Free Easter holiday fun for kids at Toys R Us!

Written by editor. Posted in Community News

As Easter approaches, Toys R Us are preparing for one of their most exciting holiday calendars to date. Bursting with excitement, Australia’s largest toy retailer has a fun- filled calendar of free events that are guaranteed to put a smile on both the kid’s and parent’s faces!
Crayola Create and Paint  
The Crayola Create and Paint session will encourage the mini Picassos to get their hands dirty with imaginative finger painting activities. The blossoming artists are asked to bring their paint smocks so they can also colour with paint brush pens on giant colouring pages, create unique designs with construction paper and much more.
WHEN: Saturday 16th April from 10am to 12pm
Visit or call your local store for more details
Harumika Design Studio and Real Construction Workshop  
Girls and boys are invited to the design their own outfit with Harumika Dolls or Build their own masterpiece with Real Construction!
Aspiring designers can experience life in the fashion industry and express their individual style by creating their own fashion designs with Harumika. Children will have the opportunity to play with a selection of exclusive Harumika colourful fabrics, which can be styled by wrapping around specially designed Harumika dolls. Mess free creativity, with no scissors or glue necessary!
The fun packed session will include everything the mini craftsmen will need to construct their works of art, including measuring equipment, nails, screws and blueprints for inspiration - allowing them to create whatever they can imagine!. The handy-tots will be encouraged to build away, using logs, beams and planks made from unique, non-toxic Kid-Wood material and child safe tools from the complete Real Construction range.
WHEN: Wednesday 20th April from 10am – 12pm
Visit or call your local store for more details
Mega Bloks Build Day 
Young builders can learn with colours and shapes what their imagination can create! Using Mega Bloks Mini Bloks, children are invited to come and build grand creations and explore the world of building with Mega Bloks!
WHEN: Thursday 21 April from 10am – 12pm
Visit or call your local store for more details
Build A Chick with LEGO Bricks 
Keeping in theme with the holiday celebrations, children are invited to construct their very own Easter chick using LEGO bricks exclusive to Toys R Us. Using their imagination to create a cute little Easter chick, children will then have the opportunity to take their masterpiece home to play with over and over again. This event will be in high demand as this will be the only place in Australia that you can get this exclusive little chick, so make sure you get in early before they all waddle out the door!!
WHEN: Saturday 23rd April 10am – 12pm
No bookings are required. This event is limited to the first 300 families to each store, so hurry in!

Neville Longbottom come to the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Written by editor. Posted in Community News

Harry Potter film star Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom throughout the film series, was joined by hundreds of Harry Potter fans at the Powerhouse Museum to celebrate Harry Potter: The Exhibition coming to Sydney on 19 November 2011. Providing the audience with a sneak peek of the exhibition, Lewis revealed iconic film props and costumes including the Flying Ford Anglia, the Bloody Baron’s costume and a never-before-seen Death Eater costume.


Neville Longbottom opened HARRY POTTER™ EXHIBITION at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Neville Longbottom's actor Matthew Lewis

at Harry Potter: The Exhibition (19 July 2011 – 18 March 2012), the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney


Tickets are on sale now for Harry Potter: The Exhibition, showing exclusively at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, beginning on 19 November 2011 through to 18 March 2012.


Harry Potter: The Exhibition offers fans a chance to step inside Harry Potter’s world and relive first-hand his amazing quests. From Harry’s famous wand, his Quidditch™ broomsticks, glasses and school uniform to Professor Dumbledore’s wand and robes, visitors to Harry Potter: The Exhibition will be overwhelmed by the size and detail of this magnificent showcase.


Hundreds of original props, artefacts and costumes appearing throughout the Harry Potter films will be displayed in elaborate settings inspired by locations from Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including the Gryffindor™ common room, Hagrid’s hut, the Great Hall and so much more.


“We are thrilled to be bringing Harry Potter’s enchanted world to Sydney,” said Dr. Dawn Casey, Director, Powerhouse Museum. “We invite all Harry Potter fans and anyone with an interest in the superb creativity and skill which goes into making these stories come alive, to come and experience this truly magical exhibition.”


The Powerhouse Museum is the first and only Australian venue to host Harry Potter: The Exhibition, the sixth venue for the international exhibition and the first venue outside North America.


