Peninsula Essence April 2024

Page 10


Best friends, Mason de Wit, Ben Farish, and Nathan Scagliarini want to build a better world where people default to compassion instead of judgment. To that end, they founded not-for-profit mental health organisation, Speak and Share, which could already be a game changer for generations to come.

Living & Visiting on the Mornington Peninsula Arthurs Seat To Everest • Jayden’s On Track • Beauty Of Frankston Musical Missy • Oscar’s Wild • The Great Langwarrin Breakout
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10. Power of Connection

Best friends, Ben Farish, Nathan Scagliarini and Mason de Wit want to build a better world where people default to compassion instead of judgment. To that end, they founded not-for-profit mental health organisation, Speak and Share, which could already be a game changer for generations to come.

14. Arthurs Seat to Everest

Developing his love of climbing during his time with the Bomb Response Unit of the Victoria Police Special Operations Group, John Taylor trained for his 2005 Mount Everest ascent by climbing up and down Arthurs Seat.

18. Jayden’s on Track

At only 16-years-old Jayden Hamilton is quickly climbing the ranks in the motor racing industry. Starting out in karts in 2019, the year 11 student from Mornington recently competed in his first Australian Formula Open race in a F4 car, placing third, and has been courted for racing in the United States and Europe.

Leading Arts

22. Beauty of Frankston

Peninsula Printmakers are thirteen women who started out as students in a workshop with award- winning artist and master printmaker Billy Nye and have blossomed into a talented group of artists, each with her own distinctive style.

28. Musical Missy

Credited to her Slovenian background and the encouragement of family, vivacious, multilingual, multitalented Mornington Peninsula musician, MC, radio host and entertainer Melissa Fistric, is in high demand all over the peninsula.

32. Oscar’s Wild

From a tender age, Oscar Robertson was drawn to the world of entertainment, displaying a flair for dancing, singing, and piano playing that would eventually catapult him onto the national stage.


74. The Great Langwarrin Breakout

In 1915, Langwarrin served as an internment camp for 800 Aussie soldiers suffering from contagious diseases. They were ordered not to leave the compound, but on Tuesday, October 15 the soldiers had other plans.


This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. PEFC Certified Cover image by Gary Sissons Every
6. Peninsula Styles 8. What's On 38. Local Market Directory 38. The Lowdown 70. Crossword ISSUE 96
published by


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Gurrundul Marawili is a multi-talented individual known for his roles as an artist, ecologist, and ranger, hailing from a prestigious lineage of artistic leaders. In this artwork, the circles mark a creative departure, subtly evoking elements of the Yilpara legend, particularly the imagery of the stingray and wallow holes associated with Lulumu.

Whistlewood, 642 Tucks Road, Shoreham 5931 0318


Gurrundul #1 Marawili

Lulumu, 2023

Earth pigment on board, 122 x 80 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrnggay Mulka





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6 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024


At Woodleigh School we see children as knowledgeable, capable and principled learners, and foster every child’s voice, confidence and preparedness to grow.

Through an enriching range of academic and experiential programs structured to foster the adventurous mind, Woodleigh School educates the whole person.

To learn more about Woodleigh School or book your place at one of our regular Information Sessions or Campus Tours, scan the QR code or contact the Enrolments Team at

What's on?


Enjoy a range of activities at the nursery’s open day 9am-1pm including indigenous and native plant sales and giveaways, nursery and propagation tours.


Embrace the essence of elegance at Whisky High Tea with Chief's Son Distillery at Cafe 100 Mile Foodie. Indulge in an afternoon of exquisite flavours and local delights and join us as we redefine the art of high tea.


Come and enjoy magical twilight flights on this Saturday evening, with magical decorations and offerings in the cafe, and roving magicians before you board!


A retrofitted home that showcases a range of sustainable innovations, materials and products. Volunteers will conduct guided tours and answer any questions.

APRIL 2024


This competition is for any Masters Swimming member from around for Victoria to come and compete at the Yawa Aquatic Centre and also to experience the broader Mornington Peninsula on the day/weekend.


The Country Women's Association Mornington Peninsula Group celebrates 51 years of craft, cooking, friendship and frivolity at Peninsula Community Theatre this April. Cooking, crafts and art will be on display showcasing the finest work from Mornington Peninsula CWA members. CWAMorningtonPeninsula

8 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
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POWER OF connection

To be able to share feelings vulnerably and be heard genuinely is the greatest support a person can receive. Many people struggle to share their feelings for fear of being judged. The damage an adage like ‘boys don’t cry’ can do is tragic. All humans cry. Imagine what a better world it would be if people defaulted to compassion instead of judgment.

This is the kind of world three twentysomething best friends, Ben Farish, Nathan Scagliarini and Mason de Wit want to build. To that end, they founded not-for-profit mental health organisation, Speak and Share. What they have already created could be a game changer for generations to come.

Growing up on the Mornington Peninsula, they attended local schools and played footy together. It kept them connected to local community. All three went to university to study Education. They are now qualified Health and Physical Education teachers.

The trio of friends had plenty to contend with in their own lives. The death of a friend to suicide, the loss of a family member in a workplace accident and parental separation all had deep impacts. Their grief and loss experiences sparked the idea for Speak and Share.

“During our challenges, we all leant on each other. We learned how powerful vulnerability is by supporting each other, speaking and sharing about those emotions which for a large part of our lives we hadn’t been open to doing,” Nathan says.

We’re all about ‘preventative mental health’. We provide the time, environment and question to get things started

During Victorian COVID lockdowns, they escaped to the Northern Territory to live in Darwin and play footy with the Tiwi Bombers. Returning home to teach locally, they saw firsthand the damaging impact of lockdown’s social isolation on youth. “Social anxiety was the biggest issue and it’s still impacting youth today. FOGO (fear of going out) is real,” Ben says.

“Talking about feelings helps you realise that a lot of people experience similar things. It normalises the conversation around mental health,” Ben says. Hence their slogan, ‘A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved’.

Speak and Share run program for schools, sporting clubs and workplaces with targeted programs to help people open up in a safe space and share those tougher conversations around mental health. Their programs have been running since 2021. They are already getting a lot of positive feedback.

“Research shows about three million Australians are struggling with mental health. The turbulent years of school, pressures of work, family life and the fallout from COVID have created an even more urgent need for wider support services,” Ben says. continued next page ...

PENINSULAE ssence | 11 April 2024

“In schools, we do hands-on activities to get kids moving. We speak and share about how their mental health is tracking and how they get through it when they’re not travelling well,” Ben says. “We’re all about ‘preventative mental health’. We provide the time, environment and questions to get things started,” Mason adds.

“Mental health doesn’t discriminate. It affects all ages and genders,” Mason says. Nathan adds, “There are some generational barriers though. Some have more trouble opening up because of their upbringing – particularly men over 40.” The numbers are clear. This demographic experience the highest rates of suicide in Australia.

“Just being there for someone is very powerful. You don’t have to have the answers right away. Just finding a way for someone to open up in a safe space and share is so important. Everyone needs someone to lean on, someone to listen. Then, if it’s necessary, we can connect them with the right professional support right away,” Mason says.

It’s not all about tough conversations Mason points out, “When we think of mental health, we often think of mental ill health, but it’s not always the case. We need to celebrate the

good things in our lives and the things we’re achieving to lift up our friends and families.”

People are becoming more aware of mental health issues so their timing is right. It is funny to think that the Speak and Share journey started on Instagram with skits that made people laugh while subtly informing them about impactful issues. That grew into community events, such as their annual Fun Run and then progressed into schools, clubs and workplace programs.

Ben, Nathan and Mason would like to expand Speak and Share nation-wide. “We want to create an everlasting change in the culture of mental health so people don’t have to suffer in silence,” Ben says.

While their concept sounds simple enough, what sets them apart is the genuineness and sensitivity these three young men bring the mental health conversation. If they are a glimpse of the future for young people, that future looks a whole lot brighter.

12 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
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14 April 2024

Inthe lead-up to climbing Mount Everest in 2005, John Taylor trained by climbing up and down Arthurs Seat. "We’d park the car at the bottom, and then I’d do ten up and bottoms under the chair lift."

John is genuinely intrepid. He recently retired from the Bomb Response Unit of the Victoria Police Special Operations Group (SOG), where he developed his love of climbing. John ran climbing courses for the Victoria Police with students from the FBI, SAS, and from Germany, the GSG9, and has climbed six of the seven summits – the tallest mountains on each continent. John has also paddled Bass Strait in a kayak and enjoys the excitement of riding his Heritage model Harley Davidson.

Before Everest, John climbed Aconcagua in Argentina with his climbing partner and fellow member of the SOG, Greg Linsdell. John says "I really struggled. You have your good days and your bad days in climbing, and that’s a dirty mountain with heavy dust that blocked my sinuses. My confidence wasn’t great, considering we were going to do Everest in four months."

John and the team were preparing for Everest but also running adventure camps and raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation. Life was busy. In 2005, they departed for Everest.

John’s wife, Jann, and other family members walked to the base camp with them. John explained the difficulties of just getting that far.

"It’s all about acclimatisation and your body. Some people can do it, and some can’t. I had a good friend I worked with in the SOG who was very fit and couldn’t walk into base camp. Base Camp is 4,500 metres. Everest is 8,848 metres. If you flew straight to base camp from sea level, you’d die within a few minutes."

It’s all about acclimatisation and your body. Some people can do it, and some can’t

"We named ourselves the Victorian Police Everest Team. That didn’t go down too well with some of the senior members, but bad luck; once we had it in there, that’s the way it stayed," he chuckles.

The team was formed after they lost their friend, Paul Carr, who was climbing Cho You mountain in Tibet/China, one of the eight mountains in the world that are over 8,000 feet. Paul was head of the SOG at that time (2003). Through the Sherpas and with the support of the Chief Commissioner at the time, Christine Nixon, they managed to bring his body down to a lower altitude. China allowed a Nepalese helicopter to fly in to bring his body back to Nepal, and John and Greg helped with the logistics of bringing him back.

"So, the company we were climbing with tested us to make sure we’re suitable to go further. If we weren’t good enough, that was it."

Climbing Everest isn’t just putting on your gear and going straight to the top. It’s complex, as John describes:

"When we were acclimatised, we entered the ice falls, and that’s where most people die on Everest because it’s always moving. We made it to the Western Cwm and came back down for two days’ rest. Next time to Camp 1, then back again. Back to Camp 1 with some equipment, then stay a night, walk to Camp 2 the next day, then walk back down to base camp again and stay for four or five days. Then back to camp 2 for a couple of days then try and make it to camp 3, then back to base camp again. Going up and down, up and down, If you had a ladder, it probably would be eleven kilometres long."

Finally, John reached the summit with his climbing partners Greg Linsdell and Nick Farr close behind. They started for the summit at 9.30 in the evening and arrived at 9.40 the next morning.

continued next page ...

PENINSULAE ssence | 15 April 2024

"It was exhilarating," says John, "You get to the top and you’re relieved. You have a good look – I always wanted to see the curvature of the earth – but I was still mindful 'I’ve still got to get down.' Most people die on the way down. We all met up at camp 4 later that afternoon. You’re not safe till you’re back in base camp."

You get to the top and you’re relieved. You have a good look – I always wanted to see the curvature of the earth...

They celebrated with a cake, but UK climber Kenton Cool, who summited before them, surprised them half an hour out of camp with an Eski and beers. John said, "We sat down in the ice falls by ourselves, had a few beers and enjoyed the moment."

