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Edition 9— June 2017

ur OOur n e n e m o m wwo

G N I Y L F H HIG Riverine


Planning to travel overseas?

What vaccinations do I need? Make an appointment at Rich River Health Group

TRAVEL VACCINES (INCLUDING YELLOW FEVER) (VACCINES SOLD ON SITE AT A RATE CHEAPER THAN CHEMISTS) Ideally, make an appointment 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Most vaccines take time to become effective in your body and some vaccines must be given in a series over a period of days or sometimes weeks. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while travelling. ✔






Are you aware of which types of vaccinations you or those travelling with you may need? CDC divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. While your doctor will tell you which ones you should have, it’s best to be aware of them ahead of time. YELLOW FEVER Yellow fever, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, is endemic in certain areas of Africa and South America. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into some countries. Infants and children aged >9 months can be vaccinated if they travel to countries within the yellow fever-endemic zone.

Vaccinations don’t stop at childhood. The shingles vaccine is provided free for people aged 70 years under the National Immunisation Program. There is also a five year catch-up program for people aged 71 – 79 years until 31 October 2021. CAUSE: Once you have had chickenpox, the virus can stay in your nervous system for many years. For reasons that are not fully understood, the virus may become active again and give you shingles. Shingles can spread through direct contact with an uncovered rash. 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime. As a person gets older, the risk of getting shingles increases. SYMPTONS: Initial symptoms of shingles can include headache, fever, flu like symptoms and malaise (general feeling of uneasiness). A stinging or burning sensation may appear on the affected area before the appearance of the skin rash (normally within 1-2 days of the initial symptoms). The rash is commonly on the trunk or body but can also appear on the face or other parts of the body and can be quite painful, causing a tingling or burning sensation. It creates a stripe or belt like pattern on the affected area and is usually limited to one side of the body. The rash forms small blisters which fill with a liquid and burst before the skin crust over and heals. Although most people recover within a few weeks, some go on to develop chronic nerve pain called post herpectic neuralgia. This may be severe and can sometimes go on for months.

To receive the immunisation, phone Rich River Health Group to make your appointment.

Phone 5480 6700 to make an appointment today

It is important to note that although the vaccine is provided at no cost, a consultation fee may apply.

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

Dr J Quayle

Dr S Gough

Dr G Hay

Dr J Teh

Dr J Azzopardi

Dr A Waldron

Dr R Rifat

Dr C Hunt

Dr D Ong

Dr H Rhode

Dr O Ajiboye

Dr Carolyn Siddel

Dr S Rahman

Dr R Shannan

Millewa Spa Retreat

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Issue 9, June 2017


On the cover 10

Eva Baker

W in


ht a Two-Nig urne o lb e Stay in M


Our high-flying women


Eva Baker — 41


Sienna Ellis — 0


Eliza Moon — 1


Hendrix Bryant — 2


Aria Mckenzie — 3


Pearl North — 4


Olive Ross — 5


Amy Gledhill — 20


Imogen Rickard — 6


Briah Chapman — 21


Lacey Hughes — 7


Tayla Slattery — 22


Sienna Christie — 8


Jordan Edwards — 23


Skye Gledhill — 9


Phoebey McAsey — 24


Astre Modra — 10


Brianna Read — 25


Jamison McFadden — 11


Sprinkle a bit of Frinkle in your life


Grace Davis — 12


How to brighten even the coldest day


Majella Mcleod — 13



Tori Oberin — 14

Assimilating Ayurveda into a local whole-of-life approach


Meg Rohde — 15


Let Millewa Spa transport you to heaven


Abbey Mathers — 16


Health group flush with medical riches


Nadya Jefferies — 17



Tilly Keenan — 18

Sophie’s Single: It’s an occasion, not a crisis  — DO YOU HEAR ME?


Hannah Simpson — 19


Thirty Something: I’ve had more than my fair share of failed romance

See page

Contact us

Bella editor Tyla Harrington 5482 1111





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 Words: Ivy Wise, Charmayne Allison, Vivienne Duck, Jessica Gledhill, Jessica Lamb, Alex Mitchell, Sophie Baldwin, David Chapman, Rusty Woodger, Andrew Mole, Tyla Harrington.



189 Hare Street, Echuca Victoria Phone 03 5480 3932

AT WILLOW TREE BEAUTY LOUNGE WE WANT YOU TO LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN! That’s why our extensive Aussie skin care treatment range has something for everyone. We offer a range of non-invasive treatments with no down time to your serious clinical skin therapies like our Fractional Mesotherapy Treatment we are launching July 2017. To be leaders in the skincare industry all our Senior Team have undergone continuous paramedical skin training to be up to date with the most current skin treatments available to ensure that there is no need to leave our beautiful town of Echuca-Moama to get the results you need. We offer a range of treatments from L.E.D Light Therapy, I.P.L Hair Reduction + Skin Rejuvenation, Microdermabrasion, Skin Peels and now our latest treatment coming soon Fractional Mesotherapy; the latest form of skin micro needling combined with Mesotherapy.

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HIS MONTH BELLA is more special than usual.

Special because we are presenting our feature on the ‘100 women of Bella’. What are 100 women of Bella, you ask? We interviewed 100 women, aged one to 100, who have done great things or are generally inspiring women living in EchucaMoama or surrounding towns. I’m not quite sure anyone here at Bella HQ understood the enormity of the journey we were about to start when the idea was thrown on the table earlier this year. Because the truth is there are thousands of women across our region who are deserving of a story. Trimming that down to just the 100 to feature in our four editions was never going to be easy. Still, it was something we thought had to be done. Every issue we’re fighting for spots, to secure stories that need to be told, or pictures that have to be seen. Having so many stories feature in one


AN THIS MAGAZINE get any better we ask ourselves as we prepare for each edition and the answer, it seems, is yes. Edition number nine is nothing short of remarkable — again.

Congratulations to our editorial team, which has worked extremely hard to bring to the table new, fresh and compelling stories to our loyal readers coupled with our partnering local businesses showcasing what they have to offer Echuca-Moama. In this edition it is the incredibly generous Samantha and the team at Willow Tree Beauty Lounge providing their time, knowhow and products in our winter beauty feature; make certain you read these hot

edition has never been done before. And while it will be for the next three months after that it won’t be done again. Never will we have so many stories in our magazine. And that needs to be celebrated — just like the 100 women deserve to be celebrated. You only have to look at the face of our 100-year-old. Look into her eyes and you can tell she has stories that need to be told. Lessons we can all learn from and advice we should all listen to. Then you look at our newborn and the serene naivety in her blue eyes. She is yet to learn her older brother died of whooping cough, and every day her mother thinks about the son she lost. She doesn’t know her mum had a miscarriage again last year and lost another boy, her little brother.

And all the other stories our journalists fought to get down on their notebooks, desperate not to miss a word or a part of the stories they were hearing. So when we sit back and take a deep breath and marvel at what’s in front of us, of course, we feel proud. We’ve created a piece of regional history right here, in the pages that follow the one you’re reading right now. The women we feature are significant, as are all the women around us, so please, I beseech you, read each and every single one of them. It doesn’t have to be today, tomorrow or even this week. But read them all. Take your time to really hear their messages. We can all learn something in this issue of Bella and the next three. Don’t miss this amazing instead make the most of it.


But one day she will, stories that only women truly understand. Maybe then she can read the story her mother told Bella journalist Ivy Wise.

Tyla Harrington Bella editor

tips on page 44.

reputation for delivering a flawless service.

Sure to get you licking your lips and jumping in the car to get your ice cream fix — with a twist — is our check-in with the Moama Bowling Club and its very popular, very delicious Frinkle.

As each Bella edition grows so does our appreciation of the women who feature in it, the local businesses supporting it and the Riv team creating it.

If you haven’t Frinkled yet you have no idea what you are missing. You also don’t want to miss Ashlee and Kaye Kennaugh, whose business Millewa Spa Retreat truly transports you to another world. Set in tranquil surrounds, a release that begins with the stunning water feature behind the front counter, this dynamic mother-daughter duo has a deserved

So put the kettle on, grab a warm blanket and book in some ME time to read our latest edition of Bella magazine. If you have a business and/or a story you think would be great for Bella we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us at the Riverine Herald office or via our Facebook page; facebook. com/bellamagazineechuca. Vanessa Brewis Bella advertising executive

Editor Tyla Harrington with advertising executive Vanessa Brewis.



The Beauty Room. The newly renovated space features top quality finishes and furnishings and a cosy open fire for guests to lay back and enjoy indulgent pampering. The Beauty Room. will be managed by local super talent, Gemma James. Gemma; renowned for her amazing facials and nail artistry is excited to offer a high-end, luxe experience to new and existing clients. “I’ve created some really beautiful treatments and packages for the guests, more of a focus on spa-style, luxury pampering with only the best skin care products, I’m really going to step things up”.

OSALON_ Echuca owner, Jessica O’Reilly, travels annually to New York in September to style runway hair for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and has earned a reputation for perfection and The Beauty Room. will not disappoint either. Jess and Gem share a passion for pampering guests and providing high-quality service. With the launch of The Beauty Room. at OSALON_ Echuca, guests will now enjoy the convenience of a quality, high-end, one-stop-shop whether it be for luxury pampering, express maintenance or beautiful weddings!

Gemma is familiar with the esplanade address as she previously worked in the building, formerly named Zabui. “I’m so excited to be starting at OSALON_ and returning to work in the port area, The Beauty Room. is now taking bookings for its it’s my dream job and it’s exactly where I want to be, opening in July and guests are encouraged to take I feel like I’ve come full circle!” advantage of the “Opening Pamper Packages”. The Beauty Room. will also offer indulgent facials, waxing, Bondi Sands tanning, relaxation massage, manicures, pedicures and professional makeup as well as stocking certified organic skin-care products and Kryolan makeup range. Owner, Jessica O’Reilly says she is thrilled to be expanding and having Gemma come on board. “I’ve been wanting OSALON_ to expand into beauty for a while, it’s just been a matter of waiting for the right time and the right person. Guests are just loving the convenience of being able to have their hair and beauty needs met in the one visit, Gem is an amazing therapist and I’m lucky to have someone of her calibre working for OSALON_.” Jess and Gem have worked together in the past and feel now is the time to join forces.

All beauty appointments can be made by calling or texting Gemma on 0488 238 360 or popping into OSALON_ at 33 Murray Esplanade Echuca. Additional information can be found on the OSALON_ Echuca Instagram @OSALON_ or by calling or texting Jess on 0434 221 984. The Beauty Room.

“Paws & Claws” Opening Package $99 July only Come in and unwind in our beautiful new space and indulge in one of our gorgeous OSALON_ signature facials by the cosy new fireplace, followed by tending to those paws and claws with a shellac mani and shellac pedi.



100 women of Bella

ur OOur n e n e m wwoom


T SEEMED SIMPLE enough — have a team of enthusiastic journalists interview 10 girls and women each and produce a fluffy feature about 100 women (and women in making).

And how wrong we were. What we had accidentally stumbled into was an incredible catalogue of potential, of achievement and bravery and so much compassion and humanity and determination to overcome. The 100 Women of Bella is testament to what every woman has to offer themselves, their families and friends and the wider Echuca-Moama community and surrounds. Not one of those interviewed thought they had done anything out of the ordinary, they just did what had to be done. From our centenarian to the proud parents


of our youngest subjects this is a moving, emotional, inspiring and uplifting experience.

It left our writers drained and in awe. What was going to be just a few paragraphs each, with one or two longer stories has demanded (and deserved) so much space we have been forced to run it across four editions.

