January 30 - February 6, 2016: Issue 249

 Australia Day 2016 Breakfast by the Beach at Bert Payne Park

 Australia Day 2016 Breakfast by the Beach at Bert Payne Park

The Australia Day Breakfast at Bert Payne Reserve, Newport Beach on Australia Day, 26th of January.Bert Payne Reserve, attracted over a thousand residents for the hot fare provided by the joined teams of local volunteer organisations. Great food, music, face painting and rides for youngsters, volleyball and games ensured those who came to relax enjoyed themselves.

A community affirming Citizenship Ceremony undertaken by people from every corner of the world was preceded by an inspirational Formal Address from Acting Commissioner Catherine  Burn APM.

The Sun Up bush band gave a rousing rendition of 'Once a Jolly swagman, while guitar soloist Russell Pearce, with Aya sang the National Anthem to mark the close of the Citizenship ceremony with the raising of the Australian flag.

As part of the formal proceedings Pittwater Mayor Jacqueline Townsend introduced the Pittwater Australia Day Award winners, being Pittwater Citizen of the Year Bilgola SLSC's President Romilly Madew, Young Citizen of the Year is Kayleigh Greig and Pittwater’s Sportsperson of the Year,   shared between two recipients, Alyse Saxby and Newport SLSC's Charlie Brooks.

Mayor Townsend also applauded those who received Australia Day Honours, Tamara Sloper Harding being awarded an OAM for her work for the people of Soibada and Timor Leste and Harvey Rose a posthumous OAM for all he had long inspired in Pittwater.

MP for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes stated on Tuesday he was delighted Harvey Rose has been posthumously honoured with an award in the Order of Australia. The national acknowledgement is a fitting tribute to Harvey’s enormous contribution to local health, environmental and community projects and the countless sporting clubs, community associations and residents groups he supported. 

“This award is a terrific acknowledgement of Harvey’s contribution,” Rob Stokes said.  “Harvey never liked or sought any praise or appreciation - but he certainly deserves it. 

“This award appropriately recognises Harvey’s efforts and the countless groups, projects and causes he supported. 

“It’s unfortunate the honour was eventually awarded posthumously – but it certainly doesn’t take away from the significance. 

“Harvey was a fantastic member of our community and I’m delighted his contribution has been formally acknowledged,” Rob Stokes said.

Acting Commissioner Catherine  Burn APM Australia Day 2016 Address for those unable to attend and for those who would like to read this again:

Australia Day Ambassador Address by Acting Commissioner Catherine Burn – Pittwater Council

26 January 2016

Mr Rob Stokes, Member for Pittwater and Minister for Planning, The Honourable Bronwyn Bishop, Member for Mackellar, Councillor Jacqueline Townsend, Mayor of Pittwater and Other distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls

Good morning and happy Australia Day to you all.  Thank you for the invitation to attend today’s Australia Day celebrations in Newport. Let me begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land we are on and pay my respects to elders past and present.

I am honoured to have been appointed as an Australian Day Ambassador, particularly in this beautiful area, one so special to so many gathered here today.

And I must say there is something very fitting – almost quintessential - about spending our national day by the beach. I doubt there can be many better spots.

Here in Australia we celebrate a number of public holidays throughout the year. All have their own individual qualities and significance such as New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day.  It is on these days our minds turn to events of the past and to the promise of the future.  These public holidays are anticipated for the respite they provide but they are much more than that.  They speak to our history and our beliefs - and the same is so for Australia Day.

Australia Day, if I read the public mood accurately, is in transition.  It is gaining in identity, gaining in significance, gathering its meaning.  It is evolving from just another “day off” to a day of real importance.  And so, I think, it should. But it still has some way to go before we get there.

What is Australia Day’s meaning? And is that meaning what it should be? Whatever it is, the day provides an opportunity for us to reflect and to embrace whatever may come with enthusiasm and positiveness. 

