2515 COAST NEWS SEPTEMBER 2020

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SEPTEMBER 2020 www.2515mag.com.au

5 1 COAST NEWS PAT GRANT

AUSTINMER CARTOONIST FINDS INSPIRATION IN EVERYDAY UGLINESS

Clifton | Scarborough | Wombarra | Coledale | Austinmer | Thirroul


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COAST NEWS

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EDITORS Gen Swart, Marcus Craft CONTACT editor@2515mag.com.au. Ph: 0432 612 168 2515mag. PO Box 248, Helensburgh, 2508. ADVERTISING 0432 612 168. www.2515mag.com.au. T&Cs apply. DEADLINE September 23 COVER Pat Grant. Photo: Gabriel Clark 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 publishers.

MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS MARTIN GORRICK fell in love with the Illawarra

CLIFTON SCHOOL of ARTS

in the 1960s, while accompanying his parents on their regular escarpment bushwalks. Happily for him, the Northern Illawarra is now his home. Martin is a member of the Thirroul Village Committee’s Development Sub-Committee and a member of the Facebook Group, ‘Thirroul Community for a Sustainable Town Centre’. He is also a member of Wollongong Council’s Heritage Reference Group. Martin isn’t anti-development; but is opposed to rampant and insensitive development. The views and opinions he expresses in his article (p30) are, however, his own.

DR HAYLEY GLASSON graduated from the University of NSW in 2008 and worked at St George Hospital in Sydney for three years. She completed her fellowship in general practice in 2014 whilst working in Newtown. She worked as a GP in the Kiama area for five years before moving to the Illawarra and now works at Bulli Medical Practice. Hayley has a special interest in women’s health and also loves paediatrics. GABRIEL CLARK is an academic, creative

Beautiful, affordable, flooded with natural light! Sweeping views of the escarpment and the ocean! • For your next exhibition. • For your weekly art classes, workshops, yoga, pilates or community meetings. The iconic Clifton School of Arts is a registered Covid-19 Safe Environment and is now available for one-off or weekly bookings. Maximum capacity upper gallery 15, lower gallery 6.

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producer and photographer. He lectures in the School of Design at the University of Technology Sydney. His teaching and research are focused on transmedia and graphic storytelling. As a creative producer, he has conceived several award-winning storytelling projects including Read To Me, Radio With Pictures and the Graphic festival at Sydney Opera House. NATHAN SANDON is the senior pastor of Austi Thirroul Anglican Churches. He is married to Melinda; they has two beautiful kids (two girls) as well as two boys totalling four children, aged from 1 to 12. The Sandons love the Coal Coast. When not on the beach, they enjoy exploring the escarpment. Nathan says: “When asked which I prefer my answer is: ‘Do you prefer breathing in or breathing out?’ We love the village vibe every time we pop into Thirroul we bump into friends.” 2515


New Name New Space Same Great Service KANE DOWNIE

Shop 11, 345 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul | 4211 5811


Thirroul’s Sandy and Ron Brenchley are hosting two open garden days in September. Photo: Unicorn Studios

AN INVITATION Last month 2515 was thrilled to receive an actual card from Thirroul’s Sandy and Ron Brenchley in the post. The hand-written missive – complete with gold border, beautiful photo and neat script – arrived like a bloom of old-world courtesy in the withering age of social media. It contained an invitation to visit their garden in September – and the good news is you’re all invited too. 12 Deborah Ave Thirroul, 2515 3.8.20. Dear Gen and Marcus, We are great admirers of 2515 Coast News! What an amazing range of people, interests and abilities you present to us each month, all trying to make the world a better place! We’re trying to do that too – by opening our garden in Thirroul on the weekend of 19th and 20th September, to raise much-needed funds for The Smith Family. Our shady garden is 51 years old, so has well-established trees and pathways. It’s a bit steep in places, with quirky overtones. The whip birds play in the mirrors, and the bower birds scatter our neighbours’ blue pegs and bottletops around as they

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build their trendy bowers! Even though it’s only an average-sized block, having different “rooms” makes it seem larger. Springtime is a riot of camellias, blossom, wisteria, rhododendrons and annuals! Because of COVID 19 there won’t be Devonshire teas, but tea and coffee will be available, as well as a plant stall, a book stall and hand-made cards, and social distancing of course. Sincerely, Two Passionate Gardeners Sandy and Ron Brenchley. Save the date: The Brenchleys’ garden at 12 Deborah Ave, Thirroul will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20. 2515



GO WILD IN YOUR GARDEN By Sydney Wildflower Nursery’s Verity Snaith

Gardens are amazing places. They are places where we can relax, gather with friends, and engage with nature on a personal level. They are also spaces where we can reduce our ecological footprint. A simple way to do this is to create a habitat garden. By offering insects, bees, lizards, frogs birds and small mammals a place to call home, we can encourage and support biodiversity. START SMALL If you’re new to habitat gardening, start small. Redesigning existing garden beds is a lot easier than ripping up your lawn, though if you can replace your lawn with a native garden that’s something to consider! Not only will you save money on maintenance, you’ll provide a home for native fauna for many years to come. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE A successful wildlife garden contains three important elements – food, water and cover. Planting in layers from trees all the way down to shrubs, grasses and vines provides food and shelter for many different types of backyard visitors. It’s a good idea to plant densely and choose from a number of different species so you’re guaranteed to have flowers, fruit and seed all year long. THE LOCAL WATERING HOLE Providing a water source is also a great way to attract native wildlife. Incorporating a bird bath that is surrounded by grasses and larger shelter shrubs will encourage birds to visit, while placing water in a shallow bowl at ground level will help lizards and frogs feel right at home. Bees and dragonflies also like a drink and a shallow sandstone bowl placed near flowers and grasses is perfect for them to be able to safely drink from.

From top down: Providing rainbow lorikeets with a food source of nectar, fruit or pollen will help keep them healthy and returning year after year. Spring-flowering Grevilleas are a great food source for nectar-feeding birds and bees. Logs, rocks, grasses and a water source make a safe habitat for frogs and lizards. Photos: Verity Snaith

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A SAFE SPACE Offering protection from predators is also important. Prickly and dense shrubs offer birds a safe place to retreat to, while incorporating hollow logs, branches, leaf litter and rocks will help create a home for a myriad of insects, bugs and lizards. Creating a habitat garden is an exciting experience and there are thousands of stunning native plants that can be used to bring beauty and biodiversity into your home. If you need assistance, the qualified staff at Sydney Wildflower Nursery are always more than happy to help you. 2515


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WHY VOLUNTEERS LOVE THEIR WORK Northern Illawarra Neighbour Aid volunteers share their stories.

Q&A WITH SANDRA

WHAT LED YOU TO VOLUNTEERING? I found I had a lot of spare time and, having worked in aged care, I decided to volunteer for NINA. I enjoyed it from the start. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT IT? I enjoy meeting new people. It’s a feeling of giving back or paying it forward. It is very rewarding. I feel happy to be able to make a difference to someone’s day. WHY WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TO VOLUNTEER? It makes you feel good to give something back to the community. It makes you happy. It’s a great way to meet people and fill in that extra time you may have after retirement. You can learn new skills and are able to participate in various training programmes. ANDY: I’ve been a volunteer for about one year now. I drive customers in my car, often to medical appointments, I also drive the NINA bus. The training NINA provides is just right for the role and the ladies in the office are very organised. For me, volunteering is all about the kind of community we want to live in. If we all do a bit according to our skills and available time then where you live will be just that bit nicer. Join us, you really have nothing to lose. RICHARD & SUE: My wife, Sue, and I moved to Helensburgh in 2007 and I retired from full-time work in 2012. Sue became a volunteer with NINA from the time that we arrived in the area so I was aware of the range of services that NINA provided. So, early in 2013, I enquired as to whether NINA needed an extra volunteer driver and quickly found myself driving the NINA minibus, as well as driving clients to appointments in our car. Although I had lived in the northern Illawarra for five years by that time I really didn’t know many local people having been working full-time. That quickly changed when I joined NINA and became a part of the volunteer team. Volunteering has enabled me to meet a wide variety of people and to assist our clients maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have met some amazing people and learnt a lot about them when driving them to appointments. Many of them have lived most, if not all, of their life in this area, so I often pick up information on local history from chatting with the clients. I now feel much more part of the community than I did before.

For our more elderly citizens a lack of their own transport can result in isolation, particularly as public transport in this area is limited. NINA fulfills their needs to get around, not only for medical and other appointments, but for shopping and to social events with their friends. As a bus driver I have got to know a large number of our clients on our social outings and I have visited places I may not have got to see otherwise, such as a tour of the SCG and a trip down the Nepean River on the Nepean Belle. I hope to be able to continue volunteering with NINA for many more years to come. PATRICIA AND DENNIS: Having been retired for several years my husband and I have been volunteering for NINA. Myself (Patricia) as a Bus Escort and Dennis as a Bus Driver. Dennis is also on the committee. I mainly do shopping trips and excursions ie: to movies, live shows and lunches, as does Dennis, being the driver. We both find being a volunteer rewarding in lots of ways, by helping others in our community, and meeting new people. Being a volunteer at NINA helps with the older people to stay independent and connected with their community, it enables them to travel to their appointments, attend events or group activities by providing safe transport. Being a volunteer also helps volunteers get out of the house while feeling involved with our local community making a difference and feeling good about yourself. 2515

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ARE YOU ABLE TO ASSIST SOMEONE WHO IS ISOLATED OR LONELY? Willing to drive them to a doctor or Specialist appointment?

Have some time to have a chat to an isolated person who might be lonely?

NINA supports a range of clients from Thirroul to Helensburgh and we are looking to increase our volunteers in Thirroul. Call the NINA staff and you can join our team of volunteers assisting others in your community. NINA OPERATES IN THIRROUL AS WELL Monday–Friday (9am-5pm) | telephone 02 4294 1900 18 Walker Street, Helensburgh full2009_nina.indd 1

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‘IT’S BEEN AN INCREDIBLE CAREER’ A much-loved local vet has retired, Heather Eiszele reports.

