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Spring issue #44

MICHAEL & RUTH FOZARD Giving the greatest gift of all GENESTA HOUSE PHILLIP ISLAND After 100 years still embracing change JEFF BOURMAN The Straight-Shooting Politician WARRAGUL POLICE Keeping Communities Safe

ISSN 1838-8124

+ Regular Features Horoscope | Positive Lifestyle Tips | Millie’s Adventures |Canine Corner


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


editorial spring #44 Spring in Gippsland Welcome to our Spring Edition 44. Firstly, I want to thank all of our loyal clients for their magnificent support of our magazine in what can only be described as trying and tough days for business, Also a special mention to our new clients who have come on board, to advertise in these days when businesses are doing it tough under the Covid-19 conditions... it is truly welcomed. And of course, our readers, old and new, supporting our shops in buying a copy is very much appreciated, the kind comments we have received, makes it all worthwhile in the end. There are some warm hearted, sad, and real-life stories in this edition, in fact there are thirty-six features in this edition brought together for your enjoyment by our hard-working journalists and contributors. I would also like to thank Inspector Alison Crombie from the Warragul Police who gave the magazine the opportunity to see how the police operate their days during this pandemic we are involved in, their support, patience and time they gave was truly appreciated and we in turn look forward to an ongoing series of features with the Warragul Police, it makes for interesting reading. There are some wonderful features in this edition, our new Local Heroes, starts off with local Bairnsdale man John Nash who has a great story to tell, our continuing feature on Small Towns of Gippsland highlights Toongabbie, full of surprises. There is plenty to read, I don’t like singling out features but take a good read of the story on Michael and his late wife Ruth Fozard a love story that ends in sadness but in hope as well, should have come with tissues. Enjoy this edition, it has been prepared with care, love and enjoyment and our never ending commitment to Gippsland. Happy Reading!

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GIPPSLAND LIFESTYLE COAST COUNTRY – Publishing Details WHERE DO I BUY THE SPRING GIPPSLAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE? KINGBUILT – Hampton’s Style “Laid back, luxurious Hampton’s style” TAIT’S INTERIORS IDEAS & INSPIRATIONS – Sheer Delight WGCMA – Corner Inlet – A Ramsar site, right in our backyard MILLIE’S ADVENTURES – Millie…. Dog Day Out TAKE A STROLL THROUGH THE BALD HILLS WETLAND RESERVE POSTCODE HIVES – Tasting the sweet flavours of Gippsland TOWNSEND’S NURSERY – South Gippsland Gardening Mecca MT CANNIBAL – Local contributions sought for new book ROAD TRIPPING – Made Easy GIVING THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL – The heart-warming story of Ruth Fozard GENESTA HOUSE – Embracing Change FINDING THE GRAIN – A Labour of Love JOHN JENNINGS – Down To Earth Love Affair THE MELBOURNE FURNISHING CO. – Tradition in Store CRAWFORD MARINE – Boating is a Lifestyle VIRTUE HOMES – ‘Building Excellence’ New State-of-the-art-homes WINTERING IN SOUTH GIPPSLAND – Walks on the beach SAN REMO – Walks and Trails JEFF BOURMAN – Straight Shooter LOCAL HEROES – John Nash FRANK BUTERA – Wine Language – A few common words FISHING – After the fires TOONGABBIE – Welcome to Toongabbie WONTHAGGI CENTRAL AREA TRAIL CURTIS AUSTRALIA – The Finer Things In Life WEST GIPPSLAND LIBRARIES – More than books: Libraries can change lives CANINE CORNER – Our best friends WARRAGUL POLICE – Keeping communities safe SNOWDON STUDIOS – An artistic journey from Texas to Tyers CGS FITNESS – Motivation – Getting It Finding it Keeping it KINDNESS IS KEY by Christine Boucher FACE EVERYTHING & RISE by Christie Nelson FINDING YOUR MOTIVATIONAL FLOW by Erin Miller HOW TO GET A SUBSCRIPTION WITH GIPPSLAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE KERRY GALEA’S SPRING HOROSCOPE – What’s In The Stars BOOLARRA FOLK FESTIVAL – Goes virtual for 2021

our advertisers

Doug Pell

our spring front cover Spring has sprung

our spring back cover

Virtue Homes New Display Home The Acura 38 www.virtuehomes.com.au


our content

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ALEX SCOTT AND STAFF – Real Estate from the mountains to the sea BASS RIVER WINERY – Award winning wines BLUE GUM GARDEN CENTRE – Everything you need for the garden BRENT SINCLAIR CATERING/FEAST ON US – Mobile Catering CARPET COURT – Dream It. Style It. Live It. CRAWFORD MARINE – Live the dream – Campion boats and more CURTIS AUSTRALIA – Life’s awards – you deserve something special DAIKIN AIRCONDITIONING – The best air everywhere DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND – Naturally Playful - visitphillipisland.com EDNEYS LEONGATHA – Nissan and Hyundai Car Dealer-all new Nissan JUKE EVANS PETROLEUM – Coming Soon Rosedale Service Station FINDING THE GRAIN – Handcrafted reclaimed timber furniture FLOWERS OF PHILLIP ISLAND – Creating wedding flowers plus more GARY BLACKWOOD MP – Member for Narracan GENESTA HOUSE – Boutique B&B Accommodation in the heart of Cowes G J GARDNER HOMES – Display Home ‘Vista 267’ Drouin GRANITE BAR ROSEMARY – Essential oil and Hydrosol GROW MASTER TRARALGON – Garden; fashion, giftware solutions HEATHER FAHNLE – Mosaic Artist – Mosaics by the Bay Classes KINGBUILT – Hampton’s style This Spring with Kingbuilt LEONGATHA RSL – Family friendly venue MELALEUCA NURSERY – Indigenous and Native plant farm OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA – Catholic Primary School on the Island PRISTENE POOLS – Pool and Spa services ROSEDALE BUTCHERS – Family owned country butcher – Meat and Seafood RUSSELL NORTHE MP – State Member for Morwell; Latrobe Valley SOUTH COAST FLOORING XTRA/SOUTH COAST FURNISHINGS – Interior needs STONY CREEK GO KARTS – Fun for all the family – Go Kart hire TAIT’S INTERIORS – Textile design/soft furnishings for your home TARWIN LOWER IGA – Tarwin IGA is serving its community THE MELBOURNE FURNISHING CO. – Quality furniture for our community TOWNSEND’S NURSERY WONTHAGGI – A large variety of outdoor natives VAN STEENSEL TIMBERS – Our Gardening Section is Expanding! VIRTUE HOMES – Building excellence – The Acura 38 – New display home WEST GIPPSLAND CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY – Corner Inlet WEST GIPPSLAND LIBRARIES – Discover your Library on demand WONTHAGGI MEDICAL GROUP – Medical services in Bass Coast WONTHAGGI NEWSAGENCY & LOTTO – Retailer for lottery, gifts and papers WONTHAGGI PLAZA – We Are Open! 6 KEYS AERIAL – Safe aerial data acquisition

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”


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 thelifestyle@dcsi.net.au ONLINE DIGITAL issuu.com/james448 WEB www.gippslandlifestyle.com FACEBBOOK facebook.com/lifestylegippsland INSTAGRAM gippslandlifestyle WRITERS Chris West, Anita Butterworth, Lia Spencer, Helen Taylor, Ken Roberts & Trevor Stow CONTRIBUTORS Erin Miller, Kerry Galea, Frank Butera, Christie Nelson, Christine Boucher, Natalie Guest, John Jennings & Cristi George Smirnakos PHOTOGRAPHERS Ken Roberts, Trevor Stow, Lia Spencer, Phil Cerbu & Doug Pell ADVERTISING Maxine Sando and Doug Pell EDITOR James Pell

Through continual research, we seek and find new products and innovative manufacturing processes; implementing energy saving efficiencies, removing potential waste and harmful processes affecting the environment. Southern Impact adheres to all current governing laws and regulations set down by the State and Federal Governments in relation to Environmental and Conservation Acts. Southern Impact is active in ensuring all their disposable waste materials are disposed of in accordance to those laws. Regular audits are carried out on the companies they use to ensure they follow the strict guidelines set out by these laws. Vegetable based low Volatile Organic Compounds and VOC free inks are used and all of their paper waste material is recycled. As a result, their factory and current printing processes are some of the most environmentally friendly on the market today.

CREATIVE media101 PRINTERS 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 Main Street Newsagency 212 Main Street Berwick Newsagency 29-31 High Street Boolarra Store & Newsagency 9 Tarwin Street Bunyip IGA 2-6 Main Street Churchill Newsagency Hazelwood Village Shopping Centre Cowes Newsagency 44-46 Thompson Avenue Dalyston General Store 4213 Bass Highway Drouin Newsagency 93 Princes Way Fish Creek Alison Lester 1 Falls Road Fish Creek Discount Pharmacy Plus 25 Falls Road Foster FoodWorks 37 Main Street Garfield Licensed Post Office 77 Main Street Glengarry General Store Main Street Grantville Newsagency & Post Office Shop 2, 1503 Bass Hwy Heyfield IGA 18-22 George Street Inverloch FoodWorks 10-12 Reilly Street Inverloch Newsagency 10 A'Beckett Street The Jindi Caf 1055 Jacksons Track Korumburra Michael's Supa IGA 1 South Railway Cres Lakes Entrance Newspower 297 The Esplanade Lang Lang IGA 32 Main Street Leongatha Authorised Newsagency 30 Bair Street Leongatha Michael's Supa IGA Cnr Church & Bruce Sts Loch Village Food Store 35 Victoria Road Maffra newsXpress 144 Johnson Street 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 Poowong IGA 17-19 Main Street Rhyll General Store 41 Lock 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 FoodWorks 66 Stanley Street Trafalgar IGA 5 McCrorey Street Trafalgar Newsagency 97 Princes Hwy 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 Wonthaggi Townsend’s Nursery 315 West Area Road Yanakie General Store 3640 Meeniyan-Promontory Road Yarragon Fozigobble Café 79 Princes Highway Yarram newsXpress 195-197 Commercial Road 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 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 Bairnsdale 30 Howitt Avenue 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: thelifestyle@dcsi.net.au Disclaimer: © South Gippsland Publishing Pty Ltd 2020, 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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HAMPTON'S STYLE "laid-back, luxurious hamptons style"

"defined by classic, cool and sophisticated designs that meet rustic casual beach vibes."


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An increasing popular design we are seeing our clients lean towards is the laid-back, luxurious Hamptons style Known for it's exterior use of light-toned weatherboard, wrap-around porches and signature shingled roofs, Hamptons style homes are classy and sure to stand out. Inside a Hamptons home, you can expect the same light wood floors, panelling on the wall and a carefully selected colour palette of greys , blues and white. The style is defined by classic, cool and sophisticated designs that meet rustic, casual beach vibes. A Hamptons home really aids itself to the laid-back Australian lifestyle, with it's floorplan having an emphasis on open plan living with an indoor/outdoor flow to allow for entertaining and ultimate relaxation. There are a few easy ways to execute a Hamptons style home , when you meet with your Interior Designer at Kingbuilt Homes you will be guided as to what selections to make in order to achieve this look.

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HAMPTON'S STYLE A few tips and tricks are: home design Plantation shutters are synonyms with the Hamptons style and look clean and crisp. Well placed windows to capture the natural light will allow your home to be light and bright and achieve the open plan coastal look of most Hamptons home. Crisp white walls allow for the natural light to open up the rooms in your home and are the perfect base for your panelling and styling. Pitched or gabled roofing is very popular in the open-plan living spaces allowing for rooms to feel airy, light and bright all the while being dramatic and impressive to guests. "airy, light and bright all the while being dramatic and impressive"

styling Layering patterns and different textures to your cushions or throws help create the eclectic rustic style that Hamptons homes are known for while the clean crisp whites and greys keep the look sophisticated. Look out for homewares in rattan, driftwood or bleached coral to add texture and tie back to the coastal feel, while adding classic finishing touches like fresh white floral arrangements, a mix of classic and modern artwork and stacks of books. Due to the clean, fresh base of most Hamptons furnishings (thick oversized grey linen couches, white armchairs) layering and adding texture is easy and almost seamless if you stick to a colour a palette of various blues, from baby blue all the way to a dark navy.

call 1300 546 428 or visit: www.kingbuilthomes.com.au 1300 546 428 | sales@kingbuilt.com.au | www.kingbuilt.com.au


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ideas & inspiration

sheer delight Even though Sheers aren’t heavy in weight, make sure your choice of Track or Rod has a good sturdy bracket system, especially when fitting above your windows architraves into Plaster.


My installers always use quality fittings and find studs to get a secure fitting position – if you are unsure, call in the professionals.

There are the forever popular plain Sheers – from very finely woven to quite textured for a heavier look with a lot more of a natural slub running through. For extra coverage, team with a blockout lining on a second Curtain track or a simple Roller Blind to give the best of both worlds – daytime privacy with night time blockout. Most of the new release Sheers coming through have the ‘Linen look’ but are actually polyester or a blend of both, which makes them much easier to care for and less chance of them shrinking or dropping on your window once they are hanging. The popularity of printed and embroidered Sheers has increased enormously the past couple of years as well. From soft stripes, geometrics to large leafy botanicals which I totally adore as they have the ability to help ‘bring outside in’. Each range has numerous colours to select from; neutrals are still a ‘safe’ way to go but for bringing in extra feature choose a subtle colour that will work with the rest of the furnishings in the room. If you have very sunny windows, particularly west facing, be mindful of natural fibres unless you can protect them with a blockout of some form, otherwise they will deteriorate quite quickly. Many of us have had the experience of putting your Sheers on gentle cycle in the washing machine to freshen them up, to then open the lid and fine them shredded to pieces!


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A simple heading style used often these days called S Fold or Wave Fold which have a modern, contemporary feel and look fantastic sitting up high above your windows – either right to the ceiling or up under the cornice gives the illusion of height and space, while still providing all-important privacy.

Visit www.taitsinteriors.com.au to view our full range of Sheer fabrics available or phone Natalie to discuss options and order fabric sample cuttings for your next Window furnishings project.

For a fuller look in a more traditional space, try a Pencil pleat heading or a Gathered heading. Team them with a simple Rod for ease of use to whisk them out of the way when you want full view or don’t need the privacy. Consider whether you need your Rod or Track to be cord drawn to keep your Sheer in better condition if you are moving it each day. We use a lot of Flickstick wands which hang down from the track to guide the Sheer along which saves any cord issues and allows more free movement with the Sheers. The range of Rods and Tracks available for either of these styles is extensive.

Natalie Guest


Taits Interiors Est. 1963 The trusted name in Quality, Fabrics & Service for 57 years

Professional custom-made products and installation • Curtains • Blinds • Wallpapers • Lamps

• Cushions & Soft Furnishings • Tassels & Trims • Fabrics • Upholstery Services

Ph: 9729 2866 Mb: 0407957646 www.taitsinteriors.com.au Follow us on





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

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Corner Inlet is one of the most unique natural wonderlands in Victoria, if not Australia, supporting a huge number of migratory and wader bird populations and is home to many rare species of plants and marine life.


It’s home to the most southerly population of White Mangrove in the world, a feeding, nesting and breeding area for thousands of waterbirds, home to almost 400 native plant and 160 native animal species and supports local farming and fishing industries.

Many local organisation’s and industry groups work together through the Corner Inlet Partner Group to ensure the inlet has a healthy future. Coordinated by the WGCMA, the partner group has been in place for more than ten years.

In 1971 it was listed as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention.

Partnerships and Engagement Team Leader at WGCMA, Belinda Brennan, said working these groups is vital for the protection of Corner Inlet.

WHAT IS THE RAMSAR CONVENTION? The Ramsar Convention is named after the small Iranian town of Ramsar where an agreement between nations to conserve important wetlands across the world took place. Each Ramsar listed wetland has a coordinator that works with partners and community to help protect it. West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) is the site coordinator for Corner Inlet. Eleisha Keogh, Water Team Leader for WGCMA, said Corner Inlet, located to the north east of Wilson’s Promontory, includes the marine and coastal parks of Corner Inlet and Nooramunga, as well as the intertidal mudflats and barrier islands west of 90 Mile Beach.

“Our partners are so varied, which is why they’re so important,” said Belinda. “From farmers and fishers right through to Landcare, Trust for Nature, BirdLife, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), government and Parks Victoria, we’ve all got a role to play in a healthy Corner Inlet. “A key feature of our approach is to work with passionate local people and groups – because the more advocates we have working for a better Corner Inlet, the better the result for our local environment.” On-ground works to protect the Ramsar values of the area include treating spartina, controlling foxes, improving water quality and protecting saltmarsh.

“The area has significant cultural value to the Traditional Land Owners, the Gunaikurnai, Bunurong and Boon Wurrung people,” said Eleisha.


“Locals and visitors alike love it for its striking landscapes, as well as a great spot for boating, fishing, camping and birdwatching.

Spartina (rice grass) was introduced to Australia in the 1920s to reclaim mud flats and prevent erosion. Like so many introduced plant species it became an invasive weed.

“Despite the land use and features changing - from bushland to fertile farming land, many features of the catchment remain the same and Corner Inlet still has its special natural environmental character that we’re working to protect,” continued Eleisha.


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Controlling spartina helps improve natural estuary habitat for fish and allows plant species such as saltmarsh, mangrove and seagrass to re-establish. This improves the feeding and breeding sites for local and internationally significant migratory bird species. In the last year, WGCMA worked with Parks Victoria to treat and control over 1,400 hectares of Spartina.

FOX CONTROL Foxes can decimate bird populations and in Corner Inlet many of these are nesting shorebirds or migratory species. Migratory birds fly hundreds of thousands of kilometres annually, such as the Eastern Curlew which fly from Russia and China to Corner Inlet. In partnership with Parks Victoria, more than 140 hectares of fox baiting works was done in the last year, making Corner Inlet beaches a safer place for bird species.

PROTECTING SALTMARSH With only around 35% of the original saltmarsh area remaining around Corner Inlet the need to protect and build this population is pressing. Saltmarsh provides critical feeding and breeding habitat for birds, fish and crustaceans. It also filters nutrients and sediments, reduces erosion and maintains water quality.

Focussing on the hotspot catchments in the Water Quality Improvement Plan, work to date has seen excellent progress towards reducing water quality threats to the Ramsar site. Eighty percent of the Agnes River and 70% of the Franklin River have now been fenced to exclude stock and revegetated to control erosion and create habitat. In coming years and again working with local landholders and partner agencies, it is hoped to continue the effort, working with more farmers on the waterways and with nutrient management. This project is supported by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the Victorian State Government. For more on the Corner Inlet Connections Project go to wgcma.vic.gov.au.

Recent work with Trust for Nature has focused on a 40-hectare saltmarsh site on the lower Agnes River. This huge site was fenced off, which ensures stock is kept out. Each year, more saltmarsh is protected by a range of organisations. Over the past decade, more than 700 hectares of saltmarsh between McLoughlin’s Beach and Port Albert has been fenced off.

IMPROVING WATER QUALITY IN THE CATCHMENT WGCMA has worked with farmers that have rivers and creeks on their property for more than 20 years. In the last financial year, WGCMA’s delivery team worked with six farmers to fence off and revegetate waterways.

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Townsend's Nursery have a large variety of Australian natives, Exotic plant ,indoor plants, Tube stock, fruit trees, advanced stock & gift ware. Lois and the girls have over 50 years of plant knowledge.




