Monthly Archives: November 2020

Wild women

Two women

THIS STORY BEGINS somewhere around the middle of the last century.

One bright, spring day, two women alighted from the train at Ringwood station with the aim of walking and botanising their way to Warrandyte.

Although there were some rewarding Indigenous plant finds along the way,  it was when they finally reached the corner of Tindals Road and Warrandyte-Heidelberg Road, they found a hill top of extraordinary wildflower complexity.

Jean and Winifred bathed in the glorious richness of Indigenous plant biodiversity.

Jean Galbraith was a gardener, writer and long-time champion of Australian native plants.

When Jean’s book, Wildflowers of Victoria, appeared in 1950, it was the first accessible field guide published on Victorian flora.

Combining botanical knowledge with evocative descriptions, her writing skills made her field guides accessible (Encyclopaedia of Women and Leadership).

Winifred Waddell shared these interests and skills and co-wrote the book Wildflower Diary with Jean and Elizabeth Cochrane in 1976.

Jean and Winifred petitioned the local council with the assistance of local residents to buy the newly discovered site and set it up as a Wildflower Reserve.

Dorothy Rush assisted with raising funds to fence the Reserve.

I found the Tindals Road Wildflower Reserve in the early 1980s and spent many hours there identifying the wildflowers using my very worn-out copy of A field guide to the wild flowers of south-east Australia (1977) written by Jean Galbraith.

However, the Reserve was in a sad state, and threatened to be over-run with weeds.

Through the Friends of Warrandyte State Park, we petitioned the local Doncaster Council, and Val Polley and I met with the Engineer John Prince about getting some weed work done there.

I pointed out a cactus that I knew had been dumped in the reserve several years ago.

John responded wonderfully and decisively and soon had a botanical survey organised which was completed by Ecology Australia.

The report in particular noted the invasion of the Reserve by introduced weedy grasses, Quaking Grass and Panic Veldt Grass in particular, which were threatening the survival of its Orchid populations.

But which way forward from here?

Bushland management or ecological horticulture (where ecology meets horticulture) as it was becoming known, was in its infancy.

The first Course in Ecological Horticulture in Victoria was run in 1982 at Latrobe University.

It was only in the previous decade that National Parks managers had accepted that fire was an intrinsic part of management.

There was much to learn.

To be a practitioner of ecological horticulture, an enormous amount of knowledge is required.

For a start, there are the 400 or so plants that consist of the local Indigenous and introduced flora, their growth periods, flowering patterns, physiological dynamics, their response to weather and management actions.

What long term strategy does one employ to remove the weeds?, what tools, what techniques?

What planning and coordination skills are required for this new profession?

 

Enter another two women

Systematic observers of the natural environment the Bradley sisters, Eileen Burton Bradley and Joan Burton Bradley, observed in NSW during the 1960s attempts to control weeds by slashing and clearing resulted in rampant weed regrowth, and they formulated an alternative strategy.

The sisters were keen gardeners and hand-weeded where they walked, doing less than an hour a day and being careful to replace the bush litter which — they believed — contained the seedbank for new growth.

They waited for the bush to regenerate.

They developed the three principles of the Bradley method of bush regeneration: work outward from less infested to more seriously infested areas; minimise disturbance, and replace topsoil and litter; allow regeneration to set the pace of the work.

Selected hand-tools were the only implements permitted.

The Bradley’s opposed the use of chemicals and criticised the controlled-burning programme begun in 1971 by the State’s Forestry Commission (Australian Dictionary of Biography).

It’s one thing to have the basic principles of ecological horticulture, quite another to be able to look at a piece of bushland that is a complex matrix of the ecological functions of people, plants, soils, seeds, wind, weather, insects, fungi, birds, mammals and fire, and devise a strategy to heal the land and to be able to work on country and peel back the degradation that has occurred through weed invasion, tree clearance and neglect.

