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Advance Australia…Where? is the title of the book published last Spring by Australia’s most highly respected social researcher Hugh Mackay. He has forensically analysed ABS data and other quantitative and qualitative research to ask important questions: What will the next generation of children be like? Are we re-engaging with government policies, not just daily politics? Why are houses getting bigger while households get smaller?

Despite unprecedented prosperity, Hugh’s research has identified widespread anxiety and depression, record levels of debt, and yearning for more meaning in our lives as key issues for Australians. Join in the discussion on these issues with Hugh, who will be our Guest Speaker at the next Community Meeting on Tuesday 26 August at 7.30pm.

The forthcoming local government election is an important event that will shape the future directions of our city. In this issue we are providing profiles of the candidates who had announced their intention to stand for election by 1 August as your guide to who is standing and what they stand for. Please put the ‘Meet Your Council Candidates’ evening in your diary. It will be held will held on Wednesday 3 September at Willoughby Public School at 7pm (for 7.30), before the Election Day 13 September. Come along to hear all candidates’ proposals for how they intend to contribute to local council activities in Castlecrag, and the wider Willoughby City environs.

‘Your blood’s worth bottling!’ Special thanks are extended to those Crag residents I met donating blood at the Plaza last month. The Red Cross constantly needs more blood, and not just the ‘blue’ variety. Its next collection there will be in October, so keep a lookout for notices or phone 131495.

In the February issue of The Crag I spoke of building a ‘2020 vision’ for our community to replace myopic near-term goals. Your CPA always tries to forge past short term ‘kerb and gutter’ issues, and ask readers what sort of community and suburb you would like to grow here together. It was therefore pleasing to see that our new Prime Minister has also adopted the ‘Australia 2020’ concept to initiate long term strategizing at a national level (see Participants in the 2020 Summit report that it was an uplifting experience and we hope that their combined knowledge, experience and visions for the future will help delineate key national issues and positive future directions to enrich debate then action on national and global issues.

We must not sit back, however, and expect this type of ‘top-down’ planning is all that is required. Each small community needs to do its own ‘bottom-up’ planning. For instance, where do you want this little peninsular of 1100 households to be in 2020? The next 12 years do not affect the age group that presently guides your Progress Association as much as it does those in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are possibly new to Castlecrag and may have been attracted here by the local ‘vibe’ as well as the geographical beauty, all of which have been developed and protected by older and past generations. You are often working long hours, raising young families, and paying off homes. Nevertheless the ‘investment’ of a few hours per month in an organization like the Progress Association is actually an investment in your household (and house value).

Provide us with your ideas and feedback at, write an article or ‘Letter’ to The Crag, and come along to the General Meetings of the Progress Association and other community events to exchange views with others.

Bruce Wilson