PENINSULA Living & visiting on the Mornington Peninsula
A Fresh New Twist • Quite A Yarn • A Thoughtful Ear • Birch On Books • The Show Must Go On The Writing’s On The Wall • Random Acts Of Kindness • Soul Singing • Art Adventures For Social Change A Dying Art • Simple And Elegant • Rum Revolutionary • Talking Rhubarb • Dive Straight In • Sullivan Bay
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contents 9. Events 12. A Fresh New Twist
They’re bright and bubbly and full of life and a true example of a couple who have found their calling. They are Trevor and Tammie Timmers and they make their living creating works of art with balloons.
16. Quite A Yarn
Alasdair and his wife, Belinda, run one of the first alpaca farms in Victoria with a thriving factory shop and mill, and have done so for the past 23 years
20. A Thoughtful Ear
Writers: Melissa Walsh, Andrea Louise Thomas, Cameron McCullough, Erica Louise Photography: Yanni, Gary Sissons, Andrew Hurst Publisher: Cameron McCullough Advertising: Brooke Hughes, 0409 219 282 or email@example.com Marg Harrison, 0414 773 153 or firstname.lastname@example.org General enquiries: email@example.com Registered address: 2/1 Tyabb Road, Mornington 3931 Phone: 5974 9000 www.peninsulaessence.com.au /peninsulaessence / peninsulaessence All material is copyright, and may not be reproduced without the express permission of Mornington Peninsula News Group, or the original copyright holder in the case of contributions. Copyright of contributed material rests with the contributor. Disclaimer: The authors and publisher do not assume any liability to any party for any loss, damage or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. This publication is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
Peninsula Essence is produced monthly. 30,000 copies (mix of home delivery and bulk dropped at an extensive network of outlets across the peninsula).
These days, the world of psychology has changed dramatically, with behaviour therapy including an emphasis on the thoughts and feelings of the person. Kerrie Salsbury explains how therapy today can change people’s lives.
26. Birch On Books
He’s among Australia’s finest living writers, a poet, activist and academic, as well as an acclaimed novelist and short-story writer. Tony Birch’s writing is concerned with Australians, especially Indigenous Australians, living life on the fringes.
32. The Show Must Go On
The art of performance is alive and well with community theatre groups continuing to thrive and keen thespians taking to the stage purely for the love of the craft. The peninsula’s own PLOS Musical Productions is a perfect example, where hundreds of passionate locals come together to entertain the crowds and bring the magic of theatre to the bayside town.
38. The Writing’s On The Wall
Word on the street is that Frankston is transforming into a cultural and artistic hub and the new emergence of street art is a testament to that. Wander down any alley or back street and, instead of dirt and destruction, if you are lucky you will find a work of art that might inspire, make you question or just impress.
42. Random Acts Of Kindness
It was the 2000 American Romantic drama film Pay It Forward that started a worldwide phenomenon, and caught the attention of local woman, Jeannie Matthews, who started a Facebook site of the same name for the Mornington Peninsula.
48. Soul Singing
From the very beginning of her life, singer/songwriter Cheryl Beattie’s world was filled with music. Her father was Irish and everyone in his family was musical. Saturday nights were spent around the piano joined together in song. It was a joyful experience. She felt it right down into her soul. She still has that deep connection to music.
54. Art Adventures For Social Change
Five years have passed since Nikky Agnello showcased her first solo exhibition at the Frankston Arts Centre. This South African born visual artist is on a mission; to raise awareness and stimulate conversation around human rights and the environment
58. A Dying Art
For many of us talking about death is something we tend to avoid but not for artist Catherine Bell who has made it her mission to help people understand the place of death in life.
68. Simple And Elegant
Del Posto 2409 is the ultimate expression of what an Italian restaurant should be, and we are fortunate enough to have this Italian kitchen and bar right on our doorstep.
70. Rum Revolutionary
Not all rum is created equal. It’s not just something to mix with cola. Great rum can stand its own ground and be imbibed neat. Like wine, it has variety and complexity. It activates the senses with its bouquet, flavour profiles, mouthfeel and colour. Winter on the Mornington Peninsula is a time of wonderfully varied weather conditions. Visitors to Dromana foreshore are not deterred even when a thick fog descends over the beach and pier. Picture: Yanni
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This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. www.pefc.org
72. Talking Rhubarb
It’s been used in pies, slices and fruit salads but now local rhubarb has a new incarnation being utilised in the Original Spirit Company’s new warm winter gin.
84. Dive Straight In
The Mornington Peninsula is a hive of activity in summer with thousands heading down to enjoy the myriad of water activities and scenery. That doesn’t mean we have to stay out of the water in winter as master scuba diver and guide, Sam Glenn-Smith, explains
94. HISTORY - Sullivan Bay
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IN C O L O U R TO W at more fun filled awesome day out Hey Kids! win tickets for another Café or post to Arthurs Seat Eagle, in competition to Summit via the contact Enter our colouring in the box at the completed entry winners will be notified on 31 July 2019 and attractions! Put your 3936. Entries close PO Box 279, Dromana details supplied. Good Luck!
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STREET ART WALKING TOURS
THE GREAT BRIARS TREASURE HUNT
ROBOT WORKSHOP SEAROAD FERRIES
TRUFFLE HUNT & BRUNCH
AN EVENING WITH BO JENKINS AND THE WIZ!
May 12 - August 11 Take a tour through Frankston's laneways and streets to find out how artists are shaping Frankston's urban identity by creating unique pieces of public art for everyone to enjoy. Guided Tours last 1.5 hours. Cost: $10 per person, including coffee, tea or hot chocolate Frankston Library forecourt, 60 Playne Street, Frankston. Ph 1300 322 842 www.visitfrankston.com/www.visit frankston.com/street-art-walkingtours.com.au
July 6, 12 and 27 Rug up for an early morning hunt through the misty truffiere with Jenny and Thomas. Following the hunt, you will have the opportunity to taste, smell and handle freshly harvested truffle before sating your appetite with a truffle infused brunch. Think truffle butter on toast, dripping with truffle honey or truffled scrambled eggs. MP Experience, Red Hill www.mpexperiene.com.au
July 2 Travel aboard Searoad Ferries this school holidays, as a foot passenger or with your car and enjoy a robot work shop OZOBOTS! Fun little robots that follow lines that you draw. Perform tricks using your hand to show the Ozobot which way to go! Searoad Ferries Sorrento Pier, Sorrento www.searoad.com.au
Tuesday July 2nd and Thursday July 11 Calling all pirates! Are you ready for the Great Briars Treasure Hunt? Even in the chilly winter months, there are treasures to discover here at The Briars. We'll use our ears, eyes and noses to help us locate feathered friends, smelly plants and all sorts of hidden treasure. The Briars 450 Nepean Hwy, Mt Martha www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/ Activities/The-Briars/Family-Funat-the-Briars
July 13 A man enchanted by the beauty of the East. A woman in love with the promise of the West. A love story separated by a vast ocean and many years. Madame Butterfly is a love story that reaches across cultures, across oceans, across time. Frankston Arts Centre 27-37 Davey Street, Frankston Ph 9784 1060 www.artscentre.frankston.vic. gov.au
July 20 This will be an unforgettable evening of amazing guitar by the legendary Bo Jenkins who performs all over Australia, teaming up with the equal talent of Andrew Farrell (The Wiz) on piano. The evening starts with dinner from 6:30pm, and the show will commence around 8ish. Ph 5981 0355. Hickinbotham of Dromana 194 Nepean Hwy, Dromana www.hickinbotham.biz
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The latest addition to the GINFUSION range combines Original’s ‘Classic Dry’ gin with Peninsula grown Rhubarb and Australian ginger. Delivering a lingering and comforting warmth, ‘Country Rhubarb and Ginger’ offers a perfect winter warmer to be sipped on neat. www.originalspiritco.com
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A FRESH NEW Twist T
hey’re bright and bubbly and full of life and a true example of a couple who have found their calling.
They are Trevor and Tammie Timmers and they make their living creating works of art with balloons. Peninsula Essence talks to the balloonologist couple about their business, 'Pimp my Balloons' and the hard work behind it.
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“It actually all started about seven years ago when I started balloon twisting as a hobby,” said Tammie, from their purpose-built workshop in Mornington. “It landed me jobs entertaining for kid’s parties and corporate events, and I fell in love with putting smiles on faces, young and old.” continued next page...
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Having discovered her passion for creating balloon art through birthday parties and corporate events, Tammie found her husband Trevor had an interest in it too, and the young couple decided to take the plunge and make it a full time gig. “About 18 months after we moved the business to the Mornington Peninsula Trevor quit his full time job to join me in the 'Pimp My Balloons' adventure,” said Tammie, of the business that has since won awards for the husband and wife team. “If we’re not working seven days a week, we’re teaching interstate or attending worldwide balloon conventions.” For Trevor, who had been working in real estate previously, the balloon business surprisingly came naturally. “I found we were actually the perfect team. Tammie is the creative one and will have a vision for a piece of balloon art, and I will find a way to make it happen,” said Trevor. “We always say 'yes' to every request and I know there is a way to do it. Recently we were asked to create a Santa’s sleigh out of balloons. I worked out a way to create the sleigh and make it perfectly safe for Santa to drive and sit in.
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We have now created incredible balloon sculptures for corporate events, weddings, special occasions and shopping centres, and are commissioned every year to do events like the Grand Prix.” Passionate about providing an exceptional experience for all of their clients, the Timmers have their heart set on making sure each event is their number one priority. “I call Trevor my MacGyver because he just manages to make things come together. When I have a vision for something, he makes it happen,” said Tammie. “It really is something we are very proud of and our main interest is each individual client and making sure they get the best balloon sculpture or experience they can from us,” said the couple who take their role very seriously. “It is so much fun, doing the balloon twisting, but it is also a serious business,” said the couple who specialise in advanced balloon twisting entertainment and stunning balloon decorations. “We are proud of the fact that we push the boundaries of what is possible to create with balloons every day. Offering something very different than
the regular wedding entertainer, our advanced balloon twisting will surprise and amaze all of your guests, from the youngest child to grandma and grandad.”
It is so much fun, doing the balloon twisting, but it is also a serious business
A recent favourite for the couple was creating a walk around balloon character, Sully, who entertained shoppers in Mornington.
“We made Sully from the Disney film Monsters Inc and he was a nine foot balloon ball of fun,” they said. “It took us about 15 hours to make him.” The pair have done hats for the spring racing carnival, balloon jungles, and even a balloon Lego man who ended up larger than they expected. “We had to make him lying down and then discovered we couldn’t get him through the door of the house, so that was the catalyst for building our workshop,” they said with a laugh. For the couple it is also important that they are committed to the responsible use and disposal of balloons.
“We are proud to be members of the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance. We protect the environment from unnecessary litter and do not support the release of balloons. We urge our customers and others to share our commitment by not releasing balloons into the environment,” they said. This year, Pimp My Balloons was awarded Balloon Designer of the Year, first Place Winner in Balloon Fashion, first Place Winner in Medium Sculpture, and first Place Winner in Balloon Fashion at the Australasian Balloon Convention. “There is a whole world of balloon artists out there and we are so thrilled to have won all these awards,” said Trevor and Tammie. “The business is growing and we will eventually find someone hat has the same passion and pride for balloons to help us with the workload. Until then, we will love every moment and never forget the reason we started is to make people happy.”
Winter is here
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QUITE A Yarn By Melissa Walsh
lasdair Chew grew up around animals. The son of a large animal veterinarian in Scotland, the young lad always enjoyed talking to his father about his vocation but never expected to work so closely with animals until he came to Australia in 1995. Now Alasdair and his wife, Belinda, run one of the first alpaca farms in Victoria with a thriving factory shop and mill, and have done so for the past 23 years. Wool2Yarn uses wool from their alpacas on a farm in the Otways and has a factory shop and mill right here in Mornington.
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We made yarn for a while, and are now expanding into a knitwear range, designed by us from the factory in Mornington
“Funny thing is, I started out as a textile engineer back home in Scotland,” said the effervescent Alasdair. “It was when I came to Australia I realised I needed to do something else. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise and my textile background came in handy with the alpaca industry. Dad was also able to offer lots of husbandry advice which was invaluable.”
The Chews had a strong feeling that alpaca farming would be great in Victoria and soon set about to buy six alpacas and start their 100 acre farm in Red Hill. “Belinda was born and raised in Beaumaris and we loved the peninsula so decided to settle down here,” said Alasdair. “I set up a small pilot plant to process alpaca wool in 1999. It hadn’t really been done at that point. We grew our herd to over 160 strong and then set up Australia’s first micro-mill in 2003. Over the years we have expanded to process other fibres to meet the requirements of our customers and their wishes to develop unique products. We believe in the farm-to-yarn philosophy for those who wish to do more with their fibre and support a 100% Australian made product, traceable to the animal itself. We can tell by looking at it, which yarn belongs to which alpaca.” As the number of alpacas grew, so too did the idea for a further product range. “We made yarn for a while, and are now expanding into a knitwear range, designed by us from the factory in Mornington,” said Alasdair whose business and alpacas are thriving. “Alpacas are very low maintenance. They simply need water and food. Alpacas require similar fencing to sheep, preferably without barbed wire, and shade
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in each paddock. They are relatively diseasefree, but like all animals they need to be monitored to ensure they stay in optimum health. They are vaccinated twice a year with the same vaccines as are used for sheep, and are essentially free from fly strike.”
