Read the Mayor’s message for updates on new recreational facilities and libraries, development of the ambitious coastal walkway from Manly to Palm Beach and big picture issues that affect the Northern Beaches.
There is a host of great opportunities right now for young people across the Beaches to get involved and have some fun.
Entries are now open for Northern Composure, the largest and longest-running youth band competition in the area. Most band members need to be under 19 and available for the heats in March and the final in April.
The competition can be fierce. Last year’s winner, Black Iguana, has recorded their first EP and are playing gigs all around Sydney.
If music is not your thing though, we are asking young people aged 12 to 21 to tell us what they do like by joining our Youth Advisory Group. They’ll get some great experiences, tickets to Council events and have real input.
And for the more adventurous, applications are also now open for our Youth Exchange Program. Six lucky teenagers will travel with our team to the far western NSW town of Brewarrina for a week in April. They’ll visit the Lightening Ridge opal mines, shear sheep, check out Aboriginal fish traps and spend time with other local young people – a once in a lifetime trip for our beach dwelling teenagers!
Young talent will also be on display from next Friday at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum’s Express Yourself exhibition showcasing the incredible work of 40 HSC Visual Art students from local schools.
I hope you’ll encourage any young people in your life to get involved.
Have a great weekend.
A Message from the Deputy Mayor
Our hard working Mayor is on holidays this week so let me fill you in on what has been happening on the Northern Beaches.
Council has had a bumper summer school holiday period, keeping thousands of kids busy through our four vacation care centres, the Coastal Environment Centre, our aquatic centre swimming programs, summer skate nights and kid’s library events.
This week we were also delighted to host four children who travelled 800km from Brewarrina as part of our Youth Exchange Program with Brewarrina Shire Council. They will spend a week exploring Sydney and our beaches – a huge change from their normal life in far western NSW.
We’ll be doing a call-out soon for nominations for six Northern Beaches’ teenagers to go to Brewarrina in April as part of the 2018 National Youth Week celebrations.
Council has also been busy continuing to deliver major works and maintenance projects up and down the Peninsula including looking after our beaches, parks and reserves, delivering roadworks and new pathways, and continuing major projects such as the Palm Beach walkway, Cromer 2 synthetic sportsfield and Church Point carpark.
Finally, I encourage our creative residents to submit an expression of interest to be part of the next Creative Space exhibition, Fire in June this year. It’s the fourth in the incredible Four Elements - Earth, Water, Air, Fire exhibition series showcasing incredible local talent.
Enjoy the weekend.
Australia Day is a great opportunity to reflect on what makes Australia - and the Northern Beaches in particular - such a great place.
More than the sum of our iconic beaches and bushland, this is a special area because of the incredible community who make the Northern Beaches home.
I was honoured yesterday to welcome our new Northern Beaches citizens and humbled to present Australia Day Awards to locals who have made such outstanding contributions across areas including community work, the environment, sports and so much more.
Along with Maria Elena Chidzey (Citizen of the Year), Harry Elliffe (inaugural Senior Citizen of the Year), Aiden Baldwin (Young Citizen of the Year), Cameron Malone (Sportsperson of the Year), and the Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services ‘Go Wild Gala’ (Community Event of the Year), there were also 15 more Outstanding Community Service awards presented – and there could have been many others. View the full list of winners
To shine a spotlight on our Citizen of the Year, Maria Elena Chidzey stands out for her lifelong dedication to promoting multiculturalism and diversity. She has been an incredible voice for migrants, refugees and disadvantaged groups - as an advocate, advisor and through frontline support. The contribution she has made is truly inspiring and we are lucky to have her in our community.
A huge congratulations and thanks to Maria Elena and each and every one of our awardees, along with all of our other unsung local heroes. And to our very busy team of Australia Day volunteers: thank you, too, for generously offering your time and good will to feed and entertain the rest of us!
Have a great weekend.
