September 25 - October 1, 2022: Issue 556

Vale John Hamblin
March 18, 1935 – September 21, 2022. 

Known by his character names Funny John, or Naughty John, was an English-born Australian children's television presenter and actor of stage and screen who appeared in theatre productions, soap operas and made-for-TV films. 

Hamblin's father had flown with the Royal Flying Corps during World War I and Hamblin himself joined the Air Force and did his national service in Cyprus in the late 1950s before returning to England.

Initially, Hamblin trained at art school for six months but decided on a career in acting instead and studied drama to become an actor. Hamblin started his acting career in England, in repertory theatre with the Theatre Royal, Windsor and also worked in old time music hall before an appearance in the cult TV series The Prisoner in the episode "A Change of Mind".

Hamblin came to Australia in the early 1960s as a 'Ten Pound Pom' with his second wife, Wendy. Mr. Hamblin secured roles in television throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including roles in soap operas Number 96, Class of '74, The Young Doctors (as Dr Dan Wheatley), Case for the Defence, and Sons and Daughters.

Hamblin played the role of Michael Chamberlain in the 1984 telemovie The Disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain. After a hiatus in the 1990s, he returned to TV series in guest roles in All Saints and Love My Way in the early 2000s.

Known as being irreverent and inserting double-entendres into skits, Hamblin was the second most prolific presenter of Play School appearing in 357 episodes between 1970 and 1999 while fellow presenter Benita Collings appeared in 401 episodes.

After Play School, he retired and moved to Tasmania with his third wife Jenny, who he married in 1984. He suffered a heart attack in 2003. In 2008, he published his memoirs Open Wide, Come Inside with Peter Richman. 

He had two children: Emma and Myles, who survive him.

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Professor Joseph Ibrahim on COVID in aged care – and the end of nursing homes

Jason South/The Age
Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Joseph Ibrahim, Professor and Head, Health Law and Ageing Research Unit, Monash University, specialises in aged care issues. He has been a long-term advocate for improving the quality of life for those in residential care and for reform of the sector.

In this podcast, Ibrahim says currently COVID in aged care facilities is going largely unnoticed in the media. “If you have a look into the media coverage it would seem that it’s not a problem at all. [But] COVID deaths are far greater than at any time in the last two to three years”. While the vaccines have helped get things under control, the absence of restrictions is seeing infection rates at an all-time high. Ibrahim believes there should be a more tailored approach to outbreaks at facilities, depending on the circumstances.

A key election promise from Anthony Albanese was for a nurse on-site 24/7 in aged care facilities. Ibrahim is sceptical about how this will be achieved, given how many would be needed to meet the objective. “We would need 15,000 new nurses just to have one nurse in every facility, 24/7.”

More generally, in relation to the desperate staff shortages in the sector, Ibrahim says there is a “lack of respect” for aged care workers, citing low pay, the treatment they are given compared to healthcare professionals in hospitals, and the lesser opportunities for a career path.

Home care packages are key to the ability of many older people to stay at home. “I don’t think we’re keeping people at home for as long as we could […] Both governments have addressed and increased the amount of support packages available. The issue with that is, the package may be available, but the staff aren’t there to deliver on what’s within that package”. In some cases “I think people want to stay at home because they’re fearful of going into residential care, and so residential care isn’t seen as an option, it’s seen as a last resort”.

More radically, Ibrahim would like to see the end of nursing homes altogether. “We shouldn’t be having nursing homes at all […] do we believe that orphanages are a good way to look after children who have fractured family or who don’t have parents?”

One alternative to nursing homes would be “you might have small communal housing that might have five to ten people in them”.

“Or there are design changes around what you do when you get to 60, 70 or 80 in terms of downsizing and moving into a home that is more likely to meet your needs […] There’s also shared communal housing with people of different ages and different needs.

"I think we’ve been very lazy in just relying on aged care homes as a solution. So we’ve picked a lazy solution and we’re doing it badly.”The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

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

Entry milestone reached in first Pan Pacs since 2018

Mother and daughter Kerrie Jones and Nicola Jones share a curious concept of taking a break.

They’ll travel from their southern NSW homes to the Gold Coast for November’s 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games (4-13 November) with 69-year-old Kerrie set to compete in no less than six track and field throwing events and Nicola (36) lining up for Games glory in three quite different sports.

