News

The Cliffy is here

WARRANDYTE is renowned for its creative types and now the Warrandyte Diary is calling all aspiring writers, young and old, to enter The Cliffy, a new short story com- petition to be held annually.

The Cliffy aims to celebrate and honour the contribution to Australian writing made by Cliff Green (OAM, inset) and to promote the skill of writing and the pleasure of reading in the community.

The competition is open to everyone and will be judged by a panel representing the Warrandyte Diary and the Warrandyte Library.

The entries can be submitted by email as a word document and are to be strictly limited to 1000 words. There will be no restrictions on subject, however, the entry must be suitable for un-edited publication in the Warrandyte Diary and on the Diary website.

The competition is advertised (below) and was officially opened at the start of this month and will close by 5pm on November 30.
The winner will be announced
at the Warrandyte Festival Grand Read event next year (March) and the winner will be given the opportunity to present the material at the event.
 Successful entries will be published in the Warrandyte Diary and the winner will receive prizes in the form of book tokens from major bookshops.

The value of the tokens is yet to be determined but expected to be about $250.

Of course, in addition to the tokens, the winner will be officially presented with The Cliffy figurine.

WARRANDYTE is renowned for its creative types and now the Warrandyte Diary is calling all aspiring writers, young and old, to enter The Cliffy, a new short story com- petition to be held annually.

The Cliffy aims to celebrate and honour the contribution to Australian writing made by Cliff Green (OAM, inset) and to promote the skill of writing and the pleasure of reading in the community.

The competition is open to everyone and will be judged by a panel representing the Warrandyte Diary and the Warrandyte Library.

The entries can be submitted by email as a word document and are to be strictly limited to 1000 words. There will be no restrictions on subject, however, the entry must be suitable for un-edited publica- tion in the Warrandyte Diary and on the Diary website.

The competition is advertised (below) and was officially opened at the start of this month and will close by 5pm on November 30.
The winner will be announced
at the Warrandyte Festival Grand Read event next year (March) and the winner will be given the opportunity to present the material at the event.
Successful entries will be published in the Warrandyte Diary and the winner will receive prizes in the form of book tokens from major bookshops.

The value of the tokens is yet to be determined but expected to be about $250.

Of course, in addition to the tokens, the winner will be officially presented with The Cliffy figurine.

 

Too funny for words

DIARY cartoonist Jock Macneish is a gifted artist.

His Warrandyte Festival logos, superbly drawn to capture the iconic presence of the Yarra River within each theme’s graphic, have been a hallmark here for almost 40 years. He also paints an exquisite watercolour.

However, it was Jock’s brilliance as a cartoonist that lit up audi- ence members at a presentation by Warrandyte Historical Society last month.

Illustrated by just 30 of almost 2000 cartoons he has drawn for the Diary since it’s first edition, Jock’s talk covered the local paper, the community, the role of Warrandyte Historical Society “and a bunch of other stuff”.

His keen impressions of “this wonderful community” filled the hall at North Warrandyte with laughter and earned a nod from many who recognised themselves in more than one cartoon. While his observations carried with them a thought-provoking message about care and identity, two concepts Jock believes make Warrandyte a great place to live.

“Communities are the things we do and the things we share because we care for people and for the good of the place,” Jock said. “Warrandyte is a fortunate location, populated by a fortunate people who have what is known as a ‘care surplus’.

“Although we think of Warrandyte as the ‘home of the artist’, in fact it would be more accurate to describe the Warrandyte house as the ‘unfinished symphony’,” he joked. “Probably a result of homeowners spending far too much time at community working bees.”

About identity, Jock said:

“Warrandyte Historical Society does an excellent job of letting us know who we were and Warrandyte Diary is, and has been, an ideal way of finding out who we are. As to who we are becoming…”

“Tomorrow belongs to that happy band of mumbling, awkward, slightly smelly bunch of teenagers you’ll find slouching about in school play- grounds and skate parks,” he said. “I can’t understand much of what they are saying, but I do know that by growing up in Warrandyte they are acquiring an identity, which will serve them well throughout their lives. And they’re absorbing a capacity to care for people and place which is second to none.”

Although he’s “never really thought of himself as a cartoonist” because he “does so many other things” (like being an architect, author, artist and illustrator who spent 20 years working in media broadcasting and another 20 years as an independent communications consultant), Jock told the Diary he has “drawn cartoons for a living.” From 1969-70, Jock was the daily pocket cartoonist at short-lived Melbourne evening newspaper Newsday, alongside feature cartoonist Michael Leunig of today’s Age.

He was also the cartoonist for Papua New Guinea’s national newspaper the Post Courier, from 1973-75.

Outwardly, cartoons about Warrandyte, about anything, might look easy to create, but are they? I asked Jock to draw me a picture.

“The powerful thing about cartoons is that visually they are all about recognition, but cognitively they are about revelation. Cartoonists try to reveal aspects of the human condition and express those in a form of visual shorthand – a cartoon,” he explained.

“They ‘see’ what’s going on in the slightly more obscure world of human behaviour, the subtle inter-relationships between people and place that make up, say, the Warrandyte community.”

