Community Services Committee














Tuesday 12 June 2012










Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510













Community Services Committee                                                                               12 June 2012














Community Services Committee


Notice is hereby given that a Community Services Committee of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 at 6pm.



Committee Members:           The Mayor (S Nash), Andrews, Belleli, Bowen, Hughes, Matson (Deputy Chairperson), Matthews, Notley-Smith, Procopiadis, Seng, Smith, Stevenson, Tracey, White and Woodsmith (Chairperson)


Quorum:                           Eight (8) members


NOTE:    At the Extraordinary Meeting held on 28 September 2004, the Council resolved that the Community Services Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.


Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences 

Confirmation of the Minutes  

Community Services Committee - 8 May 2012

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Urgent Business

Community Services Report

C11/12      Council's Advisory Committee Minutes

Library Reports

L1/12        Randwick City Library Services - Senior Strategy 2012

L2/12        Malabar Outdoor Library    

Notice of Rescission Motions







Ray Brownlee

General Manager

Community Services Committee                                                                               12 June 2012



Community Services Report No. C11/12



Subject:                  Council's Advisory Committee Minutes

Folder No:                   F2006/00216

Author:                   Teresa Mok, Manager Community Planning & Development     




At the 10 March 2009 Community Services Committee Meeting, it was resolved that the minutes of the Advisory Committees are to be presented to the Community Services Committee.


This report brings together for Council’s acceptance, the minutes of previous meetings adopted by the respective Advisory Committees in February 2012 and April 2012.




As scheduled, the Advisory Committees (listed below) have met and the minutes of the meeting, which reflect discussions and outcomes, are attached.


The minutes will also be available on Council’s website after each meeting. This report includes minutes from:


·      Aboriginal Advisory February Committee Meeting (endorsed in March 2012)

·      Access Advisory April Committee Meeting (endorsed in May 2012)


Relationship to City Plan


The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:


Outcome:  An informed and Engaged Community.

Direction:  Effective communication methods and technology are used to share

information and provide services.


Financial impact statement


There is no direct financial impact for this matter.




The minutes of these Advisory Committee Meetings are now in order to be submitted to the Council for acknowledgement and acceptance.





That the Council acknowledges and accepts the minutes of the attached Advisory Committees.








Aboriginal Advisory Committee Meeting on 3 February 2012.



Access Advisory Committee Meeting on 12 April 2012.





Aborginal Advisory Committee Meeting on 3 February 2012.

Attachment 1





Randwick City Council Aboriginal Advisory Committee

 Meeting 10.00am, 3 February 2012

Yarra Bay House, La Perouse


Present:        Cr Paul Tracey – Randwick City Council

Cr Margaret Woodsmith – Randwick City Council

Gail Cooke – Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation

Karen Cooley – Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation     

Gary Ella – Randwick City Council (Chair & Minutes)

Barbara Keeley - Guriwal Respite & Transport (part of meeting)

Yvonne Simms – La Perouse Botany Bay Aboriginal Corporation

Liz Sinnott – La Perouse Public School





Apologies:          Chris Ingrey – La Perouse LALC             


Acknowledgement of Country: Conducted by Gary Ella


1.      Confirmation of Minutes


The minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2011 were accepted.


Proposed: Karen Cooley           Seconded: Liz Sinnott


2.      Business arising from previous Minutes


          2.1    Reconciliation Action Plans:


Gary Ella advised that the Eastern Region Local Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum (ERLGATSIF) was in the process of auditing Reconciliation activities undertaken by its 6 member Councils. The audit would include progress of: Reconciliation Action Plans; Reconciliation Statements; Aboriginal Employment Strategies; and Cultural Awareness Training courses. Two Councils, Waverley and Woollahra, have a draft RAP’s but still need to consult with their Aboriginal communities prior to finalising and implementing plans. Both Councils’ areas fall within the boundaries of the La Perouse LALC.


Action: Results of the ERLGATSIF audit will be provided at the next meeting.


          2.2    Queen Emma’s Grave Marking:


Yvonne Simms reported that she had spoken with members of the Timbery family about acknowledging Queen Emma’s contributions to the La Perouse community by appropriately marking her grave. Family members supported her initiatives but there was resistance from some quarters and a dispute about the actual ownership of the grave site. Yvonne will arrange a meeting with the Cemetery Trust for further clarification.


Cr Woodsmith advised that Council would still consider requests to assist. Cr Tracey suggested that while discussions between the families and the Cemetery Trust continued, Council would consider establishing a memorial in another La Perouse location. This suggestion was strongly supported by Committee members as ‘Queen Emma’s achievements needed to be formally recognised’ and the other site would be more visible to the community. It was also suggested that the Precinct Committee may wish to become involved.


Action: Gary Ella to research Queen Emma’s contributions and achievements and draft a brief to the Committee for the next meeting. Yvonne Simms to continue negotiating with the Timbery family and Cemetery Trust in regards to appropriate grave markings.

          2.3    Naming Points and La Perouse Suburb Sign:      


Gary Ella provided an aerial photographic map of the La Perouse area. The southern end of Frenchmans Bay is named after the Timbery family, although it was suggested that the sign on the point could be larger. Discussion on this issue included where the other 4 points should be and which families they should be named after. As no conclusive agreement was reached on either the number of points or family names, Yvonne suggested that names and words from the Bidjigal language could be used eg.     Pemulwuy.  There was general agreement with this recommendation.