 

Then two Warrandyte women

Jane Pammer, a keen gardener had spent a year in Japan as a horticultural exchange student, before working in ecological horticulture with Save the Bush.

Then during the recession of the 1990s, lead a Green Corps Team through the L.E.A.P. employment programme at the then Doncaster and Templestowe Council.

Jane successfully applied for the permanent position in bushland management working with the Council in their Parks and Gardens Unit as Certified Gardener — Bush Regenerator.

Jane was managing the day to day work in the Manningham managed reserves: Warrandyte Walk, Tindals Wildflower Reserve, Zerbes Reserve, Mullum Stage 1, 100 Acres and others.

Jane began a systematic programme of weeding and observation keeping a diary of work completed in each site.

Jane’s tight control of ecological maintenance programmes, re-visiting each site on a 10 week rotational schedule, quality control and conscientious thoroughness, brought back the bushlands from the brink of oblivion, rescuing our priceless natural heritage.

Today, Tindals Road Wildflower Reserve is an absolute credit to Manningham.

This year in particular, it has produced an exceptional flowering display that has brought many people the simple and profound joy of bushland magic.

This was something that could hardly be imagined in 1985.

Manningham has been a civic leader in municipal environmental programmes over the past 25 years; with a range of integrated programmes to assist residents protect our natural heritage, as well as its own management of bushlands for which it has responsibility.

The ecological horticultural work along the Yarra River below the village called Warrandyte Walk, is the best example of environmental restoration of riparian (waterway) vegetation along the entire length of the Yarra River.

It is by far more successful than anything agencies or other shires or Councils have achieved.

Manningham should be extremely proud of that achievement.

It is also a tribute to Jane for her dedicated vision and skills.

In the most difficult of vegetative zones, they have produced a world class result.

Many walk past the native grasses and shrubs without actually appreciating the difficulties of the site and the vision and skill required to unearth and maintain its intrinsic qualities.

Sharon Mason was an intrinsic part of the bushland management journey with Jane. Sharon for most of this time has led a Bushland Maintenance Crew of skilled ecological gardeners to implement Jane’s programming and to join in the discussion, development and refinement of Jane’s programme of bushland rejuvenation.

Together, they implemented an incredibly successful operation.

Jean Galbraith put her money where her mind was and donated the land to establish the first wildflower sanctuary in Victoria in 1936, in Tyers, in the LaTrobe Valley — the first privately donated reserve in the State of Victoria.

The Latrobe Valley Field Naturalists recorded an extensive list of flora in the Reserve in 1967, but over time, many species were impacted by weed invasion and a loss of interest in maintaining the site.

This changed in 1999 when an enthusiastic group of residents in the Tyers township formed to resurrect the Reserve and highlight its botanical and historical significance.

Winifred was responsible for securing the first wildflower sanctuary at Tallarook, Victoria, in 1949.

Throughout her nearly 70 years of garden writing, Jean wrote about all aspects of garden-making but remained an indefatigable champion of Australian flora, ignoring fashions in plants, and like Winifred, Eileen, Joan, Jane and Sharon, kept working in the wild garden that she loved.

Painting the town red for cystic fibrosis


DID YOU NOTICE an unusual number of walkers and joggers, all dressed in red in Warrandyte on Sunday, 25 October?

It was hard to miss Team Gallop’s mass of 60 individuals and family groups from 15 local families who embarked on a mission to paint the town red!

Team Gallop embarked on their virtual Great Strides — a fun run and walk held every October — to raise awareness and funds for people living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Usually held around The Botanic Gardens (the Tan) in Melbourne, this year’s event was fully supported by many virtually, with participants registering and running their own event locally.

For the 60 or so members of Team Gallop, this entailed running the beautiful streets and trails of Warrandyte.

CF is the most common, life-limiting genetic condition affecting Australians, and currently 3,500 people in Australia are living with CF.

There is no cure yet, but advances in treatment and care are helping people to better manage their CF.

