July 3 - 16, 2022: Issue 545

DSS Scam Alert

June 27, 2022
The Department of Social Services (DSS) recently received reports that members of the public have been contacted via email by an individual or individuals claiming that there is a “secure message” from DSS. If you receive the below email, please delete it and do not select or open any attachments or links.

DSS officers do not:
  1. contact members of the public seeking personal information, or,
  2. email members of the public without them having contacted DSS.
It is a serious matter to impersonate a Commonwealth public official, and may be considered a criminal offence in some circumstances.

What to do if approached or if you need assistance
If approached in this manner, do not give any personal information. If you are uncomfortable with the nature of the email do not attempt to engage with the individual/individuals.

We encourage you to report incidents of this nature to Scamwatch. You can visit Scamwatch on www.scamwatch.gov.au

If you have already provided information to a caller or are concerned that a crime has been or may be committed, please contact the police or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Wanted: Photos of flies feeding on frogs (for frog conservation)

June 21, 2022
Do you have any photos of frogs being bitten by flies? Submit them to our study to help in frog conservation.

By sampling the blood of flies that bite frogs, researchers can determine the (sometimes difficult to spot) frogs in an environment. Common mist frog being fed on by a Sycorax fly. Photo: Jakub Hodáň

UNSW Science and the Australian Museum want your photos of frogs, specifically those being bitten by flies, for a new (and inventive) technique to detect and protect our threatened frog species.

You might not guess it, but biting flies – such as midges and mosquitoes – are excellent tools for science. The blood ‘sampled’ by these parasites contains precious genetic data about the animals they feed on (such as frogs), but first, researchers need to know which parasitic flies are biting which frogs. And this is why they need you to submit your photos.

“Rare frogs can be very hard to find during traditional scientific expeditions,” says PhD student Timothy Cutajar, leading the project. “Species that are rare or cryptic [inconspicuous] can be easily missed, so it turns out the best way to detect some species might be through their parasites.”

The technique is called ‘iDNA’, short for invertebrate-derived DNA, and researchers Mr Cutajar and Dr Jodi Rowley from UNSW Science and the Australian Museum were the first to harness its potential for detecting cryptic or threatened species of frogs.

The team first deployed this technique in 2018 by capturing frog-biting flies in habitats shared with frogs. Not unlike the premise of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, where the DNA of blood-meals past is contained in the bellies of the flies, Mr Cutajar was able to extract the drawn blood (and therefore DNA) and identify the species of amphibian the flies had recently fed on.

These initial trials uncovered the presence of rare frogs that traditional searching methods had missed.

“iDNA has the potential to become a standard frog survey technique,” says Mr Cutajar. “[It could help] in the discovery of new species or even the rediscovery of species thought to be extinct, so I want to continue developing techniques for frog iDNA surveys. However, there is still so much we don’t yet know about how frogs and flies interact.”

In a bid to understand the varieties of parasites that feed on frogs – so Mr Cutajar and colleagues might lure and catch those most informative and prolific species – the team are looking to the public for their frog photos.

“If you’ve photographed frogs in Australia, I’d love for you to closely examine your pictures, looking for any frogs that have flies, midges or mosquitoes sitting on them. If you find flies, midges or mosquitoes in direct contact with frogs in any of your photos, please share them.”

The submitted photos will be analysed for the frog and parasite species they contain, helping inform future iDNA research. Mountain Stream Tree Frog (Litoria barringtonensis) being bitten by Sycorax. Photo: Tim Cutajar/Australian Museum

“We’ll be combing through photographs of frogs submitted through our survey,” says Mr Cutajar, “homing in on the characteristics that make a frog species a likely target for frog-biting flies.

“It’s unlikely that all frogs are equally parasitised. Some frogs have natural insect repellents, while others can swat flies away. The flies themselves can be choosy about the types of sounds they’re attracted to, and probably aren’t evenly abundant everywhere.”

Already the new iDNA technique, championed in herpetology by Mr Cutajar, has shown great promise, and by refining its methodology with data submitted by the public – citizen scientists – our understanding of frog ecology and biodiversity can be broadened yet further.

“The power of collective action can be amazing for science,” says Mr Cutajar, “and with your help, we can kickstart a new era of improved detection, and therefore conservation, of our amazing amphibian diversity.”


Conductor Carlos Alvarado
St John’s Anglican Church, Dee Why
Sunday 17th July, 3.00pm 

The program includes Handel’s Coronation Anthems, Choruses from the Messiah and Elgar’s Serenade for Strings. A flyer is attached with further details.

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday June 8th at 8.00am and will be available online at
www.manlywarringahchoir.org.au or by phoning 0411 777 738

Flu vaccination linked to 40% reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease

June 2022
People who received at least one influenza vaccine were 40% less likely than their non-vaccinated peers to develop Alzheimer's disease over the course of four years, according to a new study from UTHealth Houston.

Research led by first author Avram S. Bukhbinder, MD, a recent alumnus of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, and senior author Paul. E. Schulz, MD, the Rick McCord Professor in Neurology at McGovern Medical School, compared the risk of Alzheimer's disease incidence between patients with and without prior flu vaccination in a large nationwide sample of U.S. adults aged 65 and older.

An early online version of the paper detailing the findings is available in advance of its publication in the Aug. 2 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

"We found that flu vaccination in older adults reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease for several years. The strength of this protective effect increased with the number of years that a person received an annual flu vaccine -- in other words, the rate of developing Alzheimer's was lowest among those who consistently received the flu vaccine every year," said Bukhbinder, who is still part of Schulz's research team while in his first year of residency with the Division of Child Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Future research should assess whether flu vaccination is also associated with the rate of symptom progression in patients who already have Alzheimer's dementia."

The study -- which comes two years after UTHealth Houston researchers found a possible link between the flu vaccine and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease -- analyzed a much larger sample than previous research, including 935,887 flu-vaccinated patients and 935,887 non-vaccinated patients.

During four-year follow-up appointments, about 5.1% of flu-vaccinated patients were found to have developed Alzheimer's disease. Meanwhile, 8.5% of non-vaccinated patients had developed Alzheimer's disease during follow-up.

These results underscore the strong protective effect of the flu vaccine against Alzheimer's disease, according to Bukhbinder and Schulz. However, the underlying mechanisms behind this process require further study.

