Blacktown News - May 2023

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SydWest migrant service expands

THE memory of her Greek grandparents returning to Greece after years in Australia because they felt they were unsupported, motivates Elfa Moraitakis in her work in the migrant support sector. And her work has recently expanded, with the amalgamation of Blacktown based SydWest Multicultural

Services, of which Ms Moraitakis is CEO, with Participate Australia, which had been struggling through the complexities of the NDIS. Ms Moraitakis said the amalgamation would allow SydWest MS to reach out to migrants with disabilities in a way it had not before, and to expand into the Inner West and Sydney City. More page 3.

WEXPO returns 2023 Reflecting on a Labor Legacy The SydWest team and inset CEO Elfa Moraitakis.
Email us: Visit us: 62 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown Call us: 5300 6000 Mail us: PO Box 63, Blacktown 2148 Blacktown City Council acknowledges the Darug people as the traditional owners of the land on which Blacktown City was built. Blacktown City Blacktown Snapshot 403,000 population 4% average economic growth 153,160 local jobs 27,247 registered businesses $22 billion economy $ GET READY TO SYDNEYZOO.COM/GLOW BLACKTOWN CITY MEDIEVAL FAYRE 20 May - 21 May 2023 STREETS ALIVE & PARADE Sunday 14 May 2023 Saturday 27 May 2023 FEATHERDALE SYDNEY WILDLIFE PARK Half price for Blacktown residents for the month of May! For more information and full event program, scan the QR code. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE BLACKTOWN CITY FESTIVAL OUTBACK BLACKTOWN COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL


THE memory of her Greek grandparents returning to Greece after years in Australia because they felt they were unsupported, motivates Elfa Moraitakis in her work in the migrant support sector.

And her work has recently expanded, with the amalgamation of Blacktopwnj based SydWest Multicultural Services, of which Ms Moraitakis is CEO, with Participate Australia, which had been struggling through the complexities of the NDIS.

Former CEO of Participate Australia Angela Tsoukos resigned her position but will remain on the board to provide her insights on Participate Australia’s operations.

Ms Moraitakis said the amalgamation would allow SydWest MS to reach out to migrants with disabilities in a way it had not before and to expand into the Inner West and Sydney City.

“The two organisations started by sharing a back office and then we realised that the only way forward would be to amalgamate, making SydWest a stronger service for the CALD (Culturally And Linguistically Diverse) community,” Ms Moraitakis said.

“SydWest will now be able to expand its services into the disability and aged care sector.”

SydWest is one of 12 migrant resource centres in Australia helping migrants from all backgrounds to settle into their new country, directing them to relevant services.

Ms Moraitakis cannot help remembering when migrant support was not as strong in Australia with her grandparents’ struggle.

Never felt at home

“My grandparents Angelo and Maria arrived from Crete to Sydney in 1966, a few months before I was born,” Ms Moraitakis said.

“They had arrived at the invitation of my mother who was the first one to come to Australia through a job-seeker program. My mother worked at different

Town Centre Living

Live at the Park

Oran Park has a new land release positioned less than 500m from the Town Centre!

O ran Park is constantly evolving, so now is the time to take advantage of everything this great community has to offer. Here’s what you can look forward to while living at the Park:

• A variety of schools and future tertiary institutions

• Multiple pre-school and day-care centres

• Pedestrian-friendly streets, creating easy access to amenities

• 160km of paths and cycleways for you to explore parklands, playgrounds and sporting fields

“They always had fond memories of Australia but never felt an integral part of the country and did not know how to access services available to migrants,.” Ms Moraitakis said

Ten years after they arrived in Australia, they returned to Crete.

factories while my grandfather worked in construction, eventually starting his own company.

“He was always very proud that he contributed to the building of the roads and bridges of Sydney.”

But, despite his success, Angelo and Maria never felt quite at home in Australia.

These days, the migrant experience is better thanks to the migrant resource centres and now SydWest goes into the future even stronger.

“The decision by the Boards of Participate Australia and SydWest marks a new chapter in our combined 80 year history,” Ms Moraitakis said.

The expanded SydWest Multicultural Services office will remain in Main St Blacktown.

• An award-winning skate park and splash park which includes flying foxes, table tennis tables, basketball courts, a ninja warrior course and a parkour course

• Oran Park Library

• Meeting friends and family at Oran Park’s major shopping centre, The Podium

• New dining experiences at the Oran Park Hotel, Atura Hotel and food precincts within The Podium

• State-of-the-art Leisure Centre which houses a 50m indoor Olympic pool, gym, four basketball courts, sauna and more

• Jobs close to home within the Town Centre and nearby Western Sydney International Airport

• World class fiber optic networks with high-speed internet

• An integrated health hub for your wellbeing needs

• Good public transport with a current rotation of buses and a future train station

• A fresh new start in a masterplanned community

Don’t miss out on the opportunity of securing a lot close to the Town Centre.

3 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 NewS
@oranparktown First release SOLD OUT Contact the Oran Park sales team on 9043 7500. Scan to learn more or to register your interest.
The SydWest team.

Blacktow N

ISSUE 25 | May 2023

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Read the digital edition 24/7 at our website ISSUE 25 | May 2023 4 Editor's PickS
SECTIONS News 3 Blacktown Workers Club 6 Our evolving city 10 Local Business Awards 13 Michelle Rowland 43 Healthy Western Sydney 45 Travel 47 Films 48 Auto 49 ISSUE 25 May 2023 TRUSTED LOCaL NEWS WWW.gREaTERbLaCkTOWNNEWS COM.aU BlacktowN WEXPO returns for 2023 Reflecting on a Labor Legacy BLACKTOWN CITY FESTIVAL 13 MAY – 28 MAY 2023 SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE SydWest migrant service expands T HE memory of her Greek grandparents returning to Greece after years in Australia because they felt they were unsupported, motivates Elfa Moraitakis in her work in the migrant support sector. And her work has recently expanded, with the amalgamation of Blacktown based SydWest Multicultural Services, of which Ms Moraitakis is CEO, with Participate Australia, which had been struggling through the complexities of the NDIS. Ms Moraitakis said the amalgamation would allow SydWest MS to reach out to migrants with disabilities in a way it had not before, and to expand into the Inner West and Sydney City. More page 3. FAMILY VALUES The SydWest team inset CEO Elfa Moraitakis. Profile: New Riverstone MP Warren kirby. 16 MagaZINE: Online digital continues to grow. 25 Healthy ageing: backing brain health. 26 SWR says thankyou to volunteers. 11 It's Red Shield time again. College launches early bird offer. WEXPO at Blacktown Workers Club | Exhibitor enquires: Register now for 2023 10 6

Refugee doctor starts new career

ELIAS Josef took the hard road to Australia as a refugee and it has paid life changing dividends for the young doctor. He is now a Junior Medical Officer (JMO) in the emergency department in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), having recently started his first job in Australia.

His journey to this point has been one of great difficulty, as he fled Syria with his family to Lebanon due to the war.

After applying for an Australian humanitarian visa, they waited for the process to be completed before moving to Australia to start a new safe life.

Elias’s experience is not unique, as there are countless refugees who have fled their countries in search of safety and stability and it is for this reason events like Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood are so important, as they allow people to understand the realities of the refugee experience.

“I believe it helps people to understand why we refugees have become refugees, what we go through, what difficulties and dangers we face in our birth countries and until we get into a safe and stable place.”

“That’s only if a man is lucky to get that, given that there are still lots of people suffering,” he said

For other refugees in Western Sydney who may be struggling with their new lives in Australia, Elias has a message of hope and support.

“Believe in yourself because I know that we are strong enough to build a new safe life for us in Australia.

“Speak up and seek help when it is needed because there is no

West is well represented in Minns Govt

WESTERN Sydney has been well represented in the recent State Government announcements of Parliamentary Secretaries.

Hugh McDermott, Member for Prospect is Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General, Stephen Bali Member for Blacktown is Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Public Spaces and Edmond Atalla Member for Mt Druitt is Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Counterterrorism.

A parliamentary secretary is a member of parliament who is appointed by the Premier to assist a government minister in their ministerial duties.

Parliamentary secretaries are not members of the Cabinet, but they work closely with ministers to support the government's legislative agenda and policy priorities.

The specific duties of a parliamentary secretary can vary depending on the needs of the government and the minister they are working with. Generally, their responsibilities may include:

shame in asking for help throughout our new journey in our new home.”

He said as a community, there was much that could be done to better understand and support refugees in Western Sydney.

Elias’s story is a powerful reminder of the resilience and strength of refugees who are forced to flee their homes in search of safety and stability.

• Assisting the minister in the development and implementation of policy initiatives.

• Representing the minister and the government at events and meetings.

• Liaising with stakeholders, including industry groups, community organizations, and other levels of government.

Assisting with the preparation of parliamentary speeches and briefing notes.

• Answering questions from the public and other members of parliament on behalf of the minister.

Parliamentary secretaries are not entitled to additional salary or allowances beyond their normal parliamentary salary, but they may be entitled to some additional resources, such as staff and travel expenses.

5 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 NewS A JOYFUL MOTHER’S DAY Something for every Mum Explore gifting today:
Sources. The Pulse Newsletter, the Whitlam Institute Elias Josef.

Council venues make a splash

BLACKTOWN City Council’s Key Venues shared a win for ‘Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion’ at the Royal Life Saving Society’s ’s inaugural aquatic awards night – The Aquas - at Luna Park, on April 14.

The win recognises Blacktown Key Venues work with the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community (CALD) through its Swim Sense programs.

Swim Sense was introduced three years ago and provides much-needed water safety awareness and skill training for our multi-cultural residents which helps them build confidence and competence in and around the water.

The ‘Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion’ award received the highest number of submissions of all the awards presented on the night with key venues also nominated for ‘Excellence in Aquatic Safety Design’ (Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope) and ‘Excellence in Drowning Prevention’ (all venues).

Key venues shared the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion award honour with two other ground-breaking initiatives - All Abilities Australia and Orange Aquatic Centre/Glenroi Heights Public School.