John followed Everest with Mount Elbrus in Russia, not a particularly high mountain, but it had its peculiar challenges at the time (2006), with corruption and bribes to be negotiated, making it stressful. Flashing his Victoria Police badge came in handy.

Then came Mount Kilimanjaro, where John says he didn’t have a good day. "It’s not your mind, it’s your body. We all got sick with diarrhoea and vomiting."

John climbed Mount Denali in Alaska in 2008, which he describes as his favourite. "It’s the best mountain I’ve ever been on, white and pure – fantastic!" John did Denali with his son, Damian, who turned 18, on the mountain. To train for pulling the sleds, they pulled them on the sands of Frankston Beach loaded with sandbags.

Kosciusko is the sixth, with only Vision Massif in Antarctica to go. "It’s all financial at this stage," says John. "I’m not one of those chasing a name or a title If I was going to spend that kind of money (tens of thousands of dollars), I’d go back to the Himalayas. It’s beautiful."

Everest was the closest John came to disaster. "I was always on a safety line, but coming off the Hillary step, my crampons got caught on some old rope, my feet became higher than my body, and I made a fast descent. I landed half in Tibet and half in Nepal."

John lives in Mornington with Jann and his Cairn Terrier Fraser and says he loves it. He is currently writing a book about his time in the Bomb Response Unit of the Victoria Police Special Operations Group, due to be published in 2025.

16 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024 To subscribe phone Mornington Peninsula News Group on 03 5974 9000 or complete the details below.  $60 twelve month subscription (12 issues) or  $40 six month subscription (6 issues) Name ....................................................................................................Ph.............................................................................. Address ..............................................................................................................................Post code..................................  Visa  Mastercard Card number ...................................................................Exp........./..........CVC............... Post to Peninsula Essence Subscriptions PO Box 588, Hastings Vic 3915 6 AND 12 MONTH SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE Select preferred subscription period & Peninsula Essence magazine will be mailed to you in a sealed plastic bag each month. Handing the peninsula to you! #4050046901registered recommended FREE MARCH 2020 PENINSULA Living & visiting on the Mornington Peninsula Fixer Uppers Spirit Sustainable Fashion The Tale Of Making An Impact Culture Healing Harmonies Colours Dream Team From Bo Dalywaters Mr Planck, ESSENCEMARCH VISITING PENINSULA

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Jayden Hamilton is only 16 years old but is quickly climbing the ranks in the motor racing industry.

Starting out in karts in 2019, the year 11 student from Mornington recently competed in his first Australian Formula Open race in a F4 car, placing third, and has been courted for racing in the United States and Europe.

“It all started with my dad signing me up to a young driver program at Le Mans go karting in Melbourne,” said Jayden.

“Then covid came along, and it got delayed. Once 2022 hit, I was back into it and would practice anytime I could.”

And when Jayden wasn’t physically in a kart, he’d be practicing on a simulator.

“The racing sim is very useful. You can set it to the track you are racing on next, let’s say for example Sandown. You can gain familiarity with the track and practice race lines, and when to brake and accelerate.”

Jayden’s father, Michael, is equally enthusiastic about his son’s passion.

“His commitment and dedication are something to be admired,” said Michael.

“He is practicing three times a week, getting coached by professional drivers, and really putting in the effort required.”

Of course, school is still the priority, and the year 11 student from Peninsula Grammar aspires to study engineering.

“Of course, school comes first,” said Michael. “But if Jayden does peruse engineering it will only assist him in getting onto driving teams in the future. That extra level of technical knowledge will be invaluable.”

“It is a testament to him that he is really putting in the time to get his work-life balance right.”

18 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
continued page 20...
19 April 2024

Jayden was lucky enough to be taken under the wing of professional driver and team owner Tim Macrow, the owner of Tim Macrow Racing.

“This was a huge opportunity for me,” said Jayden.

“Kart racing is one thing, but the opportunity to race a F4 at Sandown is a whole different level.”

Jayden is already working to give back to the industry too, being part of a new program helping kids navigate the motorsport industry and progress from racing karts to racing cars.

“Kart racing can be expensive, let alone cars which is a totally different level again,” said Jayden.

“Also, to provide the mental training, as well as physical, to be able to progress from karts to cars.”

Kart racing is one thing, but the opportunity to race a F4 at Sandown is a whole different level

“The new program we are working on with Melbourne Karting Centre will provide opportunities that reduce the costs for young people to get behind a wheel.”

And what of the future? Jayden is hoping to continue working with Tim Macrow Racing, and there is talk of him competing with Tim in the South-East Asian tour in Australia’s off season at the end of the year with a goal of heading to the United States after that. There has also been an offer to head to Europe this year, but this has been declined for the time being.

“The plan is to be a professional driver. Right now, I’m happy and grateful for the opportunities I have been given,” said Jayden.

“I want to work hard, build my skills, but also give back at the same time, and see where that takes me.”

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BEAUTY OF frankston


Walking Through Frankston', the first exhibition from Peninsula Printmakers, reveals the incredible diversity and unique beauty of Frankston. From its iconic architecture and street art to its beautiful waterfront and hidden suburban bushland, this show celebrates everything Frankston.

Peninsula Printmakers are thirteen women who started out as students in a workshop with award-winning artist and master printmaker, Billy Nye. Under her tutelage, they have blossomed into a talented group of artists, each with her own distinctive style. For this exhibition, each artist chose a different facet of Frankston to feature.

Peninsula Printmakers were awarded a Visual Arts Grant from Frankston City Council to mount this exhibition at the Frankston Arts Centre’s Curved Wall Gallery until April 20. They couldn’t be more grateful and excited.

It’s remarkable that many of these women had never tried printmaking or any other form of art before. It certainly doesn’t look like it from the quality of their work. The group has only been working together a year. For most, this is their first art exhibition.

Member, Leanne Kenny is a career architect. Because of her lifelong interest in art, she thought of studying graphic design, but chose architecture instead. While Leanne has never studied art, she was formally trained in technical drawing and illustration at university. This meticulous attention to detail shows in her linocuts. continued page 24 ...

22 April 2024
23 April 2024
Artwork by Billy Nye

Serendipity changed Leanne’s course. She saw an exhibition of Billy’s prints at a local gallery and loved them. A bit of research on Billy followed and her printmaking workshop popped up. Leanne signed on right away. It turns out that she’s a natural. In only twelve months, Leanne has transitioned into full-time printmaking.

“I’m drawn to architectural elements and historic places. Growing up in England, I was surrounded by historic architecture. Near where we lived, there was a 9th century Anglo Saxon church. In our village we had an 11th century Norman castle - the most preserved keep of Norman architecture in Europe. These places had a deep influence on me,” Leanne says.

In the 'Walking Through Frankston' exhibition, Leanne has focused on elements of local urban architecture and historic buildings. “I like little architectural details that I find, like the stained- glass windows at the former Ambassador Hotel. Everything I do is related to architecture,” Leanne says.

colourful, raw and real. I never know what I’ll discover when I’m out looking for locations. I love that,” she adds.

At the other end of the experiential scale, Gillian Haig is a career artist, yet she is just as comfortable in this group. She brings a completely different flavour to the exhibition, focusing on the hidden beauty of Sweetwater Creek. Growing up on a 1500-acre sheep farm in East Gippsland, it’s not surprising she’s gone for the green.

...As a subject for art it’s a lot of fun because Frankston is a quirky place

"I love seeing how Frankston is evolving. As a subject for art it’s a lot of fun because Frankston is a quirky place. It’s energetic,

In childhood, Gillian loved drawing. Her grandfather was an artist. Her mother was creative too. She played piano and organ and also had skills in drawing, sewing and knitting. She’d put butcher paper on the dining room table and encourage her children to draw just for fun. Gillian studied art in high school and dreamed of going to art school in Melbourne. She was accepted to several schools, but chose RMIT to study Fine Art/Painting. In her Post-Graduate studies, she won a travelling scholarship to study art in Europe. She visited all the great galleries. It was an idyllic, life changing experience for her as a young artist.

continued page 26 ...

24 April 2024
Front row: Anita Beebee Second row L-R: Gillian Haig, Berri Albrecht, Leanne Kenny Third row L-R: Rebecca Westlund, Sophie Vuat, Rachel Rogers Back row L-R: Billy Nye, Bridget Howes, Lajla Thye
PENINSULAE ssence | 25 April 2024

Gillian approaches her printmaking with a painterly eye. It’s how she makes her marks.

“Painting has informed my printmaking and printmaking has informed my painting,” she says. Gillian hand paints her linocut prints with watercolour. It really makes the art pop. The greens in her Sweetwater Creek prints sing.

Painting has informed my printmaking and printmaking has informed my painting

All of the works in the exhibition are for sale. If the piece has a red sold dot on it, that doesn’t mean it can’t be purchased. The beauty of printmaking is that pieces can be reprinted. Most printmakers offer their work in limited editions. Don’t miss out on a chance to see this iconic exhibition that showcases the wonderful things that Frankston has to offer.

“I find Frankston beautiful and diverse. It’s got a lot of character. I love that it’s on the water. There are lots of little pockets of beauty throughout the city,” she says. The combination of green spaces, interesting architecture, arts and culture are a winning combination. Walking through Frankston highlights each of these elements. IG: @peninsula_printmaker

26 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
Artwork by Gillian Haig Artwork by Leanne Kenny Artwork by Leanne Kenny Artwork by Leanne Kenny Artwork by Helena Rodger


Melissa Fistric is a born performer. She first appeared on stage at the age of two in an amateur production of Little Red Riding Hood. Not in the title role, she clarifies with a laugh.

The vivacious, multilingual, multitalented Mornington Peninsula musician, MC, radio host and entertainer has performance in her blood. Her Slovenian background and the encouragement of family were the fertile ground for her burgeoning career. “I used to be part of a quartet with my siblings. We sang for the Sydney Olympics with the Slovenian President.”

“Slovenian culture … we all sing. It’s in the DNA. It’s normal to us but to (newcomers) it’s like ‘What? Everyone just starts singing and just harmonises?’”

Melissa is in high demand all over the peninsula. Her regular radio work - Saturday mornings on ABC Gippsland radio - segued at the start of summer into managing emergency broadcasts, resulting in her having to turn down entertainment work during the peak period.

Melissa had worked in customer service management for 15 years before the entertainment bug she’d kept suppressed finally

28 April 2024

burst out of her. “I’ve always sung and played piano, but I’d never taken the chance to go and just do that as a full-time job.” When her frustration reached a tipping point her mum said, “I’ve never seen you like this. Why don’t you just reset?”.

Melissa resigned and took herself off to the family’s beach house to reflect, recover and try to make something of her music.

“A friend brought me a ukulele and said, ‘You have to learn it.’ Then I bumped into this guy in Dromana playing guitar. We started having a chat and he said, ‘Why don't we just go for it?’ I took my uke to his gig the next week. I’d never sung with him, and we did a whole gig and it was awesome.”

continued next page ...

PENINSULAE ssence | 29 April 2024
Life experience makes it a whole package, a whole performance. It’s about making people have a nice time.

Her co-performer was Melbourne-based musician Chris Hoffman. “In the music industry, it's very hard to find someone you just click with. We picked up private functions and city functions and drove to Port Macquarie for a wedding and did gigs along the way; kind of toured. Then I went out on my own with the ukulele and towards the end of COVID bought a guitar.”

