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lba Vale Melba Village offers

• A secure village with on site managers • 24hr emergency call system • Social activities when you choose • No Stamp Duty to be paid!

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Wonderful community facilities to enjoy Bowling green and outdoor social areas Club bar, lounge areas and library Short walk to train & bus


“After much research, we made the move to Melba Vale in June 2016. The village is a great size, has a wonderful atmosphere and is close to family. Down sizing meant we could travel knowing our home is secure, and we can also use the caravan storage facility when needed. We have not looked back. Making new

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friends in a great community with wonderful Village Managers give us a new and exciting outlook. We love our new home, it’s so affordable, beautifully maintained and our family love to visit knowing that we are safe and well catered for.” TED & POLLY

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• A secure village with on site managers • 24hr emergency call system • Social activities when you choose • No Stamp Duty to be paid!

• • • •

Wonderful community facilities to enjoy Bowling green and outdoor social areas Club bar, lounge areas and library Short walk to train & bus

AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION MON-FRI 10AM-4PM OR BY PRIVATE APPOINTMENT RESIDENT TESTIMONIAL “My wife and I moved into the Village 6 years ago from Roxburgh Park/Glenroy. I was still working but wanted to down size and live in a gated safe community. We can now travel and not worry about upkeep/security and even our mail is collected when we are away.

For any enquiries talk to Ang or Julia your Village Managers on

We enjoy the bbq’s, happy hours and having our own bar and pool table. We have made great friends and enjoy all of the social events like playing bowls and movie nights when we choose. Our family are thrilled with the beautiful units and love to visit as we have great size bedrooms, living area and community facilities.” TONY

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NEWS + SPORT + PROPERTY GUIDE Below: Lori Brien is desperately hoping for information on the disappearance of her sister, Nicole Reid. (Marco De Luca) Right: Nicole has been missing since 1992. (Supplied)

What happened to Nicole? By Laura Michell For more than 25 years, Lori Brien has been waiting for a knock on her front door. Ms Brien’s younger sister, Nicole Reid, disappeared from the Epping Hotel on February 22, 1992, about 1.15am. She has never been found and Ms Brien is certain her sister was murdered. She longs for the day police find her sister’s body. Ms Reid was 20 years old when she disappeared and had been staying with a friend in Epping. Ms Brien said her sister was at the hotel with friends on the night she went missing.

Police searched the local area, extending as far as Kinglake, while a boot found in a laneway in Northcote was believed to belong to Ms Reid. An inquest into Ms Reid’s disappearance was held in 1995, with the coroner determining it was likely she had met with foul play. But there was not enough evidence to deliver a finding on whether a specific person was responsible for her death. Ms Brien described the past 26 years as “heartbreaking”. She had moved to Queensland shortly before Ms Reid disappeared and only discovered she was missing after spending three days trying to contact her.

“It’s very hard for me,” Ms Brien said. “Every anniversary is hard. Nicole’s birthday is December 16 and then the anniversary is in February. Every year I’m hoping someone comes forward. I’ve been waiting for the police to knock on my door.” Ms Brien said she desperately hoped someone would come forward with new information. “Somebody knows something,” she said. “Her body is still out there … it would be great to put her to rest.” Police spokeswoman Natalie Webster said the investigation into Ms Reid, who also went by the name Nicole Elms, remained with the Missing Person Squad.

“We understand how difficult these cases are for families – to not know why this has happened or whether you will ever know the final resting place of a loved one,” she said. “There will be people who have information about Nicole’s disappearance and we encourage those people to come forward and tell police what they know. “People who may not have felt they were in a position to share information for many years may now be able to do so. Sometimes the smallest piece of seemingly useless information may be the piece of the jigsaw that we need to solve that particular puzzle.” Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000

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Small goods equals large jobs By Laura Michell Up to 240 jobs will be created in Mickleham when small goods manufacturer D’Orsogna opens its $61 million factory in the Merrifield Business Park later this year. Construction of the West Australian-based company’s new factory began late last month. The factory will include a new purpose-built facility that includes cooking, smoking, cooling, storing, slicing and packaging equipment, and will use the latest processing and packaging technology.

The family-owned business, which began in 1949, believes the expansion will help it expand its domestic and export markets. The factory is the result of a deal between Merrifield developers, MAB Corporation and Gibson Property Corporation, D’Orsogna and the state government. MAB Corporation managing director Andrew Buxton said the deal signalled the continuous growth of the manufacturing industry in Hume. “We are thrilled to bring a food manufacturer of this calibre to Melbourne’s north – this is


This massive expansion will boost the local - Ben Carroll economy


a boon for both the state and Merrifield,” he said. “Already we’ve seen big names such as Dulux and D’Orsogna establish a presence in Melbourne’s north, no doubt because of its connectivity to the east coast of Australia, with direct access to the Hume Freeway and proximity to Melbourne Airport, as well as

access to a solid local employment base.” D’Orsogna managing director Brad Thomason said the new factory would allow the company to double its manufacturing footprint in the next few years. Industry and Employment Minister Ben Carroll said the new factory would provide jobs for former auto workers. “The D’Orsogna expansion is creating jobs, boosting the food and fibre sector and further cements Victoria as the home of manufacturing in Australia,” he said. “This massive expansion will boost the local economy and create much-needed jobs.”

