November 29 - December 5, 2020: Issue 476
Our Youth page is for young people aged 13+ - if you are younger than this we have news for you in the Children's page. News items and articles run at the top of this page. Information, local resources, events and local organisations, sports groups etc. are at the base of this page. All Previous pages for you are listed in Past Features
Free General Admission To Upgraded Australian Museum
'Schoolies 2020 - but we must be COVID-Safe': police warn school leavers ahead of end of school celebrations
‘This year is different, this is not schoolies as you know it’ – that’s the message from senior officers at Tweed/Byron Police District ahead of 2020 end of school celebrations.
School leavers from across NSW and interstate are due to arrive in Byron Bay and other parts of Northern NSW from today (Friday 20 November 2020), and are expected to stay into December.
While there are no formal events associated with ‘Schoolies 2020’ occurring in the Byron Bay area, police are expecting thousands of school leavers to descend on the coastal town to mark the end of their 13 years of schooling.
In anticipation for the large crowds, Tweed/Byron Police District will conduct an extensive and high-visibility operation for the duration of the ‘schoolies’ period, assisted by the Richmond Police District and other Northern Region commands, the Public Order and Riot Squad, Northern Operational Support Group officers, the Mounted Unit, the Police Dog Unit, Traffic and Highway Patrol, and the Youth Command and PCYC.
Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent Dave Roptell, said this year’s celebrations must be conducted in a COVID-safe environment, with officers to enforce all current Public Health Orders and conduct regular business compliance checks.
“We know this has been an extremely tough year for HSC students, and we appreciate that school leavers want to have a memorable time. However, these are not normal times, so we ask anyone coming to the far North Coast to be respectful – we have come this far in managing COVID-19 in our regional communities, let’s not undo all our hard work now,” Supt. Roptell said.
“With the NSW and Queensland border now re-open to regional NSW, Byron Bay is included in that zone. And with the border between NSW and Victoria to re-open early next week, we are expecting thousands of school leavers to come to our area.
“The NSW Police Force continues to work closely with health officials and other government agencies, businesses and the community to manage the COVID-19 crisis and minimise the spread of the virus.
“In saying that, we have a very clear message to those choosing to come to Byron in 2020 – this year is very different, there will be no large gatherings, no dance parties in the park. Social distancing is the new normal, and we all have to do our bit to stop the spread.
“The risk of community transmission is still present here in Australia, and with people from interstate expected to come to Byron, school leavers need to be extremely aware of the dangers of COVID-19.
“Public Health Orders currently state that no more than 20 persons can be inside a home at any one time – this includes short-stay accommodation. The orders also state that up to 30 people can be gathered in a public space at any one time, this includes places such as parks, beaches, etc.
“While we will be enforcing the Public Health Orders, police want to remind school leavers that we aren’t here to ruin the fun – our officers are here to protect you and keep you safe; approach police or authorities if you are in danger, if you feel threatened or you are a victim of any type of crime.
“Not only will police be ensuring Public Health Orders are being followed, but officers will be targeting drug and alcohol-related crime, as well as anti-social behaviour.
“Drugs and alcohol impairs your judgement and can lead to risky behaviours or choices which can impact the rest of your life. Know your limits and look out for your mates.
“With the increase in activity in the Byron town centre, we are urging all visitors and locals alike to plan ahead; those not joining in the celebrations are asked to watch out for increased pedestrian activity and keep an eye out on the roads.
“As always, if you’re planning on drinking – you need a Plan B to get yourself home,” Supt. Roptell said.
The NSW Police Force continues to work closely with the Schoolies Safety Response agencies, which include Byron Youth Service and Red Frog volunteers, alongside all health officials and other government agencies, businesses and the community to minimise disruption and maintain a COVID-Safe environment.
For all information related to schoolies during COVID-19, visit the website: https://www.schoolies.com/covid-19-faq
Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
Byron Bay Lighthouse, Beach and Hinterland Aerial Shot by K Pravin
Program helps skill up school leavers over summer
The NSW Government's Skilling for Recovery program offers fee-free training places for school leavers, young people and job seekers.
Hundreds of fee-free training courses are now available for school leavers, young people and job seekers, as part of the NSW Government’s Skilling for Recovery initiative.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the courses came from the $320 million committed to delivering 100,000 fee-free training places across the state.
