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The pipes and detention tanks of our city’s stormwater drainage system are taken for granted by most residents, who see it as something that can be left to others to worry about! One matter of concern to some residents, however, is a new ‘Stormwater Charge’ of $25 on their Willoughby City Council rates notice. This charge will contribute to the program of works that Council requires to upgrade and improve the efficiency of its stormwater drainage system in response to its deterioration due to age as well as higher community expectations. Increasing development pressure is generally addressed through developer-funded works.

Jeff Organ, Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, is one who has a passion the complexities of our surface and subterranean stormwater drainage system and has guided the development of an innovative program to achieve more sustainable management of our stormwater in future. Jeff was the Guest Speaker at the General Meeting of the Castlecrag Progress Association at the Community Centre on Tuesday 24 October. His address was both entertaining and informative.

Jeff outlined the problems confronting Council, both financial and physical, in replacing and updating to modern standards the 140km of deteriorating stormwater mains in the city and 5000 stormwater pits, which can also become traps for litter. He then discussed how Council’s stormwater management and infrastructure maintenance review is looking for more sustainable water management across Willoughby City. Particular attention was being given to reducing flooding problems in the Chatswood CBD and several other flood prone areas.

Council’s stormwater management and infrastructure maintenance program encompasses an innovative water management scheme to re-use water from Civic Place and harvest stormwater from the Chatswood CBD. Although other councils have been reusing water, particularly for watering playing fields and ovals, the system to be introduced in Chatswood is the first of this scale to capture the water run-off from the many hard surfaces of a CBD. This initiative is being supported by significant grants from both the State and Federal Governments.

State Government Grant for Willoughby Water Management

Willoughby City Council announced on 5 September that it had been awarded a $1.88m grant by the NSW Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability through its Water Savings Fund of Sydney for Council’s Chatswood CBD and Civic Place Integrated Water Management System. This grant matches an earlier Federal Government WaterSmart Grant of $1.88m dollar for dollar.

Civic Place will incorporate a range of smart water technologies and fittings throughout its facilities and open space areas. They were devised during the planning of Civic Place by Council’s drainage and environmental engineers who designed a leading, environmentally sustainable solution to conserve and reuse water while improving water drainage in Chatswood.

Willoughby Mayor Pat Reilly said “The grant is a recognition of Willoughby City Council’s innovative actions to create an economically and environmentally sustainable CBD for Chatswood. It is a result of the leading edge, environmentally sustainable design embodied in our community’s Civic Place project and is the first of its kind in Australia.”

Samantha Taranto

Professor Frank Talbot, the chairman of the newly established Sydney Institute of Marine Science, will be the guest speaker at the annual general meeting of the Progress Association on Sunday 18 May. Dr Talbot has been a director of the Australian Museum, the Californian Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute. He was appointed foundation professor of Environmental Studies at Macquarie University in 1975, where he is now Adjunct Professor.

When he came to Australia 44 years ago, Frank Talbot fell in love with Sydney Harbour and he has worked tirelessly to establish the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS). It is a joint venture research facility based on Sydney Harbour’s North Shore at Chowder Bay. It will bring together teams of leading scientists to work on issues that are critical for the management of our coastal and oceanic environments. The Sydney Harbour urban marine environment is a major research focus of the Institute. SIMS brings together key researchers to form cross-disciplinary teams of leading scientists working on issues that are critical for the sustainable management of our coastal and oceanic environments.

Professor Talbot will speak about the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and show a 9-minute DVD about its research interests. He is particularly keen for all residents of harbour foreshore suburbs, such as Castlecrag, to come to the meeting and exchange information about our marine environment.

All residents are welcome to attend this gathering, hear our most stimulating speaker and join together for a picnic lunch and get together in the delightful grounds of the Castlecrag Community Centre. The meting commences at 11.30 am on Sunday 18 May and ‘business matters’ will be kept to a minimum. Please bring a picnic lunch and drinks to enjoy a social get together after the formal proceedings.