Melissa stresses the need to just pound the pavement to get started, turning up to venues and introducing yourself. “You have to do the work.” Now she gets most of her work through referrals. “It’s a hard industry. It takes time, but once you build up that momentum and that word-of-mouth you get phone calls or emails all the time requesting private gigs.”

On longer gigs she schedules breaks to rest her voice but rarely actually has one. “You don’t have breaks because everyone’s talking to you. And that’s when you’re meeting amazing people. It’s the best part about the job. It’s the best job in the world. I wish I’d done it sooner.”

“I know different genres, eras, TV shows, funny, old school, Wiggles songs, Frank Sinatra, then I'll pull out a Blink 182, Johnny Cash, Alanis Morissette, Usher. I don't have a setlist. I read the crowd.”

Being multilingual has also given her a distinct advantage in connecting with a variety of audiences: “Life experience makes it a whole package, a whole performance. It’s about making people have a nice time.”

“You never know what people are going through, you know? I recently had a couple in their 50s who’d flown over from

New Zealand and at the end they said, ‘Our friend is passing away and we’ve come to say goodbye. You don’t know what this afternoon has done for us’. I just lost it. That’s why I do what I do.”

Her radio work serves the same purpose. “Making people laugh, allowing people to have a voice. A lot of people aren’t heard.”

“I thrive on stress. With emergency you have to get that warning out, coordinate teams. It’s very high pressure, people’s lives, so it’s full on, but also rewarding.”

“I’ve never worked with such an incredible team. ABC Melbourne and Victoria regional teams have just been phenomenal. I'm so privileged to be a part of this emergency team.”

So what’s next for Melissa?

“I want to have my own farm. That’s a ten-year goal.” It’s an intriguingly left-field response. Her large garden is already bursting with produce, in keeping with her Slovenian heritage. However, another motivation emerges - saving dogs. She already has two rescue dogs and would like to establish a home for many more.

“But in the meantime, just travel the world, meet new people. I don’t necessarily want the Taylor Swift, huge, sort of thing. I want to be under the radar and do little tours here and there.”

Melissa’s optimism and enthusiasm are infectious, as though having struggled through her former life in the corporate world she has stepped into a new life of gratitude, doing what she loves. She seems to have found the sweet spot between focussed determination and openness to whatever opportunities arise.

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“The next phase is recording my own songs, then whatever happens from there.”

The word that pervades both her life and her work is “community”.

Melissa was on the verge of pursuing a career in athletics after early success as a sprinter, but she stepped away, uncomfortable with the ruthless nature of professional competition. It is clear she is far more interested in connecting with others than defeating them.

Melissa refers to the Peninsula as her “happy place”, with a long history of shared holidays with family and friends. “It’s quiet. It's its own little sanctuary.” She is grateful for the culture of the Peninsula music scene that supports artists, even through winter. “The venue managers understand music. They love, love, love music. I think we’re really lucky in that sense.”

The advice she offers to those starting out is clear and simple. “It’s so clichéd but you just have to be you. And if they don’t like it, that doesn’t matter. Try another venue. Find your niche. Find what you bring to the table. You can’t ever be someone else.”

FB: @Fizzy Entertainment

IG: @melissafizz1

PENINSULAE ssence | 31 April 2024

OSCAR'S wild

In the bustling heart of Mornington, amid the laughter and applause of delighted audiences, is a hidden gem of entertainment - Oscar Robertson. From a tender age, Oscar was drawn to the world of entertainment, displaying a flair for dancing, singing, and piano playing that would eventually catapult him onto the national stage. He credits his passion for piano playing to his piano teacher at Peninsula Grammar Mr. Simon Stone.

Raised in a household filled with music and laughter, Oscar's passion for performing blossomed early on. He immersed himself in the vibrant world of musical theatre, honing his skills and cultivating his natural talent. But it was his love for animals, instilled in him by his compassionate upbringing, that set him apart from his peers.

As a child, Oscar would often be found busking on Main Street, Mornington, captivating passersby with his musical skills while generously donating a portion of his earnings to the RSPCA – a testament to his deep-seated love for animals, including his cherished dogs and chickens.

Despite his young age, Oscar’s ambition knew no bounds. He auditioned for the hit television show X Factor, in 2013 at the age of 12, surprising his family, most of all his mother Trudy who had no idea when she was driving him on the day of auditions! He won over audiences and the judges with his magnetic and humorous stage presence. His journey on the show took him to national television, where he showcased his remarkable talent to viewers across the country. It wasn't just his musical prowess that set him apart; it was his infectious personality, quick wit and ability to connect with his audience that truly captivated those around him.

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I’m very excited to show everyone what I’ve been working on for over a year

While studying for his Honors Degree in Education, Oscar embarked on a work placement journey to the UK, where he discovered a new passion for stand-up comedy. After being inspired, he returned home determined to pursue his newfound calling. However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic threw a wrench into his plans, forcing him to put his comedic dreams on hold.

Undeterred, Oscar turned his entrepreneurial spirit towards creating a business that would not only sustain him during the pandemic but also allow him to express his creativity. He launched an online venture selling singing cards, personalised recordings that brought joy to recipients around the world.

Additionally, he ventured into clothing embroidery, starting off with one machine in his mother's garage and then expanding to commercial grade equipment in a bustling workshop employing extra staff to keep up with the demand.

There they capture and transform the customers pets and just about any other cherished memories through intricate stitching @RKThreads

Throughout this time, Oscar never lost sight of his ultimate true passion – writing and performing musical comedy.

He continued to develop original songs, sharing them with the world through platforms like YouTube, where they garnered a dedicated following eager for his signature blend of humour and melody.

As the world began to re open, Oscar seized the opportunity to return to the stage, performing at various venues and events across the country. His talent and charisma soon caught the attention of comedy aficionados, leading to appearances in prestigious competitions like RAW Comedy, where he showcased his wit and musical expertise.

Last year, Oscar took a bold step forward by creating his own show as part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, unleashing a barrage of satirical and topical songs that left

Now, in 2024, he's set to take the festival by storm once again with his latest creation, '88 Keys Tall,' a musical extravaganza featuring the talented young saxophonist, Olivia Hamilton.

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Top left: Oscar featured in a station promo for 'The X Factor'. Botom Left: His cherished dogs Teddy & Maisy. Centre: Oscar with his comedy idol Sammy J. Top right: Performing in a local production. Bottom right: Writing and performing a personalised greeting card song from his bedroom studio during lockdown.

“I’m very excited to show everyone what I’ve been working on for over a year!” says Oscar.

If you want to see a local performer at the Melbourne Comedy Festival go and see Oscar. He is poised to cement his status as one of our new exciting comedic talents.

From his humble beginnings on the Mornington Peninsula to the bright lights of the national stage, Oscar’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the enduring spirit of creativity.

For those lucky enough to have experienced one of Oscar’s performances, it's clear that he's more than just a musician or a comedian – he's a true entertainer in every sense of the word. And if there are audiences eager for laughter and music, you can be sure that Oscar Robertson will be there, ready to delight and entertain with his unique brand of musical comedy.

You can catch Oscar at one of his 23 Melbourne comedy festival shows at The Charles Dickens Tavern in Brunswick during April.

Tickets for upcoming shows are available through his website.

IG: @robooggy

FB: @ Oscar Robertson Comedy

Dr Peter Scott and Associates are specialist orthodontists offering orthodontic care for children, teens and adults alike in both the Mornington Peninsula and inner Melbourne.

Dr Peter Scott is also a consultant at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Specialist Orthodontists

PENINSULAE ssence | 35 April 2024
Creating Beautiful Smiles on the Peninsula for over 30 years Expertise In Child And Adult Orthodontics Early Assessment Of Dental Development And Facial Growth Ideal Age Of Initial Assessment 7-9 Years Early Intervention Where Appropriate For Best Outcome No Referral Necessary Interest free payment plans available 13 Beach St Frankston Ph: 9783 4511



ABV: 4.8% 355 m L cans

This refreshing, easy drinking Taphouse favourite has been brewed longer, giving it a creamy mouthfeel & sharp bitterness. A perfect traditional lager for any beer drinker.


ABV: 50% 700 m L bottle

Available in Sherry, Port & Muscat cask. Complex, balanced, and aged well, made entirely in Blind Bight on the shores of Western Port Victoria. The brewing, distilling, ageing, labelling and bottling are all done in-house. The art of barrel recoopering captures a rich, unique flavour.



ABV: 4.7% 355 m L cans Good Times showcases everything we love about beer. It's a juicy pale ale with plenty of character and even more drinkability. Double dry hopped, with Citra, Nelson Sauvin and Talus, Good Times showcases big tropical character, solid body and a clean finish – it's a great session hazy pale.

Affordable original artworks by 26 local award winning artists

Over 300 works of art for sale in various styles and mediums Commissions available from selected artists

Located in the Tyabb Packing House & Village 14 Mornington-Tyabb Road, Tyabb

Open Thurs to Sun 10am to 5pm and most public holidays


FB: The Guild Art Gallery


36 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024 P: 03 5977 4399


The Tyabb Packing House along with the Tyabb Craft Village (at the back of the complex) are home to a variety of retailers and dealers, all specialists in their fields who just may have that hidden treasure you never knew you were looking for!



Unique&Antique. Specialising in retro signage and packaging. 0415 322 464 14 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Tyabb Tyabb Craft Village - 14 Mornington-Tyabb RD Tyabb Thursday to Sunday 10am-5pm 0408 531 687 Letuscreatethejewelleryofyourdreams JEWELLERS TYABB CRAFT VILLAGE

An exciting new dining experience has arrived in Flinders. Nestled within the iconic Flinders Hotel, the intimate Zigis Bar & Dining offers contemporary modern Australian cuisine presented through an enticing array of small and large sharing-style plates.

Relax into the intimacy of Zigis Bar & Dining with wooden crafted furniture, designer lighting, marvel at the contemporary ocean inspired fish scale wall and a roaring winter open fire. Start your night with a pre-dinner signature cocktail or explore the extensive list of over 60 premium Victorian distilled gins.

Dine big or dine small with choices from the a la carte menu, or for the ultimate dining experience the $89 ‘Feed Me’ option allows your table to choose a set number of snack, small, large, sides and dessert plates for a bespoke seasonal offering, unique to your table’s personal tastes. Complementing the contemporary fusion menu is a carefully curated wine list that highlights the best of the

Mornington Peninsula as well as international selections, ensuring a perfect pairing for every plate.

Flinders Hotel’s General Manager, Adam Hamilton, thinks Zigis Bar + Dining brings a new dimension of dining to Flinders, offering repeat guests and new visitors a more upmarket dining option. “We’re constantly evolving with new culinary trends and developing new experiences for our hotel guests, day visitors and loyal locals.”

Your Zigis Bar & Dining experience awaits. Book your table and enjoy intimate and exclusive dining where every plate is an invitation to connect, and every shared moment is a celebration. Call us to make a reservations.