"Since there is evidence that several vaccines may protect from Alzheimer's disease, we are thinking that it isn't a specific effect of the flu vaccine," said Schulz, who is also the Umphrey Family Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases and director of the Neurocognitive Disorders Center at McGovern Medical School. "Instead, we believe that the immune system is complex, and some alterations, such as pneumonia, may activate it in a way that makes Alzheimer's disease worse. But other things that activate the immune system may do so in a different way -- one that protects from Alzheimer's disease. Clearly, we have more to learn about how the immune system worsens or improves outcomes in this disease."

Alzheimer's disease affects more than 6 million people living in the U.S., with the number of affected individuals growing due to the nation's aging population. Past studies have found a decreased risk of dementia associated with prior exposure to various adulthood vaccinations, including those for tetanus, polio, and herpes, in addition to the flu vaccine and others.

Additionally, as more time passes since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine and longer follow-up data becomes available, Bukhbinder said it will be worth investigating whether a similar association exists between COVID-19 vaccination and the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Avram S. Bukhbinder, Yaobin Ling, Omar Hasan, Xiaoqian Jiang, Yejin Kim, Kamal N. Phelps, Rosemarie E. Schmandt, Albert Amran, Ryan Coburn, Srivathsan Ramesh, Qian Xiao, Paul E. Schulz. Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Following Influenza Vaccination: A Claims-Based Cohort Study Using Propensity Score Matching. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2022; 1 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-220361

‘It was the beginning of feminism’: how higher education paved the way for the women of Albury-Wodonga

Interviewee Eileen Clark
Portia Dilena, La Trobe University

Regional women are too often forgotten in Australia’s political movements. The “big teal steal” focuses on the independent candidates from Melbourne and Sydney, forgetting that independent Cathy McGowan stole the seat of Indi from the Liberals a decade earlier.

This forgetfulness applies to the Australian women’s movement from the heady 1970s, with the accepted history centring the women who led the movement from the cities.

This neglect of regional women was driven home to me in a series of interviews I conducted with past students of the Albury-Wodonga Study Centre of the Riverina College of Advanced Education (now Charles Sturt University).

The women I interviewed had all been mature-age students of the Study Centre in the 1970s. For all of them, this education offered them a new life.

What stuck out to me in these interviews, was when asked what undertaking study meant to them, many responded “it was the beginning of feminism”.

RCAE Study Centre was located on Townsend Street, Albury. CSU Regional Archives

Women and education

Women had traditionally missed out on the opportunity for a higher education, held back by cost, society’s expectations on the role of women and, for regional women, distance.

Of the women I interviewed, all had missed out on the opportunity of a further education. Jan left school at 15 and travelled with her husband to Papua New Guinea for his career. Ann worked doing “whatever I could to earn enough money” to solely support her six kids.

Once mothers, further education was seen to be a waste of time and money: they had already fulfilled what feminist Anne Summers called their “‘natural’ vocation”.

Ann recalled that, when she initially enrolled at the Study Centre, she experienced a backlash from her own children who

thought I should have been putting more time into being a mother. All this study business was taking away from what I was expected to do with my life.

The Whitlam Government’s free education initiative removed the financial barrier, yet it was the women’s movement’s critique of gender roles that worked to redefine what possibilities were open to women.

Jan explained:

of course the reason I could go, perhaps this isn’t quite true, but I think it was, was because of the Whitlam free education. It was part of the women’s movement […] and so there was really no obstacle in my way.

Education and feminism

Opened in 1972, the Study Centre was to help local professionals upskill. The courses were vocationally focused, ran in the evening and located in the centre of town.

These factors attracted large numbers of Albury-Wodonga women as it accommodated their busy roles as mothers and wives. Speaking to the local paper, centre director Geoff Fairhall attributed this influx to “bored housewife syndrome”.

Fairhall said women enrolled were ‘bored housewives’ – it was much more complex than that. CSU Regional Archives: CSU2620-OO-15

Fairhall missed the mark. The women were using the Study Centre to radically alter their lives as women, mirroring feminist principles from the period.

First, they developed a community outside of the family home, not tied to their family or marriage. This provided the space for them to engage in a form of consciousness-raising, as they applied their course material to their lives as women.

Jan recalled a psychology class where the women concluded they already knew much of the material as being “guardians of the health of the family” they had already “picked up on those things”.

Eileen simply stated her studies “helped me to look at my own life in a critical way”.

Second, this education had an impact on their lives as women as they developed an intellectual and economic independence.

Encouraged to undertake further study to stop her from “vegetating” at home, Barb opened her own book-keeping business upon graduation.

Reflecting on her study, Barb argued:

having the degree, it gave me that freedom […] I wasn’t stuck working in a full-time, low-paying job like a lot of women my age were.

The Study Centre is an important place in the history of Australian feminism. CSU Regional Archives: CSU2620-OO-14

Lastly, this challenged the highly gendered public and private spaces of regional Albury-Wodonga: women developed new identities not defined by their role as mother or wife.

Summarised by Ann:

studying and graduating and moving into the workforce as a professional, is miles away from being a housewife! The degree gives the woman a chance to take part in society as a real person rather than just being a mum.

The women of the Study Centre may not have led the 1970s Women’s Liberation movement, but they lived it, and through it their lives changed dramatically. It is important this story becomes part of our national history of feminism.

As Eileen told me:

so it was […] really inspiring, all these women who had lived on the farm for 30 years, now were doing something […] It was the beginning of feminism.The Conversation

Portia Dilena, History PhD Candidate, La Trobe University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 COTA – NSW - cotansw.com.au


The Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) is the peak organisation for people over 50 in our state. We’re an independent, non-partisan, consumer-based non-government organisation. We work with politicians, policy makers, and service providers as well as media representatives to make sure your views are heard and your needs are met. COTA NSW works to empower and engage people over 50. For decades, we’ve shaped the policies and programs that change lives.

Since our beginning in 1956, COTA NSW has introduced policies and programs that make a real difference to peoples’ lives. We have proud record, having created: ■Meals on Wheels, ■Retirement Village Residents Association, ■Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, ■Seniors Clubs, ■Seniors Information Service, ■OM:NI – Older Men: New Ideas, ■Grandfriends, ■Grandparents, Relatives and Kinship Care Alliance, ■Medication Management for Older People, and the ■Mature Employment Line

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.
Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE

Seniors Toy Repair Group needs your help

Volunteers are sought to help out on Wednesday mornings (7.30am to midday) at the group's workshed in Ingleside. Volunteers need their own transport and be willing to sort and clean toys that are picked up at different collection points on the Northern Beaches. 

Prospective volunteers can email Mary Kitchen to arrange a visit to the workshed. To arrange a donation pickup please call Terry Cook on 0410 597 327 or email himFind out more about this great community group HERE


Avalon Computer Pals (AVPALS) helps Seniors learn and improve their computer skills. It is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. 

