News - Pakenham Officer Star News - 23rd May 2024

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Repair your bike and learn more

Pakenham has gained a unique community asset with the opening of the brand-new bike repair hub, which aims to bring riders together to learn and support each other.

The hub was opened on Sunday 19 May at Living and Learning Pakenham. Despite the rain, many local bike enthusiasts showed to welcome the community project.

Pakenham Bike Repair Hub will be volunteer-run, a place where people cannot only repair their bicycles but learn how to do it themselves.

The ethos is among many other community-driven projects at Living and Learning, with this addition bringing Pakenham into the fold of only a handful of similar hubs across the state.

There are many different ideas planned for the hub in the future; currently, it aims to have two sessions a week starting in June - one on Tuesday afternoons from 3pm and the other on Saturday mornings from 11am. To keep up to date or get involved, follow the facebook page Pakenham Bike Repair Hub or email Max at max@livinglearning.

Going, going, gone

The old Pakenham station is no more due to the blitz of Level Crossing Removal Project works taking over Pakenham over the past week.

Both of the new elevated Pakenham and the new East Pakenham stations are set to be opened on Monday 3 June.

As part of these works, McGregor Road,

Racecourse Road and Main Street were closed at alternating times to remove the level crossings.

The closures will also see buses replace train services between Berwick and Pakenham from Wednesday 22 May until the last service on Sunday 2 June.

While train services are stopped, crews will connect the existing tracks to new tracks on the rail bridge, build foundations for the new Pakenham station, conduct signalling and overhead works.

The level crossings at McGregor Road, Racecourse Road and Main Street are being re-

moved by building a 2.5-kilometre rail bridge over the roads, improving safety, reducing road congestion and allowing more trains to run more often.

The two-kilometre extension of the Pakenham Line will connect trains to the new East Pakenham Station.

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Best local art comes to life

of the biggest opening nights for the Pakenham Art Show in years that showcased over a hundred artists and a spectacular runway performance.

The 47th Pakenham Art Show opened on the evening of Friday 17 May announcing the array of local winners and giving attendees a night to remember at the Pink Hill Hotel.

The show was officially opened by Mayor Kowarzik and hosted by David Farrelly, it was a triumphant show as more artists than ever before were on display.

The show’s theme this year was ‘juxtaposition’, prompting artist’s to play with contrasting forms and concepts.

The winning work was by Rudy Azzola for their work ‘In the race to Dystopia, who came first… the rooster or the rat?’.

Best in Show was split in two for the first time this year, with a $1500 prize each for ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’.

Artist E Shao took the top prize for traditional with their portrait of a young boy called ‘Gaze’. Show judge Louise Foletta posed, “look into the pupils of his eyes to see the mastery of this artist’s work.”

Modern category was won by artist Jen Bennett for their work ‘Metamorphosis’.

“The beautiful layering of the generously applied pigments is really challenging and here it results in a vibrant and beautiful painting,” Foletta said.

The event that all were waiting for was the wearable art parade which did not disappoint.

All had their own themes and concepts presented by MP Renee Heath. Attendees saw gowns themed around working class glam, birds of prey to singing in the rain.

The winner of the parade was Deborah Wearne for their outfit titled ‘Everything Old is New Again’. An amalgam of fashion from the past, the garment was made from recycled wool.

Another successful opening night, the art

show thanks all for making it bigger and better.

“This year we have had more artists submit work than ever before and we have definitely noticed the level of talent has risen,” President Clinton Plowman said.

“We thank all those for supporting the Art Show and our advertisers and sponsors.”

Event coordinator Jillian Ronald was ecstatic to see so much on display.

“Very high standard of art, something for everyone, an amazing amount of diversity,” she said.

“Wearable art was really good, people were saying they see things like this on tv and yours is better!”

The show will be open all week until Sunday 26 May at the Pink Hill Hotel in Beaconsfield. It will be open from 11am until 5pm every day, it will be open for late-night viewings until 8pm on 23, 24 and 25 May. Entry is free and donations are welcome.

Shop Online 24/7 at 2 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 23 May, 2024 5940 2166 2 Tango Circuit Pakenham (off Commercial Drive) 12522838-BL47-21 CALL NOW For a FREE measure and quote CONTACT US Phone: 5945 0666 ADVERTISING Visit Email Phone 5945 0666 EDITORIAL Email Published by Star News Group Pty Ltd ACN 005 848 108. Publisher/Managing Director, Paul Thomas. All material is copyright to Star News Group Pty Ltd. All significant errors will be corrected as soon as possible. Distribution numbers, areas and coverage are estimates only. For our terms and conditions please visit AUSTRALIAN OWNED & INDEPENDENT REAL ESTATE Email Visit Email Phone 5945 0600 12651769-SN47-23 NEWS
The best of local art was on full display in one
By Babs Doogan - Nature’s Mantle. 407483 By Julie Hayes - Storm in Channel Country. Worn by Rubie Ostojic. 407483 By Lazarus - Working Class Glam. 407483 By Anna St Clair - When Old Men go to War. 407483 Kate Lempriere and Brad Battin. 407483 David Farrelly. 407483 Mayor Jack Kowarzik. 407483 By Natalia Pedan - UV Phoenix Dress. Worn by herself. 407483 Steve Galt, Stephanie Young, Shezz Cadd, MP Renee Heath and Janette Young. 407483

Wife thought Hill was camping alone

Russell Hill’s wife believed Carol Clay was her husband’s cousin for years before it was revealed the pair were having an affair, a jury has been told.

Mr Hill, 74, and Mrs Clay, 73, were camping together inVictoria’sWonnangattaValley when they disappeared in March 2020.

Greg Lynn, who was a Jetstar captain at the time, is accused of killing the couple and dumping their remains in bushland.

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and is on trial at the Supreme Court in Melbourne.

Mr Hill’s wife Robyn appeared as a witness on Tuesday 21 May where she told the jury she first met Mrs Clay about 50 years ago.

Mr Hill told her Mrs Clay was his first cousin, she said.

The Hills went on trips with the Clays and Mrs Hill said she noticed her husband and Mrs Clay going on walks together, which she thought was “strange”, she said.

In the early 2000s, a neighbour confronted Mr Hill about the affair and gave him an ultimatum.

Mrs Hill said her husband admitted his re-

lationship with Mrs Clay, but said it was over and he wouldn’t see her again.

She believed her husband was travelling alone to the Wonnangatta Valley, in March 2020, and helped him pack items including antidepressants and cans of bourbon, the jury was told.

After not hearing him on his usual radio broadcast for three days, Mrs Hill became worried and contacted police.

She said Mr Hill had loved the valley and seemed happy to be going camping.

The 74-year-old was fit and healthy, although he was starting to “walk and think slow”.

“I just thought he was getting old,” Mrs Hill told the jury.

Her daughter Deborah also gave evidence on Tuesday, about a time Mr Hill used a shotgun for duck hunting in the mid-1980s.

But she never saw him use a firearm again as he believed they were unsafe to have around, she said.

It’s alleged Mr Hill and Mrs Clay died on 20 March after an argument between Lynn and Mr Hill at Bucks Camp.

Mr Hill had threatened to send his drone footage of Lynn deer hunting near the camp to police, defence barrister Dermot Dann KC said.

He claimed a scuffle broke out after Mr Hill took a gun from Lynn’s vehicle and Mrs Clay was accidentally shot by Mr Hill.

The barrister said Mr Hill came at Lynn with a knife and was accidentally stabbed in the chest as Lynn defended himself.

Lynn then burned Mrs Clay and Mr Hill’s campsite, put their bodies in his trailer and dumped them on the remote Union Spur Track, near Dargo.

Footage and photos shown to the jury on Tuesday showed a burned campsite and a number of items, including the victims’ wallets, a high frequency radio and a mobile phone, inside Mr Hill’s Landcruiser.

Earlier on Tuesday, the jury was reduced from 15 to 14 people after a juror was discharged because of illness.

Justice Michael Croucher said it was better to continue on rather than wait and see if her health improved later in the week.

The trial continues.

More homes on the way in Officer

Development Victoria and Sienna Homes have kicked off civil works at the Olio housing development in Officer, preparing for the construction of 135 homes as part of Stage 2 of the project, adding to the 93 homes that are already being delivered as part of Stage 1.

Built by Sienna Homes, 35 homes are already officially complete as part of Stage 1 with the final homes for this stage set to be completed in late 2024.

A key attraction of Olio has been the Priority Access scheme, which increases the supply of homes suitable to various budgets by allowing those eligible for affordable housing a chance to purchase homes before they are offered to the general public.

A range of buyers have already expressed interest in living within the Olio development, including first home buyers, growing families and downsizers.

Featuring new two, three or four bedroom townhomes, the development is located on the corner of Bridge Road and Coxon Street, with close proximity to One Centre Square and the Officer train station.

Pakenham MP Emma Vulin said the development would allow more housing opportunities in a quickly developing area.

“By delivering more housing to the fast-growing suburb of Officer, we are creating more opportunities for Victorians to own their own home,” she said.

Fatal crash in Pakenham

Police have been investigating the circumstances surrounding a fatal crash in Pakenham on Wednesday 22 May.

Police were told a car was travelling along Toomuc Valley Road in Pakenham at about 12.40am when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

The car rolled and emergency services were called to the scene.

The 21-year-old male driver from Pakenham could not be revived and died at the scene.

The exact circumstances surrounding the crash are yet to be determined and investigations remain ongoing.

To report any dashcam footage or information, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or

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Witness Robyn Hill, wife of Russell Hill, arrives at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne, Tuesday, 21 May, 2024. Picture: AAP IMAGE/JAMES ROSS

Local work powering up

Zinfra, a provider of energy infrastructure services, is gearing up for the opening of its new depot in Pakenham which has the potential to provide more local employment opportunities.

This move marks the latest phase in the expansion of the company’s Distribution Services team, which has been actively growing since its inception in mid-2021.

Initially catering to projects for AusNet, Zinfra’s Distribution Services team has seen significant growth, expanding its clientele to include Jemena and United Energy, along with various private customers. Initially with 10 members on staff at the Keysborough depot, the team transitioned through several locations before settling in Pakenham.

The selection of Pakenham as the site for the new depot was influenced by its capacity for future growth and its strategic location, which allows Zinfra to efficiently manage and scale its operations.

The depot is equipped with modern facilities and constructed with the highest safety standards to ensure the wellbeing of all staff and the community.

The current team, consisting of 55 field staff and 14 support staff, is set to increase to 60+ field staff and 18 support staff, with the new depot having capacity to cater for up to 140 staff in the future.

Craig Booth, manager of Zinfra power services south distribution and the project lead, shared his enthusiasm for the development of the Pakenham Depot and its impact on the local community.

“The new Zinfra depot is not just an invest-

ment in our company’s infrastructure, it is an investment in the Pakenham community.?We are committed to fostering local talent and with this expansion there is the potential to support more jobs and provide further training opportunities,” Mr Booth said.

