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Edition 8 —  April 2017



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Issue 8, April 2017


On the cover 10


Good Stuff

Inside 7

New face on the Bella team


Every end is a new beginning


If you are feeling overwhelmed, try some good stuff


Snakes alive, get me a ladder


I’ll tumble for you


Baby I just love this business


The power of the woman behind the leader


Bite me. So they did


A gift for the moment — or for generations


How does a netballer get her kicks?


Embracing Echuca-Moama with a holistic approach to wellbeing


Glamping — putting some class into camping


It’s her walk of life


Good mother, good journalist and a medical miracle


Lakeview — where dreams can come true


Running for her life (and swimming and cycling too)


Why pregnancy doesn’t have to mean pain


Chickpeas and some tomato curry


A long story in the making


Sophie’s Single


Thirty Something

Contact us

Bella editor Tyla Harrington 5482 1111



54 Bella advertising Vanessa Brewis 5482 1111

Want more Bella? Instagram — @bellamagazineechuca


Photography: Luke Hemer Editorial design: Brendan Cain Advertising design: Bella Considine, Brendan Cain, Jacqui Maskell and Adele Dhillon


Indigenous Health

The facts we have to face

Njernda Aboriginal Corporation and Coburn & Reid Pharmacy have joined forces in a concerted campaign to help formalise a local, professional health support service for the region’s indigenous community. The first step in this health partnership will be introducing an extensive medication review protocol to ensure correct dosage and correct delivery in the most cost-effective manner. By providing cutting-edge pharmaceutical support services such as these, Coburn & Reid is demonstrating its commitment to whole-of-community care. The partnership will give Njernda patients the options of one-on-one service in the privacy of the Njernda centre with the assistance of one of Coburn & Reid’s accredited pharmacists. Medication review will also incorporate a wider partnership between patient, doctor and Coburn & Reid ensuring a consistent delivery of professional input.


Indigenous Australians were 4 times more likely to be hospitalised for chronic conditions compared with non-Indigenous Australians.


Indigenous Australians were 3 times more likely to suffer from diabetes compared with non-Indigenous Australians.




of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 2 years and over had some form of Cardiovascular disease.


of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had diabetes. About 2% of these adults did not selfreport that they had diabetes, which may indicate that they were unaware they had the condition.


The prevalence of kidney disease as a long-term health condition was 3.7 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

After working through the pharmacist’s assessment, the patient can then reach a medication management agreement.


In a relationship which is expected to grow into a holistic strategy with the goal of establishing a new benchmark in the Echuca-Moama medical support sector.

Reference: 2012-2013 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey (AATSIHS)

Book in with Njernda or at Coburn & Reid Pharmacy for your medication review Brent Coburn and Steve Reid

Exclusive stockists for Echuca-Moama

177 Annesley Street, Echuca Phone: (03) 5480 6011

New face on the Bella team


ITH THE DEPARTURE of Bella founding advertising executive Carly Richardson we are delighted to introduce Vanessa Brewis, who will now be at the helm of the magazine’s advertising. Vanessa has been with the Riverine Herald for the past two years, joining us from the Kyabram Free Press.

“Having worked closely with Carly across a range of projects for the past 12 months since Bella began, it’s now my time to step up and help our exciting magazine keep growing,” Vanessa said. “We are all tremendously proud of what Bella has already delivered to Echuca-Moama

and I am incredibly pumped about this new and fresh challenge for me to work with all our fantastic business partners,” she said.

we are all interested in and I can promise you it will continue to celebrate the women of our region.

“You may have already seen me around town — for me Echuca-Moama has been a large part of my life.

“And working with such business savvy

“I grew up in Rochester, have worked in Kyabram but spent most of my life here — and now my husband Shaun and I are raising our own family in Echuca-Moama.

our beloved region in our very own women’s

people as you find in the twin towns helps create an important platform to showcase magazine. “I hope you continue to enjoy reading your Bella as much as I look forward to being on this new journey with you.”

“That’s why I feel so fortunate to have this role, working with you on a magazine we are making just for Echuca-Moama.

You can contact Vanessa at the Riverine

“But that’s enough about me, Bella is what

Herald on 5482 1111 or vanessa.brewis@river-

Every end is a new beginning W

HEN ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE Carly Richardson left our Bella team recently — ready to tackle new adventures — and Vanessa joined us, it was bittersweet.

one of Australia’s deadliest snakes.

There is no doubt we will miss Carly but there is also a lot of excitement to have the talented, vibrant Vanessa on board.

This month we also feature a recipe from Feast Echuca — a business recently started in the twin towns which sees two women delivering healthy meals to your door.

And so it seems, when it comes to new beginnings, there’s plenty more of them for the twin towns and our magazine this month.

For Tania that was her new beginning. Fortunately she’s confident it won’t be a stinging one.

And what about Zowie Crump and Meg O’Sullivan’s new glamping business? Now that has me intrigued.

of work was May 30 last year — but is still turning up at Echuca hospital every time they get caught short handed. She always said she would retire when she couldn’t squat and looks determined to see that through. In the sporting world Echuca Football Club is looking to enter a female senior football team in a new-look competition this year as the popularity of women’s football continues to explode. And Jody Lake has offered her time to tell us all about that and more.

Including for Tania Dowsett, who features on the cover, and the pages you will soon be reading.

I’ve never been one to camp but the thought of having that ‘glamped’ opportunity has me asking more.

Tania has recently purchased a tiger snake called Terry.

Other people are nearing ends they perhaps aren’t willing to accept just yet.

I don’t have the space to tell you about all the new beginnings written in our pages this month let alone the ones we haven’t touched on yet.

Yes, you are reading correctly, she purchased

Such as midwife Jo Rogash whose ‘last’ day

We hope you enjoy.

Editor Tyla Harrington with Advertising executive Vanessa Brewis.


205 Pakenham Street, Echuca | (03) 5480 1317 BohoEssence


Diet and Inflammation At one point or another we may have read how foods with anti-inammatory properties are good for us. What does this actually mean in regard to our health? Biology 101 — for a wound to heal inammation is critical. When our bodies are hurt chemical messages are sent to the wound to kill pathogens, clear out debris and protect the area to promote healing. To get the chemical messages to the wound our blood vessels expand and are more permeable. This means the messages can ood into the site, causing it to swell, become red, warm and at times tender. The only problem with this defence is when it is turned on all the time our bodies are in a state of chronic inammation. It has been found that chronic inammation is connected with a range of conditions including; • Arthritis • Asthma • Type 2 Diabetes

• Stroke • Heart Disease • Cancer • Depression • Allergies Certain medications, stress and body weight can also affect the level of inammation we experience. One area that plays a huge role in the inammatory response and is often overlooked is our diet. Eating foods with omega 6 fatty acids in proportion to omega 3 fatty acids (1:1) is beneďŹ cial. However the Westernised diet is at a ratio of about 20:1 not 1:1 which means we are potentially consuming foods causing inammation. What about that dreaded word carbohydrates! The slow release

References: Galland L 2010, ‘Diet and Inammation’, Sage Journals, Volume: 25 issue: 6, page(s): 634–640

Echuca Moama Family Medical Practice providing quality primary healthcare to the rural community. 1 Martin St, Moama 179–183 Annesley St, Echuca

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INFLAMMATORY • Vegetable oils (excluding olive, cocoa, coconut) • Margarine • Dairy • Cereals • Meat • ReďŹ ned carbohydrates (white bread, white our, corn and rice cereals) • Sugary foods • Peanuts

carbohydrates such as those found in vegetables, some fruits, nuts and foods high in ďŹ bre aid in reducing inammation by maintaining blood sugar levels. Those carbohydrates that are reďŹ ned and high in glycaemic index lead to high insulin levels followed by a quick drop in blood sugar. This leads to low grade inammation. What is scary is that fruit and vegetable intake is below average for men, women and

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY • Fish • Walnuts • Flaxseed • Green leafy vegetables • High ďŹ bre foods • Whole food carbohydrates • Berries • Bright coloured fruits • Herbs and spices

children in the Campaspe region, however the intake of sugary, processed foods seems to be increasing. What we need to remember is that some inammation is normal in our bodies; however; it is prolonged inammation with no way to counter the response that is then harmful. So look at the foods you are eating and try to limit the added sugars and reďŹ ned carbohydrates to live a healthier life.

If you are f��ling overwhelmed, try some g��d stu� Senior staff writer IVY WISE has a conversation with the word wizards behind a special innovation helping drive a shift in how we view a lot of stuff and what we can do to make it work for everybody.


TUFF. EVERYONE HAS stuff. Old stuff, new stuff, rooms full of forgotten stuff and then there’s the stuff on which you simply wasted time and money. But. But, there’s also the good stuff, and anyone who knows anything about their stuff knows the good stuff can go a long way — and do so much good.

Just ask Leonie Canham and Christy O’Brien. They’re on a mission to spread good stuff across the community. As former print and broadcast journalists, they have always had a good nose for a story but were over reporting on stuff about doom and gloom.

disability and inclusiveness, grief, leadership, multiculturalism and refugees, health and wellbeing.

were interested in extending what they were doing through their blog and taking it to a live audience.

“Too often we get caught up in the negative discourse around these tough issues and we craft and wield our words with little regard for their impact,” they said.

Their first live conversation hour with Katrina Myers, who shared her story of how suicide shaped her life, was an overwhelming success.

“But it doesn’t have to be that way — as long as we’re willing to keep an open mind and to use kind, compassionate, positive language, we can change our perception and the conversation.”

Katrina’s words spoke about the ground-breaking initiative The Ripple Effect — of which she is an ambassador.

And that’s their end game.

“To bring kindness, thoughtfulness, understanding and dignity to issues that are at times deeply confronting and to help shape a So in 2011, having had enough of that stuff, community that is committed to these girls created The Splendid Word as spreading empowering messages,” their way of helping change the conversa- they said. tion — and to spread more good stuff. Spreading The Good Stuff really got “All too often we read and hear of people going a couple of years ago after using their words to bring others down,” their involvement with Imagine they said. the Possibilities, where Leonie and Christy took part in a workshop Their aim is to change the way people use the written and spoken word to communi- about positive communication and cate with their customers, peers, their fami- changing the conversation. lies — and themselves. “We all know words can inspire. But they can just as easily destroy, and for that one powerful reason alone, we must choose them well,” they said. “And our mission is to get us all thinking about the way we communicate and to start taking responsibility for the impact of our words, and then our actions and intentions, have on the world and all those around us.” Out of this determination Spreading The Good Stuff was born and through live conversation series, they are examining the lives of extraordinary people in our region who are making a positive difference. They are confronting thought-provoking issues — mental health, rural suicide,


They had already been writing a weekly blog and Junction Moama asked if they




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Christy O’Brien and Leonie Canham.

