May 19 - 25, 2024: Issue 626

COTA NSW: Message from New CEO

It is my great pleasure to introduce myself as the new CEO of COTA NSW. 

From my personal experience helping my parents navigate ageing, and both the joys and complexities that come with it, I hope to bring the voices of our COTA community to the forefront. 

Being seen and heard is essential in advocating for the best interests of those over 50 in NSW. 

My experience in policy and advocacy ranges across the public, corporate and NFP sectors. I am passionate about advocating for meaningful and timely policy changes. It is important that these changes reflect the needs and wants of our community. I look forward to working with you and on your behalf to make sure that your voices are heard when it comes to the issues that affect you most

This month we celebrate National Volunteer Week. Volunteers are crucial to our work and to the wider NSW community, but volunteering has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic and has had to evolve for the future. So, challenging but exciting times for us all! 

We’re holding an event for our volunteers and partners next week with limited spaces available. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer with COTA NSW please email with your contact details

I hope you can join the COTA Conversations online webinar Thursday May 23 (register here) We’ll be talking about the state of play for volunteers in NSW and hear about how volunteering can provide an exciting opportunity to contribute your time and expertise to the community post your paid working life. 

May also marks National Reconciliation Week, a time for us to all to reflect and consider how we can all be supported towards achieving reconciliation in Australia. More details below. 

Together with the COTA NSW team I’m focussed on supporting our priority programs such as OM:NI and Community Speakers and working with our partners and sector organisations to continue to grow our reach and impact.  

Gohar Yazdabadi 

Budget 2024–⁠25: Investing in quality aged care

May 14, 2024
Issued by: The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Albanese Labor Government has worked hard to improve the quality of life for older Australians. We have put nurses back into nursing homes, given residents more time with their carers, lifted wages in the sector and improved transparency and accountability.
Since the October 2022–23 Budget, total investment in aged care has increased by 30 per cent. This includes an $11.3 billion investment to deliver the largest one-off increase to aged care wages in history, with more increases in future.
The investments in the 2024–25 Budget continue to strengthen aged care services and create stronger links between aged care and the rest of the health system to deliver real benefits to older Australians.
Older Australians in residential aged care now receive an additional 3.6 million minutes of care every single day. There are more 4 and 5 star homes, and fewer 1 and 2 star homes.
We will enhance the capability of the regulator to ensure older Australians are in safe and quality aged care, upgrade technology systems to make the new Aged Care Act possible, and provide an additional 24,100 Home Care Packages to shorten average wait times.
The new rights-based Aged Care Act is a once-in-a-generation reform that will put older people at the centre of the aged care system and ensure those who access Government-funded aged care services are treated with respect and have the quality of life they deserve. It will also support the Government’s response to the Aged Care Taskforce. Consultation is continuing on the details of the Act and the Taskforce response.
Reducing wait lists for older Australians wanting support to age at home:
The Albanese Government is investing $531.4 million to provide an extra 24,100 Home Care Packages in 2024–25, so more Australians than ever before have the option to remain in the home and the community they love.
Reinforcing the foundations that underpin quality care:
The Albanese Government is reinforcing the foundations that underpin high quality and safe care, by enhancing the capability of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to ensure older Australians are protected, programs to attract and retain a dedicated workforce, and more than a $1 billion dollar investment in the technology infrastructure that will make the new Aged Care Act possible and ensure current systems are maintained:
  • $111.0 million to enhance the capability of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, in response to the recommendations of the Independent Capability Review, as well as to implement the regulatory framework that will underpin the new Aged Care Act.
  • $88.4 million to continue to attract and retain the aged care workforce, including to provide better staffing solutions.
  • $1.4 billion to upgrade the technology systems and digital infrastructure across the sector. This includes funding to sustain current systems and to support the implementation of the new Aged Care Act.
Last year, we invested $11.3 billion to deliver fairer wages for aged care workers in support of the Fair Work Commission’s 15 per cent wage increase decision. In March this year, the Fair Work Commission made a further work value decision to increase award wages for many aged care workers. We anticipate the final decision around mid-year.
Stronger connections for quality care and cheaper medicines:
The Albanese Government is delivering a stronger Medicare for older Australians, by knitting together parts of the health system that have too often lacked integration and ensuring better connections from residential aged care into public hospitals and primary care settings, like general practice or community pharmacy.
As part of the Strengthening Medicare package, older Australians will get the health care and support they need in a safe and comfortable environment when it isn’t necessary for them to stay in hospital. Using hospital outreach services in the community and more virtual care services, older patients will avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and be safely discharged sooner when they are admitted.
Older people with complex care needs will be supported to move out of hospital into a residential aged care home and more short-term care will be available for older people to help them recover after a hospital stay.

$882.2 million to ensure that older Australians get the medical support they need. 
As part of the $1.2 billion Strengthening Medicare package in the 2024–25 Budget, states and territories will be funded to upskill the residential aged care workforce, deliver hospital outreach services in the community, provide virtual care services, and deliver complex care for older people outside of the hospital. $190 million will help older Australians recover from a hospital stay with short-term care through the extended Transition Care Programme.

