Blacktown News - November 2023

Page 1


ISSUE 32 | November 2023

Double the fun at Westpoint


Wexpo goes to parliament

New care service for elderly

Search is on for our best young athletes

Carl Jennings and young athletes competing.


UPER 6 High Performance (S6HP) and Blacktown Council have entered a partnership to resurrect a new version of the Blacktown City Games - to be known as the Super 6 Youth Games. S6HP motivates youth through a physical and mental development program. The Super 6 Youth Games is a unique extension that enables all youth across all sporting codes to compete against each other within a specially

designed arena-based event to find the best all-round athlete - the S6HP Junior Superstar. Carl Jennings, Founder of Super 6 High Performance and the Super 6 Youth Games, told the Blacktown News: "The Super 6 Youth Games has been a dream of mine for years, and I am extremely grateful and excited that Blacktown City Council has joined forces to deliver the Games Concept in 2024." More page 29.

Keep up to date with the latest news in and around Blacktown! Get your monthly community e-newsletter today.

• important community announcements • upcoming events • transformational projects • school holiday activities • community award programs • competitions • much, much more...

Blacktown City





$22 billion economy



average economic growth

27,247 registered businesses

153,160 local jobs

We want to hear from you – Social Profile 2024 Residents are invited to ‘have your say’ about living in Blacktown City. By taking part in our Social Profile survey, you can tell us what you like about your community and what changes or improvements you would like to see in the future. Your feedback will help identify major social issues facing our city, key strategies for improvement and will inform future planning for our city. Have your say before 11.59 pm on Thursday 30 November at or by scanning the QR code.

WHAT’S Celebrate Christmas in Blacktown City this November! Throughout November, there is something for everyone in Blacktown City. Join us as we launch and celebrate the festive season!


Upcoming community events

Asbestos Awareness Month

Thursday 9 November from 11 am to 2 pm Village Green, Flushcombe Road, Blacktown

Blacktown City Christmas Lights Competition Get into the Christmas spirit with the annual Blacktown City Christmas Lights Competition. Residents are encouraged to decorate their house, town house or villa or nominate their neighbour’s property. There are over $4,000 in cash and prizes to be won! Nominate someone before 6 December at

National Asbestos Awareness Month (1-30 November) is Australia’s leading multi award-winning asbestos awareness and community education campaign in the prevention of asbestos-related diseases. Grab a bite to eat from a number of food trucks, and join us for an educational insight into asbestos in the home.

Blacktown City International Day of People with Disability – Day in the park and disability awards

Christmas Festivals Welcome the 2023 festive season with Council’s annual Christmas Festivals.

Friday 1 December from 10 am to 2 pm

Local residents can enjoy stage entertainment by local community groups, Christmas carols, food stalls and a special visit from Santa!

Wawai Ngurra inclusive playspace, Nurragingy Reserve, Knox Road, Doonside

At 8.45 pm the Christmas tree will be lit up, showcasing its fairy lights and vibrant decorations.

International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations observed day which aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

We hope to see you at one of our events: Mount Druitt Christmas Festival Dawson Mall, Cleeve Close Thursday 16 November, 5 pm – 9 pm Blacktown Christmas Festival Civic Plaza, Flushcombe Road Friday 24 November, 5 pm – 9 pm Riverstone Christmas Festival Sam Lane Complex, Park Street Saturday 25 November, 5 pm – 9 pm

Blacktown City Council acknowledges the Darug people as the traditional owners of the land on which Blacktown City was built.

Join us as Blacktown City celebrates International Day of People with Disability with a fun all-inclusive day at the Wawai Ngurra inclusive adventure playspace This accessible and inclusive event will include an award ceremony, art and craft, face painting, support services and information, live demonstrations, ice-cream truck and coffee van, free BBQ, giveaways and much more! The winners of the 2023 Disability Awards will be announced at 10.30 am.

For more information, and to view all of our upcoming events, visit

Email us:

Call us: 5300 6000

Visit us: 62 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown

Mail us: PO Box 63, Blacktown 2148


November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 3


Local business community applauds



BUREAU established by the NSW government to support the more than 840,000 businesses cut through red tapes in the wake of current economic challenges has been met with enthusiasm by the business sector. NSW Business chief executive Daniel Hunter said businesses are expected to get better access to grants, export opportunities and government tenders under the Service NSW Business Bureau. The new service allows prospective or current business owners to access practical information on how to start and grow their enterprise. With businesses facing inflation troubles, interest rate rises and a skills crunch, Mr Hunter said, they welcomed the state government’s investment in the business sector. It will also make it easier for businesses to connect with support, such as tracking licenses, getting expert advice, viewing payments and transactions reports. The peak organisation Mr Hunter leads represents tens of thousands of businesses of varying sizes across the state. “Members across the state say dealing with paperwork is often the most time consuming, unproductive and

Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter (right) with Western Sydney’s Endeavour Energy apprentices Molly Rigby and Hayden Willebrand and Apprentices Support Australia executive director Peter Gilchrist.

difficult part of running a business,” Mr Hunter said. “We see the Service NSW Business Bureau as a way to streamline paperwork and ultimately let mum and dad business owners get on with what they do best, growing their business.

“Mr Hunter said post-pandemic challenges for business “remain very real”. “The inflation rate increased from 4.9 per cent in July to 5.6 per cent in September 2023, according to ABS monthly Consumer Price Index figures [recently] released,” he said.

“Housing costs went up 2.2 per cent quarter on quarter. This was the second highest inflation category behind transport, including petrol and diesel, which increased 3.2 per cent. “Providing business support for both winning government tenders and exporting will play a key role in growing small businesses, especially those struggling with cost of doing business issues.” On the local front Michael Walls, project manager for the WEXPO event series said the new bureau was a positive step forward for the business community of Western Sydney. “At our last WEXPO Blacktown event the keynote speaker Stephen Kamper gave a prediction of this new service and it's great news that the government has embraced the benefits of supporting our local business community,” Mr Walls said. Service NSW said the bureau is a free and personalised support available to all businesses, with digital tools to help them navigate government programs assisting them grow their business. At least 98 percent of the more than 840,000 businesses in NSW are classified small businesses, employing 1.8 million workers, or 45 percent of the state’s workforce. More details on Service NSW Business Bureau on

Premium land release coming soon Set in one of the fastest growing LGAs in Australia, Oran Park is a thriving, peaceful, master planned community of new homes, wide open spaces, exceptional new schools and expanding dining and retail precincts. Premium land is scheduled to release soon and there’s a lot to fit every budget and lifestyle.

• Well positioned near the rapidly expanding Oran Park Town Centre • Close proximity to award-winning parks, green spaces and waterways • Easy build lots ranging from 300m2 to 600m2 Visit the Sales Office today and discover all Oran Park has to offer. Scan the QR code to register your interest to be informed about future land releases.



ISSUE 32 | November 2023 How to get The News The Blacktown News is available at strategic locations throughout Blacktown LGA. To find a location near you visit our website.

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




Bඔ ඉඋඓග඗ඟN

BER 2023


Double the fun at Westpoint


Wexpo goes to parli



New care service for



Search is on for our best young athletes


Carl Jennings and UPER 6 High Perfor young athletes competin mance (S6HP) and g. have entered a partn Blacktown Counc the Blacktown City ership to resurrect a new version il designed arena-based event Games - to be known of - the S6HP Junior to find the best all-rou Youth Game as the nd athlet Superstar. Carl Jennin 6 High Performance and mental develos. S6HP motivates youth through a Super 6 gs, Founder of Super e Blacktown News: and the Super 6 Youth Games, told is a unique exten pment program. The Super 6 Youthphysical the Super 6 Youth Game Games that enables all youth of mine for years, "The codes to competesion across all and against each other extremely gratefsulhas been a dream within a speciallysporting Blacktown City CouncilI am and d that Concept in 2024." More has joined forces to deliverexcite the Games page 26.

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Contacts Editorial Admin and General Editor Michael Walls

Editor's PickS

ISSUE 32 | November 2023

Get your monthly

with the latest new

s in and around

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sletter today

. blacktown.nsw.go


• important com munity announce ments • upcoming even ts • transformation al projects • school holiday activities • community awa rd programs • competitions • much, much more ...




Healthy food choices at aquatic centres.

Car Club revs up for sick kids.

Fixing the national skills shortage.

Newsroom News Editor Elizabeth Frias

Advertising sales Julie Jackson Linda Miller

Administration Rebecca Swaleh


Our evolving city

Design and production

What's wrong with a bit of democracy?

Design2Pro, JuJu Graphics.

Platinum Media Partner The Blacktown News is platinum media partner for the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber

SECTIONS Support Partner The Blacktown News is the official media partner of Blacktown FC.

