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Ranges Trader

Yarn bombing boost spirits in Montrose

Meet Ferntree Gully’s hero feeding hundreds

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Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

Mail Saying goodbye to Gembrook’s posties

How to help wildlife in breeding season

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A Star News Group Publication

Phone: 5957 3700 Trades and Classifieds: 1300 666 808

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Delivery detour By Mikayla van Loon

Dotty, 2, and Layla, 3, both love having brother Finn at home but Layla has already taken on the big sister role. 253172

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Seeing the birth of your child is perhaps one of the most incredible experiences to go through but for Monbulk father Steve McRae, he never thought he would be the one to deliver his baby boy on the side of the road. When his wife Nikki began experiencing cramps just before midnight on Friday 1 October, the two of them knew it wouldn’t be long before their third child was born. “I had said to my husband I had a feeling that the baby might come that weekend because I was getting quite uncomfortable and I knew it was not far away,” Nikki said. Little did they know it was going to happen a lot quicker than either of them expected. By quarter to three in the morning, Nikki had made the call to start heading to the hospital as a precaution, knowing the drive was going to take some time. “We were actually staying at our in-laws in Silvan for the week. Of course, that’s the week I went into labor and it also meant we were a bit further away from the hospital,” Nikki said. Getting to the end of the long driveway, Nikki knew she was close to needing to push. “It went from me thinking I was just sort of in early labor to all of a sudden being ready for him to be born,” she said. Making it to Monbulk and then just over the border into Kallista, Nikki told Steve to pull over wherever he could. It was 3am and it was pouring rain but Steve pulled over into the first driveway he could, collected towels and blankets from the back of the car and called an ambulance. “As I was coming back to the car I just heard a guy yell out and it was this Grahame fella and he just asked if we were ok,” Steve said. Continued page 4

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STORM AND FLOOD

BULLETIN

This bulletin provides regular updates and stories about recovery and clean-up from the June 2021 storms and floods both in our local community and across Victoria’s affected areas. Bushfire Recovery Victoria proudly works in partnership with council and the local community to support recovery.

PARTNERS IN WELLBEING These are challenging times for small business owners. It’s normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed. There is support available to help you through

CLEAN-UP PROGRAM Registrations for the Residential Storm and Flood Clean-up program are closing at 11:59pm on Sunday 31 October 2021.

Your wellbeing is vital to the health of your business. The Partners in Wellbeing Helpline is here to help.

Anyone impacted by the June storm and flood event with eligible properties should register soon to avoid missing out on clean-up assistance.

Talk to one of the trained wellbeing coaches, financial counsellors, or business advisors today. It’s free and they’re here for you seven days a week. Call 1300 370 330 or chat online.

The cut-off date is for new registrations only – it does not affect those who are already registered and are waiting for a call-back, site assessment or works to begin.

Visit partnersinwellbeing.org.au

To find out more about the clean-up program and to register your property, call 1800 560 760 or visit brv.vic.gov.au/cleanup.

JUNE 2021 EXTREME WEATHER EVENT LEARNING REVIEW Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), in collaboration with the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), is leading a Learning Review into the June extreme weather event to ensure lessons of state-wide multi-agency significance and aspects of particular interest to impacted communities are identified, implemented, and shared across the emergency management sector and with impacted communities.

BUSINESS RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE MENTORING The Victorian Government is partnering with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to deliver a business mentoring program to help small businesses navigate the economic challenges posed by restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Through this program, eligible business owners can receive up to four 2-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business. The program offers tailored guidance on: • Business recovery—to strengthen business recovery (cost reduction, debt and cashflow management) • Market transformation—to understand how COVID-19 has triggered or accelerated market changes

Over the last few weeks, EMV have conducted phone interviews with people impacted by the June extreme weather event. Thank you to those people who have shared their experiences so far. The phone interviews will finish in a couple of weeks with the information captured informing the Learning Review. A community report will be drafted and made publicly available. Visit your Council website to discover other ways you can provide feedback or to find out more about the Learning Review, visit www.emv.vic.gov.au

• Digital literacy and engagement—to help businesses reach new customers and markets • Market and supply chain diversification—to reduce exposure to supply chain risks • Reskilling and retraining—to help businesses upskill their existing workforce. To see if your business is eligible, visit business.vic.gov.au.

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IN BRIEF Cardinia’s community safety focus

Million dollar vax By Gabriella Payne If you’re still sitting on the fence about whether or not to get the Covid-19 vaccine - this could help make your mind up! In a bid to encourage more Aussie adults to get vaccinated against the virus, a group of wealthy philanthropists and corporations have set up a lottery incentive that everyone who’s received both their jabs can enter - with a mammoth cash prize of $1 million! As well as the major million dollar prize (which will be drawn on Friday 5 November), 3,100 Ultimate eGift cards (valued at $1,000 each) will be given away each day throughout the month of October. The ’Million Dollar Vax’ promotion is open to all Australian residents aged 18 years or older who will be fully vaccinated by Monday 13 December. The people behind this new incentive said that they hope the lottery will encourage unvaccinated Australians to get their jabs as soon as possible, so that the country can move away from lockdowns in the near future. “This initiative has been created by the ‘Million Dollar Vax Alliance’, a group of generous philanthropists and corporations, to accelerate Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination program in a safe and secure way,” a statement on the Million Dollar Vax website read. “The faster we reach higher vaccination rates nationally, the sooner we all can safely

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Australians who are fully vaccinated can go in the draw to win a million dollars thanks to the initiative. Picture: UNSPLASH resume our full range of community and business activity.” So what are you waiting for? Get your jab

and go in the running to win big! To enter the lotto, head to https://milliondollarvax.com/

Covid cases spread in eastern suburbs By Mikayla van Loon Covid-19 case numbers are on the rise across the eastern suburbs with the virus spreading exponentially in the region. In the 24 hours prior to Monday 11 October, the Yarra Ranges Shire recorded 29 new cases, while Maroondah recorded 16 and Knox recorded 22. The 29 new cases for the Yarra Ranges are from the following postcodes. 3140 - 5 3116 - 3 3138 - 5 3137 - 1 3796 - 1 3765 - 1 3793 - 2 3160 - 4 3139 - 4 3777 - 2 3782 - 1 This brings the total number of active cases to 144 in the Yarra Ranges, 189 in Maroondah and 261 in Knox. Two exposure sites have been added to the list for the shire, both at early learning centres. The HEI Schools Emerald Early Learning Centre has been identified as a tier one and

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In recognition of Community Safety Month and aligning to the councils commitment for a Safer Cardinia, Cardinia Shire Council has partnered with Victoria Police, Australian Drug Foundation (ADF), SES and CFA to run free online community safety and emergency management workshop events throughout the month of October. Workshops topics will include: Home, property and personal safety awareness Residential emergency planning Online safety awareness Bushfire preparedness Family violence awareness Farming and agriculture emergency planning The ‘other talk’ (drug and alcohol use) awareness Cardinia Shire community-led emergency management groups These online sessions will provide an opportunity for community members and stakeholders interested in learning practical skills and information on improving community safety and being prepared in an emergency in which to apply in their daily lives. The online workshops will take place every Wednesday and Thursday evening from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Check out their website for details www. cardinia.vic.gov.au And to register to attend this session via mail to: j.campos@cardinia.vic.gov.au

Active Covid-19 cases have reached 144 in the Yarra Ranges, 29 of those recorded in the 24 hours prior to 11 October. Picture: FUSION MEDICAL ANIMATION ON UNSPLASH two site for the dates ranging 27 September to 29 September. All those who have been notified as being a close contact under the tier one exposure will need to be tested and isolate for 14 days. KingKids Early Learning Centre and Kindergarten in Mooroolbark was also listed as a tier one exposure site for the dates ranging from 29 September to 1 October. Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said case numbers are starting to shift and are now not isolated to certain LGA’s or areas

but rather are growing across the state. “I would just stress again, please don’t rely now on these case narratives that it’s all in a few locations, it is increasingly now coming into suburbs all across Melbourne and all across regional Victoria,” he said. Mr Weimar said there is no predicting how case numbers will go and whether or not Victoria has reached its peak to then start seeing numbers drop. “We’re all watching these numbers day by day. In some LGA’s we’re seeing promising signs, I’ve indicated Hume. Hume has really taken a hammering on positive cases in recent weeks and months, that’s now starting to look a little bit lower but that’s a good result for today,” he said. “We are going to be watching this very closely over the coming days. We’d all like this to be over, we’d all like to get to the turn but it’s our behaviours around the community that determine whether those numbers start to turn, “So if we stick with the rules, stick with the directions, do what we need to do, those numbers will head in the right direction.” Vaccination rates increased over the weekend, with 86.1 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over having now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 58.1 per cent have had two doses.

Woman dies in Bayswater North A woman has died following an incident in Bayswater North on the night of Saturday 9 October. Emergency services were called to a Huntingdon Avenue property just after 7.30pm. A man and woman were located inside the property with life threatening injuries, the female died at the scene. The man has been transported to hospital in a critical condition. Both are yet to be formally identified but both parties are believed to be known to each other. The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated.

Vehicle temperature check Pakenham police responded to a call from a concerned member of the public that a dog had been left unattended in a locked crate in the rear of a ute canopy on Saturday 9 October. Members located the dog, who did not have any water, and arranged for a drink, some fresh air and lots of pats. Upon speaking to the registered owner it was revealed that the dog had been left there for more than two hours while they were at a nearby park. The owner was spoken to about their pet ownership responsibilities and the pup was let out of the vehicle to join his family at the park. It is a timely reminder that children, the elderly and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles, regardless of the weather conditions. Temperatures in cars can rise quickly and this can lead to serious health issues. Members of the public are encouraged to report sightings of children, elderly or pets locked in cars to 000.

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Driveway born baby Finn From page 1 “I said ‘sorry my wife’s having a baby, are you able to get some fresh towels and maybe a blanket’ and he was like ‘you’re kidding’ and I was like ‘sorry mate, not kidding’.” Grahame Emanuel and his wife were awoken to the surprise of a baby being born in their driveway but helped calm and encourage Nikki through the birth of her son. “It was three o’clock in the morning and he had just woken up to a couple having a baby in his driveway so I think the fact that even came out was amazing,” Steve said. “I think he was a little bit panicked at the beginning and then he went around to the driver’s side and he started rubbing Nikki’s shoulder.” Steve said having experienced the births of two children before helped him stay calm while the ambulance operator talked him through how to deliver his child. “The more calm that I can be, the more it resonates with Nikki as well. So it’s just focusing on that and staying nice and relaxed. I don’t know what it would have been like if it was our first, probably a bit more scary,” he said. Nikki said the births of her two daughters, Dotty and Layla, had been fairly straightforward and quite textbook, with no complications. “I had done it twice before and I think realistically we had really beautiful straightforward births with the girls so we didn’t have any reason to think that this one would be any different.” But little Finn McRae wanted to make an entrance and came into the world just after 3am on Saturday 2 October. For Steve, being able to deliver his baby boy was such a special and surreal experience. “Nikki went through something pretty rough in terms of being in the front side of the car but it was completely fine in the end and

Nikki and Steve welcomed Finn into the world a little bit differently than expected but couldn’t be happier. 253172 I got to completely deliver my baby boy,” he said. “It was amazing. I wouldn’t change it for the world now that Nikki’s completely fine and he’s completely fine. It was awesome.” From the moment Finn took his first breath, Nikki and Steve knew everything was going to be fine but having the reassurance from the

paramedics who arrived shortly after he was born, was such a relief. A week on and Finn is at home, in the arms of his big sisters and doing well. Since welcoming Finn into their lives and with quite a bit of media attention, Nikki and Steve said they have been overwhelmed with love and support from the community, some-

Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

thing they are extremely grateful for and wanted to thank everyone who has helped in some way. “It was really tough leading up to the birth in lockdown,” Steve said. “If anyone has someone in our situation or is expecting and maybe has kids or something, just reach out and ask them how they are going.”

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Spotlight on crime Crime Stoppers Victoria has urged farmers and rural property owners across the state to speak up about theft on farms. Launched on Wednesday 6 October, in partnership with Victoria Police, the new campaign ‘Putting a Spotlight on Farm Crime’ aims to increase farm crime reported in Victoria, whether it’s stolen livestock, harvested animals, firearms, equipment, tools, or chemicals. New data released by the Crime Statistics Agency has revealed livestock theft across the state has risen by 2 per cent in the past 12 months, costing rural communities close to $2,000,000. Despite this staggering figure, under reporting of farm crime remains a widespread problem. Stella Smith, Chief Executive of Crime Stoppers Victoria, said farm thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they target victims. “We’re seeing offenders use drones and satellite imagery to spy on rural properties. It doesn’t matter if you live in a remote area, with technology criminals can easily find a way to steal from you,” Ms Smith said. A recent study by Dr Alistair Harkness, CoDirector of the Centre for Rural Criminology at the University of New England, identified concerns from farmers that the offender is known and living in a community, and there exists fear of reprisal. Sharing what you know with Crime Stoppers overcomes that fear. Ms Smith said it is vital farmers and prop-

Livestock, harvested animals, firearms, equipment, tools and chemicals are some of the items stolen of farm by thieves across Victoria. Picture: ON FILE erty owners make a report to Crime Stoppers if they’ve been targeted by criminals or have suspicions farm crime has occurred. Information can be provided anonymously. “Even the smallest piece of information could assist police with an investigation and help reduce the rate of farm crime in Victoria.” Acting Inspector Emma Bartel, of Victoria Police’s Farm Crime Coordination Unit, said, “We take farm crime very seriously.” “It’s vital farmers come forward to report any crime and they should know we will investigate it fully. We understand the impact theft of livestock and equipment can have on farmers and their livelihoods.

“We encourage people in rural areas to report any suspicious activity. The information they have might be the piece we need to hold perpetrators to account. “We also urge farmers to take precautions – a simple measure like a sign on the fence warning would-be trespassers to stay off private property can go a long way to discouraging crime.” The public is also being encouraged to check the authenticity of livestock and secondhand farming equipment before purchasing. “If you buy livestock or machinery for a steal, it probably is,” Ms Smith said. President of the Victorian Farmers Federation Emma Germano said that rural crime can have a significant and harmful impact on hard-working communities. “It not only hurts the victim’s hip-pocket, but reduces how much they can spend locally, from cafes to hardware stores,” Ms Germano said. To help boost security on rural properties, Crime Stoppers Victoria in conjunction with Victoria Police, has produced new farm gate signs, available to order for free through crimestoppersvic.com.au/farm-crime. Rural property owners are also encouraged to download the Farm Security checklist. “By using these free resources, farm owners are helping protect themselves and their properties from both organised criminals and opportunistic offenders,” Ms Smith said.

Tarquin Csuka-Knight has been a part of the mentoring program at Bowens Rowville, where store manager Len Tricarico has worked for 30 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS years. 253238

Employment headstart for young tradies By Mikayla van Loon Entering the workforce after finishing school is daunting for any student, let alone those who have been completing school at a time of countrywide job insecurity and uncertainty. Although programs like the one Bowens in Rowville has hosted each year has been put on hold for students at St Joseph’s Regional College, store manager Len Tricarico said he can’t wait to have VCAL students back in store. “I actually had probably three to four VCAL students and we put a lot of time into them with the educational stuff and behind the scenes as well with our products and their customer service and just general talking with the public,” Mr Tricarico said. “That’s been on hold now for the last nine to 12 months due to our current Covid situation.” For Mr Tricarico, seeing these students learn basic skills in a safe environment where they are encouraged to dream about a future career is why he enjoys the program. “I enjoy helping young people integrate into work life and it’s just a great opportunity for them to actually learn some basic skills in the workforce and everybody needs to start somewhere,” he said. mailcommunity.com.au

“The students that we’re getting from St Joe’s and there’s a few others around the area, they want to transform into the building industry whether as a carpenter or an electrician. “So just to get these basics it’s a really good platform for them to get an opportunity for future employment working with us.” Two VCAL students from St Joseph’s participate in the work experience program one day a week for a six to 12 month period to learn the basics in timber species, customer service and customer orders. Surveys compiled into a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), showed 34 per cent of young people were concerned about their education in 2020 and seven per cent were concerned about financial difficulties. The AIHW report, updated in June 2021, states there may be ‘adverse effects from temporary disruption to education’ and ‘potential consequences of unemployment on their long-term employment prospects and finances’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Tricarico said although helping students improve their employability prior to Covid-19 was important, it is even more so now to help them gain confidence after two years of disruption.

“For some of these VCAL students they may have never actually had a job before. So I suppose to get that confidence and just some basic skills, through time they start to realise this is actually not that hard or not that bad or not as daunting as what some people might feel when they have a job for the first time.” For the students who were already disengaged from their education, Mr Tricarico said the pandemic might push them to not complete any further studies, so on the job training lends itself to nurturing these teens and their abilities. “Personally, I love seeing the development in young people. I really enjoy seeing where they start, and how excited they are. They’re very motivated and they are begging for leadership. “I’ve got two kids and they’re around those ages right now. I would love for them to have an opportunity to learn from people who are willing to put the time into them, to give them those basic life values, from the mentoring side, from the experience side, to give them a really good opportunity early in their life to actually make something of it.” To find job opportunities, head to the Bowens website https://www.bowens.com. au/.

Fire season With parts of Victoria already having experienced days of higher fire risk, now is the time to start preparing your property, CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan has warned. While the most recent seasonal outlook for spring, released in late August by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), shows parts of Victoria are forecast to have a wet spring, warm and windy days will bring an increased fire risk. The outlook has predicted strong grass growth and the potential of increased grassfire conditions once the vegetation dries out – especially in the Wimmera and the Mallee fire districts which are likely to have an above normal fire potential during spring. Fortunately, strong winter rainfall means the fire season activity is expected to be below normal across the eastern, north-east, central ranges and Otway Ranges, with a reduced risk of campaign bushfires in forested areas of the state. However, Chief Officer Heffernan warned property owners in some forested areas still had a lot of debris to clear following winter storms. “Whether you live in the North West, where we can soon expect to start seeing fast-moving grassfires, or in the damper forested areas of East Gippsland, now is the time to start preparing yourself and your property for the fire season,” he said. “Victoria is one of the world’s most bushfire-prone areas, and even a normal fire season presents a high risk to communities.” Chief Officer Heffernan said Victorians who planned to ‘leave early’ – that is the night before or morning of a high-fire risk day – should also prepare their property. “Preparing your property means you minimise the chance of property damage during a fire, even if you plan to leave early. Houses have been lost from things as simple as embers landing on a doormat left out,” he said. “A big clean-up before the fire season can make a huge difference to the safety and survival of your home in a bushfire. “If burning off as part of preparing your property, make sure you check for local restrictions, monitor weather conditions – particularly wind – and always register your burn-offs.” Once a Fire Danger Period has been declared in your local government area, you need to apply for a permit at firepermits.vic.gov.au. Visit cfa.vic.gov.au for more information about bushfire planning and preparation, and about leaving early. Visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au for up-to-date advice about a travel permit scheme for Victorians in Restricted Areas who need to leave their principal residence for bushfire property preparations at secondary properties in other areas. Tips for preparing your property: Prune tree branches so they are not overhanging the roof or touching walls. Replace mulch near the house with less flammable alternatives like pebbles. Keep grass shorter than 10cm. Regularly remove leaves and twigs from around the house. Don’t have large shrubs in front of windows or glass doors. Before leaving early, make sure you remove all flammable items from around your home – including the doormat! Check that your home and contents insurance is current and includes a level of cover in line with current building standards and regulations. Keeping burn-offs safe and legal: Check fire restrictions with your local council. Register your burn at firepermits.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 668 511. Check and monitor weather conditions – particularly wind – on the day of your burn and the few days after it as fires can flare up several days after a burn-off in windy conditions. To avoid unnecessary calls to emergency services, notify your neighbours beforehand. Leave a three-metre fire break, free from flammable materials around the burn. Have sufficient equipment and water to stop the fire spreading and to extinguish it. Never leave a burn-off unattended – stay for its entire duration. If your burn-off gets out of control, call ‘000’ immediately.

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Montrose yarn bombers By Mikayla van Loon For what appears to be quite a small town, Montrose always has something happening to bring the community together and bring some joy to people’s lives. The most recent has been the phenomenon known as yarn bombing, a type of street art that covers poles, trees, bollards and bench seats in knitted objects. Montrose Township Group president Chelsey Cooper said the idea of yarn bombing Montrose came from a new member of the group who had seen it happen elsewhere. After contacting a person they knew who was a passionate knitter, more and more people came out of the woodwork, leaving their knitted creations around town. “We put a call out and just got a massive influx of people that enthusiastically said yes,” Ms Cooper said. “We don’t know everyone because it was a bit of a secret who participated but the oldest person we knew was 88 years old, who did quite a bit. The youngest was 10 and we know we had both men and women contribute to the yarn bomb.” Traditionally yarn bombing is a secret movement that just appears but Montrose Township Group actually took responsibility for it and approached Yarra Ranges Council for approval. “They were really supportive and did all they could to get it through really quickly but that was also an agreement that we had it up for a certain amount of time,” Ms Cooper said. “So what’s been created will be up for a month but I’ve already heard people say, ‘well, you know, I’m going to make some ghosts for halloween and hang them in the tree’ so who knows what will come from it. “But I think it might have inspired a few more people to contribute these little gifts that surprise and delight us.” For local resident and Montrose Meats business owner Rob Earney, seeing how the township group has been engaging people in the community, not only during Covid but even prior to that, is what makes Montrose Montrose. “I’m a long term Montrose resident and in my eyes, it’s tradition, Montrose has always had that sense of community and that sense of togetherness,” he said. “Montrose is geographically interesting, in that we’re our own little igloo and it’s easy for people to bypass or even not come to Montrose, unless they’re particularly coming here. So what they do is they’re involving the community, so they stay as a community.” Mr Earney said the yarn bombing has brought eyes from outside the township to Montrose and has really created a sense of happiness.

Rob Earney from Montrose Meats has loved seeing the designs and colours of the yarn bombing popping up around town. 253175 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS “As a community member, it’s started the talk and people are talking about it and are quite excited about it and it’s given a new bit of colour to the township.” Apart from the yarn bombing, one of Mr Earney’s favourite projects from the township group was a barbeque they hosted in the street at the end of one of the lockdowns last year. “They did a free sausage sizzle for people that would walk along the street so that they could stop and talk and engage.That’s the sort of thing that holds the community together,” he said. Mr Earney said the effort the township group puts into keeping people connected is admirable and he is grateful for the work they do. Ms Cooper said each of the projects the township group has done fits into the community vision they decided on last year. “Our vision really was that we wanted to create a community where the people cared about and supported each other, our place

Some of the streets poles have gained feet. 253175

Knitted designs have been creative and colourful. 253175

and the natural environment,” she said. “In Covid it’s obviously been hard for us to get together to connect but it’s also meant we’ve been really creative about ways we can do that and make that vision come to life.

“What we noticed was those little moments where you can be surprised and delighted and they bring real joy and it helps us feel proud to be in a community that wants to be generous with each other.”

A bushfire safety scavenger hunt comes to Montrose By Mikayla van Loon Understanding the risk of the summer fire season as adults means preparing a safety plan and clearing properties but for children it’s possibly a difficult thing to comprehend. Having those conversations about fire danger and what needs to happen should a bushfire break out allows children to manage the situation better and prepare themselves for the worst case scenario. Montrose CFA paired with the Montrose Township Group to bring kids a fire safety treasure hunt for the month of October and Captain Koala needs help finding his friends at seven locations across the Montrose township. At every location, a fire safety message has been left behind to spark conversation and really involve children in the preparations for the fire season. Montrose CFA community engagement coordinator Eddie Tichelaar said the Fire Safe Kids program is usually run in schools but with Covid-19 restricting the teaching of this, the CFA wanted to come up with a way to still get the message out there. “It’s focused around bushfire safety and 6 MAIL

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Captain Koala needs help finding his friends in Montrose during the month of October. Picture: CFA things that younger kids, five to 15 may start thinking about as they’re growing up. Safety around bushfires, when’s the time to leave, what are the triggers to leave,” he said. “These are things that we try to educate the kids in the schools but of course, we can’t do that right now. So that’s why we have created the fire safety treasure hunt.”

Montrose Township Group president Chelsey Cooper said not only was this a great way to get families out but also really prompts the need to start thinking about bushfires this summer. “It was just such a brilliant idea to get families out to do this wonderful scavenger hunt but as you go, sprinkled in there are little tips to keep us more aware of how we prepare for fire season,” she said. Mr Tichelaar said by starting to introduce children to fire safety in this way, it also prepares their parents for the fire season. “We sometimes just start with the kids, just start with the ideas, which then obviously gets parents thinking about it too,” he said. Ms Cooper said the treasure hunt is also a great conversation starter for everyone but in an interactive way. “It starts conversations, a conversation with other people and a conversation with your kids. I think sometimes all it is is just starting to talk about it makes you more aware of ‘Oh I have to be thinking about this and it’s coming, what do we need to do?’ “I think the CFA has been brilliant in the way that they’re trying to be creative to get their messages across.”

The treasure hunt will also flow into the upcoming bushfire planning workshops the CFA will host in November, December and February. “That’s more of an education program for the grown ups because a lot of people don’t really understand the safety risks around bushfires in the area,” Mr Tichelaar said. “People move in from the suburbs, they love the bush but a lot of people don’t understand the risks involved in living in this area.” After storms last October, Ms Cooper said it generated the need for the township group to establish a plan for bushfires and other emergencies. “We realised that we needed a plan of our own, how do we work with the community to be prepared for emergencies, bushfires, storms, whatever they might be. What role do we have in the response but also the recovery. “So this integrates beautifully. What the CFA did organise, it’s fantastic. It’s helping people to be educated on what you can do and kids obviously play a role in that.” Montrose CFA will host a face to face fire safety session on 16 November and one on 15 February, with an online session scheduled for 12 December. mailcommunity.com.au


NEWS

Hero feeding hundreds By Mikayla van Loon Before Alan Deans joined Foothills Community Care 16 years ago, he never realised Ferntree Gully had quite a large population of people who were lonely or struggling for a meal. “I was blown away really thinking this existed in Ferntree Gully. I always thought Ferntree Gully was a pretty affluent suburb and everyone was doing well,” he said. “When you really find out how many lonely, homeless people there are and a lot of the people they’re basically lonely. A lot of them do need help but all of them just want that sense of connection with other people as well.” After running a catering business for over 20 years, Mr Deans was looking for a way to put his skills to good use when he stumbled upon Foothills Community Care CEO Steve Barrington at an event. “They had a slideshow going on the Christmas Day lunch because they did one or two before I started and I just asked him what it was all about and found out they have issues cooking on Christmas Day because of the numbers,” Mr Deans said. Initially just helping to prepare the Christmas lunch for 150 people for the first two years, Mr Deans then started cooking for the Wednesday night community meal and has been doing so every week since. “We’d been catering for so long, working for money so I thought it was about time to put those skills to good use and do it for love rather than the money,” he said. For all those years of service to the community, Mr Barrington put Mr Deans forward as a Westfield Local Hero and the community voted to award him the prize of $10,000 to go towards not-for-profit. “He’s been an absolute godsend. He was such a patient person. It can be pretty pumping in here in terms of getting the meals out on time,” Mr Barrington said. “But also sometimes with the people that come here it can be quite stressful as well. There’s a lot of anxiety and a lot of people with quite a lot of challenges going on in their lives and so sometimes it can actually get quite testy but Alan is just really calm in just making sure it all runs smoothly.” Mr Barrington and Mr Deans both said the $10,000 will ensure Foothills Community Care can continue providing nutritious and warm, home cooked meals to those most vulnerable

Fruit, milk, eggs, bread and sanitary items are also available for people to take home.

Steve Barrington and Alan Deans have been working together to feed the Ferntree Gully community for 16 years and this year Alan has been recognised as Knox’s Local Hero. Pictures: MIKAYLA VAN LOON in their community by allowing them to continue buying food. “Our whole philosophy is about creating safe spaces for people, and using food to do that and knowing that food insecurities in our local area is one of the big things,” Mr Barrington said. “It’s not about charity, we give stuff to people but it’s actually about creating safe places where people can connect together and come together. That’s why we exist and food is a great way to do it.” Usually the Wednesday community meal involves a sit down dinner for up to 100 people but because of Covid-19 restrictions, volunteers have moved to a take away format where they are distributing at least 120 meals each week. “We didn’t think people would want to come out because they are a vulnerable group

but we haven’t lost anyone. They’ve all been coming,” Mr Deans said. “We might not see that many people on the site. A lot of people with a family they’ll just send one member to pick up six meals and a few boxes of veggies. So it doesn’t seem busier but the amount of food we are distributing is a lot more.” Whether a volunteer or someone needing a meal, Mr Deans said everyone needs connection and everyone is welcome on Wednesday night. “I think a lot of it is just companionship as well. People need connection and I think a lot of people now we’ve all been in Covid and have been locked in our homes, it’s been pretty bad for a lot of people but some people have been doing that for years.” Although supplying food and care packages to those in need has kept Mr Deans involved

Meals are made in the afternoon on a Wednesday and packaged ready to be handed out from 5pm at the Girl Guide Hall. in Foothills Community Care for 16 years, the other part of it is that he gets to pass on his cooking skills to young people. “We do get a lot of school kids, we get a lot of young people with no cooking skills. So I’ll just supervise them, I’ll get them to cook meals,” he said. “I try to do as little as possible but I try to get other people involved by cooking the meal and that’s probably my favorite part about helping young people.” Foothills Community Care also runs a number of other programs, including a domestic violence support group and meal delivery. EACH will also be onsite at the Ferntree Gully Girl Guides Hall on Wednesday 13 October with a pop-up vaccination hub. To find out more about programs, volunteering or how to donate, go to https://www. foothillscare.org.au/

A lasting stamp left on Gembrook’s community By Shelby Brooks After almost four decades, Greg and Ann Harry have finished up at the Gembrook Post Office. The couple celebrated their last official day in store on Thursday 3 October as they handed the keys to the new owners. Ann and Greg took over the business in 1986 after Greg worked as a relief post master while the previous owner took a holiday. “I liked it so much I said ’whenever you’re ready to sell, I’ll buy it’,” Greg told the Gazette. “Four months later she called and said she was ready to sell.” Greg and Ann said the people of Gembrook were the reasons they loved it so much. “We were made to feel comfortable in town immediately, even though we never had anything to do with it before that,” Greg said. “The people are fantastic and Gembrook has such a good vibe. It’s the city without being the city. Gembrook is Melbourne’s country cousins.“ The post office has changed premises three times during Ann and Greg’s ownership, beginning in a 2mx3m office when there were only 200 hours and 100 post boxes. “Now we’re in a large shop overwhelmed with parcels and have 1400 houses and 600 post boxes,” Greg said. “We’ve been a general store- post office, a hardware- post office and now for about 20 years have been a post office- newsagency.” But more than just a postal service, Greg mailcommunity.com.au

Ann and Greg Harry in front of the Gembrook Post Office. 252539 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS and Ann provided the rural community a point of connection for 36 years. Greg described the post office as the centre of information flow in the town. “Ann especially has looked after the community in that way,” Greg said. “Through the post office we’d hear if someone was unwell so we’d organise working bees and cakes- we’re the conduit for the town.

“Ann and I feel it’s been such a privilege to serve the town and take on the responsibility of everyone banking and therefore knowing everyone’s business.” Ann agreed. “I’ve loved getting involved in the community and with the local families,” Ann said. “It’s been so rewarding knowing each individual family and the births, deaths and marriages they go through as part of their families.” They’ve also watched the town population and postal habits of locals change over the years. “When we started, Gembrook was mainly a potato and timberwork industry,” Greg said. “Now, there’s the last handful of potato farmers and no forestry industry anymore. It is still a hardworking independent town and has maintained that beautiful culture but now the population has changed to a lot of commuters and small farms.” The rise in online shopping and parcel delivery has also kept Ann and Greg on their toes. “We’ve geared up and adjusted the way we’ve done business,” Greg said. “The staff here is fantastic and all busting arses off with the extra workload. Letters might have dropped down but parcels have been crazy. “Australia Post has completely revolutionised their business, and we were able to as well.” Greg said he thought Gembrook and

Cockatoo’s parcel delivery had increased 10 fold in recent years. “We hadn’t caught onto online shopping before the pandemic,” Greg said. “The town has totally embraced online shopping.” “The computer service was so bad, but now there’s been no choice.“ Greg and Ann said they were looking forward to becoming customers of the Gembrook Post Office and supporting the new owners, who previously owned the Grantville Post Office. “We’ve done things same way for a long time,” Greg said. “It’s time for new and better ways that are more modern.” Ann said they had been overwhelmed with best wishes in the lead up to their retirement. “We’ve seen four generations of families come through and employed a lot of local people,” she said. “We got messages from people saying their job at the post office prepared them for their future careers. “We’ve had so much love from the community it is a bit heartbreaking. “We raised two boys along the way and they spent a lot of time in the shop too, we haven’t known any other way. The shop always came first. “Now I’m looking forward to that next chapter, being a grandmother and catching up on the gardening and the housework which hasn’t been done in 36 years!” Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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THE LOWDOWN Q&A What is something people don’t know about you? Completely random and certainly not wildlife related! I was on a billboard overhanging the Westgate Bridge promoting one of the major sponsors for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. How did you first get into wildlife rescue? Ah great question and I really have no idea. Native wildlife always fascinated me. To the point where I completed a PhD in Zoology. Rescue was something I fell into and never left. Helping an animal when it is in its fight for its life, is such a privilege. Seeing that same animal be released and wild once again, really gives me purpose. You meet some amazing people when you’re rescuing wildlife too. Where does your passion for animals come from? I always had an affinity for animals. Tending to animals daily on the school farm was what got me through my school years. Looking back and discovering old photo albums from my grandad and how much animals were front and centre of his life, I suspect it has come from him and my mum. The love of the medical aspect of wildlife and treating the weird and sometimes stomach churning injuries, in conjunction with our amazing volunteer wildlife vet’s, has definitely come from dad. What have you learnt about our native wildlife and being a wildlife rescuer since starting? How lucky we are as Australian’s to have such unique animals on our doorstep, and how stoic these animals are in some of the most horrendous situations. Being a wildlife rescuer has also shown me how much contempt there is when residents have to share their patch of paradise with native wildlife. But on the flip side, it has also

with wildlife rescuer Emma Cash

Emma Cash with rescued wombat Syd at her wildlife sanctuary in Mount Evelyn called Bungalook Creek Wildlife Rescue. 253323 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS shown me how much compassion there is for our native wildlife when a natural disaster occurs. What do you love most about the Yarra Ranges? I love that I can walk out the front door and be

greeted by a bird and walk down the back and see all the resident wombats and wallabies. We live in such a beautiful part of the world. What event, past, present, or future, would you like to witness? In the past two years we have had some of the largest bushfires Australia has ever seen, floods, massive storms and a pandemic. The event I hope I will witness in my lifetime, is when we, as humans, wake up and realise we can’t keep treating Mother Nature with such contempt. Surely by now we have worked out she is not happy? Which four guests, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party? Unsurprisingly my top three would be David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Steve Irwin, it would be amazing just to sit back and listen. For a bit of fun my fourth is Scott Cam (from The Block), anyone who knows me well, knows I’m not shy of a bit of DIY. Maybe he can show me how to build a whole kitchen in a day. Who do you admire the most? My family, they allowed me to follow my passion, make mistakes and to stand on my own feet whilst knowing I still had a safety net behind me (I am positive I gave them nightmares on my journey). They taught me to work hard for everything I wanted in life and to realise that following a passion didn’t need to earn me money, but to make sure I had a job that I enjoyed and paid the bills! What are some of your hobbies? Working full time and running a shelter doesn’t leave a lot of spare time. But when I can escape for a bit I love seeing different parts of Australia, reading, bush walking and garden landscaping. What is your favourite book and/or film? I really like anything by Rachael Jones, such a great Aussie writer.

THREE … ways the WWF says you can help wildlife

1

Plant native trees Our wildlife need access to native trees for shelter and crucial food supplies. Trees and forests also provide vital ecosystem services like regulating climate, weather and rainfall patterns, along with pumping out fresh oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. You can help by planting native trees in your own garden or by getting involved in your local bush regeneration group.

2

Use less plastic Plastic pollution is a major problem for our marine wildlife and birdlife, with 130,000 tonnes of plastic ending up in our oceans each year. Unfortunately, this means that animals like sea turtles and threatened seabirds can become tangled in plastic. Or they mistake it for food and ingest it.

3

Have your say The Australian Government is running a 10-year review of Australia’s environmental laws. We need major changes to ensure plans are in place to help the recovery of threatened wildlife. WWF will send your submission to the Review Panel on your behalf.

In times of crisis, you can give

where it’s needed most Please donate now 1 3 S A LV O S S A LV O S . O R G . A U

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OPINION

Resilient schools Our students have missed up to 161 days of school, something we would never have imagined in our time. We can look to the world and say it is because of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, we are all facing this. However, we as a community need to consider our own place, here in Victoria and look at the wider issue, the reason for our children being kept away from their place of education, from learning, from their teachers, their friends, milestone events – formals and graduations. The State government has issued restrictions and lockdown orders that are impacting our students. Our children can feel the most vulnerable during this time. We have asked many times for the health advice to be released so that we understand why these restrictions are in place and we continue to receive nothing. From the many phone calls and email I have received from the parents in the Hills community, I know they want their children to continue to thrive within an education system they can attend. As part of our alterna-

State of

Affairs Brad Battin

Gembrook MP

tive plan, all Victorian schools will return to face-to-face learning by 25 October 2021. This aligns with all state government guidelines regarding vaccination status and incorporated with common sense hygiene measures, we believe we can safely bring forward the return to face-to-face learning. We must also focus on the impact of being away from school for so long, we can as a community provide a safe place for our children to share their experiences and help them with their journey to return to school and

ensure there are services in place to manage their wellbeing. We have been strong together to know when to ask our friends, family and neighbours ‘Are you ok’ and we need to continue to share this in our community with our students. I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to our teachers and school leadership teams, parents and support staff for creating a learning and nurturing online environment for our students during lockdown and we must now have our students return to school. I would also like to share a note of encouragement to our VCE students of 2021 and wish you all the best with your exams. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me on 5953 0216 or brad.battin@parliament.vic.gov.au. You can also follow me on social media via my website: www.bradbattin.com.au, Twitter- @BradBattinMP, Facebook: /BradBattinMP, Instagram: @bradbattinMP, Linked In Brad-BattinMP and YouTube – Brad Battin.

An unnecessary but great remake The Guilty Starring Jake Gyllenhaal Rated M An American remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name, The Guilty is a suspenseful, superbly-acted one-location thriller with some strange stylistic choices. Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), an LAPD officer working the night shift at an emergency call centre, oversees a disturbing hostage situation over the phone. The Guilty does an excellent job of conveying a rapidly-deteriorating scenario through a single set, a powerful central performance and over-the-phone dialogue. Gyllenhaal delivers a phenomenal performance of desperation, obsession and re-

pressed trauma, with the case weighing visibly on Joe’s soul as the night draws on. We learn about the case at the same rate as Joe, and the plot evolves from an abduction to a grim mystery, as well-seeded clues build to

a shocking revelation. I haven’t seen the original, so I can’t compare the two versions, but the remake often has subtle but annoying shaky camerawork, which can detract from some of the more poignant scenes. The remake does an outstanding job at building drama with a single location, so the brief outdoor location shot in the first act feels jarring. It also feels problematic for the plot to hinge upon an act of violent psychosis, when people with mental illness are far more likely to be the victims of violence. The Guilty is a nail-biting, deeply compelling thriller with some misguided presentation, and is available for streaming on Netflix. - Seth Lukas Hynes

From home theatre, to a hut, to a stage Kemp’s curtain call In 1984 in The Basin, Edna and Fergus Chandler with some like minded friends produced a play under the banner of The Basin Dramatics Group. The play was Quiet Weekend and it was held in The Basin Progress Hall. It was such a success they repeated it in the Boronia Progress Hall. This led to the company producing three plays a year with rehearsals being held in the home of Edna and Fergus Chandler. After rehearsals, the company would move to the Hall where they borrowed seats from the Salvation Army. At the time the Salvation Army was a prison farm for young offenders and thanks to the borrowing of the seats the company had the young offenders as an audience for the final dress rehearsals in the Hall. As a captive audience as one could suspect they were a nightmare. No hesitation in calling out suggestions if they did not consider the acting was not up to their standard. But! If the young audience liked the show the company knew they were on to a winner. In 1958 the group was formalised and with a constitution and management and took the name The Basin Theatre Group which it is known as to this day. By 1966 the company outgrew the Chandler home so with land donated by the Chandlers they built their first home, an A-frame building known as The Hut. As the company got bigger and The Hut had outlived its main use, a new theatre was built and it was done with no financial help other than the volunteers of the company giving their time and energy to mailcommunity.com.au

The Basin Theatre has had to postpone its productions until 2022. constructing a modern theatre in The Basin behind Doongalla, the home of the Chandlers. The initial construction of the new theatre was the stage, auditorium, a small foyer and storage room. Over the years these facilities have been extended to include props/wardrobe storage, rehearsal space and modernisation of the kitchen and foyer space. Edna Chandler said in 1966, “From its origin in 1854, the Group’s character has been that of a private club, established for the enjoyment of its members. This family atmosphere has been indicative of the unity and dedication of theatre friends. Extraordinary devotion and

Picture: THE BASIN THEATRE

unselfish service over a long formative period has been a feature of this fellowship. To this present day, members combine service with privilege and find pleasure in united efforts to upkeep an organisation.” The Basin Theatre Group now (subject to Covid-19) produces four shows a year plus taking one-act plays to various festivals around the state. TBTG also donates to various charities in the area. A great theatre in the bush of the Dandenongs but be careful as one night your correspondent coming home was nearly hit by a kangaroo on Mountain Hwy.

Online library book feast PASSION FOR PROSE WITH CHRISTINE SUN Get Online Week – 18-24 October 2021 – is a digital inclusion campaign organised by Good Things Foundation Australia. Beginning in the UK in 2007 and introduced to Australia in 2018, the campaign supports people to improve their digital skills and close the digital divide. According to the campaign website, 2.5 million or 10 per cent of Australians are still offline. Those at risk of digital exclusion include but are not limited to older people, people with disability, low- income families and First Nations people. They are missing out on the wellbeing and safety that digital skills can provide. Last year, Get Online Week was celebrated by over 700 community organisations and 23,500 people across Australia. A subsequent survey found 99 per cent of event organisers recognised the campaign’s benefits, not just in supporting people to improve their digital skills, but also in helping them to socially connect with others. The survey also found 92 per cent of those attending last year’s events had learned something new. More importantly, 90 per cent of attendees said the campaign had inspired them to learn more about what they could do online. This year, to celebrate Get Online Week, readers are invited to a series of programs organised by Eastern Regional Libraries (ERL). There’ll be a session on podcast and music streaming on Friday 15 October, and another about using online food and delivery services on Tuesday 19 October. The “Cyber Safety” session on Wednesday 20 October will help parents and adults keep updated with the popular apps and platforms used by children and students. This is coupled with the “Safety First” session on Thursday 21 October, where everyone can learn how to protect our personal information and money and stay safe online. Another special event on Friday 22 October will teach readers how to use Libby By Overdrive to access the library’s digital collection, which includes eBooks, eAudioBooks, graphic novels, picture books and books that read along. Indeed, not just during Get Online Week, but every week in October and beyond there are exciting online events at our local libraries. For example, as we get ready for life after lockdown, ERL has teamed up with Box Hill Institute’s Skills and Jobs Centre to offer three sessions on job readiness. Whether or not to work away from home, it helps to know what employers are looking for. The “All About Interviews” session will be on Wednesday 13 October, the “Employability Skills” session on Tuesday 19 October, and the “Accessing the Hidden Job Market” session on Wednesday 27 October. Finally, for those who enjoy creative activities at home – and in anticipation for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, ERL has a series of writing workshops for aspiring authors. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days The session on “world-building” already happened on October 9. But you can learn about “narrative structure” on Saturday 16 October, “protagonists and heroes” on Saturday 23 October, and “antagonists and villains” on Saturday 30 October. Then, when the writing commences in November, there’ll be four “write-in” sessions offering advice on issues such as plotting, character development and world-building. You’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in a community of writers! All the aforementioned events are online and free, but bookings are essential. Details are on ERL website. Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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NEWS

Wildlife breeding season By Mikayla van Loon Spring doesn’t only tease us about the summer season that’s coming, it is also a time when life renews itself and that means breeding season for many animals. Emma Cash, owner and operator of the Bungalook Creek Wildlife Shelter in Mount Evelyn, knows just how important it is to be careful on the roads and in parkland when more animals are out and about. For the year ending in June, Ms Cash had rescued 204 animals and although she thought during the pandemic her shelter would be less needed, it has actually grown. “We thought with Covid with less traffic on the road, we would see a reduction in animals that would potentially come into care but realistically it’s probably increased by a good 10 or 20 per cent,” Ms Cash said. “We’re getting orphans coming in when we would never usually get them coming in from areas that we’ve never really seen them coming in from. “And that’s because people are out, a lot of people are walking their dogs in parks where they’re not allowed to, so animals that aren’t usually disturbed are now getting harassed on a daily basis by people.” Ms Cash said eight years ago her busy season was predictable and ran from August to March but in recent years it has changed to all year round. “In the last five or six years, I’ve spoken to a couple of other shelters and we don’t get a break anymore, it doesn’t stop.” With spring being the breeding season, that is when the community will notice more animals out and about. “We’ve got animals maybe across roads a lot more potentially looking for lakes or going to greener pastures to graze because they’ve got offspring that they’re obviously caring for as well. “So we are finding that we’re getting a lot more hit by cars because they’re not moving as quickly or they’re out when people don’t necessarily expect them to be.” Ms Cash said it is really important for people to stop if they have hit an animal or drive past an animal that has been hit because there is a good chance there will be young in its pouch. “If you drive past an animal, stop and check it, you could be saving its life or if you’re not saving its life, you could be saving the life of its joey or nestling.” But in any situation it is best to call one of the local wildlife shelters or vets that are

These 14 month old kangaroos have made themselves at home at the Bungalook Creek Wildlife Shelter. 253036

Emma Cash cares for all native animals and has set up the shelter at her home in Mount Evelyn. 253036 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

Syd was found orphaned on Good Friday but has been raised by Ms Cash to be released back into the wild. 253036

trained in handling and caring for injured animals, so they can be rehabilitated and released into the bush again. Ms Cash said it is also important to do what you can at home by keeping domestic cats inside, making properties more wildlife friendly by planting the right plants and building the safest fence for wildlife to potentially jump over. For the most part wildlife shelters don’t get government funding and are usually not eligible for grants, it is completely volunteer driven and based on donations. “My day starts at 5am in the morning and generally finishes at 1am,” Ms Cash said.

and take a step back and realise what we have. “We can step outside the door and hear the sounds of birds. In a lot of countries around the world, you’d never get that experience. We choose to live in the bush, we need to respect the bush.” Find a list of local wildlife shelters here https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/injured-native-wildlife/help-for-injured-wildlife or contact Wildlife Rescuers here https://wildliferescuers.org.au/ Bungalook Creek Wildlife Shelter can be found https://www.facebook.com/bungalookcreekwildlifeshelter or by calling 0405 057 220.

“Most of us are trying to hold down full time jobs at the same time to pay for the wildlife that we have here. So just a little bit of practicality knowing that we will get you we just may not get to you straight away.” Aside from the reactive strategies, Ms Cash said it is also about cohabiting with our native wildlife that will save their lives. “We live in such a unique environment that is changing the climate. Bushfires are more extreme, we’ve lost billions of animals through that 2019-20 summer season. “So realising what you have in your backyard that’s native is just so unique to Australia

Owls born in Mount Evelyn bring welcomed surprise By Mikayla van Loon After the recent storms destroyed much of the habitat for powerful owls in Mount Evelyn, the news of four baby owls being born was a welcome surprise. The Mount Evelyn Environment Protection and Progress Association (MEEPPA) have recently spotted the owlets in the hollow of one of the 300 year old trees in Mount Evelyn Recreation Reserve. MEEPPA president Clare Worsnop said in the last few years the owls haven’t had much success in raising their young. “We’ve had a very turbulent time with our owls because with the increase in the use of the reserve by the sports clubs and night training with lights on and the very loud siren they use it disturbed the birds for a long time,” she said. “So for five years, they didn’t nest at all, they didn’t breed. They would go into the hollow and they would lay eggs and everything would look like it was going fine and then they would abandon them. “That was quite unusual because they’d always had twins every year up until then.” But one of the benefits of Covid-19 has been the lack of people at the sporting ground in the evening, allowing the powerful owls to stay the course of their breeding season which runs from May to the middle of 10 MAIL

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One of the baby owls roosting in the trees at Mount Evelyn Recreation Reserve. Picture: SUPPLIED July when the eggs hatch. “When you add to the mix, the problem with the enormous storms and the amount of trees that have come down and therefore the amount of hollows that have been destroyed, that means the whole food chain is under stress just from the storms,” Ms Worsnop said. “So to have that success with our babies this year is just really really awesome.” Male powerful owls live for up to 20 years, while females live for 15, they are territorial

and rely on arboreal food sources like possums, gliders and sometimes other birds that nest in hollows. By the end of February the baby owls will have learnt how to fly and how to gather their own food, meaning the parents will send them off to find their own territory. “They can’t afford to have all the young staying around because there’s not enough food to sustain more owls in any one spot. “That’s why the storms are significant because with all the hollows that have been

destroyed and all the trees that have come down, that limits the amount of hollows for things like the possums, the gliders, the parrots, kookaburras, all the creatures that rely on hollows to breed and there’s less arboreal animals the powerful owls to eat.” Powerful owls are listed as a threatened species and can only be found down the eastern side of Australia, from Queensland to Victoria in forest areas where trees are at least 300 to 400 years old. “They’re unique to Australia, unique to the world. So if they’re endangered in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland, they’re endangered worldwide and we can’t afford to lose them, we can’t replace them,” Ms Worsnop said. Every baby owl that is born and survives the first few months of life Ms Worsnop said is extremely important for the survival of the entire population and the future of the species. “With all the storms and damage, and then there’s clearing of land for various essential things like housing and farms and food, it all encroaches on their possibilities. That’s why every baby owl is extremely important. “It’s a whole complex range of issues. We need to be more aware of what they are so we can provide for human activity and also protect the environment and the wildlife and we can live together.” mailcommunity.com.au


BE KIND-BUY, EMPLOY, ENJOY LOCAL

Local path to ‘normal’ life

Even while some of our recreational choices remain limited as we strive towards reaching vaccination targets, there are still so many ways to enjoy local in Yarra Ranges. shopping centres, but also allowing us to support local business in a COVID Safe way. Sarah, of Verso Books in Healesville, is looking forward to the local community being able to enjoy shopping in person again once lockdown lifts. “Our community is full of keen readers and

they support our small business in lots of ways. We miss being able to have them in our shop, and look forward to when people can browse through our shelves again. We are so grateful for the enthusiasm and loyalty our customers have shown us throughout the pandemic!” she said. Picnics with friends are one of the best ways

to safely enjoy the spectacular natural spaces Yarra Ranges has on offer. It’s easy to support local this way too - pick up some fresh seasonal produce from a local business, and make your way to your favourite park, riverside or forest. Or check out the community parklets Council has installed across the municipality. Featuring artwork by local artists, these parklets are specially designed to create a COVID Safe space for people to connect with friends and support local businesses nearby. As Yarra Ranges communities continue to recover, not only from the pandemic, but also the devastating June storm, Council has been working with Parks Victoria to clear roads and public spaces for some of our most beloved natural attractions to be made safe and accessible for all to enjoy. While some popular destinations remain closed - you can find upto-date information on the Parks Victoria website - plenty of hiking trails, picnic grounds and scenic walks are open for you to enjoy. Our many and varied playgrounds are open again, with new playgrounds springing up across the region too. Why not explore a new play space in your 15km? Check out the Yarra Ranges Council website, under Parks and Recreation - you can find a full list of playgrounds in the area, and from there, you can also now manually check in as well. Even while some of our recreational choices remain limited as we strive towards reaching vaccination targets, there are still so many ways to enjoy local in Yarra Ranges. We really are so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in Victoria, among one of the most resilient and connected of communities. It’s more important than ever that we come together, be kind to ourselves, to business and each other. Let’s get back to what we love, get vaccinated and get back to enjoying local in Yarra Ranges.

As part of council’s recovery efforts, Yarra Ranges Council is launching Buy Employ Enjoy – a campaign created to encourage our community to choose local. We’ve been kind to each other, to business and to ourselves. Now it’s time to #BuyEmployEnjoy and support our local business and community.

12516615-AV42-21

Enjoying local is something that comes easily to those of us who live in Yarra Ranges - after all, it is why we choose to live here, there really is just so much to enjoy about living in our wonderful region. But as we all know too well, it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do everything we love. With the State Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, we know that the key to being able to enjoy local and get back to what we love, is to get vaccinated. And while we are really encouraged by vaccination rates in Yarra Ranges, we know that every single vaccination counts towards reaching the 80% double dose target. It is up to all of us to do our part to help keep our communities safe. Council’s ‘Get Back to What You Love, Get Vaccinated’ campaign is a positive message and reminder of what we can all look forward to when we reach those targets, just in time for summertime! And who doesn’t miss our local summer moments? Hot sunny days spent sunbathing by the pool, watching the kids laugh and splash around. Visiting vineyards across our iconic region, sipping on world class wines and enjoying gourmet produce with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Balmy nights spent outside grabbing a bite to eat from your favourite restaurant down the street, losing track of time and running to catch the screening of that new movie you wanted to see. One of the State Government’s key features of the roadmap is to get more activities outside. Local retail has been particularly hardhit during lockdowns; with their doors closed, online ordering from multinational stores has surged. Council will be supporting our retailers to trade outside of their businesses, creating not only a much more enjoyable retail experience than wrangling the crowds at big

1300 368 333

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Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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MAIL 11


NEWS

Mums banding together By Gabriella Payne We all know how tough lockdowns can be and with Melbourne now taking out the dreaded title of ‘most locked down city in the world’, we’ve all had our fair share of challenging days. Being isolated at home has been hard for everyone - but for new mums with young kids, it’s arguably been even harder. With three kids under three (a two year-old and seven month-old twins), young mum Lauren Stevens said that she had found the past year “really hard”, as she’d struggled to stay positive and get the support she needed while stuck at home. “It’s been really hard thanks to having three under three, a pandemic, a lockdown - and because that all wasn’t enough, I’ve been struggling with postnatal depression as well,” Ms Stevens said. “After the twins were born, I expected to be a lot more supported by family, but it’s been so hard to get out - so I think that’s where my depression came from.” Having experienced fertility struggles, Ms Stevens said that she felt blessed to have her three little “miracles” - but during these unprecedented times, it was really challenging to stay connected and it could be really lonely at times. Stuck at home and scrolling through social media one day, Ms Stevens stumbled upon an advert for an app that caught her eye. “When I found ‘Peanut’ [the app] it was described as being like ‘Tinder for mums’,” Ms Stevens said. “That made me laugh and I thought, ‘oh

Mother of three Lauren Stevens said that her newly found support network had helped her immensely during the lockdowns. Picture: SUPPLIED well, there’s nothing to lose by having a look’, and so it just went from there.” A meeting place for like-minded mums,

‘Peanut’ was just the thing Ms Stevens needed and before she knew it, she had discovered a great group of women experiencing similar

things to her in her local area. “I am glad I [found ‘Peanut’] because I have made a close group of friends and am talking to other amazing mums also,” she said. “At first I was really shy and didn’t know what to do, but now I’ve found a great group of people and connected with other mums in the south eastern suburbs, with similar aged kids and similar interests to me.” Ms Stevens said that the app provided a safe space for these mums to share their thoughts and vent their frustrations, and it was such a great community filled with the support they all needed during these difficult times. Not only is ‘Peanut’ a safe space for mums, but it also allows women experiencing fertility issues and those going through menopause to connect with one another. “I’ve been posting in local Facebook groups about my experiences with ‘Peanut’ as I’m just trying to get the word out there to help support other mums,” she said. “It’s just fantastic to have someone to talk to and a place where you can share your experiences.” Ms Stevens said that post-lockdown, her and the other mums she had met via ‘Peanut’ who lived in Melbourne’s south east were planning to get together in person with their kids, and she couldn’t wait for that day to arrive. She encouraged others facing struggles to reach out and look into the app, as it had made a world of difference in her life. For more info, head to https://www.peanut-app.io/

Join an online event for endangered faunal emblems By Renee Wood Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater’s Possums are coming together to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of both animals being Victoria’s faunal emblems. An online symposium and art exhibition launch will be held on Saturday 16 October discussing the importance of the animals and what works are being done to save the critically endangered species. Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater President Alan Clayton is encouraging residents in the Yarra Ranges to join the event to gain a greater awareness on both animals and they’re part in the ecosystem. “If people become more widely aware of what critically endangered threatened species are around then we can all work together and what I certainly stress is that while we call ourselves Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater were actually the friends of all the species that make up the complex ecosystem,” President Alan Clayton said. Dr Dan Harley, Senior Ecologist at Zoos Victoria is the keynote speaker for the symposium and will discuss both species and the

y

Tuesda

threats they face, while also sharing current recovery programs that are helping to rejuvenate numbers. “His role at Zoos Victoria includes identifying those species which require urgent management interventions and being part of developing strategic objectives, so we thought that Dan would be the ideal person to give that overview.” A panel discussion will follow Dr Harley’s overview to provide greater insight into the ecology, habitats and restoration - including

continuing because of the dedication of hundreds of volunteers and others and their partnerships with Zoos Victoria, with Melbourne Water, with the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria, DELWP and Shire of Yarra Ranges. “These partnerships and a really dedicated volunteer base have put in hundreds of thousands of hours over 30 years, they have have been responsible for planting over two million trees, shrubs and grasses in and around the Yellingbo reserve.” The event was first scheduled to be held in person but it’s been moved online due to restrictions - although it will now allow more people to join in. “The upside is that people who may have been precluded from by age, disability, geographical distance, now have an opportunity to be participants in events, which was either difficult or impossible beforehand. So that’s one of the silver linings of being able to explore these alternative ways.” Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/celebrating-50-years-of-our-faunal-emblems-tickets-174093657817

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ed

Publish

This artwork by Shirley Henderson (2016) will be part of the online exhibition.

discussing how the volunteers work with private landholders. “More than 90 of them are engaged in doing some form of habitat restoration - works that can be done on their properties in terms of weed reduction and things like that. So basically working with them in conjunction with the local landcare groups.” The launch of the online art exhibition will allow the community to browse works submitted by Australian artists, while also having the opportunity to purchase the art. “100 per cent of every single dollar will go into habitat restoration, we are a volunteer led group so it’s not going to anything except directly into habitat restoration.” The volunteer’s vital work with environment bodies and Healesville Sanctuary has helped to boost honeyeater numbers slowly, going from 50 in the wild ten years ago to more than 250 in the wild currently. Volunteers also work in a captive breeding program at Healesville Sanctuary for Leadbeater’s Possum which commenced in May 2012. “They are still critically endangered, it’s not a fix saying well mission over, it’s still

mailcommunity.com.au


SHOP LOCAL MONBULK

Pantry opens new doors The Open Door Community Church and it’s outreach Monbulk Care Network are excited to announce the opening of the long awaited permanent home for the Open Door Pantry. Since the start of the pandemic it has provided free food to the community from the

verandah of the church hall and later the entrance hall as the Pantry expanded to provide refrigerated products. Over the past year the former Minister’s residence at 2 David Hill Road, next to the Church, has been transformed to house the permanent Open Door Pantry. With a grant

from the Bendigo Bank for refurbishment and one from DHHS for the purchase of a new commercial fridge and freezer, the Pantry will be better equipped, and the Care Network has provided new shelving for both the pantry and the store room. The Care Network Op Shop provides funding to purchase food from Foodbank and the local supermarkets and is grateful for the generous ongoing support from Bendigo Bank in providing a quantity of fresh products supplied by Carter Bros each week, Edison‘s Bakery for regularly donating bread and Monbulk Wool-

worths. Home cooked meals are prepared by some of the Pantry’s volunteers and through FoodShare who deliver meals prepared by The Food Affectionist and The Japanese Mountain Retreat. During these difficult times many locals who are struggling have visited the Pantry and have expressed how grateful they are for this outreach. For those needing more help please contact Monbulk Care Network on 0456 631 951 and leave a message.

Monbulk Care Network

Open Door Pantry Take what your need Give what you can. 2 David Hill Road, Monbulk 61-63 Main Road, Monbulk Phone : 9756 7800 Mon-Fri 10:00-4:30, Sat 10:00-1:00

Open Door Community Church

12516121-HC42-21

Raoul and Judy - Open Door Pantry, Ellie - Bendigo Bank, Jenni - Fletchers Real Estate.

MONBULK BOWLING CLUB 11 MOORES RD, MONBULK

Monbulk Bistro Specials by Day

Wednesday

Thursday

Parma Night

Bowlers Special Burger, Beer & Bowls

$15*

$25*

Sunday

Wed to Sun

Kids Eat Free

Seniors’ Specials

$12.90*

$15*

NEW! ALL WEEK KID’S MEAL DEAL UPGRADE

Upgrade any kid’s meal for $4 to include a kid’s drink, ice-cream and an activity pack.

Dine a la carte Wed to Sun from 5.30pm Our Menu includes gluten-free & vegetarian dishes to suit special needs.

mailcommunity.com.au

12506997-JW33-21

Make a booking 9756 6183

12516616-SG42-21

1 FREE KID’S MEAL per paid adult meal of equal or greater value. Dine-in only. 12 and under. Must order from Kid’s Meals. Not valid with other offers or promotions. * Conditions apply for Specials'

Terms and conditions, fees and charges apply. All information including interest rate is subject to change without notice. Full details available on application. Lending criteria apply. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 Australian Credit License 237879. (1547274-1571307) OUT_3471728 , 30/09/2021 Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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MAIL 13


PUZZLES SUDOKU

No. 050

To solve a Sudoku puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in: each of the nine vertical columns, each of the nine horizontal rows and each of the nine 3 x 3 boxes. Remember, no number can occur more than once in any row, column or box.

easy

6

9 8

4 9 9 7 8 3 2 7 4 8 5 2 6 4 9 4 2 8 9 2 5 1 6 3 8 1 6 5 medium

3

QUICK CROSSWORD 3 4 6 7 8 9 14 16 17 19 22 23 25 26

ACROSS Support for a column (8) US state (6) Happen (5) Emplaced (9) Nobel Prize-winning nun (6) Sketch (7) Abnormal conditions or infections (8) Time of the year (6) Entice (6) Spacious and sumptuous (8) Requiring (7) Plaster ingredient (6) Heights (9) Shrink with fear (5) Roving adventurously (6) Iterated (8)

1 5 10 11 12 13 14 15 18 20 21 24 27 28 29 30

No. 050

Start of tennis point (5) Brings to life (8) Flow from (7) More competent (5) Of the stomach (9) Employed (4) Release (9) Invigorating drug (9) Liberality (8) US president, Bill - (7) Come in (5) Divine beings (4) Provoke (5) Trudge (4)

DOWN Forepart of a ship (4) Reduced (9)

1 2

DECODER

No. 050

1 5 2 9 4 2 3 8 3 2 1 7 4 9 8 7 3 9 6 4 1 4 3 9 2 7 hard

6

5 8 7

5 8 7

4 1

4

1

9 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

4

D Y 20

21

22

23

24

25

26

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

9-LETTER WORD Using the nine letters in the grid, how many words of four letters or more can you list? The centre letter must be included and each letter may only be used once. No colloquial or foreign words. No capitalised nouns, apostrophes or plural words ending in “s”.

T

F

Today’s Aim: 15 words: Good 23 words: Very good

6 2 4 7 8 5 9 3 1

3 6 4 8 7 5 9 1 2

8 1 9 3 2 6 7 4 5

31 words: Excellent

L

A

T U

4 7 5 2 6 9 1 8 3

2 3 6 1 4 8 5 7 9

9 8 1 5 3 7 2 6 4

5 2 3 7 8 1 4 9 6

6 9 7 4 5 3 8 2 1

1 4 8 6 9 2 3 5 7

3 5 9 4 1 6 2 8 7

8 1 7 3 2 9 5 6 4

9 3 6 8 5 7 4 1 2

4 7 5 2 6 1 8 9 3

2 8 1 9 3 4 7 5 6

7 6 8 5 4 3 1 2 9

5 4 3 1 9 2 6 7 8

1 9 2 6 7 8 3 4 5

6 4 8 7 1 2 9 5 3

3 5 7 4 8 9 6 1 2

9 2 1 3 6 5 8 4 7

1 6 4 5 3 7 2 8 9

5 8 9 6 2 4 7 3 1

2 7 3 1 9 8 5 6 4

7 9 6 8 4 3 1 2 5

4 1 2 9 5 6 3 7 8

8 3 5 2 7 1 4 9 6

Puzzles and pagination © Pagemasters | pagemasters.com

E

U

C

4 LETTERS DYES ELSE GASH GUYS HEAR LASS PANE PENS RAGS REAR SWAM SWAP TILE WOVE

5 LETTERS ABODE AFTIE AGREE AMBLE ANNUL ARENA BADGE CASTE CLEAN DRUMS DUNNO ENACT FISHY FUSES GROSS INLET IOTAS IRATE LEACH LISPS

No. 050

MANIA OCTAL PANEL PASTA PATES PUREE RELIC ROAMS ROSES SEEDS SLAMS SLEDS SLEEP SNEER SNORE SNOWY SORES STALE STORE STRAW SUITE

TENDS TESTS TORSO TREES UNTIE USURP VERSE WHINE WISPS 6 LETTERS REPAIR RESIST STEREO YESMEN

7 LETTERS ENCORES INSPIRE LEOPARD POSTING RIBBONS SOMEONE 8 LETTERS ENLARGES INSANEST SUBURBAN TRIANGLE

acute, cattle, celt, cleat, cleft, cult, cute, cutlet, eclat, facet, fact, fate, faucet, fault, feat, felt, flat, FLUCTUATE, flute, late, left, lute, tact, tactful, talc, tale, taut, teal, teat, tuft, tutu

7 5 2 9 1 4 6 3 8

hard

1

medium

19

easy

6

18

7

17

8 3 1

16

1 2

15

5

14

1 4

3 LETTERS ARE ATE BOY DDT DIE EAT EEL ELF ERR FLU FRO GOD HE'S HIM ICE INN INS IRE MPS OHM OUR PEP RIM WED

C S Z N R I H WMQ F G U

2 9

OA K X V J E L B P T D Y

6

2

WORDFIT

15-10-21

William Matthews Funerals FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED

24 HOUR SERVICE ALL AREAS

9739 6868 45 Cave Hill Rd, Lilydale www.williammatthewsfunerals.com.au 14 MAIL

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12410397-ACM06-19

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FABULOUS B&B OPPORTUNITY AN OUTSTANDING opportunity presents to achieve the work/life balance you’ve been looking for with the purchase of Emerald Creek Cottages on 1 & ¾ acres of gorgeous flat land. There are 4 separate dwellings on the property, 1 main residence and 3 cottages, all of which are currently used as B&Bs. Each has its own carport and gorgeous views of the natural environment and its inhabitants. All are self-contained and beautifully appointed so guests have everything they need for a memorable stay. The 2-storey main residence, Wattletree Cottage, is the largest of the 4, with 3 bedrooms, master with spa bath and adjoining en-suite, zoned away from the remaining 2 bedrooms and main bathroom upstairs. The main living area is open plan with a wood fire burner, ducted gas heating and split system air-conditioning, and there is an undercover outdoor entertaining area, large enough for the entire family. Forestview Cottage features a large undercover outdoor entertaining area, open plan kitchen, dining and living area with gas log heating, split system air conditioning, 1 bedroom with spa bath and adjoining ensuite. Redgum Cottage features an open plan kitchen, dining and living with gas log

heating and split system air-conditioning, 1 bedroom with spa bath and adjoining ensuite, plus an outdoor undercover entertaining area. Ferntree Cottage features a large outdoor decking area with a delightful aspect, large open plan kitchen, dining and living with gas log heating, split system air-conditioning, 1 bedroom, good size bathroom with spa and European laundry. As a successful B&B with established clientele, Emerald Creek Cottages is conveniently located minutes from the picturesque townships of Monbulk and Emerald. Other nearby attractions include the iconic Puffing Billy, the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, restaurants, cafes and many popular tourist sites. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to get the dream lifestyle you’ve been looking for, with life beginning to return to normal and people looking for regional holidays and weekend getaways. Don’t delay, call for an inspection today! Please note: All property details shown are correct at time of publishing. Some properties may have been sold in the preceding 24 hours and we recommend that you confirm open for inspection times with the listing agent direct or the listing office. ●

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 135 Emerald Monbulk Road, EMERALD Description: 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 5 garage Price: $1,380,000 - $1,500,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Aaron Day, 0407 365 994 or Anna Peake, 0450 669 723, BELL REAL ESTATE, EMERALD, 5968 6222

SUBURBAN, COUNTRY & LIFESTYLE PROPERTIES ACROSS THE REGION mailcommunity.com.au

Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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MAIL 15


HOME FOCUS

STYLISH HOME IN NATURAL SURROUNDS WITH the perfect blend of designer style and beautiful natural surrounds, this property is determined to impress even the most discerning buyers. Situated a stroll from Kallista township, set upon a sealed drive with single carport, and making a stunning first impression with lush, landscaped gardens, a fabulous life awaits fortunate new owners here. This 2-storey sensation is adorned with Colorbond cladding and timber eaves for a brilliant balance of convenience and charm. Inside, the care taken to create this home is immediately apparent with floorboards running throughout the central entry hall and upper level living areas. At its heart, open plan living connects itself to the covered and uncovered outdoor areas for entertaining

in every season. Equipped with a modern kitchen with dual sinks, gas cooktop, and stylish subway tiles, no compromises are

required at this meticulously presented residence. With bedrooms on both levels, including

the main bedroom with luxury ensuite and walk-in robe, a family bathroom with corner spa tub and rain shower, ample storage, gas ducted heating, and reverse cycle cooling for comfort, you can be confident this home has been crafted with care. Houseproud buyers will be enamoured with the enviable lifestyle on offer here. Prompt viewing is advised. Beautiful, natural surrounds within walking distance of Kallista township Effortless display of contemporary design set to a backdrop of landscaped gardens Open concept living area with floorboards and outdoor entertaining area access Chefs’ kitchen with gas cooktop, and dual sinks Beautiful bedrooms with ample storage and main bedroom with new ensuite ●

· · · · ·

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 39 Perrins Creek Road, KALLISTA Description: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 garage Price: $760,000 - $830,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Suzie Brannelly, 0490 506 910, CHANDLER & CO REAL ESTATE, 9754 6888

A VIEW TO REMEMBER TAKING pride of place on a stunning, near flat ¾ of an acre overlooking one of the most surreal views in the area, this 4 bedroom family home is surrounded by a colourful garden full of weeping cherries, magnolias, camellias, Rhododendrons and so much more. Fully fenced and full of natural sunlight, the home boasts enough room for any family. There are two large living rooms, the formal lounge complete with hardwood timber floors, gas log fireplace, stone feature wall and access to the private patio via glass sliding doors. The adjoining spacious family room can be sectioned off privately and is warmed by near new carpets, large split system as well as zoned ducted heating and cooling throughout the home and features modern slider doors that lead to the outdoor entertaining where you could easily sit and stare at the view for hours on end. With plenty of bench space the Blackwood kitchen has Westinghouse cooking appliances while having direct access to the dining area and outdoor living. For those who need a little extra space for their hobbies, the laundry has been well

designed to incorporate enough space for a craft room, extra storage or an ideal mud room. Beautifully kept, the current family have meticulously cared for their property for over 34 years and as you will see upon inspection, have maintained every aspect of their home to an extremely high standard. Outside, the large, private block is an absolute oasis for peace and privacy. Enjoy the lemons, limes and mandarins from this much loved garden or tinker in the rear double garage sized workshop on your latest project. A chook pen will house your feathered friends while the children can run and enjoy the meandering pathways and idyllic cubby house, purposefully made with love. With another double garage under roofline, electric remote gates, sealed driveway with extra parking and rear yard access plus 2 water tanks, everything has been meticulously planned and designed, ready for its lucky new owners to move straight in and enjoy. ●

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 18 Jacksons Hill Road, MENZIES CREEK Description: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 garage Price: $1,200,000 - $1,320,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Sharyn Chandler, 0439 882 442 and Belinda Duivenvoorden, 0409 991 173, CHANDLER & CO REAL ESTATE, 9754 6888 16 MAIL

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Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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Real Estate you can trust! We ’ r e h e r e t o h e l p FOR SALE

36 Mahony Street, UPWEY WONDERFUL FAMILY HOME

$1,100,000 - $1,200,000 4A 2B 4C

Certain to impress “Emerwey” is an outstanding family oasis situated only a short stroll from thriving Upwey township. Conveniently positioned close to schools, train station, restaurants and cafes fortunate owners will find a fantastic lifestyle here. Resting upon its large, lovely block with double carport and double garage, this gorgeous weatherboard home makes a lasting impression. The interior is rich with quality finishes throughout its family-friendly floorplan.

FOR SALE

18 Jackson Hill Road, MENZIES CREEK A VIEW TO REMEMBER

$1,200,000 - $1,320,000 4A 2B 2C

Taking pride of place on a stunning, near flat ¾ of an acre overlooking one of the most surreal views in the area, this 4 bedroom family home is surrounded by a colourful garden full of weeping cherries, magnolias, camellias, Rhododendrons and so much more. Fully fenced and full of natural sunlight, the home boasts enough room for any family. There are two large living rooms, the formal lounge complete with hardwood timber floors, gas log fireplace, stone feature wall and access to the private patio via glass sliding doors.

Sharyn Chandler M 0439 882 442 | E sharyn@chandlerandco.com.au

Sam Adamson

Belinda Duivenvoorden

M 0421 023 760 | E sam@chandlerandco.com.au

M 0409 991 173 | E belinda@chandlerandco.com.au

FOR SALE

39 Perrins Creek Road, KALLISTA STYLISH HOME IN LUSH, NATURAL SURROUNDS

$760,000 - $830,000 3A 2B 1C

FOR SALE

29 Melaleuca Drive, UPWEY LUXURY LIVING IN LIFESTYLE LOCATION

$780,000 - $830,000 2A 2B 1C

With the perfect blend of designer style and beautiful natural surrounds, this property is determined to impress even the most discerning buyers. Situated a stroll from Kallista township, set upon a sealed drive with single carport, and making a stunning first impression with lush, landscaped gardens, a fabulous life awaits fortunate new owners here. This 2-storey sensation is adorned with Colorbond cladding and timber eaves for a brilliant balance of convenience and charm.

Smartly conceived and impeccably presented, this meticulously modernised home exudes contemporary sophistication. Nestled on a lovely leafy street moments from Upwey township and train station, this ready to move-in residence is a prime example of what luxury Hills living is all about. The spectacularly designed kitchen starring subway tiles, SS appliances, gas cooktop, and waterfall island bench will appeal to the most discerning chef.

Suzie Brannelly

Sam Adamson

M 0490 506 910 | E suzie@chandlerandco.com.au

M 0421 023 760 | E sam@chandlerandco.com.au

9754 6888 1689 Burwood Highway, Belgrave VIC 3160 www.chandlerandco.com.au of fice@chandlerandco.com.au mailcommunity.com.au

Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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MAIL 17


18 Auhl Road Emerald

$795,000 - $870,000

9 Margaret Road Avonsleigh

$850,000 - $930,000

Hidden Gem!

Spacious Home, Great Location!

This pretty as a picture character home with federation features on a generous 1/3 acre ticks all the boxes! The main living zone is open plan with spacious , light filled living room and gorgeous light and dark contrasting kitchen with plenty of cupboard and bench space, plus stainless steel appliances. There are 3 good sized bedrooms, the master with triple robes and ensuite is separated from the remaining 2 robed bedrooms by the ample main bathroom. Outside, the rear block is almost flat and features a double garage and large, open grassy area with raised vegetable patches. The home has ducted heating, ceiling fans and 2.3 kW solar for a more sustainable lifestyle. In a quiet Emerald location with a walking track to Emerald Lake Park, this home is too good to miss!

This is an opportunity too good to miss! A spacious family home on a flat, fully fenced 1/3 acre block walking distance to Avonsleigh Kinder, the General Store, Bam Bam Restaurant, the bus stop and Emerald Secondary - or maybe jump on the bus & grab dinner in Gembrook & bus it home. This attractive home features wrap around verandah and offers 4 spacious robed bedrooms, the master with walk in robe and ensuite, 2 living areas and large open plan kitchen and dining area. The 4th bedroom /rumpus room has external access and plumbing, making it the perfect teenage retreat, home office or studio. For vehicles you have a sealed driveway, keeping dust to a minimum, double carport and double lockup garage/workshop with a wood heater, concrete floor, and power. This home has a lot to offer and the potential is limitless!

Contact: Bethany Day 0438 844 968 Aaron Day 0407 365 994

Contact: Samantha Scott 0438 680 032 Declan Palmer 0427 062 148

Lot 1 Orchard Road Gembrook

Asking $2,000,000

49 Pakenham Road Cockatoo

$410,000 - $450,000

Land Opportunity!

Cockatoo Land!

Here’s your opportunity to purchase substantial acreage close to town!

This parcel of land in a convenient Cockatoo location offers the perfect opportunity to build the house of your dreams! (STCA)

The property is over 39 acres of fertile land with gorgeous views of green rolling hills and a small dam, close to sporting facilities, The Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, and the Gembrook township. This stunning piece of Residential Land is the place you will want to build your forever home (STCA)! Inquire today!

Contact: Bethany Day 0438 844 968 Grant Day 0417 565 745

bellrealestate.com.au 18 MAIL

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Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

The once-proud home is now just a shell of memories, just waiting for the right person to come and replace it with something more modern to make new memories. Almost ½ acre with a gentle fall to the land and lovely views over the tree ferns in Cockatoo Creek Linear Reserve, this opportunity is one not to be missed!

Contact: Richard Birtchnell 0438 747 357 Samantha Scott 0438 680 032

5968 6222

311-313 Main St, Emerald mailcommunity.com.au


ranges SPecTacular ViewS

MEnzIEs CrEEk 16 JackSonS Hill road Indoor Pool, Flat Block, Ideal for Entertaining

ViewS on 1/2 an acre

$1,200,000-$1,320,000 4A 1B 4C

Privately positioned on the top of a hill on a flat 1829 sqm sits this home offering a fantastic opportunity to get into the lifestyle you always wanted. Features a flexible floor plan with multiple living areas, solar heated indoor pool, outdoor sauna, modern kitchen with a 900mm S/S stove and plenty of bench space, newly renovated bathroom, dual wood and gas heating, polished floorboards, beautiful gardens and in-ground water tanks. There is also plenty of off-street parking, plus a double garage and garden shed.

Mick Dolphin 0429 684 522

Emily Hudson 0418 570 474

dual incoMe

sELBY 127 belGraVe-GeMbrook road MAIn rOAD EXPOsUrE WITH rEAr ACCEss

9754 6111 rangesfn.com.au mailcommunity.com.au

UPWEY 62 TerneS road $880,000 - $968,000 LArGE BrICk FAMILY HOME WITH DOUBLE GArAGE 4A 2B 2C room for everyone here, with huge living spaces, open plan kitchen with 900mm S/S stove, adjoining dining area that leads out onto the full-length wide decking that takes advantage of the treetop vistas & beautiful sunsets. large windows bring the outside to your chairside, particularly on the top level. downstairs is ideal to work from home or use as a studio space. other features include a large garage with storage & a circular driveway. Perfect location, walking distance to upwey Township and all it has to offer!

Mick Dolphin 0429 684 522

Emily Hudson 0418 570 474

Flexible FloorPlan oVer 2 leVelS

$770,000 - $845,000 4A 2B 2C 1E

More than meets the eye with dual-income, currently leased out as a shop at the front paying $660 PM & the house at the rear paying $430 Pw or the option of living & working all in one! over two levels the home also offers a study, large master, rear deck with a treed outlook, updated kitchen, modern bathrooms & 3 toilets, large storeroom, fully fenced yard, sealed driveway, rear carport, garage/workshop, plus 2 car parking next to the shop. The shop is fitted out with quality fittings and consists of 4 rooms & a toilet.

Mick Dolphin 0429 684 522

We put you first

Emily Hudson 0418 570 474

kALOrAMA 8 eileen aVenue rEsOrT sTYLE LIVInG AT ITs VErY FInEsT

$1,650,000-$1,815,000 4A 3B 2C

Stunning residence set over 2583 sqm with spectacular panoramic views of the Yarra Valley & sunrises. Featuring a solar & gas heated indoor pool, spa, sauna & bar, fireplace, zoned GdH, two full-length decks, master with a sunken bath, architectural glass doors & picture windows and a 5.2 kw solar electric system going back to the grid & 2 hot water services. outdoor features terraced gardens with an array of fruit trees, grape vines, beautiful hydrangeas, roses & camellias, a circular driveway & plenty of off-street parking.

Jan Brewster 0409 558 805

“we Put You First”

1 bayview rd, belgrave Shop 2, 24 Mcbride Street, cockatoo Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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NEWS

Park under new manager Leading Australasian adventure tourism company Experience Co (EXP) has announced it will acquire Trees Adventure, Australia’s foremost operator of treetop and zipline aerial adventures. This acquisition complements Experience Co’s existing portfolio and provides access to a previously untapped domestic leisure market placing EXP in a strong business position as residents in NSW and Victoria emerge from lockdown. Trees Adventure currently operates 14 locations in five states, including the Tree Tops adventure park in Belgrave, under the Trees Adventure, Tree Tops, Next Level and Hollybank Wilderness Adventures brands, with two additional adventure parks scheduled to open in the next 12 months. “This acquisition forms part of our ongoing strategic growth plan and builds on our strong business base providing us with new access to an intrastate leisure and recreation market less impacted by state and international border closures. This gives us near-term tailwinds as well as positioning our portfolio strongly for long-term growth,” Experience Co CEO John O’ Sullivan said. It also adds diversity to the company’s existing customer base as the treetop rope courses, netparks, ziplining and canopy tours are frequently enjoyed by families and school groups. “Trees Adventures’ younger audience are the skydivers of tomorrow. We want to capture their interest in adventure experiences from an early age and introduce them to the other opportunities that Experience Co can offer,” Mr O’ Sullivan said. This is a major acquisition for Experience Co which has been on a growth curve since the company purchased Wild Bush Luxury and The Maria Island Walk earlier this year. To fund the acquisition price of up to $46.9m, EXP has announced the launch of an Entitlement Offer

Belgrave’s Tree Tops adventure park is now under new ownership. for existing Institutional and Retail shareholders on the Australian Stock Exchange. Trees Adventure will form the cornerstone of a new “Family Adventure” division at Experience Co which will sit alongside the company’s Great Barrier Reef division which offers tours in Far North Queensland; the Skydiving division which has 17 drop zones throughout Australia and its Premium Adventure division incorporating the Wild Bush Luxury brand which offers a range of walking, accommoda-

Picture: SUPPLIED

tion and wilderness camp experiences across the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania. The transaction, which will complete at the end of October, will see the Trees Adventure co-founders Nicolas Dansin and Marc Flaster and their current management team remain with the company under Experience Co’s ownership. “This is an exciting next step for the Trees Adventure team which will provide us with

the opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts and take our experiences to the next level” said Dansin. “We have grown the company to more than 350 employees in 14 locations across Australia which receive over 400,000 visits per year. This more than confirms our experiences resonate with local adrenaline seekers. We will continue to focus on growing that opportunity and taking an industry leadership role in terms of innovation, safety and design.”

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SPORT

Major footy metro move By Nick Creely The AFL Outer East will move to become an independent Metropolitan league in 2022, with the league to shift away from the AFL Victoria country model moving forward. The massive move for local football in the region will come into effect from 1 November after recommendations from the Outer East commission, with the motion passed by clubs from the recent Outer East SGM that will see the league move away from its affiliation from AFL Victoria. AFL Outer East will be replaced by a new name, Outer East Football Netball League, with over 90 per cent of clubs endorsing and supporting the move. The decision to move away from a Country Commission and into a metropolitan league has been based on a range of factors with a review of “governance and operational structures, it has become clear that Outer East operates under a Metropolitan Model framework”, and will move into partnership with leagues that operate under the same model as Outer East. The move is believed to give the Outer East a greater ability to “control its own destiny”, which includes implementation of its own rules and bylaws, corporate partnerships and strategic decision making. Another huge factor throughout the Covid-19 pandemic is the realisation that the clubs and communities that make up the Outer East - 41 out of the 45 clubs are located in Metropolitan Melbourne - so the move will recognise this fact. The move to a Metropolitan league has been broken down to four key factors in ultimately coming to the decision, including in-

Outer East has made a big move to secure its future in the region. 241978 dependence, both “in governance and operationally from AFL Victoria”, improved financial and commercial freedoms outside of AFL Victoria Country, realignment with leagues and competitions that operate under the same local and government restrictions, and improving the processes for clubs to have more of a voice in league and region based decisions.

The State Basketball Centre redevelopment is set to be completed in 2023.

Picture: ROB CAREW

Outer East has briefed clubs on the costs by affiliating as a Metropolitan league, with the league confident it can enter into supplier arrangements that will see a reduction in costs in apparel and merchandise, as well as greater opportunity to build commercial revenue and income which will be then passed on as savings to clubs.

Pictures: SUPPLIED

It has confirmed that there will be no changes to club fees and charges. There will be no changes at the board level either, with the six members to remain unchanged, however there will be three new members added for 2022 with clubs encouraged to put forward names for consideration. The league stated that there will be no changes to its football structure or game day operations, with the game development to remain unchanged, juniors to remain unchanged, and there will be no change to the points or salary cap system. “The Outer East remains a League that encompasses the best aspects of Country and Metro football and netball,” the league said. “It will remain a Football/Netball Competition, our clubs are still the same and our wonderful volunteers at our great clubs are still the same. “The change to a ‘Metro affiliation is to assist our clubs off-field in reducing costs and greater control of the management of football and netball. There will be no change whatsoever to how our competition looks on game day.” In regards to netball, Outer East said it was business as usual and they will continue to work with Netball Victoria. “Outer East will remain affiliated with Netball Victoria and this move will be a positive step for netball in the region,” the league stated. “There is no change to either Senior or Junior Netball competitions and this transition will see increased investment and focus on netball from 2022. The move to an independent metro affiliate will allow the league to strategically focus on netball”

The State Basketball Centre redevelopment will provide 12 additional courts, high performance facilities, a town square and administration facilities for a number of basketball organisations including Basketball Victoria and Knox Basketball.

Works begin on state basketball’s big redevelopment Construction has commenced on the State Basketball Centre redevelopment. The $132 million project – funded by a cocontribution from the Victorian Government ($105 million) and Knox City Council ($27 million) – will help solidify the future growth of community basketball and nurture the development of Victorian and National HighPerformance pathways. Once completed in 2023, the venue will host up to two million visitors per year. “We’re thrilled to see construction commence on the State Basketball Centre redevelopment,” Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey said. “This project will provide increased opportunities for participants across Melbourne’s south-east and give a wonderful home to our organisation to help continue mailcommunity.com.au

our work in the community.” Based in Wantirna South - located in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, home to one-quarter of all Australian basketball participants - the redevelopment will turn the State Basketball Centre into Australia’s premier basketball facility. The State Basketball Centre redevelopment will deliver: 12 new indoor courts, increasing total stadium size to 18 courts New High Performance basketball training and administration facilities, including WNBL and NBL teams New administration facilities to support Basketball Victoria, Knox Basketball, Basketball Australia, South East Melbourne Phoenix and Deakin Melbourne Boomers

· · ·

· New food and beverage facilities · A town square · Car parking upgrades and landscaping

A regional gymnastics facility “Victoria is the epicentre of basketball in Australia and our state centre will now become the largest in the country,” Tourism, Sport and Major Events minister Martin Pakula said. “It’s a great result for players of all ages and standards and means the future of the game in Victoria is strong.” The State Basketball Centre will become the long-term home of Knox Basketball and the additional 12 courts will assist the growth of its 11,000 members as well as facilitate the operation of large tournaments and events. “The upgrades will allow local sportspeople to have the chance to use professional facilities and experience the benefits of

physical activity, team sport and the wonderful role modelling that can come from elite sporting heroes,” Knox City Council Mayor Lisa Cooper said. The centre will provide upgraded high performance facilities to support the training and development of Victorian, Australian and professional athletes from both tenant teams - the WNBL Deakin Melbourne Boomers and NBL South East Melbourne Phoenix. An expanded administration base will also be constructed for Basketball Victoria, Knox Basketball, Basketball Australia, the Boomers and Phoenix to become the pinnacle of Australian basketball management facilities. Construction on the redevelopment started in September 2021 and all current courts will remain available for activity and games during the redevelopment. Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

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Stewart Chambers Photographer – Star News Group

Cr Brett Owen Beacon Hills Ward

Cr Stephanie Davies Toomuc Ward

We Patricia Buoncristiani President of the Emerald U3A

CARDINIA

Peter Moloney President - Emerald RSL

We’ve rolled up our sleeves to stay connected and healthy.

Cr Tammy Radford Officer Ward

We got the jab to protect ourselves, our families, our friends, small business and our community.

Harpreet Kandra Cardinia Interfaith member

Book your vaccination online at coronavirus.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 675 398.

Anni Cockburn local community leader and Torres Strait Islander woman

Cr Jack Kowarzik Pakenham Hills Ward

Paul Thomas Managing Director - Star News Group

Rabecca Mphande President & Co-founding Director of AfriAus iLEAC

Garry Howe Editor -Star News Group 12515797-NG42-21

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Mail - Ranges Trader Star Mail - 12th October 2021  

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