|It's all here!
Waiting to be explored, waiting to be enjoyed. right now, this January.
Whether you want vivid experiences for the children, or excursions for the whole family, or adventures with groups of friends - you can find all you desire within the Shire.
Remember, we Shire residents are the luckiest folk in this big "world city" of Sydney, the favoured 200 000 among 4 million! Think of the treasures at our beck and call.
We've got -
And that's only a start, for we also have -
- To the east, many of Sydney's best beaches
- To the north, expansive Botany Bay
- To the south, splendid Port Hacking
- To the west, Woronora River and Dam.
- Four national parks, including
- The Royal, oldest park of all
- Two of Sydney's five rivers, and
- Kurnell, 'birthplace of the nation'.
If you do nothing else but visit these eight "physical features" of the Shire you'll probably have no time to do more in January.
Yet there would remain a host of other features, like Cook's Landing Place (Kurnell), Joseph Banks Native Plant Reserve (Jannali), the Esplanade Walk (Cronulla), the Sydney Tramway Museum (Loftus), the Hazelhurst Arts Centre (Gymea), the Camellia Garden (Caringbah), the ferry trip to Bundeena (Cronulla), and the Pleasure Grounds (Audley).
If you visit the Cronulla Mall (the beach is only two minutes walk away), call in to the Tourism Association's office and pick up the brochure, with its colourful map, showing 16 "attractions" of the Shire. (Or ring for one: 9544 2144.) Or ask at any of the Shire's branch libraries for the Council's brochure of events, "The Month Ahead".
Be well aware of what the Shire's Central Library and seven branch libraries have to offer (a brochure is available). There's so much! The Library is the CCC of the Shire, its Core Cultural Centre, which caters to all ages and all tastes - certainly to some interests of every member of every family. Books galore of course, but also videos, cassettes, CDs, PCs, and photocopier and fax services, plus games, toys and activities for children.
At the Central Library (Sutherland) you'll find an extensive Notice Board which offers hundreds of opportunities - events, courses and clubs - through leaflets pinned up by community organisations and individuals, a smorgasbord of activities of our Shire's vigorous social life.
So think twice before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on travel to Perth or Paris or. As you well know, travel means time, trouble and pots of money before you even get to see anything. Long plane trips are unsettling. Likewise strange food. Tourists are charged to the hilt, and tipping adds to the rip-off.
Reasons pile up for staying at home and making short trips to any of the inexhaustible attractions within Sutherland Shire. (I ramble two or three times a week in a little area of Woronora bushland only five minutes walk from my home in Sutherland - and find its interests inexhaustible.)
Don't push the argument that "travel broadens the mind". Of course it can. But short trips can do that as well as long. Everything depends on the observation, knowledge and curiosity the traveller brings to the trip.
The most truly deserving members of Sutherland Shire - I mean, those who most deserve to live in this remarkable Shire - are those who explore and observe and intelligently study its many precious places. You will find such people among Bushcare groups, and among members of the Australian Plant Society, the Historical Society, Environment Centre, National Parks' Association, and Precinct Committees.
They have learnt the lesson that it isn't the travel you do that counts, it's what you do with the travel - the active questioning, observing, thinking, learning. And you have ten thousand opportunities to do such things within the Shire.
Some great teachers have taught us that lesson. The philosopher Kant, for example, who shook the world of 18th and 19th century thought, never travelled from his German birthplace. And Shakespeare, who reveals a teeming world of human relationships and imagined places, travelled little.
CARE FOR THE SHIRE
"Why pay for a trip,
by plane or by ship?
There's all you require,
in the Sutherland Shire!"
If President Kennedy could say, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?", we who are privileged to live in this special Shire are duty-bound to ask, "What can I do for the Shire?"
Well , get to know it - read about it, explore it, talk about it, write to friends about it. In visiting it, try to use public transport, use the car only when unavoidable, and do as much walking as possible. (For example, take the train to Cronulla, ferry to Bundeena, then walk or picnic in any of its many attractions.)
And lets us adults remember the Golden Rule of Education: example is the best teacher of the young . Let's ask, as we lead our children on exploring trips, Do my actions show that I VALUE .
See! There's so much to do and say about living-to-the-full in our Shire that I've run out of space - and I've scarcely begun!
- all green things, and insects, birds, animals?
- natural beauty of clouds, bush, waterways, sunsets? 8 small things, shells, pebbles, seeds, leaf-forms, fungi?
- clean environment, conserving, recycling, no litter?
- health, exercise, skin-care, nutritious food?
- local history, old buildings, talks with older citizens?
- local Council works, services, parks, facilities?
- talking, drawing, writing about outdoor doings?