Mail - Ranges Trader Star Mail - 30th August 2022

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Ranges Trader

Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

Bushfire season forecast to be wetter than usual

Lake Knox development sees hundreds of objections



Mail Belgrave Kinder celebrates 50 years

SPOTLIGHT: Rod Moss opens new exhibit at Burrinja



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Taken too soon By Parker McKenzie Georgia and Tom’s story is one about love, heartbreakingly curtailed decades early. On Friday 19 August, 30-year-old Georgia McDonald was making the over five-hour drive from Wagga Wagga to Ferntree Gully during her university break when she was tragically involved in a fatal car collision in Glenburn. She was preparing to travel to Bali on Sunday 21 August to celebrate her birthday, where her boyfriend Tom Van Staveren planned to propose. “I was picking the ring up on Saturday and I thought she didn’t know about it at all, but she caught on to it because she had noticed one of her rings was missing,” Tom said. “She was talking to her friends about where he’ll do it and the fact that she knew that it was coming, she was just so happy. It makes me happy to know that she knew.” Georgia was known as a selfless person by her friends and family with so much to give to those around her. She was studying to be an oral health therapist and was six weeks away from graduating, having already lined up a role at a clinic she had worked at for 10 years. Tom said she was truly a “beautiful person, inside and out.” “She studied not to just be another dentist driving a Jaguar but so she could go to developing countries and do charity work for people that don’t have these services,” Tom said. “She really just wanted to give back to her mom, who over the last 30 years has given everything to Georgia.” Family was extremely important to Georgia. She worked two jobs —at a dental clinic and a pizza shop —to take her mum Rachel on a holiday, something they’d never done together.

Georgia McDonald tragically passed away in an accident in Glenburn on Friday 19 August. Picture: SUPPLIED

Her partner Tom Van Staveren and Georgia had been together for three years and he was planning on proposing on the 21 August.

“She cared for everyone and always had a worry that she just didn’t have enough time to love people.”

Georgia’s friend Tallula Galea wrote on a fundraiser page for her wake that she has left behind so many people that loved and adored her “beautiful smile and constant laughter.” “She shared her love with anyone and everyone,” she said. “The impact she made on everyone who she crossed paths with will never be forgotten.” Tom said the moment he first spoke to her

person every day. “Her best qualities were her generosity and kindness, I love her intelligence and her love did not discriminate,” Tom said. “She cared for everyone and always had a worry that she just didn’t have enough time to love people. She was so infectious; you just wanted her to love you. She was just so special.” Continued page 2

three years ago he knew straight away the two would have something special. “It was this overwhelming sense, it’s really weird and I can’t explain, the university spoke to us and then we went on a date,” he said. “It was just a really special night and I was lucky enough to be able to kiss her that night before she drove home, afterwards we were pretty much inseparable.” He said Georgia inspired him to be a better






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Temporary fix for floods By Tyler Wright The Department of Transport (DoT) said it has programmed routine cleaning of drains in Kallista, after a recent meeting with Yarra Ranges Council. DoT said it committed to performing open drain cleaning and clearing debris out of roadside pits in September. “We are assessing ways to help alleviate this problem, before implementing a more permanent solution when Gelghorn Road is sealed,” a DoT spokesperson said. Yarra Ranges Council said it met with DoT representatives to identify short terms works DoT can undertake to reduce drainage runoff from high rainfall, including creating landscape barriers and improving the performance of existing drainage culverts. “Our road sealing project on Gleghorn Road

is expected to address a significant amount of downhill drainage through kerb and channel works, the first stage of which will finish around the end of 2022,” Yarra Ranges Council’s Director of Environment and Infrastructure Mark Varmalis said. “This project has been split to prioritise drainage on the western (downhill) side of the road, with the eastern side to be addressed afterwards. However, it’s clear that the drainage issue in Kallista has a number of factors – some we can assist with, and some we have to advocate for solutions to.” This comes after Kallista residents created the Kallista Flood Watch Facebook group; calling on VicRoads and Yarra Ranges Council to work cohesively to create a long-term stormwater drainage system to prevent flooding on Monbulk Road, Gleghorn Road, Saint James

Avenue, Rivington Ave and surrounding areas. DoT said it is currently assessing short to medium-term options to improve the drainage situation in Kallista, before a longer term solution can be found when Gleghorn Road is sealed by Yarra Ranges Council. DoT also said landscaping solutions would have to be performed by the Yarra Ranges Shire. Mr Varmalis said Yarra Ranges Council will be inspecting the stormwater easements from Monbulk Road, to ensure they are working as designed while DoT works on improving drainage on Monbulk Road. “Having DoT improve Monbulk Road and rainwater run-off from the arterial road will enormously help to mitigate drainage runoff, and we’ll be doing what we can on Council land to assist,” Mr Varmalis said.

The Department of Transport (DoT) has committed to cleaning drains around Kallista in September. Picture: TYLER WRIGHT

Tragic end From page 1 Charles Sturt University, where Georgia studied, said she would be remembered for her professionalism, dedication and her caring, person-centred approach as a student. “Her bright and cheerful presence, much loved by staff and fellow students alike, will be sorely missed,” the university said. “This is a time of great sorrow for the entire university.” Tom said he hopes someone reading Georgia and his story can take lessons from it and potentially avoid another tragedy. “I spoke to her half an hour to 45 minutes before the crash and I could tell she just wanted to be at home and during these big

Georgia is remembered by her friends and family as a selfless person with so much love to give. drives you can be tired or confused and mistakes can happen,” Tom said. Georgia McDonald’s family asks instead

of sending flowers or well wishes, people instead donate to the GoFundMe page at

Georgia worked two jobs to help take her mum Rachel on a holiday for the first time.





Tuesday, 30 August, 2022



Wet fire forecast By Parker McKenzie The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring, released on Wednesday 24 August, shows parts of the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Ranges are expected to have a reduced risk of fire over spring. According to the report, the rainfall across Victoria’s Eastern and northeast ranges over the past 12 months in conjunction with an above-average rainfall outlook “suggests a below average fire danger outlook in these areas.” “Some recent drying is evident across the eastern ranges but is expected to be offset by an above average rainfall expected in spring,” the report said. “Burnt areas from the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons are included as part of the below normal assessment in eastern Victoria.” On a map in the report showing the areas where below-average fire risks are expected,

the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley are included. The Outlook for spring, which covers September to November, is developed by the Australiasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, state fire services and the Bureau of Meteorology. Victoria SES Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch said with a wetter than average spring predicted for most of the state this year, “now is the time to prepare”. Victorians should never be complacent when planning and preparing for the risk of fire and severe weather,” he said. “Get ready before the rain falls. We know this spring is expected to be wetter than average, and that early preparation is the best defence against storms.” He said if you ever come across flood water, it is vital you never enter it. “It can take just 15cm of water for a small car to float or lose traction, it may be the last decision you ever make,” Mr Wiebusch said.

”VICSES will continue to work closely with the emergency services sector to ensure the safety of Victorian communities, beyond the upcoming spring season.” Forest Fire Management Victoria Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said the state is one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world and even an outlook for an average fire season must be taken seriously. “Forest Fire Management Victoria is working with all emergency sector partners to manage bushfire risk, prepare communities and plan rapid response to bushfires,” he said. “We take every opportunity to manage bushfire risk 365 days a year, with different tools and methods, so we are well prepared for the bushfire season.” More information and the full report can be read at newsletter/article/seasonal-bushfire-outlookspring-2022

Road closed in Selby Ausnet closed Belgrave-Gembrook road on Monday 22 August from 8.30pm until Tuesday 23 August at 5.30am, to prepare for the installation of a Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL). A 250-tonne crane was positioned on the road to lift new Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) equipment onto a newly developed site on 109 Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Selby. It is believed Ausnet will spend the next two months installing and testing the equipment in preparation for it to be operational and protecting the community by November, in time for summer. REFCL technology is said to limit the amount of energy released when an earth fault occurs, including when tree falls, or wildlife touches the pole and powerline at the same time. The REFCL installed in Selby is designed to detect the incident and reduce the energy flow within a tenth of a second to avoid a fire or local wildlife being electrocuted.

Urgent tree removed Yarra Ranges Council urgently removed a tree at 223 Ridge Road, Mt Dandenong on Thursday 25 August to prevent the risk of it falling onto the road. The council said after the tree moved in the group caused the root plate to begin failing. The tree was precariously close to falling onto the road and was removed to avoid an accident or having the road blocked.

Close call in Rowville

Passenger dies after driver flees police By Parker McKenzie A passenger in a vehicle that police said attempted to evade highway patrol officers before running through a red light and colliding with two other cars has died, with the driver under police guard in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. On Saturday 27 August at 5.30pm, police allege the silver car sped away after a highway patrol unit attempted to stop it on Ferntree Gully Road, before travelling through

red lights and hitting the two other vehicles. A woman who was a passenger in the silver car died at the scene, while a primary school-aged child in one of the vehicles was transported to the Royal Children’s Hospital in stable condition. A man in his 40s suffered upper body injuries and was transported to the Alfred Hospital in a serious but stable condition, where police said he remains under guard. Police said the exact circumstances sur-

rounding the collision are yet to be determined and because the death occurred following contact with the police, Professional Standards Command will have oversight of the investigation following “standard procedure.” Victoria Police is asking anyone with information, dashcam or CCTV footage to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at

Cyclist injured by falling tree On Saturday 28 August, Ambulance Victoria and local SES crews responded to a call out after a tree fell and injured a cyclist on Mountain Highway, between Montrose and Sassafras. The man aged in his 50s was treated for upper body injuries and was taken to the hospital in stable condition. 12541412-HC12-22

The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring shows parts of the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges are expected to have a reduced risk of bushfire over spring. Picture: AFAC

A man and woman escaped injury after a car crashed into their home overnight on Saturday 27 August. Victoria Police said emergency services were called to Turramurra Drive following a report of a car losing control before flipping and crashing around 10.45pm. A man who was asleep in the second storey of the house was awoken when large brick debris smashed through the brick walls onto the foot of his bed, while a woman who was downstairs at the time wasn’t injured either. a 55-year-old driver of the vehicle returned a preliminary breath test result of 1.73 when he was taken to the hospital after the crash, according to police. Police said it is expected the Rowville man will be interviewed at a later date “in relation to reckless conduct, endangering life and serious injury.” Police ask anyone with information or witnesses who may not have spoken to police to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




Men’s Shed ongoing generosity By Parker McKenzie

CEO Mark Watt AM, Mentor Jade Morrison, Mentoring Coordinator Belinda Chandler and MP Jackson Taylor MP at the Boronia launch in February. Pictures: SUPPLIED

Mentors needed for hub in the hills By Parker McKenzie Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia is expanding its footprint in the hills, as the children’s welfare charity looks to recruit more mentors in Boronia and launch the program throughout the Dandenong Ranges. The not-for-profit charity will launch in the hills on Thursday 6 October after expanding to Boronia in March 2022. BBBS CEO Mark Watt said they’ve already matched people with mentors but are currently looking for a few more to meet the needs of young people in the area. “We’re looking for people that are probably 25 to 40 that really want to help young people and can connect with them one day a week,” he said. “Take them places, spend your time with them once a week, whether it’s cooking, playing sports, or spending some time with a young person. That’s so important.” BBBS launched in Boronia earlier in the year with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Victorian Government, providing one-on-one,

Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia is seeking more mentors in Boronia and the hills. Picture: SUPPLIED long-term and intensive mentorship designed to respond to the needs of young people aged between seven and 17. The charity received $9,881 in funding from Yarra Ranges Council’s Grants for Community project to expand into the Dandenong Ranges.