At the previous meeting, Chris Ingrey advised that the Board of the La Perouse LALC agreed that the La Perouse suburb sign should include the traditional Aboriginal name for the area ‘Guriwal’. However Yvonne Simms suggested that the Guriwal name was from the Dharawal language and not the local Bidjigal (Dharug) language. She suggested the words such as ‘Welcome to Bidjigal Land’ or ‘Land of the Bidjigal People’ would be more appropriate. This suggestion was strongly supported by those attending.


Action: Gary Ella would discuss with the La Perouse LALC the proposals to acknowledge the Bidjigal people when identifying and naming geographical points of La Perouse, and wording of the La Perouse suburb sign (and other suburb signs throughout Randwick City).


2.4      Installation of Flag Poles at Yarra Recreational Reserve:


Following issues raised by community members about flag protocols at Yarra Recreational Reserve at the 2011 NAIDOC celebrations at Bicentennial Park, the Committee strongly recommended to Council that flag poles be erected at Yarra Recreational Reserve, Bicentennial Park and the Prince Henry Centre. This would enable the Australian and Aboriginal flags to be flown on appropriate occasions without causing concerns.


Cr Woodsmith stated that she would speak with Council management on this issue.     


Action:   Gary Ella to report back to the Committee on progress of this project at the next meeting.


          2.5     Memorial to Stolen Generations from La Perouse:


The Sub-Committee investigating the proposal to erect a memorial to the Stolen Generations of La Perouse visited the old Bombaderry Children’s Home site, and took photos of the memorial in place. It was recommended that a similar memorial be erected at La Perouse. Crs Woodsmith and Tracey felt that Council would consider supporting such a proposal.


Action: Sub-committee to meet again in February to discuss details of the proposal to go to Council.


2.6      Upgrade of Guriwal Bush Tucker Track:


Work had been carried out on the Bush Tucker Track since the previous meeting and both Council and Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation had agreed on wording of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding. 


Action: Council and Guriwal management to sign the final MOU draft.







2.9 Randwick City Banners:


Committee strongly supported the Randwick City Council proposal to fly Aboriginal designed banners around the City on appropriate occasions.


Action: Gary to follow-up with Council’s Communications Unit and will approach local Aboriginal organisations and individuals for designs.


2.10         SAVE Update:


The Bicycle recycling project has been approved by the SAVE Working Group. Council is working with Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation and SAVE Project Team to get a project agreement signed. Bicycles have been delivered to Yarra Bay House from Council to begin the project. 


Action: Council to continue discussions with Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation and the SAVE Project Team to progress this project.



3.         New Business


3.1      Ministerial Task Force on Aboriginal Affairs:


Two of the Sydney based Ministerial Task Force on Aboriginal Affairs consultative workshops had taken place. Gary Ella, Michael and Chris Ingrey attended the Redfern workshop and Yvonne Simms attended the Liverpool workshop. The two workshops were disappointing as both workshops conversation were dominated by discussion on past government practices and not on current policies and programs. Community members are encouraged to comment and make recommendations on the three discussion papers produced by the Ministerial Task Force. The papers are based on: Community Engagement and Accountability; Employment; and Education (copies can be downloaded from the NSW Government website). 


Action: For noting.


3.2      Community Planning Day / La Perouse Aboriginal Community Alliance:


The Prince Henry Centre has been booked for 22 March 2012 to hold a Community Planning Day. The Planning Day coincides with National ‘Close the Gap’ Day. Most community organisations have indicated they will be represented and agreed that the date is appropriate for the Planning Day. The event should incorporate a formal component to mark the National ‘Close the Gap’ Day. 


Aboriginal Affairs NSW, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, and the La Perouse Aboriginal Community Alliance will invite members of the Aboriginal community to attend and will be using the recently developed Strengthening Community Well-Being Toolkit as the format for the day. A trial run of the Toolkit will be conducted at the next La Perouse Aboriginal Community Alliance meeting on 22 February 2012.


Action:   Council to work with Aboriginal Affairs NSW on arrangements for the Community Planning Day.


3.3      2012 Priorities / Upcoming Events:


13 February 2012 marks the 4th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations and 16 February marks the 10th anniversary of the first La Perouse Aboriginal Interagency meeting. Both events will be celebrated at a morning tea at La Perouse on 16 February after the monthly Interagency meeting. Barbara Keeley and the Mayor (if available) will be invited to be the guest speakers on the day with Chris Ingrey (La Perouse LALC) hosting the event.


Members of the committee have been asked to send information on events planned for the year including: Reconciliation Week; NAIDOC; National Aboriginal Children’s Day; Sorry Day; Harmony Day; World Indigenous Peoples Day activities.


Members were asked to consider priority projects for 2012 for discussion at the next meeting.  


Action:   For noting.


3.4      Terms of Reference / Membership:


Members were advised that the Terms of Reference stated that members had three years tenure on the Committee ending in December 2012. Members would then be able to re-nominate for membership.


Members were also informed that several members had not attended for several consecutive meetings. The Terms of Reference states:


 ’If any committee member does not attend three consecutive meetings without notice, the Committee will write to the member requesting he/she advise Council whether he/she wishes to remain a member of the Committee. If no response is received by the next meeting, the Committee may recommend his /her positions be declared vacant.’   


Members requested that Council writes to members who have been absent for the past three meetings. They also requested that members who  do not attend, without passing on their apologies to either the Community Project Officer: Aboriginal Services or a Community member to not be included as an apology for the meeting.


Action:   Council to write to absent members for three consecutive meeting requesting advice on whether they wish to remain a member of Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee.


