Blacktown News - April 2024

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BNLACKTOWN Boys High and Blacktown Girls High are among the few most improved in Greater Sydney based on the 2023 Higher School Certificates results released by the NSW education department. The department used top two and top three band HSC data from the Centre of Education Statistics and Evaluation to recognise its most improved schools across the state. Top two bands include bands 5 and 6 for HSC standard courses and E3 and E4 for extension courses, while top three band include bands 4-6 (standard) and E2-E4 (extension). Blacktown Boys took top two and three bands while Blacktown Girls took top two bands to join other high schools with strong improvement in HSC results.

More: page 11

BLACKTOWN CITY FESTIVAL Month of May SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE Full program available from 9 April at
Blacktown high schools most improved in the HSC results
The 2023 graduates who sat for the HSC at Blacktown Boys High. Photo supplied.

Blacktown City Festival program – coming soon!

Blacktown City Festival is back and bigger than ever in 2024!

Throughout the whole month of May, there will be something for everyone!

Old favourites Blacktown City Medieval Fayre, and Streets Alive and Parade Day will return, along with a whole list of exciting new events!

More details, including our festival program, will be available soon at

HAVE YOUR SAY at our community forums

In 2024, Council will continue to give residents of Blacktown City the opportunity to ‘have your say’ on the local issues and projects that affect your everyday lives at a series of community forums.

Our ‘pop-up information stands’ provide you with the opportunity to meet the Mayor and your Ward Councillors, and gain valuable information on Council’s projects, services and plans.

Ward 2

Saturday 20 April from 9.30 am to 11.30 am

Quakers Court Shopping Centre

Ward 3

Saturday 6 April from noon to 2 pm

Seven Hill Festival

Ward 1

Saturday 11 May from 10 am to noon

Riverstone Festival

Ward 5

Saturday 15 June from 9.30 am to 11.30 am

Plumpton Marketplace

Ward 4

Saturday 22 June from 11 am to 1 pm

IGA Rooty Hill North Road (outside medical centre)

Seven Hills Festival

Saturday 6 April from 10 am to 4 pm


Riverstone Food Market

Saturday 13 April from 5 pm to 9 pm

Bambridge Lane, Riverstone

Nursery Open Day

Saturday 20 April from 9 am to 1 pm

Blacktown City Council Nursery, Kent Street, Blacktown

Nursery Open Days are for our residents who can’t pick up their annual allocation for the Nursery Giveaway Program during weekdays. These take place throughout the year.

Please note, these are not additional plant giveaways. Residents can collect two plants per property from a selection of native and exotic species. Nursery staff will be onsite to assist residents in selecting plants that will be appropriate for their garden. Proof of residency is required.

International Day of Mourning

Saturday 28 April from 9 am to 11 am

Blacktown Showground, Richmond Road, Blacktown

The International Day of Mourning is an important day to stop and reflect on those who have lost their lives, been injured, or made ill at work. On 28 April each year, countries around the world pause to remember and commemorate those who have lost their lives at work and share their memories.

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.
City Blacktown Snapshot 415,000 population 4% average economic growth 136,102 local jobs 30,543 registered businesses $22.6 billion economy $ For more information, and to view all of our upcoming events, visit Upcoming community events WHAT’S ON
The Riverstone Food Market is back! We look forward to welcoming back our favourite food trucks and local entertainment. Bring the whole family along for a night of delicious food and good vibes. Parking is available at Riverstone Market Place.
craft stalls,
kids rides,
Grantham Reserve, Mississippi Road, Seven Hills Join us for a fun-filled day of entertainment and activities for the whole family to enjoy including arts and
food trucks and stalls,
stage performances,
and workshops and
Grab the kids and neighbours and join us for a wonderful day out to celebrate your local

WESTERN SYDNEY ZOO’S GLOW FESTIVAL Half price entry for families

MONEY woes should not stop anyone from enjoying impressive sights and sounds at Western Sydney Zoo.

The popular zoo in Blacktown City’s tourist hub where glamourous pop music superstar Taylor Swift secretly last month with her Super Bowl champ boyfriend Travis Kelce has just unveiled its GLOW Festival.

This autumn after-dark festival is an impressive display of never-before-seen lightings that Sydney’s top creatives and techies have put together for the delight of the zoo’s tens of

thousands of followers.

The zoo management believes they can’t let zoo’s loyal fans down, particularly those reeling from the high cost of everything – such as rent, mortgage, basic groceries, and electricity.

A statement was released by the Sydney Zoo management, promising a half-price entry to the festival “to address the financial challenges facing many families, making it an affordable night for all.”

It means a typical family of four can go out for a night of entertainment at Sydney Zoo for half the cost of usual entry fee, or under $70 in total, so if they have spare $100, a family still have leftover change to

spend on food and drinks.

Adults’ entry now costs $19.99, kids up to 16 years old at $14.99 and children from two years old and under are free, and as a bonus, every ticket holder is entitled to free parking at the zoo.

“Recognising the demand for a local alternative to city-based light shows, Sydney Zoo saw an opportunity with GLOW to cater to the needs of residents in the west,” creative director Chris Rivett said.

“Since its debut in 2022, GLOW has drawn crowds of over 100,000 annually, solidifying its position as a cornerstone event in the city’s calendar.

“We’ve reimagined and expanded GLOW this year, creating an extraordinary experience for guests of all ages.

“With the addition of never-before-seen installations, this year’s GLOW promises to be truly unforgettable.”

Sydney Zoo is home to hundreds of the world’s reptile and native Australian animals frolicking on a 41acre ground created as their natural habitat.

GLOW Festival will be held over 23 nights from May 10 to June 1 this year. To get your pre-sale tickets at half the price, visit https://sydneyzoo. com/glow/

Premium land release coming soon

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

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

• Well positioned near the rapidly expanding Oran Park Town Centre

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

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

Visit the Sales Office today and discover all Oran Park has to offer.

Scan the QR code to register your interest to be informed about future land releases.

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 3 NewS
The scenes after-dark at Sydney Zoo GLOW Festival in Eastern Creek are surely a hit to Sydneysiders of all ages. Photo supplied by Sydney Zoo.

Details coming soon for our 2024 event.

SECTIONS 4 ISSUE 37 | April 2024 Editor's Picks BLACKTOWN’S TRUSTED LOCAL MEDIA VOICE Read the digital edition 24/7 at our website B N ISSUE 37 | April 2024 How to get The News The Blacktown News is available at strategic locations throughout Blacktown LGA. To find a location near you visit our website. Digital edition Each edition of The Blacktown News can be viewed and downloaded in digitalf ormat at our ISSUU platform: www.issuu/communitybroadcastnetwork Contacts Editorial Admin and General Editor Michael Walls Advertising sales Julie Jackson Linda Miller Platinum Media Partner The Blacktown News is platinum media partner for the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber Support Partner The Blacktown News is the official media partner of Blacktown FC. Exclusive media partner ISSUE 37 APRIL 2024 TRUSTED LOCAL NEWS WWW.GREATERBLACKTOWNNEWS.COM.AU B N WESTERN SYDNEY ZOO’S GLOW FESTIVAL BLACKTOWN Boys High and Blacktown Girls High are among the few most improved in Greater Sydney based on the 2023 Higher School Certificates results released by the NSW education department.The department used top two and top three band HSC data from the Centre of Education Statistics and Evaluation to recognise its most improved schools across the state.Top two bands include bands 5 and 6 for HSC standard courses and E3 and E4 for extension courses, while top three band include bands 4-6 (standard) and E2-E4 (extension). Blacktown Boys took top two and three bands while Blacktown Girls took top two bands to join other high schools with strong improvement in HSC results. More: page 11 Blacktown high schools most improved in the HSC results BLACKTOWN CITY FESTIVAL Month of May SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE Full program available from 9 April at The 2023 graduates sat for the HSC Boys High. Photo supplied. LOCAL BUS NESS BUSINESS AWARDS FINAL STS FINALISTS FUNDING FOR TOONGABBIE BRIDGE Efforts to clear the air continue.TRAVEL Win tickets to Warren Miller ski movies. Our Evolving City: Festivals take centre stage. 43 64944 News..........................................3 Stephen Bali ..............................7 Blacktown Workers Club ...........8 Newsbytes ...............................12 Blacktown Local Business Awards Finalists 2024 ..........................17 Michelle Rowland ....................43 Magazine .................................44 Fitness .....................................45 Healthy Western Sydney .........46 Travel .......................................48 Sport ........................................55 MICHELLE ROWLAND Advocacy leads to a new tower. WEXPO at Blacktown Workers Club

LOCALS WATCH QUESTION TIME IN ACTION Minister hosts Parliament event

CHIFLEY MP and Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic hosted a group of Blacktown residents to watch Question Time in Canberra recently and his guests amazed to see Prime Minister and politicians in action.

“I saw many different people, from different countries and backgrounds all working together in the one building,” first time visitor Osman Abdulrahaman, a migrant from Sudan, said.

“It was easy to see the Prime Minister [Anthony Albanese] and other parliamentary members, which is very different from Sudan.

“It made me feel that anyone can be a member of parliament one day if you want to help other Australians.”

Mr Abdulrahaman was among 25 representatives of migrant and refugee groups from the Blacktown area invited to see how the 151 members of parliament in the lower house and 76 senators in the upper house are working together as legislators.

The tour hosted by Mr Husic was part of NSW government’s civic funding grant to educate soon-to-be Australian citizens how the three tiers of governments are working together as a political system initiating and implementing changes by enacting legislations.

The group’s visit was made pos-

sible by Blacktown MP Stephen Bali nominating the SydWest Multicultural Settlement Program to receive $30,000 grant so it can facilitate educational tours for those getting ready to become Australian citizens.

For Rabia Johini, who came to Australia two years ago from Kabul, the parliament tour with Mr Husic opened her eyes to see a brighter future for girls and women from Afghanistan.

Ms Johini said while she has been

fortunate to have received earlier training to become a lawyer in Afghanistan, the current situation in the Middle East “prevented women and girls from going to school and to work.”

“‘It was good to see different people, different cultures, and women coming into the parliament,’ Ms Johini said.

“It was valuable to see Parliament House and Australian democracy in action.”

“When people understand the functions of all our tiers of government, agencies, departments, and courts they can engage more fully and confidently in the Australian community.

“This will put participants in a great position to be able to advocate and make representations on behalf of themselves or their communities.

“Ultimately the program aims to foster a sense of belonging, inclusion and empowerment so that our new arrivals can contribute meaningfully to the Australian society.’

Mr Meru said they appreciated Minister Husic taking time out of his schedule to meet the group and grateful to Mr Bali for nominating the project for funding under the Local Small Commitments Allocation Program.

Mr Meru said the funds will help SydWest design comprehensive civic and leadership courses, conduct awareness sessions and facilitate more field visits to parliaments in Canberra and at Macquarie Street and the Blacktown Council so they can get to know how their local government is run by councillors.

SydWest program manager Clement Meru said the educational program allowed them to bring together leaders and influencers from across cultural groups in the Blacktown needing leadership training.

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 5 NewS
THE SKILL SET Join us these school holidays and put your sporting skills to the test! MON 15 – SUN 28 APR 11AM – 3PM DAILY (excludes ANZAC Day) Discover more
At the steps to Canberra’s Parliament House are members of Blacktown City’s multicultural communities and SydWest Mulcultural Settlement Program manager Clement Meru welcomed by Chifley MP and Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic. Photo supplied.

Efforts to clear the air continue

OFFENSIVE odour monitoring by environment and health authorities is continuing at the Eastern Creek landfill operated by Dial-A-Dump which has been recently ordered by the court to pay a hefty penalty for it.

More than 700 complaints have been lodged before the NSW Environmental Protection Agency coming from nearby residents traumatised by the “insufferable rotten egg” odour since 2021.

EPA regulatory operations director Jason Gordon said they expected “adequate controls should have been in place to collect landfill gas at the Eastern Creek facility to protect the community.”

“It is not acceptable for residents to suffer for months ongoing odours from industrial neighbours that impact their wellbeing and day-to-day [activities],” Mr Gordon said.

“Waste facilities have obligations under their licence to ensure potential odours have measures in place to counter any odour emissions.

“We know this incident was very traumatising for surrounding communities, but we want to thank them for their assistance in securing this outcome.”

