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MARCH 2020




Clifton | Scarborough | Wombarra | Coledale | Austinmer | Thirroul


DAVID ROACH is a visual artist and award-winning screenwriter and director. His films have been released internationally, including the documentary Red Obsession (narrated by Russell Crowe), Beneath Hill 60 (starring Brendan Cowell) and The Surgeon and the Soldier about surgeon, Dr Munjed Al Muderis. David lives on the Illawarra coast with his wife, author and broadcaster, Caroline Baum. David is part of a team caring for and revitalising the lovely Clifton School of Arts. KRISTIN WATSON is Green Connect’s Fair Food Coordinator. She has worked in hospitality for 18 years and is passionate about food and the environment. Which is why she joined Green Connect in May 2018 as a fair food coordinator. In her career, which started out as a chef in London, she has worked mainly in fine dining restaurants, but since starting at Green Connect, she has found a new love for more simple, fresh and seasonal produces.

MELANIE FORSTER is a registered psychologist who graduated from Deakin University in 2015 and has worked in private practice ever since. Before moving to Australia, she was a practicing psychologist in Germany. She loves the Australian bush and is a keen camper. Melanie is a well-known face at Helensburgh’s Equilibrium Healthcare. is a Senior Professor and the Director of the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC). Paul has been involved in a variety of research topics over the past 35 years, including sustainable buildings, energy systems, energy efficiency and fluid mechanics. He was heavily involved in the design and development of the award-winning, net-zero energy SBRC building. Paul was Faculty Advisor and lead academic on the winning Team UOW Solar Decathlon China 2013 campaign and a member of the Desert Rose Solar Decathlon team that won 2nd place in the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition in Dubai 2018.







EDITORS Gen Swart, Marcus Craft CONTACT editor@2515mag.com.au 2515mag Ph: 0432 612 168 PO Box 248, Helensburgh, 2508. ADVERTISING Karen, 0403 789 617. www.2515mag.com.au. T&Cs apply. DEADLINE 18th of month prior. COVER Ray Brown at Illawarra Grevillea Park, by Unicorn Studios. 2515 is published by The Word Bureau, ABN 31 692 723 477. Disclaimer: All content and images remain the property of 2515 Coast News unless otherwise supplied. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission. Views expressed do not reflect those of the publisher.

BOOK YOUR PRINT AD ONLINE! Next cut off is March 18. www.2515mag.com.au or call Karen on 0403 789 617.

s roup for G ccasions t a e lO Gr pecia or S e twic s on Show nth a mo

From left to right: Rob Nissen (over 70s age division), Mike Jenkins (over 60s) Harry Jenkins (juniors) Cameron Steele (over 40s). Photos: Unicorn Studios


The Austinmer Otters Winter Swimming Club is entering its 57th year of winter swimming at Austinmer rock pools. This year’s swim sessions start on Sunday, April 19 and will be held every Sunday morning until September 27. The “Otters”, as they are affectionately known, started back in 1963 as the Austinmer Otters Winter Swimming Club and set three basic objectives for their members: to encourage winter swimming, to promote the physical and social welfare of members, and whenever possible to render assistance to those in need. The Otters are keen fund-raisers and have helped many charities and individuals for more than 56 years. The club’s first donation, back in the ’60s, was to Coledale Hospital so staff there could buy some much-needed equipment – the donation

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was 155 pounds, 15 shillings and 3 pence – about $311.57 in today’s money. In the 1970s through to the ’90s the funding efforts were directed to Cram House, with the club helping to buy such items as cars, a Coaster Bus fitted with wheelchair access, as well as a therapeutic heated swimming pool. In terms of rendering assistance to those in need, we pride ourselves on continuing to meet our objectives. In our time as a club so far, we have had more than 450 Active Members and have an annual membership of around 70 people with between 30 and 40 men swimming every Sunday morning – rain, hail or shine. Some of our club members have achieved more than 800 or 900 swims. Members of the Austinmer Otters not only swim

during the winter months but have competed in various events over the years to raise money for our charities. Our members run in marathons, compete in Ironman triathlons, cycle through Australian deserts, play in charity golf tournaments, participate in the Cancer Council’s Relay for Life, and swim in charity events. Last year, the Otters bought items for Thirroul Men’s Shed, the Aspect South Coast School at Corrimal, Funds were raised for these purchases by way of members’ hard work (raffles and sausage sizzles) and the club’s association with Club Thirroul and Bunnings (Bellambi store). Over the past few years our charity focus has been to “look after those in need in our local area”, as well as support the annual Camp Quality’s Illawarra Convoy. The Otters have successfully raised many thousands of dollars for these causes and continue to do so. The Otters are part of the South Coast Winter Swimming Association, which hosts a number of clubs along the Illawarra coastline. There are several winter swimming clubs in the Wollongong region, from Stanwell Park to Wollongong, all of which swim through winter and the highlight of the year is the South Coast Winter Swimming Championships. There is a great camaraderie and many life-long friendships have been made within the club. As with most clubs, members age and others move on, and so the Otters are always looking for new members to join in the swims and to assist in fund-raising. It is a social club and after each swim we enjoy homemade soup and a few beverages at our sponsors’ premises, while discussing our fundraising activities. Being a member of the Austinmer Otters is a great way to get to know others within the community, so come along on any Sunday morning in winter and give it a try.

SUNDAY SWIM TIME The Austinmer Otters Winter Swimming Club continues in its men-only tradition. The club swims every Sunday in winter from 9am-10.30am. For more details, call club treasurer Paul Gregory on 0414 682 888. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gary Peers joined Austinmer Otters in the winter of 1984 after a few of his friends invited him to go for a winter swim to try it out and has been a continuous member ever since, now entering his 36th year. Having joined as a regular swimmer, Gary has contributed in many ways within the Otters. The various positions he’s held over the years include Vice-Captain, Captain, Secretary and President for the past few years. He also assists in fund-raising activities, with weekly raffles at the local hotels and Club Thirroul. More recently, he’s organised the Bunnings BBQ fund-raisers at the Bunnings Bellambi store. 2515

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THE JOY OF EXERCISE By psychologist Melanie Forster

We all know that being active is beneficial for our physical health. It has a positive effect on our cardiovascular system and helps us keeping off excess weight. But could engaging in regular exercise also aid with our mental health? Numerous studies have found a link between exercise and mental health. A recent study undertaken in the USA found that individuals who exercised had 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health in the past month than individuals who did not exercise. It was found that all exercise types were associated with better mental health, although the biggest improvements in mental health were found in individuals who engaged in team sports, cycling and aerobic and gym activities. You may ask why exercise can help improve mental health. To answer this question, we need to take a look inside our brain. During exercise, the brain releases endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals play an important role in regulating our mood. In fact, anti-depressants were designed to target an imbalance in these chemicals. Individuals with alcohol- or drug-dependence may benefit from exercise, as our brain also releases dopamine, the so-called “reward chemical”, in response to any form of pleasure, like exercise, alcohol drugs, and food. It may be much better for your mental health to swap the “I had a tough week, I deserve it” drink for a run, swim or dance class. You would be rewarded with much better sleep, which is essential for our overall mental health. Exercising three to five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes can provide a sense of achievement and help improve motivation in individuals with depression. It may also be a welcome distraction from constant worry in people with anxiety. Getting better at a sport gives us a sense of mastery and achievement, which helps with low self-confidence. Joining a group sport can further provide us with a sense of belonging and alleviate feelings of isolation which is a common symptom of depression. So, put on your runners, start slow, track your progress and feel better within yourself. You will love it. 2515

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SAVE THE DATE FOR THE ‘BIG SWIM OF THE SOUTH’ By Steven McDonald, president of HelensburghStanwell Park Surf Life Saving Club

The Equilibrium Healthcare Stanwell Park Ocean Swim is back on Sunday, 15 March 2020. This is an epic ocean swim from Coalcliff Beach along the escarpment to Stanwell Park Beach, just over 2.3km. If conditions are right there is lots to look at on the ocean bottom as you leave Coalcliff and when you head back into Stanwell Park. The event is supported by Equilibrium Healthcare. The club will provide a huge amount of water safety for the event with four IRBs and multiple board paddlers out on the course, and lots of life savers on the shore to assist swimmers in finding their feet at the end of the swim. Entries close on Saturday, 14 March 2020. Go to https://oceanswims.com/swims/calendar/ eventdetail/699/54/stanwell-park-nsw-e.html to enter. 2515

BEST BOOKS FOR SPORT & LEISURE Thanks to Amanda Isler and Deborah Thompson, the owners of Collins Booksellers Thirroul, for this list.

• The Memory Pool by Therese Spruhan (Australian Stories of summer, sun and swimming) • The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race by Rob Mundle • Richo by Terry Richardson (autobiography of our local surfing legend) • Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant by Roland Lazenby • Barty: Power and Glory by Ron Reed • For Cap and Country by Jesse Hogan (Interviews with Australian Cricketers on the enduring spirit of the baggy green) • Best Bush, Coast & Village Walks of The Illawarra • AFN Fishing Guide to South of Sydney • Camping Around Australia 4th edition 2515



MARCH 2020




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MARCH 2020





Clifton | Scarborough

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| Austinmer | Thirroul

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Diamond pythons are fantastic free pest controllers. Photos: Amanda De George


eggs warm. Pretty impressive! Now these snakes are not only beautiful to look at but, being non-venomous, they’re also fantastic free pest controllers, especially if they take up residence in your roof where they will eat any rodents in there before moving on. It’s not just rats and mice on the menu, but all sorts of critters with With Amanda De George newly hatched snakes dining on small lizards, We had an unexpected guest a few days ago. Well, progressing to small birds and mammals as they kind of. I mean, our guest was certainly unexpected grow and then as adults they really seem to love at the time, but shouldn’t have come as a surprise possums and flying foxes, which is kind of sad as we’ve hosted similar visitors in the past. And by because I also really love possums and flying foxes! hosting I mean watching as they slithered across They kill their prey after ambushing them by our driveway, curled up in a corner of the roof, wrapping themselves tightly around the victim, basking on the warm tin and stretched out fat and constricting and then suffocating them. Sure, it’s all newly fed, across the entire width of our road. a bit gruesome but a snake’s got to eat too! I should point out that our visitor was a lovely Diamond Pythons are nocturnal so you’ll have young Diamond Python, much smaller than the the best chance of spotting these non-aggressive previous ones we’ve had around the house and I snakes on a night wander, as they move about spotted it curled up, snoozing the morning away in looking for food and for a mate, but if you’re lucky, our frangipani tree. Adults generally grow to like me, you just might see one curled up, sleeping around 2-3 metres in length and looking at the size in a tree or basking on rocks during the warmth of of this one, I’d say it’s probably about a year old. the day. And, as they say (kind of), it’s best to let These snakes breed in early spring with the sleeping snakes lie. As mentioned, they are female laying a clutch of eggs, usually around non-venomous and non-aggressive but, if 15-25 eggs in summer. If you have a bit of a snake provoked, they may bite and, with their curved phobia it can be hard to see them as anything but teeth, you could walk away from the encounter vicious, scary animals. But these mothers show a with a tooth or two lodged in the wound. So, yeah, great deal of care, curling their body around the enjoy these lovelies with your eyes only! clutch, only leaving the eggs to briefly bask in the sun but never to eat, and will shiver to keep the Follow Amanda’s Facebook blog @BackyardZoology 2515

