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Issue 4 * 2011

Locally grown and made food, produce, art & craft, fashion & accessories, plants and live entertainment. Market Dates 2011 Sat 26 March, Sat 11 June Sat 10 Sept (Twilight market) Sun 20 Nov, Sat 10 Dec All markets are from 9am - 2pm except the Twilight market 4 - 8pm

In and around the community halls, behind the shops in Upwey

burrinja~ Cosmo Cosmolino

what’s on in September


Saturday 3rd September @ 8.00pm Cosmo Cosmolino is a musically dazzling and visually enthralling string quintet whose performance is inspired by gypsy, tango and even jazz traditions. This concert launches Cosmo Cosmolino’s most recent CD “Bel Air” featuring original compositions in a range of styles from klezmer to cheeky waltzes, from film noir to whimsical song as well as some exciting versions of well known classics from gypsy, tango and jazz repertoires.


Shorter+Sweeter Dance

Thursday 22nd September @ 8.00pm This “best of the fest” dance extravaganza features the best ten works from recent Short+Sweet Dance festivals in Melbourne and Sydney. Six of Australia’s hottest dancers, hailing from the likes of So You Think You Can Dance, FAME and the Sydney Dance Company, will perform everything from parkour, break dance, adagio and hip hop to ballet, African, musical theatre and tap.




Thursday 15th September @ 6.00pm Presented by the A4 Circus Ensemble, this show is perfect for the whole family. Four extraordinary performers juggle, balance, contort and hula their way through the quicksand of life and love. Based on a Dostoevsky short story, DownPour has just returned from a season at the Montreal Circus Festival and the Melbourne Fringe.

Book tickets online at or phone 9754 8723. For information on music and art exhibitions at Burrinja, please visit our website. Burrinja, Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Drive, Upwey e: w:

building community through arts 2


Editor’s rave So much has been going on in this busy, creative hub of ours. What with writing and craft workshops, music and art galore. There’s never a dull moment up here. I hope you’ve been checking in to the facebook page to see the regular posts I add about what’s going on, that I hear about. If you have something that you want to promote send me an email so I can add it to the page and help spread the word, or add it yourself.

Lastly but not least is the fact ‘the hillscene’ is now FREE! Yes that’s right. I have decided to make the little zine more easily available to all so I’m making it free. Hopefully I can get some sponsors on board to help me keep it that way for all subsequent issues.

One such event was the opening of the new theatre and arts space at Burrinja in Upwey. I was lucky enough to be able to design the indoor directional signage for the space. I’m very proud of them and look forward to seeing them when I go for my arts fix, for many years to come. The space has emerged a beautiful butterfly from it’s long hibernation in it’s cocoon. Ross Farnell talks about it in this issue.


There’s also so many interesting articles about some writing workshops for Ash Wednesday survivors, a fantastic photo spread by Simone Cunnington who styles and photographs her dolls in the hills. Plus some great volunteer workers who like to get their hands dirty, helping others. The environment is never overlooked up here and we have some great initiatives for sustainability driven by the grassroots group Transition Towns.

Photos of signage at Burrinja courtesy of Antony Watson

So get your copies before they disappear, garb one for a friend and spread the love. And if you know a shop who’d like to stock them drop me a line.


Adriana Alvarez


Jaqui Christians


Louise Bloxham

Contributers Carolyn Oates, Sarah O’Connor, Icia Molloy, Simone Cunnington, Ross Farnell, Melanie Bateson, Rachel Hickinbotham, Kristy Henderson and Adriana Alvarez facebook: The Hillscene For submission and advertising enquiries e: Printed by Ferntree Print on Envirocare 100gsm recycled paper. © Copyright 2011

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Issue 4 * 2011

JCDC is graphic designer Jacqui Christians’ design company. She combines design and illustration with embroidery, sewn in natural cotton, wool and vintage fabrics. Converting drawings to stitches and inspired by retro icons Jacqui creates unique one off cushions to decorate your home.

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Jacqui says “I love keeping busy with my hands - creating art in sculpture, fabric, paint - it’s a journey and it’s endless... making gifts for others to decorate their homes... Well what can I say, home is where the art is!”

“I grew up in the ranges and after a full 10 years in the advertising world in the city have come back to realise the lifeforce and lushness of the hills is what nurtures my creativity. Being so close to Melbourne we can still have that ‘city fix’ and retreat to the sanctuary my dandenongs home is.” adds Jacqui. You can find her work at, on her website or visit her stall at Upwey Grassroots Community Market in September.