And just by entering they have helped achieve a significant milestone with Nicola being the 10,000th and Kerrie the 10,001st entrants in the return edition and the first Pan Pacs since 2018.

It will also be the first time competing on the Gold Coast for both women.

“It’s just so exciting to have a goal again after the Covid break and I can’t wait,” Nicola, a two-time nationals discus thrower for NSW, said.

“I live and work as a remedial massage therapist in Sylvania, south of Sydney.

“My clinic is located next to a friend’s gym and I’m so lucky as I get to be a part of a gym and sporting community, which helps me keep fit.

“Mum and I are flying up together and we’ll be on the Gold Coast for eight days and we can’t wait; it’ll be a great break for us both,” she said.

But a quick glance at their schedules belies the concept of the trip being anything resembling a put-the-feet-up holiday experience.
“Mum will compete on the three days in athletics, and I’ll compete on the Sunday in discus alongside her, which will be really special,” Nicola said.

“Then on Monday and Tuesday I’ll race in the long distance and sprint indoor rowing events and then I’m swimming on Wednesday and Thursday,” Nicola said.

“The schedule has worked out perfectly.

“And I need a break away from home because work and life has been so busy lately,” she said after admitting to pushing herself through rowing and track and field training sessions earlier that day.

“But competing with my beautiful mother at our first Pan Pacific Masters Games is the best bit – she’s my hero and has inspired me to return to competing in the sport I loved so much as a child right through to my early 20s – discus.

“Now to be able to travel and compete alongside her in the field events is amazing.

“We just can’t wait to feel the vibe, to meet all the other people and have a great time,” she said.
Kerrie, a former home economist, lives in the small coastal town of Manyana in southern NSW.

It’s a joyfully named beach haven with a population of just over 500 which is located about two and a half hours drive from Nicola.

She says spending just over a week on the Gold Coast with her daughter will be extra special given the tyranny of distance the five hours round trip between their houses presents.

And she says the 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games is the next step for her in a two-decade throwing crusade.

“I’ve always been around sport, junior and senior and when I turned 50, I picked up the shot put,” Kerrie said.

“Women’s shot put was four kilograms until you turned 50 and then it was only three kilograms, so I thought I’d have a go and I haven’t stopped since.

“At the Games I’ll compete in shot, discus, hammer, javelin and weight throw and there’s also a thrower’s pentathlon that covers those five disciplines in one event; that puts me in six events.

“Having time with my daughter is precious and competing in discus together is a first for us in a competition like this and it is extremely special,” she said.

People wanting more information on the 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games can visit

They are organised by Events Management Queensland and are proudly supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now opens at the National Library

Heading to or through Canberra over the next few months? This may be worth visiting.

Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now takes a unique look at the journey of Australian documentary photography, from black and white images to the vibrant high definition images of today.

The 125 images in this exhibition reveal a changing Australia. The lives of migrants, shearers, dancers, miners, gardeners, surfers and knitters are all uniquely captured by celebrated documentary photographers. The exhibition also includes winged angels at Mardi Gras, significant moments in the journey towards reconciliation and COVID protests.

Director-General of the National Library of Australia Dr Marie Louise Ayres FAHA said the exhibition was striking in depicting the lives of different communities.

‘This exhibition is all about our communities. It captures significant moments of individuals and groups but also reveals the huge amount of change our society has undergone in the last 50 years. The National Library collects today what will be important tomorrow and this exhibition is a brilliant way for us to showcase the changing lives of all Australians.’

The exhibition includes works by dozens of photographers and the exhibition curator Matthew Jones looked at tens of thousands of images in the National Library’s collection when preparing the exhibition and accompanying book.

‘There are many everyday moments that can be captured with a camera but may not be significant enough to be accessioned into the collections of other libraries or galleries. The beauty of the Library’s collections are that they are so wide-ranging, and I hope visitors enjoy viewing these more ephemeral moments.’

‘I started working on this exhibition during lockdown and used Trove to research images. Preparing an exhibition in this way made me reflect on how the digital revolution has vastly increased our ability to visually document and see our world.’

Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now is exclusive to Canberra and opens at the National Library of Australia on Friday 16 September, running until Monday 13 March 2023. Entry is free.