(03) 5989 0201

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of stale tasting supermarket eggs? Our farm is family owned and managed. We have been producing quality eggs for over 40 years, supplying the public, cafes, restaurants and other businesses on the peninsula. Eggs are collected 365 days a year
you can be assured that you are buying the freshest eggs with the best yolk and flavour from our barn door. Come and visit our Free Range hens roaming in their paddocks! CHOOK POO BY THE BAG FARM FRESH FREE RANGE EGGS AT WHOLESALE PRICES! COME AND SEE THE ROAMINGCHICKENS FREE IN THE PADDOCK! BARN DOOR SALES MONDAY TO FRIDAY 8AM - 4.30AM AND8AM-12.30PMSATURDAYS MONDAY - SUNDAY, 10AM - 5PM Chelsea Heights MARKET 3196 - The indoor market with more... • Arts • Vintage • Fashion • Harvest • Collectables • Plants • Sweets • Vinyl • Homewares • Beauty Salon & much more! 279 Wells Rd, Chelsea Heights P: 0466 458 558 W: E: ON-SITE CAFE MON - FRI 9AM - 5PM, SAT 10AM - 4PM, SUN 10AM - 2PM Rosebud 4 SISTERS INDOOR MARKET Over 115 stalls of handmade gifts, vintage, collectibles, plants, local produce and specialty giftware all under one roof. 921 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud Local List your market in out next edition Call Andy 0431 950 685
Peninsula Photos
• PRAMS • NURSERY • CAR SEATS • AT HOME/ PLAY BATHING & CHANGING • CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR • FEEDING HEALTH & SAFETY • MANCHESTER SHOP 107 MORNINGTON VILLAGE 241 MAIN ST MORNINGTON Ph 5977 0966 SEE INSTORE FOR SOME GREAT SPECIALS • Carrying out servicing and repairs to all makes and models (specialising in BMW) • Courtesy cars available • BMW specific knowledge base of well over 20 years • Dealer level servicing at independent prices 201 Mornington Tyabb Road, Mornington E T (03) 5976 3633
Pink Stumps Day Event at Crib Point Cricket Club Photos Gary Bradshaw

Kiwi House stocks a range of beautiful possum/merino garments and accessories in different styles, colours and sizes that will keep you warm this winter.

Mon - Fri 9.30am - 5pm Saturday 9.30am - 4pm Sunday 11am - 3pm

7/90 Main Street Mornington (Walk through Mall)

PENINSULAE ssence | 41 April 2024


Frankston’s captivating South Side Festival offers a stunning celebration of arts and culture that fuses talent and venues with the absolute best of the contemporary arts scene.

Mayor Nathan Conroy joined performers and artists for the 2024 program launch at Frankston’s Cube 37 venue. Councillors Sue Baker and David Asker, as well as CEO Phil Cantillon and Manager Arts and Culture, Tammy Ryan, also attended.

“This year we celebrate the transformative power of the arts in shaping Cities with South Side showcasing and highlighting how the arts breathes new life into our urban landscape, stimulates creativity and fosters community ties,” Mayor Conroy said.

“Through compelling stories, spellbinding performances and immersive experiences we’re bringing people together, stimulating conversations and enduring connections.

“There’s also a major focus this year on our precious environment. Join us in upcycling fashion workshops, embrace

sustainability and be an active coastal caretaker. By embracing environmental consciousness into South Side, we aim to inspire positive change and a feeling of responsibility towards our surroundings – as well as celebrating our shared humanity and creativity … and our commitment to making Frankston an even more vibrant and inclusive place to call home.”

Mayor Conroy encouraged all to sample everything that South Side has to offer and enjoy the magnificent festival.

ARIA-nominated, award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan will bring her Songs, Stories & Soul from Family & Country show – featuring her trademark soul/ country songs and new music recorded in Gumbaynggirr and Noongar languages – to South Side.

“I want to share my story with Australia and the world, and I want audiences to hear my songs and languages to enhance their knowledge of our expansive history of this country,” she said.

Peninsula Photos FAC South Side Festival 2024 launch Photos Gary Sissons

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Also telling the stories of women in Australian music, the film Her Sound, Her Story features conversations with more than 45 women from the Australian music industry, including Tina Arena, Julia Stone, Jen Cloher and Renee Geyer, as they prompt the question: where do we want women’s voices to sit in the world today?

Drag performer Brenda Bressed said: “I can’t wait to bring all glam and glitter of drag to South Side. Whether you’re in the mood for an evening of iconic Diva performances or a fabulous Bingo Brunch, we will have you entertained for days.”

The festival features experimental art Collective, Pony Cam, presenting The Show Goes On talking all things taboo around aging. There’s also BAM Arts’ new work Aspect Within – a joyful dance and theatre show breaking down stereotypes related to disability. Award winning musician and producer Joel Ma (Joelistics) fuses live music with spoken word and film in his show All The People You’ve Never Met.

Check out the free activities, including South Side Sea Soak on Saturday, 11 May. Enjoy a chilly dip in the bay to celebrate the centenary of the Frankston Life Saving Club. Step into a world of radiant enchantment at Beauty Park where the wonder of Neon Fields awaits visitors of all ages, embrace the magic and ignite your imagination. Walk through George Pentland Gardens to experience Bird Child Spirit, an auditory delight featuring the voices of students from Seaford Primary School imitating the sounds of birds.

South Side Festival, 10 – 19 May, is proudly sponsored by EastLink. With more than 40 events, it’s time to embark on this adventure. Tickets are available and for more information, please


PENINSULAE ssence | 43 April 2024


In 2015, co-director of Shoreham-based Everywhen Art, Emily McCulloch Childs founded the nation-wide Indigenous Jewellery Project - working with First Nations' communities in workshops lead by University of New South Wales lecturer and contemporary jeweller Melinda Young.

From the desert to Arnhem Land, the Torres Strait Islands to remote communities in New South Wales and to university studios in Canberra, IJP has since worked with dozens of Indigenous jewellers to develop their practice. Outcomes have been exhibited at public galleries and award exhibitions.

During these projects Melinda and Emily have also made their own jewellery on Country - inspired by the materials, places, people, and communities with whom they have engaged. The results are now on show for the first time in The Other Side opening at Everywhen on April 13.

Also on show is an Autumn Salon with a wide variety of new paintings and sculptures in evocative Autumn hues by First Nations' artists from around Australia.

Saturday April 13, 2-4 pm: The Other Side opening reception with introduction by Emily McCulloch Childs.

Both exhibitions current to May 5.

Everywhen Art Whistlewood, 642 Tucks Road, Shoreham P: 03 5931 0318


Located at the top end of High Street in Hastings, a beautiful, private boutique salon awaits.

Lillian Mac Skin & Beauty has a mission to provide remarkable treatments and ensure a memorable service to every one of their valued clients.

Patient, accommodating staff provide impeccable, knowledgeable services to meet every need and their extensive range of beauty treatments cater to every whim.

As soon as you walk through the door a quiet and beautiful space awaits encouraging you to wind down and take a moment for yourself.

The luxurious treatment rooms cradle your mind and spirit taking you to a place of total tranquillity. We dare you to try not to fall asleep during one of your sessions!

The team at Lillian Mac Skin & Beauty look forward to pampering you.

For your convenience, the treatment menu can be viewed via the appointment booking portal found on Facebook, but do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns. Walk-ins are also most welcome.

FB: LillianMacDaySpa

IN: @lillianmacskinandbeauty

Shop 1, 101 High Street, Hastings. P: 5979 1511 50% OFF SKIN NEEDLING $149.50 valued at $299 Autumn Special


McClelland - Supporting Australian Arts for over fifty years.

What better time to visit McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Langwarrin than April, the month that marks International Sculpture Day. This worldwide event celebrates the creation and understanding of sculpture and its vital contribution to society globally.

McClelland is a truly unique art gallery and sculpture park set amongst 16 hectares of natural bushland. Since opening in 1971, McClelland has showcased the value of Australian culture to community through a focus on sculpture and its connection to the environment.

This year marks the half way celebration of their special commitment to public art – the concept of the Southern Way McClelland Commissions. This Public/Private Partnership between McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery and Southern Way began a 25-year program of contemporary sculptures installed along the Peninsula Link Freeway.

New sculptures alternate every two years between sites at Cranbourne Road and Skye Road interchanges resulting in fourteen commissions over the 25 years collaboration. Southern Way generously donates funding for the sculptures as a means of giving back to the community. McClelland was a natural fit to manage and curate the selection and creation of the sculptures for the public art installation.

After four years on Peninsula Link, the sculptures become part of McClelland’s permanent park collection. This program has actively established the Mornington Peninsula as an internationally

significant hub for public art and contemporary sculpture, the works icons for the thriving creativity found on the Peninsula.

To date the Commission has seen seven major sculptures installed on the Peninsula Link Freeway. Dean Colls’ work Rex Australis: The King is Dead, Long Live the King 2012 asks viewers to reconsider their perception of the world and the privilege placed on the human perspective. Phil Price’s wind-activated kinetic sculpture, Tree of Life 2012, references the Eucalyptus, an evergreen that is endemic to south-east Australia. The aerodynamic form and monochrome surface of Tree of Life invokes visions of an imagined future characterised by visual features and possibilities of science fiction and technological advancements.

Michael Riddle’s Iconoclast 2017, a transmission tower crushed under the weight of a boulder, references the fragility of the human experience, and was made following the death of the artist’s parents. Manon Van Kouswijk’s Peninsula Pearls 2021, presents a giant pearl chain and beaded necklace comprising over thirty large spheres suspended at differing heights between four to ten metres. Natasha Johns-Messenger’s Compass 2023 was installed at Cranbourne Rd in November 2023 and encapsulates the essence of navigation in the modern era.

In December 2023, McClelland was thrilled to welcome home two high-profile and much-loved public sculptures of the Southern Way Commissions to be permanently installed in the McClelland Sculpture Park.

1: Natasha Johns-Messenger Compass 2023. Photo Steve Brown 2: Manon-Van-Kouswijk-Peninsula Pearls-2021 steel aluminium paint. Photo Steve Brown. 3: Phil Price, Tree of Life 2012 4: Dean Colls, Rex Australis The King is dead long live the King 2012. Photo John Gollings 5: Gregor Kregar, Reflective lullaby, 2015, stainless steel. Photo Mark Ashkanasy. 6: Michael Riddle, Iconoclast, 2017. Photo Steve Brown.
1 2 3 6 5 4

The 9-metre high, stainless-steel sculpture by Gregor Kregar, “Reflective Lullaby”, affectionately known as the “Chrome Gnome” or “Frankie”, is now positioned at McClelland following four years located at Peninsula Link’s Cranbourne Road exit and the past four years on the corner of Moorooduc Highway and Hastings Road in Frankston.

The elegant sculpture, “Love Flower”, by artist John Meade with Emily Karanikolopoulos, which has been located on Cranbourne Road for the past four years, was recently repositioned permanently at McClelland near Harry’s Cafe for all to enjoy.

McClelland Director, Lisa Byrne, said people will be delighted to rediscover these public sculptures at McClelland.

“Both Reflective Lullaby and Love Flower have developed a cult following over the years amongst visitors and locals. Visitors to McClelland can now catch up with their ‘old friends’ as we welcomed “Reflective Lullaby” and “Love Flower” home and view them in new ways, up close. We love hearing children ask their parents when can they see Frankie? It is about making art accessible in the everyday.”

On April 27th, International Sculpture Day, join McClelland and Melbourne-based designer, illustrator and maker, the talented Beci Orpin for a series of sculpture making workshops hosted in the Sarah & Baillieu Myer Education Pavilion, 10:30am – 12:30pm, and 1:30 – 3:30pm. Tickets $25 per head can be purchased via mcclelland. Free sculpture park tours will be available throughout the celebratory day, bookings ideal.

Come discover McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery for yourself.

