24 August 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (25 - 31 August)

| Dione David
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Three female characters from Miss Peony appear to be gossiping.

Jing-Xuan Chan (left) plays Marcy in Miss Peony, a “glitzy and madcap” comedy of beauty pageants, unrealistic expectations and the business of family. Photo: Brett Boardman.

The Illawarra is approaching the last week of winter with a social calendar packed with community events, live music, theatre and workshops.

Don’t miss the Southern Stars annual showcase, this year themed “Embrace”, which shines the spotlight on talented young singers, dancers, musicians and creatives.

We have a few milestones as well, with Blackbutt Youth Centre turning 25 and Kiama Community Radio turning three.

The week caps off with a gardening workshop staged at prime pruning time as spring’s new growth approaches.

In between, Book Week is set to get musical in Corrimal and Dapto, there are live medium demonstrations, book launches and another “Minifest” at Wombarra’s bowlo.

Here are our top picks for farewelling winter.


Get set for southern NSW's premiere arena spectacular.

Get set for southern NSW’s premier arena spectacular. Image: Southern Stars Embrace/Facebook.

Southern Stars “EMBRACE”

When: Friday 25 August, 7 pm and Saturday 26 August, 1 and 7 pm
Where: WIN Entertainment Centre, corner Crown and Harbour Streets, Wollongong
Cost: $50.94 to $67.25, book here.

The premier arena spectacular event in southern NSW is here – the annual Southern Stars showcase, this year themed “Embrace”. Get ready to witness the outstanding talents of 3000 student performers encompassing vocalists, dancers, orchestra members, drama corps, marching band, circus performers and a stirring 500-strong choir.

Flyer for Kiama Community Radio 3rd birthday party depicting a crowd dancing in a mosh pit

Live music, raffles, prizes and fun – Kiama Community Radio is throwing a third birthday party. Image: Kiama Community Radio.

Kiama Community Radio’s 3rd Birthday Bash

When: Friday 25 August, 7 to 10 pm
Where: Kiama Leagues Club, 109 Terralong Street, Kiama
Cost: Adult $35, concession $20, book here.

Kiama Community Radio is set to celebrate its third birthday with an incredible night of music and festivities. The lineup includes local bands such as Cha Cha Del Mar, Little Light Duo, Pearl Noire, The Splayds and The Kiama Sea Shanties. Grab your friends and family and gather ’round to raise a glass, dance to the music and toast to three beautiful years of community radio.


Flyer for Way Too Cool! A Book Week Musical Adventure depicting an illustration of three children riding a flying seahorse across fluffy white clouds and blue skies

Way Too Cool! A Book Week Musical Adventure. Image: Wollongong City Libraries.

Way Too Cool! A Book Week Musical Adventure

When: Saturday 26 August, 10 to 11 am (Corrimal) and 12:30 to 1:30 pm (Dapto)
Where: Corrimal Library, 15 Short Street, Corimal and Dapto Library, 93-109 Princes Highway, Dapto
Cost: Free, book here for Corrimal or book here for Dapto.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia is celebrating Book Week with this new educational musical from Perform! Education. Way Too Cool!, an interactive musical adventure tailored to primary school-aged children is coming to Corrimal and Dapto libraries.

It follows the story of Henry and Marley, who have been friends since Kindergarten. They’ve been on adventures, shared their hopes and dreams and always looked out for each other. But recently, Henry has started “acting way too cool” for any of that stuff. Marley must embark on an adventure to find out what has happened to Henry and how, or even if, she can restore their friendship to what it was. Could the answers lie in the books they once loved to share?

Composition of Allison Tait next to the cover of her new book The First Summer of Callie McGee

The author behind The Mapmaker Chronicles Allison Tait will launch her new book at Gerringong Library. Image: Allison Tait/Facebook.

A.L. Tait book launch: The First Summer of Callie McGee

When: Saturday, 26 August, 2 to 3:30 pm
Where: Gerringong Library, 8 Blackwood Street, Gerringong
Cost: Free, book here.

