HUNTERS HILL HAPPENINGS with Mayor MARK BENNETT: Business ‘Inclusion’ Award

LAST WEEK the Council Aged and Disability Co-ordinator and I joined colleagues from City of Ryde and Lane Cove Councils to present the winners of our new, collaborative ‘Inclusion’ award for business at the long-standing Northern Business Awards Presentation evening at The Epping Club.

Our community made a considerable contribution to the awards response and I congratulate local business Buffalo Locksmiths (Ryde) and to the Highly Commended Finalists, One Seed Patisserie (Lane Cove) and our own local business The Hunters Hill Hotel.

Hunters Hill Council is currently working to implement our Disability Inclusion Action Plan and applauds the efforts of our business community who also work to make their products, venues and services more welcoming and accessible to people of all abilities. The message of the new award campaign has been: ‘Good for business; good for community.’

Inclusion is an essential approach to a stronger community, and simply put, is also great business practice.

* * *

FOLLOWING ON from the Centenary Commemoration and the repair of the World War 1 Howitzer in 2015, Council obtained a $10,000 grant from Veterans’ Affairs and voted to supply more funds necessary for the construction of a canopy over the Gun, situated outside the Town Hall.

This work is now completed, complementing the historical significance of both the Town Hall and the Cannon.

Council’s Exhibition and Assessment Report concerning the Gladesville Planning Proposal is currently available on the council website and provides a summary and analysis of the main issues raised by submissions, a discussion regarding the merits of the exhibited Planning Proposal and a recommendation for Council at Ordinary Meeting to be held 10 September 2018.

At the meeting, a resolution on the Planning Proposal , once adopted, will be forwarded to the Department of Planning and Environment. The Department of Planning and Environment is the determining authority for the planning proposal.

* * *

AFTER MORE than 22 years, the Manager Community Services Mrs Margaret Kelly is retiring from Council. It has been great working with Margaret, who has left her mark on Council.

Now it’s time for her to relax and enjoy, and I offer my congratulations and best wishes on her retirement.

TO THE POINT with IAN HANSEN: The Romantics Art Show is for lovers of traditional art

A FINE mix of traditional art work can be viewed at The Romantics Art Show Exhibition which opens this Friday September 7 in Hunters Hill Town Hall, 22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill at 5pm.

For the ninth consecutive year The Romantics Art Show will be held in the Hunters Hill Town Hall and will run until this Sunday September 9.

The Romantics are a group of five traditional professional artists whose friendships go back to the early 1970s.

It was a love of traditional art and an admiration for the works of the old master painters that first brought us five artists together over 30 years ago.

Today our work is well known, highly sought after and hangs in many collections both here and overseas and on exhibit this weekend will be our latest collection of impressionist oil paintings depicting marine art from a bygone era, fine Australian landscape and rural scenes, street scenes from Paris and detailed colourful wildlife.

* * *

YOURS truly has been a full time artist for 44 years and I specialise in marine subjects.

I enlisted in the Navy at the age of 15 as an apprentice Shipwright and served 12 years before becoming a professional artist.

Since then I’ve been working mainly on commissions and have been most fortunate to have my paintings go all over the world.

As a dedicated artist, I’ve also had the privilege of winning several International Art Awards which has given me enormous satisfaction.

* * *

OTHER members of The Romantics include Max Mannix, who started his working life as a stockman in cattle stations in outback Queensland after growing up in Victorian country towns.

This life style and many characters he came across provided Max with plenty of inspiration to capture the outback humour and insight into the old Aussie way of life with his popular paintings.

Artist Ramon Ward Thompson came from New Zealand in the 1960s and worked as a professional fisherman and crocodile hunter in the Northern Territory and Queensland waters before turning to art.

He has had many successful exhibitions in the last 40 years and travels extensively throughout Europe and Britain collecting reference for his sought after paintings.

* * *

ARTIST Werner Filipich initially trained as a hairdresser, winning an Australian Championship before the strong pull of painting took over.

