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Edition 11 — October 2017

THERE’S NO HOLDING ME BACK

Riverine

Herald

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Contents

Issue 11, October 2017

10 16

On the cover 10

Maddison Meehan

Inside 16

Julianne Daly — 51

38

Helen DuBourg — 70

17

Julie Golledge — 52

38

Yvonne Pearce — 71

18

Chrissy Weller — 53

39

Anne Peace — 72

19

Lynda McGrath — 54

40

Ruth Membrey — 73

21

Lyndal Brown — 55

41

Dot Pearse — 74

22

Glynis Kelly — 56

41

Joy Hooper — 75

22

Raelene Mullane — 57

42

Empowering women one soul at a time

23

Kerry Williams — 58

44

Cooking up a sandwich with style

24

Di Van Der Zypp — 59

46

Blush — the business of hair

26

Helen Sivesind — 60

50

Table Equations

28

Cheryl Sweeney — 61

51

Meet The Garden Planners

29

Judy Anderson — 62

53

The value of an alternative approach

30

Sue Badham — 63

54

Fashions are on track for Cup Day

31

Delia Currie — 64

58

Thirty Something

33

Heather Darbyshire — 65

62

33

Lynne Gillard — 66

When a creative concept is a capital idea

34

Fran Spiers — 67

66

It's a school, a school of life

35

Anne Church — 68

68

Your October Horoscopes

36

Margie Pryor — 69

70

Sophie’s Single

Contact us

Bella editor Tyla Harrington tyla.harrington@riverineherald.com.au 5482 1111

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54 Bella advertising Vanessa Brewis vanessa.brewis@riverineherald.com.au 5482 1111

Want more Bella? facebook.com/bellamagazineechuca Instagram — @bellamagazineechuca bella.riverineherald.com.au

Photography: Luke Hemer Editorial design: Brendan Cain Advertising design: Alysha Bathman, Brendan Cain, Stacey Talyor and Tanya Main Words: Ivy Wise, Sophie Baldwin, David Chapman, Rusty Woodger, Andrew Mole, Tyla Harrington. Cover: Model — Maddison Meehan; hair by Jess Fanning from Blush Hair Room; makeup by Jacci Kelly from Millewa Spa.

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T

O THE WOMEN of Echuca-Moama and all those who feature in our Bella 100 — I’m sorry.

And how do you convince these women to open up so quickly to a stranger so that this snapshot can be captured?

This edition has been one close to my heart because it features my decade.

It’s safe to say I found great difficulty in writing short stories for any of my women.

No, I’m not in my 50s, 60s or 70s but I did have the privilege of interviewing the 51 to 60-year-old women.

My editor can vouch for that but I’m not really sorry.

Only when you sit down and interview 10 incredible women to hear their stories can you really understand what Bella 100 is. All the journalists before me, and those that come (there’s not that many) will understand what I am saying. How do you capture a snapshot of someone’s life if they’ve lived half a lifetime? What bits are more important than others?

I

t has been an absolute pleasure being a part of Bella but now it is time for me to put my feet up and hand over the reins to someone else for a while.

All will be revealed next edition! In other news, it is with much joy and excitement that I announce Bella as a finalist of the PANPA Advertising and Marketing Awards for 2017. I am proud as punch to have been involved in the almost award winning magazine. In my eyes she won! It seems I am not alone in my love for our magazine. This month we introduce four new columnists. Health experts Suzy from Echuca Family Acupuncture Clinic and Kelly from Naturally Nutrition and Herbal Medicine have come on board. This edition they discuss alternative approaches to navigating menopause. Meanwhile, Craig from The Garden Planners,

Each and every single one of them had a great story to tell. I felt it was an injustice to them to cut that short. Such is the nature of a magazine, however. There are only so many pages from front to back. Which is right about where my apology comes in.

book about all of you. And I’m sorry — while I’m at it — to all the women we’ve interviewed in our magazine. You all have amazing stories to tell. I’m proud we can tell it. But I’m also sad we can’t tell it all. I guess the best part about all this could be the rest of your lives are still unwritten. All of these women and all of the women to come still have a (hopefully) long life to live. And perhaps, in the grand scheme of their lifetimes, this really might just be a snapshot. When that happens and all your lives have been lived to the full, please give me a call. I’ve always dreamed of being an author.

I am sorry to all my women for “snapshotting” your lives when truly I could write a

Tyla Harrington Bella editor

who is a recent finalist in the Home Based Business category for the upcoming GMCU Allianz Campaspe Murray Business Awards, brings us his recommendations on how to be the envy of your neighbours. His helpful hints on how to green up your lawn are sure to be well received.

we could bring you tips and trends for the season ahead.

We’ve also secured our very own recipe contributor; the lovely Michelle from Michelle Theodore Catering. This month she’s given us her scrumptious spin on a classic chicken sandwich. But it doesn’t stop there. Sally our gorgeous Soul Nurturer also introduces the first of her four part series on the ‘Power of Words’. It’s very thought provoking and something we should all sit back and reflect on. Thank you to Lisa and her staff at I Want I Need. Lisa let us photograph her stock so

And last (but certainly not least) thank you to the businesses who helped create our front cover: Jess at Blush Hair Room for our stunning model’s hair, Jacci at Millewa Spa, and the very photogenic Maddison. We cannot thank you enough. Luke has once again gone above and beyond to create a spectacular front cover. There’s so much on offer in our October edition, you won’t be able to stop reading. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the support and love you have shown and continue to show towards our precious magazine. Until next time, enjoy. Vanessa Brewis Bella advertising executive

Editor Tyla Harrington with advertising executive Vanessa Brewis.

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Ms Lash is making her mark Maddison Meehan is the face on the cover of this Bella, but that hardly begins to tell the story of this talented and ambitious woman, who has recently launched her own business — and she says that is just the beginning.

T

HE LASH QUEEN might not be the preferred sobriquet your average young woman would be seeking, but for Maddison Meehan it is a title she carries with pride.

And with nary a whip in sight. Rather, it is a reflection of Maddison’s professionalism in her chosen profession — the beauty industry. A professionalism for which women travel from far and wide to spend up to 90 minutes having the entrepreneurial Lash Queen apply their eyelash extensions — as many as 100, one at a time. Mind you, the Echuca-based Maddison does a fair bit of travel herself to help her clients because in May she opened Maddison Rose Beaute — in Kyabram. Armed wth her diploma from Bendigo and two years with global beauty business Ella Bache, she saw the Kyabram opportunity as too good to pass up. “My friend Ashlin Fitzgerald has Aspire Boutique at 10 Bradley St in Ky and we had been talking about doing something together so when I got the chance to rent some space there I decided it was as good a time as any,” Maddison said. “I’m pretty excited by it all and I’m happy to say it is going very well, better than I could have hoped,” she said. Almost certainly because of Maddison’s commitment to her clients, meaning most of her working days run from heading east by 8 am every day and rarely getting back before 9 pm.

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And if that sounds a long day to you, it doesn’t take into account Maddison’s other major life challenge.

she has also been working most Saturdays since she was 15.

“There’s no doubt my MS makes me a lot weaker physically, which I try and offset by going to the gym as often as I can,” She was diagnosed with it at 14 — an incredMaddison said. ibly young age for this most mysterious of conditions — and has had to adjust her life “Even though that can mean being at Snap Fitness Echuca anywhere between 4 am around its limitations on an almost daily and 5.30 am before I head for Ky,” she said. basis. Multiple sclerosis.

Like most MS sufferers her primary symptom is exhaustion, no matter how much you sleep and/or rest you are always tired. Bravely she elected to manage it — and manage it successfully to date — without reverting to the increasing suite of drugs being developed as more and more is learnt about a disease that manifests itself differently in almost every case. Her one concession is she is only open at her salon five days a week, even though

“You try everything and you do what you can.” Maddison is also thinking long-term about the expansion of her business. She and Ashlin are now offering packages for wedding parties — hairs, eyes, nails and makeup, she even sees the possibility of franchising down the track. But being the very smart woman she is, her eye is very much on what she is doing right now — and then doing it even better. 


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51–75 100 women of Bella

Julianne Daly — 51 M

OAMA’S JULIANNE DALY will tell you she doesn’t have a story to tell.

“I’m very dull, I don’t really have a story,” she insists. But behind her modesty is a woman who deserves to be in the Bella 100. She has a great story; you just have to convince her to tell it. Julianne has been a teacher, a listener, a business owner, a founding member of Community Against Drugs Echuca-Moama and has recently come full circle to be a student again. Born in Finley, Julianne was 22 when she

married Adie Daly in 1987, which brought her study — to be a nurse — to a regretful halt. The following year she moved to Echuca and opened a sport store called Daly Sport, which they owned together until 1993. And while she does count herself very lucky, her life has had some setbacks. Such as unexplained fertility issues, with no medical explanation why she couldn’t fall pregnant. “We couldn’t have children for six years. We went through five years of IVF,” Julianne said.

“It’s funny, you think it’s something that’s dull but it’s not. It’s very stressful. When everyone else around you is having babies and you can’t.” Strangely enough, in between IVF cycles, Julianne and Adie fell pregnant naturally. Alexandra Daly was born in 1993 and of course became the highlight of Julianne’s life. “After that we thought it’s going to be easy (to fall pregnant). The doctor said the babies would come but they didn’t,” Julianne said. That same year Julianne and Adie joined the family business — the Border Inn in Moama. In 2006 Adie decided to coach the Moama under-17s, which also immersed Julianne and Alex into the club too. Fast forward to last year Julianne decided to study community services and through being a part of the community she has been confronted with the ice epidemic that has swept through Victoria including Echuca-Moama. “I think Echuca, five years ago; the Riverine Herald was quite ground breaking. That was the only time you ever heard about it. And it got a lot of backlash but what else do you do?” she said. Julianne’s family needed the community last year when her father Jim Powell became suddenly seriously ill. He died four times but Julianne said the Echuca hospital saved his life, and now he is fortunately on the mend. “You realise how lucky you are because if we didn’t have the services that we have in Echuca he would have died,” Julianne said. “It really comes to giving back to your community and being there when they need you. Love where you live. Be involved in your community because you never know when you’re going to need it.”

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Julie Golledge — 52 J

ULIE GOLLEDGE IS the woman behind the Southern 80 — the race that stops Echuca-Moama. Plus she’s a long-term teacher and leader at Kyabram P-12 College.

So it comes as no surprise Julie is a woman who — if there’s something that needs to be done — there’s no need to look past her. “I just helped out, I just like helping,” Julie said when asked how she got involved with the 80. “I do everything; I do the media, some social media and the database that runs the event.” Julie might down play her role with the 80, which she’s been involved with for about 20 years, but it was enough to get her awarded a life member of the Moama Water Sports Club three years ago.

“In 1991 I went to Kyabram Secondary College,” she said. “I teach home economics, food technology and ICT, and I’ve been there ever since but now I only do four days a week in years 7–12.” Reflecting on her teaching career, Julie said it had been rewarding. “The reward is at the end of the year. Not the holidays but to see how far the kids have come,” Julie said. But of course, life has not been without its challenges. “We couldn’t have any children. We tried IVF (in the early ‘90s) and that didn’t work,” Julie said. “But we’ve got renter kids — friend’s kids who we’ve watched grow up.”

And while it’s not something she likes to be reminded about, it is a job that can have its days. And that would be the understatement of the century. Because for two years in a row the Southern 80 has been blighted by death, despite only five being recorded in its 52-year history. “It hits everyone and it’s sad,” Julie said. “And you question the race but in the end they choose to go out there to race and that’s it. We do everything to make it safe and sometimes tragedy strikes.” Julie has lived in Echuca for 27 years. Born in Melbourne, one of three, Julie started travelling to the town with her family in her teenage years to water ski on the river. Julie married Martin Golledge in 1987 and two years later he was skiing when a friend offered him a job in Echuca. So that was that — the pair decided to move here Easter 1989. When Julie and Martin moved to Echuca, Julie decided to study to become a teacher.

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Chrissy Weller — 53 L

OCKINGTON’S CHRISSY WELLER has been working behind the scenes in the community — in just about every corner of it — for a long time.

And that comes as no surprise. Her husband is Paul Weller — the former Member for Rodney — who served the region for eight years before it merged to become Murray Plains in 2014. But first lady aside, Chrissy tends to have no trouble finding her way to the centre of a community all on her own.

“But I’m not the show pony,” Chrissy said. “I just do the jobs behind the scenes.” Chrissy was born in New Zealand and moved to Tasmania with her two boys, Jared and Aaron, in 1988 before eventually moving to South Australia working in international education. “We set up the China Training Centre where we brought executives in from China to train and it’s still going today,” Chrissy said. “I met Paul the weekend before I moved to Adelaide.”

She’s been involved in Echuca’s steam rally, was the president of Echuca’s Rotary Club, and now she’s at the core of the Lockington Bamawm United Football Netball Club and Locky business centre.

Eventually she moved to Lockington. When Paul became Member for Rodney things became incredibly busy and Chrissy was still working and helping manage three dairy farms.

Plus she helps run two dairy farms (having recently shut one down because of the dairy crisis) with her husband Paul.

Speaking on the dairy crisis, Chrissy said she believed people in northern Victoria were probably “lucky”.

In her own words she’s the woman who is behind everything.

