Monthly Archives: January 2018

Warrandyte at the Australian Open 2018

Joel’s ‘king of the kids’ at the Australian Open

By JOSH HUNTLY

WARRANDYTE Tennis Club coach Joel Compagnino has been kept on his toes during his third year of co-ordinating the ball-boys and girls at the Australian Open, managing over 350 children as the Grand Slam rolls into Melbourne for its 2018 edition.

Joel, who was a ball-boy himself at the 2001 Australian Open, has a total of six years’ experience under his belt working in different roles around the event prior to settling on his current task of assisting in the management of the ball-kids.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Joel.

“During the tournament, it’s all about marking them, making sure they stay hydrated and generally supervising them through the event.

“It involves getting on to the court and watching them in action day to day.

“It’s good to be involved with the kids, especially the ones that you know from coaching.

“It’s always good seeing them make friends as well,” Joel told the Diary.

It’s a busy time for the Warrandyte Coach, but he says working with others in the fifty-person management team who are as passionate about tennis and developing the youth of the green-ball game is a plus.

“It’s a really good atmosphere,” he says.

“We’re pretty like-minded and do the same things so it’s good to catch up every year.

“You’re predominantly watching the kids but you also get to watch a bit of tennis as well which is a lot of fun.”

For the ball-boys and girls that participate, the Australian Open will provide memories that last a lifetime and the chance to work with the greats of the game and witness their prowess firsthand is a highlight that won’t soon be forgotten.

“They definitely enjoy the experience,” says Joel.

“They like to rub shoulders with their idols, even just to be involved with the inner-sanctum of the tournament and to see a little of what the public doesn’t see as well as seeing their heroes walk down the corridors.

“I still get goose-bumps watching them, I can only imagine how the kids feel.”

As well as being involved with the kids during the tournament, Joel has a significant role in assessing the ball-kids for the next tournament and he says the criteria to qualify for a spot can be tough, but there’s always a sure-fire place to start.

“Firstly, they’ve got to know a little bit about tennis,” he joked.

“They’ve got to know how to score the game so they know which end the balls need to go.

“They would need to have a good roll and provide good service to the player, and their general speed around the court is important as well.”

The trial period, which occurs in March, is a hectic time for Joel and the other coaches as they attempt to grade 2000 prospects.

There is significant competition for spots as young tennis players from around the area and interstate, and in some cases overseas, vie for a spot amongst the 350 chosen during the June-July selection period.

In the meantime, however, Joel remains the “king of the kids”, overseeing the current generation of the Australian Open ball-boys and ball-girls.

 

 

Warrandyte Tennis Hot Shots all the rage at Australian Open 2018

By CRAIG HASLAM

Once again the Tennis Guru provided a once in a lifetime experience to 40 kids from the Hot Shots tennis programs at Warrandyte Tennis Club (WTC), Warrandyte Primary School and Milgate Primary School.

The kids were demonstrating their amazing tennis skills to the adoring fans (and of course their parents).

The 30 minute demonstration opens up play on the stadiums and the kids are followed on court by the professionals for their Australian Open matches.

Coaches Matt Neil & Angus McLellan represented WTC and helped the kids and parents throughout the morning.

Charlotte Petrella tossed the coin for Dylan Alcott’s match and Max Brogan tossed the coin for the legends featuring Henri Leconte.

The rest of the kids got to make a guard of honour so they could high-five the players as they came on court.

We also had five WTC Hot Shots competing in the inaugural Orange Ball and Green Ball challenge on Australia Day at the Australian Open.

The teams competed against other clubs from around Melbourne on the courts the pros play on. Certainly some amazing tennis action for the kids from WTC.

 

 

Son-of-Kev: The legend lives on

By KATRINA BENNETT

Nothing says Aussie summer more than a beer and a barbie on the deck, surrounded by gum trees and your mates.

If you’re lucky enough to live in our fair suburb bisected by the Yarra, then you can probably add a few snakes, a half-dozen cashed up hippies and a couple of kookaburras.

Yes, let’s discuss dacelo novaeguineae.

Our chortlelicious feathered friend. The laughing kookaburra, known also as the kingfisher.

I’ve lived on the banks of the Yarra for a few years now and not once have I seen these jokers of the bush fish a king out the river.

Although, if recent photos are accurate, our king in all but name, Prince Phillip, looks like he’s just been fished out of somewhere.

But my personal favourite name for these fiendish feathered rapscallions is the laughing jackass.

The name conjures up images of toothless locals from the dirt farm, Idaho or a schoolie returning from the Gold Coast.

