including Stanwell Tops and Coalcliff
February marks the 100th anniversary of Stanwell Park Anglican Church.
Standing in Stanwell Ave Stanwell Park the church will celebrate its centenary with a thanksgiving service on Sunday February 16th at 2pm. Senior Minister of Helensburgh and Stanwell Park Anglican Church Rev Steve Carlisle said everyone in the community was welcome to attend the service where the congregation would give thanks for the work of Jesus through the church and its members over many years.
“We are greatly blessed to have a space in this community where we have experienced God’s goodness for nearly 100 years.” Rev Carlisle said. “We meet together weekly at 8:15am at Stanwell Park in the new chapel building behind the historic church, but the now church hall stands as a reminder of all who have passionately followed Jesus for many years and who stand as pillars of the Christian community in Stanwell Park.
The Coal Cliff Beach to Bombie Swim attracts visitors to the area as one of our annual ocean swims, there is also the favourite of locals who are immersed in beach culture who also love to stay fit.
This year it was a family affair with first male Dane Whiteside, first female Mel Whiteside, plus 3rd place to Matthew Logan closely followed by his sister Amy and Dad Andrew.
"We went pretty good - I think I got second across the line and my son got first," said Mel Whiteside. "We do quite a few ocean swims during summer and also compete for Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Club as well. This year in May, be doing the Port Macquarie Ironman, along with Nathan Johnson from Helensburgh."
The Coalcliff Surf Life Saving Club Beach to Bombie Swim is a great warm up for Ocean swims which take place later in the season.
"It's a 1.5 km swim off Coalcliff Beach on Sunday 1st December starting at 11 o'clock." said event organiser and Club Captain, Rob Deacon. "It is a great warmup for other ocean swims."
"We've always done a 1 km swim, but we've had suggested that ocean swimmers would prefer a 1.5km swim, so we're giving that a go this year. You swim out around 600m, then you swim along the beach and then swim back in 600m - it's a slightly different course to what was done in the past but it should be challenging."
Certain movers and shakers do just that to ensure that their world flows in the right direction. The Northern Illawarra has a vibrant arts community which resonates to West-African beat of Damion Stirling's djembe, which can be found in several bands including Swamp n Beats, Beatmeisters and Swing Booty.
"Music is a diverse industry and had the opportunity to explore many aspects of it." said Damion. "I've been into African drumming for over 15 years - it's something that I stumbled upon at Woodford Folk Festival. When I came back to Wollongong I was fortunate to find some classes and it's really kicked on since then."
"This Saturday is our second year of 'Sol Sounds of Summer' - it's not just a standard kind of gig. We're going to have two stages running, alternating between bands and solo acts - the idea is to have a really open, fun, friendly family sort of time."
The Stanwell Park Public School P&C are launching the festive season in the Northern Illawarra with Carols by Candlelight on Friday 6th December.
There will be twilight gift markets from 4pm with local stall holders featuring handmade toiletries, homewares, jewellery and clothes. The carols start at 7pm, featuring the school children, and other local singing acts.
Gold coin donation to enter, cake stall and coffee van, candles to purchase. Guests can leave an unwrapped gift under the tree for Anglicare.
If you like the idea of cycling or walking from the Royal National Park at Otford through Stanwell Park and on to Lake Illawarra, Windang, then we would like to hear from you.
Wollongong City Council will begin community engagement on the draft Masterplan for the Grand Pacific Walk, which will eventually wind its way along our majestic coastline.
Council will also be talking with community members on the draft concept plans for stage one, which is from Station Street, Stanwell Park, over the Stoney Creek Bridge, Coalcliff, through to the northern end of the Seacliff Bridge. We’re starting here as it currently has no pathways.
Did you had your say? The deadline for submissions on the report from the Financial Sustainability Review Citizen’s Panel which affects valuable community resources in the Northern Illawarra ended Wednesday 20th November.
"The Sea Cliff Bridge and Grand Pacific Drive including Coalcliff, all tie together and really attract a lot of visitors from around the world, and for them (Wollongong City Council) to even consider demolishing that pool is just nonsense." said Jo Reed from the Save Coalcliff Community Action Group.
"Coalcliff is such a small community and we really value the things we have here. We don't have any sporting facilities, we don't have any ovals or public spaces to maintain except one reserve, a tiny playground, the pool and the ocean, and that's it. So we'd like to see our pool, our lifeguard hours, and our community hall stay as they are."
