Art Exhibition November 2013

"I have had an interest in owls all my life and for years collected all sorts of owl miniatures, pottery and other types of owl representations. However, my present interest in the Powerful Owl was sparked in June 2011 when local members of the community were fighting a development proposal by two local schools to build a large athletic track on The Glade Oval’ in Wahroonga. 

The proposal required that a large part of a Blue Gum Forest would be felled which in turn would have destroyed one of the local habitats of The Powerful Owl (ninox strenua). This majestic bird is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in NSW.

Early in 2012 I realised ‘Birds in Backyards’ were running a Powerful Owl Project, with David Bain, PhD. BSc (Hons) as the Powerful Owl Project Officer. The aim of the Project being to locate the breeding pairs in the greater Sydney Region, to identify critical roosting and breeding requirements for the owls and the location of important areas that may need protection. Volunteer observers who enrolled with the project underwent a training session at Taronga Zoo and after our training session, three of us worked throughout 2012 in the area near the Sydney Adventist Hospital and ‘The Glade Oval’, Wahroonga. Only one male was found.
In 2013 I continued with the observation of this owl with my fellow observer Dianne Tobin. We carried out very regular observations, often at dusk and frequently during the day and collected owl pellets which we later dissected at a workshop in order to understand exactly what the owl had been eating. After a few months of patient observation we were rewarded for our efforts when, in May 2013 we observed that our male Powerful Owl had found a mate. With many more dusk watches we were able to observe the mating, feeding and preening and the occupation of a nest site. After such a long period of observation and record keeping we had the ultimate reward on 18th September when we watched one chick fledge from the nest.

This was a tremendous success after our many months of observations and it was very exciting to have been able to follow the breeding season of this majestic and beautiful bird. However our owl duties haven’t stopped there as Dianne and I now have another pair of powerful owls in the area that we are closely monitoring."

A percentage of Sandi's profits from this exhibition will be donated to "The Powerful Owl Project"





Abbotsleigh and Knox Grammar informed Ku-ring-gai Council on 8 August 2012 that they will not be pursuing the process of submitting a development application (DA) for the proposed construction of a synthetic athletics facility at The Glade under the terms of a Council resolution passed on 20 March 2012.

In coming to their decision, the schools acknowledged that despite their “best intentions and transparency throughout the process, our original proposal has caused division both within Council’s own ranks, as well as with local residents and sporting clubs.” 
The schools have issued an open letter to Friends of The Glade which is available to read in the Resource Centre.  The schools believe that "upgrading The Glade would have provided a quality and much needed resource which would have been enjoyed by a large proportion of the community."
Friends of The Glade agrees with the schools that the grass surfaces of The Glade are in urgent need of repair and that there are long standing drainage issues that need to be addressed.  We believe a targeted and sensible approach to repairing and maintaining the existing facilities would be welcomed by the current broad range of sporting, school and recreational users of The Glade.
(Sydney Observer Magazine September 2012)

Welcome to Friends of The Glade!

Friends of The Glade is a community group dedicated to the preservation and caring of The Glade Oval and The Glade Reserve, located in Wahroonga, NSW.

We are passionate about The Glade, which caters for many different interests and activities such as:
  • Soccer - both senior and junior pitches for use in the winter months by local schools and clubs;
  • Cricket - a beautiful turf wicket on a full sized oval, with cricket coaching nets for community use;
  • Tennis - 2 full sized tennis courts;
  • Kids play area - a safe, secure environment for children to play;
  • Basketball - a half sized court and hoop used by local teenagers;
  • Jogging and fitness - many people use The Glade for exercise and fitness;
  • Dog walkers - a vibrant community of dog lovers who frequent the Oval and the Reserve with their pets;
  • The Glade Reserve is a unique habitat of critically endangered Blue Gum High Forest trees that has been lovingly cared for and protected by volunteers and Council for many years.
The Glade is a hub for the local community, a place where neighbours meet and become friends.  It is the fabric of a close knit, happy and vibrant neighbourhood where many families have lived for generations.
Friends of The Glade is OPPOSED to the proposed development of a 400 metre, 8 lane synthetic athletics track and related facilities at The Glade by Ku-ring-gai Council, Abbotsleigh School for Girls and Knox Grammar.  See how we are fighting this proposal in the Announcements and Media Links sections.
Join us by sending your contact details to

(Image: Sydney Observer Magazine November 2011)



Friends of The Glade opposes an athletics track at The Glade for the following reasons:


Community: Soccer, cricket, all local schools, recreational users, local children, dog walkers and the public at large should have fair use of The Glade. The AbbKnox proposal will likely reserve exclusive rights for their athletes in “prime time” afternoons for 40 weeks per year, at the expense of the broader community.


Access: We don’t want to see The Glade fenced off from the community to protect expensive and extensive infrastructure developments. A synthetic athletics track is highly likely to require fencing to protect the facility from vandalism and unsuitable use. Similar facilities are gated and locked for security reasons.


Infrastructure: The narrow streets around The Glade are inadequate to support high peak traffic volumes. The schools also have inadequate, restricted parking. Any future parking at Abbotsleigh is conditional upon a decision to build a planned hockey pitch.


Safety: Track and field events (including discus, shot put and javelin) should be conducted in a secure purpose built facility, away from built up areas, with adequate space for parking. Such a facility is entirely inappropriate at The Glade, which is surrounded by residential streets and an endangered forest where there is already very restricted parking.


Environment: The Glade is home to an endangered and protected Blue Gum High Forest and is a rare and sensitive natural enclave in suburbia. A synthetic athletics track, apart from being completely out of keeping with the natural beauty of The Glade, will likely require a sizeable area of Blue Gum High Forest to be cut down, unless the Council decides to acquire private properties, to accommodate the athletics facility.


Costs / Equity: According to Council's own figures, AbbKnox's $2m donation will cover about half of the costs of the facility. This partially funded proposal will therefore require further funding, plus significant on-going maintenance costs, to be paid by Council. This will divert Council resources from other worthy projects across Ku-ring-gai.


Legal: The development of an athletics facility for dominant use by AbbKnox does not encourage, promote and facilitate recreational pursuits in the community, as required by the Local Government Act. The small number of students who will use the facility will effectively restrict other recreational pursuits by the majority of the community.


Consultation: We believe that extensive and open community consultation is critical during the feasibility assessment and the planning process.  Council have undertaken to consider the views of all constituents, including local residents, community groups and sporting bodies.  We welcome the opportunity to put forward our views for the future of The Glade oval and reserve.