March 19 - 25  2023: Issue 576


MoWaNa Safe Space Officially Launched By Community Champions

Photo: Michael Mannington OASM, Community Photography.

On Saturday March 18 2023 community champions with a proven track record in supporting measures that will address good health turned out in force to launch the MoWaNa Safe Space in Narrabeen.

The Hon. Rob Stokes, Lucy Brogden AM, and John Brogden AM, Lifeline Australia Patron and international mental health and suicide prevention advocate, suicide survivor, businessman and former NSW politician, Mayor Michael Regan, Dr Sophie Scamps and Racheal Leah Jackson plus around 100 plus people turned up for launch. We had Tom playing the digeridoo and some inspirational words from our special guests, all of whom have worked for years to improve the availability of health services for residents. 

MoWaNa Safe Space is a peer led community-based service to support people who are experiencing emotional or suicidal distress. 

MoWaNa stands for Mona Vale, Warriewood and Narrabeen. 

The Safe Space is a ‘drop in’ style place that offers a non-clinical alternative to acute, clinical services such as emergency departments for people experiencing emotional or suicidal distress.

Our community led Safe Space provides a warm, welcoming environment in which to reduce distress, it will be staffed by our Peer CARE Companions (PCC) who have either had their own lived experience of suicide, have supported someone else in crisis, or who have been bereaved by suicide. This means they are better able to connect with others through the mutual understanding that comes with meaningful shared experience.

We are:

• A trauma-informed 'no wrong' door approach

• A warm welcoming environment

• Non-clinical support that meets the holistic needs of our peers

• A compassionate and capable peer-led workforce

• Warm connections to other appropriate and reliable supports

• People with Lived Experience are actively involved in all aspects of the Community Safe Space.

The community-led Safe Space model has been designed by Roses in the Ocean

We are working alongside Roses in the Ocean for their expertise, guidance, and operational support

We have over 40 companions that will volunteer in our Safe Space. All our volunteers are provided with two key trainings: Living Works ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), and Roses in the Ocean Peer Care Companion Training and gatekeeper training.

We are thankful for the support of, Roses in the Ocean, Sydney North Health Network and Northern Beaches Council, who have actively supported our volunteers by offering free or subsidised training. This is essential to equip them with the skills to provide compassionate and trauma informed interventions as well as having the appropriate language to support those who are distressed.

We know that there are many factors which can lead a person to experience suicidal distress, including an existing mental health issue, adverse life challenges, or points of disconnection throughout their life. We will build capacity within our volunteers to know which local services and supports they can refer people to. We shall ensure we build effective and ongoing relationships with the Northern Sydney Local Health District, Northern Beaches Hospital, and other local community services and groups. 

We initially plan to be open for community drop-ins on Friday and Saturday nights 5-9pm and will consider additional hours upon community need.

While we raise funds for our own space in Pittwater, Guy at The Mind Café in Narrabeen is kindly allowing us to use his space, it aligns with our intentions for our community to reduce suicide.

If you can contribute towards our fundraising  to provide a dedicated space for this work, please visit:

We are opening on Friday 18th February at 5.00pm for those in emotional distress.

Our Executive Committee are:

  • Kerry Gleeson (President)
  • Mel Kypri (Vice President and Volunteer coordinate)
  • Adele Sullivan (Secretary)
  • Claire Monaghan (Treasurer)
  • Aileen Ogilvie (Executive Committee member)
  • Becky Sexton (Executive Committee member)
  • Linda Quy (Executive Committee member and event coordinator)
  • Amber Boyd (Fundraiser Coordinator)

Please keep up with what we're doing via our Facebook page at:


Her Wave 2023: Manly Women's Day Event + Central Coast Teams Classic Already Celebrated - Her Wave Kiama Teams Classic Runs First Weekend Of April

Photo: Nat Sports Media (Natalie Meredith)
In February 2022 Surfing NSW, with the support of the NSW Government, launched a unique, all female surf series, the Challenge Her Team’s Classic. The series aims to increase female participation and support across the state through three events that focus on fun, skills development and community. 