Two descendants of Lawrence Hargrave, Stanwell Park’s own famous aviation pioneer, flew side by side last Saturday, 16th November, from the hang gliding launch site at Stanwell Tops.
On 12th November, 1894, Lawrence Hargrave successfully lifted himself five metres into the air using his own invention, the double curved wing Box Kite – the first time any person had been lifted off the ground by a heavier than air machine.
An urgent meeting has been called by the Coalcliff Community Association Inc (CCCA) to raise awareness of the findings of the Wollongong City Council Panel on Financial Sustainability which potentially affects various well known assets such as the Coalcliff Ocean Pool, Community Hall and Lifeguard patrol hours.
"Pat (President of the CCCA) is very concerned because he is fearing the worst from the outcome from this citizens group that has been held by a consultant, with their ideas put to council, about massive cuts to council services in our area." said past President, Damien Lloyd, "This would take away the fibre of what living here is all about."
22-year-old Stanwell Park musician Bec Sandridge is preparing to launch her new EP, "Wild Heart" at Heritage Hotel this Friday, 15th November with Coledale's Kay Proudlove providing support. After solo tours in the UK and US, and with numerous tracks featured on Australian television, the singer is a talent to watch.
I caught up with Bec recently to talk about her musical origins, the genesis of Wild Heart, and where she’s headed in the future.
Can you tell me a little bit about your musical background? How did you get into solo performing? (I know there’s a good story here!)
My family and friends have always known that I’m a hardcore shower-singer wanting to be a legitimate singer, but they all knew that I would never have the courage to venture out of my bathroom to the stage without a strong push. So naturally, they thought it would be a great idea to place monetary bets on me (they also knew how badly I needed and wanted the finances as I really longed to travel throughout the UK and Europe).
Festival of Flight returns to Stanwell Park this year, Sunday 10th November, bringing with it a spectacular low altitude flyover by a series of vintage aeroplanes including "Connie" the Super Constellation.
"One of our roles is to promote Lawrence Hargrave, which is a great Illawarra and Australian story." said Rob Deacon, president of the Lawrence Hargrave Centre, "A lot of people don't know the story of Lawrence Hargrave and his pioneering aviation efforts - this is part of telling that story so that people can be proud of something that happened in Stanwell Park all those years ago."
"There will be some magnificent planes from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society at Albion Park are are are are you - and the flagship of that fleet is Connie the Super Constellation, which will do a series of low level passes over Stanwell Park from 12pm."
The husky tones of Nicole Brophy return to Coalcliff's Bombie Bar on Sunday 10th November from 3pm, directly after the Festival of Flight at Stanwell Park including the flyover of historic aircraft at Bald Hill.
"It's a gig I can't refuse with a view like that from The Bombie Bar - it's like no gig I have ever played before," said Nicole, "Any excuse to come back to my old neighborhood."
"I'm going to be doing some recording very soon with the famous Syd Green - we'll be working on and EP for release next year."
Six years on from a humble back yard gathering in Stanwell Park, Cinema at the Park has grown to become a well anticipated date on the event calendar for many flick loving chics and a few brave gentlemen ;)
But seriously, this is an opportunity to spend some quality time with your local community while raising money for breast cancer...
"After the first year, I realised that I had more friends that I wanted to invite and that my place just wasn't big enough," said Tanya Pepper, coordinator of the event, "So we borrowed a friend's open air cinema and went from there."
One of the sure signs of Summer is when the local Surf Clubs start to ramp up their activity - starting tonight (Friday 11th October) and all following Fridays from 6pm for the 2013/14 surf season, is the re-launch of the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Club Bar.
"We hope everyone enjoyed the off-season (winter) and welcome back to the surf season, the temperatures are up so why not drop into the surf club to cool down." said Steve McDonald, president of the club.
"The new windows are in giving the surf club a whole new look, along with the render and a coat of paint the clubhouse looks a million bucks."
With Verdi’s 200th birthday this year, SPAT singers have been singing up Italian storm, rehearsing for their performance of La Triviata! Why travel all the way to the Sydney Opera House, when you can come to the Stanwell Park CWA Opera House, well Hall!
After a rather unseasonal warm Winter, it's easy to visualise those long, hazy Summer afternoons on the beach - there is no better way to enjoy that lifestyle while educating our kids and helping to keep our community safe, than Nippers.
The Seagulls at Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC welcome any child between the age of 5 and 13 to be part of the 2013/2014 nippers season, commencing Sunday 13 October 2013.
