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BAG Newsletter - February 2023

Updated: Feb 15

Belated New Year greetings to all our supporters. It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of the Summer Season. How lucky are we to be living in the best State in Australia (despite the NSW Premier’s slap in our face to the contrary!) and what a great Summer we have experienced this year with mostly moderate temperatures and the odd day or two in the high 30s.

Living in this part of “the Woods” is an added bonus – with cooler nights and an abundance of trees which contribute to our environmental lifestyle, and that of many native birds and animals.

2023 certainly provides us with a brighter outlook than say 12 months ago. Covid restrictions have been largely relaxed. We have new Federal and State Members of Parliament representing us, and we have an exciting “new breed” of Elected Members at City of Mitcham who will hopefully be more supportive of the Hills’ cohort of ratepayers than appeared evident over certain issues in the past. The exciting new Library and Community Centre is making significant progress as is the new two-storey premises for the Blackwood Health Foods shop in the Drakes western car park. Looking further ahead there are plans for 8 specialty shops along Drakes Supermarket western wall coupled with a landscaped pedestrian plaza adjacent to the Panache Dance Studio. Young Street will be restructured to accommodate more car parks and Waite Street Reserve will be completely re-designed to make it more like a people’s park. Once the hub project is completed attention will then be focused on the existing Library site and the adjoining Karkoo Nursery (both Council-owned properties). Watch this space.

Kind regards

Geoff Bartlett

BAG Secretary and Newsletter Editor


Wednesday 22 February from

7.30pm @ Blackwood Memorial Hall - 21 Coromandel Parade Blackwood

GUEST SPEAKERS: Joanna Wells and Tom Morrison from the Conservation Council of South Australia

TOPIC: A Journey for Better Tree Protections in South Australia

A light supper (tea and coffee) will be provided at the close of the Meeting. See further details below. A warm welcome is extended to ALL Mitcham Hills residents and local Traders to attend our Quarterly Public Meetings.


  • Craigburn Farm History Table Launch - 17 February - RSVP on the BAG website.

  • Coro Station Working Bee - 9AM to 11AM | 25 February - NOTE: This event has been moved forward by one week to avoid Clean Up Australia Day. All tools and equipment provided.

  • Clean Up Australia Day - 8:45AM | 5 March - Details below

  • Blackwood Station Working Bee - 9AM to 11AM | 2 April

  • Coro Station Working Bee - 9AM to 11AM | 6 May

  • Blackwood's Got Talent - 20 & 21 May - Details below


THIS year marks the 14th year of BAG’s participation in this worthy Australia-wide community event.

Our plan for 2023 is the same as in the past few years, which has proved very successful, and we welcome ALL RESIDENTS who share a passion for our superb location to join in our “Clean Up Blackwood” effort. As usual, volunteers are requested to meet at the BLACKWOOD RAILWAY STATIONMASTER’S REAR SHED (bottom of Station Road) by 8.45am for REGISTRATION purposes. Participants will then be split into THREE groups to clean up litter and any dumped rubbish along the 3 main road approaches to the Roundabout (Main Road to Hungry Jacks, Coromandel Parade to Hewett Sports Ground southern boundary, and Shepherds Hill Road to Karinya Reserve). Each group will be requested to include any public Reserves and shopping centre car parks en route.


  • ALL VOLUNTEERS must be REGISTERED prior to commencing work. You can do this at the Blackwood Station Check-in point on arrival or register online by clicking here.

  • CAR PARKING will be available in the Station car parks or on Station road or Station Avenue

  • VOLUNTEERS are requested to report to Check-in point by 8.45am when you will be allocated one of the THREE GROUPS (each with a Team Captain) and the respective area to be addressed.

  • At the completion of your Clean-Up effort. ALL PARTICIPANTS are invited to join us for our traditional FREE BBQ and sweets (tea, coffee and soft drinks) to be held in the private Stationmaster’s rear yard next to the main platform, commencing at 10.30 approx.

AGM Recap

BAG’s AGM was held on 23rd November, following a very successful Q & A Session with our newly elected Council Members for the Craigburn Ward and The Park Ward (Crs. Karen Hockley, Darren Kruse, Corin McCarthy and Tom Morrison). Mayor, Dr. Heather Holmes-Ross, who was re-elected, also joined the Panel.

The following residents were elected, unopposed, to the BAG General Committee for 2023.







  • Leith BELL

  • Peter DAVIES

  • Pauline DODD



  • Elizabeth SAWYER


  • Adrian BEECH (Christmas Red Bows Coordinator)


IN mid-January a couple of BAG Committee personnel were approached by Craigburn Farm resident, Angela Hills, who was in the throes of setting up a new “Action” Group and Council suggested she contact BAG for some advice. Angela and a few of her like-minded close neighbours were very concerned about the obvious neglect and deterioration of the Woodlake Reserve, near their properties - a very similar story to what saw the formation of BAG back in 2009.

