24 May 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (26 May - 1 June)

| Dione David
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Muralist painting

Witness the live creation of large-scale artworks in the Albion Park and Warilla graffiti hotspots. Photo: Supplied.

Autumn in the Illawarra goes out with diverse highlights on the social calendar for lovers of literature, art and music as well as a good dose of wholesome family fun.

As KidsFest Shellharbour wraps up, the few remaining opportunities to partake in the fun are outstanding – and better yet, free.

Shellharbour City Libraries is staging its Sydney Writers’ Festival Live and Local 2023 celebration offering a bunch of events.

There’s also a live art festival, live music and the RSPCA Illawarra’s first Million Paws Walk in three years.

Here are our top nine picks for the week.


Flyer for Multicultural Farm Day Kidsfest event at Green Connect

Make sure you book your spot for the KidsFest event to avoid disappointment. Photo: Green Connect.

Multicultural Farm Day

When: Friday 26 May, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Green Connect Farm, 6 Anna Avenue, Warrawong
Cost: Free, book here

The KidsFest Shellharbour 2023 theme is “Planting Seeds of Diversity and Delight” – and what better way to mark this than with a free community day at the Green Connect urban farm. Multi-generational families from across our region are invited to converge for a day of farm tours, barbecue, cultural music, cultural storytelling, flag making, art therapy, cuisine-themed seed planting, traditional outdoor games and nature-play. There are two sessions, and bookings are essential – hurry to avoid disappointment. Enclosed shoes are a must and gumboots, hats and sunscreen are recommended.

Illawarra author Peter Gray

Join Illawarra author Peter Gray for an in-person discussion on a passion of his – the thriller genre. Photo: Peter Gray.

Local Author Talk: Peter Gray – How to Write a Thriller

When: Friday 26 May, 11 am to noon
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre – City Library, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Free, book here

As part of Shellharbour City Libraries’ Sydney Writers’ Festival Live and Local 2023, join Illawarra author Peter Gray for an in-person discussion on how to write a thriller. The former geotechnical engineer is well placed to explore the inner workings of the genre, having published four thrillers – Rough Cut, Brilliant Cut, The President’s Cut and The Rarest Cut, as well as two novellas and three children’s books about dinosaurs that are yet to be published.

Poet Andrew Cox

Proud Filipino-Australian Andrew Cox is the featured artist at the first Shellharbour City Library Poetry Slam. Photo: Eventbrite.

Shellharbour City Library Poetry Slam Feat. Andrew Cox

When: Friday 26 May, 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre – City Library, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Free, book here

Another installation from Shellharbour City Libraries’ Sydney Writers’ Festival Live and Local 2023 event, you’re invited to pick up the mic and share your words and/or just sit back and listen as performers tell their stories. Feature poet Andrew Cox, a proud Filipino-Australian who creates and lives in Ngunnawal and Ngambri country (Canberra) will then blow audiences away with intense and heartfelt delivery of spoken word. In this after-hours event, performers will have three minutes each to read an original poem to be judged by audience members. At the night’s end, the first Shellharbour City Library Poetry Slam winner will be crowned. Bookings are required to attend and performers can sign up for the slam here.


Two young children spinning plates

Plenty of fun activities are in store for KidsFest at the Marina, focusing on diversity and inclusion. Photo: The Waterfront Shell Cove/Facebook.

KidsFest At The Marina

When: Saturday 27 May, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: “Meantime Space” Shell Cove Town Centre, 100 Cove Boulevard, Shell Cove
Cost: Free

KidsFest at the Marina offers plenty of exciting and free fun for littlies and their families, including the book launch of Burri Burri and Ezy learns Dharawal on Sea Country. There will also be a discovery trail, cultural story sharing with Jodi Edwards, Lilli Pang and their musician friends and a circus with Honora. Entertainers and activities have all been designed around the KidsFest 2023 theme, which focuses on cultivating diversity and inclusion.

Tram at Illawarra Light Railway Museum

Kids will be thrilled with the chance to ride a historic diesel locomotive. Photo: Illawarra Light Railway Museum.

