FOCUS On Burnside - the news hub

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This is our media hub of all things Burnside.

A hub for local news about people, businesses and happenings in our community.

You will see some beautiful photos of Wyfield Reserve, one of Burnside's biodiversity sites, at the top right of this page.


This is our media hub of all things Burnside.

A hub for local news about people, businesses and happenings in our community.

You will see some beautiful photos of Wyfield Reserve, one of Burnside's biodiversity sites, at the top right of this page.

  • My Ride in a Waste Truck

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    After writing a story about the new electric-powered East Waste truck, our intrepid reporter was invited for a ride on the regular rubbish collection.

    "It is a beautiful spring morning and I meet Bill, my driver, in L’Estrange Street Glenside. “Hop in,” he says and I move to the driver’s side door (it has dual drive) and hop up two steps into the cabin of an East Waste truck.

    Bill has been with East Waste for 11 years and has his routes memorised. Today he is collecting the residual (red lid) bins in Glenunga and Frewville. On board cameras show the contents of the bin being emptied and I am surprised at the high number of bins containing a small amount. I ask Bill why people don’t leave the bin for the following week or even share a neighbour’s bin. “Some people don’t like to do that,” he says.

    Approximately 1,100 bins are picked up and emptied on Bill’s round and each one costs money. If residents reduced the amount of rubbish going into their red bin and only put them out when close to full it would save money. I note at least a dozen bins which contain only one small bag of rubbish and two of those are next door to each other!

    The constant sound is of the diesel engine – the actual pickup doesn’t make a lot of noise (except for heavy objects mistakenly placed in the red bin such as bricks). When East Waste takes delivery of their new electric-powered truck later this year Bill says it will be a big change. “Today’s round is pretty flat,” he says. “But when I do Beaumont and Stonyfell the hills cause the engine to be a lot louder.” The electric truck won’t make any noise so people won’t hear it coming. I joke that a lot of people rely on the noise of the truck to rush their bin out at the last minute.

    Travelling down a side street we see a dad and his two young boys on the footpath, fascinated by the approaching truck. Bill tells me the family is there every week and as we pass I wave to them. Bill often sees children on the streets watching the truck go past.

    The truck is full of technology including front and rear cameras, sensors and bin counters. Every individual bin has a Radio Frequency Identification which the computer can read. If a bin has rubbish around it because it is too full or animals have scavenged in it (not all lids are closed as they should be) the driver can take a photo which is sent direct to the depot. That way if a resident complains, East Waste can show the rubbish was there before pick up. Bill gets a message that a bin was missed on a Frewville street but the owner admits he put it out late. Bill will go back and collect it the next day.

    After an hour of cruising the streets I return to the office with a much better understanding and appreciation of the rubbish pick up. Thanks Bill!”

    Jenny Barrett, Corporate Communications Advisor, City of Burnside

  • Young Achiever

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    Artin Arjomandi has achieved a lot in his 18 years. He has twice participated in Youth Parliament, sponsored by the City of Burnside. He held the role of President of the Legislative Council and was shortlisted for Governor!

    Youth Parliament is designed to give young people between the ages of 16 and 25 a chance to be heard at the highest levels of State Government on a wide range of issues relevant to young people's lives. Next year he plans to return as one of the organisers of the event, run by the YMCA.

    Artin recently joined the City of Burnside’s Youth Action Committee. As the eldest in the group he sees his role as a mentor. “Most of them are still in high school and they have not quite decided their goal,” he says. In his first year at Flinders University Artin is studying physiotherapy but his real love is medicine. Although he achieved an ATAR of 99.55 (after bonus points), at Glenunga International High School, he did not qualify for medicine and is considering moving interstate to study in his chosen field. “It is a difficult decision,” he says. “I am very close to my family so moving would be a huge change for me.”

    His commitment to community and youth includes membership of United Nations Youth Australia, a national youth-led not for profit that aims to build the people’s awareness of the United Nations through the education and empowerment of young Australians. Operated by volunteers aged 24 and under, it is part of the global network of United Nations Youth Associations.

    He also works part time at his former school, tutoring students with learning difficulties and holds down a part time job at KFC. In his limited spare time he enjoys rock climbing.

    “I am very focused on community and helping,” he says. “That’s why I want to do medicine but I am also intent on improving health outcomes for regional areas.” Artin was shocked at statistics that show the poorer people are, the worse their health outcomes. “Also if you have a close link to Aboriginal heritage or live far from a capital city your health outcomes worsen dramatically,” he says. If he chooses not to pursue medicine his career plans include completing his physiotherapy degree and working in a practice or completing a PhD and working in public health.