“Anyone living here can recognise Warrandyte at a glance, but actually ‘seeing’ is much more difficult. Seeing Warrandyte’s shapes and textures, its colours and its shadows is what artists do.”

(No, Jock. Seriously. I meant draw me a picture.)

While visual communication is undoubtedly Jock’s strong suit, the talented artist’s parting words were equally insightful.

“It’s been a privilege, having been part of recording ‘what happened’ to Warrandyte over the past 46 years,” he said. “It’s taught me how to better care for people and for the good of the place. It’s shaped my identity.”

VIDEO: Striking a chord

The Diary embarked upon a musical mission to get a taste of what Warrandyte and surrounds has to offer.  We had a chat to local bands The Scrimshaw Four, Sunborne, The Teskey Brothers and Selling Time to gauge their thoughts on the music scene in the eastern suburbs, as well as their own musical endeavours. Check it out below!

Servo to VCAT

WARRANDYTE residents are furious the final decision regarding the development of a 24-hour service station at 1-5 Yarra Street has been taken to Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

A $1.5 million proposal was submit- ted by the applicant in April last year from site owner Platinum King Management Pty Ltd to develop a 250m/sq petrol station and convenience store accommodating six fuel pumps and 13 car parking spaces. Despite attracting a reported 69 objections, the proposal was neither accepted nor rejected by Manningham City Council.

The Diary understands the applicant has taken the matter directly to VCAT and is appealing for the proposal to be approved.

Manningham City Council informed the Diary just before going to print that a full council report would be available on July 16 and the matter would be addressed at a council meeting on July 28 outlining council’s position of not supporting the application.

In strong dialogue on social media pages in the past 12 months – and in particular last week on the Warrandyte Business & Community Network page – there have been mixed views for and against the service station being built at the site. Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) member Doug Seymour said it was surprising the community was not made aware of the decisions from Manningham council since objections were lodged 14 months ago.

“This is a complex issue and it is possible that council has not made a determination and therefore the applicant has lodged this application for review and decision. It would be helpful to all parties to know where council now stands on this issue,” Mr Seymour says.

Manningham council CEO Joe Carbone said objectors would be advised of council’s position on the application shortly. That position will then be advocated for at VCAT.

Only last week objectors to the proposal opened a letter in their mail to find that their objections to Manningham council had not been successful and the decision was to be finalised by VCAT at a hearing on October 29.

The letter, sent by the solicitor representing the applicant, stated July 10 (this Friday) would be the “closing date for objectors and referral authorities to lodge a statement of grounds with VCAT”.

Discussion on social media has been divided since the information was released. However, there are many concerns if the development goes ahead, including the environmental impact, compromising the character of Warrandyte, disturbance to residents, and safety concerns in the event of bushfires.

The development would require the removal of vegetation and six yellow box trees, as outlined in the initial proposal.

North Warrandyte resident Annie Watkins believes it is vital the environment in Warrandyte be protected at any cost.

“When you have a substantial and unique environment like Warrandyte, you have got to do what you can to preserve it,” she says. Ms Watkins is also concerned that, if approved, the proposal will set a potentially dangerous precedent.

“If we allow the service station, what else will be allowed to go up in Warrandyte?”

“We need to be a little more responsible as a society to recognise what’s valuable. We want to keep true to the essence of Warrandyte,” Ms Watkins says.

Other objectors believe a petrol station next to Andersons Creek is illogical particularly when the creek is prone to flooding which would allow pollutants and litter to enter the creek.

With the proposed development being next door to the Warrandyte Reserve Pavilion, others are concerned people’s safety will be com- promised in a bushfire emergency. According to the CFA, the reserve is the place of last resort for Warrandyte residents in the event of all other bushfire plans failing.

The disturbance caused by the construction of the petrol station is also a major concern. The WCA lodged an amended objection reit- erating the reasons why they object to the proposal, including the dif- ficulty at access and exit points at the Heidelberg Road / Harris Gully Road roundabout and the vague details relating to signage, lighting and hours of operation.

The impact on the character of Warrandyte is creating a lot of controversy. Resident Tricia Barrett believes the design of the building, along with the large bright advertising and signage, lighting and unnatural noise would affect all residents, especially those within close proximity to the site and visitors to Warrandyte.

“It is not within the character of Warrandyte and we don’t need it or want it.”

Nonetheless, not everyone is opposed to the petrol station. On social media some residents believe there is sufficient demand for it to be built, and consider the Yarra Street site to be a perfect location and a welcome alternative to the Warrandyte South petrol station.

Resident Elaine Raphael says while a 24-hour “monstrosity” is unnecessary, a petrol station in keeping with Warrandyte’s surroundings would be ideal.

Other concerned parties are asking the protestors to consider non-residents. Sheya Atherton points out that many commuters pass through Warrandyte for many reasons and having a petrol station in that spot would be convenient.

“Each community is made up of its locals and those that come into the suburb and there is as much of a positive and negative component to that,” Ms Atherton says.

In her objection to council, Ms Barrett expressed her belief that a petrol station at the proposed site is simply unnecessary.

