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Voice of Australia’s most progressive city


Westmead is the training centre for next generation of young doctors: 3


ISSUE 7 | February 2020


Bankwest Stadium welcomes the city's newest cafe: Hoops Coffee House: 8


Danzel Washington in a murder-mystery that is less focused on finding the killer: 30


NSW Youth Outreach and Inclusion coordinator Elise Kellett with young leader Maveryn Reid.

As the future of the PCYC remains in doubt


N mixed messages to the troubled youth of Parramatta, the YMCA and Westfield have teamed up to offer a drop-in centre for get young people back on track, while plans to find a permanent home for Parramatta PCYC, without one since 2016, remain in doubt. Former Liberal Lord Mayor John Chedid, who is president of

Parramatta PCYC, and other community and business leaders have called on the State Government to give assurances that the club that has helped youth for more than 60 years has the permanent large premises promised when its lease on its temporary home runs out in two years. See full coverage page 13.


Eat, drink and play at Parramatta’s foodie destination.

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ISSUE 7 | February 2021




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ISSUE 7 | February 2021


State-of-the art health care boost Westmead the training centre for next generation of doctors  ELIZABTH FRIAS ESTERN Sydney has been given a boost with 151 newly graduated doctors, needed more than ever as we fight COVID-19. 92 of those will train at Westmead Hospital with the rest going to Blacktown and Mt Druitt. The new doctors’ arrival is “very special, more so this year with our junior medical officers joining our service during a global pandemic,” says Western Sydney Local Health District chief executive Graeme Loy. “Westmead Hospital is home of Australia’s first-ever COVID-19 patient. Ever since, our district’s ability to respond to the virus has been nothing short of outstanding. “Our staff are working in state-of-theart redevelopments at Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Westmead hospitals, which means our JMOs will be learning inside the hospitals of the future.” One of those new doctors keen to serve the West is 26-year-old local, Melissa Elias, who reveals her career choice is firmly set on saving lives, whatever it takes, after seeing her own sister die from rare cancer. From her standpoint, losing Gabriella, the profound disability of another sibling, and watching how best medical care was provided to her loved ones, cemented her path to the medical field. “She fought hard for three years and seeing her go through it made me think I have to definitely go help other people like my sister,” says Melissa of Gabriella’s ordeal. “It was hard knowing I couldn’t do anything for her [at the time] so I have to pull my socks in no matter how hard it may go.” Her late sister is Gabriella Wehbe, awarded Parramatta’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2017, who died at 18 years of age


Melissa Elias on her first week as a junior doctor at Westmead Hospital.

the following year. While battling cancer, Gabriella raised more than $400K for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a cancer treatment centre in Sydney. Melissa then swapped her pharmacist studies at University of Sydney to join the medical school at Notre Dame University and passed with flying colours. Last month, after eight years of university training, Melissa joined the other 150 young doctors who started work at hospitals across Western Sydney – at Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Auburn.

Gift that keeps giving Melissa is also among 1041 junior medical officers NSW Health fielded to major cities and regions for two years to backfill recurring doctors’ shortages as the Coronavirus pandemic continue to put pressure on the health system. On her third week on duty at Westmead, on alert due to the pandemic, Melissa described her shifts at the orthopaedic surgery unit like a gift that kept on giving, being mentored by skilled surgeons who pass on their valuable

knowledge, particularly the care of vulnerable elderly patients separated from family as part of COVID-19 infection control. “The hardest part is to see the strain on geriatric patients because they haven’t got their families with them, it’s quite sad but we have to follow health advice. “We are lucky we haven’t come in contact with COVID-19 patients. We all want to see this pandemic go away. We are the luckiest country in the world because we weren’t hit hard unlike America and Europe.” Later on, Melissa plans to specialise as a general practitioner and paediatrician and work locally around Western Sydney where more doctors are needed. “But I thought it will be difficult for me to be away from my family and my little sister with disability having to care for her. I come from a large Lebanese family who would love to have me stay here.” Melissa, who grew up in North Parramatta and completed high school at Our Lady of Mercy, says she prefers to practice locally and become one of the trusted local doctors. “I am one of seven kids, my husband is one of nine kids, I have 75 first cousins, my mum is one of eight, my dad is one of 10, my husband’s Dad is one of 12, my mother-in-law is one of eight,” she says.

Coast calls in Parramatta property guns  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM WO Western Sydney property experts could prove saviours for the ailing Central Coast Council. The two gurus from Parramatta Council advisory committee will advise Coast on selling council assets. Michael Filo and Steve Rowe will make up the Coast's Independent Advisory Group which is going to "provide advice to achieve the best result" in selling off council's un-


derperforming assets. The sale of the assets was one of the controversial range of options Administrator Dick Persson adopted to improve council's financial position. He was installed after the councillors were suspended last year after it was revealed in October that Council mistakenly had been unlawfully spending restricted funds, putting council in more debt, way beyond what it had already planned for. Some councillors in a dominant ALP-

Green independent block had gone on an unbudgetted spending free and had failed to heed warnings by more experienced councillors. At one stage Council did not have enough money to pay its $3.6M wage bill. It's overall debit is in the region of $560M. The Parramatta pair have extensive experience in the public sector providing support and oversight for property, asset and development transactions. Their most recent relevant engagement

has been as members on the Major Projects Advisory Committee for Parramatta City Council. Council's terms of reference for the Coast's committee does not say how much the pair will be paid to hold their meetings but it is only the two of them and their decisions must be unanimous. The first group of sites up for sale includes the Gosford Council offices in Mann St, Gosford, the old Broadwater Hotel site beside it; land adjacent to the airport at Warnervale and land at Hue Hue Rd, Jilliby.

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ISSUE 7 | FEBRUARY 2021 Lord Mayor pays price of playing in the sun

How to get The Times The Parramatta Times is available throughout the Parramatta LGA at 110 strategic locations. To find a location near you visit our website.

IKE many baby boomers, Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer is paying the price for a childhood spent under the unrelenting Australian sun. After a shock diagnosis of stage one melanoma, received just before Christmas, Cr Dwyer has had the cancerous spot removed from his head and a skin graft with skin from under his arm. The painful experience was made worse by how close the 70 year old came to delaying diagnosis, with earlier medical advice that the spot “was probably nothing to worry about”. But, after entreaties from his wife, Cr Dwyer sought analysis from the Melanoma Institute in North Sydney. “Even there, they didn’t immediately think it was anything, then after a biopsy, I got the phone call on Christmas Eve to say it was a melanoma in-situ, in other words stage one,” Cr Dwyer told the Parramatta Times. “So I go into hospital and wake up with battle scars on my head and under my arm.” Cr Dwyer said the damage was no doubt done in his youth when he was often under

protection in those days,” he said. “I want to send the message to all of us who played or sunbaked outside in the days before proper protection to not put off seeing to any suspicious spots on your skin, even if your doctor initially says it is nothing to worry about.”


Digital edition Each edition of The Parramatta Times can be viewed and downloaded in digital format at our ISSUU platform: www.issuu/communitybroadcastnetwork

Contacts Editorial: Admin and General: Editor: Michael Walls

Newsroom News Editor: Di Bartok News Reporter: Lawrence Machado News Reporter: Elizabeth Frias Travel Editor: Dallas Sherringham

Complaints about internet services decrease ETWEEN October and December 2020, residential consumers and small businesses made 30,564 complaints about phone and internet services. This is a decrease of 11.2 per cent compared to the previous quarter. However, the seasonal comparison shows a 5.7 per cent increase when comparing July to December 2020 against the same period in the previous year. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Quarter 2 (Q2) 2020-21 Complaints Report shows while the number of complaints from small businesses decreased compared to the previous quarter, the proportion increased to 17 per cent of total complaints.

B A sorry and sore Parramatta Lord Mayor.

the sun playing sport in Dundas Valley with no protection. “We were always told to play outside and there was no such thing as sun

Demand for e-bikes shifts gears EMAND for E-bikes has soared with new figures revealing almost double the number of sales as a result of a COVID-induced health kick. E-bike sales shifted gears in 2020 with demand expected to double again in 2021, according to the head of one of Australia’s biggest bike stores, 99 Bikes. Founder of 99 Bikes, Matt Turner, said demand for all types of bikes was up 107% across NSW since 2018.


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ISSUE 7 | February 2021


Images of Year of The Ox celebrations at Parramatta.

Celebrating the Year of the Ox HE City of Parramatta will celebrate Lunar New Year with a stunning lighting installation and delicious dishes from local restaurants between February 12 and 26. Centenary Square in the Parramatta CBD will be lit up with an archway of brightly coloured lanterns and a giant red walk-through ‘Lunar Lantern’ to ring in the Year of the Ox. Council has also put together a


special Lunar New Year food guide to some of Parramatta’s amazing eateries, featuring more than 25 restaurants offering delights from China, Vietnam, Korea, and more. “Lunar New Year is one of the City of Parramatta’s most popular events, and a wonderful opportunity for the community to celebrate our diverse City,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.

“Due to the constantly changing circumstances around COVID-19 restrictions, we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with our usual, large-scale annual event. “We will instead be celebrating Lunar New Year with a stunning red lighting installation in Centenary Square – and I encourage everyone from across Sydney to come and take a selfie in the Lunar Lantern.

“Dozens of restaurants across Parramatta will also be celebrating Lunar New Year so make a booking, order home delivery or grab take-out and celebrate at home.” According to lunar astrology, the Year of the Ox represents hard work, positivity and honesty. For more information visit:

Our Rosemary named national local hero  ELIZABETH FRIAS OSEMARY Kariuki, the refugee from Kenya who has changed the lives of so many people in Western Sydney, is the 2021 is Australian Local Hero of the Year. She was named NSW Local Hero of the Year last November and spent this past weekend in Canberra, “not expecting to win” but to attend the much-awaited Australian of the Year award ceremonies on the eve of Australia Day. On her way to Parliament House, she posted a photo on Facebook of herself and other awardees on the bus and captioned: “On my way to meet ScoMo!” to show how excited she was to meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison. They met at Parliament House and greeted each other with the COVID-Safe elbow rub, and while Rosemary made her acceptance speech, Mr Morrison and Mrs Jenny Morrison watched in awe from their seats in the audience as the refugee from Kenya who has been championing the cause on reducing the toll on domestic violence affecting women in Western Sydney was announced the winner. Rosemary’s WhatsApp page has been humming with congratulatory messages from near and far, but when she gets back to work, she will be the usual courageous, affable, and warm woman known for her hearty laugh on her 16th year as Multicultural Community Liaison Officer for the NSW Police in Parramatta. It was while volunteering with the African Women’s Group, that Rosemary was offered a civilian role at one of the busiest police headquarters in the suburbs. Each day, her job at the Marsden Street station entails solving problems for ethnic women victims of domestic violence and other crimes, and act as the go-between to break barriers with language, finances, and other issues derailing law enforcement. In Parramatta, at least 519 women per 100,000 of the population are assaulted by their partners, according to the apprehended DV orders report ranking each local government area in NSW.