Alasdair and Belinda have always been hands-on with the business, running the trendy shop front which sells their products, to working tirelessly in the mill and workshop out the back. “We can tell if an animal has been sick by looking at its fibre. It will break during spinning,” said Belinda. “The equipment we have here includes the spinning machine, the de-hairing machine which removes scratchy guard hairs from the fleece, the carding machine and a range of different brushes to order the fibres.” Environmental awareness is a priority for the couple who ensure the carbon footprint of their alpaca fibre is incredibly low. “We are careful to look after the environment, with a non-toxic scouring system, and by not carbonising or chemically treating the wool with products such as 'super wash’, we are able to achieve minimal environmental impact. We offer a truly local, Australianmade product, grown and made on the Mornington Peninsula,” said Alasdair. “Our mill is one of the very few in the world in that we are able to say that we process our garments in one place; thus our new range farm-to-fashion.”
Wool2Yarn is at 21 Virginia Street, Mornington. www.wool2yarn.com.au
A THOUGHTFUL Ear By Melissa Walsh Photos Gary Sissons
or many people, the couch is the first image that comes to mind when they think of psychotherapy with a notepad and quiet, contemplative therapist writing down your every word. These days, the world of psychology has changed dramatically, with behaviour therapy including an emphasis on the thoughts and feelings of the person. Peninsula Essence talks to clinical psychologist, Kerrie Salsbury about therapy today and how it can change peopleâ€™s lives.
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continued next page... July 2019
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Treatment of emotional or psychological problems can be traced to antiquity, when the ancient Greeks were the first to identify mental illness as a medical condition, rather than a sign of malevolent deities. While their understanding of the nature of the mental illness was not always correct and their treatments rather unusual, they did recognize the treatment value of encouraging and consoling words, with invaluable results that continue today.
It is rewarding to be able to help people throughout what is probably one of the most significant journeys in their life
“I am passionate about supporting adults and older persons with a diverse range of mental health difficulties, and specialise in disordered eating and gender dysphoria among other issues,” said Dr Salsbury, who has recently started as a practitioner at Whole Medicine in Rosebud. “I work with clients who have experienced trauma, feel intense moments of sadness, irritability, and anxiety with an aim to provide an empathic and supportive environment, which fosters personal insight, growth and positive change.” For Dr Salsbury, who made the sea change to the peninsula with her family in the past few months, helping people with her unique specialties is something she is keen to offer to the area. “I have done a lot of work around disordered eating, particularly in regards to bariatric surgery, having worked alongside several bariatric surgeons," said Dr Salsbury, who specialises in pre-operative assessments and advice, and supporting clients long term. “It is rewarding to be able to help people throughout what is probably one of the most significant journeys in their life.” Dr Salsbury says her philosophy is about embracing health at every size. “The most important thing is to encourage my clients to adopt lifestyle habits for the purpose of health and well-being, rather than weight control. Initial support for many of my clients consists of equipping them with mindfulness tools to reduce emotional eating, non-hungry eating, mindless eating, and cravings for sugar or carbohydrates. Longer term, I encourage my clients to explore what drives the negative attitudes and beliefs that keeps them locked into disordered eating behaviours, addictive patterns, or body dissatisfaction,” said Dr Salsbury. “I have seen an increase in patients coming to me with disordered eating and, particularly in high school,
bulimia has almost become a norm. It is the silent disease, unlike anorexia which can be clearly seen. Binging and purging is a slippery slope but can be stopped with education and understanding.” Dr Salsbury says that therapy can be a bit up and down and it is important for patients to know that.
“It can be a challenging road for anyone. Learning to sit in uncomfortable feelings is sometimes a necessary step which can make you feel like you have gone backwards. However, the benefits are profound when you think of the changes waiting around the corner once people have dealt and understood issues in their lives,” said Dr Salsbury, who helps those dealing with everything from trauma and grief to gender dysphoria. “We have seen an increase in the last two to three years of those seeking help from a psychologist in relation to gender dysphoria," she said. “Gender dysphoria is the distress felt by people whose sense of being male or female differs from the gender they are assigned at birth based on their sex. For some people, the difference between their gender identity and physical characteristics can cause significant and persistent emotional distress.” Dr Salsbury says gender dysphoria has probably been around for years but was misunderstood. “The great thing is we now have holistic teams working with gender dysphoric clients. My role, as a clinical psychologist, is to guide clients through the uncomfortable emotions and help them find distress tolerance tools. Quite often this doesn’t work, so we then need to work out the next step with a team of professionals.” For Dr Salsbury, working as a clinical psychologist has become so much more than just a job. “It is the most rewarding thing I can ever imagine doing. It is life changing and I am lucky to be able to show each individual that I am here for them, which may be something they had never experienced in their life.”
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2019 Music Festival S
treet corners, bars and restaurants came alive over the Queenâ€™s Birthday Weekend with the sights and sounds of the seventh Mornington Winter Music Festival.
The 2019 festival brought with it a host of talent and showcased an exciting program mixing traditional and modern jazz and blues music performances.
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BIRCH ON Books
By Melissa Walsh
e’s among Australia’s finest living writers, a poet, activist and academic, as well as an acclaimed novelist and shortstory writer.Tony Birch’s writing is concerned with Australians, especially Indigenous Australians, living life on the fringe.
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He writes, too, about the dark shadow cast by the state in the everyday lives of marginalised people, and this month is speaking at Montalto at their Books and Ideas evening. continued next page...
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I guess the difference with this novel is I knew what I wanted to say
“I have been to one of the Books and Ideas at Montalto when I was actually interviewing another author. This time I will be talking about my new book, and answering questions about the novel and the writing process itself,” said Tony, who became the first Aboriginal writer to win the Patrick White Award in 2017, in recognition of his invaluable body of work, including the novels 'Blood' and 'Ghost River' and the short-story collections, 'Common People' and 'The Promise'.
“The new book, 'The White Girl', is about the stolen generations, set in 1960’s rural Australia. It’s the story of Odette, and her fair-skinned granddaughter, who she must protect from authorities at all costs. It was important to me to represent how strong older Aboriginal women are, that they are true leaders in the community,” said the 62 year old writer who is also a climate justice-Indigenous rights activist that grew up in inner-city Melbourne with a rich Aboriginal, Barbadian (convict), Irish and Afghani heritage. “There’s speculation around the fact that I wrote the book in eight weeks, but it was only the first draft. The second draft took a year,” said Birch with a laugh. While his other novels read like they were written with ease, Birch does admit that 'The White Girl' did flow very easily. “I guess the difference with this novel is I knew what I wanted to say. It was also always going to be a book about strong black women. I knew at the outset that I was going to write a novel that could reach Aboriginal women, and was determined to write a really strong, central female character, to celebrate the courage and heroics of Aboriginal women,” said Birch. “'The White Girl' is a novel with national Indigenous themes: colonial oppression, dispossession, the stolen generations, generational violence against Aboriginal people. Every Aboriginal person I have met has a story of loss through the stolen generations.” Birch didn’t start out as an academic or author; far from it. He grew up poor and tough, and went off the rails as a teenager, being expelled from two high schools for fighting and found trouble with the police for the same reason. “I was a bit of a bugger of a kid, always getting into fights, and got my first odd jobs working for the fire brigade, hospital and post office,” said Birch. “But I was an avid reader and decided to go back to do Year 12 at TAFE. It was at night school where I met
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my mentor, Anne Misson who told me ‘You’ll be great, but only if you work your arse off’. I applied this to everything and soon my passions became writing and running. I discovered that when I go out for a run, my ideas are created and shaped for my writing. It clears the head especially if I come to a road block. I go out for a run, and before I know it, I have the solution. I come down to the peninsula regularly as my mother-in-law lives in Mt Eliza and I love going for runs through Red Hill.” Birch was first introduced to the Mornington Peninsula twenty years ago when he came down for holiday with one of his friends. “A mate had a holiday house in Rye and we went to the back beach at Gunnamatta. It was the first time I had seen the ocean and I loved it. Now, I come down a lot and have a favourite spot I go to at the rock shelves between Sorrento and Portsea.” These days Birch holds a master’s degree in creative writing and a PhD in history, a far cry from the brawling, drinking and smoking early years. “I loved university when I went there. At first I thought I would just do an arts degree and teach but I was hooked so I stayed to complete my masters and then my PhD,” said Birch. “It has had a flow-on effect in my family too. I was the first person to attend university and now my sister has gone back. Of my five children, four of my daughters have all gone to university and have professional careers.” Birch has been publishing short stories and poetry regularly since the 1980s, although his first collection, 'Shadow Boxing', only appeared in 2006. Since this, he has published four more collections of short stories and poetry 'Father's Day' , 'The Promise ', 'Broken Teeth' , and 'Common People'  and two novels 'Blood'  and 'Ghost River' ). “I published my first book when I was 49; the semi-biographical, 'Shadowboxing', and I lecture at the University of Melbourne,” said the author and academic whose philosophy is simple. “When you write or do anything, it is about having discipline, and keep working at it.” Tony Birch – Books and Ideas at Montalto, Friday 26 July, 7.00pm-9.00pm.
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THE SHOW MUST Go On By Melissa Walsh
he art of performance is alive and well, with community theatre groups continuing to thrive and keen thespians taking to the stage purely for the love of the craft. The peninsula’s own PLOS Musical Productions is a perfect example, where hundreds of passionate locals come together to entertain the crowds and bring the magic of theatre to the bayside town of Frankston. With over four decades treading the boards, PLOS (Peninsula Light Opera Society) has gained a reputation for presenting high quality theatrical productions, and has provided a marvellous stepping stone to the big time.
Brett Wingfield has been with the company since the 1970’s and says it is something that gets into your blood. “I started out when I was at teachers college and found an interest in the theatre and its creative aspect,” said Brett who is now the secretary for PLOS but has a full time career as theatre manager at the George Jenkins Theatre. “My first job was spot follower, and then I got into stage-managing, building sets, and costume design. I now work as the secretary, coordinating productions and behind-thescene needs, as well as being hands on with costume and set design.” This kind of theatre provides locals with a platform in which they can express themselves as well as entertaining the audience and PLOS Musical Productions has always managed to capture the hearts and imagination of the community. continued next page...
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“We are always striving to do something better as a company. Starting out in the 1960’s at the Frankston Teachers college, a group of trainee teachers got together to put on shows in the hall. Now we have two major productions each year at the Frankston Arts Centre,” said Brett.
We are currently in rehearsal for Les Misérables which runs from August 2 to 10 at the Frankston Arts Centre
Brett says each production involves about 200 people with production, actors, lighting, behind the scenes, moving scenery, props team, costume makers, quick change helpers, makeup and hair, sound operations and specialty skills teams depending on the production.
“As a kid the only way to see theatre was going to the city which I did with mum on special occasions. I always liked it and was drawn to it in that way,” said Brett of his passion for the theatre. “As our company has grown and productions started at the Frankston Arts Centre, people involved have updated their skills so that we bring the quality of Melbourne shows to the area.” With the quality of PLOS Musical Productions second-to-none, knowing that those involved are volunteers is testament to their passion and loyalty to the theatre company.
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“We rehearse a couple of times a week and every person does it just because they love the theatre,’ said Brett. “We think of ourselves as a family company and have people here who have met their spouses through PLOS and those whose children have gone on to perform or be involved behind the scenes.”
Because of this group of passionate individuals, the Mornington Peninsula has enjoyed 40 years of theatre with productions including The Little Mermaid, Nine to Five the musical, Mary Poppins, Wicked, Miss Saigon, The Addams Family, Oklahoma, Little Shop of Horrors, Oliver and Legally Blonde the musical. “We are currently in rehearsal for Les Misérables which runs from August 2 to 10 at the Frankston Arts Centre,” said Brett of the epic tale of human endurance. “Set in 19th century France, Les Miserables follows the stories of many characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. The portrayal of their lives and their ultimate quest for freedom is beautifully told through the stirring musical score, and in true PLOS style, will be poignantly portrayed.”
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Peninsula Business Networking Breakfast at Mornington Golf Club Tuesday 28th May, images courtesy of "The Biz Photograpghy" Local wedding suppliers form the Mornington Peninsula Wedding group staged another successful expo in June. Held at the Mornington Racing Club and deemed the best event to date, locals and visitors alike enjoyed a showcase of everything the region has to offer. Photos courtesy of Gary Sissons
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The Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board launched the much anticipated second edition of FOUND, at the Good Food and Wine Show on May 31. FOUND is due to arrive in the letterboxes of Mornington Peninsula residents in late June and has been beautifully placed to assist locals on where to take their visiting friends and relatives.
Friday July 12th Adrian Dickens presents The Duke and Duchess of Windsor – Loves Glittering Expression Wednesday July 24th Bob Sedergreen and Friends - A Tribute To Jazz Pianists Presented in conjunction with ADFAS Mornington Peninsula Tuesday July 30th Lise Rodgers presents Emily Brontë – A Child of the Moors
All presentations begin at 1.30pm and are followed by afternoon tea. www.beleura.org.au PO Box 1198, Mornington VIC 3198 Tel 03 5975 2027 Email: email@example.com
WRITING'S ON THE Wall By Melissa Walsh
ord on the street is that Frankston is transforming into a cultural and artistic hub and the new emergence of street art is testament to that. Wander down any alley or back street and, instead of dirt and destruction, if you are lucky you will find a work of art that might inspire, make you question or just impress. With artists, international and local, commissioned to create their murals, the bayside art zone is becoming a contender in the cultural community. “It all started with the Big Picture Fest last year which was part of the Frankston Train Station precinct redevelopment,” said street art tour guide, Sue Fabiny, who is passionate about promoting tourism in Frankston. “I could see the potential we have here with our artistic and cultural history with places like Mulberry Hill and Cruden Farm. Our street art is second to none as well and, after being a roving ambassador last year, I decided to become a tour guide.” The tours have now taken on a life of their own after their initial beginnings as a four day incentive during last year’s Big Picture Fest. continued next page...