Trip Back in Time

When: Saturday May 27, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Illawarra Light Railway Museum, 48A Tongarra Road, Albion Park Rail
Cost: Family of five $55, adult $15, child/concession $10, payable upon entry

All aboard for this fun-filled family adventure with a thrilling ride on a historic diesel locomotive and miniature train. Kids will love this main event and combined with food for purchase in the Tramway Dining Car, picnic shelters with free wood-fired barbecues and children’s playgrounds, you and the family can make a day of it. Shed tours are also available for those curious about light railways and tramways in the Illawarra.

Flyer for Kidsfest Shellharbour 2023

Be quick to book into the fun at KidsFest Finale as spots are filling up fast for a diverse range of activities. Image: Shellharbour City Council.

KidsFest Finale at Killalea – reconciliation events with Gumaraa

When: Saturday 27 May, noon to 4:30 pm
Where: Killalea Regional Park (near kiosk), Killalea Drive, Shell Cove
Cost: Free, book here

KidsFest is set to go out with a bang at Killalea Regional Park where the festivities kick off at noon with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony with Gumaraa. This is followed by a bush tucker tour, Aboriginal weaving, boomerang and spear throwing and an Aboriginal dance workshop. Bookings are essential for all workshops and spots are filling up fast. Also throughout the day is the “It STEM’s from a song” series of activities, which include loose parts play with Junkyard Rascals and music making with Mark the Sax.

More Things Like This Mural Festival

When: Saturday, 27 May, from noon
Where: Various Albion Park and Warilla locations
Cost: Free entry

This is a chance for the public to witness emerging street artists learning from the best in real time. Four high-profile mural artists partnered with four local and emerging street artists to collaboratively create large-scale artworks in the city’s graffiti hotspots. The result will be a spectacle of large-scale mural creation for just one day. Against the backdrop of music and activations, the live painting takes place in four locations:

  • Wall 1 – By Helen Proctor at 191 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail – Chemist
  • Wall 2 – By Ling at Tongarra Road, Albion Park – Bakery
  • Wall 3 – By Michael Black at Halls Lane, Warilla
  • Wall 4 – By Alex Sugar at 155 Tongarra Road, Albion Park – Centenary Auto Parts
Flyer for The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Illawarra Choral Society

Discover the power of the Illawarra Choral Society as they present The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. Image: Illawarra Choral Society.

The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace

When: Saturday 27 May, 2 pm to 4 pm
Where: St Francis Xavier Cathedral, 36 Harbour Street, Wollongong
Cost: General $40, concession $35, child $15, book here

With this concert comes a moving and uplifting call to peace from the Illawarra Choral Society. Commissioned by the Royal Armouries to mark the transition from one millennium to another, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace reflects on the passing of “the most war-torn and destructive century in human history” and hopes for a more peaceful future. Lyrics have been drawn from many parts of the world and from diverse religions and cultures.


Flyer for RSPCA Millions Paws Walk

After a three-year hiatus the RSPCA Illawarra branch invites you to walk against animal cruelty once more at the 2023 Million Paws Walk. Photo: RSPCA Million Paws Walk.

RSPCA Million Paws Walk

When: Sunday, 28 May 2023, 9 am to 1:30 pm
Where: Reddall Reserve, 1 Reddall Parade, Lake Illawarra
Cost: Family $50, adult $25, child/concession $10, book here

Join in a wholesome day of fun on feet and paws on the Lake Illawarra foreshore while raising vital funds for animals in need. Registration for this walk, held by the RSPCA Illawarra branch, opens at 9 am and the 1.5 km walk kicks off at 10 am. After a three-year hiatus, organisers are pulling out all the stops. There will be entertainment, plenty of food and beverage stalls, and pet-related products. The very popular Vet Vouchers auction is back, RSPCA Million Paws Walk merchandise will be available to purchase and there will be a fancy dress competition. With all this, plus the guarantee of a surplus of cute pups on show, it’ll be ‘impawsible’ to resist.

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