The construction of the new permanent office and warehouse facilities was managed by a local developer, and the Zinfra team is now

smoothly transitioning into their new work environment.

Mr Booth said that the project is a testament to Zinfra’s dedication to exceptional service delivery and its role as a catalyst for local economic development.

“We are eager to complete this project not only to enhance our operational capabilities but also to bring more employment opportunities to the region,” Mr Booth said.

“We believe in growing with the community, and as our team expands, so does our ability to contribute positively to the local economy.”

The new depot is expected to become a hub for skilled labour, drawing from the local workforce and reinforcing Zinfra’s commitment to diversity and innovation in employment.

Pakenham Station’s ‘local legend’ in the spotlight

As the construction team gets ready to remove the level crossings at McGregor Road, Main Street and Racecourse Road, as well as open the new Pakenham Station to commuters next month, the spotlight is on Pakenham Station’s local legend, Andrew Legge.

Andrew Legge has worked for most of his life as a station officer at Pakenham Station, after he began working for the railways in 1990. He remembers when Pakenham was a country hamlet town, when his family moved to the area in 1983.

“I used to know it like the back of my hand. Not now. Mainly V/Lines came through Pakenham back then,” he said.

“When I joined, there were five freight trains in each direction each day. When we had the occos (occupations - or rail line closures), I had to be the pilot on the train from here to Dandenong. That was an interesting job.

“We used to book for interstate, Sydney, we used to book cars going on trains from here to Adelaide or Perth. We used to do it all. We used to have coupons. All the tickets, zone 1, 2, 3 – it was all manual. Now it’s all on a computer, it’s so much easier.”

After working in the same building for 33 years, Andrew and his team are excited about moving into their new, modern Pakenham Station digs opening next month.

“Yes, we are looking forward to working in the new station. From what I’ve seen of the plans, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Pakenham has always had a strong connection to the railways, with the first train

reaching Pakenham in October 1877. It provided a much-needed gateway to Victoria’s south-east and enabled industry to take place in an otherwise inaccessible region.

This railway eventually stretched to Orbost on the Snowy River in 1916, more than 300km from Melbourne.

Then, with the discovery of brown coal in the La Trobe Valley, open-cut coal mines and power stations were built, and the railway thrived in the 1950s when the line was electrified – the first regional and long-distance line to be electrified in Australia. With the rise in demand, Victorian Railways commissioned more L Class electric locomotives, built by British manufacturer English Electric Company.

In the 1980s, with the decline of coal in favour of natural gas, the electrification of the Gippsland line was de-commissioned. However, today there are still large freight trains passing through Pakenham. The main one is the‘Paper Train’ that runs to the paper mill at Maryvale (near Morwell).

Although the station building most Pakenham locals will remember is the one built around 1980 with a pebble stone material, the new Pakenham Station will open on Monday 3 June and includes improved facilities, such as public toilets, a ticket office and kiosk.

An enclosed and climate-controlled waiting room on street level and covered sections of the platforms will shelter passengers from weather. Stairs and lifts will connect passengers to each platform and allow for all-ability access to trains.

4 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 23 May, 2024 NEWS
Andrew Legge, station officer and David Jacks, station master at Pakenham Station. Pictures: SUPPLIED Pakenham railway station circa 1912. Picture: COURTESY OF THE BERWICK PAKENHAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY Andrew Legge at Pakenham Station – circa 1999. Zinfra is gearing up for the opening of its new Pakenham depot. Picture: SUPPLIED Thursday, 23 May, 2024 | STAR NEWS 5 12683732-HC22-24

Caring for 15 years

As the country marks NationalVolunteerWeek, Monash Health is celebrating the dedication of one of its long-serving volunteers, Vicky Cooper, who has helped create exceptional experiences for the past 15 years.

The 76-year-old Doveton resident volunteers once a fortnight at Dandenong Hospital and at least once a week at the aged care service Chestnut Gardens.

She used to help more often in the hospital with its library and floral arrangements, and now she focuses on the Chestnut Gardens, where she hosts bingo every week.

She also supports the well-being team on special occasions, including dressing up as Santa for Christmas and cooking on the barbecue on public holidays.

Vicky said the people she met and became friendly with were the reasons she stuck with the volunteering.

“It’s the pleasure you get out of seeing people smile,” she said.

“People are so grateful because they just don’t have time to do all the things with all their workload. It’s sort of boring stuff, but I just sit there and do it, and it’s good, and they’re just so nice and really grateful for it, so that’s why I do it.”

Vicky volunteers alongside 19-year-old Jamie Nhor and 35-year-old Fiona Ly, who are just as passionate about making a positive impact in the community and get great joy from volunteering alongside Vicky.

“I enjoy volunteering at Chestnut Gardens, as I feel that I give back to the community. I have a genuine desire to improve the lives of the people around me and have a positive impact on people, even if it’s a slight one,” Jamie said.

“I particularly admire that not only is a patient’s physical health taken into consideration in aged care, but also their mental health as well. Mental health to me is just as important as one’s physical health.”

Fiona said that she and Vicky were always making each other and the residents laugh, making their volunteering visits together special.

Monash Health volunteer coordinatorVicky Vasilopoulos said she appreciated the work Vicky had contributed to the organisation.

“Vicky attends most of the functions that take place and enjoys dedicating her time to each of her visits. Her commitment over the 15 years has been incredible to both Monash Health sites and I cannot thank her enough,” she said.

Behind bars

A bodybuilder who used six knives to stab his partner to death in a frenzied attack in Kassan Gardens, Endeavour Hills has been thrown behind bars for up to 31 years.

Sven Lindemann, 52, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to the murder of Monique Lezsak at her home on 30 May, 2023, hours after she broke up with him. Ms Lezsak’s daughter, known in court under the pseudonym Lily, heard yelling from a bedroom ensuite and ran to see her mother being attacked by Lindemann.

He stabbed his former partner, strangled her and dragged her through the house. Lily tried to stop Lindemann, kicking him and twice pulling the knife out of his hands, but he kept grabbing more weapons.

He used six knives in total, breaking two of them, as he inflicted the fatal stab wounds to Ms Lezsak’s head, neck and chest. Lily also suffered five wounds during the attack.

InsentencingLindemannonWednesday, Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth said Lindemann had killed his partner in a “violent and frenzied” fashion.

Justice Hollingworth said Lindemann was lucky he didn’t injure Lily more seriously, noting the young girl was incredibly brave. The judge found Lindemann had no genuine remorse for his actions and he continued to blame Ms Lezsak.

She jailed him for 31 years but he will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14


Thumbs up

To Art Show Pakenham’s opening night at Pink Hill Hotel.

Thumbs down

To all the potholes and corrugation on Hobson Road, near Ballarto Road. You’d think that when they sealed McGregor Road/Hobson Road they would do all of it and not leave approximately three metres of gravel road. The cost of upkeep on that bit of gravel road would be enormous, it would be cheaper to seal that bit of road.

Thumbs up

To all the exhibitors and ambassadors at the VAS Central and South Gippsland Regional finals hosted by Lang Lang Show on Sunday.

Thumbs down

To branches on side of the road and trees hanging over as well, extremely dangerous for all users on our roads.

Thumbs up

To the students of St Claire’s and Officer Francis Xavier College, who are walking their bikes across the lights and zebra crossing of Cardinia Road and Princess Highway.

Thumbs down

To Influenza A. It’s horrendous. Get your flu shots.

6 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 23 May, 2024
OPINION Reflecting
on the news at Bunjil Place Library,Narre Warren. 408527
Doveton resident Vicky Cooper has been volunteering with Monash Health for over 15 years. Picture: SUPPLIED

Reserve a hard-fought win

The new Kowan Recreational Reserve in Cranbourne North is more than just a welcome addition, but also a hard-fought victory spanning multiple years of community action and legal battles, as its opening was officially announced on Tuesday, 14 May.

The local residents’ struggles initially began in 2019 when the 6.8 hectares of land on 1955 Alisma Boulevard, with the promise to surrounding homes of sports fields, was reneged by developer Konann Pty Ltd.

A Casey Council document stated that Konann applied for a planning permit on 132 residential allotments in 2015, which was met with resistance in the form of more than 1200 signatures by Tulliallan Estate residents at that time.

It was due to a legal loophole that the building of the estate had begun before there was any formal written agreement for a sports field.

Rebecca Hyland, a mum of two and key resident who played a pivotal role in mounting the community effort, expressed her joy on a recent Facebook post, saying that she was “so happy to see the full process”.

“From the beginning with the fight, to all the friends and connections along the way, to the celebrations of when the land was secured by the council,” Ms Hyland said.

The project was part of the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund, where Casey received $3.3 million for the project. Casey’s chair of administrators Noelene Duff PSM said that they are committed to providing the required infrastructure for all clubs across the municipality, saying that “local sport is such a vital part of our community and something council is very proud to support”.

“The growing Cranbourne North community now has even better access not only to local sport but also for a range of other community activities and celebrations that will no

doubt occur in this space,” she said.

Council contributed $1.1 million towards the $10.7 million project, with $6.3 million received through developer contributions.

Going back, the months of May and June 2019 were busy, not just for the residents but for the council and Konann as well.

Konann lodged a claim to the minister of planning and the council for financial loss which were both rejected.

Council then offered to purchase the land for $15.48 million but the developer declined, stating that the value was double according to council documents.

The case then went to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in May 2019, with negotiations between the council and developer bearing no fruit.

Local residents then lodged an application

to the ACCC with Ms Hyland commenting to Star News then that “residents are furious with the latest news and want to seek legal advice, as any reduction should not be negotiated”.

Residents sought legal advice from consumer law firm Slater and Gordon, adamant on the fact that the surrounding land was advertised with material that stated a future sports field.

While Ms Hyland confirmed on 24 June 2019 that the ACCC said the case fell outside of the laws that they administer, she told the Star then that her and the residents were “prepared to sit on that land to prevent the bulldozers”.

Both council the Konann Pty Ltd reached an agreement for the former party to purchase the land for sporting facilities in July 2019, with construction that began in the financial year of 2020-21.

The previously undeveloped green field

Demand Bush Access

has since been transformed into a sporting precinct, which includes three soccer fields, a cricket oval, cricket practice nets, a playground, shared paths, car parking and a public art piece called Space Knot by Benjamin Storch.

“The construction of the new reserve and surrounding facilities will increase participation in soccer and cricket, and allow maximum use of this reserve,” MsDuff said.

Ms Duff and council CEO Glenn Patterson were joined by members of the Cranbourne United Soccer Club, the Eastern Rebels Cricket Club and representatives from the Tulliallan Resident Group and Tulliallan Primary School to open the reserve.

With the Kowan Recreation Reserve finally open to all, Ms Hyland said that her “heart is full”.

“We needed this green space as it’s essential for the wellbeing of everybody.

“This is just wonderful, it’s packed all the time [and] even when it’s raining there are kids playing soccer because they love it so much,” she said.

The new reserve also features a multi-use pavilion, which includes six change rooms, a large community space, a kitchen and other public amenities.