Started in 2000 it now has 20+ trainers and many hundreds of students. At a really low cost (about $50 a school term) they can provide one-to-one training on most matters connected with computing and related technologies like mobile phones and digital cameras. From the smallest problem (how to hold the mouse!) to much more serious matters, there is a trainer who can help.

We offer “one to one” personal tuition or special short courses in the training rooms under the Catholic Church in Avalon. Training is conducted Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. For more information visit AVPALS web site www.avpals.com or phone 02 8064 3574

Keep up to date on our Facebook page

Find out more at: www.avpals.com

Know Your Bones

CEO of Osteoporosis Australia, Greg Lyubomirsky says “bone health is an important part of your general health and anyone with risks for osteoporosis should be investigated.”

He has urged people to try the online self-assessment, Know Your Bones developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. 

"Simply visit the website, complete the assessment in your own time and a personal report is generated which will outline potential risks and can be taken to your doctor if required.”

You can take the assessment here:  www.knowyourbones.org.au

My Aged Care

If you need some help around the house or think it’s time to look into aged care homes, My Aged Care is here to help.
My Aged Care is the Australian Government's starting point on your aged care journey. Find and access the government-funded services you need.

Learn about different types of care
If you are just starting out on your aged care journey, this is your first step. You can see what services are available to help you stay in your own home, or what to expect in an aged care home.

Get assessed
If you’ve had a look at what services might be available and you want to know if you are eligible, this is your next step. Read about how to apply and what’s involved in the assessment process.

Find a provider
If you’ve been assessed and are ready to find a provider and set up your new services, start here. Find out what to consider and get information about service providers near you.

Manage your services
If you are receiving services and want to check what you’ve got in place or make some changes, head to this section.

Need some help?
If you need some help, the My Aged Care team can answer most of your questions over the phone. Call 1800 200 422

The Senior Newspaper Online 


On facebook

 MWP CARE (previously known as MWP Community Aid) is a local not for profit organisation that was founded by Daphne Elsworthy, a Collaroy resident, 52 years ago and we are still going strong! 

In 2022 our programs focus on assisting older people aged 65 years and older, we also assist younger people with a disability and their carers.  We are funded by the Australian Government Dept. of Health through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (known as CHSP). Pittwater Online News PROFILE

These services may be eligible for government subsidies. Call us on (02) 9913 3244 for a confidential discussion. Alternatively you may call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your needs. To access our services (and all other CHSP provider services) you must be registered with My Aged Care – the portal for all things related to Aged Care Services 

We provide services aimed at helping people to stay independently living in their own homes.

Our programs cover:

  • Transport – to medical and social appointments
  • Shopping – Escorted Shopping, Shop By List, Group Social Shopping
  • Visiting – a volunteer visits a client in their own home for social support
  • Individual Activities – visit a friend, the library, the beach, local garden, and nursery, go for a coffee & chat, attend community activities etc.
  • Social Group Bus Outings – our mini bus and experienced staff coordinate a calendar of bus outings to interesting venues
  • CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) social groups/outings  – Chinese, Italian, Korean , Filipino, Serbian
  • Home Maintenance Modification Service – provided to individual home owners at reasonable cost. Services provided by trusted tradespeople can include Plumbing, Carpentry, Handyman, Electrical, Modifications (ramps, rails etc.)

Visit our website for more at: www.mwpcommunityaid.com.au  and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mwpcarelimited

Computer Pals for Seniors: Northern Beaches

In line with the current Coronavirus conditions we cannot access the Tramshed or continue face to face, one on one training. That is a shame but will not stop us providing you with training online.  

Online learning can take several forms - for Apple users there is Face-Time and for PC/Windows users (and Apple users too) Zoom, Skype,  WhatsApp and other similar programmes. Our intention is to support both Trainers and Students learning, where needed, to navigate through these apps to reach a comfortable situation for both parties. New students wanting to learn how to use their Smartphone, Tablet, iPad, PC, Mac or any other current piece of technology should contact our Training Co-ordinator: Anne Matthews 9984 0604 or anne.computerpals@gmail.com

Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5 to 70 who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

Older Persons Advocacy Network offer free, independent and confidential services that focus on supporting older people and their representatives to raise and address issues relating to accessing and interacting with Commonwealth funded aged care services.

Older Persons Advocacy Network  seek to ensure that aged care consumers understand and exercise their rights and participate, to the maximum degree possible, in the decisions affecting their care.

Older Persons Advocacy Network achieve this through the delivery of individual advocacy support, information and consumer and service provider education.

Nine State and Territory based organisations form the OPAN network. Older Persons Advocacy Network is funded by the Australian Government to deliver the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP), providing a national voice for aged care advocacy.

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free aged care advocacy services that are independent and confidential

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations provide free information about aged care service provision, referrals and the rights and responsibilities of consumers

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free information and education sessions to consumers and providers of Commonwealth funded aged care services


EasyLink (formerly Easy Transport Manly Warringah Pittwater) - medical appointments, shopping trips, mystery tours and Saturday Lunch - this great non-profit organisation offers great ideas and solutions.

Visit: https://easylink.com.au

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket: NSW Public Transport

Parents missing out on REAL face time? If they have a Pension Card, sign them up & they could get unlimited $2.50 Country Pensioner Excursion tickets*.
Call 13 22 32 to sign up.

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket (CPE)
A Country Pensioner Excursion (CPE) ticket is an affordable ticket for eligible pensioners and seniors to travel by train in regional NSW and the ACT.

For $2.50 you can book an economy class seat on a NSW TrainLink 

Regional train service. You will need to book 7 days or less in advance

Apply for the $200 Seniors Energy Rebate

A new rebate for independent retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to help with electricity costs. The Seniors Energy Rebate is available for eligible independent retirees to help cover the cost of their electricity.

To be eligible you need to hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
CSHCs are means-tested concession cards issued by Services Australia and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). 

The Seniors Energy Rebate is $200 per household, per financial year.
If your application is successful, the rebate will be paid directly into your nominated bank or Credit Union account.

Note: Gas accounts are not eligible for the rebate.

What you need
  • your valid CSHC from Centrelink or the DVA
  • the most recent electricity bill for your current primary place of residence
  • your contact details
  • your bank or Credit Union account details
How to apply
  • Check you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Select the 'Apply online' button.
  • Enter the required details.
  • Submit the application.
If you're unable to apply online, visit a service centre or call us on 13 77 88.
If your application is successful, you'll receive payment within 5 working days into your nominated bank/Credit Union account. Service NSW will contact you if there are problems issuing your payment. 