Address: 315 West Area Road Wonthaggi VIC 3995 (03) 5672 1982 0488 322 777 www.facebook.com/townsendnursery gippsland lifestyle spring ����


Millie... Dargo

I found it hard to believe but Millie & I had never visited Dargo! For some reason I had the feeling that I had been to this magical place that is really not that far away but I hadn’t. Now thanks to Millie we ventured there together. It’s only 100km north of Sale and very easy to get to on a sealed, albeit winding, road. The trip there is absolutely picturesque as you move from farmland below into hill country that is both cleared and pristine bush. Our morning trip was early enough to witness low lying clouds hanging through the hills. It was majestic! Every corner we turned was a picture postcard of beautiful vistas. It was stunning scenery and by the end of the day I decided the whole area was a photographer’s dream. Dargo is still a farming area but the most prominent industry is tourism. I’m sure at times it is swarming with four wheel drive vehicles and campers though regular vehicles are more than adequate to take in the sights. I’m a sucker for an old building and there were more than enough in the area to satisfy me. Looking at some now derelict homes I often muse at the lives that once lived there and the fact that once they were brand new with a full life ahead of them. The stories some of them could tell! In its heyday Dargo was a stopover for miners in the mid 1800’s gold rush on their way to the goldfields of Grant, Talbotville and Crooked River. In its peak the township of Grant grew to be the largest in the area, every building had a business attached to service the miners such as hotels, shops, lawyers, banks and whatever else was needed. The rush was relatively short lived and the town is now gone. Dargo has survived as the gateway to the high country. It is the hub for visitors who camp, fish, hunt, bushwalk, 4wd and soak up the rich history and beauty of the area. On the way into the township we stopped at a roadside stall. It was a classic, set up on the back of an old truck offering eggs and FREE pumpkins... yes I got one.


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We drove around taking in all of the local views but a favourite place in these old areas for me is always the cemetery. Situated just behind and above the town its “occupants” have the beauty of surrounding hills to eternally gaze upon. It’s so interesting to wander among the pioneer graves and speculate on their lives. Some died so young but there was one man who was 94 when he died in 1918. He would have witnessed the rise and fall of the gold rush in the area and seen amazing changes in his lifetime. I called into the Dargo Store for a look and as is often the case in Gippsland found out it’s run by somebody I knew. Peter Lehmann and his wife Kerry are the owners, Peter was at Maffra High school when I was there and his sister Sue was in my form. It’s a small world! The store was fantastic and is obviously a mecca for visitors. The feeling is pure country store with wood heater blazing and homely feel. It has an old style, old world charm but with every modern requirement as well. They were both so welcoming and friendly and clearly an asset to visitors. Peter was a font of knowledge about the area and what to see and do. He showed me finds that he had made with his metal detector, especially one in particular. He had been detecting in one of the abandoned miners camps and had a hit. About 5 inches below the surface he dug up a miner’s valuable stash. A small glass bottle of gold dust and a small metal tin containing old silver coins and an almost disintegrated pound note. Miners would hide their valuables from thieves and this old miner had hidden his and probably died and never returned to claim it! My mind ran away with the thought of what happened to the miner and how hard he had worked to get every speck, then it was hidden for over a hundred years! Sad and fascinating.

Dog Day Out Photos & Words by Ken Roberts

A small glass bottle of gold dust and a small metal tin containing old silver coins and an almost disintegrated pound note.

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Millie... Dargo Dog Day Out Peter gave us some great information on things to see and pointed us in the direction of a suspension bridge built over the river to allow sheep to cross and be taken to market. That was an adventure and somewhere we never would have found and on the journey there we saw stunning views, campers, houses and huts tucked away and grassy flats with many Walnut trees, some over a century old. The Dargo town buildings are well kept with a sturdy Hall, neat school and pretty peppermint church. We walked along the river, so clean and crystal clear and I’m sure it would be refreshing to swim in the cool water on a hot summer’s day. We returned back to the centre of town for lunch in the iconic Dargo Hotel. The area abounds with wildlife and during our day trip we saw kangaroos, a wombat, an echidna, emus and a Kookaburra. The hills have abundant deer and the area is very popular with hunters. The drive home is always slower and more relaxed and you take different views. I love taking an alternate way home if possible and as we came via Fernbank from the Highway we returned through Stockdale and Briagolong, all very good sealed roads. It was such a great day trip but really perfect if you wanted to stay a few days in the area and really experience what is there. Camping is popular but there is a wide range of accommodation available from cabins, B&B’s to motel style. It is yet another gem of a place and really right on our doorstep, no wonder people from near and far flock to that region to experience the bush and high country air. Millie and I had a wonderful time and it reminded me to search out other gems that are within our great region of Gippsland that I need to discover.


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Bald Hills Wetland Reserve is situated 5km east of Tarwin Lower, towards Walkerville. It can be reached by turning left into the Bald Hills Road from the main road between Tarwin Lower and Walkerville, then left into the reserve carpark, 4km from the turnoff. The original inhabitants of the region were the Boonwurrung and Gunai/Kumai Indigenous people, who roamed as hunter gatherers up to at least 6000 years ago, living in small family groups, eating from a varied menu of birds, animals, fish, shellfish, and roots, stems, leaves and fruits of plants.

The 135-hectare Bald Hills Wetland Reserve was declared open in 1987. The reserve provides a wonderful opportunity to experience a rich range of flora and fauna. There are nearly 90 plant species listed for the reserve, and over 100 species of birds are either residents or visitors. Many of these birds rely on the wetlands for breeding. The length of the walk is an extremely easy 750 metres and takes around 15 minutes one way, which begins from the carpark through the woodlands and Paperbark thickets to a large shallow wetland.

From the bird hide you will be rewarded with the sight of a variety of birdlife and the trail is also suitable for wheelchairs and prams. I came across this walk unexpectedly and was extremely impressed, it is not a difficult walk and I found it to be remarkably interesting with plenty to see, and the lake is wonderful. If you are in the area visiting Walkerville or Tarwin Lower and Venus Bay, make sure you visit this natural and well kept reserve.

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Tasting the sweet A Morwell family has taken its love for gardening and sustainability and turned it into a thriving business, producing raw, ethical, small batch honey from hives located across the Latrobe Valley. After the winter solstice each year, first generation beekeeper Jenny Rogers says she can ‘feel’ the energy and excitement in her bees. The insects are abuzz as they sense spring is just a few weeks away, mirroring the Roger family’s anticipation of harvesting season. A mum of four, Jenny says when her family moved into their current Morwell home eight years ago, she was searching for a hobby

“Hosts don’t pay a fee. We can put up to five hives on their property, they receive in return the honey every year, usually around Christmas time or any of our other products we make and the rest is ours, that’s how we get our honey, that’s our payment for managing the hive.” Postcode Hives has been inundated with locals wanting to host hives, with Jenny unable to keep up with demand for harvesting each season. Many Latrobe Valley beekeeper hopefuls register their interest with Jenny at one of the many markets they attend, particularly if they notice their postcode isn’t yet covered. The demand for Postcode Hives products is so great that Jenny and Glenn were attending up to two markets each weekend. “We only do one market a month at the moment so we’ve cut down from every weekend to once a month with Covid and honestly it’s been a relief!”

“Most of my interest in bees has come from gardening. My backyard is full of veggie gardens and chooks and when we moved here eight years ago it was just all grass and I needed something to do,” Jenny says. ”so I started gardening and nothing was producing very much, then I saw a crowd funding project for Flow Hive and so I enrolled in a bee course, learnt everything about bees and then a year later I got my bees. I actually found bees more fascinating than anything else so it’s just snowballed from there.”

In response to the current market, Postcode Hives has just launched its website, and is getting products to honey lovers across the state via Victorian Country Market and the Victorian Regional Food Network, as well as local stores.

Jenny and her husband Glenn started with harvesting from their own backyard hives, but eventually they wanted to share the joy they’d discovered with others.

“That’s where our education for people who host our hives comes in. A lot of our hosts are already caring for the environment, we also highlight that, any sprays you use, even cleaning products – bees can smell it on you. if you go out and you’ve used heavy chemicals they don’t like it. we go into schools we emphasise that chemicals and pesticides – if they’re bad for the bees, what’s it doing to us? It’s entering our food chain through flowers, they’re taking the nectar and the pollen, they and we’re consuming it . It makes you look a bit closer at what we’re putting on our gardens because it will end up on our plates.”

“When we had lots of honey I said to Glenn wouldn’t it be good to have honey just from your own backyard that other people could enjoy. And that’s how we came up with Postcode Hives – the different postcodes of honey. People love the idea and we’re just running with it.” Postcode Hives now has around 35 hives located across 26 Latrobe Valley postcodes, including Glengarry, Boolarra, Morwell, Traralgon, Yinnar, Churchill, Warragul and Tyers. Postcode Hives sources some of its honey from backyard beekeepers that have an oversupply, while others host hives for the Rogers family. And fittingly, the hosts are paid sweetly.


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Jenny is also passionate about educating adults and children about the importance and significance of bees, by visiting local schools and organisations.

As well as raw honey, Postcode Hives also produces honey lollipops, Hive Chai, beeswax wraps and bee pollen. “Pollen is something that we thought to try for people who are hay fever sufferers. Pollen can have up to 60,000 different varieties of pollen fragments on one single patty. Where as honey could contain only 40 types of pollen. So if honey isn’t helping as much, you can try pollen for some hey fever relief.

flavours of Gippsland “If you do suffer from hay fever you can have it leading up to the worst part of the season. We do tend to err on the side of caution if you’re a severe hay fever sufferer you just try a little bit first and see how you react. We have lots of reports back saying it helps reduce the medication they need to take by a fair bit, probably by a third, which is really good. You do have to continue taking it, but it is very pretty seeing it all coming in.” Jenny says harvesting the pollen is done with care and consideration for the bee colony. “We have a trap set on the front of the hive where they enter and the entry holes are a little bit smaller than them and so they squeeze through and it basically just knocks the pollen off their little legs and it then falls into a drawer down the bottom. We only put that on when we see lots of pollen coming in, and we only take a small amount off, so we probably only take a day’s worth . It can accumulate to a couple of kilos at a time.“

The advice for anyone who’s interesting in beekeeping is to immerse yourself in knowledge. Find your local bee group, research and contact local keepers for advice and mentoring. “When we assess a potential host hive we go and check their place. So there’s a few things we need to check, bee’s need water, warmth, mostly morning to mid afternoon sun, you can’t have them close to a neighbour’s fence in built up area’s, you can only have a certain amount of hives on a block, so most of the time you can only have one or two in town. In town’s actually perfect for bees because there’s always food available so you don’t need to move your hive around to different areas.

“People are quite interested in their own town. When we go to the Melbourne markets , we tell the story of where the hives are, what they forage on, and that’s when Melbourne markets goers will just purchase the flavour they like. The most popular one that we’ve had is Inverloch and Gelliondale honeys which are coastal honey and it is mostly banksia and tea tree and can be a butterscotch tasting honey. That always sells the best. “When I harvest here in Morwell, I will do probably do two or three harvests in a season and all three will be completely different tasting. Traralgon is the same, it’s a mild honey at the start, once all the water gums have flowered in Traralgon, it can be a really aniseed-tasting honey . It’s very interesting learning about all the different types of pollen and honey and flowers and trying to identify where the pollen comes from.” With spring, and therefore harvesting season just around the corner, Postcode Hives is buzzing as it gears up for another busy few months of gathering nature’s sweet nectar. But always at the forefront is their tiny army of workers. “The bees always come first. We only take once the bees have enough.” www.postcodehives.com.au

“I have four kids and they can play in my backyard with bee’s nearby every now and then they may get a get a sting if they cross a flight path. I usually bring my swarms home and babysit them for a couple of weeks just to check that they’re ok and then they go out to our hosts. Usually it’s a certain time of day that they’re the busiest, if you’ve got a quiet corner in your backyard you won’t even notice that they’re there.” As for which Latrobe Valley postcode can lay claim to the best honey – Jenny says locals tend to be parochial to their own backyard.

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TOWNSEND'S NURSERY Townsend's Nursery in Wonthaggi has been a south Gippsland gardening mecca for more than two decades.

and Pearl and Flynn Edwards, having a combined plant knowledge of more than 75 years.

Townsend's Nursery is built on a passion for quality plants and supreme customer service, and has managed to move with the times, with its roots being steeped in Gippsland history.

As the local Wonthaggi area has grown with new developments and residents finding a love for gardening and landscaping, Townsend's Nursery has become a go-to for everything gardening, and in particular natives.

David and Alma Mansfield started up a wholesale tube nursery in Box Hill in 1946, called D&A Mansfield. In 1989, David and Alma’s daughter Lois and her husband Kenny Townsend opened a retail nursery, Townsend's Nursery. As Lois explains, “Plants are in our blood.” Since then Townsend's Nursery has continued to grow in size and range. There are now three generations working at the nursery, with Lois, Vicki


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“Native plants are the number one seller. With all our customers wanting to plant a native and exotics.” In addition to the huge range of natives, Townsend's Nursery also has giftware, gift vouchers, exotics, soil, fertiliser, pots, birdbaths, cut flowers, hanging baskets, citrus fruit indoors and more – and the nursery is dog friendly.

Wonthaggi Townsend's Nursery is also catering for the huge resurgence in the popularity of indoor plants. “People have gone nuts over indoor plants which is good as at Townsends we have been stocking indoors for the last three years and with Pearl the younger generation working at Townsends she has all the trends covered.” The nursery also stocks the rare Woolami Pine, which according to Lois is, “The world’s oldest and rarest plant dating back to the time of the dinosaurs.” A huge 80 per cent of the nursery’s stock is grown on site in Wonthaggi.

Townsend's Nursery has become a go-to for everything gardening, and in particular natives

Townsends has also been attending the Rokeby Market for 30 years, and has now expanded to markets in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland areas, as well as Traralgon.

Townsend's Nursery has become a much-loved south Gippsland gardening hub, for keen gardeners and new green thumbs alike and that’s the blooming lot! 315 West Area Road 3995 Wonthaggi, VIC, Australia www.facebook.com/townsendnursery www.instagram.com/townsend.nursery kandltownsend@yahoo.com.au

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local contributions sought for new book on

Mt Cannibal

Mt Cannibal is a notable landmark in the area. Many generations have enjoyed visiting the reserve owned by Cardinia Shire Council, supported by many local volunteers involved in the Friends of Mt Cannibal group. Dr Anthony Hooper, a resident of neighbouring Tynong North for the past 35 years, is compiling the story of Mt Cannibal (originally named Connabul Hill in the mid nineteenth century).   Anthony is keen to add the colour of stories and photos from local residents who have visited Mt Cannibal over the years. Anthony said, “Locals have a real connection and affinity with Mt Cannibal. It is a standout feature in our landscape with fantastic views to the bay to the south and the majestic Black Snake Ranges to the north. A recent survey of visitor usage of Mt Cannibal reveals the popularity of the reserve for recreation, family outings, nature walks and relaxation. The book will provide a fascinating insight into the history and significance of Mt Cannibal. I would welcome people’s photos, stories and memories of the Mount.”   Bev Clifford lived in the property immediately to the south of Mt. Cannibal in the 1960s. She relates that her parents William (Bill Snr) and Audrey Clifford bought the property called ‘The Mount’ in late 1962 she thinks and sold it again around late 1968/early 1969.  The property was then approx. 200 acres from memory and included the section that is now owned by Cardinia Shire. It was a wonderful ‘back yard’ for children growing up. Her parents milked Jersey cows in the original dairy down at the bottom of the driveway near the gate on Garfield Nth Road, the cream was separated out and was collected and taken to the butter factory and the skim milk was fed to the calves. Their white weatherboard house was situated just below the south side of the bush section. WANTED Photographs & stories of Mt Cannibal from 1860's up to and including the 1970's. Do you have family photos or memorabilia associated with our local landmark Contact Anthony at aj@dcsi.net.au BEV CLIFFO



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) 1960'S








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Road Tripping


WITH OVERSEAS TRAVEL OFF THE CARDS, WE’VE PUT TOGETHER SOME SURVIVAL TIPS I think it’s fair to say that most Victorians are dreaming of packing their bags and travelling somewhere- anywhere. How good would it be if we could time travel right out of 2020?

The best part is, you don’t need to take an overnight flight or break the bank to get there. All you need is a full tank of petrol and a map and you’re set.

Make sure to factor in extra time for meals, toilet stops, coffee breaks and unplanned sight-seeing.

But life as we know it to be right now does not have to be all doom and gloom. In fact, there is plenty to celebrate in our own backyard. As restrictions begin to ease, we will be able to grab our nearest and dearest and plan the perfect adventure. While we may not be able to sip cocktails on a tropical beach overseas or shop up a storm in foreign cities, we really are only a hop, skip and a jump away from some of the best destinations in Australia.

After having travelled hundreds of kilometers and countless hours in a car with my own young family, I’ve put together a survival list to ensure you and your loved ones make lasting memories on an epic road trip across the region, and don’t lose your minds along the way.

If you’re travelling to multiple destinations over a few days, decide where you want to go and estimate how long you want to spend at each stop. Also, pre-book your accommodation, especially during peak times.

Gippsland has plenty to offer including wineries, parks, art galleries, unique clothing stores, theatre companies, gorgeous restaurants, quirky cafes and so much more.


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Whilst spontaneity can be fun, it’s hardly practical when travelling with children. If you have youngsters who still have naps, plan your route around their sleep times, whether it be a couple hours in the morning and afternoon, or a long stretch mid-day.


My husband and I are both Libras, which apparently means we balance each other out. This is certainly true when we pack. He underpacks and I overpack!

Made Easy





TO MAKE YOUR NEXT FAMILY ROAD TRIP ACROSS GIPPSLAND A SMOOTH RIDE. But when it comes to packing for the kids, I think we’ve got it just right. Whilst it goes without saying to pack the essentials- clothes, toiletries, baby items and toys; the ‘car bag’ is often forgotten about, yet it is a necessity to ensure smooth sailing! The car bag should contain water bottles, medication, games and lots and lots of healthy snacks (too much sugar and Bobby will be licking the window while Sally is singing her favourite Frozen song at the top of her lungs and Suzie is kicking her feet against the driver’s seat and having a meltdown because she’s overtired and very wired).


As mentioned in the previous point, packing games or crafts is extremely important- but be sensible.

You don’t need to grab the Twister board or the paint brushes to keep the kids happy. There are so many card games or travel board games which don’t take up too much space but create amble of entertainment - think UNO, Snap and travel sized Connect Four. Books, stickers, colouring pads, DVD’s and iPads with kidfriendly apps are also great ideas. If you are travelling in a convoy, walkie-talkies are a great way to chat to each other or to play a car vs car Eye Spy game. Lastly, don’t forget to create a fun playlist with each family member’s favourite songs. Include a mix of slow songs for quiet time and bouncy songs for when everyone is getting bored of the long drive and are in need of an in-seat singalong and boogie.


Road trips are meant to be fun, but they can also be trying. If you need to stop for some ‘metime’ along the way, do it. Breathe in the fresh air, have a stretch and recoup.

And when all else fails, make sure you have some Gippsland wine and cheese to sink into upon your arrival as a reward for your effort! Being stuck in a car with your partner and kids for hours on end is no easy feat! Good luck and have fun!

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the greatest gift

of all

On January 18 this year, Michael Fozard held his beloved wife’s hand for the last time, before she gave the ultimate gift to complete strangers.


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After a decade of working and living in Melbourne and raising their two sons and daughter, the Fozards felt it was time for a career change. In 1982, the family moved to Labertouche, with Michael trying to balance still working in Melbourne, but living in Gippsland. Realising the juggle wasn’t sustainable, he resigned and they purchased a business in Warragul - Mr Muffins. As Michael explains, it was one of several businesses they would own over the years, and both he and Ruth always worked together. While she was the mainstay of the business, Michael became involved in local government, becoming a Baw Baw Shire Councillor. The couple spread their wings in the community, helping out at the local school and the public hall, while also running a hobby farm.   “One day I decided why be hobby farmers when we can be real farmers? So we then bought a dairy farm at Willow Grove, which after a time it was obvious with interest rates going in the wrong direction it was time for me to go back into the workforce, so Ruth became the farmer.” Ruth took on the role of dairy farmer with gusto, doing everything from artificial insemination to pregnancy testing, she also established a jersey stud and became a member of the local catchment management authority. With a seemingly boundless amount of energy, Ruth had her health battles, and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at just 35-years-old. But she didn’t let it stop her.  Michael and Ruth eventually bought another business - Traralgon Florist, inspired by their daughter Tracey’s horticulture studies. But tragedy struck in 1997, when Tracey was killed in a car crash in the Latrobe Valley, on her way to a Rotary meeting.  By that time, Ruth’s arthritis had caught up with her, and the couple got out of dairy, but kept the farm while Ruth continued to run the florist until they were able to sell it. It was a hectic time, and Michael pushed his feelings aside to help the family cope with the devastating loss of Tracey.  For 50 years Ruth had been Michael’s rock, his right-hand woman, his everything. And in the blink of an eye, she was gone. But he’s determined that she lives on, through the gift she’s given to others. Ruth’s death wasn’t the first time Michael, a well-known Gippsland businessman, farmer, local council member, political candidate and volunteer, has known tragedy in his life. But his resilience and drive to help the wider community has seen him rise from dark depths more times than most of us could cope with. 

