48 Gippsland Lifestyle Spring

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$7.95 Spring #48


Destruction on a massive scale


The must visit island


Building on history


The Hoddle Mountain Trail

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


Challenges in the Victorian Alps


P (03) 5662 2327 F (03) 5662 2642 E edney@dcsi.net.au www.edneysleongatha.com.au LMCT 1500

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editorial spring #48 Spring in Gippsland Again, it has been an interesting three months, in and out and back in lockdown again, Gippsland has had more than its fair share of hurdles to leap over but the region is tough and so are the people. It must be, as I had to increase the size of the magazine to fit in some wonderful stories of people in business, lifestyles, and of course our brilliant feature edited by Anita Butterworth on the devastating storms that hit Gippsland and the Dandenongs. One of our contributor’s Natalie Guest tells the heartbreaking story of her dream home which we featured in the Winter edition that was obliterated in these storms. This story tells it all and one would not simply would have been comfortable enduring that awful night that affected people’s lives so dramatically. I think back about our banner heading Gippsland Lifestyle, it really does encompass all facets, the good and the bad, the inspirations and the heartaches, these are testing times, but I believe the light is there at the end of the tunnel and we will all find it. So on with the show, enjoy this magazine, there is great diversity in the features that our writers have put together, they do it with care and understanding, and a willingness to showcase what Gippsland is all about.

8 – 9 CURTIS AUSTRALIA – International Watch Brand created in Gippsland 10 – 11 WGCMA – Clinton Tepper Multi Storey Farming 20 – 47 Gippsland Storm Special Feature 82 – 83 WEST GIPPSLAND LIBRARIES – San Remo & Waterline Community Libraries 86 – 87 VIRTUE HOMES – Building excellence 88 – 89 CRAWFORD MARINE – Boating on the Blue Rock Dam 90 – 91 DROUIN NEWSAGENCY – Spreading good news 92 – 93 JINDI CAF – Challenges and change 98 – 99 GROWMASTER TRARALGON – A unique wonderland 100 – 101 BURRA GARDEN SUPPLIES – Korumburra’s gem 104 – 105 THE BIRD AND THE WOLF – Winning high praise in Tarwin Lower 106 – 107 MT BAW BAW – There’s a mountain of things on offer 108 – 111 PUSHED TO THE LIMITS – Gruelling challenge in the Victorian Alps 114 – 115 RIGBY HOMEMAKERS – Customer Satisfaction 116 – 117 THE INVERLOCH AMAZON – When history & contemporary blend 118 – 119 BE ENCHANTED – A Gippsland haven 120 – 123 MESMERISING MOUNTAINS – The Hoddle Mountain Trail 124 – 125 MOOS AT MEENIYAN – Relaxed & Welcoming 126 – 128 JUST LIKE HEAVEN – A Grand Design Church House 130 – 131 WOODLEIGH’S – Smashing Table Tennis 132 – 135 STEVE ALLENDER – Country move a new beginning for Allender 136 – 137 LIZ FLEMING – The Efficiency Coach 138 – 139 TARRYN PRIEST – Helping Mums Rise 140 – 141 LOCAL HEROES – The Gold Man – Richard Darby 142 – 143 EAST GIPPSLAND WINTER FESTIVAL – The highlights 144 – 146 MILLIE’S ADVENTURES – The Millie at Snowy River 147 KERRY GALEA – Spring Stars 148 – 149 OUR BEAUTIFUL CHAOS – And along came Gigi! 152 – 153 CANINE CORNER 154 – 155 FRANK BUTERA – Regenerative Agriculture adopted for vineyard 158 – 159 CHRISTIE NELSON – The modern family 160 – 161 CAMILLA HULLICK – Biting the bullet 164 – 165 ERIN MILLER – Harnessing the 5 love languages 166 – 167 CHRISTINE BOUCHER – 5 Lessons learnt from lockdown 168 – 169 LIZ FLEMING – How to support you & your business

our advertisers

Remember! We all need to support local, shop local, be local.

Douglas Pell | Editor

our spring front cover

Pushed to the Limits Challenges in the Victorian Alps

our spring back cover

Virtue Homes Building Excellence www.virtuehomes.com.au


our content

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48 BACKYARD WORLD – Cubbies, Sheds and Carports 162-163 BASS COAST HEALTH – A new cancer treatment centre in Wonthaggi 112-113 BASS COAST SHIRE – Wonthaggi Highlights 85 BBQ GALORE TRARALGON – The home of outdoor living 97 BOAT HARBOUR JETTY B&B – Rest and relaxation in Port Albert 96 BRENT SINCLAIR CATERING – Mobile catering & Takeaway meals 17 CARPET COURT – Dream It, Style it, Live it 19 CPK MCLAREN MOTORBODY – Motor Body Vehicle Repairer 89 CRAWFORD MARINE – Live the dream! Campion & Stacer boats 129 CURTIS AUSTRALIA – Bairnsdale’s very best in jewellery 170 DAHLSENS – Bairnsdale’s Garden Centre 3 EDNEYS LEONGATHA – New Nissan Navara 95 EVANS PETROLEUM – Reggies has arrived at Inverloch 70 GARY BLACKWOOD MP – Member for Narracan 2 G.J.GARDNER HOMES-Build your dream home with a local builder 102 GRINTER TRANSPORT SERVICES – From East Gippsland to Melbourne 103 GROW MASTER TRARALGON - Garden, Fashion, Giftware solutions 84 HEARTFELT PRESENCE - 24/7 Zoom Room 102 JASON FROOME – Excavator Hire 84 LAURIE COLLINS – Check the coming events at the Red Tree Gallery 94 LEONGATHA RSL – Family friendly venue 13 LIME AND CO. – Mexican street food cantina in Inverloch 97 MELALEUCA NURSERY – Indigenous & Native plant farm 14 MOOS AT MEENIYAN – Eat Drink and have a good time! 102 MY OPEN GARDEN – Balgowan Historic Garden 150-151 PETS DOMAIN – The home for pets 13 RIGBY HOMEMAKERS – Gippsland’s finest furniture and bedding 48 ROSEDALE BUTCHERS - Family owned country butcher 49 RUSSELL BROADBENT MP – Federal Member for Monash 5 RUSSELL NORTHE MP – State Member for Morwell 18 STONY CREEK GO KARTS – Fun for all the family, Go Kart hire 12 TAITS INTERIORS – The trusted name in Quality, Fabrics, Service 156-157 THE GROVE GIPPSLAND – Fine dining in Krowera 15 THE GURDIES WINERY – Refurbished award winning winery 49 VAN STEENSEL TIMBERS – We have everything for Spring 172 VIRTUE HOMES – Building Excellence 16 WEST GIPPSLAND CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY 7 WONTHAGGI LOTTO – Authorised Tattslotto Agency

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

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

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


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

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

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




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

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

CONTRIBUTORS Erin Miller, Kerry Galea, Frank Butera, Christie Nelson, Christine Boucher, Liz Fleming and Millie Roberts

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

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS Roland Pick (Phillip Island Nature Parks and Paul Henderson (Curtis Australia)

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

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

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


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


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

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

WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR COPY GIPPSLAND LIFESTYLE OUTLETS Bairnsdale newsXpress 21 Bailey St Bairnsdale Dahlsens Mitre 10 19 Dalmahoy Street Bairnsdale Main Street Newsagency 212 Main Street Berwick Newsagency 29-31 High Street Briagolong Post Office & Newsagency 4 Avon Street Boolarra Store & Newsagency 9 Tarwin Street Bunyip IGA 2-6 Main Street Churchill Newsagency Hazelwood Village Shopping Centre Cowes Newsagency Chapel Street Drouin Newsagency 93 Princes Way Fish Creek Alison Lester 1 Falls Road Fish Creek Discount Pharmacy Plus 25 Falls Road Foster FoodWorks 37 Main Street Garfield Licensed Post Office 77 Main Street Glengarry General Store Main Street Heyfield IGA 18-22 George Street Inverloch FoodWorks 10-12 Reilly Street Inverloch Paperplay 10 A'Beckett Street The Jindi Caf 1070 Jacksons Track Korumburra Michael's Supa IGA 1 South Railway Cres Lang Lang IGA 32 Main Street Leongatha Authorised Newsagency 30 Bair Street Leongatha Michael's Supa IGA Cnr Church & Bruce Sts Maffra newsXpress 144 Johnson Street Mallacoota Foodworks 48|50 Maurice Avenue Marlo General Store 14|16 Argyle Parade Metung Village Store 62 Metung Road Moe Nextra Lotto Shop 2, 1-3 Moore Street Morwell Newsagency 174-176 Commercial Road Nar Nar Goon, Clough Fuel 1975 Princes Hwy Neerim South IGA 147 Main Road Newry General Store 44 Main Street Omeo Post Office 155 Day Avenue Orbost Foodworks 70|78 Nicholson Street Poowong IGA 17-19 Main Street Port Albert Interiors by Jade Gift Shop 65 Tarraville Road Rosedale Butchers 32 Prince Street Sale Newsagency 308-310 Raymond Street San Remo IGA 135 Main Parade Stratford IGA 67 Tyers Street Swifts Creek General Store Great Alpine Road Tarwin Lower IGA 45 River Drive Tinamba General Store Maffra-Rosedale Road Toora Fancy Goods & Relics 26 Stanley Street Toora FoodWorks 66 Stanley Street Trafalgar IGA 5 McCrorey Street Trafalgar Newsagency 97 Princes Hwy Traralgon News & Lotto 51-53 Franklin Street Traralgon Seymour Street News 83 Seymour Street Ventnor The Anchorage Caravan Park Ventnor Road Venus Bay General Store 139 Jupiter Blvd Warragul Newsagency & Officesmart 43 Victoria Street Welshpool Supermarket 18 Main Street Wonthaggi Newsagency 31 Murray Street Yanakie General Store 3640 Meeniyan-Promontory Road Yarram Artichoke Books 1/243 Commercial Road Yarragon Fozigobble Café 79 Princes Highway Yinnar General Store 44 Main Street

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

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

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

Gippsland the Lifestyle Magazine is published quarterly. This magazine is distributed throughout Victoria. All photographs in this publication are copyright to Gippsland the Lifestyle, and if any are used in other publications or used in a commercial sense, you are liable to prosecution. Permission to use any photos in the publication must be obtained by contacting South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd via email to: gippslandlifestyle@bigpond.com Disclaimer: © South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd 2021, All Rights Reserved, has the discretion to add or remove words or photos that are deemed unsuitable for the magazine. South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd is not responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, omissions, or use of information contained within these pages, offering no warranties, either expressed or implied with respect to any material contained within the pages. Material in this magazine cannot be published or reproduced without South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd's written consent. Failure to heed to this could result in prosecution. The opinions and views expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers.

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There are many things you can find in Gippsland, proudly made by Gippslanders, but would you have expected stunning pieces from an internationally renowned jeweller and watchmaker? You can find them gracing the exclusive pages of Forbes and International Watch Magazine. You can also find them here in Gippsland, in Bairnsdale. Yes - tucked away in Bairnsdale, this family owned and operated studio has quietly been crafting away and making waves all across the globe for decades. Their award-winning original designs have led to their pieces becoming highly sought after and coveted by many an elite; an audience that have developed a deep appreciation for the unique designs and techniques that can only be found at Curtis Australia.

WATCHES WITH THE PRECISION OF A WORLD-CL ASS AUTOMATIC SWISS MOVEMENT, THE STYLING OF A WORLD-CLASS DESIGN HOUSE AND CRAFTSMANSHIP OF A WORLD-CLASS WORKSHOP. Painstakingly handcrafted, every aspect of every piece is very carefully considered – right down to the softness of the lines on each watch, its tactile feel, the gem stones selected to compliment the design. The inclusion of a window on the case back of the Motima RT provides a view of the custom engraved rotor and each gold screw that secures it has been individually handcrafted.


In their comprehensive studio complex, Curtis Australia's skilled artisans blend cutting-edge methodologies with techniques developed over their decades of experience alchemy-like to create timepieces and jewellery to astound. When you see the watch in person, when you wear it on your wrist – you can truly appreciate the details; its reassuring yet comfortable weight, the ease of fastening the deployment system, the way the light dances and plays across the shimmering dial.


Like their fine jewellery pieces, all Curtis watches are handcrafted one at a time; no two are exactly the same – with close attention you may notice an almost imperceptible variation between watches, a natural difference as part of a craftsman's touch. Every watch Curtis create is individually numbered, and its first owner is recorded for perpetuity.

With over 50 years experience in jewellery design & creation 8

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Led by Glenn Curtis, master jeweller and designer with over 40 years experience, the studio forges its own way ahead – inspired by the idyllic surroundings of the Victorian Riviera.


Visit the studio to see these stunning timepieces in person, meet the man behind the vision and learn the history of this renowned studio.

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


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

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To make your way north out of Warragul takes you into the hills of the Baw Baw Ranges and towards Neerim South. The paddocks are a vibrant green and even though the wind is blowing a chilly reminder that this is the middle of winter it’s not long before the ‘gee, this is pretty nice county’ idea pops into your head. It’s in this area that a man who has worked and lived with trees most of his adult life is asking farmers to not only look across their paddocks but also to look down into the soils and most definitely to look up and imagine what might be there with a bit of thought and planning.

In 2014 with the help of funding from the Australian Government through the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, Clinton planted a 1.2-hectare plot as a demonstration site with a range of trees and a selection of pastures. In 2021 these trees are 15+ metres tall and the pasture, growing up to the trees so thick you can lose sight of your boots as you walk across. “Initially we planted trees in rows five metres apart, with trees spaced 2 metres apart within the row. Over time we’ve thinned out every second row so that now there is more room for livestock to graze and pasture to grow.”

Clinton Tepper is an advocate of what he calls ‘Multi-Storey Farming.’ “Level one is the soil, from which everything else either thrives or fails,” says Clinton as we bounce around the rolling hills of his 110-acre property in his twin cab ute. “Level two is the pasture – the feed for the livestock. Level three is the trees, planted at such a ratio to allow movement of farm machinery to harvest hay or silage but also to provide shade and shelter for livestock and to aid soil health and sequester carbon as it grows. Level four is the livestock that takes advantage of the three levels around it to grow as strong and healthy as it can,” This approach to agriculture was developed following successive long dry spells which saw even this most rainy part of Gippsland loses its lustre, and the pastures turn from verdant green to a dryer, more straw like colour.


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The trees are mostly eucalypts including Silvertop, Spotted Gum and initially Silver Wattle which has now been largely thinned out for firewood and onsite mulch. The pastures were also assessed with 70 species planted over the initial 4 years to see which thrived and lent themselves to being an income stream when livestock was excluded from the site for 18 months to enable the trees to reach sufficient height to withstand cattle grazing. That number of pastures is now down to 10-15 varieties with lucerne being one of Clinton’s favourites. “We sell the lucerne to local farmers…that’s a high-end product which means that after three years we were in the black financially on our biggest site with all costs covered. Subsequent years have generated good profit, plus grazing returns and wood growth. That multi storey farming site is now 6 years old.


It’s turned what was the worst paddock on the farm to the most profitable paddock on the farm”

Of course, the ‘elephant in the room’ in any discussion around agriculture is the impact of climate change.

As well as selling lucerne off farm, Clinton is managing the trees for firewood and high-end products suitable for home builders/renovators and furniture makers – further sources of income from this most diversified of farms.

Clinton points to the results from the 2014 demonstration site as a source of optimism in terms of the sequestering of carbon and resilience of the pasture.

“My target for log diameter 60-centimetres. At this size milling is more efficient and produces valuable products suited to the appearance grade and durable timber product sectors. That’s 10-15 years away at this stage but it will come online down the track.” One could be forgiven for thinking that if it were simply as easy as just adding a few tress and profit magically follows that why we aren’t seeing this model of agriculture around the country? Clinton says that while he is starting to see a few commercial farmers take up the idea, it is a more demanding way of farming, requiring more time from design right through to day-to-day management. “It is a more complex system, which scares some people off. But should we be afraid of that complexity if we are able to produce more, potentially be more profitable, sequester carbon and be more diversified? By saying we are going to crop around it we are going to graze around it, whilst the trees are still quite young. That’s something that some people can’t quite get their heads around…but other people are saying ‘Oh…I understand what he’s doing…I think I can use this on my property.”

“We’ve had soil tests done on the other demonstration site and we can see the typical finding that we are getting more carbon lower down in the soil profile. So as the trees grow the carbon is improving in that 10-30cm layer and as they get older it starts to improve at the 30-100cm layer. The science is proving it. We know we are sequestering more carbon in the soil, but then there is the above ground layer (wood) as well. Our pasture production isn’t being knocked around or declining because of this and the livestock, on those hot or windy days are getting shelter and not being as stressed.” As the twin cab makes its way back to the Tepper family home and it is possible to see neighbouring properties dotted around the rolling landscape, I wonder whether in 20 or 30 years this whole area might look very different? Whether it might be an area with more trees in the middle of paddocks and livestock grazing under them or whether the predominant monoculture will still be dominant? Certainly, it’s hard not to be enthused and impressed by Clinton’s straight forward view that yes multi-storey farming is more complex. But why wouldn’t you want to embrace that challenge given the rewards it can offer?


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


furniture & bedding


Mexican street food cantina – takeaway – order in store OPEN 7 DAYS FOR LUNCH & DINNER KEEP UP TO DATE ON INSTA @_LIME_AND_CO 10B A’Beckett Street Inverloch 3996 VIC ph | 5674 6151 www.limeandco.com.au

Check our facebook or Instagram for menu and opening hour updates gippsland lifestyle spring ����












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

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

Photography by Mark Thurman | Nicky Cawood


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

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

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


Email info@thegurdieswinery.com.au


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. 18

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


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


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

insurance claims assistance

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



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The Gippsland Storm It was clear there was something brewing. A significant event, heavy rain, destructive winds. But knowing just where in Gippsland would feel the brutal force isn’t an exact science. So, there were warnings - calls to prepare ahead of an east coast low. The Bureau of Meteorology warned that 19 catchments could be impacted with up to 200mm of rain expected to fall on June 9 and 10. Flood watches and severe weather warnings were issued. What would unfold was the busiest 24-hours in Victoria State Emergency Service history across the state. Two people killed in Victoria, tens of thousands left without power.

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SES Crinigan Road Morwell


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The Gippsland Storm It was clear there was something brewing. A significant event, heavy rain, destructive winds. But knowing just where in Gippsland would feel the brutal force isn’t an exact science. So, there were warnings - calls to prepare ahead of an east coast low. The Bureau of Meteorology warned that 19 catchments could be impacted with up to 200mm of rain expected to fall on June 9 and 10. Flood watches and severe weather warnings were issued. What would unfold was the busiest 24-hours in Victoria State Emergency Service history across the state. Two people killed in Victoria, tens of thousands left without power.

Gippsland Immigration Park Morwell

“The issue that we have is that when we get events like that, we don’t know exactly where they’re going to hit,” explained SES Assistant Chief Officer Regional Manager East Region (Gippsland) Anthony McLean. “If they hit, for example in one part of Gippsland it will have a different effect than another part of Gippsland. That’s the same anywhere really. So, Traralgon, you have 288mm of rain above you, coming down into catchments at Traralgon, that’s definitely going to impact. So yes, we knew that there were significant amounts of rain forecast. But we didn’t know where it was going to hit. And the rain event was predicted to be between east and central Gippsland, but it actually moved to more central west Gippsland and into the Dandenongs.”

VICSES Gippsland Units received 1185 requests for assistance, including 57 rescues and 47 flooded homes. East Region volunteers dedicated more than 17,000 hours over five days. “I’ve heard it described by hydrologists as a one in 50-year event, so that’s the significance of it. And there were areas such as Churchill where I live that were cut off, and there’s no catchments for want of a better word that would affect that. It wasn’t a catchment situation, it was just heavy rain having nowhere else to go, until time took it and absorbed it into the ground. “There was a number of facets to it and we’re still seeing that with the recovery process. For example, we had trees down, we had issues with getting AusNet Services access to those trees that were down because of the water. One event compounded another.

Fortuna 60 Soccer Club Morwell

“Community members didn’t expect there to be such heavy rain, so they went to work, and it happened at the wrong time for people anyway because you’re waking up going to work thinking everything’s going to be ok and you get stuck in floodwater. Our message that people shouldn’t drive in floodwater is a strong one, but these people were caught by surprise, they’d never normally drive in floodwater. “It was 15 minutes of torrential rain. It virtually took fifteen minutes to go from minor to major flood within Traralgon Creek.”

The damage was widespread – impacting five of Gippsland’s six municipalities. The Victorian government declared a state energy emergency after flooding caused cracking at Yallourn power station’s Morwell River Diversion wall. While Walhalla woke to destruction near the Long Tunnel Extended Mine and areas neighbouring the township’s creek. “We had about 200mm of rain in a very short period of time,” explained Mine Manager Geoff Anderson. “We had a landslide behind our carpark. The landslide wiped out part of one of our buildings and the retaining wall. It washed mud into the opening of the mine, and it created a lot of mud and rubble all over the place. There was no damage in the mine itself, which was fortunate. Just a matter of clearing the rubbish that got washed in.” Crinigan Road Morwell

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Waterhole Creek Morwell

Morwell Flooding

Morwell Crinigan Road Flooding


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Gippsland Immigration Park Morwell

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Waterhole Creek Morwell

Kernot Hall Lake Morwell

Gippsland Immigration Park Morwell

AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ON THE GROUND With more than 700 trees down, almost 100 buildings damaged, and dozens of people displaced, it was evident the region needed as much help as it could muster. So, the Australian Defence Force responded to a state government call for assistance. 120 ADF personnel from Victorian-based Navy, Air Force and Army, including combat engineers from the 4th Brigade’s 22nd Engineer Regiment, were deployed within 24 hours of the request.

“We work as part of a team as support role, and all of the communities showed great resilience,” said Victorian-based Joint Task Group 629.2 Commander Brigadier Matt Burr. The ADF provided engineering and logistics support, cleared roads, reduced and felled trees, sandbagged and conducted welfare checks across a wide geographic area. And further west in the Dandenong Ranges they assisted partner agencies in the home delivery of almost 200 power generators and auxiliary equipment.


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The Gippsland Storm

“To work alongside those partner agencies that were out there – I’ve got to highlight the great work that they have been doing for an extended period of time in those communities and the significant efforts they had already put in when we arrived. And we were really proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with those agencies in support of the community.

“There’s a lot of community spirit, neighbours helped neighbours and the local volunteers, the SES the CFA and a whole range of other state agencies and emergency responders that are always there first. We’re just a part of that team. Generally, wherever we deploy domestically, we’re from those communities.

It’s a sentiment echoed by the SES’s Anthony McLean. Having only been in the role for six months, he said he’s in awe of the local community spirit and the dedication of its agencies. “Maybe it’s because of the bushfires and other events in the past, but these communities are very resilient anyway. So, a lot of people probably didn’t report until they had to because they didn’t want to both the emergency services. You know, that’s our job, it’s crazy not to bother us, but they’re really decent people that don’t want to bother us. The resilience I’ve seen straight away firsthand is incredible.” While the clean-up and rehabilitation of the region continues several weeks later, the SES is turning its attention to preparing for another busy spring season. “We know that there’s going to be very heavy spring rains and that’s been predicted by the BOM as well, so we need to prepare and plan for future events as well.”

“We’re proud to support any Australians that are in need and we’re ready to respond to domestic disasters when we are called. Many of our people are locally-based Army Reservists, and if not reservists, they are full-time personnel who are predominantly from Victoria. So, we’re proud to support communities in their time of need and we’re always warmly welcomed.”

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The Gippsland Storms


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Finding a permanent home was a tough slog for Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby. But after the better part of a decade, the all gender, not-for-profit club set down roots in Traralgon – transforming a dilapidated sheep shed into a roller derby haven. Then Covid hit, closing the facility for a year. And just to prove that 2020 wasn’t the worse the universe had in store, in June this year floodwaters tore through the renovated shed, leaving in its wake utter destruction. By the time the club was warned on the morning of June 10 that a flood may be on its way, it was already too late. “One of our members went down to have a look and the water was already a metre high across the entire rec reserve,” explained Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby president Bodye Darvill. “It was pouring in through the culverts, the river actually winds around and some of the little feeders for the river are in the rec reserve. So, when the river rose it rose four metres in 45 minutes or something ridiculous like that. It was just incredibly fast and far higher than it has been in the last 30 or 40 years. There was nothing we could do.” The heartbreak was compounded by just how difficult it had been for the club to find a facility in the first place.

