Come and enjoy a Day Out on the Cooks River

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eNews 14 August 2015

Come and enjoy a Day Out on the Cooks River

Event details

Date: Saturday 22 August 2015

Time: 11am – 3pm

Place: Gough Whitlam Park located at the corner of Bayview Avenue and Bamboo Avenue, Earlwood.

  • Free event

  • Goes ahead rain or shine

  • Children are welcome but must be in the care of a responsible adult. Children’s activities provided for 4+ years

  • Please wear sturdy closed-in shoes, a hat, and bring a water bottle

The Cooks River Day Out is on Saturday, 22nd August, from 11 am to 3 pm. The Cooks River Alliance invites families, friends, and lovers of nature and culture, to join us in celebrating the hard work being done to improve the Cooks River. The free, family-friendly event is at Gough Whitlam Park, Earlwood.

After a welcome by traditional owners from Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, the program continues with science broadcaster Bernie Hobbs, live music from the Stiff Gins and blues/jazz Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides, hands-on workshops, fabulous talks, kayaking and walking tours, insect displays, and Taronga’s Zoomobile with native animals – all while relaxing in the park next this wonderful part of the Cooks River.

The Nardi Simpson and Kalinda Briggs of the Stiff Gins are playing at this year’s Cooks River Day Out; they were a hit last year and are back by popular request. “Nardi Simpson and Kalina Briggs combine their wonderful harmonies and lay back humour to transport you to a world of joy, spirit and song”. Nardi and Kalinda will also talk about being river people and will play 2 sessions.

Lucy Simpson from Gaawaa Miyay Designs, is running a ‘Scratch Foam’ workshop on the day, where visitors can design and etch a print. Lucy shares her knowledge of Country and contemporary South Eastern Aboriginal culture as a Yuwaalaraay woman belonging to the freshwater country of the Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Angledool areas of North West New South Wales. Make sure you allow 30-45 minutes to design, etch and create a print with Lucy’s advice and help.

.lucy simpson printing.jpg Printing Lucy’s work at the Gaawaa Miyay studio.

Karleen Green is running a weaving workshop using a range of fibres such as natural and recycled materials. Karleen is an Aboriginal woman who is passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills in traditional art, weaving and culture.

Jess Sinnott, of Koori Kinnections, is hosting guided bush food walks about the Aboriginal history, significance and perspectives of the Cooks River.

To coincide with Science Week, local Cooks River resident Bernie Hobbs, best known as a judge for ABC’ TV’s The New Inventors, will be a key speaker. Bernie has won awards for the kids TV show, the ExperiMENTALS, and for her infamous greenhouse website, Planet Slayer. Bernie is a volunteer with Mudcrabs – a group who have worked tirelessly to regenerate significant areas around the Cooks River. The Mudcrabs work in a number of locations helping protect the river by regenerating pockets of remnant vegetation and rehabilitating public foreshore land.

Many of us are concerned about plastic bottle litter. The Total Environment Centre will be able to provide up to date information about container deposit legislation and the Reverse Vending Machine will be there to receive plastic bottles (up to $5.00 refunded).

The Ethnic Communities Council has been running fieldtrips to various parts of the catchment. Come along to talk about rivers around the world, and do a drawing or artwork of the rivers of your childhood.

Activities for kids include Travelbugs Mobile Mini-beasts education display, where live mini-beasts are brought along including large and colourful stick insects, centipedes, millipedes, giant burrowing cockroaches, preying mantis, spiders, scorpions, beetles, caterpillars and more. A large collection of over 200 specimens of preserved mini-beasts or ‘biofacts’ will also be there to keep the kids busy and fascinated.

Taronga’s Zoomobile will also bring the zoo to the park for the day! Kids can meet, learn about and interact with native animals, with the aim of encouraging them to support native wildlife conservation, and understand the critters that live around the river.

There will be a fun play for kids called “Sammy the Sailor and Shellie the Mermaid” by the Eaton Theatre. Come along for a ride as they navigate the waters of the great pacific garbage patch and other mysterious waterways! A fun, animated and interactive show where Sam saves Shellie from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and together they engage the audience in their crusade to save our oceans and waterways.

Given that the Cooks River Alliance has a big focus on water sensitive urban design, we are offering mini-workshops during the day, led by David Knights of Alluvium:

  1. Backyard raingardens

Come and find out what a raingarden is and how it can re-invigorate your backyard, save water, look great and at the same time help improve the health of the Cooks River. Raingardens are a fantastic way to keep and retain stormwater in your garden, rather than rushing straight out into the Cooks River.
2. Backyard wetlands and frog ponds

Have a spot in the backyard that you don’t know what to do with? Want to find out more about how to create a small oasis in your backyard? Come and hear about how wetlands and frog ponds are good for the health of the Cooks River and for your backyard. We’ll be discussing mossies, safety, how loud frogs are and all other manner of tricky questions related to wetlands.

3. How to save water with a rainwater tank

You may know that rainwater tanks are a great way to save water in your home. But did you know that they can also be designed to help improve the water quality in the Cooks River? Come and find out the best way to install a rainwater tank on your property to save water, save money and the Cooks River.

4. How to save water in your home and garden

Do you use a lot of water in your home and garden? Did you know that by saving water you can also save energy? Come and find out about some simple ways you can save water, save energy and save money with a few simple things you can do in your home. If you are thinking of renovating we will be discussing which appliances use the most water and which ones are worth getting to save water.

5. How to save water with greywater recycling

Greywater reuse is a great way to save water, reduce the pressure on our ageing sewer infrastructure and keep your garden looking its best. Come and find out about the latest technologies in greywater and how natural wetlands work. This session will discuss different technologies and the requirements for greywater reuse.

Visitors can browse stalls and chat to local conservation and community organisations: the Mudcrabs, the Cooks River Valley Association, the Total Environment Centre and the Wolli Creek Preservation Society.

Selina Springett is a PhD student and creator of an artwork which will be on show, highlighting the stories of the river. She is interested in more stories – please consider spending some time chatting.

The event is free and will go ahead rain or shine. Bookings are required for tours. A detailed program and booking information can be found at

Cath Renwick, Cooks River Alliance


Phone: 02 9748 9973

Mobile: 0419 433 678

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