News............................................... 3

Newsbytes.................................... 12

Healthy Western Sydney.............. 20

Stephen Bali................................... 7

Michelle Rowland......................... 17

Travel............................................ 22

Blacktown Workers Club................ 8

Magazine...................................... 19

Films............................................. 23

Local entertainment Watch locally made films. Stay up to date on infrastructure. Watch profiles of regional leaders.

NewS 5


November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 5

Safe Space for those in distress

VOIDING self-harm and hospitalisation for mental health sufferers is the purpose of Blacktown’s Safe Space in keeping its doors always wide open. Safe Space is located at 24 Panorama Parade, on the corner of Caldwell Place, a welcoming place for anyone experiencing emotional distress or having self-harm thoughts. “We offer a warm, calm and welcoming environment for all community members, providing a safe and accessible alternative to the emergency department,” Safe Space service leader Kylie Smith said. Since opening in 2020, Safe Space has been a lifeline for 368 individuals, with an astonishing 98 percent avoided hospitalisation and thriving within their community, Ms Smith said. The facility recently held an open day for Mental Health Month to encourage people experiencing distress to try the free service, connect with them, and to take the first step towards mental wellbeing. Safe Space Blacktown is funded by WentWest and operated by Stride Mental Health offering a range of mental health wellbeing resources for residents. Unlike other walk-in services, Ms Smith said visitors

Safe Space Blacktown team at 24 Panorama Parade in Blacktown.

can remain anonymous and do not need an appointment, Medicare card and doctor referral. Safe Space’s impact on the local community has been enormous, with the centre focusing on caring approach to support people under emotional distress and having suicidal thoughts.

More than 37 percent of people who came through the doors are culturally and linguistically diverse residents while 33 percent are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. For more details, visit https://www.nswmentalhealthcommission.

Riverstone included in $200M flood upgrade


HE NSW Government is investing $200M over the next two years on developing and delivering major evacuation routes in the flood-prone Hawkesbury-Nepean, including parts of Riverstone. The funding is being rapidly deployed into commencing work on the Pitt Town Bypass, as well as commencing enabling works on Garfield Road East at Riverstone and the Richmond Road - M7 to Townson

Road - upgrade. The Budget 2023-24 allocation of $200M over two years is part of a larger $550M spend over 10 years on Western Sydney flood roads resilience that includes: • $100 million for Garfield Road East at Riverstone for widening and duplication works as a key evacuation route. • $100 million on the Pitt Town Bypass. • $285 million for Richmond Road between Townson Road and the M7.

• $15 million for The Driftway Roundabout at Londonderry. • $50 million for Hill Road at Sydney Olympic Park to improve localised flooding. Additionally, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Evacuation Road Resilience Program has undertaken investigations at several locations along The Northern Road between Richmond Road, Richmond and Dunheved Road, Jordan Springs and Londonderry Road, between Driftway,

Richmond and The Northern Road, Cranebrook. Improvement projects include road shoulder widening, new drainage and bridge structures, road raising, pinch point upgrades and other drainage improvements. The projects in the Program will improve the road network, particularly at key low points, so that residents can evacuate from the area safely in the event of a flood.

6 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023

11.30 AM:

Katherine Hawes workshop.

NewS 12:00 PM:

Lunch entry commences.

Double the fun at Timezone Westpoint Overview of Timings for the day 12.30PM: 1:00PM:


HERE’S more enjoyment for residents in Blacktown and nearby suburbs as Timezone and Zone Bowling transform for new games, bowling, laser tag, bumper cars and heaps of goodies. A host of exciting games to try such as the brand-new Spin Zone Bumper Cars, battle with friends in Laser Tag Arena, and try out a host of new games along with Timezone favourites Basketball Pro, Down the Clown, Wheel of Fortune, King Kong VR, Bop It, Connect 4 Hoops among others. Score a strike on one of Zone Bowling’s new lanes that will surely impress even the most experienced bowler. Zone Bowling, which opened in early 2000s, has been completely revamped with management promising “hours of unforgettable memory making moments” for people of all ages. “We are thrilled to bring the Black-

Lunch commences.






Minister Stephen Kamper spea



Marcus Whelan workshop. 11 Tuesday September 5 | Blacktown Workers Club 12 Blacktown, New South Wales, Australi 2.00PM: 55 Campbell Street, Lunch concludes. 2.30PM:

town community the magic of Timezone and the excitement of Zone Bowling together in one incredible venue,” general manager Kane Fong said. “Zone Bowling has been a staple in the community for entertainment for close

Emmanuel Martin workshop.


3.00PM: SydWest Community Forum. Monday September 4 – 6PM Bump In. 3.30PM: Tom Dawkins workshop. Tuesday September 5 –that 8AM In. to 20 years and this transformation will ence catersBump to all age groups. ensure that continue for years to come. you’re aBump gaming enthusiast, 5:00PM: Expo“Whether Finishes. out. “Our business relies on the commuan avid bowler, or simply looking for a 9:00AM: opens. nities surrounding the venue. With this Expo fun family day out, we have something in mind,5.30PM: we strive to design venues that Greater for you,” Mr Fong said. Blacktown Chamber Bu offer a one-stop entertainment experiAlong with thrills in bowling compe9.15AM: WentWest Community titions among families and friends, Leaders the addition of Timezone brings 100 arcade 7.15PM: Bump out. WEXPO concludes. style games, a Laser Tag Arena and Spin 9.30AM: Lee Usher workshop. Zone Bumper Cars to Blacktown. The revampedBar, venueForums now offers aheld in * Workshops held in the Redwood suite of party rooms, so locals can cele10.30AM: Zaki workshop. brateEucalyptus birthday parties Restaurant. and other import- Leve the Ballroom, lunch inFarid the ant events at the venue. Join the party at Level 4, Westpoint Minister StephenShopping KamperCentre, speaks. 17 Patrick St, open from 10am - 10pm on Sunday to Thursday and 9am to 11pm on Friday and Marcus Whelan workshop. Saturday.

11:00 AM: 1:00PM:

Workplace Wellbeing Commun

1.30PM: 11.30 AM:

Katherine Hawes workshop.


Lunch concludes.

12:00 PM:


Lunch entry commences.


Check out en-au Insta: @timezoneaustralia Facebook: www. Emmanuel Martin workshop. TikTok: https://

12.30PM: SydWest Community LunchForum. commences. 3.00PM: 3.30PM:

workshop. 1:00PM: Tom Dawkins Minister Stephen Kamper spea


Expo Finishes. Bump out.

1.30PM: Greater Blacktown Marcus Whelan workshop. Chamber Business After Five.


7.15PM: concludes. 2.00PM: Bump out. WEXPO Lunch concludes.

Carevan Blacktown is a non-remunerated local charity operating the Blacktown LGA since 2011, serving the community’s most *inWorkshops held in the Redwood Bar, Forums held in socially and financially vulnerable, without question, criteria, or 2.30PM: Emmanuel Martin workshop. the Ballroom, in the 2. Blacktown cost. Run by lunch a group of Eucalyptus dedicated Restaurant. volunteers,Level Carevan provides a welcoming weekly meal and food support service at the Lalor Park community hall every Tuesday Community night. We createForum. a 3.00PM: SydWest welcoming environment for all to attend, facilitating a connection between a benevolent community and an ever-growing number Event Patron Member Stephen Baliand MPother 3.30PM: Tom Dawkins workshop. of people experiencing poverty, loneliness socialfor Blacktown challenges, people most in need of this kindness and care. Visit us at exhibitor space C13 in the diamond Room.


Expo Finishes. Bump out.


Greater Blacktown Chamber Bu


Bump out. WEXPO concludes.

* Workshops held in the Redwood Bar, Forums held in the Ballroom, lunch in the Eucalyptus Restaurant. Leve

Event Patron

Stephen Bali MP

BLACKTOWN CITY a place of opportunity

. f f o r e t t e b s i y t i C tter off e n b e r w a s t o t f Blacktown City residenst budget by: Blacthk fir ousands o ernment’s

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es we a supportin ic v is r t e s e l g d ia t u B the essen g The 2023 in v o r p ment. nd im n a r s e e v r o u G s s s e n pr r the Min e d n u r e t t City is be n w o t k c la Living in B

g n i k wor you for






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Authorised by Stephen Bali MP, Edmond Atalla MP, Hugh McDermott MP & Warren Kirby MP. Funded using parliamentary entitlements November 2023.








All Diamond Showroom ticketed shows are 18+ unless stated otherwise.