“Initially I was the strength, I had to be the male that looked after the family,” Michael said. “It took two years for it to hit me and then I went into a state of depression. I ended up in Flynn (Latrobe Regional Hospital’s mental health intensive treatment ward) and tried to commit suicide three times. And yet Ruth stood there by me, got me through it, otherwise I would have been a victim of my depression.

The tragic death of his daughter, suicide attempts and the black dog of depression had all preceded Ruth’s death, but Michael has used his latest catastrophic blow to spread awareness of an important cause. Michael and Ruth were highschool sweethearts, first crossing paths at Nunawading High School when they were just teenagers. They finished their final year, Ruth going on to study and work in teaching, Michael in business. They married in February 1970, and welcomed their daughter in September - “It was one of those shotgun weddings,” Michael jokes. 

The couple always had a strong sense of community purpose, committed to making the world a better place by tending to their own local area. “I was very committed to having a community involvement even from an early age and Ruth was always supportive. It was a time when things were quite different. We did pre-adoptive parenting. So Ruth in the main would be the ‘mother’ of children who had been put up for adoption, that was at a time in the 70s when children were born and then put up for adoption. So she would then take on the young babies, nurture them through until they had selected adoptive parents and then the parents would come and take the baby into their family.” Michael took on a position as an honorary probationary officer, volunteering with children who had been through the children’s court system. “Ruth supported me quite brilliantly in that respect, in that whenever we dealt with children that were aged 12, 13, 14, 15 that were convicted of an offence we would take them on, we’d share it in the family.”

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“But Ruth really got me through with her support, with my two sons of course, but Ruth really was able to cope with my state. And fortunately I was then able to realise what was happening and I decided it was time to make sure that life was a little bit different. There was more to life than just sitting there and crying in your own cup of tea. So I then took on professional help, I had a mentor, I had a psychologist and of course I had Ruth.” Emerging from the fog that had engulfed him, Michael found it difficult to get a job, so the couple decided to take on the management of Old Gippstown - Gippsland’s Heritage Park. Michael ran the business side of the state-owned tourist attraction, while Ruth ran the shop and helped with hosting weddings at the facility. The Fozards eventually parted ways with Old Gippstown over funding concerns In 2012, they purchased another small business - lovingly named Fozigobble Cafe in Yarragon. “I said to Ruth, we’ve still got to keep on working, we’ve still got to keep on existing so then we bought our business here in Yarragon called Fozigobble Cafe. Again Ruth became the main focus behind the scenes. She looked after the business books and ran the kitchen and I looked after all the other businesses parts. So we were again a team.” The cafe was a hive of activity, and the couple settled into the routine of running the small business, until life took another turn on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  “We were sitting down with our bookkeeper working through some issues with the business and what was happening. Then he left and then all of a sudden things went wrong. “At about 4.15 pm she started to feel unwell and put her head down on the table. She had some pain in her head and was finding it hard to communicate.I rang 000 and within 10 minutes the ambulance had arrived. At first, their thoughts were that she may have had a stroke – little did I know, it was the progress of a cerebral haemorrhage. “She was taken to Warragul hospital into emergency. On arriving at the hospital I was asked to wait until they had done the necessary evaluations on her brain scans. At around 6pm the emergency doctor came out and had a talk to me.” The doctor had sent scans to Melbourne, with surgeons advising there was nothing they could do. Ruth was brain dead.  “It would have been about five minutes later he came back and said, would you consider allowing the donation of her organs? And I suppose I sat there, still trying to comprehend what had happened and I just came straight out and said, ‘Yes, we would.’ The reason why I said that so quickly and so positively was that Ruth and I had spoken about it for a long, long time. 


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“It was something that came up because when we lost our daughter, unfortunately we hadn’t considered that at the time. But because we’d been through that I’d seen with even my parents who died over this period of time, there is a need for us to consider. So Ruth and I had spoken about the subject quite often. Like everybody, you think about it but you don’t necessarily do anything about it. So at the time when they asked me the question, I said yes we would, purely because we’d spoken about it.” Michael says while it wasn’t an easy decision to donate Ruth’s organs, it was a quick one. “There’s a lot of apprehension sometimes when people look at that sort of thing and as I said to the doctor, ‘I agree but can anyone else counter that decision, like my sons?’. And he said, ‘No because you are the principal person, you’re the husband it’s your decision’. And I was grateful that could happen. I then spoke to my two sons, one lives in Queensland and one lives in Willow Grove, and I said to them, ‘This is what we’re doing, that’s the decision, are you happy with that?’ and they said they were very, very happy with it.  “So once you give that indiciation, you go into a different system. The doctor said to me, ‘We appreciate that, we understand that it’s a hard decision, but we’ve got to let you know now that she’ll now be taken to Melbourne and we’re not sure whether it will be an air ambulance or a road ambulance’. So we sat there and I was able to sit there with her, knowing that she was brain dead, but they kept her on a ventilator for the next three days, and it was as though she was still alive in my mind. Even though I knew she was brain dead.” Ruth was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, arriving at 3am. Michael says he witnessed the dedication, commitment and compassion of everyone involved in the organ donation process.  “I was able to sit there for the next two days with her, knowing that she was not really with us, although to me, they had her on a ventilator, she was warm, she was breathing, to me she was alive, and yet I knew she was brain dead. But just having that time with her and being able to talk to her, being able to put my hand through her hair. It’s amazing some of the silly things that you do. But it gave me comfort and an appreciation of life. I was hoping that maybe she could hear.”

Michael was supported by the DonateLife organisation, which organised handprints and locks of Ruth’s hair for him to keep. On Saturday morning, Ruth was taken into theatre, to donate her organs. “They asked me if I wanted to see her after. And knowing what can happen, I thought, no. I wanted to remember her with the warmth, for the way I saw her before she went in.” Ruth donated two corneas, which were grafted onto two women who now have improved eyesight. Her liver was donated to a grandmother, who is still recovering. Michael says the support he continues to receive from DonateLife has been invaluable, as has the support of the Gippsland community.  “I’ve had people coming in and they listen to the story and one guy came in who said his father received a liver 20 years ago, he lived for another 20 years and he was able to see his grandchildren grow up, you just realise the benefits, and it’s probably the greatest gift anyone can give to another person.  “Our greatest strength in society is the way we work together as community members, and it’s an opportunity. And if I can awaken some people to give it consideration, I’ve achieved something.” To learn more about organ donation, go to www.donatelife.gov.au

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POOL & SPA SERVICES | RENOVATION SPECIALISTS DELIVERING A HUGE RANGE OF POOL + SPA RENOVATIONS SERVICING THE WHOLE OF GIPPSLAND SPECIALISING IN ABOVE GROUND + INGROUND POOLS VINYL LINED | CONCRETE | PAINTED POOLS | FIBERGLASS | LEAK DETECTION Pristine Pools have been maintaining and renovating pools and spas for home, resorts and commercial properties across Phillip Island, the Bass Coast and greater Gippsland area for over 28 years. We have a great understanding of the local weather conditions and what needs to be done to keep your pool or spa in perfect condition.



AND FOR BASS COAST RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES, WE OFFER WEEKLY SERVICES INCLUDING: • Comprehensive onsite water analysis • Fully detailed reporting of pool condition • Chemical supply and balancing • Complete peace of mind • Your one stop pool shop

1/99 Settlement Road, Cowes, 3922 PH 5952 1414 | MB 0438 751 268 | EM accounts@pristinepools.com.au


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“Our Lady Star of the Sea is a school that is big enough to excel but small enough to care.” As our student numbers have increased over the past two years we are now at the point of starting Stage 2 of our building Master Plan. This will include four new classrooms, a discovery centre (library), a wet weather structure over the basketball court, extension to the carpark, development of the oval and more landscaping. The works are due to commence at the end of Term 3, 2020. Students participate in weekly classes with specialist teachers focused on Digital Technology, Visual & Performing Arts as well as Environmental Science. We live in an amazing natural environment. Environmental Science and sustainable living are therefore a major focus for our school. Our school grounds contain a natural wetland environment which enables students to interact closely with the animals, birds and plants that inhabit it.

Students have also built, planted and maintain diverse habitat gardens, sensory gardens, orchards, vegetable gardens, a native wildlife corridor and wetlands with a frog bog, which Landcare has helped us to develop. "We have a partnered approach to our children’s education with their class teachers, who show real knowledge of who our children are, not just academically but as individuals. Cathy is also acutely aware how the children are learning and developing, with students’ well-being being paramount." Clare Hermans Enrolments are now being taken at every year level and personal tours with our school principal, Cathy, can be arranged before or after school hours. Visit our website olsscowes.catholic.edu.au for further information or call to ask about our quality education, reasonable fees and additional help for health care or pension cardholders.

Please contact Alison on 03 59511700 if you would like to arrange a tour or if you have any questions about Our Lady Star of the Sea.

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

Flowers of Phillip Island (formerly Tropical Zone) has a history of creating wedding flowers for the most discerning couples for over 30 years Wedding florist Karen Hamilton has worked with some of the most well-known florists around Melbourne and is current with all the latest trends as well as the traditional classic look. With so many designs to choose from, it may initially appear daunting but be assured Karen will guide you from button holes to bouquets giving you the confidence that your flowers will be a lasting memory of your wedding day. Her work is precise and nothing is off limits. 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 gippsland lifestyle spring ����


Embracing Change A NEW START FOR THE 100-YEAR-OLD GENESTA GUESTHOUSE AND ITS OWNERS SIMONNE AND MARCUS LIBERMAN Words by Helen Taylor A new business, a new way of life, and after coronavirus, a new world: Owners of Genesta Guesthouse Simonne and Marcus Liberman certainly aren’t afraid of change, even if it has arrived in a slightly larger dose than they anticipated.

The government, she tells me, has only been able to refund 50 per cent of Genesta’s booking cancellations. And because Marcus and Simonne own the guesthouse rather than being its employees, they aren’t eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

The husband and wife team, who quit their respective jobs as professional golfer at Phillip Island Golf Club and operating room nurse at Wonthaggi Hospital, have started life afresh as proud proprietors of a 110-year-old, boutique guesthouse in Cowes.

“In the nine months we've been here we've been open for four,” Simonne tells me. “We're lucky that we didn't over extend ourselves when we purchased. We’re basically starting the business from scratch.” However, Simonne is infectiously optimistic, and Coronavirus hasn’t diminished her enthusiasm for the future of Genesta Guesthouse.

“I was burnt out and needed a complete change,” Simonne reflects on her 28 years in nursing. “I made the big step to leave the hospital and the security of that job.” Does she have any regrets about becoming a hotelier? “No regrets. I love it. It's a great lifestyle.” Simonne and I are having a socially distanced conversation over the phone, as the guesthouse has been closed since the second lockdown began. It was closed during the first lockdown too, and will have lost three-month’s business when lockdown ends.


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When she and Marcus bought the property in October last year, Simonne admits it had seen better days. After a busy summer they closed it for renovations from February to the middle of March, tearing up carpets, repainting bedrooms, and completely revamping the bathrooms. “The new bathroom floor tiles look really fabulous. We’ve put in period style vanities and open showers, and really freshened up the bathrooms,” Simone explains.

GenestaHouse gippsland lifestyle spring ����


Genesta House And then coronavirus hit. Rather than the grand reopening they’d hoped for, Genesta Guesthouse remained closed. Undeterred, Simone and Marcus continued with restoring the house, stripping out and sprucing up the furniture. In this second lockdown, Simonne proudly tells me they’ve just finished a brand new roof, in keeping with the period of the house. “We’ve been up ladders painting for the last three weeks!” she laughs. Simonne keeps spotting more and more things she’d like to update at Genesta Guesthouse, but with no income she’s spending her money wisely. The complete design overhaul of Genesta has been led mostly by Simmone, though she did receive some styling tips from local interior designer Jo Viney, from Brinnie T Design in Cowes. “One room has been decorated in teal and gold, and the other room has vintage wallpaper, which is really sweet.” Simone tells me. “There’s lots of vintage touches and that’s really a point of difference for us. We should be celebrating the fact that the house is 110 years old.”

As for running the guest house, Simonne says it’s busy at times, and it does involve physical work, but that’s nothing she isn’t used to after her nursing career. “It's a 24/7 job, which is a bit like nursing,” she reflects. “When you've got guests you're on call for them all the time in case something happens, and that was a good fit for me. Also, having worked in operating theatre management, customer satisfaction and making sure that everything is perfect is really important, and transfers quite nicely into accommodation.” The 100 year old garden has also been receiving some tender-loving care, beginning with the help of an arborist to clear out overhanging branches to let more light in. “It’s dramatically changed the garden, and now there's all these things popping up that haven't had sun for a long time, it's pretty magical actually,” says Simonne.

Slowly but surely, Simonne and Marcus are helping to restore the garden. “We're so fortunate to have inherited this gorgeous garden,” exclaims Simonne. “It's stock full of camellias and japonicas, and we're putting in roses, and we've got all the bulbs too.” The landscaped garden has three lilly pillies that are 50ft tall, a strawberry tree that’s nearly 100 years old, and all three of the guesthouse bedrooms have either a private veranda or balcony that looks out onto the gardens, from which guests can enjoy a relaxed, continental breakfast. Providing personal touches to her guests is important to Simonne. As one of the smaller accommodations in Cowes, with only three rooms, she’s able to tailor the service she provides, leaving a bottle of champagne for special occasions, providing an afternoon cheese board for weary travellers who’ve spent the day traipsing Phillip Island, or providing complimentary lifts to guests who don’t have their own transport. But most importantly, Simonne finds that running Genesta House suits her lifestyle. As well as being present for her guests, Simonne is present for her family, especially her 14-year-old daughter Stephanie. “I'm around for my daughter who's in her mid-teens, which is a really important time to be a presence in their life. I can take her to school and pick her up,” she reflects. “I'm just around.” Starting anew has certainly been a big change for Simonne and her family, especially with the onset of Coronavirus. But, at the end of it all, she’s looking forward to her new way of life beginning again – to spending more time with her daughter, indulging her passion for gardening, and taking excellent care of Genesta and its future occupants.

Genesta House 18 Steele Street, Cowes, Phillip Island, VIC 3922 Phone: +61 412 032 173 For bookings email: genestahouse@gmail.com


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e: heather@fahnle.com.au |

p: 0417 562 625


Mosaics By The Bay




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

::: NEW ::: Click & Collect Service for stock feed/pet food for Cowes only

886 Phillip island Road, Newhaven, Vic, 3922

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

92 Dunsmore Road, Cowes, Vic, 3922 gippsland lifestyle spring ����


FINDING THE GRAIN A LABOUR OF LOVE For 12 years Mark Davis has been handcrafting bespoke furniture from his corner of paradise on Phillip Island. His masterful pieces are more than focal places to gather, sit and eat – they’re a reminder of nature’s beauty, and her ability to endure in a throwaway society.

Words Anita Butterworth


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A small business with a big heart, Finding The Grain creates long lasting timber furniture, without the environmental price tag. It was the culmination of Mark’s lifelong love of creating with his hands, and in particular, crafting with recycled timber. “It’s all I’ve ever done,” he says. “I’ve just always made stuff myself. We had a business when I was a kid making furniture.” Mark is predominantly self-taught and Finding The Grain marries his love for creating with his passion for the environment. “The whole business was set up just around not wanting to be involved in destroying the planet just for money. I’d rather come with a way to make a living without being one of the people that wrecks the place. When you live in nature like I do, well we all do really, I depend on it. A good environment is the most important thing in the world to me.” “You grow up surfing and I’ve lived in Tasmania and you look at the good things and you look at all the bad things that wreck all the good things and I just don’t want to be one of those people.” With a family linage that has ties to the Gippsland area since the mid 1800s, Mark comes from a long line of fishermen, and boat builders. “We grew up with my pop who, you know, if you needed something, you made it. You want a boat, you build a boat.” “My mum’s side of the family are super talented. My mum’s incredible when it comes to making things.” Mark grew up with a firm philosophy – why buy, when you can make? “I’ve got photos of houses I rented when I was 15 where I made coffee tables out of recycled timber and it comes flooding back to me when I go through old photo albums and I think geez I’ve been doing this a long time.”

Mark’s easy-going nature is reflected in the way he creates his recycled furniture pieces. There’s an organic process when he’s selection or searching for the perfect piece of timber to work with. “There’s a little bit of a flow of what we use and how we use it. We’re doing restaurant tables at the moment and we’re doing bases, just old four by two floor joists that work perfectly. So the timber sort of dictates that that’s what it’s good for. But you also can’t force it to do what you want it to do.” Mark sources the majority of the recycled timber he works with from the local area, breathing new life into salvaged timber that’s still got plenty of stories to tell. “It’s like a little victory every time you get a nice piece of timber and you don’t know what it is. It’s like winning Tattslotto. Some of it is third time round. We’ve got a load of timber sitting in there from the old abalone sheds at the Cape Kitchen. They were a factory in Melbourne that was dismantled in Melbourne, brought to Phillip Island, rebuilt here and now it’s ready to live again. It doesn’t rust. It’s timber, it lasts forever if you look after it.” Mark’s work is mostly commissions, with his showroom housing a few choice ready-made pieces. The waitlist for his work is ever growing, with customers gravitating towards his ethos of environment first. “We’re at a big tipping point. I go to the beach every single day of my life and I see the changes in the environment. The ocean doesn’t lie. It’s not a religion where you get to choose it, when you see it with your own eyes, it’s confronting. “There’s an honesty to what we do. There’s no hiding my passion for the environment and why it is I do what I do. There is no compromise, I don’t compromise.

Finding The Grain 40 Phillip Island Rd, Newhaven VIC 3925 Australia www.findingthegrain.com.au

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IT'S EVEN BETTER IN REAL LIFE – NATURALLY PLAYFUL PHILLIP ISLAND Long trips, short getaways, and weekends away; Re-introduce yourself to Phillip Island and let us inspire you to welcome you back again soon! Reconnect with family, laugh with friends, and take a break. Discover Phillip Island's local flavours, natural spaces, and scenic places! There's nothing like an island for getting away from it all; for escaping the predictable beat and confines of city life. Just two hours from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a world unto itself, where things feel different in the best of ways and life moves at a slower pace.

'Island time is real, governed not by the clock or by schedules or deadlines, but rather by the soothing rhythm of the waves as they lap reassuringly against the shores.' An island, Phillip Island offers a chance to escape the everyday, to be playful, to explore and make new discoveries. 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 to enjoy, award-winning wine and locally brewed beer, idyllic beaches, breathtaking scenery and refreshing nature walks. With so much on offer, you can do it all or do nothing at all. To take it all in, it's best to stay a few days in one of the Island's many boutique accommodation options. With B&Bs, self-contained apartments, waterfront cabins and camping sites, farm stays, holiday homes and cosy motels, all accommodations are set in stunning surrounds and allow travellers the time and freedom to make the most of their Island adventure. Plan your own adventure at visitphillipisland.com


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It's even better in real life – Naturally Playful Phillip Island gippsland lifestyle spring ����


Step back in time and book into historic Genesta House (c.1917) offering boutique B&B accommodation in the heart of Cowes. Located within easy reach of Cowes shops and cafes, Genesta House offers luxury ensuites, individually controlled heating &cooling, in room continental breakfast, free WiFi and private verandahs overlooking 100 year old cottage gardens. An ideal couples retreat book today!