    Asked for his message to young adults he is full of enthusiasm. “Set goals slightly out of your reach then reach for them,” he says. Artin’s philosophy is ‘Think big!’ “Just go for it,” he says. “You are better off asking ‘did I do that well?’ than ‘What if?’”

  • Tai Chi Teacher

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    Buddy Ng started learning Tai Chi in Hong Kong, at the age of 20, inspired by his mother who was a Tai Chi Master. “She passed away two years ago,” says Buddy “She used to run Tai Chi classes on the banks of the River Torrens every morning.”

    The retired electronic technician had taught privately to friends but decided to share his teaching more broadly. “By chance I met Tricia (Foster-Jones) at Glenunga Hub and asked if there were opportunities for me.” Buddy, 67, started a class there on Monday mornings and it became so popular he started another Fit and Fab course at the Civic Centre which incorporates Tai Chi.

    His classes focus on strength and balance which improve health. “One of the dangers for older people is falls, so I help with that.”

    Tai Chi is the number one exercise for fall prevention. “The weight transfers from one leg to another and the gentle relaxed movements can keep you loose and mobile into old age,” says Buddy. “The focus is to relax, become more loose, calm and sensitive.”

    Toward the end of the classes Buddy uses meditation and breathing to music. Most people in his class are women in their 60s and 70s but anyone is welcome (once they have a clearance from their doctor).

    Buddy runs his classes as a volunteer and receives no payment. “I like to give back to society,” says Buddy “And I like to introduce others to Tai Chi and help improve their health and balance.”

    An accomplished singer and member of a Cantonese Opera, he recently performed live on Peter Goers ABC evening show.

  • Silent Waste Truck

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    In December this year East Waste will commission South Australia’s first fully electric-powered waste collection truck.

    The new truck will replace a diesel-powered truck and, with zero emissions, remove from our suburban streets the polluting equivalent of 20 vehicles generating 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

    Shane Drury is a Team Leader with East Waste and manages 40 drivers. He is excited about the new truck and says it will change the whole driving experience. “It will be completely silent,” he says. “You won’t hear it coming and it will turn heads in the street.”

    The current trucks use half a tank of diesel each day. “If we can get rid of that we’ve got to be doing the environment some good,” Shane says.

    Travelling around the eastern suburbs Shane says Burnside residents are generally good about placing out the right bin on the right day. But he says there is always room for improvement in what goes in each bin. “One bin can contaminate a whole load,” he says. “Our cameras pick up what is being tipped into the truck but if I spot something like a gas cylinder I can’t stop it.” It is then the task of the sorters at waste centres to remove contamination.

    Shane says if everyone “did the right thing” it would reduce waste to landfill and the costs associated with that.

    The electric-powered truck is the first in a fleet replacement program. It is valued around $550,000, which is $150,000 more than a diesel version but the extra investment will return financial savings along with a raft of environmental benefits.

    East Waste estimate the new electric truck will save in excess of $220,000 over the seven-year life of a diesel truck. Even with the additional $150,000 purchase price, that is a $70,000 net saving.

    With significantly fewer moving parts than a conventional engine, the new truck is likely to last longer than the seven years of conventional trucks. Maintenance costs will also be reduced by at least two-thirds.

    East Waste will install a 30kw solar system at its Ottaway depot to provide renewable energy to charge the truck’s batteries every day.

    East Waste is a subsidiary of the Cities of Burnside, Campbelltown, Mitcham, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters and Prospect, the Town of Walkerville and the Adelaide Hills Council.

  • Sam the Entrepreneur

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    Sam is an energetic 12-year-old who loves to swim, play chess and guitar, read and spend time with his friends. He is also a small business owner and entrepreneur. At the age of nine Sam decided to start his own business, making popcorn. He started it because he had grown tired of eating the same old flavoured popcorn that left a sugary, over-sweet taste in his mouth.

    “I decided to try and make my own natural, fresh and delicious popcorn,” Sam says. “I started cooking in a pot on the stove and experimented with different flavours.”

    Sam’s parents, Sean and Sally, supported him but made him sit down and draw up a list of all the things he had to do. “He had to do a food handling course, get insurance and an ABN,” says Sean. “We made him do a business plan and stressed that he had to design a website, packaging and arrange delivery.”

    Sean and Sally made sure Sam did everything for himself. “We wanted to teach him about responsibility and accountability,” Sean says. After a lot of trial and error Sam developed what he thought was the best handmade gourmet popcorn on the market.