Cranbourne United Soccer Club secretary Navpreet Saini said the club is committed to creating a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.

“Every evening, the kids come to the ground to train and have fun, the parents are also actively involved in club activities and enjoy having a place to meet and socialise,” he said.

For Ms Hyland, “it will always be Tulliallan Sports Fields in our hearts, and seeing all the people in the community using the fieldssometimes it’s so busy I can’t see how any more people could fit; thank you to everyone in my community“.

All Come and help stand up for our right to bushwalk, 4x4, motorbike, horse ride, hunt, fish, camp and enjoy our bush the Petition Sign EASTERN VICTORIA REGION Renee HEATH MP MEMBER FOR ReneeHeathMP 51 James Street, Pakenham 5941 1112 12691409-KG21-24
From left, principal of Tulliallan Primary School Kathy Sharp, Casey’s chair of administrators Noelene Duff PSM, Rebecca Hyland from the Tulliallan Resident Group and her two daughters Georgia and Olivia, Tulliallan Resident Group member Angie Serwecinska, Navepreet Saini from Cranbourne United Soccer Club, and Buddhika Managoda from Eastern Rebel’s Cricket Club. Picture: SUPPLIED

A holistic approach to your wellness

Bunyip business Nurture Body & Soul offers a range of wellness services using the nine principles of health, including holistic massage, lifestyle nutrition, culinary nutrition, an infrared sauna and food and low-tox living workshops.

Located at 11 High Street in Bunyip, the business also features a ’wellness hub’, which allows like minded practitioners to provide their individual talents, including a myotherapist, a Feldenkrais practitioner, meditation classes, clinical hypnotherapy, Tarot counselling and naturopathy.

Operating for 15 years and relocating to Bunyip in March 2023, Nurture Body & Soul also stocks Plant Therapy Essential Oils and Tinctures, Australian Bush Flower Essences, Probiotic Foods and Nature’s Help.

Owner Karen McIntyre said she loves helping and empowering people to be the best versions of themselves in a more holistic and natural way.

“In 2014, my sister Julie asked me to be her full-time carer through her journey with cancer, she said if anyone can get her through this I can,“ she said.

“Unfortunately, Julie lost her battle at the young age of 56.

port others to avoid or at least live a healthier and longer life and not to have to endure what my family members went through.“

Ms McIntyre said her business aims to create a nurturing environment hosting a range of holistic treatments.

“I utilise my wealth of knowledge to support and assist my clients in discovering that simple lifestyle changes, that work within each individual’s reach, can deliver amazing results which cultivate confidence and long sustaining change for the betterment of people’s lives,“ she said.

“The Wellness Hub here in Bunyip is here to enhance our clients’ wellbeing in many aspects of their lives.“

As a mother of three and a grandmother of six, Ms McIntyre came up with the name of the business by using the initials of her children’s names - Nathan, Bianca and Samuel.

Sawdon, dental prosthetist has now moved to new premises, located at Cardinia Medical Centre, 158 - 160 Princes Highway Pakenham 5940 8055.

“Then in more recent times, I became my parents full-time carer, Mum went through the journey of Alzheimer’s and Dad passed from a broken heart four weeks after mum.

“So my drive and passion is to guide, sup-

Nurture Body & Soul is hosting a Winter Wellness workshop in June, exploring a number of strategies to nourish your body and mind, enhance your resilience and cultivate a sense of wellbeing through winter, as well as a Women’s Wellness workshop in July, which aims to help guide and support a woman’s journey through peri to post-menopause by looking at food choices, lifestyle and mindset.

For more information, visit

Health literacy: Public education on Medicare pleas

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) earlier this year threw its support behind the Consumer Health Forum’s calls for the federal government to fund public education that fully explains the Medicare system to the public.

RACGP president Dr Nicole Higgins said public education on Medicare could help people navigate the health system better and improve their health.

“We’re living in an age where people are being swamped with pseudo health advice and marketing for products and services which aren’t evidence-based and could be dangerous,” she said in February.

“Improving health literacy is essential to ensure people know where to turn for expert health advice to live healthier – that is their GP.

“Our health system is incredibly complex, and there is very low health literacy in Australia.

“If people had a better understanding of Medicare and health literacy, they would be

better equipped to navigate the system and improve their health.

“Many Australians simply don’t understand Medicare. When it started in 1984, it was designed to subsidise the costs of patient care by about 85 per cent, and the patient paid the rest, which is the gap or ‘out-of-pocket’ fee.

“So, Medicare rebates belong to the patient – it’s the government’s subsidy, to help pay for your care.

“Like everything else, healthcare is becoming more expensive. With other cost of living pressures, it’s more important than ever that Australians have a sound understanding of Medicare, so they can manage their health and stay well.

“If people manage their health with their GP, they’re less likely to go to hospital, and it will help their hip pocket, as well as government budgets and taxpayers.

“Significant reforms to Medicare are occurring that many people aren’t aware of. Peoples’

entitlements are expanding with MyMedicare, but having a regular GP or practice is essential to access these entitlements. This reform is about improving health and wellbeing – the research shows having a regular GP results in better health and satisfaction.”

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FOCUS ON … MEDICALLY SPEAKING Greenspace reduces risk

Living in areas with shorter distances to greenspace and lower crime rates are associated with having fewer modifiable dementia risk factors, Monash University-led research has found.

Published in Preventive Medicine Reports, the Australian study investigated neighbourhood characteristics associated with dementia risk and cognition.

It found a doubling of distance to greenspace was equal to being about 2.5 years older, in terms of dementia risk factors. Each twofold increase in crime was approximately equal to a reduction in memory score attributable to a three-year increase in age.

This relationship was particularly evident in those living in areas of lower socioeconomic status (SES).

The greenspace aspect included people across Australia, while the crime aspect only looked at Victoria where that data was readily available.

Senior author Associate Professor Matthew Pase, of the Monash University School of Psychological Sciences and the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, said earlier research had already shown that dementia disproportionately affected the disadvantaged.

“In 2022 we observed that individuals residing in lower SES areas had more dementia risk factors and worse memory performance,” Associate Professor Pase said. “Such findings motivated us to explore the specific neighbourhood characteristics associated with dementia risk and cognition.”

Associate Professor Pase said the new research encompassed some of the strongest modifiable dementia risk factors including high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and physical inactivity.

“Living close to greenspace may encourage or permit people to exercise more (e.g. walk or run) and also socialise (e.g., talk with locals in a park),” he said. “It may also limit environmental stressors such as air pollution and noise.

“In our latest study, proximity to greenspace was more important than the absolute amount of greenspace in an area. In other words, having lots of little parks that are closer to more people might potentially be better than having one big park that is further away.”

Associate Professor Pase said higher crime rates could possibly drive behaviours linked to dementia.

“People living in an area with a high crime rate might exercise, go out and socialise in public places less as a result,” he said. “More crime could also make it difficult to sleep and

spark potentially harmful coping behaviours like smoking.

“Even a perception of crime might cause psychological stress, which we previously found can be associated with dementia risk. Another possibility is that those who are more educated, which protects against dementia, are able to live in areas with low crime rates, although we adjusted for these factors in our analyses.”

The project was driven by Dr Marina Cavuoto, now a senior research fellow and clinical neuropsychologist at the National Ageing Research Institute in Melbourne, and an adjunct senior research fellow at theTurner Institute for Brain and Mental Health.

Researchers calculated the percentage of greenspace in each postcode and the average

distance to the nearest one for people living there. On average, people lived about 260 metres from the closest greenspace. Crime data were obtained from the Crime Statistics Agency based on data provided by the ABS.

Dr Cavuoto said governments could help improve the situation.

“Policy interventions by different levels of government could address social determinants of health at the neighbourhood level,” she said. “Collaboration between health and non-health sectors such as environment, infrastructure and housing is required to scale equitable and sustainable health promotion and dementia prevention.

“Programs that seek to improve modifiable dementia risk factors should consider the influence of neighbourhood characteristics. If governments moved to improve access to parkland and safety at a local level it could encourage healthier lifestyles that may reduce dementia risk factors.”

Associate Professor Pase said the results related to population averages and not individual people, so more research was required to understand these relationships more thoroughly.

“Wherever people live, healthy behaviours like managing blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, correcting any hearing impairment, avoiding smoking, regular physical activity, nurturing mental health, avoiding or treating diabetes, sleeping well, and social activity may all help,” he said.

“Individuals can make a start on those factors that are more easily addressable and within their control. Individuals can also work with family, friends and health professionals to overcome some of the barriers such as exercising in groups to help overcome safety concerns.” STAR NEWS 9 ^Speak to your Pharmacist, GP or other immunisation provider to check your eligibility. We can provi for children from 5 years in VIC. Legislations and regulations are subject to change. Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your appointment and be aware you will need to remain in store for a further 15-minute observation period. Service fees apply. While stocks last. Visit for more information. TerryWhite Chemmart® correct printed errors. TerryWhite Chemmart® is a registered trademark of TWC IP Pty Ltd ACN 136 833 licence by TW&CM Pty Ltd ACN 136 833 620. TM22488 TerryWhite Chemmart Officer Medical 340 Princes Highway, Officer, VIC 3809 (located in Officer Family Medical Clinic, next to Berwick Potteries) P: 03 5925 7770 E: Opening Hours: Mon to Thurs: 9am-5:30pm; Fri: 9am-5pm; Sat: 10am-2pm Officer Medical Officer Family Medical Clinic Berwick Potteries PrincesHwy PrincesHwy Denton Dr Nolan Cres Nolan Cres Officer Medical Book your flu vaccination^ today Walk-ins welcome or call 03 5925 7770 to book 12690353-FR21-24
Living close to greenspace may encourage or permit people to exercise more and also socialise, Associate Professor Matthew Pase said. Picture: JAVIER TAVARA ON UNSPLASH

Park for a Doveton legend

Doveton community leaders are calling for the untitled Autumn Place park to be named after a humble, huge-hearted local legend.

For decades, the late Agnes O’Brien was widely admired for embodying the spirit of Doveton.

Many kids called her ‘Nanna’, some ‘Aggie’ and others ‘Saint Agnes’.

The single mother-of-four was credited for putting countless kids on the right path, bringing them off the streets and into her home and sport clubs.

Some say she saved numerous lives.

The idea to re-name Doveton’s central park came from Doveton Boxing Club’s Ryan Wilson – one of many inspired by her to help the young.

Growing up in the 1980s, he remembers her picking up litter and visiting the schools urging the students to play footy.

She ran the region’s first Vic Kick Australian Rules juniors program, volunteering tirelessly at Doveton’s football clubs.

“She was always around and helping people – she was one of those people who didn’t want the recognition but she impacted a lot of people’s lives.”

Wilson regards it as a travesty that Agnes hasn’t yet been recognised. And the Autumn Place park and playground is a “good fit”, being a place where Agnes would often reach out to a distressed kid.

The recognition would also right a historical wrong – in that none of Doveton’s parks and reserves are named after Doveton residents.

And just as starkly, none are named after women.

