inbox and environment news: Issue 603
October 29 - November 4, 2023: Issue 603
Fledgling Magpie Being Fed
The Largest Spotted Gum In The World: Old Blotchy
Please Look Out For Wildlife During This Spring Heat
AER Releases Social Licence For Electricity Transmission Directions Paper
- What expectations should be held of transmission businesses in undertaking community engagement
- What outcomes need to be achieved from engagement
- When and how social licence issues can be factored into regulatory tests for the approval of and recovery of cost for new transmission development
- What evidence is needed to justify transmission network expansion and associated expenditure.
- clearly identify the information that is the subject of the confidentiality claim
- provide a non-confidential version of the submission in a form suitable for publication.
- Friday 10 November
- Friday 8 December
'Scotland Island, Newport, Pittwater, N.S.W.', photo by Henry King, Sydney, Australia, c. 1880-1886. and section from to show cottage on neck of peninsula at western end with no chimneys through roof. From Tyrell Collection, courtesy Powerhouse Museum
𝗞𝗶𝗺𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗶 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯 𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗨𝗕 - 𝗞𝗶𝗺𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗶.
Highlighting the four resident not-for-profit organisations: Peninsula Seniors Toy Recyclers, Bikes4Life, Boomerang Bags Northern Beaches - Kimbriki, Reverse Garbage and their dedicated volunteers.
Palmgrove Park Avalon: New Bushcare Group Begins
PNHA Guided Nature Walks 2023
Our walks are gentle strolls, enjoying and learning about the bush rather than aiming for destinations. Wear enclosed shoes. We welcome interested children over about 8 years old with carers. All Welcome.
So we know you’re coming please book by emailing: email@example.com and include your phone number so we can contact you if weather is doubtful.
The whole PNHA 2023 Guided Nature Walks Program is available at: http://pnha.org.au/test-walks-and-talks/
Red-browed finch (Neochmia temporalis). Photo: J J Harrison
Report Fox Sightings
Marine Wildlife Rescue Group On The Central Coast
A new wildlife group was launched on the Central Coast on Saturday, December 10, 2022.
Marine Wildlife Rescue Central Coast (MWRCC) had its official launch at The Entrance Boat Shed at 10am.
The group comprises current and former members of ASTR, ORRCA, Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, WIRES and Wildlife ARC, as well as vets, academics, and people from all walks of life.
Well known marine wildlife advocate and activist Cathy Gilmore is spearheading the organisation.
“We believe that it is time the Central Coast looked after its own marine wildlife, and not be under the control or directed by groups that aren’t based locally,” Gilmore said.
“We have the local knowledge and are set up to respond and help injured animals more quickly.
“This also means that donations and money fundraised will go directly into helping our local marine creatures, and not get tied up elsewhere in the state.”
The organisation plans to have rehabilitation facilities and rescue kits placed in strategic locations around the region.
MWRCC will also be in touch with Indigenous groups to learn the traditional importance of the local marine environment and its inhabitants.
“We want to work with these groups and share knowledge between us,” Gilmore said.
“This is an opportunity to help save and protect our local marine wildlife, so if you have passion and commitment, then you are more than welcome to join us.”
Marine Wildlife Rescue Central Coast has a Facebook page where you may contact members. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100076317431064
Watch Out - Shorebirds About
Possums In Your Roof?: Do The Right Thing
Aviaries + Possum Release Sites Needed
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Friends Of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment Activities
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Biodiversity Can Rebound After Bushfires But Recovery Lags In Severely Burnt Areas: UNSW
October 23, 2023
by Ben Knight, UNSW Media
Extreme fires drove biodiversity declines despite overall resilience after the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfire season in NSW, a new study suggests.
The Black Summer Bushfires burnt an unprecedented area of over 5 million hectares of eastern Australia, with severe economic, environmental, and human impacts. Now, a study conducted by UNSW Sydney researchers shows plant and animal life has struggled to rebound in locations subjected to the most severe fires.
The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, analysed differences in species diversity in the aftermath of the 2019-2020 bushfire season in New South Wales. The researchers found that up to 18 months post-fire, biodiversity can recover after fires of low to high severity (when fires burnt the understorey and scorched or partially consumed the canopy) – and did increase a year and a half after the Black Summer Bushfires. However, areas burnt by fires of extreme severity (when fires completely consumed the canopy) experienced reduced levels of biodiversity compared to unburnt and other less severe burnt regions.
Associate Professor Will Cornwell, senior co-author of the study from the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, says the findings highlight the fire adaptations of Australian fauna and flora, but also that these adaptations have limits.
“Fire can have both positive and negative effects on biodiversity, and the context is crucial,” A/Prof. Cornwell says. “For example, many Australian species can persist, even with very high severity fires, but some species may struggle when extreme fire severity occurs over large scales.”
Simon Gorta, lead author of the study and a PhD candidate at the UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science, says the research will help scientists and conservation managers understand which animal and plant species may be impacted by future fires, and identify the areas most needing monitoring and management.
“Our findings illustrate the extent and severity that fires can reach under extensive drought and above-average temperatures, conditions typical of climate change projections,” Mr Gorta says. “As we grapple with the effects of these events on lives and property, we should also be concerned about how our wildlife and ecosystems respond, and how this can be better managed.”
Differing post-fire recovery regions
For the study, the researchers used tens of thousands of wildlife observations of multiple groups of invertebrates, plants, and vertebrates collected by citizen scientists as part of the Environment Recovery Project and the iNaturalist platform to investigate how biodiversity has recovered after the fires and how the type of fire is essential for determining recovery trajectories.
