January 28 - February 3, 2024: Issue 611


Australia Day Long Weekend In Pittwater: 2024

Bike Ride With Aboriginal Peoples 2024

Despite heatwave conditions, a large crowd of cyclists and supporters joined in the Kay-ye-my (Manly) to Garigal (Church Point) Push Bike Ride on 26th of January 2024.

This annual event, which commenced in 2018, a Ride with Aboriginal People -  is a friendly ride to show respect for Aboriginal People.

Participants can do the full 24km or join the ride at Dee Why, Narrabeen or Mona Vale. There is a support car so someone is with riders all the way; 'no one is left behind' is one of the mottoes of the organisers.

It is one of the earliest events that happen locally each January 26th. Cyclists and supporters meet at West Esplanade, Manly (Kay-ye-my) at 7.00 am, at the monument between Manly wharf and Manly Museum, where Wil-Le-Me-Ring a Garigal Aboriginal man Speared Governor Captain Arthur Phillip 1778.

Mackellar MP Dr. Sophie Scamps and Pittwater MP Rory Amon met the cyclists and supporters at Robert Dunn Reserve Mona Vale to cheer them on:

By 10.30am the group were welcomed by friends at Church Point, including Garigal man, Uncle Neil Evers. Here they enjoyed a good rest and heard stories about the Aboriginal people who once lived in the area.

Those gathered also joined in singing a beautiful song written by Suze Pratten and Stacy Etal; “Voice”. There was a group of singers that formed as part of the Voice Referendum and are still singing. Some attended the Manly and Church Point parts of the 2024 ride. Suze's YouTube video below shares the original version of that song.

Suze has made some changes to reflect the referendum result, but it will continue to be sung as the conversation continues about recognising our First Australians in our Constitution. 

''This is a powerful song which reflects the thoughts of so many.'' the organisers stated

The first sentence was sung in Dharug and the remainder in Australian by those gathering to Ride with Aboriginal Peoples.

This great event allows all to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal history and culture, listen to the soulful sound of the didgeridoo, and learn to play the clap sticks.

The Aboriginal Support Group Manly Warringah Pittwater (ASGMWP) said, ''It was great to be a part of the Ride With Aboriginal Peoples bike ride this morning. Thank you for inviting Uncle Neil to give a Welcome to Country and talk. Also  for the opportunity to come together to connect with like-minded people who want to show their support for indigenous Australians on 26 January.

Thank you to local councillors and MP's for attending at various points along the way including NBC Mayor Sue Heins and Zali Steggall MP at the start (7.00 am), Rory Amon - Member for Pittwater and Dr Sophie Scamps MP at Robert Dunn Reserve Mona Vale. Also, to the entertainment with the Voice choir singing "Voice, Treaty, Truth" at Manly and Church Point.

Coming together as one. The way it should be!''

A few more photos taken of the 2024 Ride with Aboriginal Peoples, pictures courtesy Peter and Joy Nason and ASGMWP.

Australia Day Breakfast At Bert Payne Park, Newport Beach

Report/Photos: A J Guesdon/Pittwater Online News

Five local community organisations teamed up to present a fabulous event for all ages to enjoy this Australia day; Warringah/Pittwater SES and NSW RFS Northern Beaches Headquarters, including the Communications, Catering and NSW RFS Mackerel Beach Brigades with HQ1 educating youngsters and those older about how the truck works, along with the Rotary Club of the Northern Beaches and the Northern Beaches Zonta Club.

There were bacon and egg rolls, sausage and egg rolls, pancakes, gelato and coffee available for sale while residents enjoyed the music performed by local groups. The event was child friendly, with face painting, rides and games for them to enjoy. The annual thong throwing competition (open to all ages, of course), took place, with hilarious results.

Uncle Neil Evers of the Aboriginal Support Group Pittwater Warringah Manly (ASG MWP) gave the Welcome to Country to open official proceedings, referencing the chorus of 'I Am Australian', the unofficial national anthem, as a starting point in stating 'We are One'.