It could be difficult to understand the good fortune we enjoy in this country unless you have come from somewhere else or until you have been somewhere else for a period of time.  Though I’m a local, born in Sydney, I’ve had the good fortune to have visited many different places, here in Australia and abroad, and I have also worked in a job which has given me the chance to meet an extraordinary diverse group of people from across the spectrum, many of them immigrants, some newly arrived.  

Much like them, my ancestors came to Australia seeking a better life. In Australia they had stability, freedom of expression, security.  People had health care, leisure time and money.  Most of all there was the knowledge that if they were dealt a blow, there was a safety system to put them back on their feet.

My family and many other families good fortune was not really of our own making.  We were the beneficiaries of a society built by others, of a democratic tradition we hadn’t directly contributed to, of a land rich in resources that we hadn’t put there. We can now, however, contribute to that making.

In many parts of the world people are not so fortunate. War puts their lives at risk.  There is no guarantee of food or long term shelter. There is no sanitation.  Health care is unlikely, the chances of education remote. 

Unfortunately, there are still some places with similar problems in our country but generally, freed from worrying about the necessities, here in Australia we can concern ourselves with other matters: our families, education, our love of sport, our careers, whether the surf is running, whether the BBQ is on.

We are fortunate indeed and I am forever grateful. I am especially grateful that Australia is a country of unity, cohesion, mateship, resilience, compassion and courage. 

This is why we will survive the darker times that we go through whether they be economic, political, social or natural. In the last 18 months our country has experienced an unprecedented impact from terrorism. In that time there have been nine terrorist plots involving people in this country wanting to do us harm.  We have thwarted six of these attacks. Sadly that means we have seen three.

We know only too well the impact that the Martin Place siege had on many of us, and more recently the murder of Curtis Cheng outside PHQ. But, at a time when things could have disintegrated, when fear could have endured, when hate could have ruled – we went the other way. We came together. We stood side by side. People mattered. Our way of life mattered. There was light from the darkness. We prevailed.

Australia Day makes a call on all of us to reflect and show unity, not be hostile or triumphant. It makes a call to us to hold onto that perspective we gain in times of tragedy or profound sadness – when we realise what actually is important.

It makes a call to us to sometimes not take things for granted. To remember how quickly things can change and not put off that hug you should have given, that chat you could have had, that time you could have spent with a loved one, the forgiveness you could have shown or the acceptance you should have demonstrated.

Australia Day also makes a call to us to reflect and truly embrace our wonderful Aboriginal history, and to respect Aboriginal people and the richness of Aboriginal culture. To reflect and genuinely embrace diversity and the fullness that this brings to us as individuals and as a country as a whole.

The meaning of Australia Day - and the pride we take in living here – should also be anchored to the care, support and charity we provide to those we know and to those we don’t who live among us.

And it should be anchored both to our rejection of selfishness, of violence and of hate and to our preparedness to share with others the opportunities living in Australia provides.

Our achievements are diminished if they are not anchored in this way. 

Today let us enjoy our good fortune.  And let us also reflect on how we can put that good fortune to use to benefit others.

There is no shortage of examples to follow.  The Australia Day Council does an admirable job in bringing to attention the extraordinary good works and good citizenship on display across the country ... including here in Pittwater ... introducing us to people who didn’t set out to inspire or impress, but who did just that.  Their stories and their positive community-minded approach are terrific pointers for all of us.

Let’s all do our best to follow in their footsteps.  If we do, we’ll make Australia, a great place now, even better.

Have a wonderful day and thank you.

Australia Day Honours List 2016 - Pittwater Residents


Dr Robert Law JOSS, Palm Beach, NSW

For eminent service to business and finance through executive roles with major banking institutions, and as a contributor to taxation policy and reform, to education as an academic and administrator, to professional organisations, and to the community.


The late Emeritus Professor Christopher Noel CANDLIN, Church Point, NSW

For distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the fields of linguistics and communication research, and as an academic, teacher and mentor.


The Reverend Dr John Allan HIRT, Avalon Beach, NSW

For significant service to the Uniting Church in Australia, particularly through theological direction, to youth, and to the community.

