The Food and Wine Festival is a one day festival of fine food, amazing wines and live entertainment for all ages to enjoy!

The annual Festival is held this year on Sunday 4 August at Mt Penang Parklands, Kariong.

The Food and Wine Festival is aimed at young people, adults families who have an interest in gourmet food and wine. You can expect to find a range of food, ciders, beer and wine vendors as well as live entertainment and kids activities.

The upcoming festival is unique as it is a collaboration between a range of local businesses to support business growth and socialisation on the Central Coast.



BRISBANE Waters Private Hospital is celebrating the efforts of its volunteers, who have collectively clocked up 76 years of service.

The acknowledgement coincides with National Volunteer Week from May 20-26, the annual celebration of the outstanding work of our nation’s volunteers.

Hospital CEO Kathy Beverley said: “This year the theme for National Volunteer Week 2019 is ‘Making a world of difference’, such a true statement for our community members who volunteer at our hospital.”

Thousands of events will be held across the country this week to say thanks to the six million Australians who volunteer their time, with Brisbane Waters Private Hospital honouring its volunteers with a special morning tea awards ceremony in the Memorial Gardens at the hospital.

“Encouraging our volunteers to remain with the hospital is important, and providing recognition of their contribution is equally important,” Kathy said.

“We value our volunteers, which is evident in the number of years they have remained with our hospital.”

She said research showed that 96 per cent of those donating their time for the greater good found more happiness in their own lives.

The benefits are numerous, from improving volunteers’ health and happiness to promoting a sense of belonging, boosting mood and making friends.

“Volunteering is a great way to promote strong social networks,” Kathy said.

“Research also suggests volunteering is a beneficial way to connect with your community and build positive relationships through creating social capital, building bonds of trust, cooperation and respect for diversity.”





The Australian Reptile Park has blitzed the Central Coast NSW Regional Business Awards, taking out four awards at this year’s ceremony.

The park took out the Excellence in Business and Regional Business of the Year Awards. The park’s, Amanda Woodbine and Tim Faulkner, also took out individual awards, with Woodbine picking up the Outstanding Young Employee Award, and Faulkner the Outstanding Business Leader Award. Other local businesses who took home honours on the night included: East Gosford corporate marketing firm, Milestone-Belanova, which took out the Employer of Choice Award;

The Start Up Superstar Award went to The Opportunity Collective, a Central Coast not-for-profit that supports young people and women to empower their careers and lives; Gosford Private Hospital took out the Excellence in Innovation Award; and, Gosford’s, Laura Prael, took out the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award, for her work with LEP Digital.



Cowra Business Chamber has been officially announced among the finalists for the 2018 NSW Business Chamber State Business Awards.

The NSW Business Awards celebrates business excellence in entrepreneurship, innovation, export, business growth, sustainability and employment practices.

The State Finalists represent the category winners from 16 regions across NSW.

Winners will be announced at the NSW Business Awards Gala dinner on Friday 23 November 2018 at Luna Park, Sydney.

The finalists in the Local Business Chamber category alongside Cowra are:

Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce, Central Coast.

Cooma Chamber of Commerce, Far South Coast.

Tomaree Business Chamber, Hunter.

Corrimal Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Illawarra.

Croydon Park Business Chamber, Inner West Sydney.

Campbelltown Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Macarthur.

Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce, Mid North Coast.

Deniliquin Business Chamber, Murray-Riverina.

Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New England North West.

Riverside Business Chamber, North Eastern Sydney.

Evans Head Business and Community Chamber, Northern Rivers.

Double Bay & Districts Business Chamber, South Eastern Sydney.

Sydney Hills Business Chamber, Western Sydney.




Central Coast Council has won a state award for an educational program about Tuggerah Lakes involving three films and multi-touch books for use on iPads.

The council won the Environmental Leadership and Sustainability award at the 2018 NSW Local Government Awards for its Tuggerah Lakes Digital Resource and Communication Program.