Mr Watt said the program helps young people with loneliness by letting them know that someone cares for them. “We had an 11-year-old who talked about he really looked forward to seeing his mentor every week, they’ve got a great relationship,” he said. “It really makes a difference in his life. It was really encouraging to see someone so young talking about the benefit of having a mentor.” Mr Watt said the mentor benefits by giving them purpose and the ability to make a difference in the lives of young people who need help. “It’s also a win for the family who get the support that they need. Many of these families are isolated and having a mentor really does support them by giving the young person some human interaction,” he said. “Having a mentor means actually learning socialising skills, which is important as they’re growing up.” Interested mentors can find out more or enquire about taking part at

New funding to attract diverse volunteers By Tyler Wright Puffing Billy Railway, operated by the Emerald Tourist Railway Board, has received $47,510 excluding GST as part the Victorian Government’s Emerging Stronger grant program. The recipients of the grants, who will receive up to $80,000 to help re-engage and broaden their volunteer base, were announced on Sunday 21 August, Puffing Billy Railway CEO Peter Abbott said Puffing Billy Railway will consult with past and current volunteers, and partner with Tourist and Heritage Railways, to identify barriers in re-ingaging volunteers as Covid-19 causes a drop in volunteer numbers. “The data from these surveys will provide us with sector-specific recommendations that can be used across all Tourist and Heritage Railway organisations,” Mr Abbott said. “Similarly, to increase the number of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) volunteers we welcome to Puffing Billy Railway and the Tourist Railway sector, we will partner with CALD organisations in the Yarra Ranges and Cardinia Shire to understand what the per4 MAIL


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

With $47,510 (excluding GST) from Emerging Stronger grants, Puffing Billy Railway is looking to prepare recommendations and priority tasks to increase recruitment and retention of culturally and linguistically diverse volunteers. Picture: SUPPLIED ceived barriers may be around recruiting those more culturally and linguistically diverse. Based on the consultation and literature review outcomes received, Puffing Billy Railway will be able to prepare recommendations and

priority tasks to increase recruitment and retention of CALD volunteers.” 330 active volunteers are currently part of operating Puffing Billy Railway, which is still running at 20 per cent of pre-Covid 19 levels, Mr Abbott said. “Our volunteers are vital to the future success of preserving this icon of the Dandenong Ranges and with this funding, volunteers will be encouraged and supported to learn a great range of skills as they join, or re-join, a strong team that welcomes visitors from all around the world,” he said. The $1 million Emerging Stronger grants program is part of the Victorian Volunteering Strategy launched in May; a five-year action plan to promote, build, support and celebrate all forms of volunteering. Colin Brooks, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers said the programs run by grant recipients will help Victoria’s social recovery from Covid-19. “Volunteers are also healthier and happier through social connection, and the sense of purpose and achievement [volunteering] provides,” Mr Brooks said.

Members of the Upwey Men’s Shed have undertaken several projects to help the local community, despite having no permanent home to call their own after four years. Upwey Men’s Shed President Gerran Wright said despite being one of the few men’s sheds with no workshop, the group is still meeting regularly. “Luckily, we’ve been able to get enough grants and fundraising done now over the four years to be able to build the shed,” he said. “We’ve got all the money lined up ready to go, we just need the site to put it on.” Recently, members helped repair a bike for a local boy whose mother approached the group. “We brought all the equipment needed to fix the bike, one of our members took it home and got to work on it, renewing all the parts and getting it going,” Mr Wright said. “He’s making use of the bike, although the weather hasn’t been all that conducive.” The Men’s Shed has been forced to knock back other people who have approached them with similar bike issues because it isn’t able to store or work on them without a permanent location. Mr Wright said it is difficult for the group because they rely on the generosity of people doing the work in their own homes. “The Men’s Shed is about guys getting together, working shoulder to shoulder,” he said. “We can only do it in our own little workshop at home, no one else can participate. It’s the goodwill of the members that are making this sort of thing happen rather than being a shared activity.” Despite this, the members have also recently built a bench seat for the Upwey Community Group, with two more on the way. Mr Wright said the community group approached the Men’s Shed to see if they could help upgrade an old seat in the local community garden. “They looked at it and they said we love it, we can probably use more of those,” he said. “We approached Demak Outdoor Timber and Hardware in Ferntree Gully to see if we could get a discount, as you know it is pretty expensive at the moment. “They got back to us and said it’s free, so all we need to do now is buy the hardware, the screws to fix the timber together. We’re going to have to do it at one of the guy’s own homes because we can’t do it at the township hall, it just isn’t set up as a workshop.” Aside from these projects, the members have also undertaken a basic first aid training course through St John’s Ambulance Australia. Upwey Men’s Shed is continuing to look for a permanent home in the local area and is revisiting several locations which they have approached in the past four years. The members will net meet on 31 August at Maria Cafe in Upwey.

Members of the Men’s Shed are still meeting regularly. Picture: SUPPLIED


MP not to return in Nov By Shelby Brooks

A render of the proposed wetlands Development Victoria says will replace the current dam.


Hundreds against Lake Knox permits By Parker McKenzie Knox City Council has confirmed two planning permits regarding a multi-stage development of a man-made dam known to locals as Lake Knox each received over 580 objections. The permits are for the two-stage subdivisions and the construction of wetlands set to replace an artificial lake and dam created in the late 1950s or early 1960s on the corner of Burwood Highway and Scoresby Road in Knoxfield. The site was formerly the Knoxfield Horticultural Research Facility, where the dam is believed to have been used to irrigate research crops. Several hatchings of the vulnerable bluebilled ducks have been found at the dam, causing members of the local community to oppose Development Victoria’s plan to build a housing estate and artificial wetlands at the site. President of the First Friends of Dandenong Creek Anthony Bigelow said a staff member at Knox City Council confirmed to him the objections were the most ever received by the council regarding a development. “To have an overwhelming response is incredibly heartening. It goes to what we’re all trying to do here, which is to show to the wider community what’s going on,” he said. “This is now a five-year campaign and we’ve gone for the really structured approach with this.” Knox City Council said in a statement it has

The vulnerable blue-billed ducks enjoying the current ‘Lake Knox’. not yet determined its position on the two planning applications from Development Victoria. “As of 25 August 2022, Council has received 585 objections to application P/2021/6169, and 586 objections to application P/2021/6170,” the council said. “Council does not keep statistics on what applications attract the most objections.” A consultation meeting with pre-registered objectors is scheduled for 1 September and a decision on the application will be considered “in the future at a later date to be determined.” The proposed redevelopment of the site

Pakenham-based Eastern Victoria MP Cathrine Burnett-Wake won’t be standing for election this November after the Liberal Party voted to replace her last month. Ms Burnett-Wake was sworn into the Victorian Legislative Council in December last year following Edward O’Donouhe’s resignation from the seat. “It has been an honour to have had the opportunity to represent the residents of Eastern Victoria,” Ms Burnett-Wake said. “I have met many wonderful people and community groups during my time. Unfortunately, I won’t be continuing the work I started, but I am grateful for the opportunity I had to help the people of Eastern Victoria. “I was able to make a difference in the short time that I had. I am now looking to the future and alternative ways by which I can continue my public service.” Ms Burnett-Wake has been replaced with Renee Heath, a chiropractor from Sale which some media has reported is a “religious conservative”. The preselection vote was close, with Ms Heath winning 55 votes to 53. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy defended Ms Heath after concern was raised about her family’s connections to a conservative church which in the past has come under hot water for appearing to support gay conversion therapy. “Renee is not her father, Renee is not her uncle, Renee is not her family, Renee is herself,” Guy said. “She’s a professional woman, she’s in the health field, she’s a professional person. I’ll ask people to judge Renee by Renee and not by anyone else.” Recently, Ms Burnett-Wake spoke of the importance of access to abortion during a debate of an abortion bill introduced to parliament by Reason Party leader Fiona Patten. “[It’s] dangerous to assume that our abortion laws will never change and that there will not be other pushes for legislative change that creates further harm,” she said. “There are changes on the horizon and soon some of these seats may very well be filled by representatives who do not believe in sensible freedoms for every individual.”

Picture: ON FILE

consists of plans to subdivide the site, remove vegetation to create 105 lots, build a wetland with cycling and walking tracks, open space areas and a bird lookout, and remove the dam currently undergoing structural repairs. A spokesperson for Development Victoria said “the Knoxfield site will bring significant opportunities and benefits to the local community.” “We are continuing to work with locals and key stakeholders including Knox City Council to ensure the new neighbourhood and wetlands meets the needs of the community and local environment.” the spokesperson said.

Cathrine Burnett-Wake was not pre-selected for the Eastern Victoria seat. 287720

Staff at Eastern Region Libraries take industrial action By Parker McKenzie Union members at Eastern Regional Libraries have begun industrial action after rejecting a 1.8 per cent pay rise from Your Libraries, instead seeking a 3 per cent pay rise, a minimum of three-hour shifts for casuals and minimum staffing levels to open branches. The industrial action launched by members of the Australian Services Union will include interrupting or stopping work to remove name badges, attaching enterprise bargaining agreement campaign material or putting on union-related clothing, an indefinite ban on performing work in clothes that doesn’t have EBA campaign material or in non-union related clothes, waiving photocopying or printing charges by library members and voicing campaign messages. Australian Services Union secretary Lisa Darmanian said workers at Eastern Regional Libraries who are union members have

Australian Service Union members are taking industrial action at Eastern Region Libraries. Picture: SUPPLIED “stepped up action to get a fair deal.” “Workers are Eastern Regional Libraries are determined to get a decent pay rise, a fair go for casual workers, and safety at their workplace,” she said. “Members of the Australian Services

Union want to reach agreement on the enterprise agreement and will continue to ramp up their protected industrial action until library management starts to listen.” Other industrial actions will include handing out bookmarks about the campaign and putting campaign-related messages in the windows of library vehicles. Ms Darmanian said library workers want two workers at small branches and three at large branches present during work hours due to safety concerns. “Management at Eastern Regional Libraries can avoid highly disruptive strike action by negotiating with union members rather than dictating the terms of the enterprise agreement,” she said. “Library workers love their work and the communities they work in, and library management has pushed them to the point of taking industrial action by refusing to listen to

their legitimate concerns,” Ms Darmanin said. Your Library is a beneficial enterprise with each of Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges being represented on the board by two councillors each, with a corporate representative from each also appointed. It was created when Eastern Region Library Corporation was wound up for administrative reasons under the Local Government act 2020. At a Knox City Council meeting on 27 June, Cr Yvonne Allred — who is on the board of Your Library — said the corporation had a $2 million surplus mainly due to reduced services during the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be placed in a reserve account and used to acquire, refurbish and maintain library facilities. Requests to speak to a union member undertaking industrial action were rejected because it is not an approved industrial action. Eastern Region Library CEO Joseph Cullen was contacted for comment. Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




50 years of kinder care By Tyler Wright Belgrave Preschool is celebrating 50 years of operation on Saturday September 3; its first celebration since the beginning of the pandemic. Community members are invited to join the occasion, with face painting, dancing, music and hairspray there to enjoy from 10am to 2pm. “Everyone’s really excited for the party. It’s one of the first big events since Covid that the Kinder has been able to have so it feels exciting for that reason, too,” Belgrave Preschool teacher Stephanie Innes said. Janet Muhle, educator at Belgrave kinder, said posters have been put up around Belgrave to promote the event and local businesses have donated items for the raffle. “Every year we would do the Lantern Parade, we used to have a soup eating and lantern making,” Janet said. “We always had a spring festival, normally in about October; so this will be our replacement for that.” Belgrave Preschool, established in 1971, was connected to the Belgrave Maternal & Child Health Centre, until the until the health service centre moved to Inspiro on Burwood Highway. Janet said the kinder has supported families through the growth of their children and provided opportunities for families to connect with each other before their children make the move to primary school. “This event’s actually bonding everyone together again, because we’ve got a common goal to get all this [work and fun] done,” Janet said. Those interested in attending Belgrave Preschool’s 50 years celebrations are advised to bring coins for games, stalls, raffles and birthday treats. “”We’ll always welcome anyone who would like to contribute,” Janet said. Yarra Ranges Council also provided a grant for the event.

Lucas, Maddie, Rowan and Essie from Belgrave Kinder.


Swap your weeds for trees Boosting social support at Emerald Library Saturday By Tyler Wright

Friends of Emerald Lake Park and Cardinia Shire Council are hosting a ‘Trees for Weeds’ swap day at Emerald Library on Saturday 3 September. Residents are invited to come along with a sample of weeds to swap for a free native plant from 10am to 2pm on the day. Experts will be happy to help with identifying weed species and offer advice on ways to control weeds on your property, as well as some free indigenous plants to take home. “The main environmental [weeds] we’re looking at are ivy and sweet pittosporum... people bring them along and we exchange

them for local indigenous plants, which the shire has brought from the Helmeted Honeyeater nursery at Yellingbo,” president of Friends of Emerald Lake Park Sheila Hampson said. Emerald Library is located at 400B Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald. For more information about Trees for Weeds Day, visit Cardinia Shire Council’s website at or call the Environment team on 1300 787 624. Everyone is welcome, and reminded to bring their weeds with them.

