Monthly Archives: November 2015

Cr Yang is new mayor of Manningham


Koonung Ward Councillor Jennifer Yang has been elected mayor of Manningham for 2015-16 and her fellow Ward councillor Dot Haynes as deputy mayor at the annual meeting of council.

It will be Cr Yang’s second term as Manningham mayor having held the position in 2012/13.

“I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by my fellow councillors to be the mayor of Manningham for a second time. It is a rare honour and I am absolutely delighted to again have been given the opportunity to represent the residents of Manningham,” Cr Yang told the Diary.

Cr Yang believes her role is to build on the exceptional work of previous councils while keeping an eye on future opportunities.

“Manningham is an outstanding city and we have been left with a wonderful legacy and I am determined to work with everyone in the community to ensure Manningham remains one of the most liveable, prosperous and inclusive communities in Australia,” she said.  “Local government is facing challenging times and it is my hope that this term of council is not only a time of consolidation, but also a time for innovation and new thought to help us move into the future with confidence.”

To hell and back


RECOVERING from a long-term injury is a brutal physical process, something Melbourne AFL player Christian Petracca can certainly testify to. The second pick in the 2015 draft saw his dream of an AFL debut shattered after a season-ending ACL injury in pre-season training. But the 19-year-old Warrandytian insists the mental struggle was more difficult than the physical one, though he is winning the battle. Dealing with the reality of waiting another year to step onto the field, as well as the pressure of being a high draft pick, took its toll on the explosive midfielder. But according to Petracca, some tough love at home, a trip to America and learning some hard lessons along the way helped pave the way to his recovery. The Diary’s MICHAEL DI PETTA takes time out in the young gun’s home town for an update.

Michael: First of all, obviously with the ACL injury, you missed the entire year. As a young player, how do you come back from that?

Christian: Yeah, when I first did it, it was pretty frustrating, obviously I’d never had a setback like this in my life as a footballer, or a sportsperson in general. I didn’t really know how to cope or how to handle the situation, especially being touted as a high draft pick, when the pressure’s already on me. I think the biggest thing I did was to surround myself with good people. My family was supportive throughout the whole year and obviously so was everyone down at the footy club. You’ve got 44 blokes on a list and it really helps; any day if you’re feeling flat, you can talk to any of them.

MD: What was some of the best advice you got from some of the blokes at Melbourne or from the family?

CP: Make the most of it, you’re only in the gym for a year, so really try and harness the experience and get your body right. Also, they told me it’s probably the best time to do a knee, if you were to do one, right at the start of your career, so really just focus on working hard and being a better person.

MD: And the family?

CP: They’ve done everything, I get home, they’ve probably seen I’ve had a bad day and they give a lot of sup- port. My brothers haven’t changed and that’s probably the best thing, they’ve kept on telling me to suck it up. I don’t want them to change just because I’ve done a knee, or become an AFL footballer or anything, but it’s good because we haven’t changed at all. Mum and Dad have been really good the whole year, even off the field, just helping me through and it’s what I needed.

MD: What were some of the things you did, or techniques you used to keep yourself physically and emotionally motivated throughout the period?

CP: It was quite a boring year, I guess, because every day I did the exact same stuff – there was no real change, it was just basically leg strength. Every day, Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be my main days for running, gym and we did these other little exercises with that which would basically take up the whole day. And on Tuesday and Thursdays, which were my days off, I’d still be doing a bike session, or a swim to keep the cardio going. Then on top of that, you’ve got to fit in the meetings with the main group and all the game style reviews, and reviews from training. So you’re pretty busy; it’s a full time job. I’m probably more mentally fatigued then physically, just because it really has been a long year. I just can’t wait to start.

MD: When you were sitting out on the sidelines you must of learnt a lot about playing and being in the AFL, even though you weren’t out on the field.

CP: Yeah definitely, I think the biggest thing that I found was that talent only gets you so far, you could have another one of these injuries and your career might be over. It’s a really cutthroat industry and one minute you could be pick No.1 and the next minute you could be delisted. You’ve just got to work hard and earn respect, and that’s the biggest thing that I found. At the start of my career, I thought I’d rather be liked, but it’s more about working hard and earning respect from your teammates.

MD: You went to the US recently to take part in a rehabilitation program, what kind of different stuff were you doing over there?

CP: I was actually surprised, it was quite similar stuff, but Billy Knowles, the ACL specialist, made things a lot more specific with the drills we were doing. It was a lot of hard work, it was two two-hour sessions a day for five days, it would be all legs, a lot of gym, and a lot of focusing on landing, jumping and controlling. Obviously he knows a lot of statistics and he was telling me a lot of ACLs are done when you are decelerating, so not when you’re speeding up, but when you are slowing down. That’s how I did my knee, so we were focusing a lot on how to plant your feet or when you’re jumping and you get hit in the air, learning how to land properly. It was really good, it gave me a really good insight and I’ve come back from Philadelphia really confident in my knee. Mentally it was really weird: he sort of connected the wires from my mind to my leg, he made me think while I’m up in the air, this is how I’m going to land. I didn’t really know how to do that kind of thing, but now that I’ve gone there it really gave me a good insight on how to do it.