3.5      ERLGATSIF Update:


Gary Ella gave an update of ERLGATSIF activities including the Reconciliation activities audit and the ‘Outback meets City’ project. Gail Cooke recommended that the ERLGATSIF invite a member from each member Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee to attend the ERLGATSIF meetings. This recommendation was supported by members of the Committee. 


Action:   Gary Ella to pass on this recommendation to the membership of ERLGATSIF.


General Business:


Members requested that the Aboriginal Advisory Committee meet on a monthly basis until several of the long standing agenda items are completed.




Next Meeting:             9 March 2012 

Access Advisory Committee Meeting on 12 April 2012.

Attachment 2




Randwick City Council Access Advisory Committee

Meeting held on Thursday 12 April 2012, at the

Randwick Room, Randwick Council.



Cr. Margaret Woodsmith              Randwick City Council

Frida Kitas                                 Randwick City Council

Chris Donnellan                          Randwick City Council

Tess Protey                              Junction House

Melinda Ross                             Sunnyfield

Andrew Blair                             Community Representative

Terry Fletcher                            Community Representative



Cr.Tony Bowen                          Randwick City Council

Vince Bates                              Headeast

Jessica Blair                              Community Representative

Dianne Thian                             Community Representative

Anne Patterson                         Community Representative


1.      Minutes


The Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 9 February were confirmed.


2.      Business Arising from Previous Minutes


2.1      Seniors Week 2012

The Committee was informed that Seniors Week was a great success with over 700 residents attending events and activities held throughout March and April.  Frida thanked Clovelly Community Bank and The Prince Henry Hospital Trained Nursed Association for their sponsorship and support.  Council will also hold an Alzheimer’s Information Expo in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and the Dementia Advisory Service in June, to meet ongoing community demand for advice and information on services and support in Eastern Sydney.


Action:  For noting.


2.2    Therapeutic Gardening Workshop.

Frida reported that Council will be holding a Therapeutic Gardening Workshop on Saturday 19 May from 11am to 3pm at Council’s Community Nursery.  The workshop is a great opportunity to learn more about planting, composting, pruning and general gardening techniques.  Bookings are required on 9399 0972 or email  Flyers and posters for the workshop were tabled at the meeting.


Action:  For noting.

2.3      Access issues from previous meeting

Terry requested at the meeting that Council consider asking the manager of the Vodafone Store, 193 Maroubra Rd Maroubra to install a platform lift or ramp to improve access to the building for people with mobility impairments.  Chris explained that the store has a floor area between 15-20m and the installation of a ramp/lift at the front entrance may cause unjustifiable hardship to the proprietor of the premises.  Chris will arrange a meeting with the Manager of Vodafone and provide an update at the May meeting.


Action: Chris to provide an update at the May meeting.


3. New Business


3.1 Community Planning Day

Randwick City Council will be inviting service providers and local organisations to attend a Community Planning Day to be held at the Prince Henry Centre, 2 Coast Hospital Road, Little Bay on Thursday 3 May 2012.  The planning day will be an opportunity for Council to provide organisations with feedback on the work Council has undertaken from the last Planning Day held in November 2009 and for organisations to identify current and emerging needs in the community. Frida tabled invites and copies of the draft agenda at the meeting.


Action:  For information.


3.2    Access Issues Coogee Diggers

Terry raised the issue of the lack of accessible facilities for people with mobility impairments in relation to the building works that were carried out to the male and female change rooms that adjoin the pool area at Coogee Diggers, 2B Byron St Coogee.  Chris raised these concerns with Mr Phil Vannan (CEO of the Club) and it was determined that the works are exempt developments under the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 and that the club is not obliged by legislation to provide such facilities.  Therefore, no further notice can be taken on this matter.


Action:  For noting.


4       Guest Speaker:  Kerry Colquhoun, Coordinator Open Spaces

Kerry provided an update on the proposed Seniors Outdoor Gym project at Jack Vanny Memorial Park, Maroubra.  There was a significant amount of feedback from the community consultations Council undertook with a range of stakeholders.  42 participants took part on the online survey and 7 people have registered interest to be part of a working focus group.  Council received 103 signatures objecting to the Jack Vanny Memorial Park as the proposed location.  As a consequence a second location has been identified at Maroubra Beach - south of Maroubra Beach Pavilion and east of Maroubra Skate Park.  This location provides direct passive surveillance and proximity to the first aid facility.


This location was also identified in meeting the following site requirements: reasonable distance to access by public transport, proximity to car park and disabled parking areas, proximity to public toilets and it is also a level area.  (Kerry noted at this stage of the proposal; discussion continues to be focused on the site location, not the details of the gym equipment).  Committee members agreed that the proposed location at Jack Vanny Memorial Park better meets the needs of older people, carers and people with mobility impairments, provided Council provides adequate and or extra provision of disability parking spaces, accessible toilets and an accessible path of travel from the car park to the outdoor gym.


Due to the close proximity to the skate park, the proposed second location at Maroubra Beach could potentially be an intimidating and noisy environment for seniors and people with mobility impairments to feel they can safely undertake exercise in a public area.  Parking was also flagged as problematic at this site, making weekend use complicated.  Tess and Melinda spoke about their services offering fitness and social support programs for clients with physical and intellectual disabilities and noted that the Jack Vanny Memorial Park site would provide a relaxed, safe and private recreation area for this target group and support workers.  This location also offers better access for community transport vehicles. Frida thanked Kerry and the Committee members for their feedback


Action: Kerry to attend a future meeting to provide an update on the outcome of the proposal.