His traditional landscape and figurative paintings are influenced by the Heildberg School and he often ‘goes bush’ seeking reference and painting the Australian bush.

James Hough is an international award winning artist that had a surveying background and his years of tramping through the bush had him observing a host of wildlife especially birds that would become his favourite subject matter for his very popular paintings.

All of the artists will be in attendance during the show and will be happy to discuss their paintings and art with you.

* * *

TO DATE The Romantics have raised over $40,000 for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse facility at Camperdown and this fund raising will continue again this year.

As in previous years, we’ll be donating a percentage of all painting sales as well as proceeds from the raffle of an original painting to this non-profit organisation that relies totally on donations from the wider community to bring hope and care to cancer sufferers, their families and carers.

This is an opportunity to view and perhaps purchase some excellent traditional art, to meet the artists behind the paintings and to support a very worthwhile charity.

Entry is free and Max Mannix has donated one of his paintings for the raffle prize. The Art Exhibition continues this Saturday September 8 with opening hours from 10am to 5pm and this Sunday September 9 from 10am to 4pm.

For further details check website:

IAN HANSEN is an an international award winning marine artist.

Self-managed Super Funds can save our Medicos


With a couple of major hospitals in TWT territory, doctors and medical professionals are in ample supply.

And they pay a lot in tax, perhaps too much. Tax legislation restricts their use of discretionary trusts and similar entities, so they generally cop it sweet.

But there’s still stuff they can do and iChoice has been able to help many doctors and medical professionals because we love helping those who spend their lives helping others.

Because they understand and respect the specialist framework in their own profession, they are particularly receptive to specialist financial advice.

Dr Craig and Mrs Diane (not their real names) have just left my office very happy indeed.
They have a commercial loan of $1.4m owing on their surgery that receives rent of $180K per annum from their business.

We just signed docs to refinance this loan, using their owner-occupied property as collateral, so they can get a variable rate of 3.59% (with a 2.18% lifetime discount). This will immediately save them more than $18,000 a year in interest.

And my accountant is calling them later today to discuss setting up a SMSF to acquire this surgery. Even though it’s worth $3m, the stamp duty to switch it across is only $500 because it’s currently held in their personal names and is NSW business real property.

Rather than paying 45% tax on the rent, the 15% tax rate inside Super will save them $54,000 every year.

So when they hang their boots up, their SMSF tax rate will be reduced to 0%, saving them $81,000 each year.

Our iChoice premises was bought through an SMSF last year. Since I’m 48, by the time I’m 63, I’ll have be able to draw a pension of $90,000 (based on today’s dollars). So this measure certainly ticks the ‘asset protection’ box.

It’s the different tax treatment that makes going down this path so financially advantageous. If it wasn’t so absolutely legal and acceptable, you’d call it a scam.

Knowing the whole picture makes a huge difference to what tweaks I can recommend to put you in a better financial position, so give me a buzz if you’d like some guidance or to run anything past me on 0400 900 300 – there’’s no charge.

Something (off-topic) I need to get off my chest: The words “to be honest” before a statement is something I’ve encountered a lot lately – it gives the impression they pick and choose when they’re going to be honest!
If you feel yourself about to say it, do yourself a favour and change it to “to be frank”. That is, unless your name is Frank – that might get weird.

I’m really enjoying meeting so many TWT readers and would like to thank those who’ve allowed me to help them save some money on their loans, for their trust and support.


Draft Community Strategic Plan a vision for the future

THE Local Government Act 1993 Sections 402 and 405 provide that a council must complete a review of its Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program and Operational Plan by June 30 in the year following the local government elections and its Budget and Fees & Charges on an annual basis.

The suite of plans are now on public exhibition for a period of 28 days and comments from the community will be considered prior to final endorsement by Council.

The Draft Community Strategic Plan (10 year plan) gives both Council and the community a vision for the main priorities and aspirations for the future of the Hunters Hill local government area and includes the draft budget proposing an increase of 2.3 per cent in ordinary and special rates, which is the maximum allowable rate pegging limit announced by the Minister for Local Government.

