From the Mayor

24 May 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Two sections of Freemans Reach Road, Freemans Reach are under reconstruction starting from today, Thursday, 24 May 2018 as part of a $1.4 million upgrade.

    A necessary road closure will be in place from Monday, 28 May 2018 until the project is completed, which is expected to be approximately four weeks, weather permitting.

    The road will be closed to through traffic between Wilberforce Road and Gorricks Lane, with access only provided for buses, local residents and emergency services.

    All through traffic will be diverted through Kurmond Road and Wilberforce Road to enable the proposed construction works to be completed as soon as possible. Please click here http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/109823/IGA_11_5_2018_10_16_10_489.pdf for the roadworks map. For further information or any enquiries, please contact Matthew Toriola during business hours on 4560 4444.
  • The winners of the 2018 Hawkesbury Sports Awards were announced at a special presentation evening at Lynwood Country Club on Monday, 21 May.

    Congratulations to all of our winners. My sincere thanks to the members of our Civic and Citizenship Committee who thoughtfully assess every nomination for these awards. It is never an easy task with so many great nominations received.

    The Hawkesbury Sports Awards program has been run as an annual event since 2004 as a civic award program which was developed to recognise positive contributions to sport in the Hawkesbury. Proudly sponsored by Lynwood Country Club, Council’s program acknowledges the sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles.
  • I also want to remind you that the Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock will be held this weekend of 26-27 May.

    Every donation counts, whether big or small. $28 helps children at risk of homelessness participate in an after-school program, $60 provides a food hamper so that a struggling family doesn’t have to go hungry, and $79 provides one day of support for a family to find a home.

    Following last year’s success, The Salvation Army is once again rolling out its Donation Tap Points across 400 locations in Australia. This community fundraising initiative was the first of its kind within the non-profit sector when it was introduced in Australia last year. The service provides more effective, safer, and more meaningful donation opportunities across the country.

    The money raised from the Red Shield Appeal doorknock supports The Salvation Army’s vast network of social services to help those in need. In a typical week, the Salvos provide over 17,000 beds for those suffering homelessness, 40,000 meals for the hungry, over 1,400 financial counselling sessions and refuge for over 100 women affected by domestic violence.

    To donate, please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or register online at www.salvos.org.au

Mayoral Column

Tomorrow night, Friday, 25 May I have the privilege of opening the ARTEXPRESS exhibition at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, 300 George Street, Windsor that features outstanding student artworks created for the 2017 HSC Visual Arts examination.

This is a free community event and I warmly invite you all to come along at 6pm to explore and enjoy the diverse range of artworks on display. This unique exhibition not only celebrates student achievement but is a wonderful event that connects communities through the visual arts, and offers us a glimpse into the lives, hopes and concerns of our young people.

The exhibition includes works from both Government and non-government schools and features everything from ceramics, drawing and graphic design, to painting, photomedia, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and fibre, as well as time-based forms.

It is so wonderful that that our Regional Gallery has been chosen as the venue for the ARTEXPRESS exhibition and I encourage you to try to see it. There will be a free Curator talk on Wednesday, 30 May 2pm. Bookings via www.hawkesburygallery.eventbrite.com are essential for catering purposes.

Special workshops will be held for teachers and students on 27 and 28 June respectively. For those of you who cannot attend the exhibition opening, the exhibition will run until 15 July. Please contact the Gallery for more information by email gallery@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4441.

17 May 2018

Mayoral Column

Did you know that the Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock will be held over the weekend of 26-27 May? I’m asking all of our community groups, sporting clubs, workplaces, families and individuals to get involved by volunteering or making a donation.

I’m honoured to be appointed Chairperson of the 2018 Red Shield Appeal for Hawkesbury, and I hope I can encourage as many people as possible to help the Salvos. I think there's a real lift in compassion and resolve in our community to do something to make the Hawkesbury a better place for all, particularly for those doing it tough. I’d love to see local schools embrace the Red Shield Appeal with mufti day fundraisers, as it would make a huge difference to our campaign. To volunteer or donate, please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or register online at www.salvos.org.au

I also want to tell you that Council is Connecting Our Community with eight Town Meetings in June, where you can hear about the work Council is doing and the work Council has planned. The LAUNCH EVENT will be held on Wednesday, 6 June at 6pm at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, 300 George Street, Windsor. Meetings are also planned for North Richmond, Glossodia, Pitt Town, Kurrajong, Colo Heights, Maraylya and St Albans. For details visit Council’s website at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au You can also provide a written or video question! Submit your question online at www.bit.ly/askcouncil

10 May 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The Hawkesbury Domestic and Family Violence Forum will be held next Wednesday, 16 May 2018 from 8:15am to 2:30pm at Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, 114 March St Richmond. Councillor Danielle Wheeler will be giving the Opening Address and I will discuss Council’s Hawkesbury Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan and our achievements so far.

    It would be great to see members of our community come along to this free event which includes lunch.

    In the forum participants will:
    • hear about the impact of domestic and family violence
    • learn about how the Hawkesbury community can collaborate for change
    • find out about latest research on the economic impact of domestic and family violence
    • have opportunities to gain grant writing skills and responding to youth disclosure.

    There will also be the chance to gain skills that will directly benefit you to say NO to violence in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

    Register at www.leadpda.org.au using event code HK08HDV. This partnership event is proudly supported by Hawkesbury City Council, Hawkesbury Action Network Against Domestic Violence, and LEAD Professional Development Association.

Mayoral Column

I’m delighted to tell you that we will be celebrating Hawkesbury Regional Museum’s 10th anniversary on Friday, 18 May and Saturday, 19 May at 8 Baker Street, Windsor, and our whole community is invited!

Our Museum has had 156,819 visitors pass through its doors since it opened in 2008. In that time it has won seven major awards, including awards for tourism, volunteering, exhibitions and collection management, as well as an award for the building itself.

When I talk with residents, educators and people from many other walks of life about our Regional Museum, I keep on noticing the local pride that we all take in our award-winning Museum.

Kicking off the celebrations will be a new exhibition called Food Bowl Farming that I’ll be opening on Friday, 18 May at 6pm. It’s about the history of food production in the Hawkesbury since crops were planted in 1794 to save the colony from starvation. I’ll also be presenting awards to our long-standing, deserving volunteers. The Food Bowl Farming exhibition is produced in association with the NSW Migration Heritage Centre, and curated by Dr Kate Gahan.

On Saturday, 19 May, from 10am-4pm, come along and celebrate at the Museum’s 10th Anniversary Open Day, a free event which will include a garden tour, vintage tractor display, food, music, kids’ activities, and historical entertainment. Bookings required in advance for the free exhibition opening and the curator’s talk by Dr Gahan on Saturday, 19 Mayat 2pm($5) at www.hawkesburygallery.eventbrite.com

3 May 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

If you can knit, felt or crochet, you are invited to help make 2000 poppies for an installation to commemorate the WWI Armistice Day Centenary in November. I’m always amazed at how many crafty and artistic people we have in the Hawkesbury and now it’s your chance to use your skills to honour those who served.

The Poppy Project began as a small personal tribute by two Australian women, has become an international phenomenon, showing respect for, and remembrance of those who have served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations, their families and their communities.

Hawkesbury Central Library is hosting craft days on the second Friday of the month until 9 November from 10am to midday (11 May, 8 June, 13 July, 10 August, 14 September, 12 October and 9 November). It’s free and everyone is welcome. Tea and coffee will be provided and there is no need to book - just come along and bring your own needles or hooks and wool.

If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to make poppies at home. Patterns are available at both libraries, as well as the Museum and the Gallery. You can also go online to find a pattern/designs of your choosing – any size, any shade of red – the only requirement is that the finished product be a Flanders-style poppy. When completed, just drop them off at one of the above locations by Friday, 26 October.

26 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

Thanks to funding from the NSW Environment Protection Authority, Hawkesbury City Council is using street performers to promote the message ‘bin your butts’ in new cigarette butt bins recently installed at George Street, Windsor, outside Target.

Street performers ‘The Little Aussie Butt-lers will be at the entrance to the Riverview Shopping Centre, George Street, Windsor, near Target, on Thursday, 3 May from 11am-2pm, to highlight two new cigarette litter bins that have been installed.

Collectively, Western Sydney councils spend $14 million managing litter every year, and while cigarette butts aren’t the only form of litter, they are by far the most common – making up 54 percent of all littered items across the region.

Council has installed cigarette butt bins to make it easier and more convenient for smokers to dispose of cigarette butts correctly. It’s all part of a program to tackle cigarette butt litter in Western Sydney’s shopping strips.

This is our community, we live here, and it is up to us to keep it clean by putting rubbish in the bin. The less Council has to spend picking up litter, the more money we can invest in other things such as road maintenance, community facilities and programs.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils secured the funding on behalf of councils that are participating in the program. The litter education program will run until July 2018, and I hope it will help to keep the Hawkesbury shopping strips clean and inviting.

19 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

Anzac Day is next week and there will be many commemorative services held across the Hawkesbury starting on Sunday, 22 April and leading up to Anzac Day on Wednesday, 25 April. Please see Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for all event details.

I was delighted to join RSL Sub Branch members and Reverend Chris Jones as well as St Matthews Primary and Windsor Public School students and teachers at a special ceremony to collect soil from Windsor War Memorial recently.

The Soil Collection Program is part of The Anzac Memorial Centenary Project Artwork by Fiona Hall which will create a new extension to the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park. The extension will open toward the end of the Centenary period in 2018. The project involves the collection of soil from 1,699 locations across NSW that were the addresses of Australians who enlisted for World War I.

The display of the soil from the War Memorials at Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce and Pitt Town will inform future generations of the enormity of the sacrifices made by the citizens of NSW on behalf of our country, and form a lasting record of the geographic reach of the Call to Serve.

I know we will all be very proud to have Hawkesbury soil from our various memorial sites included in the Artwork of the Anzac Memorial, in remembrance of the Hawkesbury soldiers who sacrificed so much for our freedom and our country.

12 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Have you heard about the ‘Live and Local Music Hawkesbury’ micro festival on this Saturday, 14 April at Kurrajong? Please see the program below. I’ll see you there!

The Kurrajong program

    • RAPT, at Feeding Frenze Café, at 10am, 11am and 12pm
    • Wombats Crossing, at The Village Kitchen Kurrajong, at 10:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm
    • Antoinetta and Friends, at Carey & Co., at 11am, 12pm and 1:30pm
    • Macquarie Towns Brass and Circus Solarus, roaming performances between 10am and 2pm.
  • I hope our Seniors have been making the most of the NSW Seniors Festival events in the Hawkesbury last week and this week. The Festival continues until this Sunday, 15 April 2018. The full program of events is at https://seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au/home While you’re out and about socialising at Seniors Festival events, it’s also a good time to think about your health and book in a check-up at the doctor’s or order a free bowel screening test kit.
    Recent data released by the Cancer Institute NSW has listed the Hawkesbury as having the highest bowel cancer rate in the Sydney region, and yet, if found early, 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated.
    Bowel cancer screening rates remain low when compared to other cancers, despite the introduction of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program which offers a free ‘at home’ screening kit to eligible Australians aged 50 to 74 years old.
    Eligible Australians are mailed their first free bowel screening Test Kit around their 50th Birthday. To request a Test Kit, just call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868 or go to www.cancerscreening.gov.au/bowel
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network has also commissioned Men's Health Services to run free ‘Get in Early’ men’s health education sessions in the Hawkesbury, between April and June, focusing on bowel cancer screening. Individuals and organisations can contact Greg Millan on 0417 772 390 or email greg@menshealthservices.com.au for more information or to book a free session for a group or workplace.

Mayoral Column

I am strongly aware that we have many concerned residents following the State Government’s announcement to set aside over 190 kilometres of draft corridors across the Greater Sydney Commission’s Western Parkland City. The draft corridors in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area specifically relate to the:

  • Outer Sydney Orbital (including the outer Sydney Freight Line) between Appin and Maraylya
  • Bells Line of Road-Castlereagh Connection between Kurrajong Heights and the M7.

All of the planning, and the location of the current corridors was determined by the State Government as was the timing of the release of the current corridor details and the nature of the community engagement. Council did not have access to any of the current corridor details before they became publically available on 26 March 2018.

Although the roads proposed to be built by the State Government within the corridors are potentially one to two decades away, it is still vital to have your say now, for both the impact it may have on you, your family and future generations.

I urge you to participate in the State Government’s community consultation initiatives:

While there is an exhibition period up until 1 June 2018 to have your say, the sooner you act, the more we can ensure that our community response is heard.

5 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

To help to reduce the use of disposable cups from our local cafes, Council has entered into an exciting new partnership with the Hawkesbury Environmental Network (HEN) and the nationally recognised Responsible Cafes.

Over three billion takeaway cups are used in Australia every year, almost none of which are recycled. Disposable cups and lids can take thousands of years to break down in the environment, contributing to land and marine pollution and threatening wildlife.

I met several café owners recently who have signed up and I’m delighted that we have their support. HEN volunteers have already visited 70 cafes to get them on board, which includes cafes in Windsor, Richmond, North Richmond, Kurmond, Kurrajong and Glossodia. The Responsible Cafes platform, which was featured on ABC TV’s ‘War on Waste’ series, encourages cafes to sell discounted reusable cups and to provide a discount to customers who bring a reusable cup for hot drinks.

As part of the Responsible Cafes program, Council will provide a limited number of FREE reusable cups to residents.at the 2018 Hawkesbury Show on 20-22 April. All you need to do is visit the Council tent and then sign a pledge to use the reusable cup when buying takeaway hot drinks.

Customers can ask their local café to join the program. Café owners who wish to participate can visit www.responsiblecafes.org or call Council’s Waste Education Officer on 4560 4566 for details. Together we can Keep the Hawkesbury Sustainable!

29 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

The 2018 Seniors Festival, now in its 60th year, is featuring a theme of Let’s Do it Together’, with the Hawkesbury region hosting plenty of events for Seniors. Events include a Curator’s Talk and free morning tea at our Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor called ‘Nostalgia: It’s Not What It Used To Be’, an Old Time Dance Lesson at Stan Stevens Studio, Deerubbin Centre, Windsor, and a free sausage sizzle and blood pressure testing at YMCA Hawkesbury Oasis (includes free entry). Eligible seniors can also claim one week's free access to Hawkesbury Oasis, just visit www.ymcansw.org.au/promotion/seniorsfestival to complete the form or in person at Hawkesbury Oasis - just make sure you lodge your form between 4 April to 15 April.

I’m also pleased to tell you that THE POPPY PROJECT will be launched on Friday, 13 April at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor from 10am to midday. This free event means you can be part of a project that aims to make 2,000 poppies for an installation to commemorate the WWI Armistice Day centenary. Bookings are essential by calling Sonia Ward on 4560 4460. Please bring you own knitting needles, crochet hooks and wool. Patterns will be provided

There is also the free Premiers Gala Concert for Seniors and the 2018 NSW Seniors Festival Expo, also free, both at Darling Harbour. For details about this, and hundreds of events and offers across NSW, visit https://seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au/home

22 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter has seen yet another influx of cats over the weekend. Council has made the outstanding decision to lower the price of overdue cats to a never before seen price, only $10. I encourage responsible owners to step up and if you can, get yourself a rescue cat from the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter today. It’s strictly for a limited time only.

