51 Gippsland Lifestyle Winter

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$9.95 Winter #51 PHILLIP ISLAND The Must Visit Island

ISSN 1838-8124


Central Gippsland Has the Lot!



The Heart of the Baw Baw region

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editorial Winter #51

And the journey continues...

our content 8 – 10

Aaron Brown forges his own path


Curtis Australia – The Joy of Jewellery


A Walk on the Wild Side with Mt Baw Baw’s Dingoes


Virtue Homes – Building Excellence


Riders on the Storm – The art of chasing Gippsland’s weather


Crawford Marine – Boating on the Blue Rock Dam


East Gippsland Field Days


Metung Hot Springs – Bathing in a Winter Wonderland


Gary Blackwood – One Final Lap

100 – 102 Warragul Continues to grow

Welcome to the Middle Of Everywhere and for those still not sure where this is; this ongoing section covers the traditional Wellington Shire of Central Gippsland. There are some wonderful features in this edition, we have covered the story of the 110-year-old Rubeena that starts at the Port of Sale and with Skipper Alan Lewis at the helm tells a wonderful story about life on the Thomson River and the history associated with the area and the indigenous people. The ANZAC Weekend Air Show held at the West Sale Air base was certainly spectacular and for those that attended the event were given a birds eye view of the aerobatic skills of our very own Roulettes, stunt planes and historic aircraft. Let’s hope that this event returns next year. In this edition, we have chosen Warragul as our main town feature, there was so much to choose from and after wandering in and around Warragul may I mention the Civic Park as a must go and see and enjoy place situated near the West Gippsland Arts Centre. This is a terrific park, which has great facilities and beautiful gardens, waterfalls, fountains, and band stand.


Victoria Street is home to the Warragul Library


Kerrie’s Creative World


Art from the air


Chris’s reward for service


49th Warragul National Photographic Exhibition


Seeing with Stars Astrology – Stephanie Johnson


Symmetry Health Kinesiology – Kelly Edwards


Liz Fleming – Getting Ready for end of year. Plan early, Be ready


Local Hero – Dr Jane Greacen OAM


Millie’s Adventures – Millie, A dragon, an elephant and other things


Canine Corner – Our best friends

our advertisers 77

AUSTRALIAN FOREST & GARDEN – The home of Husqvarna Power Equipment


BRENT SINCLAIR CATERING – Mobile Catering & Takeaway Meals


CARPET COURT – Dream It. Style It. Live It.


CPK McLAREN MOTOR BODY – Leongatha’s Motor Body & Vehicle Repairer

Although it is winter and we all want to stay warm and cosy and read Gippsland Lifestyle, make sure you get out and take the kids and go whale spotting. Destination Phillip Island have provided a comprehensive section in how to spot these magnificent creatures of the sea, I know I will be keeping my eyes open to see the whales making their traditional journey near the coast.


CRAWFORD MARINE – Live the dream! Campion and Stacer Boats


CURTIS AUSTRALIA – Designed and crafted in Australia

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DAIKIN AIRCONDITIONING – The best air everywhere




EDNEY’S LEONGATHA – Navarra Pro-4X Warrior


GARY BLACKWOOD MP – Member for Narracan


G J GARDNER HOMES – Build your dream home with a local builder

All in all, there is plenty to see and do in the greatest region of Victoria, places to eat, rest, visit, go to, enjoy, this is what our region is all about and as always, we urge you all to Shop Local!


GROW MASTER TRARALGON – Garden, Fashion and Giftware solutions


HER SKIN SPA – Laser, beauty and day spa


JEFF BOURMAN MP – State Member for Eastern Victoria


LATTITUDE TRADING- Great range of giftware


LAURIE COLLINS – Check the coming events for winter


LEONGATHA RSL – Family friendly venue




MERCURE HOTEL WARRAGUL – Would like to introduce Mercure Pakenham


MELALEUCA NURSERY – Indigenous & Native plant farm

Douglas Pell | Editor

126 - 127 PETS DOMAIN – The Home for Pets



RIGBY HOMEMAKERS – Gippsland’s finest furniture & bedding


ROLLING HILLS KORUMBURRA - Family friendly cafe


RUSSELL NORTHE MP – State Member for Morwell

our winter front cover


SAN REMO FISHERMAN’S CO-OP – A San Remo institution


SILVERWATERS VINEYARD – Order wine online, free local delivery


STONY CREEK GO KARTS – Fun for all the family, Go Kart hire

Kindly supplied by The Middle of Everywhere


SUNSCAPE SOLAR – Have you been thinking of getting solar?


THE GURDIES WINERY – Take a detour to the Gurdies Winery



THE MELBOURNE FURNISHING CO – Quality furnishing store


THE PRESS CELLARS – Gippsland owned liquor merchant




VAN STEENSEL TIMBERS – We have everything for winter


VIRTUE HOMES – ‘ Building Excellence ‘


WARATAH HILLS – Award winning wines, created for celebrations




WONTHAGGI LOTTO -Authorised Tattslotto Agency

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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 PHONE EMAIL

PO BOX 862 WONTHAGGI VIC 3995 0404 301 333 gippslandlifestyle@bigpond.com ONLINE DIGITAL issuu.com/james448

WEB www.gippslandlifestyle.com FACEBOOK facebook.com/lifestylegippsland INSTAGRAM gippslandlifestyle WRITERS Chris West, Anita Butterworth, Wendy Morriss, Liz Fleming Trevor Stow and Ken Roberts CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Johnson, Liz Fleming, Millie Roberts SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS Paul Henderson (Curtis Australia) PHOTOGRAPHERS Doug Pell, Jeanette Severs, Trevor Stow and Ken Roberts ADVERTISING Maxine Sando - Sales Manager Doug Pell - Sales Consultant EDITOR Doug Pell

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. 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. 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. 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.


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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 Cape Woolamai Food & Liquor Express 2 Vista Place 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 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 Loch Village Emporium 5 Victoria Road 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 Omeo Post Office 155 Day Avenue Rosedale Butchers 32 Prince Street Sale Newsagency 308-310 Raymond Street San Remo IGA 135 Main Parade San Remo The Yards 117 Marine Parade Stratford IGA 67 Tyers Street Swifts Creek General Store Great Alpine Road Tarwin Lower IGA 45 River Drive 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 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 2022, 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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Aaron Brown Forges His Own Path

When Aaron Brown talks about his patch of Gippsland there’s a clear passion - for its rolling hills, the rich pastures and the salt-of-the-earth community that he calls home. Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Doug Pell

As a fourth-generation South Gippslander, a cattle farmer, former deputy mayor and father-of-two, the 36-year-old already has a wealth of life experience under his belt. And he plans to use every bit of it campaigning as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Bass in the November state election. Politics has been part of Aaron’s life since he can remember. His father Alan Brown served as a Liberal member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Leader of the Opposition, and Public Transport Minister under Jeff Kennett during his 18-year political career. Aaron recalls travelling with his dad to various political engagements as a young boy, visiting local agricultural shows and witnessing first-hand the difference his father was able to make. “What I saw from a fairly young age was that you can get outcomes for your local community and really help people with a variety of different problems or issues they may have, that other people may not be able to, simply because of the role,” Aaron explains. “So, I guess I had the opportunity to see how to do a lot of good being in that role.” Born in Leongatha and growing up in Wonthaggi, Aaron moved to the UK at the age of 10 with his family, as his father took up the role of Agent General for Victoria. After three years abroad the family returned to Australia and Aaron continued his schooling in Gippsland and Melbourne before heading to NSW to study Veterinary Science. He realised farming was where his passion lay, and he returned to Victoria to complete a Bachelor of Agriculture at Melbourne University.

He now runs a commercial Angus beef farming enterprise near Inverloch – something he’s immensely proud of. “You’ve got to focus on scale and being a low-cost producer long term to be viable and that comes with its challenges. But I think it’s also quite a rewarding industry to be in, in terms of I feel like I’m contributing something to the community by producing cattle. Every time I get a new batch of calves to sell at the markets or my agent doing private deals with my cattle, I feel like I’m making something. So, I find that quite fulfilling.

“I didn’t envisage it being as good as it’s been recently. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for. You can see it in the local area as well, a lot of people are reinvesting into their farms, upgrading fencing and doing capital upgrades on their farm that they may not have done in the past, so I think that’s been good for the industry as well. Not just cattle, but dairy, sheep, a lot of different commodities have done well.” Growing up in a political family, it’s little wonder that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Aaron joined the Liberal Party in his early 20s, at a time when Bass Coast was grappling with the construction of the Victorian Desalination Plant near Dalyston. Aaron dug in at the grassroots level in the Wonthaggi branch, handing out how to vote cards, pre-polling and helping with fundraising. Then in 2014 came Ken Smith’s decision to retire after 12 years as the Member for Bass. It opened the door for Aaron to run for preselection, but he was unsuccessful against Brian Paynter, who went on take the seat for a term.

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Aaron Brown

Sari holding their daughter Tessa with Aaron holding their son Xander

“I learnt a lot through that process, I think anyone that’s gone through a political preselection knows that generally they’re not very easy processes to go through. You’ve got to put yourself out there and I respect anyone who’s done it. So, I learnt a lot from the process, a lot about myself.” Aaron continued his farming career, before deciding to throw his hat in the ring of local government in 2016. With his brother running for Bass Coast Shire Council, Aaron put his hand up for the South Gippsland Shire Council.

“I felt I had something to contribute. In recent history there hasn’t been a lot of people with a primary production background being on council. So that’s what I thought I had to offer, there was some point of difference and, just being younger than a lot of the other candidates, there can be a different generational viewpoint.” It was to be an eye-opening experience. Aaron used the time to further his knowledge in local governance, completing the Australian Company Director Course, leading him to put the council’s processes under a microscope. In his second year on council, Aaron was elected as Deputy Mayor, something he reflects on fondly. “That was a good experience as well. Having your colleagues put you in that role, I think it’s a great honour to be in any sort of leadership role, I was grateful for that experience.” However, a council implosion was simmering. After multiple Councillor resignations in June 2019 Aaron made the decision to resign, citing concerns over inappropriate behaviours amongst Councillors and poor decision-making within South Gippsland Shire Council. The entire council was sacked later that same month after a Commission of Inquiry recommended the council’s dismissal. Aaron admits the time was ‘challenging’.


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“I knew what I needed to stand up for. For good, strong governance and leadership and I think being able to contribute to the Commission of Inquiry … being able to say what I felt, I was glad that I was around to do that. I was also quite honoured in a way that they included part of my report that I handed into the final findings. “I’m quite happy with what I did. I didn’t sit back and do nothing, I put myself out there and said what was acceptable and what wasn’t. With public life I think, with a lot of difficult situations you need to state how you see things. With these issues I don’t think you can sit on the fence; you need to show leadership. I’m fairly content with what I did. Overall, I don’t think it’s been a negative or impacted me in a negative way. I think people can understand it was a unique situation.” Aaron is now focused on his political campaign, with the full support of his wife Sari and two young children Xander and Tessa. “My wife’s probably my biggest supporter, so I’m definitely grateful for that. I wouldn’t have even considered embarking on this process of being a candidate and putting myself through it if I didn’t have that unconditional support. My wife actually encouraged me in the months leading up to preselection because she thought I had a lot to offer.” Of course, even though Aaron is forging his own political path, he also has the backing of one of his greatest cheerleaders – his father. “He’s a great resource to have, he’s achieved a lot and he does really understand a lot of the local issues and he’s been around for a long time, so he’s a great resource for me. It’s like a lot of things in life, you never really stop learning, whatever profession you do. And it’s just about trying to learn as much as you can from different people when you’re embarking on being a candidate and trying to do the role to the best of your ability. “I’ll be getting around listening to people, listening to their dreams for the area, their desires. I think that’s what you need to be able to do – you need to listen to people.”

Family Friendly, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Local beer & Wine, Locally sourced produce Indoor & outdoor dining, surrounded by our evergreen garden with views of the hills.

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THE JOY OF JEWELLERY GIVING, RECEIVING OR CHOOSING SOMETHING FOR Y O U R S E L F – I T ' S A LWAY S A P L E A S U R E . BY PAUL HENDERSON Over the centuries, from the time of the pyramids and Aztecs through to now, jewellery has played an an important role in our lives. This is still true today. Jewellery is used to mark almost every significant event including engagements, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, Valentines, Mothers Day and Fathers Day - even a loved ones passing. These occasions are just a few of the reasons we want to give, receive and wear jewellery. But perhaps the most important reason for jewellery is simply the pleasure it gives.


This is the biggest sector of the market and has grown significantly over the last 30 years in line with the number of women who are working and have independent means. Master Jeweller Glenn Curtis of Bairnsdale based studio Curtis Australia says he has noticed a significant shift. Women are choosing their own jewellery to enjoy, express their personality and to put some sparkle and bling into life.

At the same time design trends have become more varied. From designs derived from nature to others inspired by different periods of art history, such as Art Deco, there's a wide range. 'Often, after a design consultation we can combine several elements into a very personal 'one of a kind' ring or piece of jewellery' says Glenn. This approach can be seen from a number of the ideas and the finished jewellery shown here. Designing jewellery to suit someone specifically takes years of training, and the art of listening to clients is a vitally important part of that experience.



Special jewellery brings great and lasting pleasure. It's often said that jewellery is one of the most personal things one can have, and it's one of the few things we are able to pass on to the next generation, knowing it will last.


With over 50 years experience in jewellery design & creation 12

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Most people are very considered in how they go about having something special made. Choosing to have something restored or repaired is important too, people want to know that their jeweller will take special care and attention of the things they hold precious. Clients place great importance on the fact that nothing leaves the Curtis Australia studio, their precious jewellery stays where all the work is done, with nothing ever sent away.


Glenn Curtis and the team at Curtis Australia put a lot of effort into customer service and what that means to you as a client. They take the time to sit down with you one on one, designing or talking through your options, and most importantly listening to you. You're speaking direct to jewellers, the staff have many years practical, jewellery making experience - unlike most jewellery retailers.




It's funny how concentrating on customer service has led to Glenn and the team at Curtis Australia getting to create things for many people and organisations they would only dream of meeting.

Glenn Curtis explains that jewellery making is an exacting craft needing both accuracy and artistry.

People such as legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus. Royals, including princesses and queens in a number of countries overseas, some movie stars, different Governors of Victoria, The Parliament of Australia and of course, the most important person, you.

'The jeweller faces two interwoven challenges - the spontaneity of creating a balanced design, the second to keep the spirit of the idea alive while forming and shaping precious metals, setting gems and applying a beautiful final finish, playing with a palette of gold in many colours and gems capturing any hue in nature.'

Glenn says it is really important to understand what the client wants. 'It's not about what you might want to do for them, it's about what they really would like. There's nothing more enjoyable than sitting down with someone and designing and creating something just for them'

The skills and passion used for new jewellery is also needed for the sympathetic restoration of older pieces. When restoring jewellery it takes time and a sensitivity to the original design so these much loved pieces can be kept 'alive' and the memories intact. This is important not only when you wear the piece but when you want to pass the precious memories onto the next person to treasure and remember. Happily the work (if indeed you can call it that, it's really a passion) is second nature to Glenn Curtis, whose skills are held in such regard internationally that he was invited to join the international judging panel for a global jewellery design competition.


When you're next in Bairnsdale, Glenn, Heather and the Curtis Australia team would be very happy to see you, and show you something of the work they create in their well appointed showroom. Not only do they create one off pieces, but there is a glittering choice of ready to wear jewellery to see, as well as hand crafted Curtis watches and beautiful pens – all individually made in their adjoining studio. Call 5152 1089 or visit curtisaustralia.com

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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Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College Education is progressing at an ever-increasing rate. Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College is committed to constant review supported by data and research, to ensure best practice in contemporary learning in order to engage and connect our students in learning. It is our aim to assist all students in developing the confidence and competence as well as the relevant skills and aptitudes they need to enter the world as good Christians and ethical global citizens. Our students are engaged in a learning environment that is real and purposeful, that embraces 21st century learning pedagogies and technologies. All key learning areas use teaching, learning and assessment styles that draw on each child’s strengths. By the time each student is entering the Senior School, they will have been provided with the opportunity and support to reflect on his or her special interests and abilities in order to identify the ideal pathway towards further study or career opportunities. The Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College Vision Statement speaks clearly of our strong desire to build partnerships with families as together we nurture our students as they develop within a child safe environment. It is in the spirit of collaboration that we warmly invite you to consider Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College as you discern the next stage in your child’s educational journey.

All enquiries are welcome. Principal: Mr John Freeman Phone: 03 5662 4255 115 Horn Street Leongatha


With Mt Baw Baw’s Dingoes Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos supplied by Mt Baw Baw Dingoes

A trio of friendly, furry tour guides has become a major attraction at Mt Baw Baw, where they’re breaking down barriers and enticing visitors to take a walk on the wild side. Rowdy, Warragul and Bunji, are the mountain’s resident Alpine dingoes, living at Mt Baw Baw’s Dingo Resource Centre and forming an integral part of the resort’s green and snow season adventures. Throughout the year visitors can take the native dogs for a stroll and learn about the important part they play in the local ecosystem. The dingo walk program was initiated four years ago to help improve education about the species and their role in the alpine region. The first two dingoes arrived at the mountain courtesy of the Australian Dingo Foundation, and they’ve recently been joined by a friend. “We got two dingoes, and that was Rowdy and Warragul and that was four snow seasons ago, and we’ve recently had a third dingo added, his name’s Bunji, and he’s about eight months old,” explained Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort Acting Manager Amon Bradshaw. Rowdy, who boasts beautiful ginger fur, is an alpine/desert dingo. Warragul, who has light fur is 100% alpine dingo. Young Bunji is a black and tan Alpine dingo with a very special lineage. He’s the son of Wandi, the dingo that ‘fell from the sky’, who became an international sensation after being dropped by an eagle into a backyard, far from home.


