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31 Murray Street Wonthaggi Vic 3995 Tel: 5672 1256 Hours: Monday to Friday 6.30am to 5.30pm | Saturday 6.30am to 2.30pm | Sunday & Public Holidays Closed

ALTERNATIVE HEALING Online Booking Claim Health Insurance Remedial massage by Brad bookings essential Holistic Meditation sessions also available A range of various alternative therapists Hours Monday to Friday: 10.00am to 8.00pm Weekends by appointment only


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3 Williams Square, Warragul, Vic 3820 Remedial Therapist Brad Osler | 0408 352 577 Em:

"Here at Mercure Hotel we are proud to present a new standard of accommodation, conferencing and dining facilities to the Warragul and Surrounding areas. We look forward to welcoming you to the new Mercure Warragul on your next visit." Warm Regards, Dale Bainbridge ‘Managing Director’

For Enquiries Phone (03) 5618 3500 or Email: 23 Mason Street, WARRAGUL, Vic 3820

“We extend a warm invitation to all business clients frequently travelling throughout Gippsland. Make Warragul one of your stops and experience a new level of service. Contact us directly for 'Corporate Rate' details.” Sean Pennicard ‘Hotel Manager’

“MERCURE MEETINGS” WARRAGUL’S NEWEST PLACE TO DO BUSINESS. Our facilities include a conference and boardroom fitted with “State of the Art” AV equipment. We are dedicated to meeting our clients’ conferencing needs. Contact us for further information. For All Enquiries Email:

editorial Each new edition of Gippsland the Lifestyle brings a change of style but one thing that hasn’t changed is our dedication to this great region of Victoria. In this edition we have targeted Maffra, one could be questioned as to why so many pages, but we were drawn to Maffra like a magnet. Personally, I have never seen a town so steeped in history at one particular time. The unveiling of the Allan McLean portrait at Duart Homestead, 90 year history of Donalda Motors, 150 years of the Maffra Cricket Club, 100 years of the Maffra Scouts, the history of the Maffra Sugar Beet Co. and there is more, the beautiful churches, tree lined streets, the courthouse, the Gippsland Vehicle Collection, the list is endless. Maffra is the biggest town off the main highway, and it is definitely worth a stay! With Spring upon us, we become more active and I couldn’t think of a more fun thing to do than to dust off the bike and go for a ride. Gary Jackson of Riviera Cycles

is our new Cycling writer and he will, in each issue, write about how you can enjoy bike riding. Our cycling feature is back and this time we have taken a look at the Blores Hill 6 hour Enduro event, and we are promoting two major rides, the Cox’s Bridge Sale to Cox’s Place Loch Sport event and the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge and a heart warming feature on the event organiser Gavin Slavin and his family, make sure you have a tissue nearby. The variety of this magazine never fails to inspire, we look at people doing their bit for Gippsland, people like Alan Brown who keeps giving, Scott Kingman one of Australia’s greatest guitarists living the good life in Lake Tyers, the inspiration from Russell Osborne and Tara Lea with their camels at Lakes Entrance, the renaissance of the Garfield Picture Theatre and the creative energy that is Merryn Padgett, just some of the many stories and features in this our biggest issue by far.

As this is Jan Bull’s last book review for our magazine, we would like to express our thanks to Jan for her great efforts in producing ‘The Book Nook’ and wish her all the very best for the future. All of our writers and photographers, together with our designer, characteristically have brought their creative edge and flair to the magazine, but a special mention about our Front Cover, the beautiful and glorious shot of Maffra from above. This would not have happened if it wasn’t for the work of Sky photographer Shannon Shumski, who with his drone was able to catch Maffra at it’s early morning best. Enjoy Spring with Gippsland the Lifestyle Doug and Maree Pell

Writers Chris West with Meredith Bardwell, Lyn Skillern, Geoff Watt, Wendy Morriss, Stuart Hay, Lauren Murphy, Linda Cuttriss and Martyn Kemp Contributors Jan Bull, Ali Fullard, Erin Miller, Kerry Galea, Laurie Collins, Craig Goodman, John Turner MAAPM, Jim Radford, Trevor Stow and Trevor Brown Cartoonist Steve White Quirky Pictures Marguerie Sharlott Photographers Wildwood Photography, Lauren Murphy Photography, Wendy Morriss and Douglas Pell Advertising Douglas Pell Editor Maree Bradshaw Creative Alex Smirnakos Printers Graphic Impressions |

Gippsland the Lifestyle Magazine PO Box 862, Wonthaggi 3995 P: 0404 301 333 | W: | Front Cover Image Aerial shot of Maffra township taken by Shannon Shumski www.SkyPhotoGuru - Page 67 See Section on Maffra - Pages 12-68

index contents The Black Sheep Café & Wine Bar Recipe | Feature The Beautiful Township of Maffra Maffra historical, picturesque & much more Maffra Scouts Group – 100 Years Official Opening of A McLean Portrait- Duart Homestead Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Incorporated Gem in a Country Town Maffra Gymnastic Club Inc Maffra Cricket Club…150 Not Out Maffra’s Golf Club has everything Maffra Money Donalda Motors – 90 years of business Stobie’s Land & Surf Gippsland Vehicle Collection French Theme – Maffra’s 128th Show Wilmour Motors Little dealer…big heart Ken Roberts He’art’ & Soul A trickle of wine in a river of milk Bairnsdale Camping & Outdoors – 20 years in business What brought Australian Camels to Lakes Entrance Alan Hall of Loch Sport WGCMA - Protecting our most precious resource Exploring Coal Creek Korumburra at night The Travelling Shrink is Andre Stewart The Soccer Revolution In pictures On the back road between Orbost and Buchan Coffee Corner & Wine down bar Mountain Bike Adventures in East Gippsland Velo Fille Warragul women’s cycling group Go with the flow in Dinner Plain 2016 Blores Hill 3/6 Hour Enduro Cox’s Bridge to Cox’s Place Ride for research & care Gippsland Youth empacted by cycling event Conquering Spirit – Slavin Family Making a Difference - Alan Brown From the colony to the classroom Cruise Magnificent Wilsons Promontory Search for Whales Wildlife Rescue needs a Lifeline Grow Lightly Brent Sinclair Catering Recipe Say ‘I do’ with a view at Mt Baw Baw Garfield Picture Theatre Neerim South’s Little Flea Store Earth & Sea Creative – Merryn Padgett


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regular features 10-11 12-15 16-18 19 20 22-23 30-32 33 34-35 36 38-39 42 46-48 52-53 54-56 58 60-61 64-66 70-72 76-80 82 84-85 86-87 90 92-94 96-97 100 107 108-110 112-113 114-115 116 118 120-124 128-132 134-135 138-139 140-141 144-146 148 150-151 154-156 160-162 180-183

Index – Advertisers Editorial – Features Quirky Pictures – Maffra Moos Places to Stay – Waterfront Retreat at Wattle Point Places to Stay – Riversleigh Boutique Accommodation Gardening with Grow Master Traralgon Craig Goodman Google Analytics Presenting Posture for Perfect Pedalling Curtis Australia - Gippsland gifts reach across the world Stuart Hay Food Review – 3 Brothers & An Oven Off the Hook – Wonnangatta River with Trevor Stow Crawford Marine - Boating from Marlay Point to Loch Sport Speaking Science – Gene Editing Spring in West Gippsland with Laurie Collins Gippsland Grooves – Scott Kingman of Screaming Jets Frank Butera - The Rise of Gippsland’s other Pinot Steve White Cartoon Spring Crossword Puzzle Ali’s Art Page – Young at Art Canine Corner Spring Events + Market Guide The Book Nook with Jan Bull Kerry Galea Spring Horoscope Zest for Life – What makes people happy? Outlets – Where you can get a GTL magazine

6 8 68 73 74 98 102-103 106 153 158 164-165 166-167 168 170-171 172-176 177 178 178 179 184-185 186-188 189 190 191 192









“I work across a range of media inspired by the natural world and dramatic landscape of the Gippsland region.� P r i n t s | D r a w i n g s | Wa t e r c o l o u r s Mixed Media | Digital images | Original cards

Open: By Appointment | All Welcome 75 Landy Lane Briagolong 3860 Ph. 0427327494 | Email thelifestyle spring 2016


RECIPE Braised Octopus and Kalamata Olive Salad Chef Rohan Liebelt



300g Baby Octopus 100g Pitted Kalamata Olives, crushed 1 Medium Brown Onion, finely sliced 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed Juice of 1 Lemon Ground Pepper 1/2 Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped 1 Baby Fennel, finely sliced 150g Fresh Rocket Leaves 20ml Sherry Vinegar 80ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Heat 20ml of oil in a heavy based pot on high heat, SautĂŠ finely sliced onion and garlic until tender. Add your crushed kalamata olives and the juice of 1 lemon. Stir to ensure all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Next add your baby octopus (ensure the beak is removed) and stir again, making sure the octopus gets a nice coating of onion and olive. Turn heat down to low, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 1 hour. After 1 hour remove the lid, add freshly ground pepper and chopped parsley. Set aside to rest. Using a sharp knife finely slice the baby fennel and mix through the fresh rocket leaves. Dress with sherry vinaigrette and extra virgin olive oil. Plate in a bowl and top with your braised baby octopus and a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!


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OPENING HOURS Lunch and Dinner Monday to Friday: 12.00pm till 9.00pm | Closed Tuesday Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner Saturday 8.00am till 10.00pm | Sunday 8.00am till 5.00pm

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WINE MAKERS DINNER HELD AT THE BLACK SHEEP CAFÉ & WINE BAR ON SATURDAY 30 JULY 2016 WITH THE GIPPSLAND WINE COMPANY Hosted by David & Darlene Liebelt of The Black Sheep Café & Wine Bar The Chefs matched outstanding food providing a five-course dinner with premium wines from Mark Heath and Jane Taylor of Gippsland Wine Company. To keep up-to-date with the upcoming events and regular changing menu at

The Black Sheep Café & Wine Bar Inverloch Please visit Facebook Or Phone 5674 2129

thelifestyle spring 2016



Stay a while and experience everything Maffra offers. Maffra is an appealing and welcoming rural town in Central Gippsland inside the Shire of Wellington and about 200 kilometres east of Melbourne. The town is situated on the Macalister River within an hour’s drive of both the mountains and Lake Glenmaggie to the north, the City of Sale 20 minutes to the south and a short distance east to the sea – Loch Sport, Ninety Mile Beach and the beautiful Gippsland Lakes…


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The beautiful township of Maffra By Wendy Morriss

Circular Path which winds to a centre with a Totem Pole

Maffra is vibrant and possibly one of the most attractive towns in Gippsland. Its pretty treelined streets feature beautifully kept nineteenth century buildings that house a variety of specialty shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s a thriving, friendly town situated in the centre of Gippsland on the banks of the Macalister River. It contains lovely parks, sporting reserves, including a magnificent 18-hole golf course and scenic wetlands. The town was first settled in the 1860’s. It has a beef and dairy producing heritage and for many years was the only sugar beet processing

centre in Australia. Today the town is supported by agricultural industries, government departments and authorities and the district’s dairy and vegetable production. Each year, due to an enormous amount of community spirit and support from local residents and groups, Maffra successfully hosts several spectacular events - The Maffra Mardi Gras in March, the Maffra Agricultural Show in October, an Easter tennis tournament in April and a Christmas festival in December. A Farmers’ Market is held in the main street (Johnson Street) on the first Sunday of each month.

Visitors to the area can also experience motoring history at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection Motor Museum, or immerse themselves in the history of the area at the Maffra Sugar Beet Museum, a relocated building constructed in 1896 as the office and weighbridge for the sugar beet factory. Gippsland Vehicle Collection Motor Museum houses an outstanding, constantly changing display of more than 160 special cars, motorbikes, machinery, historic vehicles and auto memorabilia. The museum is open Friday to Monday 10am - 4pm and school holidays.

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St Mary's Catholic Church


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Maffra Football Club defeating Sale FC

Maffra main street Macalister River Regional Park

The Maffra Sugar Beet Museum houses archives that show the rise, success and fall of the local sugar beet industry, pre-European occupation, early European exploration and settlement of the Central Gippsland plains. The museum is open the first Sunday of every month from 10.00am to 2.00pm and available for group bookings.

Solar heated pool and spa BBQ facilities Queen (with Disabled Access) Twin | Triple | Inter-Connecting Rooms

The town’s Visitor Information Centre is an added treat, housed in the beautifully restored Maffra Court House, built in 1888. The centre has a wide range of information, local arts and craft on display and for sale, a wide range of souvenirs, heritage publications and is the home of the fascinating Pino Deriu Gemstone and Mineral Collection.

Maffra Visitor Information Centre in Johnson Street is open 7 days a week, 10.00am – 3.00pm (closing 1.00pm on Tuesdays). For more information: Phone (03) 51411811 Park photographs by Lauren Murphy Photography Photographs by Doug Pell

A relaxed and family friendly atmosphere. Short quiet stroll to Club, Hotel and Shops

Managers: Carmel and Ken Clark | Maffra Motor Inn | 184 Johnson Street, Maffra 3860 | Tel (03) 5147 2111 find us on facebook thelifestyle spring 2016


Maffra historical, picturesque & much more By Lyn Skillern

There is something very special about Maffra. When you enter the main street you cannot but think it has one of the most picturesque town centres in Gippsland. In addition to this it has many historical buildings and some beautiful tree lined streets. Maffra, like many Gippsland towns, has a fascinating history. Sited on the banks of the Macalister River, Maffra was one of the first areas of Gippsland to be settled by Europeans who came in and occupied the land of the indigenous people. The site of the town is in the land of the Brayakaulung Tribe of the Gunaikurnai people. Prior to the 1840s this was their territory. In January 1840 Angus McMillan’s party reached and named the Macalister River at a place downstream from the current town of Maffra. In the year that followed McMillan’s Bushy Park run and Lachlan Macalister’s Boisdale run were established. These two runs took up over 10,000 acres of land.

Town origins are always interesting and the reason for the location of a township is often lost in time. Not so with Maffra. The original "Mafra" was a sheepfold located on the Boisdale run south east of the present township of Newry. It had the same name as one of Macalister's properties in NSW. That property had been named after a town in Portugal where Macalister's regiment had been stationed during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1845, 640 acres on the Boisdale Run were set aside to be used as a native police reserve. This square mile later became the site of Maffra. When gold was discovered in the northwest area of Gippsland a river crossing was established on the native police reserve. This was where the road from Sale and Port Albert heading to the diggings crossed the Macalister River. As a result the township developed in the following way:


a punt service started to enable the river to be crossed easily


a tent hotel was established near the river crossing


the township was surveyed


the township was gazetted and the first town lots were sold


a Presbyterian Church was established


the township had a post office, two hotels, two stores, a butchers, twenty permanent residents and a public school


a Methodist Church was established


a Catholic Church was established


an Anglican Church was established and the existing primary school’s building erected



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October 14th - the Shire of Maffra was proclaimed.

The Maffra Hotel ~ Courtesy Lyn Skillern

The Maffra Sugar Beet Factory Courtesy of Maffra Historical Society MDHS02184

As the centre of the new Shire the town of Maffra boomed. There were two cheese factories, a flourmill, banks, a courthouse, a permanent post office and very importantly, a newspaper, The Maffra Spectator. The town was a service centre for an agricultural hinterland producing beef cattle, sheep, pigs and a variety of crops. Horses were raised for the carriage trade and the Indian army. Further expansion in the area occurred when the railway came to the region. The branch line from Traralgon reached Heyfield in 1883, Maffra in 1886 and eventually linked into the main Gippsland line at Stratford. Local produce was now able to reach markets as far away as Melbourne and beyond. This successful agricultural area had one crop that is unique in the history of Victoria and that was the sugar beet. This beet has a root that is high in sucrose and is grown commercially for the production of sugar. Sugar beets are grown in cooler climates while sugar cane is produced

Sugar beets

in warmer more tropical areas. Approximately 20% of the world’s sugar comes from sugar beets. In 1871 the ‘Gippsland Times’ reported that there was growing interest in producing sugar beets in Victoria and Maffra was a place mentioned as a possible location for this industry. The best Sicilian sugar beet seeds were purchased to distribute among the farmers of Briagolong, Wa-de-lock and Valencia Creek and later the Department of Agriculture experimented in beet growing at Valencia Creek and Newry with excellent results.

Victorian government support was sought and a Sugar Beet Act was passed. In September 1896, the Maffra Sugar Beet Co was registered and later a syndicate of town’s people prepared to grow 300 acres of sugar beets. Thirty acres of land near the Maffra

-Sale Road and the railway station were set aside for a sugar beet factory. In June 1897 the foundation stone of the building was laid with great ceremony. The machinery for the factory came from Brunswick in Germany where beets had been grown for many years. The factory with a 145 feet high hexagonal chimney was completed in 1898. The Colony of Victoria’s first 500 tons of sugar were refined that year. However the venture was not a success due mainly to drought and the Victorian Government took over the factory in 1899. It lay idle until 1910 when plans were made to start the factory again. Farmers in the area produced sugar beets and by 1917 the factory made a profit. By 1919 it was evident that irrigation would help the sugar industry and the Glenmaggie irrigation scheme on the Macalister River was commenced. At first this scheme was to provide water to sugar beet growers. The factory was upgraded in 1925 and the sugar beet industry flourished for the next 20 years.

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Johnson St Maffra c 1932 Courtesy Maffra Historical Society MDHS03723

World War II was the beginning of the end for the Victoria’s sugar industry. The labour force needed was taken away, including many Italian workers who were interned. Dairying became more profitable and there was little interest in reestablishing the sugar industry. The factory was closed in 1948 and demolished in 1964. The wooden office was saved and moved 1km


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away to become the home of the Sugar Beet Museum. There is much more history to be discovered in Maffra and district and it is being preserved by an active Maffra Historical Society. The Wellington Shire Heritage Network has a brochure that provides information on all the heritage groups

in the Shire and there are walking tour brochures for Boisdale and Briagolong. All brochures, plus three books on the streetscapes of Maffra, are available at the information centre in the old Court House. The Sugar Beet Museum is open on the first Sunday of the month from 10 am until 2 pm. This delightful area has so much to offer those interested in the past.



One Hundred Years

By Wendy Morriss

Maffra has celebrated 100 years of Scouting and group leader in charge Robert ‘Midge’ Creely said after several months of hard work to prepare for the event, the day was a huge success and everyone had a lot of fun. Maffra Scout Group celebrating 100 years. Picture supplied by Scouts Victoria

Maffra’s group leader in charge Robert ‘Midge’ Creely The group’s momentous milestone was attended by Chief Commissioner of Scouts Victoria Brendan Watson, Regional Commissioner for Gippsland Cliff Dent and other group leaders from the Wellington District. The hall was filled with Scouting memorabilia covering highlights of the group’s past achievements. Official presentations were made of their new section flags, the unveiling of a centenary plaque and members were presented with a centenary badge. “We provided entertainment in the park with a rope bridge built by the Scouts and Zorb balls that were lent to us for the day by the Sale Scout Group,” Midge said. “We also had a special link up presentation for one of our Cubs who moved up into Scouts.” The Lions Club had a sausage sizzle outside the hall and there were hot slinky spuds to enjoy. Raffle tickets and centenary badges were available for purchase and inside people enjoyed Devonshire tea produced and served by the Maffra Scout Committee. Scout Nicholas Hinsley designed the colourful centenary badge after winning the group’s design competition last year. Midge celebrated the Scouting centenary in his 36th year as a scout leader. His family moved into the Maffra area when he was eight years old and he grew up on a dairy farm in Tinamba. He said he had never been a cub or scout himself but joined the movement when his son Michael became a Maffra

Centenary plaque

Cub in 1979 and a year later, he became a leader. He is now Maffra’s group leader in charge and an assistant Joey leader. He also helps with Cubs while the current Cub leader completes his training. Maffra Scouts has Joeys, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers but due to a shortage of leaders, the Venturers join the Sale Scout Group for their activities. “They remain our Venturers,” Midge said, “but they operate in Sale. “It all comes back to leadership and we are very light on for leaders at the moment. We always have enquiries about new kids wanting to join so we don’t have any trouble finding kids. They are out there wanting to do things and we take them, we don’t say no. We are very grateful for the leaders and volunteers we have and the work they do but we would like to find more adults to give us a hand to run the group, even on the committee. What they do is very valuable.” Midge believes Scouting definitely makes a difference in the young people’s lives. “We are here to build Australian citizens for the future,” he said. “The Queen’s Scout Award, which is the highest level in Venturers, has always been and still is highly regarded on resumes.” The Maffra Scout Group formed in 1916 during the First World War. It was only nine years after Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the World’s Scout Movement, held the first Scout camp on Brown Sea Island in the UK.

The group acquired the present Scout Hall in the 30s. Over the years, there have been many building works and renovations. “The concrete floor inside was once a wooden floor,” Midge said. “I remember coming here quite often and having to bang the nails back down so the kids didn’t scratch their legs when they were lying on it.” During his time in Scouting, Midge has attended 13 Scout Jamborees with groups of Scouts. “Jamborees especially in Australia, can have anywhere between 10,000 and 14,000 people,” he said. “A tent city the size of Sale grows overnight with shopping and eating malls, hospital, doctors, police and emergency services and a lot of kids enjoying themselves.” Midge’s son went on from Cubs through Scouts and Venturers while his daughter went through Brownies, Guides and Rangers. It wasn’t long after his daughter finished that the Scout movement opened up Scouts for girls. He said as a leader he has had many good times, he’s been to numerous places with young people and seen many of them go through the movement. “It’s really pleasing to see them grow up and become somebody, and to see them later in life doing well in the world.” For more information on Maffra Scouts phone 0419 869 114

The group started in the Church of England Hall in Maffra and the leaders then were Anglican clergy.

Maffra Cub Scout Group with their leaders

Maffra Scout Group 1992

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Sue and Murray McLean Grand Daughter, Margaret Morrison and Great Grandson, John Morrison

Patricia and Sue McLean

Great Grandson, Piers Morgan and Grand Daughter, Patricia Coutts

Allan McLean was born on 3 February 1840 at Oban in the Highlands of Scotland and migrated, at age two, with his family to Sydney, where his father Charles was offered management of the sheep-runs operated by Captain MacAlister in the newly discovered Gippsland. He grew up on a settlement and educated at home and at Tarraville School and graduated as a bushman. In 1865 he and his brother Norman took up a lease on the Lowland station near Sale and seven years later formed A. McLean & Co, stock and station agents in Maffra. Branches were

later established in Traralgon, Bairnsdale, Warragul, Mirboo and Melbourne. With the success of this enterprise he then became a councillor of the Shire of Avon in 1876, serving three terms in succession, as president of the Shire of Maffra. It was a likely process for him therefore to be selected for the Legislative Assembly for Gippsland North in 1880-1900 (becoming Premier of Victoria 1889-1900). McLean was always very conscious of representing the rural interest and he was involved in the development of the sugar beet industry at Maffra.

Allan McLean was then elected to the first federal parliament as the member for Gippsland in 19011906, and rose to Minister for Trade and Customs and Deputy Prime Minister in the Reid-McLean government. In 1906 ill-health disallowed him in following an active campaign. He died on 13 July 1911 at his Albert Park, Melbourne residence (also known as Duart) and buried in Sale. He was survived by his second wife, Emily Macarthur, and seven children of his first marriage to Margaret Shinnick (d.1884).

Unveiling ceremony was accompanied by bagpipe playing and viewing of Duart and McLean Memorabilia. Nathan and Natasha Smith of Duart Homestead Function Centre


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Duart is a Victorian Homestead built in1883 which has been converted to an Event Venue consisting of a warm character filled ballroom, and smaller Fig Tree room adjacent to the ivy clad veranda and terrace areas with two private rotundas and 160 year old Moreton Bay Fig tree which reigns supreme over the gardens.

It has a reputation for quality hospitality providing local produce and friendly customer service. Duart also offer an extensive off site catering service and can go as far east as Marlo or as far west as Warragul. Facebook

20 McL e an St re e t , Maf f r a , Vic 3860 P: 035147 1985

Duart Homestead Recipe


ingredients Grey pumpkin or whatever is local & deep in colour 1kg diced & roasted in olive oil, salt & pepper until golden brown and caramelised Tri coloured quinoa 500gm boiled until fluffy, drained well Pomegranates 1 whole picked seeds Wild rocket 200gm Pumpkin seeds 50gm dry roasted in pan Chia seeds 10gm Local fetta 100gm cubed or crumbled the same size as the pomegranates Spanish onion 1 cut into small dice same as pomegranate seeds Continental cucumber 1 cut into small cubes the same size as the pomegranate Snow pea tendrils 50gm

dressing Lemons 2 used for juice for dressing Local extra virgin olive oil 100ml Pink salt flakes to taste Cracked black pepper coarsely ground to taste


Mix all ingredients and garnish with snow pea tendrils, chia & pumpkin seeds.

L-R: Christine Richards (GPRT Committee of Management & Member of Maffra & District Landcare Network), Bob McLaren with Kye Whelan and Elly Carmen Lee (Community Facilitator – Maffra & District Landcare Network) Carol Whelan, Danielle Whelan, Beth Ripper (GPRT Committee of Management & Member of Maffra & District Landcare Network), Darren Watts with Jill from Maffra

Gippsland Plains RAIL TRAIL The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail extends 67km from Traralgon to Maffra onto Stratford, passing through 5 small townships, in Central Gippsland, which are steeped in history.

Project in April 2016, the students from Maffra Secondary College worked with these groups to maintain the Rail Trail whilst also researching historical sites.

Many years ago trains ran in various parts of Victoria. We were the State with the biggest rail infrastructure in Australia, but over time this is not the case anymore and many of the railway tracks have disappeared. The last passenger service from Traralgon to Maffra was on the 7th July 1977 and the last freight service was on the 8th September 1994. Once passenger and goods trains were a significant transport option from Stratford to Traralgon using the route through Maffra.

Some of the best features of this trail are the beautiful views of the rolling Gippsland hills as you traverse it, which is predominantly flat and easy going. The Trail is an easy walk, jog, bicycle ride and you can take the dog for a stroll; also a safe saunter for families.

The now disused railway line has become the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail and the GPRT Committee, community-based volunteers, and Maffra & District Landcare Network have been building this project over the past 20 years. Recently, at the launch of the Trailblazers Trail


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The Trail is unique as visitors can connect to and travel by train to either end of the Trail. You can make Traralgon the start of your Gippsland Plains Rail Trail adventure. The first of three hills going down is just prior to the Burnetts Road car park. The views of the Great Dividing Range starts here - across the Latrobe Flood Plains on the reconstructed transom bridges then on to Glengarry with its historic buildings and the old railway crane and station.

Next town is Toongabbie steeped in gold rush history and on to Cowwarr and the next hill down with a magnificent view of the Alpine Country. On to Dawson Flora Reserve via a road diversion then to Heyfield and its great wetlands and interesting commemorative infrastructure on the trail mid town. Next its downhill again just prior to Tinamba with yet another fabulous view of Gippsland’s hills. You are now heading close to Maffra, entering into a pretty section of the Trail known as the Billabong Trail, where the Trail meets the Macalister River. The bridge crossing provides a wonderful view of the river on either side, and sweeping views across to Macalister Park, where you can stop and enjoy a break. Once in Maffra there is so much of interest, and you would benefit greatly from an overnight stay. Options include Maffra Motor Inn, Cambrai Back Packers Hostel, Maffra Golf Club & RV Park and Maffra Caravan Park. Dine-in options are Maffra

Sports Club, Macalister Hotel, Maffra Golf Club, Cafe' L'Attitude, Coffee House 138, Chopstix Chinese Restaurant, and Duart Reception Centre. Takeaway options in Maffra are many, and include Mr. Pizza, Maffra Fish & Chips, Maffra Hot Bake Bakery, Maffra Bakery, Richo's Pizza and Meg's Takeaway. The sites and attractions of Maffra will certainly keep you interested and entertained: the Maffra Motor Vehicle Collection and Museum is a must for any motoring enthusiast, the Pino Deriu Mineral Collection is alive with vibrant colours and Pingvin Booksellers, Antiques, Collectables and Ephemera will delight and surprise you. There's also the Maffra Sugar Beet Museum, the old Maffra Railway Station (not open to the public, but viewable from the road), Avon Ridge Winery, Macalister Park (more tin cows!), Macalister Wetlands Reserve, and historic Duart Reception Centre. Back along the trail you will find the old railway cutting for the Briagolong line and discover various sleepers, parts of old bridges, and platforms along the journey. At the Briagolong cutting an information board has been set up with some wonderful historical photos of the trains that once travelled up and down the line.

For a brief time in the 1990's, Powerscourt was operated as a fine dining restaurant and elegant B&B. Those who were lucky enough to dine and/ or stay there still talk of the majesty and grandeur of the ballroom in which the restaurant was housed. Although unsubstantiated, it is generally believed that the ballroom was added in 1894 by a farm labourer who had struck gold the same year and purchased the property. He added it to accommodate his daughter's 21st birthday gathering! The Rail Trail's Powerscourt section was once the site of another busy railway station and post office on the old Stratford to Traralgon line. Nothing remains of the station today, but it is your exit to delight in the wonderful wines produced at Avon Ridge Winery, just across the road.  You'll love tasting some of their amazing wines while you relax on the verandah or in the beautiful gardens, both of which afford pleasing views of the vines and surrounding countryside. Oh... and better throw in a cheese platter with that! Reference Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee of Management and more Information can be found on: Photographs taken at the Maffra section of the Rail Trail

Then the trail from Maffra to Powerscourt is flat, solid packed, and easily ridden. Powerscourt is named after the grand Powerscourt Homestead, which was built in 1850. Although no longer open to the public, this private residence is visible in the distance from the Maffra-Stratford Road.

thelifestyle spring 2016




84 JOHNSON STREET, MAFFRA 3860 PH: 5141 1066

VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE & GEM STONE MUSEUM Let us Pamper You Creative Professional Staff Competitive Prices

Wide Range of Information Local Arts and Crafts Wide Range of Local Wines and Souvenirs 96 Johnson Street, Maffra Or 8 Foster St, Sale 03 5144 1108 24

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L u c y | Ta y l a | B r o o k e | J a m e l l a

Tues-Wed-Fri Thursday Saturday

9am – 6pm 9am – 8pm 8am – 12noon

Call for your appointment today

Ph: 5141 1079

70 Johnson Street, MAFFRA 3860

ADDICTIVE&GIFTS ACCESSORIES Large Variety of Gifts and Souvenirs

Monday to Friday 9.30am - 5.00pm ~ Saturday 9.30am - 12.30pm 74-76 Johnson Street Maffra Vic 3860 Tel: 5147 1806 thelifestyle spring 2016





72 Johnson Street, Maffra VIC 3860 Phone: 5147 1188


HOURS Mon-Fri 5.30am-5.30pm Sat 6.00am-12.30pm Closed: Sunday and Public Holidays

144 Johnson Street, MAFFRA 3860 Phone: (03) 5147 1037


142 Johnson Street, MAFFRA 3860

Phone: (03) 5147 2777 thelifestyle spring 2016


MAFFRA COMMUNITY SPORTS CLUB ...more than just a club! Friendly staff, cold beers, TAB and numerous televisions with Fox Sport, make Maffra Community Sports Club the ideal venue for a great evening! Conveniently located in the heart of town, the club caters for locals and visitors alike.

Monday to Thursday 10.00am - 11.00pm | Friday to Saturday 10.00am - 12.00 midnight | Sunday 10.00am - 10.00pm

Captain Johnson’s Bar and Bistro Lunch Dinner

12.00pm - 2.00pm 6.00pm - 8.30pm

Member’s Lunchtime Specials For a quiet drink or a great night out, and with delicious food, Captain Johnson's Bar has it all. A wide range of beers on tap plus all your favourites, at wonderful Maffra Sports Club prices.

The Top Paddock Restaurant Wednesday - Saturday 6.00pm - 8.30pm Reservations required The Top Paddock is available for booking for private functions. Contact the friendly staff of the Club for more information.

122-126 Johnson Street Maffra Vic 3860 Tel: 5141 1566 | Fax: 5141 1944


thelifestyle spring 2016


By Wendy Morriss

Maffra’s Community Sports Club has transformed a former hotel that was built during the late 1800s into an outstanding, modern community venue, equal to anything seen in a large city, whilst maintaining its original country character and historical values. Visiting patrons and members enjoy the grand opulent environment in various ways. The choices include alfresco dining on the elevated verandah, a quiet fireside drink or meal in the member’s room, lunch, dinner or a great night out in Captain Johnson's Bar and Bistro and fine dining or function upstairs in The Top Paddock Restaurant. The venue also has TAB, KENO and numerous viewing screens bringing Fox Sport to those who don’t want to miss a game. Kevin Lanigan who has been the club’s treasurer for the last three years and five years previously said the monumental community achievement began with a dream more than 20 years ago and a need to keep people in the town. “At the time there wasn’t a licence in Maffra for gaming machines and people were going out of the town to Sale where there were six gaming venues.”

In an effort to curb the outflow, three Maffra sporting clubs and the Chamber of Commerce tried individually to establish a gaming venue but were rejected by Tabaret. They then decided to come together representing the sporting and business community with the hope of achieving it as a group. Eventually, the Maffra Bowling Club, Maffra Football Club and the Chamber of Commerce headed by Geoff Stobie, who was chairman and a local business owner, formed the Maffra Community Sports Club. They started researching and meeting with representatives from the Shire, the State Government as well as representatives from Tabaret and Tattersalls. Time was then spent searching for a venue, which concluded with talking to the proprietors of the Maffra Hotel. The newly formed group leased the hotel with an option to buy. They then did a low-cost renovation and gained a gaming licence. To raise the money they needed for the project, they borrowed from local sporting group members and business owners through an unsecured debenture scheme. “They were promised about eight per cent interest, which at

the time was above bank interest rates,” Kevin said. “It could have fallen over but the Maffra community wanted it to happen.” During the second year, the club were able to pay back the debenture holders and borrow money from the bank to purchase the freehold. Kevin said the club successfully continued on from there. “It’s a non-profit incorporated association with all its members owning the freehold and the profits are distributed to sporting clubs and individuals for sporting endeavours.” Brett Pund has been club president for more than seven years. He said the club opened in 1997 and to date has given direct donations to local sporting clubs in excess of 1.3 million dollars. Over the years, there have been a few renovations and recently a major renovation that has taken 12 months to complete. It was funded by a mortgage taken out with the Maffra and District Community (Bendigo) Bank. “It’s a modern venue but we’ve managed to keep the character of the original hotel by keeping a lot of the old brickwork, the steel beams and some of the old Baltic pine flooring,”

Club manager John Mackay in the Members Lounge with head chef Kara Castles

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MAFFRA COMMUNITY SPORTS CLUB Brett said. “It’s a bit of a trend in pubs and clubs to do that. One of the first things we did was put back the verandah, which was taken off the front of the building during the late 1980s.” During the building process, the community could still access the gaming machines and the bar. Brett said since the renovations, the gaming machines while still being an important part of the business, haven’t had the same focus which has been an unexpected result. They are housed in a space of their own and barely visible from other parts of the club. “Personally I like to have a bit of a flutter and I know there are people who don’t think they’re a great thing but we balance that out with the benefits to the town. The money is not lining anyone’s pockets or going into big hotel chains but back to the community.” The club presently employs between 30 and 40 part-time, full-time and casual staff and provides training opportunities for young people. “The staff are fantastic and very much part of the club,” Brett said. “One of our permanent staff members built our big boardroom table, which is awesome. Kara Castles, our dedicated head chef is a local girl who completed all her training in some of the best restaurants in Melbourne.”

Staff members Wendy Sweeney and Amy Coleman


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The club only employs local people and pays an annual salary of around 1.2 million dollars, which then goes around the town. The club also sources all the fresh produce used in their menus from local producers. He said their manager John Mackay, who came to them with 25 years’ experience in the industry and previous involvement with major renovations, was a big part of the building process. “For 12 months he lived and breathed the project and was onto everything - the builders, designers and the layout in terms of input.” John has lived and worked in the Maffra community for the last three years and previously worked in Melbourne clubs. “My wife and I have always had a holiday shack in Gippsland and we took the chance to make a permanent tree change when this position became available,” he said.

“Many of the clubs in Melbourne don’t really have identities. They become places where people pay a membership only to gain the advantages, whereas the members here have a real community spirit and genuinely want to see it do well. People in Maffra are really proud of their thriving little town.” He said the project over the last year has been a bit daunting for everyone but they couldn’t be more pleased with the result. “We have been blessed since the day we re-opened with a terrific crowd from very minimal advertising. It’s great that people have taken to it like they have.” Photographs supplied by Maffra Community Sports Club Staff photos by Lauren Murphy Photography

“Working in the club and with the committee has been terrific. Committees always make life interesting but the great thing about this committee is they all want what’s best for Maffra which is not usual in club land.

John Mackay, Kara Castles, Brett Pund and Kevin Lanigan in Captain Johnson's Bar and Bistro

Maffra Gymnastic Club Incorporated The Maffra Gymnastic Club is a communitybased, not-for-profit organisation that has the aim of teaching and promoting ‘Gymnastics for All’, in an ‘inclusive’ setting catering for people of all ages and abilities. Maffra Gymnastic Club is a nationally acclaimed and award winning club which includes being named as a past winner of the National Club of the Year by Gymnastics Australia. This award was recognised as the most prestigious for General Gymnastics in the country, at the time. Maffra Gymnastics also won Gymnastic Victoria’s 2015 Gymnastic Club of the Year. The Maffra Gymnastic Club continues to work towards being a “fun, friendly and inclusive” club, where everyone feels welcome and has the opportunity to learn and develop their skills, confidence and well-being.

In 2015, Maffra Gymnastic Club was awarded a Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Award in acknowledgement of the work being done in the area of ‘Building Health through Sport’ and community ‘inclusion’.

PROGRAM SESSION OPTIONS: PERMANENT PROGRAMS • Kindergym (18 months - 4 years) • Girls and Boys Recreation Classes • Girls and Boys Squad/Competition Classes • Adult Gymnastics COMMUNITY PROGRAMS • School and Pre-School Groups • Special Needs Abilities Groups • Club Fit – for Sporting Groups • Birthday Parties Maffra Gymnastic Club Incorporated Cameron Sporting Complex Morison Street, MAFFRA 3860 Telephone: (03) 5141 1211 e-mail: Photography by Imaginative Images

thelifestyle spring 2016


C Grade premiers 1989-90

SMCA Premiers 1991-92

Maffra Cricket Club... Cricket was first played in the Maffra area back in the 1860s, prior to the Maffra Cricket Club forming; the club was established in 1882.

Allan Evans, showcasing the history of this great club, has written a brilliant book and as Allan says in his Preamble, “a cricket club isn't only about runs and wickets, it is also about the characters who comprise its membership�.

Gippsland the Lifestyle feels privileged to be able to share some of this history of the Maffra Cricket Club in our latest edition, thanks to the assistance of Brett Lanigan.

Nestanglo's Premiership B Grade team 1953-54

A Grade Premiers 1980-81

SMCA 2nd XI Premiers 1991-92


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SMJCA Under 16 Premiers 2006-07

John Hall, John McConnell and Dallas Steele with their labourers, Chris Durrant and Stephen Lanigan

First Female President Fiona Thackray

150 Not Out

SMCA Premiers 2008-09

A Grade Premiers 1979-80

Curators, Brian and Heath Shingles and John McConnell put the final touches on the wicket before the Melbourne University - Frankston match in 2005.

Maffra Cricket Club 1st XI Premiers 2011-12

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Maffra’s Golf Club Has Everything

By Wendy Morriss

Maffra Golf Club, which is just 10 minutes off the Princes Highway, is more than a magnificent golf course and well worth a visit. The club’s relaxed, welcoming, friendly atmosphere and comradery is evident the moment anyone walks through the clubroom door.

Maffra’s beautiful golf course The golf course, established more than 60 years ago, is located in an attractive serene country setting with a view of the Great Dividing Range. For visitors travelling to the area and planning a longer stay, the club also has a recreational vehicle and caravan park with powered and unpowered sites and shower, toilet and change room facilities. The fees are low and visitors can enjoy the surrounding area, a round or two of golf, a walk through the golf course or a quiet drink at the club’s bar. Sue Horsford, who is club secretary, said what makes the club different to so many others is

President Rick Murray with two of his grandchildren


thelifestyle spring 2016

the friendliness. “The club is open to new members and visitors, everyone here is just so friendly and the bonus is the beautiful golf course.” She said a very experienced grounds person and many dedicated volunteers passionately maintain the course. The immaculate fairways and fast greens provide a challenge for serious golfers but also enjoyment for beginners and occasional golfers. “We also have a very active and supportive ladies committee who do a lot of catering and fund raising.”

