49 Gippsland Lifestyle Summer

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Summer #49 THE ROAD MAP TO

South Gippsland Wines


The must visit island


Building on history


Strikes Gold in Walhalla

+ Regular Features Horoscope Positive Lifestyle Tips Millie’s Adventures Canine Corner ISSN 1838-8124

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editorial Summer #49 Summer has arrived! In this edition we have made a concerted effort to supply the Road Map for the South Gippsland Wine Trail. As you would all know we have all suffered in one way or another from the effects of COVID, but we are trying to move forward and promote these wonderful wineries in this new feature. Our Phillip Island section continues to grow! Phillip Island is the holiday Island with the attractions and there is plenty to see and do for the family. In the not-too-distant future the Island will have a major boost in tourism with the building of the Salt Water Hot Springs located in front of The Cape Kitchen, follow the progress of this development in our magazine. There is great diversity within the magazine with our features, and none other than the story behind the man John Dahlsen, the owner of Dahlsens, a wonderful history of an Australian business that started in Bairnsdale, that has spread to all parts of Australia but still calls Bairnsdale home! We welcome our new Astrologist in Stephanie Johnson to the family. Kerrie Galea has decided to call it a day and we will miss her, but Stephanie has stepped up to the plate and I am sure she will do a terrific job for us. Comings and goings is something that happens and sadly we bid farewell to Christine Boucher who is leaving us to take on a new adventure, we wish Christine all the very best. Read the magazine, buy the magazine, see us online, but most of all support and shop local! On behalf of the staff, the writers, the designer and all involved with the magazine we wish you the readers a very merry Christmas and a very happy New Year in 2022!

Douglas Pell | Editor

our summer front cover

Summer is here, lets all get out and support local! Enjoy

our summer back cover

Virtue Homes Building Excellence www.virtuehomes.com.au


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our content 8-13 14-15 18-19 20-21 22-23 26-27 30-31 36-38 42-45 46-47 80-81 82-83 84-85 86-87 88-89 94-96 103 104-105 108-110 116-117 118-119 120-122 124-125 126-127 132-135 136-137 139 142-144 145 146-147 150-151 152-153 154-155 156-157 158-160

Dahlsens-Building on History Curtis Australia - Jewellery for enjoyment and memories WGCMA -Welcome waters from the mountain to the sea The roadmap to South Gippsland wines Frank Butera - Eucalyptus characteristics in red wine Phillip Island Winery - Raising a toast to Phillip Island Winery The Grove Gippsland - Perfect for any occasion The Gurdies Winery - A touch of class, new look for the Gurdies Brian Taylor Strikes Gold in Walhalla Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club - New venue for historic club West Gippsland Libraries - My Community Library Virtue Homes - ‘Building Excellence’ Barbeques Galore Traralgon - Where outdoor living & cooking is an obsession Wondrous Waterfalls - Tooronga & Ampitheatre Falls Walks Newspower Go Traralgon - Keeps powering on Leongatha - Revisited & Revitalised Great Southern Rail Trail Shedding the Memories Bass Coast Edible Gardens - Grow Food. Eat Well. Luke Rasmussen - Gippsland Aurora & Astro Little Red Duck Café - New Start for Noojee Café & Post Office Rosemont House - Di’s dream provides the best in customer service Giving Kids a Sporting Chance Stony Creek Go Karts - A pitstop for the fast and curious Backpacks 4 Vic Kids - Community support for kids in care Local Heroes - Geoff Lee Trev & Shirl’s Big Day out in Mallacoota Millie’s Adventures - A Wander-ful Millie Day Stephanie Johnson - Our new astrology page - Seeing with Stars Astrology Canine Corner - They're pawfect Erin Miller - 2021 Year in review, 2022 Intentions Christie Nelson - Making the move to Gippsland Christine Boucher - Adapting to change Liz Fleming - It’s been a big year, be sure to finish strong A rising star for Farmer Smith

our advertisers 140-141 106-107 91 129 100 101 112-113 97 129 161 17 3 102 79 162 2 103 92 90 25 99 114-115 138 123 98 32 79 41 39 148-149 34-35 24 49 92 5 28 128 16 48 79 93 130-131 33 111 49 164 29 40 7

BASS COAST HEALTH - Set to grow with our community BASS COAST SHIRE - Wonthaggi Unlocked! BBQ GALORE TRARALGON - The home of outdoor living BOAT HARBOUR JETTY B&B - Rest and relaxation in Port Albert BRENT SINCLAIR CATERING - Mobile Catering & Takeaway Meals CARPET COURT-Dream It. Style It. Live It. CITY TO COAST AIR WONTHAGGI - Servicing Bass Coast & South Gippsland CPK MCLAREN MOTORBODY - Leongatha’s Motor Body Vehicle Repairer CRAWFORD MARINE - Live the dream! Campion and Stacer Boats CURTIS AUSTRALIA - Discover life’s pleasures DAHLSENS-Bairnsdale’s Garden Centre EDNEYS LEONGATHA-2022 Hyundai Palisade EVANS PETROLEUM - BP Raglan Street Sale GARY BLACKWOOD MP - Member for Narracan GETAWAY PM-Property Management bookings in Gippsland G J GARDNER HOMES - Build your dream home with a local builder GREAT SOUTHERN RIDE - E-Bike Sales and Hire GRINTER TRANSPORT SERVICES - From East Gippsland to Melbourne GROW MASTER TRARALGON - Garden, Fashion & Giftware solutions HARMAN WINES - South Gippsland Award winning winery & vineyard HAYMES PAINTS - Servicing Cowes, Wonthaggi and Leongatha HMR HERITAGE - Hats off to HMR Heritage JEFF BOURMAN MP - State Member for Eastern Victoria LAURIE COLLINS - Check the coming events at the Red Tree Gallery LEONGATHA RSL - Family friendly venue LUCINDA ESTATE - Leongatha’s best kept secret! MELALEUCA NURSERY - Indigenous & Native plant farm MOOS AT MEENIYAN - Eat, Drink and have a good time! NOOJEE HOTEL - Wotif Country Pub Winner of Victoria PETS DOMAIN - The home for pets PHILLIP ISLAND WINERY - The Food. The Wine. The Times PURPLE HEN WINERY & VINEYARD - Island grown and crafted RIGBY HOMEMAKERS - Gippsland’s finest furniture and bedding ROSEDALE BUTCHERS - Family owned country butcher RUSSELL NORTHE MP - State Member for Morwell SILVERWATERS VINEYARD - The new Silverwaters Vineyard STONY CREEK GO KARTS - Fun for all the family. Go Kart hire TAITS INTERIORS - The trusted name in Quality, Fabrics, Service THE CAPE TAVERN - Located in the heart of Cape Paterson THE GOLDSMITH’S STUDIO - Jewellers and Artisans Gallery THE GRANTVILLE GROCER - Delivers 7 Days. Same Day. THE GROVE GIPPSLAND - Perfect for your next event or wedding! THE GURDIES WINERY - Take a detour to the Gurdies Winery THE MELBOURNE FURNISHING CO - Quality Furnishing Store VAN STEENSEL TIMBERS - We have everything for summer VIRTUE HOMES - ‘Building Excellence’ WARATAH HILLS - Award winning wines, created for celebrations WEST GIPPSLAND CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY WONTHAGGI LOTTO - Authorised Tattslotto Agency

Russell Northe is your local MP for the Morwell Electorate in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Assembly

”Gippsland, such a great place to live, work and visit.Through natural disasters and even pandemics the generosity and goodwill of Gippsland people always shines through” RUSSELL NORTHE MP M E M BE R F O R M O RW EL L

Proud Parliamentary representative of the following local towns and communities including:


12 – 14 George Street Morwell, VIC 3840 (03) 5133 9088 Russell.Northe@parliament.vic.gov.au russellnorthe.com.au

Boolarra, Callignee, Churchill, Cowwarr, Glengarry, Hazelwood, Jeeralang, Koornalla, Morwell, Newborough, Toongabbie, Traralgon, Traralgon South, Tyers, Yallourn North & Yinnar

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Authorised by Russell Northe, 12-14 George Street Morwell, Funded by Parliamentary Budget



SOUTH GIPPSLAND PUBLISHING PTY LTD. Trading as Gippsland Lifestyle magazine ABN 81 144 063 089 ADDRESS PO BOX 862 WONTHAGGI VIC 3995 PHONE 0404 301 333 EMAIL gippslandlifestyle@bigpond.com ONLINE DIGITAL issuu.com/james448 WEB www.gippslandlifestyle.com FACEBOOK facebook.com/lifestylegippsland INSTAGRAM gippslandlifestyle WRITERS Chris West, Anita Butterworth, Lia Spencer, Danielle Ralph, Trevor Stow, Wendy Morriss & Ken Roberts

Through continual research, we seek and find new products and innovative manufacturing processes; implementing energy saving efficiencies, removing potential waste and harmful processes affecting the environment.

CONTRIBUTORS Erin Miller, Christie Nelson, Christine Boucher, Stephanie Johnson, Frank Butera, Liz Fleming & Millie Roberts

Southern Impact adheres to all current governing laws and regulations set down by the State and Federal Governments in relation to Environmental and Conservation Acts.

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS Paul Henderson (Curtis Australia)

Southern Impact is active in ensuring all their disposable waste materials are disposed of in accordance to those laws. Regular audits are carried out on the companies they use to ensure they follow the strict guidelines set out by these laws.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Doug Pell, Wendy Morriss, Danielle Ralph, Ken Roberts, Trevor Stow, Lia Spencer & Anita Butterworth ADVERTISING Maxine Sando - Sales Manager Doug Pell - Sales Consultant EDITOR Doug Pell

Vegetable based low Volatile Organic Compounds and VOC free inks are used and all of their paper waste material is recycled. As a result, their factory and current printing processes are some of the most environmentally friendly on the market today.


CREATIVE media101 | Alex Smirnakos DISTRIBUTION Gippsland the Lifestyle Magazine is published quarterly, usually available at the beginning of each season and distributed to selected newsagents and retail outlets within the Gippsland region and surrounding Melbourne regions and parts of Victoria. Issues are also available to read online, on desktop and mobile devices. Unsold magazines are distributed to cafes, health waiting rooms, hotels/motels, bed and breakfast establishments, galleries, hair and beauty salons and Council information centres.


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Southern Impact (VIC) Pty Ltd www.southerncolour.com.au

Southern Impact (VIC) Pty Ltd is environmentally conscious. They take action to minimise their waste and recycle their waste products; ethically and responsibly.

WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR COPY GIPPSLAND LIFESTYLE OUTLETS Bairnsdale newsXpress 21 Bailey St Bairnsdale Dahlsens Mitre 10 19 Dalmahoy Street Bairnsdale Main Street Newsagency 212 Main Street Berwick Newsagency 29-31 High Street Briagolong Post Office & Newsagency 4 Avon Street Boolarra Store & Newsagency 9 Tarwin Street Bunyip IGA 2-6 Main Street Churchill Newsagency Hazelwood Village Shopping Centre Cowes Newsagency Chapel Street Drouin Newsagency 93 Princes Way Fish Creek Alison Lester 1 Falls Road Fish Creek Discount Pharmacy Plus 25 Falls Road Foster FoodWorks 37 Main Street Garfield Licensed Post Office 77 Main Street Glengarry General Store Main Street Grantville Newsagency Shop 2 Bass Highway Heyfield IGA 18-22 George Street Inverloch FoodWorks 10-12 Reilly Street Inverloch Paperplay 10 A'Beckett Street The Jindi Caf 1070 Jacksons Track Korumburra Michael's Supa IGA 1 South Railway Cres Lakes Entrance Newsagency 297 The Esplanade Lake Tyers The General 575 Lake Tyers Beach Road Lang Lang IGA 32 Main Street Leongatha Authorised Newsagency 30 Bair Street Leongatha Michael's Supa IGA Cnr Church & Bruce Sts Maffra newsXpress 144 Johnson Street Marlo General Store 14|16 Argyle Parade Metung Village Store 62 Metung Road Moe Nextra Lotto Shop 2, 1-3 Moore Street Morwell Newsagency 174-176 Commercial Road Nar Nar Goon, Clough Fuel 1975 Princes Hwy Neerim South IGA 147 Main Road Newry General Store 44 Main Street Noojee Little Red Duck Café 1 Bennett Street Nowa Nowa General Store 2081 Princes Highway Omeo Post Office 155 Day Avenue Orbost Foodworks 70|78 Nicholson Street Poowong IGA 17-19 Main Street Port Albert Interiors by Jade Gift Shop 65 Tarraville Road Rosedale Butchers 32 Prince Street Sale Newsagency 308-310 Raymond Street San Remo IGA 135 Main Parade Stratford IGA 67 Tyers Street Swifts Creek General Store Great Alpine Road Tarwin Lower IGA 45 River Drive Tinamba General Store Maffra-Rosedale Road Toora Fancy Goods & Relics 26 Stanley Street Toora FoodWorks 66 Stanley Street Trafalgar IGA 5 McCrorey Street Trafalgar Newsagency 97 Princes Hwy Traralgon News & Lotto 51-53 Franklin Street Traralgon Seymour Street News 83 Seymour Street Ventnor The Anchorage Caravan Park Ventnor Road Venus Bay General Store 139 Jupiter Blvd Warragul Newsagency & Officesmart 43 Victoria Street Welshpool Supermarket 18 Main Street Wonthaggi Newsagency 31 Murray Street Yanakie General Store 3640 Meeniyan-Promontory Road Yarram Artichoke Books 1/243 Commercial Road Yarragon Fozigobble Café 79 Princes Highway

EVANS PETROLEUM OUTLETS Fish Creek 2 Falls Road Foster 94 Main Street Inverloch 25 Williams Street Johnsonville 1760 Princes Highway Korumburra South 2-8 Commercial Street Leongatha Westside 7 Anderson Street Leongatha 95 Bair Street Mirboo North 106 Ridgway Newmerella 5327 Princes Highway Rosedale Prince Street Sale 344-350 Raglan Street Toora 26 Foster Road Wonthaggi 103-105 McKenzie Street Yarram 325 Commercial Street

RITCHIES SUPA IGA Stores Churchill 5-8 Georgina Way Eastwood 30 Howitt Avenue Maffra 102 Johnson Street Paynesville 3-5 Wellington Street Sale 177 York Street Wonthaggi 160 Graham Street

WONTHAGGI NEWSAGENCY & LOTTO OPEN SIX DAYS A WEEK | CLOSED SUNDAY 31 Murray Street, Wonthaggi Vic 3995 Tel: 5672 1256

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 South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd via email to: gippslandlifestyle@bigpond.com Disclaimer: © South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd 2021, All Rights Reserved, has the discretion to add or remove words or photos that are deemed unsuitable for the magazine. South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd is not responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, omissions, or 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 South Gippsland Publishing 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.

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Building on History






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No family has been more influential within the Bairnsdale community and East Gippsland generally than the Dahlsen clan. It all began with the arrival of intrepid Danish gold seeker Johan Christian Dahlsen in 1862 after sailing from Denmark to Australia aboard The Mayflower via England and New Zealand. Amongst a catalogue of achievements, Johan Dahlsen was a pioneering force in the establishment of business ventures throughout East Gippsland in gold mining, contract building, sawmilling, transport and distribution, shipping, guesthouses, property development and farming related activities. Most significantly, he founded JC Dahlsen and Co in Bairnsdale in 1877, which continues to this day. The company has evolved, matured and grown significantly over those ensuing 144 years. The initial business firstly morphed into a department store in Bairnsdale before subsequently transforming into a national trade operation. Dahlsens today is proud to be recognised as a leading supplier of materials from foundation to fit out, being manufactured timber and steel truss and frames, floors and steel fabrication. Its customer base of over 12,000 builders ranges from the small builder and serious renovator to the leading national builders building homes across Australia and to builders of multi-unit complexes, including Aged Care and Retirement Facilities. In addition, Queensland operates window and door plants.

Johan Christian Dahlsen

Sales across the business are currently over $500m per annum on 88 sites. Along the journey, five generations of Dahlsen family members have contributed to the ongoing success of the business. As wide as its reach has grown throughout the country, Dahlsens has always remained steadfast to its East Gippsland roots.

No name is synonymous with business in the region than Dahlsens. The company employs around 100 staff in Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance and almost 200 people across the whole of Gippsland, along with supporting upwards of 100 charities and local events. Australia-wide, Dahlsens employs over 1,200 people.

Percy Dahlsen 1897

Speaking at a family celebration held in Bairnsdale earlier this year, current Co-Chairman John Dahlsen emphatically reiterated the company’s commitment to East Gippsland. Whilst some notable developments are in the planning around its operation in Bairnsdale, he gave an assurance that there is no intention for the company to abandon its spiritual home in any way. Dahlsens has let a contract to Brett Neilson (BJN) to build a roof truss box, trade box (around 7,000 sq m) along with outdoor storage and a logistics (also around 7,000 sq m) complex at 108 Bengworden Road for the purposes of consolidating all of its trade, plaster, roof truss and support office activities in the one location. The new complex, including the outdoor operating activity, will be equivalent to about three Kmart stores. The site is opposite the road to the Dahlsen 30 lot sub-division at 111 Forge Creek Road. With all 30 lots ranging from about 1,600 sq m to about 4,300 sq m sold. It is hoped that the new owners start building their own industrial complexes on the various lots in the new year.

P.B. Dahlsen As Young Man

Construction of the new facility at 108 Bengworden Road, will cost between $10m to $11m, and will commence in early January 2022. It is anticipated to be completed in October/November 2022 when all existing Bairnsdale activities will be transferred to this site. No change is planned around the company’s highly successful Garden Centre at Dalmahoy Street in Bairnsdale, which was recently expanded by approximately a third. This will continue to operate in its present form with the very successful New Leaf Café, owned and operated by Jackie Benson. Staff Presentaton 1984

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Dahlsen Motors Nicholson Street

Dahlsen Office Staff 1951 Dahlsen Bailey Street Store1954

Dahlsen New Project at Forge Creek Road

Dahlsen Dalmahoy Street Garden Centre

Dahlsen Head Office East Malvern

Dahlsen Store Bairnsdale in 2002


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Building on History Dahlsen DalmahoyStreet Garden Centre

When Dalmahoy Street is vacated at the end of 2022, Dahlsens will build in stages some serviced and unserviced apartments and town houses. Extensive research of the market has established that there is now a desperate need for a complex like this which will have on the ground floor various medical facilities. Again, Bairnsdale is crying out for a consolidation of the numerous medical facilities that are available in the town. Dahlsens has also been excited by several notable recent developments including the establishment of new sites at Thomastown in Victoria, Charters Towers, Townsville and Gordonvale in Queensland. And in New South Wales, a new trade store at Alexandra, a roof truss plant at Riverstone and a new distribution centre at Smithfield. Further developments and acquisitions are in negotiation, particularly in NSW which will lead to considerable expansion.

Today, Dahlsens has a presence that stretches from the far north of Western Australia across the Top End to the indigenous communities in the Cape and remote island communities of Far North Queensland, down through Cairns, Sydney and southern New South Wales to its heartland in Gippsland and across regional Victoria. It is one of Australia’s oldest and most successful and continuously owned private companies with a remarkable history. Following its establishment by Johan Dahlsen in 1877, the business continued under his enterprise and vision until his death in 1906. Johan had changed his name to John upon being naturalised in 1878. He was renowned for his no-nonsense persona, sharp business acumen and unshakeable belief in what Bairnsdale and East Gippsland could potentially become. John was survived by his wife Jane, with whom he raised a family of eight children.

Dahlsen New Project at Forge Creek Road

Their eldest son Percy took over the reins of the business following his father’s passing. Percy has been a 20% shareholder from the outset, along with his mother Jane and two of his siblings Amy and Frederick. Under Percy’s leadership, the company grew dramatically, until health issues concerning his heart caused him to hand control over to his youngest son Keith (known as Bill) when aged in his mid-60s, ending his 50-year involvement in the business. Bill was later joined in the business by his older brother Ron, who had earlier pursued a different career path. The baton next passed into the hands of the fourth generation, comprising Bill and Ron’s combined total of six children. It is in this era that the strategy of the family changed significantly and extended its operation beyond East Gippsland for the first time. Bill’s eldest son John became a partner at a legal firm in Melbourne called Corr & Corr. He studied for an MBA and became a Chairman and Director of some of Australia’s largest companies, including Woolworths and the Herald & Weekly Times, HSV-7, Advertiser newspaper, Queensland Press and The Warehouse in New Zealand. He was also Co-Founder and Chairman of Southern Cross Broadcasting, Australia’s largest regional television, talk back radio network and TV production house. John was also one of the founders of Melbourne Business School, and for some years its Chairman. But John was destined to also be the principal driving force behind the progression of the Dahlsens business into the contemporary era. In 2010, his two siblings and three cousins at their own request sold their shareholdings in the Dahlsens into his sole ownership. This was partly funded by the Property Trusts acquiring the trading company’s portfolio of properties in exchange for units in the Property Trusts and cash. “The others weren’t active in the business, and sensibly and wisely wanted to invest in their own individual futures, which were all different. This was very healthy for everyone,” John explains. “It was a very agreeable transaction based upon fair consideration and we all remain on the friendliest of terms as family members. These family members continue to be very significant unit holders in the Property Trusts which own approximately 37 per cent of the 88 odd Dahlsens trading sites,” he adds.

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Building on History

Extending the family involvement into a fifth generation, John’s son Geoff and nephew Jamie are now integrally involved in the day-to-day leadership of the business. Geoff works as Chief Executive Officer based out of Sydney which enables him to focus on growing the northern business, particularly in New South Wales where the market is fragmented and there is considerable opportunity to roll out the Dahlsen model. Melbourne-based Jamie, who is a son of John’s brother Bill, is General Manager of IT and Innovation and is responsible for Digital Transformation. Several members of the Dahlsen family have devoted their working lives to the business.

“We have been very fortunate that our family members have had complementary, but not competing, skills which has led to great teamwork,” John says. At this year’s family celebration in Bairnsdale, John paid particular tribute to the enormous contribution made to the company by his brother Bill in Operations and General Management and cousin Bryan Dahlsen in Accounting, Finance and Risk Management. John is confident that that his succession planning has ensured that the business will be in good hands into the future with Geoffrey and Jamie’s involvement.


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“I’ve set it up in a way that it will last at least one more generation,” he states. Approximately four years ago, John Dahlsen made the decision to take a half-step back and welcomed former NAB Chief Financial Officer, Richard McKinnon as his Co-Chairman of the business. “This was done to give my son Geoffrey the necessary space to do his job as CEO,” John says. Dahlens had already been benefiting from the input of an external Advisory Board for several years prior to that appointment. Richard’s colleagues on the Advisory Board are former Professor of Analytics and Dean of the Melbourne Business School, Professor Jenny George and NAB’s ex-Chief Information and Technology Director, Gavin Slater. “These talented and experienced professionals have made an extremely important contribution and continue to bring great insights to the business,” John comments. “They’ve taught us a lot, and in turn, we’ve taught them as well. It’s been a very successful journey that we’ve all taken.” From its inception and throughout its proud history, the Dahlsens business has always been about its people and supporting the communities in which it operates.

Dahlsen DalmahoyStreet TradeCentre


“It’s just accepted that whenever there is fire, flood or drought, we’ll be amongst the first in there with whatever we can do to assist without fanfare or public disclosure. That’s just part of the DNA of the family and the company and all our staff,” John says. It is impossible to calculate how many thousands of homes and commercial premises throughout Gippsland which stand today would have been constructed using materials from Dahlsens. John can empathise with anyone who has inconvenienced by the current timber shortages, which have caused considerable delays on housing construction work this year. “This has placed huge pressure on our staff, which is of great concern to us,” John says. “We are about the third biggest consumer of pine in Australia through our stores and roof truss plants,” he reveals. “We’re having to manage our pine on a day-to-day basis, but fortunately we have very respectful and cooperative relationships with our suppliers. As a result, they have been giving us preferred status which has enabled us to keep our roof truss plants operating through the crisis. Most of our plants are operating from 5.30 in the morning until 10 o’clock at night.”

John explains that the shortage was sparked by a skyrocketing rise in the international price of timber. “The companies that supply into Australia are instead supplying other countries where they can get much bigger prices,” he says. “In Australia, our production capacity has been flattened and needs to be expanded. This crisis will last for some time and we’re not too sure when it will end. Steel and almost every other building product has increased in price, but the one that is causing the most problems is timber, because it has the combined impact of a price increase and supply shortage, whereas the other products are affected predominantly by an increase in price only. It’s making things very tough on all builders, large and small.” Despite this current temporary hindrance, Dahlsens will continue to prosper into the future whilst retaining its lifelong Gippsland ties. “The business now in the hands of the next generation under the leadership of Geoffrey and Jamie should continue to grow, probably at a faster rate than at present,” John predicts. “But East Gippsland will always remain the heart and soul of the business,” he promises.

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While walking along a pristine 90 mile beach in Australia, the abstract, flowing shapes formed by foaming surf meeting warm golden sands sparked the imagination. Days like these are something we remember from our childhood, running along, toes in and out of the water, splashing and laughing as we ran. It was a moment that inspired a fascinating new jewellery collection for Bairnsdale based Curtis Australia. 'I really wanted to capture that moment in time' says Glenn Curtis, a fifth generation craftsman and Master Jeweller. 'Often these moments slip into the sub conscious, and come back into view when I'm thinking of new ideas.'



From rings to bangles to necklets in solid gold and precious gems, each piece in the ‘Beach’ Collection will remind you of gently rippled sands at the water’s edge. Each is lovingly handcrafted in the Curtis Australia studio by their team of skilled jewellers to the highest quality.

'WE OFTEN FIND OUR CLIENTS WANT TO MARK A SPECIAL MOMENT WITH THEIR JEWELLERY ' SAYS GLENN. 'It might be an engagement, birthday, wedding or another happy moment, - we've even created jewellery that evokes memories of where people met for the very first time'


With over 50 years experience in jewellery design & creation 14

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Sometimes clients are happy to share what made that moment so special, other times it's not even said.

'ALL WE KNOW AS JEWELLERS IS THAT PEOPLE LOVE TO OWN JEWELLERY THAT REFLECTS A MEMORY – WHATEVER THAT MAY BE'. Fittingly for a jeweller - and a good listener, Glenn is sensitive to his clients needs - 'even sad moments can evoke a very special memory – it's our role as jewellers to make sure those thoughts are held close through the precious jewellery that we love to create'.

CLIENTS CAN BROWSE IN THE CURTIS SHOWROOM – IT 'S A PRIVATE SPACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE SEEN INDIVIDUALLY AND GIVEN ALL THE TIME THEY NEED TO CHOOSE A SPECIAL PIECE. WITH EVERY THING ON DISPLAY HAND CRAFTED IN THE ADJOINING STUDIO, YOU CAN BE SURE OF BOTH QUALITY AND DESIGN FROM JEWELLERS WITH AN INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNING REPUTATION. Curtis Australia have also created other hand crafted Jewellery Collections that extend into their own gold watches, even sterling silver pens. Be sure to check out the work of these remarkable jewellers when you're next in Bairnsdale – you might even find something special that truly evokes a memory - one that's important to you.