College launches early bird offer

CAMPION College Australia, an independent liberal arts college based in Toongabbie, has announced its Early Offer Scheme for prospective students interested in starting their studies in 2024.

The Early Offer Scheme allows future students to fast-track their Letter of Offer, receive priority allocation for on-campus accommodation and be automatically considered for a first semester scholarship. Year 12 students as well as those who have already completed their secondary schooling are encouraged to apply.

Dr Paul Morrissey, President of Campion College said: "We are delighted to launch our Early Offer Scheme and provide the opportunity for students to pursue their academic goals with confidence.”

“Planning for the future can be hard, especially when students are studying for final exams or working hard to fund their post-school plans. It is our hope that the Early Offer Scheme will provide certainty for the future and help ease the transition to college life.”

To apply for the Early Offer Scheme, applicants must provide academic documentation such as Year 11 and 12 reports, proof of tertiary study or STAT results.

They must also supply a written statement and a community recommendation before undertaking an interview with one of Campion’s academics.

Each stage in the process will allow applicants to demonstrate their readiness for tertiary study, commitment to the liberal arts tradition and potential to make meaningful contributions to the Campion College community based

on previous educational, vocational and community involvement.

Campion’s Bachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts which is three-years fulltime and Diploma of Liberal Arts which is one year full-time, provide students with an integrated understanding of the events, ideas, personalities and works which have shaped Western culture.

Students take systematic study across five disciplines including history, literature, philosophy, theology and science – and develop foundational knowledge and transferrable skills for success in a broad range of professions.

Applications close Friday October 8, 2023. Prospective students interested in the Early Offer Scheme can find out more information and apply online at

Aboriginal Heritage – Richmond Road Upgrade

Transport for NSW invites Aboriginal people and Aboriginal groups who hold cultural knowledge relevant to determining the significance of Aboriginal objects and places for the Richmond Road Upgrade Project, to register to be consulted.

The main components of the proposed Richmond Road Upgrade Project include:

• Improving road capacity by widening Richmond Road between the M7 Motorway and Townson Road to six lanes

• Improving traffic flow with a new flyover bridge from the Rooty Hill Road North off-ramp to Richmond Road northbound to connect to the Westlink M7 Motorway

Reducing congestion and queuing onto the M7 Motorway

• Improving through and local traffic flow into side roads by adding more turning lane capacity

• Improving connections for people and places with a new bridge over Bells Creek Extending the existing shared user pathway for pedestrians and cyclists on the eastern side of the corridor.

The proposal may result in Transport for NSW:

• Applying for an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP) under Part 6 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, and/or

• Undertaking investigations in accordance with the Code of practice for archaeological investigations in NSW 2010, and/or

• Undertaking an environmental impact assessment under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.

To register your interest, please contact: Noni Ross, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer, via email at, or by mail at Level 3, 27 – 31 Argyle Street, Parramatta NSW 2150, or on 0476 813 136.

Registrations must be received in writing or by phone before Tuesday 23 May 2023

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Campion College student.
BLACKTOWN CITY a place of opportunity WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU & YOUR FAMILY HUGH McDERMOTT MEMBER FOR PROSPECT Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General (02) 9756 4766 2/679 Horsley Drive Smithfield STEPHEN BALI MEMBER FOR BLACKTOWN Parliamentary Secretary for Planning & Public Spaces (02) 9671 5222 Shop 3063 Westpoint Shopping Centre Flushcombe Road Blacktown EDMOND ATALLA MEMBER FOR MT DRUITT Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Counter Terrorism (02) 9625 6770 Suite 201 Westfield Shoppingtown Carlisle Avenue Mount Druitt WARREN KIRBY MEMBER FOR RIVERSTONE (02) 8883 3499 Shop 20 2 Sentry Drive Stanhope Gardens Authorised by Stephen Bali MP, Edmond Atalla MP, Hugh McDermott MP & Warren Kirby MP. Funded using parliamentary entitlements May 2023. Thank you for electing us to be your voice in the NSW Parliament. We look forward to working with residents, community organisations, sporting bodies, employers & unions to deliver for our local communities. Thankyou

Blueprint for construction future

MASTER Builders Australia has released a blueprint for future-proofing the construction industry's workforce, with the aim of attracting, recruiting, training, and retaining workers. The paper outlines what will be needed in the coming years to meet projected growth projections and replace workers that leave the industry. According to Master Builders, 486,000 workers need to enter the industry by the end of 2026. The blueprint aims to address this by attracting new workers into the industry, retaining current and emerging workers, and ensuring that training and education products and pathways remain up-todate and flexible.

Call for CCTV in abattoirs

THE Australian Alliance for Animals has called on the country's pork and meat processing industries to support the mandatory use of CCTV in abattoirs to ensure animal welfare standards are upheld. The open letter, jointly signed by the alliance's member organisations and addressed to Australian Pork Limited and the Australian Meat Industry Council, comes in the wake of footage aired on the ABC’s 7.30 program showing pigs being lowered into CO2 gas chambers.

HIA backs stamp duty reform

THE NSW Housing Industry Association (HIA) has released its Stamp Duty Watch report, which reviews the latest developments in stamp duty across Australia. David Bare, Executive Director of the NSW HIA, said that the reform of stamp duty in NSW would lead to improved economic and social outcomes, and that the government has become

dependent on a tax that is inefficient and inequitable. The NSW Labor Party’s policy to abolish stamp duty for first homebuyers on homes under $800,000 was also described as a step in the right direction.

New home sales fall

THE sales of new homes in Australia fell by 7.2% in March compared to the previous month, according to the monthly HIA New Home Sales report. The decline leaves sales in the first three months of 2023 down by 45.9% compared to the same period last year, as the rise in the cash rate over the past year impedes sales. The increase in the cost of land and construction, compounded by higher interest rates, is dampening demand further, and the cancellation rate increased in March to 30.5%.

Campaign targets Antisocial youth

THE NSW Government has launched the “Just…Don’t” campaign in collaboration with the Maitland Liquor Accord, to address anti-social behaviour among younger patrons of licensed venues. The campaign targets young people attending bars, pubs, and clubs through digital and print resources, including videos, social media tiles, posters, coasters, and digital assets. The campaign aims to reduce irresponsible and potentially harmful behavior and develop a responsible drinking culture among younger generations.

Red Shield Appeal this year

THE Salvation Army is urging the Western Sydney community to support its annual Red Shield Appeal to raise

$1.9M to support local services for those doing it tough. Funds raised locally will remain in the area. Volunteers can participate in various ways, including through community collection points, doorknocking, online fundraising, or organising a collection at work, school or sporting event. The Red Shield Appeal weekend is set for May 20 and 21, but there are also various opportunities

available throughout May. Each year, through The Salvation Army’s nationwide network of services, the Salvos provide:

• Assistance to one person every 17 seconds.

• More than 1.86 million sessions of care to people in need.

• Over one million bed nights to those in need of accommodation.



10 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 Newsbytes
p. 0439 812 709

SWR says thankyou to volunteers

NATIONAL Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on May 5 – 21 2023.

And Western Sydney community radio station SWR 99.9 FM wants to say a huge thank you to their many volunteers because they wouldn’t be where they are today without their volunteers.

SWR celebrated 30 years of serving Western Sydney in 2023, a wonderful achievement built on the back of thousands of volunteers donating hundreds of thousands of hours.

"Strong community radio makes for strong communities," said Wayne ‘Busco’ Buscombe, Breakfast Show host of 14 years and station manager.

"Actually, I stole that from Michelle Rowland, our current Federal Minister for Communications who popped in for a chat and play some tunes recently.

"It’s fantastic to have someone like Minister Rowland, who is not only a proud ‘Westie’ but a passionate supporter of community radio recognising our contribution to the media landscape."

During the unprecedented events of the last few years – SWR has not only remained on-air 24/7 but provided up to the minute and direct coverage of bushfires, floods and Covid restrictions for affected residents of Western Sydney

They’ve also been in constant contact with local government and emergency service organisations as well as many major support and relief agencies providing information and help to those in need

and providing them a voice to the community.

So it’s no surprise SWR 99.9 FM were the proud recipients of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s ‘Excellence in Community Engagement’ Award in 2021.

"It’s such a privilege for us to be a valued member and serve Western Sydney’ said Busco ‘plus we’re out and about having a ball at

local festivals and other events whenever we get a chance," Wayne said.

SWR has embarked on a major studio renovation – due to be completed first half of this year – which saw volunteers broadcasting from a temporary studio or from home.

"We haven’t had a home base for the best part of 3 years’ said Busco ‘but it hasn’t stopped our volunteers from not only keeping the station operational but growing our listener base to over 200,000 listeners every week," Wayne said.

"They’re a very special bunch - I couldn’t be prouder and and I’d just like to say a huge thank you to all current, past and future volunteers – you make the difference."

And SWR are always on the lookout for new volunteers!

For more information about SWR 99.9 FM - www.

GP grants program supported

THE Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has praised the launch of the federal Government’s GP grants program.

The $220M Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants Program will support practices and eligible Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCHOs) to enhance patient services and increase access to care. Smaller practices can receive grants of $25,000 or

$35,000, while larger practices are eligible for grants of $50,000.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said the grants would be a much-needed morale boost for many GPs and practice teams.

She also welcomed the focus on investing in general practice infrastructure, which is vital for the delivery of quality healthcare services.


“ Kagyu Monlam is to spread the seeds of loving kindness and pure motivation, to activate their power, and hence bring about genuine peace, love, happiness and well-being in the world.”