Ash Wednesday reflections

Image of Laura Levens, on her land at Upper Beaconsfield 1983, courtesy of J.Sinatra

Words by Icia Molloy A book of people’s Ash Wednesday stories and poems with some art and photos is to be published later this year. The actual title of the book is still under wraps until the book is published People who had post-fires opportunities to share stories in a community context say that it deepened community bonding and helped them, enormously, to adjust and get on with their lives. Many people in the hills found that Black Saturday touched memories of Ash Wednesday experiences. Many had not told their stories or received any counselling. In response to the number of people who came into Cockatoo Neighbourhood House saying this, Hanny Schoen, the Co-Ordinator, felt something had to be done. The Ash Wednesday Writing Group commenced weekly Monday afternoon workshops mid 2010, with myself as creative writer, to facilitate, and sufficient funding from Public Records Office to cover the costs of producing a book of people’s stories.

Now there is a folder full of stories and poems – to make you cry, laugh, be encouraged, be inspired - from over forty contributors. Every piece of writing shows a different aspect of what it is to go through such a devastating bushfire, in the actual event of the bushfire and the recovery process in the years that follow. Not all of us have faced a natural disaster; all of us experience internal upheavals, disruptions. The knowledge and wisdom that is passed on through these stories are true for us all. For more details contact Cockatoo Neighbourhood House on 5968 9031 email:

Illustration by Miro Anderson (age 8)

Some of the story-tellers have said this is the first time they have spoken of Ash Wednesday in decades. A few say it is the first time they have spoken of it at all.

log life Never say never...

Nominating myself for an executive role, I was all revved up with the view that I was going to assist the committee in what our Julia would term an “Education Revolution”. In short, I was going to sort out the filing cabinet, get some decent shelving for the office, and put an end to bitching in the car park via open and transparent leadership. In what can only be described as a quirk of nature, I became what locals term “Knocked Up”. With this development, all that Bolshy enthusiasm was puked out of me via

all day barfing and the air headed affliction that tends to characterise my pregnancies. I could barely form a sentence let alone bring order to an organisation, already nursing bruises from the trauma of the previous year. Let’s just say my position was vacant, without me actually vacating the role. I offered my resignation during rare moments of clarity, however my co representatives on the committee must have lost their minds too, and refused to accept it. Damn fool kids. During the end of year AGM, my friend & I made our vow, after deep thought and some getting of wisdom. Looking back, it was all a little Rumpelstiltskin. Fast forward through a year of childbirth, sleep deprivation and milk engorged jubblies. I now nursed not only a gorgeous female munchkin, but a hankering to return to the world in a guise other than life support to a baby and wailing wall to the Groom and two small lads. Hearing the occasional rumbling regarding the committee to which I did not belong, I sensed again a need for my insightful observations

and ability to oil the social cohesion among my peers. Yes, it was time to start attending the local committee, tell some fart jokes and sink some Sem Sav Blanc. This would also enable me to get out of the house away from all three delightfully demanding cherubs and their father. Two birds, one Stone (geddit?!), happy days. Knowing this may be my only means of escape without lecture or guilt, I began working on my friend. What if he joined me? It could be great, better than the last two times. No really. Wearing him down over subsequent months took cunning, skill and more than a few sessions on the lattes down at the local cafe.

Illustration by Adriana Alvarez

At the end of 2009, a friend & I made a solemn, pinkie promise VOW to never, ever join another committee. Ever. Our first foray had seen tumult the likes of which I had only seen on Jerry Springer. Presidential autocrats, staff walk outs, drug scandals (OK, I may have made a bit of that up, but just for dramatic effect, you understand) were the meet in the AGM sandwich. By the end of that year, my cohort & I were of the opinion that we had to take the helm the following year and right the darn ship before we lost more lives...and by lives, I mean social death.

