Blacktown News - July 2024

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10 YEARS of Western Sydney Diabetes

THIS year marks the 10th anniversary of Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD), a pioneering initiative that has made significant strides in combating diabetes in the region.

Western Sydney was identified as a diabetes hotspot and Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) determined ignoring it was not an option with skyrocketing health costs and the massive social impact on sufferers and their family.

Almost 58% of adults aged 16 and over in Blacktown City are overweight or obese. Even more alarming is that 30,341 children in Blacktown City

are overweight or obese and on their way in being impacted by chronic health problems in the coming decades.

There are more than three times more people in postcode 2148 in Blacktown (7.3% of the population) with diabetes than postcode 2088 Mosman (2.2%) on the North Shore. The ‘Beating Diabetes Together’ initiative was launched 10 years ago and continues to be a force in changing health behaviour for the better in our region. SEE INSIDE FOR MORE STORIES.

Western Sydney Diabetes Turns 10


2K Challenge a game changer

WESTERN Sydney residents will have access to exclusive health events and educational resources by taking part in the 2kg Challenge, a diabetes awareness, detection and prevention initiative launched by Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) and its partners as part of National Diabetes Week 2024 (July 14-21).

The 2kg Challenge encourages people to improve their health through small, manageable lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 30 per cent. Western Sydney Diabetes Director, Professor Glen Maberly said small, consistent lifestyle changes can help prevent diabetes.

“You don’t need to overhaul your life all at once, every bit of exercise and every healthy choice counts, that’s why the 2kg Challenge is about more than weight loss, it is about embracing lifestyle changes that we can sustain every day,” Prof Maberly said.

“Diabetes can often be prevented if you act early, through increasing your physical activity, eating a healthy diet and losing weight.

“However, if you do develop diabetes you need to make sure you are getting regular blood tests and working with your GP to ensure you are using the appropriate medications and keeping your blood sugars under control.”

The 2kg Challenge is part of an initiative by the Western Sydney Changing Diabetes collaboration which was launched in 2022 between Western Sydney Diabetes, Workers Lifestyle Group and pharmaceutical group Novo Nordisk.

The Western Sydney Primary Health Network, WentWest, is also supporting this year’s 2kg Challenge and Director of Primary Care & Transformation, Jane Assange, said the network will launch the campaign across its general practices in the Blacktown area.

“By encouraging small, manageable lifestyle changes, we can make a significant impact on diabetes prevention in our community,” Ms Assange said.

“This challenge not only raises awareness but also provides essential

resources and support to help individuals make lasting, healthy lifestyle changes.

“Together, we can make a significant difference in diabetes prevention and the overall wellbeing of western Sydney.”

Workers Lifestyle Group Chief Executive Officer, Morgan Stewart said his team is committed to the 2kg Challenge, with the group launching the initiative to its staff and members in the Workers Blacktown Club.

“As Western Sydney Diabetes has shown us, so much can be done to manage Type 2 diabetes by early detection and simple lifestyle changes,” Mr Stewart said.

During National Diabetes Week, Western Sydney Diabetes will run various activities for the community on prevention and early detection.

Events include:

Tuesday, July 16:

• Diabetes detection and prevention promotion in the Blacktown Hospital foyer.

• Free Tai Chi and Gentle Exercise classes at Workers Blacktown Club.

Wednesday, July 17:

• Diabetes detection and educational stall at Workers Blacktown Club.

• Free line dancing and salsa lessons.

• Nutritional talk by a WSD dietitian at 1:30 pm.

Workers Blacktown Club patrons can also access free self-service health checks using SiSU health stations which are permanently located at the Club. And the community can also access free health coaching to support their health goals through NSW Health’s Get Healthy Service ( - an

evidence-based, free, telephone and online health coaching service that helps people make healthy lifestyle changes.

Western Sydney Diabetes is a collaborative initiative led by the Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Primary Health Network, in partnership with Diabetes Australia and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

To register for the 2kg Challenge, visit For more information on National Diabetes Week 2024, visit

WSD Senior Dietitian Victoria Silvestro.
Blacktown Workers CEO, Morgan Stewart.
Exercising at Blacktown Workers Club.

Western Sydney Diabetes Turns 10


Reasons why to BEAT DIABETES

THIS year marks the 10th anniversary of Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD), a pioneering initiative that has made significant strides in combating diabetes in the region.

Western Sydney was identified as a diabetes hotspot and Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) determined ignoring it was not an option with skyrocketing health costs and the massive social impact on people with diabetes and their family.

Almost 58% of adults aged 16 and over in Blacktown City are overweight or obese. Even more alarming is that 30,341 children in Blacktown City are overweight or obese and on their way in being impacted by chronic health problems in the coming decades.

Being overweight has a significant influence on developing diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and other chronic health diseases.

Across Blacktown City:

• 1 in 5 people visiting emergency, their local doctor or being treated in hospital HAVE diabetes.

• 1 in every 3 people are on the verge of developing diabetes.

There are more than three times more people in postcode 2148 in Blacktown (7.3% of the population) with diabetes than postcode 2088 Mosman (2.2%) on the North Shore.

The 'Beating Diabetes Together' initiative was launched 10 years ago with Professor Glen Maberly from the School of Public Health at Sydney University with a clear mission to keep people healthy and slow the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes.

Over the past decade, WSD has worked tirelessly to support those at risk and those already living with diabetes so they seek additional support by visiting their GP.

WSD has coordinated with over 140 partner organisations, including the Western Sydney Changing Diabetes partners to address diabetes.

Stephen Bali MP, the NSW Member for Blacktown said: “Everyone in Blacktown knows someone who is suffering from diabetes from our extended family and friends network.

“It’s a silent pandemic because no one wants to talk iy because weight is a major contributor and when you get it, it feels like you are at fault.

“The solution begins by firstly talking about diabetes and how it can impact your life, and then secondly start doing something and it can be as simple as just doing a short walk.”

Prof Maberly agreed that public awareness of the problems associated with diabetes is low and that people don’t want to hear the horror stories as they believe it won’t happen to them.

Prof Maberly said: “Diabetes is a major cause of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, leg ulcers, amputations, and blindness. It also doubles the risk of dementia, cancer, and mental illness.”

Western Sydney Local Health District has both a regional facility and a local facility based at Blacktown

Hospital. Patients generally spend many hours every few days on dialysis machines where blood, waste and extra fluid is removed from your body; sent across a special filter to remove harmful substances before pumping the clean blood back into their body.

Diabetes contributes to more than 4,400 amputations with the most common being the removal of toes, feet or legs.

Mr Bali said: “The impact of dialysis, amputation, dementia or strokes not only impact on the sufferer but forces the family to change their way of life to support their relative. From holiday plans to attending family events, your life will adversely changed. Together we can make a difference and hence the start with the 2kg Challenge.”

Prof Maberly said: “This initiative encourages residents to lose just 2kg and keep it off, which would prevent one in three people with prediabetes from developing diabetes.

“Additionally, losing 10% of body weight within six years of being diagnosed with diabetes has an 80%

chance of putting the condition into remission. For those already managing diabetes, maintaining HbA1c levels below 7% can significantly reduce the risk of complications.”

The 2kg Challenge by WSD was quickly supported by Blacktown Workers Lifestyle Group and with Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, WentWest Primary Health Network and Diabetes Australia are inviting all residents to join the challenge.

Prof Maberly has created an inspiring song that underscores our collective effort to fight diabetes, is available on our website and the 2kg Challenge site.

Diabetes is a shared challenge, and it requires a collective effort. Join us by spreading the word and acting. Together, we can make a difference and create a healthier future for everyone in Western Sydney. By joining in, you are improving the health of your mother, father, brother, sister, children or your extended family.

Mr Bali MP said: “Lets start with losing 2kg and see where it takes us.”

For more information and to join the 2kg Challenge, visit Let’s take up the challenge and continue our journey towards a diabetes-free Western Sydney.

WSD Credentialed Diabetes Educator Sian Bramwell carries out a HbA1C diabetes detection test on Stephen Bali MP.
Professor Glen Maberly.

• Regular physical activity

• Making healthy food and beverage choices

• Joining the 2kg Challenge.

Harinder believes in the hope for a better world

WHEN Harinder Kaur’s son was killed in a car accident in 2012, she thought she might never be happy again. But instead of giving in to her grief, Harinder decided to create a legacy in his name that would reflect his compassionate spirit. And so, the Blacktown based Harman Foundation was established in 2013 in memory of Harman Preet Singh and that pain was transformed into a source of hope and support for others. Fast forward to today and the Harman Foundation has become a vital community organisation offering a 24/7 support helpline, domestic and family violence services, women’s shelters, education and wellbeing seminars, advocacy services and much more. Full story: page 9.

Harinder Kaur established The Harman Foundation to honour her son and bring hope to her community. Pictured below with her husband, Maninder Sing.

Transforming Blacktown: Council projects

We are revitalising local communities by building exciting new facilities, so our residents can work and play where they live.

Our Transforming Blacktown program is funded through the NSW Government’s $2 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Grants (WSIG) Program.

The projects in our city are:

• Revitalised Mount Druitt Hub, an expanded, modern community centre as part of a renewed city centre ($27 million)

• New, expanded Blacktown Leo Kelly Arts Centre in Blacktown city centre ($40 million)

• Brand new Seven Hills Community Resource Hub ($36 million)

• New First Nations Cultural Hub in Mount Druitt, designed and built with First Nations communities ($19 million)

• A fully renovated Mount Druitt Swimming Centre which will now open all year round ($40 million)

• Blacktown Aquatic Centre - renewed and improved, indoor and outdoor ($77 million)

• New Police and Community Youth Centres (PCYC) for Mount Druitt – a firstclass, bigger, better local youth centre ($25 million).