>>> “It’s such a giving community in Echuca- does become a habit,” she said. Moama, but sometimes you do feel like So how hard is it to challenge that negative you are giving physically and emotionally thought process in such a self-destructive with your time, which is great, but it’s nice world? to be able to go somewhere and take, and “It was pretty heavy going but profound,” go home and just let it sit with you. I think “I don’t think it’s hard. It’s just giving people Christy said. an option because you’re never going to that’s where we’ve hit the mark.” eliminate every negative thing that’s said,” “We talked about the kind of language we Leonie said the issues were tough but Christy said. use around it and about helping people,” important. Leonie said. “We see it as a choice. People can see “Spreading the Good Stuff events aren’t just whether to go negative or positive.” “There was lots of talk about the best ways flowery and lovely, they’re issues that we’ve to deal with that, what Katrina found diffiBoth mothers of three, Leonie and Christy been looking at and will continue to look at. cult and how we can be more understandknow how hugely important it is to start Some of them are really big, tough issues ing and more compassionate and talk about that positive communication at a young age. that we’re not just facing in our community it. Not just be too afraid to speak about this but have relevance right across the country,” With the threat of bullying and cyberbullyissue because it’s difficult, that’s the worst Leonie said. ing ever present in schools and online, all thing we can do.” “What we do through our events is encour- they can do is teach their children their own Christy said it was not about giving people philosophy. age people and recognise how important all the answers and fixing everything, but it is that people take responsibility for the It was actually one of Leonie’s children just starting the conversation. actions, the words they use, the intentions who probably said it most simply, and “Many people that night said how empow- and just to recognise how they’re communi- succinctly — “you’re teaching people how to ered they felt to just have the conversation,” cating with the world around them, whether use kind words”. she said. it is through their words or their actions.”  The next Spreading The Good Stuff Holding two events a year — a panel Of course, none of us get it right all the time, event — The Care Factor — will be held and one-on-one question and answer Christy said. on June 1, from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm, at session — their format has never been done Junction Moama. It will explore foster care “We all have days where we feel negative before in Echuca-Moama. and adoption, featuring Jaki Osborne in the and you want to kick the cat and yell at the Q&A hot seat. “It’s real, it’s live and people can go and not kids and hide under your doona all day, but have to do anything and take something realising you have a choice to not do that For your chance to win tickets to Spreading every day or giving yourself permission to home with them. That doesn’t happen very The Good Stuff — The Care Factor, follow break away from that because negativity Bella on Facebook. often,” Christy said. The Ripple Effect aims to reduce the stigma of suicide, particularly among farmers, and start a conversation about taking care of our own mental health.


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Snakes alive, get me a la�er Tania Dowsett clearly has not seen the movie Anaconda. If she had she might just think twice about her current calling as one of the region’s very few registered snake catchers. But probably not. Being a snake catcher in Australia is akin to a game of Russian roulette — every day. But VIVIENNE DUCK discovered it is Tania’s innate attachment to reptiles which keeps her going back for more.


SNAKE, TANIA DOWSETT reassures, is first and foremost a coward. Always looking for the easiest and fastest way out.

Funny, I’ve heard that description somewhere before. Oh, yes. That’s right. When Vivienne sees a snake she is first and foremost a coward. Always looking for the fastest — never mind how easy it might, or might not be — way out. So long as it is the fastest. So there we have it in a nutshell, that eternally uneasy relationship between humans and those beady eyed, tongue flickering, scaly, hissing, squeezing, cold blooded creatures straight off the pages of some horror novel. Take the world’s 10 deadliest snakes, depending on who is doing the writing, and somewhere between six and nine of them live in Australia.

more accurate) with its population of five dogs, five cats, two goats, a miniature horse, a normal sized horse, a gigantic pig — and a cockatoo. But it is the pythons Willow and Dusty which she holds nearest and dearest. “I am in the process of getting a tiger snake which is really exciting,” Tania said. “I had to get an advanced license and we have the tank all set up ready to go. “Getting to know the behaviours of the tiger snake will help me a lot in the field.” On when to run probably — in my case the phone call would be a good guide. You would not see me for the dust and small pebbles. Everyone likes an underdog, and let’s admit it, few things get under a snake’s belly, but Tania is serious. “They are the underdog of the world,” she said. “I have had a fascination with them since I was younger and living on a property. “I used to follow them when we had horses.” Although she lives on a property with her partner Bruce in Gillieston, her work as a snake catcher brings her to Echuca-Moama on a regular basis.

Which means you cannot help but look askance at Tania because not only is she the proud owner of two pythons — her first venomous pet is not far away — she is also our official snake catcher.

“We are in very short supply,” Tania said.

You get the picture pretty quickly when you drop into her house (although zoo might be

“I think there are only three snake catchers in the area from Shepparton to Echuca.” >>>



>>> Gee, I wonder why? Tania said people regularly don’t believe she is there to catch the snake when she arrives at a call-out. “They often look past me for a male to get out of the car,” she said. “It doesn’t bother me at all and I have suggested they could go in with the hook and bag and have a go if they don’t want me to do it. “They are always fine with me then.” Her love for snakes in particular, and animals in general, stems from a tough childhood when her family moved to Coonamble to be wheat farmers. “So mum and dad became shooters. We killed our own meat and there were dead animals everywhere,” Tania said. “That was when I decided I didn’t want anything killed unnecessarily. If you have time to get a shovel you have time to call a snake catcher. “I just wish everyone could be kind to our wildlife.” Remarkably Tania has only been bitten once and she admits it could have been avoided — because the woman who wants a tiger snake was bitten by her own python.


“Yes, Willow did bite me once but it was my own fault,” she said. “I picked her up with a hook for the first time and she didn’t like that at all.” Although Tania prefers easy catches there are a few in which she has seen the funny side. She said the most bizarre callout she had was for a ménage à trois — three eastern brown snakes in a bathroom. “It was mating season and there were two males after a female — until I got in the way,” she laughed. “Then there was the time I found a red belly with its head stuck in a beer can.” For Tania, her greatest joy in her daily dicing with death is watching her relocated reptiles slither into the scrub after releasing them.

For you and the snake. “I hate that people just think the best thing to do is to kill the snake,” she said. “Snakes actually have an important role in the eco-system. They kill rodents like mice and rats especially out in the bush. “I can’t imagine what the world would be like if we didn’t have snakes.” She could speak to me. “If you come across a snake, anywhere, it is important to stay still and calm and let it move away on its own. “Don’t move your arms around or give it a target. “There has never been a reported death from a red belly black snake.” Although Tania puts her life in danger every time she gets a call-out, she said only a certain breed of person could do it (and coward would not fit into that category).

“I feel all warm and fuzzy with every release,” she said. “I often walk with them until I can’t see them anymore just to make sure they “I have so much compassion for the snakes find their way. I always make sure they are and often get upset when I find them stuck 100 per cent.” in netting or when they are malnourished,” she said. Tania does what she does for two reasons — first to save as many snakes as possible from getting killed and second to educate the public on snake safety.

Hopefully she is aware tiger snakes get hungry and unlike pythons their bite is seriously worse than their hiss. 

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I’ll tumble for you Emma Carmody tumbled, but never fell. IVY WISE reports as a 17-year-old Emma was the world’s best in the business and now, 20 years down the road she is in the business of helping everyone benefit from her experience and passion — and her sport’s potential.


T THE TENDER age of 17 Emma Carmody was the World Cup tumbling champion. For the Victorian and Australian tumbling champion, competitive gymnastics was her life.

And still is. Today the 37-year-old mother-of-three is determined to give anyone and everyone the same opportunities.


“Gymnastics,” she declared, “should be for everyone, of any age”. She is hoping to bring her inclusive gymnastics programs to Moama, which will allow people with mental or physical disabilities, babies, ex-gymnasts, men and women over 60 and everyone in between to take part. Emma has already brought Tumble Tots and Palmer’s Gym Bendigo to Moama and Cohuna, but now has her sights set even higher.

As Palmer’s Gym head coach, she offers in Bendigo because there were no gymnassensory gym sessions, baby gym, school/ tics-type programs available for children kindergarten gymnastics programs, move- under five. ment for women and mature adults (over “I did some research about the value in 60) and competitive tumbling classes in movement for children and it was overBendigo. whelming,” she said. “In the future, I’d like to offer all these She brought Tumble Tots to Moama in late programs in Moama,” she said. 2015 after an influx of interested parents. In recognition of her work, she was recently Operating from Moama Sporting Complex, awarded Gymnastics Victoria’s Inclusive it gives parents the opportunity to move Leader of the Year. with their children through the series of “No matter who you are, whether you’re a obstacles and apparatus or let them play child with autism or an adult with a disabil- independently. ity, an ex-gymnast or an adult who wants to It has been so successful she is now offering learn how to cartwheel, gymnastics should gymnastics for school-aged children at the be available to everyone and I do what I can complex. to make that possible,” Emma explained. “We have 40 children and teenagers with autism who come to our sensory gymnastic sessions every week and they have the freedom to use a space and play on the equipment,” she said. “It’s an incredible experience for them and they feel safe in their environment.” Born and bred in Bendigo, Emma started gymnastics at the age of four. Her father John founded Gymnastics Centre in 1976.



Emma began competing for Victoria when she was nine and by 11 was in the national team. She travelled the world for her sport — China, Europe, the US, Canada and New Zealand — and in 1997 won the gold medal for tumbling at the World Cup in Sydney. “I got to the top of where I could go because you can’t go to the Olympics for our discipline of gymnastics,” she said. Taking a break from the sport, Emma worked as a teacher in Pyramid Hill for seven years, where she would also meet her husband Shane. However, gymnastics remained her passion and the couple moved back to Bendigo in 2009 when their daughter Amelia was two. “My heart was always in gymnastics,” she said. The following year she started Tumble Tots

“Palmer’s Gym is the next step up for the Tumble Tots,” she said. “Many athletes come to Bendigo for gymnastics, so we’re trying to eliminate that.” The biggest challenge has been educating families on the style of gymnastics it offered. With eight different disciplines of gymnastics, Palmer’s Gym offers three styles in Moama — aerobic, acrobatic and Teamgym (a combination of tumbling, mini tramp and acrobatics). “When people think of gymnastics, they think bars, beam, floor and vault — like they see at the Olympics and we don’t do that,” she said. “Many parents say to us ‘this isn’t gymnastics’, so we have to educate them about the eight gymnastic disciplines and that’s been a bit of a battle.” Despite this students have embraced the sport and are learning lifelong skills. “Our programs not only teach a child, teenager or adult how to fly but they also learn about body awareness, develop confidence, respect, discipline, develop co-ordination and make lifelong friends,” Emma added. “We love what we do. It is a real joy to turn up to work to empower children and adults to embrace and explore movement,” she said. “The opportunities are endless.” 


Baby I just love this busine�� She is almost always the first human contact any newborn feels and senior staff writer IVY WISE writes that when you call for the midwife you would hope they are as dedicated as Jo Rogash.


O ROGASH HAS possibly the most primal of all jobs — bringing a new life into the world.

The Echuca midwife has helped deliver countless hundreds of babies during her 36-year career and she loves it so much the 63-year-old can’t bring herself to fully retire. Although her last official working day at Echuca Regional Health was May 30 last year, she still gets called in for births if the hospital is short-staffed. “I just love it,” she said. “It’s something I will continue to do for a few more years while I’m able. I always said I would not retire until I couldn’t squat.”