Photo: 2022 Surfing NSW Challenge Her Team's Classic Ambassadors at the launch of Her Wave. L-R Luke Madden (Surfing NSW CEO), Arabella Tarpey (Pambula), Carly Shanahan (Coffs Harbour), Bodhi Simon (Port Kembla/Biripi Country), Ellie Lambkin (Newcastle), Anne Dos Santos (Narrabeen-Collaroy), Hunter Roberts (Avalon Beach), Kate Cass (Surfing NSW). Photo: Surfing NSW

The three-event series kicked off in Newcastle before heading to Kiama and Lennox Head. The 2022 events each hosted teams of eight surfers and follow a surf teams format of competition with a twist. The teams of eight surfers will be made up of a combination of four longboard surfers and four shortboard surfers. 

There was also be an individual competition for two longboard and two shortboard surfers that will contribute to the team’s overall pointscore. The events were open for team entries however individual surfers were encouraged to enter the surf team reserve pool where they will be matched with a team. 

The 2023 edition of Her Wave features Her Wave International Women's Day held at the Hotel Steyne in Manly on March 8th, Her Wave Central Coast Teams Classic, which ran 11th – 12th of March 2023 at Shelly Beach, and the still to run Her Wave Kiama Teams Classic on 1st – 2nd April 2023 at Kiama. 

The Manly Her Wave International Women's Day event commenced the Her Wave 2023 tour with an evening event which included a 'Business of Surfing' panel discussion with surf industry legends - from local female-led businesses that work in the surf space to trainers, professionals. 

Speakers included professional surfer Laura Enever, grom from Narrabeen who now paddles into massive waves at Hawaii and catches them, Elle Nielson, who has worked with training and empowering women for years through Elevate training and is now the co-founder of FWD Form Nutrition, designed to elevate your training, performance and recovery (especially for gals that spend way to much time in the water), Surfsock founder Nadine Cattell, a small women owned business which offers wetsuit wearers a reusable and sustainable solution, helping us all slip into our wetsuits much easier, Lee Zaeowski, a crafty mum of three who loves all things surfing and the ocean and an advocate of upcycling. Lee now creates one of a kind, custom made surf socks that not only look stunning but protect your board. The cherry on top is that all fabrics used are upcycled or sustainably sourced. The final panel member was Surfing NSW’s General Manager, Kate Cass who talked guests through the many career paths you can take if you would like a career in the surf industry. A woman of many talents, Kate has previously been the director of a design and photography business, owned a busy cafe and has been involved with Maroubra's Southend Boardriders for over 15 years.

There was also Artisan women-owned market stalls - from board accessories to handcrafted surfboards, giving attendees a chance to look around the stalls and meet the masters behind the brands, live music by local Manly babe DJ SA.MMY,  and an epic performance by Australia's best burlesque dancers.

The Her Wave International Women's Day event aimed to bring together like-minded females to highlight and celebrate the incredible work that is being done within the surf industry and to inspire more women to find their passion paths within the industry and live their most authentic life.

Kudos to Hotel Steyne, Manly, for supporting this Surfing NSW Her Wave event.

That was followed by the Her Wave Central Coast Teams Classic.

Surfing NSW and Her Wave sent in a report post-event which runs HERE


$378,072 Allocated To Council For Weed Control - Governor Phillip Park Gets A Grant This Time: Full Details Of All 11 Sites

 PON photo

The State Government, just prior to going into the caretaker period for the March 2023 state election, announced the Crown Land 2022-23 funding round outcomes.

There is great news for Governor Phillip Park, which, although weed-infested, missed out in the previous year's allocations.

Weeds strangling banksia trees at Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach. Image supplied.

By May 2022 Council had commenced some works here but there is still much to be done.

Governor Phillip Park, north end fronting Station Beach, May 14, 2022: PON photo

Governor Phillip Park, north end, top side from above patch photographed, May 14, 2022 - banksias and other plants have been covered over by vines, asparagus fern, dandelions etc.: PON photo

Hitchcock Park has also had a grant allocation for control of invasive weeds.

back of Hitchcock park:  PON photo

The Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF) supports Crown land managers (CLMs) by providing funding for repairs, maintenance and improvements on Crown reserves. The funding aims to benefit the community, boost our economy and contribute to the cultural, sporting and recreational life of NSW.

