December 13, 2020 - January 16, 2021: Issue 478


pictures of the year: 2020


The year commenced with where 2019 finished; in walls of flame being confronted by all our resident NSW RFS Brigades and a rush, in between times, of all our resident Sydney Wildlife savers and Life Saving Clubs' Life Savers racing in to do anything and everything they could to help.

The first two Profiles of the Week for 2020 were Mark Trollope: New South Wales Rural Fire Service Volunteer - January 2020 Local NSW RFS Volunteers Tribute and the Sydney Wildlife Mobile Clinic's Inaugural Run Into The New South Wales Firegrounds Has Been Supported By The World's Leading Wildlife Organisations and Carers: January 2020  - some Extracts;

Photo: November 8, 2019 - The Ingleside NSWRFS Tanker is up in the Port Macquarie area, they left at 5am to get there.  An additional 5 tankers were also responded to Taree just after lunch. Ingleside had 4 RFS volunteers involved in this bushfire effort. Then a 2nd Strike Team left just after lunch from the Northern Beaches RFS District (Friday November 8th) and ended up at the Rainbow Flat bushfire, just South of Taree - another terrible fire. By December NSW RFS Volunteer Strike Teams from our area were heading to the South Coast to meet the infernos there. Photo courtesy Ingleside NSW RFB.

When Mark Trollope agreed to provide a few insights into his deployments as a Tumbledown Dick Rural Fire Brigade volunteer during the 2019-2020 bushfire season, which commenced for many Firies on July 1st 2019 and is still going, while the 2018-2019 fire season closed on April 30th 2019, the proviso was we include insights into what every other of the 17 NSW RFS Brigades in our area have been doing and ensure Readers understand they have been backed up by every other emergency service agency and many others - their fellow NSW RFS Brigades across the state, NSW Police and Ambulances services, Fire & Rescue units, the SES, Marine Rescue NSW and Surf Life Saving NSW, all of which have sent trained people and equipment into fire zones, the Wildlife Carers and those who have been making pouches for injured animals, the people in the towns they have been to providing food and shelter, the fundraisers that have sent food and water into firegrounds for people and animals, the family members waiting anxiously at home, the Australian Defence Forces.

It is often said of our fire fighters that when everyone else is running away from danger, they run into it. By Christmas 2019 NSW RFS Strike Teams in the East Region had 'run towards danger' 792 times

'Sometimes a small save is just as important.... near Nowra' Lars and that echidna - Tumbledown Dick RFB photo  

On Saturday January 11th the Sydney Wildlife Mobile Care Unit drove down Booralie Rd in Terrey Hills bound for the South Coast to provide veterinary assistance to fire-affected and burnt wildlife.

This was the van’s ‘maiden voyage’ so it was very special for the wildlife carers and veterinarians travelling with them to enjoy some community spirit with a great send off. There was a convoy as along with the van, 6 volunteer veterinarians, 3 volunteer rescuers, 3 kangaroo joeys and a few media crews went with them.  The wonderful veterinarians volunteering on this trip were:

Dr Margot Horder, Dr Caroline Woods and Dr Nandita Kataria - all from Collaroy Plateau Veterinary Hospital; Dr Izi Sladakovic from NVS/AVES in Terrey Hills; Dr Kathleen Graham from Kellyville Veterinary Clinic;  and Dr John Thirlwell and Kimberley Moore from Belrose Veterinary Hospital.

The vets who kindly volunteered their time to help the Sydney Wildlife volunteers: Kimberley, Dr John, Joan, Dr Margot, Lynleigh, Dr Izi, Dr Kathleen, Dr Lewis, and Toni. - heading south on January 11th, 2020 - Sydney Wildlife photo

Being in the fire grounds has been gobsmackingly sobering. The sheer scale of devastation, desolation and decimation is beyond description.
We were invited onto people’s properties to assess the kangaroos at their places and - even ‘though they have lost absolutely everything themselves - they are still putting out food and water for the wildlife. We just want to throw our arms around the entire community.
Our contribution is puny compared to what needs doing but we are so grateful to Wildlife Rescue South Coast for allowing us to be part of the team on the ground.
The volunteer vets have been working hard inside the van, outside the van and out in the field, with the help and love knowledge of the rescuers and carers down south.
Together in solidarity - for the wild ones Lynleigh Greig, January 14, 2020

At Lake Conola, January 17 - Lynleigh Greig photo

This is the rescue that broke us...
The love this man had for this little kanga on his property made us all cry. 
Her feet were so badly charred that she could not be saved Lynleigh Greig, January 19th, 2020 

The rescue that broke hearts

Thought I was doing well today - only cried a couple of times - but this got me - Ash cuddling Flame and letting her know she's not alone and he loves her and to hang on and keep fighting - you gotta look after your mates right?!?! -  Sonja Elwood, January 21, 2020 

Doing more ‘black walks’ but we are now based in a totally different area -  Lynleigh Greig, January 21, 2020 

When the fire grounds are opened up to wildlife rescuers, they do what they call a 'black-walk'. Any injured animals that can be treated are usually ‘darted’ with a tranquilliser, if mobile still, and brought straight into care. Lynleigh has shared a video and photos this week of Australian Army men and Reservists helping them move the larger, heavier kangaroos to where they can be treated.

What is most apparent from those videos taken by Sydney Wildlife carers in these areas is the silence; no animals, no birdsong - their photographs, when they find an animal - show how much our wildlife are suffering; hungry, sick and injured and alone.

Yesterday our Search & Rescue was hampered by the dust storms and today we arrived on a rescue site and were greeted by a sudden torrential downpour followed by mudslides! All the ash was dumped into the dams, so the wildlife will have to depend on the watering stations set up by volunteers and members of the public. ARC volunteers and local WIRES volunteers have been doing food drops to properties, as well as replenishing water stations. Sydney Wildlife Mobile Care Unit, January 24th, 2020

We have spent the better part of the past 3 weeks covered in ash, mud, blood, tears, bugs and the suffering of animals. Nature really tested us - fires, storms, flash-flooding, mud-slides.

But we are meeting some wondrous creatures and some saintly humans – Lynleigh Grieg, January 24th, 2020

We had some help lifting mum kanga into the transportation vehicle, bound for the field clinic. - Sydney Wildlife Mobile Care Unit, January 25th, 2020:

A few weeks on those residents living in the fire areas have been sharing ‘photos of hope’ that feature everything from wombats they knew coming home, baby waddling behind, to vastly diminished groups of wallabies and kangaroos returning to areas where they used to feed or find water, to images and videos of wildlife carers doing 2am and 3am feedings for babies after already putting in a 12 hour day/night.

Bottle time for this baby - Sonja Elwood photo

Bottle time for this baby too - Sonja Elwood photo

Trying to keep focused on what we can do has been the universal response.

Scientists estimate, conservatively, that around three billion animals, including 61, 000 koalas, were lost in the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires.

Pittwater, along with the rest of NSW, was filled with dense smoke from these fires for months with those with respiratory problems confined to living indoors for the duration - but at least they didn't lose their lives.

Cakes For Koalas Raises Over $400 

Local Avalon Groms raised over $400 in one and a half hours. 
Thank you to the locals for your support.

Photo by Adriaan van der Wallen

Avalon Beach SLSC Sends Waves Of Care To South Coast

A 10-day effort by the Avalon community and beyond:
  • - An estimated 360 cubic metres of goods delivered to communities in need.
  • - An estimated $14,000 of gift cards distributed.
  • - An estimated 250+ volunteers from the Avalon community and beyond sorted, packed, loaded and transported.
  • - 1000s of people donated goods and offered help.
  • - A Foodbank NSW semi-trailer delivered our goods to the Narooma Evacuation Centre.
  • - 28 volunteer drivers delivered 21 loads early in the crisis and directly into communities including Nelligen, Cobargo, Mossy Point, Bimbimbie and Batemans Bay. All came back moved by what they saw and people they met.
  • - 2 x 3000w Briggs & Stratton generators donated to families in need
  • - Provided 64,000 litres of water to refill water tanks for the residents of Nelligen.
  • - Multiple other donations at a more personal level to affected families.
Due to the fast pace of the appeal, it’s impossible to thank all those who have made it happen – you know who you are. While our big drive is over, our efforts to help the South Coast communities are not.

Modus Operandi Brewing Co. Busfire Fundraiser: 15k Realised

January 4, 2020
Thanks to our community, you legends have helped us raise nearly $15,000 yesterday in beer sales and tips. This is going directly to the good folk at Australian Red Cross and NSW Rural Fire Service. Thanks for sharing a beer with us yesterday at Modus, needless to say we are overwhelmed with the community response. 
Stay safe guys 
with love from all the Modus community and staff

The Green Team Bushfire Fundraiser Nets 20k

Our BANDS 4 BUSHLANDS fire fundraiser raised over $20,000 for NSW RFS, WIRES and The Salvation Army Australia disaster appeal. The event wouldn't have been so successful without the amazing help of the Park House at Mona Vale - thank you.

Massive thank you to all of the volunteers who made the event run so seamlessly! and to everyone who showed up/spread the word and donated. Huge thank you to all of the bands & DJ's; Doko Dominic Breen The Uplifting Bell Ends The Dolphin Show Scoot the Loot Carlos Avilés & Harry Sarin.

And another huge thank you to all of the brands that donated to the raffle - it was a hit!

Young Henrys
The Hemp Temple
Monster Children
BLAEK Design Studio
Elka Collective
Barney Cools
SAUCE swim
ZUBI cafes
The Critical Slide Society
Onboard Store
Adventure Reels
Natalie Marie jewellery
Chamber Cellars
Fishing Station
Morning Bay Boat Shed
The Boathouse Palm Beach
F45 Training Avalon
Childe Eyewear
Qudos Bank Arena

Also thanks to Upstate & Jameson Irish Whiskey
our awesome photos by Dylan Grant are uploaded to our page!

Rotary Club Of Upper Northern Beaches Bucket Filled With Funds For Firies

Thanks to the enthusiastic community spirit of our event partners, The Newport on New Year's Eve we were able to raise almost $3,000 for our local NSW Rural Fire Service brigades.

Bilpin Bushfire Relief Raffle

We are running this online raffle until the 18th of Feb. all the funds go through the HumaneSociety For Animal-Rescue, but we are personally locating people and organisations in the Bilpin area that are rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, finding out what resources and help they need and channelling funds to them. Plus, we are gathering names of tradies and suitable volunteers for working bees. 

There are some great prizes, they include one full day of building work (1 builder, 2 tradesman), a fully catered private ferry adventure, a cooking course, Patonga Boathouse Vouchers with ferry tickets and many more..

Click this link to buy tickets..

 Billy Bragg

To alleviate the horror, we all went to the beach or ran to the bush to check all was still intact there:

On their way to Kiddies Corner, Palm Beach. A J Guesdon photo

Robey, along with father Johnny Carter, has been conducting swim classes at Palm Beach Rock Pool over the past weeks - a school holiday program that always gets the big splash of Summer fun spreading among youngsters.  Each year they hold an Ironman-Ironwoman Competition at the close of the their Swim season. Photo by Bernadette Kelly - who was at Palm Beach early on the morning of Wednesday, January 22nd and sent in these photos of Robey Carter’s Swim Squad and Ironman Comp with the children there.

A cicada on a Sydney Red Gum in Elanora - what could be more Pittwater in Summer than that? Photo by Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA)

Sunshower through the valley - South Avalon Beach.  January 20, 2020 - photos by Adriaan van der Wallen

Hail at Careel Bay. January 20, 2020 - A J Guesdon photo

The Terrific Trio at Newport SLSC's Pool to Peak 2020 - On the beach at Newport this year was the lovely Michelle Myers, who was bookshelved by two nice gentlemen visiting here from the good old US of A and doing their first Aussie Ocean Swim even though one was flying out home just after the swim. Michelle explained that she met Peter Crosby (from NYC) and Ken Parstenek (San Francisco) at the Modern Elder Academy in Mexico this time last year.! - A J Guesdon photos

Bush To Beach 2020

While spending a day at the beach is part and parcel of Australian culture for so many; around 40 indigenous kids from Brewarrina, Bourke, Weilmoringle, and Goodooga far North West NSW are set to experience the ocean for the very first time!

From Friday 17th to the 20th January, the youngsters aged from 7 to 15, are discovering all that the beach has to offer at South Narrabeen; ably assisted by surf life savers and nippers from South Narrabeen Surf Club with support from North Narrabeen, Narrabeen and Collaroy Surf Clubs.  As well as competing in classic Nippers events and learning water safety, Manly Surf School will give the kids surfing lessons.

The initiative is part of the Bush to Beach programme, which was founded in 2006, gives indigenous kids a unique opportunity to learn and explore Sydney’s beach culture.  Made possible entirely by volunteer efforts, donations and sponsorship, the visit to South Narrabeen Surf Club will see around 1,000 meals being served and around 1,000 hours of voluntary work provided.

“The trip is a reward for school attendance and an opportunity for the kids to see that there is another world outside their own community and help develop confidence and self-esteem” said Bush to Beach founder Jack Cannons AM 

“Brewarrina and its surrounding areas, including, Weilmoringle, Bourke, Goodooga and other far West NSW towns are disadvantaged by location, droughts, floods and the extreme heat. Its worth noting that Brewarrina and surrounding areas currently do not have drinking water. The trip away provides the children with a special opportunity to explore new places, while learning valuable skills. The educational component of the trip teaches the kids water safety, CPR, basic first aid while making new friends among families from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.”Jack added.

The Aboriginal Support Group Manly Warringah Pittwater have been fundraising to buy water and then transport it to the town.

"With the help of donations from ASG members, we have been able to buy from Coles at Waratah, Newcastle 10Lt packs of water. ASGMWP members have bought 110 packs and Coles have donated another 20. So 130 x 10 is 1300 litres going to Brewarrina." Neil Evers of ASGMWP explained this week.

The water will be transported west by Brian Brown the Walkabout Barber, a Kamilaroi man from Coonabarabran.

Neil, a descendant of Bungaree of the Broken Bay peoples, always takes an opportunity to visit the South Narrabeen Surf Club when the kids come east and share local lore with them.

Beryl Driver OAM, that Mermaid of Palm Beach, has popped in a few times already too. Even when not on a Variety The Children's Charity B to B Bash Beryl will travel to Brewarrina, Bourke and beyond, that old Holden stuffed with treats and goodies.

The entire Bush to Beach weekend, including transport, outings, giveaways, accommodation, food, fresh fruit and drinks are all organised by the Bush to Beach Committee at South Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club, with support from generous sponsors. 

The Country Women's Association Manly branch has again provided lunch and afternoon teas for the group and have also made up "welcome packs" for the kids. Thank you to EcoDownunder, Random House, Malouf Pharmacy and the other local businesses and people who have supported their efforts. 

And most of all, of course - Welcome kids!

Some of the fun had on the beach (already raining - may as well get wetter!) and in the surf club yesterday - all images from Maryan Heffernan, Community Photography - thanks Maryan!

Pittwater's Spotted Gums - 'rain trees' finally getting a good drink - January 17th and 18th - photo A J Guesdon


The work of helping others continued - even as February 2020 brought its own challenges with local storms wreaking havoc:

Sydney Wildlife Sends Help To Kangaroo Island

Last week Sydney Wildlife volunteers ‘hi-jacked’ a private jet bound for fire-ravaged Kangaroo Island and filled it with everything from possum boxes to bird feeders, water-stations to joey pouches! And a large quantity of medical supplies provided by MediDivert (a system started by their own Anne Jackson where hospital items destined for landfill get diverted to those in need).

HUGE thanks to hard-working volunteers Lorraine, Margaret, Sarah, Anne x 2, the wonderful ARC and the pilot, Richard, ensured that all the supplies reached the RSPCA on Kangaroo Island where they will be disseminated around the island for use by wildlife in need.
Lorraine and Anne with MediDivert items.
Margaret with Anne and her husband who made these beautiful bird feeders possum boxes and dreys (nests for ringtails).
Loading up the jet with supplies for fire-affected wildlife in need.
RSPCA member at KI with Richard - the pilot of the jet.

Possum Bucket

In our Pittwater Online office grounds - one benefit of all this rain; possums among our plants!
This bucket was empty a few days ago...

Shark On Station Beach: NSW DPI

Pittwater Online contacted the department of Primary Industries (DPI) this week in relation to the shark on Station Beach - found Saturday February 8th, 2020. "NSWDPI fisheries officers were advised of one shark washed up on Palm Beach on Saturday." a NSWDPI Spokesperson said. "The shark is a 2.9m female bull shark. The cause of death is unknown.  A necropsy will be done at a later date to try and determine the possible cause of death." the NSWDPI Spokesperson stated.
Pittwater Online has requested the results of that necropsy be forwarded when the report is available.

More Bull Sharks Seen In Pittwater This Morning: Saturday February 15th, 2020

Pittwater residents might like to think twice about taking a dip at Clareville or off boats at this time. Apparently a paddle boarder at Paradise Beach was harassed by 4 Bull Sharks this morning. This report comes from a source we trust.

A dead Goat on Long Reef Beach, two cows on Patonga Beach with bite marks and a dead Bull Shark on Station Beach suggests that everything up the river has flushed out to Pittwater and Broken Bay.

Shark Sightings In Narrabeen Lagoon Reported

Council advised that a shark was sighted in Narrabeen Lagoon near Pittwater Rd bridge early on the morning, of Wednesday, February 12th 2020. Warning signs were erected. 

"Our Beach Services Team is investigating and warning signs are being erected at key points around the lagoon as a precaution." council posted on their Facebook platform.

The sighting follows on from a similar social media report posted on the weekend. That original shark footage, which appeared to show a dorsal fin breaching the waters in the lagoon just metres from the shore, sparked debate online. 

Most viewers were convinced it was indeed a shark, but others were sceptical and claimed the fin was more likely a floating tree branch or surfboard. 

It’s not the first time a shark has been spotted in the area. There have been 12 sightings in the Narrabeen/North Narrabeen area in the last four years, according to the Dorsal Watch, a website dedicated to sharing information about shark sightings.

Among them was a one metre bull shark reportedly spotted at the entrance of Narrabeen Lagoon in April 2016.

‘I saw its dorsal fin chasing a school of what looked like poddy mullet from where I was fishing on the sandbank,’ people told the Dorsal Watch website at the time.

The DPI stated then that aerial contractors had spotted ‘a large figure’ in deep water near Narrabeen shark nets but were unable to identify it, the website stated. 

The DPI Shark Meshing 2018/19 Performance Report records 'Narrabeen 11/03/19 Squatina albipunctata Eastern Angel Shark Alive & Released ' and  'North Narrabeen 28/04/19 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead Yes '.

The lagoon was opened up to the ocean prior to the weekend's heavy rainfall in a bid to reduce the impact of flash flooding on properties in the suburb. 

Photo by and courtesy Phillip O'Sullivan‎ posted on the 2101 Community Page - Narrabeen, North Narrabeen, Elanora, Ingleside

Ingleside RFB - Sunday February 9th, 2020:

On Mona Vale Road - big trees down just past Kimbriki and up to the Terrey Hills-Belrose run to St. Ives. This was in the early am:

12 Ingleside NSWRFS volunteers have been out today in the Northern Beaches area, mostly Narrabeen, Belrose, TerreyHills and Ingleside with flooding, trees down & wires down assisting the local #SES crews. Ingleside alone has had 200mm of rain since midnight Saturday night, with 175mm of that falling since 7am this Sunday morning. 352mm since Thursday evening.

Mona Vale Rd, Terrey Hills Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade photo

Sydney Academy of Sport, Wakehurst Parkway, Narrabeen Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade photo

Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade photo

Deep Creek Reserve, North Narrabeen Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade photo

Garden St, North Narrabeen Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade photo

Garden St, North Narrabeen Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade photo

Warriewood Wetlands And Beach

Irrawong waterfall at Warriewood on Sunday Feb 9 2020 - photo by Kelvin Anton Carlsson 

Irrawong waterfall at Warriewood, Warriewood wetlands on Tuesday  February  11 2020 - photo by  Margaret G Woods 

 Warriewood wetlands on Tuesday  February 11 2020, Irrawong end - photo by  Margaret G Woods 

 Warriewood wetlands on Tuesday  February 11 2020 - photo by  Margaret G Woods 

Warriewood wetlands on Tuesday  February 11 2020 - photos by  Margaret G Woods 

Biggest weed monster I’ve ever seen. Length of Warriewood and approximately 150m solid out to sea. - caption and photo by Adriaan van der Wallen, February 12 , 2020

Mackerel Beach

All photos by previous Artist of the Month, Nat Bromhead of Pittwater Photography

Palm Beach, Whale Beach And North Avalon: February 9, 2020

Roads flooded, powerlines down across roads, 24 trees down from Whaley to Nth Av. My kids counted them. Long drive home. - caption and photos by Adriaan van der Wallen, February 9, 2020

Palm Beach February 9, 2020 - photo by Geraldene Dalby-Ball

A forest on the beach. Surf looks good: Palm Beach. - caption and photos by Adriaan van der Wallen, February 14, 2020

Pittwater Estuary

A big thanks to the crews of BB20 and BB30 of Marine Rescue Broken Bay, for all their help looking after our Pittwater and Broken Bay waterways across last weekend - February 9 -10. Marine Rescue Broken Bay vessels were kept busy with multiple assists, including helping retrieve lost dinghies.

Wild conditions at at Salt Pan creek has seen a vessel come to grief in today's treacherous weather. Marine Rescue Broken Bay reminds all boaters to take care and if you do need to move your vessel, log on with Marine Rescue Sydney, wear your life jacket and when your at your destination, remember to logoff. MRBB Photo February 9, 2020

February 9, 2020: MRNSW crews are reporting 4-5 metre breaking waves inside Broken Bay and 3-4 metre waves at Parsley Bay on the Hawkesbury River.

Crews from Marine Rescue Broken Bay, Marine Rescue Cottage Point and Marine Rescue Hawkesbury have responded to numerous house boats, large cruisers and yachts that broke their moorings and were adrift in the Pittwater, Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River area.

A luxury bed and breakfast houseboat came adrift from near Sand Point on the eastern side of Pittwater, drifting to the western side before taking its own anchor again. A tug followed rescue vessel Broken Bay 30 from its Rowland Reserve base and is assisting, after some difficult manoeuvring, getting the houseboat back on its mooring. A big thanks to the Tug boat Kiera for their support.

MR Hawkesbury took a yacht reported adrift on the Hawkesbury River between the rail and road bridges near Brooklyn under tow, placing it on a mooring, while Port Jackson investigated a barge with a crane that hit the shoreline near Hunters Hill.

Bilgola Beach - Sunday February 16th, 2020 - photo by Joanne Seve

Palm Beach - Sunday February 16th, 2020 - photo by Joanne Seve

All the rest of the time Pittwater residents got on with the business of living the best life that you can by improving your skills, empowering yourself and finding out all you can:

SLS SNB Surf Boat Crews Going Off At Team Navy ASRL Open 2020 On The South Coast -  Australia Wins Trans-Tasman Comp.

Congratulations to Mona Vale winners of 2020  Team Navy ASRL Open in Under 19 Female division!

Although there is still one more day of racing, today, Sunday February 16th, 2020, and a full report won't be able to be run comprehensively until next Issue - wonderful sports, camaraderie, and support for the fire then flood ravaged South Coast has been the focus for the 2020 edition of the Team Navy Australian Surf Rowers League Open.

Australia has won the 2020 Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Test Series winning 11 of 12 races and including local U23 Trans-Tasman Male Crew from South Curl Curl of Brady Holland, Sam Lowery, Kris Martyn, Owen Sheather and Rob Lowery. This makes the eighth straight Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Championship title for Australian Surf Boat Teams.

brilliant photos courtesy of Malcolm Trees who kindly volunteers his time to take these incredible shots, have showed those not at Mollymook, or Long Beach, where Saturday's racing was moved to for safety, how local crews are going - and the live streaming - available here - has given those who want to follow all the action an opportunity to do so.

More next Issue. In the meantime - two great captures by Mr. Trees:

Team Navy ASRL Open 2020: Warriewood SLSC's Rustys - getting amongst it! - photo by Malcolm Trees

Team Navy ASRL Open 2020: Avalon Beach SLSC - spectacular  -  photo by Malcolm Trees

A Safe Time Had By All

Seniors enjoyed a stimulating and educational insights into how to safely enjoy the online world from Greg Gebhart of the NSW eSafety Commission. Mr Gebhart gave a presentation at Avalon Computer Pals on internet safety for seniors on Tuesday 18 February.

The event was organised as part of the 2020 Seniors Festival with a cohort of local Computer Clubs for Seniors joining to offer the presentation. Mr. Genbhart gave a presentation at Newport for AvPals in June 2019 along similar lines, so if you missed it you can find out more in:

Photos by Michael Mannington, Volunteer Photography.

Mona Vale Road East - Out Of Hours Work

Out of hours work will continue along Mona Vale Road and at the Samuel Street, Ponderosa Parade and Mona Vale Road roundabout. We will work between 8pm and 5am on the following dates, weather permitting:

  • Tuesday 18, Wednesday 19 and Friday 21 February
  • Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 February

If work is delayed due to wet weather, we will try and work a different night within the same week. We will notify residents living closest to the work if the dates change from the above.

At the Samuel Street, Ponderosa Parade and Mona Vale Road roundabout we will:

  • hammer and excavate the concrete islands located around the roundabout
  • remove the inside raised kerb and vegetation within the roundabout - the roundabout will function as normal
  • saw cut and trench across the road to do utility work
  • investigate existing utilities and take sample cores of existing road
  • deliver materials for construction work.

Between Manor Road and Mona Vale Cemetery we will:

  • remove rock material from the top of the existing rock cuttings
  • install temporary concrete barriers and screening
  • install temporary support for future drainage work
  • continue ongoing road maintenance.

We will use excavators with buckets and hammers, coring machine, bobcats, saw cutters, grinder, sweepers, lighting, rollers and light vehicles. A stop/slow arrangement will be in place with traffic controllers and signage directing traffic.

To minimise the impact of night work on residents, we do not work for more than two consecutive nights in the same area and will work only 10 days within the same month. If you are eligible for Alternative Accommodation you will be advised within 24 hours of the work.

Enquiries and registering for work updates

Please contact the community team for enquiries, feedback or any concerns you may have about the work.

Call: 1800 413 640 (24 hour number).
For more information:

If you need help understanding this information, please contact the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to call us on 1800 413 640.

Use of drone

A drone will be used during the last week of each month to take progress photos and assist with surveying the project.  The drone will remain within the project area.

Pittwater Online News' most recent photos of the MVR East Upgrade, taken on Sunday February 16th 2020, run as this week's Pictorial - commencing from Kimbriki end to Pittwater RSL end.

Also Available:


At the end of February, commencement of March 2020 Pittwater Online, alarmed at a perceived lack of action over a disease that was suddenly running rampant elsewhere and killing thousands daily, to the point of some nations medical systems collapsing, posted the following on the PON Facebook platform - the post was seen by over 160,000 people and shared thousands of times. 

To ram home the message we concurrently ran a History page, stating without varnish that early Europeans to this country brought diseases with them that wiped out much of the then present indigenous population in Pittwater and the Sydney Harbour basin, all of these brought in on SHIPS, the only way t then reach these shores. The sadness experienced when researching this page at the loss of a baby, just six months old, a child of Governor Darling, communicated facts already known. Visit  North Head Quarantine Station, Manly: Some History - Governor Ralph Darling Saved Australians Saved Australia


3 weeks ago: Italy: 821 cases
Now: Australia: 874 cases - Italy: 47K cases and 4032 deaths
As at 6.30am on 21 March 2020, there have been 874 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. There have been 165 new cases since 6.30am yesterday. PLEASE - practice 'social distancing' and stay at home if you can.

Photos; Italy's Trevi Fountain on Feb 29, 2020, Bondi on March 19, 2020, Graph shows the number of confirmed cases by notification date. Interpret the most recently reported new cases shown in the graph with caution as there can be delays in reporting.


By late March the Community News pages commenced a still present listing of Notices relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic that has not ceased yet.

Statement From The NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian

March 22, 2020
Tonight I will be informing the National Cabinet that NSW will proceed to a more comprehensive shutdown of non-essential services. This will take place over the next 48 hours.

Supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, freight and logistics, and home delivery will be among the many services that will remain open.

Schools will be open tomorrow, though I will have more to say on this issue in the morning.

I will update NSW tomorrow morning about the impacts and our plans following the National Cabinet.


However when it is a news service, you don't shut down - in fact, there is much more work to do, some of it to support what must be done, some of it to, hopefully, bring a much needed smile of relief to those impacted. In this regard this news service has been wonderfully supported by the community all year long. Contributors gave stories, images, and in Spring 2020, Joe Mills, Kevin Murray and Selena Griffith commenced photographing and sharing a series of Bush Walks in Pittwater and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park which gave those who cannot undertake such hikes due to age or physical disabilities, and those who must stay in isolation because they are vulnerable to catching disease, a much needed 'balm for the eyes' and lift for the spirits through visual splendours. 
Some of what they were preceded by:

Firefighter Family Day On The Water Initiative Supported By RPAYC And Broken Bay RMYC A Great Success

The Firefighter Family Day on the Water initiative was created by Above and Beyond Boating to provide a way for the boating community to give back to the dedicated fire fighters that have spent countless hours working to protect our homes, families, wilderness and wildlife from the terrible bush fires of 2019/2020.

Last weekend, Sunday March 15th, hundreds of volunteer firefighters and their families from brigades around Australia turned out for a fantastic day on the water with members of the boating community. Families arrived at event hubs for a BBQ in the morning before they stepped onboard a variety of boats, including active and cruising sailing vessels, and motor cruisers.

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay, at Newport, were both involved with members taking firefighters and their families out on the Pittwater estuary and bays for an enjoyable sail. On Pittwater, 45 boats were connected with firefighters and families to head out for a day on the water. 

At the RMYC BB only 4 boats with 4 fire fighter families ended going out on Sunday due to the weather forecast. There was 22 families registered to go out on 20 different boats. Anyone that cancelled will be rescheduling with their fire fighter families at a later date. The boat owners took them to a sheltered bay. Mostly the Basin & America Bay. RPAYC members and boats also took families out. 

The Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay, at Newport, stated this week;

"When Above and Beyond Boating reached out to the club to ask if they would assist with the with the day by acting as a HUB, we were more than happy too. The fire fighters have worked hard to battle the catastrophic bushfires which impacted Australia in late 2019 and early 2020. It was a great initiative by Above and Beyond Boating as not only was it a thank you to the Fire Fighters, but a great bonding experience with their families. "

Through the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, other guests enjoyed Pittwater. Mike Selbie, the owner of 'D-Euphoria' said this week;

"We had the opportunity to meet Ben and Amanda who joined us on D'Euphoria. Both are in Yerrinbool brigade and drove up from the Southern Highlands. Our day on the water was great fun, sailing to Barrenjoey headland, followed by a calm, sunny lunch in the Basin.”

Their guests, Ben and Amanda Todd, from the Yerrinbool brigade had this to say about the day:

"We can't be more thankful for the firefighter family day on the water. Thank you to all involved. It means a lot. We had so much fun. Last Sunday we were taken out with Mike and his wife, Lisa, on D'Euphoria leaving from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Thank you all involved and also to Neil for organising it."


Ben and Amanda Todd (guests), with Lisa Selbie (host) on the right. Photo by and courtesy Mike Selbie

Neil Driscoll, the Founder and Managing Director of Above and Beyond Boating, who established this charity event said it was amazing to see the boating community and volunteer firefighters come together for this day after months of preparation and discussions with multiple organisations to make it happen.

My wife and I started talking about this event after seeing the devastating fires and the impact it had upon the firefighters. We came to the conclusion that although people signed up to be firefighters, no one signed up for the fire events we’ve seen over the last summer. It must have just been horrendous for the families and our idea was to organise a day on the water to give the families a chance to reconnect”.

The pristine waterways of Northhaven (South Australia), Sydney Harbour and Pittwater (New South Wales), provided a perfect environment for a day of reconnection and relaxation for all involved.

Today almost makes up for all the days fighting fires” said Ravick Gomes, one of the firefighters.

Darren Vaux, President of the Boating Industry Association, said "A great day out on the water can make a positive and lasting difference to people’s lives and it was an excellent and appropriate way for our industry and boaters to show our thanks and support to firefighters and their families".

"We have no doubt that this will become a tradition as boaters continue to share the joy of the boating lifestyle to those who volunteer their time to protect their communities.”

Peter Lewis, the commodore of Middle Harbour Yacht Club, commented on the importance of this event to their club.

Its our little way of thanking those who do so much for us and we need to be supportive of this group of people who volunteer and save lives and property for everyone around Australia. We look forward to continuing this program.

Boat owner Jon Linton was one of the first people to sign up to this initiative after it was first announced. He welcomed a family of three onboard his boat Llama 2 for the day.

Today was a fantastic opportunity for boat owners across Australia to show their appreciation for everything the Firefighters and their families sacrificed to keep us safe. A fun filled day on the water for all has created a link between the two communities that will continue in the future.  Thank you to Above and Beyond Boating for giving us the  opportunity to show how grateful we all are to the real heroes”.

We were also able to organise a day for some entire brigades, Tina Courtenay was the (voluntary) project manager for the Brigades on Boats. Sea Sydney Harbour, Hoochie Mumma, Ozcat, Perfect Day Charters, Platinum Cruises, Sydney by Boat, Karisma Cruises, Charter Boat Central, Seabird Seven and Pete Johnson all generously provided their vessels and time for these complimentary charters.

The Balmoral Boat Shed also sponsored their entire facility for the day. The Telfords Bus & Coach company and CDC NSW kindly assisted some of the brigades attending the event with transportation to and from the event locations. 

This support allowed us to invite up to 400 additional firefighters to attend!

Some event Hubs decided to postpone their events ahead of the weekend, due to potentially unfavourable weather conditions, and not cause long travel distances for some families. However, the structure of the wider Firefighter family day event has allowed for the majority of the connected boats and families to arrange an alternative date to still meet up for a great day on the water.

Above & Beyond Boating would like to extend their thanks to all of the boat owners and charter vessel operators that have provided their boats, to the event Hubs, supporting businesses and all of the volunteers involved for their organisational support to make this event happen.

The Firefighter Family Day in numbers:

  • 150 FAMILIES
  • 122 BRIGADES

Families on boats

We are very pleased that volunteers and their families joined us from RFS and CFS brigades around Australia:

Albion Park, Aldinga Beach, Alpine/Aylmerton, Arkell, Awaba, Beacon HillBeechwood, BelroseBerowra, Birdwood, Blackwood, Blaxland, Blyth, Brookfield, Burnside, Cambewarra, Camden West, Carey Gully,  Casula, Catherine field, Cawdor, Chambers Flat, Cherrybrook, Clagiraba, Coal & CandleCobbitty, Concordia, Coomera valley, Cumberland Communications, Dalkeith, DavidsonDiamond Beach, Dora Creek,  Duffys Forest, Edinglassie, Edithburgh, Engadine, Farmborough Heights, Glenhaven, Goulburn Mulwaree, Greta, Grose Wold, Hawkesbury, Hermitage, Hornsby, InglesideJervois, Katoomba, Kellyville, Killara,  Ku-ring-gai, Kurrajong Heights, Laguna Brigade, Lake Macquarie, lobethal, Lochinvar, Loftus, Logan, Londonderry, Lyndoch, Lynwood Park, Mangoola, Marulan, Medlow Bath, Merriwa River, Middle Dural,  Mittagong, Morphett Vale, Mount Riverview, Mt Pleasant, Mulgoa, Mylor, Narara, Narellan, Oak Flats, Otford, Picton, Pumicestone, Roma Street, Rothbury, RFS CommunicationsRound Corner, Sandy Point,  Schofields, Seaford, Snowtown, South Katoomba, Summertown, Tailem Bend, Tea Tree Gully, Terrey HillsThirlmere, Tilligerry, Toorbul, Tumbledown DickTwo Wells, Valley Heights, Virginia, Wallacia,  Wallarah,  Warnervale, Wasp creek, Wentworth Falls, West Nowra, Westleigh, Willunga, Wingello, Wongarbon, Wyee Point, Yankalilla, Yerrinbool.

Photos, taken by Mike Selbie, show some of the boats that met up in Coasters Retreat. Thanks Mike!

A Day To Remember And Celebrate In Pittwater

Figure 5: ‘View in Broken Bay New South Wales. March 1788'. Courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. IE number: IE1113857. This is the earliest European depiction of Pittwater.

A Day To Remember And Celebrate In Pittwater
By Richard Pearse 

Late in a cold wet and stormy evening on the 5th of March 1788, 232 years ago, Governor Arthur Phillip and Lieutenant William Bradley, with a party of marines and boatmen, rounded West Head, entered into the Southern Arm of Broken Bay and sought shelter from the wind and rain. 

They had left Sydney Cove on the 2nd March to investigate the place that appeared to be a broken bay that was marked by Captain James Cook in 1770. They had found the bay that evening, named it Broken Bay, and began to assess its waters as a harbour and its land as a place for cultivation to support settlers..

As they sought shelter on the 5th in the Southern Arm they were welcomed by an old Aboriginal man and a boy. The man offered them a fire stick, then showed them water and a large cave in which they could be sheltered. Phillip decided the party would camp the night on ground near the beach which the old man helped them to clear.

Resolute Beach   -   Image: Richard Pearse

On the next day the party continued their examination of the Southern Arm in their cutter and longboat. They observed several of the coves on the Western shore where they found a good supply of water in streams which flowed into the bay and also observed some waterfalls. They  then crossed to the Eastern shore where they found many canoes with women and men fishing. Here they landed and were shown how women fashioned fish hooks by cutting and grinding shells. Here the members of the party - officers and marines - held hands with Aboriginal people on the shore and there was a careful examination by each of the other. William Bradley recorded these greetings and the view of the bay from where he stood on the shore in his painting in his painting of the scene 

Governor Phillip observed that the Southern arm, which he named Pittwater ,was “.. the finest piece of Water I ever saw ..” and judged “.. there are some good situations where the land might be cultivated.” 

The next day the party continued to examine other arms of Broken Bay and then returned to Sydney Cove on the 9th March.    

This year in 2020, 232 years later, Richard Pearse and Roberta Conroy, local residents and members of the Bayview Church Point Residents Association, retraced the movement of the party in Pittwater on the 6th March , the anniversary of the exploration of  1788. They report -

“”The weather was similar to that in 1788. The temperature was 24 degrees, the same as Bradley recorded in Fahrenheit on the same day in 1788.. 

As in 1788 the days before had seen gales and  heavy rain . but on the 6th  it was as sunny as it had been in the scene recorded by Bradley.

We travelled slowly under motor down the Western shore from Resolute Beach to Longnose Point. Much had changed! At Resolute Beach there were no Guringai people present but a party of teenagers swimming. The coves they saw are now the settlement on Mackerel Beach, the cabins at Currawong and the reserve and settlement at Coasters Retreat. But much thankfully is still the same. The hills and Portuguese Beach are as they were in 1788 thanks to the establishment of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

We crossed to the Eastern shore in search of the place which  Bradley had  recorded in his painting in 1788.                                                                                                                                                 

        Roberta comparing Bradley's Painting March 1788 with the scene March 2020 -  Image: Richard Pearse

There were no canoes or fishing people to be seen on this occasion, but we wove between moored yachts to the shore and met friendly local residents who were interested to know that Phillip and Bradley had visited this location two hundred and thirty-two years ago. They helped us to confirm that the scene Bradley had recorded in his painting was indeed created at the place now called Long Beach - the foreshore between Taylors Point and the Southern part of Clareville Beach. They felt happy to be living at the site where the first depiction of Pittwater was made.

The residents agreed with us too that this indeed was a day on which  the people of Pittwater should remember  and celebrate the first explorations of 232 years ago.

The account of the 1788 exploration is from Champion S., and Champion G. Journey to Broken Bay by Water:  2nd to 9th March, 1788, The painting by William Bradley is from  Bradley, William, A Voyage to New South Wales, facsimile edition,1969, Ure Smith, Sydney.

Scotland Island 

Photos By Bea Pierce

Scotland Island by Bea Pierce, Artist, Writer, Creator, Photographer - some beautiful images taken during a visit to see The Tempest by William Shakespeare on the island, which was given to the audience in the park - Neil Evers ASGMWP gave the Welcome to Country.

News From The Nesting Box: March 2020

It was a different kind of a year for our Pygmy Possum Project. More nesting boxes went up around the Bays and Northern Beaches, however, many were different homes for a greater range of fauna.


Once again it was our Feathertail Gliders in their regular boxes who kicked off the year. The residents of Rocky Point’s Box 17 remained in situ in January and never left again all year.


And Box 11 in South West Lovett Bay showed us just how cosy they can get in there!

But action in other areas was brewing…


Native bees pollinate our bushland. Most are solitary, however the stingless bee, Tetragonula carbonaria, is the only social bee found in the Sydney area.

For some time now a few Western Shores residents had been providing homes for these sugarbag bees with the Beaumont, Hoffman-Mace, James and Stevens-Didsbury households all supporting hives.


Last year renewed interest in these tiny social bees saw more native beehives going up in the Stidwill, Bulpitt and Cooney backyards.


Stidwill Beehive left and Cooney Beehive right

Now there is a move on to start a Beehive Carpentry Collective to develop a beehive that better mimics the wild hives and ensures that any hive split is able to be done with minimal damage to the bees and hive structure. We’ll keep you posted on developments in this area.


In March PPP Nesting Boxer and Balgowlah resident, Emily Fewster, kept watch over a Powerful Owls nest as part of the Birds of Australia owl monitoring program. To her great joy she both heard the 2 new chicks and then watched them fledge.


In May we hosted 3 committee members from the Mosman Parks and Bushland Society, Kate Eccles, Janice Haworth and Marg Woodforth, on Rocky Point and then gave a PPP presentation at the Society’s AGM. They had been successful in attracting a grant for their own nesting box project and were coming to grips with all the issues regarding placement, inspection and safety issues. The nesting boxes in Wyargine Reserve are now up and survived the recent storm, as did the bat flats at Sirius Cove. The Society is still considering the use of infrared cameras to detect movement as the boxes are all in public reserves where cameras may prove just too tempting. However they do have an inspection camera!



Local Newport Primary teacher, Mrs Rosser, had a problem. She wanted her Year 4 class to engage in a practical project but she needed some ideas. 9 year old Mali Stidwill smartly volunteered her father Ryan.

Local builder Ryan and his work mate Dominic Walker decided to develop a Build your own Nesting Box Kit for the kids to put together boxes and place them in the school grounds.

The guys thought through the issues of skill levels, safety, and engagement, and then cut raw plywood into the pieces needed; cut the entrances, drilled the holes and assembled the six boxes. Then they disassembled the boxes and set off for Newport Primary with their ‘IKEA’ pack, a big power drill, 6 screwdrivers, screws and protective resin.


The class was divided into 6 groups all tasked with building a nesting box. Every student had a turn on the tools including the power drill. The end of Day 1 saw 6 complete nesting boxes awaiting the final touches.


On Day 2 they glued paper leaves to the boxes and put a protective timber stain over the top. Once dry the students peeled off the paper leaves revealing the glowing plywood underneath, which was further coloured according to personal tastes.

On Day 3 stick ladders, made from twigs the student had collected, were installed both inside and outside the boxes and the 6 finished boxes were put up in the trees inside the school grounds.

The kids were ecstatic. The teacher was thrilled. And the school was extremely proud of the achievement. A big congratulations to Ryan and Dom for this wonderful nesting box initiative. But they wouldn’t be the last…


In April Towlers Bay resident Bronwyn Gould noticed a dying tree on her property. Rather than cut it down she decided to have it re-shaped as a Habitat Tree.

The finished tree now sits comfortably within her front garden and houses a fascinating array of homes for owls, other birds big and small, possums, gliders, antechinus, microbats and an army of wood-loving invertebrates.


The homes include hollows carved out of the trunk with entrances for smaller fauna


Ladders up and down the tree, and boxes with perches and large entrances.


Watching on was her neighbour Edwina Dusseldorp. With a dead tree on the public reserve boundary next door to her cabin Edwina rang Northern Beaches Council, discussed the public liability issues, and suggested they use the opportunity to create another habitat tree. And they did! A big tick to our Northern Beaches Council.


After commissioning a few nesting boxes Edwina decided that the rest should ideally be sourced locally so she went to talk to neighbour and shipwright Mick Cardiff. Mick’s 16 year old passed on the opportunity but not twelve year old Tom.

Congratulations to Tom for his work and we will be watching his future moves with interest.


On May 1 Jennifer Cook opened the hatch of her yacht, Waltzing Matilda, and out flew a microbat. The tiny bat flew to the next boat and seemed to find its cabin just as suitable!


Box 4 in Elvina Bay seemed to attract a lot of hopefuls

As did Box 17 on Rocky Point


But this hopeful just had to be dreaming…


Not only did Box 11 provide us with the cutest photo of the year it has also provided us with an eye-wateringly frank account of the sex life of Freddy (not his real name) the Feathertail Glider.

If you feel these pictures might offend you - return to your desktop now. We don’t want any complaints about sending sexually explicit material over the Internet.

For those of you who remain interested - this is a visual record of 66 days of activity captured by our cameras around Box 11. The star of the show, Freddy has provided us with a personal and at times emotional account of this time in his life.



There was something in the air that night                 So I thought I’d check in…


…a little further                                                          Too soon apparently.



It was early days but always worth a shot                               So I yoohooed


We could become endangered any day…                         They said it was still too early



There was a lovely moon outside this night So I invited them all to have a look…


…in person                                                          They didn’t have to shout



I thought I heard someone calling me                 Naturally I quickly responded


But still not permitted inside                               They were really quite technical about it



This day I had a brainwave                                  I should have thought of this before


Not even a thank you                                            They said I was puffing and should exercise



Crouching Tiger                                                     Downward Dog


Caterpillar Crawl                                                  Goanna Leaping


A pretty impressive routine actually                   But not according to those inside that box



So I went back and offered more leaves              Yes! Leaves coming up


Inside the box!                                                      And out again in less than 2 seconds

I ask myself - is it worth it?



More leaves?                                                       You can never have enough leaves



Actually I think you can have enough leaves     It’s getting difficult to squash them in



Mustn’t forget my exercises                                  Noisy Miner swinging


Scary Cockatoo                                                   Moon-walking



It’s been days since I last asked                           Oh my! The language!



Just checking in again                                      I don’t think they know what they want



The Glider with the moves is back                        I’m doing The Frisk…


I’m doing The Stretch                                            But still no reaction…


At this stage I have completely run out of ideas

DAY 66: NOVEMBER 28 - 3.32am - 4.02am


Just for old times sake I asked one more time      And all of a sudden it happened


One minute it’s a twosome                                  Then a threesome


Twosome again                                                      On the move


On the wire                                                            Acrobates pygmaeus living the dream!


Could have been a foursome. Who knew?           On the move again

And then all of a sudden it was over. But gee it was fun…..

And that’s the Nesting Box News for the last year - sensible, sober, and scientific as always!

A big thank you to all our Nesting Boxers who continue to provide homes for fauna delivering essential ecological services to the bushland; and to those who support us.
Until next year…

Lesley Stevens and Judy James


In April, apart from running the local news, a series of what else you can do was commenced, example: Collector's Corner Stargazing In Pittwater: An End Of Daylight Savings Pastime - The 2020 CWAS David Malin Photography Awards Are Now Open and Artists of the Month April 2020: Australia's Great Online Collections In State Art Galleries, Museums And Libraries With local and national galleries, museums and libraries, along with the great exhibitions they curate and then host closed at present an online tour of the great Art within these institutions is one way we can keep supporting and celebrating all they seek to share with Australians.  As many of these have invested in sharing their works online, all digitised, many are available for people to take a virtual tour of. This month a little about these with links to where you can spend happy hours dwelling in their wonderful collections, and Pittwater COVID- 19 Food Outlets Restriction Responses: Take Away from Restaurants and Cafes and Grocers and Food Available From Local Outlets  Local food suppliers and cafes and restaurants are currently adapting to social-distancing requirements and the closure of public spaces to large gatherings. Listed this week are those that have food you can order for take away or delivery and also those who supplied these outlets who also have food available to purchase and Birding at Home in Pittwater: April 2020 and  Children's Rainbow Trail in Pittwater: April 2020

As well as continuing the Pittwater Online News 'History Project' in its broad swathes as well as commencing filling in some details - example; Harold Tristram Squire: October 28, 1868 - May 16,1938; Artist of Mona Vale

April 1st 2020 also signalled the commencement of our 10th year of operations; not bad for a little community digital Notice Board run on hope, fortitude and coffee fumes alone. As more and more events shifted to an online format we were well placed to share information on how to do that!

The Profiles of the Week commenced a series of local community people rolling out what those of us not severely impacted through losing a job or put at risk by poor health could do for others, and included, as examples: 

  1. #ViralKindness Northern Beaches Teams Up With #MyStreetSupport Northern BeachesMyStreetSupport a strategic ‘street by street’ social safety net initiative which has been rolling out throughout the Northern Beaches in Sydney, is available as a free national resource for people all over Australia to help them set up their own street support network during the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Sydney Wildlife Waratah Park Rehabilitation Facility: 2020 Update NB: During the current COVID-19 'stay at home' safety measures volunteers are still working to rescue, care for and rehabilitate our wildlife. If you find any animal needing help please call the Rescue/Advice line on 9413 4300.
  3. Profile The Link Community Food Care Programs: Care Hamper, Lunch Box and Food Care 

It is interesting to note, from the middle of December 2020, that when Pittwater Online News gives 99.9% of any income generated back into the community it is usually allocated to current projects such as youth focused initiatives, surf clubs, environment volunteer works etc. In 2020 the bulk of all funds raised was spent on FOOD for those in our local communities who were going HUNGRY. May, June, July and August were peak months with, literally, thousands of dollars of basics being sent into various places via online shops, but every month since has been big in need too, especially as we head towards Christmas.

And of course, we are blessed to live in a beautiful place. As one friend remarked as we went to press with this last Issue for 2020; 'I started 2020 thinking of all I wanted - I end 2020 being thankful for all I already have.'

A few snippets:

NSW Police Marine Area Command Coordinates Five Cruise Ship Operation

April 4, 2020
The NSW Police Force Marine Area Command is leading the largest maritime operation undertaken in Sydney Harbour to coordinate the provisioning and crew movements of five cruise ships.

‘Operation Nemesis’, assisted by the Port Authority of NSW, has been working closely with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to safely coordinate the return of the ships to their home ports.

Following several days of planning, Spectrum of the Seas entered the port of Sydney about 4.30pm yesterday (Friday 3 April 2020), guided by a marine pilot, and anchored at Athol Bay to re-provision essential supplies, including fuel, food and medical materials.

It was joined by Radiance of the Seas which entered Sydney Harbour after 5am today (Saturday 4 April 2020).

More than 600 crew members, who are Foreign Nationals, were moved between the two ships in numerous tender operations, before both ships departed NSW waters to return to their home countries just before 2pm.

A third ship – Celebrity Solstice – entered Sydney Harbour just after 2pm, and a further two ships – Voyager of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas – are scheduled to enter the harbour later today.

A further 780 crew members will be transferred in multiple tender operations this evening, before the remaining three ships depart.

A total of five Australian crew members remain on the ships.

Marine Area Commander, Superintendent Steve Hegarty, said the operation has been planned and executed by the Marine Area Command.

“NSW Police has been instrumental in facilitating the movement of more than 750,000 tonnes of shipping through the Port of Sydney over about a 30-hour period,” Supt Hegarty said.

“It will be the largest peace time maritime operation undertaken in Sydney Harbour and has relied on the cooperation of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and the Port Authority of NSW to ensure its success.”

Further information will be available at the conclusion of the operation.

Ruby Princess Update

April 3, 2020: NSW Health
To date there have been 342 confirmed cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in NSW in passengers who all acquired their infection while on, or in some cases, possibly before boarding the Ruby Princess cruise.

Transmission of COVID-19 amongst these passengers could not have been prevented by NSW Health staff. No cases of COVID-19 were identified on board the ship before it docked.

The vast majority of these passengers reported they did not develop symptoms until after leaving the Ruby Princess.

All passengers were advised to self-isolate for 14 days following disembarkation, which NSW Health has confirmed was provided by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.

Probable secondary transmission has been limited to 11 confirmed cases as of 3 April.

International experience shows COVID-19 can rapidly spread among passengers if left on board, so self-isolation at home is a much safer option than leaving passengers on board.

NSW Health had prepared plans in the event COVID-19 being identified on a cruise ship.

On this particular voyage, it was known that influenza activity had been identified on the ship.

The Ruby Princess was assessed as low risk, based on the level of illness on board, the negative COVID-19 tests done on passengers while in New Zealand, and the positive influenza tests done on a large proportion of the passengers with influenza like illness.

The risk assessment process recognised that there is no “no risk” setting for COVID-19, but balanced the level of risk against the benefit of removing passengers from a cruise ship on which the virus could be circulating.

Rapid influenza tests identify only a proportion of people who actually have the infection, meaning some people return a negative result even though they are infected with the flu. The illness and test results identified on board was consistent with influenza.

This is reflected in email correspondence between NSW Health and the ship’s doctor on the Ruby Princess who confirmed influenza was circulating on the cruise. However, in two sick patients referenced in the email, although they had tested negative to influenza, the cause of their respiratory infection was consistent with influenza for which they were receiving treatment.

The reasons for ambulance transport requested by the treating doctor to NSW Health’s assessment panel, were, one passenger had a heart condition likely caused by an infection which was responding to influenza treatment, and the second passenger was suffering severe lower back pain but was also receiving treatment for flu.

Under the Commonwealth Department of Health cruise protocols, an ILI outbreak is defined when ‘more than one per cent of the ships total passengers and crew have an influenza like illness’.

The Ruby Princess had 2647 passengers and 1148 crew. The ship reported to NSW Health there were 104 acute respiratory infections of which 36 people had presented to the ship’s clinic with influenza like illness during the cruise and its numbers fell short of the definition of an ‘outbreak’.

The Commonwealth Department of Health protocol on managing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19 risk from cruise ship) states “provided there are no concerns about the COVID-19 risk profile of the ship or suspected COVID-19 cases reported …the ship may be allowed to continue voyage while samples are tested”.

RFS Commissioner Fitzsimmons To Lead New Resilience NSW Agency

April 6, 2020
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the creation of a new NSW Government agency, Resilience NSW, which will drive world-leading disaster preparedness and recovery approach for the NSW community.

This follows Commissioner Fitzsimmons’ retirement after decades of service in the RFS, including 12 years as its leader. 

Ms Berejiklian said NSW is proud of Commissioner Fitzsimmons’ role during the recent bushfire season and for his outstanding service over many decades to the RFS. 

“The NSW community has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of many disasters – bushfires, drought, flood and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We know the next six months will be very difficult but we must already turn our mind to recovery. 

“Through Resilience NSW we will re-double our efforts to prevent, prepare and recover from crisis which impact NSW.” 

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said he was honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of NSW in this vital new role, and to work alongside the leadership of the state’s combat agencies.

“Resilience NSW will lead the whole-of-government prevention, preparedness and recovery effort. It will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“There was never a more important time to make sure that communities devastated by drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 are getting the help they need to rebuild and recover.” 

Be A Lifesaver - Stay Home This Easter

Thursday April 9, 2020: From Surf Life Saving NSW
Surf Life Saving NSW is urging the public to stay home and away from beaches and the coastline over the Easter long weekend.

Thousands of Australians traditionally head to the beach at Easter. But with many NSW beaches closed due to the threat of Coronanvirus and no volunteer lifesavers on duty, the message from surf lifesavers these Easter holidays is “be a lifesaver – stay home”.

The Easter long weekend is historically one of the most dangerous periods of the season for NSW coastal drownings. Last Easter almost 500,000 people visited NSW beaches. Surf lifesavers and lifeguards were on duty and performed 324 rescues and 20,000 preventative actions. Tragically, two lives were lost in NSW over the Easter long weekend last year.

Surf Life Saving NSW brought forward the end of the 2019/20 patrol season in support of the Government’s advice to stay home, social distance and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission - and to reduce the chance of volunteer lifesavers being exposed to the Coronavirus while on duty.

Hazardous surf conditions are forecast for most of the NSW coast from Saturday 11 April through to Monday 13 April. Large and damaging swell is forecast to impact the majority of the NSW coastline. 

People who do visit the coastline, particularly rock fishers, are urged to be extra vigilant. Although beach patrols are cancelled, surf Life Saving NSW emergency response services remain on standby along the NSW coastline to respond to Triple-Zero emergency calls.

Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales said supporting the Government’s efforts to slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission and keeping surf lifesavers safe, were the priorities. He said that when the red and yellow flags aren’t flying, it simply isn’t safe to swim.

“We know that the Easter long weekend is synonymous with getting outside and enjoying the coastline. But this weekend we’re sending Australians a strong message to listen to the Government’s social distancing warnings and stay off the beach,” said Surf Life Saving NSW President, George Shales.

“Volunteer surf lifesavers across NSW will not be on duty and patrolling as usual,” added Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman. “Many of our most popular NSW beaches are closed due to COVID-19 and we’re urging anyone who doesn’t heed the warnings and visits the coast to be extra vigilant and to call emergency Triple-Zero if they see anyone in distress in the water.

“We have emergency response teams on standby right across the coast that include jetskis Offshore Rescue Boats, Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) and drones (UAVs) that will remain on standby and ready to respond to any coastal emergency.

“We all need to play our part and stay safe. This Easter our message is really simple; be a lifesaver – stay home,” Wiseman said.

Visit or download the Beachsafe App, for beach closure information.

Since 1 July 2019, 34 people have drowned on the NSW coastline.

Hazardous Surf Conditions Safety Tips
  • Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches/rock-shelves
  • Don't swim at unpatrolled beaches. See the Beachsafe Website for patrolled locations/times
  • Check the official Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecast before undertaking rock fishing and water activities
  • Boaties should seek advice from Marine Rescue NSW and always wear a lifejacket
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency dial Triple Zero – Police

Bear Hunt In Postcode 2101

Elanora Heights Community Preschool is asking our neighbourhood friends to visibly place a teddy bear in their window, so that children can ‘Go on a bear hunt’ in their car or as they walk along the footpath. We’re hoping this creates the ability for children in our community to develop positive and treasured memories during this difficult time.

We encourage you to share our group with local friends and families to help spread positivity and a sense of togetherness in our community. 

Our community has many young children with a new daily schedule to spend more time at home and we’re hoping our neighbours can help us in supporting young children through this experience by creating a new adventure in the community while also remaining at a physical distance. 

We’re asking our neighbourhood friends (2101) to visibly place a teddy bear in their window, so that children can ‘Go on a bear hunt’ in their car or as they walk along the footpath.  We’re hoping this creates the ability for children to develop positive and treasured memories during this time. 

- Spot a bear whilst in the car or walking on the foot path. Take a picture and share your excitement with us in this group. If you have Instagram we’d also love you to tag us @elanorapreschool (Please don't knock on doors just look with your eyes.

- Practice safe physical distancing. If you spot another ‘bear hunter' remember to keep a safe distance (1.5 metres) from each other.

- Remember we can't go over it, we can't go under it! 

- Share the bears you’ve spotted throughout the neighbourhood and the street name, but not the house number. Please try to keep the exact bear location a surprise for other ‘bear hunters’

Share our page with your neighbours or print out our flyer as a letterbox drop invitation to invite your neighbours to participate.

- Remember to have fun and stay safe.  We're not scared!

Your friends at Elanora Heights Community Preschool

ANZAC Day 2020 Services Cancelled

There will be no ANZAC Day Commemorative Services conducted by Palm Beach, Avalon Beach, Narrabeen and Pittwater RSL's this year. Some Sub-Branch members are speaking about whether it will be feasible to stream Dawn Services online - Pittwater Online will bring you updates as they come to hand.

There is a community groundswell for everyone to walk to the end of their driveways at 5.55am on the morning of April 25th and hold a light aloft to honour those who have served and continue to service our country in the Defence Forces of Australia.

