Home » News Updates » Vale Shirley Sharpe. Merriwa Pony Club is turning 75! Wellbeing Superspreaders

Vale Shirley Sharpe. Merriwa Pony Club is turning 75! Wellbeing Superspreaders


SHIRLEY SHARPE 1936 – 2021

We will all have recollections of Shirley as being a major contributor to Community activities during her almost sixty years in Merriwa.

Shirley came to live at Stirling Vale after her marriage to Cam in 1960, she raised her three children and grew a productive garden before filling a need to drive a school bus run from Bunnan to Merriwa. She would have her baby in a basket to be given loads of attention by the school children.

As the children grew up, she worked at Elders, then opened a gift shop where Trinity Markets is now located. In between helping Cam, she would do Meals on Wheels, Tuck Shop at the Central School, and the flower section in the Pavilion at the Show. She was a regular on 2NM with her news items from Merriwa, and upcoming events.

Music was a significant part of Shirley’s life, she played the organ at Church and many of us will remember her joyful “sing along” sessions each week at Gummun Place. I say joyful because she would always have a funny story, and the Residents would choose favourite songs. Some of the quieter residents would happily sing, remembering each word while beaming with delight.

Shirley passed away peacefully at Orange which was where she had been living, near her daughter Judith.

Shirley will not be forgotten.


Julia Hardy


Merriwa Wellbeing Superpreaders

All of our Merriwa Wellbeing Superpreaders have now completed their first session with Wellbeing Coach Emma Delahey from Life Coaching Melbourne and they’ve all found the sessions mighty helpful so far.

Wellbeing Superspreader and farmer Henry Killen says using the services of a wellbeing coach should be no different to getting someone in to help with an aspect of business. 

“We have Farm Advisers come in all the time to help us with whatever facet of our business requires help and I thought ‘why not do it for ourselves’. We mostly work on our own all day, we’re in our own little bubble so these sorts of things can help.”

Henry’s first Action for Wellbeing is to identify three good things that happened in his day during dinner with his fiancé Emma.

Why: “When we met up with all the other Wellbeing Superspreaders Emma Sparrow said it’s something she does with her family every night andthat it works really well for them.”

Outcome: “We’ve tried it a few times and it’s been really good. It’s pretty easy to talk about all the crap things that can happen in the day – who annoyed you at work or what went wrong – this is a nice way to look at the positives in a day. Last night my positive was how much I enjoyed my lunch! I’d been in the cattle yards and lunch was late so I really appreciated it!”

Kylie Austin’s first goal is all about giving herself an hour each day away from her phone, from her computer; just be device free.

Why: “I don’t often get time to stop and think. It feels like I’m always answering questions or there’s always someone needing something of you and that’s fine but it just meant I wasn’t getting any time to have some free headspace. I’ve never done this before; I’ve always felt obligated to answer a message or a call and I feel guilty if I don’t respond straight away. But everyone can manage if they can’t reach me for an hour.”

Outcome: “It has been just so lovely. I started on the weekend – the café was closed, I knew my family was all good and didn’t need me so I switched off and I felt like I could just breathe. It’s been so good, I’ve been out in the garden making the most of this beautiful weather, I’ve read a couple of chapters of a book, been for a walk. I’ve been able to chill and it’s just like a big release, when you haven’t got to worry for an hour.”

Lauren Sinderberry is another Wellbeing Superspreader who’s taking some time to be kinder to herself and she’s set herself a goal to try a ‘self-compassion’ practice.

Why: “I have very high expectations of myself and I’m a little bit hard on myself when I don’t execute things the way I think they should be done. I need to cut myself some slack. It’s about being a bit kinder to myself when I can’t do everything I think I should.”

How: “Coach Emma gave me a poster to put up that reminds me to take a breath when I get stressed out; to take a breath, to put things in perspective and to remind myself to talk kindly to myself.”

Coach Emma says: “Sometimes it’s good to have a reminder that encourages you to speak  to yourself like you would a mate. For example – instead of saying ‘what an idiot’ if you stuff up somehow, think about how you’d treat a friend in a similar situation: “You did your best, you learnt something.

“Self-kindness is about the stuff we’re doing externally and transferring it to ourselves, it’s a way to move forward and support ourselves emotionally.”

All of these goals are simple, easy to achieve and can make a big difference to wellbeing. If you want to find out more, check in with any of the Superspreaders who’ll happily talk more about their experiences.

Polly YuiIle


Merriwa Pony Club is turning 75

Our committee would like to publish a new addition of the Pony Club Book. It was first published in 1996 by

Elaine Sparrow when we turned 50. The 50 year book was sponsored by Merriwa businesses, sporting and community groups, Merriwa families and surrounding Pony Clubs.