“There’s a real hesitance from venue owners to let roller derby occur in their space because there’s a perception that the skates and the protective equipment will damage the floors. So, we hunted for about seven years as a club, checking out 30, 40 venues trying to find somewhere that would let us train. And finally we connected up with the Traralgon and District Agricultural Society at the Traralgon Recreation Reserve and they were willing to let us use one of their old, very dilapidated sheep and chook sheds from the Traralgon Show. “It was full of chook pens, it had chook poo over the floor, and just accumulated things from shows over the years.” Gippsland Ranges wanted to repay the Ag Society’s generosity by creating a facility beyond what anyone could have imagined. And they succeeded. Three years of hard work and $150,000 in grants and fundraising later, the shed was unrecognisable. Gone was the musty smell of farm animals and possum urine-stained walls. In its place, a fit for purpose roller derby facility attracting players from three Gippsland municipalities. But it wasn’t just a sporting club. It provided an outlet for mums, with a child-safe space and Skate Fit program. The club championed several community causes, including cancer screening awareness, LGBQTIA+ equality advocacy and hosted Australia's first Roller Derby Pride Cup and the inaugural Gippsland Pride Gala. The club grew from just 15 members to 60 during 2019. But the bubble was about to burst. “In the irony that is Covid, we did our launch, opening our doors to our brand new, beautiful, finished shed in February 2020, and about six weeks later in March 2020, we shut down for the rest of the year.” After navigating the pandemic for a year, the club was seeing positive signs of returning to some form of normality. Until the June flood. “It was shock and disbelief. And then when we started to process it and think about what this meant it was just this feeling of devastation. It was like stages of grief and of being upset. You have the first stage where we knew that it was flooded. And then when the floodwaters receded, there was the next kick in the guts when you walk inside and there’s thick, gloopy mud over the entire floor.”

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The impact of just a few hours at the mercy of floodwaters was immense. One member alone had $3500 worth of personal gear destroyed. The club’s skate library was inundated. It was filled with 100 pairs of skates purchased through fundraising and grants. The skates and gear allowed anyone to try out the sport without needing to fork out for hundreds of dollars’ worth of gear - and $20,000 of it was wiped out. The brand-new padded walls were completely sodden, along with the floor. “Then we find out that the water is category three blackwater, which is sewerage contaminants and chemical runoff contaminants. So, everything the water’s touched that’s permeable has to be destroyed. It was just these layers of getting worse and worse and worse.” The club members have been floating from facility to facility since the flood. While their Traralgon facility has been cleared of debris and mud by members and volunteers, it’s still a long way from being game ready, with the walls and toilets needing to be stripped and replaced. The silver lining to the destructive storm was the huge amount of support the club received. It was a clear reflection of the hundreds of volunteer hours members had donated to community organisations over the past decade. Other sporting clubs – many that were still cleaning their own facilities, chipped in on the clean-up. From crowdfunding to an online telethon, the club has managed to claw back a small portion of what it needs to get back to playing. But Bodye estimates they’ll need at least $150,000 to get back to skating. “It’s just a waiting game really with what’s going to happen next.” Donations to Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby’s rebuild can be made via: www.gofundme.com/f/gippsland-ranges-roller-derby-flood-relief


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The Gippsland Storms

SES Rescue volunteers begin the arduous job of clearing storm damage. “There’s a lot of community spirit, neighbours helped neighbours and the local volunteers, the SES the CFA and a whole range of other state agencies and emergency responders that are always there first."

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The Gippsland Storm

Stranded at their Mirboo East farm with no water, no food, no electricity and no way of communicating with the outside world, Brenton and Kat Gration had copped the sting of the June storm event. They thought the storm would just be like any other. Perhaps a couple of trees down. Maybe a damaged fence or two. They never imagined that’d be trapped with their three children for five days, forced to drink water out of their horse trough. Kat’s weather app had issued a severe storm warning on June 8. “We thought we’ll have a couple of trees down across the driveway, we’ll cut them off in the morning and everything will be fine. But we were not ready for what was coming and how severe it was.” On June 9, just before Kat left home to pick up her kids from school in Leongatha, the power flickered out. It was the first inkling of the brewing storm’s strength. She headed out for the school pick up, leaving a recovering Brenton at home. He’d been injured the day before, moving pregnant cows from their property to the neighbour’s in anticipation of the storm. “I got halfway to picking the kids up from school and a tree came crashing down onto the powerlines right in front of me,” Kat said. “I had to get the kids and there was no other way to get to the school, so I drove under the powerlines and went and got the kids from school. “On the way back from school is when the rain and everything hit, and we got back to where the powerlines were down, and the police were there blocking the roads. The tree had caught fire on the powerlines, and it just blocked off the road completely and there were trucks stuck there, milk tankers, log trucks. The trucks couldn’t turn around, but the cars were turning around. “They said it’s a six or seven hour wait to get this tree off the powerlines and so I tried to go down a dirt road. I came halfway down the first road and there was a tree down across the track and it was massive. There was no way I could lift it or move it by myself.

So, I did another U turn and started heading back up the hill and another tree had come down behind us, after we’d driven through so my son and I had to get out in the pouring rain and drag this tree off the track to get through.” Kat’s three children, aged five, eight and nine, grew increasingly worried, as Kat tried to find a way home. “We tried a third road, and that was already flooded so I called my husband and said there’s no other way to get through. He said your best way is to go through the floodwaters and go all the way to Boolarra and then come all the way back up the other road. “So, it ended up taking two hours and forty minutes to get home. I was starting to panic. We’ve got animals here as well, so I knew I had to still check the animals. My husband had been in hospital the night before so he was home by himself.” It became apparent the family would have to bunker down and ride out the storm at home. That night, Kat listened as her farm was pummelled. “My husband sleeps through anything. So, he went to bed, and he slept. And the whole way through the night I was poking him in the ribs and saying, ‘There’s glass smashing!’. I could hear tin ripping and banging every 20 minutes and he said, ‘I’m not going outside in my jocks to check what smashed, you’ll just have to wait until daylight and see what’s wrong out there’. “I just laid there awake listening to everything smashing and ripping and breaking. You hear the glass, and you don’t know if it’s the house of the car window and you can’t see anything because it’s pitch black.” The next morning at first light, Kat was able to see the path of destruction. “The trees had come down into the driveway and brought all the powerlines down through the driveway, through the paddocks, so I got my husband up and told him, this is bad. We went on foot but we couldn’t get out of our driveway it was just so blocked with trees and powerlines. “We could only get down our back paddock and just check our sheep and our horses, but we couldn’t get to our other block to check our cattle, we were stuck.”

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‘WE WERE TRAPPED’ With Brenton unable to use a chainsaw due to his injuries, the couple realised there was no way out. “We were actually trapped with no power no phone service; we couldn’t ring for help. It was just crazy.” On the afternoon of the 10th, Kat finally got enough service to send a Facebook message to a friend, asking for help. But after some investigating, he realised there was no way out, or in, for kilometres. The damage was too widespread.

“We ran out of food and water. We had no water pumps because we had no electricity and no way to get water out of our tanks, we had to drain water out of the horse troughs and boil it on the camping stove so we could have a coffee and wash our faces. And then we ran out of food.” In the end, the family was frying pieces of bread on the camp stove just to eat something. When Kat finally got some patchy phone service, she says she was able to reach the SES. But with the number of jobs piling up, she was told their farm was low on the priority list. The family was told by their power company that their situation was an emergency - but still no one came. So after almost five days, the family and the rest of the farmers in the area took matters into their own hands. “We all got chainsaws and excavators and just busted ourselves out. We just decided no one’s coming to help us, so we had to help ourselves.” Dodging powerlines and fallen trees, they were finally able to get out and source food. But having their power restored would still be days away. And it was nearly a fatal venture. Power crews arrived ready to restore power, Kat explained, unaware the family still had lines down all over their property. The next day the powerlines were repaired, but it only left the farm with lights – no power points were working. It meant another five days without proper electricity. “It was the craziest thing I’ve ever been through.” But for the Gration’s the ordeal is far from over. With Brenton away running the family transport business most of the time it’s left Kat to juggle the normal day-today running of the farm, the family and the clean-up.

“I’ve half repaired one fence and we’re still waiting to be able to chainsaw trees everywhere off fence lines. We’ve got $50,000 worth of fencing to repair and not enough time and not enough sets of hands. We’ve got calving cattle and ewes having lambs so that’s taken up a lot of my time. “We’ve basically cleaned up around the house where we have to live and just written the rest of the farm off. We’ve got landslips that have destroyed all of our tracks so we can’t even get to our paddocks without machinery coming in and redoing all of our farm tracks.” Kat says volunteer organisation BlazeAid has been in contact but has been told it has almost 200 farms in the area on its waitlist. The Grations, who’d only been on the farm for three years, estimate it’ll be three to five years before their farm will be back to its former glory.


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gippsland lifestyle spring ����


WALHALLA & SURROUNDS Photo by Rae-Anne Vincent


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Photos by Doug Pell

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The Gippsland Storms



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Photos by Wendy Morriss


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Corporal Stokes and Lieutenant Colonel Scott D’Rozario, commanding officer of the 22nd Engineer Regiment , discussing the progress of clearing fallen trees from the Traralgon Creek Road, Koornalla.


Images kindly supplied by Robert Hogan

The Australian Defence force (ADF) has been requested to support the Victorian Government following severe storms across the state in mid-June. On the 16th June 2021, five ADF planners were sent to Victoria to assist affected communities. On 18th June 2021, the ADF received a further request for up-to 120 personnel to support recovery efforts in support of Victorian emergency services in areas and communities affected by the severe weather event. Defence has a range of capabilities to support states and territories in response to natural disasters, provided through the Defence Assistance to the Civil Community process. After completing the task of clearing fallen trees on the road, Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel travel back to base in an Army G-Wagon along Traralgon Creek Road, Koornalla. The ADF has been clearing roads in the area over the last two weeks, supplementing the support provided by local government and emergency services orginisation across Victoria.


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Seaman Lachlan Betts-Newby, from HMAS Cerberus, and Private Law Na, from the 8th/7th Battalion, Royal Victoria Regiment, shifting cut logs off the road to allow vehicle access from the side of Fishers Road, Boolarra South

Snapper Alana Speir from the 22nd Engineer Regiment sharpens her chainsaw in preparation for clearing fallen timber from Fishers Road, Boolarra South.

An engineer road cleaning team from the 22nd Engineer Regiment cuts up a fallen branch , so it can be removed by the waiting personnel from the side of Fishers Road, Boolarra South.

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KALORAMA CHAOS THE NIGHT THE WORLD CAME CRASHING DOWN Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Natalie Guest


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In just a few terrifying hours, the storm that ripped through Gippsland in June also unleashed its terror through the Dandenongs. Ancient trees were felled like twigs and houses destroyed in minutes. For Natalie Guest’s family, it meant fleeing for their lives, with little more than the clothes on their backs. Kalorama is nestled in the Dandenong Ranges, just 35kms from the city, but feels more like a slice of Gippsland than a suburb of Melbourne. The towering Mountain Ash, the chirp of birdsong and the breathtaking views were more than enough to entice Natalie Guest, her husband Lee and daughter Millie to set up their nest adjacent to the dense forest four years ago. “We just love it, we’re outside all the time, we’re always in the garden or on the deck and it’s just our sanctuary,” said Natalie. Their 3300 square metre haven rests on the side of a hill, right next to national forest. No fences, neighbours worth their weight in gold and a garden that was just beginning to flourish. Natalie, an interior specialist, ran her business Tait Interiors from her slice of paradise. It was the life they’d craved. On June 9, Natalie was aware the wind was due to pick up. There had been general warnings for the state. But nothing she needed to be worried about, she told herself. “We did know it was going to be windy, over 90ks an hour. I heard on TV the night before but wasn’t specific to the Dandenongs. We’ve had warnings before, and not that you get complacent but you just assume it’s never going to get that revolting.” It wasn’t until around 3pm when the house was being belted with rain, that Natalie looked out the window.

“I was actually watching trees drop in the block above us from about three in the afternoon. They were just going over like matchsticks. Just dropping. And I thought, ‘These are massive trees’. I’m talking like 60 plus metre trees – it was just mental. I realised this was something different. This was a different level of ‘Oh, s*#t!’” Natalie’s street group chat was constantly pinging with updated information. Trees down on this road, blocked access in this area. The information was trickling through via social media, and being dispersed through the modern-day bush telegraph. Natalie phoned her husband and told him he’d need to find an alternative route home from work at 4.30pm. It took him an hour to finally walk through the door. “I was pleased he was home, but at the same time I was thinking I really wish we’d left. But when I had that thought, we were cosy at home, we were ok. But there was just something about that afternoon when I saw those trees going that I knew it was going to be a different kind of night.” At that point, the house still had power. But Natalie could see the power lines laying in a puddle in the street having been brought down by wind and trees falling. So the family turned off every appliance. They warmed themselves by the fire and made dinner on the gas stove. They the made a decision that would prove to be potentially life saving. “We made a conscious decision to be downstairs, because we thought if upstairs goes, that’s where we’re safest.” While Lee and Millie tried to get some sleep, Natalie Googled, ‘how to survive a cyclone’. She was terrified. And with good reason. Somewhere around 10.30pm, a monstrous Mountain Ash crashed down onto the house. “It came through and I didn’t know what to do, my first instinct was to run. I went upstairs thinking we could go out the front door, but the front door was in two pieces.

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KALORAMA CHAOS “I woke hubby yelling ‘We’ve got to go, we’ve got to go’. He wanted to look upstairs and I said, ‘No we’ve got to get out.’ It was about an 80 metre tree that came through on the diagonal and cleaned up upstairs.” In their rush to flee the house, the family couldn’t find their pet Cocker Spaniel. She was left behind. “We had to scramble over the head of the tree that had come through from upstairs. It had gone across the house and was on the ground over where we were trying to get through.” Natalie’s neighbours, twins Amy and Clare were yelling out to the family, guiding them to safety.

“We clambered over the head of this tree and hubby just kept yelling at me, ‘Is this a bad dream? Is this real?!’ and I just kept yelling, ‘Just go, just go! The two girls were standing there with torches yelling out, ‘Over here, over here!’” Bruised and scratched the family made it next door. Amy braved the storm to rescue the family’s dog. And that night, they did everything possible to comfort the shocked family. “They took us in, all night they tried to make us as comfortable as possible, there were lots of offers of cups of tea or shots of whisky. Those girls are dynamite they really are our angels. “I can’t even speak about them really without …” Natalie trails off, choking back tears. The next morning, the family saw the full extent of the damage. Natalie’s work vehicle was completely destroyed. Two more trees had cut through the house. And they weren’t the only ones. Dozens of houses were damaged, and roads completely blocked. Amy would eventually be the first to get out and ferry groceries to those who had no way of getting out. The first people who eventually made it to Natalie’s home was a CFA strike team. “We didn’t know what was going on in the outside world to be honest. Whether it was just our street or whether it was the whole mountain or whether it was down in the ‘burbs, we really just didn’t know.” Since the storm, the family has been living in a rental, trying to take in the extent of their ordeal. “Really surreal. That’s probably the best description. Did that really happen? When I went upstairs and saw what had happened, I thought, ‘I don’t know if this can be fixed.’”

According to Natalie’s insurance, it can’t be fixed. It will be some time, possibly years before they’re able to return to their tree change dream. But Natalie’s adamant – they will return.


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gippsland lifestyle spring ����


THE LONG & WINDING ROAD TO RECOVERY Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Doug Pell

In just a matter of hours, the June storm event caused destruction that will stretch far beyond 2021. The wide-reaching devastation left dozens of Gippslanders without a place to live and farmers with properties that will take years to recover.

“On the day before the storm we worked out what equipment we’d need if we needed to open up a relief centre,” Latrobe City Coordinator Health Services and Municipal Recovery Manager Robyn Duffy explained.

But just as quickly as the storm revealed its ruinous path, Gippslanders came to the aid of their own. As with so many natural disasters in the past, help is never far away.

“Essentially, we were trying to avoid opening up a relief centre just because of Covid requirements and restrictions, but pretty much the next day we started having people brought out to us because their houses were flood impacted.”

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund was once again mobilised, launching an appeal within hours of the storm hitting. Even before the full extent of the damage was known, the charity was aware they’d be needed. “The thing that was surprising was the ferocity of the wind damage,” said Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund President Andrew Tegart. “We saw trees falling, significantly older trees. They caused significant impact with two things. We’ve got power outages which everyone experienced, and AusNet reckoned it was the most significant damage they’d had to their distribution system in their history. We then had 45 road closures as the result of both flood and storm damage effect. “And then we had a whole heap of properties whose private access was cut so then people were isolated. They lost often power and communications. As well as then suffering flooding and storm damage. That took a while for that assessment to occur, so that the recovery teams could access those locations to collect information.” The impact was immense. Up until August 7, the GERF Appeal for the Gippsland Floods and Storm event had distributed emergency financial support to 338 families and farmers to the value of $741,000 across five local government areas of Gippsland. Latrobe City and Wellington Shire bore the brunt of the damage. “The recorded losses are around 95 homes impacted by flooding, both farm and residential, and a further 115 damaged from storm and trees. The event resulted in the evacuation of families, land slips, very protracted power outages some 45 road closures from inundation and tree fall and damage, numerous private access roads cut, and wider tree wind throw and damage across the region.” Farmers took a huge hit. More than 90 agricultural buildings, including eight dairies, were lost or damaged. Along with the loss of 60 irrigation pump systems, 528 livestock, 453 hectares of standing crops, 285 tonnes of hay, 5979 hectares of pasture, 1107km of fencing, four farm vehicles, 17 items of farm machinery and five apiaries. Some orchards and fruit crops also sustained damage. The money raised by GERF meant almost immediate financial relief for many of the families, who were still coming to terms with their losses. Thanks to the generosity of other Gippslanders, it was tangible assistance even before government funds started to flow. The GERF response is part of a wider recovery effort, which has included not for profits like the Lions, Red Cross and Blaze Aid as well as a whole of government response through agencies including the SES, DELWP and Bushfire Recovery Victoria. Alongside the work of GERF, Latrobe City activated its emergency relief plan, as dozens of people were displaced with very little warning.


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In the immediate aftermath, Latrobe City, supported by other agencies including the Red Cross and VicPol, helped accommodate around 30 people in temporary accommodation. And the work is continuing. “We’re still doing secondary impact assessments. We’re trying to make sure we don’t miss anyone. So, if anyone calls us and they didn’t realise there was any support, and they were affected we’ll go out to that road to see if it’s an isolated situation. We’ll then try and look at every property in that road and cross that off so we’re not missing anyone.

“There are definitely people out there still who are impacted. Even within the flood areas within Traralgon, some people can’t go into their house because of the damp so they’re waiting for that to be treated or in discussions with their insurance company. They may have to gut parts of the house that have been impacted, so they may be staying with their family." “They may just come in to do work around their house or may have set up a caravan on site. But there’s certainly extensive damage throughout both the flood and storm areas. We’ve got lots of big trees down, lots of fencing that’s been damaged, pastures have been impacted by the amount of rain. So, there’s lots of work still going. So, it’s helping them with the immediate work that has to be done, and we’re looking at the longer-term recovery processes. One to two years after an event that typically could happen.” For GERF, distributing more than half a million dollars in donations also continues. “It’s important to stress that tangible losses are not the whole story,” said Andrew. “Research has indicated a further 50 percent or more arises from the social economic costs and this broad impact is longer lasting for individuals, families, farmers and communities. “Equally these impacts of natural disasters are not even across communities – research has also shown that the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged in our community are worse off following a natural disaster. “GERF is about providing a small helping hand to all impacted community members to restart the journey of recovery.” Donations can be made via Direct Transfer BSB 083 932 A/c No. 740196862, Paypal at www.gerf.org.au or at any at any branch of the NAB across Australia. All donations over $2 are tax deductable.

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Backyard World is a leading SteelChief supplier and custom builder for cubbies, forts and playgrounds, sheds and workshops, decks and pergolas, portable homes, custom man sheds and pet enclosures for Gippsland and the Bass Coast. Headed up by the Director of the Business is a qualified carpenter and registered commercial builder with over thirty years’ experience in the building industry. Backyard World is a family run business, well-equipped to help you with your next backyard project in Gippsland and the Bass Coast




BACKYARD WORLD 4212 Bass Highway, Dalyston VIC 3992 Tel: 0429 667 825 | Em: chantelle.backyardworld@gmail.com www.backyardworld.com.au

ROSEDALE BUTCHERS Local Family Owned Country Butcher

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

Smallgoods made in the premises from ham and bacon to a range of cabanas, plain, garlic, chilli, cheese and chilli. Ready to heat home style meals. Fresh Gippsland fish on Wednesday’s. Maffra and Gippsland cheese, as well as other locally sourced Gippsland products. Call now for your Meat & Smallgoods needs or call us to conveniently place your order 48

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

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

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

OFFICER 421 Princes Highway

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

E: grantville@vansteenseltimbers.com.au | www.vansteenseltimbers.com.au

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Phillip Island 50

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Phillip Island Index 171

ALEX SCOTT AND STAFF - Real estate from the mountains to the sea


GRUMPY’S CRAZY GOLF - The home of Mini Golf on the Island


WILDLIFE COAST CRUISES - From the Island to Wilsons Prom


FLOWERS OF PHILLIP ISLAND - Creating wedding flowers plus more


DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND - Yearning for a natural escape




ISLAND SHOES - Cabello comfort




CARPET COURT - Dream it, Style it, Live it


FINDING THE GRAIN - Handcrafted, reclaimed timber furniture


PHILLIP ISLAND GRAND PRIX - Go Karts and racing fun


BOWENS PHILLIP ISLAND - A proud tradition


IT’S A BIRD LIFE! - Photo feature from Sharon Christopher


PHILLIP ISLAND NATURE PARKS - Calling the Curlews home


BRINNIE T DESIGN - Homewares and design


HEATHER FAHNLE - Mosaic Artist by the bay classes


BLUE GUM GARDEN CENTRE -One stop shop for gardening & landscaping


BRINNIE T DESIGN - Interiors by Brinnie T Design


BOWENS PHILLIP ISLAND - Get tradeperks when you shop with Bowens




OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA - Shining Inside and Out


DAIKIN AIR CONDITIONING - The best air everywhere


PHILLIP ISLAND RSL - A family friendly modern venue, great food


NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERANS MUSEUM - Come and see for yourself!


HEATHER FAHNLE - Nurtering creative minds




NEWHAVEN COLLEGE - Enrol now for 2022& beyond


HAYMES PAINTS - Servicing Cowes, Wonthaggi and Leongatha

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Open 7 Days a week

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



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Flowers of Phillip Island has a history of creating wedding flowers for the most discerning couples for over 30 years With so many designs to choose from, it may initially appear daunting but be assured, our qualified and experienced wedding florists will guide you from button holes to bouquets giving you the confidence that your flowers will be a lasting memory of your wedding day. To cope with the never ending changes within the wedding industry, we have created a superstore – four times larger than the original that has a "wow" factor inside and out for you to feel excited when we meet you. It’s packed with a stunning array of body products, plants, flowers and gifts –so much to see and experience.

In addition to assisting with your floral needs, we can help with venue set up and styling – we pride ourselves on our local venue knowledge. Please contact us to make a personal no obligation consultation on (03) 5952 2235

Servicing Phillip Island, San Remo, Bass and welcome Gippsland bridal enquiries.

Weddings, Events & for all your Special Occasions

Shop 1/96 Thompson Avenue, Cowes Phone: 03 5952 2235 | Email: info@flowersofphillipisland.com.au Instagram: flowersofphillipisland

Facebook: flowersofphillipisland

Web: www.flowersofphillipisland.com.au Photography by Nick Skinner Weddings


school holiday fun

dining out



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NATURAL ESCAPE little penguins

WE ALL NEED A BREAK, AND WHAT BETTER TIME TO LEAVE WINTER BEHIND, AND UNWIND, RECHARGE AND RECONNECT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY AT PHILLIP ISLAND. Over the bridge and a world away, Phillip Island is a place to escape the every day, be playful and explore. It offers the freedom to have fun and be curious, to plan an adventure then be steered off course, to be swept up in the unknown and by the beauty of nature. It's a place of welcoming locals, exciting attractions, captivating wildlife encounters, great food and award-winning wine and locally brewed beer. With 360° of coastline, the Island offers endless opportunities to admire some of Victoria's most stunning scenery and wildlife. From coastal walks, scenic bike trails and kayak tours, immerse yourself in what makes Phillip Island Victoria's Island sanctuary. For families and groups, the adventure attractions are endless. Get lost in a maze, race for first position at the go-karts, see how chocolate gets made, take a jet boat tour and see Australia's largest fur seal colony up close and personal on a cruise.

local produce

WITH SO MUCH ON OFFER, YOU CAN DO IT ALL OR DO NOTHING AT ALL. To completely immerse yourself in the relaxed vibe of Phillip Island, it's best to stay a few days in one of the Island's many boutique accommodation options. There is something for everyone from B&Bs, self-contained apartments, waterfront cabins and camping sites to farm stays, holiday homes, and cosy motels.