Ross River Fever Alert

The West Pittwater Community Association reports that a tradesman working on a building site on Scotland Island recently received a positive test result for Ross River fever.

A second tradesman working on the same site has presented with the same symptoms (not yet tested).

Medical personnel have asked for the local community to be informed and for residents to take preventative measures against mosquito bites and to remove potential breeding sites from around the home such as ensuring water tanks are covered and stagnant water is removed.

Ross River fever is caused by a viral infection, transmitted through mosquito bites.

What are the symptoms?
Many people who are infected with the virus will never develop symptoms.
  • Some people will have flu-like symptoms that include fever, chills, headache and aches and pains in the muscles and joints. 
  • Some joints can become swollen, and joint stiffness may be particularly noticeable in the morning. 
  • Sometimes a rash occurs on the body, arms or legs. The rash usually disappears after 7 to 10 days. 
  • A general feeling of being unwell, tired or weak may also occur at times during the illness. 
  • Symptoms usually develop about 7-10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. 
  • The majority of people recover completely in a few weeks. Others may experience symptoms such as joint pain and tiredness for many months.
Prevention relies on avoiding mosquito bites.

For more information:

Precaution: Need To Reduce Risk Of Ross River Fever At Narrabeen And Warriewood

April 30, 2020
Council is advising people around the Narrabeen Lagoon and Warriewood Wetlands to take extra precautions against exposure to mosquitoes after Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus were detected in mosquitoes collected at Deep Creek in late March. Ross River virus was also detected from mosquitoes collected at Warriewood Wetlands in early April.

Council together with NSW Health have been proactively trapping mosquitos in the Northern Beaches region since December 2019 in six potentially high risk locations. The program is aimed at monitoring local mosquito activity, to identify if arboviruses are present and what measures can be taken to reduce risk.

Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus spread by mosquitoes to humans. Detection in mosquitoes in the Deep Creek and Warriewood Wetlands indicate the virus’ are present.

Mosquito populations will decline with cooler weather but people should remain vigilant by taking measures to avoid mosquito bites. The risk to the general community is considered low but the risk is greater in areas with a high number of mosquitoes and marsupials present such as bushland and wetland areas.

The community is advised to follow these steps to protect from mosquito bites:
  1. Wear loose-fitting long sleeved shirts and long pants when outside especially around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Take special care during peak mosquito biting hours, especially around dawn and dusk.
  2. Wear mosquito repellent to exposed skin using brands that contain either DEET or Picaridin.
  3. Remove potential mosquito breeding sites from around the home by removing stagnant ponding shallow water from saucers, buckets, etc. Mosquitoes like to breed in shallow stagnant water.
Please see the NSW Health factsheet for further information:

Ross River Fever in Pittwater was not the only disconcerting news circulating - Monika's Doggie Rescue was about to be inundated with people seeking a furry companion while elsewhere people frightened they may contract Coronavirus from their dog were, apparently, dumping them. Although Pittwater Online did not make any appeals to people to think twice about this, the news service did run a suggestion without saying it out loud - from Issue 444 - and apologies to all who are tired of seeing photos of the Editor's dog:

Giving Our Dog A Bath

This story is about giving our dog a bath. Her name is Matilda Mae BooseBop Gumley-Guesdon. She is a Sydney Silky Terrier, born December 2nd, 2016, which makes her 3 years and 4 months old now.

Matilda was only very little when we first saw her, on Boxing Day 2016, so we had to wait until the middle of January 2017 before we could bring her home - and then she still needed lots and lots of puppy milk for months to grow up big and strong. 

Silky Terriers are usually quite dark when babies and they get lighter in colour as they grow up.

This is her the morning after we first brought her home:

This is her as a puppy with one of her first toys:

This is her chewing on my fingers as a puppy:

This is the first time we took her out to eat - she had a burger, down at the Beach House on Avalon Beach, and loved it - as you can see, she was still only one handful then:

This is her around 16 weeks of age - she likes playing 'chasings' with leaves - a gum leaf, a Norfolk pine leaf - any old leaf will do - whatever falls into our yard!:

This is Matilda on her first birthday in 2017 - we did all the things she likes, a run in the park, a nice breakfast, lots of cuddles and tummy rubs, a long game of chasings, a burger for dinner - we let her just be a dog and do dog things, even rolling around in mud are ok because we can give her... a bath!:

Matilda ('Tilly') is a very social dog and likes to come along to any story we're covering for Pittwater Online News. This is Tilly among the Avalon Bulldogs A Grade team as they try to do their warm-ups; she is giving as many as possible a good luck lick - and yes, that day and that match they won!:

This is Tilly with The Green Team - they said I could take their photograph as long as they could give Matilda a cuddle - she'd already given them all a lovely puppy kiss:

She's pretty involved in everything going on around here - when she gets the chance - and LOVES little boys and girls, who she also makes smile and laugh!

So, to give her a bath, we take off her collar and put the water on into the bathtub.

This is the look Matilda gives when I tell her she's going to 'have a bath' - although she looks a bit upset, after the bath she feels so much better with all that dirt and mud she has rolled in lately washed off:

'Are you sure you need to give me a bath?' - you can almost hear her saying:

When we're giving her a bath we have a special washcloth that is hers to sponge her with - this is also good for wiping around her eyes as it gets the muck off that builds up around there and also you're unlikely to scratch your puppy dog with your fingernails if you use a washcloth or sponge. We also make sure the water temperature is just tepid - not too cold, not too hot, and not too deep - just over her furry little knees is ample for depth:

Her specialist dog doctor (called a 'Veterinarian') also spoke about using a good shampoo that won't irritate her skin when she was very little - soap and shampoo for humans can irritate your dog's skin, so we buy this one - it takes us about a year to get through the whole tube and most importantly, Matilda likes it as it isn't highly perfumed. We did try another type to start with but it reeked of something sweet and she would go out and roll in the mud immediately to 'get that stink off'. 

While Tilly is having her bath it's a perfect opportunity to give the hairs which grow longer around her eyes a bit of a trim to stop them bothering her or hurting her eyes:

As you can see her expressive look of 'get me out of here' persists through the dog washing process:

Once she has been shampooed and conditioner added then rinsed out, we give her a good towel dry and put a heater on for a little while for her to sit in front of so she doesn't get a chill. We also give her a few treats to get her to sit there for a little bit:

Tilly likes running around after that, will jump up onto the couch so she can rub her fur and roll around in cloth to dry herself off even more - even rolling around in her dog bed beside my desk here:

And then she's ready for a brush to get some tangles out - just like we give her a brush after rolling in leaves to get them out - and then it's back to her usual dog occupations - sitting by my side, sniffing around the garden or telling us it must be getting near time for her dinner:


Autumn In Pittwater 2020

Sunrise on Wednesday April 1st, 2020 from the southern end of Turimetta Beach.  Photo by Joe Mills

Joe says: ''With Coronavirus in play I have to keep social distancing, so for a few mornings I will have to give up Narrabeen Rock Pool.  But blessed with this display.  Only 2 other people on the beach.''

One of the Kookaburra Fledgling triplets this week - just before take off. A J Guesdon photo.
Cassia (Senna pendula). Also known as Senna and Arsenic Bush. Originating in South American, Cassia is a perennial sprawling multi-stemmed shrub or tree up to 5m tall. 

This weed replaces native vegetation and establishes in a wide range of native plant communities, including coastal heath and scrubland, hind dunes and riparian corridors. The large seed pods are eaten by birds and other animals. You may be seeing this bright burst of yellow everywhere as it is currently flowering - please pull out and get rid of if you have in your garden.

Some Pictures from Outdoors and Indoors by Various Residents: done safely, of course - what's blooming in our reserves and who has been creating great Art?

A Message From The Kelly Sisters:

Photo by Joanne Seve

The Great Hat Parade By Tamara Sloper Harding OAM On Social Media - Just To Cheer Everyone Up!

Photos by whichever child is closest at 'The Hat Lady' hat post time of day/night - NB: Tamara does not have an endless amount of hats, hers is a creative life and many are changed with band colours and flowers being interchanged on good basics - a few examples of those that have been giving everyone a lovely smile and a few giggles - and no, her thousands of friends haven't seen the 2020 Easter Bonnet....yet....;

The Hat of the Day is a Burgundy Cloche made of felt with a velvet band and rosette. It was purchased when I was 20 ( a very very long time ago) as I jogged past David Jones in the City on my way home from work. 

The Hat of the Day is a Camel Felt. This one was discovered in the Vinnies shop in Nelson Bay!

The Hat of the Day is an extremely unattractive yet protective helmet style head dress. Could do with some flowers or feathers but it is pretty heavy to wear as it is. Definitely not one for wearing outside the house but perfect for iso.

Some School Work Online Art

Petronella van der Wallen's inspiration for a Lino print; she copied the headland her dad Adriaan's painted with his interpretation of "Indian Head" North Avalon, as part of a work set from Barrenjoey High School Online Learning. Wonderful stuff!

Great Skies And Serene Bays

Photos by Adriaan van der Wallen

Autumnal Coloured Fungi On Bangalley

Photos by Shells Massage, Avalon 

Along The Many Flowered Bush Tracks

Photos by Selena Griffith

Anzac Day In Pittwater 2020: Candles, Crosses And Online Commemorative Services

Left to right: Vice President of Avalon Beach RSL Tamara Sloper Harding OAM, Robert Johnson, Director of Johnson Brothers Mitre 10, former NSW Police Snr. Constable Lisa Hewitt, President of Pittwater RSL and Pittwater Woman of the Year 2017, Deborah Carter, Lieutenant Commander Ryan Carmichael RAN Retd.

Thousands of families paid their respects to those who have served and serve still at dawn and in 9am and 11am street events for Anzac Day 2020.

Plans to mark the day despite the closure of public spaces and bans against gatherings commenced in March with RSL NSW encouraging all Australians to honour the service and sacrifice of our brave servicemen and women past and present, but in a different way than we are used to.

“Traditional dawn services and marches are just not possible this year” said RSL NSW Acting State President, Ray James. “But during these difficult and uncertain times, it is vital that we stay true to our values of mateship and camaraderie; that we honour our service personnel and show our ANZAC Spirit.”

In support of these qualities, RSL NSW joined other State Branches of the RSL in encouraging Australians to stand together even though we’re apart, by taking part in a collective Dawn Service, standing at the end of your driveway or on your balcony at 6am on ANZAC Day and ’Light Up the Dawn’, while Pittwater’s own James Morrison called on all musicians to sound their bugles, trumpets, cornets, horns, saxaphones, flutes and drums with the Last Post and Reveille. 

This initiative saw children making Anzac Day themed art to place on their homes and fences, Lisa Hewitt of Avalon Beach was helped by a team of people to make white crosses to place at driveways, and ended up making 927, those helping including Therese Rushby, of Mater Maria Warriewood for the first 150 crosses, then all her cross makers; Michael Dick, Ian Squires, Daniel Elliott and Chris Elliott, Marty, Eli, Hugh and Rachel Mulholland, Craig, Samantha Womersley, and Mishy, Kelly Lee Schott Ryder, Sonny and Tex, Annie Finn, Dianne Cutrie and Eliza Cutrie and Rebecca Billing painting, and her daughter Ellie Woollard for nailing over 200 crosses together for. 

Attached to these were knitted and crocheted poppies knitted by people from all over our area with Tamara Sloper Harding OAM, of Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch organising the sound of many crochet and knitting needles flying and getting these to Lisa. 

These crosses were then distributed through her own home, Cocoa Bar at Newport and the Bilgola Delicatessen, with Lisa asking for a $10 donation to be put towards PTSD Veterans. Some even went to rural areas where Lisa, supported by our community, had done a Christmas Hampers Food Drive in December 2019:

Cumnock RSL Gates lined with the beautiful crosses sent from the amazing Lisa Hewitt and her community- We cannot thank you enough an we love and appreciate the time and effort put into this project.. a million Thank you's from Cumnock - photo by Rhonda Watt 

The Johnson family of Johnson Bros Mitre 10, partnered with the Avalon Beach and Pittwater RSL Sub Branch’s to get local households to light up the dawn this ANZAC Day by providing over twenty thousand free candles available to pick up from their Mona Vale and Avalon Beach stores.

Looking at a way to show his respect this Anzac Day and to participate in the RSL’s “Light Up The Dawn” campaign, Michael Jonson was initially looking at personally supplying candles to his street in Mona Vale. 

“In the end, it didn’t feel like I was doing enough” said Mr Johnson, a Director of Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. After speaking with his brothers, the family agreed to the business providing a more substantial amount free to the community – 20 thousand candles. To make sure that it was done in a respectful way, Michael reached out to the Avalon Beach and Pittwater RSL Sub-Branches. 

Michael Johnson, Director of Johnson Brothers Mitre 10

In addition to their support, the sub-branches also generously volunteered some of their funds. The candles were distributed across the Northern Beaches by the sub-branches and available for free pick up from Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Avalon and Mona Vale and came with a flyer detailing how to participate in the RSL’s “Light Up The Dawn” campaign. 

The result was that over twenty thousand candles could be lit up on Saturday morning from this distribution alone.

At 9am in Warriewood a lone bagpiper marched through the suburb, bringing families to within cooee of each other.

The Scotland Island and offshore community Anzac Day service that has been running for more than 40 years went ahead with Ian White MCing an Anzac Day Service at 11am that was live streamed. Local trumpeter Harley Ratcliff played The Last Post and Reveille. 

Also at 11am WWII Veteran and Pittwater RSL ‘Living Treasure’ Tommy Knox of Bangalow Avenue Mona Vale jumped aboard his motorised scooter to do a one man parade down the street for the residents, with bagpipe player Toby Forde, playing. Organised by his grandchildren, the 95 year old was cheered and thanked from the kerbside by residents. 

A little about Tommy from the 'Pittwater RSL 'Living Treasures' booklet and photos from his Bangalow Street Mona Vale Parade - organised by his granddaughters : - photos by Michael Mannington.

Born February 9, 1925 
Service No. 1823036 
Royal Air Force - Warrant Officer. 
Bomber Command, Parachute Instructor 
1939-1945  Star with Bomber Command Clasp; France and Germany Star; 
1939-1945 War Medal; GSM Palestine; Legion of Honour (France) 

I was born in Scotland, and at the age of 18 years, enlisted in the Air Force in 1943. I served in the UK and Palestine. I trained as a flight engineer at 4 School of Technical training in South Wales. I joined the crew at 1657 Conversion Unit at Stradishall, Suffolk. The crew consisted of two Australians, two Canadians, two English and me. We moved to 149 Sqn Lakenheath, Suffolk on 15 March 1944.

We were flying Stirlings on special duties. First op was on 31 March 1944, mining Frisian Islands, subsequent ops included bombing, more mining and low level moonlit trips to supply the French Resistance fighters. I transferred to 199 Sqn in September 1944 when 149 converted to Lancasters. 199 did diversionary raids over Germany – we took on another crew member to operate the special radio jamming gear. We did our last op on 11 November 1944, having completed a tour of 40 trips. The crew split up. Posted to 30 M.U. at Sealand, Cheshire as a Draughtsman. The war in Europe finished when I was there and I decided to have a go at parachuting, so after doing a PTIS course, I did my first jump from a balloon in February 1946 and finished up training paratroopers in Palestine. I demobilised on 23 February 1947.

With son Tom

With Piper Toby Forde

Tommy passing the Twinami family (on ute)

From Narrabeen Lagoon to Elanora and Bilgola Heights and out to the Palm Beach, candles, poppies, wreaths laid at all RSL cenotaphs and crosses as well as original made tributes demonstrate that Pittwater Remembers them.

Calls for photos to be sent in to be part of this years coverage have been accompanied by comments such as: 

Thank you to whomever it was playing the last post - heard Heath St MV

The echoing last post from the neighbours houses! Hauntingly beautiful! Careel Bay

I was on a boat moored at Paradise beach and there was a bugler on the wharf was so beautiful with people standing outside their homes. Very special

The turn out this morning on Ocean Street Narrabeen was so heartening to see

To the trumpet player on Kalang Road this morning – you were outstanding, thank you!

Quite haunting waking this morning to the sounds of the birds then to many locals playing the last post. It echoed around our hillside like a round (Elanora Heights). Different players slightly out of synch. I heard cornets, trumpets, clarinet, bugle, sax, trombone, and a bagpipe! I love when community displays creativity and solidarity and this morning was one of those magical moments. Lest we forget.

It is one we will talk about forever.

At Clareville - photo by Janet Forrester 

At Lisle Street, Narrabeen - photo by Sandra Lee Walsh 

Roger Sayers' grandson Josh played the Last Post at 6am Newport - photo sent in by his very proud grandfather

At Palm Beach - photo by Sally Akehurst

Driveway Light Up the Dawn at Mona Vale - Mark Horton - 'On my chest to the left of the other medals is the Greek Commemorative medal awarded to my father Pat Horton' 

Nullaburra Rd Newport Memorial - photo by Sue Evers

Neil Evers giving Welcome to Country, Nullaburra Rd Newport Memorial - photo by Sue Evers

Reading The Ode, Nullaburra Rd Newport Memorial - photo by Sue Evers

Neighbour recounting her father's war experience, Nullaburra Rd Newport Memorial - photo by Sue Evers

Avalon Beach SLSC members, Bilgola Plateau- photo sent in by Roger Sayers

''Neighbours from 3 households on Barrenjoey Rd Newport'' - photo by and courtesy of the Ealbers family.

Donna of Avalon Beach, Anzac Day 2020 -  photo by Joanne Seve 

So strong an impact has the Light the Dawn and Sound the Last Post, and Reveille throughout all streets been that many have expressed a wish for a similar Marking of Respect at driveways and outside homes next year as well, even with a return to Commemorative Services at Dawn and 11am. 

Our state and federal representatives have marked the occasion too - from The Hon. Rob Stokes:

Anzac Day will be very different this year – but the Anzac spirit is as important as ever.

The world is in a struggle, and communities across Australia are united in an effort to combat COVID-19.

As we pause to reflect, we remember the sacrifice of all those, past and present, who have put themselves at risk to protect our way of life and the freedoms we enjoy.

Anzac Day is always a special day where we can thank our veterans, and it’s also an opportunity for veterans to stay connected with each other.

Whilst this will be more difficult this Anzac Day, always remember how valued you are, and how grateful our community is.

Lest we forget.

Rob Stokes MP
Member for Pittwater 


Jason Falinski – MP for Mackellar:  


We join together today to commemorate and pay tribute to those who have loyally and devotedly sacrificed their lives in all the conflicts of war, to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today.

Never in the 105 years since the Allied forces landed at Gallipoli on what is now known as Anzac Cove, have Australians been asked to summon the stoic resolve, courage and fortitude displayed by these soldiers in our current fight with an unseen enemy.

It is well known that the Allied mission to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany, was tragically met with failure. With an underestimation of the Ottoman military potential and a sense of superiority among the Allies, just before dawn on this day, in 1915, Australian and New Zealand forces landed on the shores of Gallipoli.

The half-light of dawn was favoured, a time when troops were awake, alert and manning their weapons, known as the ‘stand to’. What began as a bold strike ended in a devastating and bloody stalemate that lasted for eight long months.

56,707 Allied troops lost their lives, including 8,709 from Australia and 2,721 from New Zealand, with 302,000 Allied casualties and 250,000 from the Ottoman Empire.

This was the first campaign of the First World War that led to major casualties for our troops, and the defeat had a profound effect on people at home, becoming a symbolic day on which we remember and commemorate our war dead. It has been considered that this event was the beginning of Australian and New Zealand national consciousness.

Nowadays, ANZAC Day goes well beyond the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1915. It is a day on which we remember and pay tribute to all Australians who have served and died in the various theatres of war, past and present. It has become a symbol for values which Australians so highly treasure; those of mate ship, courage, sacrifice and stoic duty.

Our commemorative services date back to the first Anzac Day in 1916, organised by Queensland Canon David Garland as a non-denominational commemoration by the whole of society, and the date 25th April was then etched in our history. Despite interest waning in the 1960’s and 70’s, Prime Minister’s Hawke and Howard were staunch supporters of the importance of remembrance, and today we are particularly pleased to see younger Australians embrace with reverence and respect, those who have paved the way before us, defending the life we so highly cherish.

Dawn services, the playing of the Last Post and two minutes of silence are a powerful moment for Australians of all cultures and age groups to reflect on the strength and values of those who served. Marches allow troops and later generations to wear the medals of service and bravery and to honour family who so selflessly protected our freedoms.

Lieutenant Colonel and later Turkish President Kemul Ataturk, who oversaw the Ottoman forces at Gallipoli, delivered these words at a memorial in 1934, to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the battlefields.

You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries, Wipe away your tears.
Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace
after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

Today we stop and turn off our busy lives, reflect on the sacrifice of others, pause to consider those around us and how we can serve, and find within ourselves the stoic strength of character to endure our current crisis.

The inscription on the wall of the Sir John Monash Centre in the grounds of the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in northern France perfectly sums up the heritage of ANZAC.

It reads,

Anzac is not merely about loss.
It is about courage and endurance, and duty, and love of country,
and mateship, and good humour, and the survival of a
sense of self worth and decency in the face of dreadful odds.

To all the men and women who have served our nation, there is little we can say that fully reflects our gratitude and our debt to you, because of you we live in a free and fair nation. In a world where right is might, not the other way round, and so instead we simply say: Lest we Forget.

Delivered via video posted online on ANZAC Day – screenshot from video of Mackellar MP Jason Falinski

Avalon Beach RSL Sub Branch also organised an online Service for Dawn, prefaced by:

We cannot be with each other this year for Anzac Day so the Sub Branch put together this service with some beautiful memories of years past in Avalon. Thank you to Michael Maley, Robbie Adams, Ryan Carmichael, Lynn Murphy, Sam Shaw, Phil Ivey, Sacred Heart Primary School, Lisa Hewitt and all the ladies who made the poppies.

Samantha Shaw sang a wonderful rendition of 'Hallelujah' for the Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch virtual Service - behind her, Pat Flynn played the Last Post and Reville on Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach for surrounding neighbours

Some Of The Wonderful Tributes Photos Sent In – Our Sincere Thanks To All Who Have Contributed To The 2020 Version Of Anzac Day In Pittwater:

Anzac day in Kalinya Street Newport ‘ Was very moving.... with many out in quiet huddles, as the sound of the last post reverberated... - Photo by Jim Langford.

Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach - Dick Harris
Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach - the Harding Family with a special tribute to Commodore Graham Sloper AM RANR - passed away on the evening of December 4, 2016
Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach - the Marsh family
Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach - Lisa Hewitt and neighbour Stuart

Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach

John street, Avalon Beach – Brian Friend OAM wearing his Uncles (my father's brother who was in Changi prison) medals. ‘’They were given to me by the family as he could not have children. I wear them with pride for a man who died too young.’’

Elaine Avenue, Avalon Beach - the Tiernan family:  their son is an Army Reservist and Cadets Volunteer at Dee Why, and their daughter is a cadets member of 201 Cadets Unit at Dee Why.

Photo by and Courtesy Debbie Tiernan

Elaine Avenue, Avalon Beach - the Menage family
Warren Young OAM and sister Rosalind Carr, Avalon Beach

Chalk Drawing at Warriewood – photo and creation by Kara Sargent and family + 9am one of our residents is walking our street with bagpipes with everyone standing on their driveways. We live in an estate in Warriewood with about 35 ish townhouses. Photos by Kara Sargent

Anzac Day at Whale Beach – photo by Christine Roberts
Ariel Moss Anzac Day Dawn Service, Avalon Public School Senior Band   - photo by Mel Moss

At Newport Beach - photo by Sonja Elwood
Kalinda Hawson Avalon Beach SLSC Anzac Day 2020
Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach - photo by Joanne Seve
Anzac Day at Careel Bay - Carter Family Tribute.


Seal At North Avalon Beach

Avalon Beach has been visited by an Australian fur seal in recent days, fishing! - this great video by Mike Stanley Jones of Avalon Beach SLSC, shares one of the wonderful aspects of living here.


Pittwater Steers Clear Of New COVID-19 Infections With Lots Of Testing

by Miranda Korzy

Pittwater has once again steered clear of any further confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week, which combined with its high rate of testing has led to optimism about eradication of the virus in the area.

No new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the area extending from Palm Beach to Narrabeen Lagoon and inland to Terrey Hills – roughly coinciding with the former Pittwater Council area – since April 9, NSW Health statistics showed yesterday. 

And in data released by the government department for the first time this week, the number of tests carried out in the area between January 29 and April 29 totalled 2,487. 

Sydney University Associate Professor of Epidemiology Ying Zhang said that the testing rate for the Pittwater area was high - given the small population - which would bode well as social distancing was relaxed.

“If you have a higher rate of testing and can exclude those who are affected, you can reduce rates of transmission,” Prof. Zhang told Pittwater Online News on Friday.

“And no new cases for 20 days means it reduces the risk. 

“Even though there are people coming out of and into the area (for work), the overall national and state risks are low at the moment.”

In NSW, 3,031 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed with 43 deaths while 2,300 patients have recovered, NSW Health reported yesterday.

And national records yesterday showed 6,783 confirmed cases of the virus, with 93 deaths and 5,789 patients recovered. A total of 611,583 tests have been carried out across the country.

However, one COVID-19 patient remained at Northern Beaches Hospital in a stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said on Saturday.

Fortunately, they were not in an ICU ward and did not need a ventilator, she said. 

No further COVID-19 patients had been admitted since last Saturday although the hospital was carrying out approximately 200 tests for the virus each day.

Associate Professor Zhang warned that it would be at least six months before life could return to “normal” and in the meantime, everyone would need to follow social distancing rules.

“I feel positive based on the evidence we have,” she said.

“I think there’s going to be a step by step process to maintain what we have achieved in the battle against this virus.”  


The Whales Are Back!

Residents report having seen the first Humpback whales heading north this week. Wonderful news!
The first ones were seen off Mona Vale, Bilgola and Avalon Beaches last Sunday, May 10th, and then more have been spotted during the week from Palm Beach. Some were even being spotted of Whale Beach on May 2nd.

It's time to dust off your binoculars and head to your favourite headland lookout or vantage point to enjoy these wonderful creatures on their northerly migrations.

Postcard Pen Pals! An Opportunity For Older People To Reconnect

Jett Butcher is ready to send postcards!

Last month Pittwater Online News ran a Notice regarding one of the great initiatives commenced locally to connect generations.

Called 'Postcard Pen Pals', the Northern Beaches Dementia Friendly Community, in collaboration with Your Side Australia, were seeking a way to bring young and old together again through an intergenerational pen pal program. 

''We are looking for kids and older people who would like to send and receive postcards in the Northern Beaches.'' the Notice read

''You will receive a free Postcard Pen Pals pack with postcards, stamps and envelopes for letters. You will also receive the first name and a short biography of your pen pal.

We are also looking for some creative kids who would like to help us design the postcards!''

Some of the great art for these postcards runs below this Issue but now it's time for step 2.

In a time where older people are required to social distance, the Northern Beaches Dementia Alliance and Your Side Australia have developed an intergenerational program to reconnect older people with our community through a Pen Pal Project.

The Postcard Pen Pals Project matches older people over the age of 65 with children and young people under 18 in the area. Participants are provided with everything they need to write to each other including beautifully designed postcards, envelopes, stamps and a short biography introducing them to their new pen pal.  

Many of the postcards have been designed by local children. 

The Northern Beaches Dementia Alliance have been running intergenerational programs with schools and aged care facilities since 2018 but had to cancel all face-to-face programs as a result of COVID-19. 

Ilsa Bird, the project manager for the Postcard Pen Pals Project says, 

“Because we are unable to deliver our programs right now, our desire is to create intergenerational connection while still maintaining social distance. We want children to rediscover the lost art of written communication outside of digital mediums and provide an opportunity for older people to share their life story and wisdom with our kids. It is about bringing joy and being excited to receive a postcard in the mailbox.” 

Jett Butcher is a 9 year old local boy and is getting ready to send his first postcards. 

He says, “I’m looking forward to writing postcards because it will show people that someone is thinking about them and that will make them happy.”

The program organisers are currently seeking older people in the community and aged care homes to become pen pals with local children in the Northern Beaches. 

If you are over 65 and you would like to become a pen pal with a local child, or if you would like to register on behalf of someone over 65, email 

Here's a few examples of the great art work you may receive:

Storm Swell: May 2020

A deep and complex low pressure system is bringing large southerly surf to exposed parts of the New South Wales coastline. This low is expected to linger in the region over the next few days before slowly moving away to the east.

Surf conditions with waves exceeding 5 metres in the surf zone, are likely for exposed coastal areas of the South Coast, Illawarra and Sydney Metropolitan districts during the remainder of the weekend. These conditions may produce localised damage and coastal erosion to these areas. Coastal areas exposed to a southerly swell will be most susceptible. Beach conditions in these areas could be dangerous. The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a gale and wind warning.

Snow has also been falling across the Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains since Thursday night and these icy conditions are set to persist for most of this week, with the BOM forecasting temperatures in Sydney averaging from 12 to 18 degrees.

On Friday the first of the large sets of waves being driven by winds against the coast arrived with the dawn, inspiring experienced surfers to take to and test out their favourite spot. However even those familiar with how the water moves at their beach found the conditions too extreme with many not making it out the back through the large breaking swell and returning to the sand.

By lunchtime Friday the wind was still strong and the waves breaking from just beyond the headlands, making a white wash all the way in to the beach-ocean edge but slightly smoother although lumpy in places waves out the back or just off reefs. Residents at Avalon Beach were stoked watching multiple World Champion surfer Kelly Slater catch 10 foot - 3 metre waves at Little Avalon - this great video posted on Facebook by Zac Miles, VID HERE, showing one of the clearest captures of this regular in action. Mr. Slater hadn't surfed Avalon for a while, and broke two boards in the process, but was still happy enough to spend time talking with local 'groms' once he came in. The local youngsters weren't the only ones thrilled with him being among the crew, older residents (their dads?) stating it was a 'bit of a treat to see the legend in action' here again.

All day Saturday the combers rolled in, with people sharing photos of BIG waves towering over oceanfront rock pools or breaks that were working well and those catching a few waves. The rides weren't as long on some beaches as they were on others, but the drops from the lip at places like North Narrabeen meant this swell is only for a handful of the proficient with the right equipment.

