Mail - Ranges Trader Star Mail - 14th June 2022

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Ranges Trader

Petition starts for hydrotherapy pool

Events held in memory of storm



Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

Mail Tourism industry gathers for summit

Environmental Society marks 40 years



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Locals rewarded Veteran Sassafras-Ferny Creek fire brigade volunteer Richard Cromb has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Emerald local Graeme Legge is receiving an AM as part of the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his service to the Emerald community over seven decades.

Sharyn Mullens Taylor, Tecoma resident, founded the Fresh Theatre for Social Change, and will be awarded an OAM for her service to amateur theatre.

OAM recipient Donna Markham has worked in the healthcare industry for over 18 years.

over 20 years, and it’s really nice for it to be recognised,” she said. At the young age of 15, Emerald-based vol-

unteer Graeme Legge was exposed to the joys of volunteering and there was no turning back - this year, he has been awarded an AM

as part of the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours. For more on these stories, turn to page 7 through 10

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Locals from the Dandenong Ranges have been acknowledged on the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list and recognised for their service to the community. From firefighters and health professionals to amateur theatre and volunteering, with different backgrounds and life experiences, the Star Mail spoke to recipients to gather their reactions after attaining this achievement. Veteran Sassafras-Ferny Creek fire brigade volunteer Richard Cromb has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal, which recognises distinguished service by men and women in Australia’s fire service organisations. Richard has been a volunteer member of the brigade since he was a teenager and is well-known and respected in the Hills community. “I am still a bit shocked by this award to tell you the truth,” Mr Cromb said. “But I am also both appreciative and very humbled.” Donna Markham, Menzies Creek local, received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to health administration after more than 18 years working in healthcare. “I cried. There was a mixture of feeling really privileged and honoured, as well as embarrassed, undeserving and exhilarated all at once,” she said. Founder of Fresh Theatre for Social Change and Tecoma resident Sharyn Mullens Taylor received her OAM for service to amateur theatre. “I was very humbled and felt deeply appreciative of the opportunity to see the work that we do have more exposure, because we’ve been plugging away at the work we do for


RBA raises rate by 50 pts By Parker McKenzie Residents in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley may soon feel the pinch with the Reserve Bank of Australia announcing an increase in interest rates. At a meeting on 7 June, the RBA board decided to increase the cash rate target by 50 basis points. RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in an online statement inflation in Australia has increased significantly. “Today’s increase in interest rates by the Board is a further step in the withdrawal of the extraordinary monetary support that was put in place to help the Australian economy during the pandemic,” he said. “The resilience of the economy and the higher inflation mean that this extraordinary

Homeowners in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley may feel the pinch from an increase in interest rates. Picture: ON FILE support is no longer needed. “Given the current inflation pressures in the economy, and the still very low level of interest rates, the Board decided to move by 50 basis points today.”

The cash rate is the interest rate on unsecured overnight loans between banks. It serves as the benchmark rate for mortgages, savings accounts and exchange rates. The Australian economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 and 3.3 per cent over the last year. Employment has also grown significantly, with an unemployment rate of 3.9 per cent representing the lowest in almost 50 years. Head of Consumer Research at Finder Graham Cooke said the cash rate hike could cost homeowners almost $2,000 over a year. “The average homeowner will see their monthly repayments jump by $159, equivalent to $1,907 per year from this increase alone, with more to come,” he said. “The past few years have seen a huge number of buyers flood into the market, with rock-

bottom interest rates. Those days are certainly over.” The cash rate is expected to be raised further throughout the year and 2023. Mr Lowe said the board would be paying close attention to the global and domestic outlook when making a decision on raising or lowering the rate. “While inflation is lower than in most other advanced economies, it is higher than earlier expected. Global factors, including Covid-related disruptions to supply chains and the war in Ukraine, account for much of this increase in inflation,” he said. “But domestic factors are playing a role too, with capacity constraints in some sectors and the tight labour market contributing to the upward pressure on prices. The floods earlier this year have also affected some prices.”

Attracting health workers By Tyler Wright

Legislation was introduced to Victorian Parliament yesterday to assist ratepayers. Picture: ON FILE

New bill for rate payers By Tyler Wright New legislation introduced in Victorian Parliament yesterday is designed to support Victorian property owners by ensuring councils implement fairer financial hardship policies. The Local Government Amendment (Rating Reform and Other Matters) Bill 2022, introduced by Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane, will explicitly define financial hardship and require early engagement from councils with ratepayers. Councils will also no longer be able to use debt collectors or pursue legal action which can result in homes being sold to pay back debts to council - unless ratepayers refuse to engage and all other options have been exhausted. “Good hardship relief schemes strike a balance where the rate burden is shared while ensuring people in hardship are not driven further into debt or out of their homes,” Minister Leane said. Ranges First National real estate agent Mick Dolphin said while he has not witnessed ratepayers selling up due to financial hardship, he expects the proposed law would be beneficial with the rising cost of living.

“[The issue] might be more prevalent in areas where a lot more first home buyers buy, so perhaps places like Pakenham or Officer,” Mr Dolphin said. “I think it’s good timing to bring something like that in because I think everyone’s going to have a little bit less money in their pocket to spend on things.” The Bill comes following the release of the Local Government Rating System Review and the Ombudsman’s ‘Investigation into how local councils respond to ratepayers in financial hardship’ report, which found that people who were struggling to pay their rates were often meet with debt collectors, high penalty interest and in some cases costly litigation. Councils will also be limited in using Magistrate’s Court orders for recovering unpaid rates in situations where rates or charges have not been paid for two years or more. For more information on the Local Government Rating System Review visit To view the ‘Investigation into how local councils respond to ratepayers in financial hardship’ report visit au/our-impact/investigation-reports.

The Victorian Government has announced a $353 million package to support the state’s healthcare workers and attract critically important staff, as the industry struggles to staff night shifts. The Healthcare Worker Winter Retention and Surge Payment, announced on Thursday 9 June, will offer payment of $3,000 to all staff working in public hospitals and ambulance services - including nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health professionals, paramedics, ward clerks and patient services assistants. Associate Professor Donna Markham, former Chief Allied Health Officer and Menzies Creek resident, said it is important to recognise and reward Victoria’s healthcare workers and the critical care they provide everyday. “They are the backbone of our community and they have been going above and beyond to care for all of us since day one of the pandemic; COVID-19 has shone a spot light on an existing issue - the need for us to care for the health and well-being of our healthcare workers,” Assoc Prof Markham said. “We can only give what we have, and I hope that healthcare workers use this retention and surge payment to invest in their own well-be-

ing, so they can continue to provide the care they are so good at doing.” The package will also include free meals for workers who put their hands up to work overnight from July until the end of the year. “We know the next few months will be tough for our hospitals and paramedics as they continue to battle COVID, the flu and increasing demand. These measures are designed to improve the day-to-day working environment for workers on the frontline,” Parliamentary Secretary for Health Steve McGhie said. To be eligible for the full package, workers will need to be employed by a public health service by 1 July and still be employed on 30 September. The payments will be made in two rounds, one after 15 August and one after 30 September. Those who start between 1 July and 30 September will be eligible for a pro-rata payment, providing an added incentive to help attract more staff to our public hospitals. “Our people are our health system’s greatest asset and this is just one way for us to recognise and support their efforts and ensure nurses, doctors, paramedics, allied health and support staff are there when we need them most,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Victorian healthcare workers will be able to access a $3,000 payment as part of a government program to retain and attract critical staff. Picture: ON FILE

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Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Push for local pool By Tyler Wright

Tragic end

Cockatoo residents say the heated pool at Pakenham’s Cardinia Life recreation centre does not have the same impact as a purpose-built hydrotherapy pool. Picture: ON FILE to get as much hydrotherapy into you as you can…I’ve got artificial joints and they need work, and if you ‘don’t use it you’ll lose it,” Rob said. “Rather than pack up the health system that’s under all sorts of pressure...I’d rather do it naturally, have some fun and meet new people,” the Cockatoo local said. A Cardinia Shire Council spokesperson told the Star Mail there are “no plans at this stage” to build a hydrotherapy pool in Cockatoo and a petition had not yet been presented to local government.

“Cardinia Life in Pakenham has a warm water pool with a temperature that sits between 32-34 degrees. This pool is much hotter than a standard swimming pool which sits at an average 28 degrees. A typical hydrotherapy pool will usually be between 33-36 degrees, therefore users of the warm water pool at Cardinia Life may achieve the same benefits in comparison to a hydrotherapy pool,” the spokesperson said. “Council is committed to continuing to work with our aging community towards the shared goal of better overall health.”

Council transfers to care to new provider


As of 1 July 2022, in-home aged care services will be out of the jurisdiction of Yarra Ranges Council. Picture: ON FILE


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The search for a missing Knox woman has ended tragically, after Victoria Police and SES units found her deceased in Sherbrooke Forest. SES crews and Victoria police searched the vicinity after her car was discovered at 6am on Friday 10 June in a carpark near Sherbrooke Forest. The 43-year-old woman was last seen alive at 12pm on Wednesday 8 June. Victoria Police said on Wednesday they and her family were becoming increasingly concerned about her welfare due to a medical condition and her disappearance being out of character. Police blocked off access to Sherbrooke Road and deployed search dogs and aerial drones as they searched the nearby area. The deceased woman was found around 12pm on Friday after an extensive search.

Breast screening The Victorian Government yesterday announced the locations of an additional eight permanent BreastScreen Victoria services across the state. The new services are part of a $20 million boost in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 – delivering breast screening services to an additional 36,000 eligible Victorians every year by 2026. Five new permanent breast screening services in the Local Government Areas of Whittlesea, Casey, Greater Geelong/Surf Coast Shire, Melton and Moreland will be established progressively, with all completed by January 2025. Three temporary sites in Craigieburn (Hume), Pakenham (Cardinia) and Hoppers Lane (Wyndham) will also be converted into permanent sites with greater capacity. The funding will support the expansion of BreastScreen Victoria’s Reading and Assessment services (RAS) in Parkville and Monash. It will also support strategies designed to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women accessing services.

Covid cases


Following a decision made by Yarra Ranges Council in August 2021, domestic assistance, personal and respite care, individual social support, home modifications and property maintenance (lawn mowing and gutter cleaning) will be in the hands of Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH), MiCare and Uniting AgeWell as of 1 July 2022. Aged and Disability Services clients were notified of this change in September 2021, made to reflect changes to the aged care sector. In the coming days, all clients will be receiving a letter informing them of their new provider and will be contacted directly by their new provider to discuss their ongoing arrangements for services. If affected individuals would like more information on the transition, please contact Yarra Ranges Council on 1300 368 333 and ask to speak to an Aged and Disability Services Information and Navigation Support Officer.

Emerald and Clematis fire brigades were onscene at a major Diesel spill in Emerald on the evening of Monday 6 June. The spill ran from Cardinia Reservoir to Woolworths, where CFA were required to close Belgrave-Gembrook Road at Emerald-Monbulk Road. There were major traffic delays in the area and roads were extremely slippery. Emerald CFA is advising residents to take care on the roads and drive slowly as with wet weather, roads are already slippery, and an incident like this adds to the pressure.

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There are 444 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria – with 17 active cases in ICU, including six on a ventilator, and an additional six cleared cases in ICU. 6,265,307 vaccine doses have been administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services, with 386 doses administered yesterday at state-run centres. 67.9 percent of Victorians aged 16 and over have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 94.6 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have had two doses. 5,079 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Sunday 12 June. This includes 4,008 who tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Test and 1,071 who returned a positive result on a PCR test.