4. Information Share.


·      Tess reported that Junction House are running a work place training program for clients as part of their transition to work program.  The program has been running for just a few weeks and three clients are currently participating in the training program.  Junction House can now be accessed on Face book.


·      Melinda reported that Sunnyfield have respite packages for families for a 12 month period, allocations have now been finalised.  138 families applied for packages, 58 were allocated to families living in Eastern Sydney.  Sunnyfield has undergone a restructure and Melinda is looking after clients and families living in Eastern Sydney. 


5       Correspondence

·      Newsletter of Ideas November/December 2011

·      Head


6       Date of Next Meeting:  Thursday 10 May 2012.


Community Services Committee                                                                               12 June 2012



Library Report No. L1/12



Subject:                  Randwick City Library Services - Senior Strategy 2012

Folder No:                   F2004/08383

Author:                   Barbara Todes, Manager Library Services     




Our societal make-up is shifting. The older adult population is growing faster than ever before. Libraries face the challenge of developing strategic plans to serve the evolving, diverse generation of baby boomers (born between 1946-1965) who are moving into their retirement age.


The National Strategy for an Ageing Australia (2001) identifies key issues for the ageing population.


With people living longer, the period after retirement from paid work is becoming longer, and for many people, more active. They have more time for education, recreation, cultural pursuits and voluntary work. People will expect more from retirement and will be looking to have quality lifestyles wherever possible.[1]


There is an obvious link between public libraries and the effective provision of equitable access to technology, lifelong learning, recreation, cultural pursuits and voluntary work.


Randwick City Council is at the forefront in developing service strategy relevant to the need of the local community. Council’s ‘Positive Ageing Strategy’ (2005) clearly outlines the task ahead for service providers in the Randwick City LGA:


Older people will continue to seek appropriate access to services to support their day to day living needs, as well as to other activities.




In a report adopted by the Community Services Committee on 8 August 2006, “Library and Information Service Strategy for Older People in the Randwick City Community”, the library launched a comprehensive Seniors Strategy to deliver relevant, highly valued programs, services and collections to older residents of the Randwick City community, enhancing and enriching their lives and helping to support Randwick City as a vibrant and inviting place to retire to. The strategy included the following outcomes:


·           Privileged Library membership category for people aged 60+

·           Programs of talks such as history, lifestyle, health, superannuation, law

·           Rewarding reading programs

·           Dedicated seniors area with appropriate furniture

·           Investigation of the feasibility of providing Home Library Services to housebound residents, hospital and nursing home in the LGA. This service is currently provided by Waverley Library at an annual cost of approximately $70,000


This report has provided the strategic direction guiding the Library’s provision of services to older persons, the participation of seniors in services delivered by the Library and how the Library continues to position itself as the ideal place with initiatives to meet the emerging and future needs of this target group.


Older people in Randwick City and their use of Library resources

The Department of Local Government prescribes the Older People (Aboriginal people aged 45 years and over, and non Aboriginal people aged 55 years and over) as one of the mandatory target groups for planning social/community activities.[2] Randwick City Library has developed programs for active seniors and early retirees under the banner of the Next Chapter initiative. Library resources are developed to suit the reading interests of older adults, including housebound seniors who join our home library services.


Gold Card members

Since 2006/2007, residents over 60 years of age have been able to join the Library as Gold Card members, with privileges such as paying half price for reserves and other library activities that attract a fee, and not paying overdue fines.


The Library has experienced substantial growth in membership over the past 5 years. In 2007 only 28.16% of the LGA population were members of Randwick City Library. The latest figures (March 2012) show that 37.88% of the population use the Library service. Library membership recorded an increase of 39.37% over the past five years. There has been a 117% growth in Gold Card membership, which now represents 13.77% of library users.


Table 1  -  Growth of Library membership 2007-2012



Randwick LGA population[3]

Aged 55+



Library members[4]


Gold Card members 60+

% increase

































% of Increase from 2007 to 2012










Table 2. Randwick City Library Service - growth of loans 2007 - 2011



Total loans by Randwick Library Members

Total loans by Gold Card members 60+

% increase



No breakdown


















% of loans increase in 5 years








In the past 5 years, Randwick City Library has experienced a steady increase in annual loans. Our annual circulation is over 1 million items borrowed by all members, an increase of 31.59% compared with the 2007 figures. Loans from Gold Card members have an increase of 65.86% in the same period. It is evident that seniors are and continue to be heavy users of Council’s library services.

Home Library Service

Library services suitable for the active aged are quite diverse, while more dependent frail aged clients place greater demands almost exclusively on home library services. Randwick City Library Service started our Home Library Service in October 2007 with the establishment of Seniors Services team overseeing the provision of library services to older members of the community. Prior to this date, the Home Library Service was provided by Waverley Council with a substantial monetary contribution from Randwick City Council.


We deliver reading resources to local housebound patrons who cannot visit the library due to frail age, mobility and/or tied up with caring responsibility. We deliver to both residential homes and individual residents within aged care facilities. Currently the service delivers to 14 nursing homes/retirement villages.


We are currently serving 216 local housebound patrons, a rise from 140 patrons when we took back the service from Waverley Council. This represents a growth of 54.3% in the last 5 years. HLS patrons borrowed a total of 35,129 items in 2011, representing around 3.4% of the Library’s annual loans.


The Home Library Service is supported by a crew of dedicated volunteers, contributing more than 30 hours per week helping with the selection of resources.

The Home Library Service receives many positive comments from patrons. It provides a customised and personalised service, communicating with each patron regularly.


