news & events

Big Science – Big Fun


This great ‘science sampler’ was developed as a way of introducing science to the greater community. It’s a 60 minute tour of some fun, in-your-face science, and will suit adults or families. See gigantic bubbles, flying toilet paper, hair-raising electricity, bubbling liquid nitrogen, levitating beach balls, volunteers on a nail chair, a giant gyroscope, coloured shadows, a flame equalizer and much more!

It’s Science, It’s Fun and It’s Free!

Who it’s for: Everyone.

Saturday 29 October, 12.45 pm at Dungog Uniting Church Hall, 246 Dowling St, Dungog. This is a free event running as part of the Dungog Festival.

Booking: No booking is required.

Cost: Free 

Be Bird Alert – talk and event


BE BIRD ALERT is a multi-part event to make it easy to participate in Australia’s biggest Citizen Science event – The Aussie Backyard Bird Count. Whether you’re a novice or a committed twitcher, you’ll enjoy this free event.

COME ALONG at 6.30 on Friday 14 October to the Dungog RSL for an introduction to the bird count. We will also have a short talk by Ingrid Berthold about Citizen Science and local photographer & Birdlife Australia member, Dick Jenkin, will talk about the practical aspects of local bird spotting.

ON SATURDAY MORNING, 15 October, you can join a group to do some bird spotting under the guidance of a bird mentor. This will be a great way for novice bird spotters to get some practical tips and experience out in the field.

ON SATURDAY MORNING, 15 October, finish off at a BIRD BRUNCH at the Dungog Community Garden to compare notes and experiences.

OVER THE NEXT WEEK, 17-23 October, join in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count and record the birds you see on the phone app or on the Aussie Bird Count website.

Who it’s for: Both novice and experienced bird observers.

Introduction and talk – Friday 14 October, 6.30pm at Dungog RSL, 100 Lord St, Dungog.
Mentored bird spotting – Saturday 15 October, AM – time and locations around Dungog will be announced at the Friday night talk.
Bird Breakfast – Saturday 15 October, AM (gold coin donation) – Monday 17–Sunday 23 October.

Booking: No booking is required, however you must attend the Friday night introduction if you want to be part of the bird mentor activity on Saturday morning.

Bird Count Registration: You can register as a counter for the 2016 bird count at the Aussie Backyard Bird Count website. The website also has information about downloading the phone app and field guides and other resources. Click here to check it out.

Cost: Free Friday evening and bird mentor event on Saturday morning (limited places). Saturday brunch is gold coin donation. 

Auction & Raffle items!

Oh what a night!Our auction

If you can’t make it on the night, you may still bid. Simply email us with your name, email address, phone number and up to two bids per item. Your bid may be kept confidential if you wish. Note that a couple of the items have a reserve price.

1. One-hour full-body Hot Rocks Massage courtesy Jeanie Briggs Massage Moments

2. Gorgeous Art Books courtesy Maitland Region Art Gallery

3. North Queensland Cowboys Signature Football from the 2014 team

4. Framed “Lord Of The Rings” poster signed by chief elf Hugo Weaving

5. Framed poster for film “Proof” signed by lead actor Hugo Weaving

6. Cast glass sculpture in her “Pairs” series by Canadian artist Linda Fraser courtesy Helen Graham

7. Fly Fishing Lesson for 2 with John Evers, plus a bit of a fish on the Allyn River courtesy Camyr Allyn Wines

8. Framed song sheet signed by Rod Stewart, 70s superstar, courtesy David Norris

9. Framed song sheet signed by Neil Finn with certificate of authenticity, courtesy David Norris

10. Half hour helicopter flight courtesy Martin Thorsby

11. Newcastle Jets Jersey Signed by the entire 2014 team courtesy Newcastle Jets

12. Painting “Crimson’s On Fence” by Gaye Shield courtesy the artist

13. 18 holes of Golf for two people courtesy Salamander Bay Horizons Golf Club

14. Painting “Composed”, oil on linen, by award-winning artist Chris Pike courtesy the artist

15. A day of water sports with picnic lunch for 6 people courtesy Carol and Wolf Skafte-Zauss

16. One-hour full-body massage with Maree Longbottom courtesy Dungog Natural Health Clinic

17. 2009 game three NSW State Of Origin Signed Jersey, courtesy David Norris.

