Bay Babes Sutherland Shire

Kath Bryant’s Story

MDC 2015

This year the Bay Babes (BB) annual event at the MDC marks 10 years participation – what a remarkable effort and achievement.

As Mother’s Day dawned the buses were assembled, the bus co-ordinators had their clipboards and pens on the ready for roll call and the participants were pouring into not only Gymea Bay but the other outposts as well.

This 10 year anniversary of Bay Babes saw the numbers were again setting yet another community event record.

Our ride into the Domain was executed with the precision of an army movement. With much frivolity and good cheer as groups gathered and the bus co-ordinators with their offsiders set down the game plan for the day. For the old timers this was a revision test and for the ‘newbies’ important details before the day could get underway.

MDC is dedicated to the campaign to find a cure for breast cancer, something that has touched so many in some way.

There is a gathering of those in their lycra and the new style BB shirt as they warmed up their runners for their various events. Quick smart the 8 and 4 km runners and walkers were underway setting a cracking pace. The tide of pink and black BB shirts in the centre arena swayed in and out with these departures and arrivals. Groups of friends gathered with smiles and laughter as this massive BB army reassembled and were greeted by their bus co-ordinators with the deserved refreshment.

Meanwhile at HQ there is that supremely dedicated band of mature ladies set to the task of organising the refreshments for those who have raced, those about to race and those contemplating the course enjoying the atmosphere.

Not only is the cause a reason to attend but also the course is a big draw card. The harbour never lets the participants down in providing a stunning backdrop for those rounding the bend to the sparkling harbour, the bridge and the heads.

The official ceremony is underway acknowledging the various corporate, individual and community groups and you guessed it BB has tipped the scales once again in the community category.

The whistle blows to mark departure time and as we follow our bus flag along Macquarie St to commence our return journey.

The co-ordinators now kick it up a notch with the drawing of the raffles, prizes are passed up and down the aisle and bubbles or beer are enjoyed. The mood is buoyant as the buses pull into the oval.

A huge thank you to the BBQ boys who greet us with delicious egg and bacon rolls and more bubbles. The numbers dwindle from here as other family events are set to get underway and the mums are to be celebrated.

Now after 10 years this achievement is quite remarkable and the money raised by BB is outstanding offering a great contribution to the foundation but also supports individuals within the BB community who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

All of this does not just come about with a little magic fairy dust but from the extraordinary efforts and dedication of Chris Callinan and her amazing team, aka ‘the committee’. This small group are the backbone of BB and each year they support fundraising at raffle tables, the organising of the MDC event and prizes and at fundraising social events. This never say die group of approximately 15 ladies need a standing ovation. So when the call for assistance is sounded please think positively about raising a hand to help this worthwhile and rewarding cause.

by Kath Bryant

Once upon a time in an enchanted land there lived a mad woman!  She had a vision of forming an army and invading a national event and knocking the socks off the organisers with her brilliant ability in recruiting busloads of pink & black people.

So on a significant date for most of us, the army of ants came marching one by one onto coaches bound for the Domain HQ & the MDC.

Once you recover from the shock of attempting to simultaneously walk, wake and talk, it’s all aboard for the bus ride into the Domain, led by the outrageously loud for that time of the morning  Bus Wenches & their sidekicks.  Quickly this numb feeling lifts and it’s full swing ahead, reuniting with friends and preparing for the event.

This convoy exploded into the Domain with 685 foot soldiers – causing the loo queue to grow considerably.

Immediately, HQ was a buzz of activity. The tent was set up in record time and the troops were watered and fed with clockwork precision, thanks to the legendary efforts of the ‘senior babes & dudes’.

Just like schools of fish the crowd moved in and out to their events and back again to HQ.

We heard tributes and were touched as our own Chris Callinan was invited to lead the minute silence in recognition of the very reason we were all here – a disease that has reached many of our lives in some way.

We stretched in preparation, we roamed and enjoyed this stunning harbour, we laughed/  hugged and remembered  those dear to us but most importantly we were there for each other and the cause.

This wonderful community event is exactly that.  It takes a community to bring this all together and for it to be a success.  It was fantastic to see a variety of community groups joining the Bay Babes and participating in the MDC as a whole.

The preparation for the Bay Babes MDC takes endless buckets of enthusiasm to ensure its continued and significant growth each year – going from a modest 74 that very first year in 2006 to the numbers we saw today – 685 and once again the winner of the Largest Community Group!

