April 7 - 20, 2024: Issue 621

 Meryon + Ruth Sumpter at North Avalon Beach circa 1954-55

The Sumpter family were early Harley Road, North Avalon, residents and known for 'building community'. Sons David, 'The Mex' and Rodney 'The Gopher' were renowned and champions surfers. 

Rod commenced surfing at Avalon Beach at the age of six, first body surfing then surfoplaning, progressing to a redwood plank and, as surfing developed, on a 10 feet balsa board and then foam made boards. He has won over seventy-five trophies during an active surfing career. He has surfed in over twenty-five countries. Rod is the only surfer in the world to hold three National Surfing Titles consecutively number one at Bondi Beach winning the Australian National Junior Title in 1963, at Huntington Beach, California, the 1964 U.S. Junior Title, and at Jersey, Channel Islands, and the Great Britain National Title in 1965. He was the first to paddle and surf the Cribber in 1965. He has been the British Champion six times and the European Champion twice, and regained the British and European titles after an extraordinary twenty-year gap. A Surf moviemaker and former staff photographer for Surfer magazine, he has shaped surfboards, and won a gold television award for his water- photography. 
Photo: ABHS/Sumpter family -  PON Facebook Post April 2 2024

To the Editor,
Nice article on Meryon and Ruth Sumpter Circa 1954-55. Great photo of them with the rocks in the background. 
Rodney has lived in the UK for many years.
Dad did the Surf Meet in 1963. This is a poster by Dave Letts of Newport.

Kind Regards,
David ‘The Mex’ Sumpter.
Friday April 5 2024 (via email)

Ed's note: and of course, we have asked to have a longer chat - keep your fingers crossed!

Issacs's Gardening Services: Seniors Looked After 

Dear Editor,
Our neighbour's son (Isaac Loveday) recently started his own gardening business here.  He lives at Warriewood.

Isaac has 10 years horticultural experience with Flower Power.   His listed expertise is:
  • Horticultural advice
  • Mowing & hedging
  • Landscaping & fertilising
  • Planting & turf laying
  • Weed & pest control
No job is too big or too small, and seniors will be looked after.
I have attached his Brochure & Business Cards.
Do you have anywhere in PON that we can advertise his business.  He is a young man & enthusiastic about his work.

Why is Australia’s east coast copping all this rain right now? An atmospheric scientist explains

Kimberley Reid, Monash University

Headlines declaring a “Black Nor'easter” appeared this week as New South Wales and Queensland copped heavy rain – and residents have been warned to brace for more.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a 75% chance of Sydney receiving at least 50mm of rain, and a 25% chance of at least 100mm of rain on Friday (the average rainfall for the entire month of April in Sydney is 121.5mm).

Parts of Sydney were drenched in more than 100mm of rain overnight and the main dam that supplies the city’s drinking water is expected to spill in coming days. At least one man has died in Queensland floodwaters after torrential rain.

You might be wondering: what is a Black Nor'easter, what’s causing all this rain and does it have anything to do with climate change? I’m an atmospheric scientist who researches atmospheric rivers, extreme rainfall and climate change. Here’s what you need to know.

A wavy atmosphere leads to wild weather

Nor'easter simply means the wind comes from the northeast and black refers to the thunderstorm clouds likely to darken the sky.

Pirate-esque poetry aside, this type of weather system is not that unusual for this time of year, and technically the weather system started in the south.

But to understand the bigger question of why the east coast is copping all this rain, you need to remember the atmosphere is a fluid.

That means the same laws of physics that apply to water in the ocean also apply to air in the atmosphere. Like the ocean, the atmosphere has waves that break.

The jet stream is a current of fast winds about 10km high that blows from west to east and steers high and low pressure systems around the planet.

High pressure systems tend to bring clear skies and sunny weather, while low pressure systems are associated with clouds and rain.

But when the jet stream becomes wavy or even breaks, the high and low pressure systems can veer off course.

Like sea spray blowing off an ocean wave as it breaks, a low pressure system can blow off an atmospheric wave, as seen in the video below:

Video showing the development of the cut-off low (pink circle) that is impacting eastern Australia as a result of a breaking atmospheric wave.

What causes a long stretch of intense weather?

When a high or low breaks away from the jet stream, it can become “stuck”, leading to a stretch of wet weather or a stretch of hot weather.

The worst heatwaves are caused by high pressure systems stalling.

Conversely, some of the worst floods in the world are caused by low pressure systems being cut off from the jet stream and dumping rain in one place for multiple days.

The map below shows the cut-off low and blocked high over eastern Australia.

Like toothpaste in a tube, the air between the high and low is being squeezed along a narrow path (the purple arrow in the map above).

Since the air is coming from the Coral Sea, the air is warm and humid. This narrow region of enhanced moisture in the air is called an “atmospheric river”.

This atmospheric river acts like a hose, feeding moist air into the low. There, the atmospheric moisture is converted to rainfall.

We have seen this before

This is the exact weather set up that caused the devastating floods in Lismore and other places in February to March 2022.

In fact, a recent study showed 72% of all heavy rainfall events over the eastern seaboard are caused by this same weather set up.

That said, we are unlikely to see the same devastating impacts we did in 2022.