As the AGM approached, I sensed I was close to successfully convincing him to again be my partner in crime. I even embarked on a campaign to have his spouse get in his shell like. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to sit on the committee together as husband and wife? Mwahahahaha! Crunch time came and although my friend was absent from the AGM, the opportunity was wide open when nobody else among the parent body volunteered for the role intended for my now powerless--to-resist buddy. I nominated him on the spot, garnered the support of his Mrs and sealed the deal. Success was mine. Looking forward as we were to enjoying a scandal free term on the committee, we waxed lyrical about the potential for bonding with fellow representatives, our much loved staff, several varieties of ale, vino and perchance branching out to spirits at meetings. The world was our oyster, so long as we could achieve quorum of course. Days after our committee was formed, the bomb dropped that made both of our previous dramatic terms appear fun and festive. Yes, the director and senior staff member submitted her resignation after 14 years at the helm. My brain imploded. Here was all the proof I needed that my previous two terms had been disasters, not due to the noxious personal conflicts of other representatives and staff, but because I had lent my involvement to the process. In short, any committee to which I became a member was doomed to experience dramatic upheaval. Yes folks, it IS indeed all about me. Putting this notion to the resigning member of staff was met with denial all round. I am still not convinced. As for my poor, manipulated friend, now charged with finding a suitable replacement for our much loved outgoing leader...I am hoping my role in convincing him to come back with me to the committee fold will be viewed only as that of complicit negotiator, rather than the carefully

planned project that it was, in truth. Now that he is knee deep in CV’s from graduates around the state, he will not have time to view this blog and discover that I was the mastermind behind the greatest turn about our community has seen... since the last time someone changed their mind, anyway. Guess I’ll be providing the booze for next 12 meetings or white ladies? Beer anyone? I’m hearing good things about vodka and gin... Melanie Bateson Melanie is a retired Client Service Manager (whatever that means) and barmaid who left the workforce a month prior to the arrival of her first child some 6½ years ago. She has since worked on further breeding programs, and has produced two sons and one daughter. You can catch her raunchy but classy comments on her blog



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Little Red’s Kate Dimech shares some insight on her lovely little craft shop.

craft cupboard

my crafty passions to be very comforting and rewarding.

What is the philosophy behind the shop?

Cute Name, where did it come from?

Although Little Red’s was born as a retail supply shop, it is steadily growing into somewhere for crafters to congregate - to share ideas, learn new skills and find inspiration. It’s great to have a space which is dedicated to inspiring the creativity within every person.

I am so in love with the fantasy and romance of traditional fairytales and Little Red Riding Hood is my favourite - the story conjures images in my mind of a mystical forest, masses of wildflowers, a basketful of treats and a deep red velvet cape. Depending on the retelling and the illustrations of the book, the story can be portrayed as sweet and friendly or dark and haunting, both of which appeal to me. I must admit that although I was adamant about naming the shop Little Red’s, I was stuck for the last part of the name - fortunately I have a super creative neighbour who helped out with the name and designed the logo!

Why did you decide to start up Little Red’s Craft Cupboard? It may seem like a strange way of going about things but it was largely to do with the process of self-healing. Over the last few years I’ve become increasingly aware of the ill effects of anxiety in my life and have found that by keeping my hands busy and actions purposeful, it helps relax my mind and calm my nerves. It was a big step to put myself out there but the beautiful people in my life have been so supportive and I have found sharing Images by Adriana Alvarez

There seems to be a resurgence in craft why do you think that is? I think we’re beginning to re-evaluate what’s important to us in terms of material

possessions - receiving a lovingly handcrafted gift isn’t seen as the cheap way out, instead it’s heartwarmingly appreciated, especially if it is crafted by the gift giver. Also, we’re becoming more aware of the ethics behind our purchases - we want to know that we’re supporting local economies, fair trade practices and sustainable development - high polluting, overseas, mass production lines don’t fit into this ideal. By getting hands on and crafting items yourself, you are in control of the materials you use you can choose 100% Australian wool over imported acrylic, organic cotton over polyester - you get a real sense of satisfaction having made something with your own hands, and the end result is a unique piece of work. As a parent, I appreciate the need to steer kids away from tv and video games and encourage them to learn handcrafting skills - creating a teddy from an old glove, turning empty boxes into castles and teaching them how to sew on a button are such valuable activities and are so nurturing for their creativity. What sort of workshops and services do you offer? Thanks to the talents of some crafty locals we are able to offer a variety of workshops such as dressmaking and crochet, for beginners and the more advanced. We’re always looking to expand the workshops on offer and are open to suggestions, especially from local crafters. During the school holidays we run kids’ workshops every weekday which are great