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Discover the next big thing in apples. Jo Fahey reports from Darkes Glenbernie Orchard. More than 25 years ago, Bill Shields, the owner of Shields Orchard at Bilpin, found a chance seedling on his farm that he is now propagating in Australia and overseas. Since 2013, the ‘Julie’ variety has been trialled in 19 commercial orchards located across Australia and also overseas in Italy. Darkes Glenbernie Orchard is one of these sites. A chance seedling is a genetically unique plant that is the product of unintentional breeding. It’s a rare thing to get a viable crop from a chance seedling to sell to market. We saw this as an opportunity to grow a variety that was both unique and very local. We wanted to work with Bill as soon as we could. Our Julie trees are now around five years old. These sensational apples are named after Bill’s

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wife ‘Julie’ and we like the family connection here too! This year we will be running a small number of ‘pick your own’ groups in the Julie apples. Our pick-your-own customers last season described the Julie apple as having subtle flavours of strawberry, pear, nashi and pineapple. Originating from Ryde in 1868, Granny Smith is a well-known chance seedling founded in the Sydney region. We think Julie could be the next big thing! Last year we sold out pretty quick, so if you want to try a Julie you’d better visit us early in March for the best chance not to miss out! Book ‘Pick Your Own’ tours at www.darkes.com.au 2515



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With Green Connect Fair Food Coordinator Kristin Watson

1 tbsp zaatar juice of ½ lemon 1 cup pearl barley 1 garlic clove 1 bunch kale, stem removed and leaves roughly chopped ½ cup hazelnuts roasted Dressing juice from 1 orange and 1 grapefruit 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 garlic, crushed 1 tbsp white wine vinegar ½ cup dill, finely chopped 3 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut the carrots lengthwise or leave whole if you have small ones. Coat in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast for approx 15 min. Add the sliced red onion and return to oven. Cook for another 10-15 min. When starting to turn crisp and golden, remove and sprinkle over with Zaatar spice and lemon juice. To make the dressing, whisk together orange juice, grapefruit juice, maple syrup, garlic, vinegar and dill and season to taste. In the meantime, cook your pearl barley. The farm is loving all the rain that we’ve received Sauté the kale leaves in 2 tbsp of olive oil and – it’s a huge difference from the very dry and 1 crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper. cracked farm we saw throughout January. Now Combine the carrots, pearl barley and kale there are vibrant shades of green flourishing all together and pour over the dressing. Serve with over the farm. As we start to prepare for the cooler season, this roasted hazelnuts. – This recipe is inspired by Hetty McKinnon’s month we’re planting broccoli, cauliflower and book, Community: Salad Recipes from Arthur Street cabbages, but also beetroots, kale, silverbeet, fennel, spring onions, kohlrabi, turnips and carrots, Kitchen. 2515 just to mention a few! And we’re excited that our eggplants and beetroots are finally ready to put in Green Connect’s weekly veg boxes are available for the boxes these coming weeks. I will be making pick up at Flame Tree Co-op and now also at Taylor’s beetroot falafel and dips, and Pasta alla Norma Healthy Grocers in Thirroul. To order, visit with our eggplant. www.green-connect-vegbox.com.au The kale and silverbeet have been a loyal veggie Upcoming events at the Green Connect Farm: March 21 for us this summer and I personally can’t get – Grow your own vegetables. Learn about how to build enough of them. I’ve been blitzing them up in a good soil, crop rotation and companion planting. green smoothie every morning, together with pear, All-day workshop $150 for veg box customer, $195 for ginger, lemon, avocado and cucumber. the general public. Book via green-connect.com.au Since we started with our workshops at the farm last year, I have had the pleasure to cook for some of our participants. Here is a salad that has become a favourite for all of us. ZAATAR ROASTED CARROTS WITH KALE, PEARL BARLEY AND GRAPEFRUIT-MAPLE DRESSING. 10 carrots, peeled and sliced 3-4 tbs olive oil 1 red onion, finely sliced

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Always welcoming members, their guests and visitors to our friendly little club on the northern beaches of Wollongong Live Music most weekends, check online for times Open 7 days a week for Lunch // Open Wednesday-Sunday for Dinner @coledalerslclub and 4267 1873 MARCH / 2515 / 13

The Illawarra Flame Tree House exemplifies resilient design. Photo: Dee Kramer/UOW


“Of droughts and flooding rains.” Dorothea Mackellar’s famous poem My Country always comes to mind when we experience Australia’s weather extremes. Last month, as I wrote about bushfire-resilient design, millions of hectares were on fire as Australia experienced one of its worst bushfire seasons. As I write this month, most of the east coast of NSW is under threat of flooding. There was a time when designing a house was pretty straightforward. It was shaped by locally available materials, trades and generally applied the default regional (or ‘vernacular) style that houses nearby were built in. With climate change in mind, we need to build homes that are resilient to the elements of today and future-proofed for tomorrow. While a sustainably designed home will go a long way to future-proof a house, the new buzzword for future-proofing our homes is ‘resilience’. Resilient design takes into account the historical climate conditions a home needs to account for, and it anticipates the more extreme events to come. Here are three design tips you can use to make a new or older home more resilient: THE ROOF The basic element of a home is that it provides shelter and therefore it goes without saying that a top-down approach is super important! While traditional roof coverings, such as tiles, might be preferred by many home owners, the benefits of a sheet metal roof outweigh those of tiles when it comes to long-term resilience. Pitched roofs are better than flat roofs, but the pitch shouldn’t be so high as to require anyone working on them to have a harness. Ideally, there’s a large roof plane that pitches towards the north so as to accept a good

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bank of solar panels at their optimum angle. A roof should be simple in form and have deep eaves to protect from rain and summer sun. INSULATION It needs to be everywhere and it needs to enclose the entire house – roof, walls, floors and windows. Yes, even windows; think double-glazing, curtains or blinds. The majority of wall insulation in most homes is batt insulation. While it’s effective in between a timber frame, there have been studies to show that up to 10% of heat losses or gains can be through the timber frame. Ideally, it creates a complete and well sealed but breathable envelope, like a new winter thermal onesie. LONG LIFE, LOOSE FIT When it comes to buildings ‘long life, loose fit’ means that the home is built to last but has the ability to suit more than its current set of occupants. This can have many impacts on the overall design, but an example is wider doorways. As the Australian population is ageing and our lifespans get longer, there are more chances that the elderly among us will require walking aids – a standard door width of 820mm doesn’t allow enough clearance for those. Wider doorways with 1m clearance or more will be better placed to allow for the future needs of the home’s occupants (it also makes it easier to move furniture!). Luckily for us, there are two great examples of resilient housing that you can visit at the Innovation Campus of the University of Wollongong: the Illawarra Flame House and the Desert Rose House. You can even book the Illawarra Flame House for an overnight stay. 2515

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ON BOARD WITH SURFRIDER By Coledale’s Susie Crick, chair of Surfrider Foundation Australia. Hey, Ocean Lovers! We are gearing up for a huge month of celebrations in March but, at time of writing, we were set to close out February in style at Wollongong Harbour on Saturday, February 29 from 9am for our annual Clean Up Australia event. We partnered with the Wollongong Freedivers, Fair Food Forager, the University Divers, Rotary, the Peloton Against Plastic, Plastic Free Wollongong, Wollongong City Council, the State Emergency Services and our South Coast Surfrider crew to clean in and around our Harbour. And we invited ocean lovers to bring their surfboards, SUPs, kayaks, canoes and flippers, so they could really get in and clean up the rubbish. It was 30 years ago that the founder of Clean Up Australia and one of our original Surfrider members, the late Ian Kiernan AO, held the first harbour clean where 40,000 people came out to clean up Sydney Harbour. On this 30-year anniversary of Clean Up Australia, Surfrider Australia is proud to be partnering with them. For a real treat of a weekend, catch a train to Sydney on Sunday, 1 March and meet us at the Man O’War jetty steps at Sydney Opera House at 9am. We’ll have surfing celebrities as guests and we’ll jump into the water to clean up Sydney Harbour. It will be a memorable event with a spectacular backdrop. You don’t even have to get wet. We’d love you to join us. REFUSE PLASTIC Last week I had the opportunity to address the Global Wave Conference on my favourite subject: refusing unnecessary single-use plastics. Plastic pollution and climate change are parallel global

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emergencies, however, to combat climate change, we need serious system change. The good news is: change is coming! Our government has opened up the discussion to establish a mandatory product stewardship scheme for manufacturers, importers and distributors of consumer packaging and singleuse plastics. On Thursday, 19 March, I will provide evidence to the inquiry into the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill. We finally have a voice to make recommendations to cut back on our dependence on plastic packaging, single-use plastics and styrofoam, and introduce meaningful recycling systems that close the loop on the offending items. It is now everyone’s responsibility to clean up our act. Imagine if eight billion of us each did one positive action each day – that would be system change and the new normal. Everyone can do something, find your ‘something’. 2515

Become a member and get involved! For more info: www.surfrider.org.au


If you regularly sit underneath these trees, it can be deadly and is why we’d highly recommend you get the health of your trees checked now and, of course, remove any dangerous limbs (branches) so Have you heard of ‘Sudden Branch Drop’? Also that it’s at an evenly weighted and safe level to referred to as Summer Branch Drop or Sudden Limb Failure, it’s one we’re seeing rear its ugly head avoid this occurring. Watch a video of Bohmer ‘The Tree Whisperer’ again at the moment with all this wild weather explaining more about Sudden Branch Drop while we’ve been experiencing in February. It’s whereby Eucalyptus trees suddenly shed their out on a local job – and other behind-the-scenes emergency work at their Facebook page. branches in ideal warm weather conditions with little wind – this usually happens after a long n Read more of Bohmer’s Blogs at period of drought, followed by significant rainfall www.bohmerstreecare.com.au/blog. 2515 and is due to those load-bearing limbs.

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Ray Brown at Illawarra Grevillea Park. Photos: Unicorn Studios


ORDER OF AUSTRALIA HONOUR A life-long volunteer, Bulli’s Ray Brown was recognised for his contribution to conservation and the environment in the 2020 Australia Day Honours list. 2515 reports.