How do you get involved?

Council is working with leaders and residents in our community to design and build these projects.

The projects are all part of our vision for a modern and vibrant Blacktown City.

A survey will go live for each of the projects in the coming weeks – watch the Council ‘Have Your Say’ page for more information.

transformational projects

• school holiday activities

• community award programs

• competitions

• and much more!

Subscribe now at

Did you know Council has a volunteer Bushcare program?

Bushcare is a great way to meet new people, have fun and help improve the natural environment.

There are currently 12 Bushcare groups made up of enthusiastic volunteers assisting in active bush regeneration.

Bushcare involves tasks such as:

• weed removal and regeneration works

• planting

• mulching

• litter collection.

Council provides supervision, training, tools, and materials. Volunteers generally work for 3 hours, one weekend a month.

To find out more or become a volunteer, visit

Workers’ Sleepout raises $52,000

ANOTHER wonderful grass-roots Blacktown charity will gain precious extra funding for the year ahead, thanks to Workers Lifestyle Group’s CEO & Co Winter Sleepout.

So far, the Sleepout has raised more than $52,000 for Alice’s Support Services, which hives a helping hand to families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and experiencing mental health issues.

This year Alice’s has supported more than 150 women and their families.

More than 40 people, staff at WLG’s Workers Blacktown and Workers Sports clubs, sponsors and supporters, slept out on June 20 in the bitter cold to raise funds for Alice’s.

Manager Leanne McLachlan said the Sleepout proceeds will help Alice’s fund for its clients housing bonds, rental arrears, moving costs, household goods and mental health assistance.

“This additional support is crucial, as our current funding limitations prevent us from providing the all

Tthe services needed by our vulnerable clients.”

Each year, Workers chooses a charity providing essential services to the Blacktown community to receive funding from the annual CEO & Co Sleepout.

Flu: where to get help

HE community is being urged to contact Healthdirect for advice if they are experiencing non-life-threatening medical issues as influenza, COVID and RSV cases continue to rise placing significant pressure on NSW public hospital emergency departments (EDs) and NSW Ambulance.

Minister for Health, Ryan Park, said people who are unsure of where to get the help they need can call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse about their condition

or injury. When phoning Healthdirect, patients are triaged by a nurse who can then refer them to a GP, virtual or urgent care; a pharmacist or allied health professional; or provide guidance on how to care for their condition from home.

Healthdirect is available 24/7 and consultations are free for Medicare card holders.

Almost 180,000 people are expected to be able to avoid a trip to busy EDs each year with the $171.4 expansion of the services accessed via Healthdirect through the Single Front Door initiative announced

This year’s Sleepout is the fourth.

“We’re proud to be supporting Alice’s this year as they do amazing work through a holistic approach to resolving homelessness and mental health issues in our community,” said Workers’ chief executive Morgan Stewart.

“And we’re equally proud that so many Workers’ staff and friends in the business community turn out to support the Sleepout.”

The Workers Lifestyle Group clubs and their 55,000 members and staff help sustain more than 100 community organisations, charities, schools and sporting groups and the estimated value of its contribution is $3 million annually.

The sponsors of CEO & Co Winter Sleepout 2024 are Asahi Beverages, Balance My Books, Blacktown Ponds Lion Club, CFI | Commercial Facilities Integrated, Gold Security Management, Greenworx, Mac-Tek Telecommunications, PAYCE Foundation, and Sunblest Cleaning.

in the 2024-25 NSW State Budget. Health Minister Ryan Park has reiterated that the best way to protect ourselves from serious illness and reduce the pressure on frontline healthcare workers this winter is to ensure you are up do date with vaccinations. People who are at higher risk of severe illness from influenza who are eligible for free vaccination include:

• People aged 65 years and over.

• Children aged six months to under five years.

• Aboriginal people from six months of age.

• Pregnant women.

• People with serious health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, severe asthma, kidney, heart, and lung disease.

Premium land release coming soon

Set in one of the fastest growing LGAs in Australia, Oran Park is a thriving, peaceful, master planned community of new homes, wide open spaces, exceptional new schools and expanding dining and retail precincts.

Premium land is scheduled to release soon and there’s a lot to fit every budget and lifestyle.

• Well positioned near the rapidly expanding Oran Park Town Centre

• Close proximity to award-winning parks, green spaces and waterways

• Easy build lots ranging from 300m 2 to 600m 2

Visit the Sales Office today and discover all Oran Park has to offer. Scan the QR code to register your interest to be informed about future land releases.

Workers Lifestyle Group were joined by Cr Bob Fitzgerald, Blacktown MLA Stephen Bali and the Alice’s Support Services team at the CEO and Co Sleepout.

ISSUE 40 | July 2024

How to get The News

The Blacktown News is available at strategic locations throughout Blacktown LGA. To find a location near you visit our website.

Digital edition

Each edition of The Blacktown News can be viewed and downloaded in digitalf ormat at our ISSUU platform: www.issuu/communitybroadcastnetwork


Editorial Admin and General

Editor Michael Walls


Julie Jackson Linda Miller




Philippines and Australia celebrated

THE Filipino-Australian community commemorated the Philippines Independence Day showcasing a colourful display of arts, literature and fashion depicting culture and tradition.

The exhibition was on show last month at Max Webber Library with Blacktown City mayor Brad Bunting, Philippines consul general Emmanuel Guzman and Councillors Jess Diaz and Carol Israel gracing the opening day with a huge contingent of residents.

The Filipino-Australian community is one of the largest group of migrants in Western Sydney with Clr Diaz known as the first councillor migrant from the Philippines who has served in local government in NSW.

Mayor Bunting said he was honoured to be part of the occasion with the city’s Filipino-Australian community, the second largest group of overseas-born residents in the city with more than 25,000 of them as of latest population count.

“The Philippines and Australia have developed a friendship based on shared values and interests,” Mayor Bunting said at the exhibition opening.

“That friendship is particularly strong in Blacktown City, home to the largest Filipino community in Australia.

“You can see and hear the Filipino influence throughout our city, from its restaurants to some peo-

Tple speaking Tagalog [the Filipino language].

“These cultural practices only strengthen the diversity of our community.”

The mayor also acknowledged the two elected councillors who are of Filipino descent, Clr Diaz and Carol Israel.

In 2010, Council signed a memorandum of understanding with the League of Cities of the Philippines to foster cooperation.

As part of the 126th celebration of the Philippines Independence Day, since it was ceded by Spain to the United States government in 1898 following more than 300 years of colonisation, the official Philippines’ flag was flown at the Village Green.

The cultural exhibits featured artworks, books and fashion, including the clothing of the Philippines’ Indigenous tribes known as Aetas, as well as imagery, artworks and stories of Filipino migrants in the city.

The program of events at Bowman Hall had performances by the Blacktown City Community Band, Filoz Arts Group, students from Plumpton High School and YAPAK.

Funds for new northwest schools

he NSW Government is building better communities with a record

$3.6B to continue delivering a pipeline of school infrastructure in rapidly growing suburbs, including along-awaited new public school and high school in Box Hill.

This investment in Rebuilding Public Education targets the growing communities who need schools, as the Gov-

ernment continues to turn around the backlog of school infrastructure projects.

In Sydney’s rapidly growing north west, the NSW Government will start work on a new primary school and high school at Box Hill, in addition to the new primary school in Gables currently in planning. Together the three schools will cater for 3,000 local students with room to grow. Enrolments will open for families

from 2025, as a temporary school will be fast-tracked for parentsand children who waited years for a promised school under the former Liberal National government.

Both Box Hill and Gables primary schools will be delivered with co-located public preschools to increase access to high quality early education.

Nearby, the state’s most populous school campuses at Riverbank Public

School and The Ponds High School will receive significant additional funding for further upgrades on top of those already underway, to cater for their large and growing student populations.

In Sydney’s south-west growth corridor, $140M will be delivered for additional primary school infrastructure for Austral and Leppington, in addition to upgrades already underway.

Blacktown City mayor Brad Bunting with Philippines consul general Emmanuel Guzman, Councillors Jess Diz and Carol Israel at the opening of the 126th Philippines Independence Day commemoration at Bowman Hall.

NSW BUDGET: BLACKTOWN CITY A BIG WINNER Roads, schools, housing benefit

THE second Minns NSW Labor Government budget was delivered in June with schools, roads and housing all receiving a massive boost.

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey outlined the budget challenges faced by the people of NSW with high inflation, cost of living pressures, housing shortages, public hospital emergency delays, need for school improvements and addressing crime issues.

Mr Mookhey was born in Blacktown Hospital and grew up in the local area and he knows that Western Sydney residents want to hear solutions and a way forward rather than just focusing on problems.

The Budget provided investment into infrastructure, housing, health and schools whilst reducing the Government debt and delivering cost of living support measures.

In summary, the NSW Budget provided:


• Biggest investment in social housing in the history of the NSW Government.

• 3,100 new homes for victim-survivors of domestic violence.

• 5,300 new homes for public housing.

• $1 billion maintenance funding for improvements to 33,500 social homes.

• 30,000 new homes for key workers to rent. Community Improvements:

• Councils to access a $200 million incentive fund.

• $245.6 million emergency intervention package to support and protect domestic violence survivors.

• Additional $1.4 million supporting funding for PCYCs.

• Full-time wage payment for police recruits.

• Delivering additional funding for the election promise to Blacktown Women’s and Girls’ Health Centre.