“This initiative was critical, as long-term biodiversity monitoring data covering multiple groups of organisms, such as plants, insects, birds, and more, especially at the scale of these mega-fires, does not exist outside of citizen science data,” Mr Gorta says. “These data allow us to draw conclusions about the overall effects of these events and determine conservation and management approaches for post-fire recovery.”
Overall, the researchers discovered species diversity increased in burnt regions compared to before the fires in both burnt and unburnt parts. But, compared to unburnt regions, species diversity significantly decreased in areas exposed to extreme fire severity.
“The increase in species diversity, or richness, in burnt areas was greater than the increase after fires in unburned areas, which suggests they can recover well if fires are not too severe,” A/Prof. Cornwell says. “But pushing them into this high severity zone has the opposite effect on biodiversity.”
“Many Australian species can persist, even with very high severity fires, but some species may struggle when extreme fire severity occurs over large scales.”
The researchers say they’re not sure whether or when diversity in the extreme severity regions will fully recover.
“We don’t have the data yet to know whether diversity will bounce back – a lot will depend upon whether they burn again with the same intensity in upcoming fire seasons,” A/Prof. Cornwell says. “It implies that in the immediate post-fire aftermath, we need to focus our efforts on supporting recovery in areas that were subject to the highest severity burns.”
In addition to the findings at the biodiversity scale, the study also identified how species with post-fire recovery mechanisms can drive response patterns, particularly for plant species. For example, plants with limited resprouting capacity after severe fires in rainforests are particularly vulnerable to increasingly frequent and intense fires.
“The study highlighted adaptations such as fire-cued flowering, which is a key part of the life cycle of many Australian native plants, potentially increased the detectability and attractiveness of plants in the post-fire environment,” says Dr Mark Ooi, co-author of the study. “This provides both an understanding of the post-fire patterns we see and highlights some of the challenges in surveying biodiversity after these events.”
The researchers plan to conduct further studies monitoring different post-fire impacts, including which species are most at risk. They say the efforts of citizen scientists to capture observations represent not only a critical data resource but also reflect the willingness of the public to participate in science to protect the environment.
“Fire seasons are only going to worsen under the current climate projections,” Mr Gorta says. “We need amateur scientists to help grow the dataset further so we can continue to monitor and manage the environmental impacts of wildfires in a rapidly warming and fire-conducive climate.”
Simon B. Z. Gorta, Corey T. Callaghan, Fabrice Samonte, Mark K. J. Ooi, Thomas Mesaglio, Shawn W. Laffan, Will K. Cornwell. Multi-taxon biodiversity responses to the 2019–2020 Australian megafires. Global Change Biology, Oct. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16955
Sea-Lovers Urged To Help To Save Sea Turtles This Nesting Season
- walk your local beach early in the morning, as sea turtles generally nest during the night.
- keep your eyes peeled for any tracks in the sand, which are usually 80–100 cm wide and can sometimes be mistaken for tire tracks.
- take your phone with you so you can quickly call NSW TurtleWatch or NPWS if you see any signs of turtles, tracks or a nest.
$16 Million For Crown Reserve Improvements
- Maintaining or increasing public access, amenity and use of a reserve.
- Supporting social cohesion and participation in community life.
- Enabling people with accessibility requirements or living with a disability to be included.
- Delivering a service or infrastructure to enable Aboriginal people to access, care for or protect and manage land.
- Conserving heritage values and/or natural values of a reserve.
- Creating employment or business opportunities.
Funding To Make Apartment Buildings Ready For EVs
Have Your Say On 10-Year Trout Cod Recovery Roadmap
$6 Million For Tamworth To Investigate Recycling Industrial Water
- Diversifying water sources to reduce demand on the town's water supply.
- Improving long-term water security for the region, including during droughts.
- Unlocking economic growth for agricultural businesses so they can expand operations without putting more pressure on Tamworth’s water network.
- Addressing water salinity issues that impact water quality and the environment.