A few captures from South Avalon headland taken mid afternoon, low tide, yesterday - the 4th or last, 5th wave in these sets was the one caught:

This gentleman was the only one still out at Little Avalon - the 10 or so surfers then out at Avalon Beach were out beyond the pool at South end - a fair way out. These two shots, half a second apart, indicate the size of the waves via the size of the human.
A few more wave indicators:

Some Sequences

Mona Vale Road Upgrade: The Machines Helping Build The Road – For Younger Readers

Excavator with rock hammer attachment 

This is a story about the road-building machines we included in last Issues’ Pictorial. Some of our younger Readers have asked us ‘but what’s that one and what is it used for?’ so it seems best to put it all in a page for you. We didn’t get ALL the machines being used – but here’s some insights into those we did, and a bit more, for those who want to know more.

The contractors doing the work state, via regular updates to the community, they are using excavators with rock hammers, backhoes, tipper trucks, small cranes, hammer drills, a roller, street sweepers, chainsaws, light vehicles and light towers.

First, as we know you may not be interested in the History page series currently being put together and near completion on Pittwater Roads and Street Names (and where they came from as part of roads being built to homes when all this area was changing from being paddocks and bush into suburbs), a little about the History of roads themselves.

Some believe that some roads originated from following animal trails – animals that may have been moving in large herds to and from places where they ate, for instance, grass during Summer and then moved across a large tract of land to eat berries, elsewhere, during Winter. The Icknield Way may exemplify this type of road origination, where human and animal both selected the same natural line. 

The Icknield Way is an ancient trackway in southern and eastern England that goes from Norfolk to Wiltshire. 

By about 10,000 BC human travellers used rough roads/pathways. The world's oldest known paved road was constructed in Egypt some time between 2600 and 2200 BC, however Stone- paved streets appear in the city of Ur in the Middle East dating back to 4000 BC and Corduroy roads (log roads) are found dating to 4000 BC in Glastonbury, England.

Another ancient road is the Sweet Track, a timber track causeway in England, stated by many to be one of the oldest engineered roads discovered and the oldest timber trackway discovered in Northern Europe. Built in winter 3807 BC or spring 3806 BC, (tree-ring dating – dendrochronology – enabled very precise dating), it was claimed to be the oldest road in the world until the 2009 discovery of a 6,000-year-old trackway in Plumstead, London.

The proverb ‘all roads lead to Rome’ makes us think about all the roads Romans (Italians) built as from about 312 BC, the Roman Empire built straight strong stone Roman roads throughout Europe and North Africa, in support of its military campaigns. At its peak the Roman Empire was connected by 29 major roads moving out from Rome and covering 78,000 kilometers or 52,964 Roman miles of paved roads. So, as you can see, all roads did, literally, lead to Rome.

In the 8th century AD, many roads were built throughout the Arab Empire. The most sophisticated roads were those in Baghdad, which were paved with tar. Tar was derived from petroleum, accessed from oil fields in the region, through the chemical process of destructive distillation.

The Highways Act 1555 in Britain transferred responsibility for maintaining roads from government to local parishes. This resulted in a poor and variable state of roads. To remedy this, the first of the turnpike trusts was established around 1706, to build good roads and collect tolls from passing vehicles. Eventually there were approximately 1,100 trusts in Britain and some 36,800 km (22,870 miles) of engineered roads. The Rebecca Riots in Carmarthenshire and Rhayader from 1839 to 1844 contributed to a Royal Commission that led to the demise of the system in 1844, which coincided with the development of the UK railway system.

The Great North Road near Highgate on the approach to London before turnpiking. The highway was deeply rutted and spread onto adjoining land.

In the late-19th century road engineers began to cater for cyclists by building separate lanes alongside roadways, and to install fauna bridges for wildlife - which will occur on the Mona Vale road as well.

Road design is part of highway engineering. Structural road design is designing a road for its environment in order to extend its longevity and reduce maintenance. The Shell pavement design method is used in many countries for the design of new asphalt roadsides. In structural road design, the main considerations consist of soil parameters, parameters (thickness and stiffness) for the other road foundation materials, and the expected number of times a standard load will pass over. The output of the calculation is the thickness of the asphalt layer.

Road construction requires the creation of an engineered continuous right-of-way or roadbed, overcoming geographic obstacles and having grades low enough to permit vehicle or foot travel, and may be required to meet standards set by law or official guidelines. The process is often begun with the removal of earth and rock by digging or blasting, construction of embankments, bridges and tunnels, and removal of vegetation (this may involve deforestation) and followed by the laying of pavement material.

Example: Layers in the construction of a mortarless pavement: A.) Subgrade B.) Subbase C.) Base course D.) Paver base E.) Pavers F.) Fine-grained sand – diagram by and courtesy KDS444

Processes during earthwork include excavation, removal of material to spoil, filling, compacting, construction and trimming. If rock or other unsuitable material is discovered it is removed, moisture content is managed and replaced with standard fill compacted to meet the design requirements (generally 90–95% relative compaction). Blasting is not frequently used to excavate the roadbed as the intact rock structure forms an ideal road base. When a depression must be filled to come up to the road grade the native bed is compacted after the topsoil has been removed. The fill is made by the "compacted layer method" where a layer of fill is spread then compacted to specifications, under saturated conditions. The process is repeated until the desired grade is reached.

All that means a variety of road building equipment is employed in road building to do the different kinds of work involved. As stated above, they are using excavators with rock hammers, backhoes, tipper trucks, small cranes, hammer drills, a roller, street sweepers, chainsaws, light vehicles and light towers. We’ve also seen some bulldozers, some of which have been adapted from tractors! 

Here are some you may spot while driving up the Mona Vale road while it's being made wider and bigger, 'upgraded', at present.

Excavator With Rock Hammer Attachment 

An excavator is a hydraulic machine used in construction mainly used for digging holes, foundations, and trenches. It is more powerful and efficient than any other diesel-powered heavy construction equipment.

Because they are versatile, they come in different sizes: standard, midi, and mini. Standard excavators are used for bulk transportation and heavy lifting. Midi excavators are used for heavy workloads in an isolated area. Mini excavators are compact, making them great for smaller job areas that require trench-digging, stump removal, and light demolition.

The excavator is not only used in the construction industry but also in forestry and mining as it is quite versatile. If given the right attachments, this machine can be used for demolition, dredging rivers, handling materials, and lifting. Most of you would have seen one of these with what's called a 'bucket' - although these buckets don't look like those we may use in the garden fort watering plants or when washing the car. these ones look like this:

The rock breaker attachment is used to break concrete, rock, or asphalt. Sometimes called a hydraulic hammer attachment, this is like a larger jackhammer. It is used for road repairs, demolitions, landscaping, and trenching. It breaks hard surfaces with the use of 1,000 pounds of impact energy. The 'flushing', 'cooling' and 'lubrication' applied by water for the surface of the bit is very important to ensure the normal working of the bit during the drill bit running.

You can also see that this excavator has what is called a 'track' wheel base instead of tyres, a bit like a tank. Tracks instead of wheels allow the machine to move over all kinds of terrain, some of which would be difficult for a machine with wheels to negotiate.

Excavator With Bucket

Excavators are heavy construction equipment consisting of a boom, dipper (or stick), bucket and cab on a rotating platform known as the "house". The house sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheels. They are a natural progression from the steam shovels and often mistakenly called power shovels. 

A steam shovel is a large steam-powered excavating machine designed for lifting and moving material such as rock and soil. It is the earliest type of power shovel or excavator. Steam shovels played a major role in public works in the 19th and early 20th century, being key to the construction of railroads and the Panama Canal. The development of simpler, cheaper diesel-powered shovels caused steam shovels to fall out of favor in the 1930s.

Otis excavator, 1841

All movement and functions of a hydraulic excavator are accomplished through the use of hydraulic fluid, with hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors. Hydraulic excavator capabilities have expanded far beyond excavation tasks with buckets. With the advent of hydraulic-powered attachments such as a breaker, a grapple or an auger, the excavator is frequently used in many applications other than excavation. Many excavators feature a quick coupler for simplified attachment mounting, increasing the machine's utilisation on the jobsite. Excavators are usually employed together with loaders and bulldozers. Most wheeled, compact and some medium-sized (11 to 18-tonne) excavators have a backfill (or dozer) blade. This is a horizontal bulldozer-like blade attached to the undercarriage and is used for levelling and pushing removed material back into a hole.

This one can be seen moving 'buckets' of dirt

Water Truck

Water trucks are made especially for use in the civil, councils and landscaping industries. The water truck works by being a water storage unit that can hold water for dust control, cleaning and wetting purposes on construction sites through spraying the ground with water canons and cab operated batter sprays. Water can also be used in different applications through hose reels attached to the water truck.

Water trucks are a vital part of most big construction operations.  Water trucks come in a range of sizes and designs, with larger trucks able to haul as much as 36,000 litres!

Grid Roller

This type of roller is generally a towed unit, and provides high contact pressure but minimal kneading action. They are typically used for the compaction of well-graded coarse soils and weathered rocks, often in subgrade and sub-base road projects.


Graders are commonly used in the construction and maintenance of dirt roads and gravel roads. In the construction of paved roads, they are used to prepare the base course to create a wide flat surface upon which to place the road surface.

A road grader or a motor grader, is a construction machine with a long blade used to create a flat surface during the grading process. Although the earliest models were towed behind horses or other powered equipment, most modern graders contain an engine, so are known, technically erroneously, as "motor graders". Typical models have three axles, with the engine and cab situated above the rear axles at one end of the vehicle and a third axle at the front end of the vehicle, with the blade in between. Most motor graders drive the rear axles in tandem, but some also add front wheel drive to improve grading capability. Many graders also have optional attachments for the rear of the machine which can be ripper, scarifier, blade, or compactor. In certain countries, for example in Finland, almost every grader is equipped with a second blade that is placed in front of the front axle. For snowplowing and some dirt grading operations, a side blade can also be mounted. Some construction personnel refer to the entire machine as "the blade". Capacities range from a blade width of 2.50 to 7.30 m (8 to 24 ft) and engines from 93–373 kW (125–500 hp). Certain graders can operate multiple attachments, or be designed for specialized tasks like underground mining.

In civil engineering, the grader's purpose is to "finish grade" (to refine or set precisely). The angle, tilt (or pitch) and height of the grader's blade can be adjusted to achieve precision grading of a surface. The "rough grading" is performed by heavy equipment or engineering vehicles such as scrapers and bulldozers.

Graders are commonly used in the construction and maintenance of dirt roads and gravel roads. In the construction of paved roads, they are used to prepare the base course to create a wide flat surface upon which to place the road surface. 

Front End Loader

A front-end loader is a tractor with a large, hinged bucket mounted on the front at the end of a pair of jointed arms, for scooping and loading earth, gravel, debris, etc. Front end wheel loaders are one of the most versatile machines in use today, having a diverse application across agriculture and construction industries - such as in building a road.

They are used to move materials into or onto another type of machinery (such as a dump truck, conveyor belt, feed-hopper, or railroad car). There are many types of loader, which, depending on design and application, are called by various names, including bucket loader, front loader, front-end loader, payloader, scoop, shovel, skip loader, wheel loader, or skid-steer.

The major components included in a loader are the engine (diesel in almost all cases), the hydraulic components (such as pumps, motors and valves) and the transmission components (gearbox, axles, wheels/tracks, pumps, motors, etc.). The engine runs both the hydraulics and the transmission, and these in turn move the front attachment (a bucket, forks, sweeper, etc.) to manipulate the material which we are handling (sand, gravel, cereal, manure or anything else) and the wheels or tracks to move the machine around the jobsite.

So that's a few of the big machines doing all that work along Mona Vale road at present - very interesting stuff, and we'll bring you more as the project develops; a page or pages of before and after photos to do comparisons would be interesting, as would some more of those machines or how they're doing all the work to build a road. There's also a wealth of information you can find to see how roads were built in the past. The New South Wales Department of State Archives and Records has thousands of old photos of road building done here from the past, one example from their files:

Main Road 397 - Looking west across northern end of Narrabeen Lagoon. [Wakehurst Parkway], September 1946

There is also the NSW Roads and Maritime Department has some great videos of past road builds as well.

Roads And Maritime's YouTube Channel

Finally, it’s good to know we’re not the only ones interested in all this road-building, landscape changing information,. Did you know the the NSW Roads and Maritime holds an extensive archive of historic films related to road building projects.They are in the process of digitising this archive, and publish the films on our YouTube channel as they become available. Visit:

Here’s a few old examples that we think you may like – the Construction of the Great Northern Highway from Hornsby to Hawkesbury River (1928) and Testing of Bascule Span for Spit Bridge over Middle Harbour (1958). There is a Pittwater Online History page on Roads To Pittwater: The Sandspit Punt and Spit Bridge as part of that Pittwater Roads series, which shares some insights as well.

This first is a silent film but it shows you how much has changed around here and gives you views of the terrain around that wonderful old bridge up the Hawkesbury. A few years ago a Pittwater Online News History page on the Hawkesbury Bridge was run to celebrate the 70 year anniversary of he second Hawkesbury Bridge, and there's a video on that embedded as well on that page.

Construction Of The Great Northern Highway From Hornsby To Hawkesbury River (1928)

Testing Of Bascule Span For Spit Bridge Over Middle Harbour (1958)

Also Available:

History Insights

Mona Vale Road Upgrade

Front Page Photos

At the base of the Front Page each Issue is an image from the Pittwater environment, a way to remind all where we are and why we're here. Through the generous sharing of places and times of year captured by Readers a continuous visual reminder of what remains the same and how each Season differs is provided. Throughout 2020 these beautiful captures have enriched all. Some May 2020 examples:

Turimetta Morning, May 6th, 2020 - photo by Joe Mills

Snorkelling in Pittwater, May 9th, 2020 - photo by Adriaan van der Wallen

Painters' Sunset at Clareville, May 7th, 2020 - photo by Joanne Seve

Bayview & Mona Vale Walks: B&W Challenge - Photos By Maureen Darcy-Smith, May 2020


Museums, Galleries And Libraries To Reopen From 1 June 2020

Museums, galleries and libraries across NSW will be allowed to reopen from 1 June 2020, under an easing of restrictions announced by the NSW Government. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on May 20th this was another important step forward in the reopening of NSW. 

“We cautiously invite our cultural institutions and libraries across NSW to re-open from 1 June 2020, but with strict new protocols in place,” Ms Berejiklian said. 

“NSW is home to some of Australia’s best art galleries and museums and I look forward to them reopening to the public.

“Libraries play an important role in our local communities, providing a safe space for learning and reading and I know many will be pleased to see them reopen.

“I would encourage museums, galleries and libraries to be innovative to ensure strict social distancing is adhered to and good hygiene measures are followed.” 

NSW Health will provide guidance to ensure the museums, galleries and libraries operate in a COVID-19 safe way, including: 
  • exclusion of staff and visitors who are unwell
  • limiting the number of guests to allow for 4 square metres per person
  • providing distance markers for people queuing at service points
  • ensuring adequate handwashing facilities and/or sanitiser
  • online ticketing systems for museums and galleries
  • no groups and tours
  • enhanced cleaning
  • 24 hour quarantine of returns for libraries.

Pittwater Sailing Races Set To Recommence In June

Updated as of 0800 on Thursday 21st May 2020: Australian Sailing
The NSW Government restrictions announced on Friday 15 May 2020 that restrictions were being updated in the latest Public Health Order.

The NSW Office of Sport has subsequently advised us that it will not be following the National Cabinet endorsed Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment developed by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) on Friday 1 May 2020. It will instead rely solely on the NSW Public Health Orders. Today’s update provide for an exemption from the 4m2 rule for recreational boating, provided that it is still maintained where possible. The Office of Sport has clarified that Sailing events are now also permitted, provided that the Public Health Orders are adhered to.

What does this now mean for our sailing clubs?
  • Get in, Sail and get out;
  • Club activities including racing can resume as long as the Public Health Order is complied with.
  • Outdoor activities only;
  • Limit activities to small individual groups with a maximum of 10 participants (inclusive of coaches and support staff);
  • Practice good hand hygiene before and after sailing;
  • Avoid physical contact;
  • Changerooms, canteens and kitchens should remain closed – arrive dressed and ready to sail;
  • Stay home if you are unwell
  • Don’t share drinks or towels;
  • Sharing of equipment should be avoided and if necessary, should be kept to a minimum;
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres where reasonably practicable; and
  • Follow the one person per 4 square metres rule ashore to ensure sufficient physical distancing between people;.
  • Contact Tracing records must be kept.
  • Encourage the use of COVIDSafe App whilst at yourclub

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will recommence yacht racing on Saturday 6 June with the rescheduled Lion Island Series.

The rollout of events will be comprised of:
  • The Lion Island Series which will keep with tradition and run each Saturday in June being the 6, 13, 20, 27, followed by the Early Bird Series.
  • The Wednesday Waterford Series will commence on 10 June, weekly till the 26 August.
  • The Centreboard Winter Series will be held on two Sundays of each month commencing on the 14 June through to August. With single and doublehanded crews now allowed.
More details will be provided soon, including NEW Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, how to enter, crew lists, on water social distancing and crew limitations, however, it is important to note that while social distancing restrictions have been reduced while racing, they still apply at the Club Premises  The Clubhouse will not at this stage be open as normal and we will issue guidance on access to food, drinks, change facilities, etc. shortly.

To assist members ability to go sailing, short-handed and non-spinnaker divisions will be the order of the day until NSW reaches Stage 3 of the Australian Government Framework for a COVID Safe Australia. This approach has been agreed by the major Sydney and Pittwater clubs during this time of transition.

APL England Incident

Any sighting of containers should be reported to NSW Maritime on 13 12 36.
Boaters on the NSW coastline between Wollongong and Newcastle are urged to travel at a safe speed and keep a careful lookout for drifting or semi-submerged containers and debris following the cargo spill off Sydney on Sunday morning.

Forty containers were lost from the APL England.

The Marine Rescue Port Kembla, Marine Rescue Terrey Hills and Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie radio bases are continuing to broadcast Security warnings to all boats twice an hour to warn of the serious navigation hazard.

Containers have been located floating or semi-submerged 17nm off Kiama and debris reported up to 4 nm seaward from The Entrance at Tuggerah Lake. These pose a particular risk of causing severe damage to smaller craft.

Containers and debris have been located in various locations, including Birdie Beach and Forresters Beach on the Central Coast, Flagstaff Lighthouse in the Illawarra and Store Beach in Sydney Harbour. 
Boaters should continue to listen for warnings on VHF Channel 16. Any sighting of containers should be reported to NSW Maritime on 13 12 36.

Photos courtesy AMSA

Artist Of The Month June 2020: Margaret Woods

Margaret Woods is a Professional with a Sydney University BEc, Deakin Uni CPA, and post grad qualifications in Insurance who has worked for decades in her field at the highest level.

An involvement with the BirdLife Australia Powerful Owl project for years led to meeting Sydney Wildlife volunteers and her daughter becoming involved as a volunteer at 18 years of age and herself and her husband becoming a 'Sydney Wildlife Carer Family' as a result, with Margaret undertaking the training to become a Carer for Wildlife too in 2018.

Her dedication to the Warriewood Wetlands, the Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment (her son has been a guide on some of the Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment Night Walks) and a passion for saving our wildlife - in our area, on the South Coast during the recent bushfires, and as part of the Sydney Wildlife members who organised to send supplies and equipment to the RSPCA team on Kangaroo Island in South Australia in February 2020 can be seen in an earlier childhood love of Australian wildlife. 

An interest in Photography in High School, followed and developed ever since, has led to Margaret capturing and creating the most amazing images. Her portraits of wildlife, of landscapes and of people support and enrich the work of these local organisations she is a part of. Not only that, they are placing on the record what wildlife is where and when it is there. 

These are wonderful photos - they allow people to see up close birds they may have only heard, or see the individual characters of wildlife rescued. Her landscapes allow viewers to dwell among dawn mists, see sunrises and sunsets reflected on water or trees. They allow you to immerse yourself because Margaret has not stood outside looking in, her self is present. 

Margaret is also among the many thousands of residents in our area with a love for our birds and for bird photography.

When asked how she does it, Marg replied

'the trick is the angle and to look for... to see the art in the photo'

Her works in this field are more than that too though...

For June 2020 it is a real privilege to share some of her works and her other 'mission' to enrich our understanding of the wonderful place we live in through all that lives in it with us.


This small bird is crucial to the ongoing survival of the mistletoe plants that is a parasitic species.

The mistletoe bird has a diet of mistletoe berries, it cannot grind food. So it simply eats the berries, digests the flesh and then position itself to poop (excrete) the seeds onto a branch.  The poop is sticky and remains on the tree.  They plant their own food. Pretty clever.

male mistletoebird

a Kookaburra eating an antechinus 

a male golden whistler 

a male scarlet honeyeater

a spotted pardalote carrying food entering its nesting tunnel

Powerful Owl huge talons (our largest owl and Apex predator)

A Tale Of Two Battlefronts: Noel & Kate Kessel


I’m Noel Kessel and my wife is Kate. We have two beautiful children, Liorah and Avishai. I am a volunteer fireman with the NSW Rural Fire Service, attached to Cottage Point Brigade. My wife Kate is a Registered Nurse with 27 years’ experience. 

During the past Summer I was actively involved with the bushfires that ravaged most of the State. During this period my crew and myself were deployed to fight fires throughout various parts of the state. We spent shifts battling the mammoth Gospers Mountain Fire to the North of Sydney, as well as fires at Bilpin and The Blue Mountains and the ill-fated deadly Buxton Fire South of Sydney. I also did a multi-day deployment at the Creewah Fire near the NSW/Victoria border. 

Cottage Point RFB Members on the firegrounds - CPRFB photo

Cottage Point RFB Members on the firegrounds - CPRFB photo

There are a lot of challenges out on the fireground. Naturally, you always have in the back of your mind that it is a very dangerous activity and that things can go wrong very quickly. One of the most dangerous part of fighting fires is falling trees. Out in the field we call them “widow makers”. On a number of occasions we had near misses with falling trees both on main roads and on dirt tracks. After the main firefront would pass, the fire gets into the trunk of the trees and every now and then without warning you would hear a loud crack and then a loud boom as a large tree crashes to the ground. That’s probably one of the scariest parts of the job. Especially at night. It’s comforting to know that you are working with a bunch of competent and highly skilled guys and girls on the truck and everyone looks after each other. You very quickly form a close bond with your colleagues who become your extended family.

Cottage Point RFB Members - CPRFB photo

Cottage Point RFB Members - CPRFB photo

After we were involved in a fire overrun at Buxton, I tried to keep it quiet from my children. This didn’t last long as it was all over the news the next day along with the tragic details of the 5 fireman who suffered serious burns and the two who died when a tree fell onto their firetruck. Not only did it send a shiver up my spine, but it really spooked my son Avishai. He became very attached and clingy and was very anxious and emotional whenever I would head off to the fire station. On one occasion he grabbed me and whilst crying refused to let go. Clearly this was all having an effect on him. On the upside, whenever I would return he would always greet me with a huge embrace and a hug. 

My daughter Liorah seemed to be handling it all pretty well, even to the point that she has joined the Northern Beaches Rural Fire Service Cadet Program. Obviously it was also a challenging time for my wife when I was away. Often I would return home in the early hours of the morning and attempt to creep into bed without waking her. I didn’t always succeed. Being alone with the kids and having to do almost everything single handed was not easy. This while having to work full time. Thankfully my parents were also invaluable in helping us all out both physically and emotionally.

In March things started to settle down but then we were faced with heavy storms and days of attending storm related incidents all around Sydney.

And just when you thought normality was returning, we were hit with the Corona Virus Pandemic. It was now time for me to hand over the baton to Kate as she was now about to enter this new deadly battle.


I’m Kate and I’m a registered nurse at one of Sydney’s largest hospitals - St. Vincent Hospital.

As the Covid -19 pandemic began to escalate, the daily routine at the hospital began to change. Within days, certain wards were being shut down and transformed into Intensive Care wards in preparation for the influx of the predicted thousands of Covid cases. As the number of cases climbed, so too did our preparedness. Staff were being shuffled around the hospital and strict treatment procedures and protocols were being implemented.

We were instructed to treat every patient as if they were carrying the Covid-19 virus, which meant wearing full PPE attire including surgical gowns, masks, gloves and eye/face protection. Every person who entered the hospital was also required to answer a few questions and have their temperature checked. It was all crazy. The health department estimated that around 45000 people would contract the virus. Thankfully this has not happened and we have been extremely lucky so far and I pray that things will remain this way. This especially in comparison to the rest of the world.

 As the virus took hold around the world, the picture looked very dark and gloomy. As we entered into the lockdown phase, school was suspended for my children and we all had to adapt to home schooling. This was challenging at times but fortunately Noel was able to stay at home with the children., and soon enough the kids began to enjoy this new education concept.

The lockdown also meant that the children couldn’t see their grandparents who they are very close to. The occasional visit was had but with them on their balcony and us down below. Noel also took the children on a number of bushwalks which was a great thing from a mental health perspective. The children also experimented in the kitchen and hot fluffy scones soon became a regular item on the breakfast menu.

Now that life is slowly returning to a somewhat normal routine, it is important not to be complacent but to continue to maintain social distancing. The last thing we need is a second wave of this terrible deadly virus.

An Aquatic Life: June 2020 - From Narrabeen To Barrenjoey

Whale watching from headlands at Mona Vale, Bungan, Bilgola and Avalon Beaches, enjoying morning sun on our beaches, watching the pod of dolphins off North Palm Beach chase a school of salmon, coastal banksias, dawns at Turimetta and more - spotted this week out and about.

Turimetta and Warriewood Valley Flowers photos by Joe Mills 

Others by A J Guesdon, June 17 to 18, 2020

Turimetta Dawns + Warriewood Valley Flowers 
Photos By Joe Mills 

North Mona Vale Headland

Has excellent views of Mona Vale Basin Beach and Mona Vale Beach, Warriewood and Turimetta headland to the south, Mona Vale Valley to the west and Bungan Beach to the north, with a trail access down to Mona Vale Beach. A great place to watch for whales - we saw a calf and mum and several other - also watching for whales were the Taylors - spotted them again at Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 at Mona Vale later on the same morning.

The whales were a fair way out but some came closer - you may need some good binoculars  to whale watch with:


Winter In Pittwater 2020

Avalon Beach North Headland: An Ever-Changing Coastline - Storm Swell Of July 2020

Morning of Wednesday July 15th, 2020 - photos by A J Guesdon.
Historian Geoff Searl OAM, President of Avalon Beach Historical Society with fellow member and Historian Roger Sayers at the Avalon-Bilgola Lookout yesterday, Saturday July 18th, looking at latest change to North Avalon Beach by A J Guesdon, 2020.
With swell hitting the New South Wales coast in waves measuring up to 11 metres, the large boulder of rock that fell from North Avalon Beach in August 2017 has succumbed to the sea on Friday, July 17th, finally toppling under a week long barrage of waves, some leaping cliff height high on impacting coastal rock shelves. The latest history in the making change is one of many on record, dating back to the 1860's.

The low-pressure system sent powerful surf onto the coastlines, arriving on Tuesday, and has been the cause of the Bureau of Meteorology issuing Hazardous Surf Warning all week. By Saturday the unrideable waves became smoother, causing experienced surfers to find and ride the swell as the waves hollowed out on some beaches.

More photos from along our stretch of beaches in this week's Pictorial - 'Out and About - Storm Swell of July 2020'.

Before: July 15, 2020: storm swell - more in this Issue's Pictorial 'Out & About'. A J Guesdon photos.

After: July 18, 2020: storm swell - more in this Issue's Pictorial 'Out & About'. A J Guesdon photos.
Morning of Wednesday June 17th, 2020 - photos by A J Guesdon.

Youngsters Under Waves At North Narrabeen Rock Pool During Big Swell 

Photos taken Wednesday July 15th, 2020 by Joe Mills

Turimetta Beach whiteout this week - photos by Joe Mills
Mona Vale Beach pool this week - photo by Joe Mills

Storm Swell At Narrabeen & Warriewood 

Photos taken Thursday, July 16, 2020 by July 2020 Artist of the Month, Kevin Murray:

A Stroll Through Warriewood Wetlands, The Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment, And Deep Creek To Elanora Heights 

Photos By Margaret Woods

Mindful that some of our older readers may not be able to venture outside at present, or even up the hills photographed in some photos shared here this week, and that younger readers are back in school or at sport events in the early Saturday morning, June 2020 Artist of the Month Margaret Woods has kindly allowed Pittwater Online News to share some of the great photos she has taken yesterday, Saturday July 25th, 2020, and during the past few weeks of one of the best places in the world!

The silvereyes were happy the grass trees were in flower. These birds are so small and so fast.

Early morning light:


Newport Breakers First At Home Game For 2020

The Newport Breakers have had a massive return to Porter Reserve on Saturday July 25th with a 4-0 clean sweep of all 4 Grades against Beecroft.

1sts: 45 - 10
2nds: 27 - 5
Colts: 22 - 0
3rds: 36 - 10

The Breakers first ‘at home’ games were well supported by the Newport faithful who loved watching 1st Grade play under the newly installed field lights.

Also new was how the time away has been well used to renovate both the exterior and the interior of the clubhouse. The Newport Breakers friends and sponsors at Landscapes By Linton (Adam Linton) have overseen the addition of a concreted, sandstone and landscaped patio area and stairs, replacing what was a well loved but barren earthen patch and some old wood and paved stairs. Locally sourced materials were provided by the club’s  sponsors Australian Native Landscapes ANL. Interior works had been done too with new floorboards, a girls change room and new storage organised by the junior Newport Club.

New Marine Rescue Broken Bay Vessel Arrives

The new BB30 has arrived - photo by Michael Mannington, Community Photography

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers welcomed the first new rescue vessel to be delivered on Sydney’s waterways for two years – and applauded their local community for helping them secure the $500,000 asset for their work to save lives on the water.

Marine Rescue Broken Bay’s new 10 metre Naiad rescue vessel, Broken Bay 30, arrived Wednesday morning, July 29th, after it was trucked down the Pacific Highway from Yamba, where it was built, and lowered into the water at Church Point.

