Peninsula Essence March 2024

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MARCH 2024


PENINSULA Living & Visiting on the Mornington Peninsula

STOKED STROKES Mornington builder Chris Hanrahan has led an extraordinary life with enough adventures behind him to fill a book. In recent years he has embarked on a very personal adventure of a different sort: art.

Slow Fashion Statement • Meant To Bee • Whiz On Waste Divinely Different • Rabbits – The Road To Riches

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Leading THE

10. Slow Fashion Statement Cactus Revival, a way to recycle, repurpose and re-use children’s clothes into unique and individual pieces, came from Kate Fenby and Sara McMillan’s shared passion for environmental issues.



16. Meant to Bee With a mission is to educate people about the importance of bees, Rye beekeeper Simon Mulvany has worked tirelessly to change the landscape for Australian bees, beekeepers and honey consumers alike.


SeniorsLoving Life!

24. Whiz on Waste Working for the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency, Dr Fiona Charalambous’ goal is to contribute to a national uniform approach to radiation in general and the management of radioactive waste.



28. Divinely Different After circling the globe, Titane Laurent has now settled in Sorrento, where she’s found her true happy place working as a sculptor and sharing her infectious joie de vivre as a life coach.

Proudly published by

32. Stoked Strokes Writers: Andrea Louise Thomas, Muriel Cooper, Rob Sutherland

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).

Photography: Yanni, Gary Sissons Creative: Sam Loverso, Dannielle Espagne Publisher: Melissa McCullough Advertising: Andy Jukes, 0431 950 685, Phone: (03) 5974 9000 Registered address: 1/15 Wallis Drive, Hastings VIC. 3915 W: FB: @peninsulaessence Insta:@peninsulaessence

PEFC Certified This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.

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History 74. Rabbits – The Road to Riches At age 15 Jack McCraith reached a momentous decision; "Everyone knows how to catch rabbits," he said. “I'll learn how to sell them.” Within 20 years he and his brother Gerald would control a rabbit empire which stretched across half of Australia.

Every Month 6. Peninsula Styles 8. What's On 42. Local Market Directory 44. The Lowdown 70. Crossword

ISSUE 95 Cover image by Yanni

March 2024

Mornington builder Chris Hanrahan has led an extraordinary life with enough adventures behind him to fill a book. In recent years he has embarked on a very personal adventure of a different sort: art.

Photo: Anne Stroud

KUSTOM TIMBER The choice of 'Alta' laid in a chevron pattern in this project not only adds a touch of sophistication but also cleverly creates the illusion of spaciousness. The result is a stunning timber floor that seamlessly combines classic charm with a contemporary design approach.


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LUDUCO LIVING The award winning Seine chair from himolla Germany offers superb comfort and support, along with 3 size options, up to 3 motors, and a variety of functionalities including Heart Balance, and Lift and Rise which have contributed to this chair winning the prestigious AGR award for excellent ergonomic comfort. Normal prices start from $5499. Exclusive to Luduco Living.


Shop 10 1128/1132 Nepean Hwy, Mornington 5973 4899

MAIN STREET EYECARE Kirk & Kirk's innovative new acrylic sunglass feature incredibly light frames, so you can wear something chunky and stay comfortable all day long. Available in an array of fashion forward colors. 7/68 Barkly Street, Mornington 5975 3235

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March 2024

The School for ADVENTUROUS MINDS At Woodleigh School we see children as knowledgeable, capable and principled learners, and foster every child’s voice, confidence and preparedness to grow. Through an enriching range of academic and experiential programs structured to foster the adventurous mind, Woodleigh School educates the whole person.

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







Join us for an empowering International Women's Day Breakfast at Cafe 100 Mile Foodie. Let's celebrate the achievements, strength, and resilience of women worldwide over a delicious spread sourced within 100 miles.

At Torello farm our hands-on workshop will take you through the steps to create your own wicking bed at home. It is an increasingly popular way to grow vegetables because they are self contained and water efficient. They’re great for locations where plants can not be watered every day.

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March 2024

Proudly presented by the Red Hill Agricultural & Horticultural Society, the Red Hill show is a great family day out. Run by a team of volunteers, this is one of the largest community events on the Mornington Peninsula. Book discounted tickets online.

Described by Limelight magazine as a ‘national treasure’, Ensemble Liaison is one of Australia’s leading internationally acclaimed ensembles. They are renowned for their captivating and engaging performances, appealing to audiences from all walks of life.

Emu Plains Market brings together the community for a monthly festival-like feat of art, food, design and culture underneath the ancient glade of a stringybark forest within the picturesque Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring. Some card payment facilities available but bring cash just in case. Parking $5.00 per car.

Held at The Briars historic park, an event suitable for all ages and for absolute beginners on the journey, whether you own a telescope or not. The day involves talks during the afternoon and early evening, then telescope practice and usage outdoors as it darkens. Bookings essential.

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March 2024

SLOW FASHION statement

By Muriel Cooper Photos Yanni


hat do you do when your child rips their jeans? Do you throw them out? Not if Kate Fenby and Sarah McMillan of Cactus Revival have anything to do with it. If your kid's jeans are ‘cactus’, as we say in Australia about anything that’s ‘kaput’, Kate will find a way to revive them, and Sara will find a way to get them to market. Cactus Revival, a way to recycle, repurpose and re-use children’s clothes into unique and individual pieces, came from Kate Fenby and Sara McMillan’s shared passion for environmental issues. They were both working for an environmental organisation when they met in 2007 and, within an hour of meeting one another, knew they would be firm friends. The business came about when Sara and Kate became parents and were concurrently on maternity leave. Kate had always wanted to learn to sew and turned to her mother for inspiration and skills. She then thought of it as the next thing to do. "I started learning about the fashion industry and textile waste and how big a problem it was," says Kate. "Then, having a young child, he would often get marks and holes in his pants, so I created these treasure map shorts (Kate points to a cute pair of boys' shorts with a red ‘X marks the spot’ and a gem button sewn inside the pocket) and he loved them. He was about four at the time, and I thought it was a way of creating a practical, tangible way to help reduce waste and help the environment." continued next page...

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It’s not that we can’t afford to buy new; it’s that we can’t afford not to mend them...

Kate and Sara are big op shop fans and source materials from there. The Cactus Revival workshop is a treasure trove of old reels of cotton, lace, fabrics, buttons and other paraphernalia sourced from op shops and markets. But children go through so many clothes as they grow, and they often can’t be op-shopped because of wear and tear. Sara says, "It’s a conscious decision for us to focus on children’s clothes at the moment for that reason." "It’s not that we can’t afford to buy new; it’s that we can’t afford not to mend them. We need to be wearing our clothes longer because of the impact – the water and the dyes that are used to make these garments. If they’re only going to last a few washes and then they’re stretched or unravelled, then all those resources are gone, and they’re ending up in landfill," Kate says.

It’s slow fashion that lasts and can be handed down as opposed to fast fashion. Kate works with each piece and mends it to make it exciting and fun, and the pieces are a great hit with kids who like them because of their fun and originality and not because they’re a fashion statement.

Sara says, "We’re finding that a lot of the time at markets, kids will come in of their own volition and touch a piece of clothing and say to the parents or grandparents, 'Oh look, isn’t this cool… this is great.' They’re really drawn to the designs." She shivers at the mention of fast fashion sites pushed on social media. "They’re horrendous. I can see how it plays out, and I can see how, for people who are hungry for something new, it’s accessible – but the feeling of fun and excitement fades. When you know about the other side of the industry, it’s alarming." continued page 14...

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...We get each other – we bounce the ideas off, and it’s fun!

The message about mending and repurposing is attractive to many people, but they might not have the skills to do it themselves. Kate and Sara met with the Mornington Peninsula Shire recently to discuss the possibility of running workshops on mending at Mornington Community House. They’ve already run workshops for children, which have been a hit.

Being in business with your best friend could have its hazards. What are Kate and Sara’s secrets? "Being open about what your expectations are, what you want, and what you can commit to are my top three", says Sara. "Having a values-led business is also the key. We both believe in what Cactus Revival is trying to achieve." "We’re honest and share our feelings," Kate says. "We don’t take offence, and we have a shared passion. I think you need to think


MARCH 2020


MARCH 2020

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Kate and Sara encourage people to donate to op shops, and they’re also delighted to receive donations of clothes, materials and trims.

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Kate says, "I feel very lucky to have Sara not only as a best friend but to work with as well. We get each other – we bounce the ideas off, and it’s fun!"

To subscribe phone Mornington Peninsula News Group on 03 5974 9000 or complete the details below.


about who you are partnering with. I certainly wouldn't go into business with just anyone."

March 2024

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By Andrea Louise Thomas Photos Yanni


ye beekeeper, Simon Mulvany is a tireless champion for bees. He founded grassroots social enterprise, Save the Bees', in 2014. Since then, through action, education and advocacy he has changed the landscape for Australian bees, beekeepers and honey consumers alike.

His mission is to educate people about the importance of bees. With his encyclopaedic knowledge, Simon speaks passionately to schools and community groups. He has published extensively across social media platforms and through his website. His love of bees goes back to childhood. Simon’s grandparents had a house in Mornington. The family spent holidays in nature on the Peninsula. As a boy, Simon enjoyed foraging, diving and fishing. A serendipitous conversation with a fisherman friend led him to beekeeping. The pair bought a couple of hives and his fascination with bees really took off. continued page 18...

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PH: (03) 5975 9366 Shop 8A, 1-13 Mornington, Tyabb Rd Mornington. PH: (03) 5975 9366 Shop 8A, 1-13 Mornington, Tyabb Rd Mornington.

03 5975 9222 5/1 Mornington-Tyabb Road, Mornington VIC 3931 March 2024

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Working with bees made me a kid again. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the hive

Though science might have seemed the natural path, Simon went to university to study Commerce. He quickly realised it was not for him; he’d rather be surfing. Commerce was a bit dry, but the knowledge he gained in that coursework proved useful later in his David versus Goliath legal battle with a giant of the honey industry.

appropriate measure of glee. Simon loves spreading his boundless enthusiasm, but his zeal has also landed him in hot water. Naturally, Simon encourages people to choose high-quality honey sourced from their local producers, but when he was vociferously vocal about a particular brand, things got sticky.

Outdoor work appealed most to Simon. After leaving university, he travelled around Australia. Amongst other things, he dabbled in pearl diving in Exmouth, WA. When he returned home, he worked as a park ranger in Sorrento where he first discovered the deadly impact of pesticides on bee populations. Simon ran his own gardening business for many years and learned there were better, less toxic, ways of dealing with weeds and pest insects that didn’t harm bees.

When Simon started beekeeping, he found knowledge about the practice a closely guarded secret. He learned everything on his own through research, trial and error. Then, he shared his knowledge freely. “'Save the Bees' is the Wikileaks of the bee industry,” he says.

Unbridled passion led him into full-time work as a beekeeper and bee educator. “Working with bees made me a kid again. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the hive,” he says with an

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Simon has single-handedly saved over 500 bee colonies from extermination. Working as a bee rescuer for many years, he removed bees from unsuitable locations and rehomed them safely. For the most part, he did it for free because he has a heart for bees. It was a win-win. He got a hive to tend and the swarm was removed. “Bee removals gave me the ability to see how harmoniously they live in their natural environment,” he says. continued page 20...

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He knew bee swarms scared people, but Simon wanted to show there was nothing to fear if handled properly. Also, saving bees is good for everyone. They are a critical link to life on Earth. “Everything about the hive is medicinal. Pollen, propolis and bee venom all have healing properties,” he says. Additionally, honey has many benefits. It helps with sleep and positive dreaming. It can aid sunburns and heal wounds. It soothes a sore throat and supresses coughs. It even makes bones stronger. Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial/antifungal agent in addition to its nutritional benefits. To give back to bees and promote their health, Simon advises avoiding commercial pesticides/herbicides and using organic alternatives. Don’t get rid of weeds or wait until after they have flowered. Bees like them. Leave out water with a stick or rock for the bee to climb on so it doesn’t drown. Plant bee-friendly flowers and herbs. Grow your own food. Consider beekeeping.

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Simon is proud that he’s brought a deeper appreciation of bees and attracted new beekeepers to the industry. His free online honey map has been accessed over a million times linking countless buyers to local beekeepers. A point of particular pride was using his influential platform to prevent a proposed largescale pesticide spraying Simon believes would have decimated the Peninsula’s insect population. Simon is hoping to celebrate his ten-year 'Save the Bees' milestone with an event that honours the humble bee on World Bee Day, May 20. Watch his website and 'Save the Bees' Australia socials for the latest buzz.




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5977 0708 March 2024

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Hidden Ridge Heathcote Shiraz 2020

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

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WHIZ ON waste

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March 2024

By Muriel Cooper Photo Gary Sissons


r Fiona Charalambous loves living on the peninsula. She’s also a nationally and internationally renowned expert on nuclear waste management.

Fiona is an Assistant Director at the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, ARPANSA, the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety, and has been interested in science from a very young age. “I was always interested in the world around me, which is a common character trait for scientists! In primary school, I was fascinated with geology, archaeology and baking. I used to say when I was a lecturer at RMIT University, ‘Baking is also a science – you've got to mix the ingredients, you’ve got to follow standard operating instructions – you’ve got to get it right!” Fiona has gone far in her career but not far geographically. She grew up on the peninsula and still lives in Frankston. Fiona went to Osborne Primary School in Mt Martha and has fond memories of it, and then to Flinders Christian Community College. “I was really good at chemistry. It just clicked, so I thought, ‘Let’s just run with this’. Plus, I was also really good at maths, and maths and chemistry go hand in hand, and that took me on the nuclear science train.” She went to RMIT to study chemistry and found a small cohort of fellow students that she says ‘Really pushed you to be your best. I have exciting and funny memories of university life.”

The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency is responsible for Australia’s management of radioactive waste, including the waste from life-giving cancer treatments. Fiona says, “At the moment, we do not have a centralised facility for radioactive waste disposal. It’s stored in heavily regulated and secure sites around Australia, such as hospitals and universities as well as State and Territory facilities.” Fiona represents Australia internationally on the Waste Safety Standards Committee and the Radiation Safety Standards Committee and travelled to Vienna late last year to attend the International Atomic Energy Agency Conference (IAEA) on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, Decommissioning, Environmental Protection and Remediation: Ensuring Safety and Enabling Sustainability. It gathered all the waste safety experts from around the world and was the first of its kind to bring sustainability and waste management together. “It’s one of the United Nations sustainability goals, and it was an open discussion on 'where to next' on the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. (The back end is the decommissioning, disposal and remediation side of the nuclear fuel cycle). We had open and frank discussions but with consensus.” Fiona laughs. “It was the first discussion where regulators, scientists and operators were in the room to discuss the interrelationship between safety and sustainability in radioactive waste management, decommissioning, environmental protection and remediation. The takeaway was the sector has got a long way to go globally, but we’ve started talking about it and how it will be incorporated in the review of the IAEA Safety Standards.

Disposal of radioactive material is an issue for any member state that has a part of a nuclear fuel cycle...

There are various kinds of chemistry, and Fiona decided on physical chemistry. She says, “I call it the ‘real world science’, and in Australia, we have a really big mining sector, so I did an honours project with BHP Billiton, and that’s where my career in nuclear science began. It turned into a PhD in minerals processing chemistry, balancing science with commercial interests, in collaboration with the CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.” So, how do you balance that with environmental interests? Fiona says, “The environment should always be considered when conducting any type of programme, from coal mining to uranium mining to any type of radiation or nuclear facility. At ARPANSA we have a vision and a mandate to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.” That includes providing advice on everything from uranium mining and radioactive waste to powerlines, smart meters, mobile phone base stations, and the biggest nuclear explosion in the solar system, the sun and solar radiation protection.

“Disposal of radioactive material is an issue for any member state that has a part of a nuclear fuel cycle. Australia is small with respect to larger country programmes, but we have a lot to give in this space as well because we care about the environment. We have environmental and health protection agencies around Australia, and we have recommendations for the environment in our licensing standards and codes of practice. We have guidance on that, which not many member states of the United Nations have. We do bring an Australian perspective at those international forums.” Fiona loves her job, and contributing to a national uniform approach to radiation in general is her goal, but what keeps Fiona on the Peninsula? “Family, the lifestyle, the ocean, the people and that community feel, and I wanted my daughter to have the same community feel and be around her grandparents, her cousins, her uncles and aunties. I’ll never move – ever.” March 2024

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MPNG Mornington Easter returns to Mornington Racecourse on Sunday 31 March for an egg-ceptional day of racing and family festivity. To celebrate one of Clip Clop Club’s biggest days of the year, the grounds will transform into a spectacle of carnivalesque action and family-friendly entertainment where young racegoers can enter free and enjoy unlimited rides. From facepainting to Chairoplane adventures, cup and saucer spins and merry-go-round delights, there is something for the whole family to love. The annual Easter Egg Hunt is on for the little ones, with thousands of delicious Easter Eggs hidden across the Front Lawn waiting to be found! Visit to secure your spot in the hunt. Whether you’re craving a cool beverage, sweet treat or gourmet bite, our Lawn Bar and range of delicious food trucks have you covered. What’s more, on the Front Lawn a live DJ will be spinning fun-loving dance tracks until the last race to get you into the Easter spirit!

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Mornington Mornington To To the the Fore Fore Once Once Again Again on on Sportsbet Sportsbet Caulfield Caulfield Blue Blue Diamond Diamond Crack colt Coleman heads a formidable team of Mornington horses set to make their presence felt at Sportsbet Caulfield Blue Diamond on February 24. The son of Pierata, prepared by two-time Group 1 winning horseman, Matt Laurie, already has two wins at the Heath from as many career starts including his latest victory in the Group 3 Lamaro’s Hotel Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) on February 3. That win saw Coleman assume co-favouritism for the $2 million Sportsbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) later this month, the same meeting that Laurie last tasted Group 1 success on in 2019 with Portland Sky in the Oakleigh Plate. “That was a really good win,” Laurie told after the Chairman’s Stakes. “The Snowden horse [Counteroffensive] had him chasing a bit and there was a split second there where he looked like he was going to come off the bridle but when he picked it up, he was super powerful on the line and he’s a really impressive colt. It’s a very exciting few weeks ahead.” Coleman secured a race-to-race double for Laurie and owner Rob Cummings after Miss Islandic claimed the Robert Hunter Handicap (1100m) the race prior before Midtown Boss came close to securing his trainer a remarkable Saturday treble when running second in the Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap (1100m). Coleman is the latest off the production line for Laurie who is proving himself as both an astute trainer and judge of horseflesh. Portland Sky, inaugural The Showdown (1200m) winner Prince Of Sussex and stakes winner Archo Nacho, who was recently sold to Hong Kong, have all tasted early success in their careers under Laurie’s tutelage. Diamond Decorator had claimed the opening event on the February 3 program for Mornington duo Pat Carey & Harris Walker, repeating the feat of Clayton Douglas who opened Caulfield’s summer of racing with the win of Speranzoso the meeting prior on January 26. Matisse looks set to join Coleman in the Sportsbet Blue Diamond Stakes having earned automatic entry with her eye-catching third in the fillies Sportsbet Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 10. Her trainers, Anthony & Sam Freedman, have won three of the past five Blue Diamonds. Jason Warren will hope that impressive Sportsbet Sandown winner Flyer can be the third Mornington representative in the race, although the Exceedance filly must climb the ballot order to assure herself of a start. However, Warren is certain to aim for Group 1 glory on the program with star sprinter Benedetta who is set to line up in this year’s Sportsbet Oakleigh Plate. A winner of six races from ten career starts, Benedetta kicked off her preparation with a quiet jump out at Balnarring on January 31 and was set to have another before tackling the Oakleigh Plate first up. “I think she has come back bigger and stronger,” Warren told on February 5. “I’m really happy with her.” Warren’s first Group 1 win came via Bel Sprinter in The Galaxy (1100m) in 2013, his banner horse also contesting three Oakleigh Plates during a remarkable career before retiring in 2013.

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DIVINELY different By Andrea Louise Thomas Photos Yanni


orrento artist, Titane Laurent is a fearless world traveller who has circled the globe creating art that inspires contemplation, evokes emotions, or lights the soul with laughter – sometimes all three at the same time. She feels divinely guided to a place and puts her full faith in the call. It’s never led her astray. Now, settled in Sorrento, she’s found her true happy place working as a sculptor and sharing her infectious joie de vivre as a life coach.

Titane was born in Morocco to Belgian parents. After a few years, the family left Morocco due to political unrest. Titane grew up in Brussels. Her father was an engineer and her mother worked intermittently as a colourist for Hergé’s Tintin comics. Because her teachers didn’t know what to do with such a selfpossessed divergent thinker, Titane changed schools several times. It made her adaptable and resilient but, as a child, it could be lonely too. Now, she loves working in solitude and values the selfreliance those early experiences built. From childhood, it was clear she’d be an artist. Art is in her blood. She comes from seven generations of painters. Titane drew from an early age and enjoyed creating cartoons. This skill emerged again later, but her career did not begin in art. She worked in corporate marketing and was very successful, but it didn’t make her heart sing. continued next page ...

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There’s a healing energy here that I needed. It’s brought me clarity and a sense of inner peace and joy

While working for a film festival in Brussels in her early thirties, Titane had an epiphany. She knew she wanted something different. She put the question about what to do next into the universe. Immediately she heard a voice ask… “If you had only one year to live, what would you do?” She knew three things. She wanted to wear comfortable clothes, be an artist and live in a climate warmer than Belgium.

New Zealand, being the opposite side of the world, seemed the perfect place to reinvent herself. Titane became a full-time painter while studying Illustration and Cartooning at New Zealand Institute of Business Studies in Auckland, where she graduated with Honours. This was all the more remarkable because she didn’t speak English when she arrived. In six months, she had a working knowledge of the language. Titane went on to become a successful cartoonist for international newspapers.

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Lovely as New Zealand was, Titane wanted to move somewhere bigger, so she chose Australia. She started out in Sydney and then moved to Perth to work with The Sunday Times. Titane had created an award-winning niche cartoon called God’s Stuff that illustrates the scripture through the eyes of a little girl. Funny and poignant it was very popular. Her proudest moment was having this syndicated cartoon translated into French and published in France, in a book called Dieu Kiladi (God who said it). After several years, Titane left her busy life in Australia behind and moved to Mauritius with her partner and two children to find peace and inspiration. She worked as a painter and cartoonist. During this time, Titane travelled to a cartoon fair in Angouleme, France where she saw a poster that triggered something in her. She shared the experience with her partner and together a new adventure began.

The family moved to the United States. Her partner worked as a musician while going to Kentucky University. Titane met the director of Art League (Florida) who connected her to teaching abstract art classes. After their five-year American adventure, they returned to Australia settling in Melbourne. In 2014, Titane launched Laurent Gallery, an exhibition and studio space, but COVID lockdowns led to the closure of the gallery. At that point, Titane was again ready to reinvent herself. She moved to the Mornington Peninsula about a year ago where she happily works from home as a conceptual sculptor and life coach. She’d like her artistic legacy to be a major public sculpture, representing ‘oneness with source’. Earlier in her career Titane spent many years working with Chinese conceptual artist, Gao Xuyong. She became his apprentice and learned, among many other things, what she calls the abstract essence of line. “Line is the foundation of all art,” she says.

Her early calligraphic lines developed into figurative works then black and white abstract paintings. Now she has come back to the line, but in three dimensional organic shapes. Titane’s inspiration comes from solitude, time in nature and her deep spirituality. Living on the Peninsula brings all of those aspects together in one place. “There’s a healing energy here that I needed. It’s brought me clarity and a sense of inner peace and joy,” she says. Creating sculpture and helping people find their divine authentic self through her life coaching are her main focus now. Currently, she’s exhibiting at The Continental Hotel in Sorrento through the end of April. See the culmination of her many years seeking her truth while working as an international artist in her new collection of sculptures called Anima.





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STOKED strokes

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March 2024

By Rob Sutherland Photos Yanni


ornington builder Chris Hanrahan has led an extraordinary life. Although he 58-year-old has enough adventures behind him to fill a book, in recent years he has embarked on a very personal adventure of a different sort: art. Chris has always had creativity in his blood. His mother ran a business designing and selling clothes while Chris himself worked in the film business building sets for Channel 9. “I had scenic artists who used to do the big murals. I'd always watch them and I loved what they were doing.” His job involved re-creating sculptures and buildings from history, as well as fabricating notable cinematic locations such as “the pool room” from iconic Australian film “The Castle” and the radio-telescope control room in “The Dish”. But his artistic side emerged in full after a lifechanging event. He spent years as his mother’s carer and after she died, he found himself drawing simple sketches in a style similar to those he’d seen her do.

“I was sitting there one night scribbling and sketched my first picture. From then on I just kept doing it. That was four years ago. It was really bizarre. She had that artistic streak and I think I’ve taken it over.” Within weeks he’d taken up painting and his style quickly evolved into his own. There’s a stark contrast between those early sketches and his later acrylic-on-canvas, which he describes as Surf-Abstract. “I’ve never been to art school. I’ve just done my individual style. I’m not trying to match what other people do.”

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He can always count on brutal honesty from his sons, aged 23, 21, 13 and 11. “I’ll go ‘Whaddya reckon?’. They’ll go 'That’s cool’, 'I don't get it', ‘Nup, don't like it’, ‘Whatever.' It takes only five seconds. But if I worried about what people think I wouldn’t do it.”

I love Red Hill. Driving through there I said to my sons ‘How’s this? This is God’s country’

Chris’s on-sea adventures range from the sedate - he regularly paddleboards at Fisherman’s Bay (“I’ve been with the dolphins a few times”) - to the adrenaline-filled. He has surfed in the Australian titles, encountered sharks at close quarters, and been mugged during a surfing expedition in Rio de Janeiro. He also trained with some mates to take on the Melbourneto-Hobart yacht race. “We got smashed by the waves. We made it, though.”

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A subsequent expedition was less successful. “We busted the boat. Went out the heads and fell off a twenty-foot wave. Bang! Dunny door blew off, tiles blew off.” Only abandoning the trip prevented the boat from capsizing. “We trained all year and lasted four hours.”

Another trip involved sailing 10,000 nautical miles around the Atlantic. “We were crewing for a millionaire. We would come in his helicopter and I’d go from a sailor to a waiter.” “One night we were in El Salvador, and the owner wanted to show off his big boat in front of the restaurant over the bay.” A huge storm appeared out of nowhere and almost pitched the boat into the restaurant. “We were watching people eat their dinner there going …” He mimes a horrified gasp. “We were almost killed. The boat nearly smashed to pieces.” continued page 36 ...

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Chris lived his early life in Melbourne and spent a phase over on Victoria’s west coast, but he now calls Mornington home. “As a builder it’s got everything. I don’t have to go anywhere else.” He is a member of the Peninsula’s Maladiction Longboarders Surf Club and surfs as frequently as he can. “We can go to certain breaks and there’s only five or ten people, whereas for the same thing in Torquay there’d be forty or fifty.” “I love Red Hill. Driving through there I said to my sons ‘How’s this? This is God’s own country.’” Chris is a man of contrasts. There’s a beautiful playfulness to his art, but it is also informed and inspired by the big questions of life. “When you die do you turn into dirt or do you have a spirit?” He points to a canvas. “That’s my meditation.” One of his works hangs in the St Macartan's church youth space, a venue named “Quinn’s Place” in memory of young Mornington local Quinn Story, son of one of Chris’s close friends. Chris donated the work in Quinn’s honour. “It's a bit of a tricky one to work out. It’s based on having fun at Lorne. There's a bluestone wall around Lorne, and I've put a guy surfing through the middle of it and busting it all up. And there's a whole grassy area there with guys kicking the footy and having beers and stuff.” continued page 38 ...








2 MAR—12 MAY




IMAGE: WAH-WAH x Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, 2022 (detail), Australian merino wool as modelled by Ramesh, Kirthana Selvaraj, Remy Faint, Julie Faint. Stylist Kirsty Barros. Photo Lexi Laphor. Courtesy of WAH-WAH Australia.

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(03) 5987 3449 | | | ABN 56 605 809 121

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I came home and the only thing I could do was to paint. To get it out of my system He stretches his own canvas. His skills as a builder mean he can create whatever size he chooses. “Sometimes I'll just have a canvas sitting there for weeks going ‘Dunno what to do’.” At other times a work pours out of him, a therapeutic pressure valve. He recalls an incident at Flinders when he and some mates fought, in vain, to resuscitate a fellow surfer. “There were about six of us doing CPR. He died doing what he wanted to do.” “I came home and the only thing I could do was to paint. To get it out of my system.” That some people also buy his art Chris just considers a bonus. “Painting and surfing keep me sane.”

Fun reading is just a click away! FREE

Our Libraries are passionate about keeping learning fun and accessible while improving children’s literacy skills. Our free digital eLearning resources are full of engaging and interactive activities to help improve your child’s reading and comprehension skills. Discover our online stories; including LOTE, Auslan and eComics, free study help, online games and more.

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Exceptional service, educated advice PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Sally and Jane offer high value, bespoke service for a management fee that will surprise you. Are you ready to lease your property or understand it's current market value? Visit us in office today. Otherwise, call or text Sally on 0419 895 227 to discuss. | 30 Lochiel Avenue, Mount Martha VIC 3934 March 2024

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• Indoor/Outdoor Furniture • Homewares • Giftware • Tables • Chairs • Lounges • Bar Tables and Stools

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2/1 Colchester Road, Rosebud | | 5986 6778


Come in and visit us today to view some of our new stock or find us on






ALL SUMMER STOCK REDUCED! • Sun Lounges • Market Umbrellas • Massive range of Rattan • Cushions • Lamps • Jewellery • Artworks, and much more!

OPEN 7 DAYS March 2024

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Chelsea Heights


MARKET 3196 - The indoor market with more... • Arts • Vintage • Fashion • Harvest • Collectables • Plants • Sweets • Vinyl • Homewares • Beauty Salon & much more! 279 Wells Rd, Chelsea Heights P: 0466 458 558 W: E:


Local Mornington

Rosebud 4 SISTERS INDOOR MARKET Over 115 stalls of handmade gifts, vintage, collectibles, plants, local produce and specialty giftware all under one roof. 921 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud

MON - FRI 9AM - 5PM, SAT 10AM - 4PM, SUN 10AM - 2PM


MAIN STREET MARKET Main Street, Mornington Hand made, hand baked and home grown products for you to peruse and purchase.


‘Make, bake and grow’ market. All site fees go towards community projects. Located at the Rye foreshore across the road from the Rye post office. E: P: 0423 116 457

Victoria’s longest running street market



List your market in out next edition Call Andy 0431 950 685


Book into the next issue Call Andy 0431 950 685

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EVERY WEDNESDAY 9 - 3 MAIN STREET | MORNINGTON Home Baked | Handmade | Home Grown

Hand Baked

Home Baked | Handmade | Home Grown

Hand made


for supporting our community market. Victoria's LONGEST running STREET MARKET

Home Grown

mainstreetmarketmornington March 2024

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AN ECOLOGIST BARK PAINTER, COLOURS OF COUNTRY AND UNIQUE ART PARADE AT EVERYWHEN With two major public holiday dates in March, Everywhen Art is featuring three special exhibitions to open on each of the holiday weekends. The Labour Day weekend sees the opening of the first solo exhibition by Arnhem Land bark painter Gurrundul Marawili. Noted as a ‘quiet achiever' amongst a plethora of world-famous artists of the Yolngu art centre Buku-Larrnggay Mulka with whom she paints, Gurrundul is a daughter of the famous late artist Mrs M. Wirrpanda and sister of community and cultural leader, Djambawa Marawili. She has been painting for some 16 years, however of equal importance to this talented artist is her work as an ecologist and ranger with the Yirralka Rangers. Her ecology work has fully preoccupied her for long stretches, thus interrupting her painting career while at the same time engaging her in a strong and direct connection to Country which greatly informs her art practice.

featuring vibrant colours of First Nations art from around Australia. On Easter Saturday March 30, the gallery's directors Susan and Emily McCulloch Childs are launching an Autumn Salon exhibition with a unique Art Parade presentation. " We group the works into regions or other themes and provide informative commentary on up to 40 works, "says Susan McCulloch." They're a great way of showing a wide range of styles and artists." Gurrundul Marawili and Colours of Country runs to March 25 Opening reception Saturday March 9 | 2-4 pm Autumn Salon Art Parade launch Saturday March 30 at 2 pm. Seating limited and bookings essential: W:

Now, having shown Gurrundul Marawili's work in group exhibitions since 2010, Everywhen Art is presenting her first solo exhibition. In soft hues, flowing lines, and intricate detail Gurrundul's bark paintings feature the ancestral creation stingray figure, and the stingray's sites near her large homeland settlement of Yilpara at Blue Mud Bay. In other gallery rooms of the historic home gallery Whistlewood, where Everywhen is now based, is a wide-ranging exhibition

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Art Parade at Whistlewood

Gurrundul Marawili, Lulumu, earth pigments on stringybark, 133 x 73 cm

SAT 16 TALKING HENS 5TH ANNUAL OPEN WEEKEND! MA&RSUN 17 CH 2024 It’s that time of the year when Talking Hens' Annual Open 10 AM - 4 PM • Enjoy free activities Weekend is on! Now in its 5th year, the farm will be open from Face painting, petting zoo, craft activities 10 am to 4 pm and will transform into a chicken-lovers paradise for all ages. An all-weather event, you’ll be safe, comfortable and dry under our giant marquee!

Why visit us? It's all about fun and learning why chickens can make such fantastic suburban pets! Backyard hens aren't just cute, they're redefining "farm-to-table" with fresh, delicious eggs laid daily and plenty of heartwarming family bonding. Plus, raising your own flock is a recipe for a happier, healthier and more sustainable home. What's on offer: • Meet our feathered residents: Fluffy Silkies to regal Marans and more. • Delicious treats: From coffee to pizza to ice cream. • Talking Hens Chicken Races: Choose the fastest-looking chook with your gold coin donation (all proceeds to charity), and be in to win. • Beauty Pageant: Choose the most beautiful chicken on the farm.

and our child-friendly pony rides.

• Presentations: "Getting Started with Backyard Hens" at 2pm on both days. Learn everything you need to know about raising your own happy flock. FREE ENTRY! Just head to for further information and to grab your free tickets. All ticket holders will be entered into a daily draw to win a $200 Talking Hens gift voucher. So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars for March 16th & 17th, 2024, and join us for Talking Hens' biggest Open Weekend yet! It's going to be a fantastic weekend you won't want to miss! Spread the word! Share this event with your family, friends and fellow chicken lovers. See you there! The Talking Hens Family A: 3590 Frankston Flinders Road, Merricks P: 0406 691 231 E:

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Supporting Australian Arts for over fifty years.

McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Langwarrin is a truly unique art space set amongst 16 hectares of natural bushland. Supporting Australian arts for over fifty years, McClelland champions a multidisciplinary approach to the development and presentation of unique experiences drawn from Australia’s artistic community.

Discover Music at McClelland season 2024 for yourself. Book your tickets at Music at McClelland is generously supported by Igor Zambelli

In its third year, Music at McClelland represents the perfect fusion of art, music and nature. A beautiful program curated by Monica Curro, violinist MSO and Co-Artistic Director Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Curro shares; "I am so excited to unveil our third annual Music at McClelland Series in 2024, which celebrates the astounding talents of the best Australian creatives, and showcases the many facets of our Art Music prism, in this unique and glorious landscape setting of McClelland. We kicked off in February with the sizzling jazz age Cairo Club Orchestra, then throughout the year we have a conga line of the most brilliant and beloved chamber groups - Ensemble Liaison, Sutherland Trio, Flinders Quartet, and Connection - the virtuosic yidaki (didgeridoo) of Amos Roach (Gunditjmara, Djab Wurrung, Ngarrandjerri), interwoven with flute, harp, viola, electronics and field recordings. There’s a dazzling solo recital from superstar pianist Stefan Cassomenos; the trailblazing soprano and harpsichord duo of Judith Dodsworth & Joy Lee; and three concerts revealing the stars of the future, from three internationally recognised training institutions - the Melba Opera Trust, the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Brass Ensemble, and the Australian Youth Orchestra Momentum Ensemble with percussionist extraordinaire Claire Edwardes. In the intimate Sarah & Baillieu Myer Education Pavilion which overlooks the awe-inspiring bushland Sculpture Park, you’ll experience world premieres of new works alongside familiar favourites. You’ll be entertained, challenged, nourished and exhilarated. We can’t wait to see you!"

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Monica Curro

Sculpture Park & Gallery hours: Wed to Sun: 10am–5pm A: 390 McClelland Drive Langwarrin P: +61 3 9789 1671 W:

season 2024 where art, music and nature come together

Cairo Club Orchestra 18 February 2—4pm

Ensemble Liaison 17 March 2—4pm

Stefan Cassomenos 21 April 2—4pm

Sutherland Trio 19 May 2—4pm

Leeway 16 June 2—4pm

Melba Opera Trust 21 July 2—4pm

ANAM Brass Ensemble 18 August 2—4pm

Connection 15 September 2—4pm

Flinders Quartet 20 October 2—4pm

390 McClelland Drive Langwarrin VIC Australia 3910 +61 3 9789 1671

Supported by

“celebrating the astounding talents of the best Australian creatives” —Curator, Monica Curro

AYO Momentum Ensemble with Claire Edwardes 17 November 2—4pm

Book now

March 2024

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DISCOVER THE TIMELESS ELEGANCE OF HIGHVIEW HOMES: WHERE TRADITION MEETS MODERN COMFORT You may have noticed some uniquely elegant homes as you drive along Nepean Highway passing Bentons Road in Mt Martha. These eye-catching houses are display homes created by Highview Homes, a name synonymous with quality and tradition. Highview Homes' signature weatherboard or brick homes seamlessly blend the architectural details of the past with the practicality of modern living. The Hampton, Federation, Seachange, and Victoriana designs each capture the essence of style while integrating contemporary layouts and functionality, perfectly suited for today's discerning homeowners.

The family tradition continues with Russell, who now owns and manages Highview Homes. Russell oversees every project personally, and with his keen eye for detail, helps projects stay on schedule and within budget, minimising any unforeseen complications and ensuring a smooth experience for homeowners. Explore the craftsmanship and expertise of Highview Homes at their display homes in Mt Martha, where you can experience firsthand the thoughtful design and timeless appeal that defines a Highview Home.

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

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

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

Highview Homes (Vic) CDB-U 70372 11am-4pm Wed, 11am-4pm Sat, 11am-4pm Sun A: 58 Bentons Road, Mt Martha P: 5973 5973 FB: @HVHbuilder IG: W:

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

Ph: 5973 5973

March 2024

CDB-U 70372

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JUST KEEP SWIMMING - IN AUTUMN Keep your swimming pool and spa ready for your family’s enjoyment. Don’t leave it till the last minute to turn on your solar system only to discover you have a sprinkler system on your roof rather than a solar collector. Take advantage of the sun’s rays and carry on swimming through autumn by investing in an Aspire pool solar heating system. Solar collector is the most cost effective and sustainable way to heat any pool or spa. Whether you have existing forms of pool heating such as gas or heat pump the Aspire pool solar panels can be paired with these systems and considerably reduce your energy bills even further. The award-winning rigid pool solar panel can be custom installed to maximise the roof space available. Located at our modern manufacturing facility on the Mornington Peninsula the Aspire pool solar panel is the only 100% Australian made single piece injection over moulded rigid solar panel on the market. Build from high impact, high UV polypropylene resin, these panels are tough enough to resist cockatoo attack and hail damage. HOW IT WORKS. A rigid pool solar panel works in conjunction with a low energy water pump and a solar controller. The controller monitors the panel temperature on the roof and the pool water temperature. When the panels heat up from the free rays of the sun the controller activates the pump and circulates the hot water from the roof and back into the pool. It’s that simple. SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT. With soaring electricity prices and the phasing out of gas supply to new homes there has never been a better time to invest into a more affordable and sustainable way to heating your swimming pool.


Saves money by using the free natural rays of the sun. Most cost-effective and sustainable way to heat any pool or spa. Can be paired with existing gas or heat pump heating systems. Will reduce your energy bills considerably when used as a primary source of heating. Resistant to cockatoo attack and hail damage. 100% Australian made for Australia’s harsh climate. Custom build sizes to maximise roof space. Patented one piece injection over moulded polypropylene construction. Pool industry recognised and certified. After 20 plus years of useful life the solar panels can be 100% recycled.


CALL NOW: (03) 5979 1043 Factory 6/1879 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Hastings

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Voted by SPASA, National GOLD winner for the most national GOLD winner Sustainablefor Product of the Year 2023. most sustainable product of the year 2023


PROFESSIONAL. RELIABLE. AFFORDABLE PLUMBING A family run local business with the owner Matt having over 20 years experience in the trade. We specialise in all types of plumbing works from maintenance to renovations and new builds. Whatever your plumbing needs, no job is too big or too small. We are also licensed in all aspects of gas works. Red Hot Plumbing take pride on customer service and care. Contact us to discuss your plumbing needs.

P: 0438 065 345 E: W:

Receive 10% Off your purchase

*When you present this ad. Offer valid until 31.03.24

Podiatry-Based Assessment Latest Technology Perfect Fit Active Feet Mornington puts your comfort and health first. We're dedicated to helping you find the perfect fit for all occasions. Discover the perfect shoe to support your every step at Active Feet Mornington. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing personalised attention and finding the right shoe for your unique needs. Utilising the latest technology, such as video gait analysis, we ensure that you receive the best possible shoes, whether you’re looking for walking shoes or training for a marathon.

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visit us

We understand that every client is different, and our team takes the time to listen to your concerns to find a shoe that provides both support and comfort. Don’t settle for ill-fitting shoes that leave you feeling uncomfortable.

Come visit us and experience the difference that proper footwear can make in your life.

Active Feet Mornington offers a wide range of shoes including walking, casual, running, hiking, and trail shoes. With podiatrists onsite everyday, we offer the complete solution from foot-care to footwear.

29/31 Yuilles Rd, Mornington (03) 9021 2034

Visit us today and let us help you put your best foot forward.


SERVING UP AFTERNOON TEA WITH A TWIST! Flinders Hotel’s Gin High Tea launched for a limited season in 2019 but quickly became a permanent fixture in Victoria’s flourishing gin scene due to overwhelming demand. The unique three hour Gin High Tea experience begins with a choice of gin cocktail carefully crafted by the internationally trained head mixologist. Long time favourite is the Katy Berry made with BoatRocker Raspberry Gin and Strawberry Liqueur closely followed by the coastal inspired Hey There Sailor showcasing Bass & Flinders Maritime Gin. The journey continues with a delectable menu of sweet and savoury treats, all made inhouse by the talented culinary team at Flinders Hotel. The gins keep flowing with another two G&T's made with your choice of more than 60 premium Victorian distilled gins. A handy botanicals list assists with selecting gins suited to your palate and the knowledgable staff offer advice on the perfect mixer.

Flinders Hotel General Manager, Adam Hamilton, attests to the popularity of the Gin High Tea. “We often sell out weeks in advance. Everyone loves it. It’s a really unique way to learn about the Victorian gin scene and enjoy an afternoon with great food and company”. The Gin High Tea experience costs $95pp and is held every Saturday from 12pm in Zigis Bar & Dining in Flinders Hotel. For those concerned about driving, the hotel offers a tempting solution: the $499 Gin High Tea Sleepover package, which includes an overnight stay in the hotel’s beautifully appointed rooms, a guaranteed room upgrade, breakfast and, of course, the unforgettable Gin High Tea experience. Call us to make a reservation. P: (03) 5989 0201








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FURNITURE & MORE! Fabulous range of new, used & ex-display home furniture & homewares

FURNISH YOUR HOME LIKE A PRO For more than 50 years Frankston Auction Mart is one of Frankston’s most iconic new & used furniture shops. They do not run auctions, but offer direct to public with no flat packs in sight. FAM has an exciting new range of ex-display home furniture and décor direct from Melbourne’s top display homes that will have you styling like a pro at prices you can afford. There is a vast selection of amazing and fashionable pieces available at a fraction of the retail price. Owners Michaela & David say the pieces sells quickly. “You’re saving big money" they explain. "We're continually refurbishing our stock so each visit offers something different". Under one roof you can browse four factories of new & used, ex -display furniture, factory seconds & home décor. No waiting periods you can leave with your new spoils that day. FAM can deliver locally for a flat fee of $40. They’re open 6 days a week Monday – Saturday.

Frankston Auction Mart, 46-52 New Street, Frankston Mon to Fri 9.30am - 4pm, Sat 10am - 3pm P: 9783 9613

No auction in sight – just buy & go!

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



Tired of stale tasting supermarket eggs? Our farm is family owned and managed. We have been producing quality eggs for over 40 years, supplying the public, cafes, restaurants and other businesses on the peninsula. Eggs are collected 365 days a year so you can be assured that you are buying the freshest eggs with the best yolk and flavour from our barn door. Come and visit our Free Range hens roaming in their paddocks!


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AUTUMN SPECIAL • No more mud in your gutters

• Gutters stay clean - no more cleaning

• No more vermin or birds in your roof

• Save money and cleaning time

• Protect your most valued investment -your home, your building

• 28 year guarantee

1300 220 869 *Valid Until 31/3/24 Conditions apply

March 2024

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SeniorsLoving Life! oy Relax, Enjr! e & Discov

RELAX, ENJOY, DISCOVER! WITH LAMBLE TOURS Lamble Tours is a family-owned travel business, for over 27 years we have provided extensive touring experiences and happy memories for individuals and groups.

7 DAY SYDNEY VIVID LIGHTS THE CENTRAL COAST NSW 2 - 8 June 2024 *Fly/Fly Welcome to our 7 day tour to the bright lights of Vivid Sydney while spending some time taking in the Central Coast with multiple night stays. The holiday features many highlights, lunch Sydney Opera House, Vivid Lights Dinner Cruise! The Hawkwesbury Riverboat Postman Cruise.

Cost: $3,290

Per person twin share/double (Single supp: $690)

8 DAY CALEDONIA NOUMEA FEATURING BASTILLE DAY 10 - 17 July 2024 This new tour combines the breathtaking beauty of the South Pacific with the elegance of Europe, Nouméa, New Caledonia is a captivating cosmopolitan capital. Lined with magnificent beaches, beautiful waterways and no shortage of breathtaking vantage points, a visit to the New Caledonian capital reveals some of the incredible reasons why this corner of the globe shouldn’t be missed.

Cost: $4,890

Per person twin share/double (Single supp: $960)

WINTER ESCAPE QUEENSLAND 8 DAY BUNDABERG STAYPUT 6 - 13 August 2024 *Fly/Fly Come and join me on this wonderful winter escape to Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Over the next few day we travel North to Agnes Waters 1770 - Eurimbula National Park Coastline – Cruise to Lady Musgrave Island. Visit to The Bundaberg Barrell, home of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. We take a look at the True Brew Experience Tour, and so much more...

Our itineraries aim to please and are informative and pleasurable holidays for all levels of ability. There are no hidden extra costs. LAMBLE TOURS emphasises the importance of taking out travel insurance. Please ensure you check your policy for COVID19 coverage. With a Lambles Tour you will make new friends, and will travel with like minded - people. Included in a Lamble Tours holiday a home pick up and return service (metropolitan and Mornington Peninsula) For piece of mind and convenience, your holiday commences from the time we pick you up at your front door on the Mornington Peninsula.

P: 0418 853 810 W:

Cost: $3,860

Per person twin share/double (Single supp: $660)

NORFOLK ISLAND - INCLUDING THANKSGIVING DAY Thursday 21 – Friday 29 November 2024 Come and discover the incredible beauty of the island that is also so rich in history and culture. Norfolk Island is such the place. This green island paradise is found in the middle of the South Pacific.

Cost: $5,250

Per person twin share/double (Single supp: $750.00) Note: Entry Norfolk Island current drivers licence, current Passport or photo ID obtained from Australia Post.

Tours include: • Home pick up & return service metropolitan /Mornington Peninsula • Returnf Flights • Quality accommodation • Breakfasts – Evening meals – Lunches as per itinerary • Guided tours – Entrance fees * $200.00 deposit ASAP to secure booking Escorted by Vickie Lamble

For detailed itinerary phone: 0418 853 810 Email:

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Vickie Lamble - Lamble Tours


SeniorsLoving Life!

BAYSIDE SHOES - CARING FOR YOUR FEET WITH THE LATEST FOOT SCANNING TECHNOLOGY Bayside Shoes has been servicing the community since 1987 with a full footwear service to familes. Since 2012 they have been collaborating with medical, health and home care professionals to deliver footwear solutions for customers suffering foot and ankle problems across all age groups. Whether you are suffering plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions or just sore feet, we have a large range of footwear options in a wide range of sizes to assist resolve your specific foot issues. This April, we are launching the revolutionary Aetrex 3D foot scanner to deliver accurate foot data with key measurements of both feet length, width, girth, in-step and arch height with an accuracy up to 1 millimeter. Using both static and dynamic pressure tests it also captures the persons unique arch type and foot sole pressure points. 60% of people have one foot larger than the other and this will also capture this difference. The scanner uses 4 state of the art “RealSense” 3D Depth cameras to capture information with a 20 second foot scan. The data is then converted into a 3D model of the foot and displayed on the screen for an interactive customer experience by utilising over 3.5 million data points and then producing an accurate rendering of a life-like 3D reconstruction of both feet without socks.

The pictorial and text data is then emailed or as a hard copy option to the customer and their health professional. Bayside Shoes will be offering this service in store from April and will initially set appointment times for customers referred to by their health professional to have their feet scanned. A service fee of $20 per scan will be requested or it will be a free service where the customer purchased the footwear. Bayside Shoes is collaborating with The Global Footcare group who are the orthotic specialists that created the Vionic and Revere orthotic range of footwear and are also the distributors for the Scholl and Aetrex range of orthotic footwear and innersoles. This offers an orthotic friendly footwear range that offers great comfort with a fashionable look for whatever the footwear purpose for work, exercise or special occasion.

A: 103 Railway Parade, Seaford (corner of Clovelly Parade) P: 9785 1887 W:


*Discount does not apply to already marked down items or Brooks Shoes.





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SeniorsLoving Life!

SUPERBLY CRAFTED RETIREMENT LIVING Inspired by some of Australia’s most celebrated, heritagelisted retirement properties, Peninsula Lifestyle Retirement Village is designed to be both beautiful and practical. With gardens and walking paths arranged around the beautifully appointed clubhouse, its pedestrian-friendly village layout connects residents to friends and neighbours, and to the village’s social hub. You’ll revel in the benefits of smartly designed one- and twobedroom villas in a keyless swipe-to-enter gated community set among stunningly landscaped gardens. Peninsula Lifestyle Retirement Village delivers retirement living at its best.


Discover a boutique, familyfriendly, comfort-plus lifestyle village – with just 46 Villas that’s what Peninsula Lifestyle Retirement Village in Baxter offers. Each Villa offers retirement luxury living with Caesarstone benchtops, air conditioning, built -in-robes, double glazed windows, high ceilings and European appliances. Share stories with other residents over a cuppa in the community centre or get creative with those who share similar interests.

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Whether it be a craft morning, a game of indoor bowls, darts, billiards or simply enjoying a movie or sports event on our big screen. Tone up in the gym, while away hours in the potting shed and raised vegetable gardens or simply relax with a book from the library. Discover Independent Living with a sense of community complete with security for peace of mind. There’s something for everyone.


SeniorsLoving Life!

SKYE LODGE HITS NEW HEIGHTS With the opening of their third and final community Reef, Skye Lodge is hitting new heights with resident numbers climbing to near capacity. And why wouldn’t they? Skye Lodge is a state of the art, purpose-built Residential Aged Care Home, conveniently located in Frankston and close to beautiful bayside beaches, golf clubs and essential services and shops. It is a place where residents and their families feel right at home from the moment they walk through the door. The light, airy, modern and extensive indoor and outdoor living spaces provide ample opportunity for residents to host family and friends, or just relax and unwind at their own leisure. The spacious, well-appointed bedrooms with ensuite, provide privacy and comfort for all levels of care needs. A comprehensive leisure and lifestyle program, including daily exercise, mens’ groups, arts and crafts, pet therapy, outings and many more activities ensure residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to planning their days. January got off to a cracking start with plenty of live entertainment, games, yoga and meditation, and opportunities to indulge in happy hour and coffee club. Not to mention a visit from the local Whip It Up Ice Cream Truck and an Australia Day celebration to make any Aussie proud. And when it comes to food Skye Lodge does not disappoint! Seasonal menus created by an executive chef provide residents

with fresh, tasty and highly nutritious meals. Special occasions are celebrated with specially crafted meals, be it the festive Christmas Day spread or the delicious Chinese New Year feast. The on-site boutique Jetty Café with coffee, tea and snacks is a warm and welcoming meeting point and a hub of activity at any time of the day. The dedicated nursing and care team at Skye Lodge have an uncompromising determination to ensure residents receive the highest quality of clinical care from the moment they walk through the door. Registered Nurses supported by Personal Care Staff are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure residents’ individual needs are continuously monitored and documented, ensuring best practise in clinical care is always taken. Visiting GPs and a full range of Allied Services round out the promise of delivering excellence to every resident, every time. Contact Skye Lodge today on 1300 428 886 to discuss your care needs or to book in a tour!

AUTUMN AGED CARE – SKYE LODGE A: 175 McMahons Rd, Frankston P: 1300 428 886 W:

Unwavering commitment to delivering excellence Book a Tour Today! 1300 428 886 WALK-INS WELCOME

SKYE LODGE Frankston



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SeniorsLoving Life!

NEW STAIRSAFE SYSTEM Acorn Stairlifts has just launched a revolutionary new product into the Australian Market called StairSafe. This is a system that uses a small electronic module installed inside the stairlift. It constantly monitors the operation and usage of the stairlift and communicates information back to StairSafe HQ. It can also be monitored by the stairlift user, or by a loved one or carer, using a free app on a smartphone or tablet. For example, if your stairlift is not parked correctly on its charge point, StairSafe will alert the monitoring centre which can then contact you so the problem can be quickly and easily rectified. StairSafe can also detect when the stairlift is experiencing an error as soon as it happens, so it can be put right before you need to use the lift. In this way, StairSafe deals with minor problems before they become emergencies, and avoids the need for unnecessary callouts. It’s simple, flexible and customisable. P: 1800 052 631 W:

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Mt Eliza Gardens Aged Care is a brand new luxurious, 141 suite state-of-the-art aged care facility, located on the Mornington Peninsula, and it is now open for tours. The prestigious facility is part of the family-owned Australian Aged Care Group Pty Ltd (AACG), which prides itself on innovation in caring for the aged with a mission to excel in providing quality care services and accommodation. Mt Eliza Gardens is architecturally designed with premium hotel-style accommodation that embraces older Australians in a place where they feel most comfortable, while still living in their local community.

The facility has been purposefully designed with careful attention to detail in the quality of the living environment and services provided. It will be staffed to meet the increasingly discerning standards demanded by our ageing population. The multi level facility will provide care to residents with ageing in place programs offering all levels of care, as well as consulting suites for medical practitioners and allied health professionals. We also offer a dedicated Memory Support Unit. The spacious and elegant facility consists of several separate wings, adjoining central lounges, café, bar, reception centre and provides an extensive range of services to assist residents in remaining active and engaged.

Features include: n Single, spacious rooms/suites with ensuite bathrooms and comfortable living area n Ageing in place programs n Larger suites with fully equipped kitchenettes and lounge area for premium style of living n Spacious lounge, sitting and dining areas n Individually controlled heating and air conditioning in every room/suite n Telephone, Foxtel and Netflix connection points in every room/suite n Expansive undercover car parking n Courtyard and outdoor garden sitting areas n Private GP Consulting Room n Hairdressing & Beauty Salon

n Chapel (non-denominational) n Gold Class Cinema n Café and Bar n Physiotherapy room and large Gym n LED TV screens in every room/suite n Dedicated bus for resident outings n Wi-Fi n Private Dining Room for special occasions To discuss your individual requirements and experience the Mt Eliza Gardens Aged Care lifestyle firsthand, please phone (03) 8001 8000 or visit our website

Mt Eliza Gardens Aged Care 235 Canadian Bay Road, Mt Eliza Victoria (03) 8001 8000 March 2024

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SeniorsLoving Life!

GREENWAYS: A NEW LIFESTYLE! How do you choose a retirement village? For some it’s location. Or facilities. Services. For others its low maintenance. Or new home features. But for most, it’s the promise of a thriving, social, welcoming and supportive lifestyle that is so important. Greenways Retirement Village offers a lifestyle few can match. It boasts an active, fun and happy community in bayside Seaford, the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula. Being one of the few privately owned villages in Victoria, it puts people first, and has done so for over 45 years. This means that the opportunities to socialise, meet new friends and get involved at the village are encouraged and supported at all levels.

bingo, movie afternoons or games groups. Or, for the sports lovers, there’s a private village bowling green and club house, regular indoor bowls sessions, pool/billiards and the village fitness centre. Whatever your interest. Greenways could be just the right fit for you. Choose from newly refurbished one, two and three bedroom villa units or the convenience and ease of one bedroom apartments within close to the village club centre. Apartments start from $311,000 and villa units from $386,000.

At the heart of the village, the Greenways Community Centre is always busy. Residents come together regularly for a cuppa, an activity or to share a meal in the village restaurant. Residents embrace the many activities on offer as well as events, fundraisers, market days and cocktail parties (to name a few!). So, whether it be dining events or themed functions such as Scones & Songs, Australia Day BBQs, Anzac Day Ceremonies, Spring Carnival celebrations, or Village Fashion Shows. Or regular activities such as a trivia competitions, birthday celebrations,

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A: 330 Frankston-Dandenong Road, Seaford P: (03) 9786 8679 W:

Life feels good Life feels good

“There is just nothing like being surrounded by goodispeople” “There just nothing like being surrounded by good people” Safe, secure and full of the most wonderful people. Staff and residents alike, the people of Greenways Village are caring, supportive and lifelong friendships are ready for the making.

See it for yourself. Come visit, talk to the people who live here. We’re certain you’ll be making new friends in no time.

CALL US TODAY ON 03 9786 8679

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3 3 0 F R A N K S T O N – D A N D E N O N G R O A D , S E A F O R D 3 1 9 8 (MELWAYS REFERENCE 99 K6) WWW.GREENWAYSVILLAGE.COM.AU Safe, secure and full of the most wonderful

See it for yourself. Come visit, talk to the

March 2024



SeniorsLoving Life!

HELPING TO MAINTAIN AN INDEPENDENT LIFE Westernport Mobility have long specialised in the sale and repair of mobility scooters and home mobility products, and have now introduced a whole new range of living aids. Proof that a good business is constantly growing and keeping with the times, Westernport Mobility have expanded into health care products for the home. Owner Ray Percival says it’s part of providing a wider service to the community. “We now have lift chairs, which are ideal for when people have had operations like hip replacements. They might need a lift chair temporarily after surgery, or they might need one full time in their home,” says Ray. “At Westernport Mobility, you can either hire or buy depending on your needs.” Also included in the new range are products to help those with rheumatism. “We have jar and bottle openers, and other home aids like special cutlery for those with arthritis, that help people maintain an independent life,” says Ray.

With a commitment to providing a high level of customer service, Westernport Mobility also offer home demonstrations of products. Head to their new website and purchase your needs through the online shop or visit them in store.

At Westernport Mobility, it’s all about supplying products that make it easier for everyday living. You can buy or hire most products, including mobility scooters, electric lift beds, electric lift chairs, walking aids, bathroom and toilet aids and living aids.

A: Shop 6 & 7/8 Victoria Street, Hastings P: 5979 8374 W:

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Unique &Antique.

Garry Pakenham offers an eclectic blend of coins, toys, and an extensive range of collectables.

0415 322 464 14 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Tyabb

The Tyabb Packing House and outdoors at the Tyabb Village, are home to numerous dealers, all specialists in their fields. Come along on the grand journey and discover. • Unique Home Decor • Manchester • Tablewear • Bed Linen • Gifts...and more!

ing you’ll love shopp e! or at this st

Located at the TYABB PACKING HOUSE 14 Mornington Tyabb Rd, Tyabb

P: 0417 596 781 I E: W:

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N O W P L AY I N G . . .

at the Tyabb Packing House Australia’s LARGEST selection of original movie posters on display

Also movie memorabilia, lobby cards and comics,along with difficult to find DVDs, Disney and Beatrix Potter, limited edition figurines and statues and so much more!


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Let us create the jewellery of your dreams mon i cas zwa ja 0419 564 363 CONTEMPORARY DESIGNER JEWELLERY From contemporary

to antique


Antiques and Collectables 0418 513 971

14 Mornington-Tyabb RD Tyabb Thursday to Sunday 10am-5pm 0408 531 687

Shop 18 at the Tyabb Packing House The Tyabb Packing House and the Village 14 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Tyabb. Mornington Peninsula

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The Science of Selling Awesome Men’s Stuff

Exclusive Range of Men’s Leather Goods

Visit the Best Men’s Gift Store in the Entire Universe!

now at the Packing House Village

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Home of The 12 months of Christmas T YABB PACKING HOUSE - 14 MORNINGTON-T YABB RD, T YABB OPEN THURSDAY TO SUNDAY 10AM UNTIL 5PM INSTAGRAM @trudi_s_place March 2024

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Puzzle Corner ACROSS 1. Displace 5. Combined 11. The D of COD 15. Famous ballpoint 16. Whiskey flavour 17. Entombs 19. Handiwork 21. Lanky 23. Presented (play) 25. All together, en ... 27. Shards 28. Bay 30. Washing machine contents 31. Unnoticed 32. Earthy pigment 33. Bangkok cuisine 34. Brash newcomer 35. Quartz rock 36. Antlered beast 38. Bar (of soap) 40. Ascend (2,2) 42. Rapid surge 44. Unconscious state 45. Incite (3,2) 46. Tower (over) 48. Bahamas capital 49. Palaver (2-2) 50. Long narrative 51. Trendy (4,2) 52. Boast 53. Replenishes (stamp pad) 54. Adolescent 55. Skin irritation 56. Memorised 58. Fairly 59. Hi-fi 61. Desexes 63. Whichever 64. Type of plastic (1,1,1) 65. Ugly elf 67. Scale (mountain) 69. Knight's charger 71. Snake, puff ... 73. Major Egyptian metropolis 74. Girls 76. Accumulates (debt) (4,2) 78. Dodge (duty) 80. Appeal 82. Astronaut, ... Armstrong 83. Disciple of Jesus 85. Walks confidently 89. Examine 91. Kidnap payout 93. A solitary

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94. Nuclear 96. Boudoir 98. Alien spaceship (1,1,1) 99. GPS direction-finder, sat ... 100. Salad item, ... sprouts 102. Two-tone horse 103. US capital of Georgia 104. Mice 105. Belly 106. Pooch 107. Strange & beautiful curios 108. 21 gun ... 110. British award (1,1,1) 112. Sends via Internet 114. Kabul currency 117. Dethroned 120. Staying power 123. Cook in oven 125. Confiscate 127. Profundity 128. Derived from milk 131. Withstand 133. Powerful gust 134. Overweight 135. Metered-fare conveyances 136. Sample 137. Niggard 140. Dolphin group 141. Seal pelt 142. Frittered away 145. Slightest 147. Of voting system 148. Uncomfortable, ill ... (2,4) 150. Radiance 151. Ripped 152. Ancient Peruvian 153. Old school, ... mater 154. Tradition 156. Copied 158. Dangle 160. Lumberjack's shout 162. Front of hand 163. Gender war, battle of the ... 164. Acclaim 165. Tibet's Dalai ... 166. Moose 167. Stretched firm 168. Poor, ... up 170. Flow of cars 172. Reproduction 173. Jeans maker, ... Strauss 174. Philatelist's scrapbooks

March 2024

177. Carry out 179. Prude 180. Dance nightclub 182. Roadway cavity 183. Perishing 185. Move with springy steps 187. Tiddly 188. Terminate 189. Persuade 191. Sixth musical note 192. Line (of knitting) 193. Detested 194. Incessantness 195. Supplements

DOWN 1. Bored 2. TV studio filming area 3. Sacks from job 4. Recedes 5. Regional speech pattern 6. Degrade 7. Penetrate (3,2) 8. Female zebras 9. Flex (muscles) 10. Evaporating 11. Bargain 12. Final (effort) (4-5) 13. Heart monitor (1,1,1) 14. European Jewish language 18. Steadfastly 20. Speckled 22. Arid US state 24. Modification 26. Able to be overcome 29. Near miss (6,6) 37. Enfold 38. Highway reflectors 39. Self-centred people 40. Delicate gauze 41. Duck-billed Aussie river mammal 43. Situation comedy 44. Abel's brother 47. Roast lamb herb 57. Accompany 60. Lesser white herons 62. Mexican friend 66. Address crowd 68. Forbidden 69. Religious offshoot 70. Prince Charles, ... of Cornwall

72. Fancy food shops 73. Hotel cleaner 75. Satisfied sighs 77. Do ... others 79. Lavish 81. Be triumphant 84. Shriek 85. Smeared 86. Highest level of building 87. Strips bare 88. Criticised brutally 90. Ghost 92. Peace prize 95. Florida resort 97. Choose 101. Slipshod 109. Nitrogen-rich soil additive 111. Whack 113. Picnic pests 115. Is wide open 116. Onto terra firma 118. Prepare (manuscript) 119. Former husbands 121. Convent head 122. Dead ringer, spitting ... 124. Compulsive thief 126. Prettily 129. Military operation's title 130. Tumbles (of water) 131. Deflected bullet 132. Airline (catering & entertainment) (2-6) 138. Tropical lizard 139. Abnormal thinness 143. Tapering at the top (4-6) 144. Amount 146. Desist 149. Wagging appendage 155. Wastes 157. Alaskan natives 159. Routinely (2,1,4) 161. Assailing 165. Pond flower leaf (4,3) 169. Excavators 171. Provide garments for 172. Jockeys 175. Raised bid, ... the ante 176. Fashion 177. Sharpen view 178. Depart 181. Marketed 184. Des Moines is there 186. Promos 190. Ashes jar

See page 80 for solution

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Unveiling the Wellness Experience: Smile N Co. redefines dentistry on the Mornington Peninsula


n the heart of the picturesque Mornington Peninsula lies a dental oasis that transcends the ordinary – Smile N Co. Our boutique dental practice isn't just a place for routine check-ups; it's a sanctuary where comprehensive examinations intertwine seamlessly with holistic dentistry, fullbody wellness, and an atmosphere that feels more like a spa retreat than a typical dentist's office. As you step through our doors, you're immediately enveloped in an ambiance of tranquility. The stresses of traditional dental visits are left behind as you enter a space designed to evoke relaxation and well-being. At Smile N Co., your journey towards optimal oral and overall health begins with a warm welcome and the option to savor a refreshing wellness juice or a herbal tea of your choice. Our luxurious dental rooms are meticulously crafted to enhance your comfort, ensuring that your time with us is not just a routine appointment but a rejuvenating experience. However, what truly sets us apart is our commitment to holistic dentistry and fullbody wellness. Beyond the standard dental examination, our expert team delves deeper, conducting tests that go beyond the conventional scope of dental practices. We believe in a proactive approach to oral health, and this is reflected in our focus on preventative care. As part of our comprehensive examination, we measure not only your dental health but also crucial indicators of your overall well-being. Imagine having your blood pressure and glucose levels assessed as part of your dental visit. At Smile N Co., these essential health metrics are integrated into our examination process, providing a more holistic understanding of your body's interconnected systems. This holistic approach allows us to tailor our dental care to your unique health profile. But that's not where our commitment ends. Smile N Co. proudly introduces an exclusive offering to the Mornington Peninsula – the Larkin Protocol. This groundbreaking test involves taking a sample of the patient's biofilm, placing it under a microscope, and examining the bacteria present in the mouth. By identifying the specific bacteria residing in your oral microbiome, we gain valuable insights that enable us to preemptively address potential issues. Traditional dentistry often reacts to problems after they arise. At Smile N Co., we believe in a proactive strategy. The Larkin Protocol empowers us to treat identified bacteria before they escalate into problems like cavities or gum disease. It's a gamechanger in preventative dentistry, aligning perfectly with our philosophy of focusing on wellness rather than illness.

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Our dedication to preventive care extends to every aspect of our practice. We're not just here to fix problems – we're here to help you avoid them. By understanding the intricate balance of your oral health and overall well-being, we strive to keep your smile radiant and your body in harmony. In conclusion, Smile N Co. invites you to experience dentistry in a new light. Break free from the conventional and embrace a holistic approach that prioritizes your wellness. Step into our spa-like atmosphere, savor a moment of tranquility, and embark on a dental journey that transcends expectations. Welcome to Smile N Co., where your well-being is our priority, and your smile is a reflection of true health.

1/10 Main St, Mornington VIC 3931 • (03) 5975 9994 @smilenco.mornington @smilenco_

Healthiest and Happiest year yet Many people are not aware of the links between mouth health and full body vitality. Here at Smile N Co., we are on a mission to help make the Mornington Peninsula healthier, happier and smile more!

Full dental examination Xrays

1/10 Main Street Mornington 5975 9994

Dental Clean Tailored Treatment Plan


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March 2024 PENINSULA


RABBITS - THE ROAD TO RICHES Based on the book, “The Rabbit King” by Catherine Watson and compiled by Ilma Hackett (Balnarring & District Historical Society)


n the early years of the 20th century, Michael McCraith, a printer, and his wife, Mary, rented a Victorian cottage in Kensington opposite the Newmarket Saleyards. The couple’s first-born, George, died in infancy. Then came a son, Gerald Mack, in 1909, a daughter, May, two years later and John Andrew, the last child, in 1916. John was called Jack from an early age. Their lives changed when, in 1922, the family moved into their own, brand-new house in Essendon on the outskirts of Melbourne. Michael had paid £10 for a block of land in Cooper Street and borrowed £800 to build a three-bedroom, weatherboard house. The children now had open paddocks as their playground and Michael, a keen shooter, found quail and hares in the rural land on his doorstep.

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Complete opposites Jack, like his father, loved hunting and shooting while Gerald was the complete opposite. Although he enjoyed sport, Gerald was bookish. He wore glasses and was considered a ‘brain box’. While Jack was out in the country with his ferrets or setting his rabbit traps, Gerald was studying nature. He left school at 14, despite winning a scholarship to Trinity Grammar, as the family could not afford the cost of books and uniform. From his early teens he joined likeminded friends and scoured the area around Melbourne in what would become a life-long search for rare orchids. He took every opportunity to collect orchid specimens. “You destroy things, I create them”, he once told his brother, a remark that long rankled. The differences between the two brothers widened as they grew

On his first buying trip he rode his bike into the nearby countryside towards Bulla and bought two rabbits. At home he skinned them in the back yard, then sold them at a profit to the neighbours. This he continued to do, buying in increasing numbers and making himself known to, and respected by, the shooters. When he was seventeen Jack worked at Noon Pies, earning 7/6 a week. Selling rabbits earned him more and as soon as he was sure that they would supply a regular income, Jack left Noon Pies and struck out on his own.

older. However, they shared one important characteristic– a burning desire to make their own way. “We all learned to buy and sell at an early age because times were pretty tight,” Gerald recalled. “This was the 1930s and things were pretty tough all round. If you didn’t get off your backside and do something for yourself, you starved . . . You’d keep your eye open for any job or anything you could do to earn a bob or two.” Jack’s Decision When Jack was fifteen he made a pivotal decision. “Everyone knows how to catch rabbits,” he said, “I’ll learn how to sell them.”

Gerald worked at various jobs after leaving school and established a mail-order orchid business, selling orchids he propagated at home. He married in 1930 and he and his wife, Ellen (Nell) bought a milk bar. Gerald sold milk door-to-door while Nell worked in the shop. Two years later they established Mack’s Lending Library from a shop in Essendon. Gerald made rounds with a handcart of books then, as the business grew, the handcart was replaced by a motor cycle and sidecar. Jack’s rabbit business continued to expand, with Gerald helping Jack to skin and gut the rabbits. Jack pursued rabbits further afield, visiting Kilmore, Romsey and Lancefield one day, the Mornington Peninsula the next. He had a lot of trappers working on Cape Schanck, an area covered with ti-tree and a haven for rabbits. With a trailer on the back of his Harley Davidson motorbike and a box continued next page...

Left: A refrigerated trailer Above: The brothers' parents, Michael and Mary, circled Below: Catching rabbits at Merricks, 1930's

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as a sidecar, he could carry about 600 pairs of rabbits. He brought them back to the Brunswick ice-works where they now processed the rabbits, then he and Gerald worked late into the night skinning and cleaning them. When they finished early the next morning, Jack loaded up his motorbike and went out selling, while Gerald cleaned up and left to do his library round. By 1940 Jack had 184 depots throughout Victoria, N.S.W. and S.A. where trappers and shooters could bring their catch. It was a competitive business and hunters were, in general, a rough lot but so was Jack. He conducted business in person and they knew they could trust him. Moreover, Jack McCraith paid cash, on the spot. World War 2 boosts business When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Gerald was one of the first to join up. He had joined the Citizens Military Forces early in the 1930s and when war was declared, went straight into the army. Later he transferred to the Royal Air Force as an instructor in signals. He was in Darwin when it was bombed by the Japanese in 1942-3. Gerald demobbed before the end of the war and joined Jack in his rabbiting business to help feed troops in army camps around Victoria. The two brothers formed a partnership. Jack’s job was to get rabbits into the factory as cheaply as possible, and Gerald’s job was to sell them for as much as possible. They pioneered the use of refrigerated transport to bring carcases from as far away as the Western Australian border. Rabbits were now processed at the Melbourne Fish Market on the banks of the Yarra River. (When it was demolished in 1957, they moved to City Rd, South Melbourne.) Gerald explored overseas markets for the postAbove: Jack McCraith Below: Chiller units heading for Bulloo Downs Station, Queensland

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war years. By the late 1940s the company was one of the largest exporters of rabbits in Victoria. An article in PIX magazine on 27 September, 1947 detailed how the McCraith business operated. It reported that “in the year before the war Australia exported skins worth just under £1,000,000 and carcases worth just under £500,000. Last year receipts were £6,000,000 for skins and £1,00,000 for carcasses.” J. A. & G. McCraith, which traded until the early 1980s, was the last company in Victoria to hold a rabbit export licence. The company contributed to the control of feral rabbits in outback Australia and exported more than 32,000 rabbits a week to Sainsbury's, the big British food company; sold hares to Belgium and the Netherlands; rabbits' feet to Japan to be made into lucky charms; rabbit skins to the Akubra Hat Company and rabbit fur for the fashion industry. Over 130 million rabbits were exported during the company’s period of operation.

The company continued to prosper throughout the 1950s despite the introduction of myxomatosis. It obtained rabbits from the drier, inland areas unaffected by mosquitoes. However, the introduction of battery-raised chickens brought a decline in demand when chicken replaced rabbit as a cheap form of meat. Then, in the 1960s, China entered the export market. Its communist government made it compulsory for every village household to raise rabbits for export. Chinese rabbits were smaller and of inferior quality but they were so much cheaper. In the 1970s Whitlam’s Labour Government made sweeping changes to the food industry. It raised workers’ wages and introduced tighter regulations and inspections. Bureaucratic red tape became a nightmare. The brothers decided to quit. They sold their business in 1980 for $1,000,000. continued next page...

What is surprising, given their diverse interests, is that the brothers made a superb team. They trusted each other’s judgement and integrity and worked together for more than 40 years. By the 1950s they were millionaires. Jack’s reputation as the Rabbit King was firmly established and rail or road trucks with their logo were widely recognised.

Below: Packing rabbit carcasses Right: Advertisement for The Rabbit King

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‘Larrakeya’, Gerald’s dream home Dromana, on the Mornington Peninsula, was relatively undeveloped in the 1950s. Gerald and Nell owned several bush blocks in Atunga Terrace. In 1954 they commissioned architect, David Chancellor, of Chancellor and Patrick, to design what became one of the most remarkable buildings on the peninsula. The house, at 1 Atunga Terrace, was known as the Butterfly House due to its unique geometric shape. Max Howell, a Dromana builder supervised its building. Construction began at Easter, 1956. Gerald named the house ‘Larrakeyah’ after the army camp where he was stationed in Darwin. The Shire of Flinders Heritage Study (1992) declared it to be “of state significance as an innovative design which explores architectural concerns of its era in a creative and influential manner.” It featured in an exhibition at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in 2006, and again in 2009. Today it has national heritage listing. Amazingly, it remains exactly as it was in 1956 – down to the interior and exterior wall colour, furniture, crockery, even the bed linen. In 2013, the house was gifted to RMIT University, and now serves as accommodation for RMIT’s writer-in-residence program. Above: Jack and Gerald, 1980, after selling the business Below: The 'Butterfly House'

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In Pursuit of Orchids Gerald’s interest in orchids became a lifetime passion. In 1931 he joined the Victorian Orchid Club, becoming its president from 1959 until 1962. In 1960 he was instrumental in founding the Australian Orchid Council and four years later was its president. In 1976, Gerald co-founded the Australian Orchid Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that raises and distributes funds to promote scientific research on Australasian orchids and in 1986, after twenty years of campaigning, he was successful in realising his vision to have Australian native orchids featured on a set of Australia Post stamps. His passion for propagating orchids and for furthering the appreciation of Australian indigenous orchids led to an Order of Australia award for services to horticulture. Two of his hybrids bear his name. Gerald travelled widely to remote areas in his quest to locate rare orchids and he attended every World Orchid Conference from the fourth conference, held in Singapore in 1963, until the seventeenth in Malaysia in 2002 when he was 93 years old. In 2002 he flew to the U.S.A. to receive an award for his philanthropic activities. Gerald McCraith died on 26 May, 2009, aged 100. A Hall of Fame Shooter Brother Jack had also followed his passion. An expert shooter he won many awards, among them the Metropolitan Pigeon Shooting Championship in 1941. Throughout the ‘40s he competed in trapshooting and was regarded as one of the greatest shots in Australia. In 1949 it was reported he was also one of the unluckiest – twice he was runner-up in the Champion of Champion events. Altogether he won 80 titles (including Champion of Champions). A colourful figure, he was always prominent in any move to further the sport. He was probably the biggest gambler that the sport of shooting has ever seen and thrived in the live bird competitions of the day. He loved to do battle with the bookmakers and anybody else game enough to wager with him. On one memorable Saturday afternoon, at the old Melbourne Gun Club, Jack was reputed to have won more than £5,000 from the assembled bookmakers. This was enough to have purchased a very comfortable home in one of the better suburbs of Melbourne but, as any gambler knows, you have good days and bad days. He is also reputed to have lost £1,000, his car and his gun, all on the one Saturday afternoon. continued next page... Right top: Gerald McCraith Right middle: First Day Cover featuring Australian orchids Right: Jack McCraith wins Champion of Champions, 1950

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The Promising Young Footballer Jack McCraith was a passionate Essendon Football Club supporter and one of a group known as the “Essendonians” who worked informally to raise money for the club. In 1947, they heard about a promising young footballer at Hastings. Jack and a few other Essendonians went to Hastings to check out the reports and, as history records, John Coleman was signed to play for Essendon. In his first game with Essendon, Coleman kicked a record 12 goals and went on to kick 100 goals for the season. He played 98 games for Essendon and kicked 537 goals. A serious knee injury in 1954 brought his playing career to an end. In 1960 he bought ‘Pindara’ at Arthurs Seat. Coleman started coaching Essendon in 1961, won premierships in 1962 and 1965, but retired from football a year later to concentrate on running the Dromana Hotel. It was there, on 5 April, 1973, that he died suddenly of coronary atheroma, aged 44. Doug Ackerly’s biography, “Coleman: the Untold Story of an A.F.L. Legend”, contains an appendix of ‘Coleman Myths’. Third on the list is, “He went to Essendon after club patrons raised £500 to buy a tractor for the family farm.” The source of this myth is uncertain but Jack McCraith never refuted the story. The Coleman statue in Hastings was unveiled on 22 September, 2005 by John’s brother, Albert, and daughter, Jenny Goullet. When the tractor story was raised with Albert, he replied, “If Jack has sent a tractor it must be coming the long way round.” With a smile he added, “Mind you, I still glance up and down Hendersons Road each day to see if there is any sign of it.”

Jack’s beach house and farm on the Mornington Peninsula In 1939 Jack had wed Aimee Small and the couple had two sons, Donald and Colin. In the 1950s, Jack bought a holiday house in McCombe St, Rosebud. At the time Rosebud was more of a peaceful backwater than the suburb it is today. Family holidays were usually spent here. There Jack indulged his interest in boats. Son, Colin, could never understand how his father, who never learnt to swim, was always putting himself in danger on the water. In 1956 Jack McCraith fulfilled a dream and bought ‘Boniyong’, a 600-acre property in Browns Rd, Boneo. He also acquired its herd of Poll Hereford cattle. He only had a vague idea of how he would use the farm except to shoot the ducks, quail and snipe that were there. He employed a manager, Eric Terry, to run the property and came at weekends to shoot. (Terry descendants would manage ‘Boniyong’ for the Mc Craiths until 1980). However, Jack soon became hooked on farming and continued to come to the peninsula every weekend. The property became prime grazing land. Jack was training his eldest son, Donald, to follow his footsteps and eventually take over from him. Donald was employed at ‘Boniyong’, starting as a farmhand. In the early 1960s Jack paid $75,000 for 220 acres on the east side of Boneo Rd, south of Limestone Rd. He put in irrigation and Donald and the manager of ‘Boniyong’, Eric Terry, raised fat lambs there. After Donald’s marriage in 1962 he and his bride made ‘Boniyong’ their home. continued next page...


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Left: The Coleman statue, Hastings Above: Albert Coleman and Jenny Goullet at the unveiling

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Simmental Fleckvieh’ Facebook page describes Jack as a “man with determination.” Barry Toohey who worked for Jack for forty years both in the rabbit factory and at ‘Boniyong’, pulled no punches. “He was an old bastard of a thing to work for.” Jack expected his employees to work hard and demanded their loyalty. In return he repaid their loyalty and was, at times, generous in his support. Despite their arguments Jack and Barry succeeded in becoming very good graziers with ‘Boniyong’s’ vealers topping the sales at Dandenong Market for five consecutive years, bringing in an average of more than $500 a head. Jack did very well with land on the Mornington Peninsula. One block he bought for $80,000 in the 1960s, to grow lucerne, he sold a few years later for $450,000. He never sold ‘Boniyong’. Jack had paid £25,000 for it in 1956, and when he was offered $2.5 million for it in 1995, his response was, “Come back and see the family the day after I die. I’m not selling.” ***

Above: Jack's son, Donald McCraith

Another Potential Champion Like his father, Donald McCraith was an expert shooter although they were unalike in temperament. Those who knew Donald describe him as “a quiet and humble achiever”. Jack, a hard taskmaster, believed Donald could win an Olympic medal. On 16 June, 1969 Donald shot 300 out of 300 with a single-barrelled gun at the National Shoots at Geelong and was carried from the stadium in triumph by the other shooters. “What do you think of that, Dad?” he asked his father. “It’s fair,” said Jack, “but you’ve got to shoot 500 out of 500 to win a gold medal at the Olympics.” The next day, Donald McCraith died in a motorcar collision in Hastings. He was aged 27. A few weeks later a letter arrived informing him of his selection for the 1972 Munich Olympics. Boniyong After Donald’s death, Jack retained ‘Boniyong’ where he bred Poll Hereford cattle. At one stage, the cattle developed an eye cancer. Jack asked around and purchased Simmental Fleckvieh bulls to service his cows. This fixed the problem and a comment on the ‘Ten-Rose International

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Jack’s story was told in a book titled “The Rabbit King: Jack McCraith and his Rabbit Empire”. Written in 1996 by Catherine Watson, it was paid for by Jack and, according to Barry Toohey, it really says only good things about the man who became a multi-millionaire and controlled the rabbit industry for forty years. Barry added, “He was business savvy . . . one of a kind – he could turn his hand to anything.” John Andrew McCraith died on 20 April, 2001. He was 84. More recently a film, “Rabbits”, has been made by Donald McCraith’s grandson, Riley Sugars, which explores the relationship between Jack Mc Craith and his son.

References: Sources: “The Rabbit King: Jack McCraith and his Rabbit Empire” by Catherine Watson [1996]; “Butterfly House” – ABC Documentary [Nov. 19th 2006]; The Rabbit Industry in S.E. Australia 1870 – 1970; “Rabbit Trader who loved Orchids”, Bin Dixon-Ward and Kate McNeil (obituary - The Sydney Morning Herald); Australian Shooters Association Website; Material from “The Rabbit King” used with permission.

March 2024

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