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Summer Issue 9 * 2012

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ts h e e m n o ds i * Fa sh Ki

Tai Chi

For fitness, flexibility, balance & coordination to feel calm, relaxed, focused & energised for all ages and all stages of life

Call Su at Chi Generation 0437 949 9 1 9

Evening Classes:



Belgrave Heights

Summer is here, best time of year! And it also means Christmas is near and the silly season has begun. Time to get your presents and eat, drink and be merry way more than is good for you. Time to get together with family and friends and reflect on another year that has passed so fast it was just a blur. Instead of telling you all about the great things in this issue, there’s all the usual artist profiles, festivals, exhibitions, fashion, environment and community issues. I’m going to talk about what a great year it’s been. Very rewarding and busy. Full of all the things I’ve found to do locally and all the interesting people I have the pleasure of meeting and talking with. They are all passionate about what they do, are often dedicated to creating a better community and a special place to live. There is a very giving spirit in the hills and at this time of year hopefully even more so. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the hillscene, to help give it a broad voice. This little venture wouldn’t be possible without all the people who volunteer their time and energy. Our advertisers and supporters also deserve a mention, without their support the zine could not be published. So I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and holiday season (if you’re lucky enough to have them). Stay safe and celebrate your time with family and friends. I look forward to doing it all again in 2013.

Don’t forget you can see this issue and all the back issues online at and like us on facebook to keep up to date on what’s happening in the hills.


Adriana Alvarez


Jessica-Anne Gibney

Proof Reader

Louise Bloxham

Contributors Jessica-Anne Gibney, David Heller, Ian Johnson and Justine Sharman, Tamara and Ducky, Vicki Boyle, Rebecca Milikins, Tania Bell, Charlotte Smith, Simone Cunnington, Shaylee Bartholomeusz, Claire Ferres Miles, Carolyn Oates, Tiffany Morris North, and Adriana Alvarez facebook: The Hillscene For submission and advertising enquiries e: Printed by Ferntree Print on Envirocare 100gsm recycled paper. © Copyright 2012

Sum me r tim e


WOW ! Great Cover. free

environment culture and

Summer Issue 9 201 2 *

* Fa s hi on

ct io n * n an d mor o macca s in th e e hills * eco soap *

She became involved with the Tiffaney Bishop Collective through long time friend Damien McIntyre who also exhibits there. The Collective has open hours where the artists can come and work anytime and everyone gets a pin board to display their work.


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This Issue’s beautiful cover art is by Jessica-Anne Gibney one of the talented crew of young artists at the Tiffaney Bishop Collective in Belgrave. Jessica-Anne finished a Diploma of Visual Art at Swinburne and wanted to be a tattoo artists so that’s when she started to draw. She does delicate pencil and pen drawings of owls, animals and people with incredible detail, some realistic and some with a musing imaginative quality. “I draw more than anything else,” says Jessica-Anne who sometimes dables in painting and digital work.

Her plans for the future are to develop her skills further and get into tatooing but at the moment, says Jessica-Anne “I’m just seeing where everything takes me. I’m just thrilled it’s here.” I think her work will take her a long way. To see more of Jessica-Anne’s work go to Tiffany Bishop Collective has moved to 1658A Burwood Hwy, Belgrave.

Taking it to the streets of Belgrave Belgrave Buskers Festival is back again on the last Saturday of summer! February 23rd 2013 “Takin it to the street” More categories, more prizes, more fun and entertainment.

Lovin’ Belgrave ENTER online at or contact Marina on email phone 9754 1027 or mobile 0425 843 470 The Belgrave Buskers Festival is an initiative of Belgrave Traders Association in partnership with 3MDR 97.1FM Mountain District Radio.

3MDR live broadcast from Belgrave Main Street Photo by John Weeks

Photo by John Weeks


Photo by John Weeks

Photo by John Weeks

Survival Day 2013 Words by David Heller Belgrave Survival Day started six years ago when a small group of locals felt that the Indigenous perspective on Australia Day was sadly lacking amongst all the flag waving. It’s a celebration of the survival of indigenous culture and people since the arrival of European settlers to Australia more than 200 years ago.


The first event was a small but spirited affair with a few hundred locals attending. We were also only able to afford one Indigenous act in that first year, an indigenous dance troupe but due to generous funding each subsequent year from the Shire of Yarra Ranges Festival and Grants program the event has become a showcase for both contemporary and traditional talent. A highlight last year was the up and coming Indigenous hip hop troupe Yung Warriors and the appearance on a motor bike of an authentic “Black Elvis” impersonator. Last year also saw over a thousand people came to Borthwick Park near the Belgrave Pool which was our biggest crowd to date. A notable feature of the event is its family atmosphere with plenty of kids activities on offer. We feel that this is especially important in terms of developing respect for Indigenous culture in the next generation.

