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SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 \ STARWEEKLY.COM.AU

NEWS + SPORT + PROPERTY GUIDE

Council in turmoil By Laura Michell

No bull, this guy can run

(Joe Mastroianni)

Whittlesea councillor Mary Lalios will seek legal advice after her colleagues publicly released a report containing her confidential medical information. The medical information, including advice from her psychologist and the name of her GP, were released as part of a probity auditor’s report. The report says that Cr Lalios made a complaint against council chief executive Simon Overland, “asserting that she had been bullied by him”. The auditor’s report – by Frances O’Brien QC – was released alongside a report by independent investigator Naomi Lenga. Ms Lenga dismissed the bullying claim. The reports were released to councillors in a confidential memo from acting chief executive Liana Thompson about 4pm last Tuesday. Councillors closed last Tuesday’s council meeting to the public for almost an hour to allow them to discuss the reports and the ramifications of making them public, before deciding to declassify the documents. Cr Lalios sent a letter to Ms Thompson asking for the reports to be kept confidential to prevent further damage to her reputation. Star Weekly understands the letter was read to councillors and advised them that Cr Lalios would seek legal advice if any of the documents were made public. Star Weekly also understands that Cr Lalios maintained she had not made a complaint against Mr Overland under the Local Government Act. Cr Lalios was absent from the meeting and has been on leave from the council since April. She has submitted a WorkCover claim, which has been accepted. Mr Overland is on leave. Speaking at last Tuesday’s meeting, Cr Ricky Kirkham warned his colleagues that Cr Lalios could take legal action over the decision to release the reports. “Cr Lalios has been the subject of a WorkCover claim and has been unable to participate in the investigation,” he said. “At the moment, all this council is doing is continuing to impact this person’s mental health and this person’s family life. “This organisation as a body should hang its head in shame.” Cr Lawrie Cox told last week’s meeting the report needed to be released because Cr Lalios has been absent for five months. “It’s about representation. We are in a position where it has been going on for five months … It needs to be transparent,” he said.

Have you spotted a man running around Whittlesea and Mernda dressed as a cow in recent months and wondered what it’s all about? Whittlesea resident Darren Woods has been putting his inhibitions aside and running around town in a cow onesie to raise awareness for South African charity CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation and to train for October’s Melbourne Marathon. Mr Woods first started raising money for the foundation by completing a 90km run in South Africa earlier this year. After the run, he was given a cow ‘onesie’ as the cow is the foundation’s symbol. Mr Woods said that he was too shy to wear the ‘onesie’ at first, but soon saw the benefits of running around town in it. “I put it on for the first time in June and started running in it. On my first run, I got pulled over by the police. I can only imagine what they thought …” Mr Woods said. “It gets people’s attention.” Mr Woods, who is an ultra runner, can be seen training for the Melbourne Marathon four times week, covering up to 40 kilometres. He also takes part in the Mernda parkrun every Saturday. Mr Woods has donation tins set up at Luscombe Automotive, Annett Hallam Podiatrist in Walnut Street, Cafe 59 and Shrimpy’s Fish and Chips in Whittlesea. Laura Michell

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Anger over Yakka site plan By Laura Michell The “most significant” development in Broadmeadows in recent years has been given the green light by Hume council. Hume councillors have approved a development plan for the former Hard Yakka site on King William Street, paving the way for land to be used for residential, retail and commercial developments. Under the plan, the site will include about 350 residential properties, close to half of which will be one-bedroom. The remaining will be

two and three-bedroom properties comprising a mix of townhouses and apartments and reaching up to eight storeys. The project will be built over four stages. The plan has drawn the ire of many residents, who fear it will add unacceptable levels of traffic to surrounding streets such as Camp Road. Broadmeadows Progress Association secretary John Rutherford labelled the development plan a “disgrace” at the council’s August 27 meeting. Prior to the decision being made, Mr Rutherford called on the council to hold a

public meeting to speak to residents about their concerns. “The precinct surrounding the former Yakka site is already exposed to serious road traffic problems, parking difficulties, lack of public open space and environmental issues,” he said. “The proliferation of home unit developments in this precinct over the past six years has seriously exacerbated these problems for long-standing residents of Hume.” Meadow Valley ward councillor Karen Sherry said she understood that some people were upset by the plan, but she believed it was a

good development. “I believe that this is a significant development for Broadmeadows … it’s the most significant one since Valley Park,” she said. “I know it has upset a lot of people but it actually provides a lot of affordable accommodation for a lot of people, particularly single people.” Cr Drew Jessop said such developments were needed to accommodate Melbourne’s growing population. “Yes, there are going to be amenity impacts, but that is the reality of a Melbourne that is growing by 100,000 people a year,” he said.