Unit Commander Jimmy Arteaga said the new boat was an investment in the safety of boaters on Pittwater and the waters of Broken Bay.

“Over the past year, our volunteers have launched 89 rescue missions, including seven in response to life-threatening emergencies. This new boat means we can be on the scene even more rapidly, which is crucial when every minute can mean the difference between life and death on the water,” he said.

UC Arteaga thanked the local community for its heartwarming support in helping to fund the new boat.

“The State Government last year gave residents the opportunity to vote for the projects they wanted to see funded in their local area through the My Community Projects grants program,” he said.

“The fantastic community in the Pittwater electorate really got behind our volunteers and voted for our new rescue vessel. As a result, we received a $200,000 grant towards the cost of this new boat, which will help us help our local boaters.

“That’s an awful lot of sausage sandwiches and raffle tickets that our members now don’t have to sell.”

Unit Commander Jimmy Arteaga - at The Quays as BB30 arrives

MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the volunteers from Marine Rescue Broken Bay were now better equipped than ever to respond to boaters in trouble on the water.

He said the new vessel replaced an older boat reaching the end of its operational life, also Broken Bay 30, which was the first boat to wear the new MRNSW livery when the single unified service was established in 2009.

The old BB30 was given the honorary name of Peter E Weston, and was named after a prominent member of the Broken Bay Unit, Peter Weston. Peter also held executive positions within the then Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol. 

“We have since invested more than $24.5 million to equip our volunteers with modern, safe and reliable vessels,” MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said.

Commissioner Tannos thanked the boating community for its ongoing support for MRNSW and the State Government for its $37.6 million, four-year financial injection to fund upgraded volunteer resources and operational facilities.

“This support means we are able to ensure our volunteers have high quality, professionally-equipped vessels like this one for their work to assist and protect NSW boaters,” he said.

Powered by twin 300hp Suzuki outboards, Broken Bay 30 will operate on Pittwater, Broken Bay and up to 30 nautical miles off the coastline. It is equipped with a full suite of search and rescue, navigation, communication and advanced first aid equipment, including a cardiac defibrillator and oxygen kit. 

New Marine Rescue Broken Bay Vessel Specifications

In summary, the Vessel is a 10 metre Naiad constructed by Yamba Welding and Engineering.  It is fitted with twin 300HP Suzuki outboards and an 800 litre fuel tank. 

The estimated top speed of the vessel is better than 45 knots. Cruise speed for maximum fuel efficiency is estimated at 27 knots or 4000 rpm.  At 4000 rpm, the vessel consumes approximately 70 litres per hour per motor providing a range of 286 nm of general running before refuelling.  

It also comes and a suite of Raymarine electronics including radar, chart plotter and FLIR Thermal Stabilised Night vision Camera.

Thank you to The Quays Marina, Church Point for your support getting our Naiad on the water. A quick fuel and off to the MRBB base at Rowland Reserve, Bayview. Marine Rescue Broken Bay members Vic Lawrence, Graham Weir, Andrew Majewski and Ron Carr and MRNSW Fleet Officer Sean Jewiss were on hand to welcome the $500,000 10m Naiad, built by Yamba Welding & Engineering Pty Ltd on the Northern Rivers. 

Vessel Honorific Name: To be Confirmed
MRNSW Vessel Call Sign: Broken Bay  30 
Survey Number/Unique Identifier: 457992
HIN No: To be confirmed
Type of Vessel: Naiad10
AMSA Survey Class: 2C
Manufacturer: Yamba Welding and Engineering
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Vessel Model: 10m Rescue Vessel
Construction: Aluminium
Length Overall: 10.28 Metre
Length Measured: 9.87 Metre
Beam: 3.25 Metre
Light Displacement: 5.96 Tonne
Engine/s: 2 x DF 300 APX - port and starboard
Brand: Suzuki
Propulsion: Outboard

On Thursday, July 30th, Marine Rescue Broken Bay crew underwent familiarisation on the new BB30 10m fast response Rescue vessel. The crew underwent a very thorough vessel induction before doing some practical handling in Pittwater. The crew were very impressed with the vessel response and appreciated the differences from their previous vessel.

The crew from  will continue training on Friday before inducting other members of Marine Rescue Broken Bay. Vic Lawrence and Graham Weir at the helm with Andrew Majewski and Ron Carr also inducted. Training and induction was hosted by Sean Jewiss from the fleet department and ROM Glenn Evans.

The new BB30 arrival - photos by Michael Mannington, Community Photography:

2020 Edition Of 24 Hour Row For Mental Health Goes Australia Wide: Funds Raised Support One Eighty - Gotcha4Life 

Australian SLSC Boat Rowers will be rowing for 24hrs to raise money and awareness for local charities One Eighty and Gotcha 4 Life on 22-23 August 2020. This year 14 clubs from NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria have already signed up to join in. Photo: part of the Avalon Beach SLSC Team of Rowers from 2018 - A J Guesdon photo.

Over 500 surf club members will take part in this year’s 24 Hour Row for mental health supporting Gotcha4Life and One Eighty.

After the success of the Avalon Beach 24 Hour Row over the past two years, the event is expanding in 2020 with a total of 14 Surf Life Saving Clubs signing on to row and raise money and awareness for mental health charities Gotcha4Life and One Eighty this August.

The brainchild of one of the country’s top surf boat coaches Nathan Wellings and his wife Mel, the event began in 2018 after a tragic spate of youth suicides in the Northern Beaches area.

“Our local community was struggling to come to terms with the loss of a number of our young people and our team of surf boat rowers wanted to do something positive to help,” said 24 Hour Row founder Mel Wellings.

“We set up a couple of rowing machines at the club and rostered everyone to row for an hour each, over 24 hours. It was such a great event, with great support from all the community, not just our club members. We even had the local member Rob Stokes jump on a machine and row for an hour with us. He didn’t do too bad a time either,” said Mel Wellings.

AVSLSC President Ashley Cardiff, Ben Wilson*, Leanne Westlake, Rob Stokes*, Beck Lock*, Mel and Nathan Wellings. *First rowers in 2018 - A J Guesdon photo.

This year the word is out and with 14 clubs from NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria signing up. “We expect there to be some healthy rivalry between clubs this year with both the fundraising side and the total distances that each can row in the 24 hour period,” said Mel.

For the first time 24 Hour Row team will link up each of the locations via Zoom and broadcast live through Facebook for the entire event so everyone is connected and anyone can tune in to see the progress and donate.

All funds raised are shared between two mental health organisations who are making a difference through outreach and community programs with the aim of reducing suicide deaths.

Local youth mental health charity One Eighty is leading the way for peer-to-peer models of community support with a vision for future free of youth suicide through prevention and early intervention. While Gus Worland’s Gotcha4Life works with and funds sustainable educational workshops, training programs and products to build mental fitness right across Australia to create strong, open and binding relationships.

Surf Life Saving NSW have also come onboard as a partner to help promote the event through its Memorandum of Understanding with Gotcha4Life.

“We love the 24 Hour Row, now in its third year,” said Gus Worland. “It’s a great opportunity for the community to come together, raise funds to build mental fitness and have fun along the way! Our educational workshops & training are needed now more than ever, and funds raised will allow us to work with individuals and communities to reduce instances of poor mental health and build stronger connections.” Worland said.

“We’re are thrilled that the 24 Hour Row is going ahead again this year despite the challenges of COVID-19. It’s such an amazing community-led initiative, and it is particularly important this year to find opportunities for people to keep active and stay connected.” said Maddie Walsh of One Eighty. “The funds raised by Northern Beaches clubs will allow us to continue running our Open Up peer support program and train our volunteer facilitators. Funding will also go towards our Community Support Program that includes free Accidental Counsellor and Mental Health First Aid training for members of the public,” she said

The 24 Hour Row has also been a great way to keep surf boat rowers motivated, fit and connected in the off-season and 2020 is no exception. A training program designed to get crews in shape for the row has been promoted by Surf Life Saving NSW, getting top rowers and boat coaches to offer training tips and programs to inspire and motivate via videos released each week in the lead up to the event.


Official Name: 24 Hour Row for Mental Health supporting Gotcha4Life and One Eighty

Register at:


Start: 12 Noon, Saturday 22 August 2020

Finish: 12 Noon, Sunday 23 August 2020

Each club will have one or more rowing machines set up at their own location. Each location will follow strict COVID-19 guidelines based on restrictions at the time of event.

Goal: To raise funds and awareness for mental health charities Gotcha4Life and One Eighty by keeping people connected and active through winter by encouraging them to train for both an individual and team goal, through a mental and physical challenge – row for one hour and keep your club’s machine moving for a full 24 Hour period.

Watch Live: Each location will be linked through Zoom and the Zoom will be broadcast live through Facebook via for the 24 hour period of the row with interviews and live distance updates to keep the rivalry and energy up and encourage donations.

Participating Surf Life Saving Clubs (so far):

Avalon Beach, Newport, Collaroy, North Curl Curl, South Curl Curl, Maroubra, Elouera, Wanda, North Cronulla, Sawtell and Wauchope Bonny Hills, Tallebudgera (QLD), Victorian Surf Boat Rowers (VIC), Moana (SA)

SLSNSW is supporting this event through a partnership with Gotcha4Life to raise awareness and funds for mental health resilience programs in coastal communities.​

Under 20'S Suburban Rugby League Returns To Hitchcock Park: Avalon Bulldogs & Narrabeen Sharks Games, August 2020

In May the NSWRL announced it was working towards a plan for Rugby League to re-start full contact training from July 1st and competitions from July 18 for junior and senior football in line with government and medical advice over the coronavirus protocols.

In the Manly Warringah JRFLC's competition will go for 10 rounds, finishing with the grand finals on 26/27 September.

On July 15 the NSWRL announced a two-week delay to the planned July 18 start of community football competitions in south-western Sydney due to the current COVID-19 outbreak in the area.

NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said the health and safety of participants, officials, spectators and the wider community remained the primary concern, with the competitions for under 6s to A-grade in these areas only now delayed until August 1st. The competitions affected were within the Wests Tigers Macarthur and Canterbury Districts and Group 6 Region.

“We have always maintained through this pandemic that we would remain flexible in our approach and fall in line with the most up-to-date information from the Government and health experts at that time,” Mr. Trodden said.

“While everyone has worked hard to get footy re-started and we would love to be kicking off across the entire state this weekend, it is important we remain vigilant to stop any potential avoidable spreading of the coronavirus.”

Individual teams (from those areas) playing in Combined Conference competitions would not be able to participate for two weeks, but those competitions would continue under rule changes implemented by the NSWRL to adhere to government COVID-19 guidelines. The matches missed will be registered as a draw for both teams.

The announcement impacted on the Round 1 game for the U20's Bulldogs team against the Mascot Juniors on July 19th, both teams recording a 'drawn' in the ladder for the 10 teams in the U20's Sydney Metropolitan Rugby League competition for 2020.

Their first competition game was then played on the Sunday, August 2nd, at their home ground, Hitchcock Park, Careel Bay and meaning that at a time during the season when most teams have hit their stride and are fully warmed up, this team was starting cold and their first game would be against a team that had already had a start, the Coogee Randwick Wombats having played the Ryde Eastwood Hawks on July 26th with the Wombats coming home with 34 to the Hawks 6. 

The visitors were first to score at Hitchcock Park on August 2nd in Round 3 of the 2020 competition, with the Bulldogs fighting back and keeping on keeping on throughout the game. The Wombats came home strong in the second half, scoring successive tries in the final quarter with the Bulldogs fighting every step of the way, with the southside team winning this match up, 20 to 14. 

Then on Thursday August 6th, the Avalon U20's team had to play their Round 2 match with a win to the Bulldogs against the Doonside Roos at Riverstone Park - final score being 18-16 with the Bulldogs victors. 

This Sunday, August 9th, they're scheduled to play the Liverpool Catholic Club on their home ground, making it 3 games in one week for the Bulldogs U20's - Rounds 3, 2 and 4.

The game prior to the home team on their home paddock was current ladder leaders the Narrabeen Sharks match up with the Ryde Eastwood Hawks. This was a game of two contrasting halves with the Hawks obviously out to redeem the margin between themselves on their opponents during their Round 2 game from the outset. The second half of the match was dominated by the Sharks who finished 34 to the Hawks 22. They host the Mascot Juniors on their home field for their Round 4 match.

Narrabeens' Round 1 game was against the Earlwood Saints JRFC U20s - the team that defeated Narrabeen 28-24 to become the Premiers 2019. The first game for 2020 for the Sharks was forfeited by the Saints - meaning a strong affirmative start for the Sharks after 2019. 

Bulldogs Life Members Paul Collins and Brian Friend OAM along with the great backbone team always front and centre at Hitchcock park from the early am Under 6's games on Saturdays through to the senior divisions matches on Sundays were front and centre again last Sunday and yesterday, August 8th. Like the Newport Breakers Rugby Union support team, the grounds had been set up to meet NSW Government current protocols, including visitors being required to register attending a match.

These local Suburban Rugby League clubs, Avalon Bulldogs, Beacon Hill Bears, Belrose Eagles, Cromer Kingfishers, Forestville Ferrets, Harbord United Devils, Harbord United Devils, Manly Brothers, Manly Cove Rebels, Mona Vale Raiders, Narrabeen Sharks, Narraweena Hawks and North Curl Curl Knights, are all clubs within the Manly Warringah District JRLFC and part of the over 100, 000 boys, girls, men and women who are involved in this sport statewide.

That's a VERY big family.

When they're not on the field, pushing each other to go harder, or clapping each other on the back after another great game, they're looking out for each other in any other way they can. 

This week the NSWRL was thrilled to announce a partnership with Score Zone that will see free football boots worth $250,000 donated to junior players aged 12 and under from clubs and towns across the NSW South Coast that were affected by the bushfires last summer. 

True Blues Paul Sironen and Shaun Timmins, NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden, and Score Zone Chief Executive Patrick Molihan and Managing Director Greg Parker took part in a trip south to see boots handed out at Sussex Inlet and Moruya on August 6th and Nowra on August 7th.

The goodwill gesture is part of a wider relief package devised by the NSWRL in February to assist regional Rugby League Clubs affected by the bushfires and comes after competitions resumed across the state on 18 July after being suspended over the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This has been a tough season for everyone and particularly for the communities and local clubs across NSW that are still coping with the effects of the bushfires,” Mr. Trodden said on Thursday.

“The NSWRL wanted to help out wherever we could and I’d like to thank Score Zone for supplying the new range of blue football boots so we can get kids back on the field playing footy.

“I hope they enjoy wearing them as much as we have in handing them out and I wish them all the very best for the rest of the season.”

Score Zone Managing Director Greg Parker, who along with Mr. Molihan boast long and distinguished careers in Rugby League having covered it for the Seven Network, said the boots included a unique ‘red dot’ design which teaches junior players the correct way to kick a ball.

“Boys and girls in all codes need to know how to get the basics right - right from the start - and Score Zone helps them from their first kick,”  Mr Parker said this week.

“Having spent so much time with the Blues it was the perfect way to launch Score Zone boots which are for all boys and girls and all codes.''

How cool is that?

The results for the two local U20's teams so far this season run below - further down some photos from their Hitchcock Park 'Doggie Dome' games.

Two Pittwater Online News albums are available for those who want some photos for their own Family Albums.

Photo Albums

The Narrabeen Sharks - Ryde Eastwood Hawks match is HERE

The Avalon Bulldogs - Coogee Randwick Wombats match is HERE

Avalon Bulldogs U/20's


Avalon Bulldogs U/20 V.  Mascot Juniors U/20 was cancelled.


Doonside Roos U/20 Scored 16 points away Team Avalon Bulldogs U/20 Scored 18 points

Venue:Basil Andrews Playing Fields RIVERSTONE PARK - Field 0


home Team Avalon Bulldogs U/20 Scored 14 points away Team Coogee Randwick Wombats U/20 Scored 20 points. Venue:Hitchcock Park

SUNDAY 9TH AUGUST: Round 4 Kick off: 10:00am

home team Liverpool Catholic Club U/20 (2) Vs. away Team Avalon Bulldogs U/20

Venue:Liverpool Catholic Club Sporting Complex - Field 1

Narrabeen Sharks U/20's


FORFEIT Earlwood Saints U/20 Scored 0 points away Team Narrabeen Sharks U/20 Scored 17 points at Bexley Oval - Field 0


home Team Narrabeen Sharks U/20 Scored 28 points away Team Newtown Junior Jets U/20 Scored 4 points at Lake Park - Field 0


home Team Narrabeen Sharks U/20 Scored 34 points away Team Ryde Eastwood Hawks U/20 (2) Scored 22 points at Hitchcock Park

SUNDAY 9TH AUGUST: Round 4 Kick off: 1:50pm at Narrabeen Sharks U/20

Position away Team Mascot Juniors U/20 - Venue: Lake Park - Field 0

2020 COMBINED UNDER 20 SILVER LADDER - as at August 6, 2020

  1. Narrabeen Sharks U/20 - played 3 games 9 points
  2. Coogee Randwick U/20 - played 3 games 8 points
  3. Avalon Bulldogs U/20 - played 3 games (1 drawn) 6 points 
  4. Mascot Juniors U/20- played  2 games 5 points
  5. Liverpool Catholic Club U/20 (2) played 1 game 5  points
  6. Ryde Eastwood Hawks U/20 (2) played 2 games 5 points
  7. Doonside Roos U/20 played 2 games 4 points 
  8. Newtown Junior Jets U/20 played 3 games 4 points

U20's Teams for 2020

  • Avalon Bulldogs U/20
  • Coogee Randwick U/20
  • Doonside Roos U/20
  • Earlwood Saints U/20
  • Liverpool Catholic Club U/20 (2)
  • Mascot Juniors U/20
  • Narrabeen Sharks U/20
  • Newtown Junior Jets U/20
  • Ryde Eastwood Hawks U/20 (2)

Narrabeen Sharks V Ryde Eastwood Hawks

Avalon Bulldogs V Coogee Randwick Wombats

Congratulations Lorraine Clark AM 

Congratulations to Lorraine Clark AM who has also received a Distinguished Long Service Award at the Sport NSW 2020 NSW Community Sports Awards.

Lorraine first became involved with Special Olympics in 1990 as a founding committee member of Special Olympics Sydney Northern Beaches and she still volunteers with them today! 

Over the last 30 years, she has supported SO athletes in too many ways to list. Her most recent efforts saw the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Program return to NSW/ACT with over 20 athletes attending the graduation last year.

Lorraine said this week; '' I am truly grateful to receive this recognition. Thank you to the NSW Committee for the nomination and thank you to all the wonderful athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching and supporting for just over 30 years. I am so privileged to share this honour with all the Athlete Leaders who also volunteer for their club’s athletes and committees to tell everyone about the benefits of Special Olympics.''

Thanks again Lorraine for the time and dedication you have given to Special Olympics.
For Sport NSW's official announcement click here.
Photo credit to Peter Muhlbock

Narrabeen Sharks 90th Year

Big thank you to Life Member Phil Hunter who has been working tirelessly on finalising the Narrabeen Sharks history.  Watch for an update for the Club’s History up to 1989 to be loaded to the website

In the lead up to our 90th year in 2022, we will be showcasing a monthly Life Member profile. Guess who will be our first Life Member to be profiled?

A Message From Ian Bowsher To The Barrenjoey Community

It is with a heavy heart that I write this email. I wish to inform you that I have recently been appointed to the role of College Principal at Sydney Secondary College based in Balmain, effective 12th October 2020 (just ten minutes from home). This means my final day at Barrenjoey will be the end of this term, 25th September.

I have absolutely loved my tenure at Barrenjoey and thoroughly enjoyed watching the school develop into the wonderful place of learning that it is today. When I arrived in 2008 I had plans to stay for six or seven years and then move closer to home, however, the Barrenjoey community got under my skin and together, we created so many great initiatives I just couldn’t leave. 

Barrenjoey truly sits in the centre of a fabulous community and together we have overcome many challenging times in the past thirteen years. I feel very confident that no matter who is next to take over the reins at Barrenjoey, the school will continue to thrive thanks to the outstanding staff who provide unparalleled leadership and care for the young people who attend.

It's bittersweet to be leaving a school that I’ve enjoyed so much. I realise I have been very fortunate. This place, this work, and its people have meant so much to me. I am proud to have been a member of the Barrenjoey team. I’ll have more to say as the term draws to a conclusion, however, I’d like to thank all the community members for the level of support I have experienced at this very special school.

Kind regards
Ian Bowsher

Photo: The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater with Barrenjoey High School Principal Ian Bowsher at the official opening of the Barrenjoey Performance Space. 

Presented by Avalon Architect Richard Cole, the plaque reads 'Go out and create that new and bold world with a positive purpose'. Ian Bowsher, Principal 
photo by Michael Mannington, Community Photography.

A few other items from August 2020:

Southern Right Whale Spotted Off Our Beaches: NPWS Reminds People To Stay Well Clear

Pictures Centre trail in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park: Spring is happening! Photos taken on a lovely walk on Thursday August 13, 2020 by Joe Mills and Kevin Murray

Gary Clist photos of Avalon and Surrounds 1968-1970 - Pittwater Online News has recently been talking to ex-Avalon Beach resident Gary Clist. Gary lived here from 1955 on until moving north. He worked for John Stone (records, music and photography) as a teenager. John encouraged his interest in taking images - with the result that we can share with you some views of our area that will bring up memories for some and allow an insight into this place not yet seen for those born after this time.

An Act of Kindness by Huang Zhi-Wei aka Reg Wong

Call For Pittwater Support To Save Koalas by Miranda Korzy  

Mater Maria Catholic College Warriewood Bake Off For Soibada by Tamara Sloper Harding OAM

Local Fishers Given 5,000 Reason To Wet A Line - Great News from James Griffin, MP for Manly

Park Bench Philosopher Australian Indigenous Banana Cultivation Found To Go Back Over 2,000 Years

Reflections by George Repin: PULA

CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope Added To National Heritage List; Some History and Insights

National Science Week 2020, August 15-23: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, National Science Week takes an innovative twist this year, offering a smorgasbord of online events in Sydney and across NSW

2020 Edition Of 24 Hour Row For Mental Health Goes Australia Wide: Funds Raised Support One Eighty - Gotcha4Life will run August 22-23

Profile 75 Years Since The End Of The Second World War: Honouring Three Local Ladies Who Served - Dorothy Curtis, Mavis Wheeler, Eugenie Allen

This year August 15th marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, also known as Victory in the Pacific Day. This opportunity for the Australian community to publicly acknowledge the service and sacrifice of veterans of the Second World War, and also recognise the contribution made by all Australians, has been responded to by our community in a series of tributes published online and through sending messages to our Veterans. More than 12,000 veterans of the Second World War are still with us today.

Almost one million Australians served during the Second World War, fighting in theatres of war across the globe, from Europe and the Middle East through South East Asia to the Pacific. Keep in mind, this was at a time when the total population of Australia was around 7 million.

Over 39,000 died and some 30,000 Australian service men and women were made prisoners of war. 

Australian women played a vital role, serving as nurses overseas, in auxiliary services in Australia and overseas and as workers throughout the war, maintaining our agricultural and manufacturing interests at home.

''We should never forget that this was a war not only fought on foreign lands, but one that came to the Australian mainland. From air raids on Darwin, Broome and across Northern Australia, to midget submarine attacks on Sydney Harbour, there were hundreds of Australians killed.'' The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, said this week

''The fear of an all-out attack on Australia by Japanese forces was very real.

Veterans and their family members were encouraged to share their stories of service, as part of a month long campaign launched by the NSW Government in lead up to the 75th anniversary of the Second World War. Acting Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee said the One Month to Remember VP Day will ensure the COVID-19 pandemic does not take away from the significance of this year’s 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific (VP Day).

“We are living through a once in a lifetime pandemic right now and our nation also lived through a horrible conflict no generation should ever experience again,” Mr Lee said.

“Second World War veterans are still living with us today and this campaign is about ensuring we capture their stories to tell future generations.''

The NSW Government is compiling a digital stories catalogue from WWII veterans and widows which is available as an online educational resource for schools and universities.

"Everyone is also encouraged to share their stories, pictures and videos on social media for this special 75th anniversary tribute using the hashtag #VeteranStory75years,” Mr Lee said.

“These stories are precious and special and they should never be forgotten.”

The digital catalogue is now available and will be continually updated over the coming months at:

This Issue, to honour and celebrate their service, three insights from three women that form part of that digital archive and are part of our community still.


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

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

Celebration Of Spring 2020s' Early Weeks

Photos By Selena Griffith

Time of Ngoonungi 

The Time of Ngoonungi - Murrai'yunggory — cool, getting warmer (September-October) in the D'harawal calendar of Indigenous Weather Knowledge begins this week.  This is the time of the gathering of the flying foxes. A magical time of the year when the flying foxes gather in the darkening skies over D'harawal Lands. They come in from the north-east, the north, the north-west and the west, and swirl over the Sydney area in a wonderful, sky-dancing display just after sunset, before setting off for the night-time feeding grounds to the south.

It is also a very important ceremonial time for the D'harawals, which begins with the appearance of the splashes of the bright red Miwa Gawaian (Telopea speciosissima - waratah) in the bushland.

Residents do not state where they have seen these glorious flowers as there are people who come to pick them and steal them for profit. Native plants are protected in New South Wales by the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act). Under the BC Act it is an offence to pick, possess, buy or sell native plants listed in the Act for commercial purposes without a licence. 

Visit: A Bunch Of Wildflowers: Historical Spring September Songs

The D'harawal Country and language area extends from the southern shores of Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to the northern shores of the Shoalhaven River, and from the eastern shores of the Wollondilly River system to the eastern seaboard.

For those who rise early or stay outdoors late, the air is sweet at present because so many flowers are out in bloom. This week some more great images by Selena Griffith, Academic, Mother, Design Thinker, Innovator, Entrepreneur and Gardener of all things, whose sustainable garden at Elanora Heights is a treasure trove of plants, fruits, vegetables and rare seeds.

Waratah (Telopea Speciosissima) 

photos by Selena Griffith - photographed in our area.

Waratah (Telopea) is an Australian-endemic genus of five species of large shrubs or small trees, native to the southeastern parts of Australia (New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania). The most well-known species in this genus is Telopea speciosissima, which has bright red flowers and is the NSW state emblem.

Bush Iris (Patersonia Longifolia)

The genus Patersonia includes about twenty species of small strap-leaf plants resembling the exotic iris whose family, Iridaceae, is not well represented in Australia. As a result members of the genus Patersonia are frequently referred to as native iris or flag. P. longifolia occurs on the coast and adjacent sandstone plateaus from near Sydney to eastern Victoria. It forms a small clump with flower stalks only 15 cm long and is useful as a rockery plant for damp, semi-shaded situations. - Australian National Herbarium.

Some more Purple and Purple-Pink Gloriousness:

Fair Winds And Following Seas On RPAYC Opening Day For 2020-2021 Sailing Season

The RPAYC held a scaled back Official Opening for their Sailing Season yesterday with members heading straight to their yachts to head out on the estuary and enjoy that breeze. Vice Commodore, Leon Wilson had the honour of starting the first race, the Pittwater Dash, from Alfreds I with the firing of the cannon.

The RPAYC announced this week the postponement of the Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race until January 2022. The race, a joint initiative between the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron was set to Centrepiece of major summer international events and a prelude to the 2021 America's Cup event, being hosted by New Zealand.

“The restrictions of movement, immigration and quarantine requirements around the Covid-19 pandemic have meant that the race is just not viable in January 2021” Allen Stormon Commodore of RPAYC said this week.

“The race was fantastically well received throughout the world, with 20 confirmed entries already and over 100 expressions of interest received from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Europe and Asia, however everyone has been very understanding of the situation and for many it had already become impossible”. 

''The anticipation of an ocean race of 1250nm between these two sailing cities, a first for almost everyone, was as much of a drawcard as was the spectacle of the 36th America’s Cup, however, we understand that many were looking forward to ring side seats for the racing of these spectacular flying machines and the other events surrounding the 150th Anniversary of the RNZYS.''

“The RNZYS is obviously disappointed this cannot proceed at this time, but also excited about the long term future of the race which no doubt will become iconic” said RNZYS Vice Commodore Aaron Young.

The idea of an offshore circuit in the southern hemisphere has proven very exciting. The clubs expect interest in a combination of the 2021 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race, the 2022 Sydney to Auckland Race, a return race to Australia or via New Caledonia, finishing off with Hamilton Island Race Week to continue to generate international entries.

''We would like to take this opportunity to thank our major sponsor for the 2021 Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race, Moonen Yachts. With the support of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club members Matthew and Louise Baxter, owners of Moonen Yachts, we were able to promote the race internationally and we trust that this profile will add to the success of the rescheduled race in 2022.

The Committee would also like to thank those who entered the race, plus the wider yachting community for their support and interest in the race. We look forward to seeing a great fleet on the start line in January 2022.

Vice Commodore, Leon Wilson starts the 2020 Pittwater Dash - RPAYC photo

Bairne Walking Track
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
Photos By Kevin Murray

A long and easy walk, the Bairne walking track takes you to 2 scenic lookouts, with stunning views over Pittwater and The Basin, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Past Artists of the Month, Joe Mills, Cantiamo choirs' Glenys and Kevin Murray enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine of this beautiful place, alive with flowers and birds, on Thursday September 3rd, 2020. 

This walk, with a distance of 9.6km return, follows a track along the ridgelines from which some of the best views in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park of Pittwater can be accessed. A spectacular walk in Spring, the wildflowers make for excellent birdwatching.

The Bairne walking track starts from West Head Road, passing through heathlands of banksia, boronia and grevillea. Look for nectar-loving yellow-faced honeyeaters and the vibrant variegated wren. After around 2.5km, you'll reach an intersection. Head south for 1km to Towlers Bay lookout, for magnificent views of Towlers Bay and Pittwater - along with the Sea Eagles that live here.

Return to the intersection and follow Soldiers Point track around 1.3km to the lookout, where you'll have a brilliant view of The Basin and northern Pittwater. 

The Bairne Track was named after the historical Bairne Trigonometric Station, constructed near the trail in 1882 by Thomas Charles Swannell, who would chosen the name “Bairne” according to some sources. 

