58 Gippsland Life Autumn

Page 1


MIRBOO NORTH Fighting Back!


HOME Building



From Hollywood to Walhalla

THORPDALE PUB Remarkable Revival

ISSN 1838-8124 ISSN 1838-8124
EDNEY'S LEONGATHA 1 Roughead Street, Leongatha, VIC 3953 Tel: 5662 2327 www.edneysnissan.com.au Dealer Licence MD LMCT 1500

editorial Autumn #58

Welcome to Gippsland Life Autumn issue 58!

Living in the diverse region of Gippsland offers many highlights, but on occasions we are met with challenges, and many parts of Gippsland suffered recently with the recent weather patterns that inflicted damage to our region.

Prior to the storm that affected a good part of Mirboo North, we had already organised features on the town and decided to run with them, as we believe the town needs support and not be shelved, and like all good towns, in time, Mirboo North will return to the beautiful township that it is.

Mirboo North has been damaged, a life was sadly lost, but the town has rallied and along with many volunteers, community and helpers, the town is fighting back. Anita Butterworth’s feature reflects this.

After an absence of five years, we have brought back, for this edition, the HOME section and we have some diverse features looking at the old, the new and the re-invented which offers good reading.

Along with the wonderful front cover and feature on the very popular artist, Annemieke Mein, the magazine delivers with diverse and interesting features for readers alike and hopefully we can all get through Autumn and enjoy what we love about Gippsland.

Doug Pell


Country Butcher – Prime Cut

121 Liam Neeson comes to Walhalla

122 Curtis Jewellery – Creating the World’s most treasured gem

124-125 Mossvale Botanic Park

126-128 60 Years of Happy Boating – Crawford Marine

132 Art Cubes have arrived in Meeniyan

134 Tambo Valley Cup – 31 March 2024

142-143 MYLI – The growth of seed libraries

144 Seeing with Stars – Stephanie Johnson

145 Canine Corner – Our lovable best friends

4 gippsland life Autumn ���� our autumn front cover
Frog, 1994
the artist © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed by kind permission of the artist.
Pages 94 to 97
| Publisher
our advertisers 63 Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese – World acclaimed cheese 130 Brent Sinclair Catering – Mobile catering, takeaway & Café 53 CPK McLaren Motor Body – Gippsland’s prestige body repair 83 Craig Young the Country Butcher in Mirboo North 83 Crawford Marine Morwell – Boating since 1964 146 Curtis Australia – Handcrafting luxury 5 Edgewater Terraces at Metung – The perfect getaway 3 Edney’s Leongatha – Patrol Warrior 67 Evans Petroleum – BP Korumburra rejuvenated 138 Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival – 18-26 May 2024 1 Gippsland Gallery Sale – Annemieke Mein Exhibition – Front Cover 89 Gippsland Outdoor Magazine 2 GJ Gardner Homes – Feel the joy building 72 Great Southern Ride – E Bike Sales & Hire – Meeniyan 131 Growmaster Traralgon – Garden, fashion and Giftware Solutions 129 Jeff Bourman MP member for Eastern Victoria 52 Korumburra Mini Golf and Magilla’s Play Centre 138 Laurie Collins Sculpture & Red Tree Gallery Autumn Exhibitions 141 Leongatha RSL Bistro 68 Loch & Key Restaurant – Indoor dining room or beer garden 69 Loch Village Food and Wine Festival – Sunday 9 June 2024 123 Meeniyan Art Gallery – Autumn exhibitions 123 Melaleuca Nursery – Indigenous & native plant farm 73 Moos at Meeniyan – Eat, drink & enjoy 143 MYLI – The Growth of Seed libraries 72 Redi Milk – Ideal service delivering to South Gippsland 62 Riverview Hotel – The happening hotel in Tarwin Lower 91 South Gippsland Dental – State of the art superior 133 South Gippsland Shire – Create in South Gippsland 90 Stony Creek Go Karts – Fun for all the family + Go Karts 70 Supernal Magazine Australia – Free bi-monthly digital magazine 135 Tambo Valley Racing Club – Tambo Valley Cup 31 March 2024 136-137 The Gurdies Winery – Cellar door & function centre 71 The Middle Korumburra Hotel – Voted No 1 Hotel in Victoria 139 The Noojee Hotel – Charity Duck Race – 16 March 2024 148 Virtue Homes – The Marshall 28 – New display home – late 2024 63 Waratah Hills Winery – Award winning wines and café 140 WGCMA – Powlett River – Working for Wetlands 7 Wonthaggi Lotto – Authorised Tattslotto and Newsagency our content 8-9 WGCMA – Discovering Powlett’s Life Aquatic
Edney’s Leongatha – New Showroom
Foster Agricultural Show – 2024 Highlights 58-59 Art Therapist – Maya Fraser
Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival – 18-26 May 2024 64-66 Iconic Thorpdale Pub’s Bubbling Revival 68 Loch Village 2023 Photo Collection 74-79 After the Storm – Mirboo North Recovers 80-82 Mirboo North Supportive Community 84-85 Mirboo North Italian Festa – 2024 some highlights 86-88 Craig Young The




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Doug Pell & Ken Roberts


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Doug Pell

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Gippsland Life 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.

South Gippsland Publishing acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures, and to Elders past and present.

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

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Discovering Powlett’s Life Aquatic

Powlett River and its six main tributaries are precious waterways. West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is now one step closer to discovering more about life below their surface thanks to a recent survey of aquatic animals along the river.

The Powlett, known as Kugerungmome by Bunurong Traditional Owners, has a total catchment area of 50,800 hectares and, along with Lance Creek, supplies water for townships including Wonthaggi, Inverloch and Cape Paterson. The Victorian government also recognises the river as a ‘priority waterway’ for West Gippsland.

“We’re excited to have completed this first baseline survey as part of the Powlett River Kugerungmome Partnerships project,” said Martin Fuller, CEO of West Gippsland CMA.

Researchers took samples from sites along the river and also from its main tributaries of Foster, Lance, West, Archies, Bridge and Woolshed Creeks. Taking samples from different locations provided a good understanding of the range of aquatic animals and plants living below the surface.

“Having the team record a diversity of native species is very encouraging. This survey will help us and our partners in the future management of this catchment.”

The research team used a variety of sampling methods suited to the river conditions at each location including backpack electrofishing, hand-held dip-netting and bait traps, along with audio and visual observation.

“Whilst the catchment lays entirely within agricultural land, it was heartening to discover healthy fish populations in some of the waterways,” said Martin.

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A native Tupong fish found at testing site 4. No introduced fish species were found in the survey. [right] Powlett River/Kugerungmome estuary is a precious coastal wetland Corner Inlet is a Ramsar wetland of international importance Flounder found at Site 9 of the testing. Powlett River / Kugerungmome has six main tributaries

“Species recorded include Common galaxias, Tupong, Flounder, Southern shortfinned eel, Freshwater shrimp and Burrowing crayfish and we are also pleased that no introduced fish species were found.”

Follow up surveys are planned for Autumn 2024 and results will be shared with project partners to provide valuable information on the condition of Powlett River and its tributaries and how best to work together to manage and protect them.

Powlett River Kugerungmome Partnerships project is a joint initiative led by West Gippsland CMA and involves Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Bass Coast Landcare Network, Birdlife Australia, Friends of Hooded Plover Bass Coast, Trust for Nature and Parks Victoria and is funded by the Victorian Government’s Our Catchments Our Communities program.

For more information visit wgcma.vic.gov.au


Wonder of Wetlands

Powlett River/Kugerungmome Estuary is a coastal wetland and one of four wetlands of national significance in South Gippsland. The region is also home to the wetland of national and international importanceCorner Inlet Ramsar site.

The Ramsar Convention was ratified in the Iranian City of Ramsar in 1971 and is the world’s first international environmental treaty to halt and, where possible, reverse, the worldwide loss of wetlands and conserve those that remain through wise use and effective management.

Wetlands are the ‘kidneys’ of the catchment acting as natural water filters and nutrient restorers. They provide habitat for wading and migratory birds and threatened species. Well-managed wetlands also capture and hold flood waters before they enter or re-enter a waterway.

Coastal wetlands also provide a natural buffer against extreme weather by absorbing much of the impact. This can speed up recovery and ensure communities are resilient and able to bounce back better from disasters.

West Gippsland CMA works with private landholders as well as community groups to help protect and enhance wetlands in the region.

gippsland life Autumn ���� 9
for samples at Site 9
Powlett River / Kugerungrmome estuary is recognised as a nationally significant wetland Testing Site 1 in the estuary




10 gippsland life Autumn ���� We create architecture that is inviting, earthy yet modern. We are passionate about place making and the relationship between built and natural environments and its ability to enrich everyday life. We design from the inside out, placing your experience of the space at the heart of how we design to create sympathetically designed spaces that enliven the senses and enhance belonging to place. 11 Bair Street Leongatha VIC 3953 | 0418 442 811 | admin@isarchitecture.com.au www.is-architecture.com
ALEX SCOTT LEONGATHA – Have got you covered 38 ALL SLIDING DOOR REPAIRS Melbourne – servicing Gippsland 24 BJS INSURANCE BROKERS Wonthaggi – Holiday Rentals Insurance
BRIGHTSIDE COTTAGE – A Romantic Getaway 17 CARPET COURT – Breathe new life into your home
DALROSE RETREAT INVERBROOM –Reimagined classic homestead 23 DB DESIGN Wonthaggi – Building design & drafting 29 EAST GIPPSLAND REAL ESTATE – Metung & Lakes Entrance 11 ENCORE RETIREMENT LIVING – Paynesville and Trafalgar
ENCORE RETIREMENT LIVING – Reinventing retirement 28 HAYMES PAINT SHOP – Interior & Exterior paints + more 10 IS ARCHITECTURE – Sympathetically designed spaces 25 LIVE AT THE CAPE – Australia’s most sustainable housing estate
METUNG HISTORIC HOUSE – A Rare Gem 24 RIGBY HOMEMAKERS – Kinetic - Move with the times
SJD HOMES – 7 display homes across Gippsland
STAR GAZING BUBBLE RETREATS –Sth Gippsland’s newest wonder


South Gippsland’s Newest Wonder

Cradled in the rolling, green hills of Agnes in South Gippsland, two dreamy, star-gazing bubbles have become a must-do experience for couples seeking a unique escape from the chaos of everyday life.

Like nothing else in the region, this otherworldly accommodation experience has created an unparalleled connection to the wild Wilsons Promontory coastline and the hypnotic blanket of stars that envelop South Gippsland’s peaceful nights.

It’s any wonder that Bubble Retreats have already amassed a cult following.

“We opened five months ago, and we’ve only had five-star reviews, we’ve had over 150 five-star reviews so far,” explains Bubble Retreats founder Tim Harper.

“It’s really nice reading all of the positive feedback because it was a lot of hard work to get it up and running. They’re enjoying what we’ve created – being able to escape, relax and connect.”

Growing up in the Yarra Valley, Tim always had a connection to nature. Despite a successful career in marketing, he felt drawn to starting a business that involved the outdoors – something hands-on and tactile. And a glamping trip with his French partner Heloise was the catalyst.

“It was during that Covid period that I was actually over in France. I was lucky enough to get an exemption to head across and spend three months in France with Heloise during Covid and it was one night when we actually slept in this small transparent tent. I was thinking about doing something like this, but laying under the stars in that small tent was the lightbulb moment.”

Through the couple’s research, they discovered that bubble tent accommodation options are few and far between, particularly in Australia. They eventually sourced high-quality bubble tents, and the hunt was on to find the perfect property.

Tim wanted to find a property just as remarkable as the accommodation itself. And he found it in South Gippsland.

“When I came up with the idea I was heading out and meeting different farmers and landowners, so the idea was to be two hours out of the city, and during that process I met John who owns the property.”

The spectacular Agnes farm boasts idyllic, green hills and sweeping views of Wilsons Promontory. And at night, it’s serene and awash with a celestial light show. It was the perfect location to set up two bubble tents.

“My initial concept was somewhere for people to escape from the city. Just connect with nature. So, we don’t have WiFi, no TV. The concept is more of a nature escape and people to get away and escape technology and city life.”

Tim’s idea caught the eye of the judges in the prestigious Global Airbnb OMG Fund, beating tens of thousands of entries to win US$100,000 to bring their vision to life.

The bubble tents are a far cry from pitching a tent, with luxe glamping vibes. There’s a full ensuite bathroom with a hot shower, a flushing toilet, basin, a mirror, lights, mini-fridge, BBQ, air-conditioning and heating. And the bedroom bubble features a four-poster bed with wrap-around curtains for privacy.

“It’s almost like luxury glamping in a way. There’s no technology, but you lay under the stars and you’re still comfortable in a queen size bed, and you’ve still got a toilet and shower and those essentials.

“It is inflated, it has an air turbine, which is very low wattage, but it is running 24/7. The actual entry tunnel has an airlock, so it comes up underneath the platform inside the entry. So there are two doors inside the entry tunnel and that’s where the air enters inside and acts as an airlock. One unique aspect of it, we have two little Bluetooth speakers in the bubbles as well, because the acoustics are really unusual, so you stand in different areas of the bubble, it’s quite an experience, the acoustics in the bubble with the air pressure.”

gippsland life Autumn ���� 15

Bubble Retreats

Tim admits when he first tells people about Bubble Retreats, it can be hard to explain the concept without showing photos, but it’s all part of the experience.

“When you talk about it, you say, ‘Oh it’s a bubble’ and people probably think that’s a little bit unusual. But once you’re actually inside the bubble it’s actually very comfortable and secure. You almost feel like you’re in a cocoon."

“I knew it was going to be quite a solid structure, but I didn’t realise how comfortable it would be. Even when it’s raining and windy it’s still really comfortable and an amazing experience for our guests. And then there’s the beautiful clear nights. Laying in bed at night-time when you’ve got the clear skies above, it’s such a great location in Gippsland to stargaze."

“Heloise and I stayed in the bubbles for a couple of nights just to test them out before we opened and that was so amazing. Just to lay in the bubble and look up at the stars. They were brighter and bigger than we could have ever imagined. That part of it is really special. And obviously being up on top of the hill you get the amazing views during the day and then you get the stargazing at night."

“The acoustics is also something that has been somewhat of an unexpected hit with our guests with lots of guests loving the amazing and unique sounds from inside the bubble. I had a guest who stayed a couple of weeks ago and her partner was a musician and brought along his guitar and she said it was amazing, just the acoustics inside the bubble, he just played the guitar all night.”

Bookings to stay at Bubble Retreats in South Gippsland are available at www.bubbleretreats.com.au. Choose between two options – Asteria which is nestled into the side of a hill, or Etoile which sits atop the hill.

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Leongatha (03) 5662 0922 Leongatha – 41 Bair Street (03) 5662 0922 Andrew Newton 0402 940 320 Emily Clifford 0422 622 299 Tony Giles 0407 528 192 Dan Huther 0418 334 801 BIRCHWOOD COTTAGE | 75 WHITELAW STREET, MEENIYAN 3956 $895,000 Delightful private cottage overlooking peaceful gardens and centrally located to the heart of Meeniyan township. The perfect place to relax and unwind or wander down and enjoy some of the finest local food and wine Victoria has to offer. This beautiful home has been tastefully extended and renovated whilst retaining it's charming cottage façade.  On offer is 4 bedrooms, 1 bath, large open plan living/dining, stunning undercover outdoor entertaining, off street parking/carport and so much more. ICONIC LEONGATHA RESIDENCE - SPACIOUS BLOCK 3445M2 $1,550,000 28 HORN STREET, LEONGATHA 3953 Escape the city for an idyllic, elegant lifestyle! This alluring property invites you in with its irresistible charm, appealing ambience and notable space. This well-appointed residence offers 4 large living areas: stunning kitchen - meals/conservatory, formal lounge and dining rooms, tranquil sunroom. Also, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, grand sweeping staircase, lock up garage and loft, beautiful gardens and so much more.

