The Hills and Hornsby council chatter

THE Hills Council is hosting its first Street Wise education seminar on April 16 and the family of coward punch victim Michael McEwen will be among the speakers.

“By telling our story, my father [Robert] and I wish to educate young people about the effects of late night violence,’’ Michael’s sister and Wake Up Foundation co-founder Claudia McEwen said.

Michael, 23, was knocked unconscious and fell backwards to the ground following an unprovoked  punch, hitting his head on the pavement. He was in an induced coma for a week and required two operations.

‘‘There seems to be a glorification of drinking and getting drunk that needs to change,’’ Ms McEwen said.

“We are using the Wake Up Foundation to encourage young people to re-evaluate their idea of a good night out.’’

Other speakers: Senior Constable Jason Roughley of Castle Hill police talking about motor vehicle statistics, local black spots and pubs; Julieanne Bridges (young driver issues) and Steven Johnson (emergency services’ perspective).

■ April 16, 6pm, Castle Grand Community Centre, 1-17 Castle Street, Castle Hill. Bookings:

Best-selling author and former women’s magazine editor Susan Duncan is at Hornsby Library on Thursday (April  10), 6.30pm, to talk about her latest novel Gone Fishing.

In it we’re welcomed back to Cook’s Basin where residents are embarking on the fight of their lives.

■ Cost: $5 with light refreshments included. Bookings: 98476614 or

Hornsby Council’s Community Nursery has been named one of the best in Australia by the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia, the peak industry body for the Australian nursery and garden industry.

The nursery was in the finals for Best Government Nursery, making it one of the four best nurseries of its kind.

It’s the only council nursery in NSW to hold NIASA (Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia) accreditation — a national scheme for growers and potting mix businesses operating according to national best management practice guidelines. 

Click here for the full story.

The public has until May 2 to comment on a proposal to change planning controls that apply to land at 11-13 Solent Circuit, Baulkham Hills (Sydney Ice Arena).

The changes would allow a future mixed-use development comprising about 6000 square metres of commercial floor space and 240 residential units.

Cr Peter Gangemi was the only councillor to vote against the proposal in December.

View the proposal:

The Hills Council has reached an agreement to transfer the operation of Dural’s Jazz At The Pines event to Hills-Kellyville Rotary Club, mayor Michelle Byrne said.

The council will provide Roughley House for the monthly event free of charge and continue to maintain the heritage property.

“This is fantastic news because this event can continue to be run by an organisation with the community’s interests at heart,” Cr Byrne said.

She said discussions had taken place over some time and were not in reaction to media reports.

National Youth Week is in full swing in The Hills, with hands-on science experiments tomorrow (Wednesday) at Powerhouse Discovery Centre (4pm-6pm) and a Hobby Starter Challenge at Castle Hill Games Workshop (4pm-6pm).

On Thursday and Friday kids can enter a NSW Junior Chess League chess tournament at Castle Grand (3pm-6pm) or learn to play drums, guitar or keyboards or sing at Hills Shire Music School on April 15 (10am-2pm).

■ Click here for other The Hills Council Youth Week events.

Entries are now being taken for the 2014 Hornsby Shire Festival of the Arts. The festival — to be held from October 17 to November30 — celebrates visual, performing and literary arts in Hornsby shire.

Opportunities to sponsor the festival are also open. For more information about festival and sponsorship opportunities, call Hornsby Council’s arts/cultural development officer on 9847 6893 or

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