Star Weekly - Sunbury Macedon Ranges - 12th March 2024

Page 1

A library full of fun

On a humble day in August 1990, local mums Nancy Prewer and Marliese Tammes founded the Sunbury Toy Library.

Fast forward 34 years and the library has moved to three different locations and now operates out of Sunbury Neighborhood House, offering quality toys for less than $2 per week.

Nancy is pleased that the toy library is still operating, and loves hearing updates from her daughter-in-law Georgina Prewer who is the current treasurer.

Georgina said the library was recently awareded a $10,000 grant from the state government.

“The funding will allow us to purchase new toys and resources, enhancing the experience for our local community, and enabling us to achieve our vision,“ she said.

“All we need now is the members and volunteers to help our toy library thrive.”

At the moment, the library is run solely by four part-time working parents and they need more hands on deck to help run open sessions.

The tasks involved include greeting members, offering assistance, returning and checking out toys and ensuring the space is kept clean.

They could also use help to catalogue donations and new toys, for adhoc repair work and for content creation.

Details: members@sunburytoylibrary.

Nothing to ‘stop the creep’

TheGreenWedgesCoalitionandlocalresidents are calling on Hume council to implement a Green Wedge Management Plan, with action continuing to lag behind that of other councils.

Greenwedgesaredefinedasnon-urbanareas of metropolitan Melbourne that lie outside the urban growth boundary. There are 12 green wedge areas across 17 municipalities which form a ring around the city.

Green Wedges Coalition coordinator Rosemary West said they would welcome Hume council finally adopting a management

plan, being the only council with its own green wedge yet to make such a plan.

“While other councils have been making Green Wedge Management Plans in line with state government planning objectives, Hume embarked on a policy to manage its green wedge in its own way,” she said.

“It sees its green wedge as only existing to support a curfew-free airport, rather than to support agriculture near to city markets and to provide relief from urban sprawl.”

Hume council’s 2022 Rural Strategy recognised this with the introduction acknowledging “the significant role the rural

areas play in protecting the curfew free status of Melbourne Airport distinguishes Hume’s green wedge.”

Ms West said Hume is a growing urban area and its rural and natural areas have been neglected by the council.

“Our coalition and local rural residents are dismayed that the council has supported more and more urban uses in its green wedge.”

A Hume council spokesperson said the state government planning system reform regarding Green Wedge Management Plans is not yet complete.

“In the meantime, council is working to

implement the Rural Strategy, including many of the same actions included in other council’s Green Wedge Management Plans,” they said.

“Council adopted Hume’s Rural Strategy in April 2022, which provides direction and certainty to the community about the future planning and council support for the rural areas.

“Council intends to translate the strategy into a Green Wedge Management Plan once we havethefinaladvicefromthestategovernment on any system changes.”

■ Continued: Page 4.

12 MARCH, 2024 Established in 1981 as the proudly serving Sunbury and Macedon Ranges 2675953-HC12-24
Julie Smart and her son Jerimiah, 2, and Danelle Scicluna from the Sunbury Toy Library. (Damjan Janevski) 391840_02
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Map reveals sweltering future

Sunbury and Macedon Ranges residents can expect twice as many days over 35 degrees celsius by 2090 if Australia continues its existing environmental action, Climate Council has warned.

A new interactive heat map details the predicted temperature rise, with Bulla and Diggers Rest clocking a predicted 15 days above 35 degrees, which is the largest increase of sweltering days in the area.

According to Climate Council, Malmsbury and Sunbury will have the second highest with

14 days above 35 degrees, Kyenton will have 13 days and Monegeetta will have 12 days.

RiddellsCreekandGisbornearepredictedto have 11 days, Tylden, Bullengarook, Newham, Romsey, Lancefield and Macedon will have 10 days, and Woodend will have nine days.

Mount Macedon is the only suburb in the Macedon Ranges to have its days above 35 degrees increase threefold, however it still remains less than the surrounding suburbs, with an expected six days above 35 degrees.

Climate Council research director Dr Simon Bradshaw said inland suburbs are often warmer than the inner city due to a variety of

geographical factors, including being further from the coast.

“This can be further exacerbated by lack of green space, too much concrete and asphalt, and dark roofs which absorb more heat,” he said.

“Poor quality housing and lower incomesleaving people unable to cool their homes- may further exacerbate the problem.

“It is essential that new developments do not repeat the planning mistakes of the past, and thatcommunitiesaredesignedtobeasresilient as possible to rising temperatures.

“This means plenty of vegetation and shade,

Nook transforms into outdoor class

Sunbury’s Cub Scouts have been busy taking advantage of the local environment to learn valuable water safety skills.

The Cubs, aged between five and eight years old, recently practised their water rescue techniques at The Nook.

Scout leader Robert Irvine said at that age it’s important to learn about safe swimming strategies.

“It makes them more comfortable in those environments, just doing it in a swimming

pool is not what scouts do,” he said.

With some of the Cubs in the water with lifejackets on, they learnt how to rescue each other without compromising the safety of the Cub on the shore.

“They are throwing a rescue rope to the kids in the water and learning how to pull them to shorewithouttheswimmerpullingtheminthe water,” Mr Irvine said.

“The kids love it, they’re all enjoying themselves… [and] it encourages adventurous

activities in a safe way.”

Following a break over Christmas to spend time with family and friends, Sunbury Scouts are back in full swing, and Mr Irvine encourages anyone interested to get involved.

“[We’re] back to full strength now. It’s a good strong group and the footnote is that everyone who wants to come along is welcome.”

Details: location/1ST-SUNBURY/

thermally efficient homes… good public transport, and readily available cool refuges… for anyone who may be otherwise unable to escape the heat.”

DrBradshawsaidtheprojectionsdonottake into account new urban development, such as the growth in Melbourne’s north and west.

“However, we know that good urban planning is essential to managing the risks of extreme heat, and that poor design can exacerbate the heat impacts of climate change,” he said.

Heat map: au/resources/heatmap/

Nothing to ‘stop the creep’

■ From page 1.

Local residents David and Gwen Chandler both agree with Ms West and the coalition, and said council’s current Rural Strategy is ineffective in protecting the green wedge.

“[It’s ineffective] because there’s commercial development all along,” Mr Chandler said.

“There’s no hard boundary between the urban growth corridor and the green wedge,” Mrs Chandler added.

They both said it’s frustrating that council is waiting on final advice from the state government, yet other councils have implemented management plans.

“It’s very frustrating. We need clarity, and so do the people that are doing the development work,” Mr Chandler said.

Mrs Chandler said it’s frustrating waiting on the management plan as a resident living in the green wedge.

“If other councils have [implemented a management plan] Hume should have developed its,” she said.

Mr Chandler said they are starting to see the urban creep go forward between the boundary and the green wedge.

“The general opinion seems to be that if you don’t have a hard boundary, you don’t have a green wedge.

“I mean, there’s nothing to stop the creep going forward.”

Second time’s a charm for ground-breaking rural nurse

A Kyneton resident has been named AgriFutures Victorian Rural Woman of the Year, for her work in rural first-aid training. Paediatric nurse and founder of The Sisterhood Project, Grace Larson, was awarded the honour at Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor on March 5, after being a finalist for the award in 2023.

The Sisterhood Project was established after siblings Grace and Skye Larson recognised the need for affordable first aid training in rural and remote areas.

Grace, a nurse turned health-care educator, observed a discrepancy in access to baby and

child first aid courses, driving her mission to ensure equal opportunity for all to acquire life-saving skills.

“Winning the Victorian Agrifutures Rural Women’s award is an incredible honour, the women who were in the finalists this year were all so inspirational and it’s such a privilege,” she said. “The… grant will be used to further the reach of The Sisterhood Project, beyond Victoria and to the rest of Australia.

“We want to make training accessible to all of our key target groups across Australia.”

The Project’s aim is to curb higher child mortality rates in rural Australia by

empowering parents and carers to know how to act in an emergency.

Along with the award, Grace was presented with $15,000 for The Sisterhood Project, and will go in the running to become the second successive Victorian to win the national award at Parliament House in September.

Macedon MP Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas congratulated Grace on the award and her work in the healthcare sector.

“First aid is a critical skill and Kyneton’s own Grace and Skye Larson have seized an amazing opportunity to share these critical skills with the community and help them become more

resilient,” she said. Other finalists included Georgina Morrison from Hamilton, Reeanjou Ram from Melbourne, and Sarah Holmes from Mildura.

AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey the award is Australia’s leading award in acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries and communities.

“This announcement highlights the exceptional contributions of these four Victorian women and serves to highlight them as role models for the next generation of rural leaders,” he said.

Locals David and Gwen Chandler.
(Damjan Janevski) 392997_04
Scouts at the Nook. (Supplied)

Stepping up in the fight

Lancefield Park was full of relay racers for the annual MacedonRanges CancerCouncilRelay for Life event, which took place on the first Sunday in March.

The relay consisted of 14 teams, with the final amount of money raised on the night totalling $39,576. Organisers said more funds areexpectedinthenextfourweeks,afterwhich the result will be finalised.

Organising committee chair Ken Wiltshire said it truly is wonderful to see the community band together to support a cause that has affected nearly everyone at some point in their life.

“The array of age groups who partake in volunteering, fundraising, relaying or just being present is lovely to be a part of,” he said.

“Relay is such a moving event that creates a big impact… for the Cancer Council’s research and programs.

“It [also] offers support for our community members who are currently fighting cancer, celebrating surviving or remembering loved ones that they have lost.”

The highest fundraisers for this year were Clarkefield and Friends with $6643, followed by Puddles Team with $5777 and J.K’s Joggers with $5027.

Every team who raised more $5000 are entitled to allocate their funds to a particular Cancer Council research program.

These latest fundraising efforts contribute to the $1778,218 cumulative amount raised in the 21 Relay for Life events that have been run in Lancefield.

After many years of support, the winner of the ‘Spirit of Relay’ was Luke Fitzpatrick of Riddells Creek Bin Hire who most generouslyprovidesafreeskipeachyearforthe event.


Sunbury ’24

Hume council’s 50 year revival of the Sunbury Pop Festival has officially sold out, with the event set to take place on Saturday, April 13. The festival will be held at The Nook on April 13, with headliners including Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks, Richard Clapton, and Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows. Star Weekly understands that some of the performances will also include Spectrum, Chain, Ros Wilson, and Madder Lake among others. The festival will be a celebration of the original Sunbury Festivals which were held from 1972 to 1975, and were a watershed moment in Australia’s music history.