Anne, Sheila, Kate and Pam from Friends of Emerald Lake Park have organised a ‘Trees for Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS Weeds’ swap day. 295951 6 MAIL


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

Hills-based NDIS participants are being urged by the Interchange Outer East (IOE) Recreation Services team to express their interest in a regular social group, after one resident expressed concerns about the lack of disability recreation services within the community. Catriona Knothe, who lives in Emerald with her son who has a disability, said her son’s NDIS funding has gone towards one-on-one meetings with a support worker rather than group programs, because there are none based in the Hills. “It’s compounded by geographic isolation, and poor public transport for those that are able to use it, (but there’s a lot that can’t use that as well),” Catriona said. “The other thing about not having group activities is [it] means if you’ve got an NDIS package for support, which might include group activities, you tend to spend a lot more of the funds on one to one. And while it’s good to have one to one, I think it’s important to have a balance.” Disability service provider Interchange Outer East (IOE) facilitates social groups in Ferntree Gully and Lilydale, but has seen a gap in services for adults with disabilities in Emerald, Gembrook, Menzies Creek and surrounding areas. IOE Recreation Services Team Leader Karina Fry said accessibility to programs run in the City of Knox and Lilydale can be difficult for Hills residents to access, so the organisation is looking at a more localised approach. “If we’re running an activity from the base in Ferntree Gully, and they’re meeting here at five o’clock, and they’re going into the city to see a band, and they’re getting back at 11 or 12 o’clock at night, that’s a lot for a parent to have to do for an adult child in terms of driving around,” Karina said. “Taxis and Ubers aren’t always an option for people, or may not feel safe at that time of night. We do have a lot of feedback from families stating that our services are either

Participants in an ‘After Work Social Club’ run by Interchange Outer Easter that meet at Lilydale, who headed into the city to attend a silent disco. Picture: SUPPLIED too far away, and [they] would like something more local; plus within your own community you know a lot more people, it’s easier to make friendships, easier to maintain friendships with people that you can see who might be close by.” The social groups will be based around maintaining and developing friendships with other people alongside a permanent recreation leader, with the goal of potentially meeting as a group without the extra support. “[The meetings] might be about going out to dinner, if that’s something they love to do, they might go to different restaurants when they catch up, or if they like to talk about Dungeons and Dragons, or football,” she said. There might be a group that’s into sport and into the footy... they might catch up and talk about footy and then and then they might plan to go to a couple of the games, with a meeting point close by to where they live. It can start off really small and it can evolve.” To be eligible to join this social group, you must be aged 18 or over, have core funding available in your NDIS plan, and be supported within a group at a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3. To register your interest, contact Karina Fry at or on 9758 5522 by Thursday 15 September.


Environment under threat By Parker McKenzie The Dandenong Ranges is a unique environment in Australia’s landscape with its sweeping hills, deep gullies and thick temperate rainforests. Borne out of the remains of an extinct volcano that erupted over 350 million years ago, the region is home to a wide variety of native Australian species which rely on its qualities to protect and foster populations of animals like the superb lyrebird, short-beaked echidnas and sugar gliders. Last month, the State of the Environment 2021 report revealed what many already thought: Australia’s environment is “poor and deteriorating” because of climate change, land clearing, invasive species, pollution and urban expansion. Those who care deeply for the Ranges and its natural habitat weren’t surprised by the report and said the vulnerable natural ecosystems are nearing “the tipping point.” President of the Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group Rob Pergl said while there are other issues of concern, the three “big-ticket items” are invasive weeds, stormwater runoff and the effects of a changing climate. “The Dandenong Ranges are a unique environment, there’s a range of species that occur here which are locally significant to the area that doesn’t occur anywhere else,” he said. “The environment ranges from the very tall mountain ash trees, tree-lined fern gullies to the foothills of the Dandenongs where you’ll find a very high diversity of heathland species.” Having been involved in environmental and Landcare groups since the late 1990s, Mr Pergl said weeds replacing the native flora have become a huge issue for the surrounding ecosystems. “In a nutshell, we’ve got issues with waves that are basically out competing and displacing our natives, our local native vegetation,” he said. Knox Environment Society (KES) president Richard Faragher said the issue of invasive species is particularly bad in the Dandenongs. “We tend to shut out all of the flora on the ground floor and people see the damage when trees come down,” he said. “Particularly in wet areas, because people don’t get in and clean them up, a lot of places are just choked with weeds.” KES has been cultivating and collecting Indigenous plant seeds to store in a bank at their nursery in Ferntree Gully, in an effort to preserve and catalogue the plants indigenous in the area and the Landare Group recently had over 30 people join together to plant 500 indigenous plants at Belgrave Lake Park. Mr Faragher said climate change is also

Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group organised a planting day which saw 31 people plant over 500 indigenous plants at Belgrave Lake Park. Picture: SDLG putting pressure on the natural environment as catastrophic weather events become more common. “You can see that throughout the world. How often do you hear it’s the hottest or coldest or wettest ever?” he said. “With climate change, it’s not the fact that things will get warmer, but it’s that huge difference in weather events experienced. We had the millennial drought and then huge bushfires. When you get a huge fire, it has a big effect that takes the bush a long time to recover from.” The Dandenong Ranges is already one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world. Climate modelling produced by the State Government said the greater Melbourne region has already become warmer and drier and as global temperatures rise, the Dandenongs will see not only more hot days and warm spells but also more frequent and intense downpours and unpredictable weather.

Another issue facing the native environment is the shrinking of natural habitats in areas where housing is being developed, according to Mr Faragher. “We’ve got probably three or four per cent in nature reserves, but you’ve got a lot of areas on private property that gradually gets eaten away as well,” he said. “People want to sell off the block next door and a house goes on there, so the vegetation, the plants and the animals living on there get pushed out,” he said. “There is a lot more housing up compared to what there was 20 or 30 years ago.” Organisations like the Dandenongs Landcare Group and Knox Environment Society are doing what they can to preserve and protect the precious ecosystems throughout the region, though Mr Pergl said it will take a huge change in practices and attitudes to save the environment from further damage.

“There needs to be a greater understanding and an associated imperative, which ensures that we take these issues seriously,” Mr Pergl said. “The cost of inaction on a range of these issues is a well understood and documented threat, and will result in further degradation.” Mr Faragher said it will take a big commitment made by everyone to change course and “if you’re living in the Dandenong you should commit to protecting the environment.” “In many places, we’ve reached a tipping point if we haven’t already passed it. If we don’t act now, it’s going to be too late,” he said. “A lot of the local animals that people enjoy seeing will slowly disappear and by the time they’re gone, it’s too late to do anything about it. All that enjoyment people get from seeing a wombat or a live bird or a Koala, all of a sudden, these things disappear and people say where have they gone? Unfortunately, it’s too late.”

State Government to pay for nursing, midwifery studies By Parker McKenzie A $270 million investment from the State Government will attempt to recruit and train 17,000 new nurses and midwives, with more than 10,000 students having the cost of their undergraduate studies paid for over the next two years. All new domestic students enrolled in a nursing or midwifery course in 2023 and 2024 will receive a scholarship of up to $16,500 for course costs, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Saturday 28 August. “If you’re in Year 12 and you’ve been thinking about studying nursing or midwifery, go for it. We’ve got your HECS fees covered,” Mr Andrews said. “Every health system in the country is under enormous pressure due to the pandemic. The best thing we can do to support our hardworking staff is give them more support on the ground, that’s why this package will train and hire more nurses than ever before.” The package includes scholarships for postgraduate nurses to complete studies in specialist areas like intensive care, emergency, pediatrics and cancer care, $11,000 scholarships for enrolled nurses to become registered nurses, $12,000 scholarships for support training and employment of 100

A $270 million investment from the State Government will attempt to recruit and train 17,000 new nurses and midwives. Picture: ON FILE new nurses in acute and community settings and over $20 million to support graduates and postgraduates as they transition

into working at hospitals. The Victorian branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation wel-

comed the plan to grow the workforce by removing undergraduate and education costs. ANMF Victoria branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said “the plan builds on previous work and shows a sophisticated and targeted understanding of how to build the capacity of the current workforce.” “Next year’s students will be tomorrow’s emergency and critical care nurses, maternal and child health nurses, school nurses, aged care nurses, theatre nurses, mental health nurses, acute and community nurses and midwives,” she said. Australian Private Hospitals Association CEO Michael Roff said the incentives for graduate nurses to work in public hospitals would inevitably mean fewer nurses for other areas like primary care, aged care and private hospitals. “This move could force the closure of services in the private sector and that is not good news for the state’s public hospital system. Victoria’s public hospitals are already groaning under the strain of Covid-19, influenza and massive elective surgery backlogs,” he said. “They are currently relying on the private sector to help them manage all of this. If the private sector loses hospitals, the pressure on the public system only increases.” Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




Bookworms judge comp By Tyler Wright For the first time, a group of six year seven students at Mountain District Christian School in Monbulk have put their judging caps on for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) 2022 Shadow Judging Program. Mountain District Christian School was funded by the CBCA to participate in the second ever shadow judging project, and was sent six contenders for Book of the Year in the Younger Readers category. Students Caleb, Ryan, John, Esther, Mia and Liam dug into ‘Dragon Skin,’ by Karen Foxlee, ‘The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel’ by Nicki Greenberg, ‘Huda and Me’ by H. Hayek, ‘A Glasshouse of Stars’ by Shirley Marr, ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ by Maryam Master and illustrated by Astred Hicks, and ‘Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief’ by Katrina Nannestad; nominating ‘Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief’ as their group pick for best novel. according to CBCA judging criteria. The group weren’t alone in enjoying the novel, with ‘Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief’ taking out the title of winner in the 2022 Shadowers’ Choice Award Younger Readers category on Friday 26 August. Caleb’s favourite book was ‘Huda and Me;’ a tale of two Lebanese children who run away to the other side of the world in order to escape their babysitter. “There was mystery at the end, I don’t want to spoil too much, but it was it was really interesting in the end,” Caleb said. Each group member had to make a creative response inspired by their chosen novel, and Caleb made a Lego stop-motion trailer of 400 pictures. Esther’s created a poster in response to the novel ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop,’ which focuses on a twelve and a half year old girl living with cancer. It was also Esther’s first time reading a book in the second person. “It’s a confusing style to read, because it’s basically forces you to pretend you are the character and you are doing all the things; sometimes you have character names but you actually become the character, which was an interesting book to read.” ‘A Glasshouse of Stars,’ by Shirley Marr was named the CBCA Book of the Year in 2022, which was met with mixed reactions from the Mountain District Christian School group. “Most of us weren’t happy about the actual winner,” John said.

Mia with her creative response to ‘A Glasshouse of Stars’. 295879 “The book was just this tragedy,” Caleb added. On the other hand, Mia and Esther maintain it is a “good book”. Teacher librarian Caren Wyngaard, who applied for funding for Mountain District Christian School to be involved in the CBCA’s shadow judging program, said the group discussed topics like wealth, death, class and corporal punishment while reading the books from term two. “It’s been lovely to have kids who are really enthusiastic, who want to read, and we’ve had some really great discussions because the books bring up some interesting topics,” Mrs Wyngaard said. “Their class teacher allowed me to have [the students] in certain periods when they were doing English...[they] had to agree that if they missed out on any classwork while they were with me, they needed to then catch up. They’re begging to do it again next year.” It is quite clear the current year sevens would


Esther, Mia, John, Ryan and Caleb each with the books they chose to create a creative response to. Liam, who is absent in the picture, made a reflection to ‘Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief’ by Katrina Nannestad. jump at the chance to shadow judge again. “I would really encourage other schools to do it, because it was lots of fun,” Esther said. “It was a good bonding experience to read

all the books and then have to spend hours talking about it together.” To learn more about the CBCA’s Shadow Judging Project, visit

Community comes together for Book Week in Cockatoo The Cockatoo Primary School community has given big at this year’s Book Fair, spending around $4,500 and in turn providing the school with about $1,300 for literacy resources to share amongst classes. “Because the last few years we haven’t really been able to do [the fair] because of Covid, it was nice to have parents back on site, and being able to embrace reading literature with their kids,” Book Fair coordinator and middle school classroom teacher Janelle Dale said. “I think it’s really important because it gives the students a little bit more purpose and a little bit of excitement coming back to school, especially off the back of Covid,” Janelle said. “It creates inclusiveness and connectedness because the kids see each other in similar dress ups, or they’ve come in the same character. It’s really cute to see them outside in the yard, and they run up to one another - it might be a prep and a grade six - and they’re both dressed up as Hermione from Harry Potter. it creates that whole school approach to celebration together. It’s something that we can do all together. And it also connects us to the community, like having the books out open in the mornings, the parents could come up, and really celebrate that love of 8 MAIL


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reading and literature with the kids. Janelle said it is refreshing to see comics like Dog Man and Diary of a Wimpy Kid encapsulating what children are interested in, rather than assuming what children are interested in. “I think authors are looking at it from an inclusive lens, because you’ve got dragon girls and previously, it would always be ‘dragons are targeted at boys,’ Janelle said. “It’s really refreshing to see these novels and series coming out, and the kids are really loving that.” This year, Cockatoo Primary School was able to raise more money by offering more buying sessions for children and families. “We rang Scholastic... we were a little bit more choosy with what we asked for them to send; we knew what our what our kids were wanting, and then they sent us more products than they did last year,” Janelle said. “The prices ranged in the books from $8 up to $25, but we also had posters and pencils and rubbers so the kids who only had $1 or $2 could still come along to the fair and purchase something and feel like that they were celebrating literature in some way. From that $4,500 that the school community spent, we then get about 30 per cent of that to then buy resources to use at school,” she said.