And even then that will not fully do justice to each and every one of them. Such as Eva Baker, who appears on our cover and on these pages. Although this month we present women in the 0–25 group, Eva has become the face of our high-flying women and her story can be found overleaf. We know you will be as amazed as we were when you read about our extraordinarily ordinary women. 


100 women of Bella

Eva Baker — 41 By Charmayne Allison


“THANK GOD FOR Colonel Sanders from Eva recalled her first glimpse of Wollongong Scheduled to launch in September, her Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Eva Baker like something from an industrial dystopian workshops will cover a range of makeup declared. novel — the grey steel works, the smoke techniques including mature makeup, day stacks and a drizzling sky. and night looks, contouring and strobing Sitting in the afternoon sunlight with a cup and vintage looks. of tea, she shared the story that inspired her “I was horrified as a country, fresh-aired to turn her life around. kind of person — I didn’t see the beautiful While Eva said young women were welcome beaches I see now,” she said. to the workshops, she particularly hopes to “His life began horrendously — his wife left reach women 30 and over. him, he was fired from his job, he wanted to On graduating high school, Eva hoped to take his own life — just crap, crap, crap.” pursue her dream of becoming a sports “Older women are much more grounded, massage therapist — instead, her father they have all this wisdom, they don’t play Eva then detailed how the KFC founder forced her into studying psychology at a games — they have so much to offer,” she turned his passion for homemade fried university six hours away. said warmly. chicken into a multi-million dollar business — all at the age of 65. Her mental health spiralling downward as “And yet they get overlooked again and she wrestled with homesickness, Eva even- again. “Okay, I don’t want to be 65 by the time I get tually left her studies and returned home. things together, but sometimes that’s how “This is why I do what I do — when I help long your lessons take,” she said. Soon after, Eva was visiting her sister’s hair- these women learn a new skill, they look in dresser in an upmarket salon when she was the mirror and see they’re a little bit brighter “But I think of him and I say, ‘It’s never too offered a job. and a little bit fresher, their shoulders relax, late’. and they just breathe deeper and the chin “They offered me a position as a hairdresser “The point is, no one has it all together, goes up a little. while I was sitting in the chair — if that’s not regardless of age — it’s so important for the universe handing you something, I don’t “I’ve heard them gasp and say words like, younger women to understand that.” know what is,” she laughed. ‘Oh, I’m pretty.’ They probably haven’t felt On first meeting 41-year-old Eva Baker, one like that in forever. Eighteen years later she is settled in is struck with several impressions. Kyabram, running a successful bridal “Sometimes you just need someone to hold First, there is the green and black hair swept hair business — Eva Baker Wedding Hair your hand through the training process into thick 1950s waves, the impeccable Dita Stylist — with plans to start makeup work- and tell you you’re worth it — is that from von Teese makeup and the fishnets. shops for women looking to learn new skills. Maybelline? Well, it’s true.”

This is followed by the warmth; energy andEva confessed the past 18 years had also Now, Eva finds herself facing a crossroads in openness of her personality, after a couple been a time of vital personal growth. life. With a vibrant wedding business under of minutes conversation you feel like you her belt and budding makeup workshops, After a relationship breakdown caused her are talking to a childhood friend. she wants to ensure the next 20 years are to reassess the direction her life was taking, All this coalesces into a single impres-Eva embarked on a healing journey of not wasted. sion — she is a woman who has always self-discovery. Her mind is replete with dreams of mounknown her own mind. tain biking — her greatest passion — in New “I wanted it to be different; I wanted it to be Zealand, Canada and America. In fact, Eva is a walking, talking reason why better. I didn’t want to have all the issues you can’t judge a book by its cover. that I had, I wanted to work through them,” “It’s the complete opposite of what people expect,” Eva laughed. “People have a perception of me that she said. I’ve always been comfortable in my own With the guidance of a psychologist, Eva “They ask if I wear fake eyelashes when I ride, skin — I’m alternative, I dress differently, struggled to address the pain she had and I say, ‘Sometimes!’ I have green hair and wear night-time oppressed for years. “Mountain biking overseas will be another makeup at eight in the morning,” she said, “I used to be unable to say the word ‘self-challenge — going to a place by myself, just speaking rapidly. love’. I  come from a history of anorexia and me and my bike.” “Whereas, in fact, I have been so uncomfort- bulimia, and I couldn’t pick out one thing I When asked what she is proudest of in able in my own skin. loved about myself,” she said. her life thus far, her reply comes without “My life has been a huge journey of self-dis-“But we broke it. We started with ‘I love my hesitation. covery, learning my own self-worth and toes’ and then just moved up from there. “Above all, I’m proudest of learning to accept knowing that I don’t have to be what the “Now, I can look at myself and not be horri- myself, and to own my worth. It’s been a norm is — because what’s normal anyway?” fied. I  remember finally being able to say, huge journey — and I’m still going.” Born in Sydney in 1976, Eva spent most of ‘I love myself.’ Not ‘I’m up myself’ — but ‘I Find Eva Baker Wedding Hair Stylist, visit her childhood years in Wagga Wagga where accept myself, flaws and all’. To contact Eva for both her parents worked in education. “To be able to love the parts of you that are more details, call 0468 721 980 or email At age 14, she experienced culture shock on a bit broken or flawed or unpolished is so moving to Wollongong with her family. crucial.”


1 13


100 women of Bella


Sienna Ellis — 0 S

IENNA ELLIS IS a rainbow baby because rainbows are born following a storm.

Sadly, in Sienna’s case, it was two storms. Tragically it began with a death and then a miscarriage. “She is a very special baby,” her mother Samantha Reade said. Every mother’s worst nightmare, Samantha lost her first child Kristian to whooping cough six years ago. He was only 14 days old. Almost a year later, she gave birth to daughter Azarlia, who is now five. Tragically, Samantha suffered a miscarriage last year. “I had an ultrasound at 16 weeks and there was no heartbeat. The doctor told me the baby had died at 12 or 13 weeks,” she said.


“It was a boy. I feel like I have bad luck with boys.” But, like a rainbow follows a storm, it gives hope of things getting better. And hope came in the form of Sienna.

Samantha and partner Anthony Ellis welcomed their daughter into the world on March 27. “She was born breech which was a bit scary,” Samantha said. Sienna’s arrival came after an anxious ninemonth wait.

“I was scared throughout the whole pregnancy,” Samantha said. “I was petrified I would lose her after all that had happened.”

For Samantha, losing Kristian was “the Thankfully, there have been no compli- worst time in my life”, but she keeps his cations and Sienna is settling into life in memory alive by talking about him with her Echuca — under the watchful eye of her daughters. mum. “When Sienna grows up, I will tell her she has Because of the risk of whooping cough, a big brother in heaven who is looking down Samantha did not take her daughter out in on her and I think that’s pretty special,” she public until she was fully immunised against said. the deadly infection. And just as the rainbow is more appreci“I was extremely paranoid,” she said. “But it’s ated having just experienced the storm, so better to be safe than sorry. is Sienna. “I am so against people who don’t vaccinate “I want to cherish every moment because their kids. I’m sure they would change their you never know what is going to happen,” minds if they had been through what I have.” Samantha said.




100 women of Bella

Eliza Moon — 1


And it was sheer luck that Carmen and her husband Stacey weren’t there at the When her mum Carmen gave birth to her time — because they had she knew instantly something was wrong. been just minutes earlier. “My motherly instinct kicked in and because “We were told to get out she was my fourth baby I could tell someof the hospital while she thing was different and I knew something was in surgery for at least was not right,” Carmen said. eight hours,” Carmen said. Eliza arrived with her hand bent over and “So we caught a tram without a sucking reflex. into the city and caught But this was just the beginning for what has a movie — but I couldn’t concentrate and I just been a whirlwind 16 months of Eliza’s life. wanted to get back to “Often the wrist and heart are connected at my baby. birth, due to the timing of their growth but “So we went back to the when the x-ray of her hand came back fine I hospital and were just was relieved,” Carmen said. going to wait in the “That was until they did the ultrasound on recovery room for her her heart. to come out. “I was looking at the ultrasound as it was “As we were on the tram taking place and I just knew and could see back to the hospital the holes in her heart.” we saw all these police Eliza was born with two holes in her heart cars fly past us and and the inevitable open heart surgery was we just knew somehorrible had something the anxious mother eventually thing happened. had to agree to. LTHOUGH ONE-YEAR-OLD Eliza Moon isn’t aware of it, she is a miracle baby.

“We had to put some weight on her but “When we got to the because she didn’t have the natural suck- hospital, this is something I will never ing action it was torture trying to get her to forget, we saw a feed,” Carmen said. police man running in “I had to smack her bum every time for her to the hospital with to latch on and feed. the three-month-old “I had breastfed all my other babies and I baby that died in the wasn’t going to stop now, even if she was rampage.” hooked up to all these machines and tubes.” Eliza could have woken up without her Before Eliza was big enough for surgery, parents. doctors insisted on genetic testing.


But she woke up and with strength her parents did not know she had, she kept From there, Eliza grew stronger but learnt enduring what was needed. quickly that whenever the door opened to “But without that test we wouldn’t have “It is amazing what she had to endure,” her hospital room, something was going to found out Eliza had DiGeorge syndrome.” Carmen said. hurt. DiGeorge syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that results in poor development “But when I saw her for the first time after “I remember her looking at me in the hospiher surgery I didn’t recognise her. It was like tal room every time the door opened as if to of several bodily systems. she was a different baby. say ‘please don’t let them do anything more It can cause heart defects and a poor to me’,” Carmen said. “It was horrible. Your role as a parent is taken immune system, like it did with Eliza. away from you and you can’t do anything “To see that fear in her eyes and that you can’t “There are 180 different things that could go to help her.” take that away from them is heartbreaking.” wrong, but thankfully all of them are treataEvery day during her recovery, Carmen andEliza eventually came home to Rochester ble,” Carmen said. Stacey got to take a tube or cord off her and although she has regular check-ups, “So we have been going through different and see how she went. she is a happy and healthy baby. tests as she has been growing and crossing But it was when the doctors pulled her “It was all like a dream,” Carmen said. them off our list or adding them to it. pacemaker cords out that Carmen remem“I have a newfound appreciation of the Royal “And as she kept growing, the open heart bers the most. Children’s Hospital and we are so fortunate surgery grew closer — I just kept saying “no”. “I didn’t really know how they were going to to live in Australia and have access to the “But we had to bite the bullet and on January do it because she had cords going into her health system that we do. It is something 20 this year she went into surgery at the heart and the doctors said ‘are you ready we take for granted. Royal Children’s Hospital.” mum?’ and I just agreed not really sure what “If it wasn’t for all the amazing medical staff was going to happen,” she said. This day has become synonymous as the here in Rochester and Echuca and down in day a man drove down Bourke St, killing six “And then they just yanked them out, it Melbourne, our circumstances could have shocked me so much.” and injuring dozens. been a lot different.” “I didn’t really think anything of it — it was just another test,” Carmen said.


Open 7 days from 10 am 0447 339 455 572 High Street, Echuca


100 women of Bella

Hendrix Bryant — 2 S

HE MAY BE small, but Hendrix Bryant is fierce.

14-months and one on the way, due in September.

The two-year-old, who only started talking six months ago, has been medically classified as a failure to thrive baby and diagnosed with an undiagnosed genetic disorder, anxiety disorder and developmental delays.

“The first eight months of having Kingi (14-month-old) I didn’t leave the house,” Sarah said.

