VIDEO: Travel agency or online?

Bricks and mortar travel agency or online? Warrandyte Travel & Cruise expert Carolyn Allen explains why the traditional travel agent is best.

Bricks and mortar travel agent versus online. What is your take on that? – Scott, Warrandyte.

I liken this discussion to comparing eating at McDonald’s against a la carte dining at a fine dining restaurant.

At McDonald’s you are offered a simple menu whereas at a fine dining establishment you have a choice of interesting taste combinations that you may not have ever thought of yourself.

If your needs are simple and you are happy to take what’s offered by a robotic search engine then there is nothing wrong with online booking. However, if you are looking for more than just point to point travel and one hotel then you will benefit from working with an expert on the other side of the desk in a bricks and mor- tar travel agency.

For example: we recently had a client wanted to go to Malaysia, Mainland China and Hong Kong. The online booking sites, as was our system quoted a fare in the vicinity of $8000. Our human expertise was able to apply some creativity, rework the fare and reduce it by half.

Q: What else do you consider to be the makings of a great travel booking experience?

A: A great travel experience starts the minute you walk in the door and are greeted by a consultant who genuinely cares about travel needs. It is vital your travel professional gets to know you, knows your likes and dislikes and works as your best advocate to provide great holiday arrangements – tailored to suit your requirements, taste and budget.

Invariably your consultant has travelled to the destination. They have great travel tips, can recommend restaurants and of course the best places to stay.

I recently travelled to Rajasthan in India – one of my favourite parts in the world. The back alley tours in the cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur provide a wonderful insight into the vibrant life that is India – for me these little gems are a must but rarely promoted!

A reputable travel company takes pride in providing their clients with all options enabling them to make informed choices. Your booking experience should be almost as enjoyable as the journey itself.

Our travel expert Carolyn is the manager of Warrandyte Travel and Cruise. Email her at



Festival countdown

WARRANDYTE Festival. It’s a battleground for young musicians, a race to glory for daredevil ducks and a feast for fun- lovers. Coming your way on March 18, 19 and 20, CHERIE MOSELEN guides you through some of what’s on offer.


Watch local youth bands at Stiggants Reserve main stage fight for the top prize, a day in a recording studio. Battles rage from 6.30pm on Friday 18 March with featured headliner this year, Amiko. Soft drink, water and BBQ will be available for cash purchase. This is a drug, smoke and alcohol free event. Admission is FREE.


Warrandyte Rotary’s 32nd Art Show will exhibit work by local and interstate artists. Preview the art around 500 paintings as you enjoy a gala champagne opening at 7pm on Friday 18 March. Venue: Warrandyte Community Church, 57 Yarra Street. Tickets cost $25. The Art Show opens on Saturday and Sunday from 10am.


Yarra Street (between the Kangaroo Ground Road bridge roundabout and Harris Gully Road roundabout) will be closed to traffic from 10.30am until 12pm on Saturday 19 March 2016.


Watch Warrandyte’s fabulous street parade boogie on down to Stiggants Reserve! The official ceremony starts at 11am on Saturday March 19. Parade marchers leave from Mitchell Avenue. Community groups, schools, sports clubs, your CFA and fabulous floats you won’t want to miss it!


The official opening kicks things off at noon. Meet your monarchs and get ready for entertainment from local school and bush bands. The Scrims (formerly known as the Scrimshaw Four) and Teskey Brothers slot into a fabulous line up on Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s program starts at 11.30am and includes acts: Pinball Machine, Little Stevies, Chocolate Lilies and The Demon Parade. (If you love a bit of banjo twang, don’t miss final band, ARIA nominated Mustered Courage!)


Cruise along the Yarra on board the festival’s faithful ships of the desert. Camel rides leave from the bottom of Police Street at 8.30am throughout the weekend.

If it’s extra speed you want, try the Scouts’ Giant Water Slide from noon Saturday and Sunday. Charges apply for both activities. Family Bike Ride leaves on Sunday 9am from Warrandyte Netball Courts, Taroona Avenue. Conditions apply (see program).


Children’s performer Carmen Up brings on the entertainment at noon on Saturday, with African Star Olly Friend and Side Glance, among others carrying the show. Sunday’s fun gets underway with the Pet Parade at 9.30am. Get excited for Sergei & Svetlana (the strongest people in the world!) and stay tuned for bands featuring young Melbourne up-and-comers.