The CRIF is a self-sustaining program that is supported by income generated from loan repayments and interest, leases and licences on Crown land, and levies from the operation of coastal Crown caravan parks.

All successful Crown land managers and unsuccessful applicants have now been advised.

The CRIF 2022-23 offered funding for 267 projects totalling $17.947m to maintain and upgrade facilities and reserves on government-owned land. The funding provided will continue to benefit our community, boost our economy and contribute to the cultural, sporting and recreational life of our region.

The Council, in conjunction with local residents and environment groups advocacy, was successful in securing 11 Grants in this round, totalling $378,072.00 – all of them focussed on controlling weeds. The scope of these is some indication of how much the Council now has responsibility for and identifies ongoing gaps, and places, such as Governor Phillip Park, which have to wait until funding can be allocated. 

It is also worth bearing in mind there are many places across the LGA that are not Crown Land and do not qualify for these grants - Warriewood Wetlands and the creeks through the valley becoming overgrown and choked with weeds has been an ongoing focus of emails and photos sent into Pittwater Online News since 2019. A report on those issues, runs this week in:

Council, in conjunction with local environment groups and bushcare groups volunteers who commit to do the work, must seek funding through other grants to de-weed, maintain and regenerate these areas. It takes time to secure these, meanwhile, the weeds take over.

Details of executed agreements as at 1 March 2023 for our area are: HERE


Warriewood Wetlands - Creeks Deteriorating: How To Report Construction Site Breaches, Weed Infestations + The Long Campaign To Save The Warriewood Wetlands & Ingleside  Escarpment

Moorhen chicks at Warriewood Wetlands. Photo: Joe Mills

On February 12th, 2022 Pittwater Online News received the following letter, a copy of which had been sent to Council:

Weed infestations in Warriewood Valley

I am writing to you as a very concerned citizen and long-term ratepayer. My concern is the overwhelming infestation of weeds throughout the Northern Beaches, but especially in the Warriewood Valley. We have lived in this once beautiful valley for 45 years and have never seen the weeds so rampant... choking waterways and native plants with their prolific growth. Every creek and settlement pond is now so full of Ludwigia, Parrot Feather, Azolla, Duckweed, etc, that they leave little room for the once prolific wildlife, especially the waterbirds. Along some creeklines the smell of de-oxygenated, rotting ponds is now unavoidable, with only a handful of waterfowl able to survive.

And beside the creeks the bushland is faring no better... mature banksias and other shrubs - and even large trees - are now so covered with Morning Glory or Madeira Vine that they are dying a slow death, and the ground itself is blanketed with Tradescantia, inhibiting any hope of native seedling survival.

Before the amalgamation, Pittwater Council appeared to be much more environmentally aware, willing to spend real money and effort on keeping the weeds at bay. In those days we would often encounter gangs of Council workers, many of them on hands and knees, pulling weeds out before they could gain hold. Ever since the amalgamation we rarely see any Council-sponsored weed control, with the result being that it has now gotten well-and-truly out of hand... and it will take a massive operation to bring it back to a controllable state.

So, I am asking Council to undertake that "massive operation". If you don't do this now we will have lost forever a once-valuable and unique slice of Australian bushland... and the animals that depend on it. I would offer to guide your officers to the worst areas of weed infestation, but it is bad throughout the valley, especially along the creeklines.

Please let me know of your plans in addressing this most urgent problem.

Council's response advised:

'Northern Beaches Council values Warriewood Wetlands and the natural areas in general within the Warriewood Valley. Council has not changed any practices, managing bushland using the same or similar programs since amalgamation. The various restoration programs are progressing by maintaining a consistent budget, using the same staff that manage contracts, and in many cases the same contractors who are familiar with the sites and the issues faced.

Whilst it is not uncommon for weed outbreaks to occur at this time of year, the current prolific weedy conditions are likely the result of recent uncharacteristic wet humid weather conditions which are very favourable for weed growth. This situation has been exacerbated by COVID impacting availability of our staff, contractors and Bushcare volunteers. We are however confident that this situation will be managed and the various weed outbreaks will be brought back under control. 

