PENINSULA Living & visiting on the Mornington Peninsula
Hub Of Hope • Let's Play Croquet • Donkey Healing • Safeguarding Smallies Be Like Billy Baxter • World Class Act • The Man, The Vision And The Bush Chapel
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Must Play Golf Courses
10. Hub Of Hope
Jeanette Horsley is the Manager of YMCA Peninsula Youth Services, which has been operating on the Peninsula for over 15 years. It was a professional and passionate eight-year focus for Jeanette and her colleagues to see the doors swing open on this new venue.
14. Let's Play Croquet
Mornington's Civic Reserve precinct is a bustling hive of activity for people of all ages. In one corner of the reserve there exists a quiet oasis surrounded by beautiful trees that overlook immaculate playing grass surfaces that very few locals know about: the home of the Mornington Croquet Club.
20. Donkey Healing
Donkey Love Therapy is an idyllic 6.5-acre property in Balnarring. It’s a place where people go to escape, learn and heal. It’s a place where people with disability and/or mental illness, who have fallen through the cracks in society can be seen, heard and transformed by the healing power of nature.
26. Safeguarding Smallies
Moonlit Sanctuary – the lifelong hobby of owner Michael Johnson who imagined a place where people could experience the rare and unusual animals that roam the Australian bush. Each animal has been hand-picked to fulfill his lifelong plan to help halt the rapid extinction of animal species in Australia.
Arts 31. Be Like Billy Baxter Proudly published by
Writers: Andrea Louise Thomas, Joe Novella, Andrea Rowe Photography: Yanni, Gary Sissons Creative: Sam Loverso, Dannielle Espagne Publisher: Melissa McCullough Advertising: Ricky Thompson, 0425 867 578 or firstname.lastname@example.org Anton Hoffman, 0411 119 379 or email@example.com
All material is copyright, and may not be reproduced without the express permission of Mornington Peninsula News Group, or the original copyright holder in the case of contributions. Copyright of contributed material rests with the contributor. Disclaimer: The authors and publisher do not assume any liability to any party for any loss, damage or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. This publication is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Peninsula Essence is produced monthly. 30,000 copies (mix of home delivery and bulk dropped at an extensive network of outlets across the peninsula).
Phone: (03) 5974 9000
Billy Baxter's name is attached to one of Australia’s most ‘under-the-radar’ and down-to-earth superstars of the entertainment sector, who says he was “shocked”, “humbled” and “grateful” for the recent honour of an Order of Australia Medal.
Eat & Drink 46. World Class Act
In the sleepy little seaside village of Flinders is an unassuming little restaurant called Moke. The surprise is inside where you’ll find one of Australia’s finest chefs; world class, in fact. Like the restaurant itself, there is nothing pretentious about owner/chef Michael Cole, which is all the more remarkable considering his achievements.
Focus On 54. Focus On Mornington
Historical facts, café recommendations and what to do in one of Victoria's most popular peninsula holiday destinations. Also featuring advertising pages showcasing some of the local businesses there.
History 61. The Man, The Vision And The Bush Chapel
Registered address: 63 Watt Road, Mornington 3931 W: peninsulaessence.com.au
When Victoria’s new Governor walked down the gangplank of H.M.S. Cathay on a ‘cheerless’ winter day in 1926 a ripple of surprise ran through the dignitaries waiting to meet him. Tall and athletic, he looked so young! The Right Honourable Lieutenant–Colonel Arthur Herbert Tennyson Cocks, Sixth Baron Somers of Evesham, otherwise known as Lord Somers. He was a military man, a war hero with a string of letters after his name.
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Cover photos may be purchased via www.yannicreative.com.au/peninsula-essence-covers PEFC Certified This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. www.pefc.org
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Cover image by Yanni The Pacific Black Duck is a common bird that lives on the Mornington Peninsula. Every now and then it can be spotted leading its chicks across a busy road to get to the other side.
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Styles These Bodum PAVINA double wall glasses make every drink look like a work of art. Individually mouth-blown from heat-resistant borosilicate glass, these glasses have a thermal quality that keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Lightweight and comfortable to hold. 3/26 McLaren Place, Mornington 5976 8868 denorhomewares.com.au
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What's on?Upcoming Peninsula Events AUG 6 TRUFFLE HUNT & TASTING PLATES
Get taken on an expedition through avenues of oak and hazelnuts trees to hunt out the hidden treasure of truffles. The English Springer Spaniels are eager hunters who love to be rewarded for their work. Careful excavation to unearth fresh truffles allows guests to experience the earthy aroma and hold the valuable find. mpexperience.rezdy.com
AUG 19 PICASSO & POUR
Tipsy artist will help you release your inner Picasso. Paint and pour whilst sipping on bottomless sangria and eating authentic Spanish tapas at Casa de Playa. casadeplaya.com.au
AUG 7, 14, 21, 28 BITTERN MARKET
Bustling with a country feel and operated by a voluntary committee of stallholders, the market opens rain hail or shine with more than 80 stalls selling new and used goods, craft, plants and flowers, fruit and vegetables, food, coffee and much more. Operating for 30 years it has raised more than $500,000 for community organisations. whatsonfrankston.com
AUG 20 BUILD A WATER SAVING WICKING BED
Wicking beds are an increasingly popular way to grow vegetables because they are self-contained and water efficient. They're great for locations where plants can not to be watered every day, even in the height of summer. In this hands-on workshop you will be taken through the steps to create your own wicking bed at home and ongoing maintenance. torellofarm.com.au
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* Check with venue for any restrictions.
AUG 17 JANE EYRE AT FAC
Brontë’s gothic tale of a spirited orphan in search of love, family and a sense of belonging, blazes the country in 2022. Witness one of the most iconic pieces of English literature retold in a faithful yet fiercely original new stage adaptation from the nationallyrenowned shake & stir theatre co. thefac.com.au
AUG 21 SUNDAY GARDEN TOURS AT CRUDEN FARM
Once a month on a Sunday, Cruden Farm welcomes people to take a tour or just come for the day and have a leisurely stroll around the gardens and farm. You are welcome to bring a picnic. crudenfarm.com.au
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HUB OF hope By Andrea Rowe Photos Yanni
eeling empowered, emotionally supported, and encouraged to connect with people, through meaningful projects and a sense of place in tough times is the successful secret behind Jimmy’s Youth Wellbeing Sanctuary Jimmy’s offers a welcoming and safe retreat and experiences to strengthen mental, physical, and emotional health and resilience of local teenagers and young adults. It’s an integrated youth hub that has the potential to address long-standing youth mental health and wellbeing issues across the Peninsula. Managed by the YMCA Youth Services, Jimmy’s is a fresh new take on a gathering space for young people to connect with trained and qualified staff, as well as volunteers and mentors with backgrounds in holistic practices. Jeanette Horsley is the Manager of YMCA Peninsula Youth Services, which has been operating on the Peninsula for over 15 years. It was a professional and passionate eight-year focus for Jeanette and her colleagues to see the doors swing open on this new venue. “When young people hit roadblocks in life, we wanted this to be a place where doors open and they can discover new ways of approaching challenges, or just enjoy stepping back from hard times and immersing themselves in experiences to broaden their identity.” First time 12 – 25-year-old visitors might feel they’ve stepped into a funky Federation Square building that’s a hybrid of relaxed lounge, café, games venue and university hub. Once inside young people are invited to interact with the space in a way that suits each person individually; they may be making a coffee or after school snack, having a chat with a holistic practitioner, learning how to create a new signature dish, or chilling in a bean bag and finishing off homework while enjoying the vibe. Since it’s official opening in December 2021 by the Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt, Jimmy’s welcome mat is out and teens and young adults have gathered for after school hangouts, group cooking sessions, wellbeing talks or a chance to meet mates, grab a bite together and make new mates after a gruelling few lock-down years. continued page 12...
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We wanted this to be a place where doors open and they can discover news ways of approaching challenges
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“This is a place where teens and young adults can have a sense of ownership in and connection with people who understand and celebrate them. They can slowly develop relationships with adults while trying out different pathways that aren’t structured through sport or academic expectations, or part time job responsibilities,” said Jeanette. “Our young people are so worthy of our support and energy. What we’ve worked hard to offer is a safe space during transition times, where they can engage or retreat based on how they are feeling. And we are sensitive as to how they’re feeling, and have insights as they work through their own sense of identity”. Jeanette says the conversations and connections open up during weekly health and wellbeing programs, inclusive talks and mentoring, nutrition sessions and cooking, barista courses, and in-house youth camps and retreats for teens. Situated next door to headspace Rosebud there’s also direct links to support programs, and employment service pathways as well.
Jeanette added that “so many health and wellbeing services are cost prohibitive for families and especially young people. We’ve taken that away so that they can experience different approaches to nurturing and respecting their mind, body, and spirit.” One incredible feature of Jimmy’s is a unique wellbeing program providing no-cost access to holistic and complementary wellbeing practitioners and programs. Reiki, yoga, and naturopathy
It’s a program that builds trust and empowers young people to understand themselves and how they can care for their own health in years to come. They’re coming in and asking for acupuncture because they know they feel better afterwards. They’re relaxed, supported, and heard in a physical and emotional way.
The vision has always been for Jimmy’s to be able to serve the young people across our community who need us most
The added touch of mentor support in the youth-focused hub complements personal development programs that are relevant and interesting to local youth, many of whom are from marginalised, disengaged, and disadvantaged backgrounds on the Mornington Peninsula.
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consultations are just some of the holistic features, delivered by skilled professionals trained and qualified in mental health and youth support.
Since COVID young Australians have taken the biggest psychological hit. It’s clear, more than ever that spaces and services like this are needed on the Mornington Peninsula. In a recent survey into youth mental health across Australia by Resolve Marketing, four out of five young people said they experienced mental health issues in the last two years. Places like Jimmy’s have become a welcome relief for many families and carers in the community, and it has maintained its accessible mantra ensuring there are no fees for young people who wish to enjoy the programs and atmosphere.
This is all a long way from the days when the community vision seemed like in insurmountable obstacle. Jeanette references the psychological architecture of the building which possesses unique wellbeing elements: “as you move through Jimmy’s the building really does have a calming impact on your emotional state.” Much of this architectural triumph is a direct response to the wishes of Sarah Darling (Founder of Jimmy’s Foundation), who originally proposed Jimmy’s after the tragic loss of her Melbourne architect son James.
“It is extraordinary that out of so much sadness and adversity came something for others,” Jeanette shares. Jeanette says that Sarah’s desire was to create a youth-focused hub, designed to be part of the landscape with materials and features that projected a peaceful, calm, and engaging presence. James’s legacy is one that local youth can now benefit from for years to come. With its vibrant mural at the entrance, large floor length windows, ventilation, and light and tactile, soothing spaces the hub speaks of transparency, connection, freedom and energy. Invigorating features recognise the gathering space qualities that local youth deserve to experience. Youth have the run of the modern open-plan kitchen, seating nooks and couches, gardened courtyard, quiet reiki and yoga rooms, upstairs accommodation for retreats and a roof top terrace for outdoor activities. A bus transports attendees mid-week from local secondary schools to help with access logistics. For Jeanette and others at Jimmy’s, the new building signifies the next chapter in the centre’s journey. What was once a small community organisation, is now on its way to expanding its reach and impact. “The vision has always been for Jimmy’s to be able to serve the young people across our community who need us most. Jimmy’s provides an opportunity for young people to become part of their community and sets a tone for what mental health support can look like. We’re here for all young people.”