If you wish to view copies of the documents and provide feedback to Council they are available from the Council website , the Council Administration Centre, 22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill and the Gladesville Branch Library, Pittwater Road, Gladesville

* * *

HUNTERS Hill Council is preparing a Camp Management Plan for the Tarban Creek Grey-headed Flying-fox camp which will guide its future management.

Community feedback will help Council develop this Management Plan. 

Council is seeking community views on both the impacts of the flying-fox camp and the outcomes people hope management of the flying-fox camp will achieve.

Extensive consultation is planned and there are a number of ways for residents, park users and stakeholders to become involved in the development of the Plan.

If you are interested in the future of the Tarban Creek Grey-headed Flying-fox colony, please get involved and complete the online survey at

* * *

LOT size, floor space, landscaped area, setback controls and storey controls determine the local character of an area and the recent changes to the state-wide Low-Rise Medium Density Housing Code simply cannot address all the permutations of individual area controls.

The impact on local character will be significant and Council has written to the Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts advising that it is concerned about the expanded enforcement duties that all councils will be expected to undertake and the lack of consultation/education surrounding this change and requested that Council seek an ongoing exemption from the Code.



To The POINT with GEORGE PAPALLO: Symphony Orchestra boasts an impressive line up of musicians

THE RYDE Hunters Hill Symphony Orchestra (RHHSO) was the brainchild of local resident Rita Lepedjian.

Rita along with Dr Raf Marcellino, Prof Levon Khachigian, Ian Cox and George Papallo OAM, launched the orchestra in December 2011.

Shortly after, Hugh Lee OAM joined the Board.

The inaugural concert was held at St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill in May 2012 where the world premiere of ÒFrom the Field of MarsÓ composed by Ryde City’s current Deputy Mayor Christopher Gordon was played.

Since then, the Orchestra has performed over thirty concerts mostly under the baton of Dr Carlos Alvarado whose passion and dedication for music has given the orchestra considerable credibility.

* * *

DR ALVARADO has been supported by Ian Cox who has conducted the Family ‘Kids Concerts’ in Ryde and Hunters Hill with significant success.

The Orchestra which comprises musicians of all age groups has been ably led in recent times by Concert Master Naomi Warr.

It has performed at the Ryde Civic Centre, The Ryde Community Hall, The Concourse Chatswood, The Grand Hall at Sydney University and a number of school halls.

It boasts performing at least four World Premiere compositions.

Acclaimed international soloists including Roger Woodward, Gregory Kinda, Georgia Lowe, Andrew Del Riccio, Rodrigo Santibanez and singers Anita Kyle, Damian Arnold and Jenny Liu are just some of the talent who have been accompanied by RHHSO.

* * *

LAST YEAR as a first, the orchestra offered a Young Composers Competition judged by our composer in residence Daniel Rojas.

The composition ‘Forest Awakening’ by Paris Francis was chosen to be performed by the orchestra.

This year, RHHSO is planning anther first, a Concerto Competition for school aged students to be offered in November.

The Ryde Hunters Hill Symphony Orchestra is forever grateful for its host of sponsors which include the Foundation sponsors, the Councils of Ryde and Hunters Hill, The Weekly Times and The Northern District Times.

Of special note is the extraordinary contribution to the administration of the orchestra by the Lepedjian family: Nairi, Arda, Arman and Erik as well as Linda Smith, Haig Garabedian and Joyce Martin without whom the orchestra could not survive.

Conductor Carlos Alvarado is always keen to welcome new musicians to audition for the orchestra and past and new patrons are always welcome to attend RHHSO concerts.

Please consult our website at to see the program for the year or should you be interested in auditioning for the orchestra.

GEORGE PAPALLO OAM is a Director of Ryde Hunters Hill Symphony Orchestra

Art Exhibition a huge success


THE 64th Hunters Hill Art Exhibition drew 450 art enthusiasts to visit on Opening Night Friday May 11.