But mum Sarah has high hopes for her daughter who she describes as “just beautiful in our eyes”. Initially told she had lost her baby at 15 weeks, Sarah was then classed as having a high-risk pregnancy and limited to bed rest. Then at 32 weeks she was diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis — a pregnancy complication where hormones affect the liver and toxins can build up. She was induced four weeks later and Hendrix was born, weighing just 2.5 kg and measuring 43 cm. “From that moment on, she struggled to gain weight,” Sarah said and within two weeks she had dropped to less than 2 kg. “We battled through breastfeeding her every two hours and she consistently failed to gain weight,” Sarah said. “It was a nightmare. She would scream and scream and only sleep in 40 minute spurts. “She would also vomit constantly. I once counted 117 times in one day. “Her poo went green and frothy and the doctors kept telling me it was an allergy to cow’s milk protein so I changed my diet but nothing helped.” Once she hit three months, Hendrix was referred to a paediatrician. From then she would spend months in and out of Bendigo hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital. She was tube-fed for months and still barely gained weight. By 10 months, Hendrix was referred to a genetics team at the RCH. Now at the age of two and almost 10 kg, Hendrix continues to be tested for numerous genetic syndromes. And with results for one test taking as many as 15 weeks, it could be months or years before the family gets answers. In the meantime, the Bryants are doing everything they can to ensure their daughter has the best life possible — as well as raising three other children, aged 11, 9 and

“It was super hard having them so close but now a year on it is a blessing for Kingi as they are learning from each other.” Sarah said Hendrix was a different and regular two-year-old rolled into one. “Her senses are heightened and instead of a regular meltdown, we have a gigantic one,” she said. “Being compared to everyone else is hard work. No two people fit into the same mould. “I constantly get asked ‘has she grown?’ and then they will answer ‘she looks like she has grown or she looks bigger’. She is always going to get bigger. She has poor growth, not non-existent. “I guess it’s a lack of education and experience. People always want to say something but forget about the sensitivity of the issue.” Welcoming Hendrix into her family has also opened up a whole different side to Sarah as a mother. “I never knew how strong I was until I got challenged by her and still continue to get challenged by her,” she said.


“It is hard as people don’t see anything but a naughty child.

“Often we get frowned on because she isn’t a social little thing or doesn’t like changes or unfamiliar faces.

“When people question her behaviour, it makes me feel bad and like I am failing a bit. I feel like I have to justify her behaviour which I know is wrong.”

Despite all the challenges, Sarah is optimistic about Hendrix’s future.

“We work with early childhood intervention and they help us to develop her skills and language and tools for everyday things,” she said. “She has a very interactive team at her day care that also works with her early intervention team to ensure she is at ease there and they can help to manage her issues.

“We are quite confident she will attend school and kinder with her siblings. Her early childhood intervention team will help us work to find an aid and help that transition for us and make it as easy as we can on Hendrix.” And they make sure to spend lots of time doing Hendrix’s favourite things.

“Her favourite place is the park and she loves watching the animals,” Sarah said.



100 women of Bella

Aria Mckenzie — 3 F

OR ARIA MCKENZIE, oblivion is bliss. Photo: Squirrel Lane Photography

The Echuca three-year-old isn’t yet able to comprehend the effect her rare condition will have on her for years to come.

3 4

Aria was born with hereditary rickets, a condition where her body doesn’t absorb calcium, which can lead to a softening and weakening of bones. But her mother Pagan said it won’t stop her from doing anything.

When Pagan was pregnant with her third child, geneticists told her there was a 50 per cent chance the daughter she was carrying would be a carrier herself as the condition ran in husband Michael’s family. Aria has the X-linked vitamin D-resistant kind.

“She has always been on the small side. She is three and still wears a size one and only “And she will be on it for the rest of her life.” It’s frustrating.” weighs 10 kg,” Pagan said. But what is proving to be the hardest part It is still early days so, for now, specialists Because her condition can lead to bowed are the routine tests every three months at will continue to monitor her progress. legs, Aria may need leg braces or opera- the Royal Children’s Hospital. “She will start kinder the year after next tions to straighten her legs in the future. “She has already developed a needle phobia,” which will be a challenge in itself and then “She is also at risk of early arthritis and oste- Pagan said. we’ll have to navigate through school,” oporosis. Her legs ache already,” Pagan said. “I have to hold her down when she gets the Pagan said. Three months ago she started taking medi- blood tests. I feel like the worst mother in “But for now, we’re just playing it by ear.” cation to overload her body with calcium the world when I have to do that because And despite the challenges she faces, Aria and phosphate in the hope she will absorb all I want to do is protect her.” is a happy and determined child “with the some of the minerals. Pagan also struggled with the knowledge biggest heart”, Pagan said. “She has to drink a formula three times a day the condition will affect her daughter when “When she has a bad day, she comes home and take a tablet once a day,” Pagan said. she wants to have her own family. and hangs out with her best friends — the And despite the nasty taste, Aria now “She has a 50 per cent chance of passing it dogs — and that makes her happy,” she said. happily drinks her medication because “it onto her own children,” she said. “She’s our little shining star. makes me grow”. “That means she’ll have to go through it “It’s just part of her day, her life, now,” Pagan all again with her children. That upsets “We just call her Ra instead of Aria because nothing stops her.” me more than me having to go through it. said.

Pearl North — 4


CHUCA’S PEARL NORTH just keeps proving doctors wrong.

“I didn’t even get to hold her until she was 11 days old.”

Born eight weeks premature with multiple And her homecoming at seven holes in her lungs, the four-year-old has weeks was short-lived. fought for her life on several occasions. Pearl suffered from a stranguYou wouldn’t know it to look at her though. lated ovary and partial bowel obstruction, so she had to be The vivacious daughter of Sarah and Brian raced back to hospital for North does not stop. surgery. Whether it’s running, dancing or talkThankfully she has not ing — she is always on the go. had any more health Rewind four years and it was a frighteningly complications and different story. is now a bubbly, Because of her lung problems, Pearl hadcurious and enerto be intubated for five weeks in the Mercy getic girl. Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

“She amazes us constantly Then she spent a further two weeks in the and is kicking goals with everything she does,” Sarah special care nursery at Bendigo hospital. said. “Three times we had to sit by her bed to say “Her fitness is incredible.” goodbye,” mum Sarah said.


As well as doing ballet twice a week, Pearl has just started playing Auskick on Friday nights and sometimes joins in with her mum at the gym or yoga. She also goes to kinder twice a week and is looking to join big sister Coco, 5, at Echuca Primary (208) School next year. Because of the problems she had with her lungs at birth, doctors said Pearl was likely to suffer from asthma and would never run a marathon. However, that will not stop Pearl, according to Sarah. “She’s ticked everything else off the charts, so my guess is she’ll be running marathons too,” she said.

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100 women of Bella

Olive Ross — 5


LIVE ROSS HAS not only started school this year, but her own business.

And if she starts making money on her designs, it will be invested straight into her other passion in life — her Lego.

The young entrepreneur is following in the footsteps of her mother Sarah, who upcy- Sarah said it was nice to be able to do cles vintage fabrics into clothing and other something creative with her daughter. products through her online business Ferris “She definitely takes after me,” she said. Fox Creations. “We are super proud of her and her passion “I want to be just like mum,” Olive said. to be something someday. Olive, who makes her own jewellery, calls “For her age, it’s wonderful. She is one kind, her business Made by Olive. generous, bright, bubbly confident kid “She’s always been creative and when I that’s for sure. started making blankets for a market earlier “She is never not making, drawing, making this year she said she wanted to make her her own movies, designs or dancing.” own jewellery to sell,” Sarah said. When Olive’s not making stuff, she is attendSo she made necklaces and bracelets out ing Echuca Primary (208) School. of beads and sold almost all of them at the And there were a couple of things she Maiden’s Inn market in March. enjoys most about school. “I like making up my own designs,” Olive said. “Sometimes you can do skipping,” she said. “I like it because it’s peaceful and relaxing and makes me happy.” “And I like drawing, of course.”

Imogen Rickard — 6


MONTH BEFORE her fourth birthday, Imogen Rickard lost her father to cancer.

Two years on and the grief has not gone away. The hardest part is knowing her dad won’t be there to celebrate the milestones in her life. Her first day of school, first dance concert, first love.

And he won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. But for now, it’s the little things Imogen misses, according to her mother Lindy Leyonhjelm.

“Not having him there to tickle her, tell his jokes, teach her to ride a bike, so many dad things,” she said.

“She gets sad at times because she wants him to be a part of her life, take her to dance, watch her concerts, be at Father’s Day celebrations, and watch her play sport, all of her firsts or seconds or forevers. “Her brother, sister and cousins tell her stories of what he used to do with them. He was king of the kids and she feels like she has missed out on so much because she was too young to remember all of the great things or too young to start riding a bike.

“At this year’s school sports she started to get sad and cry because she wasn’t winning, which was unusual for her to react that way. “I found out it was because her dad wasn’t there to watch her. There were so many mums, dads and grandparents who popped in to watch some of the day and she really missed having him there and didn’t know


how to express it — apart from crying.”

little girl she was — and more.”

Wayne Rickard died in August 2014 after a battle with gastric cancer.

Her understanding of illness and the possibility of someone dying is also very deep.

He spent 12 weeks at the Southern Medical University Renkang Hospital in China where he underwent a non-toxic therapy using sound and light.

“She associated being sick with dying for so long, but now she understands that there are different types of sick, but hospitals still scare her,” Lindy said.

And Imogen and Lindy were there with him every step of the way through his treatment.

However, she said being surrounded by sick people for so long had given her daughter so much more compassion for others.

“Imogen had seen so many sick people for almost a year, so for her it was almost normal to be around really ill people,” Lindy said. “She cried a lot but was also a shining light. She was my never-ending companion and wouldn’t leave me and it was also because I was so scared that if I left her I could lose her too. “Death creates so many fears that we wouldn’t normally feel.

“Her comprehension of life and how it works is beyond her years,” Lindy said. “Her compassion and empathy for others is beautiful to watch.” Although there was still a lot of sadness in her heart, there was also so much joy and happiness that hadn’t been there in the past, Lindy said. “Little by little, she is finding her own personality and not having her life be defined by losing her dad,” she said.

“She would want to talk about him all of the time, ask me to tell funny stories, wanted to “It’s like a flower that has been dormant for know what he would laugh at and want to years and finally comes out for the world to watch videos and look at photos of Wayne.” see its beauty.” Wayne’s death has had a significant effect on Imogen. “She became quiet and went into her shell,” Lindy said. “The freedom of being a small child with no worries was taken away from her when her dad got really sick. “It is only this year that I have seen her regain self-confidence and be more of herself. “Her smile is a true smile now, it isn’t a half smile, she laughs out loud so much more. “She is very slowly coming into the



100 women of Bella

Lacey Hughes — 7


“The other two are more like me. But parent-“She is the ultimate creator. She is always making something with various impleing Lacey is like learning a second language. ments,” Cath said. Even if he is in heaven. “She has taught me a lot.” “She appreciates the pretty and finer things.” The seven-year-old not only had to endure Now in Year 2, Lacey enjoys writing and the devastation of losing her father to It is also evident that Lacey has appreciated reading — just like her mum. cancer just over two years ago, but she the short time she had with her dad. She also loves singing, dancing, art, swimstarted school for the first time nine days “I think about him lots. It makes me happy ming and playing the piano. after he died. and sometimes sad,” Lacey said. An impressive drawer for her age and some“I remember my first day. It was scary,” she one who enjoys “wearing pretty clothes”, it “But he is looking down on me all the time.” said. is no surprise she hopes to be a fashion “I felt a little bit angry because everyone elsedesigner one day. had a daddy except me.” ACEY HUGHES WILL always be daddy’s little girl.

