Here is what is stirring Wollongong up!

In 2010 when I was returning to Wollongong one of the first wonders I discovered was:

Wollongong – free shuttle bus

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Well, no longer, if the NSW Government has its way! Thanks, Gladys!

In a fiery speech Keira MP Ryan Park delivered an ultimatum to the government – reverse the decision to charge fares on the Gong Shuttle.

And do it before Friday…

Mr Park labelled it a “dumb decision from a dumb government” and delivered a blunt message to the “bureaucrat in Sydney” who came up with it.

“Pack your bags, mate. Sign off, tap the mat and get out. Because you’ve got no place as a public servant in NSW,” Mr Park said.

Mr Park branded Premier Gladys Berejiklian “a liar” after her 2013 pledge to keep the bus “forever more”.

“My message to the Premier is very simple – you’re a liar,” Mr Park said….

I have signed the online petition.

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On mental illness in Wollongong

I was shocked by this on last night’s local WIN News.

Hundreds took part in Wollongong’s Walk for Pride this morning breaking down the stigma and starting conversations about mental health.

Currently, one in two people in the Illawarra is struggling with a mental health condition.

That Walk of Pride looks as if it was a good event. I didn’t see it as I was at home doing overdue laundry.

It took years for Woonona’s Madelaine Dunning-Baker to speak out about her mental health issues, but now she’s leading the charge.

The 21-year-old was the ambassador for Wollongong’s fifth Walk of Pride on Thursday – an annual event which promotes acceptance and understanding.

She led hundreds of Illawarra residents with a mental illness, their carers and supporters, and local service providers in the walk which culminated in an expo in Wollongong mall.

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Share the Journey’; something Ms Dunning-Baker said has helped her to finally fight her demons….

South Coast Private Hospital CEO Kim Capp said such events not only helped stop the stigma of mental illness – which will affect one in four people at some point in their lives – they helped raise awareness about the supports available.

‘’For me this is a very important event for the community, for people who live with a mental health condition, their families and service providers,’’ she said.

‘’We know how very difficult it is for people to navigate the mental health system – so the expo provides them with a one-stop-shop to find out about all the services available in the community.

‘’Of course as well as educating our community about what’s out there, it’s also a celebration of well-being.’’

As part of the awareness month, Wollongong City Gallery is hosting an exhibition of artworks by patients from the Wollongong mental health hospital.

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South Coast Private Hospital, Wollongong

It is a fact that when you walk or bus from Wollongong Station one of the biggest complexes between the station and Wollongong Central is that private hospital and clinic. Makes me wonder about Wollongong! But the “one in two” quoted in the WIN story does seem a bit much! Compare Health Stats NSW.

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Food, glorious food…

Saturday with Chris T: returned to Taste of Xi’an: see Taste of Xi’an Wollongong and A week of multicultural yums. New item that pleased Chris was a spicy beef dish — very hot!

Then we checked out Wollongong’s latest offering, opened just last Thursday: Bon Appetit: David Jones turns to food halls to spice up sales. Well, it was certainly working last Saturday! The place was packed.

Upmarket department store chain David Jones has thrown open the doors to its next generation site at GPT Group’s Wollongong Central, featuring a new David Jones Food concept, which will be rolled out across the country.

Customers started queuing at 2am to be first in the store, which has a mix of local and international brands across fashion, beauty, accessories, home and kids. It includes 25 new brands, many of which are exclusive to David Jones in the Illawarra.

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