Illawarra Grevillea Park manager Ray Brown has been honoured in the plant world – a rare, spiky bloom is named after him. “It’s a creamy-coloured flower, Grevillea ray brownii,” Ray says. “I haven’t got it here at the present, it’s not easy to grow, prickly bloody thing it is, which is reminiscent of me.” Now the nation has thanked him for a lifetime of volunteering. The 2020 Australia Day list recognised 837 outstanding and inspirational Australians in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Ray was one of 549 Medals (OAM) and will be invested with his award by the GovernorGeneral at Government House in Canberra. “It’ll be great – it’s on sometime in March and April. That will be exciting.” Receiving an OAM – a secret he had to keep for a few weeks until the official announcement on January 26 – was “very, very humbling”, he says. Originally from Moss Vale, Ray, now 72, has achieved a great deal, all of it self-taught, since he left school at age 14. “I was this fat kid, never did any good at school, was last in my class.” A few years ago, at a Moss Vale Public School reunion, Ray returned to find they had a folder full

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of his achievements. Now there’s a new one: one of the nation’s highest honours, the OAM. “They’ll be rapt. They’ll be more excited than I am,” Rays says. Congratulations have poured in from friends, colleagues, politicians, the Friends of the Botanic Garden (sadly, he says, not from Council, at least at press time). One entertaining side benefit has been to speed up dealings with Sydney Water: emailing to report a burst water main in Bulli went unnoticed until “I put OAM at the end of it, and I got a reply back in three hours”. BEHIND THE MAGIC AT ILLAWARRA GREVILLEA PARK Ray is founder, park manager and the “heart and soul” of Illawarra Grevillea Park. The 40-acre garden of native delights is on the mountainside behind Bulli Showground, lovingly tended by volunteers, and a scientific haven for rare and endangered plants since it opened in 1987. It’s only open to the public six weekends a year. Ray has worked in gardens all his life, from growing veggies in his home town of Moss Vale with his brother (“those were the days when things were so tight you’d write a shopping list and then

go back and cross out the things you couldn’t afford”) to tending to massive gardens of “the mega-rich” in the Southern Highlands. A specialist propagator and grafter, Ray still runs a nursery at Bulli. “I’ve been a nurseryman all my life. I used to specialise in rock and alpine plants to the trade – gorgeous lovely stuff – did that for 10 years … I’ve gone back to propagating and doing specialist grafting for the trade – it’s what I do.” Park manager is a voluntary role he’s filled for more than three decades, since he instigated the founding of Australia’s first grevillea park in 1987. “I spent way too much time here this week,” he says. “Usually I’m only here on the Monday, but this week, I had to come spray and mow grass and blow the bloody leaves off the ground and place these plants out.” Ray credits his wife, Vivienne, for aiding his many ventures. “My wife has supported me and that’s been a big help. She runs a local Illawarra family daycare service.” Both are still working: Ray only cut down from seven days a week about 10 years ago, he says. Ray takes pride in being direct, the kind to call a spade a ****ing shovel. “What you see is what you get with me. And there’s no bullshit.” He laughs. “I swear a lot and that’s the ****ing way it is. I’m the real deal. I don’t suffer fools at all.” He loathes bureaucrats, committees and pretentious behaviour in the plant world. “I have been fighting with bureaucrats forever. Because that’s what you have to do if you’re a volunteer, you don’t have any choice.” He loves native flowers, the Illawarra’s heritage and the park’s hard-working team of volunteers. “They are a really fantastic mob of people, I’ve really enjoyed being here with this mob. I don’t know why they come, I give them a hard time,” he says, laughing. “And they work bloody hard.” So why do you think they turn up? “They achieve,” Ray says, suddenly turning serious. “They achieve. They do something, they never stand around and get bored. “This place is all to do with management, how you manage people, it took me a long time to work all that out.” On this wet Monday morning, the volunteers are digging into a slope beside a winding path, determinedly planting grevilleas in the rain while kookaburras scream with laughter in the trees above. The six who’ve braved the weather range from a retired teacher who drives up from Coolangatta in the Shoalhaven to a former newspaper photographer who lives in Thirroul. This small core team turns up every Monday (except public holidays) to tend to the park, their jobs ranging from digging holes to weeding to leaf blowing.

It was the former teacher, John Elton, who nominated Ray for the OAM. “It seemed to me that Ray had devoted so much of his time, energy and expertise to the Park over 25 years that he deserved recognition,” John said. “Everything he has done has been on a volunteer basis, to the detriment of his own business. For someone to conceive such a mammoth undertaking and then see it to fruition is truly a remarkable feat. “Not only did he build the Park but he has been able to develop it to the point that people come from all over the state and from interstate specifically to visit the Park. All of this he has achieved on what can accurately be described as a shoestring budget. “He has been amenable to passing his skills onto to others, including those who have undertaken Court-imposed community service. These people have invariably been welcomed and are better for their experience at the Park. The same can be said for the many volunteers over the years. “The more I delved into Ray’s background the more I understood the degree to which he had undertaken volunteer work outside of his efforts at the Grevillea Park.” HELP FROM MANY HANDS Ray’s helpers over the past three decades have not always been volunteers. “For many, many years I survived here with community service guys: young, old offenders. I’ve had them all. They’ve been invaluable over the years.” He’s also managed teams of young people on the latter-day equivalent of working for the dole. “That was fascinating because I was in my mid-twenties, dealing with this group of 20 teenagers. I got most of them working pretty hard. “I used to take them on excursions, I took them all to the National Gallery; 90 percent of these kids had never been inside a gallery before and it was fascinating, their reactions. “I reckon I’ve had 500, 600 people here over the years. “Occasionally some of them still come back and see me.” HOW THE PARK BEGAN “It originally started because I met [grevillea expert] Peter Olde. “I’d started collecting grevilleas, but then, being a nurseryman and propagator, the nursery started to fill up. “I needed somewhere to plant stuff, a guy in council gave me a map of Wollongong, showing me everything that was council owned. And this was just around the corner. So that’s how it all started.

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As simple as that.” “There was nothing here [in 1987]. “It was just the rear of the Bulli Showground, it’s always been council- and government-owned. People used to think it was the old Bulli Mine Site, but it’s not. “I’ve created it all. Did a lot of work. We’ve done three or four million dollars worth of work in kind over the years. At least, maybe more.” A dam, roads, bush walks and a charming historic chapel where tea and books are sold on open days are some of the park’s features. “On open days, we have plants for sale,” Ray says. “We charge people to come in, that’s how we make our money. We never had been funded by council in all the years we’ve been here, we pay a rent, community rent, about $700 a year, and we pay for all our water and stuff. We paid for all this infrastructure and it’s all funded by open days.” How many species in the park? “No idea!” Ray roars with laughter. “There might be a hundred species maybe or more.” Grevillea raybrownii isn’t one of them. His namesake is a rare find, listed as “vulnerable” – although known to occur in the Wingecarribee and Wollongong areas, it’s generally on ridge-tops. “Peter [Olde] did that [named the flower], really nice of him. We’ve been friends for 40 odd years, I’ve been out collecting with him, he wrote The Grevillea Book, we still go out and collect in the wild all the time.” WHY VOLUNTEER Volunteering is the Australian way, Ray says, crediting his mother with setting an example through her work. “She started a frail aged group, organised bus trips to take people shopping, to get the podiatrist round. In her 80s she was still running it, there were all these guys in their 70s and she was in her 80s.” Ray has been volunteering in various roles for 50 years, he says. “It’s just what you do. “If you’ve got some skills you use it, you do it. As simple as that. If it needs doing, you do it.” Ray was a founding member of the Bulli Black Diamond Museum and Heritage Centre, a member of the Australian Native Plants Society, Grevillea Study Group and park manager for the past 33 years at the Grevillea Park. “I was involved in the Rhodo park [the Illawarra Rhododendron Gardens at Mt Pleasant] for years, involved in heritage down here for years, I was on council’s heritage committee for 20 odd years. “The fortifications in Wollongong, I was co-involved in that very, very heavily. “I saved the little train-way bridge down at Belmore Basin. “I don’t do the museum any more… the lasses

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down there are doing a good job.” As a history lover, Ray also has vast collections of memorabilia, including scenic postcards of the area, wattle ephemera, poetry, contemporary Australian pottery and embroidery featuring Australian wildflowers. “One piece that’s really important to me: I had a 1920s Woman’s Day with a crocheted design with gum leaves on it. My mother crocheted this piece for me.” He also collects thousands of books (Australian children’s books, botanical books, valuable first editions he’s picked up at book fairs and op shops) Heritage – be it a 1970s concrete office or a beautiful old station building – is important to preserve. Ray is adamant – photographs are not enough to replace the architecture of the Illawarra lost to development. “If you don’t know where you come from, you’re not going to go anywhere in this world.” THE APPEAL OF THE OPEN DAYS The Grevillea Park is open on the first two weekends in May, July and September, attracting hundreds of people to each event. “A third of our clientele is out of area, it’s amazing where they come from. Quite a lot of people from interstate – last time we had people come up from Victoria. There’s usually a lot of good plants to buy. Books for sale. There’s a nice walk out the back, it’s a 20 minute walk. “Autumn there’s a different lot of flowers out. This year we’ll have quite a bit. “In winter, they really start to ramp up. Come spring, the blooms… Even I get impressed – I stand here sometimes and say ****ing hell. Not ****ing bad, is it? If you stand here and look back across there, it’s all in flower. If that doesn’t take your breath away, what will? What else do you want in this world?”

WANT TO VOLUNTEER? By Illawarra Grevillea Park volunteer John Elton

There is always a place for enthusiastic volunteers at the Park. We plant, prune, weed, water, build roads, paint, develop and clear tracks in the rainforest, prepare for Open Days and undertake enhancements to the Park. We even occasionally have a walk of the 40 acres of bushland. Some volunteers are plant enthusiasts, while others know very little but just love volunteering. Ray ensures that everyone is looked after and maintains enthusiasm amongst the volunteers. He is open to new ideas and always looks to make the Park the best that it can be for the public. SAVE THE DATES: 2020’s Open Days will be on May 2, 3, 9 & 10, July 4, 5, 11 & 12, and September 5, 6, 12 & 13. MORE INFO: Visit https://illawarragrevilleapark. com.au and follow the park on Facebook. 2515

WANT TO SUPPORT THE GARDEN? Go to an open day. “Just turn up and buy plants,” Ray says. Be warned: native grevilleas are not easy to grow. “No, a lot of them aren’t. It’s all down to experience, and knowing when and how much to prune them.” Look out for Ray somewhere in the background – unless it’s media to promote the park he’s content to avoid the limelight. “My biggest joy is I’ll stand in the background down there. You don’t know I’m there most of the time and I’ll answer questions if people want it. “The bigger thing is seeing people going out of there with a big smile, and give you a wave, and they’ve got no idea how you’ve achieved or what you’ve done here, but you know they’ve enjoyed it here. And that, to me, that’s what you want out of life, somebody saying thank you.” 2515

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Photo: David Roach

Right: (from left to right) CSA Committee Members Prue Watson, Alison Wiig and Bernie O’Donnell at the screening of Red Obsession at the Clifton School of Arts. Photo: Annette Wellings.

