The Castlecrag Progress Association Inc. has been in existence since 1925. It was incorporated in April 1992 under the Associations Incorporation Act 1984 and has an unbroken record of service to the residents of Castlecrag.
Its objectives are:
To do everything possible to promote and further the interests of the district of Castlecrag or other nearby areas where it is possible that benefit could accrue to the advantage of the district and could enhance and stimulate the community life of residents of Castlecrag and environs.
To conserve the natural and human heritage of Castlecrag for the benefit of future generations.
The inaugural meeting of the Progress Association was held on 10 November 1925, when Edgar Herbert was elected president. Walter and Marion Griffin were active members, with Walter serving on the Executive Committee.
Its early campaigns were for:
- A Government infants school
- Better transport access to the city by construction of an arterial road from East Lindfield to North Sydney. This was achieved in 1939 with the opening of Eastern Valley Way
- The upgrading of Edinburgh Road
- The undergrounding of electricity wires
- Sewage services for the Castlecrag Peninsula
- Tree planting along Edinburgh Road.
Other subsequent campaigns of the Progress Association are presented in History. The Association has consistently campaigned to maintain the Griffin vision for Castlecrag and took the lead in:
- Community opposition to the extension of the Warringah Freeway over the northern escarpment of the Castlecrag Peninsula (abandoned in 1976)
- The establishment of planning controls to protect the built and natural environment of the suburb (progressively implemented by Council)
- Improved traffic management in the suburb
- The retention of the Infants School (failed despite intense community support over an extended period).
Membership of the of the Progress Association is open to residents of the suburb of Castlecrag on an individual basis. Annual membership (calendar year) is $20 per person or $10 concession.
Select JOIN on the menu bar and download the Membership Form.
See instructions for payment by either direct transfer or cheque.
The following people have been elected to the Castlecrag Progress Association executive and committee for 2022.
President: Denis Fernandez
Vice-Presidents: Dr Paul Stokes, Kate Westoby
Secretary: Dr Paul Stokes
Treasurer: Diana Jones
Committee: Lindy Batterham, Ruth Kendon, Leon Smith, Gay Spies OAM.
Lindy Batterham was born in Castlecrag and has spent most of her adult life here, moving back when she started a family in the early ‘80s. The last 16 years were spent working in TAFE, teaching Early Childhood Education. Prior to that she worked professionally in theatre as a writer and performer. She has created and produced theatre at The Haven Amphitheatre as part of its management committee for the last 30 years. She became coordinator of the Save our Infants School group SOS*CRAG (1989-93) when her alma mater was closed just as her daughter commenced her schooling there. Since 2015, Lindy has served as honorary editor of our local CPA newsletter The Crag.
Denis Fernandez lives in Castlecrag with his family and remembers time spent during the 1970s exploring the bush and Middle Harbour. He is experienced in aerial and terrestrial surveying – imagery & LiDAR, town planning, project management and the governance of infrastructure and built environment projects. His other activities have involved the Australia Timor-Leste Business Council & LETS, 1st Northbridge Sea Scouts as a qualified Scout Leader, Climate Change Equity, Liveable Australia, Australian Research Council Advisory Group – Linkage Project on Senior Living by providing guidance on the economic, environmental and social psychological evaluation of independent senior living alternatives for Australians. During his time as a Councillor at Willoughby representing Sailors Bay Ward from 2017 to 2021, Denis secured notable motions by consensus, such as the Climate Change Emergency Declaration, Our Green City Plan 2028, the Integrated Transport Strategy, Covid-19 Pandemic Economic and Community Action Plan, Reserve Action Plans, additional funding for gross pollution traps to better protect Middle Harbour and to extend & maintain bushland reserves and walking tracks, Property Portfolio Strategy, The Concourse – fire safety program of replacing potential combustible external aluminium cladding and the unanimous Council objection & amendments to the proposed Beaches Link Tunnel.
Diana Jones a science graduate, bookkeeper, BAS agent, and retired computer programmer, has lived in Castlecrag since 1978. She is interested in heritage and the natural environment, is active in several community organisations. In recognition of her services, Diana was awarded Life Membership of the CPA in May 2009 and Willoughby Citizen of the Year in 2014.
Ruth Kendon is a practicing naturopath and herbalist based in Sydney, Australia. She has spent 30 years in private practice and taught clinical nutrition for 20 years at several colleges and university. Ruth has been an industry consultant on natural medicines and cosmetics for 18 years and represented industry for over 5 years in negotiations with the Federal Government. She is a Fellow of the National Herbalists’ Association of Australia, the leading professional body for naturopaths and herbalists in Australia. Ruth has lived in Castlecrag for 30 years and loves our native birds, animals and trees. She is passionate about protecting the bushland which feeds and shelters them.
Leon Smith was a project manager then consultant in the employment and training area, including indigenous employment and training, IT and apprenticeships/traineeships. He has worked with indigenous communities, and with employer associations, group training companies and the public sector. Since 1994 he has lived in Castlecrag. He is interested in both the natural and built environments, with particular focus on the preservation and protection of bushland and birds, animals and insects.
Gay Spies OAM has been active in Castlecrag community affairs for 28 years through her untiring efforts to protect the natural environment. Her service as President of the Willoughby Environment Protection Association (WEPA) and her work on the Sugarloaf Bush Regeneration project, among other services, resulted in her Willoughby City Citizen of the Year award in 2002. Gay’s particular interests include indigenous plants and textiles.
Paul Stokes is a retired Science Teacher who taught at Hornsby Girls High School for nearly 15 years. He recently returned to Castlecrag after nearly 40 years, having grown up in The Battlement from 1952. As a child and adolescent, Paul loved the Castlecrag bushland and spent much of his formative years exploring it. Before becoming a teacher, he worked as a project manager in the financial services industry for many years and he is keen to bring these skills to bear in the interests of the Castlecrag Community.
Kate Westoby is a Teacher/Librarian at Castle Cove Primary School. She has been active in the Castlecrag community for many years, covering the kindergarten, infants’ school, the SOS*CRAG campaign, WEPA and the Conservation Society. She has served on the Progress Association Committee since 1985 and was President from 2001 to 2004, from 2009 to 2010, and from 2014 to 2016.
The Progress Association commenced a newsletter for the residents of Castlecrag in 1974 as ‘Castlecrag News’. It was relaunched as The Crag in March 1978 and has been published regularly since then. The Crag has been improved over the years and is distributed to all the 1100 households and businesses in the suburb, and to many households in East Willoughby. It publishes material on events and people in the Castlecrag Community.
To view recent articles from The Crag, click here.
The material published in The Crag on our history is presented under History. Articles, comments and letters to the editor are always welcome.
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