Insta: @jimmysyouthsanctuary FB: @jimmysyouthsanctuary W: jimmys.org.au
Expect to pay around half the price FOR AN APPOINTMENT CALL
1300 230 430 SUITE 6 UPPER LEVEL 38A MAIN STREET, MORNINGTON w w w. d i a m o n d c o c o . c o m . a u August 2022
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LET'S PLAY croquet By Joe Novella Photos Gary Sissons & Supplied
ornington's Civic Reserve has all the hallmarks of a modern recreation area with a world class multi-sport complex and state-of-the-art tennis courts, bowling greens, athletics and football fields. The precinct is a bustling hive of activity for people of all ages and yet in one corner of the reserve there exists a quiet oasis surrounded by beautiful trees that overlook immaculate playing grass surfaces that very few locals know about: the home of the Mornington Croquet Club.
Mornington Croquet Club was formed back in 1982 by Maisie Meek who became the club's first president. The club took up residency in Pine Avenue but had to find an alternative location in 1999 due to land redevelopment for housing purposes. The club then moved to a vacant plot at Civic Reserve in 2000 with a lot of work to do to get the area ready for play. With support from the local council and the hard work and fundraising of club
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members, the new facility quickly became one of the best places to play croquet in the whole of the state, with beautiful trees planted around the perimeter, a clubhouse installed with BBQ facilities, as well as the development of two of the best playing surfaces (courts) around. The reason the club goes unnoticed by many passers-by is probably because most of them have no idea what croquet is, even though it has been played for centuries. For many, the only exposure they have to the game is through Lewis Carroll's timeless classic 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' where Alice plays croquet against the Queen of Hearts using Flamingos as mallets and Hedgehogs as balls. In reality, the mallets are typically wooden and the balls are either wooden or plastic. Originally, croquet was a garden game, more of a pastime than a sport, which was mainly played in Europe. Pall Mall, continued page 16...
continued page 16... August 2022 2022 August
The ﬁnal pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place at Village Glen Retirement Community, on the magniﬁcent Mornington Peninsula Health and Wellness Centre
New Lakeside Apartments
Croquet Lawn and Bowling Green
9-Hole Golf Course
New Jake’s Bar, Palms dining room and CJ’s lounge
New cinema and library
The Hub is the heart of Village Glen, already home to the village shop and hair salon, and the now newly completed facilities offer residents so much more. It’s designed to be a place where residents and their guests can gather to relax, converse and rest in a beautifully appointed and furnished communal precinct. F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L U S O N 0 3 5 9 8 6 4 4 5 5 335–351 Eastbourne Road, Capel Sound VIC 3940 W W W.V I L L AG E G L E N .C O M . AU
the precursor to croquet, as seen on season two of Bridgerton and played vigorously by the family, has brought the time-honoured game back into the spotlight of 21st century Netflix viewers. Nowadays, it's played all over the world, even making it as an Olympic sport during the early part of last century. The game came to Australia in the 1860s and now boasts close on 10,000 affiliated members of all ages, nationwide. On the surface, croquet looks quite simple; you hit a ball through 12 hoops with a mallet and try to be the first one that reaches the centre peg or the required number of hoops. In reality there is quite a lot of strategy involved and rules to navigate. Many players liken the game to a mixture of snooker and chess, where moves need to be planned and contingencies allowed for. A game that is good for the mind and gentle on the body.
are an inclusive club with members ranging in ages from 40 to 90 years, all with different levels of experience and skill, from beginners to competition players." At the end of the day, the best way to discover the joys of croquet is to try it and Mornington Croquet Club offers plenty of opportunities to do just that. "Social croquet is played on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (9:45 to 12 noon) on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (12:45 to 3:00 pm) and Sundays (9:45am to 12 noon)," said Lynn. "We welcome players of all skill levels in both casual and competitive play. Non-members are welcome to experience our sport. Just bring along flat shoes, your hat and sunscreen! We offer three free lessons, then the opportunity to join a three-month visitor program, before taking out full membership. Once a visitor joins, early experiences will be supported by sympathetic and experienced players.
Attracting younger players is important to the sport if it's going to continue to grow
Though croquet is predominantly associated with senior citizens looking for gentle exercise, it can also be quite competitive and attractive to younger players looking for a bit more of a competitive rush. Elite pathways do exist for those who want to take their game to the next level with representative opportunities at state and international levels on offer. And faster versions of the game such as Gateway, Golf-Croquet and Ricochet are also becoming increasingly popular among younger players who find the traditional Association Croquet, where games could last for hours, a bit too slow for their liking. Attracting younger players is important to the sport if it's going to continue to grow and Mornington Croquet Club is doing its bit via its schools' program. "The club has for several years welcomed secondary school students from surrounding areas in our Schools Recreational Sports Program," said Club Secretary Lynette Loutit. "But we also welcome people of any age as we
Photo: Photo:courtesy courtesyof ofLiam LiamDaniel DanielNetflix Netflix
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August August2022 2022
"The only equipment needed to play is a mallet. The club has mallets that can be borrowed at no charge for those starting out. Many people like to borrow for some months before deciding on the type of mallet they would like to purchase. New equipment ranges in price from about $120 to competition mallets from $500 to $1000, depending on the material of construction. However, starting out there need be no equipment cost, just the annual subscription of $420 which covers green keeping, maintenance, insurance and affiliation fees with regional, state and Australian bodies." As well as the playing side of things, Mornington Croquet Club also has a full social calendar of events. "The club runs an annual Open Day, Christmas lunch and other social activities such as our annual wine tasting," said Lynn. "Later this year, for our 40th birthday, we hope to hold a special celebration (when our winter escapees return from their sojourns to warmer climates).
Our clubhouse is available to outside groups for celebratory functions, and corporate bonding events, which involve our entertaining game of croquet. The club has a BYO licence for functions and a BBQ available." So if you're looking for an activity to get you out and about as the weather warms up, one that is good for the mind and gentle on the body, one that all ages and abilities can enjoy and which is fun and social, why not give croquet a try? It won't cost you anything to start and you may end up making some new friends over a glass or two of local wine enjoyed in a little corner of paradise.
Insta: @morningtoncroquet W: croquetvic.asn.au
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BUILD YOUR SKILLS AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS Are you a business owner that is not sure about social media, confused about marketing, or looking to grow your business? Businesses can now take advantage of the next round of free workshops, webinars and networking opportunities offered through the Shire’s dedicated business website; MPBusiness. com.au. It’s a great resource to help businesses find business tips, ideas, insights and tools to help them grow.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire supports local businesses by providing access to resources that help them to learn, innovate and grow. The dedicated business website hosts the latest business news, useful information as well as invitations to networking events, workshops, seminars and more. Find out what is available at: W: mpbusiness.com.au/upskill
Join other small business people at a face-to-face workshop or live webinar on a topic relevant to your business needs. Choose from a range of short impactful sessions and learn about selling online, social media and content marketing, cyber security, employing staff and more. Get independent business advice on your budget, marketing ideas or staffing strategy at a confidential session with the Small Business Mentoring Service, book yourself in for a visit to the Small Business Bus or join the new structured business mentoring program that is tailored to the individual business’ needs.
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Small business owners Neil Williams and Sophie Glover, Cook Street Collective, Flinders
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By Andrea Louise Thomas Photos Yanni
Donkey Love Therapy is an idyllic 6.5-acre property in Balnarring. It’s a place where people go to escape, learn and heal. It’s a place where people with disability and/or mental illness, who have fallen through the cracks in society can be seen, heard and transformed by the healing power of nature. It’s a place where anything can happen. The property features gardens, mediation spaces, a lake with an island, quiet places to sit and contemplate, creative spaces for arts, woodworking or gardening and four miniature donkeys named Sebastian, Angela, Bentley and Georgina. Owner, Michelle Lowe, trained them to be therapy animals using love, kindness, gentleness and trust. The donkeys reflect those qualities back. Michelle believes there is no better healing environment than nature and no better therapy animal than the miniature donkey. “Donkeys have the same personality traits as dogs. They wag their tails when they are happy, follow people for their company, pick up on human emotions and comfort them when needed,” Michelle says. continued page 22...
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She adds, “They also have an extra level of sensitivity, a sense of humour and very flexible thinking. Where other companion animals usually bond with one person, donkeys can relate to lots of different kinds of people and bond with anyone. They make people feel good by accepting them without judgment.” Michelle’s mission is to help people discover what they’re good at, then foster a ‘can do’ attitude so they walk away with a sense of purpose and pride. And it works! Guests to the property can paint, write, sculpt, arrange flowers, garden, make things, commune with nature or work with the donkeys. Each person gets individualised therapy based on their needs and interests.
“No one has really looked at nature as a setting for healing. Traditional therapy has its place, but it’s an artificial environment. Nature is real and a pathway for learning without rules, fear or judgment,” Michelle says. “The benefit of working with animals is their pure acceptance. They are very intuitive and sense a person’s character. I had a very cranky old lady in a group. Bentley came over and put his head in her lap. She cried. It changed her. He had given her the gift of acceptance. Donkeys are healers for everyone,” she says.
The benefit of working with animals is their pure acceptance
This approach has seen amazing results. A virtually nonverbal girl with autism worked with the donkeys and now she’s a chatterbox. An entirely non-verbal boy with autism learned to communicate using storyboards. A woman in her thirties with mental illness, rejected by her family, learned how to live independently. There are dozens of stories like this.
She adds, “Animals teach you humility, joy, respect and selflessness. They make you feel special because they choose you based on your soul, on who you are, not what you are or what you have. People can learn from this.” After they have spent a short time working with the donkeys, Michelle can discover what each person needs and what they can achieve. Michelle spent most of her professional life working as a makeup artist in film and television. She got to travel the world and continued page 24...
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S C H O L A R S H I P A P P L I C AT I O N S N O W O P E N At Woodleigh, we are searching for the next generation of Adventurous Minds – curious students who continuously question, searching for knowledge and understanding. We are seeking students with a love of learning; students who try their best every day, whose application, effort, and engagement mean that they will find success in almost everything they do.