A visitor driving up the hill from the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge cannot fail to notice the two-storey Victorian landmark looking out across the Pacific. They may glimpse the sign on the front; Clifton School of Arts. What most visitors miss as they pass by are the words, “A Community Building since 1911.” A modest claim that hints at an extraordinary history. Built by striking coal miners, the building cost £100, which was raised by public subscription. In a village of rudimentary weatherboard cottages, it was a structure to be proud of. The building was furnished with a small reading library, an upright piano and rooms where the community could gather for meetings and classes. The miners had plans for a second stage but before work could commence on the rear section, the industrial dispute was settled and the men headed back to the pit. Not long after opening its doors, the little School of Arts was being buffeted by history. In 1915 army recruiters came up the coast road, gathering men to fight at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. The following decades saw the Great Depression and another World War, years of turmoil that caused wild fluctuations in the fortunes of Clifton. Throughout all this upheaval, a chain of committees somehow kept the Clifton School of Arts functioning. They repainted and repaired, they kept the lights on and the doors open so that locals could still meet their sweethearts at a School of Arts dance, have their receptions in one of the beautiful rooms overlooking the ocean. It was a place to vote, a place for art classes and music lessons, a place to shelter from storms and fires. By the 1980s the Clifton mine had closed down and the town’s population had dwindled. The landslides that had regularly blocked the main road would force the last hotel to shut its doors. The School of Arts too was on shaky ground. Blasted by

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decades of salt-laden winds, saturated with damp rising up from dodgy foundations, the building was showing its age. There was talk of demolition. In the broader Australian community, privatisation had become the buzz word. Our national banks, airlines and infrastructure were being sold off. The market had become the arbiter of what was valuable, of what should be saved and what should be let go. With its prominent position and magnificent views, it wasn’t long before developers began sniffing around the old School of Arts. It would make a great restaurant, a cute hotel, a spectacular weekender. While this was not what the original miners had intended, who could have blamed the members if, after almost a century of hard work, they had decided that selling the School of Arts was the only way to save it? But the members had no intention of letting this building slip through their fingers. Cobbling together funds from cake stalls, raffles, jumble sales and grants, they raised $200,000 and, with help from local tradies, they set about giving the building a new life, slowly transforming it from a crumbling ruin to the neat little School of Arts that now draws the eye of visitors as they come over the rise. Today the Clifton School of Arts is as vibrant as it has ever been with a growing membership, fully equipped gallery spaces and ambitious plans to complete the work that the miners started all those years ago. This past Australian summer has been a brutal one with capricious weather, deadly bush fires and floods. For many of us it has meant a growing uncertainty about our future, as well as a loss of trust in institutions that we thought would always be there for us. Modest buildings like the Clifton School of Arts are now more valuable than ever, not just because of their architectural heritage but because they represent an unbroken chain of love, a belief in the simple, transformational power of a community working together. 2515

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Lions (from left to right): Bob Ascoli, Howard Whitesmith, Tony Davis, Ken Murray, Brian Manahan, Brad Adams and Robert Groat.

SEASIDE FEST: BEHIND THE SCENES 2020 is the festival’s 30th anniversary. Since it began in 1993, $1.2m has been donated to locals and organisations in need. 2515 met some of the men behind the big event.

A project of the Austinmer-Thirroul Lions Club, the Seaside and Arts Festival is the event of the year in Thirroul. Each April, this huge celebration of the arts, food and fun attracts about 20,000 visitors to our little beachside town. It’s so big it requires a DA, road closures and big water-filled barriers that the local fireys help fill up. It’s all run by volunteers. And each year money raised goes back to the community. You’ve got to love it!

down to the shops, walk down to the theatre. It’s a fantastic place to live.” Howard joined the Lions in 2012, acting as their secretary for years, putting his experience of running high-tech businesses to good use. “I guess you would say I’m a reasonable organiser,” he said. Austinmer-Thirroul Lions is a club of 32 men (“average age is about 65”) and they are as well known for their barbecues as their tremendous fundraising. Each year the Seaside Festival raises a whopping $30,000 for those in need. 2020 is Howard Whitesmith’s first year as president Unlike some organisations, the charitable Lions of Austinmer-Thirroul Lions Club. Originally from have no admin costs – 100 percent of funds raised the village of Willingham in the UK, Howard are donated. “It’s going directly to local moved to Thirroul in 2010. organisations,” Howard said. “I came over as a widow in 2003 for the Rugby Money raised from past festival projects has gone World Cup as part of the Barmy Army. Right at the to Saving Chloe Saxby, Thirroul Men’s Shed, Thirroul end, the last game in Sydney, I met Yvonne, just by Surf Club, Austinmer-Thirroul RSL Sub-branch and chance. At the time she was living in Towradgi, Kids Fund. Last year $6000 went to the Seacliff and I ended up selling up everything in the UK and Community of Schools Leadership Project. moving over and we got married in 2005. Howard kindly told us more about the festival. “We moved here because I used to live in an English village and I always liked the village What’s happening on the Friday night? atmosphere, you know, two or three thousand The opening night is the big event, it’s pretty cool. people, couple of pubs and a church. Thirroul has Because it brings the art community in, it’s a great that. We’ve got cars, but we rarely use them. Walk way to kick-off. Christine Hill organises the list of

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artists. Throughout the festival, art is a big feature. We have a Lions peace poster competition, which will run with local primary schools. That gets the schools involved. What’s on over the weekend? On the Saturday we’ve organised stalls all through the town, music, dance, community school performances, all that is on in the village. And we run a big barbecue. This year we’re going to ask the Rural Fire Service to come round, participate and have collection buckets for them on the Saturday. On the Saturday you have local performers on King Street. Lots of mums and dads and grandparents come and watch their kids on the stage. We put artificial grass up that road to give it a park feel. Then on the Sunday everything moves down to the beach and the park. And we have food stalls and music. Sunday is a really good day. That’s a kid’s day. All the kids get down there and they’ve got the fun fair rides and they can pet the animals, ride ponies. The stage is full with local artists, dance companies like Thirroul Dance Academy. The festival is a really fun day out for the family. There’s something for most tastes, particularly if you’re interested in art, but there’s everything from bric-a-brac stalls to high-quality fashion stores in the streets. The Lions barbecue on Saturday: how many sausages is that going to involve? Oh, we must get rid of 30, 40 kilos of sausages. We get them locally, the providore usually gets them from the butchers up in the arcade. IGA support us tremendously with onions and drinks at cost and things like that. So they do a great job supporting us. How many people are you expecting? We get about 20,000 visitors over the weekend. Traffic crawls. If the weather’s good it’s a traffic jam from 9 in the morning till 5 at night. What’s your fundraising goal? This year it’s drought and bushfire relief. That’s the primary one, but we also support all the local Sea Cliff schools, all the primary schools and Bulli High. Through them we’re going to run a remedial swimming program. And you’ve got the fireys on Saturday at the barbecue… Yes, we’re buying the Austinmer Brigade some equipment this year as a club; a new special radio – they have two trucks but only one radio. Favourite part of the festival? I like the arts side of it because I’m a bit of a

WHERE TO SEE THE ART Pole Art: School children will be asked to submit an art piece that will be printed and wrapped around 20 telegraph poles along Lawrence Hargrave Drive. The Exhibition: Friday night opener at Thirroul Community Centre, for over 18s only, will showcase artists in various mediums. Winners will be announced. Meet The Artists: Under the marquees at the front of Thirroul Library. Peace Poster: Children’s work will be displayed on Saturday in the Library forecourt and Sunday at the Lions Project marquee. High School Art exhibition: Featuring works of high school students who are getting ready for the HSC or completed HSC last year. At the Thirroul Surf Club Hall on Sunday. Junior Photography Competition/Display: On display on Sunday in Thirroul Surf Club Hall foyer area. woodcarver; I will be exhibiting a piece this year as well [look out for a pear-tree cat carved in a beautiful natural grain, like tiger stripes. This piece is titled Bubbles, so named by Howard’s grandson]. I just like the atmosphere of it – it brings people together, gives the Lions an opportunity to gather a lot of money and redistribute it. And it’s a great fun weekend. n The 30th Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival runs from Friday to Sunday, April 3-5. Book soon, via Eventbrite.com.au, for the Friday night launch of the art show at Thirroul Library and Community Centre. $20 tickets will give you exclusive access to the art, first choice in sales and there will be entertainment, food by hospitality students at Bulli High and drinks served by Wollongong Tafe students. Visit www.thirroulfestival.com and follow the festival on Facebook and Instagram. 2515

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BLUE FUTURE FOR SOUTH COAST Indigenous knowledge will be at the heart of planning processes. From left: Dr Michelle Voyer, Paul Knight, CEO Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, and Hugh Forehead, Research Fellow, SMART Infrastructure Facility. Photo supplied

UOW’s Blue Economy project leader Dr Michelle Voyer reports. Over the last few months, our Blue Futures series has brought you stories of inspiring and innovative marine and coastal industries developing in our region. The University of Wollongong has been engaged for a couple of years now in thinking about how we might support an Illawarra and South Coast Blue Economy. Last year we developed an online ‘storymap’ which highlights some of the stories of innovation happening in our region. At the end of last year we secured funding for the next two years to progress research into ways in which we can develop a ‘blue future’ through the Global Challenges program. This two-year research project focuses on Blue Economy opportunities on the NSW South Coast. After our horrific summer, the Blue Futures program will also explore how coastal and marine industries can contribute to the recovery of South Coast communities devastated by fire. The central research question that underpins the Blue Futures keystone project is: How can ocean-based sustainable development be achieved in the context of coastal change? The program consists of three intersecting and interrelated research streams, and two crosscutting strategies. The anticipating and imagining stream traces the different kinds of relationships (social, cultural, artistic, and scientific) that exist within coastal and ocean environments. For example, part of the research will involve working with artists, writers and poets to create new work

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capturing how people feel about how our coasts and oceans (and ways we use them) are changing. The governing and guiding stream explores practical and tangible ways in which academia, Government and industry can work together to achieve the sustainability in our oceans. The developing and enabling stream explores how innovation and technology can create new economic opportunity from the oceans and address threats to ocean health. We will also focus on strengthening linkages across local maritime industries and the UOW. Indigenous Blue Futures is a cross-cutting strategy. We will trial a community-based model of sustainable development that places Indigenous knowledge and aspirations at the heart of planning processes. Project partners, the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, will take a lead role in design and overall guidance of this strategy, which will also feed into all other aspects of the project. Finally, the capacity development cross-cutting strategy will cultivate a Blue Futures capacity development and training program, including professional short courses and masters subjects. The recovery efforts on the South Coast will face many challenges. Yet there are also opportunities to make improvements, to strengthen and diversify the economic base of the region and to ensure the benefits are distributed evenly. We hope that the Blue Futures project can help expand the conversation, and also provide practical and tangible support for recovery efforts. I look forward to bringing you updates on our progress in the months ahead. Visit https://www.uow.edu.au/global-challenges/ sustaining-coastal-and-marine-zones/blue-futures/ 2515


The Thirroul Village Committee (TVC) is a group of local residents who share an interest in the future of Thirroul. The Committee first met in 1991. The first meeting was called by Don Gray OAM, a long time resident, who was concerned that the “Town was looking rather tatty”. In the early years, the main effort was in gardening and improving the appearance of Thirroul. The Committee planted over 2000 trees including Illawarra Flame Trees along Lawrence Hargrave Drive and established many of the small street-side gardens seen throughout Thirroul.  Action on ambience is still a priority with gardening and anti-graffiti groups are currently doing some excellent work. More recently, members of the TVC have been active in keeping an eye on proposed Development Applications (DAs) in the Thirroul area to ensure compliance with planning controls. The TVC is aware of the importance of maintaining the village feel in Thirroul. The TVC established the annual Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival, then handed over its management to the Thirroul/Austinmer Lions Club. The TVC maintains interest in the Seaside and Arts Festival and will have a stall at the 2020 Festival. We hope that residents will drop by the stall on Saturday, 4 April to chat with TVC members and find out more about TVC activities. To find out more about the TVC, simply go to the website, www.thirroulvillage.com. The next TVC meeting is to be held on Sunday 26 April at 4pm at the Thirroul Railway Institute Preservation Society (TRIPS Hall) in Railway Parade, Thirroul. We welcome new members to come and join us. 2515

Real estate update BY IAN PEPPER CAN YOU STILL BUY PROPERTY INSIDE SELF MANAGED SUPER? There was thought to be a boom in self managed superannuation funds (SMSF) borrowing to buy investment properties when the ATO relaxed laws relating to this in 2007. There was some activity and a number of lenders competing for the business but it never really reached a significant portion of the market. Nowadays there is only a few lenders offering SMSF loans and their rates and fees are higher than traditional loans. However, the option is still available for those looking to diversify their super and gear into a residential investment property. There can be great tax advantages too. But it is recommended to seek independent advice on the matter before entering into any arrangements.

