November 11 - 17, 2018: Issue 383

Front Page Issue 383

Treatment To Go Ahead For Avalon Gentleman Refused Angiogram At NBH

Mona Vale Hospital Supporters To Hold Wake At Parliament House on November 16

Major New Hospital Condemned For Lack Of Public Birth Centre by Professor of Midwifery

Destruction Of Swamp Sclerophyll Forest At Warriewood: Developers Dreams Remain A Community Nightmare

Pictures: Warriewood and other Creek Chirrups by Pittwater Pathways +++ - we could all enjoy a good dose of the opposite!

New Funds for Pittwater Foreshore and Pedestrian Upgrades from Office of the Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater

Maserati Takes The Chequered Flag In Act 5 and The MC38 2018 Season by Lisa Ratcliff

DIY Ideas: Garden Design and Plant Management to Minimise Tick Attacks and Infestations - insights from an essay by Bill Conroy BSc. (Agr) (Syd) + a Tribute to Wilfred Lawrence Conroy CBE by Keith Jackson, PNG and others

Park Bench PhilosopherFilmed In Pittwater: A Sentimental Reprise + Some Extra Narrabeen Notes - History

Aquatics: Champion Casey Shatters NBI's Pittwater Paddle SUP Record by Lisa Ratcliff

Manly Marlins Make their Mark on Mental Health - from Office of James Griffin, MP for Manly

Insomnia’s Club Marine Pittwater To Paradise Regatta Countdown by Lisa Ratcliff

School Strike 4 Climate Change: Big School Walk Out On November 30th, 2018

Remembrance Day 2018 - 100 Years From Armistice Day 1918: Some Pittwater Veterans From The First World War

Profile: Bill Leimbach Bill Leimbach’s face is sun weathered, he’s a man who has spent his life outdoors, in the light, capturing real stories of real people. With over 40 years of Producing and Directing Documentaries and Films, most of them in places known for weather extremes, his squint not only occurs when he's focusing in on how to present the story through evolving vision, that squint is looking forward too, towards the next production and records that should be made.

In Canberra today the multi award nominated and winning film Beneath Hill 60, the true story of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company’s mining Hill 60 in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front and setting off what was then the biggest explosion known to humankind, apparently felt in Dublin and heard in London, will be screened as part of Remembrance Day activities. This is one of Bill’s films - one story that 'had to be told'. 

There are a lot of Bill Leimbach productions, in fact there are so many films and documentaries, someone needs to make a definitive filmography of his work. Bill has worked with the best in the business here. The works are authentic - well researched, well written, well acted and directed. They 'stick' with you - the mark of any decent film. 

It's not only films he's been an integral part of getting made that he's interested in either. Next Saturday Bill has arranged a screening of another WWI favourite of the thousands of Australians sent oversea, The Sentimental Bloke, which is also marking its century this month. The screening will take place at the Avalon Bowling Club with Elanora's The Volantinski Quartet providing  music to accompany the classic silent film and even a menu of food from 1918 to heighten the whole experience for those who attend. 

Mona Vale Hospital Supporters To Hold Wake At Parliament House

Save Mona Vale Hospital supporters will hold a “wake” outside NSW Parliament on November 21 for acute services lost from their hospital.
Save Mona Vale Hospital chairman Parry Thomas said “mourners” would travel on a “Hospital Bus” to Macquarie Street, dressed in black, to send a strong message to the government. 
“The Pittwater community has lost an essential service with the closure of acute services at Mona Vale Hospital and the people are grieving,” Mr Thomas said.
“This will give us a chance to mourn our loss whilst sending a clear message to the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Pittwater MP Rob Stokes, and that we want emergency, surgery, intensive care, paediatrics, maternity and other acute services returned to our hospital.”
Of 35,033 presentations to Mona Vale Hospital in the latest year for which statistics are available, the year 2016-17:
  • 143 needed immediate resuscitation.
  • 4,729 needed help within 10 minutes for life-threatening conditions.
  • And another 12,588 needed to be seen within 30 minutes.
Mr Thomas said the enormous numbers of people presenting at the new Northern Beaches Hospital confirmed his group’s concern that it would attract patients from a far wider area and in numbers far greater than the state government planned for - rather than simply cater to the Northern Beaches.
NSW Health Department statistics showed that on Tuesday night (November 6) at 10.30pm Northern Beaches Hospital had 26 patients triaged and waiting for treatment, while Royal North Shore had 2, he said. (Statistics recorded from )
“The many stories of chaos, patients giving up, going to another hospital or simply going home and of the hospital being unable to provide services, show that we need an easily accessible public hospital that is actually on the northern beaches – as well as the one located an extra 12km away up a flood-prone road,” Mr Thomas said.
Anyone wishing to travel on the “Hospital Bus” should contact or call 0403 821 520. Otherwise “mourners” can meet us at Parliament House at 12.30pm on Wednesday, November 21. 

From Save Mona Vale Hospital Local Action Group

Bush2Beach Rugby Gala

Published November 5th, 2018 by NSW Office of Sport
The Sydney Academy of Sport at Narrabeen hosted the Bush2Beach Rugby Gala over last weekend to raise money for registration, insurance and running costs of clubs in drought affected communities.

The event not only provided an invaluable link between beaches and country clubs, but also raised over $15,000.