18 Steele Street, Cowes, Phillip Island, Australia, 3922 Phone: +61 412 032 173 For bookings email: genestahouse@gmail.com

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

Just in time for Spring - Our Gardening Section is Expanding! Plants, Seeds, Soil, Fertilizers, & Garden Tools Full Range of Water Tanks, Building Materials, Timber & Hardware Available for Pickup or Delivery To Order Phone 5678 8552 Cnr Bass Highway & Dalyston-Glen Forbes Road, Grantville E: grantville@vansteenseltimbers.com.au | www.vansteenseltimbers.com.au 48

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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 gippsland lifestyle spring ����



The two-bedroom house contained a wood heater which was greatly appreciated on a cold night. As before, I erected a small shed for storage and firewood, set up a basic fence and planted countless trees and shrubs, thanks again to the Cowes market. We soon made friends with a number of local residents, specially our wonderful neighbours across the road, Ted and Betty. Our discovery and subsequent love affair with Phillip Island came about by accident.

In these modern times that land figure is hard to believe.

My wife Wendy and I, born on fruit properties and married at Mildura in Victoria's north, did not know a great deal about about the state's southern coastal areas.

When I say bare block that is very accurate – just white marker pegs in the farm grass, gravel roads and a scattering of sturdy pine trees. No water, no power but it became our little piece of the island.

Some 40 years ago we settled with two children, a dog and two cats in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Glen Waverley.

We later set up our caravan on the block for a limited time, decided by council bylaws. A nearby farmer kindly provided a large water tank which was duly placed on pallets at the rear boundary of the block alongside a resident's shed roof so we could collect rainwater.

Coming from the land, we responded to a newspaper advertisement listing a “bush block” near Ballarat and so, on a hot Sunday, we located the block, complete with gullies, scrub and several abandoned motor vehicles. I rang the agent on Monday and said the area did not suit us. He replied, “Have you ever thought about Phillip Island?” Well, not at that time. I consulted a road map, booked us in on the island and duly ventured down the Bass Highway, at the time a rather narrow road. We swept over the bridge at San Remo and onto Phillip Island. Wendy took one look at the sparkling sea and said,”this must be Heaven”. We continued across the island, past restful green farmland and onto Cowes with its historic hotel, exciting shops, white beach and bay views. We could hardly wait to venture across to the famous penguin parade, now clearly the aiming point for every international visitor to Melbourne. Needless to say, as darkness fell, we were blown away by our new feathered friends as the penguins marched out of the ocean causing our fellow-visitors to gasp with delight. As Wendy put it: “I wanted to scoop them up and take them all home”. I trust she was referring to the penguins! And we had not, at that stage, caught up with the island's koalas. Needless to say our love affair with Phillip Island had been ignited and so we ventured into a real estate office at Cowes with the result that we purchased a bare building bock for $2000 at Sunset Strip on the centre of the island.


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As an over-enthusiast handyman I was in my element. I erected a 3m by 3m shed which contained our trusty 240v 400w generator, small water pump, a gas-fired hot water service. a shower and toilet with the necessary bucket. A fully self-contained holiday operation! With our happy little dog Benny, I busily hammered in steel star posts around the block with some strands of wire as a fence and planted trees and shrubs, purchased at the popular Cowes market. Others may have bedded down in more luxury lodgings on the island but we were happy with our lot (literally). Time passed and during one visit we saw a newlybuilt timber-clad holiday home advertised for sale. The home was situated at Wimbledon Heights near Sunset Strip. We made a rather modest offer of $50,000 for the house and were very surprised to find the offer was accepted and so we had now become proud holiday home owners. I use the term “holiday home”, rather than “Beach House” in the sense that Wimbledon Heights was some distance away from the closest coastal settlement of Smith's Beach.

We used to advise them by phone when we were coming down with the result that they set the fire and turned on our carport light to welcome us in on a Friday night. Time passed and job opportunities presented themselves in other parts of Victoria then Queensland, and so it was with great reluctance that we finally sold our holiday home but maintained contact with our Wimbledon neighbours. The timing of the decision to sell was not perfect - soon after we left the island the Australian Grand Prix motor cycle race was established not far from Wimbledon Heights and values took off on the island. Now, more than 25 years have since passed with the result that we decided to return to Victoria and selected the Latrobe Valley in Gippsland. Naturally Phillip Island was a “must visit” with the result that we found ourselves seeking out our original holiday home, now surrounded by many established houses. To my surprise, I could not immediately recognise “our home” because of the many large trees and shrubs. The latest owners had also extended the home. Sadly, Ted and Betty, had left Phillip Island for Ballarat. We happily noted the many new facilities on the island and the much-improved highway to the south coast .

And nothing has diminished our lasting interest in the area, its wildlife, the spectacular coastline and the residents who made us feel so welcome. John Jennings

Happy memories for John and Wendy Jennings who fell in love with Phillip Island some 40 years ago and set up a self-contained holiday venture with their caravan on a $2000 block at Sunset Strip.


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





Under the ownership of four generations of the Abraham family spanning the past 110 years, Melbourne Furnishing Co has been the trusted source of quality items for homes across South Gippsland. Words: Chris West


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Talia Abraham can instantly recollect her earliest memories of the store at 119 Graham Street, Wonthaggi that has been operated by a succession of her family members since its establishment in 1910. “There is a big ramp in the store and I remember running up and down it as a young child,” she recalls. “Kids still do it today, which is a nice reminder of those times. I also remember that the phone in the shop could be diverted and would often ring at our house.” The Melbourne Furnishing Co was founded by Talia’s great-grandfather, Samuel Abraham who moved to Wonthaggi and established the business to capitalise on the rapid growth of the town which coincided with the arrival of coal mining in the local area. “Some of the early history of our family is a bit sketchy, but we know that Sam had an involvement with the gold mines at Ballarat and before coming to Wonthaggi had returned from Western Australia where he had spent time as a pawn broker in Kalgoorlie,” Talia says. “The reason why the business is named Melbourne Furnishing Co is also a subject of some conjecture. Sam had two spinster sisters living in Melbourne and one theory is that they may have invested some money to help in the establishment of the business which came with some influence over the name, whilst the other theory is that the association with Melbourne through the name might have simply made the store sound that little bit fancier,” she explains. Sam operated the store for approximately the next thirty years. He and his wife Grace had three children, one of whom, Alan, took over the store from his father around 1940. “I didn’t know my grandfather Alan, who unfortunately died before I was born,” Talia reveals. “Alan and my grandmother Matilda had five children, including my father Alwyn who was born in 1947. Twenty years later when my dad was in his first year of studying at a pharmacy college in Melbourne my grandfather fell sick which necessitated dad to abandon his plans and come back to Wonthaggi to run the family business,” she continues.

Talia Abraham

Alwyn Abraham remained at the helm of Melbourne Furnishing Co from 1967 to 2004. During that time, he relocated his family to Mt. Eliza on the Mornington Peninsula in the early 1980s when Talia was in Grade 2 at primary school. “Dad had two other businesses at the time - a furniture shop in Hastings and a carpet store in Frankston. He had someone managing the Wonthaggi store and would drive between the three shops,” Talia recollects. “My mum Kaye was a pharmacist and never had any involvement with the businesses, nor did my older brother Jason or younger sister Naomi,” she adds.

Growing up, Talia could never imagine one day buying the business from her father and becoming the fourth generation owner within the family. But that’s exactly what happened in 2004, although it was far from an obvious succession. Talia had by then had spent the previous decade completing her education, attaining a degree in hospitality management after originally wanting to be a dietician, travelling in the UK and Europe for eighteen months and establishing a career working in fine dining restaurants. “After coming back to Australia in 1997 I spent six fairly unsettled years, including a year working up in Noosa, and by 2003 it was all starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day,” she concedes. “Dad suggested I go down to Wonthaggi for a rest. That was it. I fell in love with the town and the people all over again and this time stayed. The following year I bought the business off him.”

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The Melbourne Furnishing Co | Tradition In Store

Talia insists that she never felt pressured into the family business at any point in her life. “Dad was content to step away when I bought it off him and there would still be no pressure even if I decided to finish up today. He wouldn’t mind either way,” she suggests. Not that Talia is looking to sell up. She continues to thrive on the challenge of putting her individual stamp on a business that has been an institution in Wonthaggi for the past 110 years. During that long period of trading, the goods and services available in the store have only evolved marginally with the times. Today, the core business focuses on essential items for the home such as beds and mattresses, dining settings, lounges, bookcases, chest of drawers, occasional furniture and rugs. “We used to do floor coverings but I dropped that after dad sold the business to me,” Talia says. “Many years ago the store had electrical goods and sold the first televisions in Wonthaggi. I’ve been told that at that time people used to crowd around the window to view the televisions on display. Various services have been offered over the years. For instance, people used to be able to come in to pay their utilities bills in the store. And back at the very start, my great-grandfather would also sell pots and pans to the local coal miners,” she adds. Since assuming control, Talia has modernised the business whilst continuing to honour many of the traditional aspects that have made Melbourne Furnishing Co such an enduring success story. The store has never moved from its original premises but the building has expanded over the years. Staff numbers haven’t increased greatly throughout the history of the business, with Talia currently being assisted by a small team of two.


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“When you walk in here it still feels like an old fashioned furniture store. We’ve even got the original ad from the local paper for the opening in 1910 framed and on display in the shop. Unlike the layout of most other furniture stores, ours is not set up into rooms or anything like that,” she comments. Talia prides herself on offering a personalised service which gives the business its point of difference from the major retailers in Melbourne who are slowly but surely extending their presence and reach out into regional towns.

“My biggest pleasure is saying to people that what’s on the floor is only about two per cent of what I can get. We’ve been in the industry so long we can source most things that are available in the Australian market. I might have one piece in a range in the shop for customers to touch and feel and then order in the matching bits and pieces,” she explains. “I’m all about customising, and finding the right thing for the right person, rather than just walking in to a big retailer and saying I’ll take that particular item as it is. Another advantage is that because I’m independent I can include some unusual pieces amongst my stock, whilst some of my competitors are constrained by their ties to certain buying groups.” Talia has positioned Melbourne Furnsihing Co to offer value for money without compromising on quality. “We are very competitive on price and definitely beat the stores in Melbourne,” she states. “Price is one thing but I also have an emphasis on quality. Dad said to me when I started that people only buy cheap furniture once. I don’t sell cheap quality furniture because it simply doesn’t last. I just try to keep my prices reasonable all year round so customers don’t have to wait for

Established in 1910

a sale and know they are getting the best price every time. I think most people are savvy enough to work out what represents good value.” The reputation and trust that Melbourne Furnishing Co has built over more than a century has ensured it attracts plenty of repeat customers. “We get a lot of loyal customers coming back to us whenever they need something and we’ve even seen repeat business continuing on through different generations of some local families,” Talia notes. The store’s customer base begins at its doorstep in Wonthaggi and stretches across a wide area of South Gippsland.

“We do a lot of business in Phillip Island and cover all the way up to Lang Lang. We go to Mirboo North, Leongatha and Korumburra, down to Walkerville, Sandy Point and all the way across to Port Franklin,” Talia says. “Delivery is free in Wonthaggi and the most we ever charge for other locations is eighty five dollars. My delivery boys will also bring the items inside and unpack and assemble them if needed. We also offer additional services such as removing old mattresses. Some of those extras include a small charge but we always seek to go above and beyond with our customer service.” In steering the business, Talia manages to avoid any crossover between work and her family life. At home her world turns to her eleven-year-old daughter, Matilda (named after Talia’s grandmother) and her partner, Peter, who has two children of his own. “I’m the only member of the family working in the business,” Talia notes. Does she think Matilda will one day extend the family business involvement to a fifth generation? “Oh, I hope not,” she laughs.

“Matilda thinks she’s going to be a world famous actress at the moment. What’s more important to me is that when I retire, whenever that may be, the thing I’d most like to see is that our reputation and focus on customer service carries on with the business. I’d like the next owner to continue that tradition, whether it happens to be a family member or someone else.” Talia says she has no major plans on her radar to drastically alter or grow the business. “I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. This area is growing exponentially at the moment as more people move into the area and it’s lovely to be able to play a part in helping them to settle in.” She is presently revamping the store’s website to include more product range, but is undecided as to whether to introduce an online shopping service for Melbourne Furnishing Co’s customers. “I’m not sure about online. When it comes to furniture, I think people still prefer to touch and feel, and see the quality close up,” she observes. Melbourne Furnishing Co’s opening hours are 9am to 5pm on weekdays and Saturday from 9am to noon. The store has continued to trade with little or no disruption throughout the coronavirus pandemic. “We only closed for a couple of days over Easter, but that was it,” Talia says. “We’ve had to implement social distancing and hygiene protocols like everyone else, but otherwise it’s been pretty much business as usual, at times even busier than normal. I see that partly as a testament to the standard of our service, but also as a byproduct of how the current times have created a heightened awareness within the community of the many benefits of shopping local.” The Melbourne Furnishing Co 119 Graham Street Wonthaggi VIC 3995 www.melbournefurnishingco.com.au

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Crawford Marine with Terry Raymond



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From cruising the spectacular Gippsland Lakes, trout fishing in lakes Eildon, or Blue Rock and others, to offshore fishing in Bass Strait, the joy of commanding your very own boat and soaking up the great boating outdoors is second to none. Terry at Crawford Marine in Morwell would love to show you how easy it is. At his 2 acre boat yard Terry has in stock the great range of Stacer Boats from, open dinghies to side console fishing boats, right thru to mighty offshore rigs and most importantly powered by the ever reliable, smooth and quiet Mercury four stroke outboards.

Backed by factory trained technicians with the latest diagnostic equipment, the Crawford Marine service team can provide all the essential and specialised services needed to keep you ‘smiling on the water’.


For those who prefer the look and feel of a fibreglass boat, Crawford Maine has exclusively the magnificent Campion Boats all the way from Canada. Often some boaties prefer to start their boating adventures in a used boat. Terry and the team always have a large range of quality pre owned boats available.




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


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Visit our showroom at 41-45 Standing Drive Traralgon

Phone: 03 5176 5997 Email: info@virtuehomes.com.au


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gippsland lifestyle spring ����

I’ve been taking long walks on the beach with my border collie this winter. Each day reveals South Walkerville in a new light. Some mornings it’s been so bright, clear and still – with the sun warming my back – that it feels like summer, apart from the quietness and the cold chill in the air. On these mornings, especially if I time my walk so that the tide is out, I walk round to the southern end of the beach where Bird Rock and all the rocks that tumble around it rise from the sand like a collection of neolithic monoliths. They’re far older than neolithic of course. And man played no part in their making. The dog likes that end of the beach too. He careers around, weaving in and out of the rocks, nose to the ground, splashing through pools of water that the tide has left behind. Very rarely do we see another person there, just welcome swallows darting and diving between their nesting places in the sea caves. Sometimes I walk north along the beach to the historic lime kilns. This section of the coastline reminds me of beaches at home in West Wales, Devon and Cornwall. Though given the choice I prefer to walk south to the rocks, to where man’s mark on the landscape is less visible. I feel incredibly grateful to have outdoor places to venture to safely during Coronavirus. But I do crave a day in Melbourne: People watching on the tram, coffee in a café, and an afternoon at an art gallery. It’s easy to find things to do in the city. On days in Melbourne where I was working from home and struggling to concentrate I’d walk out the front door of my flat straight into the humm of urban life. There was a trendy coffee shop two minutes away, a library brimming with ideas three minutes away, and a chatty florist who sold flowers from a sweet wooden cart just four minutes away.

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There are fewer distractions within arm’s reach here. The few distractions there are require some commitment. I am relearning how to use my time. My preferred distraction is walking the dog, but if I’m at home I like to check whether the chickens have laid any eggs. My favourite chicken is blind in one eye and partial to a cuddle. With her unfortunate handicap she inevitably ended up at the bottom of the pecking order, but she’s since fought back, developing a fool-hardy technique to eat as many scraps as possible. Now, she’ll fearlessly grab any scrap thrown to her, then run away with it as fast as she can to the far end of the chicken run. I’m pleased she’s survived the winter given the number of feathers she lost to her aggressors. Like my one-eyed chicken, I realise that I’ve also survived my first winter in South Gippsland. There's been a lot of mud. It’s been cold but not frosty like a European winter. And swimming in the sea, which I love, is mostly off the menu unless you have a wetsuit, which I don’t. But it’s been quieter, slower, and steadier than the winters I’ve spent in London or Melbourne. In the city winter isn’t seen as an opportunity to slow down. The city runs at full pelt all year round. Street lights fix the night. Pubs and restaurants lure us outside after dark. During winter in London, I remember waiting at bus stops late into the evening after meeting friends, feeling tired, wondering if I was ever going to get warm again, and wanting nothing more than to be at home. Here, largely, there is nothing much to do when it’s dark. It seems sensible to me that we spend time outside as long as the light permits, and most evenings we stay at home. I notice the seasons more acutely and succumb to them gently, resting in winter, and living fully and busily in summer. That’s not to say that we’re totally antisocial during winter. Before stage three restrictions applied in regional Victoria, our small network of neighbours had each other over for dinners weekly, a ritual which I’ve greatly enjoyed. It’s the next best thing when there’s no restaurant within a 30 minute drive, and to me it’s been a lovely way to learn more about rural life and contentedly while away winter nights – warm, full and happy.


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The Melbourne Furnishing Co HOURS Mon - Fri 9:00am - 5.00pm Saturday 9.00am - 12.00pm

ADDRESS 119 Graham Street Wonthaggi VIC 3995

CONTACT 03 5672 1027 | talia@melbfurnco.com www.melbournefurnishingco.com.au

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

Specialising in safe aerial data acquisitions using commercial drone technology to assess elevated or otherwise unapproachable assets and infrastructure. providing greater efficiency and improve safety by reducing traditional working environments at heights to inspect these structures.


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

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

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

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SAN REMO walks & trails

San Remo's Back Beach, located off Back Beach Road, is situated at the base of cliffs and directly opposite Cape Woolamai at Phillip Island. Lions Park, which sits above the cliffs, features BBQ and picnic areas and a scenic clifftop walk. One of San Remo's most secluded beaches is Bore Beach, located at the southern end of the unsealed Potters Hill Road and facing Bass Strait. A scenic track winds its way down from the car park at the top of the cliffs down to a large stretch of sandy beach below.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

ROSEDALE Prince Street, Rosedale Vic 3847 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


Rosedale BP Coming Soon Evans Petroleum is a locally-owned authorised Distributor of BP and Castrol fuel and lubricants, with BP service stations conveniently placed throughout Gippsland, providing you with a wide range of fuels, oils, convenience goods and other services to keep you moving.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION Prince Street, Rosedale Vic 3847 Email: Rosedale@evanspetroleum.com.au 68

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

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

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

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.

Please check our facebook for Updates on COVID-19 restrictions, dates and times. 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.

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. gippsland lifestyle spring ����





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As a politician who spends considerable time conversing with his constituents, Jeff Bourman MP admires the people of Gippsland for their unbending resilience.

Unfortunately, his father’s farming venture wasn’t a successful one. “Apparently, air force officers don’t make good famers,” Jeff observes.