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The art we have here is a different layer of cultural experience and brings Frankston onto the world stage
“The art we have here is a different layer of cultural experience and brings Frankston onto the world stage. There is a great following of street artists around Victoria, and a community of followers who travel around to street art festivals to see the work of artists like Smug, who is well-known in the industry,” said Ms Fabiny. “We have commissioned international artists who work alongside the local artists and it exposes the young ones to that kind of creativity. Some of our international artists are from different backgrounds including sculptors and those with PhDs.” Frankston city centre’s skyline has been well and truly transformed thanks to the inaugural Big Picture Fest last year and the fallout is an all-star line-up of art works.
“We have some of the world’s best contemporary street artists from Germany, Italy, New Zealand and France. Alongside these artists are interstate and local Frankston talent from past and present, including former Frankston boys, Adrian Doyle and Sheldon Headspeath,” said Ms Fabiny. “Born and raised in Frankston, Sheldon has been honing his craft as an artist mainly focused on aerosol art for over twenty years. Now as a full time artist, he is completing works right across the state with a diverse range of style. Leaning towards life-like images at any opportunity, Sheldon is always up for a challenge artistically, and runs State of the Art Murals in Frankston. Adrian Doyle a.k.a Doyle is best known for his paintings, murals, installations and large-scale public artworks. He grew up
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in Frankston and began his art life scribbling on trains, playing in drains, and exploring abandoned buildings. As he got older, he managed to get into art school. He is currently completing his PhD on the impact that urban art has made on the fine art scene in Melbourne.”
Street art stopped being graffiti only a few years ago with Ms Fabiny explaining the core differences. “Street art is commissioned by professional artists and it is a long process to set up the work. You have to find the right artist to commission, write out a brief of what they are going to paint, then negotiate with the owners of the building,” she said. “It can be quite a laborious exercise but the end result is a thing of beauty.” Smug’s work of art is a huge skeleton painted on the side of a building in central Frankston and, last year it ignited the debate about art versus graffiti. Commissioned as part of the Big Picture Fest to transform drab walls in high profile sites across the Frankston CBD, the piece of art situated behind the Braaap building, off Park Lane, is either loved or loathed by the public.
“The works of art are far from graffiti. You could see that image of the skeleton as overwhelming as or as a piece about hope. The skeleton signifies the truth that lies underneath our skin, our ideas about religion and society; we are all the same. The little birdie, to me, and the slight smile on the skeleton’s face is a sign of hope.”
Originally from NSW, Smug has worked for years transforming the facades of buildings in Glasgow, Scotland, into works of art, gaining a reputation in Scotland for creating imagery with photo realism which has been mostly admired across the country. “We have already had thousands of people checking out the street art throughout Frankston to mainly positive responses,” said Ms Fabiny. “With our new walking tours it will allow so many more to walk the Frankston city streets and laneways to witness the artworks being created and gain a greater understanding of our world and the art community without having to go to a gallery.” The street art walking tours take in 23 commissioned art works over about ninety minutes of walking. “We start at the Frankston library and head into the Frankston CBD and the area surrounding the shopping precinct,” said Ms Fabiny. “Take a tour through Frankston’s laneways and streets to find out how artists are shaping Frankston’s urban identity by creating unique pieces of public art for everyone to enjoy.”
For bookings or more enquiries, contact the Frankston Visitor Information Centre 1300 322 842 or at visitfrankston.com.
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RANDOM ACTS OF By Melissa Walsh Photo Yanni
t was the 2000 American romantic drama film 'Pay It Forward' that started a world-wide phenomenon, and caught the attention of local woman, Jeannie Matthews, who started a Facebook site of the same name for the Mornington Peninsula. The mother of seven and grandmother to twenty-three had always been a battler and knew only too well the importance of the kindness of strangers. “I would drive along the road and see perfectly good couches or tables on the nature strip, just being thrown out for hard rubbish, and it broke my heart,” said Jeannie, who had raised her children alone. “I remember thinking how much I would love a couch like that.” For Jeannie, the film with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt left an impact although she admits that she had always been a “bit of a closet greenie”.
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“I always hated seeing waste and had grown my own vegetables as much as I could. I was born in London just after the war and came from a background of women who were extremely good at making do. My mum and nana would make paint out of flowers and always found a way to get around not having much money,” said Jeannie. “I guess that’s why it bothered me when I saw things being discarded. Nothing was ever wasted in our house and I felt there must be a way to reuse the discards.” For the past eight years, Jeannie has made a massive difference to the local community through her Facebook page Pay it Forward – Southern Mornington Peninsula. “I started the Facebook site and, before I knew it, we had 5000 people,” said Jeannie, who ran it alone for the first two years. “I had no idea how much work it would be but I was well aware of the amount of people in need. I am proud of the fact we have changed
Kindness people’s lives. In that time, we have done blanket runs, given out Christmas hampers, helped everyone from young struggling families to people in nursing homes who have no one and just need some nice slippers.” For Jeannie, the philosophy is simple. “If you have two dozen apples but can only eat one dozen, give the other away,” she said. “It’s not very complicated. We give away everything from beds and mattresses, furniture and clothes to baby formula, bottles, and kids' toys. You would be surprised how many mums and dads out there are struggling. It is hard to ask for help so having a site like this means people can get things they need in a less confronting manner,” said Jeannie, who believes in random acts of kindness. “There was a young lass we helped out a lot. She was a lovely girl who had a couple of children and rang me one day as she was very upset with herself. She had received a futon from us but sold
it as she had no food. There was no judgement. If you need food, you need food; it is as simple as that. The point with this group is to help others by passing on things you don’t need or use.” These days Jeannie is helped out by two other local women, Eileen Hopcroft and Gail Cremen, who came on board five years ago. “To have these two has been a Godsend. Gail has a background in welfare and she is really good at sending people off to different agencies that can help them. Eileen is the unsung hero that cleans the site up and keeps an eye on posts for us,” said Jeannie. “We are a united front and feel strongly that if you don't need it, if you don't use it, please don't hold onto it cluttering up your life. Don't throw it away; we all need to do our bit for each other and the earth. Landfill becomes an ever-increasing problem, and your trash is someone’s treasure.”
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Anthology launch Poets’ Corner recently celebrated the launch of its inaugural anthology ‘Gatherings By The Lighthouse’. Sally Baillieu, local presenter of Arts About on RPP FM, was the guest speaker. Andrea Rowe, the organiser of Peninsula Writers Club, wrote the foreword to the anthology and also said a few words. Poets’ Corner Gatherings are now in their third year. At the end of last year, Heather Forbes-McKeon, the creator and convener of Poets’ Corner, invited regulars to form an anthology committee and the result is ‘Gatherings By The Lighthouse’. continued next page...
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Wednesday Market Personalities Originally from the UK Manchester, Samantha qualified with a BA Hons Degree in Fashion Design. Having previously worked in the Clothing Design Industry her career taking her from the UK to Hong Kong and ultimately to Melbourne. Samantha started her new creative journey in April last year 2018. “We’d been renovating at home and I found that I was using vintage articles from bygone eras in our home and mixing them in a modern setting - I was having a great time!" said Sam. “The inspiration for my Table Art came from loving the idea of savouring and celebrating the past – but in a new modern way – a different quirky combination from the expected, to be appreciated in a different way”. As our world becomes more paperless I wanted to capture the essence of the Books as well as memorabilia. Rather than them being lost forever, it’s my way of recycling and conserving the past, to be enjoyed again. Perfect Table Art for the homes of today.
Peter, our resident slipper and 'ugg boot' maker, and his wife Katherine have been attending the market for 9 year and in that time they have become a 'go-to-stall' for your slippers, uggs and sheepskin inner-soles. "I have been making top quality sheepskin moccasins since 1975 and to this day operate from a home workshop", said Peter. "The moccasins are handmade by me, using the same methods and processes for the past 40 years. I take great pride in my product and my customers appreciate the craftsmanship and work that goes into making every pair". Rain, hail & shine, you will catch Peter and Katherine at the market. This winter you too could be snug as a bug in an Ugg! Damien, a 5th generation baker with Dutch ancestry, is passionate about serving the best ‘traditional Amsterdam street food’ in town. His Oliebollen or Dutch donuts melt in your mouth...crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside! Chose from popular jam to apple & sultana, or if donuts aren’t your thing try his delicious Apple Turnovers. Damien uses cottonseed oil changed regularly and cooks each product to perfection. Lekker Lekker’s food begs to be eaten! “We ensure that we bring the most authentic taste and quality to our customers, first time, every time,” said Damien. “Come down to the Wednesday market and try our new products Kaassouffles (Cheesesouffles) or Spicy Jalapeno poppers”. Damien insists on sourcing local produce where possible. The potatoes for his famous ‘Belgian Frites’ come from a local Peninsula farmgate ‘Hawkes Family Farmgate in Boneo and he insists in making his hand-cut chips the highest quality possible.
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The committee comprised of; Julia Kaylock, Editor, Jai Thoolen, Publisher and formatter, Rowan McKeon, Tom McCullough and Heather Forbes-McKeon. Local artist Carmel Hourigan contributed her wonderful illustrations, which appear throughout the book. Poets, who had presented at least one poem during Poets Corner’s first two years, were invited to submit up to three original poems for consideration to be included in the anthology. Heather Forbes-McKeon says that the anthology showcases the proficiency of the poets who attend Poets Corner while demonstrating what a local community of like-minded artists can achieve together. To quote Andrea Rowe’s foreword from the anthology: ‘Gatherings By The Lighthouse’ is a collection of Mornington Peninsula voices, truth tellers and word weavers who puzzle, ponder and proclaim in
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prose what our hearts and souls often struggle to articulate.’ A copy of ‘Gatherings By The Lighthouse’ costs $15.95 and can be purchased at the Bookbarn Rosebud, Farrell’s Bookshop Mornington, Style Pirate Dromana, Arthurs Seat Eagle, Antipodes book shop in Sorrento or online directly from local publisher Picklepoetry (Jai Thoolen).
www.picklepoetry.com/product-page/gatherings-by-thelighthouse Poets’ Corner gatherings happen on the last Sunday of the month from March to November at the BBC Café McCrae, 665-667 Point Nepean Rd, McCrae.
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SOUL Singing By Andrea Louise Thomas Photos Yanni
rom the very beginning of her life, singer/songwriter Cheryl Beattie’s world was filled with music. Her father was Irish and everyone in his family was musical. Saturday nights were spent around the piano joined together in song. It was a joyful experience. She felt it right down into her soul. She still has that deep connection to music. Her musical career started very early. At 14, she was gigging with bands in Melbourne. She spent two years training with opera singer, Freida Ash. She later studied music at the Victorian College of the Arts and worked with studio musicians. This gave her a strong and diverse foundation. She learned a lot from these experiences, but she wanted to be more interpretive with her singing and write her own music. She also wanted to escape the confines of her sheltered upbringing on the Mornington Peninsula. “I needed to expand my horizons. I needed experience to be a great songwriter,” she says. So she decided to travel the world. She bought a one-way ticket around the world and took off. She spent the next ten years travelling between London, New York and Los Angeles and the magic of success followed everywhere she went. continued next page...
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Nine months after landing in London, Terry Ellis of Chrysalis Records discovered her and at 24 she signed her first record contract with BMG Records, as a developing artist. She spent two years in London working with major players in the music industry. She got interesting gigs, such as, singing backing vocals for Leo Sayer, recording with Sting’s band, working with Seal’s guitarist and backing vocals for British television show, Night Fever.
The teacher must have no judgment and always focus on the positives because they are dealing with something so sensitive
From London, she travelled to New York City where she really found her groove. She collaborated with some of the best singers, songwriters and musicians in the industry, such as Steinberg and Kelly who wrote for Whitney Houston and Madonna. Being signed to a record label gave her amazing opportunities to network and travel. She signed her second record contract with Warner Brother Records. They translated her ballad, “Fly” into a dance track and it went to number one in the London dance club circuit. She found herself bouncing between New York, London and Los Angeles. It was a heady lifestyle, but she never considered staying overseas forever. When she came home to the Mornington Peninsula, it was to reconnect with her family and friends, but she also wanted to share everything she had learned. Once she had raised her children, she had the chance to do the thing she had always dreamt of, opening her own music school - The Music Industry. TMI is not your typical music school. Of course they teach singing and instrumental music (keyboard, piano, guitar, bass, violin, cello, flute, drums, brass and band), but Beattie also teaches songwriting. Students learn the basics of putting a song together to get the perfect partnership of lyric, melody and chords. Beattie even offers her students the opportunity to go on a songwriting camp to Los Angeles. They get to meet industry professionals and work with award-winning songwriter/composer/ producer, Pam Sheyne. (She wrote “Genie in a Bottle” for
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Christina Aguilera and many other hit songs as well as music for film and television). There is a strong focus on performance at TMI. All students have fortnightly opportunities to perform. Students are encouraged to collaborate with each other and work with professional musicians to build their skills and confidence.