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Visitors to Mt Baw Baw are able to take the dingoes for a walk around the Village’s trails, and sneak in a cuddle throughout the year. “The dingo walks started as a green season thing, and we didn’t really do walks with the public in snow season because obviously it’s a little bit more challenging. You often need snowshoes. The dingoes were at Mt Baw Baw year ‘round, but we only offered the walks in summer at the start. And then recently we’ve decided to really launch and push that product in winter. “The dingoes need to be walked regularly anyway so by inviting members of the public along we can teach them about dingoes and their threatened status so it’s a mutually beneficial thing. They need to be walked in winter as well as summer so we’re pretty excited to be able to offer it now in winter as well.” One of the aims of the program is to educate the public about Gippsland’s population of Alpine dingoes. “It’s a sensitive issue because they are a native animal and protected, but wild dogs are an invasive pest and can be controlled. So, people want to protect the specific locations of dingoes but I can confirm that Mt Baw Baw definitely has a population of dingoes at the plateau and the national park – I’ve seen them myself very recently.

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“A lot of people don’t think that we have any dingoes in Victoria, let alone an Alpine dingo, which is an eco-type of dingo. So, people are generally pretty surprised when they hear that there’s still dingoes around, they just assume that it’s only wild dogs left and there’s no dingoes. But there’s more research now discovering that there’s plenty of pure dingoes in the Victorian mountains around Mt Baw Baw.” Alpine dingoes have a second, thicker coat of fur which grows during late autumn. It’s then shed by late spring as the weather begins to warm up. And while dingoes like Warragul, Bunji and Rowdy can live up to 14 years in captivity, in the wild their lifespan can be much shorter. The stigma surrounding dingoes continues to cloud the public’s perception of the species, with the program working to re-educate tourists to the region. “In a normal year we get a lot of international tourists, obviously Melbourne visitors and there’s a lot of stereotypes about dingoes. So, it’s a really good way to change stereotypes. Our dingoes obviously aren’t wild dingoes, they’re domesticated, they’re tame. But people can see that dingoes aren’t monsters; they aren’t out there to attack people. They’re actually an important part of our ecosystem. We teach people about the role that dingoes play in protecting other native animals like the Leadbeater’s Possum for example.


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“Dingoes are threatened and estimated to be extinct in a number of years because of interbreeding and hunting. Not many people are aware that dingoes are threatened.” It's hoped that the unique dingo walk experience will also entice visitors back to Mt Baw Baw after two years of lockdowns, and poor snow seasons. “It can be challenging. We just have to prepare for a best - case scenario, which is an amazing snow season. Great visitation and being incredibly busy for four months of the year. Obviously, the weather varies but we are due for a better snow season. “Victoria’s had a couple of average seasons which thankfully combined with the fact that people couldn’t go to the snow anyway so it wasn’t as bad an impact. But I think all of the Victorian resorts, including Mt Baw Baw are looking for a really amazing snow season.”

MT BAW BAW DINGO WALKS & CUDDLES Dingo Walks are available midweek during Mt Baw Baw's June-September snow season. The dingo walks are available from October to May during green season. More information: mountbawbaw.com.au/dingo-resource-centre


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Phillip Island Index 131 28 20 21 - 23 26 - 27 36 20

ALEX SCOTT AND STAFF - Real Estate from the mountains to the sea BLUE GUM GARDEN CENTRE - Gardening, Landscaping and Heating BOWENS PHILLIP ISLAND - Tradeperks when you shop with Bowens DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND - Whale Trail Discovery DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND - Phillip Island 101 - One Amazing Place FINDING THE GRAIN -Handcrafted, reclaimed timber furniture FLOWERS OF PHILLIP ISLAND - Creating Wedding Flowers and more

30 – 33 25 25 35 29 24 34

FREE 3D HANDS: Manufacturing Joy ISLAND SHOES - Cabello comfort NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERANS MUSEUM - Learn about our history NEWHAVEN COLLEGE - Discover our college OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA - Shining inside and out PHILLIP ISLAND RSL - A family friendly modern venue with great food THE WOOLI TAVERN - Family friendly restaurant & Live music

all your floral needs we can help with venue set up & styling, priding ourselves on our local venue knowledge.

Flowers of Phillip Island has a history of creating wedding flowers for the most discerning couples for over 30 years. We can guide you from button hole to bouquets, Venue set ups and styling, creating lasting memories. Servicing Phillip Island, San Remo, Bass Coast and welcome Gippsland 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: Claire Davie


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WHALE HELLO THERE WINTER ON PHILLIP ISLAND WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT BEING ON PHILLIP ISLAND DURING WINTER? WITNESSING THE ARRIVAL OF HUMPBACK AND SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALES INTO OUR COASTAL WATERS. THERE'S SOMETHING TO BE SAID ABOUT RUGGING UP AND SEEING THESE MAJESTIC CREATURES. WANDER THIS WINTER ON PHILLIP ISLAND The whale season occurs from late May until mid-August and excites visitors and locals alike. If you are eager to go in search of whales, book onto the highly popular Wildlife Coast Cruises Winter Whale or Whale and Dolphin Cruise - an experience not to be missed! If you prefer to stay on land, explore the Phillip Island and Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail, featuring some of the finest whale lookouts in the region, from Phillip Island to Inverloch. Grab some warm clothing and a pair of binoculars and head out to one of the trails' fantastic vantage points. Popular locations for sightings include Cowes, Summerlands, Cape Woolamai, George Bass Coastal Walk and Kilcunda. For up-to-date whale sightings in the area, don't forget to download the Wildlife Whales App. This year, the Island Whale Festival weekend takes place from 1 – 3 July at various venues across Phillip Island. Local community and visitors alike have the opportunity to engage with a range of activities that will not only entertain but also allow you to appreciate the wildlife and natural habitats of Phillip Island and the Bass Coast region. The weekend is set to feature various activities and events, including talks, workshops, whale spotting, whale cruises, craft activities and more! Stay up to date with the latest announcements, including the program at islandwhales.com.au or follow us on social media at @islandwhales. For inspiration on cosy winter stays, dining and things to do and see – visit visitphillipisland.com.au


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


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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Welcome to Phillip Island, 101km2 of amazing experiences distilled into one easygoing island sanctuary. Near enough to reach on a short drive from Melbourne but far enough to feel like you’ve had a real escape, Phillip Island is Victoria’s holiday sweet spot. No matter what time of the year you visit, there’s 101km2 of island magic to be discovered. From watching fur seals sun themselves on Seal Rocks, to enjoying a smooth red at a cosy wine bar and taking to the skies on an exhilarating scenic helicopter ride, whichever direction you head there’s fun to be found. Whilst cooler, the Winter months bring a sense of rejuvenation and invigoration. Rug up and explore the Phillip Island and Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail, offering spectacular vantage points to spot Humpback whales migrating by and Southern Right whales visiting the coastal waters. If you are looking for a special winter adventure, book onto a Wildlife Coast Cruises - Winter Whale Cruise, and go in search of these majestic creatures. To keep the big and small kids entertained, warm up testing your indoor climbing ability at Clip N Climb Phillip Island. Enjoy a speciality homemade hot chocolate or chocolate fondu at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and discover the magic and fun at A Maze’N Things. Learn stories of conservation, climate resilience and what lives in the deep, with the interactive and immersive experiences at the Antarctic Journey. And of course, no visit to Phillip Island is complete without watching the Little Penguins waddle on home at sunset – but don’t forget your jacket! For a culinary experience on Phillip Island, enjoy quality food as you soak up the views of Westernport Bay at Hotel Phillip Island, Isola di Capri or North Pier Hotel. Find a cosy spot next to the fire and a glass of wine at the Phillip Island Winery or taste exciting seasonal craft beer releases at Ocean Reach Taphouse. Grab your morning brew and a bite to eat at G’day Tiger, The Store or The Waterboy Café.

Whether you glamp under the stars, stay in a luxury cabin or book a caravan park with a view, we invite you to stay and create your own Island adventure. 101 square kilometres of amazing is waiting. Phillip Island 101. One amazing place.


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Be inspired at visitphillipisland.com.au

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

Public Holidays 9am to 1pm

886 Phillip island Road, Newhaven, Vic, 3922

Tel:(03)5952 3855 Email info@bggc.com.au Web www.bggc.com.au

92 Dunsmore Road, Cowes, Vic, 3922





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

Free 3D Hands has a production line of around 40 3D printers


Albert Einstein is famously quoted as having said that in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity. Free 3D Hands founder Mat Bowtell is living proof of the truth in that statement. In 2014 Mat was working as an engineer at the Toyota car manufacturing plant in Altona in Melbourne when staff were given notice that the factory would be closing down in three years. “I knew I needed to find something to keep myself in a positive mindset during that time,” he reflects. “Around that time, I saw a 3D printer for the first time at the Avalon Air Show. It took my mind way back to 2003 when I was studying mechatronics at Chiba University in Japan on a scholarship through Monash and was a testing a bionic arm. That arm I tested back then cost a million dollars and I was amazed by the technology, but I couldn’t see the point of it if people weren’t going to be able to afford it. “I then gave it no further thought at the time and went into career in automotive industry. Having seen the 3D printer at the Air Show, I thought it could make something similar to the bionic arm I tested in Japan at a fraction of the cost. Being made redundant gave me the opportunity to explore that interest further.” Mat used his payout from Toyota to help kickstart his dream, working full-time on a voluntary basis for next two to three years. More and more people started lending their support to his endeavour. Amongst the many who provided assistance, Adelaide law firm Norman Waterhouse Lawyers worked pro bono to set up Free 3D Hands as a charity. Shortly after his redundancy from Toyota, Mat and his wife Yuka and young children Mia and Sam, moved from Melbourne to Phillip Island.


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“I had grown up on Phillip Island and could think of no better place to start a charity. It’s such a supportive community here,” he says. Mat initially worked out of a single car garage before finding at factory at The Concourse in Cowes. In January this year, Free 3D Hands relocated to a new premises at 3/32 Boys Home Road in Newhaven. An anonymous local benefactor bought the factory and is leasing it to the charity for $1 per year. “It’s just incredible. That’s true altruism,” Mat remarks “Our new premises are more efficient and provide a place where we’ll continue to grow. We’ve got everything we need here,” he adds. The work taking place at Free 3D Hands is nothing short of remarkable. Mat and his team design, manufacture and provide assistive devices to anyone with upper limb differences – for free. Many of the recipients are young children with congenital hand differences and Free 3D Hands will keep providing updated devices as they grow at no cost. The charity does not even ask for a delivery fee, regardless of wherever in the world the recipient is based. “It’s a commitment for life. We’ll provide anything they need, whenever they need it,” Mat promises.

“By providing the devices completely free of charge with no expectation of reward, then it becomes truly priceless. It’s an incredible feeling and is what drives us every day. We feel like we’re part of a global family.”

Mat Bowtell with local Phillip Island recipient Lois

Mat Bowtell and Lachie Thomas

Bionic arm prototype in testing

A crucial part of the charity’s operation is sharing all its intellectual property with the world.

In its relatively short history, the charity has already helped change many people’s lives.

“We release all our all the knowledge we gain from everything we do as open source, so that others can replicate it,” Mat says.

“The number of people we have directly assisted would be in the high hundreds, but we have no idea how many we’ve helped indirectly,” Mat says.

Inside the Newhaven premises, Mat and his team utilise a production line of approximately forty 3D printers to manufacture the assistive devices. Different printers are responsible for making different parts of the hands such as the fingers, joints and palm, before assembly takes place. “It usually takes about ten to fifteen hours to make one hand, depending on the size,” Mat reveals. “3D printing really reduces the design lead time down to allow very quick continuous incremental improvement.” The assistive devices manufactured by Free 3D Hands are more of a functional tool and differ from prosthetic limbs which are designed to be worn all day long. As Mat explains, assistive devices are typically worn for any number of specific tasks such as helping to ride a bicycle, play the piano, serve a tennis ball, hold a skipping rope, or open a bottle of water. “We’re just helping people achieve something that they haven’t been able to achieve before and put a smile on their faces,” he says. “Our slogan is that we’re manufacturing joy.” The material Free 3D Hands uses for its devices is called PLA (Poly Lactic Acid), which is an environmentally friendly biodegradable plastic derived from corn starch.

“We’ve had about five thousand other people download our design and try to replicate what we do around the world. That’s the whole point of what we do.” The first person referred to Free 3D Hands for assistance was a four-yearold boy from Newcastle in New South Wales named Eli, who wanted an Iron Man hand. “We downloaded an open source design that was being developed in America and set about making Eli’s hand,” Mat recalls. Potential recipients anywhere in the world can make application to Free 3D Hands for an assistive device via the charity’s website. “All applications are initially assessed internally and then it is generally best if we can get to meet them in person,” Mat says. “If that’s not possible we can rely on photographs to confirm measurements or use video conferencing like Zoom to connect.” Naturally, the life-changing work undertaken by Free 3D Hands would not be possible without ongoing funding.

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The charity is fully dependent upon donations to sustain its operation and receives wonderful support from a widespread network of individuals, businesses and the local Phillip Island community in general. “Anyone who makes an individual donation or those who collaborate with us through sponsorship find a greater sense of purpose in aligning themselves or their organisation with something that makes such a difference to others,” Mat suggests.

“All forms of support are always welcomed and greatly appreciated. We are particularly on the lookout for annual corporate sponsorships and believe Free 3D Hands provides a very worthy initiative for any company to put their name to.” Working alongside Mat at the charity’s Newhaven premises is a passionate and dedicated team comprising Operations Manager, Peta Strachan, who is kept busy handling emails, website administration and numerous other responsibilities, Assembly Technician, Rebecca Nerosa, and a small band of university interns. Mat’s wife Yuka is also a Director of Free 3D Hands and plays a hands-on role predominantly looking after data entry tasks. At the time of writing, Yuka was preparing for the birth of their third child – a baby daughter – expected to be welcomed into the world in June.


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But from a development perspective, the most critical contributor to the operation is Lachie Thomas, a young software engineer aged in his midtwenties who, with the support of his employer in the private hospital sector, spends one day a fortnight at Free 3D Hands lending his expert input. “I was studying robotics in 2018 when a friend of mine showed me a picture of a child in Sri Lanka with and arm difference and asked if I could help him,” Lachie remembers. “I decided to try to work on a design and my friend put me in touch with Mat. That’s how we first started working together.” Lachie says his bosses at Phoebe Solutions in Melbourne are very proud of the volunteer work he is doing with Free 3D Hands and are happy to release him every second Friday to come down to Newhaven to spend time with Mat and collaborate on their projects. Both Lachie and Mat have devoted countless hours into jointly developing a bionic arm, which is now at prototype stage. Lachie has been doing all the software coding, while Mat takes responsibility for the design work. “We thought we’d produce a much better product if we put our minds together,” Lachie says. “It’s a really exciting project to be working on,” he adds.

Eli with his new hand five years later

The charity’s first recipient Eli with the Iron Man hand

The bionic arm is being designed as small as possible, at a size equivalent to that of a nine-year-old child.

Mat and Lachie share a deep mutual respect and a common passion for helping others.

“There’s not currently much commercially available between the age of about eight and adulthood,” Mat explains.

“Lachie’s input has been invaluable, and we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do here without his support. Other than being absolutely brilliant at what he does, his mindset is also aligned to ours, with a strong focus on continuous improvement. Every time he comes down here, what we are developing together gets better and better,” Mat states.

“We’re attempting to make something that is the equivalent of a forty-tosixty-thousand-dollar arm and trying to bring the cost down as much as possible so it can be released as an open source. So far, we’ve managed to keep the cost of the parts of our arm to around twenty-seven dollars, which is under one thousandth of the cost.” Mat refers to statistics provided by the World Health Organisation, which highlight the problem of how difficult it is currently for people in most parts of the world to access or afford assistive devices. “Australia has a great health system, but many other countries are not so fortunate,” he says.

“Globally only one in ten people are getting what they need predominantly due to the high cost of products and the lack of a skilled workforce. Today more than one billion people in the world need assistive technology and that number is going to double by 2030.” The aim is for Mat’s design and Lachie’s software code to be shared and replicated anywhere in the world. “Hopefully others will improve upon what we’ve done,” Mat says. “It’s created something that is far bigger than ourselves, and will last beyond our time.” Helping to fine-tune the prototype is Mat’s friend Julian McGregor, who has a residual limb and is testing the device and providing feedback from the user’s perspective. “Julian and I met through the hand difference community. We have both been involved with the Aussie Hands Foundation and have volunteered at AMP Camps,” Mat says.

