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Reg. No. A0034364L P.O. Box 85, Chewton, 3451.



Published on the 1st of each month

Issue 215

January, 2017.

Are we staring at the future? Chewton School is full of surprises. Great ones! Remember the Newshounds competition that the Castlemaine Mail ran? And Chewton School’s page that was published way back on September 23rd? The Castlemaine Mail had the newshounds from all the schools involved come together in the Castlemaine Library foyer for an awards ceremony. And guess what? Chewton won Best Overall News Coverage! Just brilliant… and the future of the Chewton Chat should be assured with this talented group of Chewtonites coming through! As the Castlemaine Mail reported... “Winner - Chewton Primary School - this entry was a stand out. The Chewton Newshounds team worked extremely hard to pack a lot of information into its page which included articles on its Coastal Ambassadors, Bike Camp, The Bunny Buddy Bench, Solar Powered Headlamps for those living in poverty, an interview with a prep, poetry, jokes and even a quote from The Cookie Monster. Well done to the Chewton Newshounds team.”

“Winner Chewton Primary School this entry was a stand out!”


Monster Meeting This year’s Monster Meeting celebration moved beyond those of the past. The 1851 meeting wasn’t forgotten but there was a link made between the fight for democracy back then with the continuing fight for democracy in 2016. Democracy needs constant vigilance, constant protection and constant improvements. Legendary folksinger Danny Spooner returned to the Monster Meeting scene to team with MC Jan “Yarn” Wositzky in performing many of the songs that are now so familiar to us. “The Monster Meeting” (what else?) opened the show and Michael Smith showed no signs of fatigue from his recent walk to Canberra as he bounded onto the dray. Michael outlined the issue that faces Australia today – we can be led into war and overseas missions without the approval of our parliamentary representatives. He gave many examples of where this had happened, many in the recent past. Yet many Australians remain unaware of this undemocratic situation as he discovered by talking to so many people along the trip to Canberra – and even some of the politicians greeting him were unaware too. There’s a need to change, and we must change, was his message. It was great to see our federal member in the audience. Lisa Chesters had been at the Chewton Town hall to wish Michael bon voyage on October 23rd and been at Parliament House to greet him a month later, and was now at the Monster Meeting to hear him speak. A tribute to Doug Owen followed. After years of dynamic contributions to Monster Meeting celebrations Doug passed away earlier this year. Doug’s life in music and in promoting the Monster Meeting was outlined before Jan and Danny presented “Three Quid for the Privilege” – the song Doug penned and performed on the Monster Meeting CD. It was easy to envisage Doug sharing the stage during that performance.

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December 15, 2016 - now 165 years on Another tribute, and this to another Doug, followed. Doug Ralph had been the driver and enthusiast behind the Monster Meeting celebratory promotions, beginning in 1995 when the celebration had a political air – a demonstration about the undemocratic imposition of commissioners in the newly created Shire of Mount Alexander. A march to the steps of the Castlemaine Town Hall was an early political stirring. Author Robyn Annear had worked closely with Doug from the time she and her husband arrived in Castlemaine to document the goldfields remnants and who was better to introduce the goldfields and Box-Ironbark Forest to them? The sentimental tribute to Doug was punctuated with the introduction of the hand-sewn Monster Meeting flag that had emanated from long discussions about design clues that had been gleaned. Robyn mentioned Doug’s love of research that translated to his later passion for Trove with its collection of old newspapers. Speeches over, it was time for some closing songs, “Gather ‘round the flag” and “Good Time A Coming” and then to turn to the barbecue. And the old-time games! Parks Victoria staff do a wonderful job in supporting these events. Transporting a heavy horse-drawn vehicle from (and to) Maldon Museum, setting up games like skittles, quoits and horse-shoe tossing and barbecuing for an unknown number of mouths must be an annual nightmare – but one that is appreciated by the crowd in Chewton each Monster Meeting celebration. “I’d no idea of the importance of the Monster Meeting until today,” was one of the most memorable quotes overheard at the end of a very enjoyable occasion. The other was, “Let’s do it all again next year.” But then, they all say that don’t they?

December 15, 1851 - only 165 years ago...


Carols? Is that a carol I hear? It sure was - as the Chewton School children marched down

Main Street to the beat of a drum. By the time the post office was reached and the children gathered on the steps there were many adults on hand – with cameras and mobile phones in hand too! Rudolph, figgy puddings, mangers and little drummer boys all entertained the appreciative onlookers. Then across the road and a Silent Night descended on the footpath outside the Primitive Methodist Church and brought Max and camera out on the run. All the way to the shop where the repertoire was unleashed again. The image presented during the “All I Want For Christmas” song was just so fitting – just two front teeth needed! The songs ended with the appearance of Santa and his helper – with their sweet presence. Or should that be presents? “It’s hot in this,” Santa was heard to utter before he shot back inside the shop to tend the icy-poles and count the ice-creams. Yes, there’s a little bit of the North Pole in the Chewton General Store!

Buda Historic Home and Garden A property of national significance.

Home of the noted Gold and Silversmith ERNEST LEVINY and his family from 1863 to 1981, featuring authentic furnishings, arts and crafts collection, significant heritage garden and grounds. Nursery selling drought-hardy plants, many propagated from the garden. Open hours Wed - Sat 12noon to 5pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm. Groups by appointment. 42 Hunter Street, Castlemaine 3450, T/F: (03) 5472 1032 E:


Christmas shopping? Christmas shopping? Well, Christmas shopping with a difference anyway. An invitation to a Christmas Party sat on the counter of the Chewton General Store for weeks. RSVP names gradually built up on the back and 5 o’clock on Saturday was the appointed time. A sign on the shop front directed us around the back – to the space behind the shop where the afternoon sun provided bright rays and deep shadows. Great for photographs! Especially as it meant sunglasses. A brilliant afternoon… family and friends, coffee customers, paper purchasers, toastie tasters, food ficianados, bread buyers – in fact, people from all facets of Chewton life mingled. Even a reindeer! An afterthought was a group photo – unfortunately “after” being the operative word as many party-goers had left by the time the group shot was mentioned. A terrific initiative Janelle!

Merry Christmas Chewton!!!

Services for St. Johns in January • • • •

Carol Service The church was filled to capacity for our carols and lessons service. Thankyou to everyone who came and joined us. Jill.

Saturday, 7th at 6pm Saturday, 14th at 6pm Saturday, 21st at 6pm Saturday, 28th at 6pm

Happy New Year! 5

Chewton Domain Society nominated for PV’s Connecting People to Parks Kookaburra Award the history of gold and the people’s stories through the People and Places collection of photographs, maps, books and audio-visual material. This is housed in the Chewton Town Hall and open to the public at weekends from 1 - 4 p.m. and is staffed by volunteers who have operated this for nearly 20 years with a break while the hall was being restored. Several CDS members made the trip to Maldon and were on hand to see president Helen McGeachin receive the award from Parks Victoria’s Rachel Murphy.

The Chewton Domain Society was one of six nominations for this Parks Victoria Northern Region award and CDS President Helen McGeachin was present at the ceremony held at the Maldon Vintage Machinery Museum last Saturday. Parks Victoria’s Northern Region pretty well covers half of Victoria from the Murray-Sunset and Wyperfeld National Parks in the north, along the Murray River to Wodonga then south to Eildon and Greater Melbourne so this nomination was pretty special. The award was won by Friends of Wyperfeld National Park. These awards recognise and honour individuals and groups who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the Victorian park system. They also raise awareness of the extent and importance of community involvement in the Parks Victoria estate and encourage community involvement in the future development and conservation and use of the park system. The CDS does this is at a local level by highlighting the significance of the Monster Meeting in the 1850s gold rush story as well as displaying information about

We wish everyone a joyful, healthy and prosperous 2017 Your host Onn Ho and all the staff at Bold Café.

