by Alison Houston
SMILES ON DIALS
IF YOU feel confident around the surf and about getting wet, you can help at the Central Coast branch of the Disabled Surfers Association's final 'Smiles on Dials' for the season at Toowoon Bay on Saturday, March 3. Volunteers don't need to be surfers themselves, just help participants to and from the beach and water, and help set up and clean up. To volunteer, contact Pauline on 0416332166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEET NICK GLEESON
AUSTRALIAN Paralympian Nick Gleeson has packed a lot into his 56 years - and "seen" more than many of us with full sight. He has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and made it to Mt Everest base camp, slept rough in the Simpson Desert and run the New York Marathon three times. Blind since the age of seven, he is sharing his story and talking about his new book, The Many Ways of Seeing, at Erina Library on Saturday, March 3 at 11am. It's free, but you need to book. Call 43047650.
DON'T forget the fourth International Women's Day Expo is on at Erina Fair Shopping Centre from 10am-3pm on Saturday, March 3, with information stalls including BPW Central Coast, CWA of NSW, View Club, Soroptimists International Brisbane Water (SIBW), Central Coast Rotary Clubs, the Central Coast Community Women's Health Centre, University of Newcastle (UON), TAFE NSW - Hunter Institute and Zonta. There's a host of other events through to March 11, so go to ccfestivalwomen on Facebook.
SHE STORY DINNER
MARCH 8 is the day to celebrate being a local woman as She Story hosts its second annual International Women's Day Dinner from 6pm at The Entertainment Grounds in Gosford. Special guest speakers are Tara Thompson, Kirby Clark and Julie Goodwin. While chef Julie needs little introduction, Tara is mum to three girls under five, one of whom, Willow, has cerebal palsy. She created Instagram's @willows_cpjourney and is co-author of Therapeutic Play Activities for Children. Kirby is founder of Decks for Change, a skateboarding charity raising awareness for social issues and helping to create skate parks in developing communities. Tickets are $110, which includes canapes and drink on arrival, a two-course meal, the speakers and dancing the night away. Go to www.trybooking.com.au/TQLC. Tickets close March 1.
YES, you read it right: Avoca Beach Picture Theatre is hosting two free showings of the documentary Living the Change, which is full of inspiring stories from New Zealand for a sustainable future. Now, if like me you often think, it would be good to make a change but I'm not sure how, or it's too hard or too big a problem, this film is full of ideas. "Being sustainable is not just a nice thing to do, being unsustainable isn't just a bit unfortunate, it is an existential threat to our species. We actually need to do something about it or ... we're gone". Makes you want to see what you can do, doesn't it? It's on Monday, March 12 at 3.30pm and Thursday, March 15 at 7pm. No need to book.
HISTORY TO SCALE
ALICE Homestead, home of Wyong District Museum and Historical Society, is housing a new exhibit of historic scale models, some rebuilt after the 2011 arson attack on the museum, and others constructed by the 4H Research Group and the Rotary Shipbuilders Memorial Project. Some relate to shipbuilding on the Central Coast, and others nationally. They say this is just the start, but go along and lend support and check out all the other displays including photos, memorabilia, toys, furniture, machinery and tools. Entry at 1 Cape Rd, Wyong, is just $5 adults. Call 43521886.
SEE some of the most beautiful and powerful images of the ocean from the earth, sea and sky, of surfers, fishermen, divers and sea life in the Ocean Film Festival World Tour. It comprises two hours of inspiring, educational and entertaining films of different lengths related to the ocean from independent filmmakers, both international and Australian. It's on at 7pm at Avoca Beach Picture Theatre on Friday, March 23. Tickets from $24.50. Book online at www.avocatheatre.com.au.
OPERA IN THE ARBORETUM
IF YOU love opera, there's no better place to hear it than among the trees and birdlife of the Pearl Beach Crommelin Native Arboretum on Saturday, March 24. Presented by the Rotary Club of Woy Woy, this is the 13th Opera in the Arboretum and will feature soprano Greta Bradman, mezzo soprano Deborah Humble, tenor Virgilio Marino, baritone Alex Sefton and special guest Russian-born violinist Evgeny Sorkin, with pianist Francis Greep and the Central Coast Chamber Orchestra. It's from 3pm to 5.30pm. Go to www.opera.pearl-beach.com. Adults $70, Seniors $67.
Breaking with tradition, I thought there was so much happening at the last council meeting on February 12 that I would share a few pieces of news.
Firstly, in an effort to increase community confidence in their decisions and transparency, council has adopted a new Code of Meeting Practice that confirms webcasting of bi-monthly meetings, finishing times of 10.30pm, community forums once a month and a simplified order of business including a limit of three minutes for councillors to address the meeting. Meetings will alternate between Gosford and Wyong Chambers.
Council is also releasing documents relating to the future development of the Wyong Employment Zone (including the Central Coast Airport) on its website, and for public viewing at council chambers. Council deferred a decision on budget to the airport and the WEZ for site visits and a full briefing but Mayor Jane Smith said this would not "derail our focus and plans to create much-needed employment opportunities in the growing north of the Coast".
Council will review the assessment report for seniors housing and a new bowling club in Woy Woy before it is determined by the consent authority, the Joint Regional Planning Panel, and look at making a submission due to the "significant concern in the community about the proposal" in relation to flooding and parking impacts.
Finally, council has accepted a donation from the Urasenke Foundation to build a Japanese Tea House in the Japanese Gardens at the Gosford Regional Gallery. Council will take over ownership of the tea house once it has been built, at a cost of around $250,000.