Soon the call is made and the swarm departs the Domain, back on the buses and back to Gymea or one of the other destinations. For the lucky Gymea crowd we are once again greeted by yet another group of volunteers ready to offer refreshments to the travellers. The BBQ Boys were outstanding once again this year and with a happy disposition (perhaps because they got our sleep in) we were served a little sustenance & champers.

Congratulations to the committee for their tireless efforts, not only for today but throughout the year at the other fundraising events.  It is due to this crew of people (and you would be surprised at how few there are on this committee) that Bay Babes continues to be such a success and an event like the MDC is such a tremendous day for all to enjoy.

See you next year, Kath.


Again I declare “I tried but it is no use, she is just too strong and I am too weak!!!!” and that is how I land this job at the Daily Planet each year.  There is no force stronger than Chris Callinan with a list of jobs to delegate.

On the chilly morning that is circled on most other sane members of the population as Mothers Day, we (we being 500 people just from Gymea Bay) bombard the GBPS footpath and assemble to board our coach and journey on that mad and crazy ride into the city.  Whilst in the other far away lands more members are also assembling and just like a scene from the Texas Rangers join the path into the Domain.

We meet at the official BB tent for refreshments and a quick recharge before the throng splits into their events.  Even the refreshment tent volunteers cannot play the AGE card to have the morning in bed, but we thank you ladies for all your hard work and happy faces.

Upon arriving, many of us prime athletes stretched, hydrated, did a couple of sprints getting ready for the event.  Luckily I wasn’t one of them (and I wasn’t alone!!!) so we others got to have a little relax before deciding when it was just right for our happy gang to take off for a stroll around Lady Macquarie’s Chair.

We did have to pick up the pace when the 8km runners started breathing down our necks.  “Oii quick detour” Wilko says “into the Gardens”, by the time we found our way out of there again we were at the back of the 8km pack and we had covered more ground than an episode of the Leyland Brothers – good work Barks for finding the path out otherwise who would know what could have become of us (haha).

Back with the rest of the BB throng in the Domain it’s all laughs and a great opportunity to catch up with others and compare notes on course times (yeah right!) or just enjoy the atmosphere and the sunshine.

Just before 11am they announce the prizes for this years event.   Just like Usain Bolt we are the dead certainty for taking out the award for Community Group this year being 580 strong, we were a stylish swarm of black & pink, including the buzz to go with it as we cheered and accepted our Award.

Quickly it’s back through the hospital walkway into Macquarie Street for the return journey.   Truly if a random passerby got caught in the forging crowd through the hospital walkway it would be just too bad, their next stop would be on a bus and being trashed for being a BB virgin!  I, like many on my bus, are foundation members and have the privilege of having a booking on Bus 4 with our Major B.I.C.H , no other than Kerri T (oh that’s where the T went from her title) and her sidekick B.I.C.H.2 Anne-Maree A, plus a very supportive family crew.

These two BABES IN CHARGE OF HOSPITALITY have excelled once again to provide not only a well organized BB experience but an all out, one of a kind experience – no wonder we are a bunch of repeat offenders on this bus.

To all the Bus Co-Ordinators a huge thank you for all the preparation work before the event and the front line work on the day, I know everyone enjoys the day all the more because of your jocularity and lack of respect to your passengers, it’s a little like a confined comedy festival, with the fantastic prizes and champagne on board being the icing on the cake.

Now, just like a Demtel Ad, wait there’s more…  You may think that the story ends with disembarkation at GB oval.  Surely you are wrong, let the festivities prevail.  It is now time for the Refreshment Ladies to put their feet up and be served by someone else.

The official BB BBQ Boys are cooking up a storm to feed the hungry crowd, with a refreshing champagne or two (hic just one more) to wash it all down.  An extended celebration of the day is now underway for all to enjoy thanks to the soccer club.

With each year the numbers keep growing, as the radius of the concept of Bay Babes is becoming more and more well known.  This could only be possible because of one significant person, Chris.

The organization and tireless work undertaken to co-ordinate this particular event is mammoth.  Having witnessed the machine of co-ordinating the t-shirts, caps and goodie bags and all I can say is “it’s hard to get good help!!!” OMG!  What a whacky crew of wonderful people on this BB Committee.

Through all the extra fundraising events undertaken by the BB Committee many lives in our community have been touched just when needed and to be associated with such a caring group and enjoying the camaraderie of the day is something that’s worth shaking off the chilly morning for.

Written by Kath Bryant


MDC Sunday 9 May 2011

With the hype and festivities of Mother’s Day upon us, we all knew it wasn’t just tea, toast and a day of pampering on the agenda for those assembled mothers today.

