Sydney Observer - June 2022

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Sydney Observer







Champion Swimmer



From the Editor A warm welcome to our winter edition. In our June issue, we focus on mental health, covering a wide array of events and initiatives surrounding awareness of mental health and the ways to combat mental health issues. We hear from our regular contributors on education, health, aged care as well as inspiring articles on preparing your garden for winter and updating your walls with art. We endeavour to inform and entertain our readers, and to this we bring you an excellent article on TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY from Fox & Staniland Lawyers. On a lighter note, read all about matching your food with wine and everybody’s favourite – CHOCOLATE. Our cover profile this month is Bronte Campbell, athlete extraordinaire and all-around Australian legend. We discuss Bronte’s competitive swimming career and life after it, delving into the athlete mindset as well as things that can make for a holistic and healthy life thereafter. Afterall, the finish line isn’t always at the end of the pool.

6. Snippets

8. Local News 14. Profile 16. Education 18. Home & Garden


22. Seniors 26. Beauty & Wellbeing 30. Food & Wine 32. What’s On 34. Clairvoyant


As the great Rocky Balboa once said –

“Remember, the mind is your best muscle. Big arms can move rocks, but big words can move mountains.” Rock on Rocky.

PUBLISHED BY: Kamdha Pty. Ltd. EDITOR: Jay Houhlias ( MEDIA RELEASES: CONTRIBUTORS: Ku-ring-gai Historical Society, Wal Abramowicz, Sarah Wainwright, Dr Sue Ferguson, Rejimon Punchayil, Margaret Simpson, Ian Sweeney, Kerrie Erwin. DESIGNER: Frederico S. M. de Carvalho. COVER IMAGE: Coastal Creatives Australia. BOOKING DEADLINE: 15th of the month. CONTACT: (02) 9884 8699.


SYDNEY OBSERVER is a monthly magazine published by Kamdha Pty Ltd (ABN 97 098 661 959). Sydney Observer Magazine, its Publisher and Editor, hereby expressly disclaim to the full extent permitted by the law, all and any liability arising from any negligence whatsoever of the Publishers including damage, consequential damages, liability, expenses, costs to any person and/or business/company arising from any action or inaction by any person in connection with any copy or arising from reliance on any copy which is published or failed to be published by the Publishers. The copyright of all material published in the Sydney Observer Magazine is owned by the Publisher, Kamdha Pty Ltd, and must not be used in any form without the written permission of the publisher. This copyright includes all advertisements unless photo-ready material is provided by the advertiser. 4


30 SYDNEY OBSERVER is distributed to all Ku-ring-gai plus selected adjacent areas of Hornsby, Lane Cove and Willoughby. Additional copies are available from local libraries, selected retail outlets and council offices. We personally deliver to businesses in most suburban shopping areas in order to remain community-focused and personal.

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Ultimate Cycling Trips by Andrew Bain Andrew Bain discovered cycling the easy way, on a 14-month, 20,000-kilometre bicycle journey around Australia. He’s since pedalled across large parts of Europe, Asia, North America and New Zealand, and continues to trundle across the roads and trails of Australia. Ultimate Cycling Trips: Australia is his new book. Journey across Australia on two wheels with these handpicked bike rides that range from gentle rail trails with a gourmet edge, to multi-day cycle tours, to blasts on the country’s best mountain-bike trail networks. Trips include South Australia’s Riesling Trail, the Alpine Epic Mountain Bike Trail in Victoria, Three Gorges Loop in New South Wales and the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. With detailed descriptions, suggested itineraries, images, maps and a swag of Australia’s finest natural features along the way, this is the book to inspire you to hit the road, track or rail trail. Bain also offers advice on choosing the right bike and preparing to ride. Visit for more information.

Organic Food Market Starting on 4 June, the farmers market will be at the St Ives Showground every Saturday between 8 am and 2 pm. The Organic Food Markets organisation will coordinate the Ku-ring-gai market, building on the success of other fresh produce markets they host on the Northern Beaches and in the city. The group aims to create an open air marketplace supplying certified organic food and artisan gourmet produce, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables, freshly baked bread and patisserie goods, seasonal produce from farmers, salami, cheeses, smoked salmon and other hard-to-find delicacies such as Australian truffles. The market will also offer a choice of fashion, homewares, plants and sustainable and healthy products, including those from fair trade suppliers. For more details about the Showground market go to or follow them on Facebook.

Everybody Loves Playgrounds A new playground is planned for Wahroonga. The Eldinhope Green, located in Morris Avenue, is on public exhibition for feedback until 10 June. Based on community feedback from late last year, the council has incorporated nature play elements and accessibility into the design, as part of its guiding principles on building new play areas for children. Design elements include play equipment for all abilities and ages. It will feature a balance beam, tower with slide and a spinning net, nature play elements and landscaping, picnic settings, accessible seating and a bike rack.



Local Snippets News

Lights On For All As part of Vivid Sydney 2022 which runs from 27 May – 18 June, Taronga Zoo will be bathed in colour and light as Wild Lights at Taronga returns. This year, alongside the 70 breathtaking animal lanterns, Wild Lights at Taronga will be showcasing four unique works, including three never seen before, purpose-built and inclusive installations and a film screening. This year, Taronga, in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield, has integrated additional measures to ensure Wild Lights is an event that guests from all walks of life can enjoy. Additional services that will be on offer throughout Wild Lights at Taronga include exclusive accessibility drop-off zones, a 75% increase on the number of accessible parking space, dedicated access and inclusion volunteers with honed skills in this space, dedicated ‘reset’ zones along the Wild Lights trail, and a dedicated wheelchair accessible exit vehicle.

Electric Vehicle Charging Grants

Winter Season at the Opera House

Businesses and motorists across NSW are set to benefit from $20 million in grants to establish Australia’s largest electric vehicle (EV) destination charging network. The NSW Electric Vehicle Strategy aims to increase EV sales to 52 per cent of all new car sales by 2030-31, and to make up the vast majority of sales by 2035.

• Madama Butterfly (Jun 29 – Jul 30): South Korean mezzo soprano Chanyang Choi is making her leading role debut as Suzuki! She moved to Australia to study at the Sydney Conservatorium, then became a member of OA’s chorus and also trained in Italy. • La traviata (Jul 5 – 29): Born and raised in Melbourne, the soprano Stacey Alleaume recently became a Sydney resident and will star in the famous opera from the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. • Il Trovatore (Jul 15 -30): American Soprano Leah Crocetto’s SOH debut was cut to one night after pandemic restrictions shut down Aida in 2021. Now, she returns to Sydney starring as female lead, Leonora, in the premiere of a new digital production of Verdi’s opera.

Funding under the strategy also includes charging infrastructure and EV charging in commuter car parks.

Recycling Success! St Ives Showground saw nearly 30 tonnes of unwanted clothing and linen collected for recycling last weekend. The free linen and clothing collection was held at the Showground on Sunday 22 May. St Vincent De Paul received around 15 tonnes of unwanted clothing, most of which will be sold through its chain of op shops. The remainder will be converted into cleaning products sold by the charity.

