7 September 2023

Thirteen things to do in the Illawarra this week (8 - 14 September)

| Dione David
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R U OK? Day.

R U OK? Day brings into the spotlight the importance of connection, and having conversations. Photo: File.

This week, the official R U OK? Day falls on Thursday 14 September. And while it’s never a bad time to have an important conversation, the Illawarra is answering the call with a series of events in response to this campaign for mental health and suicide prevention.

We’ve put together a bumper edition of our weekly guide to what’s on, with a focus on mental health and connection, and some other cool stuff sprinkled in between.

Find out how to start a conversation and more suicide prevention resources at R U OK? If you or someone you know is experiencing a personal crisis, contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.


Pile of black and white photos

Get your hands on a fascinating slice of history. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Photo Sale Wollongong Library

When: Thursday 7 September and Friday 8 September, 9 am to 5:30 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

The Wollongong City Library Local Studies team have been holding a photo sale of their surplus images from the Illawarra Images Collection, and it’s coming to a close. This is a chance to get your hands on a slice of history, or simply some fascinating imagery with a backstory. Small images are going for 50c each or five for $2, and large images are $1.


Discover a good old-fashioned country event for the whole family at Berry's Small Farm Field Days.

Discover a good old-fashioned country event for the whole family at Berry’s Small Farm Field Days. Image: Rotary Club of Berry.

Berry Small Farm Field Days

When: Friday 8 and Saturday 9 September, 9 am to 3 pm
Where: Berry Showground, 35 Alexandra Street, Berry
Cost: Adult $15, children under 15 free, book here.

Berry has promised this year’s Small Farm Field Days will be bigger than ever – and you need not be a farmer to find something of interest. A day out in the country for the whole family starts with the Millpaca Livestock Pavilion where a huge variety of animals on display will delight children. There’s also a fantastic garden fair display with a variety of stalls offering plants, tools, wheelbarrows, garden art and more, a dedicated food court and plenty of small farm machinery and equipment on display.

This year’s focus is on “Sustainable Living”, and that includes displays and demonstrations around biodiversity, renewable energy/energy efficiency, the circular economy (recycle/reuse/reduce/compost), food security, pollution reduction and sustainable living practices. There will also be a display of electric vehicles on Saturday morning.

This event is a major fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Berry with proceeds going toward local and international projects.

Montage of faces with the words "We should fear AI" and "Sci Fight".

Fascinating and funny collide at this Sci-Fight debate about artificial intelligence. Image: Science Space Wollongong.

Sci-Fight Comedy Debate: Should We Fear AI?

When: Friday 8 September, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: Science Centre & Planetarium, Innovation Campus Wollongong, 60 Squires Way, North Wollongong
Cost: $20, book here.

Described as a “nerdy, silly and only occasionally litigious romp into what it even means to be alive”, Sci Fight presents this fascinating and hilarious artificial intelligence debate.

Watch, think and laugh as six human scientists and comedians assess whether we’re on the brink of AI-pocalypse, asking all the important questions like ‘Is it overhyped?’ and ‘Is our distrust of AI just our barely concealed sense of inadequacy, concern that a jacked-up two-bit calculator might prove a more sparkling conversationalist than we do?

Multicultural Health Week.

People from multicultural and refugee backgrounds are invited to this event in celebration of marking Multicultural Health Week. Image: Wollongong City Libraries.

Multicultural Health Week: Let’s Get Active! – Wollongong Library

When: Friday 8 September, 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

Marking Multicultural Health Week, this gathering for people from multicultural and refugee backgrounds celebrates diversity and promotes wellbeing through the power of movement. Participants are asked to bring along healthy salad recipes to share and will explore multicultural dances and learn a few easy exercises.

Multicultural Health Week aims to raise awareness and address health issues experienced by multicultural communities. This year’s theme is “Celebrate culture through movement – every move counts”.


Clothes on coat hangers.

Spring clean your wardrobe and find new treasures at this fashionable circular economy event. Photo: Envato/Pressmaster.

Spring Second Saturday Swap September

When: Saturday 9 September, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Lower Crown St Mall, 110 Crown Street Wollongong
Cost: $20, book here.

Held on the second Saturday of each month for the three months of spring, this month kicks off this fashion event in support of a circular economy (and style). Clothing swaps are a fantastic way to renew your wardrobe with less cost to the planet and your pocket. Spring clean your wardrobe and find new treasures as you swap your quality clothes for other quality clothes every second Saturday in September, October and November.

Bring up to 10 items: tops, pants, skirts, dresses, jackets, shoes, bags and hats, all in superb condition. That means no rips, tears or smells. Clothing for the swap has to be in tip-top shape and is subject to quality control by the Swapstar team.


Man painting.

Watch the film Ukraine Guernica – Art Not War and then hear from the director himself, George Gittoes. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Film Screening and Talk: Ukraine Guernica – Art Not War

When: Sunday 10 September, 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Where: Wollongong Art Gallery, 46 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

Don’t miss this film screening of Ukraine Guernica – Art Not War and talk by director George Gittoes and producer/musician Hellen Rose. The film takes the audience behind the battle lines and into the lives of the artists confronting Russia’s march on Ukraine and Afghanistan following the withdrawal of foreign forces. You’ll witness that from the ashes of unspeakable tragedy and destruction, new creative works are born. These include projects completed at the former House of Culture in Irpin, Ukraine.

