

with sugar cane and protect<br />

your new seedlings from the<br />

snails that have multiplied in<br />

numbers since the rain.<br />

Frangipani rust<br />

Watch for rust, a fungal<br />

infection, on your frangipani.<br />

The tell-tale brown powder<br />

that falls is the spore of a rust<br />

infection. It is hard to control.<br />

Remove all infected leaves<br />

and put them in the general<br />

red bin – NOT in the green bin<br />

where it will grow and flourish<br />

Macrh<br />

for another season. Spray all<br />

possible leaves, under as well<br />

as on top of the branches, with<br />

lime sulphur. Spray again once<br />

the leaves have fallen, spraying<br />

at the same time all the soil<br />

and foliage under the tree.<br />

Veggie control<br />

This month you should just<br />

take control of the veggie<br />

garden. No more waiting for a<br />

last crop of Summer veggies.<br />

Pull out the tomatoes, beans,<br />

zucchinis, capsicum and<br />

eggplants now. Fill the veggie<br />

garden with new compost<br />

and let it rest for a couple of<br />

weeks before planting Spring<br />

seedlings. Plant Broccolini,<br />

caulies, peas, carrots, silver<br />

beet, spring onions and<br />

lettuce now. If your family<br />

needs are not very much<br />

try using seed tape it is<br />

the easiest way to sow the<br />

veggies that you will need<br />

without too many at one time.<br />

Just 30cm of seeded tape<br />

every couple of weeks will<br />

give you a selected quantity.<br />

Protect fruit<br />

Possums and birds love<br />

autumn fruits. Protect Paw<br />

Paw, mangoes, guavas,<br />

bananas, peaches and plums<br />

with bird netting. Remember to<br />

fasten the net under the trees<br />

because possums can climb<br />

from underneath as well as<br />

the top!<br />

Last chores<br />

Patch up damaged lawns with<br />

top dressing. If you can see<br />

spotted leaves, spray with<br />

mancozeb… also this month,<br />

move your cymbidium orchids<br />

from the shade to where they<br />

will get some morning sun<br />

or a bright light. The flower<br />

spikes are forming – the more<br />

light, the better the spikes.<br />

Clivia care<br />

Cliveas have not liked<br />

the hot, humid and rainy<br />

weather. If they are older<br />

clumps that have not been<br />

divided, their roots obstruct<br />

the drainage. The plants will<br />

rot and suddenly the clump<br />

falls apart. If you see yellow<br />

leaves, try pulling them out.<br />

If they are rotten the whole<br />

plant will dislodge. Don’t<br />

throw it away. Remove all<br />

the affected leaves until you<br />

get back to a healthy core<br />

of the plant. Let it dry out<br />

and after a couple of weeks<br />

you will see new healthy,<br />

white roots appear. Replant<br />

into an open drainage<br />

soil and let it start again.<br />

By Spring your clivea will<br />

flower again!<br />

Crossword solution from page 72<br />

Mystery location: YACHT CLUB<br />

80 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Times Past<br />

‘Royal’ Avalon Golf Links<br />

OPEN SPACES: The ticket office in 1930 before it was absorbed into the present clubhouse in 1938 (note Kamikaze corner in the middle background);<br />

purportedly AJ Small teeing off on the 1st hole in 1925 (inset) with Old Barrenjoey Road in the background.<br />

Avalon Golf Links, known more<br />

familiarly to locals as ‘Royal Av’,<br />

will celebrate its centenary in<br />

October 2026.<br />

Arthur Jabez Small purchased 35<br />

acres of land (14 hectares) for the future<br />

golf course from Mary Canty in July<br />

1921. Perhaps intuitively he saw the<br />

‘natural amphitheatre’ as the ideal geography<br />

for a 9-hole golf course. He may<br />

have even created it as an enhancement<br />

to add to the leisure activities already<br />

available in the area and to attract and<br />

cater for a wider market for the community.<br />

He sought only the very best as the<br />

designer for the course.<br />

Scottish immigrant Daniel Soutar<br />

designed many golf courses, including<br />

the standout Kingston Heath links in<br />

Melbourne’s sandbelt, as well as locally<br />

the Elanora Country Club and Long Reef<br />

golf course.<br />

He earned his place in the pantheon<br />

of early Australian golf course architects,<br />

especially for his work at Kingston<br />

Heath, regarded by many as the premier<br />

course in Australia.<br />

The Avalon Golf links has a challenging<br />

layout not just for the fit, the<br />

almost-fit but also for the members of<br />

the Mens’ club who roll up on Tuesday.<br />

It also provides a great variety of holes<br />

compared to local flatter courses. The<br />

women’s club celebrated their diamond<br />

jubilee anniversary in 2009 and remain<br />

a very strong group.<br />

The tiny kiosk nicknamed the ‘Avalon<br />

Hilton’ was the first built structure on<br />

the golf links; it was restored several<br />

years ago.<br />

The clubhouse began as a small ticket<br />

office in 1926 and was cleverly absorbed<br />

into the much larger clubhouse in 1938.<br />

It has since been extended southwards,<br />

providing a fine panorama over the<br />

course whilst retaining much of the<br />

original fabric.<br />

The Manager’s residence followed<br />

in 1930 and up until recently was still<br />

used as the greenkeeper’s residence.<br />

It is hoped that after restoration it will<br />

be able to resume its previous life as a<br />

residence and remain one third part of<br />

the heritage precinct.<br />

It is hoped to generate a new enthusiasm<br />

for the volunteer bush-care group<br />

and to include some of the members to<br />

help the new greenkeepers care for and<br />

maintain the course which is currently<br />

in the best condition it has been in for<br />

many years.<br />

The Avalon Golf Club is currently<br />

being assessed for membership of the<br />

Australian Golf Heritage Society.<br />

*If you wish to join the Avalon Ladies<br />

Golf Club please call the President<br />

Christine Gardner on 0408 437 985. To<br />

join the Avalon Men’s Golf Club call<br />

Jim Nicol on 0409 001 985.<br />

TIMES PAST is supplied by local historian<br />

and President of the Avalon Beach<br />

Historical Society GEOFF SEARL. Visit<br />

the Society’s showroom in Bowling<br />

Green Lane, Avalon Beach.<br />

Times Past<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MARCH <strong>2023</strong> 81