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Presiding Master:

Ven. Dekhung Gyaltsey Tulku Rinpoche

Date : 18th May 2023 – 21st May 2023

Time : 9.00am – 7.00pm

Address : Club Merrylands Bowling Club 65 Newman Street, Merrylands, NSW, Australia, 2160



Website :

Email :


NHALY LY 0403 448 872 (English, Mandarin)


Sacred Buddhist Relics and Sand Mandala Exhibition

Offerings to the Triple Gems

Blessing Empowerment

Joy and Aspiration

KEITH CHENG 0412 281 321 (English, Mandarin, Cantonese)

TAM NHAM 0452 581 389 (English, Vietnamese)

KALZANG DIKI 0413 194 030 (English, Tibetan, Sikkimese, Hindi) Free Entry & Free Parking

11 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 NewS
Event Free Registration Kadri Bodhi Monastery Facebook
Wayne Buscombe and Minister Rowland.

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF A MODERN CITY Seven city transforming projects

BLACKTOWN City Council is preparing to deliver a series of transformational community infrastructure projects across the city.

Seven projects, funded by NSW Government grants, will get underway across the city providing support to the community. Funding for the projects was announced in February 2023.

The Mayor of Blacktown City, Tony Bleasdale OAM said: “Blacktown City is the largest council by population in NSW and the fastest growing. The transformational projects will provide new o upgraded community infrastructure and will provide support to people with economic and social disadvantage in our city.

“With one in 65 Australians calling Blacktown City home, our Council is committed to delivering for the rapidly growing population and ensuring residents have the very best facilities and services they need now, and into the future.

“These transformational projects are an important component of the future management of our City and the needs of our residents,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

Council’s ambition has been to transform Blacktown and to form partnerships to attract employment and investment.

“We are seeking to build the foundations of a modern city for our population, as it grows to reach 600,000 residents,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

In March 2023, a shared vision was announced for a transformed Blacktown city centre, underpinned by an agreement between Blacktown City Council and Walker Corporation.

This investment is expected to generate $920M economic value every year, creating a huge boost to the local economy.

Residents will benefit directly too from 1,000 construction jobs over five years in the Blacktown City centre, and 4,500 permanent new jobs. This builds on the 10,000 existing jobs in the City Centre.

Funding has been granted for the following projects:

Shalvey: $25M for a new and expanded Police and Community Youth Centres (PCYC) facility for Mount Druitt and the broader community of Shalvey, Lethbridge Park, Bidwell, Blackett, Willmot, Tregear and Whalan. The project will have numerous social benefits for the local community by fostering health, inclusivity, and wellbeing for young people in the area.

Completion date: Mmid 2028.

Blacktown: $77M for the expansion and modernisation of the much-loved Blacktown Aquatic Centre. Council will create a modern leisure centre with high quality fitness facilities for the community. The expansion includes a new park and it will offer more recreational facilities than at present designed to suit the needs of the local community.

Completion date: Mid 2028.

Mt Druitt:Blacktown: Council respect the Darug community as the traditional custodians of the land on which Blacktown City is located.$20mwill be invested in a First Nations Community Centre at Mount Druitt, that responds to Aboriginal cultural values and provides a place for connection to Country. The Centre will be designed in consultation with First Nation communities.

Completion date: 2029.

Blacktown: $40M for a new Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, to meet the growing demand from the community, providing a state-of-the-art hub for local artists, creative communities and audiences of all ages. The new centre will feature gallery, workshop and performance spaces and will ensure access to space for all age groups to engage with and participate in cultural activities.

Completion date: Mid 2028.

Mt Druitt: $41M for the Mount Druitt Swimming Centre that will modernise an ageing local facility to meet current and future demand for year-round swimming and learn to swim programs. The upgrade will ensure access to an Olympic standard swimming pool that will bring the community together, encouraging an active lifestyle both now and for future generations.

Completion date: Mid 2028.

Seven Hills: $36M for a new Seven Hills Community Resource Hub, creating a focal point for government and non-government agencies to provide critical services to the whole community. The Hub will support all residents through library and play spaces, meeting and activity areas, heat refuge and disaster recovery facilities.

Completion date: Mid 2028

12 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 Our Evolving City
Blacktown Aquatic Centre. Seven Hills Community Centre. Blacktown Arts Centre. First Nations Community Centre. Mt Druitt Pool.
PCYC Building.
PCYC Shalvey.


Reflecting on a Labor legacy

IT'S TIME could soon be ringing out from Blacktown’s Bowman Hall - but in a different way from when Gough Whitlam rallied his supporters back in 1972.

The legendary Federal Labor Leader chose Bowman Hall to launch his 1972 campaign that resulted in him becoming prime minister and ending 23 years of Liberal governments could be redeveloped as part of a multi-million Walker Corporation high-density alteration of Blacktown.

And while the civic centre that was built in 1965 is nothing special architecturally, there are some who believe it is the Whitlam legacy that should preserve it, including Blacktown State MP and former Labor mayor Stephen Bali.

Gough Whitlam MP on November 13, 1972, walked onto Bowman Hall stage to deliver the speech of a lifetime that led the Labor Party out of the wilderness after being in opposition federally for 23 years.

Gough Whitlam delivered the thought-provoking words: “The decision we will make for our country on 2 December [1972] is a choice between the past and the future, between the habits and fears of the past, and the demands and opportunities of the future. There are moments in history when the whole fate and future of nations can be decided by a single decision. For Australia, this is such a time."

For his 1972 election campaign, Whitlam rallied not only ordinary Australians but also a slew of popular

entertainers such as Little Pattie, who had entertained the troops in Vietnam, and still performs today.

That troop of entertainers, who included singer Col Joy, Barry Crocker, Lynette Curran, Graham Kennedy, Brian Henderson, Bert Newton, Jack Thompson, Jacki Weaver and others, heartily sang the It’s Time slogan song in a series of ads devised by adman Paul Jones.

Whitlam chose the Blacktown Civic Centre, aka Bowman Hall, for his campaign launch because the area represented – symbolised even – the new outer suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane where Labor was building a new constituency.

It typified all the urban policy failures of the time, through lack of planning and misallocation of resources at both Federal and State government level.

Bowman Hall was officially opened on October 25, 1965 by Phillip Henry (Pat) Morton, Minister for Local Government and Highways. Further extensions were added in 1980s.

Temple of victories

Mr Bali said Blacktown was always proud to be chosen for Whitlam’s launch, and again two years later, when forced back to the polls.

“The speeches delivered in Blacktown, and the subsequent election victories changed Australia forever,” he said.

Gough Whitlam undertook many reforms including free university education, funding for public hospitals, recognising Aboriginal land rights, establishing diplomatic relations with China, increasing the pension rate to reach 25 pe cent of the average wage

and constructed the sewerage system for Western Sydney.

The Whitlam Government was the first Government to introduce the concept of multiculturalism which directly contributed to Blacktown’s population growth where today over 176,000 (44%) population born overseas from 188 cultures.

Whitlam ended white Australia policy regarding immigration; introduced the Racial Discrimination Act made it unlawful to unfairly discriminate against someone based on their ethnicity or national origin; establishment of multicultural radio services; and, introduced translation services for migrants.

Whitlam’s 1972 speech told voters that Labor “would prevent any government, Labor or Liberal, from ever again cloaking your affairs under excessive and needless secrecy”.

Mr Bali said it was “ironic” that in 2023, a Labor-dominated council “without any consultation with the community used the confidentiality tag to demolish Labor’s Temple of Victories.”

“Maybe the new property owners are willing to discuss how this special significant Australian working monument could either be saved from bulldozers or at the very least, have some appropriate recognition.”

Every 10 years, “Whitlam tragics” gather in Bowman Hall to remember Labor’s campaign launch in 1972.

What are your memories of Bowman Hall and I’d like to hear from people who was at the hall when Gough Whitlam delivered his 1972 speech, is his message to the people of Blacktown. The Blacktown

13 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 Our Evolving City
News invites readers’ comments on this issue.
ITemple of Victories: Gough Whitlam at Bowman Hall November 13, 1972. Residents clamber to catch a view of Gough Whitlam at his iconic 1972 campaign launch.

WEXPO Blacktown is on the way


and the community are gearing up for the 2023 WEXPO at Blacktown on September 19 at Blacktown Workers Club.

The day will be jam-packed with workshops, exhibitors, forums and special guest speakers.

One of those speakers will be Katherine Hawes, the principal at Digital Age

Lawyers. Katherine focuses on making legal information understandable and actionable for small business clients and individuals.

Western Sydney accountant Farid Zaki will present on the recipe of success in business sales and marketing. More workshops will be announced soon.

If last year was anything to go by,

there will be huge interest for businesses who are part of the burgeoning Western Sydney economy.

More than 800 people attended the sessions and media reach was about 500,000.

WEXPO Blacktown features three unique round table forums where handpicked guests experience presentations on Workplace Health and Community Infrastructure.

Findings of the forums are presented at a special presentation at Parliament house. WEXPO charity partner is the

That special party touch

KITCH EN Angels Sydney pride themselves on having that special ‘Angel’ touch of difference.

‘We personally tailor your event to your individual requirements,” a team member said.

“We have beautiful food that not only looks and tastes delicious but is priced realistically. ‘We are very aware of the needs of vegetarian, vegan, gluten and other dietary requirements.

“We specialise in finger food and buffet style services that allows you to not only have the freedom to enjoy your special event but also the flexibility to choose a menu from our wide variety of options that suits you style and budget.

“We love what we do, let us be You in the

kitchen, and feel free to mingle and enjoy your special event as if you were one of the guests.” Different events they love to put the Kitchen Angel Sydney touch too include:

• Birthday parties

• Engagement/wedding celebrations

High tea events

• Special anniversaries

• Bereavement gatherings

• Corporate and not- for-profit functions

• Or simply having your friends over a catch up.

“We love being You in the kitchen at your home, community venues, parks, boats and corporate venues.”

To make an enquiry please call: Evelyn on 0414363313 Or email

Better Foundation. The Blacktown News, Western Sydney Express and SWR 999 FM are the media partners.

One of the staunch supporters of WEXPO is Blacktown State MP Stephen Bali who is also WEXPO Patron, “I’ve always been happy to support WEXPO, it's an established event that is a good platform for Western Sydney businesses,’ he said.