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This years event includes performers such as Benny Walker and Band, hip hop artist Lady Lash, an indigenous children’s choir from Healesville, indigenous dancing workshops for children and much more. We also plan to highlight the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Coranderrk Reserve in Healesville. If you would like to get involved in the event this year, we need plenty of help putting up posters before the day and on the day we rely on getting 20 or 30 extra volunteers to keep the day running smoothly. Send an email to or send us a message via our “Belgrave Survival Day” Facebook page. Or you can also visit

Image copyright Fair Projects

26th January 2013 from 12 noon – 4.30 pm Borthwick Park (next to Belgrave Pool) Benson St, Belgrave 5

Cloud Machine


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tio nery

Shelley Krycer Words by Adriana Alvarez Shelley Krycer is seriously talented. A Belgrave based visual artist, Shelley is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer who exhibits across Melbourne. Her works are dreamy and reflective with a spiritual nature. I stumbled across her work one day on the internet, through a friend on facebook and was immediately a fan. Shelley’s drawing skills are evident in the beautiful portraits she recently exhibited for the ‘End of the Line’ festival called ‘Light before darkness, darkness before light’. Some of the images are of people she knows some are of people on trains who are sleeping. With floating, wavy lines emanating from them it’s as though you can see their energies, dreams or ideas flowing from them. Personal interconnectedness is a theme running through her works, giving them an emotional quality. The stretched arms symbolise a connection with the self and with others, like the presence of someone when they’re not there. Her work is not limited to drawing she also paints, works digitally and with recycled materials and found objects. Making sculptures and objects which people can interact with at her exhibitions. “Shifting materials is good to stop your work from becoming formulaic. It keeps inventiveness alive and adds the unexpected”, says Shelley. Shelley has a very energetic way of speaking about her work and has an infectious enthusiasm which would make her a great teacher. She teaches art at Elsternwick after having completed an Honours degree of Fine Arts at Monash University and 6

a Graduate Diploma in Teaching at Melbourne University. Luckily for us she will be teaching some workshops at Tiffaney Bishop Collective next year. ‘Idea to Exhibition’ will be a series of workshops that equips young artists with a range of techniques and skills to support them whilst developing their own refined body of work. Each term focuses on a specific media and explores it in depth. The course allows each participant to develop their own style while learning from artists of the past and present. A perfect way to help young artists develop their maturing voice. As well Shelley has her own brand of boutique eco stationery products called Cloud Machine. It’s a range of unique paper products that encourage creativity, organisation and keeping in touch. Cloud Machine’s products feature Shelley’s original drawings, paintings and photography in a style that is contemporary, earthy and playful. It includes a diary, notebook and calendar as well as note papers, invitations and interactive pieces like the ‘Draw it like you mean it’ project, where you take one of her drawings as a starting point, draw on it then send her your image to add to her blog. Now a local, Shelley says “the hills always had a fascination for me. The natural beauty appeals and the creative communities are inspiring and really supportive.” Shelley is another artist we can add to that inspiring community. To see more of Shelley’s work go to


Images courtesy of the 1812 Theatre

L iv in g t h e atr e Words by Ian Johnson and Justine Sharman People have been going to the theatre for more than 2,500 years. Since the ancient Greeks first carved a semicircular performing space from a hillside in Athens during the 6th century BC, theatre has been spreading culture throughout the western world. But theatre is more than just Actors and their Audience. Theatre is about community and a shared experience. The 1812 Theatre in Rose Street Upper Ferntree Gully is an example of such a community melting pot. Sure the public face of the theatre is the broad selection of plays it presents each year, but that is just the tip of the theatrical iceberg. The theatre is many different things to many people. Its need for set construction provides a creative outlet for people with a diverse range of skills; from those just willing to use a screwdriver or cut cardboard (like me) to those who thrive 8

on hanging a door, painting a Parisian street & even building a 18th century staircase. People come to the theatre to learn the skills of Stage Management, Sound and Lighting operation, and all the various activities that are necessary to create the illusionary world that is a theatrical performance. But it is this coming together of many people from many diverse backgrounds, with a shared experience that is perhaps the true magic of theatres like the 1812. Theatre by the community; for the community. As one of the largest amateur theatre groups in Melbourne, the 1812 Theatre is a real treasure. Having enjoyed and thrived in its 41 years in Ferntree Gully, the theatre now puts on 6 productions a year, plus a variety of short play festivals. A recent addition to the 1812’s offering is a youth theatre, giving young people (14-25 yrs of age)

a chance to learn all aspects of performance and stage production. The Youth Theatre program offers students both a series of theatre skill building workshops, as well as Performance orientated semester courses. Some workshops will provide an introduction to the various aspects of theatrecraft, while others will be designed to focus on one aspect of theatre to further develop specific skills. To compliment the workshops, the semester courses are aimed at building perfomance skills in conjunction with their practical application to the groups staging of a specific full length play, with an open audience, following the completion of the course. The establishment of a youth theatre group under the umbrella of the 1812 Theatre also provides the students a unique opportunity to develop theatrical skills within the creative environment of a working theatre. This environment gives young

people a development path towards performing in adult theatre in the 1812’s main auditorium. Providing an incubator for young artistic talent within the community and giving them a vehicle to facilitate their artistic development. For enquires regarding the 1812’s Youth Theatre program contact Becky Foster on 0430 486 188 or the theatre at If you have a desire to contribute to something special in the community; and to do so with a group of like minded people, I would certainly recommend you contact the 1812 Theatre and become part of something that has captivated people for more than 2,500 years. 1812 Theatre can be found at 3 Rose Street, Upper Ferntree Gully. Ph: 9758-3964 For more information and to book tickets head to their website