To manage the condition of Warriewood Wetlands over recent years, Council has engaged the services of a local company specialising in the restoration of bushland and freshwater wetlands. Examples of work undertaken include:

  • Targeting specific problematic weeds including woody weeds such as Lantana camara, Cassia, Cestrum, and Privet, and exotic vines such as Morning Glory, Blackberry, Corky Passionfruit, Anredra and Cape Ivy. Various other weeds such as Bidens, Fleabane, Trad and Erharta are also targeted.
  • Strategic control of weed trees to reduce the extent of Cockspur Coral Trees (Erythrina christa-gali) over a 3 year period.
  • A 5 year Environmental Trust grant has been secured to target the aquatic weeds Ludwidgia peruviana and Salvinia molesta. Council has also installed two floating booms to help prevent the spread of Salvinia downstream, and provides support to Shearwater Estate to manage this weed in stormwater detention ponds.

In addition to the program at Warriewood Wetlands, we have a similar restoration program in place at Irrawong Reserve, Ingleside Chase and along the creeks that feed into Narrabeen Lagoon. Council has allocated funds of over $50,000 for bush regeneration at Fern Creek, Narrabeen Creek and Mullet Creek this financial year. 

Nonetheless, ... have asked my team to investigate the creeklines and bushland in the valley as you have suggested, and redirect contractor and staff efforts towards controlling the more damaging weeds in these areas. We are also thankful that our Bushcare groups are back and we will continue to  support, encourage and where possible expand their activity in the valley.'

This had been preceded by a February 2021 image sent in by a resident that showed the creeks full of weeds and runoff from roadworks on Mona Vale road are flowing into the creeks. From Issue 485:

Narrabeen-Warriewood Creeks Currently Weed Choked And Full Of Mud

Residents report the weeds in the creeks at Narrabeen through to Warriewood are appalling and the water is running with mud, said to be from Mona Vale roadworks. They are calling for council to look after these creekline corridors. This photo was sent in by a resident this week. The weed with big yellow flowers is Ludwigia peruviana.

Ludwigia (Ludwigia peruviana), also known as Peruvian primrose, water primrose, primrose willow, is an invasive shrub. It thrives in moist, wetland environments and has a dramatic impact on the aquatic environment. Ludwigia is fast growing and produces thousands of sticky seeds. Ludwigia can choke waterways and dominate all aquatic vegetation within a short timeframe. Dense stands can interfere with the natural flow of the waterway. The thick canopy reduces the amount of light entering the water and decreases water temperature. This ultimately affects the native aquatic flora and fauna communities.  

It is an introduced weed, native to South America, from Mexico through to Chile. In Australia, ludwigia is only known to exist in creek and wetland areas of the Sydney region, including Narrabeen creeklines, where it is killing these and their surrounds.

March 2023 - Warriewood Sites Still The Same

Residents state Pond 3 at Warriewood, a Council responsibility, is currently totally overgrown by Salvinia Weed, and residents have put up this sign, photos of which had also been sent in during the preceding 2 years, some of them a cardboard earlier version of the same 'Notice'. Those sent in earlier still showed some water visible. Those sent in this week show none.

Salvinia molesta is an aquatic fern, native to south-eastern Brazil. Salvinia can be effectively controlled with the Salvinia weevil (Cyrtobagous salviniae).  

The level of control depends on the local climate and the condition of the salvinia plants. When conditions are ideal the weevil can complete its life cycle in six weeks. On the North Coast of NSW in nutrient rich water it has controlled infestations within six months. Though in other areas it may take 2-3 years for weevil populations to establish. 

The weevil does most damage when salvinia is healthy and green and the temperature is around 30°C. Weevils breed very slowly at temperatures less than 20 °C and ceases breeding below about 17 °C. The best time to introduce the weevil is early Spring. More at: 

Photos taken March 16, 2023 - supplied:

In February 2021 Council approved its 'Water Management for Development Policy'. 



Autumn In Pittwater

The big tree and pond opposite Arcare Aged Care on Macpherson St, Warriewood which is a haven for the ducks at the moment.  Part of Narrabeen Creek. Photo: Joe Mills.
Ready to surf, South Turimetta Beach. Photo: Joe Mills
Juvenile Swamp Hens are very inquisitive on the boardwalk at Warriewood Wetlands at present - please take care around local wildlife. Photo: Joe Mills

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