The youngest and oldest member of the club in 2001 Laura Freeman with Athol Releh playing on the 18th green

Rick Murray, who is the club’s president, said everyone tries to make people feel welcome and they are proud of the history and of what people have achieved over time. Many members volunteer to work in and around the club, which everyone benefits from. “I don’t know what it is about the Maffra community but they really do get behind their sporting clubs and make them great.” For more information on Maffra Golf Club phone 0351 471 884.

Club President Rick Murray and Secretary Sue Horsford

118-120 Johnson Street, Maffra (03) 51472200 4 Temple Street, Heyfield (03) 51483007 MAFFRA


Gippsland Real Estate operates offices in Maffra and Heyfield to service these towns and the surrounding district. The four directors of Gippsland Real Estate Pty Ltd boast a combined experience in excess of 90 years in the local real estate market. We have five Licensed Estate Agents, three auctioneers, two dedicated Rural Agents, three Property Managers with combined experience in excess of 25 years, support staff and receptionists. Gippsland Real Estate staff are motivated, highly trained and qualified. The company has an emphasis on staff training and bringing a fresh and innovative approach to real estate services.

We specialise in all facets of real estate including: • House and land sales • Rural sales • Property Management • Commercial sales and leasing • Industrial land • Developments • Owners Corporation Management We are members of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria and abide by its strict Code of Conduct and Professional Standards. We are committed to providing superior customer service delivered professionally, with honesty and integrity and always in the best interest of our clients. The team at Gippsland Real Estate has a thorough knowledge of the Maffra and Heyfield townships and surrounding district and contribute to a wide range of community and sporting activities through personal involvement and/or sponsorship.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Gippsland Real Estate is a passionate supporter of the local communities in which it operates. It places a great emphasis on contributing to the success of local businesses, groups, sporting clubs and charities. The following organisations are some that have received support by way of sponsorship, donation or personal involvement: Boisdale-Briagolong Football Netball Club Inc Cancer Council of Victoria, Maffra Branch Heyfield Bowls Club Inc Heyfield & District Museum Heyfield Football Netball Club Inc Heyfield Lions Club Heyfield Traders Association Lake Glenmaggie Community Rep. Group Little Jem Foundation Maffra Bowls Club Inc

Maffra Business & Tourism Association Maffra Community Sports Club Maffra Cricket Club Inc Maffra Croquet Club Inc Maffra & District Agricultural Society Maffra Fire Brigade Maffra Football Netball Club Inc Maffra Golf Club Inc Maffra Junior Football Club Inc Maffa Lawn Tennis Club Inc

Maffra Lions Club Maffra Municipal Band Inc Nambrok Football Club Probus Club of Maffra Relay for Life Rotary Club of Maffra Sale-Maffra Cricket Association St. Mary’s Primary School

Like us on facebook Pat Weatherley 0412 435 644

Brett Lanigan 0427 517 577

Lindsay Wigg 0427 471 088

Kevin Lanigan 0408 472 566

David Wadey 0429 483 007

Paul Bourke 0428 451 366

Tim Missen 0488 483 000


By Wendy Morriss

(Left) MBTA Treasurer Nick Munro, Member Peta Allman, President Marcus Stobie, Secretary Kevin Read and Member Narelle Gray (front)

The recently formed Maffra Business and Tourism Association has launched ‘Maffra Money’, a unique gift voucher system designed to keep money in the town, support local business and grow the local economy. Association secretary Kevin Read said the vouchers are purchased by businesses in the community through the association’s base, which is a retail outlet owned and operated by committee member Peta Allman. Consumers can then use them in any participating shops or businesses throughout Maffra and the surrounding district. “It’s a great way to support the local economy,” he said. Marcus Stobie who is president of the association, said the benefit to the consumer is, instead of receiving a voucher to use in a specific retail store; they can use them across many local retailers, businesses and hospitality outlets. “It encourages people to buy locally which benefits everyone in the community.


thelifestyle spring 2016

“It’s an option for businesses to hand out incentives or Christmas bonuses in the form of vouchers to their employees. This keeps money circulating in the town, which builds the businesses and in turn creates more employment.” Peta said the local sporting clubs can use the vouchers in their raffles, so the prizes can be whatever a person chooses. “They can only be used at participating outlets.” Marcus said. “However, the amount of businesses accepting Maffra Money is steadily growing.” He said a single voucher can’t be split between different shops and if the total of the items purchased are less than the voucher, it’s up to the individual business to decide whether or not to reimburse the difference. More often the total of items purchased, go over the voucher amount.

Kevin said the voucher system works from a float that is empty until the first participating business purchases them. “If, for example, I come to Peta and buy a 100 dollar voucher, that money goes into the float and when someone uses the voucher in the town, that business owner then comes back to redeem the 100 dollars.”

Maffra Money was originally an initiative that successfully existed ten years ago. It was managed through Stobies Mensland retail store and instigated by the town’s former Chamber of Commerce. The non-profit organisation ceased operating five years ago, which left the Maffra business community without a voice or communal support.

keeping money in the town support local business grow the local economy The Maffra Community Christmas Festival

In September 2015, a group of new generation traders re-launched the business group as the Maffra Business and Tourism Association. “Maffra is growing, it’s now more progressive and the MBTA is more in line with what the town is currently doing,” Kevin said.

“It’s about getting more business into the town and tourism into the area.” “The first six months was more like a think tank period where we just looked at what direction we wanted to take it in,” Marcus said. “Now we have some general items and it’s more about ticking those items off and steadily following through with our plans.”

Last December, the association held a Christmas festival for the community in the main street. “We formed a sub-committee for it and six weeks out from the date, we started putting things in place,” Peta said. “It was the first Christmas festival in Maffra so we didn’t have any real expectations but it was a massive night and a great success. It was a way for the community to catch up with each other during their busy lives. We had a giant Father Christmas, lights in the town’s huge Morton Bay Fig tree, things for kids to do, free giveaways and plenty of stalls. Almost 2000 people came out to enjoy it. It’s something we now plan to hold as an annual event.”

agenda include getting more businesses into the town to fill any empty shops, getting new signage up coming into the town to attract more visitors and to be involved in the Shire’s planned redevelopment of the main street. “Maffra is the largest town off a major freeway, highway or thoroughfare in Australia,” Marcus said, and according to Kevin it’s the king of the back roads. “Also if you look at a map of Gippsland you’ll see that we are smack bang in the middle of it. We are Central Gippsland others call it but we are in the middle.” For more information email:

The MBTA has recently aligned with the Sale Business and Tourism Association to develop a shop local campaign. Other items on the group’s

A Maffra Money gift voucher

thelifestyle spring 2016


Affordable Accommodation | FOX Sports | TAB facilities

2 Johnson Street, Maffra 3860 ph: 5147 1054



Monday - Saturday 11 am – 1 am Sunday 11 am – 11 pm

LUNCH Monday - Sunday 12 noon – 2 pm DINNER Monday - Sunday 6 pm – 8 pm



Cash Flow



Pund & Associates is a privately owned Full Service Accounting Practice based in Maffra, with a dedicated and professional team led by Chartered Accountant Brett Pund. Brett has over 20 years’ experience advising small to medium business in various industries. His expertise includes advice and implementation on all aspects of business establishment, succession planning, business improvement, financial modelling and business structures. PUND & ASSOCIATES ALSO PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING SERVICES: ❖ Taxation Return Preparation for Businesses and Individuals ❖ Self Managed Superfund Compliance ❖ Business Services & Advice ❖ Budgeting and Cashflow Preparation ❖ Audit (Non profit organisations) ❖ Employer Services (Payroll processing and advice) ❖ Corporate Affairs Handling The Team at Pund & Associates work closely with our clients to help them achieve their financial goals and assist in making their business work for them.

PUND & ASSOCIATES 1-3 Pearson Street, Maffra, 3860 | PO Box 651, Maffra, 3860 Ph: 03 5141 1605 Fx: 03 5141 1608 Em: 40

thelifestyle spring 2016


your personal jeweller

Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.30pm /Saturday 9.00am-12.00pm 109 Johnson Street, MAFFRA 3860 Phone: (03) 5147 1972


INNER BEAUTY 0477 055 500 Lilly


62 JOHNSON STREET, MAFFRA 3860 thelifestyle spring 2016


Dodge cars for sale in 1948

r John

rothe olin’s b

Leaning on the car are brothers Naught (left) and Jock McDonald (right)



ninety years of business


Donalda Motors is a love story that became a business story 90 years ago in Maffra. The business, now operated by third generation director Murray McDonald and his father Colin, sells and services motor vehicles, tractors and farm machinery. The company currently employs 29 people including Murray’s daughter Jemma. Murray’s grandfather John, who was known to everyone as Jock, started the business in 1926 with his brother Naughton, who was known as Naught. They were both motor mechanics from Melbourne and they came to Maffra to set up a mechanical workshop because Naught was in love with a girl who lived in the town. Naught had worked in Melbourne for a company that sold Rolls Royce cars while Jock worked for a company that imported Dodge cars. The family remained friendly with the importer so a little while later they added a Dodge car dealership to the business. “Dodge eventually became Chrysler Australia and then they were taken over by Mitsubishi, which is the dealership we have today,” Colin said.

By Wendy Morriss In 1946, his uncle Naught left the business and started his own in Lakes Entrance. Jock, who had two sons and a daughter named Jeanette, continued running the business at Maffra. His son John (now deceased) who was ten years older than Colin joined the business in 1948 and Colin started working in the business in 1957 when he was 16 years old. “I was always a mechanic,” Colin said, “and John worked on the sales side of the business. “During the war, horses faded out and tractors came in. After it ended, Dad could see the need for a tractor dealership in the area and in 1950, he started selling little Ferguson tractors and Standard cars. The business is still a Massey Ferguson dealership selling tractors and farm machinery, which are so much bigger now than they were then.” Colin’s son Murray joined the business in 1984. He started as a motor mechanic and now works in sales and operates the business with Colin. Colin’s wife Jennifer operates a tractor and machinery business they have in Bairnsdale.

Jemma & her grandfather Colin McDonald in front of the 90-year-old family business


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First petrol pump in Maffra being installed in 1927

Jock M



Jemma, who is the second youngest of Murray’s four children, started working in the spare parts section of the business almost four years ago at the age of 17. She now works in the office doing the paper work for tractor and farm machinery sales. “We sell a lot of tractors and farm machinery. It’s a big part of the business, more than cars really,” she said. “We have Murray Goulburn in Maffra so there are a lot of dairy farms in the area and vegie farms. We are a Massey Ferguson dealer but we sell other tractors as well.” The delightful fourth generation McDonald said she likes working in the family business. “Dad and I sometimes have different opinions but it’s really good. I enjoy it.” Colin said over the years, the business has employed several local people who started when they were 16 years old and stayed until they retired. He hasn’t retired yet and still enjoys being part of the business but said he doesn’t do as much work as he used to.

Murray McDonald



131 Johnson Street, Maffra Victoria 3860 P: (03) 5147 1744 F: (03) 5147 3200 E:

672 – 678 Princes Highway, Bairnsdale Victoria 3875 P: (03) 5152 3058 F: (03) 5152 5899 LMCT 2

Deborah, Sonya and Nicole at Cafe

The George Gray Centre Inc. is a not for profit organisation recently celebrating 50 years of service to the Wellington Shire, providing both a day service and supported employment opportunities for persons with a disability. Over 125 participants attend the service. Its prime aim is to provide supports across a range of lifestyle areas including daily living and vocational skills, community participation, inclusion, employment and recreation. The supported employment component of the service is called Foster Place Business Service providing both a garden maintenance service and a commercially run cafĂŠ.

Foster Place CafĂŠ is situated in the small township of Maffra and provides hospitality opportunities to twelve employees with a disability. The cafĂŠ is situated in a beautiful garden setting and is a popular destination for many community members residing in the district.

Each day the employees are gaining valuable paid work experience learning to operate the cash register, food preparation and waiting on the many customers. The cafĂŠ is highly competitive with other cafes in the township and is well known for its excellent food and coffee and has been operating for nearly thirty years. The aim of the dedicated staff is to train all employees to a high standard, enabling them to consider a career in open employment in the hospitality industry. One recent employee, Riley, has recently achieved further employment in a local hotel. It is a happy workplace environment with a strong team approach and provides vital employment opportunities to persons with a disability who may otherwise never have that opportunity. By Leonie, Manager Foster Place

Tuesday - Friday 8.30am - 4pm 21 Foster Street, MAFFRA, 3860 Tel: (03) 5147 1335

Brothers and business partners Marcus and Ben Stobie

STOBIE’S Land and Surf By Wendy Morriss

A favourite destination for many consumers is Stobies Land and Surf, a unique retail Brothers Marcus and Ben Stobie are third generation owners who carry a large range of high quality street and surf wear for men, women and children. The popular traders are relaxed, fun loving and helpful. They offer exceptional service and enjoy providing their customers with an old-style bricks and mortar retail experience. “We love what we do,” Marcus said, “and we have so much support from our community. We see local characters who have been shopping


thelifestyle spring 2016

here for many years and there are always new and interesting people coming through the door. The younger generation coming into the town are great and we enjoy the challenge of keeping them happy and satisfied.” Marcus and Ben purchased the business from their father Geoff Stobie in 2006. His father Marcus Morton Stobie, who was known to everyone as Mort, purchased the business originally in 1952 from a man called Gordon Green.

Geoff said his father had previously served in the Australian Navy. He joined at the age of 18 and left when he was 40 and had a young family. He served part of that time on the HMAS Sydney and fortunately was taken off the ship two weeks before it sank. After leaving the Navy, Mort came back to his home town of Maffra and worked at Nestle for 12 months before purchasing the business. He ran the men’s drapery business as a sole trader and worked on his own in the store for 15

Ben, Geoff and Marcus Stobie

Marcus Morton Stobie during his naval career and the HMAS Sydney

establishment with an interesting history in Gippsland’s beautiful town of Maffra. years until Geoff came into the business at the age of 16 years. Sadly his father died in 1966 and Geoff who was then 19 years old was left to continue running the family business.

“In his day, it was a typical small shop that you could make a living from, a bit like the farms in the area then,” Geoff said.

“He used to have Akubra hats, which we sold all the time and work wear was huge. Farmers would come in and buy rubber boots, jungle green work pants, flannelette shirts and woollen jumpers. It was about a third of his trade. He also had a rack of suits and sports coats.” Around the same time, Mort’s mother Ivy Stobie ran a commercial knitting enterprise in the town. She operated four large knitting machines and had a man working for her. “She worked with those machines right up until she was 80 years

old,” Geoff said. “It was the only way you could get a jumper then that was a bit different like a school or football jumper. We’ve had people come into the shop years later and even recently they still have a jumper she knitted.” He said when he was 20 years old; denim jeans became available in Australia. They were Levi 501’s with a button up fly. After that jeans became very popular. Levi’s range of jeans increased and then other brands came in. He had one large area in the shop just for jeans and

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Geoff retired from the business at the age of 60. He said the reason he went into the business was because of his father and the only reason he stayed in it for so long was because he really loved it. Marcus and Ben were working in Melbourne. They came back to Maffra in their late teens and ran an electrical store. “I wanted to keep it going because I was into music,” Marcus said, “and Ben followed his girlfriend back to Melbourne. A few years later he came back and decided working in the shop with Dad was where he wanted to be. Meanwhile, the electrical business had become too competitive to continue with so we decided to move the business on. It coincided with Dad wanting to retire and I wanted to be part of the business so we decided to buy it from him and go into partnership.” He said they started with a yellow and pink cool surf store and traditional men’s wear shop but over the years, they’ve had to keep the business current and relevant and keep moving with the times. “During Dad’s time EFTPOS came in and he had to deal with that transition. He then had to face another challenge in the 80s when the large shopping complexes opened. “The challenge for us going forward is online shopping so we have to market ourselves pretty heavily. People now have the luxury of shopping everywhere and anywhere so we have to give them a reason to come here. If we just opened the door and hoped for the best now we wouldn’t succeed. We have to be very proactive.”

Their business partnership is strong. “Ben and I have always been close. We are flexible guys, we have a laugh, enjoy each other’s company and we don’t take things too seriously." "Ben was married when we took over the business. I think the most challenging time for him was during the first five years when I was single and probably not as reliable as he was in terms of turning up to work on time and turning up in the right frame of mind. But now we are both married with children and established here for the long term.”

sold about 200 pair a week to both men and women. A few years after the arrival of jeans, surf brands came in, which were extremely popular and the first one he stocked was Rip Curl. His work wear continued to sell well for another 20 years until dedicated work wear shops were established and the range extended to compulsory safety gear. Flannelette shirts however, remained very popular and still are today.


thelifestyle spring 2016

In 1978, Geoff joined the Mensland Group and the store known as Stobies became Stobies Mensland. Then in 1984, after it became evident they wouldn’t be able to make a living from the small area they had, the store was extended to double its size. He said when he first took over the business, there weren’t any travelling sales reps. He had to go to Flinders Lane in Melbourne to buy stock but he could practically fill the store from that lane and everything then was made in Australia.

“When Dad first retired, there was a time when we both thought is this bloke ever going to just leave. He would show his face probably four or five times a day but then gradually he got used to retirement and started doing things he enjoyed. We call him ‘The Boots’; he’s the spare parts guy. He still calls in after 10 years and he helps us during the Christmas period when we are busy or when Ben and I need to go to Melbourne buying. He’s great to have around and it’s amazing how many older customers still come in and enjoy seeing him.”

STOBIE’S Land and Surf

Biggest & Best range of quality Men's & Ladies Clothing in the area... Guaranteed! Since 1951

For any enquiries, no matter how big or small, contact the team. 60 Johnson Street Maffra, VIC 3860 Ph - (03) 51472333 Mon- Fri:Â 9am-5.30pm | Sat: 9am-12noon Find us on Facebook & Instagram


Country Road Real Estate is a family owned and operated real estate agency, servicing property vendors and buyers in Maffra and surrounding areas. We provide our clients with unsurpassed service, ethics, professionalism and integrity. We provide a complete range of Real Estate services including the sale of Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Rural properties.

Our enthusiastic team has the drive and passion to provide exceptional service and to cater for your individual real estate needs. We understand the importance of buying, selling and leasing. If you’re thinking about selling or leasing your property, come in and see us or just give us a call on (03) 5141 1026 or email us at

136 Johnson Street | Maffra VIC 3860



Phone: (03) 5147 1668

17 Johnson Street, MAFFRA 3860 50

thelifestyle spring 2016

Mon-Fri 8.00am-5.00pm Sat 8.00am-11.30am

Jasper Organic & Fairtrade Coffee Licensed Café Open 7 Days

Breakfast & Lunch Showcasing Local Produce & Homemade Sweets

Monday to Friday: 8am to 4.30pm Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 3pm Catering for Private Functions Available

138 Johnson Street Maffra 3860 P: 03 5147 2220



Hours Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm Saturday 9.00am - 12.00pm 114-116 Johnson Street Maffra Vic 3860 Tel: 5147 1973 Fax: 5141 1610

Come and visit us at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection, and explore our outstanding display of more than 160 fascinating cars, motorbikes, machinery, historic vehicles and auto memorabilia.

Open Friday to Monday, 10am to 4pm and every day during school holidays. 1A Sale Rd, MAFFRA Phone: (03) 5147 3223 Our feature exhibits change every four months. For more information see

thelifestyle spring 2016


Like many great ideas in Australia, the one to form the Gippsland Vehicle Collection (GVC) came about over a few beers. The Grand Prix Rally had travelled through Maffra for the third time in a row and the Maffra and District Car Club had organised a display of cars to line Johnson Street. That night there was a function at the Maffra Hall and three men got talking. “We were saying it was a shame that all the great cars on show would be pushed back into their sheds and not seen again,” GVC Executive Member, Peter Quennell said.


thelifestyle spring 2016

“One had just been to the Launceston Motor Museum and was very impressed with it. Yack, yack and a few more beers and we decided ‘we could do that’.” And do it they did. That conversation led to two years of “hard slog” that transformed a dilapidated, abandoned building into Maffra’s, and the wider region’s, premier tourist attraction. Since then it has displayed 3,200 vehicles, had about 93,750 people through its doors, held 32 display days and provided immeasurable hours of nostalgia, memories, education, insight and laughs for members and visitors alike.

A key feature of the GVC is that its exhibition isn’t static, but changes every four months, in line with three different display themes each year. The current display, Never Been Kissed, features vehicles that have been preserved rather than restored. On November 13, that exhibition will change over and the Off Roaders exhibition will be launched. “We do have permanent pieces, but it was important to us that the Collection be constantly changing, so it can remain as big an attraction for locals as it is for visitors,” Mr Quennell said. “We get such a great array of vehicles in here, you don’t have to be an enthusiast. We have


some very rare, unique and otherwise special vehicles that the enthusiasts get very excited about. But our visitors get just as excited by seeing a vehicle that reminds them of going on Sunday drives with their grandparents, or visiting their cousins’ farm when they were kids.” But that is just one dimension of the GVC. “We can give you statistics on how many people have come to Maffra to visit the motor museum and what the economic value has been to the region, but the real story goes beyond that,” Executive Member Sue Lawrence said.

By Kellie Willis

“The real story is about a group of people from all backgrounds and walks of life, who would never have had any reason to know each other but for their vehicles. The way they have come together to build this incredible asset and the connections they have forged has been something quite amazing,” she said.

“It really is a strong community of people who not only work hard to support the Motor Museum but who provide the same support for each other when it’s needed.”

“Most vehicle enthusiasts talk to their vehicles,” Mr Quennell added with a grin. “But to have a whole organisation of people who share your passion is something quite powerful.” As much as the incredible array of vehicles on show, these volunteers form the character, allure and uniqueness of the GVC and make it a place to keep coming back to.

thelifestyle spring 2016



MAFFRA'S 128th SHOW By Wendy Morriss

Continuous innovative ideas and an enormous amount of community support have made the Maffra and District Show an outstanding annual country event.


thelifestyle spring 2016

Show committee president Matt Coleman and show committee life member Jen McDavitt Photo by Michael Coggan

The show has represented Maffra and the surrounding district’s agricultural community for 128 years. The first show, which was held on Wednesday March 21st, in 1888 was officially opened by the then State Premier Mr Duncan Gillies. The following day, the Maffra Spectator newspaper made reference to the newly erected showroom on the grounds stating it was ‘equal to the best in the colony’. This year, the Maffra Show, which is to be held on October 21st and 22nd, will be enhanced with a French theme. The Murray Goulburn food and wine court will hold cooking demonstrations by a celebrity chef, a frog in the pond competition for children and a pate competition for adults. There will be snail races, a Tour de France, live music, gourmet food, local wine and beer, preparation and cooking of escargot, Frenchstyle cheese making and more. Other items on the agenda include equestrian events, livestock judging (cattle, ponies, poultry and goats), junior calf rearing, Maffra’s Rainbow Cake with a Twist, pet parade, animal nursery, wood chop, Shetland Derby, whip cracking, mechanical bull, vintage cars and engines,

chainsaw sculpting, wood turning, Eco-shed, health awareness stands, food, art, craft and floral displays, side show and rides, KoKo the Clown, Jim the Magician and Cirque Mystique Mime. The many wonderful displays and activities over the two-day period will conclude with a night carnival and fireworks display, which again is sure to make the Maffra Show a resounding success. President of the show committee Matt Coleman said each year they try to maintain a traditional country show while adding many other novel and interesting items to the program. He said unique to Maffra show is the Maffra Mile foot race, the Brian Daley Demolition Derby and being the first show in the area to host the School Friday program, an education day for children from multiple schools in the district that provides them with an opportunity to learn more about the show, what’s on offer and how to become involved. Another item unique to Maffra Show is an artistic animal project. “Each year we have large ply

Jen McDavitt and Matt Coleman

thelifestyle spring 2016


board cut outs of a particular animal displayed around the ground that have been painted by passionate local artists,” he said. “It’s been a really successful ongoing program for the last five years that involves another local group and it’s well supported.” Matt is a third generation dairy farmer in the area and second generation of family involved in the Maffra Show. “My father was involved in the show for about 25 years so I grew up with it,” he said. “I was a steward and I took my calves for the calf rearing competition. It’s a great community event that I’m really passionate about and we are very grateful for the support we get from the local community.”

Jen McDavitt, who is a life member has lived in the Maffra district for more than 40 years and has been a member of the show committee for more than 20 years. “What is great about the Maffra Show is we’ve been able to keep that original rural atmosphere while creating a lot of fun. A family friendly show that caters for all age groups providing great spectator and participation opportunities.” she said. “It’s a traditional country show with more. We also have a very active committee and an enormous amount of fantastic community support. “We’ve tried to keep the price down so it’s very affordable and there are many things people can do with minimal or no cost.”


Equestrian - Show Jumping 7.30am Horse Events 8.30am Stock horses 9.00am


Miniature Ponies & Shetlands 9.30am Poultry & Beef Cattle 9.30am Dairy Cattle & Goats 10.30am


Junior Calf Rearing 10.00am Rainbow Cake with a Twist 10.00am Primary School ‘French’ Cook-off 10.00am Pet Parade 12.00pm Miss Maffra & Tiny Tots 1.30pm Dog High Jump 3.30pm Wood Chop 5.30pm Shetland Derby 6.30pm Whip Cracking 6.45pm & 8.20pm


thelifestyle spring 2016


Jen also attended the show as a child. “My father always had a trade stand in the show for Wilmour Motors, the family’s Ford dealership in Maffra. My brother runs the business now and continues the tradition. “When I first came onto the show committee, there were many trade stands but since then most of them have gone to field days. We’ve brought back some of the entertainment including the dog high jump, introduced new events and ideas and we established the night carnival. We now have a great country show that so many people put so much work into.” For more information visit



KoKo the Clown- 10am - 2pm | Show 11am Jim the Magican - 12 - 4pm | Show 3pm Cirque Mystique Mime - 12 - 3pm

LOTS MORE TO SEE, DO, EAT & DRINK Two full exhibition pavilions - open till 9pm


MURRAY GOULBURN Wine & Food Court with a French Theme – cooking demonstrations, Frog in the Pond & Pate competitions, Snail Races, Tour de France, Live Music from 12-6pm, gourmet food & local wine & beer and more … Also – Venomwise, animal nursery, vintage cars & engines, chainsaw sculpturing, wood turning, Artistic animals, Eco-Shed, Health awareness stands


Showmens’ Side Show & Rides, Mechanical Bull, Kids Zone fun, Demolition Derby, Country Kids Show, Maffra Mile, TC Trickz Trial Bikes & Fireworks


AUSURE INSURANCE BROKERS GIPPSLAND BUSINESS INSURANCE Business insurance selected specifically to suit the risks that your business faces each day. PERSONAL HOME & MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCES Home and motor vehicle insurances that are tailored specifically to your needs. FARM INSURANCE All your farming insurance needs.


‘A True Country Show’ Saturday - Saturday Night 22nd October 2016 (Horse events commence Friday)

MOTOR VEHICLE FLEET INSURANCES Insurance to protect your fleet of vehicles and assist you to manage your business.



Ph 03 5147 1880

Ph 03 5152 3028

147 Johnson Street Maffra VIC 3860

83 Main Street Bairnsdale VIC 3875


Maffra Recreation Reserve Admittance to Show Family $30 - Single $15 For more information visit or email : Show Office 03 5141 1235 or 0400 904 030


Since 1993

GIPPSLAND BREEDER SERVICING AUSTRALIA & BEYOND STUD & COMMERCIAL ALPACAS AVAILABLE Our primary breeding focus is fleece with an eye to good temperament, conformation & breeding ability We also stock a good range of the commercial range of alpaca garments and rugs

WHAT’S ON – Shearing September & October POP-UP SHOP July & December Other times, please contact us FIELD DAYS – Farm World & East Gippsland Jen & Peter McDavitt - 38 Sellings Lane, Maffra ph 0351 472444 | mb 0412 383 655 | em merungle

Traditional Bakery since 1973

The Home of the Maffra Pie 1996 Gold Medal Winner

Bread | Pastries | Cakes | Salad Bar | Coffee

Monday to Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm Saturday 8.00am - 1.00pm

18 Foster Street Maffra, 3860 Tel: 5147 1832

thelifestyle spring 2016



The year was 1937, the worst of the Great Depression had passed and for John and Graham Wilson and James Ronald "Ron" Seymour it seemed like a good time to buy a business. On the 4th of October, 1937, Wilmour Motors was formed in what is still the little town of Maffra. One year later, at the ripe old age of 25, Ron bought out the Wilson brothers and continued to run Wilmour Motors with his sister, Noreen. Things went well at Wilmour Motors and in 1953 the dealership packed up from its original premises and moved further down Johnson Street, the main stretch in Maffra, to their brand new purpose-built Ford showroom. The selling point for the land was that it had been used as a circus showground and promised "soil well-fertilised by elephants"!

Wilmour Motors prospered as Ron built on a loyal local customer base. Through the war, and into the fifties, the small dealership delivered and serviced almost every Ford model from the early V8s, to Pilots, Twin Spinners and Customlines, until the release of the Falcon, and the modern era of cars which followed. As the years progressed, Wilmour Motors built a strong Ford brand loyalty in the Maffra region. In 1975, after nearly forty years of service to the people of Maffra and surrounds, a retiring Ron Seymour put out the call to his son, John, to "come home and take over the family business". John obliged, packed his bags, left the Ford factory in Broadmeadows and moved back to his home town.


thelifestyle spring 2016

Since then, John has never looked back and is glad he kept the business in the family. Assuming all goes well in the new car trade, he hopes one of his own three sons will continue the business in years to come. John has continued to build the business employing a friendly, knowledgeable and loyal team with one member of that team, the workshop manager Garry Berkelmans, who has been with him for over 40 years, which is considered a milestone in the service industry.

Workshop Manager - Garry Berkelmans reached his 40 year service milestone on 29 September 2015

Wilmour Motors boasts comprehensive workshop service as well as being an Official Ford Dealership stocking many different models in the Ford range. Now celebrating 79 years in business, you would think Wilmour Motors would be heading towards retiring age. But there are just too many happy customers at Wilmour Motors to consider giving the business away. Businesses like Wilmour Motors are powerful examples of the strength of small business. Supporting a local customer base are strong community ties built on long-standing historical relationships, and years of commitment and hard work. You can't buy that kind of loyalty and trust, it can only be earned.

...the little dealer with the Big Heart!



163 Johnson Street, MAFFRA 3860 Phone: (03) 5147 1344 Email: LMCT 1986


Entering Ken Robert’s large, airy studio is like entering an Aladdin’s cave. A kaleidoscope of colours and textures from canvases, rugs, bookcases and collected items, saturates the senses in seconds. This, and the homely feel are an expression of the creative talents of this talented artist, writer, renovator, avid gardener and nurse, who resides in the township of Maffra. Ken’s home, a charming cottage, happens to be his childhood home and when he had a chance to purchase it he thought “why not?” It has been lovingly renovated, keeping many original items such as the kitchen sink from his childhood. Home life plays an integral part in his artistic journey. His family has long ties with the area. Ken’s parents grew up in nearby Boisdale. Ken spent his childhood in Maffra, getting an education at St. Mary’s Catholic School and Maffra High School. After leaving school, Ken worked in the office at Telecom in Sale for 16 years until a redundancy initiated a change of career. He undertook retraining as a nurse in Bairnsdale. Working as a nurse in McDonald Wing Nursing home at Maffra hospital (where Ken was also born) has been his main occupation for the last 21 years. Ken also spent some time living in nearby Boisdale. So how did Ken become interested in Art? A trip to Greece while travelling the world when


thelifestyle spring 2016

Ken was in his mid 20’s was the light bulb moment. Ken says, “I remember being in Greece, and looking at the blue sky and white buildings and thinking, ‘I want to paint that’.” Returning home, he started painting canvases using acrylic paint and the journey began! He says he is “self taught” and paints by “intuition with no rules”. He has continued to travel to many parts of the world but is always glad to return to his beloved area of Gippsland. Subject matter for his early works, were the people, objects and landscape Ken saw in his daily life. An early portrait of his father shows his future interest in portraiture and love of raw colour in the systematic pointillist technique of applying colour to the canvas in small dots. Ken feels “totally connected” to this land. Ken also states “Maffra is my muse. Family, people, places, environment.” However, Ken feels his mum’s battle with throat cancer and 5 years of treatment was the main catalyst when he began to paint with a purpose. He was motivated to paint a portrait depicting her inner strength, and it was featured in a Cancer Council promotion. He also states about his mum, “How lucky am I to give the gift of recognition to the most important person in my life”. It got Ken thinking and led to him to speaking to and recording the lives of 25 local women. The underlying common theme according to Ken was “ordinary women, doing extraordinary things in their community”.

This series of portraits “Country Women Country Lives” in 2008 conveyed the strength, resilience and achievements of rural women. Ken states, “My country women exhibition, that l did for my mum, came full circle after l donated money from all the sales to Gippsland Women's Health Service who then established a wig bank for women suffering cancer. A fitting result to close the cancer circle and honour my mum.” A series of paintings of local men, titled “Country Men”, concentrating on similar themes followed in 2010. An exhibition, “Portrait of a Country Town,” in 2011, documenting local and Maffra scenes, such as the main street and iconic buildings, saw recognition and a positive response from the community. Being an aged care nurse also keeps Ken in touch with stories of Maffra’s past as he listens and goes about caring for the elderly. A few random stories that Ken wrote for ABC Open online became the impetus for a new compilation. Without, in his words “any idea” he wrote, published, distributed and advertised his book “Country Town Quilt”, which continues selling today. It is a patchwork of stories that detail life growing up in a country town. Ken’s current artistic work is environment based and sees him using the traditional motifs of gum leaves, gumnuts, flowers and birds. However that

is where the tradition ends. They are depicted on large “in your face” canvases in a range of bright fluorescent acrylic colours. Ken states of these pieces, “They are fantasy pieces really. I don’t need to go away or walk out the door.” The line, form and shape combine to give a dizzying array of images in which the viewer can read into the pattern many images. Ken uses facebook to broadcast his work and has a quite a following. A recent painting became an interesting experiment. He photographed the stages of the work, placed these on facebook, and received a variety of responses. One comment was “I love the bird in the bottom corner”. He may not have intended to paint a bird but the pattern has suggested such an image. Ken then highlighted this and actually turned it into the suggested form.

This willingness to be very interactive with his audience further shows that Ken is a being who really likes to connect with others and help give them a sense of belonging. In a new venture Ken has designed a range of soft furnishings using specially printed fabric, depicting images from his vibrant paintings. These quality items, such as cushions, scarves and a variety of bags and small home wares are beautifully displayed on a table in his studio. He enlisted the sewing skills of locals Jenny Osmand, Irene Sherrin and Lisa Manning and a new cottage industry was born! Ken’s work over the years has been exhibited at Yarram, Richmond, Yarragon, Bairnsdale, Meeniyan, Stratford, Sale, Maffra, Briagolong and

Melbourne. He has the honour of being “the first male to exhibit at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in Melbourne” as a result of his “Country Women” exhibition. What does the future hold for this caring artist who just loves his hometown? Not one to put off a challenge, Ken has acquired the old 1920’s former Uniting Church in nearby Boisdale, much to the delight of the Boisdale community. He hopes to restore the building to be used as a residence and studio. He continues his community involvement being a member of Maffra and District Historical Society, Boisdale and District Progress Association, Maffra Motor Museum and Trustee with the Maffra Cemetery Trust. Ken’s ability to take up a challenge, display resilience and a positive attitude, is a testament to his Mum’s legacy. Ken’s book can be purchased from Gippsland Real Estate in Maffra and “Rust Emporium” in nearby Briagolong. The soft furnishings and home wares will be exclusively available in December from “Rust Emporium”. Ken’s work illustrates that you need not wander far from your backdoor to find wonder and inspiration! “We live in a fantastic part of the world”, he says. Ken’s contact details Mob. 0437109562 Facebook: Ken Roberts Art Photographs by Ali Fullard And Ken Roberts

thelifestyle spring 2016


Soap Nuts Home Brew, Kombucha, Cheese Making, Yogurt Cultures and Equipment for you to CREATE and PRESERVE your own Preservative Free Organic Food and Drinks Soap Nuts (actually a berry) are completely hypoallergenic, therefore are not likely to agitate or irritate the skin. They are a great alternative as a washing detergent. Soap Nuts are also anti-fungal the natural saponin deters the growth of fungus and bacteria, this makes them a great dish washing alternative in there liquid form. Soap Nuts will work in any machine, and also for hand washing. Hot or Cold Water: The saponins are released quicker in hotter water, so for very dirty or large loads hot water can be used to release more soap from the nuts.

Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.30pm | Sat 9.00am-12noon Phone: 0428 871 017 109A Johnson Street, MAFFRA 3860

“I have been using them for some time now and wash my shop floors and front windows, dishes, cheese cloths, and my partner uses them at home in the laundry and around the house.”

GIPPSLAND - between the mountains & the sea

Sm all Secure Hostel in the Heart of M affra "A friend and myself stayed here to complete our 3 months farm work. The hostel has a great homely feel about it, especially the open fire for the cold nights. Marg and Ron are extremely helpful when it comes to getting people farm work, during my whole three months there wasn't one person in the hostel without work, we arrived a week early and they even sorted us with a few days work for local farmers before starting to get some extra cash and pass the day. Marg and Ron also put great effort into shared meals to get people together to say goodbye to long term residents, she's also a really good cook…… I had the best three months with memories that will last a lifetime and also made some new really good friends." Reference: Review July 2016 ~ 5 out of 5 stars

117 Johnson Street Maffra Vic 3860 Tel: (03) 5147 1600



Business for Sale, contact King & Heath First National Commercial, 43 Bailey St Bairnsdale 62

thelifestyle spring 2016



Open to Members, Members’ Guests & Visitors Golf Lessons are Available with Professional Golfer, Trevor Pridmore 0417 376 699 - Bookings are Required RV Park - $20 per night Powered Site with use of Change Room Facilities Competition days Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday

Phone: 0351 471 884 Fulton Road, MAFFRA 3860


Monday – Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm Saturday 9am to 12.30pm 66 Johnson Street, MAFFRA, 3860 PH: 03 5147 2129 Like us on


The Shoe Shop Maffra

Supplier of Leading Brands for All Ages






ghd Straighteners OLAPLEX Hair Perfector DE LORENZO Products Hours: Monday 9.00am - 5.30pm | Tuesday: Closed Wednesday 9.00am - 8.00pm | Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm Friday 9.00am - 6.00pm | Saturday 8.00am - 12.00pm

Monday - Friday 9am-5pm Saturday 9am-12noon

121B Johnson Street, Maffra 3860 TEL: 5147 3360

91 Johnson Street Maffra Vic 3860

Tel: 5147 2600 thelifestyle spring 2016


A trickle of wine

in a river of Milk By Stuart Hay

Grape vines are not propagated from seed they are grown from cuttings. The seed of an idea is often the best way to grow a business when planted in a fertile mind. Glenmaggie winery definitely grew from a seed not a cutting.

The Yarra Valley is an example of wineries growing from cuttings. The template is everywhere and to start your own winery you replicate a version of those surrounding you. Glenmaggie winery had no winery nearby for some 50km and is situated in the heart of a dairy irrigation district. There would be no popping over to the neighbours for some fermentation advice or to borrow a pump.

In 1985 the family had sourced some cuttings from Graeme Leith’s vineyard at Passing Clouds in Bendigo. An acre of Shiraz and Cabernet were planted but had been left to rack and ruin. When Tony and Fleur bought the property from his brother they set about rehabilitating the acre and planted six more in 1995; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet.

Glenmaggie was to be real regional pioneering stuff.

While the vines grew Tony finished building the house and ran the family dairy farm as a source of income. It made him spend hours in the milking shed, it was important for him to be comfortable there as it has now been recommissioned as his wine making facility. Tony taught himself winemaking by reading books and working with Peter Atkins at the Eltham Amateur Winemaking Association. It is a common thread I find in small local wineries. A strong belief that nothing is rocket science and any skill can be acquired.

So, who planted this vigorous seed and in which fertile mind?

Here begins the story. Tony Dawkins remembered a relief milking friend of the family who was a fruiter in Melbourne insisting they should plant vines. He thought the remote bull paddock on the hill above the family property would be an ideal site. The humus of young 12 year old Tony’s mind had just the right make up to allow that seed to sink unshakeable roots. Years passed and Tony was working with his wife Fleur, in Melbourne. His brother who had bought the block from their parents had grown tired of it half way through building a house on it and the seed saw a chance to flower.