    He started selling Sam’s Popcorn to friends and family and then got a big break when the City of Burnside offered to stock it at the Regal Theatre. “The Council was the first to really support Sam,” Sean says. “They saw a story about Sam in the Messenger paper and approached us.” Now people buy popcorn for the movie then buy more on the way out. A lot of movie goers have become regular customers.

    Sam’s business has thrived and he supplies his primary school, Send a Gourmet Basket and Office Select. He recently used some of his profits to buy a second hand air popper machine. “The first time I used it, it set on fire!” Sam says. Apparently the thermostat was broken and it over heated. He is still working on getting the flavours right as the machine cooks the popcorn differently.

    The family moved out of their Dernancourt home to Wayville and dedicated most of the house to Sam’s kitchen and storage. He cooks almost every day and does deliveries after school with Sally as his driver. When orders started flooding in Sam’s handwritten journal couldn’t keep up so Sally stepped in and took over the accounts side.

    And he has become somewhat of a celebrity at school. “The Year 3 kids call out to me in the yard ‘Hi Sam’s Popcorn!’” he says. “And a group of Year 4 girls called me from their slumber party wanting some popcorn.” That was when Sean took over Sam’s mobile phone. “We try not to interfere at all,” says Sean. “But sometimes he needs our help.” Like the time he went online at the Tax Office to get a Tax File Number. When he entered his date of birth the program refused to accept it. “We got on the phone and explained and the staff member couldn’t believe it,” says Sean. “They had never had an application from a 10-year-old.”

    Sam does not pay himself a wage and donates much of his profits to the Childhood Cancer Association as part of the Kids4Kids fundraising program.

    He has had quite a bit of media coverage and has won awards. He was winner of the 7 News Young Achievers Awards (Leadership Category) for 2019 and recently visited Government House to help launch childhood Cancer Awareness Month. He is also the South Australian Ambassador for the Fred Hollow's Foundation after winning the Fred Hollow's Humanity Award in November last year.

    In June this year Sam was guest speaker at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference ‘Thriving with Autism’ in Singapore. Sam says his autism is a benefit to his work. “A lot of people think of it as an obstacle but I don’t.” But he did struggle with one aspect – getting the labels straight on the packages. “The labels were slightly crooked and I couldn’t bear that,” he says. But as with all aspects of his business venture Sam persevered and found a solution.

    As for his future, he starts high school next year at the Adelaide Botanic High School in the city and wants to study science and biology. He also has plans for a factory and retail outlet and hopes to get his produce into supermarkets. “I need to perfect some new flavours so I have a wide range,” he says. He is trying out apple and has plans for strawberry, lemon, blueberry and grape.

    When asked if he used any of his profits for a personal treat he responds “I think the treat for me is people’s reaction to eating my popcorn.” Sam says the vacuum packed bags have a shelf life of 6 months but once opened “They are gone in five minutes! My popcorn is really good.”

  • Booklovers’ Paradise

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    Nestled next to Tusmore Park is a bibliophile’s dream, an old red brick building packed to the rafters with books, and the largest second hand bookshop in South Australia.

    The Lions Club of Glenside Bookmart is run by volunteers and contains thousands of books meticulously organised in categories and by author. Whether you love fiction, history, romance, sci-fi, crime or lifestyle there is a book for you. All books are donated and sell for an average of $4 each. All profits are returned to the community by way of donations.

    During 2018/19 the Lions Club of Glenside supported more than 30 charities and groups with donations totaling $174,000. “That’s a lot of books!” says Yee Cheng Leong, retired pharmacist and member of the Lions Club for 25 years. He points out that other fundraising initiatives contribute to that amount.

    Glenunga resident Yee Cheng, 72, volunteers at the bookmart twice a month. “I love the satisfaction of giving back to the community,” he says. “Our Lions motto is ‘We Serve’”.

    “There are books here in excellent condition, which would retail for up to $40 but all we ask for is $3 - $5.”

    In the treasure trove of books are multiple titles by popular authors such as James Patterson, Danielle Steel, Clive Cussler and Liane Moriarty. But there are also some collector’s editions of rare books, safely locked in a display cabinet.

    “We have volunteers who research these books and see what they would retail for then we sell them at a fraction of the cost,” says Yee Cheng.

    Yee Cheng says although they rely solely on donations, they have a comprehensive range of titles and authors. “We cater for everyone,” he says. “We have aviation, sports, history, cooking, autobiographies and more.” There are also leather bound sets of Shakespeare and Dickens.