Café reopening

Friday 6th Jan 2017 At 10am laksa on Sundays and Mondays, A curry every day Monk Dish on Friday & Saturday Vegetarian & Gluten free selections Normal Trading Hours FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY MONDAY 10am – 4.00 pm 146 Duke Street, Castlemaine Telephone: 54 706 038 Your Host: Onn Ho


School volunteers thanked End of year thankyou morning tea at Chewton school is always a staffroom-filling affair. Filled with what? Well, an ever-growing number of staff members, increasing numbers of parents and community supporters, a cacophony of conversations and – food! But very few speeches – just one! Principal Julie briefly reiterated her dislike of speech-making, being afraid of leaving someone out when it comes to thanking people. But, nonetheless, everyone was thanked and invited to tuck in and talk... and talk they did!

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Landcare groups’ BBQ The end of year event hosted by Golden Point Landcare was a lovely way to end a busy year and the support from Parks Victoria was much appreciated. Golden Point Landcare hosted a working bee in the park at the Chewton Town Hall with Chewton Landcare, Post Office Hill Action Group and the Chewton Domain Society being represented. This was followed by a healthy discussion about possible ideas for the park and its future management to be considered by the CDS Management Committee and to be done in stages. A delightful lunch was then served to thank the volunteers who work in the local community.

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Condolences Condolences to Elaine Appleton and family on the passing of Leonard Francis Appleton 5.11.1934 – 31.10.2016. Len was well known as a local bee-keeper.


The Business(es) of Chewton Specialising in small breed dog grooming (strictly dogs under 8 kgs only) Arrow offers: • Specialist scissor work tailored to bring out the individual character of small cross breeds. • Professional Dog Grooming qualifications and 20 years salon experience. • Experience of owning two dog grooming salons in Melbourne. • Experience gained from working alongside some of Australia’s most prestigious show groomers. Currently Arrow is working as a Grooming Instructor across Victoria, and she owns two rescue dogs that add to her experiences – one is deaf and one is scared of thunder! Among her most memorable grooming moments, Arrow recalls: 1. A colossal St. Bernard named Santa was so excited to see his owner that he knocked her front tooth out in the reception of my salon when she came to collect him after his bath. St. Bernards can weigh up to 120 kgs at full size. 2. I had a regular four-legged customer named Snoopy come to my salon, a Bearded Collie in full coat whose hair touched the ground. It was so long she used to jump out of her human’s car and bound flying down the footpath to the salon as onlookers watched in amazement as this “mobile flying carwash” dashed through my door. She would run in and jump up on the table ready to go. A small Shih Tzu came in for a haircut. She was very timid 3. and badly matted and neglected. She had one green eye and one blue. We had to shave every hair off her to fix her up. I adopted her from her owner and named her Little. On a final note, Arrow points out, “A portion of all my earnings will go to fund my wildlife rehabilitation work which I am doing as a volunteer from my Chewton home.”

Chewton’s Small Breed Dog Groomer

0429 372 611

Chewton’s Small Breed Dog Groomer • Specialising in scissor work • Professional dog grooming qualifications

0429 372 611

Specialising in Brick, Stone, Granite and Slate


Usually there is Know Your Neighbour column in a Chat page near here. And of late, there are usually a few pages of Art Chat. Unfortunately, both Gloria and Beverley are

involved in time-consuming activities that prevent them making their usual contributions this month. We look forward to their valuable pages again when time permits.

But there is a Chat position vacant Anyone interested in taking on the role of Real Estate Gossip columnist for the Chewton Chat? The idea of a Real Estate column was floated by Keith Richardson back in September 2003. Keith was the weather reporter with a cult following, but he took his idea into a monthly Real Estate Gossip. His daily walks featured in his research. All good things come to an end though and Keith’s gossip did on November 2009 – “forced” by a move into Castlemaine. The baton was taken up by David Uren with columns running from November 2010 until June 2011. An ad in the July edition resulted in Lynne volunteering and reporting on the real estate action since August 2011. More than 5 years of Real Estate Gossip published under the now familiar logo designed by Morgan Williamson! Since 2003 there have been many changes in the local real estate scene – properties and houses bought, sold and leased. Agents have come and gone. It’s an ever-changing scene and observations of it provide great insights into a community. So – is anyone interested in taking on the role of Real Estate Gossip columnist for the Chewton Chat? To volunteer or discuss the role further email or call John on 5472 2892.

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Fryerstown I have just received John Ellis’s email reminding me that the deadline for the January issue of the Chat is due before the 21st and enclosed was an account of Michael’s walk to Canberra over an important political issue and sharing why he did it. It reminded me that ill thought out government policies and poor political trade offs can make enormous differences to people’s lives and I hope that Michael’s walk has some impact in this world of e-correspondence and e-messaging. It is a reminder that politics is about real people and real lives. Recently I was in the passenger seat of the car. I got out and outside the house was a little boy with his mother, signalling to me to look at his clothes and pointing to his top and then his shorts with great excitement in his face. As his mother walked on ahead he managed to convey to me that these were new clothes, and then, that they were his new SCHOOL clothes! He was so proud of them and his status, presumably next year, as someone who was going to school. I thought how important that enthusiasm was and that there would be someone there now and in future to share it. I hope he is able to maintain his enthusiasm as time goes by and doesn’t get lost in routine and school policies and all the things that make life seem routine and each person just a small cog in the system. It is one of the magical things about Castlemaine that a youngster like that can bowl up to a complete stranger in the street and show his delight and enthusiasm without fear or embarrassment. When I was his age towards the end of the Second World War in Sydney I can remember feeling the same excitement. I was fortunate in that it held excitement for me throughout my years at school and university. It never became boring though it often required a lot of effort and persistence. Last year we had a very quiet Christmas in Fryerstown because there was no celebration of Christmas in the form of the annual Fireperson’s Frolic. This year was different with most families in the town participating. It was a lovely family occasion. There were lots of children and through the evening Jimmy Cole and Marilyn played lively music to dance to and accompanied the Christmas carols that were enthusiastically sung by a good crowd. The new Captain of the Fire Brigade, Bill Burris, presented Long Service Awards to James Cole (absent) for 35 years service, Shelley Hillman, Hamish McAllum, Trina Bruce, Gary James and Barbara Young. At the end Jimmy played the bones, which is a unique skill. Nowadays very few

John and Barb Young serving dinner people can play them and certainly not with his panache. We all brought main courses and desserts to share. These were spread out over three or four trestles in banquet array and thoroughly enjoyed by young and old, many going back for second helpings. In the midst of it all there was a superb mime performance by Anthony Verity who amazed the crowd with his antics expressing very clearly frustrating daily scenes, which are familiar to us all but rarely, do we see the humour in them. Not so when we see them performed with such skill. Anthony is an exFryerstown resident so we blessed our luck in having such talent within our midst.