TESTING: SATURDAY 20 AUGUST APPLICATIONS CLOSE: FRIDAY 12 AUGUST www.woodleigh.school/enrol
Nature is a place where you can let your fear go and just take in what’s around you work with fascinating creative people, but the glitz and glamour of all that doesn’t compare to the satisfaction she gets from what she does now. Donkey Love Therapy is changing people’s lives. Animal Assisted Therapy can help with depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, emotional regulation, stress and anger management, low self-esteem and more. It’s also useful in developing social skills. At Donkey Love Therapy, the donkeys connect to people on both an emotional and energetic level building a transformative bond of respect and trust. The donkeys are only one aspect of Michelle’s beautiful property. There are a number of different walks, places and spaces to breathe
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it all in and allow the power of nature to relax and heal people. “Nature is a place where you can let your fear go and just take in what’s around you,” Michelle says. While she would not say so herself, Michelle is a healer too. She recognises the beauty and worth in all people and guides them to reach their highest potential. She finds out what makes a person feel good about him/herself and then instils in them that ‘I can’ attitude so that people can achieve things that they never thought possible. W: donkeylovetherapy.com.au
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By Liz Bell Photos Gary Sissons
ucked away on the fringes of suburbia between Mornington and Frankston is a natural wonderland where visitors can see some of Australia’s most remarkable and precious native animals.
Johnson says he imagined a place where people could experience the rare and unusual animals that roam the Australian bush. Each animal has been hand-picked to fulfill his lifelong plan to help halt the rapid extinction of animal species in Australia.
Moonlit Sanctuary – the lifelong hobby of owner Michael Johnson – is a few acres of paradise for nature lovers and a safe and feral-free home to a range of native critters and is playing an important role in education and conservation.
In 1996 he travelled to the Durrell Foundation’s Conservation Academy in Jersey, which had been at the forefront of wildlife preservation for decades. There he took take part in an endangered species breeding course for conservation professionals.
Johnson is the peninsula’s own version of British naturalist Gerald Durrell – or Steve Irwin for younger readers – who has had a fascination and love for Australia’s native animals since he was a boy. He is deservedly proud of the wildlife park he helped build from scratch around 21 years ago. It started small when it opened in 2001, but today there are more than 70 native species at Moonlit Sanctuary, all housed in environments as close to their natural habitat as possible, and all kept secure from predators.
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In the 1990s, the Johnson family bought a 25-acre former farm and pony club in Pearcedale and began its three-year redevelopment as a sanctuary for native wildlife. Now an ark for endangered creatures, the sanctuary is a living classroom, where staff encourage and help children and adults to unlock the mystery of Australian mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, insects and amphibians in a natural bush setting. continued page 28...
70 years of Knowledge Expertise Partnership Since 1952, the Crowder name has been part of life and business on the Mornington Penisula. Crowders Real Estate was established by Michael Crowder’s grandfather John and his Uncle Ian. Michael’s father Geoff joined the business in 1958 and together they created one of the areas’ largest and most successful real estate agencies. Crowders was credited with establishing much of the Frankston CBD and strongly influencing development on the Peninsula. 70 years later, Michael Crowder in partnership with Richard Wraith continue to serve the community with the regions’ largest and most successful commercial and industrial real estate agency.
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Johnson says the sanctuary’s activities range from breeding and releasing endangered species, to critical habitat restoration and encouraging visitors to become wildlife champions. It is an ideal place for overseas visitors to get a glimpse of some of the country’s elusive nocturnal animals, but also for locals to learn more about the fascinating animals that call Australia home.
Johnson said that as the native mouse was formerly found on the peninsula and as Moonlit Sanctuary had successfully maintained pookila in the past, it stepped up and successfully applied for emergency funds from the Wildlife Conservation Fund of the Zoo and Aquarium Association when the species was identified as being at risk of extinction.
Last month, the MP for Holt Cassandra Fernando led a ceremony at the wildlife conservation park to mark the opening of the new small mammal conservation breeding centre.
The money was used for a building to establish and maintain a sustainable captive population of the pookila as insurance against extinction with the aim of releasing the offspring to the wild.
The centre will play a vital role in sustaining population numbers for critically endangered native small mammal species beginning with breeding the pookila, which once was found in the local area. Derived from the Ngarigo word for mouse – bugila – pookila (pronounced poo-kee-lah) was adopted by the federal government in 1995 as the indigenous name for the species also known as the New Holland mouse. The population decline is due to habitat loss including from drought, feral predators, competition from non-native rodent species, loss of genetic diversity and the effects of the 2019-20 bushfires.
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Genetically diverse breeding pairs will be housed at the new centre at Moonlit Sanctuary and also at Melbourne Zoo. “This new facility will help Moonlit safeguard the Pookila against extinction, while also allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of how the species breeds and responds to a changing environment,” Johnson said. “The small mammals conservation breeding centre will further Moonlit Sanctuary as a conservation hub for native species with programs already in place for the orange-bellied parrot, spot-tailed quoll, and regent honeyeater.” Johnson said he was lucky to be able to fulfil his ambition to care and protect native animals and to play a role in raising awareness of species loss, human encroachment and the importance of protecting what is left. “We thank every visitor who comes through our doors and experiences Moonlit Sanctuary, especially those who connect with wildlife they have never seen or heard of before,” he said. “It is our hope that each connection creates awareness of the animal’s plight, and that together we can help halt their extinction, so that future generations wil experience the joy of their company.”
Visitors to the sanctuary can explore the bushland while feeding kangaroos and wallabies, patting koalas and enjoying encounters with wombats and dingoes. As the sun sets, Moonlit Sanctuary comes alive with lantern-lit guided tours. Night birds are active, kangaroos come out to play, gliders swoop around and endangered quolls, pademelons and bettongs forage for food. “It is an amazing way to get close up to Australia’s fascinating wildlife, offering opportunity to meet a wide variety of animals in their natural nocturnal environment where they are really active, busily interacting with each other and their visitors,” Johnson said. The sanctuary is involved in programs to save from extinction the spot-tailed quoll, Tasmanian devil, squirrel glider, regent honeyeater, helmeted honeyeater, orange-bellied parrot, bush stone-curlew and pookila mouse. Moonlit Sanctuary, 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Road, Pearcedale, opens 10am to 5pm weekdays and 9.30am to 5pm weekends. Bookings are essential and can be made online. W: moonlitsanctuary.com.au
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PUT YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD TO WIN A BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARD If you’re one of our 15,800 local businesses and need something exciting to look forward to, then put yourself forward for a 2022 Mornington Peninsula Business Excellence Award. The awards will showcase the range of local businesses and industries who demonstrate excellence, innovation and sustainability in their field. They are one of the highest honours a business can receive on our Peninsula. There are nine categories to apply for including: • Creative Industries
• Trade, Building and Construction
• Health and Community
• Agriculture and Manufacturing
• Start Up
Any business operating in the Mornington Peninsula Shire municipality is eligible to enter. Nominations open on Monday 1 August and close 11 September so why not enter? It’s a short and easy process, and it’s online. The winners of the Awards will be announced at a Gala Ceremony held at the Mornington Racecourse on Wednesday 19 October 2022. There are two information sessions planned for businesses to find out how to nominate themselves and ask questions: in person at Mornington Library on 17 August, 6-8pm, or online on 18 August, 10 – 11am. Come and be part of the best awards ever!
• Professional Services One deserving category award winner will also be selected as Business of the Year. The awards offer business owners and operators the chance to gain recognition for their resilience, innovation and adaptation, to create further business opportunities and network with other entrepreneurial businesses.
MORNINGTON PENINSULA BUSINESS AWARDS
Supporting and celebrating local business mpbusiness.com.au/businessawards
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Mornington Peninsula Business
BE LIKE billy baxter
By Liz Bell Photos Yanni
VEN for people who know very little about football, the name Billy Baxter rings of luminary fame, like the pseudonym or alliterative moniker of a screen star or wanna-be pop star.
For those who don’t know, that name is attached to one of Australia’s most ‘under-the-radar’ and down-to-earth superstars of the entertainment sector, who says he was “shocked”, “humbled” and “grateful” for the recent honour of an Order of Australia Medal.
The award is not just for Billy’s 42years of non-stop involvement in the music industry as performer and broadcaster, but also as author and actor, and for his part as a team player in that loveable, long-running, radio footy program The Coodabeen Champions, alongside Jeff Richardson, Ian Cover, Jeff "Torch" McGee, Simon Whelan, Andy Bellairs and Greg Champion, all of who made the Queen’s Birthday OAM list for 2022. August 2022
continued next page...
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Billy was initially so surprised about his Order of Australia Medal for services to the performing arts and to radio, he figured it must be “a prank”.
I look back and am proud of having been part of the Australian music scene since the '80s, and I love seeing young artists have a go
“It was almost like something we could have 'pranked' on the Coodabeens, so I just wasn’t sure at first when I received the letter; then I realised it was genuine and I was quite humbled,” he said.
Of course, the ever-modest broadcaster and performer has accepted the compliment with genuine pride, as he does when I tell him the ‘Coodabeens’ have legendary status in my world, and the worlds of hundreds of thousands of listeners who have grown up with them.
As part of The Coodabeen Champions he has been on air since 1981 when the show kicked off on community station 3RRR before moving to the ABC for the next 27 years. He has also co-presented on 774 ABC, ABC Victoria and Tasmania (19881995), co-presented on 3AW (1995-2003), and was a founding presenter of 102.7 3RRR (1981-1988). In 2003, Billy was inducted into the MCG Hall of Fame, which cemented his position among Australia’s football ‘royalty’. But there is so much more to the versatile Billy Baxter, and long before he gained fame from a footy show like no other, he had earned his performance badge as a musician.
At 63 and living on the Mornington Peninsula for the past 15 years to “escape the rat race”, Billy says it delights him that the Coodabeens have at least three generations of audience, even after moving from their long-time home of the ABC to their new “but basically the same” gig at ACE Radio's 3MP. He says the move gives the AFL radio show a wider reach in regional Victoria, while still keeping the loyal Coodabeen fans listening and laughing.
His name was best known in the '80s and '90s, which were the halcyon eras of live music and international recognition of Australian rock ‘n roll. He has been lead vocalist of Ghetto Blasters, Big Fans of Jesus, the Hollow Men, and also worked as a solo artist in the early '90s.
“We have little kids who listen because their dad or mum listen, and they in turn listen because their mum or dad listened, so there are generations of families who know the Coodabeens and have welcomed us into their homes,” he said.
A sometime author, Billy has penned a few books, including Half a Chicken and Chips (2021), Coodabeen Champions: 40 Footy Seasons (2020), The Coodabeen Champions Take a Good Hard Look at Australia (1992), The Coodabeen Champions Big Book of Things (1992) and The Coodabeen Champions Big Bumper Footy Book (1990)
“That’s pretty special.” What many new Coodabeen fans wouldn’t know is that Billy’s links to broadcasting span four decades.
If you watch it closely, you might even notice a slightly younger Billy as part of the rock group The Cicadas, in the cult comedy Spotswood, in 1991.