Little Penguins - breeding season egg-laying and chicks hatching Local Produce - Grab your picnic basket and stock up on a range of local produce, including cheeses, chocolate, strawberries, meats, seafood, wine and beers Walks - Enjoying the lush green landscapes and blooming natives on coastal and bush hikes Dining Out - Taste great local flavours and soak the spring sunshine at one of the many Cafes and Restaurants on Phillip Island and San Remo School Holiday Fun - Round up the family and enjoy making good memories at the diverse range of attractions Phillip Island offers Nightlife - Sip on a cold beer, a fragrant glass of wine or a funky cocktail at one of Phillip Island's bars or pubs.

For inspiration for your next weekend away, mid-week getaway or week-long holiday visitphillipisland.com.au gippsland lifestyle spring ����


SPRINT INTO AN ACTION PACKED SPRING AT PHILLIP ISLAND CALLING ALL ACTION ENTHUSIASTS! Visitors to Phillip Island can enjoy an adrenaline rush with a Phillip Island Helicopter flight, get onboard with Ocean Adventures jet boat cruise and a race around the Phillip Island Circuit’s scale replica go-kart track. Visit the History of Motorsport at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and enjoy lunch at the Champions café. Take in the island’s rugged coastline and spectacular views along one of the many coastal walks, including Pyramid Rock and the walk out to the remnants of the SS Speke shipwreck at low tide on the Kitty Miller Bay Walk. After a day out, quench your thirst with a cold beer at Ocean Reach Brewing’s Taphouse, or Phillip Island Brewing Co.at Rusty Waters. Check out Pinos Trattoria, Isola di Capri, Hotel Phillip Island, and Saltwater Phillip Island for a bite to eat and a buzzing atmosphere. For nightlife entertainment, soak up the atmosphere at North Pier Hotel, Westernport Hotel and San Remo Hotel. Or enjoy the vibe at speciality bars Grenache and Cohibar in Cowes.

SPRINGTIME – WHAT’S ON START PLANNING FOR SEPTEMBER SCHOOL HOLIDAYS *Sep 18 – Oct 3 MELBOURNE FOOD AND WINE REGIONAL EDITION *Nov 13 – 21 PHILLIP ISLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL *Nov 20 – 21 ISLAND MAGIC *Nov 27 – 28 Of course you need to keep an eye on the events calendar in this ever changing environment. Start planning now and check out our calendar www.visitphillipisland.com.au


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...Springtime on Phillip Island!

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south coast furnishings



All your interior needs with coastal themes. Flooring and window coverings, plus ...       

Beds Sofas Dining suites Over 70 rugs to choose from Cushions Lamps Manchester and Linen

Give your home its own personal touch and decorate with style, pick up a unique rug, lamp or cushion to finish the look. We custom make a wide range of window coverings to suit any style of home or commercial building for both indoor and outdoor applications. We make it easy for you as our experience and local service is readily available not to mention our prices are extremely competitive.

155 Thompson Ave, Cowes 3922 T: 03 5952 1488 E: tania@southcoastfurnishings.com.au | W: southcoastfurnishings.com.au



Great European Brands, Exceptional Quality & Brilliant Customer Service

EG17 Colour Range Ask in store for available colour

134 - 138 Thompson Avenue, Cowes 3922 | Phone: 03 5952 2515 Follow us on Facebook @islandshoesphillipisland 58

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

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

Mark Davis 0418 355 148 | 40 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven VIC 3925 www.findingthegrain.com.au

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A proud tradition at Bowens Phillip Island Words by Anita Butterworth


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A fourth-generation, family-owned Australian business, Bowens is where builders, trades and renovators have sourced their supplies for well over a century. And Bowens Phillip Island has carried on the proud tradition in regional Victoria for the past 13 years. An Australian market leader in supplying the largest variety of quality timber and building supplies, Bowens’ extensive range is what keeps customers coming back, time after time.

“Bowens is a family-owned company that has been trading and helping Australians build better for 126 years, we are proudly owned and run by the Bowens family with John Bowen as our current managing director,” said Bowens Phillip Island Branch Manager Warwick Weir. “When Bowens purchased the business here on Phillip Island in 2008, they saw a chance to expand into our regional area and they have not looked back since.” Throughout its long history, Bowens has evolved along with the evolution of construction and building in Australia. Along with it, has come a hunger to source and supply the best the nation has to offer. “Bowens are traditionally timber merchants who have evolved over the last 126 years into a one stop shop for both trade and retail customers. We have Account Managers on the road who go and see our customers onsite and make sure they have everything they need and are happy with their overall experience when they deal with Bowens. “These Account Managers are industry trained so they can offer the best advice in the industry. We deliver direct to site, and we are also open for pick-ups in the branch. We are extremely good at finding products which you are not able to source elsewhere. In fact, I would say special orders are one of our specialities. With 126 years of industry experience and relationships we have grown with our suppliers there isn’t a lot we can’t source for you.” In store, the range of timber and hardware is vast, with everything an experienced trade person needs, as well as a weekend DIYer. And the inside tip is, head to Bowens Phillip Island on Friday morning for some old-fashioned Island hospitality. “With so much on offer I find it hard to single anything out and would just say come in and see what we have and if we don’t have it, we can order it in for you. Might be best if you can roll out of bed early on Friday morning and come in as we do a free tradie breakfast (open to everyone) so come in and grab a bacon and egg roll and have a look.” As if that isn’t enough to entice customers to the store, there’s now another reason to make Bowens Phillip Island your go-to for timber and hardware. “Along with great service, well trained and friendly staff and a great range, Bowens has just launched our Bowens Benefits which is available to both 30day account holders and to Cash Account holders. We offer 5% discount on most items, VIP access into the Bowens Showroom, first to know about promotions, invitations to trade events and workshops and subscription to the Builder Bulletin.” At the heart of Bowens Phillip Island is the staff, with their vast knowledge and incredible work ethic. “We have a lot of long-term local staff members here that love helping everyone that walks through our doors. Our staff here at Phillip Island are the real reason the branch has been so successful and all of them need a huge pat on the back for their tireless efforts to help achieve the best outcome for each and every customer.” It's one of the reasons that Bowens Phillip Island enjoys a loyal customer base, who happily return regularly. “After working across five Bowens locations it was amazing to come to Phillip Island and meet the customer base. I can honestly say that in my eyes this is one of the best customer bases I have ever worked with. “A lot of long term, loyal customers who really enjoy the personal service offered by our staff and just a great bunch of guys and girls. We enjoy seeing every one of them in the branch whether it is just quickly dropping in to grab some material or if it is more of a social stop to have a chat about the weekend, who won/lost in the footy or telling some jokes. it is always a good vibe in the store which I’m sure keeps them coming back.”

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Sharon Christopher is a retired school teacher, who last taught at Wonthaggi Secondary College for 23 years of her 36 year career in education. Sharon has lived at Phillip Island for the past 25 years after growing up in the bayside suburb of Cheltenham. Armed with her camera and no tripod, Sharon likes nothing more than photographing nature and particularly the vast array of bird life on the Island that presents itself. This is Sharon’s first selection of the birds of Phillip Island and she hopes that this will inspire others to pick up a camera and capture their unique photos.

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Calling The Curlews Home


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Phillip Island Nature Parks is committed to playing a lead role in the conservation of threatened species for Victoria and Australia and is delighted to welcome two young Bush Stone-curlew birds to the Koala Conservation Reserve this month. The birds were raised at Moonlit Sanctuary in Tyabb as part of the national captive breeding program for this threatened species. After an initial settling-in period behind the scenes, they will be moved to a pre-release aviary within the woodland so that visitors and the community can get to know these unique birds. “Now that Phillip Island (Millowl) is fox-free, we are delighted to be working towards the successful establishment of a self-sustaining population of Bush Stone-curlew (BSC) with the relevant approvals and support of the local community,” said Thomas Nixon, Phillip Island Nature Parks Threatened Species Officer.

“The ultimate goal is for these two birds to be part of a future wild BSC release as we re-introduce them to the island, and I am excited for the community to meet them and learn about their plight. This will allow people to connect with their story of near extinction and learn how they can act to protect Bush stone-curlews and other wildlife species on Phillip Island (Millowl).” BSC are listed as critically endangered in Victoria and were last recorded on Phillip Island in the 1970s. Volunteer Youth Wildlife Ambassadors will champion this program and local schools will be involved throughout the project. The Nature Parks Threatened Species Plan was developed using Structured Decision Making (SDM) as a framework for making logical and transparent decisions about which species to reintroduce to Phillip Island. “Our team worked closely with Island stakeholders and experts to prioritise a list of threatened species suitable for translocation, we want to continue to involve the community every step of the way.” BSC eat mostly insects and other invertebrates, do not dig or burrow, and have no known negative impact on agriculture, farming or infrastructure. They have been successfully translocated into other areas in eastern Australia in the past, and the Nature Parks will continue to play a lead role in collaborating with other organisations to provide this species with its greatest opportunity of surviving the threat of imminent extinction. This project is thanks to the work of a dedicated team of Nature Parks staff and volunteers, in partnership with the Penguin Foundation, and in collaboration with Nature Conservation Working Group, Moonlit Sanctuary, Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). The Nature Parks respectfully acknowledges the support and traditional ecological knowledge of the Traditional Owners, the Bunurong Land Council, in this project.

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Heather Fahnle mosaic & ceramics artist Art therapy Workshops-group or personal

Phone or Email Heather for Bookings

e: heather@fahnle.com.au |

p: 0417 562 625 |

bookings required Commissions available Do yourself a favour & give it a try! Mosaics By The Bay



Colour Consultancy | Floor Plan Layout | Bathroom, Kitchen, Laundry Design | Renovations Wallpaper & Fabric Selection | Custom Upholstery & Framing Accessible Design | Homewares & Gifts

Open 9.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday | 10.00am to 2.00pm Saturday or by appointment

Shop 6, 34-38 Thompson Avenue, Cowes Vic 3922 P: 03 5952 6110

@brinnietdesign 66

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

886 Phillip island Road, Newhaven, Vic, 3922

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

92 Dunsmore Road, Cowes, Vic, 3922


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Words supplied | Photos by Jason Froome

Jo Viney is the Principal for an interior design business bringing a new sense of flair to the island community. In opening her studio on Thompson Avenue last year, Jo made the decision to bring with her a range of homewares and gifts to delight the senses and to create a feeling of beauty and peace – a literal exhalation from the world outside.

“Times are changing” says Jo – “especially now with the impact that Covid-19 has had on the lives of all of us. We are re-assessing how we live now that we are not able to run from dropping children to school, dashing to work, after school activities, social commitments and fitting in household chores amongst it all. So far we in Victoria have had over 200 days in lockdown and this has meant working from home, remote learning, only leaving home for the 5 reasons. As we have spent more time at home, the way we live and function at home has become far more important than it has in generations.” Home renovations over the last 18 months have skyrocketed across the board especially in regional areas such as Phillip Island where the dynamics of our communities are also changing as many people are making the move from the city, either buying homes or reclaiming their holiday/weekend homes and making them their permanent family home. In making the move, people are looking for a “fresh start” in their aesthetics and many are now looking more closely at how they relate personally with different styles and colours. This is a fabulous opportunity to work with individuals to explore their relationship with colour and perhaps express more boldness than they would have had previously. This is where I come in. I’m working with clients at the moment who have found that they have been struggling to connect with home or the functionality of their spaces/ is not conducive to balancing work, remote learning and relaxation in multifunctional spaces. Psychologically, it can be hard for the brain to switch between work/school and relaxation in the same space. Unconsciously, we have a need to know how to function or relate to a space and when that space has multiple functions, it can be hard to adjust. In studio, we have a wide range of samples from wallpapers and fabrics to handles and cabinetry/stone selections and work in conjunction with local businesses to provide a full service approach for our clients. We can create a customised design package based on your individual needs. The curated selection of homewares and gifts generally all have a message behind them, most with a strong focus on supporting women in business with both Australian and international female designers. Community fair trade, sustainability and ethically produced, products made with reclaimed/recycled waste also feature in her studio. Brinnie T Design has been awarded Best of Houzz (Service) for the last 5 consecutive years and is currently a finalist in the Gippsland Business Awards.

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It is with great excitement that we have recently moved into our new rooms and outside spaces. We can now enjoy our spectacular outdoor kitchen, the sensory gardens, our discovery centre (library) with its own amphitheatre and new playgrounds. We have such a wonderful space to work with and the final product is certainly a winner with eight classrooms, new inside and outside student kitchens, an extended staffroom, four playgrounds, a synthetic oval with three running tracks, the flexible library/discovery centre, entrance façade and natural gardens and grounds. Our students have been involved with the planting of the new vegetation and are very proud of their efforts as they have worked with the landscape




gardener and our science teacher to learn about the importance of being environmentally aware and their role in looking after our world. As sustainability is part of our philosophy, we have solar panels and water tanks installed as part of Stage Two of our master plan. The size of our school lends itself to a close knit and inclusive family style atmosphere. Our learning spaces are designed to allow the students to learn both inside and outside and always have bright, stimulating outllooks. We welcome enquiries and tours as “Open Day” is every day for our school community. All denominations are welcome.

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


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








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

Len Curd and Peter Stainthorpe, Vietnam Veterans, served and trained together in the 106 Field Battery 1966-1968. Peter was a National Serviceman and Len was a Regular Soldier.

Chris manages the Nui Dat café, providing coffee, light meals, sweet and savoury snacks to volunteers, groups and individual guests of the Museum. Pictured here with Julie on the left who is on staff.


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National Vietnam Veterans Museum Phillip Island 25 Veterans Drive Newhaven Phillip Island (behind the helipad) Phone: 03 5956 6400 www.vietnamvetsmuseum.org National Vietnam Vets Museum @nvvmuseum Open Daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm

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With blue-tongue lizards roaming about, wild birds soaring above and the most majestic views of the sun setting over Westernport Bay, it’s easy to see why Heather Fahnle’s home has become a creative haven for artistic minds. The award-winning ceramic and mosaic artist, together with her partner Manfred, built their dream house in Ventnor in 1995 and moved from Melbourne to the Phillip Island home permanently in 2007. The magnificent design was inspired by famous architect Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in France and boasts a stunning rooftop garden that even the nation’s top landscapers would be envious of. The serene property has generated a lot of creativity from everyone who steps foot on it. Working as a part-time penguin ranger at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Heather said she was blessed to be able to create art in her home studio during the day and watch penguins cross the beach to their burrows in the evening. She draws on the raw beauty of her surroundings when creating her stunning works. Heather’s love of nature and wildlife stems from her childhood, where she was brought up on a farm. It was then that she also developed a lot of the arts- mosaic and ceramics in particular. “I was always fascinated by mosaic work- small pieces of ceramics telling a story,” Heather said. “I think I have a very curious nature and I love reading; therefore, I love stories.” Heather studied nursing when she finished highschool, then opened a nursery and florist shop, but she eventually followed her passion and began studies in mosaic and ceramic art.


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When Heather and Manfred moved to Ventnor, Heather brought her dream to life and created the business Mosaics By The Bay, where people can view and purchase her work, as well as attend workshops and art therapy. Anyone can attend the workshop, regardless of experience and skill.

“I love nurturing people’s creative side,” Heather said. “I love watching students start with the same blank canvas and create such different mosaics. With my ceramic background I can make handmade tiles and have found a different style to mainstream mosaic art. After years of offering workshops, I decided to offer half day classes as well.” The classes attracted people who were not only looking to further their own creative skills, but who were wanting to be part of a unique and welcoming community where stories are shared and heard in a safe environment. As community interest grew, the studio needed to as well. Fortunately, Manfred is a builder and helped create the perfect building at the front of their home. The studio itself tells a story, with original works of art, an array of books and special trinkets adorning the walls and shelves, helping to encourage creative minds. Also unique to the property is an AirBnB called The Secret Penguin Garden, which gives visitors to Phillip Island and those attending Heather’s workshops an inviting place to stay nearby.


With the tranquil rooftop garden, abundance of Australian wildlife, and great ocean views, it’s easy to see why people are drawn to Mosaics By The Bay. Heather said that when the pandemic hit and restrictions followed, people missed having their weekly catchups and creative outlet.

“With the lockdowns, we have had to stop classes then start up again, so it’s been a challenge, but my classes have become the highlight of people's week,” Heather said. “Everyone that comes to these classes brings a talent for creating unique mosaics and we have had some amazing stories emerge through their work.” Heather now splits her time between working on private and public commissions, making her own masterpieces and teaching others. “I really love teaching in my mosaic classes. Sharing knowledge is one of the most generous things you can do,” Heather said. “ I learn each day more about art and I hope to live long enough to finish all the many ideas I have in my head. I love the curves of nature , the sun shining on the water, the textures in the sand from the tides washing ashore daily. I see the world as a very beautiful place. Covid has made us really appreciate where we live and I feel very blessed to live on this very special island.” For more information visit Mosaics By The Bay on Facebook or check out www.heatherfahnle.com An array of beautiful creations, as well as gift vouchers are available for purchase through the website. You can also contact Heather by phone on 0417 562 625 or by email at heather@fahnle.com.au

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REFRIGERATION & AIR-CONDITIONING A Bass Coast and South Gippsland success story Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Doug Pell When Rick and Deb North made the decision to start their own company 12 years ago, they bought with them a wealth of knowledge and the passion to give the Bass Coast and South Gippsland communities the best service possible. Back in 2009, the couple found themselves searching for the next challenge. After being a partner in a successful local successful business, Rick decided it was time to branch out on his own and put his 30 years of trade experience to good use. So was born Coastal Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning. “We pride ourselves on that being the best decision for our family and have not looked back,” explained Coastal Refrigeration and AirConditioning director Deb North. “We’ve grown a successful business for ourselves, Bass Coast and in particular the Phillip Island and San Remo area has been an amazingly supportive community to raise a family and run our business.” Coastal Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning employs fully licensed and accredited refrigeration and air conditioning technicians, with a combined experience of many decades in the trade and 20 years servicing the Phillip Island and Bass Coast Area. They pride themselves on helping customers cut through the confusion when choosing the right system. Underpinning the company’s ethos is the dedicated one-on-one service. Customers get the benefit of the knowledge and expertise of fully qualified technicians who, through home visits, can help you make right choice. From a single split, multi split or ducted unit, it’s all about providing the right solution. “We offer professional residential and commercial heating and cooling options and pride ourselves on our commercial refrigeration services and sales,” says Deb. “We are a specialised Daikin dealer with significant knowledge and expert Daikin experience, sales installation and service.

We are also service agents for most major brands of heating and cooling systems. And we offer a 24 hour commercial breakdown service that has proven to be very successful.” At the core of the Coastal Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning success story is a staff with vast amounts of knowledge and experience.

“We have fully qualified refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians, apprentices and qualified heating and cooling installers as well as two office staff. Our staff are a big part of our success, and we appreciate this immensely. The company was built with their hard work and dedication.” Testament to the contribution that Coastal Refrigeration and AirConditioning has made to the local community are the loyal customers, who continue returning year after year. “We have a large client base and a lot of these businesses have been with us from the beginning and are the reason we do what we do. In commercial and residential our clients are our priority and continue to support us. We gain work mostly via local recommendations.” Coastal Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning are the experts when it comes to residential home heating and cooling, as well as commercial heating and cooling needs and commercial refrigeration. And just as they have done since 2009, they continue to provide the very best service for the Bass Coast and South Gippsland region. “The main reason for our success is our hard work and dedication and commitment to quality work.”

From the left: Owner – Rick North, Daniel Boer, Daniel Bettles, Jacob Mogford, Nick Duyka, Ben Pugh, Rory Clark and Brady Owens


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Owner Rick North outside Coastal Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning premises

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


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


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


SAN REMO COMMUNITY LIBRARY discover your library on demand

Phillip Island Library is closing its doors on Friday 10th September 2021 at 6pm, to make way for the redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural Centre and the building of the new library facilities. During the development, Phillip Island library members will have a new Click & Collect and returns location in Cowes (site yet to be confirmed) and just a short drive away, the San Remo Community Library will extend its opening hours. Home Delivery via AusPost will be available for members who can’t visit San Remo Community Library or the new Click & Collect location in Cowes. The first thing that everyone notices about the San Remo Community Library when they walk through the door is just how bright, airy and cheerful a place it is. Library Officer Michael Whelan, a regular and helpful presence in the new library, says, ‘what a joy it is to come to work when the patrons are so pleased to see us just for being there.’ Mick added that he has found Tuesday afternoons a ‘bustle of energy’ and that ‘we are welcoming both old and new members at the new library.’ From Tuesday 21st September, the San Remo Community Library will extend its opening hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Monday 4th October, 2021 the San Remo Community Library will be open Mondays to Thursdays 9.30am-6pm, Fridays 9.30am-1pm; 2pm6pm and Saturdays 9.30am-1pm until the new library opens in Cowes. The library has also had community use outside of its opening hours. It has hosted a Maternal Child Health new parents' information session, with another scheduled, and supporting other early years events like kinder registration session with BCH. Staff also hope to conduct regular library visits to San Remo kinder and there are plans for more events and groups to be happening in the coming months.

The Waterline Library Service has just taken another step in its continuing journey in and around the Waterline Community, with a hugely popular Book Talk and Chat Session at the Community Library in the Grantville Transaction Centre. The session, led by Waterline Library team members Jenny and Sabine, allowed everyone to have a good chat about what they were currently reading, and included a very nice morning tea. ‘It went really well,’ said Jenny. ‘Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and being in a library we can reserve and loan out books as people become interested in them!’ The Waterline residents who were there for the Saturday morning event seemed to agree. Kathy Hopkins said that, ‘It was really great, and I borrowed a whole lot of books.’ She then added that, ‘I hope we can keep it going.’ And fellow Waterline resident Margaret Boyer, who was similarly pleased with the event, said that everyone who was there was keen for the group to continue. Margaret added that, ‘The librarians were very helpful and provided us with a most enjoyable morning tea.’ Kathy and Margaret will be pleased to hear that the plan is for the Book and Chat session to become a regular Saturday morning event, alongside some other great events. These events will include a writing workshop, a singing session, and a baby play date, and they will all include plenty of opportunity for a good chat and tea and biscuits.

Read | Listen | Watch | Learn | Play 82

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WATERLINE COMMUNITY LIBRARY transaction centre now open

The Waterline Community Library, based in the Grantville Transaction Centre, is open for library members to come in, browse and borrow items whenever the Transaction Centre is open during the week and on weekdays there are library staff also present on Tuesdays (3.00 PM – 6.00 PM) and Thursdays (10.00 AM – 1.00 PM) for those who prefer not to use the self-service option. The library is also open, and is staffed, on Saturday mornings (10.00 AM – 12.00 PM). Also, during normal opening hours, anyone who wishes to talk to the library service about any library related matters can telephone 03-5672 1875, and ask to speak to a Waterline team member. For more information visit wgrlc.vic.gov.au or ph 5622 2849.

Working with the COVID-19 restrictions, the Waterline team plan to look at holding regular story-time program. They will also contact local schools and childcare centres to talk about organising some story-time visits. And they are hoping to hold some “grown-up” events in the months ahead on topics to be decided upon. Any community members who have an interesting idea for an event should talk to Jenny or Sabine, at the Waterline Community Library. Also, acknowledging that the Waterline area is a large and varied area, the team want to remind everyone that there are pick up points for items ordered from the catalogue at the Corinella General Store and the Coronet Bay General Store, both of which are similarly important parts of their communities.

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Set in Jindivick’s rolling green hills discover an acre of recycled metal sculptures and browse the gallery space hosting the work of contemporary artists and Laurie’s small stories sculptures. Call in anytime, no cost and see the studio (amongst the metal chaos!)



In September we have Bruce Langdon, “Rocks and Water” exhibition. (information on website)


Is Yvette Stubbs and her exhibition Retrospective.


Russ & Carol Monson Photographs windows on the world.