WHEN YOU'VE JEWELLERY TO REPAIR, RESTORE OR EVEN REMODEL, GLENN AND HIS TEAM AT CURTIS AUSTRALIA IN BAIRNSDALE ARE READY TO HELP. You'll be assured of a warm welcome, and more importantly, the professional service and care your jewellery deserves. Next time you're in Bairnsdale, pop in and say hello – there's a lot to see. Browse and be inspired by their unique jewellery collections, see a growing range of exclusive Australian made solid gold Curtis watches and wonder at their ranges of beautifully imagined silver pens, all created in house. This really is more than just a jewellers, this is a destination too.



You can see more at Curtis Australia’s stunning work at www.curtisaustralia.com or, next time you are in Bairnsdale, why not pop into their studio at 129 Macleod Street. Ph | 03 5152 1089

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WELCOME WATERS FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA POWLETT RIVER ESTUARY Just down the road from Kilcunda, the Powlett River flows into Bass Strait. Part of the newly formed Yallock-Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park, it’s a great place to stroll, kayak, beachcomb, birdwatch or throw in a line. The spectacular estuary is a wetland of national significance with resident birds feeding in waters that reflect the area’s ever-changing moods. Giant dunes spill down to the tidal river and you can wander along a bush track or sandy shore to the rugged beauty of the ocean beach and wild waters of Bass Strait. Behind the scenes, WGCMA is working with partners and landholders to care for the area. This includes learning about Cultural Heritage with Traditional Owners from the Bunurong Land Council, reducing foxes, rabbits and weeds, fencing and revegetation to allow flora and fauna to recover along the waterway.

Powlett River Estuary

Agnes Waterfalls

AGNES FALLS Pack a picnic and grab your binoculars and head for the cool hills. The Agnes River flows along 43 kilometres from the top of the Strzeleckis, through lush farmland and gorges before winding into Corner Inlet. It’s an easy 200 metre rainforest walk to a platform to view the state’s largest single span waterfall. Enjoy feeling the spray from the cool water as it dances over the 59 metre drop, cascading onto rocks below. Above the waterfall, the CMA has been hard at work with farmers and Landcare to fence and revegetate an impressive 70% of the Agnes River (so far). Agnes River Landcare Group has a vision of their revegetation works creating a link to the falls so visitors can discover the area’s beauty and wildlife.

Thomson River near Horseshoe Bend


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West Gippsland is a wonderland of waterways flowing from the mountains to the sea. Rivers wind their way through forests, farms and towns and are great ‘tour guides’ leading you to fabulous destinations. Many of the region’s hidden gems are away from coastal crowds where you can cool down and immerse yourself in nature. Behind the scenes, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) is working with the community and partners to care for and enhance the region’s rivers, creeks, wetlands and estuaries. The areas where the team loves to work are also cool places to play this summer. So, go with the flow and discover a few of their favourite spots. Enjoy…

LOWER LATROBE WETLANDS These significant wetlands provide great nature escapes – paddle your kayak through Dowd Morass or walk or cycle through Sale Common and Heart Morass. Across the year, WGCMA delivers environmental water to help to keep these lower reaches of the river systems healthy and are a great example of the importance of water and the diversity it brings. The team also works with partners to remove weeds such as willows and undertake environmental and water quality monitoring. “We’ve recorded Australian Bittern, Green Golden Bell frogs and Lathams Snipe and I often see turtles basking on logs. It’s a great year to experience the diversity of wetlands,” says WGCMA Environmental Water Officer, Adrian Clements. Sale Wetlands



The Thomson is one of Gippsland’s most significant and ecologically important rivers and Horseshoe Bend is perfect to take in the area’s beauty and history. Have a dip and enjoy the spectacle of water rushing out of the Horseshoe Bend tunnel and providing a link to the site’s gold mining past.

If walk or ride along this trail, you’ll cross many of the region’s hero waterways including the Thomson, Latrobe, Macalister, Avon rivers and Rainbow and Eaglehawk creeks.

In 2019, WGCMA opened the Thomson River Fishway to allow native fish permanent access to the upper Thomson and Aberfeldy rivers for the first time in a century. WGCMA Waterways Project Officer David Stork says that before the fishway, annual fish surveys found an absence of key native migratory fish species upstream of the tunnel. “Since the fishway was completed, surveys found good numbers of the migratory Tupong and other native species which have used the fishway to move upstream. It’s an extremely positive sign that it’s doing what it’s meant to do,” said David.

Starting at Traralgon, it travels through Glengarry, Toongabbie, Cowwarr, Heyfield, Tinamba and Maffra, finishing at Stratford. You’ll encounter sculpture, artworks, quaint towns and diverse agriculture. Between Glengarry and Toongabbie, as you cross the Eaglehawk Creek, you’ll see 10,000 trees planted by local students, Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network and WGCMA. Rainbow Creek is another colourful CMA story, where the team is working with landholders to address the risks of changing water courses and protect them through weed removal, river bank protection and revegetation.

Rainbow Creek


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the road map to

With the (COVID) roadmap now open, a holiday visit to the Bass Coast and South Gippsland is sure to provide the quality local produce, some hidden gems and memorable days we’ve all been missing. The region is part of the Pinot Coast Pillar, renowned for its early-ripening cool-climate wines, but it’s not always the famed Pinot Noir that brings home all the gold medals. Some of Victoria’s top Sparkling and Chardonnay wines also come from this Gippsland region. And in recent years, the Best Wine of Show in the Gippsland Wine Show, has come from South Gippsland/Bass Coast. For example, the 2019 Chardonnay from Purple Hen Wines, based in Rhyll on Phillip Island, won the 2020 Gippsland Wine Show Best Wine of Show. It was awarded a gold medal score of 96 by the judging panel, which has been chaired for the past three Gippsland Wine Shows by distinguished national judge, Sarah Crowe (Yarra Yering). Purple Hen Wines, run by Rick Lacey and his team, offers the visitor impressive views from its cellar door, which is open seven days a week from 27 December to end January, and five days a week at other times. The Purple Hen vineyard grows a range of varieties, which benefit from the mild temperatures, protected from extreme summer heat by the cooling maritime climate. They have an enviable record for producing elegant varietal wines from the vineyard, which will celebrate 20 years in 2022 since the first vines were planted. www.purplehenwines.com.au Nick and Misha Say’s Phillip Island Winery on Berry’s Beach Road, Ventnor has some exciting changes to share with visitors this summer. They have just opened their new Atrium function room to add to their welcoming cellar door, restaurant and providore offering. Once you’ve enjoyed a tasting and grazing platter, or a restaurant meal with some of Gippsland’s finest produce, you can finish off your visit by popping into The Yards providore, to stock up on gifts and local produce and take home a little Phillip Island vibe. www.phillipislandwinery.com.au The Gurdies Winery has been undergoing a major transformation of its cellar door since the purchase by neighbours, Bruce Preston and Wendy Heaney, of Heaston Estate WinesThe wines from here also benefit from the maritime climate, to get the best from its eight varieties of estategrown grapes using traditional winemaking processes. Enjoy a picnic of local produce or, if the weather’s cool, there’s always a warm fireplace and comfy armchairs where you can enjoy taking time to make your wine choices. thegurdieswinery.com.au If you are enjoying a break on Phillip Island and would rather the wine comes to you, the newly-relaunched Silverwaters Vineyard delivery services may be what you are looking for. Emily and Herco who have moved to San Remo, Phillip Island, with their young family and have rejuvenated the Silverwaters Vineyard label, working with well-known Gippsland winemaker and wine producer, Marcus Satchell (of Dirty Three Wines, Inverloch). silverwatersvineyard.com.au Harman Wines is a boutique family-owned and run vineyard and winery from David and Nicole Harman in Wattle Bank, not far from Inverloch, Wonthaggi and Kongwak. Their cellar door is a hub for local and regional produce, which also features in their tasting plates and grazing platters. It is open daily in January and on weekends from 11am-5pm throughout the year. They offer several different premium cool climate wine varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Merlot,. Their cellar door offers wood-fired pizzas every Sunday, and they also stock local beers and ciders, spirits, non-alcoholic drinks and coffee and teas. harmanwines.com.au


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A warm welcome, fabulous local food and a view of the rolling hills of South Gippsland is on the menu when you visit Lucinda Estate on the outskirts of Leongatha. It offers an ideal example of the cool-climate complex and flavoursome Pinot Noir. For the visitor, the cellar door offers farmers’ platters and gourmet pizzas. Don’t forget to save room for their freshly-baked cakes and coffee. Their cellar door is open from 11.30am to 4.30pm Thursday to Sunday. lucindaestate.com.au Bass River Winery at Glen Forbes was one of the first five vineyards planted in Gippsland, nurturing the land since 1983. Generations of the Butera family still passionately grow the grapes and produce award-winning wines. With an emphasis on developing premium wines incorporating organic and sustainable viticulture principles, they create distinctive wines that celebrate the terroir and protect local biodiversity. Their cellar is open every day (except Wednesday). bassriverwinery.com Heading a bit further south and on your way to The Prom, you will come to Waratah Hills Vineyard at Fish Creek, under new ownership from 2020. This is another perfect place to enjoy cool-climate favourites of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, from vines first planted in the 1990s, and in a tightly planted trellis style. Their cellar door offers the popular local produce platters topped up with fresh food from the property’s kitchen garden, and can arrange picnics on the Lawn by booking ahead. waratahhills.com.au Other Bass Coast and South Gippsland wineries worth a visit, either in person, or via their online shop: Dirty Three Wines – sumptuous and popular wines from three vineyards owned and run by renowned Gippsland winemaker, Marcus Satchell and Lisa Sartori. As 2021 draws to a close, they have just started preparing a further vineyard for planting, Their Inverloch cellar door is a welcoming wine bar, offering light lunches and Gippsland cheese, and also showcasing some of the best beer, cider, gin, vodka and food from South Gippsland. dirtythreewines.com.au The Gippsland Wine Company, under Mark Heath’s guidance, has built an impressive portfolio of vineyards across the Bass Coast and South Gippsland, often rejuvenating neglected vineyards into producers of premium wines. Cellar door is open daily in the summer until 27 January, other times at weekends. gippslandwinecompany.com Djinta Djinta Winery at Kardella South, with cellar door featuring light meals and platters from The Grazing Room. djintadjinta.com.au

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Eucalyptus characteristics in Red Wine By Frank Butera


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hile native to Australia, Eucalyptus trees are now grown throughout the world. Most species of Eucalyptus trees contain essential oils in their leaves and, depending on the species, the main component of the oil is a volatile compound called 1,8-cineole, commonly known as eucalyptol. Hardy and resilient, they grow in a range of different climates and environments, providing raw timber and wood pulp, as well as large supplies of eucalyptus essential oil. This compound is found above sensory detection thresholds in some red wines, where it is responsible for characters described as ‘eucalypt’, ‘camphor’, and ‘minty’. Whilst attending Pinot Noir conferences mostly from Victorian winemakers the minty character is at time detected. For some winemakers these characters are a selling point, and their red wines are known for their ‘eucalypt’ sensory properties. That is a distinctive Australian wine and some eucalypt character in red wines lifts the aromatics in wine. For others, however, ‘eucalypt’ characters are something they prefer to avoid, or at the very least limit through effective management strategies. Research on ‘eucalypt’ character in wine has focused on understanding the source of the character and providing options for winemakers to be able to control it. Eucalyptus trees growing close to vineyards are the primary source of the flavour in wine. Grapes harvested from rows greater than 25 or 50 m from Eucalyptus trees gave wines with very low levels of 1,8-cineole whilst those grown close to the trees contained significant amounts of 1,8-cineole. The research also found that the compound is found in the skin of the berry, and is extracted during fermentation on skins, with white wines generally having negligible amounts. Wine consumers response to eucalypt flavour in red wines was also investigated. Results showed that even at very low levels, most consumers reacted to the flavour, and interestingly more consumers liked wines with the ‘minty’ flavour than those who didn’t. Further work showed that absorption of the compound by grape berries, while important, is much less a factor than the presence of Eucalyptus leaves or bark in harvested grapes. Machine harvesting of the rows closest to Eucalyptus trees will more than likely produce bins of grapes with numerous Eucalyptus leaves, and these have a very large effect on levels of 1,8-cineole in wine. Unexpectedly, grape leaves or grape stems were also a major source of the compound. Investigations showed that grape skins contained much higher concentrations of 1,8-cineole than grape pulp and that grape stems and grape leaves had even higher levels. The confirms that airborne transmission was responsible for the transfer of 1,8-cineole – from Eucalyptus trees to the vines located close. While not all Eucalyptus species have high levels of 1,8-cineole in their leaves, many of the common trees in winegrowing regions, such as Eucalyptus leucoxylon (Yellow Gum), have great potential to affect vineyards.

In hindsight, it should not be too surprising that Eucalyptus leaves or bark falling from trees can be blown some distance by the wind to lodge in grapevine from vines growing near Eucalyptus trees separately and use this wine as a blending option; they can hand pick those rows closest to trees; or they can ensure that only grapes are included in harvest bins of grapes. Sorting tables, whether manual or automated, would also be effective. The main message from the research is that avoiding material other than grapes in picking bins, especially Eucalyptus leaves, will dramatically reduce the level of ‘eucalypt’ flavour in wine. The investigations suggest that Eucalyptus has a major impact on sensory characteristics of the final wine. Enhancing or reducing ‘eucalypt’ characters is no longer a case of pure chance and winemakers are in a much stronger position to take greater control of 1,8-cineole and adjust eucalyptus character to create wines that express their ‘terroir’. Frank Butera is the wine maker at Bass River winery. Email frank@bassriverwinery.com Instagram @bassriverwinery

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Situated on Phillip Island, Purple Hen is a beautiful location for growing and enjoying wines of distinction. Over 150 medals and trophies, including 8 times Best Shiraz and 6 times Best Pinot Noir at the previous Gippsland Wine Shows, attest to the quality of the wines. Visit our cellar door and experience our great wines and platters featuring local produce.

P U R P LE HE N V I N EYA R D & W I N ERY MU S IC @ T H E H E N From 6.00pm – 8.00pm Music on the lawn each Friday and Saturday evening in January Bring your own picnic if you want (for these events only) Numbers strictly limited – for COVID safety See website for details and to purchase tickets (via Trybooking.com)


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H ARMAN W INES Award winning Winery and Vineyard – where friends and family meet, eat and drink to enjoy the very best of our region! Only a few minutes drive from Inverloch, Wonthaggi and Kongwak you will find the Harman Wines cellar door and vineyard. The vineyard was first planted in 2006 with later plantings in 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2021. The maritime influenced premium cool climate wine varities include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Merlot which are hand crafted on site by David Harman as the wine maker. While visiting the Cellar Door, visitors can enjoy delicious wood fired pizzas and tapas items enjoyed inside or outside under the pergola whilst taking in the tranquil views. Regional produce is used in the menu and can be purchased from the providore section including local and handmade preserves, olives, honey, eggs, coffee, and Prom Coast icecream!

Regular opening hours: Friday 6.30pm – 8.30pm | Saturday 12.00pm – 8.30pm | Sunday 12.00pm – 5.00pm Extended opening hours during January holidays – Check website for more information Bookings are essential – book online at harmanwines.com.au or phone 03 5611 3857

612 Korumburra-Inverloch Road, Wattle Bank www.harmanwines.com.au




As rugged and naturally alluring as the Island itself, Phillip Island Winery masterfully balances a relaxed, shoes-off feel with the sophistication of a local drop worthy of white-tablecloth dining.

The group says the vision has been to carve out a special corner of Phillip Island that can be enjoyed as much by families as couples and groups.

From the cellar door to food and events, this sparkling coastal gem is only getting better with age. In its 25 years, Phillip Island Winery has had only three groups of owners, the most recent cohort taking over three years ago. Misha and Nick Say, Bec and Tim Newman and Kyra and Dan Leary are the driving force behind the winery – and they’re throwing all caution to the wind when it comes to mixing business and family. “Within the ownership group two of us are sisters and the third may as well be!” explains Misha. The previous owners Tim and Trish O’Brien approached the group in 2017, wanting them to continue their legacy, while creating a whole new one. “They were heading into semi-retirement and given our hospitality backgrounds and knowing how much potential the site had, they thought we may be able to create something really special out here.” Their trust in the group was well-founded. In just three short years (two of which have been spent navigating a global pandemic), Phillip Island Winery has flourished. And the reinvigoration of the winery started at its beating heart. “The vineyard had been dormant for several years before we took over,” Misha said. “After much deliberation and several professional opinions, it was decided that the vineyard needed to be pulled out and reinstated. This was not a decision that was taken lightly, but we wanted to ensure the foundations were 100 percent right and given this was a long-term project, we wanted to make sure we got it right the first time. “With Gippsland being perfectly suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay these two varietals were a given, and research is still being conducted on something rare and experimental for next year. We are currently planting out our first clone of pinot noir (MV6) with the next two clones (115 and Abel) to be planted out next year.”


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“Our plan for Phillip Island Winery has always been to create a little wonderland of experiences. To make it much more than just a cellar door or restaurant and give you more reasons to come and visit. In doing so we’ve created a cellar door (The Yards) that not only can you pull up a stool and taste our current vintage, but you can also purchase a vast array of providore provisions including Gippsland cheeses, locally made pickles, relish and jams, cured meats, vegan pates, local Estate olives, and much more. There is also a beautifully curated selection of giftware including books, ceramics, Italian linens, leather goods, candles, tableware, body products, and bespoke gifts."

“Our restaurant is intimate and evokes a ‘dining at home aesthetic’ the service is relaxed but professional, the first thing we tell new staff is to welcome customers as if you would welcome people into your own home." “Our brand-new Atrium is where all the fun will happen! From weddings, to birthdays, work break ups and everything in between, this space will be available for private hire of an evening and will service all of our larger group bookings during the day." “Our new picnic area and expansive lawn area will again see live music over the summer months and every Sunday on going. It’s a space that welcomes all, whether you’re two or 102, the Winery has a space that’s perfect you. Our plans for next year include an art space, that will see local residencies and a calendar of masterclass sessions from photography, ceramics, painting, philosophy, styling, sourdough and salami making, and meditation classes. All housed in a brand-new building, encompassing the cellar door and an expansion of The Yards.”


KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY Keeping the whole ship afloat is an experienced and dedicated staff, which brings a wealth of experience and passion. “Our staff really are what holds this place together. We have always been big believers in investing in our staff and creating a nurturing and family like environment. We’re nothing without our team. Our mum Lynnie who worked for Brown Brothers for 12 years heads up the cellar door, and our teenage children polish many of the glasses you drink from every weekend! Our general manager Kally is a god send. After much experience in some of the top Wineries in New Zealand we were lucky enough to have her join our team 2 years ago. Her husband Johan under his DVEPKO brand bakes all of our sourdough on site. Her children also make regular appearances in the kitchen. “Our head chef Leigh spent many years heading up the Epicurean centre at Brown Brothers and comes with a wealth of experience. Almost all of the remaining staff have been with us almost from the start, which I count as a pretty good sign. Nick and I are operational on a day to day basis, I’m in marketing, socials, PR, and daily operations, Nick being the brains trust that holds the whole show together! Bec looks after they beautiful retail offering in The Yards. “Although not operational on a day-to-day basis, Ky and Dan are instrumental in major decision making, and Ky is the ultimate ‘gap filler’ always showing up when an extra pair of hands are needed. Dan has a construction business, and he has been the chief foreman on the build of the new Atrium. Tim is Bec’s husband and although he has his own concreting business, he is also our chief handyman and general ‘fix it man’ around the grounds. Bec’s dad Bobby is groundsmen.” Phillip Island Winery used the pandemic downtime to actively seek out more opportunities, turning what could have been a devastating lull into a period of exploration and foundation-building.

“I won’t beat around the bush it’s been very trying, but we’re very much ‘glass half full people’ and there were lots of positives that came out of this whole COVID thing. It gave us some space to sit back and view our business from another perspective, to think outside the box and make some changes we wouldn’t normally have made." “Just because we’ve been doing things a certain way doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way. Being in hospitality means you are constantly having to deal with last minute changes, strange requests and constantly making decisions on the spot. This perpetual state we operate in, really served us well during this period of constant change and uncertainty. The Atrium was a project that began during this time, and we’re so grateful we were gifted some space and time to be able to make it happen.” The importance of balancing a growing business with the natural wonders it sits in isn’t lost on the Phillip Island Winery team. And what they’ve carefully and respectfully crafted is a corner of pure joy. “We wanted to create a space that encompassed what it means to enjoy the island and all it has to offer. A place to kick off your shoes on the lawn over summer post surf and catch up with mates. A place to bring the whole family and enjoy the outdoor games area. Glam up with your girlfriends and enjoy a long lunch or take your partner out for a (no doubt!) long overdue ‘date day’." “The winery enjoys bay views over Bass Strait all the while being nestled into the rolling pastures of the Ventnor farmland, highlighting the Island’s natural wonders and all the while enjoying a top-notch food and wine experience." “It’s not polished, but it’s beautiful. It’s grounded in its environment, and we’ve endeavoured to create something that’s very inclusive to all.” www.phillipislandwinery.com.au

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The new Silverwaters Vineyard range was launched this year, featuring a Pinot Gris and a Cabernet Shiraz, The range will soon be expanded, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay being bottled in December, and in February next year, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

“Everything under the Silverwaters label is from our single site vineyard. We don’t blend." Silverwaters Vineyard also stock a “project series” called the Malusa Project. “This is wine we have sourced from elsewhere, of varieties that we don’t grow. We’ve collaborated with other wine makers from different regions within Australia.” The wine is sold through the vineyard’s online store, which offers free local delivery, with no minimum purchase. The free delivery covers a huge area from Lang Lang to Phillip Island and all the way to Inverloch, including the towns in between.

“People can order ahead and have the wine delivered to their home, their holiday house, caravan park or hotel.” All orders are gift wrapped, can ship Australia wide and offers a mix 6 or dozen across the two labels. You can follow their story on Facebook and Instagram, and order online at silverwatersvineyard.com.au Order Wine Online with Free Local Delivery – Guaranteed Next Day Lang Lang to Inverloch including Phillip Island - Free shipping Australia wide on 6 or more bottles

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Aw a r d w i n n i n g w i n e s , c r e a t e d f o r c e l e b r a t i o n s

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Cool Climate Vino

Waratah Hills Kitchen

Waratah Hills is a small, family-run vineyard, owned and managed by the Smith and Blomley families. It is situated at the gateway to Victoria’s famed Wilson’s Promontory, the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland. Vines, first established in the mid 90’s, are tightly planted, low trellising style, reminiscent of Burgundy. The vineyard focuses on chardonnay and pinot noir. South Gippsland’s cool, maritime climate is widely acknowledged as one of the best Pinot Noir producing regions in Australia.

Waratah Hills was initially planted 25 years ago in the French Burgundy style of low trellising and close planting. It is a beautifully sited vineyard with two acres of Chardonnay planted on the north slope and seven acres of Pinot Noir, separated into two distinct areas of the property. The wine is made by local producer, Marcus Satchell. The property also produces a Blanc de Noir and a Rose.

Fresh, local ingredients - celebrating the Prom region.

The cellar door and restaurant occupy a former tractor shed, with seasonal, local produce platters, and plated dishes with ingredients more than often from the property’s kitchen garden.

The Prom Road label is the secondary label, curated by celebrated wine consultant, Mark Protheroe. Sourced from various Victorian regions, including the Yarra Valley and King Valley, the wines are made for celebration – approachable and convivial. The current selection includes Prosecco, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and our two Picnic wines.

The vineyard’s kitchen provides a seasonal menu, matched to the cellar door wines. Using local produce, often from our own kitchen garden, the homestyle menu is designed to share. We encourage indulgence and celebration, in our dining room or out in the sunshine, on the Terrace and Lawn. Picnics can also be pre-arranged by contacting the cellar door.

Waratah Hills 20 Cottmans Rd, Fish Creek VIC 3959 | (03) 5683 2441 | vineyard@waratahhills.com.au


The Grove Gippsland is building its reputation not only on the quality local produce served in its restaurant, but the property is rapidly emerging as one of the region’s foremost settings for weddings and other special events. Stunning panoramic views and an idyllic natural setting make The Grove the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable occasion. Located just 10 minutes south of Loch in the secluded beauty of Krowera, The Grove captures the imagination from the moment you arrive. The 60acre property is a photographer’s dream, with postcard views in every direction from the rolling hills of the Bass Hinterland to the waters of Western Port Bay. Described as an immersive food and nature destination, The Grove’s versatile facilities can accommodate either indoor or outdoor events.

“The Grove is ideal for any celebration be it a wedding, birthday, elopement or baby shower, we love sharing our beautiful property with guests,” says Event Manager, Sarah Oliver. “It’s a blank canvas for clients to make their dreams a reality,” she adds. Sarah believes the versatility and natural beauty of the property make it a standout venue. “We offer a variety of package options and can provide customized options for any event.” The Grove’s events menu offers a choice of sit-down or cocktail reception style. Guests can have a shared dining experience with grazing plates or 50/50 alternating dishes.


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Indoor functions can be staged in The Conservatory or The Lounge. The largest of The Grove’s event spaces, The Conservatory welcomes in an abundance of light and offers expansive views as far as the eye can see through ceiling to floor windows. This main structure, which was created as part of an extensive renovation in 2019 and is perched at the property’s highest point, is also home to the restaurant. Adjoining The Conservatory is The Lounge, an intimate bar and lounge space with a fireplace and leather sofas to relax comfortably on. This charming, private retreat can be configured to suit any event and can connect with The Conservatory via a barn door opening if both spaces are required. The Lounge area can also be utilised as a dancefloor or indoor ceremony space. Stepping outside, The Grove’s sprawling green landscape also boasts many sublime locations for outdoor weddings, functions and events, including The Terrace Lawn, Olive Grove and Trufferie and even a Helipad, should you want to fly in. Couples are spoilt for choice of wedding ceremony sites at The Grove. “Most venues will usually have one option for a ceremony site that works really well, whereas our property has multiple ceremony options to select from that can be specifically tailored to each couple,” Sarah says. It’s hard to envisage a more dramatic wedding entrance than arrival by helicopter, which can be arranged from Phillip Island. If that option is not required, the circular grassed Helicopter Pad can be utilised as a ceremony site or is equally suitable for hosting a garden party. “The Helipad has become one of our most popular choices for outdoor ceremonies,” Sarah reveals.






Responding to the increasing demand for Elopements and Micro Weddings, The Grove has collaborated with specialist small wedding planners and custom elopement designers such as Elope Around Melbourne. Packages may include two hours access to the property for the ceremony and photography, travel cost to the location and marriage certificate. “If more is required, we are more than happy to provide whatever our couples require to make their secret special day perfect,” Sarah adds. The Grove’s gardens offer an abundance of magical photo opportunities including The Olive Grove, which is home to 1,700 trees planted over a 15acre area. Produced from these trees is the award-winning Krowera Hills extra virgin olive oil, which visitors to The Grove can purchase directly from the restaurant reception to take home.


Another on-site accommodation option during the warmer months is glamping, which provides a truly memorable night sleeping under the stars. The Grove’s luxurious, self-sufficient Bell Tents can be booked in-house and are nestled amongst the olive trees in their own private haven. “Everything that we have here from the amazing venue facilities to the abundance of natural attractions and unique accommodation experiences are all part of the incredible vision that The Grove’s founders David and Allison Ehrlich have for the property,” Sarah states. “It stands as a statement of their passion, creativity and drive, to provide an amazing space for the local community and the broader community to share in and enjoy. We are also planning to showcase the venue through an involvement in the Food and Wine Festival later this year.”