Leongatha (03) 5662 0922


Set back from the road and amongst the beautiful native vegetation, this stunning home on 1.5 acres in this highly sought after village, is extremely private and is the perfect example of what Koonwarra living was meant to be. Main features include 4 bedrooms, two living rooms, main kitchen + kitchenette in the West wing (perfect for dual living/air BnB or can be converted back to extra living space), two bathrooms, outdoor living, lock up shed + carport and so much more. Nearby features Gippsland Rail Trail, Inverloch beaches and gateway to Wilsons Promontory.

Andrew Newton 0402 940 320 Emily Clifford 0422 622 299 Tony Giles 0407 528 192 Dan Huther 0418 334 801

Leongatha – 41 Bair Street (03) 5662 0922

For all your real estate needs, contact Andrew Newton and the team anytime for a confidential chat.

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Alex Scott & Staff has a 14 office network across Gippsland and the Team at Leongatha is here and ready to help you with all your real estate needs. The Leongatha office opened 21 years ago and has grown in strength, selling all types of rural, residential and commercial properties from Leongatha right through to Port Welshpool and beyond. THE TEAM AT LEONGATHA Andrew Newton (Branch Manager) - Kaleb Jans (Livestock Representative) - Jayson Filomeno (Property Manager) - Tony Giles (Sales Agent) Kerry Zuidema (Licensed Estate Agent) - Emily Hillberg (Licensed Estate Agent) - Kathy Clark (Administration) Dan Huther (Licensed Estate Agent)) - Dane Perczyk (Livestock Manager)

Nestled in lush, irrigated Gippsland farmland near Stratford, the luxury farm stay ‘Dalrose Retreat’ is a world away from the cares of everyday life and yet a short drive from a myriad of interesting attractions.

The stunning building is the ‘accidental’ brainchild of Lauren Daly who saw potential where there seemed to be none at all. It was her vision that has seen the roofless remains of a former grand country homestead transformed into a modern 21st century home that invites guests from across the country and overseas to be enchanted by its peace, serenity and charm.

The story began when Lauren and her husband Mick, farmers in nearby Maffra, were looking to expand their beef farming operation by buying more acreage locally. After a frustrated search failed to find the right property, a chance conversation led them to a former 1200 acre ‘Inverbroom’ estate.

Originally established in the early 1800’s the farm bordered the Avon River at Stratford and in the late 1800’s was subdivided into numerous lots, of which the Daly’s purchased one lot of 80 acres. Though benefitting from irrigation in the rich Macalister irrigation district the infrastructure of the farm had been neglected. It was perfect for the expansion of their farming operation.

Lauren, a trained Governance expert, who has a love of architecture and design, fell in love with the ruin of what was once the impressive homestead of the original large estate. It truly was a shambles with no roof and very few walls left. She had little idea in the beginning that her attraction to the preserving what remained of the original classic Australian farm homestead would become what it is today, an imaginative and bespoke modern country farmhouse. Its rebirth was more resurrection than renovation.

Lauren began with the idea of saving some of the irreplaceable materials that remained of the house. She thought it could become a small shelter or cabin they could go to when they were at the farm. Their current farm is only a five minute drive away. She loved the idea of using the salvaged materials from the ruin in a new structure. After sketching a few ideas, Lauren talked to local Building designer Jess Northway and slowly a vision formed.

‘Wildest dreams’ never begin with the actual thoughts that it could really happen, but they sometimes can become a reality. When Lauren successfully applied for an artisan agricultural grant this kickstarted the project into action. She began looking for a builder and invited local Stratford chippy Peter Nowak to come to the site so she could share her vision with him. Peter and Dale Pendergast were lured in by Lauren’s captivating dream and though sceptical at some of her ‘innovations’ during the build, by the end they were total converts and had proud ‘ownership’ of their creation.

Lauren, Mick, their three kids and extended family put in hard yards slowly demolishing the house and salvaging whatever they could from the remains. Thousands of bricks were reclaimed and cleaned to become a huge feature wall inside the house and in the outdoor entertainment area. Redgum floor joists were de-nailed, sanded and split to be used in everything from a feature dining table and staircase to detailed external cladding on outdoor balconies. Even the glassless window frames were given new life as borders of the bathroom mirrors. A discovery of long covered veranda pavers had them incorporated in steps and fireplace.

Though this is a total new build, it is the retention of the huge double backed fireplaces from the original homestead that remains the heart of the modern house. It is not hard to picture where the front door and central hallway would have separated the four rooms either side facing onto the hearths of the now exposed large chimneys. The double height open plan kitchen/dining/living room has these fireplaces as focal points.

The craftsman-made and designed recycled redgum staircase with hidden LED lighting is a stunning centrepiece in the room. The feature light fitting in the expansive central space, designed by Lauren herself, is a clever construction of steel and timber evoking rugged country design with an industrial edge and incorporating the redgum timber floor joists as a resourceful detail.

The subtle understating of all the features of the house enables the ‘hero’ of the home to shine, its majestic setting. The uncluttered landscaping allows the outstanding views of the subtle blue shades of the distant hills to enchant you. Not to mention being in the middle of a working farm and having the farm animals and pastures just over the fence.

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The beauty of this reimagined country homestead is that it has a cosy hominess at its core despite its modernity. It has no nonsense practically wrapped up in the not always immediately obvious features. The brick pillars at the steps to the drive are each topped with a single brick the has handprints from their original makers over 150 years ago, placed there so you can imprint your own hand and transport yourself to another time. At every turn the small details in the house slowly emerge.

The thoughtful design of the three bedroom house with master bedroom on the ground floor and two bedrooms, bathroom and extra lounge on the second floor is ideal for a variety of guests. The large outdoor undercover living area utilises one of the original fireplaces for guests to be able to enjoy the farm ambiance in comfort. The stark modernity of the house design is softened by the many considered elements of history and originality that are incorporated within its walls.

Lauren is at the heart of this project but understood that it was her community who helped it become a reality. She is in awe of the generosity of spirit, goodwill, craftsmanship and expertise of everyone involved that has brought it to a stunning conclusion. It has been such a journey, and she has to pinch herself at times to believe she has arrived at this magnificent finished product.

She is inspired by all of this now to share her creation with others and give them the opportunity to enjoy, even for a couple of days, living this country idyll.

Though it is ideally placed in a rural setting it is so easily accessible, only two and a half hour’s drive on a direct freeway/highway from Melbourne. Dalrose Retreat is also close to the Gippsland Rail trail and on the direct train line at nearby Stratford. The surrounding areas boast so many attractions from a brewery, wineries, car museum, award winning eateries and many more, as well as some ‘secret’ places only known to locals that Lauren generously shares with her guests.

Lauren is keen to support local makers and growers. Inside the retreat is a stocked up ‘shop’ of local fares that guests can purchase to take home with them. The numerous artworks displayed in the house are by local artists and also available for purchase.

It has been a remarkable achievement for the remains of an historic homestead to be recreated into a vibrant 21st century home filled with imaginative creative elements. Lauren and Mick have built a legacy to be proud of and are now eager for others to share the beauty and peace that Dalrose Retreat offers.


Dalrose Farm dalroseretreat www.dalrosefarm.com.au

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Encore Retirement Living Reinventing Retirement

The lure of Gippsland is just one of the many reasons that Encore Retirement Living in Trafalgar has been inundated with new residents and inquiries from those looking to make the move to retirement village living. And with another village about to get underway in Paynesville, the team at Encore Retirement Living is preparing for even more interest.

“Regional Victoria is very popular for retirees,” Village & Sales Manager Rosa Sinopoli explained.

“Having said that we’ve got a lot of residents that move in that still go about on their caravan trips. We offer caravan and boat storage, and residents have peace of mind when they take off because they just know that they’ve locked up their home, they’re going to come back and all of their contents are going to be there, they’re going to have the same neighbours.”

Encore Retirement Living in Trafalgar is already a bustling community of retirees, with the first four stages of the development sold out, and interest for the final stages currently being taken.

“For the residents in Trafalgar who have moved to the village, it’s a community within a community. But it’s independent living. It’s embracing outside services. Research has shown that people who move into a retirement village are moving in with like-minded people.”

There’s an air of excitement with the development’s Community Centre nearing completion. Featuring an indoor heated pool, outdoor entertainment area and more, residents will be spoilt for choice when it comes to activities at the premier village.

“They’re really looking forward to the community centre because it’s going to have the salt chlorinated pool which can be therapeutic for anyone that swims but also just wants to start an exercise regime. We’re going to have a gym which will be specifically aimed at various physical levels, tailored for each individual.”

The village includes a shared vegetable garden, caravan and boat storage, pet-friendly grounds and is close to local health facilities.

“We haven’t scrimped on quality and storage. The villas have nine-foothigh ceilings, it’s very light, very modern, it is extremely low maintenance. It’s hard work being retired; they’re busy doing other things. Our residents are very house-proud.

“We realise that people will move in and be active but unfortunately health concerns play a factor later in life, so we’ve done things like made our doorways a lot wider to allow wheelchair access, and we’ve also put in an emergency call system in the villas.

“We offer double garages. A lot of retirement villages only offer a carport or a single garage. So double garages are still very favoured and also a lot of people from Melbourne are quite surprised that we’ve got the luxury of space so we can put in double garages.

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It’s little wonder that Gippsland is a retirement haven for so many Victorians. From rolling green hills to sparkling beaches and good, old-fashioned country hospitality, more and more retirees are making the region their golden years’ base.

“It’s more downsizing the maintenance side of things. It’s definitely low maintenance. It’s a quality build, quite luxurious and quite a modern build. So we offer twobedroom villas, and two bedrooms with a flexi-room. Of the villas we’ve got at Trafalgar, we’ve kept two of the designs for our upcoming village in Paynesville.”

The Paynesville development will include a collection of independent living units and a Community Centre, along with the same high-quality amenities as Trafalgar.

Anyone wanting to know more about either development is urged to organise a tour or have a chat to the team.

“We fall under the Retirement Villages Act and that can be quite confusing in itself. Because obviously, it’s quite an overwhelming process. So, we’re there to guide people through the process and no two people are alike, so we do offer three different financial options.

“So, the best thing would be for people to make contact or come to an open day or get on the website and have a look. We can work with people to look at their current circumstances and point them in the right direction.

“The final two stages now at Trafalgar and the Community Centre nearing completion, we’ve been inundated with inquiries more than anything, because a lot of people do hold off until the Community Centre is ready.”

With villas that cater for every resident’s journey through life, lowmaintenance, high-end builds and a community hub that’s destined to become a mecca for residents, anyone considering moving into a retirement village is encouraged to contact the Encore Retirement Living team.

“It just gives people peace of mind, it gives them an option to really just embrace life and do what they would normally do but also meet new people.”

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28 gippsland life Autumn ���� PAINT SHOP WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED LEONGATHA | PH: 5662 2941 68 BAIR STREET, LEONGATHA VIC 3953 TEL: 5662 2941 | EMAIL: Leongatha@haymespaintshop.com.au Hours: Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.00pm | Saturday 9.00am to 12.00pm | Sunday closed WONTHAGGI LEONGATHA WONTHAGGI MANAGER ROB GEYER COWES MANAGER DAVID FUSINATO COWES | PH: 5952 2522 MANAGER: DAVID FUSINATO | 215 SETTLEMENT ROAD, COWES VIC 3922 TEL: 5952 2522 | EMAIL: cowes@haymespaintshop.com.au Hours: Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.00pm | Saturday 8.00am to 1.00pm | Sunday 9.00am to 1.00pm COWES WONTHAGGI | PH: 5672 5522 MANAGER: ROB GEYER | 5-7 KORUMBURRA ROAD, WONTHAGGI VIC 3995 Tel: 5672 5522 | Email: wonthaggi@haymespaintshop.com.au Hours: Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.00pm | Saturday 8.30am to 1.00pm | Sunday 10.00am to 12.00pm

Coastal Resort

Situated within the award winning McMillans of Metung Coastal Resort, this renovated two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage is fully furnished and equipped. Swimming pool, sauna, tennis court, playground, guest lounge & games room. Investment and lifestyle opportunities. Income figures available.

Price: $390,000 8 / 155 Metung Road, Metung

Metung House & Jetty

Step into a realm of timeless elegance with this exquisite Metung homestead, a masterful blend of original charm and modern convenience. Perched above Chinamans Creek with ownership of a prized mooring ensuring endless adventures on the water. Features 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and multiple living spaces.

Expressions of Interest

402 Rosherville Road, Metung

Island Living at Metung

Unique off grid home on a large 80-acre property with lake frontage. Fully furnished 3-bedroom home with an open plan kitchen/dining area flooded with natural light.  A well-maintained Jetty berth comes with the property. Only a 5-minute boat trip to Metung mainland for a coffee and the papers, or a meal at the popular Metung Hotel.

Price: $775,000 Lot 2 Boole Poole, Metung

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Lynette Coulson | 0408 135 654 LAKES ENTRANCE | METUNG www.egre.com.au 5155 6777 5156 2555


Astute property buyers have been afforded a rare opportunity to acquire a piece of history with Metung House listed for sale through East Gippsland Real Estate (formerly LJ Hooker).

Current owner David Paul is reluctantly parting with the charming two storey weatherboard home on 1100 square metres at 402 Rosherville Road due to his advancing age. The property has its own private jetty mooring on Chinaman’s Creek just metres away down the hillside.

“My partner Janet and I have had eight wonderful years here. We have a lot of great memories and will be sad to leave, but it is time to move on,” David acknowledges.

“I am turning eighty-four this year and can see the day when this property will become too much for me to maintain. I want to find something nearer to where my family is located on the south coast around Inverloch and Cape Paterson. The plan is for us to divide our time back and forth between there and Melbourne where Janet also has a home.”

Selling agent Lynette Coulson expects the beautifully presented property to create a lot of interest.

“Homes like this in Metung are very tightly held onto, so it’s a very rare buying opportunity,” she comments.

“It’s a fabulous home with a gorgeous big garden, and having its own jetty is another huge selling point. The local market is doing quite well at the moment so it’s a good time to list the property.”

David and Janet discovered Metung House during an exhaustive search of coastal towns which began in New South Wales around Narooma and Bermagui.

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“We got to Metung on our way back, saw this place and I immediately knew I wanted it,” David remembers.

“The house had a jetty and everything else we were looking for. It just spoke to me. I started negotiating with the agents and eventually bought it. I sold my place in Adelaide where I was living at the time, and we came here at the end of 2015.”

David says Metung House has a character that can’t be found in typical modern designed homes which he considers to be a dime a dozen.

“This house is different. It has a story to tell,” he states.

Although the exact year that Metung House was built is a matter of some conjecture, it is believed to date back to the beginning of the 1900s which places it amongst the town’s earliest properties.

The house has had several owners over its lifetime, and at various stages it has been used as a permanent residence, holiday home and bed and breakfast style accommodation.

The property is surrounded by history. In days long gone, people used to be brought up by boat from the village for morning and afternoon teas at Metung House, or from Sale and Bairnsdale to stay for a few days. Many great parties have also been held within its walls over the years.

It even has a close connection to Australian country music legend Slim Dusty, who spent considerable time living at the house next door with his wife Joy and wrote a few of his songs there.

Metung House has not been used for guest accommodation for many years but could easily be converted back into that guise by the next owners if desired. The home’s floorplan has undergone considerable change over more than a century but the property retains many of its original features.