• Funding for the masterplan for Riverstone Town Centre.

Cost of Living:

• GP payroll tax obligations removed if 80% of the patients are bulk billed. This will encourage more local doctors to bulk bill patients.

• $60 weekly toll cap.


• $120 million continuation funding for Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals for more beds and staff to reduce emergency waiting times.

• $700 million continuation funding for Rouse Hill Hospital.

• Family Start package expanding early intervention to give mums and bubs the best start to life.

• $118 million investment into mental health.

• Rolling out the safe staffing ratios at hospitals.


• $24.7 million to expand bus transport to cover more of growing north-west Sydney—areas expanded but that have been poorly serviced by buses, or have had no bus services at all.

• $520 million (funded jointly with the Federal Government) widening of Richmond Rd to Townsend Rd and improvements to M7 Richmond Rd intersection.

• $20 million to complete the $280 million Prospect Highway upgrades (funded jointly with the Federal Government).

• Garfield Rd east upgrades $230 million (funded jointly with the Federal Government).

• Planning work for Bandon Road.

The Budget:

• Previous Liberal Government projected that State Gross debt would rise to $188.2 billion by June 2026 but the Minns Labor Government will now reduce this by $9.3 billion.

• Abolishing the wages cap and improving public sector wages - lifting many occupations from the worst paid across the country.

Mr Mookey said, “the 2024 Budget builds the foundation of a better New South Wales.”

Stephen Bali MP NSW Member for Blacktown said: “I am ecstatic that the drought on additional funding for Blacktown Schools has broken after 13 years.”

“Hundreds of millions of dollars was provided to massive school upgrades across the northern suburbs during the Liberal Government era but schools where the population was growing across Blacktown City received nothing.

Deputy Premier and Education Minister Prue Car MP, Member for Londonderry said: “In our public schools, we are continuing to rebuild the public education system by delivering from basic things all the way to classrooms and specialist science laboratories.

“NSW Labor Government has invested into the teaching workforce to lift student outcomes and expand access to early education to ensure every child has a strong start in life.”

Dr Hugh McDermott MP, NSW Member for Prospect said: “I was delighted with the health investment by supporting GPs to improve access for families to bulk billing services.

“Investments into our hospitals to increase staffing through safe staffing ratios will improve the experience for both patients and staff and improve health outcomes in our local area.”

Edmond Atalla MP, NSW Member for Mount Druitt said: “Labor Governments investment into the Police Force will increase police at our stations, improve community policing and make our streets safer.”

“The NSW Labor Government is upgrading technology particularly for the High-Tech Crime Branch and paying for police recruits to attend Goulburn Police Academy.

Warren Kirby MP, NSW Member for Riverstone said: “I welcome the investment into transport, schools and health particularly when Riverstone and Northwest are one of the fastest growing populations in Australia.”

“State Government is investing to complete the Riverstone masterplan working with council and residents to meet the needs of our residents. Garfield and Bandon roads previously forgotten are now be planned as major connectors of the future.”

Stephen Baili MP.
Warren Kirby MP.
Edmond Atalla MP.
Dr Hugh McDermott MP.
Deputy Premier and Education Minister Prue Car MP.

BLACKTOWN CITY a place of opportunity

n $520 million Richmond Rd & M7 intersection plus 6 lanes to Townsend Rd (State and Federally funded)

n $120 million over 4 years for 60 new beds and improvements in Emergency Department for Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals

n Extra $20 million to complete the $280 million Prospect Highway (State and Federally funded)

n $276.3 million for Garfield Road East in Riverstone upgrading 3.4kms from Piccadilly St to Windsor Rd, Box Hill (State and Federally funded)

n $189 million to increase GP bulk billing so your family can get affordable medical advice

n $700 million to build a new hospital at Rouse Hill

n Increased frequency for bus services

n 586 temporary teachers and support staff made permanent since March 2023 across our electorates

n Continuation of $60 toll cap

n Massive investment into social housing maintenance

n New social housing construction

n New construction of Affordable Rental for key worker housing


Blackett Public School

Blacktown North Public School

Crawford Public School

Emerton Public School

Hebersham Public School

Lynwood Public School

Melonba Public School

Nirimba Fields Public School

Shalvey Public School


Bidwill Public School

Blacktown North Public School

Chifley College Mt Druitt Campus

Crawford Public School

Girraween Public School

Riverstone Public School

Shalvey Public School

Riverbank Public School

Schofields Public School

The Ponds High School


Nirimba Fields Public School

Schofields / Tallawong High School

Tallawong Public School


WHEN Harinder Kaur’s son was killed in a car accident in 2012, she thought she might never be happy again.

But instead of giving in to her grief, Harinder decided to create a legacy in his name that would reflect his compassionate spirit.

And so, the Harman Foundation was established in 2013 in memory of Harman Preet Singh and that pain was transformed into a source of hope and support for others.

Fast forward to today and the Harman Foundation has become a vital community organisation offering a 24/7 support helpline, domestic and family violence services, women's shelters, education and wellbeing seminars, advocacy services and much more.

Through the dedication of more than 200 volunteers, the Foundation has helped more than 20,000 people and contributed $7.34M to the Australian economy.

“Our team’s dedication and passion are the driving forces behind our ability to make a positive impact,” Harinder said.

“The Foundation would not have been possible without the support of my family, close friends and our wonderful community.

“Together, we pooled our resources, time and energy to create an organisation that could address critical issues.

“In particular, my husband Maninder Singh has been a pillar of support throughout this journey.”

Harinder said she decided to focus the Foundation’s attention on domestic violence, family support, and community empowerment because of

the significant need she had observed within the Blacktown community, especially among South Asian families.

“The challenges faced by women and children escaping domestic violence, the need for mental health support, and the importance of empowering vulnerable groups resonated deeply with our mission to provide comprehensive, compassionate support,” she said.

Harinder said since the Foundation’s inception they have seen positive changes as well as ongoing challenges.

“On one hand, awareness about domestic violence and the importance of mental health support has increased, thanks in part to our advocacy and outreach efforts,” she said.

“However, we also see that the demand for our services continues to grow, indicating that these issues remain prevalent. While there are improvements, there is still a significant need for continued support and intervention.”

Domestic violence a problem

Harinder believes the growing problem of domestic violence in our community can be attributed to several factors, including societal stress, economic pressures, and a lack of awareness and resources.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, exacerbated domestic tensions and isolation, leading to a surge in domestic violence cases,” she said.

“Additionally, cultural stigmas and fear of repercussions often prevent victims from seeking help.”

The passionate advocate for change said addressing the scourge of domestic violence required a multifaceted approach.

“Firstly, there needs to be more awareness and education about domestic violence and its signs,” Harinder said.

“Secondly, increasing funding and resources for support services like shelters, counselling, and legal assistance is crucial. Empowering victims through education, employment opportunities, and financial independence is also key to breaking the cycle of abuse.

“The government can play a significant role by increasing funding for domestic violence programs, implementing stricter laws and enforcement against perpetrators, and providing

Harman Foundation Achievements - 2022-2023

24/7 Helpline Support –more than 3000 calls offering support and assistance, totalling 8500 hours.

Domestic and Family Violence Services - supported 500 families through case management, counselling and intervention, dedicating 6800 hours.

HER HOUSE Women’s’ Shelter - provided refuge and support to 15 women and 5 children.

Harman Foundation Service Hub - consolidated as a central resource point for community services.

Education and Wellbeing - conducted 45 seminars, forums, and workshops attended by more than 1500 individuals, addressing various issues and empowering women, children and seniors.

comprehensive support systems for victims.

“Additionally, educational programs in schools to teach young people about healthy relationships and respect can help prevent domestic violence from occurring in the first place.”

Harinder said The Harman Foundation was committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all individuals.

“We believe that community involvement and collaboration are essential in making a lasting impact,” she said.

“We are grateful for the support we have received thus far and are always looking for new ways to expand our services and reach. Together, we can foster a more compassionate and resilient community.”

Blacktown MP, Stephen Bali said domestic violence is the scourge that is plaguing our City and organisations like the Harman Foundation provide the hope and opportunities for women to be able to gain some control and selfworth back into her lives.

“Harman Foundation provides a refuge for women and children to escape the violence at home; 24/7 help line; empowerment classes; and, provide food and support programs for the homeless and those in need,” he said.

“All the founders Harinder, Maninder and numerous volunteers want is to make our help protect our community and make our society a better place to live.”

To find out how you can support The Harmon Foundation you can visit their website at www.

Food and Essentials Drives - assisted more than 2000 people with 5000 hampers worth $15,000. Weekly programs provide direct support to Alpha Park Blacktown, community food pantries and libraries.

Multifaith Chaplaincyoffered spiritual support to more than 500 individuals in prisons and hospitals, dedicating 750 hours.

Financial Assistance in Crisis - provided grocery vouchers to more than 30 individuals facing extreme hardship. More than 500 in-kind supports through clothing, furniture and other household items.

Advocacy Services - supported 20 women and 10 men in vulnerable situations, ensuring their voices were heard and their rights protected.

Student Placement Opportunities - enhancing

skills into the community sector.

2023 Recognition - Premier’s Community Service Award, Blacktown Senior Citizen of the Year, NSW Volunteer of the Year Award for Outer Western Sydney, Adult Volunteer of the Year, ZEST Award Winner for Outstanding Community Sector Leader, Indian Australia Voice Inc. Lifetime Volunteer Award, Environment Citizen of the Year finalist, Leadership Award for Community Achievement semi-finalist, Citizen of the Year Australia Day Awards finalist, Community Event of the Year finalist, Community Service Award by World Malayalee Council Sydney.

