Star Weekly - Hobsons Bay Maribyrnong - 12th June 2024

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Houli awarded OAM

Being recognised this King’s Birthday with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), is Altona North’s Bachar Houli, a renowned figure in AFL history.

He has been awarded the honour for his service to Australian rules football, multiculturalism, and the Islamic community.

Houli, who has a Lebanese background, was born in Australia and grew up in Melbourne’s west, in Altona North and Tarneit.

He attended high school at Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, and played his junior football with Spotswood, before being called up to play for the Western Jets.

Houli’s career is an extremely decorated one, with 232 career games, three premierships, and an all-Australian jacket. However, his career started in a difficult manner.

After four seasons with Essendon where he played just 26 matches, Houli decided to find a new home, and never looked back.

“Essendon is a great football club and Kevin Sheedywassuchagreatleader,butunfortunately after he left, the environment wasn’t working for me on the field and it was an opportunity for change,” he said.“The Richmond coaches and leaders created a culture that encouraged connection and storytelling that enabled me to grow on and off the field and allowed me to get the best out of myself.”

When looking back at his long career, it was the off-field side that he held most dearly.

“There are many great memories, but you can’tgopasttherelationshipsyoudevelopbeing part of a team and the lifelong friendships,” he said. “Winning the first premiership in 2017 wasalsoprettyspecialbecauseitmeantsomuch not only to me but the whole community.”

Community is a word that describes Houli best. He was awarded the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award in 2020, and the AFL’s Yiooken Award in 2019.

Further, he has been awarded a Victorian Multicultural Commission Award, and an Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding by the Australia Day Council.

Although he will always be hailed as a triple premiership hero at the Tigers, his legacy will stem far deeper, with his work with the Bachar Houli Foundation (BHF) supporting more than 35,000 people to date.

“I hope I can be remembered as someone authentic who role modelled his Islamic values on and off the field and played a small role in giving minority communities a sense of belonging,” he said.

■ Continued: Page 5.

The girl from the US

West Footscray’s Tara Lichtenstein will soon be making her Australian musical theatre debut in the newest rendition of The Boy From Oz. Originally from the United States, but living in Norway, Ms Lichtenstein has chosen the west as her temporary home away from home.

■ Turn to page 5 to learn about her own journey to Oz.

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Call to redirect stadium funds

Members of the Friends of McIvor Reserve have called on Maribyrnong council to redirect more than $300,000 set aside for a stadium at the reserve.

Council’s proposed 2024-25 budget includes $321,000 for the stadium, which FOMR is opposedtofearingitwouldimpacttheavailable open green space.

The stadium is part of the council’s McIvor Reserve Master Plan, which was adopted in March 2023.

FOMR spokesperson Miles Parnall-Gilbert made the submission to council, calling for

it to protect the reserve’s open green space, and prevent the construction of the planned six-court indoor stadium.

“We want to encourage council not to waste $321,000 of ratepayers’ funds,” he said.

Mr Parnall-Gilbert asked council to use the funds for practical amenities that are “required now”, such as pedestrian lighting, public toilets, tree plantings, dog park upgrades, an outdoor highball court or an expansion of the playground.

“We are waiting for suitable pedestrian lighting which will help residents feel safe and reduce the risk of being harmed,” he said.

“The enclosed dog park is a regionally

significant asset that attracts many visitors from outside our city because of what it offers visitors, yet at night it’s pitch black.”

Given the amount of visitors to the park for both sporting and recreational needs, Mr Parnall-Gilbert considers these upgrades to be a requirement.

“Kids love the space, but it could be improved,” he said.

“MembersofMcIvorReservewhosekidsplay basketball, but are against building a stadium on green space, have expressed that they would still benefit locally from a basic open-air, free court that could be used for practise.”

Mr Parnall-Gilbert and FOMR have been


Finding fun at Newport Folk Festival

The Newport Folk Festival is returning for its 15th consecutive year, bringing the community together to celebrate all things folk music.

Director Michael Stewart said this year’s program begins with an opening evening concert at the Newport Bowls Club on Friday, June 28, before kicking off the main day on Saturday.

“We have the band Cigany Weaver coming down from Brisbane, they are our feature act,” he said.

“I saw them live and was blown away, so they will play twice across the festival, on Friday night and then at the bowls club to finish off the festival.”

The Saturday program will take place across five venues with an array of performances from 10am to 11pm that move from folk to jazz to classical.

The venues, all within walking distance of each other, are The Substation, The Newport Bowls Club, the Newport Scout Hall, The Hub and the Bowlo back room.

“The good thing about where we are is there are many locations within close distance of one another,” Mr Stewart said.

Not only can visitors enjoy the acts, but Mr Stewart said everyone is invited to join in.

“People can come and play themselves, which is the purpose of the festival,” he said.

“There is a lot of join in sessions so they

can get their money’s worth by bringing their instrument and playing along.“

After much planning, Mr Stewart said the team is now relieved and excited that the festival will soon get underway.

“We are feeling great. We start working on it in October and have the program put together early in the year, so by now almost all the problems are solved,” he said

“We are very confident we will have the modest number of people we want to make it a successful festival.

“We are a very grassroots festival and we are really excited about it.”

Details: tickets.html

following the allocation of funding to McIvor Reserve since 2022, and have made several submissions to council.

“There have been many submissions from residents regarding improvements and upkeep at McIvor Reserve for many years,” he said.

“We have contributed the best ideas we have in the hope that council will use that information to make sensible decisions regarding funding those ideas.

“Mysubmissionforthebudgetistohelpkeep this issue at the forefront of voter’s minds.”

Maribyrnong council said it could not comment on the proposal until the budget is presented at its June meeting.

A director and his two companies operating in Brooklyn and Great Western will pay more than $45,000 in fines and costs after charges that they failed to comply with a host of regulatory notices and deposit of industrial waste by burning were proven by the environmental protection authority (EPA).

NicholasLimbournewasfoundtohave illegally deposited industrial waste by burning at his property in Great Western and fined $20,000 without conviction.

Mr Limbourne was fined a further $5000 as part of an aggregate sentence for charges related to the same conduct as the companies of which he is a sole director.

Limbourne Group Pty Ltd was ordered to pay a $5000 fine and $7081 in EPA costs after it failed to comply with notices requiring the preparation of a compliant emergency management plan andfireriskassessment,andtomakesafe non-compliant piles of combustible and recyclablewasteatitsBrooklynpremises.

Limbourne Group further failed to comply with a prohibition notice requiring no further waste be received at the premises until compliance with the separation and dimensions of stockpiles of waste was achieved.

Tombell Limsed Pty Ltd was also found to have not complied with an environmental action notice and was fined $3000 and ordered to pay $5331 in costs to EPA. Tombell Limsed was also ordered to remove all remaining industrial waste from the affected premises on Sandy Creek Road in Great Western and dispose of it lawfully by November 8.

School tram to be restored thanks to West Gate funding

StMary’sPrimarySchoolinAltonahasreceived $10,000 from the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund to restore a vintage Melbourne tram.

The school received the full size tram in July, which has been sitting unused on the school oval waiting to be refurbished and repurposed into a wellbeing hub for the students.

Principal Sonia Riccardi said the grant will help get the project under way, along with the thousands of dollars raised by the school community.

“We raised more than $20,000 with the parent community through our regular

fundraising,” she said. “Now with this $10,000 we have enough to completely refurbish the tram and get it to a usable state.”

Withmuchworktobedone,MsRiccardisaid they have already begun the transformation process.

Glaziers have visited and kicked off the works on replacing the panes.

“One of the biggest things to remove is the lead paint, because it is an old tram which comes with asbestos and lead paint,” Ms Riccardi said.

“That is a major work in making it safe for

use, and that will be removed over the school holidays for the safety of the workmen and kids.”

Other works included having it sealed to become watertight, which Ms Riccardi said has been also been done.

“Now we can start working on the inside. We will replace the chairs and make it a space where there are areas to sit down including on the floor,” she said.

“The aim is to have it as a wellbeing tram where they can play board games, sit and read and have a nice quiet space to be in.”

Ms Riccardi said the whole school is excited by the funding , which she announced last week.

“I announced it in the newsletter and posted it on the Facebook page,” she said.

“The parents are really excited because they can see their hard work and fundraising has paid off which is very exciting.”

With no clear date on completion, Ms Riccardi said it would be nice to celebrate the opening on the one year anniversary of the tram’s arrival.

Director fined
Michaela Mee. (Damjan Janevski)

One year of fighting for Techno

Despite being handed immediate eviction notices 55 weeks ago from Hobsons Bay council, Williamstown’s Techno Park residents are still there fighting for their homes.

On May 18, 2023, up to 100 residents living in apartment blocks at Techno Park were told to immediately vacate their properties or face legal action, because of a zoning issue.

Techno Park, which has been zoned industrial one since 1988, sits opposite a row of fuel storage tanks, situated one kilometre from a former fuel refinery owned by Mobil.

In February this year, the state government made a minor but but significant amendment to the planning scheme which opened a path for residents to stay in their homes by claiming existing use rights.

In April council released a letter saying it would not take any further enforcement action at Techno Park until it has fully considered its obligations following the ministerial changes to state planning rules.