Sculpture Park & Gallery hours: Wed to Sun, 10am – 5pm

Harry's Cafe: Wed to Sun, 10am – 4pm

A: 390 McClelland Drive Langwarrin

P: +61 3 9789 1671


PENINSULAE ssence | 47 April 2024 VISIONARY: RECENT DONATIONS TO THE MCCLELLAND COLLECTION Saturday 30 March — Sunday 21 July 2024
Drawing 373 (flexing and unfolding) 2020, Thermally formed acrylic, individually shaped from ifts Anne-Marie May, sheet size 180 x 120 cm, McClelland Collection. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural G Program. Image credit: Christian Capurro
48 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
Photos Yanni
PENINSULAE ssence | 49 April 2024


At Kustom Timber, we specialise in crafted premium engineered timber flooring in Melbourne, and our journey with you goes beyond just product supply.

From installation to ongoing maintenance and aftercare, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Whether you’re choosing from our engineered timber flooring range to our solid timber and European Oak flooring options, our team’s expertise ensures you get beautiful, responsibility-sourced product and unparalleled service every time.

There’s just something about European Oak. High quality, sophisticated, timeless… European Oak never goes out of style and has become a staple in homes and commercial businesses across the globe. It’s a fantastic way to add warmth to your space and will last for decades. Our premium range of European oOak engineered wood flooring, quality design, and expert team of flooring specialists work together to bring you flooring that will last for years to come. We’re passionate about making your dream space a reality.

We customise our timber solutions to you and your project and, with experts in installation, parquetry, and stairs on board, you know you’re in good hands. When it comes to engineered timber flooring, Kustom Timber’s range of quality selections and our commitment to great service is unmatched.

Engineered timber flooring doesn’t just look great; our premium engineered timber flooring is where quality meets character. Durable flooring created for Australian homes, we have something for everyone, whether you’re looking for something bold and elegant, light and beachy, or anything else in between.

Natural timber flooring uses less energy and produces less greenhouse gases during production than most other flooring options. Sustainable and long-lasting, our premium timber flooring is also low VOC, meaning fewer chemicals in your home. From design advice to project management, product supply, specialist installation, maintenance and aftercare, we look after big and small projects across both residential and commercial. We are your end to end flooring specialists. See what’s possible with our engineered timber flooring in Melbourne – explore our timber range and projects today. Whether you’re across Australia or near our Melbourne, Mornington, or Geelong showrooms, we can help you transform your home or business into something spectacular.

A: 1/4 Torca Terrace, Mornington


50 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
PENINSULAE ssence | 51 April 2024 Premium European Oak Timber Flooring 1/4 Torca Tce, Mornington 439 Chapel St, South Yarra 10/350 Pakington St, Newtown | (03) 5910 3008
52 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
PENINSULAE ssence | 53 April 2024


You may have noticed some uniquely elegant homes as you drive along Nepean Highway passing Bentons Road in Mt Martha. These eye-catching houses are display homes created by Highview Homes, a name synonymous with quality and tradition.

Highview Homes' signature weatherboard or brick homes seamlessly blend the architectural details of the past with the practicality of modern living. The Hampton, Federation, Seachange, and Victoriana designs each capture the essence of style while integrating contemporary layouts and functionality, perfectly suited for today's discerning homeowners.

What distinguishes Highview Homes is their dedication to customisation, ensuring every homeowner's unique vision is brought to life. Whether it's modifying facades or tailoring floor plans to suit specific needs and block sizes, the team at Highview Homes will ensure each client's dream home is realised down to the last detail.

Highview Homes has stayed true to its original vision of homes built with superior craftsmanship delivered with excellent customer service. High quality craftsmanship runs in the Highview family. The original tradesman, Bob Sheppard, began his working life on the family market garden in Bentleigh before venturing into the building industry in the early 1950’s, as a plasterer working with fibrous plaster. His son, Rex began as an apprentice plumber with a family friend in the mid 50’s then becoming a builder in his own right.

The family tradition continues with Russell, who now owns and manages Highview Homes. Russell oversees every project personally, and with his keen eye for detail, helps projects stay on schedule and within budget, minimising any unforeseen complications and ensuring a smooth experience for homeowners.

Explore the craftsmanship and expertise of Highview Homes at their display homes in Mt Martha, where you can experience firsthand the thoughtful design and timeless appeal that defines a Highview Home.

From the initial consultation to the final stages of construction, Highview Homes is dedicated to providing a personalised, customer-focused service, ensuring that every step of the homebuilding process is smooth and efficient. With Highview Homes you can enjoy a home that blends the very best of tradition with modern comfort.

Highview Homes (Vic) CDB-U 70372 11am-4pm Wed, 11am-4pm Sat, 11am-4pm Sun

A: 58 Bentons Road, Mt Martha

P: 5973 5973

FB: @HVHbuilder



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PENINSULAE ssence | 55 April 2024 Ph: 5973 5973 CDB-U 70372
Sheppard Family Tradition for over 80 Years Our Hampton style range of homes are designed to reflect modern coastal elegance, light colours, wide verandas, with an abundance of natural light for the family that wants to experience that “holiday feeling” every day. Why not visit our Hampton Display Centre at the corner of Nepean Highway and Bentons Road, Mt Martha. Opening hours, 11am to 4pm Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday


As a child, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. However, I was always drawn towards creativity and had a connection with nature. I spent my childhood in rural Tasmania during the 1970s, which meant that I had to find my fun. I would sketch and create things using my father’s tools and scrap materials that were lying around. Even at that young age, I enjoyed working with natural materials, especially timber. Although my creations were quite simple, I always visualized and drew out my ideas before bringing them to life. I am a perfectionist and always strive to achieve the closest possible result to what I have envisioned. The design process makes me feel secure about the outcome. Despite my efforts, I still made quite a few mistakes on those early childhood projects.

When I was about 8 years old, I watched my mum and dad build a shack for our family to spend the holidays. It was located on the East Coast of Tasmania at Dolphin Sands right on the Swan River. As the name suggests, it was sandy essentially dunes covered with thick coastal scrub and riddled with Tiger Snakes….nobody wanted it back then but my mum and dad saw the potential. We had a little pop-top camper we would stay in on the site while the house was being built and I would watch my dad my uncle and a few other local tradespeople put together the simple kit-style home that my parents had purchased. I loved the house and vividly remember how relaxing and fun it was staying there. I also remember the little details

such as the patterns in the natural sandstone around the fireplace, the smell of tongue oil finish on natural timber, the rich colour of the cedar window frames, and how the lofty cathedral ceiling over the lounge felt uplifting. I also loved the river for the fishing it was a very serene place & I found the tidal changes interesting. When the tide was too low to fish, I would explore the sand flats looking for crabs and sandworms for the next fishing adventure. I also remember when we had not visited for a while there were always massive Tiger Snakes to deal with!

At a young age, without realizing it, I was naturally drawn to architecture, design, and connecting with the environment through activities that brought me happiness

After completing a Bachelor of Environmental Design and a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Tasmania, I moved to Melbourne in search of architectural opportunities. It was there that I met my wife Liza, who is also an architect. We were both working as project architects in different firms and met through a mutual friend while sailing. I was envious of Liza’s work-life balance as she generally worked from 9 am to 5 pm, while I was often expected to work well into the night, which was not sustainable. However, I gained valuable experience from those long hours. Feeling burnt out in 2004, I suggested to Liza that we start our architecture studio to create a better work-life balance. We began working out of our spare bedroom and held client meetings in their own homes. 0438 527 241 @zenibaker

In 2010, with two young boys, we began to yearn for a lifestyle change. We wanted to be closer to nature and the coast, as that’s where we felt most inspired. After exploring several options, we finally decided that the Mornington Peninsula offered everything we were looking for. We purchased a 2/3 acre property in the beautiful bushland setting of ‘Woodlands’ in Mt Eliza.

We continue to work from home but now we have a beautiful timber studio we designed and built with views into our native gardens. It provides a very relaxed work environment, however, I still like to meet clients in their own homes as it provides me with interesting little insights into how they like to live.

For our architectural practice, it was a very fortuitous move to the Peninsula. It has provided many opportunities to design beautiful coastal homes that blend seamlessly with nature. With 24 years of experience, we are now specialists in this type of architecture. We are grateful to our clients who have embraced our creativity within their homes I have had amazing feedback over the years and it’s always very satisfying to revisit projects and see clients enjoying their homes years later. There is a unique connection that forms between us making it a true team effort.

Recently we reached out to one of our clients to request a ‘satisfaction’ letter to accompany our 2024 Grand Designs Australia entry and felt very proud to submit their house with the following words;

“During the design phase, Michael demonstrated a genuine commitment to the natural environment, impressiveadaptability,professionalism,responsiveness, and creativity. He pushed the boundaries by introducing inventive design concepts and unconventional materials selection, opening our minds to possibilities we had never before considered. Importantly, he actively embraced our input and preferences, demonstrating a thoughtful and shared approach”

The success of our projects depends not only on designing homes that exceed expectations, but also on building strong, trusting relationships with our clients, builders, and consultant network. We have observed that when everyone involved shares the same high values, the highest quality results are achieved.

When people ask us about our design style, we find it difficult to answer because there are many dimensions to our pursuit of creating unique homes for our clients. Although visual appeal is important, it’s not the only factor. We strive to create a relaxed coastal vibe in our work through various methods such as careful material selection, utilization of natural light, and thoughtful interior space design. We take thousands of other considerations into account during the design process but always ensure that our client’s specific needs are met.

For me, architecture is a creative outlet and form of selfexpression where all of those experiential qualities that I have absorbed since a child are grafted with my client’s ideas to create their coastal ‘forever’ homes.

58 | PENINSULAE ssence March 2024 1300 910 971 YOUR LOCAL CLEANING EXPERTS

Mt Eliza Gardens Aged Care is a brand new luxurious, 141 suite state-of-the-art aged care facility, located on the Mornington Peninsula, and it is now open for tours.

The prestigious facility is part of the family-owned Australian Aged Care Group Pty Ltd (AACG), which prides itself on innovation in caring for the aged with a mission to excel in providing quality care services and accommodation.

Mt Eliza Gardens is architecturally designed with premium hotel-style accommodation that embraces older Australians in a place where they feel most comfortable, while still living in their local community.

Features include:

The facility has been purposefully designed with careful attention to detail in the quality of the living environment and services provided. It will be staffed to meet the increasingly discerning standards demanded by our ageing population.

The multi level facility will provide care to residents with ageing in place programs offering all levels of care, as well as consulting suites for medical practitioners and allied health professionals. We also offer a dedicated Memory Support Unit. The spacious and elegant facility consists of several separate wings, adjoining central lounges, café, bar, reception centre and provides an extensive range of services to assist residents in remaining active and engaged.

n Single, spacious rooms/suites with ensuite bathrooms and comfortable living area

n Ageing in place programs

n Larger suites with fully equipped kitchenettes and lounge area for premium style of living

n Spacious lounge, sitting and dining areas

n Individually controlled heating and air conditioning in every room/suite

n Telephone, Foxtel and Netflix connection points in every room/suite

n Expansive undercover car parking

n Courtyard and outdoor garden sitting areas

n Private GP Consulting Room

n Hairdressing & Beauty Salon

n Chapel (non-denominational)

n Gold Class Cinema

n Café and Bar

n Physiotherapy room and large Gym

n LED TV screens in every room/suite

n Dedicated bus for resident outings

n Wi-Fi

n Private Dining Room for special occasions

To discuss your individual requirements and experience the Mt Eliza Gardens Aged Care lifestyle firsthand, please phone (03) 8001 8000 or visit our website

Mt Eliza Gardens Aged Care

235 Canadian Bay Road, Mt Eliza Victoria (03) 8001 8000

PENINSULAE ssence | 59 March 2024


In an age where environmental awareness is paramount, Artekk Porcelain Panels emerges as a leader in sustainability and innovation. Our brand, deeply committed to green technology, offers a range of Low Crystalline Silica Porcelain Panels that are not only of superior quality but also eco-friendly.