Veterinarian Dr Warwick Prowse once gave mouth to mouth to a dead cat. Not that he knew it was dead. In charge of 12 anaesthetised animals awaiting neutering, he thought he had lost one and set about pumping its heart and giving it resuscitation. Until his colleague, a renowned practical joker, told him he was working on a feral Tom that had been euthanased that morning. Dr Rick laughs easily at the memory as he looks back on 49 years in veterinary practice, retiring on July 30 from his Helensburgh and Austinmer surgeries. “It’s been a good transition,” he says of the two years he has worked with new owner, Jarrod Coleman. “I had a feeling I would know when it was time.” While he would have preferred to reach the half-century golden milestone, consulting was becoming increasingly difficult with significant hearing loss caused by firing a high-powered rifle at a target on a country property. “It’s a very personal business looking after pets as they’re part of the family so I didn’t think it was right having to say ‘Pardon?’ all the time.” Dr Rick, 72, has worked on all types of animals, including horses, snakes, guinea pigs, a couple of

Dr Rick Prowse. Photo: Heather Eiszele

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lions and a nine-day-old Emu chick which had a bolt stuck in its throat. “We needed long forceps for that one!” He started his career at the Wollongong Veterinary Hospital, becoming a partner in 1973 and leaving in 1995 to establish the Austinmer Veterinary Hospital. Helensburgh was acquired in 2006. “It fitted well as I was seeing a lot of Helensburgh clients at the time and I was keen to work with horses,” he said. “They’re a lot of fun.” In the early days, he worked alongside his wife of 48 years, Roslyn, but decided to keep business and home life separate. “Ros was instrumental in the practice,” Dr Rick said. “She was originally on the reception desk, the book-keeper and was the after-hours nurse.” Dr Rick’s greatest joy in his career has been witnessing advances in veterinary medicine which has led to more efficient and effective treatment. “When I first started, dogs lived for about six or eight years, but now they can live happily to twice that!” He is particularly proud of the five years (1992-97) he sat on the NSW Board of the RSPCA, contributing to much-needed management change. “We enlisted regular donors and rationalised properties and the inspectorate,” he said. “We turned the whole place around. It went from an organisation that was barely able to pay wages to having $16 million in the bank and great ability to provide good animal welfare outcomes.” Dr Rick is a Fellow of the Australian Veterinary Association where he served two terms as NSW State President and three years on the NSW Vet Surgeons Board Investigating Committee. He continues to sit on the University of NSW’s Animal Care and Ethics Committee. “It is extremely stimulating and exciting to watch the progression of knowledge,” he said. The consummate outdoorsman will have plenty to keep him busy in retirement. He sails (“It’s good to have friends with big boats”), is a keen cyclist, tennis player and heli-skis once a year in Canada or Japan. “It’s been an incredible career,” he said. “I’ve met some fantastic people who really care for their pets and are very receptive to the advice given. I want to thank the wonderful pet owners of the Northern Illawarra who have been so supportive. And my great team who have assisted me at every turn. “If I had my time over, I wouldn’t change a thing.” 2515


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From left to right: Mark Redhill, Melanie Schott, Andrew Hedley Lorraine Crawford, Kane Downie, Suzen Forte. Photo: Alex Olguin

FRESH FOCUS

Newly rebranded, One Agency Kane Downie launched last month with a team of six locals at new offices opposite Byrne surf shop in Thirroul. 2515 asked the director, Kane Downie, a few questions. Please tell readers a bit about yourself. I grew up in Bulli. After an 18-year-career in the police force, which obviously helped me get to know people at all levels of society, I met Andrew Hedley at Bevans Thirroul. He suggested I should think about sales and I never looked back. Selling a home can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve got life-changing events surrounding the sale. I see the job as one of support and enjoy guiding our clients through the process and, if I can take away a little bit of stress and put a smile on their face, I’m happy.

done, it’s encouraged people to make the decisions they may have put into the ‘too-hard basket’. We’re dealing with a lot of buyers who are telling us “we’re sick of waiting, now is the time”.

Tell us about your new venture, and what has inspired the change. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time but life just got in the way. Luckily for me and for various reasons, the stars lined up and we took the plunge. The overwhelming support we’ve received has confirmed in my mind it was the right thing to do.

And the best place to relax? At home, staring at the escarpment. 2515

It’s been a topsy-turvy year. What’s the current state of the property market in the 2515 area and how do you think the rest of 2020 will play out? The market is very strong at this stage mainly due to a lack of stock and our area being a major destination for city dwellers trying to escape the rat race. My crystal ball says more of the same. If there’s one thing that the Covid situation has

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Finally, a few local questions. Where do you get your morning coffee? Seafoam Café in Byrne Surf Shop. Favourite place to eat? The best thing about our area, there are so many options!

GET READY WEEKEND

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) will hold Get Ready Events around the Illawarra. On Saturday, September 19, 2515’s local event will be at Knox Park, Austinmer Beach, 10am to 2pm.



’TIS THE SEASON With Green Connect ambassador Kristin Watson

BEETROOT AND ENDIVE TART (GF) • 1½ cup buckwheat flour • 2 cups almond flour • ½ cup tapioca flour • zest of 1 lemon • ½ cup extra olive oil • ½ cup iced water • Pinch of salt • 6 eggs • ¼ cup milk or plant-based milk

• 2-3 large beetroots • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed • 100g goats cheese or feta • ½ bunch endive or silverbeet/kale • salt and pepper • olive oil.

METHOD It’s an exciting at the farm. After months of being closed to visitors, there is a lovely buzz of activity, with the construction of a new veg boxes hub and play area. We have also welcomed back our volunteers and youth program. Green Connect’s youth employment program is a NSW Governmentfunded program that helps young people gain skills. We offer job opportunities across all arms of our business, starting with work experience at our Farm, Op-Shop or in our office. The program started in November 2018 and since then, we have supported 103 young people in the Illawarra, 50 of whom have transitioned into paid work, 28 of whom have secured long-term employment and nine have already been in continuous employment for at least six months. The program runs until November this year, but we are hoping to extend it. In season now are cabbage, broccoli, silverbeet, sweet potato, daikon radish, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Asian greens, turnips, endive and beetroot. 2515

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Put oven on 200ºC. Peel and cut the beetroots into wedges. Toss in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic. Season to taste. Spread beetroot onto a oven tray and bake for 20 min. Mix all the flours together with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a food processor, add olive oil and keep mixing, add ice-cold water, a little at the time. Use a removable bottom quiche pan and lightly grease it with olive oil. Press your dough into the dish and even out pushing the dough up over the edges. Prick with a fork, to stop it from rising in the oven. Pre-cook the tart for 10 minutes. Roughly chop endive and massage (for 3-5 min) in 2 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Take the tart out and start filling it with the endive, then beetroots, topped by the cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk, season to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the beetroots and make sure everything is covered. Place in the middle of the oven and lower to 180ºC. Cook for 35-40min, the quiche is finished when the egg has set. 2515

BOOK A ‘WE LOVE WOOD’ WORKSHOP

2020’s Illawarra Festival of Wood is off, but you can still carve a spot on your calendar for woodwork. Three weekend workshops, presented by the Illawarra Woodwork School, are going ahead. 1. Carving a Whale Netsuke (Japanese small object). With master carver Hape Kiddle. October 16-18, Clifton School of Arts, $780. 2. Greenwood Stool Workshop. With Stuart Montague and Ed Oliver, Oct 24-25, Denbigh Heritage Farm, Cobbitty, Camden, $450. 3. Spoon Carving With Carol Russell, Nov 28-29 at Clifton School of Arts, $650. Book online: https://woodworkschool.com 2515


COMMIT TO READING TOP CRIME FICTION By librarian Renee Benn

Are you a fan of Australian crime writing? Or looking for a new genre or author to try? The Ned Kelly Awards, known affectionately as ‘The Neds’, are announced in September. They are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious awards honouring crime fiction and true crime writing. The suspense is killing – who will be the winner’s for 2020? In the meantime, let’s revisit last year’s winners and some authors you might like to add to your reading list. The 2019 Ned Kelly winners were: • Best Fiction – The Lost Man, by Jane Harper • Best First Fiction – The Rúin, by Dervla McTiernan • Best True Crime – Eggshell Skull, by Bri Lee.

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Past winners have included Jon Cleary, Peter Corris, Adrian McKinty, Candice Fox, Helen Garner, Peter Temple and Michael Robotham. Books can be reserved through Wollongong City Libraries’ website and picked up at Thirroul library – please give the library a call on 4227 8181 and book an appointment. The catalogue can be explored from home to find Australian crime writers and reserve books for collection at the library. All you need is our library card number and your personal pin. If you need assistance with your account, please call the library for assistance. You can even join the library online through the website if you’re not already a member and start reading these great Ned Kelly award-winning authors. 2515

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Mum and Dad Spotted Pardalote were busily gathering shredded bark to use in their nest. Photos: Amanda De George

BACKYARD ZOOLOGY

With Amanda De George I’ve been thinking about the smaller stories an hour, mesmerised by their comings and lately. Well, that’s not entirely true. Like goings, as the pair flew in and out, taking many of you I’m sure, my brain has been all the material to line their nest, which is caught up in the problems of the world. often built in river banks, a long tunnel And as a result, I’ve been eating more, with the bark-lined nesting chamber probably drinking a little too much wine at the end. and sleep, well, what’s that? So I did the Spotted Pardalotes are fairly common only thing that could be done, I went bush. Not in a but due to their small size and their speed and their dramatic way because hey, I’m a latte-drinking, habit of staying predominantly in the tree tops dog-snuggling, heater-loving kind of gal with an feasting on sugary lerps you might only know them aversion to camping but having read numerous by their three-note call described as sounding like studies highlighting the health benefits, especially “sleep-may-be”, which is pretty much constant the mental health benefits of spending time in during breeding season, so now until around nature I headed out into a small parcel of bushland January. What a privilege it was to watch these two right near Wollongong and let myself just breathe. preparing for breeding season and just going about And you know what? No matter what is their life, practically at my feet. To be that close to happening out in the wider world, life still goes on them for such a long time was special indeed. for the animals around us. As I walked deeper into It took me out of my head and out of my world the bush, the eucalypts towering over me, the air and let me spend some time in theirs, which was cool and buzzing with activity, a bright fluttering benefit enough. And it got me wondering, what out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. would happen if we let our focus shift from those A tiny Spotted Pardalote, about 8cm in total, was big news stories instead to those small stories very busily gathering shredded bark to use in his happening around us all the time, our own, those nest. The female joined him, the top of her head of our friends, our community and those of the speckled with yellow dots, his with white, and she critters living around us? I’m willing to bet, we’d all also began to pull at the fallen tree, loosening the be the better for it. strips of bark and when her beak was full, like him, Follow Amanda’s Facebook blog @BackyardZoology 2515 she flew away out of sight. I stood there for maybe

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TREES FOR OUR FUTURE By Christine Hill

National Tree Day was on July 27, and as part of Wollongong City Council’s Urban Greening Strategy a small ceremony took place in Thirroul on July 31. Thirroul’s volunteer gardeners were acknowledged by Council’s Parks & Gardens staff at a gathering in Thirroul Regional Playground. The local gardeners all began their volunteering in a small way – a bit of weeding here, a little planting there, gradually coming to care for many of the patches of green – and larger plantings – around the town. With the Council’s strategy of ‘Greening the City’, there’s a whole new level of co-operation and we have all come to understand the ways in which the ‘outdoors’ staff and the public can work together to keep our open spaces looking attractive whilst remaining functional. The volunteers don’t wear uniforms, and they often work at times when they expect people to be indoors – Sunday afternoon footy, for example! But most people who stop to chat appreciate the gardens and are pleased to see the greening (and flowering) that results from the combined efforts of volunteers and Council’s Parks staff. Thirroul ‘native’ Greg Doyle, general manager of WCC, Billy Glancy, co-ordinator of North Parks

From left: Christine Hill and Barbara Mebberson. Photo supplied

and his team, were on hand to thank the volunteers. A Banksia tree was planted at the playground alongside those grown since it opened nine years ago, providing flowers for birds and bees, and summer shade for playground visitors. Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury said: “I thank the dedicated community volunteers of Thirroul for taking a key role in the greening of their piece of Wollongong. Their hard work, passion and enthusiasm to work with Council’s staff does not go unnoticed.’’ 2515 SE

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R COVE RE FEATU

INSPIRED BY THE UGLINESS OF THE EVERYDAY For his new book, The Grot, Austinmer cartoonist Pat Grant drew on his time as a stevedore at the wharfs of Port Kembla to create a post-industrial landscape featuring disgusting pools, festering swamps and other fantastic stuff. Gabriel Clark reports.