10 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023

Healthy food choices at aquatic centres


RANGE of nutritious food choices have been introduced in all aquatic and leisure centres run by the Blacktown City Council in partnership with the Western Sydney Local Health District. The council’s five centres – Blacktown Aquatic Centre, Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope, Charlie Loles Leisure Centre Emerton, Mount Druitt Swimming Centre and Riverstone Swimming Centre - are among the firsts in NSW to implement a policy that encourages patrons of all ages to put more emphasis on eating healthier food and drinks. The choices at these council facilities include more sandwiches, wraps, fruit salads, protein and nut bars, sesame snack, popcorn and fruit juices although packets of chips, pastries, confectioneries and softdrinks are still available. The policy means that patrons can expect 75 percent of kiosk menu items are produced from whole foods such as grains, vegetables and lean meats, Blacktown City mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said.


“By having healthier options on our menus, we are allowing our patrons to make smarter health choices for themselves and their families,” Mayor Bleasdale said. “Good nutrition allows adults to have more energy, making it easier to stay fit and active. “Children who eat well will also have energy for playing sports and activities, as well as helping them concentrate, learn, and support growth and development.” The healthy food items are offered alongside recommended serving sizes of other foods such as pastries and confectioneries. The council and WSLHD collaborated over two years with consultations on the Australian Guide for Healthy Eating along with local research to find healthier options that patrons will enjoy. For more details on the council and WSLHD recommended healthy eating guide, visit australian-guide-healthy-eating

Left to right: Cr Bob Fitzgerald OAM, WSLHD population health director Dr Shopna Bag, Blacktown mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM, Cr Dr Moninder Singh, deputy mayor Chris Quilkey and WSLHD health promotion director Michelle Nolan.

Bob Turner joins Ice Hockey League

HE Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) has announced that Blacktown FC Chairman Bob Turner will join its Board. Fresh on the heels of a sold-out finals Series in Melbourne and the historic twogame Global Series by the National Hockey League (NHL) at Rod Laver Arena, the appointment of Bob Turner as Director of Commercials will add a new spark to the sport in preparation for the 2024 season. The Australian Ice Hockey League is a 10-team National competition and will enter its 24th season in 2024. Played from March to August annual-

Bob Turner.

ly, teams are from Sydney (2), Melbourne (2), Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, NSW’s

Central Coast, Newcastle, and Brisbane. The 2023 Champions are the Melbourne Mustangs. The League predominantly comprises local players and is supported by up to 5-6 import players per team. Played in the northern hemisphere summer months, the AIHL is a preferred destination for import players from Canada, North America and Europe. AIHL Chairman Peter Jon Hartshorne is excited that a proven sports marketer like Bob Turner will join the League’s Board. “I first met Bob in the 80s’ and have

been pursuing him for years now as his track record proves he is far more than a basketball coach”, Chairman Hartshorne said. For the newly inducted Basketball NSW Hall of Famer, Bob Turner, the recent AIHL finals in Melbourne at the O’Brien Icehouse convinced him to take on the challenge. “I attended the AIHL Finals as a guest of the Board a month ago in Melbourne, and I was blown away by the skill, speed, physicality and intensity of the game. It was watching rugby league on ice but much quicker,” said Turner.

Come home to comfort at St Hedwig Retirement Village At St Hedwig Retirement Village Blacktown, our residents know that the secret to a life of comfort and convenience is living in a place defined by the freedom of independence and the welcome of a warm community. With more time to enjoy the good things in life, moving to St Hedwig Retirement Village means enjoying safety, security, support and peace of mind. Choose from a variety of exceptionally crafted one, two and three bedroom apartments starting from $475,000*. Our dedicated team are guided by the values of courage, compassion and integrity, putting your personal needs at the heart of everything we do. Come home to St Hedwig Retirement Village and discover the secret to your perfect retirement.

Call 1300 191 472 to arrange an appointment and view our display apartment, or visit to find out more. *Residents of retirement villages will need to pay fortnightly recurrent charges during their time at the village. You may have to pay a departure fee when you leave this village. The advertised starting price ($475,000) is based on the starting price of a one bedroom apartment as at October 2022 and is subject to change.



Car club revs up for sick kids

HE members of the Lazy Sunday Car Club certainly have more on their minds than hot wheels and hooning. Their regular “show and shine” days also aim to raise money for worthy causes. And they will be doing just that when they present the Christmas Toy Drive Car Show ‘N Shine at Blacktown Tavern, 81 Kildare Road, Blacktown on Saturday, November 25 from 1pm to 5pm. Organiser Daniel Vlatkovic said somewhere between 10 to 15 car clubs – including Rod 2 Mod - will be taking part in the day with the aim of raising funds, and donating toys for Christmas, to Westmead and Randwick Children’s Hospitals. Daniel said he and three fellow car lovers formed the Lazy Sunday Car Club seven months ago to “help people less fortunate than ourselves”. The former security guard was injured in the course of his work and subsequently suffered trauma and, he says, “some pretty serious PTSD”. Rather than sit at home and “stare into the abyss” he decid-


November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 11

The Lazy Sunday Car Club.

ed to turn things around by giving back to the community through the car club. To date the members have raised almost $6000 for a range of charities through their regular car shows. “We have raised money for sick kids, men’s mental health, breast cancer support and domestic violence among others,” Daniel said. “We do all the big issues because as a car club we feel the need to stand

against all those things and help them out when we can.” The club hosts car shows at least twice a month at a range of venues and all proceeds are donated to charity. “We want to change the world one rev at a time,” Daniel said. The family friendly day at Blacktown Tavern will feature hundreds of cars on show as well as raffles and a charity auction.

It’s $15 to enter a car in the show or $10 if you also donate a toy. Visitors can see the cars for free but are encouraged to donate a toy (new toys only) and make a donation at one of the charity buckets that will be placed around the venue. For more information you can go to the Lazy Sunday Car Club’s Facebook page.

Eligible for the $60 weekly toll cap

TARTING January 2024, an estimated 720,000 motorists using Sydney’s motorways are eligible for the $60 a week cap on toll fees to ease the cost of living on transport. Thousands of these motorists are from Western Sydney suburbs eligible to claim refunds above the $60 they

spend weekly on toll fees at motorways. The cash back scheme was announced in the Minns government’s first budget announced by treasurer Daniel Mookhey last month. The relief is targeted to benefit drivers incurring the highest toll costs, such

as those spending more than $402 per week. The eligibilities can be checked through Service NSW website, by visiting toll-relief. Prospect MP Dr Hugh McDermott said the treasury modelling showed at least

15,771 households in his electorate qualify to receive a cash back under the scheme. On average, Dr McDermott said eligible households receive a $438 refund next year and in 2025. At least $6.9M in toll relief is to be put back into the pockets of these households, Dr McDermott said.

12 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023


Reduced access to dental care


Test your password strength


HE NSW Government has introduced a Password Strength Tester tool to promote stronger password protection. This online tool checks if a password has been breached previously and estimates the time it would take for a hacker to crack it. Short, simple passwords are vulnerable, taking just seconds to break, while longer, more complex passwords can be virtually impenetrable. The tool assures anonymity, with no data collection. Users are encouraged to avoid saving passwords and use trusted password managers. Cybercrimes cost millions annually, and NSW residents can seek help from ID Support NSW if their identity is compromised. Online safety tips are available on the The Password Strength Tester is available at www.

Cameras to enforce seatbelt compliance


OBILE phone detection cameras will start enforcing seatbelt compliance in a new safety push aimed at reducing needless deaths on NSW roads each year. The NSW

Government will add seatbelt compliance to the work of the existing mobile phone detection camera network after a public awareness campaign and a ninemonth period in which warning letters rather than fines will be issued. In the five years to 2022,

142 lives were lost on NSW roads in fatal crashes in which victims were travelling in a vehicle but not wearing a seatbelt. Despite five decades of enforcement and public awareness campaigns, more than 10,000 people a year are still fined for not wearing a seatbelt.

HE Australian Dental Association New South Wales (ADA NSW) is warning about the potential consequences of applying payroll tax to dental practices. With over 23,000 people on the public dental waitlist in regional NSW and a shortage of dentists, the ADA NSW is concerned that imposing payroll tax could lead to increased fees and reduced access to dental care. The Federal Australian Dental Association has called on state leaders to grant dentists the same payroll tax amnesty given to doctors. The ADA NSW estimates that up to 60% of dental practices could be affected, leading to retrospective tax penalties and uncertainty for practice operators.

Addressing overcrowded emergency units


HE NSW Government is addressing overcrowded emergency departments by creating Safe Assessment Units at Prince of Wales and Nepean hospitals. These units will support individuals with behavioral issues related to drugs and alcohol, providing a calm environment for assessment and treatment. A multidisci-




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plinary team will handle patient care. This approach has been successful in improving patient outcomes, reducing sedation and restraint use, and shortening ED stays. The units are set to begin operation early next year, complementing St Vincent’s Hospital’s existing services, and will coordinate with the community health sector for post-discharge support.