2024 - Harinder Kaur is one of the three female recipients of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2024 Honors.

Harinder Kaur established The Harmon Foundation to honour her son and bring hope to her community.

Investment in our hospitals

THE NSW Government will invest $480.7M to ease pressure on NSW hospitals by reducing emergency department visits and improving patient flow. The funding will expand Healthdirect services, creating virtual consultation options and urgent care clinics to divert non-critical cases from EDs. Additionally, expanding Emergency Department Short Stay Units and Hospital in the Home programs will help manage patient flow, reducing wait times and enhancing care quality. This aims to address record ambulance responses and severe patient cases.

Coles raises $9.3M for needy

COLES, with the support of customers, pork farmers, and suppliers, raised a record $9.3M for FightMND’s Big Freeze 10, bringing their total to nearly

$40M over seven years. Funds will support MND research, treatments, and care initiatives. Top fundraising stores were mostly in regional areas, with Coles Kangaroo Flat raising over $58,000. Contributions came from Big Freeze Beanie and Sock sales, and select supermarket items.

We are the most generous state

NEW South Wales is Australia's most generous state, with 21,900 residents donating an average of $648 each to the Australian Red Cross from May 2022 to December 2023. Despite a 17% drop in donations compared to the previous period, national donations reached 69,000. Funds support disaster relief, first aid training, and aid for vulnerable communities. Residents can donate or volunteer at

There’s a gap in skills use

RESEARCH by SSI reveals that over 620,000 migrant workers in Australia are unable to fully use their skills, despite having higher qualifications than Australian-born workers. Nearly 44% of migrants and refugees are in roles below their skill level. Deloitte Access Economics found that unlocking this potential could add $70 billion to the economy over 10 years, creating 51,000 full-time jobs, raising wages, and boosting productivity in key industries.

Investment in housing growth

THE NSW Government is investing $253.7M to accelerate development application assessments and support housing growth around existing infrastructure. The funding will

enhance planning staff, modernize the planning system with technology and AI, and implement key reforms. These efforts aim to reduce approval times, support renewable energy goals, and address the housing crisis, ensuring better communities for New South Wales.

Measures to address housing growth

THE NSW Government will invest $253.7M to hire planners and upgrade technology, speeding up development application assessments and supporting housing growth around existing infrastructure. This aims to address the housing crisis, support job creation, and improve planning outcomes. The funding will modernize the planning system, support renewable energy goals, and ensure faster approvals, helping build better communities for New South Wales.

Women into local government

TO encourage more women to run for local council in the September elections, the NSW Government is funding $160,000 for workshops by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) and Women for Election. These workshops will cover leadership skills, campaign strategies, and councillor responsibilities, targeting underrepresented women, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. This initiative aims to increase diversity in local government representation.


“Here comes Trouble” a winner

ONE of the winners of the inaugural Blacktown City Arts Prize, mum of two Mina Lee has revealed how she creates paintings about children growing up in busy households.

Most working mothers would agree with Mrs Lee there are endless endearing or hair-pulling moments juggling family life.

One of those moments thrilled her to bits after winning the 2024 People’s Choice Award for her entry, ‘Here comes trouble’ about her toddler son.

It’s her third winning prize yet in recent years capturing subjects arising from moments with her young family since entering arts competitions with the Blacktown City Arts Hub.

When her second child arrived, eldest son Lincoln was a “terrible two” and having two bundles of joy had put Mrs Lee on a spin for interesting angles to draw.

“I remember the day vividly, I was holding my newborn baby and looking around the house feeling completely exhausted,” Mrs Lee said.

“Then here comes Lincoln and I just found it hilarious, he was wearing his t-shirt saying, ‘Here comes trouble’ so I took the photo.

“It was purely coincidental but perfectly matched the moment.”

That moment she captured became the subject of an oil painting that won the city’s debut arts contest open to entrants from across the state which has a total prize pool of $22,500 in five categories.

To win the People’s Choice Award which had a $1,000 prizemoney, the competition rules the painting must be viewed personally by the person casting their vote on a favourite artwork.

Born in Korea, Mrs Lee migrated to Australia for work and travelled to

some of the scenic places around Australia, and while working in Darwin she met husband Niels.

The couple now lives at Stanhope Gardens and in between work-life balancing, Mrs Lee creates paintings that at first, “I didn’t know how to do”.

She started sketching her boys while they were babies using pencil and learned techniques at the arts hub.

Mrs Lee said her paintings were capturing moments in a child’s life as they grow, including her winning piece on the realities of a child’s family envi-

ronment which can be chaotic at times.

“One memorable afternoon, I was exhausted but filled with adoration as I watched my two boys nap like angels, I suddenly felt compelled to draw them,” Mrs Lee said.

“Though I didn’t know how I’d do it, yet that evening I completed the drawing and showed my husband.

“He was surprised to see it since then I have not stopped drawing, and three years ago, I gained the confidence to transition to oil painting.”

This year’s winners in the five categories were Catherine O’Donnell (Main Prize – ‘Guilded Communities’), Nathan Dawson (First Nation’s Prize – ‘Loss of Identity/ Culture), Anjali Sharma (Local Artist Prize – ‘Momentary Threads of Youth’) and Mina (Early Career Artist – ‘Here comes trouble’).

The Highly Commended artists were Virginia Keft (This colony thrives in a landscape of NO), Jacqueline Jacky (That Place They Had (Part 1), Jack and Noel Red Soil of Blacktown) Tahlia Henderson (Seeking Shelter in sudden drenching) and Carissa Karamarko (Surprise Birthday Cake).

Entries for the annual Blacktown City Arts Prize from artists across the country are sought and you can find more details about current winners and opportunities by visiting https://

Emerging artist Mina Lee with her People’s Choice Award winning entry in oil painting, ‘Here comes trouble’ exhibited at the Leo Kelly Arts Centre. Photo supplied.


LOCAL BUSINESS AWARDS A WIN FOR ALL Gala event showcases excellence

THIS year’s Blacktown City Local Business Awards was a sparkling spectacular that provided a fitting finale to the annual event.

This year’s winners exchanged exuberant hugs while cheers filled the room as they made their way to the stage on Tuesday, 14 May 2024.

Awards founder and Precedent Productions Managing Director Steve Loe said the evening was an exciting culmination to a successful awards program.

“The Local Business Awards recognise the vital role businesspeople play in the lives of their communities,” he said. “The presentation evening not only sees the announcement of the category winners but is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all the finalists.

“We had a sell-out crowd that included our finalists, their families

and staff, as well as our sponsors and local dignitaries, who helped to present awards to the winners.”

The Blacktown News captures all the excitement as the finalists in each category were announced, complete with images on the big screen, followed by huge cheers as the winners’ names were read out and they took to the stage to claim their trophies.

“The winners’ speeches are always heartfelt and emotional,” Mr Loe said.

“This year was no exception.

As official media partner for the Blacktown City Local Business Awards, the Blacktown News will publish a winners’ feature, that recognises all category winners from the presentation evening.

“Of course, the awards are only possible with the support of major sponsors Blacktown Workers Club, Black-

town City Council, Westpoint, NOVA Employment, Seven Hills Plaza, and support sponsors, Greater Blacktown Business Chamber, Seven Hills Plaza and White Key Marketing,.” Mr Loe said. “Their involvement proves their commitment to their community and the businesses that thrive there.”

Mr Loe also thanked Blacktown Workers Club for the high quality food and service it provided. “Thanks to

them it was a five-star occasion,” he said.

“I would also like to acknowledge the incredible entertainment on the evening and our fabulous Jeremiah Hartmann who kept the evening flowing smoothly.”

Businesses can register for the 2025 Local Business Awards at www.thebusinessawards. For more information about the Local Business Awards program, call Precedent Productions on 8363 3333.

Studio on our doorstep

HELEN Perris Music Studio has won Outstanding Performing Arts at the 2024 Blacktown Local Business Awards, their fourth Local Business Awards accolade. The studio boasts an impressive collection of awards and is internationally renowned for its excellence in teaching methods.

HPMS is a creative and nurturing space for inquisitive minds of all ages, providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for piano, voice and composition students, no matter their level of experience, for the past 14 years in Lalor Park. It has an unparalleled record of student success in exams, Eisteddfods, auditions, and the Higher School Certificate.

Founder Helen Perris said, “Our students feel well supported to take risks and make mistakes in their learning and their lessons are full of joy and discovery. We recognise that each student requires an individual approach and that’s why they excel.”

Mrs Perris is a multi-awardwinning songwriter, performer and teacher with a handpicked team of gifted educators who have a special interest in neurodiversity, including Isabella Riitano, an HPMS student-turned-teacher and five-time finalist for Most Outstanding Youth.

For details call (02) 8840 4058 or email Visit https://

Message from the Mayor Brad Bunting

Blacktown City Council is proud to be a major sponsor of the Blacktown City and Mount Druitt St Marys Local Business Awards.

Blacktown is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, with our current population of over 435,000 forecast to grow to over 540,000 residents within 20 years.

Our economy is over $24 billion and based on the trading activity of over 30,000 local businesses.

During these challenging times, we known that it is particularly important for our Council to support local businesses who are the backbone of our economy.

The Local Business Awards is an opportunity for our community to come together and acknowledge the great work our local businesses are doing in providing jobs, goods and services to support our City’s people.

I am proud to recognise that several Council businesses are regularly nominated as finalists in their award categories.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists in the A wards!