There are a few factors that make Glenmaggie’s site unique. The rise, the winery is situated on has gravelly loam to two feet below, which is clay. This means the top layer drains freely while the vines have a reservoir of moist clay to suck water from during dry periods. The surrounding countryside is all

chocolate loam, which would give problems of excess vigour. They also benefit from being in a rain shadow. Traralgon gets 30 inches a year while their area only gets 22. The exposure of the site is excellent with the only risk factor being rare spring frosts. When it comes to his winemaking I ask Tony what he likes to make and he replies quickly “a living”. It’s an excellent summary of the challenge of surviving on the production of a winery where the expenses are constant and the income is sporadic. That said, Fleur is a busy marketer and salesperson for the business. She leverages some of the unique wines in the range like a sparkling Semillon and an awarded Cabernet Sauvignon. Tony sees Cabernet Sauvignon as the premier varietal in his vineyard. He believes his site is particularly suited to growing ripe, expressive and fragrant Cabernet Sauvignon. A tasting in Tony’s winery is an immersive experience that reminds of a long distant trip to France where I was tasting with small producers at their wineries. You stand amongst barrels and tanks with hoses weaving together between your feet and the detritus of a busy vintage surrounding you. It is cluttered and unkempt and completely fascinating as you watch the winemaker clambering between barrels to draw a sample with his pipette.

thelifestyle spring 2016


Tony & Fleur Tony would discuss the vintage and the fruits characteristics as he let the wine fall into my glass and I soaked it all in thinking this is what winemaking and wine appreciation is all about. Large wineries present a sterile, scientific face that only swings toward the organic once the wine is in an oak barrel. From the tasting of Glenmaggie’s unfinished 2016 wines his chardonnay continues to standout as one of the best in Gippsland with his style moving away from richness to subtle timber savoury character and crisp white peach fruit. His cabernet has excellent structure and a cassis purity. Semillon is the surprise packet showing a structure for the long haul and demanding some be bottled as a still wine from this year. Tony and Fleur are looking to the future with new plantings and new building ideas. The foundations of their business are strong and they are a great part of Gippsland’s far flung wine industry, doing their bit to uphold the quality, which attracts visitors to our region. Bravo! Glenmaggie Wines Phone: (03) 5145 1131 439 McLachlans Rd, Tinamba West 3859 Photographs courtesy of Tony & Fleur | Glenmaggie Wines


thelifestyle spring 2016

Courtesy Bus Available FARMERS ARMS HOTEL NEWRY Main Street, Newry, VIC 3859 Ph: 03 5145 1312 OPEN: 11.30am – 11.00pm DINING HOURS Wednesday to Saturday: Lunch 12pm to 1.30pm Dinner 6pm to 8pm Sunday: Lunch 12pm to 2pm

Quirky Pictures

OOS M A R AFF tell me

by Marguerite Sharlott



thelifestyle spring 2016

ase “Doris, ple NOT steers are that those cra!” y L wearing

BP Service Stations Fish Creek

2 Falls Road, Fish Creek Vic 3959 Tel/Fax: 5683 2521 Email:


94 Main Street, Foster Vic 3960 Tel/Fax: 5682 2008 Email:


25 Williams Street, Inverloch Vic 3996 Tel/Fax: 5674 1442 Email:


1760 Princes Highway, Johnsonville Vic 3902 Office/Fax: 5156 4102 Workshop: 5156 4233 Email:


2-8 Commercial Street, Korumburra Vic 3950 Tel/Fax: 5655 1668 Email:


95 Bair Street, Leongartha Vic 3953 Tel/Fax: 5662 2440 Email:

Muddy Creek

26 Foster Road, Toora Vic 3962 Tel/Fax: 5686 2324 Email:


5327 Princes Highway, Newmerella Vic 3886 Tel/Fax: 5154 1601 Email:


106 Ridgway, Mirboo North Vic 3871 Tel/Fax: 5668 2377 Email:

Sale Manager Darren Hanks Maureen (Consul Operator) with Leanne Raspin (Manager)

344 Raglan Street, Sale Vic 3850 Tel: 5143 1030 Fax: 5143 2686 Email:


23-29 Shakespeare Street, Traralgon VIC 3844 Tel: 5174 1138 Email:


7 Anderson Street, Leongatha VIC 3953 Tel/Fax: 5662 2834 Email:


FOSTER 94 Main Street, Foster Vic 3960 Tel/Fax: 5682 2008 Email: Manager: Leanne Raspin

103-105 McKenzie Street, Wonthaggi Vic 3995 Tel: 5672 3988 Fax: 5672 5229 Email:


325 Commercial Street, Yarram Vic 3971 Tel: 5182 6019 Fax: 5182 6458 Email:

Evans Petroleum Head Office 22 Hughes Street, Leongatha Vic 3953 Tel: 5662 2217 Web:


By Geoff Watt

David Neale & Wendy Brownrigg Celebrating 20 Years in the business we love. Anyone who has ever owned and operated his or her own retail business knows just how hard it is. Growing and developing a niche market and managing the day-to-day operations while staying ahead of the big corporates that seem to want to be everything to everybody – it's a damn, hard slog. So when a business is celebrating a great number of years of being opened at the one location, particularly in a country town, it is both cause for celebration and reflection. It not only says something about what the owners offer in business terms – service, competitive price, product range and versatility - but also what they have offered the local community. One such business is Bairnsdale Camping and Outdoors, run by David Neale and Wendy Brownrigg. Whilst Wendy is a born and bred Bairnsdale resident, David first came down from Melbourne to the Lakes area of Gippsland way back in 1977 – so he isn’t quite a local! I don’t think thirty-nine years quite qualifies – it shouldn’t be too much longer though. David was always an outdoor person; “I grew up with family camping in the 1950’s, back when families did regularly go camping and then cubs and scouts. I’ve always enjoyed being in the outdoors – I love traveling.” What brought David down was to work at a school outdoor centre on the Banksia Peninsula on Lake Victoria. David was an outdoor education teacher and he loved every minute of it. But as David explains there comes a time, “after fifteen years when you think I had better do something else – basically because I couldn’t see me at sixty jumping into the Lake in the middle of winter and doing all those physical activities, you know – caving, rock climbing, kayaking, horse riding – all the fun things. I had enjoyed the work I did right


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up to the very last day and wanted to remain in an outdoor type industry because I loved it so much.” So David got a job at the local Bairnsdale Aussie Disposals for a while but eventually he realised that taking on a franchise with them wasn’t for him. “So I said to Wendy, we’ll start our own business.” Wendy had actually been working at the hospital in administration for a number of years and was looking for a change of direction. It must have been an exciting and satisfying time for the two of them, opening up their own ‘outdoors’ business in the area they both loved to live and explore. “Wendy and I originally met through the bushwalking club here in Bairnsdale many years ago. She had done a great deal of travelling overseas and I had done a lot of travelling all throughout Australia. We both loved the great outdoors.” But they just didn’t open up in direct competition with David’s former employers as David explains: “Because at the time I obviously knew the people who ran Aussie Disposals, we deliberately tried not to stock the same items that they did so that we would fill the next niche in the market – a bit more specialised if you like, so a bit higher quality. We weren’t going to just cut the outdoor equipment sales ‘pie’ in half and take it. What we wanted to do was make the ‘pie’ bigger and then both businesses could take their appropriate share. I still happily send people over the road to Steve at Aussie Disposals.” Isn’t that a wonderful attitude to have? Particularly in a country town where people’s livelihoods and happiness are so entwined. When we care enough for others and think creatively, there is room for all to survive and prosper – when we work together.

“Wendy and I were married at the time we opened the store but we aren’t now, but we still own the business and both of us work in it full time. It was a little difficult at first but it really works well. Its like I am in partnership with a business partner so all decisions are discussed before being put into place, whereas previously we might just decide something and tell the other one after the fact. I tend to look after the products and stock purchasing and Wendy looks after the accounting, the business side and selling. Part of the reason for David and Wendy’s longevity in business is their integrity. “We would rather not sell someone something than sell them the wrong thing. We always talk to customers – What’s it for? How is it going to be used? To ensure that they are getting what they really need and not just what someone wants to sell them. And it’s that personal experience that we bring to the business that I think has helped the business’ longevity.” David cannot contain his enthusiasm for the area he chose to live in forty odd years ago; “Here in Bairnsdale we are on the doorstep of so much beautiful country. Forests, beaches, lake and river systems, mountains, snow – we’ve got it all. And I’d like to think my enthusiasm for the country around here enhances a customer’s experience when they come in. Often people will come in for a map and that’s a situation where I can add value by saying something like “Have you thought about doing this?” because more times than not I have explored the area they are intending to go.” Now that’s something you can’t get buying online; that one to one discussion about the appropriateness of gear, the conditions of roads, what to take, etc. What that person who you are talking to face to face has already experienced –

a ‘real time’ two-way conversation in front of all the gear and maps. Which brings us to competition. Such stores have had to not only deal with the bigger franchises in camping equipment, as well as all the big corporate retailers with their own camping sections but also the more recent online competition. I ask if they have ever felt overwhelmed by it all? “Competition is a fact of life. The biggest misconception I think is that we cannot compete with the big camping chain stores, but in reality we can match them on just about every one of their every day items – some things we have may even be cheaper. There are some people who will buy purely on price, irrespective of the quality of the item or the experience of buying.

But most people still need the touch and feel – to see a swag while it is up, to unzip it and have a look in it, to get a feel for it. And if ever you want an item of quality it is when you are venturing out into the great Australian outdoors where you can be a long way away from a shop if your equipment fails due to poor quality.” “Part of my expertise is my experience with school camps and the type of gear that is suited to those type of activities.” The mention of children’s camps makes David pause to reflect: “Unfortunately outdoor education as a school program is a shrinking market and it is litigation that has caused that to happen. There is always an element of

risk if you decide to walk out your front door and outdoor education is really designed to increase kids’ boundaries and horizons – an exposure to things they wouldn’t normally choose to do. In my time I must have put three thousand kids over rock faces to abseil down – now out of that three thousand there may have been only thirty that would have naturally rushed at the opportunity. But in that environment they didn’t have an option – they just had to do it. And to see a kid at the bottom of an abseil (or at the top of a climb) with a huge grin saying, “Yes, I did it!” was so rewarding – and they were better for the experience.”

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Being such an outdoors kind of guy I assume David goes four wheel driving and I am right. Although in the past he has been a member of the local four wheel drive club, a lot of the trips he does now are not attached to a four wheel drive club – it is difficult being an active member when your business is open seven days a week! I ask if he always goes out with at least one other vehicle – just in case. “Common sense would say that I would not do anything too serious on my own – you always go with another vehicle in case you get into trouble”. But then I prod...and of course he has gone out by himself before and got into trouble! He describes it thus: “Of course there have been times when things have come a bit unstuck out in the bush – one night I walked fiftyeight kilometers, starting at three in the afternoon and finishing up in Bruthen at three o’clock in the morning. It was after burning my clutch out half way up a spur coming out of the Haunted Stream and I’d gone off on a little side track down the Dawson City track – it was the end of July and it was really greasy.” Hang on a minute – he had to walk fifty-eight kilometers because his clutch had burnt out trying

to get through...and walked by himself! Hmm. But the good news is he had appropriate clothing to do it because he had stocked up at Bairnsdale Camping and Outdoors before he went! With regard to camping spots in Gippsland, David has “a few hidden gems that he is keeping quiet”. I would suggest you get into the shop and twist his arm. Who knows what you might discover – it certainly won’t be found online! David and Wendy’s greatest satisfaction in being in business for twenty years is the returning satisfied customers; “you know, customers coming back after their trips and thanking us for the advice and equipment we gave them. Getting postcards too – like one from Mt Kilimanjaro saying, “the boots you recommended have been great”. And we have had families who have been repeat customers over many years, like the family we saw for about 12 years straight. They came to Lakes Entrance from Melbourne every January to camp and we watched their kids grow up over the years. One time they came down outside of their usual camping holiday period to tell us that we wouldn’t be seeing them anymore because they were moving up north of Sydney and to thank us.

So that kind of stuff is very satisfying. At least a third of our business comes from the Melbourne holiday crowd.” David is such a likeable, humorous guy. He knows his stuff and will bend over backwards to help you with your journey into the great outback. He has also extensively toured the great Australian Centre as well, so he has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is hard to find. But its nice to know its here in the heart of Gippsland to benefit us. David finishes: “There are not many days where I put the key in to lock the back door and say, “That was not a great day”. After twenty years that says something about David and Wendy and their love of people and the great outdoors. “We live in a great country and if we can encourage people to get out and see a bit more of it, we get tremendous satisfaction.” Thank you David and Wendy. And Congratulations on a job well done. Photographs by Wildwood Photography

Everything you need to best enjoy your camping and outdoor adventures, holidays and leisure time in beautiful East Gippsland

Telephone (03) 5153 1497

220 Main Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, 3875 72

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Re m ark able Hol id ay Re tre at Fe at u r e s o f t h e Re s o rt 19 Self-contained lodges ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms, each with its own secluded privacy (including disabled friendly lodges) with either bush or water views On the shore of Lake Victoria Gippsland Lakes - East Gippsland with a private jetty Perfect for Holidays, Special Occasions, Celebrations Child Friendly Indoor Heated Pool, Spa & Tennis Court Complimentary canoes, kayaks, bicycles & DVD’s Interact with the residential wildlife Conference centre packages with accommodation Function Centre for Business, Events & Weddings Seating up to 100 people

“4.5 Star Self Contained Accommodation, with Waterfront and Bush Views Wedding and Conference Centre on the Gippsland Lakes in Eastern Victoria”

200 Wattle Point Road Forge Creek 3875

Phone: 03 5157 7517


If you want to stay at a genuine retreat that is only a 15 minute drive from Bairnsdale, then Waterfront Retreat At Wattle Point, nestled on the banks of Lake Victoria, is the place to go. I stayed at the 2 bedroom plus loft self contained lodge which had a clear view of Lake Victoria and upon entry the fire was lit and so after a long drive I was able to settle into a comfortable warm room. With all the facilities available, you only have to bring your own food and drinks and all the facilities you need to cook or refrigerate are supplied. There is also a BBQ on the undercover deck and with nature just outside the door it is a wonderful and rejuvenating place to stay.


After a very comfortable sleep I woke up to a magnificent view and with many walking tracks in and around the lodges, you can also grab a bike and take a ride around the Retreat. Also, for those who would rather have a leisurely stay, an enclosed heated swimming pool and spa is on offer, along with a tennis court. There are also kayaks available to take a pleasant paddle on the very safe Lake Victoria. The one thing that can be difficult when staying at a retreat with 19 lodges is finding your lodge, but after you pick up a map at the office from the friendly staff it is easy to find your accommodation, and if you aren't sure, well you just have to ask.

In your lodge there are jars of food for the native, friendly kangaroos to enjoy, and you can also spot the beautifully coloured birdlife. Staying at the Tarra Lodge, there was a large group of kangaroos about 20 metres in front having a meal, a few broke away from the group and came up to my lodge and I was able to feed them by hand; you would be surprised that they have wonderful table manners; and being up close to nature is always a treat! Waterfront Retreat At Wattle Point, has the lot, for singles, couples, small or large groups, I would find it hard to believe that you wouldn't enjoy your stay. For me, 5 stars were easy! By Doug Pell

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The Riversleigh Boutique Accommodation Apartment 25

It is truly refreshing to step into a beautiful heritage building and find the interior full of the best comforts that modern living has to offer - clean, modern and functional. It's a merging of the best from both worlds. Riversleigh, right in the heart of Bairnsdale, is a gem. You just know that you've come to the right place when the staff seem to have a real pleasure in greeting you - they honestly look like they are glad to be here and your stay means something to them. Riversleigh has got everything you would want or need, and nothing is too hard for the staff. I stayed in Riversleigh's 'Apartment 25', which has light and modern decor. This is a new addition to the Riversleigh Boutique Accommodation. The apartment has full catering facilities should its ambience speak to you in a way that, well, you just don't want to go out! The functional kitchen has a full size fridge, microwave and conventional electric oven. There is an Espresso machine with a good reserve of capsules, as well as an assortment of quality teas and real milk in the fridge! There is


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even Pink Himalayan salt, cracked pepper and quality cooking oil should you decide to whip up a gastronomic delight rather than dine out. The dishwasher will ensure washing up won't be too burdensome and a front-end washing machine is subtly placed amongst the kitchen cupboards should you happen to have an accident with a pasta sauce or such. A beautiful and spacious living area bathed in natural light awaits you to unwind in, with a twoseater couch as well as two lounge chairs, a small three-seater wooden table and a wall-mounted large flat screen television. A reverse cycle air conditioner keeps this room nice and warm on a cold winter's night. When it gets late, the bathroom calls you in for a bit of spoiling before you retire. A large double shower with ample towels and plenty of quality body products - conditioner, shampoo, body cream and soap - even a complimentary shower cap and vanity set. I then retired to the most comfortable bed imaginable - so comfortable that I had to do

some detective work - it's a King Koil Mattress; the best mattress I have ever slept on! There is a built in desk next to the ample wardrobe space and another wall-mounted flat screen television. The additional reverse cycle air conditioner in the bedroom ensures a comfortable temperature throughout your sleep. In the morning a Continental Buffet breakfast is available from 7:30am to 9:30am in an elegant communal meals area that is like a fine dining experience. I enjoyed a fresh orange juice and the most gorgeous cinnamon raisin bread. A great range of quality preserves and spreads ensured my second and third rounds of wholemeal toast were just as enjoyable with a quality tea and the morning newspaper. All in all a beautiful place to stay - you won't want to leave. 1 Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale 3875 PH: 03 5152 6966 By Geoff Watt Photographs by Wildwood Photography

East Gippsland's Ultimate

Wedding Venue





The Riversleigh is the perfect location for your Gippsland wedding. Combining a unique location with picturesque gardens, stylish period elegance, modern facilities, boutique accommodation, beauty clinic and on-site catering. The Riversleigh simply has it all. For information on wedding packages please visit our website or call Rachel to make an appointment on 03 5152 6966

1 Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale, 3875 PH: 03 5152 6966 E: W:



TO LAKES ENTRANCE Passionate Cameleers Russell Osborne & Tara Lea By Geoff Watt


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As those living here well know, Gippsland has so much. But it never surprises me the breadth of variety that Gippsland actually offers. Geographically it is enormous, so in terms of landscapes it can give you pristine beaches, alpine mountains, forested ranges, incredibly large rivers and of course beautiful lakes. But Camels?? I know Camels love sand and Gippsland sure has plenty of that along its seven hundred or so kilometers of coastline, so why not? Often referred to as the 'ships of the desert' and long considered a cantankerous beast, I met with Russell Osborne and Tara Lea from Australian Camels at Lakes Entrance to get a better insight. Russell and Tara have set up the business so that we can all enjoy the pleasures of a beautiful ride along Eastern Beach. They have known of the pleasures of these animals for some time and believe it's now time to share their secret with the rest of us. You may ask how camels, which are not native to Australia come to be here? They were actually shipped in back in the second half of the 19th century to help humans open up and explore Australia's great interior. Camels were actually used to escort Burke and Wills on their famous expeditions. They mainly came from India and Palestine and wild herds now roam inland Australia. The other question you may ask is, how do Russell and Tara come to be riders, owners, and lovers of camels? Well that's a whole other story - you just know there is going to be quite a story behind a business like this popping up in Gippsland. And to get the full picture we have to dive back into Russell's life. As he says: "Upon reflection, it's sort of the way my life has gone - I don't really plan...but I dream." Russell was born and bred in Melbourne but did spend much of his time up on his uncle's farm in Shepparton. He remembers riding his bicycle along a country road and thinking, "this would be cool doing this riding a horse and living a swagman's life." Russell found a natural affinity to the land through his regular visits to his uncle's farm - it wasn't so much the sheep and cattle but it was "the openness and space" that he appreciated most. But there was also something else deep inside his soul being added to the mix - a fascination for the original people of the land: "When I was about eight, mum took us to the museum and that was the first time I had seen Aboriginal art. I immediately asked, "Who are these people?" I had some pocket money saved up so I got one of those generic Aboriginal dictionaries from the gift shop. All throughout my teenage years I kept asking, "Who are these people?" and no one had real answers for me - you know it was always just: "Before Captain Cook discovered Australia, Aboriginal people lived here". It was the same in history class - it didn't satisfy me at all." Russell's fascination continued for years and by Year Ten at school, had crystallised into a more practical way to satisfy his deep yearnings. He reflects, “in my interview with the school careers counsellor I said that I wanted to live in Arnhem Land with the Aboriginal people - all my friends wanted to be CEOs and stuff. I had found out a lot more about aboriginal people by then but the more I knew the more I didn't know. No one could tell me fully about the religion, the culture, the spirituality - the links between plant, animal, human, nature and spirit. That's why I went into teaching in the late 1980s - so I could live with and connect with these people." Russell taught in Arnhem Land for two years but has been back several times since. "When you

visit later you've got to belong and be part of a family group. Then you have a social responsibility and you are actually a part of the community at that stage and that is when things were revealed to me; satisfying the questions I needed to have answered. I always have a yearning to go back it's always there.�

Tara Lea

It would be fair to say that Russell learnt a lot to connect the natural affinity he held with the land with the spirits that move through it. But where do the camels come in? How and why are there camels here in Gippsland? As Russell hands me a copy of his book 'Camelman Dreaming', Tara chips in with: "So we're not just crazy camel people walking on a beach, we're even more crazy - well you are,� (directed to Russell while laughing). "Where do the Camels come in? About eighteen years ago I was lecturing English on the Gold Coast when I got the message that my mum had had a stroke - she was on a plane to Greece and a week later she died. At her funeral there were hundreds of people - I hadn't lived at home for many years and so I asked myself, "Who was this woman that so many people have come to honour?" After the funeral I spoke to a lot of the people and they were all from the Royal Children's Hospital Ladies Auxiliary - I knew she was involved in raising money for equipment, but I didn't know at what intensity. So I went back to the Gold Coast and pretty much got depression - which made me look at my purpose in life and bigger picture stuff. I had these thoughts just entering my head and then bang, it was clear as a bell and one night around the kitchen table with my then flat mate I said, "I'm going to walk across Australia with a herd of camels for a children's charity" and he just said "Yeah, you should do that". What did you know about camels at the time I ask: "I knew they had a long neck and that's about it! But I did know from history that camels were the only ones that could do the job."

"So on reflection it took about thirteen years of positioning myself to be in the right place camels weren't going to come to me I had to go to them. So I got a teaching role in the desert and started learning about camels - I had no idea! The break through was when I did a Camel Handling Course, which taught me the trust-based training method (which Russell himself now teaches) and I was on my way. I rang many charities up and (laughs) they treated me like I was an idiot wanting to do it. After about two years of exposure and learning about the camels, things came together. What happened was that I saw Moira Kelly (the founder of the Children First Foundation) on television and after researching what she stood for, I knew that was the charity for me."

Russell Osborne

It was in 2008-2009 that Russell trekked with his team of camels from Katherine over to Halls Creek, down the Canning Stock Route, across to Alice Springs, down to Oodnadatta, through Mildura and then weaved his way through Victoria to Port Phillip Bay. But what actually happened out there that gave him his love for these beautiful creatures? "Well when you are out there alone living with them 24/7 you become part of them, you become the Alpha - the leader of the herd. The camels are all different in their personality and their spirit. Its just like being a teacher with kids in the classroom - you can't have that camel being next to that one or they'll get on each other's nerves, but if they are separated a little then its okay." Eventually at the end of 2009 I went back to the outback and worked with the Aboriginal elders

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at a community called Docker River. After that I started safaris in the Flinders Ranges (with camels of course) and that's "where I met Tara - and she lived here in Gippsland." Needless to say, love brought him to Gippsland, but obviously Russell missed his other great love. So in hindsight it was only a matter of time until Russell found a way to bring camels to where he was living. "One thing I noticed was that there are a lot of misconceptions about camels." Cantankerous comes to my mind but apparently that's not true. Biting and spitting is another often heard. Russell elaborates: "The reality is they are an extremely loving and timid animal and they will protect themselves - like we all do. Our job as a Cameleer is to remove the sources of fear and build up the trust. And what I learned from the


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Aboriginal people about the connection of spirit beings with each other and the land has helped. So there's much more to it than just being kind." Getting the camels down here was surprisingly easy. Tara adds: "The most trained camels on our camel safaris were the ones we brought down here - they were from the herd that went with Russell on his trek across Australia. They are a little like elephants, memory wise because once you make a bond with them the friendship is there for life. We had three camels that started in January this year and when we started it was so busy - the locals really got behind it. And the Facebook Page went to 29,000! The response was absolutely awesome and the camels were just awesome too. At the end of the day I just said "I'm so proud of you" and I fell even more in love with them."

The plan is to operate camel rides on Eastern Beach at Lakes Entrance - a beautiful open and quiet stretch of coastline - from the Melbourne Cup Weekend in early November to the end of the Easter Holiday break in April 2017. Nonholiday periods within that time will see them operating on Saturdays and Sundays, then during school and public holidays it will most probably be Wednesdays to Sundays.

"We want Lakes Entrance to become the 'Broome of the South'. Everyone is really excited and on board and we have people very happy they don't have to travel to Broome to ride a camel on the beach! The reaction of people and the looks on their faces when they see the camels on the beach is awesome."

"The reaction of people and the looks on their faces when they see the camels on the beach is awesome."

Camel Safari Photo by Jeremy Schroder On Camel Safari

On Safari

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Newborn Calf & Cow

Because of their wealth of knowledge and experience, Russell and Tara also offer Camel Handling courses, which generally will be during the off-season. "We do camel training courses at different levels - from our basic Level One course called Camelology - which is about getting the halter on and teaching the camel to get up or sit down on command. Our Level Two course is more advanced - called Camel Quantum because its learning the different behaviours of the camel - which is for those who want to get into serious camel riding/handling and expedition. Finally we have a Professionals Course for people who want to go commercial - we basically sell a package with four camels, all the saddles, all the equipment and all the training, teaching participants how to train their own camels. With this package we are actually selling a business."

"We also have many enquiries through our 'camel hire' section on the website for weddings and we think this will grow quickly - some might just want the camels sitting as part of the scenery at their wedding, others might want to be walked in or out on a camel." As Tara says: "It's also the service we offer, whether out on the beach, or on safari or doing training courses. It's who we are as individuals that people like and resonate with. And we love changing people's attitudes about camels because they are such beautiful creatures.... and they've got beautiful eyelashes!" Tara is keen to develop a dairy herd of camels. The therapeutic benefits of camel's milk is finally getting much attention in the west - something Central Asian and Middle Eastern people's have known for millennia. "There is potentially a

huge market in Australia with the prevalence of digestive disorders and diabetes." But that's a whole other story. Sounds like it truly is about harmony and relationship. Those ships of the desert are teaching us much and giving us a lot more. Here's to relationship, health and being just occasionally cantankerous :) Mob: 0417 109 551 e: Photographs courtesy of Russell Osborne and Tara Lea of Australian Camels Camel Rides on Beach: Photographs by Rosie Broughton Photography

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea


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Protecting and enhancing West Gippsland’s natural environment


DP: Tell me Alan, what motivated you to put your hand up for Council? ABH: Doug there is no doubt that Loch Sport and the coastal area of Wellington Shire is one of the most spectacular parts of Victoria, and we have been privileged to be part of it, particularly operating the Marina Hotel Loch Sport over the last decade. When the Victorian electoral commission decided that Wellington should be subdivided into Wards it meant that there was a real opportunity for my area to be properly recognised and represented, and this is my opportunity to do it. There has been a very strong argument that under the unsubdivided arrangement that the coastal area failed to get a fair go, and the residents and our regular weekenders share their frustration with me, at the Hotel. In some respects a hotel in a one pub country town is the focal point for community opinion. So I am well placed to hear and understand the concerns. DP: Clearly I know you through working on town promotion and the hotel, but what else equips you for this role? ABH: Well Doug as I said we have been operating the Marina Hotel for a decade, and this fact along with my other interests, skills and background put me in a position to hit the ground running. Let me explain, I went back to school after National Service, and completed High School, a bachelor of Business (accounting) and a grad Dip in Public accounting. I am a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants and a Member of the Australian Institute of Management.


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Importantly I have held senior finance and management roles in public and private health, and in Local Government I was Director of Finance for the City of Ballarat. I have maintained my interest in local Government as an independent member of the Audit Committee here in Wellington and I chair the Audit Committee for the City of Melton. Hence my confidence about hitting the ground running. DP: I guess I get that, but what about the direction you will be seeking? ABH: The issues that I see as critical for Loch Sport and all of the Coastal Ward and Wellington Shire is the overdue need to focus on tourism, population and addressing the infrastructure imbalance we have seen between the City of Sale and the rest of the Shire, both coastal and northern. Initially through Tourism we will see the growth in population that Wellington needs. It’s hard to believe that Wellington Shire trails behind the Gippsland average for population growth, when it is recognised that Loch Sport, Paradise Beach, Golden Beach through to Seaspray represent the best value coastal real estate in Australia. An increase in tourism and population will improve business viability, will boost the available population for all of our services clubs and associations and increase the offering for all of us who live or visit Wellington. To stand still is to go backwards; this is a time to refocus our attention on the things that matter.

DP: I understand that the coastal areas have a high proportion of non-residential ratepayers who are not required to vote, how will you deal with this? ABH: Once the process opens I will be able to access the voters’ roll, and will write to everyone and urge the non residents to exercise their right to vote. I know by the discussions I have with our regular weekenders that they are very concerned about the effectiveness of the representation that the coastal communities have received to date. I am confident that they will respond. I also believe that the coastal ward needs to be represented by councillors spread along the ward, and I have already had discussions with Gary Stephens from Yarram, who I believe I can work with constructively, so I expect that we will exchange preferences, and the two of us will be better able to cover the coastal ward more effectively. DP: Thanks Alan for talking to me, any closing thoughts? ABH: Well Doug when Jill and I first came here more than 20 years ago, the love affair began, and even now after 10 years of operating the hotel Jill and I can’t wait to tell people how sensational our part of the world is; my running for Council is about seeing our town and the coastal area of Wellington where the pristine 90 Mile Beach meets the Lakes being recognised and supported for its value and potential. I guess it’s a role I don’t want to leave to someone else to do.


Jill and Alan Hall's Marina Hotel in Loch Sport is located on the shores of picturesque Lake Victoria and has the most beautiful views overlooking the lake to the majestic high country. Loch Sport is uniquely positioned on the Gippsland Lakes and the 90 Mile Beach. Wildlife abounds so take care to give way to kangaroos on the way into town. Chances are you'll spot a pod of dolphins in the lake, also. There is no better place to enjoy lunch or dinner or a quiet drink or coffee and enjoy Gipspland's beautiful sunset. Home delivery service of meals and beverages is available and we also have a courtesy bus for all of our patrons and guests. A TAB kiosk is also available at the hotel, accompanied by a fully stocked Bottle Shop. The Marina Hotel is available for Private Functions such as Weddings, Engagements and Birthdays.




LUNCH: 12.00PM TO 2.00PM | DINNER: 6.00PM TO 8.00PM


Protectingourmost preciousresourcefor futuregenerations

Avon River pile felds during construction 2014

We continue to say it because it's true! Gippsland has a most incredible and beautiful landscape. Our wonderful waterways are a big part of that as they make a significant contribution both aesthetically and recreationally via the beautiful rivers and lake systems we enjoy. But perhaps their most important contribution is from a productivity perspective. Through rain and melting snows, our river systems disperse the water across the landscape to give land, crops and livestock all a well-earned drink. It helps make Gippsland a very important farming area as part of Victoria's 'food bowl'. The reality check is that with big rivers and lakes systems, bad weather events have the capacity to enrage these rivers and do much damage. Innovative approaches are needed to buffer the forces of nature and it is refreshing to know that the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) is on the job. The WGCMA covers an incredible area extending from San Remo in the west to Lakes Entrance in the east and up to Mount Howitt in the Victorian Alps up north. The network covers some 40,000 kilometers of waterways (no, it is not a misprint!) consisting of rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands and estuaries in both rural and urban environments. At the heart of the work


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A local farmer on the Avon River upstream of Stratford, Peter Stewart, reported a significant bank collapse to WGCMA. WGCMA was quick to respond and immediately recognised that the flood damage not only posed a threat to the effected sites but also to the quality of water through the system and into the Ramsar-listed wetlands of the Gippsland Lakes.

done by WGCMA is an energetic emphasis on engaging local people and organisations to take actions that help ensure future generations and the environment prosper from the wealth our region's natural resources provide. One recent example of the great work being done is the story that lies behind the Avon River Pile Fields, constructed in 2014. In 2012, Gippsland experienced a heavy rain event with record-breaking rainfall causing widespread flooding. It was responsible for severe damage of waterways with the Avon River being a prime example where productive farmland washed away and vegetation ripped from its banks.

The force of the floodwater had undermined the toe of the bank at a bend in the Avon River, causing the Bank to slip into the river. What remained was a vertical bank, which now exposed easily erodible white clay, which was underlying the topsoil.

Threatening the stability of the banks and the pastures above them, WGCMA worked with private landholders to repair the waterways. WGCMA's approach was one with an eye to long-term stability rather than just short-term crisis management. Their priority was not only to quickly repair the damaged site but also to consider measures that would protect the stability and condition of the broader system into the future. This included infrastructure

Avon River pile felds during flooding July 2016

downstream at Weirs Crossing and the Nuntin Creek grade control. In December 2012, joint funding from both the Australian and Victorian Governments was provided and WGCMA worked with Wellington Shire Council, which included debris and sediment blockage removal and the rock armoring of bank bases. But looking to the future, WGCMA worked with consultants with specific knowledge of river hydrology and engineering options to make a full report so as they could make a fully informed decision on its flood recovery strategy. What was identified was that an upstream gravel bar (with a large scour path from a previous flood event) had the potential to release significant volumes of sediment into the system during future flood events and threaten infrastructure further downstream. The innovative strategy decided in consultation with key partners was to install seven pile fields at the gravel bar and strategically along the scour path. All up, close to nine hundred, six-meter long poles - each spaced 350-400mm apart - were sunk four meters into the ground forming seven strong protective rows to reduce the force of future floodwater across the scour path at the lower Avon River. At the same time flood resistant native vegetation such as River Bottlebrush, Paperbarks and Tea Tree were

planted on the banks to assist with halting further erosion. WGCMA's Project Delivery Team Leader Matt Bowler explains that, "over the coming years we expect more vegetation to establish in and around the pile fields and in time, as the timber piles breakdown, this vegetation will take over." The recent flooding of the Avon River was the first real test of the pile fields that were constructed in 2014 and its nice to know that they did their job admirably. It is a great result for innovation and planning. The 2012 floods wreaked havoc, not only on the Avon River but also on Thomson River, Latrobe River, upper Macalister River and sections of South Gippsland waterways. Many areas received between 100 to 200 ml of rain over 48 hours. WGCMA Delivery Manager, Matt Bowler, said he was impressed with the willingness of local landholders and other partners to work together to get the best results.

“The key to our planning for the on ground works was taking a whole of system approach to flood recovery,” explained Matt.

Avon River

“Working with the landholders is key to this as they have vital local knowledge and experience. We continue to be impressed by our local farmers and landowners and their willingness to get involved and help protect our natural environment. “After the 2012 floods, we worked on 103 sites across the region. The works included design, earthworks, constructing grade controls structures, repair, revegetation and fencing. “The landholders we worked with were fantastic, allowing our contractors access to their properties, they were patient and really interested in how the work we were doing would help protect the property against future floods,” continued Matt. For more information about how WGCMA works with the community to protect and enhance our natural environment visit 16 Hotham St | Traralgon 3844 Ph: 1300 094 262 References and photographs courtesy of WGCMA

Stewarts Pilefields 2014

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Now before you go out and buy the items that you require doing your own research into the great unknown, the best approach is to attain certain knowledge and I couldn't think of a better team to educate you than the passionate members of the Australian Paranormal Society. Prior to the evening beginning, after everyone was in attendance, Bill Tabone, the head of the group, talked about what we might encounter, then also gave us some information about the various gadgets, cameras and voice recorders that are used on any of their investigations. Bill Tabone is an entertaining chap with a sense of humour, and a very good leader and he knows what he is talking about. He has had many experiences with the great unknown and in this field you have to be patient. It is not like ghosts


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When you attend an evening such as this you do have to be interested, an open mind is essential but there has to be some modem of belief. The people that were in attendance were believers and were eager to experience the happenings that were definitely in a relaxed environment, albeit a bit cool.

jumping out from nowhere and scaring ‘the bejeezes’ out of you, it is about communicating with the afterlife and not always is the afterlife quite becoming; in fact on this evening things were moving slowly. That can happen, but as the night moved on we did encounter some interesting moments.

We visited a few parts of the Park - the Courthouse where one can imagine that justice might not always have been served; the Church where our Medium Investigator Rick Krab had an encounter; the Masonic Lodge which has had an indifferent history; the School Room where it has a sense of kids playing instead of studying; and the old train which has an unexplained ticking that can be heard in the carriages. We all heard the ticking, it was quite loud and many people have searched the train

for the mysterious sound but no one has any idea where it derives from. I have to say that the train has an eerie feel about it, I was in one of the compartments with two other people and we definitely experienced something lingering with us, we weren't scared; well I don't think we were. It is often rumoured that an old Colonial style conductor haunts the carriage with his clicker looking for passengers with tickets, even while writing this piece a chill runs up my arm. Together with Bill Tabone is Kylie Long, Tony Curigliano and Bill's son Joe and Rick Krab who all have their roles to fulfil during the night and again you could ask them anything because this night is about information and if you don't ask you might miss out on something. I highly recommend that if you are interested in the paranormal that you seek out a group like Bill's or in fact the Australian Paranormal Society, as they are the experts in this field. The

necessary and safe precautions are impressed upon us at the beginning and end of the evening and this has to be done, as you never know what entity has remained at some point during the night. Caution is a necessity. For further information you can contact Australian Paranormal Society on Facebook or via email at Words and photographs by Doug Pell

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Our bistro is open 7 days a week lunch and dinner. Ensure to book to avoid disappointment. TRARALGON BOWLS CLUB... MORE THAN JUST A BOWLS CLUB! Join as a member from as little as $5 per year.

Phone: 5174 2156 Email: Cnr of Gwalia St & Liddiard Rd Traralgon Vic 3844 For more information about the Traralgon Bowls Club visit

MORE THAN JUST A BOWLS CLUB The Traralgon Bowls Club’s fresh new mouth-watering menu is the perfect solution for any occasion. Whether it is just a night out without cooking, or a Birthday or anniversary celebration you can be assured our talented chefs will create meals to remember. The Traralgon Bowls Club has worked extremely hard on establishing a facility that can accommodate a whole range of members, guest and visitors. Our catering department operates 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner service, with a selection of great value meals there is sure to be something for everybody. Having completed one of the most comprehensive kitchen refurbishments in the Valley, Traralgon Bowls Club can now provide an extensive range of meals. To avoid disappointment at not getting a seat, we strongly encourage all customers to ring in advance and book their table. WINNER Regional Club Bistro of the year

FINALIST Bowls Club of the year


the Travelling Shrink is ANDRE STEWART In this line of work you come across people that are significant in their chosen field, one such person is Andre Stewart, who wouldn't look out of place at the Kingston, Jamaica cricket oval smashing sixes off hapless bowlers who dared to pitch them in his line of play. Instead of belting cricket balls over the fence he is here in Traralgon helping people, assisting people in all walks of life to lead a better life. Not all of us can achieve what we wish and hope for, and at times we all need help and Andre is that pillar of strength, and I might add a very good listener. Andre is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker who is highly skilled and an experienced social worker with an emphasis in mental health. His experience in this field has seen him work in Australia and overseas, challenging environments in Human Services and Child Protection. In 2009, Andre obtained his Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Melbourne. As part of his degree he undertook a three month placement at Alice Springs Hospital in the palliative care unit.


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Following the completion of his Master’s Degree, Andre gained employment with St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, where he worked for almost four years before taking up a position with Latrobe Regional Hospital in Traralgon. Andre holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, which enables him to present continuing professional education and in-house training. While chatting to Andre, the subject went back to cricket, and he does have the qualified skills as a personal trainer, swim teacher and lifeguard. In his past he played American college football, whilst he was studying in Texas. One cannot imagine the fear of lining up against Andre on the football field, let alone being a bowler pitching a ball to him on a pitch in Traralgon and having to retrieve it in Morwell. Although Andre has succumbed to being a Collingwood supporter, not all his doing he explained, marrying into a Collingwood family with two children, a boy and a girl. I sat with Andre for about an hour, and the passion that he has for his work is unquestionable.

He is a good bloke, trustworthy, intelligent, with a unique sense of humour and he is an achiever. Gippsland is the winner to have a man of his immense skill, knowledge, care, understanding and ability to help people from all walks of life. And a travelling shrink, Andre? A shrink is a term normally given to a psychotherapist, and one that travels is a travelling shrink, ok got it! Andre Stewart Counselling and Social Work Services has five main areas of service: • • • •

Counselling /Psychotherapy Social Work Services Forensic Psychosocial Reports Seminars/continuing education programs/ school programs • Professional Supervision/Mentoring Andre Stewart Accredited Mental Health Social Worker The Travelling Shrink



Counselling for individuals, adolescents, children, families and couples Specialist therapy for fire fighters, policemen, ambulance, return servicemen, asylum seekers and security guards.