"We had around 180 to 190 kids last season and we're hoping for the same, maybe bring it up over 200." said Junior Activities Chairman, Allan Manning, "We're looking forward to getting back on the beach - Summer is the best time of the year by far and teaching the children new skills really has its benefits."
Well known Stanwell Park artist Sarah Parker is inviting the public into her home this weekend to view and purchase her paintings, drawing and sculptures - this is a collection that she has been gathering for some years and is now clearing the way for a new start outside the Northern Illawarra.
"This is the first time I've done this - I've been hesitant to do this because I honour the people that collect my work and pay full prices for it, but over the years I have changed my approach." said Sarah. "I thought having a studio sale would appeal to people to come and have a chat, see my work in my home environment, not an intimidating gallery space."
Lee Evans Member for Heathcote today announced an upgrade to the Stanwell Park pedestrian bridge to improve safe access for local users and reduce future maintenance costs.
Mr Evans today said the NSW Government provided $400,000 for Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and Wollongong City Council to carry out essential restoration of the bridge and the western approach over Lawrence Hargrave Drive at Stanwell Park.
"Work will be carried out to install safety screens on the bridge, replace the timber deck and cross beams with concrete and steel beams," Lee Evans said.
If you live in Stanwell Park, Otford, Helensburgh or in any of the surrounding suburbs you should be concerned.
New changes proposed by the O'Farrell Government will leave local residents with a dismal train service as of October 2013. The proposed changes virtually eliminate train services to the Stanwell Park and Otford areas in the mornings and evenings meaning commuters will have to drive to Helensburgh train station.
"It appears that the government is proposing to change the train services to our local area, to Stanwell Park, to Otford, to Helensburgh, and reduce the already minimal services that we have." said Tatiana Day, a concerned Stanwell Park resident, "As anyone knows that commutes from these areas, we are already on the train for long enough, and our services are far and few between, so to reduce those services is going to have a severe impact upon the locals in the area."
The attraction of the Grand Pacific Drive and Royal National Park is under threat from car hoons and speeding motorbikes, according to residents and visitors to the Northern Illawarra who are fed up with excessive noise and dangerous driving.
Residents from Otford, Stanwell Tops and Coalcliff met with Heathcote MP Lee Evans on Saturday, August 3, to discuss the issues, which have become increasingly worse in the past two years.
Spring is almost here and with the change in seasons comes renewed motivation to get fit, and improve our general well-being - one of the best ways to drive yourself through the pain barrier and get ready for the beach is to connect with a personal trainer like Stanwell Park local, Ryan Dorahy from Live Alive Fitness.
"We realise that everyone gets a little lazy during Winter which is why we are getting started in Spring so we can amp everyone up, so that they are fit and healthy for Summer." said Ryan.
In December 2011 local Helensburgh resident and sight impaired athlete Nathan Johnston came up with an idea of a charity run from Helensburgh to Stanwell Park Beach. Nathan's vision was for this run to commence at the historic Helensburgh town, proceed down into the rainforest community of Otford up to the scenic 'Bald Hill' lookout and down to Stanwell Park Beach. Nathan believed such a run would be challenging but in turn showcase the truly wonderful features of the Helensburgh, Otford and Stanwell Park communities and while not the same event a semblance of the prior race with the same name.
The Bombie Bar will again bringing live music to a perfect location at Coalcliff on Sunday Afternoons in 2013, kicking off in September.
"One day out in the surf, a fellow surf club member, Ben Rennie, mentioned that we should start putting on music on Sunday afternoons, and I thought, we'll give it a go, sounds like fun" said Rob Deacon, Captain of Coalcliff SLSC, "Then Paul Mattock came along who had a lot of music industry connections, and then suddenly the doors were open and we had lots of great bands wanting to play at our bar."
Stanwell Park Arts Theatre’s (SPAT), next performance is an evening of three one-act plays called "Three Parts Full". Putting on one-act plays can be a little dicey – you never know what will happen on each night.
The evening begins with "Carolina Dive" by Neeley Gossett – a drama about a young girl’s desperate desire to find a new life outside of her small town. It boasts a young and very talented cast. For many, it is their first time on stage so come along and give them your enthusiastic support and get the evening off to a great start!
Fashion design starts at home - at least it does for Stanwell Park local, Carolyn Speed, who explains her passion for jewellery, bags and Bali...