Travel <strong>Life</strong><br />

Join an Antarctic research expedition<br />

The Northern Beaches-based centre<br />

for marine studies Living Ocean is<br />

inviting locals to join a one-of-a-kind,<br />

hands-on Antarctic research expedition<br />

during the 23/24 whale migration.<br />

Led by glaciologist and marine<br />

climatologist Assoc Prof Ian Goodwin,<br />

whose 40 years of work has resulted in<br />

the exploration, mapping, and glaciology<br />

of new frontiers in Antarctica, and Toby<br />

Story from the pioneers of polar sea<br />

kayaking Southern Sea Ventures, the<br />

expedition will follow a bespoke itinerary<br />

focussed on understanding the “rewilding<br />

of our oceans”.<br />

Living Ocean President Robbi Newman<br />

says voyagers will be treated to an<br />

intimate exploration experience on the<br />

50-passenger ‘MV Polar Pioneer’ studying<br />

both sides of the Antarctic peninsula to<br />

journey through the past, present and<br />

future of great whales in Antarctic waters.<br />

However, this is not simply a cruise – as<br />

a centre for marine studies, Living Ocean<br />

will be documenting animal behaviour,<br />

microplastics, and climate research<br />

during the trip, with all on board having<br />

the opportunity to be directly involved as<br />

citizen scientists.<br />

Key features of the 14-day expedition<br />

includes cruising in zodiacs in small<br />

groups to soak up the surroundings<br />

onshore, paddling in sea kayaks, unique<br />

scientific adventures such as ice core<br />

drilling and ski touring and nightly talks<br />

by whale, climate and Antarctic experts.<br />

The Living Ocean Antarctic Research<br />

Expedition <strong>2023</strong> has been locked in from<br />

20 December <strong>2023</strong> – 1 January 2024<br />

departing from Argentina. Cost from<br />

US$11,975 per person.<br />

Learn more on the Living Ocean<br />

website and register your interest in<br />

attending an information night at the<br />

Avalon Bowling Club with guest speakers<br />

Prof Goodwin and Toby Story from<br />

6.30pm on Thursday 20 April.<br />

Those attending the event will be<br />

granted special access to a 10% discount<br />

on expedition berth prices.<br />

*Go to info@livingocean.org.au<br />

Travel <strong>Life</strong><br />

Alaska is your muse<br />

D<br />

iscover the delights of cruising around the turquoise<br />

Explore Alaska by cruise<br />

ship and you can travel to<br />

gold rush towns and native<br />

heritage sites, get up close<br />

with glaciers and appreciate<br />

its rugged landscape and<br />

wildlife in comfort, even<br />

luxury.<br />

There’s an Alaskan cruise<br />

line to suit every travel style –<br />

those who enjoy all-inclusive<br />

packages on small ships,<br />

value contemporary luxury,<br />

spacious suites, gourmet<br />

food and pampering will lean<br />

towards the stylish Silversea<br />

passenger ships.<br />

The elegant Silver Muse<br />

is one of the largest of the<br />

Silversea fleet accommodating<br />

up to 596 passengers yet<br />

retains an uncrowded feel and<br />

personalised service boasting<br />

one of the highest crew-toguest<br />

ratios at sea.<br />

The team at Travel View<br />

Gail Kardash and Sharon<br />

Godden invite you to talk to<br />

them about their first-hand<br />

experiences on Silver Muse<br />

and visiting ‘The Last Frontier’<br />

and find out how you can get<br />

onboard (see ad opposite).<br />

Sharon said there’s no<br />

better way to view Alaska than<br />

on a Silversea cruise.<br />

“Silversea’s Alaska cruises<br />

are simply phenomenal<br />

– these are journeys of<br />

breathtaking encounters with<br />

the natural world,” she said.<br />

“You will experience a<br />

glacier calving with the roar<br />

of a thousand canons... a<br />

personal butler... diamondblue<br />

icebergs floating on a<br />

glassy bay... superb service<br />

onboard an intimate ship...<br />

a humpback breaching in a<br />

spectacular display and ‘open<br />

jaw’ itineraries, allowing you to<br />

spend more time in each port.”<br />

Mediterranean boat charter<br />

waters of the Mediterranean with family or friends<br />

aboard your own private charter vessel.<br />

Sydney-based Latitude Vacations has been organising<br />

tailor-made charters for first-timers and avid sailors alike,<br />

across Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Italy (pictured) for more<br />

than 20 years.<br />

Charter<br />

options range<br />

from yachts,<br />

catamarans,<br />

luxury motor<br />

yachts and<br />

gulets – either<br />

fully crewed or<br />

bareboat for<br />

experienced<br />

yachties.<br />

Latitude<br />

Vacation’s suggested itineraries are designed for flexibility,<br />

allowing travellers to absorb the Med’s architectural and<br />

historical sites, visit tavernas in isolated bays and enjoy the<br />

wonderful restaurants that stretch along the coast, at their<br />

own pace.<br />

Many of the trips can be combined with self-drive road trips.<br />

More info sailingvacations.com.au<br />

82 MARCH <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

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