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It is impossible not to observe and admire the high ceilings, other ornate finishes and the jarrah flooring that has been retained in parts of the house.

Over the years, the number of bedrooms within Metung House has reduced from nine to three. Two were sacrificed in creating the double carport at the front of the home, whilst others have been reconfigured by previous owners to create more living spaces. The house also has three bathrooms.

The second floor was added to the home in the decade before David and Janet’s arrival. More recently, the installation of a new corrugated roof was completed last year just prior to Christmas.

The upstairs section of the home offers amazing views looking out both across the valley and over the water. It could potentially be converted to a separate self-contained living space if the next owners wish to do so.

Outside, the garden has been lovingly maintained in immaculate condition. David developed an interest in growing roses dating back to his time in Adelaide and that passion is evident throughout the grounds of Metung House. The privacy of the garden adds to the home’s feeling of peace and tranquility.

“A tremendous amount of work and effort has gone into the garden,” David comments.

For those who are active with their hands, the property includes a spacious outside workshop in which to get creative, complete with a pot belly stove. More sheds adjacent to the workshop provide additional storage space.

Both David and Janet will always treasure the years they enjoyed at Metung House.

“I will miss the space, the garden, the house, the peacefulness, everything really,” Janet admits.

David is philosophical about the upcoming sale. He describes his purchase of the home as having been a “heart decision”. It is a fitting reference as the retired electronics engineer knows a thing or two about hearts, having been a member of a small team that built Australia’s first pacemaker at Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1964. This proud achievement was amongst many highlights in David’s interesting and varied career in Australia and overseas.

“When the house is sold and we move out we’ll just have to cut our emotional attachment to it,” he suggests.

“We could find somewhere else in Metung and remain in the town, and some would argue that we should, but the lure of being near my brother and sister is strong. Although it won’t be easy, we’ll simply have to adopt the mindset that we’ve enjoyed Metung and the time for change has come. We’ve made lots of good friends here but I’m sure we’ll do the same on the south coast.”

David says the new owners will be able to have the luxury of putting their individual stamp on the property, as the house is not subject to heritage listing or any other restrictions.

“Whether they decide to leave it exactly as it is or adapt it to their own needs, they’ll absolutely love this home. It’s got everything,” he concludes.

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Photo byDoug Pell
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Brightside embodies the ideal romantic getaway to the South Gippsland countryside. This charming cottage serves as the ultimate sanctuary for unwinding and rejuvenation. Nestled on 2.31 acres, surrounded by majestic 100-year-old Cypress trees, expansive green lawns, and a historic farm orchard, the property offers a serene setting. The farmhouse cottage from the 1900s has been entirely transformed, blending its original charm with a modern touch both internally and externally. Elegantly designed with a chef's kitchen, comfortable bedrooms, and a lavish living room featuring a wood heater and a stack of logs. Beautiful surroundings with picturesque rolling hills.
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A diverse range of wildlife and delightful birdsong. Guests can relish in expected comforts while feeling a world away from it all.
private garden features an outdoor BBQ, porch, outdoor seating, and a front yard offering breathtaking views of the stunning scenery. Start your day with coffee and croissants while admiring the sunrise and savour a cheese platter and cocktails during the golden hour sunset. Brightside Cottage is 12 minutes from Leongatha. 1:45 hour’s drive from Melbourne. It accommodates 6 guests and offers a relaxing atmosphere with luxurious amenities.  Sleeps 6  Chill vibes  Luxury cottage  Indoor fireplace  Romantic retreat  Bike riding rail trails  Take a hike  Explore the best beaches BOOKING DETAILS AIRBNB Abnb.me?tGxxG7MtYub Email Enquiries: ride@greatsouthernride.com.au PhONE: 0415 550 609 BRIGHTSIDE COTTAGE Brightside is the epitome of a romantic getaway for country life. gippsland life Autumn ���� 37
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147 ALEX SCOTT AND STAFF – From the mountains to the sea

42-43 CLAY & CO - Unique Studio Ignites Artistic Passion

50-51 DAIKIN AIR CONDITIONING – The finest air everywhere

44 ISLAND SHOES – Cabello Comfort brands

44 MY SEASIDE CAFÉ – Licensed Eatery in Rhyll

45 NEWHAVEN COLLEGE – They go the extra mile

46 PHILLIP ISLAND RSL – Venue for all life’s occasions


39 RHYLL – Embrace the seaside lifestyle

41 THE WESTERNPORT HOTEL – Where country hospitality meets city smarts

47 THE WOOLI TAVERN – Family friendly restaurant

48-49 WILDLIFE COAST CRUISES – Experience unique coastal journeys


gippsland life Autumn ���� 39


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 WESTERNPORT HOTEL 161 Marine Parade, San Remo VIC 3925 | info@thewesternport.com.au | www.thewesternport.com.au Tel: 03 5678 5205

Unique Phillip Island Studio Ignites

Artistic Passion


Artist Karen Morton is the first to admit she wasn’t sure about moving to Phillip Island. But now the Irish-born ceramicist has well and truly set down roots in South Gippsland, opening a unique studio, settling on a farm and becoming part of an immensely supportive community.

The bubbly artist is the founder of Clay & Co. Studio, an artist co-working space that bridges the gap between creatives and the wider community.

“It’s really exciting what’s happened here and I think it goes beyond. It’s special. It’s more than an art studio,” Karen explains.

Growing up in Ireland, Karen isn’t quite sure when her artistic drive started, just that it was always there.

“I remember as a kid I used to have a little budgie. And every time the feathers would fall down from the budgie cage, I’d pick them up and I’d do these little collages with all of the feathers. And they always looked like these crazy, scary little things,” she laughs.

Her passion for sharing art was also something she keenly felt in her childhood. The young entrepreneur set up a little art studio in her parent’s garden shed as a child and charged people to learn to draw.

“Everyone has always said as long as you love what you’re doing you’ll never work a day in your life. And I loved doing this and if I love doing it so much I thought surely at some stage I can make a living from it.”

Eventually, Karen pursued a formal education in the arts, with a degree in fine art specialising in painting ceramics. She lived in France, then travelled to the US and Australia, which included a camping trip to Phillip Island. It’s there she met her now husband, and they settled in New Zealand before moving back to Australia, living on the Mornington Peninsula. Then, during Covid, they moved to Phillip Island – even though Karen wasn’t completely convinced it was the best business decision.

“I could not have been more wrong. The businesses and the support down here honestly, it’s just amazing. Coming down here, a female starting a business, as a creative female starting a business, I have never felt more supported by a community. By a council, by all of the people around to do what we’re doing. I have so much gratitude that what I’m doing now is reaching so many people and so many people are responding to it so amazingly. It’s heart-warming.”

Karen painted for many years before a huge life change steered her towards ceramics.

“When I got pregnant, I got such bad morning sickness that I had to rethink where the creativity was coming from, and that’s when I started picking up clay again. I haven’t put it down since.”

Tactile and organic Karen’s pieces are bright and modern, with traditional techniques at their core. She creates both functional and non-functional pieces, particularly fond of connecting through her art.

“I do love the functional pieces because knowing that they are something that goes into someone’s home and they do use it is a really lovely thing. But then also I do love doing the sculptural pieces as well because they’re bigger and probably a little more appreciated. But there’s always been a balance. I love to do lots of different things. I hate the idea of always doing one thing.

“I love that moment when people pick up my ceramics … it’s kind of like when you go into a clothes shop and you see a jumper and you try that jumper on and suddenly there’s a moment when that jumper fits you and you’re like ‘oh, this is made for me!’. And ceramics sometimes can be exactly the same experience.

“For example, in a lot of the cups that I do they have a little thumb imprint in there and there’s a moment when people pick up the cup and they find that thumbprint and it’s just like ‘my gosh, my thumb fits in here, this is amazing!’. For them, they have that moment of connection with the piece. I love that.

“I love the joy of the handmade. Being able to find those little quirks that make you connect with the artist and suddenly realise that this was made with hands not with a machine and not mass produced. So, I love that moment.”

Karen opened Clay & Co. Studio a year ago, and it’s already become a drawcard in Cowes. Five artists, including painters, sculptors and ceramicists currently occupy the studios, which give the public a chance to watch them at their crafts.

“The main area is a workshop/gallery space where all of the artists can do their events in the middle and on the weekends, we open it up for people to come in and paint their own ceramics and do workshops.

“For me, it was always about building a bridge between being an artist working away in a studio by yourself and having people be able to see that process. Every weekend here it’s such an amazing moment when people come in and they walk into these artist studio spaces, and they see a half painting done and then they’ll come back the next week and see what the progress is.

“And people bring their kids in, and they paint their own ceramics and you can see that what they paint is inspired by going into Annette Marshall’s studio and being able to see her beautiful wildlife images in there. It’s a special moment to be able to see that connection between the artist and people.”

Karen says the studio is also a chance for her to amplify the work of other artists and give them much-needed opportunities.

“I just love being surrounded by creative people. Just simple things like needing an opinion on a colour that you’re using and being able to go across to another studio and go ‘what do you think of this?’

“For me, I’ve had lots of amazing opportunities in my career and being able to see other artists also hopefully provided with those opportunities … I love that.”

Clay & Co. Studio is located at 4 Shorland Way, Cowes.

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44 gippsland life Autumn ���� 134 - 138 Thompson Avenue, Cowes 3922 | Phone: 03 5952 2515 Follow us on Facebook @islandshoesphillipisland island shoes COWES PHILLIP ISLAND Great European Brands, Exceptional Quality & Brilliant Customer Service My Seaside Café in Rhyll offers a sumptuous breakfast and lunch and along with their warm friendly service you can enjoy the beautiful views of Westernport Bay, either inside the spacious café or outside under cover. So if you want to have a break or simply appreciate some time out to relax with a perfect coffee, a delicious bite to eat then head to My Seaside Café located on the esplanade at Rhyll – Phillip Island. 1/9 Beach Road , Rhyll Vic 3923

Wilsons Promontory

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Imagine yourself basking in the warmth of the sun and unwinding while gazing upon the breathtaking beauty of Wilsons Promontory National Park, one of Victoria's most picturesque locations.

Wildlife Coast Cruises invites you to experience the splendour of this remarkable area with their Wilsons Prom Full Day tour running February through to April. Cruise along the east coast and southern point of the Prom, immersing yourself in the natural wonders that abound.

Your journey starts in the charming Gippsland fishing village of Port Welshpool, where you will board the vessel “Brianna Lee” before setting off sailing on an eight and a half hour cruise.

As you travel along the east coast of the Prom listen to fascinating commentary, learning about the history of the area as you take in the picturesque scenery, with white sandy beaches, mountains, rolling forests and remote islands. A regular guest on the cruise is the common or bottlenose dolphins, watch as these playful marine mammals dart in and out of the bow.

Included in the tour are a delicious lunch, morning, and afternoon tea plus some tasty snacks to keep you going throughout the day.

Lunch is served on board whilst anchored in a stunning secluded cove, giving you an impressive backdrop whilst you dine. In these warmer months you can even go for a swim or paddleboard in these clear waters, or a short hike if you don’t fancy getting wet.

Heading further south the cruise takes you past the Wilsons Prom lighthouse and to Kanowna Island where you will find hundreds of Australian Fur Seals. These seals can often be spotted sliding down from the step rocky hills into the waters below. Following Kanowna Island, travel to one of the most iconic features of the Prom, “Skull Rock”, be dwarfed by this incredible monolithic rock formation as the boat drifts underneath, a must do on every bucket list.

Wilsons Prom Full Day Cruises run limited dates, ending early April so make sure to book ahead.

For more information Wildlife Coast Cruises at 1300 763 739 or visit their informative website www.wildlifecoastcruises.com.au

gippsland life Autumn ���� 49


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gippsland life Autumn ���� 51 THE BEST AIR ANYWHERE 1/60 Genista Street, San Remo 5678 5190 After hours commercial breakdown office@picra.com.au www.coastalrefrigandaircon.com.au COMMERCIAL & DOMESTIC REGRERATION & AIR CONDITIONING | REFRIGERANT TRADE AUTH NO: AU 51246 - PI 48651 Find the right split system for your home and visualise with AR technology
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Edney’s Leongatha has taken on a new look with the expansion of the car yard now extending to the corner of Roughead and Long Streets, with brand new state of the art facilities for the sales staff and customers.

Along with the new premises, Brad Beyers has joined the team as a new Sales Consultant, and he is always available for any enquiries when it comes to buying new and used vehicles.

Dealer Principal Darryl McGannon and his staff pride themselves on providing their customers hassle free motoring and will go above and beyond to make your motoring needs a pleasant one.

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Darryl McGannon (Dealer Principal)


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Darryl McGannon (Dealer Principal) and Brad Beyers (Sales Consultant)
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Art Therapist, Maya Fraser

guides emotional transformations through creative expression

Have you ever created some art and realised it has somehow made you feel calmer, happier or just better than you felt before you started?

Maya Fraser works within the intersection of Art and Psychology, and is an expert in helping individuals to navigate the labyrinth of their emotions and experiences - using creativity and artistic processes as the compass.

As an Art Therapist and Generalist Counsellor at Latrobe Community Health Service, Maya works mainly with children. She is part of a team in the LCHS Youth and Paediatric Hub, in Churchill.

Maya explains “Art Therapy is under the umbrella of creative therapies but is specifically about creating visual art forms. I work with a broad range of media - from clay, paint, pencils and paper, to found objects from nature, and more. This gives clients a non-verbal outlet to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences.”

Maya wants people to understand that her role is very different from being an Art Teacher. She has a Master’s in Art Therapy and is accredited with ANZACATA (The peak professional association for Creative Arts Therapies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia). Her clients come with a range of issues and are referred by GPs, schools, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Dietitians.

The background knowledge about how different materials may impact individual clients is a crucial component in Art Therapy. Maya explains “If a material is more fluid and difficult to control, such as water colour paints, this can help a client to work through emotions that they may find difficult to control and make sense of. In this instance, the creative processes can become a metaphor for emotions. That’s where the counselling comes in. The therapist’s role is to invite reflection, to listen and give clients strategies.”

“The core philosophy is that nothing is right or wrong in what someone creates. Whatever they do is OK. It’s very much about the process rather than the end product. Then it’s about reflecting on that.” Depending on each client’s needs, Maya may suggest materials, according to what could be most helpful, but there’s always a high level of choice in what the child wants to use or experiment with.

In the last 10 years, schools have had a greater focus on teaching emotional literacy. There are many benefits to this, however Maya says “Developmentally, children are often just not able to articulate and make sense of their big emotions and physiological responses. That’s why talk-based therapy is not always helpful for them. Instead of starting with a focus on words, we start with sensory, kinaesthetic components. The creative arts involve all of those things. When a child is playing and creating things, there is a whole different energy.”

As with any therapeutic approach, developing a positive relationship is key. Children who have complex histories or have had traumatic experiences often take time to feel safe and to trust others. Art Therapy can be less confronting than just sitting in a room and talking to an adult they’ve only just met. Maya says “It’s bizarre that we expect children to go to a counsellor - who they see as a stranger - and talk about their problems straight away. I find the creative processes often open up opportunities for me to help my clients and to work together. This builds rapport so that over time, they feel more comfortable.”

Metaphor and symbolism are often evident and explored in Art Therapy. While Maya says it’s not helpful to analyse or make assumptions about what a client’s artwork might mean, she explains “Certain elements can be a cue to ask questions and enquire about something with curiosity.”

Tacit knowledge refers to knowledge that is difficult to understand and express in words. “Art therapy can create a bridge between tacit knowledge by initially expressing it in non-verbal ways. This helps clients to reflect, understand and gain insights into their physiological responses.”

