News - Pakenham Officer Star News - 13th June 2024

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Future full of trees

The South East came together in Officer this past weekend to celebrate World Environment Day by planting a new generation of trees at the Officer Sikh Temple Gurdwara Siri Guru Nanak Darbar.

Over the last several years, the Gurdwara has planted thousands of trees on its grounds with it’s agenda of promoting sustainability and conservation in the community.

The annual planting day seems to grow larger with each year. It also attracts a host of public leaders from ministers to councillors.

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Rent hitting home

Pakenham has again entered the top 25 of Victoria suburbs experiencing the worst rental pain, according to a new report.

Suburbtrends published their ‘Rental Pain Index’ report for June 2024 that placed Pakenham as the 12th suburb for rental pain with an indexed score of 96. The score is derived from three factors of

vacancy rate, average rate increase over the previous year and average percentage of income going to rent.

Pakenham measured a vacancy rate of 0.74 per cent - well below the Victorian average which stands at 1.52 per cent.

There has been a 15 per cent increase in the cost of renting for Pakenham tenants over the past 12 months. Over a third of income is going to pay rent, at an overall average of 35 per cent.

This stands well above the state-wide average, with 28 per cent of income servicing rent across Victoria - a 12 per cent increase.

Pakenham has re-entered the top list after dropping from Suburbtrends’ top 25 in their April report.

In February this year, it reached sixth in Victoria in the rental pain index. While in July last year, Pakenham broke into the worst in the country reaching 20th in top rental pain and

was the only Victorian suburb to reach the worst 25 in the nation.

This latest data arrives with a new Homes Victoria report that showed the number of actively occupied rental properties had declined across Victoria by 2.3 per cent in the year to March 2024.

Cardinia matched the trend with active rental bonds dropping by 2.7 per cent.

/pakenhamstarnews @StarNews_SE PAKENHAM OFFICER 40¢ Inc. GST Thursday, 13 June, 2024 PAGE 3 King’s honours PAGE 5 Knitting for a cause SPORT Lions have work to do PAGE 2 MND fight ramps up 12674012-JB10-24 Suite 5, Level 1/18-24 Clyde Rd, Berwick Phone: (03) 9330 0702 | Your happiness. Your smile. 12658952-FC24-24 LOCATIONS PAKENHAM, WARRAGUL, MOE Low Dose CT, Digital X-ray, Comprehensive Ultrasound Dental X-ray, Dexa or Bone Densitometry, Echocardiogram U2, 1 Stephenson Street PAKENHAM 12677106-AP11-24 (03) 5922 2072
Marianne and Ron Sawyer, wife and husband team distributing seedlings to volunteer planters. 407705

Milestone for Big Freeze

FightMND’s 10th iteration of the Big Freeze was held at the MCG with Pakenham MP Emma Vulin in attendance to see the campaign on the brink of passing $100 million of funds raised.

Vulin who recently announced her diagnosis with motor neuron disease (MND) attended the King’s Birthday game between Collingwood and Melbourne where she followed Neale Daniher in the walk to the G within a march of blue beanies.

Many came along to see the day’s titular sliders and to support the Big Freeze, seeing such sporting figures as Nic Naitanui, Sally Pearson, Jack Riewoldt and many others take the plunge.

It’s reported that Big Freeze 10 is on track to reach $3 million this year and surpass a $100 million total of funds raised for MND research since the campaign began.

The Federal Government also announced an investment of $2 million will go to MND research complementing a donation of $250,000 by the State Government to FightMND.

Beaconsfield takes the icy plunge against MND

Over 1000 attendees braved the cold on the night of Thursday 6 June to attend Beaconsfield Junior Football Club’s Big Freeze event at Holm Park Reserve, raising over $31,000 with more expected in the coming weeks.

Representatives from the Junior Club, the Beaconsfield Netball Club, the Senior Club and the Super Rules all took part in plunging into the chilling challenge, donned in costumes such as a Ken doll, Toy Story characters, varied superheroes, the Pink Panther and more.

President of the junior football club, KymMaree Ingram expressed her gratitude for the community’s support, saying that “the way the community comes together for this event is truly inspiring”.

“Each and every year, we are so very grateful for the fundraising efforts of the community, the generosity of local businesses and the volunteers who dedicate hours to making this happen,” she said.

The night’s guest of honour was Ben Daniher, the son of Neale Daniher, of which the latter has been battling motor neurone disease (MND) since 2013.

Providing an update on his father’s journey, Ben Daniher spoke on the ongoing efforts of FightMND to raise $3 million by the King’s Birthday on 10 June, where he expressed his gratitude and thanked the local community for their support.

Ms Ingram also extended thanks to the events’ sponsors such as Berwick Toyota, saying “we would like to thank First National Real Estate, Snap Fitness and Middle Ground Cafe, along with our major sponsors District

14, DooGood, Polyflor and Beaconsfield Mitre 10 for their ongoing support”.

Fan favourite AFL stars Changkuoth ‘CJ’ Jiath from Hawthorn and Charlie Curnow from Carlton also returned, as well as Australian champion netballer Bianca Chatfield – all three rousing the crowd and signing autographs throughout the night.

Berwick MP Brad Battin also attended the event, donning a Mr Incredible costume before taking the icy plunge.

Mr Battin said that congratulations were in order for the junior football club “in their efforts to raise so much money and awareness to the FightMND campaign [and] to have Ben Daniher, son of Neale at the event made it a very special evening”.

“Big names always bring a crowd, and we can’t thank AFL stars Charlie Curnow, Changkouth (CJ) Jiath and everyone’s favourite former Diamond, now commentator, Bianca Chatfield,” he said.

The event also had a variety of food trucks in attendance, a sausage sizzle and donuts, ensuring that there was something for everyone.

Other sponsors for the event included Race Day Medical, AHiring, Beaconsfield Dominos, Beaconsfield Fire Brigade, Construction Training Group in Rowville and Better Rental Pakenham which provided generators for the event.

For Mr Battin, “every cent raised makes a difference”.

“To see our communities come together on a cold night to support this amazing event is the very reason I love being involved in sports clubs like Beacy,” he said.

2 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024 NEWS
Pakenham MP Emma Vulin, Jan Daniher and Federal Senator Raff Ciccone. Picture: SUPPLIED Some of the more extravagant costumes of the night saw Brad Battin MP go as Mr Incredible before tackling the slide. Ben Daniher (right), son of Neale Daniher was also present at the event to speak on his father’s battle of MND and stood alongside Bianca Chatfield Some notable faces attended the big night, including Charlie Curnow, Bianca Chatfield, Ben Daniher, MPs Emma Vulin and Brad Battin, and Changkuoth ‘CJ’ Jiath. Pictures: SUPPLIED From left to right: Berwick Toyota general manager Howard Bould, Changkuoth Jiath, Bianca Chatfield and Charlie Curnow. Sliders were draped in all types of costumes for the night, before taking the big plunge into the icy water. Under 15 boys dressed as a Jamaican bobsleigh team, from left to right: Jackson Oldham, Kade Rooke & Oliver Wilson.

Local heroes honoured

this week’s Gazette.

Rob Porter

It’s now ‘Mr and Ms Officer OAM’ with the late Rob Porter joining his wife in honour after receiving a posthumous Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Mr Porter was recognised for his service to the community of Officer, just over six months after his death in December 2023.

Making it more special, Mr Porter now joins his wife who received her OAM in 2016 for service to Officer.

“It would have been wonderful if he was still here, but I hope he is looking down,” Carol Porter OAM said.

Max Papley

Former mayor, former VFL player and still a firm community-man of Bunyip, Max Papley OAM earned a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on the King’s Birthday - a proud honour that he can’t help but feel ‘a little embarrassed’ about.

Well-known for playing for South Melbourne between 1964-67 and for Williamstown Football Club in the VFA where he was a captain-coach leading the side to a premiership in 1969.

Wearing number 11 for the Bloods, his grandson Tom Papley today now wears the number for the Sydney Swans.

He contributed immensely to local footy, serving many years as president of the Bunyip Grounds Management Committee and Lang Lang Community Recreation Precinct, as well as coaching at Bunyip Football Club where a pavilion is named in his honour.

Moving with his wife Laraine and young children to a farm in Tonimbuk over 50 years ago and now settled in Bunyip, the Papleys are firmly a local family.

Eric Bumpstead

The Upper Beaconsfield Fire Brigade captain from 1973 to 1997, including during the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires which devastated the town, Mr Bumpstead has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

The 91-year-old Guys Hill resident said it was an honour to be recognised for his efforts, which also included as a foundation members of the Upper Beaconsfield Men’s Shed and a committee member of the Upper Beaconsfield Association.

Moira Ryde

OAM recipient Moira Ryde said being part of the Special Olympics stemmed from her love and lifelong passion for sports, especially swimming.

She was part of the Masters Swimming Australian, competing in Tokyo, and Veteran Athletics later in life.

With a long list of awards already, as well as holding various roles within Special Olympics Victoria, her OAM recognition was the cherry on top.

When asked what inspired her to volunteer, Mrs Ryde simply stated she “had some spare time”.

Simon Crean

Former Hotham MP Simon Crean was named as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in this year’s King’s Birthday honours.

Mr Crean – a former Federal Labor leader, ACTU leader as well as Cabinet minister under four Prime Ministers, died suddenly last June.

The 74-year-old was part of a work delegation in Berlin, Germany at the time.

He served as Hotham’s MP for 23 years until he retired and was succeeded by current Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil in 2013.

Sandy Roberts

A Seven Network and football media legend, Sandy Roberts received an OAM for service to media as a sports commentator.

He was a commentator covering a number of sports including AFL, golf, tennis, Bathurst 1000, Spring Racing Carnivals, and Winter and Summer Olympic games from 1973 to 2013, as well as a sports presenter with Seven News Melbourne from 2005 to 2013.

Alexandra Greenwell

Berwick resident Alexandra Greenwell received a Public Service Medal (PSM) for outstanding public service in education and early childhood development for more than 40 years.

She has worked with schools and their communities in a determined, systematic manner to develop capacity and ensure schools have implemented evidence informed practices that improve student outcomes.