“Gippslanders never give up,” he states. A refusal to quit is also the centerpiece of Jeff’s own personal story around the heart-wrenching 20 year struggle he and wife Nicole endured in their attempts to conceive a child together. Happily, it is a story with a joyous conclusion. Saving the best for last, every tale has to begin somewhere and Jeff’s starts with his birth in Queensland in February 1967. “My father was a fighter pilot and I was born into a RAAF family,” he reveals. Further back in his heritage, Jeff’s family has deep connections to Gippsland on the maternal side. “I’ve discovered that our family is related through my mother to a number of families in the areas around Boisdale, Maffa and Valencia Creek, including the Knights, the Littles, the Pounds, the Missens and the Tribilcocks. The Knights are quite a sizeable clan who settled out that way from the early 1900s and quite possibly earlier,” he notes. “My ancestors from Gippsland were predominantly farmers until the Second World War. Like a lot of people, when they came back from the fighting they found that life had changed for them. My grandfather Max Knight, who had been in the air force, then moved to Melbourne and became a parking officer. “I’m very proud of my historical ties to Gippsland. My great grandfather Richard Glenville Knight is buried in Maffra cemetery. He won a military medal in World War One as a stretcher bearer in a major battle and I think I’m prouder of his bravery to win it for those efforts rather than for killing the enemy in combat.” Jeff’s early childhood was punctuated by regular moves as his father changed posts with the air force. “During my infancy, my family moved firstly from Queensland to Victoria. We were based initially in Laverton before then shifting back and forth several teams to various locations in Melbourne and regional Victoria. This included two periods living in Sale, but I was too young to have any recollection of those days,” Jeff explains. “The only thing I sport from living in Sale is a massive scar across my nose that I got from falling out of my high chair as a little one, which is there as a permanent reminder,” he laughs. Jeff’s family ended up spending time overseas, before returning to Canberra and finally back to Victoria. In the early 1980s, Jeff’s father retired from the air force after concluding his 20 years of service and moved the family to a farm near St. Arnaud in north western Victoria. “Technically, the closest town to us was Stuart Mill, which has about two hundred to three hundred people when everyone is at home,” Jeff estimates.

In 1982, the family relocated back to Melbourne and his father embarked on a new career by starting a security company.

“Nicole and I flew to Sydney in 2012 at our own expense to meet with them at Parliament House. We had a good, long chat and came home convinced that I would take the plunge into politics by establishing a Victorian branch of the party with a view to contesting the 2014 state election.”

There were other links to the police emerging through Jeff’s family.

Jeff established the Victorian Branch of the Shooters and Fishers Party in 2014 and was instilled as the state’s Founding Chairman, a post he continues to hold to this day. A name change two years later to incorporate the addition of representation of the agricultural sector resulted in rebranding to become the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.

“My sister met a guy at the Police Academy who she ended up marrying and my brother also became a police officer,” he says.

Jeff was initially drawn to the party by his longheld interest and association with recreational shooting.

“I thought I’d give it a go as well. I had undergone corrective eye surgery in the early 1990s; otherwise I wouldn’t have contemplated trying to get in.”

“When we moved to the farm near Stuart Mill back in the 1980s, my dad bought me a 22 rifle. He showed me how to work it, taught me the basics of safety, and impressed upon me not to misbehave with it,” he says.

“He ended up spending ten years in the Australian Protective Service, which was back then part of the Federal Police,” Jeff notes.

Jeff graduated from the Police Academy in November 1996, although the career change only lasted just under four years. In that same timeframe his relationship with Nicole commenced after meeting at a shooting range in 1997 and blossomed through to marriage two years later. “There were a number of contributing factors as to why my time in the force was relatively short, but it was essentially a case of police life in general not living up to the expectations I had for it,” he comments. “I was also working in Cheltenham in August 1998 at the time Gary Silk and Rodney Miller were murdered in the line of duty. Nicole was working as an ambulance dispatcher that night and was never really comfortable with me working in the police beyond that point. In the back of her mind she feared one day getting a knock at the door and I can understand that sense of dread. We got married in November 1999, went on our honeymoon and I quit the force when we got back.” The next chapter in Jeff’s career spanned around 15 years working in the IT field. “It’s something I had previously played around with as a hobby for a long time,” he says. “My dad once brought a faulty computer home from one of his jobs which I was able to get working. I found it was something that I developed a bit of an affinity with. Although I worked for all sorts of people in IT and ended up running my own consultancy in the final two or three of the fifteen years or so I spent in that field, it wasn’t something I could really see myself doing forever.” Jeff was still working in his IT consultancy when he became a member of the Shooters and Fishers Party, which at the time had representatives only in New South Wales. “I had seen the two New South Wales members on an internet forum and liked their philosophies and the manner in which they presented their ideas,” he recalls.

“I had done a bit of shooting beforehand, but getting my own gun was when I really started to learn how to shoot properly. I loved it and it is something that has stayed with me for the rest of my life.” Jeff believes that responsible gun owners have often received a raw deal in government decision making. “Particularly after also being in the police, I’ve seen silly gun law after silly gun law passed. I can’t recall one problem with a law abiding, registered shooter, and when you consider that there’s 200,000 of them in the community, they’re statistically irrelevant and in no way problematic to our everyday life.” Although he joined the Shooters and Fishers Party, Jeff doesn’t have any specific ties to fishing. “In fact, I’m allergic to shellfish and don’t risk eating fish,” he remarks. “Whilst our focus was on issues relating to shooting and fishing, it also became apparent from our party discussions at a federal level that the farming sector across Australia was being completely ignored by those in politics who pretend to support it.” It was those discussions that led to the rebranding as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party in 2016. Either side of that party name change, Jeff has campaigned successfully as an independent at the past two Victorian state elections. He was firstly elected as the Member of the Legislative Council for Eastern Victoria in 2014 and then subsequently returned by his constituents at the 2018 poll with an increased or increased majority, more than doubling his primary vote. Looking back, Jeff readily admits to being incredibly naïve when he started in politics.

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JEFF BOURMAN | STRAIGHT SHOOTER “I thought by being in parliament I’d be able to get a lot of commonsense things done, but my experiences have taught me that some of the most ridiculous, indefensible gun laws will not change. The best I can really do is stop any more nonsensical stuff getting through,” he states.

“It also changed my priorities. I want to keep Rebecca safe and try to make the world a better place for her.” There has been precedent for female politicians bringing their babies into parliament, but Jeff may have scored a first for the gentlemen when he took Rebecca along in February this year.

Despite not being able to remedy all the issues and inconsistencies that he had hoped to, Jeff is still adamant that his efforts in the political sphere are not being made in vain or wasted in any way.

“It’s my understanding that it was a first in the Legislative Council. I think it also might have been a first for the Victorian Parliament, but I couldn’t tell you about the rest of the world,” he says.

“I may have come into politics with shooting as my main driver, but there is so much else wrong going on in the regional areas and I feel just as compelled to take these things on,” he emphasises. “I do think I’m making a difference. If nothing else, people are getting a voice. I raise all sorts of things, and whilst many things relate to Gippsland and questions from the constituency, some matters extend further such as my concerns about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan which is a festering sore in the farming communities along the border and other affected areas. “Getting into parliament has shown me that there are many rural-related issues such as local jobs and the timber industry being destroyed that are just as wrong. It’s opened my eyes to exactly how regional Victoria, and Gippsland in particular, is really not getting the attention and consideration it deserves from the political side of things. I’ll keep on bringing things up in parliament in the hope of embarrassing people into action,” he promises. The issues in Gippsland that are top of mind for Jeff at present are headed by the employment situation in the Latrobe Valley and the demise of the timber industry. “The Latrobe Valley has been in trouble for a while and the loss of jobs in that area is a major concern,” he says. “The death of the timber industry also distresses me greatly. We’ve got one of the best managed, most sustainable timber industries in the world with the best product and its getting stamped out for inner city votes.” Jeff has always made it a habit to spend as little time as possible hunkered down in his Warragul office. “If I’m in my office then that means I’m not out there meeting and talking to the constituents. I try to get out and talk to people as often as I can,” he says. Jeff is not the least bit surprised by the widespread mistrust of politicians amongst the general population. He fully understands those views and is completely unimpressed with both sides of politics himself. “I have seen years of inaction and almost disdain for regional areas from the major parties. I think both sides dislike me equally,” he suggests wryly.


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“First and foremost I needed to tell our story, but dads are parents too. I wanted people to see that I’m proud to be a dad, certainly much prouder than I am to be a politician. It had been the culmination of twenty years of trying for a child and eleven cycles of IVF. People were aware about the stillbirth but what wasn’t known was that Nicole had also suffered nine miscarriages.” “I still don’t like politics and most politicians, but as an independent I’m beholden to no one. Admittedly, there are some good people on both sides of the fence trying to the right thing but there are some horrendous political animals in there who would sell their own mother for a vote, and I just don’t identify with those people.” For all of Jeff’s time in politics and more than a decade before, he and Nicole endured a torturous and often heart-breaking battle to have a child together. After failing to conceive naturally for about 17 years, their first attempt at IVF resulted in a successful pregnancy. It was an amazing outcome, especially given Nicole’s age by then and the added complication of her being diabetic. Tragically, however, their joy turned to despair when son Matthew was stillborn. Jeff witnessed Matthew’s birth on 3rd February 2017, but the baby he and Nicole had longed for never got to draw his first breath. “It was the hardest time of our lives and so hard to watch,” he reflects. Jeff and Nicole later penned a joint submission to a parliamentary inquiry into stillbirths, providing a deeply emotional account of their own personal experiences. “It wasn’t about attracting sympathy, it was about letting other people in the same situation know that it can happen to anyone and that they can talk about it,” Jeff states. After suffering so much emotional torment, the couple was on the verge of abandoning all hope of ever having a child when they decided to try one final attempt through IVF. By some kind of miracle it worked and the pregnancy carried through to delivery on Christmas Eve last year when daughter Rebecca safely entered the world.

“She’s the light of our life and her birth changed our world completely. It meant that we’d finally be what we felt was a complete family,” Jeff says.

Jeff reports that the response he received from his fellow politicians about introducing Rebecca in parliament was overwhelmingly positive. “I’d say that 99.8 per cent of them were rapt. There were a couple of people who were not so positive about it but I knew who they were going to be, so they didn’t really bother me,” he comments. “Everyone who had been there from the 58th Parliament knew what I’d been through and what it meant to me. The newer people from this current parliament were pleased to see something different and beautiful in that place. Parliament can be a horrendous environment and just for a short time that day it wasn’t.”



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


5662 2012 5662 2747 5662 4487

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


Corner of Smith Street & Michael Place, Leongatha


Local Heroes



by Trevor Stow

John Nash was born in Bairnsdale in 1937 at Sister Bulls Hospital on the corner of Pearson and Riverine Streets. After attending Paynesville Primary School, then St Mary’s Primary School Bairnsdale and later St Patricks College, Sale, John left school at 14 years of age and worked for his father, Bill and Uncle, Colin in their Bairnsdale Bakery businesses.

For many years the minimum school leaving age was set at 14 years and it was common for children to enter the workforce at that young age. Only a small percentage of children completed their matriculation (year 12). It was mostly confined to students who would enter university and graduate to work in the professional areas such as doctors, engineers, solicitors etc.

In those days, the Second World War was very much still in the minds of the Australian population. Immediately after the war, things were tough. Unemployment was high and goods and services were scarce. There was little in the way of government financial assistance for the unemployed and needy. As we moved into the 1950’s things started to boom. The economy was very strong and we had full employment in Australia. The unemployment rate was just 1.5%. Consumer goods were very expensive.

John commenced his time in the family bakery, baking bread and undertaking all facets of the business. Nash’s bakery had 3 outlets in Bairnsdale and a further one at Lakes Entrance. He was delivering bread around Bairnsdale in the bakery’s Austin A40 panel van at age 16. On one occasion he passed the local police who recognised him. They went to the bakery and spoke to his father and suggested that John revert to using the horses to deliver the bread.


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HORSE AND CART DELIVERIES Horses had been used for many years by the bakery to deliver bread. Other contractors also used horses in those times to deliver milk and other products to homes in the town area. The milk contractor used to be called “50/50” as he had a habit of mixing the milk with water. Horses continued to be used for these deliveries in Bairnsdale until the mid-1950’s when they were replaced by motor vehicles. Although motor vehicles had been around for 50 odd years at this time, John speaks highly of the horses. “They were mainly cart horses and they knew the bread round as well as I did” said John. They would pull the bread cart along the streets with John standing on the back of the cart. The horses would know where to stop at each house that received bread. The horses were popular with the customers and often the children would come out and pat them or lead them along the street. At that time bread was delivered Monday to Friday. In the early 1960’s the big Melbourne bakery, Sunnicrust Bakery bought the family business and John became a bread vendor for them. He ran his own bread distribution business, delivering Sunnicrust products. At this stage he had returned to driving a utility on his rounds as the horses had been well and truly retired. By now he had his driving license and the police had no further interest in him. He expanded his round into Mossiface, Johnsonville and almost to Bruthen doing these rounds several times a week as well as continuing with his Bairnsdale round.

REAL ESTATE After several years of truck driving and being away from his family John teamed up with Jack and Mina Armstrong and opened up Paynesville Real Estate that later was sold to LJ Hooker. John took on the responsibility of office manager for Hooker’s. John remained at Hooker’s for 12 years before opening up a nappy wash business in Bairnsdale which he ran for another 3 years before finally retiring at 60 years of age. During his time in real estate, Paynesville transformed from a small fishing village on the shores of the Gippsland Lakes to a vibrant holiday destination. Canals were being constructed and architect designed, waterside homes were being built. It was an exciting time to be selling real estate in Paynesville. RETIREMENT In retirement John has been kept very busy with his many interests. John is a passionate hunter who served terms as President and Secretary of Bairnsdale Branch of Field and Game and was also a committee person for many years. He was inducted as a life member of the organisation. Together with his good mate Norm Elliott he has been responsible for many conservation projects including placing nesting boxes in our waterways, tree planting, vermin eradication and clay target shooting.

NEWSAGENCY This bakery vendor business continued until John opened a milk bar and sub-newsagency in the western end of the Main Street shopping precinct between Service Street and Pyke Street. He would receive his magazines and newspapers from Cash and Wilson trading as Bairnsdale Authorised Newsagency (BANA). At that stage there was only one authorised newsagency in Bairnsdale, BANA. To sell newspapers or magazines in Victoria, you were required to be “authorised” by the Newsagency Council of Victoria which was largely made up of the publishers of the major daily newspapers, the Sun, The Herald, The Age and The Australian. These authorisations were highly sought after and difficult to get. BANA had the distribution rights for all newspaper and magazine sales in Bairnsdale. They would supply sub agents like John with newspapers and magazines and share the profit margin with the sub-agent. They were also a very big retailer of greeting cards as supermarkets, at that stage, did not have any of these products. In 1964 one of the major newspaper publishers rang John and asked him if he was interested in becoming an authorised newsagent. Bairnsdale had grown to the extent that a second authorised newsagency was warranted. John readily agreed and travelled to Melbourne to meet the publishers and accept the authorisation. He then purchased a delivery area off BANA and had his own exclusive rights to that area. After he was authorised with direct accounts, John organised a major shop fit and shut down the milk bar side of his business to concentrate solely on newsagency products. He worked the shop on his own for 3 years before he met and married his wife of 53 years, Helen. The new bride was then lucky enough to be invited to work in the shop with John 6 days a week working 13 hour days, except during holiday times when they stayed open an extra hour or two.

Among his many achievements and with his real estate background, John was the principal negotiator on behalf of Bairnsdale Field and Game when they purchased their present acreage of land. This land has now been owned by Field and Game for many years. It has recently been used to hold the National Clay Target Championships for the past 2 years and is a great asset for the local club. John is a keen fisherman catching mainly bream from the Gippsland Lakes and chasing prawns during the season. In recent years he has not done as much fishing as he would like as lawn bowls has taken much of his time. He is a member of Bairnsdale Bowls Club and bowls 3 days per week including being a member of the pennant team. John was born at the end of the great depression in the 1930’s, lived through the second world war and later saw Australia transform to a modern, vibrant nation. His formal schooling was limited but he led a very successful life with his education being based on experience and common-sense. John has lived and continues to live a full and satisfying life with a diverse range of jobs and interests. He is still as keen and as passionate as ever about his many interests.

John Nash

John finally sold the business in 1975 after 11 years of hard work. He then took up truck driving travelling many miles throughout the state. He was also responsible for doing the trucking company’s books after work every Friday.

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Wine Language… A FEW COMMON WORDS By Frank Butera



This technique was made famous by Beaujolais. It’s basically a ferment of whole bunches in a fermenter or tank that is closed up, allowing the grapes to ferment as whole berries. You get a really vibrant and bright fruit expression.


The least important thing about wine is the colour, but it’s worth knowing that the colour comes from the skins. If you’re extracting lots of colour, with red or white, you’re probably pulling out some tannins.


Acid is what gives wine its freshness. Sometimes you notice it, sometimes not. But it’s always there. In a crisp young Riesling, it might be racy and tart. In a richer red wine, it might just cut through a bit of the weight.

Complexity is just that, a wine with a lot going on. That complexity might just be an array of flavours, or it might be due to a layered texture, or tannins with different types of grip – fine, furry, pleasingly bitter etc. On the other hand, simple wines are ones that have singular flavour notes and little texture or structural variety.



An amphora is a big, classically shaped clay pot used for fermenting and maturing wine. They, unsurprisingly, go way back, and are still extensively used in Georgia. The shape of the vessel creates swirling and conventional fermentation flows.

Alcohol is a pretty good solvent, and it will get a lot out of the grapes during fermentation – flavour, colour, tannin – but you can extract more of these elements with certain techniques, which don’t always make the wine a better wine, though they can.




This is a term strongly linked with Champagne, with autolysis giving the wines characteristic notes of baked bread, brioche, biscuits and the like. When wine ferments, the expired yeast cells, or lees, precipitate out, but even in death they keep contributing.


A wine has balance when its elements are harmonious; when no one part dominates. Acid should balance against sweetness; fruit should balance against oak and tannin; alcohol balances against acid and flavor.


The sum of a wine's aromas; how a wine smells as a whole; a key determinant of quality.


Brettanomyces is a yeast, but is regarded as a spoilage yeast, producing undesirable flavours and stripping wine of texture. In wine, it is very hard to control and can ferment sugars that won’t convert in a regular alcoholic fermentation, which is why affected wines can look a bit hard and severe. It also throws up undesirable flavour characters. Terms like, barnyard, horsey and bandaid.


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This is the process that makes wine wine. Grapes have plenty of sugar in them, and they also have naturally occurring yeast on their skins. Break that skin and the sugar becomes available food for the yeast, which then ferments and converts the sugar to alcohol, with carbon dioxide as a by-product.


Lees are simply the solid bits in a wine, which are often, but not always, removed from a wine prior to bottling. They’re mainly dead yeast cells that have done their job turning sugar to alcohol during fermentation. The lees can play a big role in a wine, too, with wine kept on its lees developing more texture and sometimes creamy and cheesy aromatic notes.


If you take a moment after you swallow a mouthful of wine, sometimes it seems that the flavour of the wine just vanishes abruptly, and sometimes it seems like the impression of the wine floats slowly into the distance, slowly fading. That’s length. The longer a wine lingers (in a good way), the higher quality.


This is a term that typically means a wine is particularly aromatic. Lifted aromas not just describing the flavours but also their intensity.


It’s another type of fermentation that converts malic acid to lactic acid. These acids are almost always described as being like the acid whereby harsher malic acid is converted into creamier lactic acid.


A maritime climate is one that has some influence from the sea. A big body of water like that tends to even out temperature extremes but keeps things relatively cool. In grape growing zones, those coastal breezes can take the edge off the heat, and given that the ocean temperature is pretty stable. The further inland you go, the less maritime it gets.


It’s typically used in tasting to refer to a wine that has a bit of tannin in it from grape skins, seeds or stalks. Polyphenols are present in all of these parts of a grape, more in some varieties than others, and they’re great antioxidants. They contribute tannins, colour and all manner of things to wine.


Phylloxera is a bug that feeds on the root systems of grapevines, eventually killing them. Originating from North America, these microscopic bugs were responsible for a worldwide plague that wiped out whole regions in the late 19th century.