He even has a “day job” as a gardener and has earned quite a reputation on the peninsula for his flair in landscaping and design. But despite all his personal successes and accolades, Billy says he is proudest of the mentorship and encouragement he and his
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fellow musicians have provided for younger musicians coming up through the ranks, particularly in the latter part of the '80s and '90s when every second teenager had a garage band and many morphed into headline acts. “I love the peninsula. I love that the beach is at the end of my street and I can either be there after a 10 minute drive I can be in the country,” he said. “And having brought up a kid, believe me a beach nearby is ‘free fun’. “But if there was one thing I could do to improve the peninsula it would be to strengthen the live music scene. “We need to provide more spaces for young artists to perform in intimate, non-intimidating settings, and we need places where people can go regularly to listen to live music and hear what’s out there.
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“I’d really like to see the kids who are playing music get a chance on stage, to hear what they have to offer.”
Although his own participation in the music industry today involves listening more than playing, he fulfils that mentoring passion these days by jamming with his 17-year-old son Gulliver.
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“Sometimes we just sit in the bungalow and play guitar, and it’s great, I love it,” he said.
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THE ESSENCE ON THE PENINSULA
ome to a vast array of artisans, the Mornington Peninsula and Bayside regions brim with galleries, arts centres, and merchants to keep cultureseekers and craft collector's appetites satiated. Visit one of the many available exhibitions, take in a show, or if you’re lucky, bring a piece of art home to enjoy in your own home, framed with precision.
Everything you need to fill the space, whether in the mind or on your walls is at your fingertips in this innovative, creative corner of the world.
FILLING HOMES AND GARDENS WITH LIGHT The Mornington Peninsula is graced with countless narratives of boutique businesses driven by a passion and love for this land and our seasons – but few hold the global stature Gordon Studio Glassblowers does. The simple truth is, not many among our 8 billion-human population are capable of evolving a skill that has been practised since the middle of 1st Century BC. Such skills – and active artists with this experience and talent – are usually reserved for audiences in the artistic and cultural capitals of the world; New York, Berlin, Montreal or Milan. But here on our doorstep, we’re extremely proud that the Gordon Family and their business call Red Hill, and the Mornington Peninsula, home. Studio and Gallery open every day 10am – 5pm. Contact for commission sculptures and installations:
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A: 290 Red Hill Road, cnr. Dunns Creek Road FB: @gordonstudioglassblowers E: email@example.com P: 5989 7073 W: gordonstudio.com.au August 2022
STUNNING SEASON OF ENTERTAINMENT CLOSE TO HOME What do Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, David Strassman, Mark Vincent and David Hobson have in common? They will all be performing in Frankston this year. A perfect destination for date night, girls’ night out, or school holiday fun, Frankston Arts Centre brings your favourite artists to the peninsula so you can save money on fuel and tickets. With big names and theatre productions regularly touring to Frankston, there is no need to travel into the city to see worldclass entertainment. With over three hundred performances annually, the theatre and art gallery is one of the busiest venues in Victoria with lower ticket prices than you can find in Melbourne. Over the coming months, there is something for everyone with drama, comedy, children’s shows, dance, live music and physical theatre. Nationally renowned theatre company shake & stir theatre co present a stunning new production of Jane Eyre on Wednesday 17 August. Charlotte Brontë’s iconic gothic tale has been boldly adapted for the stage with original music by multi ARIA Award winner Sarah McLeod.
Opera Australia brings their riotous production of The Barber of Seville to the main stage on Saturday 3 September, with a cast of some of Australia’s finest opera singers and a live chamber orchestra. Australia’s most successful tenor, Mark Vincent, will present his new show The Impossible Dream for local audiences on Sunday 4 September including a rich repertoire of classical songs, arias and Broadway hits. A comedian and an opera singer’s worlds will collide on Sunday 9 October when David Hobson and Colin Lane perform together ‘In Tails’ which is sure to enthral and entertain. If you love comedy, you will not want to miss David Strassman in The Chocolate Diet on 28 to 30 October. From the classics to contemporary performances, you can see it all close to home at Frankston Arts Centre. Keep up to date about upcoming shows at thefac.com.au and subscribe to e-news to hear first about new shows on sale. W: thefac.com.au
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ABORIGINAL ART AT EVERYWHEN What started as a one-off pop-up exhibition in the Flinders Village Cafe in February 2009 presented by art writers and gallery directors Susan McCulloch OAM and Emily McCulloch Childs, has grown to become a leading gallery that represents some of Australia's most prestigious Aboriginal artists, as well as those of mid-career and rising star status. Backgrounding the gallery and the wide range of works in its exhibition program and regularly changing displays, is the McCullochs' 30+ year experience as art writers and book publishers on Australian and Aboriginal art. Everywhen’s August exhibition features black and white based paintings, barks and sculptures. While most of the works are monochrome, others include complementary colors of reds, ochres, and deep blues.
Janet Golder Kngwarreye's "My Country' series and barks and ceremonial poles from East Arnhem Land in neutral natural materials. "There's a great mix of the contemporary and traditional in black and white which works well in both a domestic or business setting," says Susan. In Black & White runs August 12-30 View online and in the gallery Everywhen Artspace - Open Fridays-Tuesday 11- 4 A: 39 Cook Street, Flinders P: 5989 0496 W: everywhenart.com.au
"Black and white has been an enduring theme in Aboriginal art for many decades," says Susan McCulloch. "Paring back the colors allows the design elements to shine." More the 30 works include acrylic paintings from the Western and Central Desert, the Kimberley, Utopia, the APY Lands and Arnhem Land. Highlights include a lyrical black, white and pink work by the APY Land's Raylene Walatinna and Daisy Barney; monochrome versions of Utopia artist
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Raylene Walatinna and Daisy Barney, Ngura (Country), 122 x 167 cm.
DROMANA PICTURE FRAMING & GALLERY Great advice, friendly service, creative solutions It’s not a new concept, framing artwork. It is, though, always rewarding to place that treasured piece up on the mantle, on the wall or in the office. At Dromana Picture Framing and Gallery, the consults ensure that by the time your artwork is presented in its new frame, you know you will have received a professionally made, high quality product tailored specifically to your needs. A perfect collaboration between you and their team. Not sure where to start? Heading to Dromana Picture Framing & Gallery is the right step. For each consultation, a member of the team is there to guide you and to discuss your preferences, options and provide recommendations for each piece. That painting that was once rolled up in a tube, those photos that had slipped in their old frames, broken glass, even the kids’ art projects. Whatever your piece may be, if you want it on the wall,
The craftsmanship, experience and affordable pricing is both accessible and consistent. In recent years the business has expanded into a warehouse, just off the café strip of Dromana. The industrial walls are adorned with an ever-evolving collection of trending art prints, ethical, traditional and contemporary Indigenous paintings, local artists’ photography and plenty of framing examples as inspiration for your own framing. Come in and say hello! No appointment necessary; bring your items and have a chat with one of the friendly, creative staff. They will discuss what you are looking for, offer the most suitable framing options and have your artwork back to you in a few weeks. They can even deliver and hang your finished pieces. Open 9am -5pm Monday to Friday and 10am -2pm on Saturday.
they are here to help you get it there and looking its best. They believe in long lasting customer relationships, offering great advice and friendly service with creative solutions, taking the stress out of framing artwork of all shapes and sizes.
A: 8 Beach Street, Dromana P: 5981 8535 FB: @dromanapictureframing
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2022 NATIONAL WORKS ON PAPER: MPRG EXHIBITION National Works on Paper (NWOP) is one of the foremost art awards and exhibitions in the country, attracting Australia’s leading contemporary artists working with paper. NWOP presents a survey of contemporary art-making, celebrating the medium of paper in all its different forms. Close to 900 artists from across Australia submitted entries for NWOP 2022, with 78 finalists selected by the judging panel. The finalists’ works capture the inexhaustible malleability of paper and how artists use and transform it, pushing and pulling the medium to its limits. For the first time in NWOP history, the exhibition will take over the whole gallery space – giving artworks in the exhibition the prominence they deserve. MPRG Director Danny Lacy says: “We love presenting NWOP every two years and highlighting the amazing work that artists are making across the country with paper. NWOP is a biennial award, a curated exhibition, a celebration of the materiality of paper, a showcase of the ambition and experimentation of artists, and an important avenue to help the MPRG build our collection.” NATIONAL WORKS ON PAPER 2022
NWOP SUPPORTS AND PROMOTES CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS WORKING ON OR WITH PAPER
13 AUGUST — 27 NOVEMBER 2022
The Mornington Peninsula Shire has provided funding for NWOP including the main acquisitive award of $20,000. The Friends of Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery continue their patronage of acquisitions and the Ursula Hoff Foundation has supported the Ursula Hoff Institute Emerging Artist Acquisitive award. Artist and 2022 NWOP judge Jenna Lee says: “Outside the white walls of a gallery, paper is a part of our everyday lives, and it’s that almost mundane, everyday quality that I find the most special. When artists work with paper as their subject, material, and medium there is a transformation that happens. We take an accessible, common, almost universal substance and through our interactions and interventions with its surface, reveal and elevate its beauty. Here in National Works on Paper (NWOP) at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, this transformation and elevation of paper takes centre stage.” The 2022 NWOP judging panel includes Clothilde Bullen, Head of Indigenous Programs and Curator, Art Gallery of Western Australia; Max Delany, Artistic Director and CEO, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Jenna Lee, artist, designer and NWOP finalist in 2020 and Danny Lacy, Director, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. The winner of the $20,000 Major Acquisitive Award will be announced on Saturday 13 August.
A: Civic Reserve, Dunns Rd, Mornington P: 5950 1580 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au
MORNINGTON PENINSULA REGIONAL GALLERY CIVIC RESERVE, DUNNS RD, MORNINGTON VIC 3931 WWW.MPRG.MORNPEN.VIC.GOV.AU Graham Badari, Namarrkon (Lightning Man) 2021, ochre and acylic on Arches paper. Courtesy of the artist and Injalak Arts, Gunbalanya NT
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Tiger Yaltangki: AC/DC, 2021. Acrylic paint on paper and found poster Courtesy of the artist and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne June 2022
COLOUR IN WINTER Nissarana Galleries Mornington is giving a timely reprieve to the colder months and grey skies by focusing on artworks of both strong and subtle colour that enhance and give zest even on the dullest of days. ‘Colour In Winter’ is the August exhibition which offers an uplifting experience to the viewer with the dimensions of colour and space being the primary aspects that influence the psyche and gladden the spirit. These artworks on exhibition are for both the passionate art follower and for those needing to add colour to their walls, thereby brightening living spaces and completing their interior designs. The Exhibition includes artwork from highly acclaimed artists Colin Passmore, Graham Jones, Philippe de Kraan, Laurel Foenander, Mary Raphael, Haydar Ekinek, Visuddhacara, Maggi Turner, Yeats Gruin, Justine Kuran as well as premium Indigenous artists Bianca Gardiner-Dodd, Chad Briggs, Margaret Scobie, Jacinta Hayes, Lindsay Bird Mpetyane, Karen Bird Ngale, Barbara Leo Kamara, Ethan James Kotiau and many more. The works by these artists assist the purchaser with adding beauty to their home which is essential for mental happiness and subsequently mental wellbeing as well acquiring something of value that will appreciate in the years to come. Art when purchased correctly is an investment for both the individual and superannuation funds. Visit the gallery in store open 7 days per week or view the catalogue online.