Dial-A-Dump, a subsidiary of Bingo Industries, operates the Eastern Creek

landfill facility and developing the site into a recycling and renewable energy generating zone for Western Sydney. EPA and Blacktown City Council environmental health authorities have been inspecting the facility and conducting air monitoring following complaints from hundreds of residents in Eastern Creek, Horsley Park and Minchinbury. Their findings led to the Land and Environment Court issuing on March

26 a $280,000 fine to Dial-A-Dump, including paying $42,575 for EPA’s investigation cost and legal costs estimated at $365,000.

Blacktown City Council which has local jurisdiction over the suburbs impacted by the odour from the landfill will be awarded half of the $280,000 penalty to spend on environmental restoration project for impacted residential areas.

Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said

council environmental health officers have been involved for many years in the in-depth investigation of the odour source alongside EPA.

“The Court’s decision to allocate a portion of the penalty towards an environmental restoration project in Minchinbury is a positive step towards rectifying the harm caused,” Clr Bleasdale said.

“The EPA received around 750 complaints from residents in Sydney’s west about offensive rotten egg gas odours in 2021 coming from the company’s Eastern Creek landfill between March and June 2021.

“The residents’ complaints could not be clearer, for those affected the odour was insufferable. These penalties underscore the severity of the odour situation for our residents.

It is understood Council is in the process of identifying several projects to assist the impacted communities.

Mr Gordon said since odour investigations commenced, there have been limited odour complaints, but EPA will continue to conduct regular inspections and air monitoring to minimise further risks to nearby communities.

Concerned residents can contact the 24-hour Environment Line on 131 555 or email info@ More details on EPA odour investigations on au/working-together/community-engagement/ updates-on-issues/odour-investigations.

Sydney Water in Northwest

SYDNEY Water is delivering the Northwest Treatment Hub Growth Program starting with a $595M upgrade of Rouse Hill and Riverstone Water Resource Recovery Facilities in partnership with John Holland, Stantec and KBR.

The 10-year program will increase wastewater treatment capacity across three of Sydney Water’s Water Resource Recovery Facilities as Sydney’s northwest continues to grow, creating opportunity for an additional 200,000 new house connections.

Sydney Water Project Director, Bernard Clancy said the first stage of the Growth Program will cater for an additional 110,0000 households in the Rouse Hill and Riverstone WRRF catchment areas.

“Increasing the capacity at Rouse Hill Water Resource Recovery Facility is critical to allow for growth and handle the increase wastewater flows generated with the expanding population,” Mr Clancy said.

“Sydney Water is focused on getting the best environmental outcomes. This project will make sure the water we put back into local waterways is healthy, safe and protects the environment,” Mr Clancy said.

“Treatment upgrades will also be undertaken to improve the reliability of recycled water supply for the Rouse Hill Recycled Water Scheme and to maintain the health of local waterways and the Hawkesbury Nepean River.”

The first stage of the Growth Program also includes upgrades to Riverstone Water Resource Recovery Facility, with a new biosolids handling plant being built to ensure the ongoing beneficial reuse of product generated from the facility.

Design and procurement of critical pieces of equipment is now progressing and construction is expected to start in late 2024.

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The Eastern Creek landfill facility operated by Dial-A-Dump is being developed into a recycling and renewable energy generating zone. Sydney Water Project Director,Bernard Clancy.

BLACKTOWN CITY 12 months of working for you

The Minns Labor Government has just celebrated it’s first year in office and thanks to the tireless work of your local members, after just one year, Blacktown City Residents are better off.

Biggest pay increase for NSW public sector workers in more than a decade

Applied a $60/wk cap on tolls

Banned hidden speed cameras

$120m for new beds at Blacktown & Mount Druitt hospitals

Extra $400m (now $700m) for new Rouse Hill Hospital

Over $2m for Blacktown Women’s and Girls Health Centre

$4.3 million to conduct a rapid feasibility study & support the opening of Prospect Reservoir for community swimming and aquatic recreation

$18.6m for McGrath breast care nurses

Energy rebates through Services NSW & preschool fee relief for eligible residents

Simplified public housing by consolidating all former agencies into Homes NSW Upgrades to Doonside Railway Station complete with lift access

Secured funding for Bandon Road & Garfield Road East upgrades

Defeated the incinerator proposal for Eastern Creek

$2 million to investigate potential improvements to Toongabbie Bridge

$68 million for the Prospect Highway upgrade between Reservoir Road & St Martins

Crescent 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 & 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 April 2024. jtcelebratedit’s jtone
working foryou e way The and yea ye

Battle of Vinegar Hill commemorated

ON March 5 1804, a group of more than 200 escaped convicts and a few settlers faced off against a contingent of British soldiers near Rouse Hill in Western Sydney in what became known as the Battle of Vinegar Hill.

Earlier this month, a commemoration ceremony was held at the Vinegar Hill Memorial in the Castlebrook Memorial Gardens, Rouse Hill, marking the 220th anniversary of that battle, the first between Europeans on Australian soil.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM led the commemoration along with the Irish Consul General in Sydney Rosie Kean, local historians, Councillors and members of Sydney’s Irish community.

The ceremony included the laying of three wreaths, the singing of both the Australian and Irish national anthems, speeches by Mayor Bleasdale and Consul General Kean, Irish pipe music performances and an historical perspective of the Battle of Vinegar Hill by the Secretary of Castle Hill Historical Society, Pam Wilson.

While Australia’s Battle of Vinegar Hill, or Vinegar Hill Rebellion, was fought in 1804, the seeds of the uprising can be traced to the bloody battle at Vinegar Hill in County Wexford, Ireland in 1798.

Thousands of Irish rebels were killed or captured by British troops in the battle regarded as a major turning point of the Irish rebellion. A number

of those rebels were transported to New South Wales and found their way to the Castle Hill Convict Farm

On 4 March 1804, 233 convicts, led by Philip Cunningham, a veteran of the 1798 rebellion, escaped from Castle Hill

TConvict Farm and planned to march on Parramatta and Sydney under the banner “liberty and equality”.

Martial law was declared and eventually Cunningham’s rebels were defeated by British troops in Australia’s Battle of Vinegar Hill. The leaders of the rebels were either killed in battle or executed.

The Vinegar Hill Monument was unveiled by former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam on March 5, 1988.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor Bleasdale said: “While both Battles of Vinegar Hill resulted in defeat of the rebels by British troops, they both shared a common spirit of rebellion and the fight for liberty and equality.

“The Vinegar Hill Monument here in Rouse Hill is not only a monument

to the Battle of Vinegar Hill but also a monument to liberty and equality and a monument to the pioneering spirit and determination of those early European settlers no matter what their nationality or social standing.”

Irish Consul General Rosie Kean said: “I am incredibly proud to be here, celebrating the battle of Vinegar Hill. Irish people feel at home here in the City of Blacktown and there are so many reasons for this, not the least of which is a shared culture.”

The commemoration ceremony was followed by an Irish Appreciation Day at The Fiddler, Rouse Hill to celebrate Blacktown City Council’s ‘Sister City’ relationship with Enniscorthy, County Wexford in Ireland, signed in August 2023.

Toongabbie Bridge funding committed

HE NSW Government has committed $2M to investigating improvements to Toongabbie Bridge, to help ease queuing and traffic delays on the rail overpass and local road networks adjacent to Toongabbie Station.

The State Minister for Transport, John Graham joined Dr Hugh McDermott, Member for Prospect, local residents and officials from Transport for NSW, for a site inspection of the Toongabbie Bridge in March, as part of the Minns Labor government’s funding to improve traffic flow in the Electorate of Prospect.

Toongabbie bridge is a key connecting corridor in the local Prospect Electorate and is a link to the major arterials between Seven Hills Road and the Cumberland Highway. Residents have been calling for upgrades to the bridge after years of inaction from the previous governments.

Minister Graham said that the NSW Government “has committed to ensuring that we are building and improving the local roads in our communities that we use every day, and improving Toongabbie Bridge is key.”

The project had originally been identified as a Transport for NSW

bridge project, however, the outcomes from the Toongabbie Improvement Works Strategic Business Case identified that solutions are dependent on local road upgrades.

Subsequently, the project was updated in scope to be led by the City of Parramatta and Cumberland City Council, relating to recommended local

road and intersection upgrade projects. Traffic modelling, design development, council consultation and cost analysis have now been completed, with the project handed over to City of Parramatta and Cumberland City Councils in November 2023. These councils will continue their planning of identified local road and intersection hot spot solutions.

Dr McDermott said; “Continuing this work will ultimately support the local community by easing congestion, improving traffic flow and travel times across Toongabbie Bridge and around Toongabbie Station.”

“My thanks go to Parramatta Council and Cumberland Council as well as Transport for NSW for looking at the future of Toongabbie Bridge so that we can get the plan right for the future of Toongabbie Bridge,” he said.

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Councillor Sameer Pandey, Parramatta Council, John Graham, NSW Minister for Roads and Member for Prospect Dtr Hugh McDermot. Mayor Tony Bleasdale at the Vinegar Hill commemoration. Crowd and Mayor Tony Bleasdale at the Vinegar Hill Commemoration.
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With residents of Toongabbie.


Most improved HSC results in 2023

BLACKTOWN Boys High and Blacktown Girls High are among the few most improved in Greater Sydney based on the 2023 Higher School Certificates results released by the NSW education department.

The department used top two and top three band HSC data from the Centre of Education Statistics and Evaluation to recognise its most improved schools across the state.

Top two bands include bands 5 and 6 for HSC standard courses and E3 and E4 for extension courses, while top three band include bands 4-6 (standard) and E2-E4 (extension).

Blacktown Boys took top two and three bands while Blacktown Girls took top two bands to join other high schools with strong improvement in HSC results topped by Killarney Heights High with top two and three bands and Matraville Sports High School with top three bands.

Education Secretary Murat Dizdar congratulated the schools, school leaders and students on their success.

“This is an outstanding result not only for the schools, but staff, students and their communities,” Mr Dizdar said.

“This improvement demon-


strates an ongoing commitment to student and school success in the HSC, and the support of dedicated teaching staff to sustain it.

“These achievements do not happen in isolation. It is the collective efforts of a whole school community to provide outstanding learning experiences in every classroom that challenges and grows our students.”

Blacktown Boys principal David Calleja said they have been preparing the students to sit for HSC exams starting from Year 10 and 11.

“We conduct personalised interviews with students, their teachers and families, to plan the education pathway for both our ATAR and non-ATAR candidates,” Mr Calleja said.

Having received the news

their school was among those most improved in HSC results, this year’s students sitting for the exam are polishing up to match the encouraging results, Blacktown Girls High principal Maria Trimmis said.

“Blacktown Girls High School staff and students are extremely proud of our 2023 HSC cohort and their achievements.

“The staff have been focused on delivering structured and effective lesson design, promoting deep understanding, mastery of skills, and building confidence in our learners.

“Teachers can easily assess student progress and adjust instruction as needed, while students understand what they need to accomplish.

“Our current HSC cohort is excited to try and match or outdo the achievements of their 2023 alumni.”

The other most improved high schools in Greater Sydney region based on CESE data (in alphabetical order):

• Bossley Park High School.

• Chatswood High School.

• Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design.

• Glenwood High School.

• Granville Boys High School.

• Hawkesbury High School.

• Ingleburn High School.

• Kingswood High School.

• Marrickville High School.

• Rose Bay Secondary College.

• Sarah Redfern High School.

• Sylvania High School.

More than 330,000 high school students from across NSW will sit for HSC this year, the department said.

Students eating the rainbow challenge

ACHALLENGE to always eat healthy foods sounds like a huge task for Marayong’s St Andrews Primary School students.

But don’t be surprised if these kids and their parents have taken it on board with ample guidance from teacher Judith McMurrich.

Each day at school, their lunch boxes are packed with more fruits and vegetables inspired by the colours of the rainbow, and they’re enjoying having it with their peers.

It’s the school’s ‘Crunch and Sip’ program that had parents approving it since its introduction, including the school canteen serving healthy choices such as salads, wraps and sushi.

“Our canteen has embraced healthy option lunches that still feel like a treat for the students,” Ms McMurrich said.

“For example, we have sparkling flavoured mineral water that the students love but contains a lot less sugar than other soft drink options.

“Our canteen also sells seasonal fruit salads, healthy salads, wrap and sushi. They see them as a treat, but they’re not full of fat and sugar.”

St Andrews took part in the AIA Healthiest Schools Program running across schools showing students why “eating the rainbow” foods are beneficial to their growing up years.

Ms McMurrich has been tasked to coordinate the program at St Andrews after completing a training

program with teachers from other schools.

AIA Australia initiated the supplementary educational program, among the large corporates in the country, to help schools ensure their students are also gaining vital knowledge on how to maintain their health and wellbeing from youth to adulthood.