Check out our video wrap of the day & donate now:

THE SENTIMENTAL BLOKE with the Volantinsky Quartet

Avalon Bowling Club
4 Bowling Green Lane
Avalon Beach
Sat. 17 November 2018
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Hosted by Bill Leimbach

THE SENTIMENTAL BLOKE was first screened 100 years ago this coming November. It is regarded as the supreme achievement of Australia’s Silent Film era. The heartfelt, sympathetic storytelling, its mixture of comedy with realistic Woolloomooloo backgrounds, and its Australian box office success played a major role in defining Australian national character on screen. The film is an adaptation of C.J. Dennis’ much-loved poem about an ex-convict who experiences the love of a good woman for the first time.

This newly restored copy will be presented with a live 100 minute musical accompaniment, composed and performed by The Volatinsky Quartet. The Quartet composed the music for this silent film, whose original score has long been lost. They play an exotic combination of instruments, with Russian-trained Lucy Voronov (cimbalom & hammer-dulcimer), impro-cellist Anatoli Torjinski (from Odessa), Kiev-trained mandolin/guitarist Stephen Lalor and master percussionist Jess Ciampa - all laced with the flavours of Russia, the Balkans and Australian quirky classics. They have been a headline act at WomAdelaide, Woodford and Fairbridge Festivals & their music is often heard on ABC FM.

The 100 minute film was directed by the famous Raymond Longford and the cast features the love of his life Lottie Lyell. It was lost for decades until found in a vault at New York’s Eastman Kodak, filed mistakenly as THE SENTIMENTAL BLONDE.

One of the prints made from the new negative was screened to renewed enthusiasm at the 1955 Sydney Film Festival, and its director Raymond Longford was discovered to be still alive, working as a nightwatchmen on the Sydney waterfront. The National Film and Sound Archive have allowed us this copy to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Avalon resident, Film Producer Bill Leimbach, will introduce the film and tell some of the story behind the making of this landmark collaboration of Raymond Longford & Lottie Lyell. The film transformed Lottie into Australia's first international film star. But she also contributed to the screenplay, art direction, editing and production. The British press called their film, "The best that has been made in Australia".

Lyell and Longford went on to form a very influential and pioneering partnership, making two or three films a year - half hour pieces, totally silent. They started a relationship but Longford could not marry her as his wife Melena would not give him a divorce until 1926 – the year after Lottie Lyell died – at the age of 35.

Today the couple are remembered with a most prestigious award named in their honour, the LONGFORD LYELL AWARD - the Australian film industry's highest accolade for an individual for their "unwavering commitment over many years to excellence in the film and television industries and has, through their body of work, contributed substantially to the enrichment of Australian screen culture". Since the introduction of the award by the AFI in 1968, winners have included Peter Weir, Tim Burstall, Bud Tingwall, David Stratton, George Miller, Phillip Adams, Phillip Noyce, Jack Thompson, Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett.

Avalon Bowling Club will come alive with The Volantinski Quartet on stage accompanying the 100th anniversary of the film, playing to 150 lovers of film, history and exotic music.

Leimbach said, “I saw this SENTIMENTAL BLOKE accompanied by the QUARTET at a film festival in Queensland earlier this year. Everyone had such a wonderful festive night. I approached the Quartet to ask if they could come down to NSW and do the same. They answered excitedly, they would love to - they live in Elanora Heights!"

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity. There will be food, bar drinks and plenty of fun as we laugh and cry and dance in the memory of this great Australian achievement.

The Golden Age Of Piano With Concert Pianist Christopher Malek

Christopher Malek, one of the finest international concert pianists of his generation, will continue the grand tradition of piano music when he performs a recital The Golden Age of Piano, for Wyvern Music Forestville on Sunday 11 November at 4pm at OLGC Catholic Church. Renowned for the poetic quality of his interpretation and extraordinary virtuosity, he will perform piano classics by Mozart, Schubert, Chopin and Liszt.

Christopher graduated with highest distinction for extraordinary artistic achievements from a special talents music high school in Warsaw, Poland. He continued his studies at Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, and Vancouver Academy of Music.

A top prizewinner at many competitions, Chris won his first national contest at an early age of 10, which was followed by his debut with an orchestra. He received First Prize and Gold Medal at the Chopin Competition in Australia, First Prize at the International Competition in Poland, Second Prize at the International Chopin Competition in Europe, to name a few.

Since his early successes, Christopher Malek continues to travel and perform around the world, music has taken him to nearly thirty countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. He made a number of archive recordings for radio and television, released CDs and DVDs and played the title role of Frederic Chopin in a film about the composer.

In recognition of his achievements he was awarded a number of government awards, most notably a Distinguished Talent Permanent Residency of Australia.

Event: The Golden Age of Piano with concert pianist Christopher Malek 
Date and Time: Sunday 11th November at 4:00pm
Venue: Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 9 Currie Rd, Forestville 
Entry Fee: Full:  $25 Concession: $20 Students: $15 Children under 16 Free
Enquiries: Wyvern Music Forestville Tel: 9416 5234

Drinking coffee may reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer's or Parkinson's

November 5, 2018
Approximately 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each year.

