Australia Day 2022!

31 January 2022 / Words: Senia Gaunson Photos: Senia Gaunson, Bryan Shedden, Rob Wilco, Brendan Barr

The 2022 Australia Day event at Cordeaux dam was organised by the Illawarra Chapter run co-ordinators, Senia Gaunson and Lena Hill, with all chapters invited to join. 

Photos here:

Rob Wilco 140 of them! 

Bryan Shedden 

Brendan & Senia 

Around 60 members and guests came from near and far. Impressive convoys of colourful MX5’s (and a pack horse Subaru) rolled down the dirt road to the picnic area, a sight to behold!  Canberra contingentof 5were led by Rod Nicholas, 4 from South Coast by Kerry Warner, 29 came from Sydney with 21 of them led in a convoy by Bryan Hicks and 16 from the Illawarra with 7 led by Bryan Shedden.  The remainder made their own way from all different directions. 

Senia and Bob weren’t quite early enough to nab the big picnic building, but it didn’t matter, lots of lovely gums and a few shade structures, offered protection and a gentle breeze was welcomed, on a glorious, sunny day.

After a cuppa and some delicious lamingtons, members explored the sights of the dam, some taking a stroll down for a closer look.  Others were seconded into a game of cricket, which started out Sydney v Illawarra and ended up “every man for him / her self”, if a catch was coming your way, you took (or dropped) it, irrespective of who was batting, occasionally even the stumps moved to offer more challenge, as Fiona found out.  We were graced by a few seasoned cricketers (who were wise to me, calling “strike 3, you’re out”) and they actually managed to get the ball close to the bat most of the time, occasionally even hitting the stumps. Bryan Shedden, wicket keeping beer in hand, showed men can multi-task, was eventually replaced by the skills of Brendan Barr and a devious Steve Gaal, whodeserved man of the match for the ingenious “walking stumps” trying to slow down Fiona Shedden’s run rate. Wally had a runner (Bryan, who didn’t run) and Bob Gaunson was put on the spot with 6 runs to get from 6 balls for an Illawarra win.  A draw was declared at 78 runs each (or was it 178?).

cricket bob and bryan


Drinks and lunch were followed by Thong Throwing (Jandals for those that confused them with an item of clothing), the Men’s division was won by Bryan Hicks, with Jonathan Boyd a close second.  Natalie Davies was declared the winner of the Ladies division, with Ann Hicks a whisker away in second place.  Dante Boyd was declared best young competitor and Tania Griffin “most determined”. 

thong throw natalie

Jenga was closely contested by all four chapters present, Vanessa Baston handed over Canberra’s reins to Rod Nicholas when the going got tough, while Rod put in a valiant effort, it was not to be Canberra’s day, he was left with a tumbling wall.  Sydney’s Dante Boyd had the most interesting way of removing bricks, leaving spectators ducking for cover to avoid flying Jenga bricks.  Fiona Shedden, a seasoned competitor of Jenga, put in a magnificent effort for the Illawarra, as did Dewi Brewitt for South Coast, lulling Rod into a final collapse.

jenga rod canberra

A fun day was had by all, the stragglers didn’t want to go home, sharing another story and maybe another lamington, and the passengers, another ale or two! 

Looking forward to the next one already!