Monthly Archives: October 2016

Time to spring clean your garden

As Spring begins to show its colours throughout Warrandyte, it’s the perfect time to make a few changes to your garden. The Diary’s TOBY WARD caught up with Nick Katis from Warran Glenn Garden Centre & Café to find out how any gardener can liven up their outside space.

TW: Nick, can you tell us why Spring is a good time for people to get outdoors and start gardening?

NK: Well, gardening for 30 to 45 minutes is equivalent to walking 3km for 40 minutes or cycling 8km in 30 minutes. Daily gardening results in a 36% lower rate of developing dementia and scientists have found that being around plants can reduce stress and make us feel happier and more relaxed.

What is going to blossom during Spring? What colours can Warrandytians expect to see?

I’m sure that everyone’s noticed that all of Warrandyte has a link chain of bright Big Red Geraniums in hanging baskets.

Organised by Julie Quinton and her Warrandyte beautification team, and supplied by Warran Glen, it defines Warrandyte as big, bright and colourful.

Spring is also time for some new and old favourites to take centre stage including: Maples, Ornamental Pears, Ornamental Cherries, Petunias and a huge range of exotic and native flowering plants.

HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE

Why is Warran Glen the place to go in Spring? What can people expect in the next few weeks?

We have a massive range of plants, pots and trees this Spring that will turn garden dreams into reality. We insist on ‘quality’, ‘natural’ and ‘value’ in all aspects of Warran Glen and Spring is the time when this shines most.

Our team, our customers and our stock are all blooming at the moment – so the more, the merrier!

What’s your advice for gardeners and how can Warran Glen help?

Don’t fall for the trap of “cheap plants” and no proper advice. We have a team of quali ed, dedicated horticulturists that will help you with the right plants, the right pots, the right trees for your garden. We can even come to your home for a tailor made service which we call our “Garden Consultation” service.

The word around town is you have a pretty special food offering there?

Well, Spring is alfresco time at Warran Glen Café. Our team of chefs and café staff work together to provide you with a local café/restaurant delivering great food and great service. And kids are always welcome to wander through the gardens and play on Thomas the Tank Engine. In October we have a series of FREE Garden Talks: including this Sunday October 16 at 11am with Melissa King and Sunday October 23 at 11am with Kevin Sheedy.

For more information visit warranglen.com.au

Council elections arrive

Elections are underway. Look closely at the candidates…and their promises, writes Val Polley

We’re having elections again – this time it’s local government elections this month.

We don’t have to turn out and queue this time, however. It’s a postal ballot in both Nillumbik
 and Manningham but if we intend to treat it seriously there’s some work to do. Local government is the closest level of government to where we actually live. It deserves some of our time to give some attention to the candidates and their promises.

North Warrandyte sits in the Sugarloaf Ward of Nillumbik Shire Council. This is a single councillor ward and there are 14 nominations to ll the seat left vacant by Ken King who has retired. Warrandyte is included in the Mullum Mullum Ward of Manningham City Council. It sees the three sitting councillors renominating as well as a further 10 nominations for the three seats. With the move to postal ballots the only guaranteed information voters can access comes via the candidates’ own 200 or so word CV.

These can be found on the Victorian Electoral Commission website. They should also be included in the posted out papers.

If you care about the issues in Warrandyte then it pays to read through the candidates’ CVs and what they have to say on our two page spread showcasing them on pages 14-15 of the Warrandyte Diary, October 2016 edition.

There are very few public meetings, door knocks and personal interaction. Very few of us will meet our candidates before we fill out our ballot papers. It comes down to their words to capture your interest and encourage you to vote for them.

When looking for your ideal candidates there are a few things to keep in mind. Have they submitted a CV?

If so, look at what they write. Are they truly involved in the community through sport, schools, organisations or other interests or just paying lip service to community involvement? This can be a major indicator of their real interest in being a councillor. If they haven’t provided a CV then are they really serious about their chances of election?

Are they standing on just one particular issue? The work of a councillor is all encompassing and councillors have to be involved across the range of subjects that will come before them.

Do you want them to be independent or can they represent a political party?

The Greens candidates have clearly stated their allegiance. Other candidates’ possible party allegiances appear more opaque.

Are they setting preferences in their CV to benefit one particular group looking for specific outcomes? Recent Electoral Act changes were designed to eliminate the practice of dummy candidates, it remains to be seen if this will be the case.

Would you like them to live locally?

Both wards are very large and a truly local representative can often be a major asset. Incumbents enjoy a privileged position. Their names are usually more recognisable particularly if they have played a major role in the local community.

That said, do you want to re-elect a sitting councillor? Is their record good enough, how long have they served and have you been pleased with their efforts on your behalf?

Being a councillor is an arduous four year long round of meetings, decisions, negotiations and con- stituent involvement across the whole of the City or Shire. It is not for the faint hearted and indeed it is very encouraging for local democracy that so many of our fellow residents are prepared to put up their hand for the privilege of serving their community.

If we want the best possible out- come for these elections and the next four years then we must take the time and make a balanced and considered decision on how to mark that important ballot paper. If not we will have no-one to blame but ourselves if we don’t like the result.

All Bodi’s well for our BMX future

BMX began during the early 1970s in the United States when children began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in southern California. Like skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding and Jack Daniels, the Aussies waited for the Americans to mature, tweak and be the general crash test dummies before embracing a new culture in 1975 (even then us southerners let the Queenslanders give it a crack before taking it on).

The year 1985 saw the soil get turned for the Park Orchards BMX track. In true Green Wedge fashion the council decided to reduce, reuse and recycle by building on the old tip. This must have been very handy when a tire was popped, a quick dig of a hole and surely an old tire would’ve been found?

Thirty years later the Park Orchards BMX club has continued to prosper and it has been an exciting year with a large influx of new members joining our existing members to speed their way around the track every second Saturday afternoon for club racing.

Recently the club was very excited to announce the beginning of major refurbishments to the track. Tireless work by the committee led to the securing of a HUGE grant by everybody’s favorite Warrandyte bank, the Warrandyte Community Bank (branch of Bendigo Bank). Manningham council has also jumped on board the reinvigoration train which will see the installation of lights and the asphalting of the berms. This will bring the track up the national standard, allowing our riders to go faster (and safer) and be able to see at night (also safer).

Following on from an exciting Olympic campaign by our Aussie riders in Rio, the club hosted a “Come and Try” day in early September that saw 28 new riders come and try BMX for the first time. Rio Olympian, Bodi Turner, donated his time and expertise on the day to coach our “come and triers”. The club has since convinced Bodi into running coaching sessions every Saturday until the end of the year.

Due to some crappy wisdom that claims “with good must come some bad” the club’s bubble deflated a bit two weeks ago when the clubrooms were broken into. The dastardly thieves took off with four racing bikes. With their energy obviously waning they also rode off into the metaphorical sunset with the canteen’s supply of Mars Bars, Gatorade and Coke.

The Warrandyte community spirit was brought to the fore yet again when in response to people wanting to donate money, a Go Fund Me page was set up. The money that has been donated will enable the club to purchase some new bikes (maybe even a couple of Mars Bars). For that the club says thank you.

Diary is ‘Best Newspaper’ again!

For the third successive year the Warrandyte Diary has claimed the title as Best Newspaper at the Community Newspaper Association of Victoria (CNAV) annual awards.

Diary stalwart Jock Macneish and his wife Di attended the awards and almost wore out their shoes in walking up to collect them on behalf of the Diary.

“It was a fantastic night and we were thrilled to be involved in so many awards, whether it be as a winner or finalist,” Jock said. “It’s a fabulous result for all of Warrandyte.”

We managed to win four of the nine awards, including Best Newspaper (2014-15-16), Best Sports Reporting, Best Feature Story (Sammi Taylor’s investigation of Lyme Disease) and Best Photograph (Bill Hudson-McAuley’s wonderful photograph taken at Ron Day’s funeral). We also finished as finalists in another three including Best Editorial Comment (editor Scott Podmore’s close look at social media in the local community), Best Design and Layout, and Best History Story (Living in the ’50s).

So what did the independent judges say about our work? Read on:

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Best Newspaper – Winner 

Warrandyte Diary

This entry wins because of its all-round appeal, combining excellent hard news with great photographs, an engaging front page, features and coverage of grass-roots events. Particularly notable was its strong hard news coverage on issues where accurate, current information for residents was paramount: including stories on a VicRoads bridge proposal, a plan to extend the M80 Ring Road and a VCAT hearing on a proposed new petrol station. These stories were well-crafted, relevant and strong, admirably answering the five golden questions of journalism: who, what, where, when and why. Clearly the stories were also being chased and followed up, demonstrating a drive to actively hunt for the news and report it, not just re-print a press release. This entry also stood out for an excellent feature on socal media and a comment piece adding context to a controversial planning amendment. The ‘Our Living Treasure’ column is a wonderful idea, in this edition profiling a local potter, a piece that illuminated the region’s rural past with lyrical humour. A top-notch sports section completed the picture. With minor quibbles, page designs were good: photos were used well, and headlines and sub-headings were appropriate and well-written.  All stories were well-crafted and edited with care.  A great example of a community newspaper with both heart and teeth.


Best Design and Layout – Finalist

Warrandyte Diary

The name ‘diary’ and the masthead are a lovely feel for a community newsletter, obviously including as many local people as possible. This newsletter is packed full of great articles which are easy to find and read. It resembles a newspaper which would encourage readers to have a look. The front cover is engaging with its big type drawing the reader in. I think the community would keep this newsletter and come back and back to read more.


Best editorial comment – Finalist

Warrandyte Diary – Scott Podmore

Care and concern for a serious local issue, well researched, well written, balanced.  A detailed, comprehensive, serious look at an important issue.  Well done!


Best Sports Reporting – Winner

Warrandyte Diary

The winning entry stood out for a number of reasons.

The front page photograph is a cracker and I loved the headline and the use of colour in the headline. The short sharp introduction draws readers into the extensive finals coverage inside.

The Warrandyte Diary’s spread on the grand final Triple Treat inside is a great read and the pictures and layouts are clean and first rate.

I also loved the double page spread of celebratory pics combined with the top 10 highlights of the match. This was a really innovative idea. The coverage indicates the writers and photographers spent considerable time and effort covering the matches and its fantastic they got reactions and responses from the people involved. It’s all about our local people and community after all.

The Warrandyte Diary has also devoted loads of space to a wide array of other sports and local achievers.


Best history story – Finalist

Warrandyte Diary

‘Warrandyte in the 1950s’ by Bill Hudson-McAuley

This is a snapshot of a town at a particular time – Warrandyte in the 1950s. Bill describes the town and the shops and the home delivery men – the baker, the milkman, the iceman and the dunny man (who collected not delivered!) and just the simple pleasures of growing up in a country town where children were encouraged to make their own entertainment. Lovely story.


Best feature story – Winner

Warrandyte Diary

‘Living with Lyme disease’ by Sammi Taylor

The winner was clear cut.

This was an extremely well written piece of investigative journalism. It was sensitively handled, beautifully structured and whole article was a gripping read from the first word to the last. This very important story is about Lyme disease not being acknowledged as a medical condition in Australia and details the pain and anguish being experienced by several Warrandyte residents with Lyme-like symptoms. Excellent work Sammi.


Best Photograph – Winner

Warrandyte Diary

‘One Beautiful Day’ – Photographer: Bill Hudson-McAuley

This is a very moving photo taken under challenging circumstances.  In covering a funeral the photographer has to strike a balance between being respectful and being present, perhaps even intrusive, enough to tell the story.  Shot from a discrete position that demonstrates respect for the grieving family, tightly framed to remove unnecessary detail, and carefully timed to capture Kianie’s hand in a final farewell to her grandad, this is a quiet and very touching image.

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Big-hearted basher Nev

The Warrandyte community is known for its supportive attitude and general giving nature.

The Colenso family have not only been in Warrandyte for half a century but have also been a shining example of that Warrandyte spirit.

Lyn Colenso set up the Bhava Centre on West End Road some 30 years ago while her daughter Maedy Colenso is a naturopath practitioner at the Possum Hollow natural health clinic.

However, the focus of the Diary’s attention for this profile is the family’s father, Neville (Nev) Colenso, a recently retired screen printer who has spent the best part of the past 10 years raising money for Variety, the children’s charity that specialises in empowering children who are sick, disadvantaged or who have special needs.

Nev achieves this by raising money to take part in the annual Victoria Bash, a point-to-point tour where teams take cars over 30 years old and drive them through Outback Australia, visiting towns and schools and raising awareness for disadvantaged children.

“The most enjoyable thing is when you go to a school, especially a disadvantaged school to give out things. You see the faces of these kids getting these gifts, how they love seeing all the cars,” said Nev.

As well as getting away from the daily grind to do something a little bit different for a good cause, participants in “The Bash” are encouraged to style their cars, and themselves, in a fun theme. Nev is on his third Mercedes-Benz bash car.

For his first car, Nev and his team went as The Wombat Boys, which had a giant wombat on a skateboard on the roof of his car, but these days Nev can be seen bashing as Popeye in his bright green “Spinachmobile”.

“Every four years The Bash has a big get together of all the Bashes from the other states,” Nev said. “The last one they had was in Sydney. To see some 500 cars all in the showgrounds in Sydney, all dressed up is fantastic, really.

In his early 20s, Nev spent six months travelling around Australia in an old Land Rover, so he is no stranger to adventurous road trips, he really is just bashing for the chil-dren but each year he has to raise a minimum amount of money, last year he had to raise a minimum of $8000.

“In 10 years I have probably raised $120,000. There is always a minimum amount but I try to raise a bit more if I can. The last three years we have got up to $15,000,” said Nev, who explains how he raises all this money.

“A lot of people raise more who use their franchise businesses to generate donations. But we don’t do too bad considering we just do tin rattles and go down the market selling mandalas and have sausage sizzles at the IGA. We also sell names on the car and ask businesses for $400 donation to have their name on the car.”

Nev really does give it all for the bash. Using his screen printing skills he produces stickers for Variety as well as bash branded stubby holders that are given out to the competitors on the bash.

Now 75 and retired, Nev is looking to relaxing a little but is still fully committed to the bash. He is down at the Warrandyte market every month and occasionally outside the IGA, so look out for the big green Spinachmobile and say hello to Nev (who may or may not be in his Popeye outfit) and buy a mandala or a sausage and help him continue to raise vital funds for Variety.

“I can concentrate more on Variety now, and I will keep doing it until I can’t cope anymore.”