Art Therapists work with people of all ages in a broad range of settings including mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, aged-care facilities and prisons.

Maya says one of the best things about being an Art Therapist is “It’s like going on a new journey every time I meet a new client. I don’t really know where we’ll go. Even if I’ve planned something, it can change. We adapt to suit the clients’ needs. It’s also so rewarding to see the difference you can make. Sometimes when a child walks in, they look heavy. You can see the tightness in their whole body. I love seeing the difference when they leave and they’re bouncing around.”

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Can you think of anything more delightfully creative or quirky than a Tea Cosy Festival? It sounds like something you might read about in a fantasy children’s story, doesn’t it?

It’s far from fantasy though. This biennial festival will come to life once again, in late Autumn, in the small, picturesque town of Fish Creek, in South Gippsland.

For nine days, the whole town will be abuzz, celebrating the hospitality, artistry and resourcefulness of its local community.

The feature event, the Tea Cosy Exhibition, showcases an extravaganza of styles, from traditional to exuberant and whimsical. The reinventions and interpretations of this iconic symbol that fill the community hall evoke amusement, shock, intrigue and admiration. Some even reflect a deeper meaning and make profound statements. Festival committee member, Lisa Williams says “It’s mind blowing how unique and different they all are.” Social media attracts entrants from across Australia and all over the world, with tea cosies that arrive in the post from various countries including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and South Africa, just to name a few.

Many local youngsters are also inspired to exhibit, with specific categories for preschool aged children to teenagers. The tea cosies are judged, and the winners are awarded cash prizes and vouchers. These are generously donated from businesses and creative groups throughout South Gippsland.


There are plenty of other drawcards that have people flocking to Fish Creek for the festivities. Delicious Devonshire Teas are served each weekend by volunteer organisations. Marge Arnup (long time committee member) describes “On market day, the streets hum with a vibrant village fair atmosphere. Crafters from all over Gippsland come to sell their creations and there are a wide variety of food stalls.”

To add to the vibe, Inverloch band - ‘The Invy Horn Jam,’ perform in the street and people can’t help but dance along. There’s also children’s entertainment complete with magic tricks, juggling and balloons. Art appreciators can peruse several galleries that are dotted throughout Fish Creek as well as gift shops full of distinctive hand-made delights.

This year, organic tea blender, Lisa Hillbert from ‘Tea Tonic’ will host a workshop exploring the health and wellness benefits of tea. The Handmakers’ Store will run craft workshops and Fish Creek Wool Room will present a fleece spinning demonstration. Marge says “There really is something for all ages.”


This novel festival has attracted plenty of media attention since its debut in 2013. It’s been featured on ABC rural radio and the popular TV series Back Roads as well as in Traveller in The Age and in Gippsland newspapers.

In 2020, the challenges of COVID meant that the festival itself had to be cancelled. The committee pivoted into the virtual world though, holding a competition on Instagram and Facebook with 165 entries.

In 2022, the fifth tea cosy festival was momentous, with a new Guinness World Record being set for the largest knitted tea cosy! It stood an impressive five meters tall and measured 19 meters around the middle. It was later turned into separate blankets which were sent to NSW flood victims and people experiencing homelessness.


Hosting a tea cosy festival had been a long-held dream of one woman, Deirdre Granger. She and her partner decided to move to Fish Creek, as it seemed like the perfect place for it. They became the new owners of the town Post Office. Before long, Deidre had inspired many community members with her unique festival idea, and so a committee was formed as part of the town’s Community Development Group.

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Festival dates 18th - 26th of May, 2024


Tea Cosy exhibition - Every day

A celebration of Nature: Art Exhibition At Little Oberon Café - Opening hours

Biggest Morning Tea - Thursday, May 23rd

Bendigo Bank Market Day - Saturday, May 25th

Tea Tonic workshop - Saturday May 25th

South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary High Tea Sunday, May 26th

Thanks to Deirdre’s vision, enthusiasm and determination, the festival was a huge success. Sadly, Deidre passed away in 2015 but the festival continues in her honour.


The event provides many fundraising opportunities for volunteer organisations and creates partnerships with businesses and groups. Marge says “We invite different community groups to undertake roles within the festival. One example is the South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary, who hosts a High Tea. All the profits made from that go to the Auxiliary, and then back to our local hospital.”

The profits from the festival have also allowed the committee to improve facilities and give back to the community. Marge says “We have funded the installation of WiFi at the community hall, purchased a bike repair station for rail trail users and provided banners for community events. The next thing will be to upgrade the town welcome sign.”

The shared passion and collaboration of committee members really does strengthen connections in this close-knit community. Lisa says “We talk about the importance of fundraising, but also the friend-raising that comes from being part of it.”

Marge says “The festival is a platform to showcase the depth and the broad range of creativity we have. We want more people to discover Fish Creek and experience the strong, vibrant community that it is.”

Tea Cosy Competition

Considering crafting your own tea cosy to showcase in the exhibition?

See the website for entry details and categories.

Entries close on the 30th of April www.teacosyfestival.com.au

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62 gippsland life ����  Courtesty Bus available  Function room  Live music  Keep an eye out on our socials and website for events & more news 11-15 River Drive, Tarwin Lower Vic 3956 Phone: 5663 5211 NEW TRADING HOURS OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK - 11AM TILL LATE Lunch 12:00pm - 2:30pm | Dinner 5:.30pm - 8:30pm
gippsland life Autumn ���� 63 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  Cellar door wine tastings  Group bookings and functions  Indoor & Outdoor dining  Shop online www.waratahhills.com.au  Serving Award-winning local cheese from Berrys Creek AWARD WINNING WINES, CREATED FOR CELEBRATIONS Follow us on instagram @waratahhillsvineyard for upcoming events



Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Nicky Cawood

The pub is undoubtedly the beating heart of a country town. For Thorpdale, The Travellers Rest Hotel has held that mantle since 1908, and with the vision and drive of its current owners, the much-loved watering hole has once again become a bustling hub, with a bright future.

When Jill Jepson and Sean McCarthy took ownership of The Travellers Rest in 2020, the timing wasn’t lost on the couple.

“What do you do in retirement? You buy a pub. What do you do in Covid? You buy a pub,” Jill laughs.

Having owned land near the pub for some years, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a partial tree change for the Melbourne-based couple when the pub came up for sale.

“It used to be a huge communal centre and over the last few years with mechanisation and diminished need for seasonal workers I think it’s probably lost its verve. So, my husband and I saw it as an opportunity to give it a bit of love to make it come together, which is the journey we set out on almost three years ago now.”

The pub was owned for more than 100 years by the Holden and Bantock families but in 2017 a fire severely damaged the historic building and tragically claimed the life of its legendary publican John Bantock. It was a couple of years before the pub would once again open its doors after a refurbishment, but only the bar was functional. When Jill and Sean bought the property, their dream was to return The Travellers Rest Hotel to its former glory, catering to the locals but also extending its reach.

“The first thing was to try and open the bar on a regular basis. The next step was to have dining. My understanding is that there was no dining for many, many years on a regular basis. The kitchen really was not functional.”

Jill’s professional experience as a CFO and Operations gave her the insight needed to begin steering the pub in the right direction. The first stage was to invest heavily in equipping the pub with everything needed for a revitalisation, knowing they were taking a calculated risk.

“I have a lot of people who come through and say it is their dream, to buy a country pub. Things are different to the pubs of yesteryear. The reality is that the margins are really thin and you have to be quite innovative to make it viable. It’s a very labour-intensive business you need the right staff. Particularly in this pub.

“The architect Richard Le Poer Terry designed the building back in the ‘30s with multiple small rooms. Makes sense as smaller rooms are easier to heat, and offer a variety in utility. Nowadays if you open every area you’ve got to staff it and for that to be viable you have to have the revenue coming in each area. So, it’s always a bit of a challenge for us to have the right staff and the right part of the pub open at the right time.”

Jill says they’ve worked hard to find staff who are just as passionate about The Travellers Rest, and its success.

“We’ve got sensational staff. We’ve got two wonderful chefs in the kitchen and a third person as a cook helping us and then we have really fantastic front-of-house staff, and they are supported by some terrific juniors. All our staff are local to the area. They really are my guardians with this hotel and give me the guidance that I need. They all share their experiences in running country pubs so there’s a big learning curve for me.”

The couple has also been guided by the community, taking on board suggestions and feedback.

“With new people coming into the environment, there’s a certain amount of circumspect that they viewed us with. Over time they have come to realise that we’re serious about making it a business that’s viable and trying to have a business that complements the other businesses in the township.

“And supports the viability of a little country town which right across Australia is often in threat. When we arrived, we really didn’t know what we were doing and made a lot of mistakes in the beginning and to the credit of a lot of the locals, they gave us good advice.

The pub now opens regularly for meals, the bar is a hive of activity and upstairs plays host to celebrations, including weddings.

The Travellers Rest Hotel | Thorpdale

“Our circle of influence has grown enormously. It started with locals in the bar and we scored lucky when the head chef, Mitch Banks, joined us in late 2021. Mitch came with an excellent reputation, and I can see why. He and his Sous Chef, Nat, turn out amazing food. The reputation for food has spread, bringing visitors from further afield.

“Our focus is to give people really good, country service. Our front-ofhouse staff spend a lot of time building relationships with people and we get to know people and through that, we’re getting more and more people booking in for meals, which is really encouraging.”

But Jill isn’t done yet. She has big plans for the pub, including building a distillery.

“We just get drunk on ideas. It’s a beautiful building, there are so many opportunities to do things, I have to hold myself back from starting more and more things and spreading us so thin we don’t achieve any of them. We’re taking it step by step and it’s going in the right direction.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity for me, and I have to say, I just love it. A friend called the other day and said there’s a fantastic job for me, would I apply, and I said no, I’m perfectly happy pouring beers right now!”

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gippsland life Autumn ���� 67
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68 gippsland life Autumn ���� HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LOCH VILLAGE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL 2023 Modern Australian Dining Full Bar & Local Wines Available Bookings essential 5659 4236 or via opentable.com Loch & Key 32 Victoria Road, Loch Vic 3945 em: admin@lochnkey.com.au Casual dining Thursday 4-9pm | Friday 12-10pm Saturday 12-10pm | Sunday 12-9pm
gippsland life Autumn ���� 71 Bar & Bistro | Functions | Beer garden | Takeaway & Delivery Online Ordering | Live Sports | Specialising in Dietary Requirements VotedNo.1 People’sHotelinVictoria AwardChoice

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72 gippsland life Autumn ����
E-Bike Sales & Bike hire store located in Meeniyan
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After The Storm


74 gippsland life Autumn ����

Tuesday, 13th February 2024 was a cracking summer day. In Mirboo North the mercury was tipping the mid-thirties by late afternoon. The skies were blue, and the town’s popular pool was packed with families.

Then, like a scene from a Hollywood movie, the sky darkened, the heavens opened, and a ferocious wind whipped through the town. Trees were flattened, houses destroyed, and lives shattered in just five minutes. As quickly as it arrived, the severe thunderstorm was gone. And Mirboo North resembled a tornado-ravaged town. Trees had toppled like matchsticks. Houses were destroyed. A farmer had been killed.

Residents were in shock. There was no phone signal, no internet. They were on their own.

“To keep calling this a storm is insulting to everyone who witnessed this disaster,” said Mirboo North resident Gillian Louise, who lives opposite the Mirboo North Swimming Pool, one of the hardest hit areas.

“We are very familiar with storms in Mirboo North, and nothing has ever left our town in such a destructive state.”

The mum of four huddled in her home with her children, her sister-in-law and her nephew, as the weather event unleashed on the town.

“We had no warning other than a thunderstorm warning on the VicEmergency app. Had my children been playing in the yard or at the pool during the storm/tornado, then I couldn't say for certain they would have survived.

“It came and was gone in a matter of 10 minutes. It started with the power going out. A minute later, the sky went black, and my partner called, who was coming from Morwell, to tell me to tie anything loose in the yard down because he could see the storm coming. As I was on the phone, I went to my back veranda and was looking up at the sky and remember seeing white bubbling clouds, they resembled dishwashing liquid bubbles, coming in really fast and circular.

“The hail started at that moment, and I hung up the phone to get the dog inside and take cover myself. Within seconds of the hail starting outside of the house has gone completely white and the force of the hail, wind and rain on the windows made me and my sister grab the kids and gather together in the kitchen/hall area not knowing where to go and thinking the windows were about to blow in.

“In a matter of a minute, it was over, and all that could be heard were the kids screaming. The windows were fogged up, so I wiped them and was faced with the destruction it had caused. I've then left all the kids inside with my sister and run through ice, trees, and broken lines to check on my neighbours.”

The Bureau of Meteorology said Yarram airport recorded its highestever wind gust strength as the thunderstorms tore through the region, registering at 126km/hr.

“The pressure felt on every outer wall of our home indicates that the wind and hail were twisting, and the trees everywhere are evident of that too,” explained Gillian.

“The amount of damage caused in such a short period of time is like something out of the movies. It honestly felt like the world was ending.“

From her home in Balook Street, Linda Margot witnessed the force of the event.

“We were inside and knew about the thunderstorm warning from the BOM. Suddenly, the wind came full force, I heard a tree falling out our window. We went outside to look and pick up the debris and then saw the devastation. I thought, ‘This is too big for us to fix’.”

gippsland life Autumn ���� 75

Mirboo Country Development Inc. Chair Kelly McCarthy said the immediate aftermath left the town traumatised.

“It was a complete shock, I think we were all just expecting a bit of thunder and a downpour, the ferocity of the storm took us completely by surprise and many people were caught out driving or making their way home.

“Afterwards it was completely still, it had been so hot all day and there was steam rising off the bitumen which, combined with the damage, gave it an apocalyptic feel. We’d lost several trees; our trampoline had taken out the front fence and was sitting on the nature strip. All around us, where there used to be dense bush, I could now see daylight and fallen trees.”

The trail of destruction was almost too unbelievable to comprehend. Around 16 homes were uninhabitable, and dozens of others were damaged. Live powerlines were laying among felled gums. The footy ground’s goalposts were destroyed, the golf club was strewn with fallen trees and debris and Mirboo North Secondary College was damaged by trees and rain. In every direction, utter devastation.

But as residents began to emerge from where they’d been sheltering, the true spirit of Mirboo North immediately ignited.

“I wandered out through our street to check in with neighbours and slowly made my way up to the main road, which was completely cut off by huge fallen gum trees,” said Kelly McCarthy. “In the time it had taken me to walk there, locals had already amassed their machinery on the scene and were working to clear what they could.”

South Gippsland Shire Mayor Clare Williams addressed a community meeting the day after the storm, saying, “It is bloody heartbreaking to be here under these circumstances. This week we have been hit hard by a storm. And it’ll impact our region for months to come.

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After The Storm | Mirboo North Recovers

“Despite all of these challenges, I am super proud to be out there, looking at my community with so much admiration as I watch you all work together, help your neighbours, help your friends, and help your family. It’s a very humbling experience to watch that.”

In the coming hours, days and weeks the community banded together, and help arrived from wider Gippsland and beyond.

The hum of chainsaws began almost immediately, with residents clearing hazards and paths to help neighbours, friends and strangers.

Residents who had access to generators offered their washing machines and fridge space to community members.

Volunteers cooked food at the Mirboo North RSL for anyone who needed a feed.

Free food was supplied at the town hall and by local businesses.

The Mirboo North Italian Festa committee, which had wrapped up its successful event just days before, held a community barbecue.

Tradies helped hook up generators.