The stalled systems causing the current wild weather are forecast to move away after two days. By contrast, the set up that caused the torrential rain in 2022 persisted for three and a half days. It may not sound like a big difference but to atmospheric scientists, it is.

The atmospheric river associated with the current event is also weaker, so there is less moisture in the air to turn into rainfall.

A drone image shows Lismore drenched in floodwater.
This is the exact same weather set up that caused the 2022 Lismore floods. Cloudcatcher Media/Shutterstock

How will climate change affect these weather events?

Recent research found an increase in the intensity of rain from short (less than an hour long) downpours over Sydney.

Another study has shown the atmospheric moisture over Sydney is projected to increase by the end of the century.

However, the representation of certain weather systems in climate models isn’t good enough yet.

Since we are missing this key part of the puzzle, it’s still uncertain how heavy rainfall over eastern Australia may change in the future.

Recent funding to research on this topic and developments in powerful, high definition models should improve our understanding of how these weather events may change in the future.

In the meantime, for those about to face the current deluge, heed warnings from the SES and the Bureau.

Never drive through flood waters and if the sky does turn black, put your headlights on.The Conversation

Kimberley Reid, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Atmospheric Sciences, Monash University

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

Mah Jong returns to RPAYC


Everyone is welcome, from novices to experienced players! Sharpen your mind, connect with friends, learn a new skill or refresh your existing game. Mah Jong if fun for all!

For more information contact Leigh Hudson 0408 941 665.

Stay for dinner in Halyards - book your table online HERE 

Beware businesses claiming to use trailblazing technology. They might just be ‘AI washing’ to snare investors

Angel Zhong, RMIT University

Staying competitive in the finance sector is vital, with many companies moving quickly to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce costs and streamline operations.

But two companies recently came unstuck when the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused them of exaggerating their use of AI, marking the world’s first significant move in combating so-called “AI washing”.

Delphia (USA) Inc and Global Predictions Inc, boasted about using AI for designing investment strategies, but the SEC found their claims to be unsubstantiated.

There’s much speculation around AI, especially with generative technology app ChatGPT shaking things up. But amid all the hype, AI washing is becoming more common.

As well as exaggerating or misrepresenting their AI capabilities, companies may inflate the abilities of AI algorithms or create the illusion AI plays a more significant role than it actually does.

What’s so good about AI?

Incorporating AI into business operations has many benefits. It can streamline processes, quickly break down and analyse complex data to speed up decision-making, and help organisations stay ahead in a rapidly evolving and competitive market.

Promoting its use of AI helps portray a company as high-tech and cutting-edge, even if the reality doesn’t check out.

The practice of AI washing isn’t totally new. It follows the same idea as greenwashing, where companies pretend to be eco-friendly to attract investors and consumers.

It involves dressing up ordinary tech with fancy AI buzzwords such as “machine learning”, “neural networks”, “deep learning” and “natural language” processing to seem more innovative than they actually are.

AI and the finance sector

AI washing flourishes in finance and investment because of the industry’s high-stakes, intense competition and the seductive appeal of technology-driven solutions.

AI’s algorithms can analyse extensive datasets, enhance predictability and uncover hidden patterns in financial data. And AI’s real-time processing capabilities enable dynamic adaptation to market changes.

A human hand shaking the hand of a robot
Investors need to be wary of companies exaggerating their use of artificial intelligence. Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock

The complexity of financial products provides room for firms to conceal the reality behind flashy AI claims. And the lack of regulation exacerbates the problem.

Despite AI’s impressive capabilities, it’s not without its drawbacks, including ethical concerns, susceptibility to cyber attacks and manipulation, and the lack of transparency in how AI algorithms arrive at decisions or predictions.

Supporters of AI-related investments range from novice retail investors to seasoned institutional players.

Such interest has led to venture capital firms allocating more capital to AI startups last year than they did previously.

A lack of regulation

But without clear guidelines, firms can exploit loopholes and mislead investors.

This lack of oversight erodes trust and credibility in the industry. AI washing may also stifle innovation. If investors are skeptical about AI, they’re less likely to invest in legitimate AI-powered solutions. This can slow down the development of truly groundbreaking technologies.

It is crucial to deal with AI washing, echoing the cautionary tale of the dot-com bubble. Much like the exaggerated promises and speculative fervor surrounding internet companies which led to market turbulence and investor scepticism in the late 1990s, the hype surrounding AI capabilities in finance poses similar risks.

AI washing could lead investors to pour money into AI-related ventures without fully understanding the risks or potential limitations, ultimately exposing them to financial losses when the bubble bursts.

The European Union AI Act is the first regulation in the world to govern the use, development, disclosure and oversight of AI. But in Australia there are no specific laws. Regulation currently falls under the Corporations Act.

ASIC is currently considering ways to regulate AI, including formulating penalties for AI washing.

Holding companies accountable for accurate information about technology applications helps maintain the integrity of financial markets and ensures fairness for investors.

How to spot AI washing

So, how can you, as an investor or consumer, avoid falling victim to AI washing? Here are some tips:

1. Verify registration status and credentials

Before buying or investing in anything claiming AI capabilities, verify the investment company’s registration status and credentials by looking them up on the professional register. Ensure they have no disciplinary [history] by checking the Australian Securities and Investment Commission register.