Botanical Drawing and Painting Art Classes with Susie Parry This course is an intensive introduction to Botanical Drawing and Painting. Develop observation skills & learn about tonal values, pencil and ink rendering, composition, colour, watercolour and gouache’. Explore, develop and understand a variety of techniques to create your own detailed botanical studies. Venue:

 eorge Tindale Gardens, G 33 Sherbrooke Road Sherbrooke.

Time: Saturday 5th Jan. - 2nd Feb. 2013 5 x 4.5 hr. = 20 hours 10.00am - 2.30pm (.5 hour lunch) Sunday 17th Feb. - 17th March 2013 5 x 4.5 hr. = 20 hours 10.00am - 2.30pm (.5 hour lunch) Fee:

$240.00 per course.

For further information or registration forms for this course please contact: Susie Parry on 9754 6157

Landcare Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group – caring for the environment and the community. Words by Vicki Boyle The Hills are special, very special and I believe are held in a small niche in the heart of each Melburnian. How could you not be awed by those majestic mountain ash forests shrouded in mist? Or be transported somewhere soft and green by the sight of velvety, moss-carpeted gullies replete with ancient tree ferns; the sounds of tinkling creeks, dripping rocks and the birds – those beautiful birds. I can’t think of Belgrave and Sherbrooke without recalling the freshness of ozone and damp earthiness of humus rich soil. To think we can experience this beauty at the end of a metropolitan train line – No wonder the area has always been a drawcard for naturalists and artists. But these Hills have been ravaged by over 160 years of European settlement, particularly in the form of a slow and insidious loss of bio-diversity. The reasons for this loss are many, too many for this piece to explore. Suffice to say that there are hundreds of environmental volunteers and professionals out there working to restore the natural balance of our Hills environment in the interests of a sustainable future where our grandchildren too, can experience Sherbrooke’s magic. Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group was formed 6 years ago to complement the work of Friends of Sherbrooke Forest, Victoria’s second oldest friends group and other local environmental groups. Friends groups work on discrete parcels of usually, public land. Landcare groups work at a landscape level, on public and private land, to link islands of remnant 10

with Loca l wild life we shar e the hills

bushland. These linked islands form wildlife corridors or bio-links, where flora and fauna have a better chance of survival. SDLG is made up of individuals and small “friends of” groups who love living here. We know we have to contribute to halt environmental degradation, particularly in the form of environmental weeds. These are garden plants that have escaped to cause havoc in bushland. Ivy is one such plant. Ivy clothes tall eucalypts, harbouring fungal and insect pests which damage the tree, prevents the tree shedding its bark which it needs to do to grow, competes for nutrients and water and eventually causes the tree to fall over by holding it rigid which causes the roots to snap in high winds; it sets thousands of seeds which are transported by birds; provides no food source for native fauna and when it covers the ground, it prevents lyrebirds in particular from foraging for insects, reducing the size and quality of their territory. We focus on creeks because they are the living links between us and the natural world. They are also intrinsically beautiful. We aim to halt the decline of our threatened platypus population and to restore all Hills creeks to better health. If you would like to know more about our work or want to learn a little more about the Hills and how to protect them, please go to our facebook page

Kids will love ‘Hugs’ Rebecca Milikins talks about her new shop “Hugs for Kids” and living in the hills. Hugs for Kids is a store for kids, stocking a combination of handmade products by locals and some selected wholesalers who have unique and high quality products that are manufactured using well paid labour. We have clothes up to size 6, lots of baby wear, blankets, quilts etc. Along with toys, toys and more toys. Soft toys, rattles, wooden toys, puzzles, craft kits and activity packs, greeting cards, gift tags and great Melbourne made wrapping paper as well as loads of accessories for all kids. We opened the store because we were sick of driving all the way to Knox and getting the same old boring “commercialised” products. I love going to the local markets but you have to plan too far ahead to find something for a special occasion. There was nothing like it in Belgrave and I thought locals deserved a place close by to come and get some lovely things as gifts and for their kids.