The AIA program was designed following an Australian Bureau of Statistics findings in the National Health Survey in 2022 revealing that the proportion of children and teenagers below 17 years old who are not eating sufficient fruits daily doubled in the last 10 years to 5.8 percent from 2.8 percent in 2012 and tripled to 4.5 percent from 1.5 percent on vegetables.

The number of children in ages two to 17 years who are not meeting the recommended fruits and vegetables serving per day in their meals have also decreased to 73 percent, from 63.9 percent in 2018, or more than six in 10 of these children in the two to 17 age group, the ABS findings said.

Ms Mcmurrich said the AIA program showed them how to use innovative teaching resources that would entice students at primary and secondary levels to eat healthy, live an active lifestyle, prioritise mental wellbeing and sustainability in their environment.

“I’ve noticed in the classroom that this program has now transferred to the choices they are making in their daily ‘crunch and sip’ session, as well as their general food choices throughout the day.

“They loved the idea of ‘eating the rainbow’ and this has become a new ‘challenge’ for them to see how many colours they can bring in to school each day.”

Since the program was introduced at the school,

Ms McMurrich said the parents have “always loved it” because it was “engaging their children to learn about key wellbeing pillars including mental, physical and their relationship to the environment.”

Just on its second year, yet the program has already seen St Andrews’ students, including the many parents happily responding well to the initial results, Ms McMurrich said.

On top of the daily classroom resources, many schools in Western Sydney have added the AIA Healthiest Schools Program in the lessons to make their students and communities healthier and happier as concerns grow around children’s health, Ms McMurrich said.

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 11 NewS
Current Blacktown Girls High School Year 12 Advanced English students at the Seymour Centre in Sydney last week to watch Shakespeare’s King Richard III play as part of their HSC subjects. Photo supplied. A group of St Andrews Primary School students at Marayong pictured at a school lunch break with their rainbow foods. Photo supplied.

Half admit emotional baggage

NEW research by eharmony highlights the impact of past relationships on future love lives. Almost half of respondents admit to carrying emotional baggage, with anger issues and addiction cited as the most troublesome. Despite this, many aim to learn from past mistakes to improve future relationships. However, there’s a paradox: while individuals acknowledge their own baggage, they may judge potential partners harshly for theirs, revealing complexities in navigating emotional baggage in relationships.

New Bill for community workers’ rights

THE NSW Government has unveiled a draft bill to extend leave rights for up to 250,000 community sector workers, allowing quicker access to long service leave and portability across multiple employers. Targeting disability care, domestic violence, and homelessness services, the reform aims to address job insecurity and retain essential workers. The scheme, mirroring other jurisdictions, responds to the sector’s high casualization and predominantly female workforce, aligning with the Government’s commitment to support social service workers.

Pharmacy trial proves successful

THE NSW Government’s pharmacy trial has exceeded 12,000 consultations, easing GP burden and enhancing medication access. Trained pharmacists manage UTIs and provide oral contraceptives, with over 11,000 UTI consultations and 854 pill consultations since May and September 2023, respectively. The trial expands to include treatments for minor skin conditions. Minister Ryan Park emphasizes the initiative’s e fficiency and safety, aiming for further expansion to improve healthcare accessibility.

Mathematics won’t be mandated

THE Independent Education Union of Australia applauds NSW Education Standards Authority’s decision not to mandate mathematics for Years 11 and 12 students. With teacher shortages at peak levels, the move is considered pragmatic. Compulsory math would exacerbate the deficit in STEM educators, reducing subject choices and hindering student enrolment in non-government schools. The IEU advocates for en-

hanced professional development for primary teachers to bolster mathematics education.

Experts recommend using mouthguards

AS the 2024 rugby and football seasons approach, parents and athletes are urged to prioritize oral health. Shockingly, only 36% of Australians wear mouthguards during

Surgery waitlist drops 85%

Scontact sports, increasing the risk of severe injuries like fractured teeth and broken jaws. Dr Cathryn Madden emphasizes the importance of custom-fitted mouthguards from dentists to ensure proper protection, comfort, and prevention of injuries. Bupa Health Insurance members can access no-gap mouthguards at participating clinics, promoting safer sports participation.

INCE March 2023, NSW’s planned surgery waitlist has dropped by 85%, thanks to the Surgical Care Governance Taskforce and dedicated health staff. Over 12,000 fewer people await overdue procedures, with 83.6% of surgeries performed on time. Measures like expanding same-day surgery eligibility and boosting healthcare workforce help alleviate pressure on hospitals. Premier Chris Minns commends progress but acknowledges ongoing efforts to ensure prompt healthcare delivery.

from $299 WE

Christine and Peter exceptional seniors

LOCAL seniors Christine Nield and Peter Overton were joint recipients of the 2024 Blacktown City Senior Citizen of the Year Award.

Council celebrated their extraordinary dedication as senior citizens passionately serving their community through volunteer work that makes a difference in other people’s lives.

Blackton City mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM led the awarding ceremonies recently and congratulated them for their achievements.

“This award provides Council with an opportunity to acknowledge and honour the heroes within our senior community in Blacktown City,” Clr Bleasdale said.

“With over 61,000 individuals aged over 65 living in Blacktown City, their remarkable contributions, frequently through voluntary and unpaid work, significantly enrich our community.

“I express my gratitude and congratulations to Christine and Peter for their countless hours of dedication. They are truly deserving recipients of this award.”

Christine, a long-time Blacktown resident, actively supports her community through initiatives such as the Quakers Hill Neighbourhood Centre’s donation appeal.

She also assists the Blacktown Council’s knit bomb project against domestic violence and Boomerang Bags at Riverstone which repurposes fabric to create environmentally friendly items.

Her innovative contributions included making book pillows for early literacy and crafting bags for Kids Early Learning, highlight her dedication to making a difference. Clr Bleasdale said Christine’s dedication to making a difference in people’s lives

deserves the recognition, particularly her kindness and generosity.

For three decades, Peter’s home in Quakers Hill drew crowds from near and far with stunning display of lights and decorations every Christmas season.

Peter makes meticulous and lively handmade Christmas decorations, starting the preparations and set-up every October and November.

By December, in the lead up to Christmas and New Year, his attractive Christmas decorations always amaze thousands of people visiting his street each night.

Peter also organises gatherings such as Christmas barbecue for visitors and visits from Santa riding on a fire truck.

Clr Bleasdale said they are saddened that Peter has however finally decided to turn down the lights after 30 years of

As Peter reluctantly hangs up the ladder, Clr Bleasdale said Council congratulates Peter for the recognition he truly deserves.

Councils welcome motorway toll review

THE peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has welcomed the findings of the independent review of motorway toll pricing across Sydney.

Led by Professor Allan Fels (former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and Dr David Cousins, the review was set up by the NSW Government in 2023 to examine the basis for setting motorway tolls in Sydney. The review has concluded that toll

reform is preferable to toll relief schemes, which the report says are “expensive and more likely to be claimed by drivers from middle and high-income households”.

Other recommendations of the review include:

• Using legislation to allow the government to take back control of tolls,

• Giving the independent pricing regulator “significant oversight” in setting the price of tolls,

• Charging motorists less the longer they drive on toll roads, and

• Two-way tolling on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Harbour Tunnel and Eastern Distributor.

“WSROC has been advocating for a review of road tolls over many years, urging the government to make toll roads simpler and fairer,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert.

“The people of Western Sydney are more greatly impacted by tolling issues than other parts of Sydney, due to their greater dependence on private vehicles resulting from Western Sydney’s lack of

equivalent public transport coverage and capacity.

“Also, on average, Western Sydney residents travel further to access jobs, services, and recreation. As a result, tolls represent the second largest cost for most households in Western Sydney.

“In effect, road tolls and the fuel excise constitute a regressive tax, which greatly and disproportionately burden working families in Western Sydney, already contending with soaring energy costs, rents, and food price inflation.”

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 13 NewS
selfless dedication. Christine Nield and Peter Overton received the 2024 Blacktown City Senior Citizens of the Year Award from Blacktown City Council mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM. Photo supplied by Blacktown City Council.
HAVE YOUR SAY on the future of Blacktown Join the conversation Let your voice play a pivotal role in shaping the dynamic and vibrant future of Blacktown Quarter. Do you have questions? Get in touch with our project team at: Follow us @blacktownquarter


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Retirement Village is now open in Blacktown!

St Hedwig Retirement Village is now open and the time to live in this beautiful community has arrived!

The village has undergone an impressive redevelopment featuring 72 brand new one, two and three bedroom apartments that have been elegantly designed and thoughtfully appointed with quality finishes and premium amenities.

Call 1300 191 472 or visit and make your appointment to tour the village today.

Surrounded by peaceful, native bushland and located within a short distance to public transport, shopping precincts and medical services, the village provides the convenience of living within a welcoming haven where everything you need is on your doorstep.

With prices starting from $475,000* and over 50% of the apartments already sold, you will need to act quickly to secure your new home in this unique retirement village.

Make a move to a place where nature, convenience and community connect and every detail has been designed for your comfort.

*Residents of retirement villages will need to pay monthly 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 apartments as at January 2024 and is subject to change.



OLLYWOOD has the Oscars and the music industry has the Grammys – but for Blacktown City businesses, the annual night of nights is Tuesday, May 14.

That’s the date of the 2024 Blacktown City Local Business Awards.

Precedent Productions Managing Director and Awards founder Steve Loe said: “There’s no doubt that local business owners and their staff work hard to provide the best possible service to their customers.

“That’s why the annual Blacktown City Local Business Awards presentation night is always such a popular event.

“It’s a glittering event that gives finalists a chance to dress up and take a break so they can enjoy an evening of entertainment, good food, relaxed chat and celebration with their colleagues and people from other businesses from around the district.”

Mr Loe said being a finalist at the Blacktown City Local Business Awards presentation night was an enormous achievement.

“It’s also a chance for businesspeople and their teams to reflect on their successes with a fun night out,” he said.

“Making it to the finalist presentation is a great reflection on their efforts

and everyone is always extremely proud to be there. All finalists in each category are announced, with their picture shown on the big screen.

“It’s heart-warming to hear the deafening cheers from the crowd as everyone celebrates the achievement of all the businesses in the room.”

Finalists have been decided and in this special feature all are listed on pages 30 and 31. Mr Loe said the high quality of all nominees had made the job of judges incredibly difficult.

“The Blacktown News, which has supported the awards as media partner for many years, will announce the finalists in each category with a special


feature in today’s paper,” he said.

“This is a chance for customers and clients to see if the businesses they nominated have become finalists.”

The Blacktown City Local Business Awards are only possible with the support of Presenting Partner, Com-

monwealth Bank and Major Partners, Blacktown City Coucnil, Blacktown Workers Club, Westpoint and NOVA Employment and support partners, Cornerstone and White Key Marketing.

“It’s with great pleasure that I congratulate all the finalists on their achievements, on behalf of the Blacktown City Local Business Awards,” Mr Loe said.

I lik he Blacktown C ity for the hu that con ow the nesses th ward “ e u b w t m abou Busi it heb

“I would also like to thank the Blacktown City community for the huge support that they continue to show for their local businesses through the Awards every year.

“Without them, these outstanding businesses would receive the recognition which they deserve.”

For more information about the Local Business Awards, visit www. thebusinessawards.

pahance an f th y ve ort
Last year’s winners.


GOSHUKAN Karate Academy teaches traditional Japanese “Goju Ryu” Karate, and was established in 2018 by Stacey Karetsian Shihan.

Stacey Shihan is a 7th Dan Black Belt in both Seiwakai Goju Ryu and the Japan Karate Federation (JKF) Goju Kai, and has been training in and teaching karate since 1984.

Goju Ryu is a traditional style of karate that was developed in Okinawa, Japan, by Chojun Miyagi Sensei. It emphasises a combination of hard and soft techniques, creating a holistic approach to practical self-defence, physical fitness, and mental discipline. Goju Ryu is known as one of the oldest and most popular karate styles in the world. (History of Karate and Goju Ryu) Goshukan Karate Academy prides itself on maintaining high standards of instruction, providing a supportive and disciplined training environment. Students are encouraged to develop physical strength, mental focus, and character development through their karate practice. The training follows a structured curric-

ulum that covers all three aspects of karate; kihon (basics), kata (forms), and kumite (sparring). Students are taught the fundamental techniques and principles of karate, ensuring a solid foundation for their martial arts journey.