This Exhibition was displayed in three historic buildings namely: the Hunters Hill Town Hall, the Congregational Church and Vienna Cottage with the 20 Pop Up galleries connecting artists and local business.

A feature of the Pop Up program this year was the outdoor sculptures exhibition in two locations.

Over 380 finalists were selected from more than 900 entries with a record number of sales and record numbers of visitors from all over Sydney visiting during the 10 day period.

This Exhibition was another great success due to the high standard of works received and the wonderful work by volunteers who gave so generously of their time and expertise.

For the second year running, painter Mertim Gokalp won the Hunters Hill Art Prize with his amazing photo realistic painting which captured the playful and charming essences of celebrity chef Manu Feildel.

* * *

IN CASE you missed the Salvos knocking on your door over the weekend, you are still able to contribute to the Red Shield Appeal by sending a donation to The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Reply Paid 229, Sydney South NSW 1234 or donate online at You – ABN 46 891 896 885.

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NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch is being reinvigorated in our area.

Neighbourhood Watch is, the local community and the police working together to establish a safer environment, to build a safer community, prevent crime and enhance effective communication. They meet regularly and distribute a newsletter with crime information and tips on keeping safe in our community.

If you are interested in helping re-establish the Hunters Hill and Gladesville Neighbourhood Watch groups, phone Phil Browne on 0414 203 341.

* * *

TO celebrate the Gai-mariagal Festival and local indigenous heritage, Council has organised a Walk and Talk in Kelly’s Bush.

It will be held on two days: Saturday June 9 from 2pm-3.30pm and Sunday June 17 from 10.30am to 12noon.

It is a free event and people can meet at Weil Park Hall, Weil Park, Woolwich Road, Woolwich to take part.

* * *

LOCAL indigenous resident Dave Bird will lead two walks around Kelly’s Bush.

He has an outstanding knowledge of the area, which has a proud indigenous history as well as being the site of the World’s first “Green Ban”.

This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the bushland plant and animals as well as the fascinating history of the area. Bookings are not required. Further information is available from Jane Tamasauskas on 9879 9449 or email [email protected]



To THE POINT with MARK ALLERTON: Joubert Singers celebrate with Concerts

IN 2018 the Joubert Singers have been singing together as Hunters Hill’s community choir for 25 years.

The Joubert Singers began in 1993 as a group of local singers and over the last quarter century evolved into a vocal ensemble attracting singers and audiences from Sydney and beyond to experience the joy of sharing great music from around the world and across the centuries.

The choir took its name from the brothers Jules and Didier Joubert, who established the district as one of Australia’s first residential suburbs, building some of its most beautiful sandstone historic edifices, and serving as its first mayor and liquor merchant.

The Joubert Singers Choir has since interwoven itself into Hunters Hill’s history, commissioning and performing works about the locality, participating in its sesquicentenary celebrations, and in the protests to save Hunters Hill from the recent threatened council merger.

* * *

WITH A focus on music by the great choral composers such as Mozart, the Haydn brothers, Vivaldi and Bach, the choir also celebrates its heritage with numerous French choral works including by Poulenc, Fauré and Charpentier.

We are particularly fortunate to have had the brilliant and inspiring Rachelle Elliott as Artistic Director for the last 15 years.

The three concerts this year will present the different styles of music sung by the choir: religious and secular music from different countries, with an emphasis on French and Scandinavian music; modern music, including very recent Australian and Icelandic works, and popular and more exotic carols in our annual Christmas concert.

* * *

THE FIRST Silver Anniversary concert titled Belles Voix will be held on Sunday May 27 in Gladesville-Boronia Park Uniting Church at 2.30pm.

This concert showcases the choir’s affinity with French music, with two works by Gabriel Fauré, some French chansons and part-songs. It also will present some 21st century Australian works including an Australian premiere of Heather Percy’s The Garden of Love.

The acclaimed harpist Verna Lee will also perform a solo recital as our special guest.

Verna is a local musician with an international reputation, who has played with orchestras such as the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras.

