Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: February 14

A champion of support

I write to publicly thank the outgoing Director of the Yacaaba Centre, Lynn Vatner, and acknowledge her 26 years of service to our community.

For more than two decades, Lynn has supported countless women and men during times of immense personal turmoil and distress. She and her team have worked collaboratively with the community, to deliver services to people who are their lowest ebb.

Recently, Lynn revealed to me that the prevalence of homelessness and domestic violence have only worsened during her time at the service.  It’s hard to hear, but it must be even harder to try to make a difference and meet the ever-increasing need.

VITAL SUPPORT: After 26 years with the Yacaaba Centre, manager Lynn Vatner retired on January 31. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

VITAL SUPPORT: After 26 years with the Yacaaba Centre, manager Lynn Vatner retired on January 31. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Lynn and her team at the Yacaaba Centre have been making a difference to the lives of people every day, despite frequent funding uncertainty. Thankfully, community awareness of violence against women has increased markedly during Lynn’s time at the Yacaaba Centre. We all now have an obligation to turn the awareness into action and stop all violence against women.

I look forward to working with the Yacaaba Centre’s incoming Director Barb James and thank Lynn for her compassionate stewardship of this important service.

Kate Washington MP, Member for Port Stephens

Heat an historical problem

In response to the letter from Jeremy Buckingham (Examiner, Letters, January 31), I would like to say that perhaps you should go and have a good read of historical documents befre spreading the fear of, shall I say it – global warming.

I am looking at the [book] Liberty Plains. A history of Auburn NSW.

In excerpts from the book  it describes the heat in the district between 1790 – 1795 often heating to 105F or 40.2 degrees Celsius.

Crops withering; fruit bats dying of thirst and falling from the sky and all this at a time of no coal-fired power stations and no industry.

Yes global warming is an issue but we do live in a continent of extremes and have to accept that at times, our temperatures will soar and we will experience flooding rains such as we are having in North Queensland, but please, don’t keep blaming everything on global warming.

Have a read of the early days and you will be enlightened.

Larry Allison, Corlette

Fly your flag in pride

I was interested to read the letter from Marika Willcox about Australia Day who has an interesting point (Examiner, Letters, January 31).

I celebrated my first Australia Day as a new resident in Nelson Bay, and enjoyed the street parade together with my great grandson.  It was disappointing that so few people saw fit to fly the flag from the most important place of all – the family home.

I once lived for some years in a country where, on the National Day, [people] flew their flag with pride from every household, from the humblest of adobe huts to the palatial mansions of the wealthy.

It is surprising that Australia Day committees and councils have never encouraged residents to participate in this way of recognising our wonderful country, as this then encompasses everyone in our national day, particularly those who for whatever reason cannot attend the public festivities including the housebound.

Some sort of competition could be held for streets who have the most houses displaying the flag?

It was surprising that not even our big hardware store down the road sells flag holders which are easily mounted on verandah posts etc. and I had to resort to the internet to buy mine.

The flag was never intended to be worn on feet as thongs, on drinking cups or wrapped around the shoulders. So how about some thought about it for next year?

C’mon Aussie, c’mon.

Peggy Stransky, Nelson Bay