Each delivery includes a print out of items issued, a feedback form for patron to comment on items selected and notification of the date for next delivery and library contact details.

The Next Chapter initiatives

Randwick City Library provides not just reading material to meet the intellectual and recreational needs of senior patrons, programs and activities are organised to suit the diverse interests of older members of the community.


In 2007 Randwick City Library launched “The Next Chapter” initiative targeting older community members. The program supports lifelong learning and provides ongoing workshops, information talks and cultural activities through a series of well-planned events to enable local seniors and retirees to get involved, get enlightened, acquire knowledge or simply share their life experiences.


The Library facilitates “The Next Chapter” groups to fill the gap in the community of engaging older persons in activities that bring positive impacts to their intellectual and social wellbeing.


To date, regular groups in operation in the 3 library locations include the following:


·           History group

·           Art appreciation group

·           Create – painting groups (2 groups)

·           Needlework group

·           Knit-in group

·           Book Clubs (4 in operation)

·           History Book Club (2 in operation)

·           Card-making craft

·           Showcase – displays of artwork from local seniors


These groups have monthly or weekly meetings facilitated by staff and volunteers who have the passion and enthusiasm to inspire and enrich lifestyle needs of older members of the community.


Some groups were discontinued when attendance showed that they had lost appeal. Previous groups in operation included:


·           Half-time Sports Club

·           Armchair Travellers

·           Literary Reading


About 200 sessions of the Next Chapter groups were held in 2011; around 3,200 seniors attended one or more of these sessions in the Library.


Information forums specifically for Seniors

Every year, the Library organises free information talks, workshops and seminars for older members of the community, with topics relevant to their interests and lifestyle needs. Seniors Week, Law Week, Heritage Week and Family History Week are times when older members of the community learn about issues pertaining to


·           Health and well-being

·           Finance and retirement planning

·           Digging up roots – genealogy and family history

·           Law & welfare


The latest initiative, in partnership with a local pharmacy (2012), is a series of ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions delivered by health professionals at Bowen Library.


Randwick City Library acknowledges that the need for information, community engagement and purposeful activity does not decline with age. It continues to support this need and position the Library as the source of community, health, plain language legal information and other vital information for ageing well and make a substantial contribution to the quality of life of seniors in our communities.


Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background

38.8% of Randwick LGA population above 65 years of age are from non-English speaking background[5].


In addition to providing reading resources in languages other than English, Randwick City Library offers a friendly and supportive environment for older migrants to join the English Conversation Classes and the Literacy Book Club. The Library currently provides 6 classes of different levels and one book club.


Randwick City Library regularly bulk-loan reading resources from Multicultural Services,  State Library of New South Wales to supplement its own collection or at the request of patron. At any one time, the library has print resources in more than 15 languages available for loan. 


Many older migrants have participated in the two award-winning projects “A migrant story” (2006, 2008, 2009, and 2012) and “Tales from many cities” (2011). Through these initiatives, the Library successfully engaged older migrants to share their life experiences within the community.

Seniors from CALD background have also benefitted from Council’s initiatives of having major information on Council’s website translated into 5 mostly spoken languages.


The latest initiatives also include the availability of free download of eBooks in Russian language from the Library’s eResources supplier, Overdrive.


Seniors and technology

For baby boomers that are technologically savvy, the Library provides remote access to resources, including databases and eBooks. They also enjoy self-service loans and renewal; free internet PCs in the 3 library locations and Wi-Fi access in Bowen Library and Randwick Branch Library.


For seniors who missed “the computer revolution” and those who want to learn how to survive in a wired world, Randwick City Library offers different initiatives to suit mature learners:


·           CyberWise programs for seniors, since 2007

        A suite of workshops specifically designed for those who are interested in exploring the Internet for the very first time or those who wish to extend their internet experience to enrich lifestyle needs. Since 2007, every year around 40 workshops are delivered in the computer training room. To date, around 2,000 seniors have advanced their skills through participating in one or more of these programs:


o    Before basics – learning to use the mouse and keyboard

o    Internet basics – navigating  a website

o    Understand your search tools – databases and the web

o    Keeping in touch with email

o    Google demystified


·           Broadband for Seniors, since 2009

Randwick City Library was the first metropolitan public library selected as service partner to deliver this federal government funded project. Seniors with little experience using technology get one-on-one support from volunteer tutors managed and coordinated by the Library. Since the launch of the project in October 2009, the BFS kiosks at Bowen Library recorded uses of more than 5,000 one-hour sessions. Around half of these sessions were with a volunteer tutor supporting a novice senior user. Most of the volunteer tutors are university students. This project is popular with seniors who want to learn at their own pace. The government has extended funding for the project to June 2015.


·           TechConnect@Randwick 2011

The initiatives involve partnership with a local high school. As part of their community service curriculum, four year 9 students each spent 14 hours in one school term helping library Gold Card members to learn how to use their new technology devices.  The scope includes:


o    Features of the Smartphone

o    Access to Wi-Fi

o    Use of iPad and eReader

o    Download eBooks

o    Download Apps

o    Download software to senior’s netbook/laptop

o    Download images from the Internet


These sessions were very popular in 2011; more sessions are arranged in term 3 and 4, 2012.


·           Talking Tech since 2011

A monthly talk organised in the Library with the aim to demystify technology and promote its uptake by older members of the community. Recent topics include:


o   Skype

o   Download eBooks and audiobooks

o    Compare eReaders

o    Set-up your Face book account

o    Databases from the library


Seniors and life-long learning

As the trend for older people to enjoy better health and longer life expectancy continues, opportunities to engage in life-long learning are in great demand with many older adults interested in using their increased leisure time for educational, intellectual and creative self-development.