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Cockatoo locals are calling for a public hydrotherapy pool to be built in their town to assist with rehabilitation for an aging population. Chris Thompson, who has been involved in township committees and the Cockatoo RSL, started the petition through ‘Petitions. net’ and said the closest hydrotherapy pool used by those in the area is located at Boronia’s Knox Leisureworks, roughly a 40 minute drive away. “It’s a real stretch, because most of the time if you’re not well or you’re on medication you’ve got to get someone to take you, and I stopped using it because I had trouble driving there on my own and back,” Chris said. “[The petition] was an idea out of frustration, because going to Boronia two or three times a week, if I can’t get there, is a real pain… “It’s something that can be easily incorporated into smaller sections of the community and reach quite a wide variety of people; from children to mother’s birth classes; right up to the rehab side of things and disability support - they don’t have to be huge complexes.” The resident is proposing the pool, which would sit at an average temperature of 33-36 degrees and filtered differently to a standard public pool, be incorporated into Cardinia Shire Council’s Alma Treloar Reserve and replace the current scout hall. Rob Butterworth is 70 years old and uses hydrotherapy treatment to give him “more mobility and freedom”. He used to use Boronia’s hydrotherapy pool which has now become “out of reach,” and said the heated pool at Pakenham’s Cardinia Life recreation centre does not give him the “same result” as a purpose-build rehabilitation service. “[Health professionals] all recommend

Diesel spill

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Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Community is paramount By Tyler Wright

A cuppa, chat, food and bonfires at community hubs have been the recent go-to for storm recovery. each other and acknowledge that it happened and see that we’re okay.” Local group Mums of the Hills have also been trying to get people back together again after restrictions and last year’s storm event which saw community members and families separated. “There have been Creative Sundays where we’ve got people that love to crochet, knit and do crafts...other groups have come together around writing...we’ve got active MoThs for people that are wanting to find other people that want to get fit or enjoy sports together,” MoThs founder Belinda Young said. Ms Young said financial pressures, finding accommodation and family violence have been major issues throughout the Dandenong Ranges as a result of the pandemic and weather events. Connectivity is still high on the agenda for MotHs, with the group writing a submission to a national telecommunications audit calling

Community in the Dandenong Ranges banded together after the June storm event to provide relief. Pictures: SUPPLIED

for the NBN to become an essential service. “If they don’t have things completed quickly, there is no ombudsman for the NBN; so there is no way for people to raise their concerns,” Ms Young said. “Because the NBN Co is a wholesaler, not a retailer - we’re the customer, however, we’re effectively one removed - we’ve got the retailer in the middle that prevents us from actually contacting NBN and complaining.” Nia Beardsley said governing bodies need to step in and get involved in the process of recovery alongside residents. “It’s not the people who own these houses - it’s not their fault that a once in a 100 year storm came through the roof... they spend their days running around, waiting on phone calls and waiting on the Council and waiting on permits and waiting for insurance ... and it must be incredibly painful to be in that situation,” she said.

Melissa Doerre, Belinda Young and Suzanne Jenkin from Mums of the Hills, are bringing the community together after the June storm event and pandemic restrictions. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS


Residents across the Hills are still in the healing process one year on from last year’s devastating June storm event and groups are still inforcing the importance of community togetherness The Kalorama Collective, formed immediately after the storm to provide meals, showers and supplies to those in need, and is now holding monthly dinners at Olinda Community House to facilitate conversations, laughter and support. “We know that local people and local knowledge will help support the resilience and the ongoing drive that people need to feel like they can continue as ‘normal’,” Kalorama Collective chairperson Nia Beardsley said. “Things have changed dramatically up here we do live in a very different Hills space, we all know people who’ve lost their homes and been displaced, are struggling with the ongoing impacts, the financial impacts, the trauma impacts the pressures of just every day and the feelings of isolation, because throughout all [that] time we had restrictions,” The group has been holding recycle and repair cafe events to try and skill share and combine local knowledge, and Nia said attendance at the new monthly dinners doubled from the first catch up to the second. “To be able to build your community connections, your relationships and know who your neighbours are, will help start to lead that recovery journey that is going to be so very crucial up here to making sure that we can come back better than where we were beforehand,” she said. “There’s a recognition that we have all experienced a very big unique situation together [people are coming] out and starting to talk to

We’re removing level crossings on the Belgrave and Lilydale lines As part of Victoria’s Big Build, we’re removing 85 dangerous and congested level crossings, with 64 already gone. Train disruptions: Buses replace trains in both directions

Road disruptions: Closed roads

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Tuesday, 14 June, 2022


Council reflects on storm By Parker McKenzie One year ago on Thursday, 177 properties in the Yarra Ranges were damaged and 76 were made uninhabitable when thousands of trees fell across the region. The damage bill for Yarra Ranges Council, more than $16 million, continues to grow as recovery continues throughout the area. Mayor Jim Child said one year on was an appropriate time to reflect on the work of emergency responders and the community’s recovery. “It was a crisis that tested us beyond belief but people in this region are resilient, and we know how to look after each other,” he said. “Not only were we dealing with the storm and subsequent damage, but we were impacted by Covid lockdowns and restrictions, and then the added loss of power, telecommunications and no water. “An absolute stand out for me looking back was how the community came together to support each other in their times of need and how they continue to work hard going forward, making sure that there are opportunities to connect and spend time together supporting each other.” Yarra Ranges Council cleared more than 300 kilometres of roads and 645 drains and fixed two bridges and 175 defects on roads or

Trees cover a house in the Dandenongs. Picture: LILYDALE SES footpaths in the aftermath of the storm. Streeton Ward Councillor Andrew Fullagar said one year on from the storm represented a melancholy day of reflection for him personally. “I still think it’s a wonderful privilege to live in the hills, for many of us it’s the best place in the world,” he said. “But with that privilege comes consequences and risks. What happened last year, one of those risks came home to roost.” Chandler Ward Councillor David Eastham said Yarra Ranges Council learns from and

evolves its practices with each significant disaster. “We put new things in place and what I would say this time is, I genuinely feel that it’s a very community-led recovery,” he said. “I just think that’s brilliant. Do I think that the recovery has been perfect? No, but that’s not through a lack of trying by council.” Yarra Ranges Council also introduced Community Recovery teams and held support sessions and counselling for those affected by the storms. Mr Fulligar said the community is still in the recovery process, which will be a long term challenge. “Hopefully we’ve learned a lot and we’re keen to establish emergency plans for townships and communities,” he said. “What do we do better next time to help each other and be in a better place? Things like communications and possibly a new SES unit in Olinda.” Mr Eastham, whose ward includes part of Olinda and Monbulk, said he was pleased to see support for a new SES unit in the region from state politics. “From an outsider’s perspective it looks as if there is that need for more resources and another facility out this way,” he said. “When I saw that announcement I was quite pleased, a number of friends and also my

own partner have been volunteers in the SES and I know how busy they are.” State Government departments have allocated funds for recovery projects to Yarra Ranges Council and to prepare for future disasters. Bushfire Recovery Victoria provided the council with $3.5 million to cover 12 of the staffing costs for the department that coordinates the recovery. Emergency Management Victoria has provided $7.7 million towards the initial emergency response and tree removal, and the Department of Justice and Community Safety provided $2 million for a curbside branch collection program. Mayor Child said Yarra Ranges Council now has ten facilities with internet satellites and eight with generators for use during emergencies. “We have received $10 million from the Federal Government from the Preparing Australian Communities fund and we have a wide variety of programs being planned and undertaken as part of this. More information on those programs can be found on our website,” he said. “Responding in an emergency is as much about preparation and planning as it is about the actual response and clean-up itself.” 15,500 residents attended relief hubs set up by council in the month after the storm.

Recovery ongoing, ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’ By Tyler Wright Community driven storm recovery was at the forefront of discussion at Olinda Community House on Friday 10 June as Dandenong Ranges residents shared stories one year on from the life-changing storm event which also ravaged the wider Yarra Valley. Hills Creative Alliance Secretary Liz Millman, alongside Olinda Community House Community Development Lead Krystal Bassett, organised the ‘Community Resilience and Recovery Talk’ with lived experience community development practitioner Michelle Dunscombe. Locals shared tea, coffee and cake in a seated circle while Ms Dunscombe drew on her experience in the Kinglake community after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. “There’s no time more important than when we’re in recovery in the community to be able to come together, work together and collaborate,” Ms Dunscombe said. “You will have all experienced that spike of absolute community connectedness [within] the first fortnight after the storms; and it’s about how we capture that and keep that momentum going.” Vicar at Kalorama’s St Michael and All Angels’ Anglican Church Rev. Andrew Smith joined the event, alongside a local arborist, councillors, Emerald and Olinda residents. “The biggest lessons that I have learned have been from people that have been involved, told their stories and said, ‘actually, I can do this’ or ‘I know this person,’ or ‘did you know I had this,’ Rev. Smith said. “I think the biggest example to me of that was just the number of generators that started appearing... there were people that were getting up [the mountain] and getting that stuff to us, and that was through local connections and resources, and the government and agencies didn’t have that, but [we did],” he said.

Dandenong Ranges locals gathered at a storytelling event on Friday 10 June to hear from lived experience community development practitioner Michelle Dunscombe. Pictures: TYLER WRIGHT David, arborist and member of grassroots group ‘Treasuring Our Trees,’ said he found community groups have come together “organically” over the past 12 months. “We’ve been salvaging materials since the storm to build primary school projects,” David said. “There’s another group called Rescue Logs in the Hills... we’re now looking at sourcing materials as we’re building strong relationships with arborists and sculptors.” Michelle Dunscombe talked through the ‘ABCD’ principles of community recovery; focusing on the ‘gifts of the community,’ tapping into existing resources and facilities, dismantling the idea of one local ‘hero,’ and acknowledging the efforts of a collective. “What we found in recovery is we were encouraged to work against each other. And what I mean by that is there was so much competition for grants, there was a lot of ‘who was affected, who wasn’t affected’, there

were systems bought in place that identified whether you lost your home, whether you didn’t lose your home, [if] you lost family, and labeling people [like that] was really quite damaging,” Ms Dunscombe said. An Emerald resident said there are often professional skills to be found within community volunteers which can be utilised without solely having to rely on designated bodies. “They have an investment in making [recovery] successful for the community because they’re part of [it],” she said at the meeting. Another piece of advice from Ms Dunscombe was for all existing community groups to combine resources and plans to combine strength, rather than forging an individualized approach. “Kinglake is aflush with sewing machines, because different groups went and applied for funding... all along the neighbourhood

Food and refreshments were enjoyed while sharing in a seated circle at Olinda Community House. house had a cupboard full of sewing machines,” the community development practitioner said. “My community looks back now. and thinks ‘gosh, I wish we had collected and celebrated all of the great things that we did do, because we forget when we get bogged down in the negative, particularly when we’re battling with insurance companies or changing regulations.” She also reminded attendees healing from trauma is not a linear process - and it is okay to feel as if you are behind others in the emotional and mental recovery process. Yarra Ranges Council’s one-year anniversary grants have helped community hubs hold information sessions and recovery talks such as this. To find more information on anniversary events, visit https://www.yarraranges.vic.

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Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Time for cuppa and chat

Kalorama was one of the worst-hit areas in the June 2021 storm weather event.

Picture: ON FILE

CFA extends invite By Parker McKenzie Kalorama Fire Brigade will host a catch-up session with the local community on Sunday 19 June, one year on from the storms which devasted the area. Held on the corner of Ridge Road and Falls Road, residents will have the chance to chat and catch up with local brigade members who assisted through the June 9 storm weather event in 2021 between 1pm and 5pm. Kalorama Fire Brigade Captain Bill Robin-

son said the local area was one of the worst-hit in the 2021 storm event. “While we are not directly involved in the recovery process, the clean-up continues and is expected to take some time,” he said. “For us, it’s about ensuring we continue to engage with our local community and maintain those strong relationships we have built.” With the event happening just over a year after the devastating June storms, residents in Kalorama and Mt Dandenong will have the

opportunity to meet and discuss with the fire brigade. “The Fire Brigade Catch Up on June 19 is one of many opportunities to engage directly with our community and to see how everyone is feeling one year on from the storms,” Mr Robinson said. “It also gives us a chance to educate the community about potential fire risks this winter, such as heaters and chimneys.” Coffee and snacks will be supplied.

Community members have come together to participate in support sessions with specialist disaster psychologists one year on from the catastrophic storm event which impacted the Dandenong Ranges. Residents met at Kalorama’s Karwarra Gardens today to have a quiet chat, cup of tea and some cakes or soup in a session organised by Yarra Ranges Council with support from Anglicare, Windermere, EACH and Inspiro. “An absolute stand out for me looking back was how the community came together to support each other in their times of need and how they continue to work hard going forward, making sure that there are opportunities to connect and spend time together supporting each other,” Yarra Ranges Mayor Councillor Jim Child said. Council also received $190,000 from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing which has funded a number of support sessions with specialist disaster psychologists and a program of activities that support the most impacted community and is working closely with other agencies that have received state funding to refer residents who might benefit from specific case-management support. Community events held by Yarra Ranges Council will also be located at Sassafras Hall on Thursday 9 June and Mt Evelyn Community House. “There are also a wide variety of community events taking place across the area ranging from BBQs to tree plantings. Council’s website has more details,” Mayor Jim Child said.