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Local News

Push Ups for Mental Health

Jay Houhlias



uben Mackellar is a 26-year-old communications professional from Mosman who lost his father to suicide ten years ago. A Lifeline telephone crisis supporter for the past three years, he says that listening to others’ stories and helping them through difficult moments helps him remember how fortunate he is for everything he has and the people around him. He is so passionate about Lifeline that he encouraged his mother to volunteer, and she will complete her accreditation in two weeks and join him in helping keep Australians safe. He will be participating in The Push Up Challenge for the second time this year. Ruben is delighted to be raising funds for an organisation that is close to his heart. Participants of the challenge commit to pushing for better mental health by completing 3139 push-ups, representing the number of lives lost to suicide in 2020. The Push Up Challenge can be done anywhere, as a part of the community, a team or independently. Participants can choose to do alternative exercises to better fit their level or fitness or complete a proportion of the target instead. Registration is free and open now. Sydney Observer spoke to Ruben: Mental health is something which concerns everyone. How important is it that we all get behind mental health causes like these, even though we may not have such personal, direct experience like you’ve had? It is a great opportunity to put these issues to the front of peoples’ minds. Suicide is so prevalent nowadays, we see it everywhere – in the media, in our family, in our friends. It is really important to dedicate time in a way that brings positivity on physical level, but also positivity and awareness on an emotional level. What do you think the benefits are of participating in this form of event? You can do this event individually or as team, both of them have their benefits. Spreading the 3139 push ups over the month really sinks



Work starts on Gordon upgrade

he St Johns Avenue area in Gordon is set to become an ‘eat-street’ destination when work is completed at the end of this year. The planned upgrade for the area will include new landscaping, widened footpaths, street furniture and an improved layout and lighting for outdoor dining.

Ruben’s push ups will raise funds for Lifeline Australia during The Push Up Challenge.

in the gravity of what we are facing. Each one of those push ups represents someone who used to be here. Will mum be doing the push ups as well? Mum will be doing stairs instead of push ups. Once up the stairs will count as one – she’ll hopefully be doing the push ups soon! 3139 is a huge amount of push ups, how do you plan to break them up? I’ll be using the ‘Push for better’ app. It gives you a schedule and tells you exactly how many to do per day to reach your goal. The push ups per day can be anywhere between 20-120. Otherwise, if I feel like I can do more push ups, I’ll just do them - as many as I can throughout the day. You did this event last year, describe some of the different emotions and feelings you experienced throughout it. There are lots of different feelings and emotions. Last year the country was in lockdown, and people didn’t have much else to do. This was really good because my friends and I were messaging constantly and really getting behind each other, pushing ourselves along and supporting. Last year’s challenge also gave time to really reflect. It made me recognise how pivotal my role is and I was better connected to real message that we are trying to get across.

Residents and businesses have been notified of the upgrade this week, which is expected to take around 10 months to complete depending on weather conditions. Work will be focussed on the St Johns Avenue, Henry Street and St Johns Avenue area. Other improvements in the Wade Lane area are nearing completion. Key features include widened footpaths for outdoor dining and better pedestrian access, landscaped terraced areas, landings, handrails and seating, raised pedestrian crossings at Clipsham Lane, Henry Street and Churchill Lane, improvements to the park, lighting and kiss and ride areas, and improvements to Heritage Square. The changes to Gordon’s streetscapes have come as a result of the upgrade to Gordon station and an influx of new cafes and restaurants in the area. A concept plan was shared with the public in 2020 for feedback, with the project subsequently put on ice during the pandemic. Mayor Jeff Pettett said the start of the work was an exciting development for Gordon. “Residents have been looking forward to the upgrade and it will be a great boost for businesses in the area.” “There will be some disruption to parking while the work takes place, but our project team will be liaising with the community about any changes in advance.”

Local News

65 Years of Pymble Players


group of 30 people met in 1957 to create a dramatic club on the North Shore. These first members included Reg Livermore and Simon Chilvers. This group would become the Pymble Players. Their ‘home’ is the XIX century church hall of Pymble Chapel, a place that has being their stage since 1974. Now in 2022, Pymble Players celebrates its 65th anniversary as one of Sydney’s most successful community theatre associations. They aim to produce and perform a high standard of live theatre as well as encourage community participation in a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment. Moonlight and Magnolias is the latest production from Pymble Players. It is a comedy detailing an insight into the five madcap days that brought a Hollywood classic to the screen. The show runs for approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes (including a 20-minute interval). The production, written by Ron Hutchinson and directed by local Joy Sweeney, stars Murray Fane, Clive Hobson, Des Harris and Sarah Dolan.

The Pymble Players were founded in 1957. 17 years later, they adopted the Pymble Chapel as their ‘home’, located on the corner of Bromley Avenue and Mona Vale Road.

Joy Sweeney stated, “In this 65th anniversary of Pymble Players, I am proud to be directing Moonlight and Magnolias, a fast-paced comedy based on fascinating, real events about an iconic piece of Hollywood history – Gone with the Wind.” Joy has been involved with theatre her whole life. A life member of Willoughby Theatre Company, she wrote and directed several reviews and cabarets, played leading roles in over 20 productions, and costumed over 30. This is her third production with Pymble Players. Full price tickets are $30, concession card holders are $27, and groups of 15 or more booked in the same transaction are $25. For more information, bookings and tickets, visit JUNE 2022 | SYDNEYOBSERVER.COM.AU


Local News


Gordon’s First Post Office


id you know that the Gordon Post Office is now in its fifth location? In this month’s article, we take a look at the establishment of the first Gordon Post Office.

Iolanthe, sketched by Kenneth McGuire.

Iolanthe is one of the earliest existing dwellings in Ku-ring-gai. From 1860 to 1894 a post office operated from this family home, playing an important role in the everyday lives of the early residents of the area. Prior to 1810, mail was usually passed on by informal arrangements between transporters, storekeepers and settlers, who would ride miles out of their way to deliver neighbours’ mail which had been collected from distribution points. Eventually, residents of Lane Cove (the present Gordon area) petitioned the Postal Department for a local post office, and one was established in February 1860 with Mrs Eliza Edwards as postmistress, initially being paid £12 a year. Eliza (1819-1902) was the youngest daughter of North Shore pioneer Robert Pymble, and whilst in Tasmania she married convict David Edwards in 1842. They had two children, James and Elizabeth. James would eventually be known as James “George” Edwards, regarded as ‘the father of Killara’, as noted in our article in last month’s Sydney Observer. The post office was conducted from a back room of Iolanthe, a modest weatherboard cottage with an iron roof where Eliza lived with her children. In 1885 two brick rooms were added to the front of Iolanthe, probably also including the existing veranda structure, giving the cottage its present appearance. Situated at 691 Pacific Highway, Gordon, Iolanthe still survives in the grounds of Ravenswood School for Girls. When the post office opened, mail bags were delivered to it weekly on horseback. After the North Shore line began in 1890, these deliveries were made by rail. There was no letter delivery at this time – the butcher, the baker, or any resident who happened to call into the post office usually delivered letters to the residents. 10


In May 1889, several ladies from the community met to present a testimonial to ‘Mrs and Miss Edwards, in recognition of their services in connection with postal matters at Gordon during the last 30 years’. An address was read stating that during the period that Mrs Edwards had been postmistress, ‘there had not been a single complaint against the management of the office’ and ‘the willing and cheerful assistance always given by Miss Edwards’ was also noted. In 1894, Mrs Edwards resigned due to failing health, at which time her final salary was £27 a year. She was succeeded by Mrs Elsie Langford in March that year, and the post office continued to be conducted from Iolanthe. When Mrs Langford resigned after only a few months due to the low salary it

was decided to move the post office to Gordon Railway Station, and in October 1894 the Station Master, John Alt, became the new postmaster. Eliza Edwards continued to live in the dwelling until her death in 1902. Her daughter Elizabeth died in 1928 at Iolanthe, and the cottage continued to be occupied by members of the Edwards family until 1952. Ravenswood purchased the property in 1955, and Iolanthe was listed on the State Heritage Register in April 1999. If you like to know about your house and its past occupants or research your family history, visit the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society in Gordon. We have extensive resources you can use, and we hold regular meetings with informative talks. For more information about us, go to,

The Ku-ring-gai Historical Society’s activities can be found on its website, The Ku-ring-gai Historical Research Centre is located in the historic Old Gordon Public School building, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway (cnr Pacific Hwy & Park Ave).