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Cartoonist and Austinmer local Pat Grant has been telling weird, fantastical stories for years and years. He’s published two books: the first, Blue, was a mix of autobiography and science fiction; his second book, The Grot, is a story about con artists in a post-industrial environmental wasteland. Both books are heavily influenced by Australian life in the shadow of the escarpment. As an educator and storyteller, one of the things Pat always shares is that all the environments and locations used to tell stories can be found in your own backyard. Pat’s first book, Blue, was about localism and growing up in a coastal town. It features images and scenes that are directly influenced by the environment of the Northern Illawarra and his time living in Scarborough. “There’s this scene in Blue where the characters head off and start exploring the rail line that leads from an industrial town into some dense Australian bush,” Pat says. “That landscape, things like the Viaduct and the old Otford rail tunnel in Stanwell Park, directly informed the images and the story of Blue. “There’s an escarpment, there’s bushland, there’s the rail line, there’s the ocean. Every scene is based on a very specific space in the Illawarra.” Scenic elements aren’t Pat’s only source of inspiration. The setting for his latest book, The Grot, is a Mad Max-ey sort of landscape, a disgusting and unpleasant place nothing like the beautiful coast we know as the Northern Illawarra. Many of the ideas for this world stem from experience, in particular, Pat’s time in the industrial parts of Wollongong, when he worked as a stevedore in the wharfs at Port Kembla. “Once you go through the gates of the Port District, it’s already like you’re in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with old machines that look like they’ve been dumped there and are rotting back into the landscape,” he says. “But there’s also these vast patches of weeds and land that nobody’s really been tending. Weeds growing up in between train tracks. Then there’s all this wildlife there, like giant hares. If you go there early in the morning you see these giant hares that live in the Port Kembla zone. It really is amazing. But it’s also very Australian.” Pat’s time driving hundreds of cars off the carrier ships made its way into the The Grot. “If you look out onto the horizon on any given day in Wollongong you’ll probably see a car carrier ship. The pure car carriers that bring automobiles and other freight into Australia, much of those come through Port Kembla and I worked on those, riding the cars off for a while. One of the ships appears in the book, but in the book it’s powered by indentured labourers on strange bicycles.”

Pat Grant. pictured at the old service station in Stanwell Park. Photo: Gabriel Clark

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Photos: Gabriel Clark. Illustrations: Pat Grant

Often the smaller, overlooked aspects of the urban experience seep into his storytelling. “Disgusting pools of water have long been a fascination of mine. Doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can find them. Be it the DIY skate park in the old carpark at Mavrikis Chicken in Wollongong, or the Stanwell Park petrol station. “There’s always a festering swamp nearby. “In fact one of my favourite places in Wollongong is the weird carpark behind Peters Bakery in Fairy Meadow, aka “Peties”. It’s like a horrific wasteland that speaks to the past of Wollongong but also this grim, industrial future.” These ‘disgusting pools of water’ form a central narrative in The Grot, which is set in a postindustrial boom town, with parallels to the Australian gold rush towns of the 1870s. But instead of panning for gold or digging mines, the prospectors are wading through fetid swamps looking for algae. But what’s clear is that if you’re from the Illawarra and you read the book you’ll constantly see little tidbits of the local landscape. This landscape isn’t the only influence in his stories – lived experiences of coastal Anglo culture also come up for critique. “Blue is about growing up racist in a coastal town. It was a direct response to the Cronulla riot period of Australian history. It’s all about three kids growing up and influencing each other.” Pat’s sketchbook essay, The Vanishing Coast, is a reflective narrative about the changes he’s witnessed during his time in the Northern Illawarra. It is a different type of story, with

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something he calls a ‘fantasy landscape”. Here the locations and drawings of houses don’t fuel escapist fiction but act as a way to comment on the changing histories of the area and the growing development and gentrification of the coast. “There’s this one spot that I used to like, down at McCauley’s beach. You could see this through this old fence, and the fence is falling down, it’s got weeds and vines and stuff growing all over it and it was a hill, so sloped down and it was just perfectly framed. A little coastal composition, and I stopped and drew that. Then weeks later it disappeared and became this like hellish house, which I wouldn’t mind living in, I’m sure the house is awesome when you’re inside it, but everyone that doesn’t live in the house just sees the outside; it’s a shame. “You’re using drawings to catch these visions that feel like they’re fleeting and slipping through our fingers. That’s how I see it.” Dark urban fantasy, it seems, has its gritty roots in the real world. “Even though we tell stories about things that are fantastic or otherworldly, the building blocks are all these small, quiet, day-to-day experiences, and the skills of storytellers isn’t imagination taking them to other places, but their observation, looking for the horror, or the otherworldly in the things that are outside their front doors.” Next up for Pat is horror. “For the longest time I’ve always wanted to explore the horror potential. I’ve always wanted to explore this idea that the Illawarra, the landscape here is punishing us in some way, for the sins of our past ancestors, and I wanted to maybe tell a


‘The building blocks are all these small, quiet, day-today experiences’ – Austinmer cartoonist Pat Grant

series of short stories that were all based on this idea of people moving to the Illawarra and really dark things happening, because that’s something I’ve observed in my time living here. “The rational explanation might be that once you start living under the escarpment you miss out on your afternoon sun, and it changes your brain chemistry or something, but the fantastical sort of way of thinking about it is that maybe the exposed layers of rock in the escarpment are the seeds, or there’s some kind of malice coming out of the landscape through the psychic wrinkle of the escarpment. “There’s a quality that I call the Illawarra Gothic, which is like the way we sort of intuit the darkness in the landscape “It’s a massive part of Australian literature. It seems to be kind of heavy here, so I’ve always wanted to do a book that’s inspired by all of those things in my neighborhood and that would be a horror story.” n Pat Grant’s latest book The Grot, published by Topshelf, is available now through your local bookstore and online. You can see more of Pat’s work at his website (patgrantart.com) or follow him on Instagram @patgrantart 2515

SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 21


This local project used passive design principles to make the home more sustainable. Photo: Luke Novotny Architecture

THE COST OF GREEN By local architect Ben Wollen

This article was sparked by a conversation I had with a colleague. Let’s call him Edwin (no relationship to Edith of last month’s column!). Edwin is considering developing a block of land into a dual occupancy and mentioned he’d like to make it ‘green and sustainable’, but he hasn’t the money to fund it. You can imagine my exasperation when I heard this! As an architect, I had give a quick lesson on what makes a house ‘green and sustainable’. Many people think going green means solar panels, or fancy building technologies, or going offgrid. While these mechanical type systems go a long way to reduce our carbon footprint, they also create a carbon footprint (the amount of carbon emitted in manufacture and distribution). According to the Solar Trust Centre, a single solar panel takes two years to pay back its carbon footprint. But there are a bunch of ways to make a house sustainable before you go near a solar panel! Here began Edwin’s short lesson in passive design. “Pick the low-hanging fruit first.” Edwin’s response was quite rightly: “I thought we were talking about architecture!” “It’s an aphorism, silly. If you’re picking apples, you’re gonna go for the ones on the low branches first, right? The ones that require the least effort.” “Ahh, yes. Of course.” “Well, before you even get to solar panels there are all these lovely things you can design into your house that cost you nothing but some initial forethought.” Low fruit 1: Orientation How you locate your building will make a massive difference to the way it can harness the free energy

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from the sun as well as light the home naturally. It can also help buffer against cold and/or hot prevailing winds as well as capture cooling ones in summer. It might also save energy (and money) to choose a spot that requires the least amount of ground disturbance. ‘Touch the Earth lightly’ is an Aboriginal proverb that Pritzker Prize-winning architect Glenn Murcutt is fond of quoting. Low fruit 2: Colour It’s trendy to have a dark house with a dark roof, but these houses belong in cooler climates. Can you imagine how hot it would get on Santorini if they painted all their houses black? The Greeks knew by painting small masonry homes white that the summer sun would be reflected, not absorbed. Low fruit 3: Window size and placement Windows are great for capturing views or connecting the indoor with the outdoor but they also let a heck of a lot more heat in and out than a wall does. Large windows facing south = cold home. The largest windows should be reserved for the north-facing part of the house, as long as they have the appropriate shading externally. Low fruit 4: Shading Imagine life for our farmers if they didn’t have a handy Akubra. Lots of melanomas, most likely! Just as the farmers know to shade their heads, so should our houses shade our windows and, in some cases, walls too. This can come in all manner of forms, but the shading is most effective on the outside, rather than blinds or curtains on the inside. Low fruit 5: Passive ventilation Ever opened up a window on one side of the house and the door slams on the other side? That’s


cross-flow ventilation. On a hot day (not a stinker hot day), a well-designed and -shaded house can be cooled down by simply opening a few windows on opposite sides of the house to improve the airflow. Sadly, many of our houses block off this ability with corridors and doors. Windows up high can also be opened to let out hot air trapped near the ceiling. Low fruit 6: Thermal mass Dogs know this one. On a hot day they’ll go and find a piece of concrete to lie on to keep themselves cool. If you have all the above fruits in place, a concrete slab does wonders to moderate the internal temperature both on hot and cold days. Be careful though, because badly placed thermal mass can work against the comfort of the house! All of the above are free or generally part of the cost of building a house anyway, and they’re all going to save you a whole lot more on your carbon footprint than solar panels. So, there ended Edwin’s lesson on picking the low-hanging fruits of the sustainable architecture tree. All of these fruits come only at the cost of a careful and considered design. Disclaimer: This is not an article denouncing solar panels! They are also a good ‘green’ thing to do to your home; they’re just higher up on the sustainable architecture tree. 2515

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SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 23


East Coast Lows are nasty, not a good day for swimming in the Coalcliff pool. Photos: Rob Brander

DR RIP’S SCIENCE OF THE SURF With Prof Rob Brander. This month: A Winter of East Coast Lows and Big Swell It seems we’ve had one East Coast Low after another this winter, bringing gale force winds, huge surf, torrential rain and a lot of beach erosion. ‘East Coast Low’ has become a bit of a buzz term in recent years, but what is it, and is it normal to get so many over such a short time period? East Coast Lows (ECLs) are intense low-pressure weather systems that occur off the eastern Australian coast. They are essentially cyclones – if you look at windy.com, or even your rain app, you can clearly see their circular clockwise rotation as they track along the coast. They can occur any time, but are more common during autumn and winter and historically have been most common in June – think the Pasha Bulker storm in June 2007 or the June 2016 event, which caused widespread damage along most of the NSW coast. ECLs are caused by a range of meteorological mechanisms, but what makes them particularly dangerous is that they can form and intensify quite quickly making them hard to predict. We typically have about 10 ECL events a year, but usually only one turns out to be ‘explosive’ with damaging waves, wind and rain. Unfortunately, this winter we’ve had several ‘explosive’ events with significant wave heights of more than 5m (significant wave height is the highest one-third of waves) and maximum wave heights of up to 12m. In terms of energy, these were the fifth and sixth biggest storms we’ve had in the last 62 years! However, since we started monitoring ECLs in detail in 1973, there’s no trend to suggest they’re becoming more frequent. The future? Climate

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change scientists suggest the number of ECLs won’t change, but we are likely to see more extreme events occurring during warmer months. We’ve had clusters of damaging East Coast Lows before. In 1974, multiple storms caused such severe erosion that it really kickstarted the field of coastal management in Australia. But memories are short, and while many people remember the June 2016 storm, thanks to footage of a swimming pool collapsing on the beach at Narrabeen/Collaroy, fewer probably remember the April 2015 storm that had much higher waves, but caused less damage. What made the 2016 storm so dangerous was that while ECLs usually generate waves approaching the coast from the east-southeast, the waves came from the north-east and hammered southern sections of beaches normally protected. At the moment our beaches have a shortage of sand, but they’ll recover. They always do. It just might take a little longer this year because we’ve had so many ECLs and we might not see as much sand on our beaches this summer as we’ve had the last few years. 2515 Wild times at Stanwell Park.