The abuse of older people is hard to talk about. Often, it’s committed by a family member. It could be a daughter, a son, or a loved one. Too many older people suffer in silence. Elder abuse is a form of family violence and it is unacceptable. What starts out small doesn’t always stay that way. Elder abuse is hard to picture, but it happens every day. For further information and for independent advice, contact: Seniors Rights Victoria – 1300 368 821 1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732 Men’s Referral Service – 1300 766 491 If you are concerned for your immediate safety or that of someone else, please contact the police in your state or territory or call Triple Zero (000) for emergency services. For more information, please visit




Tuesday, 14 June, 2022


Theatre makes an impact By Tyler Wright When Tecoma local Sharyn Mullens Taylor received an email confirming she had been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to amateur theatre, she forwarded the email to her partner because to confirm if what she was reading was real. “I was very humbled and felt deeply appreciative of the opportunity to see the work that we do have more exposure, because we’ve been plugging away at the work we do for over 20 years, and it’s really nice for it to be recognised,” Ms Mullens Taylor said. In 2002, Ms Mullens Taylor founded Fresh Theatre for Social Change, established to engage youth in crisis in personal development through theatre. “It’s actually about engaging young people in the characters and the stories and the devising of theater together - we start to unpack some of the issues and traumas and celebrations and hopes that the young people that we work with have,” Ms Mullens Taylor said. Children from age 10 to young adults 18 years of age have access to the theatre, which Ms Mullens Taylor herself created when she was 20 years old and completing a Performing Arts degree. It was through the dramatist’s engagement with youth drop-in centres that she saw the need for a permanent space where young people could feel safe. “50 per cent of the young people we work with are referred from agencies and organisations that work with young people in crisis. Our ratio used to be a lot higher than that, we used to say 80 per cent, but then we found that there were lots of young people that just wanted to come along and engage in a personal development program,” Ms Mullens Taylor said. “We’re a non-profit and we have what’s called a $10 negotiable fee, which pays for afternoon tea and dinner for the young people in the theaters. If they can’t pay, they don’t pay... It’s not it’s not a drama program that they need to pay fees for.” Fresh Theatre for Social Change have partnered with various bodies over the years, including Whittlesea City Council, Ringwood Uniting Church and organisations in the Manningham municipality, who will host the theatre’s mainstage productions; semi professional performances and verbatim work which is inspired by stories and experiences. “A few years ago, we did that around family violence and we explored the stories of people that had contact with family violence; from young people in our theaters, to perpetrators that we developed some theatre with, with police officers and social workers, and formulated that into a theater performance with the aim of communicating the complexities of the issue in more depth, in that family violence isn’t just about someone being hit at home, there’s lots of things like coercion and it’s not always about physical violence,” the founder said. “We did a series of projects with the primary schools affected by the Black Saturday fires. We did a trauma recovery program called Getting Changed which explored how things happen to us and change us, and sometimes we have

From L to R: Mark Anderson, Troy Larkin, Carly Cassidy and Sharyn Mullens Taylor from the Fresh Theatre. control over that, but sometimes we don’t, and [helped students] work through some of their experiences.” The funds raised from these mainstage productions, which have partly managed to continue during the pandemic, are injected back into theatre works and projects. “Our community’s really large and really passionate, and there are still young people that attended the theater 20 years ago, that are now in their late 30s that still come back to all our mainstage productions and support us in any way they can,” Ms Mullens Taylor said. “There’s also family members like parents and friends of young people that have been through our theatre programs that come back as well people who like what we do and are supporters of us; so it’s been a fantastic journey.” Having had Covid-19 interrupt the theatre company’s 20th anniversary celebrations in 2020, the executive director is looking forward to inviting past students back and welcoming the multiple generations of theatre participants. “There’s something very significant about theatre, and the thing that that the arts offers is healthy risk taking; [youth] have this opportunity to fall and be caught by a community that has a culture... of caring and support. Young people having an opportunity to express themselves and have their voice heard, particularly if they’re young people who have felt very silenced or minimized in their lives, is really transformational,” she said. Fresh Theatre for Social Change is run by an advisory board, an executive director, administrator and artistic director, a director for each individual theatre, along with pastoral carers. “When it comes down to production time... family and friends of young people we work with [are who] we try and get on board to help us out with doing makeup for a show or helping out sewing some things for costumes “Sometimes contact a local Men’s Shed, and they might build us a little bit of set, or we need something specifically built. So we try and tap into what’s available in the community” “We get [youth] sometimes at the most difficult point of crisis in their lives, and the way they have dedicated themselves to working through the issues that they’re facing, whether that’s through art or sport, they’ve chosen to do that through the program we run, and I really enjoy those opportunities when they come back to our main stage shows or productions to see what they’re doing and celebrate the journey they’ve been on.”

Networking Breakfast Keynote Speaker:

Former AFL player and mental health advocate Wayne Schwass Join former AFL player and mental health advocate Wayne Schwass to hear the importance of looking after your mental health and how doing so can benefit your business. Cardinia-based business owners who attend can receive a complimentary ticket for their partner, colleague, staff member or friend!


Date: Time: Venue:


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One of Fresh Theatre for Social Change’s main stage productions during the pandemic. Pictures: SUPPLIED

Wednesday 22 June 2022 6.45am - 9.00am Cardinia Cultural Centre (40 Lakeside Boulevard, Pakenham)

Bookings and information:


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Passionate CFA member Veteran Sassafras-Ferny Creek fire brigade volunteer Richard Cromb has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours. The AFSM recognises distinguished service by men and women in Australia’s fire service organisations. Richard has been a volunteer member of the brigade since he was a teenager and is well-known and respected throughout the Hills community. Joining the brigade in 1970, he served in various roles for 20 years before becoming Captain in 1989. He performed this leadership role with distinction for over a decade, relinquishing it when he joined the staff of the Country Fire Authority as an instructor in 1999. Richard oversaw the response to the tragic 1997 fires which tore through Ferny Creek and other parts of the Dandenongs on 21 January that year. It was his passion for training and preparation that meant the brigade was able to respond safely and skilfully, ensuring that all crews came home without significant injury. “I am still a bit shocked by this award to tell you the truth,” Mr Cromb said. “But I am also both appreciative and very humbled.” “The brigade and the CFA have been such a huge part of my life...this honour belongs just as much to my brigade friends and colleagues.” Richard’s service has previously been recognised through a National Service medal. He is a Life Member of both the brigade and the CFA. Next week he will receive a CFA service medal marking 50 years as a member. Richard has lived locally for most of his life, originally apprenticed and working as a

Richard Cromb has been a CFA staff member for over 20 years and has been acknowledged on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Picture: SUPPLIED plumber with Geo. Clarkson and Sons in Sassafras. He was also involved in Scouting at 1st Ferny Creek for several years. Richard’s initiative in pushing for the creation of a junior fire brigade at Sassafras in 1971 recognised – in a very different era – the limited social opportunities available to young

people in a small, then semi-rural community. More importantly, it led local youths to become engaged in a community service and to learn about fire in a locality with a significant bushfire risk and history. In over 20 years as a CFA staff member, Richard has continued to develop and demonstrate with enormous passion the skills he

first showed as a volunteer. As an instructor he has specialised in driving and pump operation, developing extensive training packages for new CFA firefighting vehicles. His knowledge and dedication to this role have seen more than 100 new CFA drivers trained across the local CFA district and beyond over the past three years alone.

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Tuesday, 14 June, 2022


High honour for volunteer By Jamie Salter Dedicated volunteer Graeme Legge is receiving an AM as part of the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his service to the Emerald community over seven decades. At the young age of 15, Graeme was exposed to the joys of volunteering and there was no turning back. “On a hot summers night I was walking home and the fire siren went, so I jogged to the fire station and sort of hung around before the crew came and called out ‘well are you coming or aren’t you?’ so I jumped onto the back of the fire truck,” he said. A life member of the Emerald Fire Brigade since 2013, Graeme spent 10 years as secretary, 12 years as captain and is now vice-president. “I ended up joining the Geelong City Fire Brigade which proved admirable help in my education about fire. We had formal training sessions and I remember sitting there taking notes on how a breathing apparatus and fire extinguishers work,” Graeme said. “We had marching competitions for formal occasions like a funeral, life memberships and champion fireman competitions which I brought over to Emerald.” A compassionate and caring man, giving back to the community was a principle instilled into Graeme from a young age. “On Sundays I went to church and learnt the story of the good Samaritan helping other people, at school the next day I saluted the flag and said ‘I serve the Queen and cheerfully obey’ and at Scouts I made the promise to help other people at all times - that message was reinforced.” Graeme joined the Queens Scout Association and remains a member to this day. “Scouts encourages people to look outside of themselves to be loyal to the country we will in and to help other people,” he said. He was selected to represent his school by the Sun newspaper for a travel program and journeyed to England in 1951 where he met the Duke And Duchess Of Gloucester at St. James’ Palace. “As we were walking around the Duke said ‘You Victorian school boys would be interested in this painting’ and it was the original painting of the opening of Federal Parliament in the Royal Exhibition Building in 1901 and I was viewing it 50 years later. Another 50 years on, there was a centenary event in the Exhibition Building and I was invited as mayor at the time.” In 1983, Graeme got involved in the Emerald and District Ambulance Auxiliary as the community became concerned with lengthy wait times for ambulances which travelled to Emerald from Ferntree Gully. Graeme worked to start an ambulance branch in Emerald which was co-housed in the fire brigade for about three years and nine months. “There was community put in effort to create an ambulance branch here - we were so keen that we ended up paying 50 per cent of the cost for a new premises instead of the 30 per cent required,” he said. He said the two organisations co-existed but there were little mishaps now and then. “I failed to tell the Ladies Auxiliary of the fire brigade there was an ambulance officer sleeping under the billiards table at the fire station because he had a night call out and he was surprised to see a bunch of ladies about to step into the room to hold their meeting,” Graeme said. “He sat up abruptly and banged his head on the table.” The Emerald community recognised Graeme’s selfless dedication and suggested he stand for council in Cardinia Shire. Graeme was a councillor from 1997 to 2012 and had multiple stints as mayor before he was bestowed the Mayor Emeritus Award from the Municipal Association of Victoria. “I enjoyed people getting together and agreeing on what was needed - leading to projects coming about in the community,” he said.

Graeme Legge is a Queen’s Birthday Honours recipient. 284998 He was awarded Emerald Citizen of the Year in 2020 and Senior Citizen of the Year in 2015. In 1989, Graeme became Justice of the Peace and was recognised as a fellow of the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices in 2016. He gained a Master of Divinity and continues to lead a church service once a month at Gembrook Uniting Church. Graeme worked as a teacher for 40 years across Emerald State School, Monbulk Primary and then Upway Primary before coming back to Emerald. With a fascination for local history and a love of putting pen to paper, Graeme wrote books about the history of Emerald’s ambulance service and the centenary of Emerald schools, and is set to publish a book about his experience with Scouts Victoria. “The local group member contacted people who had been scouts to record their experiences and that encouraged me to go through trunks of memorabilia and folders of newspaper clippings and photos and I put it all together and realised the progression of things, so that led to my formal writing,” Graeme said. Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2003, Graeme was delighted to be acknowledge with an AM about 20 years later. “It’s a real thrill and an encouragement,” he said. “It’s recognition for ongoing involvement in the community across my span of life.” At 86 years old, Graeme doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. “I cherish the community,” Graeme said. “We’re richer when the community has a certain outlook - which is helping one another when the need is there - whether it’s at the local football team or something like Rotary. “If we didn’t have that, our lives would be diminished considerably.”

ng from Fire gi er Em Photography exhibition Calling for photography submissions for the upcoming exhibition, Emerging from Fire – a reflection on the Bunyip Complex Fires of March 2019. Submissions are open to anyone who captured the fire event – or its impacts on the community and the environment – during the response, relief, regeneration, or recovery phases. The Emerging from Fire exhibition will be held at Cardinia Cultural Centre. Submissions close 11.59pm Sunday 3 July.

For more info and to submit your photos: 12553920-SN24-22

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Mixed feelings for Donna By Tyler Wright A Menzies Creek resident has been celebrated on the Queen’s Birthday honours list for her service to health administration over more than 18 years. The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) recognises Australian citizens, and other persons, for outstanding achievement and service within their community, who are nominated by another member of the public and considered by the Council for the Order of Australia. “I cried. There was a mixture of feeling really privileged and honoured, as well as embarrassed, undeserving and exhilarated all at once,” Donna Markham, occupational therapist by training and former adjunct associate professor said. Working at Monash Health early in her career, Ms Markham assumed the role of Chief Allied Health Officer and has also sat as Chair and Member of various committees including the Aboriginal Health Partnership Board Subcommittee and Primary Care and Population Health Committee - all of which have allowed her to connect with various communities. “I was a finalist for the Telstra Victorian Young Business Women’s Award in 2014 when I was 33, so that was a pretty big high for me as well,” Ms Markham said. After having her two children, Ms Markham moved into work within the Victorian Government as the Chief Allied Health Officer for quality and safety agency Safer Care Victoria, leading in that role throughout the pandemic. “While I was there, I was the Executive Lead for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, so I was heavily involved in the implementation of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria - that was a pretty incredible

Donna Markham, Menzies Creek local and Allied Health professional has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday list. experience,” Ms Markham said. “In health care, you’re often really privileged to interact with [people] at a time that

they’re quite vulnerable, so it is a very privileged time and opportunity to be to be able to support someone...