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in our lives, however late we were to feed her although she was insistent on breakfast at about 5 am! She spent a lot of time contentedly sleeping in the cars wherever we stayed as we travelled frequently to Melbourne and Adelaide for family reasons and only complained when the garbage truck, which she hated, came to the gate. She wasn’t very fond of motorbikes either! She was fully grown although not in full coat when we got her. We don’t know how old she was, but at least 15 years. She was a lovely gentle accepting dog that made our lives richer and we miss her in every moment, expecting to find her lying quietly at our feet or getting ready for the next episode in our lives. She is buried in the garden outside our bedroom with her long nose pointing at the window. Thanks to Bruce for making it easier at the end and a lovely sympathy card from all the staff at the clinic. It gave such comfort to us both. With best wises to you all for a happy and fulfilling year in 2017. Kay Thorne. Steph Holt and Chris Derzsy chatting Plans are already well advanced for the 2017 Antique Fair which will be held between Friday January 27th and Sunday 29th with preparations starting the previous Sunday. Volunteers are still needed to staff the gates, help with the Fair, the Rural Fire Brigade and the old school catering. If you are able to give an hour or two or three on one or more of these days it would make a great contribution to the task of running the Fair and helping to raise funds for the community, please contact Pat Cubeta (5473 4373) or/and Hamish McAllum, Rural Fire Brigade Secretary for the CFA BBQ (5473 4246) or/and Stephanie Holt, old school committee Secretary for coffee/tea and lunch catering assistance (0409 196 603). We have been very sad to lose our little old Shetland sheep dog (sheltie), Penny, who had always been very active, loving her walks. But over the past few weeks there have been signs that she was sleeping a lot more, eating less and not so interested in walks any more. Our Vet, Dr Bruce Syme, at Vets All Natural, said that she had developed multiple complex internal problems which would not get better, so we decided that the time had come to let her go. We had had lots of very happy times with her over quite a long life. She was a rescue dog from the RSPCA originally and blind in one eye for several years. The blind eye never seemed to affect her. She didn’t bump into anything and just seemed to cope. Always happy to accept us for what we are whenever and wherever we were


Ring 5472 3469 Main Road, Chewton CHEWTON GARAGE


CFA update - January 2017

Chewton gets Fire Ready! As 2016 came to an end residents of the community came together to get ready ahead of another fire season. In early December Chewton Fire Brigade played host to two Fire Ready Information Sessions. The first was held on Saturday 10 December along Sparks Road (see next page) and the second on Tuesday 13 December at the Monster Meeting site in Golden Point Road. Both these sessions were targeted at all those living within Chewton and were aimed at helping residents prepare for fire season and provide them with information to help us all stay safe over summer. All in all, the sessions were a success with about 15 people attending the first and another 10 at the second. It was great to see residents being aware of their risks, however, there are still plenty within the community who didn’t make it to a session. We all need to remember that we live in a very high risk area when it comes to both bushfire and grass and scrub fires. It is our individual responsibility to ensure that we properly prepare for fire season and that we have a plan in place that is ready to be enacted at any moment. If you were unable to make it to a session and would like more information feel free to come down to the station on a Sunday morning and speak to our volunteers.

Alternatively a vast amount of information is also available on the public CFA Website ( under the Plan and Prepare section. Chewton CFA would also like to urge everyone to make sure that during the Fire Season you are regularly checking the Fire Danger Ratings for the North Central Fire District, keeping an eye on any information about fires in the area and abiding by the Can I Can’t I brochure. Also, for all those with the Fire Ready App, please be aware that this App has now been upgraded to the Vic Emergency App. You will need to ensure your app has been updated as the notifications will no longer come through on the Fire Ready App. We would urge anyone with a smartphone or tablet to download this free app and set up a watch zone so you can stay informed over summer. We would also like to remind everyone that fire restrictions came into force in the Mount Alexander Shire on Monday 12 December. This means that you can no longer burn off on your properties and CFA hold a Zero Tolerance Policy towards anyone doing the wrong thing over the Fire Danger Period so make sure you are aware of what you can and can’t do so that you don’t get caught out. Finally, from all of the volunteers at Chewton Fire Brigade, we hope you and your families had a Safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Paige Mounsey, Chewton CFA Communications Officer.

How ready are we really? Check out the CFA publications!


CFA fire ready information Chewton CFA just held a free fire ready info session for Chewton Bushlanders. Just outside the Chewton Cemetery, with the Chewton CFA fire truck in a prime spot, a group gathered. Presenter Alan Gale was supported by our CFA Captain David Button and Barry and Paige Mounsey. Alan ran through the basic scenes of fire preparation – the concentric zones around the house, the veranda, the roof and the interior. Then it was the actual fire arrival and how to give yourself, your family and your pets the best chances of survival. All of this presented in an interactive way that kept the audience listening, reacting and even taking notes. Even the dogs in attendance were absorbing the information. Alan then opened his emergency bag and explained the contents. Every member of the household should have one of these clearly identifiable bags packed and ready at the start of each fire season. Alan’s contents and the reasons for them were explained – logical really, but so obvious they are often overlooked. A presentation like this morning’s is just so incredibly valuable. A variety of helpful publications were on hand and these were quickly taken at the end of the session. And one Bushlander was heard to remark, “I’ve been coming to these events for the last 14 years, and this was the best yet.” Thanks Chewton CFA for staging this event. You can’t ever be too prepared!

Plan ready? Bag packed? Pets planned for? Your trigger to go? Where will you go? What way do you go? What if it’s too late? So many questions... And only you can answer them!



It’s that time of year again!

l O N G

It’s pool season! A party atmosphere prevailed at the opening, and that has been added to on a daily basis. The Chewton fire-truck delivered Santa for the annual Christmas party - and took him off into the sunset afterwards.

P o o l P A R T Y


Facebook figuring From time to time it’s worth looking at the Chat’s presence on the web. The Chat currently appears in colour with colour photographs on and early next year will be returning to a new and redesigned Chewton website. More on that later. But Chat material, photos and articles often appear early on Facebook – the page is called chewton. net if you are searching. Recent posts are showing the figures (to 19th December) as a 2,307 reach… with Peter Waugh’s 1939 elves reaching 199, the pool party 245, the Monster Meeting report 1,333, the shop party 369, the Bendigo Addy Monster Meeting article 209, the school’s newshounds win 287, the school’s thank-you morning tea 234, the notice of the carols in St. John’s 188, the Bushlands fire ready meeting 338 and so on. Not as big as the Heron’s Reef post that went up on August 4 in 2015 – a 24,744 reach! Definitely the record for Some other stats up to the 18th of December… • The page has reached 506 “likes” which has been achieved without requesting people like it! • There are 5,189 photos available on the page. • Chewton provides the 15th most viewers – behind Melbourne, Castlemaine, Brisbane, Ballarat, Harcourt, Maldon, Perth, Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo, Canberra, Belfast, Muckleford, Geelong and Sydney. • People are reached in many, many countries – from 79 in the United Kingdom to 1 in Romania. Indonesia, Japan, Granada, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, The Bahamas, Nigeria and Cyprus all pop up amongst the others too. According to statistics we have Chat readers around the world. 107 have read the December Chat, and spent an average time of 6 minutes 32 seconds reading. Bangladesh, France, Sri Lanka and Vietnam appear as places where the Chat is read. And the new Chewton website? Green Graphics has the engineering well in hand and early next year there will be the unveiling. There will be advertising and promotional spots available and our Chat advertisers will have first choices for these. All Chat advertisers will be offered free listing spots early in the new year. Exciting times ahead!

Five Flags Hotel 155 Main Rd Campbells Creek


* Open 7 days for Lunch and Dinner * Monday to Friday $15.00 lunch menu available *Sunday Roast *Warm cosy fires *Tab and Keno *Drive through bottleshop


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Wesley Hill Community Market Every Saturday 7.30am – 1.00pm An old fashioned Country Market Opposite the Albion Hotel New stallholders always welcome.

Call the Market Manager

0418 117 953


Chewton’s December Community BBQ The weather? The Christmas spirit? What was it that brought out so many people? The culmination of 2016’s monthly community barbeques was an absolute ripper. Great people + great conversation = a great evening! Whilst many regulars will be holidaying elsewhere in January, those still in Chewton are reminded the January community BBQ is on the first Saturday - the 7th at 6! BYO everything...

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What are words worth?

P o e t r y C o r n e r

Bah! Humbug! There’s a bloody lovely country Where the milk of kindness flows. When some person’s in dire trouble Men don’t sniff and turn their nose. When a bloke has hit rock bottom Others lend a helpful hand. When you’re sinking they will save you Bring you safely home to land. Australia’s not that country. We would let the bastards drown, Send them on to offshore prison Kick the buggers while they’re down. We would bribe some pauper nation To make our problem theirs Build a prison - “infrastructure” – An unpleasant other-wheres. Does Dutton give a button? Does Abbott give a fig? While Brandis munches candies Malcolm Turnbull plays the prig. Hang your heads in shame Australians! Have we really sunk so low That the braying of One Nation Should direct where we should go? While we indulge our senses And drown in Christmas cheer Think about the “boat people”. Remember how your folk came here. David Watson,Christmas 2016

Does any Chat reader have an interest in writing? Or versifying?