A: P: M: E: Insta: W:
211 Main St, Mornington 5976 8877 0474 496 222 email@example.com nissaranagalleries nissaranagalleries.com.au
Laurel Foenander - Yellow Tails and the milky Way August 2022
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VICTORIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP AT MOONAH LINKS Moonah Links will be proudly hosting the Victorian PGA Championship in November 2022.
The Open Course has also hosted the Final Stage of our Qualifying School since 2017, so this further solidifies what is an already very strong relationship between the PGA of Australia and Moonah Links.”
This year, the format will be slightly different as the size of the field has increased. Both the Legends and Open Courses will be played on the first two rounds with the Peter Thomson-designed Open Course – host to the 2003 and 2005 Australian Opens – to determine the champion over the final two rounds.
The Victorian PGA Celebrity Amateur Classic will again take place in conjunction with the Vic PGA; they will give amateur golfers the unique opportunity to participate in a fully-sanctioned PGA Tour of Australasia event on two championship golf courses.
PGA of Australia Tournaments Director Australasia, Nick Dastey commented: “Moonah Links occupies an important place in tournament golf in this country and we’re thrilled that it is again hosting an ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia event.
The field will be made up of professionals who will pair with amateurs (including leading celebrities) with the top 25 amateurs to make the cut and the top eight getting to play all four rounds. “Playing across two very different but equally challenging golf courses is unique in itself and with the history associated with Moonah Links I feel very fortunate that it was the site of my maiden PGA Tour of Australasia title.” said 2020 Champion Chris Wood.
During a difficult couple of years for tournament golf, Moonah Links stepped in and hosted back-to-back events, giving our Tour Professionals a safe environment in which to showcase their skills. They are outstanding golf courses, the facilities are world-class and the format of the tournament will ensure professionals and amateurs alike get to experience all Moonah Links has to offer.
(03) 9588 2000
WEEKLY SPECIALS TUESDAY NIGHT Crispy Fried Chicken
Served with apple slaw, jalapeno and corn waffles, spicy tangy butter sauce and chips, cheese & gravy. 1/2 chicken = $25 Full chicken = $50
THURSDAY NIGHT Steak Night for Two
400g Porterhouse Steak with triple cooked chips, sautéed broccolini, honey roasted carrots & jus. Includes two complimentary glasses of red = $100
SUNDAY NIGHT All-you-can-eat Roast Buffet
$45 per person Selection of appetizers, hot buffet, sides, salads AND desserts
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Golf Courses PLAY AND STAY ALL YEAR ROUND Consistently ranked top 50 in Australia by both Golf Australia and Golf Digest, Portsea is a true championship 18-hole course. Set amongst rolling sand dunes, coastal vegetation and with spectacular views across Port Philip Bay, the fast-draining fairways allow perfect playing conditions all year round, including in the middle of winter. Firm and bouncy with rugged, craggy bunkers, it is as much fun as it is both challenging and charming. It is renowned for very tricky (and spectacular) short par 4’s.
So whether it’s a romantic getaway, golf escape or a corporate event the Portsea Golf club can assist with all your needs.
Will, just one of the friendly staff ready to make you golf-ready
Less than 90 minutes from Melbourne, it is the Mornington Peninsula’s "must play" golfing destination. The club has its own 24 room “boutique” Mercure Hotel making it a perfect "must stay" after a round of golf. The rooms have private balconies (with views over the course and bay), ensuite, large LCD television and modern hotel conveniences including a wonderful breakfast, which can be taken while you enjoy a stunning vista across the bay.
Nothing beats lunch on the deck
The Pro-shop can provide hire clubs, buggies and carts along with the best range of golf attire, shoes and equipment.
The Mornington Peninsula’s Number 1 Destination for Stay & Play Play & Stay
46 London Bridge Road, Portsea Victoria Golf: (03) 5981 6155 portseagolf.com.au Hotel: (03) 5981 6100
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MELBOURNE'S PREMIER GOLF AND RESIDENTIAL ESTATE Located just five minutes from EastLink, Peninsula Link and the Monash Freeway, Sandhurst Club is much more than just a golfer’s dream. Offering easy access to two championship
So, if you’re looking for a casual round with mates, a new golf club to call home or your next corporate event to entertain guests, come and experience the vibrant Sandhurst Club.
golf courses designed by Peter Thomson AO, CBE, Sandhurst is set amongst a residential resort with all the modern facilities including a state of the art Clubhouse, Health Club featuring a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and steam room and multiple dining experiences from a Members’ Bar, a la carte Hillview Restaurant and casual outdoor piazza.
A: 75 Sandhurst Boulevard, Sandhurst P: 8787 7011 W: sandhurst.com
A wide range of golf membership options are available to best match benefits to every golfer’s needs, ranging from a flexible point-based membership through to full five, six and seven day options. Sandhurst Club is also a hugely popular for social groups, charity events and corporate golf days. With full event management on offer, as well as high-quality catering, provision of prizes and a fleet of 45 motorised gps carts, it is the perfect location for golf events of any size.
2 COURSES, 1 MEMBERSHIP! • • • • • • •
36 championship holes Visitors and social groups welcome Sunday to Thursday Corporate golf event specialists 5, 6 & 7 day membership options Flexible Lifestyle membership available Modern Clubhouse & facilities Located just 5 minutes from EastLink and Peninsula Link sandhurst.com · (03) 8787 7011
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Golf Courses YOUR NEXT TRIP TO ST ANDREWS BEACH JUST GOT SWEETER
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St Andrews Beach needs little introduction. It’s a golf course that simply captivates and stuns golfers from the moment they walk out onto the first tee. Visually superb and architecturally sublime, the St Andrews Beach layout lends itself perfectly to sprawling sand dunes and incredible beach-side terrain, providing for an unforgettable golf experience. This time of year, a trip to St Andrews Beach is even sweeter! Simply book online and pre-pay 18 holes (midweek) and you'll receive a bonus 6-pack of tasty brews! Head down to the magnificent St Andrews Beach Brewery to pick them up after your round! Whilst many courses struggle to keep up with wild winter weather, St Andrews Beach always remains dry with its incredible natural drainage and soil profile over the cooler months.
Book 18 holes of golf online at St Andrews Beach and score FREE 6 pack of takeaway beers from St Andrews Beach Brewery!* *see website for T&Cs
With no mud on your ball and plenty of carts available all year round, it’s a great time to book your next unforgettable round at St Andrews Beach Golf Course! Visit the website for more info and to book. W: standrewsbeachgolf.com.au/midweekpromo
SEE WHAT YOU’RE MISSING AT BAY VIEWS GOLF COURSE Elizabeth Drive, Rosebud
come see what you’re missing
Recent years have seen Bay Views Golf Course reaffirm its position as ‘the course the locals love’, largely thanks to the outstanding condition the course has been kept in combined with the tremendous value available for players hitting the track both midweek and on weekends. Players are treated to spectacular scenery throughout their visit; commencing at the supremely positioned elevated first tee, continuing throughout the entirety of the undulating 18 hole golf course and culminating at the newly refurbished ‘19th hole’ which features a modern alfresco area with sweeping landscape views. With 7 day access starting from just $329 per year, regular visitors may wish to consider one of the many pass options available at Bay Views which provide additional course access and even greater value for money at the venue.
7 day access starting from $329/year!
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As one of the few public course’s players can still access on a Saturday, Bay Views is proud to be open to all players - 7 days a week!
GOLF, BOWLS AND A SOCIAL DESTINATION Rosebud Country Club (RCC) is proving to be one of the most improved facilities on the Mornington Peninsula. Starting on August 30, RCC will be the first host of a DP World Tour Qualifying school event outside of Europe, something the Club is very proud of. RCC is thriving with record membership, record playing numbers and outstanding reviews of its golf courses. It offers high quality golf across 2 courses, and recent works to the North course have highlighted the quality of the property. The Club has recently engaged Ogilvy Cocking Mead (OCM) Golf Course Design to develop a full course Master Plan which will ensure its members will enjoy outstanding golf for many years to come.
bunkers. With over 20 driving range bays, and a large area of quality turf to practice from, it is a facility that keeps delivering on growing your game. Rosebud Country Club is famous for its atmosphere post golf in the Clubhouse with a very friendly and social membership base. With great golf on offer, their membership is outstanding value which ensures the Club is one of the leading golfing facilities on the Mornington Peninsula. A: 207 Boneo Rd, Rosebud P: 5950 0800 W: rosebudcountryclub.com.au
RCC is situated in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula with easy access via Peninsula Link. Located just 100 metres from the Clubhouse, Fairways Resort is the perfect accommodation option. Offering 39 rooms it is a great choice for your stay and play on the Peninsula. Staying on-site ensures you are the Club’s honorary guest where you enjoy fantastic rates and offers on food and beverage and a large range of golf apparel and merchandise. The Club also has fantastic practice facilities, with a driving range, chipping and putting greens as well as varying practice
ROSEBUD COUNTRY CLUB # SINCE1962 36 Holes of Championship Golf ~ Driving Range Memberships Available ~ Green Fee Players Welcome Restaurant & Bar ~ Bowls Club ~ Accommodation
www.rosebudcountryclub.com.au Clubhouse (03) 5950 0800 Golf Shop (03) 5950 0888
SEPTEMBER 2022 HOST VENUE
E ssence | 45
Eat & Drink
WORLD class act
By Andrea Louise Thomas Photos Yanni & Supplied
I E ssence
46 | PENINSULA
n the sleepy little seaside village of Flinders, you’ll find something quite unexpected. Where the Flinders Bakehouse used to be, is an unassuming little restaurant called Moke. The surprise is inside where you’ll find one of Australia’s finest chefs; world class, in fact. Like the restaurant itself, there is nothing pretentious about owner/ chef Michael Cole, which is all the more remarkable considering his achievements.
Michael won Foodservice Australia’s Chef of the Year twice (2019, 2017). In 2019 he also competed for Australia in the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious culinary competition. Only 24 chefs are chosen for The Grand Final in Lyon, France and it takes two years to prepare. Michael and his commis chef, Laura Skvor, were placed fourteenth out of the 52 countries competing.
Sharing is the gift of being a part of something, giving and experiencing a moment. It encourages conversation
Destiny may have played a part in Michael becoming a chef. When he was a toddler, he had a serious accident that took many years to fully recover from. Consequentially, he spent years in the garden and kitchen with his mother picking, foraging, cooking and building a close bond with her and with food. They were living the paddock to plate ideal. He developed his palate and passion for cooking at a very young age. Michael grew up in Mansfield, where he started working in his first restaurant kitchen at fifteen. He was chosen out of high school to apprentice under Austrian chef, Christian Bergmoser. Michael quickly established a reputation as a naturally gifted chef and all the best places in town wanted him. Bergmoser set Michael up with weekly one-on-one tuition with a Swiss chef. By his second year, he was writing the menu.