WEXPO is free to attend expect for the lunch speaker. To book and for more information, go to

14 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 We look forward to being YOU in the kitchen, so you can feel like a guest! CATERING FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS
4 3 63 31 3 Business
Farid Zaki. Katherine Hawes.
REGISTER NOW for Blacktown’s premier business-community event! September 19, 2023 Blacktown Workers Club BLACKTOWN TM SYDWEST For more information go to FREE Coffee FREE Massages Key Note Speaker (TBA) More than 60 Exhibitors Workshops Community Leader’s Forum

BEING AN MP WAS NEVER PART OF THE PLAN BUT… Warren brings a fresh approach

Rookie MP wants to build basic infrastructure to support community

FIRST-time MP from Riverstone Warren Kirby says he was quietly confident going into the Elections largely because he knew the electorate was unhappy about two things – the overdevelopment of the area on the one hand and the lack of basic infrastructure to support the incoming population on the other hand.

“Now that I have actually been voted in to represent the community, I feel the weight of expectation to get things moving,” says Mr Kirby, who feels this entire experience to be quite ‘surreal’.

Becoming an MP was never part of his plan. That said, he however he believe that politics in general needs an injection of people with life experience.

“Too many Australians have become disenfranchised with the political system which has meant the majority of people who get involved are career politicians, lawyers or people wanting the title,” he says.

He was drawn into politics, thanks largely to his community advocacy role as the Vice President of the Northwest Business Chamber and as the VP of the Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre.

So, was there any novelty in his campaign trail or did he target any particular group to drive home the votes?

Well, Mr Kirby kept his campaigning strategy simple – an all-inclusive approach towards the Riverstone community.

With the electorate boasting a diverse mix of people from various cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds, it was perhaps his honesty that won people over.

“I just tried to be as honest and genuine as I could be, I wanted to give people hope. I wanted to let people living in the electorate know that it’s possible to have a local representative and alternative Government that empathises with their unique challenges and would work

towards building up and unifying the community instead of just constantly building more houses and expecting everyone to sort it out for themselves,” he said.

The newly-elected MP is keen on getting the balance right in the community.

He wants to focus on facilitating new communities by prioritising necessary infrastructure.

This does mean a slowing down in the rate of residential development and redirecting the profit of building new houses towards the buyers and not the real estate firms.

That would involve a combination of

increased funding from all levels of Government and policy changes surrounding the creation of new estates, he said.

An established businessman, Kirby says his business commitments have been put on hold.

“If I am to represent the community the way it deserves, I can’t be dividing my attention between them, my responsibilities as MP take priority,” he says.

A family man, Mr Kirby has grownup children who are all successfully pursuing their interests independently. His partner works full-time, and Mr Kirby thinks he needs to get the balancing act right there now that he is in the spotlight. “There is definitely going to be a balancing act to ensure we make time for each other,” he says.

16 ISSUE 25 | May 2023
Warren Kirby campaigning in the lead up to the 2023 State election.

Westpoint turned 50 in April

WESTPOINT opened in April 1973 and to commemorate this milestone, the centre launched the 'Westpoint Turns 50' campaign which ran for the whole month.

This campaign took customers on an exciting journey back to the 1970's, when the centre first opened, and celebrated the unique culture of that decade.

Bespoke content was curated from the archives to drive conversation showing the centre at various stages of its life cycle and hundreds of photos were displayed through the centre and on the centre's digital channels, reflecting on the changes over time.

Local customers were invited to share their memories of time spent at Westpoint for inclusion in the displays as well.

The 'Faces of Westpoint' (the wall of customer photos located on Level 2 from a campaign in 2008) also played a part, with two local families sharing their 'Westpoint Memorable Moments' through video interviews. Franica Cetinic with her daughter Lana, plus Rita and Tanisha Sarno, shared their experiences of shopping at Westpoint for decades.

General Manager of Westpoint, Craig Brown interviewed Westpoint's original builder, Mr Bill McNamara, now 95 years old, sharing his memories of the development, and how it all began with the backing of the Blacktown community.

Another video featuring Mr Jim Hatzikalimnios, owner of Nadia's Cafe Blacktown, spoke of his perspective as a retailer in centre for over 30 years.

Their heart-warming stories can still be found on the Westpoint website: httDs://westpoint.Q BIRTH DAY /M v-Westpoi nt- Memories

On Saturday, April 1 there was a 50th birthday party event in Centre Court. Roller skaters, 70's themed kids craft, retro arcade games, face painting, cupcake giveaways, entertainment and a retailer dress-up competition were all part of the festivities for the community.

Special guest on the day was Andrew

Continued on page 20

At Westpoint Dental Clinic we use state of the art technology, designed to provide our patients with the highest level of dental care, comfort and convenience possible. We offer general dentistry for both adults and kids, cosmetic dentistry as well as Invisalign. We accept all health funds and the free dental for kids under Medicare CDBS.

17 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 50th Birthday Shop 1063, Level 1, In front of Coles Westpoint Shopping Centre, Blacktown NSW 2148 02 9621 5566

Blacktown Westpoint

Are you ready to look and feel your best?

At Just Cuts Blacktown Westpoint, we believe that there’s nothing quite like the right Style Cut to give you the perfect confidence boost. Our team of experienced and fully qualified hairdressers are here to help you achieve the latest styles and trends - from Flipped-out Bobs to Wolf Cuts, Funky Pixies or Curly Shags for the ladies, to Fades & Tapers, Comb Overs or Long Layered Mullets for the guys, we’ve got you covered!

As a franchise, every Just Cuts salon is independently owned, and at Just Cuts Blactown Westpoint, we are passionate about providing personalised service that exceeds expectations.

We welcome clients of all ages and provide a friendly and professional experience, so come in and let us take care of you.

Remember - “Nothing looks or feels as good as the right Style Cut for you! So why wait? Visit Just Cuts Blacktown Westpoint and let our skilled stylists will help you look and feel amazing. It’s that simple!

With years of experience in the hair care industry, our team of skilled hairdressers are proud to be named as Grand Finalists in the Blacktown City Business Awards 2023.

18 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 50th Birthday

Just Cuts an award finalist

JUST Cuts Blacktown Westpoint is celebrating the shopping centre’s 50th anniversary and are excited about being a finalist in the Blacktown Small Business Awards

“This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team, who are committed to providing quality haircutting and styling services to each and every one of our clients,” a team Member said.

“As a franchise, every Just Cuts salon is independently owned and at Just Cuts Blacktown Westpoint, we are passionate about providing personalised service that exceeds expectations.

“With years of experience in the hair care industry, our team of skilled hairdressers specialise in creating unique and personalised style cuts for every client. We provide a range of services, including haircuts for men, women, and children, hair styling, and conditioning hair treatments, ensuring that our clients receive the best possible care and treatment.

“At Just Cuts Blacktown Westpoint, we understand that every client is different and so is their hair. This is why we take the time to get to know each client and their hair type before recommending a style or


“Our team of professionals is dedicated to providing personalised and friendly service, making sure that every client leaves our salon feeling satisfied and confident with their new look. That's why we're so confident that you'll be happy with the cut you get that our Style Cuts are backed by a seven-day written guarantee.

“To help our clients maintain their new look and keep their hair healthy and shiny, we offer the Justice range of hair care products, which are of the highest quality. Our salon uses only Justice products, ensuring that our clients receive the best possible care and treatment.

“At Just Cuts Blacktown Westpoint, we are passionate about helping our clients look and feel their best. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional service and delivering quality Style Cuts and Styling that exceed expectations.

“Being named as a Finalist in the Blacktown Small Business Awards is a tremendous honor and we are excited to continue providing the best possible service to our valued clients. Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way.”

Continued from page 17

Cohen, Director of the Cohen Group and Westpoint's Marketing Manager from 25 years ago.

Andrew specially flew in from Adelaide to join the celebrations and open the copper time capsule that he put together 25 years ago on behalf of the Centre Management team at the time.

There were letters from the community and hilarious predictions of what 2023 would look like.

The centre is currently working on adding to the contents of the time capsule, working with the retailers on memorabilia from 2023 so that Westpoint can reopen the time capsule in ten years.

Among the items in the time capsule will be images from the 50th birthday, 2023 coins, and a photobook featuring over 35 retailers and their team members, as well as their ten-year predictions.


Westpoint is the home of shopping in Greater Western Sydney. You'll find major retailers including Kmart, Target,

and Big W, three supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi), over 250 specialty stores, plus great entertainment options for the whole family. Westpoint has proudly opened a brand-new UNIQLO in May 2023, a Harris Scarfe, JB Hi-Fi and Cotton ON in late 2022, and has a thriving dining and entertainment precinct on Level 4, open seven days and nights till late.

20 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 50th Birthday

Upgrade for dining precinct

WESTPOINT Blacktown General

Manger Craig Brown has confirmed the centre was preparing to commence an upgrade to the outdoor dining and entertainment precinct on Level 4.

“The ambience of Level 4 will be uplifted and modernised with the addition of live greenery, local community artwork and new common spaces for customers to dwell.

Additionally, to complete the mix of retailers following the opening of The Dining Collective and Kiss My Axe in recent months, this project will see us introduce a range of exciting new retailers including the highly anticipated Grill'd restaurant, Chou Chou Bebe, Club Lime, a WOTSO co-working space, and

very excitingly a new outdoor children's playground.

“Works are expected to commence in July 2023, and while it is still too early to confirm specific timings, we anticipate that the works will conclude before Christmas 2023.

“These exciting new additions will improve and enhance the overall experience for the Westpoint community. We look forward to sharing further exciting updates as our plans are finalised and we reach key project milestones.

“We have a comprehensive construction management plan in place to help minimise the potential impact of these works on our community. Westpoint and the Level 4 retailers will remain open and trading during this time.”

Meet a Western Sydney changemaker

MAKING a difference in her community is all in a day’s work for Robyn Taylor from Uniting Local Area Coordination.

As project officer with Uniting LAC’s Aboriginal stakeholder engagement team, Robyn partners with local organisations, setting up connection desks where community members can access information about the NDIS.