“I view what he’s putting into this as a gift to the world and I think it’s going to change things for a lot of people in a big way. The hand devices we’ve been making up to now have helped people enormously, but I think the bionic arm is going to be a real game changer,” he adds. Lachie believes that his involvement with Mat will be ongoing. “I think Mat and I will work on this for many years to come. I want to provide a solid foundation so that other software engineers around the world can take what we’ve done and run further with it,” he says. Mat reveals that their ultimate goal is for every single person on the planet to have access to assistive technology. “We may not achieve it in our lifetime, but what we are focusing our efforts on is creating the systems and processes for others to continue on beyond our years,” he emphasises. “We have a relentless desire to improve on what we’re doing and assist as many people as we can. Again, I want to acknowledge the local community and all our supporters for helping us to achieve our goals. I really can’t thank them enough.” For information on how to submit an application for an assistive device or to make a donation to Free 3D Hands, visit the charity’s website at www.free3dhands.org for further details.

Photos courtesy of Free 3D Hands

“For Julian to have kindly volunteered his time to help with the testing and for us to be getting that input from an adult is really important, because they’re able to provide more detailed feedback than a child.”

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LUNCH 12.00PM - 2.30PM DINNER 5.30PM - 8.30PM

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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


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The new Silverwaters Vineyard label features Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

“Everything under the Silverwaters Vineyard label is from our single vineyard in San Remo.” The wine is sold through the vineyard’s online store. All orders are gift wrapped and they offer free local delivery, with no minimum purchase and free shipping Australia wide on 6 or more bottles.

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Find out more at themiddleofeverywhere.com.au


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Glenmaggie Wines

Tinamba Food & Wine Festival Held on Sunday May 15 Photos supplied by Jeanette Severs


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Blue Gables Vineyard

Mt Moornapa Wines

Nicholson River Winery

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Wellington Real Estate

Kevin Read Wellington Real Estate | Maffra

The team at Wellington Real Estate have a proud history of servicing the Wellington Shire region for nearly 50 years when it began as a humble family business selling real estate in Maffra. The business has evolved and grown over the years to now operating three offices in Sale, Stratford, and Maffra. The black and yellow branding cannot be missed in the main street of Maffra where I met up with one of the 6 Wellington Real Estate Directors, Kevin Read. Kevin has been in the real estate industry for several years, having come on board in late-2020 when his business, Country Road Real Estate merged with Wellington Real Estate to establish the Maffra office, with the aim of providing a broader service team for Central Gippsland. With only a 10-minute drive between each of the offices, it is easy for the staff to connect with each other and clients on a regular basis. This close proximity also allows the flexibility for Wellington Real Estate to offer a full suite of property services, including real estate sales – residential, rural, lifestyle and sub-divisional land, property management and residential and commercial leasing. The property landscape and real estate game has changed over the years, especially the level of interest from around Victoria and interstate. As more people explore Gippsland’s holiday spots in the east of the region, they are now looking further afield for their ideal property.



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Now that remote working is providing greater flexibility in working arrangements, the regions are being looked upon favourably as a lifestyle choice. They are also seeing more metropolitan buyers moving to the regions as a result of the fringe-metro areas becoming congested and densely populated in recent years. For Elise Williams, also a director of Wellington Real Estate, it is the strength and support of the local community that she loves about living and working in Central Gippsland. She spoke passionately about the love for the community and the support that the community had shown back to the business, especially when they expanded into Maffra in late-2020. Elise grew up in Stratford so is a local through and through, and with the establishment of the Maffra office she noticed a real sense of belonging and sees it as a privilege that the Maffra community have welcomed them with open arms. Wellington Real Estate were able to expand their brand, invest in their team ensuring stability of work and have continued to go from strength to strength. The business is always seeking new ways to support the community, combined with their resilience, determination and taking risks where they see potential and opportunities for growth. In what was once a relatively conservative business, these risks have paid off, with a pleasing result, for the business and the community.

At Your Service Words by Liz Fleming | Photos supplied by Doug Pell


Tony Kiss, Christine Haylock, Bronwyn Segafredo & Julian McIvor Wellington Real Estate | Sale

The Director Team reflects often about their business journey and wonder what else they may have achieved if they had taken certain risks earlier or made different decisions. All of this has been made possible by the support of their courteous team of trained professionals, many who have excelled to become Licensed Estate Agents, who work hard to achieve personal goals and results for their clients. Their industry is forever evolving and with success from innovative practises, skill and customer service satisfaction, their team on the frontline focus on a commitment to succeed and support their clients from the beginning through to the end of the process. Business operations are continually improving by implementing better technology, increased marketing and streamlined systems to support their team and clients so they can continue to commit to providing the local and national connections to ensure every opportunity can be captured. Their offices attract local, interstate, and international purchasers and clients who were initially attracted by their local marketing campaigns and their national website which is supported by innovative platforms behind the scenes. They are proud of their teams across the three locations, living by their values to provide excellence in customer service with exceptional communication to create lifelong relationships with their team, the community, and their clients.

They ensure they utilise their wealth of experience along with individual strengths to create a well-rounded real estate service and experience. Currently, there is more than 200 years of combined service knowledge within the Wellington Real Estate team. Wellington Real Estate are proud to support locals and are well positioned to service clients throughout the Wellington Shire for all their real estate and property needs.


236-238 Raymond Street, Sale 136 Johnson Street, Maffra (03) 5144 4575 Sale (03) 5141 1026 Maffra www.wellingtonrealestate.com.au

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1978 Scanlens Footy card

Former VFL footballer Ian Morrison has had an interesting journey in life so far, but it is in Sale where his story begins sixty-eight years ago. Ian was born at Gippsland Base Hospital in January 1954. Like most regional babies in that era, he was delivered by local Sale GP, Dr Joe Crosbie, who was a good friend of the Morrison family. Both of Ian’s parents – his father Ron and mother Dorothy - were Life Members of the Sale and District Agricultural Society. Ron Morrison hailed from Scotland but came to Sale with his parents James and Mary shortly after emigrating to Australia when he was three years of age, whilst Dorothy was a nurse originally from Melbourne. Home was the large rural property Woodburn, located on the Princes Highway about 5 kilometres out of Sale heading towards Stratford, on which stood three separate houses occupied by three branches of the Morrison family tree. Ian looks back on his childhood memories in Sale with great fondness.

“Woodburn was first occupied by Morrisons as far back as the mid1930s. The property was leased initially before coming into our family’s ownership in the early 1950s until it was eventually sold a few years after my dad passed away in 1994.” Sport was the dominant force in Ian’s early life and that of his siblings and cousins. “We lived and breathed sport. Academically, we weren’t too bad, but sport was number one by a long way,” he states.

“It was cricket in summer and football in winter, along with a bit of tennis and golf. My older sister Anne loved horses and did pony club, and younger sister Pam played a bit of netball. We made our own cricket pitches and footy fields in the paddocks, and there was a grass tennis court on the property.” Sporting talent runs deep in the Morrison blood.

“I was the second eldest of four children, preceded by older sister Anne and followed by younger brother James and sister Pam,” he says. “We lived in the old farmhouse on Woodburn. The next house belonged to our pop James, and the third one was home to my Uncle John and Aunty Margaret and their five children – Allan, Peter, John, Gill and Chris. We played with our cousins and would often stay at each other’s homes, so it was like having one big family of nine kids on the property.” At nearly 800 acres, the farm’s vast size provided all the freedom and space any child could possibly dream of. “The property was predominantly a sheep farm, but we also kept some beef cattle and grew occasional crops,” Ian remembers.


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“My uncle John was a very good cricketer and dad was pretty handy at it as well,” Ian says. Amongst my siblings, James ended up playing over fifty games for Sale before moving to Canberra where he continued playing there. Anne maintained her involvement with horses and has been an internationally accredited equestrian judge since 2001, which has taken her to many places around the world.” The Morrison clan gained their education locally in Sale, firstly at St. Mary’s Primary before progressing to St. Patrick’s College.

Shelley and Ian Morrison

“The boys only went to Grade Four at St. Mary’s, so I commenced at St. Pat’s in Grade Five,” Ian explains. While studying at St. Pat’s, Ian never really harboured any loftier ambitions with his football other than representing the school at different age levels. When he reached Year 11, he decided to take a break from football.

After being invited to train with the Bulldogs, Ian signed with the club for the 1973 season. As it turned out, he had no shortage of company amongst his old St. Pat’s cohort also joining him at Footscray. “Two of my team-mates from St. Pat’s – Colin Boyd and Ted Carroll were also recruited in 1973 and my cousin Peter came to Footscray the following year,” Ian reveals.

“I was tall enough and fast enough, but quite lightly built,” he recalls. “Taking a year off from footy turned out to be a wise decision. When I picked it up again in my HSC year at Year 12, everything just clicked and fell into place.” By then, Ian had set his sights on pursuing a career in teaching. His school grades were sufficient for him to pass his HSC at the first attempt, but he opted to repeat the following year at St. Pat’s. “My football improved out of sight in those two HSC years as I gained more maturity,” he comments. “Our St. Pat’s team won both grand finals in 1971 and 1972 in hard fought games against our arch enemies Sale.” Ian’s football prowess had already come under the notice of recruiters from Footscray (now known as the Western Bulldogs) prior to him moving to Melbourne after being accepted into Toorak Teachers’ College. Footscray was zoned to the Latrobe Valley in the VFL system in those days and I had been invited to a couple of training sessions while I was still living in Sale,” he remembers. “I also played for a combined Gippsland representative side in a game against Footscray’s Under 19s.”

“I think it’s pretty remarkable that four of us from the one school team all went to Footscray and played league football,” he suggests. Colin Boyd and Ted Carroll were originally a year below Ian at St. Pat’s, but the trio all joined up in the same year level when Ian repeated his HSC in 1972. His cousin Peter was a further year back in age at school. “We were always great mates and did a lot of sport together,” Ian says. “Colin, Ted and I managed to all play a senior game together at Footscray, but unfortunately Peter and I didn’t. I would have really liked that to happen, although we did get to play some games in the reserves together. He and I had a close relationship and had an excellent understanding on the football field. Peter supplied me with a lot of goals at St. Pat’s when I was playing at full forward.” Ian’s career at Footscray spanned eight seasons from 1973 to 1980, in which he accumulated a total of 110 games and kicked just over 100 goals playing mainly as a forward as well as later spending periods on the wing and in defence. His height of six foot two inches combined with his athleticism gave Ian the versatility to manage these roles. After starting in Footscray’s reserve team, Ian’s senior debut midway through the 1973 season was against Fitzroy at Waverley. He played under four coaches during his time at the Bulldogs – Bob Rose, Bill Goggin, Don McKenzie and Royce Hart.

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Ted Carroll, Ian Morrison and Colin Boyd at training

In terms of on-field performance, Ian rates the 1979 season as having been his best with the Bulldogs, finishing fifth in the club’s Best & Fairest award. Ian felt disillusioned in his final year at Footscray in 1980 and stood out of football for several rounds while seeking to join Richmond. “I was committed to the Tigers, and they were very good to me, but Footscray wouldn’t agree to a clearance, so a deal was unable to be done,” he reflects.

Angus, Ian, Ted Whitten Junior, Madeline and Shelley Morrison

“I booted one goal six in the second half but have always joked that those six points amounted to the six points we won by,” he laughs. Throughout his time playing football in Melbourne, Ian was also busy establishing his career as a Physical Education teacher at primary school level. “I never really went to Melbourne for football. I came to be a teacher,” he notes.

Ian instead found his way across to Essendon, the club he had supported as a child. He played three games for the Bombers in 1981 but did not add to that tally in his final year at the top level in the 1982 season.

Ian’s first posting was to Hyde Street Primary in Footscray, where he was based for three years. He then spent periods at Waverley Park Primary and Auburn South Primary, and lastly at Geelong Road Primary in Footscray.

“It was clear I wasn’t really in coach Kevin Sheedy’s plans at Essendon,” he comments.

“My teaching career went the full circle, beginning in Footscray in 1977 and ending in Footscray in 1988,” he observes.

“One thing I can say about my time at Essendon is that I might have only played three senior games, but they were all wins.”

In the same year Ian finished teaching, he married wife Shelley and the newlyweds enjoyed travelling the world together for five months. The couple first met when studying at Toorak Teacher’s College in 1985 and had dated for about two years before tying the knot.

After leaving Essendon, Ian joined Sandringham in the former VFA competition where he achieved both of his previously unfulfilled footballing ambitions which were to be part of a winning senior premiership and kick 100 goals in a season at senior level. Sandringham defeated Williamstown by six points in the 1985 VFA Grand Final and Ian finished the season with 108 goals.

“Above anything I achieved at Footscray or Essendon, that premiership with Sandringham is my absolute highlight in football. It’s daylight to second,” he states. Ian’s kicking boots were unusually inaccurate in the winning grand final.


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Belying the saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, following their return from overseas Ian then stepped successfully into a new career focused mainly in sales at Pioneer Concrete, a business which later was rebranded as Hanson Australia following a takeover. He spent 25 years at the company, including a stint in Adelaide, before retiring after reaching the age of 60 in 2014. “I felt I still needed to do something with myself, so I started my own little part-time business in Melbourne called Morrisonic Maintenance doing gardening and cleaning,” he reveals. “I work about fifteen to twenty hours a week which is enough for me, and I really enjoy it.”

St Patrick’s College, Sale

Shelley continues to teach at Glen Iris Primary, where she has been based for the past 25 years. The couple have two adult children – son Angus, 30 and daughter Madeline, 28.

Peter Morrison

Anne Garner

Ian & Shelley Morrison

“Angus is soon going to relocate to Vancouver Canada with his partner,” Ian says. “Shelley and I have always encouraged our kids to spread their wings and we’re more than happy with Angus’s move, as it provides another reason for us to travel ourselves for a visit.” Ian and Shelley developed a strong affinity with France after first travelling through the country in an old car as newlyweds way back in 1988. They returned on several occasions with their children before making their French connection part of a lifestyle change by purchasing a centuriesold stone terrace house in the South of France in 2006.

“The house is in the heart of a quaint little village called Herepian in the Orb Valley in the Languedoc region. It’s the biggest wine growing area in the world,” Ian describes. “We’re real Francophiles now. Up until Covid, we’ve been spending part of every year there since 2006. It’s been a big part of our lives and given us so much joy. We’re looking forward to getting back there very shortly.” However far his travels take him and wherever he may be, Ian still looks back on his early years at Sale with great memories. “It was a terrific upbringing, and I wouldn’t change or swap anything,” he insists. “Two of my oldest friends have houses in Seaspray and with my older sister Anne living on part of the original property and brother James now back living just out of Maffra at Riverslea after previously having been in Canberra, I hope to get back down that way more often in the future. It’s always nice whenever I return to such a familiar area.”

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The ANZAC Weekend Airshow | April 23rd & 24th 2022


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The ANZAC Weekend Airshow brought together some amazing aircraft, including Australia’s famous Roulettes who as always put on their highly skilled aerobatic performance; they never fail to deliver. This event was very successful with large crowds attending over the weekend and the weather, although cloudy on the Sunday, didn’t fail to deliver what was shown in the air and on the ground. Of particular interest was the sabre jet piloted by Squadron Leader Jeff Trappett who is based at Latrobe Regional Airport, this was a great highlight of the event to see this jet still cranking up high speeds in the air.

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The ANZAC Weekend Airshow | April 23rd & 24th 2022

The other old warbird that created great interest was the Gruman Avenger, these planes were primarily flown from aircraft carriers in WW2 during the Battle of Midway and played a significant part in winning the battle of the Pacific. Of course the weekend was also highlighted by the stunt planes and their pilots provided by Paul Bennet who attends various airshow performances in and around the world. As you can see from the photos, there was plenty to do and see on the tarmac with static aeroplane displays, vintage cars, and a display from the Armed Forces. Let’s hope that this event will continue and be a significant attraction to The Middle of Everywhere – Central Gippsland.

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Terry Stewart and his parents purchased Sale Newsagency in 1988. At that time the business was owned by long time newsagent Rollie Ruck. Prior to buying the business, Terry was a professional water-skiing instructor. He travelled the world perusing this work visiting places such as Asia and the USA. As he got older, he realised that he could not do this indefinitely, so he spoke to his father about joining his business, in quarries and concrete. This job, with dad, lasted 12 months before dad got an offer “he couldn’t refuse” and sold out. After looking at several businesses, Terry and his dad decided to purchase Sale Newsagency. There were 2 newsagencies in Sale at that time. The second newsagency closed a few years ago leaving Terry the only newsagency in town.

In those days there was no internet for the offshore employees of Esso/ BHP. Consequently, they relied on Sale Newsagency for their information on sport, politics and all other topics including international affairs. Even today, the magazines and newspapers are still important to these workers but not as popular as 20 years ago. They were particularly keen on sports, woman’s magazines such as Woman’s Weekly and of course girlie magazines which were huge in those days. Older readers will remember Pix, People and Post magazines not to mention the classic newspaper of the day, Truth. Truth informed readers about racing, sport and of course everyone in Australia knew Heart Balm and the page 3 girl. Perhaps not so perfect by today’s lofty standards!

