Bendigo Magazine - Issue 67 - Winter 2022

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ISSUE 67 | WINTER 2022





ISSN 1833-1289 AUD $5.95 (Inc. GST)


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Loong, Easter 2019. Photo: L McKinnon

MANAGING EDITOR Dustin Schilling

dear reader,

The days may be getting shorter and the temperature dropping further, but this hasn’t diminished the excitement surrounding the return of so many traditional events after a long hiatus. This season’s edition features many faces of the public captured celebrating our diversity and culture, such as the Pride Festival and the Harmony Fair. A group of local artists re-established themselves at the Bendigo Pottery Complex thanks to local government funding. Sculptor Yvonne George said branding themselves as the Village of Artisans was a way of creating public interest and showcasing their diverse range of mediums. Illustrator and animator Ginny Jeong started drawing before she could write and now uses her art to express life. Also making a difference are Annie Tu and Nathalie Lopez, who moved to Australia to study engineering and have found themselves residing in Bendigo, which is wonderful for us. They’re using their depth of skills to manage and maintain the city’s most precious resource; water. And while we’re talking about resources, a Bendigo-based company is helping the mining industry go green by designing an electric vehicle capable of being used underground. There is always so much to celebrate in this beautiful region. Have a wonderful and safe winter. Take care and happy reading.



PHOTOGRAPHERS Leon Schoots, AJ Taylor and Daniel Soncin WRITERS Dianne Dempsey, Geoff Hocking, Lauren Mitchell, Raelee Tuckerman and Sue Turpie CONTRIBUTORS Beau Cook, Stephanie Dunne and Lisa Chesters PRINT MANAGER Nigel Quirk ADVERTISING

PO Box 5003 Bendigo, VIC 3550 Phone: 0438 393 198

Bendigo Magazine takes all care but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Bendigo Magazine holds copyright to all content unless otherwise stated. ISSN 1833-1289. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. The views expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editor or the publisher.

Layers andLight Living Arts Space exhibition

MAY 2 – JULY 10, 2022 Layers and Light is an exhibition of works from three central Victorian printmakers whose work explores creating imagery through layering, light, line and texture. Sam Trafford, Chrisanne Blennerhassett and Diana Orinda Burns evoke unique and sometimes familiar locations, stories and atmospheres, often with striking simplicity, to create three-dimensional qualities, characteristic of the printmaking process.

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Edible gifts Unearth locally grown and produced delights from the City and region of Gastronomy. Indulge with delicious treats to take home and savour your Bendigo experience. Can’t decide on a gift for that special person in your life? Come in and let us help you create a one-of-a-kind, City of Gastronomy hamper. Shop in-store or online. Gift wrapping and click and collect available.

Make your own hamper • Local produce • Hand crafted items • Something for every budget • Complimentary gift wrapping

BENDIGO VISITOR CENTRE Open 9am to 5pm daily (except Christmas Day) 51-67 Pall Mall, Bendigo • 03 5434 6060 • • #Explore Bendigo • Find us on



contents PEOPLE & LIFE



Field of dreams - Maiden Gully flower farm


Life animates art - Ginny Jeong


Gold & green machines - Electric vehicle


Creative comeback - The Village of Artisans


On the frontline - Annette Robinson


Back in harmony - Mariah McCarthy


Bendigo Community Toy Library - Lisa Chesters


A cultural gem - Russell Jack


Water wise - Annie Tu and Nathalie Lopez


Bringing the harvest home - Bendigo memories


Truly inspirational - Mauricio Lemos Orjuela


Italian flavour - Recipe


Imogen and Travis - Wedding Feature


Tuning into wine - Wine tasting


Ballgame boom - Bendigo baseballers


A picturesque setting - Studio Apartment in Harcourt North













OPERA SINGERS - PRIMA BALLERINAS - CITY OF BRISBANE PIPE BAND evoke the sheer exuberance of THE PROMS in concert Rule Britannia, Land of Hope & Glory, great love songs of all time including climb Every Mountain, South Pacific, Love is A Many Splendored Thing and more...

ULUMBARRA THEATRE BENDIGO SUN 16TH OCT, 2022 - 2PM SHOW Booking: 03 5434 6100 | Online: Tickets: Adults: $85 | Conc: $81 | Groups 8+: $78 | Members: $79 5 G o l d e n F i d d l e awa r d s


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IGNITE FESTIVAL SURE TO BE A SENSATION Winter 2022 will be an exciting time to be in Bendigo. From exhibitions and electrifying light displays to delightful wine and beer tastings, the Ignite Festival promises an abundance of engaging events and experiences. Kids and adults alike will be in awe of GLOW: Bendigo after dark and White Night, two of the biggest events on the festival roster. The city will be illuminated with installations, light displays and projections that aim to connect us with our past, as well as celebrate our present and future. Another major event of Ignite is Bendigo On The Hop, the best winter craft beer festival in the country. On August 27, beer lovers will unite to taste rare craft beers and local produce while touring some of the finest venues in Bendigo. For people who prefer wine, the Bendigo Winegrowers Association will be hosting their annual Barrel Wine Tasting Weekend. The Australian Sheep and Wool Show is set to please those with a keen interest in agriculture, and Elvis fans won’t want to miss the excellent Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery. The Ignite Festival is set to turn Bendigo into even more of a vibrant city than it already is, and it’s guaranteed there will be something for everyone to find joy in. To discover more about Bendigo Tourism’s Ignite Festival and its events, head to

winter wonders

Watch the city glow with the Ignite Festival, sample the region’s fine wines, indulge your interest in agriculture, and so much more. DIG DEEP FOR THE BENDIGO HEALTH FOUNDATION The last two years have been incredibly tough on our healthcare industry. The Bendigo Health Fundraising & Foundation is asking the community to make a tax-deductible donation as part of its annual End of Financial Year Appeal, supporting the hospital to continue to provide excellent care to every person, every time. Over the years, the appeal has helped Bendigo Health fund specialised medical equipment and services, providing patients with accommodation and clothing, giving books to newborns and funding a Pet Therapy program. Another key success of the fundraising efforts has been establishing the Gobbé Wellness Centre to assist in improving the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of cancer patients and their carers. The appeal runs throughout June each year, with donors receiving a tax-deductible receipt to help claim in their tax return. To learn more about the Bendigo Health Fundraising & Foundation End of Financial Year Appeal or to donate, visit


A CLASSIC WAY TO SPEND THE AFTERNOON Ulumbarra Theatre will be turned into London’s Royal Albert Hall when An Afternoon at the Proms Spectacular comes to town. A salute to the famous BBC Proms Concerts, Australian Global Entertainment is touring the ACE award-winning show around regional towns from May to November, with a stop in Bendigo on October 16. Ian Cooper, Australia’s most acclaimed international violinist, will act as principal and virtuoso concert violinist at the Spectacular. He has composed and performed for many high-profile events, including the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony, and has received five Golden Fiddle Awards, two MO Awards, three ACE Awards, and a platinum ARIA Award. Joining Ian at the Spectacular are opera stars, prima ballerinas, the City of Melbourne Pipe Band and the Blue Danube Orchestra, with well-known music pieces Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, Radetzky March and Elga’s Land of Hope and Glory being performed. The Bendigo show was originally scheduled for September 2021 before being postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. An Afternoon at the Proms Spectacular will be presented at Ulumbarra Theatre at 2pm on Sunday, October 16. Tickets can be purchased through

ELVIS’S INFLUENCES EXPLORED The King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley, may have been a unique, significant and at times controversial artist, but where did he get his inspiration? Who did one of the most admired musicians of all time admire himself? A special event hosted by Bendigo Art Gallery will answer these burning questions. It’s no big secret that Elvis enjoyed blues and gospel music, and elements from these genres can be heard in many of his songs. The names of the artists behind his inspiration, however, are often lesser known. To tie in with the Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition, great Australian entertainer and Elvis-lover Henry Wagons, Triple J Roots N All host Nkechi Anele, and Melbourne’s ‘chairman of the night’ and Cherry Bar owner James Young will join forces to unpack the artists who influenced Elvis’s musical style, and in turn, some of the biggest hits of the 20th century. They will also discuss other well-known artists from different genres who credit Elvis with influencing them and their own music, including legendary Beatles member John Lennon and singer-songwriter k.d. lang. The musical influence of Elvis Presley with Henry Wagons, James Young and Nkechi Anele will take place from 6pm-7pm on Thursday, June 23, at Bendigo Art Gallery. Visit for bookings.



Opera Australia’s finest voices and a live orchestra deliver a score that is instantly familiar from movies, cartoons and commercials. Delight in a riotous romp along the road to true love!

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This is opera at its light-hearted, effervescent best. A must-see if you love: Downton Abbey, Sliding Doors, clever disguises gone wrong and a case of mistaken identities. Image: Georges Antoni, courtesy Opera Australia.






TWO PLAYS ARE BETTER THAN ONE There are numerous stories that have sadly never been told. Powerful stories, heart-warming stories, extraordinary stories – they are often forgotten as the years go on. The Space Company is telling two of these stories through their show Stardust + The Mission (Double Bill). In Stardust, ABC host Joel Carnegie tells his grandfather’s story. Col Brain was a bandleader and trumpet player who created a time capsule of his musical life inside a locked cupboard, and Joel leads the audience through touching discoveries about his grandfather’s life. Despite being one of the first Victorian Aboriginal soldiers to enlist for war, “Fighting Gunditjmara” man Allan McDonald was treated poorly on his return to Australia. He is brought to life by his great-great-nephew Tom Molyneux in The Mission, a captivating story about fighting for Country, love and justice. The Space Company has toured Stardust + The Mission extensively since 2019 and will visit venues all over the country in 2022. Performances allow audiences to meet two men whose extraordinary lives have had a multigenerational influence, yet their stories are not known to the average Australian. The Space Company will perform Stardust + The Mission (Double Bill) at The Capital on Wednesday, July 13, at 7.30pm. For tickets, visit

DANCERS TAKE TO ULUMBARRA STAGE Prepare to be dazzled as the Australian Ballet brings its Regional Tour: Ballet Gala to Ulumbarra Theatre in August. For 40 years, the renowned company has made its shows accessible to ballet lovers in regional and rural centres, with the 2022 tour giving fans in Launceston, Hobart, Mildura, Darwin, Broken Hill, Alice Springs and Bendigo the chance to witness the beauty of ballet live. Audiences will be treated to a piece entitled Swan Lake Variations, a tribute to popular Russian composer Tchaikovsky that has been exclusively choreographed for the regional tour by former artistic director David McAllister. A beautiful selection of pas de deux, new work by Lucas Jervies and Tim Harbour, and the ballets Flames of Paris and La Bayadère will also be showcased at the gala. While touring around the country, the Australian Ballet is offering a glimpse at the training the 80 dancers undertake six days a week, through special Class on Tour sessions. Youth Masterclasses for dancers aged 13-18 are also available in Bendigo and Mildura. The Australian Ballet Regional Tour: Ballet Gala will perform three shows at Ulumbarra Theatre on August 5 and 6. To book tickets, head to


SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW READY TO GO After two years of cancellations due to COVID-19, farmers will converge on Bendigo in July for the Australian Sheep and Wool Show. The three-day show has been a fixture on the agriculture calendar since 1877 and will again make Bendigo a hub of all things woollen fashion, food, and fibre. Thousands are expected to attend the Bendigo Showgrounds to meet the best wool growers and sheep breeders in Australia, with 28 different types of sheep, goats, and alpacas proudly on display. Ticket-holders with an interest in fashion should check out the fine designs and wearable art of the Australian Wool Innovation fashion parades, before making their way to the market area to buy hand-crafted woollen goods from the more than 250 stallholders in attendance. The hard-working women of the wool industry will be celebrated through a special luncheon on the first day of the show, featuring Iris and Wool owner Emily Riggs, Australian Wool Innovation ambassador Catriona Rowntree, and funnyman Bill Brownless. Other events include the Festival of Lamb cooking and carving classes, shearing and wool handling competitions, sheepdog trials and an animal nursery. Organisers of the Australian Sheep and Wool Show are excited to welcome back patrons to the Bendigo Showgrounds on July 15, 16, and 17. The event will also be a part of Bendigo Tourism’s Ignite Festival. For further information and to book tickets, visit

TASTE THE BEST WINE IN BENDIGO Have you ever tasted wine directly from the barrel? It’s said to be a magical experience, one that’s usually extremely exclusive. Locals will be able to try it for themselves at the annual Barrel Wine Tasting Weekend, as some of the most iconic wineries in the Bendigo region throw open their usually sealed-off barrel hall doors to the public. Organised by the Bendigo Winegrowers Association, the twoday event in July will see winemakers guide visitors through their wineries, showing them the art of making wine and sharing their tricks of the trade. There will be no shortage of incredible wines at different stages of maturation to sample, and visitors will be amazed by the difference in taste of bottled and barrel-stored wines. Bendigo has had a proud history of wine growing, with the first commercial vineyard established more than 50 years ago. Now, with more than 60 cellar doors operating in the region, don’t miss your chance to taste some of the best wine you’ll ever have. The Barrel Wine Tasting Weekend will run across various venues in Bendigo on July 2 and 3 as part of Bendigo Tourism’s Ignite Festival. Visit for more information and to book tickets.


