NEW: Exercise Programs Supervised by Peak Health Exercise Physiologist

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Are you:

  • A cancer survivor?
  • Have Osteoarthritis or Osteoporosis?
  • Dealing with chronic pain?
  • At risk of falls?
  • Over 65 years of age?

Build strength and increase cardio vascular health with this 5-week exercise program. carers welcome to participate.
GP clearance required

WHEN: Tuesdays for 5 weeks, commencing on 10th October 2017
WHERE: Peak Health 34 Gymea Bay Rd Gymea
TIME: 11:30am to 12:30pm
COST: $35 for 5 week course

For more information, call our Community Connections team or Rowena or Tina on 0295249559 or email

NEW: Kiama Excursion

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Join us for a tour of Kiama and the beautiful South Coast. Your day will include:

  • A visit to the famous Kiama blowhole
  • Entry to Kiama Pilot’s Cotttage Musuem
  • Travel
  • Morning Tea
  • Stunning Views
  • A gentle walk

WHEN: Wednesday 15th November 2017
WHERE: Bus pickup and drop off from Gymea Community Aid and Information Service, 39 Gymea Bay Rd
TIME: 9:00am to 3:00pm
COST: $20

Please bring your own lunch. We will eat together overlooking Surf Beach. Priority will be given to those over 50. Bookings will be open for under 50’s from Wednesday 1st November 2017. Spaces are limited.

Reserve and pay for your place by 8th November 2017 at GCAIS’s front desk reception or through your group leader. For more information contact the Community Connections Team, Rowena or Rita on 95249559 or email

Maintain Your Brain Dementia Seminar

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Sutherland Shire Council in partnership with Alzheimer’s Australia is providing an information seminar on Dementia on Thursday 21 September. Find out about the latest research, treatment options and how to reduce your risk of getting dementia.
Hear a personal experience of dementia, where to go for help and services, and participate in some fun brain-training exercises to keep your mind sharp.

  • Sladana Povkivic, Dementia Advisor Alzheimer’s Australia
  • Dr Nyein Nyein Nyi Nyi, Geriatrician, Southcare
  • Dr Catriona Ireland, Healthy Brain Ageing Clinic, Sydney University
  • Kylie Radford, NEURA Institute, University NSW
  • Elaine Reynolds, Personal experience of dementia 

WHEN:           9.30am -12.30pm on Thursday 21 September 2017
WHERE:        Gymea
BOOK:           by 14 September: or phone: 9710 0333. Bookings essential – limited space available.


Mt Annan Botanic Gardens Excursion

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A visit to the famous Mt Annan Botanic Gardens is open to add to your calendar!! Your day will include:

  • Travel to the gardens and back
  • Morning tea
  • Stunning views
  • A gentle walk

Please bring your own lunch. The group will eat together in the picnic grounds.
WHEN: 18th October, 2017
TIME: 9:00am-3:00pm
COST: $20pp
WHERE: Bus pickup and dropoff at GCAIS, 39 Gymea Bay Rd Gymea 2227

Spaces are limited. Eligibility criteria applies. Reserve and pay for your place by 11th October 2017. Payments will be accepted at the GCAIS front desk or through your group leader.

For more information, call Rowena in the Community Connections Team on 95249559 or email

Minister for Multiculturalism and CEO NRMA attends DriveTime Graduation

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We were delighted to celebrate the graduation of 26 participants of the DriveTime program from the Fairfield area on Monday 17th July. The event was attended by the Honorable Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Disability Services, NSW Government who spoke to the participants  about how fortunate we are that they chose Australia as their country to migrate to. NRMA’s CEO, Rohan Lund also spoke about how, as Australians, we take getting a license and driving a vehicle as a natural part of growing up. Without the support of organisations like NRMA, gaining a license as a refugee may not have been possible.

The ceremony was organised by GCAIS in partnership with the team from the NRMA and MC’d by our General Manager, Joanne Cracknell. DriveTime was a program piloted in 2015 in the Sutherland Shire after the Southern Sydney Refugee Support Group nominated it as a project of value and high impact. 5 learners gained their licenses through the pilot and as a result, caught the attention of large organisations like the NRMA.

Go here for full details of the graduation. 

To view photos from the event, go to the Photo Gallery tab on our home page.


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I am very proud to report that Gymea Community Aid and Information Service have been announced as a Finalist in this year’s Local Business Awards.

We would like to thank all of those who voted for us and have joined us on our journey to understand what we are doing well for our Community and, what we can do to improve. Getting through this first stage into the finals was our first goal and we have achieved that with your help!!!

Stay tuned as we make our way towards the announcement of the winner to be disclosed on 6th September 2017.


Join the Excursion to One of Australia’s Best Loved Floral Festivals

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Bowral Tulip Time Festival Excursion

Your day will include:
• Travel
• Morning Tea
• Entry to Tulip Time Festival
Please bring your own lunch
Priority will be given to those over 50. Bookings will be open for under 50’s from Wednesday 6 September 2017.
Spaces are Limited
Reserve and pay for your place by Wednesday 13 September 2017. Pay at Gymea Community Aid and
Information Service’s front desk or your group leader.