In response to concerns from Raeburn Avenue over traffic problems in their street, Willoughby Council’s Traffic Engineer has commenced a six month trial of ‘No Parking’ zones near the top of. the avenue. The aim is to reduce traffic blockages and the danger to pedestrians. Council surveyed all Raeburn residents; more than half responded. Some 82 per cent had experienced traffic problems associated with parked cars; 71 per cent supported the introduction of short No Parking zones. The engineer decided on a ‘No Parking’ zone on the east side next to the doctor’s surgery, so that two lanes of traffic could pass. This seems to have achieved its aim of clearing that access/egress blockage.

More contentious are the ‘No Parking’ zones being trialed from No.1 down the street. Nearby shop-owners say trade has noticeably reduced without real benefits to traffic flow. Some locals had proposed limited duration parking to reduce all-day parking and assist surgery patients and short-term shoppers.

Council also agreed to mark all driveways to show the parking spaces available. This appears to have been successful in enabling householders to keep their driveways unobstructed. Council’s Compliance Unit has allowed a period of grace but is now enforcing the new restrictions.

Like all trials, some parts will work better than others. Residents may wish to give the trial its full six months, and then submit their views to the Council’s Traffic Section in July, for example, as to whether short-term parking would be preferable north of the shops’ laneway. Whatever the result of further fine-tuning in July, Council and its engineers are to be congratulated on the extent of consultation by survey and meeting, and the speed with which the trial’s format was implemented.

Meanwhile please do not use the junction as a turning circle, a major cause of blockages in busy times, and a danger to pedestrians and motorists. Use the roundabout at Rutland Avenue, or turn down Raeburn and do a three-point turn further down.

Bruce Wilson, Raeburn Avenue

Improving the streetscape in the Castlecrag shopping village is a priority for the backers of the Northbridge & Castlecrag Chamber of Commerce. Readers are encouraged to write to The Crag with their ideas for improvement. Photo: Bob McKillop.

A number of Castlecrag business owners have joined with their colleagues in Northbridge in a move to establish a local Chamber of Commerce to represent their interests. A foundation group of businesses representatives came together at the inaugural meeting at the Northbridge Golf Club on 16 March and they are seeking wider support from local business houses before formally establishing a chamber.

The impetus for the move came from the Northbridge Rotary Club, which hosted an event to promote the concept in February at which Scott Haddinott, president of the Chatswood Chamber of Commerce, Lindsay Dominique, president of the Cammeray Chamber of Commerce, the Member for Willoughby, Gladys Berejiklian and the Mayor of Willoughby, Pat Reilly, provided briefings on the potential role of a local chamber. Rosemary Macey, proprietor of Castlecrag’s Momo Interiors, was nominated as the interim president.

In addition to Momo Interiors, Ganache Patisserie and Roger Page Real Estate were represented at the inaugural meeting. Both the Castlecrag and Northbridge Progress Associations were also represented and indicated their support for the move.

Scott Haddinott advised the meeting that a local chamber would need clear objectives and demonstrate that it is an effective voice for the local business community. It should also serve a networking function to assist its members with specific business problems towards agencies or individuals who can provide the assistance they need. While the Chatswood Chamber of Commerce faced difficulties in meeting the diverse interests of its members, a smaller and more focused chamber would have the advantage of being closer to its members and the local community.

The inaugural meeting identified the goal or purpose of the Chamber of Commerce focused on the need for a ‘voice’ to represent the business community of the Northbridge and Castlecrag village shopping centres. A range of potential strategies was put forward to achieve the goal, including improving the environment and attractiveness of the Northbridge and Castlecrag shopping centres; publicity on local newspapers and other media in order to draw more customers to the local businesses; and awards for successful businesses. Building links with the local communities, such as support for local fairs and events, was also seen as important. A follow-up meeting was to be held on Tuesday 9 April.