The school has its own recording studio where students can hear what they sound like in the outside world. It’s natural to feel self-conscious or slightly uncomfortable initially because they can’t hear what other people hear. Recording gives them a chance to be objective, hone their skills and free themselves emotionally. Building confidence is TMI’s objective. “Because we offer all platforms from performance and recording to audition and exam readiness, each student can build the confidence they need to become an individual artist. We want everyone to be their authentic self and develop their own unique style,” Beattie says. “Confidence starts with the teacher! The teacher must have no judgment and always focus on the positives because they are dealing with something so sensitive. Once students open up, they can then take small steps towards performing for others,” Beattie says. I tell my students, “Never listen to anybody who has something negative to say about you or your voice because you are unique and no one else can sing like you.” Music has greatly enriched Beattie’s life. It brought healing in times of sadness, inspiration when working with famous singers and songwriters and pride when she could stand alongside them and feel equal. She’s felt the fulfillment of sharing her knowledge and experience. At The Music Industry, students of all ages have the opportunity to find their own confidence, pride and the fulfillment that music offers to the heart, mind and soul. The Music Industry, 1449 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud www.themusicindustry.com.au
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ZOE ELLENBERG AT Nissarana
or your winter creative inspiration whether it be for your own creativity or to enhance the mood of your home interior Nissarana Galleries at 211 Main Street, Mornington is hosting the solo exhibition of one of Australia’s most expressive artists , Zoe Ellenberg. Zoe’s roots have always been in the upper echelons of the Australian art world, having grown up in a family of artists with connection to Brett Whiteley. She has imbibed this upbringing into her unique inimitable style of painting that displays the influence of the great master while simultaneously having lines, techniques and flare that are truly original and immediately recognizable as hers. Nissarana Galleries is proud to present this renowned highly collectable artist of the dual disciplines of Painting and Sculpture. These spectacular paintings hang like intrinsic expressions of the delightful whimsical emotions that are behind each creation, while the exquisite bronze sculptures reflect the beauty of the natural world from which Zoe draws much of her inspiration. They beckon the viewer to enter into their mood and partake of their vibrance and joy. Zoe says of her work: “Nature is my perspective inspiration and muse. I have a passion for the littoral. Where the reef meets the tropical rainforest. Where
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For those seeking a completely fresh approach to the color they live in or for those astute art loving collectors Zoe works have a multifaceted appeal. Her paintings will brighten up our external and internal space and bring a new dimension into our lives.
‘ Paradise Garden’ Zoe Ellenberg Solo Exhibition at Nissarana Galleries Mornington 19 July – 11 August Preview: Friday 19th July 10am – 4pm Opening Celebration: Saturday 20 July 2pm – 4pm
Preview Opening Celebration Fri 19th July Sat 20th July 19 JULY – 11 AUGUST 10am – 4pm 2pm– 4pm
ZOE ELLENBERG ‘Paradise Garden‘
mountains swell up from the sea and where the abundance of nature bursts into flower and birdsong. This passion has led me to the rainforests of Cape Tribulation FNQ, Buderim Queensland, Bali Lombok and the Gillis Indonesia, Vietnam and the South Pacific. Corals, mangroves, swamps, forests, ferneries, epiphytes and orchids are my entire palette blasting with colour and life. My paintings grow as the forest does sometimes as a vine organically twisting and turning in linear black enamel forging a leafy path, sometimes as a vapour of shocking colour as an inflorescence, here a drip spill of ink down from the tall canopy, here a blaze of sunset sky or aqua sea or drenching rain.”
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ART ADVENTURES FOR
By Erica Louise
ive years have passed since Nikky Agnello showcased her first solo exhibition at the Frankston Arts Centre. This South African born visual artist is on a mission; to raise awareness and stimulate conversation around human rights and the environment. Her work focuses on the connection between all living things. Such important topics were not at the start of Nikky’s artistic journey. Previously, Nikky worked as an award-winning art director and graphic designer in London and Melbourne. Only recently did she steer the wheel of her creative talents in the direction of conceptual art. And her progression into visual arts came at the end of something else. In 2013, she faced an undiagnosed health condition. Later, this was confirmed as Lyme disease, a debilitating tick-borne illness with no cure. Rather than dwell on her poor health, Nikky dived deeper into her creative self to release her inner struggles. “Going through a particularly traumatic time in my life, I had to pause and take stock as I found myself reflecting on what I needed to do to move forward. I was searching for something to take my mind off things and I saw a call for entry to Frankston Art Centre's open exhibition and seized the escapism it offered me,” explains Nikky.
Nikky saw Frankston Arts Centre’s open art competition as an opportunity to transfer her talents from digital design on to canvas. She painted her own interpretation of the competition theme “Infinite Space” with her beautiful piece entitled “Tonight I float in a sea of stars, in infinite space.” At the time, Nikky was not an accomplished artist, yet her piece won her the People’s Choice Award. This achievement rewarded Nikky with a solo exhibition at the Cube 37 Gallery. Her exhibition titled 'Detritus' proved a huge success. She sold 12 pieces on the opening night. “When I first started thinking about what I was going to paint, I asked myself what would sell and thought beach scenes and landscapes. But something inside of me screamed NO! I knew I had to use this opportunity as a healing experience, so I centred the works around depression. I never expected to sell any works at all, but I sold 12 pieces! I had people thanking me with tears in their eyes saying; ‘This is me except that I can’t paint it’,” Nikky explains. Nikky’s artwork has taken an audacious new path since she first dipped her brush into the pool of visual arts. The success of her first exhibition ignited her desire to be more adventurous in her art. continued next page... July 2019
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“I often feel vulnerable and exposed but I know I must put a really creative expression out there for people to be able to connect to it” Nikky’s enchanting artworks on plywood focus on the connection between humanity and the environment. She paints graphic patterns using harmonious muted earthy tones, drawing inspiration from the contours already present in the timber on which she paints.
I often feel vulnerable and exposed but I know I must put a real creative expression out there for people to be able to connect to it
Recently, Nikky’s desires to raise awareness through her work on subject matters such as human rights and climate change have inspired her deeply-moving and thought-provoking exhibits. My Love is Bulletproof is Nikky’s latest exhibition at Cube 37 Frankston. It is quite different to her previous works; perhaps a little more confronting than her enchanting contour work on plywood, but equally poignant. Nikky invested thousands of hours to create an artwork about gun control.
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"Are Australian gun laws as bulletproof as we are led to believe?," she says. "The past few years have seen a dramatic rise in civilian gun ownership in Australia, which is now at 3.2 million, the same level as at the time of the Port Arthur massacre."
To address this concern, Nikky invited visitors into Cube 37 to experience a landscape of gunfire frozen in time. In the centre was a child-size bulletproof vest constructed from hundreds of love letters written by mothers in the local community to their children. This vest creates a force field of love while diverting a cloud of shrapnel. Her emotionally charged installation is a compassionate message guided by love and action, used in a way to raise awareness and discussion around Australia's gun laws. "What if you could freeze time and go back to seconds before a tragic event occurred? What if you could create an invisible force field of protection around yourself and those you love to prevent
harm? Would you do it? The problem reaches far beyond gun laws and is intrinsically linked to how we see ourselves and each other," explains Nikky. While Nikky’s bulletproof vest is now packed away, she hopes the strong message behind her esteemed project will reach a wider audience. Perhaps we will see “My Love is Bulletproof ” on tour. In the meantime, Nikky can be found painting and creating in what she describes as her “ramshackle house” with her beloved husband, two children and five chickens. It is here where Nikky’s thoughts and aspirations to drive conversations towards human rights and environmental subjects through her art come to fruition. Nikky Agnello’s work continues to be displayed in galleries all over Melbourne.
www.nikkyagnello.com.au www.instagram.com/nikkyagnello www.facebook.com/NikkyAgnello
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A DYING Art
By Melissa Walsh
or many of us talking about death is something we tend to avoid but not for artist Catherine Bell who has made it her mission to help people understand the place of death in life. Dr Bell is a multi-disciplinary artist and associate professor teaching visual art in the Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University, and brings her workshop, Facing Death Creatively, to Mornington this month.
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It is a simple provocation. I talk about how our bodies are like vessels and that we constantly empty and fill them
“Some of my recent art in health projects involve implementing collaborative activities in community contexts that explore cultural responses to death and the dying,” said Dr Bell. “Facing Death Creatively is a collective workshop that uses craft materials and socially engaged processes to promote healthy and meaningful discussions about our mortality. The workshop takes about 30 to 40 minutes and involves making a miniature vessel out of a soft, biodegradable, sculpting medium. The material is non-toxic and very easy to manipulate so all ages and levels of dexterity can participate. The vessel becomes a portrait of the maker and a catalyst for discussing the participant’s final resting place.” The workshop was designed and facilitated by Dr Bell during an artist residency at Centre for the Study of Substructured Loss:
Applied Grief and Bereavement Research in London.
“I have been a practicing artist for twentyeight years and during that time I have used a variety of mediums including sculpture, drawing, performance art, video and installation,” said Dr Bell, whose art has always centred on the human condition. “The last five years I have focused on art in healthcare settings, and implementing collaborative art projects in community contexts that emphasise a democratic involvement in the various aspects of exhibition and production.” In the Facing Death Creatively workshop, participants mould miniature vessels of floral oasis foam which is nontoxic and biodegradable and cut into individual blocks.
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CARUSO TO CARRERAS: THE GREAT TENORS
Friday 6 September, 10.30am & 1.30pm
Friday 16 August, 10.30am & 1.30pm
The Lux Radio Theatre recreates the days of the Sunday night radio play with the live sound effects and the vintage soap commercials.
Roy Best, one of Australia’s finest tenors, will perform classic hits from the likes of Pavarotti, Bocelli, Lanza, Domingo, Caruso and Carreras.
Tickets: 03 9784 1060 or thefac.com.au
Tickets: 03 9784 1060 or thefac.com.au July 2019
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“It is a simple provocation. I talk about how our bodies are like vessels and that we constantly empty and fill them,” said Dr Bell. “I discuss a show I saw in London called Roman Dead that examines ancient burial rituals which included burying the body with tiny vessels that have oils and food for the afterlife. These vessels are identical to my crematorium vessels in the Craftivism Show. I ask the participants to reflect on their final resting place, where they wish their remains to be buried, or cremated remains to be scattered. I provide a zip locked freezer bag for the participants to collect the dust that accumulates from making their vessels.”
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As part of Dr Bell’s project, the vessels left behind become part of an ongoing archive which represents the diverse communities. “I will collaborate on this project until I die,” said Dr Bell of her ongoing work which aims to promote healthy and meaningful discussion about death and dying. Facing Death Creatively, Thursday July 18 at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. www.mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au
for Aboriginal art? A
n exhibition of Aboriginal paintings owned by actor Steve Martin in New York City has recently grabbed media attention with the comedian and art collector describing his passion for the art’s “visual, intellectual, but also emotional” qualities. Held in one of the world’s most influential galleries, it’s being hailed as a game-changer for Aboriginal art. However, as Martin acknowledges, this interest is far from new, with a continuing series of Aboriginal art exhibitions in the US going back to the 1960s. One such exhibition was curated by the founding director of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, the late Alan McCulloch, who in 1965 organised an exhibition of bark paintings for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Winter Salon is open daily from July 12-August 31 from 10.30am-4pm. EVERYWHEN ARTSPACE A: 1/39 Cook St, Flinders T: 03 5989 0496 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: mccullochandmcculloch.com.au FB: mccullochandmcculloch INSTA: mccullochandmccullochart
Today, his daughter, art writer and gallerist Susan McCulloch and granddaughter Emily McCulloch Childs run Everywhen Artspace in Flinders, which specialises in current Aboriginal art by established artists and rising stars from around Australia. These, with works by select non-Indigenous artists, feature in their upcoming Winter Salon with art from eight regions including Kimberley ochres; lush colour, night sky and salt lake works from the vast desert regions; atmospheric coastal views by the peninsula’s Miodrag Jankovic; and layered abstracts, ceramics and carvings. Opening this wide-ranging exhibition is a unique art parade presentation by Susan of 60-plus works with commentary on the art, artists and their regions. The art parade on July 13 at 2pm is a free event but bookings are essential on mccullochart.eventbrite.com.au
Susan McCulloch presents an art parade July 2019
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SEVEN OF The Best By Melissa Walsh
he idea for Local 7 originated over several cups of coffee at a local breakfast haunt in Rye, where artist, Miodrag Jankovic does a lot of his thinking. The wellknown peninsula man and Gallery ArtUpstairs owner had the epiphany to promote a soiree of artists on the peninsula after understanding that there was an abundance of talent in his neck of the woods.
The two remaining artists are an emerging young artist and a stonemason-sculptor,” said Miodrag. “Most of the artists in the show have quite an extensive CV folios; many of them have had sell out shows and major art awards won.”
“A musician friend of mine once commented ‘You can throw a rock up in the air and you are bound to hit an artist or a musician on the head’”, said Miodrag with a laugh. “So that’s how it happened. It was easy to find great artists to promote and now we are holding our Gallery ArtUpStairs Art Show in August.”
“It is the intent of the gallery to highlight these local artists to the greater peninsula public in a relaxed and informative environment without the pressure of the commercial gallery set up. This is a oncea-year event to raise awareness that we have a well of creativity in our backyard,” said Miodrag.