“We are delighted that the exhibition will be making its Australian debut at the Powerhouse Museum,” said Eddie Newquist, chief creative officer for GES. “We hope that everyone will have a chance to be drawn under the spell of this remarkable exhibition, allowing visitors the chance to relive their favourite moments from the films.”


“The response to the exhibition has been overwhelming and we are pleased to continue providing fans with this immersive Harry Potter experience,” said Karen McTier, Executive Vice President, Domestic Licensing and Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “The Powerhouse Museum is the perfect setting to bring these magical Harry Potter characters to life.”


Harry's Costume: HARRY POTTER™ EXHIBITION at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Harry Potter’s

school robes

Quaffle toss game: HARRY POTTER™ EXHIBITION at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Interactive Quidditch™ pitch and

goal posts

Interactive Mandrake pulling @ HARRY POTTER™ EXHIBITION, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Kids pulling Mandrakes in

the Herbology vignette

Dumbledore's costume: HARRY POTTER™ EXHIBITION at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Robes worn by

Albus Dumbledore™

Buckbeak, the Hippogriff: HARRY POTTER™ EXHIBITION at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney


the Hippogriff

Photos provided by the Powerhouse Museum

Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Powerhouse Museum, 19 November 2011 – 18 March 2012
General admission tickets on sale from Tuesday 19 July
Peak sessions (Fri 5pm – 9pm, Sat, Sun and school holidays)
Families $95, Adults $32, Children 4 - 15 yrs $22, Student card holders, pensioner and concession $32, Groups $32, Schools $22 per person
Members peak sessions: Families $71, Adult $24, Child $16.50
Off-peak sessions (Mon – Thurs, Fri 9.30am – 5pm)
Families $79.50, Adults $28, Children 4 - 15 yrs $19, Student card holders, pensioner and concession
$25, Groups $23.50, Schools $19 per person
Members off-peak sessions: Families $60, Adult $21, Child $14.25

Continue Reading

NEW Swim School opens doors in Ashfield

Written by editor. Posted in Community News

A new swim school playfully named 'LITTLE MONSTERS SWIM SCHOOL' is launching this school holidays and Term 4. Little Monsters Swim School is a fun and friendly swim school specialising in Mums and Bubs, Learn To
Swim and Stroke Development classes. It is located within the Ashfield Baptist Homes facility on Holden St, Ashfield.

The pool is purpose built for swim lessons, aquanatal and hydrotherapy classes. The pool temperature is a warm 32 degrees all year round. Unlike most bigger facilities this space is calm and quiet with small class sizes.

The courtyard café and children's playground area is perfect for mother's groups and serves hot food and drinks. A car park is also located within the Ashfield Baptist Homes facility.

Little Monsters Swim School's key teaching aims are to:
- Teach water safety education and survival skills
- Create a fun and friendly atmosphere that supports the learning process
- Develop correct and efficient swim technique that will last a lifetime

The School's founder, Dominic Gili, has taught swimming and managed swim schools since 1993. With a wealth of experience in the aquatics industry, Dom has developed a swim teaching philosophy that focuses on each
individual swimmer receiving personalised attention to accelerate their learning.

For more info or to enrol in our Intensive Holiday Swim Program or Term 4 commencing on Oct 8 visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Study finds first signs of heart disease in newborns of overweight and obese mothers

Written by editor. Posted in Community News

Study finds first signs of heart disease in newborns of overweight and obese mothers


The walls of the body’s major artery—the aorta—are already thickened in babies born to mothers who are overweight or obese, according to a University of Sydney study published online in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease of Childhood.


The study found that, importantly, this arterial thickening, which is a sign of heart disease, is independent of the child’s weight at birth—a known risk factor for later heart disease and stroke.


The authors suggest it may explain how overweight or obese mothers may contribute to their children’s subsequent risk of heart disease and stroke in later life. They point out that up to 60 per cent of women of child bearing age in developed countries are overweight or obese.


Twenty three women, whose average age was 35, were included in the study when they were 16 weeks pregnant. A body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 kg/m2 was defined as overweight or obese, and BMI ranged from 17 to 42 among the women. The abdominal aorta, the section of the artery extending down to the belly, was scanned in each newborn within seven days of birth to find out the thickness of the internal walls—the intima and media. Thickening of this main artery is an indication of early atherosclerosis, the disease that leads to the majority of heart attacks and strokes, and is characterised by the development of plaques in the walls of the arteries.