Digital Safety Upgrades For NSW National Parks Bushwalkers
New Hope For Rare Australian Bird
$1.5 Million For NSW Bushfire And Natural Hazards Research Centre Climate And Weather Research
Pittwater Reserves: Histories + Notes + Pictorial Walks
A History Of The Campaign For Preservation Of The Warriewood Escarpment by David Palmer OAM and Angus Gordon OAM
A Stroll Around Manly Dam: Spring 2023 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
A Stroll Through Warriewood Wetlands by Joe Mills February 2023
A Walk Around The Cromer Side Of Narrabeen Lake by Joe Mills
America Bay Track Walk - photos by Joe Mills
An Aquatic June: North Narrabeen - Turimetta - Collaroy photos by Joe Mills
Angophora Reserve Angophora Reserve Flowers Grand Old Tree Of Angophora Reserve Falls Back To The Earth - History page
Annie Wyatt Reserve - A Pictorial
Aquatic Reflections seen this week (May 2023): Narrabeen + Turimetta by Joe Mills
Avalon's Village Green: Avalon Park Becomes Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Bairne Walking Track Ku-Ring-Gai Chase NP by Kevin Murray
Bangalley Headland Bangalley Mid Winter
Banksias of Pittwater
Barrenjoey Boathouse In Governor Phillip Park Part Of Our Community For 75 Years: Photos From The Collection Of Russell Walton, Son Of Victor Walton
Barrenjoey Headland: Spring flowers
Barrenjoey Headland after fire
Botham Beach by Barbara Davies
Bungan Beach Bush Care
Careel Bay Saltmarsh plants
Careel Bay Birds
Careel Bay Clean Up day
Careel Bay Playing Fields History and Current
Careel Creek - If you rebuild it they will come
Centre trail in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Chiltern Track- Ingleside by Marita Macrae
Clareville/Long Beach Reserve + some History
Coastal Stability Series: Cabbage Tree Bay To Barrenjoey To Observation Point by John Illingsworth, Pittwater Pathways, and Dr. Peter Mitchell OAM
Cowan Track by Kevin Murray
Curl Curl To Freshwater Walk: October 2021 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Currawong and Palm Beach Views - Winter 2018
Currawong-Mackerel-The Basin A Stroll In Early November 2021 - photos by Selena Griffith
Currawong State Park Currawong Beach + Currawong Creek
Deep Creek To Warriewood Walk photos by Joe Mills
Drone Gives A New View On Coastal Stability; Bungan: Bungan Headland To Newport Beach + Bilgola: North Newport Beach To Avalon + Bangalley: Avalon Headland To Palm Beach
Duck Holes: McCarrs Creek by Joe Mills
Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Dundundra Falls Reserve: August 2020 photos by Selena Griffith - Listed in 1935
Elsie Track, Scotland Island
Elvina Track in Late Winter 2019 by Penny Gleen
Elvina Bay Walking Track: Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Elvina Bay-Lovett Bay Loop Spring 2020 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Fern Creek - Ingleside Escarpment To Warriewood Walk + Some History photos by Joe Mills
Iluka Park, Woorak Park, Pittwater Park, Sand Point Reserve, Snapperman Beach Reserve - Palm Beach: Some History
Ingleside Wildflowers August 2013
Irrawong - Ingleside Escarpment Trail Walk Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Irrawong - Mullet Creek Restoration
Katandra Bushland Sanctuary - Ingleside
Lucinda Park, Palm Beach: Some History + 2022 Pictures
McCarr's Creek to Church Point to Bayview Waterfront Path
Mona Vale Beach - A Stroll Along, Spring 2021 by Kevin Murray
Mona Vale Headland, Basin and Beach Restoration
Mona Vale Woolworths Front Entrance Gets Garden Upgrade: A Few Notes On The Site's History
Mount Murray Anderson Walking Track by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment: Past Notes Present Photos by Margaret Woods
Narrabeen Lagoon Entrance Clearing Works: September To October 2023 pictures by Joe Mills
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park Expansion
Narrabeen Rockshelf Aquatic Reserve
Nerang Track, Terrey Hills by Bea Pierce
Newport Bushlink - the Crown of the Hill Linked Reserves
Newport Community Garden - Woolcott Reserve
Newport to Bilgola Bushlink 'From The Crown To The Sea' Paths: Founded In 1956 - A Tip and Quarry Becomes Green Space For People and Wildlife
Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Bungan Beach and Bungan Head Reserves: A Headland Garden
Pittwater Reserves, The Green Ways: Clareville Wharf and Taylor's Point Jetty
Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Hordern, Wilshire Parks, McKay Reserve: From Beach to Estuary
Pittwater Reserves - The Green Ways: Mona Vale's Village Greens a Map of the Historic Crown Lands Ethos Realised in The Village, Kitchener and Beeby Parks
Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways Bilgola Beach - The Cabbage Tree Gardens and Camping Grounds - Includes Bilgola - The Story Of A Politician, A Pilot and An Epicure by Tony Dawson and Anne Spencer
Pittwater spring: waterbirds return to Wetlands
Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase and the Men of Flowers Inspired by Eccleston Du Faur
Pittwater's Great Outdoors: Spotted To The North, South, East + West- June 2023: Palm Beach Boat House rebuild going well - First day of Winter Rainbow over Turimetta - what's Blooming in the bush? + more by Joe Mills, Selena Griffith and Pittwater Online
Pittwater's Parallel Estuary - The Cowan 'Creek
Resolute Track at West Head by Kevin Murray
Resolute Track Stroll by Joe Mills
Riddle Reserve, Bayview
Salvation Loop Trail, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park- Spring 2020 - by Selena Griffith
Seagull Pair At Turimetta Beach: Spring Is In The Air!
Stapleton Park Reserve In Spring 2020: An Urban Ark Of Plants Found Nowhere Else
Stony Range Regional Botanical Garden: Some History On How A Reserve Became An Australian Plant Park
The Chiltern Track
The Chiltern Trail On The Verge Of Spring 2023 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
The Resolute Beach Loop Track At West Head In Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park by Kevin Murray
Topham Track Ku-Ring-Gai Chase NP, August 2022 by Joe Mills and Kevin Murray
Towlers Bay Walking Track by Joe Mills
Trafalgar Square, Newport: A 'Commons' Park Dedicated By Private Landholders - The Green Heart Of This Community
Tranquil Turimetta Beach, April 2022 by Joe Mills
Turimetta Beach Reserve by Joe Mills, Bea Pierce and Lesley
Turimetta Beach Reserve: Old & New Images (by Kevin Murray) + Some History
Turimetta Moods by Joe Mills: June 2023
Turimetta Moods (Week Ending June 23 2023) by Joe Mills
Turimetta Moods: June To July 2023 Pictures by Joe Mills
Turimetta Moods: July Becomes August 2023 by Joe Mills
Turimetta Moods: August Becomes September 2023 ; North Narrabeen - Turimetta - Warriewood - Mona Vale photographs by Joe Mills
Turimetta Moods: Mid-September To Mid-October 2023 by Joe Mills
Warriewood Wetlands - Creeks Deteriorating: How To Report Construction Site Breaches, Weed Infestations + The Long Campaign To Save The Warriewood Wetlands & Ingleside Escarpment March 2023
Warriewood Wetlands and Irrawong Reserve
Whale Beach Ocean Reserve: 'The Strand' - Some History On Another Great Protected Pittwater Reserve
Wilshire Park Palm Beach: Some History + Photos From May 2022
Winji Jimmi - Water Maze
Narrabeen Bridge 1946
Curiosity Rover Finds New Evidence Of Ancient Mars Rivers, A Key Signal For Life
Exhibition Spotlights Film Behind And Beyond The Front Line
New Research By ReachOut Highlights Links Between Study Stress And Poor Sleep In The Lead Up To Year 12 Exams
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
- 13YARN – 13 92 76 to speak with an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander crisis supporter
- If you are in immediate danger dial 000
Links To ReachOut Support Content
8 Student-Backed Study Tips To Help You Tackle The HSC
By University of Sydney: Last updated 6 July 2023
Our students have been through their fair share of exams and learned a lot of great study tactics along the way. Here they share their top study tips to survive and thrive during exam time.