fun. As well as workshops, we stock gorgeous fabrics from designers such as Michael Miller and Kokka, haberdashery and trims, paints, beads and cross stitch kits and we offer an alteration and custom dressmaking service using the talents of local dressmaker, Tais Soubra, formerly of Ruby Dean. We also stock an ever-increasing range of homewares and accessories handmade by our talented team of crafters. What do like most about living in the hills? The Hills have always been home to me and I always wanted to raise a family here. The quiet nights, lush greenery and close community give the Hills a village-feel and the locals share a sense of pride and responsibility for their surroundings. Feeling at home in your surroundings is the best feeling in the world. Anything else you’d like to add? We are knitting squares for Save the Children’s Born to Knit campaign. Squares are 20cm x 20cm, pure wool and will be sewn into blankets to be distributed to needy children around the world. The campaign runs until the end of September so if anyone wants to contribute, they can drop squares into us until this time. Little Red’s Craft Cupboard - 41 Main Rd, Monbulk. ph: 9752 1114 For more check out their facebook page Little Red’s Craft Cupboard or their blog


collective pride Words by Adriana Alvarez The Hills Collective Project is a concept that fits beautifully with the creative vibe of the hills. Bianca Lentini had the idea of putting together a showcase of the creative talent that exists in the hills, whilst studying graphic design at Monash University. Now the idea has come to life as part of Bianca’s studies for her Honors Degree. A call was put out to creative people form many different mediums - graphics, painting, installation, multi-media, fashion, jewellery, etc - to put in an application for the project. Artists were asked to send in 5-10 photos of their works as well as a 100 word artist statement. Out of those entrants, Bianca along with a panel of art and design critics will choose 15 artists which will be featured in a book, website, posters and an End of Year Exhibition. “I’m trying to find the hidden treasures,” says Bianca. “The works that are different and contemporary, youthful and fresh. That push the boundaries of handmade craft, that reflect the hills but isn’t necessarily about just the beautiful scenery.’ With so many creative types living in the hills ‘The Hills Collective Project’ has had a great response. Forty artists have put in submissions (entries are now closed), and the artists will be chosen as this issue goes to print.

“Lot’s of people are being helpful and supportive,” says Bianca. “People contribute their time without hesitation. Which is a totally different environment to other places.” There’s a community spirit in the hills which makes this a very nurturing environment for artists. When she interviews the featured artists one of the questions she’ll be asking them is ‘How is the hills reflective within their works or inspiring it?’ With the book and exhibition planned for November, Bianca is hoping to get some funding to be able to do a print run of the books and perhaps turn it into an annual event. Another plan stemming from the project is to have a gallery space for the abundant talent in the hills. “The hills needs a different gallery space,” says Bianca. She has been talking to an architect about somehow using an existing space that is reflective of the hills atmosphere to create a gallery for new and fresh works. “It’s something that’s in the air,” she states, “but making it happen is a challenge. Perhaps the book and website will lead to the workspace.” Even though it may take a while to get the space happening, the book and website are still a celebration of the hills creative spirit. To see the project evolve and keep updated go to The Hills Collective Project facebook page. Or to see Bianca’s graphic design work go to

hello dolly

Ball jointed dolls styled, dressed and photographed by Simone Cunnington. To see more of her work visit

age of sustainability The ‘Age of Sustainability’ beckons and Kristy Henderson from Transition Sherbrooke explains why we should get excited. GET EXCITED! Finally we have something in our hands: the opportunity for all of us to participate, and succeed, in reinvigorating our communities to address the twin global crises of peak oil and climate change. The next great era of human innovation, ‘the Age of Sustainability’, is upon us. The hallmark of this era will be a global transition away from fossil fuels and the re-emergence of thrift and cooperation as guiding principles for resource use. This resurgence of human creativity will carry us into the future. Fossil fuels pack a punch in terms of the energy they produce and the variety of uses they serve. Think: plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, oil, gas, coal. Fossil fuels will be difficult to replace. It is not surprising then that the either slow or sudden fall from the availability of cheap fossil fuels is likely to radically reshape the way our communities organise and the way world leaders do business. The upside of this is that we still have a choice about how we respond to the inevitability of fossil fuel scarcity. We can either choose to start preparing for it now – perhaps creating a much better future than is currently present - or we can wait for the next price hike, the next global shock, to spur us into action. A consequence of waiting is an acceptance of greater unpredictability and instability, neither of which promote confidence or long-term security. The choice we face with climate change is the same: we either mitigate now, alongside developing schemes for adaptation, knowing that the current amount of greenhouse gases in