A further 40 acres of gum tree plantings have been established, creating one of Gippsland’s largest regenerated forests.

If any readers would like to inspect The Grove as a potential wedding or function venue, please get in touch with Sarah to book a tour of the property. She would be delighted to show you around.

A sculptural element has been added to The Grove’s environs with the placement of eye-catching sculptures on the property. Visitors are encouraged to take a discovery wander around the grounds to find the art works.

Further information is also available from The Grove’s wedding brochure, which can be downloaded from the website at www.thegrovegippsland.com

Two distinctly unique accommodation options are available at The Grove, whether you are attending an event or simply looking for a private getaway. “We now have two tiny houses on the property which can be booked externally through the tinyaway.com website,” Sarah reveals.

The Grove is located at 27 Uren Road, Krowera. For function and event enquiries, contact us at: events@thegrovegippsland.com Phone: Sarah Oliver 0492 015 022 Check the website or phone for current opening hours.

“These are ideal if you’ve come for a wedding or other function and don’t wish to drive home. They can also be booked separately to any events.”

The Grove’s minibus is available for large group bookings. Pick-ups can be arranged from Loch, Bena, Wonthaggi, Korumburra, Inverloch and surrounds.

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L E O N G AT H A’ S B E S T K E P T S E C R E T !

Artisan wines grown, made and bottled on site. Capturing the elements of our unique site and seasonal characters. Taste Gippsland with our Gippsland locavore menu. Bringing together quality locally sourced ingredients on our farmers platters, gourmet pizzas, cheeses and a freshly baked cake and coffee. Overlooking Knox’s hill – a distinctive old volcano which its volcanic soils play an important role in the quality and characteristics of fruit grown. Coupled with South Gippsland’s cool climate allows for a long ripening period, ideal for the development of complex flavoursome Pinot Noir. The Cellar Door is open for lunch Thursday to Sunday from 11.30am to 4.30pm. Bookings are essential – phone or text Lucinda on 0439 337 270


| 108 Parr Street Leongatha Vic 3953 www.lucindaestate.com.au

TAKE A DETOUR TO THE GURDIES WINERY Located on the top of the hill at The Gurdies, our winery boasts breathtaking views of French Island and Western Port Bay. Our large Cellar Door with open fire place, huge patio and newly built outdoor function area, caters for all your special occasions. Come and experience what The Gurdies Winery has to offer.

All our wines are made from Estate grown grapes. Riesling, Chardonnay, Verdelho Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Our grazing platters showcase Bassine Cheese and local produce supporting our farmers. Bring your own picnic, or book one of our bbqs, Gippsland cider, Burra, Ocean Reach and Loch beer also available.

215 Gurdies-St Helier Rd, The Gurdies VIC 3984 O P E N F R I DAY T O S U N DAY 1 1 A M T O 5 P M Phone (03) 5997 6208


Email info@thegurdieswinery.com.au



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Phillip Island Winery is serious about food, serious about wine, and serious about great hospitality, but that doesn’t mean we take ourselves too seriously.

“Food and wine taste better when you’re laughing and sharing with friends and family.” Says Misha Say, one of Phillip Island Winery’s owners, and the face you’re most likely to see at the front door. “And it’s that ethos that defines everything we do. From our share platters, to our function styles, our homely cellar door and tasting experience, to our giftware range – it’s all designed to put a smile on your face, a smile on your sidekick’s face, or ideally both.” The restaurant is smart but informal, offering share platters and a select few main items, showcasing local and amazing produce. The cellar door experience is relaxed and inviting. “We love talking wine to anyone that will listen,” says Lynnie, the cellar door manager. Featuring Gippsland favourites Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a cracking Rose, a Fume Blanc, Sparkling Shiraz (just in time for Christmas) and a couple of cheeky surprises – the wine list is interesting, delicious and often-changing. The Yards features a hand selected range of stunning giftware including books, homewares and a provedore featuring our house-baked sourdough available on weekends – it really is your one-stop shop for all things beautiful (and sometimes impracticle but must have). Live music draws you to the expansive lawn, while the kids can run amok. Dogs are more than welcome, with a dog menu that rivals the humans’ menu – think snacks, dog – friendly ice cream and even a Pawsecco! The Atrium is our latest addition – a stunning expanse of local timber and light filled space ensuring you’ll be out of the (in)famous Phillip Island weather when it rolls in and comfortable year round. Suitable for functions of up to 220 standing and 160 seated, feel free to get in touch with our events team to discuss your next function. PHILLIP ISLAND WINERY 414 Berrys Beach Road, Ventnor Vic 3922 www.phillipislandwinery.com.au Open Thursday to Sunday 11.30am – 5.30pm Check our socials for extended summer hours @phillipislandwinery gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 35

A Touch of Class One of Gippsland’s oldest wineries that boasts some exceptional, award-winning wines has a new outlook. Enthusiast new owners, Bruce Preston and Wendy Heaney are thrilled with their recent purchase and have grand plans for the establishment. The new look to the winery is already taking shape. The couple purchased their winery house in The Gurdies in 2012. The property came with a small Riesling vineyard. Under the guidance of their neighbour Dick Wettenhall (owner and winemaker of The Gurdies Winery), Heaston Estate was born. In 2015 Bruce and Wendy’s first vintage was made. Over recent years, Bruce’s thirst for knowledge and hands on experience with the vines increased, prompting him to return to school to study viticulture. In 2020 Dick retired, selling the winery to Bruce and Wendy. “Dick has really brought up the reputation of the wine and set us up with some top, quality wines to sell. We are forever grateful to him, to be able to takeover this wonderful winery and to continue it on,” Bruce says in acknowledgement of the former owner.


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Bruce and Wendy intend on maintaining the reputation of the wines, which are all made using only estate-grown grapes, as well as creating an atmosphere that welcomes the locals and visitors to Gippsland. They engaged Marcus Satchell, who co-owns Dirty Three Wines in Inverloch, to continue as the key winemaker at The Gurdies Winery.

Wendy relishes in meeting those who visit The Gurdies Winery. Visitors can take in the glorious view while pairing their wine tasting with a locally sourced cheese and crackers box. Functions and wedding bookings are also rolling in with a new entertainment space to the right of the cellar door. The rustic vibe suits being amongst the vines and by the bay.

There are no regrets and the work involved to achieve the couple’s vision is welcomed. “It hasn't been a chore at all. It’s good fun. You know your work is a chore when you struggle to get up in the morning. But we're both up and going before five every morning. We just love it here,” Bruce shares.

“I think we've got a good product and we want people to enjoy it, have a good experience at the winery and be happy,” says Bruce with a smile. “We complement each other too. Wendy’s passion is the customer and looking after our events and I just love being out in the vines,” says Bruce. “But if you get him talking, he won’t stop,” adds Wendy with a laugh.

With a stunning view out to Westernport Bay and French Island, The Gurdies Winery should definitely be the first stop on the great Gippsland Wine Trail. “We want to shield the customer from the view coming up to the winery. As you walk down the stairs, through the double doors, it’s a picture-framed view that people then take in. It’s all about the vines and the view,” Bruce proudly shares.

Giving back to the locals who have supported The Gurdies Winery is also a priority. The winery hosts live music evenings where people from the Gurdies can join the couple for a social outing in the newly renovated space.

New Look for The Gurdies Winery Words and Photos by Danielle Ralph

“We always want to be open to the local people who supported us during the lockdowns. We would really like to support them back. That will always be a main emphasis for us at The Gurdies Winery,” says Wendy. What is also special about owning a winery in Gippsland is the encouragement and endorsement from fellow business owners. “I love that Gippsland wine producers are very much hands-on. Everyone supports each other,” says Bruce. Both Wendy and Bruce are radiating happiness. They have made the decision of a lifetime to devote themselves to making this winery the best it can be. They speak with genuine warmth and sincerely hope more people get to experience this hidden gem that has captured their hearts. “Just look at this place,” Wendy says with a smile. “Gippsland is blessed with rolling hills, fresh sea breezes off Western Port Bay and rich dark soil. We’ve got the best of both worlds here.”

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The Gurdies Winery

Five of the Best

Each bottle of wine produced at The Gurdies Winery or Heaston Estate has its own character and story. Bruce Preston rates these bottles as some of the finest ones to date.

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Chardonnay

“2017 was a great year. This came up against well known, warm climate wines when achieving its awards. Dick was chuffed that he’d taken this wine up to Rutherglen and mixed it with the big wineries. Nobody knew about this little winery in Gippsland called The Gurdies. Dick has done an amazing job to get this wine out there and showcase Gippsland.”

“This is very popular for our winery. We don’t like our Chardonnay too heavily oaked. The oak is a token gesture on the palate. We really want the berry flavours to come through, so we mature in an old oak barrel to get the flavour of Gippsland.”

2018 Riesling (Heaston Estate) “2018 was quite a dry year, so the grapes were under stress. I love comparing the 2018 and 2019 and how the weather has influenced the flavours of the grapes. The 2018 is a bit more of a drier, fruity flavour whereas the 2019 is more aromatic on the nose. I like watching people going through the journey of seeing which one suits their palate. Riesling is very underrated.”


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2019 Pinot Noir “Pinot is a signature grape for Gippsland. It has enjoyable earthy flavours and a nice intensity. There is a little bit of pepper. It’s a nicely balanced Pinot Noir. People come back for more and more of this.”

2021 Rosé “This dry Rosé has a lot of spice flavours. We were going to release it at Christmas, but it’s been so popular having offered out a few tastings. Even outside of our winery, Rosé is very popular at the moment, especially coming into summer. It’s very drinkable.”

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RESERVE A TABLE CALL 03 5664 0010 EMAIL eat@moosatmeeniyan.com.au

www.moosatmeeniyan.com.au MOO’S AT MEENIYAN 89 WHITELAW STREET MEENIYAN VIC 3956

Photography by Mark Thurman | Nicky Cawood


BrianTaylor Strikes Gold in Walhalla WORDS BY DANIELLE RALPH | PHOTOS BY DOUG PELL


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The former hospital perched high above the old gold mining town of Walhalla needed a champion. Too rich in history not to revive, this iconic building in a town that at the peak of its mining days had 4000 residents was lacking purpose in the now ghost town (if you believe in them). Today, just 20 people reside in Walhalla. Enter the Taylors. AFL personality Brian Taylor, most notable for his enthusiastic commentary on Channel 7 and Triple M, has always had a love for Walhalla. It’s the perfect escape destination from the hustle of life in the media spotlight. “We have been spending time in Walhalla with family friends for 35 years and owned a place here for at least 20 of those years,” Brian begins. “We come here for the relief and relaxation. When I tell people I am going to Walhalla, they’ve never heard of it. If only they knew it was this quiet, sleepy, Switzerland-like town. It’s just a beautiful little town,” he says.

“My family love it here in Walhalla and we love being here together. I don’t think there is a prettier place in Australia.” Not afraid to get their hands dirty, Brian and his wife Tania along with two of their four sons, Harrison and Jesse, are all armed with paintbrushes and welcoming smiles when we meet at their new holiday home. The family intend on honouring the building’s history with only superficial improvements to restore the property. “We don’t want to touch the façade in any way. We want to keep it as it is as that’s what we liked about it. It’s just aesthetics: paint and repairs from the years of damp damage. It’s about restoring it to its former glory,” Brian says. “Walhalla was going to lose this very historic building and one of the rare ones that remains unaffected by fire. If someone didn’t get a hold of it and care for it to make it last another 100 years, we could have lost this building. A lot of people would have liked to have bought it. We timed it right as the previous owners were ready to let go. We were the fortunate ones. From our point of view, it fits our family size and friends perfectly.” So, are there actually ghosts present here? Brian says he is not that way inclined, however Tania is, and their son’s fiancé is also a believer. A definite frightening experience that was well documented was Brian’s recent accident at his new home. While lighting a hot water service, he made an error that resulting in an explosion. “I was very lucky to walk away with very few injuries,” he explains. Fortunately, a local friend is also a member of the CFA. Brian says he was amazed at how quickly he got medical attention given the location. “Before I knew it, I was on a chopper. When you have those kinds of injuries, they worry about what you have inhaled. Until that is cleared, everything is an emergency. I was very grateful to all the emergency services.”


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Given Brian’s professional profile, the media were there capturing the event. “That probably is the only downfall to what I do. My sister found out about the accident through social media. Things like family tragedies that happen you do prefer to be kept quiet. Social media is an issue for all of us in this game. You become a big target. Mentally, you must be able to handle that,” he comments. Dealing with intense pressure and scrutiny is a given when you have a public profile. You can never please everyone, which is something Brian takes in his stride. He knows who he is and what is important. “I can be oblivious to it all. I’m basic when it comes to who I really am. While people see me on TV, they might not expect that I’d be here painting. I immerse myself in a life that isn’t consumed by football,” he says. Brian describes the AFL season as mind-boggling tiring with all the travel involved. That aside, the love of the game is still there.

“Getting to the game and doing what I do is such a relief in amongst all the hustle, bustle and pressure. I let it all out in the game and can just be myself again,” Brian says.


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What people love about BT (as he is affectionally known) is his genuine emotion when calling a game of football. He rides the highs and lows and feeds off the energy of the game, which in seasons 2020 and 2021 was a challenge. There were games where the commentators were not at the ground. They were in a studio, looking at screens. “That has been the biggest challenge. It just shows you the value of the live audience. If you haven't got people watching live, the electricity goes. We’ve been able to maintain our passion and excitement, but if we had to do another two years that would be really difficult,” he admits. The perks of his position afforded Brian the privilege of being in Queensland and Western Australia for both AFL Grand Finals outside of Victoria. But that also meant Brian has spent 42 days isolating in quarantine. What goes through your mind in quarantine? “Getting out!” Being able to adapt in different environments and talk to people from all walks of life is something Brian appreciates he has learned from his time in football and media. He is quietly confident and proud that he can handle himself in most situations. He has high praise for his colleagues and the comradery that we see on TV is also genuine. “Working with so many different people has improved me as a person as well as made me strive for excellence. I hang my hat on that I am pushing towards the pinnacle of both TV and radio."

"Calling Friday night football with Channel 7 is the number one thing in AFL broadcasting. I have the privilege of sitting in the seat and doing that. I hope to be as good at Bruce McAvaney one day. He has been important in my development and showing me that close enough isn’t good enough. He is a perfectionist,” BT says of his idol. What is also incredibly important is using the platform of football to raise awareness for prostate cancer through the EJ Whitten Foundation as well as men’s mental health. Brian is passionate about positive change. Out of the commentator’s box, Brian values family time and the simple life. He definitely likes to be organised. “If you saw my tool shed, it's like walking into a doctor's surgery. It's just spotless and methodical,” he says with a smirk. Perhaps the self-proclaimed emotional commentator has a bit of his idol’s perfectionism in him after all. It takes a long time to be revered in a highly critical industry, however I think it’s safe to say BT is already one of the greats in his field.

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NEW VENUE FOR HISTORIC CLUB CAPE PATERSON SURF For over sixty years, the Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club has been the heart of a picturesque surf town on the Bass Coast. Formed at a public meeting the in Wonthaggi RSL Clubrooms in 1960, it became affiliated with SLSA the same year, and has grown in strength and numbers ever since. This summer, the club will open the doors to its the brand new multimillion-dollar facility with ample space and stunning views. The venue is a far cry from the first clubhouse which was a three metre by ten metre fibro shed built six decades ago near the site of the present boat ramp. A new club was opened in February 1969. With humbled beginnings of only five active members, membership swelled over the years to more than 500 people before Covid hit. Now that restrictions have lifted, that number is expected to grow. Cape Paterson SLSC President Ray Rust said the club was very family orientated. Some prominent names in the club’s history include the Harvey, Legg, Cantwell, Donohue, Abraham, Fitzgerald, Rogers, Prendergast, Manns, Marangio, and Phillips families- with some thirdgeneration members now in its ranks. “Cape Paterson is one of the most amazing communities,” Ray said. “It has a pub, a milk bar, and a surf club. The kids are safe to ride their bikes on the road and swim in the ocean.


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The lifestyle brings people here and keeps people here. That’s why there are so many families who return.” The town is still considered to be a quiet, hidden gem- but as Ray said, it has been ‘discovered.’ And as more and more holidaymakers and new residents arrived at Cape Paterson, there was an increasing need for a new surf club. “The old club was great in its time, but it was there for fifty years and suffered the wear and tear from the salty air and environment,” Ray said. “Dean Manns, who was the President of the club for 14 years until he stepped down recently, was the driving force behind this new venue. He did all the pre-work under his presidency and deserves the recognition for getting it off the ground.” It took ten years from conception to completion. The club banked half a million dollars for the new facility through fundraising. They were then financially supported by emergency services, local council, the state government, and the federal government. The old club house was demolishment in October 2018, and the slab for the new building was poured in June 2019 and completed earlier this year. The new modern venue boasts a huge floor level area for lifesaving lessons and storing equipment. A beautiful veranda wraps around the building giving guests a birds-eye view of the beach and surf. Connected to that is a new life-guard look-out tower, and inside the building is a grand function area with an attached state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and new appliances.




The new club is already a hot commodity, with several parties and weddings booked for the upcoming year. Venue managers and chefs Jenna Russo and Carly Heislers said they were looking forward to welcoming people to the club and creating memorable events for them and the community to enjoy. They have worked in hospitality for over a decade and met while working together at Kilcunda. They both share a love of the coast and a passion for food. They have already created an exciting calendar of summer events for members this January, including sunset drinks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturday events, a New Year’s Eve celebration followed by fish and chips on 1 January, and the first Sunday brunch of the year on 2 January. The venue will also be available for hire for community events, corporate functions, business meetings, birthdays, weddings and more.

“This is one of the largest surf clubs in the area and will be a prime location for events,” Jenna said. “It has the space and kitchen to cater for 200 people, plus great views.”


They also plan to use a lot of local wines, ciders and produce.

“We want to compliment the area,” Ray said. “That’s why we are working with local businesses.” The venue is already proving to be a popular place for functions, with many weekends in 2022 already booked out. And though the events will attract a lot of attention, Ray said the revenue from these events will support the club’s main purpose.- which is to teach important swimming and rescue skills and keep the community safe. “All of the functions are designed to bring in revenue to support our surf lifesaving programs. That really is our main objective. We run the Nippers programs for kids aged five and up, we have Surf Rescue Certification, Bronze Medallion and hold several school camps,” Ray said. “For us, it’s all about surf lifesaving. For over 50 years we have been patrolling this surf beach, and we are here to save lives. For more information, visit www.capepatersonslsc.org

“We know how important it is to cater to everyone’s individual needs too,” Carly said. “Everyone’s wants something different and we are happy to provide for that- whether it be canapes, for food-trucks or premium sitdown meals.”

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Market Place Surf Beach Rd CAPE PATERSON, VIC 3995 Ph: (03) 5674 8122 w w w.th ec a p eta ver n .c om visit our facebook page

furniture & bedding "Gippsland’s finest furniture & bedding store"


furniture & bedding


Full range of Water Tanks, Building Materials, Gates, Rural Supplies & Nursery. Available for pick up or delivery. To Order Phone 5678 8552

GRANTVILLE Cnr Bass Highway & Dalyston-Glen Forbes Road, Mon – Fri 7.00am – 5.00pm Sat – 7.00am – 12.00pm | Sun – 9.00am – 2.00pm

OFFICER 421 Princes Highway

Mon – Fri 7.00am – 5.00pm Sat – 7.00am to 12.00pm | Sun Closed

E: grantville@vansteenseltimbers.com.au | www.vansteenseltimbers.com.au gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 49

Phillip Island Index 163 60-62 78 64-65 58 51 57 52-53 54-55 59 59 51 66-67 56 68-69 72 58 77 63 58 73 51 70 56 74-76 71


ALEX SCOTT AND STAFF - Real Estate from the mountains to the sea BELINDA PHILLIPS - Taking a leap! Marrina Mouse’s Dancing House at Cowes BLUE GUM GARDEN CENTRE - One stop shop for gardening & landscaping BLUE GUM GARDEN CENTRE - Cowes and Newhaven BOWENS PHILLIP ISLAND - Get tradeperks when you shop with Bowens COLLECTABLES ANTIQUES - Established in 1993 DAIKIN AIR CONDITIONING - The best air everywhere DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND - Summer of Fun DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND - Family Fun on Phillip Island FINDING THE GRAIN - Handcrafted, reclaimed timber furniture FLOWERS OF PHILLIP ISLAND - Creating wedding flowers plus more GRUMPYS CRAZY GOLF - The home of mini golf on the Island GRUMPY’S CRAZY GOLF COWES - A Phillip Island Institution ISLAND SHOES - Taos Footwear ISLAND SHOES - Putting a spring in the step of Phillip Island IT’S A BIRD LIFE - Photo Feature from Sharon Christopher NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERANS MUSEUM - Learn about our history NEWHAVEN COLLEGE - Enrol now for 2022 and beyond OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA - Shining inside and out PHILLIP ISLAND GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT - Go Karts and racing fun PHILLIP ISLAND RSL - A family friendly modern venue with great food RETRO 144 - Vintage clothing and comics SALTWATER HOT SPRINGS - Close to nature, far from every day SOUTH COAST FLOORING XTRA | SOUTH COAST FURNISHINGS - Got the lot! SOUTH COAST FLOORING - Making A Home A Haven THE CAPE KITCHEN - Waterfront Restaurant Phillip Island

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Open 7 Days a week

Collectable Antiques

90 Thompson Avenue Cowes Vic 3922 Tel: 0407 650 321 Wednesday to Sunday and all Public Holidays 10.00am – 4.00pm

Established in 1993, Collectable Antiques is now trading at its new location, 90 Thompson Avenue, Cowes selling antiques and furniture; china, jewellery, books, garageanalia, toys and more. We also have our sister shop – Retro 144 that caters for anyone that loves vintage clothing and accessories, records and comics.

Ph: 03 5952 3060 152 Thompson Avenue, Cowes, Phillip Island Look out for the Cow on Thompson Avenue Email: grumpyscrazygolf@gmail.com


RETRO 144 144 Thompson Avenue Cowes Vic 3922 Tel: 0407 650 321 Wednesday to Sunday and all Public Holidays 10.00am – 4.00pm gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 51


OVER THE BRIDGE AND A WORLD AWAY, PHILLIP ISLAND IS WHERE YOU WILL WANT TO SPEND SUMMER DAYS. PHILLIP ISLAND ESCAPE TO PHILLIP ISLAND THIS SUMMER Round up your family and friends and start planning your road trip escape to Phillip Island this summer! After a long winter, it’s finally time to enjoy the summer sunshine. Dust off your beach umbrella and pack the esky; it’s time to hit the road. Cool off at a low wave beach, play a round of beach games, find where the waves are breaking, dine out overlooking the sea and end the day with a drink or two! Phillip Island is known for its beautiful beaches, and there are plenty of water activities on offer to keep you cool this summer! Join a Pioneer Kayaking Tour and witness the sheer beauty of Cape Woolamai’s cliffs. Learn to surf with Island Surfboards at Smiths Beach, go snorkelling, scuba diving or sea scootering with Ocean Adventures. If you prefer to stay on top of the water, take a cruise with Wildlife Coast Cruises, a fishing charter or an adrenaline-filled boat tour with Ocean Adventures. Get a bird’s-eye-view of the island’s spectacular coastline on a scenic helicopter flight or take a drive out to the Nobbies to discover the cliffside boardwalks, visit one of the beautiful seaside hamlets such as Cowes, Rhyll, San Remo and Newhaven. If you are yearning to experience more of Phillip Island’s unique wildlife and nature, embark on one of the many coastal or bush walks, watch the famous penguins waddle in at sunset, the seals play at seal rocks and spot wallabies in the wild. There is nothing quite like enjoying ice cream on a hot, icy cold drink or fresh seafood overlooking the ocean on a hot summers day! Being surrounded by 360 of coastline means that Phillip Island offers some pretty unique spots to enjoy a range of summer flavours. From homemade gelato from Isola Gelato, an icy cold beer from one of the many breweries and pubs Ocean Reaching Brewing, Phillip Island Brewing Co, North Pier Hotel, Westernport or San Remo Hotel. A cocktail at Kelp, Saltwater or Hotel Phillip Island, or a crisp glass of wine from Phillip Island Winery, Purple Hen Winery or Grenache Wine Bar. Wondering what’s on this summer? Don’t forget to check out our events page at visitphillipisland.com.au/events for the latest live gigs, live music, festivals, markets and more! *Please remember beach safety directions and always swim between the flags. Cowes Beach is patrolled in the summer and is recommended for cooling off as it is a low wave beach. Start planning your Summer break now www.visitphillipisland.com.au


gippsland lifestyle spring summer���� ����/��

...Summertime on Phillip Island!

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gippsland lifestyle summer ����/��

Add one big and beautiful adventure playground, Phillip Island, to your bucket list this summer and enjoy an endless array of activities and attractions to keep the kids entertained and create wonderful family memories. Pack the summer games, swimsuits and get excited to make memories that will last a lifetime. Bordering Gippsland, Phillip Island is compact, making it accessible to get around, and an ideal place to experience a diversity of attractions and experiences. Get lost in a maze at A Maze'N Things, see chocolate delights made at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, take a boat cruise to Seal Rocks with Wildlife Coast Cruises and watch the little penguins waddle home at sunset at the Penguin Parade. For outdoor family activities, go on a jet boat ride with Ocean Adventures, take a kayak tour with Pioneer Kayaking, wander the treetop boardwalks at the Koala Conservation Reserve, or discover the beautiful gardens and shaggy highland cattle at Churchill Island. For an interactive wildlife experience, feed kangaroos at Maru or experience the virtual animation screen at Antarctic Journey. For family challenges, race for the best go-kart time at the Phillip Island Go-Karts, test your strike rate at Phillip Island Tenpin Bowling, your fastest climb at Clip N Climb or count your hole in ones at Grumpy's Crazy Golf and A Maze'N Things Mini Golf! And if it's beach time, picnics and bbq's you are looking for in your family summer getaway, spend the day playing beach games, eating ice cream, picnicking and paddling in the water at Cowes Main Beach. Finish off the day with fish n chips on the beach, a bbq with fresh local produce at your accommodation or dining out at one of the restaurants on Phillip Island. To discover the best things to do and see this summer, visit www.visitphillipisland.com.au

For inspiration for this Summer visitphillipisland.com.au gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 55


Great European Brands, Exceptional Quality & Brilliant Customer Service 134 - 138 Thompson Avenue, Cowes 3922 | Phone: 03 5952 2515 Follow us on Facebook @islandshoesphillipisland


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1/60 Genista Street, San Remo 5678 5190 After hours commercial breakdown office@picra.com.au www.coastalrefrigandaircon.com.au





gippsland lifestyle summer ����/��

all your floral needs we can help with venue set up & styling, priding ourselves on our local venue knowledge. Flowers of Phillip Island – creating wedding flowers for the most discerning couples for over 30 years. From button holes to bouquets – venue styling and set up. Instore shopping, Homewares, Décor, Flowers, Dried Arrangements, Body Products by leading brands. Servicing Phillip Island, San Remo, Bass and welcome Gippsland bridal enquiries.

Shop 1/96 Thompson Avenue Cowes Vic 3922 Phone: 5952 2235 | Email: info@flowersofphillipisland.com.au www.flowersofphillipisland.com.au flowersofphillipisland flowersofphillipisland Photos supplied by: Tahnee Jade Photography Email: tahneejadephotography@gmail.com



Finding The Grain is able to produce life lasting, hand crafted furniture created from reclaimed timber. COMMISSION AND CUSTOM DESIGNS A SPECIALTY WITH ATTENTION TO CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS. Salvaged from local demolition sites around Phillip Island, this timber has historically been sent to landfill. Finding The Grain is dedicated to reclaiming that timber, and not only reducing our carbon footprint, and allowing the timber to live on preserving nature’s history.

Beautiful furniture and home dressings are created on site from all types of magnificent timber Red Gum, Native hardwoods, Huon Pine, Jarrah - the list is endless.

Mark Davis 0418 355 148 | 40 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven VIC 3925 www.findingthegrain.com.au gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 59

taking a leap

When Belinda Phillips created a character she named Marrina Mouse a couple of years ago, even she couldn’t have imagined the world of possibilities that were about to open up in her life. Belinda has a background in dance and performing arts that started at the age of three and has been captivated by the theatre since seeing her first show, Barnum, as a five-year-old. Her immense love of everything theatrical led her on the pathway to dance instruction and more than a decade of front-of-house and stage door work at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne.

“The inspiration behind creating the character Marrina Mouse came from thinking about the major theatres in Melbourne like Her Majesty’s, the Princess, the Regent and the Comedy Theatre and all the incredible stories behind those walls,” she reveals. “I thought if I was a little mouse going around to each of those theatres being an usher to guide and show people through the front and back of house it would be a unique way to bring those stories to life. I recognised that there wasn’t really a character out there that was showcasing the East End theatre district of Melbourne. We hear so much about Broadway in New York and London’s West End, but not enough about our own theatre industry.” From that initial idea, Marrina Mouse was born. “She’s a little mouse with a love of the theatre and a can-do attitude,” Belinda explains. “Marrina Mouse can do anything she puts her mind to if she only takes a leap, and she wants to let others know that they too can take a leap onto their own path,” she adds. Around the time the character and story behind Marrina Mouse was coming to life, Belinda relocated from Melbourne to Phillip Island, a place where her family had spent many summer holidays at the now defunct Bayside Caravan Park in Beach Street growing up. “More recently, I’d been coming down here on a road trip every Monday with my mum and my little dog Brooklyn,” Belinda reveals. BELINDA PHILLIPS PICTURED AT COWES BEACH


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“The road trip Mondays had become a weekly ritual for several years. Brooklyn loves it here and I made the move partly because of him.”


Belinda decided to establish a dancing school on Phillip Island and found the ideal base at St. Philip’s Anglican Church in Thompson Avenue, Cowes. “As a child I would walk past the church and I just love its history,” Belinda says. “It’s a really good location. Not only is it a good size, but it there is plenty of parking and Coles is just across the road for parents to go shopping during the classes. It also has the same name as me so must be the right spot." Belinda held her first class at Marrina Mouse’s Dancing House in June 2019. “My older brother Dean brought the magic of light and sound to transform the parish hall into a winter wonderland for the opening,” Belinda recalls. “Dean and I are the threatrical ones in our family. He went into theatre lighting and sound for his career and has operated a business Light Dimensions for the past thirty years,” she notes. Teaching dance was not something new to Belinda. “I had previous experience teaching in a dancing school in Broadmeadows in Melbourne many years ago,” she says. Belinda has also worked at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne for close to 15 years and still maintains a front of house/stage door role there on a casual basis despite having relocated to Phillip Island. “The theatre world is something that’s very hard to leave,” she observes. Since her venture at Phillip Island began its dance classes, Belinda has delighted the young students by telling them the story of Marrina Mouse. In an exciting recent development, the story has been given a visual new dimension in print. “The tale has organically grown into a children’s book which I’m now able read to the kids,” she says. The first printed copies of the Marrina Mouse The Theatre House are currently in the final stages of production and will be available before Christmas. Stockists will include Turn the Page bookshop in Cowes. Not only is she the writer, Belinda also illustrated the book. “Art and graphic design are another of my loves. My worlds just collided in bringing this book to life,” she states. “There’s actually a series of books coming out together, including other characters that three of the girls from the dancing school have created from scratch in much the same way that I did with Marrina Mouse.” Mia Bowtell’s character is called Cotton Bunny, Sophie Bowen has created Fancy Fox, and Ella Baker is responsible for dreaming up Peggy Peacock. All three girls are just eleven years of age.

“The girls have imagineered the characters and their back stories at the dancing school and I have written the words and provided the illustrations for their books. Fancy Fox has three different escapades in this first series, whilst there is one story each with Cotton Bunny and Peggy Peacock,” Belinda explains. “They’re all pretty cool stories and I think people are going to love them.” Through its first two years of existence, Marrina Mouse’s Dancing House has grown mainly through word of mouth. Belinda says the reaction from kids and parents has been overwhelmingly positive. THE FIRST ORIGINAL SKETCH OF MARRINA MOUSE

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taking a leap

“There were some periods during COVID when we couldn’t operate. I’m not a big fan of Zoom, so instead elected to maintain connectivity through something I refer to as magic mail. This involved dropping an imagination box at the door of the children’s homes.” These small packages of inspiration would include a variety of different items, from costume creations to drawing materials and even gifts for the children. This initiative activated some of Belinda’s young proteges into starting to create their own characters during lockdown which has led to the aforementioned book series. “The kids have been using their imagination to foster their own creativity,” Belinda states. “They are able to layer their characters with either learning dance, costume design, lighting and sound in the art of storytelling.” The characters of Cotton Bunny, Fancy Fox and Peggy Peacock all featured in the dance school’s annual end-of-year showcase production for 2021 on 20th November, which concluded this year’s program. “The theme of this year’s showcase was stepping aboard Marrina Mouse’s imagination train and as part of that we transformed our space within the hall into a train station,” Belinda reports. “The show was a preview of what’s to come in 2022 and beyond. Next year’s showcase will be even bigger and will be need to be held in a larger venue.”


“They all love it,” she comments. From her own personal viewpoint, Belinda’s rewards are derived primarily from seeing the children’s confidence grow. “It’s fantastic whenever you see shy kids and others that have been bullied coming out of their shell. I want them to know they can take a leap no matter what or who they are,” she states. Belinda holds classes at the dancing school on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. The tots (ages 3-5) commence at 3pm and are followed by the next group (ages 5-8) at 4pm and then (ages 9+) at 5pm. It is important to note, however, that there is no age limit at Marrina Mouse’s Dancing House. “Everyone is welcome. The more the merrier,” Belinda insists. “If young adults or even older people want to take part, I will keep adding classes as necessary. You can be any age to take a leap.” Belinda emphasises that it is not possible to gain a full understanding of the program from the first class alone. “It’s a layered experience combining dance and performing arts,” she says. “The kids come with a blank page and I speak to them individually to help find their direction. But it’s important that they start and go right through.” Operating through the COVID-19 pandemic required some imaginative thinking at times and has contributed to the continuing evolution of the dancing school. “This year we started looking at things a little bit differently,” Belinda observes.


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Although classes may have finished for 2021, more than a dozen local businesses on Phillip Island are participating in Marrina Mouse’s Gingerbread Trail, an initiative that was introduced last year. This year’s hunt commenced on 1st December. Maps can be collected from the billboard at St. Philip's Anglican Church which will help children follow the trail to find the characters displayed in various shop windows. When the dancing school resumes classes in January, it will relaunch as Marrina Mouse’s Theatre House. Although there is a slight change of name, classes will remain at the familiar base at St. Philips. In making this transition, Belinda has recognised that her program has broadened over time from pure dance classes at its inception into teaching performing arts with a focus on dance. “As we continue to evolve, it is important that people understand it’s not just a dancing school,” she notes.

“It’s really about the kids creating their own path. Everyone’s got a story, and the children are finding themselves through creativity. I am really hoping that these characters they are creating today will become a path for their tomorrow." “Whatever path they do choose with their creation, whether it’s through a book or through musical theatre, it is something that started here, and I will support them forever with it.”





Stage Two of our original masterplan is now complete with our spectacular outdoor kitchen, the sensory gardens, our discovery centre (library) with its own amphitheatre and new playgrounds. We have such a wonderful space to work with and the final product is certainly a winner with eight classrooms, new inside and outside kitchens, an extended staff room, four playgrounds, a synthetic oval with three running tracks, the flexible library/discovery centre, entrance façade and natural gardens and grounds. Our students have been involved with the planting of the new vegetation and are very proud of their efforts as they have worked with the landscape gardener and our science teacher to learn about the importance of being environmentally aware and their role in looking after our world.




As sustainability is part of our philosophy, we have solar panels, water tanks and biodiversity areas including a bird hide, orchard and sensory gardens.

The size of our school lends itself to a close knit and inclusive family style atmosphere. Our learning spaces are designed to allow the students to learn both inside and outside and always have bright stimulating outlooks. We welcome enquiries and tours as “Open Day” is every day for our school community. All denominations are welcome.

6 Cowes-Rhyll Road, Cowes 3922 | Phone: (03) 5951 1700 | Principal Catherine Blackford olsscowes.catholic.edu.au

Lee and Geoff

92 Dunsmore Road, Cowes, Vic, 3922 (03) 5952 3855



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886 Phillip island Road, Newhaven, Vic, 3922 (03) 5952 3855



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GRUMPYS CRAZY GOLF COWES Driving down Cowes’ main thoroughfare, it’s hard to miss Grumpys Crazy Golf. With its giant, cow patterned couch and resident bovine statue, there’s no denying it’s a Phillip Island institution. Run by Garry and Leanne Marr (who are local legends in their own right), it’s a fun-filled destination to make memories, like so many other families have for the past four decades. Created by the original grumpy man himself, Leanne’s dad, the Marr family has continued a legacy that started in much quieter times on the Island. And what many may not remember, is that Grumpys was once more than a mini golf destination. “My mum and dad started Grumpys,” said Leanne. “They bought the waterslide probably maybe 35 years ago, with the view of building a mini golf in front. Dad designed it, mum painted it and they ran it for 10 years until we bought it from them.

“We were at the very end of the street and mum and dad were a bit worried that we were too far away from the action at the time, but now we’re absolutely in the heart of the hill. We get a lot of passing people walking past dropping in. But it did used to be very quiet up our end. There used to be caravan parks and things, but they’re all gone now. And even all the shops here are full now.”


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While mini golf is hugely popular, there were many who believed it would never work on Phillip Island. “They had a lot of knockers when they built it because people thought it wouldn’t work, but it has.” In the decade that Leanne’s parents owned Grumpys, they made it into an iconic destination for holidaymakers and locals. “Dad used to do magic tricks and things for the kids. Even now, every now and again I have someone asking if someone can do a magic trick for them. But I tell them the Magic Man’s gone, and dad’s been gone quite a while now.” Also gone is the original waterslide, which was pulled down some years ago. But what has always remained is the original name. “We have tried to change the name a couple of times, but people get quite upset so we’re keeping it.” But Leanne and Garry have managed to put their flavour on Grumpys in other ways, while always keeping Leanne’s dad’s vision at its heart and soul. “We’re kind of quirky. Dad designed it and we sort of kept most of that design going, because it worked well and getting people through in the right amount of time is important. Of course, we have ‘cowed’ it up because we’re in Cowes. We painted a lot of cow spots everywhere.

A PHILLIP ISLAND INSTITUTION WORDS BY ANITA BUTTERWORTH PHOTOS BY DOUG PELL The couple is passionate about Phillip Island and the local businesses. Garry’s also a musician who plays gigs around South Gippsland, while their children, who are now adults, still live and work on the island. And over the years, they’ve watched other generations of children grow and return to their beloved Grumpys. “We’ve got parents who bring their children who were brought by their parents when they were kids. We’ve got families who have been coming a long time.” After a difficult two years in and out of lockdowns, Garry and Leanne are looking forward to a bustling summer on the island, with plenty of happy faces putting their way through Grumpys Mini Golf. “The last couple of years have been a bit of challenge but people are coming back and we’re looking forward to a good summer. “When we bought it from mum and dad, we did a lot to it. We did a lot of painting, and we try to add to it every year to give people something different.” With Leanne’s background in art, she managed to add unique touches through painting and sculpture, with something different to look at around every corner. “Because I’ve studied art, I’ve made it look very bright and colourful. There’s no particular theme, it’s challenging but not too difficult so both kids and adults enjoy it and we do get a lot of schoolies who enjoy it.”

“Mini golf is a group or a family getting together and doing something that they can enjoy together and have a bit of fun with. People always leave with a smile. Because everyone’s happy and they’re doing something fun with people they want to be with and that’s really nice."

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Island Shoes Putting a spring in the step of Phillip Island Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Doug Pell From humble beginnings when Phillip Island was still a sleepy coastal destination in the ‘80s, to a go-to for unique, quality footwear, Island Shoes has stood the test of time. With unrivalled knowledge and range, owners Paul and Julia Tibbetts continue to bring sought-after footwear brands and styles to their loyal customer base and tourists alike. Located in Cowes, Island Shoes first opened its doors in 1983, and within a couple of years was purchased by San Remo locals Bella and Ted Egan. Current owner Paul explains they lay the groundwork for the popular business. “It was Bella and Ted that weathered the early days when Phillip Island was still only a small coastal town that was prone to the seasonal nature of a summer destination getaway. In those days there were businesses on the Island that would close for several months due to the Island’s seasonality. “We do have a lot to thank Bella and Ted for in the way they structured their business to cater to the visiting Melbourne crowd and the direction that they aimed their product at. Even in those early years Bella looked for a point of difference in much of the ladies’ product that graced the Island Shoes shelves. “Along with widely known national brands the Egan’s also had a quirky indifference to them which saw an introduction of edgier styles and colours.” It was a winning formula and grew as the Island did. Word of mouth spread, with established and new Island residents flocking to the quality footwear outlet.


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“In July 2015 Julia and I purchased Island Shoes off Bella and Ted and after being in the footwear industry for several decades myself was apprehensive of what lie ahead,” Paul explains. “Still under the guidance of the previous owners it was suggested that the timing was ripe to introduce new brands and through my connections in the industry slowly started to replace some of the brands that were appearing to tire.

“The business was built on variety, quality, colour and service and to this day is the proven formula that we continue to implement in our buying. We try not to follow too much what major Melbourne retailers stock as this would be counterproductive in our quest to be a regional destination retailer.” When the Tibbetts took over Island Shoes, they didn’t just inherit a strong store, but an experience staff. And they’ve continued to attract knowledgeable employees throughout the years. “As part of the purchase we also gained experienced staff which proved invaluable in the first couple of years. Although staff have moved on, Island Shoes’ longest serving employee Sharon Fowler is still with us serving multi generations of the same families. "Sharon is one of those employees that businesses only dream of having, a work ethic second to none and product knowledge that only comes with years of dedicated service. “We have also in recent times employed Julie Wilson who is an Island local of a number of years now. Julie is quickly learning the ins and outs of the shoe trade and will be a great asset to our business in the years to come.”

Behind the business is a passion for footwear that stretched back decades. And it’s proved a key to the continued success of Island Shoes, even through recent turbulent times. “My own experience stretches back four decades when I first began in the footwear trade in a sales capacity after which I developed a passion for product development which I loved. My wife Julia is originally from the UK and has a background in Fashion Design. After arriving in Australia Julia became involved in sales with Avon and for a number of years was Area Sales Manager responsible for training around 400 district sales representatives – these qualities have proven to be valuable tools in our recently tough retail environment.” Like so many other businesses, Island Shoes had to change focus during the lockdowns. But Paul and Julia have come out of it stronger, more knowledgeable and without compromising on their quality service. “Having to shut down this year was a shock considering we avoided it in 2020. It certainly had an impact as the 49 days that we ended up being closed for was predominantly during the period when we would be clearing winter stock – it’s not a big concern but we are carrying a few more winter boots than we’d usually be carrying this time of the year. Ladies there are some good bargains to be had on winter styles right now! We have resisted the temptation to go online for now.

“One of the strengths that Island Shoes has developed over many years is our ability to provide a point of difference in our product line up, maintain our focus on quality and provide a brilliant level of service. The commentary we hear is that many people have tried online buying but they also add ‘never again’ due to fitting issues that complicate the shoe buying process.

“We are also very mindful of the issues that many people have with their feet and ensuring that we have an extensive range of shoes with anatomic foot beds. Many people require specialist fitting of orthotics that have been prescribed by our local pediatrists and we need to be understanding of the need to have a good range of fashionable shoes and sandals that are able to fit orthotics. The flip side to fine European leather footwear is the lifestyle side of the business which has seen enormous growth in the past three years. “With so many people locked down, working from home or having moved to the Island over the past two years the number of people exercising has seen our sporting category explode in popularity. New Balance is our go to sporting brand that offers some fabulous product as well we have the Alegria Traq series which has boomed over the past two years for the lady that enjoys a great supportive walking shoes. However, the biggest shoe in the shop belongs to Propet – this a lightweight well-structured walking shoes designed by pediatrists that features an amazing removable anatomic insole and available in five colours.” It's clear to see the immense pride that Paul and Julia have in their store, and their drive and passion to continue bringing quality, unique footwear to Phillip Island. “Right now, Island Shoes is in a very good place. We have a business in an idyllic part of the world that is seeing unprecedented growth and popularity as an alternate regional town to move to from the burbs of Melbourne. We have a great following and since Melbourne has been allowed to travel again business has bounced back and gives us great optimism for the future. “Finally, we say a big thank you to all of our loyal customers that have stuck with Island Shoes for many years, we love seeing you and we love the laughs that you bring to our lives.”

“Not all size 39’s are the same and I can guarantee that not all US size 8’s from New Balance fit identically. We do however have a social media presence using Mailchimp, Facebook and soon Instagram – it’s a work in progress but the following is growing at a very satisfactory pace.” The huge range at Island Shoes is one of the reasons local and visiting customers continue to return. “Being a popular regional destination, we need to cater to a wide range of wants and needs in footwear unlike city footwear retailers that can focus on particular styling. Our focus is on very fashionable casual footwear primarily in soft European leathers. It’s difficult to pinpoint most popular items however there are several stand out brands. Cabello, Taos, Zeta, Sala, Arcopedico and Alfie & Evie are outstanding and for the past few seasons ladies Sneekers have really ruled as a fashion item.

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CLOSE TO NATURE, FA R FROM EVERY DAY An emerging hot springs development is set to boost the economy at one of Victoria’s most popular tourist destinations. Phillip Island’s Saltwater Hot Springs is due to open in October 2022 and as construction takes shape above ground, exciting developments taking place behind the scenes will be announced in the coming months.

The First Stage – which shares the same location as The Cape Kitchen, includes large pools with a number of different experiences including a swim-up bar, reflexology walk as well as accessible and family friendly areas. The buildings currently under construction will include a new casual dining space and Apothecary workshop. Inspired by nature and the healing powers of the ocean, a range of products based on marine minerals and Australian botanical ingredients will be available as well.

Future stages of the 30 acre development will include performance and cultural spaces, spa centre and an oceanfront Thalassotherapy (saltwater bathing) facility. Award winning landscape architect Karl Russo has referenced the distinctive local geological formations in his stunning interpretation of the adjacent coastline. While 100,000 indigenous trees and shrubs have been planted across the property, extensive landscaping of the bathing areas will be underway in the coming months.

www.sa l twa te rs p ri n g s .c o m.a u

Waterfront Restaurant Phillip Island

The Cape Kitchen is Gippsland’s award-winning, oceanfront destination restaurant, boasting breathtaking views of the sea and coastline. They are part of a longer vision that is anchored by the Hot Springs development. The best produce is sourced, prepared and served with care and respect for our guests, each other and the environment. They showcase local produce and are proud of their collaboration with businesses which share their passion to position Gippsland for quality produce and dining. Warmly welcoming guests with genuine hospitality, they are a place to celebrate every moment. Merry everything and celebrate always. Have something in mind for your End of Year celebration? Talk to the Events Team.

Eat & Dr i n k


Event s & C elebrations

Table with a view, start your day with a Zest Coffee alongside a ricotta and buttermilk hotcake topped with caramelised banana, maple mascarpone and toasted pecans. Return to enjoy a coursed lunch that features Mornington Black Mussels and Gippsland Scotch Fillet, alongside a wine, beer and cider list featuring only Gippsland produced beverages. Embracing a new way of gathering together they have created some exciting new experiences. Join them for a Pop Up Picnican intimate, outdoor dining experience complemented with Bohemian styling and featuring local produce. They offer the perfect backdrop for your picnic; including a locally designed and custom built pod and an oceanfront lawn space.


Digital G ift Vouc hers Av ailab l e

THE CAPE KITCHEN 1215 Phillip Island Road Newhaven Vic 3925

Tel: 03 5956 7200 Em: hello@thecapekitchen.com.au



by Sharon Christopher Sharon Christopher continues with her series of magnificent selection of the birds of Phillip Island. Enjoy!


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Phone BH: 03 5952 1004 Enquiries: functions@pirsl.com.au www.pirsl.com.au

MAKING A HOME A HAVEN A popular Phillip Island shop offers contemporary delights with old-fashion, country- service. BY LIA SPENCER Life has changed for everyone over the past eighteen months. A global pandemic has forced people to revaluate what is important to them, and how they operate both in business and in their personal life. These revelations created a shift in modern day living. A large contingency of Melbourne’s population has left city life for the serenity of the country and beach. Home offices became a necessity, and backyards became an oasis. And as many people ditched the passports and tucked away their suitcases, they started to focus on making their own homes a priority. South Coast Furnishings & Flooring Xtra on Phillip Island has been there before, during and after restrictions to ensure people have the right products to make their homes their sanctuary. The business is the go-to for contemporary furniture and furnishings in Cowes and is the perfect one-stop-shop for anyone looking to decorate or update their homes or beach houses. Very much a family-business, South Coast Furnishings & Xtra Flooring is owned by husband-and-wife team, Tania and Berny Huigsloot alongside their friend Kerryn and Berny’s brothers Craig and Andrew.


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Each member of the team brings to the business their own area of expertise, and it is because of their knowledge and unity that they have been able to create such a strong working relationship not only with each other, but with the wider community. In keeping with its community focus, the shop supports many local charities and fundraisers. And many locals and visitors show their continued support, despite having their own challenges over the last two years. “Where possible, the community has shown us their support, although with a major part of our economy affected, they are also just trying to support themselves,” Tania said. “Tourism is one of the main trades, and it’s been nonexistent since March 2020 - but we do have many new community members in Cowes, and everyone has been forced to investigate what they can access within the smaller radius of their homes.” These new residents, along with long-standing locals, have become regular shoppers at South Coast Furnishings & Flooring Xtra. “It’s been really busy with many people moving here and converting a holiday house to a home, so that’s kept us steady,” Tania said.



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“Some off our regular customers love to update rugs cushions and linen fairly regularly or just pop in for inspiration to keep their homes feeling refreshing- especially since spending so much time at home this past eighteen months. Many also like updating window coverings to change the mood of a room or provide more warmth or cooling benefits.” Having the right flooring and furnishings is important when living in a home at the beach.

With its large range of national flooring from Flooring Xtra, window coverings, lounge suits, dining and occasional pieces, beds, rugs, cushions, stunning homewares and more- there really is something for every room in the house. And with the support and advice from knowledgeable and experienced staff, shopping to improve your home has never been easier. “We often think of ourselves as offering the services of an older countrystyled store, but with a contemporary feel.”

“Easy care is of prime importance,” Tania said. “We are coast and country here on Phillip Island. Homeowners don’t want to be fussed with super high gloss timber floor finishes as sand and muddy surfaces are prevalent, so we find the easy-care vinyl floors and textured carpets have been a real hit.

Tania encouraged people to pop into the store so they could see and touch the products for themselves or ask anyone from the team for advice or assistance.

Outdoor areas also continue to be the focus for many living on the coast, with residents and visitors appreciative of Phillip Island’s natural beauty.

South Coast Furnishings & Flooring Xtra is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am until 2pm. They are open 24hours a day, seven days a week at their online store www.southcoastfurnishings.com.au/shop


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STOCKING GIFTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS COWES Mirrors, Hanging Baskets and Pot Holders, Ready Planted Pots of Herbs, Water Plants, Air Plants NEWHAVEN Corten panels , Firepits, Big Range of Coloured Pots, Birdbaths, Bird Feeders PLUS ALL YOU NEED FOR LANDSCAPING AND PLANTING YOUR GARDEN including Formboss garden edging, pavers, bricks, soil, screenings, mulch, indoor and outdoor plants and trees and so much more

Open 7 days Monday to Friday 7.30am - 5pm Saturday 8am - 3pm Sunday 9am - 1pm

886 Phillip island Road, Newhaven, Vic, 3922

Public Holidays: 9am to 1pm Tel:(03)5952 3855 Email info@bggc.com.au Web www.bggc.com.au

92 Dunsmore Road, Cowes, Vic, 3922

Bronwyn Pratt

Well made – Handmade – Australian made Unique, Bespoke Jewellery Featuring the work of Gold and Silversmiths Bronwyn Pratt, Monica Szwaja & Steven Nicolaou

Steve Nicolaou Ageless Beauty by Noel Watson

Natures Embrace by Noel Watson

The Summer exhibition features the “LIFESCAPES” by Noel Watson Exhibition official opening Saturday 11th December from 10.00am – 4.00pm

Monica Szwaja

Open Wednesday to Friday 10.00am – 5.00pm S aturday 10.00am – 1.00pm Other times by Appointment or Whim

Ametrine with freshwater Pearl 9ct yellow gold by Bronwyn Pratt

The Goldsmith’s Studio | Jewellers & Artisans Gallery Bridgeview Arcade Shop 3, 157-159 Marine Parade, San Remo www.goldsmithstudio.com.au | Bronwyn@goldsmithstudio.com.au |

@TheGoldsmithStudio | 0409 934 543


03 5674 1014 |

info@melaleucanursery.com.au |

Find us on facebook @MelaleucaNurseryInverloch


50 Pearsalls Road, Inverloch Vic 3996

instagram: melaleucanursery

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Leanne Williams at Foster, 24/7-access library service

Can you tell us what changes library members can expect to see? The biggest change that our existing members will see is our name changing to Myli – My Community Library in December, 2021. The library service our community knows and loves will continue to meet and exceed the expectations. Our buildings will still be called a ‘library’ and our member Councils are committed to and will continue to fund library services. What is the benefit of becoming a not-for-profit? Being a not-for-profit with charitable status there will be a range of opportunities that will benefit library members, staff and Councils. There will be more fundraising opportunities that will support greater investment in our services like more programs, resources and support for library members. We also have an opportunity to grow by providing our specialist library service to other Councils and communities. Can you tell us more about the 24/7 library service and how it began? We first piloted the 24/7 library service in Foster. We are implementing two more 24/7 libraries in Mirboo North and Poowong. Our Board have decided that all of our libraries will provide a 24/7 service as opportunities arise. The 24/7 library service provides greater access to our libraries with the convenience that communities are seeking. Members of the 24/7 service can access the library anytime, 7 days a week. Can you tell us more about what a 24/7 library is? Our 24/7 libraries are just like a 24/7 gym. Members can apply to get a swipe card to be able to come in and use the library when it suits them. There are strict controls but it operates very similar to a 24/7 gym. It’s been really well received by our community and as a result we have had a lot of media attention across Australia, as well as New Zealand. Can you tell us more about why West Gippsland Libraries is not remaining a library corporation?

