Mail - Ranges Trader Star Mail - 26th July 2022

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Ranges Trader

Exclusive with Monbulk MP on decision to step down

Preparations underway for Kokoda anniversary



Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

Mail Reports on storm and environment revealed

CFA members receive top accolades



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Blow for rebuild By Tyler Wright

Natalie Guest on her Kalorama property deemed a total loss after the June 2021 storm event. The Yarra Ranges Council have told her and husband Lee it is unlikely they will be able to approve a planning permit for the family to rebuild. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS


After Natalie and Lee Guest’s Kalorama home and property were destroyed in the devastating 2021 June storm event, the couple began plans to rebuild on the land they call home alongside their 14 year old daughter. But almost 13 months later at the end of June 2022, these plans were brought to a halt when the Yarra Ranges Council told the Guest family it would be highly unlikely to approve a future planning application. This decision was made after the land was deemed a ‘moderate’ landslip risk by a report from mandatory geotechnical assessment - a process required on a piece of land covered by an Erosion Management Overlay (EMO). The Guest’s property falls under this overlay and is an area of pre-existing landslips, requiring a geotechnical assessment be completed to establish the level of risk. The geotechnical report stated there was a 1 in 100,000 year probability of the house being destroyed by a landslide - a source of frustration for Natalie after already spending close to $50,000 on landscaping and organising for the rebuild to begin in September before being delivered the news. Natalie said Bushfire Recovery Victoria had replaced the top section of the property’s driveway and installed a retaining wall - a futile effort if a rebuild is unable to go ahead. “We want to do a long single leveled home and stretch it out across the block, because this is a flame zone here - our whole house was within the 50 metre boundary to be a flame zone” Natalie said. “So we can’t we can’t do that now, we could have but it’s another 60 per cent on top of the building price to do a flame zone house. “We thought while we’ve got the oppor-

tunity - well, we thought that we had the opportunity, to build and be further up, old age, [dodgy] knees, let’s eliminate all the stairs.” Now, the family of three and their dog are still living in a rental in Bayswater with costs footed by their insurance company, with compensated accommodation ending in July 2023. Until then, the family are fighting for solutions to make their beloved home habitable once again. “All our ducks were all lined up to be working, [with] everything happening at the right time; geotech surveys, septic guys, everything was all lined up and all happening as we thought that it should be re our re-planning journey, and we were well ahead,” Natalie said. “[Then] the council said if you want to build you’ll have to fight us and go to VCAT because of the erosion management overlay.” In a statement to the Star Mail, the Yarra Ranges Council said it had not received a planning permit from the Guests, therefore no formal decision has been made, but it would be highly unlikely an application with a moderate geotechnical risk assessment would be approved as it does not meet the requirements of the Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme. “We have been discussing the issue of complex planning matters with the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) and Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) since the storm and have raised this specific issue,” Yarra Ranges Mayor Councillor Jim Child said. “Back in November 2021 we provided the State Government with our business cases for our storm recovery. This included requested funds to undertake geotech assessments for all properties lost in the storm covered with an EMO however this has not yet been agreed to,” Cr Child said. Continued page 3

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Why MP’s stepping down EXCLUSIVE By Parker McKenzie When Monbulk MP James Merlino announced his decision to step down from the cabinet and retire at the next state election, it came as a shock to many in the community. Often touted as a potential successor to Premier Daniel Andrews, the former Deputy Premier and Minister for Education spoke to the Star Mail about his decision to retire, life after Parliament and what he has achieved in his two-decade-long career. Mr Merlino said making the massive life decision was something he often discussed at the end of every term with his wife Meagan. “It’s a commitment for four years at a time and it just got to the point where it’s going to be 20 years in November, it’s a long time,” Mr Merlino said. “I’ve got the energy to compete right up until the election, but another four years was a big call and I feel this is the right time with Meagan’s career being just as important as mine, the age of the kids and what their up to — I know the kids are excited — it’s the right call.” The November 26 state election will be the first time since 1999 where the ballot hasn’t featured Mr Merlino’s name, with local small business owner Daniela De Martino taking his place as the Labor candidate. Mr Merlino said he wouldn’t be far from the contest, however, as he takes up an important role as chair of the state campaign between now and November. “That will involve me supporting Daniela the candidate here in Monbulk but also supporting candidates right across the state, so I’m really looking forward to that role,” he said. “I love campaigns; I love the contest of ideas and engaging with the community. It’s a different role but I’m looking forward to that over the next five months.” After being elected in 2002, he has served

Monbulk MP James Merlino spoke to the Star Mail about calling the curtain on a two-decade-long career in State Parliament. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE under three Labor Premiers —John Brumby, Steve Bracks and Mr Andrews — and has been Minister for Police, Minister for Emergency Services and Minister for Education throughout his time in parliament. Mr Merlino said there have been changes in the Monbulk electorate to be proud of, but he’s also proud of what has stayed the same over his 20 years as a MP. “I look around our community and school upgrades, the sport and recreational upgrades, the Olinda precinct which has just been amazing and the community facilities such as Burrinja. This is a great community,” he said. “We’ve also protected what we love in the

Dandenong Ranges, which is the beautiful environment. An achievement is also no change in that space, we haven’t lost that. One of the things we introduced when I was a member of the Bracks government was Green Wedge protection and that has worked.” Mr Merlino became Deputy Premier and Minister for Education in 2014 and served in these roles throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. He also led the state as Acting-Premier when Mr Andrews was injured in March 2021. He said negative public discourse has been amplified through social media in recent years to the detriment of the general public, who instead want to see federal and state govern-

ments work together to deliver for the local community. “That has contributed to a lowering of the standards and more vitriol, partisanship and extreme views getting airtime. That’s not just in Victoria and Australia, but people with extreme views have an elevated opportunity to get their extreme views out in the public,” he said. “We’ve all got a role to play. People personally, politicians and the media. I’m an optimist; I’m not a pessimist so I think we can get there. That’s why I enjoy the engagement on ideas and the contest of ideas and trying to do it as respectfully as possible.” When asked about his greatest achievements throughout his time in government, Mr Merlino said he was proud to have saved Lilydale TAFE. “It was a key election commitment in 2014, and it was amazing to finally remove the padlocks on the gate and welcome local students back on campus,” he said. “My dream was to be the Education Minister. To have that role for almost eight years has been an absolute joy. Building new schools and upgrading schools right across the state, supporting our most vulnerable kids, introducing the new VCE Vocational Major — which starts next year —there’s a whole range of things in education that I’m really proud of, “The other one that comes to mind at a statewide level is the Mental Health Royal Commission. It was huge to be responsible for the first two years of that 10-year reform. It is absolutely transformational work and if we get it right it will save 1000s of lives.” Mr Merlino said most of all it has been an honour and a privilege to be the local Member of Parliament for Monbulk over a significant period of time. “I live in the hills, I love the hills, I love my community and I want to thank them for their support over a long period of time,” he said. “You can’t get everything right in government, but I’ve done my best for the community and want to thank them for the opportunity.”

State Government to introduce reforms from IBAC By Parker McKenzie The Victorian State Government has announced it will introduce all 21 recommendations made by a scathing IBAC report into the integrity and ethical conduct of members of parliament and their staff by June 2024. Operations Watts was an investigation by IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass into “allegations that some members of parliament were misusing public funds to pursue the interests” of factions within the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party. Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Wednesday 20 July —the same day the IBAC findings were released — his government would adopt and implement all the recommendations made. “Victorians deserve to have confidence in the political parties and public institutions that serve them,” he said. “This report and the significant reforms it has driven are absolutely critical. That’s why we’re going to implement all of the IBAC’s recommendations and go beyond them.” A Parliamentary Ethics Committee composed of an equal number of members from the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council will be established by Parliament to monitor the effectiveness of ethical obligations imposed on MPs, promote and provide training and information about the code of conduct, prepare guidance materials for staff and MPs and review the Statement of Values and Code of Conduct in the Members of Parliament (Standards) Act 1978 every four years. The Government and Parliament will work together to establish a Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner as an independent officer who will receive and investigate complaints about possible non-criminal breaches of conduct and standards. 2 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

Premier Daniel Andrews announced today all 21 recommendations from the Operation Watts report would be implemented. Picture: ON FILE MPs will be banned from employing family members in electorate offices and the Code of Conduct will be updated to ensure public resources aren’t used for part-specific purposes by staff by creating an offence for MPs who direct or allow a person to do so. The 18 other recommendations from the Operation Watts report will also be introduced. Attorney General Jaclyn Symes said the reforms shouldn’t be driven within one political party and instead they should be law. “These reforms deserve broad and bipartisan support,” she said.

“We’ll consult and engage with all Members of Parliament from all political parties to deliver the lasting change Victorians expect.” The State Government also intends to bring in another three changes for all political parties in Victoria. Firstly, major political parties will be required to meet minimum requirements of administration to qualify for public funding, including party memberships paid by traceable means, mandatory photo ID checks for new members, proof of eligibility to hold a concessional membership and measures to ensure compliance. The thresholds to qualify for these mini-

mum requirements haven’t yet been established but will apply to parties in the parliamentary system. The State Government said the threshold might be based on the number of MPs, members in their party or the amount of public funding being received while being designed to not disadvantage newly established parties. Secondly, the Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner will be able to able to examine the behaviour of MPs to provide an avenue for complaints of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment to be investigated. Finally, employment arrangements for ministerial staff will be made consistent with Commonwealth arrangements which will now set out the structure, terms and conditions of their employment. Operation Watts was prompted by confidential information received by IBAC in May 2020 “alleging some members of parliament, including some government ministers, were misusing public funds” to pursue the interests of the Moderate Labor faction in Victoria, lead by Upper House MP Adem Somyurek. IBAC is prohibited from including in a report a finding or opinion that a person is guilty or has committed any criminal or disciplinary offence. The report found factional leaders had “significant influence over the placement of staff as electorate officers or ministerial staff” and “staff were placed under significant pressure to do factional work during office hours.” The investigation found “the work that some staff were encouraged or pressured to do was related to branch stacking” and was clearly for party purposes instead of electoral or ministerial duties. The full report, summary and recommendations from Operation Watts can be read at article/operation-watts-special-report-july-2022


IN BRIEF Increased Covid-19 cases

Lock up vehicles Vehicles being left unlocked is a common issue with Crime Statistics Agency’s figures showing 45 per cent of the time there is no visible force when a car is stolen. Crime Stoppers and Victoria Police are highlighting the importance of changing behaviours when it comes to securing your vehicles and not leaving valuables on display. It only takes a second to lock your car, but it is a lengthy process to replace your phone, ID, credit cards and car, itself. “The most common property items stolen from vehicles include cash and personal documents, car accessories, power tools, mobile phones, and laptops. Theft of property from motor vehicles can cause considerable financial loss and inconvenience. Theft of your

personal documents can also lead to identity theft,” Crime Stoppers CEO Stella Smith. “We want Victorians to always remember to lock and check their vehicles.” Inspector Paul Morgan from Victoria Police said lock it up no matter where you are. “It does not matter if you have parked at a train station, a shopping centre or at home the single most important thing you can do to prevent your car from being stolen is to lock it. Lock your car and always physically check it is locked.” Inspector Morgan also stated vehicle theft impacts people’s sense of safety. “That’s why we’re so determined to address it. Working with Crime Stoppers allows us to bring attention to this issue,” he said.

Family continues fight to rebuild home From page 1 “We have raised this again and hope to work collaboratively with DEWLP and BRV to help our residents faced with this difficult situation. Together we are exploring a number of options that may help residents facing this situation some of which are established responses” Cr Child said understanding what planning controls apply to your home is important and residents can find out what overlays apply by contacting Yarra Ranges Council planning officers or searching the www. and entering your suburb. Even if you do have an Erosion Management Overlay applied to your land, it does not mean that it will necessarily be a risk. Only a geotechnical report will provide you with that information,” Cr Child said. “We will continue to work closely with our residents as they navigate through the planning scheme and we also have counselling support available. If you need assistance after the June storm you can contact our recovery team with by calling Council on 1300 368 333 or emailing communityrecovery@” To date there have been plenty of planning applications approved following the storm but none for complete rebuilds yet. Cathrine Burnett-Wake MP for the Eastern Victorian Region said the Minister for Planning has the power to expedite an amendment to the Planning Scheme to update the Erosion Management Overlay to resolve this issue and what is deemed a moderate risk - something the MP will be calling for when parliament returns in August. “It must be amended to clearly and sensibly state what constitutes a ‘moderate risk’ so that a rare 1 in 100,000 year probability is not deemed moderate and does not prevent future rebuilds,” Ms Burnett-Wake said.

Chamberlain Track fall A woman in her 70s was taken to Knox Private Hospital after a fall on Chamberlain Track in the Dandenong Ranges National Park in Olinda on Friday 22 July. Ambulance Victoria was called out to the incident near Silvan Road at 12.54pm on Friday 22 July where the woman had suffered an ankle injury. She is in a stable condition.

Dandenong Ranges training exercise

A geotech report issued in March 2022 deemed the Guest’s property a ‘moderate’ landslip risk, with a 1 in 100,000 year likelihood of the property being impacted by a landslide. In a statement to the Star Mail, a Victorian Government spokesperson said the Victorian Planning Provisions and local planning schemes, including schedules to overlays, have a range of measures in place to ensure the community is safe from risks to life and property, including landslip and bushfires. “We’re continuing to work with and support storm impacted communities and councils to help them rebuild and recover as fast as possible”, the Victorian Government spokesperson said. “Should a planning permit application be submitted to build on this site, it would be a matter for the Yarra Ranges Council to consider as the responsible authority.”

Multiple trees fell on the Guest’s property after the 2021 9 June storm event, rendering their home a total loss by their insurance company. Pictures: SUPPLIED

Victoria Police conducted a planned multiagency training exercise at the Dandenong Ranges National Park in Silvan on Thursday 21 July. The training was held between 8am and 2pm, with witnesses advised not to be alarmed by emergency service vehicles and personnel in the area. The park will remain open during the exercise so visitors were asked to be mindful of emergency service crews throughout the public trails and surrounds.

Foot and mouth disease Cattle Council has moved to reassure the public that it is perfectly safe to eat beef, despite the threat of Foot and Mouth Disease. The reassurance has been made due to confusion around the impact of Foot and Mouth Disease. Cattle Council President, Lloyd Hick said the disease was not transmissible to humans. “Foot and Mouth Disease can’t make you sick,” Mr Hick said. “It also has no impact on the quality, flavour or nutrition values of beef or any meat product.” The Cattle Council praised biosecurity officials who intercepted pork and beef products contaminated with Foot and Mouth Disease fragments at Australia’s international border. 12541412-HC12-22

Crime Stoppers and Victoria Police are urging Victorians to lock and check their cars to deter criminal behaviour as motor vehicle theft offences continue to plague the region. Crime Statistics Agency data shows 14,881 motor vehicle theft offences were reported state-wide in the year to March 2022. There were 47,140 thefts from motor vehicle offences during the same period. A new initiative launching today, ‘You’ve Been Checked’ aims to remind vehicle owners to secure their cars and make sure valuables aren’t visible. Victoria Police members will be checking cars in some Melbourne locations and providing information packs to motorists about safely securing their vehicles.

The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which are now dominant across Australia, are expected to continue to cause increases in new cases, reinfections and hospital admissions, according to the Victorian Chief Health Officer. The rate of BA.4/BA.5 in clinical genomic surveillance and metropolitan and regional wastewater catchments continues to rise significantly. BA.4/BA.5 have become the dominant strains in clinical genomic samples, rising to 82 per cent in the two weeks prior to 21 July. The BA.4/BA.5 sub-lineages were first identified in Victorian wastewater catchments in April and have since risen from under five per cent in late May to an average of 78 per cent across all catchments by 14 July. This third wave of the Omicron variant is expected to peak in August. The impact of this can be reduced through immediate preventative measures such as wearing a mask in indoor and crowded settings. Wearing masks when indoors outside your home helps protect yourself, your family, and your community. It will also protect our health system and support our front-line healthcare workers by reducing COVID-19 cases in the community and reducing pressure on GP practices and our hospitals.