Number plate theft concern

Doreen Primary School grade-6 pupils Evan, Lachlan, Jamieson, Nichola and Latisha.

(Damjan Janevski)

Doreen schools revisit war pride A slice of Doreen’s history paying tribute to residents who fought in World War I will hang in pride of place at three local schools. Doreen Primary School, Laurimar Primary School and Hazel Glen College recently commissioned replicas of the Doreen Primary School honour roll board from the 1920s. The board was given to the school to commemorate the men and women from Doreen who went to war. It was on display at the school until a principal in the 1980s threw it on a bonfire.

The board was rescued by a community member and put on display at the Doreen Hall. When the hall collapsed, the board was taken to the Doreen CFA. Today the board is the property of the brigade. Doreen Primary School principal Glenn Simondson said the schools felt it was important for the board to be on display in their schools, and so decided to commission replicas. The schools asked Peter Bassett, who has family ties to Doreen, to create the boards. “All of the schools do Australian history

lessons and we felt the roll should be hanging in the schools,” Mr Simondson said. “It is a direct link with the history [the students] are learning about. “Some [students] are related to names on the board. What’s on it and what it signifies is huge.” The boards were initially paid for by Doreen Primary School, but the schools are hoping community groups will make contributions. Laura Michell

The 3064 postcode is a hot spot for number plate thefts, new data reveals. Crime Statistics Agency data shows that in the five years from April 2013 to March 2018, there were 1355 number plates stolen in the postcode, which takes in Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Mickleham, Donnybrook and Kalkallo. Only postcode 3175, which takes in Dandenong, and postcode 3977, which includes Cranbourne, had more thefts. In the 12 months from April 2017 to March 2018, postcode 3064 had the highest number of number plate thefts in Hume, with 335 offences recorded. Postcode 3047 (Broadmeadows and Dallas) had 195 number plate thefts, while 3043 (Gladstone Park and Tullamarine) had 150. Hume crime prevention officer, Leading Senior Constable Damien Collins, said police had noticed an increase in number plate thefts across the municipality. “We strongly advise vehicle owners to attend one of the many organised days that Victoria Police participates in where we provide and fit one-way screws for number plates to make the theft of plates more difficult,” he said. In Whittlesea, postcode 3076 (Epping) had the highest number of number plate thefts between April 2017-March 2018, with 169 offences recorded. It was followed by 3074, which covers Thomastown (133) and 3075, which includes Lalor (112). Inspector Andrew Falconer said the more built-up suburbs were over-represented in the theft of number plates. Laura Michell

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Police at Whittlesea and Mernda stations will wear body cameras by the end of the year, following a successful trial at Epping station. Two hundred police stationed at Epping and Ballarat began wearing the cameras in April in the first stage of a multi-million dollar plan to roll out 11,000 cameras across the state by 2020. The cameras are worn on a police officer’s uniform and are used to record video and audio evidence.

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Crime prevention information sessions will soon be running at Attwood House Community Centre, following a $9300 grant from the state government. The money is from the government’s Community Safety Fund and will be used to run the centre’s Safe As Houses initiative.

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Students get ready for their performance at My Island Dream. (Joe Mastroianni)

Students dare to dream

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Hume Central College students will celebrate their homelands through song and dance when they perform at My Island Dream later this month. The event is a chance for secondary school students to showcase their Pasifika culture, with 10 schools from across Melbourne’s north and west taking part. It was started in 2016 by the Westside Pasifika Youth Committee, Brimbank council and Vaiusu the Creators Space, with the aim of creating a cultural celebration which promotes inclusiveness and helps to break down barriers. Students from Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands,

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Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, Aotearoa, Niue and Tuvalu will perform at the event, which will be held at Enjoy Church, Sunshine North on September 22. Event director and Vaiusu owner Fipe Preuss said My Island Dream would celebrate the culture, identity, connection and pride of young people in Melbourne. “The youth have been working really hard within the schools and showing great leadership,” he said. Details: www.facebook.com/ M.I.Dmyislanddream Laura Michell

Gaming policy review

Hume residents can share their thoughts on gambling in their community as the council reviews its responsible gaming policy. Residents are invited to share their opinions and experiences of gambling at a consultation session on September 19. The meeting will be held at the Hume Global Learning Centre, Broadmeadows from 6pm. Details: hume.vic.gov.au FOR BREAKING NEWS, VISIT Web: starweekly.com.au Northern Star Weekly @nstarweekly @star_weekly

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Soccer’s pitch for more facilities By Laura Michell Close to 30 full-size soccer pitches will be needed across Whittlesea and Hume in the next eight years, according to the sport’s state governing body. Football Federation Victoria recently released its Football Facilities Strategy Strategy, outlining the sport’s infrastructure requirements until 2026. The report says up to 420 extra full-sized pitches will be needed in Victoria by 2026, with Whittlesea requiring an extra 15 pitches and Hume 13.