He learned the best French cooking techniques to enhance flavours. In Japan, he learned the value of simplicity – creating perfection with the freshest ingredients. He brings these skills to his current menu.
What drew Michael to cooking in the first place was the sensory experience; the smells, colours and flavours. What has kept him in the game is the unending opportunities to learn. “You open one door and there are ten more. The more you learn, the more you realise there’s more to learn. Cooking also opens you to culture and history. It gives you a reason to travel; to explore new cultures and the cuisines attached to them. I also love the fast pace of the kitchen. It’s exciting,” he says. At Moke, Michael aims to give diners a taste of his consummate experience offering exemplary dining in a relaxed space. He loves cooking on the Mornington Peninsula because its unique climate produces beautiful fresh produce and superb wines. On its menu, Moke features 27 different local wineries and a few iconic international ones. Moke capitalises on all the best producers.
To complete his training, Michael went to William Angliss Institute in Melbourne to study Commercial Cookery. He had to commute from Mansfield so he did his training in week-long blocks, studying or working seven days a week. At the end of his apprenticeship, Bergmoser sent Michael to work at Le Gourmet in Melbourne under chef Eric Mohr. Through Mohr, Michael joined chef club, Les Toques Blanc, broadening his network. Then, he started entering competitions and winning. Michael consistently built on his skills, working in high end restaurants at home and abroad. He cooked and tasted his way through France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan – constantly refining his palate. France and Japan had the biggest influence on his cooking. He worked in a former nunnery converted to a bed and breakfast in Nice. He loved going to market every day to choose fresh ingredients for that night’s menu. August 2022
E ssence | 47
Dining at Moke is a set menu refined gastronomic experience over several courses; a tasting journey for all the senses. Diners will have their interest piqued with starters, a first course that intrigues, a main that is nostalgic, a pre-dessert shock and a sweet, but not too sweet, dessert finish. Each dish is beautifully presented with fresh herbs and flowers. Michael wants dining to be a shared experience so the entrees are served to share. “Sharing is the gift of being a part of something,
giving and experiencing a moment; breaking bread together, so to speak. It encourages conversation,” he says. He also says, “Any foodies who haven’t been to Moke should consider it a world class destination on the Peninsula.”
60 Cook St, Flinders MOKEDINING.COM.AU
48 | PENINSULA
recipe MANDARIN CAKE WITH LAVENDER ICE CREAM MANDARIN CAKE Ingredients 6 Organic mandarin’s 300g Pepo farm’s hazelnuts 3 x free range eggs 200g raw sugar 10g baking powder
LAVENDER ICE CREAM Ingredients 500ml organic milk 500ml cream 10 egg yolks 150g sugar 10g organic lavender flowers
Method Cover the mandarins with cold water in a medium pot and gently simmer for 2 hours. Strain the mandarins, discarding the water. Once the mandarins are cool simply puree all of the ingredients until a smooth consistency. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 30 min or until set. You can use a skewer to check the batter is cooked.
Method In a saucepan bring the milk, sugar and cream to a simmer then turn off the heat. Add lavender to the milk and cream and cover with cling film. Add the egg yolks to the milk and cook until 72 degrees – either using a double boiler or Thermomix. Once cooked, Strain the mixture to remove lavender Let the ice cream base ripen for 14 hours before churning in ice
The cake should be firm but moist.
MANDARIN JEL Ingredients 500ml mandarin muice 100g sugar 5g agar agar Method In a saucepan bring all the ingredients to a simmer whilst whisking and continue to stir for approximately 2-3 minutes. Pour the sauce into a heat proof dish and place into the refrigerator until set (1 hour). Blend the ingredients until completely smooth. Store in a squeeze bottle or pipping bag until needed.
cream machine as manufacturer instructions. Ingredients 3 egg whites 120g gluten free flour 120g sugar 120g melted butter Method Add all the ingredients together and whisk to make a batter. Chill the mixture for 20-30 min. Spread mixture over chosen mat. Bake at 150 degrees for 6 min. Remove after cooking and store in airtight container until needed.
Moke Dining I 60 Cook St, Flinders I 5900 9848 I mokedining.com.au August 2022
E ssence | 49
Locally made lounge furniture
SALE SELECTED FLOOR STOCK
42 Watt Rd, Mornington
HEMP INCREASING IN POPULARITY WITH BACKYARD HENS There are a variety of different options that can be used for chicken bedding and nesting. The most common are straw and hay but these bring problems as they are poor absorbers of moisture so need frequent cleaning and replacement. They are also a tubular fibre which makes them a happy home for parasitic insects and rodents who love to make nests in them.
At Talking Hens we sell a number of different sized hemp bales ranging from small 50L bale to our large 140L bales. We can advise you on exactly what size bale will best suit your chicken coop and how best to use it. When hemp is used in the dry areas of your coop, it will last for well-over a year and greatly supports the health and cleanliness of your backyard chicken environment.
More recently, Industrial hemp fibre has come onto the market and brought with it some significant advantages over traditional bedding materials. Why is this?
We will be holding our annual Winter Series Presentations on Backyard Hens:
Hemp is an exceptional absorber of moisture so can efficiently dry-out chook droppings and allow them to break-down into compost very rapidly. It also has natural antibacterial properties so that any bacteria on your hen’s dirty feet, feathers or droppings has less of a chance to flourish and contaminate freshly laid eggs. Hemp is also a wonderful insulator for nesting boxes and bedding areas to keep them warm and cosy during winter.
Part 1 - Coop Considerations with Backyard Chickens Was held in June 2022 Part 2 - Coop Fit out - Do’s and Don’ts for your hens Was held in July 2022 Part 3 - Common illnesses within the flock Sunday 14 Aug 2022 at 2pm FB: @TalkingHens
There are different types of hemp which can be used for health and medicinal purposes. Some are used by people for ailments while industrial hemp has no nutritional value but is excellent for use in bedding materials for your hens. Hemp that has been used in the coop can go into the compost or put directly onto your vegetable garden after allowing enough time for it to break-down the chicken droppings.
Looking for backyard hens but unsure where to start? Talking Hens is a family business that enjoys backyard hens. We specialise in friendly, egg laying hens with quality products to keep them happy and healthy. There’s nothing like the friendship and entertainment that you receive from our laying hens - a pleasure to be shared!
Talking Hens 3590 Frankston-Flinders Rd Merricks, Vic 3916
Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday 10am to 4pm Closed: Tuesday and Wednesday
For enquiries call Jason 0406 691 231 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: TalkingHens.com.au
E ssence | 51
OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY IN MORNINGTON Vinci Carbone and Nichols Crowder are privileged to be able to offer for sale this outstanding industrial development opportunity located in the heart of Mornington’s industrial precinct with excellent exposure to Watt Road. The property comprises a significant industrial allotment of 14,670 sqm* adjacent to the newly developed Peninsula Business Park and is within close proximity to the showroom precinct of Mornington-Tyabb Road, Peninsula Link and Nepean Highway. An exceptional offering that will appeal to developers or owner occupiers to construct a purpose built facility or, in the case of developers, a multi unit industrial estate or business park (STCA).
52 | PENINSULA
Key highlights: * Substantial main road landholding of 14,670 sqm* * Industrial 3 zoning – allowing for a multitude of businesses * Enormous frontage of 287 metres* * Surrounded by successful businesses and only metres from Nepean Highway and Mornington Tyabb Road Businesses and individuals are drawn to this prominent location due to the significant lifestyle attributes within close proximity, that being the renowned Main Street retail precinct, pristine beaches and world class wineries all at the doorstep of Watt Road.
Access to the arterial network is excellent with Watt Road providing a direct route to Nepean Highway via Yuilles Road, which provides a direct link from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula. Access to the property is also further enhanced by its close proximity to Peninsula Link being an extension of the Mornington Peninsula Freeway.
For any further information or an inspection of the property please contact the exclusive marketing agents below:
Please note: * Inspections are carried out in accordance with strict COVID-19 Directions. For further details contact the Estate Agent. * All information and measurements are approximates. All images subject to copyright. Unauthorised use is strictly prohibited.
Tom Crowder : 0438 670 300
Jamie Stuart: 0412 565 562
E ssence | 53
Mornington is a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, with an area of 13.5 km², and located 57 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. • Mornington's original post office, built in 1863 at the corner of Main Street and The Esplanade, now operates as a museum displaying old telecommunications equipment and items relating to local history. It is the home of the Mornington and District Historical Society. On the other side of Main Street is the old court house (built in 1860) and the former police station lock-up (1862). • An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale struck the town on 2 September 1932 associated with the nearby Selwyn Fault. No injuries or major damage was reported.
Mornington has a long history dating
back to 1802 when explorer Matthew Flinders landed at Schnapper Point. These days, Schnapper Point provides a boat-launching ramp, jetty, yacht club, restaurant and scenic walks providing scenic views along the coast. •
Mornington Central Shopping Centre is
built on the site of the former Mornington railway station. •
Every Wednesday, Mornington Main
Street comes alive with the Street Market. Wednesday market is currently operating as
• The Mornington Pier was built in 1857, and continues to be extended and improved.
a small produce only market during Covid
• Considered to be one of the worst boating accidents in Victoria's history, the Mornington Football Club disaster occurred on the night of May 21st 1892 near Pelican Point just north of Mornington. Fifteen members of the Mornington football team set out earlier that day on the "Process", owned and skippered by Charles Hooper, to play a match at Mordialloc. The remainder of the team travelled by train.
• Mornington has a number of beaches, some of which are located at the base of rocky cliffs which dominate part of the coastline in this area. Along the eastern side of Schnapper Point is the sheltered Mothers Beach and Scout Beach, while Shire Hall Beach and Mills Beach are located further east along the coast. Around a kilometre south of Schnapper Point is Fishermans Beach which ends at the scenic rocky outcrop of Linley Point where there are boat ramps and scenic viewing spots along the coast.
54 | PENINSULA
restrictions. Fossil beach is a significant fossil site with
evidence of Australia’s sea life from 10 to 15 million years ago. The fossils were discovered in 1854 in the limestone cliffs. Most of the fossils have now been removed. Access is via the track from the cliff path near Bentons Road (near the picnic area). •
The Mornington Rose Gardens has
over 4000 roses planted in 86 beds and is surrounded by a border of native Australian trees and shrubs. The concept for the Mornington Rose Gardens was the brainchild of a local businessman, the late Don Gordon who was inspired by the rose garden in Benalla that was situated next to the art gallery. •
The median house price in Mornington is
Population is 25,759 (2021 Census).
Freshly brewed coffee is a must-have for weekends. Here are a few places to check out when you're in this beautiful part of the world.
Coffee Traders 3 BLAKE STREET
With outdoor seating available, and extended trading hours for you to enjoy their delicious coffee.
15 MAIN STREET Home to boutique coffee, cold pressed juice and raw superfood their rustic industrial surrounds provide a warm environment in which to refuel your body the natural way.
The Winey Cow 39A MAIN STREET
Indoor or alfresco dining out front amongst the Main Street atmosphere. Casual vibe combined with quality food and beverages.
2 Left Sisters 98 WATT ROAD
A hidden gem tucked away in the industrial area of Mornington serving amazing chai lattes and housemade treats inside by the fire or via drive through!
What to do Whether it’s wandering down the main street with its cosmopolitan vibe, alfresco cafes lining the paved streets and vast bay views, or losing yourself in the many art galleries and boutique book shops, Mornington is a colourful hub of arts and entertainment. Beaches, wineries, shopping, arts and antiques are all at your fingertips in a township that dates back to 1856. The Mornington Racecourse has a history of 100 years on the current site and continues to host the annual Mornington Cup race days. Photos Yanni
visit mainstreetmornington.com.au to view Mornington trader directory
E ssence | 55
LO C A L
Mornington B U S I N E S S E S
t ia S
e ov Gr ay i lw t nS rdo Go
ol po ter Wa
Eyewear As Individual As You Are
Stocking Paul Taylor Eyeware
o er P pp
Call in Monday to Saturday to enjoy Kay’s renowned expertise and personal service and view the latest fashion and styles in eyewear.
Children’s Shoes FOR over 30 Years
MainStreet Eyecare 57 Main Street, Mornington
Ph: 5975 3235
HOMEWARE, GIFTS, KITCHENWARE & SOUVENIRS
SH OP ON LIN E WIT H CLI CK & COL LEC T
Check out our range of Possum / Merino Clothing
56 | PENINSULA
7/90 Main Street Mornington (Walk through Mall)
79 Main Street, Mornington
Mon - Fri 9.30am - 5pm Saturday 9.30am - 4pm Sunday 11am - 3pm
When you choose Octagon Removals & Storage to move from one home into another, you will benefit from an owner-operated business which takes care and pride on assuring that your belongings are well looked after during the whole process whilst also maintaining our business reputation at the same time. Let us know if you need any assistance with your packing or if you’d simply like us to arrive on the day to collect and transport your belongings to your next home. Have a chat with us and find out how we can assist you.
OPEN 7 DAYS Mon - Fri 9.00-5.30 Sat 9-5 Sun 10-4
03 5976 8868 www.denorhomeswares.com.au • Loyalty Program • Seniors Discounts • Free Gift Wrapping
Make mouth watering dishes with our triple layered enamel cast iron casserole and chef pans! Denor Homewares covers your cooking and entertaining essentials
Shop 3/26 McLaren Place, Mornington (across the carpark from Mornington Central) August 2022
E ssence | 57
ACROSS 1. Oceania, South ... 6. Personal jewellery 11. Bricklaying tools 15. Shade of brown 16. Paris railway 17. Sloping typeface 18. Subservience 21. Kimono-clad hostesses 22. Handgun 23. Famous insurance body (5'1) 24. Scrape by (4,2) 28. Trifling 30. Open & ... case 32. Battle shout (3,3) 35. Thin biscuit 37. Bath 38. Wild rose 40. Stoats 43. Oppressive rulers 45. Severe (illness) 47. Faux pas 48. Beach outfits 52. Creamy dish, chicken ... king (1,2) 53. Bewailing 56. Travel cheat, fare ... 58. Do favour for 60. Waterfall 61. Male relative 62. Band member 64. LA suburb, ... Air 65. Meadow 67. Sluggish 69. Planet's path 72. Evaporated 75. Target 77. Hence 78. Supermarket section 79. The ... Duckling 81. Paint-mixing slab 83. Coupled 84. Common-law spouse (2,5) 86. In a frenzied state 87. Brute 90. English county 92. Tiny amount 93. Spanish Mrs 95. Circled 96. Misused 98. Smites 99. Audacity 100. Tibetan priests 101. Garden shack 102. Pan covers 103. Eyelid inflammation
58 | PENINSULA
104. Better 106. Devonshire tea cake 110. Retail group 113. Grow dim 115. S American cloak 116. Haughtier 117. Nearer 118. BFG author, Roald ... 119. Dated 122. Revolving tray, lazy ... 125. Bang (toe) 126. Socially exclusive 127. Canoe 129. Divert 130. Otherwise, or ... 131. Guitar neck bar 132. Roman emperor 133. Curl (of smoke) 134. Identify disease 137. Rib playfully 138. Tube 142. Former time standard (1,1,1) 143. Vinyl material (1,1,1) 145. Factory closure 146. Cavalry spear 149. Allots to unsuitable role 151. Nail varnish 152. Arise unexpectedly (4,2) 154. Scandalous repute 156. Ingest 157. Figure-hugging 159. Concepts 161. Manservant 163. Combat 168. Attacks viciously 171. Own up 172. Friendly water mammal 176. Discharges 177. Coat-of-arms picture 180. String toy (2-2) 181. Poems 183. Sharper 187. Cricket side 188. Income 190. Torvill & Dean performance (3,4) 191. Most meagre 192. Unbroken in spirit 193. Secrete 194. Actor, ... Flynn 195. Crew-necked tops (1-6) 196. Plant shops 197. Declare approval of
DOWN 1. Geometric shape 2. Fracture 3. Sweltered 4. Zodiac crossover 5. Embarrassed 6. Revving engine's roar 7. Panties 8. Chest 9. Extract (metal) 10. Endurance runners 11. Clothes 12. Seance board 13. Job attitude, work ... 14. Coward 19. Exploded, ... up 20. Star's admirers, fan ... 25. Dread 26. Soothing foot-soak ingredient, ... salts 27. Nocturnal bird 29. Rave 31. Hawaiian dance 32. Twisted (smile) 33. Bake 34. Groove 36. Hopeful candidate 39. Converts to spray 40. Tendril 41. Phone security devices 42. Sworn statements 44. Pudding starch 46. Gain 47. Prison 49. Terrible tsar 50. Diminutive 51. Liberates (4,4) 53. Effervescent soft drink 54. Cranny 55. Baghdad is there 57. Burial service speech 59. Sang loudly, ... out 63. Nonsense 66. Detained 67. Quenches 68. Building timber, ... pine 70. Anchored 71. Principles 73. Interruption 74. Responsibilities 76. Punctuation marks 80. Kind (4-7) 82. Type of ski lift (1-3) 85. School test 88. Eternal 89. Fiddle with thumbs 90. Newspaper bosses
91. Culls 94. Hitler's Third ... 97. Sweet herb 104. Saviour 105. Dress smartly, get ... up 106. Nova ..., Canada 107. Mishap exclamation 108. Recently (2,4) 109. Low couches 111. Pimple rash 112. Contemptible (2-4) 113. Rankle 114. Fetuses 120. Legal representative 121. Protects 123. Vacant 124. Powerful lights (3,5) 127. Electric jug 128. Zoo supervisor 135. Bury (corpse) 136. Scowled 139. Meanest 140. Elate 141. Which 144. Antlered deer 147. Beers 148. Surveillance system (1,1,1,1) 150. Was familiar with 153. Cash points (1,1,2) 155. Tripe, liver, etc 158. Angry 160. Nautical greeting 162. Parched 164. Company's twelvemonthly forum (1,1,1) 165. Butt 166. Brighten (5,2) 167. Spoils 169. Pose (question) 170. Preceding day 172. Carried out 173. Bereavements 174. More sacred 175. Loch ... Monster 177. Unhouse 178. Pale furniture wood 179. Early anaesthetic 180. Arabian land 182. Fully satisfies 184. Lodge deeply 185. Fresher 186. Hilltop spine 187. Mother sheep 189. Xmas period
See page 60 for solution August 2022
E ssence | 59
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Above: Dedication of the Bush Chapel, 1933.
The man, the vision and the bush chapel By Ilma Hackett, Balnarring and District Historical Society
hen Victoria’s new Governor walked down the gangplank of H.M.S. Cathay on a ‘cheerless’ winter day in 1926 a ripple of surprise ran through the dignitaries waiting to meet him. Tall and athletic, he looked so young! The Right Honourable Lieutenant–Colonel Arthur Herbert Tennyson Cocks, Sixth Baron Somers of Evesham, otherwise known as Lord Somers, was thirty- nine years old. He was a military man, a war hero with a string of letters after his name - KCMG, MC, DSO, LOH (Knight Commander of the order of St
Michael and St George, Military Cross, Distinguished Service Order, Legion of Honour). With him was his attractive, thirtyyear old wife, Finola, Lady Somers, and their three-year old daughter, Elizabeth. The new vice-regal couple were welcomed enthusiastically. Boy Scouts formed a guard of honour on the pier while the road into the city was lined with school children. It was a fitting welcome for a couple who would do much for the youth of the state during their time in Victoria. continued next page...
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Left: Lord Somers. Above: Lord Somers with his family – a front page photo from The Sun newspaper, Tuesday, October 29, 1929.
The First Big Camp The Scout Camp at Anglesea was chosen as the site for the first Lord Somers Camp in 1929.
The Duke of York’s Vision The following year the Duke of York (later George VI) visited Australia for the opening of the new Parliament House in Canberra. Whilst in Victoria he shared with Lord Somers his ideas behind the annual camps he had initiated in the U.K. These aimed at bringing together the youth from different levels of society to live and play together on an equal footing. Disturbed by the wide-scale industrial unrest that followed the First World War, the camps were an attempt to foster in young people a sense of co-operation, comradeship and camaraderie. Lord Somers was much taken by the idea and discussed it with others involved with youth groups, in particular with Dr Cecil McAdam. ‘Doc’ McAdam was District Scout Commissioner and honorary medical officer to a number of youth groups, including Toc H. an international movement that, through acts of service, improved things for others. He was a brilliant youth leader and organiser. The two men shared similar ideals, believing in service to God, king and country and both had served in the First World War. Their plan was to bring together forty boys from public schools and forty boys from industry to participate together in a camp to be held at the personal invitation of the Governor. The boys, aged between seventeen and nineteen, would spend a week on a summer camp to be held in mid- January. By living, playing and working together on an equal footing it was hoped that social barriers between the two groups would be broken down and lead to greater understanding. So enthusiastic was Lord Somers that he contributed £450 of his own money towards making the camp a reality.