With the [Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board] my role was very much at that system level, but to know that I was a part of a system that gave people the choice to end their life at a time and choosing of their own; that’s pretty amazing stuff.” More recently the Menzies Creek local has been the executive lead for the healthcare worker wellbeing centre, which was part of the Victorian Government response to the body of health care workers during the pandemic. “If it hadn’t been for health care workers, there is no way we would have got through this; they kept our hospitals running, they kept providing care to people; they are utterly exhausted and are doing an amazing job every day, and they just kept giving. I’m a proud to be part of that tribe,” Ms Markham said. She has created her own business called Disequilibrium, named after the ‘sweet spot where growth occurs,’ where she coaches and supports professional women in the workplace. “I haven’t worked clinically as an occupational therapist probably for over 10 years now, but I still use my skills every single day. For healthcare workers in particular we quietly go about what we do and continue to soldier on - people are very aware of how important healthcare workers are, but I just think to these sorts of recognitions and acknowledgements [are] just amazing. For someone to take the time and say ‘we think you’re deserving of this, well done’ is incredible; nothing I ever thought I would be a part of and I never imagined my name would be on a list like this. I’m really grateful for the other particularly other women who are out there supporting other women doing great things.”

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Tuesday, 14 June, 2022


Yarra Valley Lodge was mostly full, with 130 representatives from across the region attending the summit.

From accommodation owners, to hospitality businesses to pet hotel services, the room was made up of a variety of people.

Networking and product showcasing was high on the agenda to help businesses engage with each other.

Evolving tourism industry By Mikayla van Loon Yarra Ranges Tourism held its first industry summit since 2019 this week, bringing together some of the key tourism bodies in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley. The event held on Tuesday 7 June marked Yarra Ranges Tourism’s seventh annual summit and saw the attendance of over 130 delegates from within the region and outside of it. Yarra Ranges Tourism CEO Simon O’Callaghan said the forum was a great way to present the latest trends, strategies and outcomes for local tourism providers, while also connecting with the industry again after two years of division and shutdown. “There’s an appetite from people to continue to evolve their business so they can remain relevant as we come into a post-pandemic customer and change in people’s expectations,” he said. “That’s what most people say to me. They’re interested in changing and just staying relevant and keeping contemporary.” One of the main takeaways from the day, Mr O’Callaghan said, was the ability to learn from each other, share ideas and inspire new ways of thinking by working together for the region. A trend that has had a negative impact on the entire industry, however, is the lack of employable staff and a reduced workforce. Guest speakers Georgina Banks and Sam Crock, directors of Changeable Management, said while a change in immigration has impacted the number of skilled workers coming into the country, a global trend called the great resignation has had overwhelming effects on various industries. “It was actually happening before the pandemic and the pandemic has sped it up, but essentially those who have privilege and have a choice in asking themselves, not just about how they want to work but asking why they want to work,” Ms Banks said. “There’s this movement towards wanting more purpose and fulfillment in careers.” Ms Banks said a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that “meaning is now

Yarra Ranges Tourism CEO Simon O’Callaghan and Visit Victoria’s Charles Dechrass commented on the success of the summit and the eagerness to improve the individually and as a whole industry. Pictures: MIKAYLA VAN LOON

Mr O’Callaghan introduced the Tourism Enterprise Scholarship Program to the room, some that interested a lot of employers.

as important as money,” something especially important to young people. With a workforce shortage, employers at the summit were interested in understanding what options are available to young people and how to engage them in the industry. Warburton Valley CEDA president Cleo Silva said finding out about the employment opportunities and training courses that are helping businesses get and retain staff was so valuable. One of those opportunities was the State government supported Tourism Enterprise Scholarship Program set up by Yarra Ranges Tourism and how that has given high school leavers an overview of the industry while getting hands-on experience, as well as a qualification. “Hearing about the scholarship was really interesting and how successful that’s been and as that younger demographic, hearing what

‘travel’ as the drawcard. “Most parents don’t want their kids to go into [hospitality as a] career because they think you’ll be sitting in the one job setting tables for the next decade,” he said. “We wanted to demonstrate you’ll be actually getting a taste of career options and we actually never used the word hospitality once.” Seeing the positive interaction from business owners in the scholarship program and hearing the need to keep things fresh and evolving for young people, Mr O’Callaghan said it was a sign that the pilot program could create a legacy and be highly valuable in the future. “There’s no reason why we couldn’t find a way to deliver that ourselves with the appetite of people wanting to find skilled workers and if breeding up tomorrow’s workforce is priority for everyone, as they say it is, then we should be able to find a way.”

they need and how they’re engaged in work,” Ms Silva said. The program places young mentees in a tourism environment for them to learn all elements of that business, while giving them a mentor to help them become the best they can be. “I’ve just learned a whole new range of skills that I wouldn’t have learned had I not gone into the program,” mentee Taylor Johnson said. “I’ve learned how to distinguish myself… and the professionalism in a working environment, especially at such a fine establishment like Coombe Yarra Valley and working with people from a huge, different demographic that I wouldn’t have normally had been exposed to hadn’t I had this amazing opportunity.” Mr O’Callaghan said there has been a real stigma around the word ‘hospitality’ and that attracting young people requires a new vocabulary starting with using ‘tourism’ and

Peta Rolls honoured for 30 year service to industry By Mikayla van Loon Peta Rolls has been an instrumental part of the tourism industry in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley for 30 years. Her achievement was recently recognised when she was presented with a 30 years of service award at the Yarra Ranges Tourism Industry Summit on Tuesday 7 June. Beginning her career at the Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda, now known as the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens, Ms Rolls then moved into the accommodation space. “We went on to buy our first property in 1991. It was a rotten, old guest house that was falling down,” she said. Although needing lots of repairs, Ms Rolls said “I loved it” for all its faults and idiosyncrasies. Managing numerous places over the years,

it was about eight years ago when Ms Rolls helped develop a group of accommodation options, truly turning into a management business. “We managed 35 properties and I did that for six years until I got quite ill. I just didn’t like working at that pace anymore, so I stepped away but my staff took over,” Ms Rolls said. Until February, Ms Rolls was still managing two properties of her own in Olinda but made the decision to retire. “I’m kind of lost without doing it. I love to help people. So I’m hoping that I’ll be able to continue mentoring people who want to get into the industry.” Continuing to attend industry events like the summit, Ms Rolls said she likes to keep up-to-date on what is happening even though she is slowly pulling away from the industry.

Not only has Ms Rolls run many successful accommodation properties, she has also been a key figure on advisory boards and tourism boards. “I’ve always been in tourism and I’ve worked on various tourism boards. I produced maps and guides with a friend years and years ago, way before Yarra Ranges Tourism and Dandenong Ranges Tourism.” Ms Rolls said the 30 year award came as a “huge surprise” and it was something she never expected to receive but it “was very lovely.” “Accommodation really suited my personality. I love meeting people, I like making sure they’re comfortable and cared for. I’ve made some wonderful friends and it has been lovely over the years to watch the industry grow.”

Peta Rolls helped establish some of the key tourism boards in the region and left an impression on many in the accommodation sector. Picture: MIKAYLA VAN LOON Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




40 years of the society By Parker McKenzie At Wally Tew Reserve in Ferntree Gully, a nursery is nestled away where people inside a large sheet metal and concrete shed busily package seeds. Members of the Knox Environmental Society are aiming to collect seeds of every native plant growing throughout the region, knowing full well the folly of their goal. In 1982, a group of 35 people came together to form an environmental to protect and advocate for native flora and fauna in the Knox area. Today, the Knox Environmental Society has over 200 members and is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2022. Knox Environmental Society President Richard Faragher said the society works with other organisations to preserve Knox’s most vulnerable and precious species of fauna. “We also have an advocate role as well, we’re involved in environmental issues worldwide, nation-wide, state-wide and locally,” he said.

Knox Environmental Society President Richard Faragher at the nursery in Tally Yew Reserve. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE “We’re a not-for-profit group and all the money made through the nursery is then recycled into worthwhile projects around Knox and everywhere else.”

The nursery contains flowers from other nurseries and the society is currently cultivating an order of rare native plants from Knox City Council. The society has advocated for and ran campaigns for local environmental issues, including supporting the efforts to save Lake Knox from development. Mr Faragher said ecosystems are in trouble worldwide and if you don’t protect the local environments, they’ll quickly disappear. “We know that development is big at the moment in Victoria. We’re very keen to develop and that’s not a bad thing if we are taking up open space,” he said. “If we’re just trying to extend into ecosystems, then it’s no different to doing it in the Amazon basin or anywhere else, it’s still a valuable ecosystem and you can’t replace it.” Mr Faragher said he became involved in society when he started buying plants from the nursery in the 1980s. “It just went from there. I then became a volunteer and then got on the committee.

They then stupidly elected me president,” he said. “Now we’ve got about 200 members. It’s been steadily growing over the last 10 years and we’ve actually had quite a big influx of members over the last few years.” People often want currently flowering when they buy from the nursery, with banksias being a popular purchase. Mr Faragher said one of the reasons for the increase in membership is people are now more aware of environmental issues than before. “They see the suburbs and city changing in a way they don’t particularly like and that goes right through not only locally, but they see it state and national and international as well,” he said. “People want to be involved in the community and we have a lovely little community where they can feel valued and supported. “We run on coffee and chocolate down here. There are always plenty of places to sit around and have a chat, grow plants or stir up politicians. What better life can you have?”

Discussion starts about changing Green Wedge zoning By Callum Ludwig





The current Green Wedge zoning engulfs the Yarra Ranges. Picture: SUPPLIED

Yarra Ranges Council and Agribusiness Yarra Valley are hopeful of farming zone being introduced. Picture: ON FILE are less likely to work here as they can’t get an extension on their visa.” As the Yarra Ranges is largely Green Wedge Areas the reforms do not apply, with reasons cited to be the relative proximity to Melbourne CBD and ample accommodation. However, Yarra Ranges Council has argued that the accommodation is not always affordable, available or convenient in travel time via car or public transport for season workers. Mr Larkman said the restrictions are af-

fecting the aesthetic of the Yarra Ranges. “The property I live next to in Wandin is about 15 acres, but isn’t allowed a dam or bore, so he can’t farm on it, or then build on it, and is now essentially a weed paddock. It affects him, and then me as I have to worry about weed seeds on my farm, then the Shire because it looks yuck,” he said “Whatever you do to make the farming industry more competitive and more sustainable, the better for people who come here,

who come to have a nice lunch looking over the farms.” International visitors were only able to visit Victoria again in mid-February 2022, and the shortage of international visitors working on farms made a huge impact on the agricultural sector. Mr Larkman said after the last two years, it’s critical to see some change to support farms in the Yarra Ranges. “Visiting backpackers offers a great incentive that benefits everybody, and the last two years has seen the nomadic tribe of people fruit picking and pruning dropped off. We don’t want to see the berry farmers, the cherry farmers, the apple farmers or the nurseries of flower farms, whoever it may be, struggle because of this” he said. “I’d like to basically get rid of all the Green Wedge probations or get a map out and retrace the line between residential and Green Wedge Zone as there are some really small properties in there which make it hard for farmers to exist.”

Where to pick up a FREE printed copy of your...