Bendigo named top bank


ENDIGO Bank has been named Australia’s most trusted bank for the second consecutive year, according to the Roy Morgan Trusted Brand Awards. The bank’s CEO and Managing Director, Marnie Baker, expressed gratitude to their 2.4 million customers and attributed the recognition to the hard work of the bank’s people, their customer-centered approach, quality products, friendly service, and digital offerings. Bendigo Bank’s commitment to community prosperity and trust-building contributed to their back-to-back wins. The bank’s customer numbers increased by 10% over the year, and it was also recognized as the most trusted agribusiness bank among Australian farmers by Roy Morgan.


November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 13



Quality nursing care at home

LACKTOWN residents are now able to get quality healthcare within the confines of their own homes, thanks to the recently launched operations of ‘Nurse Next Door Home Care Services’. Given that 11% of Blacktown’s population is either an elderly resident or living with a disability, the nursing services is a much- needed boon. A survey conducted by Roy Morgan in 2020 found that there is an overwhelming desire for Australians to remain in the comfort, safety and familiarity of their own homes irrespective of their age or ability. “We believe we can provide a solution to the current strained healthcare system, overworked hospital staff and limited support available to our elderly residents and those living with a disability,” says Saral Thapa, Managing Director, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, Blacktown. Launched on July 1, the team of nurses cover the suburbs of Prospect, Blacktown, Seven Hills, Kings Langley, Lalor Park, St Mary’s, Oxley Park, Plumpton, Colebee, Schofields, Quaker’s Hill, Rooty Hill, Eastern Creek, Doonside, The Ponds, Mt Druitt and the surrounding areas in the Blacktown LGA.

Nurse Next Door Blacktown.

Registered Nurse Saral Thapa and her husband Birat Thapa, decided to start this service in an attempt to provide a solution to the existing healthcare crisis. “We want to offer elderly residents and people with special needs the opportunity to continue living independently at home, and at the same time receive medical care that they need. We can help

them stay connected with their loved ones and community as long as they desire,” says Saral. Nurse Next Door offers services in most states of Australia and its Blacktown services started in July this year. It assumes more significance, given the acute crisis in tackling health issues in Western Sydney post the Covid-19

pandemic, where the elderly have not really been given much of a choice on how they want to be cared for to ensure both their physical and mental health are intact. “Nurse Next Door is focused on getting Western Sydney residents, who require some level of care, back to doing the things they love, and we want each and every one of them to feel empowered to lead a life filled with Positivity, Possibility and Purpose,” says Birat. The team receives constant inquiries from potential clients in genuine need of their nursing services. “With the unwavering support of our community and the increasing demand for our care, we are confident in our ability to deliver the necessary assistance and support that will contribute to a higher quality of life for the elderly within our community,” says Saral. Nurse Next Door can be reached out via their website:

Council donates Knit Bomb blankets


OLOURFUL knitted squares, lovingly-made for Blacktown City Council’s 2022 Knit Bomb against domestic violence, have been sewn into blankets for donations to a local midwifery clinic and charity. Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, visited the Dragonfly Midwifery Clinic at Westmead Hospital to donate beautiful, knitted blankets and toys displayed as part of last year’s Knit Bomb in the Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Riverstone CBDs. The pieces were knitted by the talented volunteers from the Blacktown Library Knitting Group and dozens of community knitters. The midwifery clinic is run by the Western Sydney Local Health District and offers culturally-safe midwifery care for women of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. Further blankets were donated to local charity Carevan Blacktown, which provides a weekly meal service and community pantry for the Lalor Park community.

“Council’s annual Knit Bomb is an important initiative, raising awareness of the scourge of domestic and family violence in Blacktown City,” Mayor Bleasdale said. “A team of volunteers dedicate their time to ensure the project is a success, and that Blacktown City can be adorned in beautiful, knitted pieces. “It is wonderful to see so many of these knitted pieces take on a new life as blankets to be used by mums and bubs and members of the community doing it tough. “We hope the knitted blankets and toys will provide some comfort to those who receive them. “A big thank you to all the knitters who contributed countless hours of their time in knitting all the pieces.” Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM donates knitted blankets and toys from the 2022 Blacktown City Knit Bomb to Mim Maloinato and Carolyn Hilsabeck from the Dragonfly Midwifery Clinic and James Nguyen from the Westmead Hospital Foundation.

Mayor Bleasdale said the donations would provide comfort, warmth and joy

to members of the community who needed it most.

Council’s yarn-ins for the 2023 Knit Bomb are now underway. To take part in a yarn-in, visit the website:

14 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023


2023 WEXPO Blacktown showcased local business and community groups.


Forums explore key community issues

HOUSANDS of people descended upon Blacktown Workers Club on September 5 for the 2023 WEXPO event. Keynote lunch speaker NSW Minister Stephen Kamper addressed a packed Eucalyptus Restaurant about plans to reduce red tape for business dealing with the Government. Three community forums addressed key issues including Cost of Living, Workplace Wellbeing and Community Juries. The findings of these forums will be presented at a special event at NSW Parliament House on October 11 at which Premier Chris Minns is expected to attend. NSW Member of Blacktown and WEXPO patron Stephen Bali congratulated the organisers and thanked the event’s key sponsors - SydWest Multicultural Services, Novo Nordisk, WentWest,

ACU and Blacktown Council. “WEXPO is attracting great community recognition with key sponsors coming together in one venue to discuss issues of national importance,” Mr Bali said. Blacktown Workers Club has been the Blacktown venue partner since the event started in 2022. The Blacktown News is WEXPO’s local media partner. This year the Greater Blacktown Chamber of Commerce held a special BAF event that focussed on women in sport moderated by Blacktown FC Chairman, Bob Turner. More than 70 businesses and community groups held exhibitor tables in the Diamond Room and main promenade on level 2. WEXPO is where business and community meet with workshops, exhibitor spaces and keynote speakers. You can learn more at

November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 15

16 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023


WEXPO goes to NSW Parliament

LACKTOWN MP Stephen Bali welcomed the 80 WEXPO delegation to NSW Parliament House on October 11where three keynote speakers presented findings from WEXPO to parliamentarians. Leading Western Sydney based organisations SydWest CEO Elfa Moraitakis, WentWest CEO Ray Messom and Australian Catholic University (ACU) Blacktown Dean Dr Valentine Mukuria made presentations of their findings from special community forums that were held at WEXPO Blacktown in September. NSW Parliament House presentation

was titled Western Sydney Goes to Parliament with speakers providing direct feedback to parliamentarians. Mr Bali said events such as WEXPO played a key role in highlighting issues within the wider Western Sydney community that often go unnoticed such as: the costof-living pressures particularly on newly arrived refugees and community attitudes towards local healthcare management. “WEXPO has demonstrated that organisations that have community welfare as their prime mission can have a voice in terms of highlighting key issues that leads to a better understanding of the real condi-

tions faced by our community,” Mr Bali said. Premier Chris Minns was expected to deliver the key address at the event but he was called away to be part of the vigil commemorating the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East. David Harris MP Minster for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty; Gaming and Racing; Medical Research; and Central Coast told the audience that there were many valuable lessons learned from WEXPO that not only impact western Sydney but across NSW. Mr Harris said, “WEXPO was a great initiative bringing businesses, community organisations and residents together

Scenes at NSW Parliament when WEXPO viisited.

through forums, keynote presentations and business stalls. We need to have one on the Central Coast! Parliamentarians are hearing firsthand from people impacted by Government policy and being presented with potential solutions going forward.” Mr Bali thanked all the organisers involved as they invested many hours to make this a uniquely Western Sydney showcase of business presentations, exchange of ideas and development of solutions. WEXPO is held annually at Blacktown Workers Club. Enquiries to


with Michelle Rowland

November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 17


Dealing with cost of living MICHELLE ROWLAND


E know Australians are doing it tough. That’s why the Albanese Government is doing everything we can to help with the cost of living, without adding pressure to inflation. Unpredictable world events outside our control have caused real challenges. But we don’t shy away from the challenge. The Albanese Government will always show up, take responsibility, and bring people together to find solutions to the problems facing Australia. That’s what we’re doing right now. Working for Australia. The Albanese Labor Government is: • Relieving cost of living pressure with cheaper childcare, cheaper medicines, strengthened paid parental leave, energy bill relief and fee-free TAFE.

• Managing the economy and creating jobs in challenging times. • Investing record amounts into Medicare and bulk billing. • Building new homes and making renting fairer. This is all part of our targeted and comprehensive $23B plan to help address the cost-of-living pressures in our economy.