Our Karate Academy places great emphasis on the philosophical and life lessons that are embodied in the art of karate. Our Values & Guiding Principles help to form the foundation of life-long personal growth.

We aim to instill qualities such as integrity, humility, perseverance, and an indomitable spirit in our students. By embracing these principles, we not only excel in our karate practice but also grow as individuals, embodying the true spirit of traditional Japanese karate.

It is these values and training principles that makes Goshukan Karate Academy a popular choice for individuals and parents seeking a quality and authentic karate club for their children.

Whether you are a beginner seeking to embark on a new path or a seasoned practitioner in search of further refinement, our academy offers a welcoming and supportive environment for people of all ages to learn this amazing martial art.

Affiliations & Accreditations (Seiwakai Goju Ryu - JKF Gojukai - AFTK)

Goshukan Karate Academy is a member of the Seiwakai Goju Ryu Karate Organisation. We are also members of the Japan Karate-Do Federation (JKF) Goju Kai, The Japan Karate Federation Goju Kai Australia (JKFGA), and the Australasian Federation of Traditional Karate and Kobudo (AFTK).

Visit: www.

Carevan Blacktown is a non-remunerated local charity operating in the Blacktown LGA since 2011, serving the community’s most socially and financially vulnerable, without question, criteria, or cost. Run by a group of dedicated volunteers, Carevan Blacktown provides a welcoming weekly meal and food support service at the Lalor Park community hall every Tuesday night. We create a welcoming environment for all to attend, facilitating a connection between a benevolent community and an ever-growing number of people experiencing poverty, loneliness and other social challenges, people most in need of this kindness and care. Visit us at exhibitor space C13 in the diamond Room.

02 9679 8992 20 Garling Road, Kings Park SERVICING SYDNEY FOR OVER 25 YEARS • Prescriptions • Medicine & Ailments • Baby & Child Health • Women's Health • Men's Health • Vitamins & Supplements • Home Health Care • Personal Care & Wellbeing • Compounding Services Our store is 67-73 Main St, Blacktown (Next to ANZ) Ph: 02 9622 1937
Shop 1035AWestpoint Blacktown 17 Patrick St Blacktown | NSW 2148 and the phone number: 02 8814 9387. PROPERTY INVESTMENT GROUP Passionate YourChild Nurturing WhyParentsTrustLearningBlocks Dural/CastleHill SCAN HERE TOGET STARTED LocatedinQuakersHill,CastleHill/Dural,and OpeningSoonatRiverstone
LalorParkHotBread 28 Freeman Street LALOR PARK New SouthWales, 2147 Category Bakery/Cake Business
2023 Local Business Award Winner - Lalor Park Hot Bread is a family-owned bakery in Blacktown renowned for its delicious cakes, banh mis, pies and bread rolls.

Message from Mayor

Tony Bleasdale, OAM

BlacktownCityCouncilisproudtobea majorsponsoroftheBlacktownCityand MountDruittStMarysLocalBusiness Awards.

Blacktownisoneofthefastestgrowing citiesinAustralia,withourcurrent populationofover435,000forecastto growtoover600,000residentswithin 20 years.

Oureconomyisover$23billionand basedonthetradingactivityofover 30,000 local businesses.

30,000 Registered businesses supporting

136,000 Local jobs

435,000 Population

23 billion Economy

4% Average economic growth rate

thatitisparticularlyimportantforourCounciltosupportlocal businesseswhoarethe backbone of our economy.

TheLocalBusinessAwardsisanopportunityforourcommunity challenging tocometogetherandacknowledgethegreatworkourlocal businessesaredoinginprovidingjobs,goodsandservicesto support our City’s people.

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

Congratulations to all winners and finalists in the Awards!

Where jewellery meets mindfulness Her pieces are crafted to inspire intention, positivity, and transformation, fostering healing on both personal and communal levels. Through her products and coaching services, She empowers individuals to embrace their journey towards self-discovery and well-being, radiating positivity within themselves and throughout their communities.

People & Culture + Transformation

We are your trusted HR partners helping you

• design and deliver engaging human resource practices

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• deliver your workforce solutions to achieve your company goals

• navigate the employment landscape to ensure compliance and manage costs

Mayuri By Varrsha: Ph: 0468 457 255 Website - Facebook - MayuribyVarrsha/ Instagram - mayuribyvarrsha/
WarrickLanePrecinct redevelopment For more informationvisit Blacktown City

Honor role — 2024 finalists

Antiques, Art, Crafts and Gifts

 Beyond Elegance By CassandraWestpoint Blacktown

 Engrave Studio

 Handmade Collections

 Mozemo Craft

 Orion Mandalas

Automotive Services

 AA Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning

 Active Automatic Transmissions

 Aussie Forklifts

 Btown Wheels & Tyres

 Carasel Towbars - Blacktown

 Powerhouse Auto Electrical & Mechanical Repairs

 Ultra Tune - Seven Hills Plaza

 Xtreme Car Audio

Bakery/Cake Business

 Baked Gold

 Cakes by Tati

 Creations by Emma

 Kates Kakes Au

 KURIMU x Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart Blacktown - Westpoint Blacktown

 Lalor Park Hot Bread

 Lalor Park Pizza & Bakery - Lalor Park Shopping Centre

Barber Shop

Family Barber Shop - Seven Hills Plaza

Magical Cut - Woodcroft Village

Tapered The Barbershop - Farnham Road Shopping Centre

The Men’s Grooming - Westpoint Blacktown

Vip Barber Riverstone

Beauty Services

 Adeva - The Art of Beauty - St Martins Village

 Bless Khin Beauty

 BODYTEC Skin Bar

 Bronzed Hunnyz Tanning


 Elegant Hair & Beauty SalonQuakers Hill

 Fareha Bridal Studio

 Get Lashed Syd

 Holiday Nails and Beauty

 Laser Clinics Australia - Westpoint


 MikaStudios

 New Look Beauty Point

 Skin Smile Remedy

 The Nailologist

 Zee’s Beauty Bar


 Adore Espresso - Seven Hills Plaza

 Cafe Lelunar - Westpoint


 Chambers Fine Coffee - Westpoint


 Coffee Connections Sydney - Seven Hills Plaza

 Colebee Cafe Nurrangingy

 Common Groundz Community


 Gloria Jeans - Seven Hills Plaza

 Harvey’s Social

 Leaf Cafe & Co - Westpoint


 Nadia’s Cafe - Westpoint


 Saigon Rush

 The Shed Cafe - Schofields Village

Early Childhood Centre

 Brightly Early Learning Grantham


 Children First - Balmoral Street

 Children First - Blacktown Road

 Children First - Hassall Grove


 Children First - Shelley OOSH

 Guardian Childcare and Education - Acacia Gardens

 KidZCave Family Day Care

 Kreation Kidz Lalor Park

 Learning Blocks Child Care Centre  Mani’s Family Daycare  Namita’s Family Day Care  Oldfield Early Learning Centre

 Sneha’s Family Daycare

Education Service

 ACH Education

 CG Piano Studios

 Fizzics Education

 Imprint Driving School

 Isha IELTS and PTE Classes- Best PTE classes in Blacktown

 Melodia Music Studio

 My Skills Australia

 Onroad Driving Education


 Aari Collections (Weaves of Bliss)

 Ally Fashion - Westpoint Blacktown

 Ethnic Threads

 Forcast - Westpoint Blacktown

 Just Jeans - Westpoint Blacktown

 Millers - Seven Hills Plaza

 Noni B - Westpoint Blacktown

 Peter Alexander - Westpoint Blacktown

 Suzanne Grae - Seven Hills Plaza

Fast Food/Takeaway

 Akira Sushi - Seven Hills Plaza

 Atlantic Seafood - Westpoint Blacktown

 Brothers Buns

 Costi’s Seafood and Grill - The Ponds Shopping Centre

 Donut Tempt Me

 Dough Time

 Express Kebabs

 Fresh Break - Westpoint Blacktown

 Gotcha Fresh Tea - Westpoint Blacktown

 Juice Spot & Bubble Tea - Seven Hills Plaza

 Kebab & Grill Lab - Kings Langley Shopping Centre

 Nammura Thindi

 Soul Origin - Westpoint Blacktown

 Sweetie Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt - Westpoint Blacktown

Fitness Services

 Anytime Fitness - Glendenning

 Anytime Fitness - Kings Park

 Blacktown Aquatic Centre

 Club Lime - Westpoint Blacktown

 Clube de Lutas Australia

 Goshukan Karate Academy

 Jetts Seven Hills - Seven Hills Plaza

 Snap Fitness - Doonside

 Snap Fitness - Elara Shopping Village

 Stargazer Pole Studio - Arndell Park Shopping Centre

 UBX - Westpoint Blacktown

 Urban Boxing Sydney

 World Gym Prospect

 Yogaparadise

Florist/Plant Retail Store

 Abagail Florist - Arndell Park Shopping Centre

 Bloomingpetals

 Flower Seasons - Westpoint Blacktown

 Flowers by Jody - St Martins Village

 Pot and Posy

 Seven Hills Angel Florist - Seven Hills Plaza

Fresh Food

 7hills Chicken Corner - Seven Hills Plaza

 Lancaster St Fresh Fruit Market

 Micks Delicatessen - Quakers Court Shopping Centre

 The Brothers Fish Market - Seven Hills Plaza

 Westpoint Growers - Westpoint Blacktown


 Deanna McGowan Hair StylingArndell Park Shopping Centre

 Hair by Telz - Arndell Park Shopping Centre

 Hills Haircuts - Seven Hills Plaza

 Just Cuts - Westpoint Blacktown

 La Rells Hair and Beauty StudioWestpoint Blacktown

 R & V’s Hair Studio

 Sliq Hairdresser- Westpoint Blacktown

 Taylanah Hair Design

 The Cutting Room  The Urban Fringe - Kings Langley Shopping Village

30 | ISSUE 37 | April 2024
Proud media partner Blacktown Local Business Awards Congratulations to all 2024 finalists.
Blacktown Local Business Finalists 2024

Blacktown Local Business Finalists 2024

Honor role — 2024 finalists

 Wakht Custom Hair Design - Seven Hills Plaza

Health Improvement Services

 Alpha Medical - Seven Hills Plaza

 Better Vision - Westpoint Blacktown

 Caritas Wellness

 Dr Ashraf Nashed Surgery

 Finesse Dental - Stanhope Village

 Integrated Chiropractic and Wellness

 My Peak Performance

 Optimise Sports Physiotherapy & Performance

 Pacific Medical & Dental Centre Blacktown

 Riverstone Family Dental

 The Empowerment Project - Allied Health Care

 Western Sleep Clinic - Marayong Plaza

Most Inclusive Employer

 Ausblox Services NSW

 Blacktown Women’s & Girls’ Health Centre

 WeLove Kitchen

New & Used Motor Vehicles

 Blacktown Mazda

 Cumberland Ford

 Heartland Kia - Blacktown

 Hyundai Blacktown

 Lander Mitsubishi

 Paulico Autos

New Business

 Glo Pro Tan

 Gourmat Grazings with Jessica

 Leo Finance

 Mamajags Media

 Mr Tipsy Mobile Bartending

 RB Elite Homes

 Studio HER

 Technica Football

 WOTSO - Westpoint Blacktown

Performing Arts

 AMI Music and Arts

 Applause Performing Arts

 Helen Perris Music Studio

 High and Loud Voice

 Hype-O Performing Arts Academy

 Inferno Cheer and Dance

 Natasha’s Arts Theatre

 Studio Dance Australia

Pet Care

 Barking with Bianca

 Family Pet Minding

 Family Vets Western Sydney

 Greater Western Sydney Horse Parks

 Plush Paws

 Pups Academy

 Quakers Hill Veterinary Hospital

 West Blacktown Veterinary Clinic


 Barones Pharmacy - Woodcroft


 Chemist Warehouse - Blacktown

 Chester & Jake’s PharmacyWestpoint Blacktown

 Cincotta Discount Chemist


 Cincotta Discount Chemist

Blacktown (Compounding Chemist)