AVONSLEIGH Avonsleigh News & General Store 445 Belgrave Gembrook Road BELGRAVE Belgrave Newsagency 1704 Burwood Highway BELGRAVE Woolworths Supermarket 1629 Burwood Highway BELGRAVE IGA 151 Belgrave-Hallam Road BELGRAVE Chandler & Co Real Estate 1689 Burwood Hwy BELGRAVE First National Real Estate 1 Bayview Road BELGRAVE SOUTH Belgrave South Motors 138 Belgrave-Hallam Rd BORONIA Boronia Mall Newsagent Corner Floriston Road & Chandler Road COCKATOO Ranges First National Shop 2, 24 McBride Street COCKATOO IGA Cockatoo 34 McBride Street EMERALD Kaye Charles RE 12a Kilvington Drive EMERALD Ritchies SUPA IGA 342 Belgrave-Gembrook Road EMERALD Emerald Village Newsagency 4 Kilvington Drive EMERALD Woolworths Supermarket Belgrave Gembrook Road EMERALD Auto Plus More Petrol Station 365 Main Street EMERALD Shell Service Station 336 Main Street EMERALD Barry Plant Real Estate 1/ 321 Main Street EMERALD Bell Real Estate 313 Main Street

FERNTREE GULLY Upper Ferntree Gully Newsagents, 1202 Burwood Highway FERNTREE GULLY Glenfern Road Milk Bar , 83 Glenfern Road FERNTREE GULLY Coles Supermarket Mountain Gate SC Ferntree Gully Road FERNTREE GULLY Woolworths Supermarket Mountain Gate SC Ferntree Gully Road FERNTREE GULLY Mountain Gate Newsagency & Lotto Mountain Gate SC 9b Ferntree Gully Road FERNTREE GULLY Ferntree Gully Authorized Newsagency Shp 2/69 Station Street FERNTREE GULLY Shell Service Station 1140 Burwood Highway FERNY CREEK Ferny Creek & Post Office 195 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road GEMBROOK Gembrook Post Office& Newsagent 72 Main Street GEMBROOK IGA Supermarket 83/85 Main Street KALLISTA Kallista Cellars 85 Monbulk Road KALLISTA Kallista Real Estate 76a Monbulk road KALORAMA Post Office 1209 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road MONBULK Best Repairs & Accessories Monbulk - 26 Main Road MONBULK Food Express 128 Main Road MONBULK Woolworths Supermarket Main Road & Moores Road


MONBULK Monbulk Newsagency & Officesmart 76 Main Street OLINDA Monbulk Bowling Club, 11 Moores Road OLINDA Olinda Cellars Shop 7/540 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road OLINDA Ranges at Olinda 5 Old Main Road OLINDA IGA Supermarket 1526 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road OLINDA Bell Real Estate 11 Main Road SASSAFRAS Sassafras General Store 391 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road SILVAN Shell Princi Motors, 275 - 277 Monbulk Road TECOMA BP Service Station 1524 Burwood Highway TECOMA Bon Ton General Store 1537 Burwood Highway TECOMA O’Brien Real Estate 1567 Burwood Highway TECOMA McDonald’s Restaurant 1529 Burwood Highway THE PATCH The Patch Store and Post office 16 The Patch Road TREMONT Caltex Service Station 100 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road UPWEY Newsagent 18 Main Street UPWEY IGA Supermarket 62-64 Main Street UPWEY Yarra Ranges Shire Council 40 Main Street

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Tuesday, 14 June, 2022


At The Nationals For Regional Victoria state conference a discussion has evolved about a possible revaluation of the Yarra Ranges’ Green Wedge Zone. Yarra Ranges Council wants to seek parity between Farming and Green Wedge Zones in the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP’s) to help support Yarra Ranges agribusinesses to have on-farm accommodation for seasonal workers. Mayor Jim Child said the Council is seeking alignment with the farming zones that would allow for permit-free on-farm accommodation in the area. “The vital thing we’re trying to achieve is to have on-farm accommodation for up to 10 people, because in the Green Wedge in the Yarra Ranges you have to apply for a permit,” he said. “In other municipalities in regional Victoria, they all have farming zones as the Minister for Planning (Richard Wynne) introduced an amendment to allow up to 10 people accommodation without a planning permit.” The Reforms (Farming Zone) mentioned by Cr Child came in late 2021 for owners or rural land. Chairman of Agribusiness Yarra Valley Clive Larkman said the Green Wedge Zone restrictions make it impossible to do a lot of things. “Everyone in the shire is a victim of it in multiple ways, as about 55 per cent of the shire is rural land,” he said. “We have real problems attracting staff here, especially with most of the Yarra Ranges not rural zoned and meaning backpackers


Reclaim control on health By Ben Croxford, Form & Practice Mt Evelyn and Olinda Physiotherapist Let’s face some facts – men aren’t great at looking after our health - in fact, we’re terrible. Statistically speaking, men are more likely than women to suffer serious consequences from the same health condition and research says we’re less likely to go to the doctor for a health issue and often leave it too late. All in all, men often don’t take a pro-active approach to their own health and suffer as a consequence - which means we need to do better. As a physiotherapist, I see this all the time. It’s not just about back pain or that niggly knee that I’m talking about, it’s about serious health issues that get out of control, such as obesity, chronic pain, substance abuse and mental health challenges to name just a few. My line of work focuses on physical health and I regular see men who wait too long to see me for a small issue and then end up in surgery or dealing with more complex musculoskeletal pain, or men who don’t follow through on a treatment plan. That said, let’s be glass-half-full – the good news is that there are simple changes we can all make that generate substantial long-term benefits and help us to reclaim control of our health. Don’t leave it too late to seek help Chances are, there are solutions for your health concern and it’s far easier to manage it early, trust me. Get some regular exercise Exercise is the wonder-drug, it helps in some way to prevent or treat almost every health condition we know – that’s no exaggeration. Exercise looks after your heart, your lungs,

· ·

your bones, your muscles, your immune system and your brain function. It significantly reduces your risk of osteoarthritis, diabetes, back pain, mental health issues, most chronic diseases and even lowers your risk of getting cancer. That’s only the beginning of the list, imagine if a doctor could prescribe a drug that powerful. You are what you eat, literally It’s easy to get confused about differing opinions from very well-educated experts on what the best diet is however, sometimes I think it’s pretty simple – eat less junk and more veggies. Aim for good quality sleep Sleep is immensely powerful in helping your body regenerate and repair. It’s also important to note that quantity doesn’t replace quality when it comes to sleep. Don’t ignore your mental health Like your physical health, mental health is not simply “good” or “not good” – it fluctuates daily and we need to look after it just like we need to look after our physical bodies. Of course, creating healthy habits looks different for everyone, because obviously we are all built differently. Health professionals can help you explore the detail of how to best implement the advice above for you and your specific circumstances – and I promise you that we don’t judge. Ben Croxford is a Physiotherapist and leads the team at Form & Practice Mt Evelyn and Olinda. His writings explore his favourite health topics, challenge common myths and aim to empower you to take control of your own health. Find out more at




Physiotherapist Ben Croxford is encouraging men to invest in their health.






1542 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd 3788 19-23 Hereford Rd 3796 P: (03) 9751 0400 P: (03) 9736 2565



Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Jenna Love is the founder of the Natural Wellness Centre in Monbulk.

Monbulk’s Natural Wellness Centre believes that health is not simply the absence of disease, but something more. Pictures: SUPPLIED

Dedicated wellness team By Elle Cecil As a space to feel relaxed and supported, the Natural Wellness Centre in Monbulk believes that health is not simply the absence of disease, but something more. The Natural Health Centre was founded in 2020 by holistic health practitioner Jenna Love, who wanted to create a wellness hub to support and empower her community to better health. Offering holistic and natural health and clinical services, the team at the Natural Wellness Centre believe that wellness cannot be achieved by focusing solely on one part of the

person - rather, the person needs to be considered as a whole. Services at the centre include facials, massages, spa treatments, naturopathy, counselling and psychotherapy, and clinical nutrition and mindset coaching. Jenna Love is one of the centre’s Bowen therapists, as well as the centre’s iridologist and clinical aromatherapist. As a newer service to the centre, iridology is used as an assessment tool to enhance information on your health and wellbeing, which can assist you in determining the best options for you to live your healthiest, most vibrant life. Sally Chirgwin is the centre’s other Bowen

therapist. Sally and Jenna use the Bowen Technique to facilitate the body’s healing process and restore balance to your nervous system. Benefits from this treatment can include reduced muscle tension, improved posture and an overall increase in the health of bodily functions. Simone Muir is the centre’s remedial massage therapist. Having recently joined the Natural Wellness Centre’s team, Simone has hit the ground running and loves watching people not only relax and unwind during a treatment, but also benefit from a greater freedom of movement, reduction of pain and a better quality.

Naturopath Lee Copeland is there to support you on your journey to parenthood and beyond, assisting with fertility, pregnancy and postpartum health. Skin and spa therapist Lisa Nugent loves all things skin and wellbeing, and her passion is to help enable, inspire and educate people to become the best version of themselves, and to create a lasting and positive impact on how people think and feel. The Natural Wellness Centre is located at 114 Main Road, Monbulk. To make a booking with the team, purchase products and gift vouchers please visit www.

WELLNESS HUB IN THE HEART OF MONBULK We provide a variety of holistic and natural health services that support women and their families during all stages of life, including preconception, pregnancy & postnatal care. Our Natural Wellness Store has a carefully selected range of Australian organic skin & body products, herbal tea blends and eco products to support your health naturally. Open 6 days a week - including Wednesday & Thursday until 8:30pm

SERVICES: • Bowen Therapy • Remedial/ Relaxation/ Pregnancy Massage • Naturopathy • Iridology • Clinical Aromatherapy • Organic Facials • Spa Treatments


Email: Website: Phone: 0434 343 583 Address: 114 Main Road, Monbulk, VIC 3793 @naturalwellness.centre 12553020-HC24-22



Tuesday, 14 June, 2022



New minister welcomed Open Door Community Church is welcoming Adrian Turner back to Monbulk after nearly 40 years away. He has commenced as the church’s minister for the next year, guiding them towards the future.

Adrian established Monbulk Christian Fellowship and was there for seven years during the ’80s. Since then, he has served time with Christian Fellowship Centre Albury-Wodonga, and at what is now known as Discovery Church

in Mt Evelyn. After an eight-year involvement with Compassion Australia, Adrian was more recently the Intentional Interim Minister at a church in Sunbury. The congregation of ODCC are excited to plan for the future with Adrian’s guidance, and he is happy to be involved in the missions of the Church, the Op Shop of Open Door Community Care, Open Door Pantry, and the student wellbeing program in our local schools. The Pantry has proven to be an invaluable help to folk in the community who are finding

it difficult to make ends meet. It is not a supermarket but enables visitors to make an extra meal or two to make it to the next payday or payment. Ready-made meals are always popular, especially for singles. Profits from the Op Shop help to keep it stocked and the ODCCare Op Shop is a great shopping destination as is the Laneway Nursery next door. The welcoming folk at the Church would be pleased to see you at the 10 o’clock service each Sunday at the corner of David Hill and Moxhams Roads.

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0416 855 751 Open Door Community Church is welcoming Adrian Turner as its new minister. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Open Door Community Care

MONBULK BOWLING CLUB 11 MOORES RD, MONBULK Monbulk Bistro Specials by Day Wednesday


Parma Night

Bowlers Special Burger, Beer & Bowls


$17 *


in Main Street Monbulk for a great shopping experience


Wed to Sun

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Seniors’ Specials

invites you to visit our

OP SHOP and the

We would love to welcome New Volunteers to our dedicated team Please call in or phone 9756 7800

Phone: 9756 7800


Mon-Fri 10:00-4:30, Sat: 10:00-1:00



Serving our Community Open Door


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

ODCCare 61-63 Main Road, Monbulk


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. 12550968-JW24-22


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Kids grasp sustainability By Tyler Wright Some eight Dandenong Ranges early learning centres and primary schools have been awarded up to $1,000 each in the latest round of Woolworths Junior Landcare grants announced on Thursday 9 May. Funds received from the grants will allow the primary schools and early learning centres to develop projects focusing on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices or enhancing native habitats. “We at Little Gems have decided to create a sanctuary for wildlife with the creation of a birdfeeder, bird bath and a sustainable garden full of seasonal vegetables and herbs. We are collaborating with the children to make a scarecrow which will support our garden to flourish,” Jess, Educational Leader at Little Gems Early Early Learning Centre said. Mountain District Christian School in Monbulk also received funding through the fourth round of the grants, which have awarded more than 1054 primary schools and early learning centres across Australia with over over $1 million, and was grateful for the opportunity to support their Patch to Plate project. “The children will be involved in planning out the new gardens, preparing the beds, planting seedlings and caring for the plants. They will also harvest and eat the produce. Students will be involved in collecting scrap waste and maintaining a compost system the contributes to maintaining viable soil for veggies and herbs,” Janita Bratton, head of Mountain District Christian Primary School said. “In an age where children increasingly spend more time in doors and separated from roles and responsibilities that previously taught life skills such as cooking with the family, shopping for weekly groceries, children are

in danger of missing out on understanding how to steward the earths resources well. The food on our plate each day comes from somewhere and learning about our connections to the land and how we can care for it through the Patch to Plate program will give students tangible experiences of how we can build a sustainable future for future generations,” she said. Landcare Australia CEO Dr Shane Norrish said the core goal of programs such as the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants is to educate students on how to care for their environment. “The grant will play a vital role in helping Belgrave, Boronia and Ferntree Gully District students grow their skills and become the next generation of environmental champions,” Dr Norrish said. Woolworths Group Manager Bonnie Chignell said the grants help schools develop initiatives such as REDcycling, growing fruit and veg, Bush Tucker gardens and composting. “Additionally, with 1.3 billion tonnes of all food produced each year being lost or wasted, it is more important than ever that schools have access to fund the materials, installation and construction required to develop these types of programs,” Ms Chignell said. To date, Woolworths has contributed over $4 million to more than 3,800 projects across Australia in partnership with Landcare Australia. To see which schools and early learning centres were successful in receiving these grants, visit au/woolworthsgrants/map Mountain District Christian School students will be able to learn more as part of their ‘Patch to Plate’ program thanks to the latest round of Junior Landcare Grants.

Need local staff? Then give us the job... Star Mail

Need local staff?