Rosemary Macey told The Crag that she sees enhancing the streetscape as a priority for the Castlecrag shopping village. She is also interested in promoting the unique heritage and environment to a wider range of visitors as a means of making the suburb better known.

Bob McKillop

Editors: This item was put forward by David Scobie to the new Northbridge & Castlecrag Chamber of Commerce. We think they provide a good basis for further discussion on the elements that might be addressed in improving the attractiveness of our Castlecrag shopping village as the ‘gateway’ to Castlecrag and David has kindly updated the article for use in The Crag. We welcome your ideas on this important subject.

The following ideas are put forward as part of a broader strategy to improve the Castlecrag and Northbridge business precincts. They are proposed in the context of the current consultations regarding the Northbridge Plaza MasterPlan. The premise is that with any further development of the Plaza, it will be essential that the surroundings are improved to meet increased demand, to satisfy the concerns from local residents about their immediate environs and to take advantage of any improved retail and business opportunities that may arise. It is also likely that the tenant mix within the Plaza will change thus opening up possibilities for a more diverse range of business uses within the traditional shopping areas.

The theme binding the proposals is that Northbridge and Castlecrag shopping areas should continue to develop as villages with their own unique and distinctive character. Suggested improvements include:

• Pavement finishes to be non-slip and tactile, with an attractive appearance and mobility curbs;
• Improved street lighting for both traffic and ambient pedestrian areas, including protected under-awning spaces;
• Increased use of street trees and planters where appropriate;
• Opportunities for outdoor dining in appropriate locations;
• Policies and incentives to encourage businesses to improve their presentation, shop-fronts, mobility access, awning safety and awning lighting, signs and shop lighting;
• Appropriate and distinctive seating;
• Complimentary litter bins;
• Vehicle parking spaces for accessible users and standard timed zones;
• Appropriate delivery and service vehicle standing spaces;
• Appropriate blister elements to improve pedestrian access and crossing distances; and
• Support for improved street address numbering through a standard street number ‘plate’ on each property.

David Scobie

Proposed Changes to the NSW Planning System

Following our article in the February 2008 issue of The Crag on the discussion paper titled ‘Improving the NSW Planning System’, an independent review of the submissions from the public exhibition of the discussion paper was prepared and released on 19 March 2008.

It can be viewed under the following link from the NSW Department of Planning’s website:

http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/planning_reforms/p/improving_the_nsw_planning_system_submissions_report.pdf

While the formal submissions were in general support of the need for reform to the planning system, general concern was raised about: the timing of the discussion paper release, the time frame for lodging submissions, loss of community involvement in the planning process, a one size fits all approach to exempt and complying development and dilution of local government decision-making.
In summary, of the 31 key issues raised in the submissions and relating specifically to the discussion paper, there was general support for 12 of the key recommendations, mixed views on ten key recommendations and general opposition to nine of the key recommendations.

You may wish to keep up the pressure on State Government MPs about your concerns with some of these ‘reforms’ while awaiting the draft bill.

Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1997

Also released by Planning Minister Frank Sartor on the same day as the above report was a report by an independent expert review panel titled ‘A Review of theNSW Heritage Act 1997’. The Independent Expert Panel was comprised of: Ms Gabrielle Kibble AO (Chair), Former Director-General of Department of Planning and current Liverpool City Council Administrator; Mr Michael Collins, Chair of the Heritage Council of NSW; and Mr John Whitehouse, Planning & Environmental Lawyer.

The 105-page report contains 65 recommendations, including greater fairness and rigour in the heritage listing process and retaining key elements of the current system including local and State listings and a Heritage Council. The Report which may be viewed under the following link will now be considered by the NSW Government.ollowing link:

http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au/docs/mediareleases/heritagact_review_report.pdf

Jill Newton

The Northbridge Plaza Masterplan process has made significant progress in recent months. Most of the work has taken place within the Technical Working Group (TWG). There are two community representatives on the TWG—Mark Monk as a neighbour of the Plaza, and Russell Hand, a planning consultant retained by Northbridge Progress Association (NPA). They report that the TWG is working cooperatively and that all decisions to date have been by consensus. The committee has briefed a number of consultants, selected and appointed them and reviewed their work to date. AMP is funding all the work. Because TWG is only now finalizing the technical reports, the Reference Committee (RC) has not had much information to review but that’s expected to change in coming weeks.