“I don’t know if you can use that word but it was all a juggling process. We were so wet in

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the spring so we didn’t start irrigating until late, so we’ve been able to save heaps of water and that kept costs down. “There was heaps of crop/hay around so we saved on that as well. Every farm has been affected differently in the milk crisis. We shut one dairy; brought the heifers home; staff retired and future staffing all changed … and I can’t say some of that was easy.” Chrissy has been the LBU Football Netball Club’s executive officer for three years, helping merge the club. “I’ve been involved in the Lockington business centre for 10 years and I was director on the community bank for four years,” she said. “There have been lots of highlights and opportunities I suppose, they never stop really.” And along the way, in her spare time, Chrissy has been to Cambodia for volunteering with Rotary and managed to pick up an advance diploma in business management.


51-75

100 women of Bella

Lynda McGrath — 54 M

ATHOURA’S Lynda McGrath has one rule she lives by — if it’s not going to matter in five years, don’t bother spending more than five minutes upset by it.

sometimes where things are hard, to help them through the black part of their lives.” One of Lynda’s biggest highlights was living in Fiji for six months with her then partner Troy and two sons.

It’s her life motto and now she’s encouraging every woman in Echuca-Moama to live “The boys went to school there in the by it too. Sigatoka Valley where they still have the cane,” she said. “I think we would all be better off,” she said. Lynda, who was 54 at the time of writing but has since turned 55, was born in Rochester. She spent her teenage years on the Gold Coast, which she said was “great fun”, before arriving in Echuca when she was 18. “And I’ve never looked back,” she said. Lynda has been working for Charles L King for 17 years. Managing the sales team, she also started selling as the Mathoura agent a few years ago. “I wanted to keep the town moving forward,” Lynda said. “It’s going great and I love selling to people who want an affordable, relaxing country lifestyle.” Lynda is also extremely passionate about mental health issues, having lost her stepson Luke to suicide in 2015.

“I ended up being the village photographer because I was the only one with a camera so I would do the weddings, family portraits, family reunions and school photos. “I was also the village nurse because I had a huge first aid kit. I would type up resumes for the kids leaving school, do mock interviews with them and drive them to interviews; which were mostly at resorts. We had 100 per cent success rate too. “My mum Norma would send me the Riverine Herald every Friday so I was always up to date with news from home.” Lynda inherited her father’s sense of humour, her mother’s wisdom, and can’t live without music. She is organised, talkative, fun, loving and punctual. “I have had a very interesting and fun life. If it gives you lemons, as it sometimes does; you make lemonade,” she said.

“(My sons) Rhys and Zach lost their brother and my stepson Luke to suicide. That has had a devastating impact on everyone to this day,” she said.

“Looking back, if I could talk to my younger self I would say ‘always speak what’s on your mind’. What you have to say is important. Sometimes we felt our words were a minority because of our young age.”

“There is now much more talking about depression and suicide but getting the actual professional help from someone is

Besides her sons, Lynda said travel was her passion and she planned to do more of it in the future.

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Learn Local Legend On Thursday 31 August 2017 the 2017 Victorian Learn Local awards were announced and Echuca Neighbourhood House was Nominated by ACFE Loddon Mallee Regional Council and was winner of the Learn Local Legends award. Echuca Neighbourhood House (ENH) brings people together to connect, learn and contribute in their local community through social, educational, recreational and support activities, using a unique community development approach. Through its strong partnerships with the Campaspe Education Partnership, Good Shepherd Microfinance, local government, the Mirrimbeena Aboriginal Education Group and other community organisations, ENH has developed specialised pre-accredited programs and a range of engagement programs and activities in targeting disadvantaged people including Indigenous people, women returning to work, the unemployed and underemployed, the homeless and early school leavers. Programs include Information Technology, digital literacy, office skills and adult literacy and numeracy. In another service to the community, ENH is accredited with Good Shepherd Microfinance to provide loans to people on low incomes or pensions.

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What do we do?

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Lyndal Brown — 55 A

S A MOTHER of nine if there is anyone you need maternal tips from it is

Lyndal Brown. Because Lyndal’s family is bigger than the

“Everyone says that we are the Brady Bunch but they only had six children and they had Alice — I would have loved to have had Alice,” Lyndal said.

“I thought three kids would be good but then I skipped that number and had twins and teenagers under the one roof. then I met Rob … it was a pretty interesting She is an expert in the field of motherblending.” hood — and her advice is simple: “You Having nine children in the house at once did survive”. of course present its challenges, especially “You get through it. If I had one piece of really when it was time to get ready for school. good advice it would be to buy a really good “That was the biggest challenge for about 10 washing machine because when they break years,” Lyndal said. down it’s not good.” Brady Bunch — at one stage she had seven

Born in Bamawm, and now owning a business in Echuca, Lyndal has five biological children and four that she inherited when she met Rob McCallum. From youngest to oldest their names are Sharna, Grant, Todd, Bo, twins Andrew and Christopher, Kirby, Cody and Abbey.

“We had seven teenagers — four on L plates at once — it was pretty intense. Actually it was a nightmare,” Lyndal laughed. “I think they’ve all grown up not that traumatised by it all, I think they’re alright.” Now, instead of being scattered across Lyndal’s home, as adults they are scattered

across the world. As for Lyndal, her life can be separated into three distinct eras. The first was her teenage years and her first marriage, the second was being divorced for 10 years, and the final — and ongoing era — is being with her current life and business partner, Rob McCallum. She also owns Echuca’s Frames and Mirrors and has done for 10 years. Before taking on her business, Lyndal also studied professional writing and editing from 2000–2002. “I really enjoyed it but it really did kill creativity … I will write a book one day,” she said. “You might think I am old but I’m not really,” Lyndal laughed. “I still feel young and I think you are only as old as you feel. I’m glad to be this age, Rob and I are best friends, and everything looks bright.”

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$25 pp, 30-minutes x 8 sessions 2 persons $20 pp, 30-minutes x 8 sessions


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Glynis Kelly — 56

G

LYNIS KELLY HAS one simple want for the women of Echuca-Moama.

“To be kind to one another and have each other’s backs,” she said. It’s a simple message but a powerful one. Too often, sadly — tragically even — Glynis has watched women turn on each other. “Why are we so bitchy to each other?” she said. “We shouldn’t be. We should be protecting each other and we should have each other’s backs but we don’t. If I could change one thing in the world it would be that.”

can, since the beginning. While in Echuca she’s worked for the Riv, off and on, plus a whole lot of other areas including about 10 years with EchucaMoama’s Lead On. It still offers the L2P program which helps teenagers who, for whatever reason, are unable to get 120 driving hours in preparation for their licence. “One of the most memorable things for me was working with Loop, which was a fourpage insert that went into the Riv,” she said. Eventually (about five years ago) Glynis decided to retire.

Glynis might not be able to change the world but you would be forgiven for think- “I have four children and seven grandchiling, if anyone could, it would be her. dren. And we’ve done lots of volunteering in the community, including at the St Vinnies And that’s probably because Glynis has op shop and I was an ambassador at Echuca a long track record of giving back to the Moama Tourism,” she said. community. “That’s good fun and I think people really Down the years she’s volunteered countless need to volunteer in the community. It’s hours and helped where she could. always been a philosophy of mine, to give Born and bred in Mackay, Glynis moved to back to the community.” Echuca about 30 years ago. Anyone who So that’s what Glynis has been doing. knows Glynis knows she has been embedded into the community, helping where she Giving back to the community.

That was until January when she decided to go back to work, but this time at Murray Human Services in marketing and communications. “I’ve never worked in disability before and it’s an amazing organisation,” Glynis said. And as for the highlights throughout her life? “The most fortunate thing would be having three step sons (Jason, Mathew and Ryan) who I have a fantastic relationship with, as well as my biological son (Timothy). It’s definitely a highlight that we have a bonded family.”

Raelene Mullane — 57 H

AVING HER MIRACLE baby was of course the highlight of Echuca's Raelene Mullane’s life.

But having her first and only child at 42 also presented a very big challenge. One that she is juggling today.

baby girl, decided to move to Echuca. Before then Raelene, who was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia in 1977, had already lived in Japan and had a world of life experiences.

“Being a late in life mum was challenging,” “Out of all the travels we’ve had, Raelene said. Echuca was the most amazing “When I had Mollie I decided to do family place,” she said. day care because I didn’t want to miss out “We had been here at the beginning of Oscar on my baby. Fourteen years is a long time to W’s when I helped out on the floor but for wait to be a mum.” us at that stage it was too far from the Raelene had tried IVF in the past but was ocean and not enough hills. “just very lucky” with Mollie. “But then when we had our daughter it was “We decided to get on with life so we bought the perfect tree change.” a cafe in Melbourne and got on with it,” she Since living in Echuca Raelene has owned said. two businesses with the second (All Vintages Bazaar) still booming in High St. “We’d also been to Japan where we went to a fertility temple in Kyoto which was “We established Refresh’d Cafe in Moama interesting. (in 2008) then Mollie was diagnosed with “Then we’d come back from Japan so I think it was about mind over matter, and I’d also had a tube removed. “Whether it was a combination of all three (that I fell pregnant) or what it was, we don’t know. “But we’d just bought a business in Melbourne (a cafe in Ivanhoe) that was not child friendly.” So she and her partner, and their miracle

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a medical condition in 2011. She was nine. “Basically I tried to bring a bit of Melbourne to Echuca,” Raelene said. “Then we leased Refresh’d to a young couple but they didn’t want the collectibles … then I just kept my eyes out for a vacant shop and eventually it came. I opened All Vintages Bazaar on the June long weekend of 2014. “I had stall holders in for a while, so I leased space to people. As they’ve come and gone

I’ve kept the space. “It’s basically all vintages. I haven’t stopped. I’m chasing my tail. I’ve actually created a bit of a monster but it’s good to be busy.” Challenges in Raelene’s life have included understanding the Australian school system because she was from New Zealand where grades and years did not exist. “Dealing with my father’s (Vivian) death in 1980 was very hard,” she said. “But I do like to think I am a forever optimist. I don’t like to let things get me down or get on top of me. “I think everyone should always look for the good in any situation.” So that’s what Raelene will continue to do. Keep searching for the best in every situation, raise her beautiful miracle babyturned-teenager, and run her successful but ever demanding High St business.


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Kerry Williams — 58 E

CHUCA BUSINESS OWNER Kerry Williams has helped build Echuca.

The part-owner of Davey & Williams Builders, Kerry is a modest woman so she would never say so herself. But whether it’s buildings themselves or art and its space in Echuca, she has had her finger on the pulse since the beginning. Her business has built the Paramount Cinema, Percy St offices and Centrelink — just to name a few — while she was also chair of the committee behind the artwork in the Echuca hospital and helped form the Foundry Artspace on Murray Esplanade. Still, according to Kerry, people would sooner recognise her dog Bob than they would her. “Bob (a bitzer) goes just about everywhere with me — people know Bob,” she said. Kerry grew up on a dairy farm in Lockington. “I was away for a while and then came back when I was 28/29,” she said. “We moved back not only because it was my home but because it had such a great economy and sounded like a great place to move back to; so we did and set up our business.”

Kerry worked on the tools when she and Tim first arrived in Echuca. “There are still people who remember me wearing a nail bag,” she said. “I didn’t mind getting my hands dirty, and I was a healthy farm girl so it sort of fell into place. “I studied as a youth worker but when we moved to Echuca I got involved in building. Then when we had kids I took over the accounts and the office work for that business.” Today Kerry might have put down the tools for the building industry but she’s picked

them back up for art. “Often you’ll find me on a hammer, drill or an angle grinder,” she said. “I have always enjoyed art. I was the chair of the committee that has developed the artwork at the Echuca hospital.” As for the highlights in her life, Kerry said that was easy. “My children of course (Nikki, Jack and Will Davey who live in Melbourne),” she said. “But also the whole journey as builders in town, it’s pretty nice to look around and see the buildings we’ve put up. “And I guess the gig at the hospital and collecting the artwork there, I feel very proud of that, especially the floor piece; I get a buzz out of that.” Of course everything Kerry has been involved in has come with challenges, but according to her, challenges are a good thing. “What I love about Echuca is the sense of the community and I think if there is one message I would like to get out there it’s that community is so important,” she said. “And what you put into a community you get back, you will always get something out of it.”

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100 women of Bella

Di Van Der Zypp — 59

Zippy rea�y is one of a kind She took some chasing but when LANA MURPHY finally caught up with Moama’s Di van der Zypp there was no doubt that when they made Di they broke the mould.

D

I VAN DER ZYPP is one of a kind. Really.