At that time newspapers were king, and magazines were golden. Esso/ BHP had their headquarters in Sale and were massive to the town’s economy. It was the headquarters of the oil industry in Australia. Also, the National Safety Council had their headquarters in Sale and employed hundreds of people. Nylex Industries also had their headquarters in the town manufacturing plastic products including hoses and contact paper.

During Terry’s years in the shop, he has introduced many new products to the business. One particularity agency that has been very successful has been the AFL shop. Terry sells a large range of club products including scarves, beanies, footballs, drink bottles and stubby holders. Although he caters for all teams, Terry passionately follows The Cats.

Terry’s business prospered under these conditions. He was the preferred supplier of magazines and newspapers to the oil industry and the monthly account was huge.

Greeting cards are a large part of the business. This newsagency is the largest retailer of cards in Sale and caters for all events including 100th birthday together with most other significant birthdays.


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The card range includes “All Occasion” wedding cards aimed at the male and male and female and female couples. A local grandmother recently purchased one of these cards for her granddaughter and her partner. If there is an occasion, Terry has the card, no matter what it is. Magazines, although not as big as last century, are still a major part of the industry. Magazine categories cover various sports, woman’s interests, computers, hunting and fishing, cars, boats, 4 WD, cooking, gardening etc. The range of overseas magazines that were available in newsagencies up until recent years are now no longer imported into Australia. Even so, lots of people still enjoy their New Idea every week. Terry stocks a big range of stationery supplies for businesses as well as the public. Terry is proud that his stationery prices are very competitive in the industry. He orders stationery several times a week and if he is out of a product, he can quickly obtain it.

Terry is proud to have been a long-term newsagent and loves being a retailer in the city of Sale. His other interests, outside the business, include golf, water skiing and fishing.

Terry considers himself very lucky to have had a lot of good staff over the years. For many years paper boys and girls delivered the morning newspapers on bikes. Some of these “kids” are now adults with kids of their own. Many have gone on to have very successful careers and speak favourably of their time delivering newspapers. Some have become doctors, builders, and many other worthwhile jobs. Newsagencies can be very long hours and hard work. Long standing newsagents like Terry Stewart are hard to find and Sale is lucky to have him and his very attractive shop.

The newsagency carries a huge range of printer ink under the Newspower banner. The prices Terry offers his customers for this ink, is one of the lowest in Australia as the group has the buying power of 600 businesses. As is normal these days, the shop carries a good range of gift lines including soft toys.

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Shakespeare Festival STRATFORD

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY JEANETTE SEVERS Steampunk and medieval dystopia blended at Stratford’s faire day, part of the annual Shakespeare on the River festival. With a festival theme of Dystopia, many attendees dressed in costumes to promenade and be admired, joining a range of community groups with activities. The Medieval Faire Day spread across several sites including the Village Green and included bards, singers, sword making, blacksmithing, musicians, short dramatic interpretations of the Witches incantation from ‘The Scottish Play”, and free plants courtesy of the Landcare group. Macbeth was on the community stage with a beat rap, and knights wore armor and chain mail to demonstrate sword play. A cornucopia of family games and activities on offer during Faire Day included a form of chess played as a strategic war boardgame, horseshoes and ball throwing to hit a target.


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The 2022 Shakespeare on the River Festival offered 20 Dystopian events in 20 days, allowing lighted fools fading to dusty death in an apocalyptic hour upon Stratford’s stage. The festival began on April 23, with a celebration of Williams Shakespeare’s birthday, and the Village Faire occurs on the first Sunday in May. On Sunday evening, May 1, after the Faire, the Bishop of Gippsland, Richard Treloar, led a Traditional Evensong at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church. Guest preacher, Reverend Dr Nikolai Blaskow, connected the stories and characters of Shakespeare’s English theatre with dystopian or utopian reflections of topics across a gamut of topics that included modern warfare, climate change, visions of multi-planet humanity and people’s mental health.

The Shakespeare Festival at Stratford enables schools and amateur theatrical companies to appear on stage across two weeks of performances. This year’s plays included Groundwork Theatre Company performing “You Should See Me with A Crown” and Combined Stratford Primary Schools presenting” War of the Roses”. Continuing the theme, The Community Players performed “The Macbeths”, set in a post-apocalyptic world where a couple spend their time and energy leading a violent, dystopian society. But ultimately, they are forced to ponder if their ambition to seek and seize power is worth their humanity. The last performance of the festival was The Australian Shakespeare Company with a rendition of “As You Like It”, on Sunday, May 15. A Bard’s Banquet brought the local community together for a feast.

three-kilometre arts trail, titled Shakespeare through the Ages, that is scattered through the streets of Stratford. After 10 years of installations commissioned specifically for the festival, there is a substantial display of art, including a boat tossed on stormy waves depicting The Tempest, to a jester’s hat, a coven of witches, a chimney, and a desk and quill. The arts trail, developed as an interactive walking trail, links the physical sculptures to online stories and songs. Café Segue was created in 2013 to provide a permanent home for the Shakespeare on the River Festival. As well as being a hub for the festival program, the café ensures an enduring Shakespearean connection between the festival and Stratford for 365 days a year.

A permanent fixture of the Shakespeare festival is a

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“I liked the fact that I was bringing a heritage boat to an historic port,” Alan observes. “The Rubeena is the oldest commercial boat on the Victorian register and has been in continuous survey longer than any boat in Australia. I saw a significant opportunity to combine that heritage with all the rich history in Gippsland, which includes the waterways in and around Sale,” he adds. Nine years and over 34,000 passengers later, Alan’s judgement has been vindicated beyond any doubt. When owner/skipper Alan Lewis purchased the Rubeena from Lake Tyers in 2013, he rightly considered that he had identified a potentially successful business opportunity. Having been the Founding Chairman of Destination Gippsland a decade earlier, Alan fully appreciates the importance of astute marketing and strong branding. He recognised a gap in the tourism market for a pleasure cruise on the Thomson River based out of the Port of Sale, and in acquiring the Rubeena had found the perfect craft for short distance trips. Originally built in Baimain in Sydney in 1910, the Rubeena was transported by coastal freighter to Lakes Entrance in April 1912 and has remained in Gippsland to this day.


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But the vital element that has made Port of Sale Heritage Cruises such a unique tourism experience and ensured its success is Alan’s remarkably deep reservoir of knowledge of the local history which is revealed in his fascinating on-board commentary. Sale has been Alan’s home for over 50 years since relocating from Coburg in Melbourne in 1968 and his passion for the history of the town and surrounding regions is palpable. A trip aboard the Rubeena is an enjoyable and educational excursion that is highly recommended. In many ways it is like travelling back to a different time. This year’s 110th birthday celebrations have added a special touch of extra significance and nostalgia around the Rubeena. Despite its age, the boat has been maintained with loving care and has probably never been in better condition.


Elizabeth Hutchinson and Alan Lewis

The Rubeena is licensed to carry up to 42 passengers. Single person fares, children’s fares, family tickets and even full boat charter options are available. Cruises depart from the Port of Sale (behind the Visitor Information Centre) and the sound of the boat’s electric whistle signals that each trip is on its way. Young passengers are often given an opportunity to activate the whistle later as the boat nears port on the return leg of the trip. The beginning part of the journey travels along the man-made Sale Navigation Canal, a critical component of the transport system completed in 1890 which connected Sale and the Gippsland region to the open sea 105 kilometres away. Dug by horse and scoop, the canal was the essential link between rail and road, rivers and lake in that era. The construction of the canal and port provided a passage for coastal freighters to reach Sale. At the one-kilometre mark of the cruise, the Thomson River merges into the canal. The Rubeena then continues downstream to the Sale Swing Bridge, adjacent to the point at which the Latrobe River joins the Thomson, where the boat then turns around and retraces its course back to port. The relaxing 10-kilometre return trip takes 90-120 minutes, travelling at an average speed of around five knots.

Such an easy pace provides ample time to admire the scenery and look for the birdlife and animals inhabiting the water and the vegetation along the embankments which includes many magnificent ancient River Red Gums, paperbarks and wattles. On any given day, keen-eyed passengers may spot Wedgetail Eagles, Pelicans, Azure Kingfishers, Whistling Kites and Cormorants amongst an abundance of birdlife. Platypus and koala sightings are always a popular highlight, and do occur regularly, but can never be guaranteed. The boat’s quiet electric motor ensures the peace and tranquility of the river environment is not disturbed. Along the way, Alan delights in regaling passengers with facts and stories covering everything about the Rubeena and the waterways around the Port of Sale, and various local landmarks highlighted by the Swing Bridge which is a magnificent example of Victorian architecture. “It was designed by John Grainger, the father of the famous Western Australian composer Percy Grainger, and is the longest swing bridge in the world designed to open manually by one person,” Alan explains as the boat approaches. It is evident throughout the journey that Alan’s extensive library of knowledge includes being well versed on practically every aspect of the history of early European settlement in Gippsland and its associated impacts on the local Gunaikurnai people.

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As Alan does not take every trip, he has made a concerted effort to pass on his knowledge to the other trained coxswains amongst his team of crew members who deputise in his absence. Although now aged 80 and starting to slowly ease back on his workload, Alan never tires of taking the Rubeena out on the water. “My greatest satisfaction comes from seeing people enjoy what I enjoy,” he says. “I never finding repeating the same route every trip to be monotonous. Each day is different on the water. You can never predict what you are going to see, particularly with the birdlife.” Although Port of Sale Heritage Cruises has been Alan’s passion for the past nine years, it is far from a one-man attraction. The business is a family affair, with daughters Rachel and Christina also making a significant contribution. Rachel manages the booking enquiries, whilst Christina monitors security when the boat is moored at port, and she also designed the original website for the business. The other significant figure in Alan’s life and major contributor to the business is his partner of two years, Elizabeth Hutchinson. Toora-born Elizabeth first met Alan in the 1970s when she and her former husband operated a backhoe construction business in Sale. Alan was the town’s City Engineer, Town Planner and Engineer for Water Supply at the time. Elizabeth left Sale in 1977 and spent over 40 years in the USA.


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She inadvertently found her way back to the town in the first year of the COVID pandemic, leaving America in March 2020 and travelling initially to Melbourne, intending to continue onward to see her son in Thailand. After being quarantined in Melbourne and thwarted by international border closures, Elizabeth instead detoured to Port Albert then to Sale after hearing about the river cruise business. “I reacquainted myself with Alan and decided to stay on the condition that I get to spend at least three months of the year with my family in the USA. Alan and I are both widowers and we are now looking after each other. We have no plans to get married. We’re far too old for that,” she laughs. Elizabeth has been working on the Rubeena as a deckhand but is retiring from those duties and intends to remain on land from now onwards. “Prior to being on the Rubeena I had only been on three other boats in my life, and they all ended in mishaps – two of them took on water and one ran aground,” she reveals. “The scariest experience was in the Singapore Straits where we were going out to some islands and the boat started taking on water. The other incidents happened in Laos and closer to home at Paynesville.” Port of Sale Heritage Cruises also employs an extremely capable crew of staff members including coxswains Liz McCormick and the recently recruited Ian Charles, deckhand Mark Debono, and highly skilled maintenance man Dave Verey.

During the intermittent COVID lockdowns, Alan used opportunity to schedule coxswain training sessions and carry out improvements to the boat including renewing the seat coverings and installing new blinds. He also commissioned the filming of a virtual tour of the cruise which appears on the website and Facebook page. The Rubeena’s operating timetable varies according to the time of year. During Summer, trips run as frequently as up to four or five times a day, seven days a week. One of the most popular options in Summer are the twilight cruises departing around 6pm, which provide the perfect setting for office Christmas parties. At the time of writing, trips were running twice a day at 10am and 2pm from Wednesday to Sunday. On weekends, the 2pm afternoon tour is timed to coincide with the opening of the Swing Bridge which occurs at 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Comments written in the on-board visitors’ books illustrate how enjoyable passengers find the experience and the cruise also consistently receives positive reviews on the Trip Advisor website. “Most people seem to enjoy the opportunity to mix learning about the history with the ambience of the trip,” Alan states. Port of Sale Heritage Cruises was also featured on leading tourism television show Postcards in April, which added to its brand recognition and helped introduce the business to a widespread audience of potential new visitors. If it’s something you haven’t yet done, a trip aboard the Rubeena should be added to the list of outdoor experiences in Gippsland not to miss.

“We are available for private charter bookings on Mondays and Tuesdays at present but are not accepting walk-ups and general bookings on those two days during the off-peak period,” Alan notes. “It should also be noted that the boat will be undergoing routine maintenance from June until August 28th, and we will only be accepting bookings for a minimum of fifteen adults during that period. We will then resume our regular schedule just in time for the beginning of Spring.”

THE CRUISE HOLDS UNIVERSAL APPEAL FOR YOUNG AND OLD, WITH DEMAND ALWAYS PEAKING IN JANUARY WHEN THE RUBEENA TRADITIONALLY CARRIES 1800 TO 2000 PASSENGERS FOR THE MONTH. “We tend to attract a majority of that I call the grey nomads, who are probably aged between fifty and eighty, and we also get a lot of people in their thirties with young families,” Alan comments. “Some of our passengers are local people from Sale and nearby towns, many of whom have made the journey with us on several occasions, but we also attract a lot of visitors from Melbourne,” he adds.

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Neville, Joe and Mathew

BORN TO BE A BUTCHER As you drive down the main street of Rosedale, on the Princes Highway on the main thoroughfare from Melbourne through to the Gippsland Lakes and East Gippsland areas, is Rosedale Butchers, where the blue and white man is sitting on the footpath inviting you inside to enjoy the best of Gippsland meats and produce. Words by Liz Fleming | Photos by Doug Pell


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Matt Vaux is the Manager of this family-owned business, that his grandparents purchased in 1977 after relocating from Orbost. It’s been in the family ever since, with the butcher premises nestled amongst the Vaux family homes. When Matt left school at the end of Term 1 of Year 12, he commenced his butcher apprenticeship working alongside his parents, where from Day 1, Matt appointed himself to the role of Manager. Fast forward to now, 14 years later, he continues to thrive in this environment, striving for success in everything he puts his mind to and has a lot of achievements to be proud of, in a business, community and personal sense. Matt has always been supported and encouraged by his parents, Nev and Deb, who all work alongside each other on a daily basis to keep the butcher shop operating, as well as his sister, Hannah who is in charge of the bookkeeping and can also be found serving customers in the shop on a Saturday morning. Three of Matt’s grandparents still work a couple of days of week in the shop, cementing the family bond that continues in this 3rd-generation family business. Matt has an inquisitive mind and from a young age has been interested in building computers and developing software, completing his Cert III and IV in Information Technology while at school. He tells me that he kept the school IT administrators on their toes, on a number of occasions! If he wasn’t a butcher, he would be building computers!

Rosedale Butchers

“Having this comprehensive IT knowledge has helped immensely with the business needs and saved us a lot of money and downtime,” says Matt. He has developed a brand-new website with a local web developer, to create an online marketplace for home deliveries to the local areas. He was able to drive the process as he knew what he wanted and how he wanted the back-end functionality to operate, which has also led to easier management of the website, reducing the need to outsource the daily management and updates. During COVID Rosedale Butchers purchased their own refrigerated delivery van, taking phone orders and delivering local produce to local customers on a weekly basis. This delivery van is set to become a mobile billboard in the coming weeks. Matt is an ideas man with an inquisitive mind, developing new products and offerings for customers and making the most of the nose-to-tail concept to fully maximise the locally sourced produce and profits. His parents have been hugely supportive of new products, while building a sustainable business that supports the local producers and community.

Mathew Vaux

Matt is community-minded and has held a number of important community roles within the Rosedale Football & Netball Club, Rosedale Chamber of Commerce, Local Newsletter Committee, a Board Member of the local Bendigo Bank Branch and was the Youth Mayor for Wellington Shire Council in 2015. Matt has gained a lot of knowledge from his volunteering and community involvement. His leadership qualities are to be admired and he participated in the Gippsland Community Leadership Program (GCLP) in 2016. In 2021, he was named the Gippsland Food & Fibre Young Leader of the Year, for his contribution to the food and fibre sector and his exemplary display of leadership within his business. In his spare time, he enjoys relaxing by mowing his 5-acre lawn on his property in Denison, whom he shares with his partner, Kerry. They also enjoy exploring the local eateries between Rosedale and Melbourne, so next time you pop in to the Rosedale Butchers be sure to ask Matt where the best food places can be found.

Joe, Neville and Mathew

From his 15 years in business, many lessons have been learnt, but it’s important to celebrate the wins, embrace the lows and Matt says, ‘always have a Plan B, even if you don’t end up needing it.’ Upon reflection of his time working in a family business, which for him is a well-supported environment with the potential to grow and opportunities abound, he also credits the extra flexibility you might not necessarily have in a non-family business, to its true success. Success to Matt is the essence of being part of the community, supporting local producers and the wider local community for everyone to be proud to live and work in Rosedale.