    For Shelter opening hours and more information, please call the Shelter on 4560 4644 or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and click on the Animal Shelter link to see the photo gallery. The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter is located at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave and is open every day of the week.
  • Yesterday I joined many of our residents in the Hawkesbury to celebrate Harmony Day at Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium, which was a great place to be out of the rain. Council was very happy to support the event which was held by Ability Links, Hawkesbury Community Outreach Services and YMCA. It included face painting, jumping castle, Bollywood dancing, a free halal sausage sizzle and plenty of community information stalls.

    Harmony Day is about celebrating community diversity and inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background.

    Our latest Census data tell us that 7,942 people who were living in Hawkesbury City in 2016 were born overseas, which is over 11% of our community. Council's Community Strategic Plan states that Council will partner with community and key service providers to deliver outcomes which support a connected, healthy, and inclusive Hawkesbury.
  • My heart goes out to the residents of Tathra and local fire crews who fought the fires this week. Sadly, 65 homes were lost as well as other property but thanks to the firefighters and the community, no lives were lost. The Hawkesbury is prone to bushfires too, and we understand how quickly a bushfire can take over. I’m always thankful for the courageous work of our Rural Fire Service. This week’s rain has been a welcome change for us all. Even though it’s autumn, it’s still important to have a Bushfire Survival Plan. Download your guide from the plan and prepare link at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and discuss it with your family.

Mayoral Column

Have you heard about the micro music festival on this Saturday, 24 March at Richmond?

It’s called ‘Live and Local Music Hawkesbury’. It’s a wonderful initiative to help build the local arts scene and promote the Hawkesbury as a creative and vibrant place to live, work and visit. We have engaged a music curator to assemble some of our best emerging artists and experienced professionals from a wide variety of music styles. Local businesses will also appreciate, and benefit from, our community support. We’re showing off our local and Western Sydney talent and I hope to see you there! Here are the Richmond gigs:

  • Rotunda in Richmond Park – Macquarie Towns Brass - 10am then roaming
  • Paull's Richmond Mowers, 293 Windsor Street – The Belle Trio –10am-12:30pm
  • Crazies Café, 334 Windsor Street – Dani Madeline, Abbey Gardner, Amy Nelson –10:30am-2pm
  • Café Relish, 229 Windsor Street – Macquarie Towns String Quartet featuring Chelsea Routley –11am-2pm
  • The Right Bite Café, 219 Windsor Street – The Quokkas –11am-1:30pm
  • Park Mall Richmond, 209-211 Windsor Street – WomanSong, Hawkesbury Song Company, Chorella –10:15am-1pm
  • Feel the Steel Tattoo, 187a Windsor Street – Sharon White, Chloe –10:30am-1pm
  • McDonalds Richmond, 69 March Street – Empty Fish Tank, Divinia Eather, Bella Luchetti, TRU’ – 10:30am-2pm
15 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Our staff and volunteers at Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter do a great job and they’ve been flat out this week with an influx of cats.

    If you’re looking for an independent, easy to care for pet, you could think about a getting cat from our Shelter rather than a pet shop, and the great news is that cats are currently at a discounted price.

    Hawkesbury City Council receives cats from the four local government areas of Penrith, Hornsby, Hills and of course, Hawkesbury.

    Our Shelter staff are always happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have about caring for cats or what individual cats’ personalities are like to find one that suits you.

    For Shelter opening hours and more information, please call the Shelter on 4560 4644 or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and click on the Animal Shelter link to see the photo gallery. The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter is located at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave and is open every day of the week.
  • Have you hear about the micro music micro music festival coming up on Saturday, 24 March at Richmond? Dubbed ‘Live and Local Music Hawkesbury’, the micro music festival for Richmond will be held on Saturday, 24 March. I hope to see you there!

The Richmond program

  • Rotunda in Richmond Park – Macquarie Towns Brass - 10am then roaming
  • Paull's Richmond Mowers, 293 Windsor Street – The Belle Trio – gigs between 10am-12:30pm
  • Crazies Café, 334 Windsor Street – Dani Madeline, Abbey Gardner, Amy Nelson – gigs between 10:30am-2pm
  • Café Relish, 229 Windsor Street – Macquarie Towns String Quartet featuring Chelsea Routley – gigs between 11am-2pm
  • The Right Bite Café, 219 Windsor Street – The Quokkas – gigs between 11am-1:30pm
  • Park Mall Richmond, 209-211 Windsor Street – WomanSong, Hawkesbury Song Company, Chorella – gigs between 10:15am-1pm
  • Feel the Steel Tattoo, 187a Windsor Street – Sharon White, Chloe – gigs between 10:30am-1pm
  • McDonalds Richmond, 69 March Street – Empty Fish Tank, Divinia Eather, Bella Luchetti, TRU’ – gigs between 10:30am-2pm

Mayoral Column

Nominations for the 2018 Hawkesbury Sports Awards are now open and I urge you to nominate a well deserving sports person in our community. Proudly brought to you by Hawkesbury City Council and Lynwood Country Club, the awards acknowledge sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles.

Nominations are invited for one or more of the nine categories:

  • Sports Person of the Year
  • Junior Sports Person of the Year
  • Senior Sports Person of the Year
  • All Abilities Sports Person of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Official of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Sporting Excellence Medallion
  • Service to Sport Medallion.

Council has recognised hundreds of members of our sporting community for over ten years, and our Sports Awards Program has improved and evolved to reflect the high standards of our sportspeople. I encourage coaches, volunteers, team players and individual competitors of all ability levels to apply.

The online nominations form and criteria are now available on Council’s website http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/media/forms/australia-sports-awards-nomination-form

Nominations for the 2018 Hawkesbury Sports Awards close 5pm on Wednesday, 4 April 2018. Lynwood Country Club, Pitt Town will host a Presentation Dinner on Monday, 21 May 2018. More details will be available closer to the date. For further information, please call Council’s Events and Community Engagement Coordinator on 4560 4404.

8 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

I recently joined the Mayors from Penrith, Blue Mountains, Wollondilly, Campbelltown, Camden, Fairfield and Liverpool to sign a landmark agreement between Federal, State and Local Government called the Western Sydney City Deal. The agreement lays the foundations for a thriving, liveable and sustainable Western Parkland City.

The City Deal will establish a $150 million Liveability Fund, shared among the eight participating councils, as well as fund the first stage of a North-South rail link and target initiatives to create jobs.

I’m proud to be among the councils who have embraced this opportunity, as it will help to support a vibrant and resilient future for the Hawkesbury and transform the Western Sydney region.

The Hawkesbury needs to be included in significant projects like this; we are on the Western Sydney map and our region deserves every boost it can get.

To access the City Deal funding, local councils will also need to contribute funding. This will enable us to do even more for our community by combining the funds from Federal, State and Local Government. We have already identified funding opportunities for revitalising the Richmond and Windsor town centres, and to enhance access to the Hawkesbury River.

I’m truly optimistic that the Western City Deal will create a more connected and sustainable Western City. We are witnessing, and participating in, a significant and positive shift in collaborative projects, which is a sure sign of good things to come.

1 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • There are lots of events happening for International Women’s Day (officially Thursday, 8 March 2018) and here are some that Council is also proud to support and sponsor:
    • Bligh Park Neighbourhood Centre, 4 Sirius Road Bligh Park, will host a free morning tea with progressive play and conversation on Wednesday, 7 March from 10:30am to 11:30am. Parents with children are welcome. Call (02) 4572 5898 or email cdw@blighpark.org.au for more details.
    • North Richmond Community Centre is celebrating International Women’s Day jointly with The Women's Cottage on Thursday, 8 March from 10am to 1pm at 33 William Street, North Richmond. There will be a free movie screening of ‘Hidden Figures’ and a free morning tea with guest speakers. Child care will be available. Call (02) 4571 3748 or email manager@northrichmond.org.au
    • Glossodia Community Centre, Wednesday, 7 March from 10am to 12pm at 162 Golden Valley Drive, Glossodia. Morning tea with guest speakers. Parents with children are welcome. Call (02) 4576 5542 or email glossodiacc@ihug.com.au
  • Did you know that your library hosts free movies every month? I’m always amazed at how much our library offers.
    Master and Commander will screen at Hawkesbury Central Library on Thursday, 8 March at 10am and again at 6pm. The rated M movie was nominated for ten Oscar awards including ‘Best Picture’, and winner of the Oscar for ‘Best Cinematography’. It will screen in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor. Entry is free, however, bookings are essential via Eventbrite or call (02) 4560 4460.Free tea and coffee and you can even bring your popcorn and snacks!
  • Your library is also offering free workshops for seniors and I’ve been told many seniors enjoys the courses and the chance to meet others.
  • Introduction to using Tablets
    Monday, 12 March 6:15pm to7:45pm at Richmond Branch Library  
    Introduction to using Smart Phones
    Monday, 19 March 6:15pm to 7:45pm at Richmond Branch Library
  • Introduction to using Smart Phones
    Monday, 26 March 10am-midday at Hawkesbury Central Library
    In upcoming workshops in April and May, you will gain confidence and skills in downloading apps, using Facebook and practicing safe online shopping.
    These workshops are available for Library members. If you are not a member, you can join for free at the library. Participants need to bring along their own tablet or smartphone. Bookings are essential so phone (02)4560 4460.
    These workshops are available for Library members. If you are not a member, you can join for free at the library. Participants need to bring along their own tablet or smartphone. Bookings are essential so phone (02)4560 4460.
    Sessions will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor and Richmond Branch Library, 26 West Market Street, Richmond.

Mayoral Column

Did you know that we are renewing our parks and playgrounds? McLeod Park in South Windsor, Peel Park in North Richmond and Governor Phillip Park in Windsor are all going to get a boost that will make them so much better for our children and our whole community.  Council is about to commence works on Governor Phillip Park following valuable community consultation, which included meetings with the Touched by Olivia Foundation to ensure the design of an inclusive and safe playspace.

The Governor Phillip Park Master Plan will help to guide Council on how best improve the park and it will assist Council in applying for additional grant funding to continue the upgrade of this important regional facility.

Stage 1 works will also include a children’s bicycle path and play equipment to encourage balancing, climbing, sliding, spinning and exploration. Council will fund these improvements using a combination of Council’s capital works program, grant funding, and Section 94 developer contributions. I’m also pleased that, based on the feedback from the Touched by Olivia Foundation, Council has modified the design to include fencing around the playground for extra safety for children.

McLeod Park, South Windsor will also be upgraded. Have your say on three options available here.

A community workshop about Peel Park, North Richmond will be held on Thursday, 8 March 2018 from 6:30pm to 9pm at the North Richmond Community Centre, William Street, North Richmond. Visit here to register.

22 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I hope to see you all this Saturday, 24 February at ‘Jazz in the Park’ at Kurrajong Memorial Park on Old Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong. The evening will start at 5pm with local band Antoinetta and Friends playing some popular classics. This will be followed by two young up and coming groups from the Conservatorium of Music, the Emily- Rose Sarkova Trio and the White Ties.
    Proudly sponsored by Council and Bendigo Bank, Kurrajong Community Forum is presenting this outdoor jazz concert to bring the village to life with free entertainment.
    Bring a picnic or visit the local cafes and takeaway outlets for great food and refreshments. The evening concludes at 9pm. For further details, email fiona.smith132@gmail.com or call 0413 191 213. Also follow the latest updates on the Kurrajong Community Forum Facebook page
  • I know how much our residents take pride in the beautiful Hawkesbury. Clean Up Australia Day is coming up on Sunday, 4 March. This is your chance to clean up your local area which could bet the local park, reserve, favourite picnic spot or sporting ground. Simply follow this link to join an existing site or to choose your own site. You will be provided with a starter kit of 10-20 clean up bags and five pairs of gloves. I hope you will be able to participate in this national event.
  • Council will host a community workshop on Thursday, 8 March and it’s a great opportunity to have your say about upgrading Peel Park in North Richmond. The workshop will aim to clarify the recreational and sporting needs of our community as well as the role that Peel Park will play in meeting the current and future recreational needs of North Richmond residents and visitors.
    I encourage you to come along and help develop ideas for the next stages of the Peel Park Masterplan from 6:30pm to 9pm at the North Richmond Community Centre, William Street, North Richmond.
    Please register your attendance and complete the online survey about the project here. Just click on the web tile called Reinvigorating Parks, at the bottom of Council’s home page, and then follow the Peel Park link. For more information, call (02) 4560 4444 and ask for Council’s Parks and Recreation Manager.

Mayoral Column

As many of you know, I’m keen to see our levels of recycling increase to help our environment and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

That’s why Council runs an annual bin inspection program that encourages all Hawkesbury residents to ‘recycle right’. Another round of bin inspections will occur in March this year. Contracted inspectors will look in our recycling (yellow lid) and organics (green lid) bins to check for contamination, which means things that don’t belong in those bins.  Many of you, including children, are helping to keep contaminants out of recycling and organics bins, and we need to keep getting better.

Inspectors will check the content of your bins when they are out on the kerb, but rest assured, they won’t be going through your rubbish or tipping out your bin. If you are doing a great job, you will receive a green Smiley Face Bin Tag. If there is contamination, you will receive a red Contamination Sad Face Bin Tag that explains how to sort correctly.

For further information on what can actually go into your bins (such as no food scraps in the organics bin and no toys in the recycling bin), see the A-Z Reuse and Recycling Guide for the Hawkesbury and the Household Waste Guide on Council's website or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444 for a copy to be mailed out to you.

15 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

I hope to see you this Saturday, 17 February at Richmond Swimming Centre’s Pool Party from 11am to 2pm. We’ll have plenty of fun activities for everyone, not to mention free entry on the day.

Our fun activities will include a dunk tank (I’ve always been a water baby and I’ll definitely be having a  go), water slide, maze jumping castle, craft activities, giant games – Chess, Lego, Connect 4, Jenga, outdoor games – tug-o-war, sack races, three legged races, water and spoon races, helmet bucket challenge and a balloon artist.

Council is sponsoring a free sausage sizzle (expertly cooked by the Rotary Club of Richmond – thanks Rotary!), free entertainment, free giveaways for the first 100 people and even free snow cones!

This is another Council event designed for our community to get together and celebrate summer. It’s a great reason to leave your technology at home to jump into your local pool. Bring your family and friends!

Located at East Market Street, Richmond, Richmond Swimming Centre has three pools including a six lane Olympic pool, a shaded children’s playground, a kiosk and a half-court basketball area. The Centre has received several upgrades which include enhanced water quality and filtration, thermal blankets and change room upgrades and picnic areas. Richmond Swimming Centre is open seven days from September to April and offers swimming lessons, parties, club nights and squad sessions. For more information about the Centre, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call the Centre directly on 4578 1349.

8 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Hawkesbury City Council, LikeMind, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District and the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) are inviting organisations and individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing to join us at the Hawkesbury Meet Your Neighbour (MYN) networking event on Wednesday, 14 February from 12:45 pm to 4 pm at Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, 114 March St Richmond.

    This is an opportunity to:

    • Share what you are doing in relation to supporting people with mental health conditions
    • Find out what other organisations and mental health service providers are doing
    • Find ways to collaborate and work together to better connect people you support with local services and activities

    Meet Your Neighbour, is a Mental Health Coordinating Council approach to get connected - encouraging people and organisations with an interest in Mental Health to meet, learn more about each other and find ways to work better together. We look forward to meeting you.