 Kings Langley Discount Drug Store

- Kings Langley Shopping Centre

 Priceline Pharmacy - Seven Hills


 Priceline Pharmacy - Westpoint Blacktown

Professional Services


 Australian Visa Centre Blacktown

 Christian Michael Photography

 Kellie Hart Funerals

 Labin Bardewa

 Lenders Society

 Limes Digital - Best web design in Western Sydney

 Magic Moments Photography

 Oz Financing - Mortgage BrokerHome Loan Advisor

 OzLedger

 Reham Salib Photography  SGH Lawyers

 Sydney Event Technical Specialists

 Victory Group

 Wealthwiz Wealth ManagementBlacktown

 Workhorse Staffing

Real Estate Agency


 Cashflow Properties

 Century 21 Davelis & Co

 Century 21 Infinity - Riverstone

 DreamBig Realty

 McGrath Estate AgentsBlacktown

 McGrath Estate Agents - Stanhope Village

 Msisa Property and Consulting Agents

 Qfirst Property Investment GroupWestpoint Blacktown

 Response Real Estate Riverstone

 SAVAA Properties


 Butchers Buffet BlacktownWestpoint Blacktown

 Eastern Palace Chinese Restaurant

 Fratelli Pizzeria

 Grill’d - Westpoint Blacktown

 Jagerstube

 Jaggis Indian Eatery

 Kumar’s Taj Indian RestaurantQuakers Hill

 Noodle and Dumpling - Westpoint Blacktown

 Sakura Japanese Cuisine - Kings Langley Shopping Centre

 Sanjah Punjab Indian & Pakistani Restaurant

 Volcanos Steakhouse - Westpoint Blacktown

Service & Trade

 Anywhere Removalist

 Barlow Electrical Services

 Carney Plumbing and Maintenance

 CRUCIAL Plumbing Services

 Dynamic Landscapes and Maintenance

 Esteem Constructions

 Gale Force Fencing

 Generate Landscapes

 Hyhaus Painting

 ND Solar Group

 One 4 Electrical

 Ozinn Tiles and Bathroom

 Pearl Home Care Greater Parramatta

 Plumblogic Plumbing

 Rana Construct

Sole Operator

 Atelier By Nusrat

 Jo’s Essential Mojo

 Keeping It Fresh Carpet Cleaning

 Kitchen Angels Sydney - Quakers Hill

Let’s Talk Admin

Little Hearts Photography

Love Light Soy Candles


Nizar Handmade

Serena Jones Photography

TipToes Nail Spa Australia

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 31
Proud media partner Blacktown Local Business Awards Congratulations to all 2024 finalists.
 Vance Graphix & Print Specialised Business  BK Collective  First Choice Clothing AlterationsWestpoint Blacktown  Food & Dairy Co  Handmade by Mee  Hari Om Foods  Hope Immigration Services  Innovync  Just Bliss Photobooth  Kiss My Axe - Westpoint Blacktown  My Angel Impressions  RKA Industrial Solutions  Sass Property Styling  SQ SOLUTIONS  Stitches Collection  Talent Ecology  Tarn’s Keto  THRIVE Academy by Lydia Binil Specialised Retail Business  Amici Music - Seven Hills Plaza  Australia Post Shop - Seven Hills Plaza  Bed Bath N Table - Westpoint Blacktown  C and L Liquor - Lalor Park  Elite Supps - Westpoint Blacktown  Rebel Sport - Westpoint Blacktown  Smiggle - Westpoint Blacktown
ACH Education 15 Jacqui Avenue, Schofields Ph: 0426 416 868 • LimitedSpots LeftFor 2024&2025 22MelbaRd,LalorPark ENROLTODAY ORJOINOURWAITLIST (02)96222965 KREATIONKIDZ.COM.AU

Volcanos SteakhouseThe undisputed kings of steak in Western Sydney

Phone: 0426 281 201

At Inferno we teach cheerleading and dancing from ages 2-18.

We have been awarded a national title for our competitive stream every year since 2017 and in 2023 our Junior 1 team was undefeated. In 2024 we have a new owner and have opened a specialised preschool dance and tumbling program.


Instagram: Infernocheeranddance

Facebook: Inferno Cheer and Dance

Riverstone Family Dental
8678 3538 0468 526 885 • General Dentistry • Dental Implants • Emergency Dental • Cosmetic Dentistry • Advanced Dentistry • Wisdom teeth removal • Dentures • Dental crowns Opening Hours we accept govt dental vouchers and bulk bill for children under 18 for approved Medicare










Wentworthville Parramatta

SevenHills Blacktown LalorPark

Blacktown Local Business Finalists 2024

Pathways for higher education

THE Australian Centre for Higher Education is a leading international student placement company whose esteemed commitment is to assist international students realise their aspirations to obtain higher education in Australia.

With a decade of experience representing Australian Government Universities, we have garnered the trust and admiration of students seeking to pursue their academic endeavours in Australia.

Our offshore branches in South Asia extend our reach, ensuring students receive our services free of charge.

Our proficient team is dedicated to guiding students in discovering the most suitable educational institutions and programs in Australia.

Tailoring our approach to each student’s academic background, interests, career objectives, and financial constraints, we prioritize understanding their unique needs and preferences.

Through meticulous matching processes, we ensure students are interconnected with universities and courses that align with their aspirations.

Discover the many success stories of our students, visit For enquiries, call the ACHE recruitment team on 0426 416 868 or email

New era for dance


Ia new era of Inferno!

We teach Competitive and Recreational Cheerleading, Tumbling, and Dance to almost 100 students aged from four to 18.

We also have just introduced our new Tiny Tumble and Tiny dance program for preschoolers aged two to four years old.

Our Competition stream has won national titles every year since 2017, including as Grand Champions in multiple groups.

Our junior team has been undefeated champions throughout the entire 2023 competition season.

Our students also perform as the NSW Swifts cheer squad and provide entertainment at many local events.

We are proud to have been named as a finalist in the 2023 Local Business Award.

As a studio our mission is to create strong, respectful, empowered, and hardworking athletes in a fun and supportive environment.

To register your interest, visit https://www. or call 0426 281 201 or email info@infernocheeranddance. Inferno Cheer and Dance Studio is located at Studio 3, 11 Stoddart Road, Prospect NSW 2148.

Every child can reach potential


KREATION Kidz Early Learning prioritises fostering a love for learning, encouraging curiosity, critical thinking, and independence.

Our holistic curriculum supports social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, emphasising hands-on experiences and play-based learning.

We value collaboration with families, creating an inclusive community where everyone feels respected and valued.

Our mission is to empower every child to reach their full potential, providing a nurturing environment where they feel loved and supported.

With a focus on creativity, problem-solving, and partnership, we strive to ensure a positive and enriching experience for all children in our care.

If you want to know more about how we can serve you and your children, contact us on (02) 9622 2965 or lalorpark@ Visit www.kreationkidz. and KreationKidzearlyLearning.

Nurturing young musicians


MELODIA Music Studio in Blacktown was founded by Julia Woo, a Sydney Conservatorium of Music Graduate of the Piano Performance Unit.

Julia established the Studio in 2023 to provide quality instrumental lessons to budding musicians enrolled in various instruments, from piano to string instruments.

As a music studio, it provides nurturing environments for every student musician to reach their full musical potential.

Each student’s learning preferences are prioritised particularly for those studying for the Higher School Certificate preparing for Music 1, 2 and Extension examination.

Our music teachers also offer personalised private lessons for scholarships, Eisteddfods performances and entry auditions.

Our purpose is to nurture aspiring young musicians in Blacktown and guide every student’s musical journey to achieve their dream.

We introduce them to the value of music in their lives, provide them performance opportunities twice a year in the studio and another at pre-scheduled event at the end of the year.

For more details, visit https://www. and Melodia Music Studio on Instagram and Facebook. Contact us on 0449 881 216 or email

Mission to help buyers succeed

MOur mission is to help people achieve the best outcome in their financial future through positive cash flow property investments for a stress-free retirement.

We represent buyers in the real estate buying process following through strategy, process, and systems we have developed and implemented that separate us from the rest.

Our service is designed to make the real estate buying process simple, fun, and rewarding.

We provide a diverse range of services which include Buyer’s Agents and Consulting. We also develop an innovative style of property research that is designed to help ‘The Buyer’.

Our research approach is unique and dynamic. We are a buyer-driven property group at MSISA Property and Consulting.

We exist to deliver excellence, innovation and best outcomes.

To know more about us, visit https:// and https://www. book an appointment with our property advisers, call 1300 054 624 or email info@msisaproperty.

Here to help humans at work

Tlian-owned human resource consulting firm partnering with leaders to deliver better employee experiences at work.

As your trusted HR partner, we take a holistic view of our client’s business, co-design and implement pragmatic, fit-for-purpose and cost-effective HR practices and solutions.

Whether you need help competitively attracting, rewarding, or developing talent or restructuring to improve operational efficiencies, the Talent Ecology team are here to help.

Founder and CEO Josette Moffatt is a People and Culture executive with experience shaping the workforces of some of Australia’s most trusted brands and leading organisations.

Says Josette: “Starting Talent Ecology didn’t happen overnight. It was years in the making, innovating, testing, and refining HR practice, building our lessons-learned toolkit.”

“We are on a mission to help you drive your business forward with great people practices and help humans at work.”

We look forward to hearing from you.

Visit and Talent Ecology on LinkedIn and Facebook.

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 39
NFERNO Cheer and Dance opened in 2015 and this year, they welcomed a new owner, moving us into
SISA Property and Consulting Agents is a leading property buyer and consulting agency in Australia.
We love scrumptious steaks

VOLCANOS Steakhouse caters to the meat-loving locals of Western Sydney, delivering fresh flavours and quality dishes.

With our roots deeply embedded in creating a fantastic range of dry aged steaks, ribs, burgers, and specialty mocktails, we have grown with four restaurants across the region.

Our journey has been characterised by a steadfast commitment to quality, sourcing the best ingredients, and providing an unmatched dining experience.

Our customer service is rooted in a culture of warmth and professionalism to make every dining experience memorable.

The quality of our products is paramount; we source high-grade ingredients from select Australian farms, ensuring each dish reflects our commitment to flavour and quality.

We guarantee a dining experience that is not just about enjoying a meal but creating memorable moments.

What sets Volcanos Steakhouse apart is our unwavering commitment to serving quality food, from sourcing the finest ingredients to delivering exceptional service at your table.

Our dedication to providing a memorable dining experience makes us a winner in the eyes of our customers and the broader community we serve.

For more details about our Western Sydney outlets in Blacktown, Bankstown, Parramatta and Wetherill Park, visit https://volcanos. and Volcanossteakhouse To enquire about booking your event at our restaurant, call 1300 787 737 or email

The ideal co-working space


WOTSO FlexSpace revolutionises workspace solutions, meeting the needs of freelancers, startups, and small businesses with a commitment to affordability and flexibility.

Our offerings, including coworking spaces, private offices, and event venues, support modern work dynamics.

We’re dedicated to creating a welcoming community where our members can grow.

Our engagement with local communities through initiatives like the Friends of WOTSO program and partnerships underscores our social responsibility.

We prioritise sustainable fit outs incorporating repurposed materials and energy-efficient systems in our fit-

outs, demonstrating our commitment to environmental stewardship.

As we plan to expand, we aim to maintain leadership in the flexspace sector, guided by values that prioritise both professional growth and personal well-being for our members, ensuring a future where our spaces and communi-

Experience the magic of dance


IMMERSE yourself in the world of dance at Applause Performing Arts located in the heart of Riverstone.

Established in 2023 following the union of the respected DIS Dance and Elevation School of Performing Arts families, our studio is dedicated to fostering holistic wellbeing through the

power of dance.

At Applause Performing Arts, inclusivity and safety are paramount. We take pride in cultivating an environment where dancers of all backgrounds feel welcomed and supported ensuring every class or performance is a joyful experience.

Our commitment extends beyond the dance, we actively engage in nurturing students to excel not only in dance but also in life.

More than just a pharmacy

ty continue to thrive.

WOTSO Blacktown is open 24 hours daily at its location at Westpoint Shopping Centre, Level 4, 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148. For enquiries, call 1800 496 876 or for more details, visit and https://www.

Our mission is to harness the magic of dance to promote health and mental wellbeing.

Through training and performance opportunities, we empower our students to develop invaluable life skills such as discipline, self-respect, teamwork and empathy for others within their community.

Rooted in our core values of inclusivity, continuous improvement, positivity and respect, we extend a warm invitation to families from Riverstone, Vineyard, Box Hill, Marsden Park, Schofields and surrounding areas to join our vibrant community.

At Applause Performing Arts, our faculty comprises skilled instructors specialising in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Acrobatics, Cheer, Musical Theatre, contemporary, Pointe and more.

Above all, we embrace a “human first philosophy recognising each dancer as a unique individual with their own strengths, values and aspirations.

Enrolment is open to all ages, from toddlers to adults. Whether you’re embarking on your dance journey or seeking to refine your skills, your growth both as a person and a dance is our priority.

