Teachers Health Fund tops the field

Teachers Health Fund was this month named Private Insurer of the Year for 2013 after Roy Morgan research found its members are Australia’s most satisfied health insurance customers. For every dollar received in member contributions in 2012-13, Teachers Health Fund paid back over 93 cents in benefits — one of the highest return rates. It is the largest industry-based health fund and the seventh largest health fund overall. Despite having fewer than 30 full-time employees, the fund was last year named National Contact Centre of the Year at the Australian Teleservices Association awards.

Thea Nicholas from Cool Australia

Free sustainability workshop

On Thursday March 20 teachers in Northern Beaches schools are invited to a free workshop, “Getting Started with Sustainability and the Australian Curriculum”, organised by Manly Council and the Northern Beaches Schools Environmental Education Network. Manly Mayor Jean Hay AM said: “Not surprisingly, busy teachers may find incorporating material about sustainability into the curriculum challenging, even overwhelming. This workshop provides teachers with the complete Education for Sustainability ‘getting started pack’.” Teacher Thea Nicholas from not-for-profit Cool Australia will present the 4.30pm-6pm workshop. Visit or for details. As well as advice and guidance, teachers will be given a Cool Australia USB filled with free high-quality classroom resources and hands-on activities.

Jessie Street on YouTube

The Jessie Street National Women’s Library now has a YouTube site and will soon be uploading the video, More than Boat People — the Vietnamese Migration Experience through Women’s Eyes. The library would like feedback on its promotional video, Welcome to the Jessie Street National Women’s Library, which can be watched on Quentin Bryce introduces the video, which sets out the history of the library, founded in 1989. The library houses an impressive collection of feminist writing as well as books, including wonderful first edition works by Australia’s leading women writers such as Miles Franklin and Christina Stead, and a huge collection of historical posters and banners, for example, from the Pine Gap Women’s Camp. The library holds regular talks, and the next Lunchtime Talk at Town Hall House, on Thursday March 20, will be by Dr Judith Godden, on “Forced Adoptions and Crown Street Women’s Hospital”. Entry is $16 for members, $22 for non-members, and bookings should be made by today. Call (02) 9571 5359 or email

Peace convergence

How may we create an independent and peaceful Australia? How may we promote a foreign policy which builds peace and nonviolent resolutions to conflict in our region and beyond? If these questions are close to your heart, a national convergence of peace advocates and activists will be held at the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre near Bungendore, April 21-26. Phone Annette Brownlie 0431 597 256.

WildEndurance 2014

Walkers and runners participate in this annual gruelling team event set in the spectacular Blue Mountains. You can select either the 100km course (teams of 3+) or a shorter 50km course (teams of 2+). Either way, all entrants will experience some of the most beautiful and rugged scenic wilderness on offer in Australia. The event will raise valuable funds for The Wilderness Society. WildEndurance also provides an opportunity to build fitness, teamwork and camaraderie. Saturday and Sunday, May 3–4. Register at For details contact event manager Sarah Williams on 0431 675 015 or at

Homeless film contest

Students — school going and older — should register now to enter a short-film challenge on “The Homeless” that starts on April 11. The competition, run by not-for-profit Screen My Shorts Australia and Parramatta City Council, has a prize pool of $10,000. The films must be three to 10 minutes long; the film-making period starts at 7pm on Friday April 11, and finished films must be uploaded by midnight on Sunday May 11. Visit to register entries and choose from one of 23 topics relating to homelessness, including: Sleeping in a car; Indigenous homeless; ignoring homeless people; homeless humour; living on the streets; home sweet homeless. Registration fees range from $15 for entrants up to the age of 14 years, $30 for students aged 15-17 and film school students and $50 for those over the age of 18. Films can include animation and machinima.

Climate change and the economy

Film screening of Hooked on Growth followed by afternoon tea, panel discussion and Q&A on the “sustainable steady state economy”. Panellists are Dr Haydn Washington, author of Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand; Dr Mark Diesendorf, author of Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change; Tom Halbert, Secretary, Transition Parramatta; Dr Anna Schlunke. Saturday March 22, 1–5pm at Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, Level 1, 280 Pitt St, Sydney. Book at or call Anna on 0435 749 419.

NPA bushwalks

  • March 29: Warringah Shire Part 1 (ramble, grade 2, 7km): Allenby Gully to Warringah Mall
  • April 12: Warringah Shire Part 2 (grade 2): Lagoons to Manly
  • April 19: Lane Cove River (grade 2, 7km): Ferndale Gully along river to Epping Road.

National Parks Association of NSW Office: or ring NPA Office (02) 9299 0000.

Come to the Casbah!

Learn about how Morocco developed its unique character over many centuries. Hear how, from the 8th century, a series of sultanates rose and fell, including the Almoravids, Almohads, Merenids and Saadians. After France occupied Algiers in the 1830s European interference was inevitable. In Fes, perhaps the archetypal Moroccan city, and in smaller towns such as Chefchaouen and Essaouira, life is still rooted in the medieval and imperial era while in the mountains and valleys of the north and south the Berber influence is all-pervasive. Tutor Natalia Borisova will run this WEA Sydney course on Friday March 21 from 6–8.30pm at WEA House, 72 Bathurst Street, Sydney. Inquiries (02) 9264 2781 or, quote code 41HM007. Cost $48.

Baerami bush dance and campout

Bring your food and tent to enjoy this dance camp in the Upper Hunter on the weekend of April 5–6 at Baerami Hall, 1361 Bylong Valley Way, Baerami via Denman. It starts at 7.30pm. BYO drinks and food for a shared supper. On Sunday morning join an easy guided bushwalk in Wollemi National Park, or bring your bike for a leisurely ride in Baerami Creek Valley. Contact Martin or Jan Fallding at (02) 6571 1208 or at Tickets are available at, and cost $15 pre-paid or $20 at door, concession $10 and children get in free.