Now, don’t go thinking of me as some sort of amateur ornithologist.

Of course, not to be confused with an orthodontist, although, like the damn kookaburras, they also laugh when they see me coming.

Think of me more as an overcooked snag that the local kookaburra population has their beady eyes on. They’ve always had their eyes on me.

Just three years ago, I credited Kev, the tame patriarch of my property’s bird population for saving my life.

Yes, you read correct.

Saved.

My.

Life.

Kev had seen a few summers I reckon.

He was a bit scrawny and missing a few feathers but my little friend faithfully followed me around whenever I cut the grass.

One day, when I was nearing the end of pushing my lawn mower around for six kilometres in 40 degrees, Kev wacked me clean in the ear with his beak and growled as he swooped past.

Startled, I looked down and froze with my foot approximately two centimetres above a coiled tiger snake.

Needless to say Kev didn’t have to follow me anymore, he got to sit on the handle of the lawnmower and casually flutter down to the ground whenever he spied a tasty morsel in the grass.

But like all living legends his time eventually came and he became a legend. Fast forward three years and the son of Kev is now a grown up.

With his cocky strut and punk hairdo, he heads up the local avian chapter now.

Like all younger generations he wants to do things differently.

Mums and dads are soooo lame.

The minutest click from the BBQ starter button sends a ripple through the trees as Son-of-Kev and his mates desert the skate park, leaving their West End fish and chips for the pigeons.

By the time we attempt to sit down and eat, we are surrounded on all sides.

One by one my brave family slink away with their dinner plate to the sanctuary of indoors, heads tucked in their t-shirts.

Until it’s just me, three chicken wings and a Greek salad left to defend the family name.

Before I know, I’m one chicken wing and an olive down.

That’s OK, Son-of-Kev’s reaction to the olive is not dissimilar to mine.

My mirth over watching him trying to spit the wretched thing out is short lived as one of his cronies’ swoops from the pool fence and I’m left nursing some fetta and the final chicken wing.

Time slows down as we eye each other off. My world recedes to just Son-of-Kev, myself, and a water sprayer.

Like an old time gunslinger, I’m onto that trigger and spraying my nemesis fair in the feathers.

Turns out birds aren’t like cats; they don’t recoil from the spray, no, not Son-of-Kev.

Son-of-Kev lifts his wings, pirouettes to get full coverage, angles his head and winks at me.

Stymied, I’m hungry and I’m losing my sense of humour. It’s become woman vs wild. What would Mrs Bear Grylls do?

Option one: Backflip out of a plane.

Pointless, Son-of- Kev flies for a living and would probably show me up by doing a 720 cork.

Option two: Drink your own urine.

Seems extreme, I still have my water sprayer.

Option three: Defend yourself.

My eyes slide across the deck to where we keep our sports equipment.

Nodding my head, I glide out of my chair.

Turns out some Kookaburras are made of willow.

And nothing says Aussie summer more than cricket.

 

   Photo: Thomas Hudec

 

 

 

Australia Day Honours

Warrandyte’s Julie Quinton was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community on Australia Day.

The OAM is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievement and service of their fellow citizens.

Julie’s service to the community includes her role as President of the Warrandyte Business Association and her membership on the Be Ready Warrandyte Committee where she works alongside businesses, assisting them with a fire plan for staff safety.

Julie is also an inaugural member of the organising committee for the Country Fire Authority of Victoria’s Warrandyte Fireball.

“In 2014, when Warrandyte was under fire threat, it dawned on me that we, as a community, should take the responsibility of fund raising,” said Julie.

The Medal of the Order of Australia is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.

“I’m so overwhelmed, it’s a lovely honour,” said Julie.

“I feel very humbled, and a bit undeserving.

“I’m very thankful for whoever nominated me, and to my family.

“When I first received notification of the award nomination I was hesitant to accept it.

“I felt a bit uncomfortable and almost declined the award, there are more deserving people than me.

“Then, as I reflected, my thoughts took me to my granddaughters, and that one day they will be proud of me.”

Appointments to the Order of Australia recognise outstanding achievement and service.

Acting Minister for Women (Victoria) Jenny Mikakos states: “Victorian women contribute equally to the success of our state and it’s important that we nominate them to be recognised for their service and dedication.”

 

Manningham Australia Day Perpetual Trophy

 

The Warrandyte Riverside Market has been awarded the 2018 Manningham Australia Day Perpetual Trophy.

The award was presented to the organising committee by Federal Member for Menzies, Kevin Andrews in a ceremony at the Manningham Civic Centre on January 26.

The City of Manningham delegated the task of selecting a group or individual/s, which demonstrate character traits worthy of such an award to the Manningham Promoting Character Committee.

The market committee is made up of local community groups, the Warrandyte Community Association, Warrandyte Community Church, Warrandyte Lions, Rotary Club of Warrandyte Donvale and the North Warrandyte CFA, while the day-to-day running of the market is managed by local marketing consultants Greg Rowell and Bambi Gordon at The Woo.

President of the Market Committee, Geoff Taylor told the Diary that receiving the award was “wonderful” and that it was “recognition of what a community group can achieve once they put their minds to it”.

When the previous administration informed the Council that they wouldn’t be continuing into 2016, Manningham Council put a call out for someone to take over, and a coalition of community groups formed to take on the role.

“It was a priority to us that the market continues, so that is why we put our hands up and volunteered to the council to step in and continue the thirty-year tradition.

“We had to try to make a transition from the former administration to the new administration in just over a month, which we were able to do,” said Geoff.

Geoff said he sees the market as a focal point for the community.

“We have a lot of people from the community come and enjoy the market, purchase their favourite items from the market … it is where families can come and enjoy the morning and get a variety of produce, which seems to be improving all the time.”

Bambi Gordon adds that the market is also a popular venue with stallholders.

“We get a small number of newbies every market — because regulars can’t necessarily do every one of them — but we have had over 900 applications to run a market stall in 2017,” she said.

Greg Rowell agrees: “The market is so popular at the moment, it is 75% sold out for this year, and it will be totally sold out by the time the first market is held on February 3”.

“We look at the retail mix, so that when people cancel we look at what you have got as far as applications for someone you think is going to add to the variety, not be a competitor to someone who regularly comes and sells, but also the sorts of small businesses and market stalls that are likely to attract new customers,” Bambi said.

The market has had to instigate an online booking program to control numbers, which has been necessary since Parks Victoria restricted access to some areas of the reserve to reduce impact on the vegetation.

“Part of having it pre-booked is about protecting the environment as well, because they are allocated a site number, they don’t just turn up on the day, if they are not on the list at the top of Stiggants they don’t get to bring their car in, so we don’t have those issues of people just driving through and parking where they like,” Bambi said.

President of the WCA and Market Committee member, Dick Davies told the Diary that the market has seen a large amount of money go back into the community.

“Last year we put $74,000 back into the community,” he said.

“People apply for grants, and each of the members of the committee receives a portion towards their organisation — Lions, Rotary, Community Association, Community Church, CFA and people apply for grants either as individuals or it could be for something like building a cubby house or a community garden at the kindergarten — so they will give a specific project for it to go to — so it all goes back to the community,” explained Bambi.

Bambi said that the award is not just for the organising committee, but everyone who has helped the market become such an integral part of the Warrandyte community.

“The sheer number of volunteer hours that go into this, to have those volunteers who are down here at 4am in the middle of winter in the dark — and there has been so many of them over the thirty years — they really deserve this award and more,” she said.

 

 

Dynamic duos acknowledged in Australia Day ceremony

 

 

By SANDI MILLER

Two Warrandyte couples were recognised for their contributions to the community as Kevin Andrews presented this year’s Menzies Community Australia Day Awards.

Alf and Carole Adins have been recognised for their service to Meals on Wheels, where they have volunteered for over seven years, a task which Carole says she finds rewarding.

“We enjoy it, we have made lots of friends and it gives pleasure to the people who we call on, some of them don’t see anyone else for days, except for us who deliver meals, so Alf drives, and I go in and chat with them and we go through the fridges of some of them to make sure things aren’t out of date,” she said.

Mrs Adins says she has made friends with several of her former clients and takes time to continue to catch up with them even though she has changed rounds.

“We visit still and they come over for lunch and at Christmas and they are great friends, I tend to get involved with the people, sometimes too much!” she said.

Although she admits the role can be quite challenging at times.

“We have seen people slip into dementia, it’s sometimes quite emotional, and it makes you aware of your own mortality.”

The pair have also been acknowledged for their work selling poppies, badges and bears for the Doncaster RSL and Legacy Widows Clubs.

Closer to home, Alf and Carole have both been panel members for the Melbourne Hill Road Drainage Scheme as well as members of the committee objecting to the mobile phone tower at the Warrandyte Recreation Reserve.

Cynthia and Gerry Kearney were honoured for their volunteer work with Doncare.

Mrs Kearney volunteers at the Op Shop as well as holding a voluntary position on the Op Shop committee as Treasurer.

Mr Kearney is part of Doncare’s depot crew, where his commendation noted that “he has lifted furniture, sorted through mountains of rubbish and championed metal recycling like no other”.

Gerry makes his way around Doncare’s six Op Shops collecting weird and wonderful donated items to take back to the storing facility for sorting.

“We pick up furniture and electrical goods that need to go back to the depot for testing and tagging and also we collect various metals which we sort and sell for scrap metal,” he said.

Cynthia told the Diary she finds working at Doncare very satisfying.

“Because you are helping the community, the money we raise at the Op Shop goes back into community projects, and you are meeting people, you feel like you are doing something important,” she said. Gerry said he felt honoured to be receiving the award.

“To receive an award for something you enjoy doing is the icing on the cake, but we feel there are many people in Doncare that are a lot more worthy than us,” he said.

“There are so many people who work so hard to be nominated, we do feel humble,” said Cynthia.

To receive an Australia Day award is particularly special to Alf Adins. “It was the day I arrived in Australia in 1962,” he told the Diary.

“He came to Australia as a £10 Pom,” continued Carole, “Australia Day to us is important, it is a day where we celebrate being Australian, regardless of race or colour or where you came from, for us it is a day to celebrate Australia”.

Bridgeworks finally commence

THE LONG-AWAITED works to upgrade Warrandyte Bridge finally commenced on January 15.

Major traffic disruption is expected over two full weekends in March when the Warrandyte Bridge will be completely closed to traffic on the Saturday and Sunday.

There may also be another full weekend closure in July.

Although VicRoads has not yet decided which two weekends in March are designated for the closures, they have confirmed that the bridge will remain open for the Festival weekend of March 17–18.

Whisper around the traps is that they may avoid the Labour Day long weekend of March 10–12, which leaves the possibility of March 3–4 and March 24–25, although the actual dates will be confirmed in February.

Residents planning trips during March weekends may need to reschedule their activities or plan for extra time as crossing the river during those two weekends will involve a 25km long diversion through Templestowe, Eltham and Research.

VicRoads has also confirmed that these bridge closures will be postponed if the Fire Danger Rating for Central District reaches Severe or above, or on days of Total Fire Ban.

CFA captains Trent Burris of North Warrandyte and Adrian Mullens of Warrandyte have advised the Diary that the emergency services have been fully consulted and they are both happy with the arrangements.

In the event of fire callouts during these closures, supporting brigades will be called from the same side of the river as the incident.

Now that it has officially started, the works which subcontractors VEC Civil Engineering Pty. Ltd. will be undertaking involve:

• Increasing the number of traffic lanes on the bridge from two to three, with two lanes southbound.

• New footpaths, including a shared user path for cyclists and pedestrians on the west side of the bridge.

• A wider intersection on the north side with traffic lights at the intersection of Research-Warrandyte Road and Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road.

• A new left-turn slip lane on Yarra Street eastbound for traffic turning left onto the bridge.

The worksite is at the Lions’ tennis courts on the southwest side of the bridge, and already some of the fencing has been demolished and contractors’ sheds and amenities installed.

Lions Club of Warrandyte president Jenni Dean told the Diary, “The tennis courts have not been well used recently and are a burden to maintain and run.

“We have been in discussions with Manningham Council and VicRoads and have agreed that the courts can be used as the worksite for the duration of the works, after which they will be turned into an outdoor fitness and recreation area.”

A spokesperson for Manningham Council’s Landscape and Leisure department, told the Diary that once the works were completed it was intended to completely demolish the worksite, tennis courts and fencing and turn the area into beautiful landscaped public open space with unrestricted access from the car park down to the Yarra.

Works undertaken on the weekend of January 20–21 saw the bridge taken down to one lane and an overnight power outage, works included:

• Removing light poles.

• Removing three trees on the south side.

• Removing sections of the road surface in preparation for a new surface

• Installing barriers and temporary yellow lane markings on the bridge, with restricted lane widths.

• Removing the pedestrian traffic island on the north side of the roundabout – much later a zebra crossing will be installed.

• Renewing the 22kV bundled electrical cable which spans the Yarra to the west of the bridge and relocating poles so as to be out of the way of the upcoming works.

Over the next few weeks, works will include installing scaffolding around the bridge and the temporary removal of the Queen of the Shire.

Until the work nears completion, there will be no access for pedestrians on the north side of Yarra Street to cross Kangaroo Ground road at the bridge roundabout.

Pedestrians will need to cross to the south side at the roundabout, walk past the bus stop, and cross back again on the other side, or use the river path under the bridge.

Canoeing at the festival… and more!

WARRANDYTE Festival organisers are pleased to announce that canoeing is back!

One of the keys in keeping a long-term community event like the festival in the ‘much loved’ category is to balance the mix of entertainment.

Canoeing on the Yarra was once a popular festival activity that began as early as 1979.

It delighted festival goers for many years, but was phased out of the programme due to insurance difficulties.

This year, Canoeing Victoria’s PaddleHub will provide easy to paddle, sit-on-top kayaks and qualified coaches and instructors over the weekend.

Offering supervised family fun on the water for all ages, PaddleHub will run hourly from 10:30am–3pm on both Saturday and Sunday. (Charges apply.)

Roving Entertainment

New this year at the festival, Manningham Council presents Polyglot Theatre’s Ants.

Polyglot Theatre is Australia’s leading creator of interactive and participatory theatre for children and families.

Ants is an interactive roving performance which has giant Ants bringing children together in a gentle and unusual landscaping project.

The creatures are half ant/half human, patrolling nooks and crannies in search of food, collecting objects and making friends.

You can see the Ants throughout the day near the Manningham Council tent, help them with their crumbs and make your own Ant antennae!

Film Feast

Warrandyte Festival and Striking Productions have combined to present another riverside staging of short films.

Live music and food will be available at Warrandyte Film Feast from 6pm on Friday March 16 at the Lounge on the Lower Riverbank.

Screening starts at 8pm. Opening film Children of Ignorance — written, produced and directed by volunteer Film Feast co-organiser Rosalie Ridler of Striking Productions — tells the story of an end of year work party.

There’s a lot going on: eating, drunken therapy, gossip and speculation over ‘Dave’s new mail order bride’ – not to mention a catastrophic event.

Starring a talented cast and crew, the story tackles racial profiling, sexism and prejudice in society.

Also included in this year’s eclectic mix, are two shorts written and directed by local filmmaker Ryan de Rooy.

Simon is a tragic story about a young, socially isolated boy who ventures to his local pub to have a drink with his best and only friend, Chris, but as the night dwindles, conflict arises, changing their lives forever.

In music video Dragon Blood, a bride, believing the spark in her relationship has perished, leaves a clue for her husband in the form of a cocktail umbrella, with hopes he will follow its path and reignite the spark.

Written and directed with his distinct brand of black humour, award-winning filmmaker Matt Miram’s Deep Sea Fishing demonstrates how, in the dating world, some people are just using the wrong bait!

People’s Choice prizes (sponsored by Palace Cinemas and local Internet experts Australia Online) will be awarded on the night.

Please note: none of the films to be exhibited have been classified in accordance with the Australian Classification Board. Content is varied, uncensored and may offend some viewers.

Generally, the films shown earlier in the first part of the event have family friendly content and are less likely to cause offence.

Tickets cost $15 and go on sale from February 1 until sold out. Contact www.trybooking.com/TPDU or visit TryBooking and search for ‘Warrandyte Festival’.

Art Show

Always popular, the 34th Warrandyte/Donvale Rotary Art Show hosts its gala champagne opening on Friday evening.

Festivities take place at the Warrandyte Community Church on Friday March 16 from 7pm–10pm.

A ticket costs $20 and includes supper and refreshments The Art Show Gala launches a weekend-long exhibition of artwork by local and interstate artists.

Weekend viewing of the Art Show extends from 9am–8:30pm Saturday and 10am–4pm on Sunday.

Grand Parade

Warrandyte Festival will be held over the weekend March 16–18.

The theme for 2018 is “Streets of our Town”.

Capturing everyone’s imagination on Saturday is the Grand Parade, with its costumed ensemble of schools, kindergartens, community and sporting groups gathered on Yarra Street to start the colourful walk to Stiggants Reserve.

On Saturday March 17 2018, Ringwood-Warrandyte Road/Yarra Street, (between Falconer Road and Harris Gully Road roundabout) will be closed to traffic from 10:30am until 12pm.

The parade kicks off at 11am. As usual, craft and produce market stalls will offer home grown, home sewn and home made goods.

Program

A full festival program and rundown of events will feature in the March edition of the Diary.

For general information, go to www.warrandytefestival.org

Scouts waterslide, kids’ market, the Grand Read. Battle of the Bands, billycarts… and canoeing!

Two stages.

Great music.

Be sure you get along to the festival that has it all.