1. Start your day right
Take care of your wellbeing first thing in the morning so you can dive into your day with a clear mind.
“If you win the morning, you can win the day,” says Juris Doctor student Vee Koloamatangi-Lamipeti.
An active start is a great way to set yourself up for a productive day. Begin your morning with exercise or a gentle walk, squeeze in 10 minutes of meditation and enjoy a healthy breakfast before you settle into study.
2. Schedule your study
“Setting up a schedule will help you organise your time so much better,” says Master of Teaching student Wesley Lai.
Setting a goal or a theme for each study block will help you to stay focused, while devoting time across a variety of subjects will ensure you've covered off as much as possible. Remember to keep your schedule realistic and avoid over-committing your time.
Adds Wesley, “Make sure to schedule in some free time for yourself as well!”
3. Keep it consistent
“Make studying a habit,” recommends Alvin Chung, who is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.
With enough time and commitment, sitting down to study will start to feel like second nature rather than a chore.
“Do it every day and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate because it’s part of your life’s daily motions,” says Alvin.
4. Maintain motivation
Revising an entire year of learning can seem like an insurmountable task, which is why it’s so important to break down your priorities and set easy-to-achieve goals.
“I like to make a realistic to-do list where I break down big tasks into smaller chunks,” says Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies student Dannii Hudec.
“It’s also really important to reward yourself after you complete each task to keep yourself motivated.”
Treat yourself after each study block with something to look forward to, such as a cup of tea, a walk in the park with a friend or an episode of your latest Netflix obsession.
5. Minimise distractions
With so many distractions at our fingertips, it can be hard to focus on the task at hand. If you find yourself easily distracted, an “out of sight, out of mind” approach might do the trick.
“What helps me is to block social media on my laptop. I put my phone outside of my room when I study, or I give it to my sister or a friend to hide,” says Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws student Caitlin Douglas.
While parting ways with your phone for a few hours may seem horrifying, it can be an incredibly effective way to stay on task.
“It really helps me to smash out the work and get my tasks done,” affirms Caitlin.
6. Beware of burnout
Think of the HSC period as a marathon rather than a sprint. It might be tempting to cram every single day but pacing out your study time will help to preserve your endurance.
“Don’t do the work for tomorrow if you finish today’s work early,” suggests Daniel Kim, who is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies.
“Enjoy the rest of your day and save the energy for tomorrow,” he recommends.
Savouring your downtime will help you to avoid burning out before hitting the finish line.
7. Get a good night's sleep
Sleep is one of your greatest allies during exam season.
“I’ve found that a good night’s sleep always helps with concentration and memory consolidation,” says Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) student Yasodara Puhule-Gamayalage.
We all know we need to be getting around 8 hours of sleep a night to perform at our best, but did you know the quality of sleep also matters? You can help improve the quality of your sleep with some simple tweaks to your bedtime routine.
“Avoid caffeine in the 6 hours leading up to sleep, turn off screens an hour before going to bed, and go to bed at the same time every night,” suggests Yasodara.
8. Be kind to yourself
With exam dates looming and stress levels rising, chances are high that you might have a bad day (or a few!) during the HSC period.
According to Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies student Amy Cooper, the best way to handle those bad days is to show yourself some kindness.
“I know that if I’m in a bad state of mind or having a bad day, I’m not going to be able to produce work that I’m proud of,” she says.
For Amy, the remedy for a bad day is to take some time to rest and reset.
“It’s much more productive in the long run for me to go away, do some things I love, and come back with a fresh mind.”
Immerse yourself in a mentally nourishing activity such as going for a bushwalk, cooking your favourite meal, or getting stuck into a craft activity.
If you feel completely overwhelmed, know you're not alone. Reach out to a friend, family member or teacher for a chat when you need support.
There are also HSC Help resources available at: education.nsw.gov.au/student-wellbeing/stay-healthy-hsc
Wednesday 11 October, 2023: HSC written exams start. Friday November 3, 2023: HSC exams finish.
School Leavers Support
- Download or explore the SLIK here to help guide Your Career.
- School Leavers Information Kit (PDF 5.2MB).
- School Leavers Information Kit (DOCX 0.9MB).
- The SLIK has also been translated into additional languages.
- Download our information booklets if you are rural, regional and remote, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or living with disability.
- Support for Regional, Rural and Remote School Leavers (PDF 2MB).
- Support for Regional, Rural and Remote School Leavers (DOCX 0.9MB).
- Support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander School Leavers (PDF 2MB).
- Support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander School Leavers (DOCX 1.1MB).