A new study out of the Krembil Brain Institute, part of the Krembil Research Institute, suggests there could be more to that morning jolt of goodness than a boost in energy and attention. Drinking coffee may also protect you against developing both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

"Coffee consumption does seem to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease," says Dr. Donald Weaver, Co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute. "But we wanted to investigate why that is -- which compounds are involved and how they may impact age-related cognitive decline."

Dr. Weaver enlisted Dr. Ross Mancini, a research fellow in medicinal chemistry and Yanfei Wang, a biologist, to help. The team chose to investigate three different types of coffee -- light roast, dark roast, and decaffeinated dark roast.

"The caffeinated and de-caffeinated dark roast both had identical potencies in our initial experimental tests," says Dr. Mancini. "So we observed early on that its protective effect could not be due to caffeine."

Dr. Mancini then identified a group of compounds known as phenylindanes, which emerge as a result of the roasting process for coffee beans. Phenylindanes are unique in that they are the only compound investigated in the study that prevent -- or rather, inhibit -- both beta amyloid and tau, two protein fragments common in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, from clumping. "So phenylindanes are a dual-inhibitor. Very interesting, we were not expecting that." says Dr. Weaver.

As roasting leads to higher quantities of phenylindanes, dark roasted coffee appears to be more protective than light roasted coffee.

"It's the first time anybody's investigated how phenylindanes interact with the proteins that are responsible for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," says Dr. Mancini. "The next step would be to investigate how beneficial these compounds are, and whether they have the ability to enter the bloodstream, or cross the blood-brain barrier."

The fact that it's a natural compound vs. synthetic is also a major advantage, says Dr. Weaver.

"Mother Nature is a much better chemist than we are and Mother Nature is able to make these compounds. If you have a complicated compound, it's nicer to grow it in a crop, harvest the crop, grind the crop out and extract it than try to make it."

But, he admits, there is much more research needed before it can translate into potential therapeutic options.

"What this study does is take the epidemiological evidence and try to refine it and to demonstrate that there are indeed components within coffee that are beneficial to warding off cognitive decline. It's interesting but are we suggesting that coffee is a cure? Absolutely not."
Ross S. Mancini, Yanfei Wang, Donald F. Weaver. Phenylindanes in Brewed Coffee Inhibit Amyloid-Beta and Tau Aggregation. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2018; 12 DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00735

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use

November 6, 2018: Society for Neuroscience
Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan. Marijuana exposure in the womb or during adolescence may disrupt learning and memory, damage communication between brain regions, and disturb levels of key neurotransmitters and metabolites in the brain. In Alzheimer's disease, however, compounds found in marijuana, such as the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may improve memory and mitigate some of the disease's symptoms. 

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and its popularity is expected to rise as it is legalized in more places. It is also the illegal drug most commonly used by pregnant women, despite the potential for long-term harm to the fetus. Many people start using marijuana as teenagers -- a particularly vulnerable time as the brain is still developing -- when there is evidence for increased risk. At the same time, a growing number of people are turning to marijuana for the relief of symptoms of chronic diseases such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. These use patterns highlight the need to better understand the long-term effects of marijuana, particularly in sensitive populations such as unborn children and adolescents.

Today's new findings show that:
  1. Prenatal exposure to THC in rats has lasting effects on metabolites in the brain, making the animal more vulnerable to stress later in life (Robert Schwarcz, abstract 609.12).
  2. Rats exposed to synthetic compounds that are similar to THC during fetal development show impaired formation of the neural circuits involved in learning and memory as adolescents (Priyanka Das Pinky, abstract 424.17).
  3. Cannabinoid use by adolescent rats boosts activity in brain pathways responsible for habit formation (José Fuentealba Evans, abstract 602.07).
  4. In adolescent rats, cannabinoids may disturb the development of a protein lattice important for balancing excitatory and inhibitory activity in a brain region involved in decision-making, planning, and self-control (Eliza Jacobs-Brichford, abstract 645.09).
  5. Long-term cannabinoid use alters metabolism and connectivity of brain regions involved in learning and memory in adult mice (Ana M. Sebastião, abstract 778.08).
  6. Treating Alzheimer's disease mice with the psychoactive compound found in marijuana improves memory and reduces neuronal loss, suggesting a possible therapy for the human disease (Yvonne Bouter, abstract 467.14).
"Today's findings lend new understanding of the complex effects that cannabis has on the brain," said press conference moderator Michael Taffe, PhD, of Scripps Research Institute and an expert in substance abuse research. "While it may have therapeutic potential in some situations, it is important to get a better understanding of the negative aspects as well, particularly for pregnant women, teens, and chronic users."

AvPals Term 4 Program 

Term 4 2018 Newport course timetable now available! 

Click HERE to download - also shown below

Avalon Computer Pals (AVPALS) helps Seniors learn and improve their computer skills. It is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. 

Started in 2000 it now has 20+ trainers and many hundreds of students. At a really low cost (about $30 a school term) they can provide one-to-one training on most matters connected with computing and related technologies like mobile phones and digital cameras. From the smallest problem (how to hold the mouse!) to much more serious matters, there is a trainer who can help.

We offer “one to one” personal tuition or special short courses in the training rooms under the Catholic Church in Avalon. Training is conducted Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. For more information visit AVPALS web site or phone 02 8064 3574

Keep up to date on our Facebook page

Find out more at:

Noah’s Dog Walking Service

Having trouble finding time to walk your dog?
Wish that someone else would just do it for you?

Well from now on there is that option. I am a 14 year old boy living in Avalon with experience in handling all types of dogs. As a dog owner myself I can assure you that your dog will be walked to the best of standards. $10 per hour.

Contact me with:
Phone: 0405 130 785
Can work in: Avalon, Palm Beach, Newport

So give your dog a walk without hassle.

Appliance replacement scheme slashes power bills

by NSW Government
The NSW Government’s “new for old” appliance replacement scheme is saving households an average of $325 a year in power bills.
Eligible households, including low-income, concession card holders and energy hardship customers, can receive a 40-50% discount when replacing their old fridge or TV with a newer, energy efficient model.

Minister for Environment Gabrielle Upton said the Home Energy Action appliance replacement program is on track to cut around $40 million from power bills over the next 10 years.

“Households that need savings the most are helping the environment,” Ms Upton said.

“This is cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 16,600 tonnes a year, which is the same as taking 4160 cars off the road.”

Since August 2016, the Home Energy Action appliance replacement scheme has replaced more than 32,600 old, inefficient appliances in 28,100 homes across NSW.

What's on offer?
For eligible residents of NSW, we are offering discounts on new energy efficient fridges and televisions.

When you replace your old, inefficient model, you can receive:
  • 40% off the cost of a fridge
  • 50% off the cost of a television
The offer applies to selected fridge and television models.

How will this help your household?
Fridges and televisions have been chosen for this offer because significant energy savings can be made by replacing old, inefficient models.

The amount you can save on your energy bill varies. On average:
  • Replacing an old, inefficient fridge can save between $100 and $200 per year on your energy bills.
  • Replacing a plasma or cathode ray tube (CRT) television with an LCD television can save between $50 and $125 per year on your energy bills.
Who's eligible?
To replace your fridge, your current fridge must be at least 6 years old.

To replace your television, you must own a plasma or cathode ray tube (CRT) television.

To receive this offer you must be a NSW resident and hold one of the following:
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card or Low Income Health Care Card from Centrelink
  • Veterans' Affairs Gold Card
A Commonwealth Senior Health Card is not sufficient eligibility for this offer. You will need to hold one of the above cards.

If you do not meet the criteria above, you may be able to access the offer through a participating community service organisation. Please contact a community service organisation directly to discuss your application.

Apply now
You can apply online for the appliance replacement offer. If your application is successful, you'll receive instructions on how to buy your appliance through The Good Guys.

Make sure you have your valid concession card with you when you apply.

Northern Beaches Jive is a social dance group. Our Modern Jive classes are held every Wednesday at 7.30pm at Narrabeen RSL.

Modern Jive is an easy partner dance with an emphasis on having fun and is great for all ages. Our experienced teachers always make the lesson interesting and fun. 

You can come along to class any time as we cater for new beginners every week. You don't have to sign up for a course - just come along when it suits you. First timers are only $10 for the first two weeks in total!!  You can even just come and watch for free to see if you think you'll like it.

There’s no need to bring a partner as we rotate you around to different partners during the class.

We start with a beginner class at 7:30pm for 45 minutes, followed by social dancing. At 9pm we have an Intermediate /advanced class for 45 minutes, and a concurrent 'refresher' class for the beginners, then social dancing until 10:30pm.  That’s right beginners get 2 classes every night.

Casual entry is $15 per night.  Students and seniors are only $12 per night.  We also have discounted prices, for all groups, if you buy a 5 class pass.  Great value for learning and dancing up to 3 hours per night.

If you're keen and would like to go to a class more than once a week, or go to a dance party in the weekend then check out where you'll find more classes and weekly dance parties.

Click here ( to sign up for our weekly newsletter which will tell you who is teaching each week and any other venue news such as special events.

If you have any questions - email us at:

Seniors Toy Repair Group needs your help

Volunteers are sought to help out on Wednesday mornings (7.30am to midday) at the group's workshed in Ingleside. Volunteers need their own transport and be willing to sort and clean toys that are picked up at different collection points on the Northern Beaches. 

Prospective volunteers can email Mary Kitchen to arrange a visit to the workshed. To arrange a donation pickup please call Terry Cook on 0410 597 327 or email himFind out more about this great community group HERE

RSPCA's Community Aged Care Program

RSPCA NSW understands that to an elderly owner, a pet can mean everything. Our Aged Care program aims to keep pets and their elderly owners happy, healthy and together in their own homes for as long as possible. To do this, we assist elderly pet owners over the age of 65, Indigenous pet owners over the age of 50 and palliative care patients of any age.
  • services our Aged Care program offers include: temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency pet boarding if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
  • assistance with veterinary treatment
  • home visits to assist the elderly with basic pet care
  • assistance with pet grooming
  • assistance with transport to and from the local veterinarian
  • a volunteer network to assist with dog walking and short periods of in-home care if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
Please note that due to high demand for this program, we ask that pet owners first ask family and friends whether they are able to assist with their pet’s care.

This community program was previously known as Pets of Older Persons (POOPs).

For more information please contact the RSPCA Community Programs helpline (02) 9782 4408.