Local News

Marathon to the Rescue


ace up those joggers and get Race Day ready as Australia’s mightiest marathon – Bravehearts 777 Marathon – is back to help protect children!

Leading Australian child protection organisation, Bravehearts, has launched registrations for the eighth annual Bravehearts 777 Marathon which will see national participants take on a grueling endurance challenge by running seven consecutive marathons, held across seven states, over seven days. With approximately 1 in 5 children experiencing child sexual abuse, Bravehearts is calling on Australians to join one of the country’s largest runs for children. Kicking off in Perth on Monday, 27 June, Bravehearts 777 Marathon will work its way through Adelaide, Melbourne, Launceston, Sydney, and Canberra, before culminating at the Gold Coast on Sunday, July 3. Bravehearts is also calling on individual state runners to register for their local event, with distances of 7km, 14km, 21km, and 42km on offer along with prizes for the highest fundraiser in each state. The Bravehearts 777 Marathon is one of Bravehearts’ major annual fundraisers with all funds raised used to support vital counselling and support services, as well as child sexual abuse prevention and educational programs across the nation. To register, head to

Event Details Date: Friday 1 July 2022 Distance: 7km or 14km or 21.1km or 42.2km Start Location: Rodd Park - 86 Henley Marine Drive, Rodd Point Start Time: 7:00 am Cut Off Time: 1:30 pm


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Local News

Issues on ‘Testamentary Capacity’ Wal Abramowicz


hese days, as parents and grandparents are living longer and property prices continue to rise, we are seeing an increase in the claims being brought against deceased persons’ estates. One common type of claim which is regularly brought against a deceased person’s estate is proceedings claiming that a will is invalid on grounds that the person making the will did not have testamentary capacity at the time of preparing the will. The onus is always on an executor to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that the will maker held testamentary capacity at the time of making his or her will. Where a will appears to be rational on its face and has been signed by the person making the will before at least two attesting witnesses, an executor propounding the will is entitled to a presumption that the will is valid. This means that the onus shifts to the person seeking to challenge the validity of the will to present evidence to the Court which raises doubts on whether the will maker did hold testamentary capacity at the time of making the will. Once evidence of this nature is tendered to the Court at the hearing, the onus then shifts back to the party seeking to propound the will to present evidence to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that the will maker did have testamentary capacity at the relevant time. The Court is required to consider all of the relevant evidence and must be satisfied on the evidence as a whole that it supports a finding that the person held testamentary capacity. If the Court is not satisfied of this matter, it is required to find that the will is invalid. It is often necessary to review contemporaneous medical records of the deceased person including hospital admission records and GP’s notes in the course of collating evidence to establish whether a person held testamentary capacity at the time of making a will. It is also common for the parties to obtain expert evidence from specialist medicolegal experts such as geriatricians, psychiatrists and neurologists. Evidence from lay witnesses who observed behaviour of the will maker in periods leading up to, and surrounding, the making of a will is sometimes helpful. Often, evidence from a solicitor who has prepared the will including file notes from the solicitor’s file recording the attendances on the will maker are crucial.



Managing Diretctor of Fox & Staniland, Wal Abramowicz.

Past cases have recognised that capacity to make a will is to be assessed with regard to the terms of the actual will made by the deceased. Whilst the test of capacity remains the same in all cases, the courts recognise that the application of the test will vary according to the complexity and officiousness or inofficiousness, of the particular will. A will is said to be “inofficious” where its terms appear to be uncontroversial when taking into account what would ordinarily be expected of the particular will maker when having regard to their particular circumstances, and the persons who would ordinarily be expected to be included as beneficiaries of their estate. In one recent case in the Supreme Court of NSW, the Judge recommended that if

a person is over 70 years of age, or is being cared for by another person or lives in an aged care facility, or where there are reasons the solicitor may hold concerns that the person may not have testamentary capacity, the solicitor should make appropriate enquires of the person’s doctors and carers to ascertain whether there are any potential issues with the person’s capacity and keep careful file notes to record the outcome of any such enquiries. Fox & Staniland Lawyers have a team of lawyers who have extensive experience in preparing wills for clients which have withstood claims of invalidity and acting for executors of estates and claimants in all aspects of estate litigation.

Local News

The Rap on MPEXPO


reuniting together again after two years of remote work. Local organisations were exhibited, sharing their latest products, technology and achievements.

The event provided a forum where people met and connected, with many colleagues

There were three different speakers; Michael McQueen - multi-award winning speaker and best-selling author of nine books, Katerina Kimmorley - founder of Pollinate Energy and member of the NSW Net Zero Emissions and Clean

he Macquarie Park Innovation Showcase EXPO was a huge success. The EXPO was an innovationthemed open-air street festival which brought Macquarie Park’s community together and showcased the innovation district’s achievements. The free event ran on Wednesday 25 May from 10 am – 3 pm.

Economy Board, and lastly James O'Loghlin (also the MC) – Australian broadcasting royalty best known as the host of over 300 episodes of ABC TV’s The New Inventors and his witty and entertaining programs on ABC radio. Following each talk, a panel discussion was held with local leaders. For more information, visit www.

or nearly 50 years Fox & Staniland Lawyers have been delivering pre-eminent legal services to Sydney’s North Shore. We have grown to become a Sydney city alternative with one of the largest practices north of the harbour. We are trusted advisors to our clients in matters of Will Disputes and claims against Estates. P: 02 9440 1202 | F: (02) 9440 1205 E: Level 2, 828 Pacific Highway Gordon NSW 2072* *Parking available at the Gordon Centre and Ku-ring-gai Council on Dumaresq Street.




Life Changes. Mindsets Don’t The Inspiring Bronte Campbell Jay Houhlias

With the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships just passed, there is no one more fitting to catch up with than Bronte Campbell. Bronte’s list of accomplishments as an athlete are remarkable; from gold medals in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay at Rio and Tokyo Olympics, to a gold medal in the 50m freestyle at the 2015 Kazan World Championships, to gold in the 100m freestyle at the 2018 Commonwealth games – the list goes on and includes a smothering of other medals and achievements over the years.


ccording to Bronte, however, these achievements were the bonus, and the main reward was in working toward them. It was Bronte’s discipline and hard-working approach that allowed (and continues to allow) her such a long and illustrious career as an athlete. “From seven years old, all I remember is wanting to be a swimmer. I had this single-minded pursuit. But once I went to the Olympics, this mindset didn’t just go away. I was thinking about the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing after that. Once I had achieved these things, I realised the drive doesn’t go away. Actually achieving these things does not give you the satisfaction you think it does. Lots of the joy came from trying to do those things – sounds corny, but that is most important part of it. It’s a kind of anticlimax when you stand on the other side of an achievement you have been working toward since you were seven years old, and you don’t actually feel any different.”