Located downhill adjacent to the Warrandyte Community Church this is the place to drop the kids on Saturday afternoon. Puppeteers show, The Funky Monkeys, drumming, ukuleles and jujitsu for those with plenty of beans. All for FREE!

On Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, the boogie is live. Tango lessons, Hip-hop, Tribal and Bollywood, Go Go or Belly dancing… this is your chance Warrandyte, to get your groove on.


The Derby is back and the challenge is real. Carts line up at the top of Police Street from Sunday 9.30am. Registration takes place between 8.30 – 9.15am for children ages 8 to 15 years. Parents’ race, trophies and great prizes… it doesn’t get any bigger. Carts MUST meet strict safety criteria. For enquiries and registration call 0418 357 282 or email


Up to 1000 plastic ducks dive into the Yarra on Sunday at 2.30pm… but only one will make it downriver to Stiggant Street as the winner! Ducks can be pre-purchased from local schools or from the Information Caravan at the festival, for $3. Ducks will be displayed at the Kid’s Activity Top Tent on Sunday from 11.30am – 2.30pm. Launch takes place from the bottom of Police Street.


Local groups and service providers will offer information and a range of opportunities. Check the program for the complete list of static displays situated along the riverbank. Furthering this year’s festival theme “Boogie in the Bush”, Warrandyte Historical Society Museum will house a special exhibit called Decades of Dance, showcasing dance and dancing in Warrandyte over the years.


In its 19th year, this year’s Grand Read feature guest is Jennifer Harrison, 2011 winner of
the Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry. Enjoy the work of quality poets and writers at this much-loved literary event, from 7.30pm on Tuesday 22 March upstairs at the Grand Hotel. Adult $20 (Concession $16) includes a light supper. Please purchase in advance from Warrandyte Neighbourhood House on 9844 1839. Visit


Imaginative outdoor art and craft for children of all ages, Nature’s Playground is proudly supported by Manningham council. Located next to the children’s playground, discover a unique play space to create cubbies, nests and sculptures influenced by local flora. From 12pm to 4pm, Sunday only.


‘Follies Goes Viral’ is the latest contribution of laugh-out-loud comedy from Warrandyte Theatre Company. A clever look at society’s fascination with ‘things that go viral’, show dates as follows: 31 March and 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 April, from 8pm at the Mechanics Institute Hall.


Check out for more info: program details, accessibility info, road closures, maps and registration forms. Warrandyte Festival is dedicated to reducing the amount of waste produced each year. Please do your part. Find a bin, bring a water bottle and consider using your own cutlery and crockery. Your efforts will not be wasted!

One beautiful Day

Tribute by Jamie Day read by Jamie at Lilydale Memorial Gardens 19/02/16. Jamie is Ron Day’s son.

THANK you everyone for coming today. I know Dad wouldn’t have wanted all the fuss. However, here we all are.

Looking around the room is a testament to the wonderful man that was my father.

So what do you say about the man Ron Day? A man who could talk to anyone on any level and debate almost any topic.

There are many words that could describe Dad. Well read, fair, reasonable, intelligent, articulate, a husband, a father, a grandfather but most of all, my best friend.

As a child I remember the sound of the ACCO starting up in the early hours of the morning and arriving late at night. If not that, then it was swearing and tools hitting the shed floor as a repair was made for the next day’s deliveries. A man who’s work ethic is a forgotten attribute!

As most of you all realise there was always a project with Dad and never enough time to finish it. Dad always said if you’re disorganised you’re always busy! Maybe there is a lesson in there for all of us.

I could write a book on “Quotes by Ronno” and I’m sure it would outsell “Shit my Dad says”, for those of you who know the book!

I remember speaking to him from Indonesia and telling him how great we were doing financially.

“We’re living like kings,” I said to which he answered: “Why don’t you live like a prince and put a bit in your pocket!” Always a leveller to bring me down to earth.

I rolled his beloved Massey Ferguson onto his Falcon ute. After the dressing down that I rightly deserved, we walked across to Gallatly’s Lane, he winked at me and said, “Go get the camera.” Lesson learnt nothing more to be said. That was Dad’s way.

We sometimes borrowed his motorbikes when we were younger, not necessarily legally. He laughed about it later, it was much, much later.