    It is easy to find what you are looking for as all titles are grouped and labelled according to specific topics. Children of all ages are also catered for with a collection of books suitable for toddlers through to teenagers. The colourful collection is housed in a distinct section with child sized tables and chairs.

    There is also a small collection of CDs, DVDs, vinyl records and some recent magazines.

    The Club is always accepting donations of good quality second hand books and is calling for extra volunteers.

    The Bookmart has a team of volunteers who sort and price the books before they are put on the shelves for sale and Lions members work on a roster at the sales desk.

    Glenside Lions Bookmart

    4 Kennaway Street Tusmore, adjacent Tusmore Park. Opening hours are: Mondays and Fridays 10 am – 1 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am-3 pm

    Bookmart manager - Evan Jenkins, Assistant manager - Ann Mattschoss


    Phone 8332 1738


    Facebook page

  • No stockpiling of recyclables

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    East Waste is Council's waste services provider managing kerbside collections and recyclables.

    The collapse of SKM Recycling has raised concerns around Australia for the state of resource recycling, especially recycling resources collected from kerbsides.

    East Waste is no longer in a contract with SKM so the City of Burnside will not be affected by the collapse of SKM.

    Your recycling material collected since September last year does not and will not go to landfill.

    Current and future

    Throughout the recycling crisis, East Waste took timely and responsible action to safeguard the integrity of its recycling and advance the interests of the Member Councils - Adelaide Hills Council, City of Burnside, Campbelltown City Council, City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters, City of Mitcham and the Corporation of the Town of Walkerville.

    East Waste was one of the first, if not the first, to terminate its recycling contract with SKM in September 2018 when it became concerned for the future viability of the SKM business model and its response to China Sword.

    For the past 12 months, all East Waste material has been sent to the local council-owned resource processor, the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA). This means that everything delivered to NAWMA by East Waste has been processed without stockpiling. Furthermore, the majority of sorted material was sold for secondary reprocessing in Australia.

    East Waste has just struck a long-term contract with NAWMA that provides transparency on the destination of all East Waste recycling. The contract stipulates processing of material within a week of it being presented to NAWMA.

    As a member of East Waste, our community are at the forefront nationally of kerbside recycling resource recovery and processing. The East Waste contract with NAWMA is the first such contract since China Sword last year triggered the recycling crisis around the world. China severely restricted all imports of recycling, meaning that everyone in Australia had to find other solutions.

    The past

    East Waste had a contract with SKM until September 2018. When SKM opened in South Australia, it had a sound and market competitive business model that included building a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for local processing. External influences of fires and China Sword caused delays and some East Waste recycling was stockpiled locally - of which we were aware - and in Victoria.

    Throughout this period, East Waste engaged closely with the Environment Protection Authority in South Australia to understand risks and how they were being managed. The EPA allowed SKM to continue. This afforded East Waste a level of confidence up until a year ago.

    East Waste has not sent any material to SKM in the past 12 months. We don’t know how much material stored at SKM’s sites at Wingfield or in Victoria originated from the Member Councils.

    Today (27 August), the Victorian Government announced a $10 million loan to the receivers of SKM for the processing of stockpile material. This means that all the stockpiled material in Victoria, including any that may originate from East Waste Member Councils, will be processed and will not go to landfill.

  • Independent at 99

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    “To be honest I am surprised I got this far,” says Walter Silzer when being interviewed on the eve of his 100th birthday. “I live on my own and I do my cooking, washing and ironing. They finally talked me into getting a cleaner but I did resist it for a while.”

    Walter has two daughters, 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. “I am lucky – both families live in Adelaide and I see them a lot. I also have a great circle of friends and the biggest help in my life is Elizabeth.”

    Walter and Elizabeth met 10 years ago in the Burnside Library and became good friends. Elizabeth, 86, has her own age related issues and is not very steady on her feet but she visits Walter almost every day.

    In recent years, Walter had two replacement hip operations and also insertion of a plate in each shoulder, but he is still more active than many people years younger! “I try to keep going, walking every day for half an hour to an hour,” he says. “I walk to the bus stop and often to Woolworths on Kensington Road as well as around Kensington Oval. I use a stick now after my stroke in 2016.”

    Every Tuesday morning he catches the council run bus to Norwood to do food shopping. “I try to avoid all the ready-made stuff,” he says. “My favourite dish is pasta puttanesca. I also like to cook a big pot of veggie soup and I like the Asian sauces. I love red wine and have a glass now and then – not every night!”

    For 14 years Walter volunteered at Meals on Wheels and in 2015 was awarded the Pride of Australia Medal for his community service. The following year he was interviewed by The Advertiser in an article comparing people in their 90s with the Queen, who celebrated her 90th birthday that year.