This Government is working responsibly, bringing people together to find solutions to our challenges. I am proud to be part of a government that is working for Australia, delivering for our community, and easing the pressures on household budgets across our great electorate of Greenway. Michelle Rowland MP is Minister for Communications and Federal Member for Greenway. Visit


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INSIDE Travel Health Films Auto Puzzles Fitness


Shortage in multiple industries SASWATI MUKHERJEE


F numbers are an indication, 54% Australians think that cheaper or free TAFE or University courses are the most effective way to solve the country’s skills shortage. A sizeable 22% believe it is also the quickest way to address the gap. The data comes from a recent survey of independent panel comprising 1012 Australians commissioned by immigration assistance and advice platform ‘Immigration to Australia’. The research aimed at finding out what Australians thought was the most effective way to address the current skills shortage in the country. The survey assumes importance given that Australian Bureau of Statistics reported a higher number of job vacancies this year and a persistent gap between the average number of qualified and suitable applicants. Job vacancies were 89.3% higher in May 2023 than in February 2020, pointing directly at a persistent labour shortage across many industries. The Australian government has responded by putting in place the delivery of 180,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education courses running throughout the country this year. Respondents of the survey were given a choice of 14 solutions and asked to select the options they believed would be the most effective in resolving the crisis. While 50% respondents thought that government incentives, such as tax breaks for companies that hire and train apprentices and interns, 46% thought that partnerships between industries and educational institutions would be most effective in filling in this skills gap. When it came to the quickest way to solve the crisis, 22% participants tilted towards cheaper/free TAFE or university courses, followed closely at 12% who voted in favour of accepting a higher number of skilled migrants.

The survey indicated that a mere 7% were in favour of companies outsourcing work to offshore teams, thus demonstrating a strong desire for jobs to remain onshore in Australia. Only 10% participants felt an increase in AI and technology to replace human resources would be helpful in removing the skills shortage. This points at the fact that Australians are not keen to rely on automation and digitalisation as a solution to the problem. Interestingly, the survey found that respondents do not believe Australia’s current working age is to blame for the skills shortage. Only 10% felt younger

teenagers should be allowed to work and 13% were in favour of the other spectrum of further pushing the retirement age in the country. The survey found that 30 per cent of respondents thought expanding visa programs and opportunities could help Australia solve the skills shortage in the long term. The 2022-23 budget addressed critical skill shortages across Australia by increasing the cap on the number of places available to Working Holiday Makers, providing an additional 16,500 places to Afghan nationals under the Humanitarian program over a four-year period, increasing the Migration Program Skill Stream by more than 30,000 places

and moving to a demand-driven model for partner visa processing to provide greater flexibility in meeting the demand for partner visas.

State-wide breakup *52% people of NSW and 56% of Victorians voted for cheaper or free University or TAFE courses to address the impending skills shortage across sectors. *55% of Queenslanders, 62% West Australians and 63% South Australians are most in favour of increasing government incentives for companies to hire and train apprentices and interns. (Source: Immigration to Australia survey)

WEXPO at Blacktown Workers Club Register now for 2024 | Exhibitor enquires:

Western Sydney Services for People from CALD Backgrounds We are incredibly lucky to live in one of the most diverse regions in Australia, with over half of our Western Sydney community born overseas. The diversity of our region is something we celebrate every day, yet it is often these community members who struggle to access the right health care to live full, happy lives.

So, which services in our region are making a real difference to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities?

Source: WentWest Annual Review 22/23

STARTTS Building Community Resilience The NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) helps people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds develop a sense of community and belonging to improve their wellbeing. Their dedicated team run group sessions such as art classes, yoga, English lessons, health workshops,

cultural days and outings to create a safe space for people to build trust, share their feelings and create a support network within the community. From running youth ambassador programs, to LGBTQIA+ support groups, to their Keeping in Contact (KiC) group for seniors, STARTTS run programs that welcome people from all backgrounds.

“This group has brought us together when we were living alone. We do different activities but really it is about getting to meet each other. This group has made us come together, to talk about the good and the bad. We were alone before but we have a community now. We belong.” - KiC member

Healthy Western Sydney is delivered by WentWest, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network.

One Door Recovery and Reintegration One Door Mental Health provide recovery-focused programs to help people with complex mental health needs build meaningful, safe lives in the community. Over half of their team have lived experience of mental health themselves, so understand how to support people facing similar challenges.

In Western Sydney, One Door run the Bilingual Hospital to Home program to help people reintegrate back into community following time in hospital, the Commonwealth Psychosocial Support program for people with complex mental health and psychosocial needs, and Recovery College, which offers courses co-produced and co-facilitated by people with lived mental health experience.

“I’ve got great support from One Door Mental Health, especially the Bilingual Hospital to Home program. This program engaged me with different activities which enabled me to build my confidence and realise that I have many strengths that I can use in my recovery journey.” - One Door program participant

Other Services Available Dementia Care Navigator: supports people living with dementia, their families and carers, primarily from CALD communities. A specialist navigator acts as a key touchpoint, assisting with navigation through the health system for a person with a diagnosis of dementia or their families. Odyssey House NSW: offers CALD drug and alcohol services to individuals and their families. This includes individual counselling and group programs. Looking After Your Health - Diabetes NSW & ACT: aims to increase the awareness of risk factors for chronic conditions through a variety of education sessions and activities, delivered in languages other than English in Western Sydney.

How to access these services For a list of services available in Western Sydney visit WentWest’s Population Health webpage for more information.


22 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023


Diverse travel attractions of our New South Wales

EW South Wales (NSW) is a traveler’s paradise, boasting a rich tapestry of natural wonders, cultural treasures, and vibrant cities. From the iconic landmarks of Sydney to the serene beauty of the Blue Mountains, the attractions in this southeastern Australian state cater to a wide range of interests. Let’s embark on a journey through some of the most captivating travel attractions that make NSW a must-visit destination.

1. Sydney: The Harbour City The capital and largest city of NSW, Sydney, is an international metropolis renowned for its stunning Sydney Harbour, home to the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Visitors can explore the historic Rocks district, enjoy a day at the famous Bondi Beach, or wander through the Royal Botanic Garden. Darling Harbour offers entertainment and dining, while Taronga Zoo provides a glimpse of Australia’s unique wildlife.

2. The Blue Mountains: Natural Majesty Located just a short drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a world of dramatic cliffs, deep valleys, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. The Three Sisters rock formation is a popular attraction, and the area offers numerous hiking trails, including the Grand Canyon Walk and Wentworth Falls. The Blue Mountains provide an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

3. Byron Bay: Bohemian Beach Bliss Nestled on the northern coast of NSW, Byron Bay is a haven for beach lovers, surfers, and free spirits. Its stunning beaches, such as Main Beach and Wategos Beach, are perfect for swimming and relaxation. The town itself is known for its laid-back atmosphere, lively markets, and a diverse range of cafes and restaurants. Don’t forget to visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse for breathtaking coastal views.

4. Hunter Valley: A Wine Lover’s Paradise If you’re a wine enthusiast, the

NSW Central Coast.

Hunter Valley is a must-visit destination. Located a few hours from Sydney, this renowned wine region is home to numerous vineyards and wineries, offering tastings of world-class wines. You can also savor local produce at charming farm-to-table restaurants and explore the beautiful countryside.

5. The Snowy Mountains: Winter Wonderland In the southern part of NSW lies the Snowy Mountains, where you can embrace winter sports and mountain adventures. Perisher and Thredbo are the largest ski resorts in the region, and the summer months offer opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. The Snowy Mountains are a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

6. Port Stephens: Coastal Delight Known for its striking beaches, sand dunes, and pristine waters, Port Stephens is a coastal gem. You can go dolphin watching, try sandboarding on the Stockton Sand Dunes, or simply relax on the beaches like Zenith Beach and Fingal Bay. The region’s

tranquil ambiance and aquatic activities make it an ideal family-friendly destination.

7. The South Coast: Coastal Charm The South Coast of NSW offers a tranquil and picturesque escape. You can explore charming seaside towns like Kiama, Berry, and Jervis Bay, renowned for its pure white sands and crystal-clear waters. Enjoy water sports, whale watching, and delectable seafood dining along this breathtaking coastline.

8. The Outback: Rugged Adventure For those seeking an outback adventure, the rural areas of western NSW offer a rugged landscape with red earth and unique wildlife. Visit places like Lightning Ridge, famous for its opal mining, or White Cliffs, known for its underground dwellings. The vast, open spaces of the outback provide a unique Australian experience.

9. The Central Coast: Beachside Bliss The Central Coast of NSW is a popular destination for its beautiful beaches, including Terrigal and Avoca Beach. It’s

an ideal spot for swimming, surfing, and fishing. The region also features lush national parks and wildlife encounters, making it a perfect blend of coastal and natural attractions.

10. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Cultural Hub While not technically part of NSW, the Australian Capital Territory, with its capital city Canberra, is an integral part of the state’s cultural landscape. Canberra is home to world-class museums, galleries, and institutions, including the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia, and Parliament House. New South Wales is a treasure trove of diverse travel attractions, catering to a wide range of interests, from cosmopolitan city experiences to pristine natural wonders. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, a beach lover, or a wine connoisseur, NSW offers an unforgettable journey through Australia’s captivating landscapes and vibrant culture. Plan your adventure and explore the wonders of this remarkable state.


November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 23


Stylish and suitably disorientating, if somewhat predictable, this low budget high concept feature makes the most of what it’s got filled. The whole performance plays to the rafters. Compared with Tom Hardy in Locke, this is an exercise in excess. Visually, the piece is very much the sort of desaturated aesthetic of something like Sin City. Camera angles are wild, the car feels like it is bulging off the screen at certain points, and the spider is truly creepy. While you can feel the budgetary constraints of such a piece, the filmmakers have made these constraints work for them in creating a highly stylised concept piece that plays to its strengths. Ultimately, Mercy Road winds up in a place that you sort of expect from the start. But while it isn’t particularly surprising, it is certainly worth the journey. Mercy Road is a high-octane ride that drops you off exactly where you expected.



OM (Luke Bracey) flees a murder scene and takes to the streets in his vehicle. Contained almost entirely in his car, the film follows him as he speaks to The Associate (Toby Jones) on the phone - a man brought in to manage his ‘situation’. As the police try and get in touch with him about the whereabouts of his daughter, his wife Terri (Alex Malone) first tries to talk him down and then follows his rage against an abusive stepfather, and The Associate continues to negotiate repayment for his actions, Tom has to work out what is real and what isn’t. Directed by John Curran, Mercy Road is a sort of Sin City cross Locke, focussed on an unreliable narrator fresh off what seems to be the murder of his ex-wife’s new partner. As things take progressive turns for the worst, it’s not hard to see where this road leads. But that’s not to say it isn’t an

enjoyable ride. Luke Bracey brings a sort of frenetic energy to his performance as Tom. He

plays into the wild camera angles and the sort of insanity of the piece, throwing wild screams, eyes wide and terror

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus


While it never quite reaches the heights of Spiderverse, TMNT cements the fact that we’re living in a golden age of superhero animation REVIEW BY JACOB RICHARDSON


ONATELLO (Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.), Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu) and Raphael (Brady Noon) are chafing at being kept at home, underground in the sewers by their overprotective father Splinter (Jackie Chan). They long to be accepted by the humans, and when they stumble across the understanding human reporter April O’Neil (Ayo Edebiri), they hit on an idea to win the hearts of the masses; by taking down the evil supervillain Superfly (Ice Cube). Directed by Jeff Rowe, and Kyler Spears, with writing from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, this is a really fun and fresh take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that is super funny, with some great action. The animation, similar to the hugely popular Spiderverse movies, is creative and new. It sucks you in and makes this feel quite artistically of merit. Storywise, its a pretty simple story on offer here but told well. Of course, there are the usual suite of mcguffins on display, and Splinter’s martial arts knowledge is hamfisted in such a way that our hero turtles need something on top of all of that to defeat the villain, which is a bit of a shame. But the scene where they use their skills to defeat a gang of humans is action-packed and exciting. The four main characters have witty repartee and energy to spare, and the chemistry pours through

even with the animated setting. They are pitched at just the right age where they feel still kid-like, while being adult enough to be in charge of their own destiny, and it works really well. This new installment of the Turtles feels fresh and new, and is undoubtedly deserving of your time; whether you’re a youngster discovering the foursome for the

first time, or an adult reliving your childhood over a slice of pepperoni pizza.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus

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November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 25

Fitness benefits of resistance training


port can alleviate joint pain and reduce the risk of injury. For individuals dealing with arthritis or other joint-related issues, resistance exercises that focus on functional movements can be particularly beneficial in improving daily life quality.

HEN it comes to enhancing physical fitness, most individuals immediately think of cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming. While these activities undoubtedly contribute to a healthy lifestyle, there is another essential aspect of fitness that often gets overlooked: resistance training. Whether it’s lifting weights, using resistance bands, or performing bodyweight exercises, resistance training offers a wide array of fitness benefits that can transform your body and overall well-being.

1. Increased Muscle Mass and Strength Resistance training is a powerful tool for building lean muscle mass and strength. When you challenge your muscles with resistance, they adapt and grow in response. Over time, this results in increased muscle size and strength. Building lean muscle not only boosts your metabolism but also improves your physical performance in various activities

2. Improved Bone Health One lesser-known benefit of resistance training is its positive impact on bone health. Engaging in resistance exercises places

6. Boosted Endurance and Performance Resistance training isn’t just about bulking up; it’s also about enhancing endurance and performance. Many athletes and sports enthusiasts incorporate resistance exercises into their training routines to increase power, speed, and agility. stress on your bones, which stimulates them to become denser and stronger. This is particularly crucial as you age, as it can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures

3. Enhanced Metabolism Resistance training is a secret weapon for revving up your metabolism. Muscles are metabolically active tissues, meaning they burn calories even at rest. As you build more muscle through resistance training, your resting metabolic rate increases, leading to improved calorie burning. This can be especially advantageous

for weight management and fat loss.

7. Enhanced Functional Fitness

Resistance training is a key component of achieving a desirable body composition. It allows you to reduce body fat while simultaneously increasing or maintaining lean muscle mass. As a result, your body takes on a more toned and defined appearance.

Functional fitness is the ability to perform daily tasks efficiently and without injury. Resistance training helps improve functional fitness by targeting movements and muscle groups that are relevant to everyday life. Lifting, carrying, bending, and reaching become easier and safer with a stronger and more resilient body.

5. Enhanced Joint Health and Function

8. Mental and Emotional Well-being

Proper resistance training helps strengthen the muscles and connective tissues around your joints. This added sup-

The benefits of resistance training extend beyond the physical realm. Regular exercise has been shown to have a pro-

4. Better Body Composition

found impact on mental health and emotional well-being. When you engage in resistance training, your body releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

9. Enhanced Longevity Numerous studies have linked resistance training to increased longevity. Maintaining muscle mass and bone density as you age can lead to a higher quality of life and a reduced risk of age-related health issues. Resistance training can also help counter the natural decline in muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging, allowing you to remain active and independent for longer.

10. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases Engaging in regular resistance training can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It improves insulin sensitivity, regulates blood pressure, and promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. Furthermore, it can aid in the management and prevention of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

26 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023

Our Evolving City


Time for community feedback



LACKTOWN Central Living District (CLD) information sessions have become a popular way to discuss how our Blacktown Central Business District (CBD) should look into the future. Attendances have ranged from 8 to 80 with many cultural and community groups now organising their own forums. Seniors’ groups have discussed what legacy they are leaving to their grandchildren, while schools and youth groups are discussing how a futuristic smart city ought to address their aspirations. The key ideas focused on environmentally sustainable buildings; gathering and entertainment spaces; feeling secure 24/7; affordable housing, and access to jobs. In the modern era our personal isolation can be dominated by scrolling through your own friends’ thoughts and activities on social media. Our lives seem so busy around the clock that we need a safe and flexible central living district to accommodate a lifestyle across a 24-hour cycle so people can engage with each other. Consulting, transparency, and collaboration (CTC) are often used by corporates and governments in introducing new ideas to justify the announcement of new projects. Unfortunately, when you examine the consultation process, the rhetoric does not match reality with corporations, governments and councils undertaking bare minimum consultation during holiday periods resulting in questionable feedback. Effective consultation involves more than just emailing your contact list seeking feedback – which generally goes unnoticed by the recipient. It requires collaboration with experts and residents over time. One of the key reasons the Liberal/Independent controlled Blacktown Council (2012-14) collapsed was due to a lack of community consultation. Decisions were made such as privatising council childcare services; selling off Mt Druitt pool; or initiating the decision to rezone 151 parks and reserves into housing lots and the then-mayor argued that residents can provide feedback in the rezoning phase - too little, too late. I become a minority mayor in 2014 focusing on detailed discussion and consultation with all councillors as well as with residents and the business community. Many transformation projects were initiated with extensive community consultation and feedback. We went suburb to suburb conducting town hall meetings discussing ideas and gaining feedback directly from residents and the businesses which then fine-tuned our proposals.

