While I was an original member of Author-rised when it started in August 2012, I wasn’t working for Parkes Library then. I commenced as facilitator of the group in 2014, when it became one of my work duties.
However, it was never a chore, rather a labour of love. To be able to research the many topics of writing, and see writers hone their craft and improve has been most satisfying.
Writers have been part of special projects – such as Stories on a Coffee Cup and the Skywriters Anthology – as well as taking part in many writer festivals. The Stories on a Coffee Cup was a unique concept where every café in the Parkes Shire received free coffee cups. Each cup had one of three different (very) short stories or poems. To improve the mood of the experience, these short stories and poems were written on serviettes!
We have had author talks, writing workshops and even hosted an editor! One of the most popular features of an Author-rised session is “Share If You Dare”, where writers can choose to share a piece of their writing and ask for feedback.
Author-rised is a supportive, positive place for writers of all abilities, from ages 13 to 113! While my aim was to see it become a great place and space for writing; each Author-rite has contributed to creating and maintaining the encouraging environment where writing can flourish.
I would like to thank Parkes Library staff for their continued support of the group, as well as each Author-rite who has contributed over the years.
By Dan Fredericks
Georgie’s Pantry packed 100 Christmas food hampers again this year to bless people in the Parkes community.
“We want people to be able to enjoy the Christmas celebration, particularly this year when things have been so hard,” said Anglicare Parkes Manager, Natalie Quince. “The hampers make a huge difference to help people stretch their budget to cover all the added costs of a family Christmas celebration.”
One hamper recipient said: “The Christmas Hamper means so much to our family. In the middle of all we were going through, the Christmas hamper makes us feel so loved and supported by our community. Thank you so much for making such a difference.”
The food for the hampers has been provided locally through generous donations from community groups and local businesses and money raised by Anglicare. The hampers were packed and distributed by local volunteers.
Parkes Que members started celebrating early when we held our Christmas party at the start of summer on 1st December after a quick meeting to wind up the year’s business.
The best news to come out of the meeting was that our International Women’s Day luncheon would be back at the Parkes Services Club next year. This is a reminder to all women to put a mark on your calendar for 13th March.
Our party was a lot of fun. Everyone was dressed for Christmas, but Anne-Marie Winter, sporting a reindeer’s head that almost looked alive on her Christmas shirt, was the standout and took home a bubbly prize.
The ‘Boys from the Bush’ dancers, who bore a remarkable likeness to some of our members, entertained us with ‘Working On The Land’. We had a Christmas quiz to test our brains after the COVID hiatus.
We did our Christmas presents differently this year. Everyone bought a gift from the CanAssist shop paying no more than $10.
Some of these were absolutely beautiful, some quite nice, some a little strange, some decidedly odd, but we had a lot of fun regardless and it was a great way to help our cancer sufferers.
Que wishes you all a very happy Christmas and ask you all to support us next year as we work to make our world a better place for all. We welcome new members. Find us on Facebook: Parkes Que Club Inc, or give Pam a call on 0407 894 498.
By Pam Nankivell
There are some beautiful festive lights and Christmas decorations all over town. Here are some of the streets worth exploring: Flinders, Cecile, Danilenko, Middleton, Banjo Place, Noonan, Hydrangea, Thomas, Cheney, Alluvial, Billabong, Golden Bar Drive, Molong, Nash, Lower Barton, and Cooke Park and the CBD.
Steel supplies in Parkes is not going to run out following the recent closure of Handi Steel. Power Tools Plus has announced it has purchased the stock and will be temporarily operating from the business site.
“The good news is Parkes will not be without a steel supplier, and it will be business as usual at the 32 Woodward Street premises for the next two months,” said Power Tools Plus Marketing Manager Marianne Casey.
This new purchase is just the start of some very exciting changes for this Central West business, which has three more stores operating in Forbes, Cowra and Mudgee .
Many people would have noticed the signs on the Forbes road of the new premises under construction for Power Tools Plus over the past year. The long wait is over and in the new year the steel yard, as well as the industrial supplies store currently located in Currajong Street, will be moving into a brand new and much bigger space.
While a grand opening is planned for March 2022, the industrial supplies section will start operating from 24th January and the steel yard from 4th February next year.
The new premises has created four new roles, which have all been filled by Parkes locals.
The new store was built mostly using contractors who have been customers of the business. “It was great to broaden our relationship with our customers and swap around the roles,” said Marianne.
With Parkes set to grow into a major hub, the new Power Tools Plus store could not have come at a better time to provide a much-needed service in the region.
Ways To Help Others At Christmas:
• BIG W has launched its in store Giving Tree initiative, providing customers an opportunity to donate gifts in support of families who need a little extra help. BIG W’s charity partner, Good360 Australia, has matched all 176 stores with a local charity, enabling the Giving Tree program to support over 105 organisations across Australia, including women’s shelters, children and youth at risk, schools, homeless shelters and children in hospital. In addition to its Giving Trees, BIG W is again supporting five Children Hospitals around the country by selling $2 and $5 tokens to raise much needed funds. Customers can place unwrapped gifts under their local BIG W Giving Tree or purchase a Christmas Token from now until Christmas Eve. For more information, visit www.bigw.com.au
• Purchase your Christmas gifts from the CanAssist store in Court Street to help boost the funds of CanAsisst and the wonderful assistance they provide to locals with cancer.
• Elders Parkes and Forbes have teamed up with The Salvation Army for a Christmas Toy Drive. The Salvation Army will ensure that gifts are delivered to all children this Christmas. Gifts can be placed under the trees at the two offices with a label to either boy or girl and an approximate age. Call 6862 922 for more information.
• Parkes Uniting Church and Parkes Catholic Church are collecting/accepting Christmas gifts and donations to be handed to those in need.
• Coles has a $2 donation you can make through Redkite to help support children with cancer and their families, and to SecondBite to provide meals for Australians who need it most. Purchase in store or online.
• Woolworths Parkes is part of a donation target to raise the equivalent of seven million meals this Christmas in support of OzHarvest. Purchase a 50c token in store or online, or choose to round up your purchase to the nearest dollar.
• Help farmers by giving a donation to Aussie Helpers’ ‘Give back to the Outback’ Christmas appeal. All proceeds will go to purchasing Visa gift cards and/or fuel cards for those in need. Last year Aussie Helpers delivered 1,000 Christmas hampers and $27,000 in Visa gift cards and fuel vouchers to Aussie farmers across the country. For more information visit aussiehelpers.org.au.
Support This Festive Season:
• The holiday season can pose many challenges for people affected by cancer. The Cancer Council 13 11 20 telephone information and support service is free and confidential. Specially trained health professional staff are available to answer questions about cancer, offering emotional and practical support for anyone affected by cancer – including cancer patients, people living with cancer, their families, carers and friends, teachers, students, and healthcare professionals. If you call 13 11 20, one of our consultants will listen to your situation, assess your individual needs and make appropriate requests for services.
• R U OK? want to remind everyone that Christmas can be a difficult time for many Australians and encourage them to make a real difference in someone’s life by giving the ‘Gift of Conversation’. Free downloadable resources are available on the R U OK? website including suggestions on how best to support someone from Suicidologist and Registered Psychologist Annie Fardell Hartley: Make the time to check in with them; Acknowledge it – let them know it’s OK to feel overwhelmed, sad, or stressed at this time of the year; Be gentle – If someone doesn’t feel able to celebrate in the same way as they have in the past, give them space; Old traditions and new traditions – If old traditions no longer bring joy perhaps think about new traditions, you can set up to mark the season; Offer practical support – Whether it is making a cuppa, helping with childcare, or cooking a meal, small gestures can be comforting for those finding the season difficult.‘Don’t let it be a silent night: Give the ‘Gift of Conversation’. Learn how at www.ruok.org.au For support at any time of day or night, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Cr Ken Keith OAM
Parkes Shire Acting Mayor
As the year draws to a close and we approach 2022 I would like to thank our local community for their support and resilience throughout a challenging year. I would like to congratulate and thank our local business community for their innovation and determination. It was fabulous to see so many businesses adapt to the ever-changing rules and regulations and continue to support our local community.
In addition to Council’s general operations, significant achievements over the past year include the upgrade to Lower Clarinda Street and delivery of the Cooke Park Pavilion; the expansion of the Parkes Library and Cultural Centre; road construction and renewal upgrades just to name a few.
Despite the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Parkes Shire economy has been afforded some reprieve thanks to significant government and private sector investment. It has also been encouraging to see local businesses investing in the growth of their operations and upgrading premises.
2021 has seen many challenges, particularly to our local small business community, however I look forward to a thriving 2022, especially welcoming visitors back to our region to enjoy the Parkes Elvis Festival, Overture at the Pavilion, Trundle ABBA Festival and many other exciting events.
On behalf of Parkes Shire Council, Merry Christmas and wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas break and a prosperous 2022.
Michael McCormack MP
Federal Member for Riverina
This year has certainly thrown some challenges our way. COVID has continued to have an impact on our way of life, as have floods, a mouse plague and even an earthquake!
You are probably looking forward to a period of peace and quiet. You may be anxiously looking for last-minute gift ideas.
I want to suggest, whilst gifts are a practical and generous way to celebrate this festive time of year, as well as a unique opportunity to support local businesses by purchasing Australian made products and produce, the most thoughtful gifts we can give are free: friendship, kindness, hope and love.
My hope this Christmas is that everyone across the Riverina and Central West gets to experience the happiness of reconnecting with family and friends. As borders open and COVID restrictions ease, the ability to travel and enjoy life as we have previously, are things for which we are truly grateful.
Whilst celebrating this special time of year, we pay tribute to and thank those who give their time to serve and support others: our health care workers, emergency service and defence force personnel, aged care and disability workers, the farmers who will be harvesting to ensure we have food on our tables and those who spend time with the homeless and less fortunate.
May we all rediscover the joy of simple things in life and endeavour to share this with those around us. Catherine, my family, staff and I extend our best wishes to all for a happy Christmas and a successful 2022.
A Year 12 student spent hours working on her HSC major work this year and then decided to auction it off for a charity.
Parkes Christian School student Laura Rusten created a very special show jump for her major works in Design and Technology.
“As an avid equestrian I know how hard it is when practicing show jumping on your own to have to get off the horse to lift or lower the pole, so I decided to create a jump that would allow me to automatically lift or lower the pole while still mounted.”
With some input from her dad, Laura spent countless hours over six months to build an automatic pole lifting show jump with a motion sensor camera.
“My show jump is designed to be used by the rider solo, with two electric winches remote controlled to either lift or lower the pole, a motion sensor camera that can record your movement with an SD card or a second party can access the camera with their phone and control the movement of the camera to give direct feedback.” Laura said the jump was not only designed as a training jump but could also be used in competition.
As a keen supporter of Dolly’s Dream, a charity set up to care for children who have experienced or witnessed serious violence, bullying, cyberbullying or other safety and well-being risks, Laura decided a great way of raising funds for the charity would be to sell the show jump on auction. “With the approval from Dolly’s Dream this became my inspiration.”
The auction kicked off on Monday and by Tuesday she had already raised over $500. “I don’t really have a final figure and only hope it goes well,” said Laura, who has been accepted at Wagga CSU to study a Bachelor of Equine Science next year.
The auction includes other smaller items and is open until 12pm today at: https://fundraise.dollysdream.org.au/fundraisers/laurarusten
The annual Nine Lessons and Carols will again enthral those who gather on Sunday night (19th December) at St George’s Anglican Church at 7:30pm.
The event features songs and carols based around nine readings that tell the story of the prophecies of Jesus, through to his incarnation or birth as God on earth.
The event also foreshadows his death and resurrection which is commemorated at Easter.
Rev Natalie Quince said: “There is a dignified purpose and simplicity in this service that enables people to hear about God’s promises and their fulfilment for us in Jesus. It is the beginning of the Christmas season.”
And the best bit is – everyone can join in singing!
Richard Morgan will be accompanying the congregation in many favourite carols. He is an accomplished organist from Sydney and a regular at this event.
Local Belinda Boland will be performing a solo, as will Keola Aho, while A Capella group Tapestry will lead the congregation in singing and will perform two items.
Please get in early as it will begin promptly at 7:30pm. Richard will be playing the organ from 7pm.
Carols In The Park
If you cannot make the service at St George’s on Sunday, the Parkes Shire Concert Band will be playing Christmas Carols tomorrow (18th December) from 11am at the Cooke Park Pavilion. Bring your picnic rug or chair and enjoy some Christmas cheer in the open.