The measures in the 2024–25 Budget build on previous Albanese Government investments to strengthen the connection between residential aged care and the wider health system.
From 1 August 2024, people in residential aged care will be more likely to receive quality and continuous care from a general practitioner, with GPs and practices eligible to receive quarterly incentive payments, on top of Medicare rebates, to manage the health of their MyMedicare registered residents.
Older Australians are some of the highest users of PBS medicines and so have seen some of the largest benefits from the Albanese Government’s commitment to cheaper medicines. In 2022–23, over 60 per cent of total PBS expenditure was towards older Australians, while through 2023, close to 240,000 older Australians in residential aged care received more than 10.7 million PBS subsidised prescriptions.
  • $0.9 million so aged care residents have more options to receive a free vaccination. Community pharmacists are now paid the same fee a doctor gets to administer free vaccines to residents in aged care under the National Immunisation Program.
  • $318 million over five years to strengthen pharmacy and keep medicines cheaper, with up to a five-year freeze to the cost of PBS prescriptions for pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Cardholders, so medicines stay cheaper, instead of rising each year with inflation, benefitting people in residential aged care homes, in particular.
Funding committed in the 2023-24 Budget will help to ensure that aged care residents are on the safest and most appropriate medication, with funding for residential aged care homes to engage a pharmacist to provide on-site advice, conduct medication reviews, and better understand individual resident needs.
Better dementia care will be delivered through a $101.4 million investment in services and support for people living with complex care needs, as well as readying the health system for new diagnosis and treatment advances.
The investments in the 2024–25 Budget reinforce the foundations and connections that underpin quality aged care, with more Home Care Packages, more workforce support, a regulator with enhanced capabilities, and stronger links between aged care and the rest of the health system.

Budget delivers trifecta for older Australians: national seniors

The Federal Government has delivered a trifecta for older Australians with three key cost-of-living measures announced in the 2024 budget. These include a $300 energy bill relief payment, a 10% increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance and a freeze on deeming rates for a further 12 months.

National Seniors Australia (NSA) Chief Executive Officer Mr Chris Grice said the peak consumer body is pleased to see the government has listened to the needs of older Australians, especially those experiencing hardship, as expressed in its Pre-Budget Submission 2024.

“NSA continually hears from older Australians struggling to pay necessities including utilities, petrol, transport, groceries, and rent. Tonight’s budget will help to make paying the power, paying the rent and managing the budget just that little bit easier,” Mr Grice said.

“Providing cost-of-living relief through household energy bills is a practical way to help older people meet daily living costs.

“The increase in the Commonwealth Rent Assistance will help 534,000 people aged 50+ receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance. A single renter receiving the maximum payment will receive an extra $18.82 per fortnight, almost $500 in a year.

“Part-pensioners and other income support payment recipients will welcome the freeze on deeming rates for a further 12 months until 30 June 2025. We hope the government uses this time to create a fair and transparent way to set rates in the future.

“Overall, NSA congratulates the government on delivering a budget that goes some way to provide cost-of-living relief for both older and younger Australians.

“We also acknowledge the government’s continued commitment to keep ageing Australians in their homes as long as they are able through the delivery of 24,100 home care packages in 2024-25.

“We will continue to advocate for measures to improve the lives of older Australians, including a targeted exemption from the Age Pension Income Test for care sector workers to help boost workforce participation. As well as changes to the private health system to make it more affordable.”

Wanted: a Grannie Flat

I am a mature aged lady, n s, car owner. I have been in 2 Grannie flats in the Upper Northern Beaches area for a total of 11 years keeping an eye on the elderly owners for their families. 

I was a member of the RMYC Newport and a Volunteer with MRNSW as well before I went away last year for a year. Now back I would like a similar situation. My contact is Sandie on 0427 581 017 with references.
Sandie Henry

We mapped a lost branch of the Nile River – which may be the key to a longstanding mystery of the pyramids

The pyramids at Giza, like dozens of others, are located several kilometres west of the current path of the Nile. Alex Cimbal / Shutterstock
Timothy J. Ralph, Macquarie University; Eman Ghoneim, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Suzanne Onstine, University of Memphis

The largest field of pyramids in Egypt – consisting of 31 pyramids built over a millennium, including the famous Great Pyramid at Giza – lies along a narrow strip of land in the desert several kilometres west of the Nile River.

The Nile was at the heart of ancient Egyptian civilisation, and the location of so many pyramids some distance away from the river has until now not been fully explained.

In a new study published in Communications Earth & Environment, we addressed this puzzle. When the pyramids were built they sat next to a now-vanished branch of the Nile, which likely provided transport for workers and their materials.

A changing river

Like other rivers, the Nile adjusts and changes over time in response to climate change, floods and droughts. People and places also move with the river. In the past, civilisations fell and rose on its ebb and flow.

The Nile has not always looked or functioned the way it does now. By reading the landscape in Egypt, traces of the former river and its branches can be found hidden just beneath the land surface.

Now obscured by areas of cultivation and urban settlements, buried by centuries of mud from the modern river, the old channels and their stories have largely been lost to time. Once a mosaic of waterways and wetlands, the Nile is ready to share its secrets again.

Many scholars have discussed and sought answers to the mysteries of the Nile. Previous research has documented evidence for the existence of parts of ancient waterways or wetlands, particularly near the Giza pyramids.

Upstream near Luxor, Nile migration patterns have been investigated, and downstream abandoned channels have been discovered in the Nile Delta. Yet until now we did not have a comprehensive map and understanding of the waterways that fed the extensive pyramid chain from Lisht to Giza in the past.

The Ahramat Branch

A satellite photo of a section of the Nile river, showing the path of the now-vanished Ahramat branch and the pyramids dotted along it.
The water course of the ancient Ahramat Branch borders a large number of pyramids dating from the Old Kingdom to the Second Intermediate Period, spanning between the Third Dynasty and the Thirteenth Dynasty. Eman Ghoneim et al.