the atmosphere has already created irreversible changes that for some species (perhaps even our own in the long run) is already a death sentence, or we wait for things to get extremely bad and hope that the government has thought through the problem and has the resources to act. If the state of current negotiations over climate change mitigation measures is any indicator, it is clear that plans that would ensure that our communities are prepared for fossil fuel shortages, as well as the possibly unknown consequences of climate change, are not being given priority. Think here the failure of Copenhagen to produce a binding treaty on greenhouse gas emissions, the stymieing of political debate in Australia over the necessity to phase out coal power, and the to-ing and fro-ing over a carbon price. As countries like Germany speed ahead with solar power innovation Australia continues to hang its head like a pauper, looking to riches left on the ground, or otherwise buried, for prosperity. But unlike a poor person to whom a couple of dollars on the ground might mean the difference between hunger and satiation, Australia continues to let such riches flow out of the country without adequate taxes, leaving everyone here poorer, as the critical public infrastructure required for a transition to a greener future is left languishing. The Transition Towns movement is the grassroots solution to the above political predicament. It is a highly practical, community-orientated approach to mitigating our environmental impacts and safeguarding our communities against the powerlessness of poverty – a likely consequence of our current course of inaction. This movement began in the United Kingdom and draws from the insights of permaculture (co-founded by the

eco matters growing sun-loving vegetables. This intensifies our dependence on oil and private vehicles and lessens our individual ability to be resilient. Yet, even so, we of the hills are intrepid vegetable growers; we experiment with all manner of tomato varieties in the hope that we might actually get at least one hand full of ripe red fruit per year, and we plant fruit trees in precarious places that others would forgo in order to harness the sun’s selective spray of energy. And, we love silverbeet! It grows! Australian writer and permaculture teacher David Holmgren) to tackle the beast that is ‘sustainability’. At the heart of the Transition Towns approach to sustainability is community, the two terms being synonymous with each other. Like the ecological relationships that enable diversity to flourish, community nourishes and supports; it motivates us to participate in localised management of our environs and work with others to achieve common benefits. Growing community participation presents the opportunity to address local problems with unique solutions.

Some of our local primary schools - the Kallista and the Patch for example – also have great kitchen vegetable gardens. Their colourful decorations enliven, especially during the wet, cold winter, which for many of us seems permanently unhappy with our grandiose plans, construed during summer, to have a highly efficient vegetable patch, plentiful with a year round supply of home grown vegetables. These features of Hills life are just some of the many sustainability gestures that exist in our community, and which will provide the foundations for much more.

Our community - The Dandenong Ranges nestled amongst the lush tree ferns of mountain gullies, perched on ridge tops overlooking the fertile Yarra Valley, or otherwise occupying the upward or downward slope of a curious and rather determinedly built road, radiates with a sense of community - which is what gives the possibilities for sustainability initiatives in the area so much potential.

Transition Sherbrooke exists to engage in the sustainability challenges facing our community, and to celebrate and support existing initiatives that already provide an inspiring vision for the future. We meet regularly and look forward to working with other groups and community members in making our community more resilient and self-reliant as the ‘Age of Sustainability’ beckons.

As an outer suburban community, residents of the Dandenong Ranges also live with the tyranny of long distance travel (many of us work in the city) as well as an infrequent and barely sufficient public transport system. Many of us also live on steep, shady blocks that are unfriendly to

To get involved call Kristy on 0421 323 839 or email


Cabin Fever It’s a sign of a healthy local music scene when a regular weeknight gathering finds an array of musicians sharing a beer and trialing their new material, or dusting off a few forgotten numbers. Kellys Cabin Sessions is rapidly becoming one of those environments for the artists of the Yarra Ranges. I met up with singer/songwriter Alex Legg who runs the Wednesday night gathering to find out more. What inspired you to start this weekly gathering? Kelly’s Cabin Sessions were started by Fats Wah Wah singer, Denise’ Neesy’ Smith. In January, 2009, I was asked by Kellys to look after the Sessions when Neesy left to take up other commitments. Can you give a few highlights from the last year? It’s always a thrill to see young musicians grow and develop