PM Scott Morrison with Rosemary Kariuki

Rosemary agrees these statistics made her chosen vocation jagged and tough, yet she says it is the “most rewarding job” she has ever done because she can help others while healing her own tragic past. “Working as a community liaison officer has been a very rewarding job for me,” says the 60-year-old, who came to Australia in 1999 to escape a horrific sexual violence and bloodletting conflict with tribes in her native Kenya. She was in her 30s working as a secretary and administration officer and had two sons and family she hastily left behind to seek refuge in Australia. It took a few years of getting accustomed to the Australian way of life before the MCLO role landed on her patch. She was also appointed as a Swahili language interpreter with the government’s Translating and Interpreting Service for migrants from East African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi among others.

It’s a two-way street Rosemary started work as MCLO linking refugees from Sudan, Sierra Leone and Liberia to various government-initiated programs that led them to find jobs, access housing and become connected to the communities where they chose to live and raise their families. “It is a two-way street to bring the police and the community together,” she says. “If the community don’t know the police and the police didn’t have an idea about the cultures in the community, crime [rate] will never go down. “We take the police officers to meet the community to educate them about the different cultures in our area. We sit down with community leaders and they discuss and agree what is the best way to solve problems before a crime is committed.” In Rosemary’s own experience, it took a huge effort to break away from being socially isolated as a newcomer during her first three years in Australia, and this is a

stark reality in the plight of other women migrants who speak little English or none at all, unable to drive a car to go out shopping, or has to follow strict cultural traditions. The weight of the social problem pushed Rosemary to find a way to turn the corner kickstarting the African Women’s Dinner Dance, an annual event now running on its 15th year with hundreds of ethnic women attending year in and year out without fail to meet up with other women through dancing and music. A documentary film, Rosemary’s Way, based on Rosemary’s life and work with the women from countries such as Congo, Peru and Iraq whose lives she touched and transformed for the better was produced by award-winning producer Ros Horin. It was one of the 10 finalists for Best Australian Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival last year. Horin discovered Rosemary while making another documentary film, The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe.



ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Girl from Mumbai guides our migrants Now she’s written a book about her remarkable life  DI BARTOK ROM working in the Indian slums with legendary Mother Teresa to helping migrants in Western Sydney settle into their new lives, Melissa Monteiro has never faltered in her commitment to others. The life of good deeds was part of Melissa’s upbringing, with a father and grandfather spending their lives helping others. Now the girl from Mumbai has written a book on her remarkable life, called – The Girl from Mumbai, set to hit Amazon next month. It is a rollicking tale that sees a wideeyed bright 12 year old inspired by her father’s tales of his work with an American company providing food aid to the poor in India, as well as her grandfather John Goes’s good deeds in bringing order to a disordered society. As a retired Customs officer, John Goes commanded respect in his community, even among criminals. ‘’My grandfather was bright, intelligent and made a name for himself,’’ Melissa said. ‘’He was famous and a big man. Street fights would come to a stop when he walked down the road. Gang leaders joined hands and saluted him as he passed them by. He put fear in people if they did the wrong thing. ‘’Each morning as I dressed to get ready to go to school, I could hear in the front of my house a lot of noise, there was a whole lot of people outside in the veranda. There were a lot of people who came to meet my grandfather for help or seek his advice.’’ Her grandfather, who died when she was 14, remains in Melissa’s heart and guides her to this day.


Melissa Monteiro with her husband Prakash and with some of her Migrant Resource Centre team

Her mother, still alive in Mumbai, guided her family with faith, humour and determination and imbued her four children – Melissa, Erica. Michelle and Gerard with a strong work and charitable ethic. ‘’My mother was the maypole of the family,’’ Melissa said. But it was another inspiring figure that spurred on Melissa’s charitable work – the legendary Mother Teresa. ‘As Christians we were in the minority in Mumbai but I was inspired by the work of Mother Teresa and learned a lot working alongside her organisation when I was still young,’ Melissa said. ‘’By 23, I knew I wanted to change the world.’’ And, in her quiet determined way, she has – or, at least, the everyday worlds of so many, from working with the nuns to help the poor in the slums of Mumbai to being a guiding force to migrants in Sydney’s West.

No excuses for making a better life For 20 years, Melissa has headed the Community Migrant Resource Centre based in Parramatta, after migrating with her business executive husband Prakash. Melissa does not make any excuses for seeking a better life in Australia as she feels she did all she could in Mumbai. In multicultural Western Sydney, her innate compassion and hard work is bettering the lives of struggling migrants who are keen to contribute to their new country. For her efforts, Melissa won the Western Sydney University Award in 2013. Melissa was also an Impact Australia 25 winner and has been recognized by Pro Bono Australia for making positive impact. She has also been recognized by Pro Bono Australia as a Collaborator and won the Judges Pick award in 2019. In her work at the migrant resource centre, Melissa guides her staff to look for

simple solutions to complex problems, a system she has always found to work well. ‘’Everything we do is around simplicity -. reaching out to people, understanding they are in a difficult place. The client’s needs always comes first,’’ Melissa said. Many of her clients come from traumatic homeland backgrounds, but Melissa is always astounded by their sense of hope. As well as her work with CMRC, Melissa Monteiro is Chair of the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA), based in Canberra, is a Director on the Board of Anti – Discrimination NSW and a member of the Multicultural NSW Regional Advisory Council. When Melissa does have time to relax, she spends it with her family, husband and two grown children – a son aged 23 and a 17-year-old daughter, and her stalwart husband. There is sometimes time for reading – mostly inspirational material of course.

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ISSUE 7 | February 2021

CHURCH ST WE’RE OPEN Eat, drink and play at Parramatta’s foodie destination.

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ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Opening of Hoops Coffee House.

Hoops Coffee House opens at Bankwest ARRAMATTA’S home of sport and entertainment will feature early starts and alfresco dining with the opening of Hoops Coffee House outside Bankwest Stadium. As the City of Parramatta comes alive this summer, the new seven-days-a-week café next to the basketball courts and playground area on O’Connell Street adds another dimension to the popular community space. Member for Parramatta and Acting Minister for Sport, Dr Geoff Lee MP, attended the official unveiling last week. “The opening of Hoops Coffee House is another example of how Parramatta is contributing to NSW’s recovery from the pandemic and continuing its rapid growth as Sydney’s central city,” Mr Lee said. “Bankwest Stadium has already shown it delivers a significant boost to Parramatta’s local economy and it continues to go from strength to strength, providing an active precinct for local residents and visitors, year-round.”


Located near Gate A at Bankwest Stadium, Hoops is open from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 7pm on weekends. A well-established COVIDSafe plan is in place and the outdoor setting is also beneficial as part of a wider COVIDSafe protocol. General Manager Catering at Hoops Coffee House, Andreas Breitfuss, said that

highly-regarded local coffee roaster Circa Espresso had been selected from a number of Western Sydney coffee producers as the exclusive supplier to Hoops Coffee House. “From game day to every day, Hoops Coffee House is the place to be in Parramatta,” said Mr Breitfuss. “The Bankwest Stadium forecourt is a fantastic community space, with people visiting the playground and basketball courts at all hours of the day. The addition of Hoops Coffee House provides a new meeting spot and focal point. “We’re thrilled that a great local business in Circa Espresso is at the heart of this new addition to Bankwest Stadium, which has become a thriving community hub since it opened in 2019.” Circa Espresso owner Aykut Sayan said: “We like to work with those that share our


passion for quality, and Bankwest Stadium has set high standards in the food and beverage space while quickly becoming part of the Parramatta and Western Sydney community.” A score of young basketballers from the West Sydney Wolves joined the Hoops Coffee House opening. Chairman Ronnie Khalil said: “The West Sydney Wolves have a vision to grow, promote and nurture the love of basketball within our communities, so we’re delighted to be here at the courts outside Bankwest Stadium encouraging community activity and fun.” Hoops Coffee House will offer a 20 per cent discount to all staff and families of Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Western Sydney as part of Bankwest Stadium’s Charity & Community Program. Hoops Coffee House is ideal for commuters using the nearby carparks at Bankwest Stadium, available for $3 an hour or a flat rate of $10 per day – the lowest parking rate in Parramatta. A loyalty program will be in place for regulars, and competitions and giveaways will give patrons the chance to win prizes like tickets to Bankwest Stadium events and free meals.

ISSUE 7 | February 2021




ISSUE 7 | February 2021

with Geoff Lee MP

Funding for Local youth support NEW local project supporting young people in Parramatta is one of 35 initiatives across the state to receive a share in the NSW Government’s $1.5M Youth Opportunities grants program. Dr Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta said Host International received $50,000.00 through the program to deliver The Cultural Transitions project which will create adynamic film resource made by young migrants and refugees exploring belonging, family and community dynamics during settlement. “This program means young people in the Parramatta area will be more


GEOFF LEE Del ivering for  11 , 3™

engaged and have the opportunity to be part of a wonderful initiative,” Dr Lee said. “I want to congratulate Host International for developing such an innovative project that will improve the lives of so many young people in our community.” The Youth Opportunities program helps young people build life skills, employment pathways, and nurture good wellbeing and mental health. Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said 35projects statewide received up to $50,000 each through the program. “Young people are our State’s greatest asset and we are working hard to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to make our communities stronger and better places to live.” Since the NSW Government established the Youth Opportunities program in 2012, almost $13.3M has been invested in 282 projects. For more information about successful projects,

Celebrate seniors who go above and beyond OCALS can nominate seniors who are helping to make Parramatta an inspiring place to live in the 2021 NSW Seniors Festival Local Achievement Awards. Dr Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta and Acting Minister for Seniors said the awards program celebrates the work and achievements of seniors in Parramatta who make us proud every day. “Seniors have gone above and beyond for our community as volunteers, carers and role models in a challenging year where our State has faced bushfire, flood, drought and a health pandemic,” Dr Lee said. “If you know a senior who helps make our community a better place to live, then I encourage you to nominate them.” The awards program will be held in Parramatta as part of an exciting schedule of events across the state for the 2021 NSW Seniors Festival. It’s the largest festival for seniors in the Southern Hemisphere and enables older people to engage with each other, their community, ageing services and relevant businesses. Dr Lee said the festival and the awards, highlight the important role seniors play in the community. “This annual festival is about celebrating the positive impact of older people in our families and society,” Dr Lee said. Winners of the Local Achievement Awards will be announced during the NSW Seniors Festival which runs from April 13 – 24 April 2021.