Rennie Ellis, Hippie, Kings Cross, 1970-1971,, courtesy of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

Alzheimer’s might not be primarily a brain disease. A new theory suggests it’s an autoimmune condition.

A new theory of Alzheimer’s disease reassesses the role of beta-amyloid in the brain. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Donald Weaver, University of Toronto

The pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is becoming an increasingly competitive and contentious quest with recent years witnessing several important controversies.

In July 2022, Science magazine reported that a key 2006 research paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature, which identified a subtype of brain protein called beta-amyloid as the cause of Alzheimer’s, may have been based on fabricated data.

One year earlier, in June 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved aducanumab, an antibody-targeting beta-amyloid, as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, even though the data supporting its use were incomplete and contradictory. Some physicians believe aducanumab never should have been approved, while others maintain it should be given a chance.

With millions of people needing an effective treatment, why are researchers still fumbling in this quest for a cure for what is arguably one of the most important diseases confronting humankind?

Escaping the beta-amyloid rut

For years, scientists have been focused on trying to come up with new treatments for Alzheimer’s by preventing the formation of brain-damaging clumps of this mysterious protein called beta-amyloid. In fact, we scientists have arguably got ourselves into a bit of an intellectual rut concentrating almost exclusively on this approach, often neglecting or even ignoring other possible explanations.

Illustration showing red clusters of amyloid plaques in brain tissue
Studying beta-amyloids as abnormal proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease has not translated into a useful drug or therapy. Shutterstock

Regrettably, this dedication to studying the abnormal protein clumps has not translated into a useful drug or therapy. The need for a new “out-of-the-clump” way of thinking about Alzheimer’s is emerging as a top priority in brain science.

My laboratory at the Krembil Brain Institute, part of the University Health Network in Toronto, is devising a new theory of Alzheimer’s disease. Based on our past 30 years of research, we no longer think of Alzheimer’s as primarily a disease of the brain. Rather, we believe that Alzheimer’s is principally a disorder of the immune system within the brain.

The immune system, found in every organ in the body, is a collection of cells and molecules that work in harmony to help repair injuries and protect from foreign invaders. When a person trips and falls, the immune system helps to mend the damaged tissues. When someone experiences a viral or bacterial infection, the immune system helps in the fight against these microbial invaders.

The exact same processes are present in the brain. When there is head trauma, the brain’s immune system kicks into gear to help repair. When bacteria are present in the brain, the immune system is there to fight back.

Alzheimer’s as autoimmune disease

We believe that beta-amyloid is not an abnormally produced protein, but rather is a normally occurring molecule that is part of the brain’s immune system. It is supposed to be there. When brain trauma occurs or when bacteria are present in the brain, beta-amyloid is a key contributor to the brain’s comprehensive immune response. And this is where the problem begins.

Because of striking similarities between the fat molecules that make up both the membranes of bacteria and the membranes of brain cells, beta-amyloid cannot tell the difference between invading bacteria and host brain cells, and mistakenly attacks the very brain cells it is supposed to be protecting.

This leads to a chronic, progressive loss of brain cell function, which ultimately culminates in dementia — all because our body’s immune system cannot differentiate between bacteria and brain cells.

Close-up view of a section of a human brain
A section of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease displayed at the Museum of Neuroanatomy at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

When regarded as a misdirected attack by the brain’s immune system on the very organ it is supposed to be defending, Alzheimer’s disease emerges as an autoimmune disease. There are many types of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which autoantibodies play a crucial role in the development of the disease, and for which steroid-based therapies can be effective. But these therapies will not work against Alzheimer’s disease.

The brain is a very special and distinctive organ, recognized as the most complex structure in the universe. In our model of Alzheimer’s, beta-amyloid helps to protect and bolster our immune system, but unfortunately, it also plays a central role in the autoimmune process that, we believe, may lead to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Though drugs conventionally used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases may not work against Alzheimer’s, we strongly believe that targeting other immune-regulating pathways in the brain will lead us to new and effective treatment approaches for the disease.