Join local children’s author Allison Tait, author of the bestselling middle-grade adventure series The Mapmaker Chronicles, for the launch of her new book The First Summer of Callie McGee – a mystery about growing up, figuring things out and solving the puzzle of who you are.

This will be a free and fun event for middle-grade kids, families, lovers of children’s books, teachers, local friends and supporters of all ages – everyone is welcome.

Banner for event with medium Anthony Grzelka

Be in the audience for the chance to get a reading by medium Anthony Grzelka. Image: Humanitix.

Anthony Grzelka mediumship demonstration – live audience readings

When: Saturday 26 August, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Where: Corrimal Community Centre, 15 Short Street, Corrimal
Cost: $65, book here.

Join celebrated Australian medium Anthony Grzelka live on stage as he entertains and enlightens in this awe-inspiring performance. Anthony will have audiences probing what they think they know about heaven and the afterlife, answer questions about spirituality, pass on messages from loved ones passed and help with real life decisions. He may make a few believers out of diehard sceptics along the way.

Banner for Blackbutt Youth Centre's 25th birthday event featuring a montage of young people having fun

Blackbutt Youth Centre is turning 25. Image: Shellharbour City Council.

Blackbutt Youth Centre 25th Birthday

When: Saturday, 26 August, 11 am to 2 pm
Where: Blackbutt Youth Centre, 201 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Free.

Shellharbour Youth Services are thrilled to mark 25 years of working with youth at the Blackbutt Centre by hosting a community fun day. Grab the whole family and join in on a range of activities for all ages including free barbecue lunch, birthday cake, live music, sporting activities, craft and much more.

Flyer for Bowlo Mini Fest at Wombarra Bowls Club featuring people playing lawn bowls against a blue backdrop

The Wombarra Bowlo Mini Fest is back and the lineup promises a cracker of a day. Image: Wombarra Bowls Club.

Bowlo Minifest 2

When: Saturday 26 August, 3 to 11 pm
Where: The Bowlo – Scarborough & Wombarra Bowling Club, 578 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Wombarra
Cost: $30, book here.

The first Wombarra Bowlo Mini Fest was such a hit, organisers decided on a comeback. A killer lineup of local live music talent will accompany cocktail specials, $5 schooners, a lucky door prize announced at 3:45 pm, with a $100 food and drink voucher up for grabs. Tunes will also be spinning inside from 8 to 10 pm in the Swirly Lounge. Don’t miss this beautiful outing for you, your friends and your family.


Miss Peony

When: Wednesday 30 August, 7:30 pm, Thursday 31 August, 6:30 pm, Friday 1 September, 7:30 pm, Saturday 2 September, 1:30 and 7:30 pm
Where: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Premium $84, adult $72, concession or group 8+ $67, under 30s $62, school groups 8+ $23, family of 4 $248, book here.

Described as “glitzy and madcap” but also hilarious and heartwarming, Miss Peony comes from the woman behind nationwide smash hit Single Asian Female, Michelle Law.

In this the playwright has followed her uncanny nose for comedy gold to the world of beauty pageants to create this coming-of-age comedy about what happens when the ghosts of generations past come back to haunt you …


Banner for The Women's Patch Workshops depicting flowers growing in the shape of hearts

The Women’s Patch Workshops. Image: Women Illawarra.

The Women’s Patch workshop

When: Thursday 31 August, 1:30 to 2:30 pm
Where: Corrimal Library, 15 Short Street, Corrimal
Cost: Free, book here.

It’s prime time to prepare for the spring growth season. In this community information session and hands-on workshop presented by Women Illawarra, you will learn about The Women’s Patch and discover the joy of community gardening.

The Women’s Patch is an organic gardening group in which women can learn to grow veggies, fruit and herbs as well as connect, grow and nourish body, mind, and community. Afternoon tea will be provided.

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