“Doveton has a strong sense of community – my parents have lived here since the 1950’s but a lot of that community spirit is dying,” Wilson says.

“Her story might help inspire people to help others.”

Without a car, Agnes famously used to walk everywhere. Often when she ventured into Dandenong, she would get a lift home from police.

Such was their respect for her, she’d ride in the front of the divvy van, and one of the officers would hunch in the back.

Her son Stephen says the police respected her good work helping kids and families in the Autumn Place park – right opposite the former police station.

“That park was a special place for her. It’s where she’d take kids. And if she saw troubled souls she’d spend a lot of time with them.

“She saved a lot of lives in that park.”

While on a single mum’s pension, she would often look after up to six other kids while their parents worked.

“It was always busy at home. Obviously times were also very tough. What we had was

not a lot, but there was a lot of emotional support and love,” Stephen says.

“Right up until her passing, some of those kids still called her ‘Nanna’.”

During the footy season, she’d ask her son to pick a friend who was struggling. And she’d take the two of them to a VFL game.

Agnes was a big believer in sport to keep kids out of trouble. Any kids up to no good would be encouraged to play.

At the footy club, she did it all and often gave up her weekends. Team manager, canteen worker,Vic Kick organiser, vice-president.

“Everything that needed to be done, she would say yes.”

Stephen has followed in her footsteps, coaching and mentoring young charges at Cranbourne Football Club.

“She’s my inspiration. I remember when she passed, someone posted on social media that for a lady who had nothing, she gave her all.

“My sister replied she had more than most.

“She might not have had a car and nice house. She just had the biggest heart, just an ability to help others.”

Born in Portafairy just outside Belfast in Ireland, Agnes was one of 11 children. In her teens, she already showed her immense care for people and trained as a nurse.

At 18, she and her sister took a boat out to Australia for a new life.

After an arduous three-month journey, her sister decided to return home as soon as they reached Sydney’s docks.

But Agnes stayed, married, later left her husband with her four kids and settled in a commission house in Doveton in 1976.

“Doveton was an incredibly hard, tough place and mum loved it,” her son says.

“She loved the people as they were who they were, nothing fake, called it as it was, but were loyal, she thrived and took pride in being a battler.”

When the idea of renaming the park was raised, Stephen said it was“mind blowing” and “humbling”.

“It would be a great way to honour her legacy

“Ryan (Wilson) and the boxing club are getting kids off the streets to see a way out and see a future for themselves.

“It means the world to me – the people who came up with the idea are the ones who are continuing her legacy.”

The proposal has been enthusiastically backed by Agnes’s children, a past police officer at Doveton as well as the Doveton Eumemmerring Township Association (DETA) and Bruce MP Julian Hill.

DETA chair Stefan Koomen said it was disappointing that Casey Council hadn’t responded more than a year after Wilson made his submission.

“The main thing is we want to have our local history recognised.

“Women like Agnes need to be recognised or their contributions will be lost.”

It’s crucial to not only celebrate Agnes’s name, but also to depict her story on a plaque, Koomen says.

“The change is definitely warranted. The playground is literally just called Autumn Place Playground.”

Senior Sergeant Andrew O’Brien, not related to Agnes, also wrote a glowing tribute in support of renaming the park after the “true, selfless local hero”.

“No job was too big or small and they were always done with a smile, a kind word and a real hustle which was a unique characteristic of Agnes. From my perspective it is sad she isn’t here to see it as for too long it was just accepted and acknowledged only by those who knew her. It is never too late to acknowledge great people who made a real and important difference.”

The senior police officer grew up playing

football with the

There was no more important or harder-working volunteer than Agnes, he said.

“I was one of many young people who without the support of volunteers at the club may have gone either way with our life choices.

“Working or absent fathers were a regular issue and in some cases these clubs were our most important support system, teaching us team values, respect, discipline and where needed genuine emotional support.”

Bruce MP Julian Hill said Agnes dedicated her life to “uplifting the Doveton community”.

“A truly selfless individual, it is only right that Agnes’ legacy is commemorated in the place that meant so much to her.

“I hope the Casey City Council decide to support this proposal and recognise the outstanding impact of the late Agnes O’Brien on our community.

“It would also be one worthy small step to addressing the dearth of public places named after women in our community.”

Casey Council growth and investment acting manager Nick Felstead said the naming proposal must undergo a review to ensure it complies with State Government guidelines as well as the rules of Geographic Names Victoria (GNV). “The proposal to name the park at 29 Autumn Place, Doveton after Agnes O’Brien, along with letters of recommendation and a letter of consent is currently under review and we will endeavour to provide an outcome for the submitter once finalised.

“To better support gender equity in our commemorative and place names across Casey, Council has implemented a program and endorsed guidelines in accordance with GNV for the naming of new recreation reserves and community facilities.

“This is part of Council’s commitment to increase gender equity in the naming process to recognise the many people who have left their mark on Casey.”

Seven things that help your business and cost nothing

Most things in business cost money, but there are some things that you can do which differentiate you and your business from the rest and which cost absolutely nothing. Below are just seven that will give a great return and create a positive impression of your business: Avoid ghosting

In recent times the word “ghosting” seems to have become a common part of our vernacular, but I don’t recall hearing this at all even just a few years ago. The term is used to describe a situation in which someone who used to be friendly or connected with you suddenly cuts off all communication without explanation. This may be a symptom of people being ‘too busy’ or uncomfortable with responding back, but whatever the reason it is fundamentally disrespectful and creates ambiguity in the relationship. If you have an issue, say so or if you simply can’t respond in a timely manner, at least provide an indication when you can. Being responsive

Similar to the item above, it’s good to respond back quickly, even if it’s just to indicate that

you can’t provide a full response until later. This is especially important in customer service situations as a delayed response leaves the customer uncertain as to whether their communication has been received. Swift responses to enquiries or tender requests will leave an impression that you are action-oriented and may lead to earlier consideration by the receiver ahead of the competition.

Arrive on time

This is important not just for customer visits but also internal meetings. Keeping people waiting sends a message that your time is more important than theirs and actually costs a business money, e.g. 6 people left waiting for ten minutes for a meeting to start

equates to one hour lost time.

Positive attitude

We know that there will always be problems in business, but how you deal with these speaks volumes about you and your resilience. It is often the case that problems can lead to greater insights (even though it may not seem like it at the time) so viewing issues as potential learning opportunities may make things easier all round and earn you the respect of others.

Great work ethic

People have different views about what this looks like but fundamentally it comes down to taking personal responsibility and ownership so that things get seen through to completion. It means doing the hard yards to ensure that commitments are met and work is completed to a sufficiently high standard. Pressure situations will typically differentiate those with a great work ethic from those that are lacking here and committed people are always highly valued by the company.

Showing respect

Should be a no-brainer these days as everyone deserves to be treated with respect, even if they appear to be doing the wrong thing. Being respectful is validating as it sends a message to the other person that you value them for who they are and improves listening. In business, people do business with those they know, like and trust and respect lies at the heart of these.

Being coachable

This one might seem a bit odd, but as a Business Advisor, I believe that the most successful businesses are lead by managers that are “coachable”.Why? Because coachable people are open-minded to new possibilities and tend to be curious about ways to improve rather than being stuck in their old ways. Doing so opens up the possibility to do things differently since if‘you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you have got’.

10 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 23 May, 2024
Ian Ash ACC, AIECL AInstIB Managing Director OrgMent Business Solutions - TAKING CARE IAN ASH OF BUSINESS NEWS
Doveton Junior Football Club. Front from left, Stefan Koomen and daughter Frankie, Frank and Jackie Horvath (Agnes’ daughter), Lisa and Steve O’Brien (Agnes’ son) and Ryan Wilson; at back includes Mia Wilson, Didi Wilson, Justin Le, John Turner and Clint Wilson in the currently unnamed park in Autumn Place, Doveton. Agnes O’Brien is remembered fondly as a big-hearted volunteer who helped kids find the right path.

House a haven for women

The Victorian Homeless Fund has delivered a new family house in Casey for a woman and her children who have recently escaped family violence.

Built by volunteer trades and suppliers around Melbourne, the latest family home is one of many that the organisation has helped to build or renovate over its 30-year history.

The organisation seeks land and works closely with the builders to deliver homes for social housing; in particular, for women and children escaping domestic violence. Once complete, the houses will be managed by a not-for-profit organization.

In 2021, it secured a long-term lease on a block of land owned by Homes Victoria, and local builder Hermitage Building Group (HBG) answered the call and commenced construction of a four-bedroom family home. HBG also raised considerable funds for the project.

“In the City of Casey, homelessness isn’t just a crisis; it’s a stark reality that many face daily. The statistics aren’t just numbers — they represent real people struggling for a place to call home. Our efforts to combat this are not just about building homes, but about restoring dignity to people affected by their circumstances,” HBG chief executive officer Michael Oldenhof said.

“Today, as we hand over the keys to this home, we’re not just offering a structure of bricks and mortar, but a sanctuary, a place of safety and new beginnings for a family that deserves security and stability.

“While we know that one home won’t solve the crisis of homelessness, it’s an active step towards addressing the hardships faced by families in turmoil. We are both pleased and humbled to play a role in this important project.”

The new family house has been handed over to The Women’s Property Initiatives, an organisation that provides permanent and affordable homes for women at risk of homelessness along with access to support networks and ongoing advocacy.

The Victorian Homeless Fund chair Colleen May has been delighted by what has been achieved through the generosity of many working collaboratively to seek innovative

ways of helping people in crisis.

“Domestic violence is the single biggest cause of homelessness in Australia. This is such a significant problem, and we can’t solve it by ourselves but if individually we all give a little, collectively, we can change people’s lives,” she said.

“This is a story of generosity, compassion, professionalism, hard work, and extending a helping hand to support those most in need.

“The builders, suppliers, and tradespeople who have donated to this project have been amazingly generous and because of them, a family will have a home and hope and a future.”

Considerable funding for this house was also provided by The Edward Wilson Estate, after whom the house will be named.

The woman and her children will move in in the following weeks.

Monash Health fined $160,000 over patient’s death

Monash Health has escaped conviction after admitting it failed to ensure one of its most vulnerable patients was not exposed to risk of harm.

Rebecca Victoria Poke died by suicide at Casey Hospital in Berwick in September 2015 after being voluntarily admitted to the hospital’s mental health inpatient unit.

The hospital audited the suicide risk to patients in the unit in April 2015 and flagged a visitor’s bathroom as a potential concern but did not eliminate the risk.

Nurses found Ms Poke unresponsive in that bathroom on 31 August and she died in hospital two days later.

In sentencing Monash Health to a $160,000 fine, Victorian County Court Judge Gerard Mullaly said while the hospital failed in its duty of care, it did not have glaring disregard for patient safety.

The hospital attended to the general risk of self-harm and made appropriate changes to bathrooms that were more readily accessible to patients, Judge Mullaly said.

The bathroom in question was usually locked and could only be accessed by a supervisor’s key but it was inexplicably open for Ms Poke, the judge said.