    Tables are provided for you to promote your organisation - please bring along any material you would like to share and plenty of business cards.

    Past attendees include: CEOs, managers, team leaders, clinicians, community workers, disability workers, social workers, occupational therapists, registered nurses, program advisors, consumers, carers and so on.

    Everyone is welcome. RSVP essential through www.mynhawkesbury.eventbrite.com.au as light refreshments will be provided.

  • I’d also love to see you at the Hope Walk on Saturday, 17 February at 9:15am. It will start at the Richmond Tennis Courts, Windsor St, Richmond and finish at the Hawkesbury Visitors Information Centre, Clarendon. It’s an easy walk, and hopefully the weather is kind to us!

    This is a walk for hope to support families that have lost families and friends to death by suicide. Walk on this day to raise awareness about suicide, show that we care and break the stigma of suicide.

Mayoral Column

For the second year, Council had a Welcome to Country and a Smoking Ceremony before the annual term of meetings commenced. Erin Wilkins, a Darug woman opened proceedings with a Welcome to Country. The Smoking Ceremony followed Erin’s Welcome to Country and was conducted by Vicki Thom. Due to the extreme heat on the day Vicki used eucalyptus apple gum leaves dipped in water in place of smoke, using a brushing technique to sprinkle those in attendance with water from the leaves. Around 40 people were at the ceremony, including Councillors, local Aboriginal people and Aboriginal people from surrounding communities, as well as people who live and work in our area and others who maintain a special connection to the Hawkesbury.

The water was beautifully scented and refreshing on a hot day, and Vicki Thom kindly gave me the leaf branches afterwards. I have now placed the bunch on my desk as a special reminder of the ceremony.

This was the continuation of a relatively new tradition in which Council has resolved to hold a Smoking Ceremony before the first Council meeting of every year. A Smoking Ceremony is one of the most significant ancient ceremonies performed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for spiritual cleansing and to ward off bad spirits. I can confidently say that we all felt honoured to be there and to receive the spiritual cleansing and blessings. Thank you to everyone who attended and my thanks to Erin Wilkins and to Vicki Thom.

1 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council launched the Care Factor Survey www.placescore.org/hawkesbury in December 2017 to gather important research to help with to town centre revitalisation. The survey remains open until Wednesday, 7 February 2018 so please remember to share your priorities about what really makes a town centre great for you.

    We want to understand what is most important to you so we can prioritise investment that makes a difference. To do this we have partnered with PlaceScore, which, through its software and services, provides tools that improve engagement, transparency and measure the impact of investment.

    The Town Centre Care Factor survey www.placescore.org/hawkesbury that we asking residents, businesses and visitors to complete is like a ‘place census’ providing us with the data we need to make better decisions.

    We are now commencing the second stage of our research process; which will be Place Experience Assessments with local community members in 11 locations across the Hawkesbury. Your personal experience helps us to identify how a place is performing.

    Once we have the Care Factor and the assessments completed, we will be able to prioritise improvements in our centres based on solid research. This is exciting work and we are really looking forward to gaining invaluable insights into your priorities and your experiences.
  • For the first time ever, we celebrated Australia Day on the Hawkesbury with our Citizenship Ceremony, our Australia day Awards and our special community event which started in the afternoon and finished at 9pm with a magnificent fireworks display, thanks to our sponsors Windsor RSL, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, Hawkesbury Race Club, RAAF Base Richmond, Richmond Club and The Hawkesbury Gazette.

    The entire day was truly magnificent - many aspects of it were so fresh and new, and our community gratefully embraced the opportunity to enjoy a local Australia Day celebration.

    I am amazed at the attention to detail in the organisation of all the events - from the beautiful flowers for the ceremonies to the logistical organisation for vehicles, the layout of the area, the activities provided for families and the variety of experiences for a diverse array of people.

    What an incredible Australia Day we all had, with our own Hawkesbury flavour - including the huge variety of food truck that represented a United Nations of culinary experiences.  Thank you to everyone for coming and being such a wonderful crowd of Hawkesbury people. I think we are all proud to be in the Hawkesbury.

Mayoral Column

What a wonderful Australia Day we had, on the banks of the Hawkesbury! Our premiere event, ‘Australia Day on the Hawkesbury’ at Governor Phillip Park, saw families enjoy free family entertainment and a fireworks finale, proudly sponsored by Windsor RSL, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, Hawkesbury Race Club, Richmond Club and The Hawkesbury Gazette.

We welcomed 20 new citizens at our special Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and we also held our Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards with Jan Fran as our Australia Day Ambassador.

Our 2018 Citizen of the Year is Peter Webb, a member of the Western Sydney Suicide Prevention Network, who has recently started coordinating the newly formed Hawkesbury Group. He is responsible for several local ‘RUOK Day’ campaigns, and helped establish a local ‘Surviving Suicide Support Group’. Our 2018 Young Citizen of the Year is Adam Higgins, a resident of Blaxland’s Ridge and Rural Fire Service Cadet Program participant at Colo High School. He was Senior Deputy Cadet in 2016 and completed his Junior Basic Fire Fighting course with the local brigade in 2017.

Hawkesbury Camera Club received the Hawkesbury Community Arts Award and the 2018 Commemorative Plaque was unveiled for Sister Julia Bligh Johnston R.R.C. The Hawkesbury Cultural Heritage Award went to St Matthew’s Bicentennial Team and the 2018 Community Organisation of the Year is The Blue Datto Foundation.

Our 2018 Volunteer of the Year is Jodie Amor - Founder of the Pink Finss Charity for women and families dealing with cancer. Our Hawkesbury Local Hero is Peter Ross, who rescued a young girl from the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond. Our joint winners for the Hawkesbury Environmental Award are Jacki-Lyn Griffiths (WIRES) and Lily Spies (Windsor Public School).

25 January 2018

Mayoral Column

Tomorrow is Australia Day! We’ll be hosting our first ever Australia Day on the banks of the Hawkesbury at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor: It will be a wonderful day of celebrations.

First up will be our free BBQ breakfast and our Citizenship Ceremony at 8:45am, then our Australia Day Awards Ceremony at 10:30am. I’m delighted to welcome our entertaining and knowledgeable Australia Day Ambassador, Jan Fran, a popular journalist and broadcaster who currently hosts The Feed on SBSVICELAND. Jan writes, produces and presents everything from long form documentaries to sketch comedy segments for The Feed. Jan is a proud Lebanese Australian who has lived in Lebanon, France, Bangladesh and Uganda.

We will welcome 20 new citizens at our special Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony from a range for countries including Brazil, Canada, India, Lebanon, Malta, Northern Ireland, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom. All family, friends and community members are welcome. The Australia Day Awards Ceremony starts at 10:30am at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor. RSVP events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4404.

Council will also host its premiere special event, ‘Australia Day on the Hawkesbury’ from 4pm to 9pm at Governor Phillip Park, a free family fun and fireworks event,  proudly sponsored by Windsor RSL, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, Hawkesbury Race Club, Richmond Club and The Hawkesbury Gazette. For details visit Council’s homepage www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or Hawkesbury Events Facebook.

18 January 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Great neighbourhoods and town centres are thriving and resilient places with strong community engagement and leadership. This is not always easy to achieve.

The foundation to Hawkesbury City Council’s approach to town centre revitalisation is great research. We want to understand what is most important to you, so we can prioritise investment that makes a difference. To do this, we have partnered with PlaceScore, which, through its software and services, provides tools that improve engagement and transparency, while also measuring the impact of investment. The Town Centre Care Factor survey www.placescore.org/hawkesbury that we asking residents, businesses and visitors to complete is like a ‘place census’ providing us with the data we need to make better decisions.

We have had hundreds of people complete the Care Factor Survey since December, and we’re hoping everyone gets on board. The added value of this survey is that we can use it for future projects in town centres across the Hawkesbury. The Care Factor data lets us know what everyone cares about, and how different groups value different things - whether this is residents in different suburbs, businesses or people of different ages.

The survey is open until Wednesday, 7 February 2018 so please share your priorities about what really makes a town centre great for you. Data collection is one of the hardest things to achieve and we are proud that our community is engaging with this survey, proving that Hawkesbury residents care about their town centres. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please complete the Care Factor survey at www.placescore.org/hawkesbury

11 January 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

After celebrating Christmas with loved ones and friends, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our residents a very happy and safe New Year.

2018 is set to be a wonderful year full of great community events including the Hawkesbury Community Race Day on Wednesday, 24 January at The Hawkesbury Race Club – free entry for Hawkesbury residents and Defence Force personnel.

Council is kicking off 2018 with a free Australia Day community event, packed with entertainment, food and fireworks on the beautiful Hawkesbury River. I warmly invite you to ‘Australia Day on the Hawkesbury’, which will be held at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor on Friday, 26 January 2018.

Our special community day will start with a free BBQ from 8am, provided by the Rotary Club of Richmond and the Rotary Club of Kurrajong North Richmond. Council’s annual Citizenship ceremony will then take place from 8:45am. At 10:30am, the annual Australia Day Awards ceremony will commence. We will also have a RAAF flyover at 12:15pm in celebration of our new citizens and Australia Day.

Our afternoon event starts at 4pm, with a Travelling Food Fest, jumping castles, a giant water slide, face painting and lots of activities, finishing with a spectacular fireworks display. My thanks to all of our sponsors. To RSVP for the Awards ceremony or for more information about Australia Day on the Hawkesbury, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or email events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call Council’s Events Coordinator on 4560 4404.

21 December 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

Christmas is a chance for us to reflect on the events of the past year and to give generously, from the heart.

Thank you to our community members who have contributed to the annual Mayoral Christmas Appeal, which is run in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Richmond. It’s wonderful to see so many people, both younger and older, donating presents for children and adults in need. The appeal has provided thousands of gifts for less fortunate residents of the Hawkesbury over many years.

Thank you to the service clubs, churches and community groups who have gathered residents together for the various Carols by Candlelight and Christmas activities held around the Hawkesbury. Many of these events provide fundraising for charities.

Let’s make Christmas not only a time to give but also to recycle. Following on from a successful program that is now becoming a Council tradition, ratepayers who currently receive the domestic waste service will get extra recycling services from Monday, 1 January 2018 until Friday, 26 January 2018.  Just put your recycling bin out for collection every week on your scheduled garbage bin collection day (red or black lid) to take advantage of this free service.

Christmas is the time of giving, community celebrations, festivities, hope and joy. I hope you all have the opportunity to spend time with or contact family, friends and loved ones. On behalf of Hawkesbury City Councillors and staff, I wish you all a happy and safe festive season.

14 December 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

Over the past couple of weeks Hawkesbury City Councillors and I have been attending local school presentation assemblies to award Hawkesbury City Council School Citizenship Awards to deserving students.

Students are selected for these awards by their schools for a number of reasons including academic achievements, contribution to the school community or perhaps for displaying personal qualities important to the school’s spirit. Recipients receive a certificate and a book voucher.

It has been a delight to meet so many talented young people within our community who are dedicated to their studies and their school life. It has also been a great opportunity to learn of some of the many projects and activities that our young people are participating in through their schools.

As in previous years, Council will be operating with reduced staffing levels from

Friday, 22 December 2017 until Tuesday, 2 January 2018.

Importantly, we will also have a new Customer Service Telephone Contact Centre (phone 4560 4444) which will operate Wednesday, 27 December 8:30am to 5pm, Thursday, 28 December 8:30am to 5pm, Friday, 29 December 8:30am to 3pm. An after-hours telephone service will operate outside business hours from the general Council phone number, which is 4560 4444. For more details on all Council hours, please visit www.hawkebury.nsw.gov.au

7 December 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

Local residents visiting Bligh Park Community Centre Precinct this weekend will appreciate the new park furniture that has been installed recently.

There was plenty of goodwill at Bligh Park last week when I met our local Lions Club members at Bligh Community Centre Precinct.

We were celebrating the wonderful donation of $2794 from Hawkesbury South Lions Club for park furniture as part of their Centenary Project, with Hawkesbury City Council contributing $5000 for the concrete slab and installation.

It was such a pleasure to see the smiling demeanour of President David Brown, who was clearly thrilled to make a difference to the local community as part of the 100 year anniversary of Lions Clubs International.

Thanks to the generous donation from Hawkesbury South Lions Club, everyone can enjoy this new furniture which makes this Precinct an even more pleasant place to relax with family and friends.

Thank you to everyone who donated money to Hawkesbury South Lions Club, and to all the members and volunteers of the Club for their continued efforts for our community. It’s wonderful to see real partnerships between Council and local organisations that are strengthening our sense of community.

Bligh Park Community Centre Precinct is located at 4 Sirius Road, Bligh Park. It offers free or low cost services and programs for residents of Bligh Park and South Windsor. The adjoining hall is also available for hire for special events and to groups who offer classes or programs to local community members. For more information, email mainoffice@blighpark.org.au or call 4572 5898.

Mayoral Column

23 November 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

It’s been great getting so much positive feedback about our new ‘Plastic Bag Free Hawkesbury’ campaign!  Council launched this community-supported campaign, which aims to reduce the amount of plastic bags used in our local area, during National Recycling Week.

Like you, I am very concerned about the negative impact of single use plastic bags on our local environment and unique wildlife.

I recently met students from Windsor Public School who have written letters to me, as well as other politicians, outlining why plastic bags are such a significant problem.

I also visited Kurrajong Public School students on 10 November to listen to their concerns about the negative environmental impacts of plastic bags. Kurrajong Public School has been involved in Boomerang Bags and students have also surveyed local businesses in Kurrajong urging them to stop using plastic bags.

Already there has been an amazing level of community action by local residents including ‘Boomerang Bags’, which is a group made up of dedicated members who create reusable bags from disused materials and then provide them to shoppers at events such as the Richmond Saturday Markets. If you’d like to help Boomerang Bags at one of their bag making days, please search on Facebook for Boomerang Bags Hawkesbury and Boomerang Bags Kurrajong.

Other local schools that would like to address this issue are encouraged to contact Council’s Waste Education Officer by email justin.murphy@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4566, as Council would like to highlight the efforts of our local students.

Mayoral Column

With so many great events coming, I’ve tried to list just a few for you - see Hawkesbury Events on Facebook, the Visitor Information Centre and other websites to find out more Christmas events and markets coming your way!

  • East Kurrajong Christmas Twilight Markets on Saturday, 25 November 2017 from 4pm-8pm at East Kurrajong School of Arts Hall, 1090 East Kurrajong Road, East Kurrajong. There will be stalls with vintage, collectables, homemade and home grown items, jewellery, stamps and coins, clothing and more.
  • Rotary Market on Saturday 25 November 2017 from 8am to 1:30pm. Free Local crafts, foods and gifts - hosted by the Rotary Club of Richmond.
  • Australiana Pioneer Village Birthday Celebrations will be this Sunday, 26 November 2017. Adults $5, Children $3, $15 family of 4

The Australiana Pioneer Village is turning 47! Enjoy a fun filled day for the entire family with music on the stage, birthday games, birthday cake and more! 10am-4pm at Australiana Pioneer Village, Rose Street, Wilberforce. Adults $5, Children $3, $15 family of four.

