Sep 19, 2011

Between the courses ­ some rehab

Down in the Sydney Water between Eastlakes and Bonnie Doon golf courses there is a fair amount of environmental rehabilitation going on at the moment.  The aim is not only to improve the loc environment but also to enhance the quality and health of the local waterways.  It should be finished in the next week or so but what Sydney Water has done is good for our local area.  Weeds and non-native plants were removed, replaced by local native seedlings, which encourages the natural regeneration of existing bushland.  There has also been general maintenance of natural drainage. Sydney Water has a whole stack of land in our City and it regeneration of the land and rehabilitation of the waterways has been a real boost to the local ecology. When public authorities do the wrong thing we’re always ready to criticise – and I think that when the same authorities do something good (as Sydney Water is now doing) then praise is due.  Our City will benefit for many years of the work that’s just about finished.

Garden Competition Nominations

This is your last chance to nominate your garden, or a friends, for our annual Garden Competition.  If you have misplaced the entry form simply call my office on 93663600.  There is over $20,000 worth of prizes to be won!  So don’t miss out.

Little A's kicks off in style

Two weeks ago he was the Southern Courier’s Community Dad of the Year, but this week he’s back where he belongs, a bit prouder and straighter in his step and out amongst the kids getting Little A’s off for another season.  Tony Vecellio is synonymous with Randwick Botany Little Athletics and, for over 40 years, he has overseen the remarkable growth of an organisation dedicated to keeping kids fit and showing them the fun of athletics competition.

Tony has kicked off the 44th season of Little A’s down at the “new” Hensley Athletics Field.  On every Saturday from now until March there are, as Tony says, “27 weeks of summer little athletics – rain, hail or shine” at a great local venue. Four nights a week there is training and skills tuition leading up to the Saturday comps. The Little A’s compete in running, jumping, hurdles, throwing and every other aspect of athletics. There are representative carnivals (zone, regional and State), Little A’s at the beach and the not-to-be-missed Christmas Party. Children are encouraged to represent Randwick Botany Little A’s at Homebush and other venues. The way I look at it is that Little A’s on a Saturday morning are better than computer games – after all it’s not a screen it’s real life.  There is also the socialising, which is a big factor each week.

Tony has also been working with local junior league and soccer teams to keep up the players’ fitness over the summer football break.  If your kids missed the registration days don’t worry.  You can still be part of the 44th season of Little A’s and you can register from about 8:15am any Saturday morning down at Hensley. You can call Tony on the Saturday morning mobile, 0403 103 114 or go to the website:

Vacation Care for under 13's

For the under 13’s the vacation care program will run for nine days – between Monday, September 26 to Friday, October 7 at Botany Public School.. There is an enrolment day on Tuesday, September 13 from 4pm to 6.30pm at Botany Public School After Care. For an information pack please call Sherryl on 93663576 or Grace on 96666128 between 4pm and 6pm or check out our program and download relevant forms from Council’s website – where the forms and program are under Vacation care in the website’s Community Services section.

Vacation care ­ 12 to 18 year olds

The September-October school holidays are just around the corner and our youth workers have, as usual, produced a holiday program to keep 12 to 18 year olds occupied for the break. Activities begin Tuesday September 27 with a full day at Hillsdale Youth Centre, located at 236 Bunnerong Road, Hillsdale.  Bookings are essential and full details can be obtained by calling either Yasemin or Patrick on 9366 3889. Our youth workers have organised enrolments for the holiday program at the Central Library, Eastgardens on Tuesday or Thursday between 11.00am and 3.00pm and at the Hillsdale Community Hall, 236 Bunnerong Road, Hillsdale, on Thursdays between 4.00pm and 7.00pm.