ELVIS IS IN THE BUILDING If you have not yet experienced the Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition, head on down to Bendigo Art Gallery by July 17 to ensure you don’t miss out. The exclusive exhibition was created in partnership with Graceland, the museum located at Elvis Presley’s former mansion in Memphis. Since opening in Bendigo in March, the exhibition has welcomed thousands of excited Elvis fans through its doors to view more than 300 pieces of memorabilia, costumes and personal items that once belonged to the King of Rock and Roll. A particular highlight is the bright-red convertible 1960 MG featured in the film Blue Hawaii, notable for being the only car from Elvis’s films that he actually owned. Elvis was undoubtedly one of the most beloved entertainers of the 20th century, and to see items from his stellar career and life, you would usually have to travel 15,000km to the American state of Tennessee. Instead, the Australian-first exhibition allows people the chance to explore his extraordinary life and style right here in Bendigo. The Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition runs at Bendigo Art Gallery until July 17 and will feature in Bendigo Tourism’s Ignite Festival. Tickets can be purchased through GoTix:

BENDIGO LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT Tens of thousands are expected to flood the sparkling streets of Bendigo when White Night returns in September. The event will transform the city into a vibrant hub of projections, light displays, visual art, music and performance, inspired by the Nuit Blanche movement in Paris. Originally scheduled for 2020 and 2021 but cancelled both times due to lockdowns, the celebration of culture and creativity is now highly anticipated. There will be plenty of fun photo opportunities and delicious culinary experiences to enjoy throughout the night, and powerful, diverse voices will shine during the joyous and democratic takeover. The inaugural Bendigo event in 2018 saw people stretched out along View Street and Pall Mall as far as the eye could see. Rosalind Park was turned into a garden of giant light-up bugs, and iconic buildings were covered in stunning projections that told stories of our past. Since its inception in Melbourne in 2013, White Night has branched out to regional cities including Geelong and Ballarat. It’s set to return to Geelong this year as well as Bendigo and, for the first time, Shepparton. White Night will take place from 7pm to 2am on Saturday, September 3, in the Bendigo CBD, featuring in Bendigo Tourism’s Ignite Festival. For the full program, visit au/bendigo


I’ll be there! Celebrate this year’s Apiam Bendigo Cup Day on course BOOK YOUR PACKAGE TODAY! Fashions on the Field, Corporate Marquees, Trackside Umbrellas, and live entertainment plus lots more It’s a Great Day Out


MAGIC ARRIVES AT THE LIBRARY Get your best fantastical and bewitching outfits ready for Bendigo Library’s celebration of the book South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century. Two magical events will be held during the June school holidays, one for teens and tweens, and one for adults. Join fairy Louisa as she presents enchanting stories and songs inspired by the fairytale anthology. You’ll have the chance to meet and chat with some of the writers and illustrators, and cover artist and photographic illustrator Lorena Carrington will exhibit her visual artwork. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes, with all genders welcome to participate in the dress-up party. Face painting will also be offered to help you be your most magical self. South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century is full of wicked and wise stories from emerging and awardwinning Australian authors and is available for purchase at Bookish on Hargreaves Street. Both sessions of Australian Fairy Tales take place at the Bendigo Library on Thursday, June 30, with the older children’s session at 2pm and the adult session at 5.30pm. To learn more or to register for either session, head to

ROSALIND PARK TO GLOW IN THE DARK If you can brave the cold evenings this winter, bundle up and make your way into town. Through a series of immersive projections and lighting effects, Bendigo’s rich history will be explored as part GLOW: Bendigo after dark. Eleven installations will transform Rosalind Park into a vibrant and sensory night-time experience over three weeks in June and July. When entering the park, visitors will be greeted by an illuminated Acknowledgement of Country to pay respects to the Dja Dja Wurrung People, the traditional owners of the land. The remainder of the installations representing all things Bendigo can be found by wandering deeper into the park. Showcased through the latest technology will be our mining history, status as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, horticultural heritage and love of cycling. Almost 600 colourful lanterns will also celebrate our Chinese heritage. GLOW is a great opportunity for visitors to support local gastronomy businesses by buying a drink or sitting down for a meal, with many nearby options open during the event. Be sure to enjoy a night out on the town, immerse yourself in our fascinating history, and marvel at the stunning light shows on display. GLOW: Bendigo after dark will take place from June 25 to July 17 in Rosalind Park as part of Bendigo Tourism’s Ignite Festival. Visit to learn more.


“Creativity is not a solitary process. It happens within networks, when talented people get together, when idea systems and mentalities merge.” — David Brooks

Pat Brand Strategist

Courtney Graphic Designer

Caleb Video Strategist

Ginny Illustrator

Vanessa Content Creator

Brent Brand Designer

Wendo Abuto Illustrator

David Creative Director

Bailey Video Producer

Kira Creative Director

Henry Video Producer

Rhiannon Marketing Manager

Linden Administrator

Dave Hub Manager

David Artist & Composer

Aimee Program Design

Reece Creative Consultant

Louise Graphic Designer

Craig Creative Director

Alyssa Lead Creative

Discover your creative community and a dedicated space to thrive at Emporium Creative Hub. To find out more or book a tour: / 03 5406 0516

FORTEM FORGES A PATH FORTEM Group recognises the powerful outcomes delivered by astute and timely advice to business owners. Led by directors Lisa Wills and Tim Croke and supported by a dedicated team of like-minded professionals, FORTEM Group provides boutique business advisory and wealth management services to clients across Australia. “At FORTEM, when it comes to being in business – we ‘get’ you,” says Lisa. “We provide a personalised experience with an assured and singular focus on helping you achieve your goals. This is the core of our business and our long-term partnerships and committed client base are testament to this intent.” If you’re ready to make a change for the better – FORTEM can make a difference. Contact 03 5441 3377 or visit for more information.

best in business Whether growing your business, selling a property, or wanting to partake in quality delights, these Central Victorian businesses are there for you.

HEARD & CO. KEEPS ON GROWING The start of June saw an exciting new venture come to life for Heard & Co. Real Estate. The independent boutique agency was founded in 2018 by husband and wife Greg and Donna Heard exclusively as a residential sales office, and has since won multiple awards for its high level of service to the Bendigo community. In addition to the successful sales office, Heard & Co. Real Estate is proud to introduce its brand-new residential leasing department, Bendigo Property Management Pty Ltd. To lead this new initiative, the company has employed Carmen Morrow, who is highly experienced and regarded in the local industry. She will work closely with rental providers and renters to ensure their needs are met and develop long-term partnerships. After battling through the pandemic with minimal staff, the team has grown to eight. Alongside Carmen, recent appointments across sales and administration include Laini Schilling,


Kristy Osborne, Adam Hutton and Alicia Squires. A special mention goes to head of administration and long-term employee Sharmaine Goulden. Innovation, tradition, honesty and integrity have always been at the heart of this

family business, and will continue to be prioritised as they expand their horizons. For further information about Heard & Co. Real Estate, visit, or call 03 5409 3100 for sales and 03 5496 0110 for rentals.

A NEW ERA FOR ACCOUNTING FIRM If you have ever owned a small business in Central Victoria, chances are you may have worked with MGR Accountants. It has been a leading firm in the region for almost 40 years, providing financial services to a diverse clientele. MGR has seamlessly embedded itself into the community over the years, with offices in Bendigo, Castlemaine and Elmore, and it also proudly sponsors many local sporting teams and not-for-profit organisations. It will continue to provide world-class service to the greater Bendigo region, but under a different banner going forward. MGR has made the decision to join the multi-award-winning national accounting group Kelly+Partners. It’s a perfect fit – both are dedicated to supporting small businesses and helping families to achieve their financial goals. “We are pleased to continue looking after our many family businesses, but now with access to greater specialist expertise, resources and an Australia-wide footprint,” says Peter Mulqueen, senior client director of Kelly+Partners Bendigo. The team of 29 at MGR joins a staff of 370 at Kelly+Partners across offices in New South Wales, Victoria, Canberra and Hong Kong, and remains committed to helping locals build their businesses and grow their wealth. To learn more about Kelly+Partners Bendigo (MGR Accountants), visit the website:

A TASTE OF VIENNA IN CASTLEMAINE Next time you’re in Castlemaine, be sure to swing by the old Woollen Mill. Nestled under the chimney is Coffee Basics – Das Kaffeehaus, a Viennese coffee house and roastery. Owners Edmund and Elna have run this family business for 19 years, allowing Central Victorians to experience traditional Austrian food without needing to save for a plane ticket. The team of 30 serves up plate upon plate of good old-fashioned strudel, schnitzel and sausage – but the best part is the coffee, which is freshly roasted in-house every day. If you love it as much as the regulars do, you can pick yourself up a bag in-store or online. If you have a business, wholesale is also on offer. Edmund and Elna’s skilled roastery team will work with you to create a product that will suit your business to perfection. From the smell of the roaster smoke wafting through Castlemaine, to the hearty meals and Austrian beverages, there is so much to lure you into this ode to Vienna that is full of tradition and heart. Coffee Basics – Das Kaffeehaus is located at 9 Walker Street, Castlemaine, and is open seven days a week. To get in touch, call 03 5470 6270, email, or visit their website:



field of dreams A Bendigo family makes magic at their Maiden Gully flower farm, growing more than beautiful blooms. By Lauren Mitchell - Photography by Leon Schoots


There is such a thing as fairies. We found them in Maiden Gully. Dusky Pink Fairy pompom blossoms glistening in an autumn shower. This is one of the many chrysanthemum varieties growing at Pure Maiden Farm. Lord Kitchener is here, too, plus the Seaton’s Je’dore; a full and feathery pink bloom fading to yellow in its sunny heart.

June took to Google to see if she could source some seeds, and stumbled across the Bendigo Chrysanthemum Society. President John said if she signed up, she’d enjoy free plants. Armed with a newly minted membership, and a 100-year-old book on chrysanthemum growing, June began her education.

It’s a week before Mother’s Day, and the perfect time to visit this field of ‘mums, the pride and joy of small-scale farmers June and Lachlan Weir.

“I thought it would be the perfect cut flower, and because Lachlan’s parents had the land here, I thought maybe I could grow some,” she says. “I just used the back yard in my first year and I grew them in pots.

Within the week, the acre of flowers will be cut and delivered to local florists, plus sold at the Bendigo Farmers Market. “People love how fresh they are, how gorgeous they are,” June says. “It makes all the effort and hard work worth it.”

“Where I’m from in the north of Thailand, you can see the flower gardens everywhere. It’s a very big tourist city, so there’s many flower farms as well as markets that sell the flowers. I thought we should have something like this in Bendigo.”

The Bendigo couple began their lives as flower farmers in 2019 and are now passionate about growing their business along Schumakers Lane. For June, the seeds were planted while waiting for her visa application approval and her marriage to Lachlan in 2016. The couple met in Bendigo during June’s time as a La Trobe student, studying a Master of Community Planning and Development. June is originally from Thailand, where she had worked in sales and marketing for an organic food company. “I was waiting for my visa and had time to think about something to do as a hobby, for enjoyment, and I found I loved gardening,” she says. “I was not a gardener beforehand! I had lots of free time. I’d go to Bunnings and bring home a potted plant – I don’t know how many potted plants I killed! Lachlan was always laughing at me.” Then, a friend who was working at a flower farm posted a photograph of a chrysanthemum on Facebook. June was captivated. “I’d never seen one before,” she says. “I thought it was beautiful and I wanted to plant one.” 22

Now, the front block of this family property is blooming yearround. The beds are currently rotated with chrysies, dahlias and ranunculus, and there’s plans for expansion of varieties and infrastructure. The Bendigo climate has proven appropriate for commercial flower farming, although June says there are always challenges to overcome. “Things can always go wrong with flowers,” she says. “You can have beautiful flowers growing and then suddenly they’re full of caterpillars, or the wind comes and smashes through them. We learn from these lessons, so we know what to do next time.” This year, Lachlan says they’ll invest in tunnels for wind protection, plus expand the varieties grown. “Part of our philosophy is that we’re providing something for the community at large that the community was lacking,” Lachlan says. “And there’s something special about flowers. Everyone loves them. They make you happy. Even people who drive past the farm, they’re amazed when they see the flowers.”