Last month, Robyn and the team were in Emerton, supporting the Aboriginal community of Western

Sydney (pictured, top right).

Valuable conversations are also on at Men’s Shed, Emerton. “It’s proven to be a benefit to the community of Western Sydney, with many of the community needing guidance on accessing NDIS,” says Robyn. Away from work, Robyn is still busy giving back. She volunteers for 20 hours a week with the Burbaga Burawa community group, offering free 10-week training challenges for First Nations People. In November, Robyn’s mighty efforts were rec-

ognised when she won the Western Sydney Women Indigenous Changemaker Award at the Western Sydney Women’s Awards.

Her work is rippling out in powerful ways, said Natalie Kessell, Relationship & Event Manager at Western Sydney Women. Her support of Aboriginal communities has helped to drive healthier lifestyles.”

To find out more about Uniting LAC’s community connection desks, visit or email

21 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 50th Birthday Website – Store Address – Westpoint Shopping Centre Level 2, Shop 2071/72, 17 Patrick Street Blacktown NSW 2148 Phone – (02) 8605 2223 Email – |
Artist impression of the upgrade.
est played Listen Live @ Weekdays 5.30am to 9am Busco for Breakfast LOUD

DELIVERING FOR GREENWAY IN 2023-24 BUDGET Creating positive change for all

AFTER a wasted decade under the Liberals, the Albanese Government is working hard every day, getting on with the job of delivering the positive change that Australians voted for.

And that’s reflected in our 2023-24 Budget that Treasurer Jim Chalmers presented to Australians on the 9th of May.

It is a practical, common sense Budget that delivers on our commitment to create a better future for all – including here, in Greenway.

• In the Budget, we are: Acting on cost of living through up to $500 in energy bill relief, keeping wages moving, and giving a pay rise to aged care workers.

• Strengthening Medicare through historic investments in healthcare, where more people can see doctors for free, access more health services at local pharmacies, and halving medicine costs for 6m Australians.

• Growing our economy through investing in advance manufacturing, creating an additional 300,000 fee-free TAFE places, and backing small businesses.

• Supporting Australians doing it tough through boosting payments

for single parents and investing to prevent family violence.

And, from the 1st of July this year, we’re making childcare cheaper for up to 10,000 Greenway families, as well as strengthening paid parental leave.

These are just some of the measures the Albanese Labor Government is taking to provide Australians with the stability, confidence and security that they need.

I am proud to be part of a Govern-

ment that is supporting families and businesses in our Greenway community.

Michelle Rowland is Minister for Communications and Federal Member for Greenway. www.

24 ISSUE 25 | May 2023
with Michelle Rowland


Most have protection plans


IF the pandemic taught business owners managers anything, it is to be prepared for anything.

Many learnt the lesson the hard way, but as they face a potential financial slump later this year 90% are prepared this time around.

New research reveals that two out of three Australian online retailers increased their revenue in 2022 despite inflation and rate rises, and nine out of 10 plan to invest more in their business to protect against current economic pressures.

These include expanding their product ranges, improving their customer experience online, and offering more delivery options.

The findings were derived from a survey of 200 online retailers by leading parcel delivery service CouriersPlease.

Business owners and senior decision makers across different retailer sizesmicro (one-15 employees), small (16-50 employees), medium (51-200 employees) and large (more than 200 employees) - were asked whether their revenue increased in 2022 and what investment plans they had to help protect their revenue this year.

Nine in 10 online retailers have at least one business investment plan this year, to help protect their business from lower consumer spending. A breakdown of their responses are as follows:

42% will expand their product range.

• 38% will improve their E-Commerce stores.

34% will invest in marketing.

• 31% will expand into new markets.

• 31% will implement new technology such as customer service chatbots, automated fulfilment in their warehouses to improve their customer service.

18% will introduce more delivery options.

• 15% will create a better returns or exchange processes.

Richard Thame, CEO at CouriersPlease said the results were encouraging and indicated online retailers’ commitment to their business growth.

“Online retailers are still enjoying the positive effects of the E-Commerce boom, and total revenue for the Australian market is forecasted to continue growing steadily year-on-year, with the market projected to reach US$35B by 2025,” he said.

“But the survey shows that retailers are not naïve to economic fluctuations and are acting now to prepare for potential future challenges.”

Micro businesses are most likely to neglect the need to invest in their business to generate sales in a tough economic

period, with one fifth of this group admitting they will do nothing to hedge against an economic slowdown.

This was followed by only 10% of medium-sized businesses and four per cent of small businesses. Zero per cent of large businesses are willing to resign to fate in the event of economic turndown.

The proactive planning and resilience of these online retailers is exemplified by their positive results for 2022. Two-thirds (64%) of online retailers reported increased revenue in the last calendar year, despite inflation and increasing interest rates throughout 2022.

Just over a quarter 28% of respondents said their 2022 revenue remained the same as in 2021, and only eight per cent of online retailers reported lower revenue in the last calendar year.

A closer look at the data reveals 69 % of online retailers based in NSW report-

ed a revenue increase in 2022, closely followed by Victoria with 66%, then Queensland with 58%.

Given online retailers in these States are already planning ways to tackle recessionary impacts for the year ahead, it is arguable that NSW, Victorian and Queenslander online retailers will report another positive revenue year for 2023.

Larger retailers were more likely to have increased their revenue in 2022 from 2021 levels, chosen by an impressive 91% of large retailers, 68% of medium-sized retailers, 62%cent of small retailers and 53% per cent of micro retailers.

Similar proportions of micro, small and medium-sized retailers achieved the same levels of revenue in 2022 as in 2021, all between 30-32 per cent. This compares with just 5 per cent of large businesses whose revenue did not change in the same period.

WEXPO at Blacktown Workers Club | Exhibitor enquires: Register now for 2023

Healthy Ageing:Backing Brain Health in Western Sydney

Dementia is an umbrella term for around 100 different disorders that affect the brain and cause a wide range of symptoms, including impacting people’s memory, decision-making, language, and behaviour. Dementia impacts each person differently, and can also cause changes in people’s physical health, wellbeing, social skills, and everyday functions. Despite common misconceptions, dementia is not a normal part of ageing and help is available for those affected.

Dementia in Australia

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the leading cause of death in Australian women1. There are approximately 401,300 people living with dementia in Australia and this is expected to rise to over 800,000 by 20582. Currently, two-thirds of people living with dementia live in the community3 Within residential aged care facilities, over two-thirds of residents have moderate to severe dementia4

Reducing Dementia Risks

Some risk factors for dementia cannot be changed, such as age, genetics and family history of dementia. However, other dementia risk factors can be modified through healthy lifestyle choices. Focussing on having a healthy brain is important for people of all ages, but especially those who are middle-aged and older. To optimise your brain health, have regular check-ups with your GP, ensure that you are a healthy weight, be physically active, have a healthy diet, reduce alcohol consumption, and quit smoking. Participating in social activities and brain stimulation exercises are also important ways to improve your brain health.

If you would like to improve your physical activity, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network proudly funds ‘Live Life, Get Active’ (LLGA) free classes across Western Sydney. For more information, visit

1,2,3,4 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2023), Dementia in Australia, Summary, available from: reports/dementia/dementia-in-aus/contents/summary

Recognising the Signs of Dementia

If you are experiencing changes in your thinking or memory, it is important to speak with your GP. Your doctor needs to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms such as fatigue, stress, depression, infection, or nutrient deficiencies. In many cases, these can be treated or managed. If your GP does identify that you have dementia, early treatment can help slow the disease’s progression. Having an early diagnosis can help you to plan your future, including developing an Advance Care Directive to provide health care staff guidance about your preferences if you are ever unable to speak for yourself. You can call Advance Care Planning Australia on 1300 208 582 or visit

The following are signs to speak with your doctor:

9 Difficulty remembering the day and date, or recent events

9 Trouble managing your finances

9 Problems with participating in or following conversations, especially in group settings

9 Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed

Getting Help

Western Sydney Primary Health Network commissions the Care Finder program in Western Sydney to assist older people who would not be able to arrange services without intensive support and do not have family members or friends who can help. The service connects people with a ‘care finder’ who will meet them and ask questions to understand their situation. The care finder will then support them in working through the steps to address their needs.

Information on the Care Finder providers in Western Sydney is available at

For clients with a new or ongoing diagnosis of Dementia, we commission Dementia Australia to provide ongoing counselling, support, and service navigation to clients, families and carer. Further information on this service, and the referral pathway, is available at

Healthy Western Sydney is delivered by WentWest, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network. Specific dementia support is also available via the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 |


Life onboard - post COVID

MILLIONS of Australians cruise every year but in 2023 they are finding it’s a new world on the ocean waves as the post-COVID period takes hold.

I have just witnessed firsthand this new order of COVID protocols on a short cruise aboard PO’s megaship Pacific Adventure.

And straight up, let me say I was pleasantly surprised by the discovery that it was largely business as usual on board.

The biggest hurdle was actually preparing for and undertaking the tasks necessary to pass the COVID protocol prior to the cruise. This included full proof of COVID vaccines and a negative COVID test a couple of days before boarding,

P&O uses the Verifly system to register guests as COVID free, but I found it tricky to navigate at first. So, I printed out all my documents so that I had them in hand at embarkation…just in case.

Once on board, it was obvious that P&O took it very seriously with most staff wearing medical facemasks.

Most passengers didn’t wear facemasks, but I recommend you take them just in case, especially if you need to avoid COVID at all costs.

Pacific Adventure is a modern ship which was formerly Golden Princess. And let me say, it is the

best P&O ship I have ever sailed upon.

Anyone who has experienced one of these luxurious floating resorts as part of the Princess line will understand just how stunning they are.

It has four pools – one indoors and one adults only, stunning water slides, a breathtaking nightclub high above the rear deck and multiple dining options.