Geoff LEE MP

Member for Parramatta 02 9891 4722

Ground Floor, 60 Macquarie Street, Parramatta NSW 2150 Authorised by Geoff Lee MP, Ground Floor, 60 Macquarie Street, Parramatta NSW 2150. Funded using parliamentary entitlements.

To nominate a senior or find further information on the program, contact: the Parramatta Electorate Office on 9891 4722 or

ISSUE 7 | February 2021



Workers lay tracks along Parramatta's Eat St.

Light Rail tracks laid along Eat St HE revitalisation of Parramatta’s ‘Eat Street’ is well underway with the first tracks laid for Parramatta Light Rail in the dining precinct. Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said major light rail construction on Church Street, from Lennox Bridge to George Street, is being fast-tracked for completion in mid-2021. “It’s exciting to see a city-shaping project like the Parramatta Light Rail make significant progress over the past few weeks,” Mr Constance said. “Up to 500 people per day and 300 each night worked through the Christmas and New Year period to connect utilities and lay tracks for the new light rail network, which will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia. “Construction crews are working a combined 8,500 hours a day right across the whole 12-kilometre alignment to deliver this project as quickly as possible, so everyone can enjoy the benefits.”


Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said amending the construction schedule for ‘Eat Street’ in response to COVID-19 saw work continue through a planned three-month construction break, bringing forward the completion of major works in the dining precinct. “We thank our local businesses for their patience and understanding during what has been a tough period for many. Seeing the first light rail tracks on ‘Eat Street’ is a positive sign of what’s to come,” Dr Lee said. “A celebration is planned from August, with a Transport for NSW activation known as ‘Eat Street Uncovered’ to take place before the installation of light rail stops and the commencement of network testing and commissioning.” 166 metres of track have now been installed along Eat Street. The Parramatta Light Rail is expected to open in 2023. For more information, visit www.parramattalightrail. See video:


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ISSUE 7 | February 2021 license police saw that it was endorsed as suspended. The rear windscreen was also fully smashed in with glass fragments on the vehicle. The driver was issued with a court attendance notice for drive without a valid license which is due before the Parramatta Local Court on the March 24, 2021 along with a defect notice for the smashed rear windscreen.

Men charged with malicious damage OLICE have arrested two men following an assault and malicious damage incident in Parramatta. On January 7 Police were called to a car dealership located on Church Street, Parramatta after reports that the two men were throwing items from a balcony at a nearby apartment building. It is alleged the items they have thrown have hit both moving and stationary vehicles causing damage with other items being thrown at Police. The two men were conveyed back to Parramatta Police Station where they were charged for numerous offences including Assault, Malicious Damage and other offences due before the Parramatta Local Court on February 24, 2021.


Man punched in the face at home Multiple drink driving incidences BOUT 3.00am on February 7, 2021, the driver of a Mitsubishi Lancer was stopped for a random breath test on the Great Western Highway, Parramatta. The 24-year-old Toongabbie man returned a positive reading to the roadside breath test resulting in him being placed under arrest. Once taken to Parramatta Police Station the driver underwent a breath analysis test which returned a midrange alcohol reading. The driver had his licence suspended and was charged with drive with mid-range PCA- 1st offence which is before the Parramatta Local Court on March 16, 2021. ABOUT 8:15pm on January 25, police

ramatta during stationary random breath testing. The male was breath tested returning a positive indication to alcohol. He was arrested and conveyed back to Parramatta Police Station where a breath analysis was conducted. The male was processed for drive with low rang PCA and released from police custody a short time later.

Negative result but licence supended BOUT 9.25pm on January 30, police stopped a male driver of a silver Toyota Camry on Station Street, Toongabbie for the purpose of a breath test. The driver returned a negative result to the test but upon producing his digital driver’s


BOUT 10:15pm on January 19 a 61-year-old male returned to his home address and was walking into the stairwell access from the driveway area on Early Street, Parramatta when he alleges he was punched in the face, causing him to fall backward and land on his back. The unknown person of interest has fled in an unknown direction. Police attended a short time later and conducted a patrol of the area. No person was located relating to the incident. The male was unable to give a description of the person of interest, if anyone witnessed the incident please call Parramatta Police Station on 96330799, or alternatively contact Crime Stoppers on 180033300.


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stopped the driver of a Hyundai IX35 on Wilde Avenue Parramatta due to the erratic way the vehicle was being driven. Police have subjected the 31-year-old female driver to a breath test which returned a positive result. The female was arrested and conveyed back to Parramatta Police Station where a breath analysis test was performed. The female returned a high range reading resulting in her drivers’ licence being suspended and being charged with high range PCA. The matter is before Parramatta Local Court on March 10, 2021. ABOUT 8:00am on January 25 a 45-year-old male driver of a Silver Mazda was stopped by Police on Victoria Road, Par-


ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Jim Taggart.


Typical activities at YMCA.

PCYC uncertain over permanent home Community leaders fear increase in youth crime  DI BARTOK OMMUNITY leaders, worried about escalating youth crime and suicides, wait with bated breath over news of a permanent home for Parramatta PCYC. The club has been in temporary rental premises in George St since its 60-year-old Hassall St home was sold in 2016 to developers for more than $30M. But Parramatta PCYC president John Chedid, patron Jim Taggart and Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer fear the “promised” permanent home on land next to Bankwest Stadium may not happen after failing to get reassuring updates from Parramatta MP and acting Sports Minister Geoff Lee. “We were led to believe that we would be able to build a bigger and better club on land next to the stadium, with the money made from the sale of our old building,” Mr Chedid told the Parramatta Times.


Good chance of securing land “Now we’re not sure what is happening and can’t get a straight answer from the government. Our lease runs out in two years and it would take that long to build a new facility.” Lord Mayor Dwyer is also concerned, given a rise in youth gangs in the LGA, especially in Dundas Valley, his childhood suburb. “When I was a boy, I spent time at Parramatta PCYC as it was a good place to set you on the right path,” Cr Dwyer said. But CEO of PCYC NSW Dominic Teakle is a little more optimistic, expecting that the tender process for long-term rental of the Crown land will start soon.

Typical activities at PCYC.

“As it is zoned community use, we won’t be up against big business, and while nothing is certain, we have a good chance of securing that land. I expect a decision this quarter of the year,” Mr Teakle said. Mr Teakle also was worried the process was taking longer than expected. “While the rented premises are good enough for now, a purpose-built place where we can have basketball courts. We’re very anxious to move into permanent premises.” Mr Teakle said, while a portion of the $31M from the sale of the Hassall St building was spent on other PCYC facilities, “there is more than enough to build the new Parramatta premises”.

The PCYC has long been a haven for at-risk youth, providing physical activities, guided by local police officers dedicated to the task as well as a management team. Mr Taggart is not only concerned about escalating youth crime, but also the rise in youth suicides. “What worries me is more young people are suiciding and a place like PCYC is needed more than ever,” he said. “It is a place like no other for young people, to let off steam and build a relationship with the police, who do a great job running PCYC. When I was growing up, I would go to PCYC and now I want to make sure young people today have their chance,

especially those from one parent families.” A response to the Times from Mr Lee indicates that PCYC will have to compete with other community and business interests for the site. Mr Lee’s statement said: “The NSW Government’s vision for the Bankwest Stadium site is to develop a thriving and vibrant precinct with the right mix of community and commercial tenants which will make Parramatta an even better place to work, rest and play. “I’ve instructed Venues NSW to work on the quickest way to achieve this vision to enable people of all ages to enjoy the site as soon as possible.”

Y NSW comes to the rescue New Westfield pop-up space offers opportunity  LAWENCE MACHADO HILE the future of Parramatta PCYC is uncertain, the YMCA has teamed with Westfield Parramatta to provide a drop-in centre for local young people. The organisations have launched a pop-up youth space at Westfield where Gen Z can hang out, recharge, meet new people and seek support from a youth worker. The Y NSW Youth Outreach and Inclusion co-coordinator Elise Kellett said there has been a need for this space where Gen Z can feel safe and shape the space. They can even run their own workshops for which they are paid, due to a partnership with the Information and Cultural Exchange.


“Youth unemployment rate in NSW is incredibly high and our space provides upskilling and workshops in first aid and white card (used for construction sites, musical and event managements) thanks to Licences 4 Work,” Kellett said. “Our staff help the youth with resumes and even understanding what a job requires. “Because of Covid, many youth have been telling us they have no jobs or no schools and are wandering in the streets and could get into trouble. “I have lived in Parramatta all my life and this is the first time we have had a drop in place for youth and I wish I had something like this.” “Being at Westfield, we are able to talk with some of the businesses there regarding possible job opportunities with Kmart being great at responding.”

Y NSW has been running programs in public spaces including Streetgym at Telopea and Constitution Hill and the Parramatta Library for years, but this is the first time there is a dedicated youth space. But Kellett said their work is quite different to what is offered at PCYC but said they complement each other. “PCYC focus on physical aspects in engaging with the youth and do a great job,” Kellett said. “At this space, we have conversations with the youth and offer them upskilling and other opportunities.” The new initiative gets the nod from Parramatta Y NSW young leader Maveryn Reid because she misses the physical connection caused by Covid restrictions. “Being online so much during COVID

has been tough. Face-to-face is definitely different, you feel the connectedness being around people,” Reid said. Westfield Parramatta Centre manager Adam Dillon said the program is part of its community asset plan and reflects Westfield’s passion and commitment to supporting its community, in particular youth. Y NSW's work is supported by Parramatta Council with funding from the Department of Communities and Justice. The pop-up space is located at Level 2, Westfield Parramatta, and is open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays between 10-6pm, Thursdays from 10-8pm and Saturdays from 10-5pm. Details: youth/yspace/parramatta/

AustraliA DaY


ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Worthy citizens recognised at awards fare services. Diane is the co-founder and facilitator of Neuro Oncology Information Network (NOgIN), which provides education and support for patients and their families to help reduce the physical and emotional impact associated with the diagnosis of brain cancer and improve quality of life. Diane’s dedication to this important initiative demonstrates her passion for caring for others in the community.