Jason Loos

Berwick resident Jason Loos received a PSM for outstanding public service in the commercial structuring and delivery of infrastructure projects.

Joining the Victorian Public Service in 1999, he has implemented best practice in the commercial structuring and delivery of statesignificant infrastructure projects, achieved innovation in the delivery of public-private partnerships and strengthened corporate governance of significant Victorian government business enterprises.

Steve Hicks

Pakenham Upper resident Steve Hicks was among the recipients of the Australian Fire Service Medal in this year’s King’s Birthday honours.

He acted as the NarreWarren North captain from 1981 to 1987 and the captain at the Pakenham Upper brigade from 1993 to 2001.

Mr Hicks has also served as the deputy group officer in the Pakenham and Cardinia groups and is currently the 1st deputy group officer of the Cardinia Group and 3rd Lieutenant of the Pakenham Upper Fire Brigade.

Out of his 50 years volunteering with the CFA, he has been a captain or lieutenant for 35 years and a deputy group officer for 24 years.

Dianne Spark

French Island’s Dianne Spark has received an OAM for service to the community of French Island, including as the secretary of the French

Island Cricket Club since 1978 and scorer since 1965 and former secretary of the French Island Community Association.

Claire Henshall

Claire Henshall has been recognised with an OAM for her service to the community of Warragul, including as the organist at St Joseph’s Catholic Parish in Warragul from 1948 to 2023. She has also received a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a decoration handed down by the Holy See, the supreme body of government of the Catholic Church, for distinguished service to the Catholic Church by lay people.

Margaret Heslin

Celebrated for her service to the communities in the City of Casey and in Berwick, Margaret Heslin has been awarded an OAM, with key contributions throughout the Rotary Club of Casey as its president in 2016, and president of the Inner Wheel Club of Berwick from 20122013.

One of her more fond memories with the City of Casey was organising an all-abilities ball with Rotary, emphasising inclusion and acceptance, allowing those who were unable to attend regular balls the space to do so.

Ms Heslin’s work extends beyond the southeast however, with initial endeavours beginning in Warragul and extending to Indonesia through Rotary International.

While retired, her and her husband, Dennis Heslin, continue their community service through the Rotary Club of Central Murray Sunrise in Yarrawonga. Thursday, 13 June, 2024 Pakenham 190 Princes Highway Ph: 5941 4888 Cranbourne 6 Brunt Street Ph: 5996 6822 Drouin 2 Porter Place Ph: 5625 2571 Family Funerals 12658638-AA02-24 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
year’s King’s Birthday honours list. Here are this year’s recipients from across the region. Full profiles in
The South East was
represented in this
Rob Porter OAM. 202457 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS Margaret Heslin was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to the communities in the City of Casey and Berwick. Picture: SUPPLIED Celebrated broadcaster Sandy Roberts has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to media as a sports commentator. 412194 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

All about the environment

The South East came together in Officer this past weekend to celebrate World Environment Day by planting a new generation of trees at the Officer Sikh Temple Gurdwara Siri Guru Nanak Darbar.

Over the last several years, the Gurdwara has planted thousands of trees on its grounds with it’s agenda of promoting sustainability and conservation in the community.

Leading the day was Professor Harpreet Kandra who last year was appointed ambassador for Sustainability Victoria’s #SmallActsBig-

Impacts campaign.

The annual planting day seems to grow larger with each year. It also attracts a host of public leaders, this year included Pakenham MP Emma Vulin, Narre Warren South MP Gary Mass, Narre Warren North MP Belinda Wilson, Cardinia Shire Mayor Jack Kowarzik, Parliamentary Sec for Climate Action MP Sheena Watt, Minister for Climate Action Lily D’Ambrosio and Greater Dandenong Mayor Lana Formoso.

While it’s also a day for many prominent community members dedicated to conservation such as local Alan Cole OAM.

4 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024
Harpreet Singh. 407705 Cardinia Mayor C Jack Kowarzik with Minister Lily D’Ambrosio MP. 407705 Marianne and Ron Sawyer distributing seedlings to volunteers planters. 407705 EPA officers Adam Bruce and Atul Sharma. 407705 Lily D’Ambrosio MP. 407705 From left, Cardinia Mayor C Jack Kowarzik, Belinda Wilson MP, Emma Vulin MP, Sheena Watt (Parliamentary Sec for Climate Action), Harpreet Singh, Gary Maas MP, Lily D’Ambrosio MP and Dandenong Mayor Cr Lana Formoso. 407705 Pictures: ROB CAREW Alan Cole (OAM) best dressed for the planting day. 407705 The old and the new; seedlings planted next to their giant ancestors. 407705
Volunteers working in the beautiful Officer countryside including Harpreet Singh and Lily D’Ambrosio MP. 407705

Locals unravelled yarns and got those needles working away to create an array of soft woollen creations together, following on from World Wide Knit in Public Day recently.

Hosted at Beaconsfield’s Pink Hill Hotel on Wednesday 12 June, the local effort was initiated by housing provider Lifestyle Communities who last year attracted almost 50 people to the June knitting event.

This year they moved the event to the hotel for a day of coffee, cakes, chat while knitting blankets, beanies, teddy bears and much more.

Many residents from all over the South East came together to knit away. The finished products went to grandkids and charities, including Backpacks 4 VIC Kids in Cranbourne to CODA Disability Support in Caulfield. Thursday, 13 June, 2024 | STAR NEWS 5 Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Right now, there are community services jobs available where you can make a difference, helping people who have a disability, families fleeing violence, and children and families who need care and support. Make a difference. Visit 12693520-AP24-24 NEWS Nice
for a cause
Lyn from Officer finishing a blanket to be donated to charity A Better Life For Foster Kids. 413182 Pictures: COREY EVERITT Leanne making a blanket for her granddaughter and Liz a woollen hat. 413186 Diane making beanies for Backpacks 4 VIC Kids. 413182 Vicki beginning a teddy bear for Backpacks 4 VIC Kids. 413182 Kaye. 413182 Pauline and Sue knitting for Backpacks 4 VIC Kids. 413182

Rallying for championship

Para-equestrian Phoebe Roche is tacking up Smartie in the frigid Melbourne morning. She has trouble getting on the bridle, caused by a fall from 10 feet in the air two years ago that worsened the movement and dexterity in her right hand. Smartie, a 16-year-old Warmblood, is getting grumpy and quietly not cooperating because he knows well that getting his bridle on means working soon.

But Phoebe has her way and pulls everything together. The 28-year-old Tooradin resident is training every other day to compete at the 2024 Virtus Open European Equestrian Championships in the United Kingdom in the coming July. The championship advocates elite sports for athletes with intellectual impairment. Phoebe, a FEI Grade IV Para-rider, is one of the eight riders selected to represent Australia in this dressage competition. England is awaiting, while the competition costs intercept the dream midway. The family is crying out for the support of the community to make a dream come true.

“They (organisers) only told us up till recently. Phoebe got this letter that says she’s been selected to go to compete. And then they said you need $15,000 for her carer and groom,” Phoebe’s mother Shaneen Roche said.

“Phoebe said you’re not excited? And I said, oh, no, but I don’t have $15,000.”

To scrape together the money pool, Shaneen has put her car on the market and she’s organising sausage sizzles and garage sales in the coming weeks. “We can’t even buy the air tickets. It’s about $7,000. We’re $1,000 short at this stage andtheticketskeepongoingup,”Shaneensaid.

“It’s a huge amount of money because I’m a pensioner. Phoebe’s a pensioner. These things aren’t cheap.”

But the mother and the daughter are not easily giving up.They have come a long way before this shot, trading their hometown for Mel-

bourne to access more opportunities in a more “horsey community”. Now it makes more sense for Phoebe to forge ahead.

Born in Queensland, Phoebe was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Quadriplegia before her first birthday, which affected her movement for the rest of her life. She was later diagnosed with epilepsy and autism.

Horse riding was initially physiotherapy for little Phoebe, but her love for horses guided her into a competition pathway.

“When I was younger, I couldn’t always walk, so it was the freedom of being able to sit on something and go anywhere [that I like most about horse-riding], and then the trust they (horses) put in you,” Phoebe said.

In 2021, Phoebe was recognised asVictorian

Para Equestrian of the Year and a year later, she also finished her certificate in Equine Vet Nursing. Juggling the work with the equestrian was her commitment.

“It was a lot of hard work, a lot of driving, and a lot of commitment,” she said.

“I’d work and then I’d come over here (training arena) and ride or ride and then go over next door and work. I was studying, working two jobs and riding.

“It was a lot of late nights. I became very tired. It did juggle a lot, but I wanted to get it all done. When I set my mind to something, I get things going.”

2022 was tough on Phoebe. A week after her graduation, she fell from the horse and could not ride for almost two years.

“She went flying through the air and landed ahead. She had to learn to basically talk again,” Shaneen recalled.

“She just spent six months sitting on the couch at home not knowing who she was, what she was.

“The medical bills were huge. She’d go to rehab three times a week.

“She hasn’t been able to work since.”

England is no doubt a reboot for Phoebe after everything she went through. She will be the only Victorian representing Australia in the coming championships and she will not let the opportunity slip away.

For her, it’s always a matter of finding a way.

“I don’t have much movement or dexterity in my right hand, but I have the loop reins and two whips,” Phoebe said.

“I don’t have much strength in my legs, so the leg whips are to compensate for my leg weakness. I can’t hold and grip things well, so I hold the loops.

“It’s finding ways. If there’s a will, there’s a way, and never say never. You don’t know until you give it a go.”

When Phoebe was just starting years and years ago and she had a really grumpy horse, a coach told her to just move up to novice dressage instead of doing prelim dressage.

“I thought right, I want to do more than just novice dressage, so that was it,” Phoebe said.

“It’s a wonderful freedom sport if you don’t give up on your dream.

“Don’t let anyone tell you can’t. Many people along the line have told me I can’t do something, but I’m still here proving them wrong.”

To support Phoebe, visit: phoebe-roche/phoebe-roche-virtus-european-championships

Shaneen and Phoebe are also holding a sausage sizzle on Sunday 23 June from 12pm to 5pm at Tooradin Estate.