CF causes an abnormal build-up of thick and sticky mucus in the lungs, airways and digestive system.

Treatment requires intensive daily physiotherapy to clear the lungs and airways, countless medications and frequent hospitalisations.

Warrandyte resident Claire Jones has a direct connection to CF, through her son, Jack.

“We first made contact with Cystic Fibrosis Community Care when our son Jack was born with cystic fibrosis in 2007, and we participated in our first Great Strides event that year.

“It was originally held around Princess Park in the city and I remember Jack sitting in the pram enjoying the view while we ran and pushed him around the park,” she said.

Karin Knoester, Cystic Fibrosis Community Care CEO spoke about how important the Great Strides event is to the charity.

“Great Strides is one of our biggest fundraising events.

“It allows us to raise money for vital services and programs, advocacy and research for the 1,600 people living with cystic fibrosis in Victoria and New South Wales.

“As a not-for-profit charitable organisation, Cystic Fibrosis Community Care relies heavily on the generosity of the Victorian and NSW public, as well as private donors and philanthropic sources.

“Currently, only 20 per cent of our income is provided by various levels of government, which is why events like these are so important,” she said.

Great Strides is a family-friendly event and is a great way to bring people together.

It is also a good way to remind us that while CF can sometimes be a hidden illness, there is a lot constantly going on behind the scenes in terms of physiotherapy and tablets taken daily.

“What we take for granted — being able to go out for a walk or run — isn’t always easy for others,” said Claire.

2020 has certainly delivered its challenges, but one of the positives has been the great community we live in, which Claire says was reflected in the Great Strides event.

“We had the biggest number of participants in our team this year, even though it wasn’t a typical fun run event.”

So if you spotted a red t-shirt or two puffing and panting (or maybe some were gliding) around the streets of Warrandyte, it was all in aid of a great cause.

Team Gallop collectively ran and walked over 420 kilometres in one day as part of the Great Strides virtual event and Claire wanted to give special mention to Meleah Byth who completed her first half marathon, as part of the event.

Information about Great Strides and Cystic Fibrosis Community Care can be found via their website www.cfcc.org.au.

 

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Getting back on the beers


AFTER SEVEN months of lockdown, the Grand Hotel Warrandyte reopened its doors under the latest stage of COVID-19 restriction easings, on Saturday, October 31.

Manager Peter Appleby said that when they announced they would be opening, they were booked out for their first four days within 50 minutes.

“We went live on Thursday afternoon, then 50 minutes later we were fully booked for four sessions, for 70 people, and that is like that now until Monday week.”

Peter said that customer support and confidence is important.

“That people want to get back to normal living is great,” he said.

Peter said the whole lockdown was very frustrating with an uncertain roadmap out of restrictions and unviable limits put on customer caps.

“The build-up has been intense, where we got promised one thing and then had it taken away from us.”

On October 19, Premier Daniel Andrews was expected to announce the reopening of hospitality, but put a pause on the reopening when there was a surge in cases in North Western Melbourne.

This was reversed 24 hours later with a rapid reopening announced as the state reported zero cases for two days in a row, and blitzed through the targeted 14-day average daily case number of five.

Despite being able to open four days earlier, the Grand took their time getting their new outdoor space opened.

“We got 30 hours’ notice to pull it all together, it is just crazy… we have been working around the clock the last five days to be able to be open today.

“It is exciting that we can open, but the disappointing part is the capacity for inside space is quite challenging for us, where we are only allowed 10 people per room, maximum of two rooms.

“It is great that we have got 50 people in our beautiful outdoor space, but when it rains this afternoon, what are we going to do, send them all home?” he said.

Throughout the lockdown, Peter has been firm that the minimum number of patrons to be viable to open was 50, however, with a pre-COVID-19 capacity of 700, even that number is barely sufficient.

He said he was hoping for one person per four-square-meters inside.