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Bushwalking in the Gippsland Foothills & Southern Alps Words by Liz Fleming


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Licola | wellington shire | Middle of Everywhere It was nearly three years in the planning, but Fedwalks 2021 was finally held in March 2022 at Licola in the Wellington Shire, which really is the Middle of Everywhere, in a remote part of Gippsland. It was a hugely successful weekend with more than 200 keen bushwalkers attending from across Victoria for a long weekend of hiking in the areas surrounding Licola. The weather provided near-perfect hiking conditions. The organising committee comprised of members from Ben Cruachan Bush Walking Club and Strzelecki Bushwalking Clubs are to be commended for their dedication, diligence, and determination to make this event a success. Just like the Tokyo Olympics, the organising committee thought it was fitting to keep 2021 in the event title for the twice-postponed event (which was originally scheduled for November 2020). The weekend offered a smorgasbord of more than 20 walks on each weekend day, with bushwalking ‘classics’ such as The Crinoline, Kelly’s Hut, Mt Howitt and Bryces Gorge. This year also included special overnight hikes to Lake Tali Karng, Wonnangatta Valley and Bryces Gorge. An experienced team of activity and walk leaders guided the groups and shared their local knowledge of the area, including the Macalister 4WD Club providing the overnight hike support. The Federation Walks event is an annual, member-only event for Bushwalking Victoria affiliated club members, organised by local clubs showcasing a unique part of Victoria’s bushland. It is a wonderful opportunity for fellow bushwalkers to explore new parts of Victoria, to walk with different clubs and have fun. The first Fedwalks event was held in 1935 so it has a strong tradition of 86 years celebrating inter-club bushwalking, with different regions hosting each year. The event has only been cancelled three times over this period, excluding the years of WWII. Bushwalking Victoria is the not-for-profit, peak body representing bushwalking clubs for Victoria, with more than 60 affiliated clubs, run by a dedicated team of volunteers. Collectively they represent 8,000 members across the state of Victoria. The vision of Bushwalking Victoria is to create better bushwalking for Victoria, by creating a large and diverse bushwalking community enjoying world-class walking opportunities across a wide range of Victorian landscapes. The town of Licola, where Fedwalks 2021 was based, is bushwalkers paradise, and is the perfect base as there are so many fantastic walks and adventures in the vicinity. It is a beautiful village nestled on the banks of the Macalister River, powered by solar panels, 250km south-east of Melbourne, which is the gateway to the Victorian Alpine National Park. It is a popular pit-stop for bushwalkers, motorbike riders and campers.

Trevor and his team at Licola Wilderness Village, accommodated all attendees and did a magnificent job of hosting everyone in the cabins, providing excellent facilities and food throughout the entire weekend. For some bushwalkers it was a luxury to stay in cabin accommodation for such an event, as they are accustomed to camping out in the wilderness when on bushwalking trips. The Licola Wilderness Village is where the Lions Clubs have run camps for the school groups, as well as underprivileged, deserving, special needs and disengaged young people, for more than 50 years. The Saturday evening was the social night, with dinner, followed by local Gippsland Adventurer, Beau Miles as the guest speaker. Beau grew up in West Gippsland and has more than 20 years of outdoor education and adventure experience that has taken him across the world. Once COVID hit, he was somewhat forced to look closer to home for his adventures. He shared with us his tales of his many adventures, including how he ran the MacMillan Track in 3 days, with his own film crew documenting as he ran. He is an avid filmmaker, with a sizable YouTube following of his backyard adventures and in 2021, he launched his first book, The Backyard Adventurer. (Ed Note: Beau Miles featured in Gippsland Lifestyle Winter #47) After returning from the Sunday walks, the bushwalkers were treated to a Taste of Gippsland which showcased the best of Gippsland wines and produce, enjoying the afternoon listening to local singer, Courtney Jane. The feedback after the event was extremely positive with many bushwalkers thoroughly enjoying their weekend in Licola and indicating their desire to return to the area to hike the other walks on the walks program. Some are also keen to visit the local Gippsland wineries as well as explore more of the Gippsland towns nearby. The Gippsland area really is spoilt for choice with so many beautiful bushwalking areas within close proximity. Joining a bushwalking club is a great way to meet new people, exercising, getting out in nature, and exploring new places in a supportive group of like-minded people. A special mention to Wellington Shire Council and Middle of Everywhere for their generous support of grant funding for this event, allowing the showcasing of some of the best bushwalking areas of Gippsland to the bushwalkers of Victoria.

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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

LEONGATHA 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

BP YARRAM 325 Commercial Street, Yarram, Vic 3971 Tel: 5182 6019 Fax5182 6458 Email: yarram@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

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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

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



Opening late 2022 Franklin North Estate, Traralgon








03 5176 5997 | info@virtuehomes.com.au | www.virtuehomes.com.au Photography by Open2ViewGippsland

Riders On The Storm The Art Of Chasing Gippsland’s Weather Words by Anita Butterworth


Photos supplied by Gippsland Storm Chasers

You’d be forgiven for thinking that following Gippsland’s weather would be a pretty niche pastime. But tell that to the 12,000 enthusiasts who are part of the wider Gippsland storm chasing community. Weather enthusiast Robert Bonfield has been steering Gippsland Storm Chasers for the past five years – a group dedicated to following, documenting and discussing the region’s weather.

“It’s the power. It’s … it’s nature at its angriest and it’s just so unpredictable, but predictable, if that makes sense. You see something that only happens once. Every lightning strike is individual. It’s a once in a lifetime event and if you can catch that and share that with people and they get to witness something pretty special.” But don’t you have to be a little, ahem, nutty to chase storms?

“It’s a very inclusive and community-focused weather group that likes to have a lot of fun,” he explains.

“Of course, we are. We have to be. Who in their right mind goes taking photos in a thunderstorm?!”

Gippsland Storm Chasers was created in 2011 by Troy Longson and Margaret Forrester, who channelled their love for the weather into a Facebook group. It’s now run by a core group of weather devotees who keep the thousands of group members up to date on Gippsland’s weather happenings. And, of course, they chase storms.

By day the Gippsland Storm Chasers team works across the region in a variety of fields from call centre operators to stay at home mums. But once the weather hits, it’s all hands-on deck to storm chase and keep the community informed.

Robert Bonfield


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“It takes days to plan for a chase, watching models and predicting where the storms will start and sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t. But when you do get it right, it’s exciting and you get to see some awesome stuff. “We’re not professionals – we’re weather enthusiasts that have done this for quite some time. I’ve chased around Victoria to southern New South Wales for the last seven years, so we develop experience. But it’s also about being safety conscious and having a bit of common sense about what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it and what effects that will have on people around you.” Now that winter has arrived things start to settle down thunderstorm wise, but the group is gearing up for some stellar Astronomical action from Aurora to Meteor showers and the occasional cold based thunderstorms generated by lows and frontal systems pushing up from the Antarctic. And Robert says there’ll be plenty to see this spring and early summer even though Gippsland isn’t traditionally known for its severe storm activity.

“We’re coming into a normal period (climatic cycle) now. With the La Nina, it’s a wetter period, so generally we will see storms increase because there’s more moisture streaming in from the northern states, and you’ll get those interacting with lows coming in from the southwest near Adelaide, and creating that instability will generate severe storms as it moves across the state." “In Gippsland we’re in the wrong place geographically for storms. The best place in Victoria would be along the Murray River where those warm northerly winds and warm humidity interact with the colder air pushing up from the Southwest. That’s pretty much our tornado alley, through southern NSW to southwest NSW, right through the Albury Wodonga and up to Echuca. Australia has had a fair few tornado events over the years, it’s just that in the past they weren’t very well reported, we didn’t have the likes of social media with instant communication."

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The Art Of Chasing Gippsland’s Weather

“We do see quite a fair few severe storms that can produce tornados, probably about 12 to 15 per year around Australia. Last year across Mid North NSW and into Southeast Queensland there were about five or six in quick succession challenging Victoria’s “Australian Tornado Alley” claims. If conditions are perfect that severe weather’s going to happen. Anywhere even in Melbourne.” Gippsland Storm Chasers has become synonymous for keeping locals up to date during weather events, usually going live to report from the epicentre. “If we’re in a dangerous situation when it comes to storms, we’ll obviously put our safety first. And like to warn other people that there’s floods on the way or an east coast low that’s going to bring a lot of rainfall. “People are very conscious around their own back yards around what happens. If we can give them a heads up on what’s coming, they can prepare better. And it’s about preparing and giving people that opportunity to take those opportunities to be ready for something. We’d prefer it didn’t happen, but we always take our advice from the BOM and the emergency services and refer our followers back to the experts at every opportunity.” Sitting atop Robert’s weather bucket list is a trip to America to chase tornadoes, but closer to home he’s already ticked off a big-ticket weather event.

“The Aurora Borealis. I caught that at Mt Tassie just up behind Traralgon. It was a beautiful night, everything was clear, and I was able to see that with the naked eye, which is rare. That was just spectacular, and I’ll never forget that.

“We don’t just chase thunderstorms, we chase all types of weather, whether it’s space weather or more traditional weather.” For anyone keen to get into storm chasing, Robert advises researching the weather event, and putting safety first. And, of course, following Gippsland Storm Chasers for hints and tips. “This page isn’t about me or any of our admins, it’s about our community and it’s about people’s interactions with nature and severe weather. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the 12,000 people that follow us and interact with us. We’re not a doom and gloom group, we like to have a lot of fun. We have ‘The Dome’ and we strongly believe that aliens are the cause of our weather, or sometimes lack thereof. “We have a lot of fun with our people, because you can’t take life too seriously.”

Gippsland Storm Chasers | www.facebook.com/GippslandStormChasers | www.gippslandstormchasers.com


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52 BAIR STREET, LEONGATHA | Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm Saturday 8.30am – 12.30pm

Tel: 5655 1618



| Monday to Friday 8.00am – 5.00pm Saturday 8.00am – 12.00pm

Tel: 5622 1944


Boating with

Crawford Marine on the Blue Rock Dam In this issue I made a long lasting return to the water, with covid interruptions not allowing any travel more than 5km over the past year or two, finally I was able to catch a break and hit the water again with Terry Raymond from Crawford Marine Morwell.


This model measures 4.6m and has a beam width of over 2.0m, making it a surprisingly roomy boat in an easy to manage combination overall. Some of the standard features include bimini, stainless steel ladder, removable rear lounge and two deluxe bucket seats.

We were lucky with the weather as well, persistent rain greeted us from Morwell to the Blue Rock Dam which is near Moe but as soon as the new 2022 Model Stacer Sea Master hit the water the rain ceased and we were able to get a pleasant trip on a very calm lake.

Packaged up with the mighty and economical Mercury 60 hp four stroke motor, and ready to go with all safety gear and registration, this great top quality boat is priced and tested from $32,000.00

The Blue Rock Dam is a minor rock-fill embankment dam with controlled chute spillway across the Tanjil River, located approximately 30 kms north of Moe, in the Central Gippsland region of Victoria. The dam is operated by Southern Rural Water.

Finally, we were able to resume our tradition of dining at one of Gippsland’s eateries after our boating trips and this time we ventured to the nearby town of Trafalgar and had a pleasant breakfast at Eat Live and Fresh and met up with owner Nicole.

The Stacer Seamaster 449 featured the latest Revolution hull that provided an extremely soft ride while offering stability at rest and underway.

All in all it was great to be back on the water again with Terry Raymond from Crawford Marine, lets hope for more of these trips to our great waterways in Gippsland.




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


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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

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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




At the Gallagher Australian display, Trevor Wood was showing the Gallagher Westonfence to Su Flick and Don Prato from Lucknow.

Chell Clay, Kurt Grieve and Brittany White were talking about outreach and medical services provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service in East Gippsland.

Representing Metalcorp Steel Rural were Shaun Britt, Kerrin Murdoch and John Clark.

At the Evans Petroleum marquee were Tim Roscoe (Evans BP), Eddie Lafferty (Fulham), Robert Laws (Evans BP) and Daniel Williamson (Briagolong). Evans Petroleum sponsored an entertainment zone that hosted bands and singers throughout the two-day field days.


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Chelsea Filmer, of Pageoway Belted Galloways, has been breeding cattle since 2017 and was showing a seven-month steer and a 14-month heifer.

APRIL 2022

Lisa Kennedy, of the Yarra Valley, competing with Gidget in the yard dog trial.

Attendees were attracted to a field of sunflowers near the entry to the East Gippsland field days, including Lee Worseldine and Annette Walls.

Darren Williams of Stockman’s Camp, Buchan, demonstrating the soundness of his horse while cracking whips.

Playing with Jenga at the RACV Solar stand were Jody Joseph and Landon Moss. RACV Solar marquee had battery storage, hot water service heat pumps and electric vehicle chargers on display.

Andrew Whelan, of Swan Reach, with Jess competing in the yard dog trial.

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SOME OF THE WINTER WELLNESS EXPERIENCES ON OFFER AT METUNG HOT SPRINGS DURING THE FESTIVAL, INCLUDE: 22 June 2022 World Bathing Day Sunrise Bathing Event & Global Sound Bath Join Metung Hot Springs on World Bathing Day as people come together across the world to celebrate water. Join us at sunrise, as we follow the path of the sun across the globe.

25 June 2022 Interactive Kombucha Workshop, Grazing Table and Live Music Spend the afternoon in an interactive workshop learning from the creators of Good Brew organic kombuchas, tonics and tinctures, graze on wholesome local regional foods prepared by the talented Michelle Boyle and enjoy beautiful musical entertainment from Olivia Lay.

26 June 2022 Luxe Yoga & Sound Healing Experience Run by the Metung Hot Springs Wellness Team, Poeta Hope from House of Yoga Metung and Naomi Ballinger from Integral Sound Healing, this not-to-be-missed session includes herbal tea rituals with mineral water foot bath, restorative yoga poses, hand and foot massages, a mini facial, aromatherapy, nourishing treats and a gift to take home.

While the official launch date of Metung Hot Springs has not yet been scheduled (due to Covid and wet-weatherrelated supply and construction delays), commencing on 18 June, as part of the East Gippsland Winter Festival, it will be running three weeks of Winter Wellness activities and experiences on site. It’s great news while the countdown to the official opening continues and will provide an irresistible teaser of what’s to come soon at this amazing new facility. Located on beautiful Lake King in Victoria’s East Gippsland, Metung Hot Springs is set to become one of the region’s many ‘winter wonders’, which attract visitors from near and far during Victoria’s colder months. As well as coinciding with World Bathing Day on 22 June, the Winter Wellness experiences at Metung Hot Springs are timed to make the most of the popular annual East Gippsland Winter Festival, which is running across the region from 17 June - 10 July, and will feature more than 80 arts, culture, food, wellness and music events.

29 June 2022 Children’s Wellness Adventure Experience A fun and active session for children aged 3-13, including a sensory walking Exploration, kids’ yoga with Poeta Hope, clay face painting and a campfire cooking experience. An opportunity for children to explore, play, connect and learn in nature.

2 July 2022 Yoga Mini Retreat - Winter Medicine for Body & Mind Be guided by International Yoga Teacher Deborah Langley through this mini retreat learning holistic ways to nourish and support our bodies during winter. This mini retreat concludes with a nourishing lunch, ensuring that you’ll leave feeling light, rested and inspired.

3 July 2022 Yin Yoga + Sound Journey Release your body, mind and spirit in this immersive event featuring Dan Byrne from Cymatic Harmony who will create healing and soothing vibrations with his sound journey experience and Poeta Hope from House of Yoga, Metung.

6 July 2022 Turn up the Heat Wellness - Boot Camp Warm up your body with this active event consisting of a 30 min Group Personal Training session at our Hilltop Escarpment with Vee McShane, from HIIT Factory Bairnsdale, replenish your body afterwards with some energising snacks.

8 July 2022 Winter Sky Meditation Find harmony with a winter night sky meditation at the hilltop escarpment, guided by International Yoga Teacher, Rhonda James, followed by a hot drink around the fire. Tickets for all Metung Hot Springs Winter Wellness experiences are on sale now and include a bathing certificate for when the hot springs are open (excludes children’s activities). Tickets are available from metunghotsprings.com/events or egwinterfest.com.au

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WELLNESS PILLARS Metung Hot Springs’ philosophy centres on the following seven key Wellness Pillars:

 unwind  Relaxation provided through bathing, social connection, fresh air, nature, spa and self-care.

 move  Movement provided through yoga & fitness, guided nature walks, Pilates and outdoor activities.

 nourish  Nutrition provided through wholefoods, food bowl, seasonal, local, organic and sustainable.

 rest  Improved rest and sleep provided through overnight accommodation, sleep and immunity program.

Metung Hot Springs – Our story begins A joint venture between East Gippsland tourism operators Rachel and Adrian Bromage, and the Peninsula Hot Springs Group, Metung Hot Springs will be a lighthouse destination experience for the region. Nestled on 12 hectares of waterside wilderness bushland on an ancient hilltop escarpment, Metung Hot Springs will offer a truly spectacular bathing and resort experience, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking cliff-top views across the Gippsland Lakes, while bathing in natural, mineral-rich geothermal waters. The array of bathing and relaxation options available includes geothermal bathing barrels and pools, relaxation lounges, massaging thermal showers, an exhilarating cold-plunge tub, sauna, night-time stargazing pool and a variety of peaceful bushland walks, including a unique reflexology walk.

 connect  Connection to self, community and environment through mindfulness, purpose, meditation and breathwork.

 grow  Growth through education, holistic health, sustainability, regeneration, workshops, masterclasses.

 inspiration  Creativity expressed through arts and culture, music, self-expression, imagination, growth and evolution.