FARM BUSY PRUNING AND PLANTING Jo Fahey reports from Darkes Glenbernie Orchard.

Work on the farm is never done! In winter and early spring, our work centres around tree management, including giving the trees a haircut! We call this pruning. It involves removing branches in the centre of the tree and training the tree to capture as much sunlight as we can. More sunlight captured will ensure the fruit develops more flavour, becomes sweet, full of flavour and a deeper colour. The development of sugars and the sweetness that we all love in our favourite apple or peach is linked to getting as much sunlight as possible among the branches and fruit. By removing some of the branches we allow more sunlight around the fruit. Pruning is a tricky skill to learn at first and does require concentration. Working on a farm where there are thousands of trees, you get very good at it but you need to keep your focus. It would be easy to accidentally cut yourself and have a serious injury. Pruning trees begins in winter and usually finishes before flowering in spring. Branches that have been removed from trees are mulched.

Mulching involves driving a tractor down the centre of a row of trees with a special attachment called a mulcher. This smashes the branches into small pieces and throws them back under the tree. This creates a layer of organic matter that improves our soil structure and microbiology and helps retain moisture and can assist in keeping weeds down. We are also really busy, now the rain has stopped, planting new trees! We are excited to be finally planting hundreds of our special new apple cider trees! It’s really exciting to think that in a few years we will be able to make some fabulous new ciders from these traditional and heritage cider trees. Right now, we are enjoying unprecedented popularity with our ciders. Our current Darkes Dry batch needs to be ‘roused’ (roll the bottle) before drinking to stir it up as it’s a cloudy cider! The cloudiness is small pieces of apple that we find give it a creamy mouth-feel. A great Father’s Day drink! Visit www.darkes.com.au 2515

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Spring tasks at Darkes Glenbernie Orchard: farm worker Mateo pruning the trees and, right, Maria planting new apple cider trees. Photos: Jo Fahey

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CARVE IN WOOD

Janice Creenaune meets Bill Cheyne, a former accountant with BHP for 38 years, and long-time resident of Austinmer. Now he gives life to wood through his carvings. Photos supplied. Bill, 81, began working with wood as a young man in Scotland, under the guidance of his grandfather. Working with wood formed a strong bond between the two. “I made models of fishing boats and it all started from there.” Bill arrived in Australia in January of 1955 and his skills were shelved for a while. “There was work, family and life responsibilities, but on a family trip to Europe and Oberammergau, Germany, in particular, I renewed a past passion and became inspired for a second time. The wood-carving appeared to totally surround us in the houses and shops, the carved goods, the reindeers, the people and the dogs. All showed me a new avenue in which to venture.” Enn Muller, an Illawarra wood-carving legend, offered Bill a few lessons. “He offered valuable tips and important knowledge which I have come to really appreciate. But I still attend the Shellharbour Branch of the Sydney Woodworkers Group. I began in 2001 and still attend at least once a week. They are also inspiring. “We also make group projects such as an Australian-themed chess set. The pawns, for example, were wombats, kangaroos etc. It was a combined effort with the many Sydney groups as well and raised $13,000 for cochlear implant research. Other items go towards raffles for worthy charitable causes.” Bill says his favourite projects have been those he has completed for his grandchildren. “I have eight grand-daughters and I have made them each a Tudor stool. Each are individualised and designed and carved with that grand-daughter in mind. I know they will always appreciate them.” Carving can be completed with any wood but some are better for different projects.

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“Australian White Beech is a good timber with a beautiful grain and is easy to carve. Yet it is quite hard to come by. Some, in fact is imported but native Australian is far superior. Queensland maple is easy to carve, Huon pine, in my mind, does not take the small detail that I visualise. Coachwood, River red gum, camphor laurel all have a purpose. “ Tools are also purpose-specific. Generally, Swiss-made tools are preferable. “My artificial diamond-impregnated 8000 grit stone is much-needed for projects. I also have other hand tools, micro tools and even old dentist probes. All have their uses. “My advice is always the same: practise, practise, practise. And always buy good tools and make sure they are razor-sharp. The carving pleasure is easily lost if the wood and tools are not appropriate, or blunt. When the conditions are perfect the process of carving is pure bliss.” Even once a creation of his is carved, there is still sanding, sealing and polishing to do. “I make my own sealer with a paint-thinner and dissolve polystyrene and paint on the carving. I then rub it back lightly, oil or polish it.” Bill’s creative future include carving a Celtic cross and a special David and Goliath project. n Writer Janice Creenaune is a volunteer for the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation. For more information please contact Janice on janicecreenaune@gmail.com or ph 4267 4880. 2515


CHOICES FOR WOMEN TODAY

To mark Women’s Health Week this month, Dr Hayley Glasson runs through contraceptive options. National Women’s Health Week runs from 7 to 11 September and includes activities and awarenessraising to improve the wellbeing and health literacy of women throughout Australia. The release of the first combined oral contraceptive pill (“the pill”) in Australia in 1961 revolutionised women’s healthcare. The pill has many advantages, but it is not the best option for all women. A number of long acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) options are now available, and provide increased reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of use and other health benefits. Depo-Provera is a progestogen-only contraceptive which needs to be injected every 12 weeks. A number of women find that they get lighter periods with extended use. There can be a delay to return to fertility, and it is considered 94-99.8% effective. The most reliable LARCs are the contraceptive implant (Implanon) and intrauterine devices (IUDs). Implanon is a small flexible rod placed under the skin, which releases a low dose of progestogen, and typically lasts for three years. Once inserted, they are 99.9% effective, and the effects are rapidly reversed when the implant is removed. Hormonal IUDs include Mirena and the latest option available in Australia, Kyleena. Both are small T-shaped devices that are fitted inside the uterus by a specially trained GP or Gynaecologist and release a very low dose of a progestogen over five years. Mirena is also available on the PBS as a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding, and both are considered around 99.8% effective for contraception. The Kyleena has a lower dose of hormone and a smaller insertion device, which may be preferable in women who have not had previous pregnancies. For those who want a hormone-free LARC, the Copper IUD is an option which lasts for 5-10 years. Contraception is a highly individual choice, and some options may not be suitable for you. To find out which is the best option, have a chat with your GP. Bulli Medical Practice offers all forms of LARCs. Family Planning NSW (www.fpnsw.org. au) and the Jean Hailes Foundation (www. jeanhailes.org.au) are other great resources for women’s health topics. 2515

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Photos: Rebecca Brennan and Instagram@simeonjohn_

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Award-winning visual artist and teacher Rebecca Brennan (pictured above, at right) has collaborated with bestselling author Bella Vendramini on a new project called The Middle Line. Wollongong City Council recently awarded the pair a quick response arts grant. Here, Rebecca shares the story behind The Middle Line project. I met Bella through another visual artist and we shared an instant connection. Sometimes in life, when you meet someone, you know it’s life changing. That’s how we felt when we met. It was one of those once in a lifetime connections. Our friendship is based on all the regular things (Champagne and laughs) yet the unique way we see the world and our creative vision are the same. We both are wired to see beauty in the world, the subtext of humanity within that and the desire to express it. We met four years ago and have been best friends since. After reading Bella’s Australian bestselling book, Biting the Big Apple, I loved her humanity and humour that came through her writing, so I invited her to be the voice to work alongside the visuals for The Middle Line project. This collaboration was inspired by a need to have site-specific short stories to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. Born out of my curiosity and adoration for the natural world as a fine artist and photographer, I found in my practice that symmetry exists everywhere around us and once I put the middle

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line into my compositions interesting forms took shape, begging the question, ‘What do you see?’ Akin to psychological ink blot studies, these images also hold a tribal, timeless spiritual beauty. Everyone sees something different, which I find fascinating. Wollongong City Council awarded me a quick response arts grant of $1500 to help through Covid-19 as many in the arts community have lost a lot of work at this time. The funds will be used for printing, framing and gallery hire for a two-week exhibition at the Timbermill gallery, opening on Saturday, October 3 until 16 October 2020. Community involvement has been amazing already, with weekly posts on my social media @rebeccabrennanart on Instagram and Facebook as well as the public’s feedback straight from my Bulli studio, open 10am-3pm, Tuesday-Sunday. n The official launch of The Middle Line project is open to the public and will be held at 6pm on Saturday, 17 October at the Timbermill Studios, 2-6 Molloy Street, Bulli. 2515


FUNDING IS ‘MILESTONE MOMENT’ FOR SCARF By SCARF’s Cristina Sacco

SCARF Refugee Support has been subcontracted by Settlement Services International (SSI) to deliver the Refugee Employment Support Program (RESP) in the Illawarra. The RESP is a four-year $22 million initiative by the NSW Government, managed by the NSW Department of Education. RESP works at a local level to provide targeted job-readiness programs, work experience pathways and support opportunities for former refugees and asylum seekers to secure meaningful employment. Since the program commenced in 2017, the RESP has provided support to more than 7500 refugees and asylum seekers. This is a milestone moment for SCARF, as it is the first time they have accessed government funding to support and expand this much-needed area of their work. SCARF CEO Pippa Rendel said: “We are thrilled for the opportunity to continue to develop our employment support programs and provide practical and meaningful opportunities for further training and local employment at what we know is a difficult time for many.” 2515

COMING SOON: THE IMPERIAL AT CLIFTON

Construction is on time and The Imperial at Clifton is set to open as an “on-trend food and beverage venue” in late 2020, Shellharbour Workers’ Club Ltd announced last month. The Imperial will feature parking for 35 cars, five motorbikes and 12 bicycles. A shuttle bus, travelling between Thirroul and Stanwell Tops, will also offer a drop-and-dine service, which will allow tourists to explore the coast and enjoy a picnic lunch from their location of choice. Construction works have seen the restoration of a number of unique heritage features. The original front verandah, timber staircase and decorative arches will be restored to their original glory, the Shellharbour club said. 2515

For local, experienced and educated real estate advice, call Ian today! Ian Pepper 0403 570 041

ian.pepper@raywhite.com raywhitehelensburgh.com.au

Buyers looking to exit city

Inspections at properties in our area have increasingly seen buyers from Sydney and the Blue Mountains looking to purchase in the area. It seems the COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked businesses allowing their staff to work from home and now people don’t have as much desire to be close to their work. Many businesses have even noted staff productivity increasing as a result of the more flexible work environment. So, what does this mean for our property market? When demand exceeds supply then pressure is put on prices and we have a vendor’s market. But note this window of opportunity may not be around for long. SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 29