Here’s a picture of the Chris Pike painting (2ft x 4ft, mixed media on linen):

Our raffle


Prizes –
Moonshadow Dolphin Watch Cruise for 2 adults & 2 kids.
Crane Mountain Bike.
Novelty sign courtesy Dungog Gallery.
Cut & colour from To Dye For hairdressing.
Crystal glass set courtesy Dungog Antiques.
Set of Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear books.
Set of Bronte sisters & Jane Austen books.
Petersons Champagne House wine-tasting vouchers for 6 people.

Raffle tickets available at the Community Centre, on the night – or catch  us at shire events!

Thanks so much to all our donors and helpers!

A Masked Ball

Mask yourself …
… and enter the revelry.

Saturday 16 November 2013

It’s the party of the year.

Hosted by The Gondoliers Of Love (Michael Winchester & John O’Brien). Special guests, a classy auction, light gastronomic supperdisplay of masks by Jane Richens, and dancing to the thrumming groove of Dr Zoom till the cows come home (ie moo-dnight).

Prizes for Best Mask, Finest “Thing” and Most Partiestest. Think revellers in Venice, Zorro, clowns, burlesquers, highwaymen, or ordinary folk in a borrowed mask.

Tickets $80 each, booking essential. 6.30 for 7.00pm at the James Theatre Dungog. Click here to book your tickets.

All funds raised go to Dungog Community College.

Want to learn to make a mask for the ball? Join Jane Richens (a mask maker in a former life) for a workshop on Saturday 2 November. Drop in between 9am and 12 noon. Priority given to Masked Ball ticket holders. Only $20 (workshop $10 + $10 materials). Click here to book for the mask-making class.


One Delightful Day in the Roses

Could there be any better way to enjoy our wonderful autumn weather than to spend a day in a sublime country garden amongst roses, hedges and native plants learning about roses? More than 40 rose lovers made their way up through the Paterson River valley to Mt Rivers north of Gresford, to do just that.

Dungog Community College chose Leon and Marisa Groves’ rose garden at ‘Sardinia’, Mt Rivers, to run four workshops celebrating the rose.

Landscaper and rose grower Leon Groves presented “Cultivating Roses” where he revealed the secrets to achieving an abundant rose garden. It all starts with the soil, then choosing and timing the plantings, shaping and pruning and keeping an eye on the threats. He was also brave enough to give participants the opportunity to prune roses in his garden – under supervision.

Andrew Williams, a Hunter Valley Rose Society member and judge talked about the arcane science of showing roses. He explained how to best prepare blooms to peak at just the right time, how to choose and cut blooms and how to choose a class. And of course the most important thing… what the judges are look for

And for those who just love looking at roses local artist Christine Pike presented “Sketching Roses” where she helped budding artists explore the beauty of the rose through line, texture and emotion

The real surprise of the day was a workshop on “Cooking With Roses” presented by Marisa Groves. The dishes included a rose and semolina yoghurt cake, sugared rose petals, rose champagne jelly and a savoury quinoa and rose petal salad.

It proved to be a delightful day. Apart from the workshops there was time to chat with friends over Devonshire teas and ploughman’s lunches set on long tables and to just enjoy yourself in the peaceful and beautiful garden lovingly created by the Groves.

Several people came from as far as Gloucester and the Central Coast especially for the day.


Jane Richens


Stop Press!

Information sessions for our accredited courses

CWA Hall, 199 Dowling Street Dungog

Cert III Aged Care
Tuesday 29 May 10am
Tuesday 29 May 6pm

Business Skill Set
Tuesday 5 June 6pm


Come to an information session to find out how you can bring your career to life with one of these accredited courses.

Email us to register your interest (click here) or just turn up to one of the sessions.

If you missed out, contact us and we’ll send you information and an enrolment form.

Click here for more on the courses.

Wk 9 May

Get into a fast-growing flexible caring industry … with a Certificate III in Aged Care.

Come to our information sessions:
Aged Care Certificate,
Training & Assessment (TAE),
Business Skill Set

Want some grit
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Strategies to attract members
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Ukulele La La Lee Lee zhinga zhinga strum bim bom.

Ukulele La La Lee Lee zhinga zhinga strum bim bom. [180 widget with pic of ukulele]
[“courses you just missed” comes up in the box]

Captions in article on ukulele
In late April 2012 a bunch of music lovers gathered in the James Theatre to discover the secret delights of the ukulele. Here are some of strummy highlights.
Plink plonk thrrrrrrum.
Dingle wingle jonka jonka jangly jeeeeeem.
Brrring, Brrrong, Brrrrrang, Brrrrrungungung.
Shlippershly shloo shloo. Flinga dinga doo.
Melodious sounds as the more experienced students let fly with a masterpiece.

We pounded we cooked we feasted.

Our Night Of Indian Feasting was led by Gresford and Pushkar’s own Fiona Wright in the lovely Twin Rivers Cafe in East Gresford. Despite the odd hiccough and slow oven, some fabulous foods were cooked, some customs learnt and a great atmosphere prevailed. The general feeling was, ‘Bring on the next night of feasting!’

If you’re interested in food, feasting or foreign parts, drop an email to us  to get on the mailing list.


Fiona Wright teaches Brian Doherty a thing or two. 

One step on the complex journey from mung beans to mung bean balls. 

Scrumptious dips were hard to resist. 

Three focused chefs: Pam, Dotti and Paul. 

The meal coming together, fresh and aromatic.

Pounding green chilli and garlic.

Dungog Education Network has arrived!

It’s first term: and we’re starting small but we’re starting keen. There’s a first aid course (first aid came out number one in our survey), there’s events for youth and seniors and there’s the first of our Business and Community Toolbox courses. Click on the links for more details.

Then someone croaked: “There’s a frog!”

Crawling through the dam water, about a metre from the edge, Ken peered down at the rushes and, like a fussy hairdresser, carefully pulled small bunches aside. He was trying to catch a hard-to-find spotted marsh frog – and if he didn’t find it, he was hoping to herd it closer to where we squatted, still, silent, watchful and meditative on the bank.

The rain was holding off. We had triangulated the frog’s position in the dark by its occasional single “bop” sound. Every so often, Ken would get us to turn our torches off and sit in the dark to encourage the next croak.

The evening had started well. As the light was just starting to fail, we had gathered at the entrance to Dungog Common, learnt the technique of “triangulation” (two or more people can locate a frog by pointing in the direction its croak has come from, then closing in and waiting for another croak), and discovered some facts about these amphibians. It seemed as if there was as much not known about them as there was known.

Then we organised our torches and trooped into the Dungog Common, practising our triangulation on the way. Our first hunting ground was a creek and some small frogs making a knicker knicker knicker sound. We found some almost immediately. The kids turned out to be some of the best frog-spotters and frog-catchers (even the slippery ones). A few minutes later it was an adult who spotted a pair “amplexing”. Amplexing is more or less a male cuddling a female while she lays her eggs and he fertilises them. Not sure what the frog word for it is.

We crossed to a dam, now hunting for the spotted frog. When there’s a few in a dam, it sounds like a tennis match! Pock. Pock. Pock pock pock. Pock. Alas the spotty would elude us, though the hunt was always fun. On our way back to the cars, we found half our group had stopped at a water-filled hole in the ground. This time it was a striped marsh frog or brown striped frog we had located (they sound like a polite burst of machine-gun fire). It took us a few minutes before “There it is!” One of the kids got to hold it by its slippery back legs and we looked at its markings. Then – time to go.

When we checked our watches two and a half hours had passed. It had felt like about an hour! We thanked our fabulous guide Ken Rubeli for his knowledge, his keenness to get down and mucky in the water and his ability to keep kids and adults entertained and fascinated for so long, on a glorious late-summer evening.

If you want to go frogging next time, contact us at and we’ll put you on the waiting list. It probably won’t be till next summer, but it’s worth it!

“Get Friendly With Frogs” ran from 6 till 9.30ish in the Dungog Common. It cost $20 adults, $15 concessions and $10 for kids, and is specially recommended for herpetology nuts, bush lovers and families.

This is now required for any accredited course in Australia.

This is now required for any accredited course in Australia.

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