2. Be cautious with AI-focused investments

Investing in AI-driven companies may seem promising, but be wary of companies that tout their “revolutionary” or “industry-leading” AI without providing specifics. What exactly makes their AI revolutionary? What problems does it solve? Companies that rely on empty buzzwords without concrete details are probably exaggerating their capabilities.

3. Boost your knowledge

Get a grasp of AI and machine learning basics. Learn common AI techniques and terms used in finance. There are a large number of free resources online for beginners.

4. Ask questions

Do not solely rely on AI-generated information for investment decisions. AI-generated data may be based on inaccurate or biased. Ask financial advisors and companies about their specific AI implementation. What kind of data are they using? How are their algorithms trained? What are the limitations of their technology?

5. Be sceptical of high returns with little to no risk

Be sceptical of financial products promising high returns with minimal risk, especially those claiming AI-powered success. This tactic is a common red flag for AI washing. Don’t rely solely on a company’s claims – conduct independent research by following the financial news or checking regulatory filings of companies before investing.The Conversation

Angel Zhong, Associate Professor of Finance, RMIT University

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

The Missa Solemnis at 200: Beethoven was close to deaf when he wrote his self-proclaimed best work

Peter Tregear, The University of Melbourne

Major anniversaries of works of art present us with an opportunity to engage in cultural stocktaking. We are invited to take a moment to contemplate and celebrate the basis of their lasting significance.

April 7 2024 presents one such opportunity; it is exactly 200 years from the first performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, or “Solemn Mass”.

Today, the Missa Solemnis is generally considered to be one of the most remarkable works of Christian liturgical (relating to public worship) music ever conceived. It is also a summation of Beethoven’s mature compositional style.

A self-consciously great work

Beethoven’s initial excuse for composing the Missa Solemnis had been a commission in 1819 for a Mass to accompany the enthronement of his friend, patron and composition pupil, Archduke Rudolph, as the archbishop of Olmütz (now Olomouc, Czech Republic). But he became so engrossed in the creative challenge that he ran some three years late in finishing it.

In part, this was because he seemed very aware of its potential to be a work of lasting significance. He later claimed to his publishers it was also his best composition. His favourite (and most famous) portrait shows him in the act of writing it.

A masterpiece you’ve likely never heard

Why, however, is the Missa Solemnis also one of Beethoven’s lesser-recognised and performed works today? One reason is mounting a performance is not for the faint-hearted. At some 90 minutes in length, calling for about 100 highly skilled musicians, it presents a host of logistical and musical challenges.

It also seems, at least at first, to have a potentially uncomfortable relationship with its original liturgical purpose, which was to accompany a full Catholic service of Holy Communion.

However, the period of the Mass’s composition, roughly 1818–1823, was also a period in European history where there was a profound shift away from established religion’s central role in public and private life. This is perhaps reflected in the fact the Missa Solemnis defied, in both its form and content, conventional expectations at the time of what this kind of Mass setting should be.

Perhaps the most famous example is the way Beethoven sets the closing “Dona nobis pacem”, the traditional closing prayer for peace. Heard initially in the liturgically correct place, these words then initiate one of Beethoven’s famous extended codas (or closing passages) to give voice to what he described as a “Bitte um innern und äussern Frieden”, or prayer for inner and outer peace.

Beethoven goes on to highlight, ironically and very dramatically, the disasters of war. And he had good reason to, having experienced first-hand some of the horrors of the Napoleonic wars.

Also, by the time Beethoven composed the Mass he was close to being profoundly deaf. As a result, his music became less concerned with the practicalities (and indeed limits) of performance. He was now realising on paper what he heard in his imagination and seemed to have felt more free to explore the extremes of conventional musical expression.

An overt struggle between form and function

While Beethoven made a detailed study of the Mass settings of earlier masters, such as those by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, he also knew he could not simply follow their example. He said:

It would be a folly to imitate Palestrina’s language unless its spirit and world of religious thought lives within us.

A century later, German critic Paul Bekker wrote Beethoven instead broke through the walls of musical tradition and liturgical dogma “which divide the church from the world”. Indeed, the Missa Solemnis has been almost exclusively performed as a concert piece, despite Beethoven himself intending for it to be performed as part of an actual Mass service.

But all these aspects can also be considered a part of, and not necessarily in opposition to, the work’s underlying religious sensibility.

The score of the Missa Solemnis embodies much of what we have come to label as a “Late Style”. This category of creative output tends to emerge from an artist towards the end of their life. Late Style works are commonly infused with an awareness of impending death, as well as speculation about the limits of artistic expression itself.

An emblematic example might be the way Beethoven sets the text “Et vitam venturi sæculi. Amen” (“[…] and the life of the world to come, Amen”) from the closing passage of the Mass’s Credo (Creed) movement.

“Et vitam venturi” from the Credo movement of the Missa Solemnis.

While Beethoven at first takes up the tradition of setting these words with a concluding flourish of musical counterpoint, he then proceeds to do so to a technically extreme degree.