Next Friday, January 26, is of course Australia Day which marks 230 years since the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Cove and also 230 years since Governor Phillip set foot at Manly.
There is a monument at Manly’s West Esplanade which marks this historic event, and another famous cross-cultural event in 1790, where Governor Phillip was speared by an Aboriginal man named Willemering, during a meeting with Bennelong at Manly. Governor Phillip made a full recovery and the incident was passed off as a misunderstanding.
In 2018, Australia Day means different things to different people. It’s a time to reflect on our national journey, acknowledge our chequered past, and celebrate the incredible mix of cultures and diversity that make up our nation today. I’m looking forward to welcoming new Northern Beaches citizens on the day, 42 of 16,000 new Australians choosing to become citizens on 26 January.
I will have the honour of presenting our Australia Day Awards to locals who have made an outstanding contribution to our local community. We have so many incredible people on the Beaches and I am thrilled we can recognise them in this way.
Council is also working with the community and a great army of volunteers to put on some fantastic activities. Check out one of our big BBQ breakfasts, join a thong throwing comp, listen to some great local music, splash out at a pool party or ride a camel up the beach. See all the details.
And enjoy Australia Day however you choose to spend it.
On behalf of Council I wish everyone a Happy New Year and very best wishes for 2018.
I hope you all had a great holiday break and like me are raring to get stuck into the year ahead. And it will certainly be a big year for Council, building on a very busy 2017.
I would like to recognise the many people who worked through the holidays so the rest of us could enjoy a safe and fun break. Our pool, childcare and library staff; our dedicated waste collectors and cleaners; our events team and rangers and the many many others on deck across Council. And to our local community in hospitality, transport, hospitals and security to name but a few - thanks to all of you for keeping things moving.
Of course it’s a very busy time of year for lifeguards too. Since the start of December our beaches saw more than three million visitors and our lifeguards have made over 760 rescues and administered first aid to almost 2,000 people. A timely reminder for everyone to please swim between the flags.
If you are fortunate enough to still be on holidays or looking for ways to keep the kids entertained, check out all that’s on offer across the beaches in January. From rock pool rambles and skate nights to world food markets and an incredible array of art and culture, you’ll find something for every age and taste. Check out Council's website for all the details.
Have a great weekend.
In my last column for the year, I would like to thank our community for their input into Councils’ decision making.
Tuesday was our last Council Meeting for 2017 and it was good to see such a large community turnout. Apologies for the air-conditioning not working. We got through a very full agenda and passed some key initiatives such as the East Esplanade upgrade and the Glen Street open space masterplan for public exhibition.
To everyone who has been involved with Council over the past 12 months as we transitioned from Administration to an elected Council - a massive thank you. It has been a challenging period but also rewarding, and a testament to the community, the volunteers, Council’s dedicated staff and my fellow Councillors that we have achieved so much. We are all committed to the Northern Beaches and look forward to a productive 2018.
Before I finish I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. I hope you can get out to one of the Northern Beaches’ great New Year’s Eve events at either Bayview, Dee Why or Manly Cove.
And please look out for each other over the holiday period. There are so many people in our community who can be especially lonely at this time of year, and a little Christmas spirit can go a long way.
Have a great weekend and holiday break.
With summer having very firmly arrived, it’s timely to announce an initiative to help make visits to our wonderful beaches safer.
In a partnership between Northern Beaches Council, the Australian Lifeguard Service and Westpac Little Ripper, a roving drone will be stationed between Freshwater and South Curl Curl beaches and another at Bilgola, thanks to a large donation from local Marcus Blackmore.
The drones allow floatation devices to be deployed within seconds to struggling swimmers, as well as a loud speaker to relay warnings and instructions. We are the only metropolitan council in NSW protecting beach users in this way. The drones also have the latest evolving shark spotting technologies.
Staying on the theme of summer, I encourage families to take advantage of our wide range of school holiday activities. Whether it’s the everpopular Kids on the Coast, the exciting variety of engaging library events, our Learn to Swim holiday program and clinics, or the summer skate nights starting on 6 January.