These include Luke’s Bar & Grill by Luke Mangan, The Dragon Lady Chinese restaurant, Angelo’s Italian, the Waterfront and 400 Gradi gourmet Pizza Restaurant.

The big COVID enforced change is the Pantry on Deck 14 which is first choice for passengers for breakfast and lunch.

It is now a full-service facility with the famous self-service smorgasbord style meals now dumped.

Pacific Adventure has whole decks dedicated to the new cruising ‘rage’--mini suites.

They are worth the extra fare cost being twice the size of a normal cabin including a double size deck.

Mini suite passengers even have their own breakfast venue known as the Byron Bay Beach Club. Here you get a full-service breakfast without the crowds.

Cruise Magazine has a 22page Ultimate Guide to Pacific Adventure at:


28 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 TraveL
Above and
right: aboard the Pacific Adventure.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 - 4 Stars

space heroes.

The Guardians gang are back! Quill (Chris Pratt) is devastated by his loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and the rest of the team are trying to hold it together.

When Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) throws Rocket (Bradley Cooper) into a coma, however, the team has to travel across the Galaxy to track down a piece of code to save the deadly racoon - in the process, discovering the horrors perpetrated on the animal, by the nefarious High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).

The beauty of James Gunn’s work with Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 (hereafter, GOTG3), is that he never shies away from the painful, tortuous and emotional.

Sure, the movie may be overstuffed. Sure, some of Rocket’s old friends will give you nightmares by virtue of their likeness to Toy Story characters that traumatized you as a kid. But ultimately, Gunn succeeds where so many directors of the past few MCU films have failed, by engaging honestly and authentically with the material.

There’s witty quips all around here, and Chris Pratt is mercifully back in the Star Lord box that he seems to have drifted from as a side character in recent adventures. But the star of the show is Rocket Racoon, and the character (and voice actor Bradley Cooper) do a fantastic job of grounding the film and tugging on the heart strings.

Visually, the film continues the trend of the GOTG films - expansive and panoramic space sequences, coupled with gorgeous set design, crazy characters,

and every colour imaginable. The music is also, as always with this franchise, on point; a hodgepodge of classic bangers.

All that said, the film is undoubtedly jam packed and does run long. It’s tough, at this stage of the MCU, to feel fresh and exciting again. At some point during this film, those familiar thoughts of ‘Oh,

I know what’s going to happen now’ pop up. The movie plays by the rules, despite its claims of breaking them, and that remains the ultimate stumbling block in this cinematic universe.

GOTG3 is a welcome return to quality entertainment from Marvel, but the fact

B - 4 Stars

A distinct lack of actual book references in this film.

The gang is back together again. This time, Vivian (Jane Fonda) is getting married, and Diane (Diane Keaton), Carol (Mary Steenburgen) and Sharon (Candice Bergen) take her to Italy for her bachelorette. There, they find stunning landscapes, oodles of prosecco, drama in a pair of dastardly porters, and romance - new, old and rekindled.

Look, this film is going to appeal to a certain type of person no matter how terrible it is. And it is objectively terrible. The plot is borderline nonexistent, t he jokes are the lowest of low hanging fruit, and the performances are borderline sleepwalking. Indeed, one of the funniest parts of this film is watching these characters suddenly break out into ‘tears’ - quotations needed, as the performance level here never allows for real tears, sounds that could really indicate tears, or indeed any change in facial expression.

The film also has a series of tremendously annoying habits. The first is that it insists on using predominantly film quotes as dialogue for its character

(contrary to the media referenced in the title), and having its characters immediately reference what film it came from.

Think nearly 2 hours of “Of all the

gin joints. Casablanca.” The second gripe is that halfway through the film, Diane and Vivian just go stand on a balcony and explain the plot of the previous half of

it isn’t bad doesn’t mean it is close to as good, groundbreaking, or strong as the original.

the movie, and then literally say “I wonder what will happen next”. We get it. It’s a movie. Some things have happened. Some things have happened. Don’t pad the runtime with this.

Finally, and perhaps most frustratingly, Candice Bergen delivers a speech in prison that stops and starts more times than the ending of Return of the King.

The most important thing to remember though, is that none of this matters an ounce. The cinema we saw it in, full of people geared towards this exact sort of completely banal, inoffensive, afternoon content, absolutely loved it.

They roared with laughter at all the right moments, and to be fair probably shed a tear. If you loved the first movie, you’ll love this movie too.

29 ISSUE 25 | May 2023
THE MCU returns to its former prowess, with a fun, funny and emotionally powerful installment of our favorite wacky outer

Further specifications, including paint colours and pricing, offered for the NEW coupe-SUV

HONDA Australia has this week confirmed pricing for its forthcoming ZR-V coupe-SUV, a model it says will slot between the HR-V (from $36,700 d/a) and next-generation CR-V (pricing TBA) in its SUV portfolio.

Priced from $40,200 drive-away, the ZR-V will be offered in four trim grades and with petrol and petrol-electric (hybrid) drivelines. The flagship e:HEV LX (hybrid) tops the range at $54,900 drive-away.

Honda says the range features various safety, interior and exterior specification details, but is holding information close to its chest until the model’s official launch on May 19.

Colour choices for the model include Crystal Black, Platinum Grey, Platinum Crystal Blue, Platinum White and Premium Crystal Garnet.

“The new Honda ZR-V offers optimal balance of fuel efficiency and dynamic performance, from day to day commuting in city and suburban environments, to weekend adventures on highways and winding coastal and country roads,” said Honda Australia in a statement.

“The petrol variants (VTi LX, VTi L & VTi X) feature the 1.5-litre VTEC turbocharged engine and the e:HEV LX sports a two-motor hybrid system with a 2.0-litre direct injection engine. Both systems deliver an impressive driving experience.”

Honda has previously confirmed the ZR-V will offer features that include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity via a 9.0-inch colour touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera, and LED headlights. However, it is not known if these features are standard across the board, or grade dependent.

Viewing overseas model specifications, it is understood the ZR-V will receive as standard safety equipment including AEB, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, though again it is not known how these features will be distributed across the Australian ZR-V line-up.

The Honda ZR-V will rival models including the Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX30 and Skoda Karoq, but offer its own, unique coupe-like proportions.

The ZR-V features a vertical grille which blends seamlessly with the bumper surround and is flanked by narrow, wide-set headlights like those found on the latest Civic and HR-V. Honda says the front of its latest SUV is meant to convey “highly sophisticated expression, yet with stature and a strong presence”.

With a widened stance, the rear of the body aims to add volume to the ZR-V’s proportions, the rear haunches and tailgate culminating in a smooth, upswept look that is neither as edgy as the HR-V, yet as stylised as many competitors’ coupe-SUV offerings.

Inside, the link between other new-generation Honda models is evident. The cabin of the ZR-V is spacious and open with an instrument panel that stretches out horizontally across the dashboard, and a well-presented array of functional elements finished with their own high-quality design.

Like the CR-V, the ZR-V features a high-deck centre control to separate the front seats and create individual zones for the driver and front-seat passenger.

The model also promises an elevated view of the road and a wide, horizontal field of vision thanks to drawn back A pillars and door-mounted wing mirrors, again like those of the Civic, HR-V and forthcoming CR-V.

30 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 AutO with JOHN MELLOR
2023 Honda ZR-V pricing*: VTi LX (a) $40,200 New variant VTi-L (a) $43,200 New variant VTi LX (a) $48,500 New variant e:HEV LX (a) $54,900 New variant *National drive-away price.


SWIMMING is a low-impact form of exercise that has numerous health benefits for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

Whether you are an experienced swimmer or just starting out, incorporating swimming into your fitness routine can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.

In this article, we will explore some of the many health benefits of swimming.

First and foremost, swimming is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise. It can help improve your overall heart health by increasing your heart rate and strengthening your heart muscle.

Regular swimming can also help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve circulation throughout the body.

In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, swimming is also a great way to build strength and tone your muscles.

The resistance of the water provides a low-impact workout that is gentle on your joints, making it an ideal form of exercise for individuals with arthritis, joint pain, or other mobility issues.

Swimming can also help improve posture and balance, as well as increase flexibility and range of motion.

Swimming is also a great stress-reliever. The rhythmic movement of swimming and the sound of water can

be incredibly calming and meditative, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

Swimming has also been shown to increase the production of endorphins, the body's natural mood boosters, which can help improve overall mood and reduce feelings of depression.

For individuals looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, swimming can be an effective form of exercise.

Swimming burns a significant number of calories, with an hour of moderate swimming burning around 500-600 calories. It can also help boost metabolism and improve overall body composition by building lean muscle mass.

Swimming is also a great form of exercise for individuals with respiratory issues such as asthma. The warm, humid environment of an indoor pool can help improve lung function and reduce symptoms of asthma.

Swimming can also help improve overall lung capacity and endurance, making it an ideal form of exercise for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other respiratory conditions.

Swimming is a fun and social form of exercise that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

Whether you prefer swimming laps,

water aerobics, or just splashing around with friends and family, swimming is a great way to stay active and connect with others.

Swimming is a versatile and effective form of exercise that offers numerous health benefits. From improving cardiovascular health and building strength to reducing stress and improving mood, swimming can help individuals of all ages and fitness levels lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

So, whether you are a seasoned swimmer or just starting out, grab your swimsuit and jump in – your body and mind will thank you!

31 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 FitnesS


BREED Australia launches studio

BREED Australia, a Quakers Hillbased charity, has launched a new, community-focused podcast and video recording studio at the BREED Business Centre located at Nirimba Educational Precinct.

Named the Sunrise Studio, the facility is designed to provide creators and businesses with a professional and fully equipped space to produce high-quality podcast and video content.

With the growing popularity of podcasts as a medium for content creation and marketing, BREED Australia recognised the need for a dedicated space that meets the needs of podcasters and video producers.

The Sunrise Studio, partly funded by the federal government's Stronger Communities Program, is fully equipped with cutting-edge technology and equipment, including high-quality microphones, a podcast mixer, a video recording camera, and a professional lighting setup.