- Support for School Leavers with Disability (PDF 2MB).
- Support for School Leavers with Disability (DOCX 0.9MB).
- Download the Parents and Guardian’s Guide for School Leavers, which summarises the resources and information available to help you explore all the education, training, and work options available to your young person.
School Leavers Information Service
- navigate the School Leavers Information Kit (SLIK),
- access and use the Your Career website and tools; and
- find relevant support services if needed.
Word Of The Week: Halloween
The word hallowe[']en comes from the Scottish form of All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day): even is the Scots term for "eve" or "evening", and is contracted to e'en or een; (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en became Hallowe'en.
The word Halloween or Hallowe'en ("Saints' evening") is of Christian origin; a term equivalent to "All Hallows Eve" is attested in Old English.
Etymology: 1781, in a Scottish context, a Scottish shortening of Allhallowe'en, All Hallows even, etc., 1550s, "the evening before All-Hallows." This is from otherwise-obsolete hallow (n.), in Middle English halwe, "holy person, saint," from Old English halga, which is from the source of hallow (v.).
All-Hallows is Middle English al-halwe, late Old English ealra halgan "all saints, the saints in heaven collectively," also the name of the feast day and of individual churches. The date Oct. 31 is described as alle halwe eue by c. 1300. Hallow-day for "All-Saints Day" is from 1590s; earlier was halwemesse day (late 13c.). Hallowtide (15c.) was the first week of November.
The last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year's Night, a night for witches or OE; wiccans (wiccan is 'wise woman'; these women originally held knowledge of which herbs and roots could be used for treating illnesses. They were later persecuted by Christian religions who wish to displace their places in communities by installing a patriarch led society).
The word and the magical lore about the date were popularised by Burns' poem (1785, and he attached a footnote explaining it), but it probably dates to 17c. in Scotland and is the name of a tune in 1724. The tune is mentioned again in an English-Scots songbook ("The Chearful Companion") in 1783, and Burns was not the first to describe the customs in print.
Hallow-E'en, or Holy Eve, is the evening previous to the celebration of All Saints. That it is propitious to the rites of divination, is an opinion still common in many parts of Scotland. [John Main, footnote to his poem "Hallow-E'en," Glasgow, 1783]
Illustration to Robert Burns' poem Halloween by John Masey Wright (1777–1866, artist) Edward Scriven (1775–1841, engraver)
Compare Hallow - verb: honour as holy. noun, Archaic: a saint or holy person. 1. to make holy or sacred; sanctify; consecrate. 2. to regard as holy; honour as sacred; venerate. 3. devote, dedicate, consecrate, hallow mean to set apart for a special and often higher end.
The night of 31 October, the eve of All Saints' Day, often celebrated by children dressing up in frightening masks and costumes. Halloween is thought to be associated with the Celtic festival Samhain, when ghosts and spirits were believed to be abroad.
Halloween or Hallowe'en (less commonly known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve) is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Saints' Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
Celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for centuries, Irish and Scottish immigrants took many Halloween customs to North America in the 19th century, and then through American influence various Halloween customs spread to other countries by the late 20th and early 21st century.
Popular Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins or turnips into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror or Halloween-themed films. Some people practice the Christian observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, although it is a secular celebration for others. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.
Samhain ( Irish: sˠəunʲ, Scottish Gaelic: s̪ãũɪɲ; Manx: Sauin ) is a Gaelic festival on 1 November marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or "darker half" of the year. It is also the Irish language name for November. Celebrations begin on the evening of 31 October, since the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumnal equinox and winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals along with Imbolc, Bealtaine, and Lughnasa. Historically it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man (where it is spelled Sauin). A similar festival is held by the Brittonic Celtic people, called Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Allantide in Cornwall and Noz an Anaon in Brittany.
Samhain is believed to have Celtic pagan origins and some Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland and Britain are aligned with the sunrise at the time of Samhain. It is mentioned in the earliest Irish literature, from the 9th century, and is associated with many important events in Irish mythology. The early literature says Samhain was marked by great gatherings and feasts and was when the ancient burial mounds were open, which were seen as portals to the Otherworld. Some of the literature also associates Samhain with bonfires and sacrifices.
The festival was not recorded in detail until the early modern era. It was when cattle were brought down from the summer pastures and livestock were slaughtered. Special bonfires were lit, which were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers. Like Bealtaine, Samhain was a liminal or threshold festival, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned, making contact with the aos sí (the 'spirits' or 'fairies') more likely. Most scholars see them as remnants of pagan gods. At Samhain, they were appeased with offerings of food and drink, to ensure the people and livestock survived the winter. The souls of dead kin were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality, and a place was set at the table for them during a meal. Mumming and guising were part of the festival from at least the early modern era, whereby people went door-to-door in costume reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the aos sí. Divination was also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples.
Snap-Apple Night, painted by Irish artist Daniel Maclise in 1833. It was inspired by a Halloween party he attended in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The caption in the first exhibit catalogue: There Peggy was dancing with Dan While Maureen the lead was melting, To prove how their fortunes ran With the Cards could Nancy dealt in; There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will, In nuts their true-love burning, And poor Norah, though smiling still She'd missed the snap-apple turning. On the Festival of Hallow Eve.
While Irish mythology was originally a spoken tradition, much of it was eventually written down in the Middle Ages by Christian monks. The tenth-century tale Tochmarc Emire ('The Wooing of Emer') lists Samhain as the first of the four seasonal festivals of the year. The literature says a peace would be declared and there were great gatherings where they held meetings, feasted, drank alcohol, and held contests. These gatherings are a popular setting for early Irish tales. The tale Echtra Cormaic ('Cormac's Adventure') says that the Feast of Tara was held every seventh Samhain, hosted by the High King of Ireland, during which new laws and duties were ordained; anyone who broke the laws established during this time would be banished. - Info from Wikipedia.