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Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




Honouring 39th Battalion By Parker McKenzie On the 80th anniversary of the Japanese retreat from Kokoda Village, a commemorative service for those who fought and gave their lives in defence of Australia will be held at the One Tree Hill Picnic Grounds in Tremont, among the cairns and informational panels that form the Walk of Heroes. Life member and former committee member of the 39th Battalion Association Alfred Mallia said the annual service will start at 1pm on Monday 8 August with students from a local school singing the national anthem. “The 39th battalion were 17, 18 and 19-yearold kids who couldn’t go and fight for England because they were underage, they needed their parents’ permission to join the Australian Defence Forces back in those days,” he said. “New Guinea was considered Australian soil at the time, because we were governing Papua New Guinea, meaning the militia units here in Melbourne, New South Wales and South Australia could actually go over to New Guinea to defend our shores.” The four stone cairns explaining events throughout the 39th Battalion’s Kokoda Campaign and the efforts of local Papuan “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” who aided the Australians were unveiled in December 2014, with informational panels detailing individuals soldiers being installed in February 2018 to complete the Walk of Honour. Mr Mallia helped build them with assistance from members of the local public. Mr Mallia said the 39th Battalion was the first unit to face the Japanese as they made their way towards Kokoda, fighting them from July 21 to August 27 1942 in a gruelling campaign through the jungles of modern-day Papa New Guinea. “There aren’t many people that know that that is the only time Australia was at war to defend its own shores,” he said.

Alfred Mallia helped build the cairns along the Walk of Heroes in 2014 with the help of the local community. “When the Japanese decided to retreat from the Village of Kokoda, it was the first time in the Second World War that they did so. It was 8 August when the 39th retook the village, so that’s why we celebrate it.” Senior Sergeant James Cowey, Private Terry Edwards from Belgrave and Private Robert Jones from Upwey were three locals who fought with the 39th Battalion during the Kokoda Campaign, with the unit suffering heavy casualties. The unit only existed for 20 months from 1941 to 1943 after the order to re-raise the battalion was given on October 1 1941, and it was originally passively garrisoned in Papua while being officered by World War One veterans.

Mr Mallia said many are shocked at the ages of those who served in the 39th. “It heavily relied on 16, 17, 18 and 19-yearolds to defend this country,” he said. “The story really needs to be told and the more we can get that message out, the better.” The 39th Batallion was removed from service on 3 July 1943 and ceased to exist, receiving little recognition until decades later. Further memorials to the Kokoda campaigns are being planned around Victoria and an annual football game in Warrnambool will be played on the Saturday preceding the commemorative service. You can learn more about the 39th Battalion at

The information panels across the Walk of Heroes detail the lives and service records of soldiers from the 39th Battalion. Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

Alfred Mallia at the memorial cairn honouring the local Papuan “Fuzzy Wuzzy angels” who aided the Australian military during the Kokoda Campaign.

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Tuesday, 26 July, 2022


MPs discuss local issues By Parker McKenzie It’s a rare occurrence when two sitting Members of Parliament run against each other but come November, Ferntree Gully MP Nick Wakeling will be facing off against the incumbent MP Jackson Taylor in Bayswater after redistricting abolished his seat before the state election. Their careers share more than a few superficial similarities, despite being on opposite sides of the aisle in parliament. Both spent two years as Knox City councillors before entering state politics. In 2006, Mr Wakeling won the seat of Ferntree Gully by just 27 votes and in 2018 Mr Taylor entered parliament with a margin of .04 per cent, one of the closest in the state, and both beat sitting MPs in their first tilt at state politics. The Star Mail spoke to Mr Wakeling and Mr Taylor about how the electoral boundaries will affect them, the issues facing locals and the November state election. The rising cost of living was a primary concern for the local community according to both Mr Taylor and Mr Wakeling, however, they expressed a different outlook on the role the State Government was playing in addressing the issue. Mr Wakeling said many residents in Knox feel the area has been neglected and hasn’t had its fair share of government investment. “People are tired, angry, and looking for a change. Particularly after the last two years, lots of people have raised concerns with me about the direction of this government,” he said. “You’ve got cost of living, house prices going through the roof, interest rate rises, increased costs, and the government’s response instead of supporting Victorians is they’ve increased or introduced new taxes and charges.” Mr Taylor pointed to the $250 Power Saving Bonus, free kinder starting in 2023, over 60 free TAFE courses and the sick pay guarantee for

Bayswater MP Jackson Taylor and Ferntree Gully MP Nick Wakeling both agreed the upgrade of the McMahons Road and Burwood Highway intersection is an excellent outcome for the community. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS casual and contract workers as ways the State Government is delivering real assistance for households. “Since elected in 2018 I have worked alongside our community to deliver around $500 million in local projects and helped to create local jobs,” he said. “There’s always more to do and I’m committed to continuing to listen to every single local on what matters most to them and the challenges they’re facing and matters they raise with me.” Mr Taylor said he had helped secure nearly $100 million for a major expansion of the Angliss Hospital, $60 million for local school upgrades, sporting ground upgrades and revitalising Boronia since joining parliament in 2018. “It has been the honour of a lifetime to continue to represent the community I love and live in. Representing my neighbours, listening to them about what matters most, each and every single day is the most important part of my job,” he said. “I’ve held over 250 mobile offices, knocked on thousands of doors and called tens of thou-

sands of locals to speak with them, not just at election time, but week after week, month after month.” Mr Wakeling said an example of the community not being listened to on local issues is the development of a manmade dam dubbed ‘Lake Knox.’ “It’d be easily solved if the government sat down with the local community and came up with a workable solution,” he said. “Residents aren’t being obstructionists, they aren’t being malicious, they just want to be heard, be listened to and engaged.” In March, Mr Wakeling called for an advisory group including local representation to determine the future of the site and to consider designating it as a sanctuary. Mr Taylor said it was disappointing to see the politicisation of the matter after the plan to retain the man-made dam was discovered to be unworkable. “Investigations found it was structurally unstable with leaks and cracks detected in the dam wall and at risk of collapse, meaning it would need to be completely drained to rectify

this regardless of future use,” Mr Taylor said. “At the end of the day this will create a nature reserve, a fit-for-purpose wetlands sanctuary which will allow the Blue-billed Duck and other wildlife not just to survive, but to thrive and flourish for years to come.” The advertising period for the planning permit applications of the residential subdivision and proposed wetlands closed on Thursday 23 June. After the redistricting, parts of Ferntree Gully are now in Mr Taylor’s electorate of Bayswater, including the Burwood Highway and McMahons Road intersection. In the March 2022 state budget, $30 million was allocated to upgrade the intersection with traffic lights with planning and design slated to begin this year. Mr Wakeling said advocating for the upgrades had been a long-term mission of his, having raised the issue over 20 times in parliament since 2016. “Every time I raised it with the Roads Minister, I was told it was not needed. Now it’s been funded a few months before the state election,” Mr Wakeling said. “It’s not just a good outcome for Ferntree Gully residents, it’s a fantastic outcome. We shouldn’t be fighting like this to get infrastructure, we shouldn’t be fighting like just to get a set of traffic lights.” Mr Taylor said he ended “the talkfest” once and for all on the issue and solved the issue quickly for locals after the boundary changes. “I was proud to secure funding in this year’s State Budget which will deliver lights here making it safer for all locals,” he said. The state election will be held on Saturday 26 November. The revised Bayswater electorate now covers Wantirna, Bayswater, Boronia and parts of Ferntree Gully. The rest of the Ferntree Gully electorate was split between Rowville and Monbulk.

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Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




Two new mobile stations By Parker McKenzie Two mobile base stations announced during the 2022 federal election will be built in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, aiming to alleviate telecommunication issues throughout the region. On Thursday 21 July, Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland announced two stations in Silvan and Menzies Creek will be built through funding from the Federal and State Governments. “Today, I was pleased to announce that 20 locations in Victoria would be funded under the Peri-Urban Mobile Program, including in Silvan and Menzies Creek. This is an important project for the growing area to ensure locals and business can stay connected and safe,” Ms Rowland said. “The Australian Government is committed to improving emergency communications and mobile connectivity right across Australia, and welcome this united commitment with the Victorian Government.” By providing both new and improved 4G and 5G coverage, the towers will improve mobile connectivity in Silvan and Menzies Creek, some areas of Monbulk, Macclesfield, southeast Mount Evelyn and south Seville. $16.2 million in funding from the State and Federal Governments was awarded to mobile network operators to build 20 base stations

Shadow Minister for Communications Senator Sarah Henderson and Casey MP Aaron Violi in Silvan on Wednesday 20 July. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE across the fringes of Greater Melbourne. Funding from the Federal Peri-Urban Mobile Program for the two base stations was

announced in April 2022 by Casey MP Aaron Violi, who was the then-Liberal candidate for the May 21 federal election. The funding was

originally contingent on the Liberal Party being reelected. Mr Violi said during the election campaign he strongly advocated for additional black spot towers through the Peri-Urban Mobile Program. “I was delighted to be able to announce new towers in Silvan and Menzies Creek,” he said. “It is comforting that the Australian Government has agreed to build these towers.” On Wednesday 20 July, the day before the announcement, Mr Violi and Shadow Minister for Communication Sarah Henderson visited local stakeholders to discuss the telecommunication issues in the area. Mr Violi said as a local resident he knows firsthand the communication challenges the community faces. “This is why I was delighted Shadow Minister for Communication Senator the Hon. Sarah Henderson has come to Casey to hear firsthand of the communications challenges across our community.” he said. During the visit, Mr Violi and Ms Henderson met with the Mums of the Hills community group, Mayor Jim Child and Yarra Ranges Council, Kalorama-Mount Dandenong and Kallista CFAs and telecommunications advocate Peter Brennan to discuss connectivity and communications issues highlighted by the June 2021 storm weather event.

Celebrating 30th birthday By Tyler Wright The Olinda Pharmacy has been a mainstay in the Dandenong Ranges community for decades, and last week celebrated its 30 year anniversary servicing the local community. Owner Prakash Chandra bought the Olinda Pharmacy in 1992 and said the business would not have operated for this many years without community support. “There’s been a lot of challenges along the way [including] the storm last year, which brought the community together; we did reach out to the local community, helping them out. “ Prakash said. “[Olinda Pharmacy] is very much part of the local community associated with the local football club in Olinda [and] It’s [about] giving back to the community for the support in lots of ways.” To commemorate the 30 year feat, the pharmacy displayed balloon streamers and gave away gift packs for loyal customers. “We thought we might as well do it for the whole week and then the show that appreciation; small hand cream, lip balm, lipstick, nail polish and for men maybe an umbrella or a beanie hat,” Prakash said. “We serve about 100 customers every day...I service the whole area of the Dandenong Ranges which goes from Ferny Creek all the way to Kalorama,” Prakash said. “It’s a one town pharmacy - people have to travel off the mountain or go to monbulk

or Montrose [otherwise] - they’re the closest pharmacies in the Dandenongs. “[We’ve] been here for the local community and the local doctors are not far from here; they’ve been very supportive.” Prakash said the Olinda Pharmacy has bonded with families and seen parents, children and grandchildren who are now young adults come through the pharmacy doors having settled down themselves. Around 20 years ago, Prakash remembers a downpour of snow which covered the Olinda Pharmacy for two or three days, one main memory from over the years. He also ackowledged the staff who help keep the pharmacy operating. “One of my staff Sonja [has] been here almost 25 years with me; and I’ve got another staff Janet has been here with me for about 15 years, which doesn’t happen normally in a lot of workplaces,” Prakash said. “And then my all my staff that I’ve employed over the years have been staff from the area, they live in the local area, so are familiar with the place and they know the people around the area, so it helps,” he said. Now, Prakash’s daughter, Trisha, who was 18 months old when he brought the business 30 years ago is now working alongside her father in the pharmacy. “It’s wonderful,”Prakash said. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here, but at the moment I’ll keep working for the time being.”

Prakash, Janette, Michelle and Trisha from Olinda Pharmacy were handing out gift packs to loyal customers as part of the pharmacy’s 30 year anniversary last week. 290688 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS 6 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

A privately-owned childcare centre is currently being built at 392 Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Emerald. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Little Gems childcare expanding to Emerald By Tyler Wright A new privately-owned childcare centre is currently being built at 392 Belgrave-Gembrook Road Emerald after Covid-19 related delays proved a setback for its opening. Little Gems Early Learning Emerald director Liz Falcone said the build commenced roughly a year ago was due to be completed in August, but has been pushed back to an unclear date due to Covid-19 related delays. “It’s looking like it’s close, but it’s not quite there,” Liz said. The decision to expand the Little Gems Early Learning Centre to Emerald came after the opportunity rose and the familyoperated centre wanted to increase its capacity. Liz also said said the demand for childcare in the area is “very, very high”. “We have families that are waiting to go back to work from maternity leave and they’ve been waiting all year. They just can’t go back to work properly, because they have no care arrangements,” Liz said. “We have 150 on our waiting list over two centres; so once our Emerald centre opens up, it will create some space with our Gembrook centre because some families will move over, which will then allow some

Gembrook families to come in to Gembrook centre and get back to work.” When the Little Gems Early Learning Centre does open in Emerald, it will operate from 6:30am to 6:30pm five days a week and will be closed on public holidays. “We would like it to feel like another home for our children, so really natural colors and natural feel. Nothing too overwhelming in terms of visual, but just very muted and natural tones to fit into our environment and our philosophy around our natural environments,” Liz said. Despite the Emerald centre not currently operating, Little Gems Early Learning is accepting enrollment forms. “When we know an opening date, we’ll be in contact with those people and see if they still want the same care; if they still would like the same days or if they need to change that - so that’s the way we’re managing our wait list,” Liz said. Planning Permit T160422 was issued for the use and development of the land for a Childcare Centre, vegetation removal and creation of an access to a road in a Road Zone Category 1 at 392 Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Emerald, a Cardinia Shire Council spokesperson told the Star Mail. The endosed plans were issued in May 2018.


