June 2022 – Marie Palmer – Cockatoo Island: Heart of the Harbour

Marie retired in 2003 after a career in corporate administration. Travel around Australia, Europe,
South America and Antarctica followed. Then Marie looked for volunteer work that would utilise her
skills and provide plenty of people contact.

Volunteering for the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Marie visits groups to talk about the Harbour
Trust sites, helps to man the Visitor Centres at Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary, and is a
guide at both the 3rd Quarantine Cemetery at North Head Sanctuary and Macquarie Lighthouse at
Vaucluse. Marie is now sharing her love of the Harbour by promoting sites which are now open to
the public and being preserved for future generations.

For this presentation on Cockatoo Island Marie will delve into the history of this one-time convict penal
establishment, reformatory school and shipbuilding yard. Hear how the island’s convicts were shaped
by harsh living and working conditions, how vulnerable boys were gathered from the streets of Sydney
and taught trades, and how shipbuilders made Cockatoo Island the major shipbuilding and dockyard
facility for the South West Pacific in WWII.

May 2022 – Paul Brinkman – The Cultural Scene in the Mountains

Paul Brinkman. B. Ed. Art/Design, Grad. Dip Mgt., MMgt (Arts and Cultural)
Manager – Arts & Cultural Services – Blue Mountains City Council

Currently based in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Paul is the Manager of Arts & Cultural Services for Blue Mountains City Council. This diverse position includes the roles of Director of Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub and Braemar Gallery, the region’s three major arts facilities.

Paul is a graduate of the University of South Australia, alumni of the Museums Australia Leadership Program, former President of the Queensland Assembly of Regional Gallery Directors, former President of Regional & Public Galleries NSW, member of the CreateNSW Western Sydney Arts Roundtable and a current member of the Western Sydney Arts Alliance.

Paul has worked in the gallery sector for over 25 years with previous positions in South Australia, Queensland and Japan. Experienced in major infrastructure development in the Arts, Paul specialises in arts administration, arts governance and collection development. Paul’s major professional achievements include curating the major internationally touring exhibition Malu Minar: Art of the Torres Strait and the critically acclaimed Brett Whiteley West of the Divide exhibition.

Paul was responsible for developing and implementing the operational structures of the two multi-million dollar arts facilities, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba and the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub in Springwood. These buildings represent Council’s commitment to the Arts and recognise the strong tradition of artistic practice in the region.     

April 2022 – Sue Carney – Beekeeping in the Blue Mountains

Delve into the fascinating world of honey bees. Whether you want to look after a hive in your own backyard, or simply encourage neighbourhood pollinators,
Sue Carney explains how to get started – and why bees have been hailed as the most important creatures on Earth. Sue keeps honey bees in Wentworth Falls, where she’s lived for over 20 years. She launched her business Keeper & Hive in 2016 and is the founding president of Blue Mountains Beekeepers .She will bring with her bees under plastic and have local honey for sale

March 2022 – Sue Collins – Early History of Katoomba and Leura’ 

(Note: Due to Katoomba RSL commitments the March meeting will be held on 25th February)

Sue is a Leura local who has a passion for social history. Who are the people that came before us? What was their life like? What is their legacy?

Sue operates a small tour business called Mountains Tales, telling stories of Blue Mountains history. Her village tours – The Leura Story and the Katoomba Story; are easy-paced 2-hour walking tours that cater to both locals and visitors alike.

With years of tour guiding experience behind her, Sue is entertaining and educational, spending time with her might make you look differently at history.

February 2022 – Bruce Sinclair – “Hasn’t this all happened before”

Bruce Sinclair BA.Dip.Ed is a retired school Principal who, over the years in Sydney, was a frequent guest speaker at Rotary and Lions clubs and involved with the National Trust of NSW.

He has been the President of the Leura Literary Group and gives regular presentations at View and Probus Clubs.

Since retiring to the Blue Mountains ,he enjoys the interaction he has with the many organisations he has had contact with.

November 2021 – Lindsay Clarke – Visit to Israel 2019

Lindsay and his wife were fortunate to be able to travel to Israel in 2019. After some initial hiccups the trip exceeded their expectations. At the Probus meeting on 4 November, he will talk about the many religious and ancient sites they visited in as well as giving some insight into life in modern day Israel. One of the highlights of the trip was an excursion to Petra in Jordan

June 2021 – Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Wilson

LTCOL Wilson is deployed as the Chief of Staff (COS) Advisor in the Kabul General Garrison Command Advisor Team (KGGC-AT) on Operation Highroad – Australia’s contribution to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. KGGC is responsible for more than 25,000 troops comprising Afghanistan’s three pillars: the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Defence
Intelligence Directorate.

Since childhood Nicholas dreamt of becoming an officer: proud of his family’s history of service in the World Wars he joined the cadets as soon as he could. In 1995 he finished year 12 and immediately entered service and was awarded a scholarship at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

After 20 years of service as an Artillery Officer, LTCOL Wilson decided to give civilian life a go, working with the Tasmanian Fire Service and the SES as Acting State Director. Despite enjoying his civilian role, he missed the unique aspects of service life  and returned to full-time Army in February 2017.

His next job will be as the Commanding Officer to the School of Artillery in Puckapunyal.

May 2021 – Terrance Plowright OAM – Artist

Terrance was born at Paddington in Sydney in 1949. He started work in 1966 as a Copyboy for the Australian Women’s Weekly. During this same period, he was lead singer and rhythm guitarist in several bands. In 1970 he went on to work as a Film Editor with the ABC. During 1974-75, Terrance’s interest in philosophy led him to live and work at the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland and in 1976 he founded the “Awareness Centre” in Sydney. Early in 1982, a friend asked him to create a stained glass window for his new home. Never having cut glass nor designed an artwork, he agreed to undertake the project. Terrance never looked back. His interest in the arts grew and he received his first sculptural commission in 1988 designing and creating the 14 foot high, beautiful solid glass and granite sculpture, ‘Purity of Spirit’.

Terrance has designed and created many contemporary and figurative works as well as a number of sculptural water features, cenotaphs, murals and stained glass windows. He has won and been awarded many commissions by councils, corporations, churches, the State Government and individuals. Terrance has a passion for exploring the potential and combination of new
materials. Currently, he is constructing a 50 foot, 5 tonne, aluminium sculpture for Adelaide, as well as exploring 3D concepts involving movement, liquid, light and interactive sound.

See Terrance’s website at   www.plowright.com.au/

April 2021 – Bruce Ferrier – Grace Gibson Productions

Thursday 1st April

A trip down memory lane looking at the history of Grace Gibson Productions and the contributions that Bruce has made in the world of radio.

Bruce Ferrier is the owner of Grace Gibson Productions, He has been involved in radio production since 1972 as well as syndication and voice over work. He has developed the Grace Gibson Production Company into a modern progressive business which produces the original shows. These are sold on line and are a great source of happy memories for those who enjoy listening to the old favourites that past generations enjoyed way back in history.

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