I love the hills because, everyone is so friendly and genuinely care about each other, the hills to me is the best place to bring up my kids, with a vege patch in the front yard and surrounded by animals and nature, they are growing up as I did. Outside and enjoying nature! Our products are always changing, we have loads of different suppliers making different things all the time, we are getting comments from people saying they love coming in to see what new things we have in store each week. We are listening to lots of suggestions customers have and sourcing products they have been searching for and can’t find anywhere. Hugs for Kids - 1683 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave. Also on Facebook

Images courtesy of Hugs with Kids

Shopping locally builds community spirit and supports people we know close to home, I love that my suppliers have an outlet to sell their amazing creations, it allows them to continue making their products without going to the expense and effort to get a whole market stall up and running. It also gives customers the chance to buy those same great products when it suits them and not just one day a month.


Images courtesy of Green Room Interiors

Housework ~ the new way to a healthy well being? More than ever, our home environment needs to be our sanctuary – whether we want to or feel we need to with the unstable economic times of late, many of us are spending more time at home and we should enjoy being there. Maybe you dread the weekly house clean, or maybe you are lucky enough to have a housecleaner. If so, you may be interested to hear of a new trend where housework can forge a path to spiritual enlightenment. It is called spiritual housecleaning and is a simple system to bring positive change to your life. Every aspect of our homes relates to our needs and desires. Clearing out dirt, dust and clutter creates space that invites in new opportunities. The following ideas focus on how to de-clutter for your overall health and well being.

OUTDOORS The outdoor area has just as much impact on you and your home as the indoors. Is your garden warm and inviting, or cold and neglected? Create a 12

space in your garden to rejuvenate your batteries. Add a Buddha statue or water feature with soft light, along with soft planting to soothe away the clutter of the mind and heal the spirit. Make sure your entrance is neat, clean, open and inviting to your guests. Make your front door the focus of your front facade, try repainting your front door or patio steps for an amazing result. Repair anything that is broken, pick up the leaves, and put seasonal small flowering plants near your front door to make it more welcoming.

INDOORS Keep things clean, neat and tidy to promote relaxation of the mind, body and spirit. Create a glorious display of your collection of treasured china or expensive pieces grouped together instead of spreading them around the house or hiding them in cupboards. Uplift your laundry by adding a plant or picture, and clearing out any cupboards of unused items.

Your bedroom is for rest and romance so make it a haven – remove any electrical equipment and anything from under the bed. Store your shoes elsewhere (such as the laundry) as they hold the energy of where you have been all day. If you have a study/office, create an environment that speaks to you of study/work so you can switch off the outside world and study/work easily. It is very important for you to feel good in this space. Try painting your office yellow to promote creativity and stimulate you mentally. What kind of artwork do you have hanging in your rooms, are they conducive to feelings of wellness and prosperity? Whether they be formal or informal, your kitchen and eating areas should be a place to eat and digest your food with loving kindness to the health and well being of our bodies. Repair and maintain your back door as it needs to be clear in order for energy to flow out and through it. Green Room Interior’s philosophy is built on the quote by William Morris, the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement in the 19th century. He said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Look around you – is everything useful or beautiful? Better yet, are they useful and beautiful?

TOP 5 DESIGN HINTS & TIPS 1. De-clutter your home one room (or even one drawer/cupboard) at a time. 2. Make sure you are in a contented mood when you begin - it should be about feeling good, not feeling obligated. 3. Keep all things you use often close to hand in the wardrobe, pantry, etc. The things you use less regularly can be placed further from your reach. 4. When introducing new boxes for storage, make sure they are all the same size and colour or material. This will be less busy to the eye and create a more harmonious flow. 5. If you are finding it too much to do on your own, enlist family members or consider hiring a consultant who can come into your home and sort things for a small fee. Tania Bell Is the interior decoration & design expert behind Green Room Interiors. She will take your hand and lead you through the re-decoration maze. Together we will arrive at the interior space of your dreams. Join us on facebook to gain more interior design hints and tips. e. w. f.

FINDERS KEEPERS MARKET BAZAAR Antiques and Collectables, Vintage and Modern Recycled Clothing, Contemporary Arts and Craft, Indi Labels: Clothing and Jewellery, etc. Opening soon in Kalista too.

365 Main St, Emerald. Tues-Sun 10am-5pm

Finders Keepers Emerald

fashion meets fiction



fashion meets fiction The Fashion meets Fiction exhibition on at Burrinja till 17th February 2013 is an exciting exhibition concept mixing our love of popular fiction with high end fashion and period garments. Bringing the characters of popular fiction from Scarlett O’Hara and Holly Golightly to Carrie Bradshaw to life with garments from the Darnell Collection. The collection was inherited by Charlotte Smith from her godmother Doris Darnell, who had been collecting vintage garments for over 70 years. The collection now contains over 5,500 pieces representing 23 different countries and is considered the largest private vintage clothing collection in Australia. We were lucky enough to have a fun afternoon photographing some of the beautiful garments from the collection which spans over 280 years of women’s fashion. This exhibition is a must see for all fashion, fiction, design and history lovers. For more information visit or


Styling: Charlotte Smith Photography: Simone Cunnington Hair, Make up and Model: Shaylee Bartholomeusz Thanks to Burrinja for the location.


