JA hosts ‘Light the Night’ event for Leukaemia Foundation

Bennelong MP John Alexander is hosting a “Light the Night” event at North Ryde Oval on Friday October 6 to support the Leukaemia Foundation.

The event will also launch John Alexander’s second annual 100km Walk for Leukaemia throughout his Bennelong electorate.

JA invites all to go to North Ryde Oval off Pittwater Road near North Ryde RSL Club from 6pm for a barbecue followed by a lantern parade when it gets dark.

Ryde Civic Centre could be saved as New Council rejects Civic Hub scam!


A multi-million dollar waste of ratepayers money on a failed Ryde Civic Centre plan could see the plan scrapped within weeks by the new look City of Ryde Council.

The Weekly Times recently revealed the huge cost of relocating staff from the existing, empty civic centre building at Top Ryde to luxury offices in Macquarie Park as well as exposing the so-called “award winning” civic centre replacement as financially unviable.

With the proposed replacement design sent back to the award winner – an Institute in Beijing – a few weeks ago, The Weekly Times can now reveal that the new council could throw the project on the scrap heap of history.

This could mean ratepayers are saved millions of dollars with the existing building restored at a fraction of the cost with new council chambers and an internationally renowned performing arts space.

Ryde Labor says its new team of four councillors want Colonel Bill Pickering’s so called “civic hub” project thrown in the rubbish bin because it relies on an “unacceptable” high rise development plan.

“Our commitment is to keep the Civic Centre out of the hands of property developers and to maintain this site for exclusive community use,” Ryde Labor leader Clr Jerome Laxale said.

“Labor is willing to work with anyone on the new council to ensure this,”

Pickering and the Ryde Liberals had previously backed the failed “twin towers” development  which was later scuttled by Independent Mayor Ivan Petch.

The Liberals then attempted to raise the idea from the dead with an international design competition for a new development but new Ryde Liberals leader Clr Sarkis Yedelian said his team of three new councillors are now prepared to rethink the whole enterprise.

“We’re opened minded and we said during the election campaign we’ll go back to the community to seek its view, we’ll then meet to discuss this among ourselves and we’ll talk to the other teams on the council,” he said.

Councillor Yedelian said the existing Civic Centre building can’t be left vacant forever. “Something has to be done and we’ll ask for a professional report to see if the building is dangerous and whether or not it can be reoccupied.”

The Greens have two new members on the Council in Clr Edwina Clifton and Clr Christopher Gordon and both want the Civic Centre to be returned to public use.

“I’d struggle with the idea of high rise and we’re about keeping Ryde’s heritage,” Clr Clifton said. “And if we do keep the Civic Centre I’d like to see it run on a solar, renewable energy efficient basis.

“Certainly our aim is to create a beautiful space people will want to use because we need a sense of community here again and a connection with Top Ryde.”

Christopher Gordon’s vision is to create a performing arts venue that will be the pride of Northern Sydney and he believes the Civic Hall next to the Civic centre building has enormous potential.

“We have here and at the nearby Argyle Centre a fantastic opportunity and it shouldn’t be a debate about how much it costs, it should be a debate about how much we can give back to the community.

“This is right at the top of my own, personal agenda for Ryde and what a great way to lift the spirit of our community and give back to our incredibly talented performing arts groups, musicians and artists.”

Independent Clr Roy Maggio agreed and said the ill-fated “civic hub” idea should be put aside to give local people a say on what they want to see on the site.

“I’m going to move a motion that a survey goes out with the next rates notice and simply asks what ratepayers want us to do about the Civic Centre,” he said.

“You can’t leave this issue hanging in the air and in my opinion what’s missing in Ryde is a world class venue for the arts.

“ I’d like to see the new performing arts centre at the site of the Argyle Centre and this could leave the Civic Hall to be refurbished as a new council chamber.

“The one we use now above the Ryde Library is far too small and we saw this at a recent council meeting where we had 36 public speakers and more than 100 other people waiting in the corridor because there wasn’t enough room for them in the public gallery.

“So let’s start again with a fresh community vision.”

Ryde Labor councillors Dr Peter Kim, Bernard Purcell Penny Pedersen and Jerome Laxale received the ALP’s highest primary vote across all wards in the history of Ryde, largely on a campaign against the sell off of council assets to property developers. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO

The Greens two new councillors – Edwina Clifton and Christopher Gordon –  want to see the Civic Centre site restored for community use. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO

Dawn of a New Era

New Look Councils


Local Government in TWT Territory has a new air of confidence and progress following the recent council elections post the divisive Baird-Berejiklian forced amalgamation drama years.