It’s true the farm has inspired many, including Lachlan’s own parents. He is part of a fifth-generation Australian farming family. His parents were broadacre farmers who diversified over the years. Lachlan says the challenges his parents faced 30 years ago meant they didn’t want the same life for their kids. “It’s very encouraging for them to see that something so beautiful is also successful,” he says. “We’re focused on the enterprise. This is not a lifestyle farm, it’s a working farm that produces a living.” Lachlan’s interest in small-scale farming started in 2014, when he became a Willing Worker On Organic Farms (WOOF) while travelling and exploring around Queensland. “I became interested in regenerative agriculture and that opened my eyes up to smallscale farming,” he says, adding there’s an emerging culture that has allowed small farms to be profitable. “It’s driven by a demand for organic produce that’s locally grown with a reduced carbon footprint. That’s what we’re heading to with our farm as well.” Next year, June and Lachlan will have even more reason to celebrate Mother’s Day. June has memories of cutting flowers and forming bouquets for her first commercial ‘Mum’s Day’ two years ago, while juggling the care of then-four-month-old son Maxwell. As such, the couple made sure baby number two would arrive post the florists’ busiest day, and are set to welcome a child in August. June says Pure Maiden Farm will provide the ultimate life of doing something they love, together as a family. It’s a wish the fairies will no doubt grant.


“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

Pat Wannabe Sommelier

Courtney Plant Lady

Caleb Creative Thinker

Ginny Online Scholar

Vanessa Boardgame Fanatic

Brent Pepsi Ambassador

Wendo Abuto Stupadad

David #1 Chelsea Fan

Bailey Amateur Psychologist

Kira Culinary Obsessed

Henry Tech Enthusiast

Rhiannon Solo Adventurer

Linden Powertool Princess

Dave Wannabe Rockstar

David Actual Rockstar

Aimee Vinyl Addict

Reece Nacho Wizard

Louise Sweet Tooth

Craig Garden Whisperer

Alyssa Beer Nerd

Get down to the serious business of having fun with the Emporium Creative Hub crew. To find out more or book a tour: / 03 5406 0516



Trudi, Fran and Sue

Dean, Ben and Ignacio

Eli, Felix, Tenzin, Chris and John

Lady Lou Bricant, Polly Filla and Tara Missu

Nicole, Jo, Jen, Michael and Spike

Tracey, Lady Lou Bricant and Stania

Rainbow was the colour of the day at Bendigo PRIDE Festival’s Pride in the Park. The inclusive all-ages event saw Rosalind Park turned into a hub of activity, with musicians and drag acts wowing crowds, and adorable pooches on their best behaviour for Thorne Harbour Health’s inaugural dog show.



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life animates art Among the bustle of Bendigo’s arts precinct there is time for a story, and a glimpse into the brave and creative life of illustrator/animator Ginny Jeong. By Lauren Mitchell - Photography by Leon Schoots I arrange to meet Ginny Jeong over hot chocolates at the Art Gallery Café, forgetting all about Elvis. Fifties hits and the chatter of fans force us to seek a table outside and to ask, what is art? Is it blingy bodysuits? Is it blue suede shoes? Is it in us? “I’ve never felt like I’m an artist. I work in digital labour,” says illustrator/animator Ginny. “I treat the artist as something higher. The other side of it is, I try to express my life in drawings. I love that drawing has life. And when the characters start moving, it gives them emotions.” When Ginny was a new resident, and new mum, in Bendigo, and struggling with postnatal depression, her story was told through lines. “I was really lucky I had a psychologist to hear my story,” Ginny says. “She asked me to draw something. My feelings. My English was too

broken, but I was able to turn some kind of abstract feeling into a cartoon and she could then read why I struggled.” Now, when Ginny looks for the memories of her two-year-old son Alexander’s early months, she finds them in the sketches she made, as she fed him while the sun rose. Ginny has found much in Bendigo since arriving from Korea on a working holiday in 2015, meeting her partner Jarrad, getting married and starting a family. Initially she’d planned to travel, make some money and experience life outside the pressure cooker of Korean society, where she’d become burnt out chasing a career in animation – but not before winning a Korean Kids Mobile award for an animated app she helped create.


Ginny says she started drawing before she could write. By the age of six, she’d completed several full-length comic books. By seven, she was being tutored in art, alongside teenagers preparing for uni. The smell of an oil heater still takes her back to that room among paint and peers, leaving her with “a feeling of warmth” in her heart. Later, Ginny studied at Kaywon University of Art & Design, then worked as an animation background designer and in mobile app design. In Australia, while she and Jarrad were living in Melbourne, she completed a motion graphics class through Jumbla. Freelance animation work followed, until she and Jarrad moved back to Bendigo. The work dried up, Ginny became pregnant, and life got tough for a little while. “I thought my career was done,” she says. “I thought, I can’t work anymore, and this early stage of time was really important to build my career.” After Alexander was born, and with properly paid freelance work still hard to come by, Ginny had a breakthrough. She walked past the former Morley Johnston building in Mitchell Street and noticed it being developed into the Emporium Creative Hub.


“Something was being built, and it looked great,” Ginny says. “I checked the website and it sounded like what I wanted from Melbourne. A community. A place to get involved, learn things and get to know people. “Korea is a very small country, a similar size to Tasmania, but the population is double that of Australia. So it’s really packed. The big city is really bustling, and it means people are too busy, they don’t care about community. I didn’t even know my neighbours and I didn’t care. I didn’t have to attach anything to the place I lived. “When I came to Bendigo, I realised there’s a community and a different style of social structure. People know each other and that’s really important. That’s what I found, and I needed that. I can’t be just trying so hard, alone all the time. So I joined the Incubator program.” Ginny says signing up for The Emporium Hub’s 2021 Incubator program for creative businesses was a wonderful decision. “I was nervous a lot; I didn’t know what to say; I didn’t want to make any mistakes culturally,” she says. “So I did my best. I tried hard and heaps of people supported me. They understood I was isolated, and that I was the mum of a baby, and that I didn’t have any friends here. They understood and that kind of healed me. It wasn’t just about art or learning.” At the end of the course, Ginny nervously presented her work and ideas to a room of Bendigo business leaders. “At the end, people were clapping,” she says. “I thought, what’s going on here? I felt


like I was living in a dream. It’s what I needed. That was a really important time for me.” Ginny says she now feels part of a community of artists, and mums, in Bendigo. She can attend the exhibitions of friends and call on others for creative support. She’s consulted and collaborated on local animation projects, and hopes to do more work with others. A highlight was working on the production Everyone Goes To Heaven In The Clothes They Died In, directed by David Gagliardi. The show combines live performance, illustration, animation, video art, sound and lighting design and a composition for six pianos. Currently in development, it will be shown locally at the Ulumbarra Theatre. “I was involved in the animations part of the project and, for me, it was the biggest career opportunity I’ve had since I’ve lived in Bendigo,” Ginny says. “I’m getting to know what kind of person I’m going to be in the community – what my part is. I don’t have super-big dreams. I used to want to work with Pixar or Disney, but now I want to do my own thing. I want to make my own animation. And I want to work with other people. I’d just like more time to draw.” For starters, more sketches of Alexander’s life will come. “I’m losing the memories,” she says of the fleeting nature of a babyhood. “If I don’t start, I think I’ll forget.” Ginny says those personal drawings become clues to emotions and moments that could otherwise be lost to time. Some may argue, they become art. To view more of Ginny’s work, visit 31

© EPE. Graceland and its marks are trademarks of EPE. All Rights Reserved. Elvis Presley

s of EPE. All Rights Reserved. Elvis Presley™ © 2021 ABG EPE IP LLC.

y™ © 2021 ABGLC. EPE IP L

Connor, Fiona and Campbell

Ricky and Velda

Clara, Zina and Vince

Jessica and Chelsea

Joey, Lydia and Renee

Lashana and Chris

THE KING COMES TO TOWN Bendigo came alive with Elvis fever as Bendigo Art Gallery opened the highly anticipated Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition in March. Those fortunate enough to hold tickets for the opening weekend marvelled at the memorabilia on display, and Elvis’s former wife Priscilla Presley was on hand to launch the special exhibition.


What do you want your uni experience to look like? With the La Trobe study model, you can design it the way you want. You’ll get more flexibility with y what you study y how you study And you’ll always have access to La Trobe’s Bendigo Campus and local networks, thanks to Regional Connect. Do uni your way. Because this isn’t La Trobe for you,


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Denita and Richard

Martin and Faye with Alyssa, Sophie, Xavier and Thomas

A NIGHT NOT WASTED Kyle, Matteo, Fleur and Giovanna

Kimberley, Toby and Andrew

Janine, Erin and Vivian

Alice, Tim and Will

Families embraced the waste-free theme for an outdoor screening of Smelliville at Strathdale’s Crook Street Park. While watching the animated garbageeating Ogglies try to save their beloved dump home, moviegoers munched on waste-free picnics and learned about sustainability from the City of Greater Bendigo’s Resource Recovery and Education unit.

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HARMONY FOR ALL IN HARGREAVES MALL Music, dance, art and food filled Hargreaves Mall for the Harmony Fair, a joyful celebration of Bendigo’s multicultural communities. The event marked the opening of Cultural Diversity Week, featuring vibrant live performers showcasing their cultures, and a screening of Arena Theatre Company-produced film BAAI, which tells the story of four girls from South Sudan who now call Bendigo home.

George and Phyll

Emily and Renee

Jordan, Tess, Sophia and Miriam

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Martha, Atil, Nyong, Salwa and Zahra

Zahir and Monisha

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An electric vehicle for the mining industry is being made in Bendigo, alongside the skills and careers of talented locals and newcomers. By Lauren Mitchell - Photography by Leon Schoots Australia is on the cusp of another mining boom, driven by demand for critical minerals to make green technologies, says Safescape’s Beau McKenna. For example, 200kg of minerals such as copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel are needed to make just one electric car. Bendigo-based business Safescape is ready to help create a cleaner, greener mining industry, thanks to its Project Bortana, a one-of-a-kind electric vehicle made for life underground. “It’s not something you’d expect to see in Golden Square,” says Beau. Then again, Bendigo does have that long history of mining innovation. Safescape was established in 2010 after founder and engineer Steve Durkin identified an industry need for improved emergency exits while working as an airleg miner. Part of his role was to check the escapeways, where he would often discover rusting or corroded steel ladders – a common problem in the damp salty conditions underground. So Steve designed the Laddertube; a sealed plastic cylinder with an

internal moulded ladder. Safescape has since supplied more than 52,000 metres of the product to 141 mine sites in 24 countries. Other innovations have followed, the latest being the Bortana EV. Safescape is making a vehicle that can withstand underground conditions, plus reduce carcinogenic diesel fumes, in-line with the company’s ethos of making products that are safer for people, and the environment. “We’re planning to become a fully fledged car manufacturer for Bendigo,” Beau says. He says mines will typically use Toyota Hiluxes and Landcruisers, however the utes are lucky to last two years before they rust. It’s expected Bortana EVs will last between eight and 10. Safescape found a Brazilian company manufacturing military vehicles with a galvanised body and sealed chassis for the damp, acidic jungle environment, similar to that in mines. They were the ideal vehicle body to convert to electric.


Safescape now imports the bodies to Bendigo as step one in the Bortana EV’s manufacture. “Technically, the vehicles are Australian made because of the amount of components we put into them, and all that work is done here in Bendigo,” Beau says. There are currently 10 Bortana EVs in the Allingham Street factory, in varying stages of completion. A prototype is being tested over the undulating terrain of a Ravenswood property. “It’s got good inclines and declines, like we see underground,” Beau says. This winter, a small fleet will be hired out to mines in Queensland and Western Australia to be further tested. “We’re hoping to go to full production in the first half of next year and be producing four to six vehicles per month,” Beau says. “We’re also hoping to bring other local suppliers along with us. For example, all the trays and bull bars are being made locally.” Beau says Safescape plans to double its employees within the next three years, with opportunities for the likes of mechanical engineers, software developers and university students. Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering student Rikki Arendsen came to complete a three-month internship last year, and hasn’t left. He has found the ideal application for his chosen career in the Safescape headquarters. “The mechatronics degree has really allowed me to work on any part of the car, because in the degree we do a little bit of mechanics, a little bit of hardware and a little bit of software,” Rikki says. “There aren’t many electric vehicles being made specially for mining. It’s a super awesome opportunity that the regions are providing.” Rikki says he was excited to move from his home city of Sydney to begin his career in Bendigo. “I was really dissatisfied with living in the city, so I was quite excited to move away. I was both excited to explore a new place and also have some experience of living in a regional area, and it’s been, overall, really great.