Other theories of the disease

A drawing of a brain inside a yellow light bulb, against a green background.
It is gratifying to see new thinking about this age-old disease. (Pixabay)

In addition to this autoimmune theory of Alzheimer’s, many other new and varied theories are beginning to appear. For example, some scientists believe that Alzheimer’s is a disease of tiny cellular structures called mitochondria — the energy factories in every brain cell. Mitochondria convert oxygen from the air we breathe and glucose from the food we eat into the energy required for remembering and thinking.

Some maintain that it is the end-result of a particular brain infection, with bacteria from the mouth often being suggested as the culprit. Still others suggest that the disease may arise from an abnormal handling of metals within the brain, possibly zinc, copper or iron.

It is gratifying to see new thinking about this age-old disease. Dementia currently affects more than 50 million people worldwide, with a new diagnosis being made every three seconds. Often, people living with Alzheimer’s disease are unable to recognize their own children or even their spouse of more than 50 years.

Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis in need of innovative ideas and fresh directions. For the well-being of the people and families living with dementia, and for the socioeconomic impact on our already stressed health-care system coping with the ever-escalating costs and demands of dementia, we need a better understanding of Alzheimer’s, its causes, and what we can do to treat it and to help the people and families who are living with it.The Conversation

Donald Weaver, Professor of Chemistry and Director of Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto

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



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

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

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

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

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

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


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:

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:

My Aged Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Senior Newspaper Online 


On facebook

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

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

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

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

Our programs cover:

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

Visit our website for more at:  and on Facebook:

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

Computer Pals for Seniors: Northern Beaches

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

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

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

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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:

 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

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.

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!
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:

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

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

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

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.

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.

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


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE

U3A: Hippies concert

This week the 3rd Age Rock Orchestra, led by Harvey Broadbent, took us back to the Hippie era in a memorable concert in which we all turned on, tuned in and dropped out.

Previously known as Guringai country, the land of the Garigal or Caregal people, the Northern Beaches area stretches from Palm Beach to Manly. It is home to Manly Sea Eagles, Garigal and Kuring-Gai Chase National Parks, enviable beaches and a relaxed, carefree lifestyle.

Our 2022 Semester 2 Course Book is now available and we are looking forward to seeing you at some of our exciting courses. In addition to face to face and Zoom courses this semester we also have three outings which may interest you:
  • A day trip to Mount Wilson on 5 October (details on page 9);
  • Our annual picnic on 20 October, this year at Clontarf Reserve (details on page 10); and
  • Tunnels and Gunners Tour, with a guide from the Sydney Harbour Trust, on 3 November (details on page 10.
Bookings are required for each of these events so please hurry to join in.

3rd Age Rock Orchestra in Hippie mode

'In the groove'

Remembering Kokoda

September 23, 2022
By Warrant Officer Class 2 Max Bree
Several events have been organised to mark the 80th year since the Kokoda Track Campaign in Papua New Guinea during World War Two.

On one of them, after starting from opposite ends of the track, soldiers from 16th Battalion, Royal Western Australia Regiment (16RWAR) and 39th Operational Support Battalion (39OSB) came together for a dawn service at a site on Brigade Hill on September 6 to commemorate the 62 Australian soldiers killed in fighting there.

The sounds of insects and the occasional bird that could be heard during the ceremony were a far cry from those of gunfire, grenades and shouted orders that rang out across the battle site 80 years ago.

Over two days’ fighting in September 1942, Japanese forces engaged the forward Australian elements at Mission Ridge, before flanking and sending an attack force up Brigade Hill.

Despite fierce resistance, the Japanese exploited gaps in the line and forced the Aussies off the high ground and into the jungle.

16RWAR is a successor unit to 2/16 Battalion, which fought in the battle, while 39OSB carries lineage of militia unit 39 Battalion, one of the first committed to fight in the Kokoda campaign.

Commanding Officer 16RWAR Lieutenant Colonel Leigh Partridge said the mud, mountains and vegetation would have made the area difficult to fight in.

“During this battle there were bayonet attacks, brutal close combat. There was encirclement, there were counter-attacks and then Australian elements broke contact and moved to the rear to establish subsequent defensive positions,” he said.

Just before the battle, 39 Battalion – who’d been fighting without rest for weeks – were relieved by the 2/27 Battalion on nearby Mission Ridge.

They moved passed 2/14 and 2/16 Battalions on their way back.