FORMIDABLE line-up of worthy citizens and workers were recognised in this year’s Parramatta Council Australia Day Local Awards. The awards ceremony, held at Rosehill Gardens on Thursday, January 21, saw the following recognised.


Junior Citizen of the Year – Antonio Rajaratnam In 2020, Antonio was an HSC student at Redeemer Baptist School. While studying, he participated in a number of his school’s Drama Club productions, helped build a community shelter for local Aboriginal families and young people in Kempsey, and continued to serve his local parish. Recently, Antonio was awarded the 2020 Young Scientist of the Year Award by the Science Teachers Association of NSW, recognising his research into the Sand Fairy cicada. Antonio rediscovered this rare, threatened species in Sydney for the first time in 100 years and became the first person to document a number of its behaviours.

Young Adult Citizen of the Year – Elise Kellett Elise makes a valuable contribution to our local community through volunteer roles with Meals on Wheels and the Starlight Foundation, as well as through her work as a youth outreach and inclusion coordinator at the Y NSW. Elise leads local youth programs, including outreach for young people dealing with homelessness, mental health issues or those who have come to the attention of the police. Elise’s passion for and involvement in a variety of programs enables her to empower, inspire and support young people, contributing to a safe and inclusive environment regardless of sexuality, gender and expression. This leads to skill development, leadership and active participation in our community and brings long-term benefits to the individuals involved and our community as a whole.

Adult Citizen of the Year – Ian Carter Major Ian Carter is a passionate advocate for suicide prevention and mental health support for our local community. In addition to a number of other activities, Ian

Community Service Award – Paul Moussa

Services throughout the year and is said to truly epitomise the ideals comprised in the spirit of ANZAC – service above self.

Paul is the coordinator of Parramatta Mission’s Meals Plus program and regularly goes above and beyond to ensure everyone in the community is cared for with dignity and respect. Among other supporting activities, Paul connects our local community to a number of services, meals and facilities at all hours of the day and night. At the beginning of the pandemic, Paul worked quickly to ensure necessary procedures were in place, converting sit-down meals to takeaway, and ensuring that more than 150 people each day continued to access what they required. Paul also provides great support and leadership to the program’s volunteers, encouraging them in their service.

Community Group Award – Meals Plus

Leadership Award – Westmead Hospital Covid-19 Clinic Team

For more than 45 years, Meals Plus has been a valuable and inclusive service for those in Parramatta who are vulnerable or disadvantaged. Operating with three full-time staff and a group of volunteers, Meals Plus provides a number of services, including more than 46,000 meals last financial year, as well as essential items, welfare service referrals, and laundry and shower facilities. During the pandemic, Meals Plus adapted with takeaway and delivered meals, along with a telephone welfare service.

Since January 2020, the Westmead Hospital Clinic Team’s commitment to our community has meant that hundreds of thousands of patients have been, and continue to be, tested and assessed quickly and safely during the global pandemic. Westmead Hospital has been at the forefront of screening patients and, although presented with a new disease, the staff at Westmead demonstrated vision and leadership to quickly create a new service to manage COVID-19 using well-exercised principals of infection control and prevention. The team has gone out of their way to ensure all visitors are treated with care and dignity with minimum distress and discomfort. “Through the darkness of 2020, there were plenty of bright stars – and it is with great honour that we celebrate those people and their commitment to making our community a better place,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.

This year's worthy winners.

shares his experiences and actively contributes to the development of initiatives that aim to reduce the stigma around mental health and improve treatment and awareness. Ian, a Major in the Australian Army, has been awarded the Commendation for Brave Conduct and has presented the ADF Long Tan Youth and Leadership Award at more than 30 local schools. Following the COVID-19 restrictions, Ian adapted and overcame to deliver four back-to-back presentations for ADF Officer Cadets, demonstrating resilience and tenacity to the future leaders and defenders of our nation.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Heather Gillam Heather is the coordinator of the Epping Branch of the War Widows Guild of Australia and has been an affiliate member of Epping RSL sub-Branch for a number of years. At age 93, Heather makes weekly visits to members of the veteran community in Epping and beyond, often by public transport, to check on their wellbeing. Heather is also active in the welfare programs of the sub-Branch, and enthusiastically participates in Commemorative

Humanity Award – Diane Lear Diane has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years. In addition to her position as clinical nurse consultant neurosciences at Westmead Hospital and numerous representative roles, Diane has voluntarily dedicated her spare time to assisting patients with counselling and wel-

Mayor supports Invasion Day referendum UMBERLAND Lord Mayor Steve Christou says he will support a referendum coinciding with a Federal election to formally decide whether Australia Day held every January 26 should be changed and called Invasion Day. Mr Christou made the comments as he praised the success of the COVID-Safe Australia Day celebration and citizenship ceremony held at his council area of 240,000 people recently listing its suburbs of Berala and Auburn among coronavirus hotspots. “We have to see what the majority of Australians say if they wished to change the date put in a referendum in the next Federal election”, Mr Christou told Parramatta Times as he joined the Australia Day evening celebration at Holroyd Gardens streamed live online as a COVID-Safe approach for large-crowd events. “Only the Federal government can push for this change. Until then, I say to those who want to change the date to stop being a nuisance, do something constructive and organise a referendum.” Mr Christou said he believed “only a minority number of people are crying to change the date” because Australia as a nation has always been united on the issue of keeping the date remain on January 26. Asked on his personal stand on the issue, Mr Christou said: “It’s no secret where I stand on that, I believe we should keep


Cumberland Mayor, Steve Christou.

The Vyas family: Rushil, Divya and Dhanus

the date. We are an inclusive country; we are a diverse country.” He said his Greek-Cypriot parents and siblings also “support keeping the date” like the many Australians who prefer to keep the way it is since the national day of celebration was agreed upon by the states and territories in 1988. The debate whether Australia Day’s date should be changed and named Invasion Day has attracted crowds of protesters across Australia on Tuesday. And while some Western Sydney councils opted for online celebration, Cumberland Council brought in its 40 new Australian citizens and their families

at the Granville Centre to pledge their oath of allegiance in person as a sign of respect to a day of national significance in Australia. The $25M newly-built multi-purpose centre on Memorial Drive has a capacity for more than 200 persons, and had enough space to implement a 1.5 metre physical distancing for people attending, Mr Christou said. “I believe holding the ceremony is meaningful, and its more meaningful when people come to recite their oath in person. Having the ceremony online devalues the meaning of Australian citizenship and the whole process.”

Mr Christou said overall Australia Day at Cumberland has been “a fantastic COVID-Safe day” describing the citizenship ceremony in the morning and the entertainment segment at Holroyd Gardens in the evening attended by a few hundreds of locals went through without glitches. “The crowd behaved appropriately [obliging] to sit down where they are asked to do so. It’s absolutely fantastic and it’s a testament what can be achieved when councils put on a performance for their citizens instead of taking the easy way out. New citizens revel at bright opportunities in Western Sydney Like many residents in Cumberland, Macquarie Hospital nurse Rushil Vyas and his wife Divya, an administration officer at Westmead Hospital, and their eight-yearold son Dhanus, in primary school, couldn’t wait for the day they would officially become Australians. On Tuesday’s Australia Day, the family finally received their citizenship certificates and felt “very fortunate” to be among the 12,000 new Australians who came from all corners of the globe. Originally from India, the family resided in Greystanes to find employment opportunities that came not so long after arriving in Sydney. “Before we came, we were anxious and had mixed feelings but after seeing so many opportunities, we are among the very fortunate,” said Divya, 35.


ISSUE 7 | February 2021


with Julie Owens MP    

Julie Owens Bulletin Stay COVID safe

Parramatta businesses face the JobKeeper cliff  JULIE OWENS F you live around Parramatta, you get to enjoy one of the most vibrant and diverse dining scenes in Australia. It’s one of the many things I love about living here. Turkish in Auburn; Chinese in Carlingford; Lebanese and Nepalese in Granville; Indian in all its diversity in Harris Park; Sri Lankan in Pendle Hill; Afghani and Lebanese in Merrylands; and just about everything in Parramatta. Further afield you’ll find African cuisines in Guildford, Korean in Eastwood and Vietnamese in Cabramatta – just to name a few. Over the past year, the double whammy of COVID and the Parramatta Light Rail has had a devastating impact on our restaurants and cafes. Businesses navigating lockdowns and restrictions have also had to contend with the noise and dust of construction. Once busy streets have been blocked off with little on-street parking, and there’s fears that customers will never return. Lately I’ve been sad to see more and more of these businesses closing and those that are open, relatively empty of customers. Last year businesses on Church Street – once the centre of Parramatta dining – told us trade was down by between 30% and 80%. And I worry, not just about our favourite restaurants and cafes surviving the hiatus, but about their ability to retain the skilled chefs that deliver cuisines from around the world. Many of them are temporary visa holders who do not qualify for any government support. Such skills are hard to come by, and once lost, will delay our recovery even further. Australia has done pretty well in containing the virus, and some parts of the economy have recovered. But it’s clear that industries like hospitality, tourism, international education and the arts have not. Many businesses in these sectors are relying on JobKeeper to stay open and keep their staff in jobs. According to the latest data, 8,285 businesses and an estimated 30,000 workers in Parramatta are receiving the payments. Even with this support, the unemployment rate in Parramatta has climbed to 8.1%, compared to a national average of 6.6%.


Young people will hardest hit Among young people, who are over-represented in the hardest hit sectors like hospitality, it’s 17.8%. 11,006 locals are currently relying on unemployment payments like JobSeeker, more than double the number of people receiving these payments at the end of 2019. And this figure doesn’t include the many skilled visa holders and international students in our community who are ineligible for support. On March 28 the Morrison Government (which has already cut JobKeeper twice) plans to cut the JobKeeper scheme altogether. Yet it is hard to imagine that the Parramatta CBD in particular will snap back or even pick up by then. Construction of the Parramatta Light Rail is expected to overwhelm our streetscape until 2023. Meanwhile there’s still a lot of uncertainty and potential disruption as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks and these are likely to continue until a vaccine is broadly deployed. Right now Parramatta businesses need support that is tailored and responsive to the economic conditions. I’m calling on the Morrison Government to consider options for targeted support that will help Parramatta businesses weather this crisis, so the community we love can survive and thrive into the future. I hope you’ll help me raise the voices of businesses are struggling, so they can’t be ignored. If you’re worried about what will happen when your business or favourite restaurant goes over the JobKeeper cliff, please get in touch with my office. Meanwhile, we who enjoy the sheer diversity in our dining choices, keep eating! For those that can afford it, get take away, buy and freeze, cater in, eat out. Above all else, businesses need customers (and that’s us) and you just might be able to park for free. Council in partnership with Transport for NSW is offering free parking at some CBD car parks to people who spend with local restaurants. For details, visit au/eat-street-free-parking Go local first. Julie Owens is Federal Member for Parramatta.