The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. During weekends and public holidays contact the RSPCA Contact Centre on (02) 9770 7555
Aged Care Program FAQs

 Keep your Wits About You

A regular contributor suggests we all look at Lumosity to see if will suit keeping active mentally. Their website states: "improve Brain Health and performance. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity exercises improve core cognitive functions. Researchers have measured significant improvements in working memory and attention after Lumosity training. Dozens of research collaborations help improve the Lumosity training program and its effectiveness." You can visit their website to decide for yourself  at:


Northern Beaches Concert Band is looking for flute, clarinet, saxophone, tuba and trombone adult players.  We cater for players from beginner to advanced and have a varied and exciting repertoire.  Come and join us during school term time at 7.30pm, Pittwater High School, Mona Street, Mona Vale. 
Details 9970 7131 or 0414 560 263.

Senior Movers is a wonderful resource for the Pittwater senior community who are thinking about downsizing from their property.  Senior Movers want you to stop worrying about downsizing from the family home and let us take care of you.  Senior movers gives you peace of mind during stressful times of downsizing and moving to a smaller home.  No retirement living plan is too large or too small.  We are glad to help whether it is a move to a loved one’s home, assisted living or to a seniors apartment. We want you to we help you gracefully downsize with our experience and care.

Also see Belinda Grundy's Profile and other great Business;

Remembrance Day 2018

Remembrance Day was formerly known as Armistice Day and commemorates the cease-fire at the end of World War I. The First World War ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918. On the 11th day of the 11th month at 11am, one minute's silence is observed, to reflect on the loss and suffering caused by all wars. 

2018 Services 
Pittwater RSL Sub Branch
This Remembrance Day commemorates 100 years since Armistice. Please join us at the lower Cenotaph at the club. Sub Branch Members will March on Parade at 10.40 hours.

Avalon Beach RSL Sub Branch
Commences 10.40 hours at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotpah

Palm Beach RSL
Commences 10.40 hours at Palm Beach RSL Cenotpah

Remembrance Day Memorial Service – Manly Dam
Friday 9 November
Manly Dam War Memorial Park
King Street, Manly Vale
Service commences at 10.45am
Presented by the Manly Warringah War Memorial Park Remembrance Trust

Remembrance Day Memorial Service – Manly
Sunday 11 November
Manly War Memorial, The Corso
Service commences at 10.45am

Song For Grace By Ted Egan Sung By Nerys Evans

My mother, Grace Brennan, had three brothers who volunteered to join the Australian Light Horse in 1914. Jack Brennan was killed at Gallipoli, Bob Brennan served three years straight in the horror of the Western Front. Martin Brennan went to the Middle East after Gallipoli, engaged in many conflicts, was briefly a prisoner of war, escaped, rejoined his regiment. I wrote my Song for Grace to record, word for word, the story my mother told me when I was twelve. She was the most anti-war person I have ever known.
Ted Egan

NB: This song will be part of the Commemorative Service being conducted at Pittwater RSL Cenotaph and will be sung by Soprano Anna Gebels.

NSW Seniors Festival: Love Your Life in 2019

November 8, 2018: NSW Family and Community Services
Communities across NSW will come alive with music, art, sporting and health events for seniors this February, as more than 100 organisations prepare to host events and activities to celebrate the 2019 NSW Seniors Festival.

Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies today announced 120 organisations will receive NSW Government funding to support their events, and revealed the 2019 festival
theme will be 'Love Your Life'.

"Valentine's Day has been the inspiration for the festival theme, a playful take on the traditional celebration of love at this time of year," Mrs Davies said.

"There's so much to love about life at any age and there's so much to love about the NSW Seniors Festival this February."

"The NSW Government wants to celebrate seniors and create exciting opportunities for older people to get out in the community, kick up their heels and meet others while
sharing new experiences," Mrs Davies added.

Grant recipients will host events and activities in Sydney as well as regional and remote locations across NSW, from special twilight cinemas for seniors in Sydney's west to modified sporting events for seniors in Dubbo.

The highly anticipated Premier's Gala Concerts and Seniors Expo will once again be held at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, with dates and tickets to be announced soon.

"I want to encourage seniors to make the most of the festival, visit the Expo in Darling Harbour and get involved in as many local events as possible happening right across the State."

NSW Seniors Festival 2019 is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and runs from Wednesday 13 February until Sunday 24 February. Local events and activities will be listed online soon at

Older drinkers falling through the cracks

November 8, 2018
Older adults are now one of the fastest growing populations of hazardous drinkers, yet health systems are failing to identify them and address their needs until their condition is critical, according to new research.

A review of international survey data, including US National Surveys on Drug Use and Health and the Australian Department of Health National Drug Strategy Household Survey, found growing epidemiological evidence that hazardous drinking was a major public health concern in older populations.

Estimates for the number of older people drinking at risky levels varied widely, from one to just over 20 per cent.

An Australian national survey found older adults drank more frequently than younger age groups, albeit at lesser levels. New data from Victoria found the greatest increase of all ambulance attendances involving alcohol intoxication was in those aged over 50.

In New Zealand, up to 40 per cent of older adults were hazardous drinkers, with the over-50s drinking more frequently and more on each occasion than older adults in nine other countries, including England, Russia, the United States, Mexico and China.

The research was presented by teams from Massey University, University of Auckland, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia at this week’s Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) Scientific Alcohol and Drug Conference in Auckland.