Largest outage in history By Parker McKenzie A recent report published by Emergency Management Victoria in collaboration with VICSES assessing the damage, recovery and lessons for residents and government agencies more than a year after the June 2021 weather event has found it created the largest power outage in Victoria’s history. Emergency Management Victoria is the statutory body responsible for leading emergency management in the state and is a part of the Department of Justice and Community Safety. It collected data for the report through 802 interviews of affected residents throughout Victoria, community debriefing and feedback collected during meetings organised by local councils and Bushfire Recovery Victoria, interviews with emergency management personnel, team debriefs and reviews from internal agencies, and files and observations submitted to EMV. The report was followed by a meeting on Saturday 16 July as “an opportunity to brief the community on the Extreme Weather Learning Review community report,” according to EMV. EMV Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said in an online statement the input of the community was vital to the review. “Impacted communities were grateful for the support they received from agencies and departments and other community members during and after the event, and we are working to ensure that in future emergencies, all communities experience that same level of support,” he said. “However, there were challenges. Intelligence gathering, communication, and warnings were affected by the extreme weather and the significant impact on critical infrastructure including energy and telecommunications.” According to the report, 69 per cent of Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Ranges residents accessed some form of support or recovery service since the storm weather event, compared to just 20 per cent overall throughout Victoria. These services took the form of emergency

Olinda Recreational Reserve after the June storm weather event, where 3000 houses in the Dandenong Ranges lost power for three weeks. Picture: ON FILE financial assistance, emergency shelter, distribution of material aid, food and water supply, community relief information, psychosocial support, animal welfare, health and medical assistance and reconnecting family and friends. Eight schools were closed because of the impact of the storm on facilities in the Dandenong Ranges. It also established the impacts on the affected communities extend well past the event, a well-known fact to people living throughout the hills and Yarra Valley. “Community members feel that due to the size and scale of this event, the clean-up and recovery process will take a considerable amount of time because of the amount of damage and quantity of work that still need to occur,” the report said. “Some members continue to feel the physical and emotional impacts of this event due to its severity, the potential fire risk resulting from unremoved debris, and concerns of lack of follow up of support provided by agencies.” The report also found the June 2021 weather event created the largest power outages in Victoria, with 3000 people in the Dandenong Ranges losing power for three weeks. 71 per cent of residents who responded to the survey reported losing access to at least one of power, telecommunications or internet,

with 33 per cent reporting the loss of services ‘completely’ impacted their ability to receive emergency information during the extreme weather event. “The high dependence on power and telecommunications to disperse messages, information and warnings were compromised due to the complex and widespread impacts of the extreme weather event,” the report said. “Community members experienced difficulties and challenges in receiving emergency information via these traditional methods, prompting adaptation and customary approaches to obtaining vital information to inform decision making.” The lack of alternate channels for communications when there was no power or telecommunications “created challenges during this event and resulted in reports of some community members being unable to access information in the days following.” In response to the telecommunication issues, the report states the Victorian Government is “pursuing a number of avenues to improve the resilience of telecommunications networks during emergencies.” These include co-investing in and supporting the Federal Government’s Strengthening Telecommunications against Natural Disaster package, Delivering mobile programs and participating in the Federal Mobile Black Spot Program and delivering the $500 million Connecting Victoria program. So far through the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions Connecting Victoria Program, 54 locations across the state will get access to faster and more resilient broadband. None of the projects funded are located in the Dandenong Ranges or Yarra Valley. The Connecting Victoria Projects page on the DJPR website states it will “continue to partner with telecommunications providers to improve mobile coverage and broadband access in more places in outer suburban Melbourne and regional Victoria.” “When selecting locations, we are considering existing gaps in connectivity and where infrastructure improvements will make the

biggest difference for communities and businesses, particularly in terms of economic opportunities, safety and inclusion,” DJPR said. In April 2018, Kalorama, Gembrook and Mount Evelyn were flagged by the Department of Communications and the Arts as a part of the list of 125 priority locations for mobile telecommunications stations in the Mobile Black Spot Program. Since then, Vodafone has cancelled the construction of the Kalorama base station, citing “unforeseen technical, site acquisition or planning approval issues.” “Despite engaging with local council, national parks, VicRoads and other stakeholders, we were unable to find a suitable location for construction of this base station. As a result, we requested the site to be removed from the program and the department approved the request.” a TPG Telecom spokesperson said. Macrocell base stations were built in Mt Evelyn and Gembrook before the storm weather event. The STAND program allocated $37.1 million to upgrading communications networks — like the before mentioned base stations — including $10.9 million to deploy new generators, upgrade battery systems and improve transmission resilience. In May 2020, the Gembrook base station received upgrades. Since the June 2021 weather event, no major telecommunication resilience projects in the Dandenong Ranges have been announced. Under the heading of “What’s changed?”, the final page of the report gives a stark reminder of the work still to be done as it lists regional coordination and a broader definition of community makeup as the somewhat tangible changes made more than a year on from the weather event. In May 2022, the Victorian Government announced Bushfire Recovery Victoria will expand its responsibilities to lead the state’s recovery from major disasters, being renamed Emergency Recovery Victoria. On Thursday 21 July, the construction of two mobile base stations in Menzies Creek and Silvan was announced through the Peri-Urban Mobile Program.

State of the Environment report reveals dire reality By Renee Wood The State of the Environment 2021 report has revealed the health of the Australian environment is ‘poor and deteriorating’ with pressures such as climate change, land clearing, invasive species, pollution and urban expansion being felt. Environment minister Tanya Plibersek has released the report, saying it’s time the public knew the truth after the report was first issued to the former government late last year. “It’s a confronting read and Australians deserve the truth,” Ms Plibersek said at the National Press Club meeting where she released the report. The report’s principal authors were Dr Ian Cresswell, Dr Terri Janke and Professor Emma Johnston and it covers key findings, outlooks and impacts, environmental stresses and management. The key findings have flagged the effects of changing environmental conditions which are seeing species and ecosystems struggling, and 10 of the 18 ecosystems at risk of collapse are terrestrial. Multiple pressures are amplifying the threats to our environment, and abrupt changes in ecological systems have been recorded in the past five years. Threatened species strategies have only achieved partial success, improving the future for 21 species, but many didn’t show improvements. Overall the number of listed species has grown since 2016. It has highlighted our dependence on a healthy and sustainable environment; however the country’s inability to adequately manage pressures will continue to result in extinctions and deteriorating ecosystems. There’s been a reduction in new species being identified while a rise in more species being threatened or at risk of extinction.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek addressed the National Press Club regarding the report. Australia’s losing more mammal species than any other continent, there are more foreign plant species than there are natives, with more than 1900 species and ecological communities threatened or risk of extinction. More catastrophic storm events, heat waves and bushfires are predicted and the true effect of the most recent disasters such as the 2019-2020 bushfires are still being discovered, with 3 billion creatures killed or displaced in that event. Deforestation is a key contributor to the decline in the environment - nearly 290,000 hectares of primary forest cleared and a further 343,000 hectares of re-growth forest was cleared from 2015 to 2019. A decline in soil health has created soil

that’s less productive, less fertile, and less efficient in holding water, with threats to more agriculture land and the encroachment and reduction of agriculture land also being felt. It’s recommended landfill and waste strategies need addressing, with illegal dumping zones and unsustainable waste causing pollution to soil, water and land through waste and litter. Marine life and coastal ecosystems are also subsequently being affected by climate change, pollution and plastics. Native fish species have declined by 90 per cent in the past 150 years. Climate action failure, human environmental damage, biodiversity loss and infectious diseases are the top five global risks expected to cause negative impacts over the next 10 years. The report worked side by side with First Nations people to combine knowledge and provide the first holistic assessment of the current state of Australia’s environment. It also states greater recognition and empowerment of indigenous land management practices are needed to heal country. Greater national leadership and combined work between states and territories, better data gathering and response were flagged as pathways forward. The minister for environment said the commonwealth will be taking action to change the trajectory of the predicted future. “In 2022 Australians voted for the environment, they voted for action on climate change, they voted for their children and grandchildren and every generation of Australians follow us,” Ms Plibersek said. “When you change the government, you change the country and after a lost decade, after decade of going backwards we can’t waste another minute.” Ms Plibersek said this term of government

she will be guided by three goals, to protect, to restore and to manage Australia’s environment. “We need to protect our environment and heritage for the future. We need to restore environments that have already been damaged and we need to actively manage our landscapes, oceans and waterways and the critical places that were bound to protect so they don’t become rundown through neglect - that’s our agenda.” Announcements were made during the National Press Club address, including developing new environmental legislation for 2023, expanding Australia’s national estate setting a goal of protecting 30 per cent of land and 30 per cent of oceans by 2030. “This will require a fundamental reform of our national environmental goals and empowering a new Environmental Protection Agency. “We will explore the creation of new national parks and marine protected areas, including by pursuing the East Antarctic Marine.” Also with agreement from the treasurer, the well being budget will also include environmental indicators. The government has also acknowledged the respect and rights for indigenous peoples to look after country and Ms Plibersek announced it will double the number of indigenous Rangers by the end of the decade to 3800 and significantly increased funding for Indigenous Protected areas. “First Nations Australians have managed this country for 65 thousands years and they did it through changing seasons, shifting across radically different environments. These systems of environmental knowledge have been passed down for 1000s of generations, and any modern conservation program should incorporate them.” To read the report, visit Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




Ralph has the spirit By Tyler Wright Two volunteers for the Kallista-The Patch Fire Brigade were acknowledged as part of the CFA’S 2022 Spirit of CFA Awards held in Ballarat on Sunday 17 July. Long serving member Ralph Ross was named the winner of this year’s Seniors Award, which pays tribute to CFA members ‘over the age of 60 who inspire and mentor others through their commitment to their brigade and community. ‘ The recipient of the award is also heralded for consistently demonstrating collaboration, initiative, and leadership. “I was overwhelmed, because when I got the email to say ‘you are one of the finalists,’ I didn’t expect that; I didn’t actually expect to get into the finals to be honest,” Ralph said. “[I’m] pretty chuffed actually - [it’s] pretty humbling.” Ralph made the trip to Ballarat to receive the award and was joined by CFA members; both individuals and teams awarded for their work in areas including community engagement and innovation, alongside his wife Carol. Ralph initially joined the CFA as volunteer at the Upwey Fire Brigade 43 years ago and had genuine basic skills and training instilled in him throughout his early years of involvement in the CFA. “Captain Peter Marke and Peter Hall were really full on about doing skills maintenance and training, even in the early days,” Ralph said. “I was at Upwey for about seven or eight years, and then we brought at Kallista. Kallista were having a roadside collection and I met the [Kallista-The Patch] captain. He said ‘we’ve been waiting for you’; and I’ve been at Kallista ever since for 30 odd years.” In his time at the Kallista-The Patch Fire Brigade Ralph has held various lieutenant positions, and is now both president of the brigade and group communications officer. “We normally we would have 25 to 30 operational members [and] a total of about 50 operational and support members. It’s a small community and just like a big family, really,” Ralph said. Luke Tyler-Maclean, a newer member of the Kallista-The Patch Fire Brigade was highly commended in the 2022 Youth Award category, which recognises the commitment of members aged between 11 years old and 25 years old. While Luke could not attend the Ballarat

By Parker McKenzie

Kallista-The Patch Fire Brigade member Ralph Ross receiving his Seniors Award at the 2022 Spirit of CFA Awards ceremony. Picture: BLAIR DELLEMIJN, UNIFORM PHOTOGRAPHY ceremony, his fellow members celebrated his achievement at the brigade station on Wednesday July 20. “It was a little surprising and very humbling,” Luke said of being notified of his commendation. “I’m not a great with a person with awards, so it’s a little bit embarrassing, but it’s good to be recognized,” Luke said. Both Luke and Ralph were nominated for their respective youth and seniors award categories by Kallista-The Patch Fire Brigade Captain Martin Noonan. There were many nominations for the biennial awards which began in 2018. CFA CEO Natalie MacDonald said she was pleased to be able to recognise those who have made a real difference to the organisation

through their contributions. “Hearing about the accomplishments of our nominees was tremendously humbling. Meeting and recognising our winners confirms the significance of CFA in the community and the principles we stand for,” Ms MacDonald said. CFA Acting Chief Officer Gavin Thompson congratulated the recipients and finalists on their significant contributions and outstanding achievements. “CFA is incredibly proud of its members, and it is great to see our members recognised for their contributions to both our organisation and local communities,” Mr Thompson said. “Their dedication and effort are essential to assisting us in achieving our mission, which is to protect lives and property.”

Salvos Stores in need of winter donations By Renee Wood The Salvation Army is putting out the call to Yarra Valley residents asking for winter donations to fill Salvos Stores as the demand for items sees warehouse stock dry up. Regional Manager Leigh Murphy said a combination of a rise in demand and less winter donations last year has led to this. “It’s really at the point now where we’re out of stock in our Victorian warehouse for winter stock,” he said. As the cooler weather dips to below zero in the Yarra Valley and the rising cost of living takes hold, the demand for budget friendly winter items is prevalent. “Certainly we’re seeing more customers in different circumstances from a personal perspective needing us more and more, so I guess with that becomes a need for all types of items that we sell in our stores,” he said. Salvos Stores are currently offering customer who donate winter goods a 20 per cent voucher which can be used for their next purchase in a bid to bring in more goods. “We’ve had some cold mornings and cool days still, so we’ve still got a way to go with winter so we really need more winter stock coming through.” The Salvos Stores are the Salvation Army’s main fundraising drive which helps to deliver support for many Australians across the country. “Everything we do in regards to our stores really goes into support those programs within the Salvation Army such as for homelessness, 8 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

Boronia captain thanked Boronia CFA Captain Ramon Relph was awarded an Individual Award at the 2022 Spirit of CFA awards for his commitment to diversity and inclusiveness at the brigade. Mr Relph received the award for Excellence in Innovation, which celebrates “CFA members who lead transformational change in our services, systems, governance and processes to improve service delivery outcomes, meeting organisational and community needs now and into the future.” He said he didn’t find out he was winning the award until the event on Sunday 17 July. “Actually winning the award was brilliant. It was very much a shock,” he said. “A number of awards were given out on the night for volunteers, and family members were in attendance to see some recognised for their work.” Mr Relph said despite being an individual award, he couldn’t have done it without the rest of the brigade. “The type of brigade and membership I have is very diverse with different nationalities, different age groups from different walks of life,” he said. “It was more for the whole of the brigade and the way they look after each other, look out for each other and support each other.” CFA CEO Natalie MacDonald said she was pleased to be able to recognise those who have made a real difference to the organisation through their contributions. “Hearing about the accomplishments of our nominees was tremendously humbling,” Ms MacDonald said. “Meeting and recognising our winners confirms the significance of CFA in the community and the principles we stand for.” CFA Acting Chief Officer Gavin Thompson congratulated the recipients and finalists on their significant contributions and outstanding achievements. “CFA is incredibly proud of its members, and it is great to see our members recognised for their contributions to both our organisation and local communities,” Mr Thompson said. “Their dedication and effort are essential to assisting us in achieving our mission, which is to protect lives and property.” Mr Relph said as the volunteers in CFA don’t do it for recognition. “It was a privilege to be recognised and honoured with the award for the work we do at Boronia.” He said. Boronia CFA is located at 300 Boronia Road and was founded in 1942. The Brigade has four operational vehicles and over 80 staff, volunteers, auxiliary and junior members. It responds to over 1000 call-outs each year.

Healesville Salvos Store retail assistant Briony Hay holding a bag of winter donations. Picture: RENEE WOOD domestic violence, alcohol, drug abuse, so it is a major contributor for the Salvation Army broadly to do what they do in the community.” Donations are needed across all categories - womens, mens and kids. “Clothing is the major one that we need… but certainly jackets, coats, beanies, scarves and manchester like blankets in good condition - certainly anything goes a long way for

what is needed.” “We’re out of out of stock in our warehouse, unfortunately, of all of all those categories. We’re really reliant now on donations locally for store levels to help us get through the next couple of months and this cooler weather.” The discount voucher is available to those who donate in store until 30 July.

Boronia CFA Captain Ramon Relph with CFA Deputy Chair Michelle Maclean. Picture: BLAIR DELLEMJIN OF UNIFORM PHOTOGRAPHY


Find your next job here Value-driven employers, a huge variety of businesses from the bespoke to the world-famous, spectacular scenery and a commute in the right direction? Why would you work anywhere else but Yarra Ranges? That question is at the heart of Your Reason Your Ranges, Council’s employment focussed advertising campaign inviting jobseekers, commuters, locals and our Eastern suburbs neighbours to find their reason in the Yarra Ranges, and find a job they love. And the reasons are multitude. Convenience of course. If you live outside the region, we’re only a 45-minute drive - against traffic - from the CBD. If you’re in Maroondah, Knox or Casey, we are even closer – a daily dose of tree change in your own backyard. If you’re a local – it’s all right here. While currently an estimated 60 per cent of the Yarra Ranges population leaves the region to work – you can find all the perks of your chosen employment, with all the benefits of being close to home, working for one of our local businesses. Another compelling reason to work in Yarra Ranges? The huge variety of employment available. Looking to gain a trade in the growth industries of construction or manufacturing? It’s all here to choose from, whether you want to be the reliable local tradie or work in cuttingedge manufacturing, exporting your work to the world. You don’t need to work in the concrete jungle to be a culture vulture. Yarra Ranges is home to a vibrant creative and cultural scene; or perhaps health or education are your passion, there are opportunities to get your start, or take the next step in your career progression. Of course, our world-renowned, vibrant

Edible flower pickers enjoying a supportive, flexible work culture at Yarra Valley Herbs. tourism industry offers employment in retail, hospitality and visitor experience. There’s the opportunity to work in any business size, from beloved family institutions to multinational tourist drawcard. Or maybe location is more your motivator? Would you prefer to work in the up-and-coming urban areas, with a growing coffee & culture scene? Or would you rather expansive valley views while you enjoy your award-winning afterwork glass of wine. Perhaps you want to be a part of an eclectic Hill’s community, and

take your lunchbreak walks through lush and tranquil rainforest. One of the best reasons of all, to work in Yarra Ranges is our value-driven businesses themselves. Businesses who recognise that valuing their employees is key to their success. Your Reason Your Ranges is a part of Council’s Region of Choice strategy, positioning Yarra Ranges as a premier employment destination, and taking a circular approach to the employment challenges our businesses are facing. Region of

Picture: YR COUNCIL Choice businesses sign-up to a values Charter, showing their commitment to respect, recognition and renumeration to their staff. The charter also priorities hiring inclusively, diversly and creating a positive work culture. Take a look at the local jobs’ portal, YarraRanges JobLink, today at . From hospitality to horticulture, construction to creative industries, aged care to agriculture, you’ll find your reason to work in the Yarra Ranges.