Ironically, midwifery was the last nursing specialty she expected to end up doing. “I wasn’t interested in it as all my friends said they hated it,” she said. Jo started her general nurse training at The Alfred, where she was eventually in charge of the surgical ward. However, after moving to Stanhope where she was a one-woman band solely responsible for the community care centre, she decided to give midwifery a go. That was 1979 and she finished the following year in Bendigo. “I absolutely loved it and I’ve done it ever since,” she said. >>>



>>> Jo did her graduate year in Kyabram, and then worked at Shepparton hospital for a couple of years before moving to Echuca in 1994 when husband Peter got a job teaching at St Joseph’s College. “I continued driving to Shepparton until 1995 when I had an accident near the Falcon Hotel,” she said. “I was coming home after nightshift and fell asleep at the wheel and ran off the road.” Luckily she wasn’t seriously hurt, but it was enough of a wake-up call. “I thought ‘my kids are too young not to have a mum’,” she said. So Jo applied for a job at ERH and started working there that year. “It was a change coming from a big hospital, where we all worked in specific areas, to Echuca where you had to do everything,” she said. Although she enjoyed the versatility, Jo knew where her heart was. “The labour ward, or birthing suite, is my passion,” she said. Unfortunately, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Often, too often, there is a tragic side during delivery, leaving midwives with the heartbreaking job of delivering stillborn babies. “I’ve been lucky that I haven’t had too many tragedies,” she said. “And most births with a poor outcome we’ve known in advance so we can prepare for it, but obviously it’s still hard.” Not so long ago, she delivered a baby who had only died in the womb a few hours earlier. “That was the hardest birth I’ve had from an emotional point of view,” she said. “The baby looked so perfect. That was tragic for everyone.”

Jo Rogash with Nixon Evans, who she helped deliver at ERH. His parents Ashlea Robinson and Rod Evans now live in Shepparton but chose to come to Echuca to have their baby. Nixon was born on December 7. Jo was also Ash’s midwife for her first baby, daughter Kenzie, who is now four.

At times like this, all she can do is grieve with the family.

Jo has seen a lot of changes over the years when it comes to birthing, the biggest being positioning and the involvement of midwives.

“You cry with the mums and dads and your friends and colleagues,” she said.

“Back when I first started all women would have their babies on the bed,” she said.

“I also like to go to the funeral or service to show my support.”

“Nowadays, nearly all women are on their knees or upright because there are such better outcomes.

Jo believes empathy is an important part of being a midwife. “You wouldn’t be a very good midwife if you didn’t have some kind of emotional investment,” she said. As a mother of three moments such as those were made even harder. But also helped make her a better midwife.

“Doctors also used to do all the births whereas now it’s the midwives.” As well as the excitement of delivering babies, Jo loves providing that one-on-one support. If I can get the mums through the humps and bumps of labour, I find that gives me a lot of satisfaction,” she said.

postnatal care is just as crucial. Breastfeeding is often the hardest part for women, particularly first-time mums, according to Jo. “It’s an unknown sensation and women are reading all this conflicting advice about when and how to feed and it can be horrific for some women,” she said. So the only advice she gives mums is to follow their instincts. “Listen to what everyone has to say and take what you want out of it and do what suits you,” she said. “It depends on an individual’s circumstances.” Looking back on her career, Jo smiles and realises how lucky she has been.

“You have no perception of labour pain unless you have experienced it yourself,” “I love all that emotion afterwards with the mums and dads.” she said.

“Although mums thank us, I feel like we should thank them because it’s such a privilege to be at a birth,” she said.

And as much as it is important for midwives to support mothers throughout labour,

“It’s nice that they trust us enough and put their faith in us to get them through it.” 

“It gives you a whole new perspective on being a midwife.”


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Make an appointment today to get your flu vaccination at Rich River Health Group Influenza vaccination will be available at Rich River Health Group at Ogilvie Ave from mid April and appointments are now available. Q: Why do I need to get vaccinated against the flu every year? A: • Flu viruses are frequently changing and vaccines are updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent and common strains. • A person's immune protection from influenza vaccination declines over time and annual vaccination is recommended. Q: When is the best time to get vaccinated? A: Vaccination is best undertaken in autumn in anticipation of peak flu season from June to September.

Flu Vaccination


Q: What is the cost of vaccination? A: Vaccination is free for all persons over the age of 65 or anyone with a chronic condition including diabetes, heart disease, asthma or other lung condition. If you are unsure if you qualify for a free vaccine, please check with your GP. For patients not eligible for a free vaccine, the cost is $15. Administration of the flu vaccine is bulk billed. Q: How can I book an appointment? A: Call us on 5480 6700.

Commencing in mid-April, now taking appointments for the flu vaccination at the flu clinic. Phone 5480 6700 Medical services provided at Rich River Health Group include: ■ Diabetic Educator ■ Midwifery Clinic and Asthma Clinic ■ Neurosurgeon ■ Skinscope ■ Health Assessments ■ Telehealth ■ Audiologist ■ Mental Health Clinicians ■ Multiple Skin Procedures and Excisions ■ Ultrasound ■ ClinicalLabs (Monday to Saturday) Children 15 and under bulk billed Monday to Friday if standard consult

Flu clinic opening MID – APRIL


Phone 5480 6700 Visit and click on the link to make your appointment now.

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HOME GROWN Brooks Hall Lawyers are committed to seeing home grown talent return to the region with the new graduate program for young lawyers. Fiona Chartres (left) and Kathryn Hall at the Supreme Court Melbourne for Fiona’s admission as a lawyer.

Fiona Chartres is one such story. Fiona was born and raised in Deniliquin. Her family all still live in the Deniliquin area. Fiona completed her Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law in Melbourne at Deakin University in 2015, and shortly after returned home to commence work for Brooks Hall Lawyers in February 2016, firstly in their Yarrawonga office and is now permanently based in Deniliquin. On March 14, 2017 Fiona was admitted as a lawyer, affirmed by the director of BHL Kathryn Hall at the supreme court in Melbourne.

So many of our young people leave our regional communities to pursue a higher education and unfortunately we loose a lot of our home grown talent to the big cities due to lack of employment opportunities. At Brooks Hall we are committed to bringing our young talent home, with offices in Deniliquin, Yarrawonga and now in Albury. We are thrilled to see Fiona admitted this March and look forward to affirming our two other graduates; Jack Golding from Moama and Carl Robertson from Elmore later this year. – Kathryn Hall

Brooks Hall commences a recruitment process for new graduates in November each year. If you are about to graduate from Law and wish to return home to your community contact Kathryn Hall, Brooks Hall Lawyers on 1300 074 182.

Exclusive offer to Bella Readers for April 2017.

I feel very fortunate to take my first footsteps into the legal profession in the community that has played such a pivotal role in shaping my future. Whilst studying in Melbourne I became very passionate about ensuring that the communities of regional Australia were afforded the same access and opportunities to legal services that are made available in the metropolitan area. I hope to offer diversity in the way we approach the systems and procedures of traditional law and continue to educate people in understanding how the legal system can assist in various ways. I believe it is vital to encourage young professionals to return to our community once they have completed study, bringing with them the fresh and dynamic skillsets and attitudes that will strengthen and broaden the services we can offer. Brooks Hall Lawyers has given me a much broader learning experience than I would ever have achieved if I stayed in the city. – Fiona Chartres

Free half-hour consultation on any legal matter.

Call 1300 074 182 for an appointment.

Contact us today

Brooks Hall Lawyers 1300 074 182

Yarrawonga office:

21 Piper St, YARRAWONGA VIC 3730 Deniliquin office:

50 Hardinge St, DENILIQUIN NSW 2710 Albury office:

1/500 Dean St, ALBURY NSW 2640

Fixed Price Conveyancing | Family Law | Employment Law | Wills and Estates | Commercial Law | Mediation

Can you hear but not understand?

It is very common for people with hearing problems to notice that they can hear but that they can’t always understand. There are solutions to help you and it doesn’t always mean you need to use hearing aids. If you are finding you are having hearing difficulties you should call Murray Hearing Services as we offer you the following services: • Free hearing assessments, we will discuss your results and options. If required a report can be forwarded to your family doctor at no cost to you. • We are accredited providers of free hearing services to eligible pensioners, D.V.A. recipients, N.S.W. and Victorian WorkCover claimants. • We also offer free no-obligation 60-day hearing aid trials for private and self-funded retirees. If you do not receive the benefits you require then you simply return the hearing aid at no cost to you.

Murray Hearing Services is a local family owned business and our hearing care clinician is the business owner with over 20 years’ experience in the hearing care industry. Servicing Echuca/Moama, Deniliquin, Kyabram and Rochester Murray Hearing Services 14 Meninya St, Moama 2731 Free call: 1800 242 700 or 03 5482 6600 Email:


The power of the woman behind the leader Wendy Nolan is as Echuca as it gets but there is a lot more to this low-key player in the local political landscape.


HE SIMPLY DISMISSED it with a laugh of disbelief and a wave of her hand.

In the past 24 years she has worked with

She is not, and never has been, she declared, the gatekeeper.

members for the seat of Rodney and now

But in the unlikely event there are any skeletons in any political Campaspe cupboards, you can bet your bottom dollar Wendy Nolan knows where the bodies were buried.

Noel Maughan and Paul Weller, Nationals Peter Walsh, member for the new seat of Murray Plains — and leader of the Nationals. With Wendy the emphasis is on worked ‘with’ because this political veteran is adamant the High St office belongs to the



>>> people — and there’s no laughter this time, she means it. She doesn’t care if it is the mayor who walks through the door, or a homeless person seeking some help they all get “exactly the same” respect, assistance and support. The Murray River runs through this woman’s veins, a born and bred local she is devoted to her town, the people in it and doing whatever she can to help assure its future. Starting out as Maughan’s electorate officer — a fancy name for chief cook, bottle washer, secretary, receptionist and front line for every inquiry however it arrives.

when I actually got the job, I had no particular experience for the role other than a lifelong interest in politics and a genuine affinity with people,” Wendy admitted. “But I guess I have been able to grow into it — the three members I have worked with have all been different but have all been equally committed to advancing their communities,” she added. A smooth response, perhaps reflecting her latest role as Peter Walsh’s media officer — but she is also unable to disguise the fact she feels a little challenged in the job.

Leader of the Opposition he is required to spend a sizeable chunk of his time in Melbourne and travelling around the state. Wendy needs to be across all that and while she is his media officer, when you are half of a two-person office you pretty well lend a hand for whatever is happening. When she started in the role it was phones, letters (of the posted variety) and then faxes — and a lot more people through the front door. Now it is emails, a blizzard of them every day, marginally offset by the reduced demand at the front counter.