Community information sessions are in action across Blacktown.

experts will improve proposals for the betterment of our city. There was an unfortunate false start earlier this year with the questionable sale of approximately 25,000 square metres of Blacktown Civic lands in the CBD incorporating the village greenspace, council building, Bowman Hall, art gallery, council cark park and close to a third of K-Mart carpark for $42M and then council signing a lease over

these assets for up to 10 years of $30M. Walker Corporation was the beneficiary of this purchase and is bringing expertise of a $8B property investment company to Blacktown. The last time any public consultation took place was in February 2021 which resulted in 100 people living outside Blacktown City in favour of it whilst 72 locals were in favour and 52 with either opposed or neutral.

The demeaning idea of government Gough Whitlam (Prime Minister 1972-75) said in his iconic election speech in Bowman Hall in 1972 that “Australia has suffered heavily from the demeaning idea that government always knows best.” We all know that if we work together, debating ideas and consulting with

Gough Whitlam makes his iconic 1972 speech at Bowman Hall, Blacktown.

Only 131 local responses out of 400,000 residents resulted in the sale of Council’s most significant land holding. Council has presented possible artist impressions of what could be and conflicting accounts of projected construction costs ranging from $800M to $2B resulting in new commercial and retail spaces the equivalent of 1.6 times to three times the size of Westpoint in a land surface area that is probably closer to one-eighth the land size. I have heard the rhetoric of jobs for construction and post construction stages but how will our CBD look and feel has not been effectively communicated to the people of Blacktown. We should have a vision for our CBD and design the built environment accordingly. Six months after the purchase there have been no community meetings initiated by Council or Walker Corporation whilst behind closed “confidential” meetings continue. The Central Living District forums have raised wonderful community led ideas that will create a futuristic metropolis that can create a truly liveable district. Will Council and Walker Corporation listen to the over 1,000 people that have signed up to be part of the planning and discussion? As Gough Whitlam said over 50 years ago: “The Australian Labor Party will build into the administration of the affairs of this nation machinery that will prevent any government, Labor or Liberal, from ever again clocking your affairs under excessive and needless secrecy.” It’s time for open discussion on what legacy that we will leave for our grandchildren. There’s no time to waste and please don’t propose having small, handpicked groups of people sworn to secrecy and confidentiality agreements decide our future. What is wrong with a bit of democracy and debate shaping the direction of our children’s future living conditions? Stephen Bali is Member for Blacktown and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Public Spaces.



No. 035

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DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

13 Enlisted (10) 14 Comprehend (10) 16 Dogged (9) 17 Underwrite (9) 21 Subject (5) 22 Sporting sides (5) 24 Unemployed (4) 25 Purposes (4)

Aid (10) Benevolent (10) Dear (9) Major (9) Faint (5) Summon (5) Discharge (4) Aquarium (4)

3 8 1 7


Which element has the symbol Ru?


What is the primary vegetable ingredient in the Indian dish raita?


6 1 5 7 5 9

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What kind of being is Totoro in the Hayao Miyazaki (pictured) film My Neighbour Totoro?


Ursine refers to what kind of animal?


What dressing consists of oil, egg yolk and vinegar or lemon juice?


In what European country did the cravat originate?

10 Which US actor and comedian was born Eric Marlon Bishop?



1 Male deer (4) 2 Emblem (4) 3 Matured (4) 4 Go by (4)


6 4 4 1 9 5 9 4 8


1 Rebuke (4) 5 Roman garment (4) 6 Ripens (4) 7 Divine beings (4)

No. 035



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No. 035

The leftover letters will spell out a secret message.



No. 035 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:

































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

1 2 3 4 5

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6 7 8

Type of plane, — jet Birds build them out of twigs Blind, burrowing animals

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25 12

26 13




















qUIZ 1. Crux 2. Ruthenium 3. Cucumber 4. Caspian Sea 5. Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan 6. A forest spirit/keeper of the forest 7. Bears 8. Mayonnaise 9. Croatia 10. Jamie Foxx 4x4 ACROSS: 1. Slap, 5. Toga, 6. Ages, 7. Gods. DOWN: 1. Stag, 2. Logo, 3. Aged, 4. Pass.







U I C K N S e e S S A Y




e U S








Actress of Game Night and No. 011 Doctor Strange (6,7) 2 Actress of Book Club and × – = 3 Poms, – Keaton (5) + Abbey + 3 + Downton character played by=Jim7 × – Carter, Mr – (6) – Crime×thriller 4,÷34-across written and + – directed = by0 Joel and Ethan Coen, No = Country = for – (3,3) = 49 as Gaston 5 5 Actor3who starred in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and No. (4) 010 the Beast, – Evans 6 Home and Away character Insert thebymissing played Lynne letters McGranger, to–make 10 words – Roberts (5) reading across thestar of 7 five Actor and musician grid and five The Fault inreading Our Stars and down. Death Note, – Wolff (3) 1



abet, able, abler, ably, albeit, bail, bailer, bailey, bait, bale, baler, bare, barely, barite, barley, bate, bear, beat, belay, belt, beryl, beta, betray, bevy, bier, bile, bite, biter, blare, blear, bleary, bleat, brae, brat, brave, bravely, bray, brevity, brie, brit, byre, byte, liber, liberty, table, trebly, tribal, tribe, trilby, verb, verbal, VERITABLY, viable, viably, vibe, vibrate



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

T W e e D

Dennis Hopper’s 1993 neo-noir thriller (3,4,4) 12 Sci-fi horror starring Laurence and1 to Insert eachFishburne number from Sam Neill (5,7) 9 in the shaded squares to 13, 21-across solve all theQuadruple horizontal and Gold Logie-winning vertical equations. entertainer (4,6) and division 16 Multiplication Late actress whose final film are performed before was Something Wicked in addition and subtraction. 2014, Brittany – (6) 18 Actress who plays Christine Everhart in Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Leslie – (4) 20 Actor who played Brother Baines in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, – Hall (6) 21 See 13-across 22 Classic 1982 sci-fi starring Jeff Bridges as a computer programmer (4) 23 2013 British psychological horror film (2,4) 25, 26-down He plays Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (4,5) 27 Actress of the horror films Before I Wake and The Domestics (4,8)

RESET VERDI 31 Actress and singer RINDS who has wonVIBES three SAMBA VISAS Grammys, four Golden SAUTE Globes, threeWARTY Emmys and SHANK two Tony Awards (5,6) SLICE 6 LeTTeRS 33 STALK1983 drama directed GAELIC by and starring Barbra Streisand (5) STEED NAILED 34 See 4-down ORMOLU STEWS TAMPA 35 Classic 1942 RESALE Barbara TELLSStanwyck drama (3,3,7) THULE TORUS

HIDDEN WORD Trips, funny, pants, catch, opens, jumbo, nests, moles (TYPHOONS)


14 1959 classic directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Robert Mitchum (3,5,5) 15 Short-lived ’60s British crime series which has become a cult classic (7,3) 17 Rami Malek’s cyber thriller series, Mr – (5) 19 Hollywood legend who had a career spanning more than 50 years, – Davis (5) 24 Wilmer Valderrama’s NCIS character, Nick – (6) 26 See 25-across 28 Comedy directed by Seth MacFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg (3) 29 Actress who portrays Judy Garland in the biopic Judy, – Zellweger (5) 30 Popular Canadian teen drama series, The – Step (4) 31 2017 French 8drama set 7 LeTTeRS LeTTeRS in the ’90s, – (Beats per ILLEGAL AMPUTATE (1,1,1) Minute) LAYERED APERITIF LENIENT FILAMENT 32 Actress and singer of Glee MONDAYS UNDERSEA , and Scream Queens SURVEYS – Michele (3)

2 × 6 – 9 = 3 + + + 3 × 4 – 5 = 7 ÷ – × 1 + 7 – 8 = 0 = = = 5 3 49


No. 035

ANSWERS: 1B, 2D, 3D, 4A.



No. 044

WORD FIND Secret message: Cold-blooded beings

5 1 8 7 2 6 4 3 9 9 7 2 3 4 1 5 8 6 3 4 6 8 9 5 7 1 2 2 5 9 4 6 3 8 7 1 6 3 1 2 8 7 9 4 5 4 8 7 1 5 9 2 6 3 8 9 4 6 1 2 3 5 7 1 2 3 5 7 8 6 9 4 7 6 5 9 3 4 1 2 8

5 9 4 6 3 2 8 7 1 3 7 8 1 5 9 6 2 4 1 6 2 7 8 4 5 9 3 6 4 7 5 9 8 1 3 2 8 1 3 4 2 7 9 5 6 2 5 9 3 6 1 7 4 8 4 8 1 9 7 3 2 6 5 7 3 5 2 1 6 4 8 9 9 2 6 8 4 5 3 1 7





November 2023 | ISSUE 32 | 29


Let the games BEGIN

Carl Jennings doing waht he does best presenting to young people and Super 6 in action.