  • Light Up Windsor will be held on Thursday, 30 November 2017 from 6pm to 9pm. Join the excitement as Windsor Mall gets all Christmassy with free live entertainment plus carols by candlelight, bands, choirs, dance groups, school groups, market stalls and photos with Santa. Refreshments available for purchase. Organised by the Windsor Business Group. Council is proud to sponsor Light Up Windsor, a free family events with performances, a visit from Santa and I’ll even be turning on the Christmas lights at 8pm!
  • Twilight Markets at Australiana Pioneer Village Friday, 1 December 2017 from 5pm-9pm

Adults $5, Children $3, $15 family of four. This sounds like a magical night as the Village lights up with thousands of twinkling lights. The twilight markets will include 35-45 stalls, food stalls & coffee van. Christmas entertainment throughout the Village with a choir, live music and a ‘snow’ tent. Santa will arrive at 7pm, with photo opportunities available.

  • Coming up in December: Hanna Park Carols in 2017 is always an amazing Christmas event not to be missed! It will be held from 4:30pm to 9:30pm on Saturday, 23 December 2017.

This free family event is sponsored by many local organisations including Hawkesbury City Council, with free food, drinks, rides, entertainment and a fly in visit by Santa. There are free kids activities, a change to sing Christmas carols all together, colouring competition prizes and fireworks! More information at www.hannaparkcarols.org

Weekly markets

  • Windsor Mall Sunday Markets, George Street, Windsor. Held every Sunday 8:30am to 3:30pm. One of the Hawkesbury's longest running markets with stalls, local craft, clothing, food and entertainment.
  • Richmond Good Food Market - every Saturday 8am-1pm. Showcasing the best of the Hawkesbury's local produce, crafts and food situated beside the central Richmond Park.
  • Bilpin Markets - every Saturday 10am-12pm. Local market featuring food, craft and local fruit and vegetables.
16 November 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Around 80 local business representatives came along to Council’s first Meet and Greet evening at Hawkesbury Regional Museum last week. I enjoyed meeting so many people form our local business community and to see them forming connections with each other.  Our Councillors, Council’s General Manager Peter Conroy and Council Directors were also on hand to meet and talk about future prospects for business in the Hawkesbury.


    Thank you to everyone who came along, we all had a very collegial and productive night. Thank you also the Museum staff who so kindly let us fill their Museum with people. It was great to make use of this wonderful Council asset – it also gave our business community the chance to see our current exhibitions.

  • Just a reminder that the giant book sale starts today at Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor from 9am. It goes until Tuesday, 21 November during Library opening hours - while stocks last.

  • Looking for something to do this summer? Be rewarded just for reading from 1 December 2017 until 31 January 2018 through the Library’s Rewarding Reads program.

    Hawkesbury Library Service will reward its members with a number of incentives including increased loans and borrowing bonuses where you can enter the draw to win weekly prizes.

    If you need more time, you can renew your items for a further three weeks at the end of the first loan period by phone, online or at the Library located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

    For more information about this program, please contact Hawkesbury Central Library on 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your enquiry.

Mayoral Column

I would like to ask all Hawkesbury residents and business owners to help spread the joy of Christmas by donating gifts to the 2017 Mayoral Christmas Appeal which will be launched at 10am on Tuesday, 28 November at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. There will be entertainment, a free morning tea and from 11am, a special visit from Puddles, the Reading Dragon followed by Christmas themed stories, songs and craft for children.

The Appeal collects toys and other Christmas presents for children and adults of all ages, to help bring extra joy to those families who find Christmas time an extra struggle.

Since 2012, the Mayoral Christmas Appeal has been run in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Richmond’s successful Tree of Joy program, which has provided thousands of gifts to less fortunate Hawkesbury residents over the last 17 years.

Collection boxes and tags will be available from Council’s Administration Building in Windsor, Hawkesbury Central Library in Windsor and Richmond Branch Library from Monday, 20 November 2017. Gifts may also be donated to the Mayoral Christmas Appeal on the day of the launch as tags will be available if you bring a gift and match it with a tag.

Please donate your gifts by Friday, 15 December so they get delivered by Christmas. There are three gift collection points – Council’s Administration Building in Windsor or the libraries in Richmond or Windsor.

9 November 2017

Mayoral Column

Kurrajong Village will be a hive of activity linking pollinators with food production at Kurrajong-A-Buzz on Sunday, 19 November 2017, from 10am to 2pm, to celebrate pollinator week. This free family event is being organised by Kurrajong Community Forum and Hawkesbury City Council is a proud sponsor of the event.

Pollinators drive biodiversity, and over 75% of the world’s flowering plants rely on insect pollinators to reproduce. The Hawkesbury’s gardens, farmlands, waterways and bushland are ideal for creating an environment that supports a range of these vital insects.

This event promotes the importance of pollinators in a way that is fun and educational and there will be activities, stalls and information for all ages, as well as a fundraising BBQ.

You can learn about how to create a pollinator paradise by maintaining a welcoming environment for birds and insects.

Native plants supplied by Hawkesbury Community Nursery and exotic plants that attract pollinators will be available for purchase. Honey producers and stalls will also be set up along the main street of Kurrajong.

The Kurrajong-a-Buzz Community Forum welcomes the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah this year, which will be entertaining and educating visitors with speakers, activities and games around pollination and other plant-animal interactions.

For the latest updates follow Kurrajong-a-Buzz on Facebook or contact Elizabeth Docking radocking@bigpond.com or 0438 670 753 or Lyn Ward lynward486@yahoo.com.au or 0411 107 456.

2 November 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I was delighted to spend some time with our local school students who were enjoying Dream Cricket Day at Richmond Oval last week. So many smiling faces as they played cricket with each other! Dream Cricket introduces primary school students with a disability to the game of cricket with the help of Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW and the Bradman Foundation. I want to congratulate the Rotary Club of Richmond for organising the event and running it so smoothly, especially Tony Miller who looks after the Dream Cricket event, as well as the schools who participated and their caring teachers. Congratulations to all the children who won prizes on the day.
  • Hawkesbury City Council is looking for community groups, churches, sporting organisations and schools that hold events for Christmas to be part of a Christmas Calendar of events for the Hawkesbury.

    The program of events will be publicised through Council’s channels and will include advertisements, flyers and banners.

    Promoting Christmas events in the calendar provides organisations the unique opportunity to reach a wider audience and it is free. It is also a positive opportunity to promote events in the Hawkesbury to our surrounding areas.

    To submit details about your event for the Christmas Calendar, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and complete the registration form. Forms must be submitted by 5pm Friday, 17 November 2017 to be included.

    For any queries on the Christmas Calendar of events please contact Council’s Events Coordinator on 4560 4404 or email events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
  • I’ve recently been informed about a new Climate Council report that is warning of escalating bushfire costs as a result of climate change. The ‘Bushfires in ‘New South Wales: Earlier, More Frequent, More Dangerous’, report shows  bushfire costs in New South Wales are likely to more than double by mid-century to over $100 million per year. These estimates are conservative, because they do not factor in climate change. See the full report http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/nsw-bushfires-2017 The warm, dry winter we’ve just had has greatly increased bushfire risk in the coming season, and as this new report notes, it’s only set to get worse due to climate change. While we’re managing bushfire impacts through hazard reduction burns and fire trails, we also need to act now to reduce our pollution levels to bring this bushfire risk back under control. Taking steps to reduce our emissions will ultimately help to protect our area from extreme weather impacts such as bushfires.

    Bushfire conditions are tipped to reach ‘above normal’ this summer, with more hot and dry conditions forecast. Communities, emergency services and the health sector must be prepared, in a bid to protect residents across the state from worsening fire danger conditions.

    For information on how to prepare your Bush Fire Survival Plan and Emergency Survival Kit please visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Mayoral Column

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards. The awards are a great way for the community to recognise outstanding people in the Hawkesbury. Community members can nominate in one or more of nine categories including Citizen/Young Citizen of the Year, Local Hero and Volunteer of the Year.

It’s wonderful to see an abundance of worthy individuals and organisations are nominated each year for these awards and I’m looking forward to seeing the list of nominees for the 2018. As a special thank you, all nominators will go into a draw to win one of five $100 Coles/Myer gift cards.

You can nominate in one or more of these categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Local Hero Award
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Community Arts Award
  • Cultural Heritage Award
  • Environmental Award

Council’s Civic and Citizenship Committee also makes nominations for the Commemorative Plaque and the Community Organisation of the Year. The Committee is responsible for assessing all nominations received, with judging to take place in early December.

The winners will be announced on Australia Day, Friday, 26 January 2018 at a special awards presentation. Nominations close on Friday, 10 November 2017 at 5pm. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for more information - all nominations need to be completed online this year.

26 October 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Award winning, best-selling author Judy Nunn will visit at Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 14 November from 10:30am to 12pm to talk about her latest novel, Sanctuary. Some of you may even remember her acting roles in various Aussie TV soapies such as a The Box, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters and Home and Away. Judy’s latest novel follows the tribulations of a group of refugees whose rickety wooden dingy runs aground on a barren island off the coast of Western Australia, and a tiny fishing community forty kilometres away on the mainland where nothing ever changes – until now. It is a tale of the human spirit where compassion meets bigotry, hatred meets love, and ultimate despair meets hope on the windswept shores of Australia. Judy’s career has been long, illustrious and multifaceted. After combining her internationally successful acting career with scriptwriting for television and radio, Judy decided to turn her hand to prose. She has since developed a love of writing Australian historically-based fiction and her fame as a novelist has spread rapidly throughout Europe where she is published in English, German, French, Dutch, Czech and Spanish.  Copies of Judy’s book will be available for purchase and signing. This is a free event with refreshments included. Booking are essential, to book go to www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4460. The event will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor.
  • Come along to the giant book sale at Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor from 9am on Thursday, 16 November until Tuesday, 21 November during Library opening hours - until stocks run out.

    The Library will have fiction and non-fiction books, as well as DVDs and CDs for children, teens and adults.Grab a bargain and discover some hidden treasures at the same time. The book sale will be held in the Charles Harpur Room, located within Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. For more information, call the Library on 4560 4460.

    Award winning, best-selling author Judy Nunn will visit at Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 14 November from 10:30am to 12pm to talk about her latest novel, Sanctuary
  • Kurrajong-A-Buzz will be held on Sunday, 19 November, at Kurrajong Village to celebrate pollinator week. I encourage you to come along and bring your friends and families. This free event is being organised by Kurrajong Community Forum with Hawkesbury City Council as a proud sponsor of the event.

    This year Kurrajong-a-Buzz welcomes Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens Mount Tomah staff as part of the event, which will be entertaining and educating visitors with speakers, activities and games around pollination and other plant-animal interactions.

    Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens Mount Tomah has also arranged for Dr Megan Halcroft, the original initiator of Pollinator Week in Australia, to speak on the importance of pollinators and native bees. Dr Halcroft’s free presentation will be held at Memorial Park in Kurrajong from 11:15am.

    As well as many other free activities, you can visit the ‘Buzz Zone’ at Memorial Park where farmers, environmental educators and native bee enthusiasts will be available to answer questions. A Pollinator Passport will entice visitors to learn about pollination, finishing with a planting activity and the chance to win prizes.

    The ‘Challenge Zone’ in the village will be the place to challenge the brain with pollinator themed free activities and the chance to win prizes. For children, the ‘Kids Zone’ will have bug themed activities including dress ups and face painting.  For the latest updates follow Kurrajong-a-Buzz on Facebook or contact Elizabeth Docking radocking@bigpond.com or 0438 670 753 or Lyn Ward lynward486@yahoo.com.au or 0411 107 456.

Mayoral Column

I know we all love the Hawkesbury and this Sunday is the time to really ‘Love Where We Live’ by getting involved in the Graffiti Removal Day. Volunteers are encouraged to meet at the reserve at the end of Youl Place, Bligh Park at 9:30am on Sunday, 29 October.

Graffiti vandalism costs local businesses, households, NSW Government and Hawkesbury City Council millions of dollars each year. This is money which could be invested into roads, sporting facilities, schools and hospitals.

Graffiti is one of the most visible crimes in our community. This initiative increases the sense of safety and pride in the community, as well as increasing the value of property by keeping buildings and structures in the area clean.

Council and Rotary are committed to combating graffiti, which is why we are proud to be working with the NSW Government, Graffiti Removal Australia and great sponsors such as Dulux, Selleys and Smart Graffiti on this event.

Over 1500 volunteers removed more than 20,500m2 of graffiti from 460 sites in NSW last year and I hope this year will be even bigger and better.

As a volunteer, you will be supplied with cleaning products, paint, safety equipment and training on how to safely remove graffiti. If you can’t make it on the Day, you can still support this great event by promoting it on Facebook, Instagram Twitter and Snapchat using the hashtags #GRD17 and #LoveWhereWeLive

19 October 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Are you looking to complete those unfinished craft projects? Come along to Hawkesbury Central Library on Saturday, 28 October from 10am-6pm, for an opportunity to spread out your work in a place without interruptions for an eight hour craft marathon.

    Come along to meet like-minded crafters or organise a group of friends to attend and get your craft on! Tea and coffee will be provided however BYO craft supplies and equipment. This activity is free but bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call the Library on 4560 4460.
  • Do you want to comment on Council’s Draft Supplementary Resourcing Strategy and Delivery Programs? Now is your chance, while Council currently has these important draft documents on public exhibition until Friday, 10 November 2017.

    Interested community members are also invited to come and discuss the plans with Council staff on Thursday, 2 November 6pm to 8pm at the Stan Stevens Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor or on Monday, 6 November from 3pm to 5:30pm at North Richmond Community Centre.

    The Draft Supplementary Resourcing Strategy 2017–2027 includes Long Term Financial Planning, Asset Management Planning and Workforce Planning. The Draft Supplementary Delivery Program 2017–2021 turns the strategic goals within the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 into actions.

    Community members can view the publicly available documents at Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and hard copies can also be viewed and collected at:
    • Council's Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor
    • Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor
    • Richmond Branch Library, 29 West Market Street, Richmond
    • North Richmond Community Centre, 33 William Street, North Richmond.
  • Did you know that Hawkesbury Central Library plays free movies for the community? Movies @ your Library events are held on the second Thursday of the month, except for January.  

    An Australian comedy classic, The Club, will be screened at Hawkesbury Central Library on Thursday, 9 November at 10am and again at 6pm, in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor. 

    Entry is free but bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4460. Tea and coffee are available before the screenings and everyone is also welcome to bring along snacks and drinks. The movie runs for 95 minutes and is rated PG. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult, with suitability for viewing at the discretion of the parent/carer.

Mayoral Column

Winners of the 2017 Hawkesbury Garden Competition were announced last night at Windsor RSL. Congratulations to all entrants and winners who put a great deal of time, effort and planning into their gardens.

37 entries in eight categories were received for this year’s competition, with the honour of Grand Champion Garden awarded to Mary Want, who received a perpetual trophy engraved with all the names of previous Grand Champion winners, and a bounty pack of other prizes.

All entries were divided into three regions: North, South and West and an overall best garden for each region was determined by the independent judge, Patrick McManus, who had a difficult time choosing the best gardens from the high quality entries.

Schools also proudly participated in the garden competition. Ebenezer Public School won Best Regional Garden - North, Paul Evans won Best Regional Garden - South and Mary Want won Best Regional Garden - West.

Council proudly sponsors the competition and the prize presentation, and assists with administration, which helps the Hawkesbury Camera Club organise the competition and photograph the beautiful gardens, which is of course a very pleasurable task in our beautiful Hawkesbury region.