2024 Winners Honor Role

Category Name

ƒ Business Name

Education Service

ƒ ACH Education

Youth Award

ƒ Anytime Fitness - Kings Park

Health Improvement Services

ƒ Better Vision - Westpoint Blacktown

Beauty Services

ƒ BODYTEC Skin Bar

Automotive Services

ƒ Carasel Towbars - Blacktown

Early Childhood Centre

ƒ Children First - Balmoral Street


ƒ Cincotta Discount Chemist Blacktown

Fast Food/Takeaway

ƒ Donut Tempt Me

Westpoint Neighbourhood Good Award

ƒ DRG Stitches Collection


ƒ Ethnic Threads

Barber Shop

ƒ Family Barber Shop - Seven Hills Plaza

Pet Care

ƒ Family Vets Western Sydney

Westpoint Neighbourhood Good AwardHighly Commended

ƒ Family Vets Western Sydney

Business Person of the Year

ƒ Flowers by Jody

Florist/Plant Retail Store

ƒ Flowers by Jody - St Martins Village


ƒ Harvey’s Social

Performing Arts

ƒ Helen Perris Music Studio

Specialised Business

ƒ Innovync

Sole Operator

ƒ Kitchen Angels Sydney - Quakers Hill

Bakery/Cake Business

ƒ Lalor Park Pizza & Bakery - Lalor Park Shopping Centre

New & Used Motor Vehicles

ƒ Lander Mitsubishi

Most Inclusive Employer

ƒ Lubrication Engineering

Real Estate Agency

ƒ McGrath Estate Agents - Blacktown

Antiques, Art, Crafts and Gifts

ƒ Mozemo Craft

Westpoint Business Award

ƒ Nadia’s Cafe - Westpoint Blacktown Service & Trade

ƒ Plumblogic Plumbing

Specialised Retail Business

ƒ Rebel Sport - Westpoint Blacktown

New Business

ƒ Technica Football

Fresh Food

ƒ The Brothers Fish Market - Seven Hills Plaza


ƒ The Urban Fringe - Kings Langley Shopping Village

Business of the Year

ƒ The Urban Fringe - Kings Langley Shopping Village


ƒ Volcanos Steakhouse - Westpoint Blacktown

Professional Services

ƒ Workhorse Staffing

Fitness Services

ƒ World Gym Prospect


Deal with legal issues, reducing costs of briefing multiple services

Wide range of property development expertise:

• Owner/builder

• Residential purchase

• Contracts for design/building/landscape business

• Registration and sub-divisions

• One contract for all of above.

National coverage using PEXA


AMONG the 138,200 Australians currently living with dementia in NSW, one of them is Tracey Fernley-Pearson’s loving father, Bev.

Caring for her 87-year-old father has become Ms Fernley-Pearson’s priority despite herself living with a disability following an accident 10 years ago.

On top of these huge responsibilities, she also passionately advocates with Dementia Australia in calling for dementia-friendly businesses.

To emphasise her advocacy’s purpose, Ms Fernley-Pearson created her own business, Helping Hands for Hounds, offering healthy treats for dogs who are companions for people diagnosed with debilitating dementia.

“Dogs can be extremely important companions for people with dementia and I want to make sure my business understands the needs of people with dementia making it accessible to them,” Ms Fernley-Pearson said.

“Dementia friendly businesses are important to ensure that people with dementia have the equivalent access to

services as people who are not impacted by this condition.

“From my own experience, it is difficult to take Dad shopping or visit public places because it can be a noisy place and people might feel frightened having them around.

Boost to improve patient experiences

THE NSW Labor Government is investing $10.6M to make patient experience officers available across all NSW hospitals, relieving pressure on busy clinicians and improving patient wellbeing.

Patient experience officers provide additional support in emergency departments (EDs) to patients, carers and their families.

These officers are the first point of contact for patients when they arrive.

They can provide advice and information on ED processes and waiting times to patients and their carers to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Importantly, this also eases the workload on our busy clinicians so they can focus on treating patients.

A recent evaluation report has shown the positive impact patient experience officers have had on both patients and hospital staffs’ experiences and wellbeing in hospital EDs, as well patient health outcomes.

The Evaluation of the NSW Health Emergency Department Patient Experience Officer report found more than 85 per cent of respondents agreed the position was ‘successful’, ‘moderately successful’ or ‘very successful’, with patient experience officers rated highly for patient communication in the waiting room (89.7 per cent) followed by managing stress/anxiety (81.6 per cent).

Patient experience officers were first introduced in some NSW hospitals in July 2019 during a period of high demand in EDs. Following the success of the pilot pro-

“We want businesses to treat people with dementia in a respectful and understanding manner. Businesses need to be inclusive of all members in the community.”

The Blacktown City Council awarded Ms Fernley-Pearson the Most Inspirational Person of the Year in last year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities for her advocacy work with Dementia Australia.

Volunteering for the cause of Dementia Australia says Ms Fernley-Pearson is her way of giving back to the community, sharing her family’s experience how they care for a parent with dementia to help others, too.

“I struggle to visit my Dad, I find it really hard,” she said.

“[But] I realised I could turn the sadness I felt constantly of Dad being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s into a positive. Winning the award is incredibly important as it allows me to be a role model and to create a more dementia friendly community.”

Across Australia, Dementia Australia assists a surging number of people, 421,000 so far and is constantly needing a contingent of advocates and

gram, patient experience officers are now available across all Local Health Districts and Specialty Health Networks.

The NSW Labor Government has a plan to relieve pressure on EDs and reduce wait times, through the budget emergency department relief package which will invest:

• $171.4 million to introduce three additional virtual care services helping 180,000 people avoid a trip to the ED;

• $100 million to back in our urgent care services to provide a pathway to care outside of our hospitals for an estimated 114,000 patients;

• $70 million to expand emergency department short stay units to improve patient flow to reduce ED wait times by nearly 80,000 hours;

• $15.1 million to for an Ambulance Matrix that provides real time hospital data to enable paramedics to transport patients to emergency departments with greater capacity and reducing wait times;

• $31.4 million to increase Hospital in the Home across the state allowing over 3,500 additional patients each year to be cared for in their home rather than a hospital bed; and

• $53.9 million to improve patient flow and support discharge planning by identifying patients early on that are suitable to be discharged home with the appropriate supports in place.

For more information on the Emergency Department Patient Experience Program visit: https://www. emergency-department.aspx

volunteers to support them.

The volunteers assist in delivering support services for those impacted by the disease enabling them to live the best life they could have, Dementia Australia executive director Kaele Stokes said.

“Volunteers are an integral and valued part of the organisation, many of whom had been personally affected by dementia,” Ms Stokes said.

“Their generosity and compassion are immeasurable, and we deeply appreciate their dedication. “

Dementia Australia projected an increase in the staggering number of people living with dementia in NSW alone to 252,800 by 2054, thus it is doubling its efforts to call for health care reforms and research on slowing the onset of the disease.

Ms Fernley-Pearson is also a member of the Western Sydney Dementia Alliance which is advocating for more dementia health care and support services for families in the region.

If this story has prompted any questions or concerns, please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or visit

Toongabbie man wins $2.6M Keno

ANEW house is on the horizon for a Toongabbie man after starting his week as a newly minted multi-millionaire from a $2.6M Keno.

The Sydney sider scored the Keno Classic 10 Spot jackpot in Keno draw 42, drawn in June and took home a total prize of $2,655,277.00.

The winning man shared it wasn’t the first time he’d won big in Keno, revealing he’d also won $10,000 almost twenty years prior.

“Thank you!” he laughed when speaking to an official from Keno earlier this morning.

“It’ll be a bit of a change. The first ticket I put on, I won a little bit, so I just decided to play a few more games.

“It worked out quite well for me. Almost twenty years ago, I won $10,000 on Keno which was great at the time, but nothing compares to this.

“It’s funny, my wife is more excited than I am. I think we’ll look to move eventually and buy a nice house.

“I had a couple of celebratory beers last night and now I’ll just wait for the win to sink in.”

The man’s winning Keno Classic entry was purchased at Toongabbie Sports Club, 12 Station Road, Toongabbie.

The Toongabbie Sports Club team said they were overjoyed to have sold a major Keno prize-winning entry and wished their winner all the best with their prize.

In 2023, Keno players across the eastern states of mainland Australia celebrated more than 67.31 million wins collectively worth more than $1 billion.

During this time, Keno crowned 21 millionaires and multi-millionaires who collectively took home more than $51.5 million. Eleven of these major winners were from New South Wales and the ACT, including a Shelly Beach dad who scored a $5.92M windfall.

Players in New South Wales and the ACT enjoyed more than 36.33 million Keno wins totalling more than $529.1M across the region in 2023.

Tracey Fernley-Pearson receiving the 2023 Most Inspirational Person of the Year from Blacktown City Council as part of the global International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

New restaurants at Workers

ANEW era in stylish dining comes to Workers Blacktown with the opening of Lusso Bistro and Lusso Tapas.

Lusso Bistro offers a range of relaxed but refined dining experiences, from the freshest pasta and seafood to steaks and perfect pizza from its oven, with produce sourced from Sydney’s top providers.

The dedicated team at Lusso Bistro and Lusso Tapas, insists on the best ingredients from sustainable producers, local wherever possible.

Monday to Friday, Lusso Bistro serves lunch 11.30am to 3pm and dinner 5pm to 9pm. At the weekends it’s open from 11.30am through to 9pm.

Mediterranean-styled Lusso Tapas is a new experience for Workers Blacktown, although the flavours of Spain, Turkey, Greece and Jordan will be familiar to many Blacktown area families.