“We (residents) are happy with nearest petrol availability in Warrandyte South, Fitzsimons Lane roundabout, and Reynolds Road – these facilities service Warrandyte residents adequately already.”

The Diary has been told that while a lot of the concern is stemming from the location and the imposing nature of the proposed petrol station, the prospect of a fast food or retail association being attached to the site is equally disconcerting with fears that would impact on local food and beverage businesses.

VCAT will hold a practice hearing on July 17 before the official hearing on October 29. The objectors are working together with the WCA before lodging their objections at the practice hearing.

 

Best in business

JULIE Quinton has some sound advice for business owners:

“You have got to be involved in your community in every aspect. You have got to be part of it, you have to get to know people and know what your customers want.”

Julie is the progressive owner of Quinton’s IGA in Warrandyte – and also the inaugural winner of the Manningham Business Excellence Awards, which return for a third time this year.

After losing her husband in August of 2007, Julie’s life changed in many ways. Brian Quinton bought the supermarket in 2000 and ran the business successfully for seven years.

Although Julie admits she was never inclined to run her own business, she felt compelled to continue her husband’s legacy.

“It’s been a real learning curve,” Julie says. “I had no aspirations before he passed away – now I do.”

After taking out first place in two categories at the 2013 Manningham Business Excellence Awards, including Manningham Business of the Year and Manningham Contribution to Community Business of the Year, Julie and her staff felt a great sense of pride and affirmation.

“When we won, that was the greatest reward and it felt like we were on the right track. It was a wonderful moment,” she recalls.

This year marks the third Manningham Business Excellence Awards, a joint initiative of the four Rotary clubs in Manningham; Doncaster East, Templestowe Village and Warrandyte Community Bank branches; Manningham Business and the Manningham Business Network.

The awards provide a platform for business owners to not only celebrate their success but to undertake a more detailed analysis of their business strengths and identify potential areas for improvement.

Event manager for the awards Liz Small says they are a great way for businesses to review their activity and an opportunity for businesses to look at their operations in a much deeper, analytical sense.

Tony Welsh, owner of H2Pro Plumbing and winner of the 2014 Manningham Business of the Year and Manningham Professional Services Business of the Year awards, believes the MBEA have helped his business move forward and plan more efficiently for the future.

“The Manningham Business Excellence Awards give you a chance to look at your business and its structure from the outside in and realise what you do have in place and what you need to put in place,” Tony told the Diary.

Recognising business achievements is important to Tony and although he regrets often being too busy to acknowledge his business’s success, the MBEA gave him the chance to do just that. Receiving recognition from others in the business industry, such as business coaches and marketing professionals on the awards judging panel, was especially gratifying, he explains.

Tony concedes running a business can sometimes be a “lonely road” because it can be difficult for owners to judge exactly how well everything is progressing. However, winning the awards pushed those feelings of uncertainty aside.

“It felt like the hard work had paid off and it was recognition that the business is moving forward,” Tony says.

Liz Small, of the MBEA, says while the awards provide an ideal opportunity for local businesses to showcase themselves and their achievements, one of the key criteria for nominees is the contribution they have made to the community.

“The key reason why they (the awards) were arranged was to recognise the businesses that give back to the community… that’s the big driving force behind the whole thing,” Liz says.

Quinton’s IGA aligns with that philosophy.

Julie says an important part of running her business is conducting forums with customers to determine what they like or dislike and what they want from the business.

“You need to work in your business and not just on it. Business owners cannot just do only what they want all the time,” she says.

The MBEA celebrate the point of difference offered by businesses and how that allows them to stand out from competitors. Both Julie and Tony share the philosophy that the quality of what they offer is foremost.

“I don’t think you could compare our produce to the larger supermarket chains. Our quality is superior and exceptional,” Julie says.

Tony says competitive pricing is something he considers, but he measures his business more on the quality of service provided and how the customers respond to that service.

“We always try to go beyond the call of duty and over deliver. We aim to give that ‘wow’ factor.”

Naturally, two successful business owners such as Julie Quinton and Tony Welsh know that running a business is not possible without commitment, energy and, most of all, passion.

“You can’t go into business half-heartedly. You have got to have a passion for what you do and always aim to be one of the best in your profession,” Tony says.

Julie’s passion stems from a significant personal experience and adds another dimension to her perspective on running her business.

“I’m not driven by money, it’s not my passion. My passion is Brian’s legacy. I focus on my staff and what we provide to our community and I truly believe that has been the secret to our success,” she says.

Julie and Tony believe the future for businesses in Warrandyte is bright, especially given the community’s willingness to support local business. “I think as long as you try and run your business to the best of your ability and do so with integrity, you’ll definitely succeed,” Julie says.

Businesses operating within Manningham or servicing suburbs within the municipality are encouraged to nominate themselves for the 2015 Manningham Business Excellence Awards. The awards breakfast launch will be held on Tuesday July 28 at the Manningham Function Centre. There will be an opportunity to hear from past award winners and how the Manningham Business Excellence Awards have benefitted their business.

For more information visit www.manninghambea.com.au