The latest Lawsonian is publicizing the National Henry Lawson Society Award for 2016/17. Cash prizes. The end of year break provides plenty of word tinkering time – and entries don’t close until April 30th.



c hole w e h gt ild turin very ch r u N in e We have ended the school year with so much to celebrate. December has also been a month where achievements have been noted by the wider community. You may have read a page that appeared midyear in the Castlemaine Mail, written by our grade 4-6 students. Chewton P.S was a major winner of this writing project as per the front page of this Chat! This follows our winning of the poetry award last month. A few Chats ago I wrote about our commitment to walking and riding to school. During Walk to School month we had more than 70% of our children walking to or from the bus stop, being dropped off at the sports ground, walking or cycling from home with some very keen travellers even cycling from Fryerstown! I have been advised that there is a major award heading our way for these efforts, however, we are not permitted to release details at this time. Many of our children have continued to keep up these extra kilometres each week.

Emma and Ivy are with Pam Vardy from the Horticulture Media Association presenting on behalf of sponsor Australian Growing Solutions. Late in November I took a group of grade 4 students to Melbourne on the train to accept an award for ‘The Most Engaging Garden for Play’ sponsored by the Victorian Gardens Association. This award came with credit of $1000 to spend on plants for our garden. This category


Lions loose in the schoolground! is close to my heart as our school has a commitment to creating not only attractive spaces but places that children love to talk, build, hide, cook potions, create fantasy plays or just hang out. We also launched our ‘Every Place Has a Face’ fence. This project started in November last year when the Castlemaine Lions Club generously funded the costs to make each picket and the ‘Men’s Shed’ quickly got to work cutting a profile for each child and staff member at our school to paint. Our art teacher Kate, assisted by many parent helpers, took on the challenge of working with outdoor paint and five year olds! The plan is that every second year we will add new pickets to the fence so that every child who has attended our school will be represented. Past students can view their named pavers created ten years ago, as they lead around the path near the BBQ. The last week of the school year is always a challenge for everyone - however we have a few favourite activities that keep everyone busy. Yabbying in Forest Creek is always a highlight. The event was cancelled last year due to lack of water but this year we had a healthy catch of yabbies, leeches and a few frogs. Carols in the town has become an even bigger hit and thanks to Janelle, from the Chewton Store, it was even more appealing to the children. This year we say goodbye to 8 grade 6 students and 4 families. In our last school newsletter our departing

Dropping a line. students wrote a piece about our school. Their writing made me laugh but also made me very proud. Our students feel that the school does give them a sense of place. How do you put that on the National Education Report Card? Thanks once again for all your support and we will return to this page for the February edition. Julie.

The end-of- year Soiree... absolute delight!


The Community Newspaper Association of Victoria (CNAV) invited Michael Smith to officiate as MC at its recent conference in Bendigo. Apart from MC-ing brilliantly, Michael was invited to share the story of his imminent walk to Canberra. It was an inspiring address and attracted many community newspapers to follow and report on the walk as Michael progressed.

As the editor of the CNAV Roundabout I invited Michael to write a piece about community newspapers, based on his experiences with them. This article is the result and is about to appear and go statewide in Roundabout. Roundabout is circulated to CNAV members, all municipalities and all Victorian parliamentarians.

In appreciation of Community Newspapers Thirteen years ago I bought a house in the Chewton Bushlands. The gravel roads were in poor condition. A car slid off a bend and slammed into a tree. The woman was shaken but ok. The car was a write-off. I set about finding out who was responsible for the roads. The Chewton Chat did a story on the front page. I used the cover story in my correspondence with the local, state and federal governments. I quickly got confirmation from all three that the local shire was responsible. The shire quickly announced it would grade the roads every three months. The Chat did another front page story. The roads have been graded ever since and are much safer, and the Chewton Bushlands, an off-grid community of 44 houses, has grown. I have come to know John Ellis and the Chat very well. I have seen the Chat and the community grow over the past 13 years in a symbiotic relationship. About three years ago I started thinking about walking to Canberra, from Chewton, with legislation that would involve our Parliament in decisions about war and the deployment of forces overseas. Currently our Prime Minister is not required to consult Parliament or seek its approval. Some don’t even consult Cabinet. It stems from the Kings and Queens of England in centuries past having a Royal Prerogative to declare war. I’ve been in the Middle East three times, in war zones, and I’ve been an adviser to the Australian Government at Parliament House and it just didn’t seem right to me that our Parliament had no say. I knew a very good international lawyer, based in London and Washington, Robert Amsterdam, who was prepared to write the legislation (in exchange for two bottles of Australian shiraz). I didn’t know if I could do it, the walk, physically, or how I would do it, but kept moving forward with the idea. The time came to start sharing it publicly. I shared it with John and he put it in the Chat. People started stopping me in the street. ‘Good on you’, they said. They didn’t know Parliament had no say and, like me, thought it should. The journey itself, on foot across Victoria and New South Wales, seemed to inspire them and that in turn inspired me. John has been magnificent in his support of the walk, which happened in October and November this year. In October, he asked me to say a few words at the CNAV conference in Bendigo. That brought other community papers on board. As I walked through north central and north east Victoria and southern New South Wales I spoke with the Waranga News in Rushworth, the Tallangatta Herald,


Yackity Yak (in Yackandandah) and others. I also did interviews with community radio stations. They all gave me a good go. The Chat has also embraced social media and there was a big following there. John’s story in the Chat was picked up by ABC Central Victoria and that led to an interview with Fran Kelly on Radio National, broadcast nationally. During and since the walk, there have been stories in regional dailies and weeklies, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and I was interviewed on 2GB, which was broadcast in other cities. Paul Murray Live on Sky News debated it. It’s starting to get on the national agenda and public support is building. At Parliament House, I met with MPs from all parties, cross benchers and an adviser from the Prime Minister’s office. I’m currently in the process of collecting all the stories and forwarding a package to the MPs. The package is also going to Baroness Falkner in the UK, who has introduced similar legislation to the British Parliament where it’s currently at committee stage. I’m also planning to make contact with the Canadian Parliament, which is in a similar situation to Australia. I came home to many letters from people around Australia. Many were from peace groups. Many Australians are becoming aware of the current situation and want this change. From one story in the Chat in Chewton awareness and support is spreading around Australia. Michael Smith.

Going potty at home? Why not drop into Mo’s Antiques...

A problem in March 2006 above, and a breakthrough in May 2006 below.

Mightier than the sword some say...


Figuring out why on Facebook An editorial in the last Chat (Page 10 “Figuring out why?”) created a firestorm on Facebook for a few days. Amidst this flurry of comments one poster noted, “I think the article does not make a judgement on aesthetics, craftsmanship or if she’s worthy of a statue. It questions procedures applied when granting this permit, being not in line with the community supported plan. Not a personal attack on maker or depicted person.” Yep – got it in one! This third sculpture has been permitted on public land – a council decision that may prove to be precedent setting. That, and because this wasn’t part of the recent Chewton shaping community planning process the community was involved in for the last few years, it is quite legitimate to seek answers to council’s decision-making and intent. Where this decision sits in regards to Chewton’s heritage overlay needs to be explained too. Does this game-changing council decision open a door for future art proposals? If the rules have indeed changed, what are the new rules? There are many artists in Chewton who would have a vested interest in knowing how the status quo has changed. Questioning can have an important role! The second part of the article referred to the Chewton Community Centre. Over the last 20 years, had any one of us seriously questioned maintenance decisions by the Centre’s management committee, and questioned council’s oversight of these decisions, Chewton may not be staring at the imminent loss of the Community Centre’s church. This is the church that was identified as a priority in the recent Chewton Community Plan. Standing in a prominent position in Chewton’s landscape since it was opened on the 22 December 1861 its future may now be very short-term. It had cost £800 and was described by the Mount Alexander Mail at the time as “chaste yet elegant” (from the Metcalfe Heritage Study). Sadly, neither chaste nor elegant now - throwing up lots of questions. A response from council is apparently in the offing. and will certainly be printed in a future Chat! John Ellis.