“The position requires me to work with a lot “Emails have certainly created more workof journalists, I was a little uncertain about load because people can be anywhere, and how I would go as I am not a journalist by at any time, and bang off a message for Such as the very senior citizen who came in profession, but I am enjoying the challenge,” whatever takes their minds,” she said. to complain about problems with his wife’s Wendy said. “Despite some people over the years coming dentures and the long delay for public “Peter has Emma Manser as his media here frustrated, even angry, we have had dental services adviser in his portfolio roles of agriculture, very few incidents. To prove his point he went back out to his water and regional development and I deal car, extracted his wife’s dentures from her with all the regional media across the seat “But by the time people have got to us they mouth and came in and slapped them down of Murray Plains so it has been a fast learn- have often gone through the mill so are about at the end of their tether — it’s imporon the front counter. ing curve for me,” she said. tant to listen and to offer assistance in any “We get a lot of different people, with differ- Her job is also a juggling act. way we can. ent issues” this most circumspect of repreWith the redistribution which created the “Of course that process can be a little sentatives added, with only the fleeting seat of Murray Plains at the most recent easier when you are in government and not glimmer of a grin. Victorian election Peter Walsh finished up opposition. “I had done a few things in my time before with a home in Swan Hill, an office in Echuca and, as leader of The Nationals and Deputy “Few people realise just how hard you have joining this office, I really couldn’t believe it And some of them arrive in the most spectacular ways.


advertise as such. If people enjoy the expe- “I travel a lot, as often as I can, but I love to lobby to get things done but great things have still been achieved in the electorate. rience and like what I do word of mouth nothing more than getting back here and Echuca is an excellent example — the fabu- works really well,” she said. feeling ‘home’ again.” lous new hospital, the fire station, police “I am happy to do the whole ceremony but As for the running, the sports mad Wendy station and now the ambulance station and have also co-opted with priests and even was already a keen walker who turning 60 new primary school are under construction. close friends or family members who do decided she had better get a move on if she “Then, of course, there is the bridge, after an part of the ceremony and I am there to was going to make the step up from walkinordinate amount of lobbying, in govern- guide them and take care of the essential ing to running. ment and from opposition, and a lot of work legal requirements.” A regular on the road she is now comfortable with the community the bridge is becoming Wendy insists she wakes up every day lookup to 15 km but is already planning to tackle a reality. ing forward to the job and has never once her first half marathon at 21.1 km — with Wendy obviously has a lot of stories to tell, had occasion to think she might just phone good friend and fellow running nut Jen but as would be expected, she’s not going in sick, or dread hauling herself out the front Maclean (the ‘running grannies’ as they call to tell them to someone from the local door to head into the factory. themselves). paper. And she would have a lot of trouble convincThe ultimate goal, now, is to combine two of But there is another side to Wendy. ing anyone she was sick because she is in her great loves — travel and running. obscenely good health and good shape. Mother, ecstatic grandmother and, from Not just any running, that 21.1 km is just the somewhere way out there in left field, Despite having been bitten so badly by the beginning, Wendy has her sights on maramarriage celebrant. running bug her condition is almost beyond thons, in a perfect world something like recovery. Oh, and most recently a runner of enormous London, New York or Boston. enthusiasm and unbridled ambition. She loves to run through Echuca, along Plus she has the initials JP after her name, the river and soak up the history which has “It’s a dream but may not become a reality” she said. been such a part of her own story. and once even toyed with becoming a bail justice but decided she had enough on her plate. “I really enjoy being a celebrant — I do have a website and a facebook page but I don’t

Way back in her family tree a Nolan was one of Echuca’s first mayors, there is a Nolan St and this Nolan, circa 2017, is proud of that history

But if you look back at how the past 24 years have been a story of the rise and rise of Wendy Nolan that’s not going to be a matter of if, simply when. 


Bite me. So they did Shara Wall is more concerned about seeing happier people in the twin towns than she is about spending money and time on herself. It’s an interesting take and TYLA HARRINGTON writes Shara even keeps going after people have tried to bite off her fingers.


VERYONE HAS THEIR wish list but Shara Wall’s list, well hers is a little bit, maybe a big bit, different to yours or mine.

sees an average 50 clients a week, her tools of trade laid out, light poised ready for the next face in her seat, Shara explains how she wished the general attitude towards dentists would change.

It doesn’t have a Porsche, or first class trip around the world, no, her wish list is something, well something you can really get “I think that’s the main thing we need to change, that coming to the dentist should your teeth into. be fun, and if it’s not fun then go to a differBecause the number one item on Shara’s list ent dentist,” she said. is free dental care — for everyone. “Or speak up and let me know because The 27-year-old oral health therapist is unfortunately I can’t read your mind,” Shara adamant if the government could subsidise laughed. the cost for everyone Echuca-Moama would Shara starts her day with hygiene appointbe a happier place. ments, then sees school children and adults No, really. for the rest of their day for their check-ups, She said there would literally be more smil- or for more substantial work. ing faces. She works alongside dentist Tony Lee, who And whiter teeth too. owns the practice, and who she says is “probably the nicest man” she’s worked for. “That would be awesome,” Shara said. “If I could do free dental work I wouldn’t feel as bad — I hate charging people. And we could be so much more preventative,” she said.

“How he treats patients is how he treats us — very informative. He wants to help people,” Shara said.

“I think it’s sad when people don’t smile because they are ashamed of their teeth.

Patient first is clearly the philosophy here, the six members of the team take turns lighting candles to even stop the rooms from smelling like a dentist.

“And it’s dramatically rewarding when you see that change in someone. Sometimes you see their posture change and they all of a sudden become confident. Their whole face lights up and you see how much of an impact you’ve had on their life.” Propped against a bench in Campaspe Dental Care High St, Echuca, where she


“We manage the person together.”

“I’ve never worked in a place where it is so much of a team, everyone has a role but they kind of intertwine … we want it to have a positive vibe and we listen to people when they have suggestions,” Shara said. “It’s very family oriented here. Most people




>>> don’t like coming who haven’t been before and only don’t like coming because it’s their first time. “Children aren’t scared of coming here. They get to colour in and have fun so why should they be? “We don’t really have short appointments. They are longer so we can have a bit of a chat as well — I think that’s important. “In general I would have to say I love seeing the difference in people after treatment. That’s really rewarding.” Shara loves what she does and she wouldn’t change her profession for the world. “It’s my hobby,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing a job other than dental. It’s like my dream job but it’s not really a job.” It might not be a job, but it can be a risk. Shara has suffered two severe bites — and a lot of not so severe ones — but it has not even slowed her down. “Yeah I’ve had people bite me but no-one’s ever drawn blood, although it’s been close.” At the other end of the scale she also has plenty who fall asleep during treatment. “I had a guy with the most severe gum

disease I had seen, and he was snoozing, actually he was snoring — and pretty loudly.

won’t have any problems like too many adults have.

“Another person had a long procedure and she was snoozing away too. Heaps of people sleep. But usually I have my fingers in there to hold their mouth open so I don’t get bitten.”

“Not saying ‘It’s a bit too late for adults but it’s better when you start young.

And when luck isn’t on her side and people’s chompers come crushing down on her hand? “It depends, if you’re trying to finish something or not, but you can’t really stop. So you just keep on doing what you’re doing,” she said.

“I love to have the variation as well — to deal with patients of all ages. It’s actually amazing when the whole family comes in because you get to see who’s related to whom. “I also try and show people what I am doing so they understand. I can tell them all these things but unless I show them how are they meant to know why they should do it.” Of course Shara’s story cannot finish without a few important reminders.

“You don’t want to start again because that’s really annoying.”

“Brush twice a day for two minutes and floss,” Shara said.

When not whipping her fingers out of gnawing maws Shara finds working with children — even the snap happy ones — the most rewarding.

“And definitely see some sort of health professional routinely (every six months).

“Especially with the Medicare vouchers where you can do free dental on children. I am a really big advocate of free dental for children because it makes a really big difference later on,” she said. “So I like to give as much information, as many pamphlets as I can, so later on they

“But remember, if you’re not happy (with your current dentist) try somewhere else. Although, in saying that, I do think we are pretty lucky here — we’ve got a lot of great dentists. “Oh, and I would encourage healthy habits. No question is a silly question, ask anything — and be interested in your own health.” 

A reason to smile Introducing… Shara Wall Did you know that Campaspe Dental Care has an Oral Health Therapist (OHT)? An OHT is a university trained dental professional who works alongside a dentist. The OHT focuses on dental hygiene (keeping your gums and teeth healthy) as well as being trained to treat children and young adults. Campaspe Dental Care is lucky to have Shara Wall as our OHT – she is great with kids and nervous patients, and can do wonders to improve your smile (everything from cleans to whitening). She is passionate about improving all aspects of her patients’ oral health and overall well-being..

Our range of services include:

• General exams • Fillings • Implants • Crowns & bridges • Whitening • Hygiene • Dentures • Root canal treatments • Children’s dentistry Contact the clinic on 5482 1217 to make an appointment. 525 High Street, Echuca 33


AND EXERCISE One of the most popular trends of recent times in the fitness world is the growth of Mind and Body classes and the mainstream acceptance of Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, etc. to be included as part of our day-to-day lives. It’s not just for the hippies. So why should we include this as part of our exercise program? The straight forward answer is it allows you to cope with stress better and fewer people are saying that their lives are filled with less stress than before. Our bodies have a physiological response to stress, which works through the endocrine system (our hormone levels) and is linked to our immune system. The responses can be represented by obvious things such as increased heart rate, or breathing. Some are not so obvious, for example increased blood pressure and immune function. Although in its infancy there is an acceptance of research showing promising results in the treatment of a wide range of unrelated problems.

I have read recently this includes the link of depression and the treatment of HIV positive men. (source: Antoni et al 06). The idea is that you get out of the way to let your treatment perform what it was designed to do. But the simplest reason may be that it allows you to sleep better and allow your body to recovery naturally faster.

So what can you do? Breathing • Keep the tongue on the roof of your mouth. • Inhale and exhale through your nose. • Aim for a long, continuous breath without pause between the inhale and exhale. • Breath to and from the belly.

YOGA The modern form of Yoga involves holding positions/asanas (stretches) and involves meditation, breath work and imagery. It has been shown to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.

TAI CHI Tai Chi has developed into a combination of smooth and slow repetitive movements based on coordination and relaxation and hence is both mind and body.


Challenge your mates or practice your skills Play all year round with Echuca Stadium open days. The stadium is open for basketball and netball fun on weekends and school holidays. • All ages welcome • Children 10 and under must be accompanied by a guardian 16 years or older • Cost $3.50 per person Check Facebook for open dates; Court and venue hire available for associations, functions, expos and events Echuca Stadium (03) 5480 2994

252 High St, Echuca

Echuca War Memorial & Aquatic Centre

BODYBALANCE This low intensity workout combines Yoga, Thi Chi & Pilates. The 55 minute session is designed to increase flexibility and strength without the rigour and physical demands of a high intensity workout making it suitable for all fitness levels and ages 12+. Eight individual classes are scheduled over the week and weekend from a 6.05 am class, 10.30 am classes and a 7 pm class to cater for all needs.