PO Box 1331, Warragul 3820 thelifestyle spring 2016


THE SOCCER Manchester United vs. Man. City, Real vs. Atletico Madrid, Inter vs. A.C. Milan; the world of football thrives on the local derby and here, in the Latrobe Valley, Traralgon Olympians and Traralgon City bring that same passion and rivalry to grass-roots soccer.

Traralgon City S.C. began playing in 1968 and was well established by the time Jim Fkiaras had the idea to form a new, rival club to play in the open field at the corner of Franklin and Davidson Streets. “There were cows here” recalls Jim, who is still very much involved at the club. He gathered support from the local community and approached the Council. “They were very helpful” he says, Councillor McAteer and Mayor Dunbar in particular. The Council raised the level of the site to accommodate the current clubrooms and grandstand, and with the help of volunteers, including Jerry Koulouras of Pythagoras Engineering, “we built the rest; the buildings, the lights – we were the first (in the league) to have lights for training. I spent many hours working here.” Jim’s pride and enthusiasm are palpable. “This isn’t the first club I’ve started” Jim goes on, “I founded Western Suburbs in Melbourne”. That all began when he saw youths misbehaving in the street outside his shop. “I believed they should be given something to do to keep them out of trouble. I went to Sunshine, bought two soccer balls and invited them to play.” That gesture was the catalyst, Jim went on to


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provide boots and shirts and the rest, as they say, is history. Jim Fkiaras is one of life’s good guys.

Western Suburbs S.C. was established in 1965 and is still competitive in the Victorian State League Division 1. Interestingly, the present Australian Socceroo Coach, Ange Postecoglou began his coaching career at ‘Suburbs’ in 1994. Traralgon Olympians were formed in 1979. The club badge says ‘established 1980’ because they were initially obliged to compete in the second division, which they won, to gain promotion to the original Latrobe Valley Soccer League the following season. Since then Olympians have been one of the most successful clubs in Gippsland earning 34 league and cup titles locally and 48 trophies overall. The largest trophy in the club’s cabinet is the impressive metallic blue and gold LVSL 1st Division Champions Trophy won by Olympians five times between 1982 and 1993. Olympians last won the Battle of Britain Cup in 2008 and secured their last League Championship in 2002 when they won the ‘treble’ comprising the League Championship, Minor Premiership and Battle of Britain Cup. Jim’s son, George Fkiaras played in this illustrious team and he is now the Senior Coach, ably assisted by Marcus Hunter. George holds Certificates I and II in Sports Coaching as well as a Victoria University Diploma in Sports Administration through the Victoria Institute of Sport.

“I was never pushed into the game” says George, recalling his childhood “but I was brought up in this environment; always kicking a ball, watching the games and retrieving the ball when it went out (of play), it was just a natural progression for me.” The rivalry with Traralgon City is a factor every season. “There’s pride in being the best team in Traralgon” explains George “we are the holders of the Traralgon Derby Cup” – a cup introduced especially to recognise the competitive relationship between the two senior sides. The Traralgon rivals are well matched this season, playing a 2-2 draw in their first league encounter in April, both have an equal number of points on the league table and are only separated by Olympians having scored one more goal. But it’s a friendly rivalry; the camaraderie between the neighbouring clubs frequently allows one to use the other’s pitch if theirs is unfit for play. “The aim is always for a top four finish” says George. “We have been undefeated in the last eight games and I expect we will be third or fourth; ahead of City,” he smiles. Finals football represents the best chance Olympians have for some silverware this season having already been knocked out of the Cup by Falcons 2000 of Morwell. Player participation is strong at both Traralgon clubs with each having Junior teams competing at U10, U12, U13 Girls, U14 and U16 as well as Senior Women’s, 2nd Division, Reserve and Senior teams. The Junior Co-ordinator at

by Martyn Kemp


There are good prospects to watch out for among the current line-up too, including this season’s leading goal-scorer, Alradi Ali and goalkeeper, Aidan Riley. “Seventeen year-old Liam Antonelli is another” says George, “he’s disciplined, follows instructions and runs all day.” “He’s also a State karate champion” adds proud father and Club Treasurer, Tony Antonelli. “That’s where the discipline comes from” says George. “We are particularly proud of these young players because they have come through the junior ranks at Olympians.” The function room, available for private hire by contacting Club Secretary Kerry Demosthenous, is where the bar is dedicated to former Vice-President Joe Levy in recognition of his contribution to the club. “92 years old and still going strong” says Jim, “he helped me for thirty years” to which the adjacent honour roll bears testament.

Olympians is Emy Panayiotou and the Women’s team is coached by David Sykes. “We have a senior player list of 56” explains George, “and we are fortunate to have a number of quality juniors coming through the under 16’s – the future looks good.” The prediction is that the two Traralgon clubs are set to dominate the league by virtue of their current strength in junior competition.

Olympians have a proud history of players going on to bigger and better things in the world of football: Bailey Rowe is currently with A-League stalwarts Melbourne City and Marcus Stergiopoulos played at National Soccer League and A-League level in Australia and also competed abroad in Brunei and at Lincoln City in England. Manny Gotis also played in the NSL with Gippsland Falcons, Gary Upton played in England and Graham Carr went on to be a New Zealand international.

A large club like Olympians is difficult to run and depends heavily on a dedicated group of volunteers.

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Tony Antonelli says “Those that volunteer put in a lot of hours” and their contribution is invaluable and much appreciated, especially considering they have full-time jobs as well. The club is similarly grateful for the support of major sponsors; Schnitz of Traralgon, Kay Street Entertainment and Plastamasta. Tony is also a member of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League Board and explained how all Gippsland clubs previously came under the jurisdiction of the Gippsland Soccer League. Late in 2015, however, a number of clubs, Olympians and Traralgon City included, expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of governance exhibited by the GSL. This escalated to a point where thirteen teams broke away to form the current League under the original LVSL banner. “It was a risk,” says Tony “it was a new committee with no funds, but I have never seen a more united group of clubs. The League is well structured and extremely communicative, the meetings are informative and it (the breakaway) was a wonderful thing.” To the outside observer, the move seemed to have been relatively quick and seamless; “business as usual” as Tony puts it. The Latrobe Valley Soccer League will be an ongoing entity, negotiations with the GSL having ceased.

“The FFV (Football Federation Victoria) is happy to let things remain as they are, they have been very supportive” he says. There are no immediate plans to expand the League but the LVSL is open to approaches from other clubs in the Gippsland region. And the future plans for Olympians? Under current Club President Con Kattos, the word is ‘growth’ – growth at the senior level and the Women’s Seniors in particular – for which the newly completed change rooms will cater more than adequately. “With the mix of teams, there is a good social environment at the club too” says George, “we welcome anybody who wants to try out” and the same could be said for all the LVSL clubs. As a general rule, teams train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with Junior fixtures played on Saturdays and Seniors on Sundays. During the Summer, Olympians plan to attract new junior players by running an U10 and U12 competition during which they will receive specialist training and game time. Olympians also run an Under 6 competition in which Jim’s four year old grandson participates. “With all the parents, grandparents and kids coming to watch, we can have nearly a thousand people here” says George. During the off-season the club has been invited to participate in a number of competitions including the Mallacoota Cup and the Hellenic

Cup in January. Pre-season games held in Traralgon usually attract quality State League opposition. The LVSL website has a full list of the thirteen member clubs, past results and future fixtures with details of home grounds making it easy to get along and support your local team, from Trafalgar to Bairnsdale and all points in between. If you or your child is interested in participating, either playing or helping out as a volunteer, contact your local club or just turn up to training – they’ll be more than happy to see you! Traralgon City and Traralgon Olympians played their second League fixture on 7th August. The car park was full as an enthusiastic crowd gathered to witness a tightly-contested first half which saw City earn a 1-0 lead at the break. City doubled their advantage ten minutes into the second half but Olympians piled on the pressure at the Davidson Street end and managed to get one goal back. Both teams demonstrated passion, desire and commitment and despite Olympians’ best efforts, City defended well and broke through on two further occasions to run out convincing 4-1 victors. Not the result coach George Fkiaras was hoping for, but as he explains: “The Derby Cup is decided on the first game of the season” between Traralgon City and Olympians. So, as holders, the draw in April was enough to retain the trophy at least, but not bragging rights I would suspect – looks like this rivalry is set to continue for the foreseeable future! Photographs were taken at Traralgon Olympians clubrooms, Olympians vs Monash on 17th July and Traralgon City vs Olympians on 7th August 2016.

For further information go to and search Latrobe Valley Soccer League.


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thelifestyle spring 2016

thelifestyle spring 2016


GARDENING with CraigGoodman Q. When is the best month in Spring to fertilise lawns and plants? A If your lawn is looking a bit tired - spring is a great time to feed and regenerate lawns. September is ideal to feed and lime your lawn as the ground is generally moist and temperatures are beginning to rise. You will see your lawn respond quickly. Health, vigour and depth of green colour will be evident. Warm season grasses such as couch, buffalo and kikuyu will not respond as quickly as they need warmer temperatures and feeding of these varieties could be left till October. If weeds have established in your lawn over winter now is also the time to spray and eliminate them. Sprays work much more effectively while weeds are actively growing. Repeat spraying may be necessary to kill all weeds. Plants in your garden enjoy a feed a minimum of twice a year. The most important times are spring and early autumn. Feed generously in spring to promote vigour and optimise flowering. Remember if you have native plants specific fertilisers are needed to feed. Using incorrect fertilisers can be harmful.

Q What sort of fertiliser do I use for fruit trees such as peach, pear and plum? A There are certain factors to consider when fertilising fruit trees or any plant we grow to produce food as a reward. As a general rule organic based slow release plant foods with added trace elements and a higher than normal dose of potash, produce the best results. All Australian soils lack potash. Potash is essential for the production of flowers, helping fruit and vegetable production and enhances both flavour and moisture content. These fertilisers are best applied as granular feed to the soil. Liquid ferilisers are good as a supplement on a frequent basis. Liquid fertilisers are only a short-term boost, as granular feeds will last for months. Think about feeding like this – • Granular slow release feeding to the soil is like us having our meat and vegies. • Liquid feeding is like us having a quick pick me up drink and it’s not too long and we need another.

Ask your local plant experts to help you choose the correct food. Q When should I repot root bound plants? A Most plants that are pot bound respond best to repotting as we move into spring - September and October. As you repot, it will be necessary to open up the roots so they are able to move with ease into the new potting mix, otherwise the roots will often remain in a ball. A plant is only healthy if it has a strong root system to absorb water and nutrients. Ideally you would pot up into a larger size pot. If this is not possible prune the roots to allow room for new potting mix to surround the plant. Your plant health will rapidly improve.

Q What potted grapevines in your opinion are best for coastal or inland? A I will list a few varieties that I find are always sought after and do well in all Gippsland regions. Seedless grapes are by far the most popular ranging in white, pink and red forms. Good full flavour plump grapes are a must on any table. Grapes love the open sunny positions and do well in the heat.

Q Where is the best place in the garden to plant rhubarbs? These are some of the favourites and are available now: A Rhubarb is easy to grow in cool climates and is a perennial. Rhubarb can be left in the ground and will return a crop for many years, at least 10 to 15 years. Rhubarb is quite a hard crop but the crown will rot if in heavy wet clay soils. It can cope with dry periods. Plant in good soil and remove as many weeds as possible. Do not disturb rhubarb roots when cultivating round the plant. It grows better in cooler climates, but can be grown in shady areas of warm climates. Remove flower stalks as they appear, as the plant will stop producing leaf stalks when flowering. Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Brassicas (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc.) Do not eat the leaves or roots as they contain oxalic acid, which is poisonous. They should not be fed to poultry or stock either.


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White grapes - sultana seedless, centennial white, fresco seedless and moss sultana Pink grapes -pink lady finger Red grapes- flame seedless and crimson seedless Black grapes – fantasy seedless hope this is helpful.



W E A R E Y O U R D E S T I N AT I O N For advice, range and quality. For an experience and a garden encounter that will enchant you. For solutions, inspiration and motivation. Wander through the layers of our beautiful Garden Centre, each step leading you into another chapter of ideas for your home, garden and lifestyle.

Hours | Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm Saturday to Sunday 9.00am - 5.00pm 62 Argyle St, Traralgon Vic 3844 Ph: (03) 5174 2861 Em: 99

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When travelling through Traralgon, don't be surprised by the amount of cars pulling into the driveway of the former Caltex Service Station; they aren't going for a car service or petrol, they are turning up in droves for coffee or some breakfast delivered right to your car door. All you have to do is wind down the window and one of the very pleasant staff will attend to your request, and within minutes your coffee and breakfast have arrived. The former service station owned by Jim Lamb is now back in Jim's hands and from 1995 to 2007 it was indeed a Caltex Service Station and for a few years after was a United Service Station, but back in 2013 after a few visits to Geelong, Jim developed the idea of having a drive through coffee shop, which had to be unique; and this certainly is unique.


Jim is still in the service station business, so he hasn't quite given up the oil and fuel, but he, along with business partner Mary Lynch, have put a fair bit of thought and planning into this venture. Looks are deceptive and from the road it has that distinctive service station look, but this is now Traralgon's biggest drive through coffee and breakfast business. Inside it has the look of a retro style cafe, with a Moped in the corner, some car artefacts, huge flat screen TV and when Jim gets a chance the screen is often showing his favourite rock 'n 'roll stars. From Wednesday to Friday the Wine Down Bar is open with a huge variety of wine, beer and spirits, and accompanied by complimentary tapas, this is a great place to wine and dine. Jim has also developed a beautiful outdoor area with decorative wall art, wooden carved stools and benches, and one very big screen that does not look dissimilar to the old drive-in screens; where you can kick back and enjoy the drinks, food and surroundings. Also, plans are underway to extend the viewing from the TV to outside, and will then feature various movies. As well as the great food and welcoming service, the other main advantage of Coffee Corner and The Wine Down Bar is that corporate functions and any celebration can be held at the premises, and being on the main road in Traralgon with plenty of safe and secure parking, this is a definite asset. However, if you are like me and want to stop and order a coffee or have a break and sit down, read a paper and then resume your journey or if staying or visiting Traralgon, then as it is advertised, wine down and relax with a wine or two, then Coffee Corner and the Wine Down Bar is a must do! Cnr of Princes Hwy and Church St, Traralgon Ph: 5176 4970


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Drive thru or sit in for coffee, toastie and orange juice.

Mon-Tues 5.00am-5.00pm Wed-Fri 5.00am-8.00pm Sat-Sun 6.00am-3.00pm


Wednesday, Thursday and Friday ~ Open until 8.00pm



You need Google Analytics – Read on...... first things first: Most if not all of these suggestions rely on previous articles where we have spoken about: 1. 2. 3. 4.

'Theming' your business for online. Using the 'Easy Peasy Social Media Plan'. Identifying Digital Talent. Using the resources of a good Web Developer, Accountant and/or Business Coach.

If you are looking for copies of previous articles they can be found at

Measuring? I hate to be so simple about this but the answer is 'Whatever you want to measure”. However there are some things which will give you a better idea of what is going on out there than others. When planning a website for clients I will usually ask the following: “If we could wave a magic wand and make everything work online for you, what is the ONE outcome you would want?” The number one response is: MORE SALES

Yep, I get it, you want to sell more. But Google doesn't think like that. If Google could even entertain the thought of generating 'more sales' for everyone then it would simply be a case of throwing up a web page or two, sitting back and counting the money. But we all know it's not like that. You'd be surprised however at the number of businesses in Gippsland who respond this way. It's NOT from lack of desire to play and win in the online world which causes such a generic response. It's from not knowing what can be done. Once we go through the 'Theming' exercise with a client I will often say, 'Well our aim is to get all the ducks in a row and then it WILL happen'. If you are anything like me when running a small business in Gippsland, you really need to choose how you spend your time and pay others for their expertise on what to do and not to do. Unfortunately the web development industry has let a lot of people down and - this is not an exaggeration - I see it and hear about it every day. Google Analytics, a tool we are going to talk more about in this article, is a very powerful tool that can measure all sorts of data happening on your website. So why all the doom and gloom, let everyone down woe is us? Google Analytics is FREE. Why web developers do not install it on a website and/or install it incorrectly is beyond me.

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Just to give you one small example of what this can do. We have a client who has been with us for a number of years and came to us from a particular telephone company who had built him a website for about $700. We were able to take over the site, clean it up, add Google Analytics and start getting him results online. This is rare, in most cases we have to rebuild the whole thing. We also manage Google Adwords for him and he is a VERY happy customer. Part of our monthly management is to constantly look for ways to improve his online results. We were able to tap into his Google Analytics history, link it to his Google Adwords advertising and then exploit the Google algorithm via a setting called 'Display Select'. Result? His online results jumped 151%.

relevance here? Without Google Analytics ticking away in the background collecting data of visits to his website the Google algorithm could not have made such accurate decisions with placing his adverts throughout the internet. (This is known as contextual targeting.)

We believe so much in its ability to help Gippsland business owners make more meaningful business decisions, we will install it on your website for FREE whether you decide to get us to build a website for you or not. I have said this before and will go so far as to say, if your web developer has not installed Google Analytics on your website whether you paid $500 or $5000 for it, you should ask for your money back, the whole lot, every cent.


So how powerful is this anyway?

what to measure? Search Terms: The actual words people are punching into Google to find you. This information helps in two main ways. For example if your business sells construction services in Bairnsdale you are going to want to see the following in your search terms report:

sellingYour Business? Construction services Bairnsdale Construction services East Gippsland etc Don't forget these are people who actually clicked on your listing in their Google Search and visited your site. If this is a main 'theme' of your business and these terms DO NOT show up in the search terms report then you need to revisit the words and pictures on your website. • • •

Do you have a page dedicated to Construction Services Bairnsdale? If you do is there 200-300 words supporting the 'Theme'? Are there images supporting the theme? By this I mean an image named something like Construction Project XYZ.png. Please DO NOT name an image IMG238.png. Google's bots will read it as IMG238.png and not the subject matter of the image.

If you do have all of this in place, and people are still not finding you on Google with these search terms, then you need to sit down with your web developer and ask why?

how to measure? The number one tool available to Australian businesses online is Google Analytics. Sometimes it helps to work out a list of things you would like to measure, then go to Google Analytics and set up a means to report on them. Some common examples are: • • • • • • • • • • •

Pages Visited Pages Visited Flow Number of people who clicked on a button Number of people who started to fill in a contact form but didn't hit send Number of people who abandoned their shopping cart Number of people who visited your website from a mobile phone What towns are looking at your website? Warragul? Morwell? Leongatha? What is your bounce rate? What times of the day do people look at your website? Are they mainly female or male? How many people arrived at my website from Facebook?

Sometimes it helps to identify the 'reasons' a Gippsland business owner needs information. A classic one here is when the business is selling. I recall a lady who owned an accommodation business, which heavily relied on customers from the South East Melbourne suburbs. Via her Google Analytics we were able to show prospective buyers the stats to back this up.

looking for a business to buy? The same when buying a business: When you buy a bricks and mortar business you are also buying the online assets. Google Analytics can support your buying decision and help towards establishing a value of the online assets of the business. Just quickly, while we are on this subject if you are buying a business with online assets please make sure they are covered in your contract AND that access for you is also part of the deal. Here is a quick list of things to take into account: 1. Domain (the www./address for the website). Who owns it? And what details are with the registrar? 2. Other domains that may only be a redirect to the main one. Who owns them and what details are with the registrar? 3. Hosting - where is it? How much is it? Who owns it and what ownership details are with the hosting provider? 4. Email services. Are these part of the main hosting or provided separately? In either case who owns them and what are the access details? 5. The website: Who owns it and what are the access details? 6. Social media accounts. Who owns them and what are the access details? We will be going over this in more detail in articles to come.

ok back to Google Analytics: Analysis Paralysis? Please don't be discouraged by all this technical mumbo jumbo. Start simple, get sophisticated. Locate a good web developer, there are plenty in Gippsland so there's no need to send good Gippsland money to Melbourne or Sydney. Identify the “Themes” within your business; identify digital talent in your business to help you on your way. Make sure Google Analytics is added to your website and have your developer set up a number of elements you want to track. A Google Analytics Qualified Agency can set up a 'Dashboard' for you and have your information sent to you as a pdf on a regular basis. We recommend monthly.

why all the fuss?

more advanced analysis tools include: • • • •

What other pages did people also visit after they clicked on my Google Adwords advertising? You can even set up experiments to measure the impact of variations to your web page. Pretty cool huh? Measure what 'journey' most people travelled throughout your website. Set up and track an 'event'.

Years ago all you had to do was whack up a web page or two and you were streets ahead of the competition. Then you had to have a website that could be found on Google. Now to get more return on investment and make sense of your online audience you need Google Analytics to collect the information and deliver it to you so you can make more meaningful business decisions. At the very least get it hooked up to your website so it can start collecting data. Then when you have time to breathe (I know what it's like I run a business too) sit down and see how you can use the information to get better results online.

what about Facebook? Google Analytics & Facebook: Facebook has its own version of Analytics, known as Insights - this becomes available after a Facebook page receives a certain amount of likes (usually 30). Insights measures user engagement and what content is popular, which is useful for determining what your customer base is responding to and how best to market to them. It’s all well and good to gauge a Facebook page’s performance on the number of likes it has, but this is only one performance indicator, and can be misleading taken at face value. Where those likes are occurring within Facebook, as well as a geographic breakdown of where those likes are coming from, can be provided in Insights. Demographic information about your target audience is necessary to make informed business decisions, especially when promoting to same. It’s important to note, though, that Facebook only shows the last 180 days worth of traffic by default, but older data can be selected and exported if need be. Post reach is another performance indicator to keep in mind, as it’s helpful to track how well your page content is connecting with your Facebook fan base. Are posts being liked and/or shared? How are posts being liked (given Facebook’s recent introduction of different ‘like’ responses)? Are posts being seen organically or virally? When are posts seen and being engaged with, mornings or evenings? This can seem like information overload, but these are worth keeping in mind should a structured promotional campaign be rolled out on Facebook. Visits is a handy way of knowing where people go on your Facebook page, like your timeline and your photo albums. You can also see how people get to your Facebook page, both from within Facebook and via external sites. Where this dovetails with Google Analytics is that you can use Google Analytics to determine how Facebook traffic affects your website and, correspondingly, your business. Within Google Analytics you can see what pages are being shared on Facebook, as well as the visitor flow from Facebook to your website; with the latter, this is especially powerful as Google Analytics can demonstrate how deep a visitor to your website went after arriving at your site via Facebook - this is known as ‘Social Visitor Flow’.

FinalWord While putting this article together I have had the following ringing loudly in my head:

'You can only manage what you measure!' 'Competitors: If you don't they will' For more information on Google Analytics:

Jim Radford Image Direct Gippsland About the author: Jim's Traralgon based company is Google AdWords Certified and Google Analytics Certified and has been building websites and managing Social Media in Gippsland for the past 7 years.

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The iconic Fish Creek Hotel (1939) is a magnificently imposing Art Deco building located in the heart of Fish Creek. Eight comfortable upstairs bedrooms and nine motel units provide accommodation. With the Great Southern Rail Trail and art galleries on its doorstep, award winning wineries nearby and only 25 minutes from the gates of Wilson’s Promontory, it is ideally located as your accommodation base. Enjoy a Schooner of Great Northern Brewing Co. for $5 while watching the footy! Parma AND a Schooner of Great Northern Brewing Co Lager for $15

◊◊◊◊◊ The Fish Creek Hotel ArtSpaces - a new exhibition space in the Art Hub of Fish Creek featuring local artists. ◊◊◊◊◊

The Bar has TAB facilities and also provides Foxtel on a giant 100” plus HD screen to show all sports live. Why not enjoy a Schooner while watching the Finals of the Footy!

B I S T R O O P E N 7 DAYS LUNCH Mon – Fri: Midday – 2pm Sat – Sun: Midday – 2.30pm DINNER Sun – Thur: 5.45pm – 8.30pm Fri – Sat: 5.45pm – 8.30pm BAR OPEN Mon – Fri: 11.30am till late Sat – Sun: 11am till late



1 Old Waratah Rd, FISH CREEK, Vic 3959

(03) 5683 2404 Advertisement

As your representative in State Parliament, I invite you to contact me if I can be of assistance with any State Government matter. My team and I can provide you with advice and assistance on a variety of State Government matters including: Funding programs and grants Support for community initiatives and projects Raising matters in Parliament Making representations to Ministers Congratulatory messages Russell Northe Member for Morwell Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Shadow Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation Post: Ph: Fax: Email: Web:

66 George Street, Morwell, VIC 3840 03 5133 9088 03 5133 9388

Authorised by Russell Northe, 66 George Street, Morwell, VIC 3840


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Funded from the Parliament’s Electorate Office and Communications budget



Years of

Riviera Cycles


Gary and Lisa Jackson love cycling. They love the freedom of pedaling a quiet country road, the exhilaration of descending an off-road trail, the sense of achievement felt from conquering a big climb, and since 1995, they have been sharing that love of cycling with the people of East Gippsland. SALES








Come and see our exciting 2016 range at


Opening hours Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm Saturday: 9am to 1pm Sunday: Closed

193 Main Street, Bairnsdale, 3875 Phone: 03 5152 1886


POSTURE for PERFECT PEDALLING Say goodbye to sore backs

By Gary Jackson

While keeping your bottom in the same position on the saddle, we simple rotate, or tilt the pelvis toward the handlebars. Instantly, we create a straight line through the pelvis and torso to the head, releasing tension from the external back and shoulder muscles. You can see this effect in the before and after pictures. With your corrected posture, there is one thing to be aware of, for some people (but not all), a forward pelvic tilt may increase pressure on your perineum from the nose of the seat. Don’t be tempted to tilt the nose of the saddle down, as you’ll create a whole new set of problems. Saddles are designed to be level! If you are having problems with pressure from the nose of your saddle, you should try a saddle with a cut-out in the nose. Borrow a test saddle from your local bike shop and ask what they use and recommend.

I’ll throw this out there right off the bat, road cycling in comfort CAN be combined with an aerodynamic and pedalling-efficient position on the bike. The two concepts of comfort and efficiency are not mutually exclusive, and furthermore, nearly everyone can achieve this. The secret is in your posture. In my 25 years in the bike business, I’ve had many people come to me seeking help for problems with a sore back, neck or shoulders while cycling. Sometimes this soreness is caused by a past injury, which we try to overcome by adjusting the bike to suit the rider. Most commonly, however, only a small adjustment of the bicycle is required, with the rider’s posture requiring the most attention. I quite often see posture issues with riders who ride a bike that has a more upright seating position, such as a hybrid or mountain bike, and who have then moved on to a road bike. The lower handlebars and more streamlined seating position of a road bike requires a different posture for the rider, and although you are sitting with your head lower, it does not mean that a road bike needs to be less comfortable. The problem of transitioning to a road bike from a more upright bike comes when the rider keeps the upright position of the pelvis, then tries to reach the handlebars by curving their back. Before we’ve even begun to pedal, the muscles on the outside of the back are already under great tension causing aching and soreness.


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Imagine yourself in a gym, performing a deadlift, you wouldn’t begin the lift by curving your back, you would strain and injure yourself. The correct way to deadlift is to tilt your pelvis over, creating a straight line through your pelvis and into your now straight torso. Sitting on the bike is exactly the same, and it too begins with a forward pelvic tilt.

In addition to your new-found comfort, there are two happy side effects of riding a road bike with correct posture. Firstly, the handlebars don’t seem so far away, you feel less like you are stretching to reach them. Secondly, a forward tilt on the pelvis engages the glute muscles, helping you create a more powerful pedal stroke. Remind yourself to sit with good posture until it becomes a habit and you’ll climb hills faster and sprint with more power, while cycling comfortably without a sore back! Perfect. Photographs taken by Jay Symons

MOUNTAIN BIKE ADVENTURES Where to ride Off- Road in East Gippsland

By Gary Jackson

additional XC circuit in place by February 2017 in time for when the National XC series is back again. Free camping and a toilet are available on site, however there is no drinking water. With Bairnsdale so close, there is also easy access to hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and Caravan Parks.

Mountain Bike riding is a popular activity for an increasing number of Australians, with one of the first questions asked being “where do I ride?” East Gippsland is benefiting from this growth with people visiting the area specifically to ride Mountain Bikes off-road, and it’s easy to see why, with three great Mountain Bike parks and plenty of variety to choose from, East Gippsland is becoming a known Mountain Bike Destination. Mountain Bikers can make a whole weekend out of a visit here to ride all three Parks over two or three days, staying overnight and bringing economic benefits to the region

Free Camping is available at Log Crossing in the Colquhoun Forest, but of course there is numerous accommodation options at the seaside town of Lake Entrance along with restaurants and supermarkets.


For gravity assisted riding, there is no better place in East Gippsland than Mt Taylor. Located just 15 minutes North of Bairnsdale, Mt Taylor features a 2.5km State Level Downhill (DH) track, a 5km All-Mountain Track (AM) and a 4.5km Cross Country (XC) Circuit. Suitable for Intermediate and Advanced riders, both the DH and AM trails feature good drainage so can be ridden all year round, and the trails make great use of the many rocky outcrop features of Mt Taylor. There is an access road to the top of the DH and AM trails easily managed by a 4WD car and navigable in a 2WD with care for multiple shuttle runs of these trails. Riders looking for a good fitness challenge can ride to the top on the access trail and get the heart and lungs pumping. The XC circuit was recently used for a round of the National Cross Country series and saw East Gippslander and 3 time Olympian, Daniel McConnell take a popular win. There will be upgrades to the existing XC circuit and a new


Located 20mins East of Bairnsdale and 10 minutes West of Lakes Entrance, the Colquhoun Forest Mountain Bike Park boasts a fun 18km XC circuit mostly for intermediate and advanced riders, with some of the trails suitable for beginners. Built on the well drained granite sandy soil, this all-weather Park features lots of bermed corners, bridges, jumps, and log rollovers to keep things interesting. The jewel in the Park’s crown is the famous “Lollypop” trail, 1.5km of single trail that sweeps up and down the sides of a gully. My tip for Lollypop is to take a brave pill and don’t ride the brakes going down each time into the gully, so that your momentum will carry you up the other side.

East Gippsland’s first official Mountain Bike Park, Nowa Nowa Mountain Bike Park is a short 1.5km ride or drive from the town centre. It was designed as a family-friendly, beginner to intermediate level track that can still be fun for more advanced riders. The Park features six numbered trails, with number One a gradual climbing trail to the top where you can then pick from the five descending trails to come back down. If climbing the hill each time is not your style, there is a shuttle access road accessible by 2WD car to take you back to the top for another downhill run. Nowa Nowa township has a Cafe, General Store, Caravan Park and Hotel. Mountain Bike photographs taken by Vince Rettino and Colquhoun Forest by Wildwood Photography

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By Lauren Murphy

Racing with smiles on faces are Lou Clark, Rachel Kimber and Adele Whelan (L-R)

If you are ever in Warragul early enough to see the sun rise you may see flashes of colour of a different kind. Whizzing around the outskirts of town are members of Velo Fille, a women's cycling group that started seven years ago. Being out on a bike lets women take a break from their other roles. Members speak of the physical, social and emotional benefits, and how these feed back into the other parts of their lives. Invariably they pay tribute to Kaylene Chaproniere, one of Velo Fille’s founders. For Kaylene herself, cycling brings a sense of self and independence like no other sport. Cycling is a chance to be free from any other roles and expectations in life, she says. "You have this sense of freedom, the wind is in your hair and you are just you." Like most kids growing up in Australia, Kaylene knew how to ride a bicycle, but it wasn't until she moved to Darwin in her mid-20s that she ditched her car for a bike to commute to work with an international recruiting company. On a trip to South America, she took on mountain biking. It was to change her life in ways she never expected. Back in Australia, the bike needed


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some attention so, during a visit back home to see her parents, she took it into a cycling shop in Warragul. That was when she met her future husband, Shaun, an avid cyclist who had just left the air force. They ended up opening their own cycling shop (Chilli Cycles) not long after they were married. She wasn't a strong cyclist then. She recalls doing her first 'longer' ride in Warragul before getting in the car to measure how far it was. She called Shaun excitedly to say she had done a 17km loop. She has since done 210km rides but of course it is all relative. She continued to ride recreationally and attempt that bit further each ride, but found excuses not to join in on a Saturday group ride. The problem was nerves, she says. "It took me about six weeks to go for that first group ride but then I never looked back."

After one of the group rides, some of the women started talking about doing their own ride. They casually mentioned it to a few others. That first Wednesday, 16 women turned up at 6am for their first group ride. That was December 2009 and it was the start of Velo Fille. They had 40 different women come on a ride that first season. Some of the women they knew, others not. The ages ranged from 14 to early 60s. On one ride three generations of women rode from Warragul to Drouin as part of the 'ride like a girl' event. “It was a bit of an eclectic mix," Kaylene says. “People who were not keen to go on mixed rides felt it was a more welcoming ride.” The group grew quite organically, taking on recreation rides around Victoria. The Baw Baw Challenge was the first ride together, with members taking on the 70 or 110km ride. That May Kaylene drove a bus and trailer to another series at Whittlesea.

Over the winter break a kit was designed and the name Velo Fille, French for “bike girl”, was born. Come the first Wednesday of spring, the group was back, all kitted up. More events built as women continued to join. Unintentionally the group became a place of social as well as cycling support. A few years in, the skill progression was quite notable. Kaylene helped organise attendance in women-only races. At one such race, 28 Velo Fille members tried racing for the first time. After about three or four seasons, they added a Friday beginners’ ride because some of the new members were intimidated by the standard of the experienced riders. They wanted to show them where everyone else had started off, to build on basic bike skills and to build their confidence. The beginners rode on the local netball courts before graduating over six to eight weeks to smaller road rides until they felt confident enough to join the main Wednesday group.

Velo Fille members out on their Wednesday morning ride pausing as the sun breaks through the fog

I ask Kaylene what she thinks makes people hesitant about group cycling. "I think it's 'I don't want to hold you up'. That's the fear that you’re not going to be quick enough, fit enough to go with this bunch that they'll have to wait for you. Every new person would have said 'I don't want to hold you up'. “This is who we are. We always wait. This is what Velo Fille is. It's an encouraging, supportive avenue for women to ride. You don't need to have the flashiest bike or be the fastest. We have empathy and aren’t afraid to admit we were scared when we started.”

Three Generations of Velo Fille

One of the recent highlights was a ride called Warragul to Kabul ride in which people of all ages and abilities – including a member of the Australian cycling team – collectively rode the 11,900-kilometre distance from Warragul to Kabul. The aim was to raise funds for the Afghanistan women’s cycling team who face multiple and threatening challenges simply for wanting to cycle. "At the end of that day we had people messaging in to tell us they loved it and how it had made them get their bike out of their shed." The success of Velo Fille led Cycling Victoria to call on Kaylene to help with the creation of the Breeze program. She was also supported by Baw Baw Shire to speak at the Velo City international conference in 2014 in Adelaide, where she drew great inspiration from seeing how other cities model their cycling infrastructure. She applauds the Warragul to Drouin bike trail but notes gaps in other areas of Gippsland. She would love to see more local pathways and road infrastructure to make the community more cycling friendly. She believes future generations can be encouraged to ride to do so safely.

One of the original members, Carolyn Turner leads the group through the outskirts of Warragul

I ask Kaylene if she has anything left on her cycling bucket list. Without hesitation, she replies "encouraging more people to ride”. "Get out on a bike path,” she says. “It's not about riding on the road, it's just about riding and feeling that sense of freedom." Anyone interested in cycling is encouraged to make contact with their local bike shop, which can pass on connections to groups and check bikes for safety, especially those just pulled out of the shed after a long hibernation. Photographs courtesy of Velo Fille

bottom right: Kylie Bills rides the tracks at Lysterfield Lake as part of the Mountain Bike Clinic

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"Being part of Velo Fille has given me..." …great riding with great people. As it's the people who keep me coming back. - Danielle ...shown me the magic of riding with other women who love being out on their bikes. I am grateful for Kaylene's vision and determination to open up opportunities for women in cycling, no matter what their fitness levels or goals are. Her success inspired Cycling Victoria to develop a Statewide version based on the Velo Fille model: enjoy the ride, and enjoy the company. - Monique Hanley ...the skills and knowledge to bring me confidence over time to call myself a cyclist and a whole new network of likeminded girls that I now call friends. - Daina ..the confidence and freedom to ride on the road in groups and on my own, that I could not have achieved on my own. hanks Kaylene. - Shona Barwick.

The group always ends a ride with breakfast at Frankies Café, Christmas turned this one into a festive affair

...the chance to ride alongside and become friends with some awesome women from all walks of life. - Gabrielle Mc Bain ...a community and haven. :) Thank you Kayene. - Lee ..Any time is a great time to ride your bike, whether it be 6am or the weekend. Bonus is time spent with friends. Friends I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t ride a bike. - Carolyn Turner ...the opportunity to have 'me' time, meet new friends and keep fit. I chat with so many women from different walks of life while riding - it is a social pleasure as much as a fitness routine. - Kath Stephenson. ....a sense of renewed confidence and focus, a passion bordering on a wonderful obsession. Noting that inspiration is drawn from Kaylene and her ability to empower, motivate and provide guidance to the group. - Helen Mogensen ...much joy in seeing many women, of all ages, empowered to do something they never thought possible and also for myself, the confidence to explore many beautiful rides here and overseas. - Vicki Bell ...a chance to escape the rigours of daily life with a like-minded group of girls and ladies, along with guaranteed fun, laughs and encouragement. - Heather Ferguson The first members taking in the coastline of InverlochCape Paterson during the first weekend away

Group members after a race, Kaylene standing on left

Group attending Mountain Bike Clinic


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GO WITH THE FLOW IN DINNER PLAIN One of the rarest environments in Australia is gearing up to host what promises to be one of the best weekends away you can have with your bike this Spring.

The alpine mountain bike trails surrounding Dinner Plain in High Country Victoria are ecologically unique, visually mesmerizing and extremely fun to ride.

“The quality of the trails, designed and built by Dirt Art, is fantastic,” says Andrew Miller, who is organising this year’s Dinner Plain Mountain Bike Enduro and Funduro. “They’re flowy and they’re good fun.” The three-hour Enduro, set to take place on Sunday 30 October to coincide with the Melbourne Cup long weekend, is a relatively new event on the mountain bike calendar. This grass-roots ride first hit the scene in 2013 and 2014 when the local DP Riders club put out the word-of-mouth, reeling in about 170 participants to loop their tracks. But with only a handful of residents in the village year-round, DP Riders club member Karl Gray says their tiny club just didn’t have the steam to organise the event on their own in 2015.


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Such a loss to the mountain bike events calendar couldn’t be allowed to continue. These fine alpine trails just had to be ridden! So enter Miller. With his experience running the popular Bright 24hr Enduro down in the valley, he has been able to work closely with the DP Riders and keep the wheels spinning on this high-altitude ride for 2016. “This will be a fun weekend away,” says Miller. He says the village of Dinner Plain is very unique, with a wide range of Australian alpine-style accommodation as well as quirky attractions like Blizzard Brewing Company – Australia’s highest brewery – which crafts beer using arguably some of the purest water in Australia originating from icy cold snow melt. But it’s the surrounding Alpine National Park that takes centre stage. “I think first and foremost it’s the environment that is unique,” says Miller. “It doesn’t exist anywhere else in Australia.”

The Dinner Plain Enduro will be a three-hour ride that loops around a 7km circuit, which flows through snow gum forest. The trail is suitable for riders of all levels and its level of difficulty will depend on how hard you ride it. A nice touch to the weekend is the Funduro – a one hour fun ride on a short route surrounding the village. Miller says the Funduro is perfect for families and kids to get out and just enjoy being in the mountains. And then of course, there is Dinner Plain’s Pump Track, which can keep anyone entertained for hours. Miller says the Enduro and Funduro is a great excuse to escape for the weekend and enjoy some brilliant riding. Designed by Australian-based Dirt Art, whose mountain bike trails are internationally renowned, these trails have some serious flow. Miller says their remote alpine location also means that mountain bikers can escape the crowds.

THE ALPINE MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS SURROUNDING DINNER PLAIN The good news is, this is just the beginning, with more Dirt Art trails in the pipeline. Simon Jones, a project officer on Alpine Shire Council’s asset development team, says the Shire is currently in talks with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to get permission to move the project forward. If all goes well, new tracks could be ready for Enduro 2017.