“My favourite part of Bendigo is just the breathing space. I now feel really claustrophobic in the city. Everyone’s angry all the time, on the roads and on the trains. The overarching thing I found when I came here is that everyone’s friendlier, everyone’s more relaxed and everyone’s happier.” Rikki says it wasn’t long before he knew he wanted to stay on and see Project Bortana through to market. “I was loving the job and really loving Bendigo as a town, then started to realise I wanted to stay and they wanted me here,” he says. “One of the silver linings of COVID is that it’s opened up the unis to make sure they’re providing distance-learning opportunities. So I’m now able to complete the majority of the last year or so of my degree online. Previously, that wouldn’t have been an option. “Coming to Golden Square has helped me realise all the awesome opportunities in the mining industry, and even more excitingly, in helping the mining industry to shift with the changing social requirements of the world and continue to provide all of those resources we’ll need, for renewables, for technology, just in a safer and cleaner way. That’s really exciting for me.”


Ashlee, Jana, Trina and Greg

Linc, Katie, Mark and Charlie

Nina, Mel, Colleen and Kelly

Christine, Ricky, Michael, Mark, Dayne, Archie, Leigh, Leigh, Charlie, Katie, Bek, Chantelle and Linc

Ron and Leigh

Isabella, Georgia, Rafferty, Max, Flynn, Ruby and Elise

WALKING FOR A CAUSE A distance of 210km lay behind family and friends of the late Gerri Stevens as they crossed the finish line of a momentous walk in her honour. The five-day journey from Mount Buninyong to Bendigo raised an incredible $45,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation, with the group greeted by a sea of pink and purple at the Bendigo train station.

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CHEERS FOR THE BEER There were smiles allround at the Tom Flood Sports Centre during the annual Bendigo Craft Beer and Cider Festival.

Larissa, Belinda and Fiona

Sparky, Brodie, Scotty, Collo and Broden

More than 100 unique brews from around the country were available for sampling, with mouth-watering food, live music and games also on offer for lucky ticket-holders.

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Lisa Chesters MP - a strong VoiCe for Bendigo Lisa Chesters Lisa Chesters MP MP -- a a strong strong VoiCe VoiCe for for Bendigo Bendigo federal Member for Bendigo Ifederal am honoured to have been elected as the Federal Member for Bendigo. Member for Bendigo federal Member for Bendigo As your Federal to Member of Parliament, my office and I can provide a II am honoured have elected Federal Member for am honoured to have been been elected as as the the Member for Bendigo. Bendigo. As your Federal Member of Parliament, myFederal office and I can provide a wide range of services. As your Federal Member of Parliament, my office and II can provide a wide range of services and support. As your Federal Member of Parliament, my office and can provide a Please don’tof hesitate to get in touch with me anytime, either at my office wide range services. wide range services. on (03) 5443of9055 or by Please don’t hesitate to email get inat touch with me anytime, either at my Please don’t hesitate to touch with me Please don’t hesitate to get getorin inby touch with me anytime, anytime, either either at at my my office office office on (03) 5443 9055 email at on (03) 5443 9055 or by email at on (03) 5443 9055 or by email at Authorised by L Chesters, 16 Myers Street, Bendigo




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Yvonne George - Sculptor



The Village of Artisans: how an eclectic group of craftspeople reinvented themselves after the pandemic. By Dianne Dempsey - Photography by Leon Schoots The lockdown was one heck of an event, from which many of us are still trying to recover. People drifted from weeks to months of loneliness and financial insecurity, trying to keep heart and hearth together. Out at the Bendigo Pottery Complex, the big gates were locked to the public. The pottery was still in production but the retail section was closed. And the studios, which are clustered around the pottery, were also closed to the public. The artisans who occupy the studios have shared the pottery grounds for many years. They’re mates and look out for each other. And they represent a rich and colourful array of endeavours, including glass bead making, sculpting, collage art, printmaking, jewellery design, quilting, handmade homewares, painting, wine making and artisan foods. It wasn’t until spring of last year, when the pandemic was easing, that one of the artisans, sculptor Yvonne George, noticed an ad promoting a Bendigo council grant initiative. “The grant seemed to be a way for us to apply for funding that could revitalise our respective businesses and the precinct as a whole,” she says.


Jeff Hooley - Goldfields Providore

Yvonne has always loved working at the pottery. Having worked in isolation on her farm for many years, she arrived at the pottery after the Black Saturday bushfires, grateful for the company of workmates, and relished the simple pleasure of pulling up a chair to enjoy a coffee or a Christmas drink with her friends and colleagues. After learning that a grant might be possible, Yvonne saw a way to secure their future. The solution? To employ a marketing expert and run a publicity campaign that would promote them as a separate attraction to the pottery. “The main aim of our campaign was to establish ourselves as the Village of Artisans and bring ourselves to the attention of the locals; to say, hey we are out here,” Yvonne says. “We wanted to show the diversity of products that are on their doorstep. There are nine artisans’ studios out here and growing. “We have so much to offer visitors. But not just to tourists, to our locals as well. Each studio is a working studio with a retail gallery attached and they offer an extraordinary range of artworks and unique, handmade gifts. “Everyone here is friendly and warm, including our dogs, which are often on the premises,” says Yvonne with a laugh. “And you can watch us while we work. For example, visitors, including children, love to watch Leanne Grylls’s lampworking techniques when she works glass over a flame. Her studio is filled with an amazing array of glass beads and animals.” Also available from the Village are Cheryl Fyffe’s landscape-inspired prints, boho-influenced pieces and opal pieces. Emily Crawford stocks a diverse range of beeswax products, patchwork quilts, wall art, gifts and hampers at the Habitat Gallery. Visitors can buy artwork and also arrange art lessons from Kim Lowe, of Studio 2Inspire, and Joy Tatt, of Joybells. Joan Harris from Studio B also offers art lessons. Her artwork consists of mixed media collages and family portraits. 44

Kim Lowe - Studio 2Inspire


Leanne Grylls Linking Energy Handmade Glass Art


Joy Tatt - Joybells ‘One of a Kind’ Studio

Glenwillow Wines offers a cellar door to try out their awardwinning wines and olives; and Goldfields Providore specialises in Roogenic teas, olive oils and bush foods. As for Yvonne George, she specialises in small and large-scale domestic and commercial metal sculptures. Her work has featured in the Bendigo public domain for many years and is on display in her gallery. She also welcomes commissions. Yvonne remembers the Black Saturday fires, when several people who had been shattered by that terrible time were looking for a simple, beautiful thing to buy. “Art speaks,” she says, “and people respond.” She says visitors don’t feel intimidated exploring these studios. “We’re quirky and approachable. We really do enjoy the visits. It’s a warm, social experience. I guess, compared to formal art galleries, we are very accessible. “And if you do want to buy, most people are pleased with how reasonably priced everything is. “We want to remind locals that this is a great place to visit if you want to get out of the house, to enjoy the Village of Artisans, the gardens, the 40 antiques and collectables sites, the pottery itself, the gardens and the café.” When looking for ways to promote themselves, the Village of Artisans commissioned a website that further illustrates the range of their artwork, workshops and demonstrations, and food and wine.


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History in the making HEARD & CO. - BENDIGO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT has always been a pipeline dream for director, Greg Heard. “I knew it was all about timing and it had to be done with the right people. The best kind of people,” says Greg. “After 16 years in real estate, connecting with clients (many long-term), fellow experienced professionals within the industry amidst building the success of Heard & Co. Real Estate, we’ve been able to solidify what great real estate service really comes down to… and it’s the same reason our clients keep coming back time and time again! • A high-quality service that is proven. • Genuine honesty, respect & transparency. • Hard work, unwavering commitment and dedication.

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back in harmony As Bendigo once again revels in a live music scene, local songstress Mariah McCarthy is ready to ramp up with a debut album release. By Lauren Mitchell

Some of us baked bread, others binged Netflix, many desponded. Mariah McCarthy spent her early isolation months recording retro tribute tunes for her dad’s 60th birthday gift. “I thought at the time I wasn’t being very creative at all but when I look back, I was sitting down and playing,” says the Bendigo songstress. “I ended up recording a whole cover album at home for my dad.” Think Meatloaf, Black Sabbath and Neil Young. Not Mariah’s usual genre, although she did put her trademark folksy spin on them. “Dad loved it,” she says. “I grew up listening to his music, but I’d never had the chance to play it. I got to put my own style on it, which was fun.” Mariah’s own music has its roots in 1960s protest songs and the folk classics of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, which she adored from childhood. Theirs were the tunes she longed to play when she first picked up a guitar at the age of nine. Contemporary influences include Aussies Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins and Kate Miller-Heidke, which can be heard in Mariah’s story-telling style, and the tracks set to feature on her first full-length album, due for release later this year, including Red Sky. “I wrote that about my frustration with government inaction over climate change,” she says. “I started it on that Code Red day in 2019, when the sky turned red and we had that awful bushfire summer. I finished the song throughout the summer as the fires went on… It has a bit more of an edge to it than my usual songs.” Mariah resumed playing to live audiences late last year, at wineries, festivals and local venues such as the Old Church on the Hill, where she staged her local EP launch in 2018. 51

“It certainly makes you appreciate live gigs when you can’t have them,” she says of the dark lockdown days.

Melbourne working and playing live at little bars like The Evelyn, Edinburgh Castle and others along Sydney Road and High Street.

“I wrote a few songs in the first year of the pandemic, but I found there was less to write about when I wasn’t experiencing much. If I’m not writing about my own experiences, I’m writing about something that’s happening around me, or something I’ve seen or read.”

She says playing at folk festivals has also been a highlight. “They are always super fun and I like being able to travel and see new places and new musicians. Some festivals I’ve played are Yackandandah Folk Festival, Wintermoon Festival, St Albans and a favourite of course, Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival.”

Mariah is often joined on stage and in song by good friends and collaborators Ben Langdon and Cassie Ward, delivering some sweet three-part harmonies.

Mariah moved back to Central Victoria to start life with her partner in 2018. “I enjoyed Melbourne, but I think I like the quieter lifestyle,” she says, and just as well for Bendigo and its next generation of musicians; Mariah also teaches guitar, ukulele, piano and vocals at six local primary schools.

Mariah met Cassie in primary school at Holy Rosary in Heathcote, and Ben at Collarts in Melbourne, where she studied music after graduating from Catholic College Bendigo. “It was quite the change,” she says, for a country kid. “For the first year I was there, I lived right in the city, which was really fun and exciting. I found it to be good inspiration for songwriting. I spent a lot of time on public transport, which always gave me time to write.” After two years studying, Mariah spent a further two years in 52

“A great part of coming back to Bendigo was joining the amazing music scene, particularly for original folk/blues/roots musicians. Colin Thompson has been a major part of making the Bendigo live music scene what it is today for musicians but also for punters, too.” Go to for details of Mariah’s upcoming gigs and pending CD launch.

Andrew, James and Anne

Kate and Penny

A FLOURISHING FESTIVAL Peter, Rosalie and Sandra

Sheryle and Leesa

Phyllis and Karen

Steph and Tara

Arts venues around Bendigo were packed with book lovers eager to hear from their favourite authors at the Bendigo Writers Festival. With four days of sessions based on the theme of “Flourish”, audiences were treated to thought-provoking and energetic conversation from Australian and international authors. Wordspot, a free program for schools, took place on the Thursday.

June 25 – July 17, Rosalind Park Book now at

Archie, Rochelle, Thylane, Hunter, Jenna and Jimmy

Sinead, Tegan and Tate

Heidi, Oscar, Claire, Lincoln and Tim

Jemma, Cassie, Harlow and Jackie

Lauren, Zavier, Bridget and Thomas

Meg, Maximilian, Taryn and Bonnie

WHAT A DAY OF PLAY Excited children and their parents flocked to the Garden for the Future to celebrate National Playgroup Week. A multitude of fun activities were ready for the keen youngsters to participate in, including pony rides, balloon sculpting and storytime sessions. Parents also had the opportunity to learn about the crucial early years services available to them locally.

Andy and Sue

Amanda and Daryl


Jim, Steve and Grant

Ian, Beck, Jo, Butch, Gary, Bob and Jenny

Ray, Allan and Bradley

Motorcycle enthusiasts had a great time when the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club brought its Suzuki National Rally to town. The Dai Gum San Precinct was filled to the brim with restored and preserved bikes from the big four Japanese manufacturers, and club members also enjoyed a scenic ride around the region.

Now enrolling Years 7 – 12 for 2023 We welcome enrolment applications from all families in our region.