Thank you also to our sponsor Windsor RSL for providing the venue for our presentation and the many other local business who supported this year’s competition.

12 October 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council is hosting a free business breakfast on Wednesday, 18 October from 7:30am to 9:30am at Windsor Function Centre to launch the ‘Nepean Jobs for All’ Project in the Hawkesbury - and I invite all interested local business owners to come along. You can RSVP for the Hawkesbury business breakfast by contacting Celia Bishop, Penrith City Council on 4732 7838 or by email celia.bishop@penrith.city
    Building an inclusive, diverse workforce benefits everyone – your employees, your organisation and the community as a whole; it makes good business sense.
    The Project provides business leaders and employers with access to online information, training and resources as well as breakfast style forums to help remove barriers to employing people with disability and unleash the benefits of an inclusive workforce. 
    The Australian Government provides supports to businesses looking to employ people with a disability, including funding for workplace changes, buying equipment and access to services.

    Nepean Jobs for All is a partnership project of Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury City Councils, funded by National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program.
  • I think the process of making art can be quite therapeutic… have you ever wanted to explore art therapy? If so, come along to an ‘Unlock Your Unconscious’ workshop on Tuesday, 24 October from 10:30am to 12:30pm, presented jointly by Hawkesbury Library Service and Hawkesbury House. In this hands-on and interactive session, participants will be introduced to art therapy and participate in an art therapy session focused on strengthening positive emotions. This workshop is $30 with all art material included and will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor. Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com.au or call 4560 4460. Refreshments provided.
  • Council is working with Hawkesbury River Country Council (HRCC) to better coordinate weed management strategies in our region. Council and HRCC staff, plus our many valued Bushcare volunteers, are the first line of defence against many noxious weeds in our area, for example Blackberry, Green Cestrum and Cat’s Claw Creeper.  Council’s Bushcare newsletter, Weed All About It, highlights weed issues and details the work of volunteers who are helping to rid the Hawkesbury of weeds. Visit http://hrcc.nsw.gov.au For more information about noxious weeds .You can also visit http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au to check out WeedWise, which contains over 300 noxious and environmental weeds, with information about weed control and the Noxious Weeds Act (1993). To join a Hawkesbury Bushcare group and help with weed control and Bushland regeneration, or to subscribe to our Bushcare newsletter, contact Council’s Community Bushcare Officer on 4560 4525.

From the Mayor’s Desk 17-10-12

  • Council is hosting a free business breakfast on Wednesday, 18 October from 7:30am to 9:30am at Windsor Function Centre to launch the ‘Nepean Jobs for All’ Project in the Hawkesbury - and I invite all interested local business owners to come along. You can RSVP for the Hawkesbury business breakfast by contacting Celia Bishop, Penrith City Council on 4732 7838 or by email celia.bishop@penrith.city
    Building an inclusive, diverse workforce benefits everyone – your employees, your organisation and the community as a whole; it makes good business sense.
    The Project provides business leaders and employers with access to online information, training and resources as well as breakfast style forums to help remove barriers to employing people with disability and unleash the benefits of an inclusive workforce. 
    The Australian Government provides supports to businesses looking to employ people with a disability, including funding for workplace changes, buying equipment and access to services.

    Nepean Jobs for All is a partnership project of Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury City Councils, funded by National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program.
  • I think the process of making art can be quite therapeutic… have you ever wanted to explore art therapy? If so, come along to an ‘Unlock Your Unconscious’ workshop on Tuesday, 24 October from 10:30am to 12:30pm, presented jointly by Hawkesbury Library Service and Hawkesbury House. In this hands-on and interactive session, participants will be introduced to art therapy and participate in an art therapy session focused on strengthening positive emotions. This workshop is $30 with all art material included and will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor. Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com.au or call 4560 4460. Refreshments provided.
  • Council is working with Hawkesbury River Country Council (HRCC) to better coordinate weed management strategies in our region. Council and HRCC staff, plus our many valued Bushcare volunteers, are the first line of defence against many noxious weeds in our area, for example Blackberry, Green Cestrum and Cat’s Claw Creeper.  Council’s Bushcare newsletter, Weed All About It, highlights weed issues and details the work of volunteers who are helping to rid the Hawkesbury of weeds. Visit http://hrcc.nsw.gov.au For more information about noxious weeds .You can also visit http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au to check out WeedWise, which contains over 300 noxious and environmental weeds, with information about weed control and the Noxious Weeds Act (1993). To join a Hawkesbury Bushcare group and help with weed control and Bushland regeneration, or to subscribe to our Bushcare newsletter, contact Council’s Community Bushcare Officer on 4560 4525.
5 October 2017

Mayoral Column

It is with much excitement that I invite you to the ‘The Cathedral of the Hawkesbury’: 200 years of St Matthews Anglican Church exhibition opening on Saturday, 7 October from 2pm to 4pm at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum at 8 Baker Street, Windsor. On display will be never-before-seen objects including a beautiful 1835 wedding dress, as well as items from the church vault including the original Communion Cup. It is free and everybody is welcome to this ongoing exhibition.

By foundation stone, St Matthew’s is the oldest Anglican church in Australia. It is also acknowledged as one of Australia’s most beautiful buildings.

On Saturday, 14 October there will be the St Matthew’s Anglican Church Big Birthday Bash, with a free bus operating between the Museum at 8 Baker Street, Windsor, St Matthew’s Anglican Church at 1 Moses Street, Windsor (McQuade Park) and the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery at 300 George Street, Windsor. Community and family celebrations at the church will include entertainment, stalls, food, tours and a RAAF fly-over.

The Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is also showing a special exhibition, titled Pure Greenway from Saturday, 14 October. It will be a selection of works focusing on the architecture and aesthetics of the church, and its brilliant architect, Francis Greenway.

There will also be a white gloves session and Curator’s talk at the Museum on Saturday, 28 October at 2pm. Please join our splendid Curator, Rebecca Turnbull, for a hands-on session and a close look at some of the fascinating objects in the exhibition. It only costs $5 and includes refreshments and gloves. Bookings are essential via Eventbrite www.hawkesburymuseum.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4655.

28 September 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Local Business Awards run by Precedent Productions Pty Ltd. Various awards were presented including Business of the Year, Youth Business Person of the Year and the Community Access and Inclusion Award, which acknowledges initiatives from business that improve accessibility. Council has been a major sponsor of the Local Business Awards over many years to help support the local business community. Visit https://thebusinessawards.com.au to see all the winners, including Business Person of the Year, Karen Lebsanft of Kurrajong Kitchens.
  • You haven’t missed the Sydney Blues & Roots Festival, relax! I am very happy to report that the Ninth Annual Sydney Blues & Roots Festival, proudly sponsored by Council, will be held on Friday, December through to Sunday, 3 December, for more details in the lead up to the event, visit http://sydneybluesandrootsfestival.com
  • Did you know that today is Right to Know Day?
    Right to Know Day, 28 September 2017, is an international, annual event that aims to increase awareness of people’s right to access government information and open, transparent governance.
    NSW is marking the occasion as Right to Know Week from 25 September to 1 October 2017 to raise awareness about access to government information in NSW.
    I am proud to tell you that I have signed up as a Right to Know Champion for Hawkesbury City Council. This year's theme is 'Right to Information: Open and accountable government and the media's role' in which:
    • Open government builds community trust
    • Government transparency strengthens community participation and our democracy
    • Community access to government-held information keeps us accountable and transparent.

    This means that:

    • You have a right to access government information
    • We have a responsibility to release government information
    • Communities have the right to know, and governments have a responsibility to share.

    Visit http://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au/news-media/events/right-know-week-2017 for more information.

  • Jenny Joyce will be the guest speaker at the next Hawkesbury Family History Group meeting on Wednesday, 11 October and she will explain the many online resources available about London families. A lot of family history records can now be found online including births, deaths and marriage registers, census records, newspapers, wills, criminal records and much more.
    Jenny Joyce has been researching her own family history for many years, and is also a researcher, lecturer, teacher and writer. She is currently the President of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.
    I encourage anyone interested to attend this free event. The meeting starts at 10am and bookings are not required. Refreshments will be available after the meeting. The Library is located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

Mayoral Column

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards. The awards are a great way for the community to recognise outstanding people in the Hawkesbury. Community members can nominate in one or more of nine categories including Citizen/Young Citizen of the Year, Local Hero and Volunteer of the Year.

It’s wonderful to see an abundance of worthy individuals and organisations are nominated each year for these awards and I’m looking forward to seeing the list of nominees for the 2018. As a special thank you, all nominators will go into a draw to win one of five $100 Coles/Myer gift cards.

You can nominate in one or more of these categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Local Hero Award
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Community Arts Award
  • Cultural Heritage Award
  • Environmental Award

Council’s Civic and Citizenship Committee also makes nominations for the Commemorative Plaque and the Community Organisation of the Year. The Committee is responsible for assessing all nominations received, with judging to take place in early December.

The winners will be announced on Australia Day, Friday, 26 January 2018 at a special awards presentation. Nominations close on Friday, 10 November 2017 at 5pm. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for more information - all nominations need to be completed online this year.

21 September 2017
  • My heartfelt thanks to our wonderful Hawkesbury community for your generous and immediate support in crowdfunding for the stolen Marriage Equality banner at Council’s Administration Building this week. Over $1000 was raised and it meant that we could replace the banner and re-install it. I would also like to point out that Council has Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) enabled around its Administration Building for security.
    Last Sunday’s theft (17 September) of the banner has only made people even more aware and supportive of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual community in the Hawkesbury.
    Council is proud to support Marriage Equality, and, along with the banner, which states: ‘Hawkesbury City Council supports Marriage Equality. Vote Yes’, a rainbow flag is also flying outside Council Chambers until the postal survey for same sex marriage concludes on 7 November.
  • With the hot summer weather upon us snakes are out and about in the Hawkesbury region.  I’m always in the lookout for snakes when I’m walking around Kurrajong. Summer is also the time that many locals like to get out and explore our surrounding national parks and rivers.
    The Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre now stocks an excellent Snake Bite Kit for only $19 which includes an emergency action card, two heavy compression bandages, two triangle bandages and detailed snake bite first aid instructions. These same instructions are used in ‘wilderness first aid courses’ throughout Australia.
    To buy the Snake Bite Kit and find out more about the range of bushwalks in the Hawkesbury drop into the Visitor Information Centre at Ham Common (opposite the RAAF base), which is open 7 days with wonderful, friendly staff at 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond (a short walk from Clarendon train station).  You can also call the VIC on 4560 4620 for more information.
  • While I’m on the subject of the Visitor Information Centre, I’m happy to let you know that families can collect a booklet ‘Best Cycle Rides Around The Hawkesbury’ free to the first 150 families that visit the Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre in Clarendon and ask for the booklet – but hurry, the offer ends Sunday, 1 October.
    Usually priced at $6, this handy, pocket sized guide contains twelve rides, maps and detailed routes, road and safety recommendations and latest cycling rules. All levels of cyclists are catered for – from beginners and children, to the more experienced recreational rider.
    NSW Bike Week is an annual celebration of cycling and road safety during 16–24 September 2017 and it’s a great time for local and visiting cyclists to enjoy the benefits of local cycleways and shared paths, while enjoying many of the scenic attractions around the Hawkesbury. Visit www.transportnsw.info/bikeweek for information regarding NSW Bike Week events which run throughout September in various part of Sydney and NSW.

Mayoral Column

I’m pleased to tell you that Hawkesbury City Council has been reassessed by the State Government as ‘Fit For The Future’. Fit for the Future (FFTF) is a Local Government reform program initiated by the State Government in 2014.

From July 2015 Council commenced the implementation of 20 expenditure and revenue measures as part of its FFTF Improvement and Council engaged with the community to gather information from residents on their satisfaction and expectations of Council’s services and facilities. When the proposed Council merger of Hawkesbury and The Hills Shire was dropped, Hawkesbury City Council submitted its Council-endorsed, revised FFTF improvement plans to OLG for reassessment in November 2016 and in late August 2017 Council was notified of its reassessment as Fit.

I am excited by the future for the Hawkesbury now that Council has been given the green light and declared Fit by the State Government. This is great news for the Hawkesbury community, after our strong fight in 2016 - when Council and the community united to remain a stand-alone Council when a merger was on the table.

Council will continue to do its best for the community, including monitoring our performance to ensure we deliver the improvements committed to within the FFTF process, and so that we can continue to strengthen our financial position overall. As Council undertakes its current cycle of Integrated Planning and Reporting, we will ensure that the strategies and actions identified in our FFTF Improvement Plan are reflected in Council’s new Delivery Program and Resourcing Strategy. For the key results from the reassessment of Council, please visit http://www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/home

14 September 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Around 80 people came along to the garden outside Hawkesbury City Council, Windsor on Tuesday, 12 September for the rainbow flag raising ceremony in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community in the Hawkesbury and Marriage Equality.
    I was delighted to raise the flag outside the Council Chambers amid cheers and applause from the community members present. Council offers its full support to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual community and this rainbow flag will fly outside Council Chambers for the duration of the Marriage Equality campaign.
    Council is well placed to positively influence community perceptions to increase acceptance. Our civic leadership and support will hopefully send a strong message and help people in our community. A rainbow banner is also displayed outside Council which states ‘Hawkesbury City Council supports Marriage Equality. Vote Yes.’.
  • I also want to remind you that Council is calling for nominations for the 2017 Natalie Burton Memorial Award on behalf of the Burton, Turner and Lawrance families. Residents are encouraged to nominate any Hawkesbury high school student whom they feel is a worthy recipient for the prestigious Natalie Burton Memorial Award trophy and $200 prize money. Nominations close 5pm Monday, 25 September 2017.
    The award is open to male or female students and is not restricted to academic achievement; it may take the form of community, sporting or general achievements and improvements.
    Nomination forms are available online or at the Council Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, or Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor or Richmond Branch Library or by calling (02) 4560 4444.
  • Council is currently seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from members of the Hawkesbury community to act as community representatives on the Enhancing the Arts in the Hawkesbury Working Group. I encourage community members who have a genuine interest in the arts, with demonstrated expertise and experience in arts projects, to consider applying.
    The goal of the Working Group is broad but the initial focus of the working group will be around music sector growth and increased community participation in the arts.
    The Working Group will provide constructive advice and practical support and assistance to Council in enhancing the arts in the Hawkesbury, with a particular focus on seeking external funding, facilitating local arts activities and events as well as encouraging audience participation. The Working Group will consist of Councillors, Council staff and five community members.
    For more information or to obtain an Expression of Interest Form please visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact Joanne Russo on (02) 4560 3354. EOIs close 5pm Friday, 29 September 2017.

Mayoral Column

As the Mayor of Hawkesbury, I am united with the Mayors of Blue Mountains, Penrith, Campbelltown and Liverpool against the new planning regulations by the State Government, which are anti-democratic.

The State Government recently passed legislation to introduce mandatory Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs), which will see local councils lose the power to determine development applications (DAs) between the value of $5 million and $30 million. The mandatory IHAPs will also decide any other ‘contentious’ DAs of lesser value. Applications under $5M will be dealt with under delegated authority to Council CEOs. Essentially, these changes will mean Councillors, and therefore the community through their elected members, will not have any input into determining DAs in their local area.