Scan the QR code for up-to-date information on COVID in NSW, including symptoms and COVID safe rules. Stay safe by practising good hygiene and social distancing - and get tested immediately if you feel unwell.

Request a kit I’ve put together a ‘youth kit’ that covers education, employment, finances, and health and wellbeing to help young people (school leavers - 25) plan for the future. I’ve also updated my ‘seniors kit’ with information about coronavirus and local services that can help seniors get through this difficult time. If you’d like a copy of either kit for yourself or a loved one, please phone my office on 9689 1455.

Pensioners and Senio rs INFORMA TIO N KIT

This kit is

provided with

Julie Owen

the complimen

s MP

ts of:

YOUR LOCA L FEDERAL MEMBER FOR Address: 1/25 PARRAMA Smith Stree TTA t, Parramatt Mail: PO Box a NSW 2150 395, Parra matta NSW Tel: (02) 9689 2124 1455 Email: julie.o Web: www .julieowen @JulieOw ensMP JulieOwensMP

Every effor

t has been made Payment rates

to ensure the accuracy of the informatio in this guide n provided. are current from May 2020 .

JP services on Tuesdays Coronavirus office closures have caused a shortage of JP services in Parramatta. My office is organising COVID safe JP services at Club Parramatta on Tuesdays between 10:30am and 1:30pm. Bookings are essential – please call us on 9689 1455 to make an appointment. Scan the QR code for a list of other JP services currently available in Parramatta on my website. Demand is pretty high, so if you’re a local JP who can help, please contact my office on 9689 1455.

Sign up for my bulletins I share useful information like this in three regular email bulletins – one for small businesses, one for community groups and a general bulletin for locals. Scan the QR code to sign up – you can unsubscribe at any time.

Julie Owens MP FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PARRAMATTA If I can be of any help please phone me on 9689 1455 or write to 1/25 Smith St, Parramatta NSW 2150 or email Authorised by Julie Owens MP, Australian Labor Party, 1/25 Smith Street, Parramatta.



Whale watching at Hervey Bay What an exhilarating day it proved to be  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HALE watching at Hervey Bay and a swim on Fraser Island is a “must see” day out when you visit this bustling region just north of the Sunshine Coast. I recently a day tour on the purpose-built whale watching boat Tasman Venture skippered by owner, former motocross champion Lloyd Burgess… Now, I have been on half a dozen whale watching cruises on the NSW coast, but they were nowhere near as good as the Hervey Bay experience. As Lloyd explained, this because the whales are playing, relaxing, mating, and calving in the Bay, whereas they are mostly travelling when you see them further south. The day started at the impressively named ‘Great Sandy Strait Marina’ in Buccaneer Dr after we were picked up from our accommodation. A cup of coffee and a quick ‘hello’, and I was soon chatting with a group of Queenslanders on the sunny top deck who were experiencing whale watching for the first time. The COVID-19 outbreak had forced thousands of Banana Benders who normally went overseas or cruised, to go see their own state.


The Whale Whisperer Our tour host on board, Vicki, starred in a National Geographic documentary called ‘the Whale Whisperer’ a few years ago and has been with Tasman Venture for 20 years. And I can see why they chose her. She is an amazing host, full of enthusiasm and

knowledge and she calls the whole whale experience like a live TV telecast. Vicki buzzed around the decks, chatting with the tour members, helping with photographs and genuinely making a superb day out into a brilliant life afforming experience. “This is one of the best we have had for a while,” she told me as she served lunch. We watched a female humpback in a “heat run” with two male whales and she was playing particularly hard to get, ducking under out boat, playing-hide-and-goseek and popping up occasionally for a look at our passengers. Vicki said the whales loved to commu-

nicate with humans and were obviously intrigued by us. Sitting on the front of Tasman Venture, I watched the huge ‘arms’ of the mammals smashing the water as they tried to dislodge barnacles….or were they just showing off ? Then one of them disappeared briefly before bursting into a magnificent double leap out of the warm waters of the Bay. After lunch, we went for a swim at pristine Fraser Island and took to canoes to explore one of the beautiful, isolated freshwater lakes. To say was extremely impressed by a great day out, is an understatement. If you go to Hervey Bay be sure to look for the Tasman Venture tour.

ISSUE 7 | February 2021


ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Walking among the rock art at Port Macquarie  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM p Port Macquarie way they have two unusual traditions that the whole world should copy. You see, it all started when a new gigantic breakwall connecting the harbor and the Hastings River to the sea, came complete with a concrete walkway on top. The breakwall, started in 1897, fixed the problem of navigation across the treacherous bar at the entry to the river which is beside the town beach. It was completed in 1904. Amazingly, it was built using horse and cart style transport. Rocks were bought to the breakwall by a horse drawn trolley. As it reached the end, the horse was released and jumped in the river while the trolley continued on and tipped the rock over the end. It was a simple, primitive way of building the vital breakwall, but it was effective. Six horse drawn trolleys carried the rocks to the river and gravity did the rest. Well, no sooner was it finished, than locals and visitors started walked out to the point and back. Eventually, a visiting wag painted some colorful artwork and wording on a rock near the caravan park. And the rest, as they say, is history. The breakwall is now home to one of the greatest outdoor displays of street art anywhere in Australia. The Nrma Breakwall Caravan Park located right alongside the river is home to thousands of campers in the school holidays. And because of COVID-19, ‘Port’ was bursting at the seams during the recent school holidays when I camped there.


The walk is beautiful in sunny weather, but at sunrise and sunset it is simply sublime. Starting at the Town Green from the original convict settlement, the 3km walk is like no other in Australia.

Along the entire route On every rock along the entire route, visitors and locals have painted the most beautiful stretch of what is officially called graffiti but I prefer to call ‘rock art’. There are poignant messages recording the memory of ‘Dads’, ‘Mums’, ‘Brothers and Sisters, ‘Grandparents’ and ‘Friends’. Then there are the happy messages, welcoming visitors to Port and celebrating weddings, honeymoons, love affairs and….well, you name it and it’s on a rock somewhere. Dolphins regularly cruise near the breakwall, but during my visit it was the mesmerizing antics of jet ski riders catching waves near the rocks that caught my attention. Along the route, there are seats where you can sit and watch the passing parade,

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study the success rate of fishermen or watch daring skateboarders testing their skills – and bones – at the new skateboard bowl. Every afternoon as the sun sets over the Norfolk pines, the parade of people begins. Hundreds pour past – some jogging, some power walking, some wandering, some arm in arm, dogs galore, babies in prams and some stopping to sit on a rock and dream. At the start of the walk is the ever popular Little Shack outdoor café where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast under a beach umbrella made from palm leaves. And there’s still more to tell you. The walk is the start of a longer stunning 9km out to Tacking Point Lighthouse at Lighthouse Beach. At the adjacent town beach, a sprinkle of beach umbrellas appeared each morning, taking advantage of great waves and pristine conditions. I will return to ‘Port’ one day soon. There is a lot to be seen and enjoy in this beautiful country town by the sea.

$60 per person




with Lord Mayor BOB DWYER

ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Looking forward to seeing grant enquiries banned, revolutionaries Galileo and Scaramouche have to break free! Lovers and curious of fine music will enjoy the marvellous Paul Cutlan String Project: Living. Bridging classical, jazz and global styles, the music touches on themes of motherhood, friendship, memory, conflict and reflection. Meanwhile, Queerstories, part of Maeve Marsden’s groundbreaking national LGBTQI+ storytelling project, features local storytellers Miranda Aguilar, Mark Mariano, Jane Marsden and more. These are just a few of the shows at Riverside Theatres this February. For more information and bookings visit, or call Box Office at (02) 8839 3399.

 BOB DWYER HAT a busy month January has been in Parramatta! While our Australia Day celebrations were low-key this year, I had the privilege of welcoming dozens of new citizens in a special online ceremony on January 26. It was also a pleasure to honour several local heroes for their service to the community at our Australia Day Local Awards. February is shaping up to be another exciting month, with lots happening in the City of Parramatta.


Night-Time Economy Grants Parramatta’s night-time economy is one of the largest in NSW, valued at $1.1B. Our vibrant dining and entertainment sector attracts thousands of visitors to our City. And, we locals, love nothing more than catching up with friends over a meal on Eat Street, before heading to a show at Riverside Theatres, or enjoying some live music in one of our many venues. There is no doubt, however, that COVID has hit this sector hard. Which is why I am looking forward to seeing the applications for a share in Council’s $50,000 Night-Time Economy Activation grants. These grants will help local businesses, groups, and individuals develop projects or trial new and interesting concepts that will boost our local night-time sector and help us become a thriving 24-hour destination. Applications are open now and will close at 5pm on Friday, February 22. To learn more or apply, visit cityofparramatta. co/night-grants These grants are among a range of annual Council grants available for community, clubs, events, and creative initiatives.

Church Street, We’re Open

Find out more at cityofparramatta.nsw.

Park for free For the next few months, until 30 April 2021, you can park for free at Council’s City Centre and Eat Street carparks between 11am and 3am the next day, Monday to Saturday. All you need to do is spend $20 at a participating business. Just ask for your free parking voucher when you pay for your purchases. Find out more at cityofparramatta.nsw.

That Summer Feeling Although we are nearing the end of summer, you can still share in prizes worth $10,000 in our ’That Summer Feeling’

competition. All you have to do is share a photo or video on Instagram or Facebook showing what the ‘That Summer Feeling’ at Parramatta means to you, and you will go into the daily draw to win a $100 AT PARRAMATTA Gift Card! Tag us @ atparramatta or use the hashtag #summerwhereitsat. Find out more atparramatta. com/summer

Shows at Riverside Theatres Only a few more sleeps till the smash hit musical, We Will Rock You, opens at Riverside Theatres and I can’t wait! It’s billed as a hilarious, eccentric, and moving story of outsiders rising up against the establishment, with a backing soundtrack from Queen. Set in the future, where rock music and all musical instruments are

Council continues to support our Eat Street business through the ‘Church Street, We’re Open’ campaign. Book a table and have a night out supporting one of our fantastic local eateries.