“We are re-enacting what was a rear passage of lines with the 39th withdrawing from the north and the 2/16 Bn reinforcing from the south,” Lt-Col Partridge said.

The Japanese flanking attack up Brigade Hill cut off the three infantry battalions from their HQ.

Counter-attacks from the 2/14 and 2/16 overran several Japanese positions but they were forced back by enemy reinforcements.

HQ troops later withdrew down the track, while the infantry battalions were forced down a steep jungle-covered mountain.

The 2/14 and 2/16 made it to HQ shortly after, but the 2/27 was stuck in the jungle for about two weeks, trying to reach retreating friendly forces.

Following the service, CO 39OSB Lieutenant Colonel David Ready paid tribute to the link between his unit and the Papuan people.

“The Papuan Infantry Battalion and the 39th were the first two units committed to battle. There’s 80 years of shared fighting history,” he said.

“A lot of people remember the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, not the fact that the Papuans fought as well.

“Without them, there’s no way you could fight effectively in this environment.”

New residential aged care quality indicators

September 21, 2022
The Federal Department of Health is introducing new quality indicators in residential aged care from 1 April 2023.

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) currently requires residential aged care providers to report on crucial areas of care to support quality improvement and better health outcomes for older Australians.

The Federal Department of Health are expanding the QI Program from 1 April 2023 to include the following quality indicators:
  • Activities of daily living – Percentage of care recipients who experienced a decline in activities of daily living
  • Incontinence care – Percentage of care recipients who experienced incontinence associated dermatitis
  • Hospitalisation – Percentage of care recipients who had one or more emergency department presentations
  • Workforce – Percentage of staff turnover
  • Consumer experience – Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experience of the service
  • Quality of life – Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ quality of life.
The additional quality indicators for residential aged care have been confirmed and the updated draft QI Program Manual 3.0 – Part A is available now.  

Approved providers must:
  • start collecting new quality indicators in the April – June 2023 quarter
  • submit quality indicator data in the 1 – 21 July 2023 reporting period.
Introducing these new quality indicators by July 2023 aligns with recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. 

Updated Dementia in Australia report released

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released the updated Dementia in Australia report. The report provides the latest statistics on the impacts of dementia in Australia, including mortality, hospitalisations and population health impacts on people throughout Australia. This includes First Nations people, carers, and those living in regional, rural and remote locations.

Dementia continues to be a critical health challenge for Australia’s ageing population, with an increase in both hospitalisations and deaths over the past decade.

In 2021, it was estimated that there were between 386,200 (AIHW estimate) and 472,000 Australians living with dementia (Dementia Australia 2020a). Based on AIHW estimates, this is equivalent to 15 people with dementia per 1,000 Australians, which increases to 83 people with dementia per 1,000 Australians aged 65 and over. Nearly two-thirds of Australians with dementia are women.

With an ageing and growing population, it is predicted that the number of Australians with dementia will more than double by 2058 – from 386,200 in 2021 to 849,300 in 2058 (533,800 women and 315,500 men).

In 2020, dementia was the second leading cause of death in Australia, accounting for 14,500 deaths (or 9.6% of all deaths). Dementia was the leading cause of death for women and the second leading cause for men, after coronary heart disease.

People with pre-existing chronic conditions, such as dementia, have a greater risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19. Fatal COVID-19 outbreaks have involved many people with dementia. Pre-existing chronic conditions were reported on death certificates for just under 5,400 deaths due to COVID-19, registered by 30 June 2022 in Australia. Of these deaths, 31% had dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) recorded (ABS 2022). COVID-19 was an associated cause of death for a further 234 deaths due to Dementia including Alzheimer’s disease.

The indirect effects of COVID-19 on people with dementia – including reduced uptake of preventative healthcare services leading to delayed diagnoses, as well as spikes in mental illness, such as loneliness and depression – are not well understood but are thought to be substantial.

Although there is no cure for dementia, there are 4 medicines, subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, that may alleviate some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2019–20, there were over 623,000 prescriptions dispensed for dementia-specific medications to just under 64,600 Australians with dementia aged 30 and over. There was a 43% increase in scripts dispensed for dementia-specific medications between 2012–13 and 2019–20.

People with dementia may experience changed behaviours, such as aggression, agitation and delusions, commonly known as behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Non-pharmacological interventions are recommended to manage these symptoms, but antipsychotic medicines may be prescribed as a last resort.

In 2019–20, antipsychotic medications were dispensed to about one-fifth (21%) of the 64,600 people who had scripts dispensed for dementia-specific medication.

In 2020–21, there were more than 11.8 million hospitalisations in Australia (AIHW 2022). Of these, dementia was the main reason for admission for about 25,500 hospitalisations, which is equivalent to 2 out of every 1,000 hospitalisations.

For people with dementia, the average length of stay was almost 5 times as long as the average for all hospitalisations (13 days and 2.6 days, respectively). Of the hospitalisations due to dementia, 62% of patients were aged 75–89.

Aged care services are an important resource for both people with dementia and their carers. Services include those provided in the community for people living at home (home support and home care), and residential aged care services for those requiring permanent care or short-term respite stays.

Among people with dementia in Australia, 1 in 3 people live in cared accommodation. In 2019–20, there were over 244,000 people living in permanent residential aged care, and more than half (54% or about 132,000) of these people had dementia.

Australia’s response to dementia requires economic investment across health, aged care and welfare sectors. It is estimated that almost $3.0 billion of health and aged care spending in 2018–19 was directly attributable to the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementia.

Residential aged care services accounted for the largest share of expenditure (56% or $1.7 billion), followed by community-based aged care services (20% or $596 million) and hospital services (13% or $383 million).

The level of care required for people with dementia depends upon individual circumstances, but likely increases as dementia progresses. Carers are often family members or friends of people with dementia who provide ongoing, informal assistance with daily activities.

The AIHW estimates that in 2021 there were between 134,900 and 337,200 informal primary carers of people with dementia. Among primary carers of people with dementia, 3 in 4 were female and 1 in 2 were caring for their partner with dementia.

Caring can be a rewarding role with 38% of primary carers of people with dementia reporting feeling closer to the care recipient.

Caring can also be physically, mentally, emotionally, and economically demanding. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) 2018, among carers of people with dementia:
  • 1 in 2 provided an average of 60 or more hours of care per week.
  • 3 in 4 reported 1 or more physical or emotional impacts of the role.
  • 1 in 4 reported that they needed more respite care to support them.
  • 1 in 2 experienced financial impacts since taking on the role.
First Nations people remain a priority focus. Indigenous Australians are at increased risk of:
  • developing dementia
  • experiencing higher dementia prevalence
  • a greater number of years lived with a disability when compared with non-Indigenous Australians. 

The report has been produced as part of the work of the National Centre for Monitoring Dementia (NCMD) at the AIHW, established through $13 million funding from the Department of Health and Aged Care.

Men's Sheds grants and Movember improving men's health

The Australian Government is providing much needed funds to our men’s sheds.  
A total of $500,000 will be provided through the latest round of National Men’s Sheds Programme (NSDP) funding.  
Across Australia, 153 men’s sheds will receive up to $10,000. 
Funds will be used to buy computers, host health and wellbeing events, make shed improvements, or purchase tools to use in the shed.  
Men’s sheds seeking funding to purchase a defibrillator will also be able to apply at any time under a special category. 
The Government is also providing $400,000 over the next 18 months to charity organisation Movember to conduct a targeted review of health professional education on male health issues.  
Movember will lead a group of subject matter experts to identify gaps and improvement opportunities for the education of clinicians. This work will assist in removing barriers for men in accessing timely and appropriate health care. 
This work will assist in remove barriers for men in accessing timely and appropriate health care. 
Applications for the next round of NSDP open on Friday 19 August, with interested sheds encouraged to apply by Tuesday 27 September

Further information, including an application form for the next round, can be found here:
Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler said;
“Men’s sheds across Australia create a place of belonging for over a thousand local communities.
“The Albanese Government is providing this funding to men’s sheds so they can continue their important work.  
“Movember is synonymous with highlighting men’s health issues. 
“The Movember review continues efforts to realise improved health outcomes for Australian males through the implementation of the National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030.” 

Why wandering albatrosses get divorced – new research

Wandering albatross pair performing a courtship dance. Samantha Patrick, Author provided
Samantha Patrick, University of Liverpool

Monogamy is widespread among birds and it is well known that many seabird species mate for life. Famous examples include charismatic penguins and albatrosses which are often portrayed in the media as the perfect couples. But this romantic trope doesn’t tell the whole story.

