The Lower Hawkesbury Aquatic & Recreation Association (LHARA) was established in 2019 and includes representatives of the following Clubs, Associations and Committee’s :

  • Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Sailing Club
  • Hawkesbury River Yacht Club
  • Hawkesbury River Sailing Club
  • Hawkesbury River Dragons
  • Brooklyn Community Hall Project Committee


Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Sailing Club – HKSC was formed in 1968 to provide an entry for local children and youth to the sport of sailing. The following year the existing boatshed was painstakingly built by HKSC families and friends. For more than 50 years HKSC has focussed on learning, development, and fostering a love of our sport in young people. We are a fully volunteer-run club and enjoy fabulous support from the families of current and former sailors, as well as local businesses.

Hawkesbury River Yacht Club – The HRYC sails from Brooklyn, north of Sydney, on the beautiful waters of Broken Bay. The majority of HRYC yachts are on moorings in Parsley Bay or close nearby. Access is primarily from Parsley Bay. The HRYC fleet currently comprises yachts ranging from 6 to 13 metres, but also welcomes trailer sailors and sports yachts. The club’s history reaches back to 1992. We have a varied social program which includes Twilight Sailing and BBQ’s during the summer months, and additional events at member’s homes during the year. Races are usually followed by on/off-water get-togethers. Membership of the club ranges from experienced sailors to beginners. All are welcome.

Hawkesbury River Sailing Club – The HRSC, formed in 1970, currently race a mixed fleet of trailer and fixed keel yachts on courses set on the lower Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay. The racing program consists of ten Sunday races spread across the summer sailing season, with results being determined by fleet handicaps and Yardstick handicapping.In addition to racing, the Club ran a cruising program, with local cruises to Pittwater, Cowan Creek and Brisbane Water being popular, whilst longer cruises to Lake Macquarie and the Myall Lakes were popular with the trailer yacht group. In recent years (pre-covid), the Club has organised for members (and friends), a series of bus tours to maintain interest during the off seasons and as fund raisers. These have resulted in some memorable visits to interesting parts of NSW and Victoria.

Hawkesbury River Dragons – The HRD were the 49th Dragon Boat Club to be formed in NSW. The club started in 2011 and train at Parsley Bay, Brooklyn. All paddlers appreciate the opportunity to enjoy the stunning surroundings of this Norther Sydney location on the Hawkesbury River. Members are from Brooklyn and the wider Hornsby Shire. The club, which welcomes paddlers of all ages, combines a competitive spirit with a community-minded social atmosphere. On weekend mornings (and on Wednesday evenings during daylight saving) throughout the year, HRD paddlers can be seen taking advantage of the club’s location to enjoy a workout on the water. Enthusiastic paddlers are upholding a tradition that’s been around for over 2,000 years. Today Dragon Boating is the fastest growing sport in the world. Competitions take place across Australia and internationally. Interested people of all ages are always welcome for a trial paddle.

Brooklyn Community Hall Project Committee – Brooklyn used to have a place to gather, hold social events, school concerts and family activities until the mid 1990’s when the old Masonic Hall fell into private ownership. A lot of locals have many happy memories of dances, film nights and even weddings held in this unique venue. School concerts and awards nights were a regular event, as well as trivia nights and other school functions. It was a pivotal and integral part of the small but tightly knit community.

Brooklyn RSL Sub Branch were the last owners and offered it to council. Unfortunately it did not meet Council’s standards – but don’t worry about the population’s requirements!

And so we were left with nowhere to gather, particularly during bush fires. A hall committee was established and the dream of The Jack Neary Centre, to be built in the school grounds, came alive. As a side note, this was to be aptly named after our famous local music guru, who, among a myriad of successes in the entertainment industry, was instrumental in bringing The Beatles to Oz, discovering “Human Nature”, was heavily involved in getting the Pope to our shores & also started the now famous Schools Spectacular. Unfortunately the Education Dept didn’t see it our way and there’s been plenty of other community hall plans since, but they’re still stuck on the drawing board. Over the years we’ve been able to put a little money aside to help the dream come alive thanks to our “fun-raisers”. These have included our Men of the River Calendar in 2005, our music and market extravaganza aptly named “Just Another Brick in the Hall”, the fantabulous “Amazing River Race” where families looked for clues on a very interesting and fun filled journey around the river, the World Premiere of The Oyster Farmer – a movie packed with excitement and local scenic quality, and our latest Men of the River Calendar 2022 – Covid Edition!

Previously, our goal was to have a hall accessible to the smallest child, within easy walking distance of the school as it was widely acknowledged they would be the main users.
Time has moved on, and the school now has an Under Cover Learning Area (UCLA) which is not the “be all and end all”, but it satisfies a lot of the schools immediate needs.
So that now gives us a chance to look a little further afield and also show off our beautiful neighbourhood to the wider community.

We may finally have a chance now that we’ve teamed up with our local passive sailing and paddling clubs to provide a much needed, beautiful, sustainable and culturally sensitive complex for us all to enjoy. Appropriately designed to sit snugly into the landscape, The Lower Hawkesbury Aquatic Recreation Association (LHARA) are lobbying for a new low key facility encompassing boat storage, toilets, showers, and a small kiosk on the ground level (where the existing toilets are at Parsley Bay), with a state of the art, modest community hall for the upper level.

Imagine our community finally having a building suitable for all members of our little village, old and young. A place for us all to enjoy. A place to foster new skills and to create opportunities for learning. Let’s all get behind this with pride. Who knows, we may have the next olympic sailor or kayaker in our midst. By embracing a true multi-functional facility, our Council, State and Federal members are all keen to see this succeed.

Contrary to a few rumours, we are not advocating for licensed premises; we are not advocating for noisy functions; we are not reducing any parking; and we are not encouraging more vehicles. This building has a small footprint and is for members of our wider community – many of whom already participate in the kids sailing club, the trailer sailer club, the yacht club and the dragon boat club.

Whether it be for sport, exercise, school functions and activities, socialising, sheltering, educating or commiserating, we invite you to take a look at our new vision for our community at the LHARA website.