‘OUR ENDANGERED ESCARPMENT’ An opinion piece by Martin Gorrick

Wollongong City Council acknowledges the Aboriginal inhabitants of the Illawarra as its “original custodians”. Rightly so. However, this doesn’t preclude all of us from a custodial role, and the responsibilities that go with it. In this article, I attempt to identify some of the challenges facing the Illawarra – and suggest how threats might be mitigated. Many others, including Council, have focussed upon the challenges confronting the Illawarra bioregion. However, it appears to me that more

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might be done; and in a more concerted, organised, and urgent way. In 2011 the Illawarra Subtropical Rainforest was listed by the NSW Government as an Endangered Ecological Community, likely to become extinct in nature unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate. In 2019 the Commonwealth Government listed the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Subtropical Rainforest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion as a critically


facing our escarpment and waterways must be the first step. A recent illustration of the effectiveness of this is the community’s response to the grotesque DA for the Thirroul Plaza site. That DA has galvanised the residents of the Northern Illawarra into action in a powerful and coordinated way. Residents have used social and print media endangered ecological community. The dangers are platforms, as well as established and newly formed many, and include: community groups, to give voice to their opposition to the DA, as well as a way to give voice 1. Weed invasion, such as occurs along the escarpment to positive alternatives. Further, the response to the road passes, along many of the mountain bike and DA has highlighted the love the community has for hiking tracks and on privately owned land. the escarpment, including uninterrupted and unimpeded views of it. 2. Clearing and fragmentation of native vegetation and Bringing together the many community groups fauna habitats associated with unsympathetic and and individuals who wish to further a custodial poorly regulated urban development, especially in role in relation to the escarpment requires people the foothills and coastal plains. For example, the prepared to devote their time to coordinate and threat to the Turpentine Forest and creek habitats prepare their strategies; to share duties and posed by the Anglicare 57-townhouse development responsibilities; and to share their collective for the old Cookson Plibrico site at Bulli; the knowledge and experience. This sharing should 18-Lot subdivision proposed for one of the last include Council, and extend to the collection of remnants of littoral rainforest on the eastern side of data, such as routine water quality sampling, the railway line (adjacent to Coledale Hospital); including during and after rainfall events; the Illawarra Coke Company plans for the identifying the sources of nutrients, sediments, redirection of Towradgi Creek on its land in heavy metals and faecal contamination from Corrimal, to make way for a multi-storey tributaries; and data collection regarding the flora 700-home development; and any plans for the and fauna which utilise the creeks and lagoons. company’s 118-hectare site at Coalcliff. Gathering reliable information of this kind should be a key part of a custodian’s role, in order 3. Degradation of the overall water quality of the to ensure appropriate management required for the escarpment creeks and lagoons. It is both a scandal protection of the environmental values of the and an emergency that the clean rainwater which Illawarra’s creeks and lagoons, and to improve their falls upon the escarpment is considered to be dirty condition into the future. and poisonous by the time it reaches our lagoons How? One way is for the Council to impose an and shoreline. Bellambi Lagoon is but one example environmental levy. Levies are a common way for of this. The Council regularly declares it unsafe to Councils to obtain additional funding for specific swim in, even for dogs. projects. Environment Levies have been used by many NSW Councils over the years, and enable 4. The pummelling of our creeks into lifeless man-made them to deal with crucial environmental issues forms. Unsympathetic residential development including health of waterways and supervision and adjacent to (or on top of!) these waterways is the coordination of active and newly created landcare/ main culprit. For most of the Wollongong LGA it is bushcare groups. too late to save or rehabilitate these decimated The other way in which our custodial role might waterways. They are now drains and culverts – be recognised and advanced is to engage the underground or ugly – which nevertheless flood all Council in this role in a more pro-active and less the time. However, in the Northern Illawarra it is pro-development way. still possible to restore and preserve most of our But for Covid, Ward 1 residents would be going creeks in their natural forms, thereby enabling to the ballot box in September. Ward 1 is the largest them to be what mother nature intended them to Ward in the Wollongong LGA, covering an area of be: environmental and wildlife corridors. Of 484 km2. In the 2515 postcode, the distance course, this is already occurring in multiple single between the Tasman Sea and the Illawarra instances, either by reason of the endeavours of Escarpment narrows considerably. Until relatively caring property owners; or the unstinting efforts of recently this has restricted development. But not bush and creek regenerators. anymore. Any Ward 1 councillors standing for re-election, and all new candidates, should be WAYS FORWARD pressed to see how they intend to give voice to our A concerted and organised response to the crisis custodianship. 2515

The beauty of the Illawarra escarpment has inspired many artists, including local painter Anthea Stead. Pictured here is her ‘Escarpment View’, which will be part of an exhibition at the new 55 Parrots store in Bulli from 29 September-3 November. The show will feature works by Anthea, Tanya Stubbles, Holly Eva and Alannah Dreise. Visit www.antheastead.com.au

SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 31


Danielle Dobson, author of Breaking the Gender Code. Photos supplied

THE COACH WHO CRACKED THE GENDER CODE

2515 spoke to Thirroul coach, author and speaker Danielle Dobson about her topical new book. Danielle Dobson has her middle son to thank for the ‘eureka’ moment that led her to publish a book. “Leo and I were having a one-on-one after school at Seafoam Cafe in Thirroul, and he wasn’t interested talking, so I said: ‘Okay. Let me tell you about my day. I’ve discovered this gender code and it influences how we think, how we feel and behave, and I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve got to do something.’ “And he said: ‘Is your gender code anything like Code It Yourself Club that I do after school?’ “I said: ‘I don’t know, but let’s talk about that.’ So I got my recorder out and I said: ‘Why is it important to you to do coding? “He said: ‘Well, mum, when I’m coding, I get to be in charge. I get to do what I want to do because I make my own code.’ “And I’m like, oh my God. “He helped me work it out. If you question the code, and understand it, then you can ask if it makes sense any more. If it doesn’t, you can do something different – keep the parts that you value, delete any parts of the code that you don’t want any more, and then create new code.” This conversation was inspirational in the writing of Breaking the Gender Code, a book Danielle self-published in May, with the help of Rooland creative director Suzanne Haddon at UOW’s Innovation Campus.

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Danielle is a coach, who brings her own varied experience to helping women create pathways to leadership. “Originally, I was a CPA [Certified Practising Accountant], I was working for multinationals, mostly male-dominated industries and in finance roles. When Alex, my eldest, came along, I didn’t go back to work.” She became a personal trainer and ran her own exercise business. Wanting to focus on mind and body, Danielle later became a wellness coach, then an executive coach. She has lived and worked around the world, including in the UK, US and China, and is the mother of three boys, aged 13, 11 and 9. All this experience – including time she laughingly describes as being a “closet single mum” when her now ex-husband was often away on work trips – led Danielle to the point where she felt driven to examine the pressures upon women. “I wanted to understand, why is it that men are in a more powerful position and women are not progressing into the leadership roles, and why do we feel guilty? Women were suffering from burnout, depletion, exhaustion – just trying to juggle and balance and feeling stretched in the process. And I’m like, what is going on? So that’s when I started my research project.” What started as a small study in October 2017 has morphed into a guide to rewriting your life that includes case studies of 50 high-achieving women,


in fields ranging from finance, healthcare and neuroscience to marketing and journalism to politics and parenting. “I came across this idea of the gender code – it’s a set of default beliefs about the ‘natural’ differences between men and women. These beliefs have created stereotypes that keep genders firmly in different boxes. A lot of the time we’ve been getting pigeonholed as ‘carer’ and men as ‘provider’. “The book is to help women deconstruct and understand the gender code.” Danielle assumed evolution and biology played a role. “But I looked into it and there’s new evidence to suggest that it wasn’t man-hunter woman-gatherer, that we were once an egalitarian species. We had to work together to be able to survive in harsh environments. “If you look at the people who created that narrative, they’re all of one gender. So they all see through one lens.” Releasing a book mid-coronavirus lockdown in May came with challenges – “I did an online book launch via Zoom, competing with three kids for bandwidth” – but being able to reach out to the world from her home in Thirroul had its benefits. “There were 165 people online. My family – mum and dad are in Victoria – and friends all over the world could be there. Whereas if I had an in-person launch, I might’ve been lucky to get 30. “And I included the boys – instead of cutting the ribbon, we slashed it with a light sabre.” Juggling work and parenting is one of the book’s key themes. Most women said after they became a parent, they became a better leader, Danielle found. “I dug more deeply into that. I asked them what were the skills or strengths that they built after becoming a parent? And it was: empathy perspective, critical thinking, creativity, flexibility, adaptability. “These are all the strengths that they’re talking

about in the corporate world, what’s needed for good leadership. “It [being a mother] is actually an asset, but it’s seen as a liability. “So I need to change the narrative on that. “So that’s what drove me to do the book. “There’s tools and strategies and insights and best practices from the women that I’ve interviewed. I developed a guide for women to develop their own unique solutions. “The other part of my mission is to help CEOs and major decision-makers take the blinkers off in business and see that the skillset that women bring to the workplace is highly sought after and critical.” Lots has changed since Danielle started writing her book. ‘Me Too’ altered what’s acceptable in the popular narrative, she says, while Covid-19 has shown the value of “strength and empathy and compassion and kindness” at a national level, in leaders, such as New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. At the same time, the economic downturn has hurt more women than men and the fight for gender equality in the labour force, and at home, is more important than ever. All this makes Breaking the Gender Code a good read for our times. “I’ve written it for women,” Danielle says. “In fact, I wrote it for an avatar I created called Rebecca Fletcher. She’s what kept me going, a random photo from a health and wellbeing magazine. When I felt like, ‘This is just too hard. I want to get out’, then I’d look up at Rebecca and say, ‘No, Rebecca needs this book.’ “I guess it’s a book that I wish I had about five years ago as well.” n Visit codeconversations.com.au, or connect via www. linkedin.com/in/danielledobsondna. Breaking the Gender Code is at Collins Booksellers in Thirroul. 2515

DANIELLE’S FAVOURITE PLACES

I’m from the Yarra Valley in Victoria, that’s where I grew up. I moved overseas for eight years… then we moved here in 2007. Two of my three sons were born here, in Figtree, the first one was born in America. We spent a year in Beijing, in 2012/13, but other than that Thirroul is my home. It is just beautiful all year round. It’s like this little bubble of paradise. I’m a huge fan of the outdoors, and my kids are now as well. I think their first food was sand. My favourite places to eat are Earthwalker, that’s no. 1, Moore Street General and Black Market Roasters. My favourite coffees are Bread, Espresso &, Seafoam and Finbox. I have long blacks, so I can really taste the coffee, I think that’s why. I go to Thirroul Fruit Barn. I love everyone locally, Sue at Thirroul dry cleaners is like my second mum, Cucina is a lifesaver for dinner for my kids, their lasagne is awesome. I only ever go to IGA pretty much, I am so local. And Collins Booksellers, that’s the only place I browse. My book is at Collins, which has been one of my biggest thrills, because I love that shop and I’m there all the time. 2515

SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 33


Ward 1 Greens councillor Mithra Cox (far left) met Coledale residents on Buttenshaw Drive to discuss traffic safety. Photo: Unicorn Studios

PUSH TO RETHINK ROADS

Coledale children have hand-drawn “Slow” signs for Buttenshaw Drive after a beloved local lyrebird was run over. Now the community is calling on Council to act too. 2515 reports. It takes a courageous 11-year-old to speak up before a crowd of adults. But after a lyrebird was killed, practically on her doorstep, nature-loving Millie Schulz was determined to be heard. “Cars just come flying along,” she told a group of about a dozen Coledale locals, who met in July on Buttenshaw Drive to share traffic safety concerns with Ward 1 Greens councillor Mithra Cox. “I have often seen my friends just riding their bikes along this road, and they’ve come so close to cars hitting them.” Millie doesn’t walk the 10 minutes downhill to school – it is too dangerous. “I do walk the dogs with my dad sometimes in the evening, and there’s these P-platers just going super fast.” Speed. Increased traffic. Lacks of safe footpaths. This is a story set in Coledale – but the issues are common around the northern Illawarra. Millie is the daughter of Coledale’s Kylie Madden, who wrote a moving tribute to ‘Frank’, the lyrebird killed in a ‘hit and run’ on Buttenshaw. Her eulogy, as 2515 reported last month, was liked by almost 4000 people on Facebook. Kylie also wrote to Wollongong City Council, calling for traffic calming measures, and organised the residents’ meeting with Mithra Cox.

