Budget response

After the budget was announced it seemed that the Illawarra had been short changed but the University was successful yet again. Locals were left wondering why high profile public concerns such as the Picton Rd, Princes Hwy and Maldon-Dombarton rail link were largely ignored. Federal member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, spent this week in defending the decisions. Here’s what she had to say about some of the decisions in the Illawarra.

Judy Raper, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Wollongong, spoke on why the University is so successful in attracting funds over other projects. She said the application process has been largely misrepresented, and that not enough has been done to make the community aware of the monumental work planned for the centre and the benefits it can bring to the region.

There were budget decisions other then infrastructure plans that will affect the Illawarra community. Federal member for Gilmore, Jo Gash, is concerned not only about the lack of infrastructure funding, but also some of the announcements that were generally received well. Listen in to what she had to say on the promise of broadband and how much of her electorate will miss out.

Ms Gash also spoke of concerns voiced by older residents who are worried they will be worse off with the pension increase.

Jo Gash is primarily concerned about the lack of funding for the Princes Hwy. She lays the blame on our state MP’s saying that she was of the impression that Matt Brown, the State Member for Kiama, would apply for federal funding to upgrade the Berri by-pass. This past week, it has become apparent that an application was not even drafted.

There has been a lot of anger directed at the state government about a shortfall of funding in NSW.

David Campbell, the Minister for the Illawarra and Transport,  spoke to Crossfire about the criticism.

For more information on the budget visit the federal governments 2009-10 Commonwealth budget website.

Illawarra homeless still an issue

Photo: Jacqueline Wales

Photo: Jacqueline Wales

Narelle Clay, CEO of Southern Youth and Family Services, spoke to Crossfire in December 2008 after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced The Road Home, an initiative to decrease the nations homeless population by the year 2020.

More than 100 000 Australians sleep without secure housing.

Narelle Clay joined Crossfire to discuss the on-going problems and whether the economic down turn has meant more people are asking for help.

For more information on where to find assistance visit the Southern Youth and Family Services website.

The Great Illawarra Walk

Brightly coloured clad walkers will hit the streets of Wollongong this weekend to raise money for children with cancer.

The Great Illawarra Walk is a 100km round trip from Shellharbour to Stanwell Park and back which will take place on the May 30 and 31.

The event will raise money for Camp Quality to help children and their families affected by cancer.

It is only in its second year by Organiser Chris Lovatt hopes the event will raise more than $50,000.

To register for the walkathon head to www.greatillawarrawalk.com.au

To learn more about this amazing event watch this short video.

Kevin Rudd comes to town

It was on short notice and the excitement was short lived but Kevin Rudd made one long term difference in the Illawarra on his visit to Wollongong on Monday. The Prime Minister stopped in at Port Kembla to announce that BlueScope Steel had won a $20 million contract to produce steel for three new navy destroyers. Rudd then moved on to the Town Hall where he guided 200 selected leaders, politicians and volunteers through a jobs forum.

Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay attended the meeting. On Tuesday, budget day, Hay quickly answered a few Crossfire questions before heading off to question time.

What’s in your Headspace?


Headspace is an Australian National Youth Mental Health Foundation focused on providing physical and mental health advice and care to people between the ages of 12 and 25.  The foundation has launched a television ad campaign to raise its profile and has a strong presence online where its target audience tend to go first for help. Kellie Marshall, Deputy CEO of the Illawarra Division of General Practice spoke to crossfire about what services Headspace clinics provide.

For more information check out the Headspace website.
If you would like to talk to someone at Headspace Illawarra call: 02 4225 1184

Headspace Illawarra full details

Address: 1A Denison Street Wollongong NSW 2500
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm
Contact Details: Phone: 02 4225 1184, Fax: 02 4225 0606, Email: headspace@idgp.org.au

Fifteen Pages of fame


A quick flick through the pages of Birds reveals the ingenuity of a sub-culture that has been lingering underneath the mainstream world of media for decades.

With photocopied pages and handwritten issue numbers, the mini-magazine provides the opportunity for anyone to have their fifteen pages of fame.


Birds, a mini-zine. Photo: Mary-Helen Daly

Zinesters, as the authors call themselves, are the personal and contemplative members of generation Y. The generation that most believe, has lost itself in the self indulgent life online. Rather, this unique culture thrives on new ideas and originality, and the motivation of a person to put their thoughts where their paper is.

Built around the DIY ethic of an entrepreneur and carried along by the punk rock culture, zines emerged in the 1930’s to serve the minority and cover the topics ignored by mainstream media. These days, the topic content is wide-ranging and almost impossible to categorise. Zines cover everything from comics, dogs and diaries to politics.

“Some people write about their illnesses or their divorces. Some just write about their general day-to-day life.”

There are few hard and fast rules for zines. Traditionally circulation must be below five thousand to truly be a zine, although some have surpassed this point.


Photo: Jacqueline Wales

Dave Roche, 26, is an old substitute teacher from the United States and has moved on from the mini-zine and onto the mini-book. OnSubbing, the first four years is a published version of Dave’s mini-zines and is well-known to zinesters.

many zinesters have taken their diaries out from under the bed and photocopied them onto the pages of a personal zine, also known as the ‘perzine’.

“I laughed, I cried, I nearly pooped my pants…his style is captivating, his imagery amazing,” one of his readers says in a review.

Although zinesters cling to handwritten notes and plain white paper, the digital world has helped forge links between zinsters across the world.

On a trip to Australia, Dave Roche dropped in to visit one of his fellow zinesters, Susy Pow, and delivered a reading of his mini-book in her share-house basement.

The online world has also expanded the circulation of zines. Fans can now easily connect with each other and trade their zines world wide.

Putting one’s opinions or hobbies on paper is personal enough for most, but many zinesters have taken their diaries out from under the bed and photocopied them onto the pages of a personal zine, also known as the ‘perzine’.

“They’re popular because they’re intimate,” says Susy Pow.

“Some people write about their illnesses or their divorces. Some just write about their general day-to-day life.”

The Zine Fair is where it all comes together.


Wollongong zinefair. Photo: Jacqueline Wales

Zinesters of all ages and interests descend on a day filled with chocolate-frosted cupcakes and badge buttons. Hobbyists come together to trade old and new zines, explore ideas and techniques and to share opinions. Workshops on how to save time and money on your bedroom production lines attract a fair crowd. Beneath the lively chatter you can almost hear the itch of each aspiring zinester, eager to get home and apply their newly learned tricks of the trade.

Zines are not only churned out by amateur writers, but also by artists and graphic designers still sketching their way through academic acknowledgment. Some have turned the self-publishing technique into their own personal art galleries.

This is the case with Flaps, an artistic zine designed by two Sydney career artists. Their latest edition is a collection of paintings, sketches and photographs of the Architecture in Smith Field.


Flaps, an artistic zine. Photo: Jacqueline Wales

Curiosity draws people in to explore this sub-culture and zines have everything needed to attract and retain a crowd. Unique content, an unpolished style and personal appeal, makes these crafty mini-zines both attractive and addictive.

Zinesters have escaped the orthodox methods of the mainstream publishing market, and without rules, there are simply no limits when it comes to zines.

Upcoming Zine Fairs:

Sydney Writers’ Festival: Sunday May 24 2009

This is not art: 1-5 October 2009

Generation Next: education on the young for the old

Generation Next is a seminar series designed explain the foreign world of youth to parents, teachers and others dealing with young adults and teenagers.

Cyber safety, drug and alcohol use – amongst other topics, are addressed by the presenters. Dr Ramesh Manocha, a GP medical researcher and educator, developed the Generation Next seminars in consultation with academics and experts in the relevant areas.

Dr Manocha spoke to Crossfire briefly about some of the bigger issues facing youth.