NB: throwing eggs at people, property and passing cars this Halloween, as happened last year, is NOT a trick; it is a dangerous practice that may cause accidents and at least will cause damage to property for which you may be prosecuted. Have a dress-up, have a dance, and treat yourself to some fruit, lollies and chocolates instead. Just have some fun with it if you're going to get involved, and as always, please look out for and after each other. Remember; we are not here to tear each other down, we are here to lift each other up. Thanks darlings.
‘Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds’ – the Bhagavad Gita explainedDebjani Ganguly, Australian Catholic University
In our Guide to the Classics series, experts explain key works of literature.
There is a striking photo, taken in 2015, of a deactivated nuclear missile at an air and space museum in Tucson, Arizona. Written in dust on this missile are the words, “Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds”. These words, from the Sanskrit scriptural text the Bhagavad Gita, are famously attributed to J Robert Oppenheimer, the architect of the atom bomb.
In Christopher Nolan’s grand biopic, Oppenheimer, the physicist recites these lines not during the Trinity blast (the first detonation of this nuclear weapon) but in a scene with his lover Jean Tatlock.
Oppenheimer later referenced another verse from the Bhagavad Gita when recalling his state of mind as he witnessed the Trinity explosion in the New Mexico desert on 16 July, 1945:
If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the mighty one.
These verses refer to the sublime form, “Vishwarupa”, Lord Krishna takes in the Bhagavad Gita when he reveals his divine nature to the warrior prince, Arjuna.
“Who are you?” asks Arjuna.
“I am Time,” replies Krishna, “powerful destroyer of worlds, grown immense here to annihilate these men”.
Arjuna is blinded by Krishna’s radiance even as he quakes with fear at God’s capacity to destroy evil with the fire emanating from his ferocious visage.
The Bhagavad Gita consists of 700 verses (shlokas) and appears in Book Six of the Sanskrit epic, The Mahabharata. At 100,000 verses and seven times the combined length of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the Mahabharata is the longest poem in the world. Written between 400 BCE and 200 BCE, the epic acquired its written form around the fourth century AD, during the Gupta Empire.
The Bhagavad Gita dramatises a meditative exchange between Arjuna and Lord Krishna, who appears as his charioteer during the momentous battle between two clans, the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
The battlefield is located in Kurukshetra, a town close to New Delhi. Each clan stakes its claim to be the mightiest ruling dynasty of erstwhile Bharat (present day India).
Poets, philosophers, scientists, public intellectuals and political leaders have been enthralled by the Bhagavad Gita since its first English translation appeared in 1785. Wherein lies Gita’s popular appeal across oral and performative cultures?
The Gita is more than just a sacred text of the Hindus. It distils insights from several schools of philosophy in classical India. Wilhelm von Humboldt, the renowned 19th century German scholar and philologist, called the Bhagavad Gita “the most beautiful, presumably the only real philosophical poem of all known literatures.”
The Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi revered the Bhagavad Gita as an “infallible guide to conduct,” a beacon to an ethical life combining political pragmatism with devotion to a spiritual cause higher than the self.
The American transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau admired the Bhagavad Gita’s non-doctrinal universal humanism, and what they perceived as the text’s unity of spirit and matter.
Thoreau famously carried a copy of the text to Walden Pond where he imagined himself communing with a Hindu priest on the banks of the Ganges. The Bhagavad Gita inspired the theosophist Annie Besant and an array of insurgent poets, novelists, and intellectuals at the turn of the 20th century including EM Forster, Christopher Isherwood, WB Yeats, Aldous Huxley, and TS Eliot.
A Recurring Predicament
The Oxford philosopher and president of India from 1962-1967, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, once remarked the trauma of the two world wars spurred thinkers to turn to Gita for “its dramatization of a perpetually recurring predicament.” Radhakrishnan’s treatise on the Bhagavad Gita continues to be a revered scholarly source.
Th “recurring predicament” at the heart of the Bhagavad Gita is this: what constitutes righteous action in the face of moral ambiguity and the inevitability of violence?
Arjuna is fighting to restore the honour and glory of the Pandavas. The Kaurava princes are malevolent usurpers and sadistic rulers. They are also Arjuna’s first cousins.
Fighting on their side are Arjuna’s uncles and mentors. Halfway through the battle, Arjuna is paralysed by anxiety at the prospect of killing his kin. He contemplates throwing away his mighty weapons and fleeing the battlefield.
This is when Krishna, his charioteer and brother-in-law, counsels him with these immortal words:
Your obligation is to the action, and never to its fruits.
Do not be motivated by the fruit of your actions.
But do not become attached to non-action either.
Abandon your attachment and engage in
worldly action, Arjuna, while standing firm in discipline
(yoga). Consider success and failure to be equal.
This equanimity is called discipline, Arjuna, since the
action itself is much less important than the discipline.
Krishna in the Gita is none other than Vishnu, Lord of the Hindu trinity who preserves the world.
Krishna exhorts Arjuna to fulfil his duty (dharma) as a Kshatriya (warrior) in a spirit of detachment and with steadfast discipline (sthitaprajna). In classical India, these warriors had a monopoly on legitimate violence to preserve social and political order.