Some Welcome Returnees to Botany Bay

A mate of mine went fishing on Botany Bay last weekend and came back with some fish (just a few) and a welcome sighting. Along the seawall that runs along Prince of Wales Drive, and resting where the water laps on the concrete groins, were some seals. As well, when they were out in the middle of the bay, a couple of seals surfaced near their boat and showed the fishermen how to fish. While my mate was waiting for a bite, the seals had better luck, catching some fish and throwing them in the air before having their lunch.  That we’ve got seals back in the bay is great news – and we can watch them grow, mate and expand their colonies along the seawall. Shows the improvement in Botany Bay – transformed from a polluted stretch of water into a place where some superb sea creatures now make their home.

Green Machine Gets a Name

After much consideration of the many, many suggestions locals gave Council for a name for our new green cleaning machine (which is already out and about through the shopping strips), we’ve come to a decision.  A few people suggested ‘Hoover’ for the well known cleaner and a word that has entered our vocabularies as a synonym for cleaning up or collecting. Like Shrek, Hoover is a brand name and we don’t want copyright infringements. So, what we’re going with is – “Oova – the Remoova”.  I know it’s not correct English but names of people and machines don’t have to follow exactly the Queen’s English. A close second was “Kasper” after the youngest ever rider of our green machine but then too we could have had copyright problems. We also liked “Envi-ron” as a nice play on words but in the end it’s Oova – the remoova.  Thanks everyone for being part of the fun we had in getting the name.

Sep 10, 2011

Address to Year 6 Mascot Public School Students

I  delighted last month to attend Mascot Public School last month and speak to the  Year 6 students as part of the schools Leadership and Career Conference.  In what I thought was a very impressive idea by the leadership of this fine school, the object was to stimulate Year 6 students to thinking about their future careers.  I thought it important to tell students that working hard at high school, and doing the best they can will give them a great start in life irrespective of what they choose to do. I suggested to students that they should take advantage of the opportunities provided by our fabulous education institutions and staff, and reminded them that everybody is good at something, but I haven’t found any solution in life other than hard work. See link to Mascot Public School’s website

Sep 4, 2011

Triple P workshops

The next Positive Parenting Program (or Triple P) workshop will be held at the Central Library at Eastgardens on Wednesday September 14 and will cover self esteem for 2 to 10 year olds.  Run in conjunction with the Sydney Children’s Hospital, the Triple P workshops have been widely accepted in our community as a means of developing better lines of communication between parents and children and making families stronger. They’ve been running for some years and they’re both popular and free. The workshop will be held between and 12.30pm on September 14 and you will need to book, which you can do by calling Gordana on 9382 0926 or 0410 518 256.

Vandals Shatter Kids’ Fun

For years a lot of local young kids – from toddlers up – have had fun when they played in the small playground behind Family Day Care down the back of Mascot Memorial Park off Aloha Street. The little colourful cubby houses, climbing ladders and all the rest were the centre of fun and imagination for countless little kids. 

The Saturday night before last – just before midnight – some morons decided it would be fun to pile up some leaves and then set a fire.  You can see the result! There are some things that make me angry and mindless vandalism – and the shattering of little kids’ fun – gets to me the most. We’ve had a spate of it at the moment – down in Sir Joseph banks Park for instance – and we’ll probably have it continue in the future. Local residents ask me how can we ‘vandal proof’ our playgrounds? 

Unfortunately we can’t. While there are morons (and that’s probably exaggerating their intelligence) prepared to pile up leaves and then, surely, laugh as they light their fire and are no doubt ‘proud’ of their handiwork, there’s little we can do.  Except, we’ll replace the equipment and continue our plans of expanding parks and playgrounds and do what we can to prevent vandalism. Our local residents help (and their vigilance does help) and work with local police to counter vandalism. I hope that one day these morons have children of their own and, maybe, when they take them to a playground they’ll see how much fun the kids have on the slides, the swings, the cubby houses and all the other equipment.  Maybe then they’ll feel some pangs of guilt for what they did down at the little Mascot park when they destroyed the fun of a lot of little kids. Maybe they will – maybe, they’re such morons that they won’t.