Then give us the job... we will advertise it in our employment section and attract local staff




Tuesday, 14 June, 2022


Knock knock, it’s the CFA By Tyler Wright Selby Fire Brigade CFA volunteers will begin door knocking through the town’s streets as part of their annual Winter appeal this June. Residents have received a letter from the brigade’s captain in their letterbox letting them know that on Sundays, they may come across a CFA member or two at their front door; collecting donations and forming connections with old and new locals. “We like to keep a presence with things that are going on…if we can keep interest, it means that come the fire danger period people are actually looking, and we can put messages of community safety on [Facebook] as well,” Selby Fire Brigade Captain Ian Lewis said. “[In Winter] there’ll be occasional car accidents or oil spills on the road that we deal with, occasionally we’ll get tree branches coming down or trees falling across…if they impact cars, houses or powerlines, we generally will get called out to those,” Mr Lewis said. Throughout Winter, the brigade will post on social media to ensure locals have their chimneys properly prepared, their heaters safe and smoke alarms are ready to go with working batteries. The funds from this fundraiser will go towards additional resources including the brigade-funded heavy tanker and ultralight vehicles, the latter of which is used to reach places otherwise difficult to access in larger trucks. These vehicles help with large call-outs to big events across the State or even interstate. “When you find larger incidents occurring away from Melbourne, a lot of the additional resources that get thrown at those are coming from the outer edges of [the city],” Mr Lewis said. “We are always looking at improving our equipment to enable us to do things better or faster.” The number of Selby Fire Brigade members is sitting just shy of 50, with 22 operational members servicing the area alongside a support team holding down the food and cooking meals when needed, and the captain is hoping these numbers can expand as the state emerg-

Volunteers at the Selby Fire Brigade will be putting their foot to the town’s pavement as they collect donations for their annual appeal. Picture: SUPPLIED es out of various lockdowns. “We’ve had about 60 properties change hands in the last two years; and that’s an opportunity to get in and engage with people about what their expectations are with respect to fires in the area and what their behavior is likely to be,” Mr Lewis said.

“Walking the streets is an opportunity to talk with residents, but we might also find there could be somebody that’s willing to become a member and help us in some way.” You can donate directly to the Selby Fire Brigade using the account details here: BSB Number: 633-000


· Account Number: 154775753 · Account name: Selby Fire Brigade · Bank Name: Bendigo Bank Donations are tax deductible, and you can get a tax receipt for your donation by reaching out to

Playing a part in a child’s life is all it takes to foster By Mikayla van Loon Foster care organisations have been battling a declining list of foster carers for many years but the pandemic has exacerbated that trend leaving high demand and short supply. Anchor CEO Heidi Tucker said this is something she has seen over the last five years but Covid had a huge impact on the uptake of new foster parents. As a partnering organisation of Fostering Connections, Anchor was at the launch of its new campaign ‘Play a Part’, encouraging families and individuals to play a small role in the life of a young person needing care. Ms Tucker said understandably, families during the pandemic lockdowns had potentially already taken a hit financially and were perhaps worried about the health risks of Covid-19. “Foster carers we’re dealing with their own health issues and those of their own children, many foster carers dropped out of the system, because they felt they couldn’t do what they needed to do with their own families in their own situation, as well as taking in other children,” she said. This compounded the existing reasons why families may not be able to take on foster children because of the cost of living, lack of time, both parents work full time and there is less space for another child. “Not only that, the children that are now coming into care, there’s a lot of families in a lot of distress out there for various reasons, and children are being exposed to and being the victims of a lot of child abuse and neglect,” Ms Tucker said. “The product of all of that is children are coming into our system in a much more traumatised and damaged fashion.” Keeping families together, Ms Tucker said is the ethos of the system but should that

Anchor CEO Heidi Tucker and communications coordinator Ashleigh Paterson attended the Play a Part launch on Monday 30 May to show support for the three year push to more foster carers. Picture: SUPPLIED fail, often children are much older when they need care. “The failure of that can be quite catastrophic for children, they can be a bit older, coming into the system more damaged, seeing more of life and more harm. “So they’re coming in with this huge complexity of needs because they are very traumatised, and they need carers and people to look after them but really they need to be quite skilled.” While skilled carers are in the system, Ms Tucker said there is nowhere near enough to cater to the demand of these more complex cases. Now the push from Fostering Connec-

tions, supported by the CEOs of many foster care agencies including Ms Tucker, is to change messaging around what foster caring looks like. “What we wanted to do with the campaign was get across to people, if they’re not everything, they don’t have to do it on their own,” Ms Tucker said. “Putting your hand up to be a foster carer doesn’t mean that you’re doing it on your own but what it means is, you’re playing a part and a very important part in the lives of these children.” Having been a foster carer herself, Ms Tucker said she knows the challenges linked with foster caring but she also knows the re-

wards of having a lifelong connection with that person. While there can be a stigma around what it means to either be in foster care or be a foster parent, Ms Tucker said this campaign may help break down some of those misconceptions and preconceived ideas. “Children do pick up that the system and society doesn’t like their parents, there’s something wrong with their parents, there’s something wrong with the situation they’ve come from. It’s bad. “I have been working very hard for many years on how we can make what really happened with birth parents and situations, much of which is often out of people’s control, how can we get those messages across to the general community that people don’t set out for their lives to go off track like this.” Anchor focuses on the outer east as a whole as well as having a particular interest in the Yarra Ranges. Ms Tucker said although the trends in this region have followed statewide declines in foster carers, the age bracket has changed and “as those older generations have left [foster care], we’ve not been able to replace them with the younger generation.” Contributing to this in the Yarra Ranges specifically, Ms Tucker said is the fact that “it is such a community of haves and have nots” with no real in between or ‘middle class’. “The thing with foster care is it does attract more people in that middle kind of class…so it attracts people who are relatively stable, who want to do something for others, and who are doing ok. You’re not going to be doing it if you yourself are in dire straits. “For children who grow up in care, it only takes one stable adult that they think loves them and cares for them to make a difference.” Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Chan Thun with the award winning pies.


Country Cob owner Chan Thun with the awards

Bakery wins golden treat By Parker McKenzie The best beef pie in the country is officially just around the corner after a cult-favourite Boronia pie shop took home multiple awards at the 2022 Australia’s Best Pie Competition. Country Cob Bakery, located at 951 Mountain Highway Boronia, also won the best vegetarian and seafood pie categories, alongside the best beef pie award.

Chan Thun, who owns Country Cob with his brother Ryan, said winning three categories at the awards was an honour. “Firstly, our team did an amazing job and the second proved our quality for the customer,” he said. “We know that the standard and the quality of our products are a high level.” There are currently two other Country Cob locations; the original store in Kyneton and

another in Springvale which opened before the Boronia bakery. Mr Thun said he decided to open a Boronia store in 2020 because of requests from customers in the outer east. “We had a lot of requests from customers from places like Croydon and Bayswater,” he said. “That’s what all the customer’s told us they need, so we came to Boronia.”

The Kyneton Country Cob Bakery first opened in 2016 and remains a local favourite wherever it expands too. In 2020, Country Cob won the overall best pie category in the same competition. Mr Thun said he hopes people from the local area continue to support the bakery. “I’ve found the community very helpful and supportive, so we are quite happy.” He said.

Storm recovered wood sculptures hit at festival By Parker McKenzie A community-based non-for-profit has helped raise over $2000 for local schools recovering from the June 2021 storm weather event at the annual Kalorama Chestnut Festival on Sunday 1 May. Rescue Logs supported the festival by organising for chainsaw sculptor Schlomit Moria to give a live performance and auction off the resulting wombat sculpture, along with a laughing Kookaburra bench she had made before the event. Rescue Logs founder Julia Hall said the event went well and it was great to see so many people come down to support the schools. “There was a real buzz on the day and it was so great to see the crowd watching Schlomit do her wcarving,” she said. “We managed to raise $2300 and we are really proud of that, and we are happy to be able to support them.” The Chestnut Festival is volunteer-run and features a diverse range of stalls showcasing locally made handcrafts and produce, roasted chestnuts and food stalls. Rescue Logs formed after the storms and repurposes fallen timber for community projects. The kookaburra bench sculpture — made using local chestnut wood felled during the storm — was bought by Linda and Jeff Parsons, who paid $2000 to take it home. Ms Parsons said the pair was absolutely chuffed with their new bench. “We liked the idea of a sculpture that symbolised the storm and all the fallen logs. Thought it was a great cause too, the kinder,” she said. 18 MAIL


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

“We were looking for something for the grandson’s garden, we wanted something different and it’s just amazing!” The wombat sculpture was auctioned off for $300, with the proceeds going towards supporting Mt Dandenong Kindergarten and Mt Dandenong Primary School, whose buildings were damaged during the storm. The 2022 festival was the first time Mt Dandenong Primary School has helped host the event. Kalorama Chestnut Festival committee member Mariana Job told the Star Mail on 7 April the festival has been running for over 30 years as a fundraiser for the kindergarten. “You can still drive past it and it’s surrounded by fencing, they are working out of a temporary space in Olinda Primary School,” she said. “We really need to rebuild and repair, so much was damaged.” The event started with parents selling chestnuts out of brown paper bags to raise funds for the kindergarten and has now become a loved family outing for locals and tourists alike. Ms Hall said Rescue Logs is busily working on its next project: sculptures, a reflection area and a play space for Kalorama Park. “We are about to release some drawings of the reflection area publically so we can get comments from the public,” she said. “Our next big event is the kite festival which will be in September, the last weekend before the school holidays. It’s another family-based community event.” You can find out more about Rescue Logs at

Linda and Jeff Parsons with Marina Job and The Laughing Kookaburra sculpted by Shlomit Moria. Picture: SUPPLIED

THIS IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF! IMMEDIATELY upon arrival this property is sure to surprise and delight. Entering through the impressive electric gates and up the sealed driveway, you will discover an entertainer’s dream. Surrounded by stunning landscaped gardens, the home offers two expansive living areas; the first a spacious open plan living area is the heart of the home, sophisticated and stylish. The space boasts the spacious lounge area with feature coonara and split system heating and cooling for year-round comfort, dining space and the stunning Redgum kitchen with stainless steel appliances, glass splashback, dishwasher, pendant lighting and walk in pantry. This area also features a large study with built-in desk and is the perfect space for someone looking to work from home or if required could easily be enclosed and create bedroom five. The second large living area is equally as stylish, with beautiful vaulted ceilings, picture windows, gas log fire, split system heating and cooling, as well as a character fully fitted bar with Rockpave flooring, this space offers incredible versatility to suit your needs. There are four bedrooms in total, the master suite is something to be admired, with modern ensuite bathroom and walk in robe, as well as picture windows that bring the outdoors in. The secondary bedrooms are all complete with built in robes are serviced by the beautiful modern bathroom with double vanity, free standing bath, and enormous shower. The spacious laundry with extensive storage space completes the residence.

Special features include stunning Oak floorboards, timeless neutral colour scheme, quality blinds, picture windows throughout the home, satellite NBN, 5kw solar array and return verandahs. Outside the embellishments continue, entertain in style year-round in the incredible covered outdoor entertaining area, with aggregate flooring and decking, power, privacy screen, remote blinds and views across the stunning gardens and lush lawn where the kids can play. For the furry and feathered family members, there is a fully fenced dog run, quality chicken coop, plus a fenced paddock at the rear of the property complete with your very own sand arena. Car accommodation is assured, the property boasts a 7.5m x 9m high rise 3 car garage, three car carport under roofline as well as a double garage or workshop. Additional features include vegetable gardens, stable and water tanks. Located only a short drive to the thriving Gembrook township, this property truly has all of the bells and whistles you could ask for. Inspection is an absolute must, call today. ●

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 2685 Gembrook Launching Place Road, GEMBROOK Description: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 8 garage Price: $1,300,000 - $1,400,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Brittany Barry 0412 861 094 and Justin Barrot 0438 683 781, BARRY PLANT, EMERALD, 5968 4522

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




PRISTINE HOME WITH HUGE SHED DON’T miss this beautiful 3 bedroom home on a 2,473sqm flat block in Cockatoo, located in the well-loved Dandenong Ranges, close to Cockatoo, Avonsleigh and Emerald Townships. Inside is fully renovated to a high standard with wood-look tiles throughout. Enter into the mud room/foyer where you can take off muddy shoes and hang your coats. To the right is a well-lit bedroom with its own split system. Walk up the steps into the light-filled open plan living/dining/kitchen with gas ducted heating. Enjoy the beautiful kitchen space with stainless steel and black appliance and fittings. The kitchen has an open wood fire, new tiles, matt-black period-styled faucet, 900mm-wide stainless steel oven with a gas cooktop, and picturesque views. Next to the dining room is another living space with a toasty wood fire adjacent to the main modern-country bathroom with a freestanding bath, step-less and frameless shower with shelf insert, and butcher block sink with a modern basin. All of the bedrooms and lounge room have thick, plush, charcoal carpets while the master has a large modern ensuite and walk-in robe with enough space for a small dressing room. Adjacent to the master bedroom is the main lounge room where you can close the double barn doors to make it a master retreat. Outside is a new 7.5m x 13.3 mtr, highbay, 3 door shed with 2 electric remote doors, lighting, concrete floor and plenty of space for all your projects. In addition, there are electric gates, the home has a new roof and the property is fully fenced for your kids and fur babies to run free. If you are looking for a stunning home with all the comforts, a big flat block perfect for cars, boats, trailers, floats or trucks and a huge shed - this is the one for you! 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: 244 Woori Yallock Road, COCKATOO Description: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 4 garage Price: $950,000 - $1,040,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Samantha Scott 0438 680 032 and Declan Palmer 0427 062 148, BELL REAL ESTATE, EMERALD 20 MAIL


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

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

295 Monbulk Road, MONBULK

$850,000 - $895,000


4A 2B 1C

This spectacular residence sits atop a wide, sweeping drive with ample parking that leads to a under-house carport. Through the beautifully bright foyer with stylish study or home office space, you are led upstairs to a series of sophisticated spaces suited to growing families. Spotted Gum Timber flooring and floor to ceiling architecturally designed windows line each room, beginning in the dining area and lounge with a cosy wood fire with custom accent wall.