Metung Hot Springs also features a pampering day spa offering signature massages, spa treatments and balancing therapies, all created to complement the bathing experience by further instilling a sense of wellness and relaxation. Visitors will also discover a spa-inspired gift shop and a cafe serving craft-style coffee and locally-sourced gourmet treats. Metung Hot Springs will also offer guests the opportunity to stay overnight in one of 10 premium safari glamping tents, each complete with king four poster bed and private bathing facilities.

Location Metung Hot Springs is located a 20-minute walk from the picturesque waterside village of Metung, and only a two-hour drive to the Mount Hotham Alpine Resorts. This glorious corner of Gippsland is known for its majestic lakes, wilderness, native flora and fauna including kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, turtles, frogs, dolphins and native bees. Future plans at Metung Hot Springs include a marina and holistic wellness centre.

Vision Helping to build a better life naturally, Metung Hot Springs’ vision is to be recognised and loved for delivering immersive and rejuvenating wellbeing experiences that respect and celebrate the wonder of the natural environment.

Ambition Metung Hot Springs aims to inspire and educate individuals to create a healthier life and wellness lifestyle. Our goal is to provide visitors with a health and relaxation destination where physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing underpin ecological and economic wellbeing.


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We rejuvenate and renew through relaxation, movement, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness, creativity and being at one with nature. Metung Hot Springs offers all of this and much more to visitors seeking to refresh, revive and thrive. Our capacity to be the best versions of ourselves is dug out of inward reflection and healthy habits.

Charles Davidson, Director, Metung Hot Springs


Geothermal waters

Once completed, the accommodation at Metung Hot Springs will comprise of 10 premium lagoon-side, safari-style glamping tents, complete with private bathing facilities. Each includes:

Drawn from more than half-a-kilometre below the stunning natural landscape, the geothermal water at Metung Hot Springs is infused with natural minerals and trace elements to detoxify the body, enliven the senses and renew the spirit. Magnesium, boron, potassium and sodium naturally occur in the geothermal waters, and the healing waters continually flow into the pools, emptying and refilling all day. Claimed benefits of these minerals include stress and blood pressure reduction, detoxification, rehabilitation of muscles and joints, and sleep improvement.

 King size four-poster bed and private ensuite bathroom  Bathing barrels with geothermal water on your own private deck  Guest amenities of bar fridge, coffee/tea facilities, hair dryer, ironing facilities, in-room safe  Daily complimentary gourmet breakfast with seasonally changing local produce  Welcome drink and canapes on arrival, and daily wellness experiences  Access to all site bathing, with towel, robe and locker hire included

Menu inspiration Using predominantly local sourced, SLOW (seasonal, local, organic, whole) produce from Gippsland, the menu is designed to nourish the body and invigorate the taste buds.

Socials Follow Metung Hot Springs at #metunghotsprings and metunghotsprings.com

We’re excited to invite guests to bathe amongst wildlife and nature flora and fauna unique to our region. Adrian Bromage, Director, Metung Hot Springs gippsland lifestyle winter ���� 91


It’s the place where thongs, boat shoes and Blundstones come together, where ‘collars up’ is ok, but ‘no collar’ is better, where the beer glass has those little pearls of ice on the outside, and your favourite whisky winks at you from the top shelf. Where your favourite band plays their best set, while a bloke tries to tell you an over-exaggerated story of the one that got away.


THE WE ST E RNPORT HOT E L 161 Marine Parade, San Remo VIC 3925 | info@thewesternport.com.au | www.thewesternport.com.au Tel: 03 5678 5205

ABN: 191 322 396 99 | REC: 17292 | CEC: A0712025


GETTING SOLAR? CALL US NOW 1300 733 332 We are a local, family owned business who have been specialising in the installation of high quality solar power systems for over 13 years. We are fully qualified Master Electricians and our Workmanship is guaranteed for 10 years. Government Rebates are available and we can also retrofit batteries to existing systems. Check out our Google reviews online to hear from our many happy customers. A 1/501 Bass Highway, Grantville P 1300 733 332 E office@sunscapesolar.com.au


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


5662 2012 5662 2747 5662 4487

www.leongatha-rsl.com.au Find us on Facebook


Corner of Smith Street & Michael Place, Leongatha


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


Winter menu with suggested wine parings Shop online www.waratahhills.com.au Group bookings and functions Gift vouchers available

Follow us on instagram @waratahhillsvineyard for upcoming events Winter wine deals at the cellar door

Waratah Hills Trading Hours Cellar Door – Friday – Sunday 11.00am – 5.00pm | Lunch 12.00pm – 3.00pm Bookings via vineyard@waratahhills.com.au or (03) 5683 2441

www.waratahhills.com.au gippsland lifestyle winter ���� 95

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. 96

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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.

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Gary Blackwood MP for Narracan

Gary Blackwood has chosen a heck of year to call time on his political career. The 70-year-old’s final few months in state politics will be marked by state and federal elections. “With two elections to look forward to in the year and all that comes with that, as well as all of the normal working load you’ve got anyway, I haven’t had time to focus on the year post the state election,” Gary explains. Not quite yet daring to dream of the grey nomad lifestyle that awaits him at the end of the year, Gary is nonetheless reflecting on his time in the seat of Narracan. But that doesn’t mean he’s taking it easy.

“I’ve really enjoyed this job and I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do it at the end of my working life. But I feel in myself that it is time to hand over the baton." "Sixteen years is a fair go, but I’m 71 in June and I just felt that you’ve got to be really motivated to do the best for your community and it gets harder as you get older, which I think is probably normal. In some ways I’m pleased I’m retiring. “But I really want to go out and work right ‘till the death knock. I don’t want to bludge this year and take it easy. My aim is to give the candidate Wayne Farnham as much support as I can as well as continue to serve the community as best I can. I’m still working flat out.” Prior to his election as the Member for Narracan, Gary served as a councillor for the former Rural City of Warragul, as well as working as the campaign manager for Russell Broadbent when he successfully contested the seat of McMillan in the 1996 federal election. Gary eventually returned to local government, as a councillor on Baw Baw Shire Council in 2003, before being preselected as the Liberal candidate for Narracan for the 2006 state election. His task wasn’t an easy one. As the two-term incumbent, Ian Maxfield held the seat by a comfortable margin. The state-wide results were disastrous for the Liberal party, but in Gippsland the swing was hard against Labor, and in a shock result Gary wrestled Narracan from Ian Maxfield.


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Words by Anita Butterworth Photos by Doug Pell “I didn’t expect to win either. Ian held the seat by just under seven per cent. I knew it was going to be a really tough job to unseat him, he’d been there for seven years. Ian, in my view, is a good fella, I’ve always got on well with him. His family are terrific people, his sons are exceptional young men. When I won, whilst I was absolutely over the moon, I did feel for him because he put a lot of hard work in for this community.” During his 16 years in parliament, Gary has only been in government for one term – from 2010 to 2014. “The four years we did have in government we did actually get some good things delivered around here, such as the Warragul Railway Station carpark and underpass, which has made a big difference to traffic movement here in Warragul. “Also, the Sand Road flyover, we were able to secure the State Government contribution which then triggered the Federal Government contribution of $33 million all up to get that project delivered. The first stage of the Moe Activity Centre project, we were able to get state funding for that during our term in government and get the first stage of that completed. So, they’re the sort of macro wins that I’ve enjoyed being a part of helping deliver.” Gary says he’s still proud of everything he’s been able to achieve in opposition. “That’s the beauty of our system. Being the local member, whether you’re in government or not, you do have access to people who can help you make a difference. Naturally it’s easier when you’re in government to go straight to the minister, but I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve developed a pretty good working relationship with those on the other side of the house. “I’ve also been more focused on outcomes rather than politics of things. That’s just the way I am. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. So, if you’re going to expect the minister in government when you’re in opposition to help you, then you don’t go to the media and start bashing them up. You talk to them first and give them a chance to help you and in most cases, it’s worked for me.”

Jennifer Cromwell, Gary Blackwood and Matt Green

While Gary is proud of the major projects he’s driven during his time, he says it’s the everyday victories that have meant the most. “There are lots of little things that make a big difference to families or individuals that I get the most kick out of. I had a young lady who came into my office, and she was round about 24 years of age, single mum of three young children. Her six-year-old was transferring from kinder to primary school and he had an aid in kinder but wasn’t able to get an aid in primary school because the criteria changed.

After recent boundary changes, the seat no longer includes Moe - a move which played into the Liberal party’s favour, making Narracan its safest seat. “It’s a two-edged sword here. We’ve got enormous growth here in Drouin and Warragul and moderate growth in Yarragon and Trafalgar. But then we’ve seen Hazelwood close, and we’ve seen the impact that’s had on the Valley and the challenges the Valley is facing right now with the timber industry issues and the impending closure of Yallourn.”

“He had autism. And I was able to get an aid for him. And the more I got to know her I got to know that her four-year-old and her two-year-old are also autistic as well. She is a young, single mum, three children under six all with autism, yet she was doing her best to make sure that her son got the best start in schooling life that he could. And that’s always touched me. Someone like that, you wouldn’t know what she’s been through, still prepared to do what she needed to do for her son, and there’s a lesson I took from that – if a person’s prepared to do what she’s doing, I need to do more for other people.

After November’s state election, Gary is planning on giving back to the family which has supported him over the past 16 years – including his wife, nine children and 21 grandchildren.

“When you see some of the struggles people have and how they succeed … we live in a fantastic area, but there are a lot of people who do it tough and do some amazing things to overcome adversity. That motivates me every day.”

“We had the inaugural voyage in our caravan a couple of weeks ago and it went well, we’re still married. So, we’re looking forward to doing a little bit of caravanning next year. We both love Australia, and we’re happy to just travel around and do that caravan life and have a much quieter life, I hope, and just enjoy each other’s company and enjoy our family even more.”

And yes – he still gets plenty of jokes about winning elections thanks to the voting of his large family. “After this year it’s time for me to give back to them and be there for them a bit more than I’ve been able to in the last 16 years.

Not many politicians get the privilege of being able to craft their own exit strategy – a point not lost on Gary. “You get to a point where you know that it’s time for someone with fresh ideas and fresh enthusiasm and drive to come in. There are some good colleagues of mine that have lost preselection this time and lost the ability to choose their own destiny and that’s quite sad when you know they’ve been good members and good representatives of the community.” Gary himself was challenged for preselection before the last state election and is grateful to have been able to serve out one last term in what is the ever-changing seat of Narracan.

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Warragul Continues To Grow


Warragul is 102 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. The town lies between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Mount Baw Baw Plateau of the Great Dividing Range to the north. The town has a population over 18,000 people. Warragul is the main population and service centre of the West Gippsland region and the Shire of Baw Baw. The surrounding area is noted for dairy farming and other niche agriculture and has long been producing gourmet foods.


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In November 1873, The Victorian Parliament passed an Act approving the construction of a railway linking Oakleigh to Sale. The construction of the Gippsland Railway line began simultaneously from both directions. The Warragul Railway Station opened on March 1, 1878.

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Warragul contiues to grow

Warragul’s Petersville Milk Products Factory in Queen street supplied the famous Peters Ice Cream brand’s factory in Mulgrave with all the dairy raw material (fresh cream and concentrated skim milk) for 35 years. Warragul was voted Premier Town in Victoria between 1970 and 1973.

These days Warragul is a bustling town with some lovely heritage buildings, the beautiful Civic Park, the West Gippsland Arts Centre, a walking/cycling track that links the towns of Drouin and Warragul and has strong sporting venues for Harness Racing and Greyhound Racing, local football and netball clubs, cricket, golf, lawn bowls etc.


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The Press Cellars in Warragul is proud to be part of the small yet stout group of independent liquor merchants who provide an oasis of quality and service to customers who are interested in a personal experience and are looking for new flavours and favourites.

The Press cellars in Warragul has been advising customers on liquor selections since July 2008. The Business was begun by two families with a long history in hospitality and wine retail. Having worked across all sectors of the liquor industry the owners have settled in retail, believing it to be most rewarding and immersive part of the Liquor industry. The press Cellars has a mission to bring people the best drinks available at every price point and to share their passion for discovering new flavours. The Press cellars stocks something for everyone and relish the challenge of finding the appropriate gift for the person who has everything. You will always have a friendly and enjoyable experience at The press cellars. We look forward to your visit so we can show you our wares! Proudly Gippsland Owned Liquor Merchants.

The Press Cellars 2 / 80 Smith Street, Warragul, VIC 3820 Phone: 03 5623 3880 | Mobile: 0400 025 083 | Email: drink@thepresscellars.com.au www.thepress cellars.com.au gippsland lifestyle winter ���� 103

Victoria Street is home to the Warragul library. If you venture beyond the building’s modest exterior you’ll see there’s more to explore than just books inside. Far from what most tend to expect, modern libraries like Warragul library, provide a place for communities to connect, belong and learn. On any average day the team at Warragul library welcome hundreds of people through its doors. Of course, you can expect to find people looking for advice on what to read next but you’ll also find people who need help navigating a website, using a new app or device. People who need access to a printer, PC or the internet. People looking for free activities to entertain the kids. People looking for a warm place to catch up with friends without any expectations to buy something. Or people just coming in to say hi to the team.

Warragul library are part of the Myli – My Community Library organisation that deliver programs and services for the Baw Baw, Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires. These programs and services help to build healthier and engaged communities, in a welcoming space where everyone can belong.


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Warragul library hosts a wide range of regular programs for all ages. Beginning with early years programs for babies and preschoolers: Baby Rhyme Time and Storytime. These fun sessions are led by library staff feature singing, stories and even craft activities for parents and caregivers to enjoy with their children. It provides a great opportunity for socialising for the adults and kids alike. There are a number of programs for School age children. These are hosted afterschool and during school holidays and include special interest clubs like Lego and Tabletop Gamers. There are also a range of STEM learning clubs with Young Einsteins for primary school aged children and for the tweenagers, Future Labs. The Young Einsteins program is an engaging introduction to Science Technology Engineering and Math for a younger audience. Future Lab is a monthly program designed for tech early adopters to go hands-on with technology. Teenaged children visit Warragul library after school to play the Xbox, use the free Wi-Fi and device charging stations and sometimes even to get a head start on some homework. Throughout the year there are teen focused programs like the Meetup festival that features special workshops like how to draw manga and social clubs to play popular games like Minecraft or Dungeons and Dragons.

Victoria Street is home to the Warragul library. And for the adults there are a range of regular programs, events and groups that meet at the Warragul library. Every Friday, lovers of yarn come together to knit and crotchet. The history group meets once a month to discuss a new topic, learn a new research skill and to share research journeys with like-minded history buffs. Throughout the year, Warragul library hosts a wide range of special events that focus on a variety of interests including authors and books, craft, home and garden, health and wellbeing, technology and more. Baw Baw Shire Council are currently advocating to State and Federal Government for funding to support building a new culture and community precinct in Warragul. If successful, this would include a new community library with improved spaces to accommodate the growing community and more opportunities to further develop the vital programs and services that the Warragul library deliver.

So why not visit the Warragul library and discover all that libraries have to offer. If you’d like to show your support for the new library, please send an email to support@myli.org.au and for more information please visit myli.org.au or call 1800 HI MYLI (1800 44 6954)

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Kerrie Warren with one of her paintings displayed in her studio

Kerrie’s Creative World Renowned artist Kerrie Warren and two of her Gippsland colleagues, recently collaborated on a wonderful project after she received an Artistic Project Grant last year, funded by the Frankston City Council. Words & Photos by Wendy Morriss ‘Beneath the Canopies’ is the outcome of their collaboration, which is now being exhibited on the long wall in the Atrium Gallery at Frankston Arts Centre during South Side Festival. Kerrie, who is an abstract expressionist artist, chose to work with Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison, a Kurnai artist and co-author, and Darryl Whitaker, a professional cinematographer. “Aunty Eileen and Darryl are people I’ve known for a long time and we’ve worked together before on other projects,” she said. “Our common interest is trees and over time, we have all embraced them as subject matter and as backdrops for visual stories and creative exploration, so we merged our landscapes into the one painting inspired by nature.” Kerrie’s previous project was painting Dr Aunty Eileen for one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. “I have never entered the Archibald before because I do predominately work with landscapes but I wanted to have a go. Aunty Eileen and I met for the first time when we shared first prize in an art award and we have been good friends for almost 20 years. “She agreed to be the subject which was great. The painting wasn’t accepted for the Archibald but it came home and was in The Hidden Faces Exhibition before the Gippsland Art Gallery collected it, so it’s on show at the moment. It’s a lovely outcome, it’s like the painting was always meant to be there.” Kerrie uses action painting techniques of abstract expressionism to create large scale works that explore humanity’s relationship with nature. Her paintings are wonderful on a screen but seeing them in the real world is an incredibly, rewarding experience.


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She has an ideal studio in Crossover, West Gippsland and has exhibited in Guangzhou and Jiujiang in China, in New York and Singapore, and along Australia’s Eastern Coast, while her works feature in public and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.