Screaming around in the Commer van. Dad yelling at us: “That thing wouldn’t pull a fart off a shit.”

I had the privilege of travelling to Turkey with Dad and sitting in a boat off the coast of Gallipoli looking at the beach his father fought on so many years before.

One of the few times I ever saw him express emotion, I am so lucky to have known him and spent time with him for so many more years than he had the chance to with his own father.

My wife Annie and our three beautiful girls have been able to travel with my parents, sit with our kids on beaches in the Philippines; travel through Europe looking at the wonders of Rome, Milan and old cities in France whilst listening to Dad explain the history of these places to our children.

He also had to explain how he put diesel in a petrol car! Probably the hardest thing he has ever had to do

Maybe that’s a story for later.

He wondered at history and was amazed by the world in general.

The Soil Shop was the proving ground for our relationship.

After Dad decided it was a good idea to go to the auction for the Soil Shop and then subsequently purchase it, he was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age and our years at the Soil Shop were tumultuous at times to say the least. It wasn’t always an easy road but we got there in the end.

After some time he finally agreed to pay me! His quote was: “Jamie has finally learnt the value of a dollar.”

I think I always knew the value, it was just he never gave it to me!

It was these great few years which forged the friendship between Cameron and myself.

Mum soldiered on with the computer age whilst Dad bowed three times to Windows 95 then went on to deliver the next load of crushed rock.

A lot of my friends spent a great deal of time at Pound Bend and experienced the hospitality of Mum and Dad.

Michael and Jacqui were both accepted as one of Mum and Dad’s own at different times.

There are so many stories of how Dad touched different people’s lives, but no time to recount them here today.

There will be no filling the void that has been left behind since Dad has gone, so all I can do is try to fill it with all the great memories that I have.

He was constantly steering me in the right direction throughout my life, which at times made no sense, although as I matured, a point on which some may disagree, his advice and wisdom became clear.

He was a special man, a rough exterior with a heart of gold and for those of us who knew him we’re better off for it.


Corner of confusion

THERE is risk of a precedent being set in the Manningham Green Wedge after a section of land in Warrandyte was controversially awarded as a new title, abandoning usual processes.

In 2010, Brad and Eve Hatfield purchased land at 294 Tindals Road and were told soon after that a corner of their land, about 1000m2, was subject to a claim of adverse possession submitted by their then neighbour.

According to the titles office – now known as the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) – adverse possession is a legal principle that “enables the occupier of a piece of land to obtain ownership if uninterrupted and exclusive possession of the land for at least 15 years can be proven”.

Having successfully obtained the piece of land from the Hatfields, the neighbour sold the property. However, the regular laws of subdivision were bypassed and the piece of land acquired through adverse possession became its own title.

“We moved on from the adverse possession claim and thought the property had been sold as one piece of land only to find out there was a new title,” said Brad.

“It was like another kick in the teeth. We bought the property to build our dream home and we’ve lost a corner of it where someone could potentially build a house, looking out across our land. It’s shocking and it’s changed all our plans.”

Manningham councillor Geoff Gough said DELWP had circumvented the normal subdivision procedures.

“The fact that subdivision or small lots can be created via this [process], and that they’re separate titles and not added to one title, is a real issue for the future of the Green Wedge,” Cr Gough said.

“I think the ultimate issue is with the titles office being able to create titles without council or anybody knowing and creating a brand new lot smaller than the minimum lot size.”

Within the Manningham Green Wedge zone, properties can not be subdivided below eight hectares. Former Manningham mayor Bob Beynon argues that if an application to subdivide the property was submitted to council, it would have been rejected.

“Council could refuse a permit to build on the title. But if your application meets the requirements of the zone provisions, it’s possible it could be taken to VCAT and have the council’s decision overturned,” he said. “I became involved in this because I believe it sets a worrying precedent,” Beynon said. “Although council aren’t culpable, it’s in their best interest to start making inquiries as to what council’s role could be in the event that people may try to pull the same sort of stunt.”

Teresa Dominik, director of planning and environment at Manningham council, said the correct procedures had been followed in the case of adverse possession and that DELWP had created a new title without informing council.

“The Land Title Office confirmed that the granting of the adverse possession application followed the necessary legislative requirements and processes prior to the granting of the application and creation of the new Folio,” she told the Diary.