“They’ll be awesome,” Jones says of Dirt Art’s new designs. Registration for the Dinner Plain Enduro and Funduro 2016 will open in mid September and more information can be found on the website. In the meantime, riders can get themselves prepped. Miller, who was a former track cyclist, says prepping your body for a three-hour ride is fairly easy. “Ride your bike. Just ride, whether it’s on single track, on forest trail, or on the road – just ride,” he says. “It’s fun, it’s healthy, it’s good exercise, and the more you do it, the better you become.” “It’s all about having fun,” he says. for more information

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2016 Blores Hill

3/6 Hour

Enduro at Blores Hill MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK

Blores Hill Mountain Bike Park is a magnificent area of natural bushland just a few minutes North of Heyfield, maintained by Gippsland Mountain Bike Club and managed by Parks Victoria. Blores Hill boasts an array of trails specifically designed for mountain bike riding.

in each section were those who had completed the most amount of laps in the quickest time. The ‘Gippsland 6 Hour’ has been a regular on the VES calendar and the annual event remains one of the most popular races in the endurance racing calendar.

Gippsland Mountain Bike Club recently hosted Round 4 of the Victorian Endurance Series (VES) on Saturday 23rd July in what were the worst conditions the race had seen in the six years it had been running. 215 riders braved the conditions over the 3 and 6 hour courses around Blores Hill Mountain Bike Park just out of Heyfield.

After three hours had elapsed in the 6 hour race, the 3 hour race began, and while the track had been worn in well with the wet conditions, more traffic caused some sloppy conditions in the lowest parts of the track. The 3 hour race always sees close racing as fewer tactics come into play, and the lead riders always keep a close eye on each other, and this race was no difference with the top 3 riders only 3 seconds apart after 2 hours of racing.

Just before the 6 hour race start, a massive hail storm and buffeting winds had competitors and their support teams running for cover. The front eventually passed and clear blue skies saw the riders start their race on time, although the wind, showers and cold temperatures remained throughout the day. Riders could either race solo for the 6 hours or in teams with one rider on track at a time. Winners


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Gippsland Mountain Bike Club run their own race series for all levels of experience across Gippsland. Head to to find out where and when the next race will be held. Report by Adam Downes Photographs by Belinda Billing

results Tobias Lestrell took out the solo men 6 hour race covering 11 laps of the 12km loop. Kate Penglase took the women’s solo category with 7 laps. In the 3 hour race, Murray Spink opened a gap in the last 45 minutes and took the win with 6 laps. Monica Campi took the women’s race on 5 laps by less than a minute over second place.

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The second Annual Cox’s Bridge to Cox’s Place bike ride is on again! Commencing at 9.00am from Cox’s Bridge in Sale and finishing at Cox’s Place in Loch Sport. The ride is approximately 64km from start to finish, after which participants and the general public are encouraged to stay on and enjoy the fun as well as take up the options of receiving a massage, reflexology, naturopathy, blood testing, as well as filling up on proteins, carbs, healthy foods, refreshments, live music and children’s activities. To cater for all levels of fitness, this year the event will have 5 entry points: Entry Point 1: Approx 64 km Registration Opening: 8.15am From Cox’s Bridge, Sth Gippsland Hwy, Sale Entry Point 2: Approx 34 km Registration Opening: 9.30am From Cnr Longford Loch Sport Road & Seacombe-Sperm Whale Head Rd Ref: C485 Entry Point 3: Approx 20km Registration Opening: 10.00am From Cnr Seacombe-Sperm Whale Head Rd & Seacombe Landing Rd Ref: C485 Entry Point 4: Approx 5km Registration Opening: 10.00am From Information Board – Sperm Whale Head Rd (next to Police Station) Entry Point 5: Approx 250mtr Registration Opening: 10.00am From Cnr Toorak Ave and Seagull Dve to Cox’s Place

Previous Ride with Peta Mullins Australian Woman’s Road Champion

The second, annual event will be again be a one day ride to honour Bruce Cox “The Doc” the man, as well as acknowledge his many accomplishments as a volunteer and tireless worker within Sale, Loch Sport and Gippsland communities. In 2014 Bruce was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and it was his wish that this event be held annually to raise awareness of this terminal disease and to support Motor Neurone Disease Victoria in the remarkable work they do in the help and support on behalf of people living with terminal disease and their families. Sadly Bruce’s fight to battle this odious disease was lost in March 2016. If you can’t participate but would like to sponsor or make a donation please let us know. For additional information about the event or registration please call Zara on 0498 270 992 or Denise on 03 5146 0775 / 0421 834 850. Email: Photographs supplied courtesy of Chris Holmes


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Motor Neurone Disease Victoria

Sale Lions Club

Loch Sports Lions Club



Information Board - Sperm Whale Head Rd (next to Police Station) distance approx. 5 km cost $15 adult, $10 school age, $40 family

Cnr of Longford Loch Sport Rd & Seacombe Sperm Whale Head Rd distance approx. 34 km cost $35 adult, $20 school age, $100 family

Cnr Toorak Ave & Seagull Dve distance approx. 25 km cost $10

Cnr of Seacombe Sperm Whale Head Rd & Seacombe Landing Rd distance approx. 20 km cost $25 adult, $15 school age, $65 family IF YOU DON’T WANT TO RIDE - COME ALONG AND JOIN IN THE “END OF RIDE FESTIVITIES” GET YOUR PHOTO TAKEN WITH CELEBRITIES, HAVE A MASSAGE WHILE THE KIDS EAT AND TAKE PART IN THE CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT, MUSICIANS, ETC. For more information, please contact Denise or Zara, Loch Sport Business & Tourism Assoc on: Tel: 03 5146 0775 | 0421 834 850 | 03 5146 0513 | 0498 270 992 or email:


These programs are just a few of the road safety initiatives in Victoria that have contributed to the number of young people killed in road crashes falling by 48% over the past decade. This ongoing education of students - which lies at the heart of the event - is seeing record numbers register to participate in 2016 and according to Slavin, more entrants means more students can take part in this program. Schools around the South Gippsland and Bass Coast regions are throwing their support behind the area’s premier not-for-profit cycling and fun run event, which ultimately impacts their students’ long term and saves lives in the process. The Bass Coast Cycle Challenge and Family Festival (12th November, 2016) attracts hundreds of participants from all over the region and wider Victoria, but it’s our local communities which benefit significantly from the event, with proceeds funding inschool courses which arm the next generation with life saving road safety knowledge. “The Bass Coast Cycle Challenge and Family Festival is a charity event… and we commit all funds to the education of drivers of young drivers, passengers and cyclists, making our roads a safer place for all,” said Event Director Gavin Slavin. “Support for this event over the past six years has enabled us to fund over 1000 secondary school students from the South Gippsland and Bass Coast areas, to take part in the RYDA Road Safety Education… where they learn knowledge and skills which they will retain for life, and pass onto others too.” This year, the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge supports a broader suite of driver education programs in local schools. “Students from grades 10, 11 and 12 will now benefit from your cycling efforts, with funds supporting the ‘Keys Please Vic Roads education program’ (year 10), the RYDA program (year 11) and Vic Roads MukUpday program (year 12).”


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“Our five rides (121km, 85km, 53km, 40km, 5km kids ride) and three fun runs (10km, 5km, 1.8km), are attracting a raft of new entrants, plus a swathe of returning entrants .... which is great because the more entries we receive, the more students we can involve in this course and the safer our roads can be.” “In 2016 we have had a lot of interest from sports clubs and teams from across Victoria, who are keen to participate in the event as a group.” “As part of the Festival activities organised by the Inverloch Lions Club, we also have the inaugural School Safety Cycle Challenge, where local school groups will take part in a 45minute safety ride around Inverloch.” Before the ride, school groups will wheel their bike to the Victorian police bike registration marquee to be road worthy checked. The ride itself will take the school groups through various safety check points on the course, where riders will complete their personal safety check list, providing them with first hand education of bike and road safety. Slavin believes the event day schedule is an attractive one for families. “Through the Lions Club Festival, we have brought back the billy carts this year, Inverloch Scouts have donated 12 identical billy carts to local primary schools enabling them to enter. Local schools in the region are being invited to participate in the billy cart races, and for 12 lucky schools, they will receive a billy cart or two to paint and decorate ahead of the big day.”

The Men’s Shed is also supporting the billy carts, ensuring they are in good condition for the event. “We also have the fun runs, street market, BMX and skateboarding competitions, plus a kids bike decorating competition, which have all seen a lot of interest from families, not just from the local area, but Melbourne and even further afield.” Slavin adds that many ‘weekend warriors’ and recreational riders are also attracted to the event, largely for the variety of challenges offered by the four main rides. “We have the more experienced riders who enter and want the challenges which the 121km ride will bring, with its 14 climbs including the 250m Mt Misery. “While at the other end of the rider spectrum we have recreational riders who have set themselves a personal goal to complete the 53km or 40km rides, which have less climbs but are equally as spectacular riding along the coastline and through the countryside.” The event also has support from some big media and sporting names, SBS Cycling Central’s Dave Mckenzie is event ambassador, along with Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn and Para cyclist Alex Welsh. The BCCC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are abuzz with chatter about the event, plus they are running some great competitions, to win full riders kit, free entries, and accommodation at RACV resort Inverloch. For more information or to enter the event check out:


spirit Few people within the Bass Coast community have not been inspired in some way by the courage, generosity and energy of the Slavin family. Words: Chris West & Meredith Bardwell

Gavin Slavin struggles to hidehis emotions when talking about the challenges that his family has faced in recent years. A well-known and highly respected member of the close-knit Inverloch community, Gavin has endured the pain of seeing his youngest daughter Becc battle an addiction to the destructive drug ice and his sister Deb Rielly suffer a second bout of cancer. Supremely fit through his highly successful endeavours in ironman events in Australia and overseas over the past 22 years, Gavin has had to summon all his strength in facing such adversity amongst his loved ones. Despite all that has been happening in his life, Gavin has somehow found time to maintain his role with Origin Energy managing an offshore rig whilst also continuing to devote countless hours towards organising some of the Bass Coast’s most popular community events. These include the annual Bass Coast Cycle Challenge & Family Festival coming up on November 12 and the Keeping Kids on Track Fun held back in March. Both charitably motivated events are aligned with the Bass Coast Barracudas Triathlon Club in Inverloch, with which Gavin and Deb are integrally involved.


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Gavin passionately embraces such initiatives in order to make a meaningful contribution within his local community. He created the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge in 2011 after experiencing the tragedy of losing a couple of friends who were killed in accidents on bikes.

“I wanted to help educate young people in road safety and cycling awareness on the roads,” Gavin explains. “We have so far put over 1,500 kids though our Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program over the past five years. We’ve got every secondary school in South Gippsland and the Bass Coast Shire involved and also provide the education program to the Special School in Wonthaggi.” The Rotary Club of Leongatha act as custodians of the program, which is continuing to evolve. “In order to provide a better structure and ensure continuity, we have met with Council and Vic Roads to work on a plan to better integrate the different programs which we all had been offering,” Gavin says. “As a result, we now have in place a classroom education program for Year 10 to 12 students, along with a practical driving L-P program plus

a mentoring program. Through the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge, we are also going to provide a scholarship for the L-P program for two kids for a year, which is valued at about six thousand dollars.” Now in its 6th year, the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge & Family Festival continues to grow in stature and standing under Gavin’s direction. “Every year we keep stepping it up,” he states. “In the first year, we had around two hundred riders, whereas last year those numbers had grown to about six hundred.” Keen riders come from all around to take part, mainly from Melbourne and some from interstate. Entries for this year’s event are open and can be accepted up until Friday, 11 November. Cyclists have the opportunity to compete in their choice of rides over distances of 40 kilometres, 53 kilometres, 85 kilometres, 121 kilometres or take on the challenging climb up Mt Misery in a new time-trial event to crown the King of the Mountain. “We want an even wider range of riders involved this year,” Gavin reveals.

Deb at Bass Coast Cycle Challenge by Lynton Clay Photography

“We’ve applied for grants to purchase some bikes so that we can help economically disadvantaged people take part. We also want more women, the elderly and disabled people to join us.” There have also been a number of enhancements to the Family Festival this year, which will again be managed in conjunction with the Inverloch Lions Club. The event will include Fun Runs, BMX and Skateboard competitions and the return of the iconic Billy Cart races. “We’re really excited to have the Billy Cart races back,” Gavin says. “We are coordinating the event through local schools who we are providing with standardised Billy Cart kits which the students can assemble and decorate.” Gavin relies on a network of outside support to help make all his community endeavours possible.

“When she first got cancer around 2000 she underwent extensive chemotherapy. In that first fight with cancer, fitness played an important role in her recovery. I can remember the nurses finding Deb doing pushups on the floor while in hospital for her treatment. That’s just her.” In 2011, Gavin and Deb were competing in the Port Macquarie ironman event together when she mentioned feeling something wrong with her back. Upon her return home, doctors found cancer in four vertebrae, her chest, lungs, hip and had even spread to tumours on her brain.

Over the past six years, Gavin has also had to contend with the fall and rise of his youngest daughter Becc, 23, in living every moment of her struggle with the drug ice. Happily though, her’s is ultimately a triumphant and uplifting story of a pathway into recovery and the prospect of a bright future.

That discovery was a devastating blow for the mother of twin boys who are now 18 years old.

Becc’s decline into the ravages of drug addiction started from the moment she tried ice for the first time at an after party for her school deb ball. She was affected by alcohol that night and vulnerable to temptation. Mixing at the party with a number of boys and their older brothers, the then 17-yearold Becc was offered ice and accepted in youthful ignorance.

“Deb is a fighter, but this time it is harder,” Gavin admits.

“I had no real idea what ice was back then,” she admits.

“Despite her illness, it’s not easy to tell Deb to slow down and not to do anything. She and I are very much alike. We have so much energy and just enjoy helping other people develop.”

“When I took it, I felt an immediate high. I gained confidence and felt unstoppable. Looking back, now I was really scared, but the need and want to fit in and be cool meant I just did it.”

He receives vital assistance from his event operations group and hard-working individuals such as Katie Hodge, who handles the advertising and promotion requirements. More volunteers are always welcomed to help bring the events to life and willing people can contribute in a variety of ways.

“Giving back to the community is what it’s all about and we want everyone to be involved in some capacity, whether it be as a volunteer, participant, spectator or by attending the Family Festival,” Gavin emphasises. While Gavin has been busy combining work with his community endeavours, his thoughts are never far away from the struggles of his ailing sister Deb in nearby Wonthaggi. Deb bravely fought and seemingly defied breast cancer more than a decade ago, but now faces an even tougher battle. “My sister has always been fit and has been very active in sports like basketball and triathlon,” Gavin says.

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mistreatment and physical abuse at the hands of boyfriends as she stared death in the face on several occasions. “There were so many times when I really should have died,” she remarks. But thankfully Becc survived long enough to eventually escape the nightmare she was living. Her ordeal finally came to a head and reached a turning point one night in Dalyston in February 2014. Completely broken and at rock bottom, she escaped from the house where she was living with her boyfriend and went to a playground at a local primary school with the thought in mind to kill herself. “Over time, I had lost it all. My life was torn apart. In that moment at the school playground I realised everything was gone and I begged a stranger in the sky to save me,” Becc remembers tearfully. Aware that she had reached a pivotal moment, Becc returned to the house where she was living for her own safety and overnight a conscious shift happened within her. The next day she packed her bags in readiness to leave, but was knocked unconscious by her drug addicted boyfriend. “Somehow I managed to get out and called mum with the only two dollar coin I had on me,” Becc recalls. Reunited with her family, she was taken to hospital for treatment before returning to their care. “In the end it was my choice to seek proper help. My family had tried everything under the sun,” Becc says. For her rehabilitation, Becc spent fifteen months interstate as a resident at the Teen Challenge Academy in Esperance from March 2014 to June 2015. Her aunt Deb had recommended Teen Challenge after discovering the worldwide organisation’s work during a charity bike ride in Western Australia.

“When I got there a miracle happened. The cravings and the addiction went. Teen Challenge completely changed everything for me,” Becc states. “Within the first month I wrote letters to both my sisters to ask them for forgiveness. You learn to take responsibility for your actions.” Becc acknowledges that she was searching for her identity at that time. “I struggled with rejection a lot. I had started jumping from different friend groups and was using alcohol. I never thought I was good enough and I didn’t think I fit in, when actually I did.” Becc had also carried emotional scars from losing her best childhood friend when she was five. “Being so young then, I hadn’t been able to understand why I couldn’t go to heaven like him,” she reflects. Although Becc thinks she was immediately addicted to ice, she found it hard to obtain the drug following the deb party. “I didn’t have it again for months until I was eighteen, but when it did become more accessible my body craved it and the chase began. I couldn’t go anywhere without it,” she remembers.


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Becc was chasing an unattainable high that was never really in reach and just slipped further into depression and decline. “Drugs were just numbing emptiness,” she says.




As Becc’s attitude and behaviour deteriorated under the hold of drugs, she lost her pastry chef and baking apprenticeship while her world continued to spiral downwards. Heartbroken family members were confused and shattered by what was happening. “My wife Robyn and I knew something was going on with Becc, but didn’t know what at first,” Gavin recalls. “It put a great strain on our relationship and Becc’s elder sisters Aimee and Georgia both stepped back from her.” Becc’s story of her period as a drug addict is a harrowing tale of recklessness, danger,

In her first year at Teen Challenge, Becc progressed through the four phases of the program followed by a three-month transitional period, including spending time with a local host family, before leaving and re-entering society. Whilst at the facility, Becc developed a passion for singing as a way of expressing her feelings and made a strong spiritual connection during her recovery. She also studied to obtain a Certificate 4 in Community Services. “Teen Challenge gave me the tools and ways to deal with everyday life. I know I can now face things head on and work through them,” Becc says. Gavin cannot speak highly enough of Teen Challenge and what the centre did for his daughter. “They saved Becc’s life. Simple as that. They have about a ninety per cent success rate. It’s an amazing place,” he says.

Gavin Slavin / Bass Coast Cycle Challenge

As a show of the family’s gratitude, Gavin and Deb raised over $300,000 for Teen Challenge in five days in November 2014 via a fundraising bike ride from Esperance to Perth. “Teen Challenge is an organisation that we will continue to support,” Gavin vows. After completing her recovery at Teen Challenge and returning to Inverloch, Becc was warmly embraced by the local community. One of the things she did upon her return was write a letter of gratitude to the local Wonthaggi police and went to visit them to personally convey her thanks. She has been able to find employment and has gradually begun to build a brand new network of friends. Becc has found a great sense of purpose in being invited to share the insights into her experiences with drugs with others.

“People knew a little bit about my story, but then I was asked to speak for the first time and from there doors have kept opening for me,” she says. Becc is working with AFL Gippsland in conjunction with the Gippsland Institute of Sport telling her story to local football clubs. She also has part-time employment at the Beach Box Cafe in Inverloch. Although nervous whenever taking to the microphone to speak publicly, Becc says she is able to overcome any fears. “When I get up there, something happens and it’s like the courage just comes. For me, the fact that something so bad as what I went through can be worked into good and help save another person’s life, that gives me the strength to do it.”

“The strength I needed to recover is in my blood. Just look at the strength of my family,” she says. “Dad said to me on the plane on the way to Teen Challenge that if you can do this, you can do anything. If something seems hard now, I just remember that.” Becc has repaired her relationships with both her sisters. “Georgia is my best friend and it was Aimee who nominated me for the Bass Coast Young Citizen of the Year Award for turning my life around,” she notes. Becc attended the 2016 presentation function at the Council offices in Wonthaggi in January with family and close friends, unaware that she had even been nominated for the award.

Becc is thankful that her family never gave up on her.

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“It was pretty overwhelming to be announced as the winner. I just cried,” she says. Gavin is proud of his daughter and delighted to have his family unit back together in harmony. “Thank God it’s turned around with the help of Teen Challenge and we’re now probably the closest we’ve ever been as a family,” he suggests. So much is happening in Becc’s life at present, she finds it hard to know what the future holds for her in the longer term. “I know that amazing things are going to happen now that I am successful, free, working and studying. I want to write my story. I want to let people in my situation know that there’s hope. Drug addicts aren’t monsters. They’re just hurt people who have made poor choices,” she says. “Right now I’m happy just to get up every day and live my life. That creates a ripple effect that flows on to me being able to help other people.”

“I regularly get phone calls from people in the local area asking for help and have even taken young girls to hospital,” she reveals.

Teen Challenge

In continuing to lead her life, Becc receives great support and love from her family and friends and her church. “Having good, loving people around me, that’s enough,” she insists. When Becc thinks about everything that she and her family have had to endure, one prevailing thought comes foremost to her mind. “Love conquers all,” she states with a smile. Those three words would make a suitably apt motto for the Slavin family to summarise their positive attitude to life.

Bass Coast Cycle Challenge photographs by Lynton Clay Photography Photographs supplied courtesy of Gavin Slavin

Some day Becc would also like to fulfill her vision of opening a rehabilitation centre herself.


COMMUNITY AND THE POWER OF CONNECTION It was a privilege to meet Gavin Slavin and his daughter Becc and hear their stories of strength, courage and commitment. Theirs is a tale entwined in community and the power of connection. My interest in human development and the spirit that ignites certain passions in people was sparked as soon as Gavin mentioned the fact that he won the “first timers” category at his maiden attempt at a triathlon in St Kilda in 1994 and how he casually noted that his preparation for this exhausting event consisted of a “bit of footy training”. I have never participated in a triathlon, but I’m certain it takes more than footy training to give a person the strength both physically and emotionally to finish let alone win such an event. This inner drive and power that ignited Gavin’s passion for triathlons and pushing his body to extraordinary heights has continued in his family. His sister Deb shares the same willpower and persistence in the face of adversity. A triathlete and fitness fanatic just like Gavin, she is in the process of fighting a second diagnosis of cancer. Although unable to meet Deb on the day I spoke with Gavin and Becc, I could feel her courage through how her brother described her battle and perseverance through this illness. Being aware that cancer therapies are renowned for sapping patients of all their energy, I was amazed when Gavin recounted an anecdote about Deb was caught doing sit ups by one of the nurses in the midst of her treatment. This mindset is typical of Deb’s will to continue with the life she loves and the pursuits that feed her spirit.


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Becc, the daughter of Gavin and the niece of Deb, has had her own battles in recent years in successfully overcoming her addiction to the drug ‘ice’. Before Becc made the allimportant decision to take the first steps away from her addiction and toward recovery, she first had to hit rock bottom. What stood out to me as Becc explained the transformation in her life was that she understood in a subconscious way that there was another plan for her. However, what I could see clearly was that Becc had a family that refused to let her drown in this self-destructive drug. Gavin continued to bring his daughter home from the dangerous places and people with whom she thought she belonged, not knowing if she’d be alive when he knocked on those doors. The heartbreak of Becc’s decline rippled through the Slavin family, with each member hoping that a different approach would rescue Becc from her hell. The Slavin family will be forever grateful for the assistance provided to Becc by the Teen Challenge facility in Esperance, which quite literally saved her life. Their introduction to Teen Challenge came via an initial contact from Deb during a charity bike ride in Western Australia. Deb connected with a group of people from Teen Challenge and was amazed by the philosophies, programs and community development of this treatment group. The information about Teen Challenge that Deb brought home for Becc was not acted upon immediately, but became vital from the moment the desperate young woman turned to Gavin and asked: “Dad, what’s that number?”

Today Becc is thriving and well and is looking forward to a bright future filled with friends, fun, laughter and love. The positive steps she has already taken in her recovery have been recognised with the Bass Coast Young Citizen of the Year award presented to her earlier this year. It is evident that recovery of any illness, addiction, heartbreak and loss requires strength, courage, tenacity and the love of family and a community. In their own way, Gavin, Deb and Becc have each nurtured the communities around them to embrace adversity and create connections for a bright future for those that participate, work and learn within them. Gavin is the driving force behind the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge and Family Festival on November 12 in support of the RYDA road safety education program. No matter at what level you wish to be involved, whether taking part in the tests of endurance in the riding events or fun runs or just simply just spectating, make sure you come along and enjoy being part of the community festivities at this charity event. Meredith Bardwell


David Fusinato – Store Owner

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A l an

Br own

At the age of 70, South Gippsland community stalwart, philanthropist and respected former politician Alan Brown is still passionate about building a better future for everyone. by Chris West


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Alan Brown 4 years old

1974 Youngest Mayor in Australia

1976 with his T Model Ford

When visiting Norfolk Island some years ago, Alan Brown paused to reflect at a gravesite which had caught his eye.

“She was an inspiration not only to me, but to all who knew her. She was genteel, kind and considerate, qualities which everyone admired.”

“There was a bust at the head of a grave rather than a headstone,” he recalls.

Alan showed a willingness to help his local community in South Gippsland from a young age. At 18 he accepted an approach to become the youth representative on the Wonthaggi Police and Citizens’ Youth Club.

the unsung heroes in the community. Other notable initiatives included sponsorship of a weekly Saturday night dance in the Town Hall and the relocation of the local agricultural show from Dalyston into Wonthaggi, which ensured its survival. Alan was centrally involved in that important decision and more than forty years later he remains Patron of this century-old community event, which has grown to become one of Victoria’s best and most successful agricultural shows.

“Inscribed on the bust was the man’s name and a tribute that simply said: He made a difference. I thought what a wonderful thing to be remembered for.” Alan Brown can rest assured that he has also made a difference to many people. Over more than 50 years of public life, community service and philanthropy, Alan’s contribution to the State of Victoria generally and his local heartland in South Gippsland has been deeply significant. Born and raised in Wonthaggi, Alan’s working class family roots were firmly entrenched in coal mining. His father Glen worked underground in the mines in Wonthaggi for 42 years, a perilous and tough profession. This background traced back a further generation, with his grandfathers having also been coal miners. Alan was born in 1946, just a year after the conclusion of World War II. His modest early life was shaped living in a two-bedroom miners cottage with his parents and two sisters. There was no hot water in the house other than what was boiled on the coal burning stove. There was an out building known as the wash house with a tin bath and copper under which his mother Sarah would light a fire to heat water for the family to bathe. “We never owned a car and life was simple, but mum always ensured there was good food on the table,” Alan remembers. “She had lived through the Great Depression and even though dad was employed in the mines there were often strikes, some lasting months which left the family with no income. I recall in later life mum telling me she often went to bed hungry to ensure her children were well fed.” Alan’s mother contracted breast cancer at the age of 33 and underwent radium treatment which was at that time experimental. Still today he can recall the terrible times his mother endured battling three serious bouts of cancer which eventually took her life. “My mother was from Scottish heritage and was hardy and stoic,” Alan states.

As the son of a coal miner, there was no suggestion of a university education for Alan and that was no concern to him as from an early age he wanted to be a carpenter. He followed his ambition, leaving school as a sixteen-year-old to commence a five-year carpentry and joinery apprenticeship with local builder Wally Purvis. “One of the best things to happen in my life was obtaining that apprenticeship,” Alan comments. “When I finished I had worked with and was proficient in most trades, including carpentry and joinery, plumbing, concreting, painting and tiling.” During the final 18 months of his apprenticeship, Alan utilised second hand materials to build a workshop in the back yard of his family home to establish a joinery shop and never looked back from that moment. The business quickly flourished and within twelve months he was supplying kitchen cabinets to many of the local builders. By the following year, he had purchased land on the highway in Wonthaggi to build a large factory as his new working base. Soon after, Alan expanded his enterprises by establishing a sign writing business and the following year also purchased a local paint store, the Wonthaggi Colour Centre. Such was his drive and willingness to work long hours that over a ten-year period, Alan established eight businesses in Wonthaggi and was employing in excess of forty people. To be able to do so was an impressive achievement for a man still aged in his twenties. Earlier when he was 21, Alan was first approached by local Councillor and then Wonthaggi Holden garage proprietor, John Fleming and asked to stand for Council. After some months of persuasion he agreed to stand. At the next Council election, Alan was elected and within four years was elected Mayor, a position he retained for three consecutive terms. During Alan’s tenure, many programs to attract industry to the town and to assist youth and the aged people in the local area were successfully implemented, including the annual Community Service Award to acknowledge

With the benefit of his strong work ethic, Alan was able to combine his Council duties with his diverse local business interests. But like most business proprietors in the mid 1970s, he came under intense financial pressure due to sharply rising interest rates. It was clear to Alan that the policies of the Whitlam government were destroying businesses and influenced him to switch his political allegiances. “The first time I ever voted as an 18-year-old young man I had voted for the Labor Party. But what the Whitlam government was doing when in power caused me to change. Although I came from a strong Labor family, I joined the Liberal Party out of protest. I could see businesses going to the wall and was particularly dismayed by the economic mismanagement as interest rates went from 6 per cent to 18.5 per cent in a timeframe of two years,” he explains. “The way I look at it, if you’re dealing with anybody’s money, you should treat it as your own. Every decision I ever made, whether as a minister or even in the companies I am involved with today, I ask myself whether I would do this with my own money. Yes or no? If the answer is yes, I will put my hand up to support it, but if I wouldn’t do it with my own money I wouldn’t do it with anyone else’s. The financial mismanagement we saw during the time of the Whitlam government just beggared belief.” It was during this era in the 1970s that Alan was approached and asked to stand for State Parliament for the Liberal Party, an offer that he knew if he accepted would spell the end of him continuing to own the businesses he had created, as he was central to the management and success of each. After spending a long time agonising over which way to go, he agreed to stand for Parliament and was elected in 1979, becoming the Member for Western Port and subsequently Gippsland West until 1996. Over a period spanning nearly two decades, Alan forged a distinguished and honourable career in politics which was highlighted by his ascendancy to the leadership of the Liberal

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1978 with former Federal Treasurer Phillip Lynch

1979 when Alan entered Parliament

“When I first entered politics, I worked under people like Dick Hamer and Lindsay Thompson, both of whom were amongst the finest men I have ever known. I never heard them talk down to anyone or even swear,” he says. “Today it’s like a bear pit and I do not believe that this is the way one should conduct oneself and I also do not believe it’s the way the vast majority of Australians think their elected representatives should behave. I’m close to despair with how it’s degenerated and I think it needs to turn back to civility and respect.”

Party in Victoria in Opposition. He has no doubt that his humble, working class background stood him in very good stead throughout his political life. “The people you deal with in the main want to be treated with respect. That’s the way I was brought up,” he says. “I would like to think I had the common touch and still retain it to this day. I despise anyone who thinks they’re better than anyone else and makes it evident. Nobody likes people like that.” Alan was also recognised as being fair-minded and a man with strong values. “Because of my background I was able to successfully renegotiate agreements behind closed doors with militant unions in public transport. The old saying a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is as true to me today as it ever was,” he emphasises. Politics runs deep in his blood, but having started his public life in an era when the political arena was far more gentlemanly, Alan admits to being disenchanted with the current state of affairs.


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Alan harbours great concerns about wastefulness in governments and excessive borrowing levels. He also wants our financial decision makers in politics to reduce debt. “Governments, just the same as people managing their household budgets, need to live within their means,” he comments.

“If debt is eliminated, instead of paying interest on borrowed money which returns you really nothing, you can build wonderful community assets that to this day are very necessary.” From entering Parliament in 1979, Alan rose to lead the Liberal Party for two years from 1989, succeeding Jeff Kennett. Considered a moderate, his style of leadership was inclusive which led to the first Coalition with the National Party in Victoria in 43 years. By 1991 he had guided the Liberals to an impregnable position ahead of the 1992 State Election, before being replaced in the leadership position by a resurgent Kennett. Alan says that his downfall as leader was caused by internal unrest amongst some of the people in his team.

“I was making appointments to the Shadow Cabinet on merit, not on favours, which led to a lot of malcontents. Jeff went on to have a huge victory at the election, as I would have done. Having said that, he deserves credit as he did a tremendous amount of hard work and it would not be fair to say that he had an armchair ride,” he comments. Following the 1992 election victory, Alan was appointed Transport Minister by Premier Kennett. Amongst many achievements as Transport Minister over the next four years, he can be credited for several initiatives of lasting significance including the introduction of Melbourne’s now world famous City Circle Tram service. During his earlier tenure when leading the Liberal Party, he also planned the introduction of the Nightrider Bus service in Melbourne so young people could return home safely to the outlying regions of the city in the early morning hours. Through his dealings with unions during his political life, Alan can also detail many stories of mind-boggling inefficiency and appalling waste of public funds.

Alan working as a builder

1990 Alan led 8,500 motorcyclists to the Phillip Island Grand Prix

“I made sure the unions knew that their time was up on the ridiculous things they had been getting away with and that the game was changing,” he says. “In today’s money, it’s well over half a billion dollars a year we as a State are saving from the reforms I put in place just in the transport portfolio alone.” In 1996, Premier Kennett presented Alan with an opportunity to relinquish his responsibilities as Transport Minister and accept an exciting new challenge by moving to London to perform the role of Victoria’s Agent General. “I was turning 50 and had been in politics for 19 years. I had decided I was probably going to step out of Parliament anyway. Jeff knew I was considering my future and offered me the Agent General posting,” he recalls. “Having got to the top of the tree in leading the party previously, I think that once you’ve had your chance it becomes time to move on, so I accepted the Agent General appointment and London became home for the next three years.” Alan again achieved significant success during his term in the diplomatic role, which encompasses Victoria’s inward and outward investment for the UK and much of Europe. Upon his return to Australia, with his days in politics behind him, Alan immediately returned to his familiar surroundings in South Gippsland where he has remained ever since. Soon after coming home from the UK, along with others Alan established the Bass Coast Community Foundation of which he remained founding chair for ten years. This initiative was established to help address areas of need and disadvantage throughout the Bass Coast region.

Alan and wife Paula on the campaign trail

Alan has also enjoyed a long-standing association with the Wonthaggi Citizens’ Band, of which he is also a passionate supporter. In 2009 he raised $100,000 to help mark the band’s centenary year and this money continues to assist its members on an ongoing basis. Alan is also a patron and supporter of many other local initiatives. Thirteen years ago he applied to chair a small Melbourne-based not-for-profit company operating in the field of employment and training.

“My grandparents never lived permanently under the same roof again so the small weatherboard house my grandmother rented for more than 40 years in Richmond means a lot to me,” Alan states.

Under his leadership and guidance, this company, IntoWork Australia, is now the nation’s largest employer of apprentices and trainees. IntoWork Australia agreed to establish a Community Foundation with a donation of $1 million and a commitment to donate $500,000 each year for ten years.

The fund Alan created to assist homeless people generates money for organisations to provide direction and assistance to the needy. “It’s very satisfying to know that the things I am doing are making a difference,” he says.

Alan is extremely proud of the work he is involved with that seeks to assist young people and he also wants to help nurture future community leaders.

“I am in Melbourne every week and most weeks coming home at night I will pull up briefly outside the old house in Richmond and think of the hardships my parents and grandparents endured.”

Showing little sign of slowing down, Alan works on his administrative tasks late at night, answering emails and clearing the workload on his desk. He admits to finding it difficult to completely relax.

“Young people are our future,” he says. “I’ve had my day in the sun and I want to see today’s youth step up and be more willing to contribute to the wider community at all levels. It’s absolutely imperative.” Homelessness is also another issue where Alan is actively helping those in need. Last year he established a fund, which is named in memory of his grandparents, to assist homeless people in the Richmond area in Melbourne. In the Great Depression, his grand mother moved from Wonthaggi to Richmond with six of her ten children while his grandfather remained in Wonthaggi to work in the coal mines.

Alan and Paula had 3 children when he entered Parliament in 1979

“I’m shocking on holidays. I’m okay in one place for three or four days and then I start to get itchy feet,” he says.

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With the first City Circle Tram that Alan Brown introduced to Melbourne 20 years ago

Apart from his stint in London as Agent General, Alan has lived his entire life around the Wonthaggi and Inverloch area, maintaining his ties with his local roots even throughout his career in State politics. “This is my home and where my heart is,” he emphasises. For the past 26 years, home for Alan and wife Paula has been on their 700-acre property at Inverloch which includes as its showpiece a man-made lake covering 20 acres of surface area. Surrounded by a park, the lake is a breeding haven for swans and ducks. Livestock on the property originally consisted solely of cattle, but has now expanded to also include the introduction of sheep. Alan and Paula raised four children and are now gaining further delight from their two young granddaughters, the first one born two years ago and the second just weeks ago.

As a dyed-in-the-wool Gippslander, Alan identifies several key challenges for the region as its most important immediate priorities. “The first is more jobs,” he says. “Most of what I do today is aligned to helping young people gain employment. I am also a strong advocate for decentralisation. I have no problem in public money subsidising business ventures that have a good chance of success. We also need better infrastructure. One example is roads. Our local roads aren’t good enough generally and are not well enough maintained. “I am also a big advocate for initiatives that support the community. I am a supporter of the performing arts and visual arts, or anything that adds to the fabric of the community. The community needs to have a life far beyond work and there’s so much more we can do.” Alan continues to strive to find ways to contribute wherever he believes he can help make a difference for the better.

“To this day, even after more than fifty years in public life, I still get stirred up when I see things that aren’t right at the local level, that aren’t right at the State level, or aren’t right at the Federal level,” he states. “I’m still prepared to tell people if I don’t like it, because I think that does put pressure on for change for the better. That’s the only change I’m interested in. I’m not interested in change for change sake. If I can suggest something that’s for the betterment of this community, or any other community, I’m quite happy to hold my hand up and say let’s get the shoulder to the wheel and see if we can change this.” Alan is thankful that he continues to enjoy excellent health, which helps him to maintain his passion and energy. “The fire is still in the belly and I hope it continues for quite a long while to come,” he says with conviction. Personal collection of photographs courtesy of Alan Brown


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2009 Licensed Sub-Branch of the Year

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Corner of Smith Street & Michael Place, Leongatha CALL RICKY TO ORGANISE A QUOTE!

From the Colony Education Rangers at Phillip Island Nature Parks

to the Classroom

It’s no secret that Phillip Island is home to a diverse range of wildlife, starting with the island’s most famous inhabitant, the much loved little penguin. Many incredible animals call this place home such as the fur seals offshore from the Nobbies, the koalas, the shearwaters, the hooded plovers and a staggering array of other species.

a range of everyday items such as fishing nets, fishing line, plastic bags, balloon strings, and even hats. Researchers rescue an average of 20 entangled seals each year during their regular trips to Seal Rocks. The Seal Research and Rescue program is aimed at year 7-10 students and helps to raise awareness about the dangers rubbish can present, as well as providing a solid foundation for learning about these curious and playful mammals. The program is held outdoors on the picturesque Nobbies boardwalk and starts with a history of the seal colony, which at one point was decimated by hunting.

There was a time however, that the future for some of the island’s wildlife didn’t look so bright. If it was not for the dedication and commitment just a generation ago of a handful of forward thinking, environmentally minded individuals, along with some brave figures in State Government, Phillip Island would not be what it is today. But how do we communicate the importance of environmental responsibility and conservation to current and future generations, so that Phillip Island remains a diverse environment? The Education and Interpretation Rangers at Phillip Island Nature Parks just might have an answer. The team runs a series of unique and exciting programs aimed at educating children of all ages about the importance of environmental awareness, and the impact we all have as individuals on the world around us. And if the kids can’t make it to the island, then the Education Rangers take the island to them, so no-one has to miss out on gaining the knowledge or the opportunity to develop a love of the environment. This great learning initiative offers programs for all ages, from those in their first years at school right through to tertiary level. While each program is geared specifically to curriculum outcomes, the underlying theme remains the same - we can all contribute to making a difference, and age is no barrier to protecting and caring for the environment. Last year alone over 21,000 students from within Australia as well as from overseas participated in a learning session with one of the Phillip Island Nature Parks' Education Rangers, and over 32,000 students visited one or more of the Nature Parks’ attractions. The majority of these students came and visited Phillip Island either on day trips or extended stays, giving them the opportunity to be fully immersed in


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Students learn about the seals’ features as well as their habitat and breeding habits, how they interact and play. They also gain valuable insights into the research conducted by Phillip Island Nature Parks and how this research can be utilised.

the environment as they learn how to appreciate, protect and enhance the local flora and fauna. The penguin colony, the shearwater rookery, the wetland, the shifting dunes all become classrooms and invite the children in to the natural environment. Not only do these sessions have an academic or theoretical outcome, but also they provide a very practical and lasting benefit to the environment. Many of the trees and shrubs that currently grow on the Crown land managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks are there because they were planted by volunteers including school students. Many of the penguin boxes that these well-known and loved little birds nest in were also built by these students. Less visible perhaps than trees or nesting boxes, but of immense importance itself, is the issue of marine debris and the removal and prevention of rubbish entering our waterways. This rubbish can prove devastating for the health of marine life if it ends up in the ocean and can even be fatal. This certainly is the case for the colony of Australian fur seals that inhabit Seal Rocks, which can easily mistake plastic for fish or become entangled in

By using a very real and local example, the Education Rangers are able to increase awareness of marine debris and the importance of preventing rubbish from ending up in the water in the first place, thus helping to protect marine life. The key message and underlying theme continues throughout these sessions – we can all make a difference and we all have a part to play in protecting our environment. Moving inland from the rugged Nobbies clifftops, the night-time Koala Prowl has also proven to be a very popular activity with visiting school groups. Held at the Koala Conservation Centre, students are led on a torchlight tour of the koalas’ bushland habitat and the elevated viewing boardwalks. Students experience first-hand how the bush comes alive at night, and we can all play a role in protecting it. They also learn about the history of koalas on the island, and how they were once hunted for their furs. While hunting was banned long ago, koalas face the ongoing threat of habitat loss, with the island’s koala population having been reduced significantly to around 30 today. While the koalas are definitely the stars, students might also be lucky enough to encounter Ringtail and Brushtail possums, owls, bats, spiders and various insects during their evening encounter. The Koala Prowl

offers an insight into the importance of maintaining habitat and introduces the concept of the value of recycling, all the while offering tips and advice on how to preserve and protect vital bushland habitat, reinforcing the message that we can all make a difference. For those students who can’t make it down to Phillip Island, the Nature Parks’ Education Rangers are able to take many of these learnings with them to the classroom through a series of school incursions. Using a variety of techniques such as taxidermy animals, books, and a host of equipment, both electronic and otherwise, they are able to create a fantastic learning experience for the students. Recently the team delivered the Chirpy Chicks incursion program at a range of regional schools in Gippsland, as well as some more urban settings like Newport and Altona. This program featured storytelling for the younger students through the latest book which was written, illustrated and published by the team at Phillip Island Nature Parks entitled What animal am I? Students have the opportunity to play the role of a penguin research assistant where they weigh, measure and handle taxidermy penguins.

Nature Parks’ Education Rangers firmly believe that such early exposure to wildlife and natural environments is a fundamental requirement for children to develop an understanding of the impact they can have, both good and bad, on the world around them. These programs, along with a multitude of others offered by the Education team will go a long way to educating future generations about the importance of the environment. Whether on excursion to beautiful Phillip Island or via an incursion into the classroom, the Rangers help students begin to understand the important message that we can all make a difference. If this generation can teach the next, and each generation becomes more aware than the preceding one, then the future prospects for our natural environment can start to look brighter.

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Lone Pine Bistro located at the gateway to Cowes Family friendly and Fully accessible Vegetarian, gluten free, children’s and senior’s options Kids playroom, monthly Funday Sunday and free Playful Puggles playgroup Wednesday mornings Function rooms ideal for weddings, reunions, seminars, wakes, parties


Phone: 03 5952 1004 BH






Wildlife Coast Cruises are running Wilson’s Prom Cruises this October with a focus on searching for the migrating whales on their return trip to Antarctica! On last year’s October trips around the Prom they encountered 22 whales over three days, making their way past the Prom Lighthouse and around South Point which is the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, and then heading across Bass Strait toward Tasmania.

they will often approach the boat. You will marvel at their huge sizes; be in awe of their gentle movements; and be captivated at their migration story.

Wildlife Coast Cruises have been operating wildlife watching tours for over 20 years, and with the knowledge and experience on board, are well rehearsed at spotting whales. The skipper and crew all look for the tell-tale signs of a whale, including a blow, the dark shape of their backs and even underwater whirlpools called footprints. Learn a few whale watching tips on board and you might spot the first whale yourself!

Come on an incredible adventure with Wildlife Coast Cruises and cruise around Wilson’s Promontory National Park - one of the most beautiful and remote areas in the world. Known affectionately as ‘The Prom’, Wilsons Promontory National Park is made up of many different islands, with coastal features including expansive mudflats, sandy beaches and sheltered coves, interrupted by prominent headlands, plunging granite cliffs and coastal dunes, containing diverse vegetation including warm temperate and cool temperate rainforest, tall open forests, woodlands, heathlands and swamps.

Once whales are sighted the Kasey Lee approaches the whales up to 100m, following them at a safe speed to allow the whales to feel at ease, then often as the whale gets comfortable

Wilson’s Promontory is home to a wide range of wildlife species. Along the vast and diverse coastline you may see predatory birds and emus, with offshore birds coming in close,


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including albatross and shearwaters. Marine life is abundant, keep a look out for playful dolphins, inquisitive seals, and the captivating whales. The cruise will explore some of the most interesting areas of Wilson’s Promontory and areas that cannot be reached by land, including; Kanowna Island Seal Colony, Skull Rock, and the Prom lighthouse. A stop at Refuge Cove allows you to explore the stunning, sheltered beach. Passengers can be taken ashore here with a small boat for a walk and swim. An experience of a lifetime, visiting untouched islands and rugged coastlines that are not accessible by land, viewing amazing rock formations, spectacular marine and wildlife areas that most people wouldn’t dream exist. Full day of catered, luxury cruising with breathtaking scenery of Wilsons Prom as you have never seen it before! Wilsons Prom Cruises are scheduled on October 22, 23 & 24, and will be available on selected dates February, March and April.

Wildlife Coast Cruises offer a range of scheduled cruises at Phillip Island. You can board the Kasey Lee Catamaran to explore the spectacular scenery and abundance of sea-bird life around the magnificent Cape Woolamai. You may like to experience an up-close encounter with thousands of seals at Australia’s largest fur seal colony on the daily Seal Watching Cruise out to Seal Rocks,

or relax on a Twilight Cruise and enjoy a scenic sunset on Westernport Bay while enjoying a drink from the licensed bar on-board – it’s the perfect way to end your day on Phillip Island.

For enquiries and bookings please visit or call 1300 763 739.

Wildlife Coast Cruises offers a range of bay cruises and charters around Phillip Island and Wilsons Prom.

thelifestyle spring 2016


Colleen Gilbee & Kaylene Mendola at the wildlife shelter

Wildlife Rescue needs a lifeline

Several healthy young magpies are waiting outside a house perched high on a hill at Ventnor overlooking Western Port. Colleen Gilbee and Kaylene Mendola tell me these are all orphans they have rescued, raised and released. Some of them had barely any feathers when they arrived and occasionally they return for a feed. In 2012, Colleen and Kaylene established Wildlife Rescue and Carers Shelter Phillip Island, a nonprofit organisation servicing Phillip Island and Bass Coast that operates under a licence with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Colleen and Kaylene are members of Wildlife Victoria and have been caring for injured wildlife for over 16 years. Their mentors were Margaret Healy, the late Jan Gorman and Tanya Murray and now they are training carers to help with the ever-increasing workload of one of the busiest wildlife shelters in Victoria. The shelter was established with Colleen and Kaylene’s own funds and the running costs come from their own pockets. Each year they apply for grants but these only help with capital costs such as constructing new cages, not the $20,000 it costs each year to operate the shelter.


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By Linda Cuttriss

Summer months are the busiest, with up to six calls per night, but there is never a night when the phone doesn’t ring for help to rescue an injured animal. Many are hit by cars, often by visitors returning from the Penguin Parade or are victims of dog or cat attacks. And then there’s the daytime calls when Kaylene and Colleen are at work. Koalas, wombats, wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos, ring-tailed and brush-tailed possums, snakes, lizards, wedge-tailed eagles, hawks, tawny frogmouths, magpies, wood ducks, rosellas and swans are among the many wildlife species Kayleen and Colleen have rescued over the years. No animal is turned away. Sometimes domestic dogs, cats and even guinea pigs come into their care. Once, Colleen got a call from a farmer who found an injured wedge-tailed eagle in his paddock. “I had to chase the bird across paddocks and over electric fences until I could get close enough to throw a blanket over him and carry him safely back to the car” says Colleen. “I bundled him into the front seat beside me. He just sat there quietly all the way, looking across at me now and then as I drove along”.

Colleen took him straight to the vet, as they do with every animal. He was diagnosed with a damaged wing and a nasty burn underneath the wing, possibly from an electric fence. They fed him up and he seemed to be recovering well, but when they returned him to the vet they were told

Wildlife Rescue

A released wattlebird visits Colleen

If you can help go to Wildlife Rescue Phillip Island on the GoFundMe website or the Wildlife Rescue and Carers Shelter Phillip Island Facebook page or contact Colleen on 0409 428 162 or Kaylene on 0412 258 396.

his wing could not be pinned at that point and he would have to be euthanised. This heartbreaking story turned into a life-saving story for many other birds. Kaylene called Sue Moore from the Tarwin wildlife shelter who told her she would collect the body and remove and number each flight feather so they could be transplanted into other injured wedge-tails. Kaylene tells another story of a prion and a fluttering shearwater, two sub-Antarctic birds which had been blown from their range by gale force winds. “Graham, one of our local bird experts fed them up on special fish and fish oil and the birds were released within a few weeks. Sometimes it only takes a couple of days for them to recover, like the peregrine falcon we collected the other day that had flown into a window”.

Colleen and Kaylene are appealing for support and more funds. There are many ways people and businesses can help. It could be a voucher for the vet, regular supermarket vouchers, petrol vouchers or materials to upgrade the cages. Colleen says, “Whether it’s a monthly direct debit like for a conservation organisation or a simple donation, it will all help to pay the bills and continue with food and medical costs. And a bigger vehicle to pick up kangaroos would be handy!” she adds with a laugh. Photographs by Colleen Gilbee and Kaylene Mendola And Linda Cuttriss

Recently, the dynamic duo reached a crossroads. Although they receive calls for help from veterinarians, local council, police, locals, tourists and Wildlife Victoria they receive no financial help to keep the shelter running. The girls tell me “We were so close to shutting the doors because we had no money left.”

thelifestyle spring 2016


moo’s at meeniyan

Restaurant & Café

Savour the flavours at Moo’s at Meeniyan Restaurant & Café, which has a relaxed, fun ambiance and something for all occasions – South Gippsland’s top food, wine and service.

Hours of Trading

Thursday to Monday 8.30am - 4.30pm | Dinner Friday & Saturday Nights from 6.00pm

89 Whitelaw Street, Meeniyan Vic 3956 Phone: (03) 5664 0010 | Email: visit

GROWLightly By Geoff Watt

We've all heard about reducing our carbon footprint, about getting back to local produce and of course that has been built around these core principles. It is called Grow Lightly and as the name suggests, it’s all about recognising the environmental cost of food production and making an effort to bring local produce together for the good of the community and as a template for the broader world. Grow Lightly Food Hub is next to Coal Creek in Korumburra, and besides being a conduit for fresh and locally grown produce in southern Gippsland, it is a venue for workshops, discussions and films - all related to growing food, fresh and local. All produce sold is grown within 50 kilometers using organic agricultural principles; and all value-added products are produced locally. I was lucky enough to sit down with its founders and inspiration behind the concept, Gil and Meredith Freeman. Gil and Meredith are originally from Melbourne. They were always gardeners and had large gardens wherever they were living. They had been coming down to Gippsland for many years - first holidaying here in 1982. Gil and Meredith started with four acres and a little cottage shared with friends, and would come down each fortnight. Hazelnuts were planted at first but eventually they planted natives with the idea of growing and selling flowers and bush foods to generate a small income.


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Coal Creek, which had a cool room. Eventually we were able to lease the building we are in today from the South Gippsland Shire Council."

But the growing and supplying of vegetables started when Gil and Meredith decided to move permanently down to Gippsland about 20 years ago. Gil explains further: "After a while we had a big vegetable garden and fruit trees and we used to bag or box up the surplus produce and take it back to family and friends in Melbourne." Needless to say it soon became very popular and made them realise the potential – but their trips to Melbourne were becoming less regular. Gil continues: "At that time we were getting a lot of interest from local people so we decided to concentrate on doing local vegie bags. We started with about 10 which were packed in a farm shed on a Sunday morning. As we outgrew it we moved to a local cafe. After a while we were given access to a building inside

By this time they had established quite a good distribution system, involving pick-up points around southern Gippsland, and in 2013 they had converted what had been a family business into a not-for-profit company. This change in structure was driven by the need to have many more people involved in decision-making, and to enable the enterprise to negotiate more readily with other bodies including the local council. The three key words for the Grow Lightly Food Hub are: Clean, Fresh, Local - clean because it's organically grown, fresh because it was picked within the last week and local because it has been grown within 50 kilometers. "There is a demand from the community for the best quality food for their kids. We have had good support from various quarters but the real growth always comes through word of mouth." The Food Hub was opened 18 months ago. Gil and Meredith, members of the Grow Lightly board and an army of volunteers have worked tirelessly developing the business and some part-time employment is now possible.

Gil Freeman

Grow Lightly. A couple of larger operations are certified organic. Integrated Pest Management is used by one large vegetable grower and a large apple orchard, while one medium market garden practises bio-dynamics."

In addition to the shop and the vegie bags, Grow Lightly also supplies some other local businesses, and runs local produce stalls at the Farmers' Markets at Koonwarra and Coal Creek. There are now over 80 suppliers of fresh produce growers and 10 pick up points for the vegie bags throughout southern Gippsland. Gil explains the process: "The shop is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Monday mornings Meredith sends out an email to the local growers and by Tuesday they are telling us what they have. By Wednesday she makes up her order - she has assessed what will be going into the vegie bags for that week and how she is going to stock the shop and provide produce for any Farmers' Markets coming up.

It may be a little daunting for some growers that wish to get involved - perhaps thinking they will have difficulty with the changeover from chemical based growing; or wondering if their productivity will decline as a result. I asked Gil if the Food Hub provides information and assistance for the transition. "Of course we do we run workshops and assist wherever we can. For example some people on moving down here from Melbourne have found they have established fruit trees on their block that have been neglected and we do what we can to help them. There is an enormous body of expertise and experience in the area just waiting to be tapped into. This year we have run workshops on establishing a vegetable garden or a fruit orchard, how to deal with weeds and seed saving.

Grow Lightly has built up extensive knowledge over the years about what will be growing at each time of year in southern Gippsland. We open up again on Friday at 8am and produce is brought in between 8am - 10am." Is the produce organic? "Yes, but the growers aren't necessarily certified organic.

We have a charter stating specifically that everything has to be grown without pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers. But we go further than that because we are also very interested in the quality of the soils – in increasing their bio-activity and fertility." Grow Lightly conducts ongoing discussions with growers, and organises workshops on

topics of interest. "One retired market gardener grows potatoes and winter vegetables for us. He has been growing vegetables all his life he just won't use chemicals at all. It's a small block and he knows so much about vegetable growing using traditional methods.� Most growers have small properties or devote part of a larger property to growing vegetables, and a number have very large backyard vegetable gardens or orchards, and pass the surplus onto

Our job is to build the capacity of South Gippsland to feed South Gippsland. This community should be able to feed itself and to do it you've got to give people a bit of confidence that they can grow vegies as well as the added confidence that if they do grow something on their land they can sell it - we believe everything that is grown has to have a value."

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One of the things Grow Lightly Food Hub is endeavoring to do is build the scale of growing as well as the capacity. "For example we don't have enough carrot or parsnip growers. We had tough times during the drought period because the lack of water meant people didn't plant enough. We can help people to source seeds and seedlings.

Gippsland has incredible potential. There is a much wider range of food plants that can be grown here than most people realise. At the Food Hub Shop, in season, there are macadamia nuts from Drouin, olive oil from Fish Creek, walnuts from Hallston and avocadoes from Mardan. At present all citrus fruits are available – lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins, tangelos, lemonades and grapefruit."


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One of Grow Lightly’s current projects, in conjunction with Bass Coast Shire, is building a similar food distribution capacity on the water line - Kilcunda through to Jam Jerrup and Pioneer Bay. “The area is deficient in its capacity to provide fresh food. We want to set up a distribution system where we use the local shops and say ‘we're able to provide you with fresh fruit and vegetables if you're prepared to put it in your store'. The capacity is there from the growers, we just need shops on board to make it available for people to buy. Who knows, maybe one day we will have a greengrocer truck that comes to locations around this area and opens up for an hour or so for people to buy what they need.” It is amazing to meet people like Gil and Meredith who have created something incredibly beneficial to the health and well being of an entire area - not only for the health of the

people and their children but for the ongoing soil health for future generations, for the diversity of food crops and let's not forget for the benefit of the pollinators - that humble but most important bee! The shop is at the corner of Silkstone Road and South Gippsland Highway Korumburra (Next to Coal Creek). Open: Friday 10am to 4pm; Saturday 10am to 3pm; and Sunday 10am to 1pm. Mob: 0490 449 229 Photographs by Wildwood Photography

recipe Lamb Tagine Chef Brent Sinclair




1.5kg lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 2.5cm pieces 3 garlic cloves, chopped 80ml olive oil 2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 onions, thinly sliced 580ml beef stock Zest of ¼ preserved lemon, rinsed, and cut into thin strips 425g can chickpeas, drained 35g cracked green olives Fresh coriander Cooked cous cous, to serve

Place the lamb in bowl, add garlic, 2 tablespoons of the oil and the cumin, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well to coat and leave to marinate for 1 hour.

Serve in bowls with cous cous and finish with fresh coriander. Serves 6 – 8

Heat the remaining oil in large pan. Add the lamb in batches and brown the meat over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, return the meat to the pan and add the beef stock. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour. Add lemon zest, chickpeas and olives and cook, uncovered, for a further 30mins, or until the meat is tender and the sauce reduced and thickened.

Brent Sinclair - 0447 728 547 146 McCartin Street, Leongatha Vic 3953 E:


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When looking for a superior culinary experience from an intimate gathering to a lavish banquet choose Brent Sinclair Catering. Relax and have the Brent Sinclair Catering team handle all the details and tailor any menu to perfectly suit your event.

Call Brent Sinclair on 0447 728 547 146 McCartin Street, Leongatha, Vic 3953 E:

thelifestyle spring 2016


Say “I do” with a view Mt Baw Baw Looking for a breathtaking, romantic location for your special day?

Look no further than the Mt Baw Baw Alpine Village. The village offers a magical alpine location for your wedding or commitment ceremony. Located just one hour from the heart of Gippsland, three hours from the Mornington Peninsular and two-and-a-half hours from Melbourne, Mt Baw Baw offers a destination wedding on your doorstep. With views stretching out over Gippsland all the way to Bass Strait on a clear day, it’s easy to see why brides and grooms have their ceremony and reception at Mt Baw Baw.

VENUES Surrounded by the Alpine National Park, a wedding at Mt Baw Baw offers an array of ceremony locations, from intimate settings at the Village Restaurant deck to unique locations throughout the resort. The Village Restaurant provides couples and their loved ones with a modern venue with seating for up to 60 guests. Inspired by fresh local Gippsland produce, the seasonal menu allows for an unforgettable meal, whether it’s a sit-down dinner or cocktail reception. Enjoy spectacular views of the valley from the alfresco dining deck. For couples looking to take advantage of the mountain air without Mother Nature interfering, marquee tents are available to make sure your day goes off without a hitch. Whatever location you chose at Mt Baw Baw, you’ll be sure to have sweeping mountain views and a romantic venue setting, perfect for your wedding photographs.

COORDINATION We know planning a wedding can be stressful at times, so let the Mt Baw Baw Functions and Events Team handle the site coordination. Our experts are available to help with coordinating wedding ceremony and reception sites, and liaising with suppliers, National Parks and the exclusive hire of the Village Restaurant. The team can also help with booking reception entertainment, giving couples the ability to relax. Couples and their guests can breathe in the fresh mountain air, take in the stunning alpine views and relax knowing their special day has been taken care of by a professional organisational team.

ACCOMMODATION While Mt Baw Baw is just enough distance to be a day trip, affordable on-mountain accommodation is available. Guests can plan on dancing well into the night without worrying about driving back to the city. From apartments to cabins and lodges, Mt Baw Baw has something for every budget and guest need. Don’t delay in planning your big day. Mt Baw Baw’s Functions and Events Team are ready to make your special day an unforgettable one. Mt Baw Baw is open year-round with functions available throughout every season. It’s time to say “I Do” with a view. For more information, visit our website or call Guest Service on (03) 5165 1136

Mount Baw Baw thelifestyle spring 2016


Gippsland gifts reach across the world

Curtis Australia

By Trevor Brown

Quite a few customers have enjoyed the fact that Bairnsdale based jewellers Curtis Australia create diamond jewellery for the people of East Gippsland, but how many people know about their corporate gift work? Corporate gifts are specially created for companies and organisations wanting something memorable to give on special occasions. One of Curtis' most prestigious clients is the Parliament of Australia – and it's an interesting story as to how this came about. Then local Federal MP Peter McGauran is someone used to helping local businesses, and in conversation with Glenn Curtis one day he offered to write a letter of introduction for Glenn to visit Parliament House in Canberra. A simple thing perhaps, but Glenn really appreciated the help. It proved to be a gesture that has made a world of difference to the Curtis brand, helping it gain and cement an enviable reputation overseas.

Glenn Curtis made the trip to Canberra and met with officials responsible for sourcing gifts that Ministers and Parliamentarians could give to Heads of State and other dignitaries, both here and overseas. It soon became clear that the gifts had to reflect Australia in some way, and should be made here. Ideally they should also remind the recipient of the visit, be something they could use and maybe even treasure. Several design options were put forward and it was decided that Curtis should create prototypes of a sterling silver spray brooch and a pair of cuff links, both featuring the Golden Wattle, Australia’s national floral symbol. Both Curtis designs are exclusive to the Parliament of Australia and can't be offered to anyone else. Curtis is now in its tenth year of supplying the Parliament, so the initial meeting has evolved into a long term relationship.

Once approved, Curtis set to work on an initial order and happily have also enjoyed repeat orders too, with many compliments about the pieces they've created. Each piece is hand finished by the Curtis jewellers, and is delivered complete with a card explaining the inspiration behind the designs and the fact that they are made from Australian silver in Bairnsdale. Although the team at Curtis never knows who receives their gifts, it's still a great feeling that whenever a Curtis gift is given a little piece of East Gippsland finds a new home – and in some very important places around the world. You can see more of their stunning work at 03 5152 1089 Glenn Curtis has been a jeweller for over 40 years. A Fellow and past Secretary of the Gold & Silversmiths Guild of Australia, Glenn has owned and run jewellery stores in East Gippsland since the 1990's, along with his wife Heather. About 14 years ago they formed Curtis Australia, now a recognised luxury brand creating fine jewellery and hand crafted writing instruments sold around the world. Their work in this area has won several international awards including a coveted 'Best of the Best' Award from the world's most read luxury magazine, the Robb Report, where they were up against such rivals as Cartier.

A complete restoration gives this beautiful diamond ring a new lease of life

Glenn was also invited as the only overseas based expert to judge the inaugural Rio Tinto Diamonds

Global Jewellery Design Competition held in New York, something he modestly describes as reflective of the high standards of Australian jewellers in the international landscape. An important part of the work at Curtis Australia involves the local community, for who Glenn likes nothing more than creating custom made diamond jewellery and remodelling much loved pieces. Curtis Australia is based in a large purpose built jewellery studio in Bairnsdale, and also has an office in Melbourne's CBD, a convenient location to meet with clients from around the world. You can see more of their stunning work at 03 5152 1089

thelifestyle spring 2016


GARFIELD PICTURE THEATRE Great love stories can happen off the stage By Lauren Murphy Walking past the façade of the Garfield Theatre I have wondered for years what hides behind the doors. It stands in Garfield’s Main Street like a silent statue to a time passed, a hint at what this old town would have been like in more prosperous times. Every now and then you would see the emerald green balcony shutters open, red flowers blowing in the breeze and a rustling behind the gates, although what was happening one could only guess. Recently, the hidden and the mystic have begun to surface, creating a buzz around surrounding townships of news that the old theatre is back. Before its grand doors are opened again and the talk turns to what is within, the journey of Garfield Picture Theatre’s awakening needs to be shared. When current owners Fred and Susie Perez first walked through its doors, it would have been more aptly described as a shed. Seventeen years later,


thelifestyle spring 2016

an outpouring of labor, love and finances sees them ready to share their theatre with the community.

Garfield Picture Theatre closed in 1962 and with it an era of a social evenings of cinema.

Garfield Picture Theatre emerged out of the theatre boom in 1920s Australia. According to H. Arnold, who wrote a history of the theatre, it was built by Martin O’Donohue, first leased to J. Taylor, and opened its doors with a grand ball on Monday, December 22, 1924. Said to seat 800 people, it soon became a hive of entertainment with dances on Friday evenings and pictures every Saturday night. One of the first films shown was a Rin Tin Tin movie, Where the North Begins. The theatre also provided the town’s first supply of electricity until the arrival of SEC power supply in October 1929.

Fast forward to 2016 and as I walk behind the tall green fence for the first time my ears are delighted to hear the sound of music echoing from the once sealed building. Sitting at the sound desk is Fred, fingers turning the dials with an exultant smile on his face, “Have a listen to this!”

Later the theatre was sold to Walter Anderson Lawson and Roy Everard Ross of Warragul, before James Murphy bought it in 1953. However, with television in most homes by the late 1950s, the cinema boom came to an end. The doors to the

It is not until you start to listen to Fred talk about the journey that you realise this has not simply been a restoration, it has been a new build. He has created a theatre even grander than the original.

Fred is a lover of performance and all things creative and I immediately get the sense that this theatre never truly goes to sleep.

“It was a shocker when we first walked through the door. The whole floor was shaking under our feet as we walked. That’s how bad the substrata was on that side. We lifted all the boards up, dug out all the posts and bearers, poured the slab then painstakingly put all the boards we could salvage back down". It wasn’t just the floor that needed a major overhaul. So did the roof and electrical wiring. “When we first walked in here you looked up and you saw the back sheets of the iron, you could see the daylight coming through. It was actually demolishable.” Unfortunately other local theatres such as Pakenham and Koo Wee Rup were demolished, leaving Garfield as the last one standing. “The moment I saw the stage I thought to myself, this stage is big enough to have activities on it. It was an opportunity for the future … I just didn’t think it would take this long.”

“Still not finished yet either!” pipes Suzie coming out of the kitchen with a tray of tea and lines of sweet biscuits. We sit and discuss how they managed the huge task of coordinating various trades on site. It was easy for one task to get delayed, making it difficult for others to continue working. During all of this both Fred and Susie were working full time as drainage contractors for VicRoads. Winters were always a struggle when paid work would slow down due to wet weather, leaving them in the ironic situation of finally having time on their hands to work on Lucy (‘Lucy’ is the affectionate name Fred and Susie gave the theatre due to the looseness of her structure when they first found her), but then having to be mindful of funds. But as Fred says “Lucy always won out.” Not many couples could work together, sleep together, eat together 24/7 all whilst constantly renovating and survive. “A lot of women wouldn’t

put up with it. Renovating is the biggest relationship killer,” says Fred. Susie adds “And I’ve been doing it for 17 years, and working full time, raising children … MASSIVE.” “That’s the measure of the woman,” concludes Fred with a loving smile. The constant moving of items to make way for work meant five years of camping conditions with makeshift bedrooms and kitchen. Jobs always took priority over comfort. “It was insane!” explains Susie. Fred agrees with her. “That’s mess!” states Fred with forthright eloquence, placing down photographs from when they first moved into the theatre. They joke that at least the sheer size of the theatre made it easy to get around the mess! Despite moments of contemplating selling, the couple has persisted, helped by their patience and passion for each other.

Photo of Garfield Picture Theatre circa 1930’s (Museum Victoria Collections

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A ‘honeymoon’ is clearly needed but for now the renovations and final push to open the theatre to the community continues. “I want it to be an extravaganza, the little Theatre is back in town. I want to bring good artistry here and make a living by encouraging people to come into a great comfortable room with fantastic ambience…do you want me to put some music on?” Fred trails off as he realises the tracks have finished. Fred and Susie want coming to Garfield Picture Theatre not to simply be a ticket to a show but an experience. They aim for the space to be utilised by local Theatre groups, touring bands and even cabaret. “Cabaret would be fantastic!” exclaims Fred. “Really our aim is a mix between live music, theatre, performance and boutique themed movies…no way are we being mainstream.” For all this to happen they still need to buy and install a digital projector and screen to suit the size


thelifestyle spring 2016

of the Theatre. They are exploring crowdfunding campaigns to help raise the $70,000-plus needed to equip the theatre for movies. Fred and Susie Perez are a testament to what two people can achieve with patience, understanding, and passion. With no wealthy backers, what they have achieved together is admirable. Their dedication to each other and the Picture Theatre truly humbles the soul and will ensure a piece of Australian history continues to be shared with the public. With few moments to rest and acknowledge what they have achieved so far, the couple take a quick moment to daydream about their ultimate acts to play at their Theatre. “The Go Betweens” Susie is quick to answer. Fred also chose an Artist since passed, the late Amy Winehouse, noting that they can resurrect a Theatre but not their favourite acts.

Still, they have a growing list of exciting performers to be contacted for future shows including the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. Hopefully, with a township behind them, Garfield Picture Theatre’s doors will soon be open for an array of exciting evenings of entertainment, letting the love affair spill onto the open stage. Photographs: Lauren Murphy Photography





More than a pizza place ~ CafĂŠ/Restaurant/Gelati Bar/Cocktail Bar/ Smokeretum

3 out of 4 brothers in the family have come together to stop talking and start doing. Mark was a teacher (Bar/Front of House), John was in construction (Chef and Smoker) and Patrick was in retail (Pizza and Kitchen). Hospitality and food are strong with the brothers. One Grandfather was a butcher and another a sheep and beef farmer. Passion and hard work cubed equals success.

THE LOOK Polished concrete, pine and ply furniture. Black tile details and high heritage ceilings. Contemporary interesting appeal. Open bar at the main entrance with an integrated cake cabinet. Pizza kitchen as the central attraction fronted by a gelati bar, gives an instant impression of lots of options.

THE FEEL Open the door and step in to the sound of socializing. It feels inclusive with a group of 12 young women having a laugh and young families managing disputes over chip baskets. Unpretentious and casual.

THE TASTE 3 Brothers Burger. Big yeasty flavour in the bun. Pattie is all pork and is juicy and not overcooked. The house sauce is exceptional, tangy tomato which pulls back from going too far towards chutney. The salad components are obvious and add to the sensation of a simple, well-made healthy burger. The chips are 4by2’s and cooked right through. A nourishing enjoyable main. Choc Vanilla Thickshake. Distinguished by being not too sweet and presented in a handled Mason jar. Alcoholic Beverages. Two tasty and food friendly craft beers were enjoyed. A tight, well thought out wine list and some classic cocktails are also available.


thelifestyle spring 2016

THE SERVICE An instant greeting on entering the establishment. Waitresses sail on the energy of the place. Never standing still. The customer feels like the job is going to get done.

THE PRICE Lunch for 1: 2 craft beers, 1 3Brothers burger, 1 Choc/Vanilla Thickshake ~ $40

THE WASH Full, happy and looking forward to trying more of the menu. Great for the Mates. Review by Stuart Hay Photographs by Lauren Murphy Photography

3 brothers with a few tricks up their sleeves... Restaurant | Smoker |Â Pizzeria | Gelateria 113 Queen Street Warragul Ph 5623 4700 Bookings essential Hours Tues-Thurs 9am-10.30pm Fri-Sat 9am-11pm Sun 9am-10.30pm

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for our latest creations.




thelifestyle spring 2016

Bec Ladds is a woman with a passion and a creative flare for art and design. Her talented eye for all things beautiful, functional and unique is showcased in her newly opened Little Flea Store in the exceptionally attractive hamlet of Neerim South. Vintage, home, gift and garden is the theme for the small shop where visitors are treated to a visually alluring selection of new, old, interesting and unusual items, many handmade or created by local artisans and makers. “Opening a shop is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Bec said “It’s something I’ve been planning for years but it’s just never been the right time.” For ten years prior to opening the small store, Bec has been buying and selling vintage goods online. Last year, she travelled to America and purchased half a container load of vintage pieces from one of their largest flea markets, and had it shipped back to Australia. “I drove a truck 400 kilometres across America and into New York to drop off the shipment and I did it by myself,” she said. “I decided afterwards if I can do that, I can open a shop and I did.” While she sells several vintage items, she said the new products sell particularly well especially giftware and personal items. “I really enjoy looking for unique and beautiful things produced by artists, designers and small makers. I try to source local products where I can but I also buy from Melbourne and from a few small interstate producers that supply great products.

who produces a range of hand-made leather chokers and Ivy and Teal, who are based in Warragul, produce soy melts and diffusers that sell like hotcakes. “There’s also a local lady who comes into the shop with odd gifts she makes at home. One is an attractive vine wreath with a small potted succulent woven into it. “One of the questions most people coming into the shop ask me straight away is – is it local? That’s really important to them and the organic factor is also important, so the range I have of organic skincare products sell really well. “There is so much local talent around and many talented people have come out of the woodwork since I’ve opened the shop. The unexpected aspect of the business that I really enjoy is when people come in and share what they do whether it’s knitting, greeting cards or whatever they do. It’s great and their local and unique items sell really well.” Bec’s latest project is developing an area in the shop for locally produced preserved food items. She has started with an enticing variety of garlic salts produced by Weyhill Farm based in Ranceby in South Gippsland. Her future project, she hopes will be designing and developing a website for the shop so she can also sell some of the products online. Bec began her working life in Melbourne’s rag trade as a product developer. For seven years she worked at Country Road developing fully fashioned knitwear and later she worked for Jag Clothing Company.

“I have a range of lovely unusual greeting cards produced by a Melbourne graphic designer. I have Kay Lancashire Jewellery, which sells really well and Kay is a jewellery artist from Neerim South. Wendy Lockett, who is an exceptionally talented seamstress also from Neerim South, makes my heat bags, lavender bags and other beautifully made cloth items.” She said other Gippsland suppliers to the shop are Wolf and Yarzz, two women who create interesting crochet and macramé items and Archer Skin Care, run by a local girl who creates her own range of chemical-free, vegan skincare products. Heymilla in Berwick is a girl

thelifestyle spring 2016


When she and her husband decided they wanted to start a family, she said she looked for something she could do while being at home to take care of children and began making handmade gift cards. When she had ten customers, she left her employment and built up the business to eventually supplying 40 stores across Melbourne. “I made cards every day and about 12 months later, I fell pregnant with our first child. The business continued to grow but it got that big that I found myself sitting and making 400 copies of the same card over and over. I liked the initial creativity and changing designs and the large growth took the fun out of it. I sold the business when our second child was 12 months old. Then after going to an auction at Melbourne’s Leonard Joel Auction House, where my younger brother was working, I started buying and selling vintage products.” Bec still has an Etsy online store where she sells small vintage items and said ironically much of what she sells is sent to America. “Most of the vintage stuff I sell online goes overseas. Recently I sold a hookey board to someone in Israel and two old chipped, wooden tennis rackets to a woman in America who paid 60 dollars to have them sent by express post.” Bec lives in Neerim South with her husband and two sons aged 14 and 10 years. “We’ve lived in the town for five years and I think it’s the best place in the world,” she said. “The people are great, the town is beautiful and there’s a nice vibe particularly at the moment. The hotel has been taken over with fresh new management and they have revamped and modernised it. The milk bar has new owners and there’s me.” Her involvement in the town apart from her business is through her role as secretary of the Neerim South Football Club. She said when she isn’t in her shop; she is immersed in local football. “I have brothers and two sons and pretty much every weekend of my life has been spent at the football and that’s fine, I like it.” She also practically lives on Pinterest, reads magazines and loves anything to do with design, art or colour.


thelifestyle spring 2016

Specialising in Local Fish

Order Your Seafood Now

For all

the best in fresh


For all the best in fresh seafood, there is none better than Foster Seafoods This shop has everything for the seafood lover. Alice and Lachie Duncan have added new lines to their business along with the freshest and best fish caught locally within Corner Inlet and Bass Strait.

On offer are freshly cooked Prawns, Moreton Bay Bugs, Crayfish, freshly opened Oysters, Mussels and a large variety of Local Fish – whole or filleted; along with our beautiful sauces. Just give us a call or drop in. You are always welcome!

And you can be assured that the quality and service is still the best!

Crumbing: Sardine and Garfish fillets Smoking: Hot Smoked Atlantic Salmon, Chilli Mussels & Smoked Sardines all in Olive Oil Pickling: Local Scallops, Oysters with Tartare and Seafood Sauce, Home Made Chilli Sauce on the Mussels


35 Main Street, Foster, Vic 3960 Tel/Fax: (03) 5682 2815 Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm, Saturday 8:30am - 12:00pm Contact: Alice and Lachie Duncan

thelifestyle spring 2015

Adrian Bond fishing the Wonnangatta River. Fishing a nymph is a good bet early in the season.

WONNANGATTA RIVER Isn’t this fantastic? It is September and the trout season is open again. This time of the year many of our local rivers will be running high and cold. We have had a wet winter with lots of snow and many of our local Gippsland Rivers run off the snow-capped peaks of Mt Bogong, Mt Hotham etc. Typically at this time of the year our rivers are running at about 4 degrees or less. Trout are cold blooded animals and they have endured a long cold winter in these rivers. When the water temperature is 4 degrees or below, trout basically sit at the bottom of the pools and have little interest in chasing food. They will open their mouth and accept a food item if it drifts past them, but forget about rising in the water column or chasing a rapidly disappearing food item that is racing past in the current. They are still half asleep and do not have the energy. They have also often lost condition and are in poor physical shape. Once the water temperature rises to somewhere near 8 degrees, things start to change and the fish become more active and prepared to move after a good feed. Also at this temperature, the aquatic insects, bugs, beetles etc. start to become more prolific and of course the trout are feeling better about themselves and are keen for a feed. The action starts to hot up. But we are getting ahead of ourselves; this is only September and the water is cold! In an early season fishing situation we therefore need to look for rivers that do not come straight


thelifestyle spring 2016

off our ski fields. Rivers that are spring fed are ideal or rivers that are only affected marginally by snow. One of these rivers is the Wonnangatta River. The upper reaches of this river basically run off Mt Selwyn Range. Now whilst there is snow there, it is fairly low level compared to some of its higher cousins. The Wonnangatta River runs for many kilometres until it is joined by the Dargo River. Below that point it is known as the Mitchell River which eventually empties into the Gippsland Lakes. This is one of the few wild, untamed rivers left in Victoria. Whilst there is trout in this river for almost its entire length (including the estuary section that runs through Bairnsdale), it is the area around and upstream of the Kingwill Bridge that we are interested in today. This section of the river is mostly a series of lovely runs and pools that make a trout fisherman’s heart race. There are also a few quite long still pools here and there that are probably best avoided. To reach this area, take the Dargo Road north until you cross the Wonnangatta River at Waterford. Look for a turn off to the left a few kilometres further on and take Wonnangatta Road. You will travel past Guys Caravan Park on your left. This is a beautiful spot to camp and within easy driving distance of the area that we are looking at. From here the road closely follows the river. It is a very windy gravel road that follows the river but it is a great drive. The views from the road down to the river and beyond up the mountains are quite spectacular.

Once you reach the Kingwill Bridge you will see lots of fishable water both upstream and downstream of the bridge. You can continue on over the bridge for quite a few kilometres until the road ends near the Moroka River. There are numerous rough camping spots such as Eaglevale Camping where you can pitch a tent or park your camper trailer. The river can be accessed at numerous points along this road, from the road, or you can ask a farmer for permission to walk or drive through his property. This river is well known as an early season stream. It is best fished before Christmas as once

There would have to be a trout here - wouldn’t there?

the weather heats up it usually puts an end to the fishing. Also the carp start to appear as early as October and I hate seeing carp. Trout in this river demonstrate pretty good growth rates. The average size is perhaps 30cm but 1kg+ fish are not uncommon. As well as fishing, this is a one of the great 4WD areas in Victoria. Get hold of Rooftop’s “DargoHowitt Plains Forest Activities Map”. It is very accurate and extremely detailed. One trip that I can recommend is to take the Billy Goat Bluff Track and drive your 4WD up to the Pinnacles lookout. It is a stunning view from the fire tower lookout and a great place to have lunch. Picnic tables are provided. From here you can choose to return down the spur or continue on to Briagolong which is a pretty good quality gravel road. The Billy Goat Spur track looks steep and is steep but the average 4WD in low range first or second, will handle it comfortably unless there has been recent rain. Interestingly, you can usually get mobile phone reception from the Spur. The Wonnangatta River is a good early season option to take your family for a weekend or longer, particularly if you have a 4WD and are prepared to mix some family fun with your fishing. One word of caution…this is also a popular deer hunting area. When fishing it is a good idea to wear an orange blaze top so that you will not get confused with a Sambar.

A spring storm heading our way. It was a fine October day until a hail storm inexpertly came our way. That’s typical of the High Country in the spring.