MD: So do you feel like your knee is back to 100%?

CP: I don’t think it will ever be back to 100%, I still have deficiencies in some areas, but I’ve spoken to a lot of boys and they’ve said similar things – not every ACL is the same. But at the moment it feels really good and I’m doing everything I can, and when we get to Day 1 of pre-season, I’m sure I’ll be able to do a lot, probably not the contact work, but I’ll probably build into it.

MD: Explosiveness was one of the words used to describe you coming into the draft. Do you feel you will have to modify your game in any way to still have the same impact?

CP: Not at all, I’ve always been quite an explosive player. The most frustrating thing about the injury was that I did it while I was moving. With my strength being agility, playing a lot of basketball, it really frustrated me because I’ve probably done that action so many times on the field, but I don’t think it will change my game in any way. I’ll still be the same player.

MD: Melbourne showed some really positive signs. Didn’t win too many games, but there were some really good signs from young blokes like Hogan and Brayshaw. With you coming back, how strong is the foundation for the footy club over the next few years?

CP: We’ve shown this year – well it’s been a bit inconsistent with the wins on the board – but we definitely have improved and we’ve got a really good base of young guys who have really helped us.

It’s really good going to a club every day knowing there are young guys around your age who are really there for one reason – to win premierships. It’s a really good feeling to know we definitely have the group to do that in the future.

MD: So, what’s your personal goal for the season ahead? What do you want to accomplish?

CP: I have some goals that I like to set, but for now it’s really just getting through pre-season unscathed. If I play Round 1, I do, if I don’t it’s really just focusing on playing some games this year. Pre-season this year is shorter, the NAB Cup starts in early Feb, but for me I think if I can get through Christmas I’ll be on the home straight.

Pantry full of joy


THERE’S nothing quite like the bond between mother and daughter. But for Warrandyte duo Helen and Kirsten it’s more than just family: it’s business.

The mother and daughter are the proud owners of The Joyfull Pantry, a gift hamper company that specialises in gourmet goodies and wine.

More than just a business or profit plan, The Joyfull Pantry is a flexible lifestyle choice for Helen and Kirsten; one that allows them to work closely together from their homes in Warrandyte and nurture that special bond.

“My mum is my best friend. We’d had a few different business ideas, but we both love cooking and we both love food, so [The Joyfull Pantry] seemed like a natural progression, a good idea,” daughter Kirsten says.

“We started the business after we had been making hampers for our friends and family at Christmas time each year. So we didn’t buy people gifts, we started cooking for them instead.”

What sets The Joyfull Pantry apart from other foodie institutions is its guarantee of wholesome and honest products, all sourced locally and made with organic ingredients.

“Our vision is to make everything that we possibly can, except for the wine and olive oil which we source from local producers. We try to keep our ingredients
as healthy as we can, all free
from pesticides and herbicides,
so it’s wholesome. We know the growers, so we know exactly what orchards our products are coming from and exactly what kind
of fruit is going into our jam,” Kirsten says.

“So we support local farmers and producers, and we’re reducing our carbon footprint at the same time.”

The Joyfull Pantry seems to be a little local business that can, with support and orders coming not only from Warrandyte, but from all across Australia.

“We’re always inventing new products to put into the hampers. We spend a lot of time taste testing and going around to farmer’s markets and finding all the products and ingredients, and then coming up with all the recipes, which we have so much fun doing.”

It’s something a little different for Christmas, but the hampers can also be purchased for other special occasions (baby showers, mothers day) and also as gifts for clients or co-workers. And while they’ve got their sights set on conquering the national market for gift hampers, Warrandyte is a place they’re proud to call home.

“We’ve got some great support from the Warrandyte Cellars, where we get a lot of our wine from,” Kirsten says.

“We’re also going to be doing some taste testing at the Warrandyte Market so that potential new customers can try our products before they buy them,” Kirsten says.

You can find more information and make purchases at thejoyfullpantry.com.au

Christmas gift ideas


ethical girlCHRISTMAS is fast approaching and with busy lives it can be challenging to complete all the shopping in time.

This year, a little pre planning will take away some of that anxiety so you can forget the frenzy of last minute purchases.

Here are 10 clutter-free gift ideas that you can make/create/ buy that are useful, practical, fun and often consumable.

  1. Homemade voucher.
 Time is precious so make a voucher for someone special that would be meaningful for them. New parents: babysitting. Elderly: help in the garden. Busy family: cook one dinner a month for a year.
What are your talents? Sewing, cleaning, wash car, computer help. A voucher of your time is valued by everyone.
  2. Movie vouchers. Why not give them with a packet of popcorn and Maltesers.
  3. Classes. Yoga, dancing, pilates, gym; pay for a term and wrap
it along with a couple of health bars.
  4. Mani/pedi. Take one nice empty glass jar, add nail polish, acetone, cotton balls, nail file and wrap with ribbon.
  5. Homemade food treats such as chutneys, pickles, sauces, jams, biscuit, curry paste, baked goods and so on.
  6. iTunes voucher. Always a favourite with the younger ones.
  7. The gift of green. Succulents, cactus, native plants, maybe a trailer load of mulch? Think big.
  8. Tickets for fun and being active, such as mini golf, ten pin bowling, the zoo, Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Aquarium, a water park. Tailor it to suit the individual or family.
  9. Massage. So who doesn’t like a massage? A little pampering goes a long way.
  10. Wine or Beer, an all-time favourite but present it a little differently. I made these last year for my colleagues. I called them Rein Beers.

A trucking disaster


A NIGHT-TIME truck ban has been imposed by VicRoads on some of the busiest roads in Melbourne’s north-east, just a month after Melbourne’s new wholesale fruit and vegetable market opened in nearby Epping, drawing heavy truck traffic through Warrandyte from across the state.

Trucks are now banned on all major north-south roads which access the Ring Rd between Heidelberg Heights and Eltham between 10pm and 6am in response to a petition protesting increased truck traffic and noise on Rosanna Rd, signed by about 600 people.

A glance at the map of these banned routes shows the only river crossing to the east of this area that is available to trucks overnight is via Warrandyte Bridge.

The transport industry and fruit and vegetable growers have warned the Andrews government to expect road chaos as the curfew forces thousands of truck drivers onto other residential roads at night and in the early morning. The curfew is a 12-month trial on nine arterial roads that run between the Eastern Freeway and the M80, the so-called “missing link” in Melbourne’s ring road.

VicRoads have put out a brochure North-East Truck Curfew Trial which states: “The night truck curfews trial has been carefully planned to strike a balance for the local community and truck operators.”

However, the bans do not include Research-Warrandyte Road, Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd, Warrandyte Bridge, or Ringwood-Warrandyte Rd. Furthermore, the brochure goes to great lengths to specify where the trucks are not allowed at night, but does not make any attempt to explain where they should go, particularly for those trucks from the south and east of Melbourne coming up Eastlink to Ringwood that need to access the Ring Road.

The truck industry has warned the ban will simply create new conflict between trucks and residents elsewhere. Victorian Transport Association chief Peter Anderson called the government’s curfew “a lazy and short-term approach to the underlying problem of lack of connectivity of our road network. It’s going to push trucks down roads that they’ve never been down before,” he said.

This latest action by VicRoads reinforces the views of some residents that until such time as the state government does something about connecting the Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway and Eastlink, then Warrandyte is seen as the sucker in the middle that gets all the traffic.

That viewpoint gains strength when considered alongside other recent VicRoads decisions such as reneging on previous agreements to restrict engine brake noise through North Warrandyte and refusing Yarra Valley Water access from Research Road to their pumping station at Professors Lane on the grounds the road is “too busy”.

The Diary asked VicRoads to comment on why Warrandyte roads were not also considered for this ban, where the heavy traffic from Eastlink to the Ring Road was supposed to go, and what modelling had been done on the effect of this ban on Warrandyte’s roads.

Vince Punaro, regional director Metro North West, VicRoads said: “Before and after traffic volume, data is being collected at various locations in and around the curfew areas. Throughout the trial, this data will be used alongside community and industry feedback to ensure the curfews balance the needs of the local community and truck operators. At the end of the trial, all of the data collected will be assessed to determine the effectiveness of the curfews.”

Online shopping arrives


SHOPPERS in Warrandyte and surrounding suburbs now have the luxury of ordering their groceries online from Quinton’s SUPA IGA thanks to the installment of a cutting edge new ordering system.

By clicking into the easy to navigate site quintonssupaonline.com.au you can order all your groceries from the store and have them delivered to your door.

“We’re really excited about what we can now offer our loyal customers,” Quinton’s IGA manager Dale Farrugia told the Diary.

“It’s been a long-time coming, but it’s a really efficient system and we know a lot of locals are excited by it. Let’s face it, we live in busy times and by the time a person jumps in the car, drives to the supermarket, shops, drives home and unpacks, it can be anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half on average, so now they only have to spend 10-15 minutes on the computer or their smartphone and it’s all sorted.

“While we have a beaut system that works, all we ask is that residents have a little bit of patience as we fine tune it into a well-oiled machine.

“So far, so good, and we expect it to be a seamless process. We’ve already got people shopping online and they love it. Early days, though, we may be missing the occasional photo or an item is in the wrong section but ultimately it’s all up and running.”

And after test-driving the online ordering system designed for both your desktop and mobile (iPhone, iPad etc), I’m happy to report the experience is excellent. The site, created on the NoQ platform has slick design, is simple to use and everything is secure. Simply register and enter your details, and you’re ready to go.

“We have a support phone line available on the site and, of course, our staff are more than happy to take questions and help people.”

Delivery is Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

Orders must be in by 11.59pm the previous day. Minimum order delivery is $50 and there are four zone delivery areas going as far as Chirnside Park, Ringwood, Croydon Hills, Bend of Islands and Wonga Park, among others. See the site’s “delivery” page for more info.

Delivery is free for orders of $200 or more, while orders under that amount only incur fees ranging from $5 (Zone 1) to no more than $10 (Zone 4).

Visit: quintonssupaonline.com.au

Ready to rock


TALENTED young musicians from the Greater Warrandyte region are putting on a not-to-be-missed show this month.

The annual Wonnies Battle of the Bands, hosted by Wonnies Music and Sport, will showcase the hard work of Warrandyte’s best primary school bands and music groups.

Students from Anderson’s Creek Primary School, Donvale Primary, Eastwood Primary and more will have the chance to perform in front of a live audience, on a stage equipped with professional sound and lighting gear. The school bands have been preparing for months to compete in the competition, hoping to wow their family and friends and the all important judging panel.

“It’s something I never got the opportunity to do when I was younger, get up on stage and be in a rock band. It was always concert bands or brass bands, orchestras and stuff,” says Scott Van Gestrel, director and founder of Wonnies.

“Nowadays with shows like The Voice, these kids want to get up on stage and perform in front of an audience.”

The professional set up of the event is an added bonus, Scott says, and really gives the kids a taste of what it feels like to play a live music gig.

This year, the battle will be recorded and filmed, giving the kids a memento of their experience. And a few years down the track, when they’re famous, it might even be evidence of their musical career beginnings.

There are two coveted prizes to give out this year. On top of the overall winner of the battle, there’s a new award for an up and coming band, chosen by the judges.

“It’s for young bands, kids who are eight or nine who have never been on a stage before. They get to perform on a stage, so instead of competing for the big prize, which is a challenge, they get to compete for a junior prize,” Scott says.

High school students have an opportunity to perform as well in super bands, made up of past winners and students from Wonnies. Quiet Bedlam, an acoustic trio from Warrandyte High School, are headlining this year’s battle.

The community is heavily involved in the event—not only are they encouraged to attend, but there’s a strong Warrandyte presence in the judging panel, which features a music teacher, a representative from one of the primary schools and a keen member of the community.

“I’d love to get a celebrity judge one day, that’d be cool,” Scott says.

Sponsors are another huge part of community involvement, and Scott is incredibly thankful for the support of local businesses, including the Diary, Quinton’s IGA, Bunnings Warehouse and more.

Wonnies Battle of the Bands will be held at Anderson’s Creek Primary School at 12pm on November 29

More details can be found at www.wonnies.com.au

Purple people treaters


REIKI healing, chakra balancing, psychic readings, food intolerance testing, intuitive healing and loads more is set to draw a crowd of interested onlookers at The Purple Dragonfly’s first ever Wellness Expo on Sunday November 15 at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte.

“There will be a lot to explore and take in,” an excited owner of The Purple Dragonfly, Jane Offer, told the Diary this week.

The event is free to attend and will take place from 11am to 4.15pm with door prizes on the hour and products available for purchase on the day including crystals, oracle cards, journals, books, CDs, therapeutic tea, bamboo products, and plenty of great Christmas gift ideas.

A program of events can be accessed at thepurpledragonfly.com.au

“There’s a mix of mainstream and additional, more complementary approaches to health and wellness,” Jane says. “It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our therapists and a couple of local suppliers, including local authors.”

Some of the highlights of the day will include: intuitive healing sessions with trance healer David Offer; food intolerance testing with homeopath Catherine Bullard; psychic art works with Sophia Rigas; angel symbols and essences and what they mean, and; sound experience with Ruth Marr and her beautiful crystal singing bowls will be running throughout the day.

The program of talks also includes reiki master and animal healer Nicole Jacobsen doing a presentation about how to “deepen your connection with animals in your life” and Felicity Kearton presents hypnotherapy for weight loss, or to quit smoking, releasing anxiety and phobias, and explaining past life regression.

“It will be a great day, so come on down to the Grand and spend some time at the Wellness Expo,” Jane says.

The Purple Dragonfly Wellness Expo, Sunday November 15, Grand Hotel Warrandyte. For more information visit www.thepurpledragonfly.com.au