A number of reports will be emerging from TWG in the next few weeks—among them a traffic report, the outcome of the community consultation surveys, an economic study and the results of a consumer survey.

The traffic survey shows that traffic volumes in streets adjacent to the Plaza (Harden Avenue and Tenilba Road) are already at capacity. Eastern Valley Way and Sailors Bay Road have traffic volumes typical of major arterial roads. The Plaza car park can readily handle current demand, although capacity gets tight for two hours on Saturday mornings. The Plaza is a very convenient place to park and shop – the survey showed that about 80 per cent of cars stayed less than one hour in the car park.

The response to the community consultation program was good. 315 survey forms were returned of which 70 per cent were completed by Northbridge residents. The community’s main concerns were: the retention of a village atmosphere in Northbridge, the loss of independent retailers in the Plaza, car parking and traffic issues, and the bulk and scale of any future development. A significant number of people said that ownership and development on the Council’s car park was a big issue. A number said that that the Plaza should not be changed at all.

The data-gathering and reporting to date comprises Stage 1 of the project and there have been few arguments or differences of opinion. Stage 2, which will start in May or June, is the generation of scenarios for the site. It’s at this stage that differences of view may emerge.

The view of the Northbridge PA is that the Plaza should remain a neighbourhood shopping centre with little or no retail expansion. If the Plaza were to be expanded substantially, NPA believes it would have a significant adverse impact on traffic flows in Northbridge and other parts of Willoughby; a negative effect on shopping strips in Northbridge and nearby suburbs, such as Castlecrag; and would reduce generally the amenity of Northbridge as a residential suburb. AMP made it clear at the February 20 RC meeting that it will be seeking a retail expansion greater than the “approximately 10 per cent expansion limit specified by Council’s resolution in mid-2007. An AMP representative said: “If AMP thought it would only be allowed a 10% increase in retail space, it wouldn’t be bothering with all this work.

At NPA’s suggestion, it has been agreed that public meetings will be held after Stages 1 and 2 of the project, at which consultants will summarise their work and Council and AMP people will be available to answer questions from Willoughby residents. The first is likely to be held in June. In the meantime, a comprehensive update of progress will be provided by speakers at NPA’s regular general meeting at 8pm on 14 May in St Marks Hall, Malacoota Road, Northbridge

Malcolm Lye, Northbridge PA

A large and appreciative audience of local residents enjoyed the Community Forum on the Griffin Reserves at the Community Centre on Thursday 6 March. Deputy Mayor Adrian Cox, the master of ceremonies for the evening, kept things moving along while demonstrating a detailed knowledge of the Griffin Reserve system and its significance.

Professor James Weirick of the University of NSW Landscape Architecture Program set the context for discussion with a stimulating address on the critical role of the reserve system in the Griffin’s internationally recognised landscape design for Castlecrag. He traced the factors that had influenced Walter and Marion Griffin, including their formative years in unique landscapes around Chicago, the ‘garden suburb’ movement of the early 20th century, the natural environment of the Castlecrag Peninsula and the philosophical values that underpinned their work. The conundrum was that while the Griffins were keen students of the natural Sydney sandstone landscape, scientific understanding of its ecology was poorly developed at this time. It soon became evident that the impact of residential development was having a negative impact on the flora and fauna they hoped to conserve in the reserves. While some of the walking tracks continued to receive regular use, others and the reserves they served were neglected and became overgrown.