Primary flavours are those produced by the grapes once turned to wine. So, typically the fruit flavours, though really any character from growing the fruit is a primary character, which may include the influence of local flora, like herbs or eucalypt. Secondary flavours are those added by the winemaking process. So, oak flavour, lees character and the like are all secondary characters. Tertiary flavours are those produced by ageing in bottle.



The skins hold the colouring matter and lots of tannin. Leave them in contact with the juice/wine and you’ll extract those elements. Most conventional white wine sees no skin contact, rosé a little bit to get a blush, and red wine plenty to get the colour and structure.


This is the architecture. Tannin from grape skins, seeds, stalks and oak barrels give wine a dryness and pulls in the fruit, and acidity gives a wine linear direction and similarly reins in fruit sweetness and also sugar sweetness.


Sulphur gets a fair bit of bad press, but used properly it is one of the most useful winemaking tools. Sulphur is a naturally occurring preservative and antioxidant, which helps to protect wine from losing its natural flavours and from undesirable oxidative reactions to occur.


These are those grippy things in your mouth. The drying ones that can make you pucker at times. They can be bitter at the extreme end or just lightly chewy, and they contribute to much of the structure of red wine and some whites. Tannins are extracted from grape skins, seeds and stalks when making wine, as well as contributed by newer oak barrels during maturation.


If you ferment with whole bunches, you’ll get a different result. The stems add more tannin, and tannin with a slightly different feel in the mouth to grape skin or oak tannin.


This is the stuff that makes beer, wine and bread ferment. Yeast (a type of fungi) creates alcohol by consuming and converting fermentable sugars, and it also creates CO2. Yeasts naturally coat grapes, but you can also add cultured versions. Frank is the winemaker at Bass River Winery. frank@bassriverwinery.com

The unfermented sugar left over in the wine after fermentation. All wines, including those labelled as dry wines contain some residual sugars due to the presence of unfermentable sugars in the grape must such as pentoses.


This is a French term referring to bleeding off of some grape juice from a red wine ferment right at the beginning of its journey. This happens before much extraction of tannin and colour from the skins has occurred, meaning you have pink-ish juice which can then be fermented to make rosé.

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ROSEDALE BUTCHERS Local Family Owned Country Butcher

Three generations of Vaux Family owned and operated business since 1977. In 1986 their first smokehouse was purchased and then later in 1992 a second larger smokehouse was obtained and are still used today, which allows them to produce the quality products that Rosedale Butchers have become known for. Ray and Janet Vaux took over the business in May 1977 with their son Neville starting his apprenticeship with them and eventually he and his wife Debbie took over the business in July 1995. In turn, in 2012 their son Matthew after completing his apprenticeship in 2012 took on the job of smallgoods making and created the line of Matty’s Gourmet Sausages.

Call now for your Meat & Smallgoods needs or call us to conveniently place your order

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

Organic rosemary grown, distilled and handmade on the farm producing essential oil and hydrosols of the highest quality. Distilling workshops available Spring.

Granite Bar Rosemary Ph | 0459 212 118 Em | granitebar@iinet.net.au Shop online at www.granitebarrosemary.com.au


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TARWIN LOWER Words by Helen Taylor

Shop local, Support local

Through thick and thin Tarwin Lower IGA is serving its community

Tarwin Lower IGA is there when you need it most, and most importantly it’s been steadfast in its provision of essential services to the Tarwin Lower community during coronavirus.

“We’re community-based and part of the furniture here,” Frank continues. “We're doing what we can to support local community groups, local businesses, local everything.

Frank hopes the new disc golf course will be open to the public when coronavirus restrictions end, and frisbee starter packs can be purchased at the store.

“It’s been very difficult sourcing a lot of products, but customers have been very appreciative of the job we're doing,” Frank Keily who owns the business with his wife Louise tells me.

Frank and Louise bought the business in January 2006, when it was an unbranded grocery store. Since then, they’ve been dedicated to improving its service for the benefit of the rural town.

Customers can also shop for camping gear, fishing tackle and other equipment for holidaymakers and locals alike.

Driven by a commitment to support local producers and serve local people, it’s been a lifeline to many during the coronavirus period, providing home delivery free of charge to those most in need, and employing a team of additional cleaners to maintain its clean, safe shopping environment.

Most recently, Frank has sponsored a local community-led project to set up a new disc golf course at the Tarwin Lower Recreation Reserve.

OPENING HOURS Monday - Friday Saturday Sunday

7:30 am - 7:00 pm 7:30 am - 7:00 pm 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

“It’s basically frisbee golf,” Frank explains. “It’s a new sport replacing golf clubs with frisbees, and you have to land the frisbees in a basket.”

FRISBEE GOLF is on it's way get your starter pack today

Keep an eye out for our online shopping coming very soon. Check our Facebook and Instagram for upcoming details. At its heart, Tarwin Lower IGA prides itself on connecting local customers to local producers, Frank tells me. “We're just about quality and we always seem to get it.”

IGA TARWIN LOWER 45 River Drive, Tarwin Lower VIC 3956 Phone | 03 5663 5265 Em | shop@tarwiniga.com.au


after the FIRES



I do not think that it is any secret that East Gippsland was ravaged by bush fires for almost 2 months in late 2019 and early 2020. It made news all over the world and smoke from the fires traversed the globe.

And, to make things better, that followed up with a couple of weeks of cool weather with some more rain. We did not get enough rain to completely extinguish the fire but we did get enough to pull it up in its tracks.

I had been sitting in Bairnsdale for these 2 months unable to do any fishing, in fact being unable to do much of anything due to the ever present fires. Being a died in the wool fly fisherman meant that I would love to cast a line into one of our alpine rivers however due to the fires, smoke and subsequent road closures that was impossible. Thinking further afield, a trip up to the Snowy Mountains would do nicely except that bloody fire was ravaging that area also and the road to that destination would remain closed for over two months.

This welcome change allowed the fire fighters, army, navy, SES, police and all other emergency services to catch their breath and perhaps get their first good night’s sleep for quite a while. It also allowed them to make a big impact on the fire front.

The idea of a little salt water fishing was appealing. If I could not get onto the trout streams in the Alps perhaps a trip to Bemm River, Lake Tyers or Tamboon would suffice. I don’t mind casting a soft plastic to bream or estuary perch. Unfortunately, even the highway to Lakes Entrance was closed for a period of time and thick smoke hung over our region like a New York fog. Then, by mid-January, as if by magic, the weather changed. January is normally a hot month with little rain. I cannot tell you how relieved we were when a tropical low pressure system found its way south to dump some much needed rainfall on our region.


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By the third week of January some of the major roads gradually started to re-open. The emergency services had assessed them, removed dead and dangerous trees, cleared debris off them and allowed traffic onto them again. At this stage many minor roads remained closed to all except those with property in that area. Once the main road to Omeo re-opened, I took the opportunity to visit Alan Smith at Innisfail Station situated on the Cobungra River. Alan has about 2000 acres where he runs a large flock of sheep, beef cattle and does a little cropping. Upon arriving at the station I spoke to Alan. He told me that 70% of his farm had been burned together with 300 sheep. He had set up a ‘hospital’ paddock to look after other sheep and cattle that had survived the fire, but needed help. Alan has suffered three years of drought, now followed by a massive fire. Did I mention that he also had a knee replacement during that time? Wow!

Alan directed me to the Cobungra River. He told me that the re-habitation project on his property that the Bairnsdale Fly Fishing Club had undertaken on the river in 2005 had been largely wiped out by the fire. This 1km project involved removing willows, replacing them with native species and fencing the river on both sides. The whole scene was a sad sight and you have to feel for good people like the Smith family whose property was also wiped out in the 2003 fires. It can be a tough gig being a farmer in Australia. Ironically, sheep prices are excellent at the moment, which is not much help to a farmer who has just lost 300 of his animals. During the course of the day in Omeo, it had once again commenced raining. Naturally we were pleased to receive more rain but there was to be a down side that we did not foresee. On the way back home between Ensay and St Pats we ran into some workmen on the road. The road in this area is steep sided with high banks on one side and the Tambo River on the other side. The six army soldiers and two council staff were shovelling silt and rocks off the road that had been washed down by today’s rain. We did not know it at the time but we were the last vehicle through Ensay before they closed the road again. The workman let us past but for the next 10kms or so there were many slips that covered the hill side of the road with silt up to 900 ml deep plus





a good array of rocks, stones and a few tree limbs thrown in for good measure. The road was to remain closed for a further day before some heavy machinery could get in and clear it. A week later, with the road again open and the weather fine and mild, I decided to do a spot of fishing on the upper Mitta River. It was quite exciting to once again get my rod out, decide what flies to take, pack the car and head off fishing. As I travelled north along the Great Alpine Road in the area where the slides had been a few days earlier, I looked down on the Tambo River. The rain had now been gone for a week or so and the river had returned to a mere trickle. What was of more interest though was the tons of silt that had washed down from the surrounding hills during the rain. In places it was piled metres deep, both in and beside the river. Once we get another flood, I fear that much of this silt will wash down the river and drastically increase the size of the existing ‘sand slug’ that exists near the highway bridge at Swan Reach. As I travelled further north, I crossed the Cobungra and Bundarra Rivers at Blue Duck. Both of these rivers were a filthy, dirty colour obviously being the recipient of landslides and silt. They were both unfishable and I would be surprised if any fish would choose to live in them. Once above the junction of the Bundarra and Mitta Rivers, it was a completely different matter. The upper Mitta has not been effected by the fires and was running clear although perhaps a little low which is to be expected in the middle of summer.

I choose a spot upstream from the junction and checked the water temperature. It was quite a comfortable 18 degrees. The day was fine and sunny with a gentle upstream breeze and an expected top temperature of 28 degrees - too good!

Seeing as I was near the car and interested to see what these fish were feeding on, I decided to keep this fish for tea. When I opened him up I was not surprised to see a grasshopper and a dragonfly in his tummy but I was gob smacked to pull a small fish of about 15cm out of him.

I noticed that there were many grasshoppers along the banks of the river so I rigged up my rod with a hair winged hopper that I had purchased when I was in Montana, USA recently. These flies are far from an exact replica of the natural but they do have a similar size to the original and they can be seen from the next postcode. Quite an advantage to the angler.

I had lunch at the car and fished upstream in the afternoon. I managed only one other fish of about two pounds. Again, checking the water temperature, I found that it had risen to 22 degrees which is starting to “get up there” and explained why the fish had gone doggo. This was an incredible bag of fish from the Mitta River in just three hours of fishing.

I started off with a nice brown of about 2 pounds. From my 40 years’ experience fishing the Mitta River, I considered this quite a handsome fish and a great start to the day. The next pool I cast up to the rough water and was rewarded with a smaller fish of just over one pound. Now, I thought, that’s more like what I expected here. I moved on upstream and cast into an eye in the current next to a log jam.

When I left home my expectations were low, however I was just delighted to get such great fishing. I should not have been surprised as I also had good fishing in this area immediately following the massive 2003 fires. It is interesting to see some rivers wiped out yet others producing surprisingly good fishing. I guess, in the end, mother nature will step up to the plate.

I observed a good fish rise in the water column and take my fly. I struck and I was into a good brown. He did a lap of the small pocket of open water before swimming under the log jam. I applied side strain and managed to get him out only to find him return to the timber and break me off. Oh, well, good fun. Further upstream I pulled out another lovely fish of 2½ pounds that I released like his other mates. I was now back at my car where I hooked and landed a beautiful brown of 3¼ pounds.

Returning home I thought what an unpredictable country we live in. Rain, drought, floods, rivers devoid of fish next to rivers with some wonderful fishing. We’ve got it all. Now that the fires have passed and the clean-up operation has begun, I can only hope for some more mild weather and some better late summer/autumn fishing in the High Country. Photographs by Trevor Stow

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Welcome to



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The town is nestled in the foothills of the Great Divide. The current population of Toongabbie is estimated at 1,100. Toongabbie crosses over two shires – Latrobe City and Wellington Shire. Toongabbie has a Primary School and easy access to kindergartens, public and private schooling in surrounding towns. Toongabbie is a peaceful town with many community and sporting groups, a wetlands area, affordable properties, V/Line Bus, and train connections from the township and is one of the towns on the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail. Toongabbie was an important town that acted as a supply depot en route to the Walhalla Goldfields. Initially, goods were transported between Toongabbie and Walhalla by horse and as Walhalla boomed, Toongabbie’s carrying industry boomed as well. With the advent of railways in the 1870’s and 1880’s transportation of goods into Toongabbie was mostly via train and then local carriers to Walhalla. There is a memorial for Ned Stringer on the corner of Hower and O’Meara Streets, Toongabbie. Ned Stringer discovered gold in 1862 in a creek which was later named Stringers Creek. This was an important gold discovery that started in the gold rush at Walhalla.

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Sport and recreation in Toongabbie include Toongabbie Golf Course, Cricket Club, Badminton, Carpet Bowls, Toongabbie and District Pony Club, Toongabbie and District Horse Riders Club Inc and Aerobics and Weights training. Toongabbie boasts a strong community focus with groups including the Wellington/Latrobe Lions Club, Country Women’s Association, Toongabbie Playgroup and Singing group “Slightly Out of Toon”. Halls and venues include the restored Toongabbie Mechanics Institute and Free Library. Toongabbie Recreation Hall and meeting room, golf club social rooms and cricket social rooms. There are several plaques celebrating the many highlights of the town and I must make mention of Roger A. Ries. After some research I have found that Roger has had a great deal to do with the town in collaborating on a book with Alan Harding on Toongabbie – A Gateway to the Walhalla Goldfields, responsible for his great work with the Toongabbi Cricket Club, the Mechanics Institute, the Anglican Church, the Wetlands Committee, the Football Club and various other community groups. As the plaque at the Cricket Club states The Community remains in his debt!


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Toongabbie Cricket Club - Darren Chester Club President, Mark Bass with club stalwart Roger Ries


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Wonthaggi Central Area Trail


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From the Tent Town Car Park go to the track information sign mapping the different walks. Follow the red walk, called Baxter’s Loop Track, which takes you through this former mining area to Baxter’s Wetland. In this walk I concentrated on the No. 5 Brace Walk which shows the historic Brace that is currently in disrepair and is secured by a barbed wire fence purely for the safety of walkers as there has been some evidence of sink holes developing since the coal mines were closed. When you witness the No. 5 Brace you can only imagine how tough life was for the miners and their families in unforgiving times. The building was a sorting plant for the coal, operating from 1909 to 1968. For hundreds of 14-year-old boys this was their first place of work as they picked stones out of the coal. The Pioneer Mines Area was where it all began. Mining commenced in 1909, producing 780,000 tons before closing in 1914. Underground workings were very shallow, evident by the depressions in the area. The Western Area Haulage Line was a 3km rail track where skips were hauled by overland by cable. You can still see the cable on the ground and many parts in the area that made up this coal mine. And of course, Tent Town, the site where 12 miners first lived when the State Coal Mine opened in 1909. By mid-1910 the township of Wonthaggi was established with the construction of 100 miners’ cottages. Give yourself at least an hour or more for this walk, or you can ride this trail on your bike, which connects in parts with the Bass Coast Rail Trail.

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THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE Treat yourself to something special YELLOW GOLD & DIAMOND RING


THERE ARE LOTS OF OCCASIONS IN LIFE YOU'D LIKE TO CELEBRATE, EVEN IF ITS 'JUST BECAUSE' - OR MAYBE YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF – WHATEVER THE REASON. BIRTHDAYS, ENGAGEMENTS AND ANNIVERSARIES ARE STILL HAPPENING. A beautiful piece of jewellery can be the perfect way to celebrate life's wonderful moments. Bairnsdale based jewellers Curtis Australia are open and ready to help in lots of different ways. You can come in for a 'one on one' appointment, or remotely by phone or video chat – you can even chat online through their website, so distance is no barrier! When you're looking for that very special piece of sparkling jewellery everyone's story is different, and Master Jeweller Glenn Curtis has a special knack of designing just what you're after, listening carefully - and gently guiding along the way. With over 45 years of experience as a jeweller, Glenn is certainly able to help with any jewellery desire.

WITH A GREAT SELECTION OF LOOSE NATURAL GEMS TO CHOOSE FROM, YOU'RE SURE TO FIND SOMETHING THAT CATCHES YOUR AT TENTION, AND THESE OFTEN CREATE A WONDERFUL STARTING POINT FOR YOUR OWN DESIGN. THERE ARE DIAMONDS IN DIFFERENT COLOURS, SAPPHIRES, RUBIES AND MORE UNUSUAL GEMS TO LOOK AT AND CHOOSE FROM. Or, you might find just what you're looking for already available in the well appointed Bairnsdale showroom, where you can browse their stunning jewellery displays. They only sell what they make, so you're sure of choosing something you can't find anywhere else in Australia. They're certainly not a typical big brand store, and have a caring and personal approach. They've recently expanded their showroom, adding all new display cases that feature their hand crafted watch range. This is certainly something you won't see in any other jeweller, with ladies and men's models in solid gold to look at and try on. When you come in, the showroom at Curtis Australia is both comfortable and private, so you'll enjoy an individual consultation from Monday to Friday, or even by appointment.


Recently expanded showroom with their hand crafted watch range 88

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You'll relax while Glenn & Heather Curtis chat to you about jewellery, and even if you don't know what you want, simply looking at pieces on display will help focus thoughts and spark great ideas. Listening carefully is a skill Glenn Curtis has honed over the years, and soon he'll start to form a picture (quite literally) of a special design, just for you.

IT 'S AN INTERESTING AND FUN THING TO DO, CHOOSING YOUR OWN JEWELLERY OR SOMETHING FOR A LOVED ONE. CURTIS AUSTRALIA EVEN HAVE THEMED JEWELLERY COLLECTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM, AND AS AN AWARD WINNING JEWELLER, GLENN USES HIS IMAGINATION TO BRING EVOCATIVE MEMORIES TO LIFE. He'll happily do that for you too – and even if you can't get to the studio you can give him a call and things will start to happen. They're using technology too – catch up on Skype, chat on their website, or just pick up a phone – it's easy. They'll even send you pictures by email or straight to your phone, just to help things along. Be sure to check out exciting new displays of Curtis Australia watches – these are original, handcrafted designs in solid gold, often gem set, so be sure to check them out. With a family heritage of watch making to draw on, Glenn Curtis is looking forward to helping clients with their dream watch too. All this adds up to lots of reasons to visit Curtis Australia, either in person or another way. You'll be assured of expert help and advice and it's important to note too, that all work is carried out on the premises, so when you commission an entirely new piece or have a favourite remodelled, your precious jewellery is always in safe hands. Glenn Curtis is highly experienced in all forms of precious jewellery and his dedicated team are wanting to help you. The professional team all understand the emotive connection we have with our jewellery, and that's just one reason why a visit to the studio is so rewarding.

So, if you can make it to their Bairnsdale studio in Macleod Street, you'll not only enjoy seeing wonderful jewellery, but also a warm welcome and, importantly, very personal service. LADIES ROSE GOLD MYST WATCH

CURTIS AUSTRALIA curtisaustralia.com 03 5152 1089

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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MORE THAN BOOKS: While we’re sad to report that West Gippsland Libraries have shut their doors again in line with the Stage 3 restrictions, library staff are committed to helping you stay connected with resources and importantly, with your community. “We’re extremely grateful for the patience and understanding of all our patrons, and your recognition of the challenges of this ever-changing environment means so much to all our staff who are determined to continue to offer their support in any way they can.“ Leanne Williams, CEO. Shutting the library has a bigger impact than most people realise. Libraries are one of the few places where anybody can go without the expectation to pay for something. They are a comfortable place for people to simply use a bathroom, or just to see a friendly face and for others, a safe place to seek shelter. Libraries are often a lifeline for low-income households. Loaning out more than just books, free access to all its resources and technology provide opportunities for the disadvantaged that many take for granted. Internet access may seem a basic commodity for the majority but the reality is there are people who live within our communities that just can’t afford it. The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, everywhere in different ways. People have been directly affected by the life-threatening disease, are coping with the loss of loved ones, are affected by job loss and financial stress and coping with physical isolation, facing challenging social restrictions and coping with change. West Gippsland Libraries are still playing an important role to help support the well-being of communities and to help combat feelings of isolation by continuing to provide free access to a number of programs and resources to help keep communities connected and as mindfully active and stimulated as possible with the additional challenges we are all now facing.