How are people using the 24/7 library service?

The Victorian Local Government Act 2020 is removing library corporations and how they are formed under section 196. This new act gives library corporations 10 years for Councils and Library Boards to make a decision on how best they would like to deliver their library services in the future.

Libraries tend to operate within usual business hours and we were finding this doesn’t suit everyone, particularly people who work or study full time. To provide that added flexibility, the 24/7 access means that people can pop-in at time that suits them.

So why did West Gippsland Libraries decide to make this decision now and not wait? Our Board have been in discussions around the change for the last few years because it is quite a complex process. We decided to take up the decision earlier to provide continuity for our organisation to set us up for the future and allow us to take up the benefits of going first. Can you tell us more about the changes? Our Board, and all three of our Member Councils: Bass Coast, Baw Baw and South Gippsland; have adopted to transition from a library corporation to a not-for-profit with charity status. This gives us long term sustainability to continue to deliver our specialised library service like 24/7 libraries and programs like Books by Us. Not just to our current region but we have plans to grow the service as well.

Books by us event hosts Michelle Lewry - Library Programs Officer & author Nansi Kunze at Loch Primary School.


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West Gippsland Libraries is becoming a not-for-profit organisation called Myli – My Community Library. We’ve asked Leanne Williams, CEO of Myli – My Community Library Ltd to tell us more about this change and what this means for the future of library services. Can you tell us more about the Books by us program? Students are coached by a published author to write their book that is published, they visit a printer and have a red-carpet book launch. The books are then catalogued in the library to share and be borrowed by parents and the whole community. It provides 360-degree engagement with students, parents, schools, businesses and the community. It’s so much fun and a great way to engage with everyone. What else can we expect to see from Myli – My Community Library? We remain committed to delivering a modern library service that includes more than physical library spaces. We have an equal focus on virtual spaces and physical places. We will continue to deliver programs and free resources to provide opportunities for connection and learning both online and in person.

At the Books by us program red carpet book launch at Loch Primary School

How can we learn more? We have more information and a list of FAQs on our website: www.myli.org.au, you can call 1800 HI MYLI or visit your local branch to learn more. Lock Primary School students celebrating their red carpet book launch at the Books by us program

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03 5176 5997 | info@virtuehomes.com.au | www.virtuehomes.com.au gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 83 Photography by Open2ViewGippsland

BARBEQUES GALORE Australians love the great outdoors, and there’s never been a when we’ve spent more time enjoying our own backyards than the few months. For Traralgon’s Barbeques Galore, it’s meant using experience and knowhow to help Gippslanders make the most of own patch of paradise.

time past their their

Justin and Nell Fothergill and their family have been providing the region with the very best in barbeques, outdoor living and indoor heating and more since 2015. As a qualified plumber who specialised in heating for his whole career, Justin’s knowledge translated perfectly to gas appliances and wood and gas heating.

“Barbeques Galore is renowned for its barbeques but is also one Australia’s largest wood heating retailers,” Nell explained. “Justin not only shares his knowledge in the store assisting customers but also attends homes to assist with heater selection (the right size heater to heat the home), placement in the home and also he does the installs. He prides himself on the quality of a customer’s install.”


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The Traralgon store is a family affair, with Justin working in store and Nell the driving force in the background, while the couple raise three teenage daughters. “We have two fabulous full-time staff who are not only passionate about the store and our products but are a huge wealth of knowledge on all products too. We couldn’t have found two better staff members that fit with our culture and are also loyal to us and our vision for supplying customers the right products for their needs. We utilise casual staff over our summer periods, in the lead up to Christmas, which is our busiest time of year. Our kids chip in too when needed.” Barbeques Galore Traralgon has a huge range of products that are carefully curated by Nell and Justin. They’re passionate about striking a balance between premium quality, and value for money. “Our Ziegler & Brown brand of portable grills is our most popular. The Ziegler & Brown range also stock a premium range of gas BBQs. The newly updated Beefmaster has been a brilliant addition to the range as there’s so many options available to meet customer needs and adaptable to suit individual outdoor areas.


“When it comes to wood and gas heating – Lopi, Pacfic Energy, Saxon, Norsman and Austwood are our most popular brands. We have heater to suit any home and requirement. There are so many options, sizes, styles and outputs, both freestanding and inbuilt. “We also offer a full consultation to ensure the heater has the right output for the area to be heated and suits the room it’s in. Justin installs most of our heaters and travels all over greater Gippsland to do so.” During the past two years, Gippslanders have become even more enamoured with cooking outside, and outdoor living. The store has a huge range of outdoor lounges and dining sets to create the perfect, comfy corner for enjoying get togethers and family meals.

“Smoking has been hugely popular during lockdown, but actually all areas have been in demand. Everyone has had time at home to update their outdoor areas. Even we’ve updated our outdoor area this year! Furniture, BBQs and wood heating (for both indoors and outdoors areas have been popular. “We have expanded our range of smokers this year due to the popularity and also to meet customer budgets and needs. We sell 7 different brands, all of which have various models and sizes. Traeger, Z-grill, GMG, Kamodo Joe, Prosmoke, ProQ and Hark “We have a large variety of smoking pellets, wood chunks, chips and charcoal. Our rubs and sauces ranges are extensive and it’s great to hear what customers are cooking and also what they’re using to flavour and season with.” Barbeques Galore is a one-stop-shop for outdoor living, cooking and entertaining this summer … and beyond. Barbeques Galore 309 Princes Highway (Cnr of Stratton Drive), Traralgon P: 03 5174 6734 E: info@bbqs3844.com.au

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WONDROUS WATERFALLS There’s a roar. A spectacular burble of thundering water, plunging, and meandering its way through giant boulders to the lower levels of this cool temperature rainforest. It’s truly a magnificent sound calling me in. I’m beginning the 2.2 kilometre circuit within the Toorongo Falls Reserve, located in the Baw Baw Shire, in search of two wondrous waterfalls. Nestled amongst giant tree ferns, Mountain Grey Gum, Mountain Ash, Manna Gum and Austral Mulberry are two viewing platforms to take in the picturesque Tooronga Falls and Amphitheatre Falls. There is something soothing about chasing waterfalls. Spending time in nature is the perfect reset for your mind. This particular track is short and relatively easy, only taking an hour for the return trip. Of course, allowing more time to fully appreciate and enjoy this natural wonder is also worthwhile. It’s a moderate incline with sections of rock stairs to the viewing platforms. The walk is a pleasurable experience with lush vegetation all around and the river streaming gently, then more vigorously as you draw closer to the towering falls. You can feel the energy of the water. Having crossed the bridge over Toorongo River, which is fed by the rainsoaked Great Diving Range, the stunning cascade of Toorongo Falls enters view from a distance before reaching the first platform. She’s mighty and beautiful. Continuing up the narrow path, the calming chirps of the various species of birds are then overpowered by the dominate force of tumbling, rapid water. The platform built over the river enables perfect viewing of this dramatic, tiered waterfall. The bench here invites a comfortable pause for photos and admiration. In awe, I watch the water somerset over the rocky cliff and flow into the valley below. The claims that waterfalls increase serotonin levels, enhancing our sense of wellbeing, certainly has merit. Witnessing this glorious fall brings a sense of satisfaction, self-reflection, and connection to nature. It’s important to activate all your senses and notice how you feel. Only then do you fully appreciate just how magnificent these nature reserves really are. Passing engravings of love on tree trunks, couples and families enjoying the day out and even dogs wagging their tails and obediently posing for pictures for the memory file, it’s just a short 600 metres further along to the Amphitheatre Falls. Earning its name from being located in a natural amphitheatre, this fall isn’t as grand as the first being just one dramatic drop of water, however the metal observation platform jutting out above the water stream feels more daring. It’s also another impeccable snap opportunity. Watch the water race through the metal rails and hear the amplified sound in this special spot.


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Notably, this trail, and in particular the Amphitheatre Falls section, can be extremely muddy and slippery and will be sectioned off when there is risk of landslides. Sensible walking shoes are a must. They may also need a good wash on your return! To get to this walk, it is 6 kilometres of roughish road to reach the parking area. The nearest town centre is Noojee. The Noojee Trestle Bridge Rail Trail is another key attraction in the area, featuring an impressive 100-metre-long trestle bridge, one of the remaining historic timber bridges in Victoria. Not just a bridge, this is a brilliantly preserved icon in the emerald township. The drive to Toorongo Falls does set the scene with lush, rolling hills in the distance. Those hills are such of charm in Gippsland. Conveniently, a toilet block is adjacent to the car park and the entrance to the walk is clearly signposted. It’s impossible to get lost on the short circuit.

Some people also opt to camp at Toorongo Falls Camping Area, right at the base of the circuit walk. Riverside with scattered picnic tables, this site is a popular position being in a tranquil location. Toorongo Falls Reserve and campgrounds are managed by Department Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). Respectfully, this area was the original border of two Aboriginal tribes. To the west were the Wurundjeri and the Brayakoloong in the east, who lived on the river flats of the Latrobe Valley. Today, other than for our recreational pleasure, this rainforest also provides valuable water and timber for Victorians. Blessed are those who visit and live in this area. As I am discovering, Gippsland is a wonderland for walks. Be sure to tick this one off your list.

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TRARALGON keeps powering on Words and Photos by Anita Butterworth It’s a rare newsagency that manages to successfully combine the traditional role of supplying the community with printed news while becoming a hub for breadmaking supplies and confectionary. But NewspowerGO Traralgon has managed to strike a clever balance of the classic and contemporary. At the helm of the Traralgon institution is Darren Howe, who admits he never intended to own the business for as long as he has. “I wasn’t planning to be here for 26 years, I was planning on being here for 10 years but sometimes getting into a business is easier than getting out of a business,” Darren laughs. Having worked at McDonalds straight out of school, and eventually progressing to shift manager, Darren got his first taste of running a business. His other roles during his early career with the State Electricity Commission and Bendigo Bank also put him in good stead to take on the challenges of owning a newsagency. “It’s a real balance between work, family and personal time. During the early years you are having to work a lot of hours to get the business off the ground, and then you need to try and fit in everything and balance family’s needs, you want to spend time with them.”


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But as Darren explains, just purchasing a newsagency was a hill to climb back in the 1990s. “It was a premium business and a much sort after business, there was a Newsagency Council that approved the sale of every newsagent. The person selling the newsagency didn’t have choice who they were going to sell it to, they just put it on the market. The purchaser needed to meet criteria set down by the Newsagency Council, the prospective buyers were interviewed by the Newsagency Council, which comprised of representatives from the magazine companies, the newspaper companies, VANA and other industry partners. They chose the person who they thought was going to keep the newsagency channel as strong and vibrant as possible.” Darren and his family were given the seal of approval, and in 1996 took over the Seymour Street Newsagency in its former, location in Franklin Street, Traralgon. Business was strong, initially distributing papers to half of the local Traralgon community. Then, about 20 years ago, the family made the decision to buy the distribution for the entire town of Traralgon and surrounds and to manage the additional business moved into a larger premises in Seymour Street. “We had the territory for all the home deliveries of newspapers and magazines. We also supplied other resellers such as Supermarkets, Service Stations and Convenience Stores and were committed to doing the right thing by the community and deliver the best service we could.”

Darren Howe

As well as running a successful business, Darren has been a Latrobe City Councillor since 2016 and up to a few weeks ago was the Deputy Mayor.

“People are passionate about their own town, their own interest groups and such. It’s a real balancing act to prioritise projects and funds fairly across our municipality. We do what we can to help, I work with some fantastic people. We have an Economic Development Team, Health and Well Being as well as Planning. If we can’t help, we can certainly point you in the right direction. It was a chance conversation at a barbecue that piqued Darren’s interest in becoming a Latrobe City Councillor, even though he’d been heavily involved in other community leadership roles. But as time, and technology has ticked on, the thirst for news in print form has waned. “Younger people are not reading as many newspapers or as much printed media as the older generations. Our client base is getting older. We are now delivering less than we were when we bought the business but to a much larger geographical area. So, then you’ve got the challenge of less deliveries per street, but many more streets you’ve got to deliver to.” Like so many other businesses, the newsagency needed to diversify. So, after much research and consideration Darren decided to introduce something both sweet and savoury. Approximately 12 years ago the family purchased the Traralgon Chocolate Shop, combining it with the newsagency and when the business moved to its current premises on Seymour Street, the sweet and savoury treats moved with it. “When we bought the chocolate shop, then a standalone business just down the road, we moved it into our existing shop, creating a store within a store concept. The Chocolate Shop was selling breadmaking supplies, and we thought it’s not really something you traditionally associate with a newsagency, and it was not as easy to tie in as chocolates and lollies. “We had people come in and ask if we were going to keep the breadmaking supplies, so we thought we’d put it in a quiet corner where you wouldn’t normally turn over a lot, and it just took off. And then Covid-19 came a long and more people started baking their own bread. We now have that loyal breadmaking fraternity that come and buy from us.” In fact, it’s proved so successful that the newsagency plans to run breadmaking classes, which have been in the planning stages throughout the lockdowns.

“I was never really interested in being a councillor. My father was a councillor when it was the Traralgon Council, and he was also Mayor. I was involved with Apex. I moved through the club ranks, became secretary, treasurer, vice president and president and they were looking for a state president one year, so I did that. “Once I’d finished at Apex, I got more involved in the Traralgon Chamber of Commerce and that’s when you realise, business owners have great ideas but are time poor due to the commitment that their business requires. We have just launched the Latrobe City Business Chamber, which will have a part time administration/development Officer. Hopefully, they will help build membership and take these great ideas and make them a realty.” Darren admits his political aspirations initially lay beyond local government, and in 2018 he sought National’s preselection for the seat of Morwell. “State politics is what I was interested in, and I thought I could make a big difference at the state level.” And while Darren continues to find joy in representing his community at a local level, he hasn’t ruled out having another tilt at state politics on day. “I just really enjoy it, I love it. It takes up a lot of time, I’m out probably three or four nights a week. Most Sundays you’re tied up doing emails and reading reports, so you generally spend five or six hours on a weekend. But I’m really enjoying it, and that’s what put me back into thinking about having another tilt at preselection for the National Party for next year’s State Election.”

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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 Sunday 9.00am - 5.00pm 62 Argyle St, Traralgon Vic 3844 Ph: (03) 5174 2861 Em: growmastertraralgon@yahoo.com.au www.growmastertraralgon.com.au



Whether it’s a barbeque, outdoor furniture or a low n slow feast, Australia’s love of the outdoors will never tire. We’re all drawn to the smell of a barbeque. It’s where memories are made, with the people that matter most. At Barbeques Galore Traralgon, we help you create these moments, with a great range of styles and designs of bbq’s, outdoor furniture, smokers, umbrellas and everything to complete your outdoor space. Unrivalled specialist knowledge and the convenience of installation form out specialist team. We have an extensive range available for all spaces, styles and budgets. Locally owned and operated.

The home of outdoor living

309 Princes Highway (Cnr of Stratton Drive), Traralgon P: 03 5174 6734 E: info@bbqs3844.com.au gippsland lifestyle summer ����/��


ROSEDALE BUTCHERS Local Family Owned Country Butcher

Three generations of Vaux Family owned and operated business since 1977.

Smallgoods made in the premises from ham and bacon to a range of cabanas, plain, garlic, chilli, cheese and chilli. Ready to heat home style meals. Fresh Gippsland fish on Wednesday’s. Maffra and Gippsland cheese, as well as other locally sourced Gippsland products. Call now for your Meat & Smallgoods needs or call us to conveniently place your order


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32 Prince Street, Rosedale 3847 Ph 5199 2210 Follow us www.rosedalebutchers.com.au



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During 2021, Leongatha took a face change, the main street of Bair Street was looking tired and BJ’s Earthmoving was given the task of updating this famous and busy street. New trees, wider paths, drinking fountains, seating, and in the words of Kevin Costner from Field of Dreams – Build it and they will come. Along with the changes of Bair Street, other iconic landmarks are still looking bright and welcoming, enjoy Leongatha, the heart of South Gippsland.

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WE NEVER COMPROMISE PREMIUM QUALITY & SAFETY STANDARDS CPK McLaren MotorBody is recognised as one of the State’s leading Automotive Repair Facilities, one of only 5 Regional Finalists over 3 years in the VACC Industry Awards Best Body Repairer, Passenger Vehicle Category.


Environmentally friendly automotive refinishing technologies. Diagnostic, Fault discovery & Safety Restraint System equipment.  ALL VEHICLES INCLUDING PRESTIGE  CLAIMS ASSISTANCE  GENUINE VEHICLE PARTS ONLY  GENUINE CAR GLASS & WINDSCREEN REPLACEMENT ONLY  24 HOUR TOWING  COMPANY FLEET VEHICLES

insurance claims assistance

17-19 Roughead Street, Leongatha | 5662 4173 | info@mclarenmotorbody.com.au


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New Members Welcome. Reciprocal rights with RSL'S in Victoria, South Australia & Tasmania

LEONGATHA RSL CONTACTS OFFICE: 5662 2012 RECEPTION: 5662 2747 BISTRO: 5662 4487 www.leongatha-rsl.com.au Find us on Facebook


Corner of Smith Street & Michael Place, Leongatha



LEONGATHA | PH: 5662 2941 | MANAGER: LUKE WATSON | 68 BAIR STREET, LEONGATHA VIC 3953 Tel: 5662 2941 | Email: Leongatha@haymespaintshop.com.au Hours: Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.00pm | Saturday 9.00am to 12.00pm | Sunday Closed


WONTHAGGI | PH: 5672 5522 MANAGER: ROB GEYER | 5-7 KORUMBURRA ROAD, WONTHAGGI VIC 3995 Tel: 5672 5522 | Email: wonthaggi@haymespaintshop.com.au Hours: Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.00pm Saturday 8.30am to 1.00pm | Sunday 10.00am to 12.00pm


COWES | PH: 5952 2522 MANAGER: DAVID FUSINATO | 215 SETTLEMENT ROAD, COWES VIC 3922 Tel: 5952 2522 | Email: cowes@haymespaintshop.com.au Hours: Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.00pm Saturday 8.00am to 1.00pm | Sunday 9.00am to 1.00pm



We also offer catering for many other occasions including birthdays, weddings and engagements. You can find us at Markets around Gippsland and we can prepare our menu to suit your event.

Contact us today on 0447 728 547 or brent@brentsinclaircatering.com.au


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During the COVID restriction period we are offering TAKE AWAY MENUS. Please visit our Facebook @BrentSinclairCatering for weekly changing menus and specials. 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: brent@brentsinclaircatering.com.au www.brentsinclaircatering.com.au



BP Service Stations FISH CREEK 2 Falls Road, Fish Creek, Vic 3959 Tel/Fax: 5683 2521 Email: fishcreek@evanspetroleum.com.au

FOSTER 94 Main Street, Foster, Vic 3960 Tel/Fax: 5682 2008 Email: foster@evanspetroleum.com.au

INVERLOCH 25 Williams Street, Inverloch, Vic 3996 Tel/Fax: 5674 1442 Email: inverloch@evanspetroleum.com.au

JOHNSONVILLE 1760 Princes Highway, Johnsonville, Vic 3902 Office/Fax: 5156 4102 Workshop: 5156 4233 Email: johnsonville@evanspetroleum.com.au

KORUMBURRA SOUTH South Gippsland Highway, Korumburra, Vic 3950 Tel/Fax: 5655 1668 Email: korumburra@evanspetroleum.com.au


Since the purchase of Raglan street, Sale Depot and Retail business from the Carmody family in 2012, the team at the Sale site have grown the East Gippsland business year by year, led right from the start by depot manager, Rob Laws, who has instilled a customer first attitude to the way all staff conduct themselves. The support from the farming, reseller, transport and industrial businesses throughout East Gippsland to our wholesale offer, has been fantastic over the past nine years with fuel being delivered from Yarram to Orbost and Bairnsdale to Mount Hotham on monthly route runs or on an as needs order basis. Providing a “can do” attitude has greatly improved the service levels required by our customers and the ability to supply the fuels they require such as “Wintermix Diesel” during the colder months has set Evans Petroleum apart from its opposition. From a retail perspective, Gordon Winstone has stepped into the managers role in recent months and together with his staff has created a clean, welcoming shop front that stocks a huge range of lubricants and general purpose items that cater for the farmer or tradie who needs a product in a hurry. Along with a coffee or a traveller pie, the shop offers a variety of “on the go” food for morning tea or lunch to compliment the industrial trade that surrounds the area as well as the farming and transient motorist that use the site. With a 24 hour card machine for purchasing fuel outside of opening hours, the Sale retail site provides an ongoing service to the Sale township and district and is a proud supporter of many not for profit groups in the district.

BP SALE 344 Raglan Street, Sale, Vic 3850 Tel: 5143 1030 Fax: 5143 2686 | Email: sale@evanspetroleum.com.au

95 Bair Street, Leongatha, Vic 3953 Tel/Fax: 5662 2440 Email: leongatha@evanspetroleum.com.au

LEONGATHA - WESTSIDE 7 Anderson Street, Leongatha, Vic 3953 Tel/Fax: 5662 2834 Email: westside@evanspetroleum.com.au

MIRBOO NORTH 106 Ridgway, Mirboo North, Vic 3871 Tel/Fax: 5668 2377 Email: mirboo@evanspetroleum.com.au

NEWMERELLA 5327 Princes Highway, Newmerella, Vic 3886 Tel/Fax: 5154 1601 Email: newmerella@evanspetroleum.com.au

ROSEDALE 65-79 Prince Street, Rosedale Vic 3847 Tel: 5667 2951 Email: Rosedale@evanspetroleum.com.au

SALE 344 Raglan Street, Sale, Vic 3850 Tel: 5143 1030 Fax: 5143 2686 Email: sale@evanspetroleum.com.au

TOORA 26 Foster Road, Toora, Vic 3962 Tel/Fax: 5686 2324 Email: toora@evanspetroleum.com.au

TRARALGON 23-29 Shakespeare Street, Traralgon, Vic 3844 Tel: 5174 1138 Email: Tim@evanspetroleum.com.au

WONTHAGGI 103-105 McKenzie Street, Wonthaggi, Vic 3995 Tel: 5672 3988 Fax: 5672 5229 Email: wonthaggi@evanspetroleum.com.au

YARRAM 325 Commercial Street, Yarram, Vic 3971 Tel: 5182 6019 Fax: 5182 6458 Email: yarram@evanspetroleum.com.au

EVANS PETROLEUM HEAD OFFICE 22 Hughes Street, Leongatha Vic 3953 Tel: 5662 2217 Web: www.evanspetroleum.com.au

Great Southern Ride is an E-Bike sales and hire bicycle store opposite the start of the Great Southern Rail Trail, Bair Street Leongatha. Hiring an E Bike is a great way of test riding an E Bike and experiencing the beauty of the Great Southern Rail Trail. Beautiful rolling hills, bridges and prom views to enjoy on your ride. Welcoming townships with wonderful dining and shopping treats.

HIR E What's included in your hire: NCM E-Bike, helmet, lock, and GSRT map. Half & full day hires are available, as well as overnight options. Book your E Bike hire online: Greatsouthernride.com.au

R E TAIL STOR E GSR is a retail store. Our E Bike range includes road, step-through, folding, trikes and mountain. We are a distributor for NCM, Rilu, Tebco, & Apollo E-Bikes. We stock Zefal products, Buzz Rack carriers, Limar & Giro helmets and accessories for repairs.


70B Bair St, Leongatha VIC 3953 PH 0468 477 0432 | EM Ride@greatsouthernride.com.au | greatsouthernride.com.au Greatsouthernride_leongatha


Enjoying The Great Southern Rail Trail

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Anyone who has headed south from Leongatha on the South Gippsland Highway will have driven past and most likely noticed the famous shed built on an island in the middle of a dam at the Powney’s farm property.

“At that time, it was little more than a puddle down the front of the property, but we wanted to do something a bit special with it,” Lindsay states.

Far more than a mere curiosity, the humble tin shed has become an iconic landmark that slows traffic as people turn their heads to catch a glimpse as they pass by. Visitors and tourists even make it a destination to stop and park outside the fence line to enjoy a longer look.

About three years after acquiring the property, Lindsay and Robyn’s vision for the dam began to take shape. Excavators were brought in to dig out and substantially extend the dam’s size.

“It’s become very well-known over the years. Everyone notices it,” Lindsay comments. Robyn says the extent of the interest has never waned. “We’ve had Australian and international tourists stopping here just to see the shed and to take photos,” she states. “One time we even had a note left on the gate from a couple in Melbourne with their name, phone number and an invitation to come and have a cup of tea with them because they had gotten so much enjoyment out of it.” The Powneys have always tried to accommodate the interest in the shed from the public despite it being on their private property. They have also made the dam available to a local model boat club for use on several occasions.

“It wasn’t difficult logistically because you could drive out there at the time,” Lindsay notes. “Because it was dry, we took advantage to pile up the excavated dirt to create an island out there. It turned what was just a dam into more of an ornamental lake and it actually took two years for it to fill with water.” Lindsay estimates that the dam’s water level is presently about 25 feet at its deepest point. “It was thirty-two feet when we built the dam, but the level has reduced over time due to the build-up of silt,” he says. The island that was created through the process of extending the dam became home to the iconic shed. “I wanted to build something in the style of the Ettamogah Pub, but Robyn wouldn’t have a bar of it,” Lindsay laughs.

Lindsay and Robyn purchased the 100-acre farming property known as Woodlands around fifteen years ago, just a few minutes from the house in Leongatha which has remained their principal place of residence throughout.

“As it turned out, the shack we ended up building has a bit of a lean to it of its own.”

“I’d had farms before and both Robyn and I could see the potential in this property,” Lindsay explains.

Robyn says that very little expense went into the construction of the shed. “We used second-hand materials, including an old fence pulled down from a house in Leongatha, and put some old farm implements out there as an extra touch to add to the rustic feel,” she recalls.

The Powneys opted to run cattle on the property, predominantly Herefords. When the couple took ownership, the dam on the farm was nothing like it is today.


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Tin sheeting was used for the walls, roof and verandah, whilst the timber palings were utilised to construct the picket fence that surrounds the island block on which the shed stands. A small jetty was added for watercraft to dock. Native vegetation provides some greenery to complete the scene.

Only occasional maintenance is required.

“There comes a time in your life when you begin to look forward,” Lindsay remarks.

“I haven’t been out there for about twelve months,” Lindsay estimates. “There was glass in the windows in the shed originally, but we removed the panes to protect birds from flying into the glass.” Viewed from a distance, the shed appears larger than its true dimensions. “It’s quite deceiving,” Lindsay comments. “It’s only about the size of a chook shed but it looks much more substantial.” One of the most popular aspects of the shed was a very special guest taking residence on the island each Christmas, which became an annual festive season tradition for several years. “We used to put a life-sized Santa out there in various poses,” Robyn explains. “One year we gave him a fishing rod and boat. Another time we did a bit of an Australiana themed display and put him on the roof of the shed with koalas,” she adds. People in their cars would often toot the horn to acknowledge Santa as they drove past the property. Lindsay and Robyn both remain incredulous that one year someone foolishly swam out there in the middle of the night, putting themselves at great risk, to deliver Santa a can of beer. The couple have no idea of the prankster’s identity but were relieved that they came to no harm. Despite all the wonderful memories, the Powneys came to the realisation earlier this year that the time was right to sell the property, although they have elected to retain around 20 acres of the landholding which is zoned ‘Special Use’ for agricultural services. The parcel they have kept in their ownership does not include the dam and shed, or three-bedroom farmhouse.

He and Robyn retired at the end of 2019 after operating their own independent real estate company in Leongatha for eight years. Robyn had previously been a teacher before switching careers to join Lindsay in the real estate industry. When they hand over Woodlands in February, the Powneys will take away many fond recollections from the past fifteen years. “This place has been very good to us. I’ll miss it something fierce,” Lindsay concedes. “But we’re also looking forward to spending more time with our children and grandchildren who live in Melbourne and Bannockburn, and hopefully travelling,” he adds. Robyn says she and Lindsay both appreciate the natural beauty that abounds at Woodlands. “It’s just been a lovely spot to come out to and potter around,” she reflects. Woodlands is inhabited by an abundance of birdlife, including swans and plovers, and only recently a pelican has made itself at home on the dam’s waters. The Powneys are particularly pleased that the property is being passed into good hands. “The new owner absolutely loves the shed and has some exciting plans for the property’s future that will benefit the community,” Lindsay says. “With us living close by in Leongatha and still retaining our twenty acres, it goes without saying that we’ll be keeping an eye on what goes on here and taking a keen interest.”

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Collecting a group of like-minded and enthusiastic people, having a chat with the Creative Harvest brains trust, winning a grant from the Bass Coast Shire Council and voila! The inaugural Bass Coast Edible Gardens Open Weekend was born. Coordinated and curated by Bass Coast Adult Learning and hosted by local gardeners, the 19th and 20th of February 2022 will see some of Bass Coast’s finest Edible Gardens open to visitors between 10am and 4pm on each of the days. These gardens provide a rich variety of inspiration – different sizes, different approaches, but what they all share is that they are run by keen gardeners who are happy to impart their passion and expertise in growing food. This exciting weekend of open gardens features a selection of some of the most interesting and productive edible gardens from across the Bass Coast Shire. You will be able to visit a diverse selection of gardens including community and backyard gardens as well as acreage properties; all producing a range of foods and using a variety of approaches. To assist visitors to navigate the 2-day event, we have divided the shire into 3 clusters: Phillip Island/San Remo; Waterline and adjacent areas; Wonthaggi/Inverloch and surrounds; – this will help with navigating the event and scheduling your visits so that you can visit as many gardens as possible. This event is designed to give you access to experts, to provide insight and to show what’s possible. Whether you are a beginner, an experienced gardener or just looking for a bit of inspiration, come along and have a chat with those who are cultivating their own edible gardens. A small sample of what’s on offer includes…


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a well-planned, suburban, garden where you will find 5-6 timber-edged vegetable beds, herbs grown in pots on the deck and 2-3 fruit trees. There is some intermixing of vegetables and natives and a recent innovation has been growing flowers for bees, often at the end of the vegetable beds. These gardeners have tried different approaches to easy-management composting including collecting leaf litter in a wire tunnel to use for mulching and placing small black plastic bins and tubs directly on garden beds over winter – they drill holes in the tubs which allows worms to enter and leave as they please. Extra touches such as narrow garden beds with paved areas between make for easy planting and harvesting. This is a well organised and simple to maintain garden that is a joy to visit.


acreage with an established, garden at which you are sure to be inspired by the gardener’s passion for growing food organically, improving soil health, and for the use of closed-loop, permaculture principles. You will find raised brick-edged vegetable beds, an orchard plus seed planted no-dig beds with very rich soil - evidenced by the abundance of worms. Helping these beds to thrive are two chicken coops ably guarded by 2 kelpies and a Bernese mountain dog. This all seasons garden produces crops over winter of garlic, kale, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, broad beans and even strawberries. There are separate beds being planted with seedlings for summer – ready just in time for the 19th and 20th of February 2022.

After an inspiring visit to the Baw Baw Shire’s Creative Harvest weekend in 2020, Bass Coast’s Maddy Harford knew that something similar would be a great addition to the calendar of events in her s local shire. Words & Photos supplied by B C Edible Gardens


…our range of Community Gardens from Coronet Bay on the Waterline to Cowes, along to Bass and through on to Wonthaggi are a part of the number of Community Gardens across our Shire. Over the edible gardens weekend several will be open to visit. What we reckon is most abundant in these gardens however, is the sense of community that comes from sharing space, time, skills and knowledge. There are different models across the gardens, but the benefits are for all to share. Whether you’re interested in food banks, land and/or water management, edible weeds or produce swaps, there will a community garden with something to spark your interest. One of the gardens even hosts a (mostly) monthly repair café! Visiting these gardens will give you the opportunity to tap into the knowledge and expertise of those who give their time, skills and passion not just to growing produce within their community, but also to providing the space and environment for people to contribute, to learn and to experience the joy of ‘I grew it myself’. This exciting Open Edible Gardens event is brought to you by Bass Coast Adult Learning (BCAL) and we definitely have a vested interest – our centre not only has our own community garden, but we also run an impressive and successful suite of horticulture courses. We have a commitment to local, sustainable food production and are part of a shire-wide movement to encourage people to ‘grow their own’. But… this event is not just for regional folk - whether you live in the country or a city, in a suburban house with a small yard, in an apartment or on a larger block, this eclectic selection of gardens has something to offer you – come along and find out what that might be!

Online bookings are now open via Trybooking: www.trybooking.com/BTVWB For more information on the event and the participating gardens go to our website www.basscoastediblegardens.com or check our Facebook $5 per person per garden $20 per person for all gardens Additional tickets for the Bass Coast Edible Gardens Open Garden Weekend can be purchased on the day at each garden. PLEASE NOTE This event will comply with the Victorian Government COVID Safety directives in place at the time of the Open Garden weekend. And if you’d like to do more than just look, why not put your hand up to volunteer over the weekend. We are looking for people interested to staff the entrance tables, welcome people etc at each of the gardens. Training and support is provided so contact Leslie at leslie.adams@bcal.vic.edu.au to discuss the details…

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Servicing Bass Coast and beyond for over six years From Phillip Island to Inverloch, Grantville to Tarwin Lower, Venus Bay to Foster, Wonthaggi and Leongatha

City to Coast Air Wonthaggi | rom left: Nick, Mark, Harry, Jarrod, Leigh, Alysha and Taryn


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Leigh, Jarrod, Mark, Harry and Nick

Alysha and Taryn

• Installation, servicing and maintenance of Mitsubishi Electric ducted, split an multi split air conditioning systems • Mitsubishi Electric air conditioning systemas connected with wi fi control and now Amazon Alexa and Google Assistance enabled so you can enjoy hands free control • Flexible choice of wall mounted, floor standing, ceiling concealed, ceiling cassettes to ceiling suspended units



• Local after sales support including in house technical support and spare parts support


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Hans with his staff in-store

Hans Rubens

Hats off to HMR Heritage Words by Chris West | Photos by Doug Pell If the hat fits, chances are Hans Rubens had something to do with it. Hans and his wife Mary are the names behind HMR Heritage, a unique hat, apparel and accessories store in Graham Street, Wonthaggi showcasing the best in county and coastal style through the world’s most iconic brands. Within the space of just two years, what was started by Mary as a fledgling collectables bazaar around the corner in Murray Street has morphed into a unique and successful enterprise with Hans at the helm as the visible face of the business. It is a story laced with a mix of good luck, opportune timing, and passionate commitment. While Hans and Mary were visiting their son who was living at the time in Houston, Texas, they purchased a few cowboy hats to take back to the bazaar. The hats quickly sold upon their return home, which made Hans keen to source more. Mary suggested he contact Akubra and the rest, as they say, is history.

Akubra hats are naturally in strong demand at HMR Heritage. “I don’t even have to try to sell Akubras. People just walk in here for them,” Hans remarks. Also keenly sought after are the highly coveted boots from American brand Ariat, whilst the Burke and Wills swags and Ugg boots are also extremely popular. HMR Heritage has built its reputation on the quality of its brands and its point of difference from other businesses. “This shop is totally unique, certainly in Australia and probably the world,” Hans proudly declares. Personalised service means everything to Hans. He has resisted the temptation to sell his products online, preferring instead to interact with customers face to face.

Their business had the distinction of gaining endorsement as an appointed Akubra retail stockist and grew rapidly as further brands were added to the product range.

“The bottom line is if you want an Akubra hat or a pair of Ariat boots, anyone who chooses to buy online is really just going to be making a transaction and hoping for the best. The better alternative is that you can get exactly what you want here in person at Wonthaggi,” Hans notes.

HMR Heritage established its new home at 142 Graham Street in June this year. The store sells an impressive range of high quality products from world famous brands Akubra, Ariat, Burke and Wills, Stetson, Ugg Australia and Coinwatch.

Practically everyone in the township, along with horse enthusiasts and racing industry professionals from surrounding areas, have come to know Hans through HMR Heritage. He is a keen supporter of the local community and is well known for his generosity to customers.

“There’s an individual story behind each of those major brands,” Hans says.

Hans has in his possession an autographed Akubra hat from Australian country and western music star Lee Kernaghan and has approached community radio station 3mFM and the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times newspaper with a view to promoting its sale for charity early next year.

“People come in and see what we have here and are amazed. If I don’t happen to have what they’re looking for in stock, I can get it in within two weeks.” 114

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“We’re aiming to raise ten thousand dollars for mental health from the Akubra that Lee has signed,” he reveals.

Iconic Country & Coastal Style Having originally gifted to the hat to the singer when he appeared at Mossvale Park in Leongatha last year, Hans is thrilled to be putting it to good use to assist such a worthy cause and hopes it will be eagerly sought after by Lee’s devoted fans. The incredible growth of HMR Heritage has exceeded Hans’s own expectations. Although now in his seventies, he has never felt more invigorated.

And with Christmas almost here, a gift voucher from HMR Heritage comes with a very special added touch to create a truly memorable present. “Our vouchers are accompanied by an empty box. The recipient then comes in here for the experience of choosing their own hat,” Hans explains. “You simply can’t get that sort of experience online.”

“It’s quite surreal,” he comments.

“Never in my wildest dreams would have I thought I would done this. I’ve previously been involved in a family business, had my own business and worked in real estate, but this the best thing I’ve done professionally.” Although HMR Heritage has been created within the space of just two years, Hans looks upon the business as all part of the history of his ongoing union with Mary that now spans more than 50 years. The couple tied the knot in Melbourne in 1968 and have combined their individual passions and natural talents ever since. The resounding success of HMR Heritage can be largely attributed to the decision to align the business with iconic brands and how effectively Hans has built and maintained positive relationships with those suppliers. Add in personalised customer service and the passion and drive Hans has for the business and it’s no surprise HMR Heritage has found a winning formula. “We’ve created something truly unique,” he emphasises. The next big step for the business is developing HMR Heritage as a brand. It is a project that has Hans particularly excited.

HMR Heritage is located at 142 Graham Street, Wonthaggi. Open 7 days - 10am to 4pm on weekdays, 9am to 4pm on Saturdays and 10am to 3pm on Sundays.

“It’s happening right now as we speak,” he states. “I have engaged a very talented young consultant who is helping to bring this vision to life.” HMR Heritage branded products including polo shirts and caps are expected to be available in the Wonthaggi store before Christmas and these items will also be sold online.

Whether it’s a hat or boots you need, or anything else in the product range, visit Hans in store to ensure you receive the finest quality available and the perfect fit. Phone: 03 5672 2877

“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” Hans states. The launch of HMR Heritage branded products is a fitting way for the business to finish a stellar 2021 and springboard into 2022.


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Troy, Crystal, Oliver and Michael

The verandah

New start for Noojee café & Post office NOOJEE’S POPULAR LITTLE RED DUCK CAFÉ IS NOW OPERATING UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT AFTER BEING SOLD TO A LOCAL FAMILY. THE PROUD NEW OWNERS ARE CRYSTAL PETSCHACK, HER PARTNER TROY WAWRZIK AND HIS FATHER MICHAEL. Words & Photos By Wendy Morriss The contemporary café still with the same friendly, country atmosphere is close to the beautiful Latrobe River and not far from the iconic Trestle Bridge, Toorongo Falls and Mt Baw Baw snow fields.

On cold days, the café is heated by two wood fires. Fresh organic flowers placed around the venue are supplied by local flower grower Heather Gillespie and an exhibition of local art adorns the walls.

While the business has since been hit with lockdowns, Covid, a town flood, an earthquake and wild winds, it has survived the onslaught and re-emerged with a fabulous menu and lovely outdoor garden spaces ready for spring/summer dining, including an attractive fenced area that is safe for children.

Troy believes the café is well positioned because, he said, almost everyone comes to Noojee – cyclists, four-wheel drivers, walkers, bushmen, fishermen, skate boarders that go to the mountain, motor bike riders and others following various outdoor pursuits.

Patrons are served breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. They are offered perfectly brewed, locally roasted Silva coffee, quality teas, light meals and a variety of house-made cakes. Everything is made in-house from scratch including their popular homemade quiches, and their delicious gourmet pies and sausage rolls with many of the ingredients being locally sourced. The café is licenced and open every day from 8 am. The wonderful food is served both inside the café, outside in the gardens and under the verandah. A full take away menu is available as well. A range of local gourmet products are offered, and store items for locals and campers, including firewood and ice.


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“There are still some though that think because Noojee is in the bush, it’s a long way away, but we still have TV reception,” he said, smiling, “and we are just up the road.” Noojee is only 30 minutes from Warragul and Drouin and 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Prior to becoming the Little Red Duck Café, the business was known as The Red Parrot Café owned and operated by Narelle Telford and Brian Kennon, where for eight years, Crystal worked part time while attending secondary college and then university. “I worked every weekend and sometimes after school,” she said. “My first task was sweeping and mopping the floors and then over the years, I worked out how to do everything from making coffee to cooking meals.”

After finishing her degree, Crystal moved out of the area and worked in a restaurant before coming back to work for the previous owners, Simon and Rosie Duck, initially in their Willow Grove business, then in the café and later becoming manager. Troy has worked a few shifts in the café, but has generally been the popular front of house face and manager of Noojee Hotel for six years. Michael has spent 35 years working in the dairy manufacturing industry, generally in production management positions. Crystal said Michael does a lot of behind the scenes legal work and paper work while she and Troy deal with the physical day to day business including managing staff and supplies. “Between us, we have diverse skills so I think we make a great team.” The family have also taken over the Noojee Post Office enabling the previous owners to finally take a well-earned retirement. Narelle and Brian took over the post office more than 10 years ago and have since provided several community services through the town’s essential base. The town’s new postmaster is Crystal, who has undertaken some extensive training with Australia Post in Warragul, Melbourne and Noojee. She will be supported in the post office by Troy and Michael.

When asked how it felt to now be in business she said it feels amazing. “It proves that hard work and dedication pays off. It’s what has got us to this point, which is where I’ve always wanted to be.” The couple, who are also parents of three-year-old Oliver, and Michael, his grandfather said they are all really happy. They’ve always wanted to be business owners and this is their first step.

Little Red Duck Café Address: 1 Bennett St, Noojee VIC 3833 Phone: (03) 5628 9613

Crystal and Troy in the Noojee Post Office

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DI’S DREAM PROVIDES THE BEST IN CUSTOMER SERVICE It wouldn’t matter where Rosemont House was situated, staying in the luxury bed and breakfast is always a special treat in itself. The exceptional comfort and service provided combined with its location in the heart of picturesque Noojee, makes it the perfect place to unwind, relax and rejuvenate just 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Words & Photos by Wendy Morriss


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Host Di Johnston

Di Johnston, the owner and creator of the experience is a bubbly, endearing host who ambitiously takes care of every single detail, with the aim of exceeding people’s expectations. “Noojee means place of rest,” she said. “My hope is that when people come here to rest, they will be wowed by the service and the attention to detail in the rooms. This includes things like crystal wine glasses, quality linen, fine bone china and a gourmet selection of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. I have had guests describe sleeping in the beds is like sleeping on a cloud, which is really important.” There are two luxuriously appointed, self-contained rooms named after rivers in the town – the ‘Toorongo’ and the ‘Latrobe’ with beautiful bathrooms and private access from a pretty sunlit verandah. Both rooms have ethanol fireplaces, which Di said are wonderful. “I put them in for the ambience but they actually throw out quite a bit of heat.” She offers guests delicious breakfast baskets and the contents are all locally sourced. She makes her own fresh sourdough bread, which is immensely popular, served with homemade jams produced by a family member and Noojee Honey. She also provides homemade granola, fresh fruit and Gippsland yogurt and milk. “I love to source things locally,” she said, “and I do the same with the platters I provide as well. The cheeses that I serve with my homemade sourdough crackers come from the Tarago River Cheese Company in Neerim and the smoked meat comes from Garfield. There’s a wonderful lady in Neerim South that supplies me with really nice pickled zucchinis that she makes and of course I have smoked trout dip from Noojee.”

The location of the accommodation is perfect with a country outlook and stunning views of the small town surrounded by native forest. “Guests are able to park, stay and explore Noojee,” she said. “They can walk to the historic Trestle Bridge or the heritage centre; they can do several of the walks through the town’s natural terrain including The Loch Valley Tramway Walk, which crosses the Latrobe River. They can go to either of the two extremely popular pubs for dinner, the café for coffee or lunch and they can fish for trout and crayfish in the rivers, all within walking distance.” It’s a short drive to the Alpine Trout Farm, the Toorongo and Amphitheatre Falls, a bit further to the Ada Tree, estimated to be over 300 years old, and it’s only a 60-minute drive to the slopes of Mt Baw Baw. The rooms are part of a large, attractive Californian bungalow originally built in 1930, and moved to Noojee several years ago. Di said she came to look at the property on Christmas Eve in 2019 and made an offer that was accepted while driving back to Melbourne. She moved to the premises in February 2020 and spent nine months renovating to convert it to the style of accommodation she wanted.

“Noojee wasn’t my first choice,” she said. “My goal was to be an hour away from my family who are on the Mornington Peninsula and the first place I looked at was Loch. I loved Loch but it just wasn’t the right location for what I wanted to do."

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The Latrobe room

“My mother found the house in Noojee. She found lots of houses that weren’t right and then she found this one. She said ‘oh you’ll love Noojee. Noojee’s great. We go there with the car club, you’ll love it’. Well – I did love it and when I looked at the house, I could see that the plan suited what I wanted to do.”

The Toorongo room

She said when she opened, the website went live before it was supposed to and she had a booking before she knew it. “It was on Christmas day, which was lovely really and the guests were gorgeous people.” She said in April, the business was up to about 45% occupancy and of course since then there have been rolling lockdowns, but November is looking good with most weekends booked out. At the moment she does everything herself including all the cleaning, cooking and hosting but said when the business gets up to 80 % occupancy, she’ll be looking for some help.

Di has dreamed of being an accommodation provider for many years. She said it’s something she’s always wanted to do. “I don’t know why, but even before I had children I wanted to do it. I love customer service.” For about 12 years, she had an enjoyable and rewarding career as a travel agent. She travelled the world staying in all types of accommodation so she knew what she liked, and said it’s all the small touches and little surprises. “It might be someone making up your room and putting some chocolates on your pillow, and you think wow that’s nice. It makes people feel special and I think that’s important. All those little things make a difference but it seems we’ve lost the art of real customer service and that’s really sad because it doesn’t take much. It is something that improves people’s general health. It gives them the opportunity to reconnect with their partners and to stop and have some down time from their busy lives so they don’t have to think about anything else.”

A breakfast basket in the Toorongo room

For more information visit: www.rosemonthouse.com.au

The Latrobe room


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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!)


Jessie McLennan with a solo show of paintings.

Jillian Ronald


Jillian Ronald with a mosaic exhibition.

FEBRUARY Adam Price with his artworks.

Adam Price

For more info visit www.redtreegallery.com.au Thanks Laurie - Good on ya

420 Main Jindivick Road, Jindivick VIC 3818 P: 5628 5224 | E: info@lauriecollins.com.au


LAURIE COLLINS | SCULPTURE GARDEN www.redtreegallery.com.au

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GIVING ALL KIDS A SPORTING CHANCE Words & Photography by Anita Butterworth


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Like most parents, Sam and Louise Varsaci wanted their son Josh to feel the comradery and the sense of pride that comes with being part of a sporting team.

The program purely focuses on training, rather than competition. There’s no pressure on the children to compete, but rather it’s a chance for them to be active and part of the sporting community.

Sam, an avid cricketer, knew what Josh would be missing out on if he didn’t get to whack round the willow, or shoot hoops. But as a child with special needs, the opportunities for Josh to play sport in the Traralgon area were limited.

“I understand the benefits of being part of a sporting club. Making friends and how great that network is and how it helps integrating yourself into the community. But even more so for these kids because they don’t really get that opportunity to be part of a sports team often.”

“I was looking for a community sports group for Josh to be part of,” said Sam. “I’d always played sport my whole life and wanted to get Josh involved and was trying to find avenues for that to try and be possible for him. There were a few groups around at the time, but it was fairly limited and most of them, the participation was from adults.

The participants get to wear the same sports uniforms as their aligned club, and club members often get involved in training sessions. “It’s just fantastic, you can see the smiles and the joy on their faces when they realise, they’re actually part of something. And not just that – it’s the parents. It’s great for them to feel that there’s something for their kids to be a part of in that sporting community. And to see their kids just get out there and be active and enjoy sport for what it is.”

“Josh was seven at the time and the next youngest in the cricket group I was looking at the time was 24. So, there was nothing there that deliberately catered for school aged children with special needs.”

Participants’ special needs range from high needs to high functioning, but the kids don’t need to be attending special schools. The program includes many participants who attend mainstream schools, but find the noise or pressure involved with traditional sport overwhelming.

Instead of lamenting the lack of sporting opportunities for his son, Sam, alongwith wife Louise and another couple, decided to create their own.

Parents are charged a minimal amount for their kids to join, with Sam campaigning tirelessly for grants and funding to keep costs low.

“Another family we knew had just started the Ability Football program in Traralgon. The opportunity arose, to try the same with cricket. From there, Latrobe Valley All Ability Sports was born.”

The program has had participants from as young as four, up to 18-yearolds, and it’s often led to kids progressing through to joining traditional sports clubs.

The parent-run and driven organisation has been providing children of differing needs the chance to be part of a sporting team for the past decade.

“The idea is that this is a pathway for some of these kids, that they can do this program and hopefully if they’re up to it, gravitate towards a more mainstream program. They don’t have to but it’s an opportunity.”

The program runs during school terms, and includes a cricket, football and tennis, with basketball on the cards to be reintroduced in the future. “The way the program works is we run the program, so coaching and administering it. But we also align ourselves to local community sporting clubs, depending on the sport. With football it’s West End Junior Football Club in Traralgon. The cricket, we align with Traralgon West Cricket Club, which is a club that I’ve been involved with for more than 20 years. And with tennis we’re aligned with Pax Hill Tennis Club.”

Anyone wanting to get involved in Latrobe Valley All Abilities Sports can contact Sam or Louise on 51750877 or visit the Facebook page: All-ability Sports, Latrobe Valley.

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A PITSTOP FOR THE FAST AND THE CURIOUS There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition. And there’s no better place to compete than at Stony Creek Go Karts. The entertainment venue was established in 2008 by Graeme McCaughan and Kim Holness. Twelve months later, Graeme’s son Callum purchased Kim’s shares, and three years ago, Callum took over sole ownership. He continued to grow the successful business, attracting hundreds of thrill seekers and racing enthusiasts from across the state every year. Whilst Callum has been unable to race due to a knee-injury a few years ago, he looked forward to the day he could get back on the go kart and introduce his children Connor and Emily to the family sport. Despite not being able to race, he loves providing locals and tourists with a thrilling day out.

“Dad enjoyed motorsports his entire life and had wanted to create this business for a long time,” Callum said. “There’s not many other tracks around, and with Stony Creek being in close proximity to the South Gippsland beaches, it really was the ideal location for it.” Based on the South Gippsland Highway, between Meeniyan and Foster, Stony Creek go karts is one of a handful of go kart facilities in Victoria. The venue features an 800metre circuit and provides hired go karts which reach speeds of up to 70km an hour. Members can participate in the ‘Bring Your Own Kart and Club’ day, which is held once a month. There is also racing for members of Stony Creek Go Karts race club once a month. If you aren’t already member but want to participate, membership can be purchased on arrival. “We have about 40 or 50 members who regularly attend the Bring Your Own Kart and Club days” Callum said.


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A GIPPSLAND GO KART VENUE HAS BEEN ATTRACTING AMATEUR & EXPERIENCED RACERS FOR OVER A DECADE Words by Lia Spencer | Photos by Doug Pell “Covid and restrictions obviously impacted our races the last two years, but I am looking forward to having everything return to as normal as possible this Summer.”

But often, mums and dads are wanting to get involved too, and they either compete against their own kids or jump behind the wheel for the senior-level races.

And whilst there are many familiar faces who frequent the track, there are a lot of curious amateurs who are keen to test their skills.

“It really is a family-orientated sport,” Callum said.

“We have regular members who come to our monthly race days. Many are experienced- some are state and national champions. And then we have others, some as young as four who come out and give it a try,” Callum said. “So, we have a higher-up class of racing, but we also cater to entry level racing. We like to operate at a grass-roots level so everyone can participate.” Youngsters often have less fear than adults, but sometimes, it can be quite intimidating. Thus, many parents take a back-seat and act as the pit-crew for their little racers-helping and cheering from the sidelines.

Besides action on the track, guests can also enjoy foods and drinks at the onsite licensed café, games facilities, racing simulators, and a function centre which caters for up to groups of sixty people- perfect for family reunions, birthday parties, buck and hen’s events and corporate functions. “We get quite a few businesses holding Christmas functions here,” Callum said. “It’s really good for team-building, but mostly, it’s just a lot of fun.” Pre-booking is essential. For more information, visit www.stonycreekgokarts.com.au


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Stony Creek Go-Karts is now well and truly one of the highlights of South Gippsland.


■ Hire Karts ■ BYO Kart Membership (Day/Yearly Rate) ■ Corporate Days ■ Group Bookings ■ Birthday Parties & Functions ■ Driver Education ■ Phoenix Kart Agents ■ Kart Sales & Spares ■ Café Please check

website for dates and times.

PH : 5664 7272

EM: info@stonycreekgokarts.com.au For more information visit stonycreekgokarts.com.au Please Note: When Stony Creek Racing Club is holding a race meeting the venue will be closed. During the winter period the venue is closed mid week unless prior booking is made. 128

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Please check our facebook for updates Some changes are in place to keep you healthy and safe. 1. Bookings are essential. Please call to book your time. 2. There is a maximum of 12 karts only. 3. A 50% deposit is needed to secure your booking. 4. If you are sick, please stay at home. 5. Karts and Helmets will be disinfected between groups.


Waterfront B&B accommodation in picturesque Port Albert, Victoria. Offering 3 Deluxe King studios with private facilities. Complimentary gourmet continental breakfast daily Boat Harbour Jetty B&B 25 Wharf Street Port Albert, Vic 3971 For enquiries phone Sharon on 0429 832 535 | Email: BoatHarbourJettyBnB@bigpond.com

P ort Albert Boat Ha r b o ur J etty BnB. my d irects tay. co m



71-77 Chickerell Street, Morwell 3840 P: 5134 6522 E: info@crawfordmarine.com.au www.crawfordmarine.com.au


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The Grove Gippsland is an Olive Grove located high in the rolling hills of the Bass hinterland with stunning views across rich farmland to Western Port Bay and is perfect for your next Event or Wedding! We are a 60-acre immersive food and nature destination 90 minutes from Melbourne comprising restaurant, wedding space, sculpture park, Trufferie and our award-winning olive grove. Our Krowera Extra Virgin Olive Oil has won several gold medals, including a Gold award at the 9th Australian Olive Expo. and a Bronze medal at the 2016 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. Originally classic bluegum country, Krowera is an indigenous word meaning ‘windy’, and the cool coastal climate produces olives that mature slowly, resulting in a rich, flavoursome oil that is smooth and delicious. Our restaurant supports local businesses and small-scale farming families by gathering the best quality produce that the area has to offer and using these ingredients to form the core of all our menus.


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Spectacular scenery, beautiful event spaces and delicious seasonal food are just some of the reasons we think you will love our idyllic home in the hills.

With a light filled restaurant space. Expansive views north across the valley & south over the olive grove. Intimate bar and lounge space. Fireplace and leather sofas. Private outdoor area or as an extra space that adjoins to our conservatory. 60 Acres of sprawling green landscape. Host your garden party on our helicopter pad or the terrace Lawn, amongst the olive grove or Trufferie. Each Event is carefully created to suit each need. We have access to some of Gippsland's best creative teams from photographers, florists to custom equipment hire.


Share your vision with us and we can liaise directly with suppliers on your behalf.

We have tiny homes available on our property, this can be booked at www.tinyaway.com or we can book this for you on request.

Want your guests to remember your entrance? Arrive in a Helicopter from Philip Island or keep it low key and enjoy some lawn games!

Courtesy Bus available free of charge to all event bookings

We have a recommended Accommodation list available for you with local Gippsland Stays so you can plan your event from start to finish effortlessly. We have accommodation on site. 4 x 4m Bell Tents - Fully furnished with stylish features to make your stay extra comfortable. Tents include double mattress, linen, extra throw rugs, pillows, fans, and tea and coffee.

The bus seats 9 guests and can provide multiple pick-ups and drop offs within a 35min radius.

Book our property tour today calendly.com/eventsatthegrove Inquire now, email events@thegrovegippsland.com Sarah Oliver, Events Manager

Photography by Andrew Harrison

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Determined Nyora resident and founder of the Runmum group – Jade Cranton – was five days in to her six consecutive marathons in support of registered charity organisation Backpacks 4 VIC Kids (B4VK) when a giant blister threatened to end her challenge. She was feeling unwell and the roads she was running and walking on had caused issues for her feet. Emotional and raw, Jade shared via social media that she didn’t know what to do. This wasn’t what she planned. But giving up wasn’t an option. The reason behind Jade’s marathons had a strong pull to her heart. This was to raise awareness and funds for an organisation that was established to support children entering foster care to escape domestic violence, sexual assault, and neglect.

“I tried to keep perspective that I was doing this for the kids,” Jade says at the completion of her mega marathon. “These kids have to adapt in really challenging times. What they deal with before they're removed from their home and the way they must adapt and evolve depending on the situation they're in… that's what it's about. It's about raising awareness and money for the kids,” Jade shares. On the bike for the final two days, Jade completed over 250 kilometres, travelling from Bairnsdale to Caldermeade alongside Lyn Laughton, who also rode the entire journey. They raised over $7000 for B4VK. The donations amounted to covering the costs for all the My Essentials (ME) Packs placed in the new East Gippsland distribution centre. In these packs are essential items including clothing, toiletries, and a blanket as well as extra love items such as toys and games for a child to take with them to their new home. Often relocation of a child is an emergency. A child entering foster care can have nothing but the clothes on their back. B4VK founder Sally Beard started the organisation understanding the need. “I've been a foster carer, so I've seen and experienced kids coming at different times of the day and night. They turn up with nothing at all. These backpacks have such a deep and meaningful impact on the kids,” Sally explains.

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“It's also helping the caseworkers, the people who make first contact with the kids when they're scared, anxious, angry and grieving. We give the child something that's going to make the carer’s job a bit easier and to make the child more comfortable.” Something small like having a game or toy in their backpack to share with children in the foster home can aid the displaced child’s sense of self-worth. They are arriving with something to give, something to share. Whether it’s an item of clothing like Bart Simpson pyjamas to offer a distraction and smile to a young boy or a soft toy for a baby or young toddler to cuddle at night, these packs are thoughtfully collated by caring volunteers in the charities Cranbourne West warehouse. What started in Sally’s garage in November 2014 now operates from a large warehouse with several distribution centres across Victoria. The most recent one to open is in Bairnsdale, thanks to Ian and Keryn McCIuskey who voluntarily opened up their home to house crisis packs, making these readily accessible to the workers who provide support to children in the Gippsland region. “Ian and Keryn have so wonderfully given up some space in their shed to put some shelving in there to have these packs on hand so we can get them out in time for kids in this area,” Sally says with gratitude. This was the reason Jade started her run in Bairnsdale. She wanted to raise the profile of the work that B4VK does, acknowledge the new distribution point and share how the people of Gippsland can be supporting this important organisation. It’s through the amazing efforts of people like Jade, Lyn, Ian and Keryn that Sally feels a great sense of validation for what her organisation can accomplish. “If it wasn't for the support of the community, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have today. It’s the community who want to give that makes this happen. It’s going to make me cry,” Sally shares feeling overcome by emotion. She has a lot to be proud of. Jade also has a lot of gratitude for those who supported her event. Stratford Tourist Park and the Top Pub Morwell provided a place to rest as well as lifts to the next starting point. Bass Coast Podiatry came to Jade’s aid when needed and members of the Gippsland Road Runners joined the run along the way.


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Jade loves that she is not your typical runner. In fact, she doesn’t enjoy running at all! It is a healthy way to bring people together to socialise and an opportunity to raise awareness for good causes. Her biggest thankyou goes to Lyn, who didn’t let a hip replacement or very short notice stop her from supporting Jade out on the road. “She has been incredible. It blows me away the belief people have in me. I’d also really like to thank my family, the Gippsland businesses, the people who donated and everyone involved.” On top of providing backpacks year-round, B4VK also aims to distribute over 3,000 Santa Packs containing something to cuddle, a book and two other presents for children often forgotten during the holiday season. With big hearts and many helping hands, this organisation will continue to work hard to make a difference in the lives of children who need it.

There are many ways to lend a hand and support Backpack 4 VIC Kids...  Volunteer in the Cranbourne West warehouse, packing backpacks or in administration support  Donate items to be packed in the ME packs or Santa packs

 Volunteer to drive the B4VK van to distribute packs and collect donations  House ME packs as a distribution centre  Fundraise and raise awareness  Support those fundraising via donating  Donate direct via the B4VK website  Reach out to B4VK for what is in urgent need

Website www.backpacks4vickids.org.au/



Telephone 03 8712 9545

Donations and Delivery Address B4VK Headquarters, 26 Remount Way Cranbourne West VIC 3977

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Local Heroes

Geoff donates some of his time to the Men's Shed where they collect and sell firewood

Geoff Lee Geoff at ACTA (Australian Clay Target Association)

By Trevor Stow

Geoff was a son of a “Wheeler” who worked in the Wonthaggi Coal Mine in the 1940’s. His dad Ernie’s job was to drive the pit ponies down the coal mine tunnels, where the skips were filled with coal and return back up the tunnel. This was dirty dangerous work. Geoff lost a great uncle in the coal mine after a piece of rock fell off the tunnel ceiling, hitting him on the head and killing him. Ernie did not think that he had a long term future in this dangerous industry and decided to move to Melbourne, where he joined the police force.

He would receive the same price of 5 shillings per pair price for these rabbits however he could keep and subsequently sell the skins for 4 shillings a pair, thus increasing his profitability considerably.

After a period as a detective, he was transferred, back into uniform and off to Alexandra. The Lee family consisted of 4 boys and, of course, his young wife. The boys embraced country life and had the opportunity to hunt and fish.

When Geoff was 16 years old, his dad Ernie was appointed Office in Charge of the one man Cowes Police station which included Phillip and French Islands and he moved his family to Cowes. Geoff continued with his hunting passion and found the area to his liking, hunting rabbits, ducks, snipe, quail and foxes. The foxes were a big problem on Phillip Island as they predated on the native mutton birds and penguins. Foxes are now said to be completely removed from the Island which is of great benefit to the wildlife.

Rabbits were in plague proportions in the 1950’s and the Lee boys, particularly Geoff, made the most of the opportunity. They loved to trap, ferret and hunt in the newly filled Lake Eildon area. They sold the rabbits for 5 shillings (50 cents) per pair. In those days rabbits came in all colours; brown, black and mixed etc. The boys had to be careful to look after the rabbits. They avoided bruising the carcass as most of these rabbits were for human consumption, many being exported overseas to England. The rabbits were gutted and sold to a rabbit buyer who had a chiller at the Alexandra Butter factory. The buyer would fill up one chiller, replace it with an empty chiller and take the full one to the Melbourne market. These chillers held about 1000 rabbits and business was good. In those days country boys mostly owned a gun. Geoff was given a 410 gauge shotgun, which he still owns today, when he was 10 years old. Although the gun was a gift to Geoff from his dad, Ernie was not generous enough to provide him with cartridges. Geoff had to save up for the cartridges and pay for them from the proceeds of the rabbit sales and also by doing an early paper round for the local newsagent. To earn some extra money, Geoff skun and kept some of the rabbits to sell himself. He put them in the basket on his Malvern Star pushbike before taking them around Alexandra and selling them to the local homes.


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The recently filled Lake Eildon was a mecca for trout fishing with rainbow trout being the primary target fish. Fish averaged 2 to 3 pounds but fish up to 7 pounds quite common. This was a wonderful resource to have on you doorstep and family were grateful for this added protein source.

After leaving school Geoff joined the post office and worked there for about 6 years including spending some time as a telephonist for the post office. In those days the telephone exchange was semi-automatic so the house holder would ring the exchange on 011, speak to the operator, who would connect them to your chosen call recipient. The caller would be given and charged for 3 minutes to talk before the charges would increase, depending on time spent on the call. Sometimes, at quiet times, the operator would “forget” to extend the 3 minutes and conversations would go on for a lot longer at no additional charge. After the Post Office, Geoff decided to follow in the steps of his father and join the police force. He applied at the St Kilda Rd Police Barrack’s where he was weighed and measured and put through a written test which included mathematics. Geoff found that he would not be joining the force after all. He was never any good at maths finished 23rd out of the 50 applicants in the written test. They only took the top 22! So, instead of joining the Force he decided to join a mate and work his way around Australia for 12 months. At one stage they camped at the base of Ayres Rock and listened on the radio to Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. It was a very exciting day for the world.

Geoff has been a JP for many years. He witnesses dozens of documents every week

Having a round of skeet

Geoff Lee pictured on the left with his Dad on the right

Upon returning to Cowes, Geoff worked in several jobs before gaining employment with the Shire of Phillip Island where he worked for many years as a works superintendent. Geoff has always been community minded. In 1973 he joined the San Remo CFA as a volunteer fire fighter where he served for 27 years. He rose to the rank of Captain and Deputy Group Officer. He was invited to lead a strike force to the 2000 Sydney fires. These fires raged for weeks around West Sydney threatening houses and homes. They bivouacked at the University of NSW along with other volunteer fire fighters from many other states before returning home. He also joined the San Remo Foreshore Committee who were responsible for rehabilitation, animal and weed control and beach access. Lots of worthwhile work was undertaken by this group. Geoff became a Justice of the Peace in 1999. Currently Geoff makes himself available at least one day per week to sign legal documents at a signing centre in Warragul and occasionally in Bairnsdale. Being a JP is a demanding job. Geoff has signed and witnessed tens of thousands of documents over the years. These are important legal documents and care and knowledge are required to make sure that they will stand up legally, if required at a future date. The good job that JP’s do voluntarily for the community is very much appreciated by the police force as it frees up their time to do other important work. Geoff’s passion for hunting led him to join Westernport branch of Field & Game Australia in 1973. Field and Game was originally formed in 1958 and Westernport branch was formed in 1971. Field & Game is a conservation minded group that have done significant work in the environment such as waterway restoration and reclamation and placement of nesting boxes for our water fowl. Through the local branch Geoff was the instigator of a number of worthwhile projects including the construction of the Cowes Cemetery Wetland and the Churchill Island wetland. These wetlands were constructed and are now used by waterfowl and many native species of birds and animals and are a great benefit to the wildlife of the area.

Field and Game also conduct regular clay target shoots at their grounds at Rhyll. Geoff became and continues to be a passionate clay target shooter. He reached a high standard, competing in “A” grade and having shot “The Max” on 1 occasion. This entails hitting all 25 clay targets without a miss. He has competed in National Championships on numerous occasions. In 1986 he was awarded Life Membership of Westernport Branch. This is an award that is only bestowed on a handful of members. They must have held office, been a longstanding member and contributed a significant amount of time and energy to the organisation. Geoff was deemed to have done this by his peers. His conservation work was greatly appreciated. Recently he was invited to be the guest speaker at the club’s 50th year celebration. Over the years he has done a lot of hunting. Fox hunting has been a particular passion. Foxes are responsible for the destruction of much native wildlife and also responsible for inflicting huge losses on the farming community. Geoff, along with his Field & Game mates and farmer friends, hunt on a weekly basis throughout the winter months.They are responsible for removing up to 200 foxes annually from the environment. Geoff is a member of the Labertouche Men’s Shed where he is on the “Wood Crew” that cuts, splits and delivers wood throughout the district. Although not a big organisation, they do a lot of important volunteer work as well as a lot of “Male Bonding”. The Men’s Shed allows, mainly retirees, to get together regularly, do good for their community, as well as assisting to maintain good mental health outcomes within the group. These days Geoff has retired to Longwarry but commutes back and forth to Bairnsdale with his partner Lennie.

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Jeff Bourman

is your local MP for the Eastern Victoria electorate in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council Jeff fights for regional jobs, promoting regional and rural lifestyle Jeff is your voice in the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament Jeff Bourman MP Member for Eastern Victoria Unit 1, 9 Napier Street Warragul Vic 3820 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Victoria (03) 5623 2999 Jeff.Bourman@parliament.vic.gov.au

Authorised by Jeff Bourman, Unit 1, 9 Napier Street Warragul, Funded by Parliamentary Budget



We sent our roving writer Trevor Stow to the far reaches of East Gippsland, accompanied by his loving wife Shirl and their faithful doggies Georgie and Ally for a couple of days in Mallacoota still feeling the effects of the fires that ravaged in and around this township back in 2020. Spring has been a bit wet and gloomy at times, but despite the inclement weather Trevor soldiered on and took some great pics to show the diversity of this great seaside town.

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BASS COAST HEALTH SET TO GROW WITH OUR COMMUNITY Bass Coast Health Deputy CEO Louise Sparkes is proud to be part of a progressive team at the health service.

“We know that one of our key gaps is the lack of after-hours general emergency surgery provision, so we will introduce a 24-hour general surgery service at Wonthaggi over the coming years with the support of local and metropolitan surgeons,” Louise said. “Higher level maternity services are also planned with a special care nursery cot to be part of our maternity services upgrade in the next few years. Whilst the Phillip Island and Wonthaggi Hospital expansion have been supported exceptionally well through funding from the Department of Health, like we did with our Cancer service, we will fundraise with our community to create an expanded Maternity service. “Our future BCH plans also include the expansion of chemotherapy, dialysis and dental services at Cowes with planning already underway for a new Community hospital – set to open its doors in 2024. Cancer services in particular are predicted to continue to grow and as part of the ongoing development of our cancer services, BCH is starting Access to Clinical trials, beginning with world first trials in melanoma screening. “We will also work alongside Latrobe Regional Health to address another important gap, and expand mental health services in both acute and primary care settings,” Louise said. “Most importantly, all of these services require skilled and passionate people who want to make a difference for this local community. As part of an innovative workforce strategy to support the additional 120 EFT required by 2025, BCH will expand partnerships with local education providers and higher education providers to grow our future workforce,” Louise said.

Bass Coast Health Deputy CEO Louise "Lou" Sparkes is entering what could be the most exciting phase of her career yet. Having led the Clinical Services team for several years, building BCH as a sub-regional service and supporting the nursing profession as Director of Nursing, Louise, a Registered Nurse herself, is one of the Executive team at BCH now leading BCH through one of its most exciting phases of growth. “BCH has an incredibly ambitious few years ahead that will see more people treated locally. Both the Wonthaggi Hospital Expansion Project and Phillip Island Community Hospital will provide more space and points of care for service expansion and new services,” she said. “The new services planned will reduce key service gaps and increase the self-sufficiency of our sub-regional health service.

“An example of this is the commencement in 2022 of a Bachelor of Nursing training on-site in conjunction with Federation University and the Country Universities Centre in Wonthaggi, to minimise travel and facilitate learning close to home for local undergraduate nursing students. I am particularly passionate about doing everything we can to develop our future workforce and to inspire local people to create a fulfilling career in health. “Nursing has allowed me to work in a job where I can truly help people and make a difference. Nursing has also provided great collegiality in good and bad times. There are experiences that you have in health that are incredibly rewarding and others that are really sad and some that stay with you forever, but through all this, you are part of a team that is supportive and kind,” she said.

“The expanded hospital at Wonthaggi will include a much bigger Emergency Department with a dedicated space for patients with behavioural concerns. There will be a dedicated, purpose-built Paediatric inpatient area for children under 12 years of age, dedicated disability and Bariatric inpatient rooms and programs, high acuity inpatient care and state-of-the-art inpatient areas to accommodate more medical and surgical patients, all of which will be supported by more medical and surgical specialists. These spaces and programs will allow BCH to treat patients with more complex care issues and ensure we can treat a greater number of people locally.” BCH will develop a sub-regional Better At Home program, which will see an expanded Hospital In The Home program and a Geriatric Evaluation Medicine and Rehabilitation at home program that will see patients receiving more care in their own home.


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Federation University Bachelor of Nursing students, from left, Puja Paudel, Dipsina Gurung and Michelle Mattey are gaining experience in the Acute Ward at Wonthaggi Hospital.

BCH TRAINS THE HEALTHCARE WORKERS OF TOMORROW Bass Coast Health (BCH) is proud to be training the healthcare workers of tomorrow through a partnership with Federation University. BCH hosts Federation University students for more than 2500 placement days per year across our sites at Wonthaggi, San Remo and Cowes, and over three disciplines: nursing, midwifery and occupational therapy.

Federation University Bachelor of Nursing student Michelle Mattey (centre) has been learning from BCH Registered Nurses Luke James and Hannah Brumby.

“Healthcare workers and particularly nurses support each other because we share the good times and the sad times; we understand how privileged it is to work with people who are sometimes at their most vulnerable. It always helps when you go to work each day with great people and that’s what I get to do at Bass Coast Health.” Louise began her nursing career at St Vincent’s Public Hospital in Melbourne in the days when nursing education was just starting at university. “During my time at St Vincent’s I learnt so much and loved my three years developing as a nurse. After my graduate year at St Vincent’s, I moved on to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, undertook a conversion degree, then added post graduate qualifications and eventually a Masters of Nursing,” she said. Louise’s experience is proof that nursing opens doors to many opportunities. Louise has worked in many nursing roles and in specialities across acute, community, schools, clinical and academic research, and emergency care in many health services. She also worked as a lecturer of Nursing at Monash University. “Bass Coast Health is the only rural health service that I have worked in and it was a significant change for me at the time, coming from Melbourne tertiary and metro health services,” she said.

BCH also offers placements to students from other universities in allied health, medical and nursing disciplines. With Federation University having campuses at Berwick and Churchill, BCH is able to support local students to complete placements close to home, with many continuing on to obtain graduate positions at BCH. “Hosting students at BCH helps to embed a culture of ongoing learning at BCH and encourages staff learning. Our goal is for students to want to return to BCH to start their career with us upon graduation,” BCH Learning and Development Manager, Trina Coxon said. “Often our students return as graduates at BCH and then stay on as highly valued team members - they are a large part of supporting our workforce growth needs. Our 2022 graduate program intake comprises 75% of students from Gippsland and we want to grow this number every year.” BCH supports students from their first student placement and offers placements through all year levels. BCH offers Enrolled Nurse, Registered Nursing and Allied Health Graduate Programs, with Transition to Practice (second year) and Post Graduate student programs to support students throughout their studies and early career.

Since joining BCH in 2008, Louise has worked in the Emergency Department, as a Clinical Educator, as a Health Service Co-ordinator, and as Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, and Chief Operating Officer before assuming the current Deputy CEO role in late 2020. As Deputy CEO, Louise provides executive leadership, oversight and strategic direction of the health service in organisational development, service development, community engagement, quality and innovation, and infection control with significant oversight of the COVID safe plan for BCH. Louise also steps into the top job at Bass Coast Health in the absence of CEO Jan Child, and like all the BCH team, pulls her sleeves up to support the delivery of excellent care. Opportunities abound for young and not so young people to take up a role at Bass Coast Health and join Louise as the service takes its next exciting phase of growth for the local community.

Federation University Bachelor of Nursing student Jacob Rueda discusses his day with BCH Undergraduate Coordinator Mandie Heffernan.

Bass Coast Health 235 Graham Street, Wonthaggi Vic. 3995 Phone: 03 5671 3333 Fax: 03 5671 3300 basscoasthealth.org.au gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 141

AWander-ful Millie day Photos & Words by Ken Roberts



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Millie and I headed off, carefree and aimless, to roam up the Highway towards East Gippsland. It seemed no time at all until we reached Bairnsdale. When I usually go there its with a purpose and once I’ve done what I needed to do I would usually return home straight away. This trip though time and purpose had disappeared and I was free to see the place in a new light. It’s a busy regional country town, always full of people and travellers. I made a point this time of looking at it differently and enjoying some of the features that in my rush I usually miss. The town gardens are beautiful and meticulously cared for and we walked through the central island of expansive lawns and garden beds until we reached the historic and well preserved rotunda. Built in 1910 it was restored in the 1990’s and continues to be used for many community events. Another centrepoint of the town is St Mary’s Catholic Church. Not only can the tower of the church be seen all around town the offering inside the church is quite unique. Built in 1913 the ceiling and walls of the church were painted by an out of work Italian artist in 1931. I hadn’t been inside for decades and so made a quick stop to view this hidden treasure. The amount of effort involved was certainly very impressive and a visit there is highly recommended. I have always been so impressed with the variety of choices available in Bairnsdale, as well as regular stores there are also many Op shops, vintage and specialty stores to explore, including a large warehouse of individual antique/retro stalls near the river. On this trip though Mills and I headed past the historic fairytale looking courthouse down to the riverside park along the banks of the Mitchell River. On a glorious day such as this it was the perfect place for a sunny stroll and to sit and relax. There is plenty of seating available and a couple of wharves to get a view of the river. Tucked away I wondered whether visitors to the town ever found such a pleasant hidden oasis?

Still without a destination in mind Millie and I headed out of town up the highway with just a vague idea of going towards Lakes Entrance. The drive along the Princes Highway winds its way through picturesque farmland past the little towns of Nicholson, Johnsonville and Swan Reach. It was at Swan Reach that I saw the sign announcing the turn off to Metung. I can’t remember the last time I had ever been there, it was many, many years ago and so I clicked my indicator on and, turning right, we headed towards Metung. Its funny returning to a place that you have vague recollections of but in reality have no idea of what it is like. As we drove into this tiny lakeside hamlet I was impressed at how neat and tidy it all was. It’s a very popular tourist destination with many accommodation and hospitality options available. It reminded me of the affluent seaside Portsea area but on a smaller lakeside scale. As it was midweek the place was quieter than normal which was perfect for Mills and I as we wandered around the jetties looking out over the glass like surface of the water. Sailboats and swans with chicks floated past silently as we enjoyed the calming serenity of this wonderful place. It really felt as if you shifted to a different pace as you entered this lovely village.

Millie and I enjoyed a lovely walk along the waterside to Shaving point and I liked the sculpture of the “Charles Edward” paddle steamer that was designed to still appear as it was paddling along the lake. Another on my google list of things to see was “Legend Rock”. Not so easy to find but after another walk along the boardwalk, we finally found it tucked away near boat moorings.

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The information board read, “One day some fishermen, who had hauled in many fish with their nets, ate their catch around a campfire. The women, guardians of social law, saw that the men had eaten more than enough but had not fed their dogs. As a punishment for their greed, the fishermen were turned to stone." The story is one of many Gunai (Kurnai) stories that were told and retold, to show that greed would bring punishment. There were once three rocks relating to the legend but two were destroyed by roadworks. The remaining Legend Rock is now protected.” I like to have a drive around a place like this and see the houses and the gardens, some were very modern and impressive. I was happy to have rediscovered this little gem, an ideal place as a getaway for a few days or even a day trip as we did.



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Millie and I stopped in the park for a rest and bite to eat then began our trek home. In our slow wander-ful way we returned via the back road, turning off the highway just outside Bairnsdale towards Meerlieu and Bengworden. Recent rain had turned sometimes dry country in lush pastures of waving grassy green blades. My Bedggood ancestors, early settlers in the area, lived at Perry Bridge. As I was in no hurry I stopped to admire something quintessentially Australian, a tiny church in a paddock. The tiny Perry Bridge Community Church sat there, well maintained and cared for as it had since 1905. It has witnessed so many events in its time. It was from this area that I took Gum leaves to my great, great uncle Tom Bedggood’s grave on the Somme in France. More fantastic aussie images greeted us on our way home, the typical roadside vegie stall and the row of letter boxes, sights that cheer my heart and nourish my soul that they still exist. Millie and I returned home refreshed and reinvigorated from our nomadic day trip, determined to do the same again, wander across our wide region to discover hidden treasures and magical places in our wonderful Gippsland home.


Stephanie Johnson

YOUR STARS 21 March – 19 April

You are ready to start an exciting new chapter of your life either through travel, study, writing, publishing or teaching. The start of Summer is all about finding inspiration and setting your goals. You may receive good news or a boost during the Solar Eclipse at the start of the season. As the season progresses, you are ready to take off on a new venture, perhaps related to your professional life. Midseason you are in the public eye, and ready to network. By the end of Summer, you can slow down, and perhaps retreat for a while.

20 April – 20 May

Summer season starts with focus on money, joint savings and investments. Change is afoot and you need, once again, to be as flexible as possible. If you are single then you are likely to change your investments. You may receive a boost that prompts your dealings. If you are in a committed relationship then either you or your partner is seeking a reassessment of your combined assets. Business partnerships may also be affected. As Summer progresses, so you can progress to enjoying a more social setting. So, you are making adjustments now to move forward with your own hopes, dreams and wishes.

21 May – 20 June

Your prime relationships with other people are highlighted now. If you are single then this could be your connection with your best friend, or a significant family member. You may be relying more on them, or vice versa. Or perhaps you are considering a potential serious commitment, which changes your status. If you are in a committed partnership then your loved one needs to be centre stage. As the season progresses your monetary investments are highlighted. Joint savings, financial ties and possibly inheritances are a focal point. By the end of Summer, you are ready for a new adventure.