confidence in their performance skills. Young Luke and his very talented friends, aka Ziah Ziam, for one. Jazz duo, Liz Blackthorn and Lindsey Deppeler, aka ‘Double Entendre’, another. I like to think our sessions have had a hand in those fledgling careers! The visit of US-trumpeter, Michael Ray in Melbourne for the Jazz festival, was a treat. The wonderful Barry Charles came by, on tour from Queensland and Sammy Horner always manages to squeeze in a visit to Kelly’s, while on tour from UK. We have regular visits from city-dwellers, Susan O’Shea, Bill Knight, Giovanni Angelucci. I’m just knocked out by the patronage and support of the more established artists, such as Dave Diprose, Doc White and Tabasco Tom and the fact that the love in the room is

extended to the amateur and professional performer. If you could invite a Melbourne singer/songwriter up to the Kellys Cabin Sessions to play who would you invite? Why? I’d invite Paul Kelly. Great songwriter, a legend, just the vibe we’re about and I’m sure it would do his career no harm at all to have his name associated with Kelly’s Cabin Sessions. Kelly’s Cabin Sessions runs every Wednesday night at Kellys Bar and Kitchen, Olinda. You can visit and befriend Kellys Sessions on Facebook or if you want to play contact Alex 0401 937 884. Carolyn Oates Carolyn is a singer/songwriter who loves her time at home in the Dandenongs. To listen to her current single and for more information go to: www.

cafe tarts Kallista Deli – Kallista For today’s review my fellow tarts and I decided to check out the Kallista Deli. I have started weight watchers for the umpteenth time so was trying to find something halfway healthy. My tarts today were Tiffany and Amanda and we opted to each try something different from the menu. Drinks to begin with were a healthy green tea for me, a decadent berry smoothie for Amanda and a chai latte for Tiff. Amanda seemed to enjoy the smoothie and it looked lovely. I chose the toasted bruchetta with roast pumpkin, caramelised onions, brie cheese and spinach for $9.20. The taste was lovely, I’ve grown to love pumpkin on pizzas so was interested to see how it was on a bruchette. The combination of flavours was great. The toast was a little over toasted and I would have liked a bit more of the veggies on top but all in all it was more than satisfactory. Amanda enjoyed her chargrilled eggplant, capsicum, pesto, goats cheese, pumpkin mash and sun dreid tomatoes on a ciabatta roll which was $7.90. She told me that it was a touch too vinegary but she still enjoyed it. Tiff was very happy with her Mushies galore. It was made with large field mushrooms on sourdough, topped with slow roasted tomatoes and spinach with crumbed fetta. Originally they told her that they had run out of the field mushrooms but said they would make up some more for her which shows how obliging they were.

We all finished with coffees. My only complaint there was that they had those cups with tiny finger holes, something that frustrates me as I’ve had these before. I don’t know if anybody else has an issue with this or if I just have really big fingers! It was an enjoyable lunch and reasonably priced, I’d love to go back and try some other food from the menu.

78 Monbulk Rd, Kallista Ph: 9755 2887 Sarah O’Connor I keep thinking “what do I want to be when I grow up?” and I always come up with the answer “a writer.” I’ve started two blogs au about life with my special girl and I now have the opportunity to write a food review column which combines both my love of writing and my love of food!

Burrinja - a cultural hub for the region Words by Ross Farnell After many years of planning and building, we are thrilled that the newly expanded Burrinja Cultural Centre is now open for all to enjoy. Our community celebration day on August 30 brought together 300 local performers from choirs to orchestras, big bands, ballet, circus and much more, plus three new exhibitions and workshops to entertain the crowds who came to enjoy this wonderful new theatre and cultural centre. Located in Upwey, Burrinja now encompasses arts activities and events, multiple gallery spaces, cultural education, the new 400 seat theatre, artist studios, live music, community cultural development projects, rehearsal, making and meeting spaces, venue hire, and Burrinja Cafe + Bar. Burrinja is also home to the extensive McLeod Gift public collection of Indigenous and oceanic art. This mix of regional, contemporary, Indigenous, performing and studio arts makes Burrinja a unique cultural hub, a place where we can ‘build community through arts’ together. Gregory Burgess Architects’ design of the new theatre and foyer spaces captures this difference in its ochre colours, chevron lines and subtle curves, and we’re sure that Burrinja will become an iconic venue for the region. The fabulous new theatre now enables the region’s community, schools, theatre companies and music groups to access a quality performing arts venue without having to travel long distances ‘off the mountain’. It is a venue the Dandenong Ranges can rightly call their own, encouraging