According to the FFV, Whittlesea is home to 2969 registered soccer players. Registrations are expected to grow to 4589 players in the next eight years. In Hume, there are 2406 players, growing to 3932 by 2026. The Football Facilities Strategy stated that while soccer had grown at a faster rate than other sports, the lack of facilities and poor quality infrastructure was a threat to ongoing participation levels. The FFV is calling for new pitches, complete with lights, to be built at new schools in

Whittlesea and Hume to prevent future pitch shortages. The organisation also wants the drainage and pavilion at Epping’s Harvest Home Road to be upgraded, and for two artificial pitches to be created in Hume. The strategy also suggests upgrading the pitches at Harvest Home Road, Painted Hills Recreation Reserve in Doreen, La Trobe University in Bundoora and Aston Recreation Reserve in Craigieburn to regional venues. Hume council corporate services director Daryl Whitfort said the council was working to address the growth of soccer in

Hume. He said the council had opened five new pitches this financial year and would have two more pitches available in early 2019. “Further pitches are planned in growth areas of Hume, which will address the shortfall of pitches required,” he said. “The facilities at the Aston Recreation Reserve development are being provided to a standard that will facilitate the level of competition played at the reserve. This includes three soccer pitches (two with full lighting), a new sports pavilion and both female and male-friendly facilities.”

Matilda makes her mark Alana Jancevski’s dreams are coming true. The year 10 student at St Monica’s College has been selected to represent Australia as part of the junior Matildas squad for the under 16 Asian Women’s Championship qualifiers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from September 17. Alana is part of a 23-player squad which will compete in four games over nine days to secure a place at the championships next year. It will be her first time representing Australia. “I am very humbled to be part of the squad, and a bit nervous, but that is to be expected. I’m just really excited to get the chance to play the game I love,” she said. “It was always my aspiration to play for Australia. To see it coming true … it’s hard to put into words.” Alana has been playing soccer for 10 years, starting out playing in her yard with her older brother at four years of age. At five, she joined her first team. She now

plays for the National Training Centre – the Victorian state team – and is part of St Monica’s Northern Football Academy. Alana hopes to one day play for the senior Matildas, join a W-League team and maybe even have a career overseas. Northern Football Academy director Luca Finanzio said Alana’s achievements did not surprise him. “She exhibits all the traits of an elite competitor in everything she does, whether it is during a training session, fulfilling her duties as class vice-captain, completing practice essays for Macbeth in English or preparing for a test in sport science,” he said. Laura Michell Junior Matildas squad member Alana Jancevski. (Damjan Janevski)

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Lights action for intersection By Laura Michell Traffic lights will soon be installed at one of Whittlesea’s busiest intersections, improving safety for pedestrians. Work on the $2.9 million safety upgrade at the intersection of Plenty and Wallan roads and Macmeikan and Laurel streets started late last month. Traffic lights will be installed to improve traffic flow, while the work will also include pedestrian crossings, better street lighting, a dedicated bike lane from Plenty Road to Macmeikan Street and extended footpaths. The intersection, close to Whittlesea Primary

School, houses and shops, currently operates with give way signs. The upgrades follow years of campaigning by the Whittlesea community and warnings by residents that the intersection is dangerous. Whittlesea resident Krissy Richmond launched a petition in February, 2016, calling for lights to be installed at the intersection after she was nearly struck by a car while crossing Plenty Road near Whittlesea Primary School. “The [Plenty Road] crossing is too busy for children,” Ms Richmond said. “I’ve seen kids crossing the road … instead of stopping, cars swerve towards the stockfeed yards.”

According to VicRoads data, almost 10,000 drivers pass through the intersection daily. It has been the scene of six casualty crashes since 2014. VicRoads’ guidelines indicate that locations with three or more casualty crashes in the preceding five years are classified as accident black spots. Yan Yean MP Danielle Green said the upgrade was expected to be finished by the end of the year. “These improvements will make this busy intersection safer for the thousands of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who rely on it every day,” she said.