No, really. There is no other person on this planet with her name. She knows because she has researched it at length. So everything she does — and she does a hell of a lot — is a first for the Di van der Zypps of the world. When Di was 16, she started babysitting for three families after school, each paid her 50 cents an hour, so she saved all her babysitting money and bought an airfare to Holland, to visit her Dutch family. Di had never met any of her Dutch aunts, uncles and cousins, only her Opas and Omas had been to Australia to visit. So in eight weeks she taught herself Dutch because none of her family members spoke English. “My Opa lived until he was 99 and I would never have had such a beautiful relationship with him if I hadn’t learnt Dutch,” Di said. It was her first taste of the wild and enchanted world that surrounds us, and she was immediately, and permanently, stricken with the travel bug. From that moment she knew her life would be spent loving places, but especially the people in them. Throw in her love of food and entertaining and you have a woman ready to see the world. “I returned for 18 months when I was 19, doing the standard Contiki trip, except in those days there was an 18 country, 72-day adventure — which also included Russia. “I worked in Holland and then back to Melbourne where I started working in stockbroking, which then led to a job in London and another 15 months away when I was 22. “In between I worked on a kibbutz in Israel, which is kind of a commune where you work four to six hours a day and receive food and board in exchange for working.” It was worlds away from the one she knew in Melbourne’s CBD. Unlike her friends

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in crates and begging for food. walked into my mum and dad’s post office and asked if they knew how to reach this “One thing travel does is put things in address. perspective — and more people need that,” “My mum said ‘that looks like my address’. “I was too good at it,” she laughed. Di said. We have been friends now for almost 40 “The first day I made two and by the end “We need to realise how fortunate and years, he has become part of our family and I was making 40 a day and they kept me blessed we are to live in our community and it turned out my auntie’s neighbour used to there because they needed someone who in this country.” change his nappies.” could produce them that quickly. I’d already Di certainly knows how to give back. When It was about the people again when she become obsessed with the culture and the she and husband Neil Greaves permanently spent months in Bali last year, learning people so I was happy to oblige.” moved here 10 years ago, after spending Indonesian, living in a villa and practising While she eventually returned to the world nine years driving between Moama and daily yoga. of rules, taxes and suits her love for travel Melbourne, she made sure she joined as “I learnt to ride a motorbike around, I never waned. many committees and clubs as she could. thought if the 12-year-olds could do it so “I spent 20 years in the legal industry, work- She’s part of the local book club and the could I,” she said. ing at a 700-strong firm in the CBD and Backroads Trail committee and you’ll probliving in a tiny apartment in Lonsdale St,” ably see her face at any event of signifi- “I ate at incredible restaurants, attended cremations and was invited into the homes she said. cance in the twin towns. of my Indonesian friends. I’ve now got a “But I made sure I saw the world. Working She was, for example, an enthusiastic and traditional outfit I can wear to all their two jobs — waitressing at night — became integral part of Echuca Regional Health’s special ceremonies. my travel fund.” Make Your Mark committee, helping raise millions of dollars for our local hospital by “The people are incredible, gorgeous and A colleague gave her the Lonely Planet walking 250 km through the Backroads Trail. friendly. Travel Book one year, and instantly Di started ticking places off her bucket list. “I even made the front page of the Riv,” she “It’s the same in Cambodia and Nepal, Italy and Oman — the world and its people are joked. Then one day she decided she would visit just fascinating.” a country for every letter in the alphabet. “I had the means to give back and I did, it’s Considering her fascination with people, it She’d already crossed a few off the list of one of my proudest achievements spending comes as no surprise she opened a rivercourse, but now she had a purpose to her two weeks on the road. front accommodation in Moama 19 years travel. “I met some magical characters along the ago — Bright on the Murray in Goldsborough “Little did I know it would take 40 years,” she way, it opened me up to see the real ‘coun- Rd. laughed. try’ and what is happening on the farms; the droughts and plagues and how hard our “My brother built a houseboat here and we “I met my husband Neil at 36 and I am so came to visit,” she said. grateful that he loves travel as much as I do.” farmers work. working in a Collins St office, Di was making louvre doors by hand in the magical Middle East.

In that time she’s done it all. “I’ve slept on a Roman railway stop and had my camera and book (with 10‑pages left) stolen,” she said. She’s slept on rooves and dirt floors, been part of Balinese teeth filing ceremonies, learnt languages, camped under the stars, stayed in flashy resorts with Middle Eastern royalty, danced with African tribes and flown from Perth to Melbourne by helicopter stopping 10 times along the way to refuel and landing in remote places. And while she’s backpacked throughout Europe and eaten from the ground with the Balinese, she’s also dined with the glitterati and stayed at five star resorts. “Life is about balance, right?” she laughed. Last year her final letter was K for Kuwait. “We stayed in a five star resort to celebrate. What an experience that was,” she said. “There was a women-only pool, so I was surrounded by Chanel slip-ons and women drenched in diamonds.” It was a stark comparison to the Brazilian slums she’d seen years before, people living

“Farmers would shout out ‘oi, love, watcha doing? or ‘You okay lovey?’ They’d ask what was going on and we could chat.

“We drove past the property and fell in love, he said ‘We should buy this’, but I said to my brother ‘Keep dreaming’.

“Well the dream came true and we bought it. We didn’t anticipate just how dilapidated it was but it really was worth it, we’ve created Meeting people has always been Di’s favour- our own haven.” ite pastime. Perched above the Murray it is more than “Even with travel, that’s the best part,” she 130 years old. Brides, birthday girls, families said. and friends take advantage of the incredible 25-acre space. With Di’s catering skills (she “It’s the joy of meeting others”. returned to study at 28 to follow her hospi“In Bali we met a couple from Hawaii, last tality dream) she produces incredible feasts year I added two ‘C’ countries and visited for all guests. Canada and Cuba. On the way we called in Even though her name is as original as it to see our new Hawaiian friends, it’s great gets, she goes by Zippy to her friends. to have friends that are local and can show you the sights, they have already visited us “I walk fast,” she said. in Australia as well. I think it’s important to “If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s time goes keep in touch with people.” fast so pack as much as you can into your When she was 22, she struck up a friendship life. with a Dutch man in Israel. He was cycling “Do what you want to do and enjoy the around the world and said he would see her moment.” in Australia. Sixty five countries, a very happy marriage “I laughed, but gave him my address noneand many businesses later, it seems the Di theless,” she said. van der Zypps of the world certainly have “One day he just turned up out of the blue, that covered. “I really did go from a high heeled caterer to a hiking-boots snake killer.”

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Helen Sivesind — 60 S

O MUCH HAS happened in Helen Sivesind’s life, it is difficult to know where to start.

MacCallum Cancer Institute.

come down and be where you are’.

She is a nurse and midwife, a mother, wife and friend.

“That was a fantastic experience and remains one of my great passions. I was always interested in cancer nursing and I love palliative care.”

“That was my proposal I guess. So we did the fiancé deal. I moved back with my mum and dad and lived in their caravan for a few months.

She has fostered children, worked as a disability support worker, owned her own business, run a day care and travelled the world.

In her 20s Helen went travelling, she backpacked around New Zealand and fell in love with the bush and the Murray River.

“They say that sort of thing happens when you least expect it and it’s true.”

Together the pair decided they were going “I worked at the Royal Women’s for four to get married in America and live in years. In my late 20s I moved down to Australia. Gippsland and I moved in with a fella I was She has experienced life’s highest of highs “I went back to the States — I hadn’t seen going out with. He was killed in a car accibut she has also, sadly, experienced the him in five months — and we were married a dent about six months after I moved there,” lowest of lows. month after I got there,” Helen said. she said. Such as the death of her boyfriend when “I was quite sick when I landed, thinking ‘God “I was only 29 and thought my life was over.” she was in her 20s, two miscarriages, and I hope I still like this guy’. the difficulty of her husband being diag- It wasn’t, but it was a very difficult time. “Once his immigration papers came through nosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Four months later she met the man who a year later we moved back to Australia. But you wouldn’t know all that unless you would become her husband, and father of That was 1990. sat down and listened to Helen’s story. her daughter, Gary. “It was the beginning of our lives together Because the Gunbower woman smiles like But she didn’t know it at the time. and we’re just the best of mates and we’ve she hasn’t had to endure heartache — she’s had a fantastic life ever since.” “When we first met we didn’t really click and happy to be here. I think if I’m truthful I wasn’t really ready for Helen and Gary settled at their home in “It’s all the little things that make you who a relationship at that point. I’d had three Anglesea before moving to Echuca in 1991 you are; that’s what life is about,” she said. relationships in my 20s and they were all ok for Gary’s work. but they were all with the wrong people.” “It’s about being true to yourself and having “I was still a midwife at the time so I moved fun. Don’t take anything too seriously.” Helen decided to go travelling to America, to the hospital and started working at Baker where Gary is from. Wing and then I had seven years at the Helen was born in Melbourne. She is one of Community Health Centre,” Helen said. five, the middle child, with two brothers and “I went travelling to the States because Gary two sisters. was from there and loved it straight away, Eventually they decided to try and have I spent several months based in Colorado,” children. “I was brought up in a wonderful family enviHelen said. ronment, only moving out of home at 18 to “We couldn’t get pregnant after two years start nursing training,” she said. “I was in the States for eight months but so we did some investigating and ended up then I came back to Australia because my going down the IVF track,” Helen said. “Then I moved to Perth and I did a separate visa had expired. year of midwifery training. I worked back in “We had four attempts and I miscarried on Melbourne and then I did four years at Peter “He wrote to me and said ‘I think I want to the last and we decided that was it, we Helen has lived so much the beginning, middle and end are difficult to pinpoint.

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weren’t doing anymore. “It wasn’t expensive then as it is now so we spaced it out over every six months because the drugs can do horrible things to your body and it was quite an emotional rollercoaster. It wasn’t a great experience for me.” They were just about to give up when Professor Carl Wood came to the rescue. “I had quite severe endometriosis and he had developed a new surgical technique, which involved major surgery, to help women have children,” Helen said. “I had one tube that was scarred and couldn’t be repaired but he said he could repair the other one. “He said ‘I will give you a 10 per cent chance of pregnancy and if you’re not pregnant within the year then it’s probably not going to happen’. “Three months later I was pregnant.” Their miracle baby, Anna, was born on May 3, 1995. “We are very lucky, thanks to Carl Wood,” Helen said. “I guess you have a few bumps along the ride but it all worked out.” During 2000–2010 Helen ran a massage clinic from her home and worked for Campaspe Shire’s Home and Community Care program. Unfortunately Helen miscarried again when she was 40 and decided to become a foster carer for 18 months so that Anna — who desperately wanted siblings — could know what it would have been like to have the experience of siblings. Life continued for the Sivesinds until 2012 when everything was turned upside down. Gary was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “He had a couple of pretty serious hospital stays and after much prodding and pushing came the diagnosis,” Helen said. “He had to have really big surgery and then six months of chemo. Anna was studying Year 12 so it wasn’t a very good year for the family. “Gary had a year off work, his gap year he calls it,” Helen said with a laugh. “At the end of it his mother (back in the US) had a stroke, she died, and then my mum died five weeks later.” It was a terribly sad time for the Sivesind family. But fortunately they didn’t stay down for too long. “Gary (who is an embryo technician in Gunbower) has been in remission for four years and we’ve moved on,” Helen said. Today Helen works at Echuca Regional Health in rehab, as well as Glanville Village, alongside her daughter Anna, who graduated as a nurse last year. As for the future and what it will bring time will tell, Helen said, but hopefully it involves good health and lots of travel. “We’ve discovered far north Queensland so we might even call that our home for a few months a year,” Helen said. “The five year plan is to go spend a few months in New York. We love it there. “We will continue our travels and adventures together; enjoy our friends and hospitality. We’re up for all the excitement that comes along.”

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100 women of Bella

Cheryl Sweeney — 61

W

ATCHING YOUNG PEOPLE grow and develop has been a rewarding part of Cheryl Sweeney’s lifelong career in education. Originally from Cranbourne in Melbourne, Cheryl moved to Kyabram in 1978 in her first year as a teacher. She spent seven years in the town before moving to Moama when her husband Michael took up a role at the Rich River Golf Club Resort.

Twelve years and four children later, they moved back to Kyabram when Michael was asked to run the pokies at the Kyabram Club. That was 21 years ago and the couple are happily settled in the Kyabram community, having taken on the management of Western Gums Tourist Park as of last year. In her life between the twin towns and Ky, Cheryl has taught at Kyabram P-12 College, the local TAFE in Echuca and emergency teaching work at the old Echuca high school and tech school. Her teaching background led to her working on some educational projects for CCLLEN which in turn led to her present role as co-ordinator of the Echuca-Moama Beacon Foundation. Beacon is a career program for the three secondary schools in Echuca-Moama aimed at year 9 and 10 students. “It’s about trying to keep kids on track to lead into tertiary or employment or traineeships,” Cheryl said of Beacon. “My job is to deliver a leadership program to school leaders which they take back and empower their peers.” This is her fourth year in the program and she describes it as “a fabulous job”.

“Beacon Foundation has come out and said ours is the best model because it’s “It is rewarding to see students who were nervous about public speaking end up host- sustainable.” ing events by the end of the year because “I’m lucky enough to be the Beacon they have become so confident. co-ordinator. “A lot of them have said it was the best thing they ever did in school. “They go on to be school captains and take part in exchange programs which they said they would never have done if they never had the confidence.” Through Beacon, Cheryl has helped organise careers expos and mock interviews with businesses providing feedback to help students with future job hunting Beacon started in Tasmania and has been running for 16 years. It is funded locally by sponsors and schools and the board of directors is made up of volunteers. “In Echuca-Moama beacon is a community project, whereas elsewhere it’s run by individual schools,” Cheryl said.

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“I love it, it’s great. I love working with young people. It’s what I missed when I stopped teaching. I miss seeing them grow.”

molding young minds. In 2016 she signed on with Echuca-Moama Triathlon Club and has become hooked. “I was a phys-ed teacher so I enjoy being active and keeping fit,” she said. “I’m in a bike riding group in Kyabram, I enjoy swimming so I thought I’d have a crack at a triathlon, it’s always something I wanted to do.

Cheryl is also involved with Campaspe Youth Partnerships, working with kids who are disengaged at school whether it’s through absenteeism or their behaviour.

“My son is an ironman and I thought I could do a mini one of those.”

Cheryl’s investment in the youth of the future has seen her fall in love with Victoria’s north-east.

She has competed in triathlons in Echuca, Nagambie and Shepparton and said the EMTC was a “great club”.