Sikh Volunteers Australia travelled from Melbourne to deliver 400 hot meals.

A relief centre was established at the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation and a coordinated volunteer centre was set up at the RSL.

The Mirboo North RSL Sub-Branch, along with the town’s Community Bank and Leongatha RSL worked to collect, store and process timber from fallen trees to use as firewood and in future projects.

And so many other countless acts of kindness reinvigorated Mirboo North at one of its darkest hours.

“It makes you so proud to live in a community like this,” Kelly said.

gippsland life Autumn ���� 77

And it’s a community that wants visitors to return, as the town starts to get back to some sense of normality. Although the full impact of the event will be felt for months, Mirboo Country Development Inc. Chair Kelly McCarthy said local businesses need continued support.

“As was the case across the state, Mirboo North businesses lost trade and stock due to the power outages. We were lucky the main street largely escaped storm damage and businesses are open as usual. However, some businesses have been more heavily affected than others, for instance, the plant nursery and garden centre, which was in the direct line of the storm, was heavily impacted and will need support.

“We are encouraging visitors to return to Mirboo North, to browse the shops, have a meal and support our local businesses, however, we do ask that you avoid the storm-affected residential streets, to avoid adding stress to affected residents."

“The recovery process here will take some time and the next few weeks and months will be a busy period with all hands on deck as we work to clear residential properties and find ways to rehabilitate public spaces such as our Recreation Reserve, Golf Course, Grand Ridge Rail Trail and Mirboo North Swimming Pool.”

The town will welcome back its much-loved Mirboo North market on Saturday, 30th March, which is being billed as a positive community celebration for the wider district.

The Mirboo North & District Community Foundation has established a Community Recovery Fund to help the town recover in the medium term, while the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has also launched an appeal.

But the residents admit the mental scars will take the longest to heal.

“The hardest thing for myself and my children since the storm is the flashbacks,” Gillian Louise explained. “Physically, we are ok, and our home can be repaired, but the flashbacks and trauma it has caused are starting to hit us a lot in the days following.

“My hope for our community is to continue to support one another and get through this as a family. Our community has gone above and beyond for one another, and I am so proud to be a resident of such a strong town.”

Donations to the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation Community Recovery Fund can be made at mirboodistrictfoundation.org.au

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gippsland life Autumn ���� 79
The Storm | Mirboo North Recovers

Mirboo North

Supportive Community

Perched on a ridge in the middle of the Strzelecki Ranges approximately 150 kilometres east of Melbourne; and just over an hours drive from Yarram or 20 minutes from Leongatha; Mirboo North sits at the top of the rolling green hills of South Gippsland.

Eat, Drink & Stay

Get comfy in Mirboo North; it is the ideal base for your next Gippsland adventure.

Why not grab your bike and breeze down the Grand Ridge Rail Trail, ramble along the Lyrebird Forest Walk, or relax with a coffee and cake at one of the town’s tempting cafes/bakery or choose a more hearty meal at the hotel or restaurants.

Take advantage of Mirboo North’s marvellous location. It is an easy drive to the beaches of Inverloch and Wilsons Promontory, while also being close to the heart of the Latrobe Valley.

The Grand Ridge Brewery is located in Mirboo North and offers delicious meals, and a great range of beers are available to suit your taste buds. When it comes to accommodation, Mirboo North has something to suit everyone’s taste.


Mirboo North has an envious calendar of events, with a taste of food, arts, culture and fun!

The Mirboo North Italian Festa sees thousands of people head to the hills of Mirboo North to celebrate all things Italy - the town bursts at the seams with visitors and locals alike, sharing food and laughter.

Celebrating the arts is a long held tradition in Mirboo North and the annual Art Show, Winterfest and Short Film Festival are all wonderful examples of the town’s appreciation for creativity.

The Mirboo North Market is another main event in the community. The Market is held on the last Saturday of the month and offers stallholders, locals, and visitors a vibrant and friendly country market experience.

The Past

Mirboo North is Gunaikurnai country on the border of Bunurong country. For tens of thousands of years, the people practised their culture; they hunted, fished, built shelter, understood and celebrated the seasons.

Mirboo North was first settled by Europeans in the heart of the Strzelecki Ranges at the small settlement of Baromi in 1877. The name Mirboo North came much later, but it originated from the aboriginal word for kidney. The original settlement at Baromi included stores for provisions and hotels for refreshments and accommodation, but the buildings themselves were no more than rough huts with slab walls and paling roofs.

With the completion of the railway line from Morwell, the first locomotive steamed into ‘Terminus’ on 1st December 1885. Terminus was about a kilometre from the settlement at Baromi, and for ease of access a new settlement began in the dense forest nearer to this facility.  Buildings were erected and the town of Mirboo North began to take shape.

The Mirboo North Historical Society housed in the Shire Hall, provides the study, collection, preservation and exhibition of both historical and significant present-day objects, relating to Mirboo North and surrounds. For more information visit mirboonorth.com

gippsland life Autumn ���� 81

Mirboo North | Supportive Community

Compassion in Adversity

Mirboo North and District was ravaged by terrible bushfires in late January and early February 2009, as was much of Victoria - including the horrific events known as Black Saturday. There were numerous acts of courage and care shown by volunteers during these fires and this sculpture has been produced to remember one such act; that of a Koala receiving a drink of water from a volunteer fire-fighter. This action by a volunteer during the 2009 bushfires captured the imagination of the world, and epitomises the natural generosity of people in a crisis.

Volunteers from many organisations and thousands of individuals gave selflessly with time, effort, money and gifts to people, communities and wildlife affected by these fires.

This sculpture was commissioned by the community of Mirboo North and District and the local committee that re-established the track at the Lyrebird Forest Walk, which is close to the site of the act of kindness shown to the Koala. The sculpture was unveiled on the 29 October 2011. The work was produced by Mr Michael Meszaros, with funds from the Victorian Government and with assistance from South Gippsland Shire Council.

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gippsland life Autumn ���� 83 We’re known for Local Lamb & Aged Beef on the bone • Award winning Italian Sausages • Fresh Fish on Friday • Private Livestock Butchery • Spit Roast Catering for all occasions • Bulk Meat Packs. Craig Young’s Butchery 90a Ridgway, Mirboo North Vic 3871 | Tel: 5668 1632 Weoffer friendlyservice Value&Quality Open: Monday to Friday 7.00am – 5.00pm Saturday 7.00am – 12.30pm 71-77 Chickerell Street, Morwell 3840 P: 5134 6522 E: info@crawfordmarine.com.au www.crawfordmarine.com.au
BOATING SINCE 1964 Crawford Marine
since 1964
84 gippsland life Autumn ����
84 gippsland life Autumn ����
Held at Baromi Park
gippsland life Autumn ���� 85 gippsland life Autumn ���� 85


Craig Young’s Butchery has been a permanent fixture on Ridgway in Mirboo North since October 1989. The town may have many places for people to meet, but Craig’s shop is undoubtedly the place for meat.

The business is celebrating 35 years of trading in 2024 and has continued to thrive throughout such a long period of time by staying true to good old-fashioned values of quality and service. Local people have come to associate Craig as the trusted source of bringing delicious, flavoursome, home-grown meat to their tables.

“Things are going really well. The last few years have probably been our best ever,” he remarks.

“The business is a year-round commitment. I’ve rarely been sick or had time off and have never missed a period of Christmas work since I started butchering.”

Particularly renowned for his preservative and hormone free, aged on the bone beef and lamb, as well as his award-winning Italian gourmet sausages, Craig enjoys the support of a very loyal customer base and strives hard to ensure the consistent high quality of all meat sold through the business.

“We’ve had four generations of some families coming in,” he reveals. “We try to support local farmers and in turn local people support us.”

It was an Italian friend who passed on the recipe and showed Craig how to make the gourmet sausages that have become one of his signatures.

“That was not long after the shop first opened, and the Italian sausages became very popular. That’s still the case today. People come from the Latrobe Valley and as far as Melbourne to get them,” he notes.

A weekly tradition that many customers also look forward to in Craig’s shop is his Fresh Fish Friday initiative, which adds seafood to the shop menu alongside the familiar meat selections.

“We have different fish like flathead, flake and salmon coming in fresh off the boats from Foster every Friday. People know it’s going to be available on that day,” he says.

Craig’s commitment to supporting local is also reflected in the range of jams, sauces and chutneys sourced from Strathmore Farms just out of Mirboo North which are always popular with customers in the shop looking to take home a few condiments in addition to their meat purchases.

Over the years his customer base widened primarily through word of mouth and more recently via promotion on social media through Facebook.

Whilst the shop premises are the most visible aspect of the business, Craig’s butchery also supplies meat to the local supermarket in Mirboo North seven days a week.

“We’ve been delivering to the supermarket since we started. Our service to them includes doing all the packaging and pricing, and even stacking the meat on their shelves. All they have to do is put it through their register,” he explains.

“My team of girls go there every day to maintain the stock levels, as often as three times a day.”

Craig Young’s Butchery is a typical family-based country business. Craig’s wife Fiona, who is a nurse at the local hospital, has taken care of some book-keeping and helped out in the shop on occasions over the years, as have each of their three adult children.

86 gippsland life Autumn ����
Local country butcher Craig Young has been feeding the appetites of residents of Mirboo North and surrounding areas for the past 35 years.

Having grown up on a farm at Wooreen, Craig started butchering in 1977 as a sixteen-year-old after leaving Leongatha Tech School. He began developing his early skills in the trade at Radford’s abattoirs in Warragul.

“I worked at Radford’s for two years then finished my apprenticeship with Max Morrison in Mirboo North,” he says.

In 1982, Craig spent seven months in Far North Queensland, during which time he attended the famous Birdsville races and found butchering work in Cairns with Tancreds.

Returning home in December that year for his 21st birthday, Craig had intended to cart hay on his family’s farm, but the season had finished. “Dad told me I better find a job,” he says.

Craig then quickly found work with Terry and Debbie Pearce in their butcher’s shop in McCartin Street, Leongatha.

“I knew Terry, who was also President of the local football club. He invited me to come in to the shop for a trial and that turned in to me ending up staying for the next six years,” he reflects.

In his late twenties, Craig found himself in a position to go into business for himself and took over the butcher’s shop at 90A Ridgway in Mirboo North where he remains today.

“The prospect of having my own name above the door was something I found very enticing,” he states.

“Back then under the previous owner the business had actually occupied two shops, a butchery and a fruit and vegetable shop next door.

We kept on the staff but closed the fruit and veg part and just kept the butcher’s shop. I can recall our first day very clearly. It was Melbourne Cup weekend when we opened on 30th October 1989.”

Another long-standing but separate arm of the business is a mobile catering service – Craig’s Superb Spit Roast Catering.

“We’ve been doing that for over thirty years as well. It started as a sideline and just stayed,” he says.

For this purpose, Craig utilises a mobile kitchen specially made to cook and carve beef, lamb and pork with potatoes for his clients.

“We don’t do lunches due to our shop commitments but are usually available for evening or weekend functions. We cater for a lot of weddings and birthdays,” he explains.

“Alternatively, people can hire spits from us if they wish to take care of it themselves.”

The butchering profession runs on both sides of Craig and Fiona’s family. Craig’s grandfather was a butcher in Warragul and his father was a meat processor and butcher in Leongatha as a young man in the early 1950s prior to taking up farming, whilst Fiona’s father was a butcher in Wonthaggi.

At 62, Craig laments the progressive trend that is seeing fewer young people entering the butchering trade nowadays.

“There’s not as many apprentices coming through which I find quite sad,” he says.

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The life of a butcher is not for the faint hearted and is a combination of hard work and early starts. Craig’s daily routine begins when his alarm sounds at home in Leongatha at 3am. An hour later he is in the back room of his shop getting meat ready to put in the window displays.

After the shop opens at 7am, Craig and his staff continue to prepare meat and get sausages and mince pieces ready in between serving customers.

“I am accustomed to working twelve-hour days. The shop door can be closed but it’s still busy as there’s always lots of preparation and things that need to be done,” he comments.

Meat is delivered twice a week and is sourced either from Radford’s or sometimes bought locally out of Koonwarra market.

“We age the bodies on the bone in our cool room for ten to twelve days,” Craig says.

The demands of keeping the shop open while simultaneously maintaining the supermarket supply arm of the business are too much for Craig to cover alone. He is assisted by a small but dedicated team comprising another experienced butcher, Simon Poole and general staff members Ruth, Kate, Bev, Emily and Kathy.

“Simon is not only a butcher but a chef as well. Although he only joined us in November, his cooking skills and tips are already coming in handy,” Craig observes.

“Our team of girls do a great job and are a critical part of the business. Over the years we’ve always had very loyal staff who have stayed for a long time.”

Craig and Fiona’s three children – Tameka, Mitch and Kallan - have all helped with various duties in the shop in the past as well as with the spit roast catering business. They are now focused on pursuing their own careers in other professions. Tameka is a midwife nurse in Melbourne, Mitch lives at home in Leongatha and is working as a builder, whilst Kallan manages a dairy farm in Winnindoo just north of Rosedale.

Fiona highlights the importance of keeping staff and customers happy and how that focus has worked successfully for Craig in the family business.

“We really try to look after our staff and would never ask them to do something we wouldn’t do ourselves. That approach has helped gain their loyalty in return,” she observes.

“Craig also has a great relationship with the customers. He takes the time to get to know them all and shows an interest in their lives, which is typical of a lot of country businesses who still value the importance of providing personalised service.”

Fiona says that while work and business demands are always time consuming, family remains paramount for her and Craig.

“We cherish every opportunity we get to spend with our kids, along with now three grandchildren – Alexandra, Georgia and our latest addition Myles, who is only a month old. Enjoying time with family is precious and something that is very important to us,” she emphasises.

“We really appreciate the support that all our kids and their partners have given to the business. They’re always there to help us when needed.”

Reflecting on his 35 years in business, Craig believes he made one critical decision along the journey that has defined his continued success.

“When cattle got more expensive, I decided to stick with quality stock. Not being willing to compromise on quality is something which I think has really paid off for me,” he says.

“I’ve just tried to offer consistent quality and service. It’s what keeps people coming back.”

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


■ Hire Karts

■ BYO Kart Membership (Day/Yearly Rate)

■ Corporate Days

■ Group Bookings

■ Birthday Parties & Functions

■ Driver Education

■ Phoenix Kart Agents

■ Kart Sales & Spares

■ Café

Please check website for dates and times.

PH : 5664 7272

EM: info@stonycreekgokarts.com.au

For more information visit stonycreekgokarts.com.au

Please Note: When Stony Creek Racing Club is holding a race meeting the venue will be closed. During the winter period the venue is closed mid week unless prior booking is made.

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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112-113 PORT OF SALE







92 gippsland life Autumn ���� ROSEDALE BUTCHERS ROSEDALE BUTCHERS Local Family Owned Country Butcher Local Family Owned Country Butcher Call now for your Meat & Smallgoods needs or call us to conveniently place your order Three generations of Vaux Family owned and operated business since 1977. www.rosedalebutchers.com.au Follow us 32 Prince Street, Rosedale 3847 Ph 5199 2210 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. Find out more at themiddleofeverywhere.com.au

Port Albert remains one of Victoria’s oldest settlements and was originally the gateway to Gippsland being Victoria’s first established port.

From the mid – 1800s, Port Albert was the supply port for Gippsland’s pioneers until the completion of the MelbourneSale railway in 1878. It has berthed ships from Europe and America and welcomed thousands of Chinese migrants on their way to the goldfields. More than 40 Georgian and Victorian-style buildings still exist in the town.