History pages available: 

Mr. Swannell was a Surveyor and the pioneer overseer of the NSW Trigonometrical Survey at that time, receiving, according to one article £3 10s a week for this work. Mr. Swanell was declared a bankrupt in 1895. His health deteriorated, leading to a heart attack a few years later. His son Fred, a popular Veterinarian in the Parramatta-Windsor area, also died of a heart condition in 1936.


WE have to record the death of another of Windsor's residents in the person of Mr Thomas Charles Swannell, who died rather suddenly on Sunday last, at his residence, Newtown, Windsor. Deceased was born at Bedfordshire, England, and was in his 58th year. He had resided in the district for the past nine years, during which time he held the position of Forest Ranger. On Saturday morning last the deceased drove to Pitt Town, at which place he took ill and had to be driven home Dr. Callaghan was summoned, and did all that was possible, and deceased appeared to be getting better. On Sunday morning, however, he took a sudden change, and about 6 p.m. he succumbed, the cause of death being paralysis of the heart, The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon. Leaving the house at 3 o'clock, the cortege, which was a large one, wended its way to St. Matthew's Church of England Cemetery, where the interment took place. The Rev S G Fielding officiated, and Mr J Primrose carried out the funeral arrangements. Obituary. (1897, September 4). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1961), p. 9. Retrieved from


Mr. Fredl Swannell, the well-known Parramatta veterinary surgeon, died last Saturday in the Parramatta private hospital, after an illness extending over a period of nine months. His heart was affected. Mr. Swannell had practised his profession at Parramatta for 34 years, and prior to the march of the motor was known, to practically every resident of the County of Cumberland. He was not ed for his professional skill, and his services were much in demand. Not only was he an expert in the treatment of stock, he was regarded as a high authority on dog's ailments. 

Born in Bungendore 59 years ago, he was the son of the late Thomas Charles Swannell, surveyor. He was educated at Richmond and the Hawkesbury Agricultural College, gaining his diploma at the college. During the South African War he was veterinary surgeon on one of the White Star transport vessels, making in all seven trips from Australia to Durban. He was also at the scene of action. When the Boxer outbreak was in progress in China he was also connected with the transport of horses for military purposes. He went on active service during the Great War, serving with the Light Horse in Palestine from 1916 to the signing of the Armistice. He was one of the first two men to enter Jerusalem when that city was taken by the British forces. 

At the conclusion of the war Mr. Swannell resumed practice at Parra matta and continued his activities in that sphere almost until his death. He was a conspicuos figure in the show ring, both as an official and exhibitor. He was honorary veterinary surgeon to Blacktown, Castle Hill, Granville, and Parramatta show societies. At the ''"Royal" he carried of many prizes, particularly in the section for cobs. His services as judge, both of cattle and horses, were frequently requisitioned. 

Many years ago, Mr. Swannell was veterinary surgeon in charge of the most valuable collection of blood stock ever sent to the East. The consignment was for the Japanese Government and included many prominent racehorses including a prominent Rosehill equine, Long Tom. At different periods he owned a number of racehorses, the last to carry his colors being Foudroyant, a winner at Randwick and elsewhere. About a year ago he built fine new stables on his property at Glebe-street, Parramatta, for Mr. Maurice Anderson, Foudroyant's mentor. 

Mr. Swannell was well-known in Masonic circles, having been a member of Lodge Sir Walter Scott, Granville, for many years. 

He is survived by his widow, two sons, Messrs. Kenneth and Robert Swannell, and a daughter, Mrs. C. Moore. Mr. Roland Swannell (Concord) is a brother of the deceased and Mrs. E.B. Pottie and Sister N. Swannell (Albury) are sisters. Sister Swannell also served in the Great War. 

The funeral took place on Monday afternoon and prior to the cortege leaving for the Crematorium, Rookwood, a service was conducted at the mortuary parlor of Messrs. Metcalfe and Morris, Parramatta, by Rev. Roberts, of St. John's, Parramatta. The chief mourners were deceased's relatives. 

Others present included Councillor A. Morehead, Messrs. E. T. Dolan (president Veterinary Surgeons' Association), T. B. Baker, J. Hicks (president Blacktown Show), W. H. Simpson (president Granville Show), H. E. Haddrill (president Parramatta Show), T. Perry, .T. Stewart, F.. Dncueum, R. Anderson, E . Howett, S. Hanscombe, A. L.'Bates, G. Mi. Pilgrim, 'H. Thomas, F. Smith, F. Madden (secretary N.S.W. Dairymnen's Association), P. A. Holmes, S. Evasis, E. Sell, H. R. Mathor (secretary Granville Show), W. Down, E. B. Dawes, A. Graham, T. . W.'. Cooper, S. Smith, - Strang, E. Budins -. noeble, H. Mason, W. A. Ross, I..E. Quigloy (''Cumber land Argus"), Bruce Pottie, S. Marks, J. Sands, R. Thompson, Mrs. T. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Fleet, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Leabeater, Detective and Mrs.J. McCarthy, Mrs. Gleeson, Miss Pitt, Miss N Harris, and others. Among the many floral tributes forwarded was a beautiful wreath from the Rosehill trainers. The funeral was conducted by Messrs. Metcalfe and Morris, Ltd.  MR. FRED SWANNELL (1936, January 2). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), p. 4. Retrieved from

The track was constructed for walkers and for Rangers to monitor the taking of Australian bushflowers prior to legislation that meant local people could be Honorary Rangers and keep an eye on the bush. 

Visit: A Bunch Of Wildflowers: Historical Spring September Songs

 KURING-GAI CHASE.  The executive trustees of Kuring-gai Chase, with Mr. J. Garrard, chairman, made their periodical inspection of the Chase on Saturday. At Pittwater the local progress committee waited upon them for some improvements in that section, such as shelter accommodation and water supply in connection with the magnificent view and track from the "Lookout"(500 feet) above Lovett's Bay. A large number of visitors are said to be attracted to the western side of Pittwater, and the view overlooking the broken indentations of Pittwater is said to be equal to anything in the way of marine views to be found in the world. A request was also made for a track from Pittwater to the head of Coal and Candle creeks, Cowan. Further, that a landing jetty be placed for excursionists at Chinaman's Beach, on the western side of Pittwater. The trustees have the requests under consideration.

Several improvements have recently been made which will be found very convenient by visitors to the Chase. They include the erection of a new rustic shelter shed at Kuring-gai Point, in the Bobbin section, together with water supply. Some of the commodious caves which are largely used by camping parties have been made more comfortable for occupation by levelling and cementing the floors, etc.
Between Umbrella and Peach Tree caves a dam has been put in to secure a water supply, and a pipe line has been laid to the water’s edge, so as to suit boating parties.The various properties of the Chase were inspected, and generally found to be in good order. The picturesque surroundings of both Cowan and  Pittwater were found to be most attractive, and there is a prospect of a large number of visitors in the present season. The fishing is also said to be improving with the warmer weather. KURING-GAI CHASE. (1908, October 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

The park has several of these trigonometrical stations:

Department of Lands,
Sydney, 4th November. 1893.
HIS Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, directs it to be notified that, in pursuance of the provisions of the 101st section of the Crown Lands Act of 1884, the land hereunder described shall be reserved from sale for trigonometrical purposes, and is hereby reserved accordingly.

Metropolitan Land District.
No. 18,967. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Bairne Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 10 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries : Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 7 chains 7 links from Bairne Trigonometrical Station ; and bounded thence by a line bearing south 10 chains; thence by a line west 10 chains ; thence by a line north 10 chains; and thence by a line east 10 chains, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 98-8,051 Dep ]
No. 18,988. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Arthur Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 4 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries : Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 4 chains 47 1/2 links from Arthur Trigonometrical Station ; and bounded thence by a line south 6 chains 33 links ; thence by a line west 6 chains 33 links ; thence by a lino north 6 chains 33 links j and thence by a line east 6 chains 33 links, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,052 Dep.] 
No. 18,969. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Cowan Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 4 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries: Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 4 chains 47 3/4 links from Cowan Trigonometrical Station ; and bounded thence by a line south 6 chains 33 links ; thence by a line west 6 chains 33 links; thence by a line north 6 chains 33 links ; and thence by a line east 6 chains 33 links, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,052 Dep.]
No. 18,970. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Duffy Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 4 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries : Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 4 chains 47 1/2 links from Duffy Trigonometrical Station; and bounded thence by a line south 6 chains 33 links ; thence by a line west 6 chains 33 links ; thence by a line north 6 chains 33 links ; and thence by a line east 6 chains 33 links, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,052 Dep. ]
No. 18,971. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Eva Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 10 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries : Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 7 chains 7 links from Eva Trigonometrical Station ; and bounded thence by a line bearing south 10 chains j thence by a line west 10 chains; thence by a line north 10 chains j and thence by a line east 10 chains, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,052 Dep.]
No. 18,972. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at White Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 5 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries : Commencing south 7 chains 8 links;j thence by a line west 7 chains 8 links j thence by a line north 7 chains 8 links; and thence by a line east 7 chains 8 links, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,054 Dep.]
No. 18,973. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at M'Carr Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 4 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries: Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 4 chains 47 1/2 links from M'Carr Trigonometrical Station j and bounded thence by a line south 6 chains 33 links; thence by a line west 6 chains 33 links; thence by a line north 6 chains 33 links, and thence by a line east 6 chains 33 links, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,055 Dep.]
No. 18,974. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Taber Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 4 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries: Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 4 chains 47£ links from Taber Trigonometrical Station; and bounded thence by a line bearing south 6 chains 33 links; thence by a line bearing west 6 chains 33 links j thence by a line bearing north 6 chains 33 links j and thence by a line east 6 chains 33 links, to the point of commencement. [Mb. 93-8,056 Dep.]
No. 18,975. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Roach Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 10 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries: Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 7 chains 7 links from Roach Trigonometrical Station j and bounded thence by a line south 10 chains ; thence by a line west 10 chains; thence by a line north 20 chains; thence by a line east 10 chains, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,057 Wep.]
No. 18,976. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, at Wilkins Trigonometrical Station, containing an area of 3 acres. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries: Commencing at a point bearing north 45 degrees east 3 chains 87 links from Wilkins Trigonometrical Station ; and bounded thence by a line bearing south 5 chains 48 links ; thence by a line bearing west 5 chains 48 links ; thence by a line bearing north 5 chains 48 links; and thence by a line bearing cast I chains 48 links, to the point of commencement. [Ms. 93-8,058 Dep.] RESERVES FROM SALE FOR TRIGONOMETRICAL PURPOSES. (1893, November 4). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 8592. Retrieved from

The Trigonometrical Survey of New South Wales, as it was then known, commenced in 1867 with the selection of the first baseline at Lake George and continued with little interruption for almost 50 years until it was suspended for reasons of economy and war in 1916. By then, about one third of the State (mainly in the south-east) had been covered by a series of well-conditioned triangles of first and lower orders. The survey was resumed intermittently between the two World Wars with much of its progress attributable to the Royal Australian Survey Corps, particularly the connections to the Victorian and Queensland networks, and along the NSW North Coast.

Trig stations are the traditional backbone of a classical survey control network and form the primary or highest-order network, from which all other surveys are controlled. Trig stations come in a variety of forms and structures and usually consist of a primary monument or standpoint surrounded by witness or eccentric marks. The primary monument can take on a multitude of forms, ranging from survey pillars (concrete or steel) to plugs in stone underneath rock cairns or in rare cases galvanised iron (GI) pipes or stainless steel rods in soil. It should be noted that all CORSnet-NSW stations are also trig stations – these are known as ‘active’ trigs.

From; Preservation and Upgrade of Trigonometrical Stations in NSW by Nicholas Gowans, Simon McElroy and Volker Janssen, Land and Property Information. Azimuth, May, 2015. Retrieved from

Department of Lands,
Sydney, 22nd May, 1886.
RESERVE from sale for military purposes.
HIS Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, directs it to be notified that, in pursuance of the provisions of the 101st section of the Crown Lands Act of 1894, the land specified in the Schedule appended hereto shall be reserved from sale for military purposes, and is hereby reserved accordingly.
No. 149. County of Cumberland, parish of Broken Bay, area 3 acres 1 rood 20 perches. The Crown Lands within the following boundaries : Commencing at a peg bearing south 48 degrees 31 minutes east and distant 48 chains 74 links from trigonometrical station, "Bairne" ; and bounded thence on the east by a line bearing south 9 degrees 30 minutes east 7 chains 87 links to high-water mark on the shore of Fowler's Bay, Pittwater; thence on the south-west by that high-water mark north-westerly to a peg bearing south 80 degrees 30 minute3 west, from the point of commencement and thence on the north by a line bearing north 80 degrees 30 minutes east 6 chains 48 links to that point.
Shown on plan catalogued C. 884-2,030 Roll. Within the Metropolitan Land Board District. [Ms. 86-7,002] RESERVE FROM SALE FOR MILITARY PURPOSES. (1886, May 22). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 3653. Retrieved from

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park was declared in 1894, and is the second oldest national park in Australia, with the Royal National Park being the oldest. Following pressure from Eccleston Du Faur, to establish a "National Park for North Sydney", approximately 13,500 hectares, including not only land areas but also most of Cowan Water, was set aside in 1894 as Ku-ring-gai Chase and placed under the care, control and management of trustees. The park was named after its original inhabitants, an Aboriginal group called the Kuring-gai or Guringai, and called a "chase" to indicate it was an area of natural bush which was not enclosed by fences. Ku-ring-gai Chase became a national park with the proclamation of the National Parks and Wildlife Act in 1967. Additions to the park have made it 14,882 hectares in size.

Setting out on the main inspection, the trustees left the houseboat by launch and visited the head of Smith's Crock, the head of Coal and Candle Creek, Jerusalem Bay, past Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Longnose Point, Pittwater, Lovett's Bay, and Towler's Bay. Here the climbing started. Almost overhead from the trustees' buildings, at Towler's Bay are to be seen great overhanging lodges of rock, called Perry's Lookout, after Mr. John Perry, a member of the trust. To reach this point, a very steep ascent had to be negotiated. Once at the top, the energy of the climbers was well rewarded. The view was simply magnificent. Far below, about ' 450ft., were the buildings, the wharves, the launches, and the sea. Intercepting the view downward, were further ledges of rock and a forest of apple-tree, ironbark, oak, peppermint, cabbage-tree, etc. The sight of a forest of trees from above was distinctly novel. Just out to sea, and in a line with the vegetation were to be seen countless myriads of jellyfish of enormous size. They dotted the water for a considerable distance. One could see Narrabeen and Big Reef in the distance, Pittwater, Scotland Island, M'Carr's Creek, Bay View, and Church Point in the south. The ocean was in easy reach to the eastward over a ridge forming the eastern boundary of Pittwater. 

A walk of nearly a mile on an excellent track brought the trustees to Bairne trig station, where the view, possibly a trifle less perfect, was much more comprehensive. South Head and the lighthouse, distant about 15 miles, 'and the towers of St. Patrick's College, Manly, could be clearly seen. Many successive ranges of hills and Cape Three Points met the eye looking northward, while westward houses at Hornsby, and sometimes a train wore visible. The expanse of ocean favored by the early afternoon sun heightened the attractions. With the aid of glasses the site of the wreck of the Maitland could be located to the northward. For the convenience of visitors, the trustees have erected fireplaces, and a tank of water at Bairne. Descending a zig-zag pathway, the travellers reached the Basin, where an informal discussion took place as to- the best place to construct a landing Jetty to afford protection for small craft from the north-easterlies. It is probable that this work and the erection of baths inside the Basin will be undertaken before very long. The Basin is very popular as an anchorage and yachting rendezvous. Launches and yachts can go round the bench— a spit — and sail in the stretch of water behind it. There is an area of about fifty acres adjacent to the beach, which, it Is understood, the Government intends to resume for camping purposes. The trustees and the public interested are very desirous that this convenience should be afforded. There can be no doubt that with the wider dissemination of information concerning the attractions of the Chase, the area will become much more popular, and it may, in time, draw similar thousands to those who go to National Park. KURING-GAI CHASE. (1912, October 22).The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 9. Retrieved from 

As can be seen from the photos shared below, this dynamic trio of Pittwater Seniors continued on to West Head to revel in the spectacular vistas afforded there.

Our thanks to Kevin for sharing these wonderful snapshots from the trail with and for all Readers unable to get into the great outdoors at present - these visions will lift the spirits!

Newport Breakers Rugby Club's Historic 2020 Season: Four Out Of Five Trophies Won

The Newport Breakers are 2020:

Club Champions: now holders of the Keith “Doc” Harris Shield
Clark Cup Major and Minor Premiers (Undefeated) 
Farrant Cup Premiers
Nicholson Cup Major and Minor Premiers

Newport were in the running for the Campbell Cup too, just being pipped in the Semi-Finals.

Grand Finals Statistics:

Clark Cup: Newport 35 - Beecroft 19
Farrant Cup: Newport 40 - Old Iggies 15
Nicholson Cup: Newport 22 - Beecroft 13

In February of this year Newport Breakers Rugby Club players, coaches, supporters and family members were spending their off-season at Braidwood helping others through BlazeAid. During December 2019, a few days before Christmas, their 'Bro Walk' initiative was launched with members and community men of all ages encouraged to enjoy a beautiful place and some space to talk. The main message is it's okay to feel emotions, and that it is okay to talk about what's really going on.

''For too long men have been told to “harden up” or “get over it” but we're trying to change that. Let's change the way men are told to think.''

By July, when after all the push backs on community sport to keep everyone safe eased, the club finally got to play its first home game at Porters Reserve and came in undefeated and remained undefeated by days end.

President Jake Osborne said then;

‘’There’s a real focus this Season on fostering community with all the teams we host or play away games against. Suburban rugby has an strategic objective of ‘Sharing the Spirit of the Game’ with a continuing passion and commitment directed at strengthening Rugby at the grassroots community level. By also promoting good fellowship amongst players of, and persons interested in, the game, we hope to extend the inclusivity Newport has always worked under and towards.

This is also a good way to be present for those teams based in areas that may be under stress due to what’s happening in their own communities across the Sydney Basin. ’’

‘’On a local level, we have a range of ways we’re going to be working with local businesses, we’ll aim to keep providing community activities when and where possible and look towards scheduling, if possible, some of the ideas we had prior to all games being suspended – the 10’s competition for instance.’

’At home games will not only follow the protocols set up by the state government and Suburban rugby so we can create a safe environment for everyone to enjoy their rugby, we’ll also have the food of some of the restaurants and other sponsors that support us on site and aim to add something a little special in when we can.

Our next home game we’ll have the Red Bull truck visiting and providing music – some fun and entertainment is a good way to give an opportunity for everyone to gain some perspective and a bit of connection after what has been, so far, an interesting and challenging Season.’’

‘’To best achieve these objectives in a sustainable way, we’ll have our eyes firmly set on the big focus this Season – to promote community with our community and, as I said earlier, with other teams.

‘’We haven’t lost a game this year, so there’s a positive energy in the club among all grades of players and our supporters. We have a lot of great young players coming through and we’ll be doing our level best to help them go as far as they can.’’

Well, Jake, all Newport players, coaches, supporters and family members - JOB DONE - what an amazing and historic Season and what an incredible club!

Not only have you forged new community connections, maintained and strengthened those already in place, looked after each other - looked out and for others by giving your time and energy in hard work to help those devastated by last Summers' fires - looked for and found a way to ensure the conversations that need to be had can be - improved the facilities at Porters so the place looks great - inspired the next generation of youngsters through your conduct and ethos of inspiring inclusion of all - BROUGHT HOME FOUR 2020 TROPHIES - you have done it all with grace, quietness and respectfulness.

Congratulations to all of the Newport Breakers Rugby Community - you're a huge crowd of absolute stars to every man, boy, woman, and girl - no exceptions - and you have given the whole community a smile and laugh that is much needed. 

Thank you for all you have done for so many all year long.

Some History of these Cups and Shield sourced from "The Game for the Game Itself - The History of Sub-District Rugby in Sydney” via the Subbies webpage, and a Tribute for Dr Harris written by his son David when his father passed away in 2005, seems in keeping with this momentous occasion:

Clark Cup (1st Grade):

In 1972 the Clark Cup was presented to the union by Bob Clark, a foundation member of the Briars Club and also a past secretary and life member of the Metropolitan Sub-District Rugby Union (MSDRU). The Clark Cup was originally contested by teams in the "B" group of Division Three, then in 1975 to the "B" group of fourth division. After restructuring the various Divisions in 1995 the Clark Cup has been the premier award in Division Three.

Farrant Cup (2nd Grade):

Hunters Hill club stalwart Don Farrant was a long time supporter of sub-district rugby. Don presented the Farrant Cup to the MSDRU in 1974. Initially included in an expanded Fourth Division, the Farrant Cup became the award for the Division Three Second Grade premiership in 1995.

Nicholson Cup (Colts):

The Nicholson Cup is named after former Ku-ring-gai President John Nicholson. Originally the Nicholson Cup was awarded to the Division Three Fourth Grade premiers, and now is given to the winners of the Colts (U21) competition.

Keith “Doc” Harris Shield (Club Champions):

The Keith 'Doc' Harris Shield is named after Dr Keith Harris, King's School, Parramatta student, University of Sydney medical student who joined the 2/14 Field Regiment - the "Broken Eighth" - as a gunner in WWII. After he came home and returned to his studies. He remained with the Citizen Military Forces (army reserve) throughout his active life, and rose to the rank of colonel and commanded the 7th Field Ambulance and the CMF's One General Hospital in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1968 he briefly took up active duty again, as leader of a volunteer surgical team in the Vietnam War hotspot, Long Xuyen. Keith was also an active member of Legacy for more than 50 years, and after his retirement became chairman of the Manly-Warringah branch.

As a doctor he soon developed a passion for public health, particularly the treatment of tuberculosis, initially in Perth and then in Sydney where he quickly rose to become the director of the TB division of the NSW Department of Health. He was offered the Commonwealth position, but declined for family reasons. Under his 20-year directorship, a statewide surveillance network for TB was greatly expanded. So successful was it that a state of relative complacency developed, against which he argued strenuously - a concern vindicated by the recent resurgence of TB.

He was able to continue his commitment to TB control long after his so-called retirement both within Australia, as director and life governor of the Community Health and Anti-TB Association of NSW, and internationally, as secretary-general of the International (Eastern Division) Union Against TB and Lung Disease.

Keith was a member of St John Ambulance for almost 50 years, and held a number of executive positions. He was director of the NSW branch in the 1990s, and made a Commander of St John in 1992. His combined medical and military interests made him a natural choice as doctor at two international Scout jamborees. He was later asked to become NSW commissioner for handicapped Scouts. Keith held this position for 25 years and found it very satisfying, especially as he achieved the integration of handicapped Scouts into regular jamborees. 

During the 1960s and '70s he spent many rowing seasons at his beloved King's filming the crews for training purposes. To honour his commitment an eight was named "the Keith Harris"; it went on to win three GPS Heads of the River. He was president of King's Old Boys Rugby Club for almost 20 years, and the subdistrict third division trophy became the Doc Harris Cup. In 2000 he received a Commonwealth Award for sporting achievement.

A penchant for good food, wine and cigarettes took its toll on his health, but he never let that diminish his enthusiasm for community involvement. In fact, when he developed diabetes a decade ago, he took this as a sign that he should become involved, and he was chairman of the Manly-Warringah branch of Diabetes Australia for several years in the late 1990s. In 1999 he was made a member of the Order of Australia for his services to medicine and public health, particularly the prevention of tuberculosis. This was one of half-a-dozen community awards he received.

Clark Cup: Winners!

Farrant Cup: Winners!

Nicholson Cup: Winners!

Elvina Bay Walking Track: Spring 2020
Photos By Joe Mills

Continuing the Spring 2020 celebrations of local places you can go explore is this Issue's pictorial by regular contributor and past Artist of the Month, Joe Mills, who took these brilliant images on Tuesday, September 15th this week.

In August 2019 Penny Gleen of the Church Point Ferry Service shared some wonderful images of the flowers spotted in this place on the verge of Spring. In September a full flourish of every colour 

Starting at the Elvina Track car park, you follow a fairly level fire management trail, before descending steeply through she oaks and large eucalyptus to the coast and houses. At Elvina Bay Park there's picnic areas and a fabulous rope swing. There are optional side trips to aboriginal rock engravings and the historic grave site of Frederick, one of the Oliver family members.

The rock carvings are quite famous and represent one of the biggest examples of petroglyphs in Australia. The CSIRO states this is an enormous site with many different types of engraving. As you come in from the main Elvina Track, the path forks into two, both of which lead to the engraving site. 

The CSIRO webpage on Indigenous Astrology provides:

If you take the left-hand fork you will encounter a pair of wallabies engraved in a rock across the path, which, it is said, is a warning that you are approaching a male initiation site. If you take the right fork, then when you reach the main site, you will see a giant whale to your right, and an emu and the Baime/Daramulan creator spirit, together with his emu-wife, to your left. Walking down the sheet of rock, look for shields, wallabies, fish, eels, and other shapes that are not easily classified.

On your left, you will also see a line of rock a few centimetres wide, which is presumably natural, crossed by several lines, which appear to be man made. It has been suggested that this is a lunar calendar.

Notice too how the surface of the rock is pitted with thousands of tiny holes, or cup-marks. Are these man-made or natural? The answer is unclear. Consider the following factors:

  • Such holes can be made by natural geological process (e.g. by a small pebble being moved by wind and rain). But go to the West of the site and you will see these cup-marks on steeply sloping surfaces, where no pebble could sit, and no pool of water could accumulate.
  • In places (see photo below) there are arrangements of these holes in straight lines which are obviously man made.
  • On the other hand, there are holes in places which merge imperceptibly into the obvious erosion patterns, and so are presumably natural.
  • How could so many holes be man made? Consider this: Suppose, as part of the initiation ritual, each boy made one hole. If this site was in use for 5000 years, and each year a few dozen boys were initiated, then there would be about 200000 holes.

The answer may be a combination of natural and man-made. In some places they are obviously man-made, and in some places obviously naturally eroded, so perhaps humans enlarged and deepened existing hollows, and erosion took over where humans left off. It has been suggested by Hugh Cairns and others that some of these patterns of holes represent constellations in the sky. The jury is still out on this hypothesis.

The Elvina Bay 'Loop' is a 3km, grade 4 Circuit hike and takes around two and a half hours to do - longer if you're going to study the rock art, visit the waterfall, or take a picnic.

Elvina Bay itself was named by Herbert Fitzpatrick to honour the lady who introduced him to his wife when they were both at Manly, a long time ago now. Insights on this can be accessed in one of the Pittwater Online Summer Houses series and in the Pittwater Regattas series:

Our thanks to Joe for championing this 2020 Spring series for those who cannot get to these trails themselves - thank you Joe - just beautiful.

This week's stroll:


The Lilypad Will Be Rebuilt

Those who live out Careel Bay and Palm Beach way heard 7 sirens heading north last Sunday afternoon and it was soon apparent that little floating villa that has been on the Pittwater estuary for the past few years was alight and could not be saved, despite the best efforts of the local Marine Rescue and RFS Units.

Photo by Simon Mitchell

The owners have this week posted the following message on the Lilypad website:

Customers, friends and partners, 

We are so devastated that our life’s work and passion, Lilypad has been irreparably damaged by a fire on-board.

Lilypad has brought such joy and wonderment to its guests over the past 18 months and many beautiful memories have been made on board. 
We are still coming to terms with the news and devastation of the fire, however we want all of our guests who have future bookings to know that they will be in touch as soon as possible. We also want all of our past, future and potential guests to know that we will be back. 

We will rebuild and we will create another unique, world class concept that we hope everyone will love as much as the first. This year has been so hard on so many and we had found ourselves very fortunate to be able to keep going through COVID-19, adapting to the restrictions and bouncing back when they eased. And that’s the beauty of being a small, family run business. We are agile and adaptable and our passion and determination can not be matched. 

We’ve got a long journey ahead but we will bring Lilypad back to life so that we can keep delighting guests with the experience and offering that is like no other.

If you would like to be kept in the loop with the progress of Lilypad 2.0, please sign up here and we will keep you informed of the rebuild journey and when you will again be able to come and stay with us. 

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you in the not too distant future. 

Commissioner Rob Rogers AFSM

Commissioner Rob Rogers first became involved with the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) in 1979 as a volunteer member of the Belrose Rural Fire Brigade, before being appointed Deputy Fire Control Officer for the Greater Taree District in 1995.

Mr Rogers has held various executive roles in the NSW RFS since 2001, including responsibility for Regional Management, Community Safety and Operations.

In 2011 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner.

He represents the NSW RFS on national and state bodies including: Chair of the Australian Fire Danger Ratings Board; Chair of the State Bush Fire Arson Taskforce; Chair of the Aviation Industry Reference Group and Aviation Advisory Committee; Co-chair of the Incident Management Road Safety Working Group; and Co-chair of the Joint Operations Taskforce.

During the most recent devastating fire season, Commissioner Rogers, oversaw the statewide response to more than 11,400 bush and grass fires that burnt more than 5.5 million hectares, destroyed 2,448 homes and tragically took 25 lives.

Commissioner Rogers was awarded the National Medal in 1995 and the Australian Fire Service Medal in 2004.

Commissioner Rogers was formally appointed to the role of Commissioner in July 2020.

Photos courtesy Belrose RFB

Stapleton Reserve In Spring 2020: An Urban Ark Of Plants Found Nowhere Else 
Photos By A J Guesdon

Pittwater is very fortunate to have the privilege of being a place of urban reserves that are virtual 'Arks' of plants species that do not exist anywhere else. Apart from being places the human population may run to for moments of peace, they are home to all the animals that live there - the bandicoots, possums, birds and other species that are part of this place. 

On Saturday September 19th a few hours with Marita Macrae OAM (The Queen's Birthday 2004 Honours List; ''For service to the environment through a number of organisations, particularly the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association and the Avalon Preservation Trust.'') brings home why it is so important that we all look after these places and how rich the biodiversity in these reserves is - you may think you're just looking at some trees, ferns and grasses - but this place is far richer than that. A field survey of the Park was undertaken in May and June 1994 and a Plant Species List and Fauna Species List for Stapleton Park was compiled, showing almost 200 plant species particular to this unique Park and a long list of resident animals and birds that live here or frequent Stapleton as annual migratory birds. Butterflies recorded from South Corner of Stapleton Reserve by Bart Hacobian in 1993 and 1994 showed at least six species present as well. The extensive list of plants found in this Park runs below - and this is just one place, one Park, and one example.