We have written to Anthony Roberts Minister for Planning, Gabrielle Upton Minister for Local Government and the NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley to urge a review of the process that led to the decision. Prior to the introduction of this legislation, there was no opportunity for debate or community consultation. This is a removal of the democratic process at a very basic level – denying community-elected representatives a say on deciding local development applications.

This is a disappointing and ill-informed reaction showing little regard for communities in NSW. I believe it is essential for the Hawkesbury community to retain a say in shaping the future of our towns, villages and suburbs. This can only happen when elected council representatives have a role in determining DAs in their own Local Government Areas. I encourage the NSW Government to focus on providing the infrastructure and services that our community needs, not shutting the community out of the decision making process.

7 September 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I have great news for our local swimmers! Richmond Swimming Centre will be open for the 2017-2018 Summer Season in time for the September school holidays on Saturday, 23 September 2017.
    Learn to Swim lessons and Squad training will operate after school and on Saturday mornings in Term 4, 2017 and in Term 1, 2018. School Holiday Intensive Sessions will run for all levels during the summer school holidays in the lead up to School Swimming Carnivals. Club nights are hosted on Friday nights.
    The Swimming Pool will again be open until 7pm on weekdays throughout the School term to allow for longer lap swimming times. For 2017-2018 Opening Hours visit here or for more information please contact the Pool Superintendent on 4578 1349. The pool will be closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and ANZAC Day.
  • School holidays are coming up and if you’re looking for great activities to entertain the kids then book in for some fun workshops at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and our Libraries.
    At the Gallery there will be a range of workshops from Wednesday, 27 September to Friday, 6 October, all running from 10am to midday including swishy fishy painting, pet plants from clay, make your own 3D paper skull sculpture, learn watercolour techniques painting some colourful marbles, making zombie key rings, and paper peacock pictures. $15 per session – all materials supplied, bookings essential through Eventbrite or call the Gallery on (02) 4560 4441. The Gallery is located at Deerubbin Centre (1st floor) 300 George Street, Windsor
  • Hawkesbury Library Service is offering a great program for creative kids these school holidays. There is plenty to do, from Lego workshops to crafty sessions, felt craft (one day is making a monster pencil case and another day is create a felt owl), and a colouring in drop in space which is open Monday, 25 September to Friday, 6 October, during library opening hours. All activities are for school aged children (children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult). Some workshops have a small fee, payable at time of booking.
    Bookings are essential for the school holiday workshops through Eventbrite or call (02) 4560 4460.
    Locations: Hawkesbury Central Library: Deerubbin Centre (ground floor) 300 George Street, Windsor or Richmond Branch Library: 29 West Market Street, Richmond.

Mayoral Column

Our former Emeritus Mayor, Rex Stubbs, will be remembered at the second Dr Rex Stubbs OAM Commemorative History Symposium during History Week on Saturday, 9 September. It will be held at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. Something new this year is that it will be open to the general public as well as historical societies and heritage related groups and I am happy to invite you all to this free event. The fully catered event recognises Dr Stubbs’ commitment to the Hawkesbury community, and aims to promote interest in the unique history of the Hawkesbury. RSVP is essential to Prue Charlton (02) 4560 4434 or pcharlton@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

As the Mayor of Hawkesbury, I will have the honour of officially welcoming everyone to the symposium, which features an impressive line-up of speakers including:

  • Dr Tanya Evans, New approaches to local, family and public history
  • Courtney Page-Allen and Dr Rebecca Fleming, Quality publications made easy
  • Michelle Nichols, Hawkesbury Images, online database of historical images
  • Christine Fernon, Transplanted Lives: the first three fleets and their families

Dr Stubbs was a highly active member of Hawkesbury City Council, giving 26 years of service as a Councillor, including ten terms as Mayor. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2001 for service to local government and to the Hawkesbury community. Dr Stubbs had an abiding interest in art, history and culture. He also championed the development of Hawkesbury Regional Museum and Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, and he was a member and President of Hawkesbury Historical Society for nearly 30 years.

31 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Nominations are open for the annual Natalie Burton Memorial Award. Residents are encouraged to nominate a worthy Hawkesbury high school student for the prestigious Natalie Burton Memorial Award trophy and $200 prize money. The award is intended for a recipient who has faced a challenging circumstance and, through application and determination, has overcome this adversity to succeed. More information and nomination forms are available online www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or at Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, Richmond Branch Library and Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor or by calling (02) 4560 4430. Nominations close 5pm Monday, 25 September 2017.
  • For the fifth year in a row, Hawkesbury City Council is proud to be supporting the Garage Sale Trail which will be held on Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 October. The Garage Sale Trail has become a fun and well-known community event that many local residents take as the perfect opportunity to do a clean out.
    Registration is free at www.garagesaletrail.com.au If you register early enough, you will also receive a free Seller Pack, which includes printed posters, flyers and information to help you spread the word about your sale. Last year, 137 registered garage sales were registered in the Hawkesbury.
    For further information about the Garage Sale Trail, to register a sale or find sales in your area, visit www.garagesaletrail.com.au
  • Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Young Archie Portrait Prize, held in conjunction with the 2016 Archibald Prize exhibition. The winners took home iPad minis, and the runners-up were presented with art packs containing all manner of art materials, making them well equipped to continue their art careers. All 559 works can be seen until the end of the year at Hawkesbury Central Library in Windsor and on the mezzanine floor of the Deerubbin Centre, along from the Gallery foyer.
  • Computer classes for seniors are returning in October and I encourage our older residents to take advantage of these free classes. You will be introduced to the use of computers, plus you will gain confidence and skills in using the internet, email and social media. The classes are:
    • Beginners Computer Class
      Tuesday, 10 October 10am to midday
    • Introduction to Internet Searching
      Tuesday, 17 October 10am to midday
    • Getting Started With Email
      Tuesday, 24 October 10am to midday

    Bookings are essential, call 4560 4460. Participants must be Library members - new members welcome and membership is free! All sessions will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. Tech Savvy Seniors is an initiative of the NSW Ageing Strategy and is funded through a partnership between the NSW Government and Telstra, and with the assistance of Hawkesbury Library Service.

Mayoral Column

I’m delighted to let you know that the annual St Albans Writers Festival will be held from Friday, 8 September to Sunday, 10 September 2017. As a Festival Partner, Council is proud to be a major sponsor for Australia’s newest and most intimate writers’ festival. As well as contributing financially, Council is providing in kind support which includes donating the use of Council grounds for this special event.

The St Albans Writers’ Festival attracts top writers from across the country, as well as hundreds of people who are both local to the Hawkesbury and from outside the area each year.

This year’s theme of ‘Escape and Explore’ will transform St Albans Village. The festival precinct includes the historic St Albans Church, the Settlers Arms Inn, and the School of the Arts Hall. There will also be marquees, a fire and hay bales in the St Albans Reserve to create a festival hub.

Some of the writers attending include Tom Keneally, Hugh Mackay, Stan Grant, George Gittoes, Tom Griffiths, David Hunt, Mark Tedeschi QC, Gil Jones, Helen Garner, and Bernadette Brennan. There will also be an opportunity to meet established writers Kathryn Heyman and Melina Marchetta, and new writers Melanie Joosten and Rachel Leary.

Festival goers will have the chance to discuss immigration policy with Madeline Gleeson, climate change with Jane Abbott or delve into the relationships between mothers and daughters with Jane Caro, Caroline Baum, Susan Wyndham and Nikki Gemmell. Visit www.stalbanswritersfestival.com.au to buy tickets and for the latest festival updates.

24 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • In partnership with St Albans Writers’ Festival, Hawkesbury Library Service is providing a Getting Published workshop for all aspiring authors on Saturday, 26 August, from 10am to midday. Published writer and editor Nigel Bartlett will provide aspiring authors with practical advice on getting published; how the publishing industry works, agents, how to make submissions and the value of writers groups and networking. His debut novel, King of the Road, was published by Penguin Random House in 2015 and he is currently working on his next novel.
    The workshop is $30, payable at time of booking.  Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or phone (02) 4560 4460. This workshop will be held in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor.
    The annual St Albans Writers’ Festival will be held from Friday, 8 September to Sunday, 10 September. For full program details about the festival and to book your festival tickets, go to www.stalbanswritersfestival.com.au
  • The fourth Hawkesbury Art Fair will be held at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery from Friday, 8 September to Sunday, 8 October.
    This Fair is a chance for local artists to sell their work, and for residents and visitors to buy original art from the region’s best-known and accomplished artists.
    I invite you all to come along to the official opening at 6pm on Friday, 8 September.
    The fair will feature the best traditional and contemporary artists, designers and crafters living and working in the Hawkesbury, as well as guest artists and students from Penrith and Blue Mountains. All work will be for sale so you can buy some local art to take home or as a beautiful gift for family and friends.
  • I was thrilled to read exciting stories to a group of happy children at the Hawkesbury’s fifth Annual Children’s Festival ‘Party with Puddles’ in North Richmond recently. Around 250 people attended, with over 100 children, their parents, grandparents, child carers, and visitors enjoying the event.
    Facilitated by Paint Hawkesbury REaD with North Richmond Community Centre as the lead agency for the program, Colo High School students and staff did a great job as the wonderful volunteers on the day.
    The Party with Puddles, our Reading Mascot, is designed to raise awareness about the positive effects of reading, singing, rhyming, talking and playing with children during their early developmental years, while at the same time giving parents plenty of ideas about activities they can do with their children with very little effort or cost.
    For more information about Paint the Town REaD, visit https://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/library/kids/paint-the-town-read or call Hawkesbury Library Service on 4560 4460.

Mayoral Column

Recently Council has been hearing from ratepayers about their rates and the related land values of their properties. To help all ratepayers understand their recent land revaluations, how their land value has been determined, and the way land value affects rates, Hawkesbury City Council is holding a Community Information Session with representatives from the Valuer General of NSW.

Council staff have organised this opportunity for ratepayers so that they can bring along their questions about land valuation. I encourage you all to come along to the Community Information Session to get more information. It will be held on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 from 6:30pm at Windsor Function Centre, 2 Dight Street, Windsor. No RSVP required.

Please bring along your land valuation notice and any questions you may have. Ratepayers can make further enquiries about land values by contacting Valuation Services Property NSW on 1800 110 038 or valuationenquiry@property.nsw.gov.au

Hawkesbury rate notices were sent with a series of flyers which explained the changes on your Rates notice. Each of these flyers

  • Hawkesbury City Council is improving stormwater management
  • Hawkesbury City Council - Know your rates
  • Newsletter from the NSW Valuer General
  • Deferral of FESL

are available electronically at http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/council/business-with-council/know-your-rates and this link also has more information about rates and annual charges.

17 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • To help all ratepayers understand their recent land revaluations, how their land value has been determined, and the way land value affects rates, Hawkesbury City Council is holding a community information session with representatives from the Valuer General of NSW.
    I encourage you all to come along to have all your questions about land valuation answered. It will be held on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 from 6:30pm at Windsor Function Centre, 2 Dight Street, Windsor. No RSVP required.
    Please bring along your land valuation notice, and any questions you may have. Ratepayers can make further enquiries about land values by contacting Valuation Services Property NSW on 1800 110 038 or valuationenquiry@property.nsw.gov.au
  • Council received an official visit from our Sister Cities at last week’s Council Meeting and I was delighted to meet them all. Tina Tallack, President of the Hawkesbury Sister City Association introduced the students from Temple City, USA and Kyotamba, Japan, who are participating in current Sister City Exchanges. I presented certificates to the Sister City Exchange students who are enjoying their stay in Australia.
  • Mark Tedeschi AM QC and Senior Crown Prosecutor for NSW will visit Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor on Tuesday, 5 September from 6pm to 7:30pm to discuss his new book, Murder at Myall Creek, the most sensational trial of mass murder in Australia’s legal history. This is a free author talk however bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4460. Refreshments will be provided from 6pm.
  • Our former Emeritus Mayor, Rex Stubbs, will be remembered at the second Dr Rex Stubbs OAM Commemorative History Symposium to be held on Saturday, 9 September at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. The free, fully catered event recognises Dr Stubbs’ commitment to the Hawkesbury community, and aims to promote interest in the unique history of the Hawkesbury. Aimed primarily at Hawkesbury historical societies and heritage related groups, as well as those in the wider region, interested residents are also welcome to attend - RSVP is essential to Prue Charlton (02) 4560 4434 or pcharlton@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

Mayoral Column

Considering that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 3.7% of the Hawkesbury population, I’m pleased to let you know that Council is embarking on a new journey to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP will outline practical actions that Council will take to build stronger relationships and enhanced respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. The RAP framework is based on the three key principles; Relationships, Respect and Opportunities.

Council’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has focused on activities that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or events that commemorate Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week. We are now hoping to deepen our work with, and commitment to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the development of the Reconciliation Action Plan.

In order to develop and implement a successful RAP, Council is seeking members of the local community to join the RAP Working Group. The Working Group will be responsible for developing the RAP. Darug and Darkinjung people are strongly encouraged to apply.

This Working Group is to be formed in accordance with the Council resolution No.138 from the Ordinary Council Meeting of 9 May 2017. For more information or to obtain an Expression of Interest Form for Community Representation on Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, please visit Council's website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact Meagan Ang on (02) 4560 4502. Expressions of Interest will close at 5pm on Friday, 15 September 2017.

10 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • We have recently completed our Investing in Your Future Consultation and Survey. Thank you to all of our community members who came along to hear the message and ask questions about the funding options available to help to meet community expectations for asset service levels in the future and a proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV).
    Our consultation during July and August included 10 town meetings across the Hawkesbury including St Albans, Pitt Town and Kurrajong as well as 11 information kiosks in many shopping centres and markets including Bilpin, Richmond, Bligh Park, Windsor, Wilberforce, South Windsor, North Richmond and Glossodia.
    The outcome of the ‘Investing in Your Future’ community consultations are now being collated and will be reported to Council in late August or early September 2017 so that Council can take into account the views of residents in determining the preferred investment option.
    Thank you to everyone for their input and it is great that so many people can see the merit of Council’s plan to secure a financially sustainable future for the Hawkesbury. For all the details of the consultation visit www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future
  • Don’t forget to enter the 2017 Hawkesbury Garden Competition - entries close Friday, 25 August 2017.
    Simply click on the garden competition icon at the bottom of Council’s website homepage or click here.
    Entrants can select one of the seven categories to enter this year’s competition, with all entrants going in the running for Grand Champion Garden and Best Regional Garden. Judging will take place in mid-September with entrants to be notified of the schedule of judging closer to the date.
    Hawkesbury City Council is proud to sponsor the 2017 Hawkesbury Garden Competition in partnership with Hawkesbury Camera Club and Windsor RSL. For more information, email gardencomp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4444.
  • I enjoyed meeting several Ashikaga Minami High School students from Japan recently, who came to visit our Council Chambers in Windsor and hear about Local Government in Australia. As part of their eight days in Australia they enjoyed home stays with local families and visited interesting locations in the Hawkesbury and Sydney.
    Ashikaga Minami High School in Japan is the sister school of Hawkesbury High School in Freemans Reach. Several students from Hawkesbury High School have also had home stays in Japan to learn about their culture, language and food.

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury City Councilhas joined forces with over 30 councils across Australia, representing more than 3 million people, as part of the Cities Power Partnership which hopes to slash emissions and combat climate change in our own backyards.