Barkly Square

Macedon Ranges council is seeking feedback on the preferred site of a new multipurpose facility at Barkly Square in Kyneton. Council previously endorsed the development of a multipurpose facility for the Kyneton and District Soccer Club and Kyneton Obedience Dog Club to replace the existing ageing infrastructure. Several site location options have been considered for the construction of the facility, and officers recommend the western side of Barkly Square as the most optimal. Consultations are now open until March 31. Details:



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The Relay for Life event was held in Lancefield in early March. (Supplied)
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Tip trip too much say residents

As Hume council grapples with the skyrocketing cost to remove illegally dumped rubbish, Sunbury residents are calling for cheapertripstothetiptohelpeasethegrowing issue.

Hume council recently revealed it spent $4.7 million in the 2022-23 financial year to clean up 11,000 illegal dumping incidents in the municipality.

Frustrations about these illegal dumpings andthecostofatiptrip-whichisaboutdouble what Melton council charges- were shared on a community Facebook page.

Local resident Daniel Sheehan said people are illegally dumping rubbish because they can’t afford to take it to the tip.

“Therearehardrubbishcollectionsbutthese are not always suitable or convenient,” he said.

As it stands, Hume council charges its residents $67 for a station wagon of mixed waste, which is increased to $90 for non-residents.

Meltoncouncilchargesitsresidents$29fora stationwagonofmixedwaste.Thisisincreased to $48 for non-residents.

Mr Sheehan said it’s these prices which have himconsideringgoingtotipsoutsideofHume, but he doesn’t think the pricing is fair.

“The tip should be subsidised for residents and ratepayers,” he said. “If you compare metro tips and transfer stations the pricing does vary. Melton tip is around half the price.”

“I think the shire is spending so much money with the development of new suburbs and estates all over the shire that it’s not putting money back into the established areas.

“Sunbury is only one area out of many.”

Council’s director infrastructure and assets Adam McSwain said fees and charges are informed by the state government landfill Levy, operation costs, disposal costs, previous fees, and periodic benchmarking with similar facilities.

Lucky save for orphaned wallaby

On the first Sunday in March, a swamp wallaby was rescued from his dead mum’s pouch in a moment of sheer luck.

Local rescuer Deborah Gwyther-Jones was driving home from a day full of rescues when she noticed the wallaby on Romsey Road, Romsey.

It was a route she didn’t usually take, but one she was drawn to on the day.

“For whatever reason, I decided to [go on that] route,” Ms Gwyther-Jones said.

“I usually take different routes heading out, getting back for this very reason to find animals that have not been called in.

“I saw the mum up against the barrier… [and]hecalledouttome…[from]thepouch.”

Ms Gwyther-Jones then took the wallaby to a nearby shelter, but said this situation shows how important it is for people to call Wildlife Victoria if they hit or if they see an animal hit.

“The message that we need to get across is they’ve got to call them in,” she said.

This rescue was followed by a sense of déjà vu for Ms Gwyther-Jones less than a week later when she rescued an eastern grey joey from his mum’s pouch, who was dead on the side of the road.

“That joey would have been dead if I hadn’t stopped. Luckily it wasn’t a particularly hot day because they really cook in the pouches in hot weather.

“I’m just so grateful that for whatever reason my inner radar said go this way.

“I would honestly say only about 10 per cent of drivers who hit an animal actually call them in.”

If you hit wildlife or see wildlife which has been hit, call Wildlife Victoria on 03 8400 7300.

“Infrastructure at resource recovery centres, transfer centres and recycling facilities are different across councils and therefore gate fee prices will vary,“ he said. “Melton’s facility is vastly different to Hume’s.

“Hume service offerings also differ… council’s services include… four bulk waste entitlements totalling 10 cubic metres for all households per year. This exceeds the current entitlement offered to Melton council residents.

“Hume clean days are also offered once a quarter, along with mulching days, to dispose of larger items free of charge - a service which is not offered by Melton council.”

Stories of diversity

Macedon Ranges council is inviting the community to attend a special lunch event and shared storytelling to celebrate Cultural Diversity Week on Friday, March 22.

Cultural Diversity Week is an annual state-wide celebration held that recognises the value cultural diversity brings to our community.

The event will be held at the Kyneton Town Hall, and coincides with the UnitedNationsDayfortheElimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

Council director community Maria Weiss said the event reflects this year’s theme of ‘our shared storiescelebrating together’ and will be the first since council adopted its inaugural cultural diversity statement last year.

“Council is committed to promoting an inclusive community ensuring that people of all faiths, cultures, languages, genders and abilities are welcome and connected,” she said.

“We warmly welcome everyone to join us in this inclusive event to celebrate and reflect on the value what cultural diversity brings to our community.”

In partnership with Regional Victorians of Colour, Kyneton Community House and The Kindness Collective, community members will come together to share their stories along with information from the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health.

The event will also feature a lunch prepared by a community chef, who will bring a taste of the Philippines to the town hall.

The free event will be held from 11am- 2pm. Register here or call 5422 0333.

Macedon Ranges draft gambling policy lacks ‘substance’

A member of Keep Romsey Pokie Free has criticised Macedon Ranges council’s draft Gambling Harm Prevention Policy, calling for stronger action in light of a recent application for 50 gaming machines in the town.

Macedon Ranges council adopted the draft policy at a meeting on February 28, which seeks to replace council’s Electronic Gaming Machine (Pokies) Community Policy, which was adopted in 2009.

Council said the draft policy has adopted a public health approach, and recognises there is a complex interplay of social, economic and environmental factors at play.

Amongthepolicyactions,councilsaiditwill “opposeanyplanningandlicensingapplication for additional EGMs and the transfer of EGMs within the Macedon Ranges when there is

reliable evidence that the application will cause net social or economic detriment.”

According to council’s background paper on the policy, the Macedon Ranges currently has 103 electronic gaming machines between three operators. In 2022-23 these machines generated a total loss of $9,089,731.

Last year the Romsey Football Netball Club Inc applied to the Victorian Gambling and CasinoControlCommissionforapprovalof50 gaming machines at the Romsey Hotel.

Keep Romsey Pokie Free member Guy Walterssaidhehasworkedinlocalgovernment for more than 30 years across multiple municipalities,includingMacedonRangesand Hume.

Mr Walters questioned why the policy doesn’t mention the latest gaming machine

application in Romsey.

“It’s a gambling harm prevention policysurely council can have a lead about the latest application,” he said.

“You know there is going to be harm out of gambling yet you’re saying there’s not going to be a link to the recent application.

“It’s all very well to have the high in the sky words but I don’t see any substance with this.”

Mr Walters also questioned the resources that council would be offering as part of the policy.

“There’s some really good words that are supportive… But it’s not talking about additional resources for people struggling with gambling,ittalksaboutworkinginpartnership but we’ve already seen the gaps in partnership.

“They’re talking about young people

struggling but there’s no reference to older people in the policy and that concerns me… because they’re socially isolated and vulnerable.”

Council director community Maria Weiss said the focus of the policy, which is open for feedback until March 31, is not on any single venue or application.

“Council is considering the current application relating to the Romsey Hotel on its ownmeritandthroughaseparateprocess,”she said.“Thepolicyoutlinescouncil’scommitment to preventing harm from gambling within the Macedon Ranges, whether that be through actions to lead, regulate, advocate or inform.

“Gambling and gambling harm can impact people of all ages, not just older people- the policy and its actions reflect this.”

The rescued swamp wallaby. (Supplied/ Karl Dawson)

‘Placement poverty’ in Sunbury

Sunbury students say they are struggling to keep up with the financial burden of unpaid placements, amid a recommendation to introduce placements payments.

When local resident Vivian Kicheni decided to enrol in a certificate IV in disability, she saw it as a way to make some extra cash to support her and her eight-year-old daughter keep their heads above water in the cost of living crisis.

Now, after recently completing her final assignment, Ms Kicheni is facing the difficult reality of having to take annual and unpaid leavefromherjobasadentalnursetocomplete

the required 120-hour placement.

All of which she won’t earn a cent from.

“As a single mother who works full-time from Monday to Friday, taking time off… to fulfill the placement requirements would result in a significant loss of income for me,” she said.

To make up for this lost income Ms Kicheni saidsheisactivelyseekingasecondjobtowork onFridaynights.However,thisdecisionwould mean sacrificing time with her daughter.

“My leave days from work, for instance, are for if my daughter gets sick or we have a special vacation to go to… but not to take two weeks off to go on placement that I’m not even

getting paid for,” she said.

Ms Kicheni said the unpaid placement is the cherry on top of an already stressful situation, which has followed her costs increasing above her single income.

“It’s a certificate I did because the government were offering [for] free… which is a good incentive,” she said.

“One income is not enough for me… I used to be content with just one income… but now it’s not even enough for me to cover my bills.

“I wanted to have something that I can… do a morning shift [on the weekend] and still have that time to spend with my daughter when I come back like Friday night.

Riddells Creek sees event trifecta

Riddells Creek residents are getting ready for a trifecta of sustainability focused community events on Saturday, March 16, at the Riddells Creek Primary School.

Located at 77 Main Road, Riddells Creek, the day will start at 9am and will include the infamous Riddells Creek Farmers Market, a community group expo and an Enviro Energy Expo.

The farmers market will set attendees up for asustainablefamilyEasterwitharangeoflocal produceincludingflowers,fudgeonoffer,fruit, vegetables, pastries, bread and of course coffee

to start the day.

The community expo will be located at the school’s performing arts centre and will run until noon, showcasing a range of clubs and organisations the community can get involved in to make connections.

Winners of the Giant Zucchini Competition, run by the Riddells Creek Neighbourhood House will be announced as part of the expo, with categories including the widest, heaviest and best dressed.

Neighbourhood house community development manager Lisa Linton said an

array of great prizes will be on offer.

“This is the second year running for the competition and there is strong competition to beat last year’s records” she said.

TheinauguralEnviroEnergyExpowillbegin at noon and according to lead event organisers, it promises to provide practical solutions for the home, the planet and our pockets.

The expo runs until 4.30pm and is organised byRiddellsCreekCoolChangesinpartnership withWhatRiddellWants,intheaimtosupport people to find solutions and plan towards implementing them.

“AndthenI’lldo[ashift]Saturdayafternoon and then still have time on Sunday with my daughter.”