But each day she got up, got dressed and went to St Mary’s Primary School no matter how terrified she felt. “I went and played with my friends and moved on,” she said. In 2014, her dad Brett ‘Bazz’ Hughes was diagnosed with stage four oesophageal cancer — given just six to 18 months to live. He died six weeks later, at the age of 35. It was an unimaginable loss for the family he left behind — wife Cath and their other children Finn, 5, and Willow, 4. And as hard as it was to comprehend for their eldest child, Lacey showed remarkable strength — largely due to the love and support shown by the community. “Those first few weeks focused so much on her,” Cath said.


“As a five-year-old she didn’t notice all of it but what she did notice is that people cared. “There was so much love around us at the time. The kindness we experienced was overwhelming. “And it showed us that life goes on.

“I try to teach the kids that the kindness we experienced is now ours to give to others. And that things are not fair, but that’s life.” The family always talk about Bazz which Cath said helped with the grieving process.

“It’s an open door policy and we welcome any conversation about him,” Cath said. “Sometimes Lacey asks if the bugs have finished eating daddy’s body or she questions heaven. No question is off limits.” But they really love reliving the good times.

“Lacey is always telling me things remembers about Bazz,” Cath said.


Lacey said her dad was funny, confident and happy. The same things she describes for herself.

“I do things like my dad,” she said.

Cath just has to look at her daughter to be reminded of Bazz.

“Lacey is just like Bazz. Her personality, the way she looks, even her temper,” she said.



100 women of Bella

Sienna Christie — 8


IENNA CHRISTIE HAS a condition so rare, it is believed to affect less than 80 people worldwide.

The Nanneella eight-year-old is classified as legally blind after being diagnosed at five days’ old with a congenital disease in her right eye. Mum Katrina said three days after Sienna and twin Alesha were born, Sienna was struggling to open her eyes. She was referred to a specialist at the Royal Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with Peter’s Anomaly which presents as a large, black, abnormal looking eye. “The specialist told us he had only seen six cases of it in the world,” Katrina said. To make matters worse, she was also diagnosed with glaucoma in her left eye, which lowered her vision. As a baby, Sienna was extremely light sensitive, holding her head down or squinting her eyes in bright light. “We would have to black out the windows because she would get headaches because of the build-up of pressure in her eye,” Katrina said. Over the next two years, Sienna’s eye grew larger and painful and after many visits to the RCH, Sienna had her eye removed at the age of two.


In a five-hour operation, the abnormal eye was removed and a glass ball was implanted in the eye socket.

“Within the first week, all her headaches were gone,” Katrina said. In October 2010, Sienna had her first prosthetic eye fitted, which fell out several times because of the wrong fit.

“She is on her fifth prosthetic eye so far,” Katrina said. “She had to have a couple remoulded because they didn’t fit properly.” Sienna has a visual acuity of 6/48 which means at a distance of 6 m she can read a row of letters that a fully sighted person can read at 48 m.

“She is fine walking, but she is learning about distance at the moment. She doesn’t like to be surrounded by cars such as in an underground carpark,” Katrina said. “Because she is considered legally blind, she will never be able to drive.” However, Sienna is not letting that stand in the way of learning or doing what she loves, including ballet and athletics.

The Moama Anglican Grammar Year 3 student has also learnt to adapt at school.

“I use an iPad and take a photo of the work on the whiteboard and take it back to my desk so I can enlarge the words,” Sienna said.


“I also wear glasses for reading.” And she doesn’t like to be different from the other students. “She has been given a cane but she doesn’t feel comfortable using it,” Katrina said. “She is very independent. She doesn’t want to be the odd one out.”

That also seems to be the case when it comes to her future aspirations — wanting to follow in her parents’ footsteps. “I want to be a farmer,” she said. Sienna continues to have six-monthly check-ups at the RCH and receives ongoing support from Vision Australia.

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100 women of Bella


Skye Gledhill — 9


“It sets off alarms which can potentially save times a day. her life,” Lisa said. Skye started on the injections immediately and at one stage was having up to five “Skye is insulin sensitive and also hypo-unaware. Most people can feel it (low glucose needles a day. When she was five, Skye was rushed to the levels) — my daughter can’t. So we can hear Geelong Hospital with sky-high sugar levels. After endless trips to the hospital over it if her levels are low.” “Normal sugar levels should be under 10 and the years, Skye changed over to an insulin pump two years ago, which has improved Her illness has been difficult to deal with at hers was at 28.7,” mum Lisa said. times and has affected her life to the point her quality of life. She also had high levels of ketones — 8.4 that she does distance education from The pump delivers basal insulin continuwhen they should be under 0.6 — which can home — a dairy farm in Bamawm. ously over 24 hours and keeps her blood cause blood poisoning. glucose levels in range between meals and“She has her meltdown days where she asks “By that stage, we nearly lost her,” Lisa said. ‘why do I have this?’ ‘I hate my pump and overnight. “She was borderline dropping into a coma Skye also has to program different amounts diabetes’ but you’ve got to expect that,” Lisa said. which was very scary to see.” of insulin at different times of the day and “There will obviously be challenges as she Ten hours later, the family got the diagno- night depending on what she eats. grows up. My biggest challenge is to change sis — type 1 diabetes. She was also the first person in Echuca to her mindset and get her to look at things in receive the fi rst free continuous glucose It is a life-long autoimmune disease where a positive way.” monitoring device in May. the body in unable to produce insulin. In the meantime, Skye is just enjoying being To stay alive, type 1 diabetics must have a The latest technology allows her glucose a kid. levels to be monitored 24 hours a day constant supply of insulin through injections or an insulin pump and they test their blood through a sensor, which then transmits “She is full on fun and loving with the biggest sugar by pricking their fingers at least four readings to her insulin pump. heart,” Lisa said. KYE GLEDHILL IS lucky to be alive.

Because the nine-year-old Bamawm girl almost didn’t make it to her sixth birthday.


Astre Modra — 10 A

STRE MODRA LOVES cows and so she should — she was named after one.

What’s more, the nine-year-old is already a champion cow handler. She recently won reserve junior champion at the North West Calf Show at Cohuna and has taken out a few handler classes at various shows over the years. “Winning was good,” she said. “I walk around in a circle with the cow or heifer and show it off. They judge you on how you present it. “I’ve been doing it for about five years now.” Astre lives with her family on a dairy farm in Gunbower, which milks about 200 cows. “It’s good because there is lots of space,” she said. Rostered to work on the farm every second afternoon, Astre helps with teat spraying, washing the cows and feeding the calves.


“I like to milk them and help get them ready for shows,” she said.

Astre’s next show is the Victorian Winter Fair this month in Bendigo. And when she’s not preparing for shows, Astre attends Gunbower Primary School and does acro and ballet at iDance. But as much as she loves life on the land, asked whether she was going to follow in her parents’ footsteps, she wasn’t so sure. “I’d like to be a dancer,” she said.



100 women of Bella 11–20 BY JESS GLEDHILL

Jamison McFadden — 11 J

AMISON MCFADDEN IS literally tumbling her way through life.

The pint-sized gymnast was selected in the 2017 Victorian Trampoline Gymnastics Team in April to compete in the under-13 national stream tumbling team. Despite being just 11, she already has one national championship under her belt. She headed to the Australian Gymnastics Championships in 2016 and found it a daunting task the first time around. “It’s easier after you’ve done it the first time because you know what to expect,” Jamison said about attending the nationals for a second year. Jamison was given a tumbling track from her parents for Christmas which has helped improve her gymnastics skills. “It’s made me stronger and means I can practice a lot more often,” she said. “I’m in year seven at the moment and a little younger than the other kids because I started school a year earlier, but it doesn’t bother me. “I’ve been at Moama Anglican Grammar School since primary school so it made it easier moving into high school.” Jamison enjoys sport at school and at this stage has no idea what direction her life will take — she is only 11. But she is certain on one thing — she will be competing at the world gymnastics one day having watched gymnasts compete at the Olympics since she was a small(er) girl.

11 Jamison also trains in jazz at i-Dance Echuca, as well as tumbling at Palmer’s Gym in Bendigo, which she said helped with her tumbling and improved her strength.


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100 women of Bella

Grace Davis — 12


HEY SAY THIRD time is the charm, which may have been the case for the Davis family when little Grace came along.

Now in Year 6 at St Mary’s Primary School in Echuca, Grace entered the world as the third child of Fiona and Leigh with Ben, 22, and Jess, 20, coming into the picture a lot earlier.

12 13 With her brother and sister both out of home studying, Grace is enjoying life as an-almost-only-child.

“I love spending most of my time outdoors, as we live outside of town and have plenty of space,” Grace said.

“I love animals and have two pets, a dog that is very energetic and loves to play. His name is Turner and we adopted him from the pound. “I also have a cat named Soxy.”

Grace is as passionate about people as she is for animals, and helping others is why she one day hopes to become a lawyer or nurse.

“I have to do really well at school to achieve this though,” she said. “Next year I hope to go to St Joseph’s College where my brother and sister went.”

For now, Grace is just enjoying playing netball at Echuca United Netball Club in the under-12s and tennis, which she only

started in 2016 at Echuca South Tennis Club.

The love for the club has been passed onto her daughter, who continually helps out Her mother is a proud supporter of the wherever she can, but mostly just loves netball club and has been involved on the having the opportunity to play for a team. netball committee for several years.

Majella Mcleod — 13


HE SPORTY MAJELLA Mcleod has not been a teenager for long but it hasn’t stopped her achieving a lot of success — her trophy cabinet is already running out of room.

Majella isn’t one to shy away from school sports either; winning the spirit award from the school swimming sports two years in a row.

“I used to be really bad at cross counA netballer, cyclist, swimmer, runner and try growing up and as I got older I kept triathlete (and whatever else she manages getting better,” she said. to get her hands on), Majella is constantly Her achievements include an under-12 on the move and wouldn’t have it any other netball premiership with Echuca United, the way. junior girl under-13 title at this year’s Echuca She has just entered her second year of Moama Triathlon Club Championships, a B-grade junior track club champion at high school at St Joseph’s and to no-one’s surprise physical education is her favouriteEchuca Moama Cycling Club, a win in her first road race and time subject. trial at Mt Buffalo — all within 12 And being younger than most her year level months. doesn’t bother her. “I’d love to be a personal “I know I have a different ability to most trainer one day but for now other year eight girls because of my age,” I’ll just keep enjoying sport she said. and running,” she said. “But it just makes me push harder.” And she’s used to performing beyond her age, playing in the under-18s Rochester basketball team at age 11 against players twice her size.



100 women of Bella

Tori Oberin — 14 E

CHUCA-MOAMA’S TORI Oberin, a 14-year-old school girl, is a prima ballerina in the making and following her dreams all the way to Canada after receiving a ballet school scholarship in March.


She has been training in Melbourne with dedicated ballet coach Cheryl Edmondstone Juelg, who was the one to tell her of an audition for the summer school taking place the next day.