McDonalds invades Words by Claire Ferrres Miles

Life is a collection of defining moments – mostly personal moments but there are also defining moments as a collective and little did we know that the proposal for a Golden Arches in Tecoma would be the catalyst for many such moments. The battle to protect our beloved green hills against the red and yellow monolith started in early 2011 when McDonalds lodged a planning application to build a fast food outlet in Tecoma. Over 1,100 individual community objections were lodged opposing the proposal – the largest response to a planning application ever seen in the Shire of Yarra Ranges. October 11th 2011 was a defining moment for the Hills community when on a cold and wet night, the York on Lilydale council meeting was packed to the rafters with over 650 people glued to their seats watching and listening as the community’s case was presented. Lyster Ward Councillor Samantha Dunn spoke with conviction and heart and with a vote of 9-0 the room erupted with cheers of joy, clapping and a standing ovation - the planning application had been unanimously rejected. It had been a cracking good night of entertainment to be forever remembered in Hills folklore! But was the battle won? Round 2 began when McDonalds lodged an appeal to VCAT and during August/September we gallantly crossed swords with the McDonalds QC, we cross-examined their experts like never before and we presented our case with integrity, respect and professionalism – no stone was left unturned, our case was solid and key moments sprung up – Kathleen’s scary Maccas crime statistics, Anita’s analysis of eclectic hills village architecture, Jamie’s argument around intensity 18

of use, Joy’s poem Hambuggery, Karl’s net community benefit dissertation, Zoe’s youthful community activism, Mark’s inspired Lilliput narrative, Anne’s liquid amber seed pod risk assessment, David’s comprehensive planning dialogue, traffic videos and analysis from many a car counted on a cold winters night and most of all community residents talking with heart and soul about our love for the hills, our home and our special place. …and then we waited. October 14 the emails and text messages went into meltdown and a collective gasp was heard across the Hills as the VCAT judgement was issued – a permit had been granted. It was unbelievable, it was shocking, it was hard to comprehend – it was WRONG! We had said NO! Then the most amazing thing happened. We were angry (so angry) that democracy had failed us but did we yell, did we break things, did we get depressed and withdraw – no suddenly our community spontaneously rallied and four days later we gathered to build a community garden. ‘Reclaim Tecoma’ on 18 October was an amazing day as 750 people came together to vent, to talk, to plant and to create our own space – this was our defining moment to stand as one! And the feeling of that day has continued with a grassroots campaign of peaceful passionate community activism - 7,500 signatures on a petition, over 5,000 likes on Facebook, messages of support from Jamie Oliver, Stephanie Alexander, Vandana Shiva and Peter Cundell, a meeting with the Planning Minister, extensive media coverage, a continuous letter and email deluge, stunning videos and photos, poems, placards, signs, orange ribbons and numerous campaign songs.

And the determination has not waned. This is a battle that will be WON. SIGN the petition: EMAIL the campaign: DOWNLOAD the song: song_14938577 WEB SITES for information: FACEBOOK community pages: No McDonalds-in-The-Dandenong-Ranges No Maccas in the Hills McDonalds In Tecoma Protest Information Site

Images by John Weeks

Democracy under question The legal fate of the anti-McDonalds in Tecoma campaign raises serious questions about the legitimacy of local Government itself. The Shire of Yarra Ranges voted in 2011 unanimously against the proposed McDonalds development in Tecoma. It had received over 1000 submissions against this proposal. Despite this VCAT stated in its judgment approving the McDonalds that under the planning law, it could give no weight to the level of community opposition in its decision. Nor were any of the over 300 submissions it received from the community given weight as they were not from “expert witnesses”. To top it off the major reason cited by Councillors for twice rejecting an appeal of VCAT’s decision to the Supreme Court was fear of having to pay for McDonalds expensive corporate lawyers if they lost. In other words, the financial muscle of McDonalds scared them off. So if the votes of our elected representatives count for so little and our rights under the law are purely theoretical in the face of corporate muscle what is the purpose of local democracy? Are we electing people who can choose the best contractors to collect our rubbish or are we voting and paying our rates to have a layer of government that can actually represent the interests of citizens? Unfortunately recent events have answered this question in a most depressing way! - David Heller 19

Images courtesy of DRMC

Music anyone? Words by Carolyn Oates If you’ve every wondered where your council rates go, here’s one community organisation that gives back in so many ways, the Dandenong Ranges Music Council (DRMC). Not only do they offer instrument tuition, there is a host of other music based creative projects that they run. Sue Clisby, a member of their staff, goes on to tell me more:

Can you give us a brief history of DRMC? Back in the late 1970’s, The Patch residents, Bev and Murray McAlister spent some time in America with their family experiencing an education strongly infused with creating music. Recognising the value this added, they returned with a vision of setting up something similiar.