A fun week for students Grade 2C from Mount Dandeong Primary School getting bookish.


The week kicked off on Monday 22 August with Mount Dandenong Primary School’s Book Week Parade and Book Fair. Mount Dandenong Primary was also fortunate enough to be visited by author and illustrator Nikki Greenberg for a series of work-

shops with students. The school’s library captains ran fun book games and activities throughout the week, too. It was a wonderful, colourful week celebrating our shared love for all things books.

Teachers join in on costume fun to inspire big dreams Monbulk Primary School teachers dress ups were based on book series titled ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ in 2022. For the children, there was no particular theme. “We find our engagement is higher when there’s a bit more student voice and agency with what’s going on, so the children can dress up as their favourite character from a book that they like,” Monbulk Primary School principal Estelle Alder said. “We want to make things easy for parents as well, so we don’t want to put too much burden on creating masterpieces because we know that some families that can be very busy and stressful.” Previous dress ups for students include the caterpillar from ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and Harry Potter and Hermione from the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. “One of my other favourites was Captain Underpants...that was a bit of a shock; a student dressed up in a nude bodysuit with giant underpants on the outside, that was memorable,” Ms Alder said. Ms Alder greeted students on Friday 26 August as the late American lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I love it because it gives the kids that chance to express their creativity, so it’s really fun.”

Teachers at Monbulk Primary School joined in the costume fun for Book Week 2022.


Book funfair at Selby Primary with author meet and greet By Year 6 Selby Primary School student Oscar On Wednesday 17 August we had a very fun incursion by the famous author Adam Wallace. He ran us through some exercises to boost resilience in drawing, and we learned drawing doesn’t have to be perfect. One of these exercises he got us to participate in was to draw a grumpy turtle who had lost a soccer match with our opposite hand. After the exercises, we drew a dragon from one of his books. Then last (and definitely not least) we were each allowed to choose on of his books to keep!!! For ourselves!! One of the great (and very well received) things our school does as a little bit of fun is the book fair!! Held in our excellent library every year in book week, this little shop is like a semi-circle of shelving, full of books, and tables covered with beautiful posters, colourful erasers and cute little pencil toppers. Every time it is held, (on one of the days of book week) the students are able to go up to the library and purchase any of the items for sale. But don’t be fooled by this brief account, the book fair is not brief, as it is open for two or three days of book week, in which parents can take the opportunity to bring their children along after school, and make some purchases then too. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to buy a book or a poster or anything else at this stall for a reasonable price, with all the profits going into buying new books for classrooms, and for the library.

The Book Week parade is enjoyed by all at Selby Primary School. Equal best with the book fair (in amount of fun) is the parade. On one of the days of book week the children dress up as our favourite book character and we parade through our school hall to the clapping and cheering of the other students (and music, usually drowned out by the cheer-

ing mentioned earlier). After all of the classes have done their laps of the hall, our principal announces the best costume from each class. This year, the winner from the preps was a boy who had dresses up as a wardrobe, there was also a giant hat, a cat in a hat, a dog-man,

Picture: SUPPLIED a dwarf, a dragon and others. For the rest of the day we all wear our costumes around the yard at playtime, and in the class during the lessons. All taken into account this year was another brilliant book parade! Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




Rod Moss joins Burrinja By Parker McKenzie Artist Rod Moss travelled from Alice Springs to Burrinja Cultural Centre over the weekend, celebrating the launch of his exhibition All My Fat Country and his book Dancing Under Heavy Manner – Love Songs from Central Australia. The exhibition is running until Monday 8 October and features paintings of the local country of Alice Springs, where Mr Moss has lived since the 1980s, drawn in graphite. Mr Moss, who was born in Ferntree Gully, said he has been making works about the cross-cultural situation in Alice Springs and the racial divide that “really hits you as almost as soon as you get off the tarmac into town” for over 30 years. “I turned my attention probably 18 months or so ago to doing the country that we’ve walked through together,” he said. “All of these places, they’re probably all within about 3km of my house and about 1km of the camp on the eastern side of town. These are places I’ve walked through and I’m really familiar with.” Mr Moss created the artwork featured in the exhibition using a pencil and an eraser and said they are photographically based. “There’s a lot of erasing in the grasses and the fine detail, sometimes I go too heavy into the tones and I need to pull it back a little bit,” he said.

Rod Moss’ exhibition All My Fat Country opened at Burrinja Cultural Centre on Saturday 27 August and runs until Monday 8 October. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE “They’ve been collaged from many photographs. Even though the natural given formations are fairly well composed as if someone has placed them, I’ve done a little bit of maneuvering.” Mr Moss has also written several memoirs and launched his new book at Eltham Bookshop.

He said art and writing are about the same experience, even though they are different mediums. “Some of the stuff I’m doing are serious things, and serious is the right word about it,” he said. “I’m really full of intent. You don’t want distraction; you can’t jump between the two.”

Mr Moss, who was born in Ferntree Gully and grew up in Boronia, said he has held a previous exhibition at Burrinja in 2014 as well as another book launch. “Knowing Sherbrooke Forest reasonably well, I used to run through here when I was in my younger and fitter days,” he said. “We walked these hills and this here would have been around the limit to where we would go.” Some of the art features prose written across the pencil drawn in pencil, which Mr Moss used to dedicate the art to his brother who passed away earlier in the year. He said the scale of his art has changed since he left Melbourne in the early 1980s. “The Indigenous thing is right in your face in Alice Springs. Within about 18 months or two years, I became enmeshed with the people on the east side of town and their camps and travelled with them,” he said. “My whole feeling really fundamentally changed and fine-tuned. I packed up wanting to know what was happening in the territory.” Mr Moss also taught painting and drawing in Alice Springs and continues to live there since retiring in 2008. You can find out more about All My Fat Country at

Good things come in small packages in Sherbrooke By Tyler Wright Sherbrooke Art Society and the Australian Society of Miniature Art Victoria are proving good things really do come in small packages in an upcoming joint exhibition. ‘Small Packages,’ a collection of 108 miniature artworks, will be on display at the Sherbrooke Art Gallery in Belgrave from Saturday 3 September until Saturday 8 October. Five entries have been mailed in from the USA, with others shipped in from Tasmania and New South Wales, exhibition coordinator Leanne Vassallo said. “Last year we had [Small Packages] during Covid, and it was one of the few ones in the world that went ahead; everyone else cancelled,” Leanne said. “We went ahead and we had entries mailed in because everyone was in lockdown, and they had nothing to do, [so] they all got behind it and did it. It’s really boosted the numbers in the last couple of years.” This year artists had the option of submitting paintings, drawings and etchings using oil pain, acrylics, watercolour, ink, gold leaf and gouache. The works fit into one of two categories; either a miniature on a painted surface under 100 squared centimetres, or a vertical or horizontal 9x5 inch piece. “We get wildlife...we get landscapes, there’s still life, there’s even some abstract,” Leanne said. “It is a very diverse range of work, and a lot of people that have not tried to do miniature art have given it a go.” According to Leanne, the popularity of miniature art has risen in recent years as a result of social media, with young locals dabbling in the art form for the first time. “There’s a lot of artists on Instagram that are doing things very small, under the size of a penny, as a challenge; because it is something that you can sit down and achieve in a day,” she said. “On the other side of that, there’s artists that are working in miniature that can take months to do a piece because they’re almost doing it with dots how simple, or how intricate; so it’s up to the artist as to how they 10 MAIL


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A coloured pencil drawing by ‘Small Packages’ exhibition judge Janet Matthews titled ‘Is it snacktime?’ which will also be on display this year. want to do something.” Members of the Sherbrooke Art Society and the Australian Society of Miniature Art Victoria will be holding demonstrations on Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September, sharing their process of making a miniature painting. A $300 award for both ‘Best Miniature’ and ‘Best 9x5’ is on offer, as well as the ‘Michael Freshwater Award for Excellence’ trophy which comes with a $200 voucher. The artist awarded ‘Best Graphite’ will be given $250, with the public’s favourite scoring an $100 voucher. The Sherbrooke Art Gallery is located at 62 Monbulk Road Belgrave, and is open from Friday until Sunday, 11am until 3pm.

‘If wishes were horses’ by Judy Schrader from the USA will feature in this year’s ‘Small Packages’ exhibition. Pictures: SUPPLIED


Photographer snaps 1000 By Parker McKenzie In 2016, former Star Mail journo Jesse Graham launched a project to photograph 1000 portraits of people with the expectation it would be completed in three years. “I thought three years gives me time that I can do one most days and still have some time to get sick or to travel and to not worry about it,” he said. “Now it’s been six and a half.” Not through a lack of trying, as he closes in on the magical 1000 after taking over 950 portraits —including one of the writer of this story — over the last past six years. Mr Graham said he has learned over time that making people comfortable is more important than the technical aspects of photography. “I love the technical stuff, I love the old lenses, how to get a nice background blur and work with different lighting but if someone’s not comfortable in a photo it shows immediately,” he said. “There’s been a few shoots where when looking back over the 50 to 100 photos taken, you can see the comfort builds throughout the shoot. The final few photos are the best because that person has forgotten the cameras there.” During the project inspired by portraits like Steve McCurry’s portrait of the Afghan Girl and the ability to tell people’s stories through pictures accompanied by words, another learning moment was an unconventional one about file management and note-taking. “Most of the times my notes were a name, an email and hopefully a number saying this is portrait 500. I’m looking back on the notes I wrote three or six years ago and there’s almost nothing,” he said. “I originally had the idea to shoot 500 people and then shoot them again one through to 500 because you get to a point of difference in time. That shifted early on a couple of people I’ve photographed with passed away.” One of those people was someone Mr Graham had a personal connection with, who became his 228th portrait. “I took a photo of my year 8 homegroup teacher Sue Contarino from Healesville High School. She did the walk with me for ovarian cancer awareness and I took her picture maybe a year before she passed away,” he said. “We had a really lovely catch-up and talk about it for the paper and took a portrait there. There’s nothing incredibly detailed or technical about the image, but it’s a very lovely

Jesse’s 228th portrait, of his year 8 homeroom teacher Sue Contarino. Picture: JESSE GRAHAM and emotional one.” A website will soon be created featuring all 1000 portraits and after a trip to New York, where he plans to finish taking the final photographs needed, Mr Graham said he will launch a new project about photographing people with relics and items with sentimental or emotional value. This time, however, he won’t be setting a deadline. “For example, I got this ring made in 2018 when I hit 500 portraits and I had my first solo exhibition. I thought I’m going to commemorate it with a little object and now it’s one of my most prized possessions,” he said. “There are so many people I know who have a tattoo or an object that has been passed down to them to commemorate something. I really love the stories behind those things, so I think after telling 1000 people’s stories, I’d love to tell the stories of the objects that they have with them.” You can find his 1000 Portrait Project at and his relic project at

Photographer Jesse Graham is closing in on 1000 portraits.


Oil paintings capturing Dandenong Ranges sites By Tyler Wright

Patricia Buoncristiani with her paintings hanging in the General Food Store in Emerald. Picture: SUPPLIED

The intrinsic beauty of the Dandenongs is something Patricia Buoncristiani aims to capture in her oil paintings, which are now on display at the General Food Store in Emerald. The wonders of the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, a fern gully at Grant’s Picnic Ground in Sherbrooke and daffodils on Patricia’s Macclesfield property are all pieces of art in her collection ‘Small Places From the Heart’. “My late husband and I built [our property] about 30 years ago, and I still live in it apart from a few years where I went and lived in the United States,” Patricia said. Prior to that we lived in the hills as well; we lived in Kallista for a little while, we lived in Belgrave for a while, so the hills have always drawn me back. My intention is I should be taken out of the hills and possibly planted somewhere in the hills eventually.”

Patricia takes inspiration from photographs of the surrounding environment - one in particular extremely close to her heart. “My stepdaughter was a very keen horse woman, and she gave her dad my, my late husband, a small cutting seedling of a gum tree, which we planted at the back of our property, and it has grown into this magnificent tree,” Patricia said. “Sadly, my stepdaughter was killed in a riding accident in 2010 - so that tree has always been called Margot’s tree because it’s so strong and beautiful.” This piece has already been sold, but her other works will be available for sale while on display at the General Food Store. All twelve pieces of Patricia’s collection “Small Places From the Heart” will be on display at the store until the end of September. The General Food Store is located at 377 Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald VIC 3782. Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




Nature protection plan As Mayor of the Yarra Ranges, and as a custodian of a beautiful piece of the Upper Yarra, I’m pleased that Council has released its Draft Nature Plan; Protecting Our Biodiversity Assets 2022-2032. We know that the natural environment here is unique, highly valued by our community and central to the character of the region. Our community is connected to our spaces and the things that live and grow here. In all corners of the Yarra Ranges, you don’t have to look far to find passionate and dedicated groups, working tirelessly to care for, preserve and enhance our natural environment.