HUNTERS HILL citizens celebrated their successful victory against the seemingly overwhelming odds on Monday night when their new mayor Clr Mark Bennett was installed by outgoing mayor Richard Quinn in the Council Chambers.

RYDE CITY Council elected their new mayor last night to herald a new era following a period of dysfunctional council under the outgoing regime headed by the discredited Liberals Colonel Pickering.

LANE COVE elected Independent Pam Palmer mayor on Monday night following the halving of the ruling Liberal representation from six to three and election of the first Labor councillor in 70 years.

CANADA BAY has elected former mayor Angelo Tsirekas back by popular vote after a brief absence when he unsuccessfully stood as Labor candidate for Reid in the last federal election and HORNSBY elected by popular vote the former federal MP Philip Ruddock as mayor.

PARRAMATTA Council on Monday night elected Clr Andrew Wilson as Lord Mayor.


Independent candidates swept to power on Monday night with the election of Mayors and Deputy Mayors in Lane Cove, Hunters Hill and the City of Parramatta.

In LANE COVE staunch anti forced merger Independent Pam Palmer from East Ward was elected Mayor alongside anti forced merger Independent Karola Brent from Central Ward.

In HUNTERS HILL anti forced merger Independent Clr Mark Bennett (North Ward) had been elected Mayor and on Monday night anti forced merger Independent and former mayor Ross Williams (North Ward) was elected Deputy Mayor for a one year term.

CLR MARK BENNETT was installed as Mayor of Hunters Hill by outgoing mayor Richard Quinn on Monday night at Hunters Hill Council Chambers. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.

In the City of PARRAMATTA  Our Local Community Party candidate Clr Andrew Wilson was elected Lord Mayor with Our Local Community Party candidate Clr Michelle Garrard (Dundas Ward) elected Deputy Lord Mayor.

The Weekly Times will post the results of the City of RYDE Mayoral election on our website www.weeklytimes.com.au after Tuesday night’s Mayoral election.

Ryde Labor and the Liberal Party both have four councillors while The Greens have two councillors and there are two Independent councillors.

Hunters Hill Deputy Mayor Ross Williams is a spokesperson for the anti-merger Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition and told Monday night’s council meeting the recent local government election was the most important in Hunters Hill’s 150 years.

HUNTERS HILL HAPPENINGS with Mayor MARK BENNETTAn experienced, impressive new Council in Hunters Hill

CONGRATULATIONS to the new councillors Ben Collins, Elizabeth Krassoi, Jim Sanderson and also welcome back Councillors Justine McLaughlin, Zac Miles and former Mayor Clr Ross Williams.

We are fortunate to have a mix of experienced councillors and new councillors who have an extensive and impressive range of skills.

I am sure they will be great assets to Hunters Hill Council over the next three years and make important contributions to our community.

Briefings and education on a range of topics such as the Gladesville Shopping Village Planning Proposal; amendment to the Development Control Plan 2013; Heritage Significance Statements and the Gladesville Commercial Centre Action Plan for Public Domain Improvements as well as Councillor workshops organised by the Division of Local Government will take up a lot of Council time in the next few months.

* * *

ALL COUNCILS in NSW are required to undertake disability inclusion action planning.

A Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) provides a whole of Council approach to effectively plan for and deliver on the diverse needs of people with a disability in our community.

It is estimated that approximately 20 per cent of our population have some form of disability and 6 per cent require some sort of assistance with their daily lives.

Hunters Hill Council has worked in partnership with City of Ryde and Lane Cove Council to develop a regional Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

The draft Plan is now on Exhibition and can be downloaded along with the Consultation Outcomes report.

Comments and submissions on the draft Plan will be received until 4pm Friday September 29, 2017.