More jobs as surf park hits Tullamarine

Ella, front, with Saige, Aria, Milla and Havana with adults James and Nicola. (Damjan Janevski)

Festival trades places for a year Councillors voted in August last year to relocate the festival from the public gardens, where it has been held for 20 years, to the civic centre. However, the new location will be for one year only, as the councillors decided last November to host the 2019 festival in Lalor. This year’s event theme is Make, Move, Eat, Play and Listen, with something from each of


the categories on offer for everyone. The festival will feature some of Melbourne’s finest food trucks, as well as a theatre show, a yoga session, performances from local cultural groups and a kids’ disco. It’s on Sunday, March 18, from 10am-5pm. Details: Laura Michell

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The Whittlesea Community Festival will have a new home and a new look this year. The annual festival has been moved from its traditional home in the Whittlesea Public Gardens to the Whittlesea council offices in South Morang. It has also been transformed into a day-only event, meaning there will be no night activities or fireworks this year.

A world-first surf park at Melbourne Airport will soon be making waves, with construction set to start this month. The $28 million project by URBNSURF has been given final planning approval to bring the world’s first full-sized Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon to Tullamarine. The 2.1 hectare lagoon is about the size of the MCG and will be able to host up to 84 surfers per hour across six surfing zones. URBNSURF hopes the lagoon will pump out up to 1000, two-metre ocean-like surfing waves every hour. The surf park is expected to open by Easter 2019. URBNSURF founder Andrew Ross said the state-of-the-art facility would provide a safe and convenient surfing experience for all skill levels, year-round. The precinct will also feature food outlets, a bar, retail store, surf and hire shop, a surfing academy and fitness classes. There are also plans to host festivals and events at the site. “We’re delighted to be bringing the southern hemisphere’s first surf park facility to Melbourne, the traditional home of Australian sport,” Mr Ross said. “URBNSURF Melbourne unlocks the geographic limitations of surfing by bringing the beach to your backyard.” More than 300 jobs are expected to be created during construction of the surf park, with another 50 full-time positions to be created when it opens. Hume mayor Geoff Porter said he was ‘delighted” by the jobs boost offered by the project. Laura Michell





Cop shop pledge

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Police will be stationed at Craigieburn Central if the Liberal Party wins the November state election. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has pledged to set up police “shop fronts’ at 12 shopping centres, including Craigieburn, as part of a $7.2 million election promise aimed at reducing crime.

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Recycling continues


Hume residents can continue to put out their recycling bins, with the municipality’s recycling services unaffected by recent changes to the recycling industry. Mayor Geoff Porter said Hume’s recycling collections would remain unchanged despite moves by China to restrict the importation of contaminated paper, cardboard and plastics.

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Published by MMP Star Pty Ltd ACN 168 220 399 Head Office Corner Thomsons Road and Keilor Park Drive, Keilor Park, 3042 Publisher/General Manager, Colin Moss All material is copyright to MMP Star Pty Ltd. Responsibility for election comment is accepted by Colin Moss. All significant errors will be corrected as quickly as possible. Distribution numbers, areas and coverage are estimates only. For our terms and conditions please visit

Captain Peter Brookshaw with the new van. (Dennis Manktelow)

Salvo’s van can help The Craigieburn Salvation Army hopes its new outreach van will help ease the strain on families in need. The Connect Outreach Van will set up in prominent locations around Hume on Friday and Saturday nights, offering anyone in need to make ends meet a meal and someone to chat with. The van’s volunteers will also be able to direct people to support services such as drug and alcohol counsellors, family violence support workers and welfare agencies. Salvation Army Captain Peter Brookshaw hopes the van will encourage struggling families to seek help. “There is a real problem with mortgage stress in the outer north,” he said. “All of a sudden,

we are seeing people, who maybe aren’t your typical homeless person, looking for help. “These families had two jobs, but one person lost their job and now they are struggling. “If something goes wrong for them, then they are struggling and they might not know where to ask for help.” Mr Brookshaw said more than 20 people had already volunteered to staff the van. The van’s locations will be announced on The Salvation Army will sell food to raise funds at the Broadmeadows Street Festival on Sunday, April 8, and the Craigieburn Anzac Day service.


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Secure your plates

Laura Michell

Police will be handing out anti-theft screws for number plates at Bunnings in Craigieburn on Sunday, March 18 in response to a recent surge in number plate thefts and car break-ins in the suburb. Number plates, valuables and power tools have been reported stolen in recent weeks, with police saying a number of streets, including Midland Way, Malcolm Creek Parade, Craigieburn Road, Yellow Box Drive and Vantage Boulevard, have been targeted. FOR BREAKING NEWS, VISIT Web: Northern Star Weekly @nstarweekly @star_weekly



By Laura Michell A devastated mum has questioned how heartless thugs could have bashed her son and left him for dead in Whittlesea last August. Hamish Layton, 44, was walking in the township with his dog on August 20 when he was hit in the back of the head by an unknown offender. Mr Layton was found in a pool of blood by a passerby at the intersection of Church and Fir streets about 11.30pm. He was conscious but had suffered serious head and spinal injuries. Mum Joan Sparkes said the assault had left her son paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

He is only able to use one arm and has an acquired brain injury, affecting his memory of the attack. His injuries are so severe that Mr Layton receives around the clock high-quality care and will likely end up in a nursing home. “It’s devastated me … it’s consumed me if you like,” Ms Sparkes said. “How can you leave someone on the street to die? If someone hadn’t found him, he’d be dead.” Ms Sparkes said the assault had affected the entire family, including her son’s three adult children. “I can’t tell you how it has affected me … I feel so useless,” she said. Last Monday, police set up an information

caravan in Fir Street in search of more information. They believe that more than one person may have been involved in the assault. Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Christine Lalor said police did not know where Mr Layton was attacked, who attacked him or why. “It is devastating injuries and it is terrible what’s happened,” she said. “For someone to assault someone and cause those sort of injuries is devastating. “We believe that there are a number of people either involved or who have information that may assist police.” Anyone with information about the assault is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Police seek help over assault