Port Albert remains a commercial port, and its reputation for recreational fishing sees its population swell considerably during summer. Visit the Port Albert Maritime Museum, take a walk through history on the Alberton Cemetery guided tours, follow the Old Port Walking Trail, or enjoy scenic boat tours, fishing trips and bird watching.

For more information please visit www.visitgippsland.com.au

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PORT ALBERT ~ THE TIMELESS MARITIME TOWN For enquiries phone Sharon on 0429 832 535 | Email: BoatHarbourJettyBnB@bigpond.com Boat Harbour Jetty B&B 25 Wharf Street Port Albert, Vic 3971 PortAlbertBoatHarbourJettyBnB.mydirectstay.com BOAT HARBOUR JETTY B&B REST & RELAXATION IN LUXURY Waterfront luxury accommodation in picturesque Port Albert. Fully Private King studios , harbour views, complimentary continental breakfast daily. Free onsite EV charging.
94 gippsland life Autumn ���� A Life’s Work Annemieke Mein ‘BLOCKBUSTER’ EXHIBITION at Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale 2 March to 26 May 2024
Annemieke Mein (born The Netherlands 1944; Australia from 1951) Frog Down Under II, 1988 High relief textile wall sculpture, 91 x 105 x 5 (relief) cm
All images Supplied & Printed by kind permission of the artist. © Annemieke Mein 2024.
Private collection. Courtesy the artist. © The artist

Gippsland Art Gallery is delighted to announce the muchanticipated Annemieke Mein ‘blockbuster’ exhibition, A Life’s , will be staged at the Gallery from 2 March to 26 May 2024. Coinciding with Annemieke’s 80th birthday, this major retrospective will provide the most comprehensive survey of her work yet seen.

A Life’s Work will be a unique exhibition that will pay tribute to this greatly loved textile artist, who has inspired and influenced vast audiences over many decades. Drawing together over 200 original artworks created over a sixty-year period, from private and public collections nationwide (some of which have never been exhibited), this unforgettable retrospective will explore all facets of Mein’s life and career. Occupying all five spaces at the Gallery, the exhibition will present key works from her major wildlife themes, and will include a recreation of her art studio within the Gallery.

A Life’s Work will span from Annemieke’s first experiments with textile in the 1960s, through to the masterworks from the 1980s that catapulted her to international acclaim. The exhibition will showcase the full range of Annemieke’s artmaking with threedimensional sculptural works, drawings, sketches and bas-relief bronzes presented alongside the extraordinary wall-based relief textiles that established her reputation, in which the objects are given sculptural form and appear to project forward from the surface of the canvas.

A Life’s Work will coincide with the publication of a new book on Annemieke Mein – the first since 1992’s The Art of Annemieke Mein: Wildlife Artist in Textiles, which has sold almost half a million copies worldwide – together with a complete range of new merchandise. The book A Life’s Work will provide a comprehensive overview of her work, with contributions from sixteen writers who will explore every facet of her life and career.

Tickets for this unmissable exhibition are now on sale exclusively from www.gippslandartgallery.com, noting that visitors are not required to pre-book and will be able to purchase tickets from Gallery Reception on the day of their visit.

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Dance of the Mayflies, 1988 High-relief textile wall sculpture with relief areas extending beyond the frame. 110 x 180 x 10cm Collection Gippsland Art Gallery. Donated by John Leslie OBE through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program, 2009 © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed by kind permission of the artist. Eastern Water Dragon, 1979 High relief textile wall sculpture. 117 x 132 x 6cm. Collection Gippsland Art Gallery Purchased with the assistance of the John Leslie Foundation, 2022 © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed by kind permission of the artist. Fantail Rhapsody, 1987 High-relief textile wall sculpture with relief areas extending beyond the frame. 165 x 170 x 12cm Collection Gippsland Art Gallery. Donated by Joy and Ray Wootton through the Gippsland Art Gallery Foundation, 2024 © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed by kind permission of the artist. White-Faced Heron, 1978 Low-relief textile wall panel. 155 x 115cm Collection Gippsland Art Gallery. Purchased with assistance from the Crafts Board of the Australia Council, 1979 © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed by kind permission of the artist.

The Art of ANNEMIEKE MEIN Wildlife Artist in Textiles

The quiet rise of Annemieke Mein from a regional textile artist to a global art phenomenon is one of the great stories of Australian art from the past fifty years. Her concern for native Australian wildlife, her technical rigor, and her boundless imagination have all played significant parts in her incredible journey to international popularity.

Annemieke’s art is an enigma. Its apparent simplicity—in its depictions of native Australian wildlife and their life cycles, rendered in layers of shaped textile— somehow serves to conceal the visionary imagination and masterful execution of its artist. As the late Charles McCubbin notes, ‘The finished work gives no hint of the effort required to achieve the effect’.

What is especially ingenious is that, for all their meticulous planning and months of laborious making, each of Annemieke’s artworks captures a moment of spontaneity in the natural world, of birds, butterflies or insects taking flight, or of diving fish and frogs in search of prey. These are moments that in actuality are too fast for the human eye to observe, or are too random, too fleeting and cacophonous. The kaleidoscope of butterflies taking flight in the final panel of Freedom is a spectacle few people would have seen; fewer still will have been perceptive to the collective rhythms and patterns within the butterflies’ moving wings—a brilliant but split-second symphony of nature.

This, then, leads us to perhaps Annemieke’s greatest achievement, and the one least remarked upon (obscured by the brilliance of her execution), which is that curious quality of airborne magic that infects all that she touches, that elevates all within her field of vision, that amplifies the minutiae of insect and animal life to become an immersive, cinematic spectacle. This ‘magic’ is not achieved by any one definable aspect of her work—either its individual textile elements (stunning in their appearance and application), the mind-blowing craftsmanship, or the advanced artistry of her compositions and imagination—but the combined effect of all.

To be ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ is a cliché too often applied to lesser phenomena, but here is achieved to extraordinary success. Viewers held in states of transfixed awe often scramble for words to account for the wave of emotions that rolls over them, singling out specific details, not realising that it is the combined effect of all details together, of an artistic vision realised on a breathtaking scale with not a hair out of place, that leads to the sense of being overwhelmed. Listing the many elements of each work, the hours taken, and documenting the endless trials leading to the final execution cannot alone account for this effect; this is the effect generated by Annemieke, the magician. The ‘Annemieke Effect’.

If this unquantifiable ‘magic’ is Annemieke’s greatest achievement, it is made all the more remarkable for the levels of difficulty she sets herself, the barriers she has overcome, and her willingness to share her methods and techniques - the sum of parts of that ‘magic’ - with the public.

Textile—a utilitarian material we use to furnish our homes and our bodies—is not renowned for its applications in the evocation of wildlife. There is no precedent for what Annemieke has achieved. For her, there was no guidebook to follow, no master to teach her. She has had to write that book herself and become her own master. In this her record of trials and samples, tests and experiments, has become a crucial lifeline in the development of her work.

It has taken her decades to achieve what others working within established fields, with experienced tutelage, might have taken months. Only a special kind of person, with a special kind of passion and determination, could have forged a path and break the ground that Annemieke has broken. She has worked through not only a multitude of practical and aesthetic problems, but ongoing societal pressures and prejudices (as a woman, a mother, a ‘craft’ artist, a regional artist, a foreigner who arrived without English), to which most audiences to her exhibitions are blissfully unaware, which makes what she has accomplished in her art truly astonishing. Annemieke is, quite simply, without peer.

Words and Photos kindly supplied by Simon Gregg, Director of Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale

All images Supplied & Printed by kind permission of the artist. © Annemieke Mein 2024.

Mayfly Life Cycle, 1988 High relief textile wall sculpture 133 x 44 x 10cm Collection Gippsland Art Gallery Donated by John Leslie OBE through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program, 2009 © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed by kind permission of the artist. Splash!, 1994 Low relief textile wall work, 84 x 94cm Private collection © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed
by kind permission of the
artist. Diving Blue-Billed Duck, 1992. Low-relief textile wall panel. 145 x 103cm. Collection Gippsland Art Gallery Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program by the Bate family in memory of John & Liz Bate, 2020. The Silverfish, 2019. High relief textile wall sculpture made from a conglomeration of fibres and recycled pieces. 180 x 125 x 10cm (includes extension beyond the frame) Private collection © Annemieke Mein 2024. Owlet Nightjar, 1996–2021. High-relief textile wall sculpture 148 x 82 x 10 cm Private collection © Annemieke Mein 2024. Printed by kind permission of the artist.

Knob Reserve (Stratford)

'A meeting place'

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On the bluff, at the bend of the Avon River (once the Dooyeedang), was a major campsite and meeting place for the Gunaikurnai people who have lived in this region for thousands of years.

The site is within the territory of the Brayakooloong people, one of the five clans of the Gunaikurnai.

The bluff above the Dooyeedang provided an ideal vantage point from which to look out for fish, animals or other groups of people. As well as being a source of food, the Dooyeedang was a major transport route for the Gunaikurnai people.

This was a well sheltered campsite, close to the river and fertile river flats that supplied plenty of good food and water and would have allowed large gatherings of clans from the Gunaikurnai nation to meet for feasting, corroborees and other ceremonies.

Gunaikurnai names for some of the plants and animals found around the Knob Reserve are:

Yangooro Stringy bark

Dyooa White gum

Goor-mat Silver Wattle

Chirtgang Mistletoe

Gunyang Kangaroo Apple

Munjee Blackfish

No yorig Eel

Jirrah Kangaroo

Borun Pelican

Gidi Swan

Goongera Possum

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Charming historic village


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It is distinguished today with pleasant rail cycle Howitt Trail, an Arts Trail, Gippsland Plains Rail Trial, the Knob Reserve, the excellent Apex park beside the river and a Shakespeare on the River festival.

Stratford came into existence as a result of dairying, sheep, cattle and horse breeding in the district.

Stratford is located at a ford on the Avon River, 229 km east of Melbourne via the Princes Highway. It is 17 km north of Sale.


Charming historic village

Port Albert

Port Albert was one of the earliest ports established in Victoria. Only 13kms south of Yarram, and 236kms south-east of Melbourne in the Shire of Wellington, the Middle of Everywhere.

The town is situated on the coast of Corner Inlet, which presents great boating activities.

In May of 1841, the first settlers arrived and initially the area was known as Seabank or Old Port, but was changed to New Leith when the town started to develop.

Historic Coastal Town

Later renamed Alberton and Port Albert in honour of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.

Port Albert remains a commercial port, and its reputation for recreational fishing sees its population swell considerably during summer.

Visit the Port Albert Maritime Museum, follow the Old Port Walking Trail, visit the Port Albert Cemetery and book a walking tour, jump on scenic boat tours, fish off Rutters Jetty or order delicious fish and chips to enjoy on the wharf or book a table at the VerSicilia Ristorante.


Photos taken at the 2023 ANZAC Weekend Air Show at West Sale Base. This great event is returning on April 27-28, 2024 see details in magazine about this not to be missed event. Photos by Doug Pell
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A Boy & his chooks

Ollie Jones

Words & Photos by Ken Roberts

Oliver Jones (Ollie) is a 10-year-old boy who lives with his family just outside Heyfield. He has knowledge beyond his years. Ollie has been a competitor in the poultry game since he was in kindergarten. He is a very impressive young man, not only for the information he can espouse about his own flock of chooks and chooks in general, but in the good natured and genuine way he carries himself.

Kaitlyn, Ollie’s Mum, was showing ponies at local shows when Ollie was young and he became bored being there all the time with nothing to do. Kaitlyn had briefly showed chooks herself when younger and so she thought she’d start Ollie off to keep him occupied. His first bird named Rocky is retired now but still one of his favourites; they began winning prizes straight away. He carried on with his new hobby, supported by his parents Kaitlyn and Hayden, learning as he went and growing in his expertise.

Though unaware, Ollie’s interest in chooks and his involvement in showing them has taught him invaluable life skills that will serve him well as he grows. He has learned about commitment and diligence in the fact that he has to care for his chooks every day and look after them. They need feeding and their cages cleaned as well as keeping a check on their health. By entering his birds in competitions, he must do an enormous amount of preparation to get them ready and make them look their best when they face the judges. This involves washing them the day before and grooming them, even to the point of cleaning beneath their claws with tooth picks!

Despite Ollie winning many prizes he also must face not always being successful, something he takes in his stride, always then looking to the next show. It’s such a valuable life lesson to learn. The value in learning social skills cannot be underestimated as at the shows there is much interaction with other competitors, judges and people in general. It has helped Ollie grow in confidence. A normally quiet boy he can readily talk with authority and surety about his chooks and showing them.

To an outsider the poultry showing world is like a secret world populated with an addicted band of followers. There are strict rules and protocols that have to be followed and it’s all taken very seriously. The great thing for ‘Junior’ competitors is that it is a place of great mentorship and encouragement. Many of the members, mostly men, are older and are happy to share their knowledge with the junior members. Ollie has made friends of all ages and was even invited to the 70th birthday party of one of his friends! It definitely breaks down the barriers.

The competitors, though rivals, are happy to help each other. Ollie said there was a new junior whose dad helped him put his chook into the show cage and somebody told him that the rules stated that the junior had to do that and the prep themselves. The bird had to be taken out and then put back in by the young competitor. If a junior wanted to start, they just needed to attend a show and parents can talk to members who will explain what is required and point them in the right direction.

There are so many layers of knowledge that Ollie is unconsciously learning all the time and building on his understanding of what is required. It’s fascinating to hear him explain about the way to breed certain aspects of the chooks, like a full red comb or darker legs for certain breeds, he is talking about genetics without really knowing. He showed me his “Australian Poultry Standards” book, the chook bible, to explain certain aspects that he was talking about.

Ollie is very fortunate to have such a supportive family who encourage his interest and make the effort to travel to shows near and far. If a show is further away, they usually combine it with a few days away and make that their family holiday. They can see the benefit he has gained from participating in this hobby and how character building it is to participate.

Ollie is always looking ahead to future goals and one of his major goals had been to participate in the competition at the Royal Melbourne Show. He spent much time and effort in preparation and was hoping to score a win. He was blown away when he entered the pavilion after the judging to see his chook, BFG (Big Friendly Giant) placed at the front as ‘Grand Champion Junior’! What an accolade for a young country kid! He beat about 150 other juniors to win. It was a well-deserved reward for all of his hard work.

The $250 prize money has been saved towards Ollie’s future goals. He is currently collecting cans and bottles to recycle and earn extra money. He is saving to buy land, build a tiny house and lots of chook yards, such amazing dreams to have at this young age!

Ollie is always moving forward and has started his own facebook page under his show name, “Thunderbirds Show Team” and had a logo designed that is on the shirt he wears to the shows.

Its very heartwarming to come across such an inspiring and genuine young man who has such dedication, enthusiasm and passion for his hobby.

He is an inspiration!

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Ceramic artist + Potter

Cindy Tong from Sale is part of a resurgence of interest in ceramics in Gippsland over the last few years. Her work shows an unconscious freshness and verve that brings fresh light to this ancient tradition. It’s interesting to see how the combination of life skills, career, technology and innate vision combine to create a person’s own individual style.

An interest in design led Cindy to study Graphic Design. She worked in various areas in the real estate industry. This followed with working for a commercial signwriter where a large variety of work crossed her desk, eventually branching out on her own to work as a freelancer. She used her skills in many different areas designing websites focusing on User Experience. She was very busy.

It was happenstance that when living in NSW at the time a friend had two tickets to a pottery introductory evening, a ‘paint and sip’ style social event where they showed you the basics. The person this friend had organised to go with couldn’t and so she asked Cindy along. This was how her ceramics journey began!