Please send submissions to the General Manager, Hunters Hill Council, PO Box 22, Hunters Hill 2110 or email to [email protected]

Clr Mark A. Bennett



Labor’s Jerome Laxale elected Mayor of Ryde

Labor Clr Jerome Laxale was elected as the new Mayor of the City of Ryde last night (Tuesday).
Mayor Laxale was elected by seven votes to four with the support of his three Labor colleagues, Ryde’s two councillors from The Greens and Independent Simon Zhou.
The Greens Clr Chris Gordon was elected Deputy Mayor with seven votes to four, with Independent Clr Roy Maggio abstaining from both votes.
The Liberals Clr Sarkis Yedelian received four Liberal votes for Mayor and colleague Jordan Lane also received four votes for Deputy Mayor.
In his victory speech, the new Mayor said he hoped the council would move on from the State Government’s failed attempt to force it to merge with Hunters Hill and Lane Cove.
“The last five years have been difficult and the State Government’s attempted forced merger has crippled this council for years to come and in the end it was more nothing,” he said.
“Our council was in the news for all the wrong reasons but now, for the first time ever, voters have elected a council from the progressive side of politics and a council that will put local people first.
“Ryde is a great city and deserves a great council.”
Deputy Mayor Chris Gordon agreed.
“Everyone’s very, very eager to get on and make Ryde a great place to live and what an exciting time this is for The Greens,” he said.
“A council can also be a forum for community protest, as we’ve seen with the forced council amalgamations.”
Councillors voted to introduce two new committees; one for the Arts and the other a Renewable Energy Advisory Committee.


l to r. Christopher Gordon Deputy and Mayor Jerome Laxale head the new Ryde Council.

TWT on the spot photo.



Older Persons Feature

Pioneering story of Twilight Aged Care

MINISTER for Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM has officially launched an important new book about one of Australia’s oldest continuously operating not-for-profit aged care providers, Twilight Aged Care in Sydney.

The launch was appropriately held in the historic Lady Mayoress’s Rooms at Sydney Town Hall – the same location where the first meeting of a group of very influential women brainstormed the idea of Twilight House – a home to meet a community need to care for elderly women in Sydney’s north – took place.

Around 50 guests attended the breakfast book launch including dignitaries, people closely associated with Twilight’s journey over the decades, history buffs and industry peers.

The book, An Australian Story: Twilight House 1915-2015 was written by accomplished Sydney historian and author Ron Ringer, who was at the event for book signings and to talk about the process of recording this important piece of historical research and to shed light on a story that, up until now has not been adequately told.

The book charts not only the journey of the past 100 years of Twilight Aged Care, but also discusses the state of aged care and social welfare in Australia at the time.

“The Twilight Founders’ unwavering dedication to their cause provided a sense of place, shelter and a feeling of peace and wellbeing for countless thousands of elderly women across northern Sydney communities and their important legacy continues, more than100 years on,” Twilight Aged Care CEO Lesley Jordan said.

An excerpt from the book setting the scene for the meeting that launched Twilight House and discussing the dire need for aged care at the time:

“The appointed day arrived when on Tuesday November 26, 1912 the attendees climbed the steps of the town hall and were shown into the mayoral chambers. As Lady Mayoress, Florence Clarke spoke first, followed by others who reflected on the unhappy circumstances that too often surrounded the declining years of elderly ladies on small incomes. There was no shortage of people coming forward to address the assembled crowd. Miss Rose Scott, a notable activist, said she knew of elderly women who were practically dependent on the old-age pension.”

RON RINGER is a consulting historian and the published author of numerous institutional histories, educational texts and architecture-related books.

He also consults to academic clients and financial service and government organisations on a range of writing and communications projects.

To date, he has published 15 books. Ron has also received endorsements from esteemed historian, Geoffrey Blainey for his past historical non-fiction work.

To purchase a copy of the book go to www.twilight.org.au and click on the News & Insights / History book page for payment details or phone the corporate office on 9414 4400 or email: [email protected]

Older Person Day FEATURE PAGES

MP Dominello has high praise for caring Helen

Stalwart Ryde community leader Helen James has been honoured in Parliament by Ryde MP Victor Dominello.

Mr Dominello told Parliament Ms James has served as Secretary and President of the local North Ryde Combined Probus Club, a supporter of The Salvation Army and a compassionate carer.

He said: “Helen James is involved in Probus, she fundraises for the Heart Foundation, volunteers for the Salvation Army, helps family members and is an advocate educating people about a disease that is widespread but often goes unnoticed in our community.

“Over the last 12 years Helen has learned much about dementia and in recent years has become increasing active to raise awareness.