Not for nothing did British musicologist Sir Donald Tovey later describe this as “the most difficult choral passage ever written”. It sounds deliberately overproduced, as if Beethoven wishes to convey both a mood of affirmation and doubt – perhaps similar to the supplicant in St Mark’s Gospel who declares: “Lord I believe, forgive my unbelief”.

Even what might at first seem to be an outwardly conservative setting, such as the Mass’s opening Kyrie Eleison prayer (“Lord have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us”), draws us into such a mode of contemplation. Here, the Mass’s grandiloquent music contains a more urgent, anxious, prayer as the text changes to “Christ have mercy”.

It expresses both tremendous religious yearning, but also battles with that yearning – and ultimately does not find peace with it. As the opening sequence of 1994 film Immortal Beloved imaginatively depicts, this movement was also performed at Beethoven’s funeral in 1827.

The Kyrie from the Missa Solemnis is heard after 52 seconds.

An enduring message

This direct engagement with doubt as an inevitable companion to expressions of faith is, I suspect, a key reason why Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis can still speak directly to us across the centuries. Just as Beethoven himself wished: “from the heart to the heart again”.

On Sunday, 200 years to the day, more than 100 musicians will join to commemorate the anniversary of Missa Solemnis with a liturgical performance at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne.

In this way, we hope to bring renewed attention to the powerful amalgam of traditional ritual, musical force and theological questioning that lies at the heart of this great work.The Conversation

Peter Tregear, Principal Fellow and Professor of Music, The University of Melbourne

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

Pittwater-Narrabeen Parkinson’s Support Group

The purpose of our group is to support seniors (55yrs +) living with Parkinson’s, their carers, relatives and those who have lost a partner to Parkinson’s, who live on the northern beaches of Sydney.

This support Group has been meeting for around 30 years on the Northern Beaches. Our meetings aim to help reduce the social isolation, and increase community connectedness for our members. Through guest speakers, discussions, and group activities, our meetings will support and promote mental health, healthy lifestyles and well-being.

Our Facebook webpage will be used to store resources and links, and provide another way to safely keep in touch, for those who want to use Facebook. We also have a website that is regularly updated https://wheresdot.wixsite.com/nbpdsupportgroup

We meet regularly and due to Covid we have been meeting at Jamieson Park, The Esplanade, Narrabeen.

Give Dot a call for more information: 0418 640 086 and join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1063258404504502

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:

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.

Hotline to report food quality in aged care now live

Australians now have a simple and efficient way to report food concerns in aged care, with the launch of a dedicated Food, Nutrition and Dining Unit hotline at the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

The hotline is active and callers will have access to experts in the areas of food, nutrition, and dining, including dietitians and speech pathologists.

A good meal with good nutrition is crucial to quality of life for everyone but especially older people.

The Food, Nutrition and Dining Hotline is also available to aged care providers to access food and nutrition advice, support and education to deliver improved food, nutrition and dining experiences for older people in their care.

Older people, their families and carers, providers and aged care workers can call the Food, Nutrition and Dining Hotline on 1800 844 044.

The hotline builds on the Federal Government’s grant to the Maggie Beer Foundation to build the capability of aged care chefs and cooks working in aged care.

The first free online training modules are now available: https://lms.maggiebeerfoundation.org.au/.

Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells stated;

“What older Australians consume and their dining experience has a significant impact on their overall wellbeing.

“Australians were shocked when the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that 68% of aged care residents were malnourished or at risk of malnourishment on the Coalition’s watch.
“I can't be clear enough, food must be a priority in aged care.

“The Food, Nutrition and Dining Unit hotline is another important step in the Albanese Government’s mission to make sure older people have access to nourishing food that improves their quality of life.”

 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

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Wellbeing Plus 

The Wellbeing Plus Course is a free, online treatment course for Australian’s aged 60 years+  
The course includes 5 lessons delivered over 8 weeks, with optional weekly support from a therapist via email or phone. It aims to help us understand symptoms of anxiety and depression, and practice helpful skills.    

Over 95% of people said they would recommend the Wellbeing Plus Course.  

If you're interested in learning more, visit www.mindspot.org.au/course/wellbeing-plus  

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

Computer Pals for Seniors: Northern BeachesTechnology made easy for Seniors

Have you ever struggled with the demands of modern technology? Come and join our friendly club and learn at your own pace. 

Computer Pals for Seniors Northern Beaches is here to help you master your device, be it Android/Apple tablets and phones, Apple/Microsoft/Chromebook laptops.

Each lesson is one-on-one for an hour each week during term times.

We are based at The Tramshed Arts & Community Centre, 1395a Pittwater Road, Narrabeen, close to the B-Line bus stop.

If you would like further information please contact Anne - Tel: 9984 0604 or email anne.computerpals@gmail.com

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:

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


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

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

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.

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

Bilgola plateau Probus Club

We meet on the first Friday of each month at 10am at the Newport Bowling Club; 2 Palm Road Newport.

Bilgola Plateau Probus Club has passed the one year mark with flying colours, and has now reached its maximum amount of members. For the time being, applications for membership are closed, but anyone interested in becoming a member in the future can put their name on the waiting by contacting our Membership Officer, mary_wearne@hotmail.com.

Avalon Beach Ladies Probus Club - Profile

Looking For New Members - Spring Into Spring - October 2023 is Probus Month - Theme This Year: Good Friends, Great Times, New Adventures.