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Practising self-care is especially important at this time, which looks different to everyone. While physical branches have closed, digital resources are available to all library members who have internet access. When it’s time to a take break from watching the news, the opportunity to escape to another reality with an ebook or eaudiobook is available to you free with your membership. It’s not just fiction on offer either, a wide range of non-fiction titles are also available. Support your mental health and well-being with a range of titles written by leading experts, with tips and strategies tackling topics including resilience, loss and grief, anxiety, depression, coping with change, healthy habits, self-development and mindfulness. There’s also a monthly blog on the library website that features mental health and well-being tips with links to some great community resources. For younger members, there are a range of kid’s activities and reading resources – perfect to support remote learning – and even free online study courses that provide library members with the opportunity to upskill or reskill. Besides being a great addition to your resume it can just simply provide a chance to learn something new. Your entertainment needs are covered with a fantastic variety of streaming movies and documentaries. With more than 3,400 emagazine titles available to you free with your library membership, inspiration to take up a new hobby from home, such as gardening or try some new meals in the kitchen is at your fingertips. Initially established to support those without internet access, a home delivery service is also now available to all library members. Simply call a branch or register online for a home delivery and a librarian will handpick a selection of items that’s tailored to suit your interests. It’s delivered via Australia Post right to your front door and at no cost to library members. The value this bundle brings cannot be measured – It’s a welcome surprise for everyone to enjoy especially to those who may be struggling financially.

Recognising that many are feeling socially isolated the library is providing different ways of connecting by creating a variety of online programs for all ages, hosted by the librarians that you know and love; by making phone calls to some of the more vulnerable and disconnected members just for a chat as a simple reminder that they are not alone and offering a home delivery or any other support they can; and through social media by starting conversations and providing updates to the community. West Gippsland Libraries is proud to be of service to the community, so if you need assistance with registering or using any service, the library is just a phone call away.

If you need help with online resources, book a Tech Talk for a Librarian to step you through setting up and using them. The support team is also online Monday-Friday 9am-5pm for a live chat on the website. So while we all eagerly await the day when libraries can reopen again, we hope you discover and enjoy all the services that are currently on offer at West Gippsland Libraries. Media Contact Bec Noone, Manager Marketing and Strategy (03) 5622 7317 rebeccan@wgrlc.vic.gov.au


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Peggy - where's the sheep!

Crunchy - mmm favourite spot...

Dakoda - luv my cuddles!

r e n r o c Millie - Where are ya Ken?

Cooper - anything on TV?


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Georgie - enuff throwing, time out

Timmy - dat's my spot in the sun

Tilka - Do you mind if i use ya bed gramps

Koda - this interweb stuff, order more food

Lucy - Taking my toy and going

Miss Poppy- wanna play ball?

Tig - Hey Gippsland, how ya all doin?

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

Gissy - Anyone wanna pat me?

Ellie - anymore training?

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KEEPING COMMUNITIES SAFE The primary mission of Victoria Police is to provide a safe, secure and orderly society by serving the community and the law. Its members have a duty to preserve the peace, protect life and property, prevent offences, detect and apprehend offenders and help those in need of assistance. “Serving the community and giving something back is the fundamental reason why most of us join the force,” says Inspector Alison Crombie, Local Area Commander for the Baw Baw Police Service Area. Police operations in Victoria are separated into four major geographical areas, with Gippsland being located within Divisions 5 and 6 of Eastern Region. The Baw Baw Police Service Area is located in Division 5 of Eastern Region and encompasses towns such as Warragul, Drouin, Trafalgar, Yarragon, Neerim South, Noojee, Rawson, Erica and Mount Baw Baw within its boundaries. Other sections of Gippsland are covered within the Police Service Areas of Latrobe and Bass Coast whilst Wellington and East Gippsland Police Service Areas are in Division 6 of Eastern Region.


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Alison has headed the Baw Baw Police Service Area (PSA) from its base in Warragul since her arrival at the station on Christmas Day in 2017. An immensely experienced policewoman, next year will mark her 40th year of service with the force. In her role as the Local Area Commander she operates at a more strategic level and is also involved with liquor licensing, and community engagement. She oversees five police stations within the Baw Baw PSA – Warragul, Drouin, Neerim South, Trafalgar and Rawson – encompassing a combined force numbering a total of 76 officers.

ENGAGING WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY IS A VITAL PART OF POLICE OPERATIONS IN ANY REGION. In Baw Baw, Alison has her own police members out on the beat, but can also draw upon additional manpower and resources available through the wider divisional or regional area.



Some specialist areas are the Family Violence Unit, the Highway Patrol, Criminal Investigation Unit, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team, the Divisional Response Unit and the Proactive Policing Unit. Other services that assist with connecting with the community include the Aboriginal and LGBTIQ community liaison officers. An important recent initiative within Victoria Police is CommConnect, which has re-instigated the old form of policing, engaging with the community. This program involves assigning officers, usually at Sergeant level, to engage with stakeholders in specific sectors of each PSA and to allocate resources towards building stronger and more collaborative partnerships. CommConnect extends across other Eastern divisions, but in Baw Baw, Alison is responsible for driving the initiative. Part of the CommConnect program involved a recent online survey for local residents within the Baw Baw Shire, which was open during July and August.


The survey questions covered specific safety concerns, along with how safe citizens feel in certain areas including shopping centres, parks and open spaces, on public transport and in their own homes. It also asked respondents to rate the importance of various police services which they consider would add value to the community. Other information sought by the survey included what different forms of media people are using to source their information about crime. Alison reports that very insightful feedback was being provided from respondents throughout the survey period. “The age demographic ranged from as young as ten up to the mid 80s and the majority of respondents have been female,” she advises. “The survey is a starting point in helping us to target the community’s major concerns and identify what they’re looking for from us.” The replies have enabled police to identify specific areas on which to focus attention or address.

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“In Baw Baw, we’re finding that people are getting their information about criminal activity off social media, which isn’t a great surprise to us but is a concern due to often being inaccurate, so that’s something we’ll be targeting through our local Eyewatch page on Facebook for the Baw Baw area,” Alison says. “Of the matters currently causing most concern to respondents, the main issue raised was security at home and the community also highlighted their desire to see more foot patrols,” Alison continues. “That’s something we will try to do around the central business district areas in our towns, but it is obviously harder and less practical in the more remote areas. Having sufficient manpower at our disposal has been a factor, but under the new staffing allocation model we’ve been given two additional sergeants and six troops based out of Warragul, an extra sergeant and two troops at Drouin, an extra two troops at Trafalgar and one at Neerim South, which will hopefully assist us to provide a better service to the Baw Baw community.” Alison conveys her thanks to the many residents who completed the recent survey and encourages as many people as possible to provide their input whenever any similar exercises are repeated in the future. The survey also happened to coincide with the most unusual and challenging period in our lifetime, as the police and general population alike continued to battle with a highly formidable, invisible adversary in COVID-19. “The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way everyone is living and it’s also changed the way we police,” Alison observes.



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“We’ve had to wear our Personal Protection Equipment, including wearing masks all the time and also using protective glasses and gloves whenever interacting hands-on with people.” Police have also had to add a number of new tasks to their daily routine as a result of the pandemic, most notably the requirement to issue fines for breaches of the government regulations. "Back when the first lockdown commenced in March, most of the initial breaches were for people leaving their homes for purposes other than the four permissible reasons - to go to work or school, for medical care or care giving, to buy food and other essential items, or for exercise,” Alison states. “As we entered Stage 3 restrictions, the more common fines began to involve people not wearing their masks,” she adds. Alison says that police had to take a balanced, common sense approach in issuing fines. “If we want to maintain the strong connections we are building in the community, it’s important that we don’t put everyone offside in the course of fulfilling our obligation to enforce the restrictions,” she comments. “Sometimes there have been breaches that are purely unintentional and we have been able to exercise some degree of discretion.” The Baw Baw PSA has not been involved with the operation of the border checkpoint into Gippsland on the Princes Freeway originally at Longwarry, which is the responsibility of the Southern Metropolitan Region.




This checkpoint, which subsequently relocated to Nar Nar Goon, is designed to prevent citizens from the Melbourne metropolitan area from sneaking into Gippsland in contravention of the Stage Four restrictions currently in place. “Although we haven’t been directly involved with the checkpoint, our officers have been keeping an eye on the back roads in our area and doing patrols when we can,” Alison says. “We’re not naïve enough to think some people won’t push the boundaries.” Interestingly, with less movement of people and more residents staying at home during the pandemic, there have been some shifts in the patterns of crime statistics. “We’ve seen a marginal decrease in criminal activity,” Alison reports. “Some crimes have gone down with more people being at home, for example less residential burglaries, whilst conversely, other things have risen such as family violence. But in general, the trend has been towards a drop in crime over this period, which is pleasing.” During the course of the pandemic, Alison has noticed a change in attitude from the general population towards the level of threat posed by the COVID-19 virus. “I think Victorians across the board are now taking the situation far more seriously,” she suggests.

“In the initial stages I was horrified by some of the behaviours, and again when restrictions eased people came out and gathered in numbers without keeping their social distance. However, more recently we’ve seen a noticeable shift and improvement in those sorts of behaviours, which is pleasing to see and of benefit to the whole community.” Alison believes the relationship between police and the community in Baw Baw is a positive one and ingrained with a strong level of mutual respect. “We’re very lucky that in Baw Baw we have one of the nicest areas in the State to work in, we’ve got a really wonderful population. It’s a little bit of an older demographic, although that’s changing with the growth in the number of young families coming into Drouin and Warragul. “I was also overwhelmed by the support we received from the public after four police members tragically lost their lives in an incident on the Eastern Freeway back in April this year. Even though the officers weren’t from our area, it seemed to touch the whole community here, as it also did in other places. We received deliveries of flowers, food, chocolates and cards from many of our local citizens, which was a wonderful gesture from them that I wasn’t really expecting.” Alison finishes with a final message for residents with concerns about any aspect of crime or safety.

“IF YOU’RE TROUBLED BY ANYTHING, COME AND TALK TO US OR GIVE US A CALL,” SHE ADVISES. “I’d never dissuade anyone from coming to us if they need any help or advice. In emergency situations, of course, people should always remember to call triple zero for assistance.”


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HEATHER SNOWDON In every brushstroke, Tyers-based artist Heather Snowdon, manages to capture the spirit and character of native Australian animals with uncanny ability. The glint in the eye of a galah, the cheeky head-tilt of a curious emu or the regal stare of kookaburra all come to life on her canvases. It’s been quite the journey for Heather, from growing up in the US, to dairy farming in an idyllic Gippsland town. And every step of the way has served as inspiration for her increasingly popular work, which is now being snapped up both in Australia and back in her native America. Heather was born in Texas, but grew up in Sullivan County in the Catskills, about 150 kilometres outside of New York City. The area is most famous for hosting Woodstock in 1969, and being featured in Dirty Dancing. A stunningly beautiful landscape, Heather says it has parallels to Gippsland’s rolling hills and while she misses the vibrant and ever-changing leaves of autumn in the county where she lived out her childhood, she doesn’t miss the snow. “I started painting in late primary school in order to tell stories and I would put books together,” Heather says. “These were done before computers with typewriters of course. I pursued art in high school and learned to paint with oils at 14 and started showing my work at local shows. I pursued my Bachelor of Fine Arts with an interdisciplinary focus on printmaking and painting at Purchase College in NY. “It was a last minute decision to attend art school as I have always loved learning and had a well rounded background and was deciding between architecture, chiropractics and fine arts. My parents I think were a little disappointed I turned down a full chiropractic scholarship, but they have always supported my choices.” While on summer camp during university, Heather met her future husband, an Aussie. She interned in mural painting in Philadelphia and landed a studio job near NYC, but says after she accepted the position she “felt like something was missing”. “I decided that I wanted to combine my art with helping people. My mother was a primary school teacher and this influenced me to complete a Master of Arts degree in Art Education at Adelphi University. I continued to create art and show at local galleries and events on Long Island. I moved to Florida after graduating and marrying my husband that year. I taught art in primary school my first year, having nearly 1400 students. Let’s just say that with being a new teacher with that many students there wasn’t much time for my own art. I then moved to teach art in secondary school for an additional four years, which I absolutely loved. “Life is about balance. Being an artist is also about balance. Having a young child and teaching art full time didn’t leave me a plethora of time to work on my own art. However, I tried to strike a balance and managed to show work in a few galleries around Saint Augustine, Florida during that time.” Eventually Heather and her family had to return to New York due to family concerns and illness, so she returned to university to become an occupational therapy assistant. “I was affected personally by someone close to me that needed treatment and became interested in this field and saw how it connected to my teaching and art skills. I was able to utilise my art skills doing this to help treat patients. Having young children inspired me and I started writing stories again and combining them with illustrations, even publishing one of them.” After so many life twists and turns, there was still one more curve ball headed Heather’s way. Her father-in-law needed help with his dairy farm in Australia, so the family sold everything they had, and headed to Australian with seven suitcases on a ship. The one thing she asked of her husband was that eventually she would get her own space to create art. “I opened my studio in 2018. My husband and I took a space on the farm and with a lot of sweat, remodelled a space for my art. This was a big moment for me because it is the first time I had a space to create that was finally not shared, well except for the occasional chickens or neighbours’ dogs who wander in. That is why my business is called Snowdon Studio, because it is a credit and build up of hard work to having my own space. “Adapting to living on a farm is a whole other story. I got into the habit of painting about six hours a day, and I felt rusty for the first few months.” Heather continued to hone her craft and passion, becoming a full time artist. She immersed herself in the Gippsland region, drawing inspiration from native flora and fauna, and balancing exploratory art, with pieces that she sells. And she recently took the plunge and set up an online presence, after encouragement from her family.

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“My sister-in-law told me I had to have a Facebook page and Instagram account. I didn’t even know what Instagram was at that time. I started receiving more and more emails and messages to purchase my art.

The pause on her classes has given Heather the time to finally set up an online store, offering prints of her most popular work, after she was inundated with social media followers wanting to get their hands on her artwork.

“I cannot be happier to call Tyers and Gippsland my home. Gippsland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and is bursting with artistic inspiration. I feel like my life has come full circle and I am finally doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I have a few short children’s stories, inspired by farm life, in various stages of development and have started work on the illustrations. I usually have about two paintings going on the easel any given day.

“I was very surprised at the amount of messages I was receiving requesting prints, not just here, but from the USA as well. I don’t see myself as a business woman, so entering the print venue and digital scene felt very frightening and foreign. I think starting my website was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I decided I wanted a way to make my work accessible to more people so making prints was the next logical step.

Before coming to Australia, Heather mainly worked with landscapes, but found a passion for flora when finishing her Bachelor of Fine Arts. “My culminating senior project worked with physical and abstract aspects of flora to create a series of monoprints reflecting fluid and microscopic landscapes. Colour, texture, and vibrancy have always been an important part of my work. I probably relate the most to the Impressionist and Open Impressionists in this aspect. I feel the most connected to my work when playing with colour. Colour and colour combinations have such an impact on communicating how we feel and influencing how we feel.

“It has taken me about five months to set up my website and printing and I still have proofs waiting to come in. I felt bad because I kept having to say I was working on it. I invested in a 33 megapixel camera to be able to get the quality necessary to increase the size and crispness of my work. I found a printer that could produce and ship archival prints in both Australia and the US to suit my audience. I still feel sometimes like I am straddling two worlds. I plan on doing some limited edition signed and numbered prints in the future.” In a huge honour, Heather’s work was chosen as the feature artist for the 41st Tyers Art Festival, which has moved online due to the pandemic.

“My new venture into Australian fauna and flora probably has to do with my story as an immigrant. Australia is not America with an accent. Connecting with the flora and fauna of Gippsland has helped me connect to the new country and land that I am now a part of. When I first moved here I felt very isolated and disconnected. I would go out for walks and drives and snap pictures of the flora and fauna. The wildlife and farm life, connecting with the life around me, helped me to feel grounded. Living on a farm and around so many animals also helped me to see all the different personalities these animals portrayed.

“It is even more of an honour because Tyers is my community and where my kids attend school. I was very surprised when I was asked to be the featured artist. Tyers is a very close knit community that I am proud to call home. The school is the centre of the community. This year, due to covid, there will not be a physical show, but an online website for artists to showcase their work. I am looking forward to being the featured artist in 2021 now.”

“I truly believe that we see certain animals and flora at times in our lives for a reason, the universe sending us a message. I try to capture the spirit, personality, and connection with that animal. My backgrounds have become cleaner and starker to focus more on this aspect. Although I do plan my subjects, I like to play with the colour, texture, and brushstrokes during the process. Yes you will see me play with different styles and subjects. I think it’s important to play as an artist and not get too chained to style so that we can continue to grow and evolve as artists.

“Art has always been a part of my life, but now I’m living my dream.”

“I learned painting in oils, but the last few years have started working more in acrylics. I still bring out my oils for some paintings, but love the drying time of acrylics. The smell of linseed oil is very nostalgic for me.” Just before the global pandemic hit, Heather began offering classes, but has had to put them on hold. “I really missed teaching and wanted to bring that back into my life. I think teaching makes you a better artist because it makes you question why you do what you do and work in certain ways. I had messages from people inquiring about classes so I decided to put my feelers out. I love watching students progress and become more confident and capable. I was very happy with the turn out and miss seeing my students.”


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While this year has added another twist to Heather’s artistic journey, she says she’s finally found everything she’d been searching for.



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MOTIVATION Motivation! Let’s talk about it. What is it? Motivation is defined as a reason (or reasons) for acting or behaving in a particular way, or in other words… is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours. When working towards any sort of goal (mental, physical, any goal really), a certain degree of motivation comes into play. This is used to reach the end result or reach your goal???

HABIT/ROUTINE Now let’s talk about habit & routine. A habit is an action we do often, in a regular and repeated way, whereas routine is a regular way of doing things, in a particular order. Both are great in helping to achieve goals.

LOOSING MOTIVATION? With lockdown 2.0 coming into play across Victoria… lacking to find motivation (or loosing it completely) is completely normal, given the circumstances! This is where habit/routine come into play.


MY TIP FOR WORKING FROM HOME DURING LOCKDOWN 2.0 If you find yourself working from home during lockdown 2.0, a quick tip I would like to leave you with is, every morning when you get up for work, change into something other than your pj’s, and PUT SHOES ON! As funny as it sounds this helps with distinguishing the gap between home life & work life… as they can easily blend into one! Don’t forget to keep up your daily practice of physical activity and try finding that daily non-negotiable! Cheers

Cristi x


It takes roughly 21 days to form a new habit. So if you are lacking motivation, forming a habit of waking up every morning at a certain time, and including your daily practice of physical activity, may be extremely beneficial in the long run. As once the habit is formed, you will be on auto pilot!

DAILY NON-NEGOTIOABLES Now, I want you to pick one activity, and I want you to make this activity your daily non-negotiable. Meaning you complete this activity daily… rain, hail or shine. For me, my daily non-negotiable is walking for at least 30 minutes per day. This could be with friends, with my dog, by myself, whatever it is, I do it daily. Try finding your daily non-negotiable, and give yourself a trial of at least 1 month, to see how it benefits your daily life!

Cristi is a qualified Personal Trainer, Social Media & Marketing Manager. You can follow Cristi on instagram @cgs.fitness Do you have a question or a topic you would like Cristi to write about? Send her an email at cgs.fitness@outlook.com

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kindness is key When we come from our heart centered space, from a space of love, compassion, care and kindness we can make a difference in the world, in our community, in our workplace and at home. To be truly kind means to let go of the ego centre, the negative fearful thinking, the judgement, the conflict, the disagreeance and the need to be right.