We have two sponsorship categories to consider.
• Major Sponsor – page sponsor and advertisement – $100.00
• Page Sponsor – business/family name on bottom of the page – $50.00

If you wish to sponsor a page, please contact Pauline Lawler on 0400 482 444 or email lawlertps@bigpond.com. Cash, cheque made out to Merriwa Pony Club or direct debit can be made through BSB: 932 000 Account: 418316. Cut off for this sponsorship is August 24. Thank you for your support.

Pauline Lawler


Merriwa Create and Grow Playgroup

Unfortunately playgroup is not permitted to meet during the current Covid restrictions.

In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up to Playgroup NSW. It’s free and they have some great downloadable resources as well as a ‘virtual playgroup’ to help parents during the lockdown period. Go to www.playgroupnsw.org.au

We look forward to resuming playgroup soon.

Tash Taaffe
Community Services Officer


Merriwa Touch Football


Merriwa Touch Football Assoc will be holding its Annual General Meeting:

When: September 13, 2021
Where: Merriwa Sports Club
Time: 6.30pm

All positions will be declared vacant. Please consider taking on a position as touch football can not go ahead without a committee.

Positions needed: President, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, junior coordinator, COVID marshal, ref coordinator.

Kate Morgan


Hunter Medical Practice

Merriwa 6532 5013
Denman 6547 3955
Muswellbrook 6543 1717

As from Monday August 16 opening times for our Merriwa, Denman and Muswellbrook practices will be:

Merriwa – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Denman – Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Muswellbrook – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Carol Cronin


Merriwa Rotary


Coming soon to Merriwa….

Merriwa Rotary has a plan this Rotary year to reinvigorate our long tradition of inviting guest speakers to our meetings, whenever possible.

(I digress and shall repeat the story of another Hunter Rotary Club which invited a noted man along as a guest speaker…..

“How long would you like me do speak for ?“, asked the celebrated legal man as he rose to his feet.

“Oh, speak for as long as you like,” said the club president “but we all leave at 8.00pm!”

Of course, that would not happen at Merriwa rotary !

It will be our pleasure to host a well known,  distinguished, much travelled speaker, with quite a story to tell.

That is all we can say at the moment, until some easing of Covid restrictions occurs, no date can be announced, and, on the instruction of our club President, no name.


Writing of Covid times, prompts me to say that we are very fortunate to have in our country a legion of dedicated doctors, nurses, scientists, as well as essential workers who are putting in phenomenal hours to bring us through this crisis.

Mark Smith


Merriwa Surgery


Opening hours
Monday to Friday 8.30am -5.30pm
Closed for lunch 12.30pm to 1.30pm daily
For bookings please call the surgery on 02 6548 2305

Merriwa Surgery would like to advise Dr Jasem will be on leave from July 15, 2021 until September 6, 2021. For those that are concerned Dr Jasem is returning following his leave and will continue to provide ongoing healthcare to the community.

During this time Dr Plaskitt will be in the practice three days per week working Monday’s through to Wednesday’s, unfortunately the surgery will need to be closed for one week during Dr Jasem’s leave commencing Monday August 9, 2021 through to Sunday August 15, 2021.

As of September 1, 2021, we would like to advise changes to our billing, we have previously been a Bulk Billing practice, this is no longer feasible for the practice and changes to mixed billing will commence in September, this means that unless you hold a pensioner concession card or are a child Under 16 years, there will be a fee for your consultation. These fee’s will be available in the surgery in the coming weeks.

Merriwa Surgery continue with our Covid vaccination clinics, please phone reception for more information.

Dr Emad Jasem


Mental Health First Aid

We are looking for Expressions of Interest to attend a FREE 2 day Mental Health First Aid course in Merriwa and Cassilis. 

Participants will learn the signs of common and disabling mental health problems in adults, how to provide initial help and where/how to get professional help and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation. The course will be delivered by the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program Hunter Valley Coordinator and psychologist Matthew Milne. The course is for any interested adult. (Please note this is an education course, not a therapy or support group.)

The course will be run over two full days from 8.30 am to 4.30pm – the dates are yet to be advised.

If you would like to attend one of the workshops, please email UHSC Community Services Officer Tash Taaffe on ttaaffe@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au or text 0458 574 015 your preferred location (Merriwa or Cassilis), full name, contact number and email address by August 20,2021.

Tash Taaffe


Merriwa CWA

The Hunter River Group of the Country Women’s Association has available the following Grants:

1. The Hunter River Group Educational Grant valued at $500.00, for a student entering Tertiary Educational in 2022, whether it be for University, TAFE, or College

2. The Jean Latham Educational Grant valued at $300.00. This grant is available for Year 11 students entering Year 12 in 2022 and reside in the bounds of the Hunter River Group. To be eligible the student must meet the following criteria:

• Reside within the bounds of the Hunter River Group
• Demonstrate a need for financial assistance.