“I love the community both in Echuca- “EMTC is non-competitive, very supportive,” Moama and Kyabram. They’re both fantas- Cheryl said. tic,” she said. Cheryl is the only female in the 60-anything age range and said she enjoyed the training “It’s great weather, north of the divide and and the events. still easy access to Melbourne to catch up with family and friends while still living in the country.” And

her

involvement

doesn’t

stop

at

“You need a reason to train, you need to have a focus and that’s why I compete in the events.”


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Judy Anderson — 62

I

F THERE IS one message Judy Anderson would impart onto those in her age group, it is to do what you want while you still can.

Judy recently lost a friend to dementia; who had plans to travel with his wife.

“The Rochester community is very supportive. There are a lot of sports on offer, there’s a real sense of community and it’s a great place to bring up kids.

“You always knew where your kids were because everyone was looking out for them. “In your 60s, you should do what you want to do because you don’t know what tomor- “It’s a great environment. You become involved row brings,” she said. with mothers’ clubs, kinder and school committees which provide a link for families “You should enjoy things together because if one dies it’s a lot more difficult on your own. to support each other.” “Life is short; it can change at any time.” Judy moved to Rochester in 1977 having spent her formative years mainly in Melbourne.

Her time in London saw her impart the love of travel onto her children. “I worked in an automotive spare parts

company and Peter was commissioning and testing airconditioners,” she said. “We were in Wembley until Peter was transferred to the Newcastle branch. “We were able to see a little bit of the world and we brought our kids up that it’s a wide world out there and encouraged them to take the opportunity to travel. “I really enjoy living in Rochester. There are no restrictions, no traffic lights or parking meters, and it offers the freedoms of a small community unlike the overcrowding in Melbourne.”

She was working for an insurance company on St Kilda Rd when she met her future husband Peter and the couple moved to London after her 21st birthday. They spent a few years in England before a family connection saw them move to Rochester and buy into the Retravision business in 1985, where they worked until October 2012 when it was forced to close. “From a fairly negative situation comes a positive and that’s how you’ve got to look at life. Challenges are thrown your way and you have to make the most of it and get on with life.” A week before Retravision shut its doors, her husband Peter secured employment at the Campaspe News and he has been there ever since. While Judy herself hasn’t had paid work, she has kept herself busy. On Mondays she volunteers at the hospital as part of a social support network for people suffering social isolation or who would simply benefit from being in a group. On Tuesdays she plays tennis and Wednesdays see her attending art classes in Echuca. She is also a volunteer at The Foundry Arts Space. She is on the committee for the Rochester Mural Festival and is helping to organise the sixth Rochester Fine Art Exhibition for the hospital. “My brother is a glass artist and I have always been interested in art,” Judy said. “Art is a hobby for me and it’s a way to meet other people and grow friendships.” She said her involvement on the committees was a great way to give back to the community that has supported her and her family through the years. She and her husband raised two children in Rochester and Judy’s mantra is that youngsters can achieve their dreams, even if they live in a small country town. “Kids can become whatever they want to be,” she said, pointing out that one of her children is a teacher while the other is a paramedic.

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Sue Badham — 63 T

HE FOUNDRY ARTS Space is a long way from being part of negotiations to globally ban the use of chemical weapons but Sue Badham is content with her place in the community.

A volunteer at Echuca’s art hub helping to organise exhibitions and events, Sue previously spent 20 years working for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This saw her work in Australian embassies, starting with Calcutta as a 20-year-old. From there came stints in Washington DC, Manila, Singapore, Geneva at the UN, New York at the UN and Cairo. Sue worked as an executive assistant to the ambassadors and that involved lots of protocol and organising big events. Her time in foreign affairs coincided with then Prime Minister Bob Hawke and his Labor Party’s international platform of disarmament. “The Australian ambassador was the chairman of the committee trying to get countries to sign and ratify the disarmament of chemical weapons,” Sue said. “To see what we did and then to see what is going on in Syria now is dreadful.” It was being thrown into a seriously dizzying deep end of global politics for a girl from Canberra who fell into the job purely by accident. “At high school I was really good at art and wanted to teach it, but missed out on an art scholarship,” Sue said. A girlfriend’s mother was taking her daughter to sit a public service exam and took Sue and another friend along for the ride. “The three of us got into a select course which guaranteed a job at the end of it,” Sue said. That job took Sue all over the world, meeting “the most amazing people”. “I was lucky to have lived all over the world and go to fabulous galleries and meet artists and our own Australian artists at exhibitions overseas,” Sue said. Sue returned to Australia in 1990 at the end of her posting to Cairo and joined the corporate world. She worked for Australia’s largest firm of professional engineers which was eventually bought out by American giant Halliburton which saw her meet Dick Cheney, the company’s chief executive and future US Vice President. Sue has lived in Echuca for seven years. “My husband’s son and grandchildren were here. My husband John was in the wine industry and when he retired we were looking where to go,” Sue said.

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Since arriving she has helped set up the Foundry Arts Space.

driven to bring new and exciting exhibitions to the Foundry.

“I’m a member of the Echuca-Moama Arts “We recently had an exhibition from a tattoo Initiative and the group needed a home,” artist who displayed artwork taken from she said. skin and onto the canvas,” she said. “The old foundry building in the Port was storing old paddlesteamer parts but that has been shifted into another area. “We indicated to the shire we would be interested in the rest of the old foundry building to use for workshops and art classes we are now hosting.” So what does Sue like about living in Echuca-Moama? “It’s the art scene for me, to help get the arts scene from a small group into a space which most country towns in Victoria and NSW would be proud of,” she said. “And the shire has been marvellous with its help.” Sue has always been into art and draws and paints whenever she can, and is just as

“We had Deborah Halpern here. She has huge ceramic figures in Southbank, out the front of the National Gallery of Victoria and public works around Australia. “She was here for more than a month running workshops and that’s what it’s about — getting local artists exhibited and also bringing well-known artists to Echuca so we can learn from them. “It’s exciting to be involved in the heart of a tourist area. “We act as an impromptu tourist office as well for people coming in to look at the art and also wanting to know about other attractions in the area. “You get to meet lots of interesting people.”


51-75

100 women of Bella

Delia Currie — 64 D

ELIA CURRIE HAS lived in Echuca for nearly 45 years.

She and her husband Russell raised their two children in the town, which led her to becoming involved with various organisations, such as brownies/cubs, little aths, ballet, cricket, netball and basketball. Both Delia and her husband were in education, with Delia teaching at St Joseph’s College. They have worked in the community for all of their working careers, becoming involved with the kindergarten, nursing mothers and school auxiliaries. Now she has a new role as a marriage celebrant.

officiates at funerals, but only when asked. “I don’t advertise widely,” she said, “but am busy simply by word of mouth from those people who I have married. It is also great to be asked to marry students I have taught.” It has been a full life in the community for Delia. She started and then ran the Moama cub group when she and her husband first rented there. Currently she is a member of Echuca Murray CWA and co-ordinates the hire of the CWA hall. And a member of the Red Cross Emergency Team in Echuca, is the Echuca Group CWA craft leader and also belongs to the Bendigo embroiderers guild. Hosting sit and sew days in her home for local guild members.

“My aunty was a celebrant for more than 35 years and she asked me to become a celebrant to continue servicing the community,” “I support many organisations, if only in Delia said donating used goods, and of course, buying “This is relatively new for me. I undertook the something back,” Delia said. course after I finished work. “My husband and l were one of the first “I believe I have a role to play in making three houses to decorate with Christmas wedding ceremonies special and within the lights — now the rest of the court and reach of anyone who wishes to be married. adjoining street have gotten on board. “I am excited and thrilled to be involved with every marriage that I do, it’s a great way to meet people.”

“You would be aware of the huge volume of donations we have made to many charities. We still have a chuckle over how it started.

As well as the wedding side of life, Delia also

“The three houses did not have young

children at home and yet we thought Echuca lacked Christmas spirit so we started up our own spirit. “It is amazing to see so many people visit the area at Christmas." Delia was also an inaugural member of the Echuca Cake Decorating Association, acting as secretary for 10 years. “I am still a member, but the meetings clash with other work that I do, so I can’t attend often.” Delia also ran classes in a range of areas for CCAE when it was first established. For Delia, the Echuca-Moama community has been an important aspect in her life. “The court in which we live is a wonderful community,” she said. “We all know each other and look out for one another. The adjoining street is also a great community support I think that has happened by putting up Christmas lights. “I have made some long-lasting friends through the various organisations I am involved in and it’s a lovely feeling to say hello to friends when you are walking down the street or are out. “My community has been good to me. I intend to keep it that way, by doing what good I can for it.”

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Heather Darbyshire — 65 R

ECYCLING IS IN Heather Darbyshire’s blood.

Someone’s trash is another’s treasure rings true for Heather, so much so she decided to share her recycled goods with others by putting a business together after her first retirement. Combining her love for early childhood education and repurposing natural materials,

Heather is now replaying her childhood with her business Replayed.

portable play spaces to early childhood educators around the region, creating new and exciting play areas for children.

“It keeps me young,” Heather said. “Replayed is a passion of mine and is taking early child- “There is no right or wrong way to set the play spaces up,” she said. hood education back to basics,” Heather said. “Each play space comes in a suitcase with all the bits and pieces which get set up differ“It is all about hand-eye co-ordination and ently every time. refining the fine motor skills.” The

Rochester

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business

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“Whether it is marbles or bits of sticks and bark or little figurines the play spaces create a new space for the children to learn and explore.” Heather’s idea for Replayed stemmed from her experience as a preschool field officer for 15 years. “I was able to observe child behaviour as well as what teachers were doing,” she said. “There are a lot of different methods out there but I always found the holistic way was the best way for children. “I love using natural materials with 90 per cent of the pieces in the play spaces being recycled in some way. “Often one piece is the catalyst for the space and then I build on it from there.” Heather has 64 different play spaces she hires out to kinders and preschools around Rochester, Lockington, Echuca and surrounds.

Lynne Gillard — 66 L

YNNE GILLARD IS hoping to build a bridge for the community.

As part of the Bridge Art Project which aims to set up an arts precinct on the Moama side of the Murray River. The group has 8ha, donated to it with the vision of establishing an art gallery, information centre and walking and cycling paths as a picturesque welcome to those crossing the bridge into NSW. She is also heavily involved with EchucaMoama’s Winter Blues Festival and is part of the Bella a ‘Capella music group, which performs around the region. Added to that Lynne has taken up art classes and runs the Captain’s Cottage, a bed and breakfast. Lynne grew up in Bendigo but it was her husband, Echuca born and bred, who brought her here. “My husband grew up here and he won. He was always drawn to the river. He’s a big fisherman.”

Lynne’s father served in the army, which saw her family move around a bit when she was young. The family eventually settled in Hobart where Lynne was educated, apart from a year in the US as an exchange student. She returned to Hobart to complete her HSC and then “got the first scholarship out”. She trained as a speech pathologist in Melbourne and spent 20 years in the field. After remarrying, her husband Chris Bilkey got a transfer in his work and the couple moved to Michigan where they lived for a couple of years. “I wasn’t allowed to work so I went back to uni and did a masters in Public Ad m i n i s t ra t i o n and came back to Australia to

work in health administration,” Lynne said. She lived for a time throughout northern NSW and Sydney before another stint in the States, this time in New Jersey courtesy of her husband’s work for a pharmaceutical company. They returned to Sydney before settling in their renovated house in Echuca in 2010. She worked at the Echuca hospital for four years before retiring in a community where she has been able to find a social network. “I like that I’ve got in with a group of friends who engage in various activities,” she said. “I work a bit at the Foundry and am part of walking groups. We walk for an hour and then have an hour-and-a-half for coffee.”

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Fran Spiers — 67 W

ORKING a dairy farm is never an easy task. There’s a reliance on weather, global markets and dairy cooperatives, and then there’s the dramatic price fluctuations and a host of other contingencies to brace for. Nearly all of them beyond your control. Fran Spiers and her husband (Maurice) spent 32 years on a dairy farm at The Extension and it helped her develop a pragmatic view on life.

“It was very busy,” Fran said of life on the farm. “It was very much day to day. You get through one day and God presents you with another day.”

An active sportswoman, she was a tennis player until late last year when bad hips forced her off the court. As well as preparing meals in the kitchen for bowlers at the club, she also delivers Meals on Wheels around town. Having come in off the farm, Fran enjoys living in Echuca these days. “It’s a sizeable country town. It’s got everything I need,” she said.

They milked up to 120 cows on their farm and raised two children — their daughter is now a teacher at Rochester while their son works locally for Parmalat. Having retired from the farm the Spiers moved into Echuca nine years ago and have settled into the community. She has been a member of the Echuca Bowling Club for 15 years, combining a role in the kitchen with the occasional game of social bowls.

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Anne Church — 68 A

NNE CHURCH HAS had a mix of good days and bad days in her 10 years with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). As a first responder to incidents, Anne and her team treat patients until paramedics arrive. One of the great outcomes was when she came across a child who was not breathing. The child is still alive today thanks to the early work of the CERT. The worst day was when her husband Graham left their farm outside Tongala and headed into town.