Artekk Porcelain Panels signify a significant advancement in green technology. With a silica content of under 8%, we demonstrate our steadfast dedication to minimizing environmental impact. This milestone was officially verified and tested on March 19th, 2024, reinforcing our pledge to sustainability.

At Artekk, we firmly believe that sustainability should never compromise quality. That's why our team meticulously crafts porcelain panels to not only meet the highest standards of durability and aesthetics but also to champion eco-conscious practices. From residential renovations to commercial projects, our panels offer a seamless blend of style and sustainability.

Moreover, as part of our commitment to providing comprehensive solutions, we offer expert supply and installation services. With years of experience specializing in kitchens and bathrooms, our team excels in all aspects of stone works, ensuring that your project is completed with precision and finesse. Whether you're seeking to revitalize your home or embark on a commercial endeavor, trust Artekk to deliver excellence in every aspect of your project.

Artekk Living: Your Hub for Sustainable Living Solutions

To complement our exquisite range of porcelain panels, we proudly introduce Artekk Living, our newest showroom dedicated to offering customers a comprehensive selection of sustainable interior design solutions. From porcelain panels to premium cabinets and sintered stones, Artekk Living is your goto destination for eco-conscious living.

Artekk Porcelain Panels and Artekk Living are brought to you by PPM Stone, a respected company with over 15 years of industry experience. As the parent company, PPM Stone has been a trailblazer in providing top-quality porcelain panels, bluestones, outdoor pavers, and waterjet machines. With a legacy rooted in excellence and innovation, PPM Stone continues to lead the industry forward.

Artekk Living Showroom: Shop 1 334 Frankston-Dandenong Rd

Dandenong South, VIC

Opens: Tue / Thurs 10.00am to 2.00pm

Welcome anytime by appointment


Denny - M: 0434 873 946

David - M: 0434 787 586



Head office & factory: Factory 2, 64-70 Edison Rd

Dandenong South, VIC

Opens : Weekdays 9am to 5pm Saturdays 10am to 2pm

P: 03 90704 88



60 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
62 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024 *Valid Until 30/4/24 Conditions apply • No more mud in your gutters
No more vermin or birds in your roof
Protect your most valued investment -your home, your building • Gutters stay clean - no more cleaning • Save money and cleaning time • 28 year guarantee AUTUMN SPECIAL 1300 220 869 PROTECT YOUR HOUSE FROM FALLING LEAVES


Masterline Homes services the Mornington Peninsula and around Western Port Bay up to Phillip Island. Whether building your first, or fourth home, Masterline Homes has the blueprint to suit you.

Because our focus is to provide you with the home you want, we can change colour schemes to suit your personal taste. You can even design your own home for us to build. In contrast to many large builders, we will alter house plans and change the design to suit your block of land and your budget. Alternatively, you can provide us with your own plan if you prefer.

Our home design philosophies are born from our combined experience of 55 years in the housing industry, inspiration from our client’s input, paying attention to our client’s desires, and our adaptable approach to all important issues. We do our best to make the whole process a happy and exciting one.

Specialising in:

• New homes

• Knockdown and Rebuild

• Dual occupancy


From a dual-occupancy to a multi-unit development , Masterline Homes can handle all size projects as both the builder or developer.

All our projects can include our full homemaker pack (Turnkey), ready to move in, thus taking all the stress out for you.

Masterline Homes has built many developments ranging from a single unit in a backyard, to duplex dwellings and multiunit projects, specialising in residential property design and development, o ering an exclusive, yet a ordable collection of homes and town-houses to suit all buyers.

Using Locally based suppliers where possible, we can maintain a quality product while ensuring employment opportunities for the future. Building with Masterline Homes is a co-operative e ort between our company, our suppliers and you, our valued client.

Masterline Homes is a long-time member of the Housing Industry Association, the Master Builders Association and is registered with the Victorian Building Authority Reg # CDB-U 48889.

Benefits of choosing Masterline Homes for your next development:

• Flexibility in approach and design

• Dealing direct with the builder

• Getting the home you want

• Enormous range of colour choices

• Quality fixtures and fittings

• Designing your own home

A: 6 Milgate Drive, Mornington P: 5973 5611 E: W: YOUR

Acorn Stairlifts has just launched a revolutionary new product into the Australian Market called StairSafe.

This is a system that uses a small electronic module installed inside the stairlift. It constantly monitors the operation and usage of the stairlift and communicates information back to StairSafe HQ. It can also be monitored by the stairlift user, or by a loved one or carer, using a free app on a smartphone or tablet. For example, if your stairlift is not parked correctly on its charge point, StairSafe will alert the monitoring centre which can then contact you so the problem can be quickly and easily rectified.

StairSafe can also detect when the stairlift is experiencing an error as soon as it happens, so it can be put right before you need to use the lift. In this way, StairSafe deals with minor problems before they become emergencies, and avoids the need for unnecessary callouts. It’s simple, flexible and customisable.

P: 1800 052 631


64 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024 YOUR

with a backdrop of sparkling bay residence redefines all extravagant design and highimpressive pool and garden views home's architectural design soaring ceiling heights. Martha .

Hull Road, Mount Martha .

Living atop Mount Martha

For Sale $2,480,000 - $2,680,000 View

As advertised or by appointment

maximising its elevated position with a backdrop of sparkling bay and valley views, this single-level residence redefines all concepts of modern family luxury with extravagant design and highfinishes. Oriented to enjoy impressive pool and garden views every unforgettable aspect, the home's architectural design hallmarks sensational proportions and soaring ceiling heights.

PENINSULAE ssence | 65 April 2024 Adam Joske | 0448 511 557 Lauren Wild | 0413 487 179
4 a 2 b 2 v 1941 r For Sale $2,480,000 - $2,680,000 View
advertised or by appointment Adam Joske | 0448 511 557 Lauren Wild | 0413 487 179
a 2 b 2 v 1941 r


Frankston Mon to Fri 9.30am - 4pm, Sat 10am - 3pm P: 9783 9613

No auction in sight – just buy & go!

For more than 50 years Frankston Auction Mart is one of Frankston’s most iconic new & used furniture shops. They do not run auctions, but offer direct to public with no flat packs in sight.

FAM has an exciting new range of ex-display home furniture and décor direct from Melbourne’s top display homes that will have you styling like a pro at prices you can afford.

There is a vast selection of amazing and fashionable pieces available at a fraction of the retail price. Owners Michaela & David say the pieces sells quickly. “You’re saving big money" they explain. "We're continually refurbishing our stock so each visit offers something different".

Under one roof you can browse four factories of new & used, ex -display furniture, factory seconds & home décor. No waiting periods you can leave with your new spoils that day.

FAM can deliver locally for a flat fee of $40. They’re open 6 days a week Monday – Saturday.

Do yourself a favour and head down to Frankston Auction Mart, you never know what treasures you might find.

66 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024 YOUR
Auction Mart, 46-52
FURNITURE & MORE! Fabulous range of new, used & ex-display home furniture & homewares FURNISH YOUR HOME LIKE A PRO PROFESSIONAL RELIABLE AFFORDABLE NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL P: 0438 065 345 E: A family run local business with over 20 years experience in the trade. •MAINTENANCE •RENOVATIONS •NEW BUILDS •ALL ASPECTS OF GAS WORKS

Exceptional service, educated advice


Sally and Jane offer high value, bespoke service for a management fee that will surprise you.

Are you ready to lease your property or understand it's current market value?

Visit us in office today.

Otherwise, call or text Sally on 0419 895 227 to discuss. | 30 Lochiel Avenue, Mount Martha VIC 3934

on Portsea

Portsea is located approximately 110 kilometres drive south of the Melbourne CBD, and is the most westerly settlement on the Mornington Peninsula.

The official population of Portsea is 787 according to the 2021 census. The size of Portsea is approximately four square kilometres.

In 1840, a freed convict by the name of James Sandle Ford took up a parcel of land which he named Portsea, after Portsea Island which is an island incorporated by Portsmouth in England.

As Melbourne grew in the late 1830s there was a growing demand for lime which was used as a mortar in building. Limestone was plentiful in the area and from 1840 a number of kilns were established.

In the early 1850s a ship entered Port Philip carrying passengers stricken with typhus. A quarantine station was established in 1852, just west of the present town of Portsea. In the 1990s, the Quarantine Station housed 400 Kosovars, refugees from the Bosnian War. The former Quarantine Station was opened to the community as part of Point Nepean National Park in December 2009

A fort with barracks was built at Point Nepean in 1882 to defend the headlands of Port Phillip Bay during a period when there was a fear of invasion. After World War II, the facilities housed the Officer Cadet School (OCS) Portsea and later the School of Army Health from 1951 to 1998. The area was opened to the public in 1988 upon the formation of the Point Nepean National Park.

On 17th December 1967, Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared, presumed drowned, while swimming at Cheviot Beach which is part of the Point Nepean National Park in Portsea. Mr. Holt, aged 59, departed Canberra on Friday 15th December and flew to Melbourne in a RAAF VIP aircraft and later drove his maroon Pontiac Parisienne to Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula for a relaxing weekend at his family home. The most likely scenario was that Holt was caught in a strong rip off Cheviot Beach and was swept out to sea and drowned. In 1969 a plaque commemorating Holt was bolted to the sea floor off Cheviot Beach after a memorial ceremony. It bears the inscription: 'In memory of Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, who loved the sea and disappeared hereabouts on 17 December 1967.'

Located on the narrowest section of the peninsula, the northern section faces the calm waters of Port Phillip Bay, and the southern side faces Bass Strait. The often turbulent surf beaches on the ocean side are broken up by rugged headlands and cliffs, steep dunes and the impressive London Bridge rock formation.

Median property price is $3,400,000, and weekly median advertised rent is $1300.

The Portsea Pier is the home to the spectacular weedy sea dragon, as well as many other fish species, including numerous pufferfish.


Freshly brewed coffee is a must-have and the Mornington Peninsula's coffee haunts are second to none. Check out these when you're visiting!

Le Capucin


Enjoy premium coffee and a fresh croissant or something from the French-inspired cafe menu. Dine inside, on the terrace, or take a short stroll and picnic on the beach.

Smooth Electra Coffee Van


A great place to sit amongst history & nature and enjoy your coffee.

High quality coffee and snacks. Enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean & historical buildings, if you're lucky, you will even spot a pod of Dolphins daily.

Portsea Hotel


With sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay, The Heads and Queenscliff, the Portsea Hotel offers upmarket pub classics, wood-fired pizzas and fresh Australian seafood. Finish with a coffee and bask in the gorgeous setting.

Baked In - Portsea


Savour excellent coffee, flaky baked goods, açai bowls and more in the inviting outdoor dining area.