For enquiries and enrolment, call 0422 816 950 or email

More details on https://www.applauseperformingarts. or connect with us on

• Facebook: applauseperformingartsriverstone

• Instagram: applauseperformingarts

INCOTTA Discount Chemist have been serving the community of Blacktown City since 2006. We pride ourselves in being more than just a place to get prescription medication, we’re the connector of

health and wellbeing in our growing community.

Our dedicated team of pharmacists and staff go above and beyond to provide personalised care and vital support to every individual who walks through our doors.

From medication counselling and adhesive support to flu shots and health

screenings, we offer a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of our customers.

Our focus as a trusted local pharmacy is on accessibility, affordability and excellence, and we always strive to empower our community to lead healthy lives.

Our commitment to compassionate expert care and exceptional service

sets as apart and we are delighted to be honoured for our contribution to the wellbeing of our community.

To talk to us about your requirements, phone (02) 9622 1937 or email info@ We are located at 106 Main Street, Blacktown NSW 2148. Visit


Realise your dream home


ESTEEM Constructions’ founder and director Sadi Mirza started the company with a deep-seated desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Recognising the potential to merge his passion for building and design with a socially responsible business, Sadi opened his family-owned and run business in 2016 dedicated to helping homeowners realise their dreams.

Today, Esteem Constructions is a recognised specialist in Residential Extensions, Renovations, and Commercial Fit-outs.

Esteem Constructions’ values are:

• Complete transparency

• Commitment to client satisfaction

• We guarantee fixed time, and fixed pricing

Expertise on office technology

SQ SOLUTIONS provides small to medium businesses with premium office technology solutions such as VOIP PABX Business Phone Systems, Office Multifunction Printers, Large Format Printers, CCTV Security Systems, as well as complete Office Suite set-up, backed with managed service plans.

Says Managing Director Sirajum Uday Quasem:

“I have a passion for the latest technology in a broad range of business equipment. With over 23 years’ experience working in Australia and New Zealand with leading technology vendors, my technical team and I know first-hand which brands and products exceed in quality, reliability and performance.

“Our combined experience enables us with knowledge and expertise to add value to our customers by understanding each customer’s business, requirements and future demand.

“We design, supply, install and back up with our local on-site service, the best suited and value-added office telecommunications and managed print solutions tailored for each customer.

“This approach increases their business productivity, enhances their user

• Peace of mind with a unique rental guarantee and extended warranties exceeding what is required for a client’s seamless construction journey

Our purpose:

• We collaborate closely with clients to build their dream residential and commercial spaces, enhancing their lives and fulfilling their visions.

• We prioritise a personalised approach to understanding our clients’ needs, ensuring that we address their unique home problems, challenges, and frustrations before offering recommendations and expert advice.

For enquries and to get a quote, call us on 1300 005 600 or email sales@esteemconstructions. more details, visit www. and EsteemConstructions/.

experience and elevates their operation to a professional and premium level.

“SQ SOLUTIONS is also a proud Gold Sponsor of The Ponds Cricket Club. I am also a proud Executive Committee member and Club Co-ordinator.

“I am passionate about supporting our local kids in the Blacktown District to live a fit, healthy, active and happy lifestyle.”

Get in touch for service and support by phoning (02) 6598 6038 or email info@sq-solutions. More information on and https://www.facebook. com/sqsolutionsptyltd.

Sing, play and perform



HELEN Perris Music Studio is a creative and nurturing space for inquisitive minds of all ages, providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for piano, voice and composition students, no matter their level of experience.

It has been based in Lalor Park for 14 years and boasts an impressive record of student success in exams, Eisteddfods, auditions, and the Higher School Certificate.

Founder Helen Perris is a multiaward-winning songwriter, performer and teacher with a handpicked team of gifted educators who have a special interest in neurodiversity.

HPMS is internationally renowned for its excellence in teaching methods and is right on your doorstep in Blacktown.

For more details on HPMS services, email Visit https://

Brands for modern women


FORCAST, an esteemed Australian women’s fashion label with a legacy spanning over 30 years, unveils its latest AW Collection, “Retrospective,” paying homage to timeless styles.

Infused with contemporary flair, Forcast continues to capture the minds of fashionconscious women through affordable price points and longevity in every piece.

With a constant dedication to its customers, the brand evolves alongside the modern woman, prioritising her in every design endeavour.

The AW24 Collection, Retrospective, embodies timeless styles and silhouettes that have stood the test of time.

Forcast persists in its evolution with today’s women while staying true to its timeless roots.

Forecast Blacktown is located at Shop 2002/2003 Westpoint Shopping Centre, 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148. Visit

Success begins with ISHA


One of the best platforms for studying the IELTS, PTE, NAATI, Special Grammar, and General English in Australia is through ISHA IELTS and PTE Classes available in Blacktown City.

We trust our personalised guidance that we offer FREE trial class of 30 minutes to all prospective students.

Why do our students recommend us to their friends?

Our excellent results on IELTS and PTE examinations have fetched us a solid foundation to tutor students globally.

We have tutored many international students who were under stress after sitting for IELTS and PTE exams multiple times yet were unable to reach their desired scores.

Some of these students had just one week of visa left and still they weren’t able to get the desired scores in IELTS/PTE.

With ISHA IELTS and PTE, your quality of education is a priority more than the quantity of students.

We provide exclusive and individualised coaching with a unique 100 percent one-on-one approach and affordable prices.

We have trained international students from India, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia and Dubai.

Around Australia, our past students came from major cities such as Sydney, Darwin, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Geelong, Tasmania, Perth, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Hobart and more.

Elevate your English language proficiency with expert guidance, personalised learning and holistic approach. Join a community of achievers.

Your success begins here with ISHA IELTS and PTE Classes.

To enquire about enrolment, call 0447 284 214 or email

We are located at Level 2,

Main Street, Blacktown NSW 2148. Visit
Suite 2/24


RELIABE mobile coverage is an essential service for every Australian – regardless of where they live.

When you move into a new build suburb, you expect to have access to decent connectivity. This hasn’t been the experience of residents of The Ponds here in North-West Sydney.

Households have been frustrated with poor mobile coverage since the suburb was built close to a decade ago. Residents are not able to make phone calls from their homes, instead forced to connect from the street or even the next suburb along.

This is worsened in many cases as calls that do connect continuously drop out.

As your local Member, I have made it a priority to drive a practical solution to improve coverage for the good people of The Ponds. Our concerted community advocacy led to the construction of a new mobile tower.

Optus and Telstra have since switched on their signals – and data shows it is being used by more than 3,000 customers in the area.

We have also been working to bring Vodafone/ TPG to the table, so their customers can also get the connectivity they deserve. Despite the new tower, I am still hearing that coverage issues remain.

It is my priority to campaign for my constituents and to follow-up on their concerns – this is a pressing one.My team and I went door-to-door in The Ponds recently to find out more.

The initial feedback shows that while mobile phone reception is improving for some, this experience is not shared. This is not good enough. To residents of The Ponds, I want to hear from you.

I’ve launched an online survey, asking for you to share your coverage experiences over the last few months since the tower was constructed.

Your experiences will help me better understand where coverage is at its worst, and fight for our community. The good people of The Ponds deserve access to reliable mobile coverage.

This is not a nice to have; it is a necessity.

And one that I will continue to fight for – for you and your family.

To let me know about your phone reception, complete my survey @

Greenway Mobile Phone Connectivity Survey (

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

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 43
with Michelle Rowland


CITS HIP TO BE SQUARE! Blacktown’s future is NOW

OMMUNITY organisations, members of parliament, council and property developers are running community consultations to gauge what the people of Blacktown want their city to look and feel like in future decades.

Mt Druitt masterplan has been delivered and has resulted in upgrades. The NSW Government is injecting over $92M for upgrades to Kevin Betts Stadium, aquatic centre, Dawson Mall and First Nations Community Centre.

Riverstone MP Warren Kirby, having only been elected just 12 months ago, has been conducting community forums attended by good crowds as people express their views, concerns and ideas over the unfolding of the Riverstone Town Plan.

Stephen Bali, MP for Blacktown has conducted forums and feedback sessions, distributing newsletters and contributing articles in the Blacktown News. These focus on the planning of Blacktown CBD.

Bali’s agenda is that future development of Blacktown reflects a cosmopolitan capital city befitting a local government area where its population is set to surpass Tasmania by 2035 – in numbers: to over 610,000 by 2041 with growth continuing.

Walker Corporation acquired a strategic part of Blacktown from council 12 months ago and has conducted several pop-up stalls with an online survey to gauge local initial feedback.

Results will be released in coming months and this builds on feedback generated by local MPs from their forums. The Blacktown News will report these findings.

What has been clear from all surveys, forums and community consultations is that people are sceptical of clichés and hollow catch cries like “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

There’s also scepticism about artist impressions not based on reality, although to be fair to developers craeting accurate creative visions that do reflect reality

take time and evolve as the project scope evolves.

MP Stephen Bali has advocated for a Central Living District concept. He is on record as saying: “Whilst the new Parramatta CBD is great for Parramatta, it is not Blacktown. We need to define what we are and build a central living district to suit our population.”

A key proposal has been the development of a Blacktown Town Square where people can gather in a safe environment. The Square can potentially accommodate 10,000 people for festivals right in the heart of the city making Blacktown the epicentre of major festivals for Western Sydney.

Key concerns for large outdoor festivals are parking, traffic movement, safety, the environment and functional space.

The Blacktown News has presented articles that outline where four key landowners control most of the land from Alpha Park to Colo Lane car park – some 133,000 square metres of land.

Now, imagine a town square surrounded by affordable living accommodation, social enterprises, commercial businesses, walkways, cycleways in a safe and friendly area rather than street scapes and podium parking accommodating thousands of cars.

Since 1975 our city street festivals have become a signature feature of Blacktown

and with Lunar New Year, Holi, Ramadan, Vaisakhi, Diwali, Christmas are the very embodiment of multicultural life in Western Sydney.

Blacktown can become the festive capital of not only Western Sydney but Australia – a global drawcard.

The new Blacktown CBD can become the next international festival destination, driving the visitor and tourism market which benefits the local economy and creates another local visitor magnet for those landing at Western Sydney Airport.

Furthermore, a town square could incorporate the new police station, courthouse, council civic centre, art gallery and an entertainment quarter.

Most agree that the current police station and courthouse are no longer fit for purpose; the council building has been sold and will soon be demolished; the State Government has funded a new $40M art gallery; and the Blacktown Workers Club can drive the revitalisation of an entertainment centre within the town square.

Michelle Rowland MP, Federal Communications Minister, and Member for Greenway has initiated a feasibility study to relocate SBS studios from Artarmon to potentially somewhere in Western Sydney.

We’d suggest that SBS’s ideal relocation could be to Blacktown’s Town Square; given Blacktown City has over 188 cultures from across the world and a strong Indigenous culture.

Of course, the key to all this is collaboration with stakeholders and residents so we can craft plans that take advantage of game-changing opportunities that are before us right now.

Progressive visions are built upon a foundational culture where concerns, values and aspirations can be equally and safely shared. Then the execution can begin.

WEXPO at Blacktown Workers Club

MAGAZINE INSIDE Property Auto Crosswords Travel Mindset Films Trends Fitness
Details coming soon
2024 event.
for our
Michael Walls is publisher and editor of The Blacktown News. Blacktown City Festival in 2011 demonstrates Blacktown people love their festivals with approximately 50,000 attending the streets alive festival and parade. Budapest has a large town square that holds the Christmas markets and New Year’s eve fire works with tens of thousands of people attending in the square surrounding streets.

THE POWER OF WE Fitness benefits of group training

IN the realm of fitness, the saying “strength in numbers” holds true. Group training, a dynamic and interactive approach to exercise, has gained immense popularity for good reason. Beyond the individual pursuit of physical fitness, group training offers a myriad of benefits that extend far beyond the mere act of breaking a sweat. From motivation and accountability to social support and camaraderie, the advantages of working out in a group setting are boundless.

One of the most compelling benefits of group training is the inherent motivation it provides. When surrounded by like-minded individuals, each striving towards their fitness goals, the collective energy becomes infectious. Whether it’s a high-intensity interval training class or a yoga session, the presence of others fuels motivation, pushing participants to give their all. The shared experience

fosters a sense of camaraderie, transforming the workout environment into a supportive community where everyone encourages each other to strive for greatness.