“This was done by the Land Title Office and the process did not require any notification to council. The parcel of land is 1088m2 in size and officers were surprised it wasn’t sold with the main property.”

Eve Hatfield said her family could not move on from the case while the neighbouring title poses so many uncertainties.

“It’s just been a constant battle to keep the dream going,” she said. “Our fight continues with the intricate issues surrounding this small parcel of land and what the owner proposes to do with it.”



VIDEO: Soul kitchen

WARRANDYTE not-for-profit café Now and Not Yet are known for providing great coffee, service and atmosphere for their local community to enjoy. But now its branching out with compassion by supporting Victoria’s refugee community.

In 2015, Now and Not Yet employed two young refugee men from Sri Lanka, Nigethan and Selvam, recently released from Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation, a detention centre in Broadmeadows.

One of these men is Nigethan, a skilled chef from Sri Lanka, currently living in Warrandyte and working in Now and Not Yet’s kitchen.

“I spent the last six years in a detention centre, and was released four months ago,” Nigethan told the Diary.

“Now, I am very lucky to be here and to have a job in this restaurant. I am very happy and very thankful for the opportunity.”

Derek Bradshaw, founder and general manager of Now and Not Yet, knew there was something he could do to help asylum seekers find their feet in Australia.

“We got really passionate about the refugee issue and the way 
our government is treating these beautiful and amazing people. We thought why don’t we start utilising our amazing little café to be able to help with training and employment opportunities,” Derek told the Diary.

“Part of our goal is to help people get some longevity and housing. A lot of them can’t get
 a job because they don’t have
 a fixed address, and they can’t 
get a fixed address because they haven’t got a job. These people too, they’ve got amazing skills but they don’t have the opportunity to use them or the chance to get some training under their belt. And long term employment helps them to be able to feel good about themselves and feel like they’re actually contributing to Australian society.”

Nigethan’s contribution to the Warrandyte community has been stellar. An incredible chef with
a heart of gold, Nige has been cooking up delicious food for locals and visitors for the past few months, bringing his own unique touch to each and every dish.

“My favourite dish to cook is the coconut butter chicken. It’s not too spicy. In my country, we cook with lots of spice, but here I cook so that anyone can have it, even children,” he says.

“I’m just working in the kitchen at the moment, so that I can get experience. But then I want to learn to do coffee.”

Now and Not Yet has provided support, housing, employment and friendly guidance to help Nigethan and Selvam find their feet outside the detention centre walls. But the Warrandyte community has also been a force to be reckoned with, donating food, money, bedding and household items to give these men a head start.

“One of the things I love about the Warrandyte community is that they’re really passionate about the things we’re passionate about. They’ve given us everything you can possibly think of. Even one lady who’d done her research
on Sri Lankan food went out and bought us all these Sri Lankan spices and a picnic basket so that they could make food and go down to the river to enjoy beautiful Warrandyte,” Derek says.

Nigethan is especially thankful for Derek and his family, who have taken him in and provided him with a positive start in his life outside of detention. The wider Warrandyte community has also ensured that Nigethan feels welcome everywhere he goes.

“I like going to the river. I also like the coffee and the nice people – it’s nice to see new faces all the time. When I was in the detention centre, it was the same people all the time. But now I really enjoy every day. I really love this place,” he says.

Derek hopes Nigethan and Selvam are the first of many to benefit from Now and Not Yet’s program, helping them not only with housing and employment but also with developing their interview and CV skills and improving their English.

“The long-term goal is to continue the program and get people on the road. But we’ve made a commitment to this and they’re part of the family now, so we will continue to support them, encourage them and make sure they’ve got stability moving forward,” Derek says.

The café manager couldn’t be more proud of the way the Warrandyte community has rallied their support for Nigethan and Selvam, and hopes we can all lend a hand in making a difference for refugees and asylum seekers not only in our community, but in all of Australia.

“It’s not an asylum seeker issue that we’re talking about – we’re talking about real people. People who love and are passionate. I hate the way that it’s become this political issue and it’s completely dehumanised.”

“There is joy that comes from engaging with somebody and stopping the dehumanising of it. It’s great. It’s a really good thing for Warrandyte to be part of. Making a difference and standing up to our government and saying ‘this is not the way that we want to treat people’.”

“They bring a lot to our community so it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”