The artists that will be represented are Bridgit Thomas, Justine McNamara, John Baird, Drew Gregory, Miodrag Jankovic, Pierreandre Ceschin and Emma Jankovic.
Local 7 features seven local artists who reside and work on the Mornington Peninsula. “Five from the group are professional artists who have regular exhibitions in commercial galleries around Australia and are also represented in many collections around the world.
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Local 7 is on July 13 to August 18. Gallery ArtUpStairs is at 2375 Point Nepean Road Rye. Phone 0478 362 798. www.jankovicart.com.au
Local 7 7 Local Local @ 7
@ Gallery GalleryArtUpStairs ArtUpStairs @
GalleryBridgit ArtUpSt Thomas
Bridgit Thomas Justine McNamara Justine McNamara Drew Gregory Drew Gregory John Baird Bridgit Thomas Miodrag Jankovic John Baird Pierre-andre Ceschin Justine McNamara Miodrag Jankovic Emma Jankovic Pierre-andre Ceschin Drew Gregory Exhibition by seven local Emma Jankovic
John Baird Exhibition by seven local Miodrag Jankovic Mornington Peninsula artists July 13th - August 18th Pierre-andre Cesch Official Opening Sat July 13th 6pm—8p Emma Jankovic Gallery ArtUpStairs Mornington Peninsula artists
July 13th - August 18th Official Opening Sat July 13th 6pm—8pm
2375 Point Nepean Road,
Open Thursday to Sunday 11am - 4pm Ph: 0478 362 798
2375 Point Nepean Road,
Open Thursday to Sunday 11am - 4pm Ph: 0478 362 798
Exhibition by seven loca Mornington Peninsula art
July 13th - August 18th Official Opening Sat July 13th 6p
2375 Point Nepean Road,
Open Thursday to Sunday 11am - 4p Ph: 0478 362 798
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Eat & Drink
Recipe FETTUCINE WTH MARINATED RED CAPSICUM, ANCHOVIES BASIL, BUFFALO MOZZARELLA AND PANGRATTATO Ingredients 3 tablespoon. extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove, sliced 6 anchovy fillets in olive oil, finely chopped 10 basil leaves 2 tablespoon. finely chopped parsley 1 large ball buffalo mozzarella grated parmesan 500g fettuccine sea salt 3 large red capsicums 1 cup breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon spring onion sliced 1 small chilli, finely sliced
Method Preheat oven to 160 degrees Place capsicum on a paper lined tray and drizzle with oil and sprinkle sea salt. Turn every 10 minutes as the skin starts to colour and loosen. Place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap and leave to cool.
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Break each pepper into half and rinse in water, washing away seeds and removing skin. Strain washed peppers to remove excess water. Cut peppers into thin strips 5mm wide. Cover with extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt to taste. Refrigerate if making in advance. For the pangrattato, place bread in a food processor and blitz until fine crumbs. Then add parsley, garlic, spring onion, chilli oil and salt. Blitz to combine all these ingredients. Spread evenly on a paper-lined tray and bake in oven, turning occasionally, until crispy and golden. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the garlic and cook gently until softened. Add the strips of marinated pepper, anchovies and cook for 5 minutes to let the flavours combine. Cook the fettucine in a large pot of salted boiling water, then drain. Add to the sauce, top with basil leaves and parsley, toss well and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Drizzle with extra olive oil in needed and season with sea salt. To serve, tear buffalo mozzarella pieces on top, with parmesan and a good sprinkle of pangrattato.
Del Posto 2409 is at 2409 Point Nepean Road, Rye Victoria. Phone 5985 6498. www.delposto2409.com.au July 2019
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SIMPLE AND Elegant By Melissa Walsh Photos Yanni
The ambience is simple and elegant like the food of chef, Melinda who creates palate enlightening cuisine combining homemade pasta with a modern twist.
With Del Posto meaning ‘of the place’ in English, the husband and wife team, Nick and Melinda, has created a slice of Italy for their local community in Rye.
“We specialise in pasta but have a couple of other main dishes like spatchcock and fresh fish,” said Melinda who has been a chef since she was 21. “I cook what we always loved to eat growing up, with lots of fresh pasta and fresh local ingredients.”
With a reputation for good food and a welcoming environment, Del Posto 2409 does not skip a beat, in true Italian style.
Melinda grew up in an Italian household with her parents running restaurants as long as she can remember.
el Posto 2409 is the ultimate expression of what an Italian restaurant should be, and we are fortunate enough to have this Italian kitchen and bar right on our doorstep.
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“Mum was a chef and dad was in hospitality running the restaurants so I was always surrounded by food,” said Melinda, whose husband has also happened to be in hospitality for the bulk of his career, running their Rye restaurant for the past two years. “I always associate everything with food and wanted to create a warm and welcoming environment with modern Italian cuisine,” said Melinda who specialises in pasta making. “With Del Posto 2409, Nick and I have brought a more up-market type of cuisine to the area and the response has been wonderful.” Since the couple opened their doors two and a half years ago, they have been constantly in demand.
“We have people coming from local areas and around Victoria to have our Italian food which is light and flavoursome,” said Melinda, who encourages share plates and smaller servings. “We do handmade gnocchi, lasagne with squid ink, fettucine with pasta, pork and veal ragu, agnolotti and orrechiette. With the colder weather upon us, we are adding hearty meals with our ragu.” For the sweet tooth there is also a range of home-made desserts, and a selection of local and international wines. Del Posto 2409 is at 2409 Point Nepean Road, Rye. Phone 5985 6498. www.delposto2409.com.au
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By Andrea Louise Thomas Photos Yanni
ot all rum is created equal. Itâ€™s not just something to mix with cola. Great rum can stand its own ground and be imbibed neat. Like wine, it has variety and complexity. It activates the senses with its bouquet, flavour profiles, mouthfeel and colour.
James McPherson, proprietor of JimmyRum, is on a mission to educate people about rum. He would know because he makes extraordinary craft rum at his brand new distillery in Dromana. His rum will blow any preconceived notions about this spirit right out of the water. continued next page...
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Why rum? “I love its diversity. It’s complex, intriguing and smooth. My background as a yachtie and merchant seafarer meant I spent most of my life at sea. Rum was the only spirit I liked,” he says. In his previous profession as a marine engineer, those 20 years at sea travelling around the world gave him endless opportunities to sample his favourite spirit. Funnily enough, his new career came about as a lark. When he was retiring from engineering, he was persistently asked what he would do next. In the end he said, “Stuff it. I’m gonna go make rum!” Initially, he wasn’t sure he could pull it off because Australia has very stringent alcohol production controls. Many breweries were making craft beer, but no one seemed to be making craft rum. So he looked into Australian craft distilleries and found out he could make craft rum. Next, of course, came his research expedition; he had to learn about the hundreds of different styles of rum. So, he hopped on a plane and travelled overseas. In two and a half months, he visited 70 distilleries in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and the UK.
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He came home and started to apply what he had learned. He made a business plan, selected a still, found a venue, worked out system design and selected a fantastic and enthusiastic team, each with his own expertise. They started their first production run. Making a great craft product requires care in every step of the process. It’s taken three and a half years working non-stop to make this distillery a reality. The most important player, outside of McPherson, is Matilda. As well as being an iconic Australian name, the name translates from German as ‘female warrior’. If he wanted to start a rum war (a war against people’s perception of rum, that is) he needed a fierce partner. Matilda is a beauty. Technically, she’s a sleek Italian import. Matilda is the still. Once she was up and running, production could begin. Just the smell in the distillery is mouth watering. That sweet smell of molasses pervades. Rum is a sugar-based spirit; That could be molasses, used by a large percentage of the world’s rum producers, or cane juice, as is the way of the French or good old Australian cane sugar.
Regardless of its base, producing any kind of spirit involves a complex kind of chemistry, but to put it simply, it comes down to three critical elements: fermenting, distilling and barreling.
bought ‘proof’ strength rum for their sailors, as a blast of rum was required before every battle. Sailors were afforded two tots of rum. (That’s the equivalent of 2 schooners!)
The importance of the barrel cannot be underestimated. The type of barrel, length of time the spirit is inside it, age of the barrel, temperature and what was in it before all play a major part in the colour and flavour of rum. (Most of the barrels are ex-bourbon barrels made of oak imported from the United States.)
Proof strength was determined by soaking a line of gunpowder in rum. If the gunpowder could be lit, it was proof of the rum’s strength (at 57.1%) In those days, trying to sell underproof rum to the Navy was a hanging crime!
The importance of the barrel cannot be underestimated
At JimmyRum, they produce four products. Their ‘Silver’ is a clear spirit, which technically, is not quite rum yet as it needs to be barreled two years to qualify as rum. It comes right off the still. It’s 40% alcohol content. Their ‘Oaked’ comes from new American oak barrels, which gives it a much different flavour profile. It’s caramel in colour and higher in its alcohol content at 47%.
Their ‘Navy’ is 57.8%. It’s a clear spirit named after the Royal Navy of the 1770s when rum strength was taken very seriously. They
Last but not least in the JimmyRum collection is their ‘Barbados’, a blend of 3, 5 and 8 year old imported rum. It’s 40%. It tastes more like the classic ‘dark’ rum one might expect, but because it is blended, there is so much in it to savour.
JimmyRum products can be found in 30 different venues and bottle shops, but the best place to try it is at their newly-opened cocktail bar. It can accommodate 120 patrons. So, bottoms up!
JimmyRum, 6 Brasser Avenue, Dromana 5987 3338 www.jimmyrum.com.au, @jimmyrumdistillery
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TALKING Rhubarb By Melissa Walsh Photos Gary Sissons & supplied
t’s been used in pies, slices and fruit salads but now local rhubarb has a new incarnation, being utilised in the Original Spirit Company’s warm winter gin.
“We are making our new winter gin, infused with rhubarb and it has just been released to rave reviews at The Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne,” said Barbara Richardz, director of the Original Spirit Company, who has been making gin in Somerville for over two years. “It’s a small family operation and we are proud that everything is made personally.” The gin experts have now created their gin fusion country rhubarb with ginger after wanting to create a winter gin that could also be served as a hot toddy.
“Using the local rhubarb, it has a beautiful pink colour and offers a premium addition to any modern cocktail blended with freshly harvested rhubarb from the Mornington Peninsula. Juicy Aussie ginger delivers lingering and comforting warmth,” said Barbara, one of the many people in the area enjoying the harvest of local man, Colin H. Clayton and his French Harvest Farm. Colin’s rhubarb can be tasted all around the peninsula from Treand Winery next door to the farmer, all the way down to Port Phillip Estate’s famous kitchen. For the Clayton’s, their rhubarb farm began innocently on a retirement property but Colin’s expertise at market gardening meant he couldn’t stay dormant for long.
continued next page...
Made on the Mornington Peninsula Try Original Spirit Co’s new winter warmer with locally farmed rhubarb and Australian ginger. Enjoy neat or as a ‘Hot Toddy’!
www.originalspiritco.com & selected bottle stores
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The addition of an old disc plough meant I had all the necessary implements required to grow rhubarb on a small commercial scale
“I am a third generation rhubarb farmer. My dad was known as Rex the Rhubarb King so I guess you could say it’s in the blood,” he said. “We bought this property in Baxter eleven years ago and it was meant to be where we retired but then I found this old vegetable patch out the back. I thought I might just grow a few vegetables for the house. Clearing the weeds away I came across three weak, tired, starving rhubarb plants. Remembering my rhubarb growing heritage I nurtured them, but they never thrived, always remaining sickly and green,” said Colin, who then started a search for better plants. “This search soon became an obsession and rhubarb was acquired from every possible Australian source. It did not matter where it came from, what it looked like, or what it did. Red, green, giant, stunted, perennial, winter deciduous, all were gathered up, meticulously catalogued, labelled and planted out for evaluation.” For the couple who love travelling, it was the chance for them to find new rhubarb in all corners of the globe. “I harvested seed of Russian clones in Greenland where temperatures reach -49C and they thrived, and still do. One of the highlights was a visit to Queen Victoria’s summer residence on the Isle of Wight. Here, in her beautifully preserved walled garden, they were growing rhubarb in historically correct alternate rows of “Queen Victoria” and “Prince Albert”. These plants were possibly the descendants of the original clones,” said Colin, who gets out on his tractor most days. “The addition of an old disc plough meant I had all the necessary
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implements required to grow rhubarb on a small commercial scale.” These days, Colin and Tina sell their rhubarb wholesale but also from their farmgate at the front of the property.
“We sell from the farmgate shop, selling pots and bunches, which works on an honesty system. Customers help themselves and put the money through a slot in a small safe. It generally works extremely well; the majority of rhubarb buyers are elderly and honest. The bunches, bigger than those offered by the supermarkets, are kept chilled in a glass fronted display fridge. A selection of potted rhubarb is always available,” said Colin. “Sometimes we get all sorts of loose coins in there. Another time we had a homemade rhubarb pie left for us. It’s really wonderful.” With their roots in rural France, it’s no wonder Colin and Tina called their little farm business French Harvest. “We love everything French and travel there as much as possible. Rhubarb was imported from China for medicinal purposes in dried form. Live rhubarb roots were smuggled in, and soon rhubarb was growing in France. The advent of cheap sugar made rhubarb palatable and suitable for culinary use. So rhubarb, in the French countryside, became part of the local cuisine.” www.frenchharvest.com.au
Beef Strogonoff with Jasmine Rice and a Glass of Fenian Red Hill Pinot.