greater cultural participation by the region’s entire community. The theatre itself is not only warm, welcoming and exciting, but provides excellent stage, performer, technical and audience facilities, and full disability access both for audience and performers. The new theatre will be used by regional schools, professional and community theatre, music groups and children’s theatre; for performances, rehearsals, workshops, youth arts activities, dance, movement and more; as well as seminars and presentations. Outside a key element of the re-development at Burrinja is the Indigenous cultural education garden, creating a space that allows visitors to expand their experience of Indigenous culture from the Burrinja Collection to this landscaped ‘Art of Place’. This project has had much input from Elders and members of the Indigenous Advisory Council, as well as local groups and consultation. With the front entrance landscaping almost complete, stage two of the project is now underway, with completion due soon. Over the past decade Burrinja has developed a number of exhibition spaces and a whole range of visual arts programs, including Dandenong Ranges Open Studios and the VCE art exhibitions. The now expanded Jarmbi Gallery space, along with the Burrinja and Café galleries promises even more engaging exhibitions of local, regional, touring and Indigenous visual arts. The current Collection exhibition ‘Stories of Song and Dance’ provides a fascinating insight into the creation and use of the many masks, dance wands and other artefacts from PNG in the Burrinja Collection.


Utassy Ballet School performing at the Open Day

NCO Chamber Orchestra in rehearsal

Burrinja unveiled outdoors and indoors (at left)

Studio artists are also returning to Burrinja over the coming weeks, with both HG Pottery + Arts Studio and Half-Tone Records already in residence and more creative spaces on the way. Our arts shop has had a total makeover and has great new items from Indigenous, fair trade and local artists. Burrinja is working to program and encourage extended performance ‘events’ that integrate elements of arts, performance, education and community through a range

of activities. It is based on the premise that the cultural centre should program and operate as a creative whole where the arts come together. We hope you enjoy what is on offer at Burrinja for the rest of 2011 - exhibitions, dance, physical theatre, drama, illusion, and of course the popular live music nights continue at the Café. There are shows for children, for families and for everyone! For information about What’s On, please visit, or call us on 9754 8723. Thanks to all those people who supported Burrinja while the redevelopments were happening, and thanks to all local art-lovers for your patience - we now have a fabulous venue which we hope you will enjoy and be a part of. There will be more to do, explore and discover at Burrinja than ever before. See you soon!

Volunteer Tourism Building hope worldwide The world is desperate for homes. Right at this moment close to two billion people worldwide are living in slums and inadequate housing. Over 100 million people have nowhere to live at all. Poverty continues to grip our planet and the attempt to correct the problem is daunting. But thanks to organisations like Habitat for Humanity, the task seems less impossible. Brick by brick, teams of volunteers have been working tirelessly for thirty years both here and abroad to create new lives for families in dire need. The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate all substandard housing across the planet. To date more than 400,000 homes have been built, providing housing for more than two million people. And it’s not just third world communities that benefit. Habitat is in the midst of its biggest build campaign in Australia, assisting families affected by the devastation of the Black Saturday fires. By harnessing the power of volunteers and the generosity of fundraising groups, families are able to help build their own homes alongside volunteer teams. Home recipients repay their home loan pro-rated to their income, enabling even the poorest families to benefit. Over 1300 Australian volunteers have participated in Global Village volunteer projects to date.

Not only have they raised the awareness of the burden of poverty housing worldwide, but they have created true global villages for communities. They have given the priceless gift of practical support, hope, recognition and love. Now you can too. The proactive team at Travelscene Monbulk have jumped at the opportunity to tailor-make a unique 14 day Global Village Trip in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. They will be leading a small group of willing volunteers from Melbourne to Cambodia and Vietnam at the end of October this year. For five days volunteers will get their hands dirty working alongside a local Cambodian community and future home owners, to help build a home or water well for local people. The remainder of the trip is all play; filled to the brim with breathtaking travel experiences in and around Siem Reap in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. This part of the trip includes highlights such as the famous Angkor Wat temple, a full day Mekong Delta adventure and a Vietnamese cooking class. This is a unique experience and a sensational way to combine spectacular sightseeing, diverse cultural experiences as well as an opportunity to make a difference to the life of another.