$820,000 - $860,000 3A 2B 3C

This charming weatherboard residence, backing onto Glenfern Valley Bushland Reserve, brings a whole new meaning to the concept of versatility. Offering dual living spaces on separate levels, this well-presented character home will accommodate the needs of your family throughout the years ahead.

Sam Adamson M 0421 023 760 | E

Brad Conder

Daniel Steen

M 0422 639 115 | E

M 0434 979 142 | E



$790,000 - $860,000 5A 2B



$970,000 - $1,050,000 6A 3B 7C

The alluring natural landscape of this 18,164sqm (approx.) property suits buyers seeking something special for their future. Entirely accessible by vehicle and boasting a beautiful build already onsite, bringing this property to completion will be worth its weight in gold (STCA). The sweeping drive culminates at this brilliant residence with a bounty of potential. Yet to receive approved plans and permits, fortitude will bring this spacious family home across the finish line.

This vast and versatile residence that affords ample space for family living sits atop a sprawling 4,051sqm (approx.) landscape. From the covered and open decking, the interior expands in grand scale to the open plan lounge with vaulted ceilings and leadlight windows, dining area with warm wood fire, and timeless timber kitchen with gas stove, copper rangehood, and inviting peninsula seating. Comprising 4 generously proportioned bedrooms with garden views on this level, including the main bedroom with ensuite.


Brad Conder

M 0490 506 910 | E

M 0422 639 115 | E

9754 6888 1689 Burwood Highway, Belgrave VIC 3160 of

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




IMMACULATE IN EVERY WAY THIS immaculately presented 3-bedroom home is set on a 1128 sq. metre block and is only moments from Belgrave Central. Step inside you will discover timber floorboards throughout living areas and carpeted bedrooms, a gorgeous sunroom with a lovely treed aspect, wood fire bringing ambiance to the lounge and dining area, a galley style kitchen which overlooks the rear covered entertaining deck where you can hear the sounds of Puffing Billy winding through the hills. The block has been extensively landscaped with multiple areas for entertaining, a terraced yard gives room for children to play and pets to enjoy, as well as fruit trees and a chicken enclosure. Additional features include: airconditioning, GDH, split system, ample off-street parking, and is walking distance to the dog-friendly Belgrave Lake Park, bus stop, Selby Primary School and Preschool. ●

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 72 Temple Road, SELBY Description: 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 garage Price: $695,000 - $760,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Jan Brewster 0409 558 805, ANGES FIRST NATIONAL, 9754 6111 22 MAIL


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

47 Emerald Lake Road, Emerald

36 Ferres Road, Emerald

145 Kirk Road, Cockatoo




6 T


3 T


2 T


4 T


2 T


2 T


2 T


1 T





GUIDE $1,150,000-$1,250,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Sue Colic 0421 772 610 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE CONTACT AGENT INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Jacqui Ryder 0433 095 278 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $720,000 - $790,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Riley Nicholas 0488 501 218 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

13 Glenvista Avenue, Emerald

7 Station Road, Gembrook

9 Peppermint Court, Emerald




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GUIDE $1,000,000-$1,100,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Brittany Barry 0412 861 094 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $860,000 - $920,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $960,000 - $1,050,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Gayle Barrot 0408 195 767 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

35 Lawsons Road, Emerald

Crown Allotment 4,400 Mountain Road, Gembrook

2685 Gembrook Launching Place Road, Gembrook




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GUIDE $780,000 - $858,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Riley Nicholas 0488 501 218 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE CONTACT AGENT INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $1,300,000 - $1,400,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Brittany Barry 0412 861 094 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022



244 Woori Yallock Road, Cockatoo

$950,000 - $1,040,000

27 Emerald Lake Road, Emerald

$700,000 - $770,000

Pristine Home with Huge New Shed!

Build Your Dream Home in Emerald

This beautiful 3 bedroom home is on a 2,473sqm flat block in Cockatoo. Inside is fully renovated with wood-look tiles throughout. Enter into the mud room where to the right is a well-lit bedroom with its own split system. Walk up the steps into the open plan living/dining/kitchen with gas ducted heating. Enjoy the beautiful kitchen space with wood fire, new tiles, and 900mm-wide stainless steel oven with a gas cooktop. Next to the dining room is another living space with a Coonara and the main bathroom. The bedrooms and lounge room have plush, charcoal carpets while the master has an ensuite and walk-in robe. Adjacent to the master bedroom is the main lounge room. Outside is a new 7.5m x 13.3mtr, 3-door shed with 2 electric doors, lighting, and concrete floor. There are electric gates, the home has a new roof and the property is fully fenced.

Emerald Lake Park House and Land Package (building cost - fixed price of $420k). This Hamptons-inspired home has planning approval, working drawings, and a builder (The Building Republic) ready to get you into your dream home by Christmas. There are 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 living areas, and a back deck for entertaining. You’ll have a kitchen with butler’s pantry, a dining area and lounge with raked ceilings and a grand entrance with timber stairs leading to a landing where guests can be greeted. The master bedroom has an ensuite and BIRs and one bedroom and the main bathroom have been designed as wheelchair friendly. Located on a quiet cul-de-sac and within walking distance to Emerald Lake Park, and everything Emerald has to offer. Included in this package is land, planning approval. Not included: water tank, garage, and finished driveway.

Contact: Samantha Scott 0438 680 032

Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994

6 Hillside Road, Cockatoo Great First, or Family Home! Get in quick to snap up this 3 bedroom brick home on a quarter acre with no neighbours at the back of the property. This house has plenty of privacy and is very close to Cockatoo township and Primary School - it is the perfect first or family home. Inside there is gas cooking, floating floorboards, gas ducted heating, and picturesque views to the back. Two of the bedrooms have built-in robes and plenty of space for kids. The living room is large and with a warm coloured floorboard. Outside there is a single garage, established gardens, and a spacious, covered entertaining area to entertain family and friends. There is mains water, power, and gas. Don’t miss this opportunity to get into the hills market - book an inspection now!

Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994 24 MAIL


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

$580,000 - $630,000

17 Steel Road, Emerald

$1,250,000 - $1,350,000

Stunning Architect Designed Entertainer Home in Emerald! Step inside this two-story entertainer’s home, designed by award-winning architect Lindsay Holland. There are 4 bedrooms, one is perfect as a guest suite with its own ensuite and built-in robes, and the Master has an ensuite, walk-in robe and direct access to the deck overlooking the private garden and pool. There is a separate bathroom with spa bath and large storage areas. Upstairs is the kitchen, formal and informal lounges, a home office-study and powder-room. The kitchen has granite benchtops, a 900mm freestanding oven with a gas cooktop, a dishwasher and a breakfast bench. There is gas ducted heating and vacuum cleaning on both levels for convenience. Enjoy the in-ground swimming pool in a private landscaped area.

Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994

5968 6222

311-313 Main St, Emerald



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William Matthews Funerals FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED


9739 6868 45 Cave Hill Rd, Lilydale


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Storm anniversary On 9 June, 2021, we experienced the most significant storm event in Victoria’s history. 122 properties damaged, 72 of which were destroyed. 25,000 trees fell in a few short days. The year since then has had an incredible amount of challenges for impacted communities – particularly those in the Dandenong Ranges, where so many people lost their homes or were displaced for significant periods of time. When we think about recovery, as a return to how things were before, it’s important to acknowledge that there will still be people who are on Day 0. People whose houses are gone and face a labyrinth of details with insurance, planning and facing a rebuild in a time when costs are sky-high. We also know that the mental toll of this event will have on people for years to come.

Some of this will only become clear as time goes on, and will take time to address. What has been true from the start, and what will always be true, is that we’re here to help. I’m proud of the fact that Council staff – many of whom live locally and were, themselves, impacted by the storm – stepped up to help community members access power, Jim Child showers, firewood, temporary accommodation and assistance in those first few weeks. They worked with community leaders and emergency services, community hubs and groups across the hills to help coordinate a response, giving people some sense of normality during a time of extreme upheaval. During this time we saw such incredible community spirit – the willingness to help and lend a hand. A heartening reminder of how close, connected and courteous our

residents are. When the rain stops, the wind calms and the cleanup ends, our strong community remains and that’s something I’m truly proud of. Our focus has now shifted to recovery – unpacking and illuminating the way forward, supporting community projects and helping to create stability, positivity and resilience as we move forward. There is, of course, a way to go. At the time when the storms hit, we said to the community that if they needed anything, but were unsure of where to go, to give us a call and ask. That’s as true today as it was on the week of 9 June, 2021. No matter what the years ahead bring, we’ll be here to help, to lead, to guide and, most importantly, to listen as we go down the road together.


Finding the right tools for life’s many jobs Focal Point

I started my last article by saying that I had noted that a feature article in a previous week’s Star-Mail had caught my attention and became a driver for what I wrote. Again, one word in a heading in the ‘Opinion’ section last week caught my eye too – TOOLKIT. ‘Anita’ was talking about a toolkit for politics. The next day one of my former counselling clients mentioned what I had taught him about young men needing a toolkit for life. At that time I was talking about an essential psychological and or emotional metaphorical toolkit that they could keep handy under the sink so to speak. We all need tools to deal with disputes and emotional blowouts; some for training children, some need listening devices with which to hear the other person’s point of view. An essential tool we need is the special multidirectional ones to help turn a bad display of anger around, and for that matter, bad situations per-se. We also need tools for helping us fit in with a working team and to help us gain confidence to lead, or for learning about how to be humble at times. In the light of the stresses we are under with Covid, the Flue, kids really not properly settled at school, horrific atrocities overseas, and at home the prices of essentials going sky high around us. 26 MAIL


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

Graeme Dawson Covid continues to be a major concern, for as at the 16th May, 1499 people have died of, not with Covid this year alone to that date fifty on the weekend before that date. You do the sums – what sort of tools do we need to overcome these stats/deaths? Recently I read a short story about a secret hospital built in a cave in western Slovenia and funded by their resistance movement in WW2. It was for the wounded allied soldiers to hide in while receiving treatment. It survived many attempts by the Nazis to find it, yet they cared for both the wounded Allies and Axis armies. In my last article I wrote about the amazing heart, both the physical and emotional hearts created in us all. Hearts motivated by the love of God can empower people like the Salvos to help the helpless ease their load. As I write this, ‘Samaritan’s Purse’, led by Billy Graeme’s son Franklin, has built a ‘blowup’

fully operational hospital in behind the lines in the Ukraine. Some of the most delicate operations are performed there while surgeons, nurses and engineers are risking their lives for others, motivated by the love of God. The whole thing has been a gift to the Ukrainian people. Coincidentally, I recently watched a UTUBE link of Billy’s grandson (‘Will’- a family man in his forties) speaking to 1000 young people in Launceston Tasmania at the Silver Dome. His major message was to encourage them to lay hold of the love that God has for them through His Son Jesus, to help them step out of the shadows of the dark life of fear, drugs, porn, worthlessness, much of which is causing an ever growing number to suicide. He said God can quell those fears, and the darkness is dissolved in His Light. Two weeks ago a visiting pastor to our church spoke on fear. A fear that haunts, manipulates, imprisons and mocks us. It depresses us and given it comes from the dark master – the evil one who can render us hopeless and paralyze us so that we may see no option but to end it. But as Will says, and I know, God responds to our most feeble cries and comes alongside. Many Blessings, Graeme Dawson Chaplain to Community