“We are COVID Safe, we are ready to open and we can work to that — we manage people, we manage customers, we manage responsible service of alcohol — we are the heaviest regulated industry in Australia, let us manage COVID in a COVID-Safe manner.”

The pub will be using a QR Code for contact tracing, a questionnaire on arrival, as well as temperature checking.

As per the government guidelines, patrons can only consume food and drinks while seated.

The timing could not be better to launch the Grand’s newest outdoor space, a beer garden, which has replaced the drive through bottle shop.

Peter told the Diary since new management took over the pub in November 2012 they had had the idea of having an outdoor space.

“We started the job, and with COVID-19 restrictions coming into place, and with what we could open down the track, we thought let us pull the trigger and get it all ready for when we can open, because outside dining is obviously going to be around for a while.

“We are pretty happy with what the outcome is, although we are not finished,” he said.

He said they were working until 2am every night in the week leading up to the reopening to get the venue ready.

Helping with the reopening was local Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith who, as luck would have it, has an RSA qualification, so was able to pull the first beer.

“Good to see the pub back, it is a focal point for the community, and the hospitality sector has been hit really, really hard by the lockdowns.

“I think people are really keen to get out and back to seeing their friends and family and having a few drinks and socialising again, and if you are going to socialise in Warrandyte, there is no better place than the Grand Hotel,” Mr Smith told the Diary.

Peter is grateful for all the support he has received from the community since the pub closed its doors back in March.

“It has been wonderful; we have had a lot of messages of support.

“We did takeaway at the start, which was great, it was just great to see some faces, people need a pub, it is pretty important for people’s mental health — we saw a lot of people just come in for a chat, which is nice and people need that.

“As publicans we are a sounding board for a lot of people in so many ways; we reached out to a lot of our customers who perhaps needed us, just checking on them making sure they were doing ok.

“Of course the local support on social media has been fantastic, we were getting messages here and there, just random, ‘thinking of you guys’, and that just melts us you know, makes us feel wanted, needed and loved.

“Just as much as we love our community, it is nice that people love us,” he said.

Peter also reiterated the important role that the social environment the pub generates contributes to mental health.

“Getting staff back in to work has been very important for us.

“Mental health is a very important thing, and I know it is used a lot at the moment, but we have seen some people suffer, not just staff, but customers as well.

“Just to get the pub back for people to get the opportunity to come back to normal — well semi-normal — and get back some social skills, which people have sorely missed.”

The Diary spoke with some of the first customers through the doors who were all very eager to be back at their favourite local.

“We are super excited.”

“We have the first session and are back again on Tuesday as well.”

“Beautiful, can’t wait to get in there and get back on the beers.”

“Beer out of a glass, I can’t wait.”

Peter said booking for an outing to the pub was simple.

“You can book on our website, there is an easy to follow link on there.

“Also on Facebook and Instagram there is a link there as well, and it will bring up the slots that are available.

“Click on the link and put your booking in with a maximum booking size of 10.”

www.grandhotelwarrandyte.com.au

As of midnight Sunday, November 8, State Government increased the dining caps to 40 people indoors and 70 people outdoors.

 

Artists and art lovers rejoice


CONFINED TO their studios since March, local artists have not been idle.

Artists have spent their time wisely and creatively, producing a myriad of new works that they are now able to present to the public.

Many galleries are reopening and, while many home-based studios remain closed, there are several studios opening to the public.

Ona Henderson and Syd Tunn have kept with the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios tradition and are holding an “Open Studio by appointment”.

Ona told the Diary that, as they are classed as private retail their Creek House Studios is able to operate under COVID-19 guidelines.

“We are already having visitors in our afternoons and making times up until Christmas,” she said.

This will mark Syd and Ona’s 37th year holding an Open Studio.

Their original open studio concept, first held in 1983, grew into what became the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios program, which they hope will return next year.