What is one aspect of DRMC that you are the most proud of? After Black Saturday; an instrument bank was set up, in partnership with Austraila Council, to replace people’s musical instruments that were lost in the fires. Also, Reconnect, a partnership with Ranges Community Health, enabled 20

songwriters to work with residents giving voice to their stories and feelings - powerful stuff.

Tell us about some of your upcoming activities for 2013? Workhsops for Youth Week, singing for seniors, Create with Attitude, a conducting workshop for leaders of music ensembles, Sunnysiders Festival, Childrens Music Festival, Robert Exiner Recorder Celebration....the list goes on! DRMC also welcome any proposals from the community, so drop in to their office on the grounds of Upwey High School and have a chat. DRMC is sponsored by Yarra Ranges Council, you can find out more by visiting Carolyn Oates Carolyn is a local singer/songwriter and also offers instrument tuition, for more information go to

Montage Wares and Café – Olinda Words and images by Tiffany Morris-North On this occasion, a friend and I travelled up to Mount Dandenong to Montage Wares and Café on Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda. A quirky retro-decored café with cool laminex tables inside and the added bonus of a large outdoor area out back with plenty of tables and seating - great for families. There is a giant chalk-board wall outside to keep the kids busy and creative. Inside there are a few racks of clothes, some shelves of books and other bits and pieces for sale. The menu wasn’t huge but I did get excited about some of the choices. My friend ordered the mushroom and brie risotto ball- good size and really delicious. She also had a thirst-quenching pomegranate iced tea to wash it down. Yum! I ordered the crispy potato ball with African spices. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed. Nice flavours but a bit stodgy. I think having a nice sauce to accompany it would’ve helped. Didn’t try any of the cakes but they all looked fresh and delicious. The staff were nice and friendly and the coffee was great. This place is also home to the best looking coffee machine I have ever seen. Worth ordering a coffee just to check it out! I think the staff are accustomed to people oohing and aahing over their amazing machine and are quite used to people taking photos of it. All in all the experience was fine, the coffees, risotto ball and reasonable prices made up for the very boring potato ball. This little café also has live acoustic music on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons in the warmer months. A relaxed place to listen to live music while drinking coffee and eating cake. Montage Wares and Café -1548 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda. Phone: (03) 9751 0101 TIffany Morris-North Tiffany is a passionate artist/crafter/foodie living with her family in the beautiful and inspiring Dandenong Ranges. Follow her adventures on her blog 21

Permaculture Sundays The Sunday permaculture breakfast in Upwey has been going for over a year now and has gathered a pace all its own. People come and go throughout the day - I get home around 3pm (with a sore throat from talking all day) but most people come between 9.30 and 11.30. If you walk into Magpie Cafe in Upwey at 10.30 on a Sunday, the place will be packed, you will be warmly greeted and found a place at the sprawling permie table. Many great friendships have been forged over coffee and free range eggs, and Ducky looks forward to seeing his special adult and children friends as much as they look forward to seeing him. So how did we start it? Last year some of the Upwey permaculture and Transition Town people took the train to the Lantern Parade in Belgrave and had dinner afterwards. We enjoyed each other’s company so much we decided to meet for breakfast the next day. We never thought it would become such an important part of our lives or lead to the formation of the Ultra Local Upwey Permaculture Group, permablitzes and PDCs. Here are some ideas for starting your own permaculture breakfast: Choose a local cafe that shares your permaculture ethics - care of the earth, care of people, share the surplus, Magpie Cafe in Upwey has mainly organic ingredients, makes most things from scratch and uses free range eggs and bacon and good coffee. Use the same cafe every week. Note: A public place is a good idea - it means that no one has to keep their house tidy. It is also easier to invite people along to a cafe rather than someone’s house. At least one person needs to be at the cafe until numbers start to increase. This means the commitment of one or two people to carry the weekly event. There were several weeks when the weekly breakfast was myself and one


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other wonderful woman, Michelle Jones, and sometimes it was only one of us. After a month or two there were three or four people who came every week and the commitment became friendship. This time might be shorter if you already have a permaculture group in your area. We set a time frame of one hour - 9.30 to 10.30. One of us was always there during these times. Have two or three contact people, sometimes we are busy or even out of the country!!! Share the load. We let people know with a poster on the pinboard in the cafe and in other places in Upwey. The breakfast now grows mainly through word of mouth. Whenever we meet awesome people we’d like to get to know better we just invite them to breakfast :) We have also had our events up on facebook and we now have a page for the local group. Add people to an email list and send them out info. We meet weekly. Friendships are formed much faster with weekly contact, even a very short hello once a week will create connections faster than a monthly meeting (I do support monthly meetings, they are fantastic too). This is all about creating a human ecology of regularly maintained connections. Tell the cafe what you’re doing - they will hopefully like the idea, and be able to staff for it when it becomes larger, but more importantly they will tell people about the breakfast. Have fun. This is a social day with no commitments whatsoever. Make it clear to people you invite that it is just breakfast. No one needs to join a committee or is roped into work. This is a commitment free permaculture breakfast. People can come as often as they like, some weekly and some monthly, some will come once or twice a year. This is okay. There is no need to commit to regular breakfasts - they

3. 4. 5.