From hospitality to horticulture, construction to creative industries, aged care to agriculture, you’ll find your reason to work in the Yarra Ranges. Take a look at the local jobs’ portal, YarraRanges JobLink, today at

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Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




Making a path to healing By Mikayla van Loon Lilydale homelessness and youth development organisation Anchor has just launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) as a first step in recognising the importance of embedding Aboriginal culture and acknowledgement into all aspects of its services. The process began over three years ago when Anchor CEO Heidi Tucker and Partnership and Development Lead Lauren Gordon began exploring reconciliation and engaging a RAP committee. Having just had the RAP document endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, Anchor staff, volunteers and members from various organisations came together to celebrate on Thursday 21 July. “The significance for us really is that this is a public statement, this publicly commits us to reconciliation and publicly commits us to a range of actions and tasks and commitments,” Ms Tucker said. Speaking at the event, Ms Tucker said Anchor realises and accepts it “was part of a service system for 45 years that did not adequately recognise the harm caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by government and community sector policies.” Actively wanting to be an organisation that begins changing this perception and environment, Ms Tucker said the RAP was just the beginning. “We recognise that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to live with disadvantage and we must contribute to closing the gap, supporting them to change their future,” she said. “Our REFLECT RAP directs and supports our journey to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and will ensure that we develop all parts of the organisation to become culturally safe for people who need our services.” Moving forward, Ms Tucker said the RAP will inform day-to-day actions of Anchor staff and she hopes it will encourage staff to deeply engage in Aboriginal culture, be curious and ask questions. From making sure the Aboriginal flag is displayed next to the Australian flag at events to understanding the long-lasting effects of government policy on First Nations people and being flexible in the delivery of services, Ms

Dr Andrew Peters, Swinburne University professor in Indigenous studies, worked with Anchor on putting together the RAP, a process that started in 2019. 290304

Anchor CEO Heidi Tucker and board chair Phillip Campbell were excited to finally launch the organisations Reconciliation Action Plan on Thursday 21 July. 290304 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

Community members and representatives from various organisations joined Anchor staff at the launch. 290304

lems for Aboriginal people is a great step in challenging the system and making change. “In a lot of cases when non-Indigenous Australians come against hardship, money helps them. “Money is not the answer for Aboriginal people. It’s a much more inclusive, all encompassing support system that they need. “If we listen to Aboriginal people, they’ll tell us what they need when they need it and so this RAP can help start that journey to listening more before we react.” Making initial changes to how Anchor operates to ensure First Nations people can access that holistic service, Ms Tucker said may require adaptation from staff. “[For] someone who’s homeless and they don’t feel comfortable coming into our office, that’s fine. We can go and see them if that’s where they feel safe,” she said. “We expect a lot from Aboriginal people coming forward to us, coming towards us and

actually, we need to take the steps towards them.” As more organisations take the step towards creating their own reconciliation plans, Dr Peters said the more people connect and break down the barriers between ‘us’ and ‘them’. “We can only become a better country when we do connect with our Aboriginal history, not just mine, not just Aboriginal people everywhere but all Australians because it’s the land we all live on. “We all live on Aboriginal land, we can connect to it. We can connect with that history. We can learn the language, we can integrate that into the way we live our lives and the way we work every day. We can treat each other with respect, caring and sharing. “Hopefully this…allows the pride in Aboriginal culture to become so ingrained in Australian society that we don’t need things like Reconciliation Action Plans anymore because we all just accept it as part of life.”

Tucker said are all important elements of the RAP. For RAP Committee member Dr Andrew Peters, a Yarra Yarra and Woi Wurrung man, working towards reconciliation is about connection of all people to Country, telling stories and changing what has been known in the past. “When Aboriginal people speak we like to tell our stories. Our story is who we are and our story connects us to where we are and who we are as well. It helps us get our message across. It helps us teach our young people,” he said. “A lot of Australians tend to see Aboriginal culture as separate from them and my view is it’s not because it comes from the land and we all live on this land. “So it should be part of all of us, not just Aboriginal people, and it should be important to all of us for that reason.” Dr Peters said for organisations like Anchor to understand that the current parameters and guidelines they work within can create prob-

Regrowth and Renewal Festival enjoyed by all attendee By Liz Millman Local groups from the Hills came together on Sunday 17th July, with support from Yarra Ranges Council grant funding, for the Hills Regrowth and Renewal Festival to follow up the Healing Ceremony held last year with Uncle Murrundindi. Despite serious storm warnings a big crowd of local people turned out.

A range of local groups were brought together by the Hills Creative Alliance to organise the event, including the Kalorama Collective and Treasuring our Trees with Rotary International, SES and CWA represented, along with others. Despite the storm arriving at one stage, bringing hail, rain, thunder and lightning, everyone enjoyed the event and took part in the activities.

Local resident Alex Grunwald from Skaubryn Bathroom Fixtures, one of the Festival’s sponsors, also exhibited one of his storm related paintings. 10 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

Music for the event was provided for the Hills Regrowth and Renewal Festival by local duo Duplicity.


Top coffee spot Grumbling Goose sure will have your tummy grumbling as you walk through the door to the heart-warming aromas of great coffee, gourmet toasties, tasty pastries and delicious cakes. Since opening 10 months ago in the main street of Belgrave, Grumbling Goose has quickly become a favourite coffee spot for locals with the team specialising in coffee and toasties. Owners Stevie-Lee and Andy have a back-

ground rich in hospitality, saying good coffee and food are what drives them and bringing a top blend to the area was something they wanted to achieve. “We offer coffee that you would only really get from the city, ‘Proud Mary Coffee’ we also keep our shop minimal,” they said. Not over complicating things and keeping toasties simple with gourmet fillings is also the key to their kitchen. For the past two years, Stevie-Lee has been part of the launch and management of Bur-

wood’s famous Acre Farmhouse Cafe and restaurant but said her greatest achievement has been opening up a shop of her own. “I have always wanted to open a small coffee shop somewhere and have now done this,” she said. To celebrate their upcoming first birthday, Grumbling Goose will be offering Free Filters on Fridays from now until sold out. Visit Stevie-Lee, Andy and the team at 1/1678 Burwood Highway, Belgrave during trading hours Monday to Friday 7am-4pm.

Grumbling Goose has become a staple location in Belgrave for great coffee and gourmet toasties.

Toasties & Great Coffee


By Renee Wood

All made fresh daily! 0466 403 454

OPEN grumblinggoose

Mon – Fri 7.00am till 4.00pm

Sat – Sun 8.00am till 4.00pm

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Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




Hearing impaired films showcased By Tyler Wright Non-profit deaf and hard of hearing support organisation Soundfair is looking forward to bringing its ‘Unheard Stories’ film festival to Belgrave’s Cameo Cinemas on Thursday 4 August following its resounding success across Australia. The festival, showcasing the stories of some of the one in six Australians with lived experience of hearing loss, will screen four films produced and directed by filmmakers in the Deaf or Hard of Hearing community. The four documentaries; ‘Hear Me Out’,’ Deafying Gravity’, ‘Amplify This!’ and ‘We Hear You’ will run for viewers from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on the day. The festival is also fully accessible, with captions embedded throughout all the films. “It’s a fully inclusive experience for anyone who has any kind of hearing condition or sensory loss, [and] to be honest, everyone can benefit from captions,” Soundfair CEO Caitlin Barr said. “Some of the storytellers use Auslan to communicate, and so that’s captioned as well,” Ms Barr said. Anyone can access the stories, no matter their background. It’s a good example of how movies should be; fully accessible.” The ‘Unheard Stories’ film festival has already been screened across the country in places including the Blue Mountains and the Macquarie Hearing Hub in Sydney. The most recent screening was held at the Deaf Hub Bendigo on 30 June and was met with a sellout crowd. “What’s really interesting is that the common message between them is it doesn’t matter how you hear or how you communicate, the barriers are the same. And the barriers actually come from other people and come from society,” Ms Barr said. “So the way we set up our restaurants, or the way we set up our workplaces, are actually the things that cause a disability for people. It’s not actually the hearing itself, [and] It’s not always the individuals’ problem to solve. “We, as a society, all have a role to play in minimizing hearing disabilities.” Sydney-based filmmaker Samuel Martin directed and was co-screenwriter for the 14 minute long documentary ‘Deafying Gravity’. Samuel’s film focuses on Deaf queer aerial performer Katia Schwartz, who reflects on life, identity and her career in the documentary. “I would describe Deafying Gravity as a powerful rejection of ableism and a powerful embrace of pride in identity. Our film is strong, empowering, and sexy yet personal, intimate,

Sooty Owls in the War with China video. Picture: SOOTY OWLS

Locals hit the stage By Parker McKenzie

Attendees at the Unheard Stories film festival premiere in Elsternwick on World Hearing Day back in March 2022. Picture: SUPPLIED and vulnerable at the same time. It’s a story that at its core, we all can relate to. We all seek for belonging, acceptance and to discover our true selves,” Samuel said. ‘Deafying Gravity’ was funded through the Screenability Filmmakers Fund Program under Create NSW, and was the first time Samuel had seen a film made entirely in Australian sign language, or Auslan. “I learnt that despite our crew being a mix of hearing and Deaf people, we managed to create an accessible and wonderful bilingual environment in such a short time,” Samuel said. “A favourite memory of mine was when when we wrapped, the 1st AD went up to me and signed “Stop talking. Start packing!”. It was a hilariously surreal moment because I had never seen this person sign before yet they somehow picked up a few important signs. It was surreal because we were conversing in our own way.” Emerald and Tecoma-based audiology clinic AudioLogic, and community service ‘Auslan Pay it Forward’ have sponsored the Unheard Stories film festival in Belgrave and two more screenings in Wangaratta and Perth are also lined up for August. “It continues on and continues to have the

same impact on people who attend, even if you’ve never even thought about deafness or hearing loss, you will still absolutely be moved and you’ll learn something to take away,” Ms Barr said. Samuel said the festival is a reminder of how diverse and beautiful the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community is. “It is also a reminder that our broader community does have some division. We have all grown up being told by society what is best for us and we all have different experiences which we bring to our community. Diversity is beauty, power and strength. I hope that seeing the perspectives of many different Deaf/HoH people’s lives and experiences teaches us that at the end of the day we are more similar than we are apart,” he said. Tickets to the Unheard Stories film festival are $22 and can be purchased via this link Funds raised will go directly towards promoting more diversity through Soundfair’s storyelling projects and the DGR charity’s funded hearing bank program, which supplies free hearing aids and hearing support to those who can not afford it.

Three Warburton bands will hit the stage and take over Sooki Lounge on Thursday 28 July, headlined by enviro-punk progressive rockers Sooty Owls. Sooty Owls’ front man Peter Downey said the all-Warburton affair — with Bluffy and Minor Mischief supporting the band — was the next level up from the band’s previous gigs. “Belgrave has got such a great music scene, it’s the best outside of Melbourne,” Mr Downey said. “You’ve got so many music venues within like a small radius of five or so kilometres. We’re really spending a lot more time up there and tapping into that.” The band recently released their first music video for their song War with China, which was filmed locally and was selected for the International Activist Film Festival 2022. Mr Downey said the band has taken inspiration from activist bands like Midnight Oil, Painters and Dockers and Rage Against the Machine. “The war with China video, it’s all about sort of a cheeky take on consumerism, and we actually shot it in a 2 buck shop in Warburton,” he said. “The lady who owns it hadn’t heard the song yet and we started playing it there. She was a good sport though.” He said the band also played the 3CR Climate, Capitalism and the Future Radiothon Fundraiser on Saturday 23 July. “War with China has got a bit of comedy like early ACDC used to have with Bon Scott, we can be cheeky,” he said. “I know Bluffy and Minor Mischief can be a bit comedic too.” The show starts at 8pm. Sooki Lounge is located at 1648 Burwood Highway, Belgrave. For more information about the gig visit outlet/event/77865839-46b4-4ba9-9889be2c7a80f41a?Event=144483

Writing a bestselling fiction book with Christian White By Parker McKenzie “I was 37 when I got my first book published but I’ve been writing for 20 years. When the first book came out, I remember seeing myself described as an overnight success and I was like wow, that was a very long night.” Best-selling author Christian White says he gave himself the deadline of being a published author by the time he was 25 years old, not that it worked out that way. “In literature class, I wrote a story and it got read out. It was anonymous but I thought I’m going to chase that feeling,” he says. “After 30 I started adjusting my thinking and I was just writing for the love of writing, as opposed to trying to be a writer. That’s when everything changed.” While The Nowhere Child was his first book to be published in 2018, White says it was the fifth manuscript he had finished. “I have this really silly problem in retrospect 12 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

where I would write things and I would finish them or I would come just short finishing them, and then put them in a draw and not show anyone. I think that was because I had this fear of failure,” he says. “Looking back I now realise if I didn’t show anyone my work, I could hold on to the fantasy of one day writing for a living. If I showed someone my work and they rejected it, then I think I saw that as the death of that fantasy.” Since then, White has published two more books and written screenplays for a Netflix series called Clickbait and the horror film Relic. White says he would highly recommend aspiring writers enter writing competitions after multiple projects of his were borne out of taking the plunge and entering his work. “I used to be very sceptical of writing competitions, I have no idea why. Clickbait came from a writing competition that I entered years and years ago, where you write your own pilot,” he said.

“I entered the Victorian Premier’s Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2017. Just clicking and sending that email was really huge for me but then I was lucky to win. That opened a lot of doors in the publishing so I think if you’re feeling like I was — a little bit nervous about getting your work out there —look at writing competitions.” He says his writing process has changed since his first bestseller was published because he now has the time to make writing his priority. “When I wrote my first book, I was working at a t-shirt shop at the time printing t-shirts, so I would have to find these moments throughout the day. When The Nowhere Child came out and I started doing it for a living, for the first couple of weeks I was obsessed with you’ve got to be at your desk, eight hours a day, nine to five. I quickly learned that I just don’t have the stamina for that, I would suddenly be on YouTube watching a Bigfoot video,” he says.