Neil Evers stated;

Good morning everybody, my name is Neil Evers and I’m a direct descendant of the Garigal clan from the Guringai mob. I can trace my bloodline to around 1772.
I’d like to pay my respects to my Elders past, present and to those of the future. 

I’d also like to thank the organisers of today for acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of this area. 

A Welcome to Country – you have all heard numerous Welcome to Country, so I’m not going to go back to 1788 or tell about the Stolen Generation, or any of many other parts of our history I could speak of.

We’re here today to celebrate. Soon you are going to be singing the National Anthem. 

What is the first line of the chorus of our unofficial national anthem – ‘I Am Australian’? – what do we say?

‘We are One’.

And that’s the way we should be – one. 

Some people call this Invasion day or Survival day; and that’s ok but that is past, we can’t change the past, and we will never forget it.

But we’ve got to move on, and we’ve got to become one. If we can become one there’s nothing we can’t achieve. 

The ancestors would have said to you;
Barley Ki Giballee Yaddung Guringai Wannangini –  that means ‘You and me come together as one on Guringai Country’ – where we are today.

We all drink the same water, we all breathe the same air, we all tread on the same country; so why can’t we get along as one – why can’t we help one another?

Aboriginal people have a word; ‘Ngurra’ – this appears in many different Aboriginal languages around Australia and is a word for 'home', 'camp', 'a place of belonging', 'a place of inclusion' – a place of sharing. 

It means, if I have something, I will share it with you – and it means if you have something you share it with me. It means we get along together.

And that’s the whole purpose of a Welcome to Country – it’s to help us get along.

So enjoy today, and on behalf of our Ancestors, I welcome you here.

Federal Member for Mackellar, Dr. Sophie Scamps said;
Thank you to everyone to coming along this morning and thank you to Uncle Neil for those incredible words; I think that is the message of today – ‘We are One’ – your Welcomes are always so generous and we thank you for today’s Welcome to Country Uncle Neil.

We’re here today because we are all so thankful to be Australian and to live in this beautiful country. This is an incredibly beautiful country environmentally but it is also a very safe, secure land and we have one of the strongest democracies in the world. 
Democracy is something that is fragile and we have to keep working for it, but it gives us so much opportunity.
We have a lot of things to be grateful for.

Today is also about celebrating, acknowledging and paying tribute to the wonderful individuals in this country. 

When I was a medical student back in the 1990’s we were taught there was no cure for melanoma that had spread, it was a death sentence. What we needed to do then was keep people comfortable.

To see Professor Richard Scolyer AO and Professor Georgina Long AO celebrated last night as Australians of the Year for the work they have done that has changed so many lives, was absolutely wonderful. What they have achieved in the treatment of melanoma and other cancers is extraordinary.
As someone who has worked in health for decades this stands out to me as the single most advance an Australian has done in medicine. 

Last night we had the Northern Beaches Council recognitions of people who have done so much in our area. Citizen of the Year is Jimmy Arteaga who is Unit Commander of Marine Rescue Broken Bay, whose volunteers give up their time to keep people safe on our waters. 

There were so many others – the Young Citizens of the Year were Lachlan O’Callaghan and Cooper Morgan, two young boys that saved a life while working at The Quays Marina, Church Point. These two young men rescued someone who was drowning and would have died that day if not for their quick action, using skills they had learned from nippers in Surf Life Saving.

Many others were recognised for what they had done for our community. There were people who had spent decades in bush regeneration, dedicated their time to sports teams. Another, John Diamond, was a foundation member of the Lions Club of Frenchs Forest in the early 1960s and has served the community with the Lions Club ever since, for over 65 years. 