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Last month, a Council spokesperson said: “We understand and share our community’s concern for traffic safety in our northern suburbs. Road rules are in place to protect all road users, including local wildlife, and we thank residents who have taken the time to get in touch with Council and relay their concerns and feedback. “Council’s Traffic and Transport Unit is responding to the residents’ enquiries and has started an investigation into traffic along Buttenshaw Drive to better understand driver behaviour. As part of this work we will carry out traffic counts along Buttenshaw Drive and other identified roads to determine the number of vehicles and their travel speeds, and complete an Origin/Destination Study to understand how these routes are being used. “Data from these studies will be analysed to determine potential solutions that may be implemented to address speeding concerns in our northern suburbs. “We have also requested NSW Police to increase patrols on Buttenshaw Drive, depending on the availability of Police resources.’’ SEIZE THE MOMENT But do we need to rethink road-use on a grander


ADD YOUR VOICE

Cr Mithra Cox told the group that Wollongong City Council is putting a greater focus on active transport, and there is strength in numbers. “It always helps when there are more people asking for a thing, that is for sure. When one person asks for it, it’s very easy for it to be on the bottom of the pile. If you’ve got 60 percent of residents on one street saying, ‘Hey, something needs to happen here.’ “Then something needs to happen.”

scale? Buttenshaw Drive resident Jamie Madden, Kylie’s brother, thinks so. “Council really needs to think about new ways of looking at streets – not as a car-centric device, as a shared zone potentially,” he said. “I am completely supportive of making it [Buttenshaw Drive] a pedestrian-friendly zone. “Here, we’re hemmed in by the escarpment and the beach. Other than the beach there’s not a lot of the other recreational areas. And so this [road] has become this vicarious kind of recreation area… “It’s an amazing opportunity for the council to be understanding of that and work out how to redefine the design here.” After seeing families use the back road as a play space during the Covid-19 lockdown, local mum Bettina Steffens thinks it is a missed opportunity not to capitalise on this trend. “I agree with making the street less popular, and decreasing speed in whatever way,” Bettina said. “It’s about making the streets safe – for animals, for pedestrians. But that’s just one aspect.” Their dream is of a shared space – where walkers and wildlife; cyclists, children and cars all use the road. And no one gets hurt. LOWER THE SPEED LIMIT One resident at the Buttenshaw meeting was Lena Huda, founder of the 30 Please campaign. Lena is a German expat campaigning for a default 30km/h speed limit on local streets in Australia, similar to the UK and Germany (visit 30please.org). Safer local streets could also help with

congestion and take cars off the road, Lena said. “Over 20 percent of the people in Australia think they would use active travel as a mode of transport if it was safe, but they don’t because it’s not safe,” Lena said. “You only want main roads to be faster than 30km. Also, the research is that the impact on travel time is really minimal.” CREATE A SAFE PATH TO SCHOOL All at the meeting agreed the area needs a safe pedestrian path so people can walk to the station, and children can walk to Coledale school, saving about four car trips up and down the hill a day. “The roads down to the station – that’s Cater and Asquith – need footpaths,” Kylie Madden said. “Both of those roads are just treacherous. “People will send their children to a neighbouring school because the bus can’t get down Cater St. So Coledale school is at the bottom of the hill, but people put their children on the bus to Scarborough or Austi to avoid this road.” The back road has also been suffering from more traffic as motorists try to avoid the now notorious weekend traffic jams on Lawrence Hargrave Drive. “We want to make the road safe for kids,” said Naomi Ullmann, another Buttenshaw resident. Signage could help. “I think people just aren’t aware and if they were made to be aware, like in other places, then you slow down,” Naomi said. Drivers also need to slow down for their own safety, she added. Deer are seen daily and there should be warning signs: “They are coming out and you don’t really expect it.” 2515

SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 35


to do in a sense what we’ve always done. We’ve just done it very differently. We have a phrase that we’ve used quite a lot recently – ‘we’re married to our mission, but we date our methodology’. So, if you can be clear on why you exist, the ‘how’ you do it is flexible. We want people to meet and know Jesus. That can continue to happen even in the midst of Covid. We pivoted and went online. We have an online service that has multiple elements. And we continue to provide that service – it’s called “Austi Online”. Many of our particularly vulnerable members who have not been able to return still make use of it each week and, like all we do, it is publicly available to the community. People can have it in their own lounge rooms and through social media. We’ve created a YouTube channel, to engage with people who are house bound , and we’ve also now got people connecting with us from all over the world, including Canada and England. As part of our pivot, we changed what our regular Bible preaching and teaching would have been. What’s wonderful about the Bible is it’s a very rich, diverse document and there’s lots of bits that talk about faith in the midst of hard times. So On Monday, March 23, Australia awoke to news places of there’s a particular book that we have spent the last few months looking at in the New Testament called worship were among many venues that would shut from the Book of James and our sermon series was midday. Six months on, Nathan Sandon, senior pastor of called ‘Faith under Pressure’. Austi Thirroul Anglican Churches, shares his story. We’ve been talking about some of the big What a six months it’s been! Our pandemic reality questions a moment like this raises. The big one, of moment hit us the week, in March, when the prime course, is: if the church is right, and there is such a minister declared that big public gatherings were to thing as a loving God, then why does he permit something like the pandemic to occur? be banned. Places of worship were being directed Another big question: Is there anything that is to shut down. I can remember the moment well as my wife and certain or dependable or trustworthy in the midst of such uncertainty? That’s something that we’ve I had just dropped our two young ones off to explored in the Bible, by searching the scriptures. preschool when the press meeting was held and We think that the Bible has some great things to suddenly our social media feed just went haywire say in response to these questions. with all of these announcements. The Anglican In our lifetime, this is definitely a historical head office was quick to follow up with a public moment. Everybody is feeling the strain. statement: “All public ministries of the Anglican At the peak of the pandemic, social isolation Diocese of Sydney were to cease, effective amongst our seniors was very high – not just immediately.” within our church, but within the surrounding It was very sudden and shocking. community of the Coal Coast. We were coming However, it wasn’t unique. across people who were completely socially isolated The last time this happened was in 1919, with to the point of loneliness and despair. We were able the outbreak of the Spanish flu after World War to help them, serve them, try and connect. One. There’s old black and white photos of our We encouraged our people to ‘adopt’ their street. churches in 1919, with notices posted on the front We had a couple of our church members write a door of the church saying due to the pandemic, letter and put it in people’s letter boxes. Just to say, the churches are closed. The historical precedent was one of those things that helped us not to panic. ‘Look, we’re your neighbour, we live down the street. If you’re alone, we would love to talk to you.’ It’s been a good opportunity to think, well, who As a general pandemic thing, not just in church are we as a church? What is our core purpose? land, the issue of social isolation is huge. The rates Does this kind of decision, that’s outside of our of loneliness are skyrocketing. The rates of control, necessarily mean that we cease to exist? depression are skyrocketing. And also suicide, And the answer to that is no. We’ve still been able

COVID DIARIES: HOW A CHURCH IS COPING

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particularly male suicide. In our globalised society, you can now Zoom around the world and connect with people through technology. But at the same time, the importance of personal relationships and community is huge. We were made for relationships, we’ve been made with a purpose. And part of that purpose as humans is to relate to one another and whilst technology is great – you can’t hug a screen. We usually met together multiple times on a Sunday in large public gatherings. Over the last six months, we’ve been meeting as small groups, when we were permitted. Our doors have been closed for a time, but we just reopened a couple of weeks ago. We have a Covid Safe Plan. We’re currently allowed to have 100 people at a single time. At the moment, we have three groups meeting each Sunday (9am Austi; 9.30am at Thirroul; and 6pm at Austi) where we have between 25 and 60 people at each service, with a total of about 120 people coming along each Sunday. That’s probably just over half of what we used to get before Covid. Every service is a public service and so anyone can turn up and attend. All are welcome. There is happiness and joy and excitement on the one hand that we are finally able to see each other again, but there’s also a certain feeling of anxiety and some exhaustion. Everybody is very tired, people’s energy levels and general wellbeing is bruised and battered. There’s anxiety around making plans. You make a plan and then a week later because of the changing circumstances, all those plans get thrown out. We are wearing masks. It feels very unusual. Collectively, every time we met, we used to sing

a couple of songs. At the moment, one of the directives from the government is to not have corporate singing. As long as a musician is 3m away from anyone else, you can have a performance of a song – but the congregation is not allowed to sing along. We’re abiding by these guidelines even though not being able to sing is quite frustrating – it’s something we love to do. We’ve used it as a chance to try new things. For example, I come from a deaf family, and if you go to a deaf church, you can still sing on your hands, using sign language. A couple of people in our community know sign language, so we were able to teach the rest how to sing on our hands: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!” Another challenge we have is that we’re a warm welcoming bunch and so we have cultural tradition that as soon as we see each other, we shake hands or we give each other a hug – the Bible even uses the term, give one another a ‘holy kiss’, which is that kiss on the cheek. We don’t do that now. How do you not shake a friend’s hand when you see them again after a long time? It’s hard not to. It does feel strange to still be so physically separate. We’re not doing our regular morning teas or suppers or social gatherings after the formal part of the service is over. We really want to be careful not to be a place which could become a hot spot. We genuinely want people to be safe. And so we just live in this tension of we’d love to be back to normal, but we know we can’t for the time being. n Sunday services have resumed at Austi Thirroul Anglican Churches, visit www.austianglicanchurch.org.au 2515 Social distancing at Sunday services is part of the Covid Cafe Plan. Top left: senior pastor Nathan Sandon. Photos supplied

SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 37


INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Wash and dry plastic bottles. Use any household container without a handle.