Visit the CMC website: Explore Virtual Open House online:

on the frontline Whether her uniform is army green or navy blue, Annette Robinson’s skills as a nurse have seen her excel in extreme situations both at home and overseas, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. By William Vallely - Photography by Kate Monotti Annette Robinson’s desire to help people has taken her across the globe, from working in field hospitals in Iraq to delivering humanitarian aid in Tonga. The associate nurse unit manager at Bendigo Health’s Intensive Care Unit has successfully balanced her nursing and Australian Defence Force careers for almost 15 years. Annette believes the two dovetail, providing 56

complementary skills that have helped her excel in both fields. Problem solving, adaptability and resilience are some of the traits she’s developed. In 2017, Annette made four trips to Iraq, working in field hospitals near Mosul. “We went to offer healthcare to people who hadn’t had access to it for a number of years. The field hospitals were set up ready

to take in casualties,” she says. “I’ve seen a lot of things I wouldn’t wish upon a lot of people.” Earlier this year, on her most recent ADF deployment, Annette was delivering humanitarian aid following the Tongan volcano eruption. Working and living under extreme circumstances has prepared Annette for

“You have to be diverse, you have to have compassion, empathy and a bit of wit about you to keep coming back,” she says. A Bendigo Health nurse since 2006, Annette worked in theatre and the wards before settling on a critical care career. “It’s a very unique skill set to be able to adapt to different situations and patients. It’s a career that can open many opportunities for travel.” Annette says Bendigo Health has supported her dual career throughout, which she appreciates, particularly with some shortnotice deployments. The health service has encouraged further study, with Annette gaining an ex-servicemen and women scholarship

through the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre in 2021 to complete a Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management with Charles Darwin University. The certificate helped her get a Civil Military Co-operation posting with the Army Reserve. Given staff shortages across the healthcare system, Annette has recently taken a leave of absence from the ADF to focus on the home front. What does the future hold for someone who can’t stop helping others? “I won’t stop doing humanitarian work – I’m very passionate about that. I believe everyone is entitled to basic healthcare as a basic human right.”

the coronavirus pandemic, giving her an embedded resilience to call upon in difficult times. “You just keep going. It has been very tough the past few years and it’s still very tough, but you put a brave face on and keep going.” As a role model and support person for other ICU nurses and colleagues, Annette tries to focus on mental wellbeing and introducing some humour into the group. 57

Amelia, Emma and Isabel

Frankie and Leigh

Miller and Ashley

Kim, Daisy, Oscar and Carol

Soren, Ewan and Avery

Steph, Obi and Tom

MESSY PLAY MAKES SMILES Zoo Safari was the theme for the Bendigo Community Toy Library’s first Messy Play Day since COVID-19 first hit. Kids had a blast exploring a range of messy sensory activities, from mud and dirt to jelly and coloured spaghetti. Proceeds from the popular event went to New South Wales and Queensland libraries impacted by flooding.

TAS CAREEDY “No course is treated as superior to any other and this encourages students to follow their desired pathway with great support from teachers.”

MAIA ROSSI “I’ve discovered I can be myself— express myself openly—in a college community that supports diversity in every way.”

JESSICA BROWN “BSSC is a place that fosters individuality. We’re encouraged to be independent, but given every opportunity to achieve the marks we need.”

MUHAMMAD KHAN “BSSC is such a good learning environment… the teachers are so helpful, constantly challenging me to do better.”

EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES BSSC offers the greatest choice of subjects for senior secondary students in Victoria, a wide range of specialist programs and flexible learning options, all designed to create an environment that supports learners at every level. Like to find out more? Phone: 5443 1222 Email:

Bendigo Senior Secondary College Empowering learners for individual, community and global leadership

Anna, William, Matthew, Jack, Henry, Louis and Grace

Chris and Donna

Ben, Wade and Peter

Connor, Mason, Hunter and Max

RACING FOR GOLD Big crowds gathered under blue skies at the Bendigo Jockey Club for the Golden Mile Raceday, the 10th year it has been hosted in Bendigo.

Jackie, Heidi, Daniel, Colin and Harlow

Sharon, Fay, Annie and Shavaun

Many regulars were in the stands to watch the races and attempt to back a winner, and for the first time, Fashions on the Field was a feature of the event.




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the importance of play The toy library offers parents and children the opportunity to develop through play without the financial burden of purchasing or storage. By Lisa Chesters, Federal Member for Bendigo - Photography by Daniel Sconcin

Play is one of the most important things young children can do for brain development, yet most parents would know the feeling of too many toys piling up at home and the enormous cost of updating toys as the child grows. That’s why community toy libraries are such an asset to our community. A toy library enables parents and caregivers to borrow a large variety of educational toys, games, puzzles and equipment in a process similar to that of a public book library. These toys suit children aged from birth to primary school and beyond. Play is how children learn and making it fun is nature’s way of ensuring children get lots of practice. Even tiny babies play, practising moving their hands or sucking their toes, which helps them learn to control their bodies. The games children play are 60

directly linked to the needs of the growing body and mind, which is why the option of being able to swap toys frequently at a toy library is beneficial. Play is necessary for children to develop and increase their language and early literacy skills, as well as their social and emotional wellbeing. Play is the lens through which children experience their world, and the world of others. It is through play that children organise and make meaning of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representation. The cost of toys can be overwhelming for parents, particularly as growing children become bored with them quickly. It also means many new toys go unused and create clutter in the home. Getting involved in the share economy through the Bendigo Community Toy Library is not only economical, but it promotes sustainability and recycling.

Parents or guardians can have their annual fee subsided if they volunteer at the organisation. Because of this, the toy library becomes an important source of connection, community and support for parents and a fantastic space for children to boost their social, emotional and physical development. Toy libraries aim to support families and encourage togetherness. As families deal with the skyrocketing cost of living, many parents are having to choose between putting food on the table, paying the mortgage, or paying their bills and utilities. This means quality and age-appropriate toys become ‘nice to haves’ for some families and are out of reach. For others, buying toys and keeping up with age and peer-influenced requirements is putting a real strain on families. Toy libraries generate a community approach to all children being able to borrow

the toys that are right for them, reducing stigma and setting all children up to succeed. We know that over 90 per cent of human brain development occurs in the first five years. Play has a critical role in that development, particularly social play, with kids learning together and developing social skills, as well as creating a vital network for parents. There are more than 280 toy libraries in Australia (including one here in Bendigo), serving over 40,000 children and 20,000 families and with more than $6.5 million worth of toys. The Bendigo Community Toy Library currently has 150 members and more than 150 toys, as well as party packs and activity packs. It operates out of two locations, Spring Gully and Long Gully. Opening hours and information on memberships can be found at or by phoning 0439 504 857. 61

Alicia, Andrea and Claire

Grace, Lola and Abigail

Jacob, Hugh, Emily, Mikaela and Dooley

Joel, Amanda, Alison and Leigh

Kate, Jeremy, Abbey, Linden and Ben

Kath and Finn

TIME FOR WINE Wine lovers rejoiced at the chance to taste local wines under the trees in the beautiful Rosalind Park as part of the Strategem Bendigo Winemakers Festival. The two-day festival allowed growers from around the region to show off their carefully crafted whites, reds, rosés and sparkling wines. A masterclass on the Sunday also presented guests with more unusual wine varieties to try.

6 Lewis Drive, Castlemaine | Ph: 0435 500 112 | Open: Fri 8 - 5 & Sat 9 - 2 |

Jay, Narelle, Lisa and Georgie

Toby and Sarah

ALCOHOL-FREE, YES PLEASE Sarah, Rick, Hanna and Ruth

Tyler, Lauren and John

Terri and Phil

Wally and Dianne

Non-alcoholic drinks are growing in popularity, and those keen to find out why assembled at the Lake View Hotel for an extraordinary tasting. Bendigo-born and now Melbournebased publican Anthony Hammond spoke about the rise of these beverages, followed by tastings from non-alcoholic beverage companies Heaps Normal, Yes You Can and Smug AF Cocktails.

TURNER S CROS S I N G From the banks of the Loddon River, Turners Crossing has been producing wines of outstanding quality that speak of a sense of place and provenance.

Visit our website below to purchase our full range of premium wines

water wise

Two young women who moved to Australia to study engineering now call Bendigo home, using their expertise to manage and maintain our community’s most precious resource. By Raelee Tuckerman - Photograph by Leon Schoots Annie Tu and Nathalie Lopez grew up worlds apart but share much in common. Vietnamese-born Annie and Colombian-raised Nathalie were both inspired to become engineers by a desire to help others; both left their homelands for Sydney to study at the University of New South Wales; both love spending their spare time outdoors.

Nathalie, who holds a double major in civil and mining engineering, also found the move to Central Victoria challenging at first, after the hustle and bustle of Sydney and her childhood home of Cali.

And both took a leap of faith in applying for a graduate program in a regional city they’d never heard of, landing roles with Coliban Water that have enhanced their careers.

“I was used to taking buses everywhere in Sydney and that was harder here, so transport was one thing I had to adjust to. Then there was the accent...” Do Bendigonians really sound any different to Sydneysiders? “Yes. In the beginning, I was like, ‘oh my god, I’m having trouble here!’.”

“I didn’t know anything about Bendigo until I got here,” laughs Annie, a chemical engineering graduate who learned about the scheme while scouting jobs on LinkedIn in 2018. “I’m originally from Ho Chi Minh City – a big city that’s very different to Bendigo, so I had to adapt to the quieter life. But it’s much greener here and I really enjoy the lifestyle I’m developing.”

But now, not only have Annie and Nathalie settled well into their new surroundings, they’re also making their mark in the local water industry. As part of Coliban Water’s graduate program, they have broadened their horizons working in different areas of the business and experienced the diverse opportunities available in the oftenmale-dominated engineering field.


“My first rotation was in a team looking at water quality, from catchment to tap, which gave me an overall sense of how a water utility operates,” Annie says. “Then I moved to a concept development team looking after designs for new water infrastructure. And my third role was a series of external placements, including with Veolia at the Sandhurst Water Treatment Plant, and GHD in Melbourne, one of our engineering and design partners.” The 26-year-old now works with Coliban’s wastewater treatment team as a process operations engineer and says she has found her calling, drawing on her chemistry and biology background. “I look after the Epsom Wastewater Treatment Plant,” she says, explaining that wastewater treatment is a dynamic process requiring planning and problem-solving. “You don’t just press a button and let it run; it changes throughout the day, the month and even the seasons. “Flows into the plant increase and slow at different times throughout the day, so we need to account for that. We also use live microbes in our biological nutrient removal process to treat the water and they change throughout the seasons (in summer they like the warmth and run well but in winter they’re not as active). And wind or heavy rainfall stirs up turbidity in the lagoons, so filtration needs change and we occasionally need to use more chemicals to get rid of the solids.”

consider Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers in Australia, but say gender was never an issue for them. Annie’s father is an engineer. She always knew it was an option for her, and never felt any negativity about her choice of profession. Nathalie says female participation in engineering in Colombia is about 36%, three times the rate here. “When I moved to Australia, the change was significant,” says Nathalie. “It’s not an easy issue to solve, but working in this field and being able to inspire other girls is really good. “I would say to them, don’t be put off by thinking engineering is all about numbers. At university, yes, but you can learn maths with good teaching. Uni is just the first step – when you get into the workplace, you discover that numbers are not what makes engineering. It’s about critical thinking, problem solving, hands-on experience and making an impact on the community.” Annie agrees. “I grew up knowing what engineers do. If there’s a flood and someone designed a house that floats, you instantly think ‘an engineer did that’. Perhaps because we have more hardships in developing countries, we look at most of the innovations that help people’s daily lives, and know there’s an engineer involved in some aspect.”

Annie has also travelled back to Vietnam with a Coliban delegation to observe operations at ‘twin organisation’ Phu Tho Water – as an interpreter, rather than engineer.

They urge anyone considering an engineering career to explore the possibilities and, if they have the chance, shadow some engineers on the job to learn more about exactly what they do.

“I didn’t know Coliban was doing that kind of work but it helped me be even more certain I’d made the right choice coming here. I like the social impact of engineering and am hoping to do some aid work for people in developing countries, working on clean water and sanitation projects. So getting that exposure three months into my first job was great confirmation for me.”

“It’s not even about being a girl in STEM; it’s about doing what brings you joy,” concludes Annie.

Nathalie was drawn to the public water industry after initially taking a job with a private firm in 2017. “But I felt it was very money driven and that didn’t sit well with what I wanted to do as an engineer, which was helping people and communities,” the 31-year-old says.