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

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


The Covid-19 outbreak produced many hardships, but it also spawned some invaluable resources. Heartfelt Presence is one such initiative. Heartfelt Presence is a free 24/7 Coaching Zoom Room where you are warmly welcomed, given space to express what you're going through without judgment, and learn about a powerful but simple understanding of the mind that has profoundly transformed many lives around the world. And as it’s absolutely free, you have nothing to lose! The coaches are from all around the world and volunteer their time so that participants can speak with a live person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via Zoom. They're not operating as therapists or psychologists, rather, the coaches listen and share from their own experience. Although Heartfelt Presence is not a crisis service, a list of resources for those in crisis is provided on our website. Please join us at HeartfeltPresence.org For questions contact Hilda Rhodes rhodesh@bigpond.net.au



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

The home of outdoor living

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













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

Boating with

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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SPREADING GOOD NEWS Vanita Haley recalls the day an email popped up in her inbox seven years ago. The mum-of-five had been wanting to get back into the workforce, and the message delivered some exciting news- the Drouin Newsagency and Tatts was for sale. “The business was close to home and it had a great reputation, being owned and operated by the same family for 40 years,” Vanita said. “So (my husband Mark) and I checked it out and before we knew it, we had made an offer and it was accepted straight away.” The Nilma couple haven’t looked back since. Whilst raising five kids and juggling their sporting events and weekend activities, Vanita and Mark managed to make the business a roaring success with a revolving door of new and loyal customers. “Drouin would have to be one of the loveliest places on earth for friendly country people,” Vanita said. “The town is really bustling with people and businesses, and it has grown substantially in the seven years we have been here. We have been lucky to have so many regular customers that have become a part of our lives. There is always great banter, jokes galore and great support too. We always look forward to seeing them.


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It is really a fantastic part of owning a business- something we didn’t expect when we bought it.” Since purchasing the business, Mark and Venita undertook major renovations to better utilise the space to greet their customers and display popular products. They have become a deposit place for Ladbrokes, a pick-up point for parcels and were also one of the first businesses to go Digi-Pos for Tatts Lotto. And, in staying with the ever-changing digital world, they created their own Facebook and Instagram pages to keep in touch with locals. The impressive changes created such a ‘wow’ factor that they won the title of Lottery Agent of the Year in VANA as well as Victorian Newsagent of the Year in 2016. They were also nominated for the Australian Newsagent of the Year and were a finalist. “No other newsagencies have ever won these two awards in the same year! It was fantastic and really not expected,” Vanita said. “It was something we weren’t trying to do, but it was so amazing that all our efforts and gamble of changing the shop paid off. It was awesome to be put into the same category as other great newsagents who had been in business for years.”



Besides offering a welcoming space with friendly staff, customers are drawn into the newsagency because of their wide range of quality products including giftware, stationary, TattsLotto, magazines and greeting cards. In fact, the shop boasts the biggest selection of greeting cards in Gippsland and j recently won the Greeting Shop of the Year -John Sands 2020-2021. Vanita said she was thrilled to be surrounded with such great staff, customers, and suppliers to make her work so enjoyable. “We really love our business, no day is the same,” she said.

“We are really lucky to have so much support from the community. We do everything we can to make it a great experience when someone comes in. We know that some people might not have any other interaction with anyone else that day, so we do really want to make them smile.” For more information, visit Drouin Newsagency and Tatts on Facebook or call 5625 1614.

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Challenges & change



Jindivick’s Jindi Caf situated in the heart of Gippsland dairy country, is known for its old- fashioned food and charm. The small business however, has faced various challenges over many months including Covid lockdowns, the threat of closure, moving and being effected by local flooding, yet it has survived and thrived.

Then on the Monday we had to lockdown and we survived it by providing for the needs of the community and selling takeaway food and drinks. Sadly, I had to cut back on staff but Julia was still here and was able to come back to work and Tara started a little while after she lost her job (due to Covid) in Melbourne.”

Proprietors, Sue Goodwin and her husband Bryan initially purchased the café/restaurant business in 2013 while operating the town’s general store alongside it. Unfortunately the store struggled to make money and eventually had to close. To compensate, the couple opened the café seven days a week and provided bottled gas, postal services, papers, milk, bread, drinks and lollies for the Jindivick community.

Sue said not long afterwards their landlords decided to sell the property. “The new owners wanted to convert the building back into a house, so we had to find another home and in a small country town like Jindivick there weren’t really any options.” Fortunately, directors of Atticus Health, who had purchased the Old Jacks Restaurant, The Barn and the old nursery for their business, agreed to let them lease The Barn. “We would have had to permanently close the doors otherwise so we were lucky. The doctors, and I think many people since Covid understand how important it is in small towns like this to have a community base.”

The venture was, and still is very much a family affair with Sue at the helm, which creates an atmosphere that is warm, casual, friendly and energetic. The couple have four adult children who have all worked in the café at different times. Julia, their youngest, continued to work full-time while the others moved on to other careers. The business thrived for several years until it faced the first Victorian lock down. “Two days before it, our eldest daughter was married in a paddock because, due to Covid, we couldn’t use the community hall,” Sue said. ”Although we had to quickly compromise on many things, it was still a nice wedding.


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She said they moved the business to the new premises during the second Covid lockdown. “We stopped serving and closed the doors of the old café at 2 o’clock on Sunday, August 31st. Then local farmers, residents, family and friends brought up tractors with buckets and forks, and utes and trailers to help us move. We managed to get everything we needed into the new premises by 5.30 and then it poured with rain.

for the Jindi Caf

Words & Images by Wendy Morriss



“The local support has been fantastic and when we reopened for dining our customers from over the metro border came back again as well.”

The business still provides bottled gas, postal services, papers, milk, bread and drinks for the Jindivick community and the community noticeboard.

The new venue has plenty of parking and plenty of room for buses. The kitchen and work area is larger and they have outdoor table space front and back with picturesque rural views. They transferred the BYO licence from the old premises and are currently working on getting a full licence. As they were bringing in more staff and preparing to operate with full capacity again with the lifting of restrictions, they were faced with another challenge when the Victorian storm came through flooding the local tourist areas and local roads. “We would normally have a lot of tourists coming through that head on through Neerim South to Noojee and Mt Baw Baw but several local roads are still closed and tourist attractions along the way are also closed for the clean-up.” She said all their meals were takeaway during lockdown and they adapted the menu. “We are still only allowed to have limited seating so we aren’t open for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights yet, but we still offer takeaway meals. If we are booked out on a Sunday people can still order a takeaway roast.”

“We keep the local Jindivick newsletter and sell a few products for local producers and traders. It includes free-range eggs and chutneys that we also use in our cooking, and fresh organic flowers. We stock Gippsland Jersey Milk and we source all our meat from Jindi Pig Butchers, so it’s mostly locally produced.” Regardless of the recent challenges, the Jindi Caf is still a strong family business. Sue, Julia and Tara work in the café and Sue has employed two local casuals. Her son Michael works a few days a week and her father and her husband Bryan help out as well, while her mother has now retired. Sue is very passionate about the business and loves her customers. “The customers are absolutely beautiful and they have been very supportive. We have bike clubs, garden groups, senior citizens, all sorts as well as all the locals. Over the years we’ve been able to watch their kids grow up and get older and it’s just a lovely community.”

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

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


Corner of Smith Street & Michael Place, Leongatha




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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During the COVID restriction period we are offering TAKE AWAY MENUS. Please visit our Facebook @BrentSinclairCatering for weekly changing menus and specials. When looking for a superior culinary experience from an intimate gathering to a lavish banquet choose Brent Sinclair Catering. Relax and have the Brent Sinclair Catering team handle all the details and tailor any menu to perfectly suit your event. Call Brent Sinclair on 0447 728 547 146 McCartin Street, Leongatha, Vic 3953 E: brent@brentsinclaircatering.com.au www.brentsinclaircatering.com.au


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

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

Melaleuca Nursery has been supplying quality indigenous and native plants for over 30 years. Whether it’s a few plants for the backyard or thousands for a revegetation project, we have a wide range of plants suitable for your area. WHOLESALE ENQUIRIES WELCOME

03 5674 1014 |

info@melaleucanursery.com.au |

50 Pearsalls Road, Inverloch Vic 3996


Find us on facebook @MelaleucaNurseryInverloch gippsland lifestyle spring ����


A unique wonderland words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Doug Pell


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It’s a mecca for garden lovers and unique gift-seekers, and now that spring has sprung, Grow Master Traralgon is positively blooming. An award-winning Garden Centre at a National Level, at the helm of the much-loved store are Craig and Debbie Goodman, who continue to steer the business from strength to strength. Despite the Covid-era uncertainty, the couple is still sourcing rare plants and uncommon gifts and home wares, for a community that’s supported them for more than 35 years. Formerly known as Van Berkels Nursery, the business was founded by Len Van Berkel in 1964. Brothers Arch and Henny later purchasing it from their father. Craig Goodman graduated from a three-year Tertiary Education in Horticulture, at Burnley Horticulture College and in 1983 was employed as manager of the Garden Centre, before purchasing the business in 1986.

Owner Craig Goodman

In 1993 Van Berkels Nursery joined the Grow Master Nurseries Group, with Craig becoming one of the seven original founders. The nursery changed its name to Grow Master Traralgon in 2000 and since then, it’s grown and flourished; with the home wares and garden décor given just as much weight as the plants and landscaping. From fruit trees to flowers, natives to new varieties, indoor and outdoor – the plant range is vast. Coupled with a huge array of home and garden décor, an exquisitely styled showroom and lovingly tended garden displays filled with birdsong, Grow Master Traralgon is somewhere to lose yourself on a glorious spring day.

Angela with owner Deb Goodman

Many customers come with the intention of buying outdoor plants, but before they step foot outside, they find themselves browsing and purchasing in the shop. The range of exclusive products is carefully selected, to include quality items that are different and unique.

Grow Master Traralgon is renowned for its huge range and customers are assured they’ll find something different. Craig travels all around Australia sourcing plants and stock and their customer base covers all ages, travelling from afar and interstate. In the latter part of the year, Grow Master becomes a Christmas wonderland, with a famous display of incredible décor, decorations and stunning, soaring Christmas trees. It brings the Christmas spirit alive for all ages. From grandparents to children, Grow Master Traralgon is the place to find every piece of Christmas shopping. Grow Master Traralgon’s beautiful candle and fragrance range ‘Scarlet and Grace’ is sourced from Gippsland. There are also cards that are designed and hand painted by one of the staff and printed in Traralgon. It’s just part of the large selection of Australianmade products stocked at the store. And it’s not just the store itself that’s a draw card, but the expert advice from staff. They have qualified Horticulturists at hand, with over 100 years’ combined experience. When people come in, they know that they’re going to get the right advice, thanks to the dedicated, knowledgeable staff, who are enthusiastic avid gardeners. In December 2012, Grow Master Traralgon was razed to the ground in a blaze that shocked the Latrobe Valley community. Much like the Australian bush blooms beautifully after fire, Grow Master Traralgon has continued to grow since its triumphant reopening in 2013. At the core of its success is the community that returns time after time. Grow Master Traralgon prides itself with attention to design and innovation of garden concepts, and providing quality, dependable and reputable garden products and supplies.

Grow Master Traralgon − ‘A must-visit all year round’ gippsland lifestyle spring ����


BURRA GARDEN Being a plantaholic, I'm always on the lookout for a new nursery to explore and while away my time in plant heaven, dreaming and planning my new garden for the following Spring/Summer months. I am always on the hunt for those little gems that you sometimes find tucked away at the back of the stand at the nursery or those hard-to-find perennials that you can only find in mail order catalogues. I recently moved out to the green rolling hills of South Gippsland and during one of my Sunday explorations I came across a great nursery in Korumburra, Burra Nursery and Garden Supplies. Talking to Kelly Hughes the owner, is a delight. Kelly and her husband Adrian started the garden supplies business 19 years ago in 2002. They’ve come a long way from those days and now employ 12 staff in both the plant nursery and garden supplies areas. We’ve got a great team here, last year we employed a young 21-year-old who is keen to learn more about plants. A lot of our staff are older and have worked at Burra Garden Supplies for years. We pride ourselves on good old fashioned customer service. Our team have between them a wealth of knowledge and experience. We are the biggest combined garden supplies and nursery business in Southeast Gippsland. The Nursery is always fully stocked with a great range of general garden plants, trees, annuals, and seedlings. Being winter, bare rooted and deciduous trees dominate the Nursery floor. A great range of fruit & nut trees are on offer as well. You’ll even find rare gems like GIngko biloba or Laburnum vossii (Golden chain tree) wonderful paired either side of an entrance, trained over an arbour or along a walkway in your garden. If they don’t have in stock what you’re looking for, Burra Garden Supplies will source it, and order it in for you. All your landscaping soils, rock, gravel, and garden mulches are on offer. They have a wonderful friendly team in this area and are more than happy to help with quotes or work out how much soil or garden compost you’ll need for that new garden or veggie patch.


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Covid had such a big impact on us last year! We were all housebound and had a lot more time to spend tending our gardens, growing veggies and spending time with our families. During these challenging times, our home gardens are becoming our own personal sanctuaries. A place to read that best new seller under the shade of your favourite tree, have a bbq with friends and family or watch your children play in a safe environment. We were kept on our toes last year with the increase in demand for plants and garden supplies at the nursery. A big part of what we do here is educate the public in making informed choices in choosing the right plants for their gardens. Our staff can help with soil deficiencies, pests and diseases or plant identification. More people are growing their own veggies and fruit trees. Chemicals are a dirty word these days and people love are growing food organically. Young people are becoming a bigger part of our customer base, and we stock a diverse range of both indoor plants and pots for your home, apartment of townhouse.

Burra Garden Supplies, love to support the local community and give freely to various sporting associations and schools around the area. We are a rural local based business and enjoy providing a service to our local people. Kelly’s the backbone of Burra Garden Supplies and works in the office these days. Adrian spends a big part of the year in Corowa NSW managing their organic manure business. She has 3 daughters, one in Nth Qld, and 2 here living in Victoria and 3 grandchildren. She likes to keep fit and spend time in her own garden. I’m able to do this because we have such a great team at the Nursery. Kelly & Adrian are planning a long overdue holiday camping into SA, Qld and the NT and are hoping to see her family & grandkids. They say that behind every man is a good woman. Kelly is holding the fort and the strength behind Burra Garden supplies. She looks up at me and smiles knowingly, Adrian and I have done the hard yards with Burra Garden Supplies, its time now to kick back and enjoy our lives.


Words by Gail Polson Photos by Doug Pell

Owners: Kelly and Adrian Hughes

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EXCAVATION, LANDSCAPING & MAINTENANCE Retaining walls, Earthmoving, General Maintenace & Landscaping Based in Venus Bay

Jason Froome 0422 914 916 A large park-like garden of historic significance with massive trees dating from 1878. OPEN GARDEN DATES 24 October 10.00am to 4.00pm 31 October 10.00am to 4.00pm Entry Fee $10.00 Children Under 16 Free Contact: 0407 303 100 2303 Main Neerim Road NEERIM SOUTH VIC 3831 102

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For advice, range and quality. For an experience and a garden encounter that will enchant you. For solutions, inspiration and motivation. WANDER THROUGH THE LAYERS OF OUR BEAUTIFUL GARDEN CENTRE, EACH STEP LEADING YOU INTO ANOTHER CHAPTER OF IDEAS FOR YOUR HOME, GARDEN AND LIFESTYLE.

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

AS YOU FOLLOW THE STATELY, MEANDERING TARWIN RIVER SOUTH, YOU EVENTUALLY ARRIVE IN THE PICTURESQUE TOWN OF TARWIN LOWER IN SOUTH GIPPSLAND. IF YOU ALLOW YOURSELF THE TIME TO STROLL ALONG THE DIVERSE SHOPPING STRIP, THE TEASING SCENT OF AWARD WINNING LITTLE REBEL ROASTED COFFEE WILL LEAD YOU DIRECTLY TO THE BIRD & THE WOLF CAFE. WORDS BY CAMILLA HULLICK | PHOTOS BY DOUG PELL Upon entering the tastefully decorated coffee shop, an enticing, delicious waft will animate your taste buds, while the background music offers a pleasing, uplifting ambiance. Friendly, beaming faces will warmly greet you, ready to take your order as you decide to sit inside or outside among the rustic greenery. The licensed Bird & The Wolf Cafe is well known and loved within the area since opening its doors at Easter 2019. The proprietor is the dynamic Ennis family, who utilises it's collective, passionate catering and business flare to manage its meticulous trade.


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Upbeat Sammy Ennis explained, "When the business opportunity arose it just felt so right and Tash and I impulsively each grabbed it with both hands. We wanted to have a crack to infuse our visions and ideas and develop the cafe into our own." Sammy grew up in the stunning, coastal town of Venus Bay and met the endearing Natasha from Drouin in his early twenties. Partnered just under six years and with combined focus, determination and plain old hard work, the two have achieved many and varied, significant goals throughout their young lives. The word 'impossible' is typically nonexistent amongst their vocabulary.

A few months into the couple's catering venture, exciting news spread via the bush telegraph, Natasha had fallen pregnant. It was June 2020 Sammy and Tash became a family after welcoming their first child, little Felix, into the world. Natasha claimed, "It's been an amazing, wonderful time for us all." Sammy, Tash and their competent staff are a fun-loving, down to earth, diligent bunch and a pleasure to meet. The proof is daily in the pudding going by their many, loyal, local and visiting customers. A mouth-watering, home made cafe menu is available, complemented by a vast selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Cakes, slices and muffins constantly transpire from the oven, hot, steaming and ready to devour. Cindy Stevens is the lone cook and mastermind behind the creative cafe menu. Working from a shoebox kitchen, Cindy skilfully cooks up a tantalising, diverse storm, predominantly using locally sourced produce and condiments to please the appetite of anyone who walks through the cafe's door. Her full, flavoursome breakfasts available all day, will impress you, while the selection of burgers will stop you in your tracks. In fact, the burgers are so good, The Bird & The Wolf Cafe received an honourable mention in June of this year for their superb 'Beefy Chick' burger!

From the left: Tom Nye, Cindy Stevens, Owners - Sam Ennis & Natasha Doyle with their son Felix Ennis.

Mat Preston, best known for his previous role on Channel Ten's MasterChef Australia, is an English-Australian food critic, food journalist and recipe writer. During May he utilised his influence to promote rural businesses and teamed up with the Herald Sun in search of the 'Best Burger' in regional Victoria. Advertised across our state via Melbourne and country online newspaper platforms, a winner and runner-up soon emerged among sixteen candidates. Kermonds Hamburgers in Warrnambool won the competition, while our very own The Bird & The Wolf Cafe was announced a close second by only two votes. Once the Tarwin Lower cafe posted its celebratory news on its Facebook page, it reached over 34,500 admirers in no time. Sammy, Natasha and staff were understandably over the moon! Sammy voiced, "We had no idea of the Victoria-wide search until an unknown customer nominated us on Facebook and tagged our business to let us know. Only then did we realise something exciting was brewing." As the contenders for the best burger progressively amounted, The Bird & The Wolf Cafe knew they were competing against specialised hamburger traders and establishments alike. However, when a journalist from the Herald Sun rang to inform them of their achievement and the announcement would be printed in the Melbourne newspaper, they were thrilled.

Sammy said, "We've always been proud of our home made cuisine and it seems we have good reason!" Thanks to Sammy, Natasha and Cindy, our beautiful region is now placed on the hamburger map as boasting the tastiest, dazzling, mega burgers this side of town.

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SPRING & SUMMER BRINGS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE Mt Baw Baw is home to one of the best snow resorts in the state. But when the snow melts and the weather heats up, there’s still so much to do in the popular alpine region. Considered to be a hidden gem only an hour east of Melbourne, Mt Baw Baw has for years been attracting skiers, snowboarders, toboggan enthusiasts and families just wanting to experience the beauty of the snow. But Mt Baw Baw Marketing Coordinator Amon Bradshaw said there were several reasons to visit the area when Winter is over.


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“A lot of people only think of snow season when they think of the Alpine Resorts but there are many people, including myself, who prefer the more relaxed, natural and ‘wild’ summer vibes. The clean fresh air, the amazing sunsets which happen further to the south, and just the beautiful tranquillity,” Amon said. “Mt Baw Baw is the perfect destination to escape the summer heat. The village is nestled amongst Australia's most pristine snow gum forests with average temperatures 10 degrees or more cooler than off the mountain. The resort offers spectacular views over Gippsland with Phillip Island visible on a clear day.

THERE’S A MOUNTAIN OF THINGS ON OFFER AT MT BAW BAW Words by Lia Spencer | Photos by Robert Pell Mountain biking, hiking and trail running are the main activities over summer.” Those wanting to tackle the trails can do so on their own bikes or can hire mountain bikes (eMTB) from the resort. Laser Tag is another popular activity, available from November. There are also several events on the cards for next year, including a new skateboard festival and a Tarmac Rally Championship. The Downhill Skateboarding Festival is scheduled to launch in the new year and the Baw Baw Sprint will hopefully go ahead after the last event was cancelled due to Victoria's snap lockdown in late 2020.

Other annual events including the Alpine Disc Golf Tournament, Baw Baw Trail Run, Victorian Downhill MTB Series and more are also set to return. For those who prefer a little less action, there are several other activities on offer that will heighten your appreciation for Mt Baw Baw’s natural beauty and unique environment and wildlife. Mt Baw Baw is home to some unique animals including the Baw Baw Frog which exists only on the Baw Baw Plateau and is critically endangered. Amon said visitors can learn about the frog by entering the resort’s Frog Fact Walk competition which runs through the entire season. There are also daily dingo walks that can be booked by families for $29 per person, which includes coffee and cake. For more information and to keep up to date, visit the Mt Baw Baw website, www.mountbawbaw.com.au

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Have you ever wanted to push your limits by trekking up a mountain or by racing your bike through rugged terrain? How about challenging yourself to a kayak on white water rapids? Well, now you can. And you don’t have to travel to New Zealand to do it. Held in the Victorian Alpine region, The Baw Baw Extreme is an intense 84 km multisport race which combines all three athletic disciplines in a challenging environment, rich with both beauty and history. It is designed to test competitors physical and mental capabilities, while creating a sense of connection with nature. The race is a product of cooperation between Adventure Junkie Events Management, Baw Baw Shire Council, Mt Baw Baw Resort management and Destination Gippsland. Serge Kurov, race director at AJ Events, has explored the region for several years and said it was fitting to plan such a challenging race in the Baw Baw area.

“I love the area. It’s beautiful, and there’s everything there; from mountains to rivers. The environment made it a very suitable place for this kind of challenge,” he said. Not only does the challenge highlight the diverse environment the Alpine region has to offer, but it also boosts tourism to the area. The inaugural challenge was held in April of this year and drew a huge crowd of performance athletes and their support crews, family, friends, and intrigued spectators to the area. Cafes, hotels, service stations and speciality shops are all set to benefit when the event is held again in early 2022. Serge said that more than 100 people from across Australia participated in the Baw Baw Extreme and even more are expected to participate next year, if Covid restrictions permit. “We have some interest from people all over the country, from Townsville to Perth, and even New Zealand. So hopefully we can have international travellers attend next year,” Serge said. “Athletes also bring along their support crews and family and friends.” The race starts in the historical gold-mining town of Walhalla, weaves its way through Erica and finishes at Mt Baw Baw Resort. There are several race options to suit adventurers of all skill and experience levels. The fittest and highest skilled racers will test themselves in the Premier One Day Solo category which will race the entire course, non-stop. For these elite contestants, there will be a $4K cash prize pool up for grabs.

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Last year, Luke Haines was the overall individual winner of the Baw Baw Extreme and completed the event in eight hours and 24 minutes. The overall female winner was Elizabeth Dornom who completed the challenge in eight hours and 58 minutes. She also won the Australian National adventure racing series title. There is also a two-day challenge which includes and overnight stop. This event is more of a personal challenge for recreational athletes are wanting to test their own limits on an epic course. The event is also a great chance to bond with co-workers, family, or friends with a team/relay option, which divides the challenge into five sections. The first leg of the course is a five km run from Walhalla to Thompson Railway Station. Athletes will then change into their paddling gear and kayak 14km down the Thompson River, taking in the beautiful surroundings while negotiating class two white water rapids. The 40km mountain bike course then begins at Bruntons Bridge and continues along multiple 4WD roads, a historical railway trail and part of the Erica Mountain Bike Park, where they will explore ‘Crazy Snake’ loop consisting of exciting, single tracks. In the town of Erica, the two-day course racers will finish up their first day, while the one-day participants will continue, reaching the start of the most gruelling section of the course, the trail run leg. This last part of the challenge follows one of the most remote sections of the famous Australian Alps Walking Trail, visiting the spectacular Mushroom Rocks, Talbot Peak and Mt. Erica. The racers will climb a 25km section, passing through a lot of tough and technical terrain which will test their limits and push their skills to the max. Registrations are now open for the event next year. Visit www.bawbawextreme.com.au For more information visit mtbawbaw.com.au/baw-baw-extreme


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gippsland lifestyle spring ����


Wonthaggi Wetlands Park

Wonthaggi Historical Post Office Wonthaggi Mural

Looking down at McBride Avenue

No. 5 Brace remnant of coal industry

The Whalebone Hotel


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Wonthaggi Wetlands Park


Plaza Arcade originally The Plaza Theatre

M.J. McMahon Motel

Corner McBride Ave and Graham Street

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Customer satisfaction at the heart of


Words by Anita Butterworth | Photos by Doug Pell

furniture & bedding

From front on the left is: Owner – Glenn Rigby to his right is Aaron Rigby Back row from left: De-Leigh McKenzie and Troy Calder


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Wonthaggi’s Rigby Homemakers has become a drawcard for South Gippsland locals and Melbourne holiday home-owners searching for top quality furniture, served with a hearty helping of relaxed, country service. A family business, Rigby Homemakers was founded by Arthur and Annette Rigby in 2005, with their sons Glenn and Aaron now at the helm.