Mature students may apply. Every application will remain confidential. Applications should be returned to the branch secretary by September 30, 2021.

Robyn McAlister
Merriwa CWA


Merriwa Senior Citizens

General Meeting followed by Hoi – Tuesday August 24 at 12.30pm at the Merriwa RSL – Squatters Corner

New Members are always welcome – a yearly $5.00 membership fee applies.

COVID rules and restrictions still apply. Masks must be worn and those attending must check in.


Barbara Cronin


Upper Hunter Shire Council


NSW Health will be extending their Sewage Surveillance Program to include the Scone Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) for an initial two week period commencing 16 August 2021. 

The NSW Sewage Surveillance Program tests untreated sewage for fragments of the COVID-19 (SARS CoV- 2) virus at sewage treatment plant locations across NSW. Testing sewage can help track infections in the community and provide early warning of an increase in infections.

NSW Health decide all testing locations within NSW and have confirmed that there is currently no capacity to pick up additional testing sites
within the Upper Hunter Shire. However, Council continues to liaise with NSW Health regularly in regards to the evolving COVID-19 situation, and will certainly facilitate testing in our other sewerage systems if this option becomes available.


The NSW Government has announced stay at home orders for the state of NSW including the Upper Hunter LGA to apply from 5.55pm on August 14, 2021 to 12.01am on Sunday August 22, 2021.

Council has made changes to its operations and facilities in line with the Public Health Order.

Whilst our Customer Service centres doors will be closed, we will be unable to provide face-toface services without a prior booking and only
for essential or urgent matters.

The following options are available for Council’s day-to-day services and transactions:

Payments or transactions: By telephone, via mail and for certain transactions Bpay and Post billpay facilities are available. Please check your notice or invoice specific options.
Library Services across the Shire: Digital library services and click and collect services MondayFriday, plus delivery services for housebound residents.
To lodge a development application visit: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/

For any questions or enquiries, contact our Customer Service team on T: 02 6540 1100 or email council@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

To lodge a customer request (CRM): Lodge by telephone or complete the form via Council’s website and e-mail to council@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

Please note our Customer Services team will be fully operational via telephone during our normal business hours. For any questions or enquiries, contact our Customer Service team on T: 02 6540 1100 or email council@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

For more information about COVID restrictions that apply in regional NSW, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/what-you-can-donsw.

Hannah White


Merriwa RSL Club

The Friday night Members Lucky Badge 7.00pm draw for $220.00 was won the number was 149, This week it jackpots to $240.00.

The 8.30pm Members Badge draw worth $1350.00 was not won the number was 55, this week it jackpots to $1400.00.

The 9.00pm Members Badge draw for $120.00 was won the number was 443, this week it commencing at $140.00. LTPS/19/36118

The Sunday Members Badge Draw for $1300.00 was not won last week the number was 533, this week it jackpots to $1350.00 and will be  drawn between 11.30am and 1.30pm and you must be present to win the money. LTP/19/36118

Members must be present to claim any of the draws and present their current membership card upon request. It is an offence to NOT have your membership card on your person when on the premises.

Nominations for Board of Directors are now closed. Voting will commence on August 27 and close September 5, 2021.

Wednesday Nights from 6.00pm – $6.00 PINTS.

Dine and Discover vouchers – please register and download or print your vouchers and use them before they expire on August 31, 2021. If
you don’t have a smart phone or computer, contact the local Service NSW department at the UHSC Merriwa office.

Saturday nights – free juke box, pool comp$100.00 first prize, $5.00 schooners and House spirits. From 6.00pm till 10.00pm.

Courtesy Bus – the clubs courtesy bus if available for pickups on Friday’s from 5.30pm (you must book by ringing club), with drop offs at 9.15pm and 10.00pm.

Friday 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Saturday 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Sunday 11.30am to 12.30pm

Bistro hours – lunch Thursday – Sunday 12/2.00pm,
Dinner Monday – Thursday 5.30/7.30pm Friday – Saturday 5.30/8.00pm.

Matt Morgan


Merriwa Sports Club


Thank you to the directors, staff and patrons who assisted with painting the Club. It looks amazing! We sincerely appreciate the time you  took to complete this mammoth task.


Due to Saturdays announcement we were unable to run our raffle and members’ draw. The draw will remain at $875.00 when we resume next.


Please be advised that the Merriwa Sports Club will be closed this week following the NSW Premier’s advice. We will re-open as soon as we are able to. On behalf of the Directors and staff, please stay safe and take care during these difficult times. We look forward to seeing you all in the not too distant future.

Brendan Cowell






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