Contact EWMAC for bookings. Contact EWMAC or visit our website for more information: Corner of High and Service Streets, Echuca, 3564 Phone: (03) 5480 2994 Website:

A gift for the moment — or for generations J

EWELLERY IS AS MUCH about creating tomorrow’s heirlooms today as it is capturing that intangible magic of a favourite piece sliding onto your finger, encircling your wrist or adorning your neck.

Jewellery truly is the gift that keeps on giving, year after year, a classic that will stand the test of generations. Stephens Jewellers has brought a combination of Collins St elegance and premium brands such as Pandora, Thomas Sabo, Swarovski and Michael Kors to Echuca-Moama. Owners Stephen and Michelle Schneider have set the bar very high when it comes to shopping for that perfect gift for someone special. “A gift for your mother, or grandmother, doesn’t have to be an expensive investment with quality jewellery from as little as $25,” Stephen said. Nothing says Mother’s Day like the Pandora collection which is always a very popular gift with many different ways to say I love you.

most personal and precious moments. “That could be designing a unique, stunning diamond ring to say I love you, or helping a new dad choose a gift to celebrate such a major family milestone,” he said. “Not to overshadow the enjoyment of helping dad and the tribe in their Saturday morning sports gear select gifts for mum that perfectly say ‘hey mum, thanks for everything — we love you heaps’.” The business has worked hard to establish itself as a premier destination in EchucaMoama for fashion brands, along with the finest collection of diamond and precious stone set classic jewellery in the region. Stephen said their goal was to provide clients of all ages a premium destination for jewellery and timepieces in the comfort and convenience of their own backyard.” He said setting up their third store in the heart of Hare St allowed the business to provide a wow factor design with quality finishes, premium lighting, space to feel comfortable and privacy to seek out professional advice for any jewellery enquiry.

The bead collection is a modern take on “The private consulting suite is proving to the classic charm bracelet and Stephens be a very popular service where we arrange Jewellers Echuca are proud to launch the one-on-one consultation with our specialist new ‘Rose’ collection, which combines a designers who visit the store every week. classic sterling silver finish with soft rose colours for those women who enjoy wear- “Holidaymakers remark how wonderful it is to have such diversity at the one address, ing rose gold. they would have to spend days seeking out “We have been selected as a Pandora the same selection across a multitude of regional destination store which once again stores in any metropolitan shopping centre.” provides local consumers with exceptional Since arriving in Echuca-Moama the busichoice without leaving town.” ness has successfully recruited and trained For the sporty mum who has an eye on a team of five locals who have developed a fashion, the latest smart watches from sound working knowledge of the jewellery Michael Kors have also arrived. industry. The Hybrid smart watch combines the func- “The girls provide the market with quality tionality of a tracker with the classic styl- advice and exceptional customer service ing of an elegant dress watch and is the and our operation manager Frank and I visit new generation of stylish yet functional the Echuca-Moama store on a weekly basis wearables. to provide additional support and arrange private customer consultations.” “From there the sky is the limit. It’s entirely up to you and we will be there to support The Stephens Jewellers’ team employs you in your decision making, from concept around 25 team members including a to creation,” Stephen added. highly skilled manufacturing headquarters Stephen and Michelle say they are proud to in Shepparton providing master craftsmen be part of a business that allows people to support for the two stores in Shepparton as find that perfect gift to communicate life’s well as Echuca-Moama. 


The Stephens Jewellers’ team are Stephen Schneider (owner), Frances Cleary, Erin Teasdale and Holly O’Reilly.




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How does a netballer get her kicks? As the flood of women’s football laps the ovals in the Campaspe region, one former tomboy and now netball coach is taking multitasking to a new level writes DAVID CHAPMAN — by playing two sports in the one season.


OR JODIE LAKE turning backyard footy into a full blown, full-scale game of football in a fair dinkum competition is something only her dreams have been made of. Until now, with the self-confessed tomboy who spent plenty of time running around with the boys at school and kicking the footy around with dad pretty pumped.

And her playing credentials are impressive. The Bombers’ goalkeeper won the Heathcote and District League best and fairest in 2014 and was runner-up last season. Netball has been a big part of Lake’s life, first playing the game when she was eight. “It’s what you did in a small country town,” the Leitchville native said.

Already an accomplished netballer with “Netball in the winter and tennis in the Leitchville-Gunbower, Lake is now prepar- summer — you didn’t really have much choice.” ing to swap the round ball for a football. Echuca Football Club is looking to enter a female senior football team in a new-look competition this year as the popularity of women’s football continues to explode.

But now Lake does have a choice and she intends to grab it with both hands — all of it. “It’s the perfect time to give it a go,” she said about football.

About 12 women attended the club’s infor- “It will be a bit of a test on the old body. mation day last November and Lake was I’m working pretty hard at the gym at the one of those more than ready — not to moment. mention happy — to play her part. “Hopefully the body will be strong enough “That’s enough for it to go ahead. It will be for the battering it’s going to cop.” 16-a-side so it’s really good,” Lake said. She said a lot of the girls interested in play“I like being physical and aggressive, that’s ing football also play netball so organisers how I play my netball. are leaning towards playing the footy comp on Saturday evenings or Sundays. “You can be a bit rougher in footy and not get pulled up for it.” Shepparton already has a women’s football It won’t be a smooth transition, though, side and clubs from Bendigo are also showing interest, along with smaller towns such with Lake admitting it will be a juggling act. as Cobram. She intends to embark on a football career As well as training for both sports, Lake said while still fulfilling her netball duties. finding time to fit in her gym sessions would She is entering her third year as coach of be her biggest struggle. the Leitchville-Gunbower A-grade netball side and has been coaching netball for the An unabashed one-eyed Collingwood past five years. supporter, Lake holds a membership ticket




>>> and often goes with her father to watch the Magpies play. In fact, her father was something of an inspiration for her to take up the game. A handy footballer in his day, Ron Lake played most of his career with Nullawil, these days in the Golden Rivers Football League.

Lake said getting the new competition off the ground would be a boost for young women around the region.

“We lost by 10 goals and should have won so we could have made the preliminary final,” she said.

“It’s really important for young women who are not into netball or basketball to have that other avenue to follow,” Lake said.

The Bombers will lose a couple of players for next season but will gain four or five from the junior ranks which Lake said would provide a “massive breath of fresh air” for the team.

“To be able to interact and socialise with other women, sport is a good avenue for that.

And while she is guiding her netball team, “He was a tall ruckman and played half-back,” “I just hope it gets up and going even if I Lake will be keen to show Aussie Rules is a Lake said of her dad. don’t end up playing. sport anyone can be a part of. “I hope I don’t follow in his footsteps. “I’d just love to give it a crack and see how “It’s not just a man’s sport,” she said. Hopefully there’s someone taller than me.” the body holds up.” “Women are just as good as men and can do Lake might be hoping for a bit much, as she Lake has a kick of the footy with her neph- whatever a man can do. So there is a bit of stands just under six-foot. ews at Christmas time but admits she hasn’t female empowerment going on with it.” Nevertheless, a spot at full-forward or full- picked up the Sherrin all that often in recent Echuca Football Club will advertise for a years. back would suit her nicely. coach for the women’s football team and “Somewhere I don’t have to run much,” she “I can kick a footy but it will be interesting put support staff in place ahead of the start to see if I can do it in a game situation,” she laughed. of the new competition. said. At 30, Lake thought she was pushing her For Lake, the bounce of the ball cannot The plan would be to start the women’s luck by just playing. come soon enough. football season in May and run through until “But there’s a lady playing in Shepparton August. Growing up with five sisters, Lake’s love who’s 53, which makes me feel a little bit of football forged a special bond with her “Which would fit in perfectly with netball better.” father who is her keenest supporter. finals,” Lake said. Lake also believes there are netball skills And how are the Bombers faring for the “Dad said I was the closest he came to she can transition to football. having a son,” she said and is sure her father netball season ahead? would be there to watch his daughter make “Good hands, good hand-eye co-ordination Leitchville-Gunbower made it to the semi-fiand evasion skills,” she highlighted. her senior football debut. nals last season and the coach is adamant “My strength will be an asset.” the side could have gone further. “He would be proud as punch.” 

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Achieve your dreams in 2017 An actionable guide to achieve your biggest goals this New Year — whatever they may be! At Echuca Travel Centre we often hear the sentence “I wish I could travel more” so we have put together a guide to help you achieve your dreams in 2017.

 Decide on your goals — make them measurable and actionable. (eg. “I want to travel to 30 countries before I turn 40”).

 Get inspired each morning and take time to think about your goals each day. (eg. Make an inspiration board of where you want to go, put your goal in the middle).

 Make one small action for the future. (eg. Make an appointment with your friends in travel at Echuca Travel Centre).

 Become accountable — yes, start bragging about your plans. The more you brag the harder it will be to fail.

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there’s no turning back now! (eg. Pay a deposit).

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Justine Apps

Allison Yeates

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Embracing EchucaMoama with a holistic a�roach to wellbeing


MOTIONAL WELLBEING IS a lifelong journey that for some people, at certain times, will require understanding and support.

calm and tranquil hub they have established

A need that has brought together Shevaughn Addicott from Modern Minds Therapy and Tracey Farrell from Hidden Treasure Therapy in one location.

ence to provide a diverse range of quality

Where their commitment to the emotional health of their community begins with the


at 5 and 6 Fountain Plaza, Nish St. These




combined their wealth of skills and experi-

for a child to play, but it was the beginning of a fascination with human emotions and behaviour she has since turned into a career spanning the past decade.

‘counselling’ imaginary clients.

As a registered occupational therapist; a profession Shevaughn said the public did not often associate with counselling and mental health, but one that has fostered her pioneering approach to her work.

It may have been a little less traditional game

“I support a view emotional wellbeing is

therapies to individuals of all ages. As a young girl Shevaughn remembers

“I established Modern Minds Therapy two years ago because I believe it’s become increasingly important to provide individuals with an opportunity to explore and experience a range of therapies. “So I offer a combination of traditional talking therapies, expressive and creative therapies through mediums such as art, movement and writing as well as the development of skills including relaxation, mindfulness meditation, stress management, problem solving and communication”. Tracey is passionate about working with children and as an accredited mental health social worker with post-graduate training in child psychotherapy and various expressive therapy modalities is specifically qualified for her role. “Every mental health practitioner holds core beliefs about the way people can create change in their lives,” Tracey said. “For me it is about tapping into internal resources and working with these to create a sound foundation of self-worth while also building external resources that support growth and healing,” she said. “After working in the child and family services field for a number of years, I created my dedicated children’s therapy practice, naming it Hidden Treasure Therapy as a nod to those resources that might need uncovering and strengthening.” The ‘play room’ provides children with space to explore their inner world through a range of expressive therapies, from the use of symbols in sandplay therapy through to art, music and movement as well as focused psychological strategies. Tracey also offers a range of seminars, group work programs for children, parents and educators, and works closely with La Trobe University to support regional students through their social work degrees.