“I feel like I’ve been painting forever, but I haven’t,” she said, “It just feels like it’s always been there. As a child, I wrote reams of poetry and I think what has occurred over time is I have translated all that into paint, which is just a different medium." “There’s a rhythmic balance within the work that I’m always aiming to achieve. I’m very much a visual worker but then I enjoy words as well. I love the way words sound and even just looking at them and the way they look on a page, I love that balance and composition. I was strangely not allowed to paint and make a mess when I was little but I was allowed to draw and write so it all came out mainly through my poetry. I also work with ceramics and that can merge into sculptures, but I mainly paint.” Kerrie said she had always wanted to be an artist but didn’t know how to make it a life or a living. She was encouraged to draw and write but never as a job. “People would say, ‘you are a good at drawing but what job are you going to get?’ like that was a whole separate thing, so I worked and wrote poetry at lunch time in my car and worked with pastels at night. It was when someone bought one of my pastels years ago, that made me think maybe I could actually make a living out of doing this, because it was always something I wanted to do.” Kerrie sold her car and went back to study ceramics, which then led onto other things. “It was a massive release for me especially into the abstract.”

Kerrie’s painting & ceramics displayed in her studio

Kerrie’s work space

New larger scale painting in the studio

She could then work a few days a week and support an art studio as well. She said having a job was very handy for a few years until the art became more profitable. The harder she worked the more she was able to invest in it. “Seems like another life now but I did put in many hours working in a job and working as an artist to get there. “I have explored other ways of working but I’m very much at home as an abstract expressionist. I throw paint onto the surface. I like starting off with that splatter of random dots and then seeing something in it that I can then build on. It’s beginning from a different point to studying something external to myself like flowers and then copying and interpreting that, which is the way I was working as more of a realist painter years ago.

“With abstract painting I find that I can dive into myself and not look outside myself for the subject matter. The best way to describe it is, it’s like the stars in the night sky that are sort of all over the place until your eyes make out the pot or the cross and that’s what I’m doing in the studio. It’s working with all these dots from organic splatters of energy and all of a sudden I’ll see a line where it’s a landscape or a river.” Kerrie has a love of the land and being in the natural world. She said as a child she stayed on other people’s properties where she was surrounded by wilderness, which is where she feels most at home.

Beneath The Canapes at Frankston Arts Centre – Photo supplied

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Dr Aunty Eileen’s painting - Images supplied by Rotary Club of Warragul

An outstanding painting by renowned indigenous artist, Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison is the inspiration for a new garden, one of special significance to the area, which is Stage 3 of Rotary Park in Warragul. Words by Wendy Morriss The Baw Baw Shire Council, the Rotary Club of Warragul, others and the local indigenous community are working together to create the garden designed by local landscape designer Prue Metcalf, with funding from BBSC and the RCW for construction of the paths and central circle. As more funds become available the RCW will work with community groups to complete the design. The garden project is to celebrate one hundred years of Rotary service in Australia, to provide insight into the culture of the Kurnai people and to build stronger connections with the land we live on and each other. Outgoing Rotary President, Diane Carson said Rotary Park in Warragul is a great place with a toilet block, a rotunda and a fire pit, a small shelter and a playground. “The creek however, is congested and the grass area is underutilised, hence the decision to turn the space into a garden that will be used by the community. Dr Aunty Eileen has been very generous in allowing the use of her art for the project.” She said the garden will have six trails, all with names of animals that come together into a central meeting place. The tracks will have lighting and the centre will have six three-metre-high totem poles that have been carved by the local indigenous community representing story lines and birds that are of particular significance to the Kurnai people.


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In the grassed segments between the paths in the next stage of the project, there will be seating areas, sculptures and art works. “We are looking for assistance with the cost of the plants so we can get them grown,” she said, “and then we will invite the community to help us with the plantings.” She said Rotary is applying for funding to create the woodland in the northwest corner of the park. The final stage of the project will be clearing the creek with the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. President-elect of Rotary, Teresa Mitchell said, “It’s going to be a beautiful space. We want to see it as a place of contemplation and recreation and to show an appreciation of our indigenous cultural heritage.” She said it’s a place that will tell a story, which is very important. The story in the painting is about the meeting place, bringing people together, the sharing of knowledge and sharing stories. The project will commence shortly with the first stage to be completed by the end of June 2022. Prue Metcalf, the designer of the garden said it was really nice to have Dr Aunty Eileen’s painting to work from. “It was such a good template. It really suited the space as well and it could be easily interpreted as a garden.”

Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison - Photo taken by Darryl Whitaker

Prue Metcalf’s design for the garden - Images supplied by Rotary Club of Warragul

Sue Metcalf, Diane Carson and Teresa Mitchell at the site - Photo by Wendy Morriss

Prue’s work now is transposing the design into a working garden. “There will be a lot of earth moving and a lot of concrete but I think it will work really well.” She said she wanted to stick as close to the painting as possible with its earthy colours of ochre, black and creams. She found though, that there are a limited number of plants that can be used that would best represent those colours, but also do well in a park space and need little maintenance, so they aren’t all indigenous or native, but she tried. “We are using a native grass that is a rusty colour for the crosshatches, and black Mondo grass to interpret the black, which is not native but it’s the best thing we could use. The alternative is using black mulch.” She said there will be a few canopy trees added to create the woodland area in the top corner of the garden with some small native eucalypts. Native grasses will be added to create grassland underneath. Along the creek there will be all indigenous plants including some bush tucker plants. “I have been provided with information regarding the indigenous and native plants for this area that the Kurnai people would use.

“The rest of it is structural. It’s using timber totem poles and rocks from a local quarry to interpret the sun, the moon and the stars, which are two quadrants of the painting. Because the pathways are different animals there will be animal prints on those. We considered different materials for the paths and initially looked at gravel but for longevity and low maintenance we decided on concrete, but doing it as a rough surface finish in a natural colour so it looks more like gravel.” Prue the designer is also a talented artist. She hand draws and colours all her designs before interpreting them into plants and different types of materials and finishes, to create a final three-dimensional art piece. She hopes the community enjoy the garden and that it will be a good educational tool particularly for children. “I think they will learn a lot playing in the space, and along the creek there will be little paths they will be able explore.”

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Chris's Reward for Service

Chris Major at home with his award | Photo by Wendy Morriss


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Words by Wendy Morriss

Chris with William Major, his older brother, after receiving his award at Government House. Photo by his wife Kerrie

Victorian Police Inspector, Chris Major, was recently presented with his Australian Police Medal for a 45-year career of outstanding frontline service. The award was announced last year during Covid as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021.

He became Senior Sergeant at Narre Warren in 91 and then moved to Gippsland in 94 to work as the Officer in Charge at Moe Police Station. In 1997, he was promoted to Inspector and for the next 20 years he worked as the Local Area Commander in various police service areas.

Chris, who has also served his community as a member of Rotary for 23 years, said the award was something that came out of the blue in the twilight time of his career when he least expected it. “I felt a bit embarrassed because I know there are other police members either before or currently serving that I have revered because of their community service and involvement in the organisation, and the sacrifices they make because of the job; so it was a complete surprise.”

In 2017, he took on an important role in the police’s Capability Management and Engagement Division. “I was working locally as an area commander in the Baw Baw Shire, when the superintendent asked me where I wanted to go, because Victoria Police has a rotation policy. Every four to five years you are expected to move on, which was introduced by Christine Nixon as an anti-corruption strategy when she was Police Chief.”

He said he received a call before getting the award letting him know he had been nominated. The nominations then go through a process and the final assent of them is with the Governor General. “There are Australian Police Medals presented every year and they aren’t particular to rank,” he said. “Five other colleagues were presented with awards and one was to a leading senior constable that works at a one-man police station in the country, which I thought was fantastic.”

Chris said he was contacted by the Commander of the Capability Department in Melbourne who asked him to work in the planning area because he had so much operational experience. “I was apprehensive about commuting to Melbourne but it was agreed I’d work from home one day a week. Once I started, I realised how important the work there was. We were providing information to Executive Command on the forces capability to meet various demands. We also assessed ideas submitted by other departments that they thought would improve our services and put them through a process to see if they would be of benefit to the organisation and cost effective. I Really enjoyed that particular focus because mid-term, around four to five years ago, when Graham Ashton was Chief Commissioner, the government of the time injected $3 billion into Victoria police, which hadn’t been seen in 45 years of service.”

Chris received many congratulatory letters from various organisations and members of parliament. One from Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services, praised his high standards of leadership, professionalism and quiet resolve across many years, providing the community with an outstanding level of service. The minister acknowledged Chris had demonstrated an outstanding ability to build relationships within the community, and that his fellow colleagues and the community hold him with the highest level of respect and trust. Also acknowledged was his expertise in the field of emergency management, having successfully led and managed a variety of incidents, including the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires that impacted across Gippsland. He was also praised for his leadership, humility and respect that has continued in his contribution to Victoria Police’s transformation towards a capability-based approach to strategic planning investment. Chris started his police career back in 1975 and said he’d have to say he’s spent most of his working life at Dandenong. He was there as a constable, as a sergeant and later as an inspector.

Chris said when he was young, he had no idea he was ever going to be a policeman. “I was working in the building industry as a bricklayer. One wet day when I was at home, a man I went to school with called in. He was a quiet sort of a person that had never been interested in doing anything physical but he drove in the driveway in a flash car, he had a short haircut and he’d obviously been to the gym. I asked what happened to him and he said he’d joined the police force. ‘Best job ever Chris you want to think about it,’ so I did. I went to the police station and asked for an application form and two months later I was in the academy.” When asked how he felt about his career he said, “To have stayed there all this time there are obviously aspects of it that I enjoy. Having an impact on young people and being able to put them on the right path is very rewarding.”

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Mount Cook Alpine Glow | James Ide

Patterns in the sand | Susan Sventek

Regal | Julie Gilbert

Determined | Cheryl Eagers

Leaf beetle | Ken Gosbell


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Time is Sinking | Kym Houston

Pretty in Pink | Lynn StephensTait

Madonna after Battista | Dee Kelly

Beneath the Light | James Ide

Surfer Girl | Mack Fenwick



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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!)




Judy Mackintosh Blue Heeler

Maureen Quigley Colourful art


The late Seriah Wenzel Retrospective on an artist that has passed away

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



03 5674 1014 |

info@melaleucanursery.com.au |

Find us on facebook @MelaleucaNurseryInverloch


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50 Pearsalls Road, Inverloch Vic 3996

instagram: melaleucanursery

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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


Stephanie Johnson

YOUR STARS 21 March – 19 April

Health and happiness are on your mind in Winter. This is the ideal time to pay attention to your own needs, and to communicate them to others. Selfimprovement programs are likely to appeal. And if ever you wanted to write your personal memoires, then June is the time to start because your mind is sharp and self-expression is highlighted. The lucky planet Jupiter has moved into your Zodiac Sign helping you expand your horizons and express your true self. You may need some home time in July but you are ready to spread your wings and fly in August.

20 April – 20 May

Why is it always about money when it comes to Taurus? Once again, the planets seem to be encouraging your pre-occupation with security and personal finances. Winter starts with both the Sun and Moon lined up in the 2nd House of your Solar Chart calling on you to focus on your income and personal spending habits. Luckily Venus is in your Zodiac Sign bring you good fortune for June. As Winter progresses your social life is likely to be quite diverse. You may even split your time between two homes, or start a busy project at home.

21 May – 20 June

Self-improvement is the name of the game in June. Your ruling planet Mercury is Retrograde in your Zodiac Sign for a few days at the start of this Winter, giving you pause for self-reflection. But life soon picks up speed. You can then enjoy life in the fast lane as long as you choose your direction so that you can make the most of the opportunities that come your way. As a typical Gemini you may have trouble settling on just one path. If this is the case, then try to still your busy mind and follow your heart.

21 June – 22 July

Each year the period preceding your birthday calls for quiet reflection. So, the first few weeks of June are all about what is happening behind the scenes. How are you preparing to celebrate your birth? And what projects are you preparing to bring into the world? Also, how are you going to be of service to the world? These are the questions that arise this month. You may seek to retreat while you consider your next birthday year. As Winter progresses you are then able to move forward with personal plans knowing that you have laid the groundwork.

23 July – 22 Aug

Your social life takes off as Winter starts – both in your personal and professional life. Pleasurable pastimes with other people are important boosting your sense of fun, positivity and vitality. Your need for social connection is instinctual. So, listen to your instincts when it comes to friendships. As you reach out and link up with people from different walks of life, you may also connect with a woman in a position of authority. As Winter progresses you are likely to retreat into a quieter lifestyle. By the end of the season, you are ready to pick up the pace again.

23 Aug – 22 Sep

Achievements, past or present, are the focus. With your ruling planet Mercury high in your Solar Chart its time to focus on your life achievements. Your status as a parent, grandparent, professional worker or public offer is highlighted. If you are satisfied that you are on the right path then you are likely to receive a boost in the form of praise from your boss, a promotion or an award. If you are dissatisfied then it’s time to pivot. As the season progresses your social life picks up speed before you take a well-earned rest for the last few weeks.

WINTER 2022 23 Sep – 22 Oct

Ideally you can take off to distant shores with a loved one with the tune of ‘The Love Boat’ resounding in your mind. It’s time for romance. A cruise, mountaintop hideaway, inspiring concert, rousing sports event or spiritual seminar can be enjoyed with someone close. If an escape to a foreign land or inspirational event is not possible then perhaps you can plan an escape at home. In July your focus switches to your professional life and your achievements. You seek recognition for your efforts at work. August sees your social life take off with a busy schedule.

23 Oct – 21 Nov

Seasons come and go as you are well aware this month. June sees you making changes that help you adjust to the cycles of life. Perhaps you are undergoing a rite of passage, a transition from one season in your life to another. Or maybe you are simply shifting how you invest your time, energy and money. Your changes in lifestyle or attitude may also spark a revised work schedule or health regimen. By July you are ready to escape. An overseas vacation or an inspiring conference can recharge your batteries in time for a busy career month in August.

22 Nov – 21 Dec

Everyday routine is shaken up a little in June. This change of routine may be sparked by your nearest and dearest. Much as you would like to focus on yourself and your own creative projects, the planets are calling on you to support your loved ones – children, parents or a partner. Mid-winter may be a little intense, particularly when it comes to any joint financial arrangements. You need to focus on calmly resolving shared resources. By August you can see light at the end of the tunnel and an overseas venture or adventure may take off.

22 Dec – 19 Jan

Lifestyle is the focus this month. Lifestyle is defined as ‘patterns of behaviour, interaction, consumption, work, activity and interests that describe how a person spends their time.’ So, June sees you examine your lifestyle and make adjustments as to how you spend your time. Your health depends on a balanced lifestyle. As Winter progresses, partnerships become the focus. A change in your partner’s life is likely to affect you and your joint resources. You are well able to cope with this positive turn of events. By August you are tackling joint projects with aplomb.

20 Jan – 18 Feb

The planets are lined up in the private section of your Solar Chart calling on you to enjoy your own company, your home and the company of loved ones. It’s all about having fun. You may have a specific project that involves creativity and working from home. Alternatively, it’s possible that children are showing you the way to live in the present moment. You may also enjoy taking a short break away from work with family and friends. An escape to the country or the seaside could appeal as a way to spark up your outlook on life.

19 Feb – 20 March

Otters live in a den called a holt, or a couch. As a Pisces you are likely drawn to these delightful animals and their playful antics on land and in water. And they are particularly appealing this month because you need to focus on your own den, home and couch. Home and family are the strongest theme in June. It’s time to shelter and to shore up your roots. As Winter progresses, you enjoy some recreation and make positive changes in your lifestyle. Healthy activities and habits are a must by the end of Winter.

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 Esoteric Technologies, 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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SYMMETRY HEALTH KINESIOLOGY When Kelly Edwards speaks about her healing work as an intuitive Reiki master and kinesiologist, her passion for transforming people’s lives is evident. Her gentle nature and intense desire to help children and adults with anxiety and stress has become a lifelong journey for Kelly, who has created a healing and supportive space in a cosy corner of Gippsland. Her Nyora-based practice, Symmetry Health Kinesiology, has become a haven for healing the stress held in the mind, body and soul. “My aim is to help people make positive change in their life by reducing stress in the body,” Kelly explains. “Because we hold onto stress, and we hold onto it just via our thoughts. And it can sit out in our energetic field. There’s nine months before it becomes a problem.” The mum-of-three found her calling through her career as a massage therapist for the elderly more than two decades ago. “I was starting to feel things. I could feel energy around these people I was massaging. They’d go away and they’d look beautiful, and their cheeks would be all rosy and then they’d come back, and the same things were still there. It wasn’t enough.” While Kelly spent the last eight years home-schooling, she was also taking her children to see a Kinesiologist and was herself visiting an energy healer. It led her to studying kinesiology in 2012 – but her interest in the healing power of energy also continued.