Currently Avalon Beach Ladies Probus club is looking for new members - a great opportunity to spring into Spring by meeting up with wonderful local women for fun and friendship. Meets first Tuesday of every month at Club Palm Beach (Palm Beach RSL).

President Margaret White shares a few insights into this local ladies Probus club.


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.


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

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

Dr. Scamps offering free Anti-scam seminar

In 2023, losses to scams exceeded $4.5 billion, causing misery and financial hardship to thousands of people including hundreds on the Northern Beaches. The perpetrators of these crimes masquerade as your bank, the Tax Office, phone companies, or postal delivery services – to name a few.

Scammers deliberately target older people, the vulnerable and people who are not as savvy with digital communications.

“These scammers are without scruples,” said Dr Sophie Scamps, Federal MP for Mackellar.

“That’s why I want to help the people of Mackellar fight back against them, by knowing what to do when they are contacted by these people.”

Nearly 20% of reports in NSW were by people 65 and over, followed by the 55-64 age group (12.2%) and 45-54 age group (10.7%). There are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Dr Scamps will host a free seminar on scams presented by staff from the Australian Competition and Consumer commission’s Scam.

Online presentation on April 10th: 3.30pm to 5pm
To find out more please visit: www.sophiescamps.com.au/events

The scams awareness presentations will provide practical guidance to assist people to identify and avoid scams and stay safe online. The presenter will share valuable information on where to seek help and support when recovering from a scam.

It’s also an opportunity for attendees to share their scam stories with their peers. 
We all need to be vigilant and help each other to avoid scams. If you have an unusual phone call, text or email, stop! Hang up. Do not click on the link or provide information. Seek advice from a friend or relative

Minister for Aged Care - Statement - 3 April 2024

Thank you to the older people, their families and carers, workers, advocates and aged care providers who shared their feedback on the draft new Aged Care Act. 

We heard strong feedback that the proposed new Aged Care Act is a once in a generation opportunity for systemic reform that we must get right.

The Government is now considering the extensive and valuable feedback to refine and finalise the draft legislation before it is introduced to Parliament.

We will update the commencement date of the legislation following these updates and before the bill is introduced to the Parliament.

The new Act is an incredibly important milestone on the Albanese Government’s mission to lift the standard of aged care in Australia and deliver a high quality, person-centred service.

That is why the Government is committed to working with all members of Parliament to implement these reforms.

The Albanese Government has already implemented its five aged care election commitments, including 24/7 nursing, a record $11.3b pay rise for aged care workers and increased transparency through Dollars to Care.

We have also addressed 69 Royal Commission recommendations and our work is having a tangible impact. Since the election of the Albanese Government, older Australians are receiving an additional 2.16 million care minutes every single day.

There has been a reduction in the number of pressure injuries, physical restraints, significant unplanned weight loss and falls while we are also seeing improvements in the Star Ratings data, with fewer 1 and 2 star ratings and more 4 and 5 star ratings.

The Hon Anika Wells MP
Minister for Aged Care

Peak aged care advocacy bodies demand swift action on new Aged Care Act

April 4, 2024
Reports the Federal Government could delay the implementation of a new Aged Care Act until 2025 are deeply concerning, leading advocates for older Australians say.

Leaked internal departmental communications suggest the crucial reforms – which were a key recommendation of the Aged Care Royal Commission – will not be implemented by July 1 as was previously committed to by the Federal Government. 

The same leak indicates the Bill would be presented to Parliament by June 2024.Peak advocacy bodies, COTA Australia and Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) say any delay to the introduction of the Aged Care Act would be a blow to the rights of older Australians.

Patricia Sparrow, Chief Executive Officer of COTA Australia – the leading advocacy organisation for older people:
“Older Australians want to get aged care set up right, now and into the future, but it doesn’t mean we need to move at a glacial pace. The idea of pushing back this vital legislation to as late as July 2025 is simply unacceptable.”

“Introducing the Bill for Parliamentary scrutiny by June 2024 is appropriate. Parliament provides the ideal platform for conducting the next level of public consultation on all aspects of the Bill through a senate inquiry, including the examination of consolidated rules and subordinate legislation.”

Craig Gear OAM, Chief Executive Officer of OPAN:
“Older people cannot wait another 15 months for their rights to be enshrined in legislation.”

“While work is required to incorporate the extensive feedback provided by older people, their families and other people with an interest in aged care into the new Aged Care Act, we believe the time frame being suggested by aged care providers to be overly conservative if not excessive.”

“Government has heard from all stakeholders, including older people, that factoring in transition time for some components of the Act would be appropriate, but we need the legislation introduced mid-year and passed by the end of the year.”

As the Aged Care Royal Commission said, the current Aged Care Act is not fit for purpose. We stand by our call to see the new Aged Care Act enacted this year. COTA and OPAN are ready and willing to work with the Australian Government and aged care providers around the transition and implementation time frame.

Cost of Living Solutions for Seniors Pre-Budget Submission

National Seniors Australia offers cost-of-living solutions for seniors.
Reducing the fuel excise, a cost-of-living rebate, and continuing the freeze on deeming rates are three key policy recommendations in National Senior Australia’s (NSA) Pre-Budget Submission 2024.

NSA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Grice said the budget cycle comes at a critical time with NSA research revealing 80% of older people are impacted by higher living costs.

“The high prices in fuel, groceries, energy, rents, health care and other essential items is stretching household budgets to the point of breaking,” Mr Grice said.

“While some people are doing okay, many – especially those who rent, who are on low incomes, or live in regional and rural areas, are not. That’s why NSA’s budget recommendations offer immediate relief as well as longer-term policy reform to ensure our standard of living does not go backwards.

Fuel excise
“One of our key recommendations is to reduce the impact of rising fuel costs by temporarily reducing the fuel excise by up to 20c a litre while oil prices remain high.

“Motorists currently pay 49.6 cents in excise for every litre of fuel they purchase. However, the excise amount is not static and increases twice a year in line with CPI.

“We are also calling for a pause on fuel excise indexation while oil prices are high to ensure this is not contributing to inflation.”

Pensioners and seasonal harvest workers, Dawn, and Murray Garner, who travel interstate up to 6,000kms per trip to undertake seasonal harvest work, would welcome moves to reduce fuel costs.

“The fuel costs are a killer for many, especially for those who travel for work. We pay more than $1,200 in fuel to get to our destination – that’s a lot of money to make-up in your pay packet!” Dawn said.

“A reduction in the fuel excise would make a significant difference not only to us, but to every Australian who dreads putting fuel in their vehicle and seeing those numbers tick over at the bowser.”

Cost-of-living rebate
NSA also recommends federal government provides a Cost-of-Living rebate via electricity bills to Australian households, as it did in 2023 via the Energy Bill Relief, with higher rebates for those most in need.

“Cost of living is the biggest issue facing older Australians. The rising cost of products and services means people spend more to receive the same value of goods and services. This is crippling many household budgets and hurting the economy, putting jobs at risk,” Mr Grice said.

Retiree David Warner agrees, “Everyone notices the extra money they’re having to spend at the supermarket, when paying their bills or when eating out, if they’re able. The dollars certainly don’t go as far as they used to, and it all adds up,” Mr Warner said. 

“A federal government cost-of-living rebate would help to provide a much-needed buffer for many who have little or no buffer at all.”

Deeming rate freeze
With interest rates lifting 4% since the freeze was announced and cost of living pressures continuing to build, NSA is also calling for a freeze on deeming rates for a further 12 months to give time to set rates in a fair and transparent way in the future.

“With the cash rate significantly higher than the upper deeming rate, hundreds of thousands of pensioners could have their pensions cut when the freeze ends in July. Some people will lose the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and others will pay for aged care,” Mr Grice said.

“A dramatic lift in deeming rates on 1 July would impact pensioners to part-pensioners to aged care residents.”

These concerns are shared by many NSA members including Margo who said, “The freeze will impact on the amount of age pension I receive which will naturally impact on my lifestyle.” 

And, Sue, “I am a concerned pensioner who is currently on a part pension. My superannuation amount is dwindling and I am concerned about what will happen in July.”

NSA’s cost of living solutions presented in its pre-budget submission provide government an opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the daily lives of older Australians and meaningful change in the long-term, for generations to follow, the organisation states.

NSA’s full Pre-Budget Submission can be viewed here

Money transporter Armaguard is in peril. Could cash be dead sooner than we think?

TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock
Steve Worthington, Swinburne University of Technology

If you’ve ever taken money out at an Australian ATM, been handed $20 change at a supermarket or paid someone in cash, you’ve probably used the services of Armaguard.

Owned by Linfox Group, Armaguard is Australia’s largest currency transport business, servicing about 90% of the cash-in-transit market.

But the company is struggling. Use of cash as a means of payment has declined sharply in recent years, a trend that was only turbocharged by the pandemic. Last year, Armaguard said it would need a $190 million lifeline over the next three years in order to stay afloat.

Last week, the company rejected a A$26 million rescue offer put together by some of Australia’s biggest banks and retailers, which would have required it to open its books. Instead, it opted for a smaller A$10 million package from its parent company Linfox that will see it through the next few weeks.

But the company’s future remains far from certain, worrying the Reserve Bank.

Why is “physical money” still important, and what could Australia learn from countries who’ve already gone cashless?

Cash-in-transit at a dead end?

Australian cash use has fallen off a cliff over the past decade. Consumers have moved overwhelmingly toward paying by card, now often facilitated by digital wallets on phones or watches.

Cash use has fallen dramatically since 2007. RBA

As a result, there are now far fewer bank branches and ATMs operating in Australia. Between 2017 and 2023, bank branch numbers declined by 37% and the number of bank-owned ATMs fell from 13,814 to just 5,693.

According to the Australian Banking Association, cash is now only being used for about 13% of payments, a 57% decline since 2017.

Moving cash around was already expensive – the sheer size of the Australian continent means it has to be transported securely over huge distances. The fall in cash usage has further increased the unit cost of this process.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has outlined an alarming “cash-use cycle”, showing that if cash usage continues to fall, it could become uneconomic for banks and other ATM providers to offer cash services in some regional areas.