Fresh Burrata with Mornington Peninsula Tomatoes, Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
65 Octavia St, Mornington Ph 5975 3567 www.thedublinermornington.com
5-15 Hotham Road, Sorrento Phone 5984 8000 www.hotelsorrento.com.au
Cray Tail, Wombok Kimchi, Roasted Butternut Puree Bisque. Max's Restaurant 53 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South Ph 5931 0177 www.maxsrestaurant.com.au
House-made Apple Pie Made From Locally Grown London Pippin Apples with a Buttery Pie crust and a Dollop of Vanilla Ice-Cream to top it off. Red Gum BBQ 87 Athurs Seat Rd, Red Hill Ph 5989 3156 www.redgumbbq.com.au
Dark Ale Braised Lamb Shank Sweet Potato Puree & Jus. St Andrews Beach Brewery 160 Sandy Road, Fingal Phone 5988 6854 www.standrewsbeachbrewery.com.au
Canard À L’Orange Confit Duck Leg, Orange Sauce, Baby Glazed Carrots. Petit Tracteur 1208 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge Ph 5989 2510 www.petittracteur.com.au
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WAYGU BEEF BURGER Waygu beef, bacon, fried onions, chipotle BBQ sauce, mustard & relish.
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FRIED CHICKEN BURGER Fried chicken, bacon, cheese, aioli & side of fries
Remember when the hamburger was just something to make mince taste better? These days, the humble hamburger has seen a renaissance with a new wave of burgers on the peninsula. Venues up and down the coast are creating a breed apart from their mass-produced forebears with organic, free-range patties, golden brioche buns, house-made pickles and flavours to die for. Whether itâ€™s the vegan burger and bun that takes your fancy or a good old hearty meat burger with house made fries, you will find the best burgers on the Mornington Peninsula.
What's Your Signature
Are you a business on the Mornington Peninsula and think your cocktails can shake it with the best? We want to know about it!
Call Brooke Hughes on 0409 219 282 for further details, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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ACROSS 1. Gleam 5. Rubber 9. Jungle vine 12. Amassed stock 16. News outlets 17. Rashers 18. Great ape 20. Complying with 22. Sublet 23. Expelled 24. Piled 26. Garden building 27. Discernment 28. Defenceless person (7,6) 31. Turn on edge 32. Forewarns 34. Law of Gravitation scientist 36. Outgoing flow, ... tide 37. Deported to penal colony 40. Glue 42. Book leaf 43. Action words 45. Hovered (on brink) 47. Wolves' homes 49. Illness, scarlet ... 50. Feisty 52. Stupefies 54. Flamboyant rocker, ... John 55. Perjurers 56. Shakespeare, the Bard of ... 58. Brackish 59. Himalayan region 60. Frilled collar 61. Network of lines 62. Craftily 63. Climbing vegetable 64. Wall recess 67. Assists 68. Fiesta, Mardi ... 69. Sexual 72. Limb 74. Three-hulled boats 78. Hoo-ha 79. Porridge flake 80. Klutz 81. Quickly 82. Injures with dagger 85. Stacked to the gunwales 87. Indian guru 88. Burglar's haul 90. Peach variety
91. Accomplishment 92. Scan 93. Beauty parlour 94. Of the moon 95. St Paul's architect, Sir Christopher ... 96. Lard & dripping 97. Had 100. Sergeants (1,1,2) 102. Movie backdrop 103. Collection of charts 104. Arrive at 106. Way of thinking 108. Obliterate, ... out 109. Tip of grain 110. April, ..., June 112. Afro or beehive 116. Lamb's mother 118. Buckle hole 120. Chunky 121. Loud laugh 123. Aida & Tosca 125. Washstand jug 126. Cut of mutton 127. Nonsense poet, Edward ... 128. Famous canal 129. Convent 130. Potatoes 131. Pepper grinder 132. Contented cat sounds 134. Pixies 136. Fathered 139. Makes amends 141. Hackneyed 142. Muted (response) 144. Vagrant 146. Tricky question 147. Secreted 148. Daylight provider 149. Skeletal (4-3-4) 151. Record spinners (1,2) 152. Group of seven 155. Derisive humour 158. Dog restraint 159. Growing worse 162. Gets rid of (employee) 164. Actress, ... Bergman 165. Multiplication lists 166. Butter-like substance 170. Criminal 171. Dried grape 172. Instructor 173. Corpulent 174. On a ... of 1 to 10
175. Holiday spots 176. Economise 177. Cantaloupe 178. Computer's background screen
DOWN 1. Yield 2. Attainable 3. Compassionate (4-7) 4. Inscribe by carving 5. Biggest 6. Recounted 7. Noel season 8. Totalling, ... to (6,2) 9. Mekong valley nation 10. Beaten by tennis serve 11. Give life to 12. Uppermost 13. Multi-talented athletes (3-8) 14. Heavy inert burden (4,6) 15. Followed weight-loss plan 19. Jaunty rhythm 21. Endure 25. Extract 26. Masculine or feminine 29. Take no notice of 30. Aviators 33. Zimbabwe, once Southern ... 35. Internet pages 36. Mercy killing 38. Car trial (4,4) 39. Twilight periods 41. Alteration 42. Turkish headgear 44. Jet-bubble bath 46. Parks official 48. Skiing event 49. More offensive 51. Steam-pressed 53. Willing torturers 55. Middle Eastern country 57. Non-government body (1,1,1) 60. 2016 Olympic city, ... de Janeiro 65. Friendship 66. Floral arrangement jars 70. Cook in oven 71. Matinee habitue 73. Religious community
75. Academic gown 76. Marine bird 77. Curry accompaniment 78. Post-operative nursing 83. Negate 84. Skims swiftly 85. Pate base 86. Mouth of the Nile or Ganges 89. The G of LPG 91. Die-hard supporter 92. Itchy feet 96. Enchantress, ... fatale 98. US rocket agency 99. Singer, ... Diamond 101. Shuteye 103. Engrosses 105. Messengers 107. Diplomatic offices 111. Dined at restaurant (3,3) 112. Central London leisure area (4,4) 113. Memory 114. Afternoon crockery (3,3) 115. Volcanic explosion 117. Toiler 119. Actress, ... Taylor 120. Confirms (5,3) 122. Domiciled 124. Spreading tree 132. Member of congregation 133. Travelling salesman 134. Wage recipient 135. Belgrade is there 137. Celebrate, paint the town ... 138. Dents 140. Spiky tropical fruits 141. Vanquished 143. Fails to (5'1) 145. Bribe 150. Of newborn 153. Mythical winged horse 154. Consumables 156. Muslim leader (3,4) 157. Badly brought-up (3-4) 158. Idler 160. Verve 161. Emotional quality of voice 163. Measure (4,2) 166. Casual long dress 167. Scrape 168. Single object 169. Rank of peer
Discover your Home Care options on the Peninsula. CALL US TO DISCUSS HOW OUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS CAN CARE FOR YOU!
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335 Eastbourne Road, Capel Sound VIC
Ph: 1300 VILL GLEN (1300 845 545)
See page 91 for solution July 2019
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Rye is a seaside resort town, approximately 83 km south of Melbourne, on the Mornington Peninsula. Its bay beach is popular with swimmers, fishermen, yachtsmen and kite surfers. Rye has an area of 14.7 square kilometres. The population of Rye was 8,416 in 2016. The coastal town of Rye is situated on the popular holiday destination of the Mornington Peninsula, nestled between Rosebud and Blairgowrie.
you can experience an exhilarating horse ride. There are magnificent walks along the clifftops that form part of the 25 kilometre Coastal Walk.
Point Nepean Road is Rye's main thoroughfare, running parallel to the town's bay beach. The main concentration of shops is located east of Dundas Street and includes a hotel, eateries, a major supermarket and other retailers.
The Cups Estate was created in 1999 and is the only winery in the Rye area. It takes its name from the early settler’s description of the natural ‘cups and saucers’ topography – the unique and undulating dunes that lend themselves to perfect winegrowing conditions and perfect golf.
Rye's main beach, fronting Port Phillip, offers safe sandy beaches, ideal for swimming and boating. There is a jetty, several boat ramps, and attractive foreshore facilities with picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds and walking tracks. Around a kilometre west of the Rye Jetty is an outcrop of land called White Cliffs. At the base of the cliffs is a reconstructed old lime burners kiln a reminder of the mid-1800s when the extraction of lime was the area's primary industry. Scenic views along the coast can be enjoyed from a lookout above the kiln. Rye extends southwards across the narrow width of the Mornington Peninsula in this area, right down to the coastline fronting the open waters of Bass Strait. The Mornington Peninsula National Park spans the foreshore here, consisting of scenic walking tracks, rocky coastal features, dunes and pockets of sandy beach. A pathway and steps extend from Tasman Drive down to the sandy bay at Number 16 Beach. If you enjoy snorkelling, you can hire gear locally and then head for the Octopus’ Garden at Rye Pier. This is a 200 metre underwater trail with signage introducing you to the underwater wildlife.
Rye was proclaimed a town on February 26, 1861 and is partly in the parish of Wannaeue but mainly in the parish of Nepean, which is west of Government Road and Weeroona Street. The township went south to the southern boundary of the cemetery, with its east and west boundaries being Weir Street and Dundas Street. In the early years of settlement, Rye was known for lime burning, wood cutting and fishing industries. The building of Melbourne was under way, and the lime burnt from stone kilns at Rye was transported by dray, then barge, onto small sailing vessels. The lime industry gave employment to wood cutters, quarry men and lime burners and a settlement soon developed. Rye had the natural bounty provided by the bay and ocean beaches. Fish were in great abundance and provided a living for some families. As well as putting food on the table for many others, the rocky edges at the ocean beaches were a rich source of crayfish, and the bay held a multitude of species.
Rye's summer carnival is located beside the pier carpark. The town is extremely popular during vacation periods, and has a varied selection of eating establishments.
In the supplement to the illustrated Australian News, Melbourne, Saturday 18 December 1886, we read: "For those who wish to escape from the maddening crowd, the little seaside village of Rye appears a peaceful and soothing retreat."
Rye also has an impressive ocean beach, where
Rye median house price is $677,000.
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Coffee Safari Fresh brewed coffee is a must have for weekends away and the Mornington Peninsula is second to none with great coffee haunts around the towns. Here are just a few to check out when you head down to this beautiful part of the world.
SHOP 14, 2185 POINT NEPEAN ROAD Great coffee and fresh food in a warm friendly environment. Locally roasted coffee and a delicious menu.
Knock onWood Espresso 12 C NELSON STREET
Great hidden cafe away from the strip with some of the best coffee in Rye. Friendly staff and a great selection of snacks.
43A WONDAREE STREET Brekkie, light fare and homemade cakes in a cheerful cafe with communal tables, plus outdoor seats. Excellent coffee that is second to none and perfect with a slice or cake.
Rick's on Rye Cafe
2293 POINT NEPEAN ROAD Enjoy Rick's on Rye Cafe all day breakfast lunch and great coffee with great views from footpath dining, inside through wall to wall glass doors or out in their tranquil undercover rear courtyard.
What to do The bayside township of Rye has everything you could want right within walking distance. It has great cafes specialising in breakfast and lunches, fantastic restaurants, and beautiful sandy beaches ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. The picturesque foreshore area is ideal for family picnics, and is home to the Rye Carnival and playground. Alternatively you can visit the ocean beach to enjoy some water sports among the waves. World class golf courses are within a few minutes drive of the main township and the multi-award winning Peninsula Hot Springs is also nearby. Photography: Yanni
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DIVE Straight in
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By Melissa Walsh Photos Yanni
he Mornington Peninsula is a hive of activity in summer with thousands heading down to enjoy the myriad of water activities and scenery. That doesnâ€™t mean we have to stay out of the water in winter as master scuba diver and guide, Sam Glenn-Smith, explains. Peninsula Essence talks to Sam at The Scuba Doctor about the ultimate places for winter diving around Rye. continued next page...
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“I personally think winter diving is as much fun, if not more, than summer diving, and there are so many great dives around Rye and Blairgowrie,” said Sam, who takes bespoke guided dives to his favourite locations. “I focus on pier diving as the piers like Blairgowrie, Rye, Portsea and Flinders have the best marine life in the area. I get people who come from overseas and interstate just to see our blue ring octopus, seahorses, spider crabs and weedy dragons.” For Sam, who was introduced to scuba diving when his father took him on a dive vacation to Fiji, the passion for diving began when he was in his teens. “I was 16 when I learnt to dive in Fiji and was hooked straight away,” said the 24-year-old. “I dived over there with tiger sharks and bull sharks at Beqa Lagoon and it was incredible. Five years later, I went to the Philippines with a good friend who is a dive instructor and got into underwater photography which has become another passion. It was also the catalyst for my professional diving aspirations,” said Sam who started at the Scuba Doctor in Rye five months ago, after completing his dive master last year.
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As for diving in the winter, Sam says the peninsula is the best place to be.“Diving down this way in winter has so many good points. The visibility is one of the main things to entice divers into the water at this time of year. Over summer the water is warmer but we get algae blooms so they naturally drop visibility plus the weather in summer is more unpredictable. In winter, you might get one or two days when it’s unsuitable weather for diving but they clear up straight away and visibility returns quickly,” he said. “There’s a wide variety of dive sites on the peninsula but, in terms of life diversity and bio diversity, the piers have the most. You can go on a dive to Blairgowrie pier and see a two and a half metre stingray and then two minutes later find a 20 cm big belly seahorse. There are very few reefs around here apart from places like Popes Eye, yet the piers cultivate growth and kelp, because of their pylons. It becomes like a highway where things congregate under and around the piers. Where small things congregate, larger things tend to follow so we get a wide variety of sea horses, octopus, tiger sharks and giant stingrays.” Sam’s favourite diving haunts have a huge variety of marine life that can change from morning to night.