Online Learning Portal (2012)

Randwick City Library website is the vehicle for many seniors to extend their learning beyond books. Carefully selected databases and self-paced tutorials are free to Library members. Newly acquired learning modules include:


·           Mango languages – learning 17 languages

·           Computer learning – tutorials from basics to advanced, including social media

·           DIY universal classes – hundreds of topics to choose from

·           Match my careers MyCareerMatch – job seeking and resume writing

·           Road to IELTS, general and academic modules – preparing migrants for IELTS test


The page also provides links to other free online courses from scholars.


Writing workshops for seniors (2010)

The Library engaged a local author who delivered a writing workshop for seniors writing on sustainable living.  The collective work was published in a book.   “Legacies for a better world: seniors on sustainability”


Seniors on films (2009)

Seniors learnt the techniques of film-making and produced a film showcasing their environment. A project participated mainly by seniors living alone in government housing in the southern suburbs of Randwick City.

Seniors and online memories (2008, 2009)

Seniors learnt to organise their digital photographs and share their retouched album with their friends and families online. This popular course discontinued when access to photo-sharing websites was blocked from the computer training room PCs.  This has changed recently and there is an opportunity to reintroduce this course.


Seniors and volunteering

Baby boomers and active retirees seek to contribute to their communities through volunteering in some way. Library volunteers play a complementary role and add value to library services.


The launch of the Library Lovers Volunteer Programs since 2008 provides a platform for volunteers, mainly local active seniors to contribute their skills, time and leadership in the following activities/projects:

·           Home Library Service, selecting reading resources for delivery

·           Broadband for Seniors tutors

·           English Conversation Class tutors

·           The Next Chapter groups coordinators (History group, Create – painting group, Art appreciation group, Needlework group, Card-making Craft, Knitting group, etc)


Library Lovers Volunteer Program matches volunteer’s skills and interests to the tasks. With adequate training given and working closely with library staff, volunteering at the Library is a positive and mutually beneficial experience. The Library manages about 30 volunteers engaging in the above activities/projects.


Randwick City Library as a hub for older members to meet and participate in literary and cultural pursuits

The intrinsic appeal of free public library services has attracted seniors with available leisure time. Many active seniors like to share their views with like minded persons. Randwick City Library provides the opportunities inviting seniors in activities like:


On-going forums:


·           The Author Talks – (since 2007)

        Close contact and discussion with authors sharing their writing journey

·           Extraordinary Women series – (since 2010)

        Women in challenging professions sharing their views

·           Book Clubs

        Informal discussion about the selected title and everyone is encouraged to contribute to the discussion


Special project when the voice of seniors was heard and their life experience shared:


·           “A Migrant Story– (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012)

Older migrants from the local communities told their stories of struggle, hardship and celebration of their achievement in multicultural Australia.  These stories have become documentary evidence of the social landscape of multicultural Randwick community.


Actors Forum

Bowen Library hosts a bi-monthly performance of play-reading/acting by well-known actors. Seniors can enjoy an afternoon with concession tickets.


Randwick Readers project (2012)

The National Year of Reading 2012 is a collaborative project joining public libraries, government, community groups, media, commercial partners and of course the public who share a passion for reading.


This is a unique platform for the Library to provide leadership in creating a reading community within the city. The Library sets a target of 20,000 books read in 2012 by library members and invites the community to help achieve the goal together by joining the Randwick Readers project.


Readers can share their thoughts by sending reviews of books they read. Selected reviews will be published in various promotional channels including the library’s web pages, newsletter, and posters.


To date more than 50 gold card members (aged 60+) have joined the project, their collective effort will help the Library achieve the reading target. This is the project we encourage housebound patrons to participate, a great project to promote inclusiveness.

Seniors Services in the Library - Grants /Awards received 2007 -2011

Randwick City Library is the recipient of the following grants and awards


2007        State Library small grant $300 each year for CyberWise workshops

2008         NSW Senior Week Award for “The Next Chapter” initiatives

2009         NSW Cultural Award for “A Migrant Story” project

2009         State Library small grant $300 for CyberWise workshops

2009         Launch of the Federal government funded Broadband for Seniors Internet Kiosk at Bowen Library

2010         Positive ageing Grant from Department of Ageing, Disability & Home Care ($3,000) for resources for Literacy Book Club     

2011         Small grant ($300) from Multicultural Health Week for healthy recipes contributed by local seniors of different ethnic background

2011         NSW Public Library Marketing Award for “Tales of many cities”, a collection of folklores and wisdom passed down from generations. Older people from the community generously contributed stories they grew up with.



The above report provides the progress of the strategic direction guiding the Library’s provision of services to older persons since 2006. The participation level of the programs/activities/projects is evident that Randwick City Library is meeting the needs of the age tsunami.


Seniors Strategy 2012

Positioning Randwick City Library for t
he next phase of service

Older people read more and are more frequent visitors to public libraries, with people over 65 visiting libraries five times more a year than younger people.[6]  The loans of Library resources by Gold Card members will continue to rise, so as their participation in various activities.


The Library will continue to further develop services to older community members in terms of being a hub for lifelong learning, providing the technology required to ‘maintain a place in the wired world’ [7], providing resources to support well ageing, opportunities for volunteering and home library services for the housebound.


Challenge 1


Seniors and their emerging needs in accessing technology


1.1    The need to get personalised support with the use of their own digital media device

        When new devices are becoming more affordable, older people need advice and guidance on the purchase and use of smart phone, eReader, iPad, notebook, personal laptop and the like and how they can enjoy mobile wireless access to the internet, both in the Library and at home. They need one-on-one training using their own device in the Library’s Wi-Fi environment.

1.2  The need to stay connected with friends and families via social media

        Many seniors are exploring life beyond emails. There are increasing interests in the up-taking of instant connection using chatting enabled software like Skype and the participation in social media activity like Facebook. Social networking sites can benefit older people in offering stimulation, friendship, social inclusion and a new form of support networks with friends and families by simply staying in touch.


1.3    The need to access training to acquire digital media skills to confidently participate online for their everyday living needs

A recent report “Older Australians and the Internet: bridging the digital divide” [8](2011) compiled a list of online activities reported by seniors as improving their standard of living and independence.


o    Paying bills online

o    Banking online

o    Communicating with friends using emails. Skype, MSN, Facebook

o    Finding information on health topics

o    General searching or browsing the internet for topics of interest e.g. art, family history, etc

o    Finding out the latest news, sports and weather

o    Playing games

o    Selling, buying and researching products and services

o    Searching timetables/directories e.g. transport timetables, venue information, yellow/white pages, travel maps, etc

o    Accessing personal records from Centrelink, banks, insurance companies, super/investment funds, health care providers, etc

o    Sharing information with people who have similar interests and hobbies

o    Taking educational courses

o    Making bookings and appointments

o    Setting up own profile to share your stories, views and photos with others

o    Investment options

o    Accessing medical records


Strategy 1

While the techno-savvy baby boomers want technology that fits with their lifestyle and they are eager to explore new ways to communicate with their families, the novice users need a lot of support in the online environment. Baby boomers are characterised by their need to constantly seek out information particularly if it relates to improving their lifestyle and longevity. The library service needs to work hard to engage these older adults and provide the most accessible library service in terms of online access, website availability, technology training and Internet connectivity.

1.1    Randwick City Library will continue providing support to help older members to acquire digital literacy through ongoing CyberWise workshops, Broadband for Seniors sessions and Tech Talk series. These programs are delivered by library staff and volunteers.  Older learners benefit from group training and one-on-one training of their choice. New content will be added to enable the learning and participating in social media networking activities.


1.2    Randwick City Library will seek grant funding opportunities/partnership with other service providers in the provision of training programs that suit seniors specific needs, e.g. Digital photo storytelling, Online Super Fund management and social media networking.


1.3    Randwick City Council will continue to provide Wi-Fi connectivity in the computer training room where seniors can learn with their digital devices. The training room PCs provides access to social media websites and will have the relevant software installed to facilitate such learning.


Challenge 2


Seniors and their footprint in the Library

Older people read more and are more frequent visitors to public libraries, with people over 65 visiting libraries five times more a year than younger people.  There is a double-ended demographic shift occurring in NSW. The ageing population coupled with an increase in birth rates is resulting in a higher proportion of retirees and children in many communities. Older people and children are the heaviest users of public libraries.[9] This trend is substantiated by the rapid growth of Randwick City Library gold card members in the last five years.


Randwick City Library needs to meet the on-going challenge of  servicing all three generations of older adults in our community  – the baby boomers not yet or just  retired from the workforce, older adults who have retired in the last few years and the elderly, many of whom can no longer get to the library. 


Despite significant growth in internet demand and alternate format collections (such as DVDs), older members’ loans of books is still increasing. This trend highlights the need for a continued focus on quality lending collections. Notably, fictions, large print, magazines, talking books are in high demand for both baby boomers and HLS patrons.


Library spaces are increasingly being used for activities over and above book lending and study. There is a high demand for the Library to provide adequate space/meeting room for seniors programming and events.


The Library continues to play a strong role in supporting the seniors’ wellbeing agenda[10], with resources and activities to meet the seniors’ needs of:


•      stimulation

•      bringing older people together

•      reducing isolation

•      socialisation


Strategy 2

2.1   Gold Card membership

        Older community members continue to enjoy the privileges of the Library’s gold card membership.


2.2   Vibrant collections

          Randwick City Library is committed to developing collections that enable life-long learning, encourage a love of reading and improve literacy. Seniors’ need for leisure reading and information relating to health and well-being, travel, law, DIY hobbies and craft activities will be carefully monitored.


2.3   Multiple formats      
The Library will source resources in a variety of formats, both print and digital
that are popular with older members of the community. Seniors can borrow all formats, including downloadable audio and eBooks.


2.4   Accessible information

        The Library’s website facilitates provision of eResources - many of the subscribed     databases meet the everyday research needs of older people, e.g. Choice, etc. The senior’s portal on the Library’s website brings together information and links to other services relevant to older people’s lifestyle needs.  The learning portal is the gateway to life-long learning courses.

2.5   Engaging Seniors  

The success of The Next Chapter initiatives specifically targeted to older people’s interests will continue to bring seniors together for recreation or cultural pursuits.  Through the provision of regular Author Talks, Book Clubs, Tech talks and other events, the Library continues to be a local hub, bring seniors in touch others in the community.


2.6     Library Lovers Volunteer Program

The Library will ensure a positive and beneficial experience for active seniors who volunteer their skills and time in supporting various Library programs.

2.7   Seniors friendly library service

More seating space is created on the library floor for leisure reading in the three library locations. Adequate assistance from staff to encourage seniors to use library facilities, e.g. DIY self-checker, photocopying, etc


2.8   Staff training

Sensitivity training session on ageing and needs of older adults are part of staff development program.