Council Meetings Council Meetings are typically held on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6.30pm. Due to impacts of COVID-19, the public can’t attend in person, but you can watch the meetings through the live-stream video link on Council’s website. For more information and to access the live-stream link, visit Bob Dwyer is Lord Mayor of Parramatta. You can also find my Lord Mayor’s message online on the City of Parramatta website: LMmessage

What’S CookinG

ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Butter's alfresco dining on Marsden Street.


Inside the cosy restaurant.

Savour the flavour of Butter Chicken  ELIZABETH FRIAS T Marsden Street in Parramatta CBD, Butter Chicken is reminiscent of a classic restaurant whose staple menu is juicy charcoal chicken served slightly charred golden skin on. This latest menu offering is the idea of Butter executive chef Julian Cincotta using his signature “red spiced pepper rub and salting, marinating chicken for 48 hours before kissing them on the fire and cooking till juicy, tender and smokey.” That is a revelation of Julian’s secret recipe for the humble bird, all free range supplied by La Ionica, that Butter has been known at Parramatta as “a fried chicken palace” since opening the Marsden Street restaurant three years ago. It’s a cosy eat-in or no fuss takeaway style that appealed to Butter customers as Julian introduced a range of fried chicken menus imparting distinct flavours that chicken lovers find hard to resist. Julian grew up at North Rocks and travelled across Asia, Europe, and the United States, and points to these experiences tasting exotic chicken recipes that were the genesis of his Butter Chicken menu range. “I’ve seen how they’ve cooked a whole bird in charcoal, but I think my charcoal chicken is more American and Asian inspired, and if you see our ramen in the menu it complements that,” says Julian. His late father, Thomas Cincotta, owned 10 Big Rooster stores in south coast NSW and was the biggest influencer in Julian’s choice to become an entrepreneur. The Cincotta family settled at North Rocks and operated flower shops in Parramatta and Sydney before running Big Rooster outlets in the south coast. “I spent most of my childhood helping my parents at the shops,” Julian said.


Butter Chicken executive chef Julian Cincotta.

“Growing up, my Dad ran chicken shops down the NSW coastal areas so you could say chicken is in my blood.” Julian later worked at Rockpool in Sydney and Melbourne and renowned chef and restaurateur Neil Perry was a mentor. “Neil always drilled into us how man first cooked on fire, I think it was even prominently stated on Rockpool menu. “It makes sense for me to go into Charcoal Chickens, and I reckon this is one of the best and most juicy options in all of Sydney.” Julian also runs two other restaurants in Surry Hills and recently opened Chatswood store. Lunch hour or dinner at Butter on busy Marsden Street is a queue over a float of charcoal or fried chicken smell and those

Charcoal or fried leg or breast, Butter Chicken’s tenderness and distinct taste is a sell-out.

who choose a sit-down meal will find a relaxing spot, have a glass of champagne or beer, HipHop and Sneakers. When order is served, there is no other way but enjoy Butter’s chicken just the way the bird is devoured on the dining ta-

ble – nab a piece of leg or breast with skin on, dip it in choice of sauces, and savour the flavour. If you can’t make it to lunch at Shop 3/140 Marsden Street, Butter Chicken is now on UberEATS and Deliveroo.    






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ISSUE 7 | February 2021

NEXT PLACE Sell it, List it FASTER


Why 2021 is tipped to be great year VERY year is tipped to be a “great year” for property in Sydney, and that’s definitely been true in recent years, but 2021 is looking especially rosy for this vital sector of the city’s economy. Experts predict we are at the beginning of a new property cycle, with all the pieces of the ‘boom’ puzzle falling into place. This means a number of particularly ‘great years’ ahead for our property market. So let’s have a look at 5 property trends tipped to occur in 2021.


1. Property demand from home buyers is going to continue to be strong: One of the leading indicators is finance housing approvals and these are at record levels, suggesting that we will have strong demand from owner occupiers and investors in the first half of this year. Despite the “recession we made ourselves have”, rising unemployment and many small businesses facing challenges, interest in buying residential property has skyrocketed.

Certain segments of the market will continue to suffer, in particular in the city apartment towers and accommodation around universities. It is unlikely the segments of the market will pick up for some time and the value of these apartments is likely to continue to fall as there just won’t be buyers for secondary properties.”

This has come particularly from owner occupiers who have amassed household savings at levels not seen since the mid1970s, and this is in part because they have not been able to spend their money on vacations or even local entertainment as they normally would. Now, with borrowing costs lower than they ever have been, the reassurance that interest rates won’t rise for at least three years and increasing confidence that we’ve got this virus thing under control, it is likely that buyer demand will remain strong throughout the year. As property values increase and the media reports more positively about our property markets, FOMO (fear of missing out) will once again kick in and more buyers will be keen to get in the market before it prices them out.

2. Investors will squeeze out first home buyers: While currently there are many firsttime buyers (FHB’s) in the market, buoyed by the many incentives being offered to them, demand from first homebuyers will fade as property values rise from increasing competition as investors re-enter the market. You see…typically investors compete for similar properties to FHB’s. Of course during the last few years, investor lending has been low, but with historically low interest rates and the prospect of easing lending restrictions, it is likely that investors will re-enter the market with a vengeance.

At the same time the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme will disappear in March.

3. Property Prices will continue to rise: While many factors affect property values, the main drivers of property price growth are consumer confidence, low interest rates, economic growth and a favorable supply and demand ratio. As always, there are multiple real estate markets around Australia, but in general property values should increase strongly throughout 2021. However certain segments of the market will continue to suffer, in particular in the city apartment towers and accommodation around universities. It is unlikely the segments of the market will pick up for some time and the value of these apartments is likely to continue to fall as there just won’t be buyers for secondary properties. At the same time, some rental market will remain challenged. In particular the inner-city apartment markets which are reliant on students, tourists-AirBNB and overseas arrivals.

4. People will pay a premium to be in the right neighborhood: If COVID-19 taught us anything, it was the importance of living in the right type of property in the right neighborhood. In our new “Covid Normal” world, people will pay a premium for the ability to work, live and play within a 20-minute

drive, bike ride or walk from home. They will look for things such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs all within 20 minutes’ reach. Residents of these neighborhoods have now come to appreciate the ability to be out and about on the street socialising, supporting local businesses, being involved with local schools, enjoying local parks.

5. We will not fall off the fiscal cliff in March: Some commentators are concerned that we will fall off the fiscal cliff when JobKeeper and the mortgage deferral system end in March. However, the Government is unlikely to allow this to happen after having put so much time effort and money into “building a bridge to get us across the other side” as Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised. At worst, the fiscal cliff will be a little step down to the new normal. In fact, APRA (the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) released data showing loan deferrals plummeted from 493,440 in June to 169,677 in November – a 66% reduction. Australia’s economy is recovering faster than most expected, unemployment is falling, jobs are being created, consumer and business confidence is rising and there are more buyers out there than there are good properties for sale. Source: Yahoo Finance

767A-769 MERRYLANDS ROAD, GREYSTANES $6,500,000 - 2 LARGE BLOCKS SIDE BY SIDE Its rare to find this sized lot in this part of Western Sydney. Vendors are committed to sell if the right offer is tabled. Sale is by way of Expression of Interest meaning that once you have done your preliminary inspections you will put your best offer forward in writing. The

site is made up of two neighboring properties with a house on each, the sale is for both and will not be split. Zoned R2 low density. Site inspections, contact Tony Zorzo on 0414 694 338


ISSUE 7 | February 2021





2021 will be a city shaping year for Sydney’s Central City, Parramatta. The completion of Parramatta Square, the CBD Planning Proposal and the acceleration of work to deliver Parramatta Light Rail along with progress toward future infrastructure progress continues to position Parramatta as one of Australia’s pre-eminent destinations for long term investment.



Our Outlook Breakfast will discuss the good news on Parramatta’s plate for 2021 while also launching a discussion on where industry and government need to take the city so it can reach it’s fullest potential.


Regional Property Manager Woolworths Group

HELEN HAMILTON JAMES Managing Partner Western Sydney Deloitte


Executive Director, Estate and Commercial Western Sydney University




Business Development Manager ADCO Constructions




ISSUE 7 | February 2021


Kia takes aim as Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Venue with new Stonic crossover

 CALLUM HUNTER EVERAL years after launching in Europe, Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) has finally launched its Stonic light SUV with the Rio-based high-rider checking in from $22,990 driveaway. Measuring 4140mm long, 1760mm wide and 1520mm tall (including roof rails), the Stonic rides on a 2580mm wheelbase and boasts between 165-183mm of ground clearance. Pegged by KMAu as a direct rival for the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Venue, the Stonic will be available in three different trim levels with three different powertrains offered depending on the variant, all featuring 352 litres of boot space (1155L with rear seats stowed). At the bottom of the range is the S, available with the choice of either a sixspeed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, the latter of which carries a $1000 price premium over the stick shifter ($23,990 d/a). Both options are paired to a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque. In manual guise, KMAu claims this engine will consume between 6.0 and 6.7 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle while emitting 155g of CO2 per km (automatic). The standard equipment list of the S forms the foundation for the rest of the range to build on, consisting of 15-inch steel wheels, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (both wireless) and multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, six-speaker stereo system, a 4.2-inch TFT driver’s display, cruise control, automatic headlights, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, cloth upholstery and halogen daytime running lights.


Safety gear on the base model meanwhile consists of autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, forward collision warning, driver attention alert, lane following assist and six airbags. On the subject of safety, KMAu is marketing the Stonic as having the same 2017-issued five-star safety rating as its Rio cousin rather than submitting the car for testing under the latest 2020 testing protocols. When quizzed on the matter by media, KMAu product planning general manager Roland Rivero said it was down to the complexities and expenses of crash testing. “Where there’s an opportunity to obviously piggyback or carry over a rating we will go that path first and foremost,” he said.