Rigby Homemakers boasts the largest furniture and bedding showroom in South Gippsland, with the purpose-built facility sprawling 1400 square metres. Featuring more than 50 lounge suites and 40 beds, it’s the perfect place to try before you buy. “Homemakers in the largest independent buying group in Australia, there’s about 55 stores throughout Australia,” says Glenn. “So as a group we buy furniture in bulk rather than one offs, so it certainly gives us a better buying power. “It makes us more important to the manufacturers because we’re buying in bigger volumes. And by buying at bigger volumes, we buy it at better prices. And we sell it at better prices. It also enables us to have a wider range of products to the customers at a great price.” Glenn’s father Arthur has long had an affinity for furniture. He imported furniture from Indonesia back in the 90s, selling it from a retail outlet in Inverloch and in Melbourne. It eventually evolved into more traditional furniture when Rigby Homemakers was established. Now the company supplies lounges, recliners, dining furniture, mattresses, bedroom furniture and a huge range of outdoor furniture across South Gippsland and into Melbourne. “We pretty much service all of South Gippsland and Phillip Island, from Foster through to Grantville right through to Mirboo North. And we do some business into Melbourne through people’s holiday houses, and we deliver into Melbourne. We also offer free local delivery.” Rigby Homemakers stocks premium brands including La-Z-Boy, IMG Norway Sealy Posturepedic and Sleepmaker and an extensive range of furniture and bedding available through Homemakers Furniture buying group. “Anything from a bedside table right through to a house full. Lounge, dining bedroom, everything that you’d need to furnish.” And with an onsite warehouse, and access to the Homemakers Furniture buying group’s huge Melbourne warehouse, what customers need is usually immediately available. While Annette and Arthur Rigby have taken a step back from the business, they still add their flavour to the store. But having handed over the baton to Glenn and Aaron, along with three sales staff, customer service is still at the heart of the business’ success. “We pride ourselves on our customer service and the range and quality that we have. If you see a lounge and you want it straight away, we’ll sell it to you, we won’t make you wait three months for it. If you see it on the floor, we’re happy to sell it to you. It’s that country difference.”

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Along the picturesque, north shore coastline of Bass Strait lies the stunning Inverloch beach, typically known as a popular seaside playground for thousands of admiring visitors each year. I recently strolled along the sandy shoreline one crisp, early morning, caffeine heart-starter in hand. Beginning near the mouth of Anderson Inlet, I headed in the direction of the surf beach a few hundred metres along, appreciating the striking turquoise highlights of shallow ocean pockets. The streams of the awakening sun accentuated them beautifully and as the tide retreated, there was no one to be seen. Having woken with a sense of nostalgia, I felt I was the only person alive fortunate to behold and absorb such organic, surrounding beauty. Pleasantly daydreaming while nearing the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club I noticed a short distance away, withdrawing waves gradually unveiling an unusual object, seemingly stuck in the saturated sand partway up the beach. My curiosity got the better of me and as I bee-lined for what I perceived as weathered matter, I realised I could quite possibly be looking at the remains of some kind of wreck. Sure enough, as I scanned the area, I spotted a small, but visible sign confirming my speculation reading, 'The remains of the historic shipwreck Amazon are buried in this area and protected under heritage legislation.' I stood in awe of the beached wreckage as further aged, dense wood slowly exposed itself through the continuous turning of the tide. Solemnly gazing at the remnants, my thoughts contemplated the souls on-board, who endured such a horrific phenomenon. I wondered if they lived to tell their tale. The thought of the light and shade of the worn timber, possibly centuries old, overwhelmed me.


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More so the wreck, wearing our predecessors embedded impressions and blending with our contemporary world, evoked a sentimental connection. I needed to learn the Amazon's story. According to my research, the ship was a three mastered barque weighing 362 tons. It was constructed by a ship builder named Frederick Charles Clarke in St. Heliers, Jersey, the largest of the Islands in the English Channel. Launched 18th May in 1855 displaying a female figurehead, the ship was christened Amazon and soon entered the international cargo trade, operating between the United Kingdom, Australia and South America. On the 12th December, 1863, thirty-eight year old Captain Abraham Ogier, his officers and crew departed Melbourne abound for Mauritius with a cargo of salted meats. During the night a storm with tremendous southerly gales erupted and vital sails were damaged. Despite all attempts, the ship began to drift uncontrollably toward the shore. Printed in the Portland Guardian newspaper January 7th, 1864, an extract from Captain Ogier's log notes written on the 15th December of the previous day: "Six a.m. — Twenty fathoms; saw breakers on port bow, and rocks ahead. Then found that the vessel was perfectly embayed. Saw land close too, but the weather was too thick to determine what it was. In this dreadful situation, seeing no hopes of saving either the vessel or lives, and being close to the breakers, called the crew aft and held a consultation as to what was the best to be done."

By 10am on 14th December, the vessel ran aground onto the beach at Inverloch, close to cliffs one mile south west of Anderson Inlet. The fore and main masts were cut away to prevent the vessel from further damage. The crew were exhausted after all hands were on deck for a laborious and, I imagine, terrifying period of forty-eight hours, and did not make it to shore until 3pm that afternoon. Astoundingly, all survived and set up camp on the beach the following morning. They then proceeded to search the nearby area for signs of inhabitants. Not a soul was sighted until the 21st December when a local man, named Mr Heales, noticed a flying distress flag while on his way to Melbourne to celebrate Christmas with family. Graciously, he escorted Captain Ogier to Melbourne, who then raised the alarm requesting immediate assistance. In the meantime the crew remained close to the Amazon and were soon rescued by H.M.C.S Victoria. The following is an extract from Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser newspapers – Thursday 7th January, 1864: "Captain Abraham Ogier, his officers, and crew, beg to express their thanks to Captain Norman, officers, and crew of H.M.C.S. Victoria for their kindness." My findings are an incredible account of historical residue still tangibly existing on our stunning South Gippsland coastline. Featuring historical significance for numerous reasons, the Amazon is a wonderful and rare discovery of a mid-19th century, wooden, international trading vessel, which contributed to Victoria’s economy in the 1800's.

Victorian Shipwreck Resources show various examples of international iron and steel trading ships, but no other wooden cargo carriers of its kind. The Amazon is also the sole example documented in the Victorian Wreck Resource that was built in one of the British Channel Islands. A substantial erosion occurred at Inverloch beach during Autumn storms in April 2015 and exposed delicate, organic artefacts, such as a deadeye with a knot still tied at one end. In 2019 further erosion took place by a record of forty metres, revealing sizeable components of the wreck and fragments of the ship's hull. Heritage Victoria in collaboration with Parks Victoria carefully removed large sections of the exposed shipwreck remains and reburied them for preservation. The Amazon wreck is one of six hundred shipwrecks discovered throughout the entire Gippsland region, many of which are under threat from environmental and human interference. While all are protected, the Amazon was noted by Heritage Victoria as one of the top twenty most significant and at-risk shipwrecks. The intention is to continue to execute Amazon's archaeological site recordings and research, in the hope to learn more about the wreck, its story and its significance to South Gippsland. According to the Victorian Maritime Heritage At Risk Program, the Inverloch community has a strong sense of custodianship for this important Amazon shipwreck. The Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club continues to provide regular reports on its condition, while local volunteer group, Amazon 1863 Project, monitors the site.

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TREE OF LIFE… Sandey Landers was watching her mother make a gem tree. She needed a gift for a friend, so thought to observe and then give making one a try. What she didn’t realise at the time was this was the beginning of a new, purposeful life path. “Six months later I had 300 of these trees”, she recalls. “When I was making them, I felt calmer. I felt more at peace. So, I started researching more and in time completed courses in Reiki, Crystal Healing and Massage Therapy.” Rocks have always a passion of Sandey’s parents. They have been members of a lapidary group, digging across Australia in search of rock gems, for as long as she can remember. What you find at Be Enchanted, Sandey’s crystal business in Foster, has largely been sourced by her family. “Mother Earth provides everything we need, and she produces these crystals. Science has proven that crystals have energy. Every crystal has its own vibration and resonance, just like every cell in our body has a vibration resonance. So, Mother Earth is helping us to vibrate how we need to vibrate to heal,” Sandey explains. She is open in sharing her own personal need to go through intense healing to overcome the challenges in her life. Without doing so, she wouldn’t have the family, business, and life she has today. “Situations brought about me going off the rails very young. I wasn't a very happy kid. I was very angry. The older I got, the angry I got,” she reflects.


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“I got married and had three amazing children, so I can't have regrets from that. But the marriage wasn't the best thing for me.” Her marriage ended in the year 2000 and Sandey read a book “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. “That book changed my life. It was like this light switch went on and I thought, I have got to fix this. This is not how life is supposed to be. I was suffering severe depression at the time. I also had a lot of health issues. After reading this book, I started paying attention to synchronicities. I learned to heal the traumas and heal myself on every level.”

A G I P P S L A N D H AV E N … In 2012, Sandey and her family found their safe place in Gippsland with a property she suitably called Be Enchanted. “It's absolutely heaven here,” she says with a proud smile. “The beautiful energy on this property is amazing.” A crystal grid circulates the Be Enchanted property. “It's a protection grid so that only pure light can come in our shed. It is a multipurpose grid to promote love, peace, and harmony. So, anybody who comes in will be surrounded by that energy. That's what we all need to feel,” she says. “Some people walk into the shed not understanding why they'll just start crying. The energy helps them bring up and release what they need to release. People come in and they feel that it's a safe space. We get all demographics of people visiting, from kids to grandparents of all genders. Some people just want some soaps, others have specific crystals they are after.”


“ I S TA R T E D T H E W O R K S H O P S T H I N K I N G I F I C A N H E L P O N E P E R S O N OV E R C O M E E V E N H A L F O F W H AT I ' V E B E E N T H R O U G H , T H E N T H AT ' S H O W I C A N PAY I T F O R WA R D. I N O W F E E L I ’ V E H E L P E D A LOT O F P E O P L E .” Be Enchanted exists to offer visitors the tools to assist on their individual spiritual journeys with an abundance of natural gemstones and crystals available for purchase, many of which are in their natural state. The meditation garden is a vision that is close to Sandey’s heart, inspired by her late Grandfather and guarding angel. Her healing room houses individual sessions and group meditations. Sandey’s daughter Kaycie Jade also has her talents on display in a showroom, with various art also for sale. Sandey values her weekly meditation gatherings with like-minded individuals. Filled with a desire to share what she has learned, she also runs various healing workshops. “I started the workshops thinking if I can help one person overcome even half of what I've been through, then that's how I can pay it forward. I now feel I’ve helped a lot of people,” she says.

O P E N H E A R T A N D M I N D… Wanting to gain a personal insight into how energy healing through Reiki works, I am welcomed into the Be Enchanted meditation room for a healing session. Crystals are placed in my hands, and I close my eyes. I feel comfortable and warm, hugged by a blanket. The session is completely non-invasive. Sandey asks that I just notice the thoughts that enter my mind over the next 20 minutes. I am to notice them, but then let them go. At the end of the session, she shares with me that she feels my heart chakra is open. There wasn’t resistance in this energy field, which can be a common blockage area with people that come forward to experience Reiki.

The root chakra, located at the base of the spine, that links to a sense of safety and security, is my area giving some push-back. She suggests I spend more time by the ocean, with my feet in the water to connect myself with Mother Earth. This makes sense to me, given that sense of place and belonging was largely on my mind. Sandey explains that all forms of natural healing must begin with wanting to heal yourself. “I believe that we have the capabilities to heal ourselves on every single level. I can kickstart your journey to open those channels to allow that energy to come through, but you need to take control of your own journey. Everybody needs to take responsibility for their own healing.”

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At the base of a 200-metre steep incline up another impressive hill, all I could think to say was… “wow”! This challenge is definitely relentless! I’m asking a lot of my legs. Even more so, I’m asking a lot of my mind to complete this hike. But those vistas were calling. The expansive beauty of South Gippsland will be worth the effort. I will get what I came for. The allure to take on the Hoddle Mountain Trail is the promise of stunning panoramas of Wilsons Promontory, Corner Inlet, Shallow Inlet, and the Strzelecki Ranges. The diverse flora and fauna, rolling hills, lush fern gullies and farmland along the journey make this track a glorious, natural wonderland.


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Officially opened on 20 January 2019, the Hoddle Mountain Trail had a passionate committee approach the South Gippsland Shire Council back in 2017 to seek support for development of the trail. Richard Dargaville, President of the Hoddle Mountain Trail Management Group (HMTMG), names locals Tim Farrell, Gary Wallis, and Barry McGannon as key figures in the early advances. “My introduction to the route was on a Fish Creek Landcare walk in 2012,” the HMTMG President begins. “I had a lifelong interest in bushwalking and the idea of helping the further development of the trail was appealing. My personal passion relates to the pleasure I get from walking the Hoddle Mountain Trail, and especially hearing of the enthusiasm of others who have had the same experience.”

“Naturally we were delighted with the support of the South Gippsland Shire Council. The HMTMG devoted a lot of time and energy to get to this stage. I am pleased to have been involved in putting Fish Creek on the Victorian bushwalking map,” says Richard. With regular liaising between the South Gippsland Shire Council and HMTMG, the Hoddle Mountain Trail benefits from ongoing maintenance. A pedestrian counter was installed in June 2018, which has since seen 4000 walkers make use of the trail. Additional signage in the form of a map where the Hoddle Mountain Trail joins the Great Southern Rail Trail is also on the cards.

If you are an active person up for a challenge, then the full 17km circuit will suit. Commencing at Fish Creek as a detour off the Great Southern Rail Trail, the Hoddle Mountain Trail begins with farmland to the Laver's Hill quarry, crosses the catchment area for the Battery Creek reservoir to join the Loader Track through to the Mt Nicoll Lookout before re-joining the Great Southern Rail Trail. If you are like me, an average Victorian who has allowed the covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns to weaken motivation for any form of physical challenge, you may also like to phone a friend. I invited my sisters to join me. As we had two vehicles, we parked one at the Laver’s Hill carpark and the other at Mt Nicol Lookout. In doing so, we shortened our hike to approximately 7km, which we completed in 2.5 hours.

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ME SM E R I S I N G M O U N TA I N S T h e H o d d le M o u n t a in Tr a il

After every demanding climb, the views on the other side were our reward. We laughed at the thought of how sore we would be, smiled for photographs to mark our achievements and collectively were in awe of the beauty that surrounded us on this hike. We also caught a glimpse of The Church House, proudly sitting on its perch, where I would spend my evening in Fish Creek. Common sense bushwalking protocols including carrying water and wearing appropriate footwear are a must on this hike. The ground can be slippery, and sections are narrow. Walkers must be snake aware and respect nearby grazing cattle and sheep. The picnic table marked on the trail map (point 9) is the perfect lunch spot. Or, as we spotted a few people with coffees in hand doing at the end of our journey, opt for the short 300 metre trek to Mt Nicoll Lookout and sit and enjoy the serenity for a while. Although no easy stroll in the park, having completed what at times felt beyond my capabilities was also incredibly liberating. Feeling your heart race and then calm while taking in deep breaths of clean air is therapeutic. What better environment for that than amongst the mountains.


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gippsland lifestyle spring ����



Meeting Marty Thomas is a pleasure. His welcoming manner blends beautifully with his genuine, humble nature, typically infused with an uplifting sense of fun. Aspiring to follow in his mother's footsteps, young Marty dreamt of becoming a chef, however his charismatic flamboyance naturally led him to engage in social, front of house affairs.

Through the Opportunities of Development thru Art Organisation, Marty teaches, mentors, and assists local children to obtain essential school supplies, namely uniforms. Cambodia stipulates a stringent 'no uniform, no school' policy, which prevents many of the kids the opportunity to gain an education.

Marty is the passionate proprietor of Moo's Restaurant in the picturesque country town of Meeniyan. Possessing extensive hospitality experience, he confessed,

However, as travel was deemed impossible and the future difficult to determine, a tough decision needed to be made. Marty swayed between permanently closing Moo's doors, playing it safe and riding out Covid-19 restrictions or utilising lockdown to breathe new life into his restaurant. He chose the latter and with the help of local expertise, freshly redesigned and refurbished Moo's in its entirety.

" I ' M A F O O DY. I LO V E F O O D A N D I A D O R E M E E N I YA N A N D I T S V I B E . T H I S T H R I V I N G , O P E N MINDED TOWN WITHIN THE INCREDIBLE SOUTH G I P P S L A N D F O O D B O W L , E M B R A C E S A N D A C T I V E LY SUPPORTS COMPETITION. IT'S A PLEASURE TO BE A PA R T O F T H I S C O M M U N I T Y." Almost twelve years ago Marty transformed the prominent, corner establishment, once a butcher shop, into an innovative restaurant, blending classic rusticity with contemporary elegance, utilising the talents of local businesses and artisans. Marty voiced, "My intention was to set up the restaurant for the long haul offering consistency, and local, quality produce to consumers. To this day our opening hours have remained the same. When the pandemic hit in 2020 and the initial, lengthy lockdown overshadowed local businesses, Marty contemplated Moo's future. Customarily closing each August to not only enjoy a well-earned break, his humanitarian heart annually gravitates to Cambodia.


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The popular, fully licensed Moo's at Meeniyan offers a pleasurable dining experience, whether it's for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The stunning decor creates a warm, inviting ambiance accompanied with an abundance of natural light by day and a twilight cosiness by night. An exquisite, fresh menu and a variety of specials, including vegetarian, vegan and glutenfree options, are served. Dishes are complemented by a vast selection of beverages, showcasing local wines, beers, spirits and cocktails. The beautifully presented meals may either be enjoyed inside the relaxed dining area or outside on the spacious, timber deck, which frequently hosts local, afternoon entertainment. A take-away menu is also available, while Moo's flavourful coffee, along with a treat chosen from an assortment of Gippsland bakeries, is a delicious refreshment for the traveller. Passionate about all things local, Marty stipulates Moo's mantra behind the menu is to serve organic, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible.


His competent, all-female kitchen team creatively masters and infuses the elements into tantalising cuisine – garnished with precision and pride. Jess, the head chef, returned almost two years ago after being Moo's initial apprentice back in the day. Zoe is the skilled sous chef, while Laywah has come on board as a first year apprentice, bringing with her a taste of exotic Burmese delicacies. The fifteen staff are young, local trainees under Marty's mentorship. An ardent advocate for encouraging life skills and experience, self confidence and teamwork, Marty has to date employed approximately two hundred young people and taken them under his wing. Moo's at Meeniyan is well-known for its enjoyable, interactive social events. 'Food from around the world' dinners, comprising of an array of diverse international courses, are a monthly occurrence. Regular Yooralla pop-up restaurants are also pleasurable, fun evenings. The eatery is handed over to the Yooralla family, which manages the dining logistics under Marty's guidance. These events have for now, taken a back seat, in view of fluctuating Covid-19 hospitality stipulations. Nevertheless, Marty remains positive about the future, as fresh, exciting initiatives brew. A succulent, new menu will be introduced in September to complement the vibrant energy of spring and its new beginnings, while a twelve year Moo's Family reunion is in the making. Marty's business flair, merged with tremendous passion for local community, food and events, sees him significantly contribute to the continual improvement of the region and its tourist profile.

If he's not sharing in the orchestration of the annual Meeniyan Garlic Festival and other local initiatives, he's hosting a meeting for Meeniyan Tourism & Traders Association of which he is the president. Fundraising opportunities are also keenly recognised and run with. In 2018 Marty organised a 'Marty' Gras in the Meeniyan hall to commemorate his fiftieth milestone birthday. The event was so successful, he has since turned it into a viable, annual philanthropic exercise – Corona virus restrictions permitting.

MARTY'S KIND, SPIRITED NATURE REFLECTS HIS COLOURFUL LIFE FILLED WITH MEANINGFUL ACHIEVEMENTS. IT'S NO SURPRISE HE WAS THIS YEAR NOMINATED FOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR. COME AND MEET MARTY AND HIS CREW AS THEY REOPEN IN SEPTEMBER WITH FRESH, DYNAMIC E N E R G Y, F O L L O W I N G T H E M O O ' S F A M I LY ' S W E L L DESERVED VACATION. THEY LOOK FORWARD TO SPOILING YOU. AFTERNOTE: Marty, who has been a loyal client of Gippsland Lifestyle Magazine since day dot, religiously gives a copy of every edition to his elderly mother, who has sadly suffered dementia for four years. Marty explained, the way his mother's face lights up as she recognises pictures and articles of South Gippsland is priceless. Moo’s at Meeniyan | 89 Whitelaw Street, Meeniyan VIC 3956 www.moosatmeeniyan.com.au

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Just Like Heaven A GRAND DESIGN CHURCH HOUSE Allegria, meaning “Joy of Spirit” in Italian, is the emblem to the most heavenly 20-acre property in Fish Creek. Having ascended the steep driveway, surrounded by the lushiest of rolling green hills, The Church House enters view. Perched at the pinnacle, this now boutique gourmet retreat is a work of art. Gracefully, the building’s foundations were restored with love. Sidney, the well-groomed standard poodle, appears eagerly bouncing to meet his newest guest. Owner Peter Riedel opens the reinstated front door of the original St Georges Anglican Church, built in 1876, and continues the friendly reception. His partner Mary is just inside, where her passion for unique, rustic interiors is showcased.


Mary reached out to Grand Designs for a contact for the Huf Haus and ended up being on the program’s radar for what she might do next. What she did so, was pivot from Huf Haus to an Art Deco home to eventually a remodelled Church. Born in Sicily, Mary incorporated her Italian roots to make The Church House the unique masterpiece it is today. “As soon as we started to map it up, I knew I wanted to have a little bit of old Venice here,” she says. You can see that from the dining room chandelier to the tapestries, the unfilled travertine floors and the intricately carved mirror in the appropriately named Venetian Suite.

“I’ve always loved old things and there was such romance in restoring a church, “Mary begins. “I had a vision of what I wanted. We’ve always lived in open plan spaces. It all evolved quite easily.”

The grand Chinoiserie Suite, located on the mezzanine floor, features bold and hand-painted gold wallpaper and was originally Peter and Mary’s bedroom. With their adult children now scattered across Perth, Darwin, Brisbane and Singapore, Peter and Mary decided to retreat in one of the rooms they call The Study to allow guests the option of the master experience. Peter notes, The Study can also facilitate wheelchair access.

What started as remnants of a church that needed a saviour morphed into the most divine home that was featured on the first series of Grand Designs Australia back in 2010. “The shape at the top of the front windows is the original shape from the old church, but we elongated them. The roofing on the veranda is all the internal boards of the church. It was all timber…and the colours reflect the era,” Mary explains.

The decision to open up their house to guests was to make it feel like a home, filled with joyous connections, once again. “We had a lovely property and no one to enjoy it with,” Mary reflects. “We both like cooking. We both like people and we were used to having people around. So, it just made sense.”

Being featured on the show gave the pair a deadline for finishing their project. “Mary was an avid watcher of the English version of the show. They had a prefab house called a Huf Haus from Germany on the show, which was assembled in 7 days in the United Kingdom. Mary wanted one. She likes things instantly, that’s her nature,” Peter comments and they both laugh.


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They spent 3 years modifying the house, including adding a sitting area which extends to a private patio from the Turquoise Suite, where I spent the evening. The screen used as a bedhead is a French re-production of a full-size drawing on vellum by Dutch painter Albert Eckhout in 1664. The hot tub is conveniently located just outside the double French doors of this suite.

Photo supplied by Peter and Mary

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Peter is also European, born in Austria. The couple like to spend their down time back in Europe, which of course is on hold at present. Both Peter and Mary moved to Australia at the age of five and largely attribute their hospitable nature to the way they grew up and then chose to repeat in their adult years. “My father grew vegetables. We would always go to the garden to see what could be picked to be cooked that evening,” Mary shares. “I can’t follow a recipe to save myself! I can’t produce the same thing twice as I cook intuitively. Whereas Peter can repeat what he cooked 20 years ago, and it will be identical,” she says and they both chuckle. “When we lived in the eastern suburbs of Greater Melbourne, we did a fair bit of dinner partying, “ Peter recalls. “Any new restaurant that would open, we would be there. So, food has always been central to our lives,” Mary adds. Just like in their relationship, Peter and Mary complement each other in the kitchen. Peter follows his routine and takes on the pre-cooking, then Mary with her attention to visual appeal, finalises most dishes before service. They both find cooking relaxing and hosting a natural undertaking. “Our guests are like our friends that we are having over for the evening. The experience is based on what we enjoy,” says Mary.