In all the furore the editorial created, one comment drew a wry smile! “We never needed a Chewton Chat we had the Pub and the grapevine…” brings to mind a welldocumented 1861 meeting in that very hotel! 165 years ago the people of Chewton apparently wanted more than a pub and a grapevine...

THE CHEWTON NEWSPAPER In early January 1861, Forest Creek, the former eastern suburb of Castlemaine, became the Municipality of Chewton. Optimism was the order of the day as the new councillors set about establishing an orderly transition to independence for the most important mining area within the Mt Alexander goldfield. Ideas were boundless, and the possibility of establishing a Chewton newspaper was brought to a head on Monday of the last day in January 1861 when a meeting to discuss the issue was held in the Red Hill Hotel. The Mount Alexander Mail reported that a majority of those present believed the project to be both advisable and feasible. Eventually, it was resolved that a prospectus of the proposed journal should be drawn up and submitted to an adjourned meeting on Monday. The population of Chewton at that time was 3,353 and was large enough to support a modest publication. However it appears that the idea never reached fruition for no further reference to this promising prospect appears in the extant records. This piece by The Batteryman was printed in the January 2003 Chewton Chat! It has been referenced and quoted from in the Chat several times since then, particularly when acknowledging a significant milestone as in June 2007 (the Chat’s 100th edition!), in January 2009 (a prelude to the Chat’s 10th anniversary two months later) and most recently in February 2012 (marking 13 years of Chewton Chats). John Ellis.

28 January 2017 Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the Chinese calendar, and continues for 15 days. During celebrations people clean their houses to drive away the bad luck of the previous year.


Still time to have your say

Councillor’s Chat Hi all, Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas.

It’s not too late to have your say on the vision and future for Mount Alexander Shire. Mount Alexander Shire Council is seeking feedback from the community on priorities to inform the new Council Plan for the next four years. “Councillors and staff have been out and about meeting with residents and community groups at a variety of locations and listening posts over the past few weeks,” said Cr Sharon Telford, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire Council. “We’ve been asking people about the things they love about Mount Alexander, the things they would like to see changed, what Council can do better and what can we do less of. It’s been fantastic to hear a wide range of views on many topics and there are certainly some consistent themes coming through during our discussions. Some people would like better roads and more footpaths, while others would like cheaper green waste disposal, more shady parking spots, bike lanes and a dog park. Common strengths that people tend to agree upon are our strong sense of community, our small town charm and beautiful assets like the botanical gardens and native bushlands. It’s more difficult for people to think about the things that we could be doing less but this is an important question when we have to prioritise our services on a tighter budget.” People have the choice of completing a general survey or delving into more detail around the five key themes of built, social, cultural, economic and natural environment. “Talking with our community has been really insightful and we encourage everyone to complete a survey,” said Mayor Telford. Visit to have your say, or download a toolkit to host your own conversation with friends or colleagues. You can pick up a copy at the Civic Centre or by contacting Council on 5471 1700. The plan must be finalised by 30 June 2017 so the new Council has moved quickly on starting the conversation. “Rest assured there will be more opportunities to have a say next year, including a public feedback period on the draft Council Plan,” said Mayor Telford. The first round of community feedback is open until Tuesday 3 January 2017.

Council has been busy seeking community input for the Council plan for the next four years. From that, the budget will follow so it is important that we get community input into the plan. Residents are welcome to contact Councillors via the website or by email as appropriate. Under the rate capping scenario funds will tighten over the next few years. The challenge will be to get the best value for our ratepayers dollar and to deliver the best services possible. Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Council staff Christmas function. It was great to meet some of the staff and it gave me a better appreciation of the extent of services we deliver with our team. I take this opportunity to thank our staff for their dedication and hard work. I also attended the Sutton Grange Hall Christmas gathering. Our rural residents work hard to keep their communities vibrant and alive. I hope 2016 has been a good one for you. Certainly the good rains provided some relief for our farmers and keen gardeners. I do wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2017. The years do fly past so make the best of every day. My New Years resolution is to help others. Think how good it would be if everyone did that. Best regards Tony Cr AG Cordy. Calder Ward.

Letter to the editor A Chewton scene that begs questions Attention: John Ellis For publication in the January edition of the Chewton Chat My question is this, why do you and/or the CDS appear to have a problem with the beautiful sculptures we now have in our township? Do you not wish to put Chewton on the map? I have noticed on many occasions groups of people not only stopping to have a look at the sculptures but taking photos of them as well which I am sure they will share with their family and friends. The first of these sculpture depicted the mining era of Chewton and the last two of these sculptures told of two women in the Chewton community of years gone by and I’m sure that not only myself but many other people were interested to read the stories behind these women who otherwise would have been forgotten in Chewton’s history. Obviously the Chewton Senior Citizens Inc. felt that a sculpture in memory of Mrs Alice Dennis was warranted but the CDS felt it had to be questioned! I so hope we get to see more of these sculptures depicting people and/or scenes of Chewton of years gone by. They are an asset to our community. Judi Hosking Chewton Resident.


Awards and sleep-over at school Is the school break-up or the annual awards night and sleep-over that the children look forward to most? The latter if the school’s family evening was anything to go by. Farewelling Grade sixers is always emotional but especially so when their teacher, Scott Purdon, speaks so personally to them. It really is an intimate family occasion despite the numbers watching on. The advice he offered was lapped up by the children and by the many onlookers. Then it was the BBQ and picnics, the video and slide show of 2016 that Rob makes each year and finally the sleep-over. How could that level of excitement be channelled into sleep? They must be very brave teachers at Chewton to take that challenge on. No doubt the February Chat report will reveal all‌

YOGA IN CHEWTON Beginners & Progressive 9 week Courses available on Wednesday afternoon/evenings at the Chewton Town Hall For enquiries or enrolment forms please call Iris on (M) 0419 110 125 Courses running from February 1st to March 29th


“Parking” in Chewton As years go by it is easy to forget what some local places once looked like and a classic example is the park next to the Chewton Town Hall. Records in the People and Places Collection in the Chewton Town Hall show that in years gone by there was a house that was relocated to the other side of Forest Creek and a shop on the corner that was demolished in 1970 in preparation for the re-alignment of the Pyrenees Highway. Prior to council amalgamation Metcalfe Shire named the park Ellery Park. Then in 1996 the commissioners were going to sell the Chewton Post Office as it was regarded as a property in excess of the newly amalgamated Mount Alexander Shire Council’s (MASC) needs and the Chewton community basically said you can’t do that! The upshot was the PO ownership was handed to the people of Chewton - alomg with the town hall and the park next door. To hold the titles the Chewton Domain Society, an incorporated volunteer community organisation, was formed in March 1997. The CDS manages this new arrangement where members own and manage the properties - and meet all management and maintenance costs. The Chewton PO business itself is managed by the Licenced Post Office Operator, Rob Palmer. Until 1999 there was a shelter designed for a BBQ in the park and the grass was mowed. A MASC program funded in 2000 to beautify the entrances to Castlemaine included the park and a gradual change happened with a lot of community support. A free electric BBQ was installed, picnic settings built, paths created and native plants planted. Golden Point Landcare assisted the CDS in the design and ongoing maintenance of the park but has experienced the heartbreak of dry spells and droughts - the plants that continue to grow are the hardy ones. To see the BBQ now being used by various groups and visitors throughout the year justifies the ongoing service and maintenance costs that are managed by the CDS. There is a memorandum of understanding with MASC where the BBQ and the public toilets are cleaned on a regular basis by the shire as a continued support for a local community facility.