With no other option, the estate’s residents –amixofowner-occupiersandtenantsgenerally renting at below-market rate – are left waiting for council to acknowledge this change.

Lara Week has lived in the estate for four years and said residents’ rights need to be acknowledged.

“We are trying to take council at their word andgivethemtimetorespondtothischangein the planning scheme, but it has now been four months,” she said.

“It was council’s choice to suddenly try to evict everyone, and council has the power to solve their zoning problem and keep people in their homes.”

Each week since the eviction notices were delivered, residents have come together for a community meeting.

Last week the group celebrated its 50th meeting, which Ms Week was a great display of courage.

“I feel so amazed at what our community of neighbours, under enormous stress and pressure, has been able to achieve together,” she said.

“We were told we had to leave our homes immediately, and one year later we’re still here, and still fighting.”

Matt Robinson has lived at Techno Park for four years, and describes the past year as “challenging.”

“Council hasn’t responded to our requests, we have asked them many times to answer us

and they keep saying they can’t due to legal reasons,” he said.

“We still need that letter acknowledging our existing use rights.”

More than anything else, Mr Robinson said he is frustrated. over the “hard yards” the community has put in.

“These past 12 months have been council working against us,” he said.

“Council need to be responsible for the fact they are voted in by the people, listen to the people, support the people and work with them, don’t work against us.”

John O’Hagan moved to Techno Park with his wife and two young girls in 2017. Now 12 and eight-years-old, they too have the weight

of this eviction on their shoulders.

“It has been really difficult, especially for the kids because we cant hide it from them, they know what’s going on,” he said.

“For a little kid it is upsetting knowing their home is insecure.”

Describing the last 55 weeks as “a year from hell”, Mr O’Hagan asked that council end what has “gone on for way too long.”

“All they have to do is acknowledge our use rights and this could all be over.”

Hobsons Bay council said its position remains as it has since the release of an open letter in April, stating it wouldn’t take further enforcement action at Techno Park until it has concluded its legal review.

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Techno Park residents. (Damjan Janevski) 410813_01

Congratulations to the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund grants and partnerships recipients

We are pleased to announce the successful recipients of the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund grants and partnerships.

Congratulations to more than 90 community organisations based in Melbourne’s inner west, whose projects will celebrate history, support diverse communities, focus on arts, provide new opportunities and skills for communities, increase participation, and bring the community together.

The projects recognise and celebrate the Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong City Council communities, supporting those who are most affected by the construction of the West Gate Tunnel Project.

Some of the successful recipients include:

– Borderlands Co-operative

– Friends of Truganina Wetlands

– Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre

– Inner West Community Bike Hub

– Newport Community Education Centre

– Sleepless Footscray Festival

– Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation

– St. Mary’s Primary School

– Walker Close Community Centre

– Williamstown Literacy Festival

– Yarraville Seddon Eagles

To view the full list of successful recipients and for more information, scan the QR code or visit wgnf-projects

Protest for ‘fair pay’ continues

For the second consecutive week, Victoria University (VU) staff launched strike action over workloads, calling for a “fair pay rise”.

Victoria University staff launched a half day strike action on Wednesday, June 5, following a protest rally the week before on May 28, targeting university management over what they’ve described as a lack of a fair pay rise.

The second strike on June 5, took place from noon to midnight across all VU campuses, as anger continues to rise over what staff have declared as a “failure” from the university to give staff a fair pay rise and safe workloads.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) said despite receiving the union’s claims more than a year ago, VU management has failed to make a “concrete offer” on pay.

NTEU said unmanageable workloads are a major sticking point, with VU’s teaching model and recent job cuts that resulted in almost 20 per cent of staff leaving, putting enormous pressure on remaining staff.

VU’s “block model” teaches students one semester-length subject in four weeks at a time rather than multiple units concurrently like at every other university in Australia.

NTEU VU branch president Brandy Cochrane said instead of trying to resolve the issues, VU management is, “playing for time and not sending anyone with real

decision-making power to talk about staff’s reasonable claims”.

“Enough is enough. We expected VU management to come to the table – instead they’ve launched a hard-line attack, increasing alreadyexcessiveworkloadstospreadteaching from 36 weeks per year to 40,” Mr Cochrane said.

“Staff have endured hundreds of colleagues being made redundant, an unsafe teaching model and a cost-of-living crisis, yet management clearly thinks they don’t deserve to be paid fairly”.

A Victoria University spokesperson said it is incorrect to suggest VU is “not serious” about the bargaining process and a pay offer.

“In March, all staff colleagues were given a 4 per cent salary increase in recognition of their contribution and ongoing commitment to?putting our students at the heart of everything we do,” the spokesperson said.

“We have always maintained a regular leadership presence at the bargaining table, as VU is very keen to conclude bargaining?without delay, including further competitive salary increases?and new leave entitlements for staff.

“VU is proud of our award-winning and evolving VU Block Model. It is central to the ongoing success of all our students, and as a responsible employer, we are committed to supporting the staff who deliver it.”?

Lending a helping hamper

Each week, volunteers from The Braybrook Maidstone Neighbourhood House prepare food hampers for 55 families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Never missing a week besides Melbourne Cup and Christmas, manager Vivienne Conn said she saw the need more than 11 years ago, and it has continued to grow.

“I started it to try and help people out,” she said.

“When we started we were doing it for 22 families,nowwehavealongwaitinglistwhich we can’t add any more people to.”

With a further 22 families on the waiting list, Ms Conn said they don’t have the storage capacity to create any more hampers.

“The people on our waiting list are going to be waiting so long to get a hamper, the need is out of control,” she said.

To avoid turning people away empty handed, Ms Conn said volunteers are able to give out frozen meals donated to them from The Nourish Project at the Yarraville Community Centre.

Relying heavily on the community to donate items for the hampers, Ms Conn said anything is appreciated.

“On Monday we have free bread donated by Bakers Delight in Sunshine,” she said.

“Then on Tuesday we give out the hampers which hold fruit, veggies, dairy, all pantry items, canned food and anything we get from donations.

“We rely totally on donations because there is no funding, so any donations are welcome and we are grateful for them.”

Manager Vivienne Conn. (Damjan Janevski) 410607_01

‘Hearts sing’ for Oz boy

The Boy From Oz musical is coming to Melbourne, with a West Footscray local one of the stars bringing life to the production. ThemusicalisatruestoryaboutPeterAllen, one of Australia’s most beloved entertainers.

The musical follows his career and life with Judy Garland and Liza Minelli through bars, clubs, and concerts across the world.

Tara Lichtenstein lives in West Footscray, and has quite the musical theatre background in the US.

She said she is looking forward to her first Australian production, after moving to Melbourne this past summer.

“I’ve been sick recently, so I’ve actually just jumped back in this week. But from three weeks ago, it’s looking great,” she said.

“Everyone is really invested, and the show is just lot’s of fun with all of the songs and the dances are awesome to see. Everyone is so talented, I’m honestly blown away.

“I’m American, but I live in Norway and I came to Melbourne for a working holiday.

Because I’m not fluent in Norwegian, it’s been hard to find English speaking performance opportunities there, especially singing and musical theatre.

“When I got to Melbourne, I knew I had to take advantage of all of the musical theatre opportunities because performing

and singing and making beautiful music makes my heart sing … the bottom line is, I’m extremely excited to be a part of this production.”

Another local from Melbourne’s west in the production is Hoppers Crossing’s Maureen Andrew.

A musical theatre legend who was in the original The Boy from Oz with Hugh Jackman, and now plays Peter Allen’s mother, Ms Andrew has over 50 years of industry experience as an actor, singer, dancer, producer, and director.

The show will play from July 6 to July 21 at the National Theatre Melbourne in St Kilda.


Bachar Houli receives OAM

Houli said it was in 2011 when he felt the Muslim community was underrepresented across the AFL, and young Muslims in Australia lacked sporting role models, leading him to develop the BHF.

Established in 2012, the BHF is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to develop young leaders within the Muslim community.

“It was a challenging time for the community and I wanted to provide opportunities and pathways for our young people through sport,” he said.

“My faith has always been the driver for me because it’s a big part of our purpose as Muslim to give back and help others. I have always enjoyed helping people and seeing young people grow.

“Ultimately our biggest purpose is to enable young people to be the best versions of themselves by being physically and mentally healthy, great leaders and proud of their identity.”

He currently runs the Islamic College of Sport in Coburg, but an expansion to Melbourne’s west is in the works, and expected to be open from next year.

An information session for students entering year 11 next year is coming up this Thursday, June 13, at the Australian Islamic Centre in Newport, from 6pm to 8pm.

■ From page 1. 12692270-JC23-24
West Footscray’s Tara Lichtenstein and Hoppers Crossing’s Maureen Andrew have big roles in the play. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 410898_01

Staying in the busy lane

Erin Abson is a champion masters swimmer, but the 36-year-old’s most impressive achievement might just be finding the time.

“I train five mornings a week before work, so I’m up at 4.30 every morning and I have two gym sessions in the afternoons as well,” said.

Ms Abson who lives in Altona Meadows, is a member of the Laverton Wynyard Aquatic club, trains at Aquapulse in Hoppers Crossing and then works as a school nurse at Mary Mackillop Primary school in Keilor Downs. Oh, and she’s married with two kids under five as well.