“There are more than 100,000 fee-free training places available for people in NSW as the workforce looks to reskill, retrain and redeploy in a post-COVID-19 economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a school leaver or looking for a new career path, I encourage everyone impacted by the pandemic to see what training options are available to them.”
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said enrolments were now open for in-demand skills leading to career pathways in areas such as aged care, nursing, trades, IT, community services, logistics and accounting.
“We are not training for the sake of training, we are training for real jobs with real futures and equipping the people of NSW with the skills they need to thrive in a post-pandemic economy,” Mr Lee said.
“There are hundreds of providers right around NSW who are ready to deliver this important training.”
As part of this Skilling for Recovery initiative, school leavers have the unique opportunity to experience a range of skills to find out what suits their passions using the Summer Skills program.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said some Year 12 school leavers were still deciding what they wanted to do next.
“In designing the Summer Skills program, the NSW Government has ensured the training on offer is aligned to local industry needs,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We need to provide opportunities that help the 2020 Year 12 school leaver cohort to find their feet during these uncertain times. That’s why we’re delivering practical, bite-sized and fee-free training opportunities this summer.”
The Summer Skills offered will cover a range of industries including agriculture, construction, conservation, fitness, engineering, coding, communication and digital literacy.
Sydney Harbour Bridge 80th Anniversary (2012)
Video depicting the journey through the ages covering the highlights, major events and milestones of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Book of the Month December 2020 - January 2021: The aborigines of New South Wales
by John Fraser, of New South Wales; New South Wales. Commissioners for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893
New Shorebird Identification Booklet
The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities.
The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf
Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.
Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife
Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat. The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.
Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.
What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia.
This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia.
The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds.
In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats.
In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely.
The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population.
Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations.
BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.
To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program
The world at your finger tips: Online
With current advice to stay at home and self-isolate, when you come in out of the garden, have had your fill of watching movies and want to explore something new, there's a whole world of books you can download, films you can watch and art galleries you can stroll through - all from at home and via the internet. This week a few suggestions of some of the resources available for you to explore and enjoy. For those who have a passion for Art - this month's Artist of the Month is the Online Australian Art Galleries and State Libraries where you can see great works of art from all over the world and here - both older works and contemporary works.
Also remember the Project Gutenberg Australia - link here- has heaps of great books, not just focused on Australian subjects but fiction works by popular authors as well. Well worth a look at.
Short Stories for Teenagers you can read for free online
StoryStar is an online resource where you can access and read short stories for teenagers.
Storystar is a totally FREE short stories site featuring some of the best short stories online, written by/for kids, teens, and adults of all ages around the world, where short story writers are the stars, and everyone is free to shine! Storystar is dedicated to providing a free place where everyone can share their stories. Stories can entertain us, enlighten us, and change us. Our lives are full of stories; stories of joy and sorrow, triumph and tragedy, success and failure. The stories of our lives matter. Share them. Sharing stories with each other can bring us closer together and help us get to know one another better. Please invite your friends and family to visit Storystar to read, rate and share all the short stories that have been published here, and to tell their stories too.
StoryStar headquarters are located on the central Oregon coast.
NFSA - National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
The doors may be temporarily closed but when it comes to the NFSA, we are always open online. We have content for Kids, Animal Lovers, Music fans, Film buffs & lots more.
You can explore what’s available online at the NFSA, see more in the link below.
NLA Ebooks - Free To Download
The Internet Archive and Digital Library
The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitised materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies, videos, moving images, and millions of public-domain books. There's lots of Australian materials amongst the millions of works on offer.
Avalon Youth Hub: More Meditation Spots
Green Team Beach Cleans
The Project Gutenberg Library of Australiana
Australian writers, works about Australia and works which may be of interest to Australians.This Australiana page boasts many ebooks by Australian writers, or books about Australia. There is a diverse range; from the journals of the land and sea explorers; to the early accounts of white settlement in Australia; to the fiction of 'Banjo' Paterson, Henry Lawson and many other Australian writers.
The list of titles form part of the huge collection of ebooks freely downloadable from Project Gutenberg Australia. Follow the links to read more about the authors and titles and to read and/or download the ebooks.
Research shows that one in five Australian children aged 8 to 17 has been the target of cyberbullying in the past year. The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner can help you make a complaint, find someone to talk to and provide advice and strategies for dealing with these issues.
Make a Complaint
The Enhancing Online Safety for Children Act 2015 gives the power to provide assistance in relation to serious cyberbullying material. That is, material that is directed at a particular child with the intention to seriously embarrass, harass, threaten or humiliate.
Before you make a complaint you need to have:
- copies of the cyberbullying material to upload (eg screenshots or photos)
- reported the material to the social media service (if possible) at least 48 hours ago
- at hand as much information as possible about where the material is located
- 15-20 minutes to complete the form
The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner is Australia's leader in online safety. The Office is committed to helping young people have safe, positive experiences online and encouraging behavioural change, where a generation of Australian children act responsibly online—just as they would offline.
We provide online safety education for Australian children and young people, a complaints service for young Australians who experience serious cyberbullying, and address illegal online content through the Online Content Scheme.
Our goal is to empower all Australians to explore the online world—safely.
Sync Your Breathing with this - to help you Relax
Send In Your Stuff
All Are Welcome, All Belong!
Youth Source: Northern Sydney Region
Apprenticeships and traineeships info
headspace Brookvale provides services to young people aged 12-25. If you are a young person looking for health advice, support and/or information,headspace Brookvale can help you with:
• Mental health • Physical/sexual health • Alcohol and other drug services • Education and employment services
If you ever feel that you are:
• Alone and confused • Down, depressed or anxious • Worried about your use of alcohol and/or other drugs • Not coping at home, school or work • Being bullied, hurt or harassed • Wanting to hurt yourself • Concerned about your sexual health • Struggling with housing or accommodation • Having relationship problems • Finding it hard to get a job
Or if you just need someone to talk to… headspace Brookvale can help! The best part is our service is free, confidential and youth friendly.
headspace Brookvale is open from Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:30pm so if you want to talk or make an appointment give us a call on (02) 9937 6500. If you're not feeling up to contacting us yourself, feel free to ask your family, friend, teacher, doctor or someone close to you to make a referral on your behalf.
When you first come to headspace Brookvale you will be greeted by one of our friendly staff. You will then talk with a member of our headspace Brookvale Youth Access Team. The headspace Brookvale Youth Access Team consists of three workers, who will work with you around whatever problems you are facing. Depending on what's happening for you, you may meet with your Youth Access Worker a number of times or you may be referred on to a more appropriate service provider.
A number of service providers are operating out of headspace Brookvale including Psychologists, Drug & Alcohol Workers, Sexual Health Workers, Employment Services and more! If we can't find a service operating withinheadspace Brookvale that best suits you, the Youth Access Team can also refer you to other services in the Sydney area.
eheadspace provides online and telephone support for young people aged 12-25. It is a confidential, free, secure space where you can chat, email or talk on the phone to qualified youth mental health professionals.
For urgent mental health assistance or if you are in a crisis please call the Northern Sydney 24 hour Mental Health Access Line on 1800 011 511
Need Help Right NOW??
kids help line: 1800 55 1800 - www.kidshelpline.com.au
lifeline australia - 13 11 14 - www.lifeline.org.au
headspace Brookvale is located at Level 2 Brookvale House, 1A Cross Street Brookvale NSW 2100 (Old Medical Centre at Warringah Mall). We are nearby Brookvale Westfield's bus stop on Pittwater road, and have plenty of parking under the building opposite Bunnings. More at: www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/headspace-brookvale
Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) Practice run Online
NCYLC is a community legal centre dedicated to providing advice to children and young people. NCYLC has developed a Cyber Project called Lawmail, which allows young people to easily access free legal advice from anywhere in Australia, at any time.
NCYLC was set up to ensure children’s rights are not marginalised or ignored. NCYLC helps children across Australia with their problems, including abuse and neglect. The AGD, UNSW, KWM, Telstra and ASIC collaborate by providing financial, in-kind and/or pro bono volunteer resources to NCYLC to operate Lawmail and/or Lawstuff.
If you’re aged 5-25 the Kids Helpline provides free and confidential online and phone counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 55 1800. You can chat with us about anything… What’s going on at home, stuff with friends. Something at school or feeling sad, angry or worried. You don’t have to tell us your name if you don’t want to.
You can Webchat, email or phone. Always remember - Everyone deserves to be safe and happy. You’re important and we are here to help you. Visit: https://kidshelpline.com.au/kids/