The awards shine the spotlight on excellence in the NSW local government sector.

As part of its Estuary Education Program for Tuggerah Lakes, the council produced new and innovative education resources for the community including two free multi-touch books for iPads – a first for a local council in Australia – and three short films narrated by local children and featuring community members and staff.

The films were screened at local cinemas and have been viewed by more than 121,000 residents.

The council was also highly commended in the Creative Communities category for its work with the community on the Maliga Indigenous Arts and Cultural Showcase.

The Maliga (meaning ‘shine’ in Darkinjung) Indigenous Arts and Cultural Showcase was held at The Art House during Reconciliation Week, and this year included a new category for children aged 3 to 5.

Over the past five years Maliga has enabled more than 200 young indigenous people on the Central Coast to share and interpret cultural stories that lead to their growth and development.

Council’s acting chief executive officer, Brian Glendenning, said recognition at the awards was a great achievement for the council.

“I am delighted that Central Coast Council has received these two awards and been recognised for our dedication to sustainability as well as our excellence in bring together communities through art and cultural creative projects,” Mr Glendenning said.

“Council was also named a finalist in four other categories: Innovative Leadership and Management for Central Coast Future Council; Community Partnerships and Collaboration for The Harvest Festival Central Coast; Special Project Initiative for the Central Coast Community Strategic Plan; and Service Delivery Initiative for ‘Desexing Saves Lives – Responsible Pet Ownership on the Coast’.”​


Member for Wyong, Mr David Harris, has confirmed his nominee for the Wyong local woman of the year as Ms Danielle Habib of Chittaway Point.
Ms Habib has been active in community organisations including White Ribbon, the Central Coast Domestic Violence Committee and the Central Coast Women’s Health Centre.
She has sat on Wyong Council’s multicultural advisory committee and volunteers to assist migrants and refugees in settling into communities.
“Danielle is a thoroughly impressive woman, not many people can say they dedicate so much to people who have so little,” Mr Harris said.
“Danielle is a well-known Central Coast identity who doesn’t seek recognition for the important work she does.
“This nomination is a chance to say “thank you” on behalf of the Wyong and wider Central Coast community.”
Ms Habib said she was humbled to have been chosen for the award.
“There are so many deserving women in our community that give their time and energy tirelessly to so many worthwhile issues,” Ms Habib said.
“It is important that we all stand up against violence in our community and see that through the use of sexist jokes and language, and the objectification of women, that it leads to a culture of violence against women.
“As a community we can challenge these values and be a part of the changing attitudes towards women.”



A contract has been awarded by Central Coast Council for the construction of stage one of the Tuggerah Regional Sport and Recreation Complex.

The $23.71 million sporting complex will include a premier ground with another nine playing fields, cricket pitches, public amenities including change rooms, canteen facilitates, store rooms and parking at Lakes Rd, Tuggerah. Council’s Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said the awarding of the contract was a step towards positioning the Central Coast as a destination of choice for major sporting events. “We have previously had to turn away some state competitions due to a lack of appropriate facilities,” Mr Reynolds said.

“The economic benefits that will fl ow to our community from hosting large sporting events is huge in dollar value, creating local jobs and boosting tourism,” he said. Work on stage one is anticipated to take 12 to 18 months to complete and will create up to 70 new full-time employment opportunities during construction. “A further 28 new fulltime jobs will be created in the region after fi ve years of operation of this complex, boosting much needed employment opportunities on the Coast. “This is a really exciting time as Council brings much-needed infrastructure and facilities to the Central Coast to improve our community’s quality of life and deliver projects the community needs, wants and values.”

This project was made possible with the support of the Australian Government’s $10 million National Stronger Regions Fund to go with Council’s $13.71 million, Mr Reynolds said. He said Council recognised the importance of the funding and was looking forward to collaborating with the Australian Government to deliver future projects for the Central Coast community.