Ms Kicheni’s story is not one dissimilar to the experiences of those around the country. It’s these experiences, the Australian Universities Accord labelled ‘placement poverty’ in a recent report examining Australia’s higher education system.

The review recommended that the federal government work with higher education providersandemployerstointroducepayment for unpaid placements, including government financial support for placements in the areas of nursing, care and teaching.


Gisborne Aquatic Centre (GAC)

GAC is set to close between April 2-14 for essential upgrades and maintenance. The centre opened in 2005 and several key mechanical components are nearing their end of life, requiring renewal or replacement. Works include upgrades to the facility’s air circulation systems and building management system and software.

Council director assets and operations Shane Walden said the upgrades will ensure the facility continues to operate at peak efficiency, reducing long-term maintenance costs and improving the overall user experience. “The closure has been timed to align with the school and easter holiday period to minimise disruption to pool users and regular programs such as learn to swim.”

Petitioning to bridge the gap

Mount Macedon residents are petitioning for action on the reinstatement of the pedestrian bridge crossing Willimigongon Creek. Macedon Ranges council noted the petition at its meeting on February 28, and resolved to respond with a report prior to the end of June. The petition was submitted by Mount Macedon resident Susan D’Urso on behalf of 85 residents. It petitions council to reinstate the pedestrian bridge crossing Willimigongon Creek on Clarke Street, Mount Macedon within six months. The council resolved the director assets and operation to prepare a report in response to the petition to be presented to council at a council meeting prior to the end of June, 2024.



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‘Key to breaking cycles of disadvantage’: Push for a uni

Hume council is advocating for a university to be built in the northern part of the municipality.

In the council’s federal budget wish list sent bythecounciltolocalMPs,thecouncillisteda university in Hume among its priorities.

The wish list, which was included in the last council meeting agenda, said the council is calling for the university to be built in the federal seat of Caldwell and the state electorate of Kalkallo.

The council is asking for funding to support the establishment of a university campus, working in collaboration with the state government.

Hume mayor Naim Kurt said Hume is advocatingforatertiaryeducationfacilitythat

will offer improved pathways for our residents closer to home.

“As it stands our municipality has the lowest attainment of tertiary education in metro Melbourne,” he said.

“The proposal for a tertiary facility in Hume is one of council’s pre-budget submission items for inclusion in the federal budget in which we hope to achieve collaboratively with the state government.

“Education is the key to breaking cycles of disadvantage, and through better access to improved educational qualifications our residents will be positioned to secure jobs to support their families and assist in the transformation and progression of their local community.

“Additionally, the establishment of a tertiary provider in Hume’s north will also provide much-needed local job opportunities, partnerships for workforce development and the next generation of industry leaders.”

Hume has been without a university since Victoria University closed its Sunbury campus in 2009.

TheclosestuniversitiesareinBundoorawith RMIT and La Trobe and Victoria University’s Sunshine and St Albans campuses. A new TAFE campus is being built in Sunbury by the state government and will be operated by Kangan, which also has a Broadmeadows campus.

The federal government has primary responsibility for higher education.

The federal government was contacted for comment.

Community-owned organisations are eligible to apply for the regional university study hubs program funding, which may includerepresentativesfromlocalgovernment. A state government spokesperson said since 2015, the government has invested more than $4 billion in training, skills and higher education.

“Victorians have a wide variety of high-quality training options to choose from, right across the state, including university courses and TAFE and training through private providers.”

Riddells Creek Neighbourhood House manager Lisa Linton with 3-year-old Audrey. (Damjan Janevski) 392368_02

Hard work pays off at vineyard

When James Gevergizian and his wife Marlin purchased a vineyard in the Macedon Ranges for their retirement in 2021, no bottle of wine had ever been produced with grapes just from the 26 year old orchard.

Just three years later the vineyard is producing award winning bottles, and has been named as one of the 41 top winegrowers in Australia.

When speaking about the investment in Glenhope Vineyard and this milestone, Mr Gevergizian said the award proves that the work put into the vineyard is a tick in the right direction.

“It’s a big achievement, not only for us but for Vigneron Scott Harrington,” he said.

“This place has been here since 1995, and there was never wine made from the grapes here.

“Most of the grapes were sent to New South Wales and blended in with other grapes. There was no identity as to what the varieties were.

“So 2022 came along and we decided not only will we sell the fruit of various winemakers in the region, but also we want to showcase our wine.”

Withnoimmediatebackgroundinfarming, Mr Gevergizian said they have tried to get the infrastructure up to a standard they are happy with.

“Culturally my forefathers always worked the land… and following COVID we were looking at retiring and moving into the country,” he said.

“This property came on the scene and my wife fell in love with it, and the rest of it is history basically.

“It’s challenging, because really what we’re doing at the moment, we’ve been spending a lot of our energy on getting the place looking

right, [and] making sure that we’ve got the right equipment.”

Going into this year, Mr Gevergizian said the ongoing challenges are the rising cost of farming and the delayed payments.

“The realities in farming, the cost of doing anything is so high. You purchase everything at a retail and your product gets solid at a wholesale [and] you have to wait forever to be paid for it as well.

“So it’s from all aspects of the challenge not

mentioning the weather… but we are getting there slowly.”

The Vineyard of the Year Awards list of Australia’s top winegrowers was announced in late February and is just the fourth year it has been running.

Awards panellist Max Allen said he can’t believe everyone is still having to talk about Australia’s winegrowing community facing unprecedented challenges.

“The pandemic might be over, the bushfires

and floods may have receded, but there’s still plenty to worry about,” he said.

“Uncertain weather patterns, global oversupply, rising costs and dwindling returns, structural imbalance and poor industry governance- the list goes on. That’s why the vineyard of the year awards… are so important. They offer a ray of hope… [so] we can remind ourselves that growing grapes and makingwineisalong-termgamethatrequires resilience and optimism and ingenuity.”


STARWEEKLY.COM.AU NEWS 100 McKenzie Street, Melton 9070 1960 Sam Rae HUB DAY GOVERNMENT SERVICES YOU’RE INVITED: Find the support you need:
Saturday 16 March
10AM - 12PM
Melton Community Hall, 238 High Street RSVP via QR code or call Sam Rae MP’s office on 9070 1960 Authorised by Sam Rae MP, 100 McKenzie Street, Melton Centrelink Medicare Immigration NDIS and more! 12663945-JC11-24 ADVERTISEMENT
Left: Co-owner James Gevergizian. Right: Vigneron Scott Harrington (top); The site is 450-485 metres above sea level with a sloping, mostly east-facing aspect. (Pictures: Supplied)

United fans fight racial slur ban

When Western United takes to the pitch for their first home games at Tarneit in coming weeks, three devoted green and black supporters won’t be among them after copping 18 month bans for alleged racial abuse. Gerald Lynch spoke to the devastated fans who say their appeals to prove themselves innocent of wrongdoing at a recent game have fallen on deaf ears.

During a match between Western United and Perth Glory in the A-League Women’s competition on December 22, Football Australia officials say they were alerted to a serious incident involving alleged racial vilification directed at a Perth Glory player by spectators.

Three Werribee locals and Western United members were identified as the culprits, but they are adamant that the FA has wrongly accused and reprimanded them.

Caleb Trimble, 30, was enjoying the match at City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field in Fraser Rise with his close friends Andrew Tran, 30, who has level two autism, and Jay Sutcliffe, 28, who is in the battle of his life with stage four bowel cancer, when they were approached by an FA official and questioned about racist comments.

After trying to help officials pinpoint the offender, Caleb couldn’t believe it when a letter arrived at his house, informing him that he and his friends were being accused of being the culprits.

“I was completely shocked and appalled to find out that I had been accused of racist language,” Caleb said.

“Jay, Andrew, and myself were chanting, cheeringandsupportingourteamwithpassion, but in no way, shape or form did any of us use the language that we are being accused of.

“Later on in the game we had security come up to us to ask us some questions about what had happened over there. We relayed all of the information that we had to them along with providing our details to help them out.”

The three men worked with security and FA officials who approached them, believing they were merely assisting with the investigation as they were in the vicinity of the incident, until letters arrived detailing the gravity of the situation.

Caleb claims the officials accused them of directing a racial slur at one of the Perth Glory players.

“I am extremely disappointed and saddened by the fact that the Perth Glory players were

subjected to such disgusting language and behaviour at one of our home games and I am of the firm belief that no one should have to deal with such things at all, let alone playing the sport that they love,” he said.

Facing an 18 month ban, Jay Sutcliffe fears he may have seen his last game of football.

“In April 2023, I was suddenly diagnosed with incurable and terminal stage four bowel cancer,” he said.

“This ban is actually quite terrifying for me as there is a good chance I won’t live another 18 months, which would mean I’ve seen my last game of live football.

“Football is one of the highlights of my life at the moment. It helps me feel normal for 90 minutes a week and I would be absolutely devastated if I were never able to attend a game again for something I had no part in.”

Jay said he couldn’t make sense of how he came to be accused, saying the information the trio was told doesn’t match up.

“I fully deny taking part in any sort of anti-social, discriminatory or racist behaviour,” he said. “They told us our comments were audible via the broadcast of the match, and after carefully reviewing the footage from when

these comments were made, between the 22nd and 27th minute of the game, I could not hear myself, Caleb or Andrew make any comments other than supportive comments towards Hannah Keane and Chloe Logarzo regarding their shots at goal.

“As a foundation member of Western United, and as one of the people who helped start the Western Service crew active support, I understand the importance of inclusivity to help grow and support football in Australia.

“I have attended hundreds of games and become friends with supporters, club staff and players of various cultures, backgrounds and identities and I would never do anything to put them in a position where they feel vilified for simply being who they are.

“Western United and the community we are starting to build around the club mean everything to me and I will always try and make anyone involved with our sport feel as welcome as possible.”

A spokesperson for the FA said a strict zero racism policy is enforced.

“As the governing body of football in Australia,weholdafirmstanceagainstanyform of racial vilification or anti-social behaviour,”

‘‘ Football is one of the highlights of my life at the moment. It helps me feel normal for 90 minutes a week and I would be absolutely devastated if I were never able to attend a game again for something I had no part in ’’ - Jay Sutcliffe

the spokesperson said.

“The actions of these individuals not only breached the A-League Terms of Admission and our Spectator Code of Behaviour but fundamentally contradicted the values of respect and inclusivity that Football Australia stands for.