“A bit of an understatement but yes, very busy,” said Abson to StarWeeklyduring one of her few spare minutes.

It’s a busy lifestyle which has paid off.

At the Victorian Masters Championships in April, Abson took home four gold and one bronze, while in the national titles in Darwin last month, she bagged five silvers and a bronze.

At last year’s world championships she finished inside the top 10 in two events.

While Abson only took up competitive masters (over 30) competition a few years ago, she’s no novice in the pool

“I’ve always been a swimmer,” she said.

“When I was a teenager I was a competitive swimmer and then I had an injury so took up track and field and cross country and I came back swimming after my eldest was born and realised I’ve still got it.”

Abson nominates the 400 and 200 freestyle and 200 breaststroke as her preferred events and is currently training for the state short course championships in August.

After a well earned break, she’ll return to training for another crack at the world masters championships in Singapore next year. Retirement? Pfft.

YOUR NEW CAREER ... starts here

“Age is just a number, put yourself out there and have a go,” she declared. It’s a motto Abson certainly lives up to.

Registrations now open

Registrations are now open for Daughters of the West 2024, presented by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation and Maribyrnong council.

The free, 10-week program invites women aged 18 and over to explore their health, wellbeing and community.

Maribyrnong council said each week, participants will hear from speakers on a range of topics.

The speakers will lead an interactive discussion on various health topics such as nutrition, mental fitness, health screenings and more. Participants will then be guided by fitness experts in tailored exercise sessions, and welcomed into an inclusive and supportive space thatwelcomeswomenofallbackgrounds.

The Western Bulldogs said the sessions will include group-based exercise, with supportive exercise staff.

“There are two to three exercise groups based on level of intensity (low, medium and high) to ensure all fitness levels and abilities can get the most out of it,“ they said. “The aim of the program is to empower women to make their health and wellbeing a priority by giving them the tools and knowledge.“

It will also be an opportunity for participantstoconnectwithlocalwomen around the Maribyrnong area.

The program will commence on Tuesday, July 16, at 6.30pm in Footscray, or Thursday, July 18, at 10.15am in Maribyrnong. Register: https://www. programs/daughters-of-the-west/ registration

Star Weekly seeks an enthusiastic Full or Part Time sales executive to work across our print, digital, social and online platforms.

Star Weekly is an independently owned company which prides itself on its long history of community experience but also its investment in the future.

The successful applicant will need to possess good people skills to enable them to meet with local businesses to sell solutions through our advertising platforms to help promote their business.

Gregory in for the long hall

Applicants will need their own reliable vehicle for which we will provide an allowance.

The position is salaried, plus we offer an open ended commission scheme.

Send your application letter and resume to:

Advertising Sales Manager, Mandy Clark

It has been 40 years since Gregory Hall began his career as a teacher, overseeing hundreds of students through their early years of education.

To celebrate this milestone, Mr Hall received a ‘Recognition of Service to Victorian Education’ from the state government, which honoured 275 staff members for their service to public education.

After beginning his career as a relief teacher in Bendigo, and teaching for five years in Melton, Mr Hall found his way to Altona Meadows Primary School where he has had a hand at teaching every subject.

He has been at the school for 35 years.

“I still enjoy the job, things have changed but I have no plans to retire yet,” he said. “My wife keeps asking if I will retire, and each year I say no I am really enjoying this year.”

Mr Hall met his wife Carole walking the halls of Altona Meadows more than 20 years ago, when she started as a student teacher.

Mr Hall said he has taught every year level besides prep, but is known for his passion as a music teacher.

“I have spent most of my career teaching music and performing arts, although in university I said I would never teach music,” he said.

According to Mr Hall, to teach a subject well you must have decent knowledge and undertake good research.

Which is just what he did, learning to play several instruments for his students including guitar, ukulele, drumming and keyboard.

“I couldn’t teach music so I learnt with the kids,” he said.

Mr Hall said teachers must have two things: patience and a good sense of humour.

“Teachingisnotaneasyjob,youhavetohave a lot of patience. I am very patient,” he said.

Jennifer Pittorino

Erin Abson with all her medals won at Masters Swimming Australia National Championships. (Ljubica Vrankovic)_409285_05
Gregory Hall with some of his music students. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 411049_02

Wellbeing goal and fair access

From recreational kickabouts and community sport at local clubs, to watching professional matchesatMelbourne’siconicstadiums,sport is deeply ingrained in Australian culture – it is a shared experience that unites our community in their passion and love for the game.

Historically, sport has promoted and reinforced social values such as resilience, mateship and a sense of fair play.

Today, I’m seeing more sporting clubs influence the communities they are part of to address issues like racism, bullying and gender inequality. Beyond physical health benefits, organised sport can be a vehicle for wellbeing, tolerance, and social cohesion.

For young people, community sport provides valuable social opportunities such as being part of a team, making friends and having fun.

These social aspects can play a role in supporting their mental and social wellbeing, and help foster a sense of belonging.

Asacouncil,weprovidemanyopportunities for an active and healthy lifestyle – like maintenance of facilities and sports fields, organised sport, and informal activities at parks, courts, and skate parks.

Partnering with key organisations enables us to deliver programs like Active Maribyrnong, and Sons and Daughters of the West, all of which provide very real benefits for our community.

With our growing population, meeting the demand for increased infrastructure and

recreational resources for local clubs remains a challenge. Through council’s advocacy efforts, we’ve developed partnerships with the federal and state governments to help us deliver initiatives that open up a range of opportunities on and off the field, such as the lighting upgrade at Hansen Reserve and the Henry Turner South Reserve Pavilion redevelopment.

Through conversations with local groups and clubs, council has put forward a Fair Access Policy to the community for feedback, which looks at ways to improve access to, and use of, all community sport infrastructure by women and girls in the community.

Embracing sportspersonship and values of acceptance and inclusion through organised sport is one way we can break down cultural barriers in society, leading to an overall sense of individual and collective, social wellbeing.


Road closures

Footscray Road, between Shepherd Bridge and Waterfront Way, will have lane closures in both directions until late-August as part of the West Gate Tunnel Project. The state government said the closures will allow for the safe construction of the 2.5km cycling veloway, providing cyclists a safer and more direct route to the CBD. Maribyrnong Road, between Union Road and Navigator Street, will be closed in both directions from 9pm to 5am each day from Friday, June 28, to Monday, July 15. These works are being carried out by The Department of Transport and Planning and Yarra Trams. Details: https://bigbuild.vic.

Car break-ins

Detectives are investigating after more than 20 cars were broken into in Spotswood on Thursday, June 6. Police said it is believed the offender or offenders broke into anywhere up to 25 vehicles in the vicinity of The Avenue overnight. Investigators are working to establish how many items were stolen. Detectives are appealing to anyone who witnessed any of these incidents, has dashcam orCCTV footage or information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at www.



Maribyrnong & Hobsons Bay Star Weekly @starweeklynews @star_weekly

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Family’s twin fight for Kiwi rights

Tarneit’s Mackay family moved from New Zealand to Australia 20 years ago. The family is now fighting for the right for their twin daughters, who were born in Australia, to access the NDIS and disability support pension, Cade Lucas reports.

July 1, 2023, was a bittersweet moment for Tarneit’s Angela Mackay.

Originally from Auckland, Angela, her husband, Jeremy, and then 10-year-old daughter,Stella, emigrated toAustraliain2004 and have lived here ever since.

However, like scores of others from across the Tasman, the Mackays were disadvantaged by the 2001 law passed by the then Howard government which established a new Special Category visa for New Zealanders in Australia, allowing them stay, but restricting their access to some government payments and obtaining citizenship without first being granted permanent residency.

But at the start of the last financial year, the “direct pathway to citizenship” changes brokered by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his then New Zealand counterpart, Chris Hipkins, came into effect, allowing the 350,000 Kiwis living in Australia to become citizens after four years of residency. The right to vote and access to government benefits were among the other rights Australian-based Kiwi’s now had access to that they previously didn’t.

Well, not quite.

While the path to citizenship for New Zealanders has been made quicker and easier, the so called ‘stand down’ periods required for them access to some government services and welfare payments, remain in place.

Effectively waiting periods introduced as a means to collect enough taxes from people in order to offset possible future social security claims, stand downs can range from one to 10 years depending on the type of payment being sought.

For New Zealanders like Angela , who’ve spent years working and paying taxes in Australia as permanent residents before becoming citizens, the stand downs can come as a particularly rude shock.

Knowing that shock was coming for many of her fellow Kiwi’s tempered Angela’s joy on July 1 last year.

“A lot of Kiwis will be in our same situation and don’t even realise it, and won’t until they need help,” she said. “This goes against the equalityandfairnessthatAustraliapridesitself on by looking after its citizens.”

Angela is speaking from experience.

While Jeremy and Stella, are now in the process of becoming Australian citizens and Angela - due to having lived here in the 1980’s and having a return residency visa – was able to become a citizen in October 2023, there are two other members of the Mackay family who became Australian citizens long before any of them.

“In 2007 we had identical twins born in Australia with a rare chromosome deletion, they both have a intellectual disability,” said

AngelaofherdaughtersKyahandLuca,whoas a result of their birthplace, became Australian citizens upon turning 10.

But as Angela explains, this was no cause for celebration.