Even in the dark of the early morning dawn there was a humming in the air as the  excitement of the day ahead pulsed through our veins as the Bay Babes (BB) event of the year was about to get underway – The MDC.

The throng gather and were lead onto their respective buses, it was common knowledge amongst the crowd that this year’s event was going to be bigger and better than any previous year.

For those who are ‘foundation members’, those who are ‘repeat offenders’ and those who were just ‘newbies’ a trip to the Domain with your favourite Bus Co-Ord is an experience not to be missed.  These entertainment professionals lead the charge and the festivities from the moment their first passenger steps aboard.

Is there any better way to awaken ones senses than by a Bus Co-Ord, who it seems is under the impression that everyone is slight of hearing, laying down the order of the day and disclosing the secret esky password.  Who would be silly enough to forget that special word that would unlock the chest to medicinal beverages, being the only way to conclude a 4 / 8 km run/walk at 9am in the morning – are they joking!!!

The sun was rising and the day was spectacular as the participants converged on the Domain and were relocated to BB HQ.  There was no doubt that this year’s team apparel would afford us the vote of best dressed group at the event.

Those 4/8 km runners were chomping at the bit to take off – that is after chomping down some scones & cream – quickly pursued by the 4km walkers. The call of the ‘beverages and muffins’ must have been too much for them, as before we on the coffee committee knew they had produced a PB and were back at HQ.  Who are these fine athletes from the Shire and beyond?

Finally, the time had come for the crowd to recognise the achievement of the over 565 strong BB community in 2011 and as the cheer went up and the award accepted it was a fitting tribute to the tireless efforts of Chris Callinan and her wonderful committee members.  Chris brings to the table an energy level that would rival the ‘Eveready Bunny’ and an enthusiasm for this cause that is so strong and infectious, making it a privilege for us to join the ranks of BBs.

The call sounds and its back to the buses for – you guessed it – more champers and outstanding raffle prizes.  By the time Gymea was in sight it was a merry (enormous) crowd that landed at the BBQ for some sustenance.

So there it is – 2011 in a nutshell – and what an event it was!

Here within holds the Official Report on the event of the Year
the Bay Babes MDC for 2010

This seems to be a reoccurring dilemma for me. One could say do I never learn…… but in my defence I thought she was waving to say hello ……….. so I recount my tale of woe to a fellow victim of the Leader, only to be told to ‘just say no’  then we both laughed, how foolish, as if anyone has ever said NO to this particular questmaster and anyway she would have just ignore it! So, once again, I have put on my Clark Kent cap and here we go.

It was that time of year again, and just in case the residents of Gymea Bay didn’t realise that the event of the year was underway – then they would soon!.  From all surrounding streets, through the cover of darkness, there was a persistent hum, as just like a scene from the Texas Rangers the crowd gathered and grew as the Bay Babes and Dudes descended on the school.  As dawn was breaking that hum broke into a crescendo and the sea of pink caps (with a sprinkling of black) boarded their chariots in their quest for Community Event leadership supremacy.

Our fearless leader had already run her 8kms before even entering her chariot as she flashed up and down Gymea Bay Rd smoothing out any last minute hiccups.

As we entered our ‘Bus of No Return’ #4 we knew the drill but for those Bus 4 virgins who ventured up those steps we veterans knew that they would never return the same. The mood was buoyant as the raffle ticket bags flew up and down the aisle, our specialist Kerri kept the rabble under control and the spirits high.  Definitely the winning card played was the promise of alcohol and the chance to be a winner of one or more of the terrific prizes on our return journey.  Michael’s spirits soared remarkably when he learnt that his quest was to check the validity of the Double D requirement for a beverage.

Before we knew it we were in the city, settling into our very own HQ.  The ladies working the ‘mess’  table didn’t buckle under the pressure as they were swarmed upon. The runners and walkers were off and blazing through the new track, the pacers crossed the line (with a PB) with all returning to HQ, their goodies bag in hand and tales of new records set. It was a merry mood surrounding this great team, and this mood was destined to soar with the announcement we had been waiting for………….  as we watched, our Leader was called to the stage to receive the honour of assembling and leading the ‘Largest Community Group’ with over 450 participants to this year’s event.

It was a moment of pride for us all to witness, as we in the crowd know only too well the effort, enthusiasm and that ‘never say no’ attitude that it takes for Chris to get
this Bay Babes team off the ground year after year and not just at the MDC but at the many different fundraisers throughout the whole year. Her leadership, teamwork and ability to get things moving for such a worthwhile cause is commendable (and a little scary) yadah yadah yadah.