Prosegur van parked out front of a hotel
Armaguard acquired competitor Prosegur Australia in 2023, creating a near-monopoly on cash transport in Australia. ArDanMe/Shutterstock

With permission from the ACCC, Armaguard acquired its main competitor Prosegur in June last year, arguing the merger would allow it to continue offering cash-in-transit services to all locations both companies had served.

But Armaguard has claimed it is still sustaining larger-than-expected losses, citing a structural reduction in demand for cash-in-transit services.

Having now accepted a A$10 million lifeline from its parent company, Armaguard will continue to operate all of its cash-in-transit services for the moment. But it remains to be seen what extra financial support it will be able leverage from the businesses it currently services.

Why do we need cash to survive?

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has a vested interest in maintaining cash as a store of wealth and means of payment for many people, particularly as a backup option when electronic payment systems are unavailable or offline.

As RBA governor Michelle Bullock explained in a recent speech:

For these reasons, the RBA places a high priority on the community continuing to have reasonable access to cash withdrawal and deposit services.

The Reserve Bank is keeping a close eye on the negotiations to keep Armaguard afloat, having previously floated the idea of an industry “cooperative model”.

This would see major cash users like banks form a cooperative entity to replace private sector suppliers like Armaguard.

Such models already exist in European countries. In the United Kingdom, the Link network connects almost all of the country’s ATMs and allows consumers to withdraw cash regardless of who they bank with.

Link is a not-for-profit organisation jointly owned by its members, who all issue cards used in its ATMs.

Lessons from overseas

Much further down the road than Australia on this journey, Sweden has become one of the most cashless societies in the world. But this has prompted a degree of backlash in the country.

The governor of the Swedish Central Bank, the Riksbank, recently called for urgent legislation to protect both notes and coins as a payment option for Swedes:

Cash is needed to avoid people suffering digital and financial exclusion.

The Riksbank says the banks should be mandated to accept deposits of banknotes and coins and ensure their customers can withdraw cash from both branches and ATMs.

closeup of various Swedish cash notes
Many businesses in Sweden have stopped accepting cash altogether, alarming the country’s central bank. IB Photography/Shutterstock

In a recent report, the Riksbank also pointed out there is currently only one private company in Sweden providing a cash-in-transit service, creating a potential point of vulnerability.

It called for collaboration between the Riksbank and Sweden’s commercial banks on ensuring that cash could still be transported if the current system ever broke down.

Importantly, Sweden offers an example of how the true death of cash will ultimately sound alarm bells. Faced with this, central banks and governments can bend to popular opinion and legislate for cash’s survival.The Conversation

Steve Worthington, Adjunct Professor, Swinburne University of Technology

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

Join in the Biggest Morning Tea at RPAYC


Pour yourself a cup of kindness and join us at the Biggest Morning Tea Fundraiser! We can't think of a better way to spend a morning than coming together as a community, enjoying delicious delights, and supporting a cause that means so much to so many. $35 per person includes delicious sandwiches and cakes baked in-house, a selection of tea & coffee and a $5 donation to Cancer Council. Book your ticket HERE 

Manly-Warringah Choir is pleased to announce its Autumn concert: 

Mostly Mozart
Sunday, 19th May 2024 at 2pm
The Waterford Hall, St Paul's Catholic College, Darley Road, Manly 

Tickets will be available from 25th March at:  manlywarringahchoir.org.au 

Further details are in poster. Parking will be available in the school grounds. Light refreshments will be served afterwards at this lovely venue, with panoramic views over Sydney Harbour. We do hope you can join us.

2024 Seniors Card Discount Directory

NSW Seniors Card is pleased to provide members with the 2024 Seniors Card Directory, your guide to the best discounts and special offers from thousands of participating businesses across the state.

The directory includes discounts from each region in NSW. The regions are: Sydney & Surrounds, Central Coast & Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

View our regional map below to determine which region you are in.  You can view the directory online in your browser or download and save to your computer for quick reference as you need. 

Each year five directories are released, one for each region in NSW. The regions are: Sydney & Surrounds, Central Coast & Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

To download your copy, please click the link below:
Copies of the 2024 directory are also available for pickup from Australia Post Outlets, Service NSW Centres, MP Offices as well as participating local Councils and Libraries across the state. Please click here to find a location near you.

AvPals Group Sessions at Newport: Term 1 2024

Enrol now at: www.avpals.com/shop

Make 2024 the year you get Tech Savvy and don't have to resort to the grandchildren to work out what you want to do and how to do it.

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 AvPals now has 20+ trainers and hundreds of students annually. Each year AvPals runs Group Sessions in the Newport Community Centre focussed on what you want to learn and find out more about.

u3a at Newport Community Centre: 

About Our Courses and Activities
Sydney u3a comprises seven regions covering the greater Sydney metropolitan area. The local one is U3A Northern Beaches Region.