“I like working in an environment where I can solve problems and see the results as they happen. I see how my work changes processes, resulting in better water quality or more efficiency. If I do this work for the next 40 years, I’ll be happy and comfortable because I know I’m making a difference.” Vacancies in Coliban Water’s graduate engineer program occur regularly. Expressions of interest can be forwarded to

“I thought the best way for me to do that in Australia was to work for a council or water corporation. Then I heard about Coliban’s graduate program and there were some openings. “I started in networks operations, which involves operating and maintaining the network (pipes, pumps and other infrastructure) from the treatment plants all the way to the tap, and from the toilet to the boundary of wastewater treatment facilities.” Nathalie’s rotations included the treatment team and Veolia’s desalination plant in Sydney. She now has moved into a full-time role as a water networks operations engineer. “We look at how the network operates to optimise it or prepare for rain, which can get into sewer mains and cause issues. We do maintenance/cleaning of the networks, and try to address customer concerns, like when people tell us their house smells, or their tap water tastes a little different.” Coliban Water‘s graduate engineer program has operated for about 12 years, partnering with universities including La Trobe and attracting applicants from across Australia and internationally. Eight different rotations are available, with participants usually spending several years moving through various teams before accepting full-time roles within the business or externally. “Some of our graduates have taken on senior management positions within the organisation, so it’s been a nursery of technical skills for Coliban Water,” says chief assets and service delivery officer Danny McLean. “Some have gone into other local or national organisations providing water and wastewater services and others now work for our contractors. “We have a diverse group; a great mix of males and females and cater for all disciplines, including chemical, environmental, biological, mechanical, civil and electrical engineers. They have the chance to work in areas like construction, operations, IT and control systems, right across the water cycle. “Our graduates discover their own niche, whether they’re best suited to construction, project management, operations, data analysis or other highly technical work. In return, we develop a workforce ready to step up into senior roles, with new ways of looking at some of our challenges.” Annie and Nathalie are aware of the push to encourage more girls to 65

bringing the harvest home Celebrating the joy of working with the seasons while appreciating the beauty of nature. Words and illustration by Geoff Hocking We are the sons of Australia, Of the men who fashioned the land, We are the sons of the women Who walked with them, hand in hand; And we swear by the dead who bore us, By the heroes who blazed the trail, No foe shall gather our harvest, Or sit on our stockyard rail. Mary Gilmore, published in The Australian Women’s Weekly, June 29, 1940 (excerpt). It is the month of May when I write this. Autumn – and the temperature has dropped to three degrees overnight. A frosty dew has descended on my garden beds. On my windowsill, I note the number of tomatoes ripening in the morning sun. I had picked the last of the crop, still green, before the cold weather set in. A testament to vegetable growing expertise may be measured by the success of a backyard farmer’s tomatoes. Unlike many others, we had 66

so many tomatoes that we were even able to make a batch of our own ‘dead horse’ entirely from our own crop*. The first time ever. I had planted seeds in a little tray, in my little hothouse (a lockdown project from last year, constructed using old windows and doors), and to my surprise they all germinated. I planted a veritable tomato hedge of 20 bushes and had another 20 still to get in. We have not consumed a store-bought tomato since December. However, gardening expertise is more than measured by tomato success. Millipedes burrowed their way into my capsicums. As soon as any strawberries blushed, these disgusting little black-legged ‘worms’ cut deep grooves into the surface. Choughs ripped out my lettuces, beetroot grew wonderfully green leaves but left stubby, inedible nuggets the size of squash balls below the soil. I will never bother to grow any member of the brassica family ever again. I have no idea how any farmer manages to make a profit from growing carrots. I grow carrot tops, but the orange bit rarely gets beyond 3cm long. After six months in the dirt, I pulled them all out, fed the leaves to the chickens and insisted that my stubby orange fingerlings be washed, roasted, consumed and enjoyed as a salute to carrot farmers everywhere.

From five trees, we harvested one small container of apricots. The apples gave no return. Bush rats ate the three low-hanging plums on the prune d’argen, and I harvested the only almond before the marauding cockatoo got to it.

Some mothers would always offer jars of home-made jams, pickles and sauces, while others offered Fowlers jars packed with beautifully presented slices of pears and peaches, so artfully arranged it always seemed a pity to snap the seals for fruit as winter dragged on.

But I was thrilled by my tomato crop. I am hoping that we can get to June before they have all gone, but if not, we have our sauce and several bottles of home-grown passata waiting in the pantry.

We didn’t consider that our home gardening was any attempt at selfsufficiency. It was just the way our families had always done it. We had always used our gardens, grown our own fruit, fed our chooks and gathered their eggs.

A colleague, whose garden is on the granitic soils of Harcourt, has been putting photographs of her bounteous harvest on Facebook and I hate her. She has managed everything: toms, peppers, caulies, beans, Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Her garden is a veritable cornucopia. I will keep trying. I am committed to spending hours digging, tilling, planting and watering. Covering the beds with netting, running out and screaming at the marauding flocks and praying for rain. I will not give up. ‘No Foe WILL Gather My Harvest’. I was reminded of the old harvest festivals that were a feature of the ecclesiastical calendar when I was child. Once a year, trestle tables stood in the church in front of the choir stalls. Someone would visit a farmer and bring in a couple of wheat sheaves to bookend a display of fruit and vegetables gathered from the private gardens of greenthumbed parishioners (in later years, it became a few string-tied bales). The Sunday service would be centered on thanks to a loving God who had deemed to bless our back yards. This Harvest Festival service was always a welcome relief from the usual message from the pulpit of hellfire and damnation, which was the topic of choice for most men of the black cloth in those days. After the service, everything was packed up and distributed to the needy, to charities or the hospitals and homes for older persons. The wheat and hay gave off a most pleasant aroma; the church seemed brightened by the flower arrangements; and the fruit and veggies always looked splendid nestled in their beds of gingham cloth and clean tea towels.

Things went downhill after the arrival of the supermarket. Parents no longer gardened the way they had always done. It was so much easier to let someone else do it for you. Just pop down to the Four Square and harvest its shelves. When parishioners began to offer up boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, store-bought loaves of Granny Davis and bottles of White Crow, it was time to give up. Bringing in the sheaves was no longer a reality, although as a congregation we continued to raise our voice in chorus to the stirring hymn of the same name. I think I will go and stand by the window, appreciate the ripening green-to-orange-to-bright-red Tiny Toms, and hum softly to myself this refrain written in 1874: Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness, Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve; Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. *I am quite worried to learn that the manufacturers of Ezy-Sauce will no longer produce their stalwart elixir, once a staple of home dead-horse bottlers. This appears to be a devious plot to destroy the home-bottling industry and force consumers to rely on their store-bought products. Well, I for one will get planting next spring and seek alternatives in summer. I will not be beaten.

Alex, Adele, Kathryn, Kayla and Glenn

Lachlan, Karina, Yonah, Danny, Darren, Logan and Madison

Maggie, Lila and Kerryn

Matt, Murphy and Bec

Simon, Joel and Dan

Tess, Scott and Nora

RAIL TRAIL RUNNERS RAISE FUNDS The O’Keefe Rail Trail made for a spectacular marathon track for the annual O’Keefe Challenge. On a beautiful autumn day, runners made the 42.2km journey between Bendigo and Heathcote, raising vital funds for the Heathcote Dementia Village Project. The challenge also featured a half marathon, fun runs, relays and events for the kids.

Dean, Leah, Nattai and Jaxon

Eleanor, Lucia and James

LEGO SHOW TONS OF FUN Hunter, Ryan and Madden

Mikila, Mishika and Thanu

Jen, Mark, Rachel and Lauren

Nick, Altee, Memphis, Charlie, Kaden and Abbey


Give where it matters most. This tax time, help us fund specialised medical equipment and services so more people in our region are treated closer to home and their loved ones.

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LEGO buffs built the biggest event yet for Bendigo Bricks, the largest LEGO fan exhibition in regional Victoria. Four LEGO masters and 100 fans displayed more than 170 of their creations, including larger-than-life characters, magnificent cityscapes and moving scenes. For those wanting a go at designing their own build, the Fun With Bricks Play Zone was the place to be.

Alex, Mia and Annaliese

Brad and Dianne

Emma, Felicity, Jan, Tessa and Jo

Nicole, Grace and Charlotte

Penny, Lucy and Kate

Suzie, Brad, Kelly and Amanda

A RUN FOR THE MUMS The dress code was pink and the smiles were big as the Mother’s Day Classic marked 25 years. Over 600 people celebrated their mums by completing 4km or 8km fun runs, raising funds for breast cancer research and honouring those impacted by the disease. As they crossed the finish line at Beischer Park, participants proudly accepted commemorative medallions.

Open 7 Days 8 am to 4 pm Public Holidays 9am - 4pm We look forward to welcoming you seven days a week with our traditional opening hours. The Das Kaffeehaus & Coffee Basics Team



9 wa l k e r s t c a s t l e m a i n e @ t h e m i l l p h : 5 4 70 62 70

a cultural gem Russell Jack has dedicated his life to preserving and celebrating Bendigo’s Chinese heritage, and the city will be forever grateful. By Dianne Dempsey - Photography by Leon Schoots Russell Jack is going to walk with Sun Loong one last time. His beautiful dragon of 90,000 mirrors, the longest Imperial dragon in the world, will be retiring after the 2022 Easter procession and Russell wants to be with him for the occasion. The two long, lonely years of the pandemic are behind us and Russell wants to walk with his dragon, to feel with him once more the fresh air and sunshine on his face and welcome the families who sit along the blue line that runs along the main streets of Bendigo. Russell is 87, and his friends in the Bendigo Chinese Association worry about his health. Will the walk be too much for him? And there is the added risk of being infected by COVID. He can always opt to go in the elders’ car. Anita Jack, his daughter, is also worried but her dad tells her, “I’m happy to take the risk, get COVID and die. I’ve walked with Sun Loong my whole life. I’m not stopping now.”

Indeed, each Easter procession, Russell and his five brothers would carry the head of Sun Loong in shifts along the parade route. Renowned for their physical prowess and sporting abilities, the brothers always excited admiration as they ducked and weaved and ran, taking Sun Loong close up to the rapt faces of the children and their parents. Taking care of dragons is part of the Jack family tradition. Before Sun Loong there was Loong, who first appeared in 1892. When he was a child, Russell remembers the months preceding the Easter procession, when his father Harry Jack would take his children down to the Bendigo Chinese Association in Bridge Street. Here, they would set about unpacking the many boxes in which Loong was stored. Carefully and patiently, they would bring Loong’s beautiful body together again. 71

Loong was replaced by Sun Loong in 1970 and, in 2019, Sun Loong was replaced by the glorious upstart from Hong Kong, Dai Gum Loong. Russell says the dragon he feels closest to is Sun Loong. “I’ve known him most of my life,” he says simply. A couple of weeks before Easter, Anita takes her father to the doctor, where he is given a medical certificate that reads in part, “Mr Jack is active and seems fit for the Easter Parade”. Russell wants to assure his colleagues and friends that, at 87, he is healthy enough for this walk. This Easter will be special for Sun Loong, as he will be brought out of retirement, just for the Saturday, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Easter Fair Society and its traditional relationship with Bendigo Health. At Easter, the Jack household brims with family and friends who come from Melbourne and as far away as Darwin to take part in the Easter procession, and the other ceremonies that preserve and protect their Chinese culture. Nowadays, people gather at Anita’s house, where they relish their time together. They eat steamboats and dumplings, duck and rice and cakes. People prepare for rituals, attend to costumes. Children 72

watch all the time, as Anita did when she was a child; and now her children, Stellina and Amelita watch and learn. On the Saturday, outside the Chinese Association rooms, as Russell makes his way to the start of the procession, you can hear cheers and greetings fill the air. Magnificent lions and their dancers rise up. Drums declare the importance of the occasion. Crackers fire off. Russell Jack takes his place at the head of Sun Loong with two other elders, Charles Lougoon and See Tuang Tan. Anita is not far from her father’s side. He will be walking from the museum up the steep hill to the Tom Flood oval. Along with several other people, Anita is dressed in the dark blue costume of a dragon escort. The role of the escorts is not only symbolic; they pick up any of Sun Loong’s pieces, such as his mirrors, that might fall to the ground along the way. A woman rushes over to Russell and hugs him, tears in her eyes. She thanks him for being here. For bringing her family excitement and joy over the years, when there were times when it was hard to find any joy. Many people call out to Russell as he passes. There is that look again, of surprise and relief. Relief that in a time of lockdowns and constant change and anxiety, some things are still the same. There is Russell Jack with Sun Loong, Russell Jack with his big heart, still with us. And he climbs that hill without missing a beat.

Note: Sun Loong’s successor, Dai Gum Loong, was to participate in the Easter procession on the Monday. He never did. Due to rain, the procession was cancelled, a rare event. It was the opinion of Russell Jack and some of the elders that Dai Gum Loong knew dragons should only parade once a year. Sun Loong had already done so. You change their rituals at your peril.


Alyssa and Melissa

Amanda and Nicole

Bianca and Atayjcia

Cyd, Sam, Jess, Kam, Lily and Abbey

Delia and Robin

Kat, Violet and James

AN EVENING UNDER THE MOONLIGHT April’s Moonlight Market was once again hosted at the Dai Gum San Precinct, providing locals the opportunity to browse and purchase the best wares and produce on offer.