Research has shown that up to 24% of wandering albatross chicks are reared by a male who is not their genetic father and this can be up to 31% in some penguin species. Not quite the tender idyll we are led to believe.

Seabirds are long-lived, with wandering albatrosses known to live for over 60 years. Their long pair bonding phase, accompanied by complex courtship dances, would make you think break ups should be rare. However, there is growing evidence seabirds do “divorce”.

In our new study we showed 13% of wandering albatrosses born on the remote Indian Ocean Crozet Archipelago divorce during their lifetime because of low numbers of females – and the actions of certain agressive males.

Sometimes birds split up to find a better mate. How birds assess mate quality is not fully understood. But it may be about age and behavioural traits the birds can observe. This is called adaptive divorce and has been noted in some seabird species before such as penguins.

But in our study something different was happening. Unlike some other birds divorce did not tend to increase the number of young a wandering albatross reared and didn’t seem to give them evolutionary advantages.

In the population we studied, couples were driven apart by what’s called forced divorce. This is where one bird, likely the males in our study, breaks up a bonded pair.

Show some personality

This was the first study in the wild which looked at behavioural characteristics such as aggression of these kind of “homewrecker” males.

Personality is well studied across the animal kingdom, from anemones to elephants. We know that seabirds have different personalities, linked to their foraging behaviour and reproductive success. Personality is defined as a consistent individual difference in behaviour and is measured using traits such as boldness, neophobia (fear of new things) and aggression.

Some albatrosses were bolder than others. Samantha Patrick, Author provided

In wandering albatrosses, we measured personality in two different ways. The first is what is called a human approach, where a person walks towards a bird incubating an egg on the nest and records its response. Males and females share incubation duties and both sexes can be tested in this way. The birds nest on marshy land so the tester had to wear snow shoes to avoid sinking.

We also tested how the birds responded to a novel object, in this case Betsy the space hopper cow. Unfortunately for Betsy, while the personality differences persisted among different birds, the albatrosses were all much more aggressive towards her. Betsy did not survive an attack late in the season when a particularly bold bird ripped her open.

The albatrosses ranged from shy ones, who showed no response, to dauntless types that stood up and called out. Bold females were no more likely to divorce than timid ones. However, shyer males had higher divorce rates suggesting that bolder males may be forcing timid males out of pair bonds.

Unpaired females are rare. The Crozet albatross population is male skewed because more females die trapped in fishing equipment. Males and females have different hunting strategies that change throughout their life. For instance, as males mature, they move increasingly further south to Antarctic waters. Females stay in subtropical waters throughout their lives, and forage areas further north.

Wandering albatrosses fly great distances in search of food. Samantha Patrick, Author provided

In a previous study we showed divorced wandering albatrosses do not have more chicks so females are unlikely to benefit from seeking new mates. This supports the theory that wandering albatross pairs are not choosing to divorce. Instead, it seems to be a few rogue males who are ending the partnerships of these otherwise monogamous birds.The Conversation

Samantha Patrick, Reader in Marine Biology, University of Liverpool

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

Deepfake audio has a tell – researchers use fluid dynamics to spot artificial imposter voices

With deepfake audio, that familiar voice on the other end of the line might not even be human let alone the person you think it is. Knk Phl Prasan Kha Phibuly/EyeEm via Getty Images
Logan Blue, University of Florida and Patrick Traynor, University of Florida

Imagine the following scenario. A phone rings. An office worker answers it and hears his boss, in a panic, tell him that she forgot to transfer money to the new contractor before she left for the day and needs him to do it. She gives him the wire transfer information, and with the money transferred, the crisis has been averted.

The worker sits back in his chair, takes a deep breath, and watches as his boss walks in the door. The voice on the other end of the call was not his boss. In fact, it wasn’t even a human. The voice he heard was that of an audio deepfake, a machine-generated audio sample designed to sound exactly like his boss.

Attacks like this using recorded audio have already occurred, and conversational audio deepfakes might not be far off.

Deepfakes, both audio and video, have been possible only with the development of sophisticated machine learning technologies in recent years. Deepfakes have brought with them a new level of uncertainty around digital media. To detect deepfakes, many researchers have turned to analyzing visual artifacts – minute glitches and inconsistencies – found in video deepfakes.