“You get better at figuring out how much productivity you have in a day. So usually I’m now only at my desk for three or four hours, with probably two or three of those actually working.” White says he received an excellent piece of advice from his late father-in-law, the prolific screenwriter Everett De Roche. “I once asked him what your routine is like and he said he ends each day right before a scene he’s really excited to write,” White says. “That’s what I do as well because it makes you want to get up in the morning; you’re itching to get back to the computer because of that scene you’ve been dying to write.” Since the Nowhere Child was published in 2018, White has published two more novels — The wife and the Widow in 2019 and Wild Place in 2021 — alongside other audio and screen work. You can find out more about Christian White’s work at


Art combats stereotypes By Tyler Wright Artists both young and old are coming together to combat ageism and build a diverse public art project to be displayed in the Boronia township. The Eastern Community Legal Centre’s ‘My Generation’ initiative has joined primary school children in year levels four, five and six from Boronia K-12 College with those aged over 60 years old, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents aged over 50 years of age, to create a collaborative series of artworks and documentary film. Drawing and painting activities held as part of the art workshops each week from Wednesday 13 July at Boronia’s Progress Hall will culminate into a larger display between Progress Hall and Knox Infolink, alongside painted bricks and decorated rubbish bins. “I think we’re looking for something really joyful and eye-catching to lighten up the space and brighten up the space a bit,” Lead Artist and workshop facilitator Alisa Tanaka-King said. “I imagine it will feature some themes around connection in nature,” Alisa said. Other common themes that have arisen through collaborative painting and drawing activities include family, the environment and climate change. “We’ll all be working off the same piece of paper or someone will be drawing something and then passing it along so then someone adds to it,” Alisa said. “The artwork never really belongs to one person. It reflects elements of everyone’s bits that they’ve added.” “We’ve done some portraits and we’ve also done some creating of creatures and monsters that everyone adds to,” Alisa said. And then this week, we’re also talking about symbols, and the importance of symbols and communicating messages, and what symbols we might be using, or wanting to look at, to use in the artwork. People are also making their own flags as a personal reflection of what they they stand for and represent.” Boronia resident and mosaic artist Suzy Lyons joined the ‘My Generation’ project after seeing a post on social media about the initiative and thought it would be a great way to be involved in the community after owning her house in Boronia for 20 years.

L-R back row – Noah Cripps, Brax Ray, Amaziyah Morris, Aurora Ikin, Boudica Dickeson and L-R front Row – Vicki Johnson, Bronwyn Hampshire, Bev Morse displaying some artwork produced in the first ‘My Generation’ workshop on 13 July.

Bev Morse, Bronwyn Hampshire and Brax Ray participating in the multi-generational art project ‘My Generation’. Pictures: SUPPLIED “We’ve lived here for a very long time and I love working with children, I was an integration aide for quite a few years, I’ve worked on a summer camp over in the US as an art teacher. So the thought of working with kids again, actually was what probably interested me the most, because I love inspire them and see what they can do,” Suzy said. Suzy said she is “blown away” at how intelligent the primary school children she works with are; knowing about large topics such as climate change and the environment. “The things that they talk about is quite mind blowing, to be honest,” Suzy said. “It’s been really fun. And we haven’t been given the whole picture yet, so I’m not really understand understanding how the outdoor artwork is going to evolve. But as we go week to week, I can see the collaboration of everybody adding just a small piece to something bigger. And I suspect that that’s what’s going to happen. “I’m a mosaic artist, mostly, so I’m feeling like this is really interesting process, because we’ve been doing a lot of drawing,” she said.

Lead Artist Alisa said connecting young primary school students with those in their community over 50 helps break down stereotypes around how a person in an older age bracket may act or what their needs may be. “There’s not a big conversation around elder abuse yet, I don’t think I think it’s not something that a lot of people are aware of,” Alisa said. “It’s been noted that one of the key drivers is ageism, and ageist attitudes, and throughout all our communities we see so many ageist attitudes. even unintentionally. I have all sorts of preconditioned ageist attitudes within myself that I’m not even aware of, and they’re not intentionally malicious, but they are there, because that’s what society tells us.” And I think projects like this, to try and give a voice to older members of the community and build relationships with other members of the community is really important and trying to stop that, so that we’re not making assumptions about what older people want and need and believe in, and actually give them the opportunity to tell us themselves.”

Alisa said since the workshops began in mid-July, children have been asking their older companions personal questions like “how are your chickens going?” or “how was your partners birthday?” and older participants are remembering conversations, even knowing one particular young student’s inspiration was to be a Ballerina. “If [the children] then see [older participants] in the street or in a shop they’re likely to say hello and connect and care about their well being in a different way to if those connections weren’t made,” Alisa said. “I think that’s where really engaging other people in the community with relationships in an intergenerational way is so important, because that’s what will slowly, slowly change those attitudes.” Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) has partnered with The Basin Community House, EACH, Eastern Regional Libraries Boronia branch, Knox Council, Knox Leisureworks, Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place, Swinburne University and Women’s Health East to create ‘My Generation’. A public film screening event of the ‘My Generation’ documentary featuring various participants will be screened on 29 August or 30 August (date TBC) from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. If you or anyone you know is experiencing elder abuse, you can contact 1800ELDERHelp or 1800 353 374 and 1800RESPECT, or 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732

‘Dark Arts’ exhibit comes to Selby Community House By Tyler Wright Selby Community House opened an exhibition showcasing the work of senior Monbulk College students on Friday 22 July. ‘Dark Arts’ the exhibition, presented in the community house’s ArtSpace, displays photography and fine artwork in the midst of a dark Hills Winter. Young artists expressed their interpretation of mythology, mental health, politics and domestic violence through their works with six or seven artworks being purchased on the night. Nikki Wellington, Community Project Coordinator at Selby Community House said it was a great opportunity for students to gain an understanding of what life is like as a working artist. “We set it up with non alcoholic drinks and nibbles, like it would be a normal art gallery, we had the music there that was also done by the students of the school, so it was just a lovely event that gave them a real idea in a space - we were hoping that they could sort of go, wow, this is the next step, and then what’s after this? next could be a big gallery,” Nikki said. “[The exhibition] gives them an idea of what it felt like, or what it might feel like, to really be an exhibiting artist. “ For the last few months, Nikki have been working with Helen McInnes, Art Teacher at Monbulk College to collate student artwork and bring ‘Dark Arts’ to life.

Community members came together at the opening of the ‘Dark Arts’ exhibition at Selby Community House on Friday 22 July. Picture: TAHLIA HEITMANN “As a community house, we don’t get a lot of young people through because they don’t understand there’s a reason for a community house; they’re not exposed to it enough,” Nikki said. “So for them to be seeing what a community house does, seeing that we’re exposing their beautiful artwork to the community, the hope was that they would be encour-

aged, particularly for those who want to further their career in that field, to get an idea of what that next step is.” On opening night, six or seven pieces of artwork were sold and Nikki said the hope is more can be purchased to give the students a sense of worth as an artist and an idea of what it takes to have art as part of their lives. The works produced by the Monbulk Col-

lege senior students will be on display until Monday 22 August. The ‘Dark Arts’ exhibition was funded by a Yarra Ranges Council grant. For more information on Selby Community House and upcoming events, visit Selby Community House is located at 2/1 Minak Rd, Selby VIC 3159. Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




Tawny Frogmouths at Leanne Terrington and Vince Owen’s Bush Babies Wildlife Shelter in Cockatoo.

Pictures: SUPPLIED

Leanne and Vince take in birds, possums, birds and wombats.

Rewards support shelter By Tyler Wright The Bush Babies Wildlife Shelter in Cockatoo has received over $1,000 from Cockatoo IGA as part of its rewards program. Each time a shopper scans their IGA card they receive points which can either be donated to a local charity group or accumulated to help fund their own goods. At the end of this financial year in June, Cockatoo IGA gathered around $5,000 for local organisations nominated by shoppers; including Cockatoo Primary School and GembrookCockatoo Football Netball Club. Among the main recipients were Leanne Terrington and partner Vincent Owen who run

the self-funded Bush Babies Wildlife Shelter in Cockatoo. “I was very surprised with how much I got I received just over $1,000, which is amazing,” Leanne said. “The reason we still keep working is to pay for this, because you don’t get paid to do what we do.” On three quarters of an acre, Bush Babies Wildlife Shelter houses predominately possums, wombats and birds. But the costs of caring for these furry and feathered friends add up with Leanne and Vince relying heavily on donations. “To feed baby wombats, it can cost you - for

a five kilo bag - about $130 for milk powder, and depending on how many wombats you get in, that might only last a few weeks,” Leanne said. “[The IGA program is] really good because there’s no admin fees... you don’t have that with us because we’re just normal people living in a house with the animals, so everything goes to them.” Food, bedding, infrastructure... every so often if I get enough saved up, I’ll go and buy a new [big] avery, because we take on a lot of birds as well.” Cockatoo CFA received $2,374, Cockatoo Primary School received $451.44 and the Gembrook-Cockatoo Football Netball Club

received $202 as part of this year’s tally, and Cockatoo IGA manager Nathan Pascoe said this form of fundraising is somewhat “untapped” in the community. “It’s quite pleasing to be able to do that on behalf of the community - the fact that we’re physically paying for it is not really the significant thing; it’s that customers are choosing to donate money and points available to them through these community groups,” Nathan said. “We should be communicating more and highlighting more to these groups how they can utilize this program to get more out of it, because we don’t really push it very hard and we’d probably like to do that more.”

Belgrave student raises $900 for earthquake victims By Tyler Wright At 01.30am local time on 22 June a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the south-eastern region of Afghanistan. According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Afghanistan, the earthquake impacted Barmal, Ziruk, Nika and Gayan in Paktika province and Spera district in Khost Province, with up to 200 people killed and 100 people injured in Gayan district alone. Assessments of 51 per cent of Afghanistan’s population completed by OCHA revealed 62,000 people were found to have been affected by the earthquake with more than half living in open spaces or makeshift shelters. This represents more than one quarter of overall families across Gayan, Barmal and Spera districts. The humanitarian response from OCHA is ongoing, with $110.3 million USD needed for emergency shelter and non-food items and water, sanitation and hygeine among other resources. Over 11,000 kilometres away in the Dandenong Ranges, Belgrave student Saminah Abdul Rahim has taken matters into her own hands with the help of the community and begun a fundraising effort to support the earthquake affected regions of Afghanistan. On Saturday 10 July, Saminah raised $900 to support her home country in a bake sale held at the Where the Wilde Things Are storefront in Olinda. “I’ve always wanted to help my countryand I used to feel like ‘when I grow up, I’ll help.’And then when I saw what happened, I realised I don’t have to grow up and have a job to do something. I can do it right now.” Saminah said. 14 MAIL


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Belgrave student Saminah Abdul Rahim held a bake sale at Olinda’s Where the Wild Things Are store front and raised $900 for victims of the devastating 5.9 magnitude earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan. Picture: SUPPLIED “Then I thought about a bake sale because I’ve seen other people do it at school; they do it and they raise money, so I thought it was a good idea.” Emerald Village Bakery & Cafe supplied Saminah with supplies to create cupcakes and cookies, helping turn her love of cooking and baking into a cause for a greater good. “I wasn’t expecting that much support, and when I got the support there were people

coming to me and taking to me about how they think my country is a beautiful place that made me feel happy because there’s a lot of [false] stuff about my country out there,” Saminah said. “When people don’t talk about that and they actually talk about what I see my country as - that makes me happy.” Saminah has also organised an online fundraising campaign through platform Aseel to

With the help of Emerald Village Bakery and Cafe donating supplies, Saminah channeled her passion for baking and creating to raise funds for those in her home country impacted by the earthquake. raise emergency relief funds for impacted Afghan civilians all the way from Victoria, with a target of $2,500. “I moved from Afghanistan to Australia seven years ago and have a strong desire to help the people of Afghanistan in whatever way I can,” Saminah’s note on the site reads. “I know many would also like to donate directly which would be greatly appreciated.” To donate to Saminah’s fundraising campaign, visit funds-afghan-sam.html


Special library display By Parker McKenzie

Common Ringtail Possum being treated at AWHC.


Lucky drop An interesting series of events has led to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of a Common Ringtail Possum after a life-saving visit to Healesville Sanctuary’s Australian Wildlife Health Centre. A Kallista local reported seeing the Ringtail Possum picked up in the talons of a Powerful Owl, then dropped by the bird. Healesville Sanctuary Veterinary Nurse Melissa Williamson said the possum received multiple puncture wounds and its right eye was injured, likely from a scratch or the fall. “The veterinary team carried out a full physical examination including X-rays, to confirm there was no fractures,” Ms Williamson said. “Whilst the possum was under anaesthesia all the wounds were flushed and given a thorough clean to reduce the chance of infection, eye drops were placed in the injured right eye, and he was given pain relief and fluids to stabilise him.

“After healing from his injuring over the course of 11 days the Ringtail Possum was released back into the wild near where he was found.” Ringtail Possums were the most common species to come through the doors of the Sanctuary’s Australian Wildlife Health Centre during the past financial year, with 226 possum patients receiving treatment, followed by Eastern Grey Kangaroos (177), and Laughing Kookaburras (90). The Sanctuary’s Australian Wildlife Health Centre treats around 2,000 wildlife patients each year, with the veterinarian team providing care for 190 different species. If you come across injured or distressed wildlife needing help, contact Wildlife Victoria’s Emergency Response Centre at Zoos Victoria members and Healesville Sanctuary visitors are reminded that all tickets must be pre-booked online at

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Knox Environment Society will have taken over part of the Ferntree Gully Library to display native plants and historical documents as it seeks to introduce a new generation to native conservation. Vice-President of Knox Environment Society Irene Kelly said the idea for the display was borne out of a long-running relationship with the Ferntree Gully Library and a conversation with the head librarian. “It just fits in perfectly with what the libraries are trying to do from a conservation and environmental aspect,” she said. “We asked for what space was available for it and then we went away and mocked up what our response to that display might be. All the materials that we’ve put in we will use for other things throughout the year.” The display is free to view at the library and is running until Saturday 30 July. Ms Kelly said it features historical documents, indigenous plants in flower-like arrangements and seeds collected by the society. “A lot of our work is going out and planting the seeds and species, particularly the rare and threatened and then being able to grow it.” “They’ve been built up in such numbers that we can now have some available for the public and also to sell back to council.” Ms Kelly, who will also be giving a talk at the library about the display and the Knox Environment Society on Wednesday 27 July, said the society will be running several other events for the 40th anniversary. “We’re doing some children’s workshops in the nursery that we’ve facilitated for some experts to come in,” she said. “The same as how you set up a bird bath, some may not be aware that insects need particular water bowls as well.”

The display features indigenous plants, seeds and historical items from the KES. The KES Indigenous Nursery next door to the Library was established in 1985 and is one of the longest-running indigenous plant nurseries in Australia. Ms Kelly said the society was started for conservation reasons and the members want to introduce a new generation to care for the environment. “As we lose more and more space to grow anything in Knox, it becomes if we really want to tackle climate change, we need to be tackling reinstating the vegetation that can grow here and adapt to what is coming,” she said. “That’s basically what we still really very much focused on within our organisation, there’s a lot of work to do. “The other side of that is the nursery, it’s an incredibly positive place to go to when you’re feeling stressed or feeling that things are being lost. Going to the nursery, there is a fantastic cohort of people that you can mix with and have positive experiences.” Ferntree Gully Library and the display are located in Wally Tew Reserve, 1010 Burwood Highway Ferntree Gully with the KES Indigenous Nursery next door. You can find out more about the Knox Environment Society at

‘Un-bee-lievable’ creatures celebrated in local club By Shelby Brooks Anyone can become a beekeeper, according to Macclesfield’s Greg Huggins. Greg is a member of the Emerald Regional Beekeeping Club, which helps educate and skill up locals interested in the hobby, most recently holding a demonstration for the Emerald U3A Gardening Club at the Emerald Hills Hub. Greg considers himself a fairly new beekeeper, having taken up the hobby 10 years ago. The response he got from wife Helen when he brought up the idea was along the lines of “over my dead body”, he recalled. “But now Helen is a qualified beekeeper so it’s one of the few victories I’ve had,” Greg said. Initially, Greg wasn’t thinking about collecting honey. “I just wanted some bees around so I could grow veggies and have them pollinated,” Greg said. Greg said on his property in Macclesfield, he very rarely saw bees. So after being retrenched, Greg started researching about bees and beekeeping. “I wasn’t going to be one of those sit at home types watching TV,” he said. That’s when his bee obsession began. “The first year I had bees I had two pumpkin vines. Because the bees fertilised every female flower, that season I had 42 pumpkins,” Greg said. “I must confess it was an absolutely outstanding success. “My neighbours thought I was nuts or stealing them.” To help keep his bees happy, Greg said he has planted flowering shrubs like lavender, grevilleas and callistemon, but they aren’t the bee’s main source of food. “Bees will forage three or four kilometres quite comfortably,” he said. “I live near a creek so there generally tends to be a good floral source all times of the year.” To help attract bees to your garden, Greg recommended planting open flowers.