“He asked me what time was tea and that he’d be back for tea by six o’clock,” Anne remembers. “He left me at 5 and my pager went off at 5.07. I just went cold all over. “When the pager went I said: ‘I’ve got a terrible feeling it’s Graham’.” Her premonition proved correct as Anne arrived on the scene to find her husband had had a heart attack. She applied CPR for 12 minutes before MICAs’ from Shepparton arrived to take over. Doctors later informed Anne that it would only have taken her husband 18 seconds to die. Departing quickly in some way eased Anne’s

peace of mind. “He would not have wanted to go into a home,” she said. “It should be about quality of life, not quantity of life.” That was two years ago and Anne has continued on at the family’s farm. The 30 ha used to be a dairy farm but since her husband died it’s been converted to beef, now running just 50 head. Anne commits countless hours to CERT every week and her 10 years of service clocked up in August. “My dad had TIAs, which are like mini strokes, and he had to wait 20 to 40 minutes for an ambulance,” she said. “I thought this is not on. Somebody old shouldn’t have to wait that long without any help. “I said to my husband, ‘I’m going to do this, even though I hate exams’.” Ambulance Victoria trains the team members in what is a voluntary position. “Bendigo Bank paid for our training for six months. It’s hard to get volunteers. You can get a call at 2 am and be there on the scene for an hour before the ambulance arrives. “And if it’s coming from Shepparton it could be longer. “We started with 19 in the team,” Anne said. “There’s now four in the team with nine in training. “I’m one of two original members, the other being Sally Page.”

Being in a small community, it’s hard for team members not to attend incidents involving people they know. “Unfortunately you know them all which is really hard. It’s confronting to go to people you know. (Treating) kids are the worst, and accidents, because you don’t know what you’re going to. “You see a lot, such as a 12-year-old on drugs.” In her time in CERT Anne has served as president and team leader. She often jokes that at 6000 hours a year at $25 an hour, she would be a millionaire. “When the pager goes off it could be a toothache or a heart attack. “We treat the person until an ambulance gets there.” As if CERT wasn’t enough to fill her time, Anne also delivers Meals On Wheels to residents in the Campaspe Shire as well as taking an older gentleman to medical appointments and helping him with his shopping. Anne grew up on her parents’ farm on a solider settlement at Waaia along with her brother. She was a herd tester at Gunbower for about five years before she was married. When her husband found work at Nestle they bought a farm at Tongala. That was 45 years ago. “It’s been good to us. We reared two kids there. It’s a small community where everybody looks after everybody else.”

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Margie Pryor — 69 M

ARGIE PRYOR SWEARS she will one day chronicle the events of how she came to live at Tongala.

“I might write a book. It was an epic journey,” she said. Margie and her partner drove their herd of 200 Jersey cows from Millaa Millaa in the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland to a farm at Tongala in 2009 — arriving the day of the Black Saturday bushfires which killed 173 people. “It was hard,” she said. “We came on a terrible day, the cows must have wondered what we brought them to. “We were leasing a dairy farm up there. The lease was up and we bought a dairy farm down here. Land was cheaper down here.” It took three semi-trailers to transport the herd and they had to rest every 12 hours. “We made stops and we had to make sure there was feed there at the stops and water. We only lost one cow.” It took them more than a week to transport the herd although it could have been quicker except for a quarantine check at the Victorian border. “We were held up for a border check for ticks and they found one little egg and because of that they held us up for three or four days.”

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While it may sound a gruelling exercise, Margie said the trip was worth it. “I like Tongala, I like the area,” she said. Margie no longer milks cows. About two years ago on Christmas Eve the farm’s cow shed burnt down. “Between that and the drought we just couldn’t milk anymore,” she said. “We sold the herd and thank goodness because it was a few months before Murray Goulburn dropped its price." Margie said it was the saddest day of her life having to sell her cows and believes a lot of farmers feel the same when forced into that predicament.

she said, adding the supermarkets have been to blame as well. “They would not be allowed to do that in New Zealand. They would have been hung up in the street. My heart goes out to them. “The saddest part of the dairy industry decline is not only the effect on farmers but the loss of the cows. “Hundreds and hundreds of cows, years of breeding and they’re sent off to the works. It’s a tragedy. You’ll never get those genes back.” Nevertheless, Margie has enjoyed her time on the land.

“I still have a few pet Jerseys, some old girls I wouldn’t part with.”

“It’s been good. It was a new start. Dairy farms in New Zealand were so expensive, the price of land was expensive.

Margie came to Australia from New Zealand where she was a nurse — but with a farming background.

“It’s a good life if you have a rapport with the animals. I love animals and fighting for animal rights.”

That was 25 years ago but she has never seen the dairy industry in such a state as it is now.

While Margie and her partner finished milking two years ago, she has been able to find her role in the Tongala community.

“I feel immense sorrow for what dairy farmers are going through at this stage,” she said.

She works two days a week in the Tongala op shop and ensures the farm is kept in a healthy state.

“I know what it’s like, I’ve had years of drought.

“I try to keep active running the farm. I still have 20 odd cows and I potter around. It’s good for you. I  walk everywhere on the “It was the beginning of the end of the dairy industry when they dropped the milk price,” farm.”


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51-75

100 women of Bella

Helen DuBourg — 70 H

ELEN DuBOURG, 70, moved to Echuca in 1971 with her then husband to run a dental practice.

After working in England for three years, the couple decided to go country and took the opportunity to settle in Echuca. “We had friends here, the town needed a dentist so we set up a practice in Pakenham St,” Helen said. They bought Frank Finnigan’s dental practice and “had a lovely time” in the country town after their stint in the UK. In the late 1960s, Helen and her husband worked at a dentist’s practice in Harrow in London with a group of other Australians, South Africans and New Zealanders. “They were all young married dentists,” Helen recalled. While Helen was a qualified nurse, she wasn’t allowed to work in England at the time so she and the other wives found other ways to fill in their days, such as a cordon bleu cooking course and getting to know London on foot.

Helen and her husband built a house in Wharparilla Drive and raised two children. After her marriage ended, she moved to Melbourne for a few years before returning to the area and marrying local solicitor Mick DuBourg in 1980, working as a nurse at ERH and then Murrayvale Aged Care for 30 years. Her 96-year-old mother lives in a retirement village in Geelong which sees Helen spending a lot of time on the road with regular visits. Now retired she volunteers at The Foundry Arts Space and ERH, and is part of a walking group which provides her with exercise and a social connection. Helen now lives in a central part of town with friendly neighbours and a school oval nearby giving her plenty of room for her two dogs Archie and Lilly to run around. “It’s a really lovely spot,” she said. “Within walking distance are 40 restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. You can just walk anywhere.”

Yvonne Pearce — 71 Y

VONNE PEARCE STARTED going to church as a child. Seven decades on, and despite some wavering commitment from time to time, that bond has never been stronger.

“I think I’d be like a ship without an anchor if I didn’t have it,” Yvonne said. “It is good for the heart. It adds an important dimension to my life.” Pearce has been chair at Echuca-Moama Uniting Church for the past three years. At the helm of one of the biggest churches in the twin towns Pearce knows all too well the challenges facing our places of worship. Congregations are dwindling and the viability of many churches is under threat. Pearce said she can understand why people find it difficult to regularly attend church. “I fell away at one stage when I came to Echuca (in 1979),” she said. “I would think, ‘Gee whiz, this minister is droll and boring’, and I was working five days a week. “So I totally understand why some people have difficulty finding the time. “Weekends are a precious time for families. I just wish there was more time for the commitment.” Before she was involved in the upper echelons of the local church, Pearce was a school

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teacher and for 27 dedicated years worked with Murray Human Services — including as a district co-ordinator. “My excuse for being there for so long was there were always changes. There was never a dull moment,” she said. “Since I retired, I admire the emphasis on inclusion. There wasn’t a lot of emphasis on the individual back then. “It was a truly rewarding role. In the early 1980s there started to be more accountability and more focus on individuals. “We would hold meetings on what the individual wanted and you could see their self-esteem grow.” When she’s not busy with the Uniting Church, Yvonne volunteers at Words on Wheels; reading books to people in nursing homes. She also has a passion for ancestry and can often be seen at Echuca-Moama Family History Group’s building on Murray Esplanade.

“I have my grandpa’s World War I diary,” she said. “It took two or three years to transcribe it so my grandkids could read it. He fought on the Western Front for a couple of months. “Fortunately he was sent back to London. Mum wasn’t born then, so my life could’ve been very different (if something happened to him). “Family history is just amazing. You’re always finding these surprises.” Pearce has three children and will celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary next year with husband Alan.


51-75

100 women of Bella

Anne Peace — 72 A

NNE PEACE IS more than happy to be in Bella as a septuagenarian – because 20 years ago she nearly died.

Cambodian Children’s Taskforce and is secretary of the Campaspe East Timor Association.

A routine surgical procedure went horribly wrong and left Peace — then the owner of Echuca’s historic Wistaria Café — in intensive care and fighting for her life.

Closer to home, she established a Foodbank in Bendigo in 2008.

“I didn’t think I’d make it,” she admits. Fortunately — not just for her, or her family, or even just the Echuca community, but various disadvantaged people across the world — Anne pulled through. In the years since, she has been a devoted campaigner for social justice and has been named a citizen of the year in Campaspe Shire. Much of her work in social justice has been as a Rotarian, and she’s been involved in the Echuca and Bendigo South branches for a combined 34 years. “It offers me an opportunity to do some good in the world,” Peace said. Aside from holding down various senior positions within the district, she has been heavily involved in programs supporting women experiencing poverty and inequality around the world. They include the Days for Girls hygiene program and repairing deformities for people in Cambodia. She is also a member of the Australian

“My passion is empowering women in third world countries to earn money to look after their families,” Peace said. “Being involved in those programs, you realise how valuable your life is and how lucky we are in Australia.” Among Peace’s other passions is the fight against the scourge of domestic violence, as it is something she has lived through.

“He was gorgeous. We had great times. We travelled overseas. “It was a short period with him but it was fantastic.” In 2006, during that marriage, Peace was named Campaspe Shire’s citizen of the year. The honour came as a surprise; especially given she was the organiser of the Echuca event. “They kept it from me!” she said. “That day I was invited to be a guest speaker in Gunbower, so I was trying to make sure our ceremony was finished in time. I had no idea.

“I was married for 23 years in a horrible rela- “I was just overcome with emotions. I’ve tionship which was often violent. He was a always been one to encourage others to do gambler and a drinker,” she said. the best they can and achieve what they can. “I can relate to family violence and why people don’t leave, as well as what the chil- “I don’t like being in the limelight.” dren go through and the residue they live Although the good times have often come with.” against a backdrop of loss and despair, She attributes her Christian faith — and its Peace is not one to seek sympathy. teachings centred on resilience and empaShe knows the hardships people face thy — to getting her through that marriage. around the world every day and, if anything, Fortunately Peace did ultimately find a she thinks her life has been fortunate. loving and stable relationship when she met “Everything I’ve done, I’ve thoroughly Geoff, a farmer. enjoyed and I feel like I’ve just had a priviSadly it would be far too short; they married leged life,” she said. but just six years later Geoff suddenly died. Peace has two adult daughters (including “I met Geoff at a charity ball in Echuca,” one in Kansas City), six grandchildren (one deceased) and one great-granddaughter. Peace said.

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Ruth Membrey — 73 R

UTH MEMBREY HAS made an enormous contribution to countless lives in Echuca-Moama.

2012 — six years after Norman’s death — the Australian Parliament issued a posthumous apology to him.

But when you sit down to talk with her, questions almost always come back to a man she knew half a century ago.

Ruth described it as “another life”, and assures people she is not sick of talking about her time with Peter.

For seven years, from the day she turned 20, Ruth was married to Peter Norman.

In fact, she recently nominated her three children and four-grandchildren to be baton holders for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year, which will fall 50 years after the infamous event.

The name might not immediately ring any bells, even though he was a champion athlete for Australia in the 1960s. Above all else, Norman is known across the world for his support of John Carlos and Tommie Smith when they made their famous raised-fist gesture at the 1968 Olympics 200 m medal ceremony. That act of solidarity cost the silver medallist. In 1972 he was not selected for the Olympic Games in Munich despite having held the Olympic record for 200 m and today, 49 years later; still holds the Australian record. When the Olympics arrived in Sydney in 2000, he was shunned. It was not until

“We actually never talked much about the incident,” she said. “We didn’t know much about what was going on in the US at the time. And when he was over there, there was never any communication, just postcards.

One day Peter told Ruth he didn’t love her anymore and the pair separated in 1971. Four years later she met Don and they eventually married. They came to Echuca in 1977 and eventually set up the Darrell Lea chocolate shop — which remained a staple of the Hare St shopping strip for 18 years. “Bringing Darrell Lea to Echuca was a great experience,” Ruth said. “It employed a lot of people and I still see people today who come up to me and say: ‘Do you remember when you employed me’?” Church has also been an enormous part of Ruth’s life. Her parents were Christians and she was raised as a Salvationist.

“He just came back and went about his life.”

“I’ve been involved with the church since I was in my mother’s womb, I think,” she said.

But Ruth said Norman found it difficult to come back from that notoriety and success and, as she puts it, “just be Mr Ordinary Man”.

She has taught scripture in schools for 20 years, spent 25 years supporting chaplaincy activities and continues to help out with fundraising. In 1999, Ruth and Don started a breakfast program in Echuca to help feed local youth who were struggling. “Don said to me one day while we were standing in the shop: ‘Why aren’t all these students (who are walking past) in school?’” she said. “I said, I don’t really know, let’s find out. “So we contacted the schools and the response came back that the students don’t really want to be there. “We heard some were living out of home and couch surfing for all sorts of reasons. “The first thing Don said — because he was always interested in food — was: ‘I wonder if they have breakfast’. “We went to the schools, spoke to the chaplains and eventually started up the breakfast program from the church on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “It is still going today.” Don passed away in 2006, the same year Peter died. When she’s not preoccupied with her various church activities, Ruth enjoys knitting, playing the piano, reading and selecting library books for retirement homes. “I’m very content with my life,” she said.