Moreover, group training offers a level of accountability that is often lacking in individual workouts. Knowing that others are counting on you to show up and give your best effort can be a powerful motivator. It’s much harder to skip a workout when you know your absence will be noticed by your fellow group members. This accountability fosters consistency, a key ingredient in achieving longterm fitness success.

Beyond motivation and accountability, group training also provides a valuable opportunity for social interaction. In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to connect with others can be challenging. Group workouts offer a convenient way to socialize while prioritizing health and

fitness. Whether it’s exchanging workout tips, sharing personal successes, or simply enjoying each other’s company, group training creates bonds that extend beyond the gym walls.

Furthermore, the social aspect of group training can have a profound impact on mental well-being. Exercise is known to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and euphoria. When combined with the social support and camaraderie of a group setting, the mental health benefits are amplified. Group workouts provide a safe space where individuals can relieve stress, boost their mood, and build resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

Additionally, group training offers a diverse range of workouts that cater to different fitness levels and preferences. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, there’s a group

fitness class suited to your needs. From dance-based cardio classes to strength training circuits, group training provides variety and novelty, keeping workouts fun and engaging. This diversity not only prevents boredom but also ensures that participants are constantly challenging their bodies in new ways, leading to greater fitness gains.

Moreover, group training fosters a sense of healthy competition among participants. While working towards individual goals, the friendly rivalry within the group pushes everyone to elevate their performance. Whether it’s striving to run faster, lift heavier, or hold a yoga pose longer, the presence of others

encourages individuals to push past their limits and reach new heights.

Group training offers a multitude of fitness benefits that extend far beyond the physical realm. From motivation and accountability to social support and mental well-being, the power of working out in a group setting is undeniable. By harnessing the collective energy of like-minded individuals, group training empowers participants to achieve their fitness goals while forging meaningful connections along the way. So, if you’re looking to elevate your workouts and experience the transformative power of community, consider joining a group training class today.

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 45 FitnesS

Closing the Gap

in Western Sydney

In Western Sydney, Darug land, we are fortunate to have one of the largest populations of First Nations peoples in Australia.

Unfortunately, despite improvements to the life expectancy of First Nations peoples, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children born in NSW between 2020-2022 are expected to live 6.8 years (males) and 5.9 years (females) less than non-Indigenous children1 We need to take action and close the gap.

First Nations Services in Western Sydney

The Western Sydney Primary Health Network commissions programs that are co-designed and led by First Nations community groups. The aim is to help people access safe environments that promote self-confidence, build community and create connections to health and wellbeing care.

We currently work with the following amazing providers:

•Aboriginal Counselling – culturally sensitive therapeutic counselling for people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Phone: 0410 539 905

•Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation – helps families heal from inter-generational trauma, build resilience, and find healthy coping mechanisms. Phone: 02 8608 6054

substance misuse to achieve physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Phone: 02 9628 3031

•The Shed – a safe environment to access physical and wellbeing support and connect to mental health, Centrelink, housing, legal and therapeutic services. Phone: 1300 550 099

•Ted Noffs, Deadly Dreaming – offers cultural activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people across six schools in Western Sydney. Phone: 1800 151 045

•Marrin Weejali – case management support for those experiencing alcohol and illicit

•Too Deadly for Diabetes – a free 10-week exercise, nutrition, education and behavioural change program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have, or are at risk of developing, type 2 Diabetes. Phone: 0447 972 172

•Western Sydney Integrated Team Care –supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members with chronic health conditions to access physical, mental health and social care. Phone: 02 8080 0522

1 Australian Government Productivity Commission (2024), Socio-economic outcome area 1: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enjoy long and healthy lives, Closing the Gap Information Repository, available at:

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

Community Story

I was referred to the Western Sydney Integrated Team Care (ITC) program not knowing what support I was going to be able to get from them. I had workers come and visit me and explain what they do. Although I have a few health problems, my focus was on housing support as I was in a pretty bad situation living in my mate’s house which was about to be boarded up. The ITC workers always listened when I called in a frustrated and panicked state and provided advocacy and assistance with the Department of Housing when I felt there was no hope. I was able to secure temporary accommodation when the house got boarded up and now have a Department of Housing unit in the Penrith area. Now that I have my own place, I can focus on my health again. I will always remember the support Western Sydney ITC provided.

To find out more about First Nations health services in Western Sydney, head to

Sydney International Boat Show

The iconic Sydney boat show will return to Darling Harbour for the 55th year in a row August 1st - 4th, 2024. Free to attend, this annual event is expanded this year to include lots of activities and events on stages around the precinct and is an exciting day out for the entire family.

Burrawang and the Southern Highlands

Autumn is the perfect time for a day trip to the Southern Highlands and a visit to the stunning village of Burrawang.

Walk the length of Church Street and admire lo-

cal gardens and quaint old fashioned stores still fully functional. Enjoy a beer or lunch at the Burrawang Pub out the back in the sunshine.

2.5 Hour Hike to the 40 Foot Falls

On the way back to Sydney be sure to set aside time to complete a 2 and a half hour bushwalk known as the 40 Foot Falls.

This walk begins at the back of Lake Alexandra in Mittagong, the start of this 7km dog-friendly track is signposted. The walk is marked by red poles / tabs with red spray on them marking the way apart from the second bridge you come to (turn left at this intersection). This is a firetrail track. The falls at the end are well worth a visit on a lovely day, be sure to take your own water and snacks and sturdy shoes.

Rooftop Bars of Sydney

What an incredible city to enjoy the weather. Have a staycation this March and visit some of the city’s fun rooftop bars.

Cabana Bar

Part of the 25 Martin Place precinct, the

Cabana Bar feels like a holiday in Bali and is the perfect place for a margarita on a Saturday or a pre-theatre dinner. With its green hanging baskets and wicker nooks and crannies it’s a great spot for a fun date. Every Saturday Cabana bar has a bottomless brunch at 11.45am and 2pm for 2 hours. $89 includes a 2 hour seating with margaritas, spritzes, selters, mimosas and a shared style menu.

The Astor, Intercontinental, 117 Macquarie St

A stylish bar open from 4pm to midnight with a minimum $60 spend. The perfect spot to look out over the cityscape on a special occasion.

Dean and Nancy’s, Level 22, 2 Hunter St Sydney

With a very 1950s New york feel, this bar is a great choice when it’s cool outside. If you love the sound of the piano playing as you sip on a wine, come Thursday nights 5 -8pm. For DJ beats come Thursday to Saturday from 9pm. The location is next to some significant construction happening in the CBD, so finding the entry is part of the fun.

USA WARREN MILLER SKI MOVIE IS Touring Australia - Don’t miss out!

The world famous Warren Miller ski films, now in their 74th year, are touring Australia from May 2024. Locations include Wollongong,

Canberra, Newtown, Avoca Beach, Bowral & The Blue Mountains. Visit for ticket details, movie trailer and more.


Win Warren Miller Tickets to a showing at a venue of your choice! Head to Warren Miller on instagram,

tag a friend you’d like to take and comment can’t wait!

Continued on page 49

48 | ISSUE 37 | April 2024 TraveL
Find us at
with Emma Wilson THE
Where to go, what to do, what to wear, what to pack and much more.

Tips to Plan your NSW Snow Travel

1. Think Creatively Where To Stay

If it’s a Perisher or Thredbo day trip you’d like to do with an overnight stay, Berridale and surrounding towns, such as Cooma are excellent bases to explore Kosciuszko National Park. Accommodation is cheaper than Jindabyne too and has rental equipment stores with good quality range equipment, shops, like Rhythm Snowsports Cooma open 24/7.

2. Mt Selwyn

Australia’s most affordable snow resort. If you’re a beginner or lower intermediate and you need more terrain than the slope at Corin Forest, try Mt Selwyn. Book ahead online and save with their 2024 season price freeze, a one

Continued from page 48

Snow Action Magazine

day pass is $15 and a 7 day pass is $75. Mt Selwyn offers season passes for $529 and with lessons with qualified instructors this is the perfect place to start from scratch or improve your technique all season long before moving to the bigger and more expensive resorts.

3. Corin Forest

The closest and cheapest snow resort to Sydney is Corin Forest, just 45 minutes from Canberra. If you’ve never seen snow before or you’re a complete beginner this is an excellent place to start. Head to their website and check out their packages to include a ski or snowboard lesson starting from $145 for adults or kids and include rental equipment, clothing and ski pass.

Head to for snow updates, amazing competitions, features on overseas and Australian resorts, book reviews, tips on travelling to Japan and Canada and more.

Win Win Win

When one of four copies of lonely

planets, gorgeous coffee table book about 150 thrilling winter adventures you can do around the world, whether this is snowshoeing, skiing, ice, climbing or hiking. To win simply head to @snowaction on instagram and comment on a winter activity you like to do. If you’d like to read the book, review head to www., it makes a perfect gift for anyone of all ages who likes to be outdoors, living life to the fullest.

Snow podcast

If you love listening on-the-go, check out Loving the Snowlife on iTunes or Spotify. It’s the podcast that helps families get ready for their next snowtrip, where to go and what to do when you get there. Follow on instagram @lovingthesnowlife and comment about what you’d like to hear next, we’re open to all topic suggestions.

Past episodes include: Solo travel, first time snow holiday DO’s and DON’Ts, kids snow holiday logistics, how to choose a season pass, weather forecasting, skincare and makeup at the snow, getting your body ready to stay injury-free, plus size snow clothing, travelling with babies and toddlers, sustainable ski brands and more.

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 49 TraveL
with Emma Wilson




AAA City Removalist is renowned as Sydney’s most trustworthy company when it comes to moving homes or offices.

So aside from the advantages you get in terms of us understanding your needs, you’re also going to benefit from getting THE BEST PRICE!

We can organise free box hire and offer full or part packing/unpacking services.

In other words, we’re your ONE-STOP-SHOP when it comes to “removalist services!”

So if you’re moving soon, contact us to discuss how we can help!


It’s our way of giving you that “extra” customer service that makes all the difference.


Our packing material exceeds industry standards and is available in various sizes.


We can organise your changeover & provide you with our expertise in disconnecting & reconnecting your utilities.

Sydney, Country NSW and Interstate

1800 77 77 81

FRIDAY 31st MAY 2024

Blacktown Workers Club

An unforgettable night of live entertainment, auctions & a three-course meal.

Scan code for tickets & sponsorship packages.

Raising vital funds to support Blacktown & Mount Druitt Hospitals.


1. How many teams compete in the English Premier League each season?

2. Does Australian NFL punter Mitch Wishnowsky play for the San Francisco 49ers or the Kansas City Chiefs?

3. Romantic Warrior won which 2023 horse race: the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate or the

4. What nationality was marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum?

5. Which four clubs were last to be granted AFLW licenses, joining the league in 2022?

6. Harry Kane plays for which Bundesliga club?

7. Is the capacity of the MCG 80,000, 100,000 or 110,000 people?

13. Cathy Freeman became the first Indigenous Australian to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in what year?

14. True or false: the Matildas have won a FIFA World Cup?

15. What is the NHL Winter Classic?

The rugby league football manufacturer Steeden was founded in which state?

16. And which two teams played in the 2024 game?

17. Which position does NFL player Travis Kelce play?

23. Which NBA conference won the 2024 NBA All-Star Game?

Which king of France was the first person to have an indoor billiard table?

10. Name the most famous steeplechase horse race in the world, run since 1836.

18. The 2024 Royal Hobart Regatta recently celebrated how many years?

19. When will the AFLW 2024 season start?

20. Lleyton Hewitt won his first Grand Slam title in which year?

24. WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu competed in what contest against Steph Curry on NBA All-Star Weekend?

27. Recently deceased racehorse Verry Elleegant won the Melbourne Cup in what year?

28. Which Super Rugby Pacific team recently went into voluntary administration?

29. Which country’s baseball competition is known as Nippon Professional Baseball?

11. What is the maximum number of overs a bowler is allowed to bowl in ODI cricket?

21. Which two men’s international cricket teams tour Australia during the 2023/24 summer?

25. Which cricketing nation recently experienced their worst test match loss since World War II?

30. How many Super Bowl MVP awards has Patrick Mahomes won?

Matthew Farrelly is the real name of which Australian WWE wrestler?