A former recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize, Gittoes is considered one of Australia’s most uncompromising artists, activists and documentary makers. In a landscape devastated by ongoing atrocities, this latest production finds optimism in the process of creation and in the hope that humanity might put an end to violent conflict.

Illawarra Convoy 2023

Spidey and his friends could really use your help – this family fun event is in support of i98FM’s Illawarra Convoy 2023. Image: Illawarra Light Railway Museum.

Super Hero Scavenge for Convoy @ The Illawarra Light Railway Museum

When: Sunday 10 September, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: The Illawarra Light Railway Museum, Tongarra Road, Albion Park Rail
Cost: Adult $15, children/concessions $10, family $55, shelter hire (up to 60 people) $60, book here.

Your favourite superheroes have lost their items! Can you find Captain America’s shield? Where did Iron Man’s helmet go? Thor’s hammer? Wait … was that a Spidey Bot? Kids will love this scavenger hunt at the beloved Illawarra Light Railway Museum as it leads them to meet the Illawarra’s friendly neighbourhood Spidey and friends for photo and video opportunities – all while raising funds for i98FM’s Illawarra Convoy 2023.

Feel free to get into the spirit and come in cosplay to this family event, and expect the usual train rides, stalls, food and drink as well as some exciting raffle prizes.

Get a load of some vintage hot rods and custom cars on the coast this Sunday.

Get a load of some vintage hot rods and custom cars on the coast this Sunday. Image: Destination Kiama.

Romans Kiama Show and Shine – Hot Rods and Customs

When: Sunday 10 September, 8 am
Where: Black Beach Reserve Kiama, Shoalhaven Street, Kiama
Cost: $10 per car, payable upon entry.

The Romans Hot Rods and Customs Show & Shine is coming to Kiama. The event is open to all hot rods and customs plus other vehicles of interest. As well as the displayed cars, there will be trade and food stalls plus music on the day.

Established in 1960, the Romans Hot Rod Association Inc. was the first hot rod club in NSW. Still going strong today, the group is excited to again bring this Show & Shine event to the beautiful coastal town of Kiama.


Identify opportunities and potential pitfalls to help your business thrive at this free initiative for businesses in Wollongong and surrounds

Identify opportunities and potential pitfalls to help your business thrive at this free initiative for businesses in Wollongong and surrounds. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Wollongong Business Health Checks and Advice

When: Monday 11 September, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Wollongong City Council Building, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

As part of the NSW Business Connect Program, Wollongong City Council has partnered with Enterprise Plus to offer local businesses free business health checks and advice.

Whether you have an established business, a new business, or you’re thinking of starting a business, a Business Connect advisor will be available to answer your business-related questions at no cost to help you start, run, adapt or grow your small business. Existing businesses can book a free business health check, designed to identify opportunities and potential pitfalls to help your business thrive.

R U OK? It never hurts to ask.

R U OK? It never hurts to ask. Image: Wollongong City Libraries.

R U OK Talk – Warrawong Library

When: Monday 11 September, 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Where: Warrawong Library Level 1, 67-71 King Street, Warrawong
Cost: Free, book here.

At this presentation, find out how an R U OK? conversation can make a difference. You will learn to notice the signs of someone who might be struggling with their mental health, how to ask “Are you OK?” meaningfully, and find out where to refer a person for help if required.

Organised in conjunction with R U OK Day, this is one of many events aimed at increasing awareness about mental health by offering valuable insights into finding assistance and initiating crucial conversations with loved ones who might be at risk of suicide.


There may never bee a better time to start your very own hive. Image: Kiama Library.

There may never bee a better time to start your very own hive. Image: Kiama Library.

Beekeeping in Your Backyard: Talk and Demonstration

When: Tuesday 12 September, 5:15 pm to 6:30 pm
Where: Kiama Library, 7 Railway Parade, Kiama
Cost: Free, book here.

Backyard beekeeping is all the craze – find out what all the buzz is about. You’ll get the chance to learn how to get started with backyard beekeeping, see a demonstration of a hive and get all your bee questions answered.

All ages are welcome to this free event, and there will be a children’s activity set up to keep little ones busy as a bee.


 R U OK? Day

Thursday is the official R U OK? Day. Image: R U OK.

“R U OK?” Day Community Walk

When: Thursday 14 September, 11:30 am
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Free.

Grab your friends, family, colleagues and anyone you can rustle up: Thursday 14 September is the official R U OK? Day and Shellharbour City Council is staging a 1 km walk around the city centre to help raise awareness of mental health.

R U OK? is a public health promotion charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives. It’s never a bad time to invest more time in personal relationships, building the capacity of our informal support networks and being alert to those around us; but today, you’ll have a specific call-out to connect. Will you answer?

All are welcome, and you’re encouraged to wear something yellow to show your support.

R U OK? Day

On R U OK? Day, you’re invited to find out more about an invaluable organisation in the mental health space – Lifeline. Image: Wollongong City Libraries.

Lifeline Talk on Mental Health – Wollongong Library

When: Thursday 14 September, 2 to 3 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

Organised in conjunction with R U OK Day, this event takes participants through Lifeline’s services and shares tips on how to speak with loved ones about their mental health.

Lifeline South Coast provides a range of non-clinical supports and services from Helensburgh to the Victorian border. Lifeline’s crisis support service empowers communities to be suicide-safe through connection, compassion and hope.

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