When we look around at who is hosting this morning’s breakfast here at Newport we see the Warringah/Pittwater SES and NSW RFS Northern Beaches Headquarters and Mackerel Beach Brigades. We see the Northern Beaches Zonta Club and Rotary Club of the Upper Northern Beaches – five volunteer organisations that are serving our community.

What we are really doing here today is thanking those people and organisations that make our community better, those who serve our community.

Australia Day is recognising that it is not only the people in Australia that make our country wonderful but the connections between us make us great as well. That’s why what Uncle Neil was saying – ‘We are One’ – and the people who give back to their community, who build those connections between us, make Australia really wonderful.

So today rightly is about thanking all of those who do so much for our communities – you make Australia such a wonderful place to live.

Before the last election we sat down and asked people what they loved about living here. Of course it was the environment but it was also the community spirit – today and this morning is about being thankful and grateful for all those who give back to the community and help build and maintain that community spirit. 

So; thank you to all of you, thank you for being here, and I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Pittwater MP Rory Amon said;
I echo the words of our federal member, in giving my thanks to all the volunteers and all the groups that have made today possible- the New South Wales Rural fire service, the volunteer brigades here today, the SES, Zonta, Rotary, the Northern Beaches Chorus, Allan Brett and all the other people on the organising committee, and thank you to all of you here today, being out here in force to celebrate Australia Day. 

I don’t think, Neil, 65 thousand years ago when the very first Australians were here, or 236 years ago when ships full of convicts came to this land, that today we would be one of the most successful, one of the most vibrant, one of the most amazing nations on earth to live in.

We are a country of unbridled egalitarians, a country where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, we’re all the same and we’re all one. We are one of the few nations on earth where people have come from near and far, be it Europe, South America or Asia, to live in the one country. We are the most successful multi-cultural country on earth. I think that’s something we can all be proud of.

What’s also important to note is that today we celebrate everything that’s good about this nation. That’s not so say there are things in our past we’re not ashamed of – with every individual there are things in our past that have brought us great shame. 

However, we should also celebrate the great things, the positive things we are as a people. The 26th of January is a date which is chosen for many reasons – one of those was that in 1949 Australians actually had the ability to become Australian citizens when the Citizenship Act was granted Royal Ascent. It was also the date when a flag was raised here in Sydney but as Neil has quite rightly pointed out, that was not the date when the First Australians came here. And so today is a day when we can celebrate our 65 thousand years of history, our 236 years of modern history, and may there be many many more years of wonderful history ahead.

We are the nation who invented the Hills hoist, the first refrigerator, the cervical cancer vaccine, we advanced the use of penicillin. Although it was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, the drug was made medically useful in the 1940s by a team of Oxford scientists led by Australian Howard Florey and German refugee Ernst Chain. 
As such a small nation of our global community, we certainly punch above our weight.  

Have a wonderful day – please stay hydrated, please stay safe, please go and watch the cricket on the tv this afternoon in a cool space if you can or go to the beach and enjoy some sand and water.

Happy Australia Day, thank you to all our community groups, and all the best for 2024.
Thank you.

Mayor Sue Heins stated;

I am very aware that Australia Day is something we have always enjoyed as a community for coming together and celebrating and just making sure we have a day of enjoyment and appreciation of the land on which we are.
So I would also like to say my thanks and appreciation to Uncle Neil and also to echo what has already been said. 

Council is very proud to help sponsor this event. Council is very proud of the community groups that work together to create this event and I know the residents of this area are very proud of what is created here. You are absolutely one of the jewels and great examples of coming together other areas seek to emulate. So thank you very much, and thank you to the community groups that have worked together to make this happen. 

Always behind the scenes there is a group of very dedicated people who spend many hours, that no one is aware of, ensuring this event runs as seamlessly as possible. 
I’m sure we’d all like to say thank you to those people as without them this event would not be happening – they had the foresight to apply for a grant and commence planning this event many months ago.

I say thank you to all those involved in ensuring this morning is a success and wish you all a wonderful Australia Day. Please continue to look after each other on what is set to be a very warm day.
Thank you very much.