James Weirick highlighted the efforts of members of the Castlecrag community to restore and manage the Griffin reserves over the years. Their amazing efforts brought the Haven Amphitheatre back to its former glory in 1976, while others actively explored the walking tracks and alerted the wider community to the state of the reserves in the early 1990s. In response to the requirements of the Local Government Act 1995, Willoughby City Council appointed Meredith Walker and Michael Lehany in 1996 to prepare a draft plan of management for the Griffin reserves and walkways in Castlecrag. This was approved by Council in late 1997 and a Griffin Reserves Advisory Committee was established by Council to assist with its implementation.

Elizabeth Lander prepared a statement on behalf of the Griffin Reserves Advisory Committee. Its functions are to review the Plan of Management, advise on aspects on aspects of the use, control and management of the reserves, and to share information about the reserves with the wider community. Eight local residents were appointed to the Committee, together with councillors of the then Middle Harbour Ward and appropriate Council staff. The inaugural meeting was on 14 May 1998, and since then the Committee has made numerous inspections of the reserves, walkways and islands, and met on a regular basis to review specific plans of management and monitor their implementation.

Following a break for refreshments, James Smallhorn (Council’s Open Space Officer) and Karl McKillop (Council’s Bush Fire Officer) gave detailed presentations on the rehabilitation of the Griffin reserves, walkways and road islands over the past 10 years, and Council’s strategy and achievements in ecological burns and hazard reduction. Plans of management for each of the reserves prepared by Council officers in consultation with the Advisory Committee were on display and James provided updates on how these were being implemented. Karl presented case studies of ecological burns in Linden Way, Oriel and Casement Reserves that provided the audience with a good understanding of how today’s scientific knowledge of the ecology of Sydney sandstone landforms is applied to regenerating indigenous plant species through the use of fire. He also highlighted the positive impact that resident volunteers (with training through Council’s bushcare program) are having, by assisting the regeneration of native species. Bushcare assisted reserves are faring much better than those without resident volunteers.

The evening concluded with rigorous discussion of key issue by the audience, which continued over refreshments well beyond the formal closure of the meeting. Alfred Bernhard, Council’s Bushland Manager, noted that the additional actions requested by local residents would be dependent on the proposed expansion of the e-restore program through an increased levy on ratepayers.

Editor

Jodie McGregor Flowers

We offer a warm (if belated) welcome to our new florist Jodie McGregor. Jodie McGregor Flowers, which has been operating in Annandale for some time, expanded ‘across the Bridge’, in 2007 to open a second shop here in The Quadrangle shopping centre at Castlecrag. Jodie and her team comprising Narelle (a Castlecrag local) and Stephanie (a new recruit from Roseville) are thrilled with the feedback and welcome they are receiving. When not at the Castlecrag store Jodie can be found at the Annandale shop or spending time with her three children (all under 5!)

Jodie McGregor Flowers was the official florist for the 2000 Olympic Arts Festival and won the Sydney Flower Market award for Florist of the Year in 2003 and 2005. The business also won the florist category in the Champion of Champions at the 2005 Small Business Awards. Jodie handles the florist side of the businesswhile her husband and business partner Stu White looks after the administration and purchasing side of the business, visiting the Flemington flower markets at 5am four times a week to personally shop for their stock. You can check out more about the business at: www.jodie.com.au

MOMO Art Gallery and Oven Fairy

As reported in The Crag 161 (October 2006), Rosemary Macey operates a small art gallery at her business premises at 79 Edinburgh Road. The gallery showcases an individual artist in a sole exhibition each month and this month’s artist is Cecilia Coote. Rosemary or Peter are keen to her from any local artist who is interested in exhibiting at the gallery. All different styles and media are covered, including various forms of two-dimensional art works, sculpture and ceramics. Please call in and view the various artists’ work.