Something clicked as her hands were immersed in the clay. She really connected with it and after this first basic ‘fun’ class she was eager for more.

She found a regular class to attend and slowly started to learn from scratch how to work with clay. She had no idea how this hobby would eventually become her passion.

Just as this journey was beginning Cindy moved to Sale with her partner Simon. She had put out the word on social media before she moved to make contacts with the pottery network in Gippsland and connected with courses run at The Clay Place in Eagle Point. Her development continued and eventually through more classes with East Gippsland Ceramics Group at The Hub in Bairnsdale, she would come into contact with renowned Gippsland potter Malcolm Boyd.

Malcolm was to become an ongoing mentor and provide Cindy with a wealth of knowledge, not only practical and theoretical but also in aspects of design not usually thought about. She credits him with opening her eyes to many different ideas from which she then would expand with her own vision. As well as benefitting from Malcolm’s experience, Cindy has also been able to connect and become a part of a growing ceramics community in the area. She began an Instagram account “Gippsland Ceramics” which enables interested members to share ideas, experiences and information. Being media savvy Cindy has done many online courses and has explored many different online areas to provide inspiration, which then sometimes influences her practice.

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It’s exciting when you see new talent emerge with a unique and innovative vision.

Cindy has slowly built her home studio which provides an ideal environment for her to explore and create her ceramics. It is a pleasant, clean and professional place that enables her to concentrate on using her pottery wheel, shaping and glazing her work. An electric kiln in the next room means she is self-sufficient in being able to glaze and fire her work.

The exciting combination of her graphic design and growing ceramic skills has resulted in her creating a unique style of work that now seems recognisable as having that ‘Cindy Tong’ touch. She loves texture in her pots and will carve and shape pots sometimes with abstract designs and often with her signature botanical mark makings. She uses images such as the saw tooth leaf of the banksia with striking standout style. What had become a tired and sometimes overused motif from the past, Australian flora has been imaginatively reinterpreted under Cindy’s hands. The Banksia series that she created was stunning!

The forms that she either hand builds or throws on the wheel are then sometimes sculpted, scratched, incised and manipulated before being decorated and glazed. The results are inspired and poetic. Even her ‘plain’ and simple forms have a soft and gentle fluidity about them.

It’s quite astonishing to see somebody so relatively early in their artistic career being able to create work at such a level. Cindy herself feels she is only at the beginning and has a strong desire to continue to extend her practice and skill base. She is unassuming and modest about her work and though keen to continue on this amazing journey of discovery, she is not in a hurry at all.

She makes small production runs and prefers to create more bespoke work rather than pump out pieces for the sake of it. She has an eager and growing market for her “Cindy Tong” wares! Her progression has been gradual and organic, a pace that she will continue in the future.

It's very exciting to see where this accidental career will lead her. She is passionate about every aspect of the making and doing and is very generous in helping others on their journey as well.

She is definitely an artisan of this age, incorporating the past, present and future and somebody whose artistic voice will be heard loud and clear.

Her work can be followed on Instagram @cindytong.ceramics

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Photography by Doug Pell

The Port affords access to the entire lakes region, connecting ultimately to the ocean at Lakes Entrance.

Take a breather and unwind at the Port of Sale precinct with its selection of cafes and restaurants, or check out the local artistic talents at the renowned Gippsland Art Gallery. The current ‘blockbuster’ exhibition is of the renowned artist, Annemieke Mein.

Sale Botanic Gardens

Established in 1860, the Gardens symbolised the civic ambition of the early citizens of Sale to become Gippsland’s ‘capital’ town. The first major tree and shrub plantings occurred in 1872, as a celebration of the birthday of Queen Victoria.

Selected plant stock was provided from distinguished botanist and first Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Baron von Mueller, in the 1870’s, and design advice was provided by his successor and noted landscape designer William Guilfoyle on a visit in 1881.

Aboriginal Presence

Following a long period of neglect during the 1900’s, the Sale Botanic Gardens is now once again being brought to life through planting and interpretation for the benefit of the community and visitors.

The Gunaikurnai people are the traditional owners of the land where the Sale Botanical Gardens have been established.

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The township of Yarram is the regional centre of a prosperous farming district. It has a vibrant community, which remains dedicated to a strong sporting and tourism culture.

Then there is Heesco. In 2020, The Office of the Governor of Victoria commissioned Heesco Khosnaran to paint this impressive mural to recognise and thank the many frontline workers who have cared for Victorians throughout the devastating summer bushfires of 2020, and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic.

Heesco Town – Yarram was formed by a small group of volunteers who worked behind the scenes to support internationally acclaimed street artist Heesco Khosnaran to create a series of stunning murals on the walls of selected buildings in and around Yarram.

The murals have all been privately funded by building owners, with philanthropic support and donations from locals.

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Liam Neeson comes to Walhalla

Photos by Doug Pell

Ice Road 2: Road to the Sky, is the action-packed sequel to the 2021 movie The Ice Road, which follows Liam Neeson’s character Mike McCann on a high-octane adventure through Nepal’s treacherous mountainscape.

Crowds gathered each day for the filming and the town was abuzz with some Hollywood glitz and the historic township was transformed into a Nepalese village for the filming. I was fortunate to speak to Producer Bart Rosenbatt who was delighted with the town and the warmth of the locals and tourists he had met while on location.

Walhalla came to fame for the discovery of gold and perhaps gold has come again, however in the form of the film industry.

The Gippsland town of Walhalla was the backdrop for Ice Road 2: Road to the Sky, starring one of Hollywood’s great actors, Liam Neeson.
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Liam Neeson stunt double Bart Rosenbatt - Producer of the movie Liam Neeson on the set Liam Neeson

The dazzle of diamonds

Creating with the world's most treasured gem

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend and it's easy to see why - this brilliant sparkling gem has been a firm favourite for centuries.

The most often seen diamond is the brilliant cut round, with 57 facets that are precisely arranged to reflect light in and around the gem for best effect.

To achieve this is no accident - diamonds have to be well proportioned to allow the best effect and brilliance to be enjoyed in this most precious of gems.

Designing and creating with diamonds is something Bairnsdale based jewellers Curtis Australia do every day. Led by Master Jeweller Glenn Curtis, this purpose built jewellery studio has decades of experience in creating beautiful diamond jewellery.

A quick look around their private showroom gives an insight into what can be achieved - thereís plenty of ready to wear jewellery, and if nothing appeals immediately, a custom piece can be created just for you.

'Working and designing with diamonds is a real privilege,' says Glenn. Creating jewellery for over five decades has given Glenn a remarkable insight into diamonds - so much so that he was invited by Rio Tinto to be among a select few in the world to work with their special Silvermist Diamonds. Glenn was also invited to be the only expert from outside the USA to judge the inaugural Global Jewellery Design Awards.

Another rarity in the world of diamonds are coloured gems. Australia was, for a while a famous source of rare pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia. Champagne diamonds are another Australian gem that has stirred a lot of interest as well.

With regard to pink diamonds, the largest of these are so rare they are only offered through tender. With the Argyle mine now closed, pink diamonds have become harder to find, but happily Curtis Australia have some in stock ready to set into your jewellery. To ask about these very special diamonds, or any aspect of diamond jewellery, simply call the studio or come in for a chat.

Next time you're in Bairnsdale, drop in and see Curtis Australia for yourself - they're just behind the Shire Offices in Macleod Street, along from the railway station. If you find yourself taking a holiday in this beautiful area of Gippsland why not pop in and take a look. The team at Curtis Australia look forward to seeing you soon.



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Ph | 03 5152 1089
Macleod Street, Bairnsdale
email: replyto@curtisaustralia.com
A gents signet ring set with a stunning champagne diamond in yellow & white gold An unusual yellow diamond is embraced by pink diamonds Champagne diamond rings with round and princess cut gems Champagne diamonds look stunning set in either white or yellow gold

Run the Storm by Bill Binks


Fired Up a group exhibition celebrating the medium of fire in art and honouring International Women's Day, showcasing 19 women artists from across the region.

upcoming autumn exhibitions


Bill Binks featuring paintings inspired by his surrounding seascapes.

Meg Viney presenting a collection of fibre art. Jenny Peterson celebrating nature in print.

meeniyan art gallery

Head in the Clouds by Tamara Bailey


PICES at Meeniyan showcasing five Phillip Island artists from the PICES group. Tamara Bailey with a photographic series interpreting the book 'Lottie' by Reg Egan.

Kate Caish  exhibiting a series of abstracted seascapes in oil paintings and monoprints.

Open: 10.00am – 4.00pm | Closed Tuesdays | 84 Whitelaw St Meeniyan VIC 3956 | Ph: 03 5664 0101


gippsland life Autumn ���� 123


South Gippsland’s historic botanic park

Discover this historic park which is located midway between Leongatha and Mirboo North.


gippsland life Autumn ���� 125


Terry Raymond has been the driving force behind Crawford Marine for more than four decades but is quick to acknowledge founder Ivan Crawford as the true father of the Morwell-based business, which was established 60 years ago as I.J. Crawford and Company.

“Ivan was primarily involved with timber logging and transportation and as part of his hand-cutting business set up a shop in the CBD of Morwell in 1964,” Terry explains.

Ivan Crawford was clearly an entrepreneurial businessman and looked to add additional revenue streams beyond timber, allowing the shop to diversify to become an outlet for an assortment of outdoor goods.

“Ivan had an interest in boats and used to dabble in buying and selling the odd boat up at Paynesville and Bairnsdale,” Terry says.

“So, when he set up the office in Morwell for the main business he decided to get some of the popular boating brands of the time like Swiftcraft, Savage and Johnson Motors.”

Customers who visited the store at I.J. Crawford and Company could find everything from boats, canoes and kayaks, fishing rods, reels and tackle to chainsaws, log chains, load binders, guns and ammunition, and even above ground swimming pools. It was a one-stop shop for the outdoor enthusiast.

Terry first became aware of the business through a connection that stemmed from his interest in fishing as a youngster growing up in Moe.

“My dad, Terry senior, started making lead fishing sinkers in the back shed. We had a bit of a production line going and would take our sinkers to I.J. Crawford and Company who would act as a wholesale outlet and distribute them to other fishing tackle suppliers,” he recalls.

After completing his secondary education at Moe High School at the end of 1976, Terry decided to defer a university placement and instead look for a job.

“Dad told me there was a position available at Ivan Crawford’s business, so when taking in our next delivery of sinkers I asked one of their guys Laurie, who did the hiring and firing at the company, whether I could have an interview. He said no to the interview but instead said on the spot that I could start on Monday,” he remembers.

Terry’s role was selling spare parts and accessories behind the counter. He was 18 years of age when he joined the company.

“During those first few years one of the senior staff members Arthur Gourley started teaching me about boats and outdoor motors,” Terry notes.

It was that knowledge that became particularly advantageous for Terry when Ivan Crawford made the decision to separate and sell the boating enterprise from his main logging business in 1980.

“Ivan firstly approached the workshop manager Bob Kuhnell, who was ten years older than me, to gauge his interest,” he recalls.

126 gippsland life Autumn ����

Crawford Marine is Gippsland’s trusted name when it comes to enjoying leisure time on the water.

“Bob thought it was too much for one person and asked me to join him. We figured that if we don’t buy the business, we’d have to find another job anyway.”

That agreement between the two partners heralded the birth of Crawford Marine as a standalone boating business.

“We took over the boat side of the business including the stock and retained an association with the Crawford name which by then was well established and respected,” Terry says.

“An arrangement was made with the company for us to rent a small area on the Morwell premises for the boats with a little office on it. Bob looked after the workshop and I handled the sales.”

Terry was just 22 and had only been working for four years when he became co-owner of the boat business. By then he had left home and was living in Traralgon, where he remains to this day.

The pair maintained a successful partnership for ten years until Terry bought out Bob’s share of the business in 1990.

“Along the way while Bob and I were still partners, we got to a stage where we’d outgrown the little shop in the CBD. We found the solution by purchasing two adjacent half acre blocks of land in Chickerell Street, Morwell in 1986 to become the new home for the business,” Terry explains.

“In early 1987 we approached the bank for a loan to build a showroom, which was constructed that year and was ready by Christmas. The business has doubled in turnover and size since then and in 2006 I bought additional land next door to expand the boatyard.”

Under Terry’s sole ownership as dealer principal since 1990, Crawford Marine has continued to flourish and maintain a reputation for excellence in the boating industry. Quality and consistency have been the keys to the longevity of the business.

The company is presently an authorised dealer for Stacer Aluminum boats and Dunbier boat trailers, and also specialises in Mercury Outboards and Mercruiser Sterndrives.

“Different brands have come and gone over time, but we are known and trusted for our new and used boats and motors, parts and service, That’s the core of our business which hasn’t really changed through the years,” Terry states.

Customers range from young tradies to retirees with increased leisure time on their hands, and while most live locally in the Latrobe Valley, many travel from Melbourne or interstate to visit Crawford Marine in person. Whether being sought for fishing use, family outings or cruising, buying a boat is a significant financial investment which always requires a wellconsidered and informed purchasing decision.

gippsland life Autumn ���� 127

Used sales at Crawford Marine currently outnumber new by a ratio of approximately three to one. Customers often trade up or down as their lifestyle needs change.

“If I had to describe the most common purchase it would be a four and a half to five metre aluminum boat in a runabout style that fits in a garage and is easy to tow with an SUV or family-sized wagon. It’s a boat that’s perfect for fishing or pulling the kids along the water on tubes,” Terry says.

“Most of our sales are Australian built boats. Our new Stacer aluminum boats are made on the Gold Coast, and we often have quality second-hand stock of many other leading Australian brands such as Savage, Caribbean, Haines Hunter, Haines Signature, Quintrex and Yellowfin,” he adds.

Terry is in no doubt that technology is helping to further improve the quality of modern boats.

“The designs are getting better and better, aided by computer-managed production lines. The boats today are more stable and seem to cut through the water better,” he observes.

Terry wants all his customers to be happy and sure of their purchase before the sale is completed, allowing them to do a water test to try before they buy.

“I often do the handover of a boat on the water, which helps avoid anyone making a hasty decision that they later regret,” he says.

He has personally delivered boats to customers by road as far away as the Gold Coast and Adelaide.

Experience has shown Terry all the potential pitfalls that await people seeking to buy boats outside the recommended methods.

“People should always buy from a reputable boating industry association dealer,” he emphasises.

Crawford Marine is open six days a week from Monday to Saturday. Terry is ably assisted by a team of three staff – his son Shaun Danaher and Damian Hall in the workshop and newly recruited Callan Blackshaw, who is working in spare parts and accessories sales.

“I’m going to try to put some of my head on Callan’s young shoulders, so he can fill in for me whenever I’m away from the showroom,” Terry says.

Business leaves little leisure time for Terry but he still loves to get out on the water for his own enjoyment when he can. In the past he has gone up to the Murray River, which is his favourite getaway spot away from Gippsland.

“I appreciate the attraction of boating and how it means different things to different people,” he says.

“It can be about sightseeing or just escaping the grind of work. There is always plenty to see on the water and a different aspect of life and the world to take in. You can see so much more.”

Boat owners in Gippsland are spoilt for choice, with the Bass Coast and Western Port Bay within easy reach as well as the many coastal and inland lakes and waterways locations throughout the region.

So, if you are in the market for a new or used boat, or even a second-hand jet ski, it is recommended to do as their television and radio advertising jingle says and see Terry and the team at Crawford Marine.