Jim Child Our draft plan outlines plans, goals, actions and targets that we’ll work to meet, all with the goal of protecting and enhancing what we have close to home. Through this plan, we’ll work together with

our community and develop a Biolinks Plan – how we’ll re-connect habitat through the different parts of our landscape. We will lead by example, making sure we balance the needs of the environment with sustainable growth; we’ll use expert analysis, researched information and community input to leave our environment and our region better than we found it. We’ll mitigate threats – habitat loss, pest animals and weed invasion; development pressure, stormwater impacts and the everincreasing risk of extreme weather events. We’ll embed Indigenous cultural practices into the way we manage the environment,

Precious conversation about illness A review of Pink Punk Mum by Kala Heinemann Thanks to Eastern Regional Libraries, this reviewer received a copy of Pink Punk Mum, written by Queensland author Kala Heinemann and illustrated by Phillipines-based artist Babie Alexandra Pulga. Heinemann’s story was reported by ABC journalist Jasmine Hines back in April. It described her as having always wanted to write children’s books but was “pulled away to other dreams, studying international law and living overseas with her family”. Heinemann was diagnosed with stage-four or metastatic breast cancer while living in Israel in 2018. After returning to Australia, she decided to write a book about a child helping his mother through cancer diagnosis and treatment. In Pink Punk Mum, the child has always known his mother as having “a special sparkle”: “She is kind. She is fun. She is brave. Everyday after school we do something wonderful together.” But when she is diagnosed with cancer, he becomes confused: “All this information made my head hurt. I felt funny in the tummy, and I could nt find my words. So, I went and watched the fish for a while.” Though often feeling “dark and grouchy”,

PASSION FOR PROSE WITH CHRISTINE SUN the child decides to remain kind, fun and brave – just like his mother. Through love and laughter, and “all the kisses and cuddles and giggles and snuggles”, he concentrates on helping her get better. In Heinemann’s words: “It sounds quite heavy, but it’s actually a really fun, bright and light book. There’s lot of joy. There’s lots of hope.” Indeed, thanks to Pulga’s vivid, colourful illustrations, we witness the magic happening when family members work together to overcome physical, emotional and psychological hardships. Of ultimate importance is for parents and children to have open and honest conversations, which helps both sides get a clear

sense of what the future may hold for them. For example, in the book, the child knows it is not his mother’s fault that he misses out on fun activities. More importantly: “I was surprised to see Mum with no hair. But I did not get scared. After all, she was still Mum.” The child further participates in his family’s journey through adversity, instead of being “protected” from it. “Mum let me be her hairdresser. I spiked her hair on top of her head. Then I coloured it pink. She was Pink Punk Mum!” Such sense of belonging, of being together, sharing a purpose and rightful responsibilities, is priceless. It serves as the best medicine any family can ever receive – not just for those suffering from illness, but also for their loved ones confronted with fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Psychologists say stories like Pink Punk Mum are particularly useful for young children. But these are helpful for adults as well, as it takes time to process what is lost and to start moving forward again. Never underestimate the power of storytelling. In Heinemann’s words: “To give someone a laugh, bring a little bit of joy, to bring a bit of lightness to what is a really dark situation... that would be wonderful.”


building a deeper connection to country and community. Now that we’ve finished off the draft, we need to know if we’ve got it right. Over the next two months, we want to engage with residents, community groups, visitors, business owners, volunteers and anyone who has a thought about nature in the Yarra Ranges – no matter how big or small those thoughts may seem. Please take a moment to visit to take a look before submissions close, and keep an eye out for our teams in your community who will be keen to chat about this plan – and your thoughts.

Bland flick

The Next 365 Days Starring Anna-Maria Sieklucka, Michele Morrone and Simone Susinna Rated R18+ 1.5/5 The perplexingly-titled The Next 365 Days (sequel to 365 Days and 365 Days: This Day) is marginally better than its predecessors, but punishingly bland more than anything else. It’s hard to summarise The Next 365 Days, as so little happens in this film; Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) and Massimo (Michele Morrone) are driven apart by vague angst from the previous film. Like its predecessors, The Next 365 Days is slow and shallow, and can’t convey tone without a string of pop songs. Sieklucka has some moments of solid acting in her own language (Polish), but she and Morrone are still terrible at acting in English. The sex scenes fail to sizzle when the players lack chemistry. Nacho (Simone Susinna), Laura’s love interest from the previous film, returns to court her, and while he is a gentler alternative to Massimo the kidnapper, the film is somehow unaware of Nacho’s deception and subtle coercion. The plot seems to build to Laura realising she can find happiness without Nacho or Massimo, but the flat climax throws up its hands, drops any scarce sense of conflict and has Laura and Massimo reconcile. This tepid ending makes the background mob war and Nacho completely redundant. It’s worth noting this series’ cursed pedigree: the 365 Days novels by Blanka Lipi?ska originated as Fifty Shades of Grey fan fiction, which in turn originated as BDSM-themed Twilight fan fiction. What terrible singularity will popular culture collapse into if we get 365 Days fan fiction? The Next 365 Days is slightly better than its predecessors, with a decent performance from Sieklucka, pretty cinematography and a record low amount of assault, but it’s slow, bland and vain as ever, and is available for streaming on Netflix. - Seth Lukas Hynes

LETTERS Response to flooding story Dear Editor, Tyler Wright’s front page article ‘Flooding disaster’ in the 23 August edition of the Star Mail clearly articulated long-standing flood12 MAIL


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

ing issues facing many residents along a halfkilometre stretch of Monbulk Road in Kallista. Members of the Kallista Flood Watch Group who reside on the low side of Monbulk Road, however, found comments from the Shire’s Director of Environment and Infrastructure mis-

leading when he claimed that they had “met with impacted community members.” There has been no contact between Shire officers and members of the Kallista Flood Watch Group.

The only interaction has been with Deputy Mayor Johanna Skelton who attended a meeting to hear from affected residents about serious flooding and drainage issues. Karen Kestigian


One year for Headspace By Mikayla van Loon As far as mental health support services go in the Yarra Ranges, headspace Lilydale is one of the most well-known even if it did just celebrate its first birthday. Although opening last July, headspace was able to officially launch and celebrate one year of operation on Thursday 25 August, bringing together each of the service’s support networks. Lilydale’s headspace team leader Sharon Patton said the process of establishing a service of this kind in the Yarra Ranges began 12 years ago after a need was identified by the community. “From that developed the Yarra Ranges youth roundtable and that was successful in securing a headspace nine years ago which identified Lilydale as the perfect location,” she said. “Unfortunately there was no available infrastructure at the time and it fell to Knox.” A consortium of partners, including EACH, Inspiro, OELLEN and governments then worked towards a satellite headspace facility in the Yarra Ranges. “Since we opened the doors in July last year, we have supported 514 young people with mental health concerns, which is just shy of the national average,” Ms Patton said. Working closely with volunteers like Finn Stirling, who are part of the Youth Action Force, headspace is directed on what might be best for young people from a young perspective. “We meet monthly and we consult on things that are happening in the centre. So sometimes it might be about the physical space to see if things need to be more inclusive but then we also do the community engagement stuff at festivals and represent headspace,” they said. For Finn, who has studied youth work and is passionate about working in the mental health space, what they enjoy most about volunteering at headspace is seeing their thoughts and feelings enacted upon to ensure the young people are getting what they need.

headspace executive director Debbie Mann joined Lilydale staff members Lara Clark, Sharon Patton, Caity Cox, Finn Stirling, Kath Box, Jasmine Scampton and Jelanne Khafaga at the Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS celebrations on Thursday 25 August. 295412 Finn said it is both heartbreaking to know the number of young people who have already used the headspace service but so comforting to know they are supported. “As a young person who’s been living in the Yarra Ranges forever, there’s not a lot of places to funnel all of these young people that need support. “As sad as it is, we knew what the numbers were already, so it’s really great to know the numbers of young people who are getting actual support.” From one young person to another, Finn said “it’s okay to be exactly where you are right now and to be kind to yourself.” headspace people and culture executive director Debbie Mann said without the guidance of young people, the launch and success of the Lilydale branch would not have been possible. “headspace is a place for young people and

we’re guided by young people and their lived experiences,” she said. “Today would not have been possible without their contribution and I know just how vital headspace Lilydale has already proven to be for young people in this community.” Funded by the Australian Government through the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) and operated by EACH, both CEOs see the growth of headspace throughout the Yarra Ranges as being an essential next step for mental health. EACH CEO Natalie Sullivan said the Covid-19 pandemic proved how people can work from home and inner city suburbs are not necessarily the place people want to live. “As families are moving out, so are the children and so are the youth and so I think it’s great that this is a spoke from the heart of Knox but wouldn’t it be awesome if this was a

hub for this area,” she said. “I think the demand is going to spread so not only is the demand going to increase in number but in geographical spread too. I think we’re really going to start seeing that a lot more as people are making a different lifestyle choice. So we’ll certainly continue to advocate for more services.” EMPHN CEO Janine Wilson said as the commissioning funding body for the Commonwealth, every few years EMPHN conducts a health needs assessment to understand the need for services. “In this part of Melbourne, it’s well known that there is greater demand than there are services for young people in mental health. Even with this service running, there’s still a gap,” she said. “With increases in cases of mental health disorders in Victoria, addressing the needs and providing access to local support services to at-risk and vulnerable young people in the local community is vital.” headspace Lilydale operations manager Lara Clark said young people had travelled from all over the Yarra Ranges shire, as well as even further down the line, including places like Baw Baw. “It is interesting the places that you get people coming from where people are obviously desperate just to find services. “We’re probably seeing the impacts of Covid more now as people get out of lockdown, as they’re trying to re-engage with school, community and finding challenges along the way.” headspace Lilydale provides support for young people aged 12 to 25 years, giving them access to youth-oriented mental health professionals, general practitioners, drug and alcohol counsellors and to vocational and social service providers. Services are delivered in-person, via phone and online. For more information, visit: or call (03) 9735 7900 to make a booking.

Staff shortages impact MCH services in Yarra Ranges By Mikayla van Loon Maternal and child health (MCH) services across the Yarra Ranges have had to reduce and reschedule appointments as staffing pressures return across many sectors. Yarra Ranges Council first notified clients of the changes via social media on 8 August but suspect this will be an ongoing adjustment for at least another month. “We’re hoping towards the end of September that service provision will return to normal,” Director of Communities Corinne Bowen said. This staff shortage is impacting all universal services offered by the council’s MCH practices, with all centres being impacted at different times and days.

ger than three weeks for their appointment,” Ms Bowen said. The customer experience team can reschedule appointments on 1300 368 333 or the 24 hour phone service can give advice to parents by calling 13 22 29. “If parental concerns are of an acute or emergency nature, please attend the nearest Emergency Department.” Ms Bowen said should parents have concerns for their child, the best thing is to call either the MCH phone number or the 24/7 helpline, so staff can potentially prioritise children. “We will still see your child, it may just take longer to get an appointment. We will prioritise your appointment if you have concerns for yourself or your child’s welfare.”