The Lusso team have complemented their small-plate menu with fine

wines from Europe, South America and, of course, Australia.

Lusso Tapas opens Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to 9pm; Friday and Saturday midday to 3pm for lunch and 5pm to 9pm for dinner.

Workers Lifestyle Group, operator of Workers Blacktown and Workers Sports, last month also launched Marlo’s All Day caf?, on the ground floor

site of the former Blue Gum Caf?, open every day from 9am to 9pm.

“We are proud to bring two high-quality, proven family food businesses into Blacktown Workers, with a fresh approach to food and service,” said Workers chief executive officer Morgan Stewart.

“At the same time we have retained many WLG staff from our previous caf? and restaurants.

“As a club at the heart of Blacktown community life, working for our 55,000 members, we strive constantly to improve the facilities and quality of service offered at Blacktown Workers and Workers Sports.”

Lusso Bistro: https:// blacktown/lussobistro/ Lusso Tapas: https:// blacktown/lussotapas/

AI trial at council B

LACKTOWN Council is among 16 councils will trial technologies to speed up development assessment timeframes, as part of the NSW Government’s $5.6M investment in introducing artificial intelligence into the planning system.

The successful councils applied for grants under the State’s Early Adopter Grant Program to trial technologies that will improve the quality and accuracy of information when a development application is lodged. Councils assess approximately 85 per cent of all residential development applications and this process is often strained by administrative delays, duplications and mistakes, or site-specific requirements that are not met prior to submitting a development application.

These are all issues that could be identified and resolved before a development application even arrives on a planner’s desk, leaving planners to approve homes more efficiently. Improving the quality of the original application reduces the number of requests for more information which saves significant time.

For example, of nearly 500 applications accepted into the Regional Housing Flying Squad Program in the past year additional information was required for around 30 per cent of development proposals with applicants taking, on average, an additional 42 days to respond with the information.

For more information visit the AI in NSW Planning website.

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2024 BUDGET TO EASE COST OF LIVING And boost small business

JULY 1 is fast approaching and a number of the Albanese Labor Government’s key measures from the 2024 Budget are set to start.

These measures are an investment by our Government in our community.

I know that many in Northwest Sydney are concerned about the cost of living – and that’s why our Government is committed to easing pressures faced by many Australians right now.

These measures are designed to provide relief while at the same time ensuring that we do not add to inflationary pressures that drive the cost of living higher.

This includes Labor’s tax cuts – a key part of our plan to ensure everyone can earn more and keep more of what you earn.

Every single taxpayer –including 93,000 in Greenway alone – will receive a tax cut from 1 July.

We will also deliver $300 to

reduce every Australian household’s power bill and freeze the cost of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

These measures also are an investment in our small businesses.

The Albanese Government knows that small business is the engine room of the Austra-

lian economy.

In Northwest Sydney, over 18,500 small business will be eligible to receive $325 of power bill relief and continue using the $20,000 instant asset write off to invest in your business.

We are also ensuring that small businesses will play a central role in our plans for a

future made in Australia.

On top of these measures, we are making historic investments and reforms in the tertiary education sector.

We have wiped $3B in student debt for three million Australians and are investing in our future teachers, nurses, and social workers by support-

ing them with pay during their practical placements.

We are also continuing our partnership with State and Territory Governments to address future skill needs.

An additional 20,000 feefree TAFE places will be made available, adding to the more than 355,000 fee-free places already offered.

This initiative ensures that Australians have the skills required for the jobs of the future.

The Albanese Government remains dedicated to fostering a thriving economy while easing the cost of living for Australians.

As your Federal Member for Greenway, I am proud to support these initiatives that will bring real benefits to our community.

Michelle Rowland MP is the Federal Member for Greenway and Minister for Communications. If you need assistance with any Federal issue, you can contact Michelle by phone on 02 9671 4780 or by email at Michelle.

Protect yourself this winter by getting your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.


Check out our easy step guide

WHETHER you're a beginner or looking to refine your approach, the following guidelines can help you build and maintain physical strength effectively.

1. Set Clear Goals

Before embarking on a strength training regimen, it's crucial to define your goals. Do you want to build muscle mass, increase endurance, or enhance overall strength? Clear goals will help you design a tailored workout plan and track your progress.

2. Follow a Structured Training Program

A well-structured training program is essential for consistent strength gains. Here are some key components:

• Compound Exercises: Focus on compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups, promoting balanced strength development and functional fitness.

• Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your exercises. This principle of progressive overload ensures continuous muscle adaptation and growth.

• Rest and Recovery: Incorporate rest days into your routine. Muscles grow and repair during rest, so overtraining can be counterproductive. Aim for at least one or two rest days per week, depending on the intensity of your workouts.

3. Prioritise Nutrition

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in strength training. Here are some dietary considerations:

• Protein Intake: Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Include high-quality protein sources such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products,

and plant-based proteins like beans and lentils. Aim for 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, depending on your training intensity.

• Balanced Diet: Ensure your diet includes a balance of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Carbohydrates provide energy for workouts, while healthy fats support overall health and hormone production.

• Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial for muscle function and recovery. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before, during, and after workouts.

4. Focus on Form and Technique

Proper form and technique are essential for maximizing strength gains and preventing injuries. Consider the following tips:

• Learn from Professionals: If you're new to strength training, consider working with a certified personal trainer to learn the correct techniques.

• Mind-Muscle Connection: Concentrate on the

muscle group you're working on to ensure proper engagement and effectiveness of the exercise.

• Warm-Up and Cool Down: Always warm up before your workouts to prepare your muscles and joints. Cooling down with stretching helps reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility.

5. Mental Discipline and Consistency

Building strength requires mental discipline and consistency. Here are some strategies to stay motivated:

• Set Milestones: Break your overall goal into smaller, achievable milestones. Celebrate your progress along the way to stay motivated.

• Track Your Progress: Keep a workout journal to log your exercises, weights, and repetitions. Tracking progress helps you stay accountable and see improvements over time.

• Stay Patient: Strength building is a gradual process. Avoid the temptation to rush or compare yourself to others. Focus on your journey and celebrate your unique progress.

6. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body’s signals. If you experience pain (as opposed to normal post-workout soreness), take it seriously. Pushing through pain can lead to injuries that set back your progress.

Achieving physical strength is a holistic process that involves consistent training, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and mental discipline. By setting clear goals, following a structured program, prioritizing nutrition, focusing on technique, maintaining mental discipline, and listening to your body, you can effectively build and sustain physical strength. Remember, the journey to strength is personal and continuous; stay dedicated, and you will see results.


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Urgent Care Initiatives in Western Sydney

Western Sydney is home to four Urgent Care Initiatives. Urgent Care exists to help you access the right care at the right time.

What are Urgent Care Services?

Urgent Care Services are for all those things that need urgent medical attention but aren’t life-threatening, and you don’t need to go to the emergency department. Urgent Care Services aren’t like your usual GP and they’re not emergency departments.

What do Urgent Care Services Treat?

Urgent Care Services provide medical care for:

9 Suspected fractures, sprains and dislocations

9 Wound management and cuts requiring stitches

9 Bites

9 Minor burns

9 Removal of foreign objects from skin, eyes and ears

Top 5 conditions referred to Urgent Care

Source: 2022/2023

In Western Sydney there are two types of urgent care services available: NSW Health Urgent Care Services and Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.

Both provide free treatment when you are not feeling well or have a minor injury. Trained medical staff will help you get the treatment you need faster and keep our busy emergency departments free for those with a serious injury or illness.

NSW Health Urgent Care Service

9 Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, including public holidays.

9 To access, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

9 A registered nurse will answer your call, ask some questions and then connect you with the right care, in the right place for your health needs.

There are two NSW Health Urgent Care Services open in Western Sydney:

9 NAS Advanced Medical Centre, Auburn

9 Health Zone Barwell Medical Centre, Castle Hill

9 Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday, including public holidays.

9 You do not need an appointment or referral. You can walk in and wait to be seen.

and Dental Centre 122-128 Station Street, Wentworthville NSW 2145

Driving Do’s and Don’ts for your snow trip

Locals live here - Driving through Berridale, Jindabyne and communities in this locality remember that children go to school and daycare here, teenagers cycle to school and work here so please don’t be in a rush.

Wheel Chains - you will need to carry them if your car is not a 4WD, they are mandatory and you will see why on a snowy or icy day. You can pick them up from service stations anywhere between Cooma and the snow at petrol stations and snow hire places.

Snow Driving -This is not like normal driving, there is black ice on the road, which is a thin layer of ice which is imperceivable to the eye and

the road becomes very icy and easy to slide off the side of the road, There are MANY cars off the side of the road during blizzards and heavy snow. If you don’t feel confident, park your car at the Station Resort, Jindabyne and catch the bus. See snowy-mountains-bus-service for winter schedule.

Parking - Up at the resorts the parking is extremely limited. It is first come first served and there may be a bit of a walk from the car to the ski lifts. Wear shoes with grip and bring a backpack to store these shoes in and leave them somewhere safe while you’re skiing. Stashing an inexpensive backpack in a corner of the building under a chair is fine.