Evolution... 1. The old 2. Roof up 3. Walls out and power on 4. BBQ in 5. Landscaped


Chewton - 100 years ago Kyneton Guardian, Saturday 6 January 1917.

joined the Forces. The eldest son, John, who went through the Boer War, was killed at the Gallipoli landing, and two other sons are at present fighting in France. Glen Harrison.

St. John’s Wort. A correspondent in the “Mount Alexander Mail” draws attention to the fact that St. John’s wort, the weed that has rendered practically useless vast areas of country round Bright, is growing luxuriantly on the banks of the Expedition Pass reservoir at Chewton. He urges that the plants be eradicated at once, as it will grow on any soil, if eaten by animals it causes them to develop sores. The plant was introduced into the Bright district by a lady who admired its tiny yellow flowers. It is considered almost hopeless to attempt to eradicate it in the Bright district. Salt freely used is the best way of checking it. Bendigo Independent, Friday 12 January 1917.

Chewton Domain Society The CDS Management Committee December met on Monday 19th December 2016 with a brief meeting held first followed by a very enjoyable shared end of year celebratory dinner. As it has been a busy year it was pleasant to talk over the various Chewton happenings. A full report will be in the next Chewton Chat. Anyone wishing to book the Chewton Town Hall or has general CDS enquiries should contact acting secretary Marie Jones on 5472 2892 or

CASTLEMAINE. Through an accident at the woollen mill on Thursday afternoon a married man, named McDonald, of Chewton, was unfortunate enough to lose a hand. It was caught in some machinery, and was so badly injured that it had to be amputated at the wrist. Argus, Monday 15 January 1917. CRUSHED TO DEATH. CASTLEMAINE, Sunday. — A fatal accident occurred at Thompson’s Foundry on Saturday morning. The victim was Ralph Berndt, a labourer, who has been a resident of Chewton. A truck, on which was a locomotive boiler, was moving from the boiler-yard, and at one point there is not much space between the rails and the post-and-rail guard fence. On reaching this place Berndt ran in front of the trucks to put down the brake, but before he could get clear he was caught by the truck, and crushed to death against a post. The body was conveyed to the hospital morgue, and later in the day an inquiry was held by the district coroner (Mr P. Bartold, P.M.) and a verdict of accidental death was recorded. Berndt was 39 years of age, and leaves a widow and six children. A few years ago he was one of the leading footballers of the district. Ballarat Courier, Tuesday 23 January 1917. FOURTH BROTHER ENLISTS. CASTLEMAINE, Monday.-- A. W. McCance, of Chewton, has enlisted, he being the fourth son that has



January, 2017 Sunday 1 Saturday 7 Sunday 8 Saturday 14 Sunday 15 Saturday 21 Sunday 22 Saturday 28 Sunday 29

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Be a holiday hero with the Summer Reading Club!

Children aged 5-12 years are invited to explore super heroes and their villainous counterparts at Goldfields Libraries these school holidays in the annual Summer Reading Club! Last year the Summer Reading Club was a huge success with more than 48,000 children reading more than 333,000 books across Australia! 474 children participated through Goldfields Libraries, reading more than 3,840 books in total – a fantastic effort! This year those who complete the challenge of reading 10 books will be in the running for great prizes, including book vouchers, the Guinness Book of Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and the major regional prize of family passes to the IMAX Cinema and Melbourne Star, and a 3D MiniMe sculpture.

Chewton General Store...

Still stocking all your favourites, plus some new lines... • Simplyclean Toxin Free cleaning products • Lifestyle magazines • Gluten-free pies • And our special raisin toast and coffee • And our egg and bacon toasties Customer loyalty coffee cards are available too Sprout bread available Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays! Hours 7:30 - 5:30 Mon-Fri 7.30 - 4:00 Sat 8:00 - 4:00 Sun

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“This year promises to be the biggest and best yet with the theme of Heroes and Villains!” said Tammy Higgs, Goldfields Library Corporation Programs and Events Coordinator. “Young readers are encouraged to explore a variety of traditional and non-traditional heroes and heroines and their villainous counterparts through a mix of genres, including myths and legends, speculative fiction and fantasy fiction.” Participation in this program is free! Children who register through Goldfields Libraries will receive a Summer Reading Club kit, or alternatively, registrations can be made through the Summer Reading Club website: Bendigo, Castlemaine and Woodend Libraries will welcome the ever popular Carp Productions for an interactive Heroes and Villains performance on Wednesday 25 January. Bookings can be made via: The Summer Reading Club is a free national holiday program led by the State Library of Queensland in partnership with the Australian Library and Information Association and the Australian Public Library Alliance. The program runs until Friday 27 January 2017 at Goldfields Libraries and participation is free. For more information visit Taken from a Press Release.


Listening Post held in Castlemaine last Friday of the Month 10am to 2pm. Please phone for appointment. 8 Panton Street, Golden Square VIC 3555 P: 5444 4125 @mareeedwardsmp mareeedwardsmp Authorised by M Edwards, 8 Panton Street, Golden Square. This material has been produced by Maree Edwards MP using her Parliament’s Electorate Office & Communications budget.


Not many sea piers around Central Vic, but this Parks Victoria Press Release has a timely warning for local swimmers...

Victim’s Summer Safety Warning Nazim Erdem in conjunction with Parks Victoria and spinal cord injury organisations Independence Australia and Spire (a division of AQA Victoria Ltd.), is reminding Victorians to think before they jump or dive from piers and jetties this summer to minimise the risk of spinal cord injury. At the age of 20, Nazim Erdem dived off an Elwood pier into shallow water in an effort to impress some girls who were nearby. The dive resulted in a permanent spinal cord injury and left Nazim quadriplegic for life. “It was just a bit of fun with my mates but it’s changed my life forever. You’re aware that there are risks in life but I never thought jumping off a pier would result in an injury like this,” said Nazim Erdem. “After I’d jumped off the pier and hit the bottom I realised I couldn’t move any part of my body which meant I couldn’t resurface. Luckily I’d been taught to hold my breath under water for up to three minutes. My mates thought I was mucking around so I was under water for nearly two and a half minutes before they realised something was wrong.” Prior to his accident Nazim played Australian Rules Football and was an amateur boxer. Following his accident, Nazim took up wheelchair rugby and competed successfully as a member of the Gold medal winning Australian team at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and has previously won silver medals at the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Paralympics plus another gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympics. Naz is also the first person with a spinal cord injury to paraglide solo and compete in the Targa Tasmania car rally. Each year there are 350-400 new cases of spinal cord injuries reported and 9% of these are caused by waterrelated accidents. Parks Victoria in conjunction with Independence Australia and Spire are reminding Victorians not to jump or dive from piers and jetties this summer to minimise the

risk of spinal cord injury. Parks Victoria District Manager, Graeme Davis says that despite regular patrols of piers and upgraded signage across Port Phillip and Western Port, people are not listening to the warnings and serious injuries are still regularly occurring. “Diving from piers and jetties might seem like a good idea on a hot day but in reality it is an extremely dangerous practice. People don’t realise that water depths change daily as a result of the tides, sand movement and submerged debris such as shopping trolleys are unexpected hazards,” said Mr Davis. Independence Australia, CEO, Peter Turner, notes that young men in particular are ignoring the warnings and not thinking before they jump or dive around waterways. “Males aged 15 – 35 years are at the highest risk of acquiring a spinal cord injury, yet the most common causes of these which are water/diving related activities and road accidents – are preventable,” said Mr Turner. Parks Victoria, Independence Australia and Spire are encouraging people to find a safe point from which to enter the water to swim and enjoy the beach this summer. Taken from a Press Release.