Special Games are coming back to the Casey region

Special OlympicsVictoria State Games are set to return to Casey for the second year running.

The Games will host athletes with intellectual disabilities and autism across various sports over two weekends (6-7 July and 20-22 September).

Athletes will compete in athletics, basketball, bocce, football (soccer) golf, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, netball, sailing, swimming, tennis, table tennis and tenpin bowling.

As a further incentive, they will be compet-

ing to represent Victoria at the 2026 Special Olympics Australia National Games.

There will be two opening ceremonies with the first to take place on Saturday July 6 at Casey Stadium.

Athletes from each club will take part in the Victoria Law Enforcement Torch Run alongside Victoria Police’s Chief Commissioner, Shane Patton. Another ceremony will be held on Saturday 21 September to mark the beginning of the summer sports leg.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome

the Special Olympics Victoria State Games back to Casey,” said City of Casey chair of administrators, Noelene Duff.

“The competition is a fantastic avenue to highlight the courage and determination of athletes living with a disability and dedicated to achieving their sporting goals.

“We warmly welcome the new and returning athletes back to Casey this year and are proud to host the games at a range of our accessible sporting facilities.

“I encourage members of our community

to head along to the games and show your support.”

The Special OlympicsVictoria Games were successfully held in Casey in 2023.

“Our athletes always feel welcome and the support from the community and outstanding facilities makes it a wonderful location for our athletes to shine,” Special Olympics Australia regional manager for Victoria/Tasmania, James Hammond said.



Thumbs up

To the King’s Birthday OAM honour for Rob Porter - a “true humble volunteer of his beautiful community Officer”! This is a medal of a true volunteer. Thank you Rob Porter.

Thumbs down

To the removal of the U-turn on the Princes Highway at May Road in Beaconsfield, effectively removing access to the new BP and food outlets for westbound traffic.

Thumbs down

To Cardinia Council for the amount of rubbish as well as the graffiti and the general run down look of the whole area. It looks more like a ghetto than the township it was even eight years ago. What is being done with the rates we are paying?

Thumbs down

To the closure of Main Street [Pakenham] at the rail crossing again.

6 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024
Great job by the boundary
on Saturday in the drizzle at Tooradin. 412137
Phoebe on Smartie. 412125

We’re building big near you and there will be transport disruptions

As part of Victoria’s Big Build, we’re easing congestion by building better roads and undertaking maintenance works in Melbourne’s south east. We’re also removing dangerous and congested level crossings and building the Metro Tunnel.

What we’re doing

Finishing works to upgrade the intersection of Narre Warren-Cranbourne and BerwickCranbourne roads.

Upgrading the intersection of McGregor and Henry roads.

Upgrading the Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road freeway roundabouts to traffic lights.

Finishing asphalting on Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road.

Removing the old rail track, building a new roundabout and resurfacing the road at Main Street under the rail bridge in Pakenham.

Train disruptions: Buses replace trains in both directions

Cranbourne and Pakenham lines 22 to 23 June

Road disruptions: Closed roads and lanes

Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road, Pakenham

Henry Road, Pakenham

Ballarto Road, Carrum Downs and Skye

Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road, Cranbourne East

Main Street, Pakenham

At times until late June

Caulfield to Westall

In sections between Greenhills and Manks roads

Until early JulyBetween McGregor Road and Heritage Boulevard

Until mid JulyAt McCormicks Road with detours and lane closures at times between Boggy Creek and Flora Park Way

Until mid 2024 Between Berwick-Cranbourne Road and Lyall Street/ New Holland Drive

7am 12 June to 7am 17 June

McGregor Road, Pakenham 8pm to 5am, 17 to 18 June

Princes Freeway, Pakenham 7pm to 5am, 19 June

7pm to 5am, 19 to 21 June

At rail bridge

Between Southeast and Park boulevards

Gippsland-bound entry ramp at Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road

Gippsland-bound between McGregor and Healesville-Koo Wee Rup roads Thursday, 13 June, 2024 | STAR NEWS 7
Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Check before you travel at
8055 12694081-FC24-24

Congestion sparks concern

A rude awakening one Thursday morning made one father realise the severity of traffic conditions at Enterprise Avenue, especially when it comes to the peak hours throughout the day.

What could be considered as Berwick’s industrial hub, the little nook is located just across Berwick Station, where numerous businesses, from gyms and butchers to auto service repair shops, have made their home for the last several years.

The growth has been exponential, and while that may be a boon, the situation is a little different for the everyday traffic that wades through the avenue’s streets, ultimately adding to the area’s congestion.

Chris Emmerson, on the morning of 6 June, saw his lane blocked by a truck unloading cars designated for one of the many auto service shops, while on the way to drop his daughter off at Cire Community School.

“There has to be a better solution than trying to block traffic off and creating a dangerous situation that people are driving up gutters and around for [truck drivers] to unload their trucks,” he said.

With years of experience as a truck driver, Mr Emmerson realises that the situation, alongside the environment of Enterprise Avenue, is not any truck drivers’ fault, but rather extends to the overall planning of the industrial area.

“I don’t blame them as drivers; I believe there’s got to be a discussion with council planning on what we can do better.

“It’s not the truck driver’s fault, they have nowhere else to go,” he said.

According to VicRoads, heavy or long vehicles cannot be parked on a road in a built-up area for longer than one hour unless there are parking signs that allow them, or if the driver is picking up or setting down goods.

These designated areas for loading and unloading however, are little to none, and other options are scarce with majority of the kerbside parking spaces occupied by respective workers of these businesses; as well as the parking areas inside businesses’ property allowing no space for trucks to navigate.

Berwick Mitsubishi’s dealer principal, Daniel Buruma resonates with Mr Emmerson’s sentiments, saying that to watch Enterprise Avenue “grow and grow is challenging”.

Their service branch has been on the corner of Enterprise Ave and Intrepid Street since 2010, with the business seeing its fair share

of neighbours and the eventual growth of the area to what it is today.

“You’ve got a number of automotive businesses down there, lots of trade businesses around the side, you’ve got the butchers, two different detailing shops, independent workshops – it’s just a busy strip.

“We’re always accommodating to the point where we’ve outgrown that [area], I’d love to stay there but I have to start [thinking about] moving down to Pakenham in the long term just because we’re landlocked.

“It’s just a crazy sort of precinct, so I think it’s just working together to be safe and responsible, and I don’t think the council can do it any differently though, we can’t go back in time and plan it again,” Mr Buruma said.

Mr Emmerson is on the same boat and has already sent an enquiry to Casey Council regarding traffic management plans for Enterprise Avenue.

A bigger worry for him though, is the safety of his daughter and the schoolchildren in Cire Community School; a not-for-profit organisation that provides flexible learning opportunities for those experiencing social and

economic disadvantages and mental health challenges.

Speaking on his experiences as a truck driver, he said “I know myself, I wouldn’t do it without either having traffic cones out there because you’ve got to mitigate the situation.

“You’ve got cars coming both ways, is there someone there telling people who can come and who can’t? Because it’s a blind corner.

“Cire is a community school [with] special needs students, you’ve got kids coming in and out of there and you’re dealing with a major traffic problem.

“Realistically, with those big trucks, that kid could walk in front and the truck driver would never see them,” he said.

A proper discussion needs to be had, according to Mr Emmerson, one that involves all parties, such as Cire, the automotive shops, gyms and others, as well as the council to properly navigate all factors involved in the traffic situation for Enterprise Avenue.

However, Mr Buruma is uncertain as to whether a change to traffic management would impact the congestion of the precinct, saying that “businesses need to operate, peo-

ple need to keep them running”.

“I’d love to click my fingers and suddenly there’s a multi-level car park, and the lanes are a lot wider like down at Pakenham, but I just don’t see that town planning can get through it; they probably didn’t expect Berwick to be as big as it is right?

“They have to find another entry into the school, through Federation University or something like that, which might be a smarter way to do it rather than coming down Enterprise,” he said.

The City of Casey’s manager of city and asset planning, Keri New, said that “council received an inquiry relating to trucks while double parked in Enterprise Avenue that is being investigated”.

“Where appropriate, council may consider changes to on-street parking arrangements [and] prior to any changes made to on-street parking, impacted businesses in the area would be consulted with,” she said.

As of now, Enterprise Avenue remains one of the busier areas in Berwick, with some changes plausible in the future.

Electorate shake-up proposed to balance voter numbers

Harkaway, alongside parts of Cranbourne North, Berwick and Beaconsfield, are proposed to be transferred to Bruce, an electorate redistribution report notes.

The report by the Australian Electoral Commission finds that elector enrolment in the current Division of Bruce is projected to be lower than the minimal number required by the Electoral Act in 2028, while the projected enrolment in the neighbouring Division of Holt and La Trobe will be higher than the maximum number.

It acknowledges that Bruce must gain electors from Holt and La Trobe.

Part of Cranbourne North, which is currently located within Holt, will be transferred to Bruce with 7,866 electors. The existing boundary along Berwick-Cranbourne Road and Narre Warren Road will be extended further south to Thompsons Road.

Harkaway, part of Beaconsfield and Berwick, currently sitting in La Trobe, will be redistributed to Bruce with 8,250 electors. The eastern boundary will deviate from Clyde Road, follow Princes Freeway, adjoin the boundary of Casey and Cardinia, and rejoin the existing border with the Division of Casey.

Monash University politics expert Dr Zareh Ghazarian said Holt losing part of Cranbourne North would be a really small change and he would not expect there to be much of

a difference in voting patterns.

“I don’t think that’s going to have a massive impact on the margins based on what the MPs hold them by. In other words, I don’t think this changes the political fortunes of the current MP,” he said.

He also believed part of Berwick going into Bruce might impact the margin “slightly” and make the seat a bit more marginal, but certainly “not ultra-marginal”.

“I don’t think it’s going to be so much that it causes any problems for the current MP,” he said.

Bruce MP Julian Hill said the draft boundaries in South East Melbourne showed relatively little change this time, which was welcome.

“Bruce needs to grow slightly, and I’d be delighted to represent more of beautiful Berwick and surrounds, though what ultimately happens is up to the Australian Electoral Commission,” he said.

“Everyone will take time to work through the details and make public submissions to inform the final boundaries.

“One of the great things about Australia’s democratic system is that electorate boundaries are set by the independent Australian Electoral Commission, and I encourage anyone interested to have their say.”

The proposed redistribution report is open for comments until 28 June. Visit aec.

8 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024 NEWS
proposed new seat of Bruce in blue compared to the existing arrangement in red. Picture:
Chris Emmerson stands at the end of Enterprise Avenue, with all kerbside parking occupied in the background. Picture: ETHAN BENEDICTO

NEWS Support pedal-power now

Cranbourne West Primary School is calling for the community to support one of its programs that teaches students sustainability, health and mechanical knowledge, leadership, and teamwork in a vehicle-racing environment.

In the Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) program, a long-living initiative in the school’s history, students in a team take turns lying down in a trike with fairing, pedalling the vehicle with their body strength, and racing against teams from other schools.

The program aims to promote knowledge about the cardiovascular system and inspire students on why they need to eat and drink well. Leadership, communication, and teamwork are the accompanying soft skills students get to command along the way.

“It’s been a really positive program at our school, and it’s been one that we’ve had a lot of success with over the last 10 years, and we’ve come a long way,” coach and program coordinator Christopher McGowan said.

“It is just another opportunity to give the kids another experience in something that will help benefit them in some way.”

Participating student Alysha found the program helpful and educational.

“We learn about sustainability. We learn about nutrition, like how we’re eating healthy to boost our fitness,” she said.

“I think lots of people have gotten better with their fitness. Some people don’t know how to ride a bike, and then they have learned from this program.”

The race spirits extend beyond the campus. Participating students compete in a major once-a-year event called Energy Breakthrough in Maryborough,Victoria.The five-day contest provides opportunities for students, teachers, parents, and the local industry to design,

construct, and test an innovative and environmentally friendly vehicle. Students race for about 14 hours across the days.

To get ready for the grand-scale battle, students also sign up for theVictorian HPV Grand Prix Series which holds four races a year by the Casey Cardinia HPV & Cycling Club.

Christoper has worked so hard to build the program over the years that it sometimes makes the school forget he also teaches.

“I teach first, and this is a secondary thing I do for the kids,” he said.

“My favourite part of my job is the part I am not paid to do but rather volunteer my time,

passion, and enthusiasm toward to better the future generations of young people.”

Though passion fuels the best part, Christoper admitted obtaining enough sponsorship for each year was hard, especially when the program had been growing this year with an extra team formed. Now the school has three teams for the big show in Maryborough.

“The school doesn’t pay for this program. We spend a lot of time fundraising here at school so the program can survive,” he said.

“I guess it’s a positive part of the program because it teaches the kids about working hard for something that’s bigger than you and helps generations after them.

“But it also becomes tricky because we still need the funds to give the kids the experience.

“We’re just seeking sponsorship from the local community. We’d really appreciate anyone willing to sponsor a program that’s having a huge impact on the lives of future generations of kids.”

Christoper estimated that a total of $35,000 would be needed to run this year’s program, including fees for competition registrations, uniforms, equipment, repairs, and accommodation and transport fees for the Maryborough trip.

“We don’t charge families money. That’s part of the program. Our principal Andrew [Bergmeier] is very passionate about this being cost-free to families, so we try and keep it that way,” he said.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth every bit because we see what the kids get out of it.

“And you also have your special t-shirts.”

Cranbourne West Primary School will participate in Round 3 of theVictorian HPV Grand Prix Series on 27 July at Sandown International Raceway.

To support the program, you can call Christoper on 5996 2878, or email the school at:

Once displaced, now graduates set to pay it forward

Nine proud asylum-seekers and refugees have celebrated taking a big step up the career ladder.

Fauziah, Kanimozhi, Mohsin, Sana, Kate, Somornea, Zahra, Razia and Rasvinder were each awarded South East Community Links scholarships to study a 12-month Certificate IV in Community Services.

As new arrivals, the group are charged as full-fee paying students. And so without the scholarships, they were unable to afford further education.

Since graduating, three have found work and three others are in the process of gaining employment.

Among the students were married couple Mohsin and Sana – who was the highestachiever or valedictorian of the group.

Mohsin said they leapt on the opportunity after seeing an ad for the SECL scholarships.

“Immediately I thought it was a great career opportunity for Rukhsana (Sana) to learn about financial literacy and how to support our community in Australia.

“When I offered to drive her to and from the course, she said: ‘Why don’t you do it too?’.

“So we both applied and were awarded this fantastic scholarship.”

Mohsin says he came to Australia with a commitment to help others in need. He has since passed on what he’s learnt from the course to empower family and friends.

“In my culture, we work for three reasons – to look after our immediate family, our extended family, and to have the means to visit family overseas.

“Thanks to this scholarship opportunity, Rukhsana and I are on track to fulfilling our commitments.”

SECL’s role was to support and mentor the students, as well as helping them into placement work with hands-on experience.

Registered training organisation ICAN Learn delivered the Cert IV course, and the scholarships funded by Commonwealth Bank’s Next Chapter program.

SECL chief executive Peter McNamara said

providing the vocational opportunities was a “no-brainer”.

“The South-East of Melbourne is Australia’s most culturally rich and diverse region and every day we see the amazing resolve and commitment of community members.

“It’s super pleasing seeing graduates gaining meaningful employment as a result and all on an employment pathway.

“We look forward to expanding our partnership with ICAN Learn to further support the community…watch this space.”

ICAN Learn executive officer Tracey McCurdy said her organisation was a social enterprise focusing on community services and financial wellbeing sectors.

“We specifically focus on the self-determination of indigenous Australians and people from multicultural backgrounds to grow professional opportunities, community and personal knowledge and pathways to employment.”

CBA community investment head Nathan Barker said its Next Chapter program aimed to address domestic and financial abuse.

“It is vital that people impacted by financial abuse and other forms of financial hardship are able to access culturally appropriate support.

“We are proud of our partnership with ICAN Learn to deliver the scholarship program and support people from diverse backgrounds to access their programs.

“I wish all graduates the very best for their future endeavours.”

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Human Powered Vehicle Program (HPV) participating students (L-R) Swayzee, Alysha, Fouina, Lucy, with coach and coordinator Christopher McGowan (second from right). Picture: VIOLET LI The nine robed graduates with Commonwealth Bank executive manager Gunjan Pagare, ICAN Learn executive officer Tracey McCurdy, ICAN Learn trainer Michelle Ludwig and South East Community Links CEO Peter McNamara. The group’s valedictorian Sana and husband Mohsin.

NEWS Hub of refugee help

The leading Refugee Resource Hub in the heart of Dandenong celebrated its second anniversary in May.

The team at the Hub, powered by Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), reflect on what it described as a challenging but fulfilling two-year.

Some of its key achievements include colocating 10 refugee led organisations and service providers under one roof to meet the high demands of cost-of-living rises, and various complex needs.

Director of the Dandenong Refugee Resource Hub, Qutbiallam Timor says this was one of the most challenging tasks.

“The Refugee Hub has become a home to so many people supported through the services that we provide.

“Strategically, we provided partnerships to 10 refugee led organisations and services providers to co-locate under the hub, coordinate collaboratively and to deliver the services and support to the community.

“Bringing 10 organisations together under one roof is a very high achievement and impact.”

One of its major aims was to collaborate with a housing service provider but there were some gaps iwhich made the partnership difficult.

“One of the challenges is housing people seeking asylum. They don’t have the right to work or any other income resource like Centrelink, they have a higher risk of being homeless.

“At the Hub here, we were unable to have a potential service provider to co-locate here with us to provide housing services to people seeking asylum.”

City of Greater Dandenong, a Refugee Welcome zone for two decades, has become home to many refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants who are attracted through its evident multicultural landscape and shops.

According to the City of Greater Dandenong Statistics and Data, 2000 people seeking asylum are based in Greater Dandenong.

As such, this in return demands services and organisations to accommodate and help new arrivals navigate through the systems.

Organisations like the Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network founded by Zakia Baig took on the opportunity to collaborate with the Hub.

The organisation advocates and supports Hazara women with basic needs to kick-start a new life, many whom have fled from being ethnically cleansed by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

The AHWFN, founded in 2013, provides English classes, social classes in Hazaragi, learner-drivers permit classes and job preparedness classes amongst a few.

“We had been struggling to find a place after Covid. This building has accommodated us and revitalised our capacity,” Ms Baig said.

“We have clients all over the South East, making this location very convenient for us to be able to reach the wider community and make ourselves easily accessible.”

The organisation is regaining strength after Covid with nine students in their learner’s permit classes.

“We have activities in their own Hazaragi language to help them understand the systems quickly and easily, sharing that sense of belonging and that they’re welcomed.”

Meanwhile, the Hub team continue to grow their services, accommodating 4,000 people in two years from all over the South East as demands for crucial services increase day by day.

“Some of the people that we serve, they don’t have the right to work nor the right to Medicare. They need vital services with high capacity, they rely on charities now and that’s how our services also become limited,” Mr Timor said.

The pressure is furthered by the 54 per cent decrease in asylum seeker social support in the Federal Budget for 2024-25 bringing down to $17 million, down 95 per cent from $300 million in 2015-16.

The Hub already supports 160 asylum seekers along with their families every month who need the financial and material support, healthcare, food banks and legal support.

- Meanwhile the Hub has featured in the Ausralian Institute of Landscape Architects Victorian State Awards.

Landscape architect Enlocus won the Landscape Architecture Award for Community Contribution for its pro-bono design of the hub’s garden.

The Garden, reclaimed from a former car park, centres around the Story Tree which symbolizes community resilience, growth and diversity of identity.

The sensory and edible garden also connects with the ASRC’s food bank program.

“A small project with a big heart, this new

space for the Refugee Resource Hub, created on the site of an old carpark, now provides a place for respite and solace for those seeking refuge,” the awards jury stated.

“The role of our profession in providing foundations for safe and connected communities is clearly demonstrated through the probono services provided for this project.

“By connecting a community through landscape and food, this project demonstrates the social responsibilities held by our profession.“

Funding for more than 20 sporting clubs in Casey

A large number of clubs in the City of Casey are set to receive funding after being successful applicants on the State Government’s Sporting Club Grants Program.

The 2023-2024 program, which closed on 20 March this year, saw 27 different clubs supported throughout four categories in two different rounds, which included their onfield uniforms or equipment, volunteers and officials, access and engagement and competitors.

According to the State Government’s website on the program, providing access to this funding “helps grassroots clubs and organisations address barriers in participation, develop safe and sustainable practices and build social and active local communities”.

Round one, category one provided up to $1000 to purchase on-field playing uniforms, participation equipment for competitors and active participants, for safety, injury prevention and first-aid equipment.

For this category, the following clubs received funding:

1.Berwick Bowling Club

8.Melbourne Crickeroos

9.Melbourne Flash Sports Club

10.Phoenix Archery Club

11.Southern Diamonds Netball Club

12.The Hills Netball Club

The second category in the first round saw up to $2000 for projects that provide practical improvements to strengthen volunteering and officiating in clubs, and the following clubs were successful recipients:

· Doveton Soccer Club

· Endeavour Hills Junior Football Club

· Fountain Gate Junior Football Club

The third category focused on assisting with funding for tools and resources that improve accessibility, governance and strengthening engagement with members and participants, for which funding was up to $1000.

$750 towards the cost of travel, accommodation and even registration fees for individual athletes who have been selected to attend representative competitions, selection trials or training camps.

The Knox City Mavericks were the only club to receive the funding in this category and round.

In the second round, category one recipients were:

· Ballers Haven Basketball Club Incorporated

· Casey Cardinia Athletics Inc

· Casey Hockey Club

· Cranbourne United Soccer Club

· Narre North Foxes Netball Club

· Narre Warren South Scout Group

· Regency Callisthenic College

2.Berwick City Soccer Club

3.Berwick Cricket Club

4.Casey Tongan Pickleball Club

5.Doveton North Cricket Club

6.Epsicon Sports Club

7.Kotaitanga Netball Melbourne

The other option for this category included up to $4000 to plan and deliver a new sport or active recreation program.

While not disclosed which option was picked, the only club in the council that was under this category was the HSC BLUES AUS.

The fourth and final category saw up to

· St Mina Hallam Scouts

There were no clubs in the council that received any funding for categories two and three in the second round, but two clubs, the Khalsa Lions Inc and Melbourne Handball Incorporated, received funding for the fourth category.

10 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024
The City of Casey saw a boon for its sports clubs through the 2023-2024 State Government Sporting Club Grants, with more than 20 clubs receiving funding. Picture: ON FILE Qutbiallam Timor. 412179 Qutbiallam Timor with the Refugee Resource Hub team. 412179 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

Neon winter wonderland

Banjo Park in Clyde North is lighting up during this cold season, looking to embrace the winter solstice with a neon wonderland.

The event is planned to be held on Friday 21 June, and will run from 5pm to 8pm at the centre of Smiths Lane; with live music and entertainment, as well as treats for the first 300 attendees.

However, Carla O’Brien, a Melbournebased artist with a speciality on neon displays, says that this event is going to be unlike anything the park has done before.

“We’ve got a neon winter wonderland, a full winter playground of fun and in celebration of the winter solstice,” Ms O’Brien said.

Trying her best not to spoil the experience, a little sneak peek means that her and her team are “taking up the whole park”.

“There are so many pieces that we’ve got, about 20 installations for people to interact with.

“A community-based event like this is bringing all types of people, young and old, to-

gether to just have a good time and a really fun family experience as well,” she said.

Natalie, a barista at the neighbouring Smiths Social cafe said that events like these are a boon for growing areas and communities such as Smiths Lane.

“It sounds like it’ll be great for the kids and all the young families, and of course, you can go support local artists by going,” she said.

A father, who wished to remain anonymous, said that anything that “brings the community together is always good”.

With a wife and three kids, the family has been in Smiths Lane for just over two years, and in that short amount of time observed the area grow exponentially.

“They did something like this some time ago as well, and it was really good, a lot of people came and you could sort of feel the togetherness if that makes sense.

“My kids liked lights, other kids liked the lights, it brings the people out to mingle and it’s free, what more could you ask for?” he said.

For Ms O’Brien, working towards exhibi-

tions like this is nothing out of the ordinary, with multiple projects displayed throughout Melbourne CBD; her most iconic include the Sleigh My Name festive lettering, the MANIAX entrance signage and neon archways in Perth and Ballarat.

However, its magic never fades, and while it would be Banjo Park’s second year of being lit up in neon, Ms O’Brien “gets incredible joy from my work because people absolutely love it”.

“There are so many moments that people have with the artworks, but first of all, when they drive [there] and they pull up, or they start the walk into where the installation is, they can see it from afar and are just mesmerised.

“[People] are used to seeing neon signs from a distance or up high, this is neon down to where you are on the ground, and it’s taking everyday objects and animals and turning it into neon,” she said.

The novelty in the work, according to Ms O’Brien is that although the concept of neon itself is nothing new, it’s the closeness of her pieces that draw crowds in; being able to blend

into the environment, as well as the person interacting is a key part of her art.

“It’s unexpected, so when people see it for the first time, they have an amazing response to it; so to see everyone’s eyes light up, and the joy that they get from it is amazing.

“The next part of the joy is when you see people taking photos, because works are interactive [and] that’s the whole point of it - it’s interactive light art that people can have an experience with,” Ms O’Brien said.

The pieces themselves are temporary, and being battery-operated allows Ms O’Brien and her team to bring the pieces in the afternoon, have them displayed and then pack them up once the event finishes.

“You know, it’s hard to get people to come out of their house at nighttime where it’s warm but cold outside; but what if you’ve got something like this where it just warms your heart from the inside?” Ms O’Brien said.

While the event is free, bookings are essential and tickets can be accessed through

Amid wave of Covid and the flu, free tests are on offer

Bakhtar Community Organisation is providing the community with free Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) amid another wave of Covid and flu.

Free RATs are available at its Hallam office on weekdays from 10am to 3pm and at its Noble Park warehouse on weekends from 12pm to 3pm.

Founder and chief executive of Bahktar Community Organisation, Bassir Qadiri, said there was a huge demand in the neighbourhood.

“There is this virus going on and as well as people are confused if it is a different virus or if it’s Covid,” he said.

“That’s why RAT is very popular now, and everybody wants to test that to check if it’s Covid when they are sick.”

“We have got a few hundred sitting there, and then we saw the demand in the community, then we thought why not give it for free, especially for those who are eligible at the community rather than pay $10 at Chemist Warehouse.”

The charity organisation is also committed to providing the community with vital Covid information, especially about vaccinations, in collaboration with FECCA.

Its bi-cultural workers offer support in multiple languages.

Full-Board Cruise • 11 night full-board cruise on board Hurtigruten’s MS Kong Harald • Complimentary Polar Outside Limited View to Polar Outside Fully Escorted Tour • 2 day Norway in a Nutshell Tour Rail Journey • Scenic rail journey on board The Flåm Railway Hotel Stays • Hotel stays in Oslo, Flåm Bergen and Copenhagen • All hotel stays include breakfast All Flights, Taxes and Transfers • Overnight flights Terms and Conditions apply, for full details please visit All prices shown in AUS Dollars. Prices are per person based on two adults sharing a cruise cabin or suite and include flights from Brisbane (regional flights available at a supplement). ^Prices based on 17 October 2024 departure date. *Northern Lights Promise - Receive a complimentary Hurtigruten voyage if the Northern Lights do not make an appearance (T’s & C’s apply). Credit cards charged at 1.5%, if paying by AMEX a charge of 2.5% will be added. ABN number 48614987718. Prices are correct at the time of print and are subject to change. Offer applies to new bookings only. Hero image is intended for illustrative purposes only. The departure date is subject to change based on flight times specified during the booking process. Named hotels are based on availability and are subject to change without notice. Alternative hotels will always be of equal or higher star rating. To book call (07) 3558 9905 Opening Hours (AEST): Mon to Fri 9am - 7pm | Sat & Sun 9am - 5pm Excellent Northern Lights & Scenic Norway Rail & Sail 21 NIGHTS | OCTOBER 2024 - MARCH 2025 NORTHERN LIGHTS PROMISE* TWO-DAY NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL TOUR POLAR INSIDE FROM^ POLAR OUTSIDE FROM^ $8,199PP $10,199PP ONLINE HOLIDAY CODE: NTR2234 Thursday, 13 June, 2024 | STAR NEWS 11 NEWS
Banjo Park at Smiths Lane, Clyde North during a previous neon event by Carla O’Brien. Pictures: SUPPLIED Interactive pieces like this drum set were the focal point of the previous event and are carrying on to the upcoming one, this time doused in a winter theme.



Tell us about yourself and your jobs.

I work as an Office Manager at a Software and Electrical Automation Company in Hallam.

What do you love the most about your jobs?

I love the fact that this business treats all their employees like family, and they too are a major sponsor of this day and have been very supportive of this fundraiser for a number of years now.

What has been your most memorable moment during your jobs?

I loved working in London for 2 years when I was younger on a working holiday visa, and also working at a couple of start-up recruitment companies and helping to build them into profitable businesses.

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

Probably a cat – I like to curl up on the couch and sleep!

What were you like as a kid?

A bit of a tomboy – loved going to the footy and the farm with my Dad!

Which six dinner guests, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

This is easy – my sister and my Dad– who have both passed away, then my Mum, my niece and nephew, and my brother in law – so we could all have one more family dinner together! What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Loud, generous, loving.

What would you do on your perfect ‘day off’?

Sit by the pool in the sunshine, with friends, relaxing!

Where is your happy place? Gold Coast.

If you had to compete on MasterChef, what dish would you cook?

Lasagne – not sure why as I am not a great cook, but everyone seems to love my lasagne!

Where is your dream holiday destination? NewYork – can’t wait to get there one day!


Narre Warren & District Family History Group

This month’s meeting will be held from 2pm on Saturday 15 June at the conference room at Cranbourne Library.

Use your general knowledge and luck to solve Clyde history puzzles.

Lunch at noon, catered by L’Arte Central Social Enterprise Cafe.

· For more information, contact secretary Eileen Durdin on or 0439 720 557.

Tynong Market

Held at St Thomas Aquinas College, the Tynong Market has both indoor and outdoor spaces available so visitors can enjoy the market regardless of the weather.

Ample parking and free visitor entry.

Stall bookings are still open, offering an opportunity to showcase goods.

Saturday 15 June, gates open at 8.30am.

· To enquire about a stall or for further information, email

Antiques and Collectible Fair

On Saturday 20 July, the Rotary Club of Casey will be running the 19th annual Antiques and Collectable Fair at the Cardinia Cultural Centre at Lakeside.

This year, all funds raised will be donated to the Stroke Foundation towards work to prevent strokes, save lives and enhance recovery.

The event will showcase wares from antique, collectible and curiosity dealers from all over Victoria and is expected to be attended by more than 1000 eager buyers and collectors.

Melbourne-based antique valuer David Freeman will be in attendance from noon to 3.30pm to value items at $5 per item, (excluding stamps, coins and jewellery).

Visitors are requested to bring a photo of larger items that they would like valued.

· The fair will be open to the public from 9am to 3.30pm, with a $5 entry fee for browsers, collectors and shoppers.

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

Berwick Activities Club

New members are welcome to join in the many activities on offer such as New Vogue Dancing or Social Wednesdays where you can join in carpet bowls, cards, Scrabble and table tennis.

Take the opportunity to make new friends and enjoy yourself.

· For more information phone David on 0433566456 or Bruce 0447554475, or visit

THREE … bowel cancer facts

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness month in Australia. Bowel Cancer Awareness Month raises awareness for bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer.


In Australia, bowel cancer is estimated to be the second most diagnosed type of cancer for both men and women and the third most common cause of death from cancer. It was estimated that over 15,000 Australians would be diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2020.


Anyone can acquire it, but people over the age of 50 are at higher risk. That is why through its National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, the Australian Government urges everyone aged 50 to 74 to undergo a free test which can be done at home.


The ribbon for bowel cancer (known as colorectal cancer there) is blue. In Australia, a green ribbon with a red apple on it – an abstract representation of the human bowel, is sometimes used.

Room from 10am-1pm.

· 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@

BADFolk Club

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.

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 grand-


· 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

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

12 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024
Berwick local Kirsty Ring has been hosting Biggest Morning Tea for years to honour her father and sister. This year, she raised a stunning number of $33,500. Behind her is a photo of her sister Jodie. 332566 Picture: ROB CAREW The Berwick Senior Citizens Centre is hosting line dancing sessions from 10am to noon every Tuesday at 112 High Street in Berwick. First session is free, with a small fee for future classes. Morning tea or coffee included.

Help move the food

The Cranbourne Food Truck is facing the possibility of reducing its service in the coming winter due to a shortage of volunteer drivers.

The food charity is crying out for volunteer drivers for its Monday and Wednesday night services at the Lyall St carpark.

“There are 10 driving shifts in July, and I can fill only five of them,” the food truck administrator Marie Magdziarz said.

“If we haven’t got a driver to drive the truck, we can’t do a food service.

“But we don’t want to reduce our service because even on a very quiet night for Monday or Wednesday, I think the minimum [attendant] might be 14. So you still get quite a few people. On a really busy night, we have 42 [attendants].

“We’re trying to come up with some solutions for July and August.”

Driver shortage had been the biggest issue for the community organisation as it determined the operation, chairperson of the Food Truck committee Chris Marsh said. She said the truck would be closed on King’s Official Birthday because none of their drivers were available.

“We normally operate on public holidays regardless, because a lot of the other food services [in Casey] are shut on Monday,” she said.

“Some services don’t operate, for instance, in school holidays, so it’s important for us to still be able to serve our community, but we can’t do that without qualified drivers, so that’s our biggest issue.

“There’s always the issue of not having enough money to buy and to get supplies but I think we’re keeping our head afloat with regard to money and donations and all of that.

“But as I said, if we can’t get a driver to take the truck out, it doesn’t matter how much stock we’ve got or cooked.”

Ms Magdziarz said the problem that led to the situation was that many driver volunteers

had been retired and it was the time of the year they went off on holidays to somewhere warmer.

“We also have the usual winter ailments. We’ve had people off sick, and people who used to do a couple of driving shifts move out of the area,” she said.

She also stressed that it was not an easy job to find someone already with a truck licence.

“It’s not like they budget rent a car. You can’t do this one because our truck has got a double axle. So you actually need a truck licence,” she said.

“The other thing is if you’re a brand-new driver, as we all know when you first learn to drive a car, it can be a bit scary and these catering trucks are quite heavy.

“We do get some inquiries, but so far over the last at least eight months, we’ve had one person that’s just about to start.”

Apart from an existing truck licence, a mentality to engage with the food service was also

Drainage pipe concerns

A resident in Selandra Rise Retirement Village is concerned with an uncovered drainage pipe in the neighbourhood as he often sees children playing inside.

The drainage pipe is located at the intersection between Linsell Boulevard and Berwick-Cranbourne Road in Clyde North. Geoff Wright said when he passed by when walking his dog, there was always a bike or a scooter next to the drainage.

“Kids are playing inside.They love it, which is why It’s really dangerous,” he said.

“The drainage pipe goes into a pit and then it will just go off into the other drains.

“It’s better to do something before someone gets drowned or killed.”

Mr Wright reached out to Casey Council a few months ago and he has still been waiting for a response.

“A council officer came down and looked into it. He got on to contact South East Water and Melbourne Water, but they had nothing to do with it. He said he would get back to me one day,” he said.

City of Casey manager City Design and Construction Michael Barrett said the drainagestructurewasaninletfortheunderground stormwater drainage line that discharged into Clyde Creek.

“It serves to collect the stormwater runoff from Linsell Boulevard that is channeled from the shaped open swale drain,” he said.

“Similar to other drainage structures such as this, the inlet is not covered to prevent blockages of the pipe.

“However, in this case, due to the proximity to the paths, Council will carry out further investigation and take appropriate measures to deter access to the pipe.”

required for driver volunteers, Ms Magdziarz said.

“They also need to be prepared to do more than just drive the truck,” she said.

“They have to be involved in the food too. The truck drivers often will make the teas and coffees and pack up food parcels.

“If there’s a lot of people there, they will also help with the actual food service, handing out the hot cups of tea and generally engaging the clients because often they need or want somebody to have a bit of a chat with.

“We are their company for that week. They might only engage with other people twice a week, and that’s when they go down to the truck and get a cup of tea or a meal.”

Anyone interested in helping can call the food truck on 0455 121 077. Two shifts are available on Monday and Wednesday nights. Each shift lasts for two hours from 6.15pm to 8.15pm.

Hallam collision

Police are appealing for public assistance following a collision in Hallam on the morning of Tuesday 11 June.

It is believed a truck travelling north on Belgrave Hallam Road collided with a pedestrian at the intersection of Frawley Road at about 6.30am. The pedestrian, who is yet to be formally identified, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The truck driver, a 50-year-old Cranbourne West man, remained at the scene.

The exact circumstances surrounding the collision are yet to be determined and an investigation remains ongoing.

Driver critically injured

Police are investigating following a critical injury collision in Cranbourne West on the morning of Monday 10 June.

It is believed a Holden and a Volkswagen utility collided at the intersection of Hall Road and Banyan Drive at about 10am.

The female driver of the Holden was airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries. A toddler, who was a passenger in the Holden was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The male driver of the utility sustained minor injuries and was assisting police with their enquiries.

Interview after fatality

A 21-year-old Cranbourne man handed himself in to police following an alleged fatal hitand-run crash in Dandenong on the night of Friday 7 June.

The man attended Cranbourne Police Station at 3am on Sunday 9 June where he was taken into custody.

The arrest follows the death of a 29-year-old Dandenong North woman who was struck by two cars while crossing Stud Road around 9pm on 7 June. The first driver stopped and spoke with police while the second allegedly fled the scene. Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives interviewed the Cranbourne man and he was released pending further enquiries. Investigators are continuing to appeal for witnesses, particularly the driver of a car who was travelling behind a dark-coloured SUV. Thursday, 13 June, 2024 | STAR NEWS 13 Simplyregistertodayandgetourlatest news articlesandDigital EditionsinyourinboxforFREE Keeping up to date with your local news has never been so easy... SenttoyourinboxeveryThursday 12665027-JB05-24 IN BRIEF
Geoff Wright of Selandra Rise Retirement Village is concerned with an uncovered drainage pipe in the neighbourhood as he often sees children playing inside. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS A truck licence is required to drive the Cranbourne Food Truck. Picture: SUPPLIED

Talking about pain

A Women’s Pain Forum was hosted by Narre Warren South MP Gary Maas with the goal of raising awareness for the Victorian Government’s Inquiry into Women’s Pain.

Facilitated by Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) chief executive Kit McMahon, the event was held at the Old School House in Hampton Park on Thursday 6 June.

For Mr Maas, he said, “it was a privilege to host this Women’s Pain Forum in the South East, and play a part in bringing more attention to an issue that we should be talking more about”.

He was joined by a special guest, the minister for health Mary-Anne Thomas MP, as well as Narre Warren North MP Belinda Wilson and Cranbourne MP Pauline Richards at the event.

Key stakeholder organisations that have an integral role in running support for the issue also attended, representing a range of backgrounds, professions and experiences.

During the event, Ms McMahon and her team ran a workshop that facilitated a discussion about women’s pain and their experience with the healthcare system.

“The state government is committed to listening and learning from these experiences to inform improved care for women and girls experiencing pain in the future,” Mr Maas said.

WHISE will be making a submission to the government’s Inquiry into Women’s Pain, supported by research that was recently conducted by the Victorian Women’s Health Survey which detailed that their pain is real and often overlooked.

The survey found that four in 10 Victorian women suffer from a chronic health condition and one in three have health conditions that affect their ability to work and keep a job; in addition, half the participants were suffering from pain connected to their period which impacted their health and wellbeing.

“Thank you to the formidable Kit McMahon of Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) for facilitating this important discussion, and to all the representatives from community organisations who shared their stories and experiences.”

For those interested to be part of WHISE’s


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Drivers fined

Dozens of motorists have been hit with a collective 350 fines following two recent road policing operations in the City of Casey.

A specific incident saw a 36-yearold man from Hampton Park being involved in a crash on Hallam South Road in Hampton Park, where he allegedly returned a positive breath test with a reading of 0.275.

The man’s licence was immediately suspended and he was summoned to appear in Dandenong Magistrate’s Court at a later date for drink driving, careless driving and failing to give way.

Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia highway patrol senior sergeant David Hewatt said that “it’s extremely disappointing to see so many people continue to flout the law and put themselves and other road users in serious danger”.

One of these initiatives, called Operation Malleus was conducted from 27 May to 31 May, while Operation Sizzle took place on 4 June.

In total for both operations, almost 1200 preliminary breath tests and 328 preliminary oral fluid tests were conducted, where 343 offences were detected which included drink driving, drug driving and speeding.

The 350 fines included one driver who was allegedly five-and-half times over the legal alcohol limit after crashing his car.

submission, registration is available through

To put a submission directly to the Inquiry, visit

Submissions to the Inquiry into Women’s Pain close 31 July 2024.

“Making the selfish decision to get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol can end or drastically change lives in a matter of seconds,” senior sergeant Hewatt said.

Other incidents of note include eight drivers who were detected with illicit substances in their systems, the results of which will undergo further forensic analysis.

Police bust alleged Holden V8 rebirthing racket

A residential address in Narre Warren was allegedly found to be home to a Holden V8 rebirthing racket, after a search warrant was executed on Wednesday 5 June.

Detectives from the Vehicle Crime Squad charged a 30-year-old Newborough man on Thursday 6 June with over 43 offences including handling stolen goods, theft of motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicle, theft and possessing drug of dependence.

Vehicle Crime Squad detective inspector Julie Macdonald said that “rebirthed vehicles can be a major safety threat to unwitting buyers”.

“Often the rebirthing process is not carried out by a qualified mechanic, meaning that the car could have serious issues which can result in an accident.

“Not to mention the use of stolen vehicles in the commission of other serious crimes and allowing offenders to move around more easily,” she said.

With assistance from the Illicit Firearms Squad and Fugitive Squad, authorities seized three previously stolen Holden Special Vehicles, drugs, and stolen IDs and car parts following an investigation.

A stolen Holden VF SS, methylamphetamine, approximately 20 sets of vehicle keys linked to a burglary, multiple sets of stolen number plates, multiple diagnostic tools valued at over $50,000, and multiple victim IDs believed to have been stolen from inside motor vehicles from the address were found at the home.

The suspect was remanded to appear at Latrobe Valley Magistrate’s Court on 3 July.

“The Vehicle Crime Squad will continue to target those contributing to organised motor vehicle crime in Victoria and shit down any illegal activity of this nature,” Ms Macdonald said.

A warrant was previously executed at a Darlimurla address on Wednesday 15 May,

with assistance from the illicit firearms Squad and Morwell Divisional Response Unit. There, two previously stolen Holdens - an SSV Redline utility and a Clubsport - were found, as well as a vehicle fitted with stolen SSV Walkinshaw sedan interiors, front and rear bumpers from stolen vehicles, an engine from a six litre V8 Holden, stolen number plates and a surveillance device sweeper.

The two stolen vehicles had their window VINs replaced, stamped floor VINs cut out and replaced, their electronic control units replaced and engine numbers grounded off.

Police will allege that those involved were rebirthing and selling stolen Holden vehicles, specifically Holden Special Vehicles; the investigation remains ongoing.

“We’d also invited anyone with information about this kind of illegal activity to please contact Crime Stoppers - it can be done anonymously, and we’ll continue to act on these reports,” Ms Macdonald said.

Anyone with information on vehicle rebirthing is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 33 000 or make a confidential report at

14 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024
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The event was held at the Old School House in Hampton Park. Picture: SUPPLIED A Narre Warren home was allegedly found to be operating a Holden V8 rebirthing racket, after a search warrant was executed on Wednesday 5 June. Picture: ON FILE

Leaping high

The St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School Equestrian team has had a busy and successful year, finishing in 11th place out of 164 schools at the recent Equestrian Victoria Interschool State Championships at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre, with three students qualifying for the nationals.

Among the highlights, Phoebe Cavill (Year 10) claimed the title of overall state champion in Senior Preliminary Dressage, an outstanding achievement. She placed fifth in the first test and first in the second test which culminated in the overall championship win.

Kate Joyce (Year 9) showcased her determination securing a commendable overall third in the 1* Combined Training.

Georgia Joyce’s (Year 6) exceptional performance earned her the title of reserve state champion for the 80 Combined Training and also placed second in the Primary Preliminary Dressage test.

Hadley Purcell (Year 6) demonstrated her talent with notable placements in two of her Show Jumping classes with fourth and sixth place.

Lily Wilson (Year 8) competed across a range of classes producing some lovely moments in Dressage for the Combined Training and some great Show Jumping rounds, contributing to the team’s overall success.

As a result, Phoebe Cavill, Kate Joyce and Georgia Joyce have all qualified for the Equestrian Australia 2024 Australian Interschool Championships to be held in Tamworth, NSW in September.

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Phoebe Cavill: Overall state champion award in the Senior Preliminary Dressage. Kate Joyce: Reserve state champion for the 80 Combined Training.
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SPORT Lions need to shift gears

With no Outer East Football Netball in the region over the weekend, it’s time to look back at what has transpired for Pakenham so far in Premier Division this year.


· Ladder position: 8th

· Win-loss record: 3-5

· Leading goal kicker: Jai Rout (16)

· Individuals impressing: Jai Rout, Rhys Clacy, Sam Kors, Josh Haggar, James Harrison

· Points per game: 74.5 (5th)

· Points against per game: 84.8 (10th)

· Big games to come: R10 v Upwey Tecoma (H), R15 v Officer (A), R16 v Olinda Ferny Creek (H).

· Predicted finish: 8th

Relative to preseason anticipation, it’s been a poor start to the season for the Lions.

Paul Carbis set the expectations over Summer by declaring they should be aiming for the top three in 2024, but injuries, a lack of continuity and form will instead have them battling to make the finals.

Let’s deal with facts; Pakenham’s only wins have been against the sides in the bottom three, in Emerald, Berwick Springs and Monbulk, the latter courtesy of a Sam Kors miracle after the siren.

While games against teams likely to finish around the same mark as them - in Mt Evelyn,

Olinda Ferny Creek and Officer - netted zero premiership points, an unaffordable outcome in such a close competition – just four points separate fourth and seventh.

Injuries to key figures, including skipper Jake Barclay and forwards Tom Gamble and Bailey Stiles, haven’t helped the Lions’ cause, but to boil their form exclusively down to injuries would be giving them an out.

Sam Kors has been a find as a key figure in their forward line, having spent much of his time in previous years higher up the ground, while Under 19s Ryan Martini, David Sollberger and JoshTrembath have each held their own at senior level.

The adjustment to Carbis’ game style is taking its time, and it’s defensively where the pain is most being felt, where lapses and breakdowns in structure simply make them too easy to score against.

A solid performance against Narre Warren in round one, where they took the contest right up to a likely premiership contender, showed plenty of promise, but ultimately left them wanting where it mattered most.

Carbis said after their last contest against Wandin that the side had not yet reached the heights he expected them to, but said there was “no panic stations just yet”.

“I thought we’d be a bit higher,” Carbis said.

“I thought we’d win the games against the

teams that we did, but I think that comes down to the personnel that we had on the park - everyone at the start of the year goes off what their best side looks like and we had that against Narre (Warren), and I thought we played some good footy against Narre (Warren) and that’s probably when we played our best footy for the year, and that’s probably the best team that we’ve had.

“Since then it’s gone up and down like a yo-yo, and results again today, there’s a few big ones and a few close ones.

“I said that to the boys; whether we win or lose, even against Woori Yallock, we’ve just got to keep trying to play the way we play and things will start to turn.”

A loss against the Tigers on Saturday will see them slip to 3-6, with return clashes against both Woori Yallock and the Magpies still to come in the run home.

Clashes against Upwey Tecoma, Officer and Olinda Ferny Creek, therefore, only heighten in their significance in the fight for a place in the bottom half of the top six.

Barclay’s knee injury will see him miss the remainder of the season but the club is hoping to see Zac Stewart return from injury this week, having made it through his first full game since week unscathed in the reserves, after missing the entire season in 2023.

Competitive Kangaroos on the right track

Outer East Football Netball took a rest over the weekend, allowing Officer coach Daniel Charles to work with his team and build on a great start to life in Premier Division.


· Ladder position: 7th

· Win-loss record: 4-4

· Leading goalkicker: Mark Seedsman (15)

· Individuals Impressing: Jake Gains, Brenton Hillard, Brent Moloney, Zach Charles, Joshua Westra

· Points per game: 55.3 (10th)

· Points against per game: 76 (6th)

· Big games to come: R13 v Mt Evelyn (H), R15 v Pakenham (H), R17 v Upwey Tecoma (H)

· Predicted finish: 6th

If there was an award for‘surprise packet of the year’ in 2024, Officer would win hands-down.

Many questions their legitimacy or place in the competition’s top division in 2024, having missed finals in Division One in 2023 and benefiting immensely from the competition’s structure review, in re-joining the top flight without the credentials of Emerald and Berwick Springs, who played off for the Division One flag.

But here they are, sitting just outside the top six on percentage through eight weeks, and with scalps against three 2023 Premier Division sides already under their belt, in Pakenham, Mt Evelyn and Gembrook Cockatoo.

And they’ve done it with defence, locking sides down and restricting their ability to score.

Only once have they conceded a score above 100 points, when they ran into the Narre Warren buzz-saw in round four, the same number of occasions for Olinda Ferny Creek, Wandin and Upwey Tecoma – all in the top six.

Joshua Westra has delighted the coaching staff with his capacity to hold down a key position post in the back half of the ground, and big bodies in the midfield, such as recruit of the year contender Brenton Hillard, Omar Ashkar and Brent Moloney, are winning their share of the ball in the middle, giving forwards the first opportunity.

The entries inside 50 remain an issue, hence the low scoring output.

Too few times does the ball a target going inside the Officer forward 50, to the immense frustration of onlookers, and forwards.

When they have, however, accuracy has deserted them – on four occasions they’ve kicked

more behinds than goals.

Tight wins against Gembrook Cockatoo, Emerald and Pakenham each reflect an ability to identify moments in games and alter their approach when required, all while building chemistry and trust in one-another and the game plan under Daniel Charles.

A second clash against Monbulk awaits in the final round, as does its first contest with Berwick Springs for the season in round 10, but return contests against all three of Narre Warren, Wandin and Woori Yallock will be tough outings.

Like Pakenham, wins against sides in their portion of the ladder will be crucial in differentiating themselves from the field.

Unlike Pakenham, those wins are already on the board.

Finals or not, optimism abounds at Starling Road at what the club has achieved in the last 24 months since a horror period in the club’s

Talent time

history saw it plummet out Premier Division.

Westra and Zach Charles headline a young crop brimming with talent, including key forward Riley Wierzbicki, Antonio Quach Tyler Canute, Bowen Johnston, Jeremy Valentine and more that, if they stick together, can expect to play a lot of serious football together in the blue and white jumper.

Supported by senior leaders like Moloney, Hillard, Kyle Hagger and Jake Gains, the Kangaroos appear on the right path.

Gains’ height, versatility and mobility makes him the ultimate Swiss Army Knife, and is making an early run at the Shane Smith medal through eight weeks.

Round four’s dismal showing against Narre Warren was a reminder of where they need to get to, but as Charles will remind them time and time again, they’re on a journey – the destination will come in time.

Dandenong Stingrays co-captains Harvey Langford and Cooper Hynes representedVic Country on Sunday, alongside Gippsland’s Xavier Lindsay and Willem Duursma.

Vic Country opened its national championships campaign at Ikon Park against South Australia, winning a tight battle 13.9 87 to 11.13 78.

Langford, who has somewhat flown under the radar in the midst of Hynes’ recent form for Dandenong, finished with 25 disposals and a team-high six clearances to finish as one of the better performers.

He spent plenty of time in the midfield, with his second quarter the best, showing his calmness, ability to link up and cover the ground.

Hynes worked into the contest nicely to finish with a tidy 19 touches playing predominantly up forward.

Lindsay also grew as the game went on, playing on the wing and bringing his trademark efficiency and overlap run in a 19-disposal effort.

Duursma finished with 16 disposals showing some nice signs with ball in hand in defence.

Others locals in the squad who did not take part included Riak Andrew, Noah Hibbins-Hargreaves and the injured Noah Mraz. HarveyLangfordpressedhisdraftcase onSunday. 412520

18 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 13 June, 2024
JakeGainshasbeenanincredibleassetforOfficer. 408036 Picture:ROBCAREW
SamuelKorshasturnedintoagoalkicking forwardforPakenham. 403698 Picture:ROBCAREW

SPORT Pakky Pumas hit the road

The King’s Birthday weekend provided the perfect opportunity for 15 Pakenham Pumas to take part in baseball tournaments in Geelong and Tamworth.

The State Winter Championships took place in Geelong, while the Tamworth Annual Baseball Tournament is always a highlight on the calendar.

Representing the Dandenong Baseball Association (DBA) in the State Championships, the ladies played two games on Saturday, winning both against Geelong Blue (8-6) and MWBL (21-0).

It was then an early and very cold start to Sunday, winning back-to-back games against Bendigo (12-6) and Geelong White (10-7).

These two wins meant the DBA finished top of the table and qualified for the semifinals against MWBL Green.

Some quick runs scored by MWBL meant the DBA girls had some work to do.

But through some great hitting and amazing footwork the girls were able to come back with 13-12 win to secure a spot in the grand final.

It wasn’t to be for the DBA this year; some errors in the field, and not being able to compete with Geelong’s big hits and aggressive base running, meant that the runs on the board were gaining fast.

Geelong took out the top spot with a 10-1 victory.

Among the highlights over the weekend for the ladies were:

· Carni Dowsett being amazing behind the plate and also getting some awesome hits.

· Felicity Clissold leading off almost every game and getting those strikeouts up on the mound.

· Jo Blackler did awesome on first base and had some great hits.

· Jess Moulding did well in left-field and had a few great hits.

· Tuhi Ngaheu was an amazing EO and helped with line ups, fielding changes, uniform and so much more.

The DBA seniors had a great weekend, starting off on Saturday with winning games against MWBL Diamond Valley (11-1) and then Bendigo (7-0).

Sunday started off with a 6-10 loss against Geelong, before backing up with an 8-3 win over MWBL Ringwood.

The last game of the day was against MWBL City, with the score unknown.

Monday started with a 5-8 loss to Geelong, but with three wins and three losses

this meant that the guys made it to the semifinals, playing for a spot in the grand final against MWBL City.

In a hard-fought match, the guys went down 6-2 just missing out on the last game of the tournament.

Highlights for the guys were:

· Dillan Collier caught six out of seven games and had some great hits.

· Max Hunter started on the mound in two games and did an amazing job.

· Hiroki Goke played great defensively and had the most hits for the team.

· Max Vetter had some quality at bats with high OBP and was a great defence player.

New dimension added to burgeoning rivalry

A grand final replay from 2023 will give a greater indication of what 2025 had to offer when two of the Outer East Football Netball Premier Division’s relegation battlers collide at Mick Morland Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

Glorious Spring sunshine in Healesville last September was the backdrop for an emphatic Emerald win in the Division One decider against Berwick Springs in a match that was effectively over at quarter time, as the Bombers took a 28-point lead into the first break and continued on their merry way to the premiership.

Crunching physical efforts from Mitch Thomas, Rogan Goonan and Jared Derksen in the opening stages were a harbinger of things to come for the Titans, overawed by the occasion against a side hell-bent on making amends for an extra time loss in the semifinal a fortnight prior.

The circumstances could hardly be more different as the combatants prepare to lock horns for the first time since the grand final on Saturday, with both fighting now for their lives in the competition’s top flight.

Occupying the bottom two rungs of the ladder, both need to escape the bottom three by season’s end, should they wish to remain in Premier Division.

These are opportunities that both sides simply cannot afford to miss, and Emerald know this all too well, having dropped four points to fellow bottom three side, Monbulk, in its last contest.

Despite the changes in personnel from last September, the crushing nature of the defeat will no doubt continue to sting those in Berwick Springs blue and green.

Whether they have enough firepower to match Emerald’s up front, however, will go a long way to determining the outcome.

The Bombers average nearly two more goals per game, and that’s with David Johnson only contributing six in his five games so far.

Having not featured since round six due to a bicep injury, the Titans will be hoping he

remains on the sidelines, after his six goals in the grand final earned him best-on-ground honours.

Other contests of note in round nine include Officer hosting Monbulk, in a golden chance for the Kangaroos to work their way back into the top six, while Gembrook Cockatoo will be eager to snap a five-game losing streak when it hosts Upwey Tecoma.

Pakenham faces one of the competition’s biggest tests when it heads to Woori Yallock,

and Narre Warren will be looking for a ninth win on the trot against Mt Evelyn.

Should both Narre Warren and Woori Yallock salute, it will set up a mouth-watering contest between the two in round 10, where both will enter the contest undefeated.

TIPS: OFFICER v Monbulk, Mt Evelyn v NARRE WARREN, WANDIN v Olinda Ferny Creek, Gembrook Cockatoo v UPWEY TECOMA, WOORI YALLOCK v Pakenham, Berwick Springs v EMERALD.

· Rohan Hector had a couple of great hits and caught one game.

· Lachlan Collier was the team’s Bat Boy for the tournament.

· Hiroki Won MVP for the DBA team Over in Tamworth, Pumas current, past and a Life Member got together to represent the KC Gallopers in the annual Tournament. The Gallopers went through the tournament undefeated and took away the flag with a convincing 17-5 win.

Scott Dale got the player of the finals and Daniel Taylor, Shaun Fahy and Simon Ferris had multiple hits scoring multiple RBIS. - Jessica Moulding

Second half pride for United

Pakenham was never given a look in against Mount Eliza in the FFV Men’s State League 5 South competition.

United was jumped early, going into halftime 4-0 down before restoring some pride in the second half in a 5-2 result.

Giovanni Togoni kicked both of the hosts’ goals at IYU Recreation Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

Pakenham will view it as a scalp gone begging, with Casey’s 4-3 victory over Barton seeing the Panthers move ahead of Pakenham into ninth spot.

After a tight first half, the game opened up after the break, with all four of Casey’s goals coming in the second half.

Meanwhile, Endeavour Hills went down 5-0 to Aspendale.

Pakenham have the test against thirdplaced Aspendale next. Thursday, 13 June, 2024 | STAR NEWS 19
Pakenham’s Giovanni Togoni (17) battles with his Mt Eliza opponent on Saturday. Togoni scored two goals in a 5-2 defeat at IYU Reserve. 412139 Picture: ROB CAREW The rivalry between Berwick Springs and Emerald will resume on Saturday in a grand final rematch from 2023. 361017 Picture: ROB CAREW Pakenham Pumas at the State Winter Championships, back, left to right; Dillan Collier, Hiroki Goke, Lachlan Collier, Max Vetter, Max Hunter and Rohan Hector. Front row; Jessica Moulding, Jo Blackler, Carni Dowsett and Felicity Clissold. 413123 Pictures: SUPPLIED Back, left to right; Shaun Fahy, Simon Ferris (Life Member), Daniel Taylor, John Beech (Past Player) and Scott Dale in Tamworth.
Enrolling now for 2026 and beyond Limited vacancies in 2025 P: 5941 7544 E: W: 2 Portobello Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810 12695590-FR24-24

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