“In response, Football Australia issued an 18 month ban to these spectators, effective immediately. This ban encompasses all matches sanctioned by Football Australia, including National Team matches, Australia Cup matches, A-Leagues matches, National Second Tier matches, and National Premier Leaguematches.Wearecommittedtoensuring that football remains a sport that unites communities and offers a safe and respectful environment for all.”

“An official at the match identified the three persons in question at the time of the incident. The facts gathered during the investigation confirmed names and details of the incident, which led to their respective bans.”

Star Weekly understands officials from Western United and FA were set to meet this weektodiscusstheban. StarWeekly approached Western United for comment.

Jay Sutcliffe (middle left) and Caleb Trimble (middle right) cheering on Western United with the active support group. Left: Andrew Tran enjoying supporting his team. Right: Caleb and Jay celebrating Western United’s 2022 A-League Men Grand Final win. (Pictures: Supplied)

Hamley raises her hand

If you’ve noticed the noise surrounding local council getting louder recently you are not alone.

With elections about eight months away, future candidates are making their voices heard, and the newest voice belongs to Sunbury mum Kate Hamley.

Ms Hamley is a solo mum of two, a scientist andsaidshe’sdeterminedtomakeadifference for her community.

“We’ve been in Sunbury for about 7.5 years now,” she said. “We moved because it was closer to work and still had that part-country, part-urban feel and was a wonderful community to come into.

“I’m an agricultural scientist so I work a lot with farmers and growers, which helps give me a good scope of the rural issues.”

In a current council that only has just three female councillors out of 11, Ms Hamley is part of a state-wide movement to take on male-dominated councils.

Joined by more than 120 other women, Ms Hamley participated in the Women Leading Locally Fellowship, which is supported by the state government to meet its target of 50 per cent female councillors by 2025.

Women participating in the program also represent other historically underrepresented groups including First Nations women, young women, culturally and linguistically diverse women, women living with disability and women who identify as LGBTQI+.

Ms Hamley said in every sporting club, community group, school parents group and local committee you’ll find amazing women with their sleeves rolled, getting things done.

“We are the lifeblood of our communities, but even in 2024 we still don’t have a fair seat at the table where decisions are being made

about us,” she said.

Moving onto her focus for council, Ms Hamley said she believes councils should take ambitious action to address housing accessibility and cost of living pressures.

“I’m really passionate about accessible housing as there’s a lot of people struggling in

Generations connect

Newham Primary school students are crossing generations this year, with students set to continue their visits to Bupa Aged Care in Woodend following a successful first visit. Students kicked off their first visit on March 4, with 10 students from year 4,5 and 6, spending a few hours with the residents and completing activities like word games.

Teacher Rai Jones said it was a really positive andfunexperienceforallthestudentsinvolved.

“The residents and students did word games together, and there was some opportunity to chat with the residents,” she said.

“I know some of my students really enjoyed starting to form some connections.”

Newham student Audrey, 11, agreed that it was a fun experience and she said enjoyed who

she got to sit next to.

“I met someone who was really nice, really encouraging and really interested in getting to know me. She also told me good job when I got the answer correct,” she said.

Ms Jones said activities like these are importantforstudentstoformintergenerational connections, and appreciate older community members.

“We’re looking forward to really building up the relationship with the centre and being able to have deeper connections over time.

“All of my students want to return and I think the residents are keen to get us back. I think the next plan is for carpet bowls.”

Hub to help locals

Locals will soon have direct access to government services at the upcoming Hawke government services hub.

The event is designed to help residents in Hawke access information and resources to assist them in navigating federal government agencies and will be held on Saturday, March 16, 10am-noon at the Melton Community Hall.

It will be hosted by Hawke MP Sam Rae and will include information on agencies such as Services Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Australian Taxation Office and the National Broadband Network.

Mr Rae invited residents to come and askquestions,haveachatandlearnmore about the support services available.

“We’re making it easier for our community to get the help and information they need, by bringing togetherCentrelink,NDISandmoreinto one room,” he said.

Melton local Judy Pierce contacted Mr Rae’s office for assistance with Services Australia and her Home Care Package.

“I’ll be attending the Hawke government services hub to speak directly to the services I rely on,” Ms Pierce said.


“The cost of living is really hurting people and to solve these issues we need all levels of government to work together.

“I am determined to try and do something to help people, we have a once in a generation opportunity at the moment.”

Locals in Melton, Diggers Rest, Sunbury, Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and surrounds are invited to attend the event to speak directly to the organisations and get further information on support available to them.

RSVP by calling Mr Rae’s office on 9070 1960 or via au/government-services-hub/

Tuesday, 12 March, 2024 SUNBURY & MACEDON RANGES STAR WEEKLY 11 STARWEEKLY.COM.AU NEWS We have Double Passes to giveaway to the BBC Earth Experience for each of our newspapers across Victoria.. enter now! Scan the QR CODE to ENTER or visit For more information on the BBC Earth Experience and tickets, please visit: WIN TICKETS This immersive exhibition brings together state of the art audio visual technology and breathtaking footage from BBC Studios Seven Worlds, One Planet on an unrivalled scale. From fireflies putting on a spectacular light show in North America, to snub nosed monkeys huddling together to stay warm in Asia, and cassowary fathers protecting their tiny chicks in Australia, visitors will get to experience our seven continents in all their glory, like never before. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is the home of this transformative audio visual experience where you will feel like you’ve stepped into the natural world, right in the heart of until 28th April 2024. WIN TICKETS BBC Earth Experience - the exhibition everyone is talking about! Travel the natural world and journey across the seven continents in one epic experience narrated by David Attenborough. 12673297-MS10-24
Newham Primary school students at Bupa Aged Care in Woodend. (Supplied) Kate Hamley is standing for election to Hume council. (Supplied)

Learn, care, flourish at Sacred Heart College Kyneton

It has been an exciting and very calm start to the 2024 school year at Sacred Heart College.

This year, the college has welcomed its largest ever Year 7 cohort of 181 students in seven homerooms with their introduction to secondary school focusing on transition and wellbeing activities. This comprehensive program concluded with a three-day adventure camp at Kinglake in late February.

SacredHeartCollegeisaproudMercyschool and was founded 135 years ago by the Sisters of Mercy. The college’s 2024 theme, Called to Act for Justice highlights the call to social justice and social action that is foundational to the Christian narrative espoused by the Sisters of Mercy in the early and mid 1800’s. Each person has a responsibility to care for those less fortunate than ourselves, to challenge structuresthatperpetuateinequityandtobring about the Reign of God in our time.

The college’s byline ‘Learn. Care. Flourish’ captures these principles that inform all aspects of a Sacred Heart College education.

Learn – The provision of an engaging, challenging, and personalised education for each student is a key priority for all Sacred Heart College staff. Staff utilise a breadth of evidence-based strategies to ensure that each young person achieves at least 12 months academic progress each year.

Care – Sacred Heart College is immensely proudofthewellbeingprogramsinplaceforour students and works in partnership with parents to ensure that students grow into resilient, happy and compassionate young people. Staff undertake regular and comprehensive professional learning to support the safety of all young people in our care. The College has an outstanding counselling team to support students and families with the challenges of contemporary adolescence.

Flourish – As principal, I am committed to

providing a holistic education for each student, so that they can grow academically as well as spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, and physically. At Sacred Heart College, we want every student to live life in abundance.

I encourage those in our local community currently considering options for their children’s secondary journey to learn more about the diverse educational offerings of Sacred Heart College Kyneton, by visiting

the College website, attending a tour, or participating in our College Open Evening on Monday 22 April.

12 SUNBURY & MACEDON RANGES STAR WEEKLY Tuesday, 12 March, 2024 FEATURING ... CATHOLIC EDUCATION Advertising feature Open Evening Monday 22 April, 4:00pm - 8:00pm Book online: Hands on activities, information sessions and displays - lots to see and do. Sacred Heart College Kyneton T: 5421 1200 E: 12673344-SM11-24
Dr Darren Egberts, principal Principal Dr Darren Egberts with students.

Empowering young people to be make a difference

At Salesian College Sunbury, staff pride themselves on preparing students for the future.

Motivated by Salesian charism, the college provides a quality education and promotes the school values of Community, Learning, Excellence and Faith, both inthe classroom and in everyday life.

The college community is inspired by the example of Saint John Bosco (Don Bosco), the founder of the Salesians, who taught with ‘Reason, Religion, and Loving Kindness’.

An essential characteristic of Don Bosco’s approach was his passion for the formation of young people as both ‘Good Christians and Honest Citizens’. At Salesian College Sunbury staff are committed to perpetuating this vision, encouraging and empoweringour young people to strive in all aspects of life for the purpose of making a difference in the world.

Staff recognise that each student is unique in their educational needs and academic abilities, and are committed to embracing innovative ways of teaching and learning to support the entire student population.This year the college launched its My Salesian Passport (MSP) curriculum structure, which isdesignedtomaximisestudentagencyand,as aresult,maximisemotivationandenthusiasm for learning. The passionate teachers work to challenge the norm and find reimagined approaches to teaching and subject design, while exploring new ideas and concepts aroundwellbeing, motivation, and integration of technology to ensure that each student has the best opportunity to strive for excellence and to prepare for success in school and life. Students are encouraged to have a voice in all aspects of their learning, and our broad range of subjects allows them to be challenged and

Each student is unique in their educational needs and academic abilities.

to open their minds to the potential in their future.

The college is committed to providing an environment for young people that is reflective of its core values: community,

learning, excellence, and faith. Whynothearfromthestudentsthemselves?

Throughout each term, the college hosts several student-led tours where you can discover the college’s unique campus, explore

the brilliant facilities, hear directly from students, and meet the principal. Visit our website to book a space on a tour in Term 2 and see what sets Salesian College Sunbury apart!

Tuesday, 12 March, 2024 SUNBURY & MACEDON RANGES STAR WEEKLY 13 FEATURING ... CATHOLIC EDUCATION Advertising feature 1 Macedon Street, Sunbury VIC 3429 (03) 9744 0000 Come along and see what makes SALESIAN COLLEGE SUNBURY:
A home that welcomes
A parish that evangelises
A school that prepares for life
A playground where friends meet and enjoy themselves
2 TOUR DATES OUT SOON Strivinginlife Strivinginlife 12672318-JB11-24

The world is watching our Facebook fight!

An open letter to Prime MinisterAnthonyAlbanese

Dear Prime Minister, Your first response to Facebook brazenly announcing they’ll stop paying for our news that they use to make a fortune from was…perfect!

“That’s not the Australian way,” you said.

Exactly. Australians hate bullies. Australians fight for a fair go. And this battle is not just a fight for a fair go here - the whole world is watching.

Meta, the trillion dollar tech giant that owns Facebook has built an empire out of content they don’t own. They don’t produce anything. They ‘share’ the great work of others and keep the cash.

The Australian government was the first in the world to call out this scandal, and in 2021 the News Media Bargaining Code forced them to finally pay for news content. But not anymore.

Meta is betting that if they bully the Australian government, they win the world. PM, this is a fight for the future of news and democracy. This is fight against fake news and a fight for a fair go for all journalists who hold the powerful to account, all around the world.

Let’s make sure Australia shows Facebook what a fair go is. The world is watching.

Yours sincerely,

Authorised by A Schreyer for Country Press Australia 97-103 Queen Street Warragul Victoria 3820 12675683-JB11-24

Babies in Sunbury

Parents and babies in Hume gathered at the MaternalandChildHealthCentreinSunbury last Tuesday for an informative session about child rearing.

The two hour free event was run by Hume council as an opportunity for parents to gain information relevant to their baby’s developing needs, ask questions, and meet other parents.

The topics covered include sleep and settling, communication, introducing solids and educational age appropriate diet, safety in and around the home, and play, learning and development.

The session was for babies aged five to eight months, but sessions for other age groups are also held throughout the municipality. The event is also held in Kalkallo, Greenvale West, Craigieburn and Mickleham. Details:

Tuesday, 12 March, 2024 SUNBURY & MACEDON RANGES STAR WEEKLY 15 STARWEEKLY.COM.AU NEWS Natural ConstipationRelief FREE OFFER * Sunraysia Prune Extract is a food and not a medicine *FestiveValuePackincludes2Jarsfor$119.90 to getthethirdjarfree.*Whilestockslast.SubjecttoTs&Cs Freefromchemicalsandonehundred percentnatural Morethan70prunesineveryjar Naturallyrichinantioxidants,vitaminsand mineralsincludingpotassium,dietaryfibre, magnesium,VitaminK,BoronandSorbitol Helpsrelieveconstipationnaturally Helpspromoteguthealthand improveddigestion Enjoyateaspoondaily,ormixwith anyfood,tea,yogurtoruse incooking GetyourdailydoseofregularitywithSunraysiaPruneExtract& GetaFREEjar($59.95value)witheveryFestiveValuePack* 1800 778 637 Scantosave$5plusGetValuePackwithaFREEjar 12666758-FC08-24
Top right: Mum and dad Yaniie Yang and Xiaoyue Hu with their son Ted, 8-months. Left: Alli Young and her daughter Freya, 6-months. Centre: Meera Livingston and her daughter Ariella, 7-months. Right: Jessica Thomas and her son Alexander, 5-months. (Pictures: Damjan Janevski) 392411


Repair Cafe Sunbury

Bring an item that needs repair and volunteer repairers will do their best to fix it with you. Or just drop in for a cuppa on Saturday, March 16, 10am-12.30pm. All welcome. Sunbury Neighbourhood House, 531 Elizabeth Drive, Sunbury.


Sunbury Art Society

The Sunbury Art Society meets every Friday and Saturday from 10am-3pm at the Boilerhouse, Jacksons Hill, to paint or draw over a cuppa with other like minded people. New members welcome.

■ Ken, 0407 062 568 or Yvonne, 0429 994 828

Your Enchanted Garden

Drummond resident Phillipa Bellemore will be holding a one day memoir writing workshop on Saturday, March 16, in Lauriston from 10-4pm. The day will be spent in a beautiful environment practising different writing genres.


Shuttles and pickleballs

Macedon Ranges Badminton Club is inviting residents to come and play badminton, or pickleball, or both at Macedon Community Centre. Badminton is played on Tuesdays from 7.30pm and Thursdays at 9.30am. Pickleball is played on Mondays at 6.30pm, Wednesdays at 10.15am and on Tuesday from 10am at the Romsey Recreation Centre.

■ David, 0419 589 425 or

Scottish Country Dancing

The Macedon Ranges Scottish Country Dancing Group meets every Thursday afternoon 1-3pm at Buffalo Stadium, Woodend. The dancing involves social country dancing, and no special clothes needed, just soft flat shoes.

■ Meg, 5427 1100 or Linda, 0408 476 317

Community. Connect. Create.

If you are needing support or looking for a social group to join, you can visit Community. Connect. Create, which is an online resource listing support and community groups in the Macedon Ranges. if you would like your group listed or would like to work to help this project grow please email:


Amateur Radio Club

The Macedon Ranges Amateur Radio Club meets on the third Saturday of the month at the Woodend RSL Hall, 32 Anslow Street, Woodend at 10am. If you are interested in amateur radio or already have a call sign, this could be for you.


Take off weight naturally

Struggling to lose weight? Struggling to get motivated? Want to try and do it in a friendly and less stressful atmosphere? Come and join TOWN (Take Off Weight Naturally) every Thursday at 9am at the Sunbury Neighbourhood House, 531 Elizabeth Drive, Sunbury.

■ Rhonda, 0409 740 924

Sunbury Macedon Ranges Lodge Meets monthly on the second Wednesday of the month at 7pm, 73 Main Street, Romsey. New members welcome.

■ Wayne, 0404 034 737, or Ian, 0438 240 402

Local camera club

The Macedon Ranges Photographic Society

is your local camera club for friendship, photographic outings, workshops, guest presenters, competitions and more. Meetings on the first Tuesday of the month, followed by the next Monday. Doors open at 7pm, meeting starts at 7.30pm at Dromkeen, 1012 Kilmore Road, Riddells Creek.


Kyneton Badminton Club

Kyneton Badminton Club is a welcoming, fun and social group that plays on Mondays, at 7pm at the Kyneton Toyota Sports and Aquatic Centre, Victoria Street. All skill levels welcome.


Village connect

Enjoy free coffee and cake while connecting with fellow Macedon Ranges residents 55 years old and older. Happening on Tuesdays and Thursday at cafes across the municipality.

■, or 5422 0262

Arts and games night

Get creative at the Sunbury Youth Centre each Wednesday from 3.30-5.30pm. The free program is for people aged 12 to 18 years old, at 51-53 Evans Street, Sunbury.

Carer connect chat

Connect with other carers in your local area, share a light lunch, have a chat at noon on the first Wednesday of the month. Head to Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health, 1 Caroline Chisholm Drive, Kyneton.

■ 0491 174 550, or

Breast cancer support group

On the first and third Tuesday of the month breast cancer survivors are invited to head along to the Gisborne Golf Club at 10.30am to take part in a breast cancer support group.

■ Lesley, 0484 691 226

HarmoniX Vocal Company

All-male singing group happening on Thursday, 7-9.30pm in Sunbury, with a mixed choir, DynamiX Vocal Company, rehearsing Tuesday. 7-9.30pm. Rehearse at Dulap Wilim Hub, Leichardt Street, Sunbury. No auditions required.



Sunbury & Macedon Ranges Toastmasters helps its members develop their public speaking, communication and leadership skills. The group meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month, from 7.20-9.30pm, at the Sunbury Senior Citizens Hall.


Sunbury Seniors

Sunbury Seniors (55 or older) meet on Mondays and Fridays at 8 O’Shanassy Street, Sunbury, from 10am-3pm. A variety of activities are offered – indoor bowls, cards, snooker, guest speakers, day excursions, subsidised lunches or just a cup of coffee and a chat.

■ 0434 400 754

Probus Club Of Sunbury

Join the Probus Club of Sunbury on the first Wednesday of the month at the Sunbury Bowling club at 9.30am. It’s a friendly

men’s group open to visitors and new members, with a number of great events held each month.

■ Greg, 0417 593 035

CWA Woodend Eves

The CWA Woodend Eves Branch is part of the Central Highlands group and meets every third Tuesday at 7pm at the Woodend Neighbourhood house.

All women are welcome.


Hume Men’s Shed

The Hume Men’s Shed (Sunbury) is a non for profit organisation, meeting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 158 Evans Street Sunbury. The group caters for men be it carpentry, welding, metal work, gardening or just to chat.

■ or 0438 677 425

Sunbury Badminton Club

The Sunbury Badminton Club plays social games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays nights from 7.30-9.30 pm, and on Wednesdays 10am-12pm. Monday night is a round robin competition from 7.30-9.30pm. All welcome to attend at Clarke Oval Stadium, 49 Riddell Road.

One Voice Sunbury

One Voice Sunbury community choir rehearses each Tuesday from 6.30pm at Goonawarra Neighbourhood House. Fun and welcoming choir, new members welcome, no prior singing experience required. Just join in the fun.


WANT YOUR EVENT LISTED? Community Calendar is made available free of charge to not-for-profit organisations to keep the public informed of special events and activities. Send item details to Star Weekly Community Calendar, Corner Thomsons Road and Keilor Park Drive, Keilor Park, 3042, or email to by 9am Wednesday the week prior to publication
This week’s photographer’s choice is Tayla Dwyer and Princeton Leonard ahead of performing in the Sound of Music. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 393570_01


To solve a Sudoku puzzle, every number from




1 Philosopher, Rene – (9)

6 Ukraine city (4)

10 Indian Ocean country, – Lanka (3)

11 Extreme conservatism or rightism in politics (11)

12 Brings to life (8)

13 Urging, – on (6)

14 Greeting (Ital) (4)

15 Forbidden by law (7)

20 Order (7)

21 Prefix meaning 1 billionth (4)

25 French male name (6)

26 Disparage (8)

28 Disenchant (11)

29 Suitable (3)

30 Directs (4)

31 Banishment (9)


1 Send out (6)

2 Curved sword (8)

3 Antenna (6)

4 Journeyed (9)

5 Location (4)

7 Roma is its capital (6)

8 Journey (6)

9 HitchhikersGuide author, – Adams (7)

16 Fanatic (9)

17 List of employees (7)

18 Seasoned smoked beef (8)

19 Impetus (8)

22 Eight-legged animal (6)

23 Time of the year (6)

24 Austrian capital (6)

27 Car (4)





Using the nine letters in the grid, how many words of four letters or more can you list? The centre letter must be included and each letter may only be used once. No colloquial or foreign words. No capitalised nouns, apostrophes or plural words ending in “s”.

Today’s Aim:

15 words: Good

23 words: Very good

31 words: Excellent


No. 176


1 What word can refer to a famous volcano, a variety of apple or a photography company?

2 What chemical element is represented by the symbol Pt?

3 Which of the following series did JJ Abrams not produce: a) Fringe, b) Revolution or c) Continuum?

4 Danny DeVito (pictured) plays Frank in which US comedy series?

5 How many strings are there on a standard ukulele?

6 What is the heaviest lizard on Earth?

7 What is the capital of Croatia?

8 What is a female rabbit called?

9 What colour is sepia?

10 Is pinot gris a red or white wine?

No. 176 No. 176 No. 176
row, column
176 87 39 37 73 68 8 1 635 2 29 61 7 3485 2 9 472 6 6 easy 47 5 68 58 6 3 892 8214 76 3 39 5 4356 651 9 medium
385 25 7
35 81 92 68 972 48 9 hard
1 to
must appear in: each
the nine vertical
each of the nine horizontal rows and each of the nine 3 x 3 boxes. Remember, no
more than once in any
cute, defunct, duct, duet, dunce, dune, duty, etui, fecund, FECUNDITY, feud, fund, fundi, induce, induct, indue, nude, nudity, tune, tuned, tunic, unfed, unfit, unify, unit, unite, united, unity, untidy, untie, untied
TIN TOE URN USE UTE WAY WED YAM 4 LETTERS DESK EARL EBBS ENDS ERRS GAME IDEA NAVY RACE REST SICS SIPS YEAR YELP 5 LETTERS ADORE ALLAY ALONE ALOUD ARENA ARISE ARROW ATONE BANGS BEANS BERET BONDS CANOE DOTES ERRED ERROR ETHER HERON IMAGE IRONS KYLIE LEADS LEAVE LEPER LIBEL LITHE OGRES PALES PASTS PLACE PREEN RABBI RATED SEEDS SHELL SIGNS SLEDS SLICE SMUTS SPATE STEMS STOWS SWEET TESTS THREE TONNE USAGE VENOM WRITE YESES 6 LETTERS LAWYER NEWEST PLANES REUSES 7 LETTERS ARREARS COMPARE KNEECAP MARSHAL PANACEA TERSEST 8 LETTERS EMANATES PERILOUS REPRIEVE RETURNED 12 345678910111213 1415 1617181920212223242526 E F U D H B N Z C R G I P K L S T A Y Q W J M X O V Insert the missing letters to make 10 words – five reading across the grid and five reading down. NOTE: more than one solution may be possible 15-03-24 Puzzles and pagination © Pagemasters | 479562813 617254398 231495786 356718924 582936147 794683251 128349675 943871562 865127439 easy medium hard 827361549 236189475 791243658 615924783 174635892 482596317 349857261 958472136 563718924 516748392 892413756 967231845 283169574 734625981 325894167 479352618 651987423 148576239 1 14 7 20 2 15 8 21 3 16 9 22 4 17 10 23 5 18 11 24 6 19 12 25 13 26 XV 1. Fuji 2. Platinum 3. c) Continuum 4. PhiladelphiainSunnyAlwaysIt’s 5. Four 6. Komodo dragon 7. Zagreb 8. Doe 9. Brown 10. White ANSWERS:

Due to sustained growth, we are looking for an experienced mechanical fitter to join our workshop team in servicing and maintaining our fleet of vehicles and heavy construction machinery including:

The successful candidate must have demonstrated experience in a similar role. This is a permanent position with an immediate start and is ideally suited to someone who resides in the Macedon Ranges or Mitchell Shires or the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne.


Telephone 5429 5288


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Local news and local jobs at risk

Australia’s largest organisation of newspaper publishers has attacked the announcement by Meta that it will no longer negotiate deals with publishers once current agreements expire.

Country Press Australia [CPA] represents more than 230 regional, rural and outer suburban publications across the nation.

The organisation was advised through an email from Meta on March 1 that “our company priorities have substantially shifted in the past year and, as a result, we will no longer be making Facebook news tab available in Australia”.

Meta also confirmed “This doesn’t affect our agreement with CPA which will continue in accordance with its terms and conditions until it expires”.

In a subsequent meeting, between CPA and Meta it was made clear that CPA’s agreement with Meta would not be renewed.

This is a devastating blow to our members who are party to the agreement.

Meta has been providing grants to CPA publishers which has provided vital sustainability.

There will be publishers who close the doors and won’t be able to continue supporting their communities with news in the wake of this announcement. These regional and local publishers are the major, and in most cases sole, providers of local public interest journalism in their communities.

In times of trouble and in emergency situations, such as during floods and in major bushfire events, the local publisher’s Facebook page is never more important or appreciated by people in our communities.

Meta’s actions undermine our democracy in the way the company displays such disdain

for the work of the news industry. It also undermines public confidence in the media sector.

The most popular Facebook pages in most regional and rural communities are those of the local news publishing company, yet Meta says people don’t go to Facebook for news or political content.

What about in times of bushfire and floods or when the chips are down and someone in the community needs help? Local experience would suggest otherwise.

If, by Meta’s own admission, Australians don’t go to Facebook for news or political content, then the federal government should heed the advice of Meta and immediately cease advertising on Meta’s platforms.

Sadly, jobs will definitely be lost as a result of Meta’s decision, but it’s hard to put a number on this.

assurance to our industry and to support the democratic infrastructure that is the newspaper industry. And it needs to move swiftly, decisively and with purpose. We need government to support the news industry and invoke the news media bargaining code.

Facebook reaped the benefits of our members’ unique local content for many years, and has paid those local and regional publishers for only the last three years and will now not renew their agreement with CPA.

Given the already well-documented challenges our industry faces, this announcement will force many publishers to confront the issues ahead of them and cut staff.

The reaction from our members in the aftermath of the announcement has been one of deep concern, alarm and even anger.

The federal government must act to give

A democracy cannot function without a healthy news sector, and this is now heavily at risk in regional and local communities after Meta’s decision.

It is important that the federalgovernmentresponds swiftly to this decision and considers all possible action including designating Meta under the News Media Bargaining Code and other options available to them and the ACCC.

It is vital that news media is adequately compensated for the content that Facebook has been able to build their business from over many years and ensure a strong and robust news media industry which is vital for a healthy democracy.

It is also vital that the federal government ensures strong support of the industry now more than ever before and ensures the News Media Assistance Program (News MAP) is finalised urgently.

Right: Country Press Australia president Andrew Schreyer. (Supplied)
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Looks: 7/10

Performance: 8/10

Safety: 8/10

Thirst: 8/10

Practicality: 6/10

Comfort: 7/10

Tech: 7/10

Value: 7/10

Star turns Poles apart from past

Model mid-cycle upgrades usually consist of faffing about with design features and tweaking, or adding, the odd piece of automotive technology.

Surprisingly, Polestar 2, the Swedish designed sedan, via Volvo, made in China, has really set about its two-year-old EV.

As the maker puts it, the electric car’s range, efficiency, and performance have been improved,atthesametimewithacutincarbon footprint.Puttingfigurestothat,thePolestar2, with larger batteries and new motors, can now travel up to 22 per cent further, consume up to nine per cent less energy and charge up to 34 per cent faster.

A new look is in line with Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 models and includes a switch from front to rear-wheel drive for the base variants. All versions have been boosted with longer range and active safety equipment as standard. Prices are up between $3000 and $4000 before on-road costs.

The base model Standard Range Single Motor rear-wheel drive comes to market from $67,400, plus on-road costs, the Long Range Single Motor RWD sells from $71,400, plus on-roads and the Long Range Dual Motor AWD tops off the trio at $76,400.

APerformancePack,consistingofasoftware upgrade, Performance suspension settings, with Ohlins shock absorbers, 20-inch alloy wheels, gold tyre valve caps and gold seatbelts canbehadfor$9000.OntestweretheStandard Range Single Motor RWD and flagship Long Range Dual Motor AWD, the latter with Performance Pack.


If it looks like a Volvo and behaves like a Volvo, then it probably is a Volvo. Likewise, with its Volvo roots, little has changed along the way on the styling front from the first Polestar 2 iteration.



tight headroom and a limited view behind for the driver, but the panoramic glass roof really opensupthecabinforoccupantswithitstinted panel keeping out the hot sunrays.

However, the absence of a retractable solid material blind in the test vehicle failed to keep the summer sun’s heat at bay. Also the climate controls are operated through the touchscreen, which can make comfort doubly difficult during a bumpy ride.

Legroomisadequateforavehicleofthissize, as is shoulder space. There are a couple of Isofix child restraint anchor points in the back and a child seat can be clipped in the middle thanks to a top tether point in the lower section of the seat.

An under-bonnet cubby can easily house the charging lead, while the rear boot can take 405 litres with nifty ‘grocery gate’, a divider that has elastic bands to prevent smaller items from tumbling around. A useable 41 litre sub floor keeps stuff hidden.

Like with other EVs, you can forget a spare wheel.


The dual 12.3-inch screens provide stacks of info and once mastered, over time, is quick, responsive and fairly easy to navigate.

Bluelink connected car service allows users to set a charging time, and pre-set the vehicle’s climate control to take advantage of off-peak electricity; also remotely monitor the vehicle’s distance to empty and can restart charging if required. The app allows the owner to find EV charging stations and send the address to the car’s sat nav. A tool will show on a map the driveable radius with 80 and 100 percent battery charge levels.

Wireless phone charging is standard across therange.AppleCarPlayandAndroidAutoare wired, with Google and Android functions on tap. A 600W harman/kardon audio system has 13 speakers spread around the cabin but there’s no access to AM radio.


The single motor versions are powered by a

newly developed permanent magnet unit and silicon carbide inverter putting out up to 220 kW and 490 Nm. In the dual motors, the rear one is the primary drive source, with support fromupfrontbyanewsynchronousunit.Total power output is 310 kW and 740 Nm.

The Performance software upgrade boosts power by 40 kW to 350 kW and torque to 740 Nm.


Polestar 2 carries over the five-star ANCAP safety rating from its debutant model.

Driver and passengers are ‘cushioned’ by eight airbags.

Value added across the range comes from active safety features such as blind spot warning and cross traffic alert, both with brake support, rear collision warning and mitigation, along with 360-degree surround view camera and dimming exterior mirrors.

The SmartZone also incorporates some of the vehicle’s most important active safety features, including a front-facing camera and mid-range radar.


The move to rear-wheel drive with the single motor in the MY24 Polestar 2 makes for a morepleasingdriveoverthefront-drivemodel, while the rear-wheel drive bias of the all-wheel drive model has a similar effect.

The single motor model rear-wheel drive appeared more spritely than its all-wheel drive cousin, probably due to its carrying less weight. However, in one-pedal drive mode, regenerative braking in the latter is less sharp, an intentional move, says the manufacturer, if the electric motor slows the rear wheels too quickly, it risks putting the vehicle in a spin.

The Performance Pack used its race-developed four-piston Brembo brakes to pull up the weighty (2 tonne-plus) vehicle to a halt assuredly. However, the tweaked suspensionandlowprofiletyrespickedupeven the slightest blemish in the bitumen.

As far as efficiency is concerned, the front

motor of the latter can be shut down when not needed and re-engaged when more power is required, something that came to light during testing with the need to accelerate suddenly in a roundabout filtering move that could have ended not well.

Energy consumption on tests were, for the flagship 19.6 kWh/100km and the single motor 16.5 kWh/100km, compared to the maker’s claims of 17.2 kWh/100 km and 14.8 kWh/100km, respectively.

The Standard Range Single Motor is capable of a range of 532 kilometres, says the maker, depending on how the car is driven, while the Long Range Single Motor (on test) pushes that out to 654 kilometres.

An overnight charge at home via a standard plug-in system put around 30 per cent into the battery of the single motor model, while fast charging of the dual motor did roughly the same in 30 minutes.

The MY24 Polestar 2 cars on test came up with a few surprises, some good, some not so. Reversing out of home, the autonomous emergency braking system picked up a low growing bush encroaching onto the curved driveway and instantly brought the car to a sudden halt, with an accompanying shock to the driver. A temporary tieback defeated the Triffid.

Reversing, generally, was a chore, with the distorted camera view making it difficult to judge distances.

On the more pleasant side, a family visit west had us all smiling. A battery top-up was sought in the south-east Queensland town of Warwick, which boasts a single public service point. Now, there may be only limited access to the service, but courtesy of Southern Downs Regional Council and the University of Queensland, filling up there is F-R-E-E.


The dilemma for would-be Polestar 2 buyers is whether he or she should snap up the upgraded version at present prices or wait for thesoon-to-bereleasedcompletelynewversion at what cost?

On the surface there is not much change for the upgraded Polestar 2, however, under the skin it’s a different matter. (Supplied)

Western Warriors’ winning debut

The Western Warriors couldn’t have asked for a much better start to the Victorian Netball League season.

Fielding teams for the first time, the Warriors came away with wins in the championship and under-23 divisions on night one.

Warriors head coach Kim Bailey was thrilled with the outcome.

“It was amazing,” she said. “What a way to start it was really pleasing for the first game.

“There were errors and things and we need to improve. For our first time on court competitively together it was amazing.

“You have practice matches but it’s not the same thing. It was awesome to watch them and think about what we can look like at the end of the season.”

Bailey said she didn’t know what to expect with the two sides when they stepped onto the court.

The championship side jumped out of the blocks against the Peninsula Waves before finishing off strongly in a 67-50 win.

Bailey said it wasn’t the smoothest game, but a good starting point. She said the next step would be having that sustained consistency across the whole game.

“The first quarter we shot 20 goals,” she said. “It is amazing.

“You have targets of 15 goals in a quarter, so 20 goals in any quarter is massive, I was really proud of them.

“It was even for the next two quarters. The amount of errors we made… We would get turnover play and then throw it away.

“At three quarter time we to take out the errors, it was unacceptable the amount of errors we had.

“The last quarter was exceptionally.

Captain Kim Borger was a standout on court, shooting 49 goals at 96 per cent accuracy.

Bailey said her connection with Julia Woolley was really good.

In a massive positive, the Warriors were able to get every player on court.

“That is a focus with rolling subs, so we can

do that in championship,” she said. “Jasmine Fraser played almost a full game at goal defence and did an outstanding job.

“Ruby Shannon her work rate was amazing. We gave her a bit of a rest, rotating with Vanessa Augustini.”

Bailey said it was about finding the right combinations early in the season.

Ella Ogier went down with an ACL injury beforetheseasonstarted,leavingtheWarriors with some questions in their defensive end.

Bailey said they would look at different options between now and their next game.

The under-23s started with a 41-35 win.

Bailey said the work rate of Tara O’Grady was massive before she went off with blisters. She said Ella Closter settled in when she came on court in her VNL debut, while Rosie Todd, Sarah Croft and Sadie Cheeseman all had strong games.

The Warriors next matches are on March 17 against the Geelong Cougars in Torquay.

Bulldogs ready to go

Gisborne isn’t content to settle for last season’s success in the Bendigo Netball League.

After a stunning come from behind win against the A-grade grand final and five teams making finals, the Bulldogs were one of the standout clubs last season.

Coach Tarryn Rymer said that momentum had continued into the pre-season.

“It’sbeenreallygood,”shesaidofpre-season. “We’ve had huge number for our A-squad and B-squad.

“We’re getting 36 every night at pre-season training. Everyone is pushing pretty hard to earn a spot.

“We’ve worked hard and we’re really fit.”

Rymer said they would again have a young playing squad with some experience mixed in with it.

Several players from the club’s premiership under-17 are stepping up into senior netball, putting more pressure on for spots and add to the talent the in the senior ranks.

The A-grade side will be similar to the side that took out last season’s premiership.

ThebigomissionisstardefenderZoeDavies, who is in England playing with the Leeds Rhinos in the Netball Super League.

While losing Davies, the Bulldogs have managed to pick up another defender to fill that role.

Two-time Betty Thompson medallist Maddy Stewart is back after having 12 months off having travelled overseas. She will slot back into the Bulldogs defence end.

“Zoe out and Maddy in,” said Rymer. “Both ofthoseplayersarespecialplayersandaddalot to the side.

“They are very different players, but much the muchness in terms of the fact that both bring a lot to the team in leadership as well as experience.

“Getting Maddy back on court is great for the side,”

Stewart will also coach the A-reserve side, with Rymer saying the two work really well together.

Polly Slater will coach the B-grade side and oneoftheB-reserveplayerswillcoachthatside.

Rymer said for the whole playing group, nothing changes with how they approach the season.

“The girls don’t want to rest on last year,” she said.“Itisreallyexcitingandeveryoneistrying to build on last year.

“We’ve put aside what happened last year. Everyone wants to go again and get that taste.

“We want five teams in the finals and hopefully come away with more flags.”

Rymer’s netball commitments this season

have increased, joining the Bendigo Strikers Victorian Netball League coaching panel. Sheisanassistantcoachfortheunder-23side which made their debut on Wednesday night. Bulldogs goaler Torie Skrijel is one of the stars in the team.

Rymer said it was an exciting opportunity.

“I feel like great for me to learning some stuff and take back to Gisborne,” she said. “Build up my experience and share with the girls at Gisborne.”

The Bulldogs have a bye in round one, before startingtheirseasononApril20withthegrand final rematch against Sandhurst.

Calder boys squad is locked in

The Calder Cannons have locked in their under-18s boys squad ahead of the 2024 Coates Talent League season kicking off in just two weeks time.

The squad of 48 incorporates players from more than 20 local clubs from eight leagues.

Cooper Duff-Tytler and Oliver Watt have both been selected for the Cannons from the Woodend Hesket in the Riddell District Football League

Also from the RDFL, Gisborne Giants’ Lucas Mousley and Zach McKenzie and Wallan’s Nash King.

Patrick Said is a Cannon from the Sunbury Lions in the Ballarat Football League.

From the Gisborne in the Bendigo FootballLeague,RileyLeedhamwasalso selected in the squad.

Of the 48 players, 31 hail from the Essendon District Football League.

Nine of the players come from EDFL club Strathmore, including Dante Iacavone, Hamish Pearce, Harry Ryan, Hugh Allison, Jack Ryan, Jett Laidler, Nicholas Page, Ryan Brodie and Willem Hanegraaf.

Seven of the boys come from Pascoe ValewithAdamSweid,CameronPascoe, Hussien El Achkar, Khalil Kakour, Luke Pelosi, Noah Scott and Omar Abou-Eid.

AnothersixoftheCannonscomefrom Aberfeldie, including Arden Stevens, Gus Papal, Hamish Bird, Jackson Barber, Jayden Nguyen and Thomas Legudi.

Finn McAvoy, Harry O’Farrell and Thomas Barnett come from Maribyrnong Park and Westmeadows’ Keiran Gallagher is also on the list.

Vice-captain Isaac Kako is from the Northern Saints, Joshua Whitfield is from Essendon Doutta Stars, Kayne Rutley is from Keilor, Tristan Leeds is from Coburg Districts and Noah Crowley is from Craigieburn.

Skipper Damon Hollow comes from Epping in the Northern Football League. Also from the NFL is Cooper Herbert from Laurimar, Hamish Caine from Whittlesea.

Alistair McQuire, Felix Kniepp and Daniel Sheppard come from Fitzroy in the Yarra Junior Football League.

While Max Collier is from South Melbourne Districts in the South Metro Junior Football League.

Kirby Elliott. (Jacob Pattison) 351744_07 Simona Di Filippo. (Supplied)

Roar hoping to get louder after late season wins

Sunburyishopingtobuildfromitsfirstseason in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 2 competition.

Although it took eight rounds for the Roar to register its first win of the season, the club was able to string three wins together in a row, escaping relegation.

While the late season wins were vital for the Roar’s survival in the higher division, coach Kevin Barker said there is still a lot his side needs to work on if they were to threaten for finals in the 2024-25 summer.

“I don’t feel like we played the brand of cricket we spoke about playing, an aggressive, positive style of cricket,” he said.

“Ourbattersneverreallyfoundtheirgroove, you can talk about a lot of things, you can talk about early season pitches, and all that type of stuff.

“But at the end of the day, I just don’t

think our batters, including myself, backed themselvesenough.Thatreflectedinthescores we continuously put on the scoreboard.”

Although Barker said, now having seen and felt the competition and the standard required to compete in division 2 cricket will only hold him and the club in good stead moving forward.

“We know what the top four sides are like and we got close to a couple of them on a couple of occasions. But it was one or two little moments that hurt us,” he said. I think we need to stick together as a group and just work on that going into next season.

“The good thing is we have kept an almost identical group heading into next season which we weren’t able to do this year obviously. So we will learn from this season and build next season.”

To help bolster the Roar up the ladder, Barker said it is always handy to see what players are up for grabs at this time of year.

“You always look to recruit, if you’re not recruiting you’re going backwards,” he said.

“I’m confident with the group we have, we can still get it done but you’d be crazy not to look at getting a few new recruits at this time of the year.”

A shining light of the Roar’s season was bowler Sohan Boralessa, who was a recruit for this season.

He took 25 wickets for the summer, equal fourth in the competition, at an average of 10.

“Sohan has been an amazing pick up, we’re lucky to have him. I’m hoping he sticks around… I’m fairly confident he will,” Barker said.

The Roar’s second and third XIs were in finals action on the weekend.

Kangaroos finals bound

The Sunbury Kangaroos are continuing to dream after making the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup finals for the first time.

One of the smallest clubs in the association, the Kangaroos have shown they can match it with the big boys this season, finishing in fourth spot.

For president Shane Woolley, who has been attheclubfornearly20years,it’saremarkable achievement.

“It’s the first time for our small, little, humble club,” he said. “It is really humbling, but also respectful for our core group that have hung around.

“We have some good cricketers. We knew that when we moved into McIntyre that it would be hard and we would get thumped from time to time.

“For this group to bond together the way they have. All you can do is respect the way they have gone about it against bigger clubs with a lot more money.”

Woolleysaidtheycouldhaveneverimagined when they were promoted up 2022-23 season this would have been the outcome.

He said at the time they didn’t want to go up,theywantedtowinapremiershipandearn promotion.

“I could not be prouder of this group and what they’ve done this year,” Woolley said. “There are some good players in this competition and the opportunity to play against them only makes us better.”

On Saturday, the Kangaroos finals fate could have gone one of two ways.

A win would have ensured they finished in the top four. A loss meant they would have to rely on Gisborne beating Woodend.

It would be the second scenario that played out, with the Kangaroos having a close eye on the other game while they were trying to beat finals bound Sunbury United.

Chasing 9-266, the Kangaroos fell just short, making 244.

Jason King top scored with 86 at the top of the order for the Kangaroos.

Woolley said had they beaten United there would have been a party, having only beaten them for the first time in the top grade earlier this season.

TheKangaroosnowfaceRomseyinthesemi finals in a two-day this weekend. Gisborne will host Sunbury United in the other semi final.

Woolley knows they had a task on their hands.

“We know that it didn’t matter whether we played Romsey or Gisborne it was going to be an uphill battle.

“At the end of the day, we’ve earned the right to be there. We have nothing to lose and Romsey and Gisborne have all the expectations on them.

“Everyone is excited. Hopefully we can get a couple of early wickets and make things change. We don’t mind being the underdogs.”

In other final round matches, Riley Vernon passed 1000 runs for the season in Gisborne’s win against Woodend.

Vernon made 148 as Gisborne finished

No women’s team for Gisborne

Gisborne won’t field a women’s team in the Essendon District Football League women’s competition this season.

The Bulldogs, who have played finals the past two seasons in the division 1 competition, announced last week on social media they wouldn’t have a team this season.

“TheGFNChaveanimportantupdate regarding our senior women’s team for the upcoming 2024 competition,” the club said on social media.

“Unfortunately, due to low numbers, we will not be able to field a senior women’s football side this year.

“We understand this news may come as a disappointment, but please know that the decision was made with careful consideration for the long term future of women’s football at our club.

“The club is hard at work putting plans in place for the 2025 season, and it all starts tomorrow. We’re committed to coming back stronger and more determined than ever before. To our dedicated players, coaches, supporters, and sponsors, thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time. Together, we’ll overcome this hurdle and emerge even stronger. “

“Stay tuned for updates and get ready to cheer on our senior women’s team in 2025.”

The Bulldogs have also had an under-18.5s girls team in the EDFL the past few years.

The Bulldogs have been hurt with a number of new teams forming in the Macedon Ranges.

In 2022, the Bulldogs were one of two MacedonRangeswomen’sfootballteam. Last year there five teams including the Bulldogs and Lancefield has formed a team for this season.

9-383 in reply to Woodend’s 9-268. Romsey sealed top spot as it piled on the runs against Diggers Rest Bulla. Chasing 222, the Redbacks finished 5-462 in reply. Opener Matthew Milne finished 202 not out, while Ben Way made 141. Macedon finished its season on a high with victory against Rupertswood.

Watts (Jacob Pattison) 337294_01
Jackson Treweek (Ljubica Vrankovic) Russell Phillips (Jacob Pattison) 382208_05

Tigers’ women building as new season looms

Lancefield’s inaugural women’s program is building as is the anticipation of its first senior game in the Riddell District Football League being just weeks away.

Former assistant coach for Collingwood’s AFLW team and development coach at Greater Western Sydney Chris Clifton was named coach back in November and has been loving his time in the role.

“We’re progressing really well,” he said. “We’re in week seven of pre-season and the changes we’ve seen from the girls that first started the game, that had never played Aussie Rules before to where their skill sets are at now is amazing.

“The growth and development of the group and the culture is building. We’re in a really good position.

“It’s a new program for the club, we’re steadily growing each week with numbers that turn up. A lot of our junior and youth

girls have now integrated into the program as well.”

The Tigers hoped of having a team last season but were unable to get the numbers, this year Clifton said they won’t have the same issue.

“Including some of our junior youth girls that we’re expecting to play at senior level, we’ve got a steady group of 15 to 20 at

training, so we feel that we’re going to have enough numbers to start the season off which is fantastic for us and the community,” he said.

“We have a practice match with a bit of game sim and match sim lined up with Wallan who is also a fairly new team that’s started over the last couple of years. So they understand the journey we’re on, and where we’re starting from.”

Starting the program from the ground up was never going to be an easy process for the club, yet Clifton said an important pillar it had to get right was the culture of the group.

He said the culture that has been created and is still building has been the glue within the group.

“Probably 50 per cent of our team is brand new to the game,” he said.

“We’ve got a range of players from what I

Golfers go back-to-back

Kyneton Golf has claimed back-to-back titles in the Ballarat Highlands Bowls Region Highlands division 1 competition.

After coming from fourth last season to claim the title, Golf finished second behind Romsey,whichclaimedtheminorpremiership for a second straight season.

Romsey won the first final between the two teams, before Golf beat cross town rivals Kyneton by 15 shots in the preliminary final to set up a rematch with Romsey.

Kyneton Golf’s experience would shine through in the final and were able to run away with the win after the break, winning 68 (16)-44 (0).

Ray Wilkinson’s rink won 21-15 against Matthew Brundell’s rink, Adrian Plowman’s won 25-10 against Cameron Austin and Anthony Barker’s rink won 22-19 against Aaron Young.

Golf president Toby Barker said they were thrilled with the result.

“It’s fantastic,” he said on the bus back to their home town for some celebrations.

“It’s the exact same 12 as last year. We were the underdogs but we always thought we were a chance on grass.

“Everyone bowled well. Romsey has never won one [division 1 title] and we’ve won a lot, the pressure was on them.”

Barkersaidtheygotofftoagoodstartbefore the margin being just two shots at tea time.

He said they were then able to run away with it to come away with a comfortable win and were able to celebrate the achievement.

Barker said that everyone bowled well and that there weren’t any standouts.

For Romsey, it’s another case of what might have been after being the top team during the regular season for a second straight season.

It was a big weekend for Golf.

In division 2, Kyneton Golf 2 was dominant

would call top-end talent to beginners of the sport, so it’s a really diverse group of people and what I think joins everyone together is the culture that everyone’s creating.

“We want to be known as a club that’s open to anyone to come and play. Early in the piece we got together and established a set of values for the club and some action words that we’ll be known by going forward.

“Myself and Tim (Bannan, men’s senior coach) chat regularly, we integrate as much as we can, we’re not far off announcing our leadership groups and we plan to do that together as a club.

“We want to show the league and the communities that surround us that we’re a united front.”

All players are welcome to come to the Tigers’ training sessions, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm at Lancefield Park.

Sports shorts


Club Sunbury’s Akasha Fortune, Carla Krizanic and Sophie Kurzman have been named in the women’s city squad for the Bowls Victoria City vs Country Series. The series is an important step in relation to state selection and will be played on the weekend of April 6. It will be the fourth edition of the series.


Aintree claimed the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Jensen Shield premiership on Saturday. Facing St Anthony’s in the decider, the minor premiers showed why it had been the best team all season. Aintree made 7-255 from its 40 overs before bowling St Anthony’s out for 114 in the 29th over. In other grand finals decided on Saturday, Rupertswood beat Sunbury in the Jensen seconds and Melton South Royals won the Jensen Shield thirds. Hanging Rock claimed the club north competition, while Woodend won the club south competition after the competition ruled St Anthony’s and Eynesbury ineligible to play after an incident in their semi final. Meanwhile in the Johnstone Shield, Broadford will face Wallan in the grand final.


in the grand final against Romsey 2 on Saturday.

Golf won all three rinks on the way to a 69 (16)-49 (0) win.

Colin Scott’s rink won 23-17, Richard Buckley’s rink won 26-15 and John Trounce’s rink won 20-17.

Barker said that group came from fourth to win the title.

He said overall they were really proud of what the club has been able to achieve. While on the way back to Kyneton after the win, he was told that’s 11 titles since 2001 for the club.

“I’ve never played at a better club,” he said. “We won’t lose anyone for next year so we’ll go again.

“We are a close knit club.”

Meanwhile, Lancefield 2 was crowned the division 3 champions, winning 64 (16)-52 (0).

Keith Webb’s rink won 21-15, Geoffrey Stewart’s rink won 24-23 and Peter Shannon’s rink won 19-14.

Those who suffer a head knock while playing football will have to sit out for at least three weeks under changes to the AFL’s concussion protocols. The new protocol will operate in all other Australian football competitions, including the Victorian Football League and VFLW, Coates Talent Leagues and all community football competitions for senior and junior players. For more, head to

Australia Cup Sunbury United is through to the fourth round of the knock out Australia Cup. United faced West Point on Sunday afternoon in the third round and was able to come away with a 1-0 win. Matthew Hume was the goal scorer for United.



Sunbury & Macedon Ranges Star Weekly @starweeklynews @star_weekly

Lancefield’s women’s side at training. (Supplied) Kyneton Golf (Bill West)
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