He said the circumstances were tragic but the failure on Monash Health’s part was at the lower end.

The judge also pointed to the health service’s guilty plea and its otherwise good corporate character as it had no prior convictions.

“That is a matter of considerable weight given the history of this large organisation,” Judge Mulally said.

The judge also noted the victim impact statements made by Ms Poke’s family, who remembered her as a much-loved woman who was dearly missed.

Judge Mulally said the $160,000 fine without conviction was not a reflection of Ms Poke’s life.

“Her life was quite simply invaluable to her and her family,” he said.

After the sentence was handed down, WorkSafe executive director Narelle Beer said the tragic incident could have been avoided.

“Ways to control the risk of deaths by suicide in mental health units have been well understood in the healthcare industry for many years,” Dr Beer said.

“WorkSafe will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action when duty holders are not doing everything they can to protect those in their care, including from intentional self-harm.”

Lifeline 13 11 14 beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Concerns around steep prices for school celebrations

Parents are ringing alarm bells over the cost of Year 12 graduation ceremonies, amid a worsening cost-of-living crisis.

A disgruntled parent reached out to Star News regarding their child’s Year 12 expenses, specifically the $160 on valedictory dinner tickets.

The parent, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed concern over the fact that it would cost a small fortune for a family of five to attend the valedictorian dinner at Nossal High School.

“Families who can’t afford this expensive meal are not allowed to attend only for the event,” they said.

The official Nossal High School valedictory graduation dinner announcement stated that ticket prices included a three-course meal, soft drinks and would cover presentations and entertainment.

To be held at Pullman Melbourne Albert Park in November, the event itself is optional and is not compulsory for graduation.

Ticket limits were set to a maximum of five per family, with all members, including children, required to pay the full amount.

The parent wanted to shine some light on the “lack of care by taxpayer-funded schools”,

adding that “this is a big day for all kids and families”.

Nossal school administration has also reached out to parents and families who expressed concern over the pricing, giving them a platform to liaise the amount.

Looking at similar events for seniors this year, Narre Warren South P-12 College’s upcoming Year 12 formal at Malvern Town Hall will be priced at $120 a head.

The rising cost-of-living is a central concern, and is acknowledged not just by the parent but also by Lyndhurst Secondary College

principal Eloise Haynes, who said that a growing number of families were feeling the pressure of rising costs.

“We as a school see this with increasing requests for support for uniform, students and families needing additional support with essentials such as food,” she said.

Catering toYears 9-12, Nossal is one of only four academically selective high schools in the state.

According to School Informer and based on 2023 VCE results, Nossal ranked 15 out of 170 schools in the state, with a median VCE score

of 36 and 27 per cent of their study scores being 40 or above.

Under the recent state budget, the State Government will provide $400 per student to government-school families as part of its recently announced School Saving Bonus.

The funds can be utilised to offset the cost of uniforms and activities. There is meanstested relief from the Government’s Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund.

Despite rising costs of its own, Lyndhurst College kept parent payments “as low as possible”, Ms Haynes said.

Upfront fees differ between government secondary school in Casey, ranging from about $200 - $400 plus extras, such as musical instruments and tuition, camps, formals and graduation dinners - with VCE Outdoor Education fees possibly adding an extra $500.

Narre Warren South P-12 also subsidised its Year 12 end-of-year celebration day and worked closely with providers to negotiate the best prices for venues for formals.

For Ms Haynes, “we are still facilitating all the regular and important events, but also looking at best values for families”.

“We ensure the when we ask families to contribute for excursions etc. that these are all designed with strong educational purpose and value for students,” she said. Thursday, 23 May, 2024 | STAR NEWS 11 NEWS
Concerns rise on senior-level celebrations in local high schools,with valedictory and formal tickets going from anywhere between $100 to $160 per head. Picture: ON FILE. The Victorian Homeless Fund seeks land and works closely with the builders to deliver homes for social housing. Picture: SUPPLIED The new safe house for women and children escaping from family violence in Casey. Picture: SUPPLIED

Clinic director suspended

The director of Hampton ParkWomen’s Health Clinic has been suspended, following the death of a woman after surgery in January.

Narre Warren South woman and a mother of two Harjit Kaur died shortly after a pregnancy termination surgery in Hampton Park Women’s Health Clinic on 12 January.

The Department of Health suspended the clinic’s registration as a day procedure centre on 29 February.

On 15 March, the Medical Board of Australia suspended the registration of obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Rudolph Lopes, who performed the abortion surgery on Ms Kaur.

Just recently, the authority suspended the clinic director Dr Michelle Kenney.

The reasons behind the suspensions have not been revealed and a spokesperson of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) said they could not comment about matters relating to individual practitioners beyond information already disclosed on the public record, including the register of practitioners.

Prior to the recent suspension, Dr Kenney had conditions imposed on her registration between November 2022 and December 2023 that only allowed her to practise during daytime hours between Monday and Friday and must not exceed three shifts per week of eight hours duration each shift. She was also only allowed to work under the supervision of another registered medical practitioner during the period.

Dr Kenney told Star News in March that it was due to personal health issues.

At the time, she said the clinic did not commit any medical misconduct and the suspension of the day surgeries had something to do with the paperwork and administrative issues, instead of the death of Ms Kaur.

She also claimed that the suspension of Dr Lopes had nothing to do with Ms Kaur’s death.

Dr Kenney said she could not comment on

the recent suspension on her as there are legal proceedings in place.

According to the public Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) record, Dr Lopes was found to have engaged in professional misconduct on 19 October 2021.

He was reprimanded over lewd remarks to a patient and long-term sexual harassment of a midwife.

VCAT stated that Dr Lopes must be required to work in a supervised environment under specific conditions and the conditions lapsed in December 2023.

Star News is not suggesting Dr Michelle Kenney, Dr Rudolph Lopes, or any other doc-

tor or staff member at the clinic are responsible for the death of Ms Kaur. A coroner’s investigation is underway into the cause.

Suresh Rajan, a spokesperson for the bereaved family of Miss Kaur, said the husband was still struggling terribly.

“One of the reasons why he’s struggling is that the coroner still has not been able to come up with a definitive reason for her death,” he said.

“They promised that it would be done in the middle of April. Then they asked for more time. Now they’ve come back with a toxicology report, but nothing determines the cause of death.

“They will send the toxicology reports to further experts to get more analysis.”

Mr Rajan also said the problem was they could not apply for probate and get access to entitlements with the workplace of Ms Kaur until they secured a death certificate that showed the cause of death.

“I just think we’re at that stage where we just want answers because that gives us closure,” he said.

“We just want to ensure that no one else has to deal with an issue like this ever again.”

The family also believed that another doctor in connection with the clinic had been suspended.

Love conquers all, just ask new author David Allen

An event in August of 1966 changed David E. Allen’s life forever.

His beloved wife, Jean, gave birth to their daughter Linda, but in the process, suffered a brain injury so severe that she lost three quarters of her brain’s functioning.

The doctors told David that Jean would never recover or emerge from a special hospital again.

David refused to believe the doctor, and proceeded to spend every last dollar on speech therapy and treatments for Jean.

They lived in a caravan and he spent every day caring for her, from the day she lost “75 per cent of her brain” at just 23 years old, to

the day she passed, at age 71.

For the last 30 years, though he cannot read or write, David has been working on writing down the tragic love story of him and Jean.

Today he has a published book, with the help of writer Barbara McCarthy, titled Waiting for Sunshine, One Day at a Time.

When David was asked, “Why did you choose to look after Jean the way you did?”, he said: “We weren’t even engaged yet and she came across the world for me.”

“Of course I stuck by her. As long as you’re together, you can get through anything. We’ve proved that.”

After four years of speech therapy and treatments, as soon as Jean had the capabil-

ity to say “yes”, David and Jean were married.

“I want this story to inspire people to stay together and you will get through anything.

“If you can lose 75 per cent of your brain and keep going, anyone can.

“It doesn’t matter about a house or a car, as long as you’ve got your partner.”

David currently lives in Hampton Park and visits his daughter, Linda, and her own child, two times a week.

He hopes this book will “inspire people doing it tough”, and serve as a loving memory of Jean Allen.

The book Waiting for Sunshine, One Day at a Time is available on Amazon and for immediate purchase on Kindle. JeanandDavid. Picture:SUPPLIED

12 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 23 May, 2024 from an outlet near you It'sFREE SCAN TO FIND YOUROUTLET 12665947-JB05-24 NEWS
HamptonParkWomen’sHealthClinic. 396246 Picture:STEWARTCHAMBERS

NEWS Rainbow nations

LGBTIQA+ asylum seekers and refugees in the South East may be set for more support as part of a funding announcement in Dandenong on Friday 17 May.

Equality Minister Harriet Shing announced recipients from the new funding program LGBTIQA+ Sector Strengthening during a rainbow flag-raising at Harmony Square on Friday 17 May.

It was Greater Dandenong’s fifth year of raising the rainbow flag as part of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

Many Coloured Sky (MCS) will use the grant to expand its support for asylum seekers and refugees in outer suburbia and regional Victoria.

Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia were among the front-runners for the expanded service’s three new regions, chief executive Ian Seal said.

Other options were Melbourne’s North, Melbourne’s West, Greater Shepparton and Greater Mildura.

“The core of our work is to have safe, social spaces for members to come together where they can make friends, raise concerns and share their dreams,” Seal said.

“Sadly the majority of our members have become cut off from their own families and broader cultural communities.

“They may not have the means or feel safe to access mainstream LBGTIQA+ services. They’re stuck in a hard place.”

Activities include peer-mentoring sessions and fortnightly drop-in dinners, as well as case-work support.

MCS also liaises with health and housing services which may not fully understand their members’ challenges.

“The kinds of short-term and emergency accommodation are highly gendered. There’s a set of apartments for refugee women, another for refugee men, another for families.

“But many of our members may not be safe or welcome in these highly gendered spaces.

“For new arrivals who are placed with people of the same cultural backgrounds, that means they’re placed with people of the same cultural beliefs that were persecuting them in their own country.”

Seal said Greater Dandenong was possibly “late” to recognise its LGBTIQA+ residents but “certainly not the last”.

“I want to congratulate City of Greater Dandenong for doing this (rainbow flag-raising), for creating a public event and creating publicity around this issue.

“By inviting us to be part of the event today, they’re recognizing that this intersectional community has needs and that queer people from newly-arrived backgrounds need to feel safe and welcome here.”

Queer asylum-seeker ‘Kye’ – not his real name – says the support from MCS was vital. He originally lived at Mt Hotham then moved to Melbourne to “start over”, meet and connect with queer people.

However, Kye felt isolated from his Indonesian diaspora in Australia. And doubly isolated from mainstream LGBTIQA+ services due to his cultural background.

The peer support group at MCS instead became his new “family”, he says.

Kye has since joined the group’s advisory committee and taken up a humanitarian scholarship at Monash University.

“Everyone needs family, peers and company. It’s an organization I can go to and be safe.