Coastal Creatives Australia

Bronte’s level of humility has continued to aid her swimming pursuits and orient her toward healthy, holistic goals. “How I have taken my approach forward in the last five years where I’ve been injured, is in knowing the joy is in the preparation and the doing. I went from being in a result driven mindset to a mindset where this is holistically something I enjoy. The results that have come from that have been some of my best – I didn’t think that was possible.” Bronte’s life doesn’t end with swimming, and she has been busy outside the pool. She is the President of the Australian Swimmer’s Association which looks after the collective voice of swimmers and advocates for athlete rights. She is also on the Athlete Leadership Team which looks after team culture. However, her main focus whilst she was competing was doing her bachelor’s degree in business which she completed last year. She is now a consultant at Ernst & Young.


Photos by Coastal Creatives Australia

Bronte also shared some of her experience with public life. She starred in the documentary series Head Above Water (2021) and she now stars in Celebrity Apprentice (2022). Sydney Observer asked her about this new media world and its relationship to and with athletes like herself. “The media world can be a really good thing in terms of granting access to athletes as people- particularly Olympic athletes, where you only get to know them for such a small amount of time every four years. It can help for the whole country to come along for the ride – the successes and the non-successes. It’s more about them as people, apart from the minute they’re in the pool.” “It also just depends on the athlete and how much they want to share. It can be incredibly draining, there is a bit of give and take. Most swimmers just want to swim – they want to get in, train, and achieve their goals. All this other stuff - pressure from the media and from social media, pressure to have a media presence - is just added on top.

“There is so much in the world that is outside of your control, and that can make people feel helpless. But even in the most uncertain of situations, there is always something within it that is under your control... There is always one thing you can focus on, that is the first step out.” Swimming champion Bronte Campbell

This does need to be supported though because it is the reality of the landscape at the moment.” Bronte is using this media world for good, proudly supporting Carers Australia as her Celebrity Apprentice charity. Carers Australia looks after and advocates for unpaid carers, supporting those who require full-time or part-time care. The charity is something close to Bronte’s heart, with her mother taking primary, full-time care for her brother who suffers from cerebral palsy. Bronte is currently residing in Sydney. She hopes to spend her days surfing, indoor planting and doing pottery – all things she does to bring her joy. As she puts it – “how good is having a hobby?!” Let’s hope Bronte can do all these things and more in the years to come. If I have learnt anything from speaking with her, it’s that if she puts her mind to it, she’ll probably get there. For more information and to donate to Bronte’s charity for Celebrity Apprentice 2022 visit JUNE 2022 | SYDNEYOBSERVER.COM.AU


Education - Career

John Hanrahan interviewing Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver and Peter Weir in ‘80s.

Interviewing the Interviewer

Jay Houhlias


ohn Hanrahan went from growing up on a sheep and cattle property to sitting opposite some of the world’s biggest movie stars, asking questions we were all longing to know the answers to. To sum up his extensive career would be no small feat. It encompassed everything from a radio training course at 2GB, to business reporting at Channel 9, to working in newspapers in the United Kingdom covering two British elections, to reviewing theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford. The segue into John’s current project (collating his interviews online) began after he returned from the UK where he had made connections in show business. As the Australian film industry began to blossom in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, John was there to cover it. This eventually led him to cover 12 consecutive Cannes Film Festivals in which Australian film was gradually experiencing a rise in prominence. It was from his relationships established here that he was able to build a global set of contacts which led him onto movie sets in North Africa, Hungary, Scotland, France, Japan, The Philippines and across the US – most everywhere around the world. He says that it was gradually building the trust with his intermediaries and networks which allowed him to do this. However, there were difficult ones to get – it took three years to land an interview with Woody Allen, at his edit suite in New York:



The journalist John Hanrahan.

“They eventually felt comfortable putting me in front of Woody, knowing that I had done my research and I wouldn’t mess it up!” Throughout his career, John has interviewed some huge names – Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Mel Gibson and Barbra Streisand just to name a few. Each year, he would accumulate anywhere between 120-130 interviews with actors, actresses, producers, and directors. He says, “I found that most actors are quite shy people – but, of course, they spend their lives pretending, professionally, to be someone they’re not. You’re often poking into their private lives and psyches, so I always ensured I treated them with respect, just like anyone, but they too have foibles, and occasionally more so than everyone else. I had my share of alcohol infused interviews and rude stars with overblown egos.”

One of John’s favourite interview experiences that he shared with Sydney Observer was a hilarious run in with Christopher Reeve, who opened the door “barefoot, with a glass of wine.” “Warner Brothers and Roadshow offered me the chance to fly to New York and interview Christopher Reeve. It was just after he’d done the first Superman. Everything was organised, I arrived in New York and got a taxi to the address with my TV cameraman. I met the Warner Brothers PR person, and we headed upstairs to Christopher’s room. I knocked on the door, and Christopher opens, unshaven, hair askew, trousers rolled up to his knees, and in bare feet and holding a glass of wine. The PR person then says, ‘oh my god, Chris, I’m so sorry, I forgot to ring you to remind you about the interview!’ He was so cool though, he just said, ‘yeah no trouble, let me freshen up. Give me 15 minutes and come back up.’ So we went down and came back up 15 minutes later, and he was great. He was an absolute gentleman, down to earth, no complaints or qualms at all. He was utterly professional and a really charming guy. It was such unique situation, and he handled it so well and with such distinction.” John’s current project is a YouTube channel where he plans to bring many of his years of fascinating interviews together. The channel, which already has more than 30 video and audio interviews published, is called ‘John Hanrahan’s Movie Star Interviews’. ( UC4CaGCJq4ENrC_J-ia4P_VA/videos)


Improve Home Study Habits Sarah Wainwright

Tirachard Kumtanom/Pexels


arents and children lead busy lives! Academic demands in high school, on top of sport and extra-curricular activities can leave kids and parents feeling stressed, exhausted and quite overwhelmed at times.


Diligently and effectively using a school diary and being organised is a great place to start for kids to manage stress and their academic workload. Write everything down: homework, sport, work, tuition, CCAs, appointments, recreation, and time with friends. Diarise assessment and assignment due dates and work backwards from that date, noting down what needs to be done each day towards that piece of work. Breaking down a big task into small achievable steps helps to reduce anxiety, minimise procrastination and establishes a stepby-step structure for writing a piece or study.


Encouraging young people to use paper and pen remains important. Handwriting notes, condensing content into revision summaries, draft essay plans, mind-maps and flash cards are all valuable aids for memory and useful handwriting practice. Making excellent notes is an excellent skill to master. When we’re writing, we’re doing, and this helps with memorisation.

Finally, young people need to be taught explicitly how to study. These skills include highlighting main points, skimming and scanning, note taking etc. Don’t expect these skills to be inherent.” Sarah Wainwright, BSc (Psychology), Postgraduate Diploma (Psychology). Writer, mentor-tutor, wife and mother of 4. Sarah is a Sydney-based parenting expert and shares her experience and observations on Instagram @_parentingtips_.