It’s similar strategy “Crash testing is not something that’s relatively simple to execute, it’s a big job, it’s resource intensive as well as it’s not cheap either, it’s quite expensive and we are at the mid-way point in the life of stock and therefore as much as possible, we’d like to launch it without having to spend another huge portion of dollars to get it through.” According to Mr Rivero, a similar strategy was employed in Europe by the local arm of Kia Motors. Moving up the range, the mid-level Sport is available with the same choice of either a manual ($24,990) or automatic ($25,990) transmission as the S and it relies on the same 1.4-litre engine for propulsion.

Standard equipment is naturally improved over the base model with extra niceties including 17-inch alloy wheels, power folding mirrors, premium steering wheel and shifter, push button start, illuminated sun visor and satellite navigation, however the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are downgraded to wired connections only. At the top of the range meanwhile resides the GT-Line which not only serves as the flagship of the range but is also touted by KMAU managing director Damien Meredith to be the volume seller. Priced from $29,990 driveaway, the GT-Line adds a wealth of extra goodies compared to the S and the Sport including unique 17-inch alloys, GT-Line body package, stop/start system, LED head-, fog- and daytime running lights, two-tone paint or a sunroof, faux leather trimmed seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain sensing wipers, climate control and privacy glass. The extra outlay will also net buyers a gutsier engine with power in the flagship coming from a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder mill developing 74kW/172Nm. Drive is sent to the front wheels just like in the other variants however this time it is via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Not only is there an extra 39Nm on tap, KMAu says the force-fed three-banger boasts superior fuel economy and emissions figures of 5.7L/100km and 125g/km respectively. As usual for KMAU, the Stonic’s suspension and chassis tune has been optimised for Australian road conditions with the

bulk of the work reportedly being complete before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. According to Mr Meredith, the Stonic is launching Down Under at a “very important time of growth” for the brand as it is entering a segment which grew 14.5 per cent last year while the market as a whole fell by 13.5 per cent. “When Stonic was first mooted we had a close look at it and made the decision that Seltos made a more attractive proposition for the Australian market, a decision backed by the fact that at the time, there was limited Stonic supply available for Australia,” he said. “With Seltos firmly established and very importantly, a significant increase in Stonic supply to accommodate our sales expectations, there is a much more compelling case for this sporty urban crossover with all the safety, value, style and practicality at the core of Kia’s DNA.” Mr Meredith also said he was expecting some sales cannibalisation between the Stonic and the Rio given the latter had evolved more into a “fleet-type car” while the bulk of Stonic sales would be private purchases with its driveaway pricing being permanent.

2021 Kia Stonic pricing S S (a) Sport Sport (a) GT-Line (a)

RRP* $21,490 $22,990 $24,490 $25,990 $29,990

Driveaway $22,990 $23,990 $24,990 $25,990 $29,990

*Excludes on-road costs

ISSUE 7 | February 2021



Solutions page 24

ACROSS 1. 3. 8. 10. 12. 13. 14. 17. 18. 20. 22. 25. 26. 29. 32. 33. 34. 35.

Pirates Of The Caribbean actor, ... Depp (6) Ashton Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen in the hit comedy, Two ... Men (3,1,4) Brothers & Sisters actress, ... Flockhart (7) Gordon Ramsay cooking competition show, Hell's ... (7) Lana Del Rey's album, ... To Die (4) Soccer star, ... Beckham (5) Pop power ballad by Beyoncé from her I Am... Sasha Fierce album (4) Dallas Buyers Club actor, Jared ... (4) J Edgar and Fair Game actress, Naomi ... (5) Shia LaBeouf action thriller, ... Eye (5) The Chronicles Of Narnia siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and ... (4) Sitcom starring Jason Lee as a man who believes in karma, My ... Is Earl (4) Remake of a Wes Craven horror, A Nightmare ... Street (2,3) Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter (4) The Matrix actor, Hugo ... (7) Pop star sisters, Kylie & Dannii ... (7) Savages actor, John ... (8) The Black Eyed Peas singer and solo artist (6)

DOWN 1. Grace Of Monaco and The King's Speech actor, Derek ... (6) 2. Russell Crowe's character in A Beautiful Mind, John ... (4) 4. Thirteen actress who plays Rosalie in the Twilight films, ... Reed (5) 5. Movie and computer game, Grand Theft ... (4) 6. Fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Pink with lead single So What (8) 7. Actress who provides the voice for Gloria in the Madagascar films, ... Pinkett Smith (4) 9. CSI: Miami actress, Eva ... (2,3) 11. Angelina Jolie plays Mariane Pearl in the biopic, A Mighty ... (5) 15. Adam Sandler voices Dracula in ... Transylvania (5) 16. Whitney Houston song, ... Always Love You (1,4) 19. Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel bringing-up-baby comedy, Life As ... (2,4,2) 21. Clash Of The Titans actress, ... Arterton (5) 23. TV presenter and model, Alexa ... (5) 24. Brazilian supermodel, ... Bündchen (6) 27. Colin Farrell vampire horror comedy, Fright ... (5) 28. Fred Durst's band, ... Bizkit (4) 30. Lindsay Lohan's nickname (4) 31. Fairy tale drama series, ... Upon A Time (4)


Games Solutions

ISSUE 7 | February 2021


Honda gives its Odyssey people carrier an extensive refresh for 2021  CALLUM HUNTER ONDA Australia has welcomed in the New Year by revealing and detailing its updated new Odyssey wagon-come-people mover which not only sees the usual array of cosmetic, equipment and safety upgrades but a revamped lineup too. Once again made up of just two variants, the updated Odyssey range opens from $44,250 plus on-road costs for the Vi L7, marking an entry-price increase of more than $5000 compared to the previous model. It is a similar story with the higher-specced Vi LX7 which costs $2410 more than the VTi-L it replaces ($51,150 vs $48,740). For the extra outlay customers are treated to a heap more standard equipment, especially on the base model which now comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, heated front seats, leather upholstery, keyless entry and push-button start, redesigned steering wheel, 7.0-inch driver’s display, captain’s chairs in the second row, power sliding rear doors and LED headand foglights. That captain’s chair second row may boost comfort and up the luxury feel however it does obvious reduce the Odyssey’s carrying capacity from eight to seven which could ultimately bring the big wagon into competition with some of Australia’s most popular SUVs while simultaneously losing ground – or passengers – on the Kia Carnival. The second-row seats themselves do however feature adjustable armrests, recline and long-slide functionality. Safety on the Vi L7 has also been drastically stepped up thanks to the addition of the Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist


suite, which in this case consists of forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, lane keep assist system, road departure mitigation system and adaptive cruise control.

Blind spot information Rear cross-traffic alert and a blind spot information system have also been added to the mix, joining established features like brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, emergency stop signal, hill start assist, traction control, vehicle stability assist and tyre deflation warning. Building on the Vi L7’s already generous spec, the Vi LX7 adds a hands-free power tailgate with kick sensor, gesture control power sliding doors, driver memory seats and second-row ambient footwell lighting. When it comes to model differentiation, it should not prove difficult to spot the new model out on the road or alongside its pre-

decessor thanks to a completely redesigned front end headlined by the new LED headand foglight arrangement lifted straight off the Accord sedan, not the mention to the new hexagonal grille and protruding underbite style front bumper. It is a similar story at the back where we find a redesigned rear apron featuring sharper contours and some chrome reflectors while new 17-inch alloy wheels change things up along the side. One thing that has not changed on the new model is the powertrain which has been carried over as is from the previous model with power still coming courtesy of the familiar 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which sends all of its 129kW/225Nm to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). According to Honda Australia product, customer and communications general manager Robert Thorp, the MY21 Odyssey

2021 Honda Odyssey pricing* Vi L7 (a) $44,250 Vi LX7 (a) $51,150 *Excludes on-road costs offers “more comfort, convenience and innovative technology features than ever before”. “Odyssey has been the undisputed leader in the people mover private market for nine consecutive years,” he said. “When it came time to purchase a new vehicle to transport their family, since 2012 more private buyers have chosen the Honda Odyssey than any other people mover.” According to last month’s round of VFacts data, Honda shifted 1091 Odysseys in 2020, accounting for a solid 16.1 per cent of the sub-$60,000 people mover segment behind the aforementioned Kia Carnival (3650/53.9%).


ISSUE 7 | February 2021


Early days of Parramatta pubs Pubs have always been a big part of Parramatta, from its early days of development through to the thriving city it is today. Local historian Gary J Carter shares some interesting stories from his book About that Shout, available from Parramatta City Council Heritage Centre in Church St Baker’s Arms and surrounds In 1847, Thomas Blake was granted a publican licence for the Baker’s Arms on the corner of Argyle and Marsden Streets Parramatta. He was a wealthy man and well known in the Parramatta area in the 1840s, and he had a bakery business and hotel interests. Blake also had many run-ins with the law about selling after hours and his licence restrictions. In the1840s, you could have a 9 pm licence for £20 or an 11:00 pm licence for £30. The St John’s Church clock was the town’s official timekeeper, and it was somewhat erratic and often inaccurate. In one interesting court case, Blake argued, that these clock issues were causing him to sell beers after hours, an argument that was often used and met with success on this occasion. In 1859, John Smith was the mine host of the Baker’s Arms, and steam trains were just starting to run between Parramatta and Blacktown. The Chronicle Newspaper on 17th September 1859 reported an incident at the Marsden Street bridge crossing, adjacent to the Baker’s Arms. When rail trucks were passing over the bridge, the train suddenly stopped, and the cargo of horses became airborne over the side of the bridge. They were left hanging for some time by the chains. The driver was also knocked over and was lying on the ground under the horses. John Smith, the publican, ran to assist. The driver was unconscious, with several ton of frantic horses hanging by their chains overhead. John quickly pulled the driver clear, and he had no sooner done so when the chains gave way. Luckily, the driver was only slightly hurt and taken to a nearby tent. There was no comment on the condition of the horses, but it could not have been good news. Shortly after this, Smith moved on, and the Bakers Arms was delicensed and became a private dwelling. The house was still standing in the 1920s.