The Montrose Maternal and Child Health centre is just one across the Yarra Ranges impacted by workforce pressures. 294622 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

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Yarra Ranges Council operates MCH clinics at Chirnside Park, Belgrave, Coldstream, Lilydale, Montrose, Monbulk, Wandin, Badger Creek and other locations. “Staff pressures are largely due to sickness, which is of course unplanned,” Ms Bowen said. “We are also in an in-between time, awaiting a MCH Nurse who has been successfully recruited into a new position.” Over the next few weeks, MCH services will be prioritising children aged zero to four months including home visits at two-weeks, four-weeks, eight-weeks and four-months. “Families may need to wait longer for their Key Age and Stage MCH appointments. We are hoping clients who had their appointments rescheduled will have to wait no lon-




AVONSLEIGH Avonsleigh News & General Store 445 Belgrave Gembrook Road BELGRAVE Belgrave Newsagency 1704 Burwood Highway BELGRAVE Woolworths Supermarket 1629 Burwood Highway

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

MONBULK Monbulk Newsagency & Officesmart 76 Main Street OLINDA Monbulk Bowling Club, 11 Moores Road OLINDA Olinda Cellars Shop 7/540 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road

BELGRAVE IGA 151 Belgrave-Hallam Road BELGRAVE Chandler & Co Real Estate 1689 Burwood Hwy

FERNTREE GULLY Coles Supermarket Mountain Gate SC Ferntree Gully Road FERNTREE GULLY Woolworths Supermarket Mountain Gate SC

OLINDA Ranges at Olinda 5 Old Main Road OLINDA IGA Supermarket 1526 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road

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

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

OLINDA Bell Real Estate 11 Main Road SASSAFRAS Sassafras General Store 391 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road SILVAN Shell Princi Motors, 275 - 277 Monbulk Road

COCKATOO Ranges First National Shop 2, 24 McBride Street COCKATOO IGA Cockatoo 34 McBride Street

TECOMA BP Service Station 1524 Burwood Highway TECOMA Bon Ton General Store 1537 Burwood Highway

EMERALD Kaye Charles RE 12a Kilvington Drive EMERALD Ritchies SUPA IGA 342 Belgrave-Gembrook Road EMERALD Emerald Village Newsagency 4 Kilvington Drive

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

EMERALD Woolworths Supermarket Belgrave Gembrook Road EMERALD Auto Plus More Petrol Station 365 Main Street

KALORAMA Post Office 1209 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road MONBULK Best Repairs & Accessories Monbulk - 26 Main Road

TREMONT Caltex Service Station 100 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road UPWEY Newsagent 18 Main Street

EMERALD Shell Service Station 336 Main Street EMERALD Barry Plant Real Estate 1/ 321 Main Street

MONBULK Food Express 128 Main Road MONBULK Woolworths Supermarket Main Road & Moores Road

UPWEY IGA Supermarket 62-64 Main Street UPWEY Yarra Ranges Shire Council 40 Main Street


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

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Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




ParaVolley pitch to play By Mikayla van Loon Chirnside Park resident and ParaVolley player Nick Coburn has been spearheading a campaign and fundraiser to get his sport to the Paralympics and Commonwealth Games in a few years time. Having put in a pitch to attend both the 2028 Paralympics and the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the Australian Beach ParaVolley team is patiently waiting for responses. “We’re nervous because we’re investing all this money and time and effort to build our sport up and we’re really hoping it gets in,” Coburn said. “It’s going to be a bit devastating if we don’t but it won’t be the end of us because the world of ParaVolley still wants the sport to grow. If it’s not the Paralympics in 2028 then we’ll try for Brisbane in 2032.” The 39-year-old first represented Australia in the indoor standing paravolley when he was just 17 at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. Since then, standing ParaVolley, both indoor and beach, has ebbed and flowed in participation levels but sitting ParaVolley has always had a strong interest across the globe. The last chance three Australian Beach ParaVolley team representatives competed was in China in 2019, where nine men’s teams fought for the title but just two women’s teams participated. “Our problem has been getting women involved. We’re struggling but we’ve at least got a team. America has got a really good team, at least one if not two. “I think some South American nations do but that’s about it. So they won’t let our sport in [to the Paralympics] without a female competition.” The Australian team currently have 12 women and 16 men playing and training around the country but Coburn is hoping that

The Australian Beach ParaVolley team is slowly expanding in the hopes they can compete at the 2028 Paralympics and the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Pictures: SUPPLIED

Nick Coburn has been one of the players leading the charge in building the profile of the sport not just in Australian but around the world.

The team are preparing to attend a camp in Canberra in September.

can expand in the lead up to both Games. Not only does interest in the sport need to grow around Australia but internationally as well, with Coburn saying “since 2019, when we last played, there’s probably an extra five or six nations in Europe and probably an extra six or seven in South America” participating.

Coburn said China and Iran have always been strong leaders in sitting ParaVolley, with China interested in joining the standing competition but his aim is to gain interest more broadly across Asia and Oceania nations. “It’s a bit of a catch 22 at the moment because if we get into both of those games, more

nations will play but to get into those games, we need more nations to play.” Now that World ParaVolley has applied to the Los Angeles Paralympics committee, as well as the Victorian Commonwealth Games committee, it’s just a waiting game. “So we’ll find out from the Commonwealth Games late this year and by January next we should find out about the Paralympics.” Coburn said LA is the perfect location to show off ParaVolley, that is why the American team has also been pushing quite hard for the sport to be included. With no adjustments needing to be made to the standard beach court for ParaVolley, Coburn said it is also a relatively cost effective sport to have at the Paralympics. While waiting for the outcome, the Australian ParaVolley team has established a GoFundMe to raise $10,000 for the team to hold practice camps, trainings, attend tournaments and purchase uniforms, all to prepare them for 2026 and 2028. The team’s third camp for the year will be held in Canberra in just a few weeks time, where players from India will be making the trip over to partake in a mini-competition and demonstration in the Australian Beach ParaVolley National Series. Aside from donations, Coburn said local communities can help by spreading the word to build the profile of ParaVolley and hopefully attract some younger players to the sport. “The more people who see us, the more players we will get, the more recognition we will get, and then maybe the more funding as well.” To donate to the GoFundMe, head to www. or to contact the team, email Follow the team’s journey on social media @ ausbeach.paravolley.

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Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

A RARE OPPORTUNITY SOME opportunities should not be missed, and this home has it all. This is a gorgeous lifestyle property in sought-after Emerald in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria, just a short walk to everything. Set on 17 acres this property has a beautiful 5-bedroom family home and a stunning 1-bedroom studio, both with the most amazing valley views. Enter the main home into a spacious foyer with French doors and ample storage for coats and shoes and head into a living area perfect as a lounge or dining space. The open plan dining/kitchen has Caesarstone bench tops, stainless steel appliances, white modern cabinetry, and a large island with a reconstituted stone bench top, where the family can eat breakfast and enjoy the views. With multiple living spaces, there is plenty of room for a large or growing family. The rumpus room is currently being used as a grand master suite however there is a separate master bedroom with modern ensuite and wall-to-wall robes, as well as another 3 spacious bedrooms with BIR, and polished floorboards. Another good-sized room can be used as a study or parent’s retreat space. The current master has white-washed floorboards, open beams, 180-degree views, and access to a massive deck. Additional house features include a wood fire, gas ducted heating, evaporate cooling, elegant main bathroom with oversized shower & relaxing spa bath and character galore. Outside you can sit pool-side in the salt-chlorinated pool with a beverage and

a view to die for while you entertain family and friends. Or take a walk to the bottom of the property where there is a creek and beautiful bushland to enjoy. Features include all services, fencing, solar panels, a 3-car lock-up garage with 3-phase power to the main home that would make a great extra living or party space if required and 2 decks for entertaining.

Set well away from the main house, the stunning studio cottage has its own circular driveway, architectural cathedral ceilings, Insta-worthy modern styling, a spa with spectacular views, and hardwood floors. Inside is light-filled with 1 bedroom, a modern ensuite with high-end fixtures and fittings, and a frameless shower, kitchenette, and open living/dining.

This one of a kind property really needs to 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: 35-53 Ferres Road, EMERALD Description: 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 garage Price: $2,400,000 - $2,600,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Samantha Scott on 0438 680 032 and Bethany Day 0438 844 968, BELL REAL ESTATE, EMERALD


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




A FOREVER FAMILY HOME WITH VIEWS POSITIONED in the sought after Ridge Road location, this truly beautiful home is timeless in both its appeal and sophistication. With filtered views over Cardinia Reservoir that take centre stage from the spacious rear decking, the property is guaranteed to impress. Spanning over two levels, the interior provides a floorplan that is a perfect drawcard for families of all ages and includes a downstairs retreat for in-laws, teenagers or long-term guests and although needing some renovation work, is the perfect extra accommodation. There are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a spacious home office with built-in workspaces and multiple living zones that flow perfectly together to make up this versatile layout. Hardwood timbers line the floors while heating and cooling is well taken care of with gas ducted heating, two split systems, evaporative cooling and a cosy wood fire. The kitchen has a French provincial finish and boasts plenty of cupboard space along with a lovely amount of sunlight that bursts through the beautiful windows. On more than half an acre of fully useable

land, the gardens have been thoughtfully planned and are blossoming with colour and fragrance. A second driveway leads to a large garage/workshop, giving extra space for extra vehicles, home gym or studio space while the remote double garage with internal access is of substantial size and is perfect for convenient everyday parking. Larger than meets the eye, this forever family home is in the ideal location and offers you a lifestyle you won’t be able to refuse. ●

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 36 Ridge Road, KALLISTA Description: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 4 garage Price: $930,000 - $1,020,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Sharyn Chandler 0439 882 442, CHANDLER & CO REAL ESTATE 9754 6888 16 MAIL


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

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

17 Peters Road, BELGRAVE

$980,000 - $1,075,000


4A 2B 1C


$750,000 - $810,000

12-14 Rutherford Road, TECOMA

4A 2B


This exclusive no-through road between picturesque parkland and bustling Belgrave township enhances the liveability of this lovely family residence. At one with its environment, including visiting local wildlife, while offering an elevated level of comfort, one fortunate family will find a lifetime of enjoyment here.

As one of the original homesteads in the area, this 1940’s Old Dame still boasts plenty of delightful features and is ready for her next owners to either renovate or rebuild (STCA). Sitting on a beautiful, near flat 982m2 approx block with a gigantic Oak proudly positioned to one side, the location alone of this property will impress on many levels. Within meters of the Tecoma Village, primary schools and local high school, bus services and only a very short walk to Tecoma train station and local sporting facilities.

Suzie Brannelly

Sharyn Chandler

M 0490 506 910 | E

M 0439 882 442 | E


$470 plus GST

6&6A/1693A Burwood Highway, BELGRAVE

PRIME OFFICE SPACE IN THE HUSTLE & BUSTLE OF BELGRAVE • Blank canvas to fitout however you like. • Office 1 – 17.8m2 - $470.00, plus GST per month. Outgoings 4.75% of total building • Office 2 – 28.6m2 - $580.00, plus GST per month. Outgoings 7.39% of total building • Toilet & Kitchenette (office 2) • Off street parking for one car available for additional $45, plus GST per month.

Glenn Chandler

Kiah Lynch

M 0418 410 689 | E

M 9754 6888 | E

9754 6888 1689 Burwood Highway, Belgrave VIC 3160 of

Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




MOTIVATED VENDOR READY TO SELL THIS two-storey home is definitely one to put on your list. Dual access, large garage, views and close to everything. Near new kitchen, bathroom and new ensuite It has so much to offer Featuring: 4 generous bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (versatile layout) The main suite with BIRs and new ensuite, even a sitting area. The kitchen has stunning stone benchtops, breakfast bar, 900mm stainless steel stove and dishwasher. Stunning bathroom with the latest fittings. Two separate living spaces, room for everyone. Large decks for outdoor entertaining. Dual access, tradies entrance. Large 8m x 5.3m remote double garage. Fully fenced and landscaped grounds. Fire pit, flat lawned play area. Views! The location is great, you have the convenience of being close to Belgrave township, rail and bus connections, easy access to Wellington Rd, Eastlink and M1, walk to Belgrave Heights Christian School, Belgrave Lake Park, and Birdsland Reserve. Once home however, you will feel miles away and surrounded by nature, the hoot of an owl, the chatter of rosellas, the laugh of a kookaburra. It is a wonderful place to call home. ●

· · · · · · · · · · ·

HOME ESSENTIALS Address: 25 Bellbird Street, BELGRAVE Description: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 4 garage Price: On application Inspect: By appointment Contact: Jan Brewster 0409 558 805, RANGES FIRST NATIONAL, 9754 6111 18 MAIL


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022


We put you first



$850,000 4A 3B 4C

This two-storey home is definitely one to put on your list! NEAr NEW kITCHEN, BATHrOOM & ENSUITE! Also features generous bedrooms, the master suite includes a sitting area, stunning kitchen with stone benchtops, breakfast bar & 900mm S/S stove, two separate living spaces, large decking, dual access, tradies entrance with remote double garage, fully fenced and landscaped grounds, fire pit, flat lawned play area and views! Great location with convenience of being close to Belgrave Township, rail & bus connections.

Jan Brewster 0409 558 805




$490,000 - $539,000 1A 1B 2C

This great little no-frills starter gets you in the market, or maybe you’re an investor looking to the future, either way, this property needs your attention. Situated on around ½ an acre (2020m2 approx), this cozy 1 bedroom home would be a great place to live or even rent out. The home will be sold ‘as is’. Just a short distance to Cockatoo shops & schools on a sealed road and with a bus stop just over the road getting around will be no fuss. This truly is your opportunity to get into the market or reap the rewards in the future!

Mick Dolphin 0429 684 522

9754 6111

Emily Hudson 0418 570 474


$950,000-$1,000,000 4A 2B 2C 1E

Centrally located and private, this stylish Sienna home is only 6 years young(approx) with a 6-star energy rating. Full of natural light and a versatile floorplan it, features multiple living zones, 11-foot ceilings, kitchen with an abundance of storage & a walk-in pantry, entertaining deck with roller blinds and stone paved area with a motorised awning, spacious yard with flat lawns, raised veggie patch beds, a mix of fruit trees, plenty of offstreet parking, fully fenced with an electric front gate – oh and views to the distant hills!