A reminder that Council's ever-popular Vacation Care is open for bookings, with a holiday program from 19 Dec to 27 Jan (closed 26-30 Dec) for children aged 5-12. Activities include art, cooking and sport, as well as excursions to places like Taronga Zoo and Luna Park.
Please visit Council’s website for full details but be quick as these activities can fill up fast.
And finally, the last Council meeting of the year is on this coming Tuesday evening. As always, we have a packed agenda and welcome attendance from the community. Hope to see you there.
Have a great weekend.
The Northern Beaches prides itself on being an inclusive community and we’ve just opened five new sensory playgrounds in Belrose as part of a pilot project.
These innovative spaces offer a unique experience, each taking inspiration from one of the senses. There are galvanised and tuned woks, a rope car wash, solar powered cubby house lights, furry-leaved plants and edible herbs!
I’d like to acknowledge the incredible efforts of Caroline Ghatt and Tim Smith, local parents who challenged Council to consider our policies and reimagine playground design so there could be more places of exploration for all children – including those with disability.
Right on cue for Christmas, Council will reopen Macpherson St in Warriewood at the end of next week after an extensive $10 million upgrade. I would like to thank the local community for their patience while this critical project was undertaken which will vastly improve local road access and flood management.
It’s a little-known fact that Manly has produced more Olympians and Paralympians than any other town or city in Australia and been represented at every Olympics since 1900. Today I will have the honour of adding three more names to our great “Pathway of Olympians and Paralympians” in Manly - Lea Yanitsas, Lisa Darmanin and Cameron Clark.
And finally, can I remind everyone of the fantastic Christmas activities Council is putting on, including Christmas by the Beach at Dee Why next Friday evening from 4-8pm. See you there!
Have a great weekend.
A call out to the community this week to help guide us as we embrace the opportunities of our one new Council. We are looking for people to nominate for one of our six new Strategic Reference Groups which advise on issues as diverse as the environment, transport and partnerships. Nominations are open until 4 February.
We’re also seeking feedback on the proposed masterplan for the Freshwater foreshore. We’re looking to improve the area around Freshwater Beach and I thank the many local residents who have worked with us to get the proposal to this point.
Another way you can get involved with Council is to have your say at a Council meeting. It was pleasing to have a number of active local residents address Councillors this week on issues they feel passionately about. You can address Council at any time by lodging a request prior to the Council meeting in mid-December.
Finally, it’s a bumper week for exciting summer events on the beaches. Check out Manly's Ocean Care Day, take a kayaking tour on Narrabeen Lagoon at the Coastal Environment Centre Open Day and get Christmas sorted at the Creative Made Makers Market at North Curl Curl. And save some energy for the gorgeous Christmas concerts coming up over the next few weeks.
There’s plenty going on to keep you busy and get involved.
Enjoy the weekend.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and I am privileged to have attended a number of events this week where women have shared their stories and men have taken a stand to help prevent violence.
One in three women experience violence by someone known to them and one in five women experience harassment at work. It will take a total community response to turn these terrible statistics around.
As local government we can play our part and I am thrilled that Northern Beaches Council is supporting the growing world-wide campaign to prevent violence against women. Council will seek accreditation as a White Ribbon Workplace and commit to creating a strong culture of respect and a zero tolerance for violence of any kind.
Also this week Council extended the deadline for applications for the 2018 Australia Day Awards. I know we have so many deserving volunteers on the Northern Beaches who contribute to our community and this is a great opportunity to make sure they are acknowledged.
There are six categories to choose from, celebrating the outstanding contributions of our most remarkable citizens. Nominations now close on Monday 4 December; check out Council’s website for details and make sure to get your nominations in.
Finally, a reminder that the new B-Line bus begins services next week. There are many route changes and new timetables in place so be sure to check Transport NSW’s online tools to plan your trip.
Have a great weekend