"I've always loved Bali, the culture and the people, and wanted to find a way i could incorporate that into my life, as well as helping friends that are in Bali and their families," said business director, Carolyn, "I seem to change my bags over a lot, I seem to not be able to find the exact one that I like, so I thought why don't I design my own?"
Motorists are advised of changed traffic conditions while road maintenance work is carried out on Lawrence Hargrave Drive from south of Murrawal Road to north of Old Coast Road at Stanwell Park.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will carry out the work at night between Monday 15 July and Thursday 18 July, weather permitting.
Night work will take place from 7pm to 5am to minimise delays to motorists.
In a leaked document yet to be confirmed by CityRail, the new timetable for trains on the south coast line during peak hour, means that express trains will no longer stop at stations north of Thirroul including Stanwell Park.
It’s a move that will take the level of service provided for commuters back to a bygone era and force them to travel longer and change trains more frequently on their commute into the city. Rumor has it that commuters will have to travel to a designated hub, and find parking to catch the express train, or catch a 'cleanup' train to Helensburgh and switch there.
Jackie Dee is a well known name along the Sea Cliff Coast, having frequented many local venues to share her infectious country tunes - after her first release reached great popularity, she set about working on her anticipated studio album - it is with great pleasure that she now launches "Doors & Windows".
Come out of the cold and into the Amazon jungle this July school holidays for Señor Rabbit. Based on a popular Colombian folk tale this is interactive bilingual theatre at its best.
Lillian Rodrigues-Pang is the organiser, and Stanwell Tops resident.
Hola amigos!!!! Grab your sombreros and get ready to party! The Stanwell Park Public School fete is coming soon!
The students, parents and friends of Stanwell Park Public School have issued an open invitation to the entire region to join them on Saturday 22 June starting from 10AM for their school fete - the theme for 2013 – Mexican Fiesta!
Food lovers will rejoice the return of Hart's Gourmet Produce Market to Thirroul this Sunday 19th May, after its successful debut last month.... this gourmet food market nestled next to the Old Post Office on Lawrence Hargrave Drive, showcases a line-up of the Hart's favourite foodies and local producers.
Wollongong City Council has released its Draft Strategic Management Plans for 2013-14 and invited feedback / input from the community of the plans.This is an opportunity to have a say in how and what council provides to our community over the 2013-14 year. CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW
Here are the topics;
Footpath on Parkes St from Cemetery Rd to Lillyvale St
Improve Footpaths in Helensburgh CBD and area
The Country Women's Association was first formed in 1922 out of a need to assist women and their children in rural areas - the tireless fundraising continues this Sunday, 5th May, as the Stanwell Park Village Market hands the reigns back to the ladies from the CWA for their annual Mothers Day Market.
For the uninitiated, the CWA Hall is located on The Drive and hosts this monthly market to support local art, craft, design and music.
In its twelfth year, the annual Christian Surfers Paddle Against Poverty from North Wollongong to Stanwell Park is on Saturday 4th May, and will help cover the education costs of five children in impoverished countries.
Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Club collected a swag of medals at the recent Australian Surf Titles, including a most notable GOLD to Christopher Doran in the U19 Male 2km Beach Run.
"Congratulations to all the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Competitors at Aussies 2013, some outstanding results to top off an all conquering season." says Daniel Robberds, "The club picked up medals on the beach and made the final of the Open Womens Surf Boat, a huge effort."
Residents affected by traffic noise along Lady Wakehurst and Lawrence Hargrave drives have formed an action group to try and minimize the problem.
A meeting was organised by Otford residents Kerry Moore and Ro Simmons on Sunday April 7 to discuss the issue and more than 20 concerned locals attended.
12 year old Matthew Logan won the 2013 Coalcliff Beach to Bombie Swim on Sunday the 7th of April. Matthew is a Coalcliff SLSC Nipper who trains at Aquadot at Sutherland Pool. Matthew swam the kilometre in 15 minutes and 21 seconds and left all in his wake in an outstanding performance that demonstrated what a fine swimmer he is becoming.
The Tops Conference Centre at Stanwell Tops currently has two giant swings with the largest being 18m high. Due to their popularity, a bigger swing is currently being built which will stand at a mammoth 26m high! The poles are currently being shipped from Canada and should be in the country at the beginning of May - if everything works to plan, then it should be operating from July.