Sydney u3a is managed and run entirely by volunteers who contribute time and energy to provide life-long learning and social activities for everyone.  Join in to enjoy the benefits of membership!  At the one affordable annual membership fee of $85.00 (less than $2 per week), you’ll get:
  • access to a wide range of courses and presentations
  • friendly and inviting social events in your region

Members can attend any course in any of the seven regions
  • Volunteers lead and administer the courses and talks
  • A wide range of topics is covered – from learning foreign languages to table tennis to history to book/movie clubs to philosophy to science related issues. There’s something for everyone!
  • Courses are held in a variety of local venues and via Zoom
  • Events, visits, tours and social activities are also offered
  • Full details of activities are listed each semester in the Course Book and on individual regional pages
From time to time there are changes to course details after publication of the Course Book. Please keep checking your region’s website or the website home page for updates.

u3a Northern Beaches Region
Our current newsletter includes up to date information on courses, events and any changes to the program.  Previous newsletters are available here if you missed any information or wish to refresh your memory.

Please note:  The newsletter is distributed to members by email at the end of each month. If you haven’t received the latest copy please check as it may have been captured in your Junk email folder. If this is the case, please adjust your settings so that you receive future newsletters as soon as possible. We also take this opportunity to issue a friendly reminder to contact us with your updated details if you change your home or email address. Thank you.

Games Table Tennis
Every Thursday from 1:15 to 4:15
Main Hall
Table tennis stimulates physical and mental performance. We offer the opportunity to revive a dormant skill and to socialise with new friends in an air-conditioned venue that is ideal for year-round play.
Leader: Richard Hughes 69ingleside@gmail.com
Bookings: Ron Heald and Angela Gollmer ra.u3a.tt@gmail.com

Every Monday from 12:30 to 2:00
Main Hall
Please book only one yoga class per week. Every class consists of basic yoga practice, breathing and
deep relaxation which will help improve joint mobility, increase muscle flexibility and bone density.
Teacher: Maryanne Deans Kolek
Leader: Susan Barnard susanbarnard@iinet.net.au
Bookings: Pamela Frei pamelannfrei@icloud.com

Alternate Wednesdays from 8 Feb 1:30 to 4:00
Activity Rooms 1 and 2
Looking for fun and an enjoyable activity that extends you? Join our drama activities where you will meet new people and have fun along the way. We do drama to music, also mime, improvisation and roleplaying.
Leader: Helen Rosenkranz helenrosenkranz@gmail.com
Bookings: Claire Kennedy eurobin10@hotmail.com

Every Wednesday (except first Wed every month) from 8 Feb 2:00 to 3:30
Main Hall.
Reconnect with nature via this gentle, moving meditation originating in China. Relaxes the joints, aids digestion and sleep, calms the mind and gently tones and strengthens muscles. Work at your own level.
Suitable for most.

Leader: Penny Auburn penauburn@gmail.com
Bookings: Helen Howes helsim@internode.on.net

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
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

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.

 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

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.

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:


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE

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!

 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

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

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

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.

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!

Avalon Scottish Country Dancing

Avalon Rec. Centre
Thursday 3pm to 5pm
Most Saturdays 2pm to 4pm
(contact Margot Fenelon 0419 122 455 to confirm Saturday class)
COST:  $5 - first visit free
WHAT TO WEAR: Casual clothes and soft soled shoes

Pensioner's Concessions: Council Rates

Did you know that Pensioners are entitled to concessions on their Council Rates?

Concessions are available for eligible pensioners. To be an eligible pensioner you must receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Government. You can only claim a concession on the property if it is the sole or principal place you live.

If you are eligible, you are entitled to:
  • Half of the total of your ordinary rates and domestic waste management service charge, up to a maximum of $250.
  • Half of your water rates or charges, up to a maximum of $87.50.
  • Half of your sewerage rates or charges, up to a maximum of $87.50.
To apply, you need to complete a pensioner concession application form. You can obtain these forms from your council - download our area's one HERE

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

Home Instead Sydney North Shore & Northern Beaches

We are a provider of quality home care and companionship services for seniors in the Northern suburbs of Sydney. 

To you, it’s about finding trustworthy care for your ageing loved one. To us, it’s about providing the highest-quality in-home care services to fit you and your family’s needs.
To Us, It's Personal.

We provide services to all areas and suburbs in the North Shore and Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Telephone: (02) 9144 2322

Keep on Dancing is what the science says!

ABC Catalyst is presenting a 2 part special studying the many benefits of dance for the over 65s. Improvements in memory, movement and the creation of new neural pathways in the brain are some of the benefits found in recent studies.

Nia is a combination of 52 moves drawn from dance arts, martial arts and healing arts. Within one class we combine flexibility, agility, mobility, strength and stability (FAMMS) in order to improve balance and fitness. By incorporating FAMMS within the movements, Nia is an integrated way to condition the entire body. People who regularly practice Nia open to a new awareness of their bodies, their internal energies, and their feelings – all of which help them move more efficiently, effectively, and safely in their workouts and in life.

Come along and give it a try. There's no performance pressure. Avalon Nia Classes are held at the Recreation Centre.
6pm Thursdays Classic Nia
9.30am Fridays Gentle Nia
Call or text Mandy Loveday 0411 645 389 - Profile

Nia’s 9 movement forms embrace the 5 Sensations of Fitness:
  • Flexibility
  • Agility
  • Mobility
  • Strength
  • Stability
Dance for health. Avalon Recreation Centre Thursdays 6pm and Fridays 9.30am. 

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

 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

The Senior Newspaper Online 


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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.