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She continued to see the incredible impact of reiki and kinesiology for her family, leading her to becoming a Reiki Master and teacher with a diploma in the Bach Flower Remedies. She combines the gentle, non-invasive services of reiki, bio resonance therapy, integrated healing, facial emotional therapy and Qi Qong to ease the stress and traumas of her clients. “My biggest passion is working with kids that are suffering with anxiety and school refusal and learning difficulties. I’ve seen a lot of it in kids in the home school community. But I also support mums and dads in their stress as well. “There’s not really anyone teaching kids to be able to use those tools. In saying that the feedback that I’ve had from parents and the kids has been really, good. I’m teaching them emotional intelligence. Being able to help regulate themselves. They’re doing it on themselves, I’m not teaching them to go out and do it on other people.” Kelly is also using her intuitive talents to work with mums who are feeling heavy under the weight of everyday pressures. “I get a lot of mums that are burnt out, lost their direction in terms of being so busy being mums, they’ve forgotten what they’re feeling. Really stressed. So, I help a lot of mums with reiki and combining that with kinesiology as well.” Kelly undertakes muscle testing to get biofeedback from her client’s bodies, so she can tap into their ailments.

KELLY EDWARDS Reiki master and kinesiologist

A HAVEN FOR THE MIND, BODY + SOUL WORDS BY ANITA BUTTERWORTH “Everything’s emotional behind a physical pain. So, then we start talking about what’s going on in their life. We then get to the emotional side of it, and from that we’re able to create a goal where they want to be and how they’d rather be feeling. To be able to move forward and actually have changes for the better we have to create a positive goal. We can’t keep going back and looking at what’s happened to us in the past. We need to know how we want to feel.

“I do work a little bit differently with kids, I get down on the floor with kids and we’ll play games, and we go in a lot slower. We do it bit by bit. I’ll still be muscle testing, I work with kids while they’re sitting next to mum on the couch, they don’t have to be up on the table. I’ll basically get an idea when they walk in, and then I can tell. Some kids don’t even want to sit in the room the first day, and that’s fine. I’ve got to develop a relationship with them first so they can trust me, and I’ll talk to mum, I can actually work through mum.

“We create a goal and then I work with muscle testing or energetically – just placing my hands over their bodies and picking up on energetic imbalances that I feel intuitively.”

“I’m seeing more and more children with anxiety and school refusal. Having kids that are too frightened to go to school. Particularly kids on the spectrum that don’t like change, dealing with change and transitioning to going back to school and moving away from the family again.

Reiki is intuitive while kinesiology is a learned practice – so Kelly’s combination of both is powerful in helping soothe her clients. No two sessions are the same, Kelly explaining that she assesses each client on an individual needs basis, to work out what modality or combination will help them the most.

“I teach them tools for life. They’re tools that adults and children use. I use myself, a lot of the Qi Qong tools I give to people I use daily for myself and my family. I’ll teach them where there’s acupressure points that they can rub. It’s not just the session, I like to give people things to do at home in between, because it empowers them.

“I always offer home reinforcement such as Qi Qong exercises, personalised flower essences, specific acupressure points for them to rub and personalised mp3 harmonies to help reduce stress and create balance and wellbeing.”

“Feeling empowered leads to feelings of self-confidence and away from anxiety.”

When it comes to her work with children, Kelly tailors her sessions to suit each individual child’s needs.

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For end of year

PLAN EARLY, BE READY with Liz Fleming The Efficiency Coach 120

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Get Ready for Year End – Plan Ahead To Be Sorted As we move into the winter months in the southern hemisphere, for us accountants and those in the business world, it also means that it is fast approaching to the end of the financial year, which is usually 30 June. Some might say it’s the favourite day for accountants – and for some, it is, but others (like me), it’s actually the work performed in the lead up to this day that is the most exciting part - developing budgets, planning and strategizing for the future while reviewing your past performance, to ensure a sustainable business model.

It is exactly the same when it comes to budgets – regularly reviewing your monthly profit and loss against your budget is a good indicator of how you are tracking against what you thought. Now don’t get me wrong, budgets in themselves are full of flaws – we create a budget, looking 12 months in advance, based on our best guess at the time, while a number of factors can influence the performance of your business HOWEVER we do need to be tracking against something, rather than nothing, so a budget is the best tool to be one of the key financial reports for your business.

It may be the one time of the year that you meet with your accountant to review the annual performance for income tax purposes, but sometimes this can be too late, as the opportunity to make decisions may have passed and your level of understanding of your business’ profitability may not be as you expected. We don’t want to be just relying on whether we have sufficient cash to pay our expenses at the time they are due, proper cash management and forecasting should be included in your forward planning processes.

Know your numbers, check them regularly To run a successful business it is important to know your numbers, that includes financials, marketing, sales, customers, products and profitability. If you have a finance system like Xero, then this has been made super easy for everyone, no accounting skills required. Xero has been designed for the small business, so its functionality serves the purpose of being simple, easy and straightforward for the small business owner to know exactly where they are at, in real time. Developing budgets and metrics, that you may call targets or KPI”s (key performance indicators) is a vital step to managing your business performance. If you do not have anything to check against, then it is a bit like the blind leading the blind, having no reference point to monitor against.

Invest in yourself and your business I believe small businesses that invest in themselves and their business are better equipped to make better decisions. More often they can take a more structured approach to decision making, with better information and more resources and knowledge at their fingertips. It is important to see expenditure in your business as an investment in your business and always think about the ROI – return on investment – what is the potential that this investment (of money, time or resources) could bring to my business? Sometimes this ROI is hard to define or predict, so there is always a risk (like with most things we do in life), but normally if there is a risk associated, there is also the opportunity for a reward! Just think about that for a moment, if this wasn’t the case, NOBODY would even be in business.

Plan early, be ready. How is your strategy document looking? Do you even have one? Do you need to dust off that business plan you completed last year and haven’t really given it a second glance since it was signed off? This is what I mean by reviewing your past performance – what did you say you were going to do and comparing it to what did you actually end up doing.

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.

Fail to plan, plan to fail. The old cliché, but it is so ever important, especially after the last few years we’ve had. We do need to make sure we have a Plan A, Plan B and even Plan C (or as many extra plans as you may need). Think of each plan as a different set of scenarios, tweaking certain drivers within your business that may lead to a different result. We are forecasting what we believe may happen when we make certain decisions in our business. Now is the time to look to the future and the next financial year and work out what you may do differently within your business, what are your aspirational goals and how you are going to achieve them. Think about what plan you need to implement to make sure these goals are met and where do you need to prioritise your time, money and resources. How will you invest in yourself and your business, this may include the engagement of a business mentor or coach that can be there to support and guide you through your business journey, by being your accountability buddy to keep you on track and drive performance throughout the year.

Remember to plan, engage, review, monitor for success, every single month of the year. Get in touch if you want to plan for success for your next financial year.

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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local hero Dr. Jane Greacen OAM by Trevor Stow

Jane Greacen was born in NSW to farming parents. As a child Jane and her family moved to Adelaide. She was educated at public schools before entering Adelaide University where she enrolled in medicine. Studying medicine involved a 6 year university course and 1 year as an intern at Royal Adelaide Hospital. This hospital was huge, being 1km long from one end to the other. In those days she worked up to 36 hours straight, culminating in an 80 hour week. This was exhausting work but Jane was exposed to many facets of medicine including delivery of babies, anaesthetics, general surgery, sometimes without supervision and lots of emergency medicine. It was a great grounding for a young doctor but it could be exhausting at times. Jane was in this hospital in the 1970’s when many of the victims of Cyclone Tracey, Darwin were evacuated to Adelaide. They arrived with a vast array of injuries including broken bones, glass lacerations and penetrating injuries that needed immediate attention. People were often in a state of shock and required support. Jane remembers the emergency room being hectic. As a learning hospital, Jane felt that she was really privileged to be at the Adelaide, particularly as she learnt anatomy on cadavers, which are bodies of people who donated their bodies to science. She was able to dissect different parks of the bodies examining nerves, blood vessels etc. This was great experience for a young doctor. In those days, she was able to start practising in general practice at the young age of 23 years. Now a days, it is common for interns to do a further 6 to 10 years of study and exams after university, before being left to work unsupervised. Jane believes that the modern doctor is very well trained.


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Jane moved to Melbourne and took up a position in general practice in East Bentleigh and worked as the first Hospital Medical Officer appointed at Moorabbin Hospital. Over a period of time Jane became involved in occupational medicine which involved seeing more patients with occupational injuries. In those days Occupational Health and Safety was quite lax compared to today. It was not uncommon to see patients with a wide range of work-related injuries who may not have had support from their employer or the government. Often these patients were recent migrants to Australia and would speak little English. Jane was responsible for setting up the first Work Injury Support Group in Australia which proved to be very successful and beneficial to the patients. Jane held a number of positions in medicine over her long career. She moved to East Gippsland in the 1990’s to be with her partner, Dr. David Campbell, who had set up a clinic in Lakes Entrance, known as Cunninghame Arm Medical Centre. In 1997 Jane was appointed CEO of Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV). RWAV was established to support the recruitment of doctors into rural and remote Australia. RWAV was and is a very successful organisation that attracted a lot of doctors into these rural and remote areas. Jane remained in this position for 10 years. Following her time with RWAV, Jane took up a position with Bairnsdale Regional Hospital as Director of Medical Services. This involved managing the medical workforce and the medical services within the hospital. She has also worked as Director of Medical Services at other country hospitals at various times as well as continuing to work in general practice.

In 2000 Jane could see that important work needed doing in the Aboriginal community. She approached Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Operative (GEGAC) with a view to becoming involved in Aboriginal health. They readily accepted her offer. Her involvement with the local Aboriginal Community has continued to this day. GEGAC was established in the 1975, as the Aboriginal community recognised the need to have their own health service. Jane was a longstanding and valued doctor with GEGAC. Today things have improved to the extent of GEGAC contracts up to 6 part time GP’s and registrars, together with a team of nurses, dentists and Aboriginal health workers. Specialist services are also available to the Aboriginal community.

In 2017, Jane set up a branch practice of Cunninghame Arm in MacLeod Street Bairnsdale called “Doctor Janes Place” which was named by her patients. This clinic was set up mainly for her Aboriginal patients. Jane has seen a significant improvement to health services for the Aboriginal Community over her time in East Gippsland.

MDHSS have a close relationship with Bairnsdale Regional Health and health professionals fly into Mallacoota on a regular basis. In 2020 Jane stood for and was elected as a councillor of the East Gippsland Shire Council for 4 years. This takes up a considerable amount of her time. After 50 odd years in medicine, Jane has now decided to retire from medicine and she intends to peruse her many other interests.

She will be sadly missed by her many patients and by the numerous health organisations that she is currently linked to. Don’t be surprised if you see her pop up somewhere in the health area. An experienced and passionate doctor like Jane is sure to get requests to help and will find it hard to completely bow out. Happy retirement Jane, and keep up the good work on East Gippsland Shire Council.

In 2018, Jane was appointed the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to medicine and community health. An extraordinarily special time in her life that left her utterly humbled. About 3 years ago Mallacoota District Health Services & Support invited Jane onto their board as the medical adviser. She held this position until recently. Mallacoota is a remote area and many of the health services are difficult to access.

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a dragon, an elephant and other things… Photos & Words by Ken Roberts Sometimes you don’t have to stray too far from home to find wonderful places to go. I’ve lived all of my life in Gippsland and though I’ve travelled around the world I have always been so glad to return to this beautiful region.

Millie and I decided to return to places we already knew and see the new developments that had occurred. I grew up going to these favourite local haunts on lazy summer days with my family. Such memories! The whole family, and cousins, would head off early with cars packed to the hilt with enough supplies to last all day and we’d usually stay until the sun was going down. They were times when only local people really knew of these gems and so there were no crowds at all. The passing of time has changed that and facilities have been provided to enhance the experiences of visitors. Only a few kilometers out of the charming hamlet of Briagolong signs lead you to The Quarry Reserve. In the mid 1800’s this site on the Freestone Creek was used as a Quarry and several buildings in the area were constructed with its stone. No longer a quarry, for over 60 years a committee of local residents have managed and improved the site. Not only does it have an ideal swimming hole but there are toilet facilities, an undercover barbecue shelter and fantastic playground. I remember as kids it was a “safe” place to explore and discover the bush. Its still the same now but with enhancements. The gentle flowing creek can be a torrent when heavy rain sends water down from the catchment. Millie and I wandered around, explored and found the waterfall that is usually only a trickle when the water is lower. As we visited mid week the place was empty save for one camping couple who had ventured across from the other side of Melbourne and “found” this place online. They were glowing in their praise and said it was one of the best sites they had been to. I think we take it for granted living so near places like this and how easy it is to be in the bush within just a short drive. Mills and I hopped in the car and travelled further up the Freestone Creek to the equally impressive and somewhat spectacular location of the Blue Pool.


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Its more off the beaten track with a narrower windy road to get there but its worth the trip. As a kid it seemed like we were never going to arrive. There was nothing there when we used to go except for an old house that Mr Hair lived in. Its nice for others to be able to enjoy it but I think I was spoilt when we could enjoy it with only a few other locals around. Now there are numerous carparks with barbecue areas, long drop toilets and 30 free walk in campsites. All of this is discreetly away from the main feature itself, the pool and surrounding bushland. This time Mills and I were the only ones there and had the bliss and peaceful serenity to ourselves. There are numerous walking tracks around but sitting before the reflective still water was just marvellous. The pool itself is deceptively deep and below the surface the water is very cold. Its safe but you need to be a adequate swimmer to venture far from the stony shore. I remember it was like a right of passage to swim to the far channel and leap off the rock escarpment. I must admit I did it very few times. There is nothing better though on a blistering hot summer’s day to be refreshed in the crisp clear cool water of the Blue Pool. Why does it always seem quicker on the drive home? Millie and I returned the way we came and stopped to look at the murals around the town of Briagolong. Its such a lovely community place and the Briag pub at the cross roads is a popular place for both locals and visitors alike with a fantastic menu and live music some nights. It ended up being a bit of a mural day because we also went to check out new murals on the recently completed railway bridge across the wide Avon River at Stratford. It was one of those things I had been intending to do but hadn’t gotten around to. I was so surprised when we drove into the Apex Park along side the river at the many improvements that had been made.

The castle playground for kids was fantastic, with its own genial dragon. There was a pump track for kids and large fenced grassy areas for picnics. It was not only a great stop off place for travellers on the highway but a destination in itself to play and explore. What I enjoyed the most were the mural paintings on the side of the new bridge. Stunning work! Millie and I wandered along the pathways to explore the stony riverbed and admire both the new and old rail bridges. I was glad we took the time to visit.

On our trip home, not far away, we had one more stop to make….. Ever since I was a child there had been an urban legend that an elephant had hit its head on the railway overpass just out of Stratford. It was supposed to have died and been buried along the river somewhere. There were so many stories over the years, which seemed to grow taller with every decade. A local resident Gavan Donoghue decided to put an end to speculation and began exhaustive research that eventually lead him to write a book, “The Stratford Elephant Mystery”. Now, a commissioned mural adorns the bridge memorialising “Betty”, the elephant suggested as the one involved. Mills and I stopped for a closer look, its another great art work on our small “mural” tour of the area. When we reached home I was so pleased that I had reacquainted myself with some familiar places and also visited some new ones. Its so pleasing to be able to journey near (and far) across my beloved Gippsland and visit an almost endless array of amazing places to see and experience.

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canine corner Pets Domain Moe

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Pets Domain Wonthaggi Millie 3/120 - KenMcKenzie is this myStreet, better side? Wonthaggi VIC 3995

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Crunchy - you pickin' that hose up? 128

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Tilka - ain't doin' nothing today!

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Sam - always an angel!

Miss Poppy - I feel leather suits me...

George - is that fish out there?

Ruby - after her swim

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Gracie - i'll just wait here right? gippsland lifestyle winter ���� 129


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Opening Late 2022






Articles inside

Millie’s Adventures – Millie, A dragon, an elephant and other things

pages 124-125

Liz Fleming – Getting Ready for end of year. Plan early, Be ready

pages 120-121

Local Hero – Dr Jane Greacen OAM

pages 122-123

Symmetry Health Kinesiology – Kelly Edwards

pages 118-119

GROW MASTER TRARALGON – Garden, Fashion and Giftware solutions

page 116

Chris’s reward for service

pages 110-111

Seeing with Stars Astrology – Stephanie Johnson

page 117

Art from the air

pages 108-109

Kerrie’s Creative World

pages 106-107

Victoria Street is home to the Warragul Library

pages 104-105

THE PRESS CELLARS – Gippsland owned liquor merchant

page 103

Metung Hot Springs – Bathing in a Winter Wonderland

pages 88-91

East Gippsland Field Days

pages 86-87


page 92

83 DAIKIN AIRCONDITIONING – The best air everywhere

pages 82-83

102 Warragul Continues to grow

pages 100-102

THE GURDIES WINERY – Take a detour to the Gurdies Winery

page 84

BRENT SINCLAIR CATERING – Mobile Catering & Takeaway Meals

page 80

A Walk on the Wild Side with Mt Baw Baw’s Dingoes

pages 16-18

WONTHAGGI LOTTO -Authorised Tattslotto Agency

page 7

CPK McLAREN MOTOR BODY – Leongatha’s Motor Body & Vehicle Repairer

pages 19-35


page 15

LATTITUDE TRADING- Great range of giftware

page 36

Riders on the Storm – The art of chasing Gippsland’s weather

pages 74-76

Curtis Australia – The Joy of Jewellery

pages 12-13

EDNEY’S LEONGATHA – Navarra Pro-4X Warrior

pages 3-4
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