In the evening, canapes are followed by home-cooked courses and accompanied wines. My experience consisted of seafood sausage on a bed of salad from the garden, followed by tender and well-seasoned lamb and vegetables before a delicious, poached pear with vanilla bean ice-cream for dessert.

Peter’s freshly made croissants, homemade bread, poached seasonal fruits and freshly squeezed orange juice were the morning heroes. The all-inclusive and memorable stay at The Church House is testament to the talents and characters of Peter and Mary. And of course, not to forget their side-kick Sidney. They are set up to have friends come around for as long as they wish. Retirement is also sure to be beautiful. “I pinch myself every day when I look out the windows. It’s not a view you are bored with. It’s that magical outlook and those red mornings with streaks of pink that go for miles. I just love it,” says Mary. She continues: “The local Fish Creek community never made us feel like outsiders at all. We were adsorbed immediately. So, we’ve really got it all being here.”


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I'm a possum. My ancestors and I have lived in the penthouse of the Woodleigh Hall for nearly 100 years. It's the most exclusive address in town. Main street, second storey, glorious views. The world from Woodleigh's only high rise apartment has changed enormously since our residency began. Initially it was jinkers and carts, kids walking to school and mobs of cattle being driven to markets by riders on horseback. We've seen send-off's for soldiers going to war. We've seen cabarets and dancing, kitchen teas for the soon to be married, cricket club fund raisers, and school presentation nights. Kids at functions guarantees delicious and ample leftovers. We've seen the paperbark and swamp gums bulldozed, replaced with rye and clover. We heard the arrival of the steam and passenger trains, the motorised trucks carrying milk cans, the arrival of Italian immigrants in the fifties, the Jersey cows replaced by Friesians.......the demise of the church, the closure of the general store, the school and the railway station. We celebrated when they connected electricity to our penthouse. The overhead wire gave us another avenue of escape from the neighbour's cat and farmer's kelpie. They came to vote, they came to play badminton, Landcare sessions, casserole teas, the annual Cup sweep. The homely ladies of the Red Cross and the C.W.A would torment us with firstly their cooking smells, then their tidiness. The last thirty years have been pretty quiet. Leftovers became a memory. "Peaceful retreat and renovators delight" would have been the Real Estate agents terminology. Fast cars and huge milk tankers became our only entertainment, and danger. Our landlords might have considered the "bulldozer and the bonfire", saved only on the basis that our abode is the last public relic of the Woodleigh town.

Now the good citizens of Woodleigh and surrounding towns have rediscovered table tennis. Those "raucous buggers" invade every Tuesday night during Winter. Invariably, they apologise to our human neighbours for their rowdy and exuberant behaviour. They don't apologise to us. Their excitement and enthusiasm is our volcanic disturbance that scares the Richter scale. It's getting worse. Their playing numbers are now fifteen or more, they invite fellow table tennis teams from Wonthaggi, Monday nights the girls smash it out, the Yarroweyah Football Club sends them messages of encouragement, some players turn up for practice on any old day. In the beginning they brought wine and cheese. The crumbs and spillage was some consolation for us and our downstairs residential rodents. But now they come to play. For two hours they serve, and spin and direct the ping pong ball to advantage. They delight in a winning shot, or the ball that clips the edge of the table and flies off on an unplayable tangent. They smugly apologize for the ball that catches the tape, then grows legs to clamber over. Smashing good fun. Younger days revisited. Their enthusiasm is boundless. They further limit and restrict our nocturnal activities with their after match chat and friendship. Woodleigh table tennis has put purpose into the century old Hall. Politicians and the Shire have invested money in renovations. More disruption to our cosy nest. A public Hall saved only by intergenerational farming families and some committed recent arrivals. They proudly host "The Woodleigh Farmers and Pizza Lovers" table tennis teams. The Woodleigh Hall celebrates its 100th birthday in December 2021.

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Steve Allender Newspaper clippings, VFA Recorder front cover & magazine photos supplied by Stephen Allender, re-photographed by Doug Pell. All other photos by Doug Pell


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Having turned 60 in July last year, Steve Allender has entered a new chapter in his life. Steve’s story begins as a highly promising young footballing talent and evolves into a tale of incredible resilience amid more than his fair share of pain and heartbreak in adulthood. The 194 centimetre former ruckman is a big man in stature but has absorbed quite a few knocks in life. Not that you’ll hear him grumble or dwell on any sort of misfortune that he has encountered along his interesting journey.

Three significant events over the past decade conspired to change the course of Steve’s life forever and ultimately led him from Melbourne to East Gippsland. The first was the breakdown of his second marriage, which saw ex-wife Liz and their two children, James and Amy, move to Lake Tyers Beach ten years ago. Steve also has an elder daughter, Jessica, from his first marriage who remains in Melbourne, but the separation from the two younger children was difficult to bear for so long. Then on 30th August 2015, Steve suffered severe burns to his upper body in a mishap at his home in Melbourne. He spent close to two months in an induced coma and was extremely fortunate to survive the ordeal. The final blow for Steve was the tragic death of his 85-year-old mother in a car accident early last year. He had already previously lost his father and two of his five siblings. “After the loss of my mother I finally made the decision to move to Bairnsdale to be nearer to James, who is now nineteen and Amy, who is fifteen,” Steve says. “It’s something I really should have done a decade ago. I’m loving it here and it seems to be having a very positive effect on Amy in particular, who is Year 9 at Nagle College in Bairnsdale. It has been great to be able to see the kids more and do things like getting to spend Christmas with them last year. “Amy has hockey training on Wednesdays and her and Liz drop in when going past. Although James has this year gone up to Melbourne to focus on his auto engineering degree at RMIT, he and I usually catch up about once a month when I travel up there and we recently went to a Swans match together. I also still get up to Melbourne to see my eldest daughter Jessica and all my other friends and family based there. Jessica is thirty two now, lives independently and doing very well in her career. I’m very proud of all three of them.” Family and sport were always a big part of Steve’s life growing up in the northern Melbourne suburb of Lalor. “Dad only built a two-bedroom house. I don’t think he realised at the time they were going end up having six kids! Growing up in the 1960s, we spent a lot of time playing footy or cricket in the street with our neighbours,” he remembers. Football was very much in Steve’s blood, with one of his uncles being South Melbourne champion Peter Bedford, who won the Brownlow Medal in 1970 and also happened to be blessed with enough sporting talent to play Sheffield Shield cricket for Victoria. Steve supported Collingwood until he was ten years old and wore Peter McKenna’s number six on his back. “I switched my allegiances to South Melbourne after my uncle won the Brownlow,” he reveals. “Ironically, less than ten years later, I was playing at Port Melbourne and wearing the number six when Peter McKenna came to coach the club. I refused to give up the number for him,” he laughs. After just two senior games in 1979, Steve’s football career at Port Melbourne in the VFA competition skyrocketed as a 20-year-old in the 1980 season, with fate playing a major hand in his rise to prominence. “I started that season at full back and played in that position for the first five games until Rex Hunt kicked nine goals on me against Sandringham. I went home that day thinking my football career was finished then and there,” he recalls.

“But our ruckman Vic ‘Stretch’ Aanensen got injured late in that game, so instead of dropping me the following week they threw me into the ruck and resting in the forward pocket. I loved the freedom and everything just seemed to click for me. I got on a roll from that point on.” Steve went on to win the J.J. Liston Trophy for the VFA’s Best and Fairest player that season and crowned an incredible year with a stirring premiership victory over Coburg. “The premiership is my favourite memory. We kicked against the wind in the last quarter and somehow got over the line to pinch it,” he says. On the strength of his 1980 season at Port Melbourne, Steve became the hottest young property in football. No fewer than twelve VFL clubs made enquiries about securing his signature. A zoning system was applied back then rather than the draft mechanism that is in place in the AFL competition today. Having played his junior football with Lalor, Steve was tied to Carlton through the zone system but had no intention of playing for the Blues. “I stonewalled Carlton,” he recalls. “I was working as a mail clerk with Telecom at the time and one of the regular mail drop offs I made in the building was to the desk of Carlton captain Mike Fitzpatrick who worked there up on the 20th floor as an economist. One day he left a Carlton kit in my tray in a bid to try to persuade me to join them which I promptly gave away at the first opportunity. There was only one club that I wanted to play for and that was South Melbourne.” Carlton finally relented and allowed Steve his wish to join the Bloods. The cost was a $20,000 fine to South Melbourne for player poaching. Despite wanting to wear number six, Steve was given the distinction of being handed the number 14 jumper made famous by triple Brownlow Medallist, Bobby Skilton. “I played my first game for South Melbourne on 3rd May 1981 versus St.Kilda and my opponent was Grant Thomas,” he recalls.

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But a career that promised to reach great heights didn’t really ever take off at VFL level. Injuries held Steve back in his time at South Melbourne. His career there finished at the end of 1983 and amounted to just 28 games. He had remained in Melbourne when the club transitioned into the Sydney Swans in 1982. “I was part of a group that stayed and trained in Melbourne, whilst other members of the team relocated up to Sydney,” he explains. During the summer of 1983/84, Steve was honeymooning with first wife Annette in Perth when his VFL career was offered an unexpected lifeline. “I was actually training with West Perth when I got a call from Hawthorn,” he says. Steve elected to sign with the Hawks, who were the reigning premiers from 1983 and they too allocated him the number 14 jumper for the 1984 season. However, it proved difficult for him to break into what was a starstudded side and he had managed only two senior games with them before injury in a reserves match late in that season curtailed his career at football’s top level. “I got a knee in the back and fractured two vertebrae. That was basically the end of me as a VFL player,” he reflects. It was a career that with better luck and perhaps different timing would have extended way beyond his 30 games – 28 at South Melbourne/ Sydney and the two at Hawthorn. He retains great affection for the Swans as a loyal supporter and considers the Hawks his second team. Although hampered by his back injury after finishing at Hawthorn, Steve returned to Port Melbourne and played for a few more seasons until the end of 1988. “I could only do skills training and swimming. I couldn’t do all the running. I could only run in a straight line,” he says.


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In 1989, Steve went up to play for South Bendigo, which was being coached by his former Port Melbourne team mate Peter Bradbury. “I had probably my four best years of football with them,” he states. Steve then enjoyed the opportunity to play alongside his younger brother Ross at Mornington for two years, before switching to Super Rules football in the Diamond Valley competition. “I finally hung up the boots at the age of forty,” he says. Life after football wasn’t straightforward for Steve, who maintained a working career in the IT field but struggled at times like many players have done after the siren sounds for the final time. “With football you’re on a big high and then you have to leave it. There is a letdown that comes with that,” he notes. “You probably see a lot of ex-players suffer depression and anxiety which I have gone through myself and have been able to successfully manage with medication. You do become a bit lost post football. It’s important for players to have an exit strategy and I think a lot of them do now. It affected my two marriages for sure, but I’m the one at fault and consider myself very fortunate to still be friends with both my former wives, Liz and Annette.” It is not surprising that Steve still carries scars, both physically and mentally, from his shocking burn injuries. Mercifully, he can only remember parts of the terrifying incident six years ago. “It was a very cold Friday night, about one degree, and I had been watching the footy on television in my home in Preston,” he recalls. “I had fallen asleep in front of the heater and my body must have tilted over and leant into it and I’ve gone up in flames. My whole upper torso, or thirty eight percent of my body, got burnt.

My next door neighbour, Vaughn must have heard me screaming. All I remember is water being thrown over me and Vaughn putting me on my chair before the paramedics arrived about ten minutes later. They put me under straight away and the next thing I knew I woke up seven weeks later at The Alfred hospital. While I was in the induced coma they did a number of skin grafts on me.” Steve counts himself very lucky to have survived and remains thankful for the quick actions and skills of those who responded to the emergency. “My life was saved twice in that incident, firstly by my neighbour Vaughn and then again by the doctors at The Alfred. Unfortunately, Vaughn has since passed away from cancer at the age of just forty seven which was terribly sad. I owe him and the team at The Alfred my life,” he comments. Understandably, Steve describes the episode as a life-changing event for him. “You do alter you outlook on life after something like that,” he says. Six years on and retired from work, Steve is still dealing with the lasting effects from his burns. “My movement is restricted around my neck area and under my arms,” he reveals. “All my hair was burnt off but grew back and my face wasn’t affected. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing! But the main issue is that I’m now intolerant to heat. I can’t regulate my body temperature because I don’t sweat any more. Half of my skin is made up of grafts from my legs and I was also the first recipient of a new graft treatment method using a synthetic skin which requires me to have yearly follow-up appointments at The Alfred to monitor it.” Despite the obstacles that have been thrown in his way, Steve continues to look to the future with optimism.

“One of the best things I’ve done is get out of Melbourne and come here to East Gippsland. The main difference you notice straight away between city and country is that country people are so welcoming. I first found that out when playing footy in Bendigo many years ago. You don’t see the smiles on people’s faces in Melbourne.” Steve is also looking forward to one day getting the chance to properly celebrate his 60th birthday, which he reached last July. “We were in lockdown for my 60th and the same again for my birthday this year,” he laments. Whenever freedom allows, Steve says he loves the country air and the tranquility that now surrounds him. “I enjoy getting out on my bike and have ridden the East Gippsland Rail Trail. I even took up lawn bowls at Bairnsdale and had two lessons but then my back started playing up and I had to give it away unfortunately.” After fifteen months in Bairnsdale, Steve has just made the short move into a new residence across the other side of the Mitchell River in Wy Yung. He is looking forward to broadening his involvement in the local community in the years ahead. “I would put my hand up to help at any football or cricket club,” he states. “I’m also considering taking up cricket umpiring in the summer. I umpired A Grade cricket in Melbourne for five years after I finished playing at Heidelberg. I would also be willing to lend my football intellect to any club who’d be interested next season.” Given Steve’s football pedigree and playing experience at the highest level, there should be no shortage of clubs keen to secure his services.

“On a positive note, I’m still alive,” he jokes.

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Liz Fleming The Efficiency Coach Supporting small businesses throughout Gippsland Words by Chris West | Photos by Kim Keltie As a business mentor and coach, Liz Fleming gains immense satisfaction from helping her clients to improve their efficiency and spend more time with family or pursuing their other interests away from their business. Her promise is more profit, more time and more fulfillment.

A Chartered Accountant, Liz brings a rare mix of financial expertise, marketing nous and government sector experience to the table, which gives her a distinct point of difference. As she highlights, very few business coaches have the finance background and acumen that Liz possesses.

“Yes, people go into business to make money but it should not be at the expense of everything else. It’s about trying to find that balance. I’ve experienced this same sort of challenge as a small business owner myself,” she says.

Hailing from a small rural town in New Zealand, Liz started her professional career as an auditor for KPMG. She also travelled extensively after graduating from university and spent time working in London. Upon her departure from the UK five years ago she chose not to return to New Zealand but instead made Melbourne her next destination.

“I try to bring a fresh perspective. Every successful business that you see in the media has a business mentor or coach in some form and I want to bring that way of thinking to small business as well.” Liz seeks to make everything as efficient as possible whilst still making sure that the whole picture is taken into account. “There’s no point in being efficient in one area at the expense of a different area,” she observes.


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After starting to apply for jobs in Melbourne, Liz secured employment in the Finance team at Loy Yang coal mine on twelve months maternity leave cover. Not having been out of Melbourne before, she relocated to Traralgon with no idea what to expect. “I came on here my own and feel a sense of accomplishment as in the space of five years I have gone from not knowing anyone, to now having a whole network of contacts,” she says.

“I feel like I have the best of both worlds in Gippsland, where you can enjoy a country lifestyle and yet still be so close to the city.” After working at Loy Yang, Liz joined State Government Agency the Latrobe Valley Authority. “It was first time I had ever worked in government,” Liz notes. “The knowledge and experience I gained in how government and its systems work was invaluable in helping to set me up for the work I’m doing now in supporting small businesses.” Liz then took on a contract accounting role at BP Australia in Melbourne, commuting from Traralgon, but the pull of finally taking the plunge and launching her own business venture was becoming impossible to resist. “Although I always loved maths, economics and accounting during my schooling, I never actually wanted to be an accountant,” she states. Ultimately, Liz always aspired to work for herself in some capacity and control her own destiny in her professional career. “It was time for a new challenge and I was ready to be in a space where I was maximising my opportunities. Another contributing factor was that I never really liked being pigeonholed into one particular role. However, what I’m doing now is not what I ever envisaged what my business or working for myself would look like. Being a mentor for Startup Gippsland was the catalyst for the exploring the possibilities of Business Mentoring,” she admits. Liz commenced her business in August last year and has made every post a winner in her first twelve months of operation. She has attracted clients from all parts of Gippsland across a wide range of industries.

“I understand what people are going through and like every other business I’m trying to be agile and adaptable myself. I’m living this experience as I’m helping other businesses as well,” she says. “When business owners feel like they’re wearing lots of hats and juggling lots of balls in the air, if they don’t change something, nothing is going to improve. If necessary, I am willing to challenge their perceptions of the their current business operations, but in a safe way where we analyse the options and pave a way forward together, towards more profit, more time and more fulfilment. At the end of the day, it is their businesses and ultimately everything rests with them. I am giving them the tools and resources needed to make informed decisions.” Liz has a breadth of experience and skills to call upon, along with an extensive involvement in the local Gippsland community, that she can bring together to assist her clients. “I’m trying to elevate small business owners’ knowledge, especially around financial capability, so that they can better understand their business and capitalise on opportunities. It’s extremely rewarding to hear feedback from clients that I am helping their businesses to succeed and to achieve their aims.” Liz is also excited to have become part of the Gippsland the Lifestyle family. Commencing from this issue, she will be contributing information and tips for supporting small business to the magazine on an ongoing basis. Liz’s first column appears on pages 168-169. If you wish to work with Liz to guide you and your business to efficiency and success, you can check out her website www.theefficiencycoach.com.au follow her on socials lizfleming_theefficiencycoach, send her an email hello@theefficiencycoach.com.au or Phone 0405 541 460.

Her efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed, being listed as a finalist in this year’s Gippsland Business Awards in the New Business category. Amongst other notable accolades, Liz has also been selected as a participant in Rocket Seeder, an accelerator program for food and agriculture startups that is led by some of the brightest minds in the Australian Food and Agriculture industry. “I’ve enjoyed working with all of my clients to date and have been able to make a positive effect in assisting them by tailoring my services to their business vision and individual needs,” she says. “I love the interaction and have quite a unique style that is built on being approachable and engaging.” Liz’s business is underpinned by her core values of Learning, Authenticity, Excellence, Creativity, Accountability and Connection. Clients have a range of service from which to choose, from entry level packages offering either a two-hour Zoom session or a three-hour deep dive strategy session, right up to a three-month business coaching program. In the current circumstances where many small businesses are facing uncertainty, Liz maintains it is now more important than ever that they seek to find efficiencies and engage the support of a business mentor to explore new strategies for their business.

what they're saying... “Liz has opened our eyes to the possibilities and opportunities for our business and has given us more time with our kids. Her ability to identify opportunities and efficiencies that we couldn’t see, has really transformed the way we do business.” Aimee & Lynton, Kingfisher Citrus (Feb 2021)

“Liz Fleming is an extremely approachable, knowledgeable, helpful business mentor. She has assisted us immensely with business planning, particularly around cashflow, marketing and streamlining our practices. Couldn’t recommend her services more highly.” Kristi (Oct 2020)

“Liz has been instrumental in analysing the operation of my business to help refine my offering, get the most out of my time and make my business as efficient as possible.” Zach, Design with Zach (June 2021)

“Liz has gone above and beyond in providing me great knowledge and reassuring guidance, as my business was at a standstill, with no growth and gains. She showed me how to grow, and how to be more confident in running my business which has helped me restructure my company for the future good.” Steve, Latrobe Valley (August 2021)

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If motherhood was a sport, and we were the players, Tarryn Priest would be the person we all need in our corner. The coach, the cheerleader, the superfan. Tarryn helps create the game plan, will pick you up when you fall and gives you the encouragement you need when you’re feeling defeated. She is the ultimate wing-woman. Tarryn, the owner of MumRise, offers a range of pregnancy, birth, and post-natal support services to parents all over Gippsland and surrounds. Providing education, a doula service, sleep and settling advice and more, Tarryn said there was a crucial need for parent support- especially during the pandemic. Restrictions and lockdowns have caused many important services like pre-natal classes, maternal health care home visits and mother’s groups to be cancelled or postponed. Even having a muchneeded conversation with friends and family over a cuppa is off the cards. As a mother to four young kids- Islah, Eddie, Billy, and Paddy- Tarryn knows all too well the challenges and triumphs that come along with raising kids and the importance of having a good support system. Tarryn confessed that she was maternal even at a young age. As a child, she would gravitate towards babies, curious about their nature and wanting to care for them. Even in high school she longed to be a mum. Now married to her high school sweetheart, he reminds her how at 17, she asked him how long they had to wait until they could have kids. The couple had their first child Isla when Tarryn was 22. Her son Eddie followed not long after. But it was the birth of her third son Billy that brought Tarryn to her knees. First, she suffered a traumatic birth, then she had a long and relentless challenge of monotonous sleepless nights. Tarryn was physically and emotionally drained and made the courageous move to get professional help and support. Tarryn was referred to the Raphael Centre in Berwick and started seeing a psychologist. She also took Billy to a sleep-school where she received important advice to help establish a proper routine. Getting that lifechanging help ultimately led Tarryn down her own career path.

Tarryn Priest I relied on them a lot and I don’t think I could have done it without them, but a lot of people don’t have that support,” Tarryn said. “We are missing the village that we used to have. Back in the day, many years ago, we would all be raising each other’s children within the community. Everyone would help one another. Even in some cultures now, mums have a Golden Month and don’t leave the home and people come and care for them. We are missing that here. It’s something that has just been forgotten about and we are expected to just take our babies home after we have them and know what the hell we are doing- and most of the time we don’t. Whilst we might even feel great and confident, there are times we really need the extra support. We forget we can ask for help, or we feel like we are failing if we ask for help.

After having her fourth son Paddy, Tarryn decided she wanted to help other women who were struggling in their own pregnancy or motherhood journey. Thus, MumRise was born. Initially known as Room to Sprout, the business underwent a recent name change to better reflect Tarryn’s wide range of services and business goal, which is to guide and support mums and their families throughout their challenges, celebrate their wins and empower those to thrive.

“ In Australia, most people haven’t even heard of a doula. A doula is not a medical professional, but they do give guidance and support, either physically or mentally or both, to the birthing person. It can be from debriefing about the process of birth and motherhood, or they are there to make a pot of soup for you, do some general housekeeping or let you sleep while they take care of your baby.”

“I want to remind each and every woman just how phenomenal they are,” she said. “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a motherhood full of glorious women to raise a mother.”

Furthermore, as a certified child and sleep infant consultant, Tarryn offers direction, advice, and encouragement to help parents work towards their sleep goals with their child. She said making sure a baby sleeps was vital to both the parent and the child, but urged parents to have realistic expectations.

Tarryn believes that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to labour and birth.

“I work with individual families and help create a plan to cater to each of their own needs, wants and values. I don’t make the same routine for everyone, and we can’t expect every child to be the same. Supporting and educating families about healthy sleep habits and what we can expect at every age and stage is really important,” Tarryn said. “I also think it’s important for people to establish great sleeping behaviours not just for the parent’s benefit, but for the child’s as well. Children need good sleep habits for their development and mental wellbeing.”

“The less prepared we are and the less knowledge we have, the higher the chance of negative outcomes for both mum and baby. There is so much fear surrounding birth these days that people draw their own conclusion of what their labour will be like before it happens,” she said. “We have lost the natural process of birth. There’s much more medical intervention happening now, which causes ripple effects for the entire process. I think that when we are better prepared and we have the tools to advocate for ourselves within our labour and birth, then it’s going to lead to better outcomes for everyone.”

Tarryn said “mum guilt” stops many from putting up with hand and asking for help.

Tarryn said over the years, we have also lost ‘the village’ it takes to raise a child. That is where her doula service comes into effect.

“Sometimes we think we are failing if we ask for help,” she said. “But it’s so important we try to get rid of that perception. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but we need to be aware that nobody is perfect. We are all just trying to do the best we can with what we have.”

“I was very lucky to have a supportive partner and my mum and sisters to help out.

More information visit mumrise.com.au or visit MumRise on Facebook.