“In Portsea and Flinders we get weedy sea dragons; Rye and Blairgowrie are great for sea horses and octopus. Each pier is totally different from one day to the next.” It’s no wonder that winter diving draws the crowds when you take into account there is more interaction and numbers of marine life over the cooler months.
pigments of their skin which constantly fluctuate and they use these to entice their partner.” Sam says this magical underwater world is at our fingertips and a shame to miss out on. especially when winter diving is at its peak. “It is literally a different world. For a nondiver it is equivalent to travelling to outer space. When you’re under there, feeling weightless and seeing these creatures that are so unbelievably amazing, there is no other place like it. I like the saying ‘Every dive is a good dive’, and if you don’t dive you’re not going to see this. I just did a dive at Blairgowrie today where we saw a Port Jackson shark, a giant smooth stingray, big belly sea horse, spider crabs and cuttlefish and I’m also taking a dive tonight where we will probably see ten different things.”
It is literally a different world. For a non-diver it is equivalent to travelling to outer space
“The biggest thing that brings the crowds is the spider crabs. At Blairgowrie we currently have 20,000 to 30,000 of them all congregated together. They come in from the deep water to malt their shells. Their new shell is soft and they’re open to predation so they stick together in these huge numbers. When you see a wall of crabs all climbing on top of each other, spilling out of the water, it is an unforgettable sight. It’s the only area in the world where you can see it,” said Sam. “We also get active octopus. In the last few weeks there has been an increase in blue rings with eggs which is a very rare sight. It will be great to see them hatch in a few weeks. We also have cuttlefish coming in and mating which is an incredible thing to witness. One of our divers saw the male flirting with the female cuttlefish. You can tell the male is flirting as the cuttlefish have
Family Medical Clinic
12 - 16 Boneo Road, Rosebud
Scuba Doctor Dive Shop is at 1/49 Peninsula Avenue, Rye. Phone 5985 1700. www.scubadoctor.com.au
Accredited Skin Cancer Clinic
When was your last Skin Cancer Check? Book today to see Dr. W Nagib for your full body skin check All skin cancer screenings, checks and all the procedures, including skin grafts and the flaps are
including total body photography
$150 (if needed)
To book call Rosebud Superclinic: (03) 5982 0588 OPEN: Mon - Fri 8am to 6pm and Sat 8am to 2pm July 2019
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"RYE OPERA HOUSE" By Melissa Walsh
he â€œRye Opera Houseâ€? is iconic and spectacular, arguably the most recognisable property on the Mornington Peninsula.
The retractable roofing system together with walls of stacking glass doors creates the ultimate in alfresco living to enjoy the sun and the stars 24/7.
This multi-level cliffside residence is nestled into the side of Whitecliffs and with its revolutionary award-winning architecture, it boasts breathtaking Mediterranean style views encompassing Port Phillip Bay, Arthurs Seat, Mt Martha, Mt Eliza, Frankston, Mt Dandenong, You Yangs and the city skyline from every room. Recently restored and renovated from top to bottom and offering authentic luxury resort living with expansive indoor-outdoor entertaining spaces including an eight-ten seater salt spa-pool on the deck enjoying its private, north-facing position overlooking the sea.
Set in established tropical landscaped gardens and well-located on a slip-road off Point Nepean Road, the property is within a short walk of Rye restaurants and cafes, the beaches, bike path, parkland, Rye Yacht Club and Rye pier.
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2543 Point Nepean Road, Rye Price: $2,750,000 - $3,025,000 Agent: Kay and Burton, Sorrento 5984 4744, Contact: Liz Jensen 0418 446 228.
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E ssence | 89
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Whitecliffs 2543 Point Nepean Road, Rye
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RAW TRAVEL Walk this way A life-affirming pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago
ooking for inspiration for your next holiday? The Camino de Santiago is Europe’s great historical and cultural walk.
The Camino Francés is the classic and most popular route through Spain, offering timeless villages, vibrant cities, medieval towns and some of the best cathedrals in Europe, but it is by no means the only route. The Le Puy Camino is an equally rewarding, quieter walk through rural France – picturesque fairytale villages, medieval abbeys, vineyards and famous places. The Portuguese Coastal Camino rewards walkers with amazing coastal views, untouched natural beauty and divine seafood. Italy’s Via Francigena offers quintessential Tuscan landscapes, glorious walking and gastronomic delights.
RAW Travel are Australia’s Camino experts, and they are located right in the heart of Mornington! They can help you with expert advice and resources to plan a trip that suits your timeframe and abilities. Step inside their new Information Hub in Main Street, next to the Cinema, and enjoy friendly expert service from people who've walked the world! RAW will take care of everything – accommodation, luggage transfers, flights, transport, breakfasts, maps – so that you are free to relax and enjoy the spirit of the Camino. RAW are the most experienced Camino operator in Australia. As well as fully flexible, tailormade walking trips, you’re guaranteed the best accommodation on the routes; personal, expert service; local, on-ground support in Europe; comprehensive pre-departure advice; and unrivalled information and advice to help with your preparation and planning.
RAW Travel 3 Main Street, Mornington Open: 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday Phone: 5973 5413 Mail: email@example.com Web: www.rawtravel.com
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92 | PENINSULA
Trading Hours Mon to Fri 10-5 Sat 10-4 Sun 11-3
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JOIN AN UNFORGETTABLE 22-DAY GROUP T0UR TO EUROPE DEPARTURE 4 MAY 2020 This amazing 22-day fully escorted tour features a 9-Day Luxury European River Cruise with Evergreen on board the “Emerald Waterways Star Ship” (cabin with balcony). Plus an additional 4 days in Romania and 9 days in Hungary to explore the wonderful history, culture and sightseeing in Bucharest and Budapest. This unique tour which is escorted by Andrea from Mornington Travel departs Melbourne on 4 May 2020 and is limited to maximum 20 tour members. It is an ideal trip for singles and couples who enjoy the intimacy and social interaction within small group touring and the added benefit of having an experienced travel professional escorting the tour. Andrea’s home country is Hungary so she will be sharing her local insight with the tour members, about the history and cultural highlights of Hungary, Transylvania and neighbouring river regions on this tour.
SPECIAL EARLY BIRD OFFER If you book and pay your deposit before 30 August, you’ll enjoy a saving of $750.00 per person! Spaces are limited and will sell quickly so be sure to register your interest early to avoid missing this great early bird offer. For more information on the tour package and to register before 30 August 2019,
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By Ilma Hackett, Balnarring and District Historical Society
hat was passing through their minds, those men and women who were being ferried ashore that October day in 1803? Boatload after boatload - some four hundred and sixty souls altogether, three hundred of whom were convicts. Behind them, anchored in deeper water, were the two ships (H.M.S. Calcutta and the Ocean) that had carried them from England. Ahead was unknown land. They stepped ashore on the beach of a small cove not far from today’s Sorrento.
"Transportation" usually meant to the penal colony at Port Jackson on New South Wales’ east coast. This was a new destination. Swayed by the reports from voyages the previous year and the discovery of a new bay on the south coast, Lord Hobart, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, decided this might be a suitable alternative to Port Jackson. In fifteen years that colony had grown in size from the original 799 felons to over 8,000– it was saturated – and authorities wanted to improve the moral tone by not dumping any more convicts there. In addition, a settlement somewhere in Bass Strait would prevent a foreign power (especially France) from controlling
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the strait or making a claim on the land. Such a settlement could also be a base for a sealing industry. Hobart commissioned LieutenantColonel David Collins, as Deputy Lieutenant General of the new dependency under the Government of New South Wales. Thirteen official personnel would accompany him and fifty marines. Lieutenant –Colonel David Collins R.N. At 45 years of age Collins appeared to be the perfect person for the job. He had sailed with the First Fleet in 1788 and, as Judge Advocate and Governor’s Secretary, assisted Arthur Phillip in turning that tent city into an established community. Born in 1756 David Collins joined the navy at the age of fourteen. He had served in the war against the American colonists who were fighting for independence from English rule. In Nova Scotia he had married Maria, daughter of Captain Charles Proctor and, after England’s defeat, they returned to England where Collins awaited another posting or some civil position. His father advised him to seek a place with the fleet that was soon to sail to Australia to establish a penal colony now that America was lost to the English
government. He sailed with the Sirius in 1788. It would not be until 1797 that he returned to England. Collins enjoyed being back in ‘civilised’ England and his wife was certainly glad to have him home. But without a posting and on half pay, money was short. He spent time writing a book about the N.S.W settlement and life in Australia and was regarded as an authority on the subject. H.M.S. Calcutta and the Ocean The naval frigate, Calcutta, commanded by Captain Daniel Woodriff, was commissioned to transport the convicts to Australia. It had been refitted to carry the convicts in two between-deck prison rooms, an upper and a lower, where hammocks were slung for beds. For a convict ship the conditions were better than most. Living space was kept as clean as could be; provisions were adequate to ensure that as many as possible arrived in a healthy condition. Convicts were carefully selected and the ship’s surgeon was paid 10/- for each one who arrived fit for work. The ship was also commissioned to make the return trip with as much timber as it could bring. There was always the need in England for good timber for building new naval vessels. The Ocean, a privately owned brig, captained by John Mertho, was chartered to accompany the Calcutta when it became obvious that the one ship was not big enough to carry everything and everyone. In order to make the round trip a profitable one for its owners, it had been engaged to continue on to China and bring back a cargo of tea. It was the store ship, laden with whatever was thought necessary for the new colony, plus the personal effects of the families aboard who were going as free settlers. Makeshift cabins accommodated the passengers. The officials were divided between the two ships, in cabin accommodation. The two ships with their human cargo of convicts and free settlers eventually weighed anchor and left Plymouth on 24 April, 1803. The voyage took six months and after leaving Rio de Janeiro the two ships became separated. Mertho, following orders from Woodriff, sailed direct to Port Phillip while the Calcutta stopped at Cape Town to replenish supplies. The Ocean found the entrance to Port Phillip Bay first. The surf at the bay’s entrance appeared alarming but the ship was safely brought through the Heads and it dropped anchor in a wide bay. Two days later it was joined by the Calcutta.
Facing page: A painting of the Collins Settlement, part of a triptych, painted by Richard Clark (c.1985) Above: Lieutenant-Governor David Collins Below: The Calcutta and the Ocean in Port Phillip Bay (artist: Dacre-Smyth)
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The new colonists. The arrivals were a mixed group of people. Roughly three-quarters were convicts transported to relieve England’s crowded prisons and hulks. A handful of these men were accompanied by their wives, self-exiled women prepared to chance all in an unknown place, hoping for a better life when their husbands had served their time and were again free men. In a few instances the families included children. Was this an adventure for them? The oldest convict was Robert Cooper, a man of 57; the youngest, two nine-year- old lads both named William. All three were transported for theft. The majority of the convicts were thieves; some were counterfeiters, fraudsters or embezzlers. A handful had been mutineers. Some were selected for the skills they could contribute: carpenter, sawyer, brick-maker, printer, shoemaker, brewer. Many were literate. Some were quite well-off, able to ‘buy’ a cabin on the ship and goods at the ports of call. Fifty Royal Marines accompanied Collins to guard the convicts and protect the new colony. For them it was a military assignment. Collins had been proud of his marines at the outset. A few were accompanied by their wives. Single women had not been permitted to sail unless part of a family. Some marriages took place shortly before leaving England. The free settlers numbered fifty-five, mostly men with their families looking for a more promising life. Ann Hobbs, the widow of a naval officer came with her son and four daughters, one of whom was married. They too had been chosen for what they could contribute to a new settlement. They had travelled on the smaller ship, bringing with them their possessions and items of use for their future life: tools, seeds and animals. One, John Hartley, included extra items that he intended to trade. The stores brought by the free settlers were additional to the Government stores. Some in fact had to be left behind in Plymouth as there was simply not enough room aboard the Ocean. Then there were the civil officials: a chaplain and a surgeon for the colony. The surgeon had two assistants. The government also sent a mineralogist, a surveyor and a deputy commissary who was in charge of the provisions. The convicts were under the supervision of two superintendants and two overseers. Collins was without a Judge-Advocate but had been assured by Lord Hobart that one would arrive on the first ship to follow. A number of these officials were young men in their 20’s and two of the men had families with them. Where to land? Once inside the bay the travellers waited aboard for yet another week while search parties investigated the shores. First impressions were favourable. Surveyor George Harris wrote: "Its appearance is most truly delightful, covered with beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers". Expectations must have been high. The first parties ashore looked for water as an adequate supply of fresh water was essential for survival. The first drinking water was found by sinking double, perforated casks into the ground above the tide line where run-off water could be collected. Water, filtered as it passed from the outer cask to the inner barrel, was deemed drinkable although slightly brackish. Reports coming in from both the near and opposite shorelines of the bay were disappointing.