Community-wide approach to emergencies Mount Alexander Shire Council recently endorsed plans outlining how Council will work with the community, organisations and government agencies during an emergency. The three plans cover Council’s approach in the event of an outbreak of influenza or pandemic, a heatwave, and in the coordination of post-emergency relief and recovery. “Council plays an important role in a range of local emergencies, and it’s critical that we are well prepared and ready to respond for a range of scenarios,” said Jason Amos, Emergency Management Coordinator, Mount Alexander Shire Council. “No one wants an emergency situation in the shire, but the updated plans allow Council and other agencies to be prepared and better understand how we can work together effectively during a crisis,”


Council worked with many groups on the plans including CFA, SES, Victoria Police, local health organisations and Emergency Management Victoria. “We also encourage residents to update their own personal emergency plans for the summer season,” said Mr Amos. Council has been working closely with Maldon Neighbourhood House Inc. and Campbells Creek Community Inc. helping to develop emergency management guides for residents in the Tarrengower and Campbells Creek communities. Keep an eye out for the guides early in the new year. To learn more about Council’s emergency planning visit Management. Taken from a Press Release.

Illegal dumpers beware EPA now has sky eyes Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has launched an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Program to capture video evidence of illegal dumping and polluting. Executive Director of Regional Services, Damian Wells said the program will increase EPA’s ability to detect illegal dumping in remote and difficult to reach locations and prosecute offenders. “We know that land with minimum visibility tends to be an attractive place for illegal dumping because offenders think no-one’s watching. They shouldn’t be so confident now,” Mr Wells said. “The use of high performance UAVs, also known as drones, and other technology such as aerial photography are important additions to our compliance and enforcement toolkit. Vision collected through the UAV Program will detect illegal dumping in areas that were previously inaccessible or difficult to reach by EPA officers.” Mr Wells said the launch of the UAV Program builds on the work of EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce – a program dedicated to reducing the illegal dumping of industrial waste such as concrete, timber, bricks and asbestos on public and private land. “It’s estimated more than 350,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste is illegally dumped in Victoria every year, posing risks to our environment, health and economy,” Mr Wells said. “Local councils alone spend tens of millions of dollars each year cleaning up illegally dumped waste.” Last financial year EPA issued 98 remedial notices to stop or clean up illegally dumped waste across the state, with the most issued in Victoria’s north-west, followed by the Melbourne metro and north east regions.

“Illegal dumping is a criminal offence. Illegal dumpers, including those who accept industrial waste without the proper licence, face fines ranging from $7,500 to almost $800,000,” Mr Wells said. EPA has gained Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) certification to operate the program and must abide by CASA regulations requiring licensees to keep their UAVs more than 15m away from people. UAVs must also be operated within line of sight and cannot be flown over populous areas, making them suitable for use in more remote locations. The UAV Program will also help EPA officers to investigate pollution reports on land which is difficult to reach by foot or vehicle. EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce Program works to identify, investigate and prosecute individuals and companies who participate in large-scale dumping. Further information about EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce Program is available at Taken from a Press Release.

Ease into 2017 with Tai Chi

A new year’s FEAST

Ease into 2017 with a gentle low-impact exercise that can benefit the whole body. Castlemaine District Community Health runs low cost Tai Chi classes at Barfold, Castlemaine, Guildford, Fryerstown, Newstead and Maldon. This year’s participants have found increased sense of wellbeing, and feeling more relaxed and energized as a result of Tai Chi. For many it is a worthwhile benefit for the time invested. “Classes resume early in February. It’s easier for Tai Chi beginners to start at the beginning of the year so they can learn the moves with others”, says Physiotherapist Janine Truscott. “Practicing Tai Chi improves your movement, flexibility, strength and balance. It also helps general health, especially relaxation and posture, and reduces your risk of falls”. Castlemaine District Community Health welcomes all to their Tai Chi groups, which are suitable for all ages and abilities. Phone 5479 1000 for more information or to register.

Do you eat based on want or need? Attend FEAST and build your skills to eat instinctively rather than allowing thoughts or suggestions of food to guide dietary choices. Castlemaine District Community Health Dietitian Lorna Reynolds will be running the two hour FEAST workshop as part of this year’s Healthy Weight Week. “The FEAST process starts by Focusing and Exploring the reasons behind food cravings, ” says Lorna. Lorna Reynolds also runs the popular 6 week ‘Make a Change’ program which will be held in the weeks following the FEAST workshop. “Although the Make a Change program is primarily for weight reduction, additional benefits found are improved general and mental health”, says Lorna. The free FEAST session is on February 9th. Bookings are essential as the group is kept to a maximum of 12 participants.

Phone Castlemaine District Community Health on 5479 1000 for bookings or further information.


Protect yourself against shingles - free vaccine for 70-79 year olds Council is encouraging seniors in our community to consider protecting themselves against shingles. The National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides a free shingles vaccine to people over 70 years of age, and there is a free catch-up program for 71 to 79 year olds, which runs until the end of 2021. Shingles are a painful blistering rash, caused by the varicellazoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Initial exposure to the varicella-zoster virus results in chickenpox. Once you have had chickenpox the varicella-zoster virus remains in your body forever. If the virus reactivates you will get shingles. While you have shingles you can pass on the varicella-zoster virus to anyone who has not had chickenpox. You are not contagious to people who have already had chickenpox, and if they later develop shingles it will be from the virus they already had. Shingles can be very painful, and can lead to serious long-term complications. One in three people will develop shingles with the risks increasing as a person gets older. Vaccination has been proven to decrease the incidence of shingles and the side effects of the disease. If you have had shingles it is still recommended you be vaccinated. However you should wait at least a year after recovery. To determine if you should receive the free vaccine, contact your general practitioner or immunisation provider. For more information regarding immunisation, visit or call the Immunise Australia Information Line 1800 671 811

FIELD NATS VISITORS ARE WELCOME AT CLUB MEETINGS AND EXCURSIONS Monthly meetings and field trips are advertised in the Chewton Chat. Ordinary membership: Single $30, Family $40, Pensioner or student: Single $25, Family $30. Subscription includes postage of the monthly newsletter, Castlemaine Naturalist. General meetings - (second Friday of each month, except January) are held in the Uniting Church (UCA) Hall (enter from Lyttleton St.) at 7.30 pm. Field Trips - (Saturday following the general meeting) leave from the car park opposite Castle Motel, Duke Street at 1.30pm sharp unless stated otherwise. BYO afternoon tea. Outdoor excursions are likely to be cancelled in extreme weather conditions. There are NO excursions on total fire ban days.


Reducing the shire’s fire risks In preparation for a challenging fire season ahead, Council staff have been busy working to reduce fire hazards to protect lives and properties across Mount Alexander Shire. “Our annual slashing program started in November and our works and parks and gardens units have been out on a daily basis to cut grass on target roadsides and public land,” said Luke Ryan, Municipal Fire Prevention Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council. Council recently reviewed the slashing program in consultation with the CFA to ensure strategic firebreaks are in place and emergency vehicle access is maintained. It has also published an online map of the roadside slashing program so the community can see the priority areas. VicRoads, V-Line and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are also undertaking slashing on key roadsides, railway reserves and Crown Land boundaries. “We know that many residents are concerned about fire risk this year. One of the main challenges we face is the significant growth of grass and vegetation growth following higher than average rainfalls throughout spring,” said Mr Ryan. “We must time our approach to slashing as grasses dry out which will minimise the number of times we have to go back to slash again once the grass has completely cured.”