Three days after her audition, Tori got a Grammar in Melbourne and said it would be phone call for not just a three-week summer a change coming home for a weekend to then being a 20-hour flight away from her school overseas, but for a scholarship to study and dance full-time at the Canadian family and friends. school. “Ballet has already given me a lot, it has given me a discipline and independence, “I want to go but it’s such a big move, such a but also a lot of tolerance,” she said. long way and I am lucky they have given us a month to think it over,” Tori said. Her parents were supportive of Tori in whatever decision she came to, and there was The School of Alberta Ballet, based out still a lot to consider regarding the once-inof Mt Royal University’s Calgary campus, a-life-time experience. is recognised as one of Canada’s leading professional dance schools and could And no matter where Tori’s dancing takes her, well be Tori’s ticket to becoming a prima from a three-year-old at Suzanne’s School of Ballet, to EM Ballet and then i-Dance, to the ballerina. stage at the Victorian College of the Arts in But it wasn’t a decision she was taking the Cecchetti International (Australia) ballet lightly. competition, she is on her way to achieving Tori had already been studying at Caulfield her dreams.

Meg Rohde — 15 A

S A 15-YEAR-OLD Meg Rohde has already played A-grade netball in the Goulburn Valley League for Echuca Netball Club.

Meg has made the North Central Victoria netball state league under-15 team on two occasions, once as a bottom age in 2015 and again in 2016, and was named in the She has played netball and basketball from under-17 GVL interleague squad this year. a young age, her older sister Emmison is the In Year 10 at St Joseph’s College Echuca, same, her younger sister is already playing Meg already has a pretty clear vision of basketball and dances, while her younger where her life will take her, and sport plays brother plays football and (surprise, a massive role in that with the dream to surprise) basketball. become a physiotherapist one day. Her parents are the driving force of this “I’m not sure if I’ll get the grades to get sporting brigade, constantly running each there,” Meg said. of them from one sport to the next. “But if I don’t I’ve always enjoyed being “They’re pretty outnumbered, two to four,” around children so teaching is always an Meg said. option.” “Mum and dad play a massive role in why we Meg babysits on occasion for family friends, all love sport and they always try to make when she can find the time between school, sure we get to tryouts and trainings and sport and her Sunday job at the Odd watch us at every game. Captain in Echuca. “If you asked me two years ago whether I prefer basketball or netball, I would’ve said As for the direction of her netball she will continue to play at the highest level she can. basketball.


“But my skills in netball have developed a lot “I’ll keep pushing myself as hard as I can since then and opened up a lot more oppor- every week and see where it takes me,” she tunities for me.” said.



100 women of Bella

Abbey Mathers — 16 A

16 17 BBEY MATHERS GETS an adrenaline rush every time she steps out onto the hockey field no matter what team she is playing for, or the level of competition.

It’s why she is obsessed with the sport and spends most of her free-time training or keeping up her fitness to ensure she plays at her best.

At 16 Abbey has already played in several hockey teams, including a few state sides.

And while her heart lies with her local Echuca Moama Hockey Club which competes in the Regional Hockey League, she couldn’t go past the opportunity to represent the state and develop her game to the next level. She played for NSW in a tournament in Perth in 2016 and currently plays for the River Rats in the women’s A-grade team.

Over the years she has represented the North West Lightning, the Central Victorian Blazers in the under-16s mixed team and A-women’s team. At 14 she played in a Goulburn Valley Hockey Association under-18s mixed team and has no trouble hitting against the guys.

“I started hockey at 11 and had done Irish Dancing for six years before that,” Abbey said.

her passion for fitness to become a sports Currently in Year 10 at Moama Anglican “One of my good friends got me interested nutritionist or police officer. Grammar School, she enjoyed health and in hockey and I just fell in love with the sport “Because of hockey I don’t have a lot of physical education, science and history. from the get go.” spare time,” Abbey said. Since representing NSW she hoped to During the summer Abbey plays touch football to keep up her fitness before getting “But when I do it’s spent relaxing outdoors or represent Victoria at some stage in her back to hockey and she hoped to further doing some other kind of physical activity.” hockey career and then one day Australia.

Nadya Jefferies — 17


ADYA JEFFERIES IS not yet finished high school and already has her sights set on big things — a restaurant with her name on it.

“People need to think outside the box.”

Nadya’s drive for success stems from her parents, who own and run Café Worx in Echuca and have passed their business She might only be a beginner business- smarts onto their youngest daughter. woman but clearly has the drive and passion “My parents taught me a lot about owning a to take the hospitality industry by storm. business,” Nadya said. Her dream is to eventually own a successful restaurant or bar which gives her custom-“I fell in love with the responsibility and risk ers what they want in an environmentally taking associated with it. friendly manner. “I believe by giving people something they

She knows it will take a lot to get there, but enjoy, such as a perfect coffee, it can make their day just that little bit better.” feels her love of Year 12 business studies at Moama Anglican Grammar School is a good Outside school Nadya plays tennis at Echuca starting point. Lawn Tennis Club and has pursued her love

“I think we need entrepreneurs in our world of hospitality by working at Madison Spa to create new and improved products and Resort in the bar and dining area as a waitsolve some of the major issues,” Nadya said. ress and barista.


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100 women of Bella

Tilly Keenan — 18 F

OR MOAMA ARTIST Tilly Keenan the eyes tell the story.

She tries to convey this in her own drawings which are mainly portraits of friends or their pets. “I could never do landscapes because I would never know where to start and my patience would run out,” she said. “But with a face I always start with the eyes, and then the nose and eventually the drawing becomes a portrait.” Tilly has already shown an artistic maturity beyond her years in the work she produces. It started as little doodles in her workbooks at school until a neighbour, who is also an artist, brought her some faces to draw. “I was especially inspired by this one of an old man in black and white,” she said. Tilly joked she was a true city girl now, but she would pay her to draw portraits of them or their pets. still comes home to see her family and friends and play netball at Echuca United. “It became a good source of income for Selling her drawings has been a way for Tilly me,” Tilly said. “I was getting my name and work out to the community through my Tilly to make money towards her living expenses. “I began getting commissioned by others to Keenan ART page. do portraits, mainly of their loved ones who She said she still enjoyed drawing and was had passed away. especially enjoying her course work which “It was really useful because I was even creating work for people in Perth and Queensland “Seeing their reactions when they saw the was currently focusing on life drawing. final product was always rewarding and“I’m studying secondary teaching and major- who just happened across what I have been such a special feeling, and that was another ing in art (with a minor in mathematics) so doing.” factor behind my passion for drawing for this semester is shaping up to be a lot about She first began selling her work in Year 10 others.” when all her friends were starting casual or both,” Tilly said. Having recently graduated Year 12 from “They were always my favourite subjects at part-time jobs. Moama Anglican Grammar School and school so I love it. She was drawing lots around that time and entering her first year of a bachelor of decided instead of getting a job she would teaching/bachelor of arts (visual arts) at “We’ve been doing a lot of life drawing, which draw for people. the Australian Catholic University (ACU) is something I don’t often do as I usually take And it worked. inspiration from a photograph. she made the move to Melbourne. “From then on I went through a stage of just drawing old people because of the wrinkly detail in the faces, and ever since that my love for drawing portraits has grown.

And saying goodbye to her home town of “It’s been a good experience and hopefully Moama and her closest friends and family one day I can start doing my portraits from life.” was a daunting task.

Before heading to university she began selling her artwork quite regularly and was able to earn enough to cover her living expenses before moving down to Melbourne.

“I thought I would never be able to navigate She had always wanted to be a mathematics teacher since starting high school and as her Her creative flare extends to music with Tilly my way around Melbourne, but after just spending most of her free time playing the a few weeks I already felt like I knew my interest in art grew she decided to pursue drums, which she has been learning for 10 both — an arts and mathematics teacher. way around the tram system and was even years. getting people asking me for directions,” “In class at school my friends would sit either During school Tilly would often perform in she said. side of me and once the teacher finished front of her peers at assemblies, but was Moving into residency at St Mary’s College explaining a topic, I would explain it again to most comfortable in her bedroom at home them in a different way so they could underat Melbourne University made it easier to playing to an audience of one — herself. stand it more easily from another point of tackle the minefield of the city. Her artwork is still hanging on the walls at view,” Tilly said. She was instantly consumed in the college Moama Anglican Grammar School which lifestyle and felt comfortable and secure in “Then last year I started doing math tutormeans a great deal to the young artist as it ing and I really enjoyed it so it made me feel her surroundings. is a place which holds some of her dearest confident in knowing I still wanted to be a “The way Melbourne is stereotyped I was a memories and played a large part in shaping teacher.” bit worried about getting around the city by the person she is today. myself but honestly I have not felt unsafe But art still has her firmly in its grip as people With so much talent and the world at her continue to commission her work and develop once,” Tilly said. fingertips there’s no telling where she will be her skills every day. 10 years from now but she will continue to “I think living on college and being After a slow start she began making a name let the eyes of other people tell their stories surrounded by so many people similar to while she creates her own. for herself among friends and family who you was definitely a reassuring feeling.”


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100 women of Bella

Hannah Simpson — 19 A

T 19 IT IS hard to know exactly what you want to become and Hannah Simpson is no different.

passionate about what I was studying compared to my friends who loved their course.”


With a seemingly limitless choice of futures, Having recently deferred university she and the pressure of expectation weighing has taken on a full-time traineeship at the on her, it took a while for Hannah to know Moama Bowling Club doing a certificate what direction her life would take. three in hospitality.

She thought education was the right path “I’m hoping to get into hospitality or busito take following high school where she ness management one day,” Hannah said. studied education support in Years 10–12 at “At the time I was scared of what people St Joseph’s College Echuca. would think, but it feels great to finally do “I always had a passion for helping the youth,” what I wanted. Hannah said. “I knew I wanted to still do something with “I completed my first year in a Bachelor of my time off so when the traineeship came up I took that opportunity.” Education at La Trobe University and was planning on changing courses to study And her parents were supportive of the social work. decision too, so long as she was doing “But I realised I was not as something she loved.


Amy Gledhill — 20 A

MY GLEDHILL IS starting university, moving out of home, driving, working a part-time job — all the ordinary things you would expect from an independent young adult.

or whether they should take a gap year, Amy was in a hospital bed at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne recovering from brain surgery to remove the tumour — without any guarantee of no more seizures.

20 Although this 20-year-old is anything but ordinary.

Her life was put on hold for almost two years after Amy was first diagnosed with epilepsy in 2014.

By the time of her surgery in February 2015 MRI scans had become second nature to determine the exact whereabouts and size of the growth.

It meant everyday things which came easily Post-surgery a biopsy of the to her had become difficult to manage, tumour revealed it was a malignant even simple things such as playing sport, cancer but two years on there is no card games and driving. sign of its return. Frustrations began to build for the “I have definitely become a stronger teenager as she endeavored to complete person because of it,” Amy said. Year 12 around constant trips to Bendigo “I’m now studying a diploma of and Melbourne to meet with specialists who higher education at Monash would prescribe yet another medication or University and hope to transtest. fer into a bachelor of primary, It wasn’t until an MRI scan revealed a tumour secondary and inclusive educain the left-hand frontal lobe of her brain and tion next year. more assertive steps could be taken to find“My life is finally on track and I’m ing a solution. excited now to pursue a career in And while most of her friends were decid- teaching and see wherever that ing on what university degrees to study takes me.”



100 women of Bella 21–25 BY ALEX MITCHELL

21 22 Briah Chapman — 21


RIAH CHAPMAN UNDERSTANDS how women can both gain and lose confidence from the way they look.