Mr Michael Geoffrey KENNEDY, Avalon Beach, NSW

For significant service to wildlife conservation and preservation, as an advocate and supporter, and to environmental policy development.  

Mr Frank Anthony HAVEN, Collaroy Plateau, NSW

For significant service to surf lifesaving, particularly in New South Wales, through a range of roles, and to the community.

Mr Haven may be just outside of Pittwater but he is often enough serving inside Pittwater. For those who have not been fortunate to have met the gentleman serving at surf life saving carnivals, the following is courtesy of Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches:

Tony, a former Sydney Northern Beaches Branch President and current SLSNSW President, now joins an illustrious group following the announcement of the Australia Day Honours.

He has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to surf lifesaving and he immediately thanked his family, especially wife Thecla.

''It's a huge honour. But it's not about me,'' Tony said.

"It's for my family, the people the who have supported and mentored me. It's the organisation and shows how much surf lifesaving is held in such high esteem.''

Tony was just 16 when he joined South Narrabeen SLSC and has been a one club man for 51 years.

''I was a gear steward when I first kicked off, got my bronze and became involved in surf boats,'' he said.

"In those days clubs were lucky to have 100 members. There were reels and lines.

''There has been enormous change. Today, it is so much more professional with the rescue equipment (jet skis, IRBs and helicopters) and education that goes into training members to save lives.''

Tony was SNB Branch President for five years, moved onto State where he became Deputy President and is now in his eighth year as President.

''To be recognised by the country is something very special,'' he said.

Picture: Tony with wife Thecla at the recent SNB Life Members luncheon. Courtesy SLS SNB


Ms Mignon Elizabeth BONWICK, Newport, NSW

For service to homeless youth in Sydney.

The late Mr Harvey Maxwell ROSE, Avalon Beach, NSW

For service to local government, and to the community.

Ms Tamara Anne SLOPER HARDING, Avalon Beach, NSW

For service to the communities of Timor Leste and Pittwater.

Mr Leo Edward TUTT, Newport, NSW

For service to business, and to the community through contributions to charitable organisations.

Tamara Sloper Harding

For service to the communities of Timor Leste and Pittwater

We asked Tamara Sloper Harding OAM, for a statement:

I am really humbled  and a bit taken aback. I consider this award acknowledgement of all the wonderful volunteers in our community who support Soibada both here in Australia and in Timor Leste. It isn’t about me, a number of people give a lot of themselves to help change the lives of the people in Pittwater’s sister village. I am always saying, particularly to the school children I meet, that one person can make a difference, but in reality that one person can make so much more of a difference with the support of many! I am very blessed to have fantastic people behind this project. Nothing would happen without them. The Friends of Soibada are a many talented eclectic bunch who have been drawn together for this cause.  I am also very fortunate to have amazing family and friends. My husband Adrian and our four children, Vaughan, Isabeau, Xavier and Armelle are just incredible. They do without to make this all possible. Mum and Dad, Dannie and Graham Sloper, raised all of their children with a strong sense of social justice. They were fantastic role models as we grew up and have always been involved in the community. In addition to their own endeavours they now support Adrian and I in looking after our children so I am able to do my volunteer work for Soibada and Adrian can serve with the Army.

The project began with the children of Maria Regina Primary School and they inspired many other individuals and community groups, churches and businesses to get involved. Once Pittwater Council and Pittwater Catholic Parish became officially partnered with Soibada the project really grew. 2016 is a big year for us. There are a number of fundraising events coming up. The Training Centre and Guesthouse in Soibada is almost complete – it will be available for visitors by mid year. We will be running courses there in July. Our next focus will be building a senior high school in the village. It is easy to donate to our “Buy a Brick” campaign online http://www.pittwaterfriendsofsoibada.org.au/buy-a-brick.html

Above: Tamara Sloper Harding, Chair of the Pittwater Friends of Soibada, Consul Fonseca Dos Santos Pereira of the Consulate-General of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Sydney and Councillor Harvey Rose, Mayor of Pittwater at Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon in 2012

Australia Day Nominees - Pittwater

Citizen of the Year

Helen Howes

Helen has been a volunteer at Manly Warringah Pittwater Community Aid Service for almost three years. She is known for her hard work, big heart and reliability. She not only cares for elderly people but makes a huge difference in the lives of younger clients with a disability.