    Is he celebrating for his 100th birthday in November? “I had parties for my 90th and my 95th then last year we had a big party for my 99th – in case I didn’t make it to 100,” he says.

    “Perhaps I would like to do some more travelling. I’d like to see Austria and Switzerland again.”

    Walter says he takes nothing for granted. “I have had a wonderful life.”

    Walter’s background:

    Born and raised in Vienna, at the age of 19 Walter fled his family home when Hitler invaded Austria in 1938. “One of my grandfathers was Jewish so it was unthinkable that I would serve in the German Army.”

    He went, at his father’s direction, to Switzerland and stayed with relatives. Though Switzerland was neutral young male nationals still underwent military training. This led to a shortage of men able to maintain essential services such as farming. And so it was that Walter found himself a refugee in a strange country and he was sent to a camp where he was one of only two non-Jewish men. Unlike the German concentration camps he was not a prisoner and was given regular time out to visit his relatives. He did manual labour, some farm work and took over the camp kitchen with the other non Jew, a former chef.

    As war continued the Swiss Government started training the refugees so they could be employed after the war. Walter chose agriculture and after finally emigrating to Australia in 1947 he started his new life with his wife and worked on farms until he had his own property at Tooperang, near Mount Compass. He finally retired in 2002 at the age of 83 (after his wife’s death) and now lives happily at Kensington Park.

  • Waste Warriors

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    Richard Webster is a self-declared Waste Warrior. “I was a waste consultant for many years and worked to reduce our environmental footprint by reducing waste.” At his home in Beulah Park there is a tub under the kitchen sink for yellow bin plastics and an old bag for soft plastics (which go the local supermarket for recycling). “All our food waste goes to our chickens. They are easy to maintain and we get the benefit of freshly laid eggs.”

    His son Tom is following in his footsteps. “I just had to adapt,” Tom says. “It’s easy really – all the paper, cardboard cartons and bottles go in the yellow lid bin.” Tom takes all the lids off and stores them in an ice cream container, then into the bin. “The small items can clog up the sorting machine,” Tom says, “so it is important not to put them in loose. Remember that if soft plastic can be scrunched up then it should not go on in the yellow bin.”

    The whole family (including Mum Clara and younger brother Nico) are well educated and diligent in handling their household waste. So much so that they rarely put their red lid bin out as it is usually empty. “We might have a few old clothes or some foam food packaging which can get a bit smelly,” says Richard.

    Tom, 14, says he and his brother make a game out of it to see who does best with recycling and waste disposal. And he has protested against climate change in the organised ‘School Strike 4 Climate’. “My friends are conscious we are inheriting the planet and we are scared about our future. The earth will be three to four degrees hotter if we don’t take serious climate action.” Tom is pushing for his school (Marryatville High) to introduce yellow lid bins to encourage students to recycle.

  • A one pub City

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    We are sometimes asked why there is only one pub in Burnside, when neighbouring councils have many more. A little research in the Library’s History Room uncovered some interesting facts.

    Many of the early European arrivals to Burnside were Protestant dissenters who were mostly teetotallers, explaining why there were relatively few hotels originally built in the area.

    Those that were built were placed in locations with naturally running water (creeks), to provide water supply to travellers, and also served aerated waters.

    The water was often contaminated so despite the moral stance on alcohol, beer was always popular as a way to avoid drinking the water. It was also common, in the early days of liquor licensing, for hotels not to be purpose built but rather were private houses that the owner had received a licence to sell liquor from.

    In 1849 the first Burnside hotel, the Turf Hotel, was built on the corner of Glen Osmond and Greenhill Road. At that time the Victoria Park Racecourse was located at the southern end of the parklands and the hotel was in a prime location – on a busy intersection and overlooking the course.

    It later became the Parkside Hotel and in the 20s it was a common sight to see jockeys exercising horses just across the road.

    The Turf was demolished in the mid-1990s and replaced by a fast food outlet, but for a short time it was one of two hotels in Burnside – the other the Burnside Inn. Built in 1853 in High Street, Burnside, it later became the Burnside Hotel until its closure in 1909.

    In 1966 a new hotel was built on the site of an old wine saloon on the corner of Glynburn Road and John Street, known as The Feathers Hotel. At the time the nearby residents would only agree to the building of the hotel if it did not look like a hotel!

    After the closure of the Turf, The Feathers Hotel became, and remains, the only hotel in the City of Burnside.

    (Select the title of this story to see the photographs)
Page last updated: 17 Apr 2024, 03:03 PM