Hidden Treasure Therapy’s Tracey Farrell with Shevaughn Addicott from Modern Minds Therapy.

much more holistic than reducing the symptoms of a clinical diagnosis,” Shevaughn said. “Over time the well-meaning message many of us have received from society is to try and avoid feeling and expressing our emotions,” she said. “As a therapist I help my clients to identify, express, and process their emotions in a safe and healthy way so they can live

meaningful and satisfying lives.” Shevaughn works with adolescents and adults through a variety of one-on-one and group therapies tailored to the individual needs of her clients. “I’ve worked within a number of local mental health and education settings in the past, providing individual and group counselling, crisis support and case management,” she added.

“Building a skilled, professional workforce is important to me, and as a born and bred local girl, it is an absolute pleasure to work collaboratively with a range of amazing practitioners in schools, community services and now alongside Shevaughn in our respective private practices to enhance the Echuca-Moama community and surrounds.” Shevaughn and Tracey are both Medicare endorsed providers of counselling and mental health services under the government’s Better Access to Mental Health Initiative. Referrals can be obtained from your GP. Contact Shevaughn at Modern Minds Therapy on 0407 865 685 and Tracey at Hidden Treasure Therapy on 0438 511 241. 


Cosy Camping with Mego and Zozo’s Meg O’Sullivan and Zowie Crump.












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Glamping — pu�ing some cla�� into camping I

T MAY ONLY be early days, but young entrepreneurs Meg O’Sullivan and Zowie Crump are hoping their new business Cosy Camping with Mego and Zozo will take Echuca by storm.

The girls have brought the idea of glamping, or glamorous camping, to the twin towns with their 5 m luxury Lotus Belle tent (affectionately known as Maggie Joan). The girls named their tent after their beautiful grandmothers Gweneth Margaret and Gwendoline Joan. The idea for the business came after the girls got their own firsthand experience of glamping. “Zowie and I went down to do some glamping on the Mornington Peninsula for our own weekend away with some friends and we both thought this was something we had to bring to Echuca,” Meg said. “We have had so much interest since we launched the idea, it has been amazing,” she said. “It’s not sleeping on a blow up mattress. It’s comfortable, it’s luxurious and it’s so relaxing,” Zowie added. And most importantly there is no work, well for the guests anyway. The girls can set up Maggie Joan on a grassed, powered site anywhere in Echuca-Moama. Set up includes beds and bedding, a fridge, table and chairs — all guests basically have to do is turn up with their clothes and a few snacks. “There are no cooking facilities aside from a kettle — the idea is you dine out and make the most of the many beautiful places we have to eat at here in Echuca,” Zowie said. The tent comfortably sleeps up to four guests. “Glamping is perfect for those people who like to camp but don’t want to lug everything around and sleep in a two man tent. We can cater for anything from weddings through to a family of four, it is simple, easy and most importantly it is relaxing and so much fun,” Meg said. >>>


>>> While the tent is available for set up all year round, the girls don’t really recommend it during the peak of summer. “Glampers will have to be mindful of the heat during summer because as we all know temperatures here can get a little hot at times,” Meg said. “I guess we are really targeting autumn through to spring because that is when we have the best camping weather,” she said. The tent is waterproof and bug-proof and comes with a heater during the cooler months. “Echuca-Moama is such a popular tourist destination — we have great weather and of course the backdrop of the beautiful Murray,” Zowie said. “If everything goes according to plan we hope to have a few more Maggie Joans popping up around the place in the future,” she added. 



It’s her walk of life Fiona Simpson hopes her fundraising efforts will one day help save someone else’s brother. And walking through the night, surrounded by family and friends, helps bring the brother she lost closer to her heart. VIVIENNE DUCK reports.


T’S 10 YEARS since Simon died yet Fiona still smiles every time she hears his name.

Fiona was always his ‘go to’ person. She was there when he was driving his family mad, was there for him when he needed some guidance in his younger years — and she was also there when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. “You never expect it to happen, you never think that person will actually die,” Fiona said. “You just get on with it and try and look at the positives in everything. “It wasn’t until about 10 days before Simon died when he said to me he couldn’t do it anymore, and it was in that moment when I realised this was it.” In January 2007 Simon Rosendale was handed a death sentence. Only 11 months later, on December 16 the same year, he died. He was just 37 years old. “It turned the world upside down,” Fiona said. “He left a wife and two kids, I can only now happily remember him,” she said. “He was a character. He was cheeky and would always have a smart comment. He was a real larrikin.” Fiona and Simon, the two middle children of four, were mates first and foremost. “We were three years apart and we always got along really well,” Fiona said. “We even

lived together for a while and I was in his wedding.”

name — money raised in the Sludgee Cup raises money towards the Family Ties total.

The year Simon was sick Fiona started a Relay For Life team fittingly named Family Ties.

“Simon was a keen golfer and always tried to get me out there with him,” Fiona said.

“That year he was really sick but he got up and did two laps with me,” Fiona said. “It was really special and I think I feel really close to him every year I walk around the oval.” This year will be the tenth Relay for Family Ties.

“I will never be as good as him but have taken up golf since his death in his memory. “I’m not just having a hack anymore.” Fiona is a self-employed, business owner, hairdresser, partner and mother who has an incredible ability to laugh through the toughest of times. “We have a blended family now,” she said.

“It is a real milestone for us. It may be our last year as a team but I am happy to keep going. It is in my blood I think.

“My partner Shannon has two kids, and I have two girls — it is almost something out of a movie.

“It is such a great event and we are aiming to get to our target of $100,000 over the 10 years.

Hannah, 19, Chloe, 16, Makai, 11 and Esha 7 make up Fiona’s family and she said they all understand how important Simon was.

“We are about $10,000 off there at the moment so I better get my butt into gear.”

“Shannon’s kids often see photos of Simon around the house and ask questions about him all the time even though they never met him,” Fiona said.

Talking about Simon lights up Fiona’s face but she also cannot hold back the tears as she looks back on the great times she had with him when he was sick.

“It is nice we can all talk about him openly.

“I see Simon’s kids all the time too, which is “We did a lot of things in those 11 months really nice. from birthdays to family photos to celebrat“Caitlyn would be 14 now and Sienna is 11. ing my 40th on the coast,” she said. “Caitlyn was only four when Simon died so “They were all really nice family memories. she has small memories of him but Sienna “It really made me understand quality is far doesn’t remember him at all. greater than quantity.” “We talk about him all the time and photos are always around.” Fiona’s dedication to fundraising isn’t limited to the one event. So are those vital memories, they are now part of her life and her future.  Yearly the family holds a golf day in Simon’s


Good mother, good journalist and a medical miracle

Ayla, Ivy and Maya Wise.

Uprooted from a Danish childhood and dropped into a Brisbane migrant hostel might have been tough to take but was nothing compared with what was to come for this six-year-old émigré who now calls Echuca-Moama home.


ER DAUGHTER HAD just come third in a bang, bang final in the 50m backstroke at Wagga during the NSW primary school's regional championships.

But as exciting as that had been, it was her mother who walked out of the aquatic centre the winner. Simply because she was there to witness yet another milestone event in the life of one of her young daughters. It is a remarkable story of adaptation and survival that began in the small Danish town of Kolding when her Dutch mother and Danish father decided they would emigrate to Australia to find a new life for them and their two children. They washed up in a Brisbane migrant camp for six months where their six-year-old daughter was bullied by two Spanish girls to the extent she daily begged her mother, in tears, to let her stay home and not go to English classes. In those conditions—new world, new language and bullying—the six months must have seemed a life sentence and it is something she has never forgotten. Then her father Jorgen and mother Rixt met another Dane and agreed to move to Mt Isa


to launch a cabinetmaking business. From snowy Scandinavia to steamy Brisbane and then about as outback as you can get, where temperatures regularly climb as high as the mid-40s, it had been a long and confusing journey—and a culture shock beyond comparison. But this final move would be the making of the young Ivy Jensen. Incredibly Mt Isa in the early 1980s was home to a thriving Dutch and Danish population and the cabinetmaking business took off and Ivy recalls it as a golden childhood. “I was six and my sister Signe was five when we got to Mt Isa and then five years later we had a genuine Australian sister when Tara was born—even though mum had been told she wouldn't have any more children,” Ivy said. “Mt Isa was a real boom town then, lots of young families and I made some great friends and had a great life,” she said. After school she went to university and completed an arts degree with a double major in journalism—which was good enough to get her a job as a junior in an HR consultancy.

“You have to start somewhere, I tried TV but they wouldn't touch anyone without experience and then the North West Star at Mt Isa advertised for a cadet and I got the job—and got to go home.” On her first day back in town she met Jace Wise, a tree cutting contractor on a six-month gig in Mt Isa. After which he was relocated to Townsville and the pair juggled a long-distance relationship, often meeting halfway, in places such as Hughenden and Richmond, at weekends (Mt Isa to Townsville and back is 1800km). That only lasted months before Jace quit one job and returned to Mt Isa as an excavator operator in the mines there. Within six months the couple were engaged, a few years later married in Townsville—a sort-of middle point for the Dutch/Danish and Mt Isa and Moama relatives and friends. They kept working in Mt Isa for a while, buying and selling homes before hitting the road and spending six months drifting around the world before landing in Moama, Jace's hometown. “I hassled the Riverine Herald for a job and my timing could hardly have been better as


Back in Peter Mac and getting hooked up for a week of chemotherapy treatment.

While undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Peter Mac several patients, including Ivy, were chosen to attend a three-course lunch made by MoVida owner and executive chef Frank Camorra.

one of the journos was about to start maternity leave,” Ivy said.

Recovery was gradual but complete and she has no lingering issues today.

“I got the job and started on my birthday. Four months later I was pregnant too,” she laughed.

But for this vivacious young mother and journalist it was just the beginning of the descent into a personal nightmare.

Ivy admits to a 'slightly' controlling approach and loves being in charge so when she was hit with post-natal depression it hit hard.

In 2009 she was pregnant again but at 10 weeks she and husband Jace separated.

And hardest of all was the realisation things can happen to you over which you have no control, something she found very difficult to accept. “The key is getting help, and getting it quickly—it was a tough lesson and one I have never forgotten,” she said. One of the recommendations was she take a holiday which she did, in style—an African safari with husband Jace and her in-laws Veronica and Geoff Wise. Her time off meant a lot of flying—including Mt Isa and back (twice) to drop baby Ayla off to her grandparents there and then long-haul to Africa, and back—and within weeks she was cut down by a stroke, caused doctors said, by a DVT in her leg from the flights. “It was so sudden, I had just walked home and felt a little funny and lay down—and fell straight off the couch, then started staggering and vomiting,” Ivy said.

Ivy said her depression and her illness had put a lot of strain on their relationship. “It was hell, pure and simply hell, at times I think the only thing that kept me alive, from doing something stupid, was Maya, who was born in June the next year,” she admitted. “In 2011 I felt ill again but when the doctor ordered a biopsy and then told me it confirmed I had cancer I just went into shock. “Could anything else possibly go wrong?” The best medical opinion at the time recommended chemotherapy and radiation rather than surgery but for Ivy the crushing diagnosis was almost too much to cope with, especially when she realised treatment on this scale would mean no more children. “It was all just so much to get my head around, such big decisions to make, I panicked about my girls, I panicked that I might not be here for them.” And then it got worse. The biopsy had triggered a major internal bleed and there was no delaying any thinking about harvesting and freezing eggs, or even planning how to approach the looming treatment.

