Uncover Magazine - Volume Four

Page 1

Ba llarat Weekend s

U n e a r th the Py re n e e s

Natasha Morgan

A n unex p ected fo o di e ca p i ta l

A we eke n d of w i n e an d ad ve nt u res

C re at i ve co l la borator by n at u ra l i n c l i n at ion




Enjoy the outdoor gardens, verandahs and lawns. Roll out a complimentary picnic rug and soak up some sunshine while enjoying a glass or two matched with the house platter - seasonally inspired showcasing the finest artisanal produce of the Pyrenees region. Blue Pyrenees Estate was established in 1963 by the French company Remy Martin, and was among the modern Australian wine industry’s first ventures into cool climate viticulture. Today, Blue Pyrenees is 100 per cent Australian owned led by Chief Winemaker Andrew Koerner and committed to making authentic, world class-quality wines.

P. 03 5465 1111 W. www.bluepyrenees.com.au Vinoca Road, Avoca Victoria 3467 Australia Open 7 days a week from 11am – 5pm, serving lunch from 11:30am – 3:30pm each day. Reservations are essential for all visits. Please phone to make a booking. 2


Contact Uncover Editorial: lucy@uncovermagazine.com.au Advertising: ads@uncovermagazine.com.au 0447 820 727

Stylist Genevieve Manley

Editorial Team Eliesha Rae Della Vreeland Ali Webb Bianca Flint Tatiana Collier Kate Taylor Brigid Moloney Shona Hendley Ellen Muller Liana Skewes

Photographers Ange Hayward - Ballarat Property Photoraphy Tara Moore Photography Melissa Brennan - Her Golden Point Stefani Driscoll Photography Sarah Frank Photography Liana Skewes

Editing Partner Joana Stevens Premier Strategy

Design/Publishing Roar Publishing www.roarpublishing.com.au lucy@roarpublishing.com.au


Lucy Gilbert Managing Editor

From the Editor Well, hello again... It’s been 12-months since I last wrote an editor’s letter and to be honest, there was a period there that I didn’t think I would ever write one again. So, sitting here, articulating my thoughts, is sweet indeed.

I have to say – I was one of the lucky ones this year, I was able to close down

Print Graphics

relatively easily, and my husband’s job was secure.

Uncover Magazine is a venture of ROAR Publishing Pty Ltd. The Uncover Magazine team invites your feedback and contribution.

But that’s not to say it was all sunshine and roses. While, for the first time, I was

Disclaimer Uncover Magazine takes all care but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Uncover Magazine holds copyright to all content unless otherwise stated. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication, the publishers accept no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. The views expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editor or publisher.

able to focus wholly on being a mum – it came at a time when I really needed to. Vada had a tricky start to life, meningitis when she was 6-weeks old, reflux, colic and trouble sleeping. Those first few months were hard. The sort of hard that saw the rocking chair and I become very well acquainted. But I am so grateful that I had this time to focus on my girls.

Workwise, the scariest part for me was figuring out whether a post COVID

economy would support an advertising-based publication. And the waiting game began.

Fast forward 6-months and I made those first calls to start sounding out our

advertisers. It was a happy day. The response was overwhelmingly positive. So

- the magazine is back and it is bigger and better than ever. Our most exciting change? We are now FREE and adding a digital publication to our repertoire.

And I want to say THANK YOU and WELL DONE VICTORIA! Pat yourselves on the

back, it has been a hellish year that feels like it has gone for 674 months but we are out the other side and now our focus turns to rebuilding.

So as Christmas approaches, Mother’s Day, Easter and birthdays too, I want to

Be sure to follow us on social media! And tag your pictures with #uncovervic

ask you to please, spend local and get to know Western Victoria. Interregional tourism will play a major role in helping our smaller communities rebuild and dollars spent at local businesses helps to keep real people afloat.

So, I put it to you my beloved readers – what can you do to help rebuild?

facebook.com/uncovervic Instagram: @uncovervic 4


WEEKENDS in Ballarat

The perfect post-lockdown escape Lockdown is finally over and you’re in need of an escape. We hear you and we’ve got just what you need! Pack your car and hit the road for the perfect weekend getaway in Ballarat. Our weekends are full of colourful art, Instagrammable brunches, award-winning wineries, meandering outdoor walks in the beautiful sunshine and long afternoons enjoying our craft beer scene. There’s no better way to weekend than in Ballarat.

Plan yours at visitballarat.com.au 5

W come to your new favourite space.. Lola’s summer courtyard with Clara the Cocktail Caravan Open for lunch, dinner, coee and drinks Wednesday to Sunday. 03 5331 3399 6




10 16 20 26 30 34 42 53 60 76 78 106 116


Unexpected foodie capital


A sourdough starter

PYRENEES? YES PLEASE Adventure and wine


A creative collaborator


Ballarat's big boy


All the hidden secrets


A local perfumer


A printed exhibition


The tale of good wine

THE ECO STYLE FILES An op-shop saga


Fashion by Vreeland Vintage

SOMETHING ABOUT MARY Not just a cooking class


A Moloney Architect project


C O ME T O D I S C OV ER M I M C O P E T ER A L E X A N D ER W I T C H ER Y M Y ER C O T T O N O N K I D S T h e A F L S t o r e L o w es R i v er s & M A N Y M O R E

18 Armstrong St South, Ballarat, 3350 centralsquareballarat.com.au


Unplug & Unwind in the Pyrenees

Uncork award winning wines Uncover stunning nature walks Enjoy Unspoilt Scenery Experience Unforgettable food Unearth the Pyrenees Wine Region


PYRENEES unearthed



Ballarat An Unexpected Foodie Capital? Words by Eliesha Rae. Pictures by Stefani Driscoll.

Ballarat has food. And lots of it. For years, foodies have only heard the call of Melbourne; the culinary competition is fierce, so new eateries are constantly popping up and menus are ever-changing. The majority of Victoria’s coveted “Chef’s Hats” have always resided in Melbourne, celebrity chefs are forever promoting their new Melbourne-centric ventures on Masterchef and beyond, when regional Victorians are looking for a special night out, Melbourne is where they head.

When outsiders think of Ballarat, they think of cold winters,

We’ve had a few suggestions re: the best coffee in town

for a coffee and a stretch on the way to the Grampians.

out suggestion on this occasion is newly opened Johnny Alloo.

Sovereign Hill and the goldfields. Maybe somewhere to stop Ballarat as a foodie destination has not really been on anyone’s radar. But maybe it should be.

There is no “authentic” Ballarat dish or cuisine. Rather, the

city’s food options are limitless because it is, and has been since the gold rush days, a multicultural melting pot.

So what happens when a couple of intrepid Melbourne

based, self-proclaimed gastronomes take on the challenge

of 24-food-centric hours in Western Victoria’s newest Foodie Capital?

Saturday 10am: We roll into town after braving the rain and

fog on the Western Highway (content that the Rat is living up

to its reputation already) in search of one thing – good coffee.

(L’espresso is one that’s always top of mind) – but the stand

Australia’s first documented Chinese restaurant was opened by John Alloo at Bakery Hill on Ballarat’s goldfields in 1854 –

but this latest version is more hip Brunswick coffee joint than Victorian era Chinese kitchen.

Opened in late 2019 in the Mason’s Café building (cnr Mair &

Drummond, across the road from the Base Hospital), the new fit-out is moody and sophisticated, the vibe is pumping at 10am on a Saturday and the coffee is top-notch.

The breakfast menu is sorely tempting (Chilli Scrambled Eggs

with spanner crab and mozzarella anyone??), but we’ve got a full day of food to consume, and settle for hot beverages and a triple chocolate muffin to share. >


Picture by Ellen Eustice.

Saturday 10.30am: Freshly caffeinated and with an hour and

Contemporary Asian cuisine, shared dining, Mr Jones is all

Gallery of Ballarat to see what’s on and what’s coming up. We

intimidating. Their wine list is short but so sweet and the

a half to spare before our lunch reservation, we hit up the Art never pass up a wander through the permanent collection when we’re in town and mark down a couple of upcoming exhibitions in the calendar for next time.

Saturday 11.55am: An hour and a half is barely enough time

to do a quick whiz through the Art Gal, but luckily everywhere in Ballarat is basically a five-minute drive from everywhere

else, not to mention that parking is a dream! (I know, I know,

everyone loves to complain, but try living in the inner suburbs of Melbourne!!)

Saturday 11.59am: We arrive at Mr Jones for our noon lunch reservation with a minute to spare and are enthusiastically ushered to a prime table right in the window.

By this stage, the weather has well and truly turned for the

better, and sitting in the sun-drenched front window on Main Road, it’s hard to believe that anyone thinks the Ballarat climate is less than desirable.

Mr Jones is career chefs Damien and Danielle Jones’s third

restaurant bringing together their combined experience from a Michelin restaurant in London to their hatted restaurant in Ballarat, Catfish.


about the experience. The vibe here is chic, but far from pairing suggestions are spot on.

They say you can’t please everyone, but somehow this

place is special occasion and everyday lunch, casual and sophisticated, accessible and experimental all at once. We’ll be talking about the Fried fish wings for years to

come and the White chocolate mousse, spiced pineapple, passionfruit, honeycomb dessert – honestly, I know I’m supposed to be the writer here, but… no words.

Saturday 2.30pm: We noticed a few offerings from Mitchell Harris on the wine list at Mr Jones, but steered clear, as our next venue was none other than the 140-year-old former

produce store, tentmakers, and motor workshop, Mitchell

Harris Wine bar itself, for their newly launched Private Wine

Experience. We are welcomed with a glass of Sabre sparkling (outstanding!) and the experience begins…

Incorporating a tour of the unique venue (including the

cellars!) and a guided tasting, including barrel sampling, from the award-winning range of Mitchell Harris wines

accompanied by a selection of locally grown and crafted

produce – this decadent experience could easily be a meal in itself.

Mitchell Harris also offers a series of “Taste” events throughout

Saturday 7pm: Opened in late July last year, Pancho burst

premium wines from “Taste Spain” to “Taste Tassie”, “Taste

and South American flavour. Once a nondescript and

the year for wine enthusiasts to cut their teeth on a range of Sparkling” and everything in between.

Saturday 4pm: It’s lucky we’ve booked a night at the

spectacular Provincial Hotel on Lydiard Street, because a

disco nap has become startlingly necessary after six hours of extreme indulgence.

The Provincial’s website bills their offering as “a playfully

sophisticated boutique hotel” in “the heart of Ballarat”, and

onto Ballarat’s dining scene in a torrent of colour, cocktails rundown 1970s commercial premises, 36 Armstrong Street

Nth now overflows with the sounds, smells, iconography and artwork of Latin America.

Despite not actually being particularly hungry at all (don’t

judge – we’ve been indulging ALL DAY!), we opt for the “Tengo Hambre” (I’m Hungry) menu with a few cocktails on the side and our tastebuds are in for a treat.

it does not disappoint. Just like staying at your exceptionally

From the Elote a la Parrilla (charred corn, chilli, cheese, mayo

will cater to your every whim – and when that whim is a quick

rice, black beans, plantain, avocado and arepa), each dish is

stylish best friend’s house, the team at The Provincial Hotel

power nap and refresh after a day of foodie excess – consider it well and truly catered to.

and lime) to the Pabellon Criollo (mixed platter of pulled beef, as fresh and flavoursome as the last, perfectly accompanied by a Pineapple Spritz or Mojito.

Lola Suites are individually styled and feature a deluxe king

The celebratory atmosphere of Pancho is infectious, and it

amenities. After a kip and a freshen-up, the temptation to

ending Totopos, but the complimentary dessert (Dulce de

size bed and a generously sized bathroom with boutique

just stagger downstairs for dinner at the 55-seat Lola Dining

Room, for a bit of gourmet local produce and expertly curated vino, is strong, but we have a reservation at nearby new kid on the block, Pancho.

Free range egg pappardelle, pork & beef ragu, will have to

wait for another time (we’re booked at Lola for brekky anyway – it just wouldn’t be right to go back to back when there’s so much on offer!).

would be so easy to settle in all night for cocktails and neverleche mousse and meringue) well and truly tips us over the

edge and the decadently crisp white sheets and fluffy pillows at The Provincial are calling our names.

Sunday 9am: If you thought we’d never wake up from the

food coma we (yes, voluntarily) entered into, you wouldn’t be far off, but the promise of more foodie adventures is always

too good to pass up, no matter how many Pilates classes and runs will be required over the coming weeks to cancel this 24-hours out. >


Breakfast at Lola is a treat, the sun is shining and the natural

The low intervention wines from Eastern Peake, and Owen’s

sip our coffees and dine on fresh, light breakfast fare, while

eponymous Latta Vino range, are truly wines from wine lovers

light spills into the impeccably decorated dining room as we secretly coveting the “Lola BBB” (brioche brekky burger, bacon, cheese, pickles, fried egg, house ketchup) – maybe carbo-

loading would have been the smart choice considering our next stop is a winery, but despite my claims of a stomach

capacity rivalling that of a Ukrainian Ironbelly (where my Harry Potter fans at?), even I can’t continue like this forever.

Sunday 11am: The Eastern Peake Vineyards are set on a

small plateau at Coghills Creek in the Ballarat Highlands

some 25 km from Ballarat central. The dramatic backdrop

of the rugged granite outcrop of Mt Bolton (‘Eastern Peake’s’

namesake) is to the west of the vineyard, offering spectacular views on a sunshine-y February morning.

If you’re looking for truly special wines in the Ballarat region, you can’t go past Eastern Peake, and second-generation

winemaker Owen Latta is the Ballarat wunderkind making his mark on the Australian wine scene. Winning the prestigious

Young Winemaker of the Year in 2018, Owen’s wines continue to go from strength to strength.


more expressive, avant-garde releases under his own,

for wine lovers. A love letter to the terroir of regional Victoria,

the Lattas believe (as all the best winemakers do) that wines are made in the vineyard.

After a private tasting and tour of the vineyard and facilities

(and maybe a few purchases), the time has come to officially

declare our 24-hours (it might have been more like twenty-six, so sue us) up.

As we head back down the Western Highway we swear we may never eat again… but a few questions remain.

Did we sample everything the Ballarat region has to offer? Not even close. Does Ballarat tick all the boxes as a true foodie

destination? Without a doubt. And, most importantly, will we be back?

You can count on it. ** Make sure you check ahead of time re: opening hours, as many of Ballarat’s well-loved venues have been hit hard by COVID-19

(03) 5331 3399


(03) 5331 8931


0409 639 191


(03) 5309 3070


03 5331 5248


(03) 5320 5858




Meet Agnes Words by Della Vreeland. Pictures by Tara Moore Photography.

Agnes isn’t the name of Bridgette Yeomen’s daughter, mother

“Many of the requests came from people with very little and

sourdough starter.

“Being restricted to home meant that I had time to teach and

or even her friend. No. Agnes is the name of Bridgette’s

It is important to note however, that even though Agnes may

not be a friend to Bridgette in the human sense, she is just as alive, valuable and loved as any of the aforementioned. “I love Agnes and I’ve enjoyed learning how to read her

characteristics and behaviour. She operates within a cycle

sometimes no experience of breadmaking,” Bridgette says.

educate new bakers about Agnes and the various stages of the breadmaking process.

“Agnes has been sent off all over Australia, to places I’ve

never heard of. I remember being really fascinated by the

addresses, especially as our own movement was so limited.

and she changes with the weather and the atmosphere!”

“I love that she’s being used by the lady who lives a block

me, or a lot of people I know for that matter.

for workers in makeshift kitchens in the outback. She’s busy

Bridgette says of her starter, who sounds freakishly similar to Agnes has been a part of Bridgette’s life for some time

now. While she started experimenting with sourdough and

gathering feedback for several months leading up to this year, it wasn’t until COVID hit that she was really able to harness her love for baking bread into a small business venture.

“I was working as a relief teacher and trying to establish a

small pottery business, but then COVID hit, and everything changed very quickly,” Bridgette says.

“It was when my daughter Greta requested a loaf of bread be sent to her on the Gold Coast that I started thinking about the best way to do it. I felt that she should learn to make her own

away, and also by the incredibly resilient cooks who cater creating on stations in remote locations in Queensland,

Northern Territory and Western Australia and she’s been

popular in Tasmania. My nephew Isaac is creating with her in London and she’s also in Belgium.”

Bridgette says it’s no surprise that Agnes has been so highly sought-after, particularly during a time as trying as the

Coronavirus pandemic, when people are seeking comfort, joy and a space to realign their thoughts.

“Creating bread brings joy. It’s a fact. And it brought a new

focus to many households consumed by the uncertainty that COVID placed on us,” Bridgette says.

sourdough, so I dehydrated Agnes and I sent everything up to

“Seeing my bread in so many homes and reading all the

Coast and that was the beginning of Agnes and her travels.”

hadn’t hoped to achieve anything particularly, so the fact that

her, along with a loaf. Greta started making bread on the Gold Bridgette began showcasing the wonders of Agnes and her

baking processes on Instagram under her account Bridgette’s Bread. It wasn’t long before people from all across Australia

excited, happy, positive comments has been pretty amazing. I people all over Australia are sending me images of fabulous sourdough loaves that they loved making and gifting to others - I’m very happy with that.” >

and even overseas were requesting their own piece of the pie (or bread, in this instance).


Baking is a craft that has been instilled in Bridgette for as long as she can remember.

Coming from a family of ELEVEN(!), the kitchen was always

a busy place in her household, and she is hard-pressed to

think of a time when hot, homemade, and wholesome meals weren’t at the ready.

“I’m the second of nine children, and there was always

a ripper sponge but I’m not a great cook by any means,” she

attests. “I prefer basic, simple food and the less I have to do to it, the better!”

One thing she does affirm however, is her passion and

patience when it comes to teaching and sharing a love of baking with others.

something going in or coming out of the oven for meals

“Teaching others to make sourdough during lockdown has

from school, off the bus, down the hill, through the gate and

very proud of my bread students and their successes,” she

or school lunches,” Bridgette recalls. “I loved getting home

greeted by the smell of dinner cooking, meat and vegetables and sweets. Always sweets.”

When asked about her influences, Bridgette fondly recalls

those moments where she would watch her mum work away in the kitchen, taking one seemingly simple ingredient and

fashioning it into something completely new and delicious. “Mum was a strong influence,” she says. “My earliest memory

of the kitchen is of Mum making butter, slapping the butter to remove the salt and forming it into squares with two wooden butter pats.

“We always had a cow and it was my job to milk in the early

mornings and use the separator to make cream. Mum always made bread and at some point Dad took over and he still makesbread on a regular basis.”

It is clear that Bridgette’s childhood experiences around food

helped me feel more connected and less isolated and I’m says.

“I’m also extremely proud of those that have worked hard to understand the process and built it into their routine.”

With Australia being one of the top grain-growing countries in the world, Bridgette is a firm believer that each table should boast a quality loaf of inexpensive bread. All day. Everyday. While the process of baking one’s own bread takes

commitment, Bridgette says it is well worth it, particularly when you consider the economic and environmental implications. “Most households eat bread. It’s a staple and (baking it) is a great skill to master,” she says.

“COVID offered the perfect conditions for making sourdough and I’ve been really lucky to have had the time to teach people how to create great bread in their own kitchens.

and cooking have had a profound impact on how baking is

“My hope is that these home bakers pass their recipes and

the first to admit that she is no great cook.


now incorporated into her everyday life, even though she is


“I’ve learnt how to make great sourdough bread and I make

the story of Agnes onto the children and grandchildren of


Go out of your way to visit.glenelg.vic.gov.au


Ali at Bigibila Winery


Pyrenees? Yes Please Words and pictures by Ali Webb.

‘’Fancy heading to the Pyrenees for a few days?’’ I ask my fancy mate from New York. My American pal has lived in Victoria for some time, and like

The focus remains for only a minute before the quaint

her – perhaps she was also confusing it with the European

we’re distracted by bric-a-brac stores, a CWA shopfront, a

me she has never visited the Pyrenees. It sounded familiar to destination – but once we clarified its location on the state

map, we knew we had to get our skates on to visit one of the best kept secrets of regional Victoria.

The Pyrenees is a little Victorian treasure – a delicious slice of the regions that is often bypassed, with adventurers

distracted by the voluptuous Grampians nearby or the excitement of Ballarat’s cultural offerings.

Given that the place seems so secretive, we’re immediately drawn to this little unknown pocket and as tiny tourists we

welcome the chance to explore our very own backyard. Bali?

Nup, regional Victoria is where it’s at this summer! We saddle

up the hatchback like a modern-day Thelma and Louise and toot the horn as we drive off to the fancy Pyrenees!

Our first stop is the result of our grumbling tummies. The

Pyrenees Pantry is located in the darling-town of Beaufort.

The steaming hot homemade egg and bacon pies on display have barely had time to touch their plate before we’ve

ordered a couple to set us straight for our big adventure. With full stomachs and smiles we step out of the French-

inspired eatery, careful not to be distracted by the curated collection of homewares and the most decadent cherry cakes I have ever seen.

highway township of Beaufort wakes us up. As we wander,

quirky craft store with the owner knitting a Hawks scarf at the

counter (she had apparently forgotten the K, so was undoing

the S as we walked in) and several country op-shops offering everything from buttery soft leather coats to well-thumbed weekend reads ready to take to the local park.

Our footpath adventure takes us past old buildings, many lovingly restored to their natural state, leading us to the

Beaufort Hotel located opposite the train station. The hotel feels like a beacon in what would have once been a street filled with pubs at the height of the Gold Rush. She’s still

standing and sparkling in the sun, calling for a cold brew on a warm summer’s eve.

We pop across the road to Art Trax, an intimate art gallery

located in the original Beaufort train station which features

handmade goods and a collection of works by local artists

ranging from ceramics to drawings and watercolours. Outside the gallery on the train platform, I become fixated on a

painted wall mural acknowledging Beaufort visually. I’m drawn to this simple illustration telling the story of this beautiful town welcoming visitors from the platform.

I’m so in love with this little village, but we have to get going. Mount Buangor is calling us. >


We stop by Skinny Sisters in Beaufort to collect a picnic

With countless beers on tap and a wine list to raise the most

Motors signage above the shopfront and the secondhand

an adventure unto itself.

hamper, momentarily distracted by the delightful Beaufort store located next door.

The hamper is brimming with goodies including sandwiches,

slices, fruit, nuts and cheese and it teases us on the backseat of the car as we head towards our bushwalking adventure. The forest closes in as we drive deeper into the bush,

finally stepping out of the car into tree heaven. The bush

I sip a delicate Trio de Blancs from nearby Mount Langi Ghiran, as the chef’s selection of tapas arrives at the table. First

up are some delicious-looking croquettes, the crunch and

saltiness making my mouth water. I’m ready for more! Chilli cauliflower is next, perfectly paired with a wallaby tartare

(which makes my American guest slightly uncomfortable).

surroundings take me back to my childhood – its scent

My mate gives the dish a go with hesitation and remarks on

capturing that familiar campfire smell mixed with eucalyptus,

starter and an excellent distraction to the ongoing noise and

reminding me of family camping adventures in the 1980s, morning dew and freshly fallen bark.

its lightness and subtle gaminess. It’s a great conversation anxiety driven by the US election at play.

We eat half the picnic spread while we chat about childhood

Our bellies are then quickly filled with crispy pork and rabbit

families over summer, mentally mapping out the best spots

orange Crème Brule which we crack with a spoon at the table

camping, making promises to return to this very spot with our to pitch our tents.

empanadillas and then, to top off our extraordinary meal, an with joy.

The walk through the bush is intoxicating – it always is. Your

We step out of the Avoca and are stopped in our tracks by the

information in your head softens as you soak up the ever-

in regional Victoria. This is free, live entertainment at its very

feet find a rhythm and with each step the crazy mass of

changing sounds of birdsong and bush scents. Every corner we turn there is something new to discover, every ascent offers a new view, every descent a step closer to water.

Surrounding yourself with the Victorian bushland is more refreshing than a cool drink on a summer’s day.

We return to the car feeling reinvigorated after a three hour

walk and set the GPS for Mrs Baker’s Gin Distillery. I’ve heard of its quirkiness whispered in niche bars and I can’t wait to sip away our hard-earned thirst in the sunshine in this sneakily hidden winery and distillery.

We are met by Mr and Mrs Baker, Mr Baker takes us through

the fascinating distilling process while Mrs Baker disappears

only to return moments later with a full platter of homemade sausage rolls and relish. An act of pure magic.

We sit like well-behaved children at the rose-decorated

tasting table, ready to sample the gins which are lined up in beautiful medicine-style bottles in front of us.

We are taken through the palatable science experiment,

with Mrs Baker’s botany education shining through. Eucalypt, juniper, pepperberry, star anise, sugar and spices and

everything else is nice, being spread and shared across the table.

As we pull out of the driveway, our car slightly rattles with the sound of bottles in the back as we head to the Avoca Hotel

for dinner. I’ve been hearing good things about the Avoca for years, so my heart (and stomach) beats in anticipation.


plucked of eyebrows, the Avoca’s award-winning drink list is

sensational stars spread across the sky, celebrating this spot best.

Our accommodation for the night is the breathtaking Glut Farm owned by Sally and Larry who have a keen eye for

decorating and architectural design and gardening. My heart melts when we are greeted by a sweet little baby lamb who follows Larry around throughout the day, bleating for milk.

Sally welcomes us to the stunning space and joins us for a wine and gossip – a secret girls’ weekend away moment

where no topic is taboo and everything is fit for a giggle. The fire inside is crackling and I have no words, just the feeling of content.

I’m out like a light and then up at the crack of dawn. A walk

around Sally’s beautiful garden shows pride of place, with The Glut Farm’s vineyard offering an inspiring crop ahead as the vines stretch towards the rising sun.

After our breakfast of homemade sourdough and farm fresh eggs, we are picked up by our new mate Tim Grogan, who

runs Unwined The Pyrenees – the all-important driver to take you to the all-important wineries in the region. Tim is very

important. We jump in the car full of enthusiasm ready for our wine adventure. First stop, Blue Pyrenees Estate.

Blue Pyrenees winemaker Andrew Koerner sits down, as one

of the most delicious platters in the world is placed in front of us. Andrew has been making wine since stumbling across a

job in the trade at age 17. Decades later he is one of the finest winemakers in the state and he has the fan club to prove it. >

The Glut Farm


Blue Pyrenees Estate


Skinny Sisers

We are taken through the traditional wines of the estate and

We arrive at our accommodation for the night and my


camp site. But this is a camp site like no other – tonight we

then treated to a popular natural wine, the outstanding Pet We are seated under the vines outside and the sun is

beaming down. Blue Pyrenees is not only known for their world

class wine, but also for their events that cover everything from live music to weddings and delicious weekends away.

Tim is ready to take us to our next destination, Bigibila Winery (Bigibila meaning echidna in traditional language). The view is nothing short of sensational, with a 360-degree sweep of the vast vineyard and olive farm. This place is known for its

almighty shiraz, so I trial some with a grin and a slurp and eye off a bottle of house olive oil. Yes please! We could just settle in here all day!

But the show must go on, and we are driven down a dirt road to Taltarni Wines, where I am introduced to one of the most excitingly digestible combinations: Taltarni Blanc de Blancs with soft handmade cheese from Goldfields Farmhouse and Maldon honey. We have a sneak peek of the cellar,

surrounding ourselves with barrels and experiencing a shiraz direct from the oak barrel. I’m absolutely smitten with the

sparkling shiraz and grab a couple of bottles to join the many nestled in the back of Tim’s car.

Our final winery is the gorgeous Grape Farm Winery and

we are stopped in our tracks with the scent of empanadas

cooking. This destination is touched with a Spanish influence and I promise myself a return trip to try out their Sunday

tapas sessions. It’s hard not to imagine sitting on the lengthy veranda, sipping their sensational rosé and partaking in a never-ending feast of food and laughter with friends.


American friend squeals with delight discovering that it is a are glamping on one of the most beautifully cared for and

natural locations in the region. Cave Hill Creek is a summer camp location as well as a destination for weekend-long

weddings, but it’s the camp part that’s really got us excited. This whole adventure has really brought out some childhood

memories in both of us. We sight the archery boards, the rope course and the massive campfire with perfectly positioned logs ready for a singalong. We laugh over our delicious

dinner in the main hall about our stories of school camp and summer camp as kids, our awkward qualities as teenagers

with crushes on boys working in the camp canteen. The fire

outside crackles and we join three women celebrating their 60th birthdays. We share stories around the fire, just like we would have if we were 13 years of age.

The next morning, we are taken on a walk in the Mt Cole State

Forest by Cave Hill Creek camp-master Tim. He’s an expert on the local bush, introducing us to local flora and fauna along

the way. From the top of the mountain, we take a sticky beak

inside Dickman’s Cave where many a bushranger would have hidden back in the day. There’s something quite ethereal

about this bushland and I make note of the longer Beeripmo Walk which is a 3-day hike and camp experience.

And too soon, it’s time for us to leave. What an adventure! The Pyrenees really does hit the reset button, as you are taken

into the secretive and curious world of this diamond in the regional Vic rough.



Meet Natasha Morgan Words by Della Vreeland. Pictures supplied.

A landscape architect and urban designer by profession, and a multi-disciplinary creative collaborator by natural inclination.

Theirs is a life amongst the clouds. At least that’s how Natasha Morgan describes it. “I’m living the dream,” the mother-of-two says with glee, standing amidst the dream that is her five-acre property, Oak and Monkey Puzzle, nestled within the Wombat State Forest in the tranquil hamlet of Spargo Creek.

Natasha and her family purchased the property about six years

ago, at which point the home and garden were in a state of total disrepair.

The homestead itself had many previous lives, having been a

general store, the Spargo Creek Post Office, a pub and Recreation

Reserve. Natasha and her family spent a good year renovating the space, ensuring that the charm of yesteryear still oozes from its

four walls and further adds to the mystical character of the entire property.

“I’d always wanted a weekender, and as a landscape architect, I’d researched areas with good soil, high rainfall, rich art and culture and within an hour and a half of Melbourne,” she recalls.

“I had earmarked about nine different places in the region, but it wasn’t until eight years later when this property came up. I

remember when we first visited, I was walking through the property and adjoining forest and felt almost euphoric. I knew we had to make it happen.

“We didn’t just buy a house, we built a way of life.” >


Natasha had previously been living in an old scout hall in

After a year of strenuous work on the house and creating the

special home, drawing on its former glory. For her, bringing

hosting workshops with some of the most skilled professionals

West Footscray, from which she and her family created their history to life is a recurring passion.

Living in the city and working as a lecturer, landscape

architect and urban designer on award winning public realm projects had brought accolades, but also, with it, a degree of burnout. And even though she was at the peak of her career, she still felt desperate to escape the restraints of city life

and develop a stronger sense of connection with the natural world.

“I was in my late 30s and wanted to give myself permission to build a career that was more multi-faceted,” she says.

“When I saw this place, everything came together – the

opportunity to make, grow, teach and be immersed in country life. Even though it was a huge leap of faith, I knew I could never get all of that in the city.”

Using her architectural skills, as well as her expertise in urban design and floristry, Natasha set off on a journey to build a

hub of community that would not only bring people together, but would leave them feeling refreshed, revitalised and inspired.

“Everything happened so organically,” she says nonchalantly - though it is obvious it takes a certain someone to achieve what she has in only five years.


garden, Natasha set up her website and immediately started and artisans in the design, garden, and food industry.

“For me, the garden is a place for community,” Natasha says. “It’s designed so lots of people can inhabit it. It’s designed

to expand and contract as people come in and out. There

are lots of different spaces for all different uses and it’s not

precious. People come here as strangers and leave as friends. “I also see it as a laboratory for experimenting in landscape and design. At the start, I grew a few things I silently knew

wouldn’t grow here but I was okay with that. It’s constantly evolving and changing. It’s ephemeral.”

In addition to hosting workshops, Oak and Monkey Puzzle has acted as the perfect backdrop for luncheons, events, and

open gardens, with each event built on Natasha’s mandate of collaboration.

Over the last two years, the property has hosted the Regional

Longest Lunch with the region’s chefs, producers, winemakers

and brewers, as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, raising a combined $35,000. The money was donated to the Daylesford Primary School Kitchen Garden Program in the

first year, and divided between four of the region’s schools in the second year, to support young people benefitting from integration support.

“I’ve always promoted young creatives, especially because

“I’ve never felt that a place was more aligned with who I am.

importantly with my own children,” Natasha says. Her children,

which it sits on - with its distinct seasons, its community of

of my experience lecturing in Melbourne’s Universities and

Saffron (9) and Oliver (7), require extra support, so giving back to young people in the community brings her much joy.

This year, she is set to launch the Natasha Morgan Foundation

in a bid to raise much-needed funds for children in the region. “The organisation aims to inspire, engage and empower, and our motto will be ‘sowing seeds so great things can grow’.” Natasha proudly explains.

“My thing is reciprocity, and I’ve always said to my children

that if you treat others with kindness, good things will happen.” In addition to these admirable ventures, the flower-lover

also co-founded Consortium Botanicus, a regional cohort of

passionate growers who provide spray-free, local flowers for workshops, events, elopements and more.

In the next few months, Oak and Monkey Puzzle will also

be launching its off-the-grid Tiny House accommodation so more people can enjoy the fairy-tale surrounds of the acreage.

It is honestly bewildering how Natasha manages to maintain a sense of coherence amongst it all - mothering, creating, collaborating, designing and connecting. It’s no easy feat, especially when you’re going at it alone.

But for this wonder-woman, she never feels alone.

Not just this place where we have our home, but this land artisans, makers and thinkers, and its inclusiveness.

“It’s a reciprocal relationship between the community, this place and the seasons.”

And while the community acts as Natasha’s source of

inspiration and support, there’s no denying her connection and love for nature is equally feeding her the energy she requires to tackle each day.

“We are returning to an appreciation of the most fundamental aspects of life,” Natasha evokes. “We are connecting with community and with nature, we grow food, our quality of

life is a lot richer, we know where our food comes from and we know the people in our region who are growing and producing.”

Though this entrepreneur has faced her own fair share of

obstacles over the years – including becoming a solo parent – it hasn’t dampened her spirit or her desire to follow her dream.

“I’m just a human who followed my passions and created

something close to me. I’m just doing what I enjoy doing and I feel privileged that I made that decision to move here.

“Yes, I am living the dream, but that dream (while it might

seem daunting for many) is only a decision away, so if it calls you why wouldn’t you make it happen?”


Owners Teddy and Drew.


Holy Cannoli Ragazzone Ballarat's Big Boy Words by Ali Webb. Pictures by Louis Powlett.

There are quite a few emotions racing through my brain and

While they are only in their late twenties, the duo are modern-

new Italian eatery, Ragazzone.

establishments before opening up their own. Ragazzone is

body as I walk up to the subtle pink exterior of Ballarat’s hot But one thing is for sure. I’m very excited.

It’s been a long time between meals and I’m surprised by how much I’ve missed being in a beautiful space immersed in the scents, sounds and social activity of a restaurant.

Ragazzone is the new kid on the Ballarat block, having first

opened in March for three weeks and then adapted, albeit

quickly, to a take-away menu to align with the ever-changing conditions attached to the global pandemic. On the day I

arrive for lunch, the restaurant has been open for in-house

dining for four weeks and judging by the looks on the staff’s masked faces, they are just as excited as I am.

I’ve dressed in my “good clothes”, a welcome relief from the “home suit” I’ve become accustomed to of late. The

anticipation has been building and I’m just about bursting with joy when I’m greeted at the door.

The name Ragazzone can be roughly translated to “Big Boy”,

and it’s this subtle cheekiness that grabs your attention from the minute you step in the front door to the moment you are seated on the plush leather seats.

I’m still for a minute as I take in the wonderful design and

décor, the smiling eyes of the staff, the linen napkin folded

neatly on the table and one of the most magical playlists I have ever heard.

I’m excited. It’s not just being out of my house that has got me all giddy, it’s this venue, this place, with its enticing smells and sounds. The staff are incredibly cool, happy and welcoming. Ragazzone is co-owned by two of the most exciting gents in the regional hospitality industry, Drew Harry and Teddy Powlett.

day successes, having worked hard across a number of food

risky, not just because it’s a contemporary Italian restaurant in a 100+ year old building in the heart of Ballarat, but because it opened in a year that has been devastating for the Victorian hospitality industry.

Drew comes over and sits next to me to take my order. I

notice his tattoos immediately – it’s hard not to as they cover both of his arms – and I’m drawn to the clever illustrations of

pasta! Immediately I’m aware of just how much passion and

love has been put into this place. Risk? Tsk tsk, these guys are thrill-seekers.

I choose the Casarecce, a joyful plate of homemade pasta topped with a locally made pork and fennel sausage,

broccolini, cherry tomato and buffalo mozzarella. My order

is in and I watch the chef lovingly prepare it right in front of

me, the scent of garlic wafts gently across the room. How I’ve missed this!

Sommelier Anthony Schuus steps over to my table with

confidence, and I don’t even request to see the wine list as I get the vibe that he’s going to match my meal perfectly with a slurp of something fine. And I’m right. He pours me

a crunchy white for me to down with my plate of pasta. It’s perfect. I feel completely immersed and spoilt. This is what

restaurant dining is all about – the performance, the activity,

being valued and that beautiful feeling that you are a part of something very special.

Ballarat has been a gastronomic destination for some time; a place to see and be with its lively cultural scene paired with renowned wine and produce growers, but the city

still manages to surprise me, grabbing my attention with

something quirky or unexpected. Ragazzone certainly has captured my curiosity, it’s so energetic. >


The Casarecce arrives and I feel drunk on the aromas floating

"Hospitality is a great outlet for creativity and if you can go to

dinners at the kitchen bench has made me so thankful for this

you’re working.

across the room. Actually being IN a restaurant after months very moment, I almost want to say grace out loud in honour of the chef. Instead, I eat. With my eyes closed.

Head Chef Liam Downes has designed a short and sweet, homestyle lunch menu. Its simplicity is attractive: bagel,

meatball sub, a mouth-watering arancini, through to the

serious stuff – gnocchi, casarecce, carbonara and to top it all off, dessert. Holy Cannoli.

As I enjoy my pasta – which has all the touches of a chef who

has worked in fine dining - I open my eyes and I’m intoxicated

“It’s rare to find a passion-driven career and hospitality is the only gig that ticks all the boxes for me.”

Obviously, the hard work has paid off and the passion and enthusiasm remain.

Drew approached Teddy with the Ragazzone concept and

together they have brought it to life. Chefs Liam Downes and Paul Sing were brought in with their fine dining Italian cuisine skillset, but have put their own modern spin on the plates.

with joy. Everyone working here is so attractive, perfectly

Plates spin. My head spins. I’m ready for the Holy Cannoli. Drew

energetic. The soulful soundtrack has made me smile, the

and soft chocolate with cacao nib. They are presented in a

complementing the design of the space: edgy, flirtatious,

brings the sweet delicacies over to me: ricotta with hazelnut

staff are really enjoying being here, and so am I.

heavenly format, like a gem in a ring box. I’m committed. I do.

I want to know more.

As I get ready to leave, I realise I’ve been lost in the Ragazzone

Drew and Teddy both grew up in Ballarat and met working in hospitality. They have watched the city develop, with great new restaurants and bars popping up regularly. Ballarat’s

ever-changing hospitality scene carved a dream for the then

world for over two hours; a surreal world of cinematic music,

sublime flavours, softly spoken chefs, sensational sips of wine and, quite simply, a superb smile on my face. Welcome back restaurant dining. We’ve missed you.

teenagers who have since gone on to work in and establish

Ragazzone is ready to be discovered at 319 Mair Street,

Moon & Mountain, Winner Winner and The Faux Social Club.


some of the city’s most-exciting venues. Teddy also oversees “It’s a cliché,” says Teddy. “You have to work your way up:

from washing dishes, clearing glasses at nightclubs, mopping floors and toilets, then progressing to floor and bar work.


work every day feeling like it’s not a ‘job’ then it doesn’t feel like

Ballarat. Book ahead to secure your front row kitchen seat.

Commerce Ballarat wishes you a safe and fun filled Christmas. We encourage

you to shop local and support our businesses, their families and the community during their

recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

#ShopBallarat #SpendBallarat


Make a local business smile this Christmas...

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Discovering Glenelg You don’t find yourself in Glenelg by accident. You find it with a purpose; with the intent of ditching the urban rush and finding solace in untouched landscapes.

It’s for explorers who are willing to take the time to experience the utterly unique and seek space alongside scenery.

Glenelg is idyllically remote and ecologically diverse. Home to flowing rivers

and expansive oceans, thousand-year old cultural and geographic marvels, dotted with historic townships.

Take a step off the edge of the Earth and visit the place where the beach meets the deep and the ocean’s biggest fish, swells and whales can be experienced from the breakwater.

Here’s a taste of what you can discover… At the far western end of the Great Ocean Road, just before you enter South Australia, Glenelg boasts a variety of world class nature-based attractions, enticing and enchanting explorers who are willing to take a step off the beaten track.

In the southern pocket of the region sits the breathtakingly picturesque

Bridgewater Bay, arguably one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches with its

stunning deep blue waters and coastal cliffs that stretch in a perfect crescent around the rim of a huge, ancient volcano crater.

If you can fight the temptation to just sit and bask alongside the ancient rock formations soaking up that view, this coastal hamlet offers no shortage of

activities or spectacular sites. Take in the surreal landscape of the petrified

forest, truly one of the natural wonders of the world. Watch as the sea spray blasts metres skyward at the natural blowholes or dive into one of the invigorating freshwater springs.

Take a hike along the world-class Great South West Walk, which offers an abundance of scenery, see the large breeding colony of fur seals, lose

yourself in the enchanted forest, walk its rugged cliffs, take in its sublime bays, breathe in its tranquil air and be gaze in awe on the pristine river. There is

something for everyone, shorter accessible two-hour loop walks, day trips, or for the more intrepid walker, a 250km hike that weaves through four National Parks across the capes of Discovery Bay and trails the Glenelg River.

Head closer to the South Australia border and you will find Nelson, a tiny

township located on the mighty Glenelg river, whose population swells during the summer season. This tranquil location offers ocean, estuary, river and not one, but two, National Parks. Visit the Cape Nelson Lighthouse, enjoy boating,

river and ocean fishing, swimming, snorkelling, bird watching, water skiing and canoeing. A nature lovers’ playground, unspoilt beaches and rivers provide a haven for soaking up the riches of this coastal town. >



While in the neighbourhood don’t make the mistake of

Wander streets dotted with beautifully maintained heritage

limestone cave located in Lower Glenelg National Park

busy harbour. Watch the local fishing fleet unload its catch,

bypassing the Princes Margaret Rose Cave, a little-known featuring actively growing stalactites, stalagmites and

helictites. Arguably the most decorated cave per square

metre in Australia, carved out by tidal water around 800,000 years ago, it is also part of the Kanawinka Geotrail and a

wander through its depths will delight both young and old alike.

Moving deeper inland through the quaint townships of

Dartmoor and Heywood you will find yourself at the recently

UNESCO listed Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. For thousands of years the Gunditjmara people have been living, breathing and following in the footsteps of their

ancestors, join them via guided tours with local Gunditjmara rangers. This breathtaking cultural landscape is situated in

some of the region’s best bushland, so don’t forget to pack a picnic.

The northern corner of Glenelg is a world away from the

rugged coastal clifftops, providing instead an abundance of historic charm. The major township of Casterton is idyllically nestled among the rolling hills and river red gums of the

buildings and dine on great pub fare while overlooking the

walk the foreshore, spot the resident seals and, if you’re lucky, have a close encounter with a Southern Right whale in the harbour.

Explore Victoria's birthplace by the sea onboard Portland

Cable Trams, travel along the historic foreshore and enjoy the breathtaking views of the bay. The iconic tram stops at the

WWII Memorial Lookout Museum, the whale viewing platform,

Portland Botanic Gardens, Portland Maritime Discovery Centre, Powerhouse Motor and Car Museum and the Portland Cable Tram Depot and Museum.

Portland is definitely worth an extended stay with so much to

do in the hinterland. Take the kids to pick their own berries at the renowned strawberry farm at Bolwarra, or head out for a

day trip to Narrawong, situated at the mouth of the Surry River. Along with a wonderful river and beach, Narrawong offers

some amazing gardens and galleries. Lose yourself in a world of wonderful art, find yourself roaming the rows of lavender or just be at one with nature. No matter what you fancy be sure not to miss what this little, yet wonderful town has to offer.

Glenelg River valley, tempting you to stay and explore the

There is something for everyone in Glenelg. World class

heritage buildings and friendly country hospitality make it

without the tourist traps.

legendary history of ''Kelpie Country”. The town's leafy streets, a pleasure to stay and visit its galleries, bakery, cafes and boutiques.

beaches without the crowds. Roads without the traffic. Towns Go out of your way to discover Glenelg. www.visit.glenelg.vic.gov.au

Winding your way back to the coast through the tiny hamlets of Merino and Digby you will arrive in Portland, a thriving city by the sea.



Johnny Alloo Words by Della Vreeland. Pictures by Melissa Brennan Her Golden point.

Firing up the La Marzocco isn’t just about making a good coffee for Ballarat’s Matthew Freeman.

The owner of much-loved cafés Fika and Johnny Alloo knows all too

well the community culture that is nurtured over a decent cup of joe. “Cafés attract people from all walks of life, and are less class-divisive than high-end dining experiences,” Matt says.

“The sense of community that comes from such a place can’t be understated.”

Starting out in the hospitality industry in a small café when he

was 18, Matt went to work at a few pubs before becoming a sales representative in a wholesale food distribution company.

Soon after, he made the decision to open up his first café, and nothing was going to stand in his way.

“I needed more hands-on experience, so I applied for a job at St Ali Coffee Roasters where I worked as a barista from Friday to Sunday while also working in my sales role from Monday to Thursday,” he recalls.

“I did this for a year, which allowed me to save money and gain the

skills I needed to open my own place. It was a really challenging year, but I had a goal and it needed to be done.”

It was during his stint at St Ali that he came to truly love and appreciate the bustling energy of the hospitality industry.

“I loved the culture and energy that came with it,” he says. “The fact

that many strangers frequent these venues and become friends just through that common place.”

Since opening Fika in 2015, Matt has provided locals and visitors alike with a hub for good coffee, good food and good conversation.

At the end of last year, he opened up his next venture, Johnny Alloo.

The eatery pays tribute to one of Ballarat’s leaders in the hospitality industry, John Alloo, who opened the first documented Chinese restaurant on the goldfields. >


“We wanted to celebrate hospitality within Ballarat’s heritage,

“Fika was designed as a Scandinavian minimalist venue,

We were excited about what he did, bringing people together

the late 60s and early 70s. It was a time of great aesthetics

and that’s when we came across the story of Johnny Alloo.

over food and drinks, which in essence was the beginning of the hospitality industry in Ballarat.”

For Matt, opening up Johnny’s was a case of right place at the right time. He saw an opportunity to bring a heritage building back to life and connect people over delicious food.

“My goal is to blur the lines between café and restaurant, so you can still get a coffee but you can also have some

cooking that is as good as what you would expect from a nice restaurant,” Matt says.

“The cafe industry has morphed into far more than just coffee, eggs and toast, and Johnny’s is designed to be a place that

does all those things well, but also a place where you can get a lovely fresh seafood salad and a glass of chardonnay for lunch.”

In-line with the interior of Fika, Johnny Alloo boasts a sleek

minimal design, but oozes art-deco elegance with its radius edging and use of natural materials like natural stone and American Oak. Matt and his team have indeed honoured

the 1870s building, while adding design elements from both decades gone by and today.

“I wanted to celebrate the building in its raw form, so have exposed all the brickwork that has massive amounts of

character. Then there’s the modern joinery that is a contrast to the building itself.


but Johnny’s is designed with a nod to the art deco age of through design.”

Growing up on a farm near Buninyong, Matt moved to

Melbourne to study commerce, traveling to and from the city and Geelong.

But it wasn’t long before Ballarat drew him back. “I returned to Ballarat as it offers such a great mix of a

beautiful landscape to enjoy and enthusiastic people trying to make it more exciting.

“I love that you can be in the heart of the city, then within minutes you can be in complete peace within the bush.”

It’s clear that this sense of connection, contentment and

peace is something Matt tries to recreate for his customers. “What my staff and I really focus on is truly understanding what it is to be within the hospitality industry,” Matt says.

“It is about building a community around a venue, making

people feel at home and unpressured, encouraging people to communicate and enjoy each other’s company.

“The goal is to build a place that many people enjoy

frequenting. A place that beautifully accompanies social interactions.”


Words by Liana Skewes. Pictures supplied.


The sense of smell is more closely linked to memory than any of our other senses and it’s something Amanda obviously understands as part of her profession.

“Scent has this incredible ability to allow you to time-travel. To close your eyes and inhale a scent or note can take you back to your favourite memories, a connection to another time and place. It can instantly bring about a feeling

Amanda is a perfumer. Her favourite scent growing up was Gardenia, “I am pretty sure it was in my Nana’s perfume she would spray before we went out for a day trip.”

of comfort, of love, of happiness. A lady once approached me, who had

experienced one of my scents. She wept as she explained that it reminded

her of her grandmother. What a powerful ideal that scent/perfume, can gift you a connection to a time and place that no longer exists.”

Amanda understands this so well that she custom designs scents for homes,

businesses and Airbnbs, so that fragrance helps create a sense of place and belonging.

“I moved to the mountains (Grampians, Victoria) 16 years ago at the age

of 24. I still remember the day I made the decision to move from the big-

smoke to be with my partner, in a small country town six hours away with a

population of 300 people in the middle of the mountains. Sitting in peak-hour traffic on my way to work, I remember thinking, ‘Why am I doing this? What is the point of it all?’ I couldn’t answer the question. So, it was time to change.

“The Grampians. Everything makes sense here. I feel more connected to the purpose of life, to the changing seasons and to the people around me. The

freedom of breath allows space for creativity to flourish, it allows thoughts to develop and it gives me the personal freedom to spend my days how I wish. Foraging, scent seeking and creating tinctures and perfumes.”

Amanda’s journey to becoming a perfumer started around 19 years ago

when her lecturer, noticing she was bored, gave her a cryptic invitation to a

get together. The invite was a plain white card with nothing but an address in

heavy black ink. The woman’s sense of style and obvious taste combined with Amanda’s curiosity prevented her from throwing the card in the bin.

On the agreed date, in mid-winter, rugged up against the cold, she found her way to the address down a small laneway. The location was an uninspiring staircase down to “what looked like a basement”.

The door itself was weathered, unkempt and graffitied. She trusted the

address on the card and knocked. She was greeted by her lecturer and

welcomed into “a largish room crowded with older women, amber bottles

scattered, rows and rows of shelves congested with dusty books, and strange items in clear glass apothecary jars.” She was introduced to the group,

seated and made to feel at home before she even knew what she was there for.

She whispered to the lady beside her to find out. The woman replied,

“we make perfume, we drink and we joke about our husbands!” Amanda

continues, “They had been meeting for years. Hiding away in their own little

bubble. They taught me as much as I could learn behind the graffitied door, with their colourful hats, loud voices, warm smiles and big hearts. A love of perfumery and to be myself, unapologetically.”

Aside from scent design, Amanda also develops and produces an exclusive product – zero waste “Cleanse Bars”. >


“Living in the mountains you become acutely aware of how

“This year I had planned classes for Victoria, NSW and QLD but

Pa installed an ethic early on, one of not being wasteful. I

with people, so I put together the "Perfumer’s Kit". Containing

your living impacts the natural environment. My Nana and remember the soap Nana had, we would hand-wring the

washing, mend clothes and handpick vegetables for tea -

simple living. Cleanse Bars are all we need. We simply don’t

need hand/body wash in plastic bottles, nor does the earth. “I wanted to combine my love of scent with the simple soap bar. My Cleanse Bars filled with a concoction of aromas,

intriguing and unique, complex and beautiful. Now every bar has its own story and its own completely unique scent. They are wholly wrapped in Elephant Dung Paper which is made

from 100% waste material. No bleaches or acids are used, only natural salt to dye the paper. This is zero waste and beautiful.” Having a local with such in depth knowledge of the world

of scents is a boon to regional Victorians... especially when

Amanda is so willing to share her knowledge with the world. “I sometimes run short classes, but it is intentionally with the hope that students have fun and experiment. They have

access to my library of scents from all around the world. I

couldn’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon than to create a scent for yourself.”

But obviously, scent is something that must be experienced and can’t be done through a screen. So, the events of this

year have thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. But Amanda has been ready and willing to rise to the occasion.


this was not meant to be. I still wanted to connect and create everything you need to make up your own perfume at home. I tried my hand at an online video for people to play along at home, but there is also a cheat-sheet in the kit to help you along.”

Amanda’s fragrances are also available in popular 10ml tester sizes so you experience them for yourself, at home.

“Each perfume scent is translated into a picture and the

description includes the key notes to make it easy for you to choose your favourite scent online. Every single perfume is

made by hand, meticulously designed and created with love and purpose.”

If you haven’t found Amanda yet on Instagram, what are

you waiting for? She shares beautiful stories, moment and discoveries as well as what she sees and experiences as perfumer.

She shares her story with shots of “the morning sun’s light

magnifying the colour of the tinctures. The wall of hundreds of glass bottles lined up in wait. The delicate peels, petals, bark and leaves in scripted jars. I want you to feel welcome and part of my world...”

… Just like she did all those years ago, down a basement staircase, in a room full of amber bottles, laughter and brandy.

From ancient Greek, symbolising sun and radiance, Ilios is a rare variety of Yellow Rose. Our Ilios is a sanctuary, a place of warmth and welcome, where you can come to reclaim your skin’s health, own your confidence and love your whole self. Come on in.

A. 317a Learmonth Street, Buninyong P. 5341 3078 W. www.iliosskin.com.au 45


Locals Rally Words by Shona Hendley. Pictures by Angela Hayward.

As a HUGE animal lover, when I was offered the opportunity to meet baby koala joey, Milo and her mum, Gracie at the Ballarat Wildlife Park recently, saying no was never an option. And I must say the experience was everything I’d imagined it would be and more. A koalawee-filled-boot more in fact...

Yes, despite Gracie taking my photo opportunity as her toileting one, having the chance to say hello to her and her new arrival was worth every last warm drop (and certainly made it an encounter I won’t be forgetting any time soon).

And it is experiences like this (well, potentially preferably without the wee) that

make the Ballarat Wildlife Park a local institution and such a tourism drawcard for the region, something that has taken a bit of a hit with the impact of

COVID-19, causing the park’s extended closure not once but twice this year. “COVID has been really hard,” says Julia Leonard, Ballarat Wildlife Park Curator. “It was hard on the keepers but also on the animals too. The animals love interacting with the visitors and we noticed when the visitors didn’t come

the dingos were sitting down looking a bit sorry for themselves, the meerkats and tigers really noticed too. When this happened, we had to really up our

interaction with them. We don’t stop doing what we need to do for the animals.” As the gates remained closed, the park still continued on behind the scenes attending to the animals with enormous support from the local community. “The cost of running a wildlife park is immense, so Small Dog Design, our

website designer started a GoFundMe page to raise funds and so did the

Anglican Church of Ballarat. It was so nice of them to do that for us.” Julia continues.

In addition to monetary donations, Julia explains that many local residents

contacted the park and provided gum tree branches for the koalas, and local businesses also supported them through the donation of goods, including Wilsons Fruit and Vegetables, who supplied produce for the animals. The support from both individual and business sponsors, including: Ballarat

Sanctuary Day Spa, Sovereign Press, Karon Farm Coffee, Food Works Buninyong, Westpac Ballarat and Kwik Kopy was significant.

Despite the challenges of 2020, the work of conservation through the park’s

breeding programs has still seen great success, with many super cute arrivals joining the family, including three Tasmanian Devil joeys.

For the Tasmanian Devil, which is currently critically endangered in the wild due to a Devil Facial Tumour Disease that has spread to 90 percent of the species

population in their native region of Tasmania, breeding successes like this are incredibly significant for their survival.

“We are the first privately owned park to have bred the Tasmanian Devils and we have now bred them three years in a row,” explains Julia. >


The three devil joeys: Neville (the devil), Onyx and Vadar

As well as mating programs, the Ballarat Wildlife Park seeks to

Father’s Day, letting dads suggest names for the babies.

greet animal encounters and to help raise the awareness of

(Darth Vadar) were named through a competition linked with “Neville is a true devil and the most difficult to handle, while

Vadar isn’t really living up to his name, he is more Sooky Vader than Darth Vader,” Julia jokes.

Another important arrival in terms of conservation (and

cuteness) was the birth of baby Southern Hairy Nose Wombat, Piggy.

“Southern Hairy Nose Wombats are very hard to breed

in captivity, so this was extremely exciting and important breeding,” says Julia.

“Unfortunately, mum threw the baby out of her pouch, so I

have been hand raising him and he is now a robust sevenkilogram piggy wombat.”

In addition to the three devils and Piggy there has also been

six baby koala joeys born including Milo, Lenny and Dot, some of whom are offspring of rescue koalas that were recused by the park a few years ago; as well as several kangaroo joeys

and even a new saltwater crocodile, a hatchling of one of the park’s best-known identities, Crunch.

“Breeding animals in captivity, if they are endangered in the

wild, is really important because you can use that information to help the ones in the wild. Considering that the Northern Hairy Nose Wombat is the most critically endangered

mammal in Australia, with only about 200 (left) in the wild, if information from our success with the Southern Hairy Nose

Wombat breeding can be used to help institutions where they do breed the (Northern) for conservation, hopefully we can help contribute to that success program.”


educate the public through its demonstrations and meet and certain species.

“Allowing people to pat the koalas and have the animal encounters is a really important tool for conservation. If

people can connect with an animal, they tend to think about it and want to save it.”

Take world famous “Wombassador” Patrick, who was listed as number three on CNN’s Travel City Mascot of the World and who has nearly 70,000 followers on his Facebook page.

“Patrick really touched many people and when he passed

away we received many letters and emails from around the

world from people who connected with him and said how he had helped them through their own challenges,” Julia says.

All of these letters have been archived at the State Library of Victoria.

Now it seems there is a new Wombat star in the making with wombat joey, Piggy becoming a popular feature of Patrick’s

Facebook page, regularly amassing thousands of likes in his posts, along with his other wombat friends of course, who

were also a popular talking point of the public on the day of my visit.

As well as plentiful discussion of how cute “Piggy Wom” is and the warmly familiar sight of children feeding the kangaroos,

what made me smile the most as I left the park (a little more

koala like than when I came in) were the excited dingoes who were running around once again as visitors watched on. It was the Ballarat Wildlife Park just as it should be.


Nestled in a tranquil part of the community, your new life in the Lucas Sanctuary neighbourhood will have you closely connected to nature with the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail and largest wetlands precinct in Lucas right on your doorstep.

Contact Luke or Kym on 03 5326 0307 or visit lucasballarat.com.au



Vegas & Rose Words by Ellen Muller. Picture by Liana Skewes.

A Q&A with the ever lovely Penthea from Vegas and Rose and Uncover writer Ellen Muller, talking about food, community and social distancing.

It’s been over a year since beloved local café, Vegas and

There’s the occasional question about “What does this

so what does social distancing look like for a business already

back flip on the trampoline for PE?” I think they’re enjoying

Rose, closed its doors and transitioned to “online food shop”, based from home?

We spoke to Penthea from Vegas & Rose on business,

community support and family during this challenging time, and what people’s favourite isolation snacks seem to be. Vegas and Rose made the shift in 2018 from bricks and

mortar to being a predominately online business, why did you decide to make that change?

Closing my café wasn’t planned, it happened all of a

sudden. My health wasn’t great, I had pretty much burnt out.

mean?” or “Can you please take a video of me doing this the feeling of not having to rush off to school, oh and the neverending supply of snacks!

What challenges has social distancing placed on you as a

small business? Have you needed to make changes on how you do things – such as deliveries?

Not having a bricks and mortar store has meant that a lot

of our business is not always done face to face. Often, I’ll be

delivering an order for someone and they may not be home, so I wouldn’t see them anyway.

Becoming an online store happened after I had some rest

Being a food business, means that we have good hygiene

but I guess I knew opening another café wasn’t on the cards –

best friend when I’m out and about! It has been strange

and time to think. I missed my business, missed our customers and I’m pretty sure my family would disown me if I decided to

open another one! Setting up Vegas & Rose as an online store was the next best thing to having a bricks and mortar one. How’s your family coping with social isolation? Is it a challenge with your kids being home more?

We’re actually all doing pretty well. Thankfully, we all seem to get along! The kids are old enough to be able to get on with their schoolwork without too much supervision from us.

procedures in place already - and Hand Sanitiser is now my though, social distancing myself from customers when I do happen to see them.

How was Easter this year different for Vegas and Rose compared to previous years?

This Easter was pretty busy for us. I lost track of how many

batches of brownies I baked! We would usually have Easter

with our extended family, but this was the first Easter I worked all weekend. >


Have you noticed any boxes or sweets which have been a

This person worked crazy hours in the health care profession

Chocolate Brownies! The boysenberry cheesecake brownies

Since Covid-19 I’ve been delivering fresh healthy meals to

particular favourite over the last month?

have been pretty popular, and they’re gluten friendly. Our

Grazing Boxes have also been really popular too – so many people are gifting cheese at the moment.

Do you have a current favourite product? Our Maple + Pecan Crunch Granola. It’s great for snacking on!

I have a real sweet tooth and could eat cakes, biscuits all day, but... I try not to!

How important is community support right now? We’d be lost without it. So many of our hospitality friends

are doing it tough right now and have had to reinvent how they do business. It’s been so great to see the community supporting them through this.

What are the ways Vegas and Rose have maintained

meaningful connections with their customers and the community during this time?

Before all of this started, I was doing some regular catering for a long-time customer from our café days.


and didn’t have much spare time to cook or plan meals.

stock up their freezer, with the occasional brownie thrown in! What do you miss most? And what makes you thankful right now?

I miss coffee dates, wine dates, dinner dates, art gallery

dates. I miss my family in Melbourne. And I miss watching my kids play soccer with their friends.

I feel thankful we live in a warm house with a decent size backyard and space for a veggie patch. I feel incredibly thankful I am able to work.

What are your hopes for Ballarat, both during this time and into the future?

I’m hopeful that Ballarat businesses get back to where they were before. It’s all so uncertain though, isn’t it?

Featuring Jacki Whitwell, Prashanth Naidoo,

Larry Vila Puca, Natasha Morgan, Matt Harvey,


Jacki Whitwell

Lake Tyrell at dusk with the full moon rising. Lake Tyrell is a unique inland salt encrusted lake in the Mallee region of north-western

Victoria and is on the traditional lands of the Boorong people.

Jacki and her family left the trappings of

suburban Melbourne almost two years ago to make Ballarat home.

Now, building a home among the tree tops of Invermay, she is embarking on a journey to uncover the magic of the environment

we live in and embrace all things local in our community and surrounds.

Her photography is grounded in a love

of nature, big and small and a curiosity in exploring countryside quirks. Jacki is embracing all things local on her tree

change journey @theroadtoinvermay


Prashanth Naidoo

Picnic by the lake -> A top down photo

of a couple enjoying a sunset picnic on

the famous T-jetty on the banks of Lake

Wendouree. One of the most photographed spots in Ballarat, I hoped to highlight the

symmetry of the composition and portray the jetty from a unique, novel perspective Prashanth Naidoo is a junior doctor and amateur drone photographer who has

become fascinated with the use of drones

to create breathtaking aerial photography from novel perspectives. He has lived and worked in Ballarat for the last three years, in which he has developed his skills as a

photographer while exploring the beautiful

regional Victorian landscapes. He has held

two solo exhibitions in Ballarat and has been featured by a number of prominent brands

including National Geographic Australia and Kathmandu Australia.


Larry Vila Puca


Leanne Riggs

The Nannies - Much like the saying “it takes a village”, you might be surprised to note that neither of these mares are the foal’s dam

(mum). The dam was a hundred odd metres away having a well-earned break while the two nannies took care of her foal.

Leanne has always been a creative having

studied both graphic art and photographer

in high school but it wasn’t until after her dad died that she started to pour her emotions

into creating. For Leanne, it’s all about feeling something more than human life and trying to capture that emotion. The way light

makes flowers glow, leaves glisten in the

rain, animals shine like pearls… and of course rainbows.


Matt Matt Harvey Harvey


Commercial, and editorial photographer. Although I’m based in Melbourne, country Victoria is where I’m

from, and where my heart is. Exploring lonely roads seeking the Stubble fire remnant.

(detailing the fire break, and a gated fence) Wickliffe, Victoria. February 2020 Aerial digital composite image.

unexpected. Wandering in the mountains, riding bikes, paddling small boats, shooting the natural environment are some of the things that make me tick, and click… mattharveyphoto.com



e r  . p . t m r E f D o The quality of wine coming out of Western Victoria has never

been better and if you are looking to mix it up a bit – there has never been a better time to give some incredible, local, under the radar winemakers a crack. We’ve all heard the adage that “when you buy from a small business, a real person

does a happy dance” – well when you buy from a small wine maker, you’re giving a real, incredibly hard working artisan

Words by Charlotte D. Nay. Pictures by Sarah Frank Photography.

the opportunity to crack a bottle (of their own!) bubbly and celebrate into the wee hours.

We spoke to up and coming wino Tash Webster from Empire

of Dirt wines about her background, her wine making process

When it comes to Aussie wines, we all know the big gun regions – The Barossa, the Yarra Valley, the Hunter, but if your January 1st resolutions for the new decade involved anything even tangentially wine related (“visit a new wine region”, “try a new varietal”, or even the evergreen “drink less, but better”) maybe it’s time to focus a little more on the underrated regions in our own backyard.

and the struggle to break through the noise of the very crowded Australian wine industry…

First thing’s first - our readers love an origin story. Yours and the wine’s… so fill us in!

I grew up in Orange (NSW), in and around the pub my

great grandmother started. She was one of the first female

publicans in Australia and Kelly’s Rugby Hotel was in the family for 94 years.

Growing up, I wanted to be David Attenborough, but coming from a very practical family I got talked out of studying

animals (“There’s no jobs in animal research and care”). My next thought was to become a winemaker, but again I was

talked out of it (“The only place you’ll get a job is in the Hunter

or Barossa”), so I went off to Macquarie University and studied Biochemistry and Microbiology with a Diploma of Education

tacked on to make me employable. I ended up teaching high school science, and HSC Chemistry.

I had an amazing time but knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever so I got a lab job processing cell samples and pap-smears. Again, it still wasn’t right so I ended up taking a job at the local vet clinic. Ten years of vet nursing and

adopting a menagerie of animals later, I left work to have my three beautiful children. >


After the third child I started going stir-crazy at home in Geelong and offered to wash some barrels for the

winemaker living across the road. Suddenly the desire to get into wine was reignited and he helped me get a job

as a cellar hand. I enrolled in the winemaking degree at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in 2012 and I was off!

I think it’s fair to say that I am finally in the right place. Wow – quite the process then! So, how did Empire of Dirt come about?

OK, so in 2017 I started up two other labels with another winemaker but due to differences in winemaking

philosophies, and life events, this fell apart. It was an

amazing lesson in starting up a business but ultimately it was never destined to succeed.

During 2018 I was in a pretty dark place, my marriage

was ending and I naturally starting listening to all the dark and depressing angsty music of my youth. One

song that got a lot of play was Hurt, by Nine Inch Nails, which has the lines:

“And you could have it all, My empire of dirt,

I will let you down,

I will make you hurt” At the time it resonated pretty heavily because it felt like

everything I’d built in my life had ended up amounting to nothing, but with time it actually evolved into a positive feeling of starting from scratch to build myself a wine empire!

It also sits well with me because I do believe great wine comes from the soil (people don’t obsess about terroir for nothing), so respecting that in my name felt good. I

think in time the name may evolve into something else but right now it still inspires me to keep building.

And you mentioned studying winemaking – what’s that like?

I studied a Bachelor of winemaking at CSU and

graduated as Dux, which was an achievement I worked very hard for and am proud of.

It would be remiss of me to not point out, when at

residential schools in Wagga, it’s not all work, the wine students play pretty hard too. The number of wine/

viticulture students going through CSU was quite small

wine… So, what’s the hardest part about your job?

Well, I think the biggest myth about winemaking is that it involves a lot of standing around barrels swirling a glass of wine in your hand.

Obviously regularly tasting the wines as they evolve

is imperative, but the bulk of the job is cleaning, and cleaning, and lugging heavy equipment, and did I

mention cleaning? You have no idea how much harder

it is to make great wine if your cellar hygiene is not up to scratch. And there is no worse feeling as a winemaker

than getting a wine into bottle and then discovering a

fault that could have been prevented… learnt that one early on.

But honestly (the hardest thing), is getting retailers

to try the wine in the first place. Because I’m still only

small I don’t have a distributor, and many places aren’t

interested in seeing you unless you are (a distributor). It is frustrating.

So how do you cut through the noise and get your

name out there? There are *so* many wine labels on offer!

Oh my god that is the hardest thing!!! I love making wine, but marketing and selling is not my strong point. You

need real resilience and the ability to be vulnerable to

put yourself out there over, and over again. I guess I just try to be as real as I can; I couldn’t present my wines if I didn’t believe in them.

Once the wine is in a restaurant/wine bar/bottle shop

you then need a great label or name to catch the eye and make people give it a go.

OK – I’m so glad you mentioned labels – because

your labels are amazing! What’s the story behind the tattoo??

The octopus on the label was inspired by an octopus tattoo I have on my forearm. They are the most

incredible creatures and I’ve been fascinated by

them my whole life. I guess there is still a bit of David Attenborough still in me!

I am in love. Thank you so much for chatting with us,

can I ask you for one last piece of wine wisdom to leave our readers with?

so we quickly gravitated towards each other.


So… any particularly wild nights to report?

There is less sulphur in wines than there is in sliced

Some of the tasting nights took… unexpected turns.

Involving fire extinguishers, piñatas, and a salted Zorro, and I’ll leave it there.


Fair, but it’s certainly not turning me *off* studying

bread, dried fruit, and orange juice.

Mind officially blown. I am now off to replace my toast and OJ with a few glasses of red…

e n i L up

The 2017 Emerge Sparkling, which Tash

describes as “a little unusual in style”. It’s

“rustically” disgorged off Tash’s own back

balcony, resulting in some retained sediment,

so you might need to be a touch careful when pouring the last glass. But do not let this turn you off!

If you’re partial to a zingy lemon tart, with a

side of cream and strawberries – add a bottle of this one to your shopping list. Summery

and endlessly refreshing, it tastes like French Champagne and will definitely impress your

wine wankery friends more than yet another bottle of Chandon.

Empire of Dirt’s most popular drop, the 2018

Ink Gamay. A varietal that, according to Tash, has “only recently returned to favour in wine

drinkers” – this wine is super juicy and way too

easy to drink. It’s not hard to see why this one is a crowd favourite.

Tash’s favourite – the 2018 Blood Shiraz. Look,

I know I’m supposed to be the writer here, but honestly, Tash puts it best herself…

“It has the brooding depth of flavour that I love from Victorian Shiraz, and it reminds me a little of shirazes from the Great Western region. It’s the type of red I love to drink, full of flavour without too much alcohol heat.” Amen. And last, but not least – an exclusive sneaky peak at the newly released 2019 Lyra

Chardonnay – aka sunshine in a glass. This is a drop that will please old school and new school Chardy lovers alike. With just

enough new oak contact and malo, the Lyra

is incredibly creamy, but not too much so; the citrus zing and natural acidity has a definite

bite, but just enough. It smells of honeysuckle

and lemon meringue pie and is sinfully smooth with a long, lingering citrusy finish that will

make you come back for more (and more, and more!).

The Lyra is truly the Goldilocks of wine. You heard it here first. Juuuuuust right.


The "Goop" Box Words by Brigid Moloney.

One of the things we don’t usually give explicit details to expecting parents about, is the fact that there will be A LOT of mess. Not the toys on the floor kind of “mess”, but the kind where you wonder how such a little body can produce so much GOOP.


The variety of goop I want to talk about today is vomit.

Dr Pat, new to our family (and, let’s be frank, even though

you are an unsuspecting... I mean new parent, bookmark it

ZERO experience with toddlers, and gave his diagnosis “He

Perhaps don’t read this while you’re having breakfast, but if and come back later.

We want you to be forewarned. After having four kiddos, there’s been various bouts of vomit in the last 17 years. Some my own, that is to be expected - when gastro hits a big family there’s collateral damage.

The first tip I have for you, teach your kids from an early age to neatly and efficiently vomit into a toilet. If the vomiting

continues into the wee hours, put a towel covering their pillow and a towel on the floor. Trust me, this helps at 3am. All you have to do is replace the towels. Usually.

Bizarrely, and for analogy purposes let’s call him “the captain”, Dr Pat, hasn’t gone down with the vomit ship once. I put this down to 20+ years of being exposed as a doctor to every germ possible.

And thankfully! Because you may or may not be surprised to hear, he makes a terrible patient.

Listeners of The Kick pregnancy podcast will have heard me say that I had my first two boys before I met Dr Pat. What I

haven’t talked about is how I knew he was a keeper, and what that has to do with vomit.

We had just been on “rip around the rellies” (ie. I had taken

Dr Pat to meet my family members for the first time). It was a momentous occasion and he got a resounding tick of approval.

We were homeward bound, two hours into a three hour car

trip and a little voice piped up in the back seat, “Mummy I feel sick”.

Now I am generally Semper Paratus (Always Prepared) for the car vomit. There is something about cleaning vomit up from the stitching in car seats that really makes you really value

he’s been around thousands of newborns), had pretty much looks fine”. But I knew there was a mighty vomit coming.

Quick thinking, we found a towel, covered the poor little mite, the vomit came, a quick roadside clean-up later and on we

went for the next hour with the windows down and the smell permeating everything down to the cuticles of one’s hair.

This wasn’t the part where Dr Pat won me over by the way. I was cursing under my breath, driving with my eyes firmly

forward. Bloody Doctor, what would he know? We could’ve stopped and done a neat curbside chuck. Urghh.

We got home to a cold house, crying child in tow and a

weary (and just a little bit cross) mum. A remedy shower was in order – the kind where the kid goes into the shower fully

clothed and bit by bit, the vomit (and tensions) literally wash away.

Dr Pat was given the task of sorting the towel out, a bit harsh of me in hindsight. As I was drying the shivering toddler, I looked out the window and spied Dr Pat in the backyard

nonchalantly flicking the towel clean. I saw it in slow motion, particles of vomit flying everywhere.

And that’s when I thought “Now, there’s a keeper”. As an obstetrician, he’s no stranger to goop and it’s no

surprise that he makes an excellent “coper” around the various varieties of goop that are part and parcel of

parenting. But that wasn’t it. It was me knowing that as a new partner he was willing to stick around a family in crisis… even one covered in vomit.

I never knew “dealing with goop” was a box to tick on my

potential partner list but it turns out it has been an excellent test of character.

After all, if 2020 is anything to go by, goop happens.

forward planning. But on this occasion, everything came up empty, not even the packaging of an empty pack of chips

was to be found (nb. that’s another tip for you - in a crisis any container will do).

Brigid Moloney is a mum of four and co-founder, with husband and Local Obstetrician, Dr Patrick Moloney, of GrowMyBaby, an

online expert-led pregnancy resource for anyone who is pregnant or planning a pregnancy. You can also listen to them on The Kick Pregnancy Podcast and find them on Instagram @grow_my_baby.



The Evolution of Yellow Rose Words by Bonnie Coxall. Pictures by Melissa Brennan - Her Golden Point.

The door to beauty first opened for me in 2013, when I took

With a hunger to learn more, I once again enrolled in

technicians are a dime a dozen now, seven years ago they

ignited a passion in me for skin therapies, and it was

a short course in lash extension application. While lash

were few and far between, it was a niche market, and so my little side hustle didn’t stay little for long.

I was lashing 30 hours a week on top of a full-time job. My

every weeknight and weekend was consumed. It wasn’t long

university, this time to study Dermal Therapies. My studies contagious. My team and I threw ourselves into training and

education, learning a whole new approach to skin health. We adopted a fantastic skin care brand that aligned with our approach to skin.

before I took the leap and decided to leave my office job and

Instead of diagnosing a condition and treating it topically

and Dad’s became a little home salon, and it was here Yellow

treating the skin from within as well as topically. With this new

throw myself into lashing full-time. The spare room at Mum Rose was born.

But I had a thirst for more. The following year I enrolled in

university and completed my Diploma of Beauty Therapy. It

we delve into the bodies internal systems, systematically

investigative approach to dermal therapies, we are able to understand what is happening internally in our bodies to project these skin conditions outwardly.

was 2014 when I graduated with my diploma, and an already

We finally felt like we had found our calling, and while we still

anymore, my little biz just kept growing and I made the

direction and passion at Yellow Rose.

extensive client list, the spare room just wasn’t cutting it decision to move into commercial space

We found the perfect site in a 160-year-old heritage building

in the heart of Buninyong. Seeing it as “perfect” definitely took a little bit of perspective, a touch of squinting and a whole lot

of imagination, but after months of demolition and restoration work (blood, sweat AND a lot of tears), the old cake shop was transformed into Yellow Rose Salon.

By Christmas 2014, we were in full operation my vision for what this little space could be really started to come to life. We set

out to create a safe, wholesome and inviting space for people of all walks of life to come and practice self-care.

sincerely enjoyed our beauty therapies, we had found a new Our new, bespoke approach to beauty, health and skin has

shifted our brand completely, and so after 6 years as Yellow Rose, we felt it was time for change. We, as a business, had evolved, it was time for the brand to do the same.

We pained over a name change, threw many potential

names and branding directions around, but none of them

truly resonated. It wasn’t until I embraced the help of two very special family members, the editor of this very magazine (my brilliant sister) and the creative genius behind OMF*Socials (my brilliant cousin), that we finally decided on our new direction.

We wanted to epitomise natural beauty in our soft, subtle

It is my pleasure to introduce you all to Ilios Skin, with the

treatment menu would expand, along with our team and

reflects our new passion.

approach to our therapies. Over the next six years our

client list. And as the years progressed, I began to notice a gap in the industry…

I had clients (both men and women) coming from far and

wide with debilitating skin conditions who had spent hundreds on products and treatments that did not deliver results as promised.

I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

same team, same heart, but a name and brand that truly From ancient Greek, symbolising sun and radiance, Ilios is a

rare variety of Yellow Rose. Not a whole new beginning, but an evolution from our original Yellow Rose’s humble beginnings. Along with our name change, we have just completed an

incredible renovation in our studio. Our new space echoes our new vision and branding direction in its soft colours, textures and curves and we can’t wait to share it with you all!



Past Grammar student Kimia Mohammadsaeedi and 2020 Year 12 student Rui Xing developed a strong mentor/mentee friendship during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Ballarat Grammar "Gurus" Enjoy Giving Back

Words by Ballarat Grammar.

In response to the COVID-19 restrictions throughout 2020,

Many of the mentor/mentee partnerships developed

Grammar’s 2020 Year 12s with their toughest subjects and to

Year 12s going through this tough year. As “Guru” Kimia

Ballarat Grammar’s youngest alumni rallied to help and tutor provide extra support and motivation.

Over 200 “young” Old Grammarians, all recent Year 12

graduates, signed up to be Young Grammarian Gurus during Victoria’s first lockdown. According to Harrison Monk, who

finished Year 12 at Ballarat Grammar in 2017 and is studying

into great friendships, as well as providing help for our

Mohammadsaeedi puts it, “I have been having weekly

sessions with my mentee Rui for the past six months, and it has been incredibly rewarding to witness her progress amongst the challenges brought about by VCE and the pandemic.”

Medicine at Monash University, the main reason he wanted

“We like to chat about anything and everything, including

high level of support shown to him by many at the school,

friendships. I’ve definitely formed a friendship with Rui and

to be part of the programme was to return the favour of the particularly in his final year. “I found myself surrounded by

people, both teachers and peers, who offered me so much help, which went a long way in enabling me to achieve my goals and ambitions.

“With the Year 12s learning at home during two separate

Chemistry SACs, music, University applications and

I’m indebted to Grammar for allowing me to do so. We are all so grateful to Grammar for providing us with the opportunity to support these Year 12s at a time when it’s needed most.

We hope that our help will make the end of their schooling journey a little bit easier.”

periods during 2020, they didn’t have that direct face-to-face

John Taylor, President of the Ballarat and Queen’s Old

seek and receive the help that was available to me in my final

Grammarians step up and help out fellow Grammarians in a

access to teachers and peers, and therefore weren’t able to year. I signed up with the hope that I could do a little to help

these students in that situation and help them achieve their goals and ambitions, despite the circumstances,” Harrison says.

Grammarians’ Association, says, “It is fantastic to see Old time of real need.

“This is what being an Old Grammarian is about. As a

community we look to support each other when and where we can.”


OPEN DAY ................................................................................................................................................................

W e we lc om e y o u t o vie w ou r v i rt ua l O pe n D a y a t a t i m e th a t suits your family Scholarship applications for 2022 entry open on Tuesday 1 December 2020

Visit bgs.vic.edu.au More information on our website or contact Admissions on 03 5338 0830 or admissions@bgs.vic.edu.au




1. ©Sandy Scheltema, Hugs on Hold 2. ©Nicola Stephenson, Lunch with my 12 year old son 3. ©Craig Mitchell, Motel Isolation 4. ©Sharon Hughes, Stay At Home #5 5. ©Hilary Finch, Afternoon Delight


Mass Isolation As Australia’s leading photography festival, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale recognised early in March 2020 that this was going to be a momentous time in history and took action by partnering with FORMAT International Photography Festival and Gallery of Photography Ireland to create a visual record of the COVID-19 crisis on Instagram.

Artistic Director, Fiona Sweet was at Foto Fest in Houston, Texas

when the pandemic hit and experienced first-hand the scramble for flights back home and the government-mandated order to self-isolate on her return. “Artists all over the world have been

interpreting the COVID-19 crisis in new ways and it was incredibly

inspiring to me as the digital world allowed me to stay connected during the self-isolation period. I wanted to record this event in a

different way and created the Mass Isolation project to share our experiences through the photographic medium.”

The Mass Isolation project is a means to bring people together to document their very local and personal experiences. The project is open to all, and the Biennale encourages everyone to submit their own photos of this extraordinary time.

The state of play of technology in our lives is significant and

allowed communities to remain connected whilst at home, and

revealing the beauty of individual contexts. By documenting these experiences and uploading to your Instagram page with the tags #massisolationAUS and #ballaratfoto, the Ballarat community can be a major part of this “time capsule” of the pandemic.

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale have so far collected over 11,000 images and welcome your involvement before the end of

the pandemic. “2020 has become a hugely significant moment

in time. The explosion in smart phone technology has opened up the world of photography to more people than ever before and

we wanted to capture the COVID-19 event in a meaningful way,” says Fiona.

The Mass Isolation Australia project is free to take part and

open to all across the world. To participate on Instagram, use #massisolation #massisolationAUS #ballaratfoto.

A curated feed of images can be viewed on Instagram

@massisolationaus and the Ballarat International Foto Biennale is planning to publish a collectible book of the uploaded images.

Save the date: 2021 Ballarat International Foto Biennale, 28 August

to 24 October will immerse the streets and venues of Ballarat with photography by local, national and internationally acclaimed artists. Be sure to visit us!



Craigs Royal Hotel Words by Della Vreeland.

Majesty, heritage, luxury and grandeur – these are but a few of the words that come to mind as soon as you enter Ballarat’s iconic Craig’s Royal Hotel.

Punctuated by its entryway spiral staircase and oozing

“The hotel is a warm and friendly environment and the

licensed pub, having opened its doors in 1853.


19th century opulence, the building was Ballarat’s very first

constant positive guest feedback makes working here most

Over its 160-year history, the hotel has been graced with the

As well as the hotel accommodation, the venue is a sought-

and even saw Dame Nellie Melba sing from its balcony in 1908.

weddings, and also houses one of the city’s most loved

presence of princes, prime-ministers, celebrities and poets,

Owner John Finning acquired the property with his wife Mary just over 20 years ago, at which point it went through an

extensive restoration process before being re-birthed as the marvel it is today.

During the restoration, John and Mary needed to strip the

space of its inappropriate reconstructions including lowered ceilings, false walls and unsympathetic colour schemes in order to take it back to its former glory – a feat that was painstaking, yet highly rewarding.

“Craig’s has a wonderfully rich history dating from the gold rush of the 1850s,” John says.

after space for all manner of functions and events, including restaurants – The Gallery.

The Gallery provides diners with a casual fine dining

experience which further enhances one’s stay at the hotel. “As a gallery does, our restaurant displays not only works by local artists but also the artist-like skills of our chefs which are showcased both in the careful display of their fresh

local ingredients on the plate and also in the well-balanced flavours and textures of their dishes,” John says.

The Gallery Head Chef Scott Alsop brings almost three

decades of trans-continental expertise to the table, having emigrated from England in 2015.

“A grand Victorian architectural building, its extensive

Scott arrived at the hotel as Senior Sous Chef before

make it a unique Australian heritage hotel.”


restorations and the superlative guest experience combine to

progressing onto Head Chef alongside the renowned Ian

Boasting 41 rooms, each individually re-built and furnished,

“Scott has learnt from some of England’s best chefs including

accommodation laden with modern comforts.

Mallory Court,” John says.

the Craig’s visitor experience is one of beautiful elegant

Featuring classic rooms, superior rooms and royal suites, there is an option to suit all tastes and budgets.

“Our guests are continually saying they really enjoy the

combination of the beautiful building, wonderfully helpful staff and great food and wines available at Craig’s,” John says.

Nigel Godwin at the Haycock Hotel and Simon Haigh at

The Gallery menu gives food-lovers the chance to savour tastes and flavours from all around the world while maintaining a paddock-to-plate ethos.

According to John, the kitchen aims to use nose-to-tail

techniques wherever possible in a bid to create flavoursome, yet sustainable dishes. >


“With the ever-moving style of Australian cuisine and fusion, our restaurant offers an alternative dining experience.

“Our dishes highlight French-style cuisine with influences

from the Mediterranean and are created by our chefs using traditional culinary techniques.

“The kitchen aims to use whole animal techniques where

possible resulting in dishes such as our seafood bisque and

stock sauces in addition to our Southern Ranges Beef ‘Nose-

to-Tail’ dish which includes the beef cheek, eye fillet, crumbed tongue, roasted bone marrow and deep-fried beef tendon.”

P. 5333 2232 W. www.eurekaosteo.com.au 1120 Howitt St, Wendouree (pilates + clinic) 509 Warrenheip St, Buninyong (pilates only) 74

To add further delight to the overall Craig’s food experience, the hotel also conducts regular High Tea events in its Grand Dining Room – beautifully restored to pay tribute to its rich past.

As if drinks, classic finger food, and scones aren’t enough

to warm the heart, soul and belly, High Tea guests are also

treated to an exclusive tour to discover the hidden wonders of Craig’s including the historical banquet rooms, underground cellar and the royal suites.

Eric's Adventure In a year of enormous disruption for high school students,

perhaps few have endured more turmoil and hardship than young international boarding students.

However, for Year 8 student Eric Yang, a native of Nanjing, China, boarding at St Patrick’s College, Ballarat, 2020 has brought him a big, new family.

Eric provided this account of his experience half a world away from home:

“I’m Eric. I’m a student currently studying at St Patrick’s

College, I’m a boarder too. I would like to talk about how

interesting it was when I first walked into the boarding house

at St Patrick’s College. How I feel for becoming a boarder and why my parents chose for me to board at St Pat’s and how well the boarding staff look after me.

First, I can still remember my very first day at St Patrick’s

College. It was a very hot afternoon, high temperature, my Mum took me walking into the boarding house with a big suitcase, Mr Silcock was waiting for us. He is very friendly and he walked with me to my room and let me put my

suitcase down. We then had a very good lunch with other new boarders. I was a little bit sad when my Mum left me,

but I didn’t cry. I thought to myself I have to be independent

now, I have to work hard to report back my parents’ pay out. I walked back to my room slowly, hanging up my clothes and shirt, spread the quilt and lying on it, planned my future.

I love boarding at St Pat’s because I feel like we are a big

family; the boarders help each other, play with each other and cheer for each other when they get an achievement. It’s a very nice living environment, a friendly and warm

environment. I think it’s better than my home. The boarding staff look after us the same as they look after their own

children. They ask us how we slept and how we feel every

morning, so that is why my parents never worry about how my daily life is.

For me, the St Patrick’s College boarding house is my overseas home. The hardware facilities in boarding are also good too:

24 hours hot water, only two boarders living in one room, fresh fruit every day, good meals, we can have cooked morning

breakfast on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the chefs are all good at cooking. You really should have a taste of their

cooking. There is laundry day every week, we only need to put our dirty clothes into the basket outside and Jo will wash it for us. So, my Mum didn’t have to worry that her son would be

wearing dirty clothes or have nobody to wash his clothes for him.

My Mum was the first person who decided to send me to St

Patrick’s College. It’s a hard choice to let your son leave home to live and study overseas. But after she visited the boarding house at St Pat’s, she dispelled all doubts and uneasiness. Because she looked at how beautiful and perfect the

boarding and staff are, how friendly the living environment is

and that it is a catholic school. My Mum also believes that the students who study and live inside St Pat’s will treat others in friendly way and look after others well.

Here is my story as a boarder living in Boarding at St Patrick’s College. I met my best buddy Dwayne Hayes at St Pat’s

Boarding. We are playing sports every day after school, doing activities and living in the same room. How good is that?!”



Growing up, I never considered myself the stylish type.

At least it allows us to be more informed consumers and

designer clothes, and that was never really “me”.

their manufacturing processes.

Stylish to me was synonymous with wearing high-end,

shop with outlets we know are passionate about bettering

That being said, I always admired my aunty for her super

Over the last little while, I’ve been striving to promote

commented on how fab her clothes were, she would

which was initially set up simply to showcase my thrifted

suave fashion sense. What’s more, whenever people

confidently exclaim: “Thanks, I found this in an op-shop for

50 cents!” She was unapologetic about her frugal style, and I really loved that.

Similarly, my grandmother was always frequenting op-

shopping second-hand through a special Instagram Page finds and inspire others to think outside the fast-fashion

sphere. While I do still buy clothes new, most of my closet is thrifted, and I wanted to prove that second-hand does not mean second best.

shops for clothes, homewares and gifts, and my mother

During COVID, my Instagram venture took on a life of its

wardrobe was and still is filled with garments passed on as

connecting with a whole lot of other slow-fashion lovers.

hardly ever bought new clothes, if at all. Rather, her gifts or hand-me-downs.

There is no doubt my family’s consumer choices had a

huge influence on my style. For much of my life, my closet

has been filled with preloved clothing either sourced from

own, and I started selling some of my vintage pieces while The Instagram preloved community is a world of its own –

filled with inspiration, style, authenticity and individuals who

are truly passionate about making a change. After all these years, I felt like I really found my style tribe.

loved ones or second-hand shops. Some of my fondest

I love wearing preloved, and vintage in particular, because

plastic bags filled to the brim with clothes they no longer

history, and forge a style that is individual and reflective of

memories as a teen were when friends would visit bearing wanted – much of it designer. A lot of it vintage. As a

teenager, fossicking through these clothes and accessories in all their extravagance was like diving deep into a

treasure chest of pure gold. The varied textures, colours

and prints are still etched in the back of my mind. The lace,

the glitter, the gems and jewels – it is fair to say my love for sourcing preloved and vintage started then.

Initially, wearing second-hand clothes was just the

way I did things, rather than a conscious decision to be

sustainable. But throughout the years, I have developed a far deeper appreciation as to the importance of slow fashion and its merits.

I recently read that Australians dispose of 6,000kg of

fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes. If you just let that figure sink in, and think about the clothes sent to

landfill every day, let alone every year – well, it’s pretty ghastly. Then, there are all the injustices surrounding

slave labour, not to mention the environmental impact of producing any new item of clothing (it takes 13 years for one person to drink the water needed to make a pair of jeans or cotton tee).

Nowadays however, more and more brands are making a greater effort to be transparent in how they produce their garments, which is super heart-warming.

I am able to showcase unique garments which have a rich my personality. I can source items that are truly one-of-akind, and take pride in owning a wardrobe that has been mindfully curated.

According to slow-clothing author and sustainability

advocate Jane Millburn, second-hand is the new organic. According to Jane, “When we buy preloved clothes,

we do not add chemicals or production stress to the environment.” I couldn’t agree more.

With that in mind, well-known Ballarat sustainable style

advocate Bianca Flint and I have decided to join forces

with Uncover Mag to bring these Eco Style Files to you in every edition of the magazine. Let me be clear though,

this column isn’t about damning the High Street brands or shunning the buying of new clothes. Filled with tips, tricks

and styling advice, as well as interviews with other eco style icons in our region, these Files are about empowering us to

make more conscious choices as consumers and boosting our confidence when it comes to shopping slow. Hopefully

then, the next time someone asks us where we got that fab coat, we can unapologetically exclaim: “Thanks! I got it at Salvos for 50 cents!”.

You can follow our eco stylists on Instagram by visiting @vreelandvintage or @the_wardrobe_green



Vintage Baby

Shot by Melissa Brennan Her Golden Point. Looks from Vreeland Vintage. Makeup by Ilios Skin. Model: Bonnie Coxall.









Alana + Jay Wedding date: 26.10.19 Location: Corindhap, Victoria (Alana’s family farm) Tell us about the proposal... We were on a little getaway in my favourite place, the Grampians. I was having a bath, sipping a gin and watching an incredible sunset. Jay popped up in front of

me with the ring, I was a little blinded by the sun so it took me a moment to realise what he was holding. It was a massive shock, in the best way. Okay, we want all the details. Tell us about your day. The wedding day was huge. It actually started with a beautiful gathering on the

Friday night (that left us feeling a little bit rough waking up on the “big day” itself)

and through the weekend we felt completely overwhelmed having everyone there just for us. The weather was wild and wet, but the silver lining of this was that it

brought everyone into the marquee together and made the event more intimate. When did planning begin? What was the hardest thing to get organised? Any hiccups?

The planning began a year prior and to be honest, the hardest thing to organise was... everything. I am glad you only have to plan a wedding once, and I’m sure

there are others out there who can relate to this. I think the most difficult part was navigating the guest list, especially trying to meet the expectations of family.

Where did you draw inspiration from? Where would you direct future brides? My family property, the homestead and the surrounding land was my inspiration.

I focused on keeping things simple. My recommendation to future brides would be to stay true to what they love and what speaks to them, and not worry about what anyone else may think.


Photography: Pretty Flamingo Photography. Em and Eb were phenomenal. We have had so many positive comments and with the large bridal party and difficult spaces at times they did exceptionally well. Video: Videoboutique Marquee: Elderberry Events. Wedding gown: Nola Wallis, A dressmaker in South Australia Music: The Calli Boys wedding band from Melbourne Flowers: Elderberry Events Hair and make-up: Blondie Salon, Geelong Rings: GW Cox Adelaide Bar: Koonara Wines my favourite wine from South Australia Celebrant: Jilly Martino. Jilly was professional, kind and captivating. We were very appreciative of all her support throughout the whole process. Most memorable moment? The most memorable moment for us both were the speeches that brought out

all of the emotions, highlighting the incredible, strong relationships we have and are so lucky to still have in our lives!

If you could, would you change anything about your day? If I could change anything about the day, it would be to relax into the process a bit more and to get a good night’s sleep the night before! Unfortunately I would

also change the caterer. We paid a lot of money to ensure there was lots of food for our guests and unfortunately on the day they did not deliver.



Australian Skin Face Body leads the way in summer skin health. Combining medical experience, guidance and support,

PICO Enlighten™ is remarkable break-through laser


uneven skin texture and hyperpigmentation. It’s an entirely

Australian Skin Face Body takes a holistic approach to skin Always exploring the latest techniques and developments, Plastic Surgeon Mr Ian Holten and the team invest heavily in professional development, giving patients the most

up to date information in the aesthetics industry. It’s not

always necessary to “go under the knife”, and non-surgical

treatments can provide excellent anti-ageing results. Offering the latest in effective skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing

treatments, the team believe in science-based technologies

new approach to skin revitalisation. PICO technology uses laser light to selectively shatter unwanted pigmentation

and remodel the upper layer of the skin to return balance,

clearance and radiance to your skin. It’s a fairly comfortable process, too. You may feel a sensation that’s similar to

the snapping of a rubber band, but it’s over in a matter of

minutes, so it’s typically well-tolerated. You can return to your daily activities without downtime.

and always invest in the latest, innovative medical grade

Ongoing skin care is also important, and Australian Skin Face

Body Clinics throughout regional Victoria is always trialled and

contain Vitamin C are good all-rounders, that can reduce

lasers. New equipment introduced to Australian Skin Face

is not purchased unless the entire team is pleased with the results.

Medical-grade skin peels are combined with cutting edge laser technology to rejuvenate the skin and treat specific

Body offers RATIONALE, a quality skincare range. Products that hyperpigmentation as well as reduce fine lines and stimulate collagen. Wearing a quality sunscreen to protect from the

sun in a must, in addition to your moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated and healthy during summer.

skin concerns. Different lasers can be used to treat adult

It is important not to self-diagnose pigmented lesions. If

including acne scarring.

spots change in size or colour, they need to be checked first

and teenage acne, broken capillaries, rosacea and scarring, This time of year, some of the more popular treatments in the Skin & Laser Clinic include treatments related to skin damage from the harsh Australian sun including pigmentation.

Cutting edge laser treatments can improve the pigment

and texture of the skin, leaving it youthful and glowing. It’s

important to note that everyone’s skin is different and there’s not a “one treatment fits all” solution - that’s the benefit of

Australian Skin Face Body having a wide range of treatment

options available. A skin care treatment program needs to be tailored and could include laser treatments, medical grade chemical peels and a specific skin care regimen.

Plastic Surgery, Skin and Laser Clinics


technology available at Australian Skin Face Body that targets

there are new spots or moles that form on the skin or existing by a trained skin cancer detection physician before seeking any pigmentation treatment. Skin cancers develop with UV damage and can appear harmless to an untrained eye. A

skin check is a simple 20-minute process and early detection

of skin cancers improve the chances of successful treatment. No referral is required to see a GP at Australian Skin Face

Body for a skin check. The qualified Ballarat team consists of Dr Melinda Dalman, Dr Gareth Grainger, Dr Jude Jonasson

and Dr David Lester who are all experienced in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.

P. ( 0 3 ) 5 3 3 3 4 7 1 5 S H O P 1 , 4 2 4 S T U R T S T R E E T B A L L A R A T V I C W W W. G E M S A N D J E W E L S . C O M . A U



Rent a Vine Words by Charlotte D. Nay. Pictures by Sarah Frank Photography.

Fancy yourself a wine enthusiast? You ain’t got nothing on this bunch (pardon the pun) of vino devotees…

This year, a select group of wine lovers have been given the chance to

make all their wine-related dreams come true, with the opportunity for a

taste of the viticulture life at a 5-star Halliday Winery, Austin’s Wines – in the Moorabool Valley.

Commencing in February 2020 and running for 12 months, participants in Austin’s region-first Rent a Vine program, an exclusive, hands-on

winemaking experience, will have the opportunity to rent a row of vines and create their own personalised vintage of Pinot Noir.

Our intrepid wine reporter, Charlotte D. Nay, is one of the lucky few and is

giving us exclusive, behind the scenes access to all the wine goss and nittygritty of this very special program.

Originally planned at a maximum of fifty participants, the team at Austin’s

copped a fair amount of scepticism when they launched the plan for Rent a Vine, “We thought we’d be lucky to get 12-15 (participants),” laughs Richard

Austin (the Austin’s founder and patriarch), but the numbers kept climbing and when the sign-ups hit 75, they had to start “turning people away,” explains Duncan Lowe, the winery’s Head Winemaker.

At least that bodes well for the program continuing next year… and maybe

with some other varietals on offer (*ahem* Shiraz and Chardonnay maybe have been mentioned in passing) – don’t tell anyone we told you that though.

Workshop 1: Introduction and Pinot Noir Tasting was held on Saturday, Feb 1st, under a Tipi in the midst of the rolling vineyards at Austin’s Sutherland Creek site. Forty-five wannabe somms, viticulturists and booze hounds torn between whether to huddle under cover against the impending

thunderstorm or take the chance on a cool breeze after the last day of

January’s record breaking heart wave attempted to dissipate, waited with bated breath to begin the winemaking journey of a lifetime.

It’s no secret that you’re more likely to meet like minded people when you’re doing something particularly niche. What do hunting polar bears in the

Arctic Circle, rock climbing in full drag, and winemaking all have in common? Well, they attract a… certain type of people.

No matter whether you’re an AFL player, a government worker (*cough* spy *cough*), a chartered accountant or a part-time kidswear designer who

moonlights as a social media marketer and wine writer; being passionate enough to drop 2K on a year-long winemaking course is something that’s going to bring you together. >


Nametags on, lifetime friendships already starting to form

No pain, no gain. No guts, no glory. No song, no supper.

workshop kicked off with an overview of Austin’s winery.

to get rich quick though, let’s just leave it at that.

(the welcome Prosecco probably didn’t hurt either), the

Started by Pamela and Richard Austin in 1982 in Waurn Ponds

After some curly crowd sourced questions and a gourmet,

1200-acre site, known as Greenbanks, in Sutherlands Creek,

on free pour), the real fun began…

with just 5-acres, Austin’s has now grown into its current

a working farm incorporating 150 acres planted with Vitis

vinifera (that’s wine grapes to you), 90 acres of which is Pinot Noir.

The stories Pamela tells, of selling wine to some of the top

restaurants in Australia in Austin’s early days, emphasise how much the wine industry in Australia has grown and changed in the last thirty-odd years – but, it also hammers home the

one thing that will never change – this is an industry that’s all about people and relationships.

And if a couple of British ex-pats, a qualified fermenting

expert and an outspoken hater of 2019’s hit movie Bohemian

Rhapsody can’t form some kind of lasting relationship over 12

months spent tasting and picking and pruning and crushing… who can?

Wine brings people together. This fact is inescapable. Next, Duncan, personal winemaker to the Rent a Vine masses goes into some detail about Pinot Noir itself.

A black grape variety with thin skin, Pinot Noir requires a cool

to moderate climate in order to produce good-quality grapes. Because of its thin skin, Pinot Noir can be finicky to grow and is

especially prone to rot and disease. In poor vintages, it can be a struggle to produce even a small amount of good-quality wine.

So why exactly would anyone in their right mind commit 60%

of their vineyard to the “heartbreak grape” (no exaggeration – Pinot Noir is “lovingly” referred to as the heartbreak grape the world over)?

Well, because when it’s done right, Pinot Noir produces some of the finest, most complex, spectacularly drinkable wines in the world.



Fortune favours the bold. No one goes into the wine industry

locally sourced, carb-filled lunch (with plenty of Austin’s finest The Tasting. Personalised wines were promised, and personalised wines

Austin’s shall deliver. Barrel tastings from the 2019 vintage of

single clones, contrasted oak varieties (old vs new) and varied pick dates (early vs late harvest) were the order of the day, and as forty-five wannabe winos swirled and sniffed, and

sniffed and sipped, a deeper understanding of how wines are blended began to become apparent.

Pretty much all wines are blended. In Australia, the regulation states that a wine must contain at least 85% of the variety it’s labeled as, but even if your bottle does contain 100%

juice from Pinot Noir grapes, it will probably contain a blend of clones, fermenting techniques, oak influences, sites and harvest times.

There’s a lot more to this winemaking business than meets the eye.

As the day wore on, tours of the vineyard were given, more wine was consumed and further curly questions were

answered – but it has become obvious that the more we learn, the more questions we will have…

Let’s see what a year’s worth of winemaking workshops can teach us.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Rent a Vine

adventure (Rent a Vine-ture?). The gardening gloves,

secateurs and fruit picking shears in the beautifully branded welcome packs might give some hint as to what’s to come. www.austinswines.com.au

Volunteering - it's a two-way street Words by Ballarat Clarendon College.




10:52 am











Lola's Philippe Words by Della Vreeland. Pictures by ?

There’s no doubt Ballarat’s food scene is thriving, and summer is a perfect time to discover the delicious flavours that are unique to the season. Lola at The Provincial is set to serve up some European-inspired dishes this season, curated with love by restaurant Head Chef Philippe

Desrettes. Having trained in France over three decades ago, and with experience in Michelin

star restaurants, Philippe brings a wealth of culinary knowledge and passion to the local food scene. We chat to him about his love of food, his love for Australia and his love for the trade. Why did you decide to take up a career as a chef? I have always been surrounded by people who enjoy cooking. My brother was a chef

and my sister worked as a waitress. I wasn’t really academic, but I was very meticulous

and was developing a passion for food and travel. Luckily enough in 1989, I was offered a

chef apprenticeship at the amazing Le Domaine de Rochevilaine in Brittany, and was fully qualified by 1991.

Tell us about your experience working restaurants overseas. Before coming to Australia, I mostly worked in Michelin starred restaurants and luxury

boutique Hotels in France and Switzerland. I had the privilege to work at a famous 3-Michelin star French restaurant in London under well-renowned chef Pierre Koffmann. In those

establishments, it was disciplined long hours of hard work and sacrifice but I don’t have any regrets!

Why did you make the move to Australia and what do you love about it? We left France in 1996 for London, where we decided to apply for permanent residency to join my brother who was already living in Brisbane.

I love everything about Australia - the open space, the people, the diversity, the beaches and there’s so much to do and discover!

What influences and inspires your cooking? I’ve always loved traditional and classical French cooking. It reminds me of the long summer days and family gatherings of my childhood. >


What flavours and textures are most prevalent in your work?

What can customers expect on the new Lola Summer menu?

When it comes to flavours, I like to keep it simple by using

We are keeping some of the dishes which have been really

also curing fish or meat to intensify the flavours. Using sauces

delicious European-inspired dishes with more daily specials,

herbs and lightly-spiced marinades prior to cooking, and before finishing a dish is key - sweet, salty, sour, sticky or pungent for instance.

For textures, I do enjoy slow cooking to get a gentle and soft meat and a great smell in the kitchen. I like chargrill for a

great juicy steak or a crunchy chicken that is still moist inside, and I enjoy a dessert that is soft and sweet with a crunch. What has been the highlight of your career to date? Working near Lyon in France at La Rotonde Restaurant

within Le Casino le Lyon Vert, which received the accolade of

the Clé d’Or from the (restaurant) guide Gault et Millau. I had the privilege and honour to meet and shake hands with the great man - Paul Bocuse who made many contributions to French gastronomy. That was a career highlight especially when you are only a 21-year-old young chef!

Why do you think working at Lola is such a perfect fit for you? I’ve known Simon and Gorgi for few years now and was really impressed with the new outcome of the Provincial Hotel

including Lola and the European theme. I’m really proud to be part of a professional, young and friendly team with a great work ethic.

popular with our guests. We have also been testing some

and we are sourcing new fresh and local produce. We’re also excited to soon announce Lola’s new kitchen garden. What do you love most about your job? What I love about being a chef is that after all those years I am still enjoying being hands-on and behind my stove! How do you ensure you keep your work exciting and inspiring?

Working with a great team is going to give you the happiness

to be where you are. You have to compliment and thank your staff every day! Keep an eye on what is trending or chat with

old friends. Challenge yourself all the time and don’t be afraid to try new things.

How did you have to pivot your business model during COVID in order for the restaurant to stay afloat and how did you find the community responded to these changes?

We had to reinvent ourselves and offered a variety of food options through home deliver, pickup or the Skip App. The

community responded very well indeed, and I’d like to take

the opportunity on behalf of my team to thank everyone for their support during this unstable time.

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Words by Connect with Carly.

However, if we adopt a practice for the mind, it trickles down

and positively affects our entire wellbeing; nourishing mental, emotional and physical health.

constant worrying that goes along with it), to debilitating

Meditation is a practice for the mind, a very direct and

stress and grown to accept that’s just how life is. Which isn’t

to reside in the relaxed state - which is that state we’re

anxiety or depression. A lot of us have normalised this state of really surprising, given we’re not commonly taught what the opposite of stress is, nor how to activate and experience a

stress-free existence. But the opposite is, in fact, the state in which humans are designed to live.

powerful one. It trains the brain and the nervous system designed to live in. And given the primary function of the

nervous system is to coordinate and control the various body

functions, it makes sense to start there to enhance both mind and body.

When our nervous systems are running on that stress

Meditation can enable us to meet the demands of life with

human survival are.

than merely pushing through and surviving it.

response, vitality is not prioritised. Only the basic needs of

greater health and vitality, and have us truly living life rather

This means that digestion, immune function, reproduction and

Carly offers Learn to Meditate courses where, in just 3 short

lists and perform all the roles society expects us to perform.

can elicit rapid and profound benefits. These courses can be

healing are all being sacrificed as we push through the to-do We can find ourselves with high blood pressure, poor gut

health, skin conditions, poor mental health, the list goes on and on and on.

And we may be eating well, exercising, doing all the right

things for our physical health but if the mind is stressed, the body is never going to function properly.

sessions, you learn a simple technique of meditation that

conducted privately or in small groups. After the course you will be a self-sufficient meditator with lifetime support and guidance from Carly.

You can learn more or book a class on her webste www.connectwithcarly.com



OASIS Words by Tatiana Collier. Pictures by Angela Hayward.

This year has presented more challenges than anyone could have expected. Businesses everywhere have been forced to quickly adapt if they want to survive. Plans to expand, if they existed, were most likely put on hold.

This was certainly the case for Dr Megan May, Co-Director

“Some of the instructors from her studio work for us too, so

2018, the clinic and studio work in partnership to improve the

clients, who now needed to find a new place that worked

of Eureka Osteo and OASIS Pilates in Wendouree. Open since health, mobility, and well-being of the Ballarat community.

When business closed in March for the first lockdown, Megan expected to spend the down time learning to adapt the

business and implementing new processes to reopen safely when restrictions lifted.

Expansion was not in the plans. Knowing businesses everywhere were under that same pressure, Megan was most concerned to learn that her

long-time friend and colleague, Steph Neal was closing her Buninyong Pilates studio permanently.

“My first thought was to call and check in with Steph to make

sure everything was ok. We’ve been friends since high school and we took similar paths in our careers, so we’ve supported each other as colleagues too.

“When I spoke to her, I learned she was using the closure as

an opportunity to pursue her passion and take her career in a new direction. I was happy for her.”

As the conversation progressed, Megan realised the studio

closure would leave a big gap in the Buninyong community. “We discussed the concerns Steph had for her clients and

staff. She knew there was disappointment about the studio

closure and was in the process of navigating through that, so

I knew they were feeling disheartened. Then there were the for them. Yes, there are other options, but for people to

include regular exercise into their lives, and make sustainable improvements to their wellbeing, it needs to be convenient. Fussing around finding a new place that suits presents a barrier.

“So, with all that going through my mind, I just wondered, is there a way to simply keep the studio going? All the

equipment was there, and half the instructors already

worked with us. I just wanted to find a way for the Buninyong community to access that important support, that they already know and trust, during such a trying time.”

After a conversation with her business partner, Megan set to work to acquire the Buninyong studio as a secondary home

for OASIS Pilates, and successfully reopened the doors when the first lockdown ended.

“It was exciting for us. Our instructors were happy to be back and the support from the community was lovely. We’ve met

local business owners who were glad to see us and many of the clients clearly appreciated returning to the same place with the same teachers.”

While it may be the same place, with some of the same staff, clients will benefit from a few differences under the new management. >

no one was left feeling stranded.


A fundamental difference is OASIS Pilates is underpinned by

“We’re so thankful for the support from the community during

proud and passionate about. For clients, it means a seamless

to communicate with us. We also ran some online Pilates

Eureka Osteo, and this is something Megan and her team are approach to their health care. Clinicians are constantly communicating with Pilates instructors and Physical

Therapists to monitor the progress of clients during their treatment and recovery.

“Clients don’t have the hassle of finding a different location for their recovery or relaying clinical information between their

practitioner and their physical therapist, because the services are under the same banner. It’s a much smoother process.

“Therapists and Pilates instructors are also able to come back to clinicians for advice on any concerns or changes they’ve noticed, so they are expanding their knowledge and skillset,

while also providing clients with that important, wrap-around care.

“As clients improve, they can progress their therapy with us.

both lockdowns. They have been very patient and continued

classes, and they were well attended. We loved providing free online Pilates content to support people and to incorporate exercise into their day in a variety of forms.

“It’s been a hard year for people for a variety of reasons and we’re seeing the flow on effect of the changes and

stresses people have experienced. We’re keen to start helping everyone reprioritise their own health again.”

Excitingly, Eureka Osteo appointments and OASIS small group clinical classes with an exercise physiologist or

physiotherapist have resumed. With COVID restrictions easing, the Buninyong and Wendouree studios have been able to resume reformer Pilates classes with full timetables and

plenty of options including Pre and Postnatal Pilates, All Levels Reformer Pilates and an Over 55s Pilates class.

So, they may no longer need to see the clinician every week,

“We have instructors who are keen to start and a timetable

therapy or join a group Pilates class.”

distancing and additional hygiene measures, we’re ready.

but they can still come to us for the one on one physical

Now in a second lockdown, Megan and her team are simply

looking to support people until they can reopen and resume face to face services. Their social media accounts are

currently full of different Pilates workouts, some short, some longer, to help people keep moving, and improve their day.

already in place. Even under the strictest conditions of social “We are really enjoying seeing everyone’s smiling faces back in the clinic and studio.”

Learn more about Eureka Osteo and OASIS Pilates at www. eurekaosteo.com.au You can also find Eureka Osteo and

OASIS Pilates on Facebook and Instagram with free Pilates workouts now available.


No matter how she is feeling, Brenna can always step off the court feeling good.

“When a coaching position became available at my club,

the Ballarat Wildcats, I took it as an opportunity to share my passion and knowledge to younger kids so that they could love the game just as much as I do,” Breanna says.

“COVID-19 had a large impact on my coaching, when

government restrictions resulted in the cancellation of most sports and gatherings, this meant that mentoring younger children in person became extremely difficult. However, I

wasn’t going to let this stop me from doing one of things I love most.”

Breanna decided to coach remotely using Zoom, so she could still do her best to maintain the skill of the team within the safety of their own homes.

“On a typical remote training day, I first plan the session and figure out what drills I need to teach. After the kids join the Zoom call, we start with a warm-up outside, and then we

begin working on things like dribbling drills and form shooting. We also do some theory work and learn about different foul calls and mindset on the court. The whole session usually

Finding ways to adapt Words by Damascus College.

goes for 30-45 minutes,” Breanna explains.

“The pandemic has taught me not to take anything for

granted. Whether it be going to basketball or being at school, not being able to do either has made me appreciate just

COVID-19 and the switch to remote learning for schools

how important they were in my life. Remote learning at

resilience, passion and dedication of our students during this

concentration more at home and missed being around my

has presented many challenges throughout 2020, but the

Damascus College did take some adjusting, as I found I lost

difficult time has been inspiring.

friends. Not having my teachers right in front of me also made

Year 9 student Breanna Gale loves basketball, which grew

them around a lot. However, like my coaching, I found ways

from her competitive nature - allowing her to leave her emotions on the court.

getting help with assessments harder, so I missed having to adapt.”

Visit us online to keep up to date with our 140 year celebratory events. Past students and staff of Sacred Heart College, St Paul’s Technical College, St Martin’s in the Pines and Damascus College are encouraged to update your details to stay connected. damascus.vic.edu.au



All products from Central Square Ballarat. Witchery - scarf, earrings, bracelet, sunglasses. Valpied Shoes - sneakers. Peter Alexander - sleep mask, candle. MIMCO - purse, watch. The Book Grocer - novels.



There's Something About Mary Words by Kate Taylor. Pictures supplied.

Seasonal Mary holds more than cooking classes, these are beautiful experiences that draw people together over the one thing we all love – food. In the kitchen or in the garden, there’s just something about Mary. 106

The story goes... Mary herself was in her amazing kitchen

Classes are held in Mary’s gracious, 160-year-old home that,

home-made pasta dinner, when she had an epiphany. And

warm and inviting place to learn some seriously impressive

garden one day, picking fresh parsley and lemon for her

from that moment, she has been all about bringing food and people together.

“I’m passionate about beautiful, simple food and I’m

passionate about connecting people,” Mary proclaims. “I’ve always had my fantastic kitchen garden out the back. Really, I’ve been Seasonal Mary for years.”

But it wasn’t until recently that Mary took the huge leap

of faith. She left her beloved Stephanie Alexander Kitchen

Garden program that she had been running at Wendouree Primary School for 10 years (one of the first in the country

to roll-out the program) to start her own “Learn to Lunch” classes.

It’s one of the most interesting and hands-on experiences

imaginable and is the perfect choice for a birthday party or any kind of small, intimate gathering.

“I’ve had Kitchen Confidence 101 classes for young girls

moving away from home, I held a gluten-dairy-free class recently, and an Asian cooking class where we made the

most succulent chicken. I have a preserving class coming up as well.” Mary says.

with some recent renovations and extensions, has become a cooking skills.

“I want people to be able to connect here, and that’s why I

keep the class sizes to a minimum. For groups that don’t know each other, six is perfect and for groups that do, eight is a great number.”

And it’s so easy to sit back and relax and talk in Mary’s house. The space is light and airy and invites people to break off

into conversation groups. The scent in Mary’s kitchen alone

is amazing. The first thing I encounter when I walk in, nervous

and excited for my “Seasonal Mary” experience, Mary already has pear and walnut muffins in the oven – they’re a staple of hers.

“I’m a bit of a muffin queen… I have a great recipe from the

Stephanie Alexander book and I just put in whatever I have in

the garden, and I’ve got some pears at the moment and they are great. Sometimes if I’ve got some leftover apple crumble I’ll put that in with some caramel sauce.”

Once we’re all gathered around the island bench, Mary asks if

any of us has an allergy or food preferences. I’m off carbs, but it’s really hard to say that around the pear muffin I’m scoffing. I’m also vegetarian. >


And Mick, another class member, doesn’t eat tomato. And

“I don’t do fussy food with lots of ingredients that you’ll never


ingredients and once I show you how to cook it, you can go

we’re making a tomato-based tart. But none of it phases

She’s been teaching for so long that doing things on the fly

home and do it yourself. It looks so pretty, but it’s so simple.”

comes very naturally to her and she makes a second of the

The pastry for the tart has turmeric in it, to give it a beautiful

Repeatedly. The tomato thing becomes a running joke of the

tomato). Mary darts over to the kitchen table, grabs a pot

rustic, free-form tarts. Just for Mick. And she points it out.

class. It’s so easy to picture Mary as a strict school teacher but when she’s in the kitchen, she’s quick and witty and has an energy that kind of makes you want to be her.

We begin with the softened tomatoes for the tart, which will

vibrant colour. The filling is done (even Mick’s version, sans of microherbs, trims some off straight onto the tart and

it’s looking gorgeous and ready to eat. The brie and pesto

lavash? Long gone. We’ve done the roasted potatoes with duck fat and it’s time to eat.

also feature roasted shallots and garlic.

It’s my favourite part – and not just because of the food.

“You cook them slowly, over about 10-15 minutes, and it

Lunch is at a beautifully laid out table in the conservatory and

releases all of the natural sugars, it’s kind of magic.”

While the magic tart is in the oven, Mary serves a lavash

crispbread with warmed brie and her home-made pesto. It’s

it’s breathtaking. The space is full of light, with floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors. It overlooks Mary’s magnificent kitchen garden and the feel of the room is heaven.

divine. And as we ask more and more questions about how to

Each of Mary’s classes begins with morning tea straight out of

how easy it is to do with just four ingredients – and how fancy

fresh produce and returning to stools around the benchtop

make it, she starts some from scratch on the spot, showing us it looks with charcoal salt and rosemary sprinkled on top. The salt was impressive, so straight away, Mary puts a selection of her salt collection on saucers for us to try;

Tasmanian Pepperberry, Murray River and Unami. When

her guests have questions, Mary has the most delightful, hands-on way of answering them.

Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Founder of GrowMyBaby, an online pregnancy education program. Available to all Dr Pat's patients as part of your pregnancy package.

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the oven, a tour of her stunning kitchen garden to gather the to cook, culminating in the sit-down lunch in either the

conservatory or, for the cooler weather, the formal room with a fireplace. Each guest leaves with a goody bag of delights

from Mary’s garden, as well as recipes for each of the dishes cooked on the day.

To book one of Seasonal Mary’s Learn to Lunch classes, visit her website at www.seasonalmary.com

Personal Care. Beautiful Babies.


use again. I do simple food, using beautiful fresh, seasonal

Co-host of The Kick Pregnancy Podcast +200,000 downloads

Loreto Women Words by Loreto College Ballarat.

Loreto College has been proudly educating young women for almost 150 years. Throughout this time we have seen

thousands of students graduate from the beautiful school

behind the historic fence. Each heading out into the world as Loreto alumnae, or Loreto Women, endowed with the spirit of global Loreto founder, Mary Ward, encouraging them to become the “women in time” who will do much.

Loreto girls past and present proudly chant, “Once a Loreto

Already there are plans underway for an inaugural Loreto

alongside the long-standing formal Past Pupils Association,

provide a greater platform to unite and showcase our Loreto

Loreto Women to connect, celebrate and share life beyond

careers and lives.

Girl, always a Loreto Girl,” and now a bold new initiative,

Women event to be held in Ballarat in 2021. The event aims to

allows all Loreto Ballarat alumnae to come together as

Women in person and inspire senior students for their future


Loreto College has also started the process of uncovering

Loreto Women first started as an online social, business and

and formally acknowledging the many Loreto “Women in

national and global Loreto Ballarat alumnae networks in a

their Loreto education. Following a rigorous nomination and

College website and a private Facebook group, Loreto Women

first “Women in Time” in 2021. This will become an annual

businesses and missions online.

college, in the years to come, with a visual representation of

career networking platform with the aim to connect our local,

Time” who have indeed gone on to do much, attributed to

more meaningful and contemporary way. Accessed via the

selection process, the College looks forward to unveiling the

can now celebrate and share their stories, connections,

acknowledgement with the intention to line the walls of the

The main website acts as the functional hub for alumnae where personal contact details can be updated, private

aspirational role models for current and future students and alumnae, when they return for annual reunions.

access to other alumnae is facilitated and publications are

Loreto Women far and wide are doing fabulous things

program. The private Facebook group is the community

connection to their school and the inimitable Loreto spirit. If

and information sharing.

pastpupils.loreto.vic.edu.au and join Loreto Women.

shared, and it is also the starting point for a new mentoring

with their individual gifts and talents and retain a strong

space to reconnect and generate a space for conversation

you are a Loreto alumnae, we invite you to visit the website



A Mass Migration Words by Eliesha Rae. Pictures by Tara Moore Photography.

Months of remote working and home isolation during 2020

The reasons for living in the city – easy access to office

reflect on what their home life might look like going forward.

a multi-cultural city of millions are – at least for now – gone.

have given many a city-slicker ample time to pause and

Our homes became our only place to dine, work, rest and

play and being stuck inside the same four walls for months on end has placed our abodes under unprecedented scrutiny.

Suddenly, aspects we may have been able to turn a blind eye to in the past are… well, driving us bonkers to be frank.

Maybe it’s a lack of dedicated workspace (“desk” at the dining room table anyone?) or limited outdoor space, or the ability

buildings and the vibrant cultural life that comes from living in All we’ve had for months is pottering around at home and taking a daily walk. And where better to do that than the country??

Integra’s communities are designed to cater for all residents, with their varied lifestyle requirements in mind. They place a particular focus on streetscapes, wetlands and waterways

and the surrounding parks and green areas (walks for days!).

to be able to distance ourselves from the rest of the fam. For

Using water sensitive urban design principles, the wetlands

square inch of their homes, maybe a lockdown inspired re-

species and rockwork and significantly improving biodiversity

some, it has forced a Marie Kondo-esque declutter of every

decorate or rearrange, but for others, particularly in inner city Melbourne, it has sparked an interesting trend…

The latest research by Domain has revealed insights into

property search trends, showing that more Victorians are now looking to regional areas of the state. Regional cities

offer opportunities for bigger homes (dedicated office space, amiright??), sprawling backyards (or sprawling compared to

the postage stamp sized outdoor spaces – if you’re lucky! – in inner Melbourne) and the chance to take a breath and slow down our lives’ hectic pace.

Integra is one of Regional Victoria’s leading property

developers and are ready and poised to welcome this

become areas of habitats, using indigenous and native plant and natural values, providing a real asset to the community. According to Integra, “The work that goes into creating

a community is really important. We consider what the

community needs, not just in terms of infrastructure, but

community events and projects. Listening to this and acting (on it) is key to creating a great place for people to live.”

So, we’re talking the opportunity to build sparkling new homes, in the vicinity of beautifully crafted wetlands, just a short walk

along magnificent tree-lined streets to a 9-hectare park and Town Centre. Realistically, what more could you want?? But why Ballarat specifically?

“Escape the City” queue-a-thon that seems not only

Victoria Rushton, Integra’s Community Engagement

pretty damn desirable.

reasons why Ballarat is appealing, but most recently, it’s a

inevitable given the current state of the world, but also – According to a spokesperson from Integra, “Affordability is a

big driver of people moving to regional areas. Education and

housing are two of the most popular reasons (they) see from

Coordinator puts it pretty succinctly, “There are so many

combination of people opting for a more relaxed lifestyle,

affordability and the fact that you can still get to Melbourne easily if you need to.” >

residents making the move to Ballarat. Larger homes and

yards and high-quality education are within reach in Regional Vic.”


Improved infrastructure and employment opportunities,

And that’s literally just one example! There are so many

expansions and Gov Hub have also boosted the region’s

wildlife that is totally unique to the area. It’s really just a stone’s

including Ballarat Sports and Events Centre, Hospital appeal.

While city retirees have long been coming to the region,

Victoria points out that the move has become even more popular in the past few years, “especially with younger

buyers. The growing food, arts and events scene has certainly bolstered the appeal.”

And there really is so much on offer in regional areas.

Victoria’s pick for our region’s best kept secret? “At the

moment we are obsessed with the Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail.

From Lucas you can connect to the trail from Remembrance Drive and ride or walk all the way through to Skipton, with

some incredible stops along the way, including the famous Nimons Bridge.” (sssssh though – otherwise it won’t stay a secret for long!)


hidden gems like this – tracks and trails and local nature and throw before you’re out in the countryside, “sipping wine at

a local winery, riding one of the many tracks or hiking trails”. According to Victoria, “That is what is so appealing about

regional areas, and now it seems that lifestyle is the envy of our big city friends!”

Integra insists that it’s “the people that make Regional

Vic really special,” Victoria expounds, “We know within our

community there are so many amazing stories about people helping out their neighbours, with a strong emphasis on

supporting local business. Connections are being made between (people) that make our estates feel like small

intimate neighbourhoods. People are ready to jump in and

help out, offer their ideas and support and really connect. This has never been as important as it is now”.



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A Career Change Words by Shona Hendley. Pictures by Tara Moore Photography.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” -- Jimmy Dean.

James Ross with Principal Warwick Beynon


For James Ross, life has imitated art, his favourite saying

becoming representative of his own career pathway as he moved from a 30-year career in senior and executive level marketing to become a qualified teacher in July 2020.

After returning to study to undertake a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at Federation University's Mt Helen Campus,

James completed the course and also secured a teaching job in July this year.

He shares his experience with Uncover. What made you decide a career change was in order? There wasn’t any one thing in particular, more like a series of things building up over time.

A key trigger was turning 50, there was the travel - my family is based in Melbourne, but I was traveling a lot and away

from home a huge amount. And finally, after spending 30

plus years in marketing - quite frankly I was starting to get

bored - the challenge and excitement of marketing that had first attracted me to this as a career was overtaken by doing the same thing over again - I needed a fresh challenge and teaching had been in the back of my mind for years.

With a close family friend only just completing the same

course at Federation University, I got in contact with them and, as they say, the rest is history.

What was the reaction when you told people you were changing careers?

My wife was hugely supportive - I couldn’t have made this

move without her. In terms of other friends and family - a few

have expressed surprise at me walking out on the career that I had, but by and large everyone I have spoken to understands my reasons and are actually really encouraging (one or two

of them are actually contemplating doing something similar). A number of friends are in the same position I was - extensive and successful careers, but facing headwinds for advancing further due to age (it is a real issue in most organisations I

have found), too young to retire, and needing to still earn a

salary but no longer driven by the enthusiasm they once had. How did Federation University help you, as a mature age student, with the course?

I feel that Federation's Master of Teaching degree has allowed me to adjust and adapt my direction to achieve a renewed sense of purpose and optimism in my career.

Federation University has been really good in providing

Federation University pride themselves on offering flexible studying options – how did these assist you?

The course itself has all its elements online - so while we went to face to face lectures, everything to complete the course

was online through the standard student portal. When COVID

hit, a large part of how Federation Uni was able to respond so quickly was all the content was online anyway so disruption was kept to a minimum.

What advice would you give others (particularly in the wake of COVID, where seeking alternative career pathways may be more critical than ever) about returning to study for a change in career direction?

In this current and post COVID world, I think there will be a

number of people looking at what they are doing with their lives. While I can’t vouch for other universities, I will say that

Federation Uni certainly made the process seamless and easy for me and 18 months later, armed with a highly regarded

qualification, I am living proof that you can change tack and take some control of your career direction.

I always used to say in my old career, that if you are having more good days than bad, you are ahead of the game - if

not, then you need to be looking at what you are doing! If I, as an old man, can figure out how to become a uni student in

Australia, change career and complete a qualification like the Master of Teaching - then I pretty much believe anyone can do it.

How do you think workplaces benefit from ‘career changers’? I think that the timing is right for career changers like myself, as there is a receptive employment market developing for

those looking for a role in teaching. Warwick Beynon, Principal at Sunbury Downs College where I am working, notes that there are a variety of benefits of hiring a career change teacher.

“People coming into the profession after working in other roles and industries bring a wealth of life practice and knowledge,” he says.

“Not only can these skills and experiences be of value to our

students, bringing a richer depth to many of our curriculum

subjects, but it also can add benefit to all our other staff and

teachers as well, making for a more engaging and supportive school community for all concerned."

To find out more, or apply visit: https://study.federation.edu. au/how-to-apply

services to get you through the course. The lecturers were

very approachable and supportive. One thing I didn’t realise with teaching is all the additional certifications you require beyond just the degree itself (for example - literacy and

numeracy standards - or LANTITE exams which every teacher has to pass - Federation University provided a range of

practice exams and online lectures to prep students for these).



Togetherness in isolation a reflection Words by Gorgi Coghlan, owner The Provincial Hotel and Lola Restaurant.

I never would have believed that a community could become

I’m enjoying the quality time with our daughter and being

COVID-19 has taught us anything about the human spirit, it’s

homeschooling. Some days are challenging but some days

kinder, more generous and connected through isolation. But if that despite pain, discomfort and fear, we all are connected and we all want to be loved, cared for and nurtured.

During isolation so many of us have cried and been frustrated

so involved in her learning as we navigate the tricky road of

are beautiful and it feels like a moment in her life that I won’t get back. I’m trying to absorb every second and remember that all too soon this chapter will be a memory.

by our lack of freedom, yet at the same time felt gloriously

I’m so proud of our Ballarat community and the kindness that

when I haven’t wanted to entertain the thought of going

for each other - you can see it in the smile of people you pass

happy with this new simplicity of life. I’ve had moments

back to stressful days, thousands of emails and a different

after school activity every night of the week. Sometimes the

thought of "what was" gives me shudders, because now more than ever I realise, it was too much and too fast.

Once I surrendered and realised that I could only control

today, I’ve been able to stop, take a breath and enjoy this

COVID has precipitated. There is a genuine care and concern

on the street, and there’s a new gentleness to our interactions. It’s less about "me" and more about "we". There’s generosity and appreciation for our healthcare workers and teachers

- two essential services that haven’t always been given the

respect and admiration they truly deserve. Will our gratitude for these incredible people continue after COVID? I hope so.

global pause. I’m loving the stronger connection to nature

Most of all I hope as a community, as a nation and as a world

the time to notice its colours, its song and its behaviour. We

as the game changer. That it was the virus that helped us

I’m feeling - how I now stop to observe a bird in a tree. I take seem to have more butterflies than ever before on the farm.

Or maybe I just didn’t notice them as much before, when life

was so busy? It feels as though Mother Nature is taking a deep breath and healing herself. Like us, she was craving some downtime.

we can make this count. That we can look at back at COVID restart, look after our earth, ourselves and our children in a

more sustainable way. That it was the time when we realised

that we need less not more. That we are enough. That through isolation we realised that we are all connected, we all need love and that kindness can change the world.



A New World Words and picture by Liana Skewes.

Where do you begin this story? Was it the moment last year I worked overtime staffing

phones about coronavirus announcements and it was a nonevent? Was it when I started working from home to reduce

the risk of my mum, a cancer survivor, getting sick? The day

the play I’d been rehearsing for was indefinitely postponed? Maybe the day I packed a suitcase in my van and said

goodbye to my sister and nephews? “Look at me aunty nanaa-na. I can go fast like this.”

Where does the world before this end, and this one begin? My friend Rhi is a nurse. She lives alone on the Bellarine. We’ve been friends for a while now, having met through Instagram. We decided I would to move in with her if things got bad. I’d be both not passing anything on to my family and I would

be able to support her. I drove to the Bellarine and just felt...

I can’t describe what it felt like. I just felt. Like everything was

turned up loud, from the emotions in my chest to the itches on my skin and my mind didn’t know what to do with all the stimulation.

We’d both been casual about it until she opened the door

and it was her and me and reality and we hugged each other. It’s funny how when you hug someone and your rib cages

connect that your heart is separated by the smallest layer of bones and skin.

The first few weeks were hard. Anxiety and depression that I’d previously worked through got aggravated. I felt monstrously burnt out and well above my capacity in things that I would normally feel in my element, even when my entire calendar had begun to clear. Commitment after commitment fell

through until it was just me and work and I could barely do that.

Then one day it seemed to pass. With each day following, the

cloud lifted more and more and my capacity began to come

back. It was then I started to notice it in others. I touched base with my staff often, sometimes multiple times a day.

I received news that a school friend had been lost to suicide.

The day before my birthday, my sister rang to say a muchloved aunt in Spain had passed away. We received notice that support services at my work were being accessed at

a significantly higher rate. I didn’t take a single moment for granted and reached out to anyone I thought needed it. I

found other people were doing the same and would reach out to me as well.

If we’re all going through this, it begins to challenge the notion that to support someone you must be strong or solid or

unaffected. When really, to support someone, you don’t have to be whole or untouched or not aching yourself. You just

have to share the extra room you have in your heart in that

moment for the person who doesn’t have room in their own. No one person is a lighthouse in this storm. No one is out in

front, the unbruised leader in this time of crisis. It is simply all of us, intertwined by thousands of small heart transactions.

Best wishes that matter at the end of an email. A quiet word

to tell someone what they’re doing has given you a moment of peace. A purchase from a small business. A postcard. A hearty wave from the delivery driver. A laugh from the

supermarket checkout attendant. A hug with a tired nurse when she comes home from nightshift.

It is strange to go through a life that tears at your heart with

a hundred little jagged edges without the people whose love becomes a first-aid. To love by distance when you have not

left home. To realise that home may never have been a place, that it was exactly where you fit in someone’s heart. To know that you fit there because you got to be with them, to hold

them. To mark the passage of time by their heartbeat. Some

days I can give each place my heart has broken a name. This one is called holding my niece. This one is called the taste of

tostadas at Pancho. This one is scratchies on a Saturday with my grandfather. My grandfather. Pa.

And yes, some things we will get to enjoy and appreciate again. Some we won’t.

When all this is over and I can finally return to them, I will run to those hearts I call home and fall at their feet.

It was a shock. There was no warning, even to those close to her.


Wearing a mask may be compulsory at the moment, but wearing bad skin doesn't have to be. Words by Sanctuary Day Spa.

We’ve had so many clients contact us over the last few

Using an exfoliant that does the work with active ingredients

in stress, change in exercise and eating habits as well as the

not to impair your skin’s barrier.

months regarding skin concerns due to an increase introduction of compulsory face masks.

Inside a mask it can be hot and sweaty - the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause breakouts, rashes,

congestion and dryness along with other ailments. The

rubbing of the mask can also impair the skin's barrier function resulting in autoimmune responses.

Treating any skin condition always starts with creating a healthy barrier! Current restrictions may mean we can’t

currently treat your skin in spa, however our skin therapist

Sharni has designed a DIY facial routine for you to do at home to repair and strengthen your skin. Step 1. Cleanse While it may be tempting to over cleanse to achieve that

squeaky clean feel, stripping your skin of healthy oils will only result in an increase in oil production.

We love Linda Meredith Cream Cleanser to help to re-

balance and strengthen the barrier of your skin. Massage your cleanser into the skin before adding water to lubricate and

remove. Always cleanse twice. The first cleanse will clean daily pollutants, makeup, etc before the second cleanse cleans

means not having to scrub at your skin, which is ideal so as Step 3. Mask

We love a good sheet mask! They are generally packed with antioxidants and nourishing peptides - the closest you can

get to a professional skin treatment. The breathable design

mimics the skin’s natural barrier to provide instant relief and reduce the appearance of redness.

We have a number of sheet mask's available in spa. LightStim Sheet Masque or Thalgo Thirst Quenching Shot Mask are our favs right now. Place in the refrigerator 30 minutess prior to

application for an instant cooling effect. Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax. If you don’t have a sheet mask, a cream

mask is fine. Just look for one that’s cream based and will add to the skin, not draw away from the skin. Step 4. Hydrate Remove your sheet mask and massage any excess serum into the skin – do not rinse! If you feel you need more hydration finish with your favourite moisturiser! Bonus tips: •

and nourishes the skin. Step 2. Exfoliate

Be careful not to over exfoliate your skin at the moment. The

rubbing of the masks has already caused friction on the outer layer of our skin (the stratum corneum).

We love a gentle enzymatic exfoliant such as Linda Meredith

Enzyme Peel which can be applied and left for ten minutes to

• •

allow the papaya and pineapple enzymes to “pacman” away

massage very gently into the skin before removing.


wearing, or after exercising, and change your mask if it becomes damp!

Try a silk mask, which is softer on the skin and reduces friction

Drink more water. Sounds so simple right? But how much water are you actually consuming daily? Aim for 2-3l per day to really assist the skin in flushing out those toxins

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are your friend. They help to provide your skin with a good quality oil and are great

for dryness as well as regulating oil flow and assisting to

at dead skin cells, loosening their bonds so they can gently shed. Once the ten minutes is up, lubricate with water and

Cleanse your skin immediately after prolonged mask

clear blockages

Avoid acid based skincare unless prescribed by a qualified therapist

Slow Dentistry By Dr Brian Johnston.

This year has been a challenging time for everybody, both in our personal social lives as well as our working lives, due to


the arrival of the global pandemic in March, the likes of which none of us have experienced before.

The last six months have forced a lot of people to re-evaluate

fundamentals of comprehensive practice. At Face & Smile

we believe the time has come for dentistry to shift gears out

of the high-turnover approach of recent years and to instead adopt a slower, more comprehensive approach to the work.

The slow dentistry movement is a global initiative to improve

the standards of dental care. At its core are the key principles of — clinic cleanliness, with a high standard approach to

sterilisation; clear communication to the patient about the details of treatment; a thorough approach to anaesthetic,

ensuring it is in full effect before any treatment commences; and adoption of strong hygiene protocols during all treatments.

Dental practices being owned by corporates and insurances

understanding of the treatments and explaining the risks and rewards so that informed consent is established


the pace at which we live our lives.

“Slow Dentistry” is a new concept, with its basis in the

Taking the time to help our patients have a better

Hygiene is of the utmost importance. The patient may not be aware of the time involved to ensure the clinical room

is fully disinfected between patients and it is important to us to explain this aspect of our services 3.

Standing out to our patients and showing that we

genuinely care about their wellbeing when they entrust us with their care

We are living in a world of constant change (and this year has thrown more changes at us than most!), but by embracing the slow dentistry approach we want to show our patients

that we are prepared to constantly innovate to remain at the forefront of dentistry services.

The result is a win/win situation for our patients and us as a

clinic. Our patients get the time and expertise that come with our approach and we get show our patients that we will take the time.

companies is becoming common practice, and with this

comes the pressure to provide lower cost, higher volume

service. The danger of hygiene practices being lax in this kind of environment is a huge risk.

For Face & Smile, the philosophy behind adapting the

Book your smile test drive today. Visit www.faceandsmile.com.au or call 5364 9500

concept of “Slow Dentistry” to our clinic is really based on 3 cornerstones:


At Home with Hot Temple The best at-home workouts don’t necessarily require a ton of equipment—or any equipment—other than your own

bodyweight. Emma Tuddenham has given us all we need with this at home work out to get your blood pumping. For low

fitness complete once, for medium fitness complete twice and high fitness complete three to four times. To make it a little more difficult throw in 10 wall climbs and 15 situp, twist to planks.


Visit www.hottemple.com.au to learn more, see timetables or to book your class!


100 Years of Steiner Education Words by Ballarat Steiner School.

“The Need for Imagination, A Sense of Truth and a Feeling of Responsibility.”

Located at 244 Moss Avenue, on ten picturesque acres in

Mount Helen is the Ballarat Steiner School, Kindergarten and

Playgroup which has gradually grown and expanded over the past twenty years. The school, kindergarten and playgroup continue to offer a distinctive and unique approach to

education based on the principles and philosophy of Doctor Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925).

Since the opening of the first Steiner School in Stuttgart in 1919, Waldorf-Steiner Education has become one of the fastest growing educational movements across the world. There are now over 1100 schools in 64 countries and over 2000

early childhood settings in more than 70 countries, including over fifty Waldorf-Steiner schools and kindergartens across Australia. The South Australian and Victorian Governments

In emphasising creative and critical thinking, social

development and problem-solving skills throughout the

ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting

Authority) approved Steiner Curriculum, the Steiner School’s approach sets students up for a life of contribution,

achievement and fulfilment, and gives the children the

confidence and capability to forge their own paths as free, morally responsible and resilient people.

The Steiner-Waldorf curriculum is based on educating the

whole child through learning experiences and programs that

educate the head, heart and hands with a specific emphasis on the need to balance academic subjects with artistic and practical activities. The use of artistic activities within the

syllabus supports children’s well-being and engagement

with their work whilst promoting imagination, creativity, visual, social and fine motor development.

have also acknowledged the holistic approach and

Head of School, Eric Hopf, states “Our curriculum

introducing Steiner streams in some of their state schools.

and forming the basis of intelligence, social behaviour,

foundational underpinnings of Steiner-Waldorf education by The education and learning programs at the Ballarat

Steiner School, Kindergarten and Playgroup foster personal development in each child, allowing them to flourish in a

holistic learning environment that is oriented towards moral growth, social consciousness and citizenship.

acknowledges the importance of these early years in shaping personality traits and the capacity to learn and nurture

oneself later in life. Gratitude, inclusivity, collaboration, initiative and responsibility underpin our educational and learning

programs to support all of our students to learn the skills to be able to take their place in our ever-changing and developing world. We welcome anyone who has any questions, or would like any further information about our school, kindergarten and playgroup, to get in contact with us.”


Ballarat based SOMME WINO is bringing a new and exciting alternative to gifting. Featuring a hand curated wine list with an emphasis on showcasing local winemakers including Justin Purser of Best’s Great Western, Owen Latta of Latta Vino and John Harris of Mitchell Harris Wines, these beautifully wrapped gifts are truly something special. With a focus on fine wine, exceptional customer service and professional delivery, this start up are focused on remaining boutique and celebrating our local viticulture industry. For more wine-spiration, visit their website www.sommewino.com or Instagram @SOMMEWINO



Ripon Street House

Tell us a little bit about yourselves? Deb and I (Dave) lived in Melbourne for 32 years, I’m from Melbourne

and Deb is originally from a farm just outside of Ballarat. We decided to move to Ballarat to be closer to family and also wanted a project in regard to a property to live in.

When relocating to Ballarat, what where you looking for in a property?

We were looking for a period property that hadn’t been touched as far as renovations, it had to be in Central Ballarat, (it’s great to be

able to walk to anywhere in Central Ballarat), a good size block and

Photography by Angela Hayward. House by Moloney Architects. Project team: Mick Moloney, Jules Moloney, Andrea Mancuso Stylist: Kendall Troon Interiors.

preferably East/West facing

This house is clearly steeped in history. Can you tell us a little bit about its origins?

We believe our house was one of several properties that a developer and former Major of Ballarat had constructed in the 1920s.

The previous owner to us was Ken Palmer who created the Bust of Prime Minister Ben Chifley, which is the Ballarat Botanical Gardens Why did you choose to renovate and extend over a new build? We wanted to be in Central Ballarat and we wanted a period home. Tell us a little about the planning stage. How did you choose an architect?

We had done some research on Architects in Ballarat and saw a renovation and extension completed by Mick Moloney which we really liked (Mill Street House). >



Just after we bought the house we had a consultation with Mick, who then came up with a number of initial designs that we played with to eventually come up

with the finished product. Our initial thoughts on what the design would be like

are nothing like what Mick designed and we are very grateful that we ended up with a very functional and beautiful design.

What was the most important element to you during design? Good communication was the most important element in achieving the best result.

Where did you go for inspiration? We looked at countless magazine articles and a number of houses in Melbourne for an open plan living kitchen and seamless outdoor living.

Was it important to maintain original elements of the house? The original elements of the house were very important to us and these included the high ceilings, internal doors, floors and light fittings of the house. We didn’t

want to change anything about the street view of the house and obviously with the heritage overlays you can’t really do that anyway.

Where there any challenges that you had to face with the project? I think most projects have challenges of some kind and we weren’t any different, with a number of delays in approvals from governing bodies which can be frustrating, but nothing major in the scheme of things. >


Who was your builder? How did you choose who to go through? Did you project manage the extension?

Heath Kimber (Kimber Constructions) was recommended

to us by our Brother In-Law, who has worked with Heath on

required, including planting, irrigation system and lighting. The end result is a very old fashioned garden with lots of colour at different times of the year.

a number of Ballarat projects. Heath has built a number of

What would your advice be to others renovating or

Heath was absolutely fantastic to work with and he built and

It’s all about having a great relationship with the architect

Heath won the 2019 HIA award for Western Victoria

Is there anything that you would change if you had your time

Did you use an interior designer?

I don’t think there is anything that we would change as we are

significant properties in Ballarat.

project managed the build and liaised with Mick Moloney. Renovation/Addition project of the year for our house.

Part of the Architectural Services included interior design and


and builder!! again?

extremely happy with the end result.

Andrea Mancuso from Mick’s office was responsible for all of

And finally, how do you like the lifestyle here in Ballarat? Do

What is your favourite room/element in the house?

Ballarat is a great place to live, there are so many great

the interior elements.

Our favourite part of the house is the Kitchen Living space, that's where we spend most of our time.

The garden is beautiful, did you use a landscape designer or is this your own work?

We did have a meeting with landscape designer Helen Todd and discussed my ideas and she came up with a number of other options.


We also discussed plant selection. I completed all the works

you have a favourite eatery? Coffee house? Place to visit?

places to eat, drink and visit. Some of our favourites are Lola, Meigas and L’espresso and they are all walking distance!!

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Lyon House

David and Martin, thank you so much for allowing us to feature your beautiful property in Uncover! To begin with, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and your background?

Martin has an advertising and marketing background with a career

that has covered brands in travel, retail, food, financial services and global not for profits. He was born and grew up in Auckland, New

Zealand. After working and studying in London in digital media he left for Australia.

Photography by Myles Lonsdale Formby House by David and Martin.

David works as a retail designer, working with some of the world’s leading tech and lifestyle brands.He was born and grew up in

country Victoria (Gippsland) and until recently we lived in Melbourne. Tell us, what lured you from the big smoke to our little regional city? With objective eyes we can honestly say that Ballarat is one of the

most beautiful regional cities in Australia. There are many historical country towns in Australia however none of them capture the true extravagance of the Victorian era like Ballarat. The city is full of

creative talents and minds. We want to be part of the renaissance. The incredibly ornate, grand architecture and its beautiful

boulevards and Victorian lanes all provide a perfect backdrop for creative artisans and cultural explorers.

On scratching the surface, you start to realise that there is an

immense pride and passion in the people here. Ballarat attracts

artisans and creatives and there is a sense of "can do" and support here that is missing in larger cities. People here are protective of

the past and yet positive for the future. It’s a great place to have a dream and live it.

Our love for Ballarat started with our purchase of Lascelles Terraces back in 2011. The bones of the building were incredibly impressive, however there had been many years of neglect. We really had a

sense that we needed to help this beautiful building and she has

rewarded us tenfold. When the terrace next door came up for sale

in 2015, we jumped at the opportunity of restoring the buildings as a pair and reuniting them after 129 years.

This beautiful terrace must be steeped in Ballarat history, can you tell us a little about the origins?

Lyon House has such an incredibly interesting story and started its life as an 1880s Victorian terrace.

In the 1920s it was significantly remodelled with a full arts and craft

style makeover. If you look closely you can see some of the Victorian elements still remain. I just love this story.

Inside is a mixture of both craft and Victorian styles. During

renovation we uncovered some of the concealed dressed bluestone which was combined with an Arts and Craft stucco render. >


How did you find the property? Where you specifically looking for somewhere to renovate for boutique accommodation?

After Lascelles we were looking for another unique

property that would give guests the opportunity to stay in a special place that was uniquely Ballarat.

We walk the streets of Ballarat every night with our

Airedale terrier Fletcher. To be honest there would be

hundreds of homes we would love as our next project.

Lyon House was intriguing from the start as it was such a quirky home, ready for its next chapter.

Did you outsource the design/architecture? Tell us about the design process...

Given that the house was large, and we were mostly

Did you encounter any problems during the build? The most challenging component of the build was the construction of the swimming pool. To make the old

blacksmith stables a more functional space, we wanted to place a heated swimming pool with bar kitchen.

To do this we had to temporarily remove one of the large stained-glass windows to allow access for the bobcat to excavate for the pool. The windows were then fully restored and reinstated.

As the building was over 100 years old, we also needed to ensure its structural integrity. The engineers advised

that we needed two metre deep concrete pylons around the perimeter of the stables. This was to ensure that the pressure from the pool did not destabilise the walls.

working within existing spaces, David designed all the

Original features of the terrace were obviously

to tell a story and every room to capture creative

contemporary design is what makes it really special.

structural and design elements. We like every space imagination. There is a small library and at least 50 places to read a book.

Every space and every element should have a sensory

response. We want the guest to create their own stories here. Our moody, Craftsman inner-city home pays

homage to its eclectic past while incorporating modern luxurious finishes.

Where did you go for inspiration? We are lucky enough to travel often to Europe and Asia for work and holidays.

The home has many items found on our travels.Most of

the art is Australian, with many pieces being from known local and national artists. Furniture and lighting are

also crucial in creating ambience. Many of the furniture pieces are Australian made.

Objects and art consist mostly of passion pieces that

have been collected as far always as the design markets of Paris and as close as the local collectable stores. Like

the property, every piece should tell its own unique story. We hope this authenticity resonates with the guest.

Who was your builder? How did you choose who to use? Our builder was Chris McCammon. We have worked

with Chris over a number of projects which started with

Lascelles Terraces in Errard Street North. We love that he shares a passion for the craft of restoration.

important to you, but the way you have overlayed it with Tell us a little bit about this process.

Lyon House has the most incredible play of light and dark and we wanted both the renovation and fit out to reflect this. We have restored both Victorian and craft features

to the house and insured that these act as a backdrop to a more contemporary decor palette. The decor is neutral in tone however very tactile in its finishes.

We have extensively restored panelling and stucco

renders which offer a great texture and backdrop to

the contemporary decor. The stucco catches the light in such a beautiful way. We have used many local

craftsmen for both the build and the decor components of the home.

Tell us about some of your favourite elements of Lyon House.

A favourite room is the dining room, it looks directly out onto the pool house and at night the light through the stained glass is incredibly beautiful, as it reflects the

shimmering blue in the pool and creates a halo of colour. The kitchen was designed with the entertainer in mind with large double fridges, two ASKO dishwashers, two AKSO ovens and six metres of bench space.

The cabinetry of the kitchen and butler’s pantry was handmade from matte black American oak and is

complimented with slabs of honed marquina marble. Merging with the kitchen is a 14-seat dining table inspired by Ballarat’s incredible Underbar restaurant. >



And one of the more... quirky elements we love is the brass gargoyle rain spout. While they are a folly, they do add a playful element to the facade with the added bonus of allowing us to delete the downpipes on the front of the building.

How are you liking the Ballarat lifestyle? Where are your favourite haunts?

The Ballarat lifestyle has been quite a surprise. The region

is full of creatives and there is always something new and exciting to see. To be honest it’s easy to find creative and unique here than it is in Melbourne.

We love how the Ballarat creative and food scene seems to work like a collective, with people supporting one another

for a better Ballarat outcome. It is this that I believe makes

Ballarat so special and gives Ballarat a significant destination opportunity in the future. Food is one of the other great discoveries here.

Favourites... L’espresso - a tried and true favourite that never deviates from what it does best. Johnny Alloo is cool, the

Can you tell us a little about it?

We do have a very exciting project we have been working on for a number of years.

Our next project is a boutique hotel encompassing an

experience rich 5-star accommodation destination and restaurant venue.

We purchased a 20 room Victorian mansion and have planning approval. The design would appeal to the

burgeoning art and experience traveller, who is seeking short term escapes with high visual and sensory appeal.

The opportunity to create a sensory hotel that juxtaposed

Ballarat’s historical past with its creative future seemed like the perfect melding.

We will commence construction of our first small hotel pre-

Christmas 2020. The hotel will be at 710 Sturt Street and will see a restoration of the old mansion and conversion into luxury suites with the addition of a premium restaurant offering.

team is super friendly and the fit out is superb. Higher Society,

The hotel will be called Vera as a nod to David’s beautiful

Bodega and Eclectic Tastes are always on point.

maternal grandmother.

For dinner we love Mr Jones, Moon and Mountain and The

The Vera name meaning truth (in Latin) or faith (in Russian)

Shared Table. However, our ultimate favourite would have to

be Underbar. Derek’s passion is evident in every minute detail and of course this resonates with our aesthetic.


And we hear there is another Ballarat project in the works.

seems like a great good luck talisman. We can’t wait to begin.

Reading good books, enjoying delicious food, drinking fine wine, connecting with new friends.

Join now, visit: uncovermagazine.com.au/thegoodbookclub 137


The Secret Garden in the City Words by Lisa Taylor. Picture by Angela Hayward.

The mention of “gardens” in Ballarat immediately conjures

During the warmer months, you can share a picnic at the

admired Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

commemorating the life of a loved one.

images of the Lake Precinct, elegantly flanked by the widely But there lies another botanical setting hidden in our green city.

One of only two botanical cemeteries in Victoria, the Ballarat New Cemetery encompasses a heady blend of blossoming flowers and grand, towering trees enclosed within the generous memorial park.

Established in 1867, the Cemetery includes 63,000 square

table and seating overlooking the Lake in Birdsong Walk while When the temperature drops, rich autumnal colours transform leaves on European trees into a photographer's dream,

landscape for capturing warm brown, mustard and amber tones.

An abundance of fruit trees, including quinces, plums, pears

and apricots form a hidden orchard for harvesting throughout the year.

metres of lawns, over 6,500 native trees, fruit trees and roses

And while it would be easy to continue this list, entering

55-hectare landscape, complementing the themes and

pockets worthy of exclaim which we leave for you to uncover...

in peaceful open parkland. Plantings vary throughout the design of each thoughtfully considered section.

Six kilometres of roadways and paths also stretch through

the expansive grounds, offering a sizeable walking track on

par with a lap of Lake Wendouree - the perfect recreational catch-up with a friend!

With so much ground to cover, we have compiled a shortlist

of highlights to discover in the Cemetery at different stages of the year:

Stunning magnolias are sprinkled through several garden beds heralding the season of spring.

During spring, Wisteria wraps around arched frames along

pathways, creating a floral canopy to walk beneath, softening the historic stone graves in the foreground.

the park gates for a self-guided tour will unveil many more

As an accessible public space for all to acquaint themselves with, the New Cemetery team warmly encourage visiting the much-loved community asset; a quiet garden retreat within the city limits for pause and reflection by all.

Be proud Ballarat, your eternal resting place is a grand majestic beauty.

P.S. CEO, Annie de Jong, suggests checking out Birdsong Gardens – a personal highlight!

The Ballarat New Cemetery is open to vehicle traffic daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm. For further information, you can reach us at (03) 5332 1469 or email


The alluring scent of over 2,000 roses perfume the air from

late spring through summer. Pretty hues, ranging from a soft

peach to vibrant crimson form a dazzling display of colour to enjoy.


Wholefood Simply Recipe and photography by Bianca Slade. Bianca Slade originally hails from Penshurst, a quaint

country town in Victoria’s Western District. However, for several years now, Bianca and her family have called beautiful Ballarat home.

Bianca has become well known online for her

simple and delicious recipes and, under the guise

of ‘Wholefood Simply’, has had ten books published. In addition to Wholefood Simply, Bianca is also a passionate Food Photographer and Food Stylist.

You can view her recipes, photography gallery and cookbooks at www.wholefoodsimply.com and her

Facebook and Instagram under the name Wholefood Simply.


Picnic Ice Cream Ingredients 1 cup peanut butter (265 grams)

1 cup coconut cream (265 grams)

4 tablespoons honey* (120 grams)

3 tabelspoons cacao or cocoa (25 grams) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (5 grams) pinch of salt

10 soft medjool dates, seeds removed (150 grams) 1/4 cup crushed peanuts (30 grams) Method Place the ingredients, excluding the 1/4 cup of

crushed peanuts, into your processor and blend

until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Add the peanuts and mix to combine. Pour the mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze for 4- 6 hours.

Eat and enjoy. *you can use rice malt syrup if you prefer.

“Don’t laze around all summer... it’s about time you come to visit me”

Join today and get a great-value annual pass, available from $80. Ballarat Wildlife Park | 250 Fussell Street Ballarat | 03 5333 5933 | www.wildlifepark.com.au 141

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Cake Base ingredients


1 cup hazelnut meal (100 grams)

Place the base ingredients into your processor and blend at high speed

12 medjool dates, seeds removed (180 grams)

18cm spring form pan and press it firmly down. Set aside.

1 cup almond meal (100 grams)

¼ cup cacao or cocoa (25 grams) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch of salt

1 tablespoons coconut cream (20 grams) Top ingredients

until the mixture resembles a fine, sticky crumb. Pour the mixture into an

Place the top ingredients into your processor and blend until the mixture

is smooth and well combined. Pour the mixture over your base and place the cake in the fridge for two hours to set. Serve. Eat. Enjoy. Notes – approximately 115 grams of whole nuts makes 1 cup pf meal.

1 cup peanut butter (260 grams)

Once sliced store in the fridge or freezer. You can increase the setting

½ cup honey (160 grams)*

*you can use rice malt syrup if you prefer.

½ cup cacao or cocoa (55 grams) ½ cup coconut oil, liquid (100 grams)

time / make it the day before etc.

¼ cup coconut cream (65 grams) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch of salt

Eureka Concrete has become a source for different pre-mixed concrete for all projects from large commercial projects, road construction, and housing to footpaths and driveways.

For more details go to www.eurekaconcrete.com.au

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Ballarat 1207 Latrobe Street Ballarat Vic 3350 Phone: (03) 5335 7277

Ballan Gillespies Lane Ballan, 3342 Phone: (03) 5368 1777

Beaufort Racecourse Road Beaufort 3373 Phone: (03) 5349 2777

Maryborough 17-19 Tullaroop Rd Maryborough 3465 Phone: (03) 5461 2492


Travel Through the Page Words by Mairead Treise.

Book recommendations to escape during COVID. For most of us, travel is a form of escape. A trip booked to a new country means a reward for a long year of work. A holiday with friends is a chance for new adventures. Unfortunately, the global pandemic is not compatible with these travel aspirations. Perhaps you already had to cancel your trip to Bali, say farewell to that destination wedding or bid goodbye to a year of

discovery backpacking across the Continent. Instead, we are isolated to our small communities, afraid and unsure of what this means for the future of travel.

Thankfully, those dream locations aren’t going anywhere and they’ll feel even more special when you finally get there. In the

meantime, there are other ways we can satisfy our wanderlust (while sticking to the “new normal” restrictions that have become a part of all of our lives). The following journeys don’t require a passport or even leaving your living room, and perhaps they will even inspire some new trips for the future.

Elsewhere by Rosita Boland Never have I read a more authentic account of solo travel. Rosita takes us on a journey from the familiar rainforests of Northern Queensland, to the icy wonders of Antarctica. The book is segmented into nine epic chapters, representing nine different countries, with each exciting tale being narrated by the successful Irish journalist.

Through self-depreciating humour and raw honesty, Rosita takes us on a journey of a life-time—literally. The book spans the course of travels from when she was a young

20-something to more recent times, when she explores as a seasoned traveller. With each trip around the globe there are two constants she carries with her: her trusty rucksack and her journal.

It is because of these well-documented journals that we get to experience each

setting so vividly. We see the crumbling pavement as she drives the narrow roads of Pakistan, we feel the burning heat of the sun during her time in Nepal and we fall in

love with the perfect boy from Edinburgh. As with any life story, there are elements of

heartbreak, fertility and loneliness that remind us that travel isn’t always the romantic blockbuster it’s made out to be.

This is also not a travel guide. Rosita won’t tell you what you must see or what

attraction you simply cannot miss. In fact, she is so unplanned that at times you sit

there anxiously wondering if she will indeed find a place to stay for the night or end up sleeping on the streets of an isolated Japanese village.

What she does offer is a deep-dive into the culture of each country with a wonderful side of female empowerment. If you’re a fan of Eat. Pray. Love. then you will find that familiar sense of adventure in the pages of Elsewhere.


Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb Who doesn’t love a royal wedding? What if it were set in the picturesque French

Riviera? Meet Me in Monaco is set in the 1950s and tells the true story of Hollywood actress Grace Kelly and her bizarre whirlwind marriage to Prince Rainer.

The fairy-tale begins with Grace ducking into a local perfume shop to avoid the

paparazzi during the Cannes Film Festival. It is here that we are introduced to British

photographer, James, and the perfumer, Sophie, who help narrate this epic love story. This book is the perfect blend of romance, history and drama that will keep you glued to your seat. Gaynor and Webb use their words to beautifully illustrate the Côte d'Azur backdrop and transport you both back in time and across the world. This book acts as the perfect escape at the end of a hard day and pairs perfectly with a cheeky glass of Rosé.

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is an unusual combination of chick-lit and humanitarian justice. Through the eyes of fictional character, Sunny, and her humble coffee shop, we discover the harsh realities of living in a war-torn country.

Rodriguez herself spent many years living in Afghanistan, which is evident from her detailed understanding of its conservative culture and weapon-friendly motions.

Although she does explore some grim topics, like women’s oppression, the Taliban and

poverty; the larger portion of the book is dedicated to the unlikely friendship of five very different women. It is through this friendship that we experience heartache, frustration and fear; but also love and the power of hope.

My only criticism would be that perhaps the writing is a little too “westernised” and while

it does include darker subject matter, it sometimes feels as if Rodriguez is skimming over the more disturbing truths. In saying that, this book offers a unique insight into a life in a third-world country, something that many of us will never experience first-hand.

Grab yourself a take-away latte from your favourite coffee shop and prepare to be transported to a completely different reality.

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The pandemic has impacted us all, putting our lives on hold for the moment – but we can still Dream Now and Travel Later. Travel connects us with family and friends and enriches our soul, so when the time is right, let us take that first journey with you, because we are passionate about turning your dreams into reality.

HOLIDAY + CRUISE CENTRE HAS MOVED To serve your travel needs during the pandemic and for years to come, we have moved to a new temporary home office at 214 Norman Street, Ballarat North. It has been a difficult and sad decision to leave our wonderful Sturt Street home of 15 years, but our excellent service and boundless travel knowledge will stay the same, as will our contact details. The new Holiday + Cruise Centre office will continue to operate under the current Australian and Victorian COVID-19 health regulations. I look forward to welcoming you to our new office. – Nicole King, Owner/Manager


Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced. John Keats

Luxe, boutique accommodation right in the heart of Ballarat. Our residences have state of the art facilities to meet your every need. Book direct and save. lascellesballarat.com.au 147