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Mother’s call for crime watchers

March 2012 •

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CLAUDIA Ramognino loves Hampton. Since moving here from the United States seven years ago she has settled into a new, comfortable lifestyle, making friends and watching her children do the same. Wary of being accused of panicking, Ms Ramognino nevertheless was shocked

when a thief climbed the fence into her front yard and stole a DVD player from her car. She admits the vehicle was unlocked – an oversight after hurriedly unpacking shopping – but has since heard similar stories of loss from other mothers at her children’s school. “But it’s more than what they stole. Hopefully we won’t lose that feeling and sense of security. “We need to let these thieves know that we are keeping our eye out for them.” Having lived in Miami in the United States, Ms Ramognino says she is no stranger to crime reports, but is saddened by what has happened in Hampton. “I started talking about it and alerting everybody, because we pride ourselves on Hampton being so safe. “It’s nice to feel we are able to relax.”

Ms Ramognino says she has heard of three burglaries in less than three months in the same area of Hampton. A flyer placed in letterboxes by another concerned neighbour is also making residents aware of thieves. “I found out through his note that local information about crimes is no longer supplied to Neighbourhood Watch groups. “So it is very important for all of us to know what is going on. “I hope to raise awareness for the whole Hampton community of what is going on. “And without any overreaction or panicking, still keep a vigilant eye for anything strange or suspicious.” n Anyone who sees anything suspicious should call Bayside police on 8530 5100 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

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Cooper clocks up 30 years at The Coachman HAMPTON retailer David Cooper has celebrated 30 years as proprietor of menswear specialist, The Coachman. Mr Cooper bought the then 16-year-old business in 1982, after serving his apprenticeship in menswear right next door at another Hampton St icon, now gone, Hattams. “It’s very rare in retailing for any one individual to be in the industry for three decades, let alone in the same business at the same address, so this is something of a professional and personal landmark,” Mr Cooper said. “What I am most proud of is that The Coachman has evolved as Hampton itself has evolved, as our customers and their expectations have changed, and as the fashion industry has changed. “The Coachman both does a better job of serving its customers today than it’s ever done, and it’s a better run business than ever before, both a benefit of 30 years of hard-won experience.” Pitched at the middle to upper end of the menswear market, The Coachman is a multi-brand retailer with brands such as Hugo Boss,

Gant, D’Urban and Ben Sherman. Through its three decades with David Cooper at the helm, The Coachman has undergone three renovations, the most recent of which is the “personification” of the proprietor’s dream of what a modern menswear store should be. “Men are not good shoppers, so you have to give them a reason to come here, which is why we’ve got a proper coffee machine and have sport playing on the flat-screen television,” Mr Cooper said. “Some people have described it as a bit like a club when they come here, which is what I am trying to achieve, an atmosphere that’s friendly and relaxed and conducive to putting my customers at ease.” The Coachman has several customers who have been regulars for more than 25 years. One supplier who visited Mr Cooper on his first day at The Coachman is still calling today. “A personal highlight of my time here has been the friendships I’ve made with customers, suppliers and

with staff. It’s true that it’s the people that really make the difference,” Mr Cooper said. Another highlight of those three decades has been The Coachman’s wins in the Bayside Business Awards. “Along the way we’ve had many competitors come and go, and I like the fact that customers admire what we do and the brands we carry, and the way we interact with them. I think that’s a lot of the reason why we have won so many awards. “You might think that after 30 years I’d have had enough but I haven’t. I enjoy the challenge of meeting the market, of staying ahead of fashion trends, of growing the business and making it a success. “I’ll be here for many more years yet.” ‘The Coachman’ is at 337 Hampton St, Hampton, call 9598 2089.

AN amended proposal to introduce new planning controls in the Black Rock shopping centre will be referred to an independent panel. Bayside Council’s original proposal (Planning Scheme Amendment C90) saw just four of the record 293 submissions favouring changes to the existing controls. Most opposition centred on changes in height con-

trols, potential loss of views, amendments to parking and fears of traffic congestion. The responses showed overwhelming support for the Black Rock shopping centre to retain its two-storey limit, with surrounding streets remaining residential. About 60 residents and traders were at council’s Wednesday 22 February special meeting.

After hearing 18 speakers, the council also agreed to rezone the west side of Bluff Rd and the south side of Balcombe Rd from Business 2 (primarily an office zone) to Business 1 (primarily retail with offices at ground floor level); rezone the two public car parks from Business 2 to Business 1 but retain their layout and current use; and make underground parking access for new or additional development away from the low point in a street.

David Cooper inside his clothing shop, The Coachman, which he describes as being the “personification” of his dream.

Black Rock plans take a dive ‘No’ to six storeys

Bridget McDonnell Gallery 392 Hampton St. Hampton 9598 8398

• Contemporary Australian paintings, drawings and prints • Post War Russian paintings • Paintings from the Kimberley • Early Australian paintings, drawings and prints Tue-Fri 10-5pm Sat 10-3pm

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Suffering From Low Back Pain? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a Clinical Research Study currently being conducted in your area. This new medical device aims to assist in recovery time and to prevent recurrence of low back pain by monitoring and recording the strain on your back that occurs during your actual daily activities. The small, discrete sensors simply adhere to your back and are worn for 4-10 hours once a week. Jayce Gilbert, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Peak MSK Physiotherapy Hampton, is currently seeking volunteers to participate in this study. If you are 18-65 years of age and are currently experiencing an episode of low back pain, you may be eligible to take part in this study. • There is no cost associated with participation. • You will be compensated for travel expenses. For more information, or to see if you qualify, please contact Julie at 03 9652 2196 or visit

No mayoral coup

BAYSIDE citizens could be excused from thinking there had been a palace coup when browsing the council’s website this month. The minutes of the Wednesday 22 February special meeting (Black Rock planning scheme) listed Cr Alex del Porto as mayor. He was mayor this time last year, but as far as The Citizen can find out Cr Louise Cooper-Shaw is still enjoying that exalted position. Perhaps Cr del Porto’s reign loomed large in the mind of council’s minute takers.

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PLANS for a six-storey building to house apartments, a gymnasium, shops and restaurant across the car park from Hampton station have been knocked back by Bayside Council. The eight grounds for refusing a permit for the land at 10 Railway Walk included the development being too intensive; the building being too high; not enough

car parking or provision for loading and unloading; potential conflict between pedestrians and waste collection vehicles; not enough private open space for five apartments. The mayor Cr Louise Cooper-Shaw left the chamber before discussion and the vote declaring an indirect interest by close association because her daughter works at the subject site.

IF you’ve ever been on crutches you know how friends can’t resist trying them out. It can be fun, unless you are the one who has been injured and can’t get about without them. A team of scientists from Victoria University’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living is now banking on the popularity of crutches with the uninjured for a study into muscle wastage and recovery. The scientists want volunteers to walk with crutches for three weeks. “The upside is you will

probably be offered a seat on the train,” PhD researcher Ben Perry said. “We need to know what happens to muscles that aren’t used for a period of time and how they change, then how to build them back up again after that.” Participation will involve using crutches as well as undergoing exercise tests and muscle biopsies. There will be re-training at the end of the study and some financial compensation. Anyone interested in using crutches without being injured can call 0414 600 986.

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Volunteers afoot: Participants at last year’s Sandringham Relay for Life raised $51,000 for cancer research and support.

Night walk for cancer research team. The relay is suitable for all ages and will also feature live entertainment, activities, and ceremonies to honour peoples’ experiences with cancer. The opening lap of each relay is dedicated to cancer survivors and those who have cared for someone facing cancer. Candles are placed the inside of the track at dusk for the start of the Candlelight Ceremony. For a small donation, you can light a candle to honour and support someone living with cancer or in memory of a lost loved one. A ceremony after the relay celebrates participant’s achievements. The ceremony includes prizes for individu-

als and teams and provides everyone with an opportunity to keep on fighting. Every five minutes, another Australian is diagnosed with cancer and while survival rates are improving, cancer remains a leading cause of death. Money raised through relays is used to pay for cancer research, prevention programs and support services. Relay For Life is a team building exercise and a way of boosting community spirit. Its message is to “celebrate, remember, fight back”. To be part the Sandringham Relay for Life register at, call 1300 65 65 85 or email for more information.

A STUDY has found that despite poorer survival outcomes initially, indigenous cancer patients who survive at least two years after diagnosis have similar prognosis to non-indigenous cancer patients. While other studies have highlighted the significantly lower survival rate of indigenous cancer patients compared to non-indigenous, it is the first study of its kind to identify that the disparity lessens with time. Associate Professor Peter Baade said the finding by Cancer Council Queensland and Menzies School of Health Research was both a call to action as well as provid-

ing optimism for indigenous people affected by cancer. “Encouragingly, the fiveyear survival outlook for indigenous cancer patients who survive at least twoyears is very similar to the outlook for non-indigenous cancer patients.” Menzies’ Associate Professor Gail Garvey said before this study there was limited information of how indigenous survival rates varied between indigenous and nonindigenous patients with cancer. “The findings provide hope that with ongoing action the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cancer survival in the first two years

post diagnosis can be closed. “Our findings confirmed recent studies highlighting significant disparities in overall survival among indigenous cancer patients compared to non-indigenous patients.” Previous studies found indigenous patients in the Northern Territory were nearly twice as likely to die from cancer than non-indigenous patients. In South Australia indigenous patients were 40 per cent more likely to die from their cancer and a study in Queensland found those treated in the public health system were 30 per cent more likely to die from their cancer than non-indigenous patients.

‘Hope’ for indigenous cancer rate





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BAYSIDE Council has for the first time succeeded in prosecuting someone for vandalising a native street tree under the 1987 State Government Planning and Environment Act. The act of vandalism occurred on Boxing Day, 26 December 2010, in Martin St, Brighton, and was witnessed by local residents who made statements to council to support its case for prosecution. Although council offers a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to a successful prosecution, no one is believed to have yet made a claim in relation to this case. In the Moorabbin Magistrates Court on Friday 2 March Council was awarded $8000 on the two street tree vandalism charges, $12,000 in costs and $817 for restitution of the vandalised tree. The maximum fine for the two offences is $146,500. It has been widely reported that the offender, who pleaded guilty to two charges – interfering with a tree and failing to comply with the planning scheme - damaged to the street tree to have a better view of Port Phillip. Bayside mayor Louise Cooper-Shaw saw the prosecution as “an excellent outcome for the whole Bayside community”. “Bayside is very proud of its amenity and its tree lined streets and this is a clear case of the community working with council to protect those very trees,” she said. “It was several local residents who first alerted council to this case of vandalism and for that we are grateful. “Regrettably, we get many stories of tree vandalism reported to council but, without witnesses, council’s hands are tied to secure a successful prosecution like we did today. “Tree vandalism is a crime against community property. To help encourage our residents to report tree vandalism, council offers a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to a successful prosecution.” As well as council fines of up to $2,000 for tree vandalism, perpetrators of breaches of the Vegetation

Protection Overlay for Native Vegetation could be fined up to $130,000. A revised policy adopted in May last year extended the range of offences to include unlawful pruning, poisoning, removal or root damage. The then mayor Cr Alex del Porto branded vandalising trees and native vegetation as “a crime against the whole community”. The current maximum fine for tree vandalism under Council’s Local Law is $2,000 awarded by the Magistrates Court. A maximum penalty of $143,340 can also be issued under the Planning & Environment Act 1987 for removal, lopping or destruction of a native tree. Bayside residents who wish to report a case of tree vandalism should call 9599 4444.

THIS year’s Sandringham Relay For Life will be held at Sandringham Athletics Track in Glamis Av from 4pm Saturday 21 April to 10am Sunday 22 April. The event is organised by a volunteer committee on behalf of Cancer Council Victoria. This is the second year that the Relay For Life has been held in Sandringham with last year’s event raising $51,240. This year’s target is $60,000. The overnight Relay For Life sees teams of people taking turns to walk, raising money and awareness to help fight cancer. Teams should have 10-15 people with a captain being appointed to register the

Better views bid sees $20,000 in fines and costs




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Top spot gives Simon pause to spread the word Did you enjoy the experience? Yes, it was an enormous privilege. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t point out that I was very tired towards the end of the year simply because of the number of commitments to speak and participate in various events and the fact that it involved continual travel all around the country. What were the highlights of your year as Australian of the Year? Where do I start? I could say that perhaps it was meeting the Queen and having the opportunity to tell her how she played a critical role as a human guinea pig in the development of Aerogard for CSIRO in one of her earlier visits to this country – all true! But actually, the highlights were generally away from the big events and capital cities and into urban and regional Australia. This is where I met the thousands of Australians who work in the engine room of our great non-for-profit

sector. Hearing their stories, of the way that they have transformed lives, whether they work or volunteer in the disability sector, with our indigenous people or showing our juvenile offenders a different future – these were the highlights of my year. And, while preparing and giving more than 250 speeches and criss-crossing the country was tiring, I always came away uplifted when I was able to meet with these folk. Was there anything in particular that you were able to achieve that might not have been possible without being chosen? This is a really hard one, because while I felt I had this “giant megaphone”, the reality is that in relation to every cause that I am involved in, I am merely one voice – part of a team and invariably neither the most eloquent or certainly the most knowledgeable or expert. It was a great year in relation to some of the areas that I am interested in. For example, the announcement of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, the establishment of an Australian Charities and Not For Profits Commission, the announcement by the Foreign Minister of initiatives to bring AusAid and the Australian business community closer

together – 2012 was terrific for all these reasons. But I did take more opportunities to talk often and consistently about the need for philanthropic leadership to be taken up by our wealthiest. This has been occurring in the United States for a long time and, particularly in recent years where, as of today, more than 70 US billionaires and their families have committed to giving away more than half their wealth. This has not yet started to take place in Australia, but at least the debate has well and truly started. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had during 2011 to push this. What were you required to do during the year? Interestingly, there is very little that the National Australia Day Council formally asked me to do. During the middle of the year the Young Australian of the Year Jessica Watson and I did undertake a schools’ tour for several days. And there were perhaps one or two other things that the NADC were hopeful that I would agree to do. But largely it was simply a matter of responding to thousands of requests coming in from all around the country to speak at and participate in various events.

What was your reaction when told you would be Australian of the Year? I was genuinely dumbstruck when I first became Victorian Australian of the Year and then, of course, when I was announced as Australian of the Year. And, for me, this was simply because I’m actually a very ordinary person who just happens to have become passionate about various causes and who has been so privileged to end up connected with a range of organisations that have been relatively effective. When I strip it all away, there is nothing particularly special about me. And, frankly, there are thousands, indeed hundreds of thousands of people like me in this wonderful country. I will go to my grave wondering why I happened to be selected. What I do know is that it was a wonderful opportunity, for 12 months, to spread a message of getting involved in our extraordinarily diverse non-for-profit sector – the sector that does everything that neither business nor government is equipped to do. And which, on a daily basis, is saving so many Australians from otherwise slipping between the cracks. In what ways did you have to rearrange your life to

Bayside begins search for 2012’s young leaders NOMINATIONS for the 2012 Bayside Youth Awards are now open. The theme for this year’s awards program is “Be Inspired”. The annual awards are part of National Youth Week celebrations. The awards recognise 1025 year olds who live, study or work in Bayside, who have

made a positive contribution to the community over the past 12 months. The awards evening at Brighton Town Hall on 18 April will recognise all nominees, celebrate their achievements and provide them with an opportunity to show their talents. Nominations should be sent to Youth Services at




THE 2011 Australian of the Year Simon McKeon and his youngest son Sam visited the Aboriginal community at Areyonga, a six-hour drive west of Alice Springs. The November 2011 visit was arranged by Red Dust Role Models, a not for profit organisation working with remote Aboriginal communities. “It typically trains and then organises for elite sportspeople and other role models to spend time in these communities. A narrow but effective focus, especially when one sees how the kids in particular receive messages about good nutrition, no sniffing petrol, respecting parents and attending school from the likes of Jimmy Bartels and Tom Lonergan from Geelong Football Club who came on this trip. Indeed, my chauffer out to Aereyonga was James Hird.”

BAYSIDE resident SIMON MCKEON wears many hats. He’s executive chairman of Macquarie Group’s Melbourne office; chairman of the CSIRO; chairman of Business for Millennium Development; on the board of World Vision Australia; works with Global Poverty Project and Red Dust Role Models; and is a world speed record holding yachtsman. Here he speaks with The Citizen about 2011, when he was Australian of the Year.

What did being Australian of the Year mean to you? For me as someone who is interested in a range of different causes, it was an amazing opportunity to spend a year with a giant megaphone permanently attached to my mouth.


Bayside Council before 5pm on Friday 23 March. The awards four categories: Community – for significant community contributions. Creative – for the passion and dedication to excel in music, dance, drama or art. Active – for the determination to achieve positive outcomes in sports and recre-

ation; and Personal – for demonstrated courage and determination to overcome challenges. Nomination forms from the Bayside Corporate Centre in Royal Av, Sandringham, Bayside libraries or downloaded and/or completed at www. Call 9599 4444.

carry out the duties of being Australian of the Year? Literally, from the moment of the announcement on the eve of Australia Day 2011, I was inundated with so many requests to be involved in various activities. I knew it was for just one year and accordingly we did what we could to accept a sizeable number of invitations and to take the wonderful opportunities that they presented to advocate for causes close to my heart. So there were many things that didn’t happen last year – we didn’t do much sailing. Macquarie Group didn’t see too much of me. But there were other things that could not be compromised and, for example, I would like to think that my commitment to CSIRO was unaffected. Were you changed by the experience and, if so, how? There is obviously an intoxicating aspect to it. One receives many “A list” invitations. I think there were times when I did allow my head to swell a little – but I hope these were fleeting and, in particular, I hope that they didn’t take me away from the important causes that need promotion. Looking back, I didn’t want to change who I am and I think largely I haven’t. But perhaps that is for others to judge.

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Editorial to

The Hampton Citizen  

The Hampton Citizen March 2012

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