Dedicated youth worker rewarded Reply

by Marcus Wicken

Senior Constable Wayne Sonter received Betty Makin Youth Award for his work with young people. Photo: Marcus Wicken

The City of Sydney Council found there were so many outstanding candidates for its Betty Makin Youth Award this year that more scholarships were awarded than intended.

The annual award, named in honour of a dedicated Redfern community leader, recognises the contributions of young people and youth workers with a ceremony and $500 scholarships for the winners’ next projects.

The ceremony forms part of the Council’s Youth Week program whose coordinator, Jenna Bloom, says the awards bring much needed recognition to unsung community contributors. “There are so many young people doing amazing things that nobody knows about,” she says.


Sydney Sustainable Markets Reply

by Oliver Hogue

Caption required

East Sydney’s sustainable food revolution is here to stay according to organisers of Sydney Sustainable Markets, now in their second year, with the launch of a series of autumn workshops.

Organisers Cathy Wills and Jacqui Briggs say they are pleased with the achievement, but admit it’s taken a lot of effort to get the popular market at Taylor square to a stable position.

“Some said we were mad to start a farmers’ market in the city, but two years later it feels really strong,” Ms Wills says. “The workshops are an opportunity for us to welcome market goers of all ages and encourage them to learn about sustainable living in the city.”


Walking for William Reply

by Frances Gilham

Lauren and David Harris. Lauren created a special event to raise funds for Arthritis NSW in memory of their son, William. Photo: Arthritis NSW

Arthritis is not just a disease for old people; children get it, too.

That’s the message behind William’s Walk, a charity walk organised by Arthritis NSW to be held at Bondi on April 22.The walk is named after William Harris, who was taken to the doctor with persistent fevers and a rash when he was two. A few months later, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), a type of inflammatory arthritis without a known cause.

His mother, Lauren Harris, had never heard of JIA but quickly realised it was a devastating diagnosis.


What’s going on here? Reply

by Greg Volz

Residents have the opportunity for a spot of bush regeneration, sketching and dog walking while during the restoration of a local park. Photo: Greg Volz

Creating that ‘What’s going on here?’ moment was the inspiration behind a new plan by Warringah Council to boost the number of bush care volunteers. The local Art and Habitat Restoration Project at Lanford Reserve in Forestville, combines pulling up weeds with sketching native plants.

“It’s very, very hard to get people to join these bush care groups,” says Jim Casimir, Environment Officer for the Community Projects Group at the Council.

“If you combine bush care with several other activities, you can widen your appeal and create a bit of a novelty factor,” he says.  “That’s where we got the idea of a bush care art group.”



SOS for Oxford Street Reply

by Oakley Kaddish

Intense traffic pressure has had a harmful effect on businesses along Oxford Street

Submissions to the NSW Draft Transport Master Plan closed at the end of April and brought local Darlinghurst business owners a step closer to solving traffic problems along Oxford Street.

Business owners are lobbying State Government in an effort to secure the proposed East Sydney Light Rail line journey along Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. The new line, which will connect the eastern suburbs with the city, would provide them with an increase in regulated traffic and potentially more customers. However, transport planners are exploring a route that cuts through Surry Hills in an underground tunnel under Devonshire Street.


William Street site proposed for skate park Reply

by Carrington Clarke

Off the streets and into a skate park. Photo: 2H Photography

Sydney City Council is supporting a plan to convert an unused block of land in William Street into a skate park.

The site, between Palmer and Bourke Streets on top of the Eastern Distributor (ED) Entry Portal, is owned by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and has stood vacant since the completion of the Eastern Distributor in 2005. It is currently surrounded by a large fence and the only current use seems to be as a canvas for graffiti.

A site for a skate park has been an ongoing issue for the Council for many years. There have been aborted attempts to create skate parks at different locations throughout the municipality, including Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills and Millers Point.


Dr Rosie Scott made Life Member of PEN Reply

by Bernadette Burke

Dr Rosie Scott honoured at PEN 2012 Annual General meeting.

The 2012 PEN Annual General Meeting, held on April 10, was a significant one, with long time member Dr Rosie Scott awarded the honour of Life Membership. President Michael Fraser said it was “a great occasion.”  And indeed it was. Dr Scott was offered the award in recognition of her outstanding work helping to free writers in Australian detention centres, and for her role as a co-founder of the Writers in Detention Committee.

Dr Scott received the Sydney PEN Award in 2006, a nomination for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Human Rights Medal in 2004 and, as a member of PEN, a Community Human Rights Award in 2004.


New development in contact lenses Reply

by Susan Cheong

New specialised othokeratology contact lenses may correct common problem known as presbyopia. Photo: Mary Thorman

New specialised othokeratology contact lenses may correct common problem known as presbyopia. Photo: Mary Thorman

Contact lenses worn only while sleeping may soon give some people with poor vision the chance to see close objects clearly again.

A research study recently conducted by the University of New South Wales has found othokeratology contact lenses can correct presbyopia, a natural aging process that affects most people in their 40s and 50s.


Monkey Bar Theatre Company opens at $10.7 million Darling Quarter Development Reply

by Matt Kelly

A scene from Monkey Baa’s new production, Tim Winton’s The Bugalugs Bum Thief. Photo: Monkey Baa Theatre

The tickets have sold, the rehearsals have finished and the stage is set. All is in readiness for the opening night of Tim Winton’s The Bugalugs Bum Thief , presented by Monkey Baa Theatre, on May 5 at its new home in a $10.7 million dollar development at Darling Harbour.

“Our company now has a home to dream, to play and to create more diverse works for young people,” says Eva Di Cesare, Director of Monkey Baa Theatre Company.


A shed is more than a sanctuary Reply

by Adrian Flores

Men’s sheds: ending isolation, creating community. Photo: Australian Men’s Shed Association

There has always been an invisible, yet powerful obstacle in the fight to improve men’s health – silence. The Men’s Shed movement is shattering that silence once and for all.

Men’s Sheds are safe and informal places encouraging openness and community among men in the form of a tool shed, creating what could be dubbed a men’s sanctuary.