22. Callum Mills is the captain of which AFL team?

26. Which Australian cricketer scored a double century in the recent women’s test match against South Africa?

1. 20 2. San Francisco 49ers 3. The Cox Plate 4. Kenyan 5. Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Sydney 6. Bayern Munich 7. 100,000 8. Queensland 9. King Louis XI 10. English Grand National 11. 10 12. Grayson Waller 13. 1990 14. False 15. An annual outdoor ice hockey game 16. Seattle Kraken and Las Vegas Golden Knights 17. Tight end 18. 186th 19. The last week of August 20. 2001 21. Pakistan and West Indies 22. Sydney 23. Eastern Conference 24. Three-point shootout 25. England 26. Annabel Sutherland 27. 2021 28. Melbourne Rebels 29. Japan 30. Three
Melbourne Cup? 8. rugb 9 Which k to t 1 t nu a bowle O 12. Matthew is re A W WE w Lleyton Hewitt Hewitt 0103
Travis Kelce
April 2024



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”.

4 In which city would you find Red Square?

5 The Orange Free State is a former sovereign country within which modern nation?

6 In the famous performance company the Blue Man Group, how many ‘blue men’ appear on stage at one time?

7 Which musician made the 1984 album Purple Rain?

8 In which US state would you find Ivy League university Brown University?

9 Actor Betty White (pictured) is famous for playing Rose in which US sitcom?

10 Morganite is a gemstone of what colour?

SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Bale (4) 3 Tenacious (10) 10 Grave (7) 11 Assay (7) 12 Classified (8) 13 Woody plants (5) 14 Route (4) 15 Head of a gang (10) 18 Mocking (10) 20 Couple (4) 21 Disliked intensely (5) 23 Pool water additive (8) 26 Mass (7) 27 — Avenue, New York (7) 28 Forcing (10) 29 Island (4) DOWN 1 Station (4) 2 Made right (9) 4 Necessary (9) 5 Odour (5) 6 Frighten suddenly (7) 7 Exclusive (5) 8 Bursar (9) 9 Occupations (4) 53 17 35 81 2768 736 273 869 425 3 762 8457 3 97 52 21694 96 48 3817 12687 No. 040 No. 040
What mountain range in NSW was formerly named the Carmarthen Hills?
Which artist was known for his ‘blue’ and ‘rose’ periods of work?
Into which body of water does the Dnieper River flow?
Y N C I P S H A I 9-LETTER WORD No. 040 15 words: Good 21 words: Very good 27 words: Excellent QUIZ 14 Buys (9) 16 Nice guy (9) 17 Doctor’s conclusion (9) 19 Painkilling drug (7) 22 Pulsate (5) 23 Defraud (5) 24 Impolite (4) 25 As soon as (4) HARD MEDIUM
4x4 WORD FIND No. 040 The leftover letters will spell out a secret message. ACROSS 1 Slight quarrel (4) 5 Reluctant (arch.) (4) 6 Drug-yielding plant (4) 7 Vatican’s leader (4) DOWN 1 Hit with open hand (4) 2 Sport (4) 3 Covering (4)

No. 049

20 He starred as Ethan Chandler in the horror series Penny Dreadful, Josh – (8)



22 Short-lived British soap set in Spain (8)

24 Wonder Woman’s alter ego, – Prince (5)

26 Actress who plays the lead role of Eleanor Shellstrop in the comedy series The Good Place, Kristen – (4)

28 Modern Family star who provides the voice of Duke in The Secret Life of Pets films, – Stonestreet (4)

30 Star of Jane the Virgin, – Rodriguez (4)



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

Multiplication and division are performed before addition and subtraction.

DOWN 2 Scottish crime drama series first broadcast in 2013 (8)

3 2007 Canadian drama set in New Delhi, India (4)

4 Iconic Italian actor, voice actor, singer, director and screenwriter (7,5)

5 Jessica – played Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four films (4)

6 2000 Robert Zemeckis drama starring Tom Hanks (4,4)

8 Iconic singer and actress who stars in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (4)

NOTE: more than one solution may be possible

18 Swedish actress of La Dolce Vita

Back from Eternity, – Ekberg (5)

1. What is Ferrell’s first given name?

A. Richard

B. Clive

C. Wilson

D. John

2. One of his funniest skits on Saturday Night Live involved:

A. Cowbells

B. A monkey

C. A water slide

D. Chewing gum

3. Who plays Ferrell’s father in Daddy’s Home 2?

A. Liam Neeson

B. Mel Gibson

C. John Lithgow

D. Chevy Chase

4. In which movie does Ferrell co-star with Nicole Kidman?

A. Paddington

B. Bewitched

C. The Stepford Wives

D. The Railway Man

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW... WELL CODEWORD 12345678910111213 14151617181920212223242526 RP No. 040 593471286 127864395 739526841 276958413 958713624 642187539 481632957 364295178 815349762 843529761 718935426 689147352 271386594 592764138 437258619 956471283 364812975 125693847 SUDOKU MEDIUM SUDOKU HARD QUICKCROSSWORD QUIZ 1. Blue Mountains 2. Pablo Picasso 3. The Black Sea 4. Moscow 5. South Africa 6. Three 7. Prince 8. Rhode Island 9.  The Golden Girls 10. Pink 4X4 ACROSS: 1. Spat, 5. Loth, 6. Aloe, 7. Pope DOWN: 1. Slap, 2. Polo, 3. Atop, 4. Thee Solve all the clues and an eight-letter word will be spelled out. Each number corresponds to a letter. Can you crack the code? 1 Utensil for eating soup 2 Wizardry 3 The Atlantic — 4 Part of a teapot 5 If a dog likes you, it — you with their tongue 6 Orange -flavoured fizzy drink 7 Mary Poppins’s job 8 It’s pumped by our hearts
ENTERTAINMENT CROSSWORD CODEWORD 12 345678910111213 Y X U L S N W V O M I D E B C K Q A J F Z H G R T P 2104 ENTERTAINMENT CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Actress of Nocturnal Animals and Tag, – Fisher (4) 7 Lars von Trier drama starring Kirsten Dunst (11) 10 Director and star of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben – (7) 11 Australian actress of 2016 crime-thriller Hounds of Love (4,5) 12 Kim Cattrall’s Sex and the City character (8) 14 Popular series that starred Claire Foy (pictured) and Matt Smith (3,5) 16 Sally Field’s 2015 romcom, Hello, My Name Is – (5) 17 Iconic English actress whose career spanned seven decades, – Cooper (6) 19 Aussie drama based on the novel by John Marsden, Tomorrow, When – Began (3,3)
2007 Aussie dramathriller written and directed by Matthew Saville (5)
One of the
Turtles (8)
29 Zooey Deschanel’s popular 2011–18 sitcom (3,4) 31 Sam Raimi’s crime thriller starring Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda (1,6,4)
of Love and
23 Star of the 2019 sci-fi adventure
Astra (4,4) 25
27 US supernatural horror, a prequel to The Conjuring (9)
32 Israeli author of A Tale
Darkness, adapted
a movie by Natalie Portman, – Oz (4)
into Night (6,1’5)
9 2012 Michael Haneke
film (5) 13 Stephen Amell’s superhero series (5) 15 Playwright of Long
puzzles WILL FERRELL TODAY’S SOLUTIONS WORD FIND Secret message: Ready for take-off HIDDEN WORD Spoon, magic, Ocean, spout, licks, Fanta, nanny, blood, (SCOTLAND) 9-LETTER WORD apish, aspic, chain, chains, chin, china, chip, chips, inch, nisi, pain, pains, panic, panics, physic, PHYSICIAN, pica, pinch, piny, shin, shiny, ship, snip, spicy, spin, spinach, spiny ANSWERS: 1D, 2A, 3C, 4B. PUZZLESANDPAGINATION © PAGEMASTERS PTY LTD. PAGEMASTERS.COM CROSS MATH 5x5 WORD FILL No. 015 No. 016 No. 015 3 LETTERS AGE CAR DUE DYE GEE GET GNU HAT IDS ILL ION LID MAP MOO ODE PIE SAG SAW SEC SOS TNT WEB WEE YES 4
C V S B D N D E S E L A S Insert
to make 10 words –five reading
the missing letters
grid and
PUZZLES AND PAGINATION 2304 –× = 46 ÷ + + × + = 30 + + + –+ = 7 = = = 8 16 16 C A V E S A B O D E N U D G E A S K E D L E A D S –× = 46 ÷ + + × + = 30 + + + –+ = 7 = = = 8 16 16 WORDFILL CROSS MATH 5X5 6 2 5 9 8 7 4 3 1 0424

BLACKTOWN CITY SHOW THEIR CLASS Test of character in loss

THE test of a team’s character is how you respond from a loss. In the case of the Blacktown City Senior Men, the 1-0 loss at home to the Wollongong Wolves in round five was a devastating one in the clubs hunt for the 2024 Premiership.

Head of Football, Mark Crittenden, said after that match that the next few weeks will determine our character. His side responded in true Blacktown City style defeating both Rockdale and St George City on the road the next two weeks. The third test in that character was last weekend when Blacktown hosted their rivals Sydney United on Easter Sunday.

Following the loss to Wollongong, Blacktown hit the road to take on the undefeated Rockdale Ilinden in the match of the round. It was a tense encounter as Rockdale were playing to their home crowd, their local MP and NSW Minister for Sport, Steve Kamper as well as first bite at securing the East-West Cup set up by former Blacktown Mayor, Stephen Bali. Rockdale came out firing and put Blacktown in defensive mode with an aggressive attack. That was all changed when Mitch Mallia surprised everyone with a goal of the week that put Blacktown up 1-0 and changed the games momentum.

Blacktown had a goal disallowed but scored again to put the visiting side up 2-0 early in the second half. Rockdale hit back with their own goal but Joey Gibbs responded to give Blacktown a 3-1 lead. The final ten minutes were intense as Rockdale scored again to close the gap 3-2. Blacktown Goalie Tristan Prendergast stood tall and kept Rockdale at bay in the closing minutes. The 3-2 victory lived up to the pre-game match of the round billing with its intensity and competitive spirit.

Week seven had Blacktown back on the road to take on St George City. Dubbed the battle of the cities it was certainly a game for the ages as two teams turned up to play football in a thoroughly entertaining match with both looking to take maximum points and continue their climb up the ladder.

Neither team could score in the first half but after the break, Tyren Burnie skipped down the right wing and crossed for Travis Major, Blacktown’s all-time leading goal scorer, who nodded Blacktown into the lead in the 65th minute. Jak O’Brien scored from a penalty shot to give Blacktown a 2-0 lead and secure the win for a 4-2-1 scoreline leading into round eight.

After seven rounds of the 24 season, seven teams were sitting on four wins. West Sydney Wanderers led all teams with six wins against a sole loss, followed by Marconi with a 5-1-1 scoreline. Sydney United with a 4-1-2 record to date were next up for Blacktown City as they hosted their archrivals on Easter Sunday. Blacktown/Sydney United are always eventful encounters and with both teams on four wins there were key match points at stake.

Blacktown City will stay at Landen Stadium the next two weeks to host Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners. Both squads are full of young and energetic talent which will test the experience and composure of Blacktown’s best. A Diamond member of the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber, Blacktown City hosted Chamber members last Thursday in a Business After 5 event. Head of Football, Mark Crittenden addressed the Chamber members early in the evening and guest then witnessed both the Senior Men and Under 20’s in a full training session. The week before, Sponsors and guests were hosted at the Hudson Hotel for the annual Chairman’s Dinner. Blacktown City FC remain committed to proudly represent the city that bears its name!

Blacktown City Women are off and

running in their quest to reach the Top Four in only their third season. New Head Coach, Michael Hawthorne, has his side playing good football and after four rounds sit in the top six having only dropped the one game to Central Coast. Last week Blacktown hosted Inter Lions for a 3-0 win showing they can score goals.

Coach Michael Hawthorne said: “We are getting better each week as the team settles in to competing at this level. It is pleasing that our defense is solid and ability to score goals is showing very positive signs”.

The Women now hit the road for the next three weeks before hosting Hills United on Sunday April 21 at Landen Stadium. This Easter weekend, Blacktown City Women headed South to play the South Coast Flames on Saturday.

Upcoming games:

Home Game - Blacktown City FC

Men VS Sydney United – Sunday, March 31st, 3:00pm, Landen Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills

Home Game – Blacktown City FC

Men VS Sydney FC – Sunday, April 7th, 3pm, Landen Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills

Home Game – Blacktown City FC

Men VS Central Coast Mariners – Sunday, April 14th, 3pm, Landen Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills

Home Game - Blacktown City Women Vs Hills United – Sunday, April 21st, 4pm, Landen Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills

Home Game - Blacktown City Women Vs Marconi – Sunday, April 28th, 4pm, Landen Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills

April 2024 | ISSUE 37 | 55 SporT
Bob Turner is Executive Chairman at Blacktown FC.
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