Vision of Blacktown Council


UPER 6 High Performance (S6HP) and Blacktown Council have entered a partnership to resurrect a new version of the Blacktown City Games - to be known as the Super 6 Youth Games. S6HP motivates youth through a physical and mental development program. The Super 6 Youth Games is a unique extension that enables all youth across all sporting codes to compete against each other within a specially designed arena-based event to find the best all-round athlete, The S6HP Junior Superstar. The Blacktown News and Western Sydney Express published by Community Broadcast Network are the official media partners for the event. Carl Jennings, Founder of Super 6 High Performance and the Super 6 Youth Games, told the Blacktown News: “The Super 6 Youth Games has been a dream of mine for several years, and I am extremely grateful and excited that Blacktown City Council has joined forces to deliver the Games Concept in 2024. “The Super 6 Youth Games is a showpiece of the Super 6 High- Performance program, a celebration of youth within our community and a vehicle to make social change through better health, wellbeing and behavioural change.” Carl Jennings NZBM is regarded as an expert in applied athletic development, with over 30 years working at the highest level of elite professional sport globally. He is the former Head of Strength and Conditioning for the NRL Penrith Panthers, Canberra Raiders, New Zealand Warriors, Crusaders New Zealand Rugby, and British and Irish Lions Team. During Carls’ time at the New Zealand Warriors, he was involved in a traumatic incident for which he received the New Zealand Bravery Medal. The event changed Carl’s why and his purpose and he gave up his highly successful coaching career. In 2016, the Super 6 High-Performance Program (S6HP) was created to help the youth with his unique approach to physical and emotional development.

Since Carl set up his program, he has had over 40,000 young athletes visit. Now based at the Blacktown Exercise Science and Technology Hub (B.E.S.T), he focuses on expanding his program nationally and eventually globally. Super 6 Chairman Bob Turner said Super 6 motivates youth through a unique physical and mental wellbeing program. “In my long career in sport spanning 47 years, I have not witnessed a similar initiative focused on all sports and all levels of ability. I commend Blacktown Council for its foresight in partnering with S6HP to deliver the inaugural Super 6 Youth Games. Super 6 is destined to become an anthem for youth sport,” Chairman Turner said. Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale said he is excited about the Super 6 Youth Games and the enthusiastic engagement of the youth of Blacktown City. “Our Council sees enormous value in events that enable more young people to be involved in sports and pursue active lifestyles. We see sport as an essential in our community and will continue to commit to providing first-class local sporting facilities for local athletes and sporting groups,” Mayor Bleasdale said. The Super 6 Youth Games, in conjunction with Blacktown City Council, will be staged at the Athletics Stadium Blacktown Exercise Science Technology Hub (B.E.S.T), Rooty Hill, Blacktown, the home of S6HP. It will become a celebration of the youth within the Blacktown community, with young athletes and volunteers united in a common cause to deliver an exceptional event that Blacktown can be proud of. The Super 6 Youth Games will be staged over three weekends:

Preliminary event 1 Saturday 9th March 2024 U17s U18s. Sunday 10th March 2024 U15s U16s.

Preliminary event 2 Saturday 23rd March 2024 U12s U13s. Sunday 24th March 2024 14s & Disabled athletes Final event. Saturday 4th May 2024 U12s U13s U14s & Disability. Sunday 5th May 2024 U15s U16s U17s U18s. The Preliminary events will include a combination of various skills specially selected to cover all aspects of athletic prowess, giving all who participate a level playing field.

100 M Sprint (Speed) Push Ups (Upper Body Muscular Endurance) B/W Squat (Lower Body Muscular Endurance) Broad Jump (Lower Body Horizontal Power) Vertical Jump (Lower Body Vertical Power) 1200 M Run (Aerobic Capacity). Cardio Equipment (Anaerobic Capacity) Basketball / Netball Shoot Out (Skill) Vortex Throw (Upper Body Power). The final event will include the S6HP Resilience Course - A unique final event with the top 6 in each age category to find the S6HP Junior Superstar! Although the Super 6 Youth Games is a stand-alone

competitive event, it will also act as a talent identification model as many of the events selected are utilised within sporting bodies talent identification processes. Registered athletes will be supplied with a Super 6 training shirt and shorts, receive a free preparation booklet that includes a 6-week training program, along with the S6HP Mental Skills “Survive and Thrive” curriculum, and an invitation to an orientation session to master the skills required. They will also be given ongoing support in relation to physical, mental and emotional development in line with the S6HP philosophy of supporting all young people within our community. The Super 6 Youth Games has selected BREED Australia as the major charity partner of the event. Super 6 High Performance and BREED Australia have an aligned vision of empowering youth and the broader communities through building resilience and emotional intelligence.BREED Australia General Manager Emmanuel Martin said partnering with Super 6 High Performance makes sense for BREED Australia. “I have seen firsthand the transformation that the Super 6 High-Performance model provides to young people,” he said. “A portion of the sponsorship money collected from the Youth Games will be provided to our organisation to run resilience workshops for participating athletes and their communities. Importantly, our values around resilience, empowerment, and community engagement are aligned.”

30 | ISSUE 32 | November 2023

Be part of the Blacktown Games




Super 6 High Performance (S6HP) and Blacktown Council have entered a partnership to resurrect a new version of the Blacktown City Games - to be known as the Super 6 Youth Games. S6HP motivates youth through a physical and mental development program. The Super 6 Youth Games is a unique extension that enables all youth across all sporting codes to compete against each other within a specially designed arena-based event to find the best all-round athlete, The Youth games are also designed to foster life skills in all young people around discipline and teamwork. Scan here to register your interest:

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

Change lives for the better Donate today at SPORT SPORTSQUIZ QUIZ 1. Which sports brand did tennis star Roger Federer part ways with in 2018? 2. Where were the 2022 World Street Skateboarding championships held? 3. Which sport is Dave Bautista best known for?

0-10: Rookie 11-20: Off the bench 21-25: Rising star 26+ Most valuable player

4. In which year was Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons first drafted into the NBA?

13. With Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio as vice-captains, who is captain of the GWS Giants?

5. Which NBL team does American athlete Tahjere McCall play for?

14. Which Portland Trail Blazers player won the Three-Point Contest at the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend?

6. In 2023, Dyson Heppell stepped down as Essendon's skipper after how many seasons in the role? 7. What is the title of Netflix’s 2023 golf documentary? 8. True or false: bouldering is a sport at the Olympics? 9. Which WWE star was recently filming for Ricky Stanicky alongside Zac Efron in Melbourne? 10. Who is the AFLW captain of Carlton? 11. Which NRL team did inaugural Dolphins captain Jesse Bromwich previously play for?

Ben Simmons 0303 November 2023

12. The Women’s Premier League Twenty20 cricket league debuted in March 2023 in which country?

Dyson Heppell

15. The 2023 Cup Of Nations international women’s soccer tournament was held in which Australian state? 16. And the 2023 Cup Of Nations featured Australia and which three other national teams? 17. Jack Ginnivan last played for which AFL team? 18. Which Sudan-born middle-distance runner was named 2023 WA Young Australian Of The Year? 19. DK Metcalf, MVP of the 2023 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game, plays for which NFL team? 20. Which Philadelphia 76ers player won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend?

21. Which Australian women’s cricket player went for more than half a million dollars at the inaugural Women’s Premier League draft? 22. At which Winter Olympics did Australia first compete? 23. A typical soccer ball has how many hexagons and pentagons? 24. The Essendon Football Club announced in January who as their vicecaptain, alongside Zach Merrett as captain? 25. In volleyball, how many points must a set be won by?

26. In which sport do competitors slide face down and head-first at speeds over 130km per hour? 27. When was the last time Arsenal won the Premier League title? 28. Out of his 61 bouts, how many did Muhammad Ali lose? 29. Melbourne United missed the NBL finals after which team beat the Sydney Kings by 12 points to jump ahead on the ladder? 30. A double eagle is a score of how many under par in golf?

1. Nike 2. United Arab Emirates 3. Wrestling 4. 2016 5. Cairns Taipans 6. Six 7. Full Swing 8. True 9. John Cena 10. Kerryn Peterson 11. Melbourne Storm 12. India 13. Toby Greene 14. Damian Lillard 15. New South Wales 16. Czech Republic, Jamaica and Spain 17. Collingwood 18. Peter Bol 19. Seattle Seahawks 20. Mac McClung 21. Ashleigh Gardner 22. 1936 Winter Olympics 23. 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons 24. Andrew McGrath 25. Two 26. Skeleton 27. 2003/2004 season 28. Five 29. Perth Wildcats 30. Four

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