“If I can make people feel that little bit better with distinction boosted her confidence even more; a career in beauty therapy was about themselves then that’s great.” an attainable target. After completing her Year 12 studies, Briah As someone who has at times had trouble realised university wasn’t for her and“I was starting to doubt myself just before with her own confidence and self-esteem, enrolled at Elly Lukas Beauty Therapy graduation, I was thinking maybe I’d picked Briah sees her job at Ella Baché Echuca as College in Melbourne, following a long-held the wrong career and then to win the awards, it told me I am good at what I do. helping other people to gain extra confi- passion in beauty. All the hard work did pay off,” she said. dence about themselves. “When I was 12 my aunty studied with Elly As a high-achiever at Elly Lukas, Briah was “I’ve always struggled with confidence and Lukas and used to do tints and other things recently sent on an all-expenses paid trip to low self-esteem, so I like to try and help on me,” Briah said. London, an experience she said opened her other people improve that about them“I was just obsessed and loved it, I loved mind to working overseas in the future. selves,” Briah said. playing with makeup but everyone told me She said interacting with customers and “I know how difficult it can be being a girl, that it wasn’t a career.” learning about their lives was a highlight of people can be so judgmental and picky working at the salon. about what your body, skin or hair look like. Winning multiple awards when graduating

Tayla Slattery — 22


T’S EASY TO see why Tayla Slattery has such a good understanding of her Year 3 and 4 students; after all, she was in their exact place some years ago.

I’ve got there, and I just love it,” she said.

“I love coming to work every day and I think that’s a big thing; I’d hate to wake up and not want to go.

Tayla, now a teacher at Echuca Primary “The people here are absolutely fantastic, School, attended the school and after the staff are so supportive and I’ve just completing university study in Bendigo, landed in my dream job really.” secured a job to return this year. Originally from Moama and now living in “It’s been something I really wanted to do Echuca, Tayla said she had been willing to since Year 5; I had an amazing teacher that move to work in her dream profession, but year and she told me she thought I’d make was delighted that move simply meant a really good teacher one day,” Tayla said. crossing the river to work. “I just remembered that ever since and “Helping children learn and seeing that always wanted to be a teacher, and now I’m growth; those ‘a-ha’ moments when they here.” finally get something, make it worth it,” she In her first year of full-time teaching, Tayla said. said her hard work both studying and volun“It’s amazing when that happens because teering had paid off with a job she loves. you feel like you’re making a difference and “I pushed myself and set goals and eventually that’s very rewarding.”



100 women of Bella

Jordan Edwards — 23


ORDAN EDWARDS HAS always had a deep love of children, and her life was changed eight months ago when she gave birth to daughter Ellery. Jordan is studying childcare as she works at Pink and Blue Early Learning Centre, and is yet to return to work, staying home with Ellery as she grows. “It’s hard, and the best thing ever,” Jordan said of her infant daughter.


but of course she’s pretty demanding.”

Originally from Shepparton, the 23-year-old has lived in Echuca since she started her Year 10 studies.

An ongoing love of children saw Jordan travel to America to be an au pair four years ago, to see if she wanted to commit to working with kids for a living.

“There’s nothing better basically.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to be growing up, I just knew that I loved kids,” Jordan said.

“She’s very moody, she’s crawling already and she’s not great with strangers. She’s pretty good at being by herself sometimes

“They’re so loving. They don’t care about what is going on outside in your life, they just love you if you love them.


“They’re so rewarding without even meaning to be.”

Jordan looks after Ellery as her partner Ash works as a concreter, but she said she is excited to return to work when she can. “I can’t wait to get back to work but it’s going to be harder,” she said.

“I’ll be dealing with children all day, and then getting home and having to look after my own as well. But it will be good.”

Jordan and Ash are also working on a deposit as they try and buy their first home.


100 women of Bella

Phoebey McAsey — 24 P


HOEBEY McASEY MIGHT have left Echuca, but still retains a strong link with the town where she grew up.

“In my day-to-day job, and even as a fashion designer, I’ve always enjoyed making other people look and feel good,” she said.

After graduating from St. Joseph’s College, Phoebey followed her interest in fashion to Melbourne, where she studied fashion and graphic design at The Academy of Design in Port Melbourne.

“It honestly makes me happy when I’m able to style customers in outfits that they can feel trendy and confident in.

She said fashion had been a love from a very young age.

“Mum conveyed the importance of personal presentation skills, and to always looks clean and neat,” Phoebey said.

“Fashion choices can speak volumes about who you are and that was something that really fascinated me.” Phoebey still lives in Melbourne and puts her style knowledge to practice at fashion giant H&M as a sales adviser.

Brianna Read — 25 B

RIANNA READ WORKS for a living to provide care to aging people, but when her baby son needed brain surgery it was she and husband Glen who had to rely on care from medical professionals.

At just five-months, baby Arley was found to have a benign papilloma the size of a golf ball inside his brain.

“Fashion and styling can change someone’s view of themselves, it really can lift someone’s mood and I love seeing that take effect.” With too much family in the Echuca-Moama area to list Phoebey comes home each month, having lived in the area until she was 18 years old and moved to Melbourne.

“I will admit I struggled in the first year; I’ve never been one to feel homesick but that year especially I missed my family like crazy,” she said. Phoebey said while she misses home, she also enjoys the fast pace of city life and the opportunities available to her while there.

“I’ve blocked it out but every now and again something reminds me he could have died and it’s a bit of a shock to the system.” Brianna has returned to work at Southern Cross Care in Moama, a job she has held since 2009.

“I’ve got a lot of great friends I’ve made through work, and it’s nice to be able to Hours of surgery, and then months of treat- give people that dignity before they go to the next part of life,” she said. ment, have seen Arley fight on and continue to develop as any 10-month-old baby would. Brianna said returning to work had been far better than she anticipated. “He’s doing fantastically, he couldn’t be any better,” Brianna said. “It’s been a blessing in disguise; I really didn’t want to go back this early but “The surgeons are so happy with his progress it’s taken my mind off things,” she said. and the last time he had an appointment they pushed his (regularly scheduled) MRI “As funny as it sounds, I’ve been able back. He’s saying words, he’s crawling and to use my brain again and think he’s very chatty. He seems to be doing about things other than Arley.” really well.” As is his mother, she said she tried not to think back to what had been a shocking time for her family. “Every now and again I think about it; when people say the words ‘life-threatening’ and ‘life-saving’, when you think back to the fact that he could have died, that’s tough,” Brianna said.


YOGA - MASSAGE - REIKI Magical things are happening at Perricoota Vines Retreat. Echuca Moama’s newest spiritual professional Allison Connelly has joined our team. Ali is a qualified yoga instructor, massage therapist and Reiki Master; she can look after your physical and spiritual health. Leave behind the busyness of everyday life and embark on your own yoga journey in the tranquil setting of Perricoota Vines Retreat. Learn how to use posture, movement and breathing to maintain and enhance your health and wellbeing. With our sunrise morning classes to sunset evening restorative classes, beginner classes and peak pose classes, there is bound to be something to cultivate your inner being. Balance your life, reach your potential, stretch your mind, feel the change and book your experience today.






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Sprinkle a bit of Frinkle in your life I

T CAN’T BE easy reinventing such a time-honoured staple as ice cream — but Moama Bowling Club’s Frinkle has turned the traditional ice cream scene in the twin towns on its ear.

The introduction of its up-market ice creamery in November has brought a new look and a new experience to dessert. Modelled on Melbourne’s frozen yoghurt movement (in particular the popular establishment Yo-Chi), the funky Frinkle space is bright and fresh. But most importantly, the ice cream is simply to die for. Take your pick — ice cream or yoghurt — Frinkle has you covered.


Then the kaleidoscopic array of toppings has the frozen treat covered, in any


combination or volume you choose. It is dessert heaven on earth with toppings running the full gamut from the sweetest of the sweet (think chocolate sprinkles, pure chocolate, popcorn, M&Ms) to fresh fruit, coconut and just good old nuts. A kind of calorie control to complement the concoction you are busy whipping up. The only limit is your imagination, and the size of cup you choose to start filling. MBC marketing member Mia Childs said there were 24 different toppings available at any one time with options coming and going each week. “Some of our most popular toppings include sprinkles, fresh strawberries, mini M&Ms, Milo, popping pearls and Reece’s pieces peanut butter cups,” Mia said.

“We change up our flavours and our toppings all the time to keep things fresh and exciting and customers keep returning,” she said. The cost of a Frinkle treat is $3 per 100 grams but wait, there’s more. At the checkout you get to have your Frinkle blind weighed and if you can guess its weight you get the whole lot for free. And in the event you bomb out you still earn a big stamp on your jazzy little Frinkle loyalty cards which means every 10th cup is free. Frinkle is open seven days a week: Monday to Thursday from 6 pm – 9 pm, Friday 6 pm – 10 pm, Saturday 12 pm – 10 pm and Sunday 12 pm – 9 pm. 


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EWMAC Personal Trainers — Providing attention to your specific needs Not one person or their injury are the same, so we tailor individual programs to treat and manage the specific injury based on return time, level of acquired fitness, sporting requirements. Our PT’s create early response routines to get mobilisation back into the injury zone based on pain and discomfort levels, progressively adding structured strength and conditioning training. Increasing range of motion while supporting injured area and strengthening regions around. Personal Training at the Echuca War Memorial Aquatic Centre is available for: • One-on-one training, shared training (two people) or small group training.

Why EWMAC for injury treatment? Our Personal Training professionals have all of the equipment at their disposal for all ranges of injury treatment: Joint manipulation equipment from basic rollers or Fitness Balls to individualized machines designed to target specific areas and movements. Low impact classes to increase blood flow and not stress joints: • Les Mills Body Balance • Swimming • WaterFit Shallow and Deep Water • EnerG Low Impact

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INJURY AND RECOVERY: WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? It’s the time of the year when winter sport competitions are in full swing. And regardless of whether your game is netball or one of the footy codes, it is so easy to pick up a knock or a niggle that could derail your whole season. So what can you do to prepare yourself for the recovery process that comes with an injury?

Injury is a very common reason why people give away their chosen sport. Be friends with your health professional There is no excuse not to see your preferred specialist, doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, etc. Nowadays these are the people who will get you back to full health in the safest and shortest way. People no longer get the old advice of simply rest and wait as the only option — these professionals will design a program to get you back into action. Let’s say it’s nothing major that does not require this professional help.

What activities can you do? Active recovery

More people are now using the recovery compression garments as they are also designed to sleep in and/or wear throughout the day. This has been studied to see how this can affect blood flow and speed recovery, hold and support muscles to reduce pain and swelling.

Water Water is a great place to get both the compression effect and a progressive active recovery, but it also comes with the properties of removing gravity and the support given. The water naturally provides progressive resistance, the harder you push the harder it pushes back. So it is a great place to rehabilitate an injury Along with the natural compression provided by water you can try: • Thera-bands • Rollers

Light exercise that increases blood flow to the affected areas is a good start, so long as there is no underlying damage.

• Trigger point balls

It is believed the increase of the blood supply aids the natural healing process.

No injury should be ignored, but your body should be able to give you a clear message of whether something is bad enough for professional intervention. If you have any doubt you should seek immediate professional advice.

This is not about placing additional stress on your system; some suggestions are a walk or light jog, yoga or other low impact activity.



We were all taught about RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) to treat an injury. Consider investing in a good set of compression garments. There are arm and calf sleeves, short and long pants, singlets and shirts (short and long). Most teams will have players wearing these for training.


How to brighten even the coldest day E

VERY WOMAN IN Echuca-Moama needs to know how to achieve a winter

glow when it comes to makeup. It is the gloomiest season after all. So this month Willow Tree Beauty Lounge

makeup products and brushes to show just how you can pull it off. “Anyone can achieve it,” she said. “It’s a simple look and can be done using a small amount of product and effort.

owner Samantha Morgan has come on

“It also shows how much colour on the lips

board and given us her time, expertise,

does. So many people don’t think they can

STEP ONE: We created the perfect base by applying Youngblood CC primer to a clean, moisturised face, then using a kabuki brush we applied the Youngblood loose mineral foundation using circular motions to ensure it gave a nice even coverage. We then filled in brows with a Curtis Collection Brow tint (which is like mascara for your brows).