CREATIVE CORNER With Imogen Ross. In the first of this new series, learn how to upcycle bottles and create spring flowers.

Hi, my name is Imogen and I am a local artist who specialises in working imaginatively with kids around environmental sustainability, repurposing household objects and reducing the amount of waste we generate. I have been running creative craft workshops with diverse community groups for many years and am writing a column with 2515 to encourage you to create things with your kids that won’t cost a lot of money. Reducing the amount of waste we all generate is a great way to benefit the environment. Before you throw anything away, think about whether all or part of it could be recycled or reused. For example, if you throw out your water bottles after one use, that’s a lot more waste than reusing one bottle a number of times Approximately 100 million plastic bottles are used and discarded every day across the world, with 80 percent of them simply becoming non-biodegradable litter. Plastic water bottles have a significant carbon footprint, with the amount of water going into making a bottle being up to three times what’s inside the bottle. Bottles used to package water take more than 1000 years to bio-degrade and, if incinerated, produce toxic fumes. It is always better to find a non-plastic reusable option to drink water from. Repurposing the plastic bottles you find is an excellent habit to get into. There are many opportunities for creative reuse when you start looking for them. Don’t just throw it away, use it to make something awesome. September means Spring and Spring means flowers! So let’s make some colourful flowers from our plastic bottles, and brighten up an area of the house or garden.

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2. Cut bottle in half with scissors. Be careful with this step as small fingers can get cut.

3. Draw, then cut petals shapes on bottles. Trim sharp edges. [Keep all fragments in a recycling container, pop on a lid and place in recycling bin.]


4. Using very hot water or a hairdryer, heat petals to create an open natural shape. I use tongs and bowls to weigh petals down flat. If no heating available, simply press the petals flat open.

CREATIVE CORNERS COMMUNITY CRAFT SESSION

Celebrate spring! Join local families in making fun art from upcycled materials. Date for your diary: Saturday, September 5 (1-4pm) Glastonbury Gardens, Austinmer DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS, PARTICIPANTS MUST BOOK A 30MIN SESSION BEFORE ARRIVING. WE CAN ONLY HAVE 15 PARTICIPANTS AT A TIME! PLEASE CALL IMOGEN ON 0412 936 566 TO RESERVE A TIME SLOT.

5. Decorate petals as you prefer. If you prefer colour, paint flower petals on reverse side with acrylics or spray paint. If you don’t have multipurpose acrylic paint, mix ½ paint and ½ white glue to help adhere to the petals. Try oil pastels, old nail varnish or Posco-style Sharpies.

6. Drill hole in centre of bottle lid. Push firm wire/ wool up through bottle opening, weave through holes of a button/bead and back down through lid. Drill a hole in base of bottle, so you can use as flowers too. Use wire/wool tie to attach the flower to a stick or a fence. To recycle, remove wire and buttons, and place plastics in your recycling bin.

Please bring: • clean upcycled plastic drink bottles soda, milk, juice, water • a pair of scissors with your kid’s name on them • a variety of plastic bottle lids • thick Sharpies or permanent markers to decorate • a picnic blanket to sit on • hats, water and sunscreen as needed. We will be making upcycled ‘bottle flowers’ together, to create an outdoor ‘garden’ along the railway fences at the Austinmer Railway Underpass Tunnel, as part of Creative Corners – a WCC Connecting Neighbourhoods community-run project in Austinmer (featured on the cover of July’s 2515 Coast News). Families of all ages are welcome to participate, but children under 12 MUST BE SUPERVISED by their guardians. Local artists and Austinmer Public School parents Louise Manner and Imogen Ross will be hosting the session as volunteers, and will not be able to provide any child supervision. Parents are asked to remain present and participate as sharp tools will be used in an outdoor location. Families can come along and join in anytime between 1.30-3.30pm on the day. Any queries, please contact Imogen or Louise for more information and to book a time slot. Email imogenross@yahoo.com.au 2515

 Want Imogen to hold a creative upcycling craft workshop for your community group, or at your event? Email imogenross@yahoo.com.au  Imogen and Louise Manner will host a public making day, 1-4pm, at Glastonbury Gardens on Saturday, 5th September (see right). 2515

SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 39


GLOW WORMS, A GHOST AND THE CURIOUS ‘G’ Paul Blanksby reports on a new replica of the historic railway station sign at Helensburgh.

Back in 1889, Henry Parkes was the premier, Banjo was writing about Clancy of the Overflow and Bravo won the Melbourne Cup. And on January 1, in a town called Camp Creek, now Helensburgh, residents attended the opening of their station. The station, at the junction of Tunnel Rd and Vera St, was between two tunnels: the Helensburgh (80m) and the Metropolitan (624m), aka the Glow Worm tunnel. It soon became apparent the single line was too steep and the increased traffic too much for the small station, with the Otford tunnel notorious for suffocating, hot conditions. There were even cases of enginemen burnt by the heat, and passengers almost choking in the tunnel when trains stalled on the 1-in-40 gradients. On 13 June 1895, a local miner named Robert Hails was run over and killed by a train heading to Wollongong in one of the tunnels. It is believed he was walking home to Clifton and fell asleep on the tracks. Some say his ghost still chases the trains. And, whilst your writer doesn’t believe in ghosts, he does know about glow worms, and these pugnacious ‘spider-grubs’ have lived in the tunnel for a long time. Their beautiful display of blue-green stars entranced local children, who would venture in canoes through the giant reeds that cloaked the entrance and into the flooded darkness. The glow worms too have had their share of drama, with visitors smoking, using sparklers, flares, and graffitiing the tunnel walls. To protect the site, there is now a fence and lockable gate here. To overcome the track’s problems, the first tunnel, the Waterfall Tunnel, was opened out to form a cutting. The Cawley, Helensburgh and Metropolitan tunnels were bypassed by deviations and a new station was built on the deviation at Helensburgh, opening in 1915. In April 1995, Metropolitan Colliery decided to clear sediment and debris at the northern entrance

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to the tunnel. During this work, a few bricks of the original platform were unearthed. This is where Allan House and Helensburgh Landcare come in. Allan approached the colliery and sought an excavation of the old station site. The colliery agreed. In 2001, a Centenary of Federation grant enabled Landcare to further clean up and lay track taken from colliery on the other side of the tunnel. So, an old station platform needs an old sign, right? Something for Robert and the glow worms to enjoy. There were originally three signs, black with brass letters painted white, and over 4.4m long! The ‘G’ in Helensburgh was in a curious font. These signs were transferred to the new station and repainted white with black lettering. But in 1983 they were taken down, the brass lettering removed and the backs thrown into a nearby gully. Here they remained, until recovered in the early 1990s. Only one sign was worth restoring, which Helensburgh Landcare did with Federal Government funds. In 2012, letters were stolen. The sign was repaired. Again the letters were stolen and the sign damaged with a hammer and chisel. It was decided it should be replaced with a more robust replica and Landcare approached the Helensburgh Men’s Shed in 2019 to design, facilitate, assemble and install the new sign. We are very pleased that local businesses have contributed to the new sign’s creation. Col Aldred’s Aldred Engineering made the steel frame, Barry Skea from B.S.S. Engineering created the aluminium letters, James Carlson from NexGen Powder Coatings applied the powder-coating and Peabody Coal was a sponsor. The new sign is now at the old railway platform off Tunnel Road. 2515 Pictured above, from left to right: Wayne Wheatley, Merilyn & Allan House, Mike Croft, Joanne Smith, Christina Robinson, John Quist, Mark Bray and Stephen Love. Photo: Ian Jackson


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With Terri Ayliffe.

It’s been a trying year, one that may have led us to experience cognitive dissonance and or low-grade depression. Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable experience we feel when recent evidence is presented that challenges our beliefs. The loss of control and feelings of vulnerability that arise from cognitive dissonance can give rise to feelings of hopelessness, which can culminate in the experience of low-grade depression. I’m sure most of us in our community and a considerable amount of people in the broader global community are experiencing low moods. It’s best to think of moods as colours that come in a range of hues. Sometimes we are at the lighter end of the colour spectrum but even that hue varies and at other times we are on the darker end of the spectrum. Low-level depression is within the darker range, but not the darkness of clinical depression. It is a misconception that moods are all or nothing. If we feel low, we aren’t happy and if we feel happy, we can’t feel low. Nor can we control low mood with positivity and mantra, we disguise them in this way rather than sit with them, understand what we are feeling and work to address the cognitive dissonance and the low mood so we can move forward. It seems we have a way to go with Covid and we don’t understand if life will return to normal and that is unsettling. But the opportunity for change sits within this, and cognitive dissonance and low-grade depression can drive change. Without them we might maintain the equilibrium and that may not be in our best interests. There is a bright future, even if the present is in a dark end of the colour spectrum. n Read more at https://lifeology.blog or get in touch with Terri: Terriayliffe@gmail.com or 0431 488 914. 2515


TEST YOUR LOCAL KNOWLEDGE! Hint: Answers lie in 2515’s September issue. Test Your Local Knowledge! September 2020 1 2

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ACROSS

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2. Vegetable now in season, good in tarts. 26 27 28 7. Which local real estate agent is a 29 former cop? Surname please. 30 8. Which business park offers big and small storage solutions? 9. Which new boutique law firm is offering a free initial consultation? 11. Which arborist is offering $100 off in a DOWN spring special? 1. Name of a small Japanese object four hours of free consultation? 12. A successful wildlife garden needs carved in wood? 17. There’s shortage of what at our Across food, water and what? 3. How many years for Down a single solar beaches after winter’s ECLs? Vegetable nowTree in season, Japanese small objectbeach carved in wood? 13. 2. Month of National Day? good in tarts. panel to pay back 1. itsName carbonoffootprint? 19. Which hosted a Scarborough Which local estatepizza agent is a former cop? and new author 3. How manyDobson years for a single solar panel take for to the first 14. 7. Helensburgh clubreal offering deals? 4. Coach Danielle Boardriders pointscore Surname please. pay back its carbon footprint? 15. Artist upcycles plastic bottles into? has cracked which code? time in living memory? 18. 8. Surname local artist whose Whichofbusiness park offers big and small storage 4. Coach and new author Dobson has health week? 5. Which branch of Sydney Woodworkers 22. Danielle Sept is whose national Escarpment solutions?View is featured in cracked Thirroul avenuePat Grant’s Group does Bill Cheyne attend?which code?Deborah 23. Title of The Austinmer cartoonist September’s 2515? 6. Which new advertiser specialises in new book? 20. Which local cider needs to be ‘roused’ interior design? 24. First name of Biting the Big Apple before drinking? 8. First name of GP with a special interest author. 21. Sonia Says Sit has new classes for? in women’s health? 25. Nickname for the Ned Kelly Awards? 26. Surname of recently retired local vet? 10. Which New Testament book has been 27. What invasion threatens the survival of 29. What kind of bird was ‘Frank’? the focus of a local sermon series the Illawarra Subtropical Rainforest? 30. Which local refugee support group has titled Faith Under Pressure? 28. Which northern Illawarra charity is won milestone funding? 16. Which coaching business is offering calling out for volunteers?

