2009 homeless sleepout

homeless sleepout banner

Photo: Thirroul SCCC

This Friday the 7th of August will be a cold and uncomfortable night for fund raising participants sleeping outside to raise awareness about the Illawarra’s homeless community.

The event has been organised by the South Coast City Church (SCCC) to also raise money for local services helping the more than 1500 disadvantaged members of our community.

Participants will spend from 6.30 pm Friday to 7.30 am Saturday under the David Jones bridge link in the Crown Street Mall.

Senior Pastor of SCCC, Peter Starr, says people are simply looking for a way to help.

To register and for more information visit the SCCC website.

Tuesday 11th August 2009, Crossfire caught up with Peter Starr to find out how the Friday night event and how much money was raised. Listen in below.

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.

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

Chasing the occupation

Career onlineJob hunting is often a daunting and painful experience. Especially when you are first entering the workforce or changing occupations. In this tough economic time the job market is becoming more competitive as less and less jobs become available. Keith McGowan is a careers councilor and psychologist at Wollongong TAFE. He offered his expertise and advice to Crossfire and gave some insight into the art-form we call job hunting.

Conflict over parking meters in Wollongong’s CBD

Next Tuesday night (21st April) a public meeting will be held to discuss the Councils plans to introduce parking meters in the Wollongong CBD area. The project is part of the Inner City Parking Strategy. The council says the 850 meters will improve efficiency or parking and lessen traffic congestion. The profit will supposedly go to funding more parking and public transport.

The City Diggers club General Manager Phil Ryan says the meters will affect businesses in the area and will put staff at risk when having to walk long distances to their cars.

Mr Ryan took the time to speak to Crossfire about his concerns with the councils parking meter strategy.

Meeting Details: 6pm Tuesday 21 April at the City Diggers club Wollongong

Feedback for the council

The Council has today extended the time frame for submissions on the draft Local Environment Plan, or LEP.

This draft has been on exhibition since the 24th of November last year; regulations require drafts to be open for public submission for a minimum of 28 days.

The LEP guides land use and development. It addresses land zonings and determines what land can be used for. It also controls the scale and density of development and lists heritage items.

This LEP excludes the West Dapto release area and the Dapto Town centre which have their own separate draft LEP.

The LEP draft can be found online at the council website or you can contact the council.

The council is also asking for feedback on the Plan of Management (PoM) for the Stanwell Park Beach Reserve and Bald Hill area.

Possibilities of extensions and refurbishments are proposed in the Plan of Management draft for the Stanwell Park Kiosk and the Surf Life Saving Club.

This draft will be on display until the 29th of May and open for feedback. There will also be a public hearing to discuss the draft Plan of Management at Stanwell Park Surf Lifesaving Club on the 14th and 16th of May.

All details can be found on the council website.

Wollongong Zine Fair

Zines are small self published mini magazines. Usually created by hand and printed with a photocopying machine. As a part of youth week, a Zine Fair will be held this Sunday at the Wollongong City Gallery starting at 12pm. This is the second year running for the event and its popularity is anticipated to grow.


Maddy Phelan is one of three organizers of the event and spoke to crossfire about the event.

The Wollongong Festivity Flicks Short Film Festival

Film enthusiasts are being given the opportunity to showcase their work and compete for the title of Wollongong’s best short film for 2009.


Wollongong City Council’s Youth Services is encouraging film makers between the ages of 12 and 24 to cubmit their short flicks into the Festivity Flicks Short Film Festival. Contestants must work, go to school or live in the Wollongong Local Government area.


Music videos, Narrative pieces, documentaries and everything in between are welcomed but they must be under ten minutes in length. 


Films must be submitted by 5pm the 23rd of March. Screening of the films and judging will be on the 30th of March at the Wollongong youth centre. Four winners will be awarded prizes on the night. 


For more infomation: youthservices@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

Or contact the youth services team on 42 265969


An interview with Youth Services Coordinator, Megan McKell, can be heard here:




Clean up Australia day a success for Wollongong

Clean up Australia day beings thousands of Aussies out each year to help pick up the trash cluttering our beaches and park leands. The Illawarra had its own success on Sunday when 1100 people turned out to help clean up more than 30 sites from Helensburgh to Dapto.



 Environment Education Coordinator for Wollongong City Council, Mike McKeon, says plastic bottles, glass and cigarette butts make up the majority of the trash collected. 30% of the garbage collected is recyclable. The council is still consolidating and sorting garbage but so far the Illawarra’s collection count is up to 12 tonne.



Australians have long been conscious of the need for a clean environment, especially in an age where global warming is already showig its effects, but more needs to be done do help reduce waste. Taking simple steps

such as using reusable coffee cups or photocopying double sided can help in reducing the amount of trash filling our landfills.



In agreement with Mr McKeon, The Clean Up Australia group says cigarette butts and tobacco related products are Australia’s biggest litter issue. Almost 50% of the trash collected from urban areas is cigarette butts.



Two United Diver Clean up Australia Day participants emerge from the harbour


Waterways are a primary focus of the Clean Up Australia Day, an estimated 7 billion tonnes of rubbish enters the world’s oceans each year, Wollongong harbour was no different. On Sunday the University diving club and United Divers scoured the Harbour floor picking up rubbish.


Des Peros of United Divers says everything from plastic to fishing robs can be found under the water. Marine debris is not only a pollution problem is also kills up to 1million sea birds a year along with thousands of other types of marine life.




The United Divers team on Sunday after cleaning up the Harbour


Listen to the report…[Audio http://www.musicwebtown.com/wales/254825%5D

Jobs in the Illawarra lost in hard times

Almost 300 jobs in the Illawarra have been axed with Pacific Brands’ closing down the Bonds factory in Unanderra and King Gee in Bellabmbi. The Bellambi factory is set to close in July while Bonds will stay open until Feruary 2010. Nationwide 1850 people will be made unemployed when the work is moved overseas.
Pacific brands also manufactures Holeproff. Dunlop, Stussy, Mossimo, Berlei and Hard Yakka. This decision is another hit to the region with the loss of 100 jobs from the closure of Keelong detention centre on Friday.