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continent’s most underrated destinations including Mexico, the Carribean and Canada. It’s a gorgeous hard cover book, great for a coffee table or special gift for that adventurous person. Lonely Planet, $64.99 RRP is available at your favourite bookstores or contact

Best snow play options at the snow

Head to Corin Forest and Mt Selywn for a snow experience closest to Sydney to see snow for the first time and throw a snowball and make a snowman. If you’re keen to visit the bigger resorts of NSW, there is no snow play allowed at Thredbo, Perisher and Thredbo charge a national parks entry fee. Both resorts really discourage snow play (they won’t tell you but I will) due to accidents in the past as skiers and toboggans and small children collided, so they’re really not set up for snow play. If you must go to one of these bigger resorts, I’d advise leaving the car at the Station Resort in Jindabyne and heading up on the public bus. They come regularly throughout winter. The car park gets crowded, and your car can tend to be parked far away

whereas the bus drops you at the centre. Walk north to the flat area away from the lifts to escape getting hit by an out-of-control skier.

How to do The Islands of Tahiti on a budget

When you think of The Islands of Tahiti, images of romantic overwater bungalows, luxury catamarans and private jets likely come to mind. Luckily, you don’t need a celebrity’s budget to enjoy this stunning destination and its 118 islands because there are plenty of budget-friendly hotels around. One of the best ways to experience the islands on a budget is to stay in a locally owned and run guesthouse, known as pensions.

These budget accommo-

Idations allow for an authentic experience and the opportunity to connect with the locals. Every island in the destination has pensions where you get to stay with a local family, go on day trips in the area with their local guides, sample traditional home cooked Tahitian dishes and learn about their culture.

Another way to save money on accommodation and food is to book a vacation rental from companies such as Tahiti Homes, where you can enjoy

all the amenities of a home but with infinitely better views. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful spot for a romantic getaway, such as the Suite Vai Tea in Tahiti or a spacious villa for a family vacation, such as the Villa Moana on Moorea, these vacation rentals provide the perfect setting to create memorable experiences while enjoying the landscapes of the islands.

For more information on The Islands of Tahiti, visit https://www.

Romantic Winter Getaway at Sydney’s Ovolo Hotel

f you haven’t experienced Woolloomooloo’s Ovolo hotel it’s a must-visit to see a new side of Sydney. As one of the ‘Small Luxury hotels’ global group it’s a fabulous location down on Sydney Harbour looking out to Pinch Gut Island and the naval base. Have your first drink ‘on the house’ at Ovolo’s Apero Hour, the reception area and dining areas are lit up by a stunning array of fairy lights and glowing trees and you can get a great sense of the history of

the wharf used for industry in Sydney’s earlier days. The hotel has a gym, self-service laundry and generous size suites. Get out and explore Sydney on foot, outside head towards the Harbour Bridge and walk up the stairs to the newly renovated Art Gallery or cycle around the city on bike share bicycles, don’t forget to download the app. Ovolo Woolloomooloo, 6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo. Head to

Modern Korean cuisine at Arisun Restaurant

What a fun place to take a group of friends for dinner! China

Town’s Arisun Korean Restaurant is definitely worth a visit and you’ll enjoy K-pop music and an immersion in modern Korean culture in this restaurant with a very cool vibe. Go early because there is a queue out the door later in the night, it’s popular. Food is modern Korean, very fresh and comes out quickly to your table. and best bites are Wagyu

Bulgogo hot pot with mushrooms, seared salmon tataki, snow cheese boneless chicken, smoky Galbi BBQ beef ribs, premium short ribs and steam rice. Don’t forget to add Balter beer to your order. Happy hour specials are 3.30pm - 5.3pm, you will leave with a full belly and go home happy. Open 12 noon till late, shop 35 / 1 Dixon St Haymarket. For more details head to:

One global resorts Green Square

If you’re looking for an easy lay over option before your next flight out of Sydney, One Global Resort at Green Square is a TOTAL RECOMMEND. It is a gorgeous urban retreat just two train stops before the domestic terminal on the Airport train line, it’s so easy to get from the hotel to the airport and the train station is just downstairs from the hotel.

You don’t need an excuse to stay here, the pool and spa are stunning, designed by well-known architect Koichi Takada the building is a fascinating curved creation, worth a sneaky staycation. Sitting in the pool high above houses below feels

like being in Singapore on holiday. Popular with the MAFS crew, It’s a great place to relax and very central to the CBD and airport. It’s a busy area but less hectic than the CBD and rooms are generous sized suites, perfect for families. The gym, sauna and cafe are great and holiday staff are very helpful. Wander downstairs for a meal, this new area of Sydney is thriving and ever-changing, modern 789 Korean BBQ across the road is delicious, eat at Bashan, NAM2 or Camy’s Charcoal and grab some dessert at Hey July. Formerly known as Skye Suites Green Square, head to to learn more.

puzzles and games


1. Chaucer bit

. They may be clicked on

. Flu symptom

. Grad-to-be

. Bushwhacker’s tool

. Go to the edge of

. The good olde days

. Cooking place

. Transmit anew

. Back on a battleship

. Crooners, often

Creation location

. “High School Musical”

21. Main mail drop (abbr.) 22. Disconnected, as a phone line

. Like siblings 28. Chances in Vegas

. Roller Derby milieus

. Checklist item

. Pretentiously stylish

1. Little jerks 5. Head downtown?

. Help in a holdup

. Balming target

. Beyond partner

. Screenplay direction

. T-bone region

. Medical research goals

. Every family has one

. Illuminated

. Holiday follower? 24. Skiier’s challenge 25. Unlike a litterbug

. Palindromic windmill part 30. End of two state names

. Scratch, say

. Better copy?

. Bahrain bread

. Passed with ease

. Genetic info carrier

42. Arboreal abode 43. Things to rattle 45. Fishtail, e.g. 47. Daydreamer’s limit?

48. Fit to be fare

50. Killed, as a dragon 53. Tux accessory

54. Prepare for hanging 57. Wrestling area

59. Serving as a diplomat

64. Beer selections

66. Hindu grouping

67. Tat-tat intro

68. Folk facts

69. Pagoda roofing

70. Black cat, some think 71. It may come before “we forget”

72. Failed as a sentry 73. Bird’s perch, perhaps

. Attack deterrent

. Military sch.

. Enrolls 37. Barbary ape’s lack

. The red

. Inner city concern

. Most absurd 49. Official orders 51. Emotion of the miffed 52. Long and thin

55. Sight from Biscayne Bay

. Gourmand 57. Shoppers’ site

58. Ubiquitous lily relative

60. Place for some polish 61. “Cast Away” setting 62. Manual component

63. A driver may change

65. Firm or fixed

NATIONAL STAGE FOR BLACKTOWN CITY FC As Critto celebrates 400 games

FOR the record sixth time in Australia Cup history, Blacktown City

FC has once again qualified for the Final 32 of the prestigious National competition. The stage is set for Blacktown City to represent our great city once again on the National stage.

The Final 32 draw for the Australia Cup was announced last week and Blacktown City FC will host A League club Adelaide United at Landen Stadium on Wednesday, July 31st. Game time is set for 7:30pm and grandstand tickets are set to go on sale the first week of July. Check the Blacktown City FC website for further details.

The goal is to fill Landen Stadium as Blacktown City did in 2017 when the club beat Wellington and Central Coast in succession before losing to the Wanderers in front of 5,000 fans in a penalty shootout.

Playing an A League side is always opportune for NPL 1 teams who get the chance to prove their ability. Two years ago, Blacktown lost a 1-0 Australia Cup thriller in Mudgee to the Central Coast Mariners in another major challenge to their more fancied opponents. The game will be live on Ten Play and could very well feature as the game of the round.

Heading up the Australia Cup campaign is Blacktown Head of Football, Mark Crittenden. Coaching the Senior Men since 2011, Critto last Saturday chocked up his 400th Game as the Senior Men’s coach.

This is an amazing achievement in sport generally, and his winning record is one that has also maintained an old school culture that is the ambition of head coaches in all codes. Regarded as one of the best in the business, he has earned a reputation as a Coach who can bring out the best in talent and his winning record is testament to that.

Mark Crittenden started his associ-

ation with Blacktown City back in 2004 coaching the Under 11’s. A few years later he oversaw the Under 15’s and one of his biggest decisions was to stick with his goalie – a fellow named Maty Ryan. Many around Mark commented that he should drop his young goalie, but Critto saw something special in the young lad.

Going on to be the current Captain of the Socceroos, Maty Ryan is eternally grateful to his coach and the club for the opportunity he was given and

recently spent hours with future Blacktown City Socceroo hopefuls.

Injuries have hit Blacktown City hard in their 2024 run to a playoff spot. In the last five weeks, Blacktown has uncharacteristically had three losses, a draw and only one win. Blacktown still occupy the fifth playoff spot but hot on their heels are the West Sydney Wanderers, Wollongong Wolves and St George City who provided a major upset downing Blacktown 2-1 in Round 22 of the competition. Even worse the

loss was on home ground at Landen Stadium.

With eight rounds remaining before the playoffs Rockdale are in the driver’s seat followed by Marconi, Apia and Sydney United. Blacktown are on the road the majority of July with the next crucial match on Sunday July 7 against main rivals Sydney United. Coach Crittenden will have to work some magic after the dismal performances against St George City and Rockdale in the last two home game losses. Next home game for Blacktown is July 28 against the West Sydney Wanderers.

In only their third season of competition, Blacktown City Women are in eighth place on the ladder. In their last five games they have only had one loss and continue to improve on a weekly basis.

Head of Women’s Football, Michael Hawthorne, said: “We continue to make great progress towards our goal to win the NPL 2 division and match our Men in NPL 1 competition. This is only my first year with the Women and I am heartened by the desire and improvement we have demonstrated. Our Youth girls are all in the top four which plays well for our future”.

Wednesday, July 31 is a big moment for the city of Blacktown and Blacktown City! Buy your tickets early and Go Blacktown City!