Anyway…………. back to the buses was the cry and as we surged along Macquarie Street it was an impressive sight, captured in time by our own little Jimmy Olsen. The buses fired up once more for the return journey back to Camp Gymea.  The raffles were drawn, the prizes distributed to the excited winners and the baby bubbly had loosened the crowd right up.

As the buses pulled into Camp Gymea and their final destination, the troops were greeted with further celebrations all thanks to the soccer club and the tireless work of the ‘meet and greet’ committee (Rod/Steve/Greg A/Dave/Col/Greg Z/Doug).  Busier than one armed paperhangers they still managed a smile for the ladies as they tended to the needs and wishes of this bunch of mothers.

Well that just about sums it up for this year’s 5th Bay Babes MDC Event, and just like a Hallmark moment we say – May there be many more to come!!!!!!



Well it was purely my fault that I landed this job, by fault I mean I was the bunny who made eye contact for just that minute too long. OMG I should have known, I – like others before me – have seen that look before, it’s that “I’ve got a job for you” look; but no, like a moth to the light and wham she got me.
Make it light-hearted she says….. so here I am armed with a glass of red and a snickers bar, how will I ever attain my optimum fitness and Jennifer Hawkins figure when she sets challenges like this for me, I’m only human!

Just a few words I was told, but I knew that it would take more than just a few words.

Before I could tell you about the Bay Babes I would have to tell you how it all came about, even though at risk of disobeying our Leader, I will let you in on a little insight into the person who is Chris Callinan.

Chris, who I met in 2002 when our boy’s were in kindy, has always had this amazing ability to create something out of nothing, whether just for fun or for a cause. There is something about Chris that draws you to her and keeps you there. Very quickly there was a happy little crowd of mums who still have a strong bond today. Then one day, at the end of Year 1, we heard the words no one wants to know about, especially when it is associated with a friend, Chris had a lump. “Nothing to worry about / all OK / I’ll be alright” that’s what we were reassured with like little children, then the next bombshell “moving to NZ”. So, just a little worried and sad at losing a friend we said goodbye/ see ya soon.

Luckily for us the next thing we knew they were sick of lamb chops and cheps and we were getting our friend back and she was well again (just like a good fairytale). But what we didn’t realise was that by beating this demon she had gained a new intensity, she was a Guru and we her new disciples. We were in trouble but it will be ok if we just do this one thing, or so we thought – and this is how that one little event turned into a company.

Just for a moment let your mind drift and conjure up this image.

It’s 6am and it’s dark, cold, sometimes rainy, you have staggered up to the local school, wearing a pink t-shirt (stating you are a ‘babe’) in a pair of attractive shorts and hop onto a bus bound for the city. But the worst is yet to be realised – IT IS MOTHER’S DAY!!!
You do a quick mental health check and soon realise that there are other whackos clamouring onboard for a seat with their favourite team leaders, a quick moan to one another and the bus fires up and the fun begins. The raffle tickets are flying around, the champagne is flowing and the noise level is incredible.

That’s right, from simple beginnings this annual ‘Bay Babe’ event has grown to 4 busloads of women and their families headed to the city for a walk around a park – big whoop you say, but actually it is. This event is for everyone whose lives has been touched by that tragic disease called ‘breast cancer’ in some way, it’s the Mother’s Day Classic.

The original group started 5 years ago with this fresh idea by no other than (look into my eyes you are under my spell) Chris Callinan, and a bus load of crazies. Like a scene from Priscilla we streaked into the city with balloons flying out the windows, we were never going to get lost on this tour.

There are donations of food and drinks to sustain the troops as they await their event, there’s the cheers as the runners come in and again when the walkers finish. It’s nothing out of the ordinary to witness a group of pink t-shirts strutting their stuff to an aerobics workout with a guy in a tutu or a group just hanging with friends sharing the atmosphere.

When it’s your turn to take off you soon forget that moan you had about getting up and missing your toast and tea in bed. The stunning harbour as you round that first bend is enough to take your breath away.

Quick quick back on the buses for home. Now it’s reward time for being such good little babes, the champers pops and the prizes are given out and again the noise level is go great it’s a miracle the driver can do just that. Back on home turf and the local soccer club has kindly put on great spread for the hungry crowd with some familiar faces on the BBQ and the kids to greet us.

Our magician has worked wonders again and notched another great ‘Bay Babe’ event on the calendar.

But as we have come to expect from that certain Magician it doesn’t stop there. Just like a Demtel ad – wait there’s more… watch this space!

Kath Bryant

bay babes

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