68 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024


PENINSULAE ssence | 69 April 2024 What to do Cool off at a bay beach or ride the surf at the ocean beach. After a day out in the water slow down with friends on the green lawns of the Portsea Pub. Learn to scuba dive amid sea dragons and rays around Portsea Pier. Glimpse the lifestyles of the rich and famous who reside in Portsea's millionaire mansions or explore the fascinating labyrinth of nineteenth-century tunnels and fortifications in the Point Nepean National Park.
Yanni To subscribe phone Mornington Peninsula News Group on 03 5974 9000 or complete the details below.  $60 twelve month subscription (12 issues) or  $40 six month subscription (6 issues) Name ....................................................................................................Ph.............................................................................. Address ..............................................................................................................................Post code..................................  Visa  Mastercard Card number ...................................................................Exp........./..........CVC............... Post to Peninsula Essence Subscriptions PO Box 588, Hastings Vic 3915 6 AND 12 MONTH SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE Select preferred subscription period & Peninsula Essence magazine will be mailed to you in a sealed plastic bag each month. Handing the peninsula to you! Bedshed * recommended FREE MARCH 2020 PENINSULA Living & visiting on the Mornington Peninsula Strictly Uppers Spirit Of Adventure Sustainable Fashion The Tale An Ancient Making Impact Celebrating Healing Harmonies Colours Of White Team From le Dalywaters Mr Planck, Sir LIVING

Corner Puzzle

1. Dingier

6. Wrestles

11. Impasse (4,3)

15. Turn out (tenant)

16. Whoop of joy

17. Merchants

18. Fraudulent employee

21. Overpowers with sound

22. Harrowing ordeal

23. Overly keen (4,2)

24. Appreciation

28. Wise

30. Coil

32. Rhymes

35. Counter

37. Etiquette

38. Operatic soprano, Nellie ...

40. Finances in advance

43. Roman or Milanese

45. Blur

47. Waft (on breeze)

48. Obliged by responsibility (4-5)

52. Unidentified flying object (1,1,1)

53. Commencement

56. Affirm

58. Docked

60. Devil-worshipper

61. Allows use of

62. Sinner

64. Constrictor snake

65. Cyst

67. Chinese system of aesthetics (4,4)

69. Dog's itchiness

72. Greatly enjoyed

75. Meditation art

77. Bedouin

78. Sector

79. Unreliable

81. Overshadow

83. Couturier, Yves ... Laurent

84. Stroll

86. Small flan

87. Acute remorse

90. Bullock

92. Aftertaste

93. Instant

95. Ill-matched

96. Holiday home

98. To-do

99. Considers

100. Anaesthetic gas

101. Tear violently

102. Angry crowds

103. Antlered beast

104. American military branch (1,1,1,1)

106. Old photo colour

110. Duelling swords

113. Wildebeests

115. Duration of position

116. Girl's sleepwear

117. Turkish capital

118. Follow closely

119. Garden tools

122. Indian instrument

125. Model, ... Macpherson

126. From bygone days (3-4)

127. Lacking originality

129. Light woollen cloth

130. Anti-personnel bomb

131. Adolescent

132. Spend time idly

133. Misprint

134. Extinct reptile

137. Flower necklace, ... chain

138. Fetes

142. Sphere

143. British award (1,1,1)

145. Squid

146. Combine

149. Theatrical

151. Anxious (2,4)

152. Undo (boots)

154. Social convention

156. Weep convulsively

157. Dough balls

159. Weasel-like creature

161. Glib

163. Post office worker

168. Baking seed

171. World faith

172. Win & place (bet) (4-3)

176. Exhales wearily

177. First batsman

180. Luxuriant head of hair

181. Cattle marker, branding

183. Slashed

187. Confiscates

188. 44th US President, ... Obama

190. Mexican salamander

191. Belief in the supernatural

192. Cyberspace personas

193. Excel

194. Downy duck

195. Once-over (5-2)

196. Favourable outcomes

197. Soothing song

1. Failed to (4'1)

2. Ethiopia's Addis ...

3. Austere

4. Short break

5. Grotesque

6. Staunches (flow)

7. Lopsided

8. Gobble

9. Waffle topping, maple ...

10. Laboured (of train)

11. Dead as a ...

12. Conscious (of)

13. Odds or ...

14. Prescribed amounts

19. Respectful form of address (2'2)

20. Self-images

25. The H of OHMS

26. Diaper

27. Enemy mole

29. Slightly crazy

31. Spoken

32. Large tank

33. Ignited again

34. Desperate Housewives actress, ... Longoria

36. Adopting

39. Cookies

40. Thin cushions

41. Frogs & toads

42. Workmanship

44. Weather feature, El ...

46. Indecorous

47. Crease

49. Asian cuisine

50. Bold

51. Netherlands natives

53. Glorify

54. Army clergyman

55. Wild goat

57. Andes pack animals

59. Avouch

63. Prairie wolves

66. Sailed

67. Element

68. Affixed with spikes

70. Subsides

71. Band together (4,2)

73. Plane's shed

74. Careful eater

76. Sprouting process

80. Brotherly

82. Fully satisfy

85. Curved span

88. Soldier's respirator (3,4)

89. Sikhs' headwear

90. Record covers

91. Tallest mountain

94. More recent

97. Hunks (2-3)

104. Fast (rhythm)

105. Chopped down

106. UV cream, ... lotion

107. Artificial curl

108. Tropical lizard

109. Pilfers

111. Nobleman

112. Smelly black & white mammals

113. Says hello to

114. Performance-enhancing drug

120. Oxygenation

121. Lively people

123. Ungracefulness

124. Met the cost of

127. Bloodsucking insect

128. Amateurs

135. Baghdad citizen

136. Public speeches

139. Seeing that, ... as

140. Send via Internet

141. Facts

144. Knockout drink, Mickey

147. Lovers' hideaway, love ...

148. Baths

150. Entity

153. Glimpse

155. Welsh poet, ... Thomas

158. Scientist, Sir ... Newton

160. Actor, ... Alda

162. Perjurer

164. Current unit

165. Sky

166. Espresso expert

167. Male witches

169. Hearth dust

170. Hymn, ... Maria

172. Effortless

173. Irish

174. Grimaces

175. Hoodlums

177. French heroine, Joan ... (2,3)

178. Run off to marry

179. Digital novel (1-4)

180. Memorandums

182. Announces (successor)

184. In vain, to no ...

185. Australian marsupial

186. Sexually attractive

187. Swill

189. Philosopher, ... Marx

70 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
PENINSULAE ssence | 71 April 2024 See page 77 for solution







LOCATION: 2080 Frankston - Flinders Rd, Hastings

HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm

PHONE: 9596 4278


LOCATION: Unit 5, 3 Trewhitt Court, Dromana Industrial Estate

HOURS: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10am until 5pm

PHONE: 9596 4878

Guigal (France) Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé 2017
Price $12 RRP $27
Single Vineyard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2019 HASTINGS RETAIL STORE DROMANA WAREHOUSE STORE Running With Bulls South Australian Tempranillo 2021
Price $10 RRP $20
Granite Rose Estate Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2021
Price $10 RRP $37
Price $5 RRP $22


Wine Lovers Warehouse is the direct to public arm of our wholesale business specialising in restaurant, hotel, and function wines for over 17 years.

COVID-19 put a big handbrake on our wholesale business and so we made a decision to transform and stay alive, supported by our friends and the local community, which we will be forever grateful.

We opened the warehouse every week to the public, selling our wines and suppliers at trade prices and no retail mark ups. It is our commitment to remain open servicing the needs of our Wine Lover community into 2023 and beyond. Come along and say hello, grab a bottle or a case. Try before you buy at the Hastings store guarantees you will be satisfied with your choices.


Entertainer Sparkling
Price $10 RRP $18
Seppelt Great
White Our
Yalumba Y Series 2021 (Vegan) Sauvignon Blanc
Price $7 RRP $14
Price $10 RRP $25
Hill Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir
Our Price $15 RRP $49 Try Before You Buy At The Hastings Store
Pig in the House Central Ranges 2021 Organic
Gris Our
Viscosi Red


OnTuesday 19 October 1915, Private J Morbey was on sentry duty along the barbed wire fence which enclosed the compound of the Langwarrin army camp. In the twilight he could just make out his mate at the next post and gave him a thumbs up.

Without warning, a group of men rushed a point in the fence near him and tried to get through. Morbey yelled out to them that they could not do it but they threw their great-coats over the tangled wire and continued to scramble over. And then all hell broke loose. It seemed like a hundred men suddenly appeared from the shadows, pushed through the fence, and disappeared into the scrub beyond.

The sentry on the neighbouring post, Private J Corbett, saw the first small group dash across the compound and called out to them, “Stop! You are disobeying orders! Stop at once!”

He ran to the scene and managed to seize three of them, but was brushed aside by the following mob and they tore free of him.

Months earlier, the camp guards had been ordered “shoot to kill” anyone who tried to escape. Back then, Langwarrin was an internment camp for enemy aliens – Germans, Italians and Turks arrested in the early days of the Great War.

Now the inmates were Aussie soldiers – 800 of them suffering from gonorrhoea and syphilis. They were under orders not to leave the compound, and the sentries had been simply told to “not allow it”. The escapees were liable for imprisonment for two years for disobeying military orders.

News of the breakout was wired to Melbourne and armed military personnel went to Caulfield and waited for the late train from Frankston. As it pulled into the station at 11.23pm, it was surrounded and 18 escapees were ordered off. There was a good amount of rowdiness and a few troublemakers had to be handcuffed.

Under guard, the prisoners arrived at Flinders Street station after midnight and were marched to Victoria Barracks. One abusive man had begged that his handcuffs be removed when he was brought to Flinders St station, saying that he would go quietly. When he reached St Kilda Road he broke from the group and fled towards Richmond. Guards pursued him on the Yarra Bank Road and wrestled him to the ground.

The following day, the men faced a court-martial at Victoria Barracks. Some bore marks of the conflict; two had black eyes. Fifteen of them were brought forward in a body and each individually pleaded guilty of having broken out of camp in defiance of orders. When asked if they wished to comment, none did.

The prosecutor, Major McInerney, stressed the seriousness of the offence. The men were in service, had disobeyed orders and deserved severe punishment.

The three others were then brought forward and charged with having resisted arrest. One of them had been looking for a fight at Caulfield, another had used obscene language, and the third had tried to escape at Flinders Street.

74 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024

These three were removed to the guardroom under escort whilst the other detainees were returned to Langwarrin to await their sentencing. The Court announced that its decision would be sent to the Acting State Commandant, Colonel Williams, and then be delivered to the Camp.

The Search is on

In the meantime the civil police and the military authorities were busy searching for the others, who had probably reached Melbourne on an earlier train and were likely still in the city.

On the day following the breakout, two men were arrested at Richmond, but there were no more. Two days later, a notice appeared in the daily papers which called on the escapees to report in or face the consequences:

The press announcement drew a quick response - twenty men immediately handed themselves in. Nevertheless, there were still forty at large, and the weekend brought only a few more submissions and a handful of arrests in the city. A second courtmartial was hastily arranged.

After a week, there were still 25 men missing and it became clear to the authorities that it would be some time before they were all accounted for. As an example, a month later, a drunken soldier was arrested hanging from a lamp post in the city and haranguing ladies who passed by. When arrested, he proudly announced that he was a Langwarrin escapee.

The effect of the sentence

Colonel Williams visited the camp to announce the result of the court martial. The three troublemakers each received 100 days with hard labour to be served in Pentridge Prison.

continued next page...