STEP FOUR: Apply mascara on top and bottom lashes, as well as applying blush to apples of cheeks and highlight any areas on the face with an illuminator that might naturally capture the light. (Tops of cheek bones, brow bone, inner corner of eye, bridge of nose and cupids bow.)


STEP TWO: Using a bronzer, highlight the outer part of the face and just under the cheek bones. Apply a light shade of eye shadow over entire lid and a soft brown over the mobile lid to the crease of the eye.

wear lipstick, but they can, they just have to find the right colour which any makeup artist can help with.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Model Bianca Hearn — who doesn’t usually wear colour on her lips — purchased the one she is wearing from Willow Tree after realising just what a bit of colour can do.

STEP THREE: Apply eyeliner on top and bottom lids. Here we smudged the liner out with a small eyeshadow brush to soften Bianca’s look.

Make sure you blend out any harsh lines.

STEP FIVE: Line lips and top with gloss.

STEP SIX: Add a darker shade through the crease of the eye as a simple but effective way to go from a day time look to a night look.


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A��imilating Ayurveda into a local whole-of-life a�roach An unexpected epiphany in the Balkan backblocks saw marketing wunderkind Aishe Besim discard her big city trappings and turn inwards to find a better, healthier and happier way to live. SOPHIE BALDWIN sat down with Aishe to hear her story.

“WHEN DIET IS wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.” As the owner of The Sweet Meadow, Echuca’s only vegan eatery, this Ayurvedic proverb has special meaning to Aishe Besim. Aishe has always believed food is more than something just to keep hunger at bay — like the ancient Ayurveda texts she believes food is medicine, it nourishes and protects the body and soul. Growing up on an orchard in the Goulburn Valley she was surrounded by fresh produce and nature. Her early childhood is a procession of carefree memories climbing trees, swimming in channels, hiding amongst empty fruit bins and riding bikes with her cousins until sunset. But like most country kids as she matured, the bright lights of the big city beckoned and Aishe headed to university and then a career in marketing. While Aishe loved marketing and the excitement of the industry she always felt there was something missing from her life. In 2013 she made the decision to embrace a whole-food, vegan diet, it was to be the start of something she never really saw coming. “Food has always been one of my greatest passions,” Aishe said. “I realised something had been instilled in me from a young age that I could never let go of — a desire

for space, realness and peace that only a connection to food and nature provides.”

pay money to eat fruit and vegetables,” she confessed.

A visit to Albania in 2015 to explore the remote villages of her family’s heritage became a life-changing experience.

“I don’t sell alcohol or any nasty foods so I was worried nobody would embrace the idea, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how the whole concept has taken off,” she added.

As she explored off the beaten track she had an epiphany, struck again and again by the health and vitality of the villagers who existed largely on a diet they produced themselves.

“I really want to inspire people to feed their bodies with healthy foods — 99 per cent of my customers aren’t vegetarians or vegans, they’re just people interested in eating healthily.

“These people were strong and in great shape even into their 70s and 80s — they utilised every inch of space they had to “I am pushing the health benefits of a grow their own food and despite their chal- plant based diet and I want to be able to empower my customers with knowllenging circumstances they were happy edge — converting people to being vegan is and extremely healthy,” Aishe recalled. not the goal of my business at all.” “Returning to Australia I saw relative riches, Eating is also an experience, one Aishe one of the best healthcare systems in the world and lots of depression, anxiety, was determined to create in the setting of The Sweet Meadow, making everything as stress, obesity and a myriad of other health relaxing as possible. conditions. “It was a real turning point for me and I came “I deliberately wanted the shop to feel like you are walking into your own home. home determined to get my dream of a plant-based food business up and running.” “There is lots of greenery around and it is such a calm environment, even our And The Sweet Meadow was born, based commercial kitchen is set up like one you around a food philosophy of growing, would find in your own home. preparing and eating food as it’s supposed to be — whole, fresh from the earth, prepared with minimal fuss and eaten in a way that nourishes the body. Setting up the business Aishe was plagued with self-doubt but she hoped her marketing mind had correctly identified a gap in the market. “In the beginning I thought who is going to

“It’s open and transparent and you can see us preparing the food in front of you. “Customers comment on how relaxing the space is.” And Aishe has a vision to relax the wider Echuca-Moama community into a healthier environment through awareness around the food we eat and living sustainably. 





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20 years on and travelling strong Justine Apps and Allison Yeates reflect on what 20 years in local business looks like. IF YOU’VE EVER TRAVELLED overseas before you’d likely understand what drives Justine Apps and Allison Yeates to get up each morning.

With a passion for exploring distant lands while balancing the workload of owning and running a successful local business and raising families in their downtime, the girls have lots to celebrate. This year even more so. Between Echuca Travel Centre’s 40th birthday and a 20 year milestone each, the pair have taken some time to reflect on how much they have achieved. “I never would have imagined that 20 years on I’d still be here” said Justine who started at only 16 years of age. Although Echuca Travel Centre now sits amongst the leading agencies in the network, the most rewarding moments for them come from the strong relationships with their clients. “I find a lot of joy working in the travel industry and particularly in the Echuca-Moama community where everybody is so supportive and accepting” explained Allison. “At the end of the day it’s not about how many tickets we’ve sold, it’s about how many dreams we’ve delivered.” As a means of thanking the community for the support over the last 20 years, the duo try to give back as often as possible to local sporting, social and charity groups. Although, as with every business, there are hurdles to overcome Justine and Allison are confident that they will be sticking around for a little while longer.

Justine Apps

Allison Yeates

Alex Smith

Rebecca Healy

Molly Leech

Claudia Turvey

Jake Morris

Let Millewa Spa transp�rt you to heaven


T MIGHT LOOK like a front door at 509–511 High St. But it’s not.

Instead it is a portal. Not to a parallel dimension but to a parallel pampering world, as close as heaven can come to earth.

Offering customers a full range of paramedical skin services, spa and beauty treatments, injectables and medical grade IPL and laser services alongside a retail boutique, Millewa Spa does it all.

“We offer a relaxing and inviting environIt is a world where the inhabitants have just one purpose — to transport you from mere ment where our clients can get away from the pressures and stresses of the outside mortal to a state of nirvana. world — a place to just relax and enjoy some Millewa Spa is a destination, not just a me time,” Ash said. beauty spot, and owners Ash and Kaye “We offer an extensive treatment menu and Kennaugh pride themselves on the fact can tailor individual packages. Our team there is no other beauty spa quite like them of diploma-qualified beauty therapists are in Echuca.


experts in their fields and we love catering for everyone — from individual treatments to groups up to 20.” The spa also stocks leading skincare products Aspect and DMK. “Clients want fast results and they are after a product that works straight away and that is why we sell only the best when it comes to skin care. “We offer microdermabrasion and paramedical skin treatments including peels to achieve client’s needs.” Weddings and hen’s parties are also a

specialty and the girls can organise bridal makeup packages (which can be fully catered if required).

Kaye and Ash have immense pride in their business and the beautiful old building in which it operates.

be hired out for group bookings. It has a really special appeal and can be matched with any beauty treatment or package if required.

The former law offices have been extenWhen it comes to pampering and beauty there are a host of packages available sively renovated to include seven beautifully “It’s the perfect space to get ready for a decorated treatment rooms which cater for including the luxury spa escape through wedding or special event,” Kaye added. to the beauty indulgence package — there anything from waxing and tinting through Millewa Spa also offers bi-monthly specials is sure to be something to suit everyone to those more luxurious spa treatments. and a reward program. and the men haven’t been forgotten either One of the features of Millewa Spa which with the male maintenance package also sets it apart from its competitors is the It is open Monday to Saturday from October through to April and Tuesday to Saturday, available. upstairs spa lounge which in addition has April through to October. an eight seater spa with river views and a The spa also offers myotherapy, advanced self-contained kitchen. For more information visit massage, dry needling and a soft tissue specialist for sports injuries. “Our upstairs lounge is very popular and can 


Can you hear but not understand? Barra Monday $2650 .

Tuesday 25% off for Members It is very common for people with hearing problems to notice that they can hear but that they can’t always understand.

Wednesday Steak $2750 .

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.

Thursday 2 for 1 $2550 .

• 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.

Sunday Roast & Dessert $2550 .

03 5481 3333

Memb er dis counts apply. Sp e c i a l t y Ni g ht s av a i l ab l e f rom 6 pm w w w. r i c h r i v er. c om . au


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:

Gymnastics for everyBODY!



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Ryan Shannan and Carolyn Siddell.

Health �roup �ush with medical riches D

OCTORS IN REGIONAL and rural towns are community assets — more than worth their weight in gold.

under the Melbourne City Country Coast GP training program.

Ryan Shannan has been in the Echuca area Carolyn Siddel and Ryan Shannan are two for nearly four years and joined the RRHG of the latest medicos to join the team at team in February. Rich River Health Group and both are revel“RRHG to me represents the essence of a ling in the opportunities a rural practice large medical clinic. It is a comprehenprovides them. sive general practice which also provides They have embraced the Echuca-Moama specialist care,” Ryan said. lifestyle and love the challenges and “We have on board highly experienced GPs, rewards of serving a regional community. caring and passionate nurses and a brilFor Carolyn it is the ability to care for, and liant staff that supports both doctors and share, a patient’s journey from start to finish patients very well,” he said. that she finds so appealing. “Working in a rural practice is more chalAs a child Carolyn dreamed of becoming lenging than a metropolitan role because a doctor and has been told many times by you have to take on more responsibility family members how as a five year old she and are heavily relied on as a diagnostician stood defiantly in front of the television and therapist for your patients due to an with her hands on her hips and declared absence of specialised care.” she was going to be just like him. The him Ryan graduated in 2009 and has experiwas the doctor on the screen behind her. enced different roles in the past eight years Not for Carolyn the nurse, or anyone else but said taking on the role of a GP had been in the show. his defining moment. It was doctor or bust. “A GP offers specialty care — a chance to Fast forward 44 years and she is finally look at a person with a disease as opposed living that dream. to looking at the disease and then the “I always wanted to be a doctor and I have person — and there is a difference.” been lucky to finally get to live out my childhood dream. It has been a hard road to make it as a single mum of two boys but I have and I love it,” Carolyn said.

The appointment of Carolyn and Ryan to Rich River Health Group brings the number of general practitioners there to 15.

The team treats a wide range of medical “RRHG is a great environment to work in and problems and offers hospital in-patient Echuca is a lovely town. I enjoy practicing care, obstetric and gynaecological services, family medicine and following a patient’s anaesthetics, colonoscopies, surgery and journey. teleconferencing and many other services. “I pinch myself every day that I get to help people — it’s just great.” Carolyn loves the diversity involved in rural practice and the fact she can be involved in a flu clinic one day and then a skin biopsy the next. She will officially become a doctor in 2018 when she sits her final exam and is training


The medical clinic also has an on-site pharmacy, mental health workers, audiologist, Clinical Lab Pathology (Monday to Saturday), diabetes educators, dietitian, midwives and an asthma clinic. The practice is open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and Saturday: 9 am to 12 pm. 