She played the harp for the movie The Matrix, and has even played in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

At this concert she will play music on the triple harp as well as the full harp.

* * *

IN SEPTEMBER’S Silver Jubilee Concert, the choir will sing the Vespers Solemnes de Confessore K339 by Mozart and some Nordic choral music, a choir and audience favourite.

The choir’s tradition of Christmas concerts continues this year, focusing on Australian Christmas carols and JS Bach’s Jesu meine Freude.

The choir is delighted to welcome new members, and although sight reading is an advantage, it is not required.

If you would like to attend the concert, or find out more about the choir, visit the Joubert Singers’ website: or contact Mark Allerton for more details on 0402 890 799.


  • MARK ALLERTON is a tenor with the Joubert Singers’ Choir

To The POINT with CHRIS SCHOFIELD: Old Toys Exhibition offers stimulating insights

THERE IS a saying that the toys of today are the tools of tomorrow.

In other words, what children play with will equip them with skills for the future.

So it is interesting to look back at the sorts of toys and amusements that children of yesteryear had access to.

Hunters Hill Historical Society is currently staging an exhibition of old toys at its Museum at Hunters Hill Town Hall, and the display gives a stimulating and entertaining insight into the past.

Unlike today’s children who are exposed to the latest electronic gadgetry and who appear to possess an innate technical understanding, youngsters in earlier and Victorian times had access to fewer and much simpler toys.

* * *

THE ECONOMIC divide in 19th century Australian society could be seen in the types of toys that were available.

Poor families produced their own playthings such as dolls made out of clothes pegs, skipping ropes and hobby horses fashioned from a wooden pole.

Children used their meagre pocket money to buy spinning tops, skipping ropes and kites.

The more affluent were able to afford rocking horses with real horse hair manes.

There were china or wax dollies, elaborate dolls’ houses with miniature furniture and tea sets for the girls while the boys played with tin soldiers and clockwork model trains.

Instead of video games and computers, earlier children were equipped with only their imagination and often utilised whatever was to hand to create a toy that satisfied their need for entertainment.

Victorian children loved to play marbles.

Poorer children used marbles made from clay while rich children had ones carved out of real marble. It is worth noting that religious observance meant that rarely were toys allowed to be brought out on Sundays.

The one exception was Noah’s Ark because of its biblical connotations.

* * *

RATHER THAN DVDs and trips to the movies, probably the most popular picture toy of the past was the Zoetrope.

It was one of several pre-film animation novelty devices that produced the illusion of movement by displaying a sequence of drawings or photo images which blurred together.

There was also the kaleidoscope.

A child could look through one end and see a brightly coloured design at the other end. As the child twisted or shook it, the psychedelic design would change into another fascinating design.

One childhood amusement that has changed very little is the football, even though the shape and substance of it has gone through some variations over time.

Kicking a ball, fashioned out of leather or animal skin, has been around for thousands of years. Football was played on lawns or in the streets by all classes and by both boys and girls.

* * *

THE EXHIBITION has artefacts which will interest and delight all ages; old games like dominoes and Chinese chequers and felt mice created as Christmas decorations as well as an assortment of boys’ and girls’ books.

One artefact on show is a ‘Knitting Nancy’, a small hand-held device that enables items to be produced out of twisting a strand of fibre.

The fibre is wrapped round a peg-like object.

The Museum also has some ‘hands-on’ exhibits which today’s children will not have had the opportunity to play with before; extinct examples such as a typewriter, a set of weighing scales and a candle snuffer.

The Museum is open Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 12noon. School groups are welcome.

However groups should first call the Museum on 9879 9433 to arrange a visit.

CHRIS SCHOFIELD is President of Hunters Hill Historical Society


To The Point with DANIEL TUCKER

Improve your confidence and speaking skills with Toastmasters

THIS YEAR Happy Hunters Hill Toastmasters Club is celebrating 20 years of service to the community helping thousands of people achieve communication and leadership skills.

Toastmasters has always offered a friendly and supportive environment to its members.

Our members are encouraged to present both impromptu and prepared speeches.