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51-75

100 women of Bella

Dot Pearse — 74 I

N RECENT YEARS, it’s been her grandson — champion swimmer Col — making the headlines. But talk to anyone in the LockingtonBamawm area and you’d be hard pressed to find a single soul who doesn’t know Dot Pearse. Born and raised in the local community, Dot’s input throughout the past half-a-century has seemed never ending. In a career spanning 38 years she cared for patients coming through Lockington’s small but crucial bush nursing hospital.

And for three decades she was also a dairy farmer. In the midst of which she opened her home to 13 children through foster care, took a job at Murrayvale for five years and served as a secretary and group leader with the Girl Guides and Scouts. Since 2008 she has been co-ordinator at Lockington Op Shop and in 2012 added the role of secretary with Lockington Senior Citizens — a title, Dot joked, she was yet to shake. “They offered me the role as secretary before I walked in the door,” she laughed. “They asked me to join the group but I said I was not one bit interested. But now I enjoy it.

“These old fuddy duddies are the most beautiful people you can come across. “I find I can fit in quite well and I enjoy the company.” With an infectious laugh and wicked sense of humour, it is little wonder Dot has enjoyed spending so much of her life working closely with other people. But when it came to the bush nursing hospital she now admits she relished the opportunity to work alone. “It was great. I was my own boss. I was the sole worker there,” she said.

even signed any papers.

“It was in the days before computers came along. We had to do absolutely everything ourselves. It was totally different.”

“We got a little bloke who was about eight or nine years old, and we just drove him home. You didn’t need anything, really.”

Two years before taking on that job, in 1969, Dot and her husband George took a big leap in their relationship and became foster carers.

The couple loved the children so much; they ultimately adopted three — two boys and one girl.

Dot was unable to have children and so they decided “it was something good we could do”.

Nowadays, when the Senior Citizens aren’t taking up her time, Dot can often be found at the Lockington Op Shop.

“It is a shop for people where they can just “It was so easy to take in children back then,” come in,” she said. Dot recalled. “They don’t have to buy anything; they can just come and have a cuppa and a chat. “I remember we went to an orphanage in Bendigo one day and there were no police checks or anything like that. I don’t think we

“There’s a social aspect to it — meeting people, listening, caring, sharing.”

For 22 years she worked as a mothercraft nurse at Echuca hospital, helping countless mothers in the special hours after the arrival of their babies.

handicapped) weren’t brought out into the community as much as they are now.”

Joy Hooper — 75 T

HE HOOPER NAME is indelibly imprinted on the history and progress of Echuca’s firefighting brigade.

And while she may not be the one playing the hose on the latest inferno, in many respects Joy Hooper has been on the frontline for the CFA for more than 50 years. In 1966 she was an inaugural member of the CFA Women’s Auxiliary, a group born out of a garage sale to help build a fire track at Victoria Park. Half a century later — and after seven terms as president and five as vice-president — Joy and the auxiliary are still going strong. “When I met (my husband) Ron he was a fireman, so I think that may have had something to do with my involvement,” she laughed. “I enjoy the friendship with the others in the auxiliary. We’ve done lots of things over the years, from concerts to family outings. “Now we do catering for the (fire brigade) championships and for small things like meetings.” Joy’s passion and devotion to the local CFA is so well known it can sometimes be easy to overlook her other contributions to the community.

“It was wonderful. I still have mothers coming up to me saying: ‘I remember when you helped with my child’,” she said. “I enjoy that. I think it’s very nice. Sometimes I remember the faces and the room they were in.”

She remains busy today with two children, six grandchildren, loves a hit of tennis at Echuca Village twice a week, and can regularly be sighted at indoor bowls. “I just enjoy life in general. Why be unenjoyable?” Joy said. 

She also experienced that strange phenomenon for many nurses — helping mothers who, years earlier, she nursed as children. On top of her work with the CFA and hospital, Joy also holds the distinction of working as Murray Human Services’ first supervisor. Between 1968 and 1969, back when MHS was known as Tehan House, Joy helped care for intellectually handicapped people. Her role involved teaching pupils basic, but important, tasks, such as crossing the road, posting letters, hygiene, woodwork, music and gardening. “It was a pleasant place to work,” she recalled. “It was a different era back then. Times have changed. They (the

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Empowering women one soul at a time Moama’s Sally Williams wants women to find their light and shine it brightly on the world. Using oracle cards, reiki healing and chakra balancing to support energy systems she is now planning to use her words to help the women of Echuca-Moama to be the best version of themselves. “My healing work brings relaxation, balance, releases stuck energy and shifts old habits and patterns,” she said. “I also love to mentor women in ongoing spiritual, soul and healing and can offer three different mentor sessions.” This month is her first of several columns to come.

Y

OUR WORDS ARE your wand. I know, I know.

It all sounds very Harry Potter-ish, doesn’t it? But I am serious. The power in the words we express to others, or think to ourselves, is like holding a wand with the ability to uplift and heal — or put down and harm. I see this with the many women I help with reiki healings and intuitive guidance readings. Their thoughts when they first come to see me are often negative and self-destructive. It keeps them stuck in certain habits, behaviours and patterns. Supporting them to release old thoughts

42

and stories and create new ones through action to serve them better moving forward is such an empowering process. How many of us really consider our words and intentions? Especially towards ourselves? Self-talk and your mindset are not just some new age mumbo jumbo. It truly defines our experience by attracting the essence and energy behind our words to ourselves. So be aware where you place your thoughts and words because we expand what we focus on. If you want more peace in your life then focus on all that you are grateful for and what’s working for you.

Let’s clean up our thoughts and attract beautiful experiences to ourselves by engaging in loving, kind and compassionate thoughts about ourselves and others. I encourage all Bella readers to understand their words as their wand. It’s time to remember the power and the magic they can create and time to be responsible for how we can uplift or harm people with them. Everything is energy. Your thoughts and words begin it, your emotions amplify it and your actions create momentum. Go on, give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised. What are you waiting for? 


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C��king up a sandwich with style Michelle Theodore loves having fun with food and has agreed to share some of her culinary concoctions with Bella readers — and starts her regular column with her take on a sandwich classic.

M

ICHELLE THEODORE DOESN’T dream of owning a restaurant.

And she doesn’t call herself a chef. She doesn’t even want to run a kitchen. But what she does want to do is make delicious, yummy food. Because Michelle loves it. She lives and breathes food as part of her catering business, Michelle Theodore Catering. But here’s the really good news; this month Bella has been lucky enough to secure her as our own foodie — with flair. In every Bella we will feature one of her tantalising treats — complete with recipe for

you to try at home. And what better way to kick things off than with a classic chicken sandwich? “It’s the perfect time for chicken sandwiches. I’ve been making them for years so I thought I’d show the women of Echuca-Moama how to create their own,” Michelle said. “I’ve loved working with food for as long as I can remember but I started doing it seriously a few years ago. “Food has been, and always will be, my passion. “I don’t want to be a restaurant. What I want is to be able to cater for parties and have fun while I’m doing it — and that’s what I do.”

Classic chicken sandwich (for 12) Ingredients: • Poached chicken breast (four large breasts) • Four sprigs of spring onion • Half a bunch of dill • Four egg yolks Drizzle with olive oil and lemon. • Touch of paprika • Salt (Murray River Pink Salt) and pepper • Dijon mustard • Poppy seed • Fresh white bread

Photo: Cindy Power Photography.

Method: • Bring four chicken breasts to the boil and turn down to simmer. • Simmer for 10 minutes and rest for 30 minutes. • When the chicken is cool chop into desired pieces. • Finely chop spring onion and dill. • Cut crunchy iceberg lettuce. • Butter bread with Australian butter. • Combine chicken, spring onion and dill with mayo before placing on bread. • Add fondly shredded lettuce if desired. • Cut sandwiches individually, not by the lots, with serrated bread knife to make sure the triangles stay neat and tidy. • Add poppy seeds for a touch of elegance.

Mayonnaise: • Whisk egg yolk, mustard, paprika and salt and pepper together. Add a constant drizzle of olive oil while whisking and lemon. • Salt and pepper to season. Tips: • Wait until chicken is cool before you start making the sandwiches. • When you’re making the homemade mayonnaise make sure you’re using a steel whisk instead of a silicon whisk. • Keep a tea towel under the bowl to prevent it from slipping so you can have one hand free.

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Blush — the busine�� of hair J

ESS FANNING IS an alchemist, her mystic skill to take a plain head of hair, blonde to brunette, long or short, and turn it into a chic statement of style.

Thomson were determined to create as part of their signature.

Her art is also a calling, a lifelong passion, her salon Blush is an extension of the love and the commitment she has to her clients and to the industry.

“We want our clients to walk through the door and immediately feel relaxed — no matter how long you are sitting in the chair, whether it’s for a quick trim or a cut and colour, we want everyone to feel they are a new person when they leave,” Jess said.

The Nish St salon is a beautiful and tranquil space, an ambience Jess and fellow hairdressers Jamilla Campbell and Rebecca

A 10-year industry veteran, Jess has been running her own business for more than three years — with Blush the incarnation of

46

that talented evolution. "I have gone from an apprentice, managing a salon to rent a chair and now Blush  — ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be a hairdresser,” she said. “I love making my clients feel good and I love creating great hair styles. Opening my own salon is a dream come true and I am looking forward to working with my existing clients, welcoming new ones and growing my business.”


“I love meeting people and I could talk all day,” she laughed. “Like Jess and Jamilla I also love the fact I can improve somebody’s day just by cutting or colouring their hair.” The girls work as a team but each runs their own appointment book — they all enjoy attending the latest courses and updating their skills on a regular basis. “We certainly like to keep up with the latest trends and improving our skills and learning new techniques is another great part of the job — trends are always changing and it certainly keeps things interesting,” Jess added. Blush specialises in weddings and is happy to open the salon after hours or work on location and is able to accommodate any size bridal party.

Jess said interacting with clients — many of whom have become friends — is one of the

Now, she said, she couldn’t imagine being anything else.

best parts of the business.

“I love hairdressing and I love changing people’s appearances and making them feel feel better about themselves, it’s a real posi- happy. Hairdressing is a great industry to be in and it is very rewarding.” tive of the job.”

“I love talking to people and making them

Jamilla, who once planned on being an agronomist, agreed, saying one of the best decisions of her life was to leave school and take on an apprenticeship.

Rebecca has returned to Echuca-Moama after a decade in Perth. As a mother of three she likes the flexibility hairdressing provides her and her family.

“We love being involved in weddings and it is such an honor to style hair for such a very special day,” Jess said. In the future the girls will be incorporating other beauty services into the business including waxing. They currently stock Unite, Jeval and GHD products and gift vouchers are also available on request. Blush is open Tuesday and Thursday 9 am to late, Wednesday and Friday 9 am – 6 pm and Saturday 8 am – 1 pm. For appointments please call 5480 1918. 

47


Table Equations

THE ELEMENTS TO THE PERFECT TABLE SETTING PHOTOGRAPHY LUKE HEMER | STYLING LISA COX, I WANT I NEED

The warm weather is on its way, daylight savings is here, we can all shrug off the winter blues and start our entertaining ways again. Nothing is more welcoming than a beautiful set table, the design, crockery and colours used set the mood for any event. There is no right or wrong way to style your table. Trends are very much influenced this year in combining all colours and textures to your table. Large dinner plates with a lovely lip on edge seem to be very popular. The dark setting makes all our kitchen creation look like they came off the set of Masterchef. Even Nan’s old 70s style dinnerware has come back around to trend. No longer are our cutlery choices just the traditional Maxwell & Williams set, we are now spoilt for choice,

ROBERT GORDON MERCHANT RANGE Extra Large Dinner Plate Charcoal or White $24.95 Large Dinner Plate Charcoal or White $18.95

ROBERT GORDON MERCHANT RANGE Side Plate Charcoal or White $14.95

Matt Black, Copper and Brass now grace the shelves making the choice harder. Of course I WANT them all. Another cheats trick to adding personality to the table with minimal expense, use wrapping paper as your table runner or place mats. Works a treat to set a theme, is a very useful tip at Christmas time. So get busy, contact all the friends you haven’t seen while you have been in hibernation for the winter.

The Dinner party is on.

ROBERT GORDON MERCHANT RANGE Bowl Charcoal or White $23.95

INDIGO LOVE MANHATTAN CUTLERY SET 4-piece cutlery set Rose Gold $44.95


Meet The Garden Planners C

RAIG AND KATE Turner have been colouring the regional Victorian landscape with their design for more than 20 years. From the fantastic to the functional, the amazing to the affordable, they have an answer to every question.

And it all starts with a free consultation in your garden, or where your future garden will be, to give you the complete picture of what can be achieved in the space you have and at the price you want. Craig said the Garden Planners offers the latest in innovative computer-aided technology to deliver the perfect garden design. “We offer a detailed and focused approach, moving away from traditional high-end and often expensive horticulture design to deliver practical and affordable landscapes,” Craig said.

Craig and Kate Turner

“A beautiful garden doesn’t have to cost the earth.”

Plant of the month

Time to get dirty

Sugarberry Ruffles (Lavandula)

LET’S green up your lawn and be the envy of your street.

THIS is a must add to your garden. This stunner produces prolific flowering in a stunning range of colours, with its larger, standout ruffled-like wing flowers. With a compact, mounded habit Lavandula also offers improved disease resistance and will complement most garden landscapes, delivering interest to full-sun positions. Its flowers are held neatly above the beautiful grey-green foliage.

