Leader 60th anniversary photos from 2000-2010

The new milennium started on a note of great optimism with the Sydney Olympics, where the spirit shone through in a range of community activities, residents joined an army of volunteers, crowds lined streets for the torch relay and competitors from the area quickly grabbed a swag of medals.

During those euphoric days, who could have imagined how the mood would change so much with the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, and the 2002 Bali bombings, which took the lives of 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Seven young women from the shire and St George - Jodi Wallace, Charmaine Whitton, Jodie O'Shea, Michelle Dunlop, Francoise Dahan, Renae Anderson and her sister Simone Hanley - never came home from Bali.

The bombs that destroyed Paddy's Bar and the Sari Club on October 12, 2002 changed the lives of many and touched every Australian.

A beachside memorial to the seven victims from the area was created by Sutherland Shire Council in Peryman Square, North Cronulla, and unveiled on the first anniversary of the tragedy.

The sculpture was inspired by the Banksia plant, which is indigenous to the shire.

The bad news continued with the Waterfall rail crash in 2003, the South-East Asian tsunami in 2004 and the Cronulla race riot in 2005.

However, the decade also produced many other positive news reports and photos. A new bridge at Woronora, M5 East motorway and Alfords Point Bridge duplication were completed, while a new boardwalk on the beach at Brighton-Le-Sands was a great improvement.

A replacement nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights and a desalination plant at Kurnell were less enthusiastically embraced.

In politics, Morris Iemma, who grew up in St George and entered Parliament as the MP for Hurstville, became Premier and, after leading Labor to an unlikely election win, was dumped by his own team.

Alan Philp, better known as "the Arncliffe UFO man", died in 2007, aged 81.

For many years, he proclaimed a message from the Bible on a sandwich board to passing motorists on Princes Highway, Arncliffe, near where he lived.

The letters on his signs read OFO, the meaning of which is not known, but his message was from Isiah 66:15: "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire."

And, memories will persist of that strange day in 2009 when a red dust cloud blew in from the outback, blanketed Sydney and created eerie images such as the front page photo of an early morning swimmer at Cronulla.