“Baby boomers worldwide are drinking more than previous generations of older adults and many are drinking at harmful levels,” said Dr Andy Towers of Massey’s School of Health Sciences. “We need to take action now to cut the rate of hazardous drinking in this group, maintain their health and reduce reliance on care.”

Older drinkers presented unique challenges, particularly for clinicians and health professionals. Older adults had higher physiological sensitivity to alcohol, more co-morbid health conditions and use of medications that alcohol could interfere with, a higher risk of alcohol-linked mental health issues, and a greater likelihood of alcohol-related injuries and death.

Research from Australia also established alcohol-related dementia to be the leading cause of young onset dementia (onset of symptoms before age 65), accounting for nearly 20 per cent of cases.

Troublingly, a recent French data linkage study involving more than 30 million participants put this rate even higher, at 40 per cent.

“There is increasing evidence that alcohol is an important, modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment and should be a target for dementia prevention campaigns. Alcohol is a risk to brain health that we simply cannot ignore any longer,” said lead researcher Dr Adrienne Withall, from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW Australia.

“Many older people in our research expressed that they would like their doctor to give them more information about alcohol use and services,” she said.

“We need to get the message out there that older people should ideally limit their drinking to one standard drink a day, with two alcohol free days per week. Unfortunately, we believe that there is no safe level of drinking for people with dementia.”  

Despite seeing their GPs frequently, many older drinkers were missed because health professionals often lacked specific training on identifying key risks and the use of inappropriate screening tools that neglected key health-related risk factors.

“Many older adults and their GPs feel uncomfortable discussing alcohol use, many do not understand what a standard drink is nor what the low-risk guidelines are, and many labour under the assumption - now seriously in question - that a bit of alcohol is good for you,” said Dr David Newcombe, Director of the Centre for Addiction Research, University of Auckland.

Labor must drop franking credit policy

November 8, 2018
Ordinary older Australians fear Labor’s scrapping of franking credit refunds will force them onto the Age Pension and penalise them for saving for retirement, according to leading independent advocacy group National Seniors Australia.

National Seniors is urging the federal Opposition to scrap the policy, which its members have said betray retirees’ core values of self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

In its submission to the federal Parliamentary Inquiry into the Implications of Removing Refundable Franking Credits released today, National Seniors says the Labor policy was viewed by its members as a means of ‘milking’ self-funded retirees as a revenue source.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the submission expressed the views of National Seniors members who responded to a call out on the franking credit refund issue.

“Because the majority of self-funded retirees own shares, hundreds of thousands of people will be affected by this proposed policy,” Mr Henschke said. “The policy will hurt ordinary Australians, and not just the wealthiest as Labor claims.

“Members told us the proposal would financially hit those who had worked and saved hard under the existing tax rules, which have been in place since 2000, to self-fund their retirement.

“Unlike Labor’s negative gearing policy, there are no plans to grandfather this change. This means seniors who, in good faith, planned for their retirement under existing rules will not be spared. It also discriminates against self-funded retirees and in favour of those in industry superannuation funds.”

Mr Henschke said input received from National Seniors members showed older Australians were sick of constant changes to retirement and superannuation policy. One member wrote:

In light of your policy on imputation credits, what do you suggest I should do? Should I sell my share portfolio, draw down my SMSF and spend up big on a more expensive home, a luxury car and expensive holidays? In the process there is every likelihood I would become eligible for an age pension and the benefits that come with it. I … have voted Labor for most of my life. If you proceed with this draconian policy you can be assured I shan’t be voting Labor at the next election and shall preference Labor candidates behind all others.”

Mr Henschke said National Seniors was not opposed to fair and considered reform to the retirement income system.

“However, the proposed Labor changes will severely impact lower income self-funded retirees who have worked hard and planned their retirement within the prevailing rules,” he said.

“This proposal will damage the retirement funding and hopes of ordinary older people. Australians don’t support policies that rob seniors of their economic independence or that unfairly discriminate. It destroys faith, not just in the superannuation system but in the political system itself,” Mr Henschke said.

Macquarie Lightstation: Celebrating 200 Years Of Light

Sydney Harbour Trust
Australia’s original navigational light source – Macquarie Lightstation in Vaucluse – is turning 200! To celebrate this significant milestone, the Harbour Trust will host a free Community Day on Saturday, 1 December, with lighthouse tours* plus a VR experience and kids activities.

Between 10am and 4pm, the Harbour Trust will host free 20-minute tours of Macquarie Lighthouse. Our volunteer guide will regale attendees with the lighthouse’s storied history as they lead them up to the balcony for a panoramic views of Sydney.

*Note: All Community Day activities are free; however, we will only be releasing a LIMITED number of complimentary tickets for the lighthouse tours. These tickets will be released at 9am on Thursday, 1 November (online bookings essential). Tickets will be available here:

Attendees will have an opportunity to embark on an immersive virtual tour of the Vaucluse cliff side, courtesy of cutting-edge VR technology from Macquarie University. The tour will reveal an abandoned World War II gun emplacement, halfway down the cliff.

The Community Open Day will feature plenty of family-friendly activities. Kids can get their face painted, have their photo taken with Blinky the Lighthouse and engage in art making and other fun games.

About Macquarie Lightstation
Macquarie Lighthouse is Australia’s first and longest operating navigational light source. Designed by convict Francis Greenway, it was completed in 1818 and named for Lachlan Macquarie, the Governor of NSW.