The greater good, Krishna tells Arjuna, lies far beyond earthly desires and attachments. The body dies but the soul is immortal. The noblest action is that which recognises the immortal value of the soul and ceases to lament loss and frustrated desire. This action, known as “Nishkama Karma” is taken without any anticipation of a fruitful outcome; action that abjures the myth of control.
Fear of consequences cannot be a justification for inaction. Duty toward the preservation of the moral order is far more important.
Self-knowledge, action without attachment and devotion to Krishna as the supreme soul that contains the entire universe is the path to salvation (moksha). This constitutes the essence of Krishna’s message to Arjuna.
Oppenheimer referred to the Gita in a note to his brother in 1932 when he wrote about the importance of discipline and detachment in the fulfilment of obligations to one’s country and to humanity at large.
At the time, Oppenheimer was engaged in a serious study of Sanskrit texts with his Berkeley mentor and professor of Sanskrit, Arthur W Ryder.
He seemed obsessed with terms such as “sthitaprajna” (disciplined stillness) and “karma yoga” (disciplined action) that recur in the Gita. He was beginning to confront the moral conundrum of unleashing the force of the split atom on an increasingly strife-torn world.
Project Y, the secret laboratory in Los Alamos where the atom bomb was created, was somewhere on the horizon and would take concrete shape in a few years. Gita’s message offered a salve to Oppenheimer’s existential angst.
“I believe that through discipline,” Oppenheimer writes his brother Frank, “[…] we can achieve serenity…”
I believe that through discipline we learn to preserve what is essential to our happiness in more and more adverse circumstances […] Therefore, I think that all things which evoke discipline: study, and our duties to men and to the commonwealth, war […] ought to be greeted by us with profound gratitude.
The Gita “burst out of its confinement” in the 20th century, writes the Cambridge historian Christopher Bayly,
precisely because it spoke to contemporary global concerns on the following issues: violence and nonviolence, the individual’s duties to society, the boundary between the spiritual and the social, the significance of individual action as compared with fate, the role of the founders of nations in history.
The popular appeal of Bhagavad Gita lies in its dual message of dispassionate action and devotion to Krishna as the embodiment of universal soul-force. Temples across India offer discourses on Gita as part of their evening prayers, a practice popularised by Gandhi in his ashrams.
The Hare Krishna and Chinmaya movements have been inspired by the Gita’s philosophical teachings, as has the Ramakrishna Mission, one of the largest philanthropic and spiritual congregations in India, with branches across the globe.
The Gita has inspired a rich poetic and performative culture. Oral musical and theatrical traditions in South and Southeast Asia enact the exchange between Krishna and Arjuna. “Pieces of the Gita and Krishna float through international musical culture”, writes Richard Davis:
In his posthumous album titled Om (released in 1968), John Coltrane and fellow musicians open and close their improvised free jazz composition by chanting a translated passage from the Gita.
In 1980, the composer Philip Glass staged an opera, Satyagraha, in which he blended Sanskrit chants from the Gita with Gandhian philosophy of non-violence.
While the popular appeal of the Gita lies in its recognition of God-like qualities in the human, the text warns us against the dangers of man as the “herd animal” and men who aspire to dominate the world.
When men deem themselves to be gods on earth […] when they are this deluded by ignorance, they develop a satanic perversity that proclaims both in knowledge and power.
These words have deep relevance for our time as we confront existential threats posed by atomic weapons, artificial intelligence and climate change.
The quest for mastery over human and nonhuman worlds has made our planet fragile. We might do well to heed Gita’s warning even as we dwell on its philosophy of righteous action and devotion to a cause beyond the self.
More Bluey, less PAW Patrol: why Australian parents want locally made TV for their kidsLiam Burke, Swinburne University of Technology
Australian kids today have greater access to screen entertainment than any generation before. Across smartphones, tablets, laptops and the old-school TV set, streaming services mean there is an endless supply of kids’ content from around the globe.
But as our new research shows, many Australian parents still want Australian-made content for their kids because it reflects local experiences. It also tends to balance fun with education.
What Is Happening To Australian Kids’ Content?
In 2020, the federal government removed quotas for local children’s television on free-to-air commercial networks. This has had a significant impact on what is available on our screens.
In August, the Australian Communications and Media Authority found Australian children’s content on commercial broadcasters had dropped by 84% between 2019 and 2022.
Meanwhile, with Network 10 now a subsidiary of global media conglomerate Paramount, pay TV children’s channel Nickelodeon moved from cable to free-to-air in August this year.
So at a time when Australian kids’ content is disappearing from TV screens, hit overseas shows like PAW Patrol (a program about cartoon rescue dogs), SpongeBob SquarePants and Blaze and the Monster Machines are more available to Australian families than ever before.
We surveyed Australian parents as part of a broader research project on Australian children’s television cultures.
The national survey involved 333 parents of children 14 years and under between August and October 2022.
We asked about how Australian families find, watch and value local kids’ TV in an era of streaming services and global distribution.
Our research suggests Australian parents strongly value local TV content for their kids. Of those surveyed, 83% say it is important their children see Australian-made programs. As a New South Wales dad-of-one explained:
[local TV] leans into our unique heritage without alienating those who have other experiences. Teaching about what it means to be Australian without creating a firm definition.
When asked what characteristics make “good” Australian children’s shows, parents said relatability, positive messages and humour were key. A Queensland father described how local shows instil
Australian values like fair play and helping your mate as opposed to the US-style ‘look out for number one’.
Parents also explained how humour was relaxed but not crude. As a mother-of-two remarked “poop jokes are fine” – a reference to how rude moments from Bluey have been cut by international distributors.