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We don’t truly know what is happening in another persons world. They may have just had to close down their business, a loved one may have passed away. Their internal emotional feelings may be exposed projecting unhealthy behaviors into the world. Adding fuel to the fire by being unkind can exaccerbate stress, igniting more negative behaviors and create a combustion of conflict that impacts everyone, whether that be in the real world or virtually. Kindness provides us with courage to act with virtues, such as patience, tolerance, gratitude and unconditional love. The progress of humanity depends on our connection, how we treat one another, the way we communicate and the acts of kindness we display. You should in no way undermine your self-worth at the expense of others, but simply practice kindness while upholding your integrity. Acting with the strength and conviction of support, compassion and kindness towards others. Be kind even when its hard!

KINDNESS WHEN IT’S HARD Mother Teresa’s poem titled Anyway, in which she states: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.” To accept the situation as is, without hesitation, without reservation, openly and fully with one’s heart. It can take practice and it can be challenging but when we let go of the burden of negativity and release the anguish of our ego and just be in the moment, mindfully, unconditionally and completely. A place to breathe without restriction, removed from tension and relaxed within oneself and the moment.

BEING KIND TO YOURSELF It all starts with being kind with oneself. You know how you operate when you have had a stressful day with challenges from work colleague’s, children at home wanting your attention, you haven’t had time to relax, you haven’t had time for you. You’re operating on empty and your tolerance is low. You’re ready to snap at someone, give them a piece of your mind. Impart your conflicting views online or abruptly inform the old man in the supermarket what he was doing wrong under the current restrictions. So much judgement, so much fear, so much stress.

KINDNESS IS THE KEY… Ask yourself the question. “What do I need in this moment?” Your own internal emotional intelligence will provide you with the answers you seek. Getting a good nights rest, connecting online with friends, hugging your children. The answers lie within, unlock your heart and start with being kind to yourself. When your cup is full, when you have had ample sleep, managed your stress, taken time for self-care you will be more equipped to not only be kind to yourself but also towards others.

Being kind to someone who is behaving negatively or inappropriately can be hard. If your met with hostility, rudeness or disrespect we naturally get our defenses up and prepare for battle. I’m going to challenge you to respond differently, respond with kindness even when it’s hard. If we are kind to each other as a community we can put out the fires of conflict, we can dampen the stress and we can spray conscious love and compassion across the region. By incorporating daily acts of kindness into your community will create the butterfly effect. Edward Lorenz chaos theory is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. The concept is imagined with a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a typhoon. Your one small act of kindness can potentially have a massive impact in the world! This too shall pass, there will be an opportunity for travel and connecting with family and friends again, hope reigns within the horizon as the sun sets. To be together and embark on a future filled with the regrowth of humanity, the blooms of compassion basking in the warm embrace of kindness.


BE KIND TO OTHERS We are all experiencing our own personal challenges it’s a part of lifes journey. Currently this has been exacerabated with the recent natural and environmental disasters East Gippsland has endured, from drought to fires to a global pandemic. Stress is elevated, from worrying about the loss of income to the health and well-being of the family. Stress manifests itself in many ways with a variety of internal emotions. People who are feeling anxious, worried or stressed may not be themselves. Agitation, frustration, anger, annoyed, sad, scared, depressed are just a few of the emotions people maybe experiencing. Stress presents externally in many ways through behaviors; being rude, isolating oneself, drinking heavily, yelling, being judgemental and can be detrimental to self and others. What is important is that we respond with kindness, it is the water that can put out the fire. Kindness is the key to unlocking the compassion and empathy within your heart. Kindness bites its tounge and does not seek to be correct or judge. Kindness seeks to understand, to listen with open ears and an open heart. To ask the question – “What do you need in this moment?” Kindness provides us with courage to not react reflectivley with negativity and unhealthy behavoiurs that will potentially add fuel to the fire.

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, specialising in Intensive Care Nursing. With over 20 years’ experience working in the healthcare industry.


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face everything & rise Wo r d s : C h r i s t i e N e l s o n


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Do you ever start your week with the feeling that Groundhog Day is about to occur again, dread Mondays or would you like something to change in your life in terms of career, business, relationships or within your own well-being? Do you feel deep down inside that you are worthy of more in your world but are hesitant to change to make it happen and does this make you feel fear? What if you could reframe the acronym F.E.A.R ; false evidence appearing real to F.E.A.R; face everything and rise? I have been fortunate enough to have amazing mentors in my world and discovered that it’s really beneficial and progressive to have someone there who can call you out on the rubbish stories or excuses (false evidence) you’re telling yourself or others about why something is or isn’t happening to you. What if you switched your train of thought to believing that things are happening for you, not to you? Imagine the power you could then possess to change how you react to something, how you feel when things occur that are out of your control, how you could dream big and set goals instead of setting your upper limiting belief in yourself. We naturally talk ourselves into giving weight to all the things that could go wrong if we tried something new or set big goals

because we're worried about what people may think, the financial risk involved (obviously don't invest more than you're comfortable with) or a fear of letting ourselves or someone else down. Sometimes it's our ego getting in the way and it’s actually the fear of success and being able to cope with it that’s holding us back. Why not give weight to all the things that could go right instead?

“What other people think of you is not your business. If you start making it your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.” Deepak Chopra If you have goals in mind, don’t be scared to set them or worry if your light is shining too bright in someone else’s eyes. Have clear intentions and a crystal clear vision on where you are headed and write them down or

plaster them around the house so that those around you can support you. This also triggers the Reticular Activated System (RAS) in your brain or your programming if you like, and acts like a switch to program itself based on what we focus on.

A great example of this is when you start thinking about buying a certain type of new car or have just bought one; how many times does one the same suddenly appear everywhere you look? The next step to take is action towards your goals because nothing changes unless you do. As much as it would be incredible for all of our wishes and thoughts to just became things or changes without trying, in reality, steps still need to occur towards making things possible and these can start off small and grow from there. For example, if you have a big health goal in mind but it feels overwhelming and unachievable, set a small and achievable goal as a place to start. How do you eat an elephant? Easy; one bite at a time right? If you have a habit of putting off making awkward phone calls or feel too scared to ask for something, guess what; if you never ask, the answer is already a no without even trying and what might have been may always elude you. Another couple of steps towards rising up are completing a time audit on your day and perhaps revising some daily habits. Map out where you utilise your time and energy and consider where an adjustment could be made to help you reach your goal. For example, doing exercise after dinner instead of binge watching Netflix or using that time to invest in your personal growth by reading or learning a new skill or mastering one you already have. I personally love the quiet time in the morning before my family get out of bed and set my alarm an hour before everyone else so that I can complete either some personal development, exercise or business tasks before the day starts and find I'm much more productive in a short space of time, rather than later in the day when I’m more tired and less motivated. It’s also great to take note of what you are listening to or watching or even

who you are surrounding yourself with. If it doesn't serve you or you find you walk away from an interaction feeling bummed out when you weren’t before it began, perhaps it’s time to switch something or someone out for more positive influences. I love the saying; “Complainers are drainers” and often catch myself out now if I start having a pity party about things outside of my own control. We are already experiencing some bizzare and

gloomy times, therefore it's really important to focus on what's good in the world and practice gratitude daily for even the smallest of things. I challenge you next time something big is happening or you’re facing a change, to decipher whether the feeling is one of actual fear or it is in fact a gut feeling that something incredible is about to happen and you’re letting yourself believe the false evidence instead.

Christie is a dual health and wellness business owner, business builder, social networker, educator and busy Mum who can offer solutions and products to those looking for a postive change. 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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your motivational flow By Erin Miller


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One thing I’ve learnt about myself is that I am an avid learner and love to seek out different tools that will not only assist myself but also my clients to get to know themselves better and at a much deeper level. I genuinely believe that our purpose here on earth is to enjoy and embrace life fully and often in order to do this we need to begin with unpacking and unravelling many of the things we have believed to be true about ourselves. When we get to know ourselves and start to understand why we do the things we do, freedom, flexibility and flow naturally starts to take shape across all areas of our life. Life, work and everything in between is meant to and can feel good for us and yet so many of us are pushing, striving, and fighting against our natural nature and flow as the powerful women that we are. As women, there is nothing more freeing than knowing that the ups and downs, ebbs and flows, the emotional and motivational rollercoaster that we ride from day to day is actually completely normal and all part of an intricate and sophisticated guidance system that is within each of us as feminine core beings. This is why I recently became certified as a Soul Modes Mentor. Let me introduce you to Soul Modes... your Soul Cycle. Not related to Luna, Moon or Menstrual cycles, this is the cycle that happens at your Soul level (your authentic self, your true self, who you are beneath all the layers, you at your core). Based on the best selling book written by Carlie Maree (head to my website should you wish to grab yourself a copy for $22 including postage) Soul Modes is a framework, a pattern, a body of knowledge and a philosophy that suggests that we are not one ordinary woman but four extraordinary ones.

These 4 women or 4 energetic states that we cycle through are described as your inner: Wild Woman or Wild Mode Hibernating Bear or Bear Mode Superhuman or Super Mode Sparkly Fairy or Sparkle Mode We move through each of these 4 women in this exact order wild/bear/ super/sparkle over and over again. Each of these 4 modes exist for a reason and have a purpose to play in our lives and in fact, each of you will currently be in one of these 4 energetic states right now.

You are not one ordinary woman.You’re four extraordinary ones Carlie Maree

The message that Soul Modes delivers is for any woman who has ever felt “all over the place”, who wishes they could be better at things and who would love to be more consistent. Each of these modes or women have a different approach, a different focus and different desire for our life, which explains why we can perhaps feel at times “all over the place”, flaky and inconsistent. For example, one day you may find yourself craving routines and structure, only to find that a few days later this has all gone out the window! Or you make a big bold move or life changing decision only to feel doubt and question yourself in the following days. In each of these examples a different woman or mode has jumped into the drivers’ seat so to speak. Each of the modes are a representation of being and doing, along with masculine and feminine energies so they are what makes us well rounded, balanced, and whole humans. Moving through these four modes completes one cycle or rotation-wild mode, bear mode, super mode, sparkle mode and back to wild mode. Each cycle is designed for us to create positive change, move forward, expand and grow as a person. Awareness is a beautiful thing right.. without knowing these 4 women and energetic states it would be really easy to just go about life thinking and feeling that you’re flaky, inconsistent, unable to stick and commit to things and that there is something wrong with you. And yet this couldn’t be further from the truth, when we can understand how each of the modes show up in our life by tracking and tuning in we can then begin to harness and be guided by each of their specific skill sets and energies in order to live a life that is in alignment with our natural rhythm and motivational flow.

If you would like to learn more about this amazing tool there is a few things I’d recommend.

Carlie has said herself that the pattern or cycle that she has named Soul Modes has always been there, she has just given it names and a tangible framework with which we can use in order to better understand our own natural energy and motivational patterns.

§ Watch the 55minute documentary style Soul Modes Movie available on YouTube

Perhaps you have experienced feelings of one day you want to do all the things and the next day you want to do none of them. Believe it or not but this is completely normal and actually much more predictable than you think!

§ Join my Facebook Group Soul Modes Sisters @erinmillercoach

§ Grab yourself a copy of the Soul Modes Book at www.erinmiller.com.au

§ Sign up for 1:1 mentoring with me www.erinmiller.com.au

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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GIPPSLAND LIFESTYLE SUBSCRIPTIONS you can now subscribe to Gippsland's best selling magazine

subscribe to Gippsland's No.1 Magazine your gippsland lifestyle Don't miss out on your favourite copy with delivery right to your door. Now available as an Annual Subscription it couldn't be easier to get hold of your copies... also makes a great gift idea Past copies are also available in limited supplies


gippsland lifestyle spring ����

SUPPORT LOCAL, SUPPORT GIPPSLAND your favourite magazine is now even easier to get hold of

all your favourite places, faces & lifestyle your gippsland magazine Simply contact us with your details and we'll make it super easy to get your copies delivered. Contact us today mb 0404 301 333 | em thelifestyle@dcsi.net.au or visit www.gippslandlifestyle.com and simply download your subscription form.

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 thelifestyle@dcsi.net.au 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.

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21 March – 19 April

23 Sep – 22 Oct

With all the high energy being supplied to you, make sure you use it to knuckle down and fix what needs fixing, but not at the cost of your own health. Manage the energy, pace yourself. Listen to others opinions. Indulge in some soul restoring creative times. Soon you have your own ideas for the future, as well as endurance and persistence and you are able to organize, or complete a big project. You remain energized all season and you can achieve a great deal, especially if you keep alert for hidden potholes and don’t overstretch resources.

Take care of your own health and take opportunities to rest. Then get ready, for you enter a great time be speak-up and talk for others. Be their voice if they have none. Or bring new information to their awareness. Mid-season, you want to find a peaceful place and feel secure. But family complexes distract you. Other people have their own issues and while they may want to help, they cannot. Later in the season, you will have help to solve, or to manifest, what has been on your mind. Even a difficult situation will improve and can become easier to manage.



While your physical energy levels drop, your creative energy rises. Allow this creative spurt to gently push you into trying something new. Variety is the spice of life and helps sort out what we really like, compared to experiencing what we don’t like! This creative energy can be used to redecorate your home and enjoy, or improve, anything to do with extended family connections. Mid-season, you don’t know that you don’t know. Ask questions, study the situation, look for the truth. Late-season, emotions are running high and talking about your feelings will help you gain perspective. In the old days they called it the “talking cure”.

Work, career and business is all in the spotlight, and as long as you are well prepared, opportunities will come your way. Go talk to your boss and seek a role that better suits your strengths. Be practical, explain the consequences and stick to the point in order to win the day. Later in the season, you will have to watch what you say, and make sure that you are understood. Body language is just as important as spoken language. Are you being consistent? Others will sense if you are not being authentic. It’s better to speak your own truth, remembering to be tactful, gentle and gracious.



Watch and listen. Retreat to the space behind your eyes and rest awhile. Pay attention to what the body is doing and your role at work, but don’t judge. Listen, for the best communicators the really the best listeners. Mid-season you find that blockages are more hidden than you think, and hence harder to manage. Spend the time noticing what they are, and go with the flow rather than pushing ahead. Sometimes things just dissolve when the time is right. Then increased creative energy gives you the ability to find alternative solutions and also the desire to have some fun.

This is a great time to advertise what you can do. People now see you clearly. Hold or attend meetings and you will learn a lot more than you think. Don’t begin new ideas until those ideas are fully formed. Recognize your need for timeout, or a holiday to recharge your batteries. Mid-season, the only thing stopping you is the feeling that you lack resources, and that includes financial ones. It may be that you lack the resource of confidence, resulting in self-doubt and worry. Later in the season, groups and friends will shine a light on the way ahead.

20 April – 20 May

21 May – 20 June

23 Oct – 21 Nov

22 Nov – 21 Dec



22 Dec – 19 Jan

21 June – 22 July

Ask and you will receive, but be careful what you ask for. You have some knowledge, now find out more. Let this be a learning time for the heart rather than the head. Behind your thoughts is the real you. We can stop thoughts. Behind them is you. Mid-season, authority figures of all types want to test their muscles. These can be anybody who thinks they can tell you what to do. Later in the season, spend time fluffing up your nest at home. You want to make it a good place to spend quality time.

Your mind is in mental hyperdrive. There is not enough room in your head for everything you think you need to think about. Notice that even I am using the word “think” too many times! Mid-season, notice what brings tension and what brings joy. To get some perspective, take a break. A holiday would be even better. Look at all the roles you do in life and ask yourself…. “do I like this?” Later in the season, you can seemingly create magic when you focus. Especially, “the harder you work, the luckier you get”. Any role you do will become easier (for a while at least), allowing you to focus on yourself.



Now is the time to be visible and to speak your mind. You are shining. They will listen. So, speak, ask, connect, make networks, and be open to learning. Guard another’s secrets, or respect their need to remain quiet. Pay attention to the rules, tick all the boxes, and honor duty and responsibility, and it will pay dividends in the future. You will not always understand why something must be done the way “they” want it to be done. Later in the season, you find new information and its soon time to make a decision, especially about work, and your responsibilities.

Look inwards and know what you value. This includes the simple things of life as well as the big things. Social occasions and interactions improve. If you are planning a journey make sure all the details are covered. Mid-season, you will be surprised at what you say. Some words will cut. Some will be decisive. Some will get to the heart of the matter. Some will illuminate. None will be soft and fluffy. Later in the season is a time of learning. Much is going on under the surface. Wait until the time is right.

23 July – 22 Aug

20 Jan – 18 Feb


23 Aug – 22 Sep


You have been busy and now need to rest. But how long do you think this will last… maybe a week if you are lucky. Take rest when you can get it; for other people’s needs very soon require your time and attention. Mid-season, don’t make decisions on behalf of somebody else. Let them do their own thing. While it is not easy to take a leap, you will have help. Finalize decisions and start manifesting plans. Later in the season, allow your own creative impulses to expand, become involved with something you enjoy, and allow love to enter your life.

19 Feb – 20 March

Emotions and feelings are running high and there is a chance that you could see meaning where none is meant. They don’t know the effect they are having. For yourself, it’s time to get lots of cleaning, sorting, and rearranging done. Use the time to recycle, return, reduce and remove. Mid-season, you are in a rush to get involved and are not being as practical as one would like. Don’t waste money, time or energy. Get good advice… twice! Later in the season, when things look complicated or requires a lot of effort, get a team on your side.

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


gippsland lifestyle spring ����


BOOLARRA FOLK FESTIVAL GOES VIRTUAL FOR 2021 The planning for the 2021 Boolarra Folk Festival is well underway, with a major change to how the award winning festival has been operating for 18 consecutive years.

The 2021 Festival will stream live with selected musicians who have performed over the last 18 years, hosted by a special and well known presenter.

The festival will be going virtual, streaming out to the world to promote this popular Gippsland community event over two days, commencing on February 27 in 2021.

The Committee will also look at innovative ways to promote the market stall holders and community groups that have made been a major part of previous festivals.

President of the Boolarra Folk Festival Rick Teychenne announced today, “Covid 19 in our world has made it impossible to hold our regular outdoor festival in 2021.

The 2021 Festival will utilise musicians, video, sound and lighting engineers so that they are being well supported, as they have not been able to work due to Covid 19.

“The Boolarra Folk Festival Committee’s decision to change the format for 2021 is all about the safety of our audiences and communities,” said Mr Teychenne. The Festival Committee has agreed to forge ahead for 2021, but it in a different way to previous festivals.

“Other festivals have taken similar approaches, with the Melbourne Jazz, Melbourne Comedy and also the Morwell International Rose Festivals going virtual, and we thought we could do this as well,” said Mr Teychenne.

“Having the wonderful support of our dedicated Festival Committee and our valued sponsors, provides us with the confidence to plan for a new format in 2021. It will be really exciting to explore new ways of developing next year’s Festival, and we will learn a lot from other festivals that are using similar approaches,” said Mr Teychenne. “We have a lot to do to present the 2021 Boolarra Folk Festival,” said Mr Teychenne, “And we will endeavour to bring another free festival for our audiences on the 27th of February 2021.”

“Keeping music live during these tough times is important for our health and wellbeing, and we need to assist our communities and musicians by presenting a new approach,” he added.

MEDIA CONTACT | Rick Teychenne M 0408-696243 | E boolarrafolkfestivalhq@gmail.com | W boolarrafolkfestival.com.au Boolarra Folk Festival Committee PO Box 247 Boolarra, Vic , 3870

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gippsland lifestyle spring ����



A fusion between the industrial world and a calming environment, natural elements, flow and an abundance of natural light.


Visit our award winning display home today! Open 7 days | 11am-4pm Regiment Lane, Traralgon East


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44 gippsland lifestyle spring  

Plenty of features to get stuck into and some real life tales, plus all our regular reads make for a great read this Spring. Also noting we'...

44 gippsland lifestyle spring  

Plenty of features to get stuck into and some real life tales, plus all our regular reads make for a great read this Spring. Also noting we'...

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