Monthly Archives: February 2017

Police appeal for witnesses to Yarra Street crash

On Monday February 20 at around 6:40am there was a collision on Yarra Street involving a truck and a parked car.

Sergeant Stewart Henderson of Warrandyte Police is appealing to the public for any witnesses to last Monday’s incident.

In a statement to the Diary, Sgt Henderson said: “We are interested in either the driver’s actions prior to the accident, at the time of the accident or any actions of the driver after the accident.”

If you witnessed the accident or have any information relating to it, please contact Warrandyte Police or email warrandyte.uni@police.vic.gov.au

Songlines in Warrandyte

When British settlement in Australia began in 1788 the colonists were essentially blind to Aboriginal technology. The manicured environment they saw had been carefully shaped by constant burning off and it looked for all the world like an English gentlman’s estate. However, it was nevertheless thought of as the “natural” state of affairs. These misapprehensions permeate our history books and continue to influence our thinking right up to the present day. So in this sense we have been brought up to be virtually blind to many aspects of our Aboriginal heritage.

It is exactly the same situation with Aboriginal trade and travel routes, which are known as Songlines. The reason they are called Songlines is because the landmarks, ecological features and creation stories along each route were coded into a song. Aboriginal people had to learn hundreds of these songs that had verses patching into each other, thus enabling them to diverge at any given point onto a different trail and a different song.

These Songlines criss-crossed the whole of Australia with the important travel routes covering many hundreds of kilometres. These major Songlines were even coded celestially, so that the various landmarks were represented in the constellations. For instance, one such celestially coded Songline goes from Alice Springs to Byron Bay.

Now just pause and think about this for a minute. Why would people from Alice Springs want to travel to Byron Bay and vice versa? The answer is both simple and stunning.

People from the central desert wanted to go to the far east coast to witness the local people working in co- operation with dolphins to catch fish. Every dolphin was known by name and responded to their name in working as a team to drive shoals of fish to the shore. Aboriginal people would net the fish and then share the fish evenly with the dolphins. On the other side of the ledger people from the far east coast of Australia wanted to travel to the central desert to see the majestic Uluru for themselves.

When settlers first arrived in Melbourne in 1835 they simply got on their horses and in their carts and started spreading out into the hinterland. They of course followed the ridge lines, valley lines and easy contours that seemed to be remarkably free of trees and offered convenient travel routes. These Songlines then became established cart tracks and were progressively gravelled then bitumenised.

So while Melbourne itself was established on a surveyed one mile square grid of north-south and east-west roads, all the meandering roads out of Melbourne were originally Aboriginal Songlines. If you take an aerial view in your mind’s eye, you can see all the main roads radiating out of Melbourne: Geelong Road, Ballarat Road, Calder Highway, Sydney Road, Plenty Road, Heidelberg Road, Maroondah Highway,

Dandenong Road and Nepean Highway. They were all originally Songlines, but are not recognised as such, and our kids at school are not taught this part of our heritage.

It is in fact quite easy to identify Songlines and being on the Yarra, Warrandyte has an abundance of them. You can for instance be certain that any shallow rapids area on the Yarra was the point at which a Songline crossed the river. The street where the Police Station is situated is one such place where the Songline taking you to Research crossed the river to follow the Research-Warrandyte Road. Barely a couple of hundred metres further up where the bridge stands, is where the Songline to Kangaroo Ground starts. Take a trip along the Kangaroo Ground Road and see how it follows the ridge line and gives you 360 degree views. It is of course also a Songline.

Another good example is Tindals Road. Take your kids along it and enjoy the panoramic vistas to the east and west. Tell them, “Hey kids, this is an Aboriginal Songline, You know this because you can see for miles.” Originally the Tindals Road Songline branched off from Doncaster Road to follow Old Warrandyte Road. It then went past the Donvale Christian College, followed the ridge line and dropped down into Pound Bend. However, it is now bisected by Warrandyte Road where a cutting has been put in.

Much of Warrandyte Road itself was also a Songline. The route followed the ridge line as it does today past Warrandyte High School, but the original Songline then followed Melbourne Hill Road. With a little bit of thought it is relatively easy to identify the original route of these Songlines by seeing where cuttings and diversions have been put in.

So if you have any information that could help to map these local Songlines and restore knowledge of this part of our heritage, please let me know.

Tennis hot shots at Rod Laver Arena

Four groups of young tennis players from the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program took over both Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena last Thursday as Tennis Australia renamed Australia Day the “Tennis Guru Day”.

Forty players aged seven to nine from Warrandyte Tennis Club, Warrandyte Primary School and Milgate Primary School participated in the Tennis Guru Hot Shots program on centre court.

The demonstrations highlighted some of the activities the young tennis players learn in the Hot Shots coaching program.

For half an hour the kids, aged between seven and nine years, demonstrated their skills to the crowd.

They were then followed by the professionals in their Australian Open matches.

While the kids strutted their stuff, coach Craig Haslam was interviewed by Tennis Australia for big screen crosses at the change of ends.

“These kids ran onto a huge stadium and played the game of tennis completely independent of adult support for 30 minutes.

The demonstration was not rehearsed, it was just kids having the time of their life playing tennis. I was so proud of them,” said Mr Haslam.

He must have heard the words “they are so cute” at least a hundred times that morning.

The Hot Shots tennis program demonstrations are a regular feature of the Australian Open and other demonstrations took part on the other major courts throughout the Grand Slam.

On your marks Warrandyte

WITH only one month to go, volunteers were representing Run Warrandyte at the February Riverside Market last Saturday.

The annual event, which is now in its sixth year, grows in both event size and distances.

Now a regular event in Warrandyte on the March sporting calendar, this year’s Run Warrandyte has partnered with charity Stop, One Punch Can Kill (SOPCK) making this year’s event not only a celebration of fitness within the community but also a stand, or should I say sprint, against violence too.

“We are very excited to include SOPCK in our event this year,” said David Dyason of the Run Warrandyte Committee.

“We have introduced a team fundraising aspect to this year’s event with prizes being awarded to the team which raises the most money for the charity.”

The SOPCK charity was set up in the wake of the death of David Cassai, who was a killed on New Year’s Eve 2012.

Mr Cassai had ties to the local community as he attended Warrandyte High School and often watched the footy.

The Warrandyte footy club got behind the SOPCK campaign in the 2016 season.

As one-punch deaths become an increasing problem, sports clubs are often used as a conduit to engage young people in the Stop campaign, and with the sports club contributing to the management and facilities that Run Warrandyte uses, it seems fitting to have SOPCK as the event’s first official charity.

“People like the philosophy of running, but are often put off by the physical aspect.”

“I think having a fundraising part to the run will encourage people to sign up and get out on the course,” said John, a member of the Run Warrandyte team.

The course is similar to last year with one loop that brings runners back to the sports oval; run distances are determined by the number of laps they do.

The Run Warrandyte Committee will have the usual support of the local fireys, keeping everyone cool, as well as some on-course entertainment to keep everyone’s spirits up on that long climb up to The Pound.

The Grand Hotel Gift, a 100 metre, handicapped sprint is also back after last year’s successful integration into the running event.

While registration for the Gift alone is possible, participants in the 2.2K, 5K, 10K and 15K distances are encouraged to also enter the Gift as entry for these people is complimentary.

To help with training, Run Warrandyte local personal trainer Chris of RivvaPT has produced a training plan, which is available through the Run Warrandyte Facebook page, for the 5K and 10K distances.

“We have had a number of people ask us if we can walk any of the runs,” said Mr Dyason.

“Because we have to close public roads, if people want to only walk, we suggest they enter the 2.2 or 5K event.”

The Gift and the longer runs all start and finish on the oval, where a number of local clubs and businesses are expected to be on display, making it a great morning out for both runners and non-runners.

The run takes place on March 5.

Run Warrandyte registration can be found online and the Run Warrandyte team regularly posts updates and competitions on their Facebook page.

Further delays to NBN rollout

NBN’s three-year plan for deployment, which was announced in the December 2015 issue of the Diary, stated that residents in the east of Warrandyte would receive NBN by fixed wireless commencing first quarter 2017, and the majority of people in Warrandyte and North Warrandyte would receive NBN by fibre-to-the-node commencing in the second half of 2017.

As these dates are now upon us, we asked NBN Co how things were progressing.

Michael Moore, Manager of State Corporate Affairs at NBN Co, told the Diary due to network design changes, he was unable to provide an accurate update of the construction schedule for Warrandyte.

“The best I can suggest is that people use the new check your address function on the front page of NBN Co’s website to find out information relating to their premises. They can also register for updates. I expect greater clarity by March,” he said.

Checking a number of addresses in Warrandyte and North Warrandyte, which were originally to be covered by fixed wireless, shows, in all cases, an availability date of January to June 2018 – with an asterisk indicating “this is an estimate and could change”.

As no plans have yet been lodged for the proposed wireless tower to the east of Warrandyte and the promised community information sessions have not been scheduled, it would appear that fibre-to-the- curb (FTTC) technology could be under consideration for the east of

Warrandyte previously planned to be covered by fixed wireless.

FTTC is a new technology which sits halfway between fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), a solution scrapped by the current government where fibre would have been taken to every home/office, and fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) where fibre would be installed to boxes in the street within 1km from each premises, the “last mile” being handled through existing telephone cabling.

With FTTC the fibre is taken to the pillar or pit, which would be much nearer the destination premises than with FTTN.

Also FTTC technology is reverse powered at the pit or pillar from the network termination device (NTD) in the home/office, obviating the need for a power supply that would have been necessary at the node for FTTN and thereby reducing costs.

The downside is a further delay in implementation; the upside is that since the FTTC point would be nearer each premises than with FTTN, faster speeds will be possible. Meanwhile, around 100 Warrandyte residents have given their support to a petition circulating on the change.org website calling on local state member Ryan Smith to urge Telstra to upgrade the Warrandyte exchange and speed up NBN implementation because it is needed for reliability of communications in a bush fire situation.

This petition is well-meaning but somewhat misdirected and is unlikely to achieve any speed-up of the process.

Firstly, the NBN is being implemented by NBN Co not by Telstra, secondly this is a federal matter not a state one, thirdly the Warrandyte telephone exchange is a state-of-the-art modern exchange and does not need upgrading, and finally, the NBN, although providing much faster internet connectivity, is unlikely to be any more resilient in a bush fire situation than current ADSL systems.

The message at the moment is not to expect anything in the short term. The Diary will keep you updated with further developments and hopefully we can reveal more in the April edition.