When you get to visit a reserve with someone who knows the plant species, and what they do, who knows the different calls the many birds make, a whole world opens for you and what was prior to then 'a bunch of trees, ferns and grasses' is revealed as so much more, so much so that it is worth putting a few insights here for you all of this wonderland we are all carers or, to use an old word, Keepers of. 

The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association offer regular Plant and Bird Walks during each year, all free. If you 'like' or follow their Facebook page, or become a member, you will know when one is coming up and enjoy finding out more about what's in our area. Visit:

Marita Macrae in Stapleton Park

A magnificent Grey Gum (E. punctata) example on the hill heading down Riviera Avenue with a Spotted Gum (Eucalyptus maculatagrowing alongside it.

North Avalon Surfriders Association (NASA) Win Inaugural Aloha Manly Junior Teams Event

Photo by Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

Wednesday, 7 October 2020
Report By Surfing NSW

North Avalon has claimed the inaugural Aloha Manly Junior Teams event presented by Hurley. The northern beaches team took honours in an exciting fashion, smashing apart the solid five-foot conditions at Manly Beach with Van Whiteman, Luke Dujic and Hamish Nosworthy all taking heat victories today that allowed the club to propel ahead of North Steyne, Narrabeen and Merewether who claimed second, third and fourth respectively. 

Avalon put on consistent performances over the course of the entire event notching up five wins, two seconds and a third that gave them the upper hand against some fancied opponents.

As a result, Avalon was rewarded with $5000 first-place prize purse.

The overall leaderboard can be found here.

The Aloha Manly Junior Teams event presented by Hurley got off to a flying start on Tuesday October 6th with some of the country’s best junior surfers trading blows in fun and punchy two-foot surf at Manly Beach. 

Manly surfers Winter Vincent (Queenscliff) and Saxon Reber (North Steyne) used their local knowledge to their advantage posting the two highest heat totals of the Under-18 Boys. Both surfers executed a handful of hard-hitting snaps and carves in their respective heats to claim victories with heat totals in excess of 15.00. As a result, both Vincent and Reber added the maximum amount of points for their boardriders clubs. 

Xavier Bryce (Long Reef) got his local boardriders club cheering from the land as he nailed his 16 Boys heat. Bryce fought an exciting heat with Koda Killorn (Maroubra) and Joel Barry (North Shelly) that saw all surfers posting scores in the decent range. Bryce hit his peak when he was able to notch up an excellent 8.17 for a series of giant forehand hits that ultimately gave him the upper hand against his opposition. 

Hughie Vaughan (North Shelly) showed why he was a multiple Australian Title holder nailing his 14 Boys heat. Vaughan surfed impeccably over the course of his heat, hammering an array of mammoth backside snaps that saw him rewarded with a 16.83 two-wave heat total and a win for his club. 

Not to be outdone, Mannix Greentree-Squiers (Scarborough) shone in his 14 Boys exchange, notching up a 15.43 two-wave heat total on he first day of the compeition. Squiers remained busy over the duration of his heat, catching ten waves and leaving his closest rivals needing two-wave totals to take away his lead.

A total of 24 clubs from all over NSW competed in the elite event.  

With $10,000 in prize money, some of the country’s best junior talent - and the largest contingent of NSW grassroots board riding - was on show. 

Each team consisted of eight surfers: two x Under-12s; two x Under-14s; two x Under-16s; and two x Under-18s. 

All surfers got to surf one heat, with points allotted for individual heat placing, meaning the most consistent team over the two days took home the title and the $5000 first prize. 

The event ran from the 6th – 8th October 2020, was the brainchild of the North Steyne Boardriders Club, who wanted to provide junior surfers from around the state with a focal point during the tough COVID-19 period.  

The contest was at the same venue as the Sydney Surf Pro. and was broadcast live on the Surfing NSW Facebook page. 

The event is proudly sponsored by Aloha Surf Manly, Hurley Australia, Open 4, Live Heats, Dolce Terra, Doctor V, Surfing NSW and the Hotel Steyne.

Aloha Manly Junior Teams Event 2020 Action

Surf Life Saving Squad At The Basin

A few weeks back Peter Bodman, a Reader sent in a photo and query and said he'd send in a few of his family photos to share with the community. This week they turned up - from Peter:

''Sally Morris known as Peg was prominent during my childhood as Peg's cottage stood near the wharf site.  One time after a storm when we were camping our tent ripped and the Ranger allowed us to stay in Peg's Cottage and that would be late 50's early 60's.  The cottage should've been saved, but sadly is no longer there.

On the hillside in the Inner Basin on an old walking track there is a gravesite, as I recall properly constructed with an iron surround. I'm now wondering who is buried there as it was something we visited as kids.  Both my mother's and sister's ashes are spread at The Basin on the hillside behind where our tent site, so they form part of the people who chose The Basin as their final resting place.

Some photos;

My sister Wendy-Lee & myself, early days for us camping at The Basin

The campers during extended holidays at Christmas, no doubt under my father's guidance, set up mock surf rescues and patrols.

A boyhood friend with the old cold water shower and change shed in the background.  There were two sheds for men and women, close the the fenced off baths with a large diving platform at the Inner Basin.

A group of kids & the typical camp sites behind, most campers had large family tents app. 15 foot x 15'.

Peter Bodman,
October 2020

The Towlers Bay Loop + A Hike To Mount Murray Anderson 
Photos By Kevin Murray And Joe Mills

The Towlers Bay Walking Track explores another ridge of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and heads down a steep hill to the Towler’s Bay community. You can explore the village and the ferry wharf before walking past the Youth Hostel on the walk back up. The Youth Hostel is available for an overnight stay, but book ahead. Please remember you are visiting a small community and respect the privacy of the local people.

If you walk the whole track, including the Birnie Lookout (Flagstaff Hill) this will be an 8 kilometre circuit. But you can also just head in from West Head road, enjoy the flowers currently out, grab a deep draught of Pittwater, and then out again.

Insights available on The Pittwater YHA: Some History

Mount Murray Anderson is located to the south of Smiths Creek, an arm of Cowan Creek. It was named in 1936 by the Trustees of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in memory of Sir Murray Anderson who was Governor of New South Wales in 1936. 

Sir David Murray Anderson entered the Royal Navy as a cadet and rose to the rank of Admiral in 1930, he retired in 1932. He was Governor of Newfoundland 1932-35 and was appointed Governor of New South Wales in November 1935 but because of ill-health he was not sworn in until August 6th 1936 and subsequently passed away on October 30, 1936.

Historical insights available in Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years Of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase And The Men Of Flowers Inspired By Eccleston Du Faur and Pittwater’s Parallel Estuary: The Cowan ‘Creek’

This is a fair hike of 10.5 kilometres, which shows how fit Kevin and Glenys Murray and Joe Mills are - definitely a credo of 'use it or lose it' being followed here - and sharing some wonderful views and details of these trails as part of that - thank you lady and gentlemen.

This track crosses a section of low shrubs and tall grass before it re-enters the dry sclerophyll forest. The track reaches the Arthur Trig (TS649) where the stone cairn can be seen. From the trig point the track heads downhill, and crosses a broad grassy saddle toward Mount Murray Anderson.

The track reaches a small sandstone platform, which has a faint Aboriginal carvings.

Closer to the base of Mount Murray Anderson is the first of several huge rock platforms, bearing deep “scars” where water has carved long and deep grooves into the rock.

There are a number of fairly clear engravings including on this rock, including two figures, a shield and a circle that may be a full moon (it looks very much like the engravings depicting the phases of the moon at the “Moon Rock” site in Garigal National Park).

To the west, on the other side of the valley, is the ridge that the Long Trail follows to the “Peach Trees” lookout at the end.

The track now climbs toward the summit of Mount Murray Anderson, before reaching another rock platform near the summit. From here there are spectacular views from the edge of the steep escarpment, looking over Smiths Creek.

“Wilkins” Trig Station is not far off the Perimeter Trail from this end. 

Towlers Bay Stroll

By Joe Mills

Mount Murray Anderson 

photos by Kevin Murray

Sam Verrills Visits His Junior Rugby League Stomping Ground 

Left to right: Brian Friend OAM, Sam, Paul Collins, Life Member of AJRLFC, and son Anthony Collins, current President of the club.

Avalon Bulldogs held their 59th Annual Presentation Day at Hitchcock Park, Avalon Beach on Saturday 17th of October, 2020.

The club conducted the 'presentation' under the strict Covid guidelines and all attendees completed the 'register' prior to meeting at the area adjacent to the club house. Trophies were presented to many players and 'Premiership Jackets' awarded to the Under 13 Premiership winning side.

Club Person of the Year   :  was Virginia Leigh

Mum of the Year               :  was Emma Wake

Club Coach of the Year     :  was Bjorn Wolthers.

SPECIAL THANKS  must go to our 'Guest of Honour' Sam Verrills (Sydney Roosters Premiership winning hooker 2019) who first played for the club in the Under 6's in 2003 and 2004. He won the Under 17 Grand Final on Brooky Oval in 2017 for the Mighty Avalon Bulldogs, was selected in the Sea Eagles Representative sides before signing with the Roosters. We thank the Roosters Staff for allowing Sam to present trophies which he then had photos taken with players, parents and old coaches. As he had other commitments, Sam graciously said farewell and thanked all the crowd for their efforts during this Covid effected season. He is a credit to the NRL, The Sydney Roosters and his family and we are all proud of how he presents himself as a gentleman and Rugby League player.

Brian Friend   OAM
Avalon Bulldogs Life Member

The Elvina Bay-Lovett Bay Loop 
Photos By Kevin Murray And Joe Mills

Joe Mills and Kevin Murray, in fine company with Glenys Murray, again treat those not able to see these sights to a tour of the wonders we live amongst. For this hike they went in an anti-clockwise direction and enjoyed not only the smells and sounds of Kuring-Gai Chase National Park, but also the beautiful 'falls' above Elvina and Lovett Bays.

Part of this October 2020 'tour' encompassed visiting one of the largest indigenous engraving sites in Australia. You will notice in the images that Joe, Glenys and Kevin are careful to not step on this site even though they took some wonderful images. This platform is still a sacred site, even if not in continuous current use by the current relations of these ancestors. 

Glenys and Kevin Murray - photo by Joe Mills

In January 2020 Conny Harris, in sharing some news about a site at Cromer, showed everyone with shoes off and a proper 'welcome to country' ceremony by an elder in going near or onto these places.

CSIRO's ATNF has shared some insights into this very special site, well worth reading, here, along with guidelines that also recommend not going onto the rock platforms as this can cause them to deteriorate further. 

The Elvina-Lovetts' Loop is around 4.5 kilometres and will take a least three to four hours, depending on how long you pause to smell the wildflowers or enjoy the views. It encompasses Elvina Bay, Fredericks Track and Lovett Bay Falls and pools. Truly a spectacular Pittwater 'verge' that has been photographed for over a century and captured through fresh eyes by Joe and Kevin for you this Spring.

Lovett Bay Falls by Joe Mills

For those who like to do a comparison, a few insights are available in 'Pittwater Summer Houses: 'Rocky Point And Elvina Bay Peninsula -  A Place Of  Holiday Songs And Operas In Ventnor, Fairhaven, Trincomalee and Maritana' and Flagstaff Hill – Lovett Bay.

Yellow-tailed black cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus funereus, above Lovett Bay, October 2020 - photo by Joe Mills

Yellow-tailed black cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus funereus, above Lovett Bay, October 2020 - photos by Kevin Murray

Kevin Murray's Photographs


Trad Biocontrol Release In Pittwater

At the track to the  Irrawong Waterfall: Marita Macrae, Julie Bennett, David Palmer, Edna Blanchard
For a few years members of the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association have been following the research and development of Australia’s national science agency CSIRO new biocontrol agent called “leaf smut” in a bid to help save rainforests across Australia from an invasive South American weed.

Wandering trad (Tradescantia fluminensis) has become a significant environmental weed in parts of eastern Australia where it forms dense carpets on forest floors, smothering native vegetation and clogging waterways. Many residents will have seen it around Pittwater.

healthy Trad has white flowers. Both Trad and the leaf fungus are native to Brazil

CSIRO senior research scientist Dr Louise Morin said weeds like wandering trad had a significant economic, environmental and social impact in Australia.

“Weeds are one of the biggest threats to Australia’s unique environment – in many areas across Australia they are damaging native vegetation, which threatens whole ecosystems including native wildlife,” Dr Morin said.

“Last year Australia spent almost $30 million protecting the natural environment from weeds. In the agriculture sector, weeds cost the industry more than $4.8 billion per year.”

“The fungus is spread through spores and needs the leaves of the wandering trad to survive – if there is no wandering trad to infect, the fungus dies,” Dr Morin said. “We know from decades of research in this field, that specialised fungi, like the leaf smut, have specific genes that enable them to successfully infect and cause disease only on single or a narrow range of plant species. “So we look at plants that are related to wandering trad including native plants to make sure the fungus will only infect the weed.”

Wandering trad has infested native forests across eastern Australia, from eastern parts of NSW and south-east Queensland, to the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria where the biocontrol agent was first released in 2019.

CSIRO field biologist Dr Ben Gooden, who is coordinating the rollout of the biocontrol program across Australia, said highly targeted and tested biocontrol agents like the fungus were a more environmentally sustainable option than other available tools.

“Scientifically tested biocontrol agents like this fungus provide a longer term, environmentally sustainable way of controlling weeds like wandering trad, without harming Australian plants or animals,” Dr Gooden said.

“Currently, the only tools available to the community and local councils against the weed are hand-pulling and chemical herbicides, which only bring short-term control and have the unintended consequence of killing native plants and disrupting complex rainforest ecosystems.”

Release of biocontrol agents are approved by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water.

Wandering Trad, is a nightmare weed of bush and gardens. Its thick growth smothers other plants and its brittle stems defy the attempts of weeders to remove it, as the tiniest broken piece can regrow.

Last Wednesday, October 28th, 2020, members of PNHA placed pieces of Trad infected with the fungus Kordiana were planted among healthy Trad beside the track to the Irrawong waterfall at Narrabeen, in McCarrs Creek Reserve Church Point and in Bangalley Head Reserve near the track on Whale Beach Rd.

The fungus may take a while to spread to healthy Trad. The effect will be to suppress its growth by damaging its leaves rather than kill it completely. This release is just the first of many to come. 

Don't worry, it's not another Cane Toad. It has been carefully tested by the CSIRO and only infects Trad and not its close native relative Commelina which has blue flowers.


The leaf-smut fungus Kordyana brasiliensis was first released in the field in Australia for the biological control (biocontrol) of wandering trad in March 2019.

This agent was discovered on wandering trad during surveys in Brazil performed by researchers at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa. This exploratory research was part of the biocontrol program for this weed in New Zealand, led by Landcare Research.

CSIRO has been involved in research on wandering trad biocontrol since 2014. The risk assessment that was the basis of the application to seek permission for the release of the leaf-smut fungus in Australia was financially supported by CSIRO and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme administered by the Department of the Environment and Energy.

Research to develop optimal protocols for field release of the fungus and subsequent releases in the Dandenong Ranges region of Victoria in partnership with the community have been co-funded by CSIRO and the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and supported by the Community Weeds Alliance of the Dandenongs. These activities have been part of a broader project seeking biocontrol solutions for sustainable management of environmental weeds, which also includes Cape ivy (Delairea odorata) and angled onion (Allium triquetrum) and ends in October 2020.

A new project from July 2020 to June 2023, co-funded by CSIRO and the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust, will be facilitating stakeholders’ releases of the fungus across the range of wandering trad in New South Wales. The project will also monitor the impact of the fungus on the weed and flow-on indirect impact on other vegetation at several sites during that period.

Contact Dr Ben Gooden,  if you would like to join the war against Trad.

Planting infected stems of Trad amongst healthy Trad beside the boardwalk

rrawong Reserve: Warriewood To Ingleside Escarpment Walk
Photos By Joe Mills

Warriewood Wetland is part of a significant habitat corridor that takes in the Ingleside Escarpment, Irrawong Reserve and the wetlands. This corridor has been identified as having some of the highest fauna values in the Sydney Metropolitan CMA (DECC 2008). The track to the waterfall is accessible from Garden Street or end of Irrawong Road (corner of Epworth Avenue) in Warriewood.

You can read about how this area became a Pittwater Reserve in  A History Of The Campaign For Preservation Of The Warriewood Escarpment by Angus Gordon and David Palmer, some of the Restoration works in Irrawong Reserve – Big Bushcare Day Out and Grant Announcement (September 2012)Rare Frog Spotted in Pittwater (March 2013) and Mullet Creek Bush Care Project Update – May 2013 as well as Bush Regeneration Near Creeks In The Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment  with some Historical insights available in Eeling In Warriewood's Creeks and Yabbying In Warriewood's Creeks and Pittwater Roads II: Where The Streets Have Your Name - WarriewoodPittwater Roads II: Where The Streets Have Your Name - 'Green Hills', Elanora Heights, and InglesideWaratah Farm: Ingleside, The Narrabeen Plum and Ingleside Powder Mill: Pittwater Fields Of Dreams I.

The Mullet Creek bushcare group (also known as Irrawong Bushcare) meets on the third Saturday afternoon of each month. 

Eel in Warriewood Wetlands, October 2020 - photo by Joe Mills

Warriewood Wetland is the largest remaining sandplain wetland in the northern Sydney region. Around 6,000 years ago the wetlands were flooded during sea level rise and were rapidly filled with sand under relatively wet conditions. There is pollen evidence that indicates a freshwater swamp developed in the area at least 1,500 years ago (Dodson 1995 in Water Resources Consulting Services 1997). 

Mullet Creek is the primary surface water input to Warriewood Wetland (Manly Hydraulics Laboratory 1998). This waterway flows along the south-western boundary of the wetlands, resulting in high flows associated with heavy rainfall bypassing the majority of the wetland area. Fern Creek provides a lesser input from the north of the catchment and other minor drains enter from developed areas around the wetlands.

Surface water inputs from Narrabeen Creek may have been significant in the past but are now apparently limited to flood events which cause infrequent overbank flow into the north-east of the wetlands. Extensive urban development in the catchment has also increased impervious surface areas leading to accelerated runoff rates which have changed the nature of surface flows and flood events in the lower catchment.

The wetland also provides very important habitat for a number of threatened species and migratory birds. It forms the lowland end of a significant biodiversity corridor running from the Ingleside Escarpment through Irrawong Reserve to the Warriewood Wetland. 

Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa, nesting in Warriewood Wetlands, October 2020 - photo by Joe Mills

There are tracks beyond the waterfall but as these are steep and has many steps, you need to exercise caution and this is not suitable as a walking track unless you have a good level of fitness. To the falls and around Warriewood wetlands is a level walk though via a series on installed boardwalks, and wheelchair accessible. So everyone can take a stroll and see the birds here, especially at this time of year when so many are nesting or returning as seasonal visitors.

Joe's trek:

We thank Joe for providing a pictorial insight for those who may be unable to access this area. Certainly is a beautiful place and a wonderful way to celebrate Spring 2020:

Marine Rescue Broken Bay New BB30 - The Michael Seale

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos, MP for Mackellar Jason Falinski, Michael Seale, NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott, MP for Pittwater Rob Stokes with the Michael Seale - photo by A J Guesdon.

The waterways of the northern beaches will be safer after the official commissioning of a new $613,000 rescue vessel for Marine Rescue NSW, ahead of the busy summer season. 

NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott joined Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes and Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos to officially welcome the new vessel, Broken Bay 30, to the MRNSW fleet, on Saturday November 14th at the Compass Terrace of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay. Unit Commander Jimmy Arteaga announced the vessel would be named after long-time member Michael Seale, who had committed 30,880 days or 38 years' service to MRNSW and the RVCP.

He said the naming was richly deserved, recognising Mr Seale's record of service and input in many roles, including as a vessel Master, a Director and Chair of the RVCP, his involvement in the purchase of the unit's vessels, a Director on the initial Board and Fleet Committee of MRNSW, Deputy Unit Commander and Administration Officer.

Pittwater MP Rob Stokes added further celebration to the Naming Ceremony when he announced 100 thousand dollars would be provided to upgrade the club rooms and base for the Marine Rescue Broken Bay unit  through the state government's Community Building Partnerships

Newport resident and Garigal man Neil Evers gave the Welcome to Country, specifically speaking of the place where all were meeting on the shores of Pittwater, provided insights into the theme for NAIDOC Week 2020 - Always Was, Always Will Be - of the oldest continuous culture in the world, from his perspective. His Welcome was rich with his own family history, connection to this Country, and stands as its own page this Issue. 

Mr. Stokes spoke after Neil. Rob served as a 19 year old in the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, and recalls a small room in the Royal Motor Yacht Club at Newport where training sessions were held and so continued Neil's theme by  sharing some of the history that had been shared with him from then. He thanked Marine Rescue Broken Bay Unit Commander Jimmy Arteaga for his greeting of all present and Neil for his very thoughtful and appropriate Welcome to Country, continuing; 

'‘Neil told us a lot about the Aboriginal history of this rich environment which we are the inheritors of. It brought to mind one of the earliest drawings of this place, made from either Taylor’s Point or near the current Bayview Baths, ‘View in Broken Bay New South Wales. March 1788', made by naval officer and diarist, William Bradley for his journal `A Voyage to New South Wales'. One of the features of that etching was some Aboriginal women in a dug out canoes, which bears testimony that this has always been a maritime port. The Pittwater of today is the largest recreational port in the nation. So ensuring that Marine Rescue has the capability to keep people safe on the water is obviously very very important.'' Rob said

''With that in mind I want to acknowledge all of the volunteers who are with us today and all of the Directors and everyone who serves in Marine Rescue NSW and makes it the successful unified organisation it is today. 

Reflecting a little bit on the history of the Broken Bay unit – this unit has a history dating back more than 80 years, commencing in the 1930’s. The antecedent of Marine Rescue Broken Bay was the Volunteer Coastal Patrol. I remember from many many years ago the flagship of the unit, or the division as it was called then, was The Krait, which was the vessel on which Z Force raided Singapore Harbour during the Second World War.  

The Krait was later, from 1964, a rescue vessel with the then Volunteer Coastal Patrol and so BB30, Broken Bay 30, certainly follows in some very proud footsteps. It speaks further to the rich maritime history of this area when you find out that Z Force trained for that mission in the bays in and around Pittwater and Broken Bay. Rohan Walter, who is here today, reminds me that it was his work along with the West Head Awareness team that cleared away the bush at West Head to reveal the WWII Fortifications that stood at the entry of the Pittwater during the Second World War to prevent any risk of Japanese invasion. In fact, if you go up the Hawkesbury River, you will see embedded in the mud flats, the remnants of the HMAS Parramatta that saw service in the First World War. So there is all sorts of history around here of our proud maritime traditions and this is in many ways a historic day as it recognises where the Marine Rescue has come from and where it is going. It is also very good to be here today and see Mike Seale here with his family as it was Mike who put me through, many years ago, my Coxswain’s, which speaks to the legacy of Marine Rescue in the legacy it provides but also the education that it provides to local seamen and seawomen.

I wanted to make one further announcement today in stating that the unit has been successful in securing a 100 thousand dollar grant towards the new base at Rowland Reserve which I know is something that has been long worked for – that will go some way towards ensuring that you haver the capability to provide the volunteer service that we all depend on. 

My final point is to thank the Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott for his being here today – he won’t tell you but I will, that after a very busy week in parliament with sittings that went into the early a.m., David has come all the way this morning from the North Coast because that is the respect with which he regards all of you and I’d like to thank him on all of our behalf’s.''

Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes said the 10 metre Naiad vessel is fully-equipped with a suite of search and rescue, communications and navigation technology and advanced first aid equipment, including a cardiac defibrillator and oxygen.

“The incredible Broken Bay volunteers are now better equipped than ever to respond to emergencies and save lives on Pittwater, Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury River, Brisbane Waters and up to 30 nautical miles offshore,” Mr Stokes said.

“Being on our waterways is a great way to spend the Summer months and it’s pleasing to know that our communities will be protected by this impressive new vessel and the volunteers of Marine Rescue NSW.”

Mr Elliott said the vessel will be an asset ahead of what is expected to be a very busy Summer on the waterways.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring our volunteers have the safe, fit-for-purpose equipment they need for their life-saving work,” Mr Elliott said. “This modern new vessel is a significant investment in boating safety on Sydney’s northern waterways, which are a magnet for local and visiting boaters.”

“The NSW Government is a proud supporter of Marine Rescue volunteers, which is why we have invested an additional $37.6 million to deliver 38 new rescue vessels, improve volunteer operating facilities and enhance the marine radio network.”

‘'It has been a busy couple of days and a busy couple of days for Marine Rescue NSW as well – yesterday I attended the opening of the new 1.7 million dollar headquarters for Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie.

Rob and Neil are quite right in what they have said – the traditions of the maritime heritage predate the European history and the use of the bay and the sea and river system is entwined with the indigenous history as well. 

I have a genuine respect for the work that Commissioner Tannos does and I thank both Rob Stokes and Jason Falinski for being such advocates for the Marine Rescue units in their electorates.'' Mr Elliott said.

''We have a record budget through our the Emergency Services into Marine Rescue, it’s the largest investment into emergency services ever made. This has been a unique opportunity for Marine Rescue NSW to move into a new generation with its facilities, with its training, with it capabilities, as instanced today with BB30, but it also gives us, the public servants in uniform, an opportunity to say to you, the volunteers of Marine Rescue, and in fact the volunteers throughout the entire volunteer emergency services, that the government doesn’t just consider you, because you’re volunteers, as not being professional – the reality is, whether you’re salaried or volunteers, our emergency services are all professionals.

The least we can do is ensure that this record investment goes into the capabilities, the structure and the technology that will see you, as volunteer professionals, be given professional kit. I’m delighted, as I join the Commissioner from one end of the state to the other, seeing that new kit get rolled out. 

I think, after the 18 months that we’ve seen, with bushfire, with Covid, with storms and floods, we are seeing the modern emergency services volunteer acquire the sort of legendary status that we traditionally reserved for the ANZACs, and for that I’m very very grateful – we certainly would not have been able to do and get done what we’ve gone through as a nation without the nearly 200 thousand people that volunteer with our combat agencies – whether it be the RFS, the SES, St. John Ambulance, Marine Rescue, or Surf Life Saving.

To the team in the local Marine Rescue Broken Bay unit; I’m handing you over the keys to this new vessel – don’t break it! – I have a great deal of faith that you will put it to good use, that you will treat it as your own. I know through speaking to the Police Commissioner and Marine Rescue Commissioner Tannos that this will be an extremely busy Summer as Australians try to enjoy their backyards with staycations and that this will become the new norm as we evolve over the next 12 months out from the effects of Covid-19. This will put more pressure on our waterways and will put more pressure on you and I’m very grateful. I think Australians are reassured that you’re out there. Thank you once again.''

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said Broken Bay 30 was one of 103 vessels, worth more than $25 million, delivered to volunteers over the past decade. He said the service was expecting this summer to be one of its busiest yet, with more boaters heading to the coastline for local holidays and pushing the boat out more often.

"We take great pride in building all our boats in NSW, supporting regional jobs and the regional industry," he said.

“Our volunteers are well trained and rescue-ready for a busy few months. They’ll be on duty at our 45 units throughout the summer to rescue boaters who find themselves in trouble on the water,” Commissioner Tannos said.

MR Broken Bay Unit Commander Jimmy Arteaga thanked the State Government and the local community for its support in helping to fund the vessel, which is named after long-standing unit member Michael Seale.

“The State Government last year gave residents the opportunity to vote for the projects they wanted to see funded in their local area through the My Community Projects grants program,” he said.

“The fantastic community in the Pittwater electorate really got behind our volunteers and voted for our new rescue vessel. As a result, we received a $200,000 grant towards the cost of the boat.

“It’s powerful and highly-manoeuvrable and means we can be on the scene of an emergency faster than ever, which is vital when minutes can be the difference between life and death on the water.”

View in Broken Bay New South Wales. March 1788'. Image No.: a3461013h. Courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. 

1st Bayview Sea Scouts

2021 NSW Australian Of The Year Awards: Shane Fitzsimmons Awarded States’ Highest Honour

Photo: Salty Dingo (Supplied: NSW Australian Of The Year Awards)

The down to earth wonderful example Ex-NSW Fire Commissioner and leader of Resilience NSW, Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM has been for much of this year continued this week. Named ‘Father of the Year for NSW in September, on Monday he received the state’s highest honour in being named the 2021 NSW Australian of the Year.

In accepting the award Commissioner Fitzsimmons AFSM was asked what positives he took away from what has happened during 2019/2020. He stated there were so many positives he took away from this difficult year, all of them reminding us of the strength of community; 

‘‘For a lot of NSW they were on their knees, with drought, then absolutely devastated by the bushfires, then we saw the wash away in many areas by rains and floods in a denuded landscape, and then we’ve all been responding to and managing the implications of a global pandemic. 

In the backdrop of such adversity we’ve seen extraordinary human spirit right across this great nation and off our shores, a humanity that brought together love and compassion and care as we genuinely pulled together.’’

Signalling out volunteers Commissioner Fitzsimons – ‘’day after day we saw tens of thousands of people pulling together to help out and help each other, the vast majority of which were volunteers, men and women simply making a difference in their community, for the want of nothing in return, working to save lives and save as much as they could. As we’ve gone on in the last few months we’ve seen that extraordinary commitment globally in generosity and support in funding, in opening one’s door, in all manner of aid and assistance.

For me, that human spirit, that volunteerism, that’s what inspires me and inspires me every day, to know that our communities are so much better because we have people who give so generously of themselves.’’

A truly humbling honour - thank you to all who nominated. May we never forget all those affected by the fires and especially their loss and sacrifice.’’

Commissioner of Resilience NSW Shane Fitzsimmons was appointed as the inaugural Commissioner for Resilience NSW and Deputy Secretary, Emergency Management with the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 1 May 2020.