The final stage of the project will see construction of an indoor sporting centre incorporating six basketball courts, amenities, sporting officers, a kiosk and a 3,000 seat grandstand to bring the total value of the complex to $53 million. The tender was awarded to Norths Construction who also built The Art House in Wyong, for which they won a 2016 Master Builders Association Award.



Central Coast Council has awarded the contract for the construction of stage one of the Tuggerah Regional Sport and Recreation Complex.

The grand $23.71 million sporting complex will include a premier ground with another 9 playing fields, cricket pitches, public amenities including change rooms, canteen facilitates, store rooms and parking at Lakes Road, Tuggerah.

Council’s Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said the awarding of this contact is a step towards positioning the Central Coast as a destination of choice for major sporting events.

“We have previously had to turn away some state competitions due to a lack of appropriate facilities, but not anymore,” Mr Reynolds said.

“The economic benefits that will flow to our community from hosting large sporting events is huge in dollar value, creating local jobs and boosting tourism.”

Work on stage one is anticipated to take 12 to 18 months to complete and will create up to 70 new full time employment opportunities during construction.

“A further 28 new full time jobs will be created in the region after five years of operation of this complex, boosting much needed employment opportunities on the Coast,” Mr Reynolds added.

“This is a really exciting time as Council brings much needed infrastructure and facilities to the Central Coast to improve our community’s quality of life and delivering projects the community need, want and value.”

This project was made possible with the support of the Australian Government’s $10 million National Stronger Regions Fund and Council’s $13.71 million.

Council recognises the importance of this funding and is looking forward to collaborating with the Australian Government to deliver future projects for the Central Coast community.

The final stage of this project will see construction of an indoor sporting centre incorporating six basketball courts, amenities, sporting officers, a kiosk and a 3000 seat grandstand to bring the total value of the complex to $53 million.

The tender was awarded to Norths Construction who also built The Art House in Wyong for which they won a 2016 Master Builders Association Award.



A man who has given countless hours to those less fortunate has been named the inaugural Central Coast Citizen of the Year.

Mr Lester Pearson of Fountaindale received the honour tonight at Central Coast Council’s 2017 Australia Day Awards ceremony.

Lester has been volunteering for more than 30 years with his latest passion focused on helping local youth.

Council’s Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said Lester was a great example of how volunteering can make a difference in a community.

“Lester is a deserving recipient for the first Central Coast Citizen of the Year award, showing that his work in the community isn’t going unnoticed and it is truly appreciated,” Mr Reynolds said.

“He’s been instrumental in setting up a number of foundations to support our youth in crisis as well as those overseas.”

Lester and his wife, Sue, established ‘Coats for Kids’ through their dry cleaning business, collecting and cleaning more than 5000 coats, jackets and jumpers for Youth off the Streets programs to help keep young ones warm in winter.

His most recent achievement, the establishment of Save Our Kids (SOKS) has saved more than 190 young lives across the Coast since it started in 2013.

Lester conceived the idea of SOKS to address the issue of youth suicide on the Coast, through raising funds for Lifeline. The program has now grown to also provide young achievers with opportunities to attend leadership programs.

“Lester is truly one of the unsung heroes in our community,” Mr Reynolds added.

“He and his mates have now formed the Gosford North Rotary Benefactors Club to help raise funds and continue to support the kids on the Coast.

“I would like to personally thank Lester for all the time he has given to improving young people’s lives and also congratulate him and all the other winners of this year’s inaugural Central Coast Australia Day Awards.

“I would also like to thank the independent panel who had the hard job of considering all the nominees for our Awards and coming up with the winners. Thanks to Sarah King, Andrew Church and Ron Sharpe.”

Other Australia Day Award winners announced tonight at the first Central Coast ceremony include:

  • Youth of the Year – Miss Courtney McDermott
  • Community Volunteer of the Year – Mr Peter Hurley
  • Community Volunteer of the Year (Highly Commended) – Mr Michael Sharpe
  • Community Activity and Service Award – Mrs Meg Champness
  • Arts, Culture & Entertainment Award – Ms Meredith Gilmore
  • Arts, Culture & Entertainment Award (Highly Commended) – Mrs Vivien Sale
  • Environmental Award – Ms Carol Long
  • Environmental Award (Highly Commended) – Mr Ian Carr
  • Sportsperson of the Year – Mr Keenan Derry
  • Business Connecting Communities Award – Mr George Abourizk

Congratulations to the 2017 inaugural Central Coast Australia Day Award winners.



Shakespearean Actor and Director, and Chairman of the Bouddi Foundation for the Arts, Mr John Bell, recently announced the awarding of $24,500 in grants to 13 talented young artists from the Central Coast.

Mr Bell was speaking after a special awards ceremony at Wagstaffe Hall which preceded a fundraising concert featuring the host of the popular ABC Australia All Over radio program, Ian ‘Macca’ Mcnamara and his special guest, Melinda Schneider. “The amount of talent among young artists on the Central Coast is extraordinary,” Mr Bell said. “The Central Coast can be very proud of them.” This is the fi fth year that the Bouddi Foundation for the Arts has announced its grants program. In that time, over 40 grants totalling $96,500 have been made to young artists under 25. “Not only is the depth of talent remarkable, but the range of artistic pursuits undertaken by these young people is both exciting and inspiring,” he said.

We have been able to provide support to dancers, both contemporary and classical, musicians, a writer and, in the visual arts, a photographer, painters and a ceramicist. “The Foundation has adopted a structured approach to its grants program with the aim of both developing the talent of young artists and then supporting them as they consolidate their accomplishments into careers. “It is most gratifying to see that after fi ve years this approach is working well.” The 2016 Bouddi Foundation for the Arts Grants in the Gosford City area were as follows. Jasmine Baric, aged 16 from Narara has been playing the violin for 10 years and will be using the grant for Diploma of Music Course fees and to travel to Melbourne for development with the Australian National Academy of Music orchestra. Kimberly Gilbert, from Erina, also aged 16, is a student at the Central Coast Grammar School where she studies cello, and also studies piano at the Central Coast Conservatorium, where she has earned the conservatorium’s most prestigious piano award.

Her grant will be used for travel to the US for one-on-one and masterclasses with the renowned international Steinway artist, Eugene Alcalay, and other performers at the University of Azusa, Los Angeles. Jacinta Janik from Kariong has been classically trained with the Australian Ballet and is now pursuing contemporary dance at NAISDA. Her grant will be used to attend summer and winter dance intensives overseas. Ms Janik said her goal was to travel the world in dance and that she had been proud to learn more about her Aboriginal background which was shunned by her peers when she was growing up. “I am now proud to dance for my culture as well as being accepted into NAISDA,” she said.

Jessica Pearson, also aged 16, from Point Clare, is passionate about performing musical theatre. She is studying dance, drama and voice at Newtown School for the Performing Arts, and her grant will be used for tuition, workshops and equipment. Locally, she is a Classique Dance student and is undertaking vocal tuition at Erina’s Elite Vocals Academy. Toby Wells, 17 years old, from Holgate, is a student at Narara Valley High School. He is also a seasoned song writer and singer whose ambition is to study contemporary music and become a professional musician. The grant will be used to buy quality equipment to support him in his busy performing and recording life. “My ultimate goal is to sustain a career out of writing, playing and recording my music,” Toby said.

“I hope to make music that people can relate to and connect with; I want to make a difference to someone, anyone through my songs. “The high point for me so far was when my band, Stranger Than Paradise, opened for Thirsty Merc on their 2016 Good Life tour. “The experience cemented in my mind that this was what I really want to do.” Amelia Lynch from Green Point, is 19 and took up pottery in 2012 after achieving notable success in textile arts and related genres. Now studying at the National Art School for a Bachelor of Fine Arts, her grant will be used for fees, workshops and materials. Harley Lynch, also from Green Point, aged 19, is enrolled in National Art School concentrating on photography and digital imaging.

He will be using his grant to invest in upgraded photographic equipment. David Ramsden, aged 25 from Terrigal, graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from UNSW. Now working in Terrigal as a visual artist, illustrator and portrait artist, he will use the grant to invest in art materials. Claire Welch, aged 17 from Bensville, has explored various art techniques including digital creativity, but fi nds traditional art practice more engaging and creatively satisfying. A student at the Central Coast Grammar School, her grant will be used for workshop and art courses at the National Art School. Claire said her goal was to fi nish her HSC and progress to study fi ne arts at a university level. “There is a wide world of art that I wish to explore; I’m thrilled to already have had contact with artists that love art,” she said. “I’ve worked really hard on my art in the last couple of years and it was amazing to receive such positive feedback and encouragement from the Bouddi Foundation and the panel that spoke with me. “The Bouddi foundation’s assistance will provide access to classes and materials that I would otherwise be without,” she said. Other award recipients came from the Woy Woy Peninsula and from Toukley.

Media release, Nov 5, 2016 Joy Park, Bouddi Foundation



The winners of the 2016 School Environment Awards for the former Gosford Local Government Area (LGA) were announced today at a ceremony at Laycock Street Community Theatre.

Taking out the top honours for their work around the theme ‘the drain is just for the rain,’ was Chertsey Primary School (School of the Year – Large Schools) and Holgate Public School (School of the Year – Small Schools). Chertsey Primary School also received the Council Award for Performing Excellence.

Council Administrator Ian Reynolds has thanked all of the schools involved for their contribution to environmental education.

“With 22 schools participating in this year’s program, I would like to recognise all of the principals, teachers, parents and students for their commitment to improving our environment and continuing environmental education within our community,” Mr Reynolds said.

“This year’s theme focused attention on the issue of stormwater and the importance of keeping it clean. As it is estimated that 80 per cent of marine debris comes from land-based sources and given the many beautiful waterways, lagoons and beaches in our region, this topic is of special significance for everyone living on the Central Coast.”

Program Coordinator and Environmental Education Officer Anni Griffiths said the awards were a celebration of the year’s activities and an opportunity to recognise the schools, students and teachers that are doing great things to care for our planet.

“In addition to the 22 schools participating in the School Environment Program, we had ten schools take part in Council’s Wise About Waste program and another ten schools involved in the Take 3 for the Sea Green Sea Turtle Project, as well as hundreds of students entering the individual project component of the Greenhouse Program,” Ms Griffiths said.

“Students involved in environmental education programs learnt about stormwater pathways in their schools and local areas, and the impact on ocean life, other animals and people if stormwater is polluted or full of litter.

“Students took part in hands-on activities including waste audits, litter removal and education campaigns, beach clean-ups, and audits of items that may become litter from school canteens. These awards acknowledge the amazing work being done to take care of our environment on a local level.”

A number of special awards were also presented at this year’s ceremony. These include:

  • Most Involved in the Theme – Wyoming Public School;
  • Most Improved – Central Coast Grammar School and Copacabana Public School;
  • Waterways Care – Gosford Public School; and
  • Most Student Involvement – Point Clare Public School

Proud sponsors of the 2016 School Environment Program include: SIMS Metal, Remondis, Busways, Community Environment Network, TreeTop Adventure Park, Wildlife Walkabout Park, The Imperial Centre and Bunnings, West Gosford. 



Central Coast Council is bringing an acclaimed writer, Andrew Patterson, to Tuggerah Library in November to share his debut novel ‘Harry’s World.’

This award winning author will inspire his listeners to fall in love with crime fiction as he chats about his novel of corruption, crime, and politics.

Council’s Library Services Manager, Ms Andrea Edwards said, she is excited to present such a fascinating and award winning author who has released his novel with much acclaim.

“Crime fiction lovers will be enthralled as Andrew’s passion for writing and knowledge of crime really jumps out as he talks about ‘Harry’s World,’ said Ms Edwards.

“Andrew’s experience as a Detective Sergeant in the Police Force and as a Chief Investigator with the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption has given him a vast amount of knowledge that really shines through this fascinating read.

Harry’s World’ is running hot off the press and if you haven’t bought your copy yet, the book will be available for purchase on the day with the author on hand to personally sign each copy.”

Andrew Patterson is an independent author who has won five awards including Outstanding Mystery at the 2016 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards in Canada and the Bronze Medal Winner at the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards in Australia.

Andrew will be at Tuggerah Library on 23 November at 10am until 11.30am to share his work with readers.

“All of our libraries are great places to meet up with friends, catch an event or just be inspired by the dynamic learning spaces we have created”, Ms Edwards added.

“So drop in to one of your local libraries on the Coast and you will be amazed at what they have to offer for all ages of the community.”



THEY save the government more than $1 billion a week, but they don’t want to be considered heroes.

More than 45,000 carers live on the Central Coast, and last week was a chance to recognise the work they do as we celebrated National Carers Week.

It’s a job about constant vigilance; ensuring your loved ones are safe and secure during everyday activities.

However Keith Mathews, a carer for his wife Di, says that the job is simply par for the course for many people.

“She’s coping well — I really don’t have to do that much at all for her. I just make sure she’s moving okay and feeling OK,” Mr Mathews said.

“I’ve had cancer so I’m one of each — I’m a survivor and a carer. We don’t dwell on where we sit, we just move forward.

“It’s just natural. You do what you can for the ones you love.”

District manager of the Carer Support Unit, Sian White, said there was no formula for caring, as no two cases are the same.

“They don’t want to be seen as a hero, but they do want to be seen,” Ms White said. “Sometimes they are a bit invisible and carers week acts as an opportunity for us to make them know their contribution really counts.

“We know there are many more than that (45,000 at the 11-12 per cent rate the Census suggests) on the Central Coast. Some are young that have significant roles within the family and then there is the other end of the spectrum where an elderly person may be caring for their spouse or adult children.”

Ms White believes that the government simply doesn’t have the money to survive without carers, but they also provide unique insight into the health of those they look after.

“What’s important, particularly in the health service, is involving the carer and engaging them in health care as they have crucial information to the health and wellbeing of the people they are caring for,” she said.



The Central Coast SES was formally recognised for a long winter’s work at the Central Coast Business Awards over the weekend.

The hardworking volunteers took out the 2016 community service award, announced at an event attended by Premier Will Hodgman at Ulverstone on Saturday night.

Unit deputy manager Kurt Carey, who accepted the award, said it was satisfying to be acknowledged during a particularly busy year for the group.

“We’ve just hit the 100 jobs for the year mark. This time last year we were at about 52 jobs,” he said.

“We’ve always got something happening.”

The group consists of 14 volunteers, who attend jobs including road crash rescue, flood damage and storm damage.

Unit manager Harold Priest agreed 2016 has been the busiest of his 20 year period of service.

“It’s been a perfect storm of weather problems,” he said.

“We almost had a second flood two weeks ago, which made it even more difficult.”

Mr Priest, a retired policeman, added the group is always on the lookout for more volunteers.

“We train every Wednesday for two hours, and we expect a 60 per cent attendance rate to keep their accreditation in the unit,” he said

“But we wouldn’t be nearly as enthusiastic if we were fully paid people. Then it would be just a job, but this is a love for us.”

Central Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ian Locke said the awards highlight excellence within the region.

“To have the Premier join us provides a great stage for the Central Coast and this chamber to demonstrate the exciting and ongoing hard work that is carried out here in the boiler room of this state’s economy,” he said.

Mr Locke said he has spoken with the presidents of the Burnie and Devonport chambers of commerce and agreed all three will work toward a Cradle Coast award in the future.



Ms Gaynor Hobart, of Watanobbi , was the winner of the Adult and overall Volunteer of the Year, Central Coast, at the Central Coast Volunteer of the Year Awards, held on October 5, at Shelley Beach Golf Club.

Ms Hobart took out both categories for her extensive dedication to the Central Coast Riding for the Disabled, Somersby, where she has volunteered for seven years. Ms Hobart has worked tirelessly to better the services and experience of disabled peoples who attend riding classes at the Somersby site, and has dedicated her time to almost every aspect of Riding for the Disabled’s management, including becoming a certifi ed coach, increasing her knowledge of horse care, fundraising, and of course, helping disabled people experience the joy of riding a horse.

The Somersby centre is a part of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) which operates throughout Australia to help disabled Australians learn new skills, have fun, make friends and learn to ride. A spokesperson from the RDA said the organisation couldn’t be prouder of Ms Hobart for her efforts in Somersby and success with the Volunteer Awards. “Gaynor and the rest of our volunteers ignore the old saying, never work with animals or children. “Gaynor only sees the pleasure and confi dence the RDA gives to children and adult riders with disabilities, and does it all while tackling the uncertainties of the job with a level head and enthusiasm,” the spokesperson said. Ms Hobart said she felt she hadn’t done enough to even be nominated, let alone win the Volunteer of the Year Award.

“When I started this seven years ago, a lady I worked with told me I’d be here for life. “She told me once it gets you, you’ll never leave, and she was right. “The difference from putting a disabled child or adult rider onto a horse and watching them blossom is indescribable,” Ms Hobart said. Ms Hobart, who mostly works with children from special needs school groups, said she had witnessed fi rsthand the dramatic physical, mental and emotional benefi ts that riding could produce in disabled kids. “A lot of these times, the kids come to us with ongoing issues that go beyond their disability.

“We get kids who are frustrated with their situation, who maybe have siblings who can do all these things that they can’t, or we get kids whose parents may be divorced or splitting up and they can sometimes blame themselves and their disability for it,” she continued. “Riding helps these children in so many ways. “I’ve seen kids with cerebral palsy who couldn’t sit up straight for five minutes let alone mount a horse, gradually improve their strength and endurance until they could ride for a whole hour. “I’ve had autistic children who have never once uttered a word, suddenly start talking to me or their horse, after months of silence. “It’s really an incredible thing to witness.

“The change and the improvement in their quality of life is palpable and that’s why I do this,” Ms Hobart said, and according to Ms Hobart, it’s not only the riders whose lives improve. “Aside from all the volunteers, whose lives are enriched from the special bonds we form with the riders, other people in the riders’ lives notice the difference. “We get letters here all the time from parents, carers, teachers and even doctors, who notice the change in their disabled loved one or charge. “It’s truly a special thing,” Ms Hobart added. The Somersby centre is fully self-funded and relies on the generosity and donations of the community it services, and the volunteers dedicated to help make a difference in a disabled person’s life.



Local chef Cameron Cansdell hopes to see the Central Coast become a regional dining destination of the future after he picked up the 2016 Electrolux Young Restaurateur of the Year award.

Mr Cansdell, head chef and co-owner of Bombini at Avoca Beach with wife Hayley, finished ahead of two Victorian restaurants in the nationally-acclaimed award.

He said the award was nothing to do with his cooking; rather his overall vision, innovation and community involvement.

“It was a self-analysing of myself in the business and how I run it, combined with what I am to the industry,” Mr Cansdell said.

“It entailed a lot of writing about philosophies of cooking, the business, my interaction with people in the business, as well as day-to-day runnings and future ambitions.”