Heartmoves is a low-moderate intensity exercise program. Regular participation in Heartmoves will help to: Better manage weight, blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol; Improve fitness, balance, co-ordination and flexibility; Enhance your quality of life and meet other people. Ingrid Davey is a qualified Older Adult Instructor and accredited Heartmoves Leader who will guide you through an exercise program that is fun, safe and modified to suit you. Tuesday 9.30am and Thursday 10.30am at Nelson Heather Centre, 4 Jackson Road Warriewood.  The cost per class is $10.00 casual now and $17.00 for two classes. Phone Ingrid to secure your spot on 0405 457 063. www.heartfoundation.org.au

RSPCA's Community Aged Care Program

RSPCA NSW understands that to an elderly owner, a pet can mean everything. Our Aged Care program aims to keep pets and their elderly owners happy, healthy and together in their own homes for as long as possible. To do this, we assist elderly pet owners over the age of 65, Indigenous pet owners over the age of 50 and palliative care patients of any age.
  • services our Aged Care program offers include: temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency pet boarding if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
  • assistance with veterinary treatment
  • home visits to assist the elderly with basic pet care
  • assistance with pet grooming
  • assistance with transport to and from the local veterinarian
  • a volunteer network to assist with dog walking and short periods of in-home care if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
Please note that due to high demand for this program, we ask that pet owners first ask family and friends whether they are able to assist with their pet’s care.

This community program was previously known as Pets of Older Persons (POOPs).

For more information please contact the RSPCA Community Programs helpline (02) 9782 4408.

The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. During weekends and public holidays contact the RSPCA Contact Centre on (02) 9770 7555
Aged Care Program FAQs

Media Releases concerning Seniors this week from National Seniors Australia

With around a quarter of a million members, National Seniors is Australia’s largest consumer organisation for the over 50s and fourth largest group of its kind in the world.

Peninsula Bridge Club - Founded in 1967, we are a key community hub on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We contribute strongly to our community: with both social connectedness for those who need it and opportunities to learn and train for those with competitive sporting goals. 

The Club is a vibrant organisation hosting up to three bridge sessions a day. We have 37 permanently set tables – that’s 148 players. We host over 30,000 player sessions every year. This includes prominent tournaments and education events attracting players from across the region. 

We pride ourselves on the friendliness of the club and our strong community spirit. We support local charities but even more importantly we support community members by providing them with social connection and mental stimulus – irrespective of age and mobility.

Our clubhouse is at Warriewood.

We have a new Beginners Course starting the end of September.

Each 2-hour lesson focuses on learning by playing, with a break for tea and chocolate biscuits mid-way. The course runs for 6 weeks and costs $100, which includes text book and support materials.

After the lessons we offer “Help with Play” sessions to practise what you’ve learned; Mondays 7-9pm; Tuesdays 2.15-4.30; Fridays 9.15-11.30. ($7 for members & $12 for visitors – membership

We also offer more advanced lessons each month so you can continue to improve your game if you want. 

If you are keen to learn this great game, please call or email Cath Whiddon (Director of Bridge Ed at PBC): 9979 5752 or cwhiddon@live.com.

If you already know how to play, take a look at our website to see what’s on offer this month: peninsulabridgeclub.org.au

Peninsula Bridge Club Facebook page: www.facebook.com/peninsulabridgeclub

assistance to pay your aged care costs

It’s now easier to get help if you need assistance to pay your aged care costs.
Services Australia have improved their Aged Care Claim for financial hardship assistance form and made changes to some evidence requirements. They’ve made these changes so it’s easier for you to get help.

You may get help if you can’t pay your aged care costs and you’re either:
  • in residential or respite care
  • getting a home care package.
You can claim for financial hardship assistance if all of the following apply:
If you get a Home Care Package, your care must have started on or after 1 July 2014.

Before you claim, you should update your income and asset details as well as your partners if you have one. You may also be eligible for other payments and services.

Next steps

 Australian Ageing Agenda

Australian Ageing Agenda (AAA) is an independent and authoritative bi-monthly publication for people who work in or around the aged care and retirement sectors in Australia. It provides a broad range of news, education and opinion with an emphasis on knowledge sharing and research translation.

Each issue also contains regular updates on relevant business and financial issues along with a selection of well researched features on crucial systems and operations, clinical care, technology, built environment and other issues relevant to the ‘ageing sector’. AAA leads the way with the industry’s most comprehensive conference details and remains Australia’s number one source of news and information about ageing issues and aged care.

Have a look at their comprehensive website HERE

 Keep your Wits About You

A regular contributor suggests we all look at Lumosity to see if will suit keeping active mentally. Their website states: "improve Brain Health and performance. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity exercises improve core cognitive functions. Researchers have measured significant improvements in working memory and attention after Lumosity training. Dozens of research collaborations help improve the Lumosity training program and its effectiveness." You can visit their website to decide for yourself  at: www.lumosity.com/app/v4/personalization

NSW Seniors Website: Crosswords, Puzzles & Games

Did you know that the NSW Seniors website has a range of games and puzzles for you to exercise that great grey matter upstairs?

Recently new items have been added in and now the list is:

Just click on the links we've embedded next time it's too cold out for a stroll and exercise that other great asset you have - your mind!

Community Connect

Need help on where to go to find the community information and assistance you need?

At Community Connect Northern Beaches, our professional staff and trained volunteers are knowledgeable, friendly and approachable and we will be only too pleased to help you find the service you want. We provide information and support, as well as advocacy and referral to other non profit community services and government agencies.

If we can’t help you we will get you someone who can. If you are newly arrived or do not have an English speaking background we can offer individual advice and support. Or Why not come to Specialist Community Support Workshops: Family Law, Power of Attorney plus Wills and Executors; Domestic Violence Support and Prevention; Positive Community Integration ; Crime Prevention; Or  Our Free English Classes. 

We also provide information on: Family Services: Child Care, Personal Support & Counselling; Health (Including Mental Health) ;  Material and Practical Assistance ; Advocacy to access state and federal MP assistance; Accommodation and Tenancy (help with form filling); Legal and Financial Matters ; Consumer Affairs ; Multicultural Issues; Conservation and the Environment ; Employment and Education; Accessing Community Facilities  -You are welcome to call in for: Brochures, booklets and fact sheets on a range of topics; Service Directories e.g. Council Guides and Migrant Directories; Publications e.g. The Senior newspaper and Nova.

Access to our community information data base, internet, email, fax and photocopying.(Please note there is a small charge for photocopying and use of the fax to cover the cost of paper, toner and fax call).  We also offer: A Legal Referral Program - Monday 1pm to 2pm at our 30 Fisher Road, Dee Why office.  Taxation Assistance for low income earners and pensioners from July to October. 

What does it cost?: Our services are free, however we are always grateful for a small donation where possible. The program is supported by NSW Department of Family & Community Services (FACS). CONTACT US: Phone: 02 99317777.

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)
1842 Pittwater Rd, Bayview
Website: www.byra.org.au

BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE

NSW Seniors Card program: Translated Resources

If you're from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background, and would like more information about the NSW Seniors Card program, translated versions of the Membership Guide brochure are available here:
Available for download in 13 different languages.

AvPals Term 3 2022: Training at Newport

Avpals are proud to present our training schedule for term 3 at the Newport Community Centre. You can enrol online, make inquiries online, even pay online. Spaces are limited. We are complying with every aspect of Covid Care. 

To sign up visit: www.avpals.com/

The timetable is below:

Large Triassic Amphibian Tracks At Northern Sydney Beach

Published June 24, 2022 by Pittwater Pathways

Paul Cronk cracked the jackpot with his latest fossil find. It will soon be subject to intense expert analysis - expect to hear more about it. 

Paracyclotosaurus (meaning "Near Wheeled Lizard") is an extinct genus of temnospondyl amphibian, which would have appeared similar to today's salamander – but much larger, at up to 2.3 metres (7.5 ft) long. It lived in the Middle Triassic period, about 235 million years ago, and fossils have been found in Australia, India, and South Africa.

Although they could live on dry land, Paracyclotosaurus probably spent most of its time in water. They had flattened bodies and elongated heads, almost 60 centimetres (2 ft) long, that vaguely resembled those of modern crocodiles.

The type species P. davidi is only known from one complete specimen recovered from Australia. It was discovered by quarry miners in a brick pit in St. Peters in Sydney, New South Wales. The discovery, made in 1910, was from a large ironstone nodule within Ashfield Shale which contained the nearly complete skeleton. The reconstruction was finished in July 1914, and was initially determined to be closely related to Cyclotosaurus. The original bone of the P. davidi holotype specimen was in very bad condition, but after the bone was removed from the hard ironstone matrix, casts were made from the matrix mold, and a mould was made from those casts. Casts of the original bone show a fair amount of detail.

Paracyclotosaurus davidi - giant temnospondyl from Late Triassic of Australia. Image Creator: Dmitry Bogdanov 

Paracyclotosaurus davidii was named after Sir Edgeworth David, the man who arranged for the British Museum (Natural History) to acquire the specimen.

Centrelink payment changes from 1 July 2022

June 30, 2022
Due to indexation, many of the thresholds used to determine payment eligibility and rates will change. Find out how much in this National Seniors overview.

Means tested government payments have rules, which the government uses to determine whether you are eligible and how much you get.

From 1 July 2022, around one million pensioners will benefit from annual increases in the areas, limits, and deeming thresholds that are free from means testing.

This means there will be an increase to the amount of income or assets an Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, or Carer Payment recipient can earn or own before their payment is affected.

How are they changing?
Under the income test you will now be able to earn up to $190 per fortnight (instead of $180) from any income source without affecting your pension payment (not counting the Work Bonus of $300 per fortnight for employment income).

The threshold at which your pension stops under the income test will increase to $2,165.20 per fortnight ($56,295.20 per year) for a single pensioner on 1 July 2022. The income test threshold for couples will also increase to $3,313.60 per fortnight ($86,153.60 per year)

The assets test threshold used to determine when you lose the pension has increased by:
  • $9,500 for a single homeowner
  • $14,000 for a homeowning couple
  • $17,500 for a single non-homeowner
  • $22,000 for a non-homeowning couple.
Deeming rate thresholds used to determine your deemed income from your assets have also increased. Assets up to the threshold attract the lower deeming rate of 0.25% and any above the threshold is deemed to earn a higher 2.25%. From 1 July 2022, the deeming threshold for a single pensioner will be $56,400 (up from $53,600) and for a couples the threshold will be $93,600 (up from $89,000).

While these changes are incremental, they will result in real increases in pension payments. This is especially important given the ongoing rise in living costs.

Some retirees previously on the cusp of receiving a pension but not eligible, may now find they are eligible because of the threshold increases, especially if the value of their assets has declined during the recent falls in the stock market. 

It’s therefore important to check with Centrelink if your circumstances have changed to see if you are eligible for a pension payment and other concessions.

More details on the new payment rates and thresholds are available on the Department of Social Services website.

No time for complacency in battle with COVID-19

Read the opinion piece from Minister Butler on COVID-19
The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care
It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago New South Wales was going into their devastating Delta lockdown.

This winter, life is pretty much back to normal; workers are going into work, kids are back at school, and parents and kids are shivering through weekend sport.

Without daily press conferences, it’s easy to forget we're still in a global pandemic and that we face very real challenges this winter.

There are currently tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases reported every day, and thousands of Australians in hospital with the disease. Hundreds of Australians are dying every week.

We also have the significant threat of influenza for the first time in years.

To get through winter, we need to increase third and fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccinations.

The health advice is clear: you are not fully protected against the Omicron variant unless you have at least a third dose of the vaccine. 

New research from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance has found a (third) booster vaccine dose provides 65 per cent greater protection against hospitalisation or death from the Omicron variant, compared to just two doses.

That is why you will see new advertisements from the Government over the next few weeks urging Australians to stay up to date with your vaccinations, especially boosters.

And we need to protect our children. Unlike COVID-19, young children are one of the at-risk groups for influenza.

Almost 60 per cent of people admitted to hospital with a condition associated with the flu have been children under the age of 16.

My message to parents is to protect their kids – particularly those under the age of five – through vaccination.

For people in at-risk population groups, free annual flu shots are available through the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program. This includes all children aged from six months to under five years, people aged 65 years and older, pregnant women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the age of six months.

While vaccination is the best possible defence for COVID-19, there are new oral treatments that can be taken at home which are very effective at preventing serious disease. Our research indicates that the vast bulk of the Australian population are still not aware of these treatments and uptake is low.

These oral antivirals must be taken as soon as possible—right after symptoms appear.

If you’re aged over 65, or over 50 and an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or if you are immunocompromised, speak to your doctor about whether these new medications are right for you.

Develop a plan in the event you get COVID. If you get a positive test, ring your GP and seek a telehealth appointment immediately.

It’s clear we still have a tough winter ahead of us. Hospitals and the health system are under very real pressure.

But we do have the tools to get through winter safely

With COVID-19 and the flu posing significant threats to the health of the Australian population this winter, the message is clear: get vaccinated.

To parents of young children not yet vaccinated against the flu, make an appointment – today.

If you or a loved one have not had a flu vaccine this year, make an appointment – today.

And if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster and haven’t had it, make a booking – today. It’s safe to have both at the same time.

Mulled wine: how ‘Christmas in a cup’ went from ancient medicine to an Aussie winter warmer

Morag Kobez, Queensland University of Technology

When the temperature drops in the southern hemisphere, you might like to stave off the chill with a big steaming pot of mulled wine, and fill your home with the comforting aroma of red wine, citrus and spice.

The mention of mulled wine conjures images of winter-wonderland white-Christmas scenes – no matter where in the world you live.

Although mulled wine is a staple of contemporary Christmas celebrations throughout Europe, and the customs and recipes may differ somewhat, the celebratory nature of the warm, spiced (usually) red wine is common to all – as are the ingredients sugar, cinnamon and cloves.

Its long history incorporates both pagan and Christian lore, traverses old and new worlds and established it as a favourite Christmastime beverage, travellers’ tipple of choice and a tonic of sorts in times of convalescence.

Ancient pagan paradox

Whether for festivity or fortification, mulled wine has been around for at least 2,000 years.

The ancient Greek version of mulled wine, Ypocras or Hippocras, takes its name from Hippocrates, the Greek physician regarded as the father of medicine. (It is also the name of the apothecary’s bag or sieve used to strain this wine.)

A satyr drinks from a wine glass.
Early versions of mulled wine can be found as far back as Ancient Greece. © The Trustees of the British Museum, CC BY-NC-SA

Wine played an important role in medicine in Greek antiquity. In the only ancient cookery book surviving to our times, De re coquinaria, we see a few versions of spice wine (conditum paradoxum) and wine with honey and pepper.

The latter, known as conditum melizomum viatorum was recommended for travellers: the honey and spices acted as a preservative, allowing the alcohol to accompany travellers on long journeys.

Conditum paradoxium became a prominent feature of the Saturnalia Festival in ancient Rome: the winter solstice celebration of the passing of the shortest day of the year and the rebirth of the Sun.

Conditum paradoxium was a prominent feature of the Roman winter festival, Saturnalia. Uffizi/Wikimedia Commons

By the time of the late-Roman Republic, Saturnalia had grown from a one-day celebration to a week-long festival held each year from December 17 to 23. Consuming the warming wine as part of the celebrations was thought to help ward off winter illness and so became firmly associated with the December celebrations.

Towards the end of the 4th century, this pagan solstice celebration became interwoven with Christianity and the celebration of Christmas Day. By the middle ages, mulled wine had become entrenched as part of the festivities throughout Europe.

Mulling over the recipe

According to several medieval cookbooks the most common of the sweet, spiced wines in the late middle-ages were still referred to as hippocras, with the term “mulled wine” coming later.

Just as they do today, ingredients varied depending on the region, but key components were hot red wine blended with sugar and ground spices – usually ginger, cinnamon and pepper and sometimes nutmeg and cloves.

A woman in the snow drinks mulled wine
In Europe, mulled wine is synonymous with winter scenes. Shutterstock

Throughout Europe, mulled wine is synonymous with postcard scenes of snow-capped Alps, après-ski shenanigans, the aroma of roasting chestnuts and Christmas markets.

In Sweden, glogg comes sprinkled with almonds and plump raisins, which have soaked up the wine and taken on the flavour of the spices. It is often served with distinctive raisin-studded saffron buns called Lussekatter.

Bischopswijn (Bishop’s Wine) is the Dutch name, in honour of Saint Nicholas, the bishop celebrated during the Feast of Sinterklaas in early December in the Netherlands.

A man serves mulled wine
Mulled wine is a staple of European Christmas markets. Shutterstock

Italians call it vin hrüle (French for “burnt wine”). In Poland it’s called grzane wino and in Germany it is gluhwein, which both directly translate to mulled wine.

So beloved is gluhwein in Germany, that when popular Christmas markets were cancelled in December 2020 due to COVID restrictions, pop-up gluhwein stalls began appearing in parks and street corners in German cities despite the rules.

It sparked a plea in parliament from then German Chancellor Angela Merkel for citizens to forgo their usual Christmastime tipple to help avoid increased numbers of deaths.

Exorcising the winter chill

In France it’s called vin chaud (“hot wine”) and more likely than not to contain star anise. The larger-than-life French writer Colette described vin chaud as “the great exorcist of winter crepuscules [twilight] that fall as early as three o’clock” in an advertisement she wrote for a French wine merchant in the early 20th century.

Rather than a Christmastime tipple, in the first 100 years of Australian settlement, mulled wine was more likely to be administered during times of illness or convalescence rather than times of celebration.

Hands clasp a glass of mulled wine.
It may not be Christmas – but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a winter warmer. Shutterstock

In the 19th and 20th centuries Australian domestic cookbooks commonly included recipes for sick or convalescing patients. Advice about food preparation for “invalids”, “convalescents” or “the sickroom” would commonly take up an entire section of cookbooks. Many of these included recipes for mulled wine.

With nobody under any illusions nowadays that mixing up a large amount of sugar in a hefty pot of red wine is good for anyone’s health, we find other similarly absurd excuses to partake. Christmas in July, anyone?The Conversation

Morag Kobez, Associate lecturer, Queensland University of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The iPhone turns 15: a look at the past (and future) of one of the 21st century’s most influential devices

Ismini Vasileiou, De Montfort University and Paul Haskell-Dowland, Edith Cowan University

It is 15 years since Apple released what’s arguably its flagship device: the iPhone. A decade and a half later, there are few products that have managed to reach a similar level of brand recognition.

Announced to an eager audience in 2007, the iPhone has revolutionised how we communicate and even how we live day to day.

Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone on January 9 2007.

The large-screen revolution

The iPhone was released in the United States in June 2007, and in a further six countries in November.

From the launch of Mac computers in the 1970s to the iPod in 2001, Apple already knew how to engage with its audience – and how to encourage extraordinary levels of hype when launching a product.

Early reviews for the iPhone were almost universally glowing, applauding Apple’s attention to detail and style. The only problem flagged was network connectivity – and this was an issue with slow speeds on phone carrier networks, rather than the device itself.

Consumers’ appreciation of the iPhone’s style was no surprise. It was indicative of an emerging trend towards smartphones with large-format screens (but which still reflected the form of a phone). The Nokia N95 was another such example that hit the market the same year.