This is not Morgan Freeman, but if you weren’t told that, how would you know?

Audio deepfakes potentially pose an even greater threat, because people often communicate verbally without video – for example, via phone calls, radio and voice recordings. These voice-only communications greatly expand the possibilities for attackers to use deepfakes.

To detect audio deepfakes, we and our research colleagues at the University of Florida have developed a technique that measures the acoustic and fluid dynamic differences between voice samples created organically by human speakers and those generated synthetically by computers.

Organic vs. synthetic voices

Humans vocalize by forcing air over the various structures of the vocal tract, including vocal folds, tongue and lips. By rearranging these structures, you alter the acoustical properties of your vocal tract, allowing you to create over 200 distinct sounds, or phonemes. However, human anatomy fundamentally limits the acoustic behavior of these different phonemes, resulting in a relatively small range of correct sounds for each.

How your vocal organs work.

In contrast, audio deepfakes are created by first allowing a computer to listen to audio recordings of a targeted victim speaker. Depending on the exact techniques used, the computer might need to listen to as little as 10 to 20 seconds of audio. This audio is used to extract key information about the unique aspects of the victim’s voice.

The attacker selects a phrase for the deepfake to speak and then, using a modified text-to-speech algorithm, generates an audio sample that sounds like the victim saying the selected phrase. This process of creating a single deepfaked audio sample can be accomplished in a matter of seconds, potentially allowing attackers enough flexibility to use the deepfake voice in a conversation.

Detecting audio deepfakes

The first step in differentiating speech produced by humans from speech generated by deepfakes is understanding how to acoustically model the vocal tract. Luckily scientists have techniques to estimate what someone – or some being such as a dinosaur – would sound like based on anatomical measurements of its vocal tract.

We did the reverse. By inverting many of these same techniques, we were able to extract an approximation of a speaker’s vocal tract during a segment of speech. This allowed us to effectively peer into the anatomy of the speaker who created the audio sample.

line drawing diagram showing two focal tracts, one wider and more variable than the other
Deepfaked audio often results in vocal tract reconstructions that resemble drinking straws rather than biological vocal tracts. Logan Blue et al., CC BY-ND

From here, we hypothesized that deepfake audio samples would fail to be constrained by the same anatomical limitations humans have. In other words, the analysis of deepfaked audio samples simulated vocal tract shapes that do not exist in people.

Our testing results not only confirmed our hypothesis but revealed something interesting. When extracting vocal tract estimations from deepfake audio, we found that the estimations were often comically incorrect. For instance, it was common for deepfake audio to result in vocal tracts with the same relative diameter and consistency as a drinking straw, in contrast to human vocal tracts, which are much wider and more variable in shape.

This realization demonstrates that deepfake audio, even when convincing to human listeners, is far from indistinguishable from human-generated speech. By estimating the anatomy responsible for creating the observed speech, it’s possible to identify the whether the audio was generated by a person or a computer.

Why this matters

Today’s world is defined by the digital exchange of media and information. Everything from news to entertainment to conversations with loved ones typically happens via digital exchanges. Even in their infancy, deepfake video and audio undermine the confidence people have in these exchanges, effectively limiting their usefulness.

If the digital world is to remain a critical resource for information in people’s lives, effective and secure techniques for determining the source of an audio sample are crucial.The Conversation

Logan Blue, PhD student in Computer & Information Science & Engineering, University of Florida and Patrick Traynor, Professor of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, University of Florida

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

NSW Spectacles Program

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

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

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

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

Pensioner water rebate

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

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

Rebates are applied to each bill. 

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


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

Concession car parking at NSW Health public hospitals

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

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

Active and Healthy at any age

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

This website ( can help you find an exercise program in your local area and provides information and tools that can assist you to increase your physical activity.

Join Healthy and Active for Life Online!

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

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

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

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

MWP Care

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

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

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

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

Meals on Wheels 

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

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

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

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

Tech Savvy Seniors

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

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

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

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

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

council has a Home Library Service Available for Seniors

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

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

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

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

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

Learn Something New: Australia MOOCs And Free Online Courses

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

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner 

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

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

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


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

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. 

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.

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.