“Two years later my life is much better. Friends accept me as I am and I never had that in the past.”

The 29-year-old sought asylum after realising during a working holiday in Australia that gay people were safe here.

“I’d never accepted that part of myself. I was conflicted in my beliefs from growing up in a religious boarding house.

“It was the hardest thing throwing away my

life in Indonesia and I couldn’t go back. It’s cost me my older life - the people, the places and the culture that I grew up in.

“But otherwise I couldn’t live with the whole of me.

“The people I grew up with – if they found out, they wouldn’t accept it.”

Twelve groups shared $800,000 in grants as part of the new LGBTIQA+ Sector Strengthening program.

“We have always supported LGBTIQA+ communities in Victoria and these new grants are designed to support the growth, vitality and sustainability of the LGBTIQA+ sector for years to come,” Shing said.

“Now more than ever, it’s important we are supporting Victorian LGBTIQA+ groups and organisations to connect and thrive as we continue our work to ensure that in Victoria, equality is not negotiable.” Thursday, 23 May, 2024 | STAR NEWS 13 RARE OPPORTUNITY TO OCCUPY AND INVEST For more information or an inspection, please contact: Shannon Hynd | 0499 980 100 Commercial Department Manager Todd McKenna | 0418 391 182 Managing Director An unrivalled location on the corner of Station Street and Rossiter Road in the heart of Koo Wee Rup. The site of 118m2, offers the unique opportunity to occupy one premises, while receiving an income from the other with an established tenancy in place.
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Equality Minister Harriet Shing and Greater Dandenong resident Aminui hoist the rainbow colours on IDAHOBIT Day in Harmony Square, Dandenong. 407401 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS Equality Minister Harriet Shing. 407401 Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams, Greater Dandenong youth development officer Venushi Dewundege, Greater Dandenong deputy mayor Richard Lim, Equality Minister Harriet Shing, Greater Dandenong resident Aminui and Many Coloured Sky chief executive Ian Seal. 407401 The flags over Harmony Square on IDAHOBIT Day. 407401 Greater Dandenong deputy mayor Richard Lim. 407401



Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I used to compete in special Olympics and swam for state.

What do you love the most about your job?

I love seeing the kids improve and enjoy themselves as they are learning and also being around water.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

I would be a seal because I’m fast in the water and slow on land.

What was your most memorable moment?

Winning medals in swimming comps.

What were you like as a kid?

I was a very easygoing kid - shy, happy. What event, past or present, would you like to witness?

A concert by my favourite artist. Which six dinner guests, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

My family, friends, my partner.

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Polite, funny, intelligent.

What would you do on your perfect day off?

I would go to the gym or shop or catch up with friends.

Where is your happy place?

Home such as a place with all my loved ones. If you had to compete on MasterChef, what dish would you cook?

Some sort of pasta.

Where is your dream holiday destination? Italy or France.



Dino Safari, Wilson Botanic Park


Enjoy interactive experiences such as roving dinosaurs, animatronic displays, and fossil-dig sandpits.


School of Rock, presented by Windmill Theatre Company

Based on the beloved film, School of Rock tells the story of Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher and transforms a class of straight-A students into a rock band. With infectious tunes, energetic performances, and a heartwarming narrative, this production is sure to captivate audiences of all ages.


Berwick District Woodworkers Club Expo 2024

Once again, the BDWWC will open their doors to the public to showcase the incredible work of members, including furniture, woodturning, carving, pyrography, scroll saw work, rocking horses, toys, and a range of other aspects of woodworking.


Naturally containing fibre, potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, Boron and Sorbitol

Helps promote gut health and improved digestion

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Nikita Rogers spoke on the Barriers to Work Panel at the recent GSEM Jobs and Skills summit on 3 May, working as a student teacher at Monash as well as a student at Holmesglen Institute. Picture: ETHAN BENEDICTO Thursday, 23 May, 2024 | STAR NEWS 15 All proceeds go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and men's health projects locally Let’s do lunch Friday30August2024 atGumbuyaWorld 11am-4.30pm $1500 for table of 10 Transport to and from the venue provided, due to the generous support of Alston Coaches & Buses BOOK NOW Featuring FormerAFL Champion& Mediapersonality DavidSchwarz MC&Comedian DesDowling - includes lunch, beverages and entertainment OR BOOKINGSESSENTIAL SCAN QR CODE CardiniaCasey BIGGEST EVER BLOKES LUNCH NBA Basketballer& Olympian ChrisAnsley Celebrating 10YEARS Celebrating2014-2024 2014-2024 We've raised $680,000 to date and hope to take the 10-year tally to $750,000. $3000 for a premium sponsor table 12690423-HC22-24
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If we do not hear from you we will assume you have sold your item and your advertisement will not appear. • The sale price must be included in the advertisement and the only alterations you may make are to the PRICE of your item. • Business advertisements, rental hire, pets & livestock and real estate are not included in the offer. • The publisher reserves the right to decline any booking for the purpose of ongoing gain. ADD A PHOTO FOR AN ADDITIONAL $8.00. ADVERTISE UNTIL SOLD* 12593772-AA11-23 Pakenham Gazette Dandenong Star Journal Endeavour Hills Doveton Star Journal Berwick / Cranbourne / Pakenham Star news Pakenham Gazette Berwick / Cranbourne / Pakenham Star News STAR STAR Run my advert in: 2 papers - $7 extra 3 papers - $14 extra 4 papers - $21 extra 6 papers - $30 extra All Types of Domestic & Commercial Work ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ★ ฀ ฀ ★ Call Chris: 0416 079 689 - 5940 7264 L&L ELECTRICS ฀ 1198421-ACM37-15 Andrew Craven Phone Andrew on 0408 585 508, 5998 1127 Support your local tradesman for ALL your concreting needs! C1085227-JO32-13 ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ Domestic ฀ ฀ Commercial ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ PAULS PAINTING & SON 12411212-CG07-19 PAKENHAM ELECTRICIAN Local, Honest and Reliable •Senior Discounts •Upfront Pricing •All Electrical Work CALL JACKSON 0480 022 406 Rec: 34611 12622960-FC30-23 $55 OFF A & F CONCRETING • SPECIALISING IN ALL TYPES OF CONCRETING/ CONCRETE PATTERN, SLABS • FOUNDATIONS ETC. • ALL DOMESTIC & INDUSTRIAL NO JOB TOO BIG OR SMALL FREE QUOTE ANY TIME RING 9700 4378 C63804-BG25-8 Interior/ext High quality Free quote Commercial/Domestic Decking/pergola/driveways ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ 12367795-LB41-17 M: 0430353080 Ben V Concrete Products & Services V Painters/Decorators J.L. Hutt Electrical 24 HOUR SERVICE ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ Jason 1300 644 698 ฀ 12438941-CG04-20 A GRADE ELECTRICIAN Qualified & Licensed For prompt & reliable service No job too small • EV Car Charges. Lights, Power Points, Phone, & TV Points. CCTV. Rec 23156. Call for a free quote Mark 0401 523 330 12692153-JB23-24 SHEPHERD ELECTRICAL V Electricians V Electricians Employment Findworklocallyinthe section of Network Classifieds. RTM LAWN MOWING Friendly, reliable, experienced service at a reasonable rate. For a free quote please Call Rick on 0409 705 370 12679212-JB14-24 V Mowing & Lawn Care SAME DAY TV ANTENNA SERVICE • 40 Years Family Owned & Operated • 25 Year Warranty • Senior/Pensioner Discount 0488 816 557 FAST FRIENDLY EFFICIENT #1 in PAKENHAM Phone 7am-8pm| FREE QUOTES 12619668-AV29-23 V Antennas RETAINING WALLS Treated Pine Sleepers or Concrete Sleepers Link Wall Blocks and General Landscaping • FREE QUOTES Phone Bruce at BRK Landscaping 0409 554 459 Email: 12683625-AP16-24 V Landscaping 12681897-HC16-24 Call Now - Free Quotes 1800 883 236 Mobile: 0411 314 104 Gutter Cleaning Solar Panel Cleaning Pressure Cleaning Window Cleaning From $165 20% off Exterior Window Cleaning with any Gutter Clean 10 Years + Experience Fully Insured Pensioner Discounts Police & WWCC Checks V Guttering SAXON FENCING Palings, Pickets, Colorbond Fences & Gates Prompt and Reliable Service Phone 0419 775 259 or 8751 4016 C1101420-JO46-13 Placing your classified advert is so easy... 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Grow your business with TRADES & SERVICES “I am very happy with the service & response I get from advertising locally.” -Paul ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ Domestic ฀ ฀ Commercial ฀ ฀ nterior ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ANTHONY’S PAINTING 12687121-KG18-24 V Deadline V Trades Business Profile V Fencing & Gates Trades & Services


Woodworking Display and Expo

The Berwick District Woodworkers Club are hosting its annual open weekend and expo from Friday 12 July to Sunday 14 July at the clubrooms at the Old Cheese Factory at 34 Homestead Road in Berwick.

The free event will include demonstrations of wood turning, band sawing, scroll sawing, Dremel toy making, routing, pyrography and wood carving. Various members produced by members on display with a selection of items for sale.

· For more information, contact John McMahon on 0437 096 840 or

National Reconciliation Week

Cardinia Council is hosting a flag raising ceremony recognising National Reconciliation Week.

The free event at the Cardinia Shire Civic Centre at 20 Siding Avenue in Officer will include a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, family friendly activities and afternoon tea.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn how they can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

This year’s theme, Now More Than Ever, is a reminder that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will - and must - continue.

· Monday 27 May

Probus Club of Casey Combined

The Probus Club of Casey Combined is welcoming any new members to meet at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick from 9.45am to noon on the second Tuesday of each month.

After morning tea, the club hosts an interesting guest speaker, with members often meeting up for lunch at a local cafe after the meeting.

· For more information, contact Margaret Luxford on 0409 861 207 or Magda Michael on 0406 468 265.

Pakenham Art Show

All forms of art will be on show at the Art Show

Pakenham including painting, watercolour, drawing, sculpture, textile, mixed media, digital, youth and wearable art.

The exhibition will run until Sunday May 26.

· For more information, visit artshowpakenham.

Inner Wheel Club of Berwick

The Inner Wheel Club (IW) Berwick is a ladies international friendship club which raises funds to support local charities and other worthwhile causes. They have a dinner meeting on the first Monday of the month and enjoy a range of activities including guest speakers, morning teas, book club and craft afternoons. Recently they enjoyed a group meeting with the IW clubs of Narre Warren, Pakenham and Cranbourne.

The guest speaker was a part owner of the champion race horse “Black Caviar”. The mare is now 18 years old and is a mother and grandmother.

· Club welcomes new members. Should you be interested to learn more, you may like to message them at their Facebook page ‘Inner Wheel Club of Berwick’ or send an email via

Cardinia Jobs and Skills Showcase

Cardinia Shire Council will host the Cardinia Jobs and Skills Showcase in partnership with Local Jobs - South Eastern Melbourne and Peninsula, Star News Group and Chisholm Skills and Jobs Centre.