A Nokia N95 with its keypad closed.
The 2007 Nokia N95 had a slide-out keypad. Asim18/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The original iPhone offered wifi, supported 2G EDGE connectivity and had internet download speeds below 500Kbps (compared to multi Mbps speeds today).

It was also limited to 4GB or 8GB models. This might sound pitiful compared to the 1TB options available today, but it’s enough to hold hundreds of songs or videos and was revolutionary at the time.

The Apple assembly line

The iPhone 3G was rolled out across the globe in July 2008, with significantly improved data speeds and the addition of the Appple App Store. Even though it offered a mere 500 apps at launch, the app store marked a significant improvement in phone functionality.

And just as users started getting used to 3G, it was superseded by the 3GS about a year later.

This cycle of regularly pushing out new products was critical to Apple’s success. By releasing regular updates (either through whole product iterations, or more minor functionality improvements) Apple managed to secure an enthusiastic audience, eager for new releases each year.

A comparison of iPhone sizes from the iPhone 5S to the iPhone 12
iPhone sizes got noticeably larger from the iPhone 5S release to the iPhone 12. Tboa/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Also, since older products would often be passed down within families, Apple’s product pipeline helped it establish a multi-generational user base. This pipeline continues to operate today.

New approaches to old ways

The iPhone family has delivered size, speed and storage improvements over its 15-year history. Some of its “new” features weren’t necessarily new to the market, but Apple excelled at delivering them in highly integrated ways that “just worked” (as founder Steve Jobs would say).

“It just works” – Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

In 2013, the iPhone 5S introduced touch ID, which allowed users to unlock their phones with a fingerprint. While this had first been introduced with the Fujitsu F505i back in 2003, Apple delivered a robust implementation of the feature. Of course, it wasn’t long before enterprising individuals learnt how to bypass the mechanism.

The iPhone 8, released in 2017, brought with it the face ID feature. This still had weaknesses, but was at least immune to being unlocked with a photo.

Beyond security, the iPhone series has also produced year-on-year improvements in camera technology. While the original model sported a paltry two-megapixel camera, later models featured multiple lenses, with resolution boosted to 12 megapixels – rivalling many digital cameras on the market.

Wireless charging was introduced with the iPhone 8 (although preceded by Samsung as early as 2011). And the bezel-less design of the iPhone X, released in 2017, built on features found in the Sharp Aquos S2 from the same year.


Nonetheless, the iPhone has not been without problems. The introduction of the iPhone 7 in 2016 saw the removal of the standard 3.5mm headphone socket – and many weren’t happy.

While an adaptor was initially provided for customers to connect their regular headphones, it was only free for about two years. After that it had to be purchased. In 2016 there were indications of a spike in wireless headphone sales. Perhaps somewhat conveniently, Apple launched its AirPods (wireless Bluetooth earbuds) at the same time.

A similar change came in 2020 with the release of the iPhone 12. Arguing consumers had a multitude of spare devices – and perhaps trying to ride on the green re-use agenda – Apple removed chargers from the unboxing experience.

Users still received a charge cable, but it was a USB-C to lightning cable, whereas previous iPhone chargers would have a USB-A socket (the standard USB port).

Apple phone cable
When Apple stopped offering chargers it provided a USB-C to lightning cable, despite older chargers having a USB-A socket. Apple

The justification iPhone users would have a box full of old chargers overlooked the fact that none of them would be likely to support the newer and faster USB-C cable.

So you could use your old USB-A to lightning cable and charger to charge your shiny new phone, but you’d be limited to slower charging speeds.


If the past 15 years are anything to go by, it’s likely the iPhone will continue with annual product releases (as we write this article many will be anticipating the iPhone 14 due later this year).

These models will probably bring improvements in speed, weight, battery life, camera resolution and storage capacity. However, it’s not likely we’ll be seeing many groundbreaking innovations in the next few years.

The latest iPhones are already highly sophisticated mini computers, which means there’s limited scope for fundamental enhancement.

Perhaps the most radical change will be the shift from Apple’s proprietary lightning connection to USB-C charging, thanks to a new European Union directive. And while a common power connector standard is widely considered a positive move, Apple wasn’t convinced:

We believe regulations that impose harmonisation of smartphone chargers would stifle innovation rather than encourage it.

As display technologies evolve, Apple may turn to the clam-shell phone design, with a fully foldable display screen.

Samsung has already brought this to the market. But Apple, in true fashion, will likely wait until the technology (particularly the glass) has evolved to deliver an experience in line with what iPhone users have come to expect.

While we can’t predict what the iPhone will look like in another 15 years (although some have tried), it’s likely the demand for Apple products will still be there, driven by Apple’s strong brand loyalty.The Conversation

Ismini Vasileiou, Associate Professor in Information Systems, De Montfort University and Paul Haskell-Dowland, Professor of Cyber Security Practice, Edith Cowan University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

NSW Spectacles Program

The NSW Spectacles Program provides glasses and visual aids to eligible recipients who might be at risk of a preventable decline in their eye health.

If you're eligible, you can receive free of charge in any 2-year period:
  • one pair of single vision glasses, or
  • one pair of bifocal glasses.
Contact lenses, tinted lenses or low vision aids may be provided in certain circumstances.

You are eligible if you:
  • receive a full Centrelink pension/benefit
  • have no other income other than the Centrelink payments
  • have financial assets less than $500 (if single) or $1000 (if married/partnered or parent/guardian)
  • are a low-wage earner who earns less than:
  • the JobSeeker Payment if you're under 65, or
  • the aged pension if you're over 65.
People living in regional/remote areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may also qualify for the subsidy. At your appointment, your provider will use the program’s online portal to check your eligibility using the information you've supplied.

Visit Vision Australia for more details on the program, your eligibility and how to apply, at:

Pensioner water rebate

If you receive a pension, you may qualify for a rebate on your water bill. 

To be eligible, you’ll need a:
  • Pensioner Concession Card from Centrelink or Department of Veterans' Affairs, or
  • gold Health Card (also known as a gold card) that shows:
  • war widow
  • war widower
  • extreme disablement adjustment (EDA)
  • totally and temporarily incapacitated (TTI)
  • totally and permanently incapacitated (TPI).
You’ll also need to be the owner and occupier of one of the following:
  • single dwelling
  • dual occupancy
  • strata or company title unit
  • unit in a retirement village with a life term lease.
If you own the property with someone who isn't a pensioner, you may still get a rebate. This depends on your relationship with the other owner(s) and your eligibility.

Rebates are applied to each bill. 