Photographs by Trevor Stow

thelifestyle spring 2016


FROM MARLAY POINT TO LOCH SPORT In this edition of our boating with Crawford Marine's Terry Raymond, we started at Marlay Point, which is located 10km from Sale on Lake Wellington, which is the southern end of the Gippsland Lakes. Marlay Point is also the home to Australia's largest trailer sailer overnight yacht race. Weather was fine but the water was somewhat choppy and for this trip we needed a boat that was comfortable and could handle adverse conditions and the Savage 655C was the perfect choice. This boat is a multi-purpose vessel that will suit fishermen and their families alike. Actually there is room for quite a few people, and the beauty of the Gippsland Lakes is that it is not all about fishing, with some great spots to stop by along the journey. There are two wide boat ramps at Marlay Point and jetties, so it is easy to drop your boat in the water and then pick up your family and friends at the jetty. Lake Wellington is 2.8metres in depth, and in a short time we were soon going through the relative calm of McLennan Strait, which runs between the two lakes. The bird life is teeming with pelicans, geese, sea eagles and other water birds; they obviously know that fishing is good here. After a short trip through the Strait we arrived at Lake Victoria and again the choppy waves returned. With a strong 10 knot wind we were more than happy that our boat was equipped with the versatile hard topped canvas covering the entire boat, which kept us perfectly warm and comfortable and in shelter from all-weather conditions. This meant that you could take this boat out in rain, hail and shine and the 170ltr underfloor fuel tank gave us hours of fun to be


thelifestyle spring 2016

five at a time, but with the GPS we were able to follow quite easily the set course back to Marlay Point. This 7.25metre boat has many great features such as the Rocket Launcher, Walk around Cabin Rail, Twin Transom Door and 4 Stainless Steel Rod Holders.

had. The good thing about the hard top is that the front and side clears for ultimate protection, and with the zips along the sides, you can open up the canvas to take some photos of the scenery and it protects you from getting wet. We soon arrived at the Marina Hotel at Loch Sport just in time for lunch and caught up with owners Alan and Jill Hall then we sat down for a few drinks

and a great counter meal. There is a sheltered marina near the hotel and it is recommended that you contact the marina prior to arrival. The return trip back home brought out the best in the Savage 655C boat as we were motoring against the tide and the Mercury 150HP 4 Stroke EFI Outboard handled the difficult conditions with aplomb. We rode several big waves, sometimes

Thanks again to Terry Raymond of Crawford Marine Morwell who took time out of his busy week for this great day trip to Lakes Wellington and Victoria, and to the friendly township of Loch Sport Look forward to our next trip to another of Gippsland's great waterways. Doug Pell with Terry Crawford

Call in and inspect our range of new and pre-owned boats


71-77 Chickerell Street, Morwell 3840 P: 5134 6522 E: info@crawfordmarine F: 5134 6455


thelifestyle spring 2016


SPEAKING SCIENCE Gene Editing - Does it herald a new golden age in human development or is it the end of the world as we know it? by John Turner B Social Welfare, Master Intl & Community Development, MAAPM Imagine if we could banish inherited illnesses such as Huntington’s disease and Cystic Fibrosis and conditions such as Down Syndrome. What if we had new therapies that could cure cancer and prevent it occurring in future generations in a family? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could prevent the spread of diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Lyme’s Disease, Ross River Fever and the Zika virus? As the world population heads towards 9 billion the ability to massively increase agricultural output would be a major step towards avoiding global hunger, would it not? Consider the environmental benefits if we could develop new biological sources of clean energy. This and more has been the promise held out by the science of genetic engineering since James Watson, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin first described the structure of DNA in 1953. It is the stuff of science fiction or is it? It is much closer to fact than you may think. DNA is what genes are made of and is the basis of heredity. By the year 2000 geneticists and bio-engineers had mapped the entire human genome and the mapping of other species of plant and animal life continues apace. By 2002 the scientists had also learned how to delete or replace specific genes using enzymes albeit that the process was complex, slow and expensive. In the years since, there have been significant improvements in methods but the real breakthrough in gene editing came ten years later. It is the year 2012 enter CRISPR, a revolutionary gene editing tool that promises the possibility of no hunger, no pollution, no disease and the end of humanity as we know it. A simple analogy is in the Information Technology world where the ‘cut and paste’ tool in word processing has made editing prose so easy; CRISPR is the ‘cut and paste’ tool for the geneticist. So what is CRISPR? Put simply CRISPR is a molecule first discovered in a simple bacteria which can unerringly find a string of DNA code and make a precision cut. Found in a bacteria’s immune system, CRISPR is used by the bacteria to fend off an attack from viruses. When a viral attack takes place the virus injects its own DNA into the bacteria’s cell the bacteria responds by employing CRISPR attached to a specific protein (CAS) that instantly recognises and locks on to the virus’ DNA cutting the DNA and foiling the attack. What the geneticists have discovered is that they can program CRISPR using as a guide a strand of RNA which is the mirror image of the DNA code that matches the target DNA. CRISPR with the RNA attached precisely locates the target strand


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of DNA and not only cuts it but can also precisely deliver a replacement strand of DNA of their choice, literally ‘Cut and Paste’. Since 2012 scientists have been using CRISPR in the lab to target the genes in animals or plant cells and even in human cells. It is cheap to produce and amazingly precise although not yet quite perfect. The hope is that one day CRISPR will be used to correct genes that are responsible for diseases in humans and used to introduce genes that afford protection against disease in humans and used to introduce genes that afford protection against disease. That day is very close indeed and already in the UK a similar technique called TALENS has been used to cure a child of Leukemia. Gene editing may enable organs from pigs to be used in human transplant surgery. Pig’s organs such as their kidneys and liver can carry retroviruses that are harmful to humans.  CRISPR can be used to remove the retroviruses making the organs safe for transplanting into humans. In the lab, CRISPR has already been used to make cells totally resistant to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The release of Dengue and Malaria carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that have been genetically modified using CRISPR has already occurred in Malaysia. Further releases are planned in Brazil and other countries by the UK firm Oxitec. These mosquitoes have been gene edited such that they are unable to breed successfully. Other scientists are working on gene editing that will prevent the mosquitos from passing on the malaria parasite, Zika virus or Dengue. The argument used to defend their release is that it will reduce the use of harmful insecticides. It follows that if we use fewer insecticides, this will allow more beneficial predators and insects to flourish. Both the released mosquitoes and their offspring will die – they do not stay in the environment. This approach targets only the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread disease. The wider benefits beyond health are incalculable. In agriculture, drought resistant crops, pest resistant crops, more nourishing crops for example by adding vitamin A to rice and higher yielding crops. In aquaculture the use of gene editing to increase the growth rates of fish and other marine animals has already been the subject of experimentation. Scientists have already used CRISPR to alter the DNA of yeast so that it consumes plant matter and excretes alcohol opening the possibility of an end to the use of fossil fuel based petrochemicals. By now, the downside is probably evident to any discerning reader. Firstly, CRISPR is very cheap – a research laboratory can order it from a supplier

for less than a $100 – it is so easy to use that even a first year university science student could use it. It is therefore easily accessible and open to would-be terrorists or rogue governments to exploit in terms of developing viruses or bacteria as weapons. For example specific ethnic groups with unique DNA may in the future be vulnerable to biological weapons that target them and only them. Secondly, we are dealing with the basic building blocks of life itself, changes to DNA affect heredity and once introduced may be irreversible. There is also the question of whether such changes might lead to unexpected responses. In the example above, if the release of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes results in the elimination of this mosquito, will it open up the ‘environmental space’ and lead to the development of more harmful insects that could spread the same diseases? Ecological balance is a fickle thing and there are many examples of where the ecological balance has been disrupted with good intentions only to lead to the emergence of greater unforeseen problems. A good example has been the emergence of the deadly Marburg virus in Nigeria since the UN greening programs in the 1970’s. Finally CRISPR gene editing opens up the possibility of designer babies and a lot more besides. Even the nightmare of the Eugenics programs of the Nazis and before them the Eugenics movements in both other European countries and the USA could again raise its ugly head. The ethical and moral questions that CRISPR raises are both profound and immediate. The genie is out of the bottle, the investors are lining up to exploit the technology and governments have yet to catch up with the issues involved. It may well be the end of the world as we know it or a pinnacle of human achievement, time will tell. References: Specter, Michael (2016) “DNA Revolution” in National Geographic, August 2016 pp31-55 Maxmen, A (2015) “Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World” the Genesis Engine in Wired Sigma-Aldrich (2016) an online internet web page advertisement for CRISPR products


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OPENING HOURS 42 Murray Street, Wonthaggi 25 A'Beckett Street, Inverloch ( Closed Re-opening MID SPRING ) Consulting Suites, Wonthaggi Hospital 2/1524 Bass Highway, Grantville

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west gippsland


Spring started a while ago with daffodils blooming and wattle in abundance… and then winter just had to remind us that it wasn’t spent. Anyway it’s now September and hopefully it’s all warm and pleasant from now on…. Well let’s hope!

Saturday 15th Warragul Farmers Market and Arts Market are on from 8am to 1pm and also the Blessing of the Bikes (motorbikes that is) at Mirboo North from 9am to 5pm (Brmm Brmm).

September 3rd has the Jindivick Market kicking things off and while you are in the area see Liquorice Allsorts exhibition of Fay and Naomi Edelman and Anna Sevi at the Red Tree Gallery.

The Trafalgar Art Market is also on this day and that is a new venture well worth having a look at. Sunday 4th sees the Longwarry Market back in full swing and also the annual Mancave Market at Rosedale and the 50 Mile Farmers Market at the VRI Hall, Traralgon. For a classical afternoon, the Baw Baw Trio and friends are playing at Wesley of Warragul. For bookings www.trybooking/175885 Saturday 10th has the Rokeby Market returning from hibernation and then you can run off to The Antiques and Collectables Fair on again at Warragul Secondary College. email At Lardner Park is the Alpaca Show from 8am till 4pm ( From 2pm at Wesley of Warragul, the Warragul Theatre Organ pipes up with Tony Fenelon. Sunday 11th brings the Koowee Market out again (at Koo wee Rup for some reason) and for a bit of inner light the Psychic and Wellbeing Expo is at Lardner Park (they will see you coming!) Saturday 17th The Warragul Farmers Market is on (Check out the Jamie Guerts sculpture of the tree section now in civic park as well) then run to Drouin for the Drouin Market and from 3pm join in Poetry at the French Pear Café. There is also a Dance Festival at the West Gippsland Arts Centre over this time, which could be well worth checking out.


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LAURIE COLLINS ...and for something creative to make on Sunday Jessie McLennan is teaching how to make large ceramic birds at Trafalgar Station Arts Space. For bookings 5626 7045


These are paintings by Fay and Anna and very funky jewellery by Naomi.


Sunday 16th sees Craft Markets Australia back at Lardner Park.

Sunday 18th is Pirate Day at Coal Creek which is probably more for the kids but then we all are kids inside. Surely a buried treasure!

Saturday 22nd A musical evening and a trip into the past is provided by The Beatles No 1’s at WGAC by the Beatle Boys.

Saturday 24th at Latrobe Regional Gallery (Morwell) you have your last chance to see STARS + STRIPES (AMERICAN ART OF THE 21st CENTURY) which is a touring collection from Bathurst. Sunday 25th for more Americana, there are Model T Fords at Coal Creek and kids of all ages will love that. Or a Paella and Flamenco dancers at Brandy Creek Winery

OCTOBER Saturday 1st is Grand Final Day (just saying) so a lot of other things will be forgotten but it is surely a good chance to drop out to Jindivick and see Nicole Smith’s first exhibition called “Lucid Dreaming; ethereal works of girls and nature” which is looking to be a delightful and whimsical show. Sunday 2nd is the last chance to see Drawings from the Collection at The Gippland Gallery Sale. Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th is of course the Baw Baw Garden and Home Expo Lardner Park. On the Saturday night there is a Comedy Hypnotist Show at Drouin Secondary College or Damien Leith - The Winner’s Journey 10th Anniversary Tour is at Kernot Hall, Morwell at 8pm

Sunday 23rd Yep, every second year this rolls around so go enjoy the Neerim Bower Arts Festival Neerim South Rec Reserve which involves an art show sculpture show and much more. Also on at Lardner Park is the Last of the Chrome Bumpers cars and stuff! Saturday 29th brings Halloween at Coal Creek, trick or treat and Ghost Train tickets now available which sounds lots of fun. Sunday 30th is the Geoff Watt Memorial Half Marathon and Fun Run at the Geoff Watt Track, Burke St Warragul. I will not be showing you up at this event!

NOVEMBER Saturday 5th is the Westbury Show… (where is Westbury? well Westbury of course), just outside Moe on the Old Sale Road. Sunday 6th if you are a fan of digital art with a heavy metal flavour then Keltie Mullin’s exhibition Mysticism at the Red Tree Gallery (shameless self promotion) will be just fantastic (all month).

Saturday 12th gives you a chance to be a Summit Survivor with a NEW 5km most obstacle-dense course in Victoria.

Sunday 20th is the last day for viewing of the John Leslie Art Prize at Gippsland Gallery Sale and also Craft Markets Australia at Lardner Park.

Sunday 13th could be good with the Motorex Cruise for Charity... modified cars from all over have a day out at Lardner Park. Saturday19th is the Phillip Island Jazz Festival

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th is the start of Weird Ceramics at the Gippsland Gallery Sale and also the Gippsland Antiques and Collectable Fair at Kernot Hall, Morwell, which goes through to Sunday.

...or for a less swinging time but perhaps more relaxed a Fireside Dinner with Australian bush food at Peppermint Ridge Farm, Tynong North from 5:30pm.

This weekend is also the first full weekend of Open Studios in West Gippsland and this means a wide range of artists will have their studios open for visitors.

I haven’t mentioned all the markets which are listed elsewhere in this fine magazine but there is something on every weekend if you so want, and really you can just enjoy this wonderful part of the world with the variety of natural beauty and eating and coffee places. See ya next issue. Good on ya.

Laurie Sculpture Garden & Red Tree Gallery

Set in Jindivick’s rolling green hills discover an acre of recycled metal sculptures and browse the gallery space hosting the work of contemporary artists and Laurie’s small stories sculptures. Call in anytime, no cost and see the studio (amongst the metal chaos!) RED TREE GALLERY EXHIBITIONS COMING UP AT THE RED TREE GALLERY JINDIVICK OVER THE NEXT THREE MONTHS ARE A RANGE OF SHOWS AND ACTIVITIES.

SEPTEMBER In September Melbourne artists Faye and Naomi Edelman and Anna Sevi will be presenting their show called Liquorice Allsorts. This will be an exhibition of Painting and Jewellery running from 1st to 28th September. Faye is known for both realistic and whimsical material so it should be a fitting start to spring.

OCTOBER In October local artist Nicole Smith will present her first exhibition “Lucid Dreaming; ethereal works of girls and nature”. Nicole is a well-known photographer but her work on show will be a mixture of fantasy and feminine paintings. This will run from 29th September to 26th October.

NOVEMBER In November all the lightness vanishes as another local artist Keltie Mullin will present his show of Digital art with a heavy metal flavour called Mysticism. Keltie has won best in show in several local shows recently and this will indeed be a confronting and amazing group of work. This runs from 27th October to 30th November.

420 Main Jindivick Road, Jindivick VIC 3818 Phone 5628 5224 Email thelifestyle spring 2016



the Screaming Jets By Geoff Watt

They are an iconic Australian rock band and they are a powerful sonic force. The full-bodied rhythm section of Paul Woseen's bass and Micki Sayers' drums provide a great foundation for the twin guitars of Jimi Hocking and Scott Kingman to apply colour and texture. And when you add the powerful voice of Dave Gleeson, the sound of one of the great Aussie rock bands is complete.


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Playing with Screaming Jets image supplied by Scott Kingman

They are the Screaming Jets and success was theirs right from the release of their debut album in 1991 which went to No.2 on the charts. 2016 saw the release of their new album 'Chrome' along with its successful 'Chrome and Dust' tour in May. The band is due to head out on the road again this October. So much of what makes a great rock band stems from chemistry. When the individual members come together as a collective it can be an alchemy of sorts - where the whole ends up greater than the sum of its parts - each member bringing a different and unique contribution to the creative energy and something greater emerging from it. But that is not to say that individual members are solely defined by the band. Many have diverse and incredible talents outside the band. So is the case with Scott Kingman, who joined the band in 2008. Scotty was already an experienced guitarist with an impressive CV. He was one of the founders of an Australian 1990's rock phenomenon, as well as being a well-respected producer in his own right. I had the chance to sit down with Scotty at his home in Lake Tyres to find out about his incredible journey within Australian rock. Let's go back to the start and join Scott on his journey and see how he got to be a part of the Screaming Jets phenomenon: When did you first pick up a guitar Scotty, and who were your major influences growing up? I grew up on the Stones, Zeppelin, Van Halen, Stevie Ray and Hendrix. I got into guitar through my older brother Brett who is a phenomenal guitar player. He was always playing guitar - since he was five or six years old, whereas I actually never picked up a guitar until I was 17. So what finally made you start playing guitar? Brett was working at Allans (music store) in the city and in Year 11, I had to do work experience. I didn't know what to do, so he said to do it at Allans and when I had finished they offered me a job. Then I was surrounded by guitars so I figured I better learn how to play so that I can talk to customers about them. Was that when you started playing in bands? Well Brett had been playing with the Uncanny X-Men around this time and eventually he left to join James Reyne and he said to the guys in the X-Men "my brother plays guitar". At the time I had only played for twelve months or something, but I went and did an audition with them and got the gig. So that was my baptism into music - I was in the last year of the Uncanny X-Men. What was that like? It was great! The drummer, Craig (Maxi) Waugh, turned out to be a great mate and we played together again in Horsehead. My brother Brett was so supportive because I still lived with my folks in Narre Warren, catching the train into town every day and coming home late at night. But he was living in town so I would go in and stay on the weekend and we would jam. He was in different bands and I would go and watch him play guitar at gigs around Melbourne. He was pretty well respected as a guitar player in the industry and he introduced me to people in the music scene. I eventually moved into his place for a couple of years, which was a mad house. Brett was playing with James Reyne and I was playing in the Uncanny X-Men on their last tour. I guess you could say the X-Men were kind of winding up when I joined, but it was a great experience - I mean instantly I was surrounded by professional crew and musos. They were great fellas and of course Maxi the drummer was just an absolute powerhouse of a drummer and was kind of under-utilized in the X-Men - with Horsehead we went on to make what probably I would deem my best music.

Horsehead were quite a critically acclaimed band in the 1990's with a large cult following. For those of us who weren't there can you let us in on what went down? Well it was a really powerful ten years for me, coming out of other people's bands and then being in your own band. I teamed up with Cam (guitarist Cameron McKenzie) and Andy (vocalist Andy McLean) who were coming out of other bands. I knew Cam and started messing around with him - just sitting around with four track recorders, a drum machine and writing music and eventually the bands that he was in all fell apart. We were mates and I think that is so important - that the guys in a band get on together, especially with the touring side of being in a band. We had ten great years and travelled the world. Were you a songwriter? Yeah with the music. I'm always coming up with guitar ideas. The majority of the lyrics were from Andy the singer but Cam provided some too - he used to kick off lyrical ideas. I'm more the music side. With Horsehead, I absolutely felt it was my band but I think every one in that band felt that as well, which was a great powerful energy. Live -

what a force that band was. I remember coming off stage feeling thirty feet tall with that band. Where did the power lay? Well Cam was an incredible guitar player for tone and colour. He was technically proficient but had a great swagger about him. Really big powerful riffs and a two guitar onslaught with Cam playing a Strat and me on my Les Paul, both through Marshall’s - classic guitar tones. Andy sang the songs with incredible power and Mick the bass player had come from Boom Crash Opera with a beautiful sensibility of note and harmony. Horsehead were travelling along nicely with a great reputation until bassist Mick Vallance suddenly left. Yeah, he was the oldest in the band and at the time, I think he just had enough of touring. It came from left field; none of us saw it coming. We had just finished a gig at the Armadale and he suddenly said "Boys, that's it for me".

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Someone from outside would probably think that if someone can be replaced in a band, it would be the Bass player, unless of course he is the chief songwriter or singer. Well that was the thing with Horsehead - we all felt so integral to that band. We had been flat out touring for ten years - we were one of the hardest touring bands in the country, we travelled overseas and we made many records. We toured with Alice Cooper, Metallica, Live, Midnight Oil, Hoodoo Gurus, The Baby Animals, the list goes on and we did rooftop gigs for Triple J. We were like the 'go to' support act for that classic rock tone. When Mick left I was gutted to be honest - I didn't see it coming, I just thought we would go on forever and I definitely thought there were a couple more albums in us. But I think the other guys in the band just thought "Thank God, we're tired, we need a break". So we decided to have a break for six months and then see where we were at. But then in six months nothing happened. The three albums Horsehead recorded were all critically acclaimed; that must be a satisfying memory. I'm really proud of those records - the first album (1993's Horsehead) we mixed at Memphis with Mike Fraser - who did albums for Metallica, had


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worked with Plant & Page, and did the 'Pump' album for Aerosmith - I mean he was big. With the second album (1996's Onism) we went to Sound City in L.A. (iconic recording studios) and did it with Sylvia Massey (producer) who did all the albums for the band, Tool. And the third album was recorded with Mike Letho in Melbourne who is pretty much my greatest engineering teacher - super clever, beautiful fella. We worked our butts off with that album (1999's Goodbye Mothership). It had 18 songs on it and was our last studio album. We also did an EP with Tony Cohen who did all the Cruel Sea stuff and is a legend in the industry. Horsehead were renowned for there live performance. They performed at the first ever 'Big Day Out' in 1993 and did support shows for the likes of Metallica, The Tea Party and Alice Cooper. But do you remember Horsehead's first gig? Yeah. It was a Wednesday night at the Station Hotel in Greville Street South Yarra. It was all original stuff. Did you boys in the band think, "Wow, we've really got something here"? Well we'd been rehearsing for a while and I think we all knew there was something special with

this line up and it was going to be bloody great. The tunes were big and solid. And the crowd reaction right from the start was great. We did a whole stretch of those Wednesday nights at the Station and we got it to the point where there were long queues of people waiting to get in. After six months it was crammed every night we played and that's how we ended up getting our record deal. We got sent overseas, we did a bunch of demos that Madonna's Record Label (Maverick Records) heard and we got flown to L.A. - it just went off. You said that you were one of the hardest touring bands in Australia. You must have really honed your live playing in that period. Yeah it was incredibly busy. I remember around 1996, I also did a tour with the Divinyls which was fantastic. I'm such a fan of Chrissie (Amphlett) and Mark (guitarist Mark McEntee) - going through the set list they just had so many killer songs. Mark is a genius on guitar. He has a great touch and such a beautiful knowledge of harmony and chords. I was just in awe on that whole tour; I learned a lot. And Charlie Drayton (drummer), who has played with Keith Richards and Chaka Chan (Charlie also was the drummer on the B-52's massive worldwide hit 'Loveshack'). Me and Mark and Charlie became very close - that was mid Horsehead in 1996.

moon was coming up Queen Street and we were up there singing 'My Island Home'. Were you nervous in front of so many people, not only the 90,000 there but also the millions watching on a TV Broadcast? Nah, one thing I've learned is that it will all be over in an hour and a half. There's a nervous energy about "wow, look what we are about to do". I actually thrive on the challenge. Is that period with Horsehead where you got into the production side of things because you went on to become a Producer in your own right. How did that come about? Through Allans effectively. I had always been into technical stuff - I had an Apple 2E which was the second Apple ever produced and I used to go to computer expos that were tiny in those days - and full of geeks. When you get an understanding of how a computer works you pick stuff up easier. I had a real mind for it and I still do I guess - I still love learning about new software packages. At Allans I had to have my head around all the new recording software (Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase) as well as all the PlugIns that were being released. Then there were the software instruments and synthesizers, the early converters and hard drives. They were all a bit 'clunky' back then and I was a troubleshooter - I used to get thirty phone calls a day. I was always bringing them home to learn them and would put ideas down and jam with mates on weekends. I had also learned a lot in Horsehead too when recording our albums and when we did the EP with Toney Cohen, he had taught me a lot about getting different tones (such as running snare drums through overdrive pedals). So I guess I had just been gathering all this knowledge over the years and had a real niche with recording and production on the new technology - I was always hanging out at studios. I remember touring with James Reyne and doing some acoustic shows in Perth. We went for a drive out to one of the beaches and I said to him, "We should just make our own records - I know how to do all this stuff." And he said, "well come on, let's start." It was at a time when tape (analogue) recording and digital recording were crossing over and it had got to the place where you could actually make professional quality studio recordings on hard drives. It had moved pretty fast in 5 to 10 years it kind of went from pretty much untouchable to, you know, the future. Me having access to all that stuff via Allans, meant I had a good handle on it. It was a bit 'clunky' during this period and there were

'band aid' fixes across the board but you could get it done if you had the knowledge. So it was that or head into a studio and spend $600 a day. The first album you produced was James Reyne's Designed For Living in 1999, which was critically acclaimed. How did you find that? I loved it. For the first time I could put all the stuff I had learned into real practice and there's nothing like having a deadline to bring out your best. It was always co-producing with James. He's a very clever guy - he knows what he wants. James would quite often just come into the studio, I'd give him a 'click' track, he'd put down 10 ideas with an acoustic guitar and live vocal and then he would go "Seeya". Then I would build up a band around it - you could do that with these new systems - so it would be very eclectic but still have James all through it with his voice and beautiful lyrics. He's such a clever lyricist. But if you strip it back with just him on guitar you know, these songs still work. That's the quality of his writing. I've now done seven albums with James and toured with him. In 2008 you are credited with producing The Screaming Jets album DoYa. How did that come about? Mike Letho was employed to do their album. I was working with Mike on so many different projects, T.V. and James' (James Reyne) album and lots of other stuff. He was tied up for the first two weeks he was booked for the Screaming Jets work. So he asked if I could go in and cover for him for two weeks and then he'd come in as soon as he could. Did you know the guys in the Screaming Jets? Yeah, Horsehead had done shows with them before and they are all great fellas. That and the attraction of producing new material made me want to do it. So I filled in for the first two weeks and it went so well that they said, "Scotty can stay". Mike was fine with that because he had a lot of other work to do. So I recorded and co-produced that album. You must have impressed them because that's when you were asked to join The Screaming Jets wasn't it? Yeah, right at the end of recording that album, Grant the original guitarist left. I mean literally the day we finished recording. Paul (bass player Paul Woseen) asked me to come and do two gigs with them in Bundaberg. Which was the first time I had been out on the road in about five years. Two gigs turned into five gigs, which turned into a year. And I've been with them now for nearly ten years.

I got the Divinyls gig effectively through auditions and the fellas in Horsehead were fine with me going off on tour with them, as there was a lull in Horsehead activities at that time. But then the Divinyls tour was so popular that dates kept getting added which extended the tour. So rather than me leaving the tour before it finished, the Divinyls suggested Horsehead be the support act. So there I was opening the show with Horsehead and then running upstairs to get changed to go on with the Divinyls. It was pretty full on because Horsehead were such an onslaught of music and then I had to come back on shortly after and play in a much more considered way with the Divinyls where I had very particular parts to play. The period in Horsehead was such an active period, I learnt so much. What happened after Horsehead? The first big thing I guess was doing a stint with Christine Anu for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, playing in front of 90,000 people. We were following the flame around the country as it travelled through the towns. The big gig though was on the steps of the Town Hall when the flame finally arrived in Sydney and was to be presented to the city. I remember Carrie Web running up the steps and there's 90,000 people in the streets of Sydney, the

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You like to keep busy don't you? You toured with the Jets in 2013 and again in 2015 and in between you got back together with the original singer from Horsehead and released the album 'Fifteen to 50' in 2014 as The Alternative. Was that unfinished business? Well Horsehead was a five piece and three of us in particular really wanted to do more Horsehead stuff and Andy was one of them. We felt that we had left things slightly unfinished - we definitely had another album left in us and we thought let's give it a go. We had a Horsehead rehearsal with every member. It felt really good getting back together but when we called it quits originally we were at such a high level of performance that we kind of knew it would take a little while to get back to the level we were at. And we started to realise that after ten years of not playing together, to get back to the level to do it justice would take a lot - and all of us being older and having more commitments made us think it was just going to be too hard.

The band must have been pleased with the response to the new album Chrome. The album debuted 1st week in at No. 30 on The Mainstream Album Charts, No. 10 on The Australian Artist Album Charts and No. 2 on The Independent Music Charts. We worked really hard on Chrome. Steve James who produced the band's first few albums came back in for it. The two of us got on great and worked pretty close together on it. And it was great to finally work with Jimi (Hocking) who I've known for many years since probably I first starting living in Melbourne when he was playing in bands likes The Astroy Boys and Jimi the Human. He's a beautiful mind, very funny, very smart and a very technical guitar player whereas I come from a more Keith Richards/Pagey type feel and it works. These two different elements that blend very well - Jimi's bit of military precision and my bit of swagger. It's kind of cool.

Andy and I wanted to make some music so we did the Alternative album. Maxy the drummer came and played on three tracks, I played all the guitar on it. Cam played some Cello - he was a classically trained Cellist as a kid. Unfortunately Mick (Bass) didn't play on it. It was crowd funded so I felt a pressure because every one had invested so much and the expectation was pretty big. I worked my nuts off doing everything to record and produce it at my studio in Nar Nar Goon. It was a great thing to have done and I am really proud of that record.


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We called Kev and he said he'd love us to play. So me and Paul came here on the Sunday afternoon and did an acoustic gig. Kev was fantastic on the day and really looked after us - seafood platters and drinks. Meanwhile Lyndi, whose background is in event management, started thinking about festivals and this was the birth of Groundswell.

Meanwhile I'd love coming down here to Lake Tyers when I had some down time to go fishing with Kev and relax for a couple of days. Eventually driving back from Gippsland one day I just said to Lyndi that we should cash in from the city and move down here while Lyndi was working on these events and once she'd had enough we'd go back to the city. So we did that and....well I love it here - I love it.

I have read that Paul brought many songs to the table. The two original band members are Dave and Paul. Dave is a great lyricist but likes music given to him so he can work off that. Whereas Paul is a very natural songwriter - give him an acoustic guitar and off he goes - a great lyricist and a beautiful guitar player, he's just a great all round musician. And he said he wanted to write the majority of this record - he had lots of great ideas. So Paul would come out to the studio and I'd do him a little drum track and he'd have his acoustic and we'd sit there for days drinking and banging down ideas. Everyone was happy to stand back and let Paul write - he needs to write songs. When Grant (original guitarist Grant Walmsley) was in the band he and Paul had a healthy competition as the two main songwriters but now Paul's the main one.

What's it like on stage when you start up one of the Band's hits and you feel the energy shift in a crowd? You go through a lot of touring you know; a lot of hard work and travel, a lot of lugging around equipment, sitting in hotel rooms waiting. The pay off is the energy of an audience when they respond to what you're playing - you never get sick of it, you can't buy it.

Finally Scotty, what brought you to settle in Gippsland? About three years ago Paul (Woseen) and I were asked to do a fiftieth birthday in Mallacoota. So knowing it was about a six hour drive we did the gig and stayed there for the night. My girl Lyndi, who comes from this area (Buchan), said we should break the drive back on the Sunday by doing a gig. So we were told to call Kev at the Waterwheel Tavern, which is down here at Lake Tyers - it sits right down on the Lake.

Lyndi is a great organiser and worked really hard with Kev to get everyone together and we kept coming back and forth a lot at that time to get Groundswell up and running in 2015. It was a really busy period because at that time I was working as a photographer for fashion designer Johanna Johnson out of Sydney and we were doing all these trips overseas - I travelled a lot to L.A. and New York - I'd be flying from New York into Sydney to play a gig that night and then back overseas again the next day. Lyndi and I had this house sitting in South Melbourne that we were paying ridiculous rent on and Lyndi was doing four hour drives down here organising Groundswell and I'd just come home and collapse for a week and then go again.

Back to the Screaming Jets - Chrome, released in May this year, is the first Jets album since you joined. Yeah, this record I've actually played on, coengineered plus co-written a couple of tracks so I feel very much a part of it all.

He came with pretty much six songs already finished for the album and all we needed to do was interpret them and add some colour. There was some other collaborative stuff too so we did a lot of jamming in the studio and we took a bunch of songs out on the road and played them live on the 'Rock n Roll Rampage' tour last year. And that's the ultimate test. A band can rehearse one song for weeks on end thinking it's as good as Stairway to Heaven and then in three minutes on stage you realise its definitely not Stairway to Heaven (laughs). The instant you start playing a new song to people you start hearing it differently, you can feel the energy change in the room and it becomes obvious what's working and what's not. It's the ultimate test of a song.

would be to get back in the studio within the next eight or nine months. Personally I could make a record a week - I just love it.

Because I had all this photographic equipment from the fashion work, I instantly fell in love with landscape photography. I constantly get in the car with my camera and wherever I stop its just incredible. And I go out with Kev in a boat on the Lakes and it is just heaven out there - it really is.

When recording Chrome, was it nice to let Steve produce it so you could just let loose with your playing? Yeah, I absolutely loved playing on Chrome. It was kinda therapeutic for me after the last 10 years basically producing records to then just playing on this record - it’s a different mindset and I found it really rewarding. How do you guys find the touring? We're all older now so its more considered because of other commitments like family and stuff, but we just love it. We've done quite a bit of touring in recent years (2013's Greatest Hits tour, 2015's Rock n' Roll Rampage tour and 2016's Chrome and Dust tour) and we get on great - the core element to this band is just a killer and I love every one of the guys in the band. It was eight years between albums. Can we expect another one a bit quicker next time? I am hoping it won't take as long to record another album with the guys. I've got lots of ideas and stuff recorded and obviously having my own studio and my experience with engineering and producing, we could do the next record a lot faster. My hope

So after 25 years of living in Melbourne and running amuck, it is just a godsend mate. Its just a great thing to be able to do Jets gigs during the week and then come back here, reset and work on the photographic stuff. You can view some of Scott's beautiful landscape photography at So you are staying? Oh yeah. Lyndi and I have just bought the General Store that is right next door to Kev's pub so we're really here now. We are committed now and I like it - we are going to have to put in at least five years at the store. Lyndi is a great cook and organiser so I'm in great hands there. And the four hours driving to the airport I spend in total silence, knowing full well I'm going to be smashing my ears with the Jets on stage! Thank you Scotty Kingman - a great contributor to Australian music. Photographs by Wildwood Photography




The names Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris mean Grey Pinot in Italian and French respectively. 'Pinot' refers to the characteristic pinecone grape bunch form of this group of varieties

momentum as a region that crafts premium cool climate Pinot Gris.

It is important to note Grigio and Gris are the same grape, however grown in France or elsewhere. This variety is closely related to the Pinot Noir variety and is believed to be a mutation of Pinot Noir. In the vineyard Pinot Grigio vines are often difficult to distinguish from Pinot Noir until the berries ripen when those of the Grigio will be much less pigment.

The main difference between the two wine styles is that the Grigio is generally picked earlier to retain acid purity. The Gris style on the other hand seeks more input from the wine maker and produces a slightly fuller and more developed and interesting wine style which may result in a higher price range when compared to the Grigio. In very general terms, producers tend to choose the name Pinot Grigio for less expensive, less characterful versions.

The berry colour is extremely varied and much darker than that of most white wine grapes, from grey, pinky-purple to almost as dark as Pinot Noir in hotter sites. The warmer the site or vintage the darker the berry. The wine colour tends to be from clear, brilliant and transparent to shades of light yellow or pink. It is a very early ripening variety, which permits early and or later picking depending on the wine making style.

However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Both sharper light bodied Grigio and the fuller Gris styles are made in Gippsland, and other cool climate regions of Victoria and Tasmania, by talented wine makers, but there continues to be some variation across the range. Whether the wine is labeled Gris or Grigio is a good, but not a perfect guide to what you might expect. It’s best to get to know the producer and their artistry.

Pinot Gris has attracted serious interest in Australia over the past two decades. Once known as an alternative variety it is now in the mainstream market place. Restaurateurs and independent bottle shop operators now dedicating listings and shelf space to the Pinot Gris style. Our Gippsland Pinot Gris producers are rapidly gaining

At the 2015 RACV Gippsland Wine Show 141 entries were received, a great result considering the low yields and challenges of 2013/14 growing season. There were also many terrific 2015 wines that were brought forward for early release. The wine show had six entries of Pinot Gris/Grigio and awarded – 5 medals, 1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze.

By Frank Butera

For such a small class this success demonstrates the potential for this variety in Gippsland. The early Pinot Gris producers are now being rewarded for growing and producing Pinot Gris in Gippsland. As a comparison, the wine show had 27 Pinot Noir wine entries and awarded 12 medals – 2 gold, 3 silver, 7 bronze. Notwithstanding, the 2013/14 growing season will be mostly remembered for the very low yields in southern Victoria, particularly impacting on yields in Gippsland. Pinot Gris had much higher medal strike rate than Pinot Noir. Certainly, there must be a correlation between the success of Pinot Gris in Gippsland and the success of this variety at the 2015 Gippsland Wine Show. The successful exhibitors were Bass River Winery, Blue Gables, D’Angelo and Jinks Creek.   In my opinion, there is still a great deal of experimentation required with the variety and it may take several more years before the optimal combination of terroir and winemaking technique emerges in Gippsland. In the meantime some great wines are already available for those who are looking for new experiences.   Frank Butera is the wine maker at Bass River winery. E:

thelifestyle spring 2016


Steve White, Cartoonist



1. Donate (5) 4. Meanwhile (5) 7. Legged it (3) 9. Ebb (7) 10. Friend (FR) (3) 12. Jab (4) 14. Snow slide (13) 15. Backing (3) 17. Match (3) 18. Quivers (7) 20. Lengthen (3) 22. Acquired (3) 23. Small Quantities (7) 24. Sympathy (11)

1. Flight (6) 2. Assigned (9) 3. Summons (4) 4. Cancel (4) 5. Sopranos (7) 6. Trudge (6) 8. Indefinite Article 11. Informal Pronoun (2) 13. Church (Scottish) (4) 14. Cedar (3) 16. Complex (4) 17. Mass (6) 19. Natty (4) 21. Spiral (4)

issue 27 WINTER puzzle Answers


thelifestyle spring 2016




By Ali Fullard


Briagolong Kindergarten Director Kirsty Smaller

Jenny Dalgleish and young artists

We all often forget that galleries are for every one of all ages. June saw the opening of artist Rachel Steinman’s exhibition of powerful charcoal drawings and timber, stone and metal sculptures. During this exhibition, our kindergarten decided to have an “exploration” day of the town and visited the gallery after having morning tea at the Riverstone Café. 22 excited children and parents listened to a talk by gallery member and artist, Jenny Dalgleish. The children had a wonderful time discovering all

Mahala and Penny

the different lines, and the way charcoal had been applied to the paper by Rachel, in her drawings. We all continued on to the Third Door Down art workshop hub, where Jenny took the children through a series of tasks to create exciting charcoal drawings. The spontaneity and confidence with which the children approached this task was refreshing to see and reminded us older artists about the importance of “just going for it” at times and not worrying about conventions or overthinking

the topic. The children added eyes to their creations and had fun turning the image into a “charcoal monster”. Kindergarten director, Kirsty Smaller and the Briagolong Gallery hope in future to repeat this event and organise an exhibition of the children’s work in the gallery. This may open up an invitation to parents and family members coming and supporting this great community facility.

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS & LOCAL ARTISTS EXHIBITING IN THE WIDER WORLD “Lore Makers” November 5th till December 5th. The latest project from Freestone Printmakers. “ LORE – the traditions and beliefs passed on to you, your own interpretation of a subject or your own understanding of the world etc and in so doing create your own lore that holds within it a past, present and a future - a personal LORE or story or beliefs. The exhibition will display a range of printmaking techniques. After Braigolong, the exhibition will continue to Melbourne and be shown at Forty Five Downstairs Gallery, Flinders Lane Melbourne November 22nd – December 4th. Which is exciting for the 20 artists involved. Briagolong Gallery is open 11.00am-4.00pm Saturday and Sunday Cnr Forbes and Avon Sts Contact 03 51 455 439 or 0424 327 494 “Image and Text” Till September 25th. An exhibition of prints exploring the diversity of 9 printmakers incorporating text in their visual art practises. “Gippsland Photographic Prize” October 1st till October 30th. Images from Gippsland Sale Camera Club. Each year six camera clubs in the Gippsland area compete against each other by submitting their best ten images taken in Gippsland. A judging panel will choose winning images and will present a trophy to the winning club.

Stratford Courthouse Theatre September to December. Go to au for the exciting program of live entertainment, film, music, story telling.

Melbourne on a regular basis. The paintings are contemporary, figurative and colourful. Her work is inspired by a love of history, textiles and travel. In 2010 Julie travelled to India to attend a friend’s daughter’s wedding. The five days of unique Hindu wedding ceremonies were a vibrant introduction to Indian culture. Fascinated by this short trip it prompted a desire to return in 2014. It was on this second trip to northern India that Julie learnt about acid attacks and the extent of attacks and violence against women in India. The paintings in this exhibition highlight some of the complex issues facing women in India today – caste prejudices, domestic violence and acid attacks caused by dowry disputes. For women alone in India there is no help and no welfare system. Queen Victoria Women’s Centre 210 Lonsdale Streets. Melbourne. 9am–5pm Monday to Friday Contact: Phone: 8668 8100 Julie Mielke: 0429 497496 /

Segue Café and Art Hub Stratford. Exhibitions of local artists works. September to December. “The Dowry” September 1st to September 30th Artists have often used their work to highlight issues. Local artist Julie Mielke graduated in Visual Arts (Painting) at Monash University Gippsland in 1992. She has exhibited work throughout Gippsland and


Cnr Forbes and Avon Streets, Briagolong 3860 Open Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm or by appointment Contact 03 51 455 439 or 0427 327 494 | Email | Web Find us on Facebook |

thelifestyle spring 2016


Merryn Padgett by Geoff Watt


thelifestyle spring 2016

In this fast paced world driven by money and sameness, it is refreshing to know that there are certain people within the business world who value the real person and the creative energy that lies within us all. Earth & Sea Creative has been in existence for only four years but is quickly making its mark in the field of graphic design and business branding. The creative person behind Earth & Sea Creative is Merryn Padgett. Merryn provides a professional service to bring her clients’ business vision out into the broader world in a way that is natural and most definitely bespoke. She displays a clarity of purpose; making first a connection with her client, then forming a relationship with them and unlocking their vision through her artistic energy - always staying true to her client's unique individuality. It is no wonder then that she is becoming a significant contributor to the field of graphic design and branding in Gippsland and beyond, through her 'Brand Nirvana Experience'. I had a chance to catch up with Merryn at her studio in the beautiful seaside village of Paynesville. It is always a pleasure to meet an authentic human being who is creative, intelligent and humble. Merryn grew up in rural NSW in Tocumwal, on the Murray River and after twelve years further developing her skills in Melbourne she moved to Paynesville for a quieter lifestyle. So her journey geographically has taken her from the flow of an iconic Australian river and settled her here at the waves on an iconic piece of Victorian coastline - but her true journey really is one of heart, humanity and creative energy. I asked if she was always artistic growing up? "I believe so. I was an only child so imagination and play was where I first got my creativity. Then at the age of six Mum bought me a Spirograph and that was significant. I would sit at the kitchen bench playing the Spirograph.

I went on to excel in the arts in high school – achieving high distinctions for visual art, visual design and photography in my HSC. When I left school, I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Art (Printmaking). I grew up in Tocumwal and moved to the big smoke in Melbourne to go to Uni where I studied Printmaking at RMIT. I was keen to have a career doing something creative, however I recall in the first year thinking that I am not going to be able to make a profession out of this. So I chose to defer my undergraduate and work in hospitality." Merryn was naturally attracted to a peoplecentered industry such as hospitality but there was also the fact that deep down she wanted to be a chef. "Cooking and creativity have been part of my life. I cooked as a young child - in the kitchen with mum and my aunty when I would come to Raymond Island for holidays. I have fond memories of rustling up a three course meal at my aunty's house and styling a menu." Hospitality actually opened the door for Merryn into the business administration world where she worked as a receptionist for a small network integration (IT) firm in South Melbourne. "I used to work as a barista at a café in South Melbourne. I loved meeting the regulars and chatting to them while they waited for their coffee, or patronised the venue. When I was looking for a career change from hospitality, I mentioned this to a regular and was offered a job pretty much on the spot!" Whilst having no experience as a receptionist, the transition was smooth. As Merryn explains "I've always been a quick learner and moving into another peoplecentered role was very easy for me. It's always been a part of who I am. Eventually I got into Sales Support at the company." Merryn's next role was as a Personal Assistant to the CEO at a national commercial furniture

company “learning heaps of graphic design, marketing and web design skills on job”. Merryn was heading in the right direction and obtaining all the business skills to support her in the life she has settled into today. A significant step was the completion of a Diploma of Holistic Counselling Practice while still in Melbourne. The Holistic Counselling studies looked at Carl Rogers' Person Centered theories and these infuse Earth & Sea Creative's 'Brand Nirvana Experience'. "Seven years ago we decided to get out of St. Kilda to escape the concrete jungle and provide a beautiful environment for the upbringing of our kids - the idea for Earth & Sea Creative came when we moved down here to Paynesville." Merryn had holidayed in East Gippsland from the age of six. "For 31 years I had been coming down - my aunt lives on Raymond Island, that's my connection to East Gippsland. My partner and I bought this house as a little holiday get away; we would come down from St Kilda and always comment that we would love to relocate when we had a family." Merryn also worked with children leaving child protection care in Gippsland. When I asked what drove her to the welfare sector Merryn responds: "The desire to help people help themselves. I recall working as a Personal Assistant and having this burning desire to help people at a deeper level than just being their personal assistant." Working in the welfare sector and helping those in need was Merryn's motive for entering the field - she wanted to make a difference in the world. But it also added to the rounding out of her broad skill and experience set which is firmly built upon a naturally creative mind that cares for people. It's all starting to come together isn't it? Merryn, through her passion for creativity and her desire to help people be their best, brought her finest

thelifestyle spring 2016


attributes into the business world. Merryn elaborates: "I wanted to do something that was a blend of all my skills but there was no one job that could use all of my skills and talents. So I created a job for myself and that's how Earth & Sea Creative came to be."

The name of the business is a reflection of the beautiful Gippsland landscape around where she calls home. Merryn states that with her clients she "always starts with an open briefing process to tease out who my client is, what they stand for and why they do what they do." Most of her work flows to her by word of mouth referral. She is a part of different business networks in Gippsland and Melbourne so her clients are not just local but in Melbourne and even NSW. "I find if the client is some distance away, I can still connect with the sense of the person through Skype. When clients make an enquiry we have a bit of a chat to first ensure we are a good fit. There is a page on the website entitled 'Is This You?' and that is a kind of filter for me. I spend time getting to know my client and build a relationship with them so I guess what I do is a bit different to most graphic designers. I have declined to take work purely because I felt that the fit wasn't there." What strikes me about Merryn is her commitment and care towards developing a client’s vision and her integrity. It would be easy enough for someone in her position to 'takeover' the client's vision. I would suggest that what she does, and does very well, reflects her respect for their journeys and their individuality. It shows her care and integrity, and people experience that with her - hence the growth in her business. "I am not a brand coach per se, but I guess my counselling skills come out in the process. Launching a business, developing


thelifestyle spring 2016

merryn padgett

a brand and investing money in your business and yourself can be extremely overwhelming for some people. I talk my clients through the journey of launching a business, and I listen deeply to their concerns so the brands that I design are a true reflection of who they are and what they stand for." Merryn gets her creative energy and ideas for designs in several ways. She meditates, walks daily and takes at least one yoga class a week and says she has always been open to the possibilities of symbolism. "When I have that first discussion with a client, right away I start thinking about their brand - even if they haven't officially engaged my services. But its right from then that the creative process starts ticking along in my mind and I start to sketch ideas out. My creative style is naturally abstract, and minimalism is my signature style with a focus on gorgeous typography. Most brands in my portfolio have an element of minimalism and paired back aesthetic to it."

"The 'Brand Nirvana Experience' is based on three key aspects existing in my relationship with my client: empathy, genuineness and congruence.

For a quality website and bespoke branding for your business, look no further. (And her blogs make for a great read!) Photographs: Wildwood Photography

If we have those conditions present from the beginning it allows the best brand to come alive. That's where the human-centered experience comes into it. So then if you, as a brand, are putting out a visual identity based on those values, I believe that's when you will attract your ideal client. When it comes to communicating with your audience I think that genuineness is really important, so when you've got that human-centered foundation in your visual brand that's where I believe your ideal client will magnetically attract." One of Merryn's firm beliefs in business is to make a difference in her community. She also believes that people really do want to leave the world in a better shape than when they found it. Refreshing.

thelifestyle spring 2016










Missy Moo




Young Lucky




Angel Zac and Angel Tess


Gippsland's finest Please email Gippsland The Lifestyle if you would like to place a photo of your dog in Canine Corner



thelifestyle spring 2016


YOUR EVENTS GUIDE SEPTEMBER 2016 MERRIMAN CREEK LANDCARE GROUP 30TH ANNIVERSARY Date: September 10 Time: 7.00pm Location: Stradbroke Hall, Stradbroke Contact: Melissa Ainsworth 0437 640 635 MILESTONES - QUILT & CRAFT EXHIBITION Date: September 10 - September 11 Time: 10.00am Location: Fed Uni Auditorium Churchill Campus Contact: Jean Baudendistel 5122 2955 TRAFALGAR LIONS WEDDING EXPO Date: September 11 Time: 10.00am - 3.00pm Location: Trafalgar Public Hall Contact:

OCTOBER 2016 2016 FORD MODEL T NATIONAL RALLY Date: September 28 Time: 10.00am Location: Lardner Park Warragul

LIGHT THE NIGHT TRARALGON Date: October 1 Time: 4.00pm - 8.00pm Location: Victory Park Soundshell, Argyle Street

SOUTH GIPPSLAND DAIRY EXPO Date: September 28 - September 29 Location: Korumburra Showgrounds Contact: Deanne Kennedy 5659 4219 Web:

GARDEN AND HOME EXPO Date: October 8 - October 9 Time: 9.00am Location: Lardner Park Warragul Contact: Maureen Versteden 5625 4859

LIGHT THE NIGHT IN MOE Date: September 30 Time: 5.00pm - 8.00pm Location: Apex Park Moe Contact: Wendy 0408 051 344

9TH ANNUAL COAL CREEK LITERARY FESTIVAL Date: October 9 Location: Coal Creek Community Park & Museum Contact: 5655 1811 RIDE2 WORK DAY FREE BREAKFAST FOR CYCLISTS Date: October 12 Time: 7.30am - 9.00am Location: Queen Street Park, Warragul Memorial Park, Drouin Contact: 5624 2497 MOE CUP DAY Date: October 13 Time: 2.00pm Contact: 3RD BLESSING OF THE BIKES Date: October 15 Location: Mirboo North Contact: Marcel and Sabine Web:

TOPS OFF FOR CANCER DAY Gippsland Vehicle Collection – The Maffra Shed Date: September 18 Time: 10.00am - 2.00pm Location: 1A Sale Road Maffra Bring your Veteran, Vintage, Classic, Hot Rod or Modern Topless vehicle (Cars or motorcycles) to display or just come for a visit. (Other vehicles are welcome but will not be displayed with the main display of vehicles) Refreshments will be available on site with various fundraising activities. The Cancer Council will be collecting a donation from everyone that will 100% go directly to Cancer Research. So help this great cause that we have all been affected by in some way or another by attending this day at Maffra and seeing the biggest display of convertibles around. Run by the Gippsland Vehicle Collection in conjunction with the Cancer Council of Victoria, Maffra Branch. For more information visit or contact Ian Kennedy on 5147 2118.


thelifestyle spring 2016

COX'S BRIDGE SALE TO COX'S PLACE LOCH SPORT Ride for Research - Motor Neurone Disease Date: October 15 Time: 9.00am in Sale Contact: Denise Retzlaff 5146 0775 AUSTRALIAN NATIVE PLANT SALES & FLOWER SHOW Date: October 15 - October 16 Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm Location: Leongatha Recreation Reserve ANNUAL FLOWER SHOW Date: October 21 - October 22 Time: Friday 11.00am - 4.00pm Saturday 9.30am - 3.30pm Location: St Andrews Uniting Church Contact: Jan Read 5154 2922 or Heather Richardson 5154 1853

SPRING events NOVEMBER 2016 MAFFRA SHOW DAY Date: October 21 - October 22 Location: Maffra Recreation Reserve Contact: Jen McDavitt 5147 2444

BI ANNUAL OPEN GARDEN Date: November 5 - November 6 Time: 10.00am Location: Details available at The Slab Hut Orbost Contact: Judy Weatherall 5154 1360 or 0407 586 328 45TH ANNUAL LEONGATHA ROSE SPECTACULAR Date: November 11 - November 12 Location: Memorial Hall Leongatha Contact: Josie or Sandra 5657 3292 or 0423 823 240

MICHELIN AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX 2016 Date: October 21 - October 23 Time: 8.00am Location: Phillip Island Contact: 9258 7166 Web:

THE GREAT GIPPSLAND OUTDOOR & 4X4 EXPO Date: November 11 - November 13 Location: Sale Racecourse Contact: 0468 370 975

AUSTRALIAN HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP 2016 Date: October 27 - October 30 Time: 10.00am Location: Bryant Park, 100 Bill Schultz Drive, Newborough Contact: John Bryant 5174 1473 LOCH VILLAGE MUSIC FESTIVAL Date: October 28 - October 29 Location: Main Street, Loch Contact: Tickets at GLENMAGGIE CUP THE RACE THAT SHAKES THE LAKE Date: October 29 - October 30 Time: 9.00am Location: Glenmaggie and District Boat Club Contact: Darren Penington 0448 565 059

BASS COAST CYCLE CHALLENGE & FESTIVAL Date: November 12 Time: 8.00am Location: Inverloch Contact: Gavin Slavin 0437 935 420 Web: OFF ROADERS – GIPPSLAND VEHICLE COLLECTION Date: November 13 Time: 10.00am - 2.00pm (display vehicles welcome from 9am) Location: Maffra Shed – 1A Maffra Sale Rd Maffra Web:

HALLOWEEN AT COAL CREEK Date: October 29 Location: Coal Creek Community Park & Museum Contact: 5655 1811 GEOFF WATT MEMORIAL HALF MARATHON & FUN RUN Date: October 30 Time: 8.00am - 1.00pm Location: Geoff Watt track, Burke Street Warragul Contact: 9589 4544

PHILLIP ISLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL Date: November 18 - November 20 Location: Cowes Contact: Jill Boyce 0417 416 300 GIPPSLAND ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES FAIR Date: November 26 - November 27 Time: Saturday 9.30am - Sunday 3.00pm Location: Kernot Hall, Morwell Contact: Wayne Harris 5174 8050

If you require your event to be promoted please email Gippsland the Lifestyle

thelifestyle winter spring2016 2016 thelifestyle



1st Saturday of every month – 8am-12noon Location Bairnsdale Secondary College Oval, McKean Street Contact John 5156 9342 or Ian 5152 3698


Every Sunday – 8am-1.30pm Location Akoonah Park, cnr High & Cardinia Sts, Berwick Contact Gary Maker (03) 9796 1455

BRIAGOLONG MAKERS & COLLECTABLES MARKET Sunday 11th of September – 8.30am-2pm Location Behind Riverstone Café Contact 0407 455 202 or their Facebook page


3rd Sunday of month – 8am-1pm October to May Location Callignee Hall Reserve Contact Lex 5147 3808

CHURCHILL ISLAND FARMERS’ MARKET & CRAFT MARKET 4th Saturday of month - 8am-1pm Location Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island off Phillip Island Contact Peter Arnold 5664 0096


and craft market 2nd Saturday/Sunday of month - 8am-12.30pm Location Coal Creek Community Park and Museum Car Park, Silkstone Rd, Korumburra Contact 5655 1811 or Chris 0439 364 760 FREE Entry/Ample Parking










1st Saturday of month – 8am-12pm Location Johnsonville Hall, Princes Highway Contact Perry 5156 4162 1st Sunday of the month – 8.30am-1pm Location Public Hall, Cruickshanks Road Contact Dawn Wylie 5657 3253 Every Sunday – 10am-3pm Location Korumburra Road, Kongwak Contact Jane 0417 142 478

1st Saturday of the month – 8am-12.30pm Location Memorial Park off Koala Drive (Held in adjoining Halls on wet days) Contact Rod 0408 619 182


2nd Sunday of the month - 8am-1.30pm Location Koo Wee Rup Community Centre Cochrane Park Cnr Rossiter Rd & Sybella Ave Koo Wee Rup Contact 0418 289 847


1st Sunday of the month – 9am-3pm Location Near the Rotunda - Foreshore, Lakes Entrance Contact Tom Morris 0407 098 805 or 5153 1916


Every Sunday - 8.30am-1.30pm Location Latrobe Road, Morwell (near Holmes Road) Contact 0449 294 453

2nd Saturday of month - 9am-2pm Location St Phillips Parish Hall and grounds, Thompson Ave, Cowes Contact Monica 0412 710 276 or 5678 8784




4th Saturday of month – 8.30am-2pm Location Uniting Church, Chapel St, Cowes Contact Darlene 0428 603 043

2nd Sunday of month – October to April – 9am-1pm Location Loch Railway Siding Contact Barry Worsburgh 0418 500 520 1st Sunday of the month - 8am-1pm Location Longwarry Fire Station, Bennett St Contact Janine 5629 9636 or 0419 158 946





3rd Saturday of month - 8am-12.30pm Location Civic Park, Civic Place, Drouin Contact John 0419 428 564 Drouin Rotary Club

2nd Saturday of month – 8am-12.30pm Location The Old Cheese Factory, 34 Homestead Road, Berwick Contact Market Manager: Geoff Rankin 0407 968 841

FOSTER PROM COUNTRY FARMERS’ MARKET 3rd Saturday of month - 8am-12pm (inside Hall if wet) Location Foster War Memorial Arts Centre Main Street, Foster Contact Catherine McGlead 0407 543 371

FOSTER PROMONTORY MARKET (VARIETY) Sunday 6th of November – 8am-1pm Location Foster Showgrounds, Station Road Contact Max Parnell 5682 2654


4th Sunday of month - 8am-2pm Location Grantville Recreation Reserve Contact Pat 5997 6221 & check Facebook for updates


1st Saturday of month – 8am-1pm Location John Greaves Memorial Park, Temple Street Contact 5148 3408 or 5148 2394


3rd Sunday of Jan, March, Sept and Nov – 8am-1pm Location Old Hill End School Contact Chris 5635 2256

INVERLOCH COMMUNITY FARMERS' MARKET Last Sunday of the month – 8am-1pm Location The Glade, Opposite Inlet Hotel, Inverloch Contact Tennille 0448 327 637


3rd Sunday of the month – 8am-1pm Location The Glade, Opposite Inlet Hotel, Inverloch Contact Peter Arnold 0439 364 760


Saturday 5th of November– 9am-3pm Location Community Centre, A’Beckett Street Contact Ken 5663 5256


1st Saturday of month – 8am-12pm Location 1070 Jackson’s Track, Jindivick Contact Jindivick Harvest Kitchen 5628 5227


thelifestyle spring 2016

4th Sunday of the month - 8.30am-1pm Location Howitt Park, Princes Highway, East Bairnsdale Contact 0432 602 007 1st Sunday of month - 9am-1pm Location Main St/Johnson St, Maffra Contact Rob 0419 869 114


1st Saturday of month – 8am-12pm Location Mallacoota Mudbrick Pavilion, Maurice Ave Contact Leah 0467 856 236


3rd Thursday of month – 10am-2pm Location Whitelaw Street Contact Tracey Robertson 0402 995 063


2nd Saturday of month - 8am-12.30pm Location Village Green in Metung Contact Tracey O’Brien 0409 233 648

MIRBOO NORTH COUNTRY MARKET Last Saturday of month – 8am-2pm Location Baromi Park, 49 Ridgway Contact Bev Cook 5668 1688


4th Sunday of month – 9am-1pm Location 147 Main Neerim Road, Neerim South Contact 0409 090 725


Last Sunday of the month – except Dec – 8am-2pm Location Noojee Heritage Centre and train station Contact Sharon Tauru 0419 380 997


3rd Sunday of month – 9am-2pm Location Mingling Waters Caravan Park Contact 0409 233 648

3rd Saturday of month - 8am-12pm Location Gilsenan Reserve Contact Scott 0409 524 399

2nd Saturday of month until May – 8am-1pm Location Kay Street Gardens, Traralgon Contact Chris Van Der Meer 0487 342 675 2nd Saturday of month September to May– 8am-1pm Location Rokeby Reserve, Brandy Creek Road Contact 5626 8523 2nd Sunday of month - 7.30am-1.30pm Location Prince Street Reserve Contact George Sharp 5199 2709


3rd Saturday of month - 8am-1pm Location Sale Showgrounds enter from Maffra Rd Contact Cate 0404 40 128 (Craft) or Karen 0429 344 675 (Produce)


3rd Sunday of month - 7am-1pm Location Thomson River Canal Reserve Contact 5144 1258


2nd Friday of month - Bric-a-brac, cakes & jams 9am-1pm 2nd Saturday of month - Sausage Sizzle 9am-12pm Location St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Marine Parade Contact Roma Caulfield 5678 5386

STRATFORD VARIETY & FARMERS MARKET 4th Sunday of month - 9am-1pm Location McMillan Street, Stratford Contact Rob 0419 869 114


Public Holidays Monday 7th of November - 8.30am-2pm Location Tarwin Lower Memorial Hall, Riverside Drive Contact Anita 5663 7345


2nd Saturday of month 8.30am Location Tarwin Lower Primary School, School Road Contact 0410 466 260


2nd Saturday of month - 7.30-1pm Location Former Bonlac Store, Jetty Road, Toora Contact 5686 2690


4th Saturday of month - 8am-1pm Location Kay Street Gardens Contact 0409 232 715 Traralgon Lions Club


3rd Saturday of month – 9am-1pm October to March Location Civic Park Warragul Contact Jessie McLennan 5626 7045

WARRAGUL FARMERS MARKET 3rd Saturday of month – 8.30am-1pm Location 1 Civic Place, Warragul Contact 0425 259 177

WONTHAGGI MAKE IT BAKE IT MARKET 2nd Sunday of month, rain, hail or shine 9am-1pm Location McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi Contact Leah 0427 587 104


2nd Sunday of month - 8am-1pm Location Park, Murray St, Wonthaggi


4th Saturday of month – 9am-1pm Location Yarragon Public Hall, Campbell St Contact Alison Butterworth 5634 2209


1st Sunday of month - 8am-1pm Location Guide & Scout Hall, Yarram Contact 0419 362 083

OLD GIPPSTOWN HERITAGE PARK MARKET 3rd Saturday of month – 9am-2pm Location Lloy Street, Moe Contact 5127 3082


3rd Sunday of month – 8am-2pm Location Pakenham Football Club, Toomuc Reserve Contact Noel 0422 822 688

PAYNESVILLE LIONS CLUB MARKET 2nd Sunday of month - 8.30am-1pm Location Gilsenan Reserve Contact Lions Club 0400 327 526

If you require your event to be promoted please email Gippsland the Lifestyle


BOOK NOOK by Jan Bull on the shelf now

This is the last Book Nook I will write. We closed Foster’s Little Bookshop on the 30th June and whilst we were sorry to see the bookshop close after 10 years, we were pleased to be able to begin the next chapter of our lives. Thanks to everyone who has liked one (or more) of the reviews that have appeared here. Thanks also to the crew at Gippsland the Lifestyle for giving me the chance to share my favourites with you. Keep reading; it’s good for you!

Things I Carry Around by Troy Cassar-Daley with Tom Gilling For the first time, Troy talks about his early life - how his parent's divorce changed things for him, about missing his Dad and growing up in Grafton surrounded by the warmth and love of his mother, Irene, his Nan and Pop and his extended Indigenous family. A larrikin at heart, Troy includes all the highs and lows on his path to stardom: the thrill of performing on stage at the Tamworth Music Festival with Jimmy Little when he was just 15; the excitement of heading off on tour with Brian Young and then discovering just how lonely life on the road could be; his first record deal; playing with the greats - Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Slim Dusty; his first album Beyond the Dancing, which blended his indigenous heritage with his rural background; meeting the woman who would steal his heart; recording in Nashville; and, finally, releasing True Believer, the album that really launched his career. The multiple Golden Guitar, APRA, and ARIA winner also lets us in on some of the life lessons he learned the hard way, lessons that kept this prodigiously talented Aussie on the straight and narrow (most of the time).

featured children’s book author

I Am Brian Wilson by Ben Greenman As co-founder member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most ground-breaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like 'In My Room', 'God Only Knows' and 'Good Vibrations' forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and - finally - thriving. I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy and completed Smile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective and forgiveness. Wilson's story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.

In November 2009 came Mr Stink, again illustrated by Quentin Blake, about a 12-year-old girl who meets a tramp and helps look after him. It was the last of Walliams books to be illustrated by Quentin Blake. The book was awarded the Children's Award in the inaugural People's Book Prize in 2010, and was made into a 60-minute film, which premiered on BBC One on 23 December 2012. On 28 October 2010 Walliams published his third book Billionaire Boy, illustrated by Tony Ross telling the story of Joe Spud, the richest 12-year-old in the country, but there is just one thing he really needs: a friend.

Dylan Goes Electric by Elijah Wald On the evening of July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival. Backed by an electric band, he roared into a blistering version of “Maggie’s Farm,” followed by his new rock single, “Like a Rolling Stone.” The audience of committed folk purists and political activists who had hailed him as their acoustic prophet reacted with a mix of shock, boos, and scattered cheers. It was the shot heard round the world—Dylan’s declaration of musical independence, the end of the folk revival, and the birth of rock as the voice of a generation—and one of the defining moments in twentieth-century music. In Dylan Goes Electric! Elijah Wald explores the cultural, political, and historical roots and impact of this seminal event. He delves deep into the folk revival and its intersections with the civil rights movement, the rise of rock, and the tensions between traditional and ground-breaking music to provide important insights into Dylan’s artistic evolution, his special affinity to blues, his complex relationship to the folk establishment and his sometime mentor Pete Seeger, and the ways he reshaped popular music forever.

DAVID WALLIAMS In early 2008 Walliams signed a contract with HarperCollins to publish two children's books. The debut novel, The Boy in the Dress, illustrated by Quentin Blake, was released worldwide on 1 November 2008.

Walliams' fourth book, Gangsta Granny was released in October 2011 and again illustrated by Tony Ross. It tells the story of Ben who is bored every time he is made to stay at his grandma's house as all she wants to do is to play board games and eat cabbage soup. Ben learns that she was once an international jewel thief and all her life she has wanted to steal the crown jewels. Ben is determined that they do it together. It won a Red House Children's Book Award. In September 2012 Walliams released his fifth children's book, Ratburger, telling the story of a young girl named Zoe whose life is a misery as she has an evil stepmother. It was followed in September 2013 by his sixth, Demon Dentist relating the tale of a young boy named Alfie with no family except his dad whose world goes upside-down when a new dentist arrives in town. The book won the top prize in the Younger Readers category at the 2015 Red House Children's Book Awards. His seventh children's book, Awful Auntie, was released on 25 September 2014. This was the story of a girl named Stella who’s Auntie has moved in to her house with her owl, Wagner. David Walliams is still writing and The World’s Worst Children was released earlier this year. It is a collection of 10 stories, each one written about a delightfully dreadful child. From Dribbling Drew, the boy whose drool always gets him into trouble, to Sofia Sofa, a TV super fan and every parent’s worst nightmare, the funny cast of characters is likely to have readers laughing themselves silly. So, write on David Walliams.

watch for these coming soon The Four Legendary Kingdoms Matthew Reilly

The Good People Hannah Kent

Full Bore William McInnes

Being Elvis Ray Connolly

thelifestyle spring 2016


SPRING SUN SIGN ASTROLOGY Forecast with Kerry Galea ARIES 20 MARCH – 19 APRIL This season starts a new period which brings creativity and new friends, new ways to spend time with loved ones and even new people to love! This is also a great time to start new health routines, but increasing tensions at work will affect you or your loved ones. Are you unloading your situation onto them, or are they unloading theirs onto you? You will soon come up smiling and better than before; so don’t worry. Especially when all around you are making changes? Later in the season it’s time to incorporate the new ideas that are already right in front of your face.

LIBRA 23 SEP – 22 OCT You are entering a year of empowerment…so leap, learn and grow but your ability to communicate is not yet flowing well and while well-intentioned, it can create misunderstanding. The good news is that it will markedly improve as the season progresses. So be brilliant; for it’s your time. What do you gain by staying small? Release yourself from the chance of repeating your past behaviours; or repeating family behaviours. Your future habits, conducts and values can be different from your past ones. Sometimes emotional feelings may arise, but think of this as the dust rising as you clean.

TAURUS 20 APRIL – 20 MAY Buried tensions and unease will soon be released. Surprisingly you will find that work brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose; even mundane work can help you expand and help your personal growth. It can also mean a change of job over the coming year although remember that not all “jobs” are paid employment. A celebration or social event will brighten up the season. Soon your desire for personal growth and freedom comes into conflict with duty and your sense of responsibility. Which wins? In the long term there will be changes so spend some time reflecting what you value and what you would love to change.

SCORPIO 23 OCT – 21 NOV You still need to sort out financial issues that are worrying. It’s not long until it will be sorted…. so do it properly while it’s so prominent in your mind’s eye. Seek peaceful places or go on holidays. Mid-season you have charming Venus on your side and can attract others to your cause, although plan actions carefully so you don’t repent at leisure. At seasons end, loves ones are feeling emotional so it’s time to listen rather than talk. Become interesting for, as they say, the most interesting people are the best listeners. Information you are given can be misleading or misinterpreted.

GEMINI 21 MAY – 20 JUNE The people around you are unsettled, but they will soon calm down. Until then, I bet it rattles your sense of peace. So fluff up your home nest and stay out of the way. A creative time begins soon and relationships will improve over the coming year. There is something hidden behind the scenes that needs attention before taking any action. Who, or what, has a vested interest or is intent on holding you back? Ask the right questions and you will find out; especially around midseason. After that, it’s time to take a risk but manage these so that they are exciting, challenging and inspiring.

SAGITTARIUS 22 NOV – 20 DEC There is a marked improvement as your star is rising, and you are seen and loved. I have to admit it would be great if you believed it and loved ones actually said it! In mid-season, it’s time to ask yourself how worthy (or financially abundant) you believe yourself to be. You have, you don’t, you have, you don’t. Phew... how confusing. Let’s be altruistic and focus on self-worth. Are you worthy of respect, of being treated well, of gaining your heart’s desire? If so, then inner abundance becomes outer abundance. Then you can do marvellous things for loved ones, the community, and the planet.

CANCER 21 JUNE – 21 JULY Health issues need good advice and I mean “good” advice. If you are not happy then see somebody else. Over the coming year there will be the desire to improve, move or to expand your home. The people around you are energised and need to seek challenges. Are you holding them back with well-meaning advice? Remember that you cannot stop a landslide; so help, or get out of the way. Later in the season, calmer times return, so enjoy the respite and take the chance to spend quality time with your loved ones while sharing joint dreams for the future.

CAPRICORN 21 DEC – 19 JAN Ohh, you so need a holiday! At the very least rest in a peaceful place. Mid-season brings a whole new world if you want it. Your role, your image, your reputation, or your work, take a new direction. Are you ready to be different? If so; this will be marvellous. If you hate change; then it may be difficult. Let go of the old and embrace the new! To assist you, the benefic goddess, Venus, enters your sign helping you to become irresistible and charming! With her help you can flow with changes, climb mountains and keep on smiling; no matter what.

LEO 22 JULY – 22 AUG A dash of good fortune may not be enough to counter recent risky behaviors but even a dash of good fortune is a great omen! Being confused, especially about your finances, does not help. The future soon takes a positive direction and may involve training or travel. Through the season, long awaited news arrives and some of it will not be pleasing. External rules and restrictions can bug you and it helps to question the multiple roles you have in life. We all have different images to maintain in life: in work, in family, in loved ones and in friends. Be natural; be real.

AQUARIUS 20 JAN – 17 FEB What is worse; knowing that “something” is wrong, compared to knowing “what” is wrong? You need more information before taking action. Even with all the knowledge in the world, can all the wrongs be righted? What does being “wrong” mean? We all have different ethics and morals. Can you list yours? Can you list those of another person? Do these make someone “wrong”. Later in the season, restlessness helps you take action but it can also hinder if you rush blindly ahead. Feelings you thought long buried will surface; but this time you can free yourself; if you choose.

VIRGO 23 AUG – 22 SEP Let yourself think deeply and take time to make up your mind. Do not be diverted away from your own onward path. New horizons are opening up so ask yourself what is really worthy to you, including possessions and your financial future. What price is the future? The gains could be magnificent; the cost small. Or vice versa. Later in the season begins a wonderfully creative time. Trust that you are on a new path and let go of trying to control everything. Be careful with money as you will tend to spend, but there is no need, as you already have all you need.

PISCES 18 FEB – 19 MARCH Confusion and issues with authorities have you wishing you had kept your head low. Hang in there; for its soon over. It will help you gain a deeper understanding of other people. Especially as you must be carrying around a bubble of compassion that allows people to share feelings with you; even strangers on a bus! This is a load that can feel heavy so let it go. It’s their dramas….. not yours. Later in the season it’s time to think long term, so ask yourself what do you want to be doing in the future. See it in your mind’s eye.

KERRY GALEA ASTROLOGY Palmistry and Ancient Moon Gardening Email: Web: Web:

What makes Happy people don’t have the best of everything – they just make the best of everything Recently I was honoured to be asked to share some of my knowledge on ABC Gippsland breakfast Radio with Jonathan Kendall. The question that was put to me was the title of this article “What makes people happy”? While happiness is defined by each individual, there certainly are some habits and behaviours that research would suggest are similar amongst those deemed to be indeed happy people! At the first signs of unhappiness, it’s common for most of us to search externally from ourselves for things that we think will make us happy such as: food, alcohol, drugs, relationships, shopping, money and the list goes on. It may be surprising but research suggests materialism is in fact one of the LEAST likely things to make us feel happy. Why? Because ultimately everything that is external to us is only a temporary hit of happiness which over time will fade and then the cycle of searching starts all over again. So what can we do in order to experience long term and permanent happiness? I’d like to share with you my Top 7 Happiness Habits that will have you floating on cloud nine in no time! z BE THANKFUL - you’ll hear a lot these days about being grateful and showing gratitude. So often we focus on all the things that we don’t have, can’t have, wish we had or want. Life may not always seem perfect or things may not turn out exactly the way we had planned or expected, however there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for; turn your focus instead on what you do have, can do, wishes fulfilled and you are certain to be feeling cheerier in no time. If you need reminding of this keeping a gratitude journal or diary is a wonderful idea. z BE OF SERVICE - this is a really easy one and can come in many different forms. We all know how good it makes us feel when we do something nice for someone; it’s almost happiness on a stick! It doesn’t have to be hard or difficult or even cost anything…. it can be as simple as smiling at someone in the shopping centre, giving way to a pedestrian, letting the mother with 3 children go in front of you at the supermarket, giving a compliment, opening the door for someone, offering to make coffee for everyone in the office once a week, cooking your sick neighbour a casserole, offering to walk your friend’s dog while they’re away – the opportunities are endless; you get the idea.

z BE INSPIRING - I love this quote by Mandy Hale “Be honest about who you are, flaws and all. You never know who you are inspiring by just being you.” Never be afraid to share from your own experience. We all have much more to share than we often realise. Being vulnerable and willing to share openly and honestly your failures as well as your successes, allows others to relate to you. They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges. You never know, you may be the only one who can touch someone with your inspiring message. z BE IN UPLIFTING RELATIONSHIPS - this is something that I know I have mentioned in the past, because it is SO important to our overall happiness!! Surround yourself with the people who are going to uplift you, love you, support you, make you feel great and bring out the best in you. You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with - so choose carefully! z BE TRUE TO YOURSELF - many people find that they have a variety of parts to themselves that comes out depending on the social situation they are in whether it be at home, in the workplace or around friends that all require a different song-and-dance. Putting on a different show for every group of people you encounter is super exhausting, and it’s certainly not a good happiness habit! From my experience people are happiest when they are acting from a place of authenticity, going about their daily lives being true to themselves rather than trying to people please. Embrace your true self without apology.

guidance to get your life the way you want it to be, then I would love to chat with you about how holistic coaching can help! "You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared, or anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a ‘negative person’. It makes you human." Lori Deschene Do you have a question or a topic you would like Erin to write about? Send me an email at

Erin Miller from Zest Holistic Coaching is a Holistic Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Healer and Writer. Her aim is to live life with a sense of excitement, anticipation and energy! Her passion and purpose is to help and guide others to also find their true calling and zest for life! Contact me on 0418328441 or

z BE DOING - much like a car needing petrol to run, we also need to be “filled up” or replenished. We can do this by engaging in activities or things that bring us joy or light us up on a regular basis. Sounds pretty logical, right? Most of us leave our favourite hobbies, activities or things for when we have enough time, enough money or special occasion… if you want to be happy you need to give priority to these things that make you feel replenished (like gardening, playing the piano, walking the dog, fresh flowers, the colour yellow, going to seminars, you name it…) on a regular basis. For me personally some of the things I love and that replenish me are markets, op shopping, coffee, fresh flowers, the beach, essential oils, incense and brunch out. z BE COACHED - everyone deserves a happy life. Happiness does not come from your friends, what you have, or don’t have. True happiness comes from within. If you feel that you need a little motivation and

For further information please call 0418 328 441 or visit my website thelifestyle spring 2016


where you can get your copy GIPPSLAND LIFESTYLE OUTLETS


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thelifestyle spring 2016

Gippsland the Lifestyle Magazine is published quarterly. This magazine is distributed throughout Victoria. All photographs in this publication are copyright to Gippsland the Lifestyle, and if any are used in other publications or used in a commercial sense, you are liable to prosecution. Permission to use any photos in the publication must be obtained by contacting Headlites Pty Ltd via email to: Disclaimer: Headlites Pty Ltd has the discretion to add or remove words or photos that are deemed unsuitable for the magazine. Gippsland the Lifestyle Magazine©Headlites Pty Ltd 2016. Headlites Pty Ltd is not responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, omissions, nor use of information contained within these pages, offering no warranties, either expressed or implied with respect to any material contained within the pages. Material in this magazine cannot be published or reproduced without Headlites Pty Ltd's written consent. Failure to heed to this could result in prosecution. The opinions and views expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers.


31 Murray Street, Wonthaggi Vic 3995 Tel: 5672 1256 Monday to Friday 6.30am to 5.30pm Saturday 6.30am to 2.30pm | Sunday Closed

“ARE YOU BUYING OR SELLING PROPERTY ANYWHERE IN VICTORIA?” Hilltop Conveyancing Services is owned and operated by Christine Ferguson who is a Licensed Conveyancer working for herself now since 2013. Prior to then Christine has been involved in the legal industry having worked at various law firms in the Latrobe Valley. Her conveyancing experience now spans over 13 years. Hilltop Conveyancing Services offers the following services in a prompt, reliable, friendly and confidential manner. Conveyancing – buying or selling of property anywhere in Victoria Discharges of Mortgage Transferring property between related parties Plans of Subdivision Off the Plan purchases Settlement agent

Contact Christine for an obligation free quote on how Hilltop Conveyancing Services can assist you with all your conveyancing – fuss free.

Shop 4, Seymour Arcade Traralgon 3844 Mob: 0409 746 954 | Fax: 5175 0743 Email: |


Family owned and operated - Blue Hills Rise joins the multi award winner Blue Hills Residences as the best 55 plus resort lifestyle options in Cranbourne East. Looking for the best way to spend your retirement, Blue Hills Rise offers six unit designs with modern furnishings and fittings. If you want to downsize our two bedroom Stephanie Apartments, may just be the answer. Live independently, within a secure, caring environment.


Hills Rise There are so many 55 plus lifestyle resorts around, all offering something different, the biggest question you need to ask is 'What am I looking for?'

Well, if you are looking for a quality home with access to some of the most amazing onsite facilities, then Blue Hills Rise is the best choice for you. This family owned and operated 55 plus resort, has a variety of home designs, all offering something just a little different to the last. You will quickly realise that the Resort Owners, Judy and Ivan Clarkson and family, are serious about the homes they build in their very popular resort in Cranbourne East. No expense has been spared; all fittings and furnishings are of an extremely high standard.

fantastic Onsite facilities Swimming Pool / Spa Indoor Bowls Dance Floor Tennis Courts Alfresco CafĂŠ - Orange Leaf Gymnasium Library Restaurant Sports Bar Cinema Arts and Crafts Centre Administration Centre ATM Computer Room BOWLING GREEN

Call David, Rikki or Janice today to kick off the retirement you have worked towards

Open 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, or via appointments on the weekend.

Blue Hills Rise 240 Berwick-Cranbourne Road Cranbourne East 3977

phone: 03 5991 5000


We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver tailored insurance solutions for our clients but more importantly that we are there in the times when our clients need us most. Insurance claims are stressful enough, but having a Broker like Alan Wilson Insurance Brokers to guide you through the process will help reduce the stress and allow you to concentrate on your business.

Australia has been ravaged by bushfire and storm events over recent years. From Dairy Farms to Beef Cattle, Crops to Sheep Farming, our Farm Insurance Policies will provide you with peace of mind.  We also provide cover for Hobby Farms.  Contact our office for further information and see how we're working for you.

“WORKING FOR YOU” 24 Hotham Street, Traralgon

1300 888 111 Open 5 days a week | 9.00am - 5.00pm

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