On Monday, 30 November, the lantern was lit for the first time, providing sailors with the means to safely navigate into and around Sydney Harbour.

Governor Macquarie was so pleased with the lighthouse that he granted the convict Greenway a pardon for his work. However, the locally-sourced sandstone used to build the lighthouse soon began to erode, and the tower was held together with iron hoops. In 1883 it was replaced by a new lightstation designed by James Barnet to closely resemble the original. 

For a short time the two towers stood side-by-side (the original was eventually demolished). 

In the 1880s, quarters were built for the head keeper, engineer, and other lightstation staff; many of these structures still stand today.

Collectively, these buildings are referred to as Macquarie Lightstation.

Royal Commission Terms of Reference 

The Royal Commission is a vital step for Australia to determine the full extent of the problems in aged care and to understand how we can meet the challenges and the opportunities of delivering aged care services now and into the future. It is also about helping to build a national culture of respect for ageing and our senior Australians.

The Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO have been appointed Commissioners. Justice McGrath is a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. Ms Briggs is a former Australian Public Service Commissioner.

The Commission's Terms of Reference are included in the Letters Patent, which are available on the Attorney-General's website.

The Commissioners will be directed to inquire into all forms of Commonwealth-funded aged care services, wherever they are delivered, without in any way limiting the Royal Commission’s scope.

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference include:
  • Quality and safety including the extent of substandard care.
  • How to best deliver care services to people with disabilities residing in aged care facilities including younger people.
  • How to best deliver care to the increasing number of Australians living with dementia.
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services, including people’s desire to remain living at home as they age, and aged care in rural, regional and remote Australia.
  • What the Government, the aged care sector, Australian families and the wider community can do to strengthen care services to ensure quality and safety.
  • How to allow people greater choice, control and independence and how to improve engagement with families and carers.
  • How to best deliver sustainable aged care services through innovative care and investment in the aged care workforce and infrastructure.
  • Any matters that the Commissioners believe is relevant to their inquiry.
The vast majority of Australia’s aged care services and their dedicated staff deliver outstanding care but our responsibility is to ensure there are no exceptions.

As the Royal Commission goes about its critical work, our rigorous policing and reform program will continue at full pace with the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, upgraded Aged Care Quality Standards and record levels of funding support for older Australians.

There will be absolutely no compromise on the safety and quality of aged care.

The Royal Commission will be based in Adelaide and it is proposed it will provide an interim report by 31 October 2019 and its final report by 30 April 2020.

What happens next?
Further information about the Royal Commission is available NOW on its new website.

What if I have immediate concerns?
The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner ( provides a free service for anyone to raise their concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government.

You can phone the Commissioner on 1800 550 552 (9am–5pm, Monday to Friday) or you can lodge a complaint online.

For general information on aged care services
Contact My Aged Care 1800 200 422 or visit

Nature Writing Prize 2019

Calling all nature writers!
The Nature Conservancy Australia is delighted to open the fifth biennial Nature Writing Prize.

The winner of the best essay (3,000 – 5,000 words) in the genre of ‘Writing of Place’ will receive a $5,000 award and will be published as an online multimedia essay by Griffith Review – Australia’s leading literary quarterly publication.

The prize will go to an Australian writer whose entry is judged to be of the highest literary merit and which best explores their relationship and interaction with some aspect of the Australian landscape.

Entry costs $30.00. The deadline for submissions is 1 February 2019 and the winner will be announced in May 2019. The prize is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents. 

Australian Government Dept. of Health: Hearing Devices for Seniors

After reading a Media Release by National Seniors this week (runs below) we felt it is timely to remind our more mature Readers that under the Australian Government's Hearing Services Program (the program), you will be offered the option of being fitted with a hearing device if a hearing assessment identifies you have a hearing loss and a hearing device may assist you. 

You will be given a recommendation for a fully subsidised hearing device, and may also be offered the option of purchasing a partially subsidised hearing device. These devices have been approved by the Office of Hearing Services.

You can find out more about this program on the Australian Government's Department of Health webpage on the program here

Media Releases concerning Seniors this week from National Seniors Australia

With around a quarter of a million members, National Seniors is Australia’s largest consumer organisation for the over 50s and fourth largest group of its kind in the world.

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.
Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE

 Australian Ageing Agenda

Australian Ageing Agenda (AAA) is an independent and authoritative bi-monthly publication for people who work in or around the aged care and retirement sectors in Australia. It provides a broad range of news, education and opinion with an emphasis on knowledge sharing and research translation.

Each issue also contains regular updates on relevant business and financial issues along with a selection of well researched features on crucial systems and operations, clinical care, technology, built environment and other issues relevant to the ‘ageing sector’. AAA leads the way with the industry’s most comprehensive conference details and remains Australia’s number one source of news and information about ageing issues and aged care.

Have a look at their comprehensive website HERE

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner 

Any person can make a complaint to the Commissioner, including care recipients, family members, friends, staff, volunteers, or professionals.

Complaints may relate to any aspect of services including care, choice of activities, discrimination, catering, communication or the physical environment. The 1800 550 552 helpline is staffed 9am to 5pm (AEDST) Monday to Friday.

Out of hours callers can leave a message, or contact the Commissioner at anytime through the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner website.