6. 7.


are just a place to come and meet like minded people and then go home again feeling happier for the contact. If you want to grow your group or breakfast or community quickly, run some free courses. Run a free introduction to permaculture or two full Permaculture Design Certificates (PDCs). Its a fast way to increase the number of permies in the area and start effecting real change. Have an animal mascot. If your cafe has an outdoor area, have a favourite chook or duck that people and children will want to see. It helps other people in the cafe get to know about permaculture too. Ducky comes every week and there are people that come just to see him. Ducky is the star attraction at Upwey sunday permaculture breakfasts Be prepared for the friendships you will form. You may never feel alone or different in the world again. The breakfasts have become an essential part of my weekly routine, my life and my sanity.


10. 11.

The people in our group have been tremendously supporting to each other. We have started many community projects just by chatting over coffee. These friends have helped me start teaching PDCs, I know that without them it would not have happened. So thank you Upwey permies, I LOVE YOU!!! Good luck everyone!!! These are just my points, other people in the group will probably have more to share - its been an amazing group effort!!! Send us any ideas or comments you have - or how you go with your own breakfast!!! Love Tamara and Ducky xxx qqq

Soap that’s gentle on all I spoke with Rod Baker from Selby Soap about what drives his dedication to create a greener cleaner.

Why did you start Selby Soap company? My wife, Maria and I were purchasing a lovely natural laundry gel made from pure soap that was available in the Sherbrooke Health Foods shop in Belgrave (probably 5 years ago now). We were very impressed with the product but then it stopped being available as the soap maker who was supplying it changed her processes and no longer had soap tailings that she would make into this laundry product. Maria knew the lady who supplied the product and when she met her one day in the street asked her “What are we going to do now that you aren’t making it any longer?” She said “Make it yourself, it’s not that difficult”. So we decided to give it a go as the alternative, using any of the laundry products from the supermarket wasn’t a particularly attractive one.

How long have you been creating your products? We began experimenting with soap making in early 2008 and worked on it full time all that year as at that stage I was recovering from yet another painful back episode and was looking seriously at finding an alternative to the work I had been doing for the past 14 years. I knew that the sitting that was involved with this work was a major problem and that for my back to recover and for my long term health I had to find an alternative means of employment. I had been searching for some time for an alternative career that didn’t involve sitting but there wasn’t anything that seemed vaguely fulfilling. 24

Then soap making suddenly loomed and the more I thought about it the more I liked it, you could do it from home with minimal setup costs but more importantly it could be done without sitting down. We experimented for 6 months or so and had our first market at Kallista Market in September 2008 on a small table that our next door neighbour had lent us. We’ve continued to experiment and refine our products over the last 4 years and now have a broad product line that includes natural Laundry Liquid, Handwash, Bodywash, Foamies, Dishwash, Cleaner and just lately a Neem Dogwash.

Why are they better for you and the environment? Just about all other Laundry products and personal products available in both supermarkets, chemists and health food shops are manufactured from a large range of chemicals, many of which are quite toxic. Around the mid 1940s the chemical companies in both Britain and America discovered how to make surfactants that cleaned just as effectively as soap. They were much cheaper and easier to manufacture than soap and quickly gained popularity. For a long time they were made from petroleum based chemicals but lately with people becoming wary of these, manufacturers have turned to chemicals that have a vegetable base (palm and canola being the more popular because of their plentiful supply and cheapness). These maybe made from vegetable based ingredients but they can contain some very toxic substances. Glycolic acid for instance that is used in many beauty products is produced as a by-product in the manufacture of ethylene glycol through the

greener reaction of formaldehyde (a carcinogen) and carbon monoxide (a poison). The more you look into the whole area of the chemicals that are used in our personal products and laundry products the more you become concerned that the companies that are manufacturing and marketing these products don’t have the slightest concern for the environment or human health. They seem to have the sole attitude that as long as it smells nice people will buy it. Most are chemical concoctions that are difficult to believe. There are many books written on the subject some of which are available through our local library. Sarah Lantz’s book “Chemical Free Kids” and “What’s in This Stuff” by Pat Thomas are two excellent publications that everyone should read. I could say a lot more but suffice to say that we have been dedicated to providing a non chemical alternative to the popular and widely used brands. It’s very labour intensive and one would never get rich doing it but I’m happy in the knowledge that I’m providing people with products that do not harm them or compromise their health.