Left: The early military camp at Langwarrin

Above: A press release regarding deserters

PENINSULAE ssence | 75 April 2024
128 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento m: 0438 537 757 e:
in antique jewellery, as well as newly-made jewellery by Melbourne’s top jewellers 5/1 Mornington-Tyabb Road, Mornington VIC 3931
5975 9222

The other fifteen received 90 days imprisonment with hard labour, but Williams took the opportunity to have a straight talk with the men. He would suspend all sentences on condition that they would behave themselves and help to maintain good order at the camp. There would be a new commandant, Major W. W. Hope, who would impose stricter supervision and severely deal with any further insubordination.

All of this fell on deaf ears. Four weeks later twenty men broke camp and created a disturbance in Somerville. After billiards at the local hotel, they descended on the town’s wine bar where they were refused service. At this, they took over the bar, smashed bottles, fought amongst themselves, and threw articles of furniture into the street. The proprietor’s daughter, Miss Holmes, could not control them and when a local soldier, home on sick leave from Gallipoli, came to her aid he received a nasty mauling from the mob.

Two officers were suspended and the twenty men who broke bounds were each sentenced by a military court martial to 100 days imprisonment and removed immediately to Pentridge.

76 | PENINSULAE ssence April 2024
Above: The camp reserve and railway line to Frankston Left: A typical wartime poster

From Trainees to Enemy Aliens to Untouchables

Williams, the State Commandant, continued to be unhappy with the Langwarrin situation.

Every Easter for twenty years, the remote rural property 30 miles southeast of Melbourne had been used by the volunteer State militias for military manoeuvres. When World War 1 broke out, it became the site for an internment camp for “enemy aliens”.

In March of 1915, the Camp received its first VD-infected soldiers - from Victoria’s main training camp at Broadmeadows. And then, with mobilisation overseas, numbers had risen dramatically. It was army policy that every man with VD was returned to Australia – and there were great fears of the virulent form of the infection coming out of Egypt.

A desperate deal was struck. If Victoria would undertake their housing and treatment, the Defence Department would guarantee they would not escape. The internment prison seemed well-suited to the purpose: a barbed wire enclosure, a couple of hundred militia guards, floodlit boundaries, bushland surroundings, and a degree of remoteness. Life for the inmates would be as grim and secure as in any military prison.

On his visit, Williams was appalled by the squalid misery he found. Eight hundred men were confined in a small compound surrounded by wire entanglements, such as would be used to hold prisoners of war near the front. Around the camp were men armed with rifles to keep these “wretches” under control.

He found not one atom of comfort in the whole place; it was filthy beyond words. The tents were ragged and dilapidated and men slept on the ground underneath sodden bedding. They wandered around in shreds of clothing. There was no local supply of water and the men rarely showered. Their medical treatment was inadequate.

These sick men were being treated as pariahs. According to the Army Act it was not a criminal offence to have VD - but it certainly was one to hide it. Yet the attitude of the army effectively criminalised it. The soldier had his record marked and when his pay was docked, his loved ones who were its recipients were immediately alerted to his condition.

The stigmatism was pervasive and the inmates were regarded as “untouchables”. Little wonder they were disgruntled, spiteful and insubordinate. And they continually broke camp.

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“I’ll go crazy if I stay idle.”

Towards the end of 1915 a young, pale-faced, weak and wounded officer stepped into the office of Robert Ernest Williams, the Commandant of the Victorian military district.

“Colonel, I beg of you to give me some work to do,” he said. “I am now under hospital care and I’ll go crazy if I’m idle much longer.”

The visitor did not look fit for any job. At Gallipoli on April 25 1915, he had been wounded in one foot, the right arm, in one eye, and to the head. But Williams always had a keen eye for men with promise and he gave the young officer light duties at the Flemington Showgrounds, an over-populated and underofficered camp. In no time he was surprised at how big a punch this young man had as an administrator.

He learned that Walter Conder had been an amateur boxing champion of Tasmania, a steeplechase rider, a rower, a State rep in football and indeed an all-round athlete.

He had come to Melbourne to teach at Melbourne Grammar and the war had broken out.

Now he was back in Melbourne and, over the next six months, everything he was asked to do by the Commandant he did remarkably well. The hardworking young soldier and Williams soon realised that their philosophies had much in common and they became close friends. Their discussions turned to the persistent problem of Langwarrin, where leadership had been unsuccessful.

The afflicted soldiers had returned from abroad “sick, broken and shamed”. Williams and Conder decided that a different approach was needed: they would restore them to health and respect by improving their treatment and environment. They would mend each man there, and send him away a wiser human being, a decent citizen and a better trained soldier than when he entered the camp. The “prison” would become a hospital and sanatorium.

Initially, Major Ivie Blezard and Lieutenant Walter Conder were sent to Langwarrin. Both officers had been carefully chosen: each man carried an arm in a sling – one his left and the other his right – earned at “The Landing” on Gallipoli. It was felt that their suffering would appeal to the men at the campand it did.

When Blezard was forced to return to Melbourne for further treatment to his arm, Walter Tasman Conder was put in charge. It was August 1916 and this new camp commandant, at 28 years of age, was being given the toughest military proposition in Australia at the time.

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Left: Lieutenant W T Conder, 7th Battalion Above: The Tasmania Sportsman

Above: : The plan of the hospital grounds, from W. Calder's "Australia’s Aldershot"

Below: The rotunda and medical hut

A new camp

Conder soon found that the old camp could not be adapted to his new ideas and philosophies, and he immediately set to work to build a new one, a short distance west of the original enclosure.

Solid, lined, and roomy huts (80 x 20 feet) were provided for not just hospital cases but sleeping quarters for all. Wells were sunk for an adequate supply of water and the Red Cross built a commodious bath house with a furnace and boiler to provide hot showers. This allowed a communal “irrigation” system in which 100 patients could be treated in ten minutes at the same time, which freed up medical staff for more needed activities.

The Red Cross also supplied medical instruments and apparatus that was previously lacking. The wards were provided with patient clothing, bed linen, special foods and special furniture. There was a well-equipped operating theatre, a dispensary and a dentist’s surgery.

The new camp was made more attractive. The buildings were painted and electric light installed. There were gardens and lawns, a recreation hall built by the YMCA, a Red Cross hall for entertainment and a rotunda. Church groups and racing clubs became on-side and donated chairs and tables, books, cupboards and billiard tables.

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A band was formed - a Conder specialty - and it performed regularly in the community. There were picture shows and camp performances, often from visiting Melbourne stage shows and concert groups, with stage scenery painted by the patients. Sports were organised. Pets were encouraged and there were kangaroos, deer, swans and guinea pigs. The camp mascot was “Bonny” - a beautiful pony.

Eventually the guards were replaced by the patients themselves. Army regulations did not allow VD patients to be paid, so those who acted as orderlies and guards received five shillings per day, four of which were paid on their return to army duty.

The carrot vs. the stick

It was clear that, in a non-conscripted army like the AIF, the “carrot” was more likely to achieve results than the “stick”. Sympathy, encouragement and patience were the keywords of Conder’s new regime.

This humane attitude brought about a dramatic improvement in patient morale. Conder’s predecessor had been sacked in a scandal over gross breaches of inmate discipline. From 1916 to 1918, however, there was a remarkable decline in desertion (almost 100 down to nil), absenteeism (from 1,000 to 30) and punishable offences (from 1500 to 100).

It became very clear that the men who passed through the “new” camp were keen to please the young commandant who had, by sheer force of character, conquered their desires to make trouble for the authorities.

A triumph of science and sympathy over righteousness

The work of the medical staff added greatly to knowledge about VD. Traditionally, syphilis had been treated with injections of highly toxic arsenic and mercury compounds. These caused mouth ulcers, loss of teeth and kidney failure – and frequently death. There was no guarantee of being cured.

Gonorrhoea required daily irrigation injection of the urethra and bladder with a combination of powerful antiseptics, including silver and a toxic corrosive compound similar to phenol, which had to be retained in the body for several hours. This was messy, uncomfortable and embarrassing and lasted for up to seven weeks.

Best-practice medicine was under the control of chief medical officer, Major Charles Johnson, whose work there did honour to himself and his profession. His improved medical treatment brought fine results and VD treatment made huge advances during his time. Time to full recovery was significantly shortened to about three months, and the cost of drugs used in treatment was reduced by 75%. A dental officer was appointed to the camp and brought immediate results.

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Above: The camp entrance Below right: Bonny, the camp pony Opposite page: Walter Conder with his chief medical officer, Major Charles Johnson

Over 7,000 VD sufferers passed through Langwarrin up to June 1920. 99% of them were released as cured, and more than 6,000 of them eventually returned to active military service overseas. Some served with distinction earning 400 military decorations for bravery, including two Victoria Crosses.

By 1920 Langwarrin was the only military hospital for the treatment of VD in Australia. On November 24 the Defence Department announced its official closure and sent the eight remaining inpatients back to their own states.

A conglomeration of debris

There was a maturing awareness of VD in the community and it was hoped that the remarkable experience gained at the camp would be extended to the treatment of non-soldiers. Even before the war was over, there were 25 civilians being treated there. The Defence Department, however, had made up its mind.

The 550-acre site was offered to Victoria as an isolation clinic. The price was £7,000 and it was estimated that 50 beds could be maintained there for £3,000pa. Victoria’s Premier Harry Lawson saw it as a good deal and was strongly supported by his Venereal Diseases Committee.

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But the locals had other ideas. The Frankston and Hastings Council, supported by the Cranbourne Shire, sent a deputation to Lawson protesting that their people did not want a VD hospital in their midst. As a result, Premier Lawson set up a VD Clinic in Lonsdale Street and placed Langwarrin’s medical officer of four years, Charles Johnson, in charge.

The sale of the Camp infrastructure began immediately. First to go was the 70-foot long YMCA building. When six huts and blankets were sent to the new Morwell SEC settlement, the workers objected – showing that the stigma and ignorance surrounding VD still remained.

Conder organised two major gifts for Frankston. The Camp’s massive archway was erected over the entrance to the newly planted Avenue of Honour on the Point Nepean Road, and the symbolic band rotunda was installed opposite the Mechanics’ Institute.

By February 1921 buildings were being advertised for sale at the Camp every Saturday from 10am to 4pm. The Langwarrin Progress Association fought unsuccessfully to retain the large Red Cross Hall. They were, however, granted a lease on 21 acres opposite the railway station for sport and recreation and allowed to build a state-of-the-art Memorial Hall which was completed in time for Christmas 1929. The hall lasted fifteen years before it, too, was removed and sold. The sports field became overgrown.

The post-War years slipped by and the site remained unused by the army. Without a resident caretaker the camp became a place of dilapidated weatherboard and tin buildings described as a “conglomeration of debris.” Apart from a few wandering cattle it was otherwise deserted. The neglected site was a source of continual annoyance to the district as serious fires started there every summer and burned out neighbouring properties.

The Cranbourne Shire had long wanted this prime land next to the station to be used for settlement, but the Defence Department held firm: there was absolutely no prospect of the 500 acres being subdivided as it “might be needed in the future”.

That need was obviously not strong. During WW2 only a handful of troops from Balcombe used it for training and, over the next 25 years, it was used sparingly by army apprentices, the army reserve and cadets. Cranbourne Council repeatedly pressed for the land to be released for subdivision, even for returning soldiers, but to no avail.

Finally, in the early 1980s the site was taken over by the Victorian Ministry for Conservation and, on December 11 1985, it became the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve.

Today, there are few physical remnants of Langwarrin’s army camp. Perhaps it is the tranquility of the Reserve that is the legacy of Wally Conder’s remarkable achievement.

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Above: Moving the rotunda into Frankston
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