Mick Dolphin 0429 684 522

“We Put You First”

Emily Hudson 0418 570 474

1 Bayview Rd, Belgrave Shop 2, 24 McBride Street, Cockatoo Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




ONLY 1 LEFT! PERFECT EMERALD LOCATION ONLY Unit 3 Left - get in fast to secure this home nestled at the back for great privacy. This is your chance to secure a brand new, double-story townhouse right in the heart of Emerald. Located at the back of the block this townhouse has great privacy and features 3 bedrooms, the master zoned away on

the ground floor with a walk-in robe and ensuite, perfect for older adults who don’t want to use the stairs every day. The ground level also encompasses a powder room for guests, the kitchen, dining area, family room, and study. Upstairs are the remaining 2 bedrooms, main bathroom, and 2nd living area so families can also live comfortably. A

deck and double carport with internal access also feature as part of the build all within landscaped gardens. By buying off the plan you can select your own colour scheme and fittings within the standard inclusions range or customise to your specifications and budget in conjunction with the builder. Only minutes’

walk to shops, schools and cafes, this build is something to get excited about. 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: 3/35 Kings Road, EMERALD Description: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 garage Price: $800,000 - $850,000 Inspect: By appointment Contact: Aaron Day 0407 365 994 or Brennan Mileto 0422 996 451, BELL REAL ESTATE, EMERALD



Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

8 Belvedere Court, Gembrook

$1,150,000 - $1,250,000

21 Maurice Street, Cockatoo

$740,000 - $799,000

Lovingly Renovated Home!

Views & Lovely Home on a ½ Acre

This lovingly renovated 4 bedroom plus study home in Gembrook has a spacious kitchen with Caesar stone bench tops, modern cabinetry, an electric oven, gas cooktop, stainless steel appliances, and a walk-in pantry. The master bedroom is sophisticated with an ensuite, walk-in robe and is located away from the further spacious 3 bedrooms with built-in robes. Two additional rooms could be utilised as a work-from-home space, teenage retreat or business (STCA) with separate access, deck and powder room. Features include high ceilings, Coonara, gas ducted heating, plush carpets, double-glazed windows and high-quality fixtures and fittings. Outside is an easily maintained flat, low maintenance back yard, shed, solar panels, carport, sealed roads, exposed aggregate driveway, cubby house, and beautiful Merbau deck with great views.

This 3 bedroom home on nearly 1/2 an acre has new fixtures and fittings, new lights, electrical, plumbing & bedroom carpets. Features include hardwood and parquet flooring, 2 split systems, and renovated bathroom designed for accessibility. 2 upstairs bedrooms have plush carpets, open plan kitchen dining space with access to the full-length verandas for undercover entertaining that leads to a large living area with views out of every window. Recently refinished back deck. Downstairs is a 3rd bedroom or home office space with powder room. Outside the house has been recently painted, landscaping with pathways, concrete retaining walls and low maintenance garden design with 2 road access, 2 bay garage + workshop with roller door, extended roof height, concrete slab and power, a chicken shed, veggie patch and various fruit trees.

Contact: Bethany Day 0438 844 968

Contact: Samantha Scott 0438 680 032

35-53 Ferres Road, Emerald

$2,400,000 - $2,600,000

15 Maisie Road, Emerald

$1,000,000 - $1,100,000

A Rare Opportunity in Emerald!

Picturesque home on nearly 2 acres!

Set on 17 acres this property has a 5-bedroom family home and a 1-bedroom studio. The open plan dining/kitchen has Caesar Stone bench tops, stainless steel appliances, white cabinetry, and a large island with a reconstituted stone bench top. There is a rumpus room being used as a master suite, a separate master bedroom with modern ensuite, 3 spacious bedrooms with BIRs, polished floorboards & a study. Features include a wood fire, gas ducted heating, evaporate cooling, & elegant main bathroom. Outside is a salt-chlorinated pool, a 3-car lock-up garage with 3-phase power and 2 decks. Set away from the main house, the studio cottage has its own circular driveway, architectural cathedral ceilings, a spa, and hardwood floors. Inside has 1 bedroom, a modern ensuite with high-end fixtures and fittings, kitchenette, and open living/dining.

Stroll down the concrete driveway, to this gorgeous 4 Bedroom, 2 bathroom home, ducted heated home. This home features an updated light filled kitchen, cathedral ceiling with exposed beams in the cosy lounge room that includes a Coonara wood heater, and exposed floor boards. Flow through to the updated kitchen before reaching the master bedroom with stunning lead light windows, ensuite including a spa bath and shower, as well as a walk in robe. When you wander outside, enjoy the extensive decking as you plan your delicious meal cooked in the pizza oven and plan your next dip in the outside spa. There is extensive shedding, with two sheds with concrete floors and power, one with a ‘teenager retreat’ or possible craft room, or home office. There is also a cute studio with power. Take a wander and enjoy the tree ferns, and creek.

Contact: Samantha Scott 0438 680 032

Contact: Samantha Scott 0438680032

5968 6222

311-313 Main St, Emerald Tuesday, 30 August, 2022





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William Matthews Funerals FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED


9739 6868 45 Cave Hill Rd, Lilydale 22 MAIL


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022


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Tuesday, 30 August, 2022



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9754 6686 ฀

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Cut & Catch Tree Services ฀

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• Austral Avenue, Upwey

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• Belbrook Road, Carween Avenue, The Highway, Weldon Grove & Mast Gully Road (Service Road), Upwey

Call Matt 0407 322 469

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Lic. 25035

Leak detection & repair Valleys replaced Pensioner discount

Call Chris 0412 099 142 23 years in roofing leaks


Email: Post: Yarra Ranges Council, PO Box 105, Lilydale, Vic 3140 Hand Deliver: At any of Council’s Community Links


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Andrew 0408 242 015 | Chloe 0448 393 959


Rubbish Removal & Demolition

Call the team today 0421 574 444

Any person making a submission is entitled to request in the submission that the person wishes to appear in person, or to be represented by a person specified in the submission, at a meeting to be heard in support of that submission. Any person requesting to appear in person or to be represented by a person specified in his or her submission will be notified of the day, time and place of the meeting of the Council or of a committee determined by the Council to hear submissions. All submissions will be considered in accordance with Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.

☎ 9720 5111

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Please address submissions to: Public Submission – Special Charge Scheme



Copies of submissions (excluding submitter’s names and addresses) will be made available at the Council meeting when submissions are considered. It is proposed to declare these special charges at the Council meeting to be held on 25 October 2022, or should this meeting not proceed then the next available meeting, after the consideration of the submissions received. The proposed declarations will expire if the special charge is not levied to each person liable to pay it within 12 months after the day on which the declaration to which the charge relates is made. Tammi Rose Chief Executive Officer

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Cleaner required

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Anyone advertising a puppy, dog, kitten or cat in Victoria for sale or re-homing will need a source number from the Pet Exchange Register and a microchip identification number. It is now an offence to advertise unless the source number and microchip identification number is included in the advertisement or notice. For further information, call 136 186 or visit

In accordance with Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989, any person wishing to make a submission on the proposals must do so in writing by 28 September 2022 as follows:

• No Fuss • No Mess • No Stress

Rebedding & pointing Skylight resealing Written guarantee


Notice is hereby given that it is the intention of the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning to grant a license under Section 130 of the Land Act 1958 to Joseph Lamac over Part of Crown Allotment 2062, Abutting Lot 1 on TP172714, Parish of Gembrook for the purposes of Riparian Management/Grazing. Further information or comments can be lodged with the Property Officer, Christine HE on 136 186 within 14 days. Ref 3002146.


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Paul 0418 570 231

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Copies of the proposals to levy are available for inspection at any of the Yarra Ranges Council Community Links: 15 Anderson Street, Lilydale, 110 River Street, Healesville, 21 Main Road, Monbulk, 40 Main Street, Upwey or 2442-2444 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction during office hours until 28 September 2022.


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The special charges are intended to be declared in respect of those properties having abuttal to or gaining primary access via, the above listed roads.



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Road improvement works, for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred in the provision by Council of road improvements carried out under Sections 8 and 10 of the Local Government Act 2020.


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CALL US ON 0458 735 250

Specialist in Gutter Cleaning / i`ÊÀ vÊÀi«> ÀÃÊEÊ i> ÃÊUÊ,i i`ÊEÊ* ÌÊ vÊ, và 25 Yrs Experience Call Matt for a free quote

In accordance with Section 163 of the Local Government Act 1989, notice is hereby given that the Yarra Ranges Shire Council at its meeting of 23 August 2022 has resolved of its intention to declare special charges for the: • Park Street, Nicholas Road, Mary Road, Elsie Street, Imperial Avenue & Royal Avenue, Wandin North

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Tuesday, 30 August, 2022


Hawk hearts left broken The four Monbulk sides who had qualified for Premier Division finals travelled down to Kalora Park in Narre Warren for Elimination and Qualifying Finals on Sunday. The Senior footballers lined up against their old rivals, Olinda-Ferny Creek. These two teams first met in a final 110 years ago when Monbulk won the 1912 premiership and most recently met in a final in 2015 when Olinda won a Semi-Final. Monbulk had fallen short against the Bloods in both home and away games this year and was hoping to turn the tables in the knockout Elimination Final. The Hawks took advantage of the breeze in the opening term to open up a 15-point break. Olinda did likewise in the second quarter and went in at halftime with an 8-point advantage now in their favour. The game was an entertaining contest between two determined and evenly matched sides. Whenever Olinda kicked a goal, Monbulk would strike back with one of their own but the Hawks weren’t able to string together goals to reclaim the lead. Deep in time-on in the last quarter, Monbulk got to within a point and were able to force the ball forward again with some desperate play but the siren sounded before they were able to make their final assault on goal. Olinda ran out winners by the narrowest of margins as Monbulk was left to lament what might have been. The players did themselves, the club and its supporters proud with the way they had played, not just in this match but over the course of the season. To make the finals after being promoted to a higher division was a good result but the disappointment of getting so close will drive the players to keep improving next year and go deeper into the finals. Retiring club legends, Jared Major and Shane Van Seters were chaired off the ground to applause from the considerable Monbulk contingent at the match.

Monbulk Football Club’s team before their close loss to local rivals Olinda-Ferny Creek. Olinda 8.11.59 def Monbulk 8.10.58 Thomas Taylor, Mackay Bateson, · Best: Johnathon Hevern, Nicholas Wall, Jared Major, Taylor Joyce Goals: Mackay Bateson 3, Taylor Joyce 3, Nicholas Wall 1, Hayden Finlay 1 Monbulk’s Under 19s had a Qualifying Final encounter with Narre Warren. The Hawks were

only able to muster 19 players to the Magpies’ 24 and three further injuries during the game left them short on numbers. Despite these odds, the team fought out the final quarter like Trojans, on the back of a strong fitness base, and have given themselves great belief that they will be ready for Emerald next week. The silver lining of the Seniors losing means that

Picture: MONBULK FOOTBALL CLUB the Unders will regain an additional 4 players who had been playing up in the firsts for most of the year. Narre Warren 7.12.54 def Monbulk 2.6.18 Best: Riley Finlay, Tully Ford, William Henderson, Lachlan Smith, Noah Rutherford, Charlie Barge Goals: Ziggy Hatherley 1, Jayden Spencer 1

· ·

Bloods eliminate Monbulk with one point victory By Frank Seal It was week one of the 2022 AFLOE finals series and fourth placed Olinda faced fifth placed Monbulk in an Elimination Final at Kalora Park. The Hawks had claimed a momentous finals berth the previous week after knocking Pakenham out of the race. The Bloods needed to respond after a huge wakeup call against Wandin. On a sunny day with a two-goal breeze favouring the Gippsland end at Narre Warren, the stage was set for a bruising battle to decide the fate of two neighbouring rivals. Though the conditions and ground suited Olinda’s style of play, Monbulk - kicking with the wind - jumped out of the gates and took advantage, gaining early territory from the midfield. The Hawk forwards were positioned deep inside 50, preventing any easy run off halfback from Olinda and forcing the backs to be accountable. The defenders held up well led by Dale Rohrmann and Matt Scharenberg, but Monbulk capitalised on their chances, posting 3.1 for the quarter. Late in the term, Olinda started winning territory of their own, getting the forwards involved. Matt Rosier was leading the way with his pressure and attack on the ball. While the Bloods only managed 0.4 in the quarter, five forward 50 tackles were a huge positive. The tide started to turn in the second, as Olinda got on top in the midfield. Pete Lucas was both reliable with his defensive accountability and damaging with his offensive craft. The star recruit was involved in countless clearances, allowing the forwards to go to work. With assistance from the breeze, Tyler Belloni set the tone, with the first goal of the quarter. Percy Hyett then flew for a strong contested mark and nailed a big set shot. With a boost in confidence the Bloods were hungry for more goals. Pete Lucas finished off his clearance work by adding a classy major. With Nick Keegan and Lachy Taylor also hitting the scoreboard, the Bloods entered the half time break with a 36-28 lead and a