Whittlesea Primary School principal Ty Hoggins with preps Willow and Margaret and MP Danielle Green, resident Krissy Richmond and Sohail Muhammed from VicRoads. (Marco De Luca)

In a big league final school] some good credit, considering the rugby league stream is only in its second year,” Mr Pearce said. “The school has got right behind the team and given them some excellent recognition.” Mr Pearce said league was growing in popularity at the college, with the under-18 senior boys’ team and under-16 inter boys’ team winning state titles this year. Mount Ridley College will take on Patrician Brothers Colleges, from Fairfield, New South Wales, in the GIO Cup Trophy final on Sunday, September 16. The match will be aired on Foxtel channel 502 from 4pm. Laura Michell Kruz, Haele and Dean are part of the Mount Ridley College rugby league set-up. (Shawn Smits)

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A Craigieburn school rugby league team has become the first Victorian side to qualify for the final of the GIO Cup Trophy, Australia’s premier schoolboy football competition. The team from Mount Ridley College earned a place in the final after winning the Open Age CRL Country Cup in Dubbo on August 15. The team of 19 students travelled more than 3000 kilometres in the past month, playing matches in the southern zone qualifiers in Cootamundra before winning through to the cup in Dubbo. Coach Hamish Pearce said the win meant a lot to the students. He said the team made it to the southern zone qualifiers last year, but only reached the Country Cup for the first time this year. “The hard work that they have put into training gives the elite sports program [at the

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Gates close on reserve By Laura Michell Gates at Lalor Recreation Reserve will be locked overnight for the next three months as Whittlesea council tries to curb anti-social behaviour at the Sydney Crescent park. Councillors voted last Tuesday to conduct a three month trial closure of the reserve’s access gate between 8pm and 7am following complaints from residents. In June, four residents of Gordon Street, Lalor wrote to the council regarding ongoing anti-social behaviour at the reserve. They

raised concerns about 24-hour access to the carpark and misuse of the coaches boxes at the ground. The letter followed 28 complaints to the council’s customer service department between June 2013 and June 2018 about vandalism, rubbish dumping and fires at the reserve. Police data reveals 25 offences were recorded at the reserve between April 2012 and March 2018, relating to crime against the person, property and deception offences, and public order and security offences. The reserve is home to Lalor Bowling Club,

Lalor Warriors Cricket Club, Lalor Football Club and Lalor Tennis Club. It features two bowling greens and club rooms, a shared cricket and football oval, cricket nets and club rooms, and six tennis courts and clubrooms. Lalor Football Club president Ben Charles said the club had not been impacted by any anti-social behaviour at the reserve in recent years. Mr Charles said the club had reported some vandalism to the council a couple of years ago, but the issue was dealt with quickly and did not affect teams.

An Epping apprentice has credited the Kids Under Cover charity with kick-starting his career. Kids Under Cover provided Jake, 20, and his brother with a studio home, where they could take time away from their crowded and chaotic foster home to study for their VCE. Since then, Jake (pictured) has become one of 15 young people from across Melbourne to receive an educational scholarship through Kids Under Cover and the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation. Jake said the scholarship, which helped with his electrical engineering studies at Swinburne University, had made a difference to his life. “I have a fierce desire to succeed to ensure I have options in the future,” he said. “I’m thinking about maybe becoming a pilot or even working on the electrics of aircraft.” Laura Michell

(Damjan Janevski)

Engineering a bright future

Projects ripe for the picking A high ropes course could be created in Epping North, a splash park built in Craigieburn, and Whittlesea skate park extended under just three of the proposals vying for votes in the state government’s Pick My Project initiative. More than 70 community groups and residents from across Whittlesea and Hume have submitted ideas for projects they believe will improve their communities, as part of the $30 million initiative. The community is now being rallied to vote for their top three projects. Projects with the most votes in the state will share in the funding. More than 40 submissions were received from Hume. The Hume Health Challenge will give participants access to free group fitness sessions, workshops and health checks and will run for six months. In Westmeadows, the LifeHouse Church is hoping to secure $175,000 to build Victoria’s first community-based multi-sensory room. In Whittlesea, close to 30 projects were submitted from across the municipality. Doreen’s Julie Mackenzie, a masters student in cybercrime law, put forward a proposal to create a cybercrime training program for seniors. In Whittlesea, the Whittlesea Healthy, Energetic, Active, Relaxed and Together committee is hoping for $200,000 for a network of bike shelters. Voting closes on September 17. Details:www.pickmyproject.vic.gov.au

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MY PLACE Donnybrook mum Katie Maynes is juggling starting her consultancy business with raising her daughter. She was a finalist in the recent AusMumpreneur Awards. She speaks with Laura Michell. What’s your connection to the Whittlesea area? We have lived in Donnybrook for a year. However, I remember as a child going to the Whittlesea Show in November each year. My grandparents lived on a farm in Alexandra, so we always stopped by Whittlesea on the way. I also remember going on my first toboggan ride at Funfields. What do you like about where you live? I like that we get the best of both worlds – we have the country at our doorstep, but the city is only a 35-minute train ride away. What, if anything, would you change? We are living in a new estate so we are looking forward to the local shops being built so everything is within walking distance. the

It means a lot as it’s a nice opportunity to stop and reflect on the business I’ve built over the last two years. Not everyone likes the term mumpreneur, but to me it is nice to be acknowledged as a mum and entrepreneur. It was becoming a mum that gave me the confidence to start my business, so I couldn’t do one without the other. I want to show my daughter that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. How difficult is it to juggle starting up your

(Damjan Janevski)

What does the nomination for AusMumpreneur Awards mean to you?

own business and raising a family? The juggle is real! I started the business when my daughter was a toddler and it was definitely tough in those early days – and to some extent, it still is now. It has become easier, though,

working out my priorities and carving out time to get the work done. I started the business for the flexibility and freedom and I’m starting to see that eventuate, which is fantastic. I have to say, though, none of it would be possible without my husband and familys’ support.

What are your favourite local places? For good food, we like Two Beans and a Farm in Mernda. To enjoy the outdoors we like spending time at the Yan Yean Reservoir and the Toorourrong Reservoir Park.

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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 communitycalendar@starweekly.com.au. Deadline for copy and announcements is noon Tuesday.

four tickets per booking. ■ 9407 5913

The art of decluttering

Learn the art of decluttering and get rid of all that stuff you are not using at Tullamarine library’s workshop on Thursday, September 13, 5.30-7pm. At 58 Spring Street. ■ 9356 6966

(Pictures: iStock)

Book group

Seeing eye dogs

Learn about caring for a seeing eye dog puppy at Vision Australia’s information session at Petbarn, 18/24 Dalton Road, Thomastown, on Sunday, September 23, from noon-1pm. Carers will be on hand to share their stories. ■ 1800 037 773

Reading hour

Head to Broadmeadows library on Thursday, September 20 between 4-5pm and pick up a book for national reading hour. Register by Friday, September 14, to share a chapter of your favourite book. Bookings essential. At 1093 Pascoe Vale Road. ■ 9356 6900

Seniors lunch

If you like talking about books you have read and sharing book recommendations with like-minded people, then why not join Mill Park library’s new book chat group? It’s on Tuesday, September 18, from 2-3pm at 394 Plenty Road. ■ 9437 8189

Bird survey

Join the Friends of Merri Creek for their bird survey on Sunday, September 16, at Galgi Ngarrk in Somerton, 8.45-10.30am. Meet at the O’Herns Road gate off the Hume Highway. Bring your own binoculars if possible. ■ 0417 519 251

Our World

The Sunbury Art Society’s Our World exhibition is on display at Craigieburn’s Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery until October 14. This is the group’s first exhibition outside Sunbury. At 75-95 Central Park Avenue. ■ hume.vic.gov.au

Link up market

Browse the stalls at the Link Up Market at the Whittlesea Community Activity Centre, 57 Laurel Street, on Saturday, September 15, 11am-3pm. ■ 0413 756 654

Monster mash

Celebrate Frankenstein’s 200th birthday with a dress-up party at Craigieburn library on Wednesday, September 26, 2-2.30pm. Come dressed in your scariest monster gear. Bookings required. At 75-95 Central Park Avenue. ■ 9356 6980

Twins club

Join in the Victorian Seniors Festival celebrations at Whittlesea council’s seniors lunch on Wednesday, October 3, 11.30am-3pm, at Emerald Receptions, 213-215 Settlement Road, Thomastown. There will be music, entertainment and dancing. Tickets cost $18. Maximum of

Join the Doreen/Mernda Twins Club for morning tea and to meet other families with preschool-aged twins. The next meeting is on Monday, September 17, at Laurimar Community Activity Centre, 11 Hazel Glen Drive, Doreen, 10am-noon. ■ bit.ly/2PqGETt

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LEARNING SPACES

St Monica’s new building is taking shape. Inset: Assistant principal Cameron Whitford is driving Project Forward. (Pictures: Supplied)

College onwards and upwards S

t Monica’s College in Epping is in the midst of what’s known as Project Forward. And staff and students are excited about what will happen, almost certainly in May next year, writes Carole Levy. With the school’s theme of “Do not be afraid,” St Monica’s hasn’t been afraid to take a big stride into the future. Assistant Principal Cameron Whitford has driven Project Forward with a lot of input from staff and students. What is Project Forward? “We wanted to have new spaces for our students and teachers to get more flexibility in learning from and using a mix of education styles,” Mr Whitford says. “Our school is growing, too, so more space is always welcome. Students, teachers and others spent lots of time coming up with ideas, for at least a year before now. “So Project Forward is actually all about where we’re heading – embodied by a new three-storey building.” As well as Mr Whitford, who has experience in teaching, curriculum development and new education styles, Project Forward team includes Principal Brian Hanley, Deputy Principals Paula Di Maria and Amorina Chirico and Business Manager Graham Bell.

They hired Collingwood architects ClarkeHopkinsClarke, who drew up plans for the tri-storey building. But before that, Mr Whitford says two years ago they took over the old maintenance garage, which still looks the same externally, and test-ran their new ideas. “We divided it into three classrooms then fitted them out with textural carpet and other textural elements and we installed a different lighting set-up and acquired better and more flexible furniture. The students and teachers loved their new space and we saw flexibility of both usage and layout in action,” he says. “We also put in video conferencing equipment to enable student/teacher interaction between our two campuses and other schools.” What will the new building have? “The new building will have classrooms that maximise flexibility. A lot of thought went into lighting and room shapes. We’ve placed glass bifolds between areas which means teachers can open them up and work together, run class activities and teach disciplines such as maths and science together in one area. “We envisage having two teachers in one

space – when deemed beneficial – where one can instruct and the other ‘float’ around the classroom, guiding students. “It also has a focus on giving students the best space and way to learn. They’ll be able to join, for example, different year level group activities, with room to spread out.” Past, present and future St Monica’s has come a long way since opening nearly 55 years ago, with an enrolment now beyond 1900, with students attending co-educational years 7-9 and 10-12 campuses. And it’s not only about a great new building; the Catholic college offers diverse curricula and education. Students are immersed in Japanese, French, Greek, Italian or Spanish and there’s a Horizons program for highly able students. “Students who perhaps need more encouragement will certainly benefit from Project Forward,” Mr Whitford, says. “That space and movement flexibility we keep mentioning will be an advantage for them, because the extra time teachers will be able to spend with them is a win-win. It’s effective, plus neither teacher nor student will need to bite so often into lunchtimes.”

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‘‘

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SPORT Ranges provide a taste of what’s to come A glimpse of Whittlesea Ranges future was on display in their final match of the National Premier League 2 west season. With nothing to play for in the final round against Sunshine George Cross, the Ranges coaching staff, led by Tony Ciantar, decided to shake things up a bit. Ciantar said it was a good opportunity to give some players who haven’t been playing a lot, experience and exposure at that level. “We had eight players who were 19 or below in the starting line [at the weekend]. To get that opportunity was just as good as a win,” Ciantar said. “Some of them have been in the senior group for the last 12 months, so starting a game was good reward for them.” Coming away with the points after a 1-0 win was also reward for effort. “They [Sunshine] wanted to finish the season

on a high. When you’re playing your old coach, you want to step up. “We had enough chances in the first half to win three matches of football. “It was a good test for the younger boys.” The Ranges finished the season in sixth, a long way from relegation, which looked likely when Ciantar took over as coach midway through the season. Ciantar was hoping to get the team up to fifth, but was content with a sixth-placed finish. The Ranges had entered the final round on the back of four straight wins. “It was a great second half of the season for the club,” Ciantar said. “We made some changes to stabilise the team and to avoid relegation. “We built a style that gave us a point of difference. To finish sixth is a super achievement from where we were.”

Ciantar said he would be back next season to help build on what the club had achieved He said he would sit down with the club next week to talk about their future direction. “I want to look at the plan and set goals going forward,” he said. “Looking forward to the direction the club wants to take, I’m happy to lead again. “We may lose one or two players and we will make some changes, but the second half of this season will be a great base.” Tara Murray

Anthony Taranto in action for Whittlesea on Saturday. (Damian Visentini)

Highlanders defence falls

Peter Addo celebrates scoring a goal. Below: Whittlesea United celebrates winning the championship. (Pictures: Damian Visentini)

Twice as nice for United By Tara Murray It’s a case of twice as nice for Whittlesea United, securing a second straight promotion in FFV state league competitions and a first senior title since 2009. United, promoted to state league 2 north-west after finishing second in state league 3 north-west last season, sealed a top two spot this season with one round remaining. On Saturday, they needed a win in the final round to ensure the championship and raised the cup after defeating Geelong Rangers 4-0. Baki Efe, Peter Addo, Vehbi Karabulut and Serkan Oksuz were the goalscorers. Whittlesea committee member Koray Kolege said it was a fantastic achievement. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work. It’s a fantastic achievement for the club, the boys, the supporters and the wider community.” Kolege said the club had set no expectations on what it could achieve this season. He said while they had a good team on paper, anything could happen. But for most of the year, Whittlesea looked the team to beat. It took until round 15 before the side tasted defeat.

That defeat was the beginning of a rough patch for the club – it lost three straight games and parted ways with coach Peter Schwellinger, installing captain Tansel Baser as interim coach. Kolege said it wasn’t an easy decision to change coaches, but one the club felt had to be made. “A lot of people were surprised,” he said. “It was a club decision, as well as Peter’s. We mutually agreed that it was the best way forward. “Bringing in Tansel, we felt that it was required. He brought in people beside him and

our decision has been vindicated. We had the nucleus, we just needed to refresh.” Whittlesea has won its last five matches. Kolege said claiming the title was important for the playing the group. They were able to turn the tables on second-placed Brimbank Stallions, which finished one point ahead of them last season. “Last year, while promotion was fantastic, we would have preferred to win the championship. “The championship is icing on the cake. The last championship was 2009 and a couple of boys who were involved are still around.” Kolege said after two straight promotions, they wouldn’t be making changes. “It’s one of those things with football, it can be a year to year thing,” he said. “You can plan a whole lot of things and they may come up in two years or 10 years. “For us, it’s a week to week proposition and hitting goals. We knew we had quality players, especially with the senior team. We got vindication with our results.” In other results, Craigieburn City did enough to finish second in state league 4 north and earn a spot in a promotion play-off, despite a final round loss

Hume’s season is over after it was knocked out of the Hockey Victoria Winter competition men’s pennant G. The Highlanders knew they had a tough task against RMIT in Saturday’s preliminary final and it proved just that. While the Highlanders defence stood strong in the first half, it couldn’t hold off RMIT in the second. RMIT went on to win 3-1. Highlanders’ Hayden Whitten said they were outplayed. “To be honest, it was how we expected the match to go,” he said. “They are a good team and well structured and we were outplayed. “We got the first goal early in the first half, with scores 1-1 at half-time. “RMIT had six short corners in a row which is almost unheard of, but didn’t score off any of them. “They attacked harder in the second half and were able to score another two goals.” The Highlanders chances weren’t helped with one of their defenders rushed to hospital with a hand injury and a key forward missing the game because of illness. Despite the result, Whitten said they were thrilled with their performance in just their second season. Having won a lower grade premiership last season, this was Hume’s first finals loss in five attempts. “Making finals was the goal for us and we were happy with anything after that,” Whitten said. “We had a solid win against Footscray [in the semi-final]. “We’re already looking forward to next year. Most of the talk after the game was about team structures and what we can do next year.” As well as the men’s top team making a preliminary final, the women’s side made finals in its first year. Whitten said everything was going well both on and off field. “There’s been a lot of good feedback from the community,” he said. “Families are coming down to watch and have been giving such positive support. “It has been brilliant.” Tara Murray 17 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ SEPTEMBER 11, 2018


SPORT STARWEEKLY.COM.AU

Airport West takes title By Tara Murray Airport West has claimed the Essendon District Football League division 1 premiership, despite a barnstorming third quarter comeback from Tullamarine. At half-time of the grand final on Saturday the premiership looked like it was heading to Hansen Reserve with Airport West, after it dominated the first half. Airport West found multiple options up forward and the Demons had no answers. When the Eagles kicked the first goal of the third quarter to extend the margin to 53 points, it appeared the second half would be a repeat of the first. But something switched with the Demons and they played some of their best football of the division 1 season. Tullamarine kicked 9.5 to nothing for the rest of the quarter, to remarkably lead by a goal at the final break. But the last break came at the right time for Airport West, which was able to reset and go again. They were able to capitalise on the Demons’ skill errors, kicking the only three goals of the last quarter to win 16.11(107)-13.16 (94). For Demons coach David Connell there was mixed emotions after the game. He was disappointed with the end result, but proud of how the boys had responded in the second half. “I’m really proud of this group. To be 50 points down at half-time and then be in a position to win a grand final, I’m not too sure many teams would have been able to do what we did in the third quarter. “I’m proud of the effort, disappointed with the result.” Connell said at half-time they focused on three elements they thought they were really poor at in the first half. They also changed the structure and moved some players around, including moving Will Becker to the midfield, and Anthony Prestia and Russell Laurie to the forward line. “We changed the structure a little bit and that seemed to work and we got on top and got some momentum,” he said. “With Tyson Young playing on the ball and no genuine match up for Rus, we tried to mix it around and tried to make [Matthew] Duggan and [Clayton] Rogers a bit more accountable. “Rus always comes at the footy and he straightened us up in the third quarter.” Connell, like everyone else in the crowd, was in disbelief that they had taken the lead in the third quarter. He said despite the brilliance of that quarter, they didn’t really have a chance to look back at it. “We said to the boys at half-time if they could chip away at the lead and get it back to three to four goals and give them a scare we would be happy. “We didn’t expect that, especially after they kicked the first goal. “You get caught up in the moment. Even at

Above: Airport West’s Bior Malual celebrates; Tullamarine’s Jack Burns (top right) and teammates after the siren (Pictures: Shawn Smits)

three-quarter time we were more focused on what is going to happen in the last quarter.” Whether the big comeback impacted the last quarter performance and they possibly ran out of legs, Connell wasn’t sure. Disposal errors and a couple of missed shots in front of goal cost them, including hitting the post from 10 metres out. Connell said they weren’t critical of the last quarter, with the group playing to instruction. “It reinforces how close we are and how resilient this football club is.” Anthony Prestia and Jack Kennedy kicked

three goals each for the Demons. Connell said he thought Becker was one of the keys in the turnaround. He also praised the efforts of 17-year-old Tim Matson who kept Bior Malual quiet in the third quarter. Malual was named best on ground. The match saw two great careers come to an end. Craig Steele and Laurie had both previously announced they were retiring come season’s end. The grand final loss is the Demons third in five years, having lost in 2014 and 2016.

Connell said the fact they kept making grand finals showed what the club is made of. “A lot of people look at 2014, 2016 and 2018 and forget the number of people who left this football club. “From the 2014 grand final, seven players stayed at the club and they were able to back up and go again in 2016. “From 2016 to now there is 11 players different. “This football club keeps turning up. Finals 12 years in a row is quite remarkable when you look at it like that.”

Saad sizzles as Bulls’ season comes to an end Bundoora’s season came to a disappointing end in the Northern Football League division 1 semi-final on Sunday. For the first two and half quarters, Bundoora and West Preston Lakeside looked set to play out a thriller. The Bulls were in front for much of that time, but the Roosters stayed in touch. They were able to level the scores heading into the final quarter. The last quarter was one way traffic in the direction of the Roosters’ goals. With Ahmed Saad putting on a show, the Roosters kicked eight goals to none in the final quarter, to win 18.8 (116)-9.10 (64) and seal a preliminary final spot. Bulls coach Ricky Dyson said it was 18 NORTHERN STAR WEEKLY \ SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

disappointing to finish the season that way. “We fought hard for two and half quarters,” he said. “I think their class showed through in the back end of the third quarter and in the last quarter. “We were chasing a tail a bit there and they were far too good for us on the day.” Dyson said had they been able to make the most of their opportunities in the first half and put some scoreboard pressure on, it may have been a different story. But it’s been a story of their season, unable to convert in front of goal. While scores were level at three-quarter time, Dyson said they could see at that point the Roosters had taken charge. Saad, who had kicked five goals in the first

three quarters, kicked 5.2 in the final quarter, including a scissor kick goal over his head in the square. “Once they hit the front they were really good,” he said. “He [Saad] was super. We’ve been really good defending him in the last four to five times we’ve played them. “His class really showed us up in the last quarter.” Dyson said Matt Dennis, Dale Marshall, Gary Moorcroft, Kain Proctor and Peter Hood were their best. He said in the end, the mountain of work they did to come from second bottom to fourth had taken its toll. Dyson was proud with their ability not to

give up. “Considering our start, it’s not a bad finish to the season. “We have really high expectations of ourselves, the players, coaching staff and football club. Fourth isn’t where we want Bundoora Football Club to be. “We want to be finishing in the top three, crack at a double chance. We didn’t do that so we probably underachieved. “But looking at where we did start, I’m really proud.” Dyson said it hadn’t all been negative this year, with the club showing the depth they have. More than 40 players played seniors, including several under-19 players who really fought for their spots.


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