WHERE: Bus pick up and drop off from Gymea Community Aid & Information Service, 39 Gymea Bay Rd
TIME: 9.00am – 3pm
COST: $30
WHEN: Wednesday 20 September 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call Community Connections on 9524 9559  OR email

This event is supported by the IRT Foundation

Visit the Gallipolli Mosque in Auburn

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Your day will include:
• Travel
• Morning Tea
• A guided tour of the mosque
Please bring your own lunch and wear long, loose clothing
Priority will be given to those over 50. Bookings will be open for under 50’s from Wednesday 16 August 2017.
Spaces are Limited. Reserve and pay for your place by Wednesday 23 August 2017. Pay at Gymea Community Aid and Information Service’s front desk or your group leader.

WHERE: Bus pick up and drop off from Gymea Community Aid & Information Service, 39 Gymea Bay Rd
TIME: 9.00am – 2.30pm
WHEN:Wednesday 30th August 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call Community Connections on 9524 9559 OR email

This event is supported by the IRT Foundation

Organisation Announcement

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I am pleased to announce the appointments of two of our key support roles:

Maria Rogers has commenced in the contracted role of Bookkeeper. Maria’s previous roles have been with some of the more significant financial and banking organisations being JP Morgan Chase UK , Cornelius Barton & Co and Credit Suisse. She is currently connected with The High Tea Party organisation in sponsor relations and finance administration.  Maria’s role at GCAIS will be anything financial being payroll, accounts receivable and payable, bank reconciliations etc.

Katrina Vavdinos commences on 21st March in the role of Corporate Services Coordinator. Katrina has been working with the Young Adults Disabled Association (YADA) as a consultant and administrator since 2013. Gaining great insights into customer experience. Katrina comes from an extensive career with Westpac where she held roles in business lending operations and cards. Katrina’s high level of detail and organisational skills set her up well to deliver on tasks such as business process and systems, administrative requirements, common facilities maintenance and basic I.T to name a few.

Please join us in welcoming both Maria and Katrina to the GCAIS organisation.

Organisation Staff Announcements

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Change is in the air here at GCAIS!!! We are excited to advise that 2 of our management level positions have been appointed.

General Manager
Joanne Cracknell has been appointed to this key role, commencing 20th March. Many of you would have met Joanne in her role as President of the GCAIS Management Committee. This role gives her a thorough understanding of the business and a unique insight into the strengths of our organisation and the challenges we face going into the future.

Joanne has worked as an independent consultant since 2015 and has engaged in a diverse range of roles as a senior learning and organisation development specialist. She has guided teams through change processes, worked to deliver business solutions and facilitated strategic planning processes. Joanne brings a wide range of valuable skills, knowledge and experience to the position of General Manager and this will place our organisation in a strong position going into the future

Community Connections Operations Manager
Rita Napolitano brings 17 years of experience working in the Aged Care Sector to the position of Community Connections Operations Manager. Most recently, Rita held the position of Operations Manager with Wesley Mission. Rita’s experience of managing a team delivering the CHSP across Sydney will be extremely valuable as we work towards sustainability and growth for GCAIS. Rita will commence on 7th March.

Stay tuned for an opportunity to meet with our new staff and share in the future plans for GCAIS. In the interim, take a look at our Strategic Plan under the RESOURCES tab.


DriveTime Volunteers Wanted. Help a Refugee in Your Area

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The program provides English driving support and driving practice with volunteer mentors, for people on humanitarian visas to help them obtain a NSW driving licence.

Volunteering Opportunities:

Driver Knowledge Test Mentor: help improve learner’s language related to driving and road safety. prepare learner to conduct their Driver Knowledge Test.

Driving Supervision Mentor: Provide supervised driving practice to participants to gain confidence behind the wheel.

Free training For further information, contact Project Coordinator Esmat Osmani on 0478748387 or email

DOWNLOAD brochure here

Places open for the Homework Club

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Do you know any students from Refugee or Migrant backgrounds who need extra support with their school work?

Our volunteer tutors, many of whom have teaching backgrounds, provide homework support to refugee and newly arrived migrant children and young people.

The club includes:

  • Healthy afternoon tea
  • Individual homework tuition
  • Social activities during the holidays
  • Transport can be provided to and from certain areas

WHEN: Mondays during school terms
WHERE: Gymea Community Aid, 39 Gymea Bay Rd Gymea
TIME: 3:30pm-5:30pm
COST: Free

We can arrange one-on-one tutoring for young people in high school, college and university.
If one of your students could benefit from this service, or if you would like to volunteer, please call us on 95249959 or email Helen Ledlin


Computer, Well-being and Fitness Programs for Seniors

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Due to popular demand, Fitness and Computer Programs for Seniors are on again!   

  • Zumba and Active Exercise Classes for Seniors.
  • Tai Chi for Carers.
  • One- on- one technology tutoring for beginners – 5 weeks program. Please call CHSP 95249559 for details and eligibility. Alternatively, go to the EVENTS tab for dates and times of these classes.