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There were no rivers, a few dry water courses and pools associated with swampland areas. There was a stream further towards the high peak now known as Arthurs Seat but no suitable landing place there. The reports also noted, disappointingly, that the soils were sandy and poor and there was a dearth of good trees for building purposes. Collins decided not to wait any longer but selected the small bay adjacent to the ‘Watering Place’ as the site for the colony. He named it Sullivan Bay (after the British Under-Secretary of the Colonies). Preparations went ahead to unload both ships. On 14 October the livestock and stores were off-loaded. Goods were lowered into longboats and convicts, wading waist deep, hauled the boats the final distance through shallows to the shore. On 16 October all the convicts and marines were ashore and the free settlers landed on the following day. A tent village quickly appeared on and around the two headlands at either end of the bay and the five acres or so of land between the two. (The two headlands were later called the Eastern Sister and Western Sister.) A Village springs up. ‘Home’ became one of the white, government-issue tents. These were grouped in orderly rows in segregated communities that made up the village. At the back of the western headland were the hospital tents and those of the three surgeons. The convicts were housed behind the beach near the western rise next to an open area of parade ground. The tents for the marines and those of their officers were behind the parade ground. Closer to the beach and above high tide were the water-collecting casks and a copper used for communal cooking. They were not far from the public landing place. The supply tent and commissariat were further east with the magazine nearby. These were closely guarded, as was the water supply. Collins’ marquee was set up on the eastern rise near that of the chaplain, the mineralogist and the surveyor. Not too far off was the tent of Hannah Power. Collins, parted from his wife for most of their married life, took a mistress. During this voyage his favour fell on the pretty young wife of convict Matthew Power and the liaison continued on land. Her husband benefitted from this arrangement. He went unshackled and received special privileges. This liaison scandalised some of the settlers and the newly married missionary, William Pascoe Crook, blamed the lack of moral tone of the settlement on the example set by Collins. Debaucher! Bigamist! Tongues wagged. On the eastern promontory was the flagstaff; on the western one was a battery. The free settlers were further inland. Each was allotted about five acres on which to establish a small farm. As the days stretched to weeks many replaced their tent homes with a timber hut. Once ashore and allotted their own space the business of living began. A marriage took place between convict Ron Garrett and Hannah Harvey in the colony’s early days. Hannah had arrived as his de facto wife. Ann, the wife of Sergeant Thorne, gave birth to a son, James William Hobart Thorne. The Lieutenant-Governor stood as one of his godparents when the baby was christened and the name ‘Hobart’ was his suggestion.
Collins regarded order and cleanliness as basic for a harmonious and healthy community to survive. One of the items among the stores was a printing press and Matthew Power, a printer convicted of counterfeit, prepared the Governor’s Orders for both the general community and the garrison. The first orders, printed on 16 October, set out the food allowance that each man, woman and child would be allocated. Until the colony could feed itself, the food needed to be rationed so the copy with its Royal Coat-of-Arms heading was displayed on a noticeboard for all to see: To civil, military and free settlers – beef, 7 lbs; or pork, 4 lbs; biscuit, 7 lbs; flour, 1 lb; sugar, 6 ozs. To women two thirds; children above 5 years, half; and children under 5 years, one quarter of the above ration. Half a pint of spirits is allowed to the military daily. The quietness of the small bay gave way to the ring of axes, saws and hammers and the sound of voices raised in command, conversation, complaint, or in song at the church services held on the parade ground on a Sunday by the Rev. Knopwood. The colony’s chaplain was a man who loved the good life. He mixed his religious duties with his other interests. Hunting was one of these and he spent time with the parties sent to shoot game to augment
meat supplies. If the Sunday weather happened to be unfavourable he did not schedule a service. He also took on the role of magistrate for the settlement, settling minor arguments between the settlers. Further Reports The officials went on trips around the bay, observing and writing reports. Early reports held little promise: no water, poor soils, good timber trees scarce and the native people a threat. Two parties had been forced to fire on groups of Aborigines to stop them making off with items and native men had been killed. At the end of three weeks Collins was convinced that this site was unsuitable for a permanent colony. On 5 November he wrote to Governor King in Sydney requesting permission to transfer the settlement to Van Diemen’s Land to merge with the one being established there. The following day settler (and former navy master) William Collins left in a small cutter, with six convicts at the oars, to deliver the letter as neither ship was available. The convicts were offered a free pardon in return for undertaking the dangerous voyage. Lieutenant-Governor David Collins waited and those at Sullivan Bay continued their lives. continued next page...
Below: Water casks sunk by Collins' expedition, 1803, Sorrento. Source: The Rose Series of postcards.
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Above: William Buckley
A convict’s lot A number of the convicts were assigned as servants or labourers. The officers of the settlement were each allowed two, and others were assigned to the free settlers. Sergeant Thorne who was accompanied by his family, took one of convict lads, William Appleby, to live with his family. Most of the convicts were divided into fixed work groups. Theirs was a life of labour. No horses had been brought to the colony and the convicts did the heavy work. They cleared tracks: one across
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the neck of land to the large bay of Western Port, another to the forested Arthurs Seat and a third led to the tip of the peninsula. The work parties on Arthurs Seat felled large trees and dragged the sawn timber back to camp on the heavy timber carriage. Convict gangs dug ditches or pits for latrines and sank wells in search of further water. They broke stones and erected whatever was required, such as a permanent store-house or huts. Work started on a substantial stone magazine. On the opposite side of the peninsula, about a mile away, a watch tower was erected. From there ships approaching the heads into Port Phillip Bay could be seen. Some of the convicts went out with fishing parties or hunting parties to bring in fresh supplies. The convicts’ day started at 6.00 a.m. and work finished at 7.00 p.m., with breaks at mid-morning,mid-afternoon and a longer one at lunch-time. Curfew was imposed for nine o’clock at night. Those men with specialised skills were given work that made use of their expertise. Thomas Rushton was able to make cloth from flax; Thomas Fitzgerald taught the colony’s children. Any breach of discipline or sign of insubordination was punished by confinement, withholding provisions or the lash. Good behaviour might be rewarded with a measure of spirits and water. Clothing was provided: trousers, breeches, waistcoat, two check shirts, hat and shoes. Sturdy footwear was needed for work but also made escape possible. Collins hesitated before issuing them. Even though the settlement was so remote a number of escapes were attempted. Many believed that Sydney was just a few days’ walk away. Some even believed that China could be reached overland. Perhaps if one reached the coast it might be possible to be picked up by a ship. On 9 November six men absconded. Five were recaptured within the week. They were publicly flogged. Escape was pointless. Away from the settlement they faced death from exposure or starvation in unknown terrain, possibly murder by the natives. In the event that one should reach Sydney - 900 miles away – they would be punished and returned to face further punishment. Another group of five escaped on the night of 27 December after having stolen food and other items. One was shot by a sentry but the others disappeared into the darkness..Three later turned back leaving William Buckley determined to go on alone. He later wrote, “The attempt was little short of madness . . .but life and liberty beckoned”. (The Life and Adventures of William Buckley p16) Twenty- seven convicts in all ‘went bush’ and twenty of these returned. Six died. Buckley miraculously survived and for the next 32 years lived with the Aboriginies, reappearing at the campsite of John Batman's Port Phillip Association, in July 1835. Convicts with families were given an area of land where they could build a hut and establish a garden but the privilege was withdrawn when it was abused. John Faulkiner (or Fawkner), his wife, daughter and son John Pascoe, were one convict family who did well. The boy, John Pascoe, would much later return to Port Phillip as a founder of Melbourne. Attempting self -sufficiency Few livestock had survived the sea voyage. Those that did were to be regarded as communal property to ensure a breeding program could take place. Two bulls, one cow, two heifers, twelve sheep,
pigs, goats and poultry made up the complement of livestock. The lack of fresh meat plagued the settlement. Hunting for kangaroos was unsuccessful and only the occasional animal was shot. Rev. Knopwood was amazed by the size of the animal he killed, recording its various measurements in detail in his diary, beginning with its length from nose to tail as being 7’ 6” (almost 2.3 metres). The sight of kangaroos bounding across the open grass must have astonished the settlers. There was no animal like this ‘back home’. The birds too, were quite different: swans were black, other birds brilliantly coloured and one laughed raucously. Native birds such as swans, ducks and pelicans were killed for food but Collins forbade the pilfering of nests for eggs and nestlings. Fishing in the waters of the bay yielded a variety of fish but not enough to feed over 400 people. Crayfish and other sea food were plentiful from the rock shelves on the other side of the narrow spit. However the sea could be treacherous and lives were lost. The settlement spread out over about twelve acres and the countryside inland was pleasant enough. The free settlers sowed seed brought from home in the gardens around their huts. They had more success than Collins; on his two acres none germinated from almost twenty varieties of seeds that were planted. The seed stock provided by the government was inferior. However Rev. Knopwood planted melons, onions and cucumbers and had fresh peas and beans to eat on New Year’s Day, along with duck. Lieutenant Tuckey had reported that no spot within five miles would provide wheat or any other grain that required much moisture or good soil. The weather was unlike anything the newcomers had ever experienced. In November it was unbearably hot. The temperature soared to 118 ° F (47 ° C) in the sun with winds from the north followed by a dramatic drop of temperature as winds changed direction. The tents provided some shelter but were stifling inside. Thunderstorms were frequent. February brought another heatwave and fear of fires. The settlers were plagued by amazingly large and numerous flies that bit, and hordes of common flies. There were large ants whose bites were excruciatingly painful. Snakes were feared. An order was posted advising against swimming because of the voracious sharks and stingrays in the bay. There was much to loathe and fear. A small graveyard was set aside for burials. Free settler, John Skelthorn died aboard the Ocean before coming ashore. ‘Baby’ Fletcher died soon after birth. His/her parents had lost another baby during the passage. Deaths mounted – accidents, illness, drownings. In all, nineteen people died. The Marines There was one marine for every six convicts. Collins needed a strong and disciplined garrison. The colony depended on it. Many were young and inexperienced although well trained. Their duties varied but as the weeks passed discipline became lax. Collins, himself a naval man, insisted on things being spic and span; huts were to be kept clean, uniforms neat and everything orderly. Inspections were held twice weekly. Slovenliness was not tolerated and was punished. The wives who had accompanied their soldier husbands were asked
Above: A settler's grave. Photo: C. Hackett
to do the washing for the garrison. When not on duty there were few distractions to relieve boredom: no nearby town, no female company. Gambling was quashed. Each marine received a measure of spirits as part of their rations but many drank to excess. This led to the ration being watered down but even that wasn’t enough to prevent drunkenness. An order was issued: the ration had to be drunk at the point of distribution. Many resented being called on parade so often. What was the point in this godforsaken place? Discipline was imposed and punishment meted out to offenders. In severe cases, as for the convicts, this meant a flogging. Insubordination meant a court martial. Early in January two trouble-making privates, Robert Andrew and James Ray, were flogged after a court martial that many saw as unfair. Collins worried about the possibility of rebellion. At times the Aborigines seemed to pose a threat. The local Bunurong people were in large numbers on Arthurs Seat and, although the first meeting at the settlement had been quite friendly, ensuing encounters, especially between the exploring parties and other groups of natives, had not gone well. Stories of cannibalism spread. Mixed reports continued to come in from further afield. Hills on the other side of the peninsula had better soils and forests. An excellent river near the head of the Bay was found but a large group of natives had been belligerent and threatening. Surveyor Harris had written to his brother, "it was the most narrow escape that could possibly be and about 100 chances to one that I would have been grilled and eaten, instead of writing at this time". As well as guarding the convicts, the marines were expected to guard against the ‘savages’. Collins reported that should he transfer the colony to the banks of the large river he would need a much bigger garrison for protection. Meanwhile, closer to camp, the fires of the Bunurong on Arthur’s Seat reminded the settlers of their continual presence. continued next page...
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Above: A sketch of the settlement in 1803, showing the jetty. Below: The memorial at Sullivan Bay, erected in 2003, to commemorate the bicentennial. It contains the names of the 460 original settlers.
Abandonment Eventually Collins received approval from Governor King to move the settlement south. In December 1803 work on a jetty to facilitate the loading of the ships started immediately and did not pause even for Sunday’s church services. War had broken out again between England and France and the Calcutta had left from Port Jackson for England. However the Lady Nelson arrived on 21 January 1804 to assist with the evacuation. The Ocean, having called into Sydney en route to China, was engaged by the NSW Government to make the trip to Van Diemen’s Land and it returned to Sullivan Bay. The settlement was dismantled. At the end of January the ships set sail with the first group of people and stores headed for the Derwent River. It would not be until 20 May that the Ocean returned to take aboard the livestock and those who had waited behind. No-one stayed despite orders to Collins to leave a token number. Sullivan Bay was abandoned. Did any of those departing look back as the ships pulled away? References: Voyage to Port Phillip Bay 1803 by Barbara Angell No Place for a Colony by Richard Cotter Victoria’s First Official Settlement. Sullivans Bay, Port Phillip by P.F.J. Coutts The Life and adventures of William Buckley by Tim Flannery from the internet: Australian Dictionary of Biography – David Collins Historical records of Port Phillip by John Shillinglaw (Order books of LtGov. Collins 1803 -4; The Journal of Rev. Rbt. Knopwood 1803-4) The Collins Settlement Nepean Historical Society Footnote: The Collins Settlement Historic Site is between Sorrento and Blairgowrie. It is open to the public. A number of the relics from the site are in the Sorrento Museum which is open at weekends from 1.30 pm. – 4.30 p.m.
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Peninsula Essence July 2019