Using satellite imagery, high-resolution digital elevation data and historical maps, we identified and traced the long path of a previously unknown channel of the Nile. What we have called the Ahramat Branch once flowed along the Western Desert margin of the Nile floodplain, close to the ancient pyramids.

Many of the pyramids, built during the Old Kingdom (roughly 2700–2200 BCE) and the Middle Kingdom (2050–1650 BCE), have causeways that lead to the branch. Many of these paths terminate in temples that may have acted as river docks in the past.

This suggests the Ahramat Branch was active during multiple phases of pyramid construction and was probably used as a transportation waterway for workmen and building materials to the sites.

Some pyramids have longer or differently angled causeways than others, indicating the builders adapted their construction approaches to the changing riverscape and local conditions at the desert margin.

A group of people standing in a desert in front of ancient stone steps leading up from a vegetated hollow to a further stone structure, with a pyramid in the distance.
Members of the research team stand in front of the pyramid of Unas’s Valley Temple, which acted as a river harbour in antiquity. Eman Ghoneim

Other pyramids were connected to inlets associated with tributaries of the Ahramat Branch on the edge of the Western Desert. In all, analysis of the ground elevation of 31 pyramids and their proximity to the floodplain helped explain the position and relative water level of the Ahramat Branch during the time between the Old Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period (roughly 2649–1540 BCE).

Digging deep

Once we had mapped the Ahramat Branch, we surveyed the landscape and its shape, and took deep core samples of soil and sediment to study the structure and sedimentology of the former river. We also worked with archaeologists, scientists and members of local communities to gather more context for our work.

The path of the defunct waterway lies between 2.5 and 10.25 kilometres west of the modern Nile river.

Our research suggests the branch ran for about 64 kilometres, was between two and eight metres deep, and between 200 and 700 metres wide. This is similar to the width of the river today.

At one of the sites we examined, near the town of Jirzah, the Ahramat Branch has a symmetrical channel shape. It has also been filled in with muddy and sandy sediment different to other surrounding deposits and the underlying bedrock. This indicates that the old channel has been slowly buried by fine sediment deposited by floods, as the main flow diverted towards the path of the modern river.

What happened to the Ahramat Branch?

Over time, the Ahramat Branch moved eastward and eventually water stopped flowing along it. We don’t know exactly why. Perhaps the Ahramat Branch and its daughter, the modern river, were active together for a time.

The river may have gradually moved to the lower-lying floodplain, towards the current location of the Nile. It is also possible that tectonic activity tilted the whole floodplain to the northeast.

Photo of a woman standing on desert ground examining a piece of rock, with the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx in the background.
Eman Ghoneim studies the surface topography of the section of the ancient Ahramat Branch located in front of the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. Eman Ghoneim

A third possibility is that an increase in windblown sand may have filled up the river’s channel. Increases in sand deposition are most likely related to periods of desertification in the Sahara desert in North Africa.

The movement and diminishing of the Ahramat Branch might also be explained by an overall reduction in water flow due to reduced rainfall and greater aridity in the region, particularly during the end of the Old Kingdom.

This research shows that a multidisciplinary approach to river science is needed to gain a better understanding of dynamic river landscapes. If we want to understand and protect the rivers we have today – and the environmentally and culturally significant sites to which they are inextricably tied – we need a greater appreciation of the interconnected factors that affect rivers and how they can be managed.The Conversation

Timothy J. Ralph, Associate Professor, Macquarie University; Eman Ghoneim, Professor and Director of Space and Drone Remote Sensing Lab, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Suzanne Onstine, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Memphis

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

Choice and control: what can the ACCC do to stop NDIS price gouging and reduce costs?

Mona Nikidehaghani, University of Wollongong

Many Australians with disability feel on the edge of a precipice right now. Recommendations from the disability royal commission and the NDIS review were released late last year. Now a draft NDIS reform bill has been tabled. In this series, experts examine what new proposals could mean for people with disability.

At $14.4 billion over four years, the federal budget’s biggest savings come from efforts to rein in the cost of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The government also plans to invest $213.8 million to fight fraud and co-design NDIS reforms with people with disability. Previous estimates show up to 20% of NDIS expenditure may be fraudulent.

Alongside his “back on track” reform bill in March, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten, announced a taskforce to tackle overcharging that can mean participants pay more than people outside the scheme for the same product or service.

Chaired by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), the taskforce will collaborate with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to combat this so-called “NDIS tax”. But how does this taskforce work and will it be effective?

Overcharging NDIS participants

Currently, the NDIA (which administers the NDIS) provides individual funding to NDIS participants to purchase a range of reasonable and necessary goods and services from providers. The NDIA also has guidelines that set the maximum prices registered providers can charge NDIS participants for each item. For example, the capped price for cleaning services is around $54 per hour ($76 per hour in remote areas and $81 in very remote areas.)

However, there have been reports of providers charging the maximum price set by the NDIA as soon as a client is identified as an NDIS participant. Some providers employ a “twin pricing” strategy, charging an NDIS participant more than they would charge a non-participant. For example, a provider might charge an NDIS participant $130 for a waterproof mattress protector but charge everyone else $90 for the same item.

Previously, these activities were not necessarily fraudulent. However, the NDIS Code of Conduct was amended in December last year, making it illegal for the NDIS providers to charge a higher price for goods for a participant “without a reasonable justification”.

What can NDIS participants do?

NDIS participants are one of the key contributors to the operation of the new taskforce. They can report suspicious overcharging activities.