“Her husband Gordon James was a successful insurance broker at Lloyds of London and moved to Sydney in 1979, where he started his own insurance broking business.

“Helen met Gordon in 1994 and joined with him in the business until they both retired in 2006.

“It was in that last year of work that Helen detected changes in Gordon and he was diagnosed with Fronto Temporal Dementia with the variants of Semantic and Behavioural Dementia.

If asked, Helen would describe the past 12 years of her life as a Ôdementia journey.Õ

“Gordon was 64 years of age when they received his diagnosis and passed away in February aged 76.

“This debilitating disease, its consequences for her husband and herself are what drives Helen’s advocacy for education about this disease.

“At the beginning she was informed that the dementia affecting Gordon was very rare and progressive and the symptoms would worsen over time.

“She was also told it was the slowest and longest deteriorations of dementia and one of the most challenging to manage.

“Helen was the Secretary of North Ryde Combined Probus Club for the past five years and recently became President of the Club in March.

“The Probus club has 145 members and they organise numerous social outings to encourage friendships and socialisation for retirees in the Ryde Community.

“The Big Heart Appeal is favoured by Helen because her niece was born with major heart complications and her brother died suddenly with heart disease one week prior to his 60th birthday and she involves her neighbours by participating in the annual door knock appeal in her street.

“The Salvation Army in Ryde is active and Helen finds time to help them by supporting their annual fundraising appeal at Top Ryde City Shopping Centre.

“She continues to be a person who gives much to enriching our community.

“I admire Helen, her ability to manage the devastating illness her husband was suffering with such a degree of optimism, resilience, good humour and dignity.

“A person who somehow found time and energy to continue her volunteering, and voluntary executive roles during this time and I applaud her efforts to raise awareness regarding dementia in our community and commend her as a constituent who is an example to us all.”

TWT Granny Smith Festival

TWT Granny Smith Festival Queen Quest

Last week to enter!

2017 TWT Miss Eastwood Granny Smith Festival Queen will share in $10,000 prizes including $1,000 cash First Prize courtesy Eastwood Shopping Centre and $1200 June Dally Watkins course.

She will star in this year’s Granny Smith Festival Grand Parade through Eastwood on Saturday October 21 along with other Grand Finalists who will share prizemoney and other valuable prizes including $500 first runner-up and $250 second runner-up

The winner will serve as The Weekly Times and Eastwood Shopping Centre Ambassador for the year with the opportunity to meet and greet many important and influential people during her reign.

Entry is free and is open to all young ladies sixteen years of age and over on Granny Smith Festival Day Saturday October 21 in Eastwood.


Numbers are limited this year so contestants are advised not to hesitate but to enter today so as not be disappointed.

Judging with a panel of judges is Thursday October 5 from 4pm and Gala Presentation is in Eastwood Shopping Centre centre court Saturday October 7 at 11am.


NATALIE HISSEY, of Eastwood is this week’s TWT Miss Eastwood Granny Smith  Festival Queen Quest entrant.

Natalie lists her hobbies and interests as swimming/fitness, chess, travelling, cooking and learning new languages.

Why I would like to be TWT Granny Smith Festival Queen: Like many people who come to Ryde I have chosen to live here as I have great admiration for the community spirit of this area and I would like to increase my participation by giving  back to our community.

As a local resident studying law and Chinese Mandarin at Macquarie University I appreciate the diversity that unites Ryde.

My studies have enabled me to better understand the many cultural aspects of our community and I want to be more involved on celebrating and appreciating our cultural diversity.

If I am fortunate enough to win the Eastwood Granny Smith Queen, I intend to represent and engage the interests of the young people and many cultural communities and use my voice to promote Ryde as far and wide as I can – through our local paper, our sporting teams, our thriving arts culture, and our small businesses.

We have so much to offer!

2016 TWT Miss Eastwood Granny Smith Festival Queen Rachel Monck was crowned by her predecessor 2015 Festival Queen Ya Ruth Huo. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.

West Ryde Chamber Commerce

Nora Etmekdjian was re-elected President of West Ryde Chamber of Commerce at Monday night’s AGM held at the West Ryde Hotel. New board for 2017-18 is: President: Nora Etmekdjian; Vice President: Anthony Taffa; Treasurer: Hameed Fazal; Secretary: David Boundy; Committee: Phil Brown; Kevin Lu; Wayne Beard and John F Booth. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.