Syd and Ona’s Creek House Studios, at the Corner of Henley and Oxley Roads, Bend Of Islands, is a cornucopia of artistic delights.

The couple produce a range of paintings drawings prints and art cards, using a range of media.

Bookings can be made by phoning 9712 0393 after 10am.

While it would normally be time for the rest of Nillumbik Artists Open Studios to open their doors, the home based artists have decided to create a gallery exhibition, as well as show their works on an online gallery site.

Program coordinator Annette Nobes said the committee decided “having thousands of people visiting dozens of studios across Nillumbik was not responsible”.

So they have cancelled this year’s event.

You can visit their expanded website to visit a virtual shop plus up-to-date information on studio happenings, events and opening times at artistsopenstudios.com.au

 

Nillumbik Artists at Gallery 7 six 5

Nillumbik Artists have combined for a rolling exhibition at Gallery 7 six 5.

Located at 765d Eltham-Yarra Glen Road, Watsons Creek, the new gallery run by artists Lisa Ferrari and Benny Archer opened its doors just as Coronavirus hit.

“We opened on June 6 and were open for five weeks before the Stage 4 Lockdown, which was devastating,” Benny told the Diary.

However, they are back with a vengeance and reopened to the public on October 30 with an exhibition of Benny’s works.

This has been followed by an exhibition of the Nillumbik Artists Open Studio.

Each weekend for six weekends, starting from November 6, they are showcasing the works of one of the Open Studio Zones.

“We set this gallery up to support local artists, there is such incredible talent in the Artisan Hills,” Benny said.

The first fortnight November 6—15 is dedicated to Zone A artists, focussing on artists from Eltham and Research, this includes potter Mary-Lou Pittard, painter Claire Dunstan, glass artist Jacquie Hacansson and horticultural potter Jack Latti.

November 20—29 will feature Zone B, centred on artists from Christmas Hills, St Andrews and Kangaroo Ground, including sculptor Tim Read, artists Syd and Ona, Nerina Lascelles, and Robyn Koiker, and the printmakers from Baldessen Press.

December 4—13 will feature Zone C artists from the Hurstbridge area such as metal sculptor Mel Rayski-Mati, artist Harry Z Hughes and artists from the Dunmoochin foundation.

Benny’s studio sits within the gallery space, so you can watch the artist at work as you browse the collections.

With the Dark Horse Café next door, it makes the perfect destination to explore your extended bubble and support local art.

 

Art on Yarra Street

Warrandyte township is also seeing a resumption of artistic spaces as well as a new pottery space.

Stonehouse Gallery reopened its doors to the public in late October.

Jenny Johns told the Diary they leapt into action as soon as the Premier announced the changes to opening dates.

“We opened last Tuesday [27 October] with all the new rules and regulations in place to keep our visitors and members safe,” Jenny said.

She said during the second closure their team worked hard behind the scenes keeping up with all the general requirements so that they would be ready to open.

“Members and our many talented consignment artists have been making good use of the time out and have created many new and exciting works for the gallery.

“With Christmas in a few weeks we are hoping that all our visitors will find a special hand-crafted gift for friends and family,” Jenny said.

The Stonehouse Gallery is open six days from 10:30am to 5pm, closed Mondays.

A new pop up pottery market is opening each weekend of November and December below the Sassafras Sweet Shop, in the space formerly occupied by Ratty and Moles.

Jane Annois said the pop-up gallery is a forerunner for a permanent gallery and pottery school which is planned to open in 2021.

Jane said she is also participating this month in the Australian Ceramics Open Studio program, an annual nationwide event that celebrates clay, community and creativity.

Hosted by The Australian Ceramics Association, made up of over 100 ceramics studios, potters open their doors to offer insight, practical demonstrations and the chance to take home a handmade piece.

Jane’s pottery studio will be open at 109 Kangaroo Ground Road from 10am – 5pm on November 20 – 21.

 

Great expectations

Looking to the future, there is a plethora of art coming our way, