Bowls Group

Attendees at Bowls on Thursday 2nd November 2023 were John Stapleton & Dudley Whitaker.

November 2022 – Yuri Bolton – Ghost Town of Newnes: Past and Present

Yuri will talk about the latest book he co-authored (as part of the Bushexplorers). The book, Ghost Town of Newnes: Past and Present, is about the social history of this fascinating place.


Yuri Bolotin is a wilderness explorer, author and environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in the Australian Bush. He regularly leads and takes part in wilderness research expeditions and is a member of the Wilderness Australia and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society.

With his wife Rae, Yuri also runs BigCi (Bilpin international ground for Creative initiatives), an artist residency program on the edge of Wollemi National Park.

Yuri and his colleagues/co-authors Michael Keats and Brian Fox (the trio is known as the Bushexplorers), have published many books about the Greater Blue Mountains, including the Gardens of Stone and the Wollemi National Park series. Their latest work, Ghost Town of Newnes: Past and Present, is about a fascinating history of this ruined town.

Yuri has received the Excellence in Conservation Occasional Award 2018 from the National Parks Association.

For more information, see:


October 2022 – Rev Dr Tom Plaizier -“The Place of Laughter in Tough Times”

Tom was born in Holland and migrated to Australia when 16 years old. He worked in metallurgy until he joined the Methodist Ministry
(later Uniting Church) in 1960.
He and his wife Bev worked for 4 years as fraternal workers in Fiji with the Indian population. He has a variety of interests including 6 languages, statistics, and sport. He is also a keen woodcarver.
From 1975 till 1989 he worked as a senior public servant in the Commonwealth Public Service and was the State Commissioner for Workers Compensation for 5 years.
When re-entering the ministry in 1989 he completed his doctoral thesis on The Place of Creativity, Fun and Play in Life and in the
Church. He believes that laughter is an essential necessity in life but particularly in difficult times.
Tom and his wife Bev are now retired and live in Wentworth Falls.

September 2022 – Paul Eastment – Fun with Trivia

Paul Eastment Blue Mountains Trivia Master and entertainer will entertain with the history of Trivia in Australia and will stretch the brains of all in attendance with a round or two of Trivia with prizes.The Trivia rounds will see Paul burst into song.It will be a morning filled with fun and laughter.


August 2022 – Jodie Rollason & Gailene Keen – Mountain Youth Services

Jodie and Gailene will speak about current issues around teen Mental health and the significance for the youth of the mountains and how MYST is addressing these issues for young people in the community

Gailene Keen – Mountain Youth Services Team – 30 yrs experience in Fundraising and Marketing for not for profit sector.Helped establish Starlight Foundation in Australia

Jodie Rollason CEO MYST – Registered Nurse – Lawyer over 10 yrs experience in the not for profit sector has worked with Wesley mission NSW Legal services.

(Further details to come)

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

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