When tackling an essay, assessment or assignment question, making thoughtful judgements and employing critical thinking skills are necessary. Pull apart the question components- what exactly is being asked, what are the key words in the question, what do these words mean (find synonyms) and how can you thoroughly answer the question? Answering the question involves reading about the topic, jotting down main points, writing a plan and drafts, and repeatedly returning to the question. Teachers are your richest resource- if your child is really stuck, your child can ask their teacher for help.


High School English teacher Gemma Byrnes shares her expertise on how parents can most effectively help, “I would start by recommending parents to take a step back from the actual writing and editing process. Constructive feedback is great, but it is often very obvious when a parent has ‘helped’ a little too much with their child’s work or assessment task.” Gemma adds, “Instead, a parent can help in the following ways: Assist your child to create a tidy space dedicated for study (and encourage them to use it!). Time management~ teenagers need a lot of help managing their time and reducing procrastination. Help your child to create a timetable that is realistic, including allocating time for school, extra-curricular activities, free time, as well as study. Time for study should be set in half hour chunks to limit burnout (HSC students should be allocating 2 hours a day for studying in halfhour chunks). When a parent knows their child has scheduled time to study they can gently remind them what they need to be doing, rather than ‘nagging’ endlessly.

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Home & Garden

Electric Fireplace Electric fireplaces are probably the cheapest option in terms of initial costs. All you need is a power point, and you are good to go! They are best suited to smaller places as they are very space affordable and can be moved around easily. They are easy to install, and if you are not too fussed about the aesthetic, the fake flames look just fine. However, electric fireplaces can be very energy costly, and they are not as effective at heating up larger, loftier rooms.

The Fire Inside


ith winter coming, there is undoubtably one place where we all feel the most comfortable – indoors. Indoor fireplaces are a great option for the home. In addition to the obvious benefit of providing warmth, they can also create ambience, atmosphere and add a touch of style.

Gas Fireplaces Gas fireplaces are seen as the most convenient – just flick the switch, and there you go. They require none of the labour needed to start a wood burning fire, and they require no cleaning after the fire is finished. They also have a thermostat which allows you to set the temperature and adjust it if it is too hot or too cold. However, gas fireplaces do have some down sides. In 2012, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that gas fireplaces release the same amount or more carbon than wood heaters. In addition to this, a gas fireplace will set you back a substantial amount of money (not including ongoing energy costs) as opposed to the one-time installation of a wood burning fireplace.

Wood burning fireplace It’s a classic, and some people believe there is no substitute for a wood burning fireplace. There is something undeniably comforting about the natural soft crackling of slow burning logs. Wood burning fire can provide more heat to larger areas than gas, and because it uses real wood for fuel, you can reuse and recycle old wooden materials to save some big 18


dollars. So, if you have access to abundant stores of wood and logs, a wood burning fireplace is definitely for you. However, wood burning fires do require more maintenance, and if you have had a long day at work, getting a live fire going is probably the last thing you want to do. It is also important to note that you’ll need to consider extra storage space for the fuel logs.

Home & Garden

The Allure of Prints


itness trainer and wellness entrepreneur Anna Lewandowska has designed a collection of art prints exclusively with Desenio! Anna lives with her husband, Robert Lewandowski, and their two daughters in Germany; the collection was inspired by her love for her family and passion for wellness. “My collection represents everything that brings me true joy. My daughters, who inspired the Thumbelina print, my passion for sports, and my house in Mallorca, where I feel relaxed and calm. I think you can tell that summer is my favourite season.”

Anna Lewandowska’s collection was inspired by her love for her family and passion for wellness.

Growing up in an artistic family, Anna has always been surrounded by creativity. With a mix of photo art, quotes, and illustrations, the collection gives us a

glimpse into Anna’s life and the things that matter most to her. “I used to be very passionate about photography; some of the illustrations in the collection are based on my own photographs.” Anna Lewandowska worked with Desenio’s Design Studio to create prints that were personal to her and represented her passions. The collection features calming sea blues and soft beige hues for a peaceful and on-trend home. “For me, art is what makes a house a home. Through art prints, we can express what’s hidden in our hearts. They can also remind us of what is most important.” Anna Lewandowska’s collection is available to shop at

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Maintaining Your Garden in Winter


Alexas Fotos/Pixabay

garden needs three things in order survive: soil, sunshine and water. For most of the year, especially during warmer and sunnier times, this isn’t an issue. However, it becomes more difficult as winter rolls around.

Here are four tips from Hipages local gardeners on how to maintain your garden through winter so you can reap the benefits in time for spring.


During the winter months, your lawn soil is at risk of compacting. This means that water won’t reach the roots of the lawn and can cause pooling. To mitigate this, you can aerate the soil so the water can reach the roots. You can also top-dress the lawn with coarse sand. If puddling is still an issue, use a hose on wetting agent that will breakdown the soil without harming the lawn. Be sure to limit feeding and fertilizing your lawn during winter as not much growth takes place in cold weather.

To avoid pruning too early, aim for August and wait for plants to die before pruning them.

fertilising and watering between rain in order to help them flower and remain healthy.

attracts them but will also drown them when they reach it.

Be sure to plant winter flowering plants in spring and early summer.


Keep an eye for weeds. Removing weeds after it rains is key in ensuring they don’t return. Use a weed hand for stubborn weeds to prevent harming the lawn.



Snails and slugs often pop up in wet weather. Insects like these can be very harmful to your garden. The best way to remove them is by hand or by placing a tray of beer above the soil - the yeast in the beer

Pruning trees and shrubs is ideal in winter. To avoid pruning too early, aim for August and wait for plants to die before pruning them. Plants that flower in winter need 20


Try mulching in winter to prevent weeds. It’s best to use organic mulch to help feed your garden beds when it breaks down over time.

Planting vegetables during winter means they’ll be ready by early spring. Choose an area with the most amount of sun as winter vegetables require it to grow and thrive. There are many great winter vegetables including radishes, broccoli, peas, spinach and lettuce. Always try and opt for organic pesticides (if you have to use them) to avoid harmful toxins. You can find out more at

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What the Election Means for Aged Care W

ith Anthony Albanese being sworn in as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia, our seniors will be set for change. Among other things which impact our seniors such as cost of living, the new Labor Government has committed to implement aged care reforms. These commitments to aged care include: • Mandating every aged care facility to have a registered, qualified nurse on site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by July 2023.

Getting Back to Work Jay Houhlias


2022 National Seniors Social Survey ( has shown that many pensioners want to go back to work. 1249 Australian pensioners were surveyed, with results showing 20% would consider re-entering paid work after retiring, whilst a further 16% of them already had. The results also showed that, for 60% of pensioners, money was the primary motivation for getting back to work. Perhaps you might think that 20% of pensioners wanting to work again shouldn’t be considered ‘many’, and that this 20% only represents a tiny fraction of the rest of the pensioners who are completely content. However, one must consider the fact pensioners have probably spent most of their lives working, with many dreaming of retiring and living out the rest of their days work free. This makes this 20% statistic significantly more telling. Anyone wanting to return to work after fifty years of it must have some compelling reason. After all, I know some other young people (myself included) who are just about ready to throw in the towel after a few years! As part of the survey, National Seniors Australia invited participants to comment on their reasons for working after retirement. “We have been scammed out of our retirement savings and despite my disability, we need to find an income source.” 22


“My previous partner had a gambling problem, so, I had to earn what my pension allowed me to cover living expenses, I have no superannuation to fall back on.” “I’m desperate for money in order to pay my bills, rent and food.” These responses show that money is the critical issue. However, there were other reasons. For example, many wanted to work to support our nation’s workforce especially during COVID-19. “I was a trained nurse, would love to help in these difficult times.” A 69-year-old said she “successfully sought work as a COVID-19 vaccinator” because she wanted to “support the healthcare workforce during the pandemic.”