In 2014-15, there were 10,924 contacts to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. 3,725 were assessed as a complaint, 3,812 ‘other’ contacts includes non-compulsory notifications, own motion investigations and compliance referrals. There were also 3,387 out of scope contacts which were not related to an approved provider or an approved provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act.

2018 Seniors Card Directory Available Now

NSW Seniors: NSW Government
NSW Seniors Card is pleased to provide members with the 2018 Seniors Card Directory, your guide to the best discounts and special offers from thousands of participating businesses around the state.

Each year five directories are released, one for each region in NSW. The regions are: Sydney & Surrounds, Central Coast & Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

To download your copy please click the links below:

Sydney & Surrounds PDF, 19579.78 KB

Central Coast & Hunter PDF, 9062.09 KB

Northern NSW PDF, 8590.32 KB

Southern NSW PDF, 8837.31 KB

Western NSW PDF, 8434.52 KB

If you are unsure about what directory region you are in you can view our regional map here.

Copies of the directory are also available for pickup from Australia Post Outlets, MP Offices as well as participating Local Councils and Libraries.

Want to find even more discounts? Use our online business directory to search for the best discounts near you.

The Senior Newspaper Online 


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EasyLink (formerly Easy Transport Manly Warringah Pittwater) - medical appointments,  shopping trips, mystery tours and Saturday Lunch - this great non-profit organisation offers great ideas and solutions 

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket: NSW Public Transport

Parents missing out on REAL face time? If they have a Pension Card, sign them up & they could get unlimited $2.50 Country Pensioner Excursion tickets*.
Call 13 22 32 to sign up.

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket (CPE)
A Country Pensioner Excursion (CPE) ticket is an affordable ticket for eligible pensioners and seniors to travel by train in regional NSW and the ACT.

For $2.50 you can book an economy class seat on a NSW TrainLink 

Regional train service. You will need to book 7 days or less in advance

Manly Warringah Pittwater Community Aid

Do you know someone we could help?
We're a local not-for-profit that help over 2,000 elderly members of the Northern Beaches community live happy, healthy and independent lives in their own homes.

If you know someone that could use our help, please let us know!
Call us on 02 9913 3244 or visit our website at



The Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) is the peak organisation for people over 50 in our state. We’re an independent, non-partisan, consumer-based non-government organisation. We work with politicians, policy makers, and service providers as well as media representatives to make sure your views are heard and your needs are met. COTA NSW works to empower and engage people over 50. For decades, we’ve shaped the policies and programs that change lives.

Since our beginning in 1956, COTA NSW has introduced policies and programs that make a real difference to peoples’ lives. We have proud record, having created: ■Meals on Wheels, ■Retirement Village Residents Association, ■Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, ■Seniors Clubs, ■Seniors Information Service, ■OM:NI – Older Men: New Ideas, ■Grandfriends, ■Grandparents, Relatives and Kinship Care Alliance, ■Medication Management for Older People, and the ■Mature Employment Line

Community Connect

Need help on where to go to find the community information and assistance you need?

At Community Connect Northern Beaches, our professional staff and trained volunteers are knowledgeable, friendly and approachable and we will be only too pleased to help you find the service you want. We provide information and support, as well as advocacy and referral to other non profit community services and government agencies.

If we can’t help you we will get you someone who can. If you are newly arrived or do not have an English speaking background we can offer individual advice and support. Or Why not come to Specialist Community Support Workshops: Family Law, Power of Attorney plus Wills and Executors; Domestic Violence Support and Prevention; Positive Community Integration ; Crime Prevention; Or  Our Free English Classes. 

We also provide information on: Family Services: Child Care, Personal Support & Counselling; Health (Including Mental Health) ;  Material and Practical Assistance ; Advocacy to access state and federal MP assistance; Accommodation and Tenancy (help with form filling); Legal and Financial Matters ; Consumer Affairs ; Multicultural Issues; Conservation and the Environment ; Employment and Education; Accessing Community Facilities  -You are welcome to call in for: Brochures, booklets and fact sheets on a range of topics; Service Directories e.g. Council Guides and Migrant Directories; Publications e.g. The Senior newspaper and Nova.

Access to our community information data base, internet, email, fax and photocopying.(Please note there is a small charge for photocopying and use of the fax to cover the cost of paper, toner and fax call).  We also offer: A Legal Referral Program - Monday 1pm to 2pm at our 30 Fisher Road, Dee Why office.  Taxation Assistance for low income earners and pensioners from July to October. 

What does it cost?: Our services are free, however we are always grateful for a small donation where possible. The program is supported by NSW Department of Family & Community Services (FACS). CONTACT US: Phone: 02 99317777.

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)
1842 Pittwater Rd, Bayview

BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE:

Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5 to 70 who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 

Heartmoves is a low-moderate intensity exercise program. Regular participation in Heartmoves will help to: Better manage weight, blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol; Improve fitness, balance, co-ordination and flexibility; Enhance your quality of life and meet other people. Ingrid Davey is a qualified Older Adult Instructor and accredited Heartmoves Leader who will guide you through an exercise program that is fun, safe and modified to suit you. Tuesday 9.30am and Thursday 10.30am at Nelson Heather Centre, 4 Jackson Road Warriewood.  The cost per class is $10.00 casual now and $17.00 for two classes. Phone Ingrid to secure your spot on 0405 457 063.

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.