Intima-media thickness ranged from 0.65 to 0.97 mm, and was associated with the mother’s weight. The higher a mother’s weight, the higher the baby’s intima-media thickness, irrespective of how much the baby weighed at birth. The difference in intima-media thickness between babies of overweight and normal weight mums was 0.06 mm.


According to study co-author, Dr Michael Skilton from the University’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, the earliest physical signs of atherosclerosis (early heart disease) are present in the abdominal aorta, and aortic intima-media thickness is considered the best non-invasive measure of structural health of the vasculature in children.


“We already know that the children of overweight or obese mothers are more likely to become overweight and obese themselves, which will potentially increase their risk of heart attack and stroke in adulthood,” he said.


“By studying newborn babies, we can potentially avoid the impact of whether or not the child becomes obese in later life.


“To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that being an overweight or obese mother can itself potentially lead to poor health of the blood vessels, which is consistent with higher risk of heart disease and stroke in later life.


“Our findings suggest that overweight/obesity may have an ‘intergenerational’ effect. That is, that the children of overweight or obese mums may themselves be at higher risk in adulthood of having heart attacks and strokes, irrespective of whether or not they themselves are obese.


“We are currently looking at a much larger group of women and babies to see whether or not we can replicate these findings.


“At this stage, the broader public health awareness focus should be on the promotion of measures that will assist women of childbearing age to maintain a healthy weight. This will not only be good for the health of the mothers in the long-term, but potentially also that of their children.”


A copy of the paper is available here


The study was a collaboration between the University’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, the Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne and the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. Financial support for the research came from the Foundation for Children and NHMRC fellowships.


Written by editor. Posted in Community News


19 August 2009



Canberra school students have been planting trees, measuring greenhouse gases and learning about solar power as part of a CSIRO program to help them reduce the carbon footprint of their schools.


More than a dozen schools in Canberra together with schools in NSW and WA are taking part in the CarbonKids Schools Pilot Program launched today at Forrest Primary by the Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, the Hon Richard Marles MP.


Initiated by CSIRO and supported by Shell Australia, CarbonKids involves students in hands-on projects that combine the latest science with sustainability education.


Mr Marles said the program helped school communities understand climate change and take positive steps to foster environmental sustainability: "The CarbonKids Schools Pilot Program recognises and promotes the fundamental role that young Australians will play in tackling climate change and protecting the environment in the years to come."


Mr Marles said the schools have been taking simple, cost-effective steps to ensure a cleaner and brighter future: "I’ve been very interested to see the work they have done to reduce the carbon footprints at their schools and the behavioural changes they are instilling in their families, friends and the broader community."


At Forrest Primary School, students in years 4 and 5 have been learning about sustainable energy use and planting trees and shrubs as a way to absorb carbon. Elsewhere, students have been using a carbon calculator to measure greenhouse gas emissions or investigating the mechanics of solar power generation.


"The Australian Government has been a world leader in environmental protection and projects like the CarbonKids Schools Pilot Program are yielding big results," Mr Marles said.


As part of today’s launch, 26 schools and institutions across Australia have been recognised for their participation: Farrer Primary; Gowrie Primary; Wanniassa School; St Clare’s College; St Joseph’s Primary; Belconnen High School; Campbell High School; Bonython Primary; Gilmore Primary; Wanniassa Hills Primary; Lanyon High School; Merici College; Campbell Primary; Gordon Primary; Burgmann Anglican College; Forrest Primary; Rosehill Primary; Blaxcell Street Public School; Rydalmere East Public School; Kellyville High School; James Ruse Agricultural High School; Australind Senior High; Newton Moore Senior High; Bunbury Primary; Australind Christian School and Australind Primary School.


Further information about the CarbonKids program is available at


Source: Mr Marles’ office (the Hon Richard Marles MP, the Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry)

Contact Us

+61 (0) 3 8376 6284
+61 (0) 5 2563 9865

Envato, PO Box 21177, Little Lonsdale St, M. Victoria 8011 Australia