ASGMWP's Uncle Neil Evers, Mackellar MP Dr. Sophie Scamps, Northern Beaches Council Mayor Sue Heins, Pittwater MP Rory Amon

A few photos from this year's breakfast and that 'We are One' inspirational song:

Warringah/Pittwater SES

Warringah/Pittwater SES response unit, commissioned in 2023

Catering and Communications - NSW RFS

Mackerel Beach RFS on pancake duty

Mayor Sue Heins and Neil Evers

Northern Beaches Chorus gave the National Anthem

Avalon Beach During Heatwave Conditions

Report/Photos: A J Guesdon/Pittwater Online News

It was 39 degrees in Avalon by 2pm on Australia Day - visitors to the beach sought shade where they could when not in the water. 

Just after 3pm a southerly hit, with whitecaps soon seen off the headlands and coming into shore. Everyone who had been on the beach enjoying the day, together, then began leaving the beach, together, and sat in traffic for a long ride home after a wonderful day, together.

Prior to that, Surf Lifesavers on Patrol had to come to the aid of people swimming outside the flags multiple times and several hundred precautionary actions were taken. The weekend before, over 60 rescues took place and again, several hundred precautionary actions were taken to keep swimmers safe.

On the beach and at the rock pool, families played, sheltered from the sun beneath tents and umbrellas, and indulged in Australian treats - like lamingtons

A few pictures:


2023/24 WASZP Australian Slalom Championship On Pittwater: Hosted By The RPAYC

Newport, Australia – 25 January 2024

The highly anticipated 2023/24 WASZP Australian Slalom Championship continued on Pittwater today with an exhilarating final day of racing. The changeable weather conditions and back to back races challenged the exceptional skills of the world-class sailors on short downwind wind courses. Start, blast downwind round the gybe marks and across the finishing line. Races targeted to be 5 minutes. This is the drag racing of sailing.

The regatta, which commenced 24 January, has attracted sailors from up and down the country to participate. The championship is a testament to the growing popularity of the WASZP class, known for its innovative formats, like the slalom series, creating fast and exciting races. Competition has been fierce with impressive displays of speed, boat handling and tactics.

Day 2 started hot and light with competitors waiting onshore for the breeze to stabilise, a few nursing bruised bodies and egos after 8 slalom races yesterday. A shifty 12-18knts that came in around midday and sailors hit the water for more of the crash and burn slalom format. The tight competition throughout the fleet continued with every mistake punished in the unstable and shifty conditions. The key was to stay on the foil, when you were up, you were up!

“The level of competition we have seen today is absolutely phenomenal, they make it look so easy when they are flying along, but we know that it takes a heap of practise and time on the water to sail so quick and clean throughout this short format racing” said Nick Elliott, Race Director, RPAYC.

“The mix of fluctuating conditions challenged sailors across the fleet. We are thrilled to be hosting such a prestigious championship on Pittwater and thank our local WASZP fleet for their enthusiasm and hard work bringing the event to the RPAYC. With the Australian Slalom Championship concluded we can now look forward to the WASZP NSW State Titles which commence tomorrow.”

The standout performances of the slalom series have been Louis Tilly in Boogie Wonderland (RPAYC) taking 8 bullets from the 14 races, his worst result being a fourth place. 

In second place, with a score of 22, taking 5 wins was Marshall Day in Too Cheeky (B16SC), followed by Nicholas Dunn in The Sting (RQYS) in third place on 30 points. 

The only other sailor to win a slalom race Keizo Tomisha in Zen (WSC) winning race 13 and finishing fourth overall.  These sailors have blown away the competition in the slalom format and we look forward to finding out if their dominance continues into the next regatta.

View results at: https://rpayc.com.au/waszp-class-regattas-2023-2024/

Report by RPAYC. Photography and video by Andrea Francolini Photography