With the warmer weather and the breaking of winter dormancy, spring is an important time to fertilise and get the jump on growth. Don’t forget summer is also an important time to continue fertilising your lawn to maintain even growth patterns. Be sure to check the application rates on your preferred fertiliser and remember to adjust your rates depending on your soil types.

Also perfect for pots.

WE DESIGN GARDENS...YOU BRING THEM TO LIFE At The Garden Planners we are passionate about beautiful and affordable landscape design. CRAIG TURNER craig@thegardenplanners.com.au

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Thank you Gunbower Butter Factory for the location Open Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm | Saturday 10 am – 2 pm | Stocking Sizes 6–16 250 Pakenham St Echuca | 5482 3726 | sales@sageinspirations.com.au

www.sageinspirations.com.au


The value of an alternative approach Y

OU’RE NOT YOU when you’re sick.

Suzy said acupuncture was also a great way to support your adrenal function and boost your immune system. She said it was also a great way to support your body, reducing the symptoms of many illnesses and speeding up the healing of infection.

Every woman knows that.

It’s why Bella has teamed up with two health experts on a mission to help the women of Echuca-Moama become a healthier version of themselves.

“Regular acupuncture therapy can be effective in reducing the symptoms associated with many diseases including asthma, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, colds and infections,” she said.

Echuca Family Acupuncture’s Suzy McCleary (Doctor of Chinese medicine) and Naturopath Kelly Fenton have come on board to offer their words of wisdom. Starting with women aged 50 and older.

“Nurturing your adrenal glands supports their capacity to produce not only stress hormones but also oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone as well.”

Also avoid refined carbohydrates, too much caffeine and foods which are ‘heating in nature’.

To boost our immune system Suzy suggests: • A cool shower once a day. • Exercise outside, whatever the weather, is beneficial. • Eat good quality food in appropriate amounts. • Sleep well and regularly aiming to be in bed by 10.30 pm at the latest. • Manage stress and working hours where possible. Meditation is just one way stress can be managed and takes little time or money to accomplish. As little as 10 minutes a day can boost the immune system and keep the body healthy. • Avoid antibiotics, antihistamines and sinus medication where possible. • Regular monthly acupuncture sessions to support and strength immunity allowing it to react swiftly and strongly to threats. • A simple acupressure point to improve immunity is located at the outer end of the elbow crease, when the arm is flexed. Rubbing this acupuncture point with your finger for 30 to 60 seconds can restore health and wellbeing. 

Kelly said good nutrition could never be understated and “essentially provides your body with the building blocks to make hormones”.

“Sometimes we make all the right moves and still have symptoms, in this case herbal medicine has a lot to offer and may warrant further consideration,” Kelly said.

*This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult a healthcare professional for individual assessments.

Kelly said it was usually around this age women started to hear the words heart disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer and colon cancer, and have likely already entered menopause. “If you fit into the latter category and are Kelly Fenton and Suzy McCleary. experiencing symptoms of night sweats, hot flushes, dryness, poor sleep, crawling skin, “Protein and good quality fats are imperative anxiety, low mood or mood swings let me ‘tools’ your body will utilise to produce the offer you some comfort, because although hormones you need at this time,” she said. this is a time of change it is also a time to nurture yourself into your next phase of life” “Good fats are so important to help us with she said. the ‘drying out’ conditions associated with menopause.” “The adrenal glands (stress glands) play a significant role in the production of hormones during and after menopause. “For this reason stress management and adrenal support are important considerations when looking to eliminate or manage those menopausal symptoms.

Include phytoestrogen foods such as alfalfa, mung beans, linseeds, chickpeas and parsley which act like weak estrogens in the body and help to decrease symptoms and avoid poor quality fats such as vegetable oils, which act as free radicals and take up vital space in cell membranes.

Alternative Medicine Providers Introducing Naturally Nutrition & Herbal Medicine to Echuca Family Acupuncture Kelly Fenton • Naturopathy • Energy Support • Digestive Health • Stress Support • Immune Disorders

Dr Suzy McCleary (TCM) & Dr Yoo Sun Hwang (TCM)

337 High Street Echuca Phone 5480 2095 echucafamilyacupuncture.com.au

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Fashions are on track for Cup Day The Melbourne Cup is the biggest social day on the Australian calendar, and Echuca-Moama is no exception staging its own Fashions in the Field at the annual Melbourne Cup Day meeting at Echuca racecourse.

T

HERE AREN’T TOO many fields as fashionable as Thoroughbred racing.

Racing and fashion go hand in hand. Every year thousands of racegoers make their way through the gates at Echuca’s racecourse on Melbourne Cup Day for the Moama Bowling Club Melbourne Cup Day meeting. And it doesn’t get any bigger or better — and it isn’t just all about racing. Because a lot of those who turn up have fashion as their focus; especially the annual Fashions on the Field. The carefully-co-ordinated outfits from footwear to fascinators — matched with the makeup and hair — are a fixture on the social calendar. And with more than $6000 in prizes up for grabs it can be a singularly rewarding experience. Echuca Racing Club chief executive Leigh Newton said he expected the Moama Bowling Club Fashions on the Field event to be as popular as ever. Leigh said people come from far and wide

54

to strut the catwalk in front of an enthusiastic crowd of spectators. “Last year we had more than 130 entries competing for titles and some seriously good prizes as the many fashionistas took the opportunity to showcase their spring and summer racing style,” he said.

children with games and fun competitions. Live music will help fill the gaps between races and the Carlton and United Breweries Clydesdale team will prove a popular attraction.

“People young and old enjoy seeing the majestic Clydesdales and love having their “A $6000 prize pool is a significant draw- photo taken with them as well,” Leigh said. card and all sponsors are local and great “Our hospitality on this major day extends to supporters of the racing club and this event.” plenty of options, from your own marquee, Categories include lady of the day, gent of a variety of food options or even an entrée the day, most fashionable young person, ticket for the glamorous colts and fillies junior fashion of the day, millinery award enclosure. and more. “We’ve literally got something for everyone. Leigh said final categories and prizes would All our packages include general entry and be confirmed closer to the day and particiafter that you can take your pick.” pants could enter on course. Annual ERC membership is available for The fashion and entertainment precinct also only $85; or $110 for member and guest, provides patrons with the opportunity to which includes entry into The Pavilion. enjoy the atmosphere of the day, with the Buses will operate to and from the course racing action from Flemington and around from Echuca and Moama and parking at the Australia sharing the big screen with the track is free. local events. There will also be new cup day competitions held along the home straight between races, complemented by an entertainment area for

To book packages and tickets phone 5482 2487 or visit country.racing.com/ Echuca 


MOAMA BOWLING CLUB

MELBOURNE CUP DAY

@ ECHUCA RACING CLUB TUESDAY 7 NOVEMBER EXCITEMENT Enjoy the excitement of thoroughbred racing and the race that stops a nation – The Melbourne Cup. ENTERTAINMENT

FASHIONS ON THE FIELD

over $6,000 in prizes to be won! Live Music, Kids’ Playground, Superscreen and lots of entertainment will be on course. General admission $25 pp. STYLE Upgrade and enjoy the day in style with a range of dining, marquee and enclosure packages. TRAVEL Shuttle buses running all day from Echuca and Moama.

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Thirty Something

I’m late. Now there’s two words to strike fear into any single girl’s heart I

’M LATE. AGAIN.

It is perhaps the one flaw in my otherwise very organised, well-rounded personality. But the reason I am panicking is this is THE late.

And it’s very late. Which also probably helps you fill in the gaps about the new man in my life that I have not been overly forthcoming with — until now. Because the acid test is now unavoidable. Where you really find out whether they really will love you in the morning. I’ve had a sneaking suspicion, one that was quickly banished to the back of my mind. But last week, and now this week, there has been no avoiding the inevitable. And someone is going to have to hear about it. The trick is; do I deliver the news diluted by an ocean of tears? Or do I stand up as a proud and independent woman and take full responsibility for what is about to happen? I thought I had been ready for most of the surprises life has a predilection for hiding around the corners to act as happiness hurdles. Even as I write this my left knee is jerking uncontrollably. Which, as the aforementioned proud and independent young woman, wounded me even more than what I am about to divulge to the man.

which is why I am so amazed to find myself so rattled, I have had to pick up the pieces when some Tier A friends have found themselves in the same condition. You think everything is going beautifully, life is good, the job is good, the dog is happy and healthy and you have allowed a member of the opposite sex not just back into your life, but also into your sanctum sanctorum. They get to see you without that subtle touch of makeup, with bed hair and other features you normally prefer to keep safely hidden — even from family display only. I don’t like sharing mornings with the morning, let alone anyone else. So expecting to be part of my worst part of my day is at your own risk, I cannot be held responsible for what might happen. What might happen, why did I say that? I know what’s going to happen, it could be a script from The Bachelor it’s so pre-ordained.

Tonight with words unspoken You say that I’m the only one But will my heart be broken When the night meets the morning sun I’ve actually got a pretty good idea what’s coming next. Once or twice in the past I have thought I was caught, but hey, this is the 21st-century and a girl is in total control of everything. Except, I am fast learning, her nerves. He has phoned twice this afternoon and I have let the phone ring. I don’t think even I can deliver this news over the phone, much as I would simply like to send a text and then turn mine off. For a long, long time. Blast, he’s ringing again. So with my hand now shaking as badly as that knee I picked it up and pushed talk. “Hi sweetheart, I’ve got some bad news,” I stammered.

One moment we were your typical (actually much better than typical) glam couple “Me too,” he replied. around town and now this has happened. “Oh,” I said. “You go first.” No, it’s time to be honest even if only with myself, because it hasn’t happened. And I just can’t get Carole King’s words and music out of my head; it’s on a seemingly endless loop: Tonight you’re mine, completely You give your love so sweetly Tonight the light of love is in your eyes But will you love me tomorrow Is this a lasting treasure

“OK, I’m ringing to tell you we might have to postpone dinner, mum is feeling sick and won’t be able to make it, and I so wanted you to meet her.” “Oh, darling,” I said, lying through my teeth. “That’s a shame, I was running a bit late but had been sure I would reach the restaurant in time, I know how much you wanted the two women in your life to get to know each other.” “Yes, maybe next time she’s in town we can try and set it up.”

Because bitter experience warned me this was not going to go well.

Or just a moment’s pleasure Can I believe the magic in your sighs

Yes, I mouthed as I punched the air.

While it has not happened to me before,

Will you still love me tomorrow

I’m back in control and back on time. 

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We can take you there. Call in and see Tara, Jess, Kirsten and Bernie

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Frinkle is about doing desserts your way. Located inside Moama Bowling Club 6 Shaw Street Moama ♼

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When a creative concept is a capital idea Young entrepreneur Brooke Glennen tells SOPHIE BALDWIN about taking a schoolgirl enthusiasm for art and ideas and turning it into a bespoke business on the verge of going global.

S

OMETIMES ALL IT takes is a creative concept — and a lot of hard work — for dreams to become your reality.

Just ask Brooke Glennen, founder of By Brooke Creative. This artistically-talented 22-year-old has tapped into childhood inspirations to create a designer product range. A range that began with three remarkable books she wrote; designed and illustrated but that is now expanding further into the children’s market. A design expansion that can now be seen in boutique gift stores and that has also been featured in House and Garden magazine and the Sunday Age. She is embracing her growing business with stockists throughout Australia and New Zealand with an ambition to go even further offshore. Growing up in Echuca, Brooke always saw her life heading in an artistic direction. From a young age she loved to create, whether it was through art and drawing or creating cosy spaces where she could curl up and feel warm and safe.

the creative works she knew it was exactly what she wants to study. She was accepted into the institute and completed a Bachelor of Design in 2016. “In my last year of studies it was part of the design process to conduct some self -discovery about who I was and the person it made me as a designer.

business, which was a challenge, the part of adapting my thinking to the discipline of a business perspective. “I am very lucky to have such supportive parents who are still helping me find my feet.” Brooke said it took her around six months to establish her designer range from concept to final product.

“When I was little I was fascinated by miniaPart of her journey was to take her range to “It was during this reflection that I realised ture forms. My range draws on my thoughtthe Life Instyle tradeshow in Sydney to do how influenced I was by my childhood and ful upbringing and I want to instill those some market research. how it shaped me.” same feelings in the next generation. The My Mindful Child series consists of three “The thought of attending the tradeshow was “Using a bespoke giftware range, adopting pretty scary. I was lucky to get some really handmade techniques to create meaning- delicately handcrafted storybooks — Calm, valuable advice from some of the stockful keepsakes for children and parents alike,” Kind and Sleep. ists and it ended up being a really exciting she said. The series focuses on mindfulness and couple of days, especially to end up with a encouraging conscious parenting, each But Brooke never realised when she was a number of Sydney outlets and have my work book comes with its own series of medi- featured in the media. teenager where her realistic drawings and tation exercises and a sensory object that portraits would take her out in the big wide “I am currently looking at expanding overengages the child’s sense of touch. world. seas with an artwork commission for a baby Not only did Brooke do all the contents, “I left Year 12 at Moama Anglican Grammar boutique in the US, I hope this opens more she bound and covered each book by hand, doors and I’m very excited to see my prodnot quite sure what I wanted to do — I just making them a tangible labour of love. knew it had to be creative,” Brooke said. uct in another country.” “I believe each design serves a purpose by introducing settling experiences into the home,” she said.

She has also designed woollen pods; cosy structures with a soft faux fur lining that can be suspended from the ceiling.

“I want young children to experience the love and support that shapes a generation of healthy and happy minds.”

“My teachers were very proud of my project and encouraged me to take my idea to the market,” she said.