Mernda’s fair is all go All the fun of the fair will make its way to Mernda later this month. The Mernda and District Residents Association is putting the finishing touches to this year’s Mernda Community Fair. It will be held at Mernda Recreation Reserve on Sunday, March 25, from 11am-4pm. The annual event, which is in its sixth year, promises heaps of fun for everyone in the community. There will be food trucks, pony rides, an animal farm, rides, a reptile show and a classic cars display, as well as a market running throughout the day. Sandy Wallis, from the residents’ association, said the fair started in 2012 as a way to bring the community together. She said the event aimed to celebrate the

businesses and clubs that called Mernda home, while also providing families with a low-cost day of entertainment. Details: Laura Michell

Local school children are excited about what this year’s Mernda Community fair has to offer. (Joe Mastroianni)

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Rail works trial industry first By Laura Michell Specially-designed concrete troughs, aimed at minimising noise from passing trains, are being installed across the Mernda rail corridor in an Australian industry first. Known as u-troughs, the concrete segments run along the elevated sections of the corridor, allowing trains to sit lower in the track. The innovative technology has been used overseas but this is the first time it has been used on an Australian rail project. Businesses from across the state have been called on to help create the u-troughs, with pre-cast concrete yards at Echuca, Kilmore and Laverton called on to help out. John Holland project director Joseph Aygur said the concrete segments were trucked on to the site, complete with a VicRoads escort. “The project team has almost finished installing the concrete beams for both Mernda and Hawkstowe stations and we’ve started work in the 30-metre beams over Simon Creek and The Parkway,” he said. Level Crossing Removal Authority project director Graeme Chambers said the $600 million rail extension was on track, with trains expected to start running in early 2019. Already, crews have broken through 21 thousand cubic metres of basalt rock from the South Morang station forecourt and under McDonalds Road, allowing them to extend the rail tracks beyond South Morang. The rock, which is five times stronger than concrete – is crushed on site and reused on other parts of the project. Crews are also building the train track underneath McDonalds and Plenty roads, resulting in temporary traffic changes on both roads. Bridge beams over Hawkstowe Parade and Bridge Inn Roads have also been installed,

Area manager Cameron Woodgate checks progress on the elevated bridge. (Damjan Janevski)

while the stations at Marymede, Hawkstowe and Mernda are already taking shape. At last count, close to 500 people were working on the project.

Work will soon start on upgrading the overhead wiring between Epping and South Morang in preparation for the new trains. Mr Chambers said earthworks, including

removing rock under Plenty Road, also needed to be completed to allow signalling, trenching and rail track works to be completed before trains can be tested on the new line.

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Artist's impression of Mernda Station.

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Supervisor Darren Reid (pictured top right) watches over works on the Mernda Rail Extension. (Pictures: Damjan Janevski)

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for support Survivor says thanks to rescuers 24/7


By Goya Dmytryshchak

Spotswood firefighter Damian Christy was this month reunited with a plumber he rescued after a trench wall collapsed last November. Whittlesea’s Brandon Grech, who has since become a father again, said he feared for his life during the painstaking 90-minute rescue when he was buried in mud up to his neck. Mr Christy, a former emergency trauma nurse, said space was so tight the pair had to perform a “slow and arduous” extraction. “Myself and him, we filled up a smaller bucket with just handfuls of dirt because there

wasn’t enough room for us to get a shovel or anything in,” Mr Christy said. “We needed to do it very delicately, so we actually put handfuls of dirt into a small bucket, which I then tipped over my shoulder into a bigger bucket. “We spoke about his kids and shared stories about my dogs. I tried to keep the mood as light as possible because if he started to panic, the rescue would have become much more difficult. “It was an overwhelming feeling when we first got him out. “And to see him down the track and see that he’s had a baby … it was really good to see


him in good spirits about the whole thing and getting back to work, so a good outcome. “Even though he was obviously pretty terrified at the time … he really stepped up and was really brave in that time, so he needs to be commended on how he acted.” Mr Grech said he wanted to visit Mr Christy and the crew to thank them for saving his life. “They are the reason why I’m still here today and I’m very thankful to them for what they did,” Mr Grech said. Brandon Grech catches up with firefighter and rescuer Damian Christy. (MFB)

A friend on the line Volunteers from across Hume are picking up the phone to check in with the municipality’s vulnerable residents. As part of Dianella Health’s Hume Community Register, the volunteers make regular phone calls to check on the wellbeing of Hume residents who are more than 50 years old or have a disability who are living independently. During heatwaves, calls are made daily to those at most risk of heat-related illnesses. Dianella chief executive Neil Cowen said the register was established with funding from the Office of Senior Victorians and that it was confidential and secure. He said the register gave families peace of mind when they couldn’t be with their loved ones. “It is important for people of all ages and abilities to live an independent life,” he said.

