August 30 - September 5, 2020: Issue 464


24 Hour Row 2020 Raises Over 130K To Invest In Saving Lives

L to R: Surf Life Saving NSW CEO, Steven Pearce, Gotcha4Life Founder Gus Worland, Collaroy SLSC Member and 2021 Olympian Georgie Rowe, The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater and Mona Vale SLSC Member. Back;  Mel and Nathan Wellings, Avalon Beach SLSC Members and Founders of the 24 Hour Row. Photo by Surf Life Saving NSW.

The 24 Hour Row for Mental Health has successfully raised $130,000 after a marathon effort by surf clubs throughout the country.

In what was an outstanding achievement, more than 600 surf club and community members from 18 locations across four states kept rowing machines going for 24 hours last weekend. The total distance rowed was over 11,884km.

Funds will be distributed to two mental health charities, Gotcha4Life (all locations) and One Eighty (Northern Beaches clubs) who will rollout mental health support and resilience programs for Surf Life Saving members and their communities during this difficult time.

In its third year, the 24 Hour Row was expanded outside the Northern Beaches area with other surf clubs enthusiastic about the chance to lend their support to the worthy cause.

“Multiple clubs showed interest in taking part after their clubs and communities were impacted by recent suicides,” said event founder Mel Wellings from Avalon Beach SLSC. 

“We never thought we’d end up having 18 clubs but we were determined to make it work for everyone so we could raise more funds than ever for our charities who will in turn help our friends and family who need support,” Mel said this week.

Gotcha4Life founder Gus Worland held back tears on Sunday as the final hour ticked over. “It’s unbelievable to see where we are now in the third year. The atmosphere, the attitude and the energy, people just wanting to do well. It’s been brilliant to be around it,” he said. “There are so many people here that aren’t club members and it shows how much of a hub these places are for support and connection, really the perfect place for this event.”

One Eighty’s Maddie Walsh was also thrilled the event went ahead this year and noticed a strong sense of community connection. The funds raised for One Eighty will go directly towards their programs based on early intervention and prevention of youth suicide. 

“What a fantastic event to be a part of each year,” said Maddie. “As a result of the 24 Hour Row we’ll be funding Lifeline Accidental Counsellor training and Mental First Aid for free to members of the community as part of our Community Support Program. These training sessions provide participants with the confidence and skills to support someone experiencing a mental health problem and to know where to refer them to additional professional support. We’ll also be able to train up more of our volunteer facilitators and continue expanding Open Up, our peer to peer support group.”

MP for Pittwater, Mona Vale SLSC lifesaver and NSW Minister for Planning Rob Stokes completed an hour of rowing at both Avalon and Mona Vale clubs. Rob said initiatives like the 24 Hour Row show the social and cultural importance of Surf Life Saving and the opportunity for communities to feel connected through their local clubs.

“Surf clubs are holistic parts of our communities. Yes, they’re focused on primarily making sure that beachgoers are safe on the beach and in the water but it’s also vigilance and service wherever we’re required,” Rob said.

“The training, the education and the camaraderie that’s built around Surf Life Saving is really important for everyone in the community. Just such a fantastic group of people and the clubs are the best way to enjoy the Australian lifestyle.

“This is the perfect opportunity to come together as a community to support causes that do great work. We’ve had a lot of mental health and wellbeing issues during the pandemic and it’s been an enduring challenge here and across the world.”

The MP for Pittwater, rowing his third year in support of the initiative, was joined by a number of local state MP's; Gurmesh Singh, rowing at Sawtell SLSC, Mark Speakman at North Cronulla SLSC, Matt Thistlethwaite at Maroubra SLSC, Gareth Ward at Gerringong SLSC,  Leslie Williams at Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC, and Kristy McBain at Tathra SLSC. 

“This is a fantastic local initiative, for a really important cause, which combines a bit of friendly competitiveness with some inevitable pain.''  The Hon. Rob Stokes said this week

“Every year the pain level seems to increase for me – so I've clearly got a bit more work to do! 

“It's was great to see so many people get involved this year and have a go.''

Event organiser Mel Wellings says she is proud of what her local club has been able to achieve from humble beginnings three years ago. 

“It’s amazing to still see donations coming in, it just shows what an absolutely incredible and far-reaching impact we’ve had on so many communities this year. We’ll be back next year to do it all again and we can’t wait!” said Mel Wellings.

Donations are still open via



Warriewood Valley Community Centre Concept Plans Now Available For Feedback

Concept Design - WVCC View from Boondah Reserve - Artist Impression

Have Your Say On The Proposed Concept Design For The New Warriewood Valley Community Centre

Friday, 28 August 2020

Northern Beaches Council has given the green light for the second round of community consultation to seek feedback on the proposed concept design for the new Warriewood Valley Community Centre.

Mayor Michael Regan said feedback from the first round of consultation in March 2019 with targeted community groups was overall supportive for the new centre.

“The first round of consultation was very useful to gauge people’s views and to inform the design brief and concept design to ensure user expectations are met,” Cr Regan said.

“The Centre’s concept plan has been drawn up with future needs in mind and the building is developed in line with best-practice sustainability principles.

“The Centre will be an attractive, modern and resilient building with multi-use spaces and the capacity to switch to an Emergency and Recovery Centre during a period of community crisis.”

Mayor Regan encouraged members of the community to voice their opinion on the project.

Council is seeking community feedback all of September, 2020. The Concept Design and associated documents are available on Council's Warriewood Valley Community Centre webpage. 


Concept Design – WVCC Community Lounge Room – Artist Impression


Winter Becomes Spring In Pittwater 2020

Waratah (Telopea speciosissima) - photo by Selena Griffith.

Those who rise early or sit outdoors when it's late will have smelled that sweetness in the air the past few days. Spring is Springing. This week's visual stroll in Pictures through some of these glorious Australian Bushflowers now out in our area is by Selena Griffith, again!

Hazard Reduction of August 29, 2020 - smoke over Pittwater - photos by Miranda Korzy

From NSW RFS Hazard Reductions webpage:

29/08/2020 to 31/08/2020 Northern Beaches Resolute HAZARD REDUCTION National Park National Parks and Wildlife 263.65 ha

29/08/2020 to 30/08/2020 Northern Beaches Cottage Point HAZARD REDUCTION National Park National Parks and Wildlife  7.02 ha

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