An open day at the Whitehouse Institute of Design inspired Brooke, and after viewing

“From that point I started marketing my products and turning my designs into a

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Brooke added a major part of her journey has been learning to back herself. “I have always had an attention to detail but I was worried I couldn’t produce what I had in my head. “Once I realised I could, it became a passion and even though I was daunted, I just let go and went for it.” 


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Gestational Diabetes In Australia each year more than 17,000 women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes which if not appropriately managed can cause complications in pregnancy and the birth with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Blood glucose levels are regulated by a hormone called insulin which is produced in the pancreas. Insulin moves the glucose out of the blood into all the cells in the body as glucose is the preferred source of energy. Diabetes is diagnosed when there is a rise in the blood glucose levels above the normal level.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes normally becomes apparent as you progress into the 2nd and 3rd trimester. In pregnancy you need more than the usual amount of insulin as you are providing for both you and your child and this increases as your pregnancy progresses. By the 3rd trimester your placenta is producing other hormones that can reduce the effectiveness of your insulin leading to high glucose levels. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when either your pancreas is unable to produce the extra insulin needed, or the insulin you do make doesn’t work as well and your body is resistant to its effects.

Who is at risk?

Gestational diabetes is screened for between 24–28 weeks. You are at greater risk if you: • have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy • have a family history of gestational diabetes or Type 2 diabetes • have had polycystic ovary syndrome • have previously given birth to a large baby • have a twin or triplet pregnancy • are an Indigenous or Torres Straight Islander Australian • are over 30 years of age • are overweight • from certain ethnic backgrounds such as Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, African, Polynesian/Melanesian, Middle Eastern

How do we know?

Routinely at 24–28 weeks in the pregnancy we perform a glucose tolerance test which will indicate if the blood glucose level is elevated. This test may be done earlier in the pregnancy if you have any of the risks factors mentioned.

What are the risks involved in having gestational diabetes?

High blood glucose levels in pregnancy can result in a baby that is too large for its gestational age and can require an early delivery, or caesarean section. Babies accustomed to high blood glucose levels in the pregnancy can quickly develop low blood glucose shortly after the birth and need treatment to help return their blood glucose to normal levels. Studies have shown approximately 50% of women who have had gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within 10–20 years.

Most importantly, how do we manage gestational diabetes?

This is a team effort, involving you and your partner and your health care team. Your doctor, specialist, midwife, credentialed diabetes educator and dietitian are here to help. We encourage you with dietary and physical exercise advice and if required will assist with managing your blood glucose levels with medications. Dietary advice will include eating regularly, eating small amounts often, and choosing complex carbohydrates that are high in ďŹ bre and have a lower glycaemic load. Carbohydrates that have little nutritional value are best avoided. Physical activity helps to reduce insulin resistance and assist in lowering blood glucose levels. Brisk walking for example will help keep you ďŹ t and prepare you for the birth of your baby. Frequent checking of your blood glucose allows us to guide your treatment. Your credentialed diabetes educator will show you how to monitor your levels, provide you with a testing meter and initial supplies and give you advice about what to do if the levels are above the target range, which is : â&#x20AC;˘ before breakfast <5 mmol/L â&#x20AC;˘ 2 hours after meals <6.7 mmol/L

While the majority of women with gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies and have no problems at the birth, high blood glucose levels can lead to problems for you and your baby such as increasing your risk of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.

References and more information can be found at: www.ndss.com.au/gestational-diabetes www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/managing-gestational-diabetes

Echuca Moama Family Medical Practice providing quality primary healthcare to the rural community. 1 Martin St, Moama 179â&#x20AC;&#x201C;183 Annesley St, Echuca

(03)54802933 (03)54806001

Despite making changes to diet and activity levels up to 15% of women with gestational diabetes need medications to manage their glucose levels. Insulin injections are sometimes required and your doctor and credentialed diabetes educator will assist you with your individual plan, education and initial supplies for insulin during your pregnancy.

Planning for labour and birth

Your glucose levels will be watched closely during labour and most women return to normal levels after the birth. This is because their insulin needs return to normal and the baby is able to make their own insulin. Your credentialed diabetes educator routinely registers you with the National Diabetes Service Scheme which will trigger an automatic reminder 6â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12 weeks after delivery to repeat of the oral glucose tolerance ensuring your levels have returned to normal. Before you get pregnant again your doctor will want to do a diabetes test, then again early in the pregnancy and 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2 yearly thereafter. Your doctor and credentialed diabetes educator are very important in helping you manage gestational diabetes but your best protection is a healthy diet, weight and activity plan.


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It's a sch��l, a sch��l of life

M

OAMA ANGLICAN GRAMMAR is not just in the education business, it also has a strong focus on producing community assets — the young women and men it will equip to be leaders, contributors and an active part of their local community. School captain Kerrie Dick arrived at Moama Grammar after finishing primary school at Bunnaloo.

“I came from a little school of 50 students in total to 700 students at Grammar and it was such a big change for me at the time,” Kerrie said. Having been involved in a leadership role at the school every year since she enrolled, Kerrie said that had allowed her to organise some great community events including youth and reconciliation weeks. “I am lucky to have been given so many opportunities from the school over the years, which have helped me develop some great leadership skills which will definitely help me in the future,” Kerrie said. Now considering a double degree in psychology and law she said involvement in school debating, for example, has shown her how to express an opinion and capture an audience. “I have been given the skills to develop my strengths and I think this is going to really help me when I leave school.” Just about to complete Year 12, Kerrie said the teachers have gone out of their way to help the cohort. “They have sacrificed their time for us to do well and they have even offered classes for us during the school holidays.” Access to co-curricular programs, such as her participation in the school musical Seussical Jnr, has played a pivotal role in helping round out her development. Primary school captain Alysha Toohill made the move to Grammar from Kyabram as a Year 4 student. “I was very, very nervous but everyone was so welcoming and took me in and now I love it — it has been a big change,” Alysha said. “I like learning new things and I like English, maths, history and geography. I have been involved in junior public speaking competitions and it has been great to be able to express myself, even though it is a little bit nerve wracking.” Alysha said she also loved the responsibility of being a role model to the younger students. “The student leaders went to Bendigo and learn about group leadership and we were involved in some really fun activities and role plays which helped me a lot. “There are a lot of opportunities and a lot of great students and teachers at Moama Grammar, along with great facilities that tie everything together,” she said. 

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Sally Williams

Soul Nurturer

Brought to you by

Sagittarius (November 23 – December 21) You’d think that life would have settled by now, but not so. The cosmos may taunt you with temptation, only to snatch the prize away. Instead of worrying, keep one eye on the past, one eye on the future and your feet in the present. After the 15th, a nurturing cosmos returns you to steadier ground. Your new confidence also works well in love, and this time - the trophy stays in sight.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 20) There’s a sensual feeling to October that makes love an easy affair. Whether it’s your relaxed attitude that lifts your magnetism, or your popularity that betters your mood - it doesn’t matter. In the end, each of these qualities will enhance the other. This is a cycle you certainly won’t want to break. A similar theme applies to love. There’s a chance of finding a karmically linked soul.

Aquarius (January 21 – February 18) Sometimes the best form of defence is attack. Even so, in early October you could be opting for overkill. By all means remain assertive, if need be. But what others suggest may not be all wrong. Compromise is the key. If still feeling unappreciated by late month, stay patient. Your special talents haven’t been forgotten by the cosmos. There could also be financial gain.

Pisces

Virgo

Your October

HOROSCOPES by Tanya Obreza

Leo (July 23 – August 23)

(September 23 – October 23) The future looks bright, but unhurried - a welcome change from last year’s madness. It’s all about doing well, making it all happen at the right time. Professionally, act with confidence, secure in the knowledge that the planets will serve you well. Even if there’s small setbacks, they won’t last long. There’s plenty of potential for romance; both in the areas of serious pursuits and delightful distractions. This next year also hints at a financial uplift, with the source of your good fortune stemming from more than just one well.

Leos work hard and play wild. When the going’s good, you effortlessly transform from playful kitten to feisty lioness. Just don’t forget the catnaps, or you’ll use up too many lives too soon. Still, there’s precious little chance of keeping you still this month. You want to be out and about and far removed from routine. Attempts to keep you tamed will only cause trouble. Retract those claws.

Cancer

Scorpio

(June 22 – July 22)

(October 24 – November 22) You’ve proved what a supportive person you can be Scorpio, but now you need to turn away for a while and devote yourself to more spiritual endeavours. Recently, it’s been no picnic dealing with family or siblings but happily, mutual communication skills have markedly improved. You’re finally on the same page - which is handy with all the small print coming up.

(March 21 – April 20)

Chances are you have a host of halffinished projects that are ready to be trashed. Great timing, as the cosmos offers exciting new starts. Travel looks likely, as does the chance to retrain. You also become more ambitious, with a growing awareness of your talents. In doing so, unacceptable conditions are no longer tolerated. Just don’t assume authority on every topic. It’s a sure bet someone with more knowledge will call your bluff.

This month’s focus shifts to what you want out of life, not what others expect from you. New friendships or romance may crop up, while those already happily coupled zero in on wilder delights. Financially, we all know about the evils of materialism, but it’s still nice to surround yourself with luxuries - especially when cash flow looks like improving. Be extravagant.

Libra

Aries

(February 19 – March 20)

(August 24 – September 22)

Contact with older colleagues should have a steady influence in your life, with one possibly taking you under their mentor’s wing. The only hitch comes when Saturn tries to confuse matters. If you’re fighting for a worthy cause, expect some heated exchanges. Working well with others requires honesty and a willingness to leave egos at the door. Do this, and you’re promised unprecedented success.

There could be moments in October when you feel like you’re on the wrong side of a long battle. Not only has your support team deserted you, but they’re attacking the ideals that originally forged your friendships. Your authority at work could also be undermined. Life can only get better, as month’s end turns up some surprises. New friends, perhaps? Romance, too. Or maybe an extra cash.

Taurus

Gemini

(April 21 – May 20)

(May 21 – June 21)

Enjoy being in demand as you have planetary permission to flaunt your talents. However, late October brings a tetchy cosmos and with it an emotional dilemma. You can suffer in silence or speak out. If in doubt, ask whether you should be pandering to someone else’s ego just to keep the peace. Financially, a project shelved earlier this year should start to pay off.

Your health needs attention, Gemini. This means fewer rushed meals and more exercise. Belligerent co-workers or family suffer your wrath around the 17th. You’ve lost patience with broken promises and petulance.. Perhaps you feel it’s call-out time for someone who hasn’t been honest. If single and hoping to meet someone special, stop hiding. Get out there and shine.

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Sophie’s Single

It’s enough to make you feel sick As if divorce wasn’t enough to go through our suddenly single columnist finds there is always a new challenge around the corner — without even taking driving lessons for children into account.

I

T’S FUNNY HOW life goes. One minute you can literally be running along without a care in the world and bang, something you love all of a sudden becomes a pain. Real, physical pain. I thought I was pretty impressive competing in two half marathons in three weeks. I knew I could do it fitness wise and after running the Gold Coast half marathon in two hours and 14 bloody seconds (yes; that still haunts me) I was determined to redeem myself and get my time under two hours for Run Melbourne.

It was a beautiful day for doing it and I am happy to report I did run that bastardly twisting and undulating Melbourne course in one hour and 58 minutes — life was grand. Until I decided to make my way to the car after the run. I could hardly walk and as the day progressed things got worse, not better. But not as bad as the next day, or anywhere near as bad as the day after that. So after the unavoidable trip to the doctor, then an ultrasound and finally a specialist, I am on my way to surgery. After two years of exercising like a demon,

getting stronger, fitter, faster, I am facing my biggest nightmare — FORCED REST FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS. Just the thought of that is making me feel ill.

perfect time to swim 4 km, ride 180 km and run 42.195 km. I just need to do it all within 17 hours and tick that little box off and maybe I can rest after that.

Exercise has been such an important part of my life for so many years, particularly after my separation, and I am not quite sure how to take the news.

My littlest bubba got her Ps in August and after 19.5 years of running both my children around, that role has officially become redundant.

Yes, I have body niggles and yes, the rest will do me good as my friends and personal trainer keep telling me, and yes, I know things could certainly be worse, but I have never sat still in my life.

It’s a rather strange feeling to finally have independent children, well independent in the sense that they can drive themselves. I am still in charge of feeding, clothing and paying the bills — I am pretty sure they won’t want to give that up anytime soon.

Not ever. Not even when I was pregnant. So for me two whole weeks sounds like forever. So maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but I actually don’t want to be left alone with my head for that long either, although on the positive side it will be a good opportunity to plan out my next few physical challenges, culminating (body permitting) in a full ironman at Port Macquarie next year. I have been thinking about the ironman for quite some time and have come to the conclusion there is never going to be the

But I am glad I no longer have to sit in the front passenger seat holding on with white knuckles, trying to keep calm. Any parent who has been through the L plate age (it seemed like an age, and certainly aged me) will certainly know what I am talking about — the constant battle of biting your tongue and trying not to yell, even when your very life flashes before your eyes. Now as I ponder my enforced hiatus I have more time to lay awake at night wondering where my children are and if they are safe, the worry just doesn’t seem to ever end, it just moves on to the next bloody thing. 

Australia is made up of 50 percent women, 50 percent men. An effective parliament should represent that. www.peterwalsh.org.au peterwalshmp peterwalshmp Peter Walsh MP 466 High St, Echuca Ph 5482 2039 or 1300 467 906 Funded from Parliament’s Electorate Office & Communications Budget.

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Bella magazine (issue 11) 100dpi  
Bella magazine (issue 11) 100dpi