Greg Huggins with a panel from a hive. 289732


Greg offers talks on bees to different community groups. 289732

Greg with the Emerald U3A Gardening Club attendees. 289732

“The flowers where you have the centre filled with pollen which is easily visible and accessible,” Greg said. “Anything from sunflowers down to your small daisies is bee heaven. As long as they are simple flowers. “Compound flowers like double camellias, the bees just can’t get in there. So they will bypass that for something easier.” Greg said to be a successful beekeeper, and

not be stung too often, you have to be kind and patient. “Beekeeping is a form of mindfulness,” Greg said. “These are such sensitive creatures. And I can vouch for this by experience. “If you’re in a bit of a rush or a bother, they will know and they will give you curry in more way than one if you rattle and shove them.” Greg uses just small amounts of smoke to

calm his bees. “I always equate using a smoker to us in the hills. Let’s imagine you step outside. And you smell smoke? What’s your first thought? There’s a fire,” Greg said. “That’s what smoke does for bees. It distracts them because fire is their enemy. It can destroy the hive and all the bees. So the first thought for the bees is ‘do we have to get some? What’s going on? What can I take with us?’ All of that stuff is what happens when bees smell smoke. “I’ve seen beekeepers absolutely cloud a hive with so much smoke they can hardly see anything- that’s overkill. So I try to be gentle with your bees is because I tend to be rather fanatical about being gentle and kind and thoughtful about the bees.” Getting stung is painful, so that is why beekeepers have suits to protect them. Why do bees go for your face first? “Bees have been around in the current form for about 125 million years, give or take a few million,” Greg said. “So over that time, they have been subjected to bears and all other sorts of critters that want to get inside the hive to get the good honey stuff. “So bees have now over these millions of years have worked out that anything dark and about this high is a bear, is an enemy or a potential enemy.” Bears have really thick fur coats so the only place that a bee can make a bear go away is stinging around the eyes. “That’s why the bees will come around the face trying to get your eyes because they know that will make it go away,” Greg said. Greg is a leading member of the Emerald Regional Beekeeping Club. The club has around 50 members and hosts talks and workshops to share information and tips on keeping bees. They meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the Emerald Hills Hub at 7.30pm. Anyone interested in starting beekeeping is encouraged to reach out via emerald.bee. Greg also offers bee rescuing for swarms. Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




As a person who has grown up in this area, I have always had the community at heart in my role as your representative in Parliament for the last 12 years. It has been an amazing journey over the last 12 years as a Member of Parliament for Gembrook. There are many highlights during this time, and I am pleased to acknowledge some of these. We worked together as a community to see the delivery of Emerald Primary School and sought funding for Emerald Secondary. We were pleased to sponsor and support the Gembrook Cockatoo Football Netball Clubs and the Emerald Football Netball Clubs. I know community clubs are important in meeting the sporting, social and wellbeing needs of people.

State of

Affairs Brad Battin

Gembrook MP

We are a great community who comes together and supports each other as was evident during the recent challenges we all faced. I was always able to see firsthand during visits to local cafes, community groups, sporting clubs or

schools how the community spirit was reflected in the generosity of sharing; goodwill, time, the provision of goods and experience to achieve positive outcomes for our community. I now look forward to working with Gareth Ward who is running for the new seat of Monbulk and will be representing this community. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me on 5953 0216 or You can also follow me on social media via my website:, Twitter- @BradBattinMP, Facebook: /BradBattinMP, Instagram: @bradbattinMP, Linked In Brad-BattinMP and YouTube – Brad Battin.

Leanne Hall highlights those left behind A review of The Gaps by Leanne Hall Melbourne author Leanne Hall’s The Gaps is the winner of Adelaide Festival Young Adult Fiction Award as well as NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature in 2022. The book asks the important but rarely asked question: “What does it mean to be the ones left behind?” It refers to those families and friends who have lost their loved ones to the crime of violence against women. The story begins with the abduction of 16-year-old Yin from her home. The news reverberates through the whole Year Ten class at Balmoral Ladies College, who soon realise that, as time goes by, the chance of Yin being found alive becomes increasingly remote. In the span of 80 days, we delve into the hearts and minds of those young women experiencing shock, anger, suspicion, doubt, fear, sorrow, and terror. They are supposed to be living full and interesting lives, preparing for parties and exams, laughing out loud. Instead: “There are probably hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of men out there who hate girls and want to hurt them and the world keeps going around and noth-

PASSION FOR PROSE WITH CHRISTINE SUN ing changes. And what can we do? Make a photo, chase a suspect, read the news.” Worse, until Yin’s fate finally becomes clear – one way or the other – everyone is forced to live in limbo, in-between hope and despair. Each responds to such haunting uncertainness in her own unique way, allowing us to witness the dark reality of the often tumultuous transition from girlhood to womanhood in today’s world. Hall’s writing is beautiful and compelling, exploring the inner worlds of multiple characters at once and at ease. The story is told from the perspectives of two students – Chloe, an Asian Australian scholarship holder, and Natalie, the queen of Year Ten. As the two form

an uneasy alliance in a desperate attempt to convey what Yin’s abduction means to them, we see the subtle themes at play, handled so confidently through the pages – power, privilege, race, art, identity, coming of age, family, and, of course, friendship. A particular focus is on art, how it can challenge and change, offend and defend, inform and inspire, comfort and heal. The story also critiques the treatment of young women by mass media, including but not limited to popular fiction and TV shows. In Chloe’s words: “A surprising amount of [crime novels] have dead girls or about-to-be-dead girls on the front cover. The blurbs speak of unhappy wives who drink so much they can’t tell if they’ve seen a murder or not, women whose pasts have come back to haunt them, and promising young girls who’ll never get to realise their dreams. The titles tell us how lost, how alone, how trapped all these lovely girls and women are.” Ultimately, Chloe’s art is for Yin and other girls like he, and “for all of us for having to live in this shitty world where people don’t value our lives”. Alarming words.

Madness and mayhem on stage at 1812 A Flea in Her Ear presented by The 1812 Theatre A Flea in Her Ear is world-renowned as the funniest and most famous of all the French farces. It’s perfectly formed in its comic timing, shamelessly and completely bonkers. We’re in Paris, 1908. After years of married bliss, Madame Raymonde Chansebise suspects her husband is having an affair. In an effort to catch him in the act she causes a lot more trouble than she bargained for. Spiralling into a high-octane storm of sexual intrigue, mistaken identities, and bed-receiving mayhem, a cavalcade of characters get in on the act. Some want sex and revenge; several want to preserve their honour. All want to avoid being shot. Nobody gets any sleep. You will laugh out loud.





Kemp’s curtain call Season: 18 August - 3 September. Bookings: 9758 3964 A Celebration of Musical Eccentrics Mas Maestro’s A Celebration of Musical Eccentrics David Scheel’s hit show, Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player. Firmly established his reputation as the most original musical

comedy performer of his generation. Sell-out seasons in London’s West End, at three Edinburgh Festivals, and on tours to some 30 countries, attracted rave reviews, and it was only a matter of time before sheer audience demand led David to devise a brand-new show, MAD MAESTROS which is a celebration of music’s eccentrics through the ages, and in it David brings to life 25 of music’s greatest and weirdest personalities in a virtuoso performance of narrative, character acting and piano playing, Bach, Beethoven, Sir Thomas Beecham, Al Jolson and many others. Only two performances Saturday September 10 at 1pm and Saturday September 11 at 4pm. Venue: The 1812 Theatre, Rose Street, Ferntree Gully. Bookings 9758 3964.

Glorious horror

The Black Phone Starring Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw Rated MA15+ 4.5/5 The Black Phone is an enthralling horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and based on a short story by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s oldest son). In 1978, Finney Blake (Mason Thames) is abducted by The Grabber (Ethan Hawke), a mask-wearing serial killer, and receives mysterious calls from an unplugged phone in his cell. The Black Phone is a taut, chilling experience with just enough of a supernatural layer to enrich a story about wits and survival. The film’s tone balances the claustrophobia and despair of Finney’s situation with an engrossing air of mystery, resourcefulness and hints from beyond the grave. The Black Phone has one of the tightest horror screenplays in years: every single plot-point returns in clever and satisfying ways later on, and Finney’s efforts to escape dovetail smoothly with his sister Gwen’s (Madeleine McGraw) quest to find him, aided on her end by cryptic visions. The first act features brilliant (if disquieting) symbolism about domestic abuse. Finney’s dark family life steels us for the kidnapping, as his abusive father Terrence (Jeremy Davies) and the Grabber both alternate between cruelty and kindness and hold their subjects of care in scary situations they can’t easily get out of. The Black Phone is also very efficient with its world-building. As with After Yang’s organic vision of a sci-fi future, The Black Phone doesn’t need to explain the Grabber’s identity and background, how his victims are talking to Finney or how Gwen’s visions work. The gripping plot presents these elements entirely at face-value; any more detail could detract from the phenomenal tension. The Black Phone is a masterwork of suspenseful, ingenious horror, and is playing in most Victorian cinemas. - Seth Lukas Hynes

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, 26 July, 2022


Great community



Covid radar

Pharmacy praise

I have been writing on various topics for a few months now, and Covid has somehow slipped under my radar. I’m not saying I have been complacent, with shocking figures coming at me each day on numbers hospitalisation and deaths. I rarely do this but I am going hard this time against the injustice done to the helpless in our community – Isn’t that what’s expected from a Chaplain? When I wrote this article I was quoting from an the 15th of this month which show figures that are staggering. They have got worse to the date of this publication with no reversal in sight. Political parties of whatever persuasion and of state and federal governments just seem to be throwing the hot rock around from one to another, with an aim to reduce the individual or party pain and the work involved. In Victoria on the 15th over a 24 hour period, the stats read; 749 in hospital, 31in ICU, 17 deaths, and total deaths this year to the 15th – 4,148.And yet, there is much common talk around town that ‘it is not as bad as what people say’, and ‘how can you trust what we are told in the media anyway’. The trouble with that thinking is that it has held back the getting of the third and the fourth jabs. This then retards the potential for what is called ‘herd’ immunity, Did we challenge the stats of road deaths at their highest of 2888 in 1986? Too right we did.I hear you saying. “But there are more cars on the road now since 1986. However the road death toll has reduced each year from 1986 until my stats ran out in 2019 @ 1,194. Unless your family is directly affected, who is ‘crying out’ or ‘marching in the streets’ over this Covid death atrocity? And as I pointed out in a past article, ‘that number of deaths deeply affects family members and close friends’. So to even attribute 10 (at a very low estimate) of those to each one who has died, we have 41,480 people grieving deeply over each

Focal Point

I want to give a shout out to all of the health providers in our community. My local pharmacy, Olinda Pharmacy, is celebrating 30 years in business. On my visit this week, they gave me a thank you gift for supporting them. Wow! Thirty years is an incredible milestone for any business, however as a business that is on the frontline of serving the local community’s health needs, the thank you gift must surely go to them.

Where would we be without businesses and individual health providers like these in our community over the past 2+ years, in particular? A simple thank you won’t lessen the fatigue that many of our health providers are experiencing during the Covid pandemic, however I hope it brings a smile. Thank you to every one of you for helping our community to stay as well as we can be. Regards, Sue Tardif - Olinda

Graeme Dawson precious family member lost this year alone. The dangers at the moment are the most contagious Omicron variants, BA.4 & BA.5, which means it is so important to follow medical advice and get your fourth jab – the booster. Professorial advice is that the next wave/ variant to hit us will peak mid next month. In my experience many families fall apart or lose their structure when a parent dies, and to further reflect on this phenomenon, relationships break down through various pressures in coping. Two hundred thousand have filed for divorce in the last two years. I have also spoken before about the greater number of deaths coming from a more elderly demographic. That then requires special attention and support for that group. I am privileged to be able to join in on gatherings at the Wandin Senior Citizens Centre, where great support is given to those very people. Many come by courtesy bus if they don’t drive – other more local folk use their walkers and a small number still drive their own cars. At eleven am on Thursday mornings around fifty meet for an hour of Bingo, followed by a lovely two course hot meal followed by the option for the ladies to play cards and the men to play pool or carpet bowls. It is well organized and as I see it, it is just what the doctor would have ordered. ‘Belonging is vital’. Many Blessings, Graeme Dawson, Chaplain to Community

Prakash, Janette, Michelle and Trisha from Olinda Pharmacy.


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, 26 July, 2022






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Today’s Aim: 8 words: Good 12 words: Very good

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William Matthews Funerals FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED


9739 6868 45 Cave Hill Rd, Lilydale 18 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022


STUNNING LIFESTYLE PROPERTY ENTER the luxury entranceway, with gorgeous detailed electric gates, and be impressed by the grandeur of this spacious, impressive and private family home situated on just over 10 acres. This property offers you the ultimate in comfort and luxury living in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges and provides the perfect space and layout for the entertainer and growing family. With picturesque views from every window including views of the Gembrook and Warburton Ranges this home offers the perfect lifestyle for those seeking a peaceful, private and luxurious escape from the world. There are 6 sizable bedrooms, all with built in robes and a stunning family bathroom upstairs, whilst downstairs you will find the master wing with massive walk-in robe and ensuite with powder room and amazing picturesque views from the master bedroom. Set over three levels, there are four spacious living zones including a lounge with a wood fireplace, a separate dining room with spectacular views, a bright open plan casual family zone which opens onto a spacious deck to enjoy the outdoors and a rumpus room downstairs. Made for entertaining, this grand home has a large games room set next to the amazing solar heated, indoor, salt-waterchlorinated swimming pool with attached spa, with convenient access to a bathroom

with toilet, shower and vanity making entertaining easier. Adjacent to this is an outdoor entertaining area perfect for indooroutdoor living, family life and parties. No expense was spared on quality fixtures and fittings throughout the home including slate floors, lush carpets, stylish window coverings and granite bench tops. The modern white timber kitchen has stainless steel appliances, plenty of preparation space, large pantry and outstanding views of the rolling foothills surrounding this home. Drive into your 4 car double-brick double garages and enter through the mud room and huge laundry perfect for storage and drying close in the wetter months. Add to the already many features gas ducted

heating, NOBO heating, two split systems, evaporative cooling, ducted vacuum, and spectacular views from every window, this home offers the ultimate country lifestyle. Outside there are two large entertaining areas, a storage/accommodation hut, 7 paddocks with horse/goat shelters in each, electric fencing, water and shelter in the post and rail fenced horse paddocks, a grass arena, a massive outside parking area perfect for a huge shed or stables, outside parking to fit your boats, floats and caravans or maybe you have always wanted a tennis court? There is also a large shed with concrete floor and even a luxury cubby house for the kids and a secure yard for them and your fur babies to play. There are 3 dams of which one is stocked

with trout, and supplied by a year-round fast-flowing, spring-fed creek that you can view from several areas of the home. There are solar panels, backup generator for power outages and 100,000 water storage capacity, making this the ideal lifestyle property for a family, horse lovers, animal lovers or those seeking a hobby farm. This spacious and inspiring property is in the heart of sought-after Macclesfield, ticks all the boxes and must be seen to be truly appreciated. 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: 172 Spillers Road, MACCLESFIELD Description: 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 4 garage Price: $2,700,000 - $2,900,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Samantha Scott on 0438 680 032 or Declan Palmer on 0427 062 148, BELL REAL ESTATE EMERALD