• Mandating an average of 200 minutes of care time per resident by October 2023 and 215 minutes of care by October 2024. • Accepting and funding the Fair Work Commission’s decision on better pay for aged care workers. • Working with the aged care sector to develop and implement mandatory nutrition standards for aged care homes to ensure every resident gets good food. • Making residential care providers publicly report their spending and giving the Aged Care Safety Commissioner powers to ensure accountability and integrity. • Funding free aged care TAFE courses as part of its broader policy of 465,000 free TAFE places. You can find more at the National Seniors Australia website

Other survey respondents said they wanted to work to “help a farmer somewhere”, “support struggling small business operators”, or “assist somewhere in an industry that is beneficial to the workforce.” Despite this part of the pensioner population being passionate about getting back to work, restrictions on what pensioners can earn before they lose pension income still remains a major barrier. Because of this, National Seniors Australia is campaigning to have employment income exempted from the Age Pension income test. This will give pensioners with limited assets an incentive to re-enter the workforce.

One of the commitments is to develop and implement mandatory nutrition standards for aged care homes.


Give your Mood a Boost Dr Sue Ferguson

When we are starting to feel down, we get less pleasure from activities we previously enjoyed, so we may stop doing fun or meaningful things. This can contribute to a depressed mood. Behavioural Activation (involving scheduling and doing pleasant and meaningful activities) is a simple technique you can use to break this cycle and give your mood a boost. Scheduling and doing these activities is helpful, not just because the activity itself is pleasurable, but perhaps because we also have something to look forward to, can share the pleasure with others, and look back on it with fondness. Research has found Behavioural Activation is an effective way of both preventing and treating depression. It works well in older adults, and a modified form of it (with the help of a trained volunteer) can work in residential aged care too. To try Behavioural Activation: • Write down what you have planned to do each day in the coming week. • Rate how you feel at the end of each day.

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• Schedule for the following week more of the types of activities which gave you pleasure, sense of achievement, and boosted your connection to others.

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• Give these activities a go, whether you feel like it or not.

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• Notice how you felt after each activity, and then keep modifying your schedule. For more details, watch • For extra ideas for local activities, search The activities can be little things like taking a bubble bath, cooking something nice, chatting with a friend, going for a walk, or learning something new. Break harder tasks into small achievable bits.

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Doing more of what matters to you may help you feel a bit better, but if you are feeling really down, then please reach out to your GP or psychologist, or ring Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

Dr Sue Ferguson is an Honorary Associate Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University.

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Do You Have a Sore Thumb? Rejimon Punchayil


F.A.S.T Tracking Stroke Awareness


rom 23 May, the daily commute for thousands of Sydney residents will take on board an educational message - think F.A.S.T.

The life-saving message will be featured at 29 of Sydney’s busiest train stations, outlining the most common signs of stroke: Facial droop, an inability to lift your Arms, and slurred Speech. It comes after Stroke Foundation’s annual survey last year found a startling 48 per cent of Sydney residents and 29 per cent of regional New South Wales residents do not recognise a single sign of stroke, and therefore may not call for an ambulance quickly enough to get urgent medical care. Stroke Foundation New South Wales State Manager Rhian PatonKelly says targeting a large group of people is an important way to spread awareness more broadly. “We know hundreds of thousands of people use Sydney’s rail network every day and this is a crucial way for us to reach people of all ages and backgrounds and educate them on the F.A.S.T signs of stroke. It is a simple message that can save lives.” The educational campaign is part of a partnership between Stroke Foundation and the New South Wales Government, which has included the rollout of Telestroke services to 23 hospitals across regional New South Wales.

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Winter Essentials

o you have thumb osteoarthritis or thumb instability? Unfortunately, this can cause a lot of problems in daily life. Activities such as writing, opening jars, and turning keys can be painful. Arthritis is a disorder in which the cartilage of the joints becomes worn or inflamed. In a healthy joint, the ends of the bones are covered with cartilage. This allows the bones to move smoothly and painlessly over each other. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage wears away and the bones rub against each other. Movement or pressure, for example pinching, then becomes painful. The PUSH Ortho Thumb Brace CMC provides just the support you need. It is a slim, attractive, and low-profile support. It is comfortable and easy to wear for virtually any activity. There are many simple and practical tools to help manage daily activities while living with arthritis. A pick-up-reacher, a key turner, a jar opener or a tap turner can make a huge difference. The enhanced independence feeds our self-worth and self-esteem. Arthritis gloves of various types can be a great relief during this season. It is good to know that there is a range of cutlery that can assist a person who is experiencing difficulties at the dining table. Get yourself equipped to deal with the challenges this winter and your arthritis can throw at you. You can find more information on these solutions at or give the experts there a call to see how they can assist you this winter.

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When Europe was $10 a Day Margaret Simpson


ith international travel back on the agenda, some of us are thinking of packing our bags again.

Back in the 1970s, the bible for budget conscious travellers was Arthur Frommer’s US book, ‘Europe on $10 a Day’. Without today’s advantages of the internet for online bookings, Google Maps and instant access to timetables and tourist information, plane and accommodation reservations had to be made in person with travel agents, at airline offices, or by letter. Brochures and maps were obtained from consuls, embassies or tourist offices. You also needed more vaccinations, visas and various currencies compared to now. It was a big occasion to fly out of Sydney, with family and friends all coming to see you off, and flights were long and slow. In 1977 flying to London with AUS Student Travel involved a small DC-8 to Bangkok, then a DC-9 to Copenhagen. Once you arrived in London there were no emails and your letters could be collected from the Agent-General for NSW in The

Strand, while your Thomas Cook travellers’ cheques had to be redeemed at banks or foreign exchange kiosks. Frommer listed accommodation and food for those on “splashing out” to “starvation”, and even “substarvation”, budgets. He directed travellers to London tube trips (10 pence), Lyric Theatre gallery seats (60 pence) and suggested, if in doubt, to order steak and kidney pie which came with two veg and rarely cost more than 40 pence. Navigation was with folded paper maps so good map-reading skills were essential. For excursions further afield, London A-Z (50 pence) was recommended. Photography required heavy SLR cameras, taking slides or prints, and communication home was via aerogrammes or postcards, with not a mobile in sight. Independent travel then, though rewarding, was a real challenge – but I wouldn’t have done it any other way!

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Beauty & Wellbeing

Sharing is not Always Caring Ian Sweeney


hen it comes to sharing a toothbrush, sharing is definitely not caring.