Glenn Strachan watches as Ned Ford kicks goal. great deal of confidence. The entire second half was a brutal display of contested footy with neither team taking a backward step. Every player locked down in a war of attrition. Olinda captain Kelsey Currie led the way. Nick Keegan was damaging with his outside run and elite ball use. But Monbulk remained gallant in defence and were gaining dangerous territory, giving themselves plenty of opportunities. Isaac Tonkin, continuing his fine form, rebounded numerous forward 50 entries and consistently provided a contest. His U/17 teammate, Ned Ford was reliable as ever; composed with the ball and intense

Picture: TREVOR CURRIE without it. His effort was rewarded with a goal late in the quarter which kept the Bloods in the lead (45 v 40) at three-quarter time. The final term saw both teams throw the kitchen sink at each other. Numerous players courageously stood up for their sides. The Bloods had the territory throughout, locking the ball inside 50 and forcing countless stoppages. Matt Scharenberg went to another level in defence, taking contested intercept grabs including an heroic Riewoldtesque mark back with the flight. A huge set shot outside 50 from Lachy Taylor and another goal to Matt Rosier gave the Bloods a

13-point lead late in the quarter. Proud as ever, Monbulk responded with two crunch time goals to make it a 1-point game at the 32-minute mark. A 50 meter off the ground clearance by Monbulk vice-captain Pat Barge sent the ball deep inside the Hawks attacking zone. The Bloods defenders held fast for one final minute of brutal contested footy, before the long-awaited sound of the siren ensured an Olinda victory. A famous win. A semi-final against Woori Yallock is the next step on the Olinda journey. In the reserves Qualifying Final, Olinda was defeated by Narre Warren (70-22). Tuesday, 30 August, 2022




B Grade still in it to win it Monbulk’s A Grade netballers had been on a hot streak recently, having won 10 of their last 12 matches to secure a finals spot. They went into their Elimination Final against Wandin with the knowledge that their best could match it with any side. The day did not progress as well as was hoped. Wandin applied great pressure which caused passes to be intercepted, or miss their mark, and shots on goal refused to drop in. The intensity of the Monbulk players couldn’t be faulted but, as the Bulldogs established a break, their confidence grew and their game went to another level. The resultant margin was a disappointing end to what had been a magnificent step up to Premier Division this season. Monbulk 37 def by Wandin 57 Best: Paige Whitworth, Sophie Stubbs, Nicole Macdowell Goals: Stephanie Puopolo 26, Sophie Stubbs 11

The B Grade netballers representing the Hawks had finished the regular season in second place and were to produce the only win for Monbulk on the day. They were able to answer every challenge that ROC could throw at them and controlled the contest for the majority of the play. The whole team played a great game of consistent netball across both attack and defence. Late in the game, they had gotten out to a 9-goal lead before a lapse allowed the Kangaroos to narrow the gap to 4 by the end of the match. The Hawks will now meet Narre Warren in the 2nd Semi Final next week for a chance to progress to the Grand Final. Monbulk 41 def ROC 37 Best: Rihanna Kelly, Iris de Wit, Elizabeth Cutting Goals: Iris de Wit 38, Olivia Crook 3

Monbulk’s A Grade netballers had won 10 of their last 12 matches to secure a finals spot. Picture: MONBULK NETBALL CLUB

Gembrook-Cockatoo see off tough Yarra Glen challenge By David Ball Football After a good night on the training track on Thursday, Friday morning saw the Yarra River bursting its banks and the Yarra Glen ground inaccessible, with water levels up to the boundary line. Thankfully, Wandin agreed to relocate the game to their ground, so whilst Yarra Glen lost their home ground advantage, they were able to have a game, with a matchup against the top side in Gembrook. The first quarter saw both sides attacking the contest with ferocity and despite the good conditions, each side could only score a goal each. Gembrook missed some easy set shots to be 1-7 at the first break, whilst Yarra Glen also missed some easy shots to be 1-3. In the second quarter, Yarra Glen’s midfield started to win more of the ball with Callum Morison providing a strong marking target across the half-forward line. Gembrook had a number of rushed behinds but continued to miss some easy set shots. At halftime, the River Pigs had closed the gap to just 1 point. In the third quarter, Yarra Glen dominated the game and was all over the top side in general play. Nathan McCulloch was dominating in the ruck and the defence negated the limited Gembrook forward entries to keep them to just 1 goal for the quarter. The River Pigs added 4-9, with many goal opportunities missed. Some bad kicking and a couple of goal-umpiring adjudications went against Yarra Glen, so the 23-point lead at the last break could easily have been larger. Gembrook came out in the last full of running. They were able to find space on the small ground and started converting with 7 goals and just 1 point for the quarter. The River Pigs were fighting hard and had many chances to score but managed only 2-2. A lack of composure up forward saw a number of scoring opportunities missed, with Gembrook taking advantage to rebound and score at the other end. With scores level with less than a minute to go, Yarra Glen had a set shot from straight in front to retake the lead. It went out of bounds and Gembrook rushed the ball forward. With only seconds remaining a ball up in the goal square saw the ball hit the ground and in a desperate scramble, a free kick was awarded to Gembrook as the siren sounded. They converted to snatch a great come-from-behind win with the afterthe-siren kick from the goal line. Final scores, Yarra Glen 9-17 to Gembrook 10-17. The reserve game started with general play being well contested but with Gembrook having some strong marking forwards they converted for 3-3. Yarra Glen failed to convert many chances and finished with just 4 points for all their effort. Whilst the River Pigs continued to show great effort, Gembrook had too many good players and were consistent across the final 3 quarters finishing up with a convincing 19-13 to Yarra Glen’s 3-8. 26 MAIL


Tuesday, 30 August, 2022

Yarra Glen’s game had to be relocated to Wandin as their home ground was flooded. Netball In A grade netball, Yarra Glen faced a spirited Gembrook in great conditions at Wandin. In a goal for goal quarter, it was tied at 8 all at quarter time. Yarra Glen improved their ball movement in the second and converted well to be ahead 21-16 at halftime. They stretched the lead to 8 at the last break. The final quarter saw Gembrook lift as the Yarra girls eased up. Yarra Glen won 38-34. In B Grade Yarra Glen got off to a good

start, leading 13 to 8 at quarter time. In the second and third quarters, Gembrook showed more composure and forced a number of turnovers to be 4 goals ahead at the last change. The Yarra Glen girls lifted in the last and nearly snatched the lead back before falling 2 goals short, losing 35-37. C Grade faced a higher placed opponent and Gembrook put on a solid four-quarter exhibition to take out a 14-goal victory, Yarra Glen 22 to Gembrook 36. The Yarra Glen girls

Picture: SUPPLIED showed great fight in the last to outscore Gembrook. In what was a well-contested match-up D grade took on a higher-placed Gembrook. Whilst showing patches of good netball, Yarra Glen could not find the consistency to get ahead of their opponents. After an even second quarter, Gembrook was able to stretch the lead to run out sevengoal victors, Yarra Glen 24 to Gembrook 31.


All abilities netball begins By Mikayla van Loon Montrose Netball Club’s all abilities netball program started again last Friday 19 August, offering people with either a physical or neurological disability a place to socialise and learn new skills. Program coordinator Julie McDonald said the clinic first started in 2018 when she realised there weren’t any all abilities netball programs in the Yarra Ranges. “The closest program, at the time, was Vermont or Doncaster. So just as an initiative for Montrose Netball Club, we started up our own program,” she said. “Our first come and try session, three people came, we’re now at 18 and prior to that, they hadn’t been involved in any sporting club.” The success of the program hasn’t just been seen through the participants themselves but also through the volunteers. Having put out a call last Wednesday for volunteers to fill the program’s dates, Ms McDonald said within just a few hours she had enough people put their hands up to help out but that doesn’t mean others can’t get involved too. “We’re always looking for participants and volunteers because obviously, without them, we can’t run,” Ms McDonald said. “We do like to try and work one on one with the participants just so we can really develop them and get to know them and make sure they’re progressing each week.” Although working on ball and coordination skills is the basis of the program, Ms McDonald said no netball experience is needed to volunteer or participate. “They’re obviously developing skills, physical skills, catching, throwing, fine motor skills, that kind of thing but then there’s also the social interaction with everybody and there’s the sense of inclusion,” she said. “We have a lot of young players and other parents involved that have never been involved in disability before who are out there working one on one with the participants.” Some participants have gone onto playing and training in the regular weekend competition but others have been coming to all abilities since the beginning. “Our program really caters to anyone, regardless of disability.” The program is broken down into two ses-

Montrose All Abilities Netball presented participants with medals for their last season of skill building.

Different drills and games are set up ready for participants to enjoy every second Friday. sions. The first is more activity based to practice skills and have fun. The second is for building up towards that competition level, to challenge participants in a comfortable environment. “I would encourage anybody to come along and give it a try. We’ve got such a varied range of ages, male and female, varying disabilities, some who really require one on one assistance and others not so much. “So just anybody thinking about it and they


The All Abilities program covers ball skills, coordination and play simulation.

want to give it a go, you don’t have to sign up for the whole program, you could just come and try or just come and watch.” If the program does expand with more participants, Ms McDonald said “participants equals volunteers” and ensuring there is the right balance between the two is so important. Ms McDonald said the only thing needed for volunteering is a willingness to help and of course a working with children’s check. “I’ve been involved with Montrose Netball

Club for nearly 40 years as a player, a coach or on the committee and this is probably the best thing I’ve ever done.” The program runs fortnightly on Fridays at Kilsyth Basketball Stadium. The activities session begins at 4pm, finishing at 4.45pm and the game play session starts at 4.45pm, finishing at 5.30pm. Enquiries can be sent to or by calling Julie McDonald on 0407 056 024.

Head to head local semi final clash for Montrose By Mikayla van Loon It was a local head to head clash in the Eastern Football Netball League’s division one semi final on Sunday 28 August when Montrose took on Mooroolbark for a spot in the grand final. Having come out on top against Wantirna South in the elimination final, Montrose seniors coach Gary Ayres said it was certainly a step in the right direction and helped build confidence in his players. “The club as a whole actually qualified for finals, the 19s, seconds and seniors. That was the first time for 20 years that that had been done at Montrose which was a feather in the cap of everyone that’s been able to do the hard work for this point,” he said. “For the senior side, it was the first time in eight years they were playing in the senior finals. So we really approached it with a degree of optimism because we played some really good footy and we’ve been able to accept the challenges that have come along.” While the start of the season got off to a rocky start, Ayres said the team was able to find their feet and pull together in the back half of the season to finish fourth and secure a spot in finals. “Our first half of the season was very much a learning curve on all fronts from not only player availability, but also having two coaches, the chemistry and the things that we’re trying to put in play. “But over the last couple of months, we’ve been able to keep a fairly stable,

Montrose Football Club’s seniors are preparing for a semi final derby against Mooroolbark. Picture: SUPPLIED tent side, we haven’t had to make too many changes along the way and I think that’s given the guys a real understanding and trust

with each other.” Having faced Mooroolbark twice throughout the season, where, on both occasions,

Mooroolbark played extremely well, Ayres said finals was a whole new competition. “They disposed of us in pretty convincing fashion on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and I thought they were at the peak of their powers…[but] finals is very much a game within itself.” Having watched the preliminary final between Mooroolbark and Mitcham at Boronia’s Tormore Reserve last Saturday 20 August, Ayres said even in the face of the wind Mitcham was able to use that to their advantage in overcoming Mooroolbark. While the weather forecast was looking fairly clear for Sunday 28 August, Ayres said his understanding was Tormore Reserve could often have a slight wind, which may have given Montrose the lead but it was anyone’s game. “It’s just exciting for my young boys to just keep lapping up all these experiences that they’ve been able to be involved in the last couple of months. “We had 10 boys who played in the final on the weekend that were under the age of 21 and we had 15 in total that were playing their first senior final. So that’s clearly an indication of our direction as a club.” While Montrose put up a good fight heading in the second quarter with a three point lead and then again at three-quarter time with a six point lead, Mooroolbark came back in the final quarter to finish up the game with a 15 point win. In the end, Mooroolbark will go on to the final with 10.10-70 to Montrose’s 7.13-55. Tuesday, 30 August, 2022





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Tuesday, 30 August, 2022