Allan West

Cochlear implants, seafaring yarns
On July 8, Terry Jones introduced Faye Yarroll of the Cochlear Awareness Network. She talked about her bilateral cochlear implant and her hearing dog, Sydney. Her $100 donation will go Lions Hearing Dogs.

Bruce Shying, Sydney Heritage Fleet and ex-TAFE teacher of bricklaying and stone masonry, addressed our June 10 meeting, introduced by Terry Jones. Bruce has been a sailor for more than 60 years and respects the contribution of women in ships. His $100 donation will go the Royal Society of Deaf and Blind Children at North Rocks.

Volunteers needed

  • Settlement Services International wants volunteers to work with refugees. Contact Joanna Sharples on (02) 8799 6757/0487 680 207 or click here to email Joanna
  • Tom Williams has teaching opportunities online with Chinese primary students: click here to email Tom
  • Jews for Social Action wants tutors for the Early Support Aboriginal Literacy Project at Boronia Park, Denistone East and North Ryde public schools. Call 9888 5774 or click here to email
  • Santas wanted for Sydney shopping centres. Must be aged 40-80 years, with a great love of children. Call 0417 425 390 or click here to email for an interview.

The cap doesn’t fit
The Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations noted a report in the Tasmanian Association of State Superannuants newsletter that 60 per cent of their pensioners affected by the 10 per cent tax offset for defined benefits had an income below $30,000. The cap was designed on “closing a loophole” for defined benefits pensioners on an annual income of $120,000.

The Tasmanian survey found there were just 30 single-income pensioners and 168 couples with an income of more than $104,000 a year — 0.7 per cent of the 48,000 totally affected); presumably, then, fewer than 0.5 per cent were on $120,000 a year or higher. So the government conveniently overlooks the impact of the cap on 99.5 per cent of the defined benefits pensioners.

Terry Jones moved that the RTA is concerned that thousands of retired public servants have lost a large proportion of their pension due to their defined benefit superannuation having the tax-free component reduced drastically. We strongly urge the government revise this undesirable cut.

Vale Graham Hill
Enid Hokin reported the recent passing of Graham Hill and requested RTA to extend our sympathy to his wife, Diane. As an Organiser, Graham recruited teachers college students to Federation. Graham was an unbelievably modest, ego-free person. He was calm and caring. Everyone who knew him, loved and respected him.

Ratify Rights of the Child
Enid Hokin moved that the RTA call upon the federal government to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Signing the Convention without ratifying it is an empty gesture, requiring no obligation to carry out the terms of the Convention, and allows Australia to continue incarcerating Indigenous children and detaining refugee children in unconscionable numbers.

Congrats for Gonski
Shirley Bains moved that the RTA congratulate the AEU, and particularly the NSW Branch, on the successful campaign waged during the federal election to have the Gonski reforms fully implemented. The dedication of Officers and the hard work put in by hundreds of classroom teachers around the state has resulted in Gonski being at the forefront in economic planning.

Emissions reduction
Ron Denham moved that the RTA expresses its shock, alarm and disgust that it is now reported that carbon emissions have increased from 280ppm (parts per million) in 1850 to 485ppm in 2016, with last year alonecincreasing some 3.05ppm, the largest rise in the past 56 years of research, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. We, as retirees, demand that the government immediately take action to reduce emissions, including extending to employees a democratic, lawful right in the workplace to take action to protect the ecology of the globe.

Octogenarian cakes
RTA members, wherever you are, get a Lions Christmas cake when you turn 80. Call Therese: 0419 157 342.

Allan West is the Secretary, NSW
Retired Teachers Association and can be contacted on (02) 9484 5693

Social News

August 24: Visit to Archibald
Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW 2pm. Contact May Steilberg (02) 9958 7750.

September 8: Tour of Vaucluse House, 69A Wentworth Road $6 each. Call Max Prince on 0431 473 983.
For more information, contact Allan West, visit the RTA blog at or Federation’s website by clicking here.

Wagga Wagga
September 20: Let’s Try Croquet at Wagga Wagga Croquet Club.
For more information, contact Geoff Amos on (02) 6922 5108 or email.

Next Meetings

September 23: 12.15pm lunch; 1pm David Streichler speaks on “Books in homes”; 2pm general meeting.

Wagga Wagga
October 18: 10.45am at Riverina NSWTF Office, Weedon Chambers, corner of Gurwood and Trail streets, Wagga Wagga; speaker is Country Organiser John Pratt.

September 5: 6pm at Armidale City Bowling Club
For more information, contact Elizabeth O’Hara on 0408 670 684 or email.