BAG Committee Members, Pauline Dodd, Lis and Geoff Bartlett were invited to attend the inaugural Meeting of WRAG (Woodlake Reserve Action Group) with a Green Adelaide Representative, and it was obvious that those who attended were dedicated residents – determined to tidy up their appealing Reserve with its duck pond, impressive new playground, walking trails and footbridge -which has deteriorated badly (and is so dangerous that it has now been closed off).

Following numerous conversations with BAG’s President and Vice President it was unanimously decided to adopt this new community group under the BAG umbrella, and Angela Hills has agreed to become an Ex-Officio Member of the BAG General Committee. We look forward to working closely with WRAG and Angela, offering them assistance as they plan their future moves.


THE transformation of Craigburn Farm, from a rural property where cows and kangaroos roamed, to Mitcham’s newest residential suburb, is almost complete. The estate has a unique and interesting history which has been presented on illustrated ceramic tiles by Eudunda artists, Jim and Ronda Dunstan – the same artists who have created 12 other history tables throughout the City of Mitcham. The official launch for this table, to acknowledge the assistance and funding provided, will be held on Friday 17th February.

You are encouraged to visit the site and inspect the table which is located in the popular Blackwood Park Treetops playground on the corner of Blackwood Park Boulevard and Champion Way., Craigburn Farm, and to explore the many walking trails offering lovely views – an environment shared with lots of kangaroos and birdlife.

Research and project management was conducted by the Blackwood Action Group’s History sub-committee with support from the Mitcham History Service, the Coromandel Valley & Districts Branch of National Trust of S.A., Neil Stallard and the last Minda Farm manager, Brian Price. Construction work was capably undertaken by Built Right Masonry Constructions using bricks from a historic property in Coromandel Valley (supplied by CV&DNT) and Blackwood Hire who came to the party by expertly lifting the 800kg.table-top into place.

Funds for the project have been generously provided by History SA, the City of Mitcham and Westfield Local Heroes Award funds.


FRIDAY 2nd December heralded the return of the popular Blackwood Christmas Parade. With the construction works on the new Blackwood Hub well under way, Young Street and the Waite Street Reserve were declared “No Go Zones”. Despite this hurdle the Blackwood Lions were determined that the very popular event should proceed, via a shortened route, and what a perfect night it was. From the many comments we heard after the event the general view was that it rated as possibly one of the best Pageants ever held! This year’s Pageant should be even better with the completion of the new Blackwood Library/Community Centre complex and the re-designing of Young Street. In addition, we hope that the Coromandel Rotary Club’s Christmas Fair will return to add extra appeal for everyone, especially as Santa will be able to engage with all the excited youngsters at the end of the Parade.

BAG was fortunate to be given permission to run our traditional Sausage Sizzle. Our site chosen, the Karkoo Nursery front verandah, worked perfectly. Many thanks to all the people who supported us and our group of dedicated BAG volunteers who gave of their time to cook, serve and march in the Pageant.


DID you know the Hill Top Hoods (hip-hop), Sarah Snook (actor), Geordie Little (guitarist, composer), Beccy Cole (country singer and songwriter), Will Metzer (Big Band), Smarty Boys (party band), Django Gypsy jazz, Anne Tannebring (European ballet dancer), Joanna McWaters and Andy Turner (State Opera) are some of our local celebrities who were either raised in Mitcham Hills or currently live here?

Blackwood’s Got Talent is a Blackwood Action Group initiative funded by Westfield’s Local Hero Award. It is foremost a fun community event and an opportunity to contribute to our great community. We are trying to raise funds for community projects (such as helping to enhance amenities at the new Community Hub and precinct, currently under construction.

Concerts of approximately 2.5 hours will be held on Saturday evening 20 May and Sunday afternoon 21 May in the Blackwood Memorial Hall, 21 Coromandel Parade. We are hoping, if successful, these concerts will be the forerunner of a series of concerts over the next few years.


The Stobie poles mural project is still proving very popular and we have been encouraged in the last few weeks to learn that quite a few new artists have expressed interest in adding to the local streetscapes. It was particularly pleasing to hear from a young Primary School lass, who has recently moved into Blackwood with her family. She not only has offered to do a couple of poles on Coromandel Parade but believes she can convince some of her girlfriends to be part of the action also. One of our chief contributors, Ruth Flaherty, is commencing some new art courses for budding artists soon and we are hopeful that there will be a flow-on effect of artists from that source. Talking about Ruth, if you happen to travel along Main Road Coromandel Valley at any time, check out the pole in front of the Coromandel Veterinary Clinic (next to the Butcher). Think you will be very impressed with Ruth’s images of family pets.

A big “thank you” to all artists who have contributed to this colourful addition to the approach roads to Blackwood Centre.


BLACKWOOD Action Group’s History Sub-Committee is offering a variety of activities for the SA History Festival again this year, including the very popular “Travel Back in Time by Train”, “Heritage Along the Ridge”, an informative easy walking tour at Belair, and a bus tour in Belair National Park entitled “Off the Beaten Track” (see more details below).

PLEASE NOTE: As there are less spots available than usual, we encourage you to check the BAG Website for further details on 1st APRIL or SA History Online program of Statewide events and make your booking through Anne Hazell early.



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