Showing Australian Reality On TV
Perhaps unsurprisingly, parents identified Bluey as the show most watched by their youngest (65%) and oldest child (39%).
Most parents also highlighted education as an important feature of Australian children’s TV. Many drew contrasts with international content to make the point that Australian children’s television tends to pair education with fun and does not “talk down” to children.
Highlighting Little J & Big Cuz – an animated series about two Indigenous Australian children living with their Nanna – a Tasmanian father celebrated how local kids TV
doesn’t shy away from the reality that kids experience and incorporates the wide variety of ‘real Australia’ without being cliched.
A mum from a Canadian-Australian household noted how, unlike overseas content, local shows such as Kangaroo Beach highlight things that are important to Australian life, such as water and sun safety. Similarly, a Melbourne mum emphasised how local specificity is important for young children.
it can be hard to explain why we can’t get snow in the winter in Australia.
Kids Are Still Watching TV On TV
In an era of seemingly endless streaming services, we asked about the devices parents use to access children’s television.
A huge 95% of surveyed households still use television sets to watch children’s shows and content. But the most popular “channels” are almost exclusively streaming services, such as ABC’s video-on-demand services (93%), Netflix (73%), YouTube (66%) and Disney+ (60%). The next most popular devices were tablets (53%) and smartphones (30%), while older children often used computers (21%).
Streaming services without clearly demarcated “kids” sections or that are not well-known for “all-ages” entertainment were less frequently used than those with prominently placed areas for children’s programming.
Four times as many parents identified Disney+ as a service their children use compared to Prime Video, despite Prime Video having a similar number of Australian subscribers.
Safety Is Key
We also asked parents about what features and functionality they value in streaming services.
They are concerned about safety, with participants identifying parental settings and controls as the most important feature of streaming services so their children don’t end up watching inappropriate content.
Parents also emphasised the importance of streaming services having content that can be watched together, with nine out of ten parents watching TV with their kids (usually at weekends).
Bluey was the show parents were most eager to watch with their children (60%) Other programs parents were happy to watch with their kids included time-tested Disney movies like The Lion King and Frozen and Australian favourites like Play School and Little Lunch – a program set in a suburban primary school.
At a time when audiences have access to shows from across the globe on multiple devices, the Australian parents in our research still value content that communicates local experiences and culture.
However, with protections for the Australian children’s television sector removed it remains to be seen how long can locals such as Bluey fend off overseas rivals like PAW Patrol.
If you’re a parent or guardian with children up to 14 you can participate in our current research on the role of local children’s TV by taking this short survey.
Australian Children’s Television Cultures is a Swinburne University of Technology project in collaboration with RMIT University.
Research To Unlock Secrets Of Muscle Loss In Ageing
We believe our innovative approach has the potential to lead to new therapeutic approaches to promote muscle strength and resilience, to ultimately enhance the well-being and vitality of ageing individuals. - Associate Professor Andy Philp
Aged-Care Funding Must Be Overhauled To Stop Beds Sitting Empty: CEDA
- Recruit personal-care workers directly by introducing a new “essential skills visa” to allow workers to migrate with long-term residency opportunities. This visa would only be for areas of critical need such as aged care, childcare, disability and healthcare.
- Introduce a user-pays system for aged-care clients who meet certain income or asset thresholds, to help ensure the long-term viability of the sector.
- Prioritise key worker housing in regional areas under the national Housing Accord and look at options for rental assistance such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
Aged Care Design Ideas Competition Now Open
- quality of life for older people
- the working environments of the people who care for them.
National Immunisation Program – Changes To Shingles Vaccination From 1 November 2023
- people aged 65 years and older
- First Nations people aged 50 years and older
- immunocompromised people aged 18 years and older with medical conditions including:
- haemopoietic stem cell transplant
- solid organ transplant
- haematological malignancy
- advanced or untreated HIV.
AMA And Private Healthcare Sector Leaders Agree On Need For Reform
A New Men's Table At Narrabeen
Government Continues Significant COVID-19 Support For Aged Care
AER Alleges Breach Of Retail Law By CAM Engineering
Federal Government’s Incentives For Older People To Work Good Step Forward For Every Generation: COTA
Mimics Human Tissue, Fights Bacteria: New Biomaterial Hits The Sweet Spot
UTS: How To Slow The Spread Of Deadly 'Superbugs'
- Establishing a national One Health antimicrobial resistance surveillance programme incorporating genomics
- Increase antimicrobial resistance awareness and education and foster collaboration
- Enhancing laboratory capacity in lower and middle-income countries
- Encouraging research and innovation
- Strengthening regulation and oversight in agriculture
- Improving antibiotic stewardship
Consumers Urged To Use And Store Lithium-Ion Batteries Safely To Prevent Deadly Fires: ACCC
- Monitor charging times of lithium-ion products and disconnect products from chargers once they are fully charged. Consider setting timers as a reminder to unplug products.
- Keep lithium-ion batteries out of household garbage or recycling bins and kerbside hard waste collections.
- Charge lithium-ion batteries and products away from combustible materials such as beds, sofas or carpet.
- Store batteries and lithium-ion products in cool, dry places and out of direct sunlight, including while charging.
- Do not use batteries, products or chargers that are overheating or showing signs of failure such as swelling, leaking or venting gas.
- Check the charger you are using is suitable for the product being charged.
- Allow time for batteries to cool after use and before charging.
- In the event of a fire, consumers should contact 000 immediately. For more information on what to do in case of fire or explosion contact your state or territory fire department.
Curiosity Rover Finds New Evidence Of Ancient Mars Rivers, A Key Signal For Life
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