Challenge 3


Services to housebound patrons

Since October 2007, housebound patrons have increased from 140 to above 200. The annual loans from HLS patrons are comparable to the loans from Malabar Branch (both are just over 35,000 items 2010/2011).  The increased volume of work has been absorbed by the same level of staffing supported by volunteers. However, with the ageing population, the challenge ahead will be need to plan for increase demand of home library service. The current staffing, including the driver time has been stretched to its full capacity.


Strategy 3

3.1   Review work processes to work more efficiently to cope with increase demand of services from housebound patrons.


3.2    Introduce a new category of Home Library Service for those who are able to visit the library but find it hard to carry heavy books home. The Library encourages “self select” of reading resources from these patrons. Books are then delivered to their home.


Relationship to City Plan


The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:




Outcome ­­­5:       Excellence in recreation and lifestyle opportunities.

Direction 5d:      Library programs, resources and facilities provide innovative and inspirational opportunities for education and leisure.

Outcome 2:       A vibrant and diverse community.

Direction 2b:      Enrich our range of community services that meet our community’s need - our libraries will continue to be key centres of community life and interaction.

Financial impact statement


The overall cost in developing and delivering activities to meet older people’s needs will be absorbed in the Randwick City Library’s operation budget.


The Library also seeks funding opportunities from grant providers to deliver additional training for seniors (Strategy 1.2).




Randwick City Library has built its reputation in provision of diverse services for the older members of the community.  The awards the library has achieved and customer feedback confirms that it is making a positive contribution to Council’s City Plan. Most importantly in the years ahead, the Library will follow the guidelines of the NSW government’s “Positive Ageing agenda”[11]. Our senior’s services aims to foster community connectedness – older members are connected through intellectually stimulating activities, socially connected through information, technology training and volunteering in Council’s three libraries.





That Council endorses and supports Randwick City Library’s Senior Strategy 2012.







Community Services Committee                                                                               12 June 2012



Library Report No. L2/12



Subject:                  Malabar Outdoor Library

Folder No:                   F2004/08383

Author:                   Barbara Todes, Manager Library Services     




Malabar Community Library has experienced resurgence in usage with the increase in hours of opening from 26 to 39.5 per week in August 2010 and a number of new services and activities at the branch. It is sometimes bursting at the seams, particularly during children’s activities, so the natural progression was to consider using the small garden at the back of the library for activities and a place to relax and interact.




Malabar Community Library now opens Monday from 10am till 7pm, Tuesday–Friday 10am-5pm and Saturdays 9.30am till 12 noon. It now has a Toy Library, like the two other libraries, a Babies Love Books lap sit program, Kids’ Club and a Saturday morning story time for parents who cannot get to the library during the week.


The library’s Big Bang Science Club for 8 to 12 year olds, which is run in the hall next to the library, has also been a great success, attracting a new audience. The History Book Club at Malabar runs monthly and there are regular card making sessions. The Monster Book Sale, which is to be held on 30 June 2012, attracts a large audience. The result has been an increase in attendance at events and activities and an increase in circulation.








Variation % since August 2010







+ 52.40%







+ 64.80%







+ 58.00%







+ 66.20%


The library is very small (130 square metres) and has a small garden out the back. The outdoor area hasn’t been used for many years due to access and Work Health and Safety issues as there was no shade cloth. Given the large attendance at activities, it was felt that using the outdoor space would be a solution, if the issues were addressed.






Relationship to City Plan


The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:


Outcome 5:         Excellence in recreation and lifestyle opportunities.

Direction 5d:        Library programs, resources and facilities provide innovative and inspirational opportunities for education and leisure.

Action:               Improve and develop existing and new library facilities, services and resources ensuring their ongoing relevance to the community.


Financial impact statement


There is no direct financial impact for this matter; the works are funded within the City Services’ budget.




The Malabar Outdoor Library will be a welcome addition to the Malabar Community Library, offering an attractive and usable outdoor space, to extend the library’s service and offer and area where library users and their children can enjoy stories and other activities. It is certain to attract even more patrons to the library and is a great Council initiative for the area.




That the report be noted and received.






[1] Commonwealth of Australia (2001) National Strategy for an Ageing Australia: An Older Australia, Challenges and Opportunities for all.


[2] NSW Department of Local Government Social and Community Planning Guidelines (2002), accessed 5 April 2012

[3] Population projection from NSW Department of Planning (2010) New South Wales Statistical Local Area Population Projections, 2006-2036

and Local Government and Shire Association ‘Randwick Ageing Index’

both accessed 5 April 2012

[4] Membership profile report  from AMLIB, Library Management System

[5] NSW Department of health and Ageing (2008): NESB population projection, statistical local area  Accessed 6 April 2012


[6] State Library of NSW (2006) Active, engaged, valued : older people and NSW public libraries

[7] Williamson, K. et al (2006) ‘Wanting it now’: baby boomers and the public library of the future Australian Library Journal 55no 1 pp.54-71

[8] National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre (2011) “Older Australians and the Internet: bridging the digital divide”

Accessed 6 April 2012

[9] State Library of NSW (2011) Public Library Statistics 2009/10

[10] M Sloan (2009) Library Services to Older People: good practice guide

accessed 7 April 2012

[11]  NSW Department of Ageing and Home Care (2011) Towards a NSW whole of government ageing strategy: ageing roundtable summary paper”

Accessed 9 April 2012