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Local Heroes

Richard Darby was born in Melbourne and attended Box Hill Technical School. As a child, he was drawn towards minerals, mining and any course that involved gold. In 1952 Richard’s mother took him for a trip to Warrandyte, where he immediately walked over to the Yarra River where, as a 6 year old, he took his hanky out of his pocket and attempted to sieve for gold in the Yarra River. Richard knew that this was the site of the first discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851. His first attempts at finding gold were unsuccessful but his success rate would increase with the passing of time. After completing school Richard got a job with Vickers Rowult, a large engineering company as an apprentice fitter and turner. Work was fine but Richard always had a fascination for gold. During teenage years, Richard used to ride his bike from Ringwood to Warrandyte to pan for gold, a ride of about 15 kms. One day he ran into an old man at the river who told him that “he was doing it all wrong”. This proved to be correct and Richard formed a friendship with the old man who educated him in the correct way to pan for gold. This changed Richard’s approach completely and he became much more successful at finding the precious metal. At 18 years old, Richard met Lynette who was only 16 years old at the time. They courted for 2 years before getting married in Ringwood and living in Warrandyte. Lyn also loved gold prospecting, which was probably just as well, and often joined Richard chasing it. She also loved her expensive high heeled shoes and even wore then into the hills whilst panning for gold. Needless to say these shoes were not suited to the terrain in gold areas. She went through numerous pairs of shoes, breaking many heels and lucky not to break a leg. During his days at Warrandyte, Richard constructed a little crushing plant. That plant is now on display in the Warrandyte Museum. Whilst not making his fortune, Richard made enough money to keep his interest up. At this period, Richard ran courses teaching the children from numerous local schools how to prospect for gold. At times he had up to 35 kids in his course. The children were quite successful in finding gold and the schools embraced this outdoor, practical education.

Richard Darby on site at the mine

“The gold man”

Richard Darby BY TREVOR STOW


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One Sunday, Richard was asked by the commander of the local SES to stage a mock accident in a mine. He told Richard that his SES staff were not to know that it was an exercise and not real. Richard was placed in a mine shaft, covered in fake blood and fake bruising. The SES members were then called in to rescue him. He told them that he had a broken leg and was in severe pain. It took 2½ hours to winch him down from the mine being very careful not to further injure the broken leg. Richard groaned in pain as his “broken” leg banged against the mine wall. He was placed on the ground outside of the mine entrance and reassured by the SES staff that “everything would be OK”. Eventually the staff got a little suspicious as there was no ambulance in attendance. Eventually, the commander let the cat out of the bag and informed his staff that this was just an exercise. The rescuers were a little taken a back about being conned and did not unstrap Richard from the stretcher for some time. In 1977, Richard and Lyn moved to Swifts Creek, attracted by the prospect of gold “in them there hills”. He worked for a timber mill for several years before purchasing the iconic Swifts Creek General Store in 1987. Together with his son, Jason, Richard still owns this store. Even though the store provided Richard and his family with their income, chasing gold was always his real passion. Thirty years ago Richard noticed a person leaving the Swifts Creek pub, across the road from his store, in a vehicle each morning. Curiosity got the better of Richard and he approached this person and asked him what he was doing. That person, Bob Lynch told Richard that he was prospecting for gold in the Haunted Stream area. The 2 men started a friendship that lasts until today. They formed a small gold company, Mt Gingee Munjie P/L. They obtained a licence and reopened the 900 feet deep Cassilis Mine which went on to produced 3 kilos of gold. At the time gold was only $295 per ounce, as opposed to about $2350- per ounce today, so they did not make their fortune. They went on to sell the mine to a large mining company. Richard stayed on as mine manager for 6 years. There was significant gold in this mine however, the mining company could not get the necessary permits to fully develop it and also the price of gold was still low. The mine finally closed in 2010. Richard expects that it will again reopen one day.

Richard Darby stands outside an old gold tunnel from the 1800's that has been re-opened again

Anthony Bashford, East Gippsland Shire CEO and Arthur Allen East Gippsland Shire Councillor inspect the core samples

Richard shows Anthony Bashford the crushing plant.

A great deal of mining equipment is now on site just waiting for the results of the core samples

In the meantime, Richard and Lyn had bought a 300 acre property at Cassilis as a hobby block however Richard knew that there would be gold on this property. Once again, the hobby got out of control and profits from the general store started to get buried in the new mine. Returns from the new mine started to go “OK” helped by the price of gold rising to about $1500- per ounce. Richard and Bob installed a new crushing plant but ran into trouble again by not being able to treat the concentrates on site. At this stage, First AU Gold Company approached Richard and Bob to prospect for gold at this site on behalf of the company.

The Darby family tradition continues. During days away from the general store, son Jason now takes his wife and family out gold panning. Grandson Thomas is also working onsite at the mine, unloading truckloads of rock samples. Work at the mine is dirty and hard but Richard who is now semiretired would not have it any other way and he can still peruse his love with gold even harder.

They have now, recently, done significant core sampling and they are awaiting results. Richard has viewed these samples and is very excited at the prospects. Some of the gold reefs are up to 3 metres wide with drill holes down up to 600 feet but a lot of the gold is near the surface. The terrain in this area is quite steep but this is no draw back to mining, in fact it assists in accessing the reefs. There are some old tunnels in this mining area and engineers are currently looking at additional tunnels, off the old tunnels. They will soon be diamond drilling these tunnels to check their potential. Diamond drilling is a form of drilling that is low impact on the environment. New, improved technology is helping uncover hidden sites that prospectors in the early 1900’s missed. Richard says that “finding gold is the easy part; to get permits to operate is becoming an absolute nightmare”. Mining is controlled by many government departments some of which are ignorant to the needs of the miners. Also currently, environment policies make mining almost very difficult.

Richard explains to the author and Arthur his plans for this mine site

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gippsland lifestyle spring ����

East Gippsland has come alive this winter with the launch of its new East Gippsland Winter Festival celebrating all things art, food, music, beer and wine. Over the course of the festival, we have seen a Laneway event in Bairnsdale, a lantern parade in Bruthen, incredible food and wine and the truly mind-blowing Lakes Lights in Lakes Entrance. The original aim of the Winter Festival was to draw visitors to East Gippsland, post bushfires and during the low season for visitation, creating additional income for the hard-hit tourism and hospitality businesses across the region. The outcome, so far, has been overwhelmingly positive, with workshops and dinners sold out across the region. Communities have come together to create lantern festivals, lighting up remote townships and showcasing their ‘patch’ during the cooler months.

Event Creator Adam Bloem said of Lakes Lights “WOW! Lakes Lights as part of the inaugural East Gippsland Winter Festival blew my mind! So much magic on a cold winter’s night. The lanterns were literally WONDERFUL and the choir amongst the dunes was very special. Enjoyed by thousands of visitors! It was unbelievable and such a boost for the market stall holders and local businesses who all had roaring trade. All the organisers of the event should be so immensely proud - this group of talented, creative, passionate, hard-working, community-minded individuals are nothing short of amazing. Well done superstars! Can’t wait for next year” Marketing Manager, East Gippsland Marketing, Hayley Hardy said “Winter in East Gippsland is typically a quiet time of year. It was so wonderful to see whole towns full of visitors, accommodation booked out and restaurants busy.“ The East Gippsland Winter festival, which ran from June 18 to July 11, has showcased the villages and towns of the east through a series of pop-up events, cultural activities, exhibitions and workshops. The program includes inspiring day time experiences and night time activities. visit egwinterfest.com.au

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gippsland lifestyle spring ����

Snowy River Photos & Words by Ken Roberts

It’s a constant reminder as we drive how much improved the roads are from the past. Our pleasant journey lead us up the highway, took us through Bairnsdale and then further along towards Orbost. The signs of the bushfires over the past couple of years became evident in the blackened trees but it’s pleasing to witness their slow regrowth. I can’t remember the last time I was in Orbost but I saw it now in a new light. Even though the highway passes it by venturing into the town is a really nice diversion. It’s wonderful to find such an archetypal country town that still retains its charm. I wandered up the main street and it struck me how in a place like this, not so close to a big town, it had everything you required. It seemed like there was one of every type of shop or business you would need. It had such a warm and friendly feel and the interaction with the locals was so genuine and nice.

Just at the entrance to the main street is the log cabin information centre. Not only is it a wonderful building showing what construction was like in the past with a glowing fire in its hearth but the enthusiasm and welcome given was lovely. The friendly information officer had an encyclopedic knowledge about the whole region. You could tell she was speaking from experience as she talked about different walks and places to visit and about all of the small details you should know about them. I came away loaded with information, maps and a fresh insight into the area. I was quite amazed as we moved on at the ever present and legendary Snowy River. It was bigger than I remembered. It begins on the slopes of Mount Kosciuszko and flows 352 kilometres to Bass Strait through Jindabyne in New South Wales and Orbost and Marlo in Victoria.

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the Millie at Snowy River

Even though it’s not evident now but its flow was reduced to one percent in the mid 20th century with the construction of four large dams to create the Snowy River Hydro Electric scheme. It was immortilised in popular culture by Banjo Paterson’s poem, The Man from Snowy River. Though it seems benign as we drove beside the river I could tell by the way that most of the farm houses along its way had been raised to above flood level that it would easily break its banks in high rain periods. The old Rail bridge and the highway too are elevated above the floodplain. It’s very easy to imagine the surrounding floodplain covered with the raging snowy river at its peak. I love seeing the differing types of countryside as we drive and I’m always on the lookout and fascinated by the gems of old buildings that I see. The more rustic and dilapidated the better and we saw some classics as we drove along! A short journey from Orbost we arrived at Marlo, a quaint seaside town, “where the snowy River meets the sea”. It’s a tranquil place with several different accommodation options, a general store, cafe and large pub overlooking the river and coast. It has a unique position with its location on the Snowy and so close to the unspoilt beaches of the area. It’s a haven for year round fishing as well as bush walking, bird watching, water based activities and just relaxing. A great place to get away from it all. As we continued on there was more evidence of the savage bushfires of early 2020 that burned through the coastal vegetation right down to the beaches. There are so many walks along the river and the coastal estuary and it’s so interesting to see the entrance where the Snowy does enter into Bass Strait.


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We finally arrived at our destination, Cape Conran, a much loved holiday and camping spot for generations of people. It was totally empty, save for a couple of surfers offshore and personally I preferred it this way. It always amazes me that we are so fortunate that you can still come to such a well known and popular spot and have it to yourself. This though is not the norm because in summer I’m told it’s a bustling campsite located just metres from stunning pristine beach of the cape. The clean sandy beaches are bookended by rocky outcrops and are a perfect sheltered haven to enjoy long lazy days relaxing. As well as enjoying all the beachside activities there are many walks, some taking in the nearby Yeerung River. It really has everything for a nature filled getaway unfettered by shops and pizzaz. The main campground is Banksia Bluff which has fireplaces, shelter, bush showers and toilets. There are also self contained cabins and lodges available. This is yet another of Gippsland’s gems that is known by many or maybe not, but it should be. A day trip was great but its perfect for longer than that to explore the whole area properly. I love passing through towns along the way like Bruthen or Nowa Nowa just for a look or on the way home you can take an alternate route and return via Lakes Entrance. After talking to the tourist information officer I realized just how many other areas there were to discover just off the beaten track.



23 Sep – 22 Oct

21 March – 19 April

Confusion is rife. Other people can give you much needed information but are also happy to tell you what to do. You can easily be stuck in a cycle of industriously working without understanding why you are doing what you are doing. Spend resources wisely. Mid-season is not a good time to negotiate or argue with other people. They are revising their ideas and you will not be able to pin them down to anything. For yourself, think about a holiday, or take some time away from persistent duties. Late-season, is a time of transition. Let go and grow. Love the heavy as well as the light parts of yourself.

23 Oct – 21 Nov

20 April – 20 May

Creative thinking is the highlight. You can apply this to your work and really achieve a breakthrough without exerting yourself. This happens just in time for you to devote your time to enjoyment, celebrations or a much-needed holiday. Other people will show you the silver lining in any cloud. Mid-season, you will learn new habits or routines that will eventually help achieve progress, but at the start it can feel awkward. Late-season, it’s time to talk, listen, and connect with other people. You will have information to share and there is a delicate balance between agreeing to disagree, debate and outright argument.

Community, groups of people, clubs and organisations feature strongly this month. You are looking to the future, but they may lack the direction and focus that you want. Don’t give up, keep chipping away, as success comes later in the season. Mid-season, you will receive help and people will listen to what you say. Relax and smile and allow a sense of flow to happen. Soon you will be activated and moving ahead, especially in sorting out the home. What needs changing? Late season, trying to fit into other people’s plans will not work. Yours are the ones that matter to you.

22 Nov – 21 Dec

21 May – 20 June

The focus is on your home and while you initially don’t know where to start… you will soon be able to sort it out. It’s a great time to clean, recycle, reduce and simplify. You need time to see how to be true to yourself and what matters to you. Mid-season, new ideas and creative thoughts need time to settle and develop before you actually get started. Start them with good supporting structures in place. Other people will either help you, or inspire you… so spend time with them. Be curious. Late-season, the emphasis is on work and you can become very clever at finding “fixes” to issues.

You will start the season challenging authority figures. You cannot hide from them, and if you choose to be bold, the outcomes are not what you expect. Try new ideas and a new approach. Mid-season, whatever you are thinking about can manifest, so make sure you think about good things! Don’t waste it on simply indulgences, instead, focus on ease, happiness and cooperation. The difficult can become manageable, and the manageable becomes easy. Later in the season, you are restlessly looking forward, but fail to see what is in your hand? Look around at what you have, and what you love.

22 Dec – 19 Jan

21 June – 22 July

Communications will be confusing. Words don’t describe all that needs to be said. They will not understand you, and you won’t understand them, so say everything twice and in two different ways. Soon, energy rises around the home and family members... so renovate literally and metaphorically rather than let tensions mount. The benefit is that once you decide to get it cleaned out, sorted out, or fixed, then the issues can be resolved. Later in the season, its time take a rest. Let your creative spirit fly free, and play with ideas. It’s a time of celebrating life, especially with younger people or those with a youthful attitude.

You will learn more about your workplace or career, and it can lead to new future directions. Are you depending on logic rather than trust and intuition? If you have set events in motion, trust that all the cogs will line up. Mid-season, the workplace changes are becoming evident and will soon change. Energy and vitality increases, but you could try and use this in too many different directions. Lateseason, is the time to be a shining light in, or for, your tribe, group or network. You have the sparkle to make changes or to help your tribe achieve. This collective energy will refresh and renew you.

20 Jan – 18 Feb

23 July – 22 Aug

Your thoughts are being freely expressed, but you may not be focused on the consequences. Money flows out rather than in. Do you know exactly what you owe? And I don’t just mean financial debt. Ignore it, and the outcomes will cost, either financially or emotionally. Mid-season is not a good month to make decisions. Written or verbal words are rushed or can get tangled, and technical problems with social networking can arise. Double check that you have been understood. Assume nothing. Late-season, you need to retreat into your particular style of sacred space. What’s your happy place?

23 Aug – 22 Sep

You know that you know, and you know that you can do it. But a sense of uneasiness prevails. Notice when you feel uneasy, see where it is coming from. This will soon change and it’s a perfect time for action. Anything done in haste will lead to confusion. You may be turning circles on the spot, but this does not last long. All will move forward, especially later in the season, and more creative or fun ideas, are on offer. Keep an eye on money and how fast it goes and how slow it comes in. Sit down and make a list of what you value... emotionally, intellectually, as well as financial.

This is a time to revise emotional values and look inward to your feelings and reactions. Soon it’s time to move on and start exploring, as you are expanding your mind and being visible in the outer world. But right now, at the start of this season, finish the inner-life spring cleaning. Mid-season, taking a journey seems like a great idea. But double check arrangements, timetables, and bookings. Ask for a second opinion. Late-season, there is new heightened industrious energy with your work or career. This needs your full focus and you need to be prepared to adjust every action, even as you make them.

19 Feb – 20 March

Energy and vitality are surging with your self-expression and creative ideas bursting. But not at work. Other people will not understand this creative time and may only confuse issues. You can be a real help to young people and can show them how to initiate and start something new. Mid-season, there is a need to simplify life. Rushing will not suit the energies around you right now. Learn to relax and decide to do what is important. Work will amp up again, so relax as much as possible as your brain will work overtime! Weight up logic with gut instinct.

While other people are very sure of their view and their ideas, you are not sure of what to do, or what to think. Even if you do feel sure, other people are acting as if you are unsure. You cannot convince someone who has this mindset and you may react emotionally. Mid-season is a time of inner reflection and turning inward. Self-reflective questions to ask yourself are… what is pushing and who is pulling? What is within your power to change? What do you expect of others? Late-season, notice the difference between beliefs and facts.

KERRY GALEA ASTROLOGY, PALMISTRY AND ANCIENT MOON GARDENING Email: kerry@kerrygalea.com.au | Web: www.kerrygalea.com.au gippsland lifestyle spring ����


Our Beautiful Chaos

I wasn’t going to get a dog until my children were old enough to help take care of it. I said it several times, and I was sticking to my guns… that is, until I started getting clucky for another baby.

That’s how Gigi came along. My husband and I decided we would stop having kids after our third. We were thrilled (and very busy) with our three- Isla, 8, Louis, 4, and Stella, 1. We were almost out of the baby stage. We kept telling ourselves that we only had another few months of teething, toilet training and tantrums to go. It’s usually at this ‘I see the light at the end of the tunnel’ moment when I think that having just one more baby would be a good idea. But this time, knowing no more babies were on the cards, my brain went from noticing every infant I walked by, to noticing every dog. It didn’t help that Isla kept asking for a pet, Stella waved and cooed at every pup she saw, and Louis was ridiculously scared of them. People suggested we get a dog to help ease Louis’ fear. “Kids adapt better to pets when they grow up with them,” they said. So, after a lot of research and a few inquiries to my pet-owner friends, my husband and I found the perfect chocolate Labrador to join our family.

Gigi was welcomed into our home in May with heaps of cuddles and kisses. Louis warmed to her straight away, and within weeks he was pointing out other dogs he noticed while on our daily walks. “Look mum, that doggy is so cute,” he’d say. The changes in him were remarkable. On one of the first nights after Gigi joined our family, we all sat down to watch a movie. Having not seen ‘Marley and Me’ for a few years, I forgot how it ended and thought it would be a great flick to watch given it’s about a crazy golden lab. Isla still hasn’t forgiven me for picking that movie and making her cry for two days straight. Nonetheless, the movie resonated with the kids, who now call Gigi ‘Marley’ when she has a moment of madness- tearing through the house with loose socks from the laundry room, chewing shoes she snatched from the shelves or bouncing on top of the furniture like it’s a doggy trampoline. Between Gigi and Stella, I find myself in a complete spin at times trying to open their mouths to see what they’re eating, tell them off for climbing on stools and tables, and prying valuable items from their claws so they don’t break them.

It’s fine. I’m fine. Really, I’m fine (excuse me as I pour something strong into my cup)….

When Gigi joined our family, our house felt full and our hearts were bursting Words by Lia Spencer


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In all seriousness, getting Gigi when we did was perfect timing for us. I decided that if I was going to keep up with a puppy, I may as well do it while I’ve got the energy to chase my young kids too. Life is a bit chaotic- even in these strange pandemic times. Nothing stays clean for long, there’s many mouths to feed, and there’s always something to tend to. But, for now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I keep reminding myself that this craziness- this beautiful, messy, love-filled craziness- will end one day. The dog will get old and lazy, the toys will get packed away, and the kids will want to spend less time at home and more time with friends. I’ll miss the noise. I’ll miss the mess. I’ll miss all of this. So now, I’ll thank Gigi for adding to our beautiful chaos, and l’ll try my best to embrace the storm before the calm.

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canine corner


Bear the dog - i'm listening hooman

Blue - can i get out now?

Apollo & Venus - security please!

Hudson - waiting, food, ball... what we doin?

Mr Crunch - is it my birthday or yours?

Ruby - do my eyes llok good in this pic?

Lucy the lab - tired but comfy

Pip - where's the sheep, I need to run!

Ralf - I may look nervous but i got this


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proudly brought to you by

Sir Douglas and Dame Bonnie - we're lovely!

Tilka - my toy! Come at me bro'

George - Your bed suits me fine

Miss Poppy - i don't get this string theory

Gigi - i'm cutness personified

Millie - Ken, i'm over here...

our best friends

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

...just pawfect

Walhalla Dog - wanna play?

Snoopy - Standing still, i'm camouflaged gippsland lifestyle spring ����


Regenerative Agriculture

adopted for Vineyard By Frank Butera


gippsland lifestyle winter ����

Our Gippsland wine grape production faces numerous challenges from the impacts of climate change to consumer concern around production practices. Regenerative Agriculture is a shift in the way vineyards are managed and connected to the broader environment and could provide a system that increases soil capacity and microbial diversity. This could improve water capture and retention and challenge the increasing role of cultivation in organic vineyard systems. This could also be the key to unlocking the individual 'terroir' of vineyards and provide a unique environmentally friendly story to consumers.

A diverse mix of cover crop plants with different flowers and flowering times increases the habitats for predator insect species. These are beneficial in controlling pest insect species.

To give the generations to follow the best opportunity to produce worldclass wines the industry must not be content with 'sustaining' vineyard ecosystems. Regenerative Agriculture shows enormous potential as a farming system to repair soils and set them on a productive path.

This concentrates the manure onto smaller parcels of soil increasing nutrient availability for the pasture. It also reduces the threat of overgrazing and selective grazing. This continuous light grazing keeps plants in a vegetative state and promoting root growth that produces root exudates and feeds soil microbes and pumping carbon into the soil profile. Livestock has become increasingly popular in vineyard operations in Australia. With the move away from herbicide use, many vineyards are using livestock to reduce midrow and under vine vegetation over winter.

Increasing the capacity of soils through building and managing soil carbon levels and the soil microbial network with the use of plants and their diversity, is key to stopping the decline of soils. Its principles are based on repeating what happens naturally by having a diverse range of plant life storing and cycling carbon and increasing soil microbial diversity and activity through interaction with these plants. There are six Regenerative Agriculture practices that are often considered to create a healthy, diverse, living soil microbial ecosystem.

THE SIX PRACTICES ARE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Balancing soil nutrition limitations Keeping the soil covered Minimising soil disturbance Increasing plant and microbial diversity Incorporating living roots into the farming system all year round Integrating and managing Livestock

Livestock integration – the great potential with animals to accelerate soil health and regeneration through planned grazing management. The way these are managed through the landscape is just as important. The preferred technique in Regenerative Farming is to have high stock numbers per hectare (Ha) and move them frequently.

At Bass River we are running multiple Regenerative Farming trials with selected cover crops on some blocks and sheep grazing over winter in other blocks. The initial results have produced promising results so far, and we look forward to optimising Regenerative Farming for vineyards in Gippsland. FRANK BUTERA IS THE WINEMAKER AT BASS RIVER. Email: frank@bassriverwinery.com Instagram: @bassriverwinery

They provide the principles to create a healthy, diverse, living soil microbial ecosystem. This over time produces a high functioning soil capable of high productivity and increased quality. Implementing these practices into a manageable system differs from vineyard to vineyard. There is no one size fits all approach and it will take discipline and patience as meaningful change will take time. Regenerative Agriculture relies on the farmer-driven trial and observation. This does not diminish its potential impact but highlights that no-one understands their farm and landscape better than the farmer (grape grower). Increase diversity – above and below the ground is key for stable and high functioning natural ecosystems in plant diversity and a mix of soil microbial diversity. To help build resilience in soil a diverse range of plant species is needed above the ground to cultivate a diverse microbial ecosystem below the ground. Every plant exudes its own unique blend of sugars enzymes, phenols, amino acids, nucleic acids, auxins, gibberellins and other biological compounds, many of which act as signals to soil microbes. The greater the diversity of plants, the greater the diversity of microbes and the more robust the ecosystem over time. The mid-row area of the vineyard provides a great opportunity to experiment with different species of plants to kick-start the microbial diversity required to build resilience into the vineyard system. The physical nature of this plant mix is also important to the vineyard system.

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

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


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






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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Family photo credit: Kate Lafferty photography 2021

As the big, white Census envelopes begin to appear in our letter boxes, the radio and television screens are swamped with Government announcements asking us where we’ll be on the Census evening, it’s evident another five years has passed and it’s time to update the country’s statistics yet again. The biggest and saddest irony is, that most of us will be on the couch under stay-at-home orders with not much else to do in the middle of a pandemic apart from a Census form; something certainly not predicted by the Bureau of statistics back in 2016 and not the excitement we were all looking for in 2021.


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I have been having a little giggle to myself about how to complete our questionnaire because our family dynamic is quite fluid depending on where any of the six children are at the time and often, we are a blended family of eight, predominantly semi-blended of five, sometimes three and occasionally, it’s just the two of us. Is there enough room on a form for that? I can tell you firsthand that it makes food shopping a nightmare and if you’re ever thinking of referring to us a ‘nuclear family’, we’ve well and truly created more of an atomic explosion!