The event aims to bring together jobseekers and local employers, providing an opportunity for job seekers to connect with local employers about current vacancies and career pathways. Workshops will be held to help jobseekers develop their skills in areas such as CV and cover letter writing and interview techniques.

The showcase will be held on Thursday 20 June 2024 at the Cardinia Cultural Centre Lakeview Room from 10am-1pm.

Housing Support and Advice

Are you experiencing homelessness?

At risk of having no safe place to live? Living in low-cost accommodation with no support?

Visit the Pakenham Library and have a chat with a support worker to discuss available options and resources.

· Every Wednesday between 2pm to 4pm. Bookings are not required. If you require more information, please phone Pakenham Library on 5940 6200.

· For more information and to register, visit: cardinia-jobs-and-skills-showcase

Berwick Springs VIEW Club

Affiliated with The Smith Family, the Berwick Springs VIEW Club is a not-for-profit organisation, with the aim to fundraise to support Learning for Life students.

The club currently supports 10 students of varying ages with their education expenses.

The club meets on the first Monday of each month in the Berwick Springs Hotel function room from 11.15am, where members enjoy a lunch and then host a guest speaker.

Throughout the year, the club has a couple of special fundraisers, as well as casual morning tea and lunch for interested ladies.

The club is always looking for new members in all age groups.

· For more information, contact Shirley on 0438 191 759 or email berwicksprings.viewclub@

Biggest Morning Tea

The Woodlands Park Retirement Village in Berwick is again raising money for its Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea event, which will contribute to raffles, door prizes and auction prizes available on the day and towards cancer research.

Resident Colleen Astbury has organised three events towards the initiative, raising a total of $22,486 towards the Cancer Council.

· For more information or to donate, visit www. or contact Colleen on 0422 849 619.

BADFolk Club

Berwick and District Folkclub (BADFolk) have been meeting at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick for the past 21 years.

The group meets on the third Friday of each month, with doors open from 6.30pm and the music running from 7pm to 10pm.

The group also welcomes spot acts - anyone who can play an instrument, sing, share a poem. Entry is $15, with tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snack food available for purchase.

· For more information, visit or contact Edward on 0418 535 264.

Probus Club of Pakenham East

The Probus Club of Pakenham East is encouraging new members to join.

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Cardinia Club, commencing at 10am.

A short meeting is followed by morning tea and the opportunity to get to know members prior to the introduction of the guest speaker.

Various activities are held throughout the month.

· For more information, phone president Garyon 0428 255 178 or contact secretary Dorothy on

Casey Cardinia Life Activities Club

Are you newly retired, or new to the area, or just wanting to enjoy your freedom, or expand your social life?

Casey Cardinia Life Activities Club can offer you stimulating activities such as weekly social/ chat activities with low key in line dancing ifyou want to tap your feet and great afternoonteas, day/short and long trips away via (coach/ flights), Weekly Morning Coffee Club, Monthly Saturday Country Pub Lunches, Monthly Evening Dineouts, Weekly Table Tennis Club, Walking Groups, Seasonal Daytime Musical Theatre Outings, and more. Come along and get to know the club by visiting on a Thursday at 2pm at Brentwood Park Neighbourhood House or join on a Wednesday at 10am for a Coffee at Little Sparrow Fountain Gate.

· For more information, contact enquiry officer Gloria on 0468 363 616. Thursday, 23 May, 2024 | STAR NEWS 17 CALL 1300 666 808 ADVERTISE with us and get better results General Notices Findwhatyourlookingforinour section of Network Classifieds. Oakfern Tree Care P/L Fully Insured Phone Geoff 0418 340 825 C316291-KK18-5 Pruning Removal Stump Grinding Find it in the Real Estate section of Network Classifieds. V Tree Lopping/Surgery Find your Local Specialist in our Professional Services section of Network Classifieds. ADVERTISERS, in this section are qualified practitioners and offer nonsexualservices. V Massage Therapists ECONOMY TILING All Bathroom Renovations and Plumbing • Bathrooms • Toilets • Kitchens • Decks • Water proofing • Walls and Floors Free Quotes Call 0432 550 066 or 8707 5522 12680899-KG14-24 Lic. no 20982 Redgum Firewood QualityGippslandRedgum: $550m3, Stringy Bark: $450m3, Mixed: $500m3 Delivered. 0403 124 605 ADVERTISERS PLEASE NOTE 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 12423634-SN31-19 1 HOUR EMERGENCY PLUMBING ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ESTABLISHED 30 YEARS STANDARD RATES ON WEEKENDS ฀ ฀ ฀฀฀ ฀ ฀ SEWER BLOCKAGES –MACHINE CLEANED ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ 7 DAYS 0419 136 181 - 0419 136 151 1158529-PB42-14 V Tiling V Firewood V Pets & Services DISCRIMINATION IN ADVERTISING IS UNLAWFUL The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1995 makes it unlawful for an advertiser to show any intention to discriminate on the basis of sex, pregnancy, race, age, marital status, political or religious belief or physical features, disability, lawful sexual activity/sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status or on the basis of being associated with a person with one of the above characteristics, unless covered by an exception under the Act. As Network Classifieds could be legally liable if an unlawful advertisement is printed, Network Classifieds will not accept advertisements that appear to break the law. For more information about discrimination in advertising, contact your legal advisers or the Equal Opportunity Commission. V Professional General Classifieds section of Network Classifieds. General Classifieds Call Now 0417 128 536 10% discount on hot water service installations if you mention this ad. AFFORDABLE PLUMBING ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ Lic 47089 12355821-ACM25-17 0451 771 837Lic. no 122277 LOCAL PLUMBER Leaking taps Burst pipes Hot water Blocked drains Gas heating Leak detection CCTV inspection Pipe relining Storm water Sewerage 24/7 SERVICE 12670933-SM09-24 NEED NEW STAFF? Fill your position online 12565959-HC35-22 ‘It’s All In The Name’ 12 - Year Warranty Open 24/7Free Inspections 9702 4952 12681352-MS15-24 •Roof Repairs & Replacement •Gutter Repairs & Replacement •Fascia & Eave Repair & Replacement •Tile Roof Restoration • All Metal Roofing •Architectural Cladding • Senior Discounts • Family Business Pruning & Removal of Trees & Shrubs Stump Removal Hedges Mulching & Mulch Sales Full Insurance Cover 0409 14 15 19 HIGH TREE TREE SERVICE ABN 20 410 687 524 Autumn Special THIS MONTH ONLY OFF 25% Rick Kruyt FREE QUOTE 124 8 4 888S N1 0 -21 Find us on Facebook V Plumbing V Roofing V Tree Lopping/Surgery V Positions Vacant Trades
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Wake up call to Pakenham

Pakenham coach Paul Carbis said he’s yet to put a finger on the slow starts that are becoming an unwanted characteristic for his side a third of the way through the Outer East Football Netball Premier Division season.

Pakenham has won just two of its six opening terms this season and trailed by five goals after a bleak beginning to its contest on Saturday against Olinda Ferny Creek.

The Bloods kicked nine of the first 10 goals of the contest to lead by nine goals late in the second term, before Pakenham saved face in the final quarter with seven goals to one to close the margin.

The final score read 13.20 98 to 11.12 78 in Olinda Ferny Creek’s favour, with Olinda Ferny Creek’s poor kicking for goal sparing Pakenham from a heavier defeat.

Carbis said there’s some work to do to establish why they have struggled out of the gate.

“I’ll have a chat to the playing group tomorrow to try and sort it out, see what their thoughts are,” Carbis said.

“We spoke about how we need to start well and how it’s hard to chase.

“They came out really strongly in all facets of the game and we’re lucky that they kicked poorly.

“We didn’t execute at all in the first two quarters what we wanted to, and the boys were probably getting a little bit frustrated as well with things not going our way.

“We’ll come up with something and see if it works.”

Former Collingwood defender Matt Scharenberg kicked three and was a standout for the Bloods that kicked 12 goals to Pakenham’s four through three quarters.

Pakenham’s defence and ability to defend the ground was left wanting as the Bloods used the ball well in open space on a number of occasions.

A cavalcade of injuries has seen an unsettled 22 across the first six weeks and a difficulty in building all-important continuity across the park as they settle in to Carbis’ vision.

Forward Jai Rout added his name to the injury list after fracturing his eye-socket late in the game, joining Jake Barclay, Lachlan Sauze, Tom Gamble and Zac Stewart on the sidelines as Carbis continues to explore his depth.

Kade Perkins earned a promotion from the

Under 19s and was named in the best alongside fellow youngster Ryan Martini, two of five Under 19s in the side.

The unavailability of key senior players, though, is beginning to take its toll, and losing games against teams in the same bracket on the ladder could prove consequential come the end of the year.

Pakenham has only beaten the bottom three sides to date but dropped points against Officer and Olinda Ferny Creek, two sides that will likely contend with Pakenham for a spot in the top six’s lower half.

“We had five Under 19s play on the weekend and probably that’s the limit of too much,” Carbis said.

“We brought one kid in and we brought Jackson Hillard in for a bit of experience.

“We should get some players back, we’ve got some players that are long term injuries.

“We’ve got to start winning these games against sides around us.

“Unfortunately we lost to Olinda (Ferny Creek) on the weekend who are really good but this week is another chance.

“We’ve got Mt Evelyn, who are down, and then hopefully we can start getting some players back when we play the top four.”

Midfielder Sam Kors’ rejuvenation as a forward continues with a further three goals, with Rout, Tom Hillard and Bailey Stiles each contributing two.

It was a week for contenders to flex their muscle on Saturday with a pair of premiership fancies feasting on relegation contenders.

Wandin crushed Berwick Springs by 104 points to get its premiership defence back on track, while Woori Yallock downed Mt Evelyn by 84 points at Mt Evelyn Recreation Reserve. Narre Warren, meanwhile, was well-held by Monbulk in a 32-point win.

The Hawks kept last season’s runner up to just three goals in the first half and held a onepoint lead, but kicked only one in the second half as the Magpies pulled away.

It was the Magpies’ first score under 100 points in 2024 and the first since last season’s disastrous grand final loss.

The defence, led by co-captains Joel Zietsman and Trent Papworth, remains watertight, conceding just 47 points per game, and a miserly 36 in the last three.

It’s high-fives all round as Lions continue their charge

The red-hot form of Pakenham’s Outer East Football Netball A Grade netball team continued on Saturday in the form of a fifth-consecutive victory.

A strong first half saw Pakenham open up a nine-goal lead over Olinda Ferny Creek that grew at the final two breaks, to 12 at threequarter-time and 16 at the final siren, to record a 56-40 win.

Mid-courters Lara Goodman Hancock, Jordyn Adams and Millicent Utber controlled the middle third and provided shooting duo Charlotte Hudolin and Kelly Cousins with ample opportunities on goal.

The Lions sit third on the A-Grade ladder, rubbing shoulders with competition heavyweights in Wandin, Narre Warren and Mt Evelyn in the elite bracket of teams.