The studio includes recording and editing software, free parking, amenities, and tea/coffee-making facilities.

The Sunrise Studio also features a comfortable and inspiring space for creators to work in.

The studio is designed to be a welcoming, creative environment that encourages productivity and collaboration.

Studio users can also access house experts to provide mentoring and guidance

to take their projects to the next level.

"We're thrilled to offer podcasters and video content creators a functional and modern studio designed specifically for their needs," said Amber Carlson, Operations Manager of BREED Australia.

"Our studio is designed to help creators produce high-quality content in a comfortable, inspiring environment that encourages creativity and collaboration.

“We believe our studio will empower

our wider community, including students, freelancers, small businesses, and community organisations, to take their content to the next level. We're excited to be a part of their journey."

"The Sunrise Studio is the only facility of its kind in Western Sydney and is aligned to BREED Australia's mission to provide solutions to increase employment opportunities, build mental resilience and develop youth pathways,"

said Emmanuel Martin, General Manager of BREED Australia.

"As an organisation that exists to serve communities, we will provide generous discounts to BREED Business Partners, students, other charitable organisations and disadvantaged groups."

BREED Australia currently accepts bookings for Sunrise Studios and provides affordable and flexible co-working spaces, virtual office solutions, and meeting room hire at its BREED Business Hub.

For more information on BREED Australia and their new podcast studio, please visit www.

32 ISSUE 25 | May 2023
The new BREED podcasting studio.

The power of mindfulness

MINDFULLNESS is a powerful practice that has been gaining traction in recent years for its ability to reduce stress, increase focus, and improve overall well-being.

The practice of mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment, without judgment, and with a sense of curiosity and openness.

In this article, we will explore what mindfulness is and the benefits that can be gained from incorporating it into your daily life.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is an ancient practice that has been around for thousands of years, with roots in Buddhist meditation. It involves bringing your attention to the present moment, focusing on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations, without judging or trying to change them.

Mindfulness is not about stopping thoughts or emotions from arising, but rather about learning to observe them with an open mind and heart.

Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways, including meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing exercises.

The key is to find a method that works for you and to make it a regular part of your routine.

Benefits of Mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness are numerous and have been backed by research. Here are just a few of the many ways that mindfulness can improve your life:

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and emotions.

By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to observe your thoughts without judgment and to let them go, rather than getting caught up in them. This can lead to a greater sense of calm and well-being.

Improves Focus and Attention

Mindfulness has also been shown to improve focus and attention. By training your mind to focus on the present moment, you can improve your ability to concentrate on tasks and to stay focused in the face of distractions.

Enhances Self-Awareness

Mindfulness can also enhance self-awareness, helping you to become more in tune with your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. This can lead to greater self-understanding and a greater sense of control over your life.

Improves Sleep

Mindfulness has been shown to improve sleep by reducing stress and anxiety and by promoting relaxation. By practicing mindfulness before bed, you can help to calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep.

Boosts Immune System

There is also evidence to suggest that mindfulness can boost the immune system. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, mindfulness may help to improve the body's ability to fight off illness and disease.

Incorporating Mindfulness into Your Life

If you are interested in incorporating mindfulness into your life, there are many ways to get started. One of

the most popular methods is through mindfulness meditation, which involves sitting quietly and focusing on your breath or a specific object.

There are also many mindfulness apps and guided meditations available, which can make it easier to get started and to stay consistent with your practice.

Additionally, incorporating mindfulness into your daily activities, such as mindful eating or mindful walking, can help to bring greater awareness and presence to your life.


Mindfulness is a powerful practice that can bring numerous benefits to your life, including reduced stress, improved focus and attention, and enhanced self-awareness.

By incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you can experience greater well-being and a greater sense of control over your life.

Whether through meditation, yoga, or other mindful practices, mindfulness is a skill that can be developed and honed over time, leading to greater peace and happiness in your life.

Mental Health



1. What is the most popular sport in Ethiopia?

2. What is the name of the children’s book written by Neil Gaiman (pictured), that features a boy named Bod?

3. Which Australian actress starred as Kate McGregor in Sea Patrol?

13 Job testimonials (10)

14 Establish in advance (9)

15 Flying machine (9)

17 Education (9)

21 Bird call (5)

23 very keen; ardent (4)

24 Descends underwater (5)

25 Ran away quickly (4)


4. What type of government controls Lebanon?

5. What is the name of the new Los Angeles stadium that is home to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers?

6. Which Ancient Roman goddess is the equivalent to the Greek Athena?

7. The first commercial CD release was a recording of waltzes by which composer?

8. Apia is the capital of which country?

9. Who created the T v series Gilmore Girls?

10. Which Middle Eastern country has been ruled by the Al Khalifa dynasty since 1783?


1 Grains

5 Pain

6 Pine (e.g.)

7 Fibrous plant


1 Promise

2 Land area

3 Those people

4 Leak


The leftover letters will spell out a secret message.


Using the nine letters in the grid, how many words of four letters or more can you list? The centre letter must be included, and each letter may only be used once. No colloquial or foreign words. No capitalised nouns, apostrophes or plural words ending in “s”.

Secret message:

ACROSS 1 Plate (4) 3 Broken (9) 9 Tradesman (9) 10 Savoury meat jelly (5) 11 Arranged (6) 12 Drink (9) 14 Crossing; corridor (7) 16 Recruits (7) 18 Ratify (7) 19 Incinerated (7) 20 Prison-breakers (8) 22 Renowned (6) 26 Mediterranean island (5) 27 Impact; crash (9) 28 Stated (9) 29 Ova (4) DOWN 1 Quacking birds (5) 2 Startled (9) 3 Destiny (4) 4 Mutual arrangements (10) 5 Wayfarer (9) 6 Animal protection group (1,1,1,1,1) 7 Fell; lessened (9) 8 In this place (4) 94 16 54 46 39 1 61 82 5 86 2 83 5 58 26 4 6 7 4597 9 74 5 237 9 3 614 531 4 9 286 59 6 No. 028 No. 028
17 words: Good 26 words: Very good 35 words: Excellent QUIZ


No. 037

16 Acclaimed 1994 crime film featuring characters Marsellus Wallace and Winston Wolfe (4,7)

17 Long-running English police drama set in the ’60s (9)

18 Aussie–American actress of the Netflix series Bloodline, Jacinda – (7)



19 British historical fiction series based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories series of novels, The – Kingdom (4)

22 Aussie actress who starred in the TV series Damages, Rose – (5)

24 Oliver Stone’s 1991 political thriller (1,1,1)

26 Long-running Neighbours character played by Tom Oliver, – Carpenter (3)

Each number corresponds to a letter. Can you crack the code?


1 2012 film starring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz and Alan Rickman (6)

5 He played Judas in the 2018 biblical drama Mary Magdalene, – Rahim  (5)

7 Actress and theatre director born in Ivanhoe, Victoria, – Blanchett (4)


9 Aussie actress who won the third season of Dancing with the Stars, – Nicodemou (3)

10 2012–13 US military drama series (4,6)

12 English actor who died while filming Gladiator, Oliver – (4)

Insert each number from 1 to 9 in the shaded squares to solve all the horizontal and vertical equations.

13 Star of Olympus Has Fallen and its sequels, –Eckhart (5)

Multiplication and division are performed before addition and subtraction.

14 2012 Norwegian supernatural horror (5)

15 2018 Netflix horror film, The – House (4)

18 Winner of a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Vice, Christian – (4)

20 Starred as Ted Taylor in Packed to the Rafters, Michael – (5)

27 Long-running Home and Away character played by Ray Meagher, – Stewart (3)




10 L e TT e RS

8 L e TT e RS

28 Popular US crime drama, Law & Order: Special Victims – (4)


6 L e TT e RS


29 Neo in the Matrix films, – Reeves (5)


30 2015 US found-footage horror thriller starring Ashley Benson (6)



2 Star of Big Eyes and Arrival, Amy – (5)

3 Actor who plays the lead character in the series Ozark, Jason – (7)

4 2013 British–Australian war film starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman (3,7,3)

5 Thriller starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst, The – Faces of January (3)


Solve all the clues and an eight-letter word will be spelled out.

1 A square is a — with four sides

2 Something you put on an envelope

3 Sour fruit

4 Book that tells stories about Jesus

5 Someone who looks after kids, like Mary Poppins

6 Trimmed the grass

7 Thoughts, brainwaves

8 Side dish with mixed lettuce and dressing

e G

21 Australian actress also known by her rap name MC Dusk, – Cornish (5)

23 Comedy-drama starring Channing Tatum (pictured), Magic – (4)


25 Actor, playwright and filmmaker who played the titular character in Alex Cross (5,5)



6 Name of the 1960s group of entertainers featuring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, The – Pack (3)

7 Actor who played Bill in Tarantino’s Kill Bill films, David – (9)

Insert the missing letters to make 10 words –five reading across the grid and five reading down.