Rodney Austin

Rodney played an important role in bringing about the construction of a footpath connecting Avalon and Clareville Beach. This pedestrian-friendly addition to the local area is due in part to his drive and determination.

Tony Tenney

Tony is President of Pittwater Forever, an organisation made up of 18 residential groups. Pittwater Forever provided a strong and unified voice for those fighting against council amalgamations during 2015.

Geoff Searl

Geoff is a passionate Northern Beaches resident who has spent hours writing a detailed account of Avalon’s history. From interviews with local identities to unique photographs, this nominee has created an invaluable record of this unique village. An active member of the community, this nominee contributes heavily to the work of many local organisations.

Lynette and David Millett

This dynamic duo was nominated for their huge contribution to the wildlife organisation WIRES. On call 7 days a week, they work tirelessly rescuing animals, often bringing them home where they nurse them back to health. They are known for their strong work ethic and love of all animals.

Michelle Heaton-Armstrong

The amazing ‘Fight on the Beaches’ charity has raised a fantastic $326,000 for Cure Cancer Australia. The charity comprises a team of eight hardworking women. Michelle Heaton-Armstrong is the driving force behind the charity.

Lisa Routledge

An integral member of the ‘Fight on the Beaches’ charity, Lisa worked tirelessly managing the venue and all the responsibilities for the ‘Fight on the Beaches’ Ball.

Danielle Hobbs

Danielle was responsible for the auction and audio/visual elements for the Fight on the Beaches ‘Christmas in July Ball’. Her hard work paid off with the auction alone raising $70,000. 

Carol Chaffer

A busy working mum, Carol works as committee secretary for the Fight on the Beaches charity and is a great support to the organisation.

Stacey Mitchell

As sponsorship co-ordinator for the ‘Fight on the Beaches’ committee Stacey raised $34,500 just through sponsorship for the Christmas in July Ball.

Jacqui Marlow 

A busy mother of three who also works full-time and volunteers for the Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association. Her responsibilities range from checking the pouches of dead wallabies for joeys late at night, to lobbying to help reduce roadkill numbers. This work has paid off resulting in new fauna fences on the Wakehurst Parkway.

Jayne Denshire

Jayne is project manager for the incredibly popular Avalon Art Carnival. Her role included managing the promotion and logistical aspects of this highly successful event. This year, the Avalon Art Carnival attracted more than 50,000 visitors over two weeks.

James Devitt

James oversees all aspects of the community station - Radio Northern Beaches. He’s volunteered for over 10 years as a program presenter, board member and now Chairman. He has been instrumental in the station’s transition to its new site in Terrey Hills.

Belinda-Jane Hunt

Belinda is a well-respected local grief counsellor. Her compassion was evident when she organised a public forum in Avalon after the loss of a young man to suicide.  Her support of community and family members was invaluable.

Janet Forrester

Janet has worked tirelessly as a volunteer communications manager for the community organisations Clareville and Bilgola Residents Association and Pittwater Forever. She has lobbied MPs, written strategic papers, developed marketing videos, all for the benefit of the Pittwater community.

Toby Jay

Over the past 13 years Toby has given up his time and used his own barge to complete offshore collections for Clean Up Australia Day. Last year he even gave up a long awaited reunion with mates that he hadn’t seen for many years to continue his amazing work on this important day.

Sue Brandenburg

Sue was a respected teacher for 35 years. She also volunteered time and energy outside school hours coaching a variety of sporting teams over the past 22 years.  Involved in netball and softball, this nominee has not only been a highly successful coach but a mentor to many young people.

Ros Marsh 

Ros was a recent president of the Avalon Palm Beach Business Chamber where she liaised with Council through the Enliven Program. A quiet achiever, this nominee has helped organise a number of community events including Carols by the Sea and Avalon Market Day. She is a true networker, often inspiring others to volunteer in the community.