“Because of our immigration status (both being Kiwis) our children were not granted citizenship at birth. Although my husband paid taxes and paid taxes into the NDIS our children could not access the NDIS until 10 years old as they were not citizens, missing out on years of valuable therapy.”

Turning 17 later this month, Kyah and Luca have been citizens and had access to the NDIS for seven years and have attended Warringa Park Specialist School’s Werribee South campus since they were in prep.

Yet rather than being a figment of the past, standdown periods blocking their access to much needed public support is now a more acute problem for the Mackay twins than ever before.

“They’re now finishing their schooling years so we have applied for the disability pension,” said Angela.

“Both girls qualify under the medical side

ErinaMorungaisanAdelaide-based migrationagentwhosaidex-patKiwi’s make up an increasing amount of her business.

“Over the past seven years, most of our work has focused on assisting New Zealanders who are eager to become Australian citizens because they or theirfamilieslackfullrights,privileges, and entitlements – despite paying full taxes for one or two decades,” said Erina who has assisted the Mackay’s.

She said the 10-year stand down period for access to the DSP should be scrapped and that more consideration should be given to the needs of long-term ex-pats.

“These should be taking into account the unfair legislation that have occurred over the past two to three decades which has unilaterally disadvantaged all New Zealanders who came after February 26, 2001, including those who have been tax-paying, law-abiding, community-driven, English-speaking, often skilled, long-term residents of Australia,” Erina said, pointing out that those who paid thousands of dollars in visa charges under the old scheme, should be reimbursed.

The Mackay’s case has been referred to Federal NDIS Minister Bill Shorten and the Department of Social Services (DSS).

A spokesperson for the DSS said Australia’s social security system was a non-contributory, residence-based system and to qualify for the DSP, a person must generally have resided in Australia as a citizen or permanent visa holder for 10 years and at least five continuously.

but were declined on residency status.”

Access to the disability support pension (DSP) still requires a 10-year stand down periodfromthemomentcitizenshipisgranted.

Despite being Australian born and citizens for the best part of a decade, Kyah and Luca still fall three years short of eligibility.

“This is ridiculous,” said their mother who is worried about what the twins will do without full-time education, but unable to perform full-time work.

“When my girls finish school they can possibly get the jobseeker (which has a shorter stand down period). If they do get the jobseeker, they will have to actively look for full-time employment and report every two weeks which is ridiculous when having a learning disability. Worse case they will getnothingandmyselfandmyhubbywillhave to fully support them until the age of 20,” she said.

The Mackay’s might be an extreme case, but they’re far from the only Kiwi’s who’ve spent years living and working across the ‘ditch’, but who’ve found their rights don’t match their contribution.

The spokesperson said anyone who meets the residence, disability/early intervention and age criteria under the NDIS Act will receive supports through the NDIS.

NZ immigrant Angela Mackay says a loophole has meant her disabled twin daughters Kyah and Luca (inset) have been denied a disability pension despite being born in Australia and being Australian citizens. (Damjan Janevski) 404992_01
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Immigration agent Erina Morunga says ex-pat New Zealanders make up an increasing amount of her work. (Pictures: Supplied)

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First book of the Christian Bible (abbr) (3)

Doctor (6)

Happen (9)

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15 words: Good 23 words: Very good 31 words: Excellent Today’s Aim:

Wednesday, 12 June, 2024 MARIBYRNONG & HOBSONS BAY STAR WEEKLY 9 No. 189
No. 189
puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in: each of the nine vertical columns, each of the nine horizontal rows and each of the nine 3 x 3 boxes. Remember, no number can occur more than once in any row, column or box. No. 189 78 9 1749 42 3 52 58 63 7 6 582 916 7 96 12 4 16 easy 3712 7143 1574 2 6 912 935 674 269 5 6 medium 87 5 165 42 3 569 2 98 721 467 49 5 169 hard No. 189 SUDOKU 1 How many extra teeth did Queen frontman Freddie Mercury have? 2 At the 95th Academy Awards, which 91-year-old composer became the oldest Oscar nominee in any category? 3 Who is trapped in the ninth and final circle of Dante’s hell? 4 Which US state is the only one with a single-syllable name? 5 The fictional Lydia Tár is the chief conductor of which orchestra? 6 What were the first living creatures to be sent to space in 1947? 7 Which artwork at the Louvre has its own mailbox for fan letters? 8 In what decade was the Taiwanese beverage bubble tea first released? 9 Which
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actor David Wenham
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No. 189 ACROSS 1 Suns (5) 4 Stages (9)
Sneak (5) 10 Bite-sized appetiser (5,4) 11 Work
– Twist (6)
Nullify (8)
Pile (3) 19 Self-centred (10) 23 Women’s underwear and nightwear (8)
28 Settler (9)
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Aid (6) 2 The A in USA (7)
Highest rank (coll) (7)
Pontiff (4)
Exercises (10)
– contract, a standardised forward contract (7)
Rampaging (7)
Scalpel users (8)
First concerns (10)
Logical (8)
Arcade game involving steel balls (7)
1970s band, – Lake and Palmer (7)
Treachery (7) 21 Against the law (7) 22 Throughway (6)
Close (4)
To solve a Sudoku
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AGE AGO ARE ART ATE EGO END EVE GAL HEM HOE ICE ILL IRE KID LIE LYE PRO SEA SEE SHE TAX TEA UTE 4 LETTERS KNEW LASS LEER NOTE PASS POEM SEND SOAR SOUP TACT TASK TEEN WAIT XMAS 5 LETTERS AGENT AGILE AILED AORTA ASHES ASPEN ASSET CARAT CHESS COWER CRANK DOERS DUELS ESSAY GLEAM GRAPE HEATS HORDE IGLOO IRATE ITEMS LOSES MAIZE MANES MEDAL METER MOVER NIECE OLIVE OMEGA OPERA PYRES REEDS REGAL SAVED SENSE SHINE SHOVE SIREN SLEDS SLEEP SLIME SORTS STUNT TERSE TORSO TREES VISES WIVES ZESTS 6 LETTERS ARTERY LLAMAS RIDDLE SPHERE 7 LETTERS BUNGLER DESSERT EASTERN PROSPER REVENUE TRAINER 8 LETTERS AMICABLY EPILEPSY PEERLESS PENITENT ASSET CARAT REGAL SHINE OMEGA IGLOO HORDE WIVES DOERS EVE NIECE KID ATE SEND CRANK LLAMAS UTE BUNGLER MOVER LEER TACT EPILEPSY WAIT SHE DESSERT PROSPER ARE SOUP PEERLESS LASS NOTE SENSE EASTERN HOE SPHERE MAIZ E PASS LYE TAX ITEMS GAL IRATE MANES OLIVE METER AGENT AILED ESSAY SORTS REEDS 12 345678910111213 1415 1617181920212223242526 U J W O Z D B I G R Y C X A F H K Q E N L M T P V S 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 14-06-24 Puzzles and pagination © Pagemasters | 437912568 871529436 328156749 185463297 569341872 914738625 692875314 243687951 756294183 easy medium hard 231567489 312754896 428376951 657948132 584692317 765189243 849213675 976831524 193425768 871245369 713869254 197456823 356918742 265174938 638792415 942637581 489523176 524381697 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 EASTERN PS 1. Four 2. John Williams 3. Satan 4. Maine 5. The Berlin Philharmonic 6. Fruit flies 7. The Mona Lisa 8. 1980s 9. Moulin Rouge! (2001), Australia (2008) and Elvis (2022) 10. Cornflour ANSWERS:


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

Fiddle group

The Newport Folk and Fiddle Beginner Play Along Group is a great place for beginners or those with some experience, to play music in a safe, casual and welcoming environment. Come on down, have some fun, make new friends, have a cuppa and maybe even learn something new. All instruments and levels of expertise are welcomed where the main aim is to enjoy music and have fun. Children are also most welcome. The third Saturday of the month, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at 2nd Newport Scouts, 6 Market Street, Newport.

■ beginner-playalong

Sing with WIllin Wimmin choir

Do you like to sing? Join a supportive and welcoming group of women who sing with heart. The group welcomes anyone who identifies as a woman. No auditions, singing experience or music background necessary. The group meets on Wednesdays during school term, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, at The Bridge Church hall, 119 Douglas Parade, Williamstown. The first two evenings of attendance are free.


Prep for employment course

Seeking a change in career or how to improve your employability? Receive face-to-face help with job searches, resumes, interviews, upskilling and more in a prep for employment course. Register today. At 43 Mason Street, Newport.

■ 9391 8504, or

Intro to computers course

For beginners and those looking to refresh skills. The computer lab is fully equipped for interactive and hands-on learning. Accessing information, resources, file management, emails, Microsoft Office, AI and online safety. At 43 Mason Street, Newport.

■ 9391 8504, or

Positions vacant

Join the Hobsons Bay Community Fund (HBCF) as a committee member to support and strengthen your local community. It is seeking to fill the treasurer’s role as well as other voluntary positions.


Heritage walks

Enjoy a leisurely one-and-a-half hour walk around historic Williamstown and nearby suburbs with guide John. Walks start at 9.20am each Tuesday outside the Visitor Information Centre in Nelson Place. Each week is a different week with a printed sheet with the route and points of interest provided each week. Walks are leisurely and usually end at a café for a tea-coffee.

■ John, 0418 377 336

Everyday English language course

For women of all ages and backgrounds with English as a second language. Practice speaking English in different situations, and make new friends. Fridays, 10am-noon. At 43 Mason Street, Newport.

■ 9391 8504, or

Laverton Community Choir

The choir is welcoming new members, especially male voices. If you love singing and would like to be part of a choir, come along and try out your vocal cords with this fun and welcoming group of singers. There are no auditions and you don’t need to be able to read music. The group meets on Thursday evenings during school terms at Laverton P12 College, 91 Bladin Street,

This week’s photographer’s choice picture is of comedian Deborah Barrese dressed up as ‘Carmen’, a character from her upcoming live comedy. (Damjan Janevski) 410912_01

Laverton, from 7-9pm. ■ Sue, 0418 386 147, or

Free parent support Hobsons Bay council’s new support group, ‘Tuning in to Teens’ is designed to help parents with a range of teenage topics. These include understanding your teen better, helping your teen to manage difficult emotions, helping to prevent behavioural issues in your teen and teach your teen how to deal with conflict more effectively.

Tuning in to Teens is a free six-session parenting program. The next term will run on Mondays, from 6.30-8.30pm, commencing May 20, running online.

■ 9932 4000 or

Mouth Organ Band

Yarraville Mouth Organ Band is looking for new members. Band practice is held on Friday evenings at 8pm in the band hall at 203 Williamstown Road, Yarraville. For great music in a friendly atmosphere feel free to call in one Friday evening.

■ Heather 9399 2190 or

Drop in chess, cards and Scrabble If you love playing chess, cards or a game of Scrabble in an informal and fun setting, visit Braybrook Community Centre on Tuesdays, from noon-2.30pm.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Regular meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are held at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Williamstown, Wednesdays at 7pm, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Newport, Thursdays at 6.30pm and Saturdays at 8.30am. All welcome including friends and family of people with drinking problems.

■ 1300 22 22 22, or

Wednesday walking group

The Williamstown Community Centre offers a regular Wednesday walking group that walks the local area, 10.15-11am. New members are welcome. This activity is free and includes morning tea.

■ 9397 6168

Williamstown Craft Market Commonwealth Reserve comes alive on

the third Sunday of the month for the Williamstown Craft Market. The market boasts more than 50 stalls showcasing everything from handmade craft, homegrown produce and food vendors. There will also be live music. From 10am4pm.

■ Whats-On/Williamstown-Craft-Market

Musicians wanted

Do you play woodwind, brass or percussion and are looking for a welcoming place to play enjoyable and challenging music? The Westgate Concert Band is seeking new members. Rehearsals are held Saturdays during school terms, 9am-noon, at Braybrook College.


West Footscray Rotary

The Rotary Club of West Footscray meets at the Medway Golf Club in Maidstone for lunch, fellowship and guest speakers each Wednesday, from 12.30-2pm.

■ Mike, 0417 622 372

Cherry Lake Market

Set between Millers Road and the stunning Cherry Lake in Altona, this market has something for everyone. The market hosts more than 60 stalls, selling plants, bric-a-brac, handcrafts, hot jam donuts, tools, clothing and much more. There is live music every month from the Cherry Lake Cultural Series, showcasing local musicians from across Hobsons Bay. From 9am-1pm on the first Sunday of every month.

■ Whats-On/Altona or cherrylakemarket@

Point Gellibrand Rotary Club

Rotary Club of Point Gellibrand meets at Customs House Hotel, 161 Nelson Place, Williamstown, on the first and third Tuesday of the month, from 6pm, for a dinner meeting. The club has some great speakers and needs new, energetic, enthusiastic members who want to make a difference in their community.

■, Pam, 0418 347 691, or

Altona Day View Club

The Altona Day View Club meets on the

third Wednesday each Month at 11am, at the Altona RSL 31 Sargood Street, Altona.. ■ Marion, 9394 6557

Woodcarving workshop

The woodcarving workshop meets on Tuesdays at 9.30am-noon at Hobsons Bay Men’s Shed, 280 Queens Street, Altona. All levels of ability in this ancient, international craft are welcome, women included, starter tools and timber available.


Free English conversation class

Is English your second language? Do you want to improve your English skills and meet new people? Practise English conversation in informal interactive group sessions. Light refreshments provided. Mondays during school terms, from 1-3pm, at the Altona Library.

■ Joe Pellone, 0431 915 970, or, or Jill Mackenzie, 0439 994 705, or

Willy walking group

A free walking group meets every Wednesday, during school terms, at 10.1511am, from Joan Kirner House, 14 Thompson Street, Williamstown.

■ Tahlia, 9397 6168

Social card games

Interested in playing social card games? Canasta, poker and/or others. Weekday mornings or afternoons at 43 Mason Street, Newport.

■ 9391 8504, or

Women Talk – Conversational English

The Women Talk Group will be held on Mondays at 10am for women to learn and practice speaking English in the classroom and the local area and make new friends in an all-women class.

■ 9391 8504 or

Altona Repair Cafe

The Altona Repair Cafe is looking for more repairers to help meet community demand for repairs at their monthly repair events. Repair cafes happen on the first Saturday of the month, noon-3pm.

■ Danielle, 0413 434 082


A journey of Vietnamese history

Embark on a cultural journey with Bach Viet Danceastheypresent‘TheEmperorCity(From Past to Present)’, a captivating performance showcasing the rich history and traditions of the imperial city of Hue in central Vietnam.

This cultural show will feature a blend of traditional court music, contemporary music, and poetry recitations, brought to life through costumes, singing, and traditional dance. DiTran,thepassionateorganiserbehindthis cultural showcase, emphasises the importance

ofsharingVietnamesehistoryandculturewith the broader community.

“To understand our culture is to appreciate its beauty, and this applies to all cultures,” Tran said.

“I have always had a personal passion for introducing Vietnamese history and cultural aspects into the mainstream so that children and people from other ethnic backgrounds can understand and appreciate our heritage.”

Since its establishment in 2019, Bach Viet Dance has been dedicated to fostering cultural understanding and cohesion within the


The group, consisting of 14 members aged 36 to 62, has previously collaborated with other organisations and continues to receive strong support from the community.

Last year’s cultural show focused on North Vietnamese culture and attracted a diverse audience. This year, the group is excited to expand their reach and share the beauty of Vietnamese culture with even more people from various backgrounds.

“It’s been about five years now since we started and we’ve done a number of events that

on Friday, June 14. (Supplied)

Cultural performance coming soon

Bukjeh’s performance, Hakima, is coming to Broadmeadows.

Hakima means ‘Wise woman’ in Arabic, and embodies the essence of strength, wisdom and resilience of women.

The performance brings together local poets with roots in Africa and the Levant to honour and uplift the stories of women in times of war and displacement.

Through stories, poetry and songs, Hakima shares the experiences of mothers of survivors and martyrs, of women who couldn’t say goodbye, and mothers who are amplifying

theirvoicesanddrawinginspirationfromtheir resilience, faith and unwavering fortitude.

It’s an exploration of the wisdom that emerges from challenges, offering a platform for these wise women to share their invaluable life lessons and tales of perseverance.

The performance has support from Hume council’s arts grants program, and will take place on Friday, June 14, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at Town Hall Broadmeadows.

Also coming to the Town Hall is a Hakima exhibition in the gallery.

Opening up on June 14 and staying until

Friday, September 13, the multimedia installation that transports visitors into a sensory experience of the bustling markets, kitchens and serene landscapes of the Levant, inviting an exploration of the connections between the food we savour, the stories we tell, and the art that transcends time and borders.

The exhibition celebrates the artistry of preparing traditional dishes, as well as the communal spirit of sharing meals with loved ones.

Free tickets:

Stockroom visual art spectacles on show

Kyneton Stockroom is hosting two new visual art exhibitions – ‘Dystopia’ by Guillaume Dillée and ‘Homage’ by David Doyle.

French-bornandself-taughtartistGuillaume Dillée moved to Australia with his family 10 yearsago,andwasconfrontedbytheharshness of the Australian natural environment.

“When we arrived in Australia, we had to face almost every day hearing the news about all the climate change issues with the huge fires we had ... with all the issues with water, with the air, with pollution, with climate change,” Dillée said.

From observing this, Dillée was inspired to begin creating artworks that reflected the link between humans and the Australian natural landscape.

“I started to understand that nature was struggling against all types of human activities and also humans were struggling against nature – so that balance was very inspiring for me and it was one of my main concerns,” he said.

In his exhibition statement, Dillée said that the title ‘Dystopia’ refers to the dreamlike

quality of his work and a “conceptual world where the relationship between man and nature is perpetually at odds”.

David Doyle is a Barkindji/Malyangapa man based in Broken Hill, NSW, and presents his

benefit the community,” Tran said.

“This year we’re lucky enough to continue to be supported to produce this cultural show focussing on Vietnamese culture. We have been rehearsing relentlessly every week, twice a week.”

TheEmperorCity(FromPasttoPresent)will hit the stage at the Bowery Theatre in St Albans on Saturday, July 6, from 7-9.45pm. Tickets are $15, or $10 for children 12 years and under.

The show will be presented in both English and Vietnamese.


exhibition ‘Homage’ covering three different series: Glass Coolamon, Unbroken Shields and Curved Parrying Shields.

In The Glass Coolamon series, Doyle uses the glass art medium to pay tribute to his grandparents, ancestors, Barkindji country, and his Malyangapa heritage.

The two shield series communicate his cultural identity and the struggles of preserving it, with some designs hailing from his ancestors.

“When creating these works, I made sure to do extensive research into shields and designs pertinent to my Aboriginal heritage,” Doyle said.

“A shield is like an ID, individual to the owner, so I didn’t want to take the identity of anyone else … I made small changes to ensure they were unique but still followed the Barkindji design principles.”

The shields are part of a larger story that can be viewed on the Kyneton Stockroom website.


Oscar Parry

Hopetoun Park local Tanisha Quilliam is probably one of the most accomplished 15 year olds in Victoria.

The Bacchus Marsh Grammar year 10 student has displayed her artwork in the LUME Melbourne and spoken at the United Nations.

Now, the three time Koori Heritage Trust winner is displaying her art in an exhibit for the Moorabool council as part of Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.

Quilliam said she is proud First Nations artists are getting a spotlight.

“It’s really amazing that they wanted to include more Indigenous people in exhibiting art and I just love sharing my culture with everybody,” she said.

Titled ‘The Art of Destruction and Rejuvenation’, Quilliam’s exhibit explores the different understandings that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have with nature.

“I’ve noticed that the Indigenous community is struggling with trying to show that burning off the land is a way to rejuvenate it and bring back the natural growth and cycle of the land,” she said. “I really wanted to showcase that because I’m very connected to Mother Earth.”

Quilliam said her favourite part of the exhibit was the end piece.

“It’sa3Dfacewhichhastheillustration ofpartoftheWerribeeRiveranditshows her beauty after all she’s been through.”

Quilliam’s father, Wayne, is a renowned photographer and curator. She said he inspires her in organic ways.

“He helps me grow in my creative ability but he pushes me in a way that creates my own sense of what I want to do.”

The outdoor exhibit, at The Village Green, 197 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh, will be open until Monday, July 29.

Eddie Russell
Art honours Mother Earth
Tanisha Quilliam in front of her exhibit. (Supplied: Moorabool council). A painting from Guillaume Dillée’s exhibition ‘Dystopia’. (Magali Gentric) Bukjeh’s Hakima performance will take over Town Hall Broadmeadows
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Star Weekly seeks an enthusiastic Full or Part Time sales executive to work across our print, digital, social and online platforms.

Star Weekly is an independently owned company which prides itself on its long history of community experience but also its investment in the future.

The successful applicant will need to possess good people skills to enable them to meet with local businesses to sell solutions through our advertising platforms to help promote their business.

Applicants will need their own reliable vehicle for which we will provide an allowance.

The position is salaried, plus we offer an open ended commission scheme.

Send your application letter and resume to: Advertising Sales Manager, Mandy Clark

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For a translation service, call Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 and ask them to call EPA Victoria on 1300 372 842 12695897-AV25-24 V Public Notices and Event V Public Notices and Event General Notices DISCRIMINATION IN ADVERTISING IS UNLAWFUL The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1995 makes it unlawful for an advertiser to show any intention to discriminate on the basis of sex, pregnancy, race, age, marital status, political or religious belief or physical features, disability, lawful sexual activity/sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status or on the basis of being associated with a person with one of the above characteristics, unless covered by an exception under the Act. As Network Classifieds could be legally liable if an unlawful advertisement is printed, Network Classifieds will not accept advertisements that appear to break the law. For more information about discrimination in advertising, contact your legal advisers or the Equal Opportunity Commission. 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Toyota banks on stylish new BEV

What’s in a name? Plenty if you happen to be one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers pumping out products by the boatload.

Take Toyota, for example. Nothing goes better to describe the Land Cruiser as a prestigious go-anywhere off roader; then there’s the Prius, relating to its being the first mass produced petrol/hybrid car.

Now comes Toyota’s first wholly electric SUV, the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) bZ4X. The what? Surely that’s an internal maker’s code. Where’s the snappy showroom moniker? Was the marketing department on leave? ‘Oh, what a feeling’ . . . not!

So, what have we got? To say the car is simply a plug-in RAV4 is to undersell the bZ4X. Drawing on more than a quarter of a century of the company’s leadership in hybrid vehicle technology, this is the first Toyota in Australia to make use of the new BEV-dedicated e-TNGA platform, integrating battery and motor into the vehicle’s structure, providing extra rigidity and a low centre of gravity for stable driving dynamics.

The bZ4X is a midsize SUV that comes in two versions – front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive – priced from $66,000 and $74,900, respectively. A standard Toyota five years/ unlimited kilometres warranty applies, or seven years on motor and driveline with logbookservicing.Alsoofferediscappedprice servicing for the first five years/75,000km, witheach12-month/15,000kmservicecosting $189.

An optional full-service lease, covering maintenance, mechanical repairs, replacement tyres, roadside assist, Toyota Comprehensive insurance plus registration and third-party insurance, is on offer through one single monthly payment.

The FWD version is equipped with LED headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels and a list of convenience and safety features, synthetic leather trim, heated front seats, the driver’s eight-way adjustable and dual zone climate control.

The AWD bZ4X (the test vehicle) is taken to the next level with roof spoiler, panoramic sunroof, roof rails and gloss black bonnet highlight.


Designers were tasked with combining the character of a BEV with the stylish and functional look of an SUV. The bZ4X is the first model Down Under to display Toyota’s hallmark ‘hammerhead’ front, with the bonnet surface reaching out to the nose and each corner.

A spoiler above the horizontal tail-light line contributes to aerodynamics, along with the diffuser surfaces below the rear bumper. Other details that contribute to the car’s 0.279 coefficient of drag include a front grille shutter that closes when limited cooling is needed, front air curtains that promote airflow down the body sides, and a fully covered underbody.

ThebZ4X20-inchdoublefive-spokewheels, with contrasting black and machined finish and grey resin accents for a three-dimensional detailed look.

One of six exterior colours, the test car’s was Feverish Red – or as one would-be influencer put it: ‘ A bit like a winter red nail polish.’ –with gloss black roof and bonnet panel.


The e-TNGA platform has allowed the wheels to be extended outward to the front and rear, making more room for occupants, and optimising the traction of all-wheel drive off road.

The AWD variant gains a nine-speaker JBL premium audio, Premium SofTex seat trim, Qi-compatible wireless charger, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel driver’s seat memory function and power tailgate with kick sensor.

Boot capacity is 441 litres for the AWD3, thanks to clever packaging of the AWD rear

e-Axle and JBL sound system. A further 10-litre storage space under the cargo floor houses the included charge cables and tool kit And. don’t go looking for a glovebox. There isn’t one. A large space under the floating centre console takes its place.


The latest Toyota multimedia technology is harnessed through a 12.3-inch touchscreen with access to DAB+ radio, wireless Apple CarPlay,andAndroidAuto.Voicerecognition, called up by the command ‘Hey, Toyota’, will control a range of functions such as opening windows.

This multi-media system provides access to the latest Toyota Connected Services online features, including the myToyota smartphone app, which is complimentary for a 12-month period.

BEV specific features include charge station locations and charge management. Over-the-air updates, cloud navigation and live traffic information are included.

A 7-inch driver multi-information display is cleverly situated directly behind the steering almost up against the windscreen but below the bonnet line, making it almost a head-up display and is visually sharp and easy to read.

The 350mm steering wheel, smaller than on other Toyotas, also aids visibility.



Looks: 8/10

Performance: 9/10

Safety: 7/10

Thirst: 7/10

Practicality: 8/10

Comfort: 8/10

Tech: 8/10

Value: 6/10

TheFWDmodelincorporatesafront-mounted e-Axle combining transaxle, motor and inverter into an integrated, compact unit, while the AWD variant uses front and rear 80 kW e-Axles with maximum combined outputs of 160 kW and 337 Nm.

Providing the power is a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that is extensively tested for 20 days before being fitted to the vehicle.


As well as seven airbags, up-to-date Toyota Safety Sense, a combination of technologies is designed to protect passengers, the battery and other vehicles and pedestrians.

A pre-collision system can detect vehicles, motorcycles, cyclists in daytime only, and pedestrians even at intersections. Other features include active cruise control, emergency steering assist, lane trace assist, emergency driving stop system, road sign assist with speed signs only, and parking support brake.

Features above those of FWD include driver attention and blind spot monitors, safe exit assist, intelligent parking assist and 360-degree panoramic view of the vehicle.


The bZ4X set off almost in silence (road noise taking its place) with just a gentle push in the

back. The 337 Nm of torque was put to good use in all driving conditions, from stop/start city going to the freedom of an open-road rush.

Rideandhandlingqualitywaswhatwehave cometoexpectovertheyearsfromToyota,the small steering wheel outwearing its gimmicky introduction to come into its own, especially during tight manoeuvres.

Regenerative braking (using the electric motor to slow the car) was more ‘hands-off’ than some similar systems and needed brake pedal back-up to bring the car to a complete halt.

Energy efficiency is put by the maker at 18.1kWh per 100 kilometres. The AWD on test averaged 18kWh per 100 kilometres.

Charging was a breeze at the local public fast charge station, with the tester going from 30 to 90 per cent in 45 minutes. I could live with that.

Off road, the all-wheel drive variant is helped by 212 mm ground clearance and dedicated X-Mode driving aids that optimise traction in snow/dirt or deep snow/mud and take in crawl and downhill assist.


For more than 25 years Toyota led the electrification way with the Prius petrol/ electric hybrid. I wonder if the bZ4X can do the same for the BEV.

Now comes Toyota’s first wholly electric SUV, the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) bZ4X. (Pictures: Supplied)

Long weekend sporting action

While many competitions had the weekend off due to the King’s Birthday long weekend, there was still some sporting action across the west. Photographer Ljubica Vrankovic caught some of the action,

Green Gully’s Adolph Koudakpo. 412089_09 Western Suburbs’ Tatsuhiro Takezaki. 412101_03 Yarraville Seddon’s William Kliszewski. 412087_01 Altona North came away with the win against Point Cook. 412097_03 Western Suburbs and Sydenham Park had s draw. 412101_25 The ruck battle was important between Point Cook and Yarraville Seddon. 412087_23 West Point had to share the points with Truganina. 412096_15 Christopher Sutera and Gradi Masudi. 412097_01 Truganina’s Van Lal Sang Bualthang. 412096_01

Sheedy joins Eagles in ‘biggest challenge yet’

New Yarraville coach Michael Sheedy says taking on the coaching role at the Eagles as his biggest coaching challenge yet.

Sheedy was announced as the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association club’s coach for the 2024-25 season.

He is no stranger to the Subbies competition having coached both Plenty Valley and Mount Waverley.

Sheedy said having moved back to Melbourne’s west he was looking to coach a bit closer to home and Yarraville was an exciting opportunity.

“I parted ways with Mt Waverley on the eve of finals due to my health,” he said. “They were understanding that I couldn’t perform due to my health, but I’ve got better.

“It’s [Yarraville] closer to home which makes it a lot easier.”

Sheedysaidalltheclubsinthewestwerevery professional but it was existing contact with Yarraville that attracted him to the role.

“Matthew Harrison is a good friend of mine and he’s come out of retirement and gave me a bit of a poke to chat with them.”

The Eagles top side last season finished 10th in the north-west, while they finished 25th overall in the club championship.

Sheedy said a lack of depth across the club impacted all their sides.

“It’s my biggest challenge in coaching,” he said. “Plenty Valley was successful as was Mt Waverley.

“This is a new challenge with a bottom 10 club. Throughout the whole club there wasn’t the depth.”

Sheedy said in the first side they wanted to add some experience to support those already there.

He said he would play along with Harrison, while they’ve already announced the signing of English quick Will Sheffield.

Josh Hahnel will continue on as skipper and former coach Jonah Koch will also remain at the club.

“Jonah is travelling at the moment and won’t be back to mid October which is part of the reason he stood down,” he said.

“He’s staying on and he’s an important player. He was a one man band at times.

“Josh has been in the team of the yearthe last two years and didn’t have a lot of experience around him,” he said.

“Matt and I will help him there.”

Sheedy said they were looking to recruit some more experience that would then flow

Falcons keep on going

A stunning start to the second half was the key to the City West Falcons win against the Wilson Storage Southern Saints in the Victorian Netball League championship on Wednesday night.

Playing each other for the second time in less than a month, it was the Falcons that again came out on top, winning 63-52.

The Falcons had won the first match up with a similar result.

Falcons coach Marg Lind said there were similarities between the two matches. She said the Saints were always a good match up for them.

“IttookawhilebutIthinkitwas prettymuch the same as when we played Saints last time,” she said. “Again we changed our defensive strategy and then we started turning the ball over and got a bit more momentum.

“We made a couple changes in the attack end that worked quite well. Bringing Liv Cameron on was a good change.

“And Cookie [Jane Cook] just stood up a bit more in the second half. She said to me at half time, ‘what am I doing?’

“I said you’ve been a bit soft and she knew it and she was much better in the second half.“

Lind said the playing group again needed to recognise on court that the defensive structure needs to change instead of waiting for the coaches to tell them.

She said as soon as they made the change, things started to turn.

“I think we scored the first eight in the third quarter and that was with turnovers, four turnovers straight up made a big difference.” Cook shot 32 goals while Uneeq Palavi shot 23 as they shared the minutes around with Olivia Cameron and Genna Ogier both getting court time in the circle.

Lind said Mel Oloamanu did some good things under pressure, as did Sussu Liai. She said it wasn’t their best attacking game but they still scored more than 60 goals.

Lind said it was another good team effort.

The Falcons remain in top, six points clear of the Boroondara Express, which has played an extra game.

In under-23s, the Falcons beat the Saints 49-45.

Lind said after they started well they had a terrible game until late in the match.

“They lost the plot a bit, just wasting ball,” she said.

The Falcons sit in fourth spot a game clear of the Geelong Cougars in fifth.

The Falcons this week face the Bendigo Strikers.

It will test the Falcons depth with the Pacific

at moving the game, but stuck with the same time slot.

She said with it looking like Soli Ropati not making the trip to the series they would nearly have their starting line up.

“Wejustwon’thavemanyoptionsdefensively, but we’ll probably sit some 23s there just in case.”

into the lower grades. He said they were keen to get their third and fourth XI into the division 1 competitions.

“We have some talent at the club, we want to support them.”

Vickery and Kaddour get contracts

LukeVickeryandKhoderKaddourhave signed their first professional contracts, signing two year deals with Western United.

Both players have progressed through the ranks in the Western United AcademyandeachmadetheirA-League Men’s debuts in the 2023-24 season. Vickery’s rapid development earned him a maiden Young Socceroos call-up last month. The 18-year-old has been in electric form with five goals in 11 Victorian Premier League 1 matches this season.

Kaddour made five first-team appearances last season before his season was cut short by an ACL injury.

Kaddour and Vickery said they are ready to step up into an exciting future at Ironbark Fields.

“All my hard work has been building towards this. I honestly thought this was never going to happen, so for it to happen is a dream come true,” Kaddour said.

“It feels good having my friends who I’ve known for years signing for the same club. That’s the kind of thing you don’t think would happen. It gives the club something to look forward to – a good future with a lot of young players signing.”

Vickery added, “I can’t wait to keep growing both as a player and a person with the club and I’m so grateful for this opportunity – the hard work starts now.

“The fans definitely have to come out and watch us. There’s a lot of youth, a lot of excitement, a lot of energy. It’ll be a very exciting season next year and it’ll be awesome for a lot of fans to come and support us at our home in Tarneit.”

United football general manager Mal Impiombato celebrated the achievements of Vickery and Kaddour.

“We are immensely proud to confirm these two signings – players that have come into our academy pathway, developed as footballers and as people in our system and are now ready for the professional game,” he said.

The pair of youngsters join Abel Walatee in signing their first senior contracts for next season, while Matthew Grimaldi has committed to a three-year contract as Western United.

Netball Series on at the same time. Mel Oloamanu, Palavi and Lucia Fauonuku will all miss the Strikers match along with under-23s player, Beyonce Palavi. Lind said they had looked Michael Sheedy has been appointed Yarraville coach. (Ljubica Vrankovic)

The Gators’ season is on the line

Altona Gators don’t have much room to give in the back part of the Big V women’s division 1 competition.

The Gators finished the first part of the combined division 1-2 competition in fifth spot securing a spot in the division 1 competition for the rest of season.

Sitting a couple of games outside the top four, the Gators know they can’t have any slip ups in the run home.

Gators coach Randy Shanklin said the goal wastoalwaysmakethedivision1competition, but they want more than that.

“If we have two losses, we’ll probably be playing for nothing,” he said. “We had a couple of losses early in the season which were hard to take.

“Ourfourlosseshavecometothefourteams above us on the ladder which is disappointing with where it’s left us for the second half of the season.

“Mildura Heat have the head-to-head on us

and we’ve got them first up and they have to travel.”

TheGatorshavehadanupanddownseason. They’vehadinjuriesandanumberofplayers in and out of the side.

Sharna Nanai-Leifi is out for the season and the early part of next season with a serious knee injury.

One positive for the Gators has been the opportunities given to a number of their youth league players.

“I love that,” said Shanklin. “There have been roles for quite a few of them there.”

There was a competition wide on the weekend due to the King’s Birthday weekend.

Shanklinsaidthey’rereadyforthechallenge ahead.

“We want to be hunting for a spot in the top four,” he said. “Warrandyte lost to Chelsea so that opens up the doors for other teams.

“Hopefully some teams will start to fall.”

Shanklin said elsewhere things were going

well for the club.

This season they have six teams in the Victorian Junior Basketball League VC competitions.

“That is good,” he said. “We almost had eight teams in VC.

“Last year we had thee teams make it. This year we had nearly all our first teams which we haven’t had for a while.

“We’re not far off it and sides in the second and third teams and positive going forward.”

Meanwhile the Gators men, host the Whittlesea Pacers on Saturday night in round 12.

The Gators sit in sixth spot.

AFL dream comes true

Saad El-Hawli is living the dream.

The former Altona footballer was among the lucky few who was picked up in the AFL draft, with Essendon taking him at pick 13.

Speaking nearly a week after being picked up El-Hawli said it was starting to sink in.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “I spoke with them the day before, but being such short notice I didn’t think much of it.

“It’s nice to know that I was playing good footy and everyone at the club has gotten around me.

El-Hawli was training with the Northern Bullants while the draft was being held.

He could see a few people on phones while the draft was being held and the cheers went around.

El-Hawli couldn’t thank the Bullants enough for what they had done for him.

“I knew I was good enough to be on a list,” he said. “They gave me another level of self confidence and there was a lot of belief the coaches put in me.”

While El-Hawli was at training, his family celebrated the news in a now a viral social media video.

He admits there’s a few ‘characters’ in his family.

Among those to congratulate El-Hawli was three-time Richmond premiership player Bachar Houli.

Houli was originally drafted to Essendon to start his AFL career.

“He came over the next day to show his support,” El-Hawli said. “I was part of his foundation for a long time.

“We’ve been on plenty of camps together and a lot of other Muslim events. It’s a bit of deja vu with us both going to the red and black.”

El-Hawli said the Bombers were a real multicultural club and the players were quick to ask about his religious beliefs and how they can support him.

El-Hawli started his career at Newport Power before making the move to Altona. He was part of the Vikings’ 2022 Western Football League division 1 premiership.

“I was just with Altona last year,” he said. “They[re really happy and everyone at the club was sending me tests.

“I must be a good enough person that they want to send texts, it’s been awesome.”

El-Hawli didn’t have long to settle in at the Bombers, making his for the club’s VFL side just four days later.

He finished with 25 disposals.

“It’s been a whirlwind and they’ve been really patient with me,” he said.

“They’ve made sure I’m comfortable in the environment.

“I want to do the team things and running

Magpies are kicking little

goals weekly

Laverton is setting little goals each week as it makes inroads in the Western Football League women’s competition.

The Magpies have one win on the board against fellow struggler North Sunshine, with a big gap between the top and bottom sides.

Coach Glen Murrell said it had been tough with the two divisions merging this season but they were seeing positive signs.

“It was something that no one expected,” he said of going to one division.

“Obviously the first thing is getting enough players week in, week out. The girls are still having fun and still connected even though results aren’t going our way.

“We’re getting more competitive every week while still having fun.”

Murrell, who stepped up from assistant coach last season, said it was always going to take some time under a new coach.

He said the group continues to turn up each week and they are seeing some of those results.

“We’ve had a full team, as least 18 each week,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t know how they do it.

“They are willing to learn. The development is there and there’s been slow progress with kicking, marking and handballing and how to play.

“The training standards have lifted and that is showing in games.”

Murrell said they were also working on their fitness levels.

He said the group was focused on getting some wins out of every game.

“We try and set little goals each week,” he said. “A couple of tackles per quarter and clearance per quarter, little goals we want to achieve.

“The progression is there as they improve their skills”

There was a competition wide bye on the weekend due to the long weekend.

Murrell said it came at a good time for a break after a physical match with West Footscray in their most recent hit out.

This week, the Magpies face Werribee Centrals, who sit top of the ladder.

Aseka Ratnayake. (Ljubica Vrankovic)
the right patterns to take my game to the next level. “I’ve got a defensive first mindset, for sure.”
him his focus
to keep learning on the job and hope that it leads to an opportunity in the senior team.
El-Hawli said
Saad El-Hawli. (Joe Mastroianni) 299309_21

Williamstown tames the weather

Williamstown overcame the rain and the Southern Saints to maintain its spot at the top of the Victorian Football League women’s competition.

While the Seagulls were on the road against the Saints on Sunday there was some nice familiar weather with conditions similar to what they might have found at Williamstown.

The Seagulls were able to kick the only two goals of the first quarter and that was able to set up their game.

The margin stayed steady in the second quarter before the Seagulls did all the scoring in the second half to come away with a 7.3 (45)-2.3 (15) win.

Seagulls coach Liam Cavanagh said they had been itching for some wet weather footy.

“We were conscious that the Saints were better than the ladder suggested,” he said. “They had lost six of their last eight games by less than a goal.

“We came in thinking it would not be an easy one. We were pretty happy with the way we played.”

Cavanagh said they kept it similar in the wet and it was around the contest where they took control of the game. Had said they dominated the clearance game and were able to put some scoreboard pressure on.

“It’s hard to chase down on a wet day,” he said. “Our clearance work was good.

“We had some lapses and the Saints had periods of dominance. We kept it simple and created enough chances to kick goals and kicking nearly 50 points in the wet is not easy.”

Cavanagh said they had good synergy between their mids and forwards.

Sharnie Whiting kicked two goals for the Seagulls and was one of their best, creating a number of opportunities.

Cavanagh said Ash Thorneycroft played one of her best games and was dominant in the

middle before being rested in the final quarter.

Hesaidtheyhadstrongperformersacrossall three areas of the ground.

The Seagulls remain on top of the ladder, a game clear of the Box Hill Hawks and the Western Bulldogs with two rounds remaining.

Cavanagh said while it’s good to be top they can’t let the foot off the pedal.

“We would like to secure the double chance and if we don’t know, it’s our own fault.”

The Seagulls face Essendon on Saturday. The last time the two teams played it was a draw.

“For me they are the form team of the competition,” Cavanagh said. “They lost today [Sunday] playing against an AFLW team.

“There’snobettertimetoplaythemandwe’ll learn a lot in the next seven days.”

In the VFL, Williamstown lost a second straight game, this time going down to Southport, 13.13 (91)-7.4 (46).

Eagles’ important win

Yarraville Seddon produced its best four quarter performance of the Western Football League division 1 season to come away with an important win against Point Cook. With the competition one of the closest in years, every win is important at this point of the season.

Facing Point Cook in a standalone game on Saturday, the Eagles managed to come away with the points in a 10.11 (71)-8.4 (52) win.

Coach Brad Julier said the group was keen to get out there and play after just one game in the last three weeks.

“It was good to get the win,” he said. “We’ve been interrupted with the byes.

“We got off to a good start but our inaccuracy kept the door open at half time. We got four goals in the third quarter to set it up for the last quarter.

“They were able to kick a couple later in the match to bring it back to 19 points.”

Julier said it while it wasn’t their best football, it was their best four quarter performance for the season.

Darcy Grieves was the only multiple goal kicker for the Eagles, kicking two goals.

Julier said Zac Pritchard, Michael Selbsy and Akol Deng were some of their standouts in the win.

Tyler Kolyniuk, Austin Hodge and Haiden Wallace were the best for the Bulldogs.

The win moves the Eagles into second place, only behind an undefeated Werribee Districts.

Just 12 points separates the Eagles and Point Cook Centrals, who sit bottom.

“The win puts us two games clear of Point Cook,” Julier said. “Had they won they would have been equal with us.

“We’re sitting second and have Spotswood this week and then it’s the halfway mark of the season.

“We’ll see where we sit after this one.”

The match against Spotswood will be a

Sports shorts


Three Williamstown CYMS players have been named in the Victorian Amatuer Football Association Big V premier B-division 3 men’s squad ahead of the clash against the Bendigo Football League at Elsternwick Park on July 6. Fifty players have been named in the initial squad including CYs Oskar and Archi Manton, and Liam Conway. The squad includes players from 29 clubs across 5 divisions.


Two Western Jets and Yarraville Seddon footballers featured in the AFL National Academy girls Australian squad against a nationals all-stars side on Sunday. The all-stars team comprises of players aged 21 and under from across Australia for the first time, having previously been made up of talent from Victoria, Northern Territory and Tasmania only. Sierra Grieves was part of the Australian team, while Lou-Lou Field was part of the all-stars team.


big one, with the Woodsmen sitting just outside the top four on percentage with three wins.

The sides will be playing for the perpetual trophy, the ‘Battle of the Bridge’.

Initiated by Spotswood this year, the trophy will be awarded to the club that wins the most games across seniors, reserves under-18s and thirds teams in their first meetings of the year.

The Eagles led so far with wins in the thirds and under-18s matches earlier in the season, so only need one win this Saturday to claim the trophy.

Julier said the two clubs had been rivals for a long time and a win is vital to help keep them away from the chasing pack.

In other matches this weekend coming, Altona is on the road against Point Cook Centrals, Point Cook hosts Hoppers Crossing and Werribee Districts plays Caroline Springs.

Parkside has the bye.

Altona Magic has a winning trip across the city, beating Dandenong Thunder on Saturday night in the National Premier League. The Magic had one of its more dominant performances of the season, beating the Thunder 4-0. The Magic sit in eighth spot, still 13 points outside the top six. The Magic this week face Green Gully on Saturday night at Paisley Park. In the Victorian Premier League 2 competition, Altona City lost to Melbourne Srbija.


Yarraville Glory got its third win of the FV state league 1 north-west season on Saturday night. The Glory had to come from behind against Corio, which led 1-0 at half time. Two second half goals gave the Glory a 2-1 win. Alexander Sami and Alexander Papadopoulos were the goal scorers for the Glory. The Glory now sits in 11th spot. In FV state league 2 north-west Altona East Phoenix beat Mill Park, 2-1. FOR MORE SPORT, VISIT Web: Maribyrnong & Hobsons Bay Star Weekly @starweeklynews @star_weekly

Tara Murray Ash Thorneycroft. (Ljubica Vrankovic) Michael Selsby. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 412087_03
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