21 June – 22 July

Summer starts and sparks your own personal health revolution. You can tweak your diet, dust off your running shoes, or get familiar with down dog and happy baby. It’s up to you. The main aim is to start new health habits, and diss any lingering bad ones. No more ‘can’t help myself’. If you struggle when it comes to getting off the couch. If looking after others takes precedence over self-health then perhaps you could start with a vision board. And part of your vision may be starting a new relationship mid-season, or reviving a current one.

23 July – 22 Aug

The end of the calendar year is party time for many. And Leos love a good party. You are likely to be celebrating with young and old alike. Even if 2021 has been a rough year for many, you are well able to count your blessings. A Solar Eclipse on December 4 may also light up your love life, re-invigorating a current romance, or sparking a new flame, setting the tone for the rest of the season. You feel ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle, partnering up if you are single, or sharing healthy activities with a current partner.

23 Aug – 22 Sep

Plans are afoot in your living quarters. Perhaps you are re-decorating, de-cluttering or even renovating. Or maybe someone else is prompting some changes, moving in or moving out. Visitors may be on their way. Or you could be about to visit relatives. You could even be moving house. Whatever your personal scenario it’s time to get your house in order. This could also involve motivating other family members to get their act together. You are ready to make sure that your living quarters are a safe haven for you and your loved ones, so that you can then all enjoy the summer sun.

SUMMER 2021 23 Sep – 22 Oct

Your mind is buzzing. On the positive side you may be working on a creative project, something that keeps your mind occupied with great ideas. You may be planning a social event, connecting with siblings or chatting with neighbours. On the other hand, you may be ruminating over a certain problem. If this is the case, then you need to find a trusted friend, or a professional, to talk to. Your path to positivity is to entertain uplifting thoughts, and to create positive connections this month. Reading, short courses and mindfulness could help keep you on track.

23 Oct – 21 Nov

It’s time to assess your personal resources. Planets are aligned in the money sector of your Solar Chart. December is mostly to do with money matters – how much you are earning, how you pay the bills and whether you are satisfied with your income. However, it’s also about your bargaining power. Perhaps you need to negotiate a raise in your salary, or boost your business cash flow. Or do you have a skill or possessions that you can use to barter? As the season progresses, you are ready to connect in positive ways, perhaps learning new skills.

22 Nov – 21 Dec

It’s time to shine. A Solar Eclipse lights up your Zodiac Sign on December 4 heralding good vibes and setting the scene for the rest of the month. The last couple of years have called for adjustments, perhaps even letting go in certain areas of your life. If you haven’t already decluttered certain areas of your life, this month is the one to do so. You are now on the tail-end of this chapter. The Eclipse sparks sightings of the new chapter, which starts early next year. So set your goals this summer, and start visualising what your next chapter looks like.

22 Dec – 19 Jan

You may feel like a hermit at the start of summer. The reason is that it’s time to be a bit more reclusive. This could be because you have a big project that requires concentrated work, or perhaps you need a rest after a busy period. Either way you benefit from taking a break from hectic festivities, and focusing on your own private needs. Your own health and wellbeing need to be sound before you can be of service to others. Once you are reinvigorated then you can take action mid-season, showcasing all that you have learnt.

20 Jan – 18 Feb

This season it’s all about networking. As an Aquarius, you do love to exchange ideas with many friends, and mingle in a variety of groups. You prefer a connection that is based on freedom, so that you don’t usually need to be in each other’s pockets. December sees your socialising ramp up. You are likely to be touching base with many of your acquaintances, friends and work colleagues. You may also be linking with a new set of associates. January may be a quieter month, before February sees you out and about again, perhaps even with a makeover.

19 Feb – 20 March

Harvard business school professor Bill George wrote a book called “Discover Your True North”. He asks pertinent questions to help you find your true north. Why is this important for Pisces? Well, December is your month to follow his advice, or someone else who your trust. Act now because by the end of the month the positive planet Jupiter moves into your Zodiac Sign and you receive a real boost of energy for the rest of the summer season. Your social life ramps up in January and you are ready to slow down a little by February.

Stephanie Johnson (BA/J) is an international consulting astrologer running her own Seeing With Stars business for personal and business clients. Stephanie also heads up the company that produces astrology software for professional astrologers around the world. She was one of the original creators of the world-renowned Solar Fire for Windows and continues to co-create apps for the iPhone, iPad and macOS. Stephanie lives and works on the Mornington Peninsula, and writes horoscopes for her own business, as well as local bespoke magazines. She is also the author of numerous astrology reports which are used across the globe. You can follow Stephanie @seeingwithstars on Instagram | Twitter | www.seeingwithstars.net

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canine corner


Bentley, Nipper & Maggie - the gang

Zeppelin - i'm sniffing, can u smell dat?

Roger - Lab Power

George - just my plush bed & me!

Hansel - no i did not do a pop off!

Ruby - u better have trreats human!

Lucy with Biggy Rat! - my pal the rat

Lucy - whatcha doin down there...

Princess Leia - may the paws be with you


gippsland lifestyle summer ����/��

proudly brought to you by

Parker - are we done with the photoshoot?

Crunchy - best beach!

Bernie - what's this muzzle thing?

Ginger - crazy angle human!

Miss Poppy - is it my birthday again?

Millie - Ken, we need to move on...

our best friends

e n i can ner cor

Do you want to place a photo of your dog in Canine Corner ? It's easy, just email us your pic and their name at thelifestyle@dcsi.net.au

...just pawfect

Tilka " Tonki" - who's dat ?!!! gippsland lifestyle summer ����/�� 147

2021 Year in Review + 2022 Intentions By Erin Miller


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Being intentional about our life gives us purpose, direction, and fulfilment just to name a few things.


So, to begin with take a deep breath in and out and take a few moments to connect with your souls’ desires... • What is your word or mantra for 2022? • What energy do you wish to bring into 2022? • How do you want 2022 to feel? Everything you need to create the life that you desire and dream of is already within you. The very fact you have desires means they are meant for you simply because you desire them (just for the record-not everyone has dreams and desires-so you are extraordinary!)

Whether you came into the year thinking it was going to be better than last year (and for some it really was) and then for others it sucked lemons-let's face it; the last 2 years have been a jam packed with twists and turns that few saw coming!

Breaking free from manipulation, breaking free from fear, and breaking free from the status quo is not for the faint hearted-but it is who you are designed to BE as a CREATOR of your own destiny!



Either way it’s unarguably another year that's been filled with many lessons to learn and unlearn. Revisiting the past before embarking on the future can make it easier for us to see our current self with clarity. Reviewing the year that was is a great tool to take inventory on all the lessons, learnings, and amazing accomplishments (big or small) that are to be honoured and celebrated. Reflecting on the year that was, isn't about beating yourself up but rather about acknowledging how far you have come and creating awareness around where you desire to head in the year ahead.

The details may appear different from what you had imagined, but the truth remains-if you ask for something and are committed to going through the process required to have that come to life, it will happen! When I started writing for the magazine in 2015, I would never have foreseen it lasting 6 years and 27 articles later! As this will be my last article, I wish to extend heartfelt appreciation to Doug, the whole Gippsland Lifestyle Team, and of course you the Readers. It has been an honour and pleasure to share my voice with you all. Happy creating for the 2022 year! Erin

Remember our past is the greatest prediction of our future and we get to create it!!

REFLECT With the 2021 year in mind, it's time to get your favourite pen and journal, set up your space in a really beautiful nourishing way and let your mind run free by considering these prompts. • • • • • • • • • • •

What made 2021 unforgettable? What did you enjoy most this year? Who or what is one thing you are grateful for? What has been your biggest win for 2021? What did you read, watch, or listen to that impacted you in some way? What did you worry about the most and how did it turn out in the end? What was your biggest regret and why? What one thing you changed about yourself this year? What surprised you the most this year? What advice would you give your past self? Name 3 words to describe yourself in 2021?


Erin Miller is a NLP life coach, mentor, writer and proud mama to 3 very active young boys.

Once you have done this activity-look back on the year that was and celebrate all the lessons you have learnt. Soak it in and how far you have come!

Her previous career roles have been quite diverse and she has a background in hospitality/travel, disability/mental health and business management.

We often forget to actually pause, reflect, honour and celebrate just how far we have come and all that we have achieved.

Trained in a variety of modalities including NLP, Life Coaching and as a Soul Modes Mentor, she has had the privilege to work with clients all around Australia and also runs empowerment workshops, retreats and group events.

R E A L LY TA K E A M O M E N T T O C E L E B R AT E AND ACKNOWLEDGE YOU. GROW Finding time to be still and to reflect on what we want for our lives can seem tedious and yet another thing to add to our already busy schedules. However, if we are not clear and aware of what we desire for our life it's impossible to have direction. You can end up anywhere, nowhere or repeating the pattern you always have!

For further information please call 0418 328 441 or visit my website www.erinmiller.com.au or follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Not knowing what we want for ourselves, can often mean we say "Yes" when we really want to be saying "No". And let's face it that usually doesn't work out well for anyone involved does it!?

Do you have a question or a topic you would like Erin to write about? Send her an email at erin@erinmiller.com.au

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Mt Oberon, Wilson's Promontory

Koonwarra Park Run

Making Gippsland the move to


Many of us who have called Gippsland our home for so long, already know just how lucky we are to live here. We are surrounded by picturesque scenery, an abundance of primary producers, a good climate, quality schools and employment, room to move and an incredible sense of Family photowherever credit: Kate Lafferty 2021 community you may photography travel. Over the years, there have always been people selling up and making the sea or tree change out of suburbia however, since the pandemic reared its’ ugly head, the surge of ‘city folk’ to regional areas is unprecedented. The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for the June 2020 quarter show Melbourne had a net loss of approximately 6000 people to regional Victoria in just three months and I can attest to that firsthand in my industry.

We are welcoming so many new people into Gippsland who have predominantly been a mixture of young families with one or two parents working remotely or prepared to travel an hour to work on a regional road, to semi or full-time retirees making a gradual move to a quieter life. When I entered the real estate industry in the year 2000, the first question I used to get asked was, “What are the schools like around here?” and now it’s, “Is there a good NBN connection?” due the work-from-home culture that has emerged.


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There is no doubt that multiple lockdowns have been driving the property market in regional areas and buyers from the Metropolitan suburbs can generally sell their current property, move to the country and still have some change left over at the end. The fact that people have realised they can work off-site and create a lifestyle of fresh air, room to move for the family and enjoy a sense of community, has created a huge demand situation for country real estate. As little as two years ago, I never would have predicted that we would be selling homes via Facetime and Zoom inspections, sight unseen, like we have been over the last 18 months.

The major drawcards are the more relaxed lifestyle and the appeal of space and not having to share an adjoining wall with the neighbour’s property. The pandemic has allowed people to reassess what it is they need (or don’t need) in their lives and a lot of the clients I’ve dealt with are looking to reduce stress and have a better quality of life.

Tidal River, Wilson's Promontory

Darby Beach, Wilson's Promontory

They also fear being locked down again in suburbia without the option going past 5kms. By reducing the commute in traffic, office pressure and mortgages plus the physical and mental health and wellness benefits of living in the country, ticks a lot of boxes for those looking to make the move.

Inverloch Glamping Co.

In Gippsland, we are are blessed with the option of choosing coast or country within a short driving distance of each other and we have the most beautiful beaches, trails, National Park, wineries and food culture.

The investment in the extension of the Great Southern Rail Trail from Nyora to Port Welshpool will be a huge drawcard and create employment/new business opportunities and has already increased the sightings of “MAMILS” (middle-aged men in lycra) frequenting Kelly’s Bakery in Korumburra mid-week, with more avid cyclists and walkers yet to discover the latest upgrades.


Let’s welcome the new families to our neck of the woods, share what’s great about where we live and embrace diverse cultures, businesses owners, and contributors to our communities as they become locals. My parents made the tree-change to Korumburra back in the early eighties when I was a toddler and we’re all forever grateful for the life we’ve been given in Gippsland and for those who welcomed us into the community all those years ago.


Leongatha Great Southern Rail Trail

Christie is a busy mum, dual health and wellness business owner, President of the Southern Business Women’s Network and also a licensed estate agent with Alex Scott & Staff. Christie’s personal businesses can offer solutions and products to those seeking a positive change in their world.

For further information, please phone: 0407 812 904 or go to www.youcanlifestyle.com.au | www.christienelson.arbonne.com youcanactivewearandlifestyle youcanactivewear christienelson0827

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adapting to change by Christine Boucher


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GIPPSLAND HAS HAD TO ADJUST AND ADAPT TO ITS FAIR SHARE OF RECENT ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS FROM DROUGHT, BUSHFIRE, FLOODS AND A GLOBAL PANDEMIC. THE CUMULATIVE EXTERNAL STRESSORS ARE IMPACTING THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF OUR COMMUNITY. WITH NO TIME FOR REPRIEVE AND REST, WE HAVE BEEN DEALT SOME OF NATURE’S LOW BLOWS AND THEN KICKED A LITTLE MORE WHILST DOWN. In 2021 RFCS Gippsland has adapted its services to better support the needs of the community. For over 30 years, RFCS Gippsland has supported the financial health of Gippsland’s primary producers and small rural businesses providing free financial counselling, planning and support services. RFCS Gippsland now offers wellness support to clients. The compounded stressors have increased and exacerbated clients’ overwhelm and mental health. RFCS Gippsland are responding to a duty of care implementing a wellness program, providing Wellness Support Officers (WSO) within Gippsland to support clients health and well-being. The WSO will be supporting clients at home, triaging their health needs by referring and helping client’s access and action healthcare services both online and in person. The development of an RFCS Detect and Protect Training (ADAPT) wellness program is being developed for WSO’s across Gippsland. The ADAPT program provides training, mentoring and supports WSO’s to improve the Health & Wellness of their clients, helping them to be mentally prepared and in a more conducive mindset to make considered, longterm business changes. RFCS Gippsland have become a complete wrap around service supporting clients with their mental, social, emotional, and physical health, as well as financial well-being.

“Our rural financial counsellors identified that some clients were just not able to make business decisions due to the stress caused by the multiple crisis events they faced. The wellness program offered by RFCS Gippsland now provides another support network, and dedicated Wellness Officers, and helps our clients understand and plan to improve their wellbeing, which in turn assists with making better business decisions about their future. “- Kylie Holmes CEO RFCS Gippsland Christine Boucher from Natural Health Balance, in collaboration with RFCS Gippsland developed and delivered a pilot program with clients in East Gippsland which delivered outstanding results. The main challenges for farmers and small business owners is the struggle to find time away from their business to see a healthcare professional, often having many barriers preventing them accessing or actioning the help they need. Having support at their kitchen table promotes early intervention, providng an easy and direct roadmap to navigate the multitude of valuable resources and healthcare professionals in their area. RFCS Gippsland is currently seeking additional seed funding to build the ADAPT online platform aimed at providing a consistent approach to wellness support for the wider rural community, both locally and nationally. Outcomes that the RFCS Gippsland Wellness program will achieve is to provide clients with a professional wellness support service. Helping clients develop health & wellness action plans, overcoming barriers and provide referral pathways to access other professional services. It will also help to reduce the responsibility on financial counsellors, thus reducing their own risk of overwhelm and burnout. RFCS Gippsland will be positioned well to provide clients with an efficient, professional and direct wellness program.


RFCS Gippsland have adapted their client services and support in response to;

The Australian National Suicide Prevention Strategy (2020-2023) which reaffirms all governments’ commitment to implement systems-based approaches to suicide prevention, and commitments to a wholeof-government approach, where accountability for reducing suicide rates is shared across multiple portfolios. The Royal Commission’s Mental Health System Final Report | National Centre for Farmer Health has released its Final Report containing 65 recommendations. The commission’s vision is for a mental health and wellbeing system that adapts and responds to the needs of all Victorians, including supporting rural and regional with improved access to high-quality services.

CHRISTINE BOUCHER of Natural Health Balance is a corporate Health and Performance Coach transforming organisations to work productively and cohesively as a team. Improving the health of staff and the well-being of business through performance management, health coaching and team building to improve productivity, performance and profitability. Christine is dedicated and passionate about Health & Wellness. Holding a Bachelor of Nursing Degree, MBA and specialising in Intensive Care Nursing. With over 20 years’, experience working in the healthcare industry.


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with Liz Fleming The Efficiency Coach 156

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Image by Kim Keltie Photography

As 2021 draws to a close, it seems this year has gone in a flash, yet at the same time it feels like this year has gone on forever! Let’s finish 2021 strong and start 2022 even stronger! In light of this, it’s time to REFLECT… the good, the challenges and what we can learn from our recent experiences, leading to our goals for next year. I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s embrace it and make the most of our new-found freedoms; in life and business.

So what does reflection mean for you? It’s always good to use this end-of-year time to reflect on all that you have achieved this year (including all your wins, no matter how big or small). It is a good idea to share your reflections with someone external to your business. Sometimes we are just too busy working IN the business that we can forget all the great things we have achieved that are clearly visible to our followers, supporters, customers and clients. Do you have a business mentor or business coach, or a trusted advisor that you can share your reflections with, so you can really benefit from their added insight? I always enjoy these reflection sessions with my clients where we are brainstorming and reflecting on the past 12 months. To create more purpose, make sure you clearly document your reflections, as it becomes a starting point for next year’s goal-setting and your strategy planning. I encourage you to take some time, in a quiet space, to reflect upon the past 12 months and really embrace this exercise. The second part of the reflections exercise is to identify what you have LEARNT this year? What learnings and changes can be carried forward into next year or be incorporated in your normal business operations? What would you do again? What would you not do again? What would you change? What would you keep the same or do more of? What can you let go? These are the types of questions to ask yourself.

Now, to put this all into action, we can bring it all together, to set our goals for next year. What do you want the year 2022 to look like for you and your business? What does success look like for you and your business? What do you want to be reflecting upon, this time next year? What are your goals for your business? It may to be to improve on your social media postings, to grow your audience and following, to improve your financial capability and better understand your numbers in your business, develop a strategic or business plan that collates everything you have done in the past or set revenue targets for your business for each quarter.

Liz Fleming The Efficiency Coach is a business mentor and accountant based in Traralgon in Gippsland. Liz is passionate about supporting small businesses to thrive, by utilising her skills and experience to develop processes, systems and strategies for small businesses to become more efficient. You know how there are never enough hours in the day and you don’t know where to start, Liz will show you how to maximise your time and discover who is best to do what and when. Her promise is more profit, more time and more fulfilment.

We’ve all had to ‘re-invent’ ourselves and our businesses over the past two years and it is time to consolidate all of that work to make it just a bit easier on ourselves. Now that we have a little more certainty in the world we live in, we can be hopeful that we can stick to our plans for the next year (hopefully). I know in my own business, I have many ideas I want to implement in 2022 and I know I cannot do them all at the same time or in the first quarter, so I am prioritising, planning to change the way I do things and also working out what I can outsource for the year. Planning is KEY! I will be working with my clients leading up to Christmas and the new year to ensure we reflect on their achievements for the year, including a review of their financial position and ensure that the start of 2022 is as prosperous as it can be. The more ready we are, the more we can take on when challenges come our way. It’s all in the planning and being prepared with the right support in place. Enjoy the Christmas festivities, be purposeful about taking a break – set yourself a date that you will clock off, or roster days off each week. Time to recharge is important to keep going, we do not want you to burnout and be exhausted before 2022 has even started. Sometimes you need to slow down to know what direction you should be going. I hope everyone has a safe Christmas and New Year period with family and friends. I look forward to working with you in 2022 – let’s make it our best year yet! Stay efficient!

Liz is a Chartered Accountant with a Masters in Forensic Accounting, with more than 15 years of finance experience across various industries (including government) and has called Gippsland home for the past 5 years. She works with small business across a number of industries including primary producers, artisan producers, retailers, services, tradies, helping them to thrive in their business. Please get in touch if you want to work with Liz in 2022. @lizfleming_theefficiencycoach

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A Rising Star for Farmer Smith

Jen Smith has received national recognition for her contribution to her local community and the wider agricultural industry By Lia Spencer


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JEN SMITH For Jen Smith, farming is her passion- but it hasn’t always been that way. The East Gippsland resident grew in a farming community and she vowed never to marry a farmer. Twelve years ago, she ate her words when she walked down the aisle to her love, Brad Smith. Now, the parents of two young children also run successful sheep and beef production enterprise at three properties in Clifton Creek, Sarsfield, and Tambo Crossing near Bairnsdale. Jen is also the General Manager of Gippsland Agricultural Group, a farmer-led group which operates the Gippsland Research Farm, trialling and demonstrating projects to assist the region’s producers to unlock their production potential. Besides running a household and a successful business, Jen is currently studying her MBA at Federation Uni, and already holds qualifications in Youth Development, Conservation and Land Management and Environmental Science. All this, and Jen still found time to play a major role in helping the region recover from the 2019 bushfires which devastated her own properties.

Jen’s outstanding efforts and ambitious drive landed her a nod from the Cattle Council of Australia and National Australia Bank (NAB), who recently named her as one of seven state and territory winners of the 2021 CCA NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Initiative. For the past decade, Cattle Council has held the annual NAV Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative, to foster up and coming leaders within the Australian Beef Industry. The program selects one winner from each state and the Northern Territory to travel to Canberra for intensive training and mentorship over several days, culminating in a cocktail event at Parliament House to network with decision-makers and to acknowledge the success of the champions. Jen said that whilst her participation in the Cattle Council NAB Agribusiness initiative has only just begun, it’s been great to connect with the other state representatives. She said that their passion and vision for what’s possible in Australia’s agricultural industry is inspiring and refreshing. “The initiative will expose me to organisations and systems that are driving the policy and decisions being made that impact farmers in our region every day,” Jen said. “Understanding the process and how we can influence practical meaningful outcomes for grass roots producers will be valuable for me as a beef producer and in my role with the farmer led Gippsland Agricultural Group.” And whilst the recognition of being a Rising Star was appreciated, Jen said the real reward was from the work she loved doing every day. “Farming and living in a rural community is what I am called to do. Connecting and contributing is in all our DNA’s. I love the diversity and dynamic nature of running a business and working in community,” Jen said. “It’s great to get up each day and work on making the piece of land we call our farm a bit better; and it’s great knowing that what we do will produce something by the end of the day. I appreciate working with Brad, and the kids get stuck in with us as well.” Jen said she also loved being able to work in and contribute to her regional community.

“I love living and working in an area where if you don’t turn up, you’re missed,” she said. “I also appreciate the opportunities available to me in the agricultural industry, and I appreciate the opportunity to contribute back.”

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Arguably, one of the biggest shows of community support came after bushfires ravaged the area in 2019. “The Black Summer Fires affected the way I experience and understand the Australian spirit and the value of being connected in regional community. The fires threw up many challenges for our communities and our farming business,” Jen said. “All three of the properties we operate were impacted by the fires. Off the back of several years of drought, losing pastures and infrastructure and selling off livestock because we couldn’t feed them was a bitter pill to swallow; however, the support we received from our family, our community, the agricultural industry, wider Australia and our government were a blessing and buffered the impacts.” Jen said that following the fires, she was left inspired and in awe of the people she knew and the land she lived on.


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“It’s been inspiring to see how nature responds and recovers- and equally it’s been inspiring to see how people respond and recover,” she said. “Before, during and after the fires, our communities stood together to fight, lead their recovery, and build back stronger for next time. Being a part of this collective has been rewarding and empowering.” Besides having a strong sense of community, Jen said surrounding yourself with a great team of friends and family was vital for achieving success and personal well-being. “Brad is my biggest enabler - along with my friends, my parents, and parent-in-laws,” she said. “They shake their heads at all that I involve myself in, but at the end of the day they cheer me on, provide practical support and end up joining in themselves.”








Articles inside

A rising star for Farmer Smith

pages 158-160

Liz Fleming - It’s been a big year, be sure to finish strong

pages 156-157

Christine Boucher - Adapting to change

pages 154-155

Christie Nelson - Making the move to Gippsland

pages 152-153

Erin Miller - 2021 Year in review, 2022 Intentions

pages 150-151

Stephanie Johnson - Our new astrology page - Seeing with Stars Astrology

page 145

Millie’s Adventures - A Wander-ful Millie Day

pages 142-144

Local Heroes - Geoff Lee

pages 136-137

BASS COAST HEALTH - Set to grow with our community

pages 140-141

THE GROVE GIPPSLAND - Perfect for your next event or wedding

pages 130-131

Trev & Shirl’s Big Day out in Mallacoota

page 139

Backpacks 4 Vic Kids - Community support for kids in care

pages 132-135

Stony Creek Go Karts - A pitstop for the fast and curious

pages 126-127

Giving Kids a Sporting Chance

pages 124-125

Rosemont House - Di’s dream provides the best in customer service

pages 120-122

CITY TO COAST AIR WONTHAGGI - Servicing Bass Coast & South Gippsland

pages 112-113

Little Red Duck Café - New Start for Noojee Café & Post Office

pages 118-119

HMR HERITAGE - Hats off to HMR Heritage

pages 114-115

Shedding the Memories

pages 104-105

Bass Coast Edible Gardens - Grow Food. Eat Well

pages 108-110

EVANS PETROLEUM - BP Raglan Street Sale

page 102

BRENT SINCLAIR CATERING - Mobile Catering & Takeaway Meals

page 100

HAYMES PAINTS - Servicing Cowes, Wonthaggi and Leongatha

page 99

CPK MCLAREN MOTORBODY - Leongatha’s Motor Body Vehicle Repairer

page 97

GROW MASTER TRARALGON - Garden, Fashion & Giftware solutions

page 90

BBQ GALORE TRARALGON - The home of outdoor living

page 91

Brian Taylor Strikes Gold in Walhalla

pages 42-45

Wondrous Waterfalls - Tooronga & Ampitheatre Falls Walks

pages 86-87

Barbeques Galore Traralgon - Where outdoor living & cooking is an obsession

pages 84-85

Newspower Go Traralgon - Keeps powering on

pages 88-89

The Gurdies Winery - A touch of class, new look for the Gurdies

pages 36-38

Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club - New venue for historic club

pages 46-47

West Gippsland Libraries - My Community Library

pages 80-81

THE CAPE TAVERN - Located in the heart of Cape Paterson

page 48

SILVERWATERS VINEYARD - The new Silverwaters Vineyard

page 28

PHILLIP ISLAND WINERY - The Food. The Wine. The Times

pages 34-35

THE GURDIES WINERY - Take a detour to the Gurdies Winery

page 33

LUCINDA ESTATE - Leongatha’s best kept secret

page 32

Phillip Island Winery - Raising a toast to Phillip Island Winery

pages 26-27

WARATAH HILLS - Award winning wines, created for celebrations

page 29

The Grove Gippsland - Perfect for any occasion

pages 30-31

HARMAN WINES - South Gippsland Award winning winery & vineyard

page 25

EDNEYS LEONGATHA-2022 Hyundai Palisade

pages 3-4

WGCMA -Welcome waters from the mountain to the sea

pages 18-19

Frank Butera - Eucalyptus characteristics in red wine

pages 22-23

Dahlsens-Building on History

pages 8-13

Curtis Australia - Jewellery for enjoyment and memories

pages 14-15

PURPLE HEN WINERY & VINEYARD - Island grown and crafted

page 24

RUSSELL NORTHE MP - State Member for Morwell

pages 5-6

WONTHAGGI LOTTO - Authorised Tattslotto Agency

page 7
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