By this time last season a clear gap had opened between the premiership contenders and the remainder of the field, with Pakenham on the outside looking in.

12 months on and the Lions are right in the mix, as they continue to gel and adapt to Matthew Cooke’s tactics and approach on the court.

A tough test awaits next week against Mt Evelyn that will offer a true assessment of their premiership credentials.

Another side forcing its way into the premiership conversation is Emerald, just half a game behind Mt Evelyn in fifth place after a

4-2 start to life in Premier Division.

The champions of Division One in 2023 have only lost to Pakenham and Narre Warren in the first six weeks and recorded another win over a Premier Division mainstay in Upwey Tecoma thanks to a strong third quarter.

Tied on 28 at half time, Emerald outscored the Tigers 15-11 in the third quarter and kept its opponents at arms length for the remainder of the contest for a 54-51 win.

Emerald was the better side coming out of the break with eight of the first 10 goals to quickly establish a six-goal buffer, all through

ROC was far too strong for Gembrook Cockatoo, winning its third game of the season in a 54-31 result at Officer Recreation Reserve.

ROC blew the visitors out of the water in the contest’s early stages, scoring seven consecutive goals midway through the period to take an 11-6 lead.

The home side then scored seven of the final 11 to close the quarter to finish the term double Gembrook Cockatoo’s score, 18-9.

The Brookers kept pace in the second but was outscored 28-13 after the long break, with ROC prevailing 54-31.

The Brookers now find themselves in the midst of a four-game losing streak after an impressive opening fortnight.

Narre Warren continues on its merry way, still undefeated in 2024 thanks to an 18-goal win over Monbulk and 39 goals from Erin Bell, while Mt Evelyn outscoredWooriYallock 18-8 in the second quarter on its way to a 5042 win at home.

Berwick Springs’ struggles continue, this week the victims of a 73-goal loss to last season’s runner up, Wandin.

Wandin scored 21 goals in three quarters and 22 in the remainder, while the best the Titans could manage was five.

The Titans have the chance to break the losing streak on Saturday when they host Olinda Ferny Creek.

18 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 23 May, 2024
Goal Attack Kaylah Loulanting. Pakenham’s A Grade netball captain Caitlin Cooke’s side is flying on the back of five-straight wins 402294 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
Sam Kors kicked a further three goals for Pakenham against Olinda Ferny Creek. 403698 Picture: ROB CAREW

Youth team win a thriller

Pakenham’s youth men had to overcome its biggest challenge of the season to remain undefeated in the Youth League 2 competition.

After a 79-62 victory on Saturday, the Warriors came back to win 80-78 on Sunday in a heartstopper against Warrandyte.

Down by seven points with 1:35 remaining, and 13 points with less than four minutes left, the Warriors found a way.

“It’s a win that instils a lot of confidence that we can dig ourselves out of any hole,” said coach Braden Venning.

Ethan and Aaron Small were clutch as Pakenham came from the clouds, keeping Warrandyte scoreless in the late stages and capitalising on their looks.

Ethan Small made a three with 3:35 on the clock to trim the margin to 10 and kickstart the comeback.

Aaron Small made a three 30 seconds later and then with less than two minutes on the clock, Jackson Grey (twice) and Riley Gray scored three twos to trim the deficit to just one point.

Within that period, Ethan Small and Grey combined for three critical steals to give the Warriors plenty of looks.

With 23 seconds on the clock, Aaron Small made both his opportunities from the freethrow line and Kaleb Beveridge made his first freethrow to extend the lead to two with three seconds on the clock.

Overall, Pakenham won the last five minutes 17-2.

With Riley Pollard already on the field, Jackson Grey was brought in for Luke Rawiri with just under five minutes on the clock as the Warriors opted for a bigger lineup.

From that point onwards, Pakenham got nine of the 13 rebounds as the gamble paid off.

them the lead with 23 seconds to go.

Despite the scoreboard, the coach was still pleased with the way the team played on the night, while lamenting their inability to make open shots.

“We’ve said all year that if we stick to our principles – good things happen,” Venning said.

“So it was good to see that with our backs against the wall, we made some shots and key defensive stops.

“Our leaders stood up; Jackson was important when we subbed him back in; Aaron’s IQ around the court was fantastic; Ethan made some big plays.”

Underlining Ethan Small’s impact, the Warriors were 20 points better when he was on the court – the only player with a plus-minus in double figures.

Pakenham was forced to grind the previous day again Whittlesea, ultimately getting away from them in the last quarter in a taxing affair.

The Warriors kept Whittlesea scoreless for the first 4:11 of the last quarter to create an unassailable buffer.

Riley Pollard had some key defensive stops; and Hayden Melsen hit two threes at clutch times late in the game.

“Different teams are throwing different things at us and testing us in ways we don’t expect and so far, we’ve been beating the test,” Venning said.

“Our defensive pressure was great, we got a lot of deflections.”

Warrandyte’s Nathan Aikmen was sensational, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds but was kept quite when the game was on the line

“We played some bigger guys and put pres-

“We locked in on defence, and started double teaming the ball a little bit and they tightened up and we ran over the top of them which was cool to see,” Venning said.

Predators hurt by Snipers

Snipers showed the championship-winning DNA that netted them last season’s South West Gippsland Dart League title in an epic win over Predators in round 11.

Billed as a heavyweight contest, the two sides’ respective main protagonists in Dean and Steve ensured the contest lived up to the hype, as Snipers inflicted Predators’ first loss of the 2024 season in an 8-7 thriller.

Steve threw a remarkable 10 tons, his second consecutive week in double figures, and a fifth 180 of the season, with strong support from Jordan’s six tons and Nathan’s four.

Dean threw six, but it was enough to down the Predators and retake top spot on the table as the only remaining undefeated side.

Theirs was one of three contests decided by a single point in round 11 in a week where the total of the margins across the five games was the second lowest of the season so far.

DartVaders just edged Mud Rats to climb

from fourth to fifth, while Railway swapped places with Generals in 10th and 11th place respectively after Railway’s tight victory.

Just Social also returned to the winners list after a two-week slump, downing Hoodies 11-4.

Five tons from Noel, meanwhile, helped Fore cruise to a 13-2 win over Bullseyes.

The upset of the round came from 26ers, who snapped a three match winless run to down Gembrook 10-5.

Results R11: Dart Vaders 8 v Mud Rats 7, Snipers 8 v Predators 7, 26ers 10 v Gembrook 5, Cheers 14 v Dart Attack 1, Fore 13 v Bullseyes 2, Railway 8 v Generals 7, Just Social 11 v Hoodies 4.

Ladder: Snipers 44, Predators 40, Cheers 40, Dart Vaders 32, Gembrook 28, Mud Rats 28, Just Social 24, 26ers 20, Fore 16, Railway 16, Generals 12, Dart Attack 4, Bullseyes 4, Hoodies 0.

Fixture R12: Railway (10) v Bullseyes (13), Dart Attack (12) v Fore (9), 26ers (8) v Generals (11), Just Social (7) v Cheers (3), Mud Rats (6) v Gembrook (5), Predators (2) v Hoodies (14), Snipers (1) v Dart Vaders (4).

sure on the passes going into him,” Venning explained.

“He was getting a lot of his stuff from offensive rebounds so we wanted to keep him off the glass because we knew we could defend him one-on-one.”

Pakenham was jumped early by a team that a big win the previous night and did not lead until Aaron Small’s second freethrow gave

Meanwhile, the youth women’s game followed a similar narrative with the Warriors trailing for most of the day until the last five minutes, before winning 74-68.

Tylah Scorah (20 points, 12 rebounds, five steals) had a big finish to the game, making four clutch freethrows, to go with four assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal to finish the game. Pakenham’s youth men have a week off before facing Melton at Cardinia Life while the youth women face bottom-placed Craigieburn on the road.

Late goal leads to Lions win

Pakenham has taken sole possession of second place on the Outer East Women’s Division One ladder after the Lions edged out reigningpremier Olinda Ferny Creek by six points on Saturday.

Through the vagaries of the fixture, the Lions and Bloods met at the same venue just a fortnight ago when a three-goal opening burst led the Lions to a 24-point victory.

It was a completely different story on the weekend, with the Bloods coming out firing and kicking the opening two goals of the contest.

The Bloods came out breathing fire, winning several free kicks with some high-pressure tackling as the Lions struggled to adjust to the tempo.

A great mark and goal to Eloise Tyler was followed by a classy finish to Olivia Edwards and the home side led by 12.

An answer from league-leading goalkicker Aiesha Kolaritsch saw the Lions trail by seven points at quarter time.

Pakenham lifted its intensity in the second quarter with Sarah Connelly setting a high-bar on the wing, while Annalise Ryan, Abbey McKenzie, Emily Devine and Kate Green tightened things up in defence.

Sarah Ventura started to influence the ruck, allowing Chloe Nagel, Bianca Moody and Courtney Stephens to do their thing through the midfield.

A great goal from Ava Deszcz levelled the scores, before Ryan, who had the job on Edwards; drifted forward to mark and goal to give the Lions a seven-point lead at half time.

Olinda once lifted in the third term, with Edwards kicking her second to square the scores away.

Rielle Menere then kicked her first goal in senior football, dribbling one through from the goal-line, to give the lions a six-point lead.

Carol Schenk then kicked the last of the third quarter to give Olinda a one-point lead at the final change.

The desperation levels of both teams lifted even further in the final stanza, with strong

tackling and a fierce attack at the football the main highlights.

Scores were locked at the nine-minute mark of the final quarter, when Deszcz took a strong mark 35 out from goal.

The Gippsland Power youngster showed composure beyond her years; kicking a beautiful long goal to give the Lions the edge by six. Both teams had their chances in the final exchanges, with the ball deep in the Olinda forward line when the final siren sounded… the Lions winning 5.5(35) to 4.5(29).

The desperate defensive efforts of Ryan were telling in the final minutes of the contest, while Ventura, Nagel and Stephens helped the Lions stay structured in the final term.

Tianah Vandesteeg, Tanya Stafford, Brianna Menere, Courtney Karayannis, Emily Johnston, Bec Domotor and Aliya Daniel also did some important things at key moments for the Lions.

Pakenham faces another huge challenge this week; hosting third-placed Upwey-Tecoma at Toomuc Reserve at 10.45 on Saturday.

The game between Olinda and Pakenham was the only game played in round six, with Belgrave and Berwick Springs having byes and Upwey-Tecoma unfortunately having to forfeit against top-of-the-table Healesville. Thursday, 23 May, 2024 | STAR NEWS 19
Pakenham livewire Tianah Vandesteeg was up to her usual tricks against Olinda Ferny Creek on Saturday night. 408421 Picture: EUAN POULTON PHOTOGRAPHY
Snipers showed why they were last season’s champions in a win over Predators last round. Picture: SUPPLIED Jackson Grey’s leadership and experience was critical on Sunday. 292959 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Every Friday at Cardinia Lakes Shopping Centre, join our Free Fun Friday activities

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20 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 23 May, 2024
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