Marking a century PASSION FOR PROSE WITH CHRISTINE SUN Reader Elizabeth, from Clematis, recently informed us that this year marks the centenary of the publication of English author Richmal Crompton’s Just William. This book of short stories was illustrated by Thomas Henry and published in May 1922. It was followed by 37 more William books, making a total of 385 short stories over nearly five decades. They sold over 12 million copies in the U.K. alone, and have been adapted to films, stage plays and numerous radio and television series. Elizabeth praises Crompton (18901969) as “the J.K. Rowling of her day”. Formerly an excellent and committed schoolteacher, Crompton switched to writing full-time after contracting poliomyelitis in 1923. The protagonist of the William books is a mischievous and unruly 11-year-old schoolboy living in a village in Southern England. As Elizabeth describes itl: “Being helpful was William’s aim in life. Not all the recipients of his help were grateful.” William and his friends Ginger, Henry and Douglas call themselves the Outlaws. They are occasionally joined by the lisping Violet-Elizabeth (“I’ll thcream and thcream and thcream til I’m thick”). William’s chief rival in the village is Hubert, but Arabella also manages to disrupt the group’s adventures from time to time. Interestingly, although the William books were published between 1922 and 1970, their characters do not age, despite each book being set in the era in which it was written. This allows readers to observe, through William’s eyes, some of the 20th century’s major events, including but not limited to the two World Wars and the Space Race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In a similar way that the Shire in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings represents a place to be remembered in times of trial, William’s village may be seen as a microcosm of the larger world, with the boy and his mates being innocent onlookers. Elizabeth explains: “The books are a satirical take on life in a ‘quiet’ English village, with its ostensibly ‘normal’ inhabitants and ‘ordinary’ activities. Hypocrisy and self-importance in the adult world are exposed through William’s exploits.” It’s worth mentioning that the William books were originally created for adult readers. While Crompton was pleased by their success, she felt frustrated that her other novels and short stories didn’t receive the same recognition. In Elizabeth’s words: “The books were not written for children; the language is sophisticated and obviously for grown-ups. When it became clear that children had discovered the books, [Crompton] didn’t change her style or write down to her younger readers. I remember, as a twelve-year-old, asking my mother what ‘ejaculated’ meant. ‘Exclaimed dear, exclaimed!’ I wondered why she seemed embarrassed.” Those interested in meeting William can check out some of Crompton’s eAudiobooks from Eastern Regional Libraries. These are narrated by Martin Jarvis, “the wizard of the talking book” and “one of Britain’s most distinguished and versatile actors” as described by The Daily Telegraph and BBC, respectively. Once again, THANK YOU to Elizabeth who brings to our attention a brilliant author and her books. Trades & Services

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• The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website Any person who may be affected by the amendment may make a submission to the planning authority about the amendment. Submissions must be in writing giving the submitter’s name and contact address, clearly stating the grounds on which the amendment is supported or opposed and indicating what changes (if any) the submitter wishes to make. Name and contact details of submitters are required for Council to consider submissions and to notify submitters of the opportunity to attend Council meetings and any public hearing held to consider submissions. The closing date for submissions is 18 July 2022.

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Bells Civil Excavation are seeking suitably experienced (5 years +) excavation workers in the following areas: Stormwater/ Pipe layer, Excavator and Grader Operators (with final trim experience), Pit Builder, Site Supervisor Min MR truck licence but HC an advantage. Must have References. Contact: Zac 0400 524 454

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From The Basin to MCG By Parker McKenzie On Sunday 5 June, Hawthorn star Liam Shiels played his 250th game for Hawthorn in their four-point loss to Collingwood Football Club, another milestone in a career spanning three premierships seasons and 14 years in the AFL. In another life, however, Shiels may have been lining up for Australia as they prepare for their do-or-die World Cup qualifier. “I actually grew up playing soccer till I was about 14 or 15. All my mates at Aquinas College were playing at the Basin Footy Club and they convinced me to go down and play. Otherwise, I’d still probably be playing soccer,” Shiels said. “I was lucky enough to get picked up for the Eastern Ranges and played some okay footy down there and progressed through to Vic Metro and was lucky enough to make the squad, and then get drafted a couple of years later.” Aside from a singular appearance for Boronia Football Club — filling in for his older brothers’ team — Shiels said spending his junior career with the Basin Football Club was integral to his development as a footballer. “I had some of my greatest memories down at Batterham Reserve,” he said. “Playing local footy is all about having fun with your mates and I think down there was a great experience and a great place to start my footy journey.” Having grown up in Boronia, with his parents and siblings still residing in the surrounding area, the eastern suburbs remains a fixture in Shiels life. “My sister’s fiance is the captain down at The Basin now, so I get down and watch him a little bit,” he said. “I try to get down there a couple of times

Liam Shiels at The Basin Football Club in 2016.


throughout the season depending on when the schedule marries up with our games.” When Shiels was first drafted by Hawthorn in 2008, he had no idea of the journey and career he was setting out on. “I knew I was going to a pretty strong footy club and it was going to be tough to get a game, but Hawthorn didn’t make finals in 2009 and had a rough year in 2010 so a few of us younger guys who’d been at the club for only a few years started to get a few games, which definitely helped out with my development,” he said.

“From 2011 to probably 2018 we were a highly successful side that was challenging for premierships every year, finishing in the top four. To play in four grand finals and win three of those is a huge thrill. “A lot of players go through their whole career playing in limited finals and only a few get to play in a premiership. To play in three, I feel extremely grateful.” His three premierships came in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Shiels has won several club awards and honours throughout his career.

Despite the success he’s already experienced, Shiels believes he still has another year or two of professional football left in him. “My body still feels good and I’m really enjoying it. My mind’s in a good place and hopefully, I’ve got another year or two left in me,” he said. “I’m 31 now, that’s old in terms of footy and you usually get one-year contracts after that. Fingers crossed I can stay at Hawthorn and be a one-club player.” For any local aspiring footballers looking to follow in his footsteps, Shiels said the most important thing to do is work hard and enjoy your football. “Put in the extra work, whether it’s around their skills, practising their non-preferred handball, doing plenty of touch with the footy so they’re clean out there on game day, doing extra recovery or eating the right stuff, anything to get the one up against your opponent or anyone else who’s trying to get drafted,” he said. “It’s important to have fun and enjoy yourself. That’s why I first started playing AFL footy because I wanted to catch up on Monday at school about how we went on the weekend.” Most of all, Shiels said he is grateful to be able to play 250 games “at a great club like Hawthorn.” “I’ve had an enormous amount of help throughout my junior career and ever since I started playing AFL,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of people to thank, it’s hard to single out there are so many, but probably most importantly my family have supported me my whole life and my whole football career.”

Half way mark for Montrose sees four welcomed wins By Mikayla van Loon The senior side at Montrose Football Club rounded out the first half of the season with an impressive win over top four competitor, Croydon, making it the team’s fourth win for the year. Rebuilding the coaching and playing roster, senior coach Gary Ayres said the focus has been on the long term and sustained success but ideally he would have liked to have seen more wins than losses at this point of the season. “The competition is so even that I thought we might have been at a pinch another close game there, whether it was at Beaconsfield or even the Lilydale game where we lost unfortunately on the kick after the siren,” he said. “But having said that, looking at quarters, which I always do, we’ve now played nine games, having been able to overcome Croydon on Saturday, so we’ve probably only played what I would say are two unacceptable quarters and that happened to be against Bayswater.” Ayres said up until round nine, the team had played 37 players, ten of whom were debutantes in the senior side, the most recent being two ruckmen, 19-year-old Ben Johnson and 16-year-old Iliro Smit. “It’s exciting when two young boys are given that chance and they certainly had a fairly significant contribution level, which we’re all very pleased about,” Ayres said. Nevertheless, Ayres said he thinks the team is one game behind where he would like to be sitting and while injuries and Covid have contributed to the teams variation in players week to week, as coach he now has an understanding of who will help form the best side. While those sitting at the top of the ladder, being Mooroolbark and East Ringwood, are in the most comfortable position, the middle section of the ladder is anybody’s game. Losing by small margins to East Ringwood, Mooroolbark, Beaconsfield and Lilydale, Ayres said they are the most important games to get learnings out of.

Montrose Football Club will be taking on division 1s top side, Mooroolbark, over the Queen’s Birthday weekend. “I’ve always thought that the two things that change each week are the opposition and the tactics that you use to try and exploit their strengths and weaknesses to a degree. “We understand that there is very little between the competition because outside Mooroolbark being undefeated and East Ringwood having only lost one game, obviously to Mooroolbark, between third and ninth, you can go one game either way and a bit of percentage. So that’s how tight the competition really is.” Playing in a standalone match for the

Queen’s Birthday weekend against Mooroolbark, Ayres said having the home advantage and hopefully a good crowd will be a boost to Montrose coming off a previous win. “We’ve come off what I believe is our best team win against Croydon that certainly are a top four side. So that should give us confidence as well and anything we do at Montrose now is about accepting the challenge.” Moving forward into the back half of the season, Ayres said one of his main takeaways has been when the team gets the defensive right they have been able to convert


that to scoring. “When we actually get the defensive side of our game right, then that generally means the offense will take care of itself.” Seeing some more experienced players come into the ranks, as well as those who are less experienced make their debuts, Aryes said it’s a good moment for the football club, adding to its 100 year history. “There’s some exciting times going forward but we’ll only make those exciting by the fact of the matter that we just keep striving to be better.” Tuesday, 14 June, 2022




Club top raffle raisers By Tyler Wright Olinda-Ferny Creek Football Netball (OFCNC) club have raised over nine thousand dollars as part of their main annual fundraiser. The club has currently raised the highest amount of any registered local club in Victoria, and the second largest amount country-wide, as part of the Toyota Good for Footy raffle. “We managed to raise 12 thousand dollars last year and we’re trying to beat that,” OFCNC President Mick Hill said. “All the clubs have to do is register their club and get their players to network,” Mick said. This year, the president said the club will use the funds raised by the players to put back into specialist coaching, strength and conditioning, equipment such as netballs and footballs and coaches for their junior teams. Money generated from officials will be invested in the facility itself. “Most clubs now could be anywhere between 150,000 and 300,000 dollars to run [for] a senior football-netball club in the Yarra Valley,” he said. “The club doesn’t survive without [this] fundraising].” Since 2013, the Toyota Good for Footy Raffle has helped raise eight million dollars for thousands of local clubs which has been instrumental in keeping grassroots footy alive. 100 per cent of the raffle ticket proceeds go towards the clubs for whom the raffle tickets are purchased with the current total Australiawide sitting at $369,125. Monbulk Football Netball Club has also registered for the raffle and raised $150. To find out more about the raffle and donate to your local Dandenong Ranges sporting club, visit https://toyotagoodforfooty.raffletix. The top three prizes include 2022 Toyota models.

Olinda Ferny Creek Football Netball Club are looking to beat their record of 12 thousand dollars raised through the Toyota Good for Footy raffle this year. Picture: TREVOR CURRIE

Lights on for $120,000 Boronia Bowls Club project By Parker McKenzie Boronia Bowls Club has received funding from state and local government to build new lighting at their home ground, a move their president called a “massive step forward”. On Saturday 4 July, Bayswater MP Jackson Taylor announced the Victorian State Government would contribute $60,000 towards LED lighting for the club’s greens. Knox City Council and Boronia Bowls Club will each contribute $30,000 to the project. Boronia Bowls Club President Mike Gage said a large number of the club’s members turned up for the announcement over the weekend. “We’re extremely grateful to the Victorian State Government and to Knox Council for agreeing to and allowing this to happen,” he said. “There’s been a colossal amount of work internally by our club committee to help make this happen.” The project consists of new competitiongrade 100 lux LED lights on both of the club’s greens, with the state government contribution being funded through the 2021-22 local sports infrastructure fund. Mr Taylor said he is “stoked that the State Government is backing in a ripper local club like Boronia Bowls Club with funds to see new and much-needed light.” “They’re a great community-focussed club and I know this means a lot to them and the whole community.” “Sport and active recreation is the heart and soul of our community – and I’m proud to be a part of a government that’s backing clubs in with even more funding so they can focus on doing what they do best.” Boronia Bowls Club’s facilities — located at 5 Marie Street, Boronia — have been their home ground since it formed in 1952. The Victorian State Government said it has invested $1.2 billion into community sport and active recreation infrastructure since 2014. Mr Gage said the club wouldn’t be able to 30 MAIL


Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

Bayswater MP Jackson Taylor with Boronia Bowls Club members. afford the expenditure for the project without the contributions. “We’ve got very aged lighting. It’s very inefficient and pretty much on its last legs now,” he said.

“We can double the capacity of the players that can play when the when the sun’s down and we need to turn the lights on.” Applications for a share of $30 million through the 2022 local sports infra-

Picture: SUPPLIED structure are now open. Interested clubs should contact their local councils for assistance through the application process and can find out more information at sports.vic.


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