Council is also responsible for undertaking property inspections to ensure residents are reducing the risk of grass or bushfire on their property. While everyone has a role to play in fire prevention, Council prioritises those properties on the rural and urban interface to reduce the likelihood of fires moving from rural areas into more densely populated areas. “We have been working with representatives from the local CFA brigades to assess fire hazards and are very pleased by the level of co-operation of property owners,” said Mr Ryan. “We would specifically like to acknowledge the residents of Fryerstown, Chewton and Newstead for their efforts in maintaining their properties. It is important that residents continue to maintain their properties in a fire safe condition throughout the entire Fire Danger Period, which is likely to last until May. I think many people are aware of the high fire risk this season and a lot of effort is clearly going into reducing fuel loads, and storing wood and flammables away from the home.” To view the roadside slashing map or find out more on fire prevention visit Taken from a Press Release.

Advertisers in this Chewton Chat Baker Earthmoving P 26 Ben Ross, All building work P 19 Blues music, jam sessions P 31 Bold Café P6 Buda Historic Home and Garden P 4 Cameron Stewart, Podiatrist P8 Castlemaine Mini-Diggers P6 Castlemaine Office Supplies P 10 CAE Performance Products P 15 Chewton Garage P 12 Chewton General Store P 27 Chewton Service Station P2 Chewton’s Small Breed Dog Groomer P 8 Come Clean Window Cleaning P 10 Doug Drury, Carpenter and Handyman P 7 Elphinstone Firewood P 7 EzyDig P 16 Five Flags Hotel P 15 Fryerstown Antique Fair P 11 Goldfields Concreting P 3 Goldfields Electronics P 18 Janine Clark P 22 Lisa Chesters, Federal M.P. P 18 Marcus Houston, Bricklayer and Stonework Maree Edwards, State M.P. P 27 Merlarue, Etching Presses P 17 Mo’s Antiques P20 Newstead Natives, Native Nursery P2 Nick Haslam (Waller Realty) P9 Printz Plumbing P 24 Ray Fowler, Master Painter P 25 Red Hill Hotel P 15 Robin Haylett, Gardens P 25 Soldier and Scholar, 2nd Hand Books P 13 Surtierra Alpaca Stud P 21 Thompson Family Funerals P 11 Vault Self-Storage P9 Waylaines Tiling P31 Wesley Hill Market P 15 Wildlife Rescue P 26 Yoga in Chewton P 24

Chewton Chat • • • • • • • • • •

2007 - Winner - best editorial comment 2008 - Finalist - best hard news reporting 2009 - Finalist - best history article 2010 - Special mention - best community reporting 2011 - Finalist - best editorial comment 2012 - Winner - best editorial comment 2013 - Winner - best news feature story 2013 - Finalist - best editorial comment 2014 - Winner - best history article 2015 - Finalist - best editorial comment

Published by the Chewton Domain Society and produced on a voluntary non-profit basis

P.O. Box 85, Chewton 3451 or 5472 2892


Thanks to all our advertisers for a fantastic 2016!

A CDS subcommittee of John Ellis (Ed.), Gloria Meltzer, Debbie Hall, Phil Hall and Glen Harrison is responsible for the publication. Many volunteers help with production and circulation. It is circulated on the first of each month, necessitating a deadline of about the 22nd of the month before. Material can be left at the Chewton General Store, with any of the sub-committee members, sent by e-mail or by contacting 5472 2892. Contributions of ideas, news items, articles, and letters are always welcome; as are advertisements that help meet monthly production costs. Circulation is via the Chewton General Store, Chewton Pet Supplies, Chewton Post Office, Chewton Service Station, Red Hill Hotel, Castle Automotive Enterprises and Tourist Information Board, as well as the Bold Cafe, Castlemaine Library, Market Building, CHIRP, CIC, Castlemaine Copy Centre, Castlemaine Office Supplies and Castlemaine Art Gallery and Museum. Mt. Alexander Hospital Residential receives monthly copies too. Whilst copies are free, there are donation tins at many collection points and donations can be mailed to the CDS address below. Subscriptions for mailed copies can be arranged. Circulation is now 700. A full colour Chewton Chat can also be downloaded each month from - as can some earlier issues. Email subscriptions are also available. The Chewton Chat wishes to advise that the views or remarks expressed in this publication are not necessarily the views of the editor, the management team or the Chewton Domain Society and no endorsement of service is implied by the listing of advertisers, sponsors or contributors.

ELPHO JAM SESSIONS You are invited to a monthly Jam Session at Elphinstone This is an informal get-together of people who want to make some music and have some fun! (Aimed at the over 50’s, but open to all)

If you are into Blues, R’n’B, Rock & more, and you sing or play an instrument, you are welcome! For more information:



It’s Summer, but not yet a sizzler It’s warm, the bathroom offers morning comfort, but it has yet to become the anticipated summer sizzler we usually expect. Since 2010, the average daytime December temperature I have recorded has been greater than 30 degrees Celsius, typically 31.5 degrees. This year our November/December average is closer to 29 degrees Celsius. Our average overnight temperature has been 14.5 degrees Celsius, which is close to our recent overnight average for this time of year. The rain has diminished to a modest 34 millimetres in the last four weeks, following the fifty-two millimetres we received in the first two weeks of November. The latest data from the Bureau of Meteorology reads as follows: “The climate of Australia, and other countries around the tropical Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean, has been strongly influenced during the second half of 2016 by both a strong negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) in the tropical Indian Ocean (that ended in November), and the weak La Niña-like pattern in the tropical Pacific (which has eased). This combination of climate drivers contributed to Australia observing its wettest May to September on record in 2016”. These words seem to provide a succinct review of Australia’s 2016 weather. Here in Chewton, our weather has followed the national pattern. Turning first to rain - and it has been too pervasive to be anything but first! I have recorded 704 millimetres during this last year. In contrast with

Australia as a whole, this rainfall is just the third highest I have recorded since 2000. In 2010 I recorded 897 millimetres, and the following year 2011, 732 millimetres. Our average rainfall over the last sixteen years is 517 millimetres, with an average of 103 raindays each year. We can normally expect our wettest month to be July with 62 millimetres received over 16 rain days. June, August and September follow just behind with some 50 to 55 millimetres per month. Other months are more variable, but we can expect up to 30 millimetres per month. In most years, the number of raindays per month is typically 11 days. In July it is just short of 16 days, and in August 13.5 days. These are the two months in which we usually fill our tanks, dams and reservoirs around here for the year to come. This all contrasts with our rainfall this year. June 54 mm, July 66 mm, August 50 mm, then the big month, September 181 mm. October also did us proud with 93 mm, and November 67 mm. In September it rained on 16 days of the month, 1 day in 2, whereas our norm is 1 day in 3. The year commenced with average daytime temperatures of 28 degrees C., when we usually average in excess of 31 degrees Celsius. The trend continued into March and April with lower than average temperatures, but it remained rather more mild through the winter and autumn months right up to November. John Leavesley.

Calendar of Events Jan 1st Jan 2nd Jan 7th Jan 7th Jan 14th Jan 21st Jan 26th Jan 26th Jan 26th Jan 27th Jan 28th Jan 28th Jan 30th Feb 31st Feb 1st

New Year’s Day. New Year’s Day Public Holiday. Chewton Community BBQ 6 p.m., (see page 16). Service at 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Service at 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Service at 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Chewton Chat deadline. Australia Day. Newstead Live (also on 27th, 28th and 29th). Fryerstown Antique Fair (also on 28th and 29th, see p. 11). Service at 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Chinese New Year. School resumes in 2017. Folding Chewton Chat (Tuesday). Yoga at the Chewton Town Hall starts (see p. 24).

• For Chewton Pool notices and dates see posters around the town and Facebook. • A video of highlights from the 2016 Monster Meeting is on


Chewton Chat January 2017  

Chewton's award-winning school, an award for Chewton's Domain Society, Michael at the Monster Meeting, carols in the air, Christmas break-up...

Chewton Chat January 2017  

Chewton's award-winning school, an award for Chewton's Domain Society, Michael at the Monster Meeting, carols in the air, Christmas break-up...