David Owen

David is the President of Clareville and Bilgola Residents’ Association or CABPRA. He has been active in a variety of campaigns by writing letters and meeting with MPs to lobby for better transport in Pittwater. This nominee is a doer and a skilled project manager.

Rick Shires

Rick has been involved in the Scouts movement since he was a child. He has served as a leader for over 33 years, inspiring and mentoring hundreds of scouts on the Northern Beaches.  A passionate environmentalist, he has worked closely with the Coastal Environment Centre and Pittwater Council in the area of bush regeneration. He is also a dedicated fireman.

Frank Haviland

Frank works as a volunteer Marine Rescue Watch Officer with Marine Rescue’s Terrey Hills Unit operating a 24/7 radio safety service for recreational boaters. He currently holds the Marine Rescue NSW 10 year service medal as well as a National Medal for this work with the PNG Police force.

Kim Hubner

Kim is President of Living Ocean, a charity that promotes the protection of oceans by reducing the human impact on this precious part of our world. One of her biggest contributions has been inspiring businesses to go plastic bag-free, replacing them with the reusable ‘Boomerang’ bags.

Romilly Madew

Our next nominee is the CEO of the Green Buildings Council of Australia. This local resident is passionate about inspiring governments and individuals to create sustainable buildings and communities. Clearly not busy enough she is also President of the Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club and the very first Independent Chair of the Currawong State Park Advisory Board of NSW.

Lorrie Morgan

Lorrie is a passionate advocate for community arts in Pittwater. She is the President of Pittwater Community Arts, an artist in her own right and has been the driving force behind the Pittwater Artists Trail since it began in 2011. This nominee, along with the late Pittwater Mayor Harvey Rose, also initiated a collection of poetry from Pittwater residents.

Pittwater Young Citizen of the Year

Danelle Kelliher

Danelle is a Pittwater High School student who spends her spare time volunteering as a Junior Leader for the 2nd Mona Vale Junior Guides. She has shown exceptional leadership qualities and is a great role model for younger children.

Ned Williams

Ned worked as a carpenter for Community Aid for over four years. He also works closely with frail aged and younger residents with a disability. In August this year, this impressive young man’s calm, caring nature and quick thinking saved the life of an elderly gentleman who had collapsed.

Kayleigh Greig

Kayleigh is only 12 years of age and is already an active wildlife ambassador. Her various roles include membership of Sydney Wildlife, a volunteer for Southern Cross Wildlife Care and a member of the Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association.  She’s also negotiating with Ernst & Young to establish a wildlife ambulance and clinic.

Pittwater Sportsperson of the Year

Charlie Brooks

Charlie is a highly accomplished member of the Newport Surf Life Saving Club. This year he won medals at local and state events with 5 gold and 2 silver medals at the Australian Championships, earning him the title of ‘Male Athlete of the Carnival’. This year he also represented Australia in the Youth Surf Life Saving team. 

Sam Bloom  

Sam became a paraplegic after a terrible accident. After working hard in rehabilitation, she started training and has now become part of the Australian Para-canoe Sprint Team, representing her country in Milan last year. She is a fabulous role model and an inspiration for all of us. 

Shellie Davis

Shellie represented New South Wales and Australia in Touch Football. She was captain of the Under 20s Trans-Tasman winning national team. Our nominee has also been officially recognised for her part in Manly Warringah Sea Eagles State Cup Championship win, receiving the Barry Gibson Perpetual Trophy.

Alyse Saxby

Alyse has represented Australia at the World Games for Special Olympics three times, bringing back the gold medal in sailing on two occasions, along with her sailing partner and coach on board. She was also a finalist for Sailor of the Year with a Disability at the 2015 Yachting Australia Awards. 

Families looking for photographs of yesterday's festivities (26.1.2016) for their own family albums will find images to download at  Pittwater Online News Photo Albums website here

Report and Pictures by A J Guesdon, 2016.