Rosemary reports that the Oven Fairy business, which provides exclusive residential oven and barbecue cleaning services, has been an outstanding success. Oven Fairy is now expanding with new franchises in the Sydney metropolitan area under an arrangement where the home office provides ongoing support in every aspects of the business. Rosemary is seeking new franchisees to expand the business and she exhibited at the Franchising Expo at Darling Harbour from 28-30 March. Both Oven Fairy and the MOMO Art Gallery were finalists in the 2007 Tru Local Business Awards and our congratulations are extended to Rosemary and her staff for these achievements.

New Middle Harbour Walking Tracks

Thanks to Richard Newton, a Department of Planning announcement in November 2007 has been brought to our attention. This advised that a $115,000 grant had been made to Willoughby City Council under the Sharing Sydney Harbour Access Program (SSHAP) to assist the development of two new walking tracks along the Middle Harbour foreshore. The grant will assist to establish more than 1.5 kilometres of new walking tracks in Castlecrag and Castle Cove. The first track will provide access from Sailors Bay Park to the Haven Amphitheatre while the second track will go from H D Robb Reserve linking Willowie Road to the ‘painter’s rock’ lookout at Castle Cove.

These walking tracks will bridge missing links in the walking track network along the Middle Harbour foreshore. SSHAP grants are awarded to councils and other organisations on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Burley’s Restaurant

Malcolm and Janet McLune have expanded the scope of Burley’s Restaurant in The Quadrangle (The Crag 163, p.2). The business is now fully licensed with a good selection of wines, beer and spirits and operates from 8am to 9.30pm 7-days a week. Day-time chef Dean Forbes has introduced a new menu with lunch-time specials. From 5.30pm the business operates as the family-friendly ‘Pizzas in The Quadrangle’ with an Italian chef preparing a range of quality pizzas and other menu items.

Gourmet Source

Gourmet Source, the local delicatessen and cafe of Castlecrag, has recently changed hands after 9 years. The new owners Chris and Melinda Sims are looking forward to joining the Castlecrag community and building the business further.

Chris and Melinda currently reside in St Ives and have both grown up on the North Shore. They have three young children and are looking forward to the challenges ahead improving and growing the Gourmet Source business. Both have very strong business backgrounds and are looking forward to combining their skills in the retail environment. Look out for new stock lines and changes in the decor over the next year!

A number of long serving Gourmet Source staff have remained with the business, whilst a number of new faces have also joined the team since the change in ownership. All of the staff look forward to continuing to provide high quality food and ingredients and friendly customer service to the residents of Castlecrag.

‘Since taking over in November, the Castlecrag community has made us feel very welcome and we look forward to meeting more of you over the coming months.’ Melinda Sims.

New Playgroup

The Warners Park Centre, at the end of The Outpost, is a local Playgroup location for residents of both Castlecrag and Northbridge. A member of Playgroup NSW, it is managed by a group of volunteer parents and offers weekly play-sessions for children aged 0-5 and their parents. Children can play with new toys, try a craft activity, play music, learn songs, dress-up, play with sand, generally have fun with other children in a safe environment under parental supervision. Special Easter and Christmas parties are also held each year.

Sessions are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am until midday. Fees are modest, at $25 per family per term with a yearly membership fee of $32. Vacancies are limited; phone the co-ordinator Donna Morris on 0410-689288 for information and come along for a visit. For information please ring Donna Morris on 9967-9918 or 0410689288.

Sally’s Bookshop

An anticipate sale of Sally’s Bookshop did not proceed at the last minute, so Sally is examining several options and we expect to bring a further update in the next issue.

Summerhaze at The Haven

‘Summerhaze at The Haven’ scheduled for 1 December promised to bring six youth bands together sharing a love of roots, blues and funk. All had donated their talents to registered charity ‘The Beats That Give Back’ to fund a rainforest project.
Unfortunately rain cancelled the full show at the last minute.