There are a number of people who appear to be completely unfazed when it comes using their partner’s toothbrush. Everyone has a unique set of bacteria that reside in their oral cavity. If you use another person’s toothbrush, you will expose your teeth and gums to new bacteria, which may not always react well with the bacteria your body already knows. The introduction of new bacteria can potentially upset the mix currently in your mouth. Upsetting the mix in your own mouth may increase your risk of an infection. You won’t realise it when it happens, however you could be introducing bacteria or viruses that may put your teeth and gums, and potentially, your general health, at risk of disease. Not only should you never share a toothbrush with another person, you should also aim to replace your toothbrush every three months. After approximately three 26


months, the effectiveness of the brush is reduced and should be replaced. The idea of using a hard or medium brush to increase your toothbrushes life span is also false economy. Hard toothbrushes have a greater chance of causing toothbrush abrasion, wearing down the sides of a tooth, as well as leading to gum recession.

The other part of the oral hygiene regime is of course flossing. When flossing it is best to follow a few simple steps: 1. U se about 40cm of floss, wrapped around a finger on either hand with about 5cm left to floss your teeth. 2. H old the floss taut with your thumb or index fingers 3. Gently glide the floss up and down while rubbing it against the side of your teeth. 4. Bend the floss around the curve of the tooth to remove debris. Remember, teeth are curved so moving the floss up and down will not remove the plaque from the tooth surface. The surface needs to be rubbed with the floss.

Mikhail Nilov/Pexels

5. Repeat the above process between every tooth. Good oral hygiene is important for healthy teeth and gums, not to mention your overall health. So, in short, it is best to use a soft or extra soft toothbrush and replace it regularly. Always keep your toothbrush to yourself, floss regularly and maintain regular six-monthly dental appointments to keep things in tip-top shape.

Dr Ian Sweeney is a dental surgeon at Northside Dental & Implant Centre, Turramurra. At Northside Dental & Implant Centre we are committed to providing compassionate and empathetic care to all patients in our purpose-built facility. We have wheelchair access and a hoist on site. Our staff are highly trained and experienced in treating senior patients, patients with special needs and patients with complex medical conditions.

Beauty & Wellbeing

The ‘Cure’ from Saltwater


ave you ever noticed, after a long day at the beach in the water, that your skin feels smooth? Of course while wearing sunscreen, this feeling of smooth skin after saltwater is very common. It turns out there is actual science to back this feeling up. According to dermatologist and cofounder and Surgical Director of MDCS Dermatology, Snehal Amin, saltwater has been known to clean and disinfect skin since ancient Egypt. Amin states that it is no coincidence that your skin feels smooth after a bout of saltwater.

A Tech Help to Meditate


any of us struggle with our psychological health. Yet, many of us are hesitant to try mediation to improve our mental health and alleviate the symptoms of mental illness. Despite the overwhelming evidence out there about the benefits of meditation, our excuses for not trying it usually come in these forms; “I don’t have time to sit there and do nothing for twenty minutes a day”, or “I get too distracted to meditate, I need to stimulate my mind”, or “I never feel like it is working when I try it.” These are completely understandable and very common amongst those just starting out meditation. However, just because something is difficult to begin with, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue it.

Sam Harris is an American philosopher and neuroscientist who states “the purpose of meditation isn’t merely to de-stress, or to sleep better, or to learn to be a little less neurotic. The purpose is to radically transform your sense of who and what you are.” Sam has an app called Waking Up which, he states, aims to “open the door to a deeper understanding of yourself—and to a new way of being in the world.” You might think that having an app to aid meditation is gimmicky and defeats the whole purpose of mediating. However, Sam makes it easy to transition into meditating and the meditation practice – which appears to be the thing that most people struggle with. It seems as though once people get into the routine of meditating, they can’t live without it. Meditating is a common thread in many successful people’s routines – Jerry Seinfeld, 28


“Salt acts as a mechanical exfoliant and scrub, removing dead skin cells. This leaves the skin feeling smoother, softer, and brighter. Through osmotic actions, salts absorb toxins and draw out dirt and oil.”

Jim Carey, and Oprah Winfey just to name a few. The idea is to start, just start, and then from there, see where the practice takes you.

But before you buy a mountain of packaged salt and start scrubbing, there is something to wary of.

On the app there are daily meditations, special guest guided mediations, and a plethora of other information and resources all relevant to mindfulness.

A DIY saltwater mix doesn’t provide the same benefits as ocean water does. This is because, in addition to containing salt, ocean water also has a bunch of natural minerals which are more likely responsible for the health benefits.

Apps on smart phones and devices get a bad rap for being addictive and bad for our health. Waking Up is a great example of how apps can be used for good. Let’s hope to see more of these credible and helpful resources in the future. Find out more at

There is also a danger of drying your skin out. Amin states that: “Salt is corrosive and can damage the skin when applied in high concentrations for an excessive period of time. My basic advice is that a salt scrub is fine for the body but best to avoid for the face.” Like a lot of things in this field of wellbeing, it is just about finding the right thing which works for your skin.

Beauty & Wellbeing

The Retinol Alternative


etinol is great for the skin, however, if used incorrectly (e.g. the retinol strength is too high for your skin) it can cause irritation, redness, dryness, and peeling. Saya’s renew serum mimics the advantages of retinol on your skin by softening the appearance of ageing, improves hyperpigmentation and scarring and improves skin texture. The renew serum does not need to be introduced to your skincare routine like retinol does. It is:

The Benefits of Sauna


eat exposure has been used for a long time for a variety of different reasons. Probably the most notable being that it feels nice and relaxing. Coming into winter, many of us will be running to the spas and saunas (or walking, shivering with arms crossed). You’ll be pleased to know that there are some known health benefits to different forms of heat exposure.

• Safe to use with other skincare actives. • Safe to use morning and night. • Safe to use while breastfeeding or pregnant. • Great for those with sensitive skin.

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Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and has become a prominent figure in the health podcast world. Andrew talks in detail about the benefits of saunas specifically.

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He states that based on data, the more often you use a sauna (at least 30 minutes per session), the less likely you are to die of a cardiovascular event. If you can get into a sauna more than four times a week, you can reduce your risk of dying by a cardiovascular event by 50%. For general longevity purposes, the more you can get into a sauna, the better.

However, Andrew also states that if you’re interested in using the sauna for metabolism, fat loss and recovery, it is best not to sauna too often. For these benefits, instead of a nice leisurely sauna, it is best to take it in intense intervals. Andrew gives the example from a scientific paper - 30 minutes as hot as you can bear, and then 5 minutes back outside in a normal temperature, and then repeat 4 times for a total 2 hours of sauna. The reason why this works is because it stimulates maximum growth hormone release, resulting in the aforementioned benefits above. This, he states, is best to be done only once a week. There are also other alternatives to saunas. Andrew states that the next best thing is a hot bath – which we can definitely all get behind. However you decide to do it this winter, it seems like a good idea to get warm! To find out more, visit

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Food & Wine Pixabay

You can Eat the Chocolate Jay Houhlias

Ákos Helgert/Pexels


hocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. It is synonymous with so many indulgent activities. The problem is, it seems to be impossible to have an appropriate serving of it without going overboard and eating the whole packet. Also, tragically, chocolate is not all that healthy. However, there is a way to mitigate this.