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




ENTERTAINER’S DREAM BRINGING together all the elements that create an ideal lifestyle, this incredible home captures the true meaning of luxury and is sure to surprise and delight. Spanning an impressive 37 squares the very generously proportioned residence offers an ideal family-friendly floorplan. Designed with a critical eye for detail this is a property that is a true joy to inspect. Multiple light filled living areas make entertaining a breeze; the expansive lounge is complete with built in floor to ceiling cabinetry with tv point and sliding doors offering excellent storage and functionality. The second spacious open plan living space boasts the stunning chef’s kitchen which is just waiting for you to cook up a storm, complete with butler’s pantry, stainless steel oven and cooktop, excellent storage, plus the enormous island bench with gorgeous Caesarstone benchtop and pendant lighting. The adjacent dining space is equally as impressive, with pitched ceilings and massive windows, you can host the whole family with ease. The second informal lounge features the lovely coonara and is the ideal place to kick back and relax on those cool nights. There are five bedrooms in total, the master suite located at the rear of the home features the enormous ensuite bathroom with double vanity, feature shower and dressing room, two of the secondary bedrooms are also complete with walk in wardrobes whilst the remaining two bedrooms are complete with built in wardrobes. The secondary bedrooms are serviced by the spacious family bathroom with built in bath, double sinks and massive open shower with dual shower head. The family sized laundry completes the residence. Also under roofline, there is an oversized double remote garage with mezzanine storage and internal access. Special features include ducted heating, split system heating and cooling, Jarrah floorboards, excellent storage throughout and a 5kw solar array. Outside the embellishments continue, the massive fully enclosed, decked and covered outdoor entertaining space is truly something dreams are made of, boasting your very own outdoor kitchen with built in BBQ, breakfast bar, bar fridge and Caesarstone benchtops. Accessed from both indoor living spaces, this embodies the true indoor/outdoor living. Enjoy this space year-round comfortably with stacker doors and massive windows that open up with gas struts. For all the toys and tools, the massive high-line Colorbond garage at the rear of the property is fully insulated and complete with upstairs office space with split system heating and cooling. Additional secure off-street parking is ideal for the caravan, boat and trailer or all of the

above! The balance of property is landscaped meticulously with beautiful established gardens, rock features and large grassed areas for the kids and four-legged family

members to play. Located within easy walking distance to shops, Primary School, kindergarten, sporting facilities, artistic centres and our beautiful

Emerald Lake Park this property solves all of your family’s needs and gives you the private country lifestyle you have been dreaming of! Inspection is an absolute must. ●

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 23 Emerald Monbulk Road, EMERALD Description: 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 7 garage Price: $1,550,000 - $1,650,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 and Brittany Barry 0412 861 094, BARRY PLANT, EMERALD, 5968 4522 20 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

1 Kitty Lane, Clematis

93 Grantulla Road, Menzies Creek

29 Lisheen Road, Cockatoo




4 T


2 T


5 T


4 T


3 T


2 T


3 T


1 T


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GUIDE $1,850,000 - $2,035,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Gayle Barrot 0408 195 767 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $1,000,000 - $1,100,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $750,000-$825,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Denise McKay 0479 184 147 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

16 Le Souef Road, Gembrook

4 Oakwood Lane, Belgrave

8 Ogilvy Road, Emerald




5 T


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GUIDE $890,000 - $979,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Riley Nicholas 0488 501 218 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $775,000-$850,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Denise McKay 0479 184 147 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $1,400,000 - $1,540,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

26 Innes Road, Gembrook

3 Clear Brook Road, Clematis

23 Emerald Monbulk Road, Emerald




2 T


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GUIDE $650,000 - $690,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $790,000-$850,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Gayle Barrot 0408 195 767 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

GUIDE $1,550,000 - $1,650,000 INSPECT By Appointment CONTACT Justin Barrot 0438 683 781 Barry Plant Emerald 5968 4522

Tuesday, 26 July, 2022



15 Botanic Drive, Pakenham

$760,000 - $830,000

11 Charman Avenue, Emerald

$730,000 - $750,000

Stunning Home in a Great Location!

Character-Filled Hills Hideaway

Walk to Lakeside Park in Pakenham from your new 4-bedroom home. Previously a display home this property the best features, fixtures, and fittings with ducted heating, evaporative cooling, manicured gardens, and double garage. Inside there is a large master bedroom with ensuite and WIR situated next to one of 2 living spaces which has an ultra-modern gas fireplace and deck access. The open plan living/dining/kitchen is perfect for entertaining. The modern kitchen has stone bench tops, stainless steel appliances with an electric oven and gas cooktop. With a contemporary colour scheme the remaining 3 bedrooms have BIRs, plush carpets, and are located close to the family bathroom. Enjoy the indoor-outdoor entertaining space with built-in BBQ, water feature, decking, privacy screens, and weatherprotected for year-round dining.

This 2 bedroom plus study cedar home has loads of space and character and is located in Emerald in the Dandenong Ranges. This character-filled home has a large living area with a gas log fireplace; gas ducted heating and split system cooling. Take the stairs to the open plan dining/kitchen with a hardwood kitchen with stainless steel appliances, induction cooktop, stunning stained glass windows, and a massive walk-in pantry. Set over three levels this home has beautiful vaulted ceilings and a warm hills feel. On the next level is an open-plan study space that overlooks the dining room and deck. There are 2 bedrooms with BIRs and a massive bathroom with a corner spa. Outside is a cabin with high-low power, an under house space with concrete floor and power perfect for a workshop, a double carport and beautiful gardens with paved paths to a lovely courtyard.

Contact: Bethany Day 0438 844 968

Contact: Bethany Day 0438 844 968

13 Charman Avenue, Emerald

$730,000 - $780,000

14 Bayview Road, Emerald

$890,000 - $960,000

A Step into the Emerald Market!

Great Home with Scenic Views

Step into the hills market with this great 3 bedroom brick home, on 1127sqm block, in sought-after Emerald. This home has a fully-sealed horse-shoe driveway, and established gardens. Inside there are 3 good-sized bedrooms, a spacious lounge, and an open-plan kitchen-dining room. There is a galley-style kitchen with a walk-in pantry, an electric oven with a gas cooktop, and a view of the backyard to watch the kids or pets play. With floorboards throughout, a master bedroom with ensuite, and the main bathroom, this home has great potential for you to add your own style and/ or renovate it to suit your needs. Outside there is a large tiled veranda to entertain or take in the views, an underhouse studio that could be used as a he/she shed, office or storage, a veggie patch, pond, and paved paths.

Don’t miss this character-filled, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 garage home close to the Main Street of Emerald and with stunning views across the Dandenong Ranges. Inside there is an open plan kitchen/living/dining area that leads to a beautiful sun room with 180degree views. The hardwood kitchen has electric cooking, concealed double-draw dishwasher, and plenty of storage perfect for family living. The huge lounge room has a gas log fire, plush carpets, and great views. The bedrooms are spacious with built-in robes, and plush carpets and the master has an ensuite. Outside there is under-house storage, gorgeous established gardens, veggie beds, a pond, paved pathways to meander in, and scenic views from the deck. Add your own style to this great home to make it your own hideaway in the hills.

Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994

Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994 22 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

5968 6222

311-313 Main St, Emerald

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

$790,000 - $869,000

174 Monbulk Road, KALLISTA


3A 2B

This stylish single-level residence adjacent to Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve is a private oasis in spectacular surrounds. Easily accessing local townships and schools while nestled in its 1,926sqm (approx.) allotment, this is a beautiful place to retreat to at the end of each day. A spacious and sun-filled living area with rich timber floors and a warm wood fire welcome you into the flowing floorplan.

Brad Conder M 0422 639 115 | E


14 Bellbird Street BELGRAVE

$1,025,000 - $1,125,000


4A 2B 2C

With impressive versatility and a vast array of quality updates, this exceptional dwelling delivers in every way. Boasting a variety of outdoor entertaining areas on a gorgeous 1,220sqm (approx.) block with Monbulk Creek meandering by and idyllically located on a quiet, no-through road only moments from Belgrave township, this is a lifestyle property in the heart of the Hills.



$690,000 - $750,000 4A 2B 2C

In a sought after location within a stone’s throw of the Dandenong Ranges National Park and in walking distance to train stations, shops and local schools, this cute character home offers something for everyone. With four bedrooms and two bathrooms, this gorgeous weatherboard home is certainly larger than expected offering enough space for a growing family.

Sam Adamson M 0421 023 760 | E

Daniel Steen

Sharyn Chandler

M 0434 979 142 | E

M 0439 882 442 | E

9754 6888 1689 Burwood Highway, Belgrave VIC 3160 of

Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




STEP INTO AN EXCEPTIONAL HOME THIS home’s best features are its cleverly designed entertaining spaces: the open plan living spills through bi-fold concertina doors onto a covered timber veranda; the backyard is stylishly paved to reduce maintenance and create a space that serves bonfire nights perfectly. Interior Features: 3 bedrooms (1 x built-in robe, walk-through robe to master) 2 bathrooms (en suite to master: free standing bath, 1 metre shower, and 2 toilets)

· ·

· Large open plan living (walk-in pantry to kitchen) · Spacious laundry · Air-conditioning: 2 x reverse cycle air con-

ditioners, Scandia wood heater Exterior features: 1,000 sqm block (approx.) with landscaped gardens Ample entertaining: undercover veranda, paved entertaining area Single carport (with room for 2 small cars) Full fencing 3 storage sheds ●

· · · · ·

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 67 Whittlesea-Kinglake Road, KINGLAKE Description: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 garage Price: On application Inspect: By appointment Contact: William Verhagen 0437 371 969, INTEGRITY REAL ESTATE, YARRA GLEN, 9730 2333



JANINE RULE M 0417 160 423

THE NEW FACE OF STOCKDALE & LEGGO FERNTREE GULLY / 10 years selling in the city of Knox & surrounds / 112 properties sold in the last 12 months / Over 90 5-star online reviews

Scan the QR code to

learn more about Janine 12559865-JC30-22



Tuesday, 26 July, 2022



Stuart Aldridge Director 0402 464 511

Jodie Anastasio Property Manager 5962 1053

Heather Zappia Sales Consultant 0439 088 007

Deanna Ripepi Sales Consultant 0491 145 176

Real Estate Yarra Valley servicing from Marysville and Healesville through to Croydon and surrounding suburbs, we are an independent familyowned business with dedicated and experienced agents working together to achieve outstanding results for all our clients. Obligation free appraisals for sales and rentals are just a call away.



299 Maroondah Highway Healesville 5962 1053

If you’re looking for the #1 Agents in the Dandenong Ranges call our award winning agency today!

#1 Agency in Olinda, Ferny Creek, Sassafras, Mt Dandenong & Belgrave South Take the first step with Corinne Sukroo & Jo Hirst

Corinne: 0419 805 915 Jo: 0427 494 831

9751 2375 11 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda 202207192789_1-AV30-22

Tuesday, 26 July, 2022





Think Real Estate, Think OBrien.

Rebekah is an award winning, well-known face in the area with 28 years of real estate experience in the hills.

‘Together we can achieve great results.’

Director/Licensed Estate Agent Rebekah Whittaker 0402 982 544 4/1563 Burwood Highway, Tecoma 12558864-SN30-22

Healesville Real Estate award-winning yet down-to-earth agency which is operated by straighttalking, local people with more than 25 years of combined locally focused industry experience. Director: Ian Vine and his team, Louise Brown, Leasa Strichow and Christine Vine offer both innovative resources and personalised, one-to-one customer care without any fluff and nonsense. “The buck stops with us”, says Ian. “Property Owners are making life-changing decisions. They deserve honesty and every reason to trust the people selling or managing their most valuable asset. We know the area and understand the market; we monitor buyer demographics and capitalise on buyer motivations in negotiations and at auction; and we use every available resource to get our Vendors the result rather than just any result.” Open 6 days a week and prominently located in the heart of Healesville on the main street opposite the Post Office, the office is proudly backed by Eview’s (Agents Agency), brand power and upstanding reputation. It also utilises more advanced technological, marketing and communication systems than its competitors, thereby giving vendors a crucial competitive edge in the marketplace.




Tuesday, 26 July, 2022



Working with families in the local community for 40 years. Yarra Junction (03) 5967 1800 2460 Warburton Highway Yarra Junction Vic 3797

Warburton (03) 5966 2800 3414 Warburton Highway Warburton Vic 3799 | 12558906-ET30-22

Elliot Bell: 0427 099 880 Bryce McLean: 0432 050 958


If you’re looking for an update on your property in the Dandenong Ranges contact us today!

9754 5888 1642 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave 202207192789_1-AV30-22

Tuesday, 26 July, 2022






Behind the scenes of Black & White Real Estate Healesville, you will find Brett & Tammy. Both licensed estate agents, Brett & Tammy offer a boutique service focussing on only a few listings at a time ensuring an unparalleled premium service for Vendors Away from real estate Brett & Tammy can be found enjoying water sports at Eildon, caravanning around Australia (when time permits) or spending time with family including 8 grandchildren! Fitness is a major focus for both, having completed the Trail Running Series last year, Tammy continues training for triathlon and Brett recently taking up go-kart racing! Fostering a Seeing Eye Dog for 8 months, who sadly didn’t progress to intensive training, ‘Pony’ was adopted and has now become a much-loved member of the family. Brett is currently raising funds for the MND Daniher Drive 13th – 16th October, dedicated to research for a cure for MND. Having been postponed for the last 2 years, they are aiming to make this year a huge effort. All donations are tax deductible and can be made via their website along with further information on the back story to the drive.

Call us for a premium service coupled with a successful result. Brett Stanley 0407 595 164

Tammy Manning 0417 534 883 12560032-AV30-22 202207192789_1-AV30-22



Tuesday, 26 July, 2022



David McKee Licensed Estate Agent Yarra Valley Area Specialist David is a fully licensed agent specialising in selling property throughout the Yarra Valley and surrounding areas. Based in Healesville and supported by a national brand and agent network, David is committed to delivering the highest service levels to his clients and prides himself on a work ethic that is made of honesty, knowledge, hard work and dedication. Feel free to contact David at any time to discuss your real estate needs.

David McKee | 0419 150 009 | 12558771-JC30-22

Support Your School, Sporting Club, Community Group or Charity! Are you considering selling your house? • Book an appointment

• Once listed and sold we will donate $300 to your nominated group


• Have one of our trusted agents come out to do an appraisal of your property

Trust the team that gets you the results you want and knows the area and community best. Call for an appraisal.

Add your email to our VIP list to be kept updated with the current market and be advised about off-market properties and amazing promotions. We have buyers waiting to buy your property.

5968 6222

311-313 Main Street, Emerald


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022





About Us, Meet the Team

Every member of our team strives to make a difference,

Achievements Elite and Top sales office in Victoria 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021

and that begins with our promise - ‘We put you first’.


We’re dedicated to delivering an exceptional experience from our Belgrave and Cockatoo offïces.

Passionate about customer service, we approach every


job and challenge with a smile on our faces, helping you


navigate the real estate market with ease. With houses


listed from Belgrave to Gembrook and everywhere in


between and surrounding, we have something for


everyone. Ready to sell? Need help to secure a home in your ideal location? Need someone to manage your investment property or even rent a property? - the team at Ranges First National are ready to provide a stellar

9754 6111 1 Bayview Rd, Belgrave Shop 2/24 McBride St, Cockatoo

Social Ranges_First_National RangesFN

service. Marketing is also a strength of ours, that’s marketing your home for sale or lease! With our systems and processes, 12558865-JC30-22

we will partner with you to achieve your goals in real estate.

Y Ranges First National

We put you first 202207192789_1-AV30-22



Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

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Our Classifieds team is looking for a motivated, passionate and reliable individual who loves a challenge and enjoys a fast paced team environment. Work close to home with free onsite parking at our office in Pakenham. Your day will be kept busy servicing existing clients and making cold outbound calls to gain new business. Experience in advertising sales is an advantage, but not essential.