“At first the doctors said I had gastro but two days later I was still bedridden so the doctor ordered a CT scan—it showed a shadow on my brain which they said was the stroke and I was in the Royal Melbourne within hours,” “It just all got away from me, if I thought the she said. depression was bad this was insane, it all just happened so fast, I think I almost went “The scan also revealed I had a small hole in into denial.” my heart since birth,” she said. She was given blood thinners, kept in hospital for a few more days and nine months later, using keyhole surgery, the hole was also repaired.

Debilitated by her treatment, undergoing massive weight loss, Ivy struggled on—her children stayed with their father during the week and she took them back, exhausted as she was, at weekends. She was boosted by friends who set up a fundraiser and raised thousands of dollars to help meet her costs as she was unable to keep working. But a cornerstone of Ivy's recovery was the friendship and support of her former in-laws without whom she said she would have runaway back to her family in Queensland. “I had so many good friends here, I loved my job at the Riv and the girls had their father here, but without Veronica and Geoff I could not have done it,” she said. As punishing as the treatment was, it worked. In 2016 Ivy got the five-year all clear. Moving around the world, bullied, a new language (she only has a few words of Danish now), marriage, depression, a stroke, heart surgery, divorce, cancer, and still in her 30s. Life has been an unbelievable rollercoaster for Ivy but in the long run it has not stopped her, or dulled her thirst for the future. She still dreams of more travel, of maybe living in New York for a while, and down the track writing books. And performing on stage with EchucaMoama Theatre Company, which she loves. Mostly though, she does not want to be defined by what has happened to her, she wants to be able to show her girls that she can do anything she wants—and so can they.

For eight weeks this single mother would drive from Echuca-Moama to Peter Mac in “That past, of course, is all part of me, but I Melbourne and receive her cancer treat- want most to be defined by what I am still ment and then drive herself home on Friday. to become.” 


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Villawood’s Andrea Smith, Jenny Turner and Vanessa Shotton.

Lakeview — where dreams can come true W

HEN IT COMES to property development you are selling a lot more than just a block of land.

You are selling a dream—a home, a place of comfort and of memories. And with the release of Stage 5 at Lakeview Estate, those memories are there for the making for the next generation of homeowners. Jenny Turner has been working with Villawood for 14 years and she said passion, creativity and innovation are at the core of all Villawood communities. “These guiding principles are clearly evident in Stage 5 at Lakeview in Perricoota Rd, Moama, which offers premium living afforded by sprawling lots ranging in size from 750m2 to 1660m2,” Jenny said. “The wider frontages cater for that dream of a triple garage or swimming pool, while still retaining that valuable side access,” Jenny said. The development may be all about the homeowner but the stunning surrounds and open space will ensure the Lakeview Community will be living in homes surrounded by nature and tranquility. “Lakeview offers up an individual estate with its beautiful landscaped boulevard, nature strips and lakes, making it a must visit for anyone looking at purchasing land as an investment or for a lifestyle. “You will adore exploring the 3.4ha of open


space, including the magnificent new lake in the heart of the estate. “Construction of the 800m circumference lake is due for completion by the end of May and will be followed by a playground, shelters and barbecue facilities.” And Lakeview is still the only NBN estate within the Echuca-Moama region. The jewel in the crown of the lake precinct will be two corten steel heron masterpieces by renowned Tasmanian sculptor Folko Kooper, rising from the lake on recycled timber poles. Villawood Properties has been managing the Lakeview project for the past few years and has a total of 13 stages to be released as 173 lots. Stages one and three have already sold out, stage two is not far behind and stage four is selling fast with six of the 16 lots released last month, purchased already. “The estate will be amazing when it is completed—from the stunning entrance and timber fences introduced for a homely feel to the sprawling lake and picturesque boulevards,” Jenny said. “It will be a beautiful place for people to raise their families and create those special memories that cannot ever be replaced.” Charles L King First National is the marketing representative. Contact them on 0354822111 or visit



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Running for her life

(and swi�ing and cycling t��) Sports writer JESS GLEDHILL talks to a lot of winners, but has also discovered that sometimes those who finish stone cold last are the biggest winners of all — metaphorically speaking.


ANE ANDERSON IS running for her life. As fast as she can to get as far away as she can from the old Jane.

That scary Jane who had weighed as much as 124 kg, was pre-diabetic and was eating her way into the grave at a fairly steady clip. Now when she is not running to maintain that gap, the good Jane (all 77 kg of her — and falling) is swimming, or better still, riding because that helps widen the gap even faster. Disaster might have been sneaking up on the old Jane, but looking back now, circa 2017, she is prepared to admit it was her choice. For 25 years Jane Anderson was an addict, a food junkie, who never exercised and was enslaved by her obsession for food.

“What worked for me was running.” Jane ran every day for six months — and hated every second of it. It took more than a year before she actually began enjoying exercise. Eighteen months ago she decided to enlist the help of a running coach who also started her on other forms of physical activity such as cycling and swimming. To keep her motivation Jane decided to take up triathlons and in 2015 entered the Bendigo Trail Run. It wasn’t long before she became a member of Echuca-Moama Triathlon Club and completed her first sprint triathlon event at Echuca in January 2016 and went on to race in the club championships where she wasn’t ashamed to say she finished dead last.

“Echuca-Moama Triathlon Club has helped me to keep going.” “It’s something special to have super-athletes run past and encourage me and comment on how much I’ve improved,” Jane said. “I don’t think they realise how much they’ve given me.” Triathlons have been a life-changing activity for Jane and she hoped to give whatever time she could to others in encouraging them to pursue a healthier lifestyle. “Everyone goes through their own weight loss journey in their lives,” she said. “The hardest part for me was knowing I was overweight and not knowing what to do about it.

“And the most devastating part is that there is so much information out there about “That was okay, because I was still improv- low-carb diets which just isn’t filtering down to people.” ing myself and I knew that wasn’t going to Her addiction to sugar especially was phys- happen overnight,” she said. Jane was surprised by how easy it was to ically devastating her and she was staring “I was by far the club’s worst adult athlete, drop the weight on a low-carb meal plan down the barrel of a shortened, poor-quality after trying every ‘quick fix’ diet in the book. but I competed hard all season and to my existence managed by drugs. surprise I was actually pretty good on “Every time I’d lose 3 kg or 4 kg I would just the bike; I was alright in the swim and still Finally, fortunately, for the busy mother that put it back on three weeks later,” she said. rubbish in the run.” lifestyle was no longer an option. “The old diets people used to live by never In 2016, she completed seven marathons and Two years — and a lot of laps and kilometres worked for me, and were probably one of eight triathlons. later — Jane is as healthy as she has ever the reasons I got to the size I did.” been, and at 48 has dropped a staggering This year Jane amazed herself even more by She understood preventable diabetes to be 35 kg from when she first started her weight finishing second in the Rural Triathlon Series one of the biggest health issues in Australia loss journey. in the 40–49 age group. and said the solution would be a financial “I had to make the decision to either do some- “There are a couple of incredibly good women one with the government now realising the thing for myself or get to know the people in expensive toll it was having on the health in the series who deserved the podium more the health system very well — and while I love system. than I did,” she said. the people in the health system, they don’t Low-carb diets were now being followed “Wendy McHugh and Bronwyn Morris are need to know me quite yet,” she laughed. by professional sports teams, such as New two I really look up to and I’d be the first to Her son William left for university two years Zealand’s rugby side and members of the congratulate them in any success.” ago, allowing Jane to focus on herself and Australian cricket team and Jane hoped this Jane admitted she could not have done her diet, which underwent a dramatic would eventually encourage more people to as well as she had without the support of shake-up. research the diet. club members who encourage her at every To escape her pre-diabetic state, she moved Her son has even taken to improving his own Wednesday night triathlon, which she drives to a low-carb meal plan (consuming under health and managed to drop 25 kg in less an hour each way from Toolleen to attend on 50 g of carbohydrates a day), which meant time than Jane following the same life-style a weekly basis — even if she isn’t competing. saying goodbye to that one last vanilla slice changes. Despite managing the local boarding kennel or glass of wine. at Toolleen and overseeing her own prop- And while she admitted low-carb meal plans “I needed to start doing something that might not be the solution for everyone, it erty, Jane still finds the time to train every worked for her and has made her a better would make eating the wrong thing quite day and in October married Royce Keirl, who follows her around the paddock with head- athlete than she was 30 years ago. difficult,” she said. lights so she can run without tripping. She hoped to compete in triathlons for at “Any time I would have sugar I no longer “Royce and William have both been spectac- least another 10 years and looked forward wanted to exercise but if I didn’t exercise, to moving into the next age bracket and ularly helpful, but neither of them thought I I didn’t eat right; that was my trigger for remaining competitive there.  would follow through with it,” she said. success.” She was always hungry and not a minute went by when she wasn’t thinking about her next meal.


Why pregnancy doesn’t have to mean pain One mother talks to TYLA HARRINGTON about the way her approach to labour changed — for the better — after she attended a simple but revolutionary program.


CHUCA’S BECKS PELLEGRINO could have never imagined a calm birth for her second child, not after the traumatic labour for her first-born.

When she realised she was pregnant with her second child she was ready to run for the hills. That was until she finished Calmbirth classes with Linda Corby, which Becks said changed everything. In April 2016 her daughter Mia Binnie entered a world where her mother was unbelievably calm and empowered. “The classes were recommended by my mum and it was awesome,” Becks said. “I have a five-year-old boy (Caelen Pellegrino) who I didn’t do any classes with. I had no idea what labour would be like. It was horrible and not calm at all. “But following Calmbirth classes it was just so different. This time I knew what I was doing and was prepared. “The labour (which lasted five or so hours) was quick, easy and less painful.” Linda and Robyn Moore have been offering the classes in the Echuca region since early 2016 and are practicing midwives. “Calmbirth is a simple but effective childbirth education program which acknowledges the ability of the mother’s body to work as one with her unborn child to give birth, surrendering to the process of their labour and birth no matter how it unfolds,” Robyn said. “It contains relaxation scripts found in no other program which have been specially designed by an Australian midwife.

Mia Binnie, Robyn Moore and Becks Pellegrino.


“We empower pregnant couples with the knowledge and skills to make your birthing process as pleasurable as possible. “It’s been going really well (since launching last year). “We’ve had a couple come from as far as Bendigo, who were happy with the course. “At the moment we’ve both been offering the classes from our homes. We also like to follow-up after the birth to help them with any questions they might have. “We are both passionate about helping women during the birth experience, which is why we are doing what we are doing.” And Becks said she cannot thank them enough for what they did for her. “I would encourage not only first time mums but even mums who have been through the experience multiple times to give these classes a go,” she said.