The Stanwell Park Sea Eels Winter Swimming Club was first formed in 1989 as a family oriented club made up of male, female and youth competitors, associated with both the Helensburgh Stanwell Park Surf Club and Coalcliff Surf Club, but with the home pool located at Coalcliff.
Over the years they have enjoyed annual interclub swims with the Bulli Sea Lions (who also allow female swimmers), the Austinmer Otters, the Cronulla RSL Winter Swimmers and the Cronulla Polar Bears. They also celebrate events like the ‘John “Stacky” Stacpoole’ memorial swim and the CRAM Foundation visit.
Anyone who frequents gigs in the Gong, particularly The Strides or Rai Thistle, would have witnessed the impressive musical abilities of Matt Smith - his chilled demeanour belies his guitar skills and significant career accomplishments, and... he calls Stanwell Park home.
Matt attributes his start in music to his parents' record collection, and that he was learning piano from the age of five.
Ever since Lawrence Hargrave began flying his box kites Bald Hill has been an iconic site for visitors and a defining area for flight and gliding. Bald Hill now attracts more than 3,000 visitors in peak times and about 900 visitors each day on average. The Hill has helped to define the northern beaches of Wollongong and will continue to provide sightseers, photographers, and visitors with majestic views of the Sea Cliff Coast.
With a little more leisure time at hand this Easter, there is ample opportunity to enjoy the indian Summer at Stanwell Park and discover one of the newest additions to the Articles Art Gallery complex on Lawrence Hargrave Drive, with the arrival of Boho Chic, the fashionable brainchild of Wendy Roche.
The annual Stanwell Park Ocean Challenge is on again this Sunday, 24th March. The 2.3km swim along the cliffs from Coalcliff to Stanwell Park is not only a great swim, but a showcase of the beautiful northern Illawarra escarpment.
In it's 12th year, the Stanwell Park Ocean Challenge is the premier ocean swim of the south coast, considered by many to be the "Big Swim of the South". Convenor and founding member of the Ocean Challenge Committe, Andrew Perrin, expects to have 500 swimmers at this year's event. "We encourage our local swimmers to take up the challenge and participate in this great local event. It would be fantastic for a local swimmer to take out one of the major category prizes" said Mr Perrin.
Sydney's loss was definitely Wollongong's gain, when heavy hitter, Curtis Martin recently moved to Stanwell Tops, bringing two decades of drumming expertise with him.
Curtis is a veteran of the Sydney music scene, having played drums in various original rock, metal and blues bands, while also extending his expertise through the retail side of the business, currently a senior sales rep at Drummers Dream.Curtis kicked off his passion for drumming at age 13, and after getting his first drum kit for his 14th birthday, immediately started jamming with like minded rock n’ roll friends in the Sutherland Shire.
Wollongong City Council is currently working on a proposal to create a shared pathway that links the Royal National Park to Lake Illawarra. The proposed path – dubbed the Grand Pacific Walk – will follow the Grand Pacific Drive route, and encourage tourists and locals walking or riding the path to stop along the way to take in the views, enjoy a coffee at a café or check out the nearby attractions.
One of the stand-out performances of 2012 at the Sea Cliff Coast's best kept secret, The Bombie Bar, was the Rai Thistle Trio - best known as the front man for Thirsty Merc.
For those that attended, it was a blissful afternoon of superb funk, jazz and soul driven by Rai's impeccable skills on the keyboard and backed up by our very own Matt Smith from Stanwell Park.
The 4th annual Rod Stevens Memorial Paddle was held on Sunday 10th February, with a round-trip journey from Coalcliff beach to the southern end of Sea Cliff bridge - here are the results;Male
1st place:- Richard Leghissa 32.02 min
2nd place:- Robert Deacon 35.25 min (Club Champion )
3rd place:- Phil Serio 35.50 min
4th place:- Leo Stevens 39.47 min
5th place:- Craig Picker 42.48 min
6th place:- Adam McAughey 45.07 min
7th place:- Michael Guyatt 59.56 min
Anne-Maree Connolly 1.41.00 hours
Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Life Saving Club Junior members Jack Williams and Chloe Bell have won the 2012/2013 Illawarra Junior Life Saver of the Year Double (Female and Male Categories).
Jack and Chloe were nominated by the Junior Activities Committee to represent Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Club.
THE Stanwell Park branch of the CWA will be holding a handicrafts information session on Tuesday, February 19, between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm at the CWA Hall.
The aim of the session is to find out from CWA members and interested community members what techniques and skills should be covered in the craft classes and what session time best suits everyone.