THANK YOU - AND SEE YOU
I am writing to you to let you know of a
change in the SIRA committee. As some of you may know, I bought
property on the island in 2000 and sold it in 2017, and since I have
been renting on the Island. My lease is ending and I have not found a
new home on the Island. I have found a lovely patch in Lovett Bay
though and this is where I am moving to.
Since SIRA membership requires residency or otherwise property
ownership on the Island, my eligibility for membership will cease and I
will no longer be able to fill the President’s role.
I joined the SIRA committee in March 2014 as committee member and
received the honour of serving as Secretary in 2015 and 2016 and from
November 2017 as President. I joined during turbulent SIRA years and
the first three years on the committee were a challenge. But I feel
that it has been worth it and I believe the proof is in the pudding:
the transformation we have undergone is there and will yield long term
positive results for the community.
The challenge a committee faces when its leader has to leave is to find
away to continue regardless and ensure that harmony and stability can
continue to exist. I am proud of the Committee in the way it has
handled this situation.
In consensus, the Committee appointed Neelica Raffel as the new
president. Neelica has impressed us in the short time she has been on
the Committee. Her intellect, knowledge of association mechanics and
her pursual of the values of fairness and transparency are attributes
that will assist her in being a great leader. Neelica will introduce
herself below in some more detail, but I can attest that the Committee
is thrilled with having her as President.
The Committee also decided to retain its numbers (reduced by one) as it
sees no benefit in adding additional committee members and a risk that
the harmonious collaboration that currently exists, being disrupted.
My ongoing role
The Committee felt that with my departure there would be a potential
gap in continuity, knowledge and manpower, so I have accepted the role
of Advisor to the Committee until the next AGM. I will be available as
sounding board and will advise on matters of both operational and
We are in the middle of a lot of ongoing work in relation to Church
Point parking, the Pasadena and related issues. I will continue to be
active in that space. Where requested by the Committee I will be making
representations on behalf of SIRA and otherwise I will be ensuring I am
in the loop. There is a band of private citizens of various backgrounds
involved as well. I will continue to fight for the interests of the
Scotland Island residents and of course the West Pittwater community. I
am also still involved with the Water Booking and Automation project
for which SIRA received a grant from Council. I will continue to manage
that project to its conclusion.
A few more words
Lately it seems that discussion around ‘values’ and ‘behavior’ of
community members is becoming more prominent, especially on social
media. Many of these discussions highlight a fundamental issue within
There are the ‘old’ long term residents who believe that the way things
were in the past – few rules and a free spirited, unconstrained
community – is under threat from the group of newer residents who
prefer a more orderly environment.
My advice to the long termers is that you should consider that change
may be good at times. Really, the way things were in the past were in
some cases pretty ordinary. We dealt with these problems on the SIRA
committee too: it took many months to implement operational processes
that are now completely accepted and do not feature in any discussion
any longer, because they are efficient and current.
To the ‘newbies’ I would like to say: Listen to the long-termers. They
have seen a lot of what is currently proposed and know from experience
that some of it won’t work. Especially when it comes to preserving what
makes Scotland Island special, they know what you may lose if you are
Support the SIRA Committee
The balance between ‘old and new’ is one that is important to
understand and our current Committee is in my opinion in a good
position to provide a sensible strategy that pleases all sides of the
debate. This current committee consist of members who all have a
passion for supporting, promoting and solving the issues we as Island
community are dealing with.
This is why I say: Please support this committee. Please set aside your
preconceptions (if any) or opinions you may have formed in the past (if
they are negative). As a member of SIRA you are entitled to know that
your committee is working in your interest, so ensure that you are
being kept up to date. There are several methods to contact the
committee, including the SIRA Facebook page.
An effective SIRA committee will get more done in our communal
interest. We have had several wins over the last couple of years and we
will be able to achieve more if the committee is supported. New
committee members make great contributions, an example to note is Alec
Beckett of last year’s committee who is leading the wharf extension
I thank the SIRA committee for their confidence in me. I thank the many
people who have been able to offer positive contributions to SIRA and
the community. Thank you to the volunteers who selflessly assist when
help is needed, at SIOCS, the Hall Events and the many other small
community initiatives throughout the year. I am a little sad to leave
my friends Boyd, Sharon, Colin, Neelica, Anne, Jane, Shane, Fabienne,
Nadia and Nicole behind (although I will see them regularly) but I know
they are destined for success this committee year!
Hubert van Mierlo
Outgoing SIRA President
THANK YOU - AND HELLO
May I first say that I am deeply honoured to have been selected to step
into the Presidency of the Scotland Island Residents’
Association. I come in to the role having spent not so many years on
the island as others, however I am dedicated to the principles and
vision of the Association and am proud to be in service to you.
Some of the residents who do know me will also know something of my
passion and energy in relation to social justice, equity and
environmental issues. It is my commitment to give the same such energy
and passion to the Island, the Association and the issues facing us all
on our unique and extraordinary Island home.
For those who do not know me I’ll give a little of my background.
I am, and have been a working single mum for the better part of the last
20 years. My daughter is now of course a grown woman in her own right
and quite independent but we never stop being parents do we? She is the
source of my greatest pride.
In terms of my working history I have worked in community based welfare
with children and adults with disabilities; in the criminal justice
system – again with children and young people; I have worked in
Government Relations and Village Operations with the Sydney Organising
Committee for the Olympic Games and I have also worked in
a range of retail and hospitality settings over many years. I have
qualifications in Health Sciences (counselling) and in Teaching
Since commencing work as a Primary school teacher in south western
Sydney less than a decade ago I have also become very active within the
union (NSW Teachers Federation) and hold a positions with them at the
association and state level. I am currently working in a relief
capacity for the NSWTF as a City Organiser.
Over the course of this history, I have, and continue to serve on a
number of committees and in a range of capacities. I have a strong
understanding of democratic processes and in implementing policy and
procedural fairness. I have been fortunate enough to have the
opportunity to meet and negotiate with both local and state government
representatives in relation to a broad range of issues.
I look forward to serving out the remainder of the current term working
alongside the executive team, the various sub-committees and working
groups and in getting to know all of my neighbours better. I am
fortunate to be supported by so many warm, wise and well informed
others and can only benefit from their greater experience.
I thank you for this opportunity.
The complete SIRA News Report be downloaded HERE.
Church Point Precinct
As a community member with a registered interest in the Church
Point Upgrade, you’d be aware of the extensive work we are currently
undertaking in the area, with the construction of a multi-story
carpark, a seawall and boardwalk. This work is the first stage of
a series of upgrades to the Church Point precinct in line with the
Church Point Plan of Management.
We’re pleased to advise that the carpark is progressing rapidly and is
currently estimated to be completed mid-late April 2018.
Over the next few weeks the ramps to the top floor of the carpark and
timber façade will be constructed as well as the realignment of the
road near the General Store to remove the double curve in preparation
for the second stage of the works.
These works have been designed to improve pedestrian safety in the
precinct as well as enhance the recreational opportunities at Church
Point. The works will involve extending the Boardwalk around the
General Store, adjusting the access road and associated roadworks in
front of the Pasadena.
We will also be undertaking the reconstruction of Cargo Wharf to
improve user safety and functionality for both private and commercial
uses. These works will be tendered shortly and will include both the
design development, liaison with local residents and stakeholders and
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this important
Information about the project is available on the Church Point Upgrade project page.
Church Point Car Parking – Round 2
Parking spaces are still available to off-shore residents (Scotland
Island, Elvina Bay, Lovett Bay, Morning Bay and Douglass Estate) for a
two year term in the new carpark on McCarrs Creek Rd, Church Point.
Round 2 ballot is now open. For more information, eligibility and to
submit your application visit Council's webpage.
Please note that the previously advertised price on our website and
application form incorrectly stated the price as $4,939 per year +
GST, however the correct price is $4, 939 per year inclusive of
Round 2 applications close 25 March.
Community Engagement Team
Catherine Park Reserve -
Feedback sought on parking proposal
We’re writing to you as a Scotland Island resident to let you know
we’re proposing changes to parking at Catherine Park Reserve, and seek
your feedback on the proposal (visual attached for your reference).
The preservation of Catherine Park and its recreational benefit to the
community has always been a major consideration of both Council and the
In recent years concern has grown regarding the interaction between
vehicles, such as golf buggies, and pedestrians at the bottom of Pitt
View Street, near Tennis Court Wharf. The increased number
of households using the buggies to get around the Island
each year, and parking encroachment into the reserve has resulted in
a noticeable degradation of Catherine Park Reserve.
As a measure to protect the reserve and allow for remediation of
Catherine Park, we are putting a proposal forward to implement ‘No
Parking’ restrictions at the bottom of Pitt View Street.
The proposal will not affect the accessible spaces, as Pitt View Street
is very steep and therefore a number of accessible spaces, for people
with a disability, will need to be retained.
The plan, if supported by the community, would also require Council to
implement parking restrictions on the shoulder of Robertson Road, below
the Fire Station, to accommodate parking for those relocated from
We invite you to provide feedback to Council via the online feedback form or in writing to:
CEO, Northern Beaches Council, marked’ Catherine Park Reserve – Parking
Proposal, 725 Pittwater Road,
Dee Why, 2099.
For further information regarding this project please contact me on
close on Monday 2 April
Senior Project Engineer
Scotland Island Fire
Brigade High Tea
Saturday March 24th 3-5pm
Time to Choose
A community family friendly
rally for clean air, water and energy.
Participants will be joined by concerned citizens from all over the
state including farmers, horses from the hunter, musician from Tamworth
and of course the Knitting Nannas.
Catch a bus from Mona Vale at 10.30.
Wall to Parliament House for a 12pm start.
A tragedy in the making. Stand up for the future of for the great
artesian basin, our inland forests, the health of farmland and rural
Your voice can make a difference. Hope to see you there
Want to know more check out the film trailer for the Sacrifice Zone
on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/226883151
Woody Point Yacht Club AGM
Saturday 7th April
Lovett Bay Boatshed
Boat for Sale
- Fiberglass -Baker built mid 70,s
- 22 foot (6.7m)
- Clean, light, dry boat with open plan interior
- Good economic family boat, twilight racer, day sailer
- Full set of sails
- Tohatsu 5 HP outboard
- Other extras
- Includes mooring off Cargo wharf (location subject
- Antifouled in December, registered to Jan 2019
Also have a 2m fiberglass dinghy on the Island for $100 if required.
We have moved off the Island so would love to find a good home for our
Please contact Richard on 0438799159 for more information.
The canoe pictured was washed up on our shore in the western side of
Scotland Island a few weeks ago.
Could the owner please contact Marie on 0411253438 to arrange collection
Queen size Bed Frame for
Sale (it's grown!)
- Queens size bed frame only
- Disassembled frame - (easy to put together)
Boat Mooring Needed
Hi there - Looking for a place to moor our 4.5-metre boat on the
Island. Eastern side would be great.
Access generally needed morning & early evening weekdays.
Even if a space is just available on a temporary basis.
Please get in touch on 0435 796 706 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Many thanks - Hayden
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The views expressed in this newsletter
are not necessarily the views of the Scotland Island Residents
Association (SIRA), or the Western Pittwater Community Association