Little Emilia Lonsdale does what other 18 month-olds do – she loves to play, sing, dance and giggle – but for this Cobbitty youngster – she is also the face of Jeans for Genes.

The young ambassador is more than happy to flash a smile and remind folks every cent donated to this cause, which is officially on August 6, helps research into cystic fibrosis (CF) – donations can be made any day of the year.

CF is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.

For Emilia funding research into CF is very important – it can help prolong her life and that of other youngsters. She is one of 3,500 people living with the disease.

One of the biggest hopes for families of children with genetic disease is gene therapy. This technology adds a working copy of a faulty gene to diseased cells or replaces the genetic error with a functioning ‘edit’. Gene therapy aims to cure, not just treat, genetic disorders by addressing the cause – errors in genes.

The toddler was diagnosed with CF just shy of four weeks of age.

For Jackie Long and her husband Chris Lonsdale it was a relief to know what was making their baby unwell– they can now work towards making life as normal as possible mixed in with all the treatments and hospital visits.

“We know all that has to be done is in the best interest of keeping Emilia healthy and that will always be our focus,” Ms Long said.

“We knew that the role as first time parents was never going to be an easy one, but from the moment Emilia was born it was a struggle and we knew something wasn’t right.

“Emilia struggled with feeding and putting on weight and we attended multiple feeding clinics to no prevail.

“As strange as it sounds, hearing her diagnosis almost made things easier as we knew what we could do to support her.

“What was previously unknown was now known and we felt a sense of relief.

“We tell her team all the time, we knew she was special, but this just confirmed [it] and she now has not only a large group of family and friends who love and support her, but a whole supportive CF team at Westmead Children’s Hospital.”

For Emilia and all children with CF day to day is a struggle with an array of medications needed to be taken to help process foods and thin the build-up of mucus that their bodies produce.

“It also includes daily physio and unfortunately a life span that is significantly reduced,” Ms Long said.

The proud mum said despite everything “[Emilia] has a smile that lights up the room”.

“She loves to play, loves to dance, loves to listen to music and one of her biggest smiles and giggles is reserved for her two puppy dogs.”

The Children’s Medical Research Institute in Sydney is renowned for its research contributions to the “genomic revolution’’.

Research leader, Associate Professor Leszek Lisowski and his team are developing gene therapy tools that can be used in conditions ranging from blindness-causing eye diseases to cystic fibrosis and life-threatening metabolic conditions of the liver.

“Gene therapy has the power to fill the gap that has formed between our ability to diagnose and cure a disease and therefore bring real benefits to patients,” Professor Lisowski said.

Emilia’s fundraising page has reached its goal not once, but twice and it has been increased for a third time to $2000.

To make a donation to Emilia Lonsdale’s fundraiser head to https://fundraise.jeansforgenes.org.au/fundraisers/emilialonsdale/jeans-for-genes or JeansForGenes.org.au


Residents in Greater Sydney will have to bunker down for another four weeks as stay at home order have been extended.

NSW recorded 177 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night (July 27) 74 are linked to a known case or cluster – 60 are household contacts and 14 are close contacts – and the source of infection for 103 cases is under investigation.

The lock down will remain in place until Saturday, August 28 across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

The call out is for more people to get vaccinated to ease restriction in the near future.

“Though the Pfizer supply is insufficient there is plenty of AstraZeneca, and updated federal health advice recommends anyone aged 18 and over in Greater Sydney should access the jab,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Restriction changes are as follows:

From midnight tonight (July 28) –

  • In line with exercise rules, Greater Sydney residents including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour must limit their shopping to within their local government area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 10km from home, unless the item is not available locally.

  • Given localised case numbers, the Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River LGAs will join the five existing LGAs of concern which are subject to an Authorised Workers Order. Only authorised workers in these eight LGAs may leave their area for work.

  • The other LGAs of concern are Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown and Cumberland.


From 12.01am, Saturday, July 31 –

  • Construction in non-occupied settings outside of the LGAs of concern (with no residents on-site) will re-open as planned, subject to a one person per 4sqm rule. These low-risk construction sites must have COVID safe plans in place, compliance will be strictly enforced. Construction cannot resume in the eight LGAs of concern, nor will construction workers be allowed to leave these areas.

  • Trades people, including cleaners who are able to work with zero contact with residents will also be allowed to resume (no more than two people inside and five outside). If contactless arrangements are not possible, work cannot go ahead. This work will not be allowed in the eight LGAs of concern, nor will workers be allowed to leave these areas.

  • A singles bubble will also be introduced, allowing people who live alone to nominate one designated family member or friend to visit for companionship. Restrictions will apply for people in the LGAs of concern.

Year 12 students are also set to return to face-to-face learning on Monday, August 16, for the resumption of in-class study under strict COVID protocols.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said more support will be given to those people and businesses hardest hit during this pandemic.

“Working with our federal counterparts we are providing extra support to ensure the businesses and people who have been hit hardest by this pandemic get the financial assistance they need to get through this crisis and back on the path to recovery,” Mr Perrottet said.


If you know of someone who is an ‘unsung hero’ who works tirelessly for the betterment of society or in their chosen field, nominate them for the 2022 Australian of the Year Awards, but hurry nominations close on July 31, 2021

The awards rely on the public to submit nominations for people who should be recognised each year and nominations close at midnight (AEST) this Saturday.

Nominating is simple and can be done online at australianoftheyear.org.au.

There are four award categories:

Australian of the Year

Senior Australian of the Year

Young Australian of the Year

Australia’s Local Hero

National Australia Day Council CEO Ms Karlie Brand said it only takes one nomination for someone to be considered for the awards.

“One nomination is all it takes to ensure the person you find inspiring is in the running for the Australian of the Year Awards,” Ms Brand said.

“We rely solely on members of the public to nominate people for the awards, so you really do have a very important say in who you think should be recognised.

“Your nomination could find the 2022 Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero.

“Each year when we announce the award recipients, there are people out there in the community who submitted a nomination which put things in motion – it’s a very powerful thing to nominate someone.”

While submitting a nomination is very easy to do, there are some useful tips available here: https://www.australianoftheyear.org.au/nominate/