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Sunday 20 August, 2017 10.00 am – 3.00 pm Kyabram Town Hall Gold coin entry

Come along to Boomerang Travel Centre’s Travel Expo and start planning your next holiday! There will be exclusive specials on the day plus a BBQ.

BOOMERANG TRAVEL CENTRE 210 Allan Street, Kyabram 3620 03 5852 3433 ATAS Accreditation No. A10383


No. A10383


Find yourself in warmth & comfort this winter. View our extensive range in store. 79–85 Ogilvie Ave, ECHUCA | (03)54807912 Monday – Friday 9am – 5.30pm Saturday 9am – 3pm

S&J 59

Travel Safe and secure with Anti-Theft Bags with built in security features!

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Several compartments can be secured by a fixed clip, preventing pickpockets getting easily into your bag

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A dedicated pocket protects your credit cards from identity thieves If we don’t have a bag in stock, we can order it in for you!

Check out our large range of paper and Art supplies in store…. 161 Hare St, Echuca | Phone 5482 1337

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 60

Sophie’s Single

It’s an occasion, not a crisis — DO YOU HEAR ME? When you come equipped with a naturally big mouth one of the hardest lessons in life is learning when to shut it—and keep it shut. Our intrepid single mother, battling to keep financially afloat, relives her first major post-separation family occasion.


IFE IN MY little house of three has taken on a whole new meaning of busy during the past month.

Sick of living hand-to-mouth, week in and week out, I have got myself a second job and at the ripe (don’t dare suggest mature) old age of 42 have entered the world of hospitality. Wow, let’s just say I have a new appreciation for waitresses and my legs (even though they are used to plenty of exercise, are adjusting to the fine art of lots and lots of walking). It is a pretty good feeling to be able to put a few dollars away at the end of each week and while my ultimate goal is to take the girls overseas, hopefully in 2018, it is hard work. I thought I was busy before but my life has certainly made the hyper-speed jump from chaotic to crazy. But hey, you have to do what you have to do to get by. I would love to say my transition into hospitality has been seamless but I think we both know that would be a lie as I have already covered one poor man in gravy after a stray gravy boat accidently tipped over and ran down his back.

apologised any more than I did but I am still shuddering even as I write this — I don’t know if I could survive a second such disaster. On a more appealing note I attended my littlest baby’s deb ball in April and while I am certainly not biased in any shape or form, she looked stunning on the night.

Rain pelting in my face meant I couldn’t wear my glasses, which of course affected my ability to actually see the road, let alone the hills, potholes, kerbs and some of the people in front of me.

I was very proud to see my two girls dancing together and I must confess I had to take a few (alright, a lot of) deep breaths to stop myself from crying.

Compounded by a fair bit of inexperience on my part meant a lot of the ride was spent either cursing or hanging on for dear life.

Suffice to say, men are from Mars and women from Venus because we definitely orbit different planets these days. It is very hard when two parents both love their children but have vastly different views on a situation and finding the middle ground I am working out is proving to be a lot harder than I thought it could ever be. And I am still working on the art of trying to keep my mouth shut even though inside I feel as if I am going to spontaneously combust from the effort — definitely still a work in progress.

Fortunately (did I mention the gravy was hot?) for me he was a very nice man — he was very consoling to the clumsy waitress who half drowned him and luckily (in the loosest possible sense of the word) he was wearing a dark shirt, which hid much of the damage.

I have also just recently come back from a little trip to Byron Bay where I competed in another Olympic distance triathlon.






It was not an enjoyable 90 minutes. The run was fine and I finished the event in just under three hours, certainly not my best time but who cares? It didn’t beat me and I got over the line in the end — go me! Another thing ticked off the old bucket list and I didn’t have to keep my mouth shut as I went around the course. Meaning this time I did not implode — go me! 

To see the two most important people in my life supporting each other and having a laugh made my heart melt. The deb ball was our first major post separation ‘family’ event and while the night itself was wonderful the lead up was a tad rocky.

I didn’t know whether to cry or swear and in the end, and if there had been a convenient earthquake at the time, I would have gladly let the earth swallow me.


The ocean swim, while a little rough was manageable, the ride however was in a league of its own.

Byron is a beautiful place except when it is raining — quite heavily — during a triathlon and it turns into a life-threatening experience.

Wed 6.15am Sunrise

Beginners ‘RUN’ training!

A woman is the full circle.

Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform

PRICES: Casual $10 | 10 Visit Pass $90/term | UNLIMITED term price $32 p/w

A Ladies/Girls only studio – Chick Fit timetable MONDAY



Tabata 45 min

5.45pm Tabata 45 min



Sunrise Fitness 9.15am


Circuit HEAT 45 min

4.30pm NEW YOUTH Acro Pole Please share interest

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Sunrise Fitness 9.15am Mystery Fit 45 min • Bag Ignite • 7 sins • 21 Black Jack • Aerobics 5.00pm YOUTH Fitness 50 min Term rate $95 Casual rate $10

9.15am Boxercise 60 min

9.15am Trainers choice! 45 min

4.30pm YOUTH Acro pole Term rate $125pp Casual rate $15pp

7pm Modern Yoga will return after Winter

We’re considering a MUMS & BUBS course! Please contact us if this is something you wish to attend. We LOVE Mums & Bubs fitness.

Phone Emma 0400 152 394 41 Mundarra Rd, Echuca We are a child and baby friendly studio


Thirty Something

I’ve had m�re than my fair share of failed romance I’VE NEVER BEEN a sharer. Not of secrets, possessions or, more often than not, even of time. So what, I am wondering, possessed me to offer a third-tier girlfriend a ‘short-term’ bed after a spectacular relationship meltdown. Sobbing down the phone at me she was convinced it was a temporary hiccup, they just both needed some space to clear their minds and it would all be sorted out. But technically, and certainly legally, the house they shared was 100 per cent his property so it only seemed the right thing for her to be the one moving out. Temporarily. Talk about playing loose with the English language. It was almost four weeks ago and she is now living in my place more than I am. She moved in and simply started spilling into every square centimetre of my previously pristine environment. I know I was going to elaborate on my far more successful love life this month but mine has been put on hold while I try to work out how to evict my squatter.

for the heads up) could see disaster written all over the phone call and knew my friend better than I — and seriously, why wouldn’t they, she was well down my speed dial list. It has become so bad I actually spent the past two nights at my mother’s — and even then I lied as to why I would not be home for the weekend. “Mum has not been well and needs someone to spend some TLC time with her,” I said, almost choking on the words. I am lying about not being in my own home. It was worse than giving a fake phone number to some less-than-desirable would be suitor. She has eaten just about everything not nailed down, puts out her washing for me to “just throw in with your things” and cannot see there is any connection between the dining table, the kitchen sink and the dishwasher. I have surrendered my TV remote, my favourite chair and my integrity. So why can’t I simply tell her to get out? It’s not as if I owe her anything, and I am happy to forgo anything she might think she owes me (although I increasingly doubt any thought of thanks is at the forefront of her mind).

What particularly rankles is I have subsequently discovered I was the fourth, not the first, not even the second, to get the sob story and the appeal for a sanctuary.

The problem is there but for the grace of God.

Clearly my other friends (and thanks girls

How many of us have found ourselves in a

similar situation, be it of our own making or us being left quivering wrecks as collateral damage in the wars of the roses? The first few days were OK but since then it has started to gnaw at me on an altogether unexpected plane. As you will recall, when we last spoke I was about to go out on THE date with the new man. And I did. And yes, we did. And yes, it made the next day, the next date and the next few weeks fly by. And that’s about when the phone call came. Which I won’t recap as you have just had a glimpse of my personal hell. But it has got me thinking about a relationship and how risky that business is. Most importantly it has got me thinking about mine. Until the past couple of months I have been in charge of my love life, and I called the shots when enough was enough. So why is it so different this time? Why am I even thinking like this? Why am I asking myself so many questions? You’ll have to excuse me, I am going home early, it’s time I did some spring cleaning. PS: And I’ve made another date for tomorrow night. Back in the saddle and back in charge. 

Congratulations Bella You are a superb celebration of the women who help shape our rural and regional communities. We are reminded that when a woman is empowered the whole community benefits. peterwalshmp peterwalshmp Peter Walsh MP 466 High St, Echuca Ph 5482 2039 or 1300 467 906 Funded from Parliament’s Electorate Office & Communications Budget.


Preparing for a healthy pregnancy Planning to have a baby is an exciting time. If you are planning to have your first baby, or planning to add to your family, then it is a good idea to make sure that you are in the best health possible before becoming pregnant. Here are some tips for planning to have a happy and healthy pregnancy. Get to know your menstrual cycle

Keeping track of your menstrual cycle will help you to identify when you are at the most fertile time of your cycle and may decrease the time that it takes for you to become pregnant. Many reliable resources are available online to help you understand your menstrual cycle, ovulation and fertility. If you have any concerns about your fertility these can be discussed with your doctor.

Plan a pre pregnancy visit to your doctor

Make an appointment to see your doctor before you start trying for a baby, as they can advise you on how to be well prepared for a happy and healthy pregnancy and baby. Finding a doctor who specialises in obstetrics and pregnancy care is a good idea for this visit. You can talk to your doctor about any health problems that you or your partner have that may impact on a pregnancy. High blood pressure, asthma, anaemia, epilepsy, diabetes, kidney disease, gynaecological conditions, polycystic ovarian syndrome and heart or liver disease may all affect a pregnancy. Talking to your families about any health history is important as you may be surprised at what you haven’t known about your family history. Blood tests can be ordered at this visit to check for things such as anaemia and Rubella immunity which are best corrected before becoming pregnant.

Weight, diet and exercise

Aiming to be within a healthy weight range is a good idea as being either under or overweight can affect fertility and cause health complications during your pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet and being physically active every day will help you to maintain a healthy weight. Being fit will also help with meeting the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth. If you need personalised advice about your weight then a visit to a dietician will help you develop a personalised plan. Often small, achievable changes can have a big impact on your weight, fitness and overall health.

Get a dental checkup

Women are prone to more teeth and gum problems during pregnancy and X-rays are not recommended so it is a good idea to have a dental checkup and any treatment done prior to becoming pregnant.

Prenatal vitamins

Ideally start taking a Folic Acid supplement three months before conception and continue it for the first three months of pregnancy. This helps protect your baby against neural tube defects such as spina bifida. You can talk to your doctor, pharmacist or midwife about the recommended dose and also discuss the value of other pregnancy vitamins for you.

Smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs

Smoking has been associated with infertility in both men and women. It also can increase the risk of miscarriage, affect the size and long-term health of your baby, and cause low breast-milk supply after your baby is born. Smoking by either parent is also linked to an increased risk of SIDS. Quitting smoking is encouraged if you are planning a pregnancy and your doctor or midwife can discuss assistance to help you achieve this. Alcohol can be associated with low sperm count in men and can lead to physical and mental abnormalities in babies especially when consumed in the first few months of pregnancy. No safe level of alcohol in pregnancy has been identified. Giving up alcohol is recommended when you are planning to conceive. Recreational drugs of any kind are harmful to your own body and can lead to birth defects, DNA damage and a baby who may have to go through the agony of withdrawal after birth. Any recreational drugs are harmful during pregnancy.

Mental health issues and stress

Please make sure that your doctor or midwife are aware of any issues that you have with anxiety, depression or psychiatric disorders. Medications for these may need to be adjusted during pregnancy and plenty of help and support is available. All the best for happy baby making!

Reference: Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy Factsheet.

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

(03) 5480 2933 (03) 5480 6001

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


Bella magazine (issue 9) 300dpi  
Bella magazine (issue 9) 300dpi