I attended the program’s national launch in Canberra recently and I was thrilled to see so many local council representatives becoming ‘climate champions’ and leaders.

This exciting partnership is a great opportunity for Hawkesbury City Council to continue to collaborate with the Climate Council, other Councils and their communities to work towards a more sustainable future. I believe this partnership will give us realistic and effective ways to encourage clean energy technology, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and other climate solutions, all at a local level.

The partnership also presents a number of benefits and opportunities for Council and our community.  This includes reducing greenhouse gas production, which will help to limit the impacts of climate change on our natural environment, in particular our World Heritage Areas and the Hawkesbury River Valley, both of which are also important economic and tourist assets. Council is already actively reducing its operational costs through energy and water saving initiatives and we will continue to seek these savings.

In coming months, Council will submit a report recommending five actions for Council to focus upon in relation to activities such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and advocacy. For more information about the Cities Power Partnership, visit http://citiespowerpartnership.org.au

3 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • My Mayoral Column this week (see below) discusses important changes on your rates notice, and there are also some other charges which I’d like to explain.
    There is a domestic waste management charge for your garbage, recycling and possibly garden organic service (provided in urban areas). There is a sewerage management charge for areas with a reticulated sewerage service and there is a sullage charge for properties with a pump out service. These charges had to increase to reflect the cost for Council to provide these services.
    Property owners who live in our urban areas will now need to pay a Stormwater Management Service Charge that will contribute to the cost of providing new or additional stormwater services across the urban areas.
    More details are provided on the flyer 'Hawkesbury City Council is improving stormwater management' which was sent with the current rates notice. The flyer is also available online at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au Please also see my column below and, if you would like to know more, please call our friendly Customer Service staff on (02) 4560 4444.
  • Rates benefit our community because they help to pay for the services and facilities that our community needs. Rate income is used by Council to
    • contribute to the cost of maintaining the infrastructure you use every day, such as roads, parks, recreation facilities and community buildings
    • Support the programs, events and sponsorship that Council provides for our community and local businesses
    • Administer laws and regulations that keep our community safe and well.
  • If you want access to free, full-colour digital magazines with no strings attached, then come along to an introductory workshop held at Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 15 August, 10:30am to midday to learn all about the Library’s free downloadable eMagazine collection. If you would like to learn more about this then make a booking on www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4460. This free workshop will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. Bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Mayoral Column

By now many of you would have received your rates notice and you will see some changes. Your 2017/2018 rates have changed due to land revaluation by the NSW Valuer General, rate pegging and a change in rating structure, which I will explain below.

In regard to rate pegging, Council’s total rates revenue has increased by the rate peg amount of 1.5% as set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, which is the maximum annual amount by which councils can increase their total rate revenue in 2017/18.

In 2017/2018, Council changed the rating structure to create a fairer and more equitable rating system. Every property owner continues to pay a flat amount, known as a base amount as part of their rates. The balance is worked out on land value. All residential properties, including those previously sub-categorised as rural residential, are now subject to the same flat amount and the same rate in the dollar is applied to the land value of the property.

Council has also reduced the ‘rate in the dollar’ for the farmland category to 90% of the residential ‘rate in the dollar’ amount. The proportion of rates collected from business properties has been increased. These changes to the rating structure generally mean lower rates for farmland and low value suburban properties, and higher rates for businesses and larger, higher value rural properties.

The change in the rating structure has not increased the total income received by Council; it has just apportioned the rates differently across properties. Paying rates helps to fund the services and facilities needed in our community.

27 July 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • To help your children travel as safely as possible in vehicles, Hawkesbury City Council is offering free child restraint checks, fittings and installations to all residents. Residents who book an appointment on Tuesday, 1 August 2017 between 3:30 to 4:30pm, at the appointed Roads & Maritime Services Authorised Restraint Fitter in McGraths Hill, will receive a one-on-one child restraint fitting demonstration, a complimentary gated buckle if required, a children’s road safety illustrated story book, and have all their child restraint questions answered.
    Each car seat will take approximately 15 minutes. Bookings are essential, please call Council’s Community Safety Coordinator on (02) 4560 4498 or 0401 710 540 or email, safety@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
    For more information on the appropriate age range for child car seats, visit https://www.childcarseats.com.au or www.kidsandtraffic.mq.edu.au/info-sheets
  • Local Government Week will be held in the Hawkesbury from 31 July - 6 August 2017 and we’re giving away 1000 plants to residents to celebrate! Just come along to the Hawkesbury Community Nursery at 10 Mulgrave Rd, Mulgrave this Saturday, 29 July, from 9:30am to midday. Next door you can also enjoy the annual Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter Open Day, get a free dog wash and free microchipping for two pets per household - that’s a saving of $53 per pet! Just bring proof of residency.
    See the Local Government Week program, as bookings are essential for some events. The full program is available here.
  • Also during Local Government Week, we are asking you, our community members, to make some important decisions about the future of the Hawkesbury. Council is consulting with the community about funding options to help us to meet your expectations for asset service levels in the future. There will be town meetings during Local Government Week in Pitt Town on Monday, 31 July, in Maraylya on Wednesday, 2 August and in Kurrajong on Thursday, 3 August. Please RSVP on 4560 4444. We want you to tell us what you want for the future of our roads, community buildings, parks, and town centres. We need to know if you wish your City’s assets to improve, stabilise or deteriorate, and to consider three options including a proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV).
    For all the details of the consultation and additional town meetings, visit www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future

Mayoral Column

The annual Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter Open Day will be held this Saturday, 29 July from 9:30am to midday at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave. The Hawkesbury Community Nursery, next door to the Shelter, will also be offering free plants to residents on the same day in celebration of National Tree Day in conjunction with Planet Ark – with over 1,000 native plants to give away.

The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter Open Day will include animal focused market stalls, a mobile dog wash, Australian Working Dog Rescue demonstrations, and a BBQ. There will also be free micro-chipping for the pets of Hawkesbury residents, maximum of two per household, from 9:30am to 11:30am.

People with ex-shelter dogs and cats are also welcome to come along with their pets and share stories of their new lives. Shelter volunteers will also be on hand to talk about their experiences and to encourage more people to volunteer.

The Shelter covers 1030 square metres with 70 kennels and a large cattery area and services Hawkesbury City Council, The Hills Shire Council, Hornsby Shire Council and Penrith City Council. Shelter staff do their utmost to ensure that as many lost pets as possible are reunited with their owners or are found suitable homes. The Shelter also has very good rehoming rates. The latest figures, using the 2016 calendar year, 1505 dogs were either returned to their owners or rehomed, which is 94% of all dogs at the Shelter.

For more information about the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter, please call (02) 4560 4644 or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

20 July 2017
  • Hawkesbury City Council is a major sponsor of the Hawkesbury Local Business Awards.  Nominations are now open for the 2017 Awards and business customers and owners are encouraged to nominate a deserving business. Nominations can be made online at www.thebusinessawards.com (select Hawkesbury) or by nomination forms available at business throughout the Hawkesbury or Council's Administration Building (366 George Street, Windsor).
  • I have two great reasons for you to come to Mulgrave next Saturday, 29 July from 9:30 am to midday - our annual plant giveaway at the Hawkesbury Community Nursery to celebrate National Tree Day in conjunction with Planet Ark, and our annual Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter Open Day.
    • Over 13 local organisations will also be in attendance at the Hawkesbury Community Nursery to provide you with all the answers you have been looking for, about waste and recycling, Landcare, National Parks, Aboriginal culture, bush regeneration, plants, Indian Myna control, wetlands, weeds, nest boxes, and your local environment.
    • If you are unable to make it to collect your free plants on 29 July, the Nursery will have a small supply of plants to also giveaway on Monday, 31 July from 10.30am – midday. For more information about the plant giveaway, contact Council’s Community Bushcare Officer, Martin Gauci on (02) 4560 4525 or mgauci@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
    • The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter Open Day will include animal focused market stalls, a mobile dog wash, Australian Working Dog Rescue demonstrations, and a BBQ. There will also be free micro-chipping for the pets of Hawkesbury residents, maximum of two per household, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.
    • For more information about the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter, please call (02) 4560 4644 or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
    I hope to see you there!
  • Many homeless people suffer in the cold winter months. Helping homeless people is only a phone call away. The NSW Government's Link2home phone service is a single, statewide telephone information and referral service to assist homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. The service can provide information about local homelessness services and assess what people need and refer them to appropriate specialist services.
    The 24/7 service is available every day and makes it easier access the right service at the right time. Anyone can get help from the Link2home telephone service by calling 1800 152 152.

Mayoral Column

By now many of you will have met our Council staff and Councillors around the Hawkesbury as we actively engage with you about ‘Investing in Your Future’, a proposal for a Special Rate Variation that would commence in July 2018.

You’ve told us that Council needs to invest more money in maintaining and upgrading our assets and services. We are talking with community members about three funding options to consider, which will have a different outcome in terms of the standards to which Council manages its assets and delivers its services. We had town meetings in Glossodia and Bligh Park as well as information kiosks at Glossodia and South Windsor, and it’s great to meet so many enthusiastic and interested residents.

Upcoming town meetings include Thursday, 20 July at 6pm at Horrie Eley Memorial Hall, Colo Heights; Wednesday, 26 July at 6pm at Windsor Function Centre, Windsor and Thursday, 27 July @ 6:30pm at North Richmond Community Centre, North Richmond. Or meet us at 9am at local shopping centres on Saturday, 22 July - Windsor Marketplace (Woolworths), Saturday, 22 July - North Richmond Village, Sunday, 23 July - Windsor Mall Markets, Monday, 24 July - Windsor Riverview (Coles).

Please visit www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-yourfuture for the full list of dates and more locations of upcoming meetings. Alternatively you can call our friendly Customer Service staff on (02) 4560 4444. You can also complete an online survey and obtain more information on the above link. Thank you to everyone who has already completed the online survey. I look forward to lots of constructive feedback about the future of our assets and services.

13 July 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Our first information kiosks for Investing in Your Future kick off this weekend. On Saturday, 15 July at 9am we have one at Glossodia Shopping Centre, Glossodia and another one also, on Saturday, 15 July at 9am at McLeod Park Markets, South Windsor.
    Investing in Your Future is a proposal for a Special Rate Variation that would commence in July 2018. Council staff and Councillors have already been actively engaging with our community about the future of our Council. Now we need your input to help us with some important decisions about our community assets and services.
    Residents can participate by returning the reply paid postcard with their rates notices or by participating in the online survey at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future For further information, please attend one of the many town meetings or information kiosks being held throughout the Hawkesbury until Saturday, 12 August. Go to www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au for more information as well as all meeting locations and times or call Customer Service on 4560 4444. Community consultation for Investing in Your Future will conclude on Sunday, 13 August 2017.
  • Congratulations to the 23 people who became new Australians citizens last night, Wednesday, 12 July, at a special citizenship ceremony at Windsor Function Centre. It was pleasure to meet so many happy people, with their countries of birth including China, Germany, Estonia, France, Iran, Fiji, Netherlands, New Zealand. Philippines and the United Kingdom.
  • Great news for kids - we now have a children's area in the foyer of Council's Administration Building at 366 George Street, Windsor. We have relaxing bean bag seats, a reading nook with books, and a table with pencils, pens and paper, all with light pouring in from the large garden windows. We hope that this will be a fun area for children when parents or carers come in with Council enquiries or business. Remember, you can always pay your rates by coming in to Council and meeting our friendly customer service staff who are always ready and willing to help.
  • I am proud to tell you that Hawkesbury City Council has received a Special Commendation from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Supportive Employer Program. The Program recognises the vital contribution employers make to the NSW RFS, especially by releasing volunteers to attend incidents and other NSW RFS activities during work hours.
    The primary aim of NSW RFS Supportive Employer Program is to recognise the contribution of the time given by volunteers, either self-employed or employed by a supporting organisation. My thanks to our Council staff and community members who, as RFS volunteers, readily assist the RFS and our community during times of fire.

Mayoral Column

Do you own or manage a local heritage residential property within the Windsor and Richmond historic townships? If so, I encourage you to attend an evening information session about our Local Heritage Assistance Fund on Wednesday, 26 July 2017. Application forms are available at Council's website and suitable applicants can receive up to $2000. Applications must be made by Monday, 21 August 2017.

Council and the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage are jointly funding the Local Heritage Assistance Fund which recognises the importance of conserving, protecting and caring for heritage listed residential buildings. The main objectives of the Local Heritage Assistance Fund are:

  • to promote community awareness of the significance of heritage listed residential properties within the Windsor and Richmond historic townships;
  • to encourage owners of residential properties within Windsor and Richmond historic townships, through advice and small grants to employ simple measures to undertake minor improvements/conservation works to those historic buildings to maintain and improve their heritage significance; and
  • to increase Council’s engagement with local heritage property owners.

The evening information session will be held on Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at Council‘s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, in the Large Committee Room First Floor (up the ramp) from 6:30pm to 8pm. To register for the information session, contact Karu Wijayasinghe, Senior Strategic Land Use Planner of Council on 4560 4546 or email council@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au For more information or to obtain an application form, visit here.

6 July 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I was delighted to host a Mayoral Reception last night for the new Rotary Governor of District 9685, Peter Ward. This District covers our local Rotary Clubs. My thanks to all of the representatives present for the magnificent contributions that Rotary makes to improving and supporting our community.
  • Please join me for the opening of Hawkesbury Regional Gallery’s next exhibition tomorrow night, Friday, 7 July from 6-8pm. It is a free exhibition exploring ideas, experiences and creative responses to notions of ageing in our society and communities. It comprises two parts: an in-house exhibition, Time Leaves its Mark,  featuring the work Jo Ernsten, Pablo Grover, Leahlani Johnson, Nicole Toms and David White (with a commissioned series of portraits of senior Hawkesbury artists), as well as a display of photographs titled The Art of Ageing toured by the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services.
    At 6.30pm there will be a floor talk by the exhibition curator, Elissa Blair, and artist David Newman-White, who has produced a series of portraits of senior Hawkesbury artists especially for the exhibition.
  • I was fascinated by the variety of artist styles and interpretations when local artists painted my portrait at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery last week. They are now on exhibition at the Gallery. So much talent and so many different styles. It was a new and unnerving experience to sit for a portrait but everyone did their best to help me feel comfortable while they worked their magic. Thank you so much to the many but quite unexpected visits from community members, you made me feel very special!
  • Just a quick note about roadwork that is being carried out on Putty Road at Wilberforce and Bells Line of Road at Kurrajong. Roads and Maritime Services is repairing joints on the bridge across Howes Creek and drains near Moles Road, working day and night shifts until late September. The Bells Line work is resurfacing the road from the Kurrajong traffic lights to 150m west of them, and it is expected to finish by Thursday, 27 July.

Mayoral Column

Ratepayers will receive a special information pack with their rates notice called ‘Investing in Your Future’. It’s about a proposal for a Special Rate Variation that would commence in July 2018.

Residents have told Council that the condition of many of our assets are not meeting their expectations, and that Council needs to invest more money in maintaining and upgrading our assets and services.

Many of you in our community have already seen Council staff and Councillors actively engaging with our community about the future of our Council. Now we need your input to help us with some important decisions about our community assets and services.