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This was home to Harold Hurst’s 1st Otway Foresters’ Troop. Hurst was Scout Commissioner of the Geelong area. A quiet man but an excellent leader and organiser, he was well-liked and respected by the scouts who called him ‘Boss’. Boss Hurst was the obvious choice for Camp Chief. The site was in a secluded bushland setting by the Anglesea River and located close to the surf beach. Here the boys, guided by camp leaders, could learn bush lore, enjoy swimming and boating activities and take part in group games on two nearby ovals. Accommodation was in huts, not under canvas, and basic camp chores were undertaken by scouts from the Geelong area who dubbed themselves ‘Slushies’. Meals were provided by a professional caterer. It was a week of both outdoor sports and indoor activities with the emphasis on fun. All participants were treated equally including the Governor himself. The camp was a huge success and a second one was held at the same venue the following year, again with Boss Hurst as the Camp Chief. In order to maintain the friendships made during these camps, a reunion was held at the Melbourne Town Hall where it was decided to form the Power House, an organisation for former camp participants, both boys and leaders. The idea had been proposed at the first camp, “a brotherhood under such a name as the Power House . . .to organise reunions and carry on the social service begun in the camp.” [Rear Admiral Napier, from his address at the first camp]. The camps had gained the support of the wider public and it was assumed that they would become an annual event. Lord Somers also saw the possibility of groups bringing children from poorer metropolitan areas to the camp for a holiday by the sea. However the Lord Somers Camp would need its own camp site.
Above: The Big Camp at Anglesea, 1929. Right: The Official Opening of the Lord Somers Camp by Lord Somers, 26 January, 1931. Below Right: Aerial view of the Somers Camp, 1937.
Establishing a permanent location The hunt began to find an ideal location. It had to meet certain criteria: it must be within a reasonable distance from Melbourne, be close to a creek or river, have a nearby beach and be in a bushland setting. Maps were consulted and likely sites considered. A group, including Lord Somers, set out on a tour of possible sites along Western Port Bay. It was while they were investigating land along the creek in Balnarring East that these trespassers encountered the property owner; rumour has it with a gun tucked under his arm. This was John S. Feehan; the property was Coolart. Feehan invited the party back to his home for afternoon tea over which the Governor explained his ideas. Feehan immediately offered to donate land. Initially it was thought to be an acre in extent, a rough estimate calculated from marked trees but when the land was surveyed it was more than double this. Feehan did not hesitate. The designated land became his contribution. Professional people and people in business and industry donated generously - money, time, equipment, skills - and by the beginning of 1931 the permanent camp was ready to receive its first guests. It was said the boys walked in as the builders walked out. The buildings of the new camp were rustic in appearance, designed to blend in with its bushland setting but it had resort-like amenities. Nine tile-roofed buildings were arranged around a square to give a feeling of community. There was a common dining room, an assembly hall, open-air theatre and a wireless system. Electric power, warm running water and a sewerage system made it resort-like. It was far removed from camping under canvas. continued next page...
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Above: The camp band, with Lord Somers holding the tuba.
Early camps The boys arrived by train from Flinders Street and alighted at the Coolart Road crossing from where they were taken the additional two or three miles to the camp by car. The only compulsory items of ‘uniform’ were a pair of shorts and a scarf, given to each person in the colour of the group into which he was placed. A group leader, who also acted as a mentor, was in charge of each group. The group leaders were men of ‘public repute’ who volunteered their time. Again, Slushies, usually lads who had been to a previous camp, performed the chores. Being selected as a Slushie was regarded as an honour. Each day offered something new. The sports were those played at the original Duke of York camps, team sports in which everyone participated and where ‘having a go’ and working as a team was more important than sporting ability. Fun and high jinks were encouraged. Anyone who broke camp rules was tossed in the creek. Nicknames were commonplace. Lord Somers became H.E. (His Excellency) while Dr. McAdam, who was now the Camp Chief, was simply Doc. Boss Hurst had stepped aside. His main focus was with the scouting movement and the Geelong area There was a daily program of games in the morning with an afternoon free to explore the beach or the bush or the lagoon on Mr Feehan’s property, often accompanied by the Camp’s naturalist. The evening was given over to activities such as group singing, films and concerts. Friday night was campfire night. This set the pattern for Big Camp, the main camp in January.
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An Easter camp, which H. E. attended, was held in 1931 while a weekend camp, to which over 200 people came, took place in June. This was to farewell H.E. whose term as Governor ended in 1931. Lord Somers and his family went back to England but he promised to return. He regarded the establishment of the Lord Somers Camp and Power House as one of his greatest achievements during his time as Governor. Dedication of the Bush Chapel The 1933 Big Camp was a special one. Lord Somers was in attendance, fulfilling his promise to come back to the Camp. Also the outdoor bush chapel was to be dedicated. At Anglesea there had been a bush chapel for church services ‘under the dome of heaven’s wide arch’ with the forest trees for walls, as one columnist described it. It was a peaceful and inspiring setting. A similar bush chapel was created at Somers on the sand spit that separated the creek from the waters of the bay. In a clearing amongst the foreshore vegetation the camp chaplain, the Rev. P.W. Baldwin fashioned an altar and pulpit from ti-tree. Pews were rustic benches with planks for seats. The cross was made from driftwood. It was described as ‘a beautiful little sanctuary, the silence of which was sacredly disturbed by the music of the waves’. The spit was reached by a bridge, built by the 2nd Field Company of Army Engineers in 1930 to span the creek and access the beach. The dedication was performed by the Camp Chaplain along with the heads of the both the Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Church.
Above Left: Grand Parade. Lord Somers walks with Robert Menzies behind the drummers 1937. Above Right: Lord Somers (right) on the beach, 1937.
That year the number of boys invited to attend Camp was 100. School boys were nominated by their headmaster, apprentices by their supervisor. It was also noted that 80% of boys who had passed through the Camp had remained members of Power House. Lord Somers returned to Australia again in 1937, accompanying the Marylebone Cricket team. His excuse for this trip, he stated, was that his Power House tie had worn out and he needed to get a new one. At a reception at the Power House centre in Albert Park he was given a largish wrapped gift. Layer after layer of paper was removed to finally reveal a new Power House tie. His speech reiterated the ideals of the group that had been set up in his name. The routine for Big Camp followed that of the early camps. In addition there were extra attractions. Prominent people, from the professions, industry, and sport, visited the camp to talk to the young
men. A strict time limit of three minutes was imposed for the length of anyone’s speech. When time was up a pistol was fired. Displays were organised, including an air show put on by the R.A.A.F. Planes of various types were landed on the airstrip of a nearby property. Sunday began with a service held by the camp chaplain it the bush chapel while arrangements were made for Roman Catholics to be taken to a church in Crib Point. “Play the Game” remained the fundamental rule. Repairing the Disruption of the Second World War All camps were suspended during the war years. The Lord Somers Camp became headquarters for the officers of the RAAF when an Initial Training School for Air Force recruits was built on Coolart land adjacent to and incorporating the Camp. continued next page...
Below: RAAF display, 1938.
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Above: The Bush Chapel altar,1954.
It wasn’t until 1947 that boys again received an invitation to holiday at Somers. Much had to be done to restore the camp after the permanent military occupation. The small bush chapel was in shambles. Doc wrote “our lovely chapel lay a heap of jumbled ruins in one corner of the sacred site”. Its restoration work was undertaken by Alex Forster who recreated the rustic altar, pews and seats in the shelter of the surrounding trees. It was this open air chapel that, during the 1950s and 60s in particular, campers from nearby holiday grounds occasionally stumbled upon as they explored the banks of the creek. By then much of the surrounding ti-tree had become festooned with Dolichus vines and, when in blossom, they turned the chapel into a purple and white bower that delighted those who came across it. The post war years posed a major question for the Camp’s organisers. There was a difference in atmosphere and attitude between the new era and what had prevailed at the earlier camps. Although most people wanted the Camp to continue, some questioned the way in which it was conducted. Was it as relevant? “In economic terms the pre-war pattern of the ‘rich’ public school boy and ‘poor’ boy from industry was reversed, as it was the skilled apprentice who seemed to have more pocket money now.” [Alan Gregory] But despite differences the Big Camp in 1947 followed the same routine and seemed to carry on where the others had left off. One group, in particular, was determined to see the Camp continue. These were
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the survivors of the 2nd/17th Battalion, a close knit unit who had enlisted from Power House and who had fought in the Middle East, New Guinea (including the Kokoda Track) and later in Borneo and Celebes. They learned, as one soldier wrote, that “what H.E. and Doc had told us was right and true. We believed.” They were firmly resolved to help rebuild the organisation after the war to pass on the principles they had learned at Camp. The way the camp has evolved However changes were inevitable. As society, its outlook, and values changed over time the Camp also adapted to keep its relevancy. Closer ties were formed with Legacy in 1963 and girls were given the opportunity to participate when the Lady Somers Camp was set up in 1968. The success of these ventures led to other programs. The Lord Somers’ Camp has adapted its programs and activities over the years in order to reach out to more young people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. However the goals remain the same. They aim to bring out the best in people, to help develop each individual’s potential and to teach people to live together in friendship. As its numbers swelled, Power House, with its headquarters at Albert Park, became a social hub and home to many sporting teams. Eventually the two groups became separate associations. Today its goals remain founded in earlier principles – to create a stronger more inclusive society through service to others. Its programs still emphasise fun, friendship, care, acceptance and belonging.
Left: Service in the Bush Chapel, 1962. Above: Bush Chapel as it is today.
Re-locating the Bush Chapel During the early 1960s the Bush Chapel was facing catastrophe. Erosion was increasingly taking its toll on the sand spit that paralleled the creek. Loss of sand during winter and spring storms was not uncommon but the sand usually returned over the summer months. However the replacement stopped recurring as sand drift pattern altered. As more and more sand disappeared the chapel was in danger of being undermined and lost, despite the various attempts to stem the erosion. In 1963 it was decided to build a new chapel on the camp side of the creek. The new site was a clearing amongst the trees, located a short way from the main buildings. The layout was traditional with a centre aisle dividing the rows of rustic bench seats facing the stone altar. This new, non-denominational chapel was dedicated in 1963. Then in 1985 one of the old original buildings had to be replaced. The new structure encroached on the chapel site so a new site was chosen. It was further west towards the property boundary, more remote and nestled in bushland. The third chapel was built here in traditional style with its stone slab altar set before rows of wooden benches. A winding path linked it to the other buildings. There has been one further major change. The site of this third chapel formed a natural amphitheatre but the Chapel’s E-W orientation and traditional layout did not take advantage of this. It was re-arranged along a N-S line to make the most of this natural feature and today the chapel, now referred to as the Bush Sanctuary, has seating for 250 individuals. Incoming groups initially meet here
for the welcome to Camp. It is still one of the Camp’s key structures and serves as a place for quiet reflection as well as the venue for important ceremonies. Lord Somers’ legacy Lord Somers died in 1944. Throughout his lifetime he kept his link with both the Boys’ Camp and Power House. He sent gifts and money and any visitor to England who was connected to either association was welcomed to his home in Herefordshire. The ideals behind the Boys Camp he established are still relevant today. The name Somers is not just synonymous with the Boys’ Camp. The farmland area that had been Balnarring East was subdivided for closer settlement in 1926 and in 1931 the name was changed to Somers to honour this popular Governor.
References: History of Lord Somers’ Camp and Power House (1929- 1989), Alan Gregory Information from John Robert, former Deputy Camp Chief, and Michael Pointer Various contemporary newspaper articles The Australian Dictionary of Biography Photographs from the Lord Somers Camp & Power House Archives
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