Bakers Arms

Newlands Inn

Teasdale’s Newlands Inn and horse antics In 1845 Richard Francis Teasdale secured the licence for the Newlands Inn on today’s Victoria Road. Teasdale’s Inn catered for the horse drawn travellers of the day. It offered accommodation for man and beast plus a fine array of spirituous refreshments. This was a new licence, and the house stood at the junction of Ross and Pennant Streets, opposite the Wesleyan Cemetery. At the same location Teasdale also ran a hardware business. Back in the 1860’s Victoria Road was a goat track of potholes and ruts. Richard or

Dicky as he was known, thought of himself as a capable horseman, and he usually rode an exceptionally fine horse. On one occasion he and his mount became involved in a rather bad accident. Dicky’s leg was broken in three places. The local doctor wanted the leg amputated, but Dicky stood his ground and steadfastly refused. When the break mended, his leg was unable to bend, and thereafter every time he rode his mount the leg projected outwards at an acute angle. Dicky was not on his fine steed, in October 1860, he was riding in his dray,

delivering a load of hardware. His leg, as per normal was projected at a right angle from the wagon. Sadly, a stiff leg and an immovable object led to the demise of poor Dicky. He was thrown from his dray, close to All Saints Church. Dicky was a publican of merit and a stubborn man of the saddle. This fall broke more than just his leg, he suffered serious injury and soon after died. His widow Anne carried on the Inn, she was well known and referred to as Granny Teasdale. The public house was used as a residence until 1939, when it was demolished.



ISSUE 7 | February 2021

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ISSUE 7 | February 2021

Riverside: Truth to Power Cafe EREMY Goldstein’s Truth to Power Café is a profound theatrical reflection on loss, hope and resistance. This internationally acclaimed performance event is told through memoir, image, poetry, music, and live testimony from local participants with stories to tell in response to the question ‘who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’ Speaking truth to power is a non-violent means of conflict resolution, the origins of which lie in the anti-war movement. In our era of post-truth and fake news, speaking truth to power is widely accepted to mean saying something to those in a position of authority who don’t want to hear it. Is it to your parents, a sibling, politician, lover, landlord, neighbour, religious leader, boss, banker, or simply your best friend? It’s time to tell them the truth before it’s too late.


OPEN CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS Participants of all ages, beliefs and backgrounds are invited to take part and respond to the question before a live audience. For information click here or to sign up click here. Truth to Power Café is

non-partisan. Participants are cast in advance so there is no audience participation. Terms and conditions apply. Truth to Power Café is inspired by the

political and philosophical beliefs of Nobel prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter and his Hackney Gang. The Gang included Jeremy Goldstein’s late father Mick, and





TWO is playful, full of humour, physically demanding, and treats its subject matter with the grace and reverence it deserves.


poet polymath Henry Woolf, who at 91 is the sole remaining member of the Gang. For sixty years the Gang maintained their belief in speaking truth to power and remained firmly on the side of the occupied and the disempowered and their allies. Please Note: This performance contains coarse language and political stances on potentially contentious issues. Subjects may be brought up that are somewhat controversial. There may be comments on all types of government policies, polarising political figures and proactive stereotypes. *Please contact Box Office directly for group bookings of 8 or more, email or call 8839 3399. **This show is eligible for the Evening Excursions initiative for school bookings, one free teacher per 20 students, or $23 for any additional, click here to find out more. VENUE: Lennox Theatre DATES: 11 March - 13 March 2021 CATEGORY: Live Event Created, written and performed by Jeremy Goldstein with Henry Woolf. Directed by Jen Heyes Associate Director Anne-Louise Rentell.

ISSUE 7 | February 2021

MajoR ProjectS


Artist impressions of the development.

Westmead’s healthy new precinct Drill recently received approval for the 100-room health and wellbeing hotel  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM ESTMEAD is gaining a new Travelodge Hotel which could prove to be the healthiest hotel in Australia. The $100M health and wellbeing Travelodge Hotel at West Grove will have 100 rooms and will be closed to Westmead’s medical facilities. It will be managed by Drill Pty Ltd Hotel at West Grove after signing a longterm management agreement with TFE Hotels. The Travelodge will be located on the current Westmead Shopping Centre site at the gateway to Westmead’s Health and Innovation Precinct. Drill chief executive Mark Hovey told leading web site Urban Developer the revised development application for the 2150sq m site would ensure West Grove


provided the accommodation, infrastructure, retail and food and beverage services needed into the future. “The hotel accommodation is a key component of West Grove. Drill are the first to introduce this option within the Westmead Health Precinct, so it fills an important gap within the overall district offering,” Mr Hovey said. “At the moment, if you are family living outside of greater Sydney and your child or other family member is transferred to Westmead, your only options for hotel accommodation are 15 minutes away. At West Grove you will be just metres away.” The Travelodge also features commercial space for healthcare businesses, specialists and co-working providers. These include a Woolworths metro-style fresh food supermarket, a hawker style food court, a tavern, courtyard cafes, and specialist retail.

It will include 126 car spaces, along with end-of-trip facilities and electric vehicle charging stations. Mr Hovey said West Grove would be a thoughtfully designed “oasis” for people with loved ones receiving medical treatment. Drill recently received approval for its revised plans for the 100-room health and wellbeing hotel, scaling back from a residential apartment component. TFE Hotels’ chief executive Antony Ritch said TFE was proud to partner with Drill and introduce the Travelodge Hotels brand into Australia’s largest health and innovation precinct. “Not only will the Travelodge Westmead debut a fresh new interior design with warm timber and earthy tones,” he said. “But, in partnership with the West Grove development, it will deliver longterm benefits as the thriving Westmead community continues to grow.”

Mr Ritch said the hotel would feature simple, stylish interiors throughout including the rooms, sixth level lobby, eatery and bar. One of West Grove’s central design features is a lush, landscaped courtyard space activated with restaurants, cafes and bars. “West Grove is the future heart of the Westmead Health and Innovation Precinct for healthcare professionals as well as local and regional visitors,” Mr Hovey said. Drill has started leasing West Grove’s healthcare space including a day surgery, large general practice and independent health consulting suites with Healthcare Property Group. Construction of the multi-storey complex at West Grove is expected to start this year. The opening of West Grove is scheduled for Christmas 2022, with Travelodge Westmead opening early 2023. Sources: The Urban Developer, Westmead Shopping Centre



ISSUE 7 | February 2021

The Little Things – 3 Stars A murder-mystery that is less focussed on finding the killer than investigating the mental state of its supposed heroes. EM County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a serial killer who is terrorizing the city. Teaming up with young hot-shot detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek), Joe goes down the rabbit hole with this creepy killer, all the while deeply affected by the case that ran him out of the city decades ago. The Little Things is the exact sort of adult, thinking film that could welcome you back to the cinema with open arms. It’s a hard-boiled detective drama, rooted in creepy cops and even creepier killers. The plot unfurls relatively similarly to a number of other detective thrillers, with overtones of Prisoners and Zodiac. Our hero teams up with a younger version of himself. Joe is jaded, and has given up on big city life after a case that went wrong. But it keeps sucking him back in, particularly with this case. He used to be a high-flyer, but then the moral complexities of his choices caught up with him, and he broke down – his health, his marriage and his career all in one hit. He sees himself in Jim, and Jim sees a man whose prowess could help him crack a case that is garnering media scrutiny and could affect his career. Washington plays Joe as a deeply troubled but brilliant detective, with an overbite and an unassuming manner. Malek brings a distinctly weird tone to his well-dressed detective, brilliance early on that transforms into a great psycho-anal-


ysis of an obsessed man who compromises his morality. But the true superstar of this piece is Jared Leto. Leto, recently nominated for a Golden Globe award for this performance,

brings a level of creepy that echoes some of his other performances but also revolutionises them into a unique piece. Physically, vocally and even through the eyes, the performance really sucks you

in to both hating this character and seeing him as an equal villain to oppose Joe’s detective hero. In the end, the film takes an intriguing complexity to morality. It’s less obsessed with finding evidence to convict the killer, and more obsessed with the police subverting their own moral compass in search of justice. Justice is at the heart of the piece, and in some respects that subverts the genre slightly, which makes this an interesting film. On the other hand, however, it makes the ending somewhat unsatisfying – both from a plot perspective, and with respect to being able to determine heroes and villains. It’s tough to truly root for these characters, because the film never really gives credence to the villains’ guilt other than through Leto’s creepy performance. It means that when the climax arrives, it leaves us asking whether Leto’s character was truly guilty, and whether the cops were really right. The film also leaves a number of plot threads unanswered. It all adds up to a movie that plays at genre, but in its quest to subvert expectations, winds up dissatisfying the viewer.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus

ISSUE 7 | February 2021



High Ground – 4 Stars A slow-burn revelatory experience, highlighting the reality of colonial Australia. T’S the 1930s in Arnhem Land, in the recently federalised Australia. Fresh from World War 1, Travis (Simon Baker) and Eddy (Callan Mulvey) are members of the police and get caught up in a mission where things go awry, and they massacre an indigenous community. Flashforward a few years, and Travis is tasked by Moran (Jack Thompson) to team up with Gutjuk (Jacob Junior Nayinggul) to track down the young Aboriginal boys dangerous uncle. Directed by Stephen Johnson, High Ground is full of impressive sweeping vistas, tense and bloody violence, and a decidedly western feel. The film uses the setting like a character, frequently lingering on the Australian expansive landscape.


It also aids in the action itself – whether its incredible vantage points for sniper positions, or hidden enemies popping up from out of long grass. The action in the film is delivered at an intriguing pace. Every action feels slow, deliberate, and insightful. It brings a sense of realism to the cruelty and brutality on display that crafts intrigue more than shock and awe. You feel like this is a real representation of what the shocking nature of that violent time would have been, rather than being shocked for the sake of clickbait news articles. High Ground also has an odd pacing structure, with moments that feel like endings bubbling to the surface over and over. Perhaps this is a representation of the neverending cyclical conflict between

white Australia and black Australia. Either way, it has an odd dual effect, creating both a frustrating dissociation wondering where the film is arc-ing towards, and an undeniable draw into the picture. For a cast as diverse as the one assembled, it is also consistently well acted. On display, we have Hollywood actors (Simon Baker), Australian screen legends (Jack Thompson) and a debut performance from Jacob Junior Nayinggul. Irrespective of their diverse backgrounds, they all deliver cohesive and engaging performances with the material. Nayinggul in particular is magnetic in his first on-screen performance, and that is a testament to both his work, and the directors in drawing out a performance of such quality.

The only real issue with High Ground is the sheen. It feels like a movie that needs a grittier take, a little less bright and a little less saturated. As it stands, the film loses a little of the seriousness and tension that could have been associated with its hyperviolence, and in doing so misses a trick. The western elements are undercut by the bright tones, creating an almost budget-like feel. High Ground is a tense Australian western, that does a great job of engrossing you in a violent colonial story that needs telling. It’s a film that needs to be experienced in the cinema.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus


ISSUE 7 | February 2021


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