The Investing in Your Future brochure outlines three funding options for community members to consider: 1. Reduce 2. Stabilise or 3. Improve. Each option will have a different impact on local assets and the quality of services that Council can deliver into the future. As part of community consultation, Council will have information kiosks at shopping centres and markets as well as town meetings, an online survey and a telephone survey. Information will also be available online and in publications.

Residents can participate by returning the reply paid postcard with their rates notices or by participating in the online survey at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future

For further information, attend one of the many town meetings or information kiosks being held throughout the Hawkesbury from Saturday, 15 July until Saturday, 12 August. Go to www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au for more information as well as meeting locations and times or call Customer Service on 4560 4444. Community consultation for Investing in Your Future will conclude on Sunday, 13 August 2017.

29 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I was delighted to hear about the recent swan release at Pugh’s Lagoon by our dedicated WIRES volunteers. After nearly three long months of medication and care, a beautiful black male swan, who was suffering from infections in his foot and leg from fishing hook injuries, is now free again. Known as ‘Captain Hook’, he had some offspring with a local female black swan called ‘Joan of Park’.
    Well done to the devoted carers who have nursed him through this long period to get him through to release, in conjunction with North Richmond Vet. You can see the release here, where Captain Hook is greeted by a juvenile swan: MVI_1514.MOV
  • I thought I'd give you one last reminder about the Archibald Prize touring exhibition, before it closes this Sunday, 2 July. First awarded in 1921, it is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. I saw some amazing work at the opening recently. It's a great way to see all the finalists in the Archibald Prize 2016 right here in the Hawkesbury. By arrangement with the Art Gallery of NSW this is a ticketed event, adults $5, teens $3, family $15 (2 adults/3 teens), Gallery Members and children under 12 free. Don't miss out!
  • Our Cultural Services team will have a pop-up gallery and library on Sunday, 9 July between 10am and 3pm at Richmond Park, as part of the Hawkesbury's NAIDOC Week celebrations.
    There'll be free stuff, giant games, art activities and badge making as we celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements, and recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society. Richmond Park is located at 180 Windsor Street, Richmond, near the train station. This is a free community event for everyone, so I hope to see as many of you as possible come along.
    The 2017 theme - Our Languages Matter - aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.
    NAIDOC DAY itself is a lot of fun for all to enjoy, and Council is proud to sponsor the big event.

Mayoral Column

We had a wonderful community gathering at Thompson Square in Windsor last weekend as part of our 150 year commemoration of the 1867 flood - the highest-ever recorded flood in our local history. It was also a time for us to learn about how to be prepared for future floods.

The atmosphere was vibrant and moving for all of us, with a strong sense of unity as we contemplated the real fear experienced by past residents during that flood. My heart felt congratulations to the wider Eather family descendants who held a community dinner last week in memory of the 20 people lost in the 1867 flood, including the twelve Eather family members - 10 children and two mothers who were swept away in the dark of night from their rooftop at Cornwallis.

I want to especially thank our Master of Ceremonies on Friday night, Olivia Leal Walker, a former Hawkesbury Showgirl and amazing young woman who lead us through the Thompson Square proceedings. I was a captive audience member during Uncle Wes’ Dreamtime stories around the campfire at the Howe House garden. Thank you Uncle Wes, and Erin Wilkins too for our Welcome to Country. Our Aboriginal people have so much knowledge and it’s wonderful to see us all getting together to talk and learn more about floods.

My thanks also to State Emergency Services and Infrastructure NSW for their involvement. The talks by Regional Controller SES Peter Cinque and INSW Executive Director Maree Abood were particularly insightful and educational. Council will continue raising awareness within the community about the risks of flooding and the importance of being prepared for future flooding. Thank you everyone for participating in our 1867 flood commemoration.

22 June 2017

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury City Council has received a $4.2 million Financial Assistance Grant for 2016/2017 to help deliver vital services and infrastructure to the Hawkesbury.

The Australian Government has provided Financial Assistance Grants to local government since 1974–1975. The Financial Assistance Grants are a regular source of income received by Council and we will continue to use the funds for programs and projects such as services, roads and infrastructure renewal as we have in previous years.

There was a freeze on the indexation of the grants in 2014 which placed significant pressure on Council’s budget. According to the Australian Government’s own estimates, its 2014 budget move to freeze the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants cost local communities across Australia more than $600 million worth of services and infrastructure over the three years.

As part of the 2017/2018 Federal Budget, the Australian Government has announced the reinstatement of indexation to Financial Assistance Grants from 1 July 2017, honouring their commitment to local communities. Whilst Council welcomes the return of the indexation to keep pace with costs, it will still take Councils a long time to recover from the freeze because it has permanently reduced the base level of the Financial Assistance Grants payments.

The Financial Assistance Grant program is provided under the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (the Act). Visit here for more information about the grants.

15 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Remember to register to enter Council’s 2017 Waste 2 Art Competition by Wednesday, 28 June 2017, 11:59pm. I saw so many great entries last year that I don’t know how the judges can even decide!
    The Competition focuses on the REUSE part of the 3Rs of the waste hierarchy: reuse, reduce, recycle. I’m always amazed at how Primary School students can give waste a new purpose by transforming it into a creative piece of artwork. Through Waste 2 Art, Council hopes to encourage students to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Please submit your by Tuesday, 25 July 2017.
  • For the younger ones studying the HSC, Hawkesbury Library Service has three great workshops to help students improve their HSC mark - bookings essential for three workshops via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or phone (02) 4560 4460.
    On Monday, 3 July 4pm to 6pm, teacher Kelly Bell will provide feedback and mentoring to students studying Community and Family Studies, in preparation for their exams. Cost $5.
    For students who want to improve marks, prioritise studies, create a study plan, boost memory retention, practice essays and how to study the night before the big exam, go along to the HSC Preparation Workshop presented by Rowan Kunz on Monday, 10 July, 4pm to 6pm. Cost $5.
    Discover tips and tricks to help you get those top marks in English with local English teacher, Bruce Pattinson on Tuesday, 11 July 3:30pm to 5pm. FREE.
    These workshops will be held in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor. Remember to book!
  • I’ve had many people tell me that our Library has been having some great authors visit this year. Kate Forsyth, an award winning Australian author and leading name in historical fiction, will visit Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 11 July from 6pm to 7:30pm to talk about her latest novel, Beauty in Thorns. The novel is a tribute to the world of the Pre-Raphaelites and their unconventional bohemian lifestyle which shocked Victorian sensibilities.
    Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. This is a free event with refreshments included. Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4460. Hawkesbury Central Library is located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

Mayoral Column

Council is hosting lots of free events for the commemoration of the June 1867 Hawkesbury flood, which is the highest-ever recorded flood in our local history.

The Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker Street Windsor, which is open Wednesday to Monday 10am-4pm (closed Tuesdays) will have extended hours until 9pm on Friday, 23 June. Visit our award-wining FLOOD! exhibition that looks at the significant history of flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean. It includes archival photography, film from ABC archives and the conserved Howell Mill wheel.

On Friday night, join us at Thompson Square, Windsor from 5pm-9pm, for a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Flood. There will be food stalls, music, storytelling and performers. Get exercise and knowledge by going on a free FLOOD WALKING TOUR with Dr Stephen Yeo, flood specialist with Infrastructure NSW on Friday, 23 June 11am or 2pm or on Saturday 11am. The 90 minutewalks around Windsor commence at the Museum. Dr Yeo will point out flood landmarks and tell stories about the people and places involved in floods. FREE but bookings essential.

You can also RSVP for the FLOOD! CURATOR TOUR on Saturday, 24 June at 1pm and then stay on to hear David King’s talk ‘BOATMEN TO THE RESCUE’ about the history of flood rescue in the Hawkesbury, on Saturday, 24 June at 2pm. Museum events are FREE but bookings essential on www.eventbrite.com.au or call 4560 4655. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or Hawkesbury Events Facebook for more information

8 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Councillor John Ross and I recently attended the Local Government Professionals Australia National Congress in Hobart. The congress was themed ' A fresh perspective on leadership for the local government of today and tomorrow'. We both found that there was a focus on innovation, technology and leadership.
    I found the workshops on gender equality in the sector, engaging the community through social media and being prepared for crises to be interesting and thought-provoking. I also enjoyed hearing about the achievements of other Councils and the challenges they are currently facing.
  • It is with nervous excitement that I will be sitting for a Mayoral Portrait on Wednesday, 28 June from 11am to 1pm at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery with 12 local artists. It’s all part of the annual Archibald Prize touring exhibition currently on display. Feel free to come and watch their progress on the day, and even share in my trepidation! You are also welcome to view the finished works on the Mezzanine at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor, from Thursday, 29 June.
    Don’t miss out on the Archibald Prize touring exhibition, which runs until Sunday, 2 July. First awarded in 1921, it is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art awards. I saw some amazing work at the opening recently. It’s a great way to see all the finalists in the Archibald Prize 2016 right here in the Hawkesbury. By arrangement with the Art Gallery of NSW this is a ticketed event, adults $5, teens $3, family $15 (2 adults/3 teens), Gallery Members and children under 12 free.
  • Council will host free community events for the 150th commemoration of the June 1867 Hawkesbury flood, which is the highest-ever recorded flood in our local history. I encourage you to attend as many events as possible. It’s a great chance for us all to get together to mark this historical event and to also learn about the potentially devastating effects of floods.

FLOOD 1867 150YEARS ON - PROGRAM OF EVENTS

Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor

Daily until 31 August

FLOOD - implications for the present
A free display from Infrastructure New South Wales that highlights the modern flood strategy, as well as information about the historic 1867 flood. The display can be viewed during library opening hours.at Deerubbin Centre (Ground Floor), 300 George Street, Windsor.

Friday, 23 June

Hawkesbury Regional Museum:

All day until 9pm - FLOOD! Award-winning exhibition
11am and 2pm - Flood tour - 90 minute walk
All day until 9pm - Flood Boat Display

Thompson Square, Windsor:

5pm-9pm - an ‘Evening in the Square’ - food stalls, music, storytelling and performers.

Saturday, 24 June

Hawkesbury Regional Museum:

All day until 4pm - FLOOD! Award-winning exhibition
11am - Flood tour - 90 minute walk
1pm - FLOOD! Curator tour
All day until 4pm - Flood boat display
2pm Boatmen to the Rescue - History talk of flood rescue
3pm - An ‘Afternoon in the Garden’ at Howe House

Sunday, 25 June

9am - St Matthews Catholic Church will dedicate their normal Sunday morning mass to the flood commemoration and the Eather Family.

2pm - A combined church service - Catholic and Anglican as well as other denominations - will be held at St Mathews Anglican Church, Windsor. It will include a short Christian service and then discussion dedicated to history and education about past floods and flooding in general. Infrastructure NSW will assist in the historical information and State Emergency Services in the current flood issues.

For more information and event updates, visit our website or Hawkesbury Events Facebook

Mayoral Column

I’m pleased to announce that Hawkesbury City Council will be a major sponsor of the 2017 Local Business Awards to be run by Precedent Productions Pty Ltd later this year.

Council has been a major sponsor of the Local Business Awards over many years. The Business Awards event is one of the many ways in which Council supports the local business community.

The Hawkesbury 2017 Local Business Awards will be launched towards the end of June, with the Awards Night to be held at the Windsor Function Centre on Wednesday, 13 September 2017. The Awards Program will be very active during July and August in the Hawkesbury area, when local businesses are nominated and judged.

Awards will be presented for Business of the Year, Youth Business Person of the Year, Business Person of the Year and Business Longevity. A new awards category has been added called ‘The Community Access and Inclusion Award’. This Award will acknowledge initiatives from businesses that improve services so that the whole community can participate fully in the social and cultural life of the community.

Award winners receive trophies, gifts and media coverage and other gifts which is a positive way to encourage our local businesses and help them receive much deserved promotion. Watch local media for upcoming details and visit https://thebusinessawards.com.au for more information.

1 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Hawkesbury Sports Awards which were announced at a special Presentation Night at Lynwood Country Club on Monday, 29 May. I was happy to see so many of our Hawkesbury community members at this event to show their support for our local sports heroes.
    Nominated sports ranged from swimming, karate, soccer, netball, athletics, water ski racing, and even slalom kayaking. For details of all the winners, please visit Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and see local media.
    My special thanks to Lynwood Country Club and Vintage FM for joining Hawkesbury City Council as sponsors of the annual Hawkesbury Sports Awards. The awards are a wonderful way to acknowledge the sporting accomplishments of our individual sportspeople, sporting clubs and their support people.
  • Registrations are now open for primary school students to enter the Waste 2 Art Competition. Registrations close on Wednesday, 28 June 2017 at 11:59pm. Artworks need to be submitted by Tuesday, 25 July 2017.
    I think one of the best aspects of Council’s Waste 2 Art Competition is that it focuses on the REUSE part of the 3Rs of the waste hierarchy: reuse, reduce, recycle. It is always a surprise to see how students can give waste a new purpose by transforming it into a creative artwork. Students will be judged as per Stages 1, 2 and 3, with prizes including art supply gift vouchers and art hampers.
    An online registration form with all the guidelines for artwork and conditions of entry is available at https://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/media/forms/waste-2-art-competition
    For more information on the Waste 2 Art Competition and exhibition, please visit Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact Council’s Waste Education Officer on 4560 4566 or justin.murphy@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.
  • I want to give you early notice for the 2017 Rex Stubbs OAM History Symposium, which will be held on Saturday, 9 September from 9:30am to 4:30pm in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George St, Windsor. Hawkesbury residents and members of local history and heritage groups are invited to attend the free symposium, which will provide the opportunity for liked minded individuals and groups to broaden their knowledge of trends in local and family history including talks on digitisation, as well as how social media is being used to promote history collections and other exciting heritage projects.
    Emeritus Mayor, Dr Rex Stubbs OAM had an abiding and passionate interest in art, history and culture. He was a member of Hawkesbury Historical Society for nearly 30 years and, in 2001, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to local government and the Hawkesbury community. He was also awarded the honorary title of Emeritus Mayor in 2008 in recognition of his 10 terms as Mayor of Hawkesbury and one term as Deputy Mayor.
    To join the mailing list or to register your early interest in attending, please email Hawkesbury Library Service library@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4460.

Mayoral Column

Around 110 people gathered at Lynwood Country Club, Pitt Town on Monday night to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Hawkesbury’s leading sportspeople from a range of sports including swimming, dog obedience, sailing, karate, and athletics.

Running since 2004, the Hawkesbury Sports Award Program has been refreshed over the last two years to recognise the achievements of local sportspersons as well as the participation of both sports people and support personnel.

I felt truly honoured to present awards to so many high achievers and to spend an evening amongst so many inspiring people, from the tender age of 12 to the more mature of us. Congratulations to every award recipient and nominee, their clubs and also the family and friends who support them.

Sport is an integral part of our Australian culture and our Hawkesbury community. It’s great to see sport bringing people together in such a positive way, as well as promoting fitness and good health.

My thanks to the Hawkesbury Sports Council for managing our local sporting facilities and for their assistance with this Award Program, to the members of our Civic and Citizenship Committee who thoughtfully assess every nomination, and also to our sponsors Lynwood Country Club and Vintage FM.

Council also supports The Western Sydney Academy of Sport, who are always looking for talented sports men and women between 13 and 18 years of age to apply for a range of training programs to develop young athletes – please visit www.wsas.com.au for details. For details about our winners please visit Council’s website and Hawkesbury Events Facebook.

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