SEPTEMBER / 2515 / 45


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SEPTEMBER

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1116 0523 1.40 1155 1.6500270656 0545 0.54 0829 0651 0645 0.69 1022 0.70 0 0.63 0.65 0.58 0816 0040 0.71 0855 1.55 0832 0049 0.43 0.50 1.05 1.17 0523 1.14 0.40 0014 0.24 0023 0.29 1.62 1.38 0748 1.41 0926 1.60 27 12 0339 27 1049 12 27TH 1723 0.54 1831 0.34 1215 1.49 1325 1.65 1319 1.51 1.45 0 1.38 1510 1.53120830 1.41 0716 1.561511 0908 0.61 1.30 0.64 0713 06401339 1.28 0632 0755 1.47 0653 0.39 MO0.67 TU 1048 WE 12 TH 1.48 SA0717 SU 1456 SU 1648 FR27 SA1.691457 SA 1335 0.52 0.48 1548 0.36 1.55 0.45 1.52 1256 0.59 0.42 FR 0.41 1320 0.330.20 SU 1359 SA 1549 1.45 SU 1719 MO 1715WE TU 12272029 TH 1230 SA1434 0.34 1325 1349 2325 1.30 1851 0.50 2032 0.34 2027 0.46 2201 TH FR MO 1 TU SU 2343 0.41 0.63 2218 0.42 2208 0.52 2109 1.39 1925 1.30 1943 1.19 2251 0.50 1836 1.44 1837 1.60 1915 1.42 2044 1.75 2 1918 1.84 1951 1.70 2001 1.55 2145 1.35 0449 1.10 0006 0.36 0006 0.34 0104 0.38 0059 0.20 0123 0.43 0111 0.29 0118 0.50 0.50 0031 0048 1.1528 0236 1.21 1.05 0424 1.1113 1.12 0415 1.06 13 1015 0.620530 28 0609 28 07170216 28 07560235 1.24 13 0616 1.24 1.27 1.36 13 0718 1.61 0750 1.55 0743 1.81 1.63 1.08 0557 0420 0.55 0.27 0.54Copyright 0.53 Commonwealth 0.30 1416 0.45 1419 0.22 1440 0.41 SU 1649 1.54 MO 1145 TU 1151 WE 13140757 FR 1329 0219 SU0300 MO 0227 0153 0.11 0.32 0.11 0334 0.43 1158 1.40 0618 0.50 0624 0.61SA 0752 0.67 0748 0.72 1130 0945 © of Australia 2019, Bureau of Meteor 0.65 0 0.67 0943 0.65 0934 0.71 2344 0.39 1807 1.57 1812 1.62 1918 1.44 1931 1.60 2006 1.29 2013 1.39 2027 1.20 0824 1.33 0756 1.48 0826 1.45 0915 1.73 0958 1.63 0.58 1252 1.60 1.46 1.56 1420 1.48 1747 1.44 1 1443 1.39 1.53Astronomical 1608 1.44 TU 1815 0045 WE 0053 TH 1259 FR 1429 SU MO 1600 FR SAis1620 SU0.32 TIMES AND 0137 0.37 0143 0.19 0155 0.44 0159 0156 HEIGHTS 0.50 MO 0544 1.18 0.33 0.24 Datum of Predictions Lowest Tide 1404 0.25 0.39 0.14 29 07512145 141528 29 14 1113 0.54 WE 29 0647 14 0702 1945 0.40 1947 0.5429 2143 0.39 2131 0.44 0.35 2251 TU 1 TH FR 1426 SA MO 0.59 2318 0.39 2313 0.44 1.43 14 0804 1.75 0824 1.62 0831 1.90 0833 1.70 1626 1.30 0.43 1.37 1345 OF HIGH AND0.35 LOW2224 0.47 0.20 SU 1.51 1456 0.39 1515 0.15 0.49 1.68 0.42 2005 TH 1355 SA 1425 standard TU 1519 MO 1743 1.65 TU 1230 WE 1248 Times 2 2028 1.87 2035 2135 1.69 1.30saving are in local timeMO(UTC +10:00) or daylight 1957 1.43 2026 1.57 2046 1.28 2110 1.36 2109 1.20 1849 1.58 1904 1.70 0010 1.20 0346 0143 1.15 0339 0145 0.40 1.05 1.08 0523 0354 1.17 1.11 0523WATERS 1.14 1.12 0027 0514 0.28 0.31 0.16 0.36 0227 0.21 0227 0.45New0246 0.36 0234 0.50 Moon Phase Symbols Moon First Quar0 0259 0.08 0.34 0.16 0.47 1054 0 1.75 0404 0609 0.57 0712 0.6730 0906 0.71 0904 0717 0.60 1.28 0.67 1049 0.61150344 1048 0.64 15 0029 30 0119 15 0136 30 0208 30 0630 1.28 0722 1.36 0.29 0746 1.50 0235 08230908 1.50 15 0850 0247 1.85 0858 1.67 0920 1.95 LAT0911 34 29’ 0.71 0640 0.44 1.36 0.30 0840 0.42 1520 0857 0.13 1534 0.35 1609 0.11 0.30 1030 TU 1205 0.44 WE 1312 TH 1341 FR 14331549 SU MO TU1000 WE 1558 1 0858 1.56 1.49 1.80 1.64 1245 1.38 1352 1.42 1539 1.49 1530 1.48 1700 1358 1.55 1227 0.59 1.45 1719 1.55 1715 1.52 0 WE FR SA MO TU TH TU SA SU MO 1830 1.76 1927 1.57 1954 1.75 2033 1.42 2120 1.51 2126 1.26 2205 1.32 LONG 2149 150 1.21 55’ 0.20 2055 0.36 2335 1915 0.62 0.43 2105 0.55 0.39 2248 0.41 0.12 0314 2231 0.38 1836 0.4302362251 WE 1 TH 1442 FR 1437 SA 1502 SU 1622 TU 1705 1.44 0.50 0.37 0.50 2102 1.64 2053 2109 1.46 2228 1.59 31 08551.84 31 0949 1.78 2304 1.24 1.55 0.39 0.27 1.21 0104 0600 SA 15110449 TH 1637 0106 1.11 0306 1.09 0255 0450 1.10 1.05 0006 0502 0.36 1.14 0006 0.34 0.38 2109 1.39 1.22 0.09 0816 0.37 1022 0.24 2231 0.52 1157 0656 0330 0.63 0.31 0829 0317 0.65 1015 0.71 0609 0.70 0616 1020 0.65 0717 0.62 0415 1.24 0427 1.24 0437 1.36 0 0931 0926 1.63 1.51 1.82 1.62 1.38 1.37 15102019, 1.53 1457 1.41 1.45 1.51 1649 1.54 1029 0.55 1047 0.54 1106 0.53 0 © Copyright Commonwealth of Bureau of Meteorology WE 1754 TH 1339 FRAustralia SA SU 1648 TU 1638 SU MO 1145 TU 1151 WE 1314 0.44 0.19 2208 0.40 2343 0.14 2325 0.39 1.44 Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide 2344 2029 0.63 2218 0.42 0.52 1807 0.41 1812 0.31 1918 TH 1 FR 1520 SA 1530 SU 1640 MO 1718 WE 1747 0.39 1.57 1.62 Times are in local standard time (UTC +10:00) or daylight (UTC +11:00) effect 1.45 1 2136 1.57 2143 1.74 savings time2245 1.39 when in 2323 2346 1.18 Moon Phase Symbols New0424 Moon 1.11 0544 First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter 0557 0544 0216 1.05 0415 0.37 1.18 1.06 0045 0.33 1.21 0053 0.24 1.33 0137 0014 0.16 0934 0443 0511 0.35 1129 0513 0.65 1113 1130 0.65 0702 0.55 0.58 0640 0 0757 0359 0.67 0.35 0943 0400 0.71 in0.42 1.30 The Bureau of Meteorology gives no warranty of any kind whether express, implied, 0.54 statutory or otherwise0647 respect to the availability, accuracy, currency,1.37 completeness, 0751 1.43 1013 1.67 1101 1137 1.81 1.59 1.53 1747 1.44 1740 1.56 1443 1.39 1608 1.44 0.47 0 1.65 0.49 0.42 1145 TH 1249 MO any WE rights. SU TH 1355 MO TU WE 1248 qualityFR or reliability of the1005 information 1.39 orSA that the1620 information will be fit 1743 for any particular purpose or will 1230 not 1.52 infringe third party Intellectual Property 1559 0.46 or expense 0.21 reliance 0.42 1818 1904 0.20 1.70 0.42 1842 0.39 2145 0.59 0.44 FR 1 SA SU 1626 MOon,1720 TU TH 18331957 1.43 1849 1.58 The Bureau’s liability for any loss, damage, cost2318 resulting from use of, or2313 the information is entirely excluded. 2 2210 1.49 2234 1.60 2322 1.31 0523 1.17 0029 0523 1.05 0.31 0.40 0136 0014 0.36 0.28 1.14 0119 0027 0.16 0.24 0208 0049 46­ / 2515­0339 / SEPTEMBER 0.26 1048 0.48 0640 1.32 0632 1.13 0716 0.61 0630 1.28 0746 1.47 0823 0908 0428 0.67 0.39 1049 0443 0.64 0722 1.36 0021 1.50 0 1.28 0513 1.50 0034 1.68 1.52 0.46 0.64 1.55 0.59 0.42 1.45 1.40 1.52 0.44 0559 0.42 0 0.44 1137 0.30 0554 FR 1335 SU 1719 1102 TU 1227 TH 1230 SA 1549 1040 MO 1715 WE 1312 FR 1433 TU 1205 TH 1341 0.27 1.76 0.46 1836 1.74 1837 1.55 1925 1.44 1954 1.60 2033 2251 0.50 0.50 MO 1726 1830 SA 1 SU 1639 TU 18031927 WE 1229 FR 1229 1.57 1.42 1.75 2 2245 1.40 2330 1.44 1923 0.27 1927 0.45 0104 0.38 0059 0.20 0236 0123 0449 1.10 0006 0.36 0006 0.34 0.37

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Shyla Short at the 2 August pointscore at Austinmer. Photo: Clarrie Bouma, Sandonpointphotos.com

PERFECT SURF FOR FIRST AUSTI EVENT Scarborough Boardrider Ian Pepper reports.

It was a historic day for our boardriders on Sunday, 2 August with the first pointscore anyone could remember held at Austinmer Beach. The surf was perfect – 2 to 3 foot and clean all day for every member to surf a heat. The Austi locals came out to dominate, with heat wins from Dave Hyslop (in the 35s), Fin McLaren (A-Grade) and Shyla Short (Jnr Girls). A few other notable mentions were Mannix Squiers absolutely blitzing the U14s (a bit like his dad in the state masters up north where he convincingly won the over-35s division) and Kasey

Hargreaves taking out the U18s. Talina Wilson was also impressive in the senior girls heat win. Thanks everyone who helped out, especially John Chamberlain for helping keep everybody Covid Safe by washing the rashies all day long! The micros had their event postponed until Sunday, 16 August. Over 20 of our young surfers turned up at Thirroul Beach to brave the cold and wind. Conditions were ideal for the little ones with some taking on the waves from out the back to shore. Next pointscore was set to be on 23 August. 2515 Licence No. 95628C / ARC Licence No. AU09136 ABN 62 078 105 978

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