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22 Observatory Rd, Mount Dandenong VIC 3767 (RFNSA Site No. 3767002) The proposed upgrade consists of the addition of new 5G equipment and associated works as follows: r Installation of three (3) new 5G antennas (0.79m long) at 16.95m in height r Installation of one (1) new 5G antenna (0.59m long) at 15.95m in height r Installation of three (3) new 4G antennas (2.688m long) at 16m in height r Removal of two (2) existing panel antennas r Installation of fourteen (14) new remote radio units (RRUs) r Ancillary equipment including but not limited to: new mounts, amplifiers, combiners, installation of one (1) new GPS antenna and removal of existing GPS antenna, new fibre and electrical cabling, and reconfiguration of equipment within the existing equipment shelter and on the monopole 1.Optus regards the proposed installation as a Low-impact Facility in accordance with the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 2018 (Amendment No.1, 2021) based on the description above. 2. In accordance with Section 7 of the C564:2020 Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code, we invite you to provide feedback about the proposal. Further information and/or comments should be directed to or Level 1, South Tower, 10 Browning Street, West End QLD 4101 Australia by Tuesday 16 August 2022.

30 MIN FUN TIME "Visit You". Mature, blonde, D-cup. Monday-Saturday, 9am - 8pm. Call Yvonne on 0491 609 933. SWA10119XE


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EVERNEW CARAVAN E series 2003 full off road model. Reg no: P85832. Tandem axle, front checker-plate stone protection, body 17ft, o/all 22ft, ATM rating 2070. Q /S grand bed with i/s mattress, large combo toilet/shower recess, TV with wind-up antenna, gas cooktop, oven, microwave, radio, 3 way high set fridge, Electrolux ceilling mounted air conditioner, gas/electric hot water unit, large awning & Tebbs annex, Trailmate hydraulic jack, factory fitted solar system with deep cycle battery, twin long range water tanks, twin gas bottles and jerry cans front mounted, twin spare wheels, rear bumper mounted, all tyres as new. Health reasons force this sale. Fully equipped for travel. $30,000. Phone 0419 206 410. Alexandra.

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2015 Daihatsu Hijet 4WD Mini Truck. VINS510p-0020533. 5-speed manual, 56,000kms, 4x4 model perfect for off-road use and farm use, plus vehicle can also be road registered with Vicroads as per normal. Great alternative to John Deere and Polaris agriculture vehicles (The Hi-Jet can go everywhere just the same). 3 cylinder 0.7L 660cc engine, extremely fuel efficient. Tray dimensions are 2030mm x 1420mm and is rated at 350kg worth of load (but can probably do more). All 3 tray sides fold down. $17,900. 0478 518 516.

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Tuesday, 26 July, 2022


Your local paper has brought together local employers and local employees for generations...


Belgrave suffer defeat By Mick Morris An improving Belgrave faced Seville who found themselves back at home after 6 weeks on the road due to ground maintenance issues. Seville came out firing slamming on 8 goals for the quarter with Domenic ‘Sauce Aioli’ Aloi and Rob Petracca nailing 2 each. Seville’s forwards were unstoppable in kicking 7 out of the 8 goals for the quarter and at quarter time the Blues up by 49 points. The second quarter begins with a Belgrave goal in the first minute of the quarter and maybe sign’s of a mini-revival. Seville was having none of that, clickng into gear and slammed on 5 unanswered goals. Things could have been worse for Belgrave if the ‘Tip Rat’ Dylan Broadway hadn’t hit the post 3 times in the half. The Blues had winners all over the ground with Bayley Sciortino, Paul Bailey and Jack Nolan controlling things down back while Jake Strachan and Jack Coshutt were racking up the numbers through the middle. The forwards seemed to have found their spark again doing the little things that helped those around them. Shepherds, spoils, pressure acts and working for each other were a pleasure to watch. A 7-goal to 2 second quarter saw the Blues head into the main break 80 points up. Seville 15-7-97 Belgrave 2-5-17 The third quarter started with a Belgrave goal and it took Seville 15 minutes to register their first Seville kicked 4-8 for the quarter while Belgrave slotted 4-1. The orange break saw the Blues up by 87 points. Seville 19-15-129 Belgrave 6-6-42 An 8-goal quarter by the Blues showed they didn’t take their foot off the accelerator. Broadway banged his fifth for the game with a ‘Dyl-icious’ solo effort in front of his home supporters and he let them know he was up and about. “Get around me” he screamed to his adoring fans and teammates while pumping his fist skyward. A touch of the fumbles saw Petracca cough up the pill which landed in the arms of big Sauce Aoli who registered his eighth major for the game in a dominant performance.

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Belgrave had a disappointing day against Seville. A good all-around performance from the Blue Boys and a much-improved effort from the previous week. The Blues now travel to the Mick Morland Reserve in Clyde North to take on Berwick Springs in the Match of the Day this Saturday. Other football results: Seville Reserves defeated Belgrave Reserves 17.17, 119 to 6.5, 41. Seville U18s had a week off before their big semi-final clash with Warburton-Millgrove U18s.

Picture: ON FILE Seville Senior Women were defeated by Olinda-Ferny Creek Senior Women 1.0, 6 to 15.18, 108. Netball: Seville 17Blue drew with Berwick 17Blue 25 all. The best players for Seville were Georgie Brisbane, Genesis Foster-Jonassen and Keeley Thompson. Seville D Grade defeated Belgrave D Grade 29 to 14. The best players for Seville were Corinne Tesselaar, Tahla Gibbs and Jayde Rait.

Seville C Grade defeated Belgrave C Grade 35 to 23. The best players for Seville were Tarsha Collette, Emily Read and Courtney Canning. Seville B Grade defeated Belgrave B Grade 64 to 37. The best players for Seville were Gabrielle Duncan, Alexis Tucker and Alanna Lennie. Seville A Grade defeated Belgrave A Grade 54 to 47. The best players for Seville were Ella Bayliss, Hayley Ray and Emily Wicks.

Yarra Glen manage only one win against tough Emerald By David Ball Football: Yarra Glen took on third-placed Emerald at Avonsleigh and looked in trouble early as the home side led by 3 goals halfway through the quarter. Yarra Glen then started to win the contested ball and linked up well to pile on 4 quick goals to be 3 points in front at the quartertime break. Emerald was stung into action and was winning the clearances and then using precise kicking to open up the Yarra Glen back line. The River Pigs defenders worked overtime and were able to restrict the damage to be just 8 points down at the main break. When the rain came in the third-quarter Emerald displayed good wet weather skills and moved the ball quickly with some great overlap running. By three-quarter-time, they had extended their lead to 31 points. In a great team effort, the River Pigs lifted and were winning the contested ball and the clearances. Their tackling pressure lifted and the resultant turnovers saw them moving the ball quickly into an open forward line as they slammed on five unanswered goals. By the 12-minute mark, the difference was just 3 points. Emerald responded with their midfield starting to win more of the ball.

Emerald came out the winners in the senior game by 12 points. ter a number of rushed behinds they eventually hit the scoreboard with 2 goals to run out winners by 12 points. Final score Yarra Glen 12.7 to Emerald 13.13. The Yarra Glen Reserves had the difficult task of taking on second-placed Emerald with a depleted lineup. The early going was tough with the River

Picture: ON FILE

Pigs battling hard to put pressure on their more accomplished opponents. The Yarra Glen boys put in a great effort in the last quarter and halfway it, they had kept Emerald to 1 goal whilst adding one of their own through veteran Bernie Wood. The River Pigs did tire late in the quarter and eventually went down 2.1 to 18.14.

Netball: Yarra Glen A Grade had a battle with thirdplaced Emerald and whilst they worked hard they were struggling to complete their forward moves to trail 16-21 at halftime. In the second half, they played the better netball to outscore their opponents in the third and fourth quarters. They got within 2 goals but could not quite get over the line, losing 37 to 39. B Grade controlled the game from the start. They increased their lead in each quarter and ended up comfortable winners, 56 to 36. C Grade started slowly with Emerald jumping out to a 10-goal lead at quarter time. The Yarra Glen girls rallied in the second quarter to get within 4 goals and looked to be playing the better netball. Emerald steadied and the Yarra girls seem to tire and in the end, their higher-ranked opponents finished 12 goals up, with final scores Yarra Glen 33 to Emerald 45. The D grade game was a quality, highscoring encounter. Yarra Glen kept within 1 or 2 goals throughout the first 3 quarters. In a thrilling last quarter, Yarra Glen hit the front late in the game, only to lose possession in the final seconds to end up falling 1 goal short, losing 30 to 31. Tuesday, 26 July, 2022




Winning form ongoing By Simon Gilson Olinda Women’s team continued their winning form with an impressive 102 point victory against Seville away on Saturday morning. Olinda welcomed back ruck supremo Chelsea Wilson after a two month hiatus due to injury, and Chelsea’s influence was immediate and profound. Chelsea’s height and leap coupled with her National volleyball background, means the back ruck jumps at least a foot higher than her opponents and has the time while up there to assess which is the best direction to tap the ball. This is like Nirvana to Olinda’s midfielders and they continually roved to Chelsea’s ruck work and delivered quality entries into Olinda’s forward line. Chelsea’s influence does not end with her tap, her ground ball, contested ball, ball use and marking is at least as good as the best in the team, therefore meaning her presence equals a quality midfielder also. Chelsea’s presence on the field makes Olinda look and function better, and all are excited about Chelsea being available for the upcoming finals series. Captain Maddie Collins had a game most footballers could only dream of; 30 plus pos-

sessions, ten marks, six goals and a handful of score involvements. While most would call this the perfect game, Maddie’s slew of points in the first half means she could have conceivably kicked ten. Capt. Mads is affectionately called “ The Un-coachable Genius” by her coaches, and has the innate ability to pre-empt her coaches yelling at her by doing something absolutely brilliant, time after time. Mads is a pure footballer, and on days like this when she shines is a joy for all to watch. Claire Hyett has always been a contested ball beast with blistering speed, but her ball use has often let her down. Claire has toiled hard to address this, and her hard work came to fruition on Saturday, with Claire regularly delivering bullet-like passes into the forward line with surgical precision. Olinda’s forwards were certainly spoilt with such silver service. You can’t have a conversation regarding elite kicking without mentioning the name Lily Carlin. Lily is tough and courageous without the ball, but with the ball never blazes and always lowers her eyes to hit targets. Lily is usually the player putting the ball on the chest of leading

forwards, but it was nice on Saturday when she was rewarded with a great goal herself. Amalija Kostich Angerson has hit a sweet spot of form in the past month, and continued to tackle, mark and kick with great intensity, and chimed in with an impressive long range goal. Isabella Dennis has only played half a season of footy, but had her breakout game on Saturday in the forward pocket. Issy was neck deep in all the forward action, collecting plenty of kicks and handballs , and applying great forward pressure. It is always a great moment at any level when a player kicks their first goal, and Issy’s snap in the final quarter brought all her team-mates from all over the field to celebrate and generated loud cheers from the crowd. Leah Cody is a brutal competitor at centre half back, but it was her long kicking to advantage on Saturday that was telling in the victory. Emmalee Keegan continued her purple patch of form with another great game. Emm discovered the repercussions of elite form, and copped a tag for the first time in her career, a great compliment. U16s fill ins Kyah Barry and Nikayla Seamer looked comfortable at the higher level, and contributed well, kicking one and two goals respectively.

Ella Smith was a case of “last Full forward standing”, after a season ending injury to Phoebe Dixon and stand in full forward Kiah Burgess was carried off on a stretcher early in the game. Ella acquitted herself very well, kicking 3 goals, the highlight being a dancing goal from deep in the pocket. Isla”Pipes” Bradbury was dangerous all day, and delivered plenty of quality ball into the forward line, and along with Stella Thornton applied great forward pressure. Alex Gunn throws herself into every contest with absolute disregard for her own safety, then jumps up immediately and is back in the face of her opponent. The word that comes to mind when watching Alex play is “scrappy”. As usual, Olinda’s backline of General Casey Seymour, Sophie Caldwell, Emma McLaughlin and Kylie Verbakel did their job with a minimum of fuss, but maximum pressure. Seville kicked their only goal right on the final siren. It was clearly a great team effort where every player contributed. Saturday’s game was probably Olinda’s most pleasing game to watch for the season, and they will be looking to replicate this dynamic game style this weekend in their first final versus Pakenham.

Olinda-Ferny Creek Football girls secure away win By Simon Gilson Another cracking weekend of footy this weekend with some great results in fine sunny winter conditions. Even though it was an Away round, we hosted four games at home and parents and supporters were treated to some great footy. The U12 Girls weren’t one of the teams playing at home which was a shame because they won. A goal from Maeve “Marvel” Leone with about eight seconds to go in the game saw or legendary girls sneak over the line for their first win of the season. Singing the song was a challenge but at least Coach Jamie and her Lili knew the words and belted it out. The club couldn’t be prouder of their efforts to get a win and many of the girls came back to the club to watch the Under 16 Girls and they were beaming. The U10s continued to play some great footy this weekend as they continually show us that they are ready for competitive games next season. Wandin showed some good fight and really made us work for the footy but players such as Sol Smith, Billy Brown and Syd Higgins read the play so well and get themselves in great spots to win back the footy. Coach Ben was pleasantly surprised that they could play defensive line positions in the forward line, and was sure they weren’t just chasing kicks. But Ben also gave credit to the U9 kids that have come up, Aden Lourey, Fletcher Griffin, Finlay Paterson and Seth Gordon for their work around the game. The U11s had an impressive win at home against Monbulk. It took almost the last kick of the day to beat this team last time we played, but the work Coach Stuart and his team have done this year has really seen them grow as a team. Having players the calibre of Ollie Wilford certainly help, as he won the footy around the ground all day and showed elite skill with his kicking into the forward fifty. But he can’t do it by himself and Connor Lourey provided strength in the contest and pocket rockets Liam Eisenegger, Archie Green and Levi Wood provided speed and carry, especially from defence. Jack Ford won plenty of footy and was strong in the contest kicking 3 goals as a reward. The U13 Boys were again pretty dominant in their win over Seville, but Coach Spida, ever the perfectionist, sees area for improvement as they come up against ladder leaders Mt Evelyn this week. 34 MAIL


Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

There were a lot of milestones for the club this weekend. In a team with three 50 game milestone players this week (Ben Gowan, All Deering and Jakob Boyd), he was glad to see the boys share the spoils around with first goals to Ollie Haynes and Jakob. Will Blenkiron was again the standard out 20 goals and around 30 touches but Spida was very pleased with even contributions around the ground from all players. The U15 Boys travelled out to Woori on Friday night to score a really important win for their season. Recent weeks have seen them come up against some of the top teams in the comp and been really challenged. They shook that off against a good Woori outfit and showed some really classy footy. Charlie Hooper kicked three but showed leadership and poise to keep the boys fighting out the game to the end when challenged. Jarvis Reid continued his great season with two goals and Tom Ford showed his ability to read the game and get in great positions. The returning Campbell Hutchin has slotted into their side nicely and was really

impressive on Friday night. The U16 Girls played Wandin at home and looked to repeat their success of the last time they played. Undermanned with illness and players not available, the contest proved to be a tight one all day. Nikayla Seamer presented up forward all day, but also worked hard at ground level to score two goals. Elsa Leonard’s elite ball use was a feature of the game with strong overhead marks, clean work below her knees and lace out kicks into the forward line. Kyah Barry’s contested work around the ground troubles all sides and she was really good again on Sunday. Anja Hulston is a relative newcomer to the game, but her strength in the contest means she often ends up with the footy. In the end though, the girls ran out of legs in an open and engaging contest and Wandin were able to over-run them in the last few minutes. Obviously a really disappointing re-

Picture: WARWICK DEERING sult, but Coaches Claire and Gram were really proud of the effort the girls displayed when undermanned. The U17 Boys travelled out to Healesville for a twilight game to finish off the round. After letting their guard drop last week, the boys returned to playing some good footy and comfortably accounted for a determined Healesville outfit. In a bruising and physical encounter, the boys laid a foundation for the upcoming finals series with hard running and team oriented footy. Coach Paddy has been looking for with great ball use and players lowering their eyes looking for targets and he got it. Ned Ford had a day out with seven goals and Menzie Jans McKirdy was really dangerous on the wing. Luca Smith, Lachie Bates, Christian teBoekhorst and Lachie Smith all had great games. Still a work in progress, but much better this week.


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