Over the years, people have likened us to The Brady Bunch and this made me think about the evolution of what is considered a ‘modern family’ and how in the 60’s and 70’s, the Brady’s were in enough of a unique situation to create a whole series about it. I recall that even in the 80’s when my own parents separated, I was one of very few children living between two parents, however, now days it’s not uncommon. In an ideal world, everyone would live happily ever after as they intended of course, although, individual circumstances, a tragedy or the power of making proactive choices will always play a part in how families end up being structured and really, who’s to say what is supposed to be ‘normal’ and what’s not anyway these days? If you combine all these factors with the steadily increasing population, immigration, religious and cultural shifts, the growing acceptance of nontraditional relationships and an increasing number of people choosing career and education over ‘settling down’, it makes for a myriad of family situations. In 2017, we saw the Nation vote for marriage equality and same sex marriage was recognised in Australia in the same year, therefore formalising some family or partnership situations for many people, adding to the list of dynamics. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ projections, “in 2041, there are projected to be between 12.6 million and 13.2 million households in Australia (up from 9.2 million in 2016).   

Family households are projected to remain the most common household type in Australia, at 69% to 71% of all household in 2041. Lone-person households are projected to make up 24% to 27% of all Australian households in 2041. Group households are projected to make up 4% to 5% of all households in 2041.”

It will be interesting to see if these projections alter greatly in the next handful of years if Australia continues to limit immigration due to the pandemic, or we experience an economic downturn and citizens start to reconsidering starting a family or increasing their family (other than purchasing expensive designer puppies and sour dough starters instead of overseas holidays) due to affordability issues from income loss or business closures. The ‘modern family’ may change all over again due to those factors, as it has in a cyclical fashion over the years. No matter what your family make-up, I hope many have been learning to appreciate the loved ones they suddenly can’t visit, feel protective of those who are vulnerable and even though we may be going a little bonkers stuck in close quarters with some of our own nearest and dearest; spare a though for those who have the family status of living on their own who may be doing it a bit tough.


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

For further information, please email youcanactivewear@gmail.com or go to www.youcanlifestyle.com.au | www.christienelson.arbonne.com youcanactivewearandlifestyle youcanactivewear christienelson0827

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Biting the

Bullet Words by Camilla Hullick


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As news of another corona outbreak in Melbourne rang in my ears, I realised I had to stop procrastinating. It was time to bite the bullet and step up to the readily available Covid-19 vaccine in South Gippsland. I knew it was a necessary requirement but felt dubious and a little fearful of the unknown, long term side effects of the young booster. Until now I wasn't prepared to be a trend-setter and decided to wait, hovering in the background. I'm certain I wasn't on my own. However, another lockdown? Surely not! I believed we'd moved past these severe restrictions. I thought quarantine issues were finally understood and managed well in Victoria. I was convinced Australia, our vast island, was relatively safe, but sadly no. It was time to put my big girl's pants on and take the jab. How else would this world ever open again if we are not all immunised?! On a mission, I immediately rang the Foster Medical Centre to book an appointment time, assuming I would need to wait a few weeks before being seen. This would give me sufficient time to mentally prepare myself, I thought. However, two days later I found myself warily standing in the waiting room! Eyes peering out from over the top of all too familiar face masks, I approached reception struggling to hear the young lady's directions. I accepted the face protection was mandatory and beneficial, but the impersonal aspect overwhelmed me just as it did throughout 2020.

While Faye waited for her lift, I left the medical premises on the fifteenminute stroke and drove home, reassuring myself I'd commenced my duty towards healing the world. I was feeling good. With a new appointment time booked, I would return in twelve weeks to complete the immunisation program and hope to once again cross paths with my new, elderly friend. The following day I awoke feeling a little ordinary with a dull overall ache that lasted the morning. A headache followed and remained for the afternoon; however, I was assured my reaction wasn't uncommon. I wondered how Faye pulled up and hoped her astounding, healthy track record continued throughout the post vaccine period. The world population needs the administration of a Covid-19 vaccine to enjoy some sort of universal normality once again. I believe the Corona virus isn't going anywhere. I feel we're obliged to adjust to life with and around the damaging virus strains, like the many illnesses we already endure daily. Seriously, what choice do we have?

Do we wish to sit in our protected homes for the rest of our lives without social interaction? I certainly don't! I've now taken the first step toward normalcy. Whether I feel apprehensive or not, it makes no difference. If the vaccine allows us to lead full, rich, purposeful lives, surely, it's in our best global interests to welcome the jab – unless of course, we are deemed ineligible.

The comfortably warm waiting room portrayed an organised busyness. Medical staff were constantly venturing in, out and through the spacious area calling patients' names. I admired and respected their dedication. A friendly receptionist with comforting, smiling eyes I immensely appreciated, handed me a form of extensive health questions to fill out while I waited my turn. I was still feeling a little apprehensive at this stage and as I looked around the room, I wondered how many others resonated with me. It seemed most were there for the same reason I was. Interrupting my unhelpful train of thoughts, a seemingly efficient nurse suddenly appeared from nowhere and called my name. She then proceeded to voice a second name and it became apparent two patients were shown into a consultation room at one time to consecutively be given the vaccine. As I stood up and headed towards Nurse Nancy, I scanned the room wondering who I was to share this unnerving experience with. Then I noticed a little, aged lady emanating a determined air of confidence. She had already reached Nancy, and both were waiting for me to front up. I quickly hurried not to keep them or the orderly process waiting. Faye, my vaccine comrade, sat down and promptly pulled up her sleeve, ready for action. I started to unpeel my cardigan as I stumbled over my words, attempting to pick Nancy's brain one last time about the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was about to permeate my body. Before I had completely removed my cardigan, I had unobtrusively been administered the booster.

It was done. Faye was next and didn't flinch an eyelid. There was no uncertainty or fear about her. She knew the intervention was necessary to protect her as much as possible from the dreaded virus. She seemingly breezed through the process with unshakable trust in Nurse Nancy and the AstraZeneca vaccine. Although I stand 180cm tall and towered over Faye, I suddenly felt extremely small! Faye and I returned to the waiting room together and were required to sit for fifteen minutes in case any undesirable reactions surfaced encouraged by the booster. We chatted as we watched the clock together. Faye, who lives on her farm in Fish Creek, proudly disclosed she was in her nineties and felt fortunate to have suffered minimal health issues during her lengthy lifetime. Her happy, wise, and content persona was inspiring, and I felt honoured to share her company.

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A NEW CANCER TREATMENT CENTRE FOR BASS COAST AND SOUTH GIPPSLAND IS EASING THE BURDEN OF TREATMENT ON CANCER PATIENTS DURING ONE OF THE MOST TRYING TIMES OF THEIR LIVES. Bass Coast Health (BCH) opened its Integrated Care Centre – known as the L. Rigby Centre – at Wonthaggi Hospital on 29 March this year in response to a high incidence of cancer rates in the region.

“We know that this is already making a huge difference to patients and their families in our region. It’s a very exciting time for our community and the staff at BCH.”

Receiving cancer treatment is a stressful, costly and exhausting experience for cancer patients and their carers.

The modern treatment centre offers nine chairs and three consulting rooms at Wonthaggi Hospital and expands the cancer service that was already being delivered in collaboration with Alfred Health.

By being able to receive treatment locally, many cancer patients in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland no longer have to travel round trips of three hours or more to receive treatment at Melbourne centres. The leading expertise brought to BCH from the Alfred Health Oncology team and the skills sharing between the health services has been pivotal to building local services. The introduction of an Integrated Care Unit, new facilities and specialist services met a service gap in the region, with instances of breast, colorectal and prostate cancer more than 20% higher than most regions in Victoria. Cancer is a leading cause of disease burden in Victoria with an average of 84 new diagnoses of cancer every day and the leading cause of death in Gippsland. Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child has watched the BCH’s cancer services grow since commencing. “Specialist Haematologists including Dr George Grigoriadis and Dr Abbi Willcox, Specialist Medical Oncologists such as Professor Mark Shackleton and Adj Assoc Prof Andrew Haydon, and Specialist Radiation Oncologist Associate Professor Hany Elsbeth are all providing world class cancer care at BCH”. “These specialists are joined by our BCH nursing and pharmacy staff who underwent training at Alfred Health to ensure our chemotherapy treatments are safe and of a high quality."


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Co-designed by staff and patients, the build was possible thanks to support from the Australian Government announced by Monash MP Russell Broadbent and donations from the generous local community, including a generous donation of $850,000 from Lawrence, Doreen and Lorelei Rigby - a donation recognised through the centre being named the L. Rigby Centre. “We have had extraordinary support from the Commonwealth Government in funding much of the building, the Victorian Government in funding the doctors and nurses and the growth of this service, and a truly wonderful local community that has supported the furnishings and equipment,” Ms Child said. “With the doors open for this much needed facility, we couldn’t be more excited. We feel very blessed.” George Grigoriadis, Specialist Hematologist, joined Bass Coast Health two years ago to start cancer services at Wonthaggi Hospital with Dr Abbey Willcox and to help shape the vision for the new L. Rigby Centre. Dr George Grigoriadis said the completion of the L. Rigby Centre “is an extraordinary outcome and I’m excited for our Bass Coast community. The design sees all of our services working together so that our patients feel well supported”. “To me it’s the most amazing and enjoyable thing to be part of. It gives me purpose working with this team to realise what we can contribute to this community,” he said.

George said that his work with patients in the region emphasised the need to treat patients locally and the L. Rigby Centre was filling this gap. “This will be a model for other regional places throughout Victoria and Australia,” he said.


“In planning for this beautiful facility we were adamant that this would be about growing care capability in the region.”

Families in the Bass Coast community that have suffered from cancer have a deep understanding of what the L. Rigby Centre means.

The light filled treatment centre was purpose built to offer nine chairs with views to an outside garden and three consulting rooms close to treatment and care at Wonthaggi Hospital.

Kirsten Weinzierl, an Operations Director at Bass Coast Health, has worked to take the Integrated Care Centre from an idea to reality.

The centre was designed by BBP Architects, and built by a project team led by TS Constructions.

She knew the need for the Integrated Care Centre from a clinical perspective but also from a deeply personal level.

Bass Coast Health’s local auxiliaries also garnered support and funds for the L. Rigby Centre. The San Remo Op-Shop Auxiliary, Inverloch Fundraising Auxiliary, the Inverloch Art Show Auxiliary, Phillip Island Health Hub Auxiliary and the Bass Coast Ladies Auxiliary collectively raised $244,981.

Several years ago, Kirsten’s husband Rob was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. Her mother died of the same cancer when she was just a teenager.

A further $25,567.90 has been raised to date from other community members for furnishings and equipment.


Up until the diagnosis, Kirsten and Rob were working fulltime; Rob was self-employed. “The unforeseen costs of travelling back and forth to the city for treatment were incredible. We estimated it to be about $70,000 when we considered fuel, food and accommodation and loss of income,” she said. The travel also had a huge impact on the wellbeing of their family. “Our son was 14 at the time and we had to organise care. It was a very difficult time in our life,” Kirsten said. Building the centre was an important project for Wonthaggi firm TS Constructions. Company director Trevor Bowler said the peak of construction saw up to 60 tradespeople involved in the project, most of them local. “All of us have been touched by cancer and to bring blood and cancer services close to home is wonderful for our local community,” he said.

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


Harnessing the Five

Languages By Erin Miller


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And likewise, "Quality Time" for me equates to quality conversations where I connect deeply and authentically with the other person and participating in quality activities- so sitting on the couch watching TV while we scroll through social media does not cut it for me!

In the absence of clear communication and speaking the "Love Language" of another; whether that be a partner, child, friend, or colleague is so often the fuelling for arguments, hurt, tantrums, misunderstandings, and relationship breakdowns.

My eldest son's love language is "Quality Time”, and my middle son is "Physical Touch". My husband is a mix of "Quality Time" and "Physical Touch".

I have found that mostly we just want to feel heard, feel we are understood and feel truly and deeply loved and appreciated. Whilst we may have good intentions to be communicating in this way, sometimes unless we are speaking the other persons love language we might as well be talking a foreign language!

By identifying how to speak our love languages in a way that makes each of us feel really loved and understood-our day-to-day interactions with each other only get easier. It takes practice and I am by no means an expert at it, but when things are going south it’s a great tool to refer back to.

TA K E M E F O R E X A M P L E ; B A S E D O N G A RY C H A P M A N S B O O K " T H E 5 L O V E L A N G UA G E S " M Y L O V E L A N G UA G E S A R E P R I M A R I LY " Q UA L I T Y T I M E " A N D " W O R D S O F A F F I R M AT I O N " .

D O Y O U K N O W Y O U R L O V E L A N G UA G E ?

So, for me I feel heard, understood, loved, and appreciated if the people nearest and dearest to me respond with "Words of Affirmations" such as compliments, acknowledgment for my day-to-day efforts and encourage me using kind and humble words-then I'm one happy lady!


Erin Miller is a NLP life coach, mentor, writer and proud mama to 3 very active young boys. Her previous career roles have been quite diverse and she has a background in hospitality/travel, disability/mental health and business management. Trained in a variety of modalities including NLP, Life Coaching and as a Soul Modes Mentor, she has had the privilege to work with clients all around Australia and also runs empowerment workshops, retreats and group events.

For further information please call 0418 328 441 or visit my website www.erinmiller.com.au or follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Do you have a question or a topic you would like Erin to write about? Send her an email at erin@erinmiller.com.au

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5 Lessons

learnt from lockdown

Photo kindly supplied by BBQ Galore Traralgon

Here we are lockdown number arhhhhh……. I honestly have lost count. One lockdown has rolled into the next and really isn’t it quality that is more import than quantity? What does a quality lockdown look like? Here are 5 lessons learnt from lockdown that will help support you and your family through this paradigm. by Christine Boucher


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lessons LESSON 1 CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL AND LET GO OF WHAT YOU CANNOT. Easier said than done, control and certainty are a basic core need. It helps give us a sense of safety and security knowing that we are in control with freedom to choose our own path forward. Yet this external force, this current paradigm we live in, this pandemic has relinquished our control and taken away our freedoms. We have been governed by external rules and regulations that previously we have never had to consider. It is the loss of that control that exacerbates frustration and stress which shows up in ineffective and unproductive behaviors. Take a moment and consider all that you still have ownership of and can control that will serve you purposefully. We have the freedom to exercise and walk here in our beautiful backyard of Gippsland. I walk around the lake in the morning and see the sunrise, such a magnificent sight of raw beauty. You have the control to switch off the news or social media if it’s not supporting your mental health. I often switch off the television and turn to board games with my family as it brings laughter and joy. You have the certainty that tomorrow the sun will rise and as spring arrives the flowers will bloom and with that comes mindfulness in the moment, peace and a sense of hope for the future.

LESSON 2 MANAGING STRESS IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE. It’s easy to get caught up in the cumulative external stressors that seem to surround our daily lives. Trying to work from home, continuing business in lockdowns, homeschooling children, managing finances, not to mention the constant hum of background noise COVID, lockdown, vaccination, sickness, death. It can be all so consuming and overwhelming and easy to tip into the fight and flight response, become stressed, get frustrated, angry and fearful. These emotions can lead to unhealthy reactions like yelling at the kids, fighting with your partner or simply getting annoyed at the mask less person in the store and having a dig at them. Managing your own stress is good for everyone as supporting your internal emotions and having strategies to self-regulate can combat unproductive or unhelpful behaviors. Having the tools that help you manage your stress such as deep breathing, meditation, exercise, music and relaxing, empower your ability to deal with challenging circumstances. This in turn increases your resilience and ability to bounce back when times are tough, promoting good relations, communications and healthier outcomes for all.

LESSON 4 WE ARE MORE RESILIENT THAN WE THINK. This pandemic has exposed a rawness of human nature, its highlighted naiveté and exacerbated belief systems and divisions thereof. Yet we have learned to adapt to what may be considered as the most devastating episode in recent history. We are more resilient than we think. We have acclimatised to the jarring disruptions that came with pandemic life -- at work, at school, in our social lives -- we did it while navigating and recovering from the summer bushfires and winter floods. We have followed the rules, sacrificed our freedoms and kept our community safe. There has been a collective community spirit of support and compassion for one another. I’m proud to be Gippslandian and I’m proud to have contributed to our successful collective outcome of health and safety.

LESSON 5 SHOWING GRATITUDE AND COMPASSION ENHANCES OUR SPIRIT AND OUR COMMUNITY. What are you truly grateful for in this moment? The warm sunshine upon your face, the sound of your children’s laughter, the roof over your head, the beautiful dinner your partner cooked? Gratitude inspires feelings of happiness and hope, it releases feel good hormones into our bloodstream that promote good health and combat disease. Compassion is essential towards self and others that are experiencing challenge in their own right. Having the emotional intelligence to recognise your own as well as others frustrations and practising empathy and kindness. Providing a smile, even behind the mask the eyes smile, issuing a compliment or kind word, supporting where you can goes a long way to improving your or someone else’s day. As a community collective being grateful for the place we live, surrounded by the amazing Gippsland Lakes, mountains, bushlands, native animals and a warm spring breeze. Community spirit and compassion enhances our connectedness and support for local business, the elderly, mental health and our children. We are blessed to live in a healthy place to grow and thrive and be happy. Challenges are designed to teach us lessons, build our resilience and capacity to grow. We are learning and growing and together we are stronger.


LESSON 3 BEING WITH LOVED ONES IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS. Suddenly we have been enforced into this situation where we are confined to our homes with immediate family. Never have we spent so much time with our partners and little ones. Normally we are off to work, heading out to the gym for a workout, catching up with friends at a restaurant. Now the restaurant, the gym, the workplace, the school is at home with your family. A once in a lifetime paradigm that brings our whole world to our doorstep, thanks to technology. A priceless opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and really get to know each other. I have been enlightened learning more about where my children are with their studies. Long walks with friends have given me the insights to their stories. Many board games have identified to my family, my competitive and determined nature. Long phone calls with dear friends and family have provided me with a new found respect and appreciation they are in my life. The opportunity to have regular human contact, a friendly gesture from a stranger, hugs from the kids, and the affectionate purr of the cat brings happiness to our soul.

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


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How to Support You & Your Business

with Liz Fleming The Efficiency Coach 168

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Photo by Lisa Baker

We all know that the past 18 months have been tough for us all, especially for small businesses. I’m passionate about seeing small businesses thrive, even through these tough times with COVID. As consumers there’s a few things we can do to support local small businesses and to be mindful of the extra stresses that are being imposed on small businesses at this time. During the most recent lockdowns I made sure I supported local businesses as much as I could, by purchasing food and necessities from local cafes and shops on a daily basis. Sharing these local shopping moments on social media has been a great way to spread the word. Now that we are out of lockdown in Regional Victoria (for now) buying local on a daily basis should be on everyone’s ‘To-Do List’ as a priority. Actually, I’m sure there are people starting to write their Christmas Shopping Lists, so be sure to put your local shops at the top of the list. Get super organised, buy now and put them away in the cupboard. Now that’s being very efficient (as long as you don’t forget where you’ve hidden the presents). Buy the wrapping paper later! If you’re a small business owner, we need to make sure you and your business not only survive this time but also thrive in this challenging environment. One of my main philosophies is to remember that doing business YOUR WAY is always the best way. Everyone is different, we all have different creative minds, so work out your best way and keep going. Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, so it’s really important that you manage your time and energy effectively to ensure you are not rushing about trying to do everything at once. You can’t do everything and nor does anyone expect you to do everything. What is it that you need to outsource or delegate in your business? Prioritising self-care when you’re a business owner may sound counterproductive in the first instance, but if you’re not firing on all cylinders at the start of the day, your energy will get zapped pretty quickly. On a daily and weekly basis I recommend taking some time out from the business; this may be as little as 15 minutes for activities such as meditation, yoga, daily walk, time for your favourite hobby, this will make you more productive overall.

The key is planning your day and week on a regular basis, making sure you write it down somewhere so it’s easy to find and refer to frequently. Sharing this plan with your business partners, family and staff can lead to greater efficiencies, so everyone knows what you’re up to and the priorities for the week. Effectively communicating your clear boundaries for yourself and your business is the next step to running an efficient business. We can’t be all things to all people, we all have different roles and responsibilities in our lives that we need to manage. Setting boundaries can be as simple as setting your mobile phone to ‘do not disturb’ at night, setting automatic replies to your emails and private messages and being clear about the product and services that you DO and DO NOT offer.

This behaviour isn’t helpful for anyone. Yes, you do need to be aware of your competitors and changes in the market, but don’t stress about what they are doing, instead focus on your point of difference. You have your client database to draw upon, through honesty and trust, keeping them up to date with your business developments. Recently I’ve helped clients who wanted to grow their revenue, they initially wanted to find brand new clients, instead we developed a strategy to re-engage with current and past clients to spread the word about the service offering with the aim of raising the per-client rate. It costs more to gain new clients than re-engaging your past or current clients. Sending out a feedback request in a way that is relevant and appropriate to your business, to assess if their needs and desires have changed over time (which can be very much the case over the past few years, as habits and the way we do live has changed dramatically). Stay efficient!

Focusing on you and your business is a way of managing your own mental load, rather than worrying about what others are doing and trying to directly compete on the daily.

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

Her promise is more profit, more time and more fulfilment. Liz is a Chartered Accountant with a Masters in Forensic Accounting, with more than 15 years of finance experience across various industries (including government) and has called Gippsland home for the past 5 years. She launched her business during COVID-19 in August 2020. www.theefficiencycoach.com.au @lizfleming_theefficiencycoach

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Articles inside

169 LIZ FLEMING – How to support you & your business

pages 168-169

BASS COAST HEALTH – A new cancer treatment centre in Wonthaggi

pages 162-163

165 ERIN MILLER – Harnessing the 5 love languages

pages 164-165

161 CAMILLA HULLICK – Biting the bullet

pages 160-161

159 CHRISTIE NELSON – The modern family

pages 158-159

KERRY GALEA – Spring Stars

page 147

149 OUR BEAUTIFUL CHAOS – And along came Gigi

pages 148-149

THE GROVE GIPPSLAND – Fine dining in Krowera

pages 156-157

155 FRANK BUTERA – Regenerative Agriculture adopted for vineyard

pages 154-155

146 MILLIE’S ADVENTURES – The Millie at Snowy River

pages 144-146


pages 142-143

141 LOCAL HEROES – The Gold Man – Richard Darby

pages 140-141

139 TARRYN PRIEST – Helping Mums Rise

pages 138-139

137 LIZ FLEMING – The Efficiency Coach

pages 136-137

135 STEVE ALLENDER – Country move a new beginning for Allender

pages 132-135

131 WOODLEIGH’S – Smashing Table Tennis

pages 130-131

128 JUST LIKE HEAVEN – A Grand Design Church House

pages 126-128

125 MOOS AT MEENIYAN – Relaxed & Welcoming

pages 124-125

123 MESMERISING MOUNTAINS – The Hoddle Mountain Trail

pages 120-123

119 BE ENCHANTED – A Gippsland haven

pages 118-119

117 THE INVERLOCH AMAZON – When history & contemporary blend

pages 116-117

115 RIGBY HOMEMAKERS – Customer Satisfaction

pages 114-115

105 THE BIRD AND THE WOLF – Winning high praise in Tarwin Lower

pages 104-105

111 PUSHED TO THE LIMITS – Gruelling challenge in the Victorian Alps

pages 108-111

107 MT BAW BAW – There’s a mountain of things on offer

pages 106-107

GROW MASTER TRARALGON - Garden, Fashion, Giftware solutions

page 103

101 BURRA GARDEN SUPPLIES – Korumburra’s gem

pages 100-101

99 GROWMASTER TRARALGON – A unique wonderland

pages 98-99

93 JINDI CAF – Challenges and change

pages 92-93

BRENT SINCLAIR CATERING – Mobile catering & Takeaway meals

page 96

89 CRAWFORD MARINE – Boating on the Blue Rock Dam

page 88

BBQ GALORE TRARALGON – The home of outdoor living

page 85

91 DROUIN NEWSAGENCY – Spreading good news

pages 90-91

47 Gippsland Storm Special Feature

pages 20-47

CPK MCLAREN MOTORBODY – Motor Body Vehicle Repairer

page 19

THE GURDIES WINERY – Refurbished award winning winery

page 15

EDNEYS LEONGATHA – New Nissan Navara

pages 3-4

RUSSELL NORTHE MP – State Member for Morwell

pages 5-6

11 WGCMA – Clinton Tepper Multi Storey Farming

pages 10-11

9 CURTIS AUSTRALIA – International Watch Brand created in Gippsland

pages 8-9

WONTHAGGI LOTTO – Authorised Tattslotto Agency

page 7
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