Wellbeing support when you need it

“Some live alone or with a partner and may feel alone or isolated. “This initiative is particularly important as it creates a community and feeling of inclusiveness, not just for those listed on the register, but also for Dianella Health volunteers who have signed up to donate their time to the project.” Dianella Health is looking for more volunteers to make phone calls. Details: 8301 6736 Laura Michell

Senior Sergeant Shayne Kerley, volunteer co-ordinator Fatima Milhem and volunteer Lena Reale. (Damjan Janevski)

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Hotel set to appeal pokies veto By Laura Michell The battle to bring poker machines to South Morang’s Commercial Hotel is heading to the Supreme Court. The Woolworths-owned Australian Leisure and Hospitality (ALH) Group has lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s decision to rule against an application for 40 gaming machines at the pub. The appeal comes two months after VCAT’s ruling, which followed earlier refusals

by Whittlesea council and the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). The Plenty Road pub does not currently have any gaming machines. The application sought to relocate 20 machines from other ALH Whittlesea venues to the Commercial Hotel and also install 20 new machines. ALH spokesman David Curry said the company had considered its options since the VCAT ruling. “ALH believes we have a strong case to appeal the VCAT decision,” he said. ALH Group spent 11 days at VCAT in the

second half of last year in a bid to have its application approved. But VCAT senior members Jonathan Smithers and Rachel Naylor ruled the decisions of the commission and council should stand. In their ruling, they said Whittlesea’s poker machine expenditure, at $679 per adult every year, was higher than the Melbourne average of $575. Alliance for Gambling Reform campaign organiser Kelvin Thomson said Woolworths had displayed “shameful contempt” for the community by appealing the decision.

“Whittlesea already has more than enough poker machines. In 2016-17, Whittlesea’s 691 poker machines took over $106 million from residents,” he said. “The community has made it clear that it doesn’t want any more poker machines, both indirectly through council and directly in submissions to the VCGLR and VCAT. “Woolworths needs to stop treating the people of South Morang and Whittlesea with contempt and respect their strong and clear opposition to the installation of poker machines at the Commercial Hotel.”

School costs factored in Whittlesea and Hume families struggling to keep up with school expenses are being invited to sign up to a Brotherhood of St Laurence savings program. Known as Saver Plus, the program offers free finance education to low-income families, teaching them about budgeting, saving and planning for the future. Throughout the program, participants are encouraged to save for school expenses, with the ANZ bank matching the savings dollar for dollar up to $500. Whittlesea and Hume Saver Plus co-ordinator Osman Osman said the program helped build financial skills. “We know that the start of the school year is a challenging time for any family, especially here in Hume and Whittlesea,” he said. “Parents are struggling to cope with the expenses of buying laptops, school uniforms, books, school camps and excursions.

“Our support can give relief to some of those struggling parents and their children.” Mr Osman said the program started in Whittlesea and Hume in 2006, with 948 families taking part since then. “Our evidence shows increased financial resilience and wellbeing for participants who complete the program,” he said. “Participants generally gain more employment, gain more income, reduce their reliance on government benefits, experience improved personal and family wellbeing and increase their levels of savings and assets.” Details: Laura Michell

Osman Osman says the Saver Plus program is great for financial smarts. (Dennis Manktelow)

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MY PLACE Kevin O’Callaghan has lived in Craigieburn for 40 years, helping to start the suburb’s SES unit and to raise money for the war memorial. He speaks with Laura Michell.

I’ve lived here since 1978. I grew up in Oak Park and my wife grew up in Coburg. Craigieburn had the first real residential estates that were opening at the time we got married and so it was natural for us to head north. We have found Craigieburn to be ideal. What do you like about Craigieburn? At first, Craigieburn was a real country town and now it is a massive suburb. We have a lot of friends and family who have moved here. It is close to the city. How has it changed since 1978? It went from being a country town of about 3000 people to now having something like 30,000 people. The community was probably a lot closer when it was a smaller town. There was probably about 40 social groups back them. The biggest change has been the growth and the diversity. What, if anything, would you like to change? Growing crime is a concern, especially for people of my generation. Crime and vandalism was something you didn’t have to worry about in the early days. It was always a very good thing about Craigieburn. How did you become involved with the SES?

I was one of the founding members of the Craigieburn SES in 1981 and I am still serving with them. Our main role is road rescue. When I moved to Craigieburn, I had some skills from my time in the Army Reserves that I wanted to use. I’m not into sports so I looked at the emergency services. The SES was the sort of thing I wanted to be involved in. You were instrumental in securing a war memorial for Craigieburn – how did the Craigieburn War Memorial and Remembrance Committee come about? I used to take a friend of mine who was a World War II veteran to local services and we had to go to Beveridge. He couldn’t work out why Beveridge had a memorial and service and Craigieburn didn’t. We spoke with the council, and in 2008, we held an Anzac Day service at the SES. We made a decision to set up a committee to raise money to build a memorial, and it was dedicated last April. What drives you to volunteer? It goes back to when I was growing up, my mum and dad said you should leave the place better than you find it. Where is your favourite local place to spend time? I really like Anzac Park and have always found out the back of the SES building to be quite nice and peaceful.

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How long have you lived in Craigieburn, and what brought you to the area?


COMMUNITY CALENDAR 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 Deadline for copy and announcements is noon Tuesday.

Doco screening

See a free screening of the documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation at Craigieburn library on Wednesday, March 21, from 6pm. At 75-95 Central Park Avenue. Booking essential. ■ 9205 2203

Latin night

Listen to Latin music and have a go at Latin dancing at Mill Park library’s Latin night on Thursday, March 15, 7.30-9.30pm. The event is part of Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Libraries After Dark program. At 394 Plenty Road. ■ 9437 8189

Women in the police force

Leading Senior Constable Sandy O’Connor will visit Lalor library on Thursday, March 8, to talk about her career and women in Victoria Police. At 2A May Road, 11am-noon ■ 9465 2353

Enjoy a taste of Vietnamese culture at Thomastown library’s cultural diversity week event on Monday, March 19. The session will include a cooking demonstration by the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association and a traditional Vietnamese costume show. At 52 Main Street, 10.30-11.30am. ■ 9464 1864

All For Kids Market

Browse the stalls at the All For Kids Market at Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre, 35 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang, on Saturday, March 17, 9am-1pm. It will feature more than 50 stalls of pre-loved baby and kids clothes, prams, nursery furniture and everything in between. Entry costs $3 for adults. ■ 0404 869 472


Vietnamese cooking

Farmers market

Visit the Merrifield Farmers Market on Saturday, March 10, 8.30am-12.30pm, to browse stalls from some of the best local food producers. At the corner of Balmain Road and St Georges Boulevard. ■

Volunteer youth mentors

Raise Foundation is seeking mentors from Whittlesea and Hume to work with high school students for two hours a week


WIN THIS This April, Lyric Opera will launch its 2018 season with Les Mamelles de Tiresias in what’s set to be the wackiest opera ever seen. Here’s your chance to enjoy a night of singing, surrealism and shoulder pads, with five double passes (valued at $80 each) to opening night up for grabs. To enter, click on the WIN tab at and follow the prompts. Entries close at 11.59pm on Sunday, March 11, and will be drawn the next day at 380 City Road, Southbank, 3006. Entrants must be over 18 years old and reside in Victoria. See our Competition Terms & Conditions for more details. All winners will be contacted direct by the prize supplier within seven days of the winners being drawn.

during terms two and three. Mentors need to be aged 21 or more and have a genuine interest in working with young people. ■

Introduction to social media

Learn more about using social media at Thomastown Neighbourhood House’s introductory course on Fridays, 10am-noon, throughout March. The course starts on March 8. At 52 Main Street. ■ 8376 6939

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Finding young faith An unconventional background is key to helping youth


e’s been called “the Pop Star Priest” and “the Cleric with Cool”, but Father Rob Galea prefers to be known as the assistant parish priest at St Killian’s in Bendigo. These monikers come not only from his short time as a contestant on The X Factor (he quit early on as his work became too much for the commitment needed for the show), and from his rock-star status in European countries, where he is a popular recording artist. In his parish, Galea is the director of youth, working to bring the church to young people (and young people back to the church). This year, the Catholic Church’s Year of Youth, it seems to be more relevant than ever. Galea’s own journey to the Church wasn’t a straightforward one. He grew up in Malta and, as a teenager, his life involved many of the issues that young people face today. “My background as a teenager was filled with addiction, violence, depression and anxiety,” Galea explains. It was on his journey that he found music and while he was touring, he met a priest who left a lasting impression on him and helped him, as he says, find his purpose in life. Galea became a priest in 2010, dedicating his life to the Church and to helping young people through the same sorts of problems he faced as a teen, in Australia and around the world. Last year alone, Galea spoke with more than 200,000 young people through events including Catholic

Education Week. “I spoke with them about their relationship with God, with Jesus, and I emphasise that relationship a lot,” Galea says. “Around the world, people are the same – they … are struggling with the same things that pull us all down but, in spite of this, we can still reach our call. “I think my general message – especially in speaking to young people – is about their dignity, their purpose and their call [in life].” Galea is someone who can relate to young people not only because of his background, but also because he is active on social media, isn’t afraid of a selfie and has written a book about his life – the rights to which have recently been bought by Hollywood producers to be made into a movie. And, of course, there’s his music, which he records and tours with, reaching audiences across the globe. While a lot of his work is focused on young people, including providing an online resource for teachers and youth groups, he still has time to work with those in the community who are older. “I tend to work with 103-year-olds along with 16-years-olds in my concerts and I love working with both,” he says. Father Rob Galea was a guest speaker at the Young Speakers Colloquium during Catholic Education Week last year. Melissa Heagney

We welcome families to join us on a School tour Term 1 School Tours

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Around the world, people are the same – they … are struggling with the same things that pull us all down but, in spite of this, we can still reach our call


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St Monica’s College, Epping

INFORMATION EVENING will be held on TUESDAY 29 MAY, 2018 commencing with tours at 6.30pm on the Dalton Road Campus


For further information about enrolment, please contact the College Registrar on

9409 8444 15 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ MARCH 6, 2018


Pope Francis calls for peace T

he theme of this year’s Catholic Education Week is inspired by a speech given by Pope Francis at World Youth Day in 2016 in which he called on young people and the church to “open new horizons for spreading joy”. In his speech, Pope Francis said in part: “This is no time for denouncing anyone or fighting. We do not want to tear down. We have no desire to conquer hatred with more hatred, violence with more violence, terror with more terror. We are here today because the Lord has called us together. “Our response to a world at war has a name: its name is fraternity, its name is brotherhood, its name is communion, its name is family. “We celebrate the fact that coming from different cultures, we have come together to pray. “Let our best word, our best argument, be our unity in prayer. Let us take a moment of silence and pray. “Let us place before the Lord these testimonies of our friends, and let us identify with those for whom ‘the family is a meaningless concept, the home only a place to sleep and eat’, and with those who live with the fear that their mistakes and sins have made them outcasts. “Let us also place before the Lord your own ‘battles’, the interior struggles that each of you carries in his or her heart. “As we were praying, I thought of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. Picturing them can help us come to appreciate all that God dreams of accomplishing in our lives, in us and with us. “That day, the disciples were together behind locked doors, out of fear. “They felt threatened, surrounded by an atmosphere of persecution that had cornered them in a little room and left them silent and

OPEN DAY SUNDAY MARCH 25 11.00AM - 2.00PM Meet our teachers, take a guided tour of our Prep to Year 12 facilities and experience Marymede Catholic  ­€‚ƒ„… †‡ˆƒ‰‡‚ ˆƒ ƒ„ out what’s on please contact our College Registrar or visit 60 Williamsons Road, South Morang VIC 3752 | T: +61 3 9407 9000 | F: +61 3 9407 9010 | 16 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ MARCH 6, 2018



A large crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City to meet the Pontifex, Pope Francis. (Pictures: iStock)

paralysed. Fear had taken hold of them. “Then, in that situation, something spectacular, something grandiose, occurred. The Holy Spirit and tongues as of fire came to rest upon each of them, propelling them towards an undreamt-of adventure. “[Three testimonies today] shared with us the same experience the disciples had; they felt the kind of fear that only leads to one thing: the feeling of being closed in on oneself,

trapped. “Once we feel that way, our fear starts to fester and is inevitably joined by its ‘twin sister’, paralysis: the feeling of being paralysed. “Thinking that in this world, in our cities and our communities, there is no longer any room to grow, to dream, to create, to gaze at new horizons – in a word, to live – is one of the worst things that can happen to us in life. “When we are paralysed, we miss the magic

of encountering others, making friends, sharing dreams, walking at the side of others. “My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, of the eternal ‘more’. Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths. “To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy, the joy that is born

of God’s love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy. “To take the path of the ‘craziness’ of our God, who teaches us to encounter him in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the friend in trouble, the prisoner, the refugee and the migrant, and our neighbours who feel abandoned. “To take the path of our God, who encourages us to be politicians, thinkers, social activists.”

Sunday 06 May 1:00pm - 4:00pm

w w w. t r y b o o k i n g . c o m / S G S N

Monday 23 April Monday 18 June 9 : 1 5 a m - 11 : 0 0 a m w w w. t r y b o o k i n g . c o m / 3 2 0 9 1 2 A Catholic Co-Educational College in the Ignatian Tradition A: 325 Grimshaw Street, Watsonia

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Warriors ready for finals

EDFL probe into payments

By Tara Murray

Three Essendon District Football League clubs have come under investigation under the allowable player payments process. In a statement on the EDFL website, the league confirmed a review was conducted of the allowable player payments process by an AFL Victoria accredited Integrity Officer into three premier division clubs, Aberfeldie, Essendon Doutta Stars and Pascoe Vale. Last season was the first season leagues across the state enforced a salary cap, after the introduction of a player points system the previous season. In the statement, EDFL chief executive Craig Armstead said: “For the 2017 season, the introduction of the allowable player payments system was always intended to be for educational purposes. “The value of having an educational year was validated by the fact that errors were found with all three clubs. All clubs have been very co-operative and transparent throughout the process. “However, there have been incorrect interpretations of the rules and procedural mistakes.” In a statement online, Aberfeldie chairman Jim Pound said that “any alleged non-compliance relates to administrative rule interpretations on declared player payments”. Pascoe Vale director of senior football Stuart Mitchell said the process concluded they hadn’t exceeded the playing budget. Clayton Campbell contributed some handy runs late in the order on Saturday.


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Westmeadows got in some good batting practice ahead of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association north-west A1 finals. Having already claimed first innings points and top spot on day one against St Andrews, the Warriors were happy to have some fun with the bat, instead of chasing a third straight outright victory. Resuming at 1-129, having needed 128, the Warriors never looked in trouble, especially with skipper Tarek Moughanie at the crease. Moughanie was 95 not out at the start of the day and wasted little time getting his century then continued to smack the ball around the park. He smashed 174, which included 12 sixes and nine fours. The Warriors continued on once Moughanie was out, finishing at 9-369. The Warriors now face fourth-placed Altona Roosters in the semi-finals this weekend, playing for a spot in the grand final. While the Warriors are headed to finals, the season ended for the rest of the Hume-based sides on Saturday. Greenvale Kangaroos finished with a win against Strathmore in the senior division. The Kangaroos made 3-180 in reply to Strathmore’s 8-142. Tullamarine’s tough season ended with an outright loss to Seddon. The Kangaroos and Tullamarine finished seventh and eighth respectively. Craigieburn ended its north-west season with a solid win against Laverton. The Eagles made 9-182 in reply to Laverton’s 145. The Eagles finish the season eighth, with four wins for the season. In north A1, Jacana lost outright to Moonee Valley, while in north-west C3 Roxburgh Park lost to St Andrews Pascoe Vale.


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SPORT Burras ready to face their biggest challenge Gladstone Park will be hoping to turn the tables in the North West Metropolitan Cricket Association George Luscombe Shield finals. The Burras, who finished the regular season fourth, are yet to beat any of the top three teams this season, and will enter the finals as the clear underdogs. Captain-coach John Bubis said he thinks they have the team to beat the top sides, but haven’t been able to put it together when needed. “We haven’t beaten any of the top three sides, which is a little bit of a worry,” Bubis said. “We’ve got the players to do it, but we haven’t been able to get all our players going on the one-day.

“All the sides in the top four are beatable on any day.” Bubis said having an unsettled line-up was one reason for the inconsistent form, but players also weren’t performing to the level they would have liked. “We’ve been inconsistent with both the bat and ball,” he said. “One of our key bowlers has returned in recent weeks which helps. Our batting is our strength but it’s just not showing on the scoreboard.” Bubis said they didn’t have to look far to get inspiration ahead of the finals and causing an upset was not out of the question. Last season, the Burras finished fourth and knocked off the previously unbeaten Buckley

Park in the semi-finals to win through to the grand final. Bubis said it was a matter of believing in each other on the day and building into the game. “It can be done,” he said. “I think we are good enough on our day. If we can get one or two batsmen to stay in for a while and build around them, it will be the key.” The Burras face minor premiers Kealba-Green Gully, which has lost just one game, in the semi-finals. Pascoe Vale Central faces Buckley Park in the other semi-final. The Burras finished the regular season with a loss to second-placed Pascoe Vale Central.

The Burras made 157, bowled out in the 58th over. Pascoe Vale made the runs with reasonable ease, making 5-158 having never looked in trouble. While the Burras still have finals to play the season is over for Northern Lions and Donnybrook. The Lions, who were due to face Kealba-Green Gully, forfeited their final round match, while Donnybrook had a final round bye. The Lions finish the season in sixth and Donnybrook finished one spot lower, last with just one win for the season. Tara Murray

Bats scrape into finals By Tara Murray Plenty Valley’s inconsistent form with the bat has continued, with the Bats dropping their final round Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association north-west match to Altona. Looking to seal a finals spot, the Bats were left to rue some poor batting against a side whose finals hopes were already over. Bats skipper James Dickinson said the poor standard was something they’ve seen too much of this season. “It’s been an inconsistent season and it showed on Saturday,” he said. “Daniel Heatley batted for most of the innings, but we lost consistent wickets and couldn’t get any partnerships going.” The Bats were bowled out for 147 in the final over of their innings. Heatley, the Bats best batsman this season, top scored with 51, but only one other player passed 20. The Bats started well with the ball and Simon Black took three quick wickets to have Altona in trouble at 3-25. Altona settled and was patient in the chase, finishing 8-148, hitting the winning runs with 11 balls remaining. Dickinson said Altona was able to build partnerships to get it over the line. Black was the pick of the bowlers taking 3-35. Dickinson said it was a disappointing performance with a finals spot on the line. Despite the loss, the Bats sealed a finals berth when other results went their way. “We would have liked a bit more momentum, but it is what it is,” he said. “Hopefully we can get on a roll. We’ve got a lot of older guys who have played in a lot of finals. “Hopefully we can handle the finals pressure.” The Bats slipped from fifth to sixth and now face minor premiers Williamstown in a two-day match this weekend in the first week of finals. The two teams haven’t faced each other this season as their only match was a wash-out. Dickinson said getting wickets early would be vital. “They’ve got a few key bats that have scored a lot of runs quickly,” he said. “We’ll back our bowlers in do to the job. “We’ll probably talk a bit about our batting and how we go about things. Hopefully it all comes together next week.” Melton hosts Yarraville and Ivanhoe and Kew face off in the other first week final. In Victorian Women’s Premier Cricket, the Bats suffered a big loss to Box Hill on Sunday. Sent in, the Bats struggled to 139, and were bowled out with 10 balls remaining. Rhiann O’Donnell top scored with 66, but had little support. Box Hill had no trouble making the runs, 22 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ MARCH 6, 2018

Whittlesea Ranges skipper Nick Tzoulis. (Damian Visentini)

Ranges take points to record first win

Daniel Heatley was the only batsman to offer any resistance for Plenty Valley. (Damian Visentini)

reaching 3-141 with nearly 15 overs to spare. Opener Anna Lanning top scored with 69 not out. Tayla Vlaeminck took two wickets for the Bats. The Bats sit fifth with one round remaining. The Bats second side remains on track for a

finals berth after defeating Box Hill. The Bats made 177, with Alissa Sharp top scoring with 55. Box Hill fell 22 runs short, bowled out for 155 with nearly 10 overs remaining. Both women’s teams play Dandenong in the final round.

Whittlesea Ranges have come from behind to record their first win of the National Premier League 2 west season. Having slowly improved over the opening two rounds, the Ranges travelled to Ballarat to face Ballarat City and came home with the three points. City opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Nelson Salvatore, before the Ranges started to take control midway through the opening half. While the Ranges created plenty of chances in the first half they weren’t able to find the equaliser. They equalled the scores in the 55th minute through Danny Charalambos then Hose Soto scored their second in the last 10 minutes to seal the 2-1 win. Ranges this week host Brunswick City on Saturday afternoon. It’ll be another match the Ranges favour themselves in, with City yet to win a match. In the NPL top division, Hume City is also on the board after defeating Northcote City. Both teams had plenty of chances early, but neither could score in the first half. City playing coach Nick Hegarty was a handful around goal, but just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. Atilla Ofli broke the deadlock in the 50th minute to give Hume the lead. The goal was enough to seal the 1-0 win. Ofli, who has scored in both of Hume’s games, was again his side’s best player. City this week host Avondale. Tara Murray



United finds form at the right end of the season Two rounds ago, Bundoora United’s biggest worry was making sure it did enough to ensure it remained in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association’s Money Shield. With two wins and other results going their way, the Bulldogs more than sealed their spot, going one step further and have snuck into the top four. Bulldogs president Grant Flack said everything had come together in the last month of the season. “We’re really excited after an up and down year,” he said. “The boys have come right at the right time winning the last couple of matches. Captain-coach Matt Ross put it on the boys heading in to the [Lalor] Stars game and they were desperate not to be relegated in what has been an even season.”

As it worked out, the Bulldogs played Lower Plenty in a virtual elimination final in the final round, with Plenty Valley six points clear heading into the game. A win by the Bulldogs would mean only an outright win by Mernda could stop them playing finals, with the Bulldogs having a better percentage than both Lower Plenty and Mernda. Mernda got the win, but wasn’t able to get the 10 points needed, with all three teams finishing equal on points. Flack said the pleasing thing was knowing that their finals fate was in their own hands. In a tense game at times, the Bulldogs set up the win on day one when they made 9-233 batting out the whole day. On Saturday, they bowled Lower Plenty out for 146 in 62 overs.

Scott Barnett took 5-49 in a good all round game. Flack said Barnett had been a ripper since coming across from Lower Plenty a couple of years ago. In a good sign for the club, the third XI will also play finals. Flack said Ross had to take a lot of credit for the efforts of all the sides and their turn of fortunes. “Matt is so positive with the group and thinks about cricket all the time,” he said. The Bulldogs face Plenty Power for a spot at the grand final. Power has been the dominant team all season. Flack knows they will enter the game as underdogs. “We’re taking a bit of momentum into finals and anything can happen when you’re in finals.

Hume falls at first hurdle By Tara Murray Hume United’s FFA Cup campaign is over after one match, after a hard-fought 1-0 loss to East Brighton on Saturday. Entering the competition in the second round, after a bye in qualifying and round one, United was looking forward to taking to the field. East Brighton scored in the opening half, and it would be the only goal for the game. Speaking before the match, United secretary Mutlu Oztas said it had been a positive off season for the side, which started with the appointment of a new coach. Zeljko Popovic, who has played soccer across the world, was appointed coach of the FFV state league 2 north-west side in November. Since retiring, Popovic has stepped into coaching, including at Preston Lions and National Premier League side Spring White Eagles last season. Omer Kurucu, who was the reserves coach, has been appointed assistant coach. Oztas said Popovic’s appointment had brought a lot of excitement to the club. “He’s very well known in the football community and we’re excited to have him on board,” he said. “He’s from a Serbian background and played a lot of soccer in Europe. He was one of four or five applicants and we thought he was the standout. “He’s really brought into the club.” Oztas said they would have a stronger side than they had last year, when they finished fourth and six points from promotion. He said they had kept most of last year’s squad and have looked to strength it. The FFV season gets under way on March 24. The club has signed goalkeeper Wesley Coles, Peter Constantinou and Aleksandar Mirchevski. Murat Demirdes, Ismet Balta, Mertkan Ilhan, Cemal Kaymakci and Leevone Koydovski have been promoted to the senior list. “The squad we have this year is definitely stronger than the squad we had last year,” Oztas said. “We managed to keep a lot of our key players like our skipper Enes Gurkan. It’s a pretty strong squad. “The major difference in the club is the professionalism. We see ourselves as one of the teams looking at promotion.” Oztas said the atmosphere around the club was good and it was starting at the top with president Akin Akin, with everyone buying into his vision. In other results, Epping City defeated Lara United 6-0, Craigieburn City defeated St Kevins Old Boys 4-1, La Trobe University lost to Mooroolbark 2-0 and Whittlesea United defeated Dandenong Warriors 1-0. Lalor United will face North Caulfield on Tuesday night in their round two clash. The draw for the third round of the FFA Cup, was due to be held on Monday.

“When we won it four years ago we finished fourth and played Greensborough in a semi-final and won. “We have nothing to lose. We know we’re coming up against a good team.” In other matches, Lalor Stars were easily beaten by Heidelberg and Mill Park defeated Eltham. In the Barclay Shield competition, Bundoora missed out on finals on percentage. Bundoora was one of three teams which finished on 36 points, but had the worst percentage of those teams. Bundoora finished its season with a win against North Eltham Wanderers. Epping and Old Pardians both suffered final round losses. Tara Murray

Promising Broncos look to add depth Hume City Broncos coach Kelvin Bowers has been encouraged by what he’s seen from his side during the Big V off season. The Broncos were disappointing last season, when they finished 10th in the state championship division, and it’s something Bowers isn’t keen on repeating this year. He said signs in the side’s two practices matches had been promising. “We’ve got a great roster and added new pieces to the team,” he said. “If we can keep everyone healthy, we’ll see big improvements on last season. “We can’t be at the end of the year and not be in finals, it won’t go down well.” Bowers said they had kept their core group of players and had looked to add more depth to the side. Jah Soloai, who comes from Coffs Harbour, leads the signings and is expected to play a big role. “He’s a 6’8 (207 centimetres) guy and is massive. He can play the post and is a very efficient three-point shooter. “He can handle the ball too and will have a big impact for us.” Bowers said lack of depth was one area they struggled last season, with all their starters playing big minutes on a weekly basis. “We looked at the miles on the shoulders of our starters from last season and they were playing 38-40 minutes,” he said. “You’re asking them to give their all in the first quarter and then in the last quarter and they couldn’t sustain that. “Depth played a part of our drop-off in matches.” Defence will be the key for the Broncos this season, according to Bowers. With two of the competition’s best scorers, Lee Jeka and Mike Rose, in the side, he knows it’s at the other end where they need to step up. “We have to come together as a team and we want to be the best defensive team in the league,” he said. “If we play well, then we win. If we don’t play well, we lose. “We can put the points on the board and can be a very successful side. We need to try and be consistent every night to be successful.” The Broncos start their season on March 17 against Hawthorn Magic. Tara Murray

Hume United’s Ramel Dayoub goes for the header in Saturday’s FFA Cup match. (Shawn Smits) 23 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ MARCH 6, 2018

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