No experience is needed, just a willing heart. One volunteer recalled that the trip is about so much more than what you are building. It’s about the helping hand you are offering, the cultural interaction and the connection beyond communication barriers. As one Australian home recipient says “… the overwhelming generosity and love that I received from complete strangers during the building of our home was truly unbelievable. I can now look back and say that being a Habitat home owner for the past four years has given my two boys and I the ‘Hand Up’ we so desperately needed. I now understand why volunteers want to be a part of this. Habitat gave us back our hope.” In order to be a part of this team of volunteers, a donation of a little over $1000 is required for Habitat for Humanity to make this project possible. To help you with your fundraising, Travelscene Monbulk is offering assistance to those booking a place on the trip in the form of gift vouchers for raffle prizes and access to a fundraising website. Trip dates are 29th October – 12 November 2011. For more information about this once in a lifetime opportunity contact the team at Travelscene Monbulk, 74 Main Road, Monbulk. Phone 97567566 or go to Rachel Hickingbotham Rachel is local mother of two rowdy boys and firefighter’s wife who loves to write. She is a writer and newsletter creator for Travelscene Monbulk and other local businesses. Rachel is firmly imbedded in the hills and is addicted to her laptop, pots of tea, forest walks and puddle jumping. Her email address is

TRAVEL AND CHANGE THE WORLD You are invited to join our 15 day

Cambodia Habitat Build departing on 29 Oct 2011 $2950 per person Includes: return economy airfares, twin share accommodation, all transport, most meals, tours of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and, Mekong Delta; Vietnamese Cooking Class and Group T-Shirt. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY Limited space available CALL NOW FOR A BROCHURE Nexus Volunteer Connection Is a fully ow ned subsidiary of

TRAVELSCENE MONBULK 74 Main Road Monbulk, 3793 Tel: 03 9756 7566 Fax: 03 9756 7711

Email - Website -

The Angliss Words by Sarah O’Connor I found myself recently at the Emergency Department at the William Angliss Hospital in Upper Ferntree Gully. On Christmas Day in fact. Some may say this is a blessing in disguise but I, even as a hospital fan, hated having my husband and kids dropping me off on the way to Christmas lunch. I wanted to write this little review as I often read about how dreadful hospitals can be and I found just the opposite at The Angliss. I was seen straight away as my heart rate was 150 and my blood pressure was very low. The nurses in emergency were wonderful, even assisting me to and from the toilet as I was quite faint and they worried that I may pass out. After blood tests (with a white cell count of over 500) and x-rays it was found that I had septic pneumonia and pleurisy. I was also very dehydrated. They put me on a drip for antibiotics and rehydration as I hadn’t been able to eat anything for a few days. They then decided to admit me for a ‘couple of days.’ That couple of days turned into 6 nights. Besides the fact that it was over Christmas, for the most part I enjoyed my stay at Chateau Angliss. I love that you don’t even have to think for yourself. Your medicine gets brought to you at the time that you need it, your meals get delivered without you having to cook them and a little bonus, they have foxtel. When it was time for showering the nurse brought my towels to the bed for me and even (in the beginning, when I was weak) set the shower up for me too.

Most of the others on the floor were quite a bit older than me and I can only imagine that it must be embarrassing and even degrading at times to need assistance with showering or if there was an ‘accident’ in the night. Not once did the nurses I saw treat the patients with anything but respect, they weren’t condescending in any way and genuinely seemed to care about us all. The only thing that I had an issue with was the toast! They must toast it and then put it into a warmer, therefore making it soggy. It’s been the same since I had my oldest child, nearly 12 years ago. The child who incidentally spent over a month in the special care unit at the Angliss due to being nearly 8 weeks premature. I was told by family and friends to make sure to stay in as long as I could as I have 3 kids at home. By the 6th night I was ready to come home though and packed up all my goodies (including my stash of bikkies for the kids that I hadn’t eaten) and came home. Of course it was just how I left it. The next day I must admit while wishing my kids would be quiet, I remembered that I had ordered chicken curry and chocolate Bavarian for lunch and had a wee pang for my hospital bed. All in all I can’t fault the Angliss at all for the way they looked after me. Whether it’s taking my kids for various reasons or staying in for the time that I did they’ve always been the utmost professionals, thorough and with great bedside manner.

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Spring 2011. A Maga'zine' about all the interesting people and things happening in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, south east of Melbourne.