This appointment followed a distinguished career with the NSW Rural Fire Service of over 35 years, which commenced at Duffy’s Forest RFS while he was still attending Pittwater High School. By age 19 he was the youngest-ever member elected captain of his brigade.

1989 Mackeral Beach Station Opening: Captain Bob Mitchell on left, our current RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons front right when he was a volunteer Captain of Duffys Forest.

Bob Mitchell, ?, ?, Ron Castle, Keith Simpson, Jan Bennett, Craig Geddes, ?, Peter Owens, Laurie Bagnall, Shane Fitzsimmons, Ingleside Captain in 1989 Rex Mitchell in light blue on the far right behind Shane - Patrick Williams front right. Mackerel Beach RFB photo.

Cedar Leigh-Jones - Kalani Ball Win Volkswagen Cronulla Open

Cedar Leigh-Jones - photo by Josh Brown / Surfing NSW 


Monday, 9 November 2020

by Surfing NSW

Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park) and Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon) have taken top honours at the Volkswagen Cronulla Open, the first NSW stop on the 2020 Australian Open Surf series after an array of exciting heats in playful two-foot conditions. 

Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park) capitalised on his opening day momentum taking out the Open Men’s division. The lightning-fast natural footer shone over the entirety of the event, eliminating top seed and fellow Scarborough Boardriders member Nic Squires (Corrimal) in his opening heat and then backed it up with massive scores in his following heats. Ball finished the final with a gigantic 18.04 two-wave heat total to sneak ahead of event standout Dylan Moffat (Narrabeen) in the dying moments of the heat. 

“This is the first event I’ve done this year so to get the win feels awesome,” said Ball. “I think the win ahead of Nic yesterday helped give me the confidence to keep getting through heats. That final came right down to the wire but I knew I had to get those rare waves that would dish up two steep sections. I’m stoked I found them.”

Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon) surfed a smart heat en route to her victory, striking in the final minute of the heat with an 8.33 to get the jump on Sarah Baum (Wallsend) who held down the lead for a giant portion of the final. The 16-year-old natural-footer nailed an array of beautiful snaps and carves to claim the win ahead of some fancied opposition. 

“I’m so stoked to have won this, especially against some of the girls in this final,” said Leigh-Jones. “I look up to all the girls in the final so much, so to get a win against them feels incredible. It was quite hard to find a good wave out there, but my whole game plan was to just find the best wave I possibly could and hope it would link right through to the inside shorebreak.” 

All scores and results can be seen on 

The next event on the 2020 Australian Open of Surfing series will take place at Port Macquarie this coming weekend. 

The Volkswagen Cronulla Open was the first of six NSW based Australian Open of Surfing events. 

The entirety of all surfing action were broadcast via the Surfing NSW webpage and Facebook page. 

The Volkswagen Cronulla Open saw a total $7000 prize purse, with $1500 going to the winner of the Men’s and Women’s divisions. 

The 2020 Australian Open of Surfing events were created for Australia’s best surfers in iconic Australian surf locations. 

The events will take place in the latter months of 2020 and provide professional and aspiring surfers with the opportunity to win prize money and gain momentum going into 2021. 

The NSW leg of the 2020 Australian Open of Surfing will see events in:

  • Cronulla – 8th – 9th November, 2020
  • Port Macquarie – 14th – 15th November, 2020
  • Kiama – 22nd – 23rd November, 2020
  • Coffs Harbour – 29th – 30th November, 2020
  • Far South Coast – 5th – 6th December 2020
  • Northern Beaches – 13th – 14th December, 2020 

All events adhered to strict COVID-19 policies and regulations outlined by the NSW Government and council protocols. 

The NSW leg of the 2020 Australian Open of Surfing series is proudly supported Destination Kiama, Coffs Harbour City Council, Sutherland Shire Council, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council and Northern Beaches Council. 

Kalani Ball  - photo by Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW 

Open Men
1 – Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park)
2 – Dylan Moffatt (Narrabeen)
3 – Aidan Lewand-Parsons (Ulladulla)
4 – Joel Vaughan (Bateau Bay)

photo by Josh Brown / Surfing NSW

Open Women
1 – Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon)
2 – Sarah Baum (Wallsend)
3 – Philippa Anderson (Merewether)
4 – Tru Starling (Narrabeen)

photo by Josh Brown / Surfing NSW

Slow Down For Turtles: Presently Out And About - Please Take Care On Our Roads

If you see a large rock in the road, you slow down safely and wait for an opportunity to go around it, right?  The same should be done if you see a turtle on the road.  It is always best to either allow the turtle safe passage across the road or - if it is safe to do so - the turtle can be carried across to the side to which it was headed.

We have recently had an influx of eastern long-necked turtles (Chelodina longicollis) with carapace fractures of varying severity, after being hit by cars.  

Long-necked turtles are freshwater turtles that live in dams, creeks, lakes and sometimes even slightly brackish lagoons.  Often - when it is rainy - the turtles will move from one body of water to another and their journey can take them across roads, through horse paddocks and backyards. At the moment many female turtles are out searching for a place to lay their eggs. 

Unfortunately they are fairly slow-moving on land and they end up being hit by cars, bitten by pets or occasionally relocated to the ocean by well-meaning members of the public.

The shell of a turtle is a bit like an exoskeleton - imagine that the carapace (top shell) is like a spine and ribs that have been flattened and fused.  As such, a fracture of the carapace is tantamount to a broken bone in any other animal.  

Carapace fractures can be tricky to fix as they need to be properly cleaned, debrided, reduced and stabilised and pain relief is essential. A fracture of the ‘bridge’ is very serious as it joins the carapace (top shell) and the plastron (bottom shell) and if the bridge has been compromised it can indicate internal injuries as well. 

Occasionally vacuum-assisted treatment can be used in turtles. 

Please SLOW DOWN for turtles and call us on 9413 4300 if you spot one in need of rescuing.

Sydney Wildlife

Photos by Margaret Woods

The Private Sessions 2020-2021

It's no secret that our Australian Musicians have been hit hard by the loss of work this year. One way residents can help out is to employ them for private events in your own home. Simply ask about availability and give a local a go. These photos are of Past Artists of the Month and Pittwater Musicians Chris Raggatt and Kelvin Anton, who represented Australia in the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and played for a staff members birthday celebrations. Remember to keep your audience small, stick to Covid Safety requirements, and have a great Private Session to support our local creatives!

Photos by A J Guesdon

View over Church Point-Bayview from on high - photo by Joe Mills, November 20, 2020


The Outback Mermaids On Variety's Resurrection Run 2020

The Outback Mermaids - Beryl Driver OAM, Neelica Raffel and Indy Leigh Griffiths (at back).

Beryl Driver OAM commenced her 22nd Variety Children’s Charity Bash on Sunday November 15th, and her 23rd Bash overall. Joining her were first-timers in Scotland Island’s Neelica Raffel and Elanora's Indy Leigh Griffiths who, together, were the ‘Outback Mermaids’ as part of the Variety Resurrection Run, a six-day charity car event that raised $330,000.00.

This was a tour de force of rural New South Wales - with 40% of the journey on true car bash dirt roads.

The Variety Resurrection Run wasn't just about fun (although it was definitely that) it was also about working together to support kids in need. Last year Variety (in Australia) made a difference in the lives of over 85 thousand children.

When we started planning this event we weren't even sure it was going to be allowed to go ahead but this incredible result for kids made all the work by entrants, officials and staff worth it. 

On Sunday 15 November 84 Bashers and 4WD Adventurers left Newcastle on the Resurrection Run. This one-off event was established as an opportunity for enthusiasts to still get out there for a drive with their mates. Variety organisers were ecstatic with the enthusiasm with which the car touring community responded. It was incredibly clear at the start line Variety staff weren’t the only ones excited to be back out on the road, taking much-needed tourism dollars into regional NSW and raising funds for Variety.

Beryl spoke this week about the Resurrection Run sharing that one her favourite experiences along the way were the dinner on the lawn at the 'Back O'Bourke Exhibition and Conference Centre' at sunset because that sunset, overarching those below, was spectacular.

A Race Day held at Bourke was another favourite as it was so much fun. Held on a dirt track, Bashers either dressed and ran as horses or entered the 'Fashions on the Field' competition, with is being won by John and Mel Redwin in their 101 Dalmatians outfits.

''Mel and John also won the Spirit of the Bash for the Resurrection Run,'' Beryl said, ''Every day Mel dressed in a themed 'Cruella' outfit with John as her able sidekick - they were a scream all week - and just wonderful.''

''The Horse Race was so funny too - there were three horses in the centre enclosure and these followed the 'human horses' and raced alongside them down the track and then even went back t run beside the stragglers. Hilarious.''

Race Day was held at the track the Back O’ Bourke Picnic Race Club re-established in 2014, holding their first race meeting on Easter Sunday 5th April 2015 after more than a decade of no racing in the small outback town and was the first Picnic meet since 1969. The race day was held in honour of racing identity Harry Hart and was aptly named the Harry Hart Memorial Cup Race Day. The day was a huge success for the club and has been described as one of the best race days in Bourke.

The Club was awarded Best Picnic Race Club of the year and Most Outstanding Race Meeting in 2015 by the Western Racing Association (WRA) and was a finalist in the Country & Provincial Racing Awards. This was a huge feat for a brand new committee who put together a fantastic day in only a few short months. The Club cemented their success by hosting another successful race day in 2016. The races coincide with the Back to Bourke Reunion held over the Easter Long weekend which draws many visitors to the town and includes various activities such as wool bale rolling in the main street, mud run, long table dinner and a ball on the eve of the races, which has now become a regular annual event. 

As to whether Neelica and Indy enjoyed it, it seems they are now hoping to do more 'B to B's, and, even though Beryl had to do some of the driving on the real dirt roads that comprised much of the core of this Variety run until the girls were used to it, but they then took to driving in all that dust. The littlies met along the way were a favourite of Neelicas':

photo by Sallymae Baily

Mark Barlow and Marc Christowski with their car, The Jungle Brothers, and a few car-enthusiastic students!

Indy was thrilled to find that John Williamson was part of the Resurrection Run in his 'True Blue' car.  Just before the RR commenced the National Film and Sound Archives announced that 'True Blue' has been inducted into the Sounds of Australia of the National Film and Sound Archives. What a great tribute to this song that has made such a significant contribution to Australia and become a favourite of Australians young and old, both at home and overseas. Performed at many of Australia’s most important events, it’s a well-deserved recognition in John's 50th year and coincides with the release of the new lyric video of ‘True Blue’, produced by Warner Music, along with other lyric videos of his most popular songs, to celebrate the milestone of John’s 50 years in the industry starting with when he wrote his first song, the all-time favourite, ‘Old Man Emu’ and the June 19 2020 release of JW 50 - Winding Back 1970-2020.  

John Williamson AM sang this and other songs at the closing night festivities and Indy went from getting a photo with his True Blue car to one with the Australian icon himself.

''Such a lovely man and a long-term supporter of Variety,'' Beryl said this week, ''He talked about how this year has affected Variety and also a song he'd penned at Springbrook (south-east Queensland) while in isolation earlier this year that's all about Covid.''

''Indy was thrilled to meet him.''

Outback Mermaids with True Blue, the car, at start

Indy and the man himself at the final night dinner

Mr. Williamson's Winding Back Tour, with some dates postponed this year, reconvenes in 2021 across the country, and with some Sydney dates, although we notice August 2021 is 'empty'. People may not realise that John, AM, has been a part of the B to B Variety car runs for a long time now and 'True Blue', the car, is likely to be spinning along a dirt track all the way from New South Wales to Queensland in the first 10 days of August 2021. 

The 2021 Variety Bungarribee (Cowra) to Bakers Creek (Mackay) Bash is not a race or a rally, it will be a drive in the Outback with 300 new mates. The original Aussie motoring event will run August 1st to 10th, 2021 and take Bashers all around this beautiful country, exploring dirt roads, bush tracks and visiting parts of Australia most people never get to see.

And yes, our Palm Beach Mermaid, recently an Outback Mermaid, is planning to go - more on that next year!

Readers Love these annual Pictorials run at the end of each Variety car event, it gives them insights into places far from here and what is happening in rural New South Wales and Queensland.

Palm Beach Sailing Club Hosts The 2020-21 NSW Hobie States

Photo by Bradley Sissins of Shottobit

The NSW Hobie Class Association was excited to be joining with our hosts Palm Beach Sailing Club to sail the 2020 Hobie State Titles on the beautiful waters of Pittwater.

This event was open to ALL CLASSES of Hobies and held on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of November 2020. The regatta was one of several held on the estuary as people could take to the water again.

Palm Beach Sailing Club is located on the north eastern shore of Pittwater and is home to an active fleet of Hobie enthusiasts with World Champions and Olympians among members.

This year's States haven't been the smoothestr. On August 2nd 2020 Hobie Cat NSW received communication from Vincentia Sailing Club who have declined to host the 20/21 Hobie Nationals. 

''As your Association, we are working hard to find an alternative venue. '' the organisation stated

By August 9th they announced; 'We are excited to announce the 2020 NSW State Titles will be held 28-29 November at Palm Beach Sailing Club and will be open to ALL CLASSES!  H14, H16, H18, Tiger and WildCat. '

The States are a great lead in to the Nationals which will be hosted by Vincentia Sailing Club, December 28th 2002 to January 5th 2021 on spectacular Jervis Bay. 

On Saturday a fleet of 36 boats took to the water, including some very happy campers from Victoria.  

Among those competing are Rod Waterhouse with Evan Darmanin as crew, Nina and Evelyn Curtis, John and Bronte Forbes, Anthony Duchatel with Walter Tuite as crew, Upu Kila with Ainslie Gordon and Linda Renouf up against some skilled sailors in all classes.

Although there is still a day of racing ahead of the fleet today (Sunday November 29th) results in from Saturdays show some slim margins between the leaders and some great sailing in yesterday's fluky winds.

Finals results available HERE, along with some more great images.

Photo by Bradley Sissins of Shottobit


Link Church Recognised For Extraordinary Efforts During Covid-19 - Awarded 2020 Pittwater Community Service Award

Photo: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Pittwater MP Rob Stokes and Glenn & Clare Wysman.

Link Church Pastors Glenn and Clare Wysman have been announced as the recipients of the NSW Government’s 2020 Pittwater Community Service Award. 

The award was presented by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes during a visit to the church’s food distribution headquarters at Warriewood this week.

Link Church’s team of volunteers provide a range of support programs aimed at assisting local families during COVID-19, particularly the provision of low cost meals and essential food items.   

“Glenn and Clare are great examples of the extraordinary efforts people have made to support our community during COVID-19,” Rob Stokes said today.

“Along with their fantastic team of volunteers – they sprang into action at the start of the pandemic, gathered resources and quickly adapted support programs.

“COVID-19 has been devastating in so many ways, but it’s also exposed how much goodwill and kindness exists within our community.

“This award has never been more relevant than in 2020 – and it’s a fitting recognition of Glenn and Clare’s leadership and the immeasurable benefits their initiatives have provided. 

“The work Link Church is doing is also an important reminder of how widespread and deep the impacts of COVID-19 have been within our community – and why we must remain vigilant, follow the health advice and continue to look out for those who may need help.

“I’m delighted the Premier was able to join me in presenting such an important award to Glenn and Clare,” Rob Stokes said.

Pittwater Online spoke with Glenn Wysman, Lead Pastor at The Link  earlier this year when they were seeking more community support for their Food Care programs. Glenn explained then;

“We started the Food Care program 8 years ago and these two programs, the Lunchbox and CareHamper, are an expansion of this and our response to needs in the community due to Covid-19.”

“The Link Community Care has a consistent and strong history of helping and serving those on the Northern Beaches in most need. Now because of Covid-19, the need for our services has grown exponentially. 

“The Lunch Box initiative was started on Wednesday March 15th with thanks to a community donation of 5 thousand dollars. The Pittwater RSL has made a seed donation to commence the Care Hamper initiative and we began that on Wednesday April 22nd.” Mr. Wysman said.

“In addition, the Pittwater RSL team are busy cooking lots of yummy meals for each days' collection.


Spring Becomes Summer In Pittwater 2020

Bark spiral shedding beauty at Palm Beach - photo by A J Guesdon
Hobie States 2020-2021 fleet at Sandy Point, Palm Beach - photo by A J Guesdon

Drowning Schoolie Saved In Brave Rescue By NASA - Avalon Beach SLSC Bronze Holder

Max Arnold - photo by Lachlan Arnold

“I didn’t think anyone was coming.”

Lachlan Arnold says it chills him to the bone to recall those words, spoken by the teenage girl lying on the beach waiting for the Ambulance to arrive.

Luckily for the young schoolie from Taree, Lachlan and his son Max happened to be on the unpatrolled Boomerang Beach that day and had the courage and the skills to save her life, reaching the drowning girl with just seconds to spare.

Max Arnold is just 16 years-old but has been involved with his local surf club since he was a six-year old Nipper and is a member of North Avalon Surfriders Association. Completing his Bronze Medallion just a year ago, he has been actively patrolling at Avalon Beach, yet his deep understanding of the ocean and ability to act quickly under pressure is a tribute to himself, his club and his family.

On Thursday 26 November Max and his dad Lachie were surfing and enjoying the sunshine at the southern end of Boomerang Beach on the NSW lower-north coast. The beach is a popular tourist destination – even more so in 2020 with traditional schoolies destinations out of reach due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Lachlan recalls the beach being busy that day with people on the sand and in the water right along the unpatrolled 1500m stretch.

South Boomerang Beach looking North, photo by Lachlan Arnold

“We were sitting on the beach and this young guy came running up yelling, ‘my girlfriend has been pulled out in a rip, can you help?’”.

When the boy pointed out his girlfriend, Lachlan was shocked to see she was over 150 metres from shore. In the rough conditions, the boyfriend recognised he was unable to help by attempting to rescue her himself.

“We watched as he ran towards us, asking people if they could help as he made his way down the beach,” said Lachlan “but no one he asked could help.”

Lachlan and Max were staying at a house just a couple of hundred metres from where they were sitting on the beach. Immediately Max ran up to the house to grab a foam surfboard. A strong swimmer and surf lifesaver himself, Lachlan began to swim out towards the girl.  

“Max and I got to the girl at about the same time. I was holding her up in the water and she was gone. She was probably 30 seconds from going under,” said Lachlan. “She was in the worst condition I’d ever seen anyone out in the water.”

Max had done an incredible job to sprint to get the board and complete the long paddle out so quickly to meet his dad. The pair were able to get the girl onto the board and Lachlan began paddling the girl back to shore while Max swam alongside.

“Miraculously we caught this wave that took us all the way to the beach – it really was the magic wave and the most welcome one I’ve ever caught,” recalls Lachlan.

Back on shore, the girl was completely exhausted so Max and Lachlan carried her up the beach where they called an Ambulance and performed checks of her condition.

“She could barely talk,” said Lachlan “and she said to me when she got her breath back, that she felt like she was breathing water.”

The proud dad said he had complete confidence in his young son throughout the rescue effort.  “He knew exactly what to do and when to do it. He’s only 16 and he was just so calm and just having done his Bronze Medallion, it’s amazing.”

Lachlan said the surf life saving training and the family’s love of the ocean meant he wasn’t once worried for his son’s safety. “Max paddled out on the board and the surf was rough, but I didn’t once think he couldn’t do it,” he said. 

“I know he’s a strong swimmer and a good lifesaver. He’s done all the right training. I think it’s a really powerful thing that I was able to bring the girl in on the board and not have to worry about him still out there.”

The Dog Project: Launched

Tania, India and David Kerr at Avalon Bowling Club yesterday. photo by A J Guesdon

The launch of a great new book, The Dog Project - Community Enrichment Through the Love of Dogs' took place at Avalon Bowling Club, on the front green, on Saturday December 5th. There was music, stalls, lots of doggie fun and waggy tails.

The goal was to photograph and interview 100 people and their dogs. This is a project from the heart of the community for a good cause. The book is now for sale. Funds are being raised to support the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Monika's Doggie Rescue.

Learn more through their website:

Monika's Doggie Rescue volunteers on site yesterday, with one cutie - already adopted by the lady in red. A J Guesdon photo

It's Starting To Look A Bit Like Christmas

Elaine Avenue, Avalon Beach, 2020. photo by A J Guesdon
Pittwater Online News staff eagerly monitor Santa's Sky Tracker on Air Services Australia each December. Strolls around the villages of Pittwater shows shops are dressing their windows up with all things Christmas and all look wonderful. 

At Elaine Avenue, Avalon Beach, residents have finished or begun decorating their homes and gardens with all sorts of lights and Santa decorations. One gentleman we spoke to said they haven't finished yet and will be doing more today, Sunday, as it's just what we all need after the challenges every one of us has faced this year. 

The first week of December is when many of us devote some time to cheering everyone up with great displays of lights, reindeer, or even outposts of Santa's toy Shop - as seen above. With Christmas Markets at Mona Vale today, December 6th, at Warriewood Boy Scouts selling Christmas Trees, Santa coming to The Newport on 7th, 14th & 21st December (11am to 1pm) and to Avalon shops during their late night shopping event (with music and tons of fun) on the 17th, everyone is getting into their red and green gear to cheer things up around here!


Avalon Public School’s Old Roofing Materials Enjoy A New Life At Government House In The Form Of A Kimbriki Wicking Garden Bed

Pictured: Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales planting seedlings in Kimbriki Wicking Garden Bed at Government House

Kimbriki’s Eco House and Garden team have just completed an inspiring reuse initiative, which saw Avalon Public School’s old roofing materials end up with a new look, a new life, and a new home at Government House.

The reuse initiative began earlier this year when Avalon Public School was scheduled to have their aging roof replaced in an infrastructure upgrade.

When removed, the old metal roofing materials were transported to Kimbriki for recycling through Kimbriki’s metal recycling program.  Kimbriki’s site attendants spotted the materials coming in and consulted with Kimbriki’s Senior Ecologist Peter Rutherford and the idea of Kimbriki’s wicking garden beds was born.

The Kimbriki wicking garden beds were handcrafted onsite by Andy O’Sullivan using the metal roofing sheets and recycled timber and are designed so the water ‘wicks upwards’ into the soil, like a candle wick, using 60-80% less water than conventional garden beds. Kimbriki’s Senior Ecologist Peter Rutherford noted, “We are seeing increasing community interest in learning about wicking beds and more and more people and schools are installing them.”

In August 2020, Kimbriki were fortunate to be invited to host Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales on a virtual site tour of Kimbriki as part of Her Excellency’s COVID community outreach program.  During the virtual site tour CEO Peter Davis updated The Governor on Kimbriki’s promotion of reuse initiatives and post tour offered to install a Kimbriki wicking garden bed on the grounds of Government House.

Peter Rutherford and the Eco House and Garden team attended Government House in September to install the Kimbriki wicking garden beds in the grounds at Government House, and again in November to plant out a selection of lettuce and greens, and establish possum protection netting.  On both occasions the team were incredibly lucky to be graced by the presence of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales who even joined in planting a selection of plant seedlings in the garden bed.

The Governor stated, “It is important these days to adopt ecological and environmentally sustainable practices whenever possible, and I appreciate the focus on reusing materials for the wicking garden beds – it is a wonderful initiative . ”

“I am looking forward to seeing how the wicking garden bed goes here at Government House and enjoying some fresh greens straight from the garden”.

Kimbriki CEO Peter Davis, said that “Kimbriki are very proud to have created a product that reuses old materials like the Avalon School roofing, is environmentally friendly, and now graces the gardens at Government House.”

Peter Davis also highlighted “Leading into the festive season, it is a really good time to think about waste, reuse and recycling.”

“Christmas is our busiest time of year at Kimbriki, with many families visiting pre and post Christmas.

“This Christmas, when purchasing new items, or throwing out old we challenge you to think about the 4 R’s, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and make sure that we make a conscious effort to limit the amount of items ending up in landfill.”

For more information on how to set up your own wicking bed at home go to

Pictured: Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales planting seedlings in Kimbriki Wicking Garden Bed at Government House.

Some thank yous

If you've reached this end of the Pictures of the Year for 2020, you're doing well - bear in mind this is just a few examples of what's run this year, and, as always, it would not be possible without the community helping out by being contributors, providing feedback or making requests for histories, profiles, stories and reports. Thank you to all who have helped by being 'resident journos' this year.

In 2020 there have been some outstanding residents who have done much to spread a bit of joy and add bright spots to a gloomy and challenging 12 months. Although ALL of our Readers have been a great help with tips and input, some have gone 'above and beyond' - the volunteers from Sydney Wildlife, our local RFS Brigades, the core members of many local community groups who have sought to keep others fed, keep others engaged in conversations even though they cannot talk face to face, or even just drop off medicines, milk and bread to isolated Seniors is proof positive again of a great community spirit that will determine its own way forward through any challenges and refuses to leave anyone behind. 

Pittwater Online has been fortunate to have some great contributions from wordsmiths like Miranda Korzy and Roger Sayers, had some great chats with Pittwater stalwarts Geoff Searl and Bob Grace, among many others, including all those who have shared insights and history through Profiles and managed to survive the interview process with a, frankly, over-inquisitive great lover of the human species. Even those visitors to the Pittwater Online office who are not 'up for a Profile?' will find themselves, at some stage during their stay, being asked; 'So, where were you born?' - 'Where did you grow up?' - and; 'Do you remember when....'

The news service has become renowned for the 'way it looks' and this would not be possible without a large group of supporters who love photography. This has been especially important this year when so many have been living in isolation and benefitted from these glimpses of what's going on everywhere else. The 'Pictures of the Year' has become a firm favourite, not just because it offers an opportunity to recall some of what has happened each year but also as it is For, About and By us.

In 2020 we again thank Marita Macrae OAM, Brian Friend OAM, Adriaan van der Wallen, Bea Pierce and Joanne Seve for taking a photo when something meets their eye to share with Readers aged from 4 years of age to 94 years of age. Joining their ranks are residents such as Maureen Darcy-Smith and a whole hosts of others who 'lit up the dawn' for Anzac Day this year and kept sharing their dawn walks, their sunset vistas, their 'rooms with a view' or their 'view from my window'. A sincere 'thank you very much' to all of the unnamed 'you' for a single or whole host of images, and for reminding all that there is no 'us and them' there's just us here.

Margaret Woods, Selena Griffith, Joe Mills and Kevin and Glenys Murray went above and beyond in 2020, undertaking a series of hikes to share a visual tour of the trails and reserves within Pittwater or adjacent to this place in that wonderful Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. To be able to see and stroll along these paths for those unable to reach them or undertake such walks through the medium of their wonderful photographs has lifted the spirits of many as well as continue to add to the records of what is there right here, right now. These are pictorial walks that have been a constant part of the news service since its inception but have been especially important this year.

Michael Mannington continues to answer the call for requests to 'go hither and thither' to get those great portraits used to honour and celebrate people through the Profiles or any other great community event. MM has been happily undertaking this work since we threw him into a boat to putt-putt over to a Woody Point Yacht Club Regatta 9 years ago and we hope to throw him into a boat and take him off somewhere again this Summer. Look out MM - it's on!

Spring & Summer Time Guests

As Covid restrictions began to ease a perfect opportunity to have a series of luncheons presented itself as a means to say 'thank you' to some of these great people. A wonderful few hours, with thanks for all you have done for the community's news service in 2020, have been spent with:

Bob Grace and Selena Griffith
The girls from Sydney Wildlife: (left to right) Joan Reid, Margaret Woods, Edwina Laginestra, Lynleigh Greig, Georgie Bailey Campbell, Sonja Elwood and Barbara Kite - there is at least 140+ years worth of saving and rehabilitating Australian Wildlife in the Pittwater, Pittwater surrounds and across New South Wales in these seven people alone. 
Michael OAM and Pam Mannington
Colette and Geoff Searl OAM
Glenys and Kevin Murray
Gerry and Joe Mills
Annette and Roger Sayers

Final Thank you

Last, but certainly not least, the Offices of State MP The Hon. Rob Stokes and that of Federal MP for Mackellar Jason Falinski have always followed up and followed through on queries the community has wanted answers to and been way ahead on providing announcements in a timely manner so the community can stay informed. At a state and federal level the people the community voted in to represent them have done a 24/7 shift all year to meet the tests 2020 has brought and respond to community expectations - a conversation that will never cease.

From our local MP's:

Jason Falinski, MP for Mackellar- Christmas Message 2020

This year has challenged all of us. Be it through loss of life or employment, separation from friends and family or perhaps even the frustration of home schooling, it has been a year like none other.  

This Christmas let us look forward not backward. In 2021, let us seek to advance towards the world we want not move away from the one we fear.  Let us talk of opportunities, hopes and empowerment of all peoples, everywhere and turn our faces from the allure of an unknown and feared dystopia.  

Humanity’s greatest hope has always been hope.  Our capacity to imagine things that never were, and to then make them so, comes from hope not hopelessness.  

Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Pitt the Younger and Abraham Lincoln and many others all lived in tumultuous times; times that lent to a sense of hopelessness, but all knew that the long arc of human history bends towards justice.  I think, at our best, we are all seeking to bend that arc a little bit more towards justice.  

On behalf of my family and team, may I wish you a joyous Christmas and fervently wish that this new year gives you great cause to believe in a hopeful 2021. 

Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater - Christmas Message 2020

One thing we will all remember about 2020 is the remarkable spirit of kindness and goodwill seen throughout our community.

There have been so many wonderful stories of locals supporting each other – thank you to everyone who has gone above and beyond.

Our amazing health workers, first responders, supermarket staff, cleaners, bus drivers, pharmacists, tradies, teachers, parents, and school students – everyone has operated outside their comfort zone this year, and adapted so impressively to meet the immense challenges.

I am so proud to be a part of this community!

We are very fortunate the management of COVID-19 in Australia has enabled us to come together with our families and loved ones this special Christmas season.

As we gather, please remember the simple hygiene messages and continue to take precautions to keep each other safe.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

–Rob Stokes, Member for Pittwater

At the recent naming ceremony for the new Marine Rescue Broken Bay vessel an opportunity to 'get' our local representatives for the 2020 'Pictures of the Year' presented itself, and although a request was made for them to flick each other with a beach towel to demonstrate the method to stay Covid-Safe this Summer, they went with this instead: