Gembrook Scouts receive a cash boost
Looking back at 2021 top news stories
PAGES 8 - 11
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
A Star News Group Publication
Sporting year in review PAGE 23
PROPERTY GUIDE Phone: 5957 3700 Trades and Classifieds: 1300 666 808
Year of the brave Mail PEOPLE OF THE YEAR
2021 2021 was an eventful year for people living throughout the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley, but for many emergency service volunteers it is one they won’t forget. Most State Emergency Services (SES) and Country Fire Brigades (CFA) throughout the area saw an increase in callouts as they adjusted to changing restrictions throughout the year. While fire related callouts fell in some areas, CFA crews were kept busy as they aided SES with the response to the June storms that felled trees, destroyed property and blocked roads. The work of volunteers from emergency service organisations throughout the year made recovery possible and their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Turn to page 5, 6 and 7 for more
Emerald SES member Neil Fisher, Emerald SES unit controller Ben Owen and Emerald SES member Maree Dunn. Picture: SHELBY BROOKS
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STORM AND FLOOD
This regular bulletin provides recovery updates following the June 2021 storms and floods. Bushfire Recovery Victoria proudly works in partnership with council and the local community to support recovery.
PARTNERS IN WELLBEING Running a small business is rewarding, but it also comes with a unique set of challenges and responsibilities. The Partners in Wellbeing Helpline ensures that sole traders, small business owners and their employees can speak to someone who understands them, and who understands their business. The helpline is a free and confidential service that provides support for small business owners and employees through trained wellbeing coaches, financial counsellors and business advisers.
RESIDENTIAL STORM AND FLOOD CLEAN-UP RESUMES The Residential Storm and Flood Clean-up works resume this week.
Call the Partners in Wellbeing hotline on 1300 375 330 or visit partnersinwellbeing.org.au/ small-business-support for more information and a live chat option.
The crews are rested and ready for a new year. So far, the program has completed over 70% of residential properties. Check out the BRV Facebook or LinkedIn page for updates.
RECOVERY SUPPORT HOTLINE IS HERE TO HELP
Clean-up after the storms is a big job and there’s a lot of work left to do.
The Storm and Flood Recovery Hotline is available to help you, when and if you need it. Victorians impacted by the June 2021 storms and floods can call the single, state-wide number for help. Operators can assist you with accessing your own Recovery Support Worker, mental health and wellbeing support, financial counselling, and information on available payments.
FENCE POSTS FOR PRIMARY PRODUCERS Primary producers located in 6 storm-affected communities may be eligible to receive a kilometre-worth of fence posts for their property. Eligible local government areas include Hepburn, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Murrindindi, Cardinia or Yarra Ranges.
The Recovery Hotline is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Call 1800 560 760 today to access a Recovery Support worker.
1800 560 760
These fence posts are repurposed from storm-damaged trees obtained over the course of BRV’s Residential Storm and Flood Clean-up program. We’ve teamed up with Rural Aid and Macedon Ranges Shire Council to provide these fence posts. For more information and to register, visit faa.ruralaid.org.au/fence-post-program
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
Fire danger period CFA has announced fire restrictions for Yarra Ranges Shire and Knox City Council, beginning 1am on Monday 10 January. With a fire danger period being declared, fires cannot be lit in open air without a permit from CFA or a municipal fire prevention officer. Victoria has received an above average amount of rainfall recently, which has led to greater growth of pastures around paddocks and roadsides. The CFA said this is likely to increase the risk of grassfires throughout the summer period. District 13 Assistant Fire Officer David Renkin said that even an average fire season can still be a bad one. “Conditions through the last fire season were similar to what we’re expecting this year, and during those months we saw significant grass fires in the north and west of the state,” he said.
“Once again we’ve had plenty of winter and spring rainfall and now as the grass and bush rapidly dry out across District 13, the warmer weather, increased yield and potential fuel will mean the fire potential is heightened.” Grassland and drier forests including woodlands and heathlands have been assessed as normal, however, shorter-duration fires are still likely to occur on hot, dry and windy days. Mr Renkin said any additional rainfall Victoria experiences will produce more growth, which could very easily result in an even higher fuel load throughout the summer season if not properly managed. “Reducing fuel loads by residents around their properties in these areas will ensure if a fire does break out, it has less chance of taking hold or spreading,” he said. “While CFA and our partner agencies Fire Rescue Victoria and Forest Fire Management Victoria are doing everything we can to prepare for the bushfire season, we look to the
community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.” Fire danger periods are based on local conditions and take into account fuel moisture, fuel loads, weather and rainfall. During a fire danger period a written permit is required to burn off grass, undergrowth, weeds or other vegetation. ACFO Renkin said there is still an opportunity to clean up properties if that work hasn’t already been done. “Out-of-control burn-offs and unregistered burn-offs have already caused unnecessary callouts to brigades,” he said. “You should also check and monitor weather conditions and not burn off in windy conditions or if high winds are forecast – not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards, “More information about burn-off restrictions specific to your area can be found by consulting your local council.”
Gembrook Scouts’ home to be upgraded A major redevelopment of Gilwell Park in Gembrook will soon begin to ensure Scouts Victoria remains at the forefront of outdoor education and youth development. These upgrades will see Gilwell Park, which is Scouts Victoria’s spiritual home, equipped with an environment centre, improved camping grounds, a training and conference centre, and a new adventure skills hub. The upgrade will be supported by a $5 million funding injection from the Liberal and Nationals Government. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said Gilwell Park has been the home of Scouts for nearly 100 years, and the Federal Government’s investment will ensure the facility can continue to welcome Victorians well into the future. “Scouts programs help shape the development of our youth, teaching them the life and leadership skills they need to succeed in their communities and professional life later on,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. “Young Victorians have been attending events at Gilwell Park for nearly a century and our investment is aimed at making sure these facilities are fit to host the next generations of Scouts for another 100 years.” The new facilities will appeal to a wide range of community groups in addition to Scouts, including schools, universities, church groups and social clubs. La Trobe MP Jason Wood said the Federal Government was continuing to invest in Scouts groups all over Australia, in recognition of the important work they do with young Australians. “As a former Queens Scout myself, I have no doubt that the entire Scouting commu-
New Years drink drivers stopped Knox Highway Patrol stopped several drink drivers throughout the New Year’s period, resulting in a number of charges on summons. A 22-year-old man with a learners permit was stopped on Burwood Highway in Upper Ferntree Gully on New 31 December - New Year’s Eve - after police said he failed to give way to an unmarked police car when changing lanes. He returned an evidentiary breath test of 0.070 and received a $545 fine and a six month license cancellation. On Sunday 2 January police said a 31-yearold man was observed driving erratically on Burwood Highway in Ferntree Gully before returning a breath test of 0.121. He received a $772 fine and a 12 month licence cancellation. Both drivers will be required to install an alcohol interlock once re-licenced.
Tecoma woman in single car collision Police said a 54-year-old woman and her dog were fortunate to escape injury when the vehicle she was driving collided with a fence on McNicol Road in Tecoma on Monday 3 January. After the collision the woman received an evidentiary breath test and returned a reading of 0.166, over double the legal limit. Police said her license was immediately suspended and she will be charged on summons with drink-driving offences. If convicted, the woman will receive license cancellation and she will be required to install an alcohol interlock in any vehicle she drives once she is re-licensed.
Monbulk man arrested over alleged car thefts A 42-year-old Monbulk man has been charged with a series of alleged motor vehicle thefts in the Mooroolbark and Kilsyth area in early January. The man, along with a 39-year-old Rosebud woman, was arrested on Monbulk Rd, Monbulk at 10.10am on 4 January before being take to Lilydale Police station. The thefts were alleged to have taken place on 2 and 3 January 2022. The man has been remanded into custody and will appear at Ringwood Magistrates Court in the future.
Gully Market returns for 2022 La Trobe MP Jason Wood (centre) is a former Queen’s Scout. nity will welcome this major funding announcement in addition to the ongoing support our Government has given scouting groups around the country,” Mr Wood said. “After being subjected to long lockdowns, it has never been more important for our kids to be back outdoors. This $5 million in funding will make Gilwell Park a place where Scouts, school children and the entire community can embrace the outdoors.” Chief Commissioner of Scouts Victoria Rod Byrnes said over the last two years the lack of face-to-face education, sport and
recreation has adversely impacted young people’s social connections, wellbeing and mental health. “Never before has the Scouting movement and the outdoors been more important for the resilience and wellbeing of our young people,” he said. “The Gilwell Master Plan has the dual goals of preserving our rich history and preparing for the future. It will secure Gilwell Park’s place at the forefront of outdoor education and youth development for the next generation.”
The Gully Market returned on Saturday 8 January after a two week break over the Christmas period. Held in the carpark of the Upper Ferntree Gully train station, the market runs from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Market organiser Julie Davenport said she has been involved in the market for eight years. “We’ve got stallholders who have been coming since the 70s when the market first started up,” she said. The Gully Market will run on Saturday and Sundays throughout 2022.
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
The artwork has been compiled into a book titled Small Wonders. Pictures: SUPPLIED
Tiny art on display By Parker McKenzie We have just entered the Kulin season of WEEYUKABUL N’YO’WEENTH (Old man sun) where Sonia said the movements of the people are led by the stars in the northern sky. Picture: UNSPLASH
New Kulin season By Sonia Marie, a proud Bunurong woman and educator Storytelling is part of my culture. Storytelling keeps my culture alive. I would like to share my story for the new season we are entering… it is the season of WEEYUKABUL N’YO’WEENTH (old man sun) where the movements of the people are led by the stars in the northern sky. Now is the time for the Kulin people to prepare for YAIN YANG (dance and song). It is ceremony time. Take your eyes to the BOORURN (sky) map. The MOONMOONDIIK (Pleiades constellation) is visible now and you can see Orion nearby wearing his belt and tools. This signals the BAGGAROOKS (woman) and young girls and the COOLEENTH (men) and YAN YEANS (boys) to seperate. Coming of age ceremonies have begun and everyone won’t see each other again now until the end of season dance. Communication is done between the
groups with small WEENTHS (fires) seen flickering at night up and down the coastline. Each one letting their family group know everyone is safe. It is a sacred time and the people have been preparing for many weeks. Hot MOORNMOOT (winds) blow across the BEEK (country) now, the NOWEENTH (sun) is high. The BARGAN (cool) night air travels across WARRAIN (the ocean) and brings relief from the daylight heat. BULGANA (meat) is smoked and hung out to dry in preparation for the cooler months. Camps are near large, fresh water holes and TOUIT (fish) snapper, flounder, EOKE(eels) and abolone are in abundance at this time of year. All that seafood needs to be mixed with plant food so tubers are collected from the Murnong and Lillies and Warragul greens, sea celery and KARKALLA (pig face) are added to the evening meal. Fruit from MORR (prickly currant bush)
EEPAEEP (native raspberry) and BALLART (cherry ballart) are picked by the BOOBOOPS (children). BEENAKS (baskets) filled with sweet berries. Gum from the wattle and eucalyptus is collected and stored in hollows of trees on walking tracks to be used in the future for burns, tummy aches and where necessary repairs on tools and spears. A special drink called BEAL is made, to get ready for the coming together dance. Holes are dig and sealed then flowers from the DARGURN (yellow box) and River Red Gum are added to soak and ferment. As the Kulin people lay under the bright night BOORURN (sky) with their fires burning, stories are told and lessons learnt. Venus MENIYAN (moon) is close now and meteor showers can be seen streaking their bright lights across the country. Many shooting TUTBYRUMS (stars) fall at this time of the year, many wishes are made and many whispers to the ancestors can be heard through the quietness of the night.
Walk Together project receives cash splash By Parker McKenzie Yarra Ranges Council, Tecoma Uniting Church and Upwey Treasure Shop are providing support and funding towards a local initiative aiming to take responsible action towards reconciliation with First Nations Peoples’. The Hills Reconciliation Action Collective was established by local non-Indigenous people inspired by Reconciliation Week 2021, the formation of Yoo-rrok justice commission in Victoria and the Uniting Church First Nations Assembly. The funding will be used for the Walking Together project, where creative activities support and challenge participants towards developing a sensitivity and understanding of First Nations people’s Culture and Knowledges. Walking Together Project co-ordinator Shakti McLaren said she always thought she was supportive and open to First Nation’s Peoples Culture. “It was not until I began Indigenous Studies that I realised how racist I still was,” she said. “I used to hold opinions that were based on what I was and wasn’t told in my younger years. It has been a revelation to realise how embedded and hidden racism still is within white Australian culture.” The project gives participating leaders and community members the opportunity to experience and learn more about the longest continuous surviving culture in the world. Ms McLaren said the project acknowledges the invitation from First Nations Peoples’ to “walk together”. “Learning more about this ancient Culture has changed my life and ways of seeing the world,” she said. 4 MAIL
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
Artwork by local Palawa woman Amanda Wright.
Picture: AMANDA WRIGHT’S ART
“I hope this project can do the same for other non-Indigenous people in our community, and in the process contribute to our national journey towards truth, justice and reconciliation’. Ms McLaren said she had consulted with Elders of the Wurundjeri Land Council about the project, who asked to have non-Indigenous Australians learn and understand the Culture and history of First Nations Peoples’ better.
“They want racism to end, and they want us to know what they went through and are still going through,” she said. “They want attitudes to change; they say we do not understand enough. They specifically do not want to be judged if they don’t look Aboriginal enough.” Future events being held by the group can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/hillsreconciliationactioncollective.
Local members of the Sherbrooke Art Society have joined with international artists for an exhibition at Como House in South Yarra. The Giant Miniature Art Exhibition is a fundraiser for the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, with each piece of miniature artwork being sold for a minimum of $50. Local artists and art society members Leanne Vassallo, Pauline Stewart, Annee Kelly, Denise Nethercote, Karin Reichert and It Hao Pheh have artwork on display in the exhibition. Mrs Vassallo said working on miniature art under a microscope is a challenge. “I did a painting of Como House in pencil and I had to use a tiny propeller pencil,” she said. “So even though it was tiny it took me three days to do that little drawing.” The 4cm by 2.5cm artworks, the size of a postage stamp, have been compiled into a book titled Small Wonders. It Hao Pheh’s artwork of a painting of Ripponlea was chosen for the front cover and all featured artwork have been reproduced at the original size of the piece. Mrs Vassallo said she thought they’d have a dozen entries in the exhibition, “but in the end it just snowballed.” “There were artists from England, America and South Africa. In the end there were 300 paintings,” she said. “Because so many exhibitions were closed, so many artists that never would have painted something so small decided to get behind it.” 85 artists donated art to the exhibition to help raise funds to restore historic houses in Melbourne through the National Trust. Mrs Vassallo said the experience was an outlet for artists because “in the Hills we are sort of locked away and reliant on tourism in a big way.” “The galleries had to close during Covid, there were no classes happening, normally people would be getting together or painting in the park,” she said. “There are a lot of artists up here in the Hills and it gave them something to do. The beauty of being able to put it in an envelope and mailing it in was that they didn’t have to worry about their 5km limit.” The exhibition is on display until the 30th of January at Como House as a part of the National Trust’s larger Doll House Miniature World’s of Wonder exhibition. Copies of the Small Wonders book are available for puchase from the National Trust store in Berwick, Como House and Ripponlea.
The art on display at Como House. mailcommunity.com.au
2021 - THE YEAR THAT WAS …
Thanks first responders By Shelby Brooks and Parker McKenzie “Worst I’ve seen it for 17 years” for Emerald SES. Emerald SES controller Ben Owen has had a roller coaster 12 months. “Where do you even begin?” he asked, as he sat down to reflect on the year that was. On Wednesday 9 June, Mr Owen said members had an inkling it would be a rough night. “The service was moving a lot of crew down to Traralgon to help with the flooding so initially that was our biggest concern,” he said. But once Ben had knocked off work to head to the unit base, he found trees had began to fall across the roads. “By 4pm we had all four vehicles on the road and by about 6.30pm, calls were coming in every other minute,” Mr Owen said. “That’s when we realised we would be quite busy.” After 8pm, rescue calls started to come into the base, though phone reception was patchy. “They were threat to life calls, people trapped in their houses mainly in Olinda,” Mr Owen said. “But there were trees on the roads everywhere. It was near on impossible to get to there.” At 10pm, one of the SES Emerald’s response cars was crushed by a falling tree, the photos sending shockwaves through the community when they realised how volunteers had been so close to a fatal accident. “We had a bit of radio coverage and I got a message through to say ’did you hear about the vehicle being crushed?’,” Mr Owen recalled. He recreated the moment he radioed back, gasping and clutching his chest. “I was like ’Are the members okay?’ Because that’s all I cared about,” he said. “The crew heard cracking in the dark and didn’t know where to run but I guess they ran in the right direction because they’re alive and well.” Hearing the members were ok only offered a moment of relief before members forged on with the task at hand. “We still have a job to do. Those members ended up rescuing a man who had fallen from his veranda underneath his house. They carried him out to the road to the ambulance, which was quite an ordeal with trees falling down around them,” Mr Owen said. “They saved his life effectively.” Those four members who had the near brush with death ended up spending the night on the floor of the Lilydale SES unit, unable to contact their families to tell them they were safe. Mr Owen said the unit received 800 calls for help, but estimates there were even more jobs completed that weren’t called in. “That night was out of the box,” Mr Owen said. “And the next five days were full on. “The level of damage up on the hill had never been seen before. We just went one tree at a time.”
Monbulk CFA received a new rescue truck in 2021, a highlight for the brigade. Mr Owen said the Emerald CFA captain had referred to the night as the scariest he’d experienced, even scarier than Black Saturday. “That puts it into context that someone who’s fought roaring fires found the damage of the storm more horrendous and risky,“ Mr Owen said. Another strong wind warning came in August but this time, the Emerald SES had a problem. Heartless thieves had targeted the unit base the weekend before, stealing a generator battery, car trailer, wrecked car and four mag wheels. “We can’t be losing power to the facilities on a night when we need to respond to people’s needs,” Mr Owen said in August. Strong winds hit again in October, again leaving hundreds without power for another week. This time it was personal for Mr Owen. His Cockatoo home was crushed by a tree around 6.30am on Friday 29 October. Mr Owen’s wife and daughters were trapped inside but were fortunately unharmed. “The tree landed where I was standing 10
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minutes earlier,” Mr Owen said. “My wife called to say a tree had fallen on the house. She was trapped in the bedroom. “I drove back and ran down to where my daughters were bunkered in together for the night and they had a smashed window. So they and the greyhound crawled through the window and into my arms.” A tree had penetrated the wall less than a metre above the girl’s heads. “The dog is still very traumatised by loud bangs and windy days, which we all will be to some extent for a period of time,” Mr Owen said. “Most of the time I’m ok but the other night a pine tree had dropped some branches onto the road and it got me spooked. It was all brought back by the sappy smell.” The house will be demolished in January. But the year has finished on a high for the Emerald SES, which moved into their new state of the art headquarters in November. The new facility includes five drive through engine bays with room for 10 vehicles and trailers, administrative offices, a training room
and a well being area for volunteers. The new base will help accommodate the 30 new volunteers who have expressed interest in joining the crew in the new year. The eye of the storm Belgrave CFA lieutenant Don Proud had a personal experience in the June storms, before heading into the station and helping with the aftermath. “I was watching the television when we had a branch hit the roof and it scared the hell out of our kitten, which bolted straight under the table,” he said. “Within probably half an hour I was at the station, geared up and we were part of the chainsaw response crew that started at Sassafras and worked our way up to William Ricketts Reserve.” Mr Proud said 2021 saw 25 more callouts than 2020, although they saw a reduction in vehicle crashes. “I joined the CFA in 2009 just before black Saturday and you think you’ll help the community, but it honestly sets into your blood,” he said. Continued pages 6-7
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Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
2021 - THE YEAR THAT WAS …
Members of Emerald SES raise the flags on their new building with the help of local MP Brad Battin in November. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE From page 5 “It becomes more than a volunteer thing, it becomes a part of your life to help people in any way you possibly can, whether it’s someone who’s had a tree fall through their house, a car accident or putting out a fire.” Members of Monbulk CFA were right in the middle of the storm too. 5th lieutenant Josh Leigh said the June storm was the most memorable moment of 2021 for him and his brigade. “We were called out to 17 rescues that evening but due to the trees down had extreme difficulty in reaching those in need,” he said.
“The weather was wild that night and the sounds of the squalling wind and falling trees around us as we did our best to reach the people in need was both scary and amazing.” Mr Leigh said a big positive for the brigade in 2021 was the arrival of the new rescue truck. “Our 1995 Rescue truck was replaced this year with a brand new appliance which was a fantastic moment for our brigade,” he said. “Having a brand new, modern appliance to travel to road accident rescue incidents has been brilliant and allows us to arrive to some of the jobs on Mount Dandenong, where our old rescue truck would struggle a little, just
Belgrave CFA were in action during the June storms.
that bit quicker.” Mr Leigh said the biggest challenge of the year was continuing to deal with Covid-19 related restrictions. “Regular lockdowns heavily restricted how we could train and because we are a brigade that also perform Road Accident Rescue and Rope Rescue functions in addition to responding to fire,” he said. “Training and maintaining our skills is vital to be able to meet the needs of the community.” Increased callouts Despite a year of lockdown and restrictions, other CFA brigades saw callouts rise as well.
Ferntree Gully CFA Captain Seamus Smith said despite the reprieve of low summer bushfire activity, the brigade saw an increase of callouts in 2021 compared to 2020. “In 2021 overall our brigade saw an increase in calls and ended the year with 247, up 36 from 2020 which finished on 211 calls.” he said. Mr Smith said forced changes to training created more available time for members to meet in smaller groups. “This has provided a great foundation moving forward and is something we will continue to use,” he said.
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Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
2021 - THE YEAR THAT WAS …
Emerald SES respond to their first callout in their new headquarters. “Unfortunately due to ongoing restrictions we were unable to conduct any face to face community engagement activities for 2021, which we hope to be able to turn around in 2022.” He said the brigade has plenty to look forward to in 2022, with a celebration of the 80th anniversary of their registration with the Country Fire Brigades Board in 1942. “Our brigade is engaged with a local historian and author and we are looking forward to collecting all the rich history and achievements of the amazing volunteers over the 80 years to document these memories into a book for future generations,” he said. “There have been many challenges and wonderful achievements over those years and we believe it is vital to share these moments to celebrate the outstanding Australian way of volunteering to support our fellow citizens.” Camaraderie key through lockdowns Upper Ferntree Gully CFA captain Peter Smith’s highlight of 2021 was the camaraderie shown by the brigade in the face of adversity. “We weren’t allowed to train, we could only respond to emergencies. We were lucky that we didn’t have many fires, but we had other things we turned out to,” he said. “Sometimes it was like a reunion when you went out there because you saw the people you haven’t seen for a couple of weeks.” Mr Smith said the brigade hasn’t “got back to where we were when this all started.” “It’s the way we’ve been able to recruit people and it’s the same for football clubs, cricket clubs and any club,” he said. “They’re struggling getting people back because of the uncertainly about getting together in a big group and we are dealing with how do we manage our members.” After 49 years as a member of CFA, Mr Smith said he still looks forward to helping the community every year. “We were up there training last night, we had a dozen or so because we’ve got a few members fortunate enough to go on holidays, but I am looking forward to getting back to full pace again,” he said. “Just getting back to normality is the hard part I think, getting back to the normal way we deal with each other, “The community is right behind us all the time and that helps us out a lot, we are fortunate here in Upper Gully that we have a community that supports us very well.” Upwey CFA captain Cliff Pancutt said 2021 presented unique challenges for the brigade. “There were person challenges for a lot of our members,” he said. “Being unable to engage with the community face to face and not going on station for an extended period of time were difficult challenges for all of us.” Mr Pancutt said he hopes in 2022 his brigade can return to a “sense of normality.” “We really missed that interaction with the community we had previously,” he said. “Whether it was stalls at markets, open days or community events, they are all key events we missed and I’m looking forward to being able to hold them again.” mailcommunity.com.au
Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE
Upwey CFA were able to return to community engagement and fundraising in late 2021.
Ferntree Gully CFA firefighters in June.
CFA crews like Upper Ferntree Gully were forced to adjust training schedules to accommodate for Covid-19 restrictions. Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
2021 - THE YEAR THAT WAS …
The tree that went through the house. 256628
Trees down on Monbulk Road Monbulk.
Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
Mega storms unleashed Superstorm hell A Kalorama couple was lucky to escape Wednesday’s ferocious storm after trees crushed their house forcing them to flee the mountain on foot. Michael and Marilyn Deller were among numerous hills residents who lost their homes in the storm, which also caused widespread power outages, flooding and road closures. Marilyn Deller, 72, told ABC radio she thought she was going to die as howling winds, pouring rain and falling trees battered their three storey house in Jeeves Avenue. She and partner Michael retreated to a bedroom on the ground floor of their home after the power went out at 9pm. However, Marilyn said she couldn’t stand the noise of the escalating wind, which she described as sounding like “100 lions all roaring at once, coming to a fever pitch.” Home’s nine lives By Taylah Eastwell After counting the 20th tree fall on the night of the storm, Mandy Williams gave up counting. Sitting in her Monbulk lounge-room on the night of 9 June, with husband Spence nearby, Mrs Williams watched anxiously through her skylight windows as the tree tops “whipped around” in the gusty bursts of wind. “It was dark so you couldn’t really see anything, but I could see the tree tops against the night sky. Between all the rain and then all the leaves and branches that blew onto the roof, there was lots of noise, and then of course the trees started to fall down,” Mrs Williams said. “You could just hear them go thump. One fell and clipped the roof just outside where I was sitting but I thought it was just a branch. When I got up the next morning, it was a 45-metre tree and it just missed. Had it of been a bit taller, it would have got the house,” she said. With their Rankins Road property one of very few still full of trees, Mr and Mrs Williams woke up on Thursday (10 June) to absolute destruction. They had between 70 to 100 trees down on their property alone, with the view of trees from their back deck now a clear view of the neighbouring fence line as fallen trees cover the ground. “We woke up and couldn’t get out the door. We could see a lot of it off the back deck, and we just had no idea where to start,” Mrs Williams said. “I have always whinged I needed a bit more of a view and a bit more sun, so there is a positive.” Mrs Williams laughed. Trees to tell tale By Taylah Eastwell A group of Hills locals have joined forces in hopes of turning timber that fell during the June 9 storm into a commemorative community art project. Choosing to look at the disaster from a positive side, residents have attended a number of meetings to discuss ways in which the timber could be reused in the community. 8 MAIL
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
Volunteers from Habitat for Humanity help clear debris from the June storm.
Kalorama Rec Reserve. 241037 Creator of the Facebook page, ‘Rescue Logs – Keep our trees in the Dandenongs’, Julia Hall said one of the bigger projects being considered is a nature walk that follows the story of the storm using fallen logs. “It will explain the pathway the storm took and have different points that talk about a significant event from the storm, whether that be a tree into a house or the many trees that impacted Mt Dandenong Primary School as well as the many stories of human resilience,” Ms Hall said. “Telling our story and reliving that is part of our healing journey and everyone at our meetings has agreed. It’s really important to talk about it so you process it because the more we process it we realise we survived and came out the other end,” she said. The giving spirit By Parker McKenzie For most people, 2021 has been both difficult and challenging. For Cheryll Roach, it has been a year of tragedy and heartache.
Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE
SES member stands in comparison to fallen trees. “When my dad moved in with us in April, my husband and I frantically rushed around to get the place ready for him because he had his left leg amputated,” she said. “At the start of June my husband wasn’t feeling well, and on the 21st of July he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.” After Dale Roach was told he had three to 12 months to live, he passed away on the 11th of August. “I’m so overwhelmed by everything, trying to get things tidied up, just with everything that has happened,” Mrs Roach said. “It’s hard to ask for help sometimes. We were affected by the storms and as you can see a few trees came down.” On a 31 degree Friday afternoon in Cockatoo, four volunteers are helping Mrs Roach remove fallen trees from the June storm, stack firewood and burn off any potential fuel for the coming bushfire season. “Otherwise we would have been good. My husband and I would have tried to manage but
I’ve gone from full-time work to being a single parent now,” Mrs Roach said. “I’m just absolutely overwhelmed and so thankful. I just want to repay them back for the help.” The volunteers from Habitat for Humanity Victoria are more than happy to help and don’t ask for any repayment. Six volunteers arrived at Mrs Roach’s house at around 8.30pm. The four remaining by 2pm continue to busily split wood, wheelbarrow foliage to the fire and carry logs away even as their 3pm finishing time fast approaches. Rod Brooks is the volunteer supervisor for Habitat for Humanity at Mrs Roach’s house and he is hard at work as they power through the last hour of a long day. “When you hear that story, which I’m sure you have, it touches your heart,” he said. “You just think how hard is it to do something that blesses her and helps her along the way.” mailcommunity.com.au
2021 - TOP NEWS STORIES
Bill Morris speaks with MAJ Hobson after the service.
Picture: MIKAYLA VAN LOON
Highlights from the year First responders recognised By Taylor Eastwell Cockatoo resident Graham Mummery was awarded an Ambulance Service Medal as part of the 2021 Australia Day Honours List, after 37 years of dedicated service to Ambulance Victoria. Living his life by the motto “I’m here to make a difference”, Mr Mummery works as an advanced life support paramedic, and has provided high quality clinical care at a range of emergency incidents. But when he received the news that he had won the award, it caught him out of the blue. “It was very much a surprise,” Mr Mummery said. “I try to live by being here to make a difference, sometimes that difference is profound in treatment, sometimes it might be holding someone’s hand while they pass so they can pass peacefully, sometimes it might be offering a shoulder for someone to cry on,” he said. Having played bagpipes his whole life, Mr Mummery helped found Ambulance Victoria’s Pipes and Drums Band in 2009. “There was only two dedicated ambulance pipe bands in the world, we (Ambulance Victoria) make up number three,” he said. “It’s just a fun way to represent our service in a positive light, playing bagpipes and drums,” he said. Ambulance Victoria’s Pipes and Drums Band have played twice in Florida and in Dublin to a crowd of 1.5 million people. The Hills on the silver screen By Taylah Eastwell In February, Australian drama film Disclosure made its debut in Australia cinemas. Directed and written by the Patch resident Michael Bentham, the film was shot entirely in the Dandenong Ranges. “As an outsider from the UK, I noticed the Dandenong Ranges have these real contrasts in the landscape,” Mr Bentham said. “You’ve got this temperate rainforest with mailcommunity.com.au
tail mountain ash gums everywhere and then peppered among that amazing bush are these pockets of European architecture.” The film – which centres around two families embroiled in a conflict after a four-yearold girl makes an allegation against the son of a politician – has been well received since release and currently has 100 per cent positive review rating on critic website Rotten Tomatoes. ‘Skyscraper’ battle begins In March a long running battle between a local community group and a proposed development of a multi-story aged care facility began. Glengollan Village, a not-for-profit that has been on been on Saint Elmo Avenue for since 1956, proposed to expand across the road and build a new two-storey facility to house 108 residents. Local residents organised and fought against the idea, which resulted in Knox City Council rejecting the planning permit because of 463 objections from 385 objectors. The battle didn’t end there, with Glengollan Village appealing the decision with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal with a hearing set for April 2022. Not to be deterred, the community group has been raising money for a solicitor to represent them at VCAT and in November showed Transport Matters Upper House MP Rod Barton around the street, who promised to table the group’s petition in the Victorian Parliament in January. Keep an eye on this story because it is sure to continue well into 2022. Belgrave wizard By Taylor Eastwell Sitting at a bustling Belgrave cafe with the town’s very own “wizard“ Baba Desi, the love for the quirky Hills local quickly becomes apparent. From small children yelling out ’It’s the pirate!“, to local shopkeepers and curious tourists, 91-year-old Des Burgen takes the time to strike up a conversation with each and every human that glances his way.
Mesmerised by his colourful robes, turbaned head, ever-growing collection of rustic jewels and his hand-crafted wooden staff that makes him all the more wizard–like, there aren’t many who would pass up the opportunity to get to know the loved Hills local. But when Baba Desi was approached by Upwey documentary photographer Pauline Klemm late last year, he had no idea the friendship that was about to form. “Anyone that lives in the Hills sees him walking around all the time, and so had I. You always have thoughts when you see him, you think gosh he’s an interesting guy, I’d love to go talk to him,” Ms Klemm said. “For the last six months or so, every time I saw him I thought – he is a photographer’s dream, I need to ask if I can photograph him, but I just kept passing him thinking it,” she said. One day, as Ms Klemm was driving past Upwey train station, she saw Baba Desi walk past. After doing a quick U-turn, she pulled up and approached the friendly wizard, asking if she could take a photo of him for her portfolio. “He said he’s used to it, that’s he’s been on TV, on this show and interviewed by this and that, and I thought wow, this man has such a story,” she said. Old Soldier’s last wish By Mikayla Van Loon It might have been wishful thinking when Bill Morris, 96, told his nurse he wanted to attend one last Anzac Day march but little did he know it could all be possible. On a day like none other, Mercy Place Montrose staff, residents, family and strangers joined to give Mr Morris his final wish, by bringing Anzac Day to him. What was meant to be an intimate service with just Mr Morris’ family, turned into a heartwarming ceremony of people from all over. Lifestyle coordinator at Mercy Place, Dee Halligan said she looked into getting Mr Morris into the city but it wasn’t going to be possible.
“Physically and with his medical condition, it just was not possible to get him into the city. So I thought, well, I’ll bring Anzac to him,” she said. “He’ll be lucky if he sees another Anzac Day.” After getting in contact with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Ms Halligan said the process was not easy but everything seemed to fall into place. 200 hand-made poppies turned the courtyard into a sea of red and an Australian flag raised to half mast stood in the centre. The feeling of community spirit has never been more poignant than it was standing together as one. Residents who were able, filed out and took their place among the crowd. Others watched from the glass windows above. New SES unit requested Unit controllers at two local SES branches are calling for a third unit to be established in the Dandenong Ranges as emergency services struggle to keep up with callouts to the Hills. Emerald SES unit controller Ben Owen and Lilydale SES unit controller Shaun Caulfield are “keen to sit down and have a conversation” with the appropriate ministers around establishing a new unit for ridge-top communities after both units were inundated with calls to Kalorama, Mt Dandenong and Olinda during the recent storm. z While the units proudly “work as one” in natural disasters and emergencies, the wide coverage areas of both crews stretches resources when action is required in disasterprone areas of the Dandenongs. Mr Owen said the need for a further unit really showed during the recent wild weather. “It only showed on Wednesday night (9 June) when we had 12 code one responses in Kalorama, Mt Dandenong and Olinda to rescue people that had trees on their houses. Basically, every SES unit is around 25 minutes away on a normal day, and that’s when you aren’t cutting up trees in order to get to the job,” he said. Continued page 11 Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
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Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
2021 - TOP NEWS STORIES From page 9 Lilydale SES received over 1260 callouts in the week following the storm, with 900 of those jobs situated across Mount Dandenong communities, taking resources away from the wider Yarra Ranges area as it experienced flooding. “As we found out recently, there really is only one road to Kalorama and that is Mt Dandenong Tourist Road. We came across a section that had about 50 trees down and that effectively cuts us off from getting up there and cuts residents off from getting help,” Mr Caulfied said. ‘Button Man’ horror to hit screens By Taylah Eastwell Two Hills filmmakers have created a horror film based on a series of eyewitness encounters with a ghastly bushman said to roam the Victorian High Country. A number of stories have come to light over the years about a mysterious loner known as The Button Man, said to have earned his nickname from his habit of cutting buttons and ear piercings out of deer antlers. Legend has it, the seasoned and territorial hunter has a base camp set up at a well-known crossroads in the Victorian Alps, allowing him to keep a close watch on campers and hikers entering the remote valley. While you could read online for hours about the encounters people have had with the rugged bushman - who is described as around 70-years of age - one particularly hairraising account comes from a wildlife photographer who was in the area taking shots near The Button Man’s headquarters. The tale goes, when the photographer returned home from the High Country and downloaded photos he had taken onto his computer, he found a picture of himself sound asleep in his tent. To this day, no one knows who took the shot. Others have taken to four-wheel-drive forum websites to report their own encounters, a common theme being The Button Man’s tendency to silently emerge in the dead of the night and grill people on why they are in the area. Without retelling the myriad of personal stories, it is plain to see why Upper Ferntree Gully local Josh Todaro and Sassafras raised Jaime Lehman decided to create a horror film inspired by real life events flowing out of the eerie pocket of Victoria. A speedy arrival By Taylah Eastwell Many minds wonder what happens if you are pulled over while speeding to the hospital in labour, but for little Bonnie Petersen and her parents, that exact question will prompt one of the greatest 21st birthday stories imaginable. When Jenae Petersen’s waters broke around 11.25pm on Saturday 14 August, her husband Paul knew he didn’t have time to waste. Ms Petersen had a history of short labours with their two young sons, and Paul wasn’t taking any chances on a last minute roadside birth. After the couple frantically called Ms Petersen’s sister-in-law to come and watch their boys, they piled into the car and left their Mooroolbark home for the Angliss Hospital in Upper Ferntree Gully. “When my waters broke that was the first sign of labour and that was when the contractions started between four and five minutes apart,” Ms Petersen said. “I went into labour pretty much straight away. We got into the car and realised we needed petrol, so we chucked some petrol in but by the time we got from Manchester Road to just before the basketball stadiums on Liverpool Road, I had completely changed. I couldn’t talk, I was in full blown labour, so my husband started speeding,” she said. The distressed couple were doing their best to make it to the hospital, with little Bonnie in a rush to enter the world, when they noticed the dreaded blue and red flashing lights in their rear-view mirror. “We saw the coppers chuck a u-turn behind us. We kept going, not as fast, but they pulled us over and my husband jumped out and said ‘my wife is in labour I’ve got to get her to hospital’,” Ms Petersen said. “They shone their torch in and had one look at me and just said ‘Angliss? Follow us’,” she said. Freedom at last For 262 days, metropolitan Melbourne faced the toughest and longest lockdown in the world, making the taste of freedom sweeter than ever. mailcommunity.com.au
The new Emerald SES headquarters. Cafes, restaurants and bars, as well as hairdressers, were the first to emerge from the stay-at-home orders, as the restrictions placed on people lifted on Friday 22 October. Hills residents didn’t waste any time getting back to normality, making bookings for breakfast, lunch and dinner wherever they could get in. But while the excitement for patrons was obvious, restaurant owners and cafe managers said the stress of density limits, policing vaccinations and staffing, had made the return to dining-in quite stressful. Andrew from The Belgrave Hotel said his bookings for the first weekend out of lockdown were full but he was limited by the density restraints. “I think people are still a little bit scared to get out but we’ve got some good bookings for tonight (22 October) and tomorrow night because we can basically only have 20 inside and it’s very important for us to stick to these rules,” he said. Alan from Ranges at Olinda said aside from checking whether every customer has had a double dose of the vaccine, he doesn’t have enough staff who have been fully vaccinated to operate completely. “Our difficulty is that some of our crew have only had the one vaccination and are waiting for the second one to come on board and we can’t open as such for seated people unless all of the staff are fully vaccinated,” he said. Tragic accident By Mikayla Van Loon Two people sadly died in Cockatoo on the morning of Friday 10 September, after a tree fell on their vehicle. The driver, an 82-year-old Cockatoo man and his passenger, a 78-year-old Cockatoo woman, were travelling north along Woori Yallock Road around 10.30am when the tree fell and crushed their utility vehicle. Ambulance Victoria said paramedics were called to the scene around 10.35am but the occupants of the vehicle died at the scene. Emerald SES unit controller Ben Owen confirmed two SES vehicles and four crews were also in attendance. He said the SES fulfilled its role by assisting police in recovering the bodies of the two deceased persons throughout the day. Cardinia Highway Patrol sergeant Paul Holtzinger said it’s never easy attending a job like the one on Friday. “The circumstances are extremely tragic. What hits home for us is they were just driving along, going about their business,” he said. “All emergency services are never great at attending these things, no one’s ever quite the same afterwards but we have the agency support to help us get through.” From early investigations, which happened all throughout Friday and over the weekend,
Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE
sergeant Holtzinger said it looked like a case of “wrong place, wrong time.” “There’s nothing indicating anything other than a freak accident,” he said. SES opening By Parker McKenzie Shortly after a flag raising ceremony opened the new Emerald SES building, the unit received the first call out from their new home. Jim Paxton, Jenna Perry and Tom Johnson piled into the vehicle as they lifted the roller doors for the first time to respond to community call out for a fallen tree. The brief ceremony was attended by members of the Emerald SES unit and local Gembrook MP Brad Battin a week before the official opening on Saturday 27 November. Unit Controller Ben Owen said opening the new building was a relief that had been a long time coming. “It’s taken five years for concept drawings and the building process to be done,” he said. “I’ve been in the SES seven years and we all assumed we were going to get a new building soon and that was seven years ago.” Emerald SES has received close to 1700 calls for assistance so far in 2021 through heavy storms throughout the area. Mr Owen said members have slept on the floor of the old building because they couldn’t get home through bad weather. “To come into a state of the art building where the generators turn on by itself, the space for people to work safely, automated everything so the trucks can drive out with a press of a button instead of padlocks and chains will make such a difference,” “In terms of recruitment and retention we’ll get volun-
teers running through the doors to join and be a part of this.” Mr Owen also thanked Mr Battin for his work in ensuring the facility and Emerald SES was properly funded. CFA honours Commander Peter Lucas By Parker McKenzie CFA members and associations around Victoria have shown an outpouring of support for the achievements and life of Commander Peter Lucas upon hearing of his passing. Mr Lucas passed away on 28 November after a battle with illness. CFA acting chief officer Garry Cook said Mr Lucas made an impact around the state throughout his long career as a firefighter. “He received the highest accolade in Australia when he was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in recognition of his contribution to the fire services,” Mr Cook said. “In particular in recognition of his work in peer support, he was a pioneer in peer support programs which is firefighters caring for firefighters after traumatic events or during tough circumstances.” Mr Lucas started his CFA career as a junior member of Ferntree Gully fire brigade in 1971 at 15-years-old, before becoming a volunteer member in 1973. He became a career firefighter in 1975 before serving in the Boronia, Bendigo and Dandenong fire brigades. His funeral service on 9 December was attended by hundreds of coworkers and members of the community who Mr Lucas made an impact with. A guard of honor was held in his honour featuring CFA vehicles and helicopters. Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
Happy New Year to all I’d like to start this first column for the year by saying Happy New Year to each and every one of you. 2021 threw many, many challenges at all of us, but our community got through the year as we always have – together. Of course, the new year doesn’t mean an end to those challenges – recovery is continuing for our areas and community members devastated by the June storms, and will continue for quite some time. The pandemic, as we all know, is still difficult to navigate. Thankfully, an extremely high number of people in our community have received their vaccinations, to reduce the chance of the worst-case scenario. I strongly encourage everyone reading this to check when they can receive their booster, book in as soon as possible, and continue to
desk Jim Child get tested if they are showing symptoms. There is a significant amount of fatigue across the community as the pandemic approaches its third year. Despite this, it’s been really heartening to see the ways that our community has come together – lending a hand to one another, supporting local businesses and
Better left at three The Matrix Resurrections Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Neil Patrick Harris Rated M The Matrix Resurrections is an entertaining adventure with some fascinating concepts, but is also easily the worst Matrix movie. Thomas Anderson, aka Neo (Keanu Reeves), now a successful game developer, must escape the Matrix once again and, with the help of a plucky Resistance crew, rescue his lost love Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). The first act features a heavy metatextual layer that viewers may find cool or obnoxious. The Matrix trilogy exists within the Matrix as a series of video games, and the very self-aware dialogue conveys director Lana Wachowski’s frustration with demanding studio executives and overanalysing fans. Resurrections reworks elements from the original trilogy in clever ways. Jonathon Groff is fun as the new Agent Smith, conveying the venomous essence of the character without copying Hugo Weaving’s original performance. Neil Patrick Harris clearly relishes playing the Analyst, the suave, cocky new villain. Reeves’ performance as Neo is poignant
and funny, reflecting the actor’s growth since the trilogy. Reeves and Moss still have great chemistry, and Neo and Trinity’s journey of escape and reawakening is very engaging, framed around a well-planted rooftop motif. Unfortunately, Resurrections’ set-pieces rarely carry a strong sense of risk or direction, and the action is unsatisfying. The one-on-one fights are somewhat well-done, but the brawls and gun-fights are poorly-framed and full of quick cuts, compared to the beautiful long takes and clear camerawork in the trilogy. With compelling characters and concepts but limited suspense and sloppy action, The Matrix Resurrections is an underwhelming sequel. - Seth Lukas Hynes
2021 - what a year By Cr Johanna Skelton Season’s Greetings, as we put the bow on 2021. In many ways 2021 has continued the lessons of 2020. Those who had the capacity and support to be flexible to the ongoing changes have enjoyed many aspects of this time, but for others it has highlighted existing hardships or created new ones. As we respond to the emotional, environmental, and personal hardships the massive storm and Covid disease and its restrictions have brought to the Yarra Ranges region, we will continue to need all levels of Government as well as people from all parts of our community committing to support each other. Three things I am excited about for 2022 are: Council and Community will be coming together to design a Biodiversity Strategy that will identify and direct positive environmental and social outcomes on Crown (68 per cent), Private (30 per cent) and Council (2 per cent) managed land. Together we can also continue to respond to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report right here at home to make our future safer for all. Council will be continuing to refer to the Liveable Climate Plan to guide its action. I expect all energy Council uses to come from renewable sources by the end of 2022. The new Regional Community Recovery Committees will identify and assist community led initiatives in responding to Covid-19 and storm impacts. On the home front for me, my family hosted Christmas for the first time, as well as moved house and we are getting used to our new pup-
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
cherishing the small moments of connection we can have during the uncertainty of the last few years. It’s easy to despair when seeing the rising case numbers and long waits for tests, and it’s understandable to feel uncertain about the year ahead. But the connections we have across our community – to our neighbours, to our volunteers and groups and businesses – will get us through, no matter what new challenges 2022 brings our way. At Council, we’ll be here to listen and support, to raise local issues with our State and Federal counterparts, and to continue delivering more than 120 services to you, the residents of the Yarra Ranges. It’ll be a busy year ahead. The Ridges and Rivers Initiatives – RidgeWalk, the Yarra Valley
Trail and Warburton Mountain Bike Destinations – all have significant stages coming up this year. We’ll also be working on countless local projects – from playgrounds to policies, sports grounds and strategies - and seeking your input and feedback along the way. If you’d like to stay up to date, and be notified about new community engagements, I’d encourage you to sign up at shaping.yarraranges.vic.gov.au. In the meantime, please stay safe and remember the messages of the last two years – it’s never been more important to be kind, to support local businesses and to lend a hand to others wherever you can.
Riding life’s rough waves A review of On the Rough Waves of Life by Mieczyslaw Drelich On May 8, 2021, Hobart-based ABC journalist Rachel Edwards reported on a son’s hardwork to bring his father’s life story to the anglophone readers. “[My father] said that he wanted people in 200 years’ time to know where the name Drelich came from in Tasmania,” said Leszek, who spent more than 20 years translating his father Mieczyslaw Drelich’s memoir from Polish to English. The translation process had been highly challenging because Leszek could read very little Polish at the start of the project in 1996. Yet he persevered. “I thought if I don’t do it [then] my children and my grandchildren will not be able to read my father’s story. It will disappear,” said Leszek. Published by the Polish Museum and Archives in Australia in 2021, On the Rough Waves of Life (originally published in 1995 as Na wzburzonych falach zycia) tells the fascinating true story of one of the renowned Rats of Tobruk. The translation reveals Mieczyslaw (19182012) as a charismatic character who had always wanted to wear the uniform of Poland. Having joined the army in 1937, he was forced to flee to Romania when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939. When the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade was established in 1940 in French Syria, Mieczyslaw joined many other exiled Polish soldiers in Alexandria before landing in Palestine to fight along the British forces. In July 1941, Mieczyslaw found himself in Tobruk In his words, as translated by Leszek:“Despite the fact that I spent one hundred and sixteen days and nights there, I had no idea about the surroundings or landscape, because we landed in Tobruk during a moonless night, and the patrolling and reconnais-
PASSION FOR PROSE WITH CHRISTINE SUN sance escapades took place in total darkness. What then could a man see?” “During the day we sat tight behind rocks or slept in our dug-outs after sleepless nights, carefully avoiding sticking out our heads or even moving around in the trenches. Otherwise one risked copping a stray bullet or a chip of artillery shell which were constantly exploding around us at random times and places.” To make a long and amazing story brief, after Tobruk, Mieczyslaw fought in the Italian Campaign and was later stationed in England. Then, thanks to the Rats of Tobruk Association in Australia, he was among about 300 Polish “Rats” invited to make a new life in Australia. The translation sheds light on Mieczyslaw’s settlement in Tasmania in 1947, where he worked on the state’s hydroelectricity scheme. In 1949 he married Marysia, a Polish woman whose whole family were sent to Siberia in cattle trucks by Russian soldiers and who had been living as a refugee in London after the war ended. In short, Mieczyslaw Drelich’s fierce love for his country and fellow countrymen is truly admirable. A pillar of the Polish community in Tasmania, Mieczyslaw had an endearing sense of humour and his son Leszek’s translation very much captured the man’s lively spirit. The book well illustrates the courage, resilience and triumphs of Australia’s Polish migrants.
Lyster Ward Councillor Johanna Skelton. Picture: ON FILE py. I’m grateful that we have an ‘average’ fire risk this season so I (and our Emergency workers) can enjoy more time at home with loved ones. I know that 2022 will give us all more opportunities to bring peace and kindness to others. The leaves and flowers are all the ideas growth possibilities that will come out of respectful relationships… which will endure for as long as the tree endures Kwaymullina, Ambelin. ‘Living on Stolen Land’. Broome: Magabala Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781925936247. mailcommunity.com.au
SHOP LOCAL MONBULK
Community Bank celebrates
The local team at Community Bank Monbulk & District is celebrating 10 years in Monbulk. of the business and making sure the profits go back to local groups, clubs and organisations. The nine directors all hold a local connection to the community and are a great representation of the people in our community. Many are parents or grandparents and have many years of business and professional experience, adding to the strength of the organisation. Where the board of directors manages income and expenses along with community support, they are very separate from the branch world. The branch is run through a
To celebrate their 10th birthday, Community Bank Monbulk & District is holding a free family fun event on Sunday 6 February at the Monbulk Recreation Reserve, Moores Road Monbulk. The event will run from 3-7pm and will have many activities to keep the family entertained, including bouncy doxing, inflatable slide, bungee challenge, face painting, giant games and puzzles, silent disco, outdoor movies and popcorn, barbecue and drinks. There will also be a coffee van on site. Save the date in your diary now and head on down to share in the birthday celebrations.
MONBULK BOWLING CLUB
11 MOORES RD, MONBULK
FAMILY FUN DAY
THANKING YOU FOR 10 YEARS OF SUPPORT
Specials by Day
Bouncy Boxing Inflatable Slide Bungee Challenge Silent Disco Giant Games Face Painting Outdoor Movies and Popcorn BBQ and Drinks
Sunday 6 February 2022 3pm - 7pm
Bowlers Special Burger, Beer & Bowls
Wed to Sun
Kids Eat Free
NEW! ALL WEEK KID’S MEAL DEAL UPGRADE
Monbulk Recreation Reserve, Moores Road, Monbulk
Upgrade any kid’s meal for $4 to include a kid’s drink, ice-cream and an activity pack. 12531030-HC02-22
FREE COMMUNITY EVENT
great staffing team lead by Aimee te Boekhorst and hold experience, professionalism and great customer service. Assistant Manager Rebecca Meyer said, “We are passionate about helping our customers and making it easy for them to do banking with us. “As we celebrate our 10th birthday we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our journey, our past and present directors, our past and present staff, our shareholders for their support and our local community.”
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'
Make a booking 9756 6183 Dine a la carte Wed to Sun from 5.30pm Our Menu includes gluten-free & vegetarian dishes to suit special needs.
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
When Community Bank Monbulk & District first opened its doors on 7 February 2012, the dream of a locally owned and operated bank in town had turned into a reality. The reason behind a community bank in town was simple, to help build and strengthen an already amazing community. Community banking is a grassroots social enterprise business model that aims to feed into the prosperity of communities, where revenue is generated by the bank’s customers and invested back into the community through grants, scholarships, sponsorships, donations and partnerships. Over the last 10 years, Community Bank Monbulk & District has financially supported hundreds of community initiatives and turned into one of the biggest sources of community funding in Monbulk. In 2021 their community contributions reached a milestone of over $600,000 meaning they have invested over $1100 every week into the Monbulk & District Community since opening. They also run a Tokens of Appreciation wall in the branch which allows customers to decide which community groups they would like to support in the process of doing their banking with Community Bank Monbulk & District. More than 40 local clubs and groups and schools are represented on the wall and customers can choose to support one or many of the groups. Chairman Leo Koelewyn said, “The $600,000 milestone in community contributions is a fantastic achievement. With the support of the Monbulk and surrounding communities we can continue to grow our business and most importantly our community”. The board of directors are all volunteers and dedicate their time to ensure the success
2021 - THE YEAR IN PICTURES
Private Stuart Coghill at Monbulk RSL’s Remembrance Day ceremony. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE
Emerald SES had a huge year in 2021.
Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
Paul Tesselaar at his families Tulip farm.
Josephine Horn from the Kallista General Store and Cellars. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
Tamsin (Customer Service Officer) and John Landon (CO Coordinator Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service Christmas Appeal). 259556
PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN OWNED & INDEPENDENT
244 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville, 3777
Patricia and her neighbour Abrielle Worrall meeting after lockdown. Picture: ON FILE
Julia Hall continues to smile despite being trapped in her driveway for the second time on two months. Picture: ON FILE
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GinFinity Cal and Ben at the launch of their distillery. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
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Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
From left, Chris May (Welfare Officer Emerald RSL), Kane Falconer (Vice President Emerald RSL) Peter Maloney (President).
AVON ACRE! LOCATED on a sunny acre, this spacious family home in gorgeous Avonsleigh is full of great surprises! The mudbrick construction of the home with exposed beam roof, large windows and a curved internal wall with feature open fireplace in the living room offers a comforting and relaxed vibe where all the tensions of the day will fade away. The master bedroom is zoned away from the secondary bedrooms and is separated from the living room by a small split level balustrade with outstanding spotted gum floors that continue into the sitting room. The master features large walk in robe and stunning ensuite that has all the mod cons such as anti fog mirror with make up lights and Bluetooth speakers. The kitchen with stainless steel appliances and double oven makes the perfect place to try new recipes that can be served in the adjoining dining room as you cozy up next the wood fire in the cooler months. During the warmer months of the year, meals can be enjoyed outside in the undercover paved area or on the pool deck where you can watch the kids swim as you relax poolside. The remaining bedrooms serviced by the main bathroom are located off the hallway
which culminates in a huge family room with loft, wood heating and it’s own access, the perfect place for a teenagers retreat or guest accommodation. Add to this a double garage and 3 x
7 m shed with concrete floor, fruit trees, vegetable patches, hen houses and hot houses for the ultimate self sufficient lifestyle. 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: 56 Avon Road, AVONSLEIGH Description: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 4 garage Price: $1,125,000 - $1,250,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Bethany Day, 0438 844 968 or Aaron Day, 0407 365 994, BELL REAL ESTATE, EMERALD, 5968 6222
SUBURBAN, COUNTRY & LIFESTYLE PROPERTIES ACROSS THE REGION mailcommunity.com.au
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
ONE OF A KIND IN EVERY WAY SPANNING over multiple levels of spacious living, this massive family home sits on ½ acre of land and boasts a versatile floorplan that is perfect for multigenerational living. Live in style and sophistication with this resort style property and enjoy the convenience of this sought after location blended with a lifestyle that only the Hills can provide. Five bedrooms offer space for everyone with the master bedroom being on the second floor and enjoying a parents retreat and gorgeous outlook while separate lounge rooms provide enough room for everyone to watch their favourite movies in peace and quiet. A lovely blend of hardwood timber floors, carpets and tiles have been fitted throughout along with modern blinds and ceiling fans. Gas ducted heating, Coonara and an open fire will keep you warm in winter and you can splash away in the pool ‘till your hearts content when the weather warms up. Perfect for entertaining, this home offers an abundance of options when it comes to indoor and outdoor living. A formal dining room offers a space to enjoy a dinner with friends and family while a casual meals area is the perfect place to relax around the table each weeknight. Outdoors is just like holidaying at home with its in ground pool, large expanse of decking
and a beautiful, tranquil barbecue area that is just ideal for the summer months ahead. An added bonus to this outstanding property is the separate pool house/studio which is ideal for a separate space to work
from home or an ideal teenagers retreat or in-law accommodation. With a double garage, sealed driveway with excess parking options and remote gates there is certainly something special about this home.
Jump onto Wellington Road in under 5 minutes or catch a train from one of the nearby stations – everything is at your fingertips in this perfect family friendly location. ●
HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 3 Neils Road, BELGRAVE SOUTH Description: 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 garage Price: $1,290,000 - $1,420,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Glenn Chandler, 0418 410 689 and Belinda Duivenvoorden, 0409 991 173, CHANDLER & CO REAL ESTATE, 9754 6888 16 MAIL
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
Real Estate you can trust! We ’ r e h e r e t o h e l p FOR SALE
$720,000 - $780,000
14 Edward Street Belgrave
3A 1B 1C
CHARACTER HILLS HOME ON LARGE ALLOTMENT
This delightful 1950’s weatherboard home is a rare gem, brimming with character, warmth, and charm, positioned on a large north-facing block with gorgeous, elevated treetop views. Conveniently located moments from the vibrant towns of Belgrave, Tecoma, and Upwey and the beauty of the Dandenong Ranges, this sun-filled cottage retains the appealing features of its era. Boasting high ceilings, detailed cornices, and a charming period kitchen featuring a servery and classic retro tiles.
5 Moxhams Road, MONBULK PERFECT LOCATION WITH A+ PRESENTATION
$800,000 - $880,000 4A 2B 1C
Boasting four spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms (ensuite to main bedroom), there is more than enough room for everyone. The front door leads through to the lounge room that is both spacious and separate from the other rooms allowing a little bit of peace and privacy while a large dining / TV area adjoins the modern, updated kitchen that consists of upright stove, dishwasher and plenty of bench space.
Sharyn Chandler M 0439 882 442 | E email@example.com
M 0490 506 910 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
M 0409 991 173 | E email@example.com
9 Christian Grove, KALLISTA
$990,000 - $1,050,000
FAMILY SIZED HOME WITH EXTRA LIVING OPTIONS!
4A 2B 2C
3 Neils Road BELGRAVE SOUTH SPACIOUS AND SOPHISTICATED
$1,290,000 - $1,420,000 5A 2B 2C
Sitting on the forest’s edge, on almost ½ an acre of sun filled land, this spacious, character home is an absolute Hills delight and boasts not only a fantastic family home but also a separate studio – Perfect for extended family accommodation, games room or work from home office. Large open spaces compliment the floorplan of this well designed home and allow for bedrooms on both levels, giving privacy for everyone.
Spanning over multiple levels of spacious living, this massive family home sits on ½ acre of land and boasts a versatile floorplan that is perfect for multi-generational living. Live in style and sophistication with this resort style property and enjoy the convenience of this sought after location blended with a lifestyle that only the Hills can provide.
M 0439 882 442 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
M 0418 410 689 | E email@example.com
M 0409 991 173 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
M 0409 991 173 | E email@example.com
9754 6888 1689 Burwood Highway, Belgrave VIC 3160 www.chandlerandco.com.au of firstname.lastname@example.org mailcommunity.com.au
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
8 Fairway Road, Emerald
25 Selby Aura Road, Menzies Creek
87 Main Street, Gembrook
FAIRYTALE SETTING WITH STUNNING VIEWS!
A TREE CHANGE HIDEAWAY ON 7927m2
COMMERCIAL & DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY
GUIDE $1,100,000 - $1,150,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Lana Maher 0408 535 075 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522
GUIDE $820,000 - $880,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Gayle Barrot 0408 195 767 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522
GUIDE $1,000,000 - $1,100,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522
8-10 Knight Road, Gembrook
19 Paradise Avenue, Clematis
3 Messmate Court, Emerald
ENDLESS POTENTIAL ON THE BEST BLOCK IN TOWN!
Character and charm on over 1/2 acre!
Luxury Lifestyle on 7,321m2!
GUIDE $800,000-$880,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Lana Maher 0408 535 075 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522
GUIDE $1,000,000 - $1,100,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Denise McKay 0479 184 147 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522
GUIDE $1,500,000 - $1,600,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
13-15 Town Road Gembrook
$750,000 - $825,000
6 Avon Road Avonsleigh
$1,000,000 - $1,100,000
Stunning Acre in Avonsleigh!
Privately located back from the road, this well proportioned 4-bedroom brick veneer home on almost 1 acre of flat & sunny land, with a premier Gembrook address, screams potential! The home features a spacious L shaped living and dining area and adjoining kitchen with informal meals area and access onto the rear verandah. The other end of the home comprises 4 robed bedrooms, generous laundry, main bathroom and master bedroom with walk through robe and ensuite. Outside, the home has a double garage, and a separate bungalow under roofline. The rear yard features a garden shed and various animal shelters with a number of fenced, open areas for the kids and pets to play while the adults admire the views - or maybe take advantage of the current zoning and subdivide and/or develop and reap the rewards (STCA).
Tucked away amongst beautiful established gardens is this spacious contemporary family home on a stunning acre within walking distance of Emerald Secondary and Avonsleigh Store. Formal living and dining rooms with access to beautiful alfresco areas have split system air conditioning and wood heating, and provide a great area that can be zoned away from the informal living areas so both kids and parents can have their own space. The open kitchen features white cabinetry and laminate benches and provides a workable area, especially with the large walk in pantry. There are 4 bedrooms, master with WIR and ensuite and the acre is simply stunning with its gorgeous native and exotic trees and shrubs.
Contact: Samantha Scott 0438 680 032 Declan Palmer 0427 062 148
Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994 Brennan Mileto 0422 996 451
16 Agnes Street Gembrook
$800,000 - $880,000
12 Glen Road Cockatoo
$870,000 - $940,000
Your Golden Opportunity!
Located in a quiet street on a lovely acre with gorgeous views is this 3 bedroom double brick home with a definite Mediterranean vibe and gorgeous established gardens. Featuring open plan living and dining with tiled floors and ceiling fans, plus open kitchen with plenty of cupboards all with stone/quartz benches. All areas have direct access outdoors to the rear patio adorned by 12 metres of wisteria, where creepers and vines adorn the pillars and contribute to the relaxed vibe. Additionally the home features a single carport and garden shed plus gas ducted heating and split system cooling for year round comfort.
Exciting opportunity to purchase a large family home on almost ½ acre located on a quiet no through road within a short walk to central Cockatoo. This spacious home has 4 generous bedrooms, master with ensuite & WIR, and wide wrap around verandahs capture the natural aspect from every angle. The home itself features open plan kitchen and dining, plus spacious family room with access to the alfresco entertaining area. Ducted split system heating and cooling ensure that the home stays at a comfortable temperature all year around and 3 phase power and plenty of room for a large shed makes this property ideal.
Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994 Brennan Mileto 0422 996 451
Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994 Brennan Mileto 0422 996 451
311-313 Main St, Emerald Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
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.
4 6 2
9 8 6 4 4 5 9 3 8 1 5 9
1 8 3
7 7 9 6 3 9 2 5
QUICK CROSSWORD Police officer (3) Responsiveness (11) Erected once more (7) Word formed by letters of another (7) Armed forces (8) Dove-like bird (6) Televisions (abbrev) (3) Of, or relating to, Palestine (11) Differing strikingly (11) Hearing organ (3) Its capital is Moscow (6) Force (8) Decorate food with other food (7) Sickening (7) Reminding one of something (11) Used a seat (3)
1 3 9 10 11 12 14 15 17 19 20 21 24 25 26
2 8 9 5
3 4 5 6
7 8 13 15 16 18 19 20 22 23
Rapid (5) Ecologist (10) Modern Persia (4) Forming a mental image of (9) Of, or relating to, Israel (7) Arab state (5) Aid (10) Divide into parts (9) Compass direction (9) Quack medicine (7) Absorb, immerse (7) Tennis player Federer (5) Kick out (tenants) (5) Therefore (4)
DOWN Pertaining to colour (9) Small smooth stones (7)
8 7 1 2 6 4 2 5 3 7
3 3 8 5 4
1 9 8 4 7
4 2 8 6 1 8 3 2 3
3 4 3
10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
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”.
Today’s Aim: 16 words: Good 24 words: Very good
9 7 1 4 8 3 5 6 2
6 5 4 7 1 8 3 9 2
3 7 2 5 9 4 1 6 8
32 words: Excellent
4 LETTERS APES BEST CARD CLOT CYST FEET GEAR HACK MASK MEAT PATE RIDE TENS TEST
7 4 5 2 8 6 9 1 3
1 2 3 9 7 5 4 8 6
8 6 9 4 3 1 2 5 7 1 9 6 2 7 5 3 8 4
5 LETTERS AGAIN
2 8 7 1 6 9 5 3 4
4 9 6 3 5 7 8 2 1
5 3 1 8 4 2 6 7 9
4 5 8 9 2 6 7 3 1
6 2 3 1 7 5 8 9 4
3 1 6 5 4 7 9 2 8
7 9 4 2 1 8 6 5 3
2 8 5 3 6 9 4 1 7
1 6 2 7 5 4 3 8 9
8 4 9 6 3 2 1 7 5
5 3 7 8 9 1 2 4 6
7 3 4 6 8 9 5 2 1
8 5 2 1 4 3 9 6 7
5 6 8 7 1 2 4 3 9
4 1 7 9 3 8 6 5 2
9 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 8
6 8 1 3 9 7 2 4 5
3 4 9 5 2 1 8 7 6
2 7 5 8 6 4 1 9 3
Puzzles and pagination © Pagemasters | pagemasters.com
AGENT AGILE AGLOW ASHEN ASIDE ASSET AVAIL BELIE BLISS CAPES CHIDE CHIRP COBRA DOGMA EASEL EAVES EDITS FABLE FICHE FRONT GLINT
GOOFY GRABS HARMS ISLAM LEARN LOSES MARES MERES MIRED MUFFS OBESE RABBI READY ROOTS SENSE SHARE SKIMS SLATE SLEET SLEPT SOLAR
SPORT STACK STYLE SUITE SWEAR TENSE TERMS
7 LETTERS BESEECH BETTORS FLASHER LESSENS PEASANT PENSIVE
6 LETTERS CHEATS EMERGE ENSIGN WHILST
8 LETTERS DOMINOES ENDORSED FORTIETH HABITUAL
ante, anted, anti, band, bandit, bane, bean, behind, bend, bent, bind, dean, dent, detain, dine, dint, entia, hand, hind, hint, hinted, indite, inhabit, INHABITED, neat, tend, than, thane, then, thin, thine, tine
9 1 8 6 2 3 7 4 5
3 LETTERS AGE AGO ASH AVO BEE BET CHI CPA DIP EKE EWE FEE GEE HER HES ILK INS LAD LEE MEN RAG RID TEE UGH
F P BMT DA K ROU J Z
S C X E H V QWN L Y G I
3 2 4
William Matthews Funerals FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED
24 HOUR SERVICE ALL AREAS
9739 6868 45 Cave Hill Rd, Lilydale www.williammatthewsfunerals.com.au 20 MAIL
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
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We require the services of an experienced farm Manager to run our midsize cattle farm with approximately 150 head of cattle. We are looking for someone with a hands on approach. Must have experience in the following: • Managing Staff (a small team) • Problem Solving • Tractor experience • “NLIS” records and requirements • Understanding breeding programs based on Bull and cow blood lines • Animal husbandry • Drenching cattle • Farm Maintenance, including Fencing, Plumbing, Welding etc • Mechanical Aptitude
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2021 - TOP SPORT STORIES
Heroes and milestones Football clubs will pay their respects The clash between the Bombers and the Brookers won’t be the only great battle this weekend, with an Anzac extravaganza involving a flyover of warbirds, 100 pigeons and a cannon-fire planned for Saturday’s game. With the help of generous sponsors, Emerald RSL and Emerald Football Netball Club have collaborated to organise an Anzac ‘weekend’, beginning with a pipes and drums band marching the seniors players onto the battlegrounds at Chandler Reserve oval on Saturday 24 April. An Anzac service is set to take place before the game kicks off around 2.30pm. The great clash will begin with a bang, with President of Emerald Football and Netball Club Mark Pedder confirming a cannon will be fired shortly before the starting bounce. “That will be shortly followed by a flyover of nine warbird planes,” Mr Pedder said. With reserves coming off the ground around 2pm, the Anzac commemorations, which also include a show of 100 pigeons, are expected to take place before the game kicks off at half-past. Milestone for Bonuda By Frank Seal Olinda footballer Mitch Bonuda notched up his 300th senior game in unique circumstances on Sunday 20 June. Bonuda said the 300th game came as a “relief” after having the big occasion delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. The return of community sports saw spectators locked out of local grounds meaning friends and family couldn’t be there on the day for Bonuda. “I’ve had a lot of people contacting me from all the competitions and teams I’ve played for throughout the years, it was a really nice experience and shows how far reaching the football community is,” He said. “It was a funny one, a real strange buildup to the game. People told me to have a couple weeks off to get the crowds back up, but I just wanted to get it out of the way.” High performance By Taylah Eastwell The Basin-bred Tyson Bull has been crowned the first Australian male to make an artistic gymnastics Olympics final, having secured his chance to compete in the decider at Tokyo. Bull finished fifth in the horizontal bar event last Tuesday night (3 August), and while a slip off the bar cut short his dreams of a medal, just getting there will see him remembered in history books long into the future. Speaking to the Star Mail, Bull’s mother Christine said the family were overwhelmed with pride watching their boy compete on the world stage. “It’s just overwhelming to see all of his hard work that he has put in over many years coming to fruition,” she said. Christine said the Olympics were always a dream for Tyson, who quickly established himself as a notch above the rest when he began “kinder gymnastics” at just five years of age. “We have three boys, Tyson is the youngest. We started them all at gym for coordination and balance but Tyson just loved it and kept going. He couldn’t get enough of it,” his mum said. Tyson did gymnastics at Knox Gym until age 10, when his coaches told his parents they’d need to take him to the high performance centre in Prahran due to his skill level being beyond his age. “We were travelling to Prahran five or six times a week at that stage,” Christine said. “The Olympics were always a dream of his. We took the kids away in 2000 to Stradbroke Island in Queensland and we were watching Cathy Freeman win her gold and I think that’s just always been his inspiration, he’s always wanted to win gold and bring home a medal,” she said. Having placed in the top eight at the 2019 World Championships, the thought of winning gold has been on Tyson’s mind for almost two years, with the long 10-day break between the Olympic qualifier and final only adding fuel to his fire. But it just wasn’t to be at his first Olymmailcommunity.com.au
Mitch Bonuda of Olinda Ferny Creek. 173275 pics, with the 28-year-old local falling off the bar during his routine and receiving a score of 12.466 - short of his qualifying score and personal best of 14.4333. Grand Final fever No two AFL teams have experienced more premiership droughts than Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs making it a tale never to be forgotten. While, yes, the Western Bulldogs have since brought that drought to an end, 57 years have ticked by since the Demons’ last flag in 1964. Dedicated Demons’ fan Debbie Brasher, 55, from Montrose has been waiting her whole life to experience the excitement of a grand final win. But Ms Brasher’s Demons’ spirit runs deeper than that and every inch of her house she could possibly decorate has been covered in blue and red. “Everyone knows I go all out, so this is just another all-out thing,” she said. Having bought 1500 metres of red and blue ribbon, Ms Brasher’s picket fence has been transformed into the colours of the Melbourne flag.
Canon Fire. 235193 Inside, the theatre room has been decked out with balloons, streamers and Melbourne Football Club flags. Her house isn’t the only thing that has been decorated though, with Ms Brasher donning her Melbourne socks, jacket, jumper and scarf every day since the preliminary final win. Olympic journey By Shelby Brooks In 2021, Emerald’s Amy Lawton was the youngest hockeyroo to wear the green and gold at the Tokyo Olympics. The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a blessing for Amy who was only new to the Hockeyroos at that stage. “Before Covid postponed the Olympics, I knew I was on the brink of selection but it gave me an extra opportunity to try and sharpen up on different things to put myself in the best position for selection this year,” Amy said. “Opening the email and seeing my name on the list was a huge relief and so exciting to be going to pinnacle of our event but at the same time I felt so hurt for all the girls in our squad
who didn’t make that list.” Being selected for the Olympic side meant Amy, along with her fellow teammates, did extensive heat training in Darwin to prepare them for the humid Japanese summer in what is traditionally a winter sport. Once in Japan, the Olympic Village was a highlight for Amy. “It was just so crazy,” she said. “You walk past so many athletes- you might not know who they are or what sport they are doing but you know they are elite at it. “It was a really cool feeling that the best athletes in the world are all living in this little village and seeing some of the Aussie legends like Sam Kerr and Ash Barty was awesome.” Despite the Hockeyroos having a roaring start by winning all five of their round matches, the first time in Olympic history for the Aussie girls, the team suffered a surprising and devastating loss against India in the finals. Amy returned to Perth where she is based while playing for the Hockeyroos and has set her sights on next year’s Commonweath Games. Tuesday, 11 January, 2022
Tuesday, 11 January, 2022