1. In what year was Thornton awarded an Order of Australia?

A. 2019

B. 2015

C. 2009

3. Besides Wentworth, Thornton starred in which prison drama?

A. Prisoner

B. Cop Shop

C. Matlock Police

8 The fifth and final film in the Dirty Harry series (3,4,4)

D. 2005

D. All of the above

NOTe: more than one solution may be possible

11 Star of Tammy and Hereditary, – Collette (4)


14 1996 rom-com starring David Schwimmer and 11-down (3,10)

2. Which iconic Aussie film did she star in?

A. Strictly Ballroom

B. Muriel’s Wedding

C. The Man from Snowy River

D. All of the above

4. Who does Thornton play in Wentworth?

A. Sonia Stevens

B. Vera Bennett

C. Marie Winter

D. None of the above

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW... CODEWORD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Q F No. 028 942357186 219534768 426871539 675418392 764189253 831945627 183692475 358726941 597263814 189245637 648519273 927864315 374196582 253678491 836951724 562387149 791423856 415732968 SUDOKU MEDIUM SUDOKU HARD qUICK CROSSWORD qUIZ 1. Football (soccer) 2.  The Graveyard Book 3. Lisa McCune 4. A parliamentary constitutional republic 5. SoFi Stadium 6. Minerva 7. Chopin 8. Samoa 9. Amy Sherman-Palladino 10. Bahrain 4x4 ACROSS: 1. Oats, 5. Ache, 6. Tree, 7. Hemp. DOWN: 1. Oath, 2. Acre, 3. Them, 4. Seep.
ENTERTAINMENT CROSSWORD CODEWORD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 R T A X H M J N K C Y S P I B Z L G W D O U E Q V F 2701
Sig R i D Th ORNTON TODAY’S SOLUTiONS WORD FIND Secret message: Keep warm HIDDEN WORD Shape, stamp, lemon, Bible, nanny, mowed, ideas, salad, (SPLENDID) 9-LETTER WORD emit, emoting, feint, figment, foment, FOMENTING, font, gemot, gent, gift, ingot, into, intone, item, ment, mention, meting, mint, mite, mote, motif, note, noting, often, omit, tenon, time, tine, tinge, toeing, tome, tone, tong, toning, tonne ANSWERS: 1A, 2C, 3D, 4A. P Uzz LES AND PAGINATION © PAGEMASTERS P T y LTD. PAGEMASTERS COM CROSS MATH 5x5 WORD FILL No. 002 No. 004 3 L e TT e RS ACE ADO ARE COB CPA DIN EKE GAL GEE HEW LEE LET NUT OUT OVA PIG ROE RUE SAD SOB TAN TAP TRY TWO VIA ZAC 4 L e
Puzzles Pag I nat I on Pty ltd 2901 –÷ 4 × + –× × 280 × + + × × 108 120 12 2 S P R A T W e I G H A S S A I S T e I N H O R N S CODeWORD –÷ = 4 × + –× × = 280 × + + × × = 108 = = = 120 12 2 WORDFILL CROSS MATH 5x5 6 5 4 1 2 7 8 9 3 0523




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MANY years ago in my time as a Rugby League writer, I watched a young bloke called Royce Simmons play his first junior rep game on a cold winter’s day.

The boy from Gooloogong, a little town outside Cowra, had been a Rugby Union junior rep who switched to League and ended playing first grade for the Cowra Magpies and Canowindra Tigers.

He had the familiar trademark wry smile and country drawl and was a sharp young bloke in those days- a far cry from his rugged chunky build of later years.

He went on to become a superstar of the game with Penrith being a regular State of Origin and Test player and winning a premiership with the Panthers.

There was glory and triumph his long, gleaming career, but when the Tumult and the Shouting died, Royce knew something wasn’t quite right.

There were the missing memories, struggles to remember words and misplaced items which can be summarised as cognitive dysfunction. He was devastated when it was diagnosed as the early stages of dementia.

You see, the disease normally terrorises elderly people – Royce was just 60.


1. Which decorated Carlton player married his longtime girlfriend in December?

2. Untold: Deal with the Devil is a 2021 documentary film about which former professional boxer?

3. What was the reason for a 40-minute delay during an NBA match in January between Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics?

But bush boys and Panthers don’t curl up and wait to die. He told everyone a year later and decided to do something about raising awareness.

Royce set out to do it the hard waytrekking the bush roads of his youth to raise awareness and funds.

Out in Groups 10 and 11, part of

5. Which NBL team does Xavier Cooks currently play for?

6. Which European golf legend recently passed away at the age of 62?

7. Which team does Qatari Rally driver Nasser Al-Attiyah race for?

8. Which ex-AFL star and analyst announced he was taking a break from his media career and moving his family overseas?

Steve Carell plays unconventional boxing enthusiast John du Pont in which 2014 film?

Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell made history after scoring how many points against Chicago Bulls?

Which Australian sporting league recently announced its season would be reduced from 61 to 43 games in future seasons?

12. Which AFLW team finished at the bottom of the ladder during season seven in 2022?

the legendary Western Division Rugby League region, footy stars have many friends, most of whom they have never met.

Recently he walked though those towns again before he took the final steps of his 313km trek into Bathurst and amongst those cheering him on was

13. In what year did Cadel Evans win the Tour de France?

14. Kerri Pottharst and Natalie Cook won a Gold Medal in what event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics?

15. Alexei Popyrin represents Australia in which sport?

16. Which AFL team did Australian test wicketkeeper Alex Carey once play for?

17. Which car company is a major sponsor of the Australian Open tennis?

18. 'Mankading' is a term used in which sport?

19. The Australian Diamonds netball team took part in a quad series in January held in which nation?

20. Earlier this year, which Australian cricketer tested positive for COVID on the first day of the Third Test against South Africa?

21. Which American businessman is president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship organisation?

22. ICC Cricket Hall of Fame member Vinoo Mankad played 44 Test matches between 1946 and 1959 for which nation?

23. In 1966, with her attempt to register for the race refused, who became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon?

24. And in 1967, despite interference from a race official, who became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official race registration?

25. Which 1989-founded tennis tournament was replaced by the ATP Cup from 2020-22, which itself was replaced by the United Cup?

26. Which South African bowler was struck by part of a cablesuspended camera system as it filmed the 2022 Boxing Day Test?

Continued on page 39


Houlihan competed in the 2022 edition of which off-road endurance event?

28. The Motor City Cruise is an NBA G League team affiliated with which NBA team?

29. Which Portugal-born Australian cricketer captains the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League?

30. Pelé played three seasons for which now-defunct North American Soccer League club?

38 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 SporT
27. Australian motorcyclists Daniel Sanders, Toby Price Andrew
1. Patrick Cripps 2. Christy Martin 3. Crooked hoop 4. 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens 5. Sydney Kings 6. Barry Lane 7. Toyota Gazoo Racing 8. Nick Riewoldt 9. Foxcatcher 10. 71 points 11. Big Bash League 12. Sydney 13. 2011 14. Beach volleyball 15. Tennis 16. GWS Giants 17. Kia 18. Cricket 19. South Africa 20. Matt Renshaw 21. Dana White 22. India 23. Bobbi Gibb 24. Katherine Switzer 25. Hopman Cup 26. Anrich Nortje 27. Dakar Rally 28. Detroit Pistons 29. Moisés Henriques 30. New York Cosmos
Donovan Mitchell
SPORT QUIZ May 2023 0-10:
Cadel Evans Rookie 11-20: Off the bench 21-25: Rising star 26+ Most valuable player Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen. Penrith City Council was blown away by the former Panthers skipper’s fundraising efforts last year through the inaugural Royce’s Big Walk, which saw him raise almost $1m for dementia Oyce Simmons is supported by Brad Fittler and Andrew Farrar during Royce’s Big Walk. (Image courtesy of Panthers).

Continued from page 38

research following his own Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2021.

This year, Councillors are throwing their support behind the local hero and his charity, donating $3000 to Royce’s Big Walk after his awe-inspiring journey for 2023.

Traveling from Dubbo

Cr Hitchen said Council and the wider Penrith community was incredibly proud of Royce for travelling from Dubbo to Bathurst on foot over 12 days to fundraise and raise awareness.

“Royce Simmons is a remarkable man who was Penrith’s playmaker on the footy field during the 1991 NRL Grand Final and I was taken back to that moment as I watched him make it over the line once more in Bathurst,” Cr Hitchen said.

“Royce has turned his own tragedy into fundraising for dementia research, which is vital as there are more than 400,000 Australians living with dementia and it is the leading cause of death for women in this country,” she said.

“Throughout his journey, this local hero has been holding community events during stops along the way as well as fundraisers for local junior Rugby League clubs, proving his everlasting love for the sport at a grassroots level.

“We are all so proud of Royce and thank him for his selfless and courageous efforts – he is an inspiration and an incredible role model for our community.”

Day one of Royce’s Big Walk saw

Royce and his team travel 30km from Dubbo to Wambangalang. Stops along the way included Baldry, Parkes, Forbes and Orange.

He triumphantly arrived at Carrington Park in Bathurst ahead of the Panthers vs Wests Tigers Royce Simmons Cup match where he was met with roaring fans from near and far.

Royce said he was grateful for Council’s support and that this donation would help make a difference.

Mount Druitt Town Rangers game ready

BLACKTOWN City Council’s Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre Emerton, has teamed up with local National Premier League team, Mount Druitt Town Rangers as they go for glory in this year’s soccer league.

The partnership will help keep the player’s game-ready during the 2023 soccer season and provide indoor facilities during unpredictable weather.

“It is so important that we nurture and support community sports groups. They are helping build Blacktown as the ‘sporting city’ we know it is. Clubs such as Mount Druitt Town Rangers bring so much joy to people of all ages and backgrounds in our local area and provide valuable sport and fitness opportunities for our youth,” said Mayor Tony Bleasdale.

"Every dollar we raise through Royce’s Big Walk is another small step towards finding a cure for dementia,” he said.

"Last year we funded three research projects and we look forward to continuing that work moving forward.

"I’m sincerely grateful for the support of Penrith City Council, the people of Penrith and everyone who has got behind Royce’s Big Walk this year."

Town Rangers Football Club has over 650 members and players from junior to representative level and teams in the male and female National Premier League NSW.

The new partnership comes as the $5.5M redevelopment of Popondetta Park – home of the Town Rangers, by Blacktown City Council. The redevelopment project includes a new synthetic sporting field and upgrade to parking and landscaping.

Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre Emerton and the Mount Druitt Town Rangers Football Club are longtime neighbours and working together will further help raise the Town Rangers profile as it seeks to rise through the various soccer leagues in NSW.

39 ISSUE 25 | May 2023 SporT Change lives for the better Donate today at Some examples of where your donation saves lives: ✔ 18 month reduction in waiting times for children’s allergy testing at Mt Druitt Hospital ✔ Support for head & neck cancer patients with access to specialised feeds ✔ ECG machine for newborn care to diagnose heart disease
Royce Simmons with Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen after his 12-day journey ends in Bathurst.

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