“I was able to experience an awesome labour the second time and others can too. “My partner was terrified about Mia’s birth because he had heard of the horror stories from my first child. But it didn’t have to be like that and it wasn’t.” Robyn and Linda said women could discover the physiology of birth and how a woman’s body is designed to function in labour and how to eliminate the fear, anxiety and tension which could arise.

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The classes also offer simple, effective breathing techniques to relax and work with the woman’s body in labour, as well as the important role played by fathers/partners or other birthing companions. “It’s an enlightening insight into bonding and the developing parent and baby relationship,” Robyn said. The classes can be arranged by appointment. For more information visit www.calmbirth. or phone Robyn on 0437 742 142 or Linda on 0488 211 056. 

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Chickpeas and some tomato cu��y F

EAST ECHUCA MIGHT be new to the game but when it comes to cooking

Catriona Davie and Judi Gillson sure know how to play.

The pair have been operating for three months, delivering healthy meals to the doors of people in Echuca-Moama and surrounds.

They said they chose this recipe for Bella readers because it was a healthy alternative for a mid-week meal – and was easy to prepare. Catriona and Judi can also create menus to suit individual needs and do catering as well. For more information visit

Chickpea and tomato curry Ingredients: • 1½ cups dried chickpeas soaked overnight. • Drain well then cover with water in a saucepan and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. • 2 x 400g drained canned chickpea • 1 tbsp oil • 5 ripe tomatoes – chopped • 2 cloves garlic • 1 ts finely grated fresh ginger • 2 ts cumin seed • 1 ts coriander powder • 1 ts garam masala • 2 ts yellow mustard seeds

• • • • • • • •

1 long red chilli – finely chopped 1 onion – finely diced 2 ts tumeric 1 ts salt 1 ts raw sugar 1 cup vegetable stock 1 tbsp tomato paste Lemon juice to taste

Method: • Sauté onion, garlic, and spices in oil. • Add tomatoes, chickpeas, tomato paste and stock, simmer until thickened. • Serve with basmati or brown rice with fresh coriander.

Feast Echuca’s Judi Gillson and Catriona Davie.


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A long story in the making Serenity might seem an intangible but VIVIENNE DUCK has met one Echuca-Moama woman who has been helping locals reach a new plane of calm and balance for the past 25 years.


S AN OCTOGENARIAN Joan Downey has had time to do things, lots of things.

But after spending the past 25 years as a dedicated and enthusiastic yoga teacher that, finally, is one thing being deleted from her position description. The teaching, yes, but definitely not the practice. Until November Joan’s schedule hardly resembled that of a (theoretically) retired great-grandmother. On top of her daily (frequently twice daily) yoga routine Joan’s week also consisted of teaching, gym (twice a week) and, oh, yes, did we mention her tai chi?

“I’m not quite sure it has hit me yet. I am going to miss it but I definitely felt it was my time to move aside.” Finishing up with Echuca Neighbourhood House, Joan said she had no doubt yoga has kept her young. “I find it has been great for me,” she said. “Yoga has brought good health, serenity and all the wonderful people into my life who have come into my class.” Taking up yoga 35 years ago while working as a primary school teacher in Kerang, Joan initially started practicing the discipline for her health. “I had a very minor health issue and the doctor I saw suggested a few things that might help — and one of those was yoga,” she said.

“In the morning before breakfast I do some physical yoga practices and then some breathing exercises before meditation,” “There were no yoga classes in Kerang at the Joan said. time but sure enough a couple of years later a teacher came from out of town, I signed “In the afternoon, usually if I’ve been in the up straight away and I’ve been doing it ever garden or been out anywhere, I lie down on since. the carpet, put on a tape and have a bit of time to myself.” After decades on the job Joan has finally decided to call it a day. As a discussion the finality of that decision leaves her a little misty-eyed, but she is ready for her next challenge, and more than happy to reminisce about her time sharing what she loves so much with so many others. “It has been a pleasure and privilege to teach for the past 25 years,” she said.

“It seems to come, like a lot of things, when you need them.” Since retiring from her school teaching Joan just couldn’t stay away from helping others and almost immediately signed on for yoga teacher training. “I went over to Tasmania to an ashram (yoga retreat) with the Victoria Yoga Therapy Centre. Following that I did some more work in Melbourne and then I went to an ashram near Daylesford,” Joan said. >>>


>>> First starting teaching in Echuca 25 years ago at the Campaspe College of Adult Education, Joan said she enjoyed getting to know a lot of people she now holds dear. “At first the classes were at night and then I moved to day time and eventually made the move to Echuca Neighbourhood House,” she said. “The people I’ve met along the way have been just lovely. “We started off having classes in the actual house — which is a tiny little thing,” Joan said. “We had to move furniture around but there weren’t many in the class. “We then had to move over to the basketball stadium across the road when we started to get bigger class numbers and have been there ever since.” When asked what she loved most about yoga, Joan let out a relaxed breath, sat up straight and smiled. “Yoga is scientifically arranged to bring people into balance,” she said. “When people first come to yoga it’s often because of a medical reason, or stress, or both. “When they are in class they realise how

important the breathing aspect is — they love relaxation and that is designed to release deep-seated tension and bring them into a state of serenity.” Although her time teaching may be over, Joan hopes she will never have to wave goodbye to yoga.

“It’s only been two mornings a week but it’s amazing how much a morning takes out of you,” she said. “It’ll be great, especially in the warmer weather, to get out into the garden or go walking or go to the gym.”

“Time is going by but I hope that I never have to stop doing it.”

Then, perhaps for the last time, Joan delivers the closing line she used in every one of those classes.

Now with a few spare mornings a week, Joan hopes to continue her love of fitness, probably by adding an extra day at the gym.

“Take a deep breath, stretch your arms above your head, push your heels away and give the body a full stretch.” 

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Sophie’s Single

Chaos theory — kids, cats and all those costs S

OMETIMES LIFE AS a single mum really sucks.

It’s those times when you have to make decisions with no-one else to back you up, when that expensive bill comes through (hello rates notice) or when there is a crisis with your child and rather than make a decision you just want to cry. I think I have experienced all these things, in fact all within a couple of weeks of each other — yep, go my life. The New Year started off well, a nice relaxing holiday at the beach with my brother, plenty of sun, surf and sand. It deteriorated rather quickly upon my much needed return to work. Alcohol consumption is always a touchy subject, especially when you are young and think you can drink like a fish. I can only remember too well laughing at my own parents when they tried to tell me to slow down and stop drinking so much. I thought what do you know? Well, as it turns out, they knew quite a bit and I have now had this very same argument with one of my girls recently. She thought eight UDLs was a perfectly acceptable number to take to a party.

snootily removed from the esky — it was a hard-fought minor victory in the end, but hey, at least I won it. I am all for letting my kids find their own path and make their own mistakes but sometimes a little wisdom from mum doesn’t go astray, after all I have certainly had my fair share of drinking disasters over the years. And I must add I am glad they are pretty much a thing of the past for me now, way too old and who wants to spend a day on the couch nursing a hangover when you can be out running, swimming or riding? It has been a busy period on the triathlon calendar and I have competed in a couple of Olympic distance events (1.5 km swim, 40 km ride, 10 km run) and a few sprint distance ones as well. It has been awesome and while some people may think three triathlons in one week is bordering on obsessive — I am happy to inform my 42-year-old body dragged its way through it all quite well (mostly). My first Olympic distance triathlon at Nagambie was nearly derailed with a shoulder injury but some quick medical intervention saved that day.

I on the other hand strongly disagreed.

I have also tackled my first ocean swim which, I must admit, had me majorly freaked out.

It is pretty fair to say some tense and rather loud negotiating took place but in the end mumma won through and two were very

I had visions of surf rescue pulling me out of 10 m swells but the water was calm, there wasn’t a shark in sight and I even saw a

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Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone and having a crack at something new can bring more to your life than you could ever believe. I have met some great people, made some grouse friends and have realised that what doesn’t challenge you certainly doesn’t change you. And I figure if I keep doing triathlons for long enough I will end up the only person in my age group and might actually score a win one day — even if I need a wheelchair afterwards. Aside from my nasty rates notice, my bank account also experienced an additional bit of misfortune when my daughter’s cat took on a small brown snake in the backyard. Neither won — the snake got killed and Kitty got bitten. Luckily for Kitty she was lying in a spot where we saw her and she was rushed to the vet. She spent three days on the drip and made a miraculous recovery; my bank account might not. When your child is standing there with tears streaming down her face, sobbing her heart out of course you are going to save the bloody thing, even if you aren’t a cat fan yourself and you have to eat toast until next payday. Just another one of life’s little challenges. 

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Thirty Something

I have a secret to share, but not yet a story to tell F

LUX. I LOVE that word.

Just rolls off the tongue and is so descriptive, even with a touch of the exotic. Certainly it lends itself to the evocative. Where, you may wonder, am I going with all this? Well I hope you are sitting down because I have a little something to share with you.

There is, it would appear, a new man in my life. Leaving my otherwise normally ordered world in a state of flux. Even the dog thinks he’s OK so that success alone has got him past the front door. We met at an industry do — I was collecting another award and he was admiring. All of which is perfectly understandable, and certainly the way things should be. But as it turned out this admirer also proved to be somewhat amusing; he even bordered on the erudite. Let’s be honest, traits you just don’t expect to find in your average male, and when you do it gives you pause to wonder why. Not why he is showing he has half a brain, rather why is he still available? Because girls, I have to be honest here and

say reading colleague Sophie’s column about finding yourself suddenly single gives me further pause where men are concerned.

However I can sense things are starting to move forward at a pace I might not necessarily be setting, or controlling.

Mother, of course, is ecstatic. Don’t get me wrong, men definitely have their uses, but I can satisfy those needs “A man,” she chirped when I accidentally let with someone from Hire A Hubby or simithe news slip at a family lunch. lar when I need something heavy moved, a pipe wrenched (if that’s what you do to “How exciting. A man.” pipes) or lawn mown. Dear me, the way she went on you would have thought it was a first, and clearly she is But as we all know, a girl has other needs. already choosing colours at the wool shop Funding your shopping for example; or for booties to be knitted. taking fabulous holidays, or things that go The eldest of my smart alec, antediluvian bling in the dark. (that’s Latin for male) brothers cranked Don’t get me wrong, I am not ever to be mother up further when he chimed in with considered the best girlfriend money can “two dates, third strike and you’re out”! buy, and will happily fund my own fun — and Is it any wonder I avoid said lunches like the independence. plague, but had been trapped into this one However, if you are deliriously happy with because it coincided with dear mother’s someone, who just happens to have deep birthday. pockets, and is equally enamoured of you, Getting back to me though, which I am sure well surely that’s judged by that most basic is where you want to be, well that third date tenet of life — no harm, no foul? is tonight. Although that might be getting just a little I have even fed the dog early. ahead of my holiday planning. It would be a little bit of a fib if I did not After all, we have only had a couple of dates confess I have an air of girly giddiness about since that first connection of admired and me right now. admirer. I will tell all in the next issue of Bella. Both of which finished with a reasonably Probably.  chaste moment at the front door.

When women support other women, incredible things happen.

Congratulations Bella 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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