Bob Turner is executive Chairman of Blacktown City FC.
Coaching legend, Mark Crittenden.


Located in the in the foothills of the Blue Mountains this established property is a relaxed haven for resort style family living. This stylistic home is on a fully fenced 2,079 m² block and has been designed for lifestyle family living with a layout that accommodates ample spaces for privacy, relaxation or entertainment. There are formal living and dining areas of generous proportions and a seamless flow to an expansive front veranda spotted gum timber deck that captures views over your own mature parklike gardens and outdoor private getaway precincts. The ground floor features a double garage with an adjoining area that doubles as a retreat for parents, children or a stylish home entertainment studio. Upstairs there are four bedrooms, two toilets and high ceilings with a slow combustion fire that completes the country homestead feel of this unique property. Air conditioning upstairs and downstairs and ceiling fans throughout ensure year-round comfort. Recently installed solar panels mean the property is connected for energy efficiency. Did we mention lifestyle? The front garden area is more like a private parkland with mature trees that canopy the space and provide a unique enclosed environment for entertainment, a children’s play area or simply as a place to reflect and unwind. Located at the front of the property is your own car wash bay with water supply. The kidney shaped pool is surrounded by mature tree growth and is close to an outdoor fixed BBQ space.

Located just 5 minutes to Kurrajong Village and with beautiful parkland and bushwalking trails at your doorstep, this is a fantastic location to call home.

• Polished timber flooring throughout the main living space, air conditioning upstairs and downstairs.

• Meals and family area with a slow combustion fireplace.

• The kitchen features an island bench with breakfast bar.

• Formal lounge and dining area.

• Master suite with direct access to the expansive front timber deck.

• Four bedrooms, three with built-ins, ceiling fans throughout.

• Laundry with second toilet.

• A real lifestyle backyard, gated swimming pool, BBQ area and beautiful tree privacy.

• Two car lock up garage with security lighting.

• Outdoor Colourbond storage shed and large side car port area.

• Ample off-street parking, with the house located on a private service road, wide driveway area for turning around.

• Private car wash bay with its own water supply.

• Solar panels for energy efficiency.

• Security lighting front and back.

• 30,000L water tank plus connection to the Belvedere Water Scheme.

• Logos

• Business cards

• Letterheads

• With Compliment Slips

• Presentation folders

• Marketing flyers

• Promotional cards

• Posters

• Pull Up Banners

• Infographics

• Brochures

• Catalogues

• Annual reports

• Newsletters

• Magazines

• Advertisements

• Social media tiles

• Web banners

WORKERS Lifestyle Group congratulates Western Sydney Diabetes, its partner in the Western Sydney Changing Diabetes campaign, on the 10th anniversary of its efforts to curb the dangers of type 2 diabetes to our community.

“We are proud to partner Western Sydney Diabetes in this important campaign for diabetes awareness, prevention and early detection and congratulate them on a decade of effort to improve our community’s health and wellbeing,” said Workers Lifestyle Group chief executive Morgan Stewart.

WSD’s anniversary is also marked by National Diabetes Week, July 14-21 and there is a big push to promote the 2kg Challenge in Blacktown area GP surgeries and WLG’s Workers Blacktown and Workers Sports Clubs.

“Our challenge is straightforward: losing 2kg of weight reduces by 30 per cent the risk of type 2 diabetes,” said Morgan.

“And the really good news is that type 2 diabetes is 80% preventable by

Western Sydney Diabetes Turns 10


Easy to follow health program

early detection and lifestyle changes –losing excess weight, eating healthier, stopping smoking.

“As much as weight loss, the 2kg Challenge is about taking on simple, healthy lifestyle changes that we can all sustain every day,” Morgan said.

Because people living in Western Sydney are at significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than the rest of NSW, Workers joined forces with WSD, Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest) and Novo Nordisk in late 2022 to launch Western Sydney Changing Diabetes.

Workers funds the campaign to the tune of $500,000 over five years.

More than that, Workers Blacktown and Workers Sports actively promote diabetes awareness and prevention with healthy lifestyle activities, like line dancing classes, healthy eating options, and free SiSU Health Station checks.

Since late 2022, more than 4300 members, guests and staff at Workers’ Blacktown clubs have taken the SiSU tests, which flags diabetes warning signs, such as high blood pressure, and alert people who are at-risk to visit their GPs.

The 2Kg Challenge is a free online program where, once signed up,

participants have access to an array of advice, ideas and resources that will guide them to getting healthier, fitter and lighter.

Participants are given weight-loss options and choices that work best for them – free healthy recipes, a healthy living coaching program, free and lowcost indoor and outdoor activities, and tips to stay on track.

During National Diabetes Week, Western Sydney Diabetes will operate an information stall at Workers Black-

town and WSD and WLG will run these programs:

Tuesday, July 16:

• Free Tai chi and Gentle Exercise classes; Wednesday, July 17:

• Diabetes detection;

• An information stall with educational resources on diabetes prevention;

• free weekly line dancing lessons and salsa for beginners

• A nutritional talk by the WSD dietitian at 1.30pm.

Club members using the SiSU Health Station.

Western Sydney Diabetes Turns 10


Game changers in diabetes care

THIS year, Western Sydney proudly celebrates the 10th anniversary of Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD), a pioneering initiative dedicated to combating diabetes in our region.

Since its inception, WSD has been at the forefront of innovative diabetes management strategies, making a remarkable impact on the lives of those living with this condition.

One of the most groundbreaking advancements the WSD team has embraced is Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM).

As an early adopter, WSD integrated CGM into its specialist services for people with type 2 diabetes referred to us by their GPs. This technology has proven to be a game changer in diabetes care.

CGM works by measuring glucose levels continuously throughout the day and night using a small sensor placed on the skin.

This eliminates the need for frequent finger-prick tests, providing a comprehensive view of glucose trends. With real-time data, patients and healthcare providers can make precise medication adjustments and lifestyle recommendations.

WSD has seen firsthand the transformative power of CGM. Combined with GP virtual case conferencing, it has revolutionised diabetes management.

Among WSD patients, there have been significant improvements: an average HbA1C reduction of 1.4% and an increase in Time in Range from 46% to 73% within just 3 to 6 months. Additionally, the incidence of hypoglycemia has notably decreased, enhancing overall patient safety and well-being.

Despite its clear benefits, CGM is not yet widely accessible to everyone with type 2 diabetes. In Western Sydney alone, nearly 13% of adults live

with type 2 diabetes, and 38% are at high risk. Managing diabetes costs over $18,000 per patient annually, totalling $1.8B in our region.

By subsidising CGM, health outcomes could improve and reduce these staggering costs.

Residents are invited to visit the WSD website to read patient stories and learn more about the impact of CGM. The diabetes challenge is now owned by all residents and WSD partners. Join the cause in spreading the

word and supporting this innovative technology.

Dr Rajini Jayaballa, Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University said: “CGM is a vital tool in the mission to improving the lives of those with diabetes. We look forward to a future where it is accessible to all patients with type 2 diabetes.”

To learn more about the 2kg Challenge and listen to the inspiring song created by Professor Glen Maberly for our 10-year celebration, visit

Link between diabetes and hearing loss

HEARING loss and diabetes are two of Australia’s most common health concerns and research shows that people living with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer hearing loss as those without the condition.

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body's ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone which helps balance the levels of sugar in your blood.

Western Sydney is facing a growing health concern due to the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes which is at 13 per cent in adults - higher than the state average.

Western Sydney Diabetes is a collaborative initiative led by Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest), Diabetes Australia and Department of Planning and Environment to address the Western Sydney diabetes hotspot.

Over time, diabetes can damage blood vessels in the heart, kidneys, nerves and can cause hearing loss and permanent vision loss in the eyes.

Donalee Rose, Community Hearing Advisor from Hearing Australia in Westpoint Blacktown, said it is important people living with diabetes understand the risks and long-term implications of hearing loss.

Ms Rose, who provides hearing care, education and information for the Blacktown Local Government Area, said most people are not aware

of the significant impact of diabetes on hearing.

“The structure of the inner ear is highly vascularised,” she said.

“Therefore, hearing loss can result from changes to the small blood vessels of the inner ear. “There is evidence that diabetes may lead to the sensorineural hearing loss by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear.”

She said the physical and psycho-

logical effects of hearing loss can be debilitating.

“It is also critical that hearing loss is not left unmanaged due to the risk of comorbidities,” Ms Rose said.

Interventions are aimed at reducing the effects of the damage and restoring function. It is very important the brain continues to be stimulated by hearing and understanding words.

Hearing Australia has provid-

ed hearing care for 76 years helping Australians re-discover the joy of sound and is the largest provider of government-funded hearing services in Australia.

As a Community Hearing Advisor, Ms Rose liaises with GPs, pharmacists, community groups and sporting organisations to raise awareness of diabetes in the community via free hearing screenings to identify hearing loss and facilitate clinical appointments with audiologists.

Residents can contact Donalee Rose at Hearing Australia on (02) 9830 8300 for further hearing care.

Diabetes can be prevented by:

• Early detection and follow-up;

• Managing blood sugar levels;

• Quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels; and

• Maintaining a healthy weight.

Western Sydney Local Health District provides several initiatives including community education programs, screening services and support groups for people with diabetes.

Western Sydney Diabetes staff specialists have put together a video discussing the importance of hearing checks: videos/770971497/af04736acb Visit for more information.

Donalee Rose, Community Hearing Advisor from Hearing Australia, does a screening test on Bill Needham of Prospect.

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