For example, if they are purchasing a shower chair, they could do a quick online search and obtain several quotes. If they believe they have been overcharged, they should double-check their service agreement to verify they have received the agreed-upon chair, then contact their service provider for an explanation. Ultimately, if they cannot resolve the issue, they can report the case to the taskforce.

Participants can also contact the ACCC if they receive a faulty product or one that does not match their agreement. And they can report providers who intimidate them into signing a contract or pressure them to purchase services they do not need.

What happens next?

Once the taskforce is tipped off, they can initiate an investigation, although the NDIS participant may not be notified of the process or the outcomes.

The taskforce will investigate suspected illegal overcharging of NDIS participants, misleading conduct, unfair contract terms, and anti-competitive agreements set by service providers.

Providers who are found in breach of the NDIS Code of Conduct may face unscheduled site visits, receive compliance notices, be permanently banned, incur financial penalties, and even face criminal sanctions where fraud is suspected.

Will the taskforce be effective?

Co-designed NDIS taskforces that operate mainly based on participant reports can certainly work. The Fraud Fusion Taskforce, established in 2022 to disrupt NDIS fraud and criminal activity, led to more than 2,000 tip-offs in February 2024 alone. Some of these investigations have led to prosecutions.

The ACCC taskforce could be particularly effective in combating price differentiation for tangible goods purchased by NDIS participants, such as wheelchairs, pillows and assistive technology for vision or hearing. But it is important to note some participants may lack the time, skills or capacity required to compare prices and report them to the taskforce.

Controlling price differentiation for services such as those provided by occupational therapists, in-home support and physiotherapists is more complicated.

Service providers may charge the maximum price for a variety of reasons. For one thing, becoming a registered NDIS provider is costly because of administrative expenses and costs related to quality and risk control. There are also expenses associated with registration, compliance and regular audits. And the price of services might depend on the provider’s level of experience and location. The flexibility of service providers and their reputation can also be factors.

Participants with more than one disability might require complex services, and providers could charge a higher price to serve participants with greater needs.

sign on window reads: I heart NDIS Registered NDIS Provider
What powers does the ACCC have to monitor NDIS provider charges? Shutterstock

A pricing model that needs redesign

As part of its findings, the NDIS Review said the scheme’s pricing model did not encourage quality and efficiency, with price caps acting more like “price anchors” than “price ceilings”. The 2024–25 budget pledges $5.3 million to investigate pricing reforms to “strengthen transparency, predictability, and alignment”.

These are important because the current model can encourage service providers to focus on profitability rather than on improving service quality. And the fee-for-service approach can encourage over servicing that discourages capacity building, particularly for people with complex disabilities.

While the ACCC taskforce may well prove effective in controlling unfair overcharging of goods, a review of the pricing model for services is also needed to minimise exploitation of the system.The Conversation

Mona Nikidehaghani, Senior Lecturer in Accounting, University of Wollongong

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

AvPals Term 2 2024


Issacs's Gardening Services: Seniors Looked After 

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.

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 

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: 

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.

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 

What junior doctors’ unpaid overtime tells us about the toxic side of medicine - Yuri A/Shutterstock
Claire Hooker, University of Sydney; Alex Broom, University of Sydney; Karen Scott, University of Sydney, and Louise Nash, University of Sydney

What’s been described as the largest underpayment class action in Australian legal history has just been settled. Who was allegedly underpaid? Thousands of junior doctors who, subject to court approval, are set to share back-pay of almost a quarter of a billion dollars.

Amireh Fakhouri, who brought the claim on behalf of junior doctors in New South Wales, alleged that when they worked in the state’s public health system from December 2014 to December 2020, NSW Health had failed to pay the overtime and weekend meal break entitlements she and her colleagues were owed.

More than 20,000 claimants are now set to be eligible for a share in the nearly A$230 million settlement.

But repayment was never the main goal of the class action. Fakhouri, who is now training as a GP in Victoria, said she hoped instead it would change the work culture in medicine.

A rite of passage?

Our health-care system has routinely relied on the labour of junior doctors. These include interns (those who have completed their university medical training and are in their first year of being practising doctors), residents (who have completed their internship and hold a general registration) and registrars (specialists in training).

Junior doctors often provide much of the staffing for night and weekend shifts and complete burdensome administrative tasks for consultants (senior doctors).

Overworking junior doctors has been normalised for decades. We see this depicted in books (such as The House of God and This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor) and TV shows (such as House and Scrubs).

The TV series This is Going to Hurt is based on the book by former UK junior doctor Adam Kay.

This is a safety issue. Doctor fatigue has considerable effects on patient safety through potential medical errors, poor quality patient care, longer patient recovery, reduced physician empathy and impacts on the doctor-patient relationship.

A 2020 study found that when doctors reported even moderate tiredness their chance of making a medical error rose by 53%.

Put simply, stretched, demoralised and tired doctors will do harm. Eventually, that will affect you.

It’s not just long hours

The expectation of working long hours is only part of the culture of medicine.

Our research and global evidence shows “teaching by humiliation” and other forms of verbal mistreatment have also been normalised.

A 2018 study of NSW interns and residents found more than 50% experienced bullying. Some 16-19% (mostly female) experienced sexual harassment.

Some of the junior doctors who are victims of mistreatment later become the perpetrators, perpetuating this harmful culture.

Junior doctors are suffering

The impact of long hours on junior doctors and of the abuse they are subjected to is vividly evident through research, including ours. Junior doctors have significantly high levels of depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.

As we’ve been saying for almost a decade, there is a desperate need for better work-life balance for junior doctors and deep culture change in our health-care system.

But there is often little sympathy for junior doctors. In 2022, one hospital threatened to remove comfortable lounges to prevent juniors napping on quiet night shifts. Just last week, we heard of a similar case involving junior doctors at another hospital, who were told “sleeping is not part of your job description”.

A culture of silence

This class action was needed because on a day-to-day basis, junior doctors mostly do not complain.

They internalise distress as failure (not being tough enough) and fear that a diagnosis of depression or anxiety will result in patients and colleagues avoiding them.

They don’t report mistreatment or reject overwork as, often, their senior doctors control their career progression.

This is important, because contrary to perceptions of doctors as wealthy elites, our research shows junior doctors often find it hard to progress, get a job in their city of choice, or find full-time roles. The pressure on junior doctors to “make it” in an increasingly competitive environment grows stronger. Such professional problems reinforce the culture of not complaining for fear of blow-back.

Most of those who do take action, report ineffective or personally harmful outcomes when reporting to senior colleagues. This fulfils a vicious cycle of silence as junior doctors become ill but do not seek help.

We wanted to lift the silence

We used theatre to lift the culture of silence about health-care worker distress due to workplace pressure.

We conducted interviews with junior and senior doctors about their experiences and used their verbatim stories to craft the script of the play Grace Under Pressure.

The aim is for this “verbatim theatre” to facilitate conversations and actions that promote positive culture change.

What needs to be done?

It often takes brave public legal action such as this lawsuit to catalyse culture change – to nudge hospitals to prevent junior doctors from working back-to-back shifts, to protect time off for a personal life, ensure meal breaks, and provide means to hold powerful senior doctors to account.

Culture change is hard, slow and requires multi-pronged strategies. We need a safe way for junior doctors to report their concerns, and training so they know their options for responding to mistreatment. We need senior doctors and hospital managers to be trained in how to encourage and respond constructively to complaints.

Our research shows that when this happens, culture change is possible.

Correction: we have updated the article to reflect the correct value of the settlement.The Conversation

Claire Hooker, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator, Health and Medical Humanities, University of Sydney; Alex Broom, Professor of Sociology & Director, Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, University of Sydney; Karen Scott, Associate Professor, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, and Louise Nash, Associate Professor and Psychiatrist, Brain and Mind Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney

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

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:

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.

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.

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:

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.”



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
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  

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.


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.

The Senior Newspaper Online 


On Facebook

Freshwater- Manly boy Ian Hanson OAM inducted as Life Member into Commonwealth Games Australia 

Sports media icon Ian Hanson OAM has been conferred Life Membership of Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) as part of Annual General Meeting (AGM) proceedings in Sydney held Wednesday May 15 2024.

A stalwart of the media mixed zones having attended ten Games as a journalist, Media Director and media liaison, Hanson was humbled by the acknowledgement and enthusiastic about his experiences with the Australian Commonwealth Games Team.

He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to media, communications, and sport in 2019.

“To see my name alongside those that have been honoured before me is something that astounds me, it’s a real honour,” Mr. Hanson said.

“I’ve had so many magical moments at the Commonwealth Games, things that have stuck in my mind and will continue to do so. 

“Times have changed from dictating copy to copy takers as a journalist to my most recent tenure leading the media team in Birmingham, but each experience has made me want to be back at the next Games.

“I believe that my recognition today is acknowledgement for the impact of media folks at the Games, from journalists to media managers, and all that they do to make athletes the heroes we know and love.”

CGA President Ben Houston congratulated Hanson for his service to the Commonwealth Sport Movement in Australia.

“Life membership is only conferred upon those who have contributed in an exemplary way and Hanson is among those that have gone above and beyond for the Commonwealth Games in Australia,” Houston said.

The induction of Hanson as Life Member follows the announcement of Trinbago 2023 gold medallist Tayte Ryan as the 2023 Emerging Athlete of the Year at the President’s Dinner the night before, May 14.

Ryan collected three cycling gold medals at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games, before going on to win gold and the rainbow jersey in the 1000m Kilo Time Trial at the 2023 UCI Junior Track World Championships. 

The President’s Dinner also saw Orders of Merit presented for the first time, with sports marketer Michael Bushell AM, philanthropist Robert Gerard AO, Gold Coast 2018 CEO Mark Peters OAM, and highly regarded team officials Carol Grant and David ‘Charlie’ Walsh OAM honoured.

The Order of Merit complements life membership and recognises the outstanding contribution of individuals to the Commonwealth Sport Movement in Australia and across the world.

Ian Hanson attended St Paul's Christian Brothers College, Manly from 1966 to 1971 where he was a regular member of the Swimming Team (Year 7-Year 12); The Rugby League Team, Soccer Team and School Choir. He was voted by his peers as one of two Vice-Captains in Year 12.

He became a volunteer Life Saver at the age of 13 at Freshwater SLSC and has maintained his membership of Freshwater and also Currumbin Vikings (1998) ever since, competing at a National level and representing the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch and the NSW State Team.

Ian established his own Sports PR agency, Hanson Sports Media in 2000 and the Hanson Media Group in 2008 broadening a sports and corporate client base but always maintaining the link with Olympic sports. 

He attended the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics as a MLO and the 2002, 2006 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 FINA World Championships and 2000, 2002 and 2004 FINA World Short Course Championships as the team’s media manager. He also working as the Surf Sports Media manager for the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships 1996-2013; as well as the Coolangatta Gold 2005-2013; the Australian Diving Team through four Olympic campaigns 1996-2008; the 2003 IRB Rugby World Cup; with Hanson Media providing Media management for Northern Spirit, Parramatta Power and Sydney FC in the A-League; Gold Coast Rugby 7s; the Australian beach volleyball championships and the men's indoor team's Olympic journey and corporately with Speedo, Uncle Tobys and Kellogg. 

Ian has also provided Fox Sports News with regular weekly up-dates leading into the London 2012 Olympics and provided expert analysis in studio for the the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He has been a regular on ABC Grandstand, providing expert commentary on all sports for over 25 years as well as providing his expertise for radio networks such as 2UE, 2GB, 2SM and 2KY amongst others. His media training clients have included Swimming, Triathlon, Surf Life Saving, Equestrian and Diving Australia; the NSW Business Chamber; Sydney Swifts; NSWIS; the AIS and the QAS.

Mr. Hanson is now based on the Gold Coast.

Former Olympian Brooke Hanson OAM, his daughter, stated via Instagram ''Congratulations to my dad aka Hanso, Ian Hanson OAM on his Life Membership to Commonwealth Games Australia.''

''To be raised by a sports journalist in a sport loving household named The Fish Tank has been truly amazing & his stories inspired me to go on & achieve in elite sport but to see my dad being recognized for his incredible contribution truly makes my heart sing.''

''His commitment for over 50 years to Commonwealth Games Australia, sports journalism, sports media, sports commentary, sports management, sports public relations, the sport of swimming, triathlon & surf life saving, sports broadcasting, definitely makes our sports mad household SUPER proud.''

''Congratulations Dad, Poppy Hanso we are all so proud of you, continue the passion for the sports you love & we can’t wait to read your many stories in your book, tales of “The Fish” definitely need to be told.''

Federal Budget 2024 – Update: COTA Australia

May 15, 2024
While we are still analysing all the details, we wanted to give you a quick overview of what’s in this year’s Federal Budget for older people.  

A more detailed Policy Alert will be released on Friday, but for now here are the topline initiatives and our comments on them:

Cost of Living Relief
The Budget has been billed as a win for pensioners.  We aren’t sure that’s a completely accurate description but the Budget does contain some useful cost of living relief measures including:
  • A $300 energy rebate for every household to help people meeting the rising cost of electricity and gas bills. Our recent research shows that 1 in 4 older people have overdue energy bills, so this is an important relief measure we hope becomes a permanent feature.  In addition, Government provided $1.8 million to support a range of energy retail market reforms, including enabling consumers to switch to a better deal with just ‘one click,’ preventing contracts rolling over to higher-cost deals, ensuring people receive the concessions and rebates they are entitled to, and reducing excess fees and charges.
  • A five-year freeze on what pensioners and concession cardholders will pay for PBS medications will also provide significant relief.
  • A 10 per cent increase in the Commonwealth Rent Assistance payment will help many older renters. This year’s 10% and last year’s 15% increases are a step towards the 60 per cent increase that’s needed. We hope the increased investment continues but also that the payment is reviewed and redesigned to ensure it is providing the level of support required in the longer term.
  • Social Security financial assets deeming rate will continue at their 2022 levels for one more year, benefiting 876,000 income support recipients, including 450,000 Age Pensioners. The lower deeming rate will remain at 0.25 per cent and the upper rate will remain at 2.25 per cent until 30 June 2025.
The Women’s Budget Statement
As is now a standard feature the Government released a Women’s Budget Statement, and this continues the Federal Government’s commitment to gender equality.

They are making important changes that will support future generations of older women like the introduction of superannuation on government paid parental leave. COTA Australia is supportive of these kinds of measures, but we can’t ignore the shocking statistics around older women’s financial security.

On average, women retire five years earlier than men, and live five years longer. Despite needing 10 years more retirement income, women have a third less than men, compounding financial insecurity. To address the inequity facing older women we need to look further into the systemic barriers holding many older women back.

We've heard from many of you about the challenges of getting good health care and support and the difficulty of staying in the workforce so it good to see action on supporting women through menopause including:
  • $53.6 million for research into health priorities such as women’s health including menopause, pregnancy loss and infertility.
  • $1.2 million to support training for health practitioners to better treat, care and manage women’s health during menopause. This measure will make it easier for health practitioners to access training so that they can provide well-informed, up-to-date advice and treatment to women during menopause.
Mental health was a focus of Government health initiatives with $888.1 million dedicated to help people get the mental health care they need, including through:
  • a new national, free low-intensity digital service from 1 January 2026, that is expected to support 150,000 people each year every without needing a referral, addressing the existing gap for people with mild mental health concerns.
  • 61 Medicare Mental Health Centres opened by 30 June 2026 to provide access to free mental health services to provide clinical services, for adults with moderate to severe mental health needs.
  • Funding for Primary Health Networks to work in partnerships with GPs to deliver multidisciplinary wraparound supports and care coordination, for people who have complex needs.
In addition, Government committed to establishing a further 29 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics and boost support for regional and remote clinics. This will increase the total number of clinics across Australia to 87. Since commencing last year, existing clinics have already provided almost 400,000 bulk billed visits.

Pay Increases for Aged Care & Child Care Workers
The Government reinforced its commitment to fund promised increases to aged care and childcare workers – both highly feminised workforces. We now wait to heart the determination from the Fair Work Commission, hopefully in the near future, so that the money is in the pay packets of aged care workers as quickly as possible.

Aged Care
Older Australians living in residential aged care will benefit from funding through state and territory governments to provide hospital outreach, deliver virtual care, upskill the residential care workforce, and support the Transition Care Program. We saw the terrible gaps and flaws in health care in aged care during the pandemic – ensuring better access to the same health services all Australians can access is critical.

There was less good news for the many older Australians who live independently in their own homes. Only 24,100 additional home care packages were announced for next year, and $21 million a year of funds earmarked for the Commonwealth Home Support Program will be diverted to other aged care sub-programs.  Older people are often wait over a year for support they’re assessed as needing and end up in hospital, or residential aged care before they need to be there, or in the worst cases they die waiting for support that never comes. COTA Australia believes that no older person needing support should have to wait for longer than 30 days of being assessed. We will continue to advocate for that to be case.

Other commitments included:
  • $87.2 million for workforce initiatives to attract nurses and other workers into aged care.
  • $110.9 million over 4 years to increase the regulatory capability of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
  • $37 million for the My Aged Care Contact Centre to reduce wait times for people seeking information and access to aged care.
  • A range of initiatives to support better dementia care including $30.4 million over 3 years to deliver the Specialist Dementia Care Program for clinical in reach support provided by state and territory governments.
The New Aged Care Act
The Federal Government announced the new Aged Care Act will commence on 1 July 2025 – some 13 months away.

It’s good to know where the finishing line is but we’re still no clearer on the starting line for the parliamentary processes to commence.

The Aged Care Act was the number one recommendation from the Aged Care Royal Commission. We need the Government to introduce the Act into Parliament as a priority to allow proper scrutiny and community conversation, and we need the support of the whole Parliament to ensure it is passed by the end of this calendar year, so the sector is ready to implement it from 1 July 2025.

Older people have been waiting for their rights to be enshrined in legislation for a long time and need certainty and security when it comes to accessing care. They need certainty around the care they will receive, and need a guarantee that what they will be asked to pay is fair. It’s up to all parliamentarians to make sure that happens.

Digital Inclusion
Government announced $288.1 million to expand Australia’s Digital ID systems, within a broader $1B investment in My Gov and Services Australia digital enhancements. 

As Australia raises the digital security of all Australians, we need to ensure the 2.1 million people without government issued photographic ID such as a driver’s license (like me!) don’t get left out of the new digital world the government is building. After raising it for many years and recent laws passing parliament, a clear timeframe for when these government-issued IDs are embedded in the new system is long overdue.

In addition, they announced:
  • $68 million to roll out community wi-fi in remote communities and better support digital literacy, largely focused on first nations communities.
  • $12.4 million for the Australian Communications and Media Authority to oversee the review and improve existing scam call and SMS code for telcos, and boost enforcement action to prevent, detect, and disrupt scams.
That’s it for now.  Keep an eye out on Friday for our more detailed analysis. At:

Reimagining Where We Live design ideas competition: winners announced

May 16, 2024
Issued by The Hon Anika Wells MP, Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Sport
The importance of older Australians maintaining their health, wellbeing and sense of identity through aged care accommodation design has been recognised by the Albanese Government.

The Reimagining Where We Live design ideas competition invited architects and designers to use the draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines to design innovative aged care homes that are welcoming, safe, accessible and dementia friendly.

Congratulations to the winning and commended entrants across both the Urban Metro and Regional Town categories:

Urban Metro Site
  • First prize – $50,000 – ‘Scales of care’ by LM2A with Super Natural, a design that explored the relationship between care and the environment in which it takes place. 
  • Second prize – $20,000 – ‘Connection, community and movement’ by Walter&Walter, which flipped the inward looking institutional model to an outward focused community model.
  • Highly commended – ‘Reflection Home’ by CultivAR + Wild Studio, which adopted the increasingly popular small household model.
  • Highly commended – ‘Canopy’ by Jacqueline Bartholomeusz, David Sutherland, Lorraine Calder and Oculus, which clustered living spaces to create a neighbourhood model with ‘get together’ spaces.
  • Commended – ‘An ordinary life’ by T&Z Architects + Aspect Studios, which explored the concept of aged care as a continuum that binds generations together.
Regional Town Site 
  • First prize – $50,000 – ‘Manu Place’ by Monash Urban Lab with NMBW Architecture Studio, BoardGrove Architects, BLOXAS and Glas Landscape Architects, which featured central cloistered courtyards between private living spaces that featured natural light, air and greenery.
  • Second prize – $20,000 – ‘All together now’ by Other Architects, Openwork, Andy Fergus and Alicia Pozniak, which created a miniature town with an intergenerational focus, featuring a community childcare cooperative.
  • Highly commended – ‘The connected garden’ by Mark Boffa, Guruge Ruwani Dharmasiri, Pulasthi Wijekoon, Jana Osvald and Julie Ockerby, which recreated a classic Australian country town.
The Principles and Guidelines have been developed in response to recommendation 45 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report and will be introduced from 1 July 2024. 

Entries were judged by an eminent Jury with diverse and extensive experience in architecture, design and aged care. The Jury received valuable feedback on the shortlisted designs from six advisers who are living with dementia. 

For more information on the competition and to see the winning entries, visit

For more information about what we’re doing to improve aged care accommodation, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister Wells 

“Good design can vastly improve the quality of life for older people living in aged care, and the working environments of the people who care for them.

“Through this design challenge, we've seen innovative ideas and accommodation solutions that will shape the future of aged care accommodation and support older people to live meaningful lives in safe, high quality residential care when it is needed.

"The design entries show what is possible when we think about aged care from a new perspective. I encourage providers to engage with and adopt the National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines, as recommended by the Aged Care Taskforce.

“Thank you to the entrants, jury members and advisers for supporting this important initiative.” 

Competition winners project details may be viewed at:

‘Scales of care’ by LM2A with Super Natural - more at the link above.

Why is New Caledonia on fire? According to local women, the deadly riots are about more than voting rights

Nicole George, The University of Queensland

New Caledonia’s capital city, Noumea, has endured widespread violent rioting over the past 48 hours. This crisis intensified rapidly, taking local authorities by surprise.

Peaceful protests had been occurring across the country in the preceding weeks as the French National Assembly in Paris deliberated on a constitutional amendment that would increase the territory’s electoral roll. As the date for the vote grew closer, however, protests became more obstructive and by Monday night had spiralled into uncontrolled violence.

Since then, countless public buildings, business locations and private dwellings have been subjected to arson. Blockades erected by protesters prevent movement around greater Noumea. Four people have died. Security reinforcements have been deployed, the city is under nightly curfew, and a state of emergency has been declared. Citizens in many areas of Noumea are now also establishing their own neighbourhood protection militias.

To understand how this situation has spiralled so quickly, it’s important to consider the complex currents of political and socioeconomic alienation at play.

The political dispute

At one level, the crisis is political, reflecting contention over a constitutional vote taken in Paris that will expand citizens’ voting rights. The change adds roughly 25,000 voters to the electoral role in New Caledonia by extending voting rights to French people who’ve lived on the island for ten years. This reform makes clear the political power that France continues to exercise over the territory.

The death toll has now increased to four.

The current changes have proven divisive because they undo provisions in the 1998 Noumea Accord, particularly the restriction of voting rights. The accord was designed to “rebalance” political inequalities so the interests of Indigenous Kanaks and the descendants of French settlers would be equally recognised. This helped to consolidate peace between these groups after a long period of conflict in the 1980s, known locally as “the evenements”.

A loyalist group of elected representatives in New Caledonia’s parliament reject the contemporary significance of “rebalancing” (in French “rééquilibrage”) with regard to the electoral status of Kanak people. They argue after three referendums on the question of New Caledonian independence, held between 2018 and 2021, all of which produced a majority no vote, the time for electoral reform is well overdue. This position is made clear by Nicolas Metzdorf. A key loyalist, he defined the constitutional amendment, which was passed by the National Assembly in Paris on Tuesday, as a vote for democracy and “universalism”.

Yet this view is roundly rejected by Kanak pro-independence leaders who say these amendments undermine the political status of Indigenous Kanak people, who constitute a minority of the voting population. These leaders also refuse to accept that the decolonisation agenda has been concluded, as loyalists assert.

Instead, they dispute the outcome of the final 2021 referendum which, they argue, was forced on the territory by French authorities too soon after the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. This disregarded the fact that Kanak communities bore disproportionate impacts of the pandemic and were unable able to fully mobilise before the vote. Demands that the referendum be delayed were rejected, and many Kanak people abstained as a result.

In this context, the disputed electoral reforms decided in Paris this week are seen by pro-independence camps as yet another political prescription imposed on Kanak people. A leading figure of one Indigenous Kanak women’s organisation described the vote to me as a solution that pushes “Kanak people into the gutter”, one that would have “us living on our knees”.

Beyond the politics

Many political commentators are likening the violence observed in recent days to the political violence of les événements of the 1980s, which exacted a heavy toll on the country. Yet this is disputed by local women leaders with whom I am in conversation, who have encouraged me to look beyond the central political factors in analysing this crisis.

Some female leaders reject the view this violence is simply an echo of past political grievances. They point to the highly visible wealth disparities in the country. These fuel resentment and the profound racial inequalities that deprive Kanak youths of opportunity and contribute to their alienation.

Women have also told me they’re concerned about the unpredictability of the current situation. In the 1980s, violent campaigns were coordinated by Kanak leaders, they tell me. They were organised. They were controlled.

In contrast, today it is the youth taking the lead and using violence because they feel they have no other choice. There is no coordination. They are acting through frustration and because they feel they have “no other means” to be recognised.

There’s also frustration with political leaders on all sides. Late on Wednesday, Kanak pro-independence political leaders held a press conference. They echoed their loyalist political opponents in condemning the violence and issuing calls for dialogue. The leaders made specific calls to the “youths” engaged in the violence to respect the importance of a political process and warned against a logic of vengeance.

The women civil society leaders I have been speaking to were frustrated by the weakness of this messaging. The women say political leaders on all sides have failed to address the realities faced by Kanak youths. They argue if dialogue remains simply focused on the political roots of the dispute, and only involves the same elites that have dominated the debate so far, little will be understood and little will be resolved.

Likewise, they lament the heaviness of the current “command and control” state security response. It contradicts the calls for dialogue and makes little room for civil society participation of any sort.

These approaches put a lid on grievances, but they do not resolve them. Women leaders observing the current situation are anguished and heartbroken for their country and its people. They say if the crisis is to be resolved sustainably, the solutions cannot be imposed and the words cannot be empty.

Instead, they call for the space to be heard and to contribute to a resolution. Until that time they live with anxiety and uncertainty, waiting for the fires to subside, and the smoke currently hanging over a wounded Noumea to clear.The Conversation

Nicole George, Associate Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Queensland

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

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.

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 ( 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

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

Peninsula Bridge Club Facebook page:

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:  and on Facebook:

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

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:

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.

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.

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:

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
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.

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

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

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,


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.

 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 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. 

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

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

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


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 or phone 02 8064 3574

Keep up to date on our Facebook page

Find out more at:

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

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.