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Whitesides dominate Coal Cliff Ocean Swim

The Coal Cliff Beach to Bombie Swim attracts visitors to the area as one of our annual ocean swims, there is also the favourite of locals who are immersed in beach culture who also love to stay fit.

This year it was a family affair with first male Dane Whiteside, first female Mel Whiteside, plus 3rd place to Matthew Logan closely followed by his sister Amy and Dad Andrew.

"We went pretty good -  I think I got second across the line and my son got first," said Mel Whiteside. "We do quite a few ocean swims during summer and also compete for Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Club as well. This year in May, be doing the Port Macquarie Ironman, along with Nathan Johnson from Helensburgh."

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Put a twist into your Christmas

The Northern Illawarra attracts a new community every Christmas season, that is, visitors that come and stay to enjoy the Sea Cliff Coast lifestyle. While switching off from their working routine, there is an opportunity for them to discover alternative recreation such as yoga, despite their sedentary holiday mode.

"I've got a good base of people that come along who are pretty loyal, and the Moore Street Yoga Room is a great place to teach in... we started in that space before it was refurbished - now it's all plush." said Johnny Batchelor.

"I've had holiday yoga going for some years now and it's a thing that I do from Boxing Day for about three weeks and it's every morning at 9:30 - so people know it's there and they can turn up as they please. Over the years this has also built up to include people that are here to visit their families over Christmas. So there are people that turn up almost every year, and I see them for three weeks, as well as the people that just turn up because they see that there is some yoga on."

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Soul Bird Lounge takes flight

Lana Patrin is one of the unsung heroes of the music scene in Wollongong, involved with many events that have fostered our blossoming arts culture - on Sunday 15th December she continues her "Soul Bird Lounge" sessions, with Bex Chilcott (Ruby Boots) and local fav, Kay Proudlove.

"I really want my own venue, that's been a dream of mine for a very long time, but I've got a really good backyard, you know, just chuck some couches out, some mats and cushions - it's really nice." said Lana.

"I'm kind of picky with who I have -  I'm a big fan of music and that's why I got into it because there's just so much talent out there. That's why I started at The Bowlo (Scarborough Wombarra Bowling Club), just to get bands to come and play - it was a bit of a selfish thing... these people are coming to play for me...  yeah,  I'll put it on."

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Securing Our Future

Feedback from Wollongong City Council's "Securing Our Future" campaign has been used to develop a new set of options - the Northern Illawarra community is now invited to provide feedback on these updated choices. You can have your say HERE, or by sending an email, or writing a letter to Council addressed to the General Manager, Locked Bag 8821, Wollongong DC NSW 2500.

All feedback must be received by Council by 5pm on Wednesday 5 February 2014.

"We as a Council and a community are facing a significant challenge to fund our community infrastructure into the future." said Diane Saunderson, Community Engagement Officer, "If we don’t, we will lose services as assets reach their end of life and fail. Only, we won’t get to pick what or when. We’re not the only ones working on this challenge: many of NSW’s 152 Councils are faced with the same issue of making sure there is enough money for infrastructure renewal."

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Share Affection, Not Infection

Watch out this summer for the return of the successful CaddyShack mobile Chlamydia screening program, a partnership program to improve the sexual health and well-being of young people in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. Coordinated by Healthy Cities Illawarra, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Sexual Health Service, the HIV & Related Programs Unit ISLHD and local youth services, the youth focused program is going on a ‘Summer Tour’ visiting beaches and parks down the Illawarra and Shoalhaven coast.

The program aims to raise awareness of sexual health, and offer free screening for Chlamydia - a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that’s on the rise in young people. There were over 82 000 notifications of Chlamydia infection in Australia in 2012, which David Wilson from the Kirby Institute suggests is just the tip of the iceberg. “It is likely there are 5 times as many more Australians with undiagnosed Chlamydia, who may be at increased risk of infertility and other reproductive health problems. We estimate that as many as one in 20 young Australians between the ages of 15 and 24 have Chlamydia.”

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Carols by the Sea

Carols by the Sea return to the foreshore of Austinmer on Sunday 15th December from 7:30pm - a delight for anyone that revels in the spirit of Christmas, and simply a splendid evening by the sea shore.

"Carols by the Sea has been running for more than 20 years, which is a Christmas event we like to run for the local community where they can come and hear carols and join in if they want to." said Steve Dinning, minister for the Thirroul/Austinmer Anglican Church, "We always aim to have a relaxed feel and weather permitting, is a beautiful atmosphere down at Austi beach."

"We've got a bunch of musicians from our church - they've been rehearsing over the past six weeks,  and they'll lead us through the carols. It's a quality night from the music point of view."

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The Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy (SPATE) and the North Illawarra Reconciliation & Treaty Group (NIRTG) will co-present SPATE’s 13th Anniversary Celebrations, Ceremony and Concert.

The celebrations will be held at the Embassy on McCauleys Beach, Thirroul NSW on the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December 2013 from 11am to 9pm.

SPATE 13 is an alcohol-free event for Community and Families. Entry is by donation. Fred’s Bush Tucker BBQ & other Food and Chai Tent will be available or bring a picnic. SPATE is located at Kuradji, on McCauleys Beach north of Sandon Point between Thirroul and Bulli. No parking on site.

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Twilight Markets at Sunrise

2012 saw the launch of a Christmas market in Helensburgh in the newly developed car park area of Sunrise Nursery - the Twilight market returns again for Christmas 2013,  on Thursday 12th of December from 4:30 to 8:30pm.

"We were very pleased with the turnout last year - lots of local people, they brought lots of friends, it was full of stallholders and it was a great night for everyone." said owner, Nick Szewcow.

"The Sunrise shop will be open, which has a great range of homewares as well, but we have a few ladies fashion stalls, there's candles, jewellery, kids activities, BBQ from one of the local fire brigades, food stalls, coffee, Christmas hampers, plus a couple of local producers."

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Mama Tree boosts Summer sales

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Sea Cliff Coast is offering an amazing special offer for local businesses seeking a festive boost!

Expose your local business, to your local customers 10,000 times, through your local Network in the Northern Illawarra before Christmas, with 100% of the funds going to local 2508 networking group, The Mama Tree to help with the Pop Up Shop initiative.

Local businesses and start-ups are encouraged to take advantage of this powerful exposure in the lead-up to the New Year, by placing an online ad with Sea Cliff Coast - its a great way to grow your business, the community, and feel good about it! =)

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