Retired Teacher Association news

Gardens of Stone National Park

In June, Janine Kitson presented important information regarding the conservation of Gardens of Stone National Park near Lithgow, NSW. The area comprises stone pagodas, sandstone cliffs and canyons, with elements of limestone creating varied shapes and formations. The area adjoins the Blue Mountains World Heritage site.

The Gardens of Stone National Park spans 55,000 hectares, but only 18,700 hectares are protected and the remaining areas are under threat, primarily from coal mining. Upland and peat swamps are in danger and the campaign to protect these wilderness sites has been in operation for three decades. Proposals for them to be classified as state conservation areas have been compromised by the presence of underground mining.

Female Orphan School

In June, RTA members toured the Female Orphan School within the grounds of the Parramatta campus of Western Sydney University. Predating the Hyde Park Barracks, the school is the oldest three-storey building in Australia. During its life, the building has served as an orphanage and a psychiatric hospital. It is now occupied by the university’s Whitlam Institute and is heritage listed.

The Exodus Foundation

Prior to our July meeting, Christina Cawkell addressed members on the important charity work being undertaken by The Exodus Foundation. Its vision is to help people in need by assisting them to make an “exodus” from their situation. The foundation is a provider of food, primary healthcare and crisis support to Sydney’s homeless and marginalised people. It does this with the support of 1000 volunteers from both the community and corporate world.

The Exodus Foundation runs independently, using donations, and does not rely on government assistance. It is best known for its Loaves and Fishes program. On average, it prepares 800 meals per day for the needy — 600 are served at its Ashfield premises and 200 are taken to various locations around Sydney. Around 70 per cent of the food used is donated.

The foundation has also expanded into South-East Asia, where it attends to the needs of disadvantaged children.

Attention RTA Members Who Are Over 80 Years Old!

RTA members who are 80 years of age or older should contact Therese Medhurst so they can claim a Christmas cake for the festive season. Therese can be contacted at [email protected] or on (02) 9519 8609.

Upcoming Events

Our next two meetings in 2018 will be occurring at Federation House on Friday, 14 September, and Friday, 12 October. Both meetings commence with lunch at 12.15pm, followed by a guest speaker at 1pm and conclude with a general meeting starting at 2pm.

There will be a Rocks Walking Tour for History on Wednesday, 26 September. The regular Club York luncheons are scheduled for Wednesday, 19 September and Wednesday, 17 October, commencing at 12pm.

Paul Regan, Administrative Secretary, NSW Retired Teachers Association