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MARCH / 2515 / 27


Wollongong is to host the world premiere of Elena Kats-Chernin’s work Cinque Forme d’Amore, commissioned by an Austinmer resident to celebrate the life of her late husband.

CINQUE FORME D’AMORE (Five Kinds of Love) is a five-movement piece for string orchestra by Elena Kats-Chernin that will be premiered by Steel City Strings on 4 April. It was commissioned by Austinmer resident Sue Kirby in memory of her late husband, Jack Goldring. Jack was the Foundation Dean of Law at Wollongong University. As a passionate fighter for social justice, his aim was for the student population to reflect the local community so he advocated for law students of Aboriginal and non-English speaking backgrounds. He ended his career as a judge of the District Court of NSW, which cemented his deep belief that social disadvantage has an enormous impact on shaping lives. Sue explains why she commissioned this music: “Jack was a great lover of music and an early supporter of Steel City Strings. He and I always enjoyed and admired Elena Kats-Chernin’s work, particularly Russian Rag (also known to listeners of Phillip Adams as the Dance of the Drunken Wombats). What better way to celebrate his life than by commissioning Elena to compose a piece in his memory? It’s been a joy watching Elena develop the five movements of Cinque Forme d’Amore. I hope that Cinque Forme will give as much pleasure to music lovers as it has to me.” The process of development has been fascinating, from the first idea to meetings to define the commission and for Elena to learn about Jack. Sue says reviewing his life and telling stories to explain the man to Elena and the resulting music have made Jack come back to her. Elena came up with brief musical sketches played and then developed on the piano with Sue present. Jack and

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Sue originally met in dance classes as young people, eventually becoming life partners in their middle years; this story inspired Elena to use dance rhythms in two of the movements. As the sketches were further developed, Sue received recordings with the piano score for each. Elena then arranged the orchestration for strings and the final score was received before Christmas. Recently Elena work-shopped the piece with key players from the orchestra to explain her musical vision and both she and the musicians made suggestions to refine the score. This stage was thrilling for Sue, who feels that Jack’s complex nature has been captured perfectly in the music. Now the orchestra is busy rehearsing this marvellous new work with Elena. THE COMPOSER IS IN THE ROOM, SATURDAY 4 APRIL 7.30PM WOLLONGONG TOWN HALL Steel City Strings will premiere Cinque Forme d’Amore in an all-Australian program with the composer introducing her work. • Individual tickets: www.wollongongtownhall.com.au • Enquiries: 0467 869 478 or email steelcitystrings@gmail.com • Subscription package: www.steelcitystrings.com.au

n The author of this article, Lyndall Fowler, is a retired community health professional and a volunteer for the orchestra. 2515 Photos: Elena Kats-Chernin at work (photo by Chris Donaldson) and (inset) with Austinmer’s Sue Kirby.


Book soon for these three events, presented by the Illawarra Woodwork School, organisers of the annual Illawarra Festival of Wood. WOODCARVING OF A NETZUKE (JAPANESE SCULPTURAL OBJECT) Three-day workshop with specialist Tutor Hape Kiddle, who will travel to the area to share the fine skills involved in forming this unique Japanese design. April 24-26, 9am-4pm; $780pp. Take home your own personally carved Netzuke to share with the world. GREENWOOD STOOLMAKING Two-day weekend workshop presented by the ‘Wood Master’ Stuart Montague and Ed Oliver from Illawarra Woodwork School and set in the serene natural surrounds of Denbigh Heritage Farm, Cobbitty, Camden. May Sat 9th & Sun 10th, 9am-4pm, $400 including morning tea & lunch, all tools and your own Greenwood Stool to take home and enjoy. SPOON CARVING June – Sat 27th & 28th, presented by popular host Carol Russell, whose workshops sell out all over Australia. 9.30am-4.30pm, location and cost to be announced. Includes morning tea & lunch, all tools and your own personal wood carved spoon take home and cherish.

n Inquiries to sdmontague62@gmail.com Book online: https://woodworkschool.com/ workshops/ 2515

Greenwood Stool Makers: Stuart Montague (right) and Ed Oliver at the Illawarra Woodwork School. Photo: Unicorn Studios


AT THIRROUL LIBRARY, CALL (02) 4227 8191 MUSIC IN THE LIBRARY Sat 7 March 11am-noon, with Wollongong Conservatorium musicians. • RAGE Thurs 6 & 20 Feb 3.30pm. Informal get together to share books, games, music, movies, magazines, audio books, apps, craft and food! • CODE CLUB Mon 2 March, 3.30pm – bookings required via Eventbrite. • LEGO CLUB Wed 11 & 25 March at 4pm. Drop in to create. For 5 -12 years. • RAGE Thursday 5 & 19 March, 3.30pm. Get together to share books, games, music, movies, magazines, audio books, apps, craft and food! • STORYTIME & CRAFT. Every Friday 10am, stories and craft. No bookings required. • BORN TO READ Every Friday 11am. Drop-in, No bookings required. • RAINBOW STORYTIME Saturday 28 March: 10am. Miss Roxy is back! Join her for an extra-special storytime filled with rhymes, games and songs. • COLOUR, COFFEE, CALMER. Wed 4& 18 March 9.30-12 noon. No bookings required. • KNIT, STITCH, YARN. Wed 4 March 10am-noon. Drop In. • TECH HELP Please call library staff on (02) 4227 8191 to arrange a time. • THIRROUL POETRY CLUB 3rd Tuesday of the month at 4pm. Poets share work and receive feedback in a friendly space. No expertise required, just a passion for poetry. • TRAIN STATION VISIT Come meet your local Librarian at Thirroul Train station. We will be there between 7-9am Wednesday 4th March to talk you about all the amazing services you can find at your local library. You may even be able to pick up a free magazine or book for your journey. • GET HSC READY! Wednesday 18 March The Craft of Writing with Kate Bradley. 5-6.30pm. Join us at the Library for an engaging English workshop full of study advice and HSC survival tips. We’ll help you make your best study year. Open to Year 12 Students. Bookings Essential. ILLAWARRA BRIDGE ASSOC NORTHERN DIV (IBAND) Monday nights (except the 1st Monday of the month): 6.45 for a 7pm start. Partner needed. Finishing time approx. 10.30pm. • Wednesday nights: 6.45 for a 7pm start. Partner needed. Finishing time approx. 10.30pm. • Friday afternoons: 12.45pm for a 1pm start. No partner needed. Finishing time approx. 4.30pm. • The cost: $5 per session; tea, coffee and biscuits supplied. All sessions are duplicate bridge and are held at the TRIPS hall, western side of Thirroul Railway Station. www.illawarra.bridgeaustralia.org 2515

MARCH / 2515 / 29

Left: An Australian native dung beetle, Onthophagus pentacanthus. Photo: Max Beatson, Australian Museum. Below: Matthewsius illawarrensis, a 5mm flightless dung beetle found in Illawarra rainforests. Photo: Mike Burleigh, Australian Museum.

BEETLING ABOUT With entomologist Dr Chris Reid. This month: A Dirty Story.

This month’s story is about poo, so you might want to wait until you’ve finished your food before reading on. Poo is a consolidated lump of nicely predigested nutrient that gets dumped in the environment. It’s a freebie, so it isn’t wasted – plenty of insects tuck into it. Flies love it – bacterial soup for the adults to slurp up (where did that fly come from that just landed on your salad?) and a nice wet home for their legless maggots. But flies only dominate poo in winter. In summer there’s one particular group that specialises in feeding on poo and that’s the dung beetles, known in the trade as dungies. Unlike flies, dungies don’t just passively sit in the poo – they bury it in the soil so that nobody else gets at it. And in that buried lump they lay an egg, so the larva is safely tucked away with a ready meal on hand. In Australia the famous dung beetles are the ones brought from Europe, Africa and America by CSIRO to bury cow poo. By the 1960s the outback was being overwhelmed by the stuff because it wasn’t of interest to our native dungies. 28 million cows producing 10 poos per day. The smell of cow was too foreign (remember that hoofed animals are not native here), so cow poo just accumulated and bushflies bred in it too. Overall the newbies have done the trick, and we have gained 25 exotics in the Australian fauna.

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Unfortunately, the success of that project and associated publicity has led to a common misconception that there are no native species. And what of the recalcitrant Australians? They are much more interesting. There are many native dungies, about 550 species, and most of them love poo too, just not cow. In general the natives are nocturnal and live in either forest or open woodland, with the forest favouring species in eucalypt forest (which burns) or rainforest (which doesn’t). The open woodland species tend to be widespread and are all fully winged. In the dry outback they have to be quick – once the poo dries out they can’t make use of it. So some species have short-cutted this problem and evolved pincer-like claws for gripping fur. They hang on to the hairs around the backsides of roos and wait for ... But that’s probably enough detail. In contrast, many of the rainforest species are flightless and confined to these dark and damp worlds. So what is the relevance of these fascinating animals to fire and drought? (I hear you say). Well, very few insects can be accurately surveyed. Butterflies don’t like bad weather, bees fly to tree tops, ants are too numerous. But stick a poo in a trap and all the local dungies will flock to it. It only takes one night. So dung beetles, with their faithful adherence to particular habitats, make the ideal group for monitoring the effects of drought and fire on insects. Which is hopefully what I’ll be doing fairly soon. Share your stories or ask Chris a question. Email editor@2515mag.com.au. 2515

— FLEDGELING — By Louise Charman-James

Louise Charman-James is a writer, singer, meditation teacher and therapist based in Helensburgh. She enjoys expressing herself through prose, poetry and song, as well as supporting others to access their own authentic self-expression and creativity through her business, Soul Signature. Louise is currently working on her first novel. 2515

Feather, muscle, bone. The architecture of flight Fully formed Ready for takeoff Yet hesitant. The Edge. Looming Forbidding Daunting. What lies beyond? A world Of terrifying majesty Enormous Unknown Treacherous. Intriguing Alluring Mysterious. Beckoning.

POET’S CORNER Compiled by Karen Lane

A loving nudge A push and pull Teetering Peering Stretching Trusting Surrendering. Spirit soaring Ego roaring Falling Flailing Flapping. Flying.

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Janice Creenaune meets Cassandra Cahill, who after a career as a hair-dresser, is taking a well-deserved gap year. Most recently she organised 170 women for a sewing bee to help animal bushfire victims. Some photos supplied. At age 50, Cassandra Cahill is taking a new course in her life. A long-time hairdresser in Austinmer and resident of northern Illawarra, she wanted to help the bushfire victims. Cassandra and her friend Noemie were talking about possible actions and realised that the wildlife were being dramatically affected by the fires and that they could help. She did some research, through Wildlife Rescue South Coast, found a need first, and then some easy sewing patterns. She then organised to photocopy them for use. “I saw a need to support the work of Wildlife Rescue South Coast and I simply worked towards making it happen,” Cassandra said. “Bat wraps (flying foxes) and joey pouches were most needed and I wanted it simple to ensure everybody was accommodated. I then rang Thirroul Bowling Club for a venue and hoping for about 30 women we asked for a few hours. A call was put out on Facebook and it went from there. “I was hoping for about 30 women and 170 turned up (and two young sons). I couldn’t believe it. With only two days to organise, 170, I still can’t really believe it myself, and I was there. It was an amazing day. “The Club was most accommodating, offered the auditorium for a morning for no fee, and left us to it. With the amazing turn-out we spilled over into another room, ran out of power cords and power sockets. But it didn’t matter, the productivity was amazing. We were grateful to the Club. “On the day we had many advanced stitchers and some non-stitchers, and the whole spectrum between, but we all worked together. “We had 55 machines going non-stop, others were cutting, some folding. I was amazed at the camaraderie and team-building. These amazing women did it all themselves. I was just the conduit for the event really.” The bat wraps have a little pillow for the baby flying foxes, a type of soft landing and then wraps around like a wing for security. “I guess it offers security and a real nurturing feel for them. For the joeys, they are placed in a wrap (like a pouch) and snuggle in. “We made 600 items in total and I know many women have kept sewing. The need is still there. Wildlife Rescue South Coast is still calling for

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supplies. We delivered them all with enormous pride to a base at Albion Park,” Cassandra said. Bulli Fruit Barn also donated 12 boxes of sweet potatoes for delivery and one local doctor’s daughter donated surgical supplies. “It was an amazing day quite apart from the productivity, the camaraderie was amazing, the support for each other, a real community feel. We were all happy to be doing something to help and it had really sprang up from nothing to make solid friendships and a real community feel. “We even had a Finnish newspaper (Tilaa Helsingin Sanomat) turn up to cover the event. They had been in Sydney to cover the fires and ventured to the South Coast and covered our event as well.” There is a possibility for another sewing bee in the near future. “Maybe it might be snake bags next or hanging joey pouches”. “At one stage I just stood there and thought ‘Wow’, so many people that care and so many people with common interests, who are passionate about making a difference and who have developed quality skills to use. Amazing really.” Cassandra said she learned many things on the day, including the fact that “any of us could do anything. We just have to put it out there.” n Writer Janice Creenaune is a volunteer for the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation Australia, helping to raise awareness. For more info, email janicecreenaune@gmail.com 2515

Photos supplied


Lisette Tatnell, a founder of the Wollongong Network Helping South Coast Wildlife group on Facebook, reports on action taken in February. Kate Papierniak’s fire-resistant house survived the fires –sadly, many of her neighbours were not so lucky. Fire devastated her small town and the surrounding bushland. Like most people, Kate had never fed wildlife, however, the scale of the fires moved her to action. She created the Facebook page Balmoral Wildlife Group in an attempt to coordinate with other people who are feeding wildlife in the area. Initially, she was funding the food for wildlife by herself, but we are delivering food to her on a regular basis from several sources, including donation trolleys at supermarkets. These were organised by Jenni Keers. Priscilla Nielson created the signage at these drop points. People can donate fruit and veg into the trolleys. The food is collected every couple of days. Another generous group providing food for the Wollongong Network to distribute is Lisa Miller from All Sustainable Futures. She usually collects food that would otherwise go to waste and sends it to people in need. She has kindly increased her food collections to ensure the wildlife also get some food and allows us use of her refrigerated trailer. Recently we were also given 400kg of apples from an apple grower in Bilpin called Lilly. Despite doing it tough herself, she wanted to donate her unsellable apples to help wildlife. This massive delivery of apples was organised and transported by Raye in Helensburgh. Recently, Symbio Wildlife Park generously created an account at Woonona Pet and Produce. This donation was organised by Katrina Skellern and it will enable the Wollongong Network to send

things like oaten hay, pellets and bird seed to wildlife carers and food/water groups. People can donate into this account. There is also a fundraiser at Thirroul Medical Practice, organised by Michelle Lilliendal, which has resulted in two generous loads of food going to Conjola. On their wish-list are habitat boxes and a camera to monitor wildlife that visit stations. In the meantime, they utilise information like tracks and droppings to work out who has been visiting. They utilise PVC pipes to dispense the water; the top of the station provides water for insects. These stations have to be cleaned regularly for hygiene reasons so it is a daily job. Kate uses various foods to feed the wildlife in accordance with government guidelines. She says wombats are eating the small amount of grass sprouting after the rain, however, tree-dwelling fruit-and-seed eaters have very little to eat. 2515

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bladder. Kevin is making a good recovery, but he is still hopping around on three legs. One of the daily challenges of working with With Dr Matt O’Donnell. animals is that they cannot talk and don’t always This month: Expect the Unexpected. show us what is wrong. We are constantly searching for subtle cues and using additional tests to uncover what is not obvious or what they don’t I have been doing this job now for 28 years and show us. Most animals have an innate instinct not I am still regularly surprised by what we find in the to look weak or unwell; otherwise they may be patients who present to us. I guess that is why I still targeted by predators or competitors. find the job interesting and engaging. For dogs, the drive to stay actively engaged with I recently had the pleasure of meeting Kevin, a their social unit is also strong as that is where they delightful, energetic “Schoodle” who had injured find safety, companionship and help with all the himself and was hopping around on three legs. necessities of life. Unless the disease or injury is Our lovely vet Lisa had diagnosed a cruciate injury severe, we may not initially see it. in his knee and he was booked in for me to do the Apart from his knee Kevin is recovering well. surgery. As part of the investigation to confirm the But poor Kevin will have to put up with his bung diagnosis, we always take x-rays even though in leg until he is fully recovered from his bladder this case the diagnosis seemed quite obvious. stones and infection, then we can do his knee Sure enough, the x-ray of his knee supported our surgery. In the meantime he has reinforced for us diagnosis of a cranial cruciate injury and no other the old saying: remember to expect the abnormalities were seen in his leg. Now, because unexpected. Kevin’s legs are not very long and he is quite a small n Northern Illawarra Veterinary Hospital is at dog, we managed to have a portion of his belly in 332 Princes Highway, Bulli. Phone 4238 8575. 2515 the x-ray picture. You can imagine our surprise when we noticed multiple small stones visible in his bladder! This was also a big surprise to Kevin’s PIPPY NEEDS A HOME! human companions, who were none the wiser to This is Pippy the bunny. She his additional predicament. is available for adoption, We examined his urine under a microscope and with her best friend Poppy. discovered traces of blood and an infection. As they are so bonded they Bladder stones in male dogs can cause a sudden can not be separated and crisis if they block up the water works, which will must be homed together. If lead to a painful death if not unblocked. Affected you would like two friendly, dogs will become miserable, be constantly cuddly, female rabbits, straining, stop eating, start vomiting, then spiral please contact us at CCAR. into acute renal failure and shock. So we had to shelve the knee surgery as his bladder stones were EMAIL Julie-ann on ccarpetrehoming@tpg.com.au or a priority. We surgically removed the bladder Helensburgh’s Country Companion Animal Rescue. stones from a very thickened and angry-looking

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SCARF is looking for a new HQ and the Illawarra charity needs the public’s help to find a new location. The region’s leading charity, which provides support to people from refugee backgrounds settling in the Illawarra, needs a new location by May due to its current CBD tenancy at the Community Gateway Hub coming to an end. SCARF is taking inspiration from the very community it serves and is looking at the move as an opportunity for a new beginning. SCARF CEO Pippa Rendel said the organisation is hopeful a centrally located site, equipped with a kitchen, will become available. She said the charity would love to hear from any like-minded groups who might have a hot tip or be keen to share space. “We’re being pragmatic about the move,” she said. “We’re mindful of being flexible and keeping costs low.” SCARF is looking for a base from which to run a range of community-building events, including women’s only events, coffee and conversation mornings, children’s holiday programs, homework clubs and a community drop-in centre. While currently based in Wollongong, the charity is considering all locations in an effort to keep its options open. It would also like to hear

SCARF CEO Pippa Rendel said the organisation is looking for a centrally-located site, equipped with a kitchen.

from larger corporate organisations that may be able to help with any element of the relocation. “The Illawarra has a history of generosity in welcoming new community members to the area and we’re hopeful that generosity will extend to us as a charity seeking a new premises, too,” Ms Rendel said. 2515


dysfunctional relationships leaves us in an uncomfortable state. The emotions force us to evaluate whether the rewards are worth the disrespect. Knowing our own contribution to With Terri Ayliffe. This month: the flawed relationships gives us the opportunity to treatment we tolerate and why. change our behaviour and we do so knowing it will alter the relationship. Some of us will shift our I’m sure we’ve all wondered why we have people in behaviour for our own benefit. Others will remain our lives who disrespect us. Why do we put up with passive, a fear of change and responsibility holding it? We get something out of these relationships, them in their behavioural pattern. They maintain even though they leave us with feelings of the equilibrium, depriving themselves of power and discontent. We may blame others for their the opportunity to flourish. treatment of us, but the responsibility lies with us. Self-reflection and the prospect of change can be It takes honest self-reflection to understand the confronting. It is easier to see faults in others than dysfunctional relationships in our lives. The to understanding of our contribution to our pain. question we need to ask ourselves is: what are we However, altering behaviours that contribute to gaining by maintaining these connections? damaging relationships comes with substantial If I’m in a relationship with a dominant person, rewards. I don’t have to make decisions, nor do I need to It isn’t easy, but nothing that helps us to grow is. take responsibility for my life. I also have someone I’m here if you are ready to address your role in to blame if things go wrong. Being passive rewards relationships that aren’t working for you. me, and I continue to cultivate this relationship for n Read more at https://lifeology.blog or get in touch with this reason. Terri: Terriayliffe@gmail.com or 0431 488 914 2515 Identifying and accepting our contribution to

MARCH / 2515 / 35

Photo: Unicorn Studios

WELCOME, DR KHANNA Meet Thirroul’s new GP, Dr Udit Khanna.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. I have been working as a doctor in the Illawarra for 10 years. I moved to Thirroul in October 2019. I am getting to know the community and already enjoy my work here. My passion is to share my knowledge and wisdom with regards to helping patients make healthier lifestyle choices. I like swimming, going for walks in nature, reading, cooking.

patients could develop other issues in the future. These issues can appear unrelated on the surface, but happen to cluster together in their presentation suggesting a common cause. My patients are often pleasantly surprised that treating one cause can heal many different diseases/symptoms. Holistic medicine at the Thirroul Holistic Medical Centre is not just ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ medicine. I use mainstream medicine as part of the “holistic” (i.e. encompassing all modalities) treatment approach. What brought you to Thirroul? This allows me to use a wider range of treatment I used to travel with friends and family along the coast. I would often get responses back from people approaches together. I met, telling me that it will be nice if I was local. I intuitively always had this vision about How are you different to a regular GP? working in a beautiful space of my own and I look for clues in patients’ history from a helping and guiding people towards achieving their non-judgemental place. I map their personal health goals. time-line and look at the interactions between Last year I found this small shop in Thirroul genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can waiting for me and perfect for my purpose, and influence long-term health and complex chronic here I am in Thirroul. diseases. My goal is to identify factors that shifts a person’s health from illness to well-being. You take a “holistic approach” to medicine. What else is part of your practice? Please explain what this means. Clinical Hypnotherapy, Reiki Healing, Salt therapy, I look for underlying factors that cause the Kinesiology. symptom or disease. By the time disease manifests in our body, there have often been many setbacks on our system. When the body can take What’s your no.1 health tip for readers? no more, the system becomes overwhelmed. Our body talks to us through the language of Nothing has happened in isolation. symptoms. “The last straw” was probably not the only cause It is important to listen to your body and nurture of the symptom/disease. it daily on a deeper level. If I only treat the symptom, I have not This allows for a more joyful and healthy way necessarily changed what led to disease onset and of living. 2515

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Photo: Britta de Laat by Dida Sundeet

Interview by Lara McCabe

Upholstery is an aged trade and unfortunately one that has been diminishing due to modern consumerism. But there is something really exciting happening with new generations of young upholsterers, including in the Illawarra. Perhaps it’s a reflection of our community engagement with environmental issues. I chatted to Britta de Laat, whose Coledalelocated upholstery, restoration and vintage furniture business called “dumped & ditched” goes by the motto “we all deserve a second chance”. What do you love about furniture upholstery and restoration? While so many of us are looking towards the next best thing, I enjoy carefully reviving the relics consumerism tells us to leave behind, transforming discarded pieces of furniture into true gems. Prior to founding dumped & ditched, I worked as a set decorator in the film industry. Basically, I was giving characters an identity through transforming an empty space into one full of stories. Now, through dumped & ditched my vision, my sense of aesthetics and storytelling all come together. I enjoy the slower pace of restoration. Working with my hands, manipulating materials into shape gives me immense satisfaction.

mattresses.) Together with our customers we create unique vintage pieces of furniture, keepsakes for future generations. Sustainability and conscious consumerism are definitely topics that fuel me and my work; as well as buy local, consume consciously and ethically. You could say sustainability is the message and design is the language I choose to express those ideas.  

You have some amazing photography on your website. The photographs are a continuation of my work as an artist and art director. When I relocated to Coledale I found local photography artist Dida Sundeet, who shares my passion for vintage and sustainability. We photograph restored furniture pieces in derelict urban settings, local places that Do you think the skill of upholstery differs once held a greater significance in the community, much from the past to today? but that have long had their need surpassed and Yes and no. Certainly factory settings, with huge now face decay. I want the observer to wonder why machines, fabric laser cutters and the like, have anybody would leave such a piece of furniture out simplified and sped up work processes. As an on the curb. upholsterer, one needs to know both modern and traditional skill-sets – a lot is still manual work.    What else is happening with dumped&ditched? What makes furniture restoration unique is the Last year, I held an introductory workshop on attention to detail that must go into honouring the up-cycling with Rumpus and we will run more original craft. Remaining true to the authenticity of hands-on workshops to teach DIY enthusiasts the original while introducing a modern element is about wood-restoration, upholstery and sewing at the heart of my work. Craftsmanship, simply put, techniques. is the opposite of the industrialised conveyor belt. We’re also stockists for several textile companies Craftsmanship is the quality that comes from and are in the process of revamping our shop to creating with passion, care and attention to detail. showcase those as well as some fabulous furniture care products.  What fuels your passion and energy in your business? There are openings for work placements for talented and committed people who would love to Design or sustainability? Our concept is simple: bring your piece of furniture learn more about upholstery and wood restoration.  or purchase one from us, together we will take you n Follow dumped & ditched on Facebook & through textile options as well as preferred comfort Instagram. Visit www.dumpedandditched.com to preferences (think different levels of density like in see furniture given a second chance to shine! 2515

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this heat flow is reversed with thermal energy transferred from the building into the ground. The building’s green walls and roof produce oxygen and improve air quality inside and out, while rainwater is captured for use in the building. Blackwater, which in other buildings is exported as a toxic sludge into the community’s sewer, is treated on-site using purely natural processes through reed and absorption beds in the gardens. And the gardens are important: a Living Building needs to provide food for its occupants The University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings and community, and the LBC requires a certain Research Centre is a research powerhouse and the first building in Australia to be certified under the Living Building fraction of the development site to be devoted to urban agriculture. The SBRC researchers tend to Challenge (LBC) framework for sustainable, regenerative our gardens and grow vegetables for all to use. buildings. The centre’s director, Senior Professor Paul Tackling Living Building certification required Cooper, explains what a Living Building is. tracking of every single item used in constructing the building. All building ingredients had to be The International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) documented and there was a red list of materials Living Building Challenge (LBC) is widely banned because of negative health impacts. recognised as the world’s most rigorous Carbon emissions caused by transporting performance standard for buildings – a green construction materials to site was reduced through building certification program based on a a sourcing restriction, with major steel and regenerative, or restorative, design framework. concrete components coming from within a 500km The Institute uses the metaphor of a flower to radius. A carbon offset was also purchased to embody its mission, meaning that ideally every compensate for the overall embodied emissions building should function as cleanly and efficiently from the construction of the building. as a flower. We used many local and recycled materials, so if Since the SBRC building was completed in 2013, you wander around the building you’ll see reused we have been on a quest to validate it as a ‘Living bricks, recycled power poles and railway line. Building’, achieving certification late last year. I believe the SBRC Building has set a new Just like a living flower or tree, the SBRC sustainability benchmark in Australia – arguably Building harvests solar energy through its this is the most significant advance since the CH2 160-kilowatt photovoltaic array on the roof, Building in Melbourne was announced as the first making it a net-positive energy building. What little energy is imported from the grid is more than 6-Star Green Star building 13 years ago. Its creation was a true team effort, from offset by the export of clean renewable energy back inception to certification, with experts from a to the grid. The building gives more than it takes. To continue the tree theme, the building also has range of fields contributing. It represents a big step towards the goal of creating buildings that provide a (thermal) root system that extends 90 metres under the gardens where water circulates through a an overall benefit to our society and our fragile biosphere, not a burden – and it has brought my ground source heat exchanger. In winter, heat is own Living Building dream into reality. 2515 drawn up to warm the building and in summer,

UOW’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre is the first building in Australia to be certified under the Living Building Challenge.

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Photos: UOW


GREAT TURN-OUT AT FAMILY BIKE DAY Thanks to the Make-Do team.

Bulli’s Make-Do Library of Things hosted more than 150 cyclists in its first ‘Make-Do and Ride’ Family Bike day event on Saturday, February 15, which culminated in a mass ride from the old Bulli Bowling Club greens to the beach. Cyclists of all ages participated in free bicycle maintenance classes, while kids decorated their bikes at a “Pimp my ride” stall and rode an obstacle course set up by organisers from Make-Do and Bike Wollongong, a local cyclist advocacy group. Rain held off for the whole event, where curious tyre kickers were able to test-ride a range of electric cargo bikes and The Rising Tide Street band played a wonderful set. “The whole message for the day is simply, ‘Ride your Bikes’,” organiser Andrea Persico told the crowd at the end of the day. “It’s thrilling to have so many kids spending the whole afternoon decorating and riding their bikes, and some grown-ups considering bikes for transport. “It’s great to see the big smiles and hear all the bells ringing as we set off on the ride as a big group,” said Bike Wollongong organiser Matt Loft. “It was a great turn-out, and we can’t wait to do it again.” 2515

MARCH / 2515 / 39






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Local BMX competitor Kai Sakakibara suffered a severe head injury during a World Cup event, his sister Saya reports. Kai was involved in a serious crash on Saturday, February 8, at the recent World Cup in Bathurst. Weather forecasts were not looking great for the competition and the officials of the event had to make some tough decisions which included the race being run on the five-metre start hill instead of the eight-metre (the Olympic Standard) due to high winds and dangerous gusts. After Kai’s crash, all racing was stopped, postponed, then eventually cancelled. Kai was then airlifted to Canberra Hospital in a critical condition. Kai suffered a severe head injury where he required assistance with his breathing at the track, then immediately put into ICU (Intensive Care Unit) upon arrival at the hospital. Now, several days after the accident, Kai is under heavy sedation after an operation on the Sunday morning which helped to relieve pressure on his brain. We are expecting that he will be in this coma for at least the next couple of weeks. I am currently in Canberra right now with my parents staying in accommodation that is only a 10 minute walk from the hospital. We can easily go

44­ / 2515­/ MARCH

and see Kai which has been nice and always comforting. We are coping by keeping busy and trying to stick to our usual routine. We understand the road ahead will be a long and difficult one. We really would like to thank you for your messages, love and support so far. And we definitely need your support going forward. Kai’s BMX career will be put on hold for now, as our main focus is on his long term rehabilitation. However, I will continue the rest of the World Cup season and chase my Olympic campaign. I know Kai wouldn’t want me to stop and it will be in his honour that I ride and compete for Team Sakakibara. I will ensure to keep you updated as supporters of Kai and I, but we are currently waiting to see how things progress. For now, we would just appreciate all of your love and your positive energy to be sent his way. He’s a fighter, that much we know for sure. Lots of love to everyone sending it to us, Saya. #KaiFight77. (Note: as this issue went to press, Kai remained in a medically-induced coma and doctors were happy with his progress.) 2515


Scarborough Boardrider Ian Pepper reports on February’s pointscore at Sharkeys Beach. Rain failed to spoil our first pointscore of the year, which was held on February 2 at Sharkeys Beach with a massive turn-out in all divisions. In total, 111 athletes surfed in the senior divisions while 22 micro grommets under the age of 12 also took on the haphazard conditions. The day had all types of weather – sunshine and wind coming and going and then an afternoon thunderstorm with heavy rain during the finals – and it all created a challenging day for the organisers. However, we persevered to cap off a great day of surfing by all. The open men’s division saw our champion Darcy De Clouett from 2017 and 2018 return to form and win his way through his heats to take out the final with some fine progressive surfing. Rod Morgan, our champ from 2019, was also there to challenge Darcy, finishing second and open division debutant Will Clarke took out third. The open women’s division was a straight final with a bunch of new girls in the division progressing up from the junior girls. However,

it was Talani Wilson who took the win with her experience, local knowledge and power-surfing on display. Second and third were new-comers to the division with Zara Ginn in second and Shaye Shipton in third. The club’s commitment to more coaching events this year kicked off on Sunday, 16 February at Coledale Beach. There were sessions of morning training for the 18 and under and Girls divisions and afternoon tag-team training for our surftag competitors. The surf was excellent all day and many had not experienced any coaching previously so enjoyed receiving the feedback. Big thanks to our team coach Nic Squiers for supporting the day, and the girls’ coordinators, Raylee Golding and Talina Wilson. And, finally, good luck to our five surftag teams who were competing in the 2020 Surftag Australian Series Qualifier at Stanwell Park Beach on 22-23 February as this issue went to press. 2515

A grade winners: Darcy De Clouett won February’s open men’s division, Rod Morgan came second and Will Clarke took out third.

MARCH / 2515 / 45

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26 1008 11 1041 1.94 0922 1.880.32 1.750357 0257 1.51 0114 1.39 0325 0.46 0.5111 0148 0034 0.53 TU 1717 0.08 SA 1609 0.17 SU 1651 0.28 2321 1.47 2204 1.30 2245 1.26 0926 0.52 0726 0.61 0952 1.96 1018 1.65 1.69 0807 0704 1.73 1518 1.23 1322 1.25 1633 0.08 0.33 0509 0.30 0336 0.40 0415 0.491647 0.32 1440 1351 0.27 SU MO MO TU SU SA 120.52 1008 1.92 27 1044 1.71 12 1130 1.87 2120 1926 0.57 1.43 1.36 1.29 SU2233 2042 1952 1.33 0.312248 0.13 1655 0.13 WE 1802 MO 1725

0433 0.47 0416 0.45 0448 0.25 on 150420 0406 0.23 March0.45 2020. 26 260340 11 0304 26 1020 1051 0314 1.60 11 1026 1052 1.480351 1.32 1023 1.88 0224 1.58 0213 1.481.52 0.21 0.26 0.46 0117 1.50 0146 0.50 1.50 0.55 0109 0.33

0340 16 1012 10804 10 0958 10 0933 25 31 22 22 16 10 7 1 25 22 16 0917 7 0.51ENTER 0.49 0913 0.59 0747 1.62 1.93 1.56 0.59 1.50 1.60 0722 1.84 0951 AT 25 0939 1.19 0.32 1512 1605 1.16 0.09 1400 1511 1607 1.11 0.38 1627 1558 1523 1.15 2254 1.32

2322 1.26

0.44 1.37 0.54 0511 0.49 0455 0.46 0548 0.32 0504 0.47 0500 0.23 1355 0.44 0.38 1348 0.15 TH WE FR SA TU WE TU WE TU oceanswims.com. 27 1125 1.53 12 1114 1.77 27 1100 1.45 12 1149 1.34 27 1104 1.26 0.79 2046 0.65 TH 2037 0.740.46 1.84 2147 1.69 2210 1.60 1.50SU 2144 0.70 2011 1.590.562217 1.37 1959 1.69FR2215 1731 1930 0.20 1703 1726 TH 1745 0.40 MO 1632 0.64 WE 1716 0.36 2321 1.38

WE 1648 0.12 2257 1.65

TH 1634 0.42 2246 1.53

SA 1641 0.44 2306 1.80

2356 1.39

2345 1.67

2319 1.55

2357 1.73

SU 1556 0.59 2224 1.68

1.66 EMAIL 2304 oceanswim@

1.4805540.25 1.31 1.54 0319 1.490.48 0201 1.390011 0420 36 0243 0.48 0400 0.30 0452 0.47 0.23 0.45 0410 0652 0.50 0426 0.40 0.510433 1.49 0330 0551 0406 0.52 0557 0.27 0.48 0416 0228 0.51 0129 0.43 0202 0.25 0416 0223 0.470.400448 13 1103 28 11541.48 131.52 28Bureau 13 28 0534 stanwellparksurf 1252 1.221052 1.21 1055 1.921.94 1118 1.651051 0604 0.34 28 1200 1023 1.44 13 1205 1.62 1137 0.70 1047 0.53 1035 0.51 1027 0.551.38 0827 0.65 1020 08 0910 1.75 1.60 1.88 1.52 alth of Australia 2019, of Meteorology 1.69 MO1041 0844 0755 1.84 0814 1.82SA1026 0824 1.470.670.50 1742 0.13 0.34 1.73 1.60 1815 0.31 1732 0.51 MO 1816 TU 1715 0.70 TU 1758 TH 1219 FR 1815 0.45 FR 23500.44 1.62 2344 1.33 1.261716 0.22 1634 2355 1.25club.com 1.19 1637 1.14 1.11 1.13 1416 1.16 51 0.28 0.08 0.36 0.12 0.42 1546 0.31 1510 0.37 0.17 0.17 1424 0.46 FR 1718 MO TU TH 1633 MO2359 SA 1641 SU 1556 TU 1717 WE WE 1648 TH 1634 SU MO1848 SU 1437 WE 1431 TH1.54 owest Astronomical Tide 0.7406501.80 0.56 0.58 0.71 2157 0.730.52 2014 0.630102 2224 45 2143 1.26 2222 1.47 0531 1.38 1.65 1.53 2250 1.50 2157 0033 2257 1.40 0034 1.67 0617 0052 0.52 0518 0.41 0.552321 1.32 2321 2114 1.42 2038 1.43 2045 1.77 2246 2042 1.641.652306

23 17 11 8 2 26 23 17 11 8 2 26 23 17 11


14+10:00) 1144 1.87 29 1153 1.57 14 0704 0.40 29 0635 0.57 14 0657 0.35 29 1217 1.29 14 0800 0.46 29 1252 rd time (UTC or daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when inTU effect 1402 1.15 WE 1809 FR 1313 1.56 SA 1238 1.34 SA 1300 1.44 SU 1804 0.58 TU 1830 0.15 WE 1830 0.38

1.17 0.75

HEIGHTS 0504 1.49 AND0.32 1.34 1.54 0221 1.52 0432 1.54 0300 1.391934 0509 0.30 0257 0.49 0455 0.46 0506 0548 15 0320 0.49 0507 0.23 0.32 0440 1848 0500 0.51 1900 0.43 1916 0.34 0511 0256 0.21Moon 0.450.76TIMES 0.47 0304 0.48 New1205 Moon First Quarter Last Quarter1104 Full OF HIGH 0.48 0.69 0.49 0.50 0905 1133 0.461.53 0940 0.650158 1.87 0037 1.53 1.45 1145 1.34 44 0945 1.71 1.77 0045AND 1.59LOW 0036 1.34 1.261125 1.51 1146 0127 1.63 0033 0155 0845 1.91 1.74 1100 0900 1.431.561149 1.68 1130 0918 1.59 1114 15 30 30 15 0753 0.51 0614 0.45 30 0614 0.59 1.09 0810 0.47 1750 1.13 15 0803 0.42 0706 0.55 15 1800 0909 0.501.33 1.12 1756 1.12 1745 1.21 1527 1802 0.13 1745 0.40 1703 0.46 1726 0.56 25 0.31 1731 0.20 1521 0.10 1515 0.23 1453 0.49 1539 SA TU 0.31 WE FR 1.28 TU WEWE 1234 TH FRMO 1303 SU MO 1632 TH TH SU MO1.77 FR1.21 MO 1617 TU 1401 1.17 1.48 1.39 0.37 1400 1.14 TH WATERS TH 1229 SA 1411 WE 1519 19171.73 1919 0.20 0.432356 0.43 2309 1948 0.56 1843 2029 0.67 0.58 0.71 2130 2312 0.660.64 2115 0.672025 1.39 1.55 2344 2304 22 2215 1.26 2326 1.67 2124 1904 1.52 1.83 2319 2115 1.670.802357 1.34 0.60 2144 1.47 2345 LAT 3400.78 29’

24 18 12 9 3 27 24 18 12 9 3 27 24 18 12 31 0119 0700

1.27 0.63 FR 1309 1.38 1942 0.47

31 0117 0804

1.50 0.59 TU 1400 1.15 1930 0.70


0.45 1.32 0.59 1.68 0.47 1.26 0.64 1.66

LONG 150 1.58 0314 1.53 0351 1.63 0340 1.50 1.43 0340 1.49 0401 0.52 0546 0.48 0553 0.4055’ 0554 0.27 0539 0.21 0534 0.44 0652 0.46 0011 0.26 0551 0.46 0557 19 1244 4 28 19 1223 4 28 13 1252 13 0604 13 1205 10 25 25 19 0610 10 25 1308 0.44 0.47 1229 0.36 0939 0.46 1.22 28 1154 1059 0.60 0951 0.34 1.44 1.38 1.62 0958 1.62 1137 1.37 1.65 0933 1.93 1200 1.56 1900 1219 1.15 1.73 1651 1815 1.19 0.31 1840 1732 1.32 0.51 1836 1816 1.40 0.67 1.09 0.45 1847 1815 1715

1.41 52 0357 0.51 0.63 18 1018 1.65 1.10 58 1647 0.34 WE TU 0.58 59 2248 1.26


0.33 TH 0.38 SA 0.32 SU 0.54 WE 0.09 TH TU 1605 FR WE 1607 SA SA 1523 MO FR FR 1558 Copyright0.22 Commonwealth of Australia 2019, Bureau of Meteorology 2226 1848 1.54 1.69 2217 1.84 2355 2147 1.36  2210 1.60 0.66 2215 1.50 Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide Times are in local standard time (UTC +10:00) or daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when in effect Moon Phase Symbols New Moon First Quarter Full Moon

0.61 1.49 0.58 0406 0.67 0448 0.56 0420 1.50 0416 31 0433 0.55 0025 1.50 0508 1.40 0013 1.67 0016 0.52 0029 0.47 0102 0.45 0034 0.25 0617 0.45 0052 0.23 0033 20 0634 20 0704 20 0642 5 29 5 29 14 0800 14 0704 14 0657 26 26 11 26 11 1.51 0.53 1.63 1.55 0537 1.73 1020 1207 0.51 1026 53 1051 1.57 0.40 0.57 0.35 1.29 1.60 1.52 1052 1.48 1217 1.32 1023 1.88 0635 0.44 1.13 0.38 1.56 1805 1238 0.43 1.44 1218 1804 0.26 0.58 1256 1402 1.14 1.34 1330 1300 30 0.38 1357 1313

0.50 1.21 0.70 TU 2350 1.62

1.65 0650 0.52 0.46 1252 1.17 0.42 0.59 MO TH 0.36 FRwhether SUor 0.44 TH 0.12 TU WE 1809 0.75 FRThe Bureau SAno warranty SA SU in respect Meteorology gives any kind express, implied, statutory otherwise to the availability, accuracy, currency,1.15 completeness, WE 1716 THof1634 SA 1641 SU 1556 WEof 1648 1909 1.47 1.20 1.25 1828 2333 0.62 1916 0.76 1934 0.32 0.51 1900 0.43 or reliability of the information or that the2246 information1931 will be fit for any particular purpose or will not1.45 infringe 2224 any third party Intellectual Property rights. 2321 1950 1.38 quality 1.53 2306 1.80 1.68 2257 1.65 1848 Last Quarter

The Bureau’s liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense resulting from use of, or reliance on, the information is entirely excluded.

0.55 0.55 0.55 0500 0.61 0548 0.44 0504 37 0511 1.26 0117 1.51 0609 1.63 0014 1.53 0108 0.32 0033 0.47 0155 0.49 0158 0.23 1.61 0455 0105 0.46 0127 21 0712 21 0751 21 0728 6 30 6 1302 1546­0810 15 0803 15 0909 12 27 27 12 1.51 1.60 1.66 1.58 0630 1.80 1104 0.39 1100 14 1125 0.59 0.42 0.55 / 2515­1114 /0.47 MARCH 1149 1.34 0706 1.26 1.53 1.77 27 1.45 0.43 0.41 0.34 1.39 1903 1.23 1406 1400 0.40 1.28 1304 1303 0.19 1.21 1326 1519 29 1.48 1438 1411

FR 0.40 FR 0.20 SA TH 1731 TH 1745 1.19 1.24 2345 04 2356 0.43 2031 0.43 1.67 1.39 2025

1.56 0.50 1.14 TU 0.64 SA 0.46 MO 0.56 SU SU 1726 MO MO 1632 WE FR 1703 1.54 0.80 1.32 2357 1.57 2304 0.56 1914 0.64 1940 1.73 1843 1.66 2029 2319 2008 1.55 1948

0.33 0554 0.50 19 0551 1.27 0202 1.50 0146 0.40 0117 0.50 0.52 0.51 0557 0034 0.27 0.53 0534 0148 0.48 0.55 0652 0109 22 0832 22 0747 13 7 31 28 28 13 7 0704 28 1.69 0722 0804 1.84 0.59 1.72 1.73 22 0807 1.60 00 0.63

0.50 1.50


30 0045 0753

1.59 0.51 TH 1401 1.17 1917 0.78

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MARCH / 2515 / 47



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