Further information:

Crawford Marine

71-77 Chickerell Street Morwell

Business hours:

Monday – Friday 8.00am – 5.00pm

Saturday – 9.00am – 12.00pm

Sunday and after hours by appointment

Tel: (03) 5134 6522

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gippsland life Autumn ���� 129 Jeff Bourman is your local MP for the Eastern Victoria electorate in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council 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 Jeff fights for regional jobs, promoting regional and rural lifestyle Jeff is your voice in the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament Authorised by Jeff Bourman, Unit 1, 9 Napier Street Warragul, Funded by Parliamentary Budget


We are fully self-contained and can take care of everything including attendants.


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

130 gippsland life Autumn ���� Call Brent Sinclair on 0447 728 547 146 McCartin Street, Leongatha, Vic 3953 E: brent@brentsinclaircatering.com.au www.brentsinclaircatering.com.au
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.
Please visit our Facebook @BrentSinclairCatering for weekly changing menus and specials.




For advice, range and quality. For an experience and a garden encounter that will enchant you. For solutions, inspiration and motivation.


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



Creativity in South Gippsland


Creativity in South Gippsland comes in boundless shapes and forms and the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival exemplifies just that.

The festival celebrates a unique craft that results in an overwhelming number of locals and visitors alike, flocking to the town to be a part of and to admire the exhibition.

As the name suggests, the Tea Cosy Festival showcases the craftsmanship of the tea cosy, turning an ordinary household vessel into an expression of art. Local artisans show their mastery of the tea cosy, adorning teapots with delightful cosies that bridge the gap between functionality and aesthetic appeal.

There are no limits to imagination when it comes to the Tea Cosy Festival. From the ginormous cosy on display as you enter Fish Creek, to tea cosies welded together out of metal gears and bicycle chains, there’s really no telling what to expect at the upcoming exhibition.

Celebrate the creativity and hospitality of the Fish Creek community at the 2024 Tea Cosy Festival.

When: Saturday 18 to Sunday 26 May.

For more information about the Tea Cosy Festival and other autumn events happening in South Gippsland, please visit www.visitsouthgippsland.com.au/events


The inventive concept making waves throughout South Gippsland is the emergence of ArtCubes.

The portable gallery spaces prove that art, innovation and creativity know no boundaries. ArtCubes have transformed the way our region interacts with art and redefines the traditional notion of museum and gallery structures.

South Gippsland is home to a vibrant arts community who at times experience limitations when it comes to showcasing their work. To support our region’s artists and creatives, South Gippsland Shire Council conceptualised and constructed the ArtCubes project. Relocatable and able to pop-up in remote locations, the cubes provide exciting opportunities for artists to reach diverse audiences who may not typically visit a conventional gallery space.

Since the cubes have been made accessible to the public, they have toured the region and brought connectivity to communities through an abundance of creative activity. From painting, mosaic and ceramics all the way to musical scores, the ArtCubes provide limitless possibilities for South Gippsland’s creative scene.

In addition to being gallery spaces, the ArtCubes have supported a variety of artistic workshops and community events.

ArtCubes are transforming the way our region experiences art and also challenges the conventional idea of where art belongs. They inspire a sense of adventure and spontaneity, beckoning viewers to explore and engage with art in unexpected places. These mobile gallery spaces are a testament to the contemporary nature of the art world, making it more inclusive and innovative than ever before.



 Meeniyan from 3 February to 27 April

 Next stop – Tarwin Lower (29 April to 29 July)


 3 February to 14 March – Mandy Gunn

 1 March to 28 March – Janine Durston

 15 March to 28 March – Rachel Knoester

 1 March to 28 March – Dianne Beevers and Scott McFadden

 29 March to 11 April – Angelo Saridis

 29 March to 11 April – Andrew Murray

 19 April to 27 April – Nicky Fraser

 19 April to 17 April – Koonwarra School

 19 April to 17 April – Rachel Knoester

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The Tambo Valley Picnic Races were first held on the banks of the Tambo River in 1896, 3km north of Swifts Creek. This year marks the 128th year of the races and it maintains the same atmosphere of being a day where the local communities and visitors enjoy a day of horse racing in the Victorian High Country.

The race day is put together by a hard-working committee, including some multi-generational local families who all put in their time and energy to make the day a success.

Come and support the local community and enjoy the up-close racing action that you’ll only get in the country. Whether you are looking for country casual or a catered experience, there are packages to suit everybody.

We embrace a laid-back lifestyle in the country and encourage dress standards from all ends of the spectrum. Whether you’re entering Fashions on the Field, dressing up for hens or bucks, or simply just want to come along in a shirt and shorts – we encourage ‘Country Casual’ – whatever you feel comfortable in, we’re happy to have you in!

Whilst the feature activity of the day is the horse racing, this year the Tambo Valley Races will host some additional entertainment for all ages.

Our infamous Ricky’s Rooster Call (ear plugs recommended!), footraces, the Golden Easter Egg Hunt and Kelly Sports will provide lots of activities for kids, and a mini community market with trade stalls attending from across East Gippsland will provide art, crafts and produce for visitors to peruse.

Buses will be run from all nearby towns, so visitors can plan the journey ahead and safely enjoy a great day of racing and fun in the High Country.

EMAIL enquiries to: tvrc1896@gmail.com or customerservice@countryracing.com.au


Adult - $20 each

Children 16 and under Free, must be accompanied by an adult.


Members Day Pass - $80 each.

Includes lunch, bar and entry. Tickets are Limited.

Photos by Doug Pell from the Tambo Valley Cup 2023

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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 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 Phone (03) 5997 6208 | Email info@thegurdieswinery.com.au | www.thegurdieswinery.com.au

Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival | 18-26 May 2024

Create and celebrate the humble tea cosy


Enter the competition - Entries close 30/4/24 Festival events include:

May 2004

Tea Cosy Exhibition - Fish Creek Memorial Hall

Bendigo Bank Market Day | High Tea | Devonshire Teas & Biggest Morning Tea

Tea & Craft Workshops | Art Exhibitions, Performances & more

For full details | Em: teacosyfestival@gmail.com | Ph: 0484 586 296 www.teacosyfestival.com.au

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!)




March 28 to April 24

WENDY TWYEROULD Paintings: Land and water scapes in oils


April 25 to May 29 ROSS VANNER Paintings: Colour and structure


May 30 to June 26


138 gippsland life Autumn ����
420 Main Jindivick Road, Jindivick VIC
5628 5224 |
For more info visit www.redtreegallery.com.au Thanks Laurie - Good on ya
Wendy Twyerould
gippsland life Autumn ���� 139 411 Mt Baw Baw Road Noojee Victoria Australia | Tel: 5628 9514 www.noojeehotel.com.au Wednesday
Always great meals at the Nooj
6.00pm – 7.00pm & Raffle Sunday –
1.00pm – 4.00pm CHARITY DUCK
– 2024 • BBQ, Bar & Ice Cream Van • Free Jumping Castle • Lucky Ducks Amusement • Free Petting Zoo • Face Painting • Kids Craft & Activities • Variety Bash Cars & Characters • Raffles & Cake Stalls
- $15 Parma Night
Friday – Happy Hour
Live Music
Lucky Ducks $100 Prize money to be won – 1st, 2nd & 3rd Lucky Ducks run in both races Location: Noojee Hotel River Flat
140 gippsland life Autumn ����


Victoria, South Australia


OFFICE: 5662 2012

RECEPTION: 5662 2747

BISTRO: 5662 4487



Members Welcome. Reciprocal rights with RSL'S in
www.leongatha-rsl.com.au Find us on Facebook Corner of Smith Street & Michael Place, Leongatha CORNER OF SMITH STREET & MICHAEL PLACE, LEONGATHA

Are you eager to cultivate your own garden oasis at home? Look no further than your local library! Join our free seed library initiative at Pakenham Library, Emerald Library, Drouin Library, Inverloch Library, Leongatha Library, and Wonthaggi Library and kickstart your gardening journey today!

Myli's seed library is available to all Myli members. Not a library member? Membership is free and it's simple to sign up. Once you're a member, you'll gain free access to our collection of books, online e-resources and library programs including our seed library initiative.

HOW DOES IT WORK? It's as simple as Borrow, Grow and Save. Borrow – Browse our diverse selection and take up to 3 different types of seeds per season, completely free of charge! Whether you're a novice gardener or a seasoned pro, our seed library welcomes all enthusiasts.

GROW – Once you've chosen your seeds, nurture them at home in pots or directly in your garden soil. Witness their transformation as they flourish and provide you with a bounty of fresh produce!

SAVE – Feeling generous? Pay it forward by saving seeds from your plants. We provide packaging and resources to guide you through the process. Donate your saved seeds to our library, allowing others to experience the joy of gardening in their own backyard. Additionally, if you have leftover seeds from half-empty packets at home, consider donating them to enrich our library's collection.

The seed library is not just for adults; it's an exciting opportunity for children too! Little ones and older children can learn the magic of gardening and watch their seeds grow into vibrant plants right at home. Encourage your children to become young gardeners and experience the joy of nurturing plants and flowers from seed to harvest.

142 gippsland life Autumn ����

The Growth of Seed Libraries at Myli - My Community Library

Each season, we introduce new varieties, including seeds generously donated by members of our community so you can expect a diverse array of seeds to choose from. By growing things that have been tried and tested in the local climate, you can improve your chance of successful gardening.

If you're looking for a hands-on gardening experience, visit the Discovery Garden at Pakenham Library. The garden provides valuable insights into sustainable gardening practices and is a tranquil space for the community to enjoy. Look out for programs hosted within the Discovery Garden, such as our Little Green Thumbs Club. Please note that the garden will not be open during heavy rain or extreme heat, ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all visitors.

Whether you're a gardening enthusiast or a curious, green-thumbed beginner, there's something for everyone in our ever-expanding collection of seeds. Myli provides free places, programs and resources to connect with like-minded people, belong to supportive communities, and learn from industry experts.

Visit myli.org.au or call 1800 44 6954 today and start learning, growing, and belonging for free!

gippsland life Autumn ���� 143

with Stephanie Johnson


21 March – 19 April

The weeks before your birthday offer a rare opportunity to slow down. This is your time to reassess the previous year, take stock of personal attributes and achievements and make some birthday resolutions. As the Sun moves into Aries on March 20, life once again picks up speed, which is how you usually like it. A Solar Eclipse in Aries on April 9 sparks a personal ‘aha’ moment and gives you the impetus to live your best life. By May you are in full speed ahead mode with your ruling planet Mars in Aries from May 1.

20 April – 20 May

Your social life picks up in March as planets line up in the communal sector of your Solar Chart. Changes may be afoot in your clubs, groups and friendship circles. Communications are unclear causing problems. You need all of your innate Taurus patience to persist in clearing up misunderstandings. A prominent authority figure may not appreciate you pushing your own agenda. So, take a deep breath and try to see the big picture before getting involved in group politics. As the season progresses you are likely to slow down, and reflect on the previous year before celebrating your birthday.

21 May – 20 June

This month sees you managing several tasks at work. You focus on one while keeping track of others. Decisions need to be made as you switch back and forth. Fortunately, juggling comes naturally to you. However, you may need to make a bigger decision, based on whether you want to keep juggling in your current work situation. As the Autumn season progresses you reflect on your own hopes, dreams and wishes, and prepare to align your current activities with these aspirations. Then the lucky planet Jupiter enters your Sign on May 26 bringing luck in love and money.

21 June – 22 July

Legal matters are front and centre at the start of Autumn. This could be as simple as needing to sign off on a contract, and as complicated as settlements and disputes with personal and business partners. The key is to remain calm, easier said than done under March’s planetary line-up. As a soft-hearted Cancer you would be best advised to seek professional advice before entering any business, legal or property agreement. In May you are then ready for moving ahead with your career goals. It’s time to focus on your chosen profession, and marital status.

23 July – 22 Aug

Activities with a common purpose feature at the start of the season. Anything that involves a joint decision or enterprise is highlighted, particularly one involving personal or business partnerships. As a Leo, you are a natural leader. The time has come to ensure that you are involving your nearest and dearest in important decisions. The time is ripe for co-operation, and a deep-dive into intimacy. This could be sparked by a change in your joint finances, an inheritance, taxes or investments. Single Leos may meet a significant personal or business partner, or sign an important contract.

23 Aug – 22 Sep

The health and wellbeing of yourself, and a significant partner, are highlighted. The time has come to make a commitment to ensuring that your work/life balance is healthy. This means being serious about shaking any bad habits and replacing them with good ones. This is easier said than done because the brain is a key factor in changing habits, and you have a particularly strong mind. You may need to adopt a daily practice such as meditation or yoga to help you reset. As Autumn progresses you reassess joint resources, perhaps with a view to travelling abroad or pursuing a long-held dream.

23 Sep – 22 Oct

March is your month to reduce stress and improve your mood through fun filled and creative activities. Expressing yourself through artistic and creative activities is like a prescription for your mental health. The time is ripe for you to incorporate a hobby or pastime into your daily routine, either for personal pleasure or as part of your working life. A Lunar Eclipse in your Zodiac Sign on March 25 is a trigger for self-realisation. And as the season progresses you seek a partner who supports your health and happiness, either improving an existing partnership, or starting a new union.

23 Oct – 21 Nov

Family history is the theme in March. This could be recent family sagas coming to light, or ancient history. Think ancestry.com. Either way, it’s time to focus on the younger members of your clan, clearing the past so that they have a positive future. This is a pivotal moment in your own personal story. April and May see your focus change to your main relationship. Singletons may seek a serious commitment. If you are in a committed relationship then you are likely to examine your union in light of its long-term merits. Can your love stand the test of time?

22 Nov – 21 Dec

Your family is front and centre at the start of Autumn. One family member could require extra attention as you travel for a special occasion, or a relative’s visit from interstate. It’s also possible that you plan some home maintenance, something that you have been putting off for a while. The focus is your private life, ensuring that you have firm foundations, and are fulfilling your responsibilities. As the season progresses you are likely to seek fun-filled activities, enjoying mingling with younger members of your clan, or those who are young at heart. Your own health and wellbeing become important.

22 Dec – 19 Jan

March is a project planning month when you sit down with your various ideas and formulate a strategy. You need to ensure that you have a positive mindset and then move forward with a responsible plan. This is your month to organise your thoughts. Diagrams, lists, graphs, sketches and the like can all prove helpful. Your siblings may also feature at the start of Autumn, and then your attention turns to your family, those who share your home. Home maintenance, or a home renovation or redecoration scheme, may also require some attention as the season progresses.

20 Jan – 18 Feb

Do you play offence or defence when it comes to your finances? This month sees you reassess your income, its flow in and out. Offence is trying to boost your income. Defence is managing spending habits. March sees you take stock, most likely triggered by an unexpected bill or change in your income. It’s possible a household expense or family member’s financial needs also prompt you to track your monetary habits. April is likely busy with several short journeys, for pleasure and/or work. And May sees you bunker down for some much-needed bonding with your home and family.

19 Feb – 20 March

The serious planet Saturn casts its shadow over your Zodiac Sign early in March. This can be a positive influence as it helps you analyse exactly what makes you happy and healthy. It’s an excellent time to set boundaries, employ self-discipline and build a firm personal foundation for the future. However, it is important for you to be kind to yourself. Self-criticism is to be avoided at all costs. You are likely to feel more motivated, ready to tackle life with more gusto from March 23 when the energetic planet Mars moves into your Zodiac Sign.

144 gippsland life Autumn ����
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

corner canine autumn


Butters George Lilly Jasper Rocky Elvis Maverick Ginger
Do you want to place a photo of your dog in Canine Corner ? It's easy, just email us your pic and their name at gippslandlifestyle@bigpond.com our best friends gippsland life
...just pawfect
Miss Poppy
Angel Doggies
gippsland life Autumn ���� 145
sadly missed
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