Photo: 41 Solomon Street, East Bendigo Proudly sold by Waller Realty

There was also no shortage of delicious food to try from Bendigo and Melbourne-based traders, including macarons, tacos, donuts and bao buns.


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Tracy and Scott

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Over 150 talented young squash players from all around the country converged on the Bendigo Squash Centre in April for the 2022 Australian Junior Open. The action unfolded over the course of four days, culminating in some nailbiting finals in the doubles and singles competitions.

truly inspirational

This La Trobe University student has worked harder than most to make it to the final semester of his Master of Internet of Things. By Anna Knight - Photography by Leon Schoots

Lectures at 3am while juggling full-time work and two young children did not stop Chilean-Colombian student Mauricio Lemos Orjuela from pursuing his passion for this specialised field of computer science – and the dream of a new life in Australia. “I was due to come to Australia in March 2020, but…” Mauricio doesn’t need to tell me what happened next. “I knew I wanted to move to Bendigo and study at La Trobe University, and I made the decision to continue my studies online from Chile, so that as soon as travel was allowed, I would be able to move my family to start a new life in Australia.” For Mauricio, remote learning was worth it, as it enabled him to pursue his passion and study at “one of the best universities in the world”. 76

“I was living in Santiago de Chile – a very big city – and I wanted a different environment for myself, my wife and my children. I chose La Trobe Bendigo because it has a cutting-edge Internet of Things program, with the opportunity to live in a smaller city and contribute to creating a centre of excellence for IoT in that community.” The first two years of Mauricio’s degree, however, were particularly challenging. “Studying online in Chile, although I was able to complete four subjects per semester, I had to deal with the 14-hour time difference, with classes at 10pm, 1am or even 3am. “I was also working full time and having to define a new work and study scheme with my family, so we could still spend time together despite

minded, but Mauricio makes this network of interconnected devices seem much more relatable. “Imagine a patient in hospital who needed a dose of medication: what if a sensor knew when they needed it and how much to administer? “Or imagine there were two cars on a collision course with one another: what if one car could let the other car know there was danger ahead, and save the life of the driver?” The Internet of Things is about better communication between devices, in two stages. First, sensing the environment, and then operating according to defined rules – in cities, farms, mining sites and other infrastructure – to better understand and protect the lives of people, as well as helping to safeguard animals, crops and other assets. Connected sensors and counters produce real-time, accurate, specific data that can help us make better decisions and react quickly to changes. Mauricio says that, armed with this knowledge, people can invest in what they really need. Mauricio is working with Dr Simon Egerton (who heads up La Trobe’s Master of IoT, an Australian-first course he developed) and the City of Greater Bendigo on his final project, a network of sensors to measure active transport in Bendigo. “I want to improve the lives of citizens, by helping Bendigo become one of the best cities in the world for active transport. “Chicago, for example, is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world – why couldn’t Bendigo be just as good?” Part of the solution is developing a new network of sensors that will provide the City of Greater Bendigo with accurate and comprehensive data about who is using roads, footpaths and shared pathways for walking and cycling. With this knowledge, the council and stakeholders can make more informed decisions about what infrastructure is needed to encourage more active transport – important for health as well as for the environment. “For example, if the sensors show that bike riders are struggling to cross a road at a crucial point, perhaps a crossing or a refuge island could be considered. “Or, if we see that a lot of people are using a particular cycling route at night, better lighting could be installed.” Traditionally, the volume of walking and cycling traffic has been measured by expensive sensors or groups of people going out a few times a year to physically count the number of walkers or cyclists using a particular route. This method is labour-intensive as well as expensive. Even the best solution currently on the market, while small and relatively inexpensive, is not energy efficient and needs to have its battery replaced once a month. “My solution will be low cost, energy efficient, and connected to The Things Network, a collaborative ecosystem for IoT devices using LORAWAN (which wirelessly connects devices to the internet).” For Mauricio, it’s all about helping humankind. Starting local but thinking global.

the pressures. I really appreciate the support of my wife – my Masters was a family project.” Although it was a very difficult time, Mauricio says it has helped him develop great resilience, and he is grateful to be able to come to Australia with his wife and two children to complete his final semester. It is Mauricio’s love of people that led him to pursue a Master of IoT. “I want to improve the quality of life for people.” After working as a computer programmer and project manager in Chile, Mauricio turned his attention to IoT, sometimes called the ‘third wave of the internet’. But what exactly is it? IoT can be tricky to understand for those who aren’t technologically

“I hope that if the technology and its application is helpful to the city council, then this system could be made available to other cities wanting to improve their walking and cycling rates, with open data helping people throughout the world.” With a job already lined up with a company in Bendigo – a city where he and his family hope to live long term – Mauricio has certainly hit the ground running. His prototype solution for measuring active transport usage is called BiPeCo: ‘Bi’ for bicycle; ‘Pe’ for pedestrian; and ‘Co’ for counter. But even more important is the ‘Eco’ part. This is all about responding to the environment – what is happening in real time – and about being environmentally sustainable and energy efficient. If this solution proves successful and is made openly available for other cities to improve the lives of their inhabitants, perhaps its impact will also ‘echo’ across generations to come. 77


Des and Alwyn

Graham, Carol, Wendy, Barbara and Mike

Kathy, Ash and Nadia

Laurie, Aaron, Lindy and Terri

Rosalie and Sandra

Tom and Carol

The Rotary Club of Bendigo again held its annual fundraising art show over the Easter weekend. More than 800 paintings were on display and for sale, and art lovers eager to find their dream piece attended the preview evening on the Thursday. A virtual gallery also allowed artists from outside the region to show off their talents.

WINE. FOOD. FUNCTIONS, WEDDINGS & CONFERENCES Visit our Cellar Door and Gallery. You can relax and enjoy wine tasting in air conditioned comfort or relax outdoors in the gardens.

“AN EXCELLENT WINERY, PRODUCING WINES OF HIGH TO VERY HIGH QUALITY” JAMES HALLIDAY Open at weekends, at other times by appointment - (03) 5439 5367 - 77 Faderson’s Lane, Mandurang - (9km South - East of Bendigo, Off Tannery Lane)

Adam, Christian, Elliot, Liberty, Tom and Sam

Adam, Danielle, Matilda and Theodore

EASTER’S BACK IN BENDIGO Gerard, Rebecca, Rose and Scarlett

Liana, Tanaya and Shae

Krystal, Sonny, Violet and Tara

Taylah, Georgia, Matt and Chelsea

Easter spirit returned to town as Bendigo’s 150th Easter Fair was finally held. Thousands of excited community members gathered in Rosalind Park and the surrounding streets for the celebration, thrilled by the seemingly endless entertainment options. A particular highlight for families was seeing the historic roads of Bendigo illuminated for the Sherridon Homes Torchlight Procession.

Cellar Door Open Daily 11am-5pm (except Good Friday & Christmas Day) Taste and Purchase Current and OlderVintages | Boutique Accommodation Now Available 156 Forest Drive Marong,Victoria Australia | Phone: (03) 5435 2534 | Fax: (03) 5435 2548 |


italian flavour By Beau Cook - Photography by Leon Schoots

Ward off the winter chill with the perfect pasta dish. BUCATINI PUTTANESCA


Serves 4

1. In a pot over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, capers, anchovies and chilli.


2. Sauté for 3 min or until garlic is golden.

• 500g dried bucatini pasta

3. Now add tinned cherry tomatoes, passata and olives. Turn heat down and gently simmer for 10 min.

• 400g tinned cherry tomatoes, crushed by hand • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

4. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.

• 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped

5. Drain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water.

• 4 anchovies, roughly chopped

6. Return pasta and reserved water to the pot then add parsley and pour over the sauce.

• 250ml passata

• 1 long red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat if preferred)

7. Stir to combine then serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

• 3 tbl olive oil • 20 pitted kalamata olives • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped • Parmesan cheese to serve



tuning into wine Much contributes to a good glass of wine; the people we’re with, the food we’re enjoying, the atmosphere of a home, restaurant, festival or cellar door. Recently, LAUREN MITCHELL discovered a new dimension to enhance the taste; music. I met a winemaker recently who had celebrated the opening of his cellar door with a wine-and-music matching event. The gravelly, soulful sounds of Tom Waits had been played to the pouring of an equally earthy varietal. So, in sampling this issue’s four regional greats, I did so to some choice tunes. Let’s press play…

MUNARI CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 The Halliday Wine Companion awarded this Heathcote-region red a wonderful 90 points. So, in keeping with the ‘90s theme, I opened the bottle to a personal favourite of the era, REM’s Out of Time, from 1991. A little bit of Near Wild Heaven, a luscious Cabernet with dark berry aromas, and a slow stirring of a bolognese set the scene for a memorable mid-week family meal.

MANDURANG VALLEY MERLOT 2021 The baby of the group, last year’s Merlot from the vines of Mandurang Valley prompts a play of new music. The 2021 Netflix film Tick Tick Boom was loved in our house, and the tune Bo Ho Days became a welcome earworm against pandemic woes. This lovely wine also proves good things came despite tough times. Dark red to purple in colour, it displays complex fruit aromas with a dominance of violets and cherries. A balanced wine on the palate, with plum and cedar flavours accompanied by subtle tannins. A fresh and optimistic red that proves an excellent accompaniment for bohemian evenings at home.

The elegant 2015 vintage promises to be both minty and floral, with a palate of boysenberry and port wine jelly, leather and blackcurrant. The fruit here is sweet, ripe and tasty. Cue Shiny Happy People all round.




It’s appropriate to select a local song for one of our winter picks, and the richly layered voice of Mariah McCarthy is ideal for this wine from the Turner’s Crossing vineyard by the Loddon River.

The second Cab Sav comes from our friends at the beautiful Sandhurst Ridge winery in Marong, where the Greblo brothers make “great Australian wine with a European soul”. What better match than the operatic voice of our own Kate Miller-Heidke and her Eurovision tune Zero Gravity. Divine!

Winemaker Adam Marks has created a beautifully balanced wine of intense black fruit, spice, clove and olive flavours. The oak characters bring structure, power, balance and richness; qualities that can easily also be attributed to Mariah’s At Peace. A truly moving combination to share with dear friends on a Saturday evening. Turners Crossing advises its 2018 Shiraz is also superb with slow-roasted lamb shoulder or veal ragu tossed through freshly-made pasta.


And the wine? It’s a taut, youthful package just waiting to likewise explode on the palate with a profusion of blackcurrant, plums and liquorice. Maturity gained through careful cellaring will spark the explosion! Definitely one to toast a great Australian voice with. Fresh acidity and firm, fine tannins will ensure a long life.

Annabelle, Jess and Will

Bryony and Mick

Harrison and Kara


Jennifer and Julie

On Anzac Day, locals turned up in droves to pay their respects at remembrance services across Bendigo.

Riley, Campbell, Duncan, Jackie and Jenny

Thousands gathered around the Soldiers Memorial Institute in Pall Mall for the morning march and commemoration, with many of our veterans proudly in attendance.

Wes and Peter

WINTER AT MUNARI WINES Enjoy a cozy afternoon tasting elegant wines from inside the rustic Cellar Door or on the terrace overlooking the vines

W I N E TA S T I N G | P I Z Z A | C H A R C U T E R I E | C O F F E E A boutique Cellar Door in the heart of the Heathcote Wine Region producing wines of distinction P: 0429 804 360

Open 7 days

1129 Northern Highway, Ladys Pass (11km from Heathcote)

Mon. – Sun. 11am - 5pm Bookings preferred

a picturesque setting What was born out of necessity has become a stylish and welcoming retreat surrounded by beautiful countryside. Photography by Leon Schoots Taking in majestic views of rolling hills, mountains and olive trees, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the Italian countryside. But the Grove Studio Apartment is nestled in Harcourt North, in the heart of the incredible Central Victorian landscape. It was the ideal setting for owners Paul and Janet Rockes to build. They first constructed this self-contained unit and resided in it until their main home was finished. The Grove Studio Apartment is now used as accommodation. Custom-built using precast concrete panels, it boasts rustic charm and modern aesthetics. Paul explains that the couple made all the decisions regarding furnishings and finishes, both internally and externally. The result is a property that uses materials in their rawest form in a seemingly simple construction, yet with a welcoming warmth and understated character, as well as that rustic appeal that Australian country properties are renowned for. 86

“We wanted to keep that semi-industrial look,” he says. “It was built to be practical.” However, their desire for practicality means the house is serendipitously on-trend. The interior sees contrasting finishes come together to create a look that’s natural and stylish. The interior walls are lined with plywood, which retains its natural finish. These complement the polishedconcrete floors and together provide thermal protection against the winter chill. The unit is designed to be used by a couple. It’s intimate and uncluttered, boasting everything guests need to be comfortable, including a separate ensuite with large shower head, dining and lounge area, as well as kitchen. Visitors can enjoy a morning cuppa or evening glass of red in front of the wood fire. There’s also the convenience of reverse-cycle heating and cooling split-system and ceiling fans.