Cacao bean is the plant compound in chocolate. It is the dried and fully fermented seed of the fruit Theobroma cacao. The seed is a bitter tasting bean which has some great health benefits. Cacao provides an excellent source of minerals like magnesium, and the darker the chocolate (higher the cacao content) — the higher the mineral content. Cacao is also high in antioxidants. Generally, less processed cacao contains more antioxidants and very little sugar. This is important because most of the chocolate you’ll find on your grocery store shelves is milk chocolate which has a load or sugar and other additives. It appears that there is a load of health benefits to cacao, but this doesn’t really provide an answer to the question you 30


Dried seeds and the fruit, Theobroma cacao.

are probably asking – does it taste good? Afterall, chocolate is meant to be a treat. Well, the short answer is no – not at first anyway. This is because your taste buds are not used to it. Over time, by having little bits of cacao here and there in the place of milk chocolate, your taste buds eventually adapt and become accustomed to the bitterness. Just like with coffee or any other

strong-tasting food or beverage, you can train your palate to enjoy dark chocolate. It will just take some time and patience (and maybe a few wincing faces if you go straight from a Mars bar to 99% dark chocolate), and it will be enormously beneficial to your health in the long run. So, you can have your chocolate and eat it too. Just choose the right chocolate.

Food & Wine

Matching Food and Wine


atching food with wine is much like being an astrophysicist – very complicated. But some people are astrophysicists, and, some people know how to match food with wine. Madeline Puckette is a James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. She co-founded a site called Wine Folly where she teaches all things wine. Madeline states that while getting food and wine to match is tricky, the basics are fairly simple. First on the list is distinguishing a contrasting pairing of food and wine and a congruent pairing of food and wine.

A contrasting pairing creates balance by contrasting tastes and flavours. An example Madeline provides on her website is: “A white wine with high acidity will complement the fat in the macaroni. So, for example, a traditional mac and cheese recipe with a creamy béchamel sauce matched with zesty white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Assyrtiko or Sauvignon Blanc would create a contrasting pairing.”

9 Tips For Pairing Wine & Food

A congruent pairing creates balance by amplifying shared flavour compounds.

1. The wine should be more acidic than the food. 2. The wine should be sweeter than the food.

An example Madeline provides is: “A white wine with creaminess will add to the creaminess in the dish. So, for example, a traditional mac and cheese recipe with a creamy béchamel sauce matched with a creamy white wine such as Viognier or Chardonnay would create a congruent pairing.”

3. The wine should have the same flavour intensity as the food. 4. Red wines pair best with bold flavoured meats (red meat). 5. White wines pair best with light-intensity meats (fish or chicken). 6. Bitter wines (red wines) are best balanced with fat.

Now that we know the difference between possible matches, let’s move on to some simple tips.

7. It is better to match the wine with the sauce than with the meat. 8. More often than not, white, sparkling and rosé wines create contrasting pairings. 9. More often than not, red wines will create congruent pairings. From

Madeline states that the more familiar you are with different wine and food pairings, the more at liberty you are to break the rules and create your own pairings. JUNE 2022 | SYDNEYOBSERVER.COM.AU


What’s On

Composting workshop The Ku-ring-gai Council is offering a workshop to help you create a successful composting system whether you are in a unit or a house. Their speaker will discuss the different systems available, how to set it up, and how to prevent some of the common problems people encounter. To reserve your place email or call 9424 0000 and list which workshop you are interested in attending.

In Conversation with Bri Lee and Amani Haydar

When: Monday, 20 June 2022, 10:00 am 01:00 pm. Where: Kimbriki Eco House & Garden, Kimbriki Rd, Terrey Hills NSW 2084, 2084. Cost: Free.

Amani Haydar suffered the unimaginable in 2015 when she lost her mother in a brutal act of domestic violence perpetrated by her father. Five months pregnant at the time, her own perception of how she wanted to mother (and was mothered) was shaped by this devastating murder. Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Queensland District Court as a bright-eyed judge’s associate. Two years later she was back as the complainant in her own case. Bri writes about her journey through the Australian legal system; first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge’s associate. Bri has written about consent, violence, body image and more. She currently helps with consent education at schools across Australia. These two incredible women are closing out Gordon Library’s latest ‘Up late’ series in conversation. Join them to witness their discussion on the legal system, privilege, consent, women, creative expression and more. When: Wednesday, 29 June 2022, 06:30 pm - 07:30 pm. Where: Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon 2072. Cost: Free. Booking essential. Contact: Ku-ring-gai Library on 9424 0120 or

Indigenous Heritage Presentation The Aboriginal Heritage Office will offer an Indigenous heritage presentation and guided walk through the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden. Learn about how Aboriginal people lived, Aboriginal figures of the area, bush tucker, tools, weapons and shelter. You will also learn about the colonisation and changes it brought to the environment and country. Morning tea will be provided. The event is not recommended for children. When: Thursday, 16 June 2022, 10:00 am 12:30 pm. Where: Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives 2075. Cost: Free. Contact: Ku-ring-gai Council Events on 9424 0980 or 9424 0000.



Teaching your learner driver workshop This free online presentation offers practical advice and information to parents, carers and supervisors on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers.Information discussed will be current laws of L and P licence holders, completing the Learner driver log book, Understanding the benefits of supervised on-road driving experience, The Safer Drivers Course and lots of tips to help you and your Learner. When: Thursday, 23 June 2022, 06:30 pm - 08:00 pm. Cost: Free, bookings are essential. Contact: Road Safety Officer, 9424 0843 or

Storytime Term 2 – Hornsby Storytime is the perfect way to give your pre-schooler an introduction to a wide range of books and stories, as well as the chance to socialise with other children. Numbers are strictly limited so make sure to book in advance. Bookings open 24 hours before the event starts. Where: Hornsby Central Library – Children’s Corner, 28-44 George Street, Hornsby. When: Every Tuesday, 10 am - 11 am. Cost: Free. Bookings are essential. Contact: Hornsby Shire Libraries,

What’s On

Kirribilli Art Design & Fashion Market

Organised by Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre (hosted by Council), the market has a vibrant atmosphere, fantastic stalls, with great live music, international food, lots of art, unique pieces and great discoveries to be made. When: 12 Jun 2022, 08:30 am - 03:00 pm. Where: Kirribilli Bowling Green, 68 (cnr Burton St) Alfred Street, Kirribilli, New South Wales 2061. Contact: Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre on 02 9922 4428 or

Nature Play - aunty time

Conscious Connection Sundays

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden’s Nature Play program is full of naturethemed activities, designed to develop curious minds and playful spirits. As part of the celebration of Gai Mariagal Festival the program will bring Aunty Caroline and Susan to sing some song, listen to some story and make something special to take home.

Conscious Living Institute offers one hour meditation practice free community event. Simply turn up and sit down in meditation, at 8 am the Estuary opens its café so we can enjoy a coffee or chai tea, whatever you desire. A nice way to connect and share in a beautiful state of being.

When: Wednesday, 22 June 2022 | 09:30 am - 11:00 am. Where: Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives 2075. Cost: $20. Contact: 9424 0353, 9424 0000 or

When: Every Sunday Where: Rest Park Park, 1400 Pacific Highway, Brooklyn Cost: Free Contact: Crestina Drew on 0420 712 699

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Home is Where the Healing is


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We’ll support you to live life well. When living in your own home is no longer an option, you’re most welcome to make our home yours and live in safety and comfort. Residential care is a natural next step in life for thousands of Australians every year. With us, your life continues on your terms – you decide when to get up, eat, socialise and relax.

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