All speeches are evaluated through positive feedback and constructive criticism to help speakers improve for their next presentation.

* * *

YOURS TRULY has been a member of Toastmasters since 1993.

I joined because of a severe stutter I had, and needed to gain confidence.

Toastmasters helped me gain that confidence.

I was making and taking a lot of phone calls in my job. Toastmasters was pivitol in helping me get the job done and more importantly, I was not afraid of being judged by the customers who I was serving.

I have made life long friends from Toastmasters.

Not to mention meeting my wife Lyndal at Happy Hunters Hill Toastmasters.

* * *

TOASTMASTERS OFFERS people many different speaking opportunities.

The on line program allows members to specialise in what they would like to work on.

This can help with career opportunities, and members can practice for work presentations and leadership skills for career or any other aspect of their lives.

Toastmasters offers leadership opportunities.

Members can progress to club executive roles.

There are leadership roles that are outside the club such as Area Director.

Taking on these roles contributes to club success and are very rewarding.

* * *

TOASTMASTERS HOLDS two rounds of speech contests every year.

Speech contests are an opportunity for speakers to further develop their speaking skills that they have learned from the Toastmaster program.

The International Speech Contest is the most prestigious, with a World Championship being held every year.

On Saturday May 26, Happy Hunters Hill Toastmasters Club will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary dinner to be held at the Hunters Hill Club at 12-20 Madeline Street Hunters Hill at 6.30pm.

We are looking for past members who would be interested in attending this event.

For more information and payment advice see:

Please contact Daniel Tucker DTM on [email protected] for details.


DANIEL TUCKER is secretary of Happy Hunters Hill Toastmasters Club

To The POINT with STEVEN BUCHERT: Making tracks during childhood adventures at Boronia Park

IMAGINE THIS: an eight year old boy who just moved to the Boronia Park area and teamed-up with a few mates to spend many of his weekends in the bush reserves throughout Hunters Hill.

We were known as “Peter, Paul and ….” in recognition of the famous musicians of that era.

There were many adventures at these times of my childhood, swinging from the ropes in the trees, swimming in the river and making tracks that are now part of the Great North Walk.

The most memorable time was when we hitch hiked to Valentia Street wharf and fished a few flathead, to hitch back to Boronia bush and with pan and matches in hand, we walked to our double-ended cave to climb down the steep tunnel, lighting the candles as we slid to the bottom and cooked-up our delicious meal at the water’s edge.

We had a good time in visiting the caves, especially the cave at the ‘Hermit’s Camp’ where we ate the fruits of the loquat tree.

* * *

THE BUSH of the Boronia Park area holds many secrets, from long time past and not too long ago; of people who lived and fished on the banks of the Lane Cove River; those who just camped there and those who were in need of somewhere to live.

Back in those days there was no recognition of the need to manage the bush.

Today, I have a different role, that being President of Friends of Boronia Park (FOBP) bush care group.

Friends of Boronia Park is one of eleven bush care groups of Hunters Hill with members who are passionate about maintaining their piece of the bush so that each pocket remains a natural environment for future generations to enjoy.

These days when we are doing bush care, I take note of the wonderful sounds and the marvellous sights that the bush shares with us.

* * *

EARLIER THIS year at the Australia Day ceremony, the bush care groups of Hunters Hill collectively received the Project of the Year award from Mayor, Councillor Mark Bennett.

This award is recognition of the dedicated and hard work contributed by the many people who make-up the bush care groups within our community.

Even though I don’t remember ever doing homework, I do remember the sights and sounds of this wonderful bush that we can all share.

I don’t see my mates any longer, but perhaps they also reflect on the old days of our bush adventures.

If you wish to join bush care or perhaps you would like to complete your own award scheme for Scouts, Duke of Edinburgh or school projects, contact Hunters Hill Council and our bush care manager will assist you in having your own adventure.

By the way, the cave’s entrance is now covered by boards for the original GNW footway.


STEVEN BUCHERT is President of Friends of Boronia Park Group.