Nevertheless, in The Haven tradition, some 80 young people risked the showers and rocked to the music of ‘The Pachamamas’ with local musos Scott Wilson and Tim Charody, together with the visiting Melbourne band ‘The Landlords’ (both worth google-ing). With the barbeque sizzling, the bluesy rhythms soon had the dancers on the stage. When the organisers announced that costs had not been covered, the revellers dipped again into their wallets in a generous manner.

Bruce Wilson

…and just a drop of Cab Suave……

PATRICIA O’CALLAHAN and THE GRAHAM JESSE QUARTET in cabaret

The Haven Committee was hoping for a balmy Sydney summer evening for our cabaret on 8 December. All the catered tables were booked, the seating on the Griffin tiers (normal stone seating) was almost full and Michael from the Bai Yok restaurant had created a special dinner for the evening. One of Sydney’s best musicians and Haven Committee member Graham Jesse had brought together his superb jazz quartet to accompany the world class cabaret singer Patricia O’Callaghan who had agreed to perform for us, because she loves the venue. We were set for one of the best nights of outdoor entertainment ever!

Unfortunately, the rain had been with us all week and continued into the morning and there was grey fuzzy cloud above—the forecast was ominous, the setup arduous and by midday the difficult decision had to be made to play safe and retreat to the wet weather venue at Northbridge Men’s Bowling Club.

Although the ambience was not quite the same, it was very pleasant and the performances were fantastic. Graham Jesse and his group opened with some superbly executed jazz classics and the scene was set for Patricia O’Callaghan. We were immediately enthralled by Patricia’s skill and the power and joy of her performance with compositions from the likes of fellow Canadian Randy Newman, Kurt Weill and Edith Piaf with songs such as Cry me a RiverTry to Remember, and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.  A very full programme of rich sounds and eclectic music continued to captivate us for the rest of the evening.  Great music, delicious food and a grand time was had by all.

The Haven looks forward to staging more cabarets in 2008 and Patricia has promised to go again with us at the Amphitheatre in 2009. And what of the evening weather on 8 December? The grey fuzzy cloud slowly wandered off and we were left with a mild Sydney Summer evening!

Christmas Carols 2007 was a huge success, with our biggest crowd ever; there was not a spare rock or piece of earth to be found! Our thanks go to Marlene Vaughn and her musical ensemble—we were particularly privileged to have Julia de Plater join us this year as pianist. The committee was deeply touched by the generosity shown by our community towards the orphaned children in Cambodia. Our first ‘Haven Giving Tree’ was laden with a variety of new, superior quality clothing as well as colourful tools to draw and write with. Marion Mahony Griffin (the Haven’s benefactor) would have been proud! The gifts are being personally delivered, travelling as excess baggage with the mother of the young Australian woman, Tara Winkler, who is voluntarily running the Orphanage. We will let you know how they were received in the next Crag. The Committee offers a big thank you to all who contributed.
Lindy Batterham

The Wind in the Willows As you can see from our poster on page 12, our major autumn production at The Haven will be a new adaptation of the ever-popular Kenneth Grahame classic. You can meet all the loveable riverbank animals and follow their irrepressible adventures outdoors in the idyllic bush setting of The Haven Amphitheatre in Castlecrag!

The Wind in the Willows is the second co-production between RAW-EM Theatre Co. and The Haven Amphitheatre Committee. Julie McKay, the producer behind RAW-EM, is confident that this production will build on RAW-EM’s reputation for delivering a great night’s entertainment which has had audiences either coming back a second time or spreading good ‘word of mouth’ to family and friends.

This live performance would be ideal way for HSC English students to study Wind in the Willows as a supplementary text for The Journey area of study. A pamphlet will be available on how this production explores physical, imaginative and inner journeys.

Howard Rubie

ARCHIVIST needed! The Haven Amphitheatre is looking for someone who could help create more order with its records. A little time is all that’s needed. Please ring Lindy Batterham 9958 2127 if you can offer your services in any way. www.thehaven.biz

Christmas Eve Carols at The Haven. Photo: John Vaughan