Mr Cansdell’s wife Hayley Hardcastle said judges gauged how nominees ran their businesses as a whole.

“But it is based on the foundation of how you went from the day you opened to now, and then even further into the future,” she said.

“They consider your training, things you might run differently to other businesses and how you plan to grow.”

Bombini offers modern yet traditional Italian food based upon an a la carte menu with shared antipasto options.

Mr Cansdell said his passion for Italian cooking started at a young age.

“Those fundamental principles of simple and quality cooking are what originally drew me to Italian cooking and are what I still love about Italian cooking now,” he said.

“A lot of food now which is created by chefs are new form techniques and combinations and styles, and it doesn’t necessarily attach itself to much history in terms of cultures. At Bombini, we don’t go along that line so much. I’m more interested in creating food which has a sense of place, a sense of memory and is very nostalgic.”

The pair are preparing to attract a new style of foodies, with a casual pizza bar beside the main dining area opening over the weekend — almost two years to the day after they took over the former Rojo Rocket site.

“I think this was always on the cards for us. It’s something that we wanted to do. Running a restaurant is like buying a house — you have a vision for it and over time, you value add,” Mr Cansdell said.



Central Coast Council’s own Misbah Khan was crowned the Newcastle Professional Engineer of the Year at the recent Engineering Excellence Awards.

These Awards, sponsored by Engineering Australia, celebrate and recognise engineering accomplishments of individuals and companies Australia wide.

Council’s Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds said, this recognition highlights the standard of talent working at Council and the innovative ways staff are delivering original and creative projects for the community.

“Misbah is Council’s Senior Asset Systems Engineer and was recognised for his research in improving road assets allowing Council to improve the sustainability of our roads,” Mr Reynolds said.

“Winning the Newcastle division of Engineer of the Year is well deserved by Misbah and is a prestigious achievement.

“The $3.6 million Mooney Mooney Raw Water Pump Station power supply project was also recognised at the awards night as one of 13 finalists for engineering excellence.

“This innovative project supplies water to the Somersby Water Treatment Plant that services our community in conjunction with Mardi Water Treatment Plant at Wyong.

“These innovations in engineering are helping us deliver the essential infrastructure our growing community needs.

“We are proud of the quality of excellent staff that have contributed to this success and it is awards like these that recognise the home grown talent we have here on the Coast.”

Misbah Khan has also been nominated for the Australian Professional Engineer Award 2016, held in November this year.



SURF Life Saving Central Coast was the top achiever at the 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence, taking home the prestigious branch of the year title.

Branch president Stuart Harvey said he was “stoked” with the award, which was presented at a gala evening in Sydney on Saturday.

“We don’t do it for the awards, but it was good to be recognised for the efforts we are putting in,” Mr Harvey said.

“Our members do an amazing job and it’s such a privilege to win branch of the year.”

It was one of four awards for the Central Coast, including Community Education Program of the Year, Facilitator of the Year and Young Athlete of the Year.

Mr Harvey was particularly proud of the branch’s community education work.

“Our community education is one of our major goals and we’ve worked to deliver that to the community,” he said.

“There are 62 primary schools on the Central Coast and we’re delivering surf education into 58 of those schools which is an amazing effort.”

Facilitator of the Year Ramzy Fawsy, of the Wamberal club, described education as his life.

“The reward you receive from seeing members pass a course is the biggest award for me, receiving the 2016 Facilitator­ of the Year is a bonus,” he said.

Umina’s Jemma Smith capped off her stellar season with the Young Athlete of the Year award.

Smith, who was named female­ competitor of the carnival at the Australian titles, will captain the Australian Youth team at the World Lifesaving Championships in The Netherlands next month and was just named in the upcoming Nutri-Grain Ironwoman series.

Meanwhile, Surf Life Saving Central Coast’s annual charity golf day is on August 26 at Shelly Beach Golf Club. To register, call the branch on 4353 0299.

Source Emma Herd, Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate