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Happy outcome for river rescue

WE ARE BOMBARDED, on a daily basis, with all the horrors that occur in the world, along with the irresponsible and sometimes very awful things one person is capable of doing to another.

So, it is always extremely uplifting and hope filling, to hear the good side of human nature and how the safety or survival of a fellow human being can set a heroic deed into action.

On a Sunday afternoon in early March, Liz Marsh was enjoying her run along the river when she heard some cries for help and saw a young man; face down in the deep section of the river.

With split seconds to think, Liz’s lifeguard knowledge — not used for many decades — and her kayaking experience kicked in.

With shoes off, Liz headed into the water.

As she approached the young man, she was joined by Michael Wines. Michael and Liz instinctively worked as a team, with Michael flipping the young man on his back, allowing Liz to apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while they were still in the river.

Jeff Smith then assisted with the exhaustive swim to the shore and a group of people lifted the young man up the steep bank to safety.

During this time, Liz had called out for someone to call 000 and to her relief, another Warrandyte community member, Joanne Milic was speaking to the ambulance dispatcher.

Liz then ensured that her patient — in a semi-conscious state — was placed in the recovery position, enabling Liz to clear his mouth and keep his airway open until the paramedics arrived.

Several other helpers assisted with the onshore recovery, such as fetching a defibrillator and placing a blanket over the young man.

Six ambulance officers arrived, working on the young man, until he could eventually be taken to Box Hill hospital.

Saving this young man was a wonderful joint effort, but was triggered by Liz’s cool-headedness.

Her background, her first aid training and the fact that she is a former Outdoor Education leader, do not take away from her brave decision — at 54 and with a family of her own — to jump in the river and save this young man while continuing to direct his rescue.

It was not until Liz got home and had a hot shower that the reality hit her and shock set in.

Although many of us would aid and assist to the best of our abilities, not many of us could carry out such a heroic deed.

There is a mother and a father out there somewhere who will be forever grateful to Liz and the other rescuers.

Thanks to Senior Sergeant Stewart Henderson, Liz has been able to make contact with the young man she rescued.

He is fully recovered from his ordeal and Liz is still hoping to connect with him soon in Warrandyte and “give him a big hug”.

Liz has contacted Dr. Bernadette Matthews PhD, Principle Research Associate at Life Saving Victoria, who informed her that there were six drownings in the Yarra river in Warrandyte from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2017.

Although there are no statistics on non-fatal incidents (hospitalisations), previous research indicated that for every drowning there are two non-fatal incidents.

Where potters come out to play: Warrandyte Pottery Expo turns 18

THE 18TH ANNUAL Pottery Expo was held on the Warrandyte riverbank on the weekend of February 24–25, with an extensive list of almost 60 exhibiting potters, local music, wheel throwing demonstrations and workshops on offer.

Local studio potter, and event organiser, Jane Annois, was pleased with the turnout and the success of the Expo.

“We were lucky with lots of visitors, even though there was rain on Saturday,” said Jane, “and Sunday was fabulous, it was perfect.”

“The potters were happy, which is important too, with good sales and a few commissions and orders.”

And although it’s a lot of work, Jane says she wasn’t alone.

“A team of lovely volunteers helped make it a success.”

From the warm welcome I received as I entered, to each interaction with stall holders, I was instantly engaged with the creativity around me.

Local and intrastate potters, with guests from Tasmania and France, had certainly put on a sensory show of colour and natural aesthetics.

Marina Pribaz, a ceramicist from the Daylesford region and joint winner of the Innovative New Ceramics Award (INCA) summed it up nicely.

“Everyone is so individual; we all work with clay but it expresses in so many ways,” she said.

‘Cups to Go’ was my first stop, where a collection of cups and mugs from many of the exhibiting potters were available for sale, with the idea that you would purchase a handmade cup that took your fancy and then head over to the nearby coffee van for a fill.

Diane Williams, a potter from Central Victoria and a volunteer on the stall said,

“It’s a really good idea.

“It collects the diverse range of works from the potters in one place, and you get to enjoy your coffee in a beautiful mug.”

So I took my time choosing and then walked the stalls sipping coffee, keeping an eye out for the maker of my new mug while I chatted with some of the potters.

Exhibiting for their fourth year, Ali Duckworth and Karen Goldsmith make up the Clay Sisters in Croydon.

They enjoy coming to the Expo to connect with other potters as well as visitors.

“It’s lovely to catch up with other potters that you only see once a year,” said Ali.

“Pottery can be a solitary life and I think it’s important to have these kinds of things, to see what everyone is doing and connect.”

Josephine Cassar, from Montmorency, mentioned the importance of being part of a group of potters.

“We meet twice a week and have become a small community.

“I go for the company and to share ideas, we have a communal meal and chat and talk pots.”

Other exhibitors also mentioned the value of the network created by the Expo, saying how they appreciated coming back each year, catching up with people, and that the relationships built over the Expo are integral to their work.

Two awards are presented each year at the Expo, and this year’s judges were visiting ceramicists, Nanna Bayer and Bronwyn Clarke from Tasmania.

The Michael Hallam INCA award for innovative new ceramics, presented by the Warrandyte Riverside Market, was awarded to joint winners Marina Pribaz and Minna Graham, and the Lions Club award for the best stand was presented to Kim Haughie.

All three ceramicists are from the Daylesford region and have been exhibiting at the Pottery Expo for several years.

Kim Haughie said winning the award was a beautiful surprise.

“It’s a bit exciting,” she said with a big smile.

Kim’s work as a potter started over 10 years ago, but she says it all started much further back.

“I think it was seeded in my childhood.

“I spent hours in the sandpit, and then later, as I got into gardening, it went from there.”

Kim has a dam on her rural property and said: “Digging down deep I found clay; it’s lovely using the clay from my own property — my surroundings and my environment influence my work”.

Minna Graham, has been coming to the Expo for seven years and says that being a joint winner of the INCA is really affirming.

“I spend so much time on my own, at least eight hours a day just sitting in my studio, on my own, doing my thing, making my thing.

“You come here and you are surrounded by your peers and you really get some fantastic feedback.

“It makes you feel you are on the right track.

“This weekend is bolstering for me; it just makes me keep going.

“It’s the reset button for me every year.”

Jane Annois also likes discovering and supporting new musicians for the event and was very pleased with this year’s line-up.

“They were all good quality, local musicians, and there was a good feel about the place all weekend,” said Jane.

Wandering around, it was hard not to stop and listen to the music, and a nice patch of grass made the invitation to sit awhile even more appealing.

Nearby was the Manningham Arts Centre and Clayworks stall, where children, and a few adults, were deeply engrossed in painting and etching clay squares.

These terracotta squares will be returning to the community in a few months as a permanent piece of art for the community to enjoy.

Further along I came across French ceramicist, Jean Marc Plantier, who 20 years ago was part of the original idea to bring the Marche de Potiers (Potters Markets) of France to Warrandyte.

Jean Marc has been attending the Pottery Expo since it began in 2001 and clearly loves the river and the surroundings, and what has become of their idea.

“It’s a wonderful place,” said Jean Marc, “I like coming, and I will come again and again.”

Of course you will Jean Marc, for without you and Jane, we would not have such a glorious event.

Next year, Jean Marc will return with five other French potters, and as more and more local potters are applying to be part of the Expo, Jane says we can expect an even greater variety in the work.

Thank you Jane and Jean Marc, for you have brought something beautiful to our place.

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Warrandyte’s Olympic glory

Warrandyte’s own, Snowboarder Scotty James, has become Australia’s second medal winner at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, winning Bronze in the men’s halfpipe.

Following a hard fought battle with American Shaun White and Japan’s Ayunu Hirano, James was graceful in surrendering the top positions in the dais to his two rivals as he spoke to Channel Seven:

“Shaun is an amazing athlete and he has achieved a lot of great things. He achieved another awesome feat in his career today,” he said.

“Hats off to Hirano as well. He is one of the most flawless snowboarders I know. It is cool to watch him.”

The young athlete does not plan to rest on his laurels, James’ trajectory is upward.

With an already impressive lineup of sponsors, and an enviable lifestyle taking him around the world doing what he loves, this medal is seen by many to be James’ taking things to the next level.

“My goal is to come out here and ride as best I can and fly my Australian flag in the sport that is not necessarily done by many Australians,” James told reporters after Wednesday’s final.

“I am very proud of my country and where I come from but I can assure you I am just getting started.

“You can expect to see a lot more of me in the future. Me and my team, we are excited to keep going.”

James, who carried the flag for Australia in last Friday’s opening ceremony said: “I work so hard, and it is at times like these, obviously we are still focused, but you have to enjoy these experiences”.

“That is why we work hard … to enjoy these experiences as much is possible. I did that today. It was cool.”

However, never forgetting his roots, he told the media, for the moment that he was looking forward to getting back home to his ‘beloved Warrandyte’.

And Warrandyte are certainly looking forward to his return home with many taking to social media cheering on the local lad, some even contemplating a homecoming parade for our Olympic champion.

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”.

Green Wedge bypassed as North East Link heads for Bulleen

IN WHAT LOOKS like the start of a year-long election campaign, the Premier, Daniel Andrews announced that Labor would be building Corridor A of the North East Link if they are returned to power following next November’s State election.

The controversial North East Link went to public consultation in August with four routes, Corridor A, by far the most direct route, is planned to connect the Ring Road from Greensborough, down through Bulleen to connect to an upgraded Eastern Freeway near the Bulleen Road interchange.

Corridor B and C were projected to travel through Warrandyte to connect to EastLink at Ringwood, and Corridor D was discussed as traversing 40 kilometres through Kangaroo Ground, Lilydale and Croydon to connect to EastLink — these corridors have now been removed from the table.

The Premier told ABC Radio the other options “don’t stack up”, saying the chosen route will see congestion on local roads in the north-eastern suburbs slashed, with up to 15,000 trucks taken off local streets a day, and more than 9,000 vehicles taken off congested arterials like Rosanna Road.

The proposal includes several companion projects, including up to seven extra lanes on the Eastern Freeway and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along the Eastern Freeway from the Doncaster Park and Ride to Victoria Park.

The BRT project will also provide more parking for commuters, and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan says there will also be an opportunity to build a future Park and Ride in Bulleen.

“Buses will no longer be held up weaving on and off ramps, the Doncaster Busway will create a true express ride down the middle of the Eastern Freeway,” Minister Allan said.

With autonomous buses currently being trialled in routes around LaTrobe University, there is speculation that the BRT would make use of the electric powered, driverless buses in the future.

Manningham Councillor Paul McLeish says, “these enhancements to the freeway will be of some benefit to our community” noting that Manningham is “the most car bound municipality in Melbourne” due to the lack of rail services across the municipality.

Local Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith told the Diary: “While this is a good outcome for the sensitive environment of Warrandyte, it is now clear that the suspicion, uncertainty and angst that the Andrews Government put our community through was completely unnecessary”.

Mr Smith said the community meeting held at the initial announcement of the four options “made it abundantly clear that they believed Option A was a pre-determined outcome”.

“Their concerns have been ignored by the Andrews Government and their predictions have been proven correct,” he said. Mr Smith said that the Liberal party support the North East Link, however “the East West Link needs to be completed first as it will carry the added vehicles that a North East Link will direct to it”.

“Planning for the North East Link should be supported by proper planning that addresses the challenges of the project, and by genuine consultation with those affected,” Mr Smith said.

With a projected budget of $16.5 Billion, the Premier says this project will be the “single biggest transport infrastructure investment in Victorian history”. Manningham Mayor, Andrew Conlon said in a statement that Council has a number of concerns with Option A they will be seeking assurance on.

Council had previously resolved not to support Option A. Manningham Council spent $150,000 for a survey sent out to Manningham residents. 20% of residents indicated their preferred route — with support for the Bulleen Road route getting 35% of the share.

Corridors B and C each polled 27% support with only 7% supporting Corridor D. Councillor Sophie Galbally said at a recent council meeting she felt the survey results were an indication of preference for “anywhere but in my backyard”.

Councillor McLeish said while the council gave their support for the road in the September council meeting, the announced route will have significant impact on our community.

“There are many concerns we have for the liveability and safety of our community for the route that has now been announced, and I am certain that we as a council will work together to protect as best we can the desires and aspiration of the residents who are living along the alignment,” he said at the council meeting.

Manningham will be using the data collected from the survey to inform their future submissions to the North East Link Authority and to advocate on behalf of its residents.

The Manningham Mayor said that once detailed designs for Option A become available, “we will be actively advocating on behalf of our community on the issues they’ve highlighted to us.

“We will be looking at how to minimise project impacts and if any opportunities exist that could deliver benefits to our residents.

We also want confirmation that the Eastern Freeway will not be a toll road and that its median strip will be preserved for future transport options including Bus Rapid Transport and Doncaster Rail,” he said.

Neighbouring Banyule are understandably unhappy with the announcement as they had been advocating for Corridor C.

Banyule Mayor, Cr Mark Di Pasquale told the Diary: “Banyule Council’s position has been ‘Option C’ and was affirmed following a recent survey of our community.

“It is the best option to compliment Melbourne’s entire Transport Network Plan.” Although Cr Di Pasquale said that he believed NELA’s modelling was flawed.

“It is claimed that 75% of traffic movement will go south and then to the east, Ringwood way, and only 25% will travel south and then to the west, into the City. “Of this west bound traffic heading into the city only 4% will get there, it is claimed.

“I’ve grown up all my life in this area of town and many more people go into the city than that. “The idea of this road is overkill. “We may need a North East Link but a 10 lane road is too much,” he said.

The Banyule Mayor said NELA was assigned the task to investigate the best option for the completion of the Ring Road.

“What they’ve delivered is the ‘New Ding Road’ — A big ring road that travels around Melbourne and then has a ‘ding’ in it when you get to the North East.

He said that Corridor A also fails the “Grandkids test”.

“If my grandkids would think this road is a good idea then it would pass, but unfortunately it fails dismally; in 20 years’ time, we will be looking back saying ‘we should have built Option C’,” he said.

Narelle Campbell from the community action group Rural Link #buildthelinkbutdontsplitthewedge, who have been vocal opponents of Corridor D, told the Diary they have been “actively participating in the route options identification, analysis and assessment… to ensure NELA and government could clearly understand why the rural Nillumbik Green Wedge was inappropriate for North East Link”.

“As it turns out, government understands and agrees,” she continued, “North East Link Options identification and selection has always been about selecting the least-worst option, and in our view this has occurred.”

Despite Manningham and Banyule’s objections to Corridor A, Mullum Mullum Ward councillor, Sophie Galbally is pleased with the outcome for the Ward, although she told the Diary Manningham was always going to feel an impact from the North East Link, considering all the likely options were to come through the city.

“On the other hand, there is a sigh of relief that this time the Green Wedge will be saved from the possibility of destruction by a freeway,” she continued.

Following the announcement Ms Galbally held a community rally at Stintons Reserve, Park Orchards, which would have been in the direct path of both Options B and C.

“There is a sense of relief in Mullum Mullum Ward, but until the North East Link Option A is signed sealed and delivered, we should not be complacent,” she said.