1232 Burwood Highway Upper FTG and within the next month or so we hope to be available in the Sherbrooke Health foods in Belgrave. Plus at The Fruit Pedallers at 103 High Street, Northcote just near the Westgarth Theatre. I’m currently working on a revamped website that gives a lot more information about toxic chemicals and points to lots of websites where people can discover what’s in the products they are using. I’m hoping to have this up and running early in the New Year. To find out more about Selby Soap go to their website

What do you like about living in the hills? The hills are a beautiful environment in which to live and work. The fresh, clean air to breath, the greenness and quietness and the large national parks on our doorstep are something that you can’t find too many places elsewhere.

Where can I find your products? We have a stall at Kallista Market which is on the 1st Saturday of each month (except January), Mulgrave Farmers Market at the Bodyshop HQ on the corner of Jacksons Road and Wellington Road on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month and Emerald Community Market on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Our products are also available in the Kallista Biodynamic Market in the main street of Kallista, Upper Gully Health Foods store at

Image by Rod Baker


Images courtesy of

On the First day of Christmas My true love gave to me...

12 Days of Christmas brought to life

22 November - 22 December 2012

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ exhibition brings together 12 artists to contribute an artwork based on the well-known Christmas carol. The exhibition was organised by Belgrave artist Tiffany Morris-North, who was keen to develop a group show to encourage newer artists to exhibit their work alongside more experienced artists.


Tiffany invited 12 artists to interpret one of the Twelve Days of Christmas (allocated randomly) into a work of art, using a range of mediums, including painting, photography, printmaking and textiles.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a classic Christmas carol known and loved by generations of children and adults.

“The exhibition is a great opportunity for people to experience this familiar Christmas carol in a new light by various artists expressing their ideas and memories of the song, and the festive season,” she said.

Tiffany said it was compelling to have the opportunity to re-invent the song in new ways. “I thought it would be interesting to see what each artist would do with their day and how they would portray it,” says Tiffany.

The artists are: Adriana Alvarez, Barbara Bennett, Amy Bruni, Jacqui Christians, Paula Ewington, Emma Jennings, Katherine Slater, Anne Slater, Belinda Strong, Bree Thomas, Carli Wilson and Tiffany Morris-North.

Burrinja • Cnr Glenfern Rd and Matson Dr, Upwey in the Café Gallery •

***** NEW *****



Volunteer Adventures By Lauren Kestles

Last year we sent a crew to Cambodia to help build a home. This year it was my turn to get my hands dirty. Upon arriving in Puok Chas village, around 16km from Siem Reap, we split into two teams of five and worked alongside two Cambodian families to build a latrine for each. The families we assisted each earn a total monthly income of $120USD. I felt extremely humbled to have been given such an opportunity to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Spending five days with two less-fortunate, yet incredibly grateful Cambodian families really hit home and made everyone understand how fortunate we are in Australia. Once we completed the build, we had time to explore the treasures of this amazing country. An unforgettable memory for all was our visit to the amazing temples of Angkor Wat. Before leaving Cambodia, we needed to make some confronting but important stops. We visited the Angkor Children’s Hospital to donate blood and then moved on to Phnom Penh where we visited some of the shanty tenements where the people live by scrounging at the rubbish dump site and we spent time with some beautiful children at a Khmer orphanage. We were privileged to be able to give them some clothing, toys and school supplies for the children. Our visit to Phnom Penh touched everyone as we learnt about the tragedy of the Pol Pot Regime at the Killing Fields and Genocide Museum. It certainly helped us understand the people of Cambodia so much more and put our own lives into perspective.


from your artwork.

Conveniently Supplied in a Carry Bag

I will certainly be returning time and time again to give a helping hand and explore more of the beautiful Kingdom of Cambodia. Thank you everyone who participated in this trip of a lifetime.

Lauren was part of this year’s Nexus/Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Trip. If you would like to be a part of a trip next year, don’t hesitate to give Lauren a call on (03) 9756 7566. Nexus Volunteer Connection is a fully owned subsidiary of

Banner Size: 850mm Wide x 2000mm Long

TRAVELSCENE MONBULK 74 Main Rd, Monbulk, 3793 email : web :

Here’s a bit of Christmas cheer I’d like to share. I drew this Christmas angel for you to make for your Christmas tree. It’s very simple here’s what to do: 1. Rip off this page or photocopy it if you want more than one or you’d like to save your hillscene. 2. Glue it onto a piece of card or empty cereal box (wait a little while for it to dry). 3. Cut out the two pieces, then stick the angel onto the wings. 4. Glue a peg on the back of your angel (or put a small hole on her head and tie a string to it). Now it’s ready to use on your tree or anywhere you want. If you want to make more than one you can put them on a ribbon as a garland or use the shape as a template to make your own angel using nice paper or fabric for the angels body and wings and then draw your own face and hair etc. Enjoy!

Illustration by Adriana Alvarez

merry christmas

Hillscene 9  

Summer 2012/2013. A Maga'zine' about all the interesting people and things happening in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, south east of Melbou...

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