JUST BE COS
Costume dramas of underground superheroes
Two artists, two very different choices of material
JOURNEY TO SRI LANKA
Young duo hits surf to save lives in island nation
Off and racing with Elecia and Dylan
Torquay’s trip from hideaway to boomtown
IN CONVERSATION with Ocean Grove’s dynamo mum
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Boats building bonds of community
COVER: Ocean Grove’s Stephanie Asher soaks up the summer sun on Geelong’s waterfront. Picture: Joseph Van der Hurk www.gcmagazine.com.au facebook.com/gcmaggeelongcoast @GeelongCoast
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AMBER Dew is chasing marketing and modelling glory after placing fourth in the world’s third-most prestigious pageant in Japan. “(One day) I would like to be the CEO for an advertising agency and be a major pageant director, or run a modelling school,” the 21-year-old says.
The Lara local “couldn’t believe it” when officials at the 67th Miss International pageant crowned her with a $100,000 tiara, as third runner-up out of 72 women from across the world. “I couldn’t stop smiling and thinking of how lucky I am to have gotten so far,” she says. Amber’s international pageant journey began with a single Facebook photo, which a modelling executive saw in 2015. A couple of months later, she journeyed to Taiwan to represent Australia in her first pageant. “I fell in love with pageants and became a freelance model,” she says. Amber won the ‘Miss Body’ award and saw Japan’s picturesque national parks while contesting Miss International last November. “The most beautiful part of Japan though was the people,” she says. “They are all so caring, genuine and humble.” She made her Japanese TV debut and starred alongside four other contestants in a local Panasonic commercial. Amber planned to continue her support of ovarian cancer charity Teal Wings of Hope, run a workshop for aspiring models and finish her studies at Deakin University. “I would love to join a modelling agency in Melbourne and do some modelling work on the side.” Her mother wants to take her to the “pageant capital of the world” - the Philippines - to train. “Mum is really proud of me and tells everyone about it!” she says. “We have hopes for me to be on the Miss Universe stage one day.” WORDS: LUKE VOOGT PICTURES: ANNIE MURRAY
… Terindah Estate This sumptuous Bellarine Estate winery combines award-winning wines with delectable food and sweeping views across Port Phillip Bay. Terindah Estate takes its name for the Indonesian word for ‘most beautiful’ - and visitors this summer will quickly find out why. The venue offers lunches and dinners on set days, along with weekend breakfasts and cellar door wine-tasting. Terindah Estate is at 90 McAdams Lane, Bellarine.
… Aaron’s Outdoors … Steel Art From giant model pot-plants to life-size pelicans, Steel Art’s striking products make talking points in any backyard. Daniel and Bianca Mcdonnell’s business sources metal from all sorts of places to make one-off sculptures with an artistic edge. The unique products also often have a practical aspect, such as seating and water features, but always with the Mcdonnells’ creative flair. Steel Art is at 29 Separation Street, North Geelong.
Mark Zimmerman calls his business Geelong’s “backyard transformer” - and that’s an understatement. His Aaron’s Outdoors Geelong supplies a great range of structures with endless applications, from cubbies and garden sheds through to pergolas and kennels. Meeting all regulations, Aaron’s Outdoors also offers free site inspections to deliver the right product for any yard. Aaron’s Outdoors is open seven days a week at 139 Melbourne Road, North Geelong.
… ICM Geelong Independent Cabinet Makers Geelong (ICM) is linking local home owners with quality providers to give young tradies a career lifeline. The network of quality cabinetmakers specialises in the highest standard of product, whether a new kitchen or minor joinery. ICM’s purpose is to highlight the standard of local cabinetmakers to help create jobs for young locals keen to work with their hands. Prospective clients can tap into the network via icmgeelong.com.au
THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO GO FOR FAMILIES
LUNCHBOX KING GEORGE GEORGIEVSKI
SLEEP LIKE A BABY (OR BETTER)
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SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SORTED
… Charles Rose’s Peonia diamond ring … Geelong Coast Kids With local star mum Angie Hilton as contributing editor, this colourful local magazine has all the information, ideas and advice families need.
Geelong jeweller Charles Rose has secured exclusive rights in Australia to this stunning Peonia diamond, set in a hand-made ring. With 88 facets, 31 more than the standard round, it’s set amid white claws and a rose gold bezel on a white gold band, with a collar of natural pink brilliants below. Check it out at Charles Rose, 98 Moorabool Street, Geelong.
The current summer edition features Angie’s Catch-Up interview with Instagram lunchbox king George Georgievski and his adorable daughters. Holiday activities, health advice and kids’ fashions are also covered. Geelong Coast Kids is free to pick up at hundreds of locations this summer.
… Wathaurong Glass Community-owned-and-operated Wathaurong Glass specialises in kiln-forming and sandblasting everything from windows and mirrors to bowls and platters The not-for-profit business began in 1998 to create Aboriginal art from glass while supporting the local Indigenous community. The products can be tailored for everything from unique gifts through to household décor or corporate awards. Wathaurong Glass invites prospective customers to visit its premises at 16 Rodney Road, North Geelong.
… Shell Club The Shell Club is a hidden gem in Geelong’s northern suburbs. Great meals, a sports bar and TAB facilities keep guests refreshed and entertained inside, while outside beautiful gardens and water features complement a new barbecue area. The Shell Club is an ideal venue for an evening out or private functions, with the dedicated chef able to personalise affordable menus. The Shell Club is at 76 Purnell Road, Corio.
THIS SEASON YOU SHOULD Make a statement with Salon Meraki Hamlyn Heights’ Salon Meraki Colour Specialists has the skills and products to give clients a great new look for summer. Voted best hairdresser in 2017’s Best of the Bay awards, the L’Oreal colour specialist is an expert in colouring, cutting and styling. Permanent and semi-permanent colour options are available, along with ammonia-free treatments. Clients also call on Salon Meraki for blow-waves, straightening and curling. Paraben and sulphate-free vegan shampoos and conditioners are available, along with hair styling for men and children. More information is available at salonmerki.com.au or facebook.com/ salonmerakics.
Light up with local olive oil After this year’s harvest, Lighthouse Olive Oil has created eight different extra-virgin products. Lighthouse takes its olives straight from the trees before cold-pressing and settling the oil in tanks to preserve freshness and flavour. The company offers two blends, three varietals and a zingy citrus range of products Lemon, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Lime and Jalapeno. Lighthouse pressed the whole fruit of lemons, ruby grapefruit and jalapeno’s with the olives to produce an extra zesty, fresh flavour. Lighthouse Olive Oil’s shop is at 648 Andersons Road, Drysdale, phone 52511100.
Get in shape at Elite Bodies Elite Bodies personal trainer Ji Cottrill specialises in making clients physically stronger, faster, and confident through a combination of the right diet and exercise regime. Ji focuses on the “correct training principles” of basic-heavy compound movements while working out what foods work best for each client. He then uses Recomposer software to measure food intake and exercise output, which allows Ji to carefully track clients’ progress. Ji emphasises quality over quantity of training. “Stimulate, don’t annihilate,” he says. Phone Ji on 0431 372 257 or email email@example.com.
Find flower power at Gatherings by Crow This inviting store features an enchanting range of antiques, industrial-style furniture, soaps and various unusual items of immense appeal. Vintage and floral products merge with quaint farmhouse items to give Gatherings by Crow an atmosphere all of its own. Owner Mandy has a background in markets, which helps her source goods that other retailers could never find. “I’m constantly searching for items … it’s something I love to do,” she says. Gatherings by Crow is at 82 Mercer Street, Geelong, phone Mandy 0488 862 639.
Add glass style with Modglass Modglass’s Mark Sostheim has spent more than 20 years honing his glazing talent to perfection. Operating with Australian Standards certification, he uses his exquisite skills to make products such as splashbacks, balustrades, mirrors, pool fencing and shower screens. Modglass also specialises in custom orders, allowing clients to add their personal flair to any household area with the timeless style of glass. Mark’s team also specialises in home modernisation, including replacing glass in older-style windows. Modglass’s showroom is at 2 Capital Drive, Grovedale, phone 5222 2252 or visit modglass.com.au.
Browse military history in city’s centre Samurai swords and armour, trench art, badges, photos, uniforms all sorts of militaria are on display over two storeys in central Geelong’s hidden museum. Armor, Antiques & Military Museum is tucked away behind an antiques store façade, leaving the treasures within often overlooked by the constant stream of shoppers walking past. At the rear of the store, the museum holds an abundance of history, all for visitors to discover for the cost of a gold coin. Armor, Antiques & Military Museum at 200 Moorabool Street, Geelong, phone 5221 8662.
Enjoy a Seaview of great art Seaview Gallery introduces three new artists this summer. Dana Dion, Brendan Mogg and Lynne Bickhoff will all display their characteristic works in one of the region’s most-characteristic galleries. Visitors enter a historic building that accommodates the gallery, thriving in natural light and oozing creative charm. An intriguing array of paintings, glass arts, ceramics, sculptures and jewellery are always on display. The gallery offers a feast for the senses that’s safe from the elements when weather turns for the worse over summer on the Bellarine Peninsula. Seaview Gallery is at 86 Hesse Street, Queenscliff, phone 5258 3465.
Book a guest at Parkwood Motel Geelong’s Parkwood Motel and Apartments is the ideal destination for visiting friends and family this summer. With a recently upgrade pool and barbecue area, Parkwood’s central to everything that’s great about Geelong as well as transport infrastructure such as Melbourne road and train stations. A recently renovated two-bedroom apartment is available, showcasing a new kitchen sporting gas hotplates. Anyone who mentions GC when booking at Parkwood receives a free bottle of wine on arrival. Parkwood Motel and Apartments is at 8 Lily Street, North Geelong, phone 52785477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Devoted mum, management consultant, published author and now a councillor - what’s next for Ocean Grove dynamo Stephanie Asher. ELISSA FRIDAY made an appointment to find out. STEPHANIE WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I was actually born in Adelaide but I grew up in North Balwyn in Melbourne. I went to school in Camberwell North and then moved to Geelong for about a year when I was about three. Now I’m in beautiful, sunny Ocean Grove and have been living here for 18 years. TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIES? I studied English literature at Monash University. Having done maths and science all the way through school I chose English 10
possibly because it offered the most creative opportunities. The reason I chose the arts degree was because it was so broad and allowed for creativity in my career. My Dad was a very senior executive at Ford and he travelled a lot. So he didn’t have the flexibility in his working life that I wanted in my work and that I would need as a parent. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY? I’m married to Robin. I have three children, a 16 year old boy, a nearly 14 year old girl and nearly 12 year old boy. We’re a very close and a very sports orientated family.
PICTURES: JOESEPH VAN DER HURK
I’m interested in finding the right place to have a voice and make a
SO STEPHANIE, WE’LL CUT TO THE CHASE, WHAT IS YOUR POLITICS? I think the most accurate description would be, toward the right economically and towards the left socially and environmentally. I’m an independent thinker.
NOW YOU ARE A COUNCILLOR, IS IT THIRD TIME LUCKY OR NOT? WERE YOUR AMBITIONS SET TOWARDS BEING MAYOR? No, it’s not really third time lucky because I haven’t run for council before. I’m pleased to be able to contribute and do as much good as the system will allow me to do. DID YOU PUT YOUR HAND UP TO BE DEPUTY MAYOR? No, I didn’t because I didn’t want to be the token female. Once the Mayor had been decided there was support for a female deputy but not a particular individual. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR IDEAS FOR THE GEELONG AND THE BELLARINE? Connecting the community to the decisions made at City Hall, I think that there is disconnection particularly in Bellarine with decisions made in Geelong. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THERE BEING ONLY THREE FEMALE COUNCILLORS? Firstly they are terrific women, secondly it’s disappointing because it doesn’t reflect the population and thirdly you need 33% on a board or in a group to have a meaningful impact on thinking styles, leadership and bias. IS IT A BOYS’ CLUB? Yes there is that.
work. I enjoy the freedom and achieving the scope of the work I do. I can choose my own projects and elect the clients that I work with. YOU RECENTLY WROTE A BOOK AND HAD IT PUBLISHED, WHAT’S IT ABOUT? It’s the biography of Susan Alberti who is renowned in Australia for leading the charge or the catalyst for the women’s AFL. Susan was recently named Melbournian of the Year. She is Australia’s most recognised philanthropist for diabetes research and the leader of the charge for AFL Women. It’s currently the best seller on the Melbourne University publishing list. The idea and intention of the book is to help inspire people to give to medical research and a percentage of the proceeds from the book will go to medical research. HOW DID YOU AND SUSAN ALBERTI MEET? I was introduced to Sue and I pitched the story and a screenplay for a movie to her. We clicked and she agreed. I did 50 interviews with different people, including the Hon Tony Abbot, Ita Buttrose, Sir ‘Gus’ Nossal, Frank Costa, Linda Dessau AC and spent a lot of time with Sue. It took probably six months from first conversations to manuscript, then another three months or so to printing.
YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE BIG POLITICAL AMBITIONS. IS THIS A STEPPING STONE FOR STATE OR FEDERAL POLITICS?
It’s the perfect Christmas gift.
I’m interested in politics. I’m interested in finding the right place to have a voice and make a difference.
Spending time with my family, I think I’m also their taxi driver. Most of my spare time is family based and beach orientated. I also like talking to the animals; I have a beautiful Kelpie, two cats, seven chickens and a turtle that lives next door. We get fresh eggs every day, even though the kids aren’t so keen on eating eggs.
ASIDE FROM YOUR POLITICAL LIFE NOW, OUTSIDE OF THAT YOU’RE A BUSINESS OWNER TOO? I started out in public relations and established a marketing and publishing consultancy, more than 20 years ago. Since then I’ve established several other business and currently own a management consultancy with a team of a dozen people, which involves strategic and leadership related
WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU? I have a motorcycle licence, but I don’t ride anymore. I had a bike in my 20’s and I used to ride it to work. 13
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1. JIM MASON, BETH KING AND KEITH FAGG. 2. LISA SULLIVAN, JILL SMITH AND ROCHELLE SMITH. 3. MARGARET MONRO, ROD LOWTHER AND RON NELSON. 4. NICOLE BROWN, LYNNE DOWLING AND JAN LAIDLAW. 5. YVONNE ADAMI, SARAH MANSFIELD AND MARIA BOHAN. 6. CHRIS AND ANGIE HALPIN. 7. BRIAN AND KERRY DAVIES WITH BRONWYN MCINTYRE. 8. GERALD MILLER AND MICHAEL DOWLING. 9. JOHN CARPENTER AND JENNY TILLEARD. 10. MARGOT SMITH, KATE TORNEY, NATHAN HANSFORD AND PATTI MANOLIS.
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BOATS BUILDING bonds of community
IN A NONDESCRIPT workshop on Geelong’s Gheringhap Street, an unlikely group of people are bonding over something they have never done before - building boats. Groups of Iranians and Iraqi refugees gather twice a week to work on wooden rowboats called St Ayles Skiffs, under guidance from expert boatbuilders from the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Syriac Iraqi community leader Mukhles Habash said building the boats was different to anything his community had done before. “They don’t imagine ever doing that. We come from the north of Iraq where there’s no sea or rivers so we didn’t think of ever doing this, it’s a new skill we’ve learned.”
This country gave us a lot and we want to give something back… The skiffs arrive in a flat pack and are easy to build, which makes them a popular project for community groups around the world. Project co-ordinator Peter Doyle said the ethnic communities of Geelong have so much unrecognised talent. “I got an appreciation for the ethnic communities of Geelong and the real asset value that they have, but it’s all kind of below the surface.
“One of the guys here, his mother’s a physicist, another guy is a maths teacher, there’s a university professor, they’re really capable, competent, sophisticated, educated people, but we just think of them as refugees from some lesser place.” Peter wanted a way for the greater community to let their rich culture and diversity shine. “So I got this idea of putting these boats and those people together. “If we build a few of them and put them on the water at the bottom of Moorabool Street where everyone’s in full view, they’re not hidden anymore.” He also speaks about the social benefits of connecting the communities.
The project has taught its participants vital English skills.
Most of the Syriac community in Geelong arrived last year as part of the 12,000 additional refugees the Australian Government accepted from the Syrian conflict. “It’s introduced them to the Australian work practises of responsibilities and what we do and how we work, not that they don’t have those things but we do it our way, a little bit differently, so that’s been a benefit. “Three of them have got jobs out of it, just through networking and contacts and their English is much better,” Peter says when asked about how this project has impacted the Syriac community. Mukhles agrees; doing a project like this has given his community a sense of purpose and place in Geelong.
“We discovered Geelong through this program, integrated with communities, got many experiences socially, language development and improvement. “We are happy to participate in any community or volunteer project. “This country gave us a lot and we want to give something back.” The first two boats are almost finished, but after that the program’s future is uncertain.
Right: Mukhles Habash and Father Kevin Dillon, whose organisation Lifeboat Geelong is also supporting the project. Far right: Peter Doyle has created this project to let ethnic communities in Geelong shine.
Peter launched this project with a $20,000 grant from the State Government, enough to build two boats and not much else. “My challenge at the moment while they’re building boats is to go find money for the next two, and a trailer, and to get our tenure on this space extended.”
Bianca Bella as Princess Zelda. (Lightreaver)
Just BE COS Cosplay is more than fancy dress for its thousands of fans - it’s about becoming someone else entirely - if only for a day. LUKE VOOGT steps into a quirky world of mythical creatures, comic book characters and physics-defying costumes with three Geelong cosplayers.
A FACIAL feature which gave Kristian Schutz the most grief as a kid has become one of his best cosplay assets.
The other best part of cosplay is the challenge of making the costume, Kristian says.
“I had horribly low self-esteem growing up,” says the 29-yearold, who grew up in Leopold.
He remembers with pride one of his first outfits - Dragon Ball Z’s Majin Buu.
“I was massively self-conscious about my nose.”
“He has really weird ears,” he says. “Everything was failing foam, fabric, everything.”
But when he stepped into character as Aladdin for the first time, he discovered an uncanny resemblance to the fictional Arabian street rat. “I look like him when I have a wig on and it’s because of the nose.” One young Harry Potter fan hid behind his mother in awe when he saw Kristian in costume, thinking he was the real Professor Snape. The boy was dressed as Harry Potter, but Snape was his favourite character, his mum explained. With his prominent nose Kristian was a dead ringer for Alan Rickman’s portrayal of the tragic wizard. Kristian regularly pulls out costumes of Disney princes for children’s festivals.“You get kids that walk in and it’s like they’re transported into magical world.” He loves the reaction of older fans when he gets into character too. “It’s amazing when you hear someone scream your character’s name and they want to crash tackle you out of happiness,” he says.
But after days experimenting he tried two Styrofoam cups and double-sided sticky tape. “It was the simplest solution but it worked,” he says. Apart from teaching himself to sew, Kristian says making costumes is mostly “finding the right combination of swearwords”. “We’re our own worst critics. No-one else see the failures.” He watched four seasons of TV series Breaking Bad while working on one shirt alone. “That’s how I judge the work of a costume - the amount of seasons that I watch by the time it’s done,” he says. Kristian says he has made more than 200 costumes, ranging in cost from $2000 to $50. “Cosplayers are amazingly resourceful.” His latest project was Professor Chaos, the villainous alter-ego of South Park character Butters Stotch. Kristian’s lifetime love of comics and pop culture led him to cosplay.
Kristian fondly remembers meeting with one very special fan, Stan Lee, who visited Brisbane Supernova earlier this year.
“Being out of high school I just started to think ’Hey, this isn’t a bad thing’,” he says.
His depiction of X-men’s Angel, complete with fold-out wings, blew the legendary comic book writer away, he says.
“My grandmother adores it but it takes a while for family to understand why you do it.”
“I still remember what he said verbatim - he was like ‘Wowee! You look like you’re about to take off’.”
Kristian has met some of his best friends at conventions and random cosplay meets, including partner Hayley Shaw.
With Zelda I found I got lots more fan-girling and gushing… BIANCA BELLA
Although naturally, it can be had to keep track of who is who. “You can run into people 10 times without even knowing you’ve met them,” he says.
COSPLAY “makes the impossible possible” for Geelong West’s Bianca Mileti, AKA Bianca Bella. Physics-defying props, giant robot costumes and mythical P c creatures like centaurs walking around at conventions fascinate th the avid 29-year-old cosplayer. “You think ‘How do people do that?’” she said. “It’s amazing.” “Y Bianca got into cosplay through her love of gaming. B “I’ve always liked geeky things,” she says. “It didn’t take long “I for the cosplay bug to take hold of me.” fo Perhaps Bianca’s biggest cosplay hit was her depiction of P Cersei Lannister from hit TV series Game of Thrones. C She mimicked the show’s chief female villain down to her S mannerisms. m “People love it when I cock the eyebrow,” she says. “P Her H portrayal earnt the approval of three guests from the series including Eugene Simon, who plays Cersei’s cousin Lancel in Lannister. L Like Kristian, Bianca loves the fan reactions to her costumes, L like the princess from the video game Zelda. lik “So many of them have the time to talk to you and make your “S day,” she says. d “With Zelda I found I got lots more fan-girling and gushing.” “W One of stranger get-ups was the dead, cryogenically frozen O
Clockwise from far left: Bianca Bella as Cersei Lannister. (Will Cook) Bianca Bella as the cryogenically frozen Nora. (Snap Happy Ian) Spider-Gwen (Snap Happy Ian) Bianca Bella as Cersei Lannister. (Will Cook) Andy Cam as Loki. (Climb Into My Camera) Kristian Schutz as a Pokemon bird keeper. (Snap Happy Ian) Kristian Schutz as Faramir (Alchemi Glow Photography)
Nora from Fallout 4. The costume involved the tricky application of ice and snow. “I ended up using spray-on adhesive and doing layer upon layer - without getting high from the fumes, thankfully.” Bianca wants to learn how to craft costumes but a car accident in 2016 has prevented her so far. The nasty T-bone smash on the Midland Highway at 6am on 20 June left her with chronic neck and back pain. But for now Bianca is happy just to have survived to continue her favourite pastime. “I have no idea how I’m still alive,“ she says.
GROVEDALE’S Andrew Cameron has been addicted to cosplay for the past decade. “I’m a nerd of all variations - I love sci-fi, gaming, anime, manga,” says the man known as Andy Cam in costumed circles. “It all just snowballed from there.”
I always was sort of the weird outsider kid… ANDREW CAMERON
Andy embraced his passion for drama when he changed schools in Year 7. “I always was sort of the weird outsider kid,” the 28-year-old says. 21
It’s amazing when you hear someone scream your character’s name and they want to crash tackle you out of happiness… KRISTIAN SCHUTZ
“(Changing schools) was the big game changer where I went from the quiet nerdy kid to being more confident and outrageous.” He became interested in anime in Year 12 which, combined with his graphic design degree and a visit to Melbourne Anime Festival, led to his addiction. “It’s just one of those random things I stumbled across,” he says. “If I wasn’t doing cosplay at the moment I don’t know what I would be doing.” Andy has 150 costumes under his belt, with 30 Power Rangers alone. “They’re good for charity events and I bash them out quickly,” he says. His hobby has seen him travel to some of the biggest conventions in the US. It also won him his job as a supervisor at Lincraft. “They saw me as a regular and said ‘You should put a resume in’,” he says. But he prefers local events like Adelaide Supernova, where he can carpool with other cosplayers. “I don’t fit on planes half the time,” Andy’s favourite costumes include Thranduil from The Hobbit and Doctor Strange. The latter was an exception for Andy, who normally likes to “smash out costumes at the last minute”. “I spent four weeks replicating every piece, from handstamping the lining to hand-weaving all the belts and braids,” he says. “Being a creative person - half the fun is making the costume and creating something from nothing.”
Kristian Schutz as Superman. (Alchemi Glow Photography) Above left: Andy Cam as Doctor Strange. (Will Cook)
SAVING SRI LANKA Two young local lifesavers tell ELISSA FRIDAY about their journey to help an impoverished tropical island nation deal with its tragic drowning statistics.
Surf Coast lifesavers Larnie Hewat and Ellen Porter on the beach in Sri Lanka.
A TRIP to teach vital water safety skills in Sri Lanka became an emotional journey for young Surf Coast lifesavers Ellen Porter and Larnie Hewat. Keen to “empower others” with their knowledge, the pair instead learned many life lessons from the impoverished people they were there to help. “I had to hold back tears,” 22-year-old Ellen says. “It was mind-blowing and now I realise how lucky we are.” Good friends Ellen and Larnie, 24, were selected for the trip along with six other participants in the 2017 Life Saving Victoria’s Building Leadership Scholarship. The Victoran organisation and its Sri Lankan counterpart have been operating the scholarship for the past six years in a determined bid to reduce the high rate of drowning in the island nation off the tip of India. The 2017 participants spent a week in Sri Lanka, sponsored by Life Saving Victoria. “Three people a day drown in Sri Lanka, so the whole idea was to go there to essentially help to lower that rate by 10 per cent,” Ellen explains. “It’s not just at the beach where people drown, it’s also in the waterways. We wanted to extend that training to other people out there so they can train others. “The whole process of this scholarship was for us to learn and adapt to challenging situations.” The experience left Ellen “a completely different person”, she says. Living at Highton, she’s studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in zoology while working as a beach lifeguard on the Surf Coast and at a pool in Melbourne. She’s never been far from the water. “When I was 15 I joined Lorne Surf Lifesaving Club (LSLC). I did athletics in my younger days and I was competing.
“I got scouted when I was at the Lorne club, then I started competing for a couple of years and then got into the training.” Larnie returned to volunteering at the beach in Lorne after graduating from a Bachelor of Arts with honours last year. “I stayed put at Lorne to be able to take up the leadership opportunity of the scholarship program,” she says. Larnie began lifesaving aged eight as a nipper at Lorne, remembering her childhood experience as “incredible”. Now in her 10th season patrolling, her stepfather suggested she join the club to meet other kids and learn about the beach where they spent their time. “I learned paddle-boarding, to read the water, and how to identify rips,” she remembers. Larnie began patrolling when she was 14, completing her bronze level at 15. “From there I got involved with the training and sharing the safety knowledge to new members.” Larnie shares Ellen’s opinion that the scholarship program was an “incredible” opportunity, particularly its opportunity to share lifesaving skills with international communities. “I like the training side of lifesaving,” Larnie says.
I was privileged to have worked alongside a group of women so passionate to learn… LARNIE HEWAT “The scholarship includes personal development and coming together to train in Sri Lanka - there are so many opportunities to upskill as a leader.” But earning their place on the flight to Sri Lanka wasn’t a walk in the park. 25
“We went through a rigorous application process, then a group interview followed by a one on one interview,” Ellen says. “Eight people were selected and it’s a six-month long scholarship lasting from the end of March until going to Sri Lanka at the end September.”
Ellen and Larnie at Marissa beach.
Larnie and Ellen in Galle.
The pair and their scholarship counterparts trained in leadership, presentation development, team bonding and technical training. “The training in Melbourne prior to Sri Lanka was incredible ... it was fine-tuning our life saving skills,” Larnie says. After arriving in Sri Lanka the lifesavers were based at Marissa Beach, on the country’s southern coastline. Ellen describes the location as a large surf beach, like Portsea or somewhere else along the Mornington Peninsula. “The three of us worked very closely together over four days and in two groups,” she says. “After a couple of hours in the water you come out exhausted but you can’t lie down because of the reasons you’re there. Ellen’s background with lifesavers’ iconic inflatable boats (IRBs) led to her teaching a workshop on upskilling their Sri Lankan operators.
Above: Giving the locals a lesson. Right: IRB drivers’ course participants with their trainers.
“I taught Sri Lankan coastguards, navy and police. Of course, there were language barriers, so we had a translator.
“We were both physically and mentally challenged but we really had to push through because it was for the Sri Lankans.
“We had to take candidates out to assess them on their ability to drive the boat, to fine-tune their driving skills, and to conduct mass rescues and patient pick-ups.
“I felt very inspired when I got back.”
“We also did some rescue scenarios and did a lot of team building activities - we both had some challenging situations.” Larnie’s work focused on training junior female lifesavers. “We trained a small group, teaching them junior lifesaving, first-aid, CPR, surf awareness and rescues. “In Victoria we have a 50/50 gender split but in Sri Lanka only five per cent of their lifesavers nationwide are women.” All the women in Larnie’s group achieved “competencies”, meaning a successful result. “I was privileged to have worked alongside a group of women so passionate to learn,” she says. Ellen also helped her students to competencies, but says it was a lot of hard work.
Larnie and Ellen worked alongside members of the Sri Lankan Lifesaving Association, including its president. Some of the Sri Lankans’ drowning-prevention exercises were “really insightful”, Larnie says. “It was about teaching skills and knowledge to empower people to teach others. “I’m very keen and eager to share my experiences and learning from Sri Lanka with my surf club community and neighbouring clubs, and also to share the importance of this program and what it’s doing. “Hopefully it inspires future applicants.” Along with rescuing swimmers, Larnie says that for her lifesaving is all about leadership development and watching young members develop. “I love lifesaving, it’s a huge part of my life,” Ellen said.
Top: Larnie with Junior Lifesaving for Women participants during the closing ceremony for the program. Above: Larnie and Ellen with the full team of trainers, including their mentor pictured standing on far right and lead trainer wearing a cap.
“They were very full-on days,” she remembers.
I love lifesaving, it’s a huge part of my life… ELLEN PORTER
FLASH GORDON Breezy, bold, sharp and shimmering - GORDON INSTITUTE OF TAFE thirdyear fashion students turn heads with the latest creations for their annual show
1. DESIGNER: CHONTAL HICKEY 2. DESIGNER: KATHARINA NEWMAN 3. DESIGNER: SALLYN HARE 4. DESIGNER: LARA HENRY 5. DESIGNER: JESSAMY HANN 6. DESIGNER: KAITY MITCHELL 7. DESIGNER: JARROD THACKERAY 8. DESIGNER: BRIANA Oâ€™BRIE
9. DESIGNER: ERIN JACKSON 10. DESIGNER: HAYLEY COLLA
Elecia Dylan AND
A meeting at the races leads to life on the coast for former city kids ELECIA YOUREN and DYLAN WEBSTER. 30
WHERE THEY GREW UP Elecia grew up in Essendon and Dylan grew up in Taylors Lakes. The couple now lives together in Torquay. HOW THEY MEET Dylan and Elecia met on a blind date. “A very good friend of mine went to the Caulfield Cup back in 2011 and randomly met Dylan there,” Elecia says. “They got chatting and he asked for her phone number and thought it would be funny to give him mine. He then contacted me, while I was on a hen’s do, thinking that he’d met me, and I told him that he must have the wrong number,” she says. “We messaged each other regularly trying to figure out who gave him my number and we assumed for a long time it must have been my friend and eventually we figured it out,” she laughs. Dylan asked Elecia out for a drink and the couple moved slowly but easily for the first 12 months, Elecia says. “Then about 18 months after our first date we moved in together.” THE PROPOSAL “It was Mother’s Day and he told me that he had arranged plans to take me out for dinner, because we didn’t have our daughter Eden with us at the time, we were on a child-free holiday,” Elecia says.
We always knew that we wanted something low-key…
“Dylan had planned a rooftop candle-lit dinner.” Standing there looking out towards the beach, Elecia turned around to see Dylan holding a Georg Jensen ring. “It’s the ring that I have loved forever,” she declares. “I actually asked him if he was joking and he said he wasn’t and asked me again.” The couple then cracked open their champagne and enjoyed a seafood dinner. THE WEDDING PLANNING “We always knew that we wanted something low-key,” Elecia says. They decided on a “fun party vibe”, rather than a “traditional wedding”. The couple arranged a lot of it on their own, but also had a “fair bit” of help from Elecia’s sister and sister-in-law too. They wanted to have a beach wedding and chose to have their wedding in Lorne, because they “love it”. HENS AND BUCKS PARTIES “Yes, Dylan’s buck’s party was a weekend in Warrnambool at his best mate and best man’s house,” Elecia says. 31
The bucks played golf and went to the Port Ferry Folk Festival. Elecia’s hen’s party was lunch at Veraison Restaurant, a winery on the Mornington Peninsula.
“There were about 30 of us, we had lunch and lots of wine, then went to lots of other wineries and finished up at a bar in South Yarra,” she explains.
“We arrived in a Kombi-van that we got through Coastal Kombis. They were awesome and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough,” Elecia says.
The couple stood on the sand for their ceremony and then made their way into the Beach Pavilion venue.
“I didn’t want a traditional big elaborate wedding dress, so I got an off-the-rack ivory dress from a shop in Chadstone,” Elecia says. Not having any particular style in mind, Elecia chose her dress “quickly” because she already had another dress of theirs. “I tried it on once and loved it,” she says. BRIDESMAIDS Elecia’s bridesmaids were Dylan’s sister, now sister-in-law, and her niece. “They all wore navy blue because I really like that colour. “I wanted a classic colour that doesn’t date and didn’t want anything too elaborate or loud. “The bridesmaids held smaller versions of my bouquet of flowers and our daughter Eden and my sister-in-law’s daughter Sadie were my flower girls.” GROOMSMEN “The groomsmen were two of Dylan’s best mates and also our nephew,” she says. “We didn’t want them looking too formal so we went with navy pants, brown braces, a little corsage and no ties,” she says. Dylan’s suit was from Ted Baker. 32
The couple had 120 guests and married in the morning at the Lorne Beach Pavilion.
PHOTGRAPHY “We had our photos taken before the ceremony,” she says “We took photos at the Lorne Swing Bridge, Teddy’s lookout and the third place was Lorne scenic beach.” “We did the big reveal of Dylan seeing me for the first time and the Lorne scenic beach along the Great Ocean Road. He stood with his back to me and I walked hand in hand with our daughter Eden along the beach,” she explains. FLOWERS “The flowers were by Shelley at Beachside Blooms in Ocean Grove and were predominantly ivory-coloured David Austin roses,” she says. “Shelley went there in the morning of the wedding and decorated the venue with flowers in little vases, etc. I would highly recommend her services to people, she was amazing.” THE ENGAGEMENT The couple got engaged in May last year and were married in March this year. “We didn’t want a long engagement so we didn’t have a party,” Elecia says.
THE RINGS “My engagement ring was a Georg Jensen ring and my wedding band is my nanna’s wedding band which I got re-sized,” Elecia says. “Dylan’s wedding band is a mixture of his mum’s, his dad’s and his pop’s wedding bands which were melted down and designed”. THE RECEPTION The couple had a cocktail-style after-ceremony party. They had the party from noon until 5pm at the Lorne Beach Pavilion. After the party they had booked a wine bar to carry on dancing and have more drinks. THE CAKE “We didn’t have a traditional cake. We wanted a cheese-reel cake,” Elecia says. “The cake was by Bills Farm at the Queen Victoria Market and was made up of four tiers of cheese.” French D’Affinois triple cream, vintage cheddar, Irish Cashel Blue and French Brillat-Savarin and they accompanied it with things including quince paste, grapes and crackers. “We are expecting our second baby in April 2018,” Elecia announces.
Vicky celebrating the salon’s first anniversary.
A year of SUCCESS “A YEAR on, the success at Salon Meraki Colour Specialists feels second to none,” declares Vicky Polyzos. The salon’s owner and operator has reason to take pride in the progress of her young business, which celebrated its first anniversary in early November with a special celebration for clients and friends. “Everyone was welcome, including clients, family and the general public,” Vicky says. “We also held a competition and a lucky winner won $120 of Pureology products - I’m happy to give back where I can.” Salon Meraki’s big first year included winning local radio’s Best
of the Bay Best Hairdresser 2017 awards. The successful debut and bright future for the business has led to Vicky putting on an apprentice. “Taylor’s what I was looking for,“ Vicky says. “I wanted to employ someone with similar characteristics to myself. She’s bubbly, funny, friendly, very enthusiastic and loves to chat. “I’m happy to teach Taylor as much as I can to help develop her into the best hairdresser possible.“ Salon Meraki Colour Specialists is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, with appointments essential and each client offered complimentary tea or coffee upon arrival. Vicky says anyone wanting more information about her salon should visit salonmeraki.com.au or by phone 5298 3465.
Vicky Polyzos with apprentice Taylor Sadeghi.
77 Vines Road - Hamlyn Heights | 5298 3465 www.salonmeraki.com.au Monday closed | Tues 9-5.30pm | Wed 9-6pm | Thur 9-8.30pm | Fri 10-6pm | Sat 8-2pm | Sunday closed
As the CROW FLIES GATHERINGS By Crow owner Mandy developed a love of all things vintage while operating two market stalls at North Geelong. Mandy already had a passion for finding old wares, unusual pieces and items others may have disregarded but the time spent selling antique goods inspired her to open a “unique” shop of her own. “I’ve always loved to source and collect unusual items,” she says. “When you’ve got so much stuff, why not become a shop with all your items in it?” So in October Mandy opened Gatherings by Crow, on Geelong’s Mercer St. “I came up with my business name because crows fossick for things and are gatherers, so I thought it combined perfectly with my floristry aspect,” she explains. “Gatherings by Crow sells antiques, industrial-style furniture, floral and farmhouse “finds“, Est soaps and beauty products and fresh flowers. Also a qualified florist, Mandy supplies creative flower arrangements for functions and intimate weddings.
“I can also use my vintage pieces as part of the arrangement for any occasion, making it unique and one-off.” To find many of the items that feature in her shop, Mandy regularly visits auctions and has a network of dealers who source products for her. “I’m constantly searching for items, I never stop really,” she declares. “I love it - it’s something that I love to do”. Gatherings by Crow is at 82 Mercer Street, Geelong. Inquiries can be made by phoning 0488 862 639 or visiting facebook.com/ blackcrowfinds.
GATHERINGS BY CROW - FLORIST & ANTIQUE WARES 82 MERCER STREET - GEELONG - 0488 862 639
ORCHESTRA GEELONG Symphonic talent runs strong in the blood of Orchestra Geelong, spanning across generations. LUKE VOOGT discovers the stories of some of city’s most musically-gifted families and couples playing in the long-running community orchestra every day growing up,” the Bell Park mother of four says. “I’m very lucky to have had music as part of my life since I was born.”
“It was certainly a lot noisier in our house after that,” Sara says. “He’s loving it up there in the big wide world.”
Her dad Malcolm John taught music for than 50 years and regularly tutored students at home.
Sara plays alongside her parents in Orchestra Geelong.
Together with his four children and wife Alison, he brought joy to the community with music. “Mum was an occupational therapist,” Sara says. “Every year around Christmas time we would go and play in the nursing home for the oldies.” The musical passion rubbed off - all of Sara’s siblings still sing or play instruments. Sara Senftleben, centre, with parents Malcolm and Alison John.
SARA Senftleben grew up to the sounds of her father’s piano echoing through her parent’s home. “Music was in our household 36
Sara’s four children all play or sing too, from her youngest daughter who just started violin, to her eldest son Oscar, who plays and studies trumpet at the Melbourne Conservatorium. Malcolm taught Oscar piano, until he fell in love with the trumpet at age seven.
“To still be playing with them at our age, it’s very special,” she says. Malcolm, 82, plays french horn in the orchestra, and has a PhD and a Medal of the Order of Australia from a life of music. Alison, who originally played piano too, learnt flute in the first year of their marriage 54 years ago. “Malcolm was going off and conducting groups and I wanted to join in,” she says. All their grandchildren, aged eight to 20, play an instrument, sing or both. “I think if you’ve got the musical variety going on in the house it usually comes out somewhere in the kids,” Malcom says.
GEELONG double bass player Barrie Edwards can lay claim to Australian advertising history. The 81-year-old was part of the band that in 1968 recorded the iconic Victoria Bitter music, which the company still uses in its TV ads today. Barrie’s music career would see him play in the ABC show band and travel to “funny places” all over the world, until he began teaching. “One of them was India, I did a whole year in Calcutta and two years in England,” he says. He started teaching at Geelong College in 1978 where he met fellow music teacher and eventual wife Carmel. The two fell in love “over the photocopier” before marrying in 1989. “We used to teach Year 8 together,” Carmel says. “It was always good to have your husband on the faculty because we’d go on musical camps and we went to NZ and Sydney together.”
BELLBRAE’S Noel Flakemore has been involved “on and off” in Geelong’s community orchestra for 53 years. “Music’s always been a big part of my life,” the 68-year-old says. “I still practice every day.”
Barrie and Carmel Edwards.
A few years before the couple married, Carmel, another competent pianist in the orchestra, started playing cello. “I’m glad I took up the cello, it’s opened up lots of avenues,” she says. They joined the orchestra 25 years ago and have travelled across Victoria, from Winchelsea to Wood End, to perform. The couple have met lifelong
“Only because they wanted violins,” Maxine says. “It was a huge stretch of my comfort zone. I thought ‘I don’t think I could do that’, and here I am really enjoying it.”
Noel’s love of music began at age seven, when a trumpeter moved in down the road.
Maxine taught herself to read and play music at age 18, after a scooter accident stopped her from swimming.
“As soon as I heard the trumpet that was all I wanted to do,” he says.
“I bought a guitar and sat in the sand dunes and learnt it string by string,” the 70-year-old says.
Noel first played in Orchestra Geelong’s predecessor at age 15, in 1962, before joining the CFA’s brass band, which led to him becoming a firefighter.
She learnt violin 22 years later.
He made his latest return to the orchestra after retiring from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and part time teaching two years ago. “I was looking around for something musical,” he says. But this time he brought wife Maxine with him, introducing her to the orchestra for the first time last year.
Maxine met Noel at a Saturday night barn dance while he was in Ballarat for a brass band competition, before they married in 1972. But later the couple discovered they had run into each other before.
friends through the group. “We’ve done some pretty exciting things over the years,” Carmel says. “You mix with people of similar ilk.” A jazz musician by trade, Barrie says the orchestra keeps him sharp. “We’re not getting very many gigs in jazz these days. The orchestra for me is terrific because it gets my hands in.”
Maxine watched her cousin debut for the Australian Ballet - not knowing Noel was playing in the orchestra. At age 15 Maxine would go to Eastern Beach, when her dad travelled to Geelong to sell his wool. “There were three boys with a Labrador harnessed to a surfboard on wheels and they used to come belting down the hill at Eastern Beach,” she says. “It turns out (one of them) was Noel.”
GIG GUIDE 27 April Jimmy Barnes Working Class Man Tour
3 March Robbie Williams - Heavy Entertainment Show World Tour
12 January A Day on the Green Music icon Bryan Adams will join Daryl Braithwaite in Geelong for his A Day On The Green appearance. Adams will perform songs from his newest compilation album Ultimate, featuring 19 of his signature songs and two new tracks. Mt Duneed Estate Waurn Ponds
A sequel to ‘Working Class Boy’ and in support of his second memoir is ‘Working Class Man’. Jimmy Barnes talks about his entire adult life in this autobiography, bringing together stories on stage for hours of emotion and recollection. Costa Hall Geelong
Rising to fame in the early 1990s as a member of pop group Take That Robbie Williams went on to establish himself as a solo singer. He also holds the record for having the most number of Brit Awards in history. Robbie has a performance locked in at A Day On The Green which will see him take to the stage performing hits including She’s the One, Angels, Millennium, Rock DJ, Let Me Entertain You and more. Mt Duneed Estate Waurn Ponds
3 March Hotter than Hell Some of Australia’s most iconic bands will hit the Gateway Hotel in a monster music free-for-all in March. Hotter than Hell features Grinspoon, Regurgitator, The Super Jesus, Dallas Frasca and IV League playing all their hits in one show. The Gateway Hotel Corio
18 May Angus and Julia Stone Another chance for fans to catch their live show after their initial national tour sold out. Angus and Julia Stone are celebrating the success of their latest release ‘Snow’ and will bringing their signature harmonies and delicate songs to stages across Australia, joined by Angie McMahon. Costa Hall Geelong
13 January Jimmy Carr: The Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour One of the world’s most successful and crass comedians, Jimmy Carr, will bring his best (and worst) jokes to Geelong along with brand new material for an ultimate comedy show. Jimmy Carr has been on the stand-up scene for a decade and a half. In that time, he’s performed nine sell-out tours, playing nearly 2000 shows to over two million people across four continents. He’s also won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-Up Tour. Costa Hall Geelong 38
18 March Twilight at the Track A massive line-up - including The Voice himself - comes to Geelong Racecourse in March after bad weather postponed the first-time concert in December. John Farnham joins other iconic Australian performers Kate Ceberano, Taxiride, 1927, Richard Clapton and The Black Sorrows at the track for the event. Geelong Racecourse Breakwater
CALENDAR of EVENTS 1 December-13 May
6 January Portarlington Mussel Festival
Daily from 26-28 January
This well-known festival highlights local produce, delicious Portarlington mussels and food in hundreds of market stalls. With music on four stages, activities for kids and more, it’s a great day out for the whole family. Little’s Reserve Portarlington
26 January Australia Day Free Family Fun Day Wildlife Photographer of The Year The 53rd Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition runs at The National Wool Museum for six months, bringing the most photogenic and captivating creatures in the world to Geelong. The internationally-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, is the most prestigious photography event of its kind. Natural Wool Museum Geelong CBD
Thousands will flock to Rippleside Park to celebrate our national day on 26 January. The free family celebrations feature food, rides and appearances by some of the most beloved comic book heroes and fictional characters. The day includes Dame Edna Average with free give-aways, giant slides, face-painting, train rides, the Krazy Koala Puppet Show, a jumping castle and more. Rippleside Park Drumcondra
24 February Pako Festa
Daily from 26-28 January Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
Festival of Sails More than 300 yachts and 3000 competitors will take part in the annual Festival of Sails over the Australia Day long weekend. The festival is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere and dates back to 1844, making it one of Australia’s oldest sporting events. A free community festival along the waterfront co-incides with the regatta and includes food and wine stalls, three stages of live music and entertainment and on-water activities. Royal Geelong Yacht Club Geelong
Expected to be even bigger and better, the fourth Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race returns to Geelong and the Surf Coast over the Australia Day long weekend. The event will see thousands of amateur and elite cyclists ride past Geelong’s waterfront, Barwon Heads and Torquay, and along the picturesque Great Ocean Road. Geelong and the Surf Coast
Pako Festa will fill Geelong West with colour in February as it celebrates Reflections of Culture. The festival features delicious cuisine from across the world in food stalls at West Park and along the iconic Pakington Street. Dating back to 1983, Pako Festa is the largest free celebration of cultural diversity in Australia. Thousands of people from Geelong’s ethnic communities and schools, professional performers, street traders and artists come together for the huge street party to celebrate the city’s many cultures. Pakington Street Geelong West
The A-League returns to Geelong this summer as Kevin Muscat’s men take on the Mariners. Get to Kardinia Park to watch Australia’s best players in action and enjoy the atmosphere of the world game. GMHBA Stadium South Geelong 39
RARE MEDIUMS Seaweed and margarine - ingredients for a Japanese specialty dish? Not in the case of two local artists, as ELISSA FRIDAY discovers.
A selection of Janet Millerâ€™s seaweed sculptures.
PICTURES: REBECCA HOSKING
SEAWEED washed-up on the sand rarely earns more than a glance - unless Janet Miller walks by.
“I’m at the hands of the kelp gods as to when however much is going to come in.”
Janet instead pays close attention to the weed, considering it as material for her next sculpture.
Janet uses a phone-app tide chart to time her kelp raids.
She came up with the novel concept years ago while watching her young son playing with seaweed on a beach. Now it’s a feature material of her art, but not just any old seaweed. “I use seaweed that’s called bull kelp. It’s really good to use and I haven’t used anything else,” she explains. Born in the UK, Janet was a baby when her family moved to Australia and settled at Monbulk. She attended Mater Christi and Lilydale Secondary colleges before studying at Melbourne College of Decoration then finding work behind the scenes at Channel 10. “I was the first girl in the props and set dressing department,” she declares. “Then I got a position in the set design department, which is where I did my apprenticeship with Chanel 10’s set design department - I was a set dresser for Prisoner’s cell block H. My first show as senior designer was with the Comedy Company, a great show to work with.”
Janet Miller with one of her kelp body sculptures.
Janet’s creative talents and enjoyment of design inform her unique seaweed sculptures, which have had a handy source of materials since Janet moved to the coast 17 years ago. She now lives with her husband and their two teenage children at Torquay. She’s been making her unique sculptures in a “little” back garden shed for nearly two decades. Janet prefers “really fresh” kelp in large sheets. “We live near Fishermen’s Beach, which is where I get most of my kelp. “When we get a dumping of kelp after an easterly I usually get pieces from near where boats come in because they don’t like it near their propellers.”
“If I don’t grab it within the six-hour window of tidal change it’s gone again,” she says. Janet enjoys the diversity of her chosen material. “Every piece of seaweed is totally different,” she observes. “They vary in thickness, colour, hue and you never know what you’re going to get.” But it’s not always so easy to work with. “It’s tough and it has a mind of its own,” Janet laughs. “So I mould with it while it’s still wet, then sun-dry it, but not too quickly, then I treat it with a blend of plant extracts and essential oils.” She then monitors the completed sculpture over a few weeks to make sure the kelp has stopped shifting and has settled in its final position. Then she considers the best ways of showing off her creations. “I’m experimenting with light behind the sculptures now. It looks really beautiful at night time,” she says. Janet was recently successful in Surf Coast Arts Space People’s Choice award. “I entered for the first time last year and won with one of my female kelp bodies. Then I entered again this year and won with another kelp body, which resembles a little black dress. “Now I’m quite inspired to enter some more exhibitions.” Janet believes kelp has wider possibilities in the arts. “There’s a lot more we can do with it,” she suggests. “It’s a different medium - it’s still living a bit.”
Sculpture is about igniting the imaginationâ€Ś
Right: The Menu Master in all its margarine glory.
BELMONT sculptor Edward Terry Guida remembers himself as “hands-on” back in his school days at Geelong Tech. He started out in the ’70s using clay for his art before moving on to wood and metal. But then in the mid ’90s he enrolled in a hospitality course at The Gordon Institute of TAFE, which “sparked off a cascade of elements” that influenced Terry’s art in an unexpected direction, he explains. “I did the course for my own interests and part of it was quantity cooking.” It was then that he discovered the unlikely medium of ... margarine. The choice seems ironic for a son of a milk factory worker from Colac - surely butter should have been a consideration. But Terry explains that margarine is less expensive, has a heavier oil base, and, in the case of the hospitality-grade product, a “more-solid feel”. The inspiration for his now-locallyfamous margarine sculpture was a Gordon medieval buffet function, which needed suitable décor adornments. Terry came up with The Menu Master, based on common wizard sculptures often seen in gardens but hunched over reading a book of recipes. He chose as his medium Pastrex, a hard margarine used in puff pastry. The sculpture was prepared in 12 phases, taking at least six weeks to reach completion, Terry recalls.
“The Menu Master won a silver award in 1995 at the annual Salon Cullinaire Australian Guild of Professional Cooks Awards, held in the Carlton Gardens, Melbourne,” he says. “The awards included sculptures, so I was chuffed that it got recognition.” After completing The Gordon course Terry’s access to hospitality foodstuffs was “limited”, so The Menu Master ended up his first and last sculpture in margarine. Now he displays it in a Perspex case, positioned away from sunlight. “It was just too hard to let go of,” Terry admits. However, time has taken its toll, with The Menu Master undergoing repairs a “couple of times” apart from a finger that Terry allowed to drop off. “With all things, everything isn’t forever,” Terry observes. “And as George Harrison would say, ‘All things must pass’.” After The Menu Master, Terry moved on to experimenting with various mediums, even magnetic materials. Deakin University recently displayed some of his latest work, Conceptually Car 1950s, inspired by Ford. He hopes his works get people thinking about art. “Sculpture is about igniting the imagination,” Terry says. “When people ask what it is, I ask, ‘What is it to you?’.”
“At one stage I was working on it until 3am,” he says. Terry used “classic carving tools” comprising wood and wires to craft much of the figure, with his fingers employed to shape the wizard’s intricate head of hair. “On the night it was on display at the Gordon a little child was just about to put their finger on it and I was like, ‘Oh no’,” Terry laughs, recalling The Menu Master’s debut. Sculptor Terry Guida.
Higher accolades followed for Terry’s unique artwork. 43
One thing I know for sure, I can only be myself; I only paint subjects that speak to me and I hope in turn they speak to you…
1. Call of the Forest, 2. As the Sun Goes Down, 3. Across the Valley, 4. Mountain Side, 5. Storm out to Sea, 6. Forest Call.
GOOD EVANS, it’s Seaview! THE dramatic seascapes of Paul Evans are just some of the reasons to visit Queenscliff’s Seaview Gallery this summer.
Seaview’s historic premises accommodate a wonderful array of paintings, glass, ceramics, sculpture and jewellery.
A professional artist now for over 30 years, Evans holds solo exhibitions around Australia and internationally, with his work also represented in private and corporate collections.
Visitors are sure to find something for any taste, budget or decor requirements.
Evans’ art recalls his memories of days spent at the beach, although he also dabbles in Australian wilderness works as well.
Emma Hack’s exhibition will be a highlight of Seaview’s summer program. Kicking off with a cocktail evening on 6 January, the show will feature her new geometric works alongside a selection from previous collections.
“For myself, I set out on this journey nearly 30 years ago and it is my intention to see it through wherever it may lead,” he explains in his artist’s statement.
In February David Hobday’s stunning kiln-formed glass will feature at Seaview, which also introduced new artists Dana Dion, Brendan Mogg and Lynne Bickhoff this summer.
“One thing I know for sure, I can only be myself; I only paint subjects that speak to me and I hope in turn they speak to you.”
Seaview Gallery is at 88 Hesse Street, Queenscliff, phone 5258 3645 or visit seaviewgallery.com.au
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[artist] in residence
WORDS: LUKE VOOGT
LOVE WHISPERS in the sand The years tore “twin flames” Stella Tassone and Ondrei Aiello apart, but their love affair with sand helped them fall for each other all over again. The star-crossed Sand Whisperers tell LUKE VOOGT how art brought them together after 20 years.
STELLA Tassone and Ondrei Aiello still remember the day they met 31 years ago, at an Italian festival in Swan Hill.
“I had an umbrella and I turned to Stella and said “the rain’s a bit of a hassle isn’t it?” Ondrei says.
“Both my mother and I had travelled from Mildura to participate in Italian folklore dancing,” Stella says.
“As soon as I said I was from Swan Hill and my name is Ondrei, Stella turned to me and asked, ‘Are you the clown?!’ We both laughed and couldn’t believe it.
“Ondrei was dressed as a clown with his mum entertaining. Our mums were talking, and I guess for us it was love at first sight.” Three years later, they met in the rain on a street corner in Melbourne while Stella was on an excusion and Ondrei on work experience.
“That’s when the butterflies in the stomach started to flutter.” After a day at the Victoria Market, they spent four years running up their parents’ phone bills and writing love letters, as the letterbox became their “best friend”.
“Funny enough I kept many of our photos, poems and love letters, which I still have today,” Stella says. “Ondrei still has some poems he wrote for me.”
“I called out her name and she turned to look at me. We both froze. “Instantaneously I began to have flashbacks of childhood memories shared with Stella.
Their paths split when Ondrei moved to Melbourne for a career in graphic design and Stella started at Deakin University in Geelong.
“I immediately felt the pain of my heart being broken 20 years earlier,” Stella says. “I was nervous and it was difficult to look at him in the eyes.”
“I contacted Stella and informed her that things had changed,” Ondrei says. “We stopped our communication.”
They became Facebook friends a year earlier, but neither knew what to say.
But 20 years later, Ondrei recognised Stella on another fateful day at the Victoria Market, in 2011.
“Even though Stella was still Stella, I felt like a stranger with my heart beating a million miles an hour,” Ondrei says.
“Stella was buying bread and I recognised her,” the 43-year-old says.
“Yet in my heart I was feeling the love I had always felt for her.”
But that night Stella sent him a message and they began talking about how their marriages had ended. They remained in contact, which led to Ondrei discovering Stella’s unique talent. Stella’s art began building sand castles with her two children, but soon developed into mind-blowing 3D sculptures. “I began to go the beach any time I had to myself,” she says. “It became my therapy, my tool for healing. I’d take photographs and send them to Ondrei.” They started going to the beach together, creating side by side. “This unique way of Stella expressing her feelings now had me driving from Melbourne to Geelong,” Ondrei says. “The formations began to heal our broken hearts. “Before we were writing love letters to each other using paper and pen,” Stella adds.
BEFORE WE WERE WRITING LOVE LETTERS TO EACH OTHER USING PAPER AND PEN. Now together we write messages of love and healing to the world using a stick and a rake… “Now together we write messages of love and healing to the world using a stick and a rake.” The ancient art of sacred geometry influences the Sand Whisperers’ work. They represented Australia in a global project, joining sand artists across the world creating the Sri Yantra - an ancient symbol of feminine and masculine union. “Sand art is our love and passion and it’s really special creating together,” Stella says. “We feel joy when people are curious and come over and see what we’re doing.” “Nearly everyone” loves their art but the couple gets the occasional detractor, Ondrei admits. “The craziest thing someone has said is that we are littering on the beach,” he says. “We laughed.” The couple helped others express their love through marriage proposals and angel wings for a little girl who had passed away. They even created a sculpture for motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi when he was at Phillip Island for the MotoGP. Each time they create a piece the tide claims it back on behalf of “mother earth”. “People think it’s sad for us to create and then have the ocean take it away,” Stella says. “For us, that’s the beauty of all of it.” 49
KYLIE STARS IN GEELONG THE star formerly known as the Singing Budgie features in a colourful free exhibition at Geelong Gallery until 4 March. Kylie on Stage features “magical moments” from the concerts of perhaps Australia’s greatest international pop star. “I’m excited for fans to get up close and personal with my costumes and to get a glimpse behind the curtain to see some of the design process,” Kylie Minogue said. Drawn from her spectacular stage wardrobe held at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection, items on display date back from 1989 through to recent tours such as Kylie Aphrodite les Follies in 2011. Featured designers within the world-first exhibition include Dolce and Gabbana, John Galliano, Julien Macdonald, Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gaultier as well as
local designers including Peter Morrissey and Mark Burnett. Geelong Gallery boss Jason Smith is chuffed to host the exhibition. “We are genuinely excited to present Kylie on Stage at Geelong Gallery over the popular summer period,” he said. “We expect to welcome thousands of people to view the truly extraordinary design and artistry involved in the making of Kylie’s costumes. “The gallery has a strong commitment to diverse art forms, including a close relationship with the performing arts through our cultural precinct neighbour GPAC (Geelong Performing Arts Centre), which routinely presents the work of leading companies, actors and musicians. “We are thrilled to be introducing Kylie’s wardrobe to our region. It is a stunning collection.”
A TOURING EXHIBITION BY ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE AND THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC VAULT
on STAGE FREE EXHIBITION 09.12.2017 —04.03.2018 GEELONG PRESENTING PARTNERS
An eternity ring with emerald-cut diamonds.
A CUT ABOVE THE REST
CHARLES Rose’s Geelong store and eternity rings have one quality that distinguishes it from the rest - longevity.
Now the specialist diamond trader has a team of dedicated artisans producing work from the highest grade stones.
The company has been in Geelong for more than a decade - and will be for longer - despite the closure of nearby jewellers, says director Marcus Rose.
“Higher than any other brand in Australia, I would say,” Marcus adds.
“It will never go because fine jewellers last a very long time. We didn’t see those sorts of businesses as competition.” Jewellery has been in Marcus’s family for three generations. His grandfather and great uncle, Charles Rose, started as jewellers and master watchmakers in France, near the German border in the 1920s. They died during World War II, so his father Frederick, also a jeweller, migrated to Australia as a 26-year-old in 1948. Marcus developed a passion for his father’s businesses selling jewellery at Monash University when he studied law and commerce in the early ’70s.
“The better grades are much brighter and that’s the most important aspect of diamonds.” Eternity rings remain an “evergreen” favourite for customers, Marcus says. “They don’t date and they’re terrific to mark anniversaries, the birth of children and milestones.” The beautiful design allows the local artisans at Charles Rose Geelong to customise the cut and number of diamonds. “They’re made in exactly the correct size for the individual and the diamonds are a perfect match so you have that consistency in appearance, which is essential,” Marcus says. Charles Rose is at 98 Moorabool Street, Geelong, phone 5229 9088.
“From that stage I knew a fair bit about jewellery and re-established the family name in Australia.”
Torquay TALES Torquay is “battling to maintain its small town identity” amidst new developments and a rapidly growing population, writes local historian CHRIS BARR. With summer approaching and Torquay’s population set to triple as tourists flock to the beach, Chris steps back in time to tell her town’s story.
Above: Light horse troopers training in Torquay in 1940. Right: The Joseph. H. Scammell after the ship ran aground on a reef at Point Danger, then known as Angel Point, in May 1891.
Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer’s original Rip Curl shop at an old bakery.
Sadly, no light horsemen were around to save the pub when it burnt down in August, 1976… TORQUAY in 2017 is vastly different to the little fishing village that began life as Puebla in the 1840’s.
the creek and Bannisters auction rooms held the first land sales in Geelong on 14 September, 1886.
crew should the ship break up before the rescuers could reach them.
For thousands of years the Barrabool, Barwon and Yaki Gurt tribes fished, hunted and built huts along the coastline near Torquay, in what was once Wathaurung land.
Rudd got himself a block close to the creek and built a corrugated iron house, said to be the first permanent dwelling in Torquay.
Daybreak saw most of the 80,000 pound cargo strewn along the beach and the beginning of one of the biggest looting events in Victorian history.
William Buckley was likely the first white man in the area when he travelled and lived with the Wathaurong people in the early 19th century. Surveyors called the township Puebla when they first mapped it, but why remains a mystery. A street in Torquay still bears the name, the same as that of a 500-year-old city in Mexico. Henry Tait arrived with Torquay’s first settlers in 1841 and built Spring Creek Station. Elias Harding followed and settled at Mount Pleasant Station, now the town’s golf course, and Robert Zeally joined them when he established the South Beach Run.
The other early buyers included James Follett, Felix Rosser, William Bell, John Taylor and Colonel John Price - men who would shape the town’s history. In 1888 Follett began construction on the Pioneer Coffee Palace, in Bell Street. The coffee house would become the Palace Hotel and later the present-day Torquay Hotel. Rosser led a daring sea rescue which would become arguably the most notable event in Torquay history. On a stormy night in May 1891, an American cargo ship, the Joseph. H. Scammell, ran aground on a reef at Point Danger, then known as Angel Point, 400 yards from shore.
The area soon became a favourite for Geelong fishers, swimmers and picnickers, who set up camps in the summer months.
Rosser led local fishermen to the ship to rescue the captain, his wife, the 21 crew and little daughter Hattie, along with her cat.
One of the weekend fishermen, Harry Rudd, pushed for the subdivision of the land closer to
Rosser famously lit fires along the beachfront and around Fishermans Beach to guide the
By midday 2000 people were pilfering cans of food, tobacco, kerosene, sugar, oil, medicines, tools and, of course, grog. A few months later William Pride paid £40 for the Scammell’s deckhouse, and a further £40 for a local farmer to haul it up to his block of land. The magnificent Scammell house is today the home of Pride’s granddaughter, 102-year-old Margaret Ganly - both precious treasures to Torquay today. Rapid land sales led to Col Price, a solicitor and former Mayor of Geelong, to form the Spring Creek Improvement Association. The association established reserves for camping and recreation, fought for better roads and even funded several improvements to the town themselves. Visitors and locals alike can see their work as they walk through Taylor Park, a peaceful green wedge in the heart of Torquay. 53
The park features two gates, which Melbourne builder John Taylor took from a school building when he demolished it to build for the city’s college of surgeons. Locals changed Spring Creek’s name to Torquay, after the seaside town in Devon, England, following the establishment of the post office. In 1892 William Bell produced a plan for a public hall which the Torquay Improvement Association later built. The hall became the focal point for the growing town and was home to school classes until 1910 when the town’s first school opened. As early as 1904 Torquay’s football team played against teams from Jan Juc, Freshwater Creek and Grovedale, then known as Germantown. By 1920 locals had built a golf course in front of the Palace Hotel.
Above: Torquay’s bathing boxes before World War II. Right: The historic gates at Taylor Park.
The first president of the golf club, Alex Crowe, was also the publican of the hotel, which made a handy 19th hole. In the 1920’s the beaches were dotted with bathing boxes, not posh, painted ones like at Brighton beach, but in an eclectic mix of shapes.
Most boxes had a name that matched the name of the owner’s house. The Gear family’s box at the bottom of Price Street was called the Kipsey after name of their house, and Col Price’s box was called “Broomsgrove”, after his dwelling. A bathing box cost 10 shillings, payable to the Foreshore Trust. The Torquay Life Saving Club, the forerunner to today’s surf lifesaving club, began life in a modified bathing box on the front beach in 1922. During World War II locals closed the beaches, fearing a Japanese invasion. They erected wire and placed metal spikes in the sand at Surf Beach and the bathing boxes fell into disrepair. Locals removed them a few years later. In March 1940 a bushfire, which started in Moriac, devastated Torquay after strong north winds fanned it toward the town.
Now Torquay, home to both Ripcurl and Quiksilver, is known as the surfing capital of Australia…
Two stores, 57 houses, a bakery and the Torquay Improvement Association Hall were burnt to the ground in the blaze. A contingent 5000 Victorian light horsemen, who were at a training camp on Blackgate Road, fought the fire and saved the Palace Hotel - quite a feat as most buildings around the pub perished. Sadly, no light horsemen were around to save the pub when it burnt down in August, 1976. In the post war years the population of Torquay remained relatively stable, although like today there was a massive influx every summer. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that authorities established sewerage, a permanent police station and town water. In 1969, Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer had a crack at making a living by sewing wetsuits and making surfboards at the old bakery in Boston Road. The two young surfers’ company, Ripcurl, had become a market leader in Australia by 1973 and now sells products across the world.
Now Torquay, home to both Ripcurl and Quiksilver, is known as the surfing capital of Australia. Our little village has grown and continues to develop at an amazing rate.
Above: Torquay Primary School’s class of 1949. Top: Rip Curl opens its new centre in 1980.
We are battling to keep our small town identity but reflecting on our history helps us remember who we are. Our founder’s came to Torquay to enjoy our beautiful beaches, and brought with them a community spirit, which remains as strong today as it was 130 years ago. To find out more visit Torquay Museum Without Walls. 55
SWORD CUT through HISTORY
Not only does Graeme value samurai swords, he has also learnt to read the Japanese characters chiseled on the blade to determine their age.
GRAEME Acton’s passion for collecting items of war started when he received a “very old and genuine” samurai sword from a World War II veteran during a house clean-up.
“A Japanese short sword was brought into the shop yesterday, and it turned out to be from the mid-1500s,” he says.
Now the Newtown local buys and sells all sorts of military relics and gear in his two-storey shop, Armor Antiques and Military Museum, in the heart of Geelong. His interest progressed from Japanese swords to collecting samurai armour dating back 250 years-plus.
“It doesn’t happen very often, because most Japanese swords brought back after World War II were made just for World War II. Only one out of every 10 would (be older than World War II).”
“It would be quite fair to say that I have one of Australia’s largest collections of real samurai armour and related items on public display,” Graeme says.
Graeme buys and sells antique swords, antique guns, helmets, badges, uniforms, medals, books and also has a large range of authentic samurai armour.
“Samurai armour is the main thing I collect.”
Top: Graeme Acton in his military museum.
Medal mounting and framing is one of the services offered as well
as valuations on most militaria. Graeme is doubling the size of his samurai armour display cabinets to expand his vast collection. This is close to being completed. “It’s pretty crammed in and I have even more armour to display,” he declares. The upstairs museum now displays a wide range of rare original WWI and WWII uniforms and equipment, also many items showing connections to militaria such as police, St John Ambulance, Red Cross, Legacy, the Salvation Army and Nursing. Armor Antiques and Military Museum is at 200 Moorabool Street, Geelong. For more information visit www. armorantiques.com or phone 5221 8662 or 0416 941 566.
ARMOR ANTIQUES & MILITARY MUSEUM
NEW UPSTAIRS MUSEUM NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
We buy and sell:- antique swords - guns – helmets – badges –uniforms - medals - books - authentic Samurai armour Services offered: - Medal mounting and framing - Valuations on most militaria. Museum with many rare Militaria items from around the world 200 Moorabool Street, Geelong T: 5221 8662 Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm M: 0416 941566 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Closed Monday & open most Sundays
JI COTTRILL first hit the gym as a 12-year-old competitor in representative sports. By the late ’90s he was a qualified personal trainer. “It all blossomed from there,” Ji says. “By 2010 I’d graduated with a degree in sports science and education.” Ji now trains clients at Grovedale’s HRVfitness Club. “I like the vibe in the gym. It’s competitive without being ego-driven. “It helps to push clients that little bit further and they enjoy the environment here.”
ALL GAIN, NO PAIN
This time of year Ji’s clients are often concerned about maintaining summer bodies, despite the excesses of the season.
Ji Cottrill at work training a client.
Eating before attending an event is another good idea, Ji says, to avoid the temptation of the wrong foods.
“Try working things into an environment you can control,” he advises.
He also suggests taking a shopping list rather than wandering supermarket aisles “aimlessly”.
“If it’s a family engagement, encourage everyone to your house so you can control what foods you eat.”
Ji prefers clients to avoid feeling guilty after consuming “fatty” meals when out on the town.
“It’s about being in control of what you eat, so just find a place where the food’s comparable with your diet.” But cutting out alcohol is the best idea, Ji says. “A lot of people think they can drink and still maintain their summer body. Some people can get away with eating and drinking anything but it doesn’t apply to everyone.”
Above: Jenny and David Conron in their garden at their Freshwater Creek property Frog Hill. PICTURES: REBECCA HOSKING
Over 12 years Jenny Conron has transformed her simple rural paddock nestled in the Otway Ranges rain shadow into a romantic, productive country garden. But the greenthumbed grandmother is no stranger to creating beautiful gardens in tough conditions, as LUKE VOOGT discovers. IT NEVER rains in Bogans Lane, says Freshwater Creek grandmother Jenny Conron. “You can be driving home in it, thinking ‘great’, but then you get home and it’s not raining.” Jenny moved with husband David to the 2.5 hectare property, formerly part of a dairy farm, to be closer to their children in Geelong. “We wanted to be there for the grandchildren,” she says. Around the same time she injured her hip in a motorbike accident on holiday in Vietnam. She credits David for doing most of the heavy lifting in the garden, especially in the early days as she recovered from the subsequent hip replacement. “I could never have done any of it without him,” she says. “He’s dug almost every hole for every tree and plant.”
Jenny joined the Geelong Botanic Garden growers group as a volunteer shortly after moving to the city, to enhance her knowledge of the region’s native flora. “I learnt a great deal about which plants would work in Geelong, which are amazingly different to where I came from,” she says. “I keep bringing home the wonderful things I find.” Frog Hill receives only a quarter of the annual rainfall of the nearby Otway Ranges, due to their rain shadow, presenting a unique challenge for Jenny. But in a dozen years she has grown 15 small gardens, with hardy perennials, roses and splashes of colour from tough but beautiful salvias. Salvias are native to South America and Africa and require little water.
It’s taken eight years to find things that will grow there…
“The honeyeaters love them,” Jenny says. The couple grow vegetables, apples, berries and apricots at Frog Hill, and raise chickens. Jenny planted local plants near the property’s “greedy” eucalypts, which “take everything from the soil”, she says. “It’s taken eight years to find things that will grow there.” But Jenny already had plenty of experience gardening in challenging environments. She and David moved truckloads of earth to create a garden at their previous home in a blackwood forest near Mount Macedon.
The couple successfully defended the home from the Black Saturday bushfires in 1983. “Dave threw me up on the roof to cut all my beautiful wisteria out of the gutter,” Jenny says. “I was in tears. “He said if we do it, we do it properly or there’s no point doing it at all. “We raked back the bark and covered the house in buckets of water.” David stayed behind with their eldest son while Jenny took the remaining children up Mount Macedon.
At the time David was a solo general practitioner in Gisborne.
“I thought it would be safe but then of course the fires came up the Mount,” she says.
“There was no good soil for gardening,” Jenny says.
Jenny’s mother, an avid gardener, first inspired her love of plants.
David, 79, shares Jenny’s other passion, travel, and the couple journey the world around his work as a doctor in Winchelsea. “He would be one of the oldest and most experienced GPs in Australia,” Jenny says. “He loves it and the money’s useful, we love to travel so we use it for that.” The lack of rain is not the only challenge at Bogans Lane. Youngsters keep plucking its street sign as a souvenir. “I had to get council to put another one in - the young people see it as a challenge,” Jenny says, laughing. “Council put it higher and higher up the lamp post until people had to climb on the back of a ute to get it. But they still do - it’s gone again.” 59
LIVING off the grid
Brothers Tristan and Seamus O’Reilly with wives Hollie and Jayde and daughters Wren and Olive. PICTURES: REBECCA HOSKING
Mt Duneed’s new environmentally friendly straw bale home is a six year tale of love between two brothers and two sisters. LUKE VOOGT speaks to proud home owner Tristan O’Reilly and brother Seamus to find out more.
TRISTAN and Hollie O’Reilly turned to a building method almost as ancient as humankind itself to create their sustainable two-year “labor of love”. The couple completed their straw bale home in June, just three weeks before Hollie gave birth there to first daughter Wren two weeks overdue. “Half way though the build my wife fell pregnant,” Tristan says. “It was a good excuse to pick up the pace and get everything done to move in.” The couple had always planned to build a home which matched their principles and give birth to their children there, Tristan says.
My wife and I believed in creating as little environmental impact as we could. Raising a family and having a healthy home was really important to us… “My wife and I believed in creating as little environmental impact as we could. Raising a family having a healthy home was really important to us.” The 30-year-old graphic designer chose the straw bale for its “incredible” insulation properties. “Straw buildings have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years,” Tristan says. “It’s a little more common than most people realise. “It takes its heating from the sun and having correct shading keeps it cool in the summer.” Straw bale homes are very non-flammable once rendered, Tristan says. “You’ve got 45-50mm earth render barrier on the inside and a lime and sand render outside before you reach the straw.” 61
The house sits on a property adjoining Tristan’s parents’ home in Mt Duneed and took two years “on and off” to complete. “It’s definitely worth it - it really is a fantastic, healthy home to live in,” Tristan says. “We gave a lot of thought to the orientation of the house and the materials used. It pretty much stays comfortable all year around.” The house has recycled materials throughout and all the internal walls are rendered clay, which the couple dug up when they were creating the foundations. “All our glazing is leftover glass from a commercial building that would have gone to scrap,” Tristan says. “We were able to get very high quality glass at a price that we otherwise wouldn’t have.”
planted thousands of trees to make it nice again and bring back the birds,” Tristan says.
in the shed “cemented” Tristan and Hollie’s decision to go off the grid, Seamus says.
When Tristan first decided to build a fully sustainable home six years ago, he knew younger brother Seamus was the man for the job.
Seamus lives by what he sells. He and Jayde just sold their house in Bannockburn and purchased a block in Inverleigh to build their own sustainable home.
Remarkably, Seamus is married to Hollie’s younger sister Jayde. “We all went to Kardinia College,” Tristan says. “I met Hollie through him and he met Jayde through Hollie.” Originally Tristan had only wanted to build a “small shack”, Seamus tells GC.
“We’ve really immersed ourselves into that straw bale world and seen what’s possible,” Seamus says. “It’s just a fantastic product to work with - you walk in to it and you feel like this is where you belong.”
“Their dreams grew as we started to talk about the design and planning.”
The carpenter and registered builder credits his parents for his green focus.
One of the major challenges was powering the house, Seamus says.
“Mum and dad have always been into sustainability so I’ve just grown up with it being the normal thing.”
With the house complete the couple have turned their attention outside to their fledgling vegetable garden and backyard.
There were no power lines near the property, which meant the couple would have had to pay between $25,000 and $30,000 to connect to the grid.
“When we first moved out here it was empty farmland so we’ve
The similar cost of installing a solar system and battery bank
Building Tristan’s home required years of careful planning, Seamus says. “It has been a long process. You only get one chance at doing it so we wanted to do it right.”
Brothers Tristan and Seamus O’Reilly at Tristan’s Mt Duneed home.
MOTEL & APARTMENTS GEELONG, VIC 5278 5477
WELCOME HOME for visitors PARKWOOD Motel and Apartments has a newly renovated twobedroom apartment with a blue and grey colour scheme.
Free Breakfast & Free WiFi
The apartment makeover follows upgrading of the motelâ€™s outdoor paving and deck area, fitted with colourful retro seating. With split-system air-conditioning, the apartment provides a single bed in one room and a queen in the other. Both of the carpeted bedrooms include ceiling fans and electric blankets. Parkwood also gave the apartment a new kitchen with gas hotplates and an electric oven, while a convenient parking space awaits the guestsâ€™ vehicle.
Pool & BBQ Area
Parkwood offers a trio of threebedroom apartments. Guests enjoy front and back gardens, their own washing lines and parking. All Parkwood guests have access to the swimming pool and barbeque area.
The fully-equipped apartments
GPS: Entrance-8 Lily Street
(03) 5278 5477
Also on site, Parkwood has three bedrooms with two queen beds, two singles and two pull-out sofa beds and can sleep 10 people sharing beds. Guests can enjoy a large alfresco deck and private parking. Three kilometres from central Geelong, the motel is close to local sports facilities. With environmentally friendly solar power, Parkwood offers 24/7 customer service, free wi-fi and Foxtel in all rooms, a guest laundry, and views over colourful central gardens and the outdoor swimming pool. With a AAA-star rating in the 2016 Gold List of Australian Accommodation Award, Parkwood also won a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2017. Parkwood is at the corner of Shannon Avenue and Ballarat Road, North Geelong, phone 5278 5477.
Book directly with Parkwood Motel, mention the GC magazine and receive a free bottle of wine on arrival.
Corner of Shannon Ave & Ballarat Rds North Geelong
sleep up to seven people. Each has a 55-inch television and split-system air-conditioning.
During Easter time Parkwood Motel is offering GC readers who book directly with the motel a free continental breakfast and a complimentary box of chocolates.
TRANSFORMER AARONS Outdoor Living Geelong is transforming backyards, according to managing director Mark Zimmer. “It’s very satisfying when you can turn someone’s mediocre backyard into a resort-like outdoor retreat,” Mark says. His Melbourne Road business can build and install cubbies and an endless variety of other outdoor structures. Aarons uses treated pine to deliver other products including garden sheds, Bali huts, pergolas, outdoor furniture, dog kennels and even chicken coops. The huts and pergolas are an ideal shade solution for summer, Mark advises. The company’s storage workshops are also popular. “People use them for all sorts of things - gymnasiums, painting studios, music rooms and more,” Mark says. Meeting council and building regulations, Aarons can also customise the workshops’ timber door and window positions and modular designs. Aarons Outdoor Living offers free site inspections to make the best use of space in backyards,
We deliver exceptional products and service, at an affordable price.
THAT’S MY PROMISE… childcare centres, holiday parks, sporting clubs and even retirement homes. The Geelong team also offers free site inspections with friendly customer service and high quality workmanship on all installations. Company founder Aaron Giddings began his dream transforming backyards 25 years ago when he started building dog kennels in his parents’ carport. “I’m proud Aarons is the leading manufacturer and supplier of Australian backyard products,” he says. “We deliver exceptional products and service, at an affordable price. That’s my promise. “I know you’ll enjoy your Aarons Outdoor Living experience.”
Mark Zimmerman with amazing Aarons Outdoor Living products.
The New Local Guide To New Homes & Land SUMMER 2017/2018
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Warralily consistently rates as the best-selling estate in Geelong, itself arguably the fastest-growing region in Victoria.
GRANGE raising the bar WARRALILY is set to raise the bar at Mount Duneed with the imminent release of the super-suburb’s newest neighbourhood, the prestigious Warralily Grange. Warralily is taking expressions of interest for the elevated Mount Duneed village, offering sprawling panoramic views and a village lifestyle in elegant, tree-lined streets. With Warralily’s existing Armstrong Creek precincts already 70 per cent sold, outstripping all growth forecasts, the Warralily Grange timeline has been brought forward to match buyer demand as the Warralily population surpasses 5500 residents occupying 1800 homes. The new ‘village within a village’ will consolidate Warralily as key player in the Armstrong Creek growth area with offerings across the entire buyer spectrum including first-home-buyers, families and retirees.
First-order price growth has also accompanied the estate over the past year. And buyer interest from outside Geelong, running at 30 per cent, is a vote of confidence in the project that points to more of the same on the horizon. Warralily Grange will capitalise brilliantly on historic Mount Duneed’s elevated attributes. The You Yangs, Brisbane Ranges and Port Phillip Bay will be front and centre for residents. But the wider 180-degree vista on offer also takes in from Ballarat’s Mount Buninyong to Cape Schank and Bass Strait. Lots from 400 to 718 square metres will be offered alongside a future P-6 school, a small local activity centre (LAC), district ovals and three parks - a Grange Village Park with 7500sqm and two 2500sqm neighbourhood parks. Rugged redgums and a lofty vista will characterise Warralily Grange. The new neighbourhood will see Warralily extend west across the Surf Coast Highway with ready access to the Surf Coast as well as nearby Geelong CBD, while blending seamlessly with its hugely-successful Warralily Coast, Promenade and Central villages. The many existing Warralily amenities and services already on offer at Armstrong Creek will be just minutes away.
Village Warralily is the heart of the broader master-planned community providing a vibrant retail hub alongside sport and recreation, education, childcare and more. The Village Shopping Centre includes a full-range Woolworths supported by 15 retail and food outlets bordering a leafy town square. The centre also includes office spaces, medical and dental clinics, a chemist and a gym. Alongside the shopping centre, a McDonalds restaurant and 7-Eleven fuel and convenience store provide convenience and additional job opportunities for locals. Plus, an ALDI supermarket and a neighbouring Armstrong Creek School open in 2018. Warralily Grange will present a live-above-it-all option with the best of surf, country and city readily accessible. Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects is Warralily’s indisputable Australian nature, peppered with eucalypts and many large old river red gums. Hundreds of retained native trees have been landscaped with the planting of over a million local plants, trees and artworks. For more information visit warralily. com.au. 67
ICM keeping it local QUALITY kitchens and general joinery have become a priority in family homes. While adding so much value to a new or existing home, quality joinery can be simultaneously functional and aesthetically pleasing. When it comes to finding a good cabinetmaker and related suppliers, ICM Geelong makes it easy. ICM stands for Independent Cabinet Makers, a group of qualified professionals each with their own businesses who have banded together to highlight the skills and quality product manufactured by Geelong’s cabinetmaking industry. They all strive to meet a code of ethics that sets them apart, as the best in their field, using quality hardware and materials and superior workmanship. ICM Geelong was formed to encourage people including builders to utilise the services 68
of local cabinetmakers, many of them family-run businesses, to protect the industry well into the future. “We want to look after future job opportunities for our community, hence our advertising campaign slogan ’Our Jobs, Our Kids, Our Future,” ICM Geelong president Scott Smith says. “The committee and members firmly believe there will be a trades shortage if we don’t promote our industry, which has so much to offer.” With the introduction of larger department stores moving into kitchens, cabinetmakers want people to appreciate the difference between a “catalogue” kitchen and one that is custombuilt and supports our local industry.
be more efficient, competitive and productive,” Scott says. “We share new software ideas for running our factories and discuss the latest machinery available to us.” The committee works closely with members to promote their work through ICM Geelong’s website and social media. An active website with cabinetmaker listings helps new-home builders and renovators find inspiration for their projects. Acquiring the latest equipment, machinery and technology is an expensive outlay, resulting in many cabinetmakers now choosing to specialise in a particular area, so some jobs and tenders suit some businesses more than others.
ICM Geelong cabinetmakers also wants homeowners to know that the group does so much more than kitchens and bathrooms and offers custom-made joinery including entertainment units, bookcases and desks at competitive prices.
ICM Geelong has attracted the attention of a range of sponsors who share a similar drive and passion for the industry. Together with them, cabinetmakers offer the best quality materials available, backed up with great design, advice and service to match.
“ICM Geelong is about cabinetmakers educating and helping each other and sharing resources so our businesses can
ICM Geelong cabinetmakers can turn your ideas into reality and keep our jobs, our kids and our future where it belongs.
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