You can claim your pensioner rebate by selecting your water supplier from the following list:


Northern Beaches Concert Band is looking for flute, clarinet, saxophone, tuba and trombone adult players.  We cater for players from beginner to advanced and have a varied and exciting repertoire.  Come and join us during school term time at 7.30pm, Pittwater High School, Mona Street, Mona Vale. 
Details 9970 7131 or 0414 560 263.

Concession car parking at NSW Health public hospitals

Patients and carers may be eligible for concession rates on parking at NSW Health public hospitals. 

To be eligible you need to be:
  • requiring treatment over an extended period
  • attending hospital more than twice a week (including carers of long term patients who visit frequently). 
  • ongoing cancer treatment
  • treatment more than twice weekly
  • daily dressing changes
  • cardiac rehabilitation or health promotion classes
Concessions are also available for holders of a: 
  • Transport for NSW Mobility Parking Scheme permit
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card
  • Health Care Card.
Hospitals provide communication to patients, carers and visitors about the availability of concessional car parking rates, this includes:
  • clearly displaying and publicising concessional rates
  • streamlining the concession application process with designated points of access
  • validating concessional parking for the duration of a course of treatment. 
For detailed information on eligibility and concession fees, visit NSW Health webpage:

Active and Healthy at any age

Staying physically active is the single most important thing you can do to stay fit and independent, as you get older. Age is no barrier, research shows that exercise, at any age, is worth the effort. If you are in any doubt about exercise, please talk to your doctor.

This website (https://www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au/) can help you find an exercise program in your local area and provides information and tools that can assist you to increase your physical activity.

Join Healthy and Active for Life Online!

Healthy and Active for Life Online is a FREE 10-week healthy lifestyle program for adults aged 60 years* and over.

The program will help you learn how to make small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle to improve your health.

The program covers lots of topics including healthy eating and physical activity.
No prior knowledge or exercise experience is required!
*Aboriginal people aged 45+ years can register. 

Healthy and Active for Life Online will help you to be active by:
  • Providing online exercise programs for you to complete in the comfort of your home
  • Providing you with an exercise manual and log to keep you on track
  • Helping you to create realistic goals and increase your fitness

MWP Care

We've been supporting the community for over 50 years! 
Our Neighbour Aid staff and volunteers are able to provide crucial support to vulnerable elderly residents during the lockdown. 

Help with going to the supermarket or shopping on your behalf from a list as well as transport to medical appointments. Please get in touch via our website for more information 

MWP Care is a not-for-profit organisation that assists frail aged and younger people with disabilities and their carer’s in the Manly, Warringah, Pittwater area to remain independent members of our community.

MWP Care provides support to people who cannot manage alone by providing a range of services. Many of Community Aid’s activities are made possible by the generous work of our wonderful volunteers. Please contact us for more information.

Meals on Wheels 

Meal preparation and delivery: Benevolent Society
Our food services include meal preparation, and delivery of hot, frozen or chilled meals as part of the Meals on Wheels NSW program. This service is currently provided in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney.

Assistance to prepare food at home is available as an activity to help stay active and independent.
To find out if you or someone you know is eligible for this service, call our friendly staff. 
Call 1800 236 762

Pittwater; 6 Jackson Road, WARRIEWOOD, NSW 2102
Phone: 02 9457 3900

Manly & Warringah; Manly Seniors Centre, 275 Pittwater Road, MANLY, NSW 2095
Phone: 02 9976 1469

Tech Savvy Seniors

Tech Savvy Seniors provides free or low cost digital skills training on how to use computers, tablets and smartphones to keep in touch with family and friends, access essential services, conducting personal business and discover more about the things you are interested in.

Join the thousands of people over 60 who have already completed this fun, practical training and made new friends in the process.

With over 150 training locations across NSW as well as resources online it has never been easier to build your digital skills and confidence, with training available in a range of languages. To find out more about training sessions available near you, visit the Tech Savvy Seniors website to find your local library or community college provider.

For here: 
  • Northern Beaches Council Library at Glen Street, Mona Vale, Warringah Mall 02 9976 1720 
  • Northern Beaches Community College Inc at Narrabeen, Brookvale, Mosman (02) 9970 1000 enquiries@nbcc.nsw.edu.au
The Tech Savvy Seniors website also contains a great range of ‘self-teach’ videos and free digital literacy training resources available to make it easy to learn at your own pace to develop your digital skills from the comfort of your home.

Tech Savvy Seniors is a NSW Government initiative in partnership with Telstra.

council has a Home Library Service Available for Seniors

For those unable to visit the library because of age or disability, the Home Library Service maintains a vital connection with all that the library offers. Your Home Library Service Officer will help you select items for reading or listening. Volunteers or staff will then deliver and collect your library items on a regular basis.

Register for the Home Library Service
If you or the person you care for is unable to visit the library or carry library items home due to age, frailty or disability, please complete Council's Home Library Service Application Form or call us on 9942 2393. 

A medical certificate or statement signed by a doctor may be required to assess eligibility.

What happens next?
After staff receive your completed application form, a Home Library Service Officer will contact you to arrange a time to meet and discuss the service details with you.

Staff or volunteers will then select your items according to your borrowing preferences and then deliver them to you. During this visit you can return any items that you have finished with.

Australian Government Dept. of Health: Hearing Devices for Seniors

Australian Government's Hearing Services Program (the program), offers the option of being fitted with a hearing device if a hearing assessment identifies you have a hearing loss and a hearing device may assist you. 

You will be given a recommendation for a fully subsidised hearing device, and may also be offered the option of purchasing a partially subsidised hearing device. These devices have been approved by the Office of Hearing Services.

You can find out more about this program on the Australian Government's Department of Health webpage on the program here

Learn Something New: Australia MOOCs And Free Online Courses

There is a full range of everything your heart, mind and body wants to learn more about, presented and conducted by Australia's best universities.

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner 

Any person can make a complaint to the Commissioner, including care recipients, family members, friends, staff, volunteers, or professionals.

Complaints may relate to any aspect of services including care, choice of activities, discrimination, catering, communication or the physical environment. The 1800 550 552 helpline is staffed 9am to 5pm (AEDST) Monday to Friday.

Out of hours callers can leave a message, or contact the Commissioner at anytime through the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner website.


In 2014-15, there were 10,924 contacts to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. 3,725 were assessed as a complaint, 3,812 ‘other’ contacts includes non-compulsory notifications, own motion investigations and compliance referrals. There were also 3,387 out of scope contacts which were not related to an approved provider or an approved provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act.

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.