“It has the most luxurious king-size bed and from there, you can look through the glazed window and double doors over the olive trees,” Paul says. “We can offer barbecue packs, a selection of local wine, breakfast packs and cheese or grazing platters.” The property is surrounded by 20 acres of land with an olive grove, three dams and magnificent elevated views that extend to Mount Franklin and beyond. The vast open sky also means the evenings provide amazing sunsets and star-filled skies. It is separated from the private main residence, with a secure remote-controlled garage provided for guest vehicles. During the day, there are relaxing walks around the beautiful property and several areas that are ideal for a picnic, including a 100-year-old gum tree beside a large dam. In the warmer months, the decking and solar-heated pool beckon, while there is an abundance of local wildlife year-round, including kangaroos and rosellas to appreciate. And if visitors are really lucky, there could be a wombat or echidna roaming the property. The property is centrally located, providing a great base for visiting the many attractions that our region has to offer. Some local attractions to enjoy during a stay include the Oak Forest and Mount Alexander regional park for bushwalking and scenic views of the region, or a film at the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine. There are also many wineries to visit, including Bress, Blackjack Wines, Harcourt Valley Vineyards, Killiecrankie Wines, Mount Alexander Winery, Sutton Grange Winery, Balgownie Estate, Mandurang Valley Wines and Welshmans Reef Vineyard.


The studio is centrally located on the boundary of the City of Greater Bendigo and Mount Alexander Shire, with Bendigo, Castlemaine and Maldon all less than 30 minutes’ drive away. It’s also only eight minutes to the Harcourt mountain bike trail and under one-and-ahalf hours to Melbourne.





We are Bendigo’s only completely gluten-free take-away café with a wide range of options no matter your dietary needs. We have a passion for rustic, café style food with organic, local produce delivered with friendly service.

Whether it be a beautiful breakfast, lazy lunch or special occasion we are sure to have it covered. Come in today and enjoy a local wine on our balcony and soak up the Bull Street food precinct. Open Tues - Fri 7am - 3pm and Sat 8am - 2pm.





Ms Batterhams is the new girl with a past. Set in the basement of the old school hall at Mackenzie Quarters and converted into a sophisticated yet unpretentious lounge bar. Open Thursday Sunday for lunch and dinner and all day dining on the weekend.

The seafood used in our takeaway, dine-in dishes and sold to public, is purchased fresh and direct from the Melbourne fish markets. Come and try our delicious food, just across from Lake Weeroona. Gluten-free options available.





Offering delicious freshly homemade breads, dips, salads, baklava and turkish delights. Our local favourite kebabs are made from real lamb shoulder in 3 sizes including; jumbo, regular and mini. HSPs, burgers and falafel also available.

Bringing fresh and delicious Thai food to Bendigo’s CBD with Thai chefs and table service in an amazing Gold Rush Architectural masterpiece. Fully licensed and open for lunch Mon-Fri and dinner from 5pm Mon-Sat.

Imogen and Travis After 12 years and three planned proposals, this couple finally said ‘I do’ in an iconic Bendigo venue. Photography by Ildiko Photography A Year 11 accounting class in 2008 is where it all began for Imogen and Travis… sort of. While these lovebirds count it as their first meeting, it wasn’t until two years later, during a night out for their university Orientation Week, that they made it official. They’ve never looked back since. Ten years later, Travis decided to propose, but it wasn’t that simple. A little thing called COVID-19 foiled his plans not once, but twice. A holiday to New Zealand in March 2020 was Plan A, and Plan B was a getaway for their 10th anniversary in August that year. Both trips were unfortunately cancelled due to lockdowns. Instead, during a beautiful sunset at the Mount Alexander lookout just before they were meant to go 90

away, Travis finally got down on one knee and popped the question. After a challenging couple of years, all of Travis and Imogen’s family and friends gathered together at Ulumbarra Theatre on April 9, 2022, to watch them wed. Ulumbarra doubled as the ceremony and reception venue, and a wall of greenery labelled “Travigen’s” (their couple portmanteau) acted as the perfect backdrop. Another cute touch were the little motifs of their dog Fuji. Imogen wore a showstopping red princess gown from Bella E La Bestia Bridal in Maribyrnong, and seeing her walk down the aisle in it was the highlight of the day for Travis. To match a dress as unique as Imogen’s, special accessories were a must.

“My necklace was one my mum wore at her own wedding, while my red bracelet we bought when Travis and I travelled to Japan, our favourite holiday,” says Imogen. Travis dressed for the occasion in a grey suit from Joe Paul Menswear. Barber Joe from Honeyeater attended to the men’s grooming, with Kristy Patullo at Maiden Boutique and Killer Queen Beauty and Creative Studio styling Imogen and her bridesmaids. Rings from Michel’s Jewellery in Strath Village were exchanged during the ceremony, which was officiated by Jo Menzel. The delicious cake for the reception was from Cake Chic by Lyndell, and DJ Jess Maguire provided the allimportant tunes.

“I think our use of music made the whole day unique to us, from the ceremony, walking-down-the-aisle songs to the entrance songs and first dance,” says Imogen.

Everything else for Travis and Imogen’s wedding went to plan, and their advice to other couples would be to “look at different ideas and stick to what you would like for your own wedding”.

The couple practised hard for their first dance, which went off without a hitch. They chose to dance to The Undercurrents by Maximo Park, a song that holds deep meaning for them.

“The day is about you, so take some time to reflect and enjoy it.”

Imogen will never forget walking around Bendigo with the bridal party and photographer Ildiko. The wedding took place during the town’s Elvis fever, allowing for a fun photoshoot outside the Bendigo Art Gallery.

After the big day was done, Imogen and Travis headed off on a road trip around Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Canberra. They enjoyed many fancy dinners and the entertainment of the big city, and plenty of relaxation was savoured before heading back to their normal lives.

The only hiccup on the day? “Tripping on my dress a few times!” says Imogen. Luckily, her bridesmaids were on hand to help carry the stunning dress.

“Not much has changed, as we’ve been together almost 12 years,” they say. “But being able to say we’re husband and wife has been really nice.” 91





Within walking distance to the Mildura shopping and dining precinct. All our modern rooms are designed with comfort in mind and contemporary decor for both the business and leisure guest.

An ideal base to discover the Bendigo region, with easy access to the CBD, major attractions and sporting events. Experience spacious, clean, modern and comfortable accommodation with pool, spa and free wifi available.





Situated in the heart of the CBD, our new boutique offering provides holiday and business travellers a luxurious, modern and ambient getaway set against a grand heritage backdrop. Complimentary off-street parking. 100m from the Art Gallery.

Plush couches, a licensed bar and an amazing programme of current and classic films for the discerning film enthusiast. Operating in the grand old Eaglehawk Town Hall, we screen 7 nights a week plus matinees Friday to Sunday.





Not your average art class! Creative workshops with a BYO boozy twist. Perfect for catch-ups, birthdays, hen’s, team building events. Unleash your inner creative and surprise yourself! Book now! Hargreaves Mall, Bendigo.

Our seasonal main menu includes delicious favourites such as mushroom crumpets, cauliflower and gorgonzola fritters, fried chicken and waffles, 5 grain porridge and lamb. Offering a light tapas style menu on Friday and Saturday evenings.

ballgame boom Bendigo baseballers are hitting home runs on and off the diamond, with a resurgence in player numbers, the return of junior divisions, and big plans for the sport’s future. By Raelee Tuckerman - Photography by Leon Schoots In 2019, even before COVID threw us all a curve ball, local baseball was at a crossroad. Like a batter facing a full count with two out and bases loaded, the next play would be pivotal. After five seasons with no underage competition and its senior league reduced to just eight teams across two grades, the Bendigo Baseball Association swung into action. “It was a defining point for us,” recalls president Anthony Amsing. “We had the lowest membership numbers in BBA history and, while it was still really competitive, we were just treading water.” To save their sport, organisers committed to re-establishing junior baseball and, more recently, attracting female players to step

up to the plate. The results have been stunning, even though the pandemic lockdowns scuttled their 2020 plans. “That was disappointing with all the work we’d done, but participation in our first year back of juniors in 2021 was phenomenal,” says Anthony. “We relaunched with a full complement of age groups – U/8 tee-ball, U/12, U/14 and U/16 – and the growth continues to exceed our expectations. “In 2014-15, the last realistic junior competition before it folded, we had 79 registered players. In 2021, we had 141 kids and so far this year, we are up to 216. There are also now 14 teams in our senior competition, up from 12 last year. It’s fantastic to see.” 93


Matches are played on Sundays between four longstanding clubs (Strathfieldsaye Dodgers, Bendigo East, Falcons and Scots) and newcomer Malmsbury. There are three senior grades, with the mixed Division 3 providing a supportive introduction to the sport for women and first-timers, as well as experienced players seeking a more relaxed competition and those moving up from juniors. Anthony, who plays Division 1 for Dodgers, started as a junior “back in the day” and now enjoys watching daughter Pia, 11, follow in his footsteps. He hopes youngsters like her will have greater opportunities to follow their field of dreams now there again is a home-town pathway. Harry Fitzgerald, 17, has done it the hard way. Despite limited local opportunities throughout most of his teenage years, the Falcons third baseman and pitcher has emerged as a rising star. He began playing in Bendigo as a six-year-old then joined Essendon at 11, travelling a well-worn road to Melbourne each weekend for matches. Harry toured Japan in 2017 with an U/12 Australian team; has represented both Victoria and the Melbourne-based Twins Baseball Charter squad at national junior championships; and has won senior and junior premierships, fielding and batting awards and MVP trophies both for Falcons and Essendon. He was named the 2019 Bendigo association’s Rookie of the Year and continues to impress at senior level locally and in Melbourne, where he still has a season of U/18s ahead of him. “My favourite memory is last year’s U/16 State League grand final against Malvern, when we’d been down by five runs in the last innings and I came up to bat with bases loaded,” he says. “I hit a double, then scored myself when I was batted around (by fellow Bendigonian Jordan Doherty) and we won the game. All my family were there watching… and that afternoon we won the senior grand final, too. It was a pretty good day.” Harry hails from a baseball family and says his parents Brian and Jeanine have supported him throughout his career, as has the Falcons club and the wider Bendigo baseball community. He aims to continue playing at a high level for as long as he can, while conceding “making a senior Australian team would be nice”. A perfect example of the BBA’s efforts to encourage women into the sport is Dodgers catcher Jess Loraine, who plays in the mixed Division 3.

The 34-year-old teacher had always enjoyed netball and basketball but her interest was piqued when she saw a Facebook post last year looking for females to try baseball. “It’s very team oriented and I love how we banter and develop close relationships with players from other clubs,” she says. “It also gives you a great adrenaline rush – hitting a ball is one of the best therapies out there if you’re having a bad day to put you in a great mindset. And it’s good exercise, not too heavy on the cardio, so it’s appropriate for all different fitness levels.” Jess represented Bendigo last year in a friendly Women’s Baseball Challenge in Ballarat and is now on the local association’s female sub-committee. “We plan to get a twilight competition going over summer to get even more people involved. We held a training program over four weeks last summer for female adults and teenagers with skills and drills that was quite successful, so this year we hope to step that up to a mini-competition. “Baseball is great fun and I really wish I had known about it earlier in my life.” For Anthony and his fellow committee members, there is more on the baseball horizon for Bendigo, including a potential revamp of Albert Roy Reserve in Eaglehawk. It’s been on the drawing board for years, but talks resumed recently with the local council and state and national baseball governing bodies on some exciting possibilities. “We are looking to create a third diamond up to an international standard there, including lighting to enable night games,” he says. “Everyone has been very supportive but we need to show the benefits to the Bendigo community as a whole, from a business and tourism perspective as well as sport. It could lead to other things, mainly based on the Australian Baseball League competition.


The longer term plan would be to have international showcase events held here. “There’s already a longstanding connection between Bendigo and Japan in women’s baseball, with the city previously hosting a Challenger Series at Strathfieldsaye between the Australian Emeralds and a Japanese AllStar team. They played a multi-game series over a week and interacted with local schools and it was fantastic to build a connection with Japan and get that international flavour.” Other long-term plans include expansion of the local competition to eight clubs – perhaps targeting cricketers wanting to maintain fitness and skills in their off-season, as has been the case with Malmsbury – and, ultimately, for Bendigo to enter a team in the Victorian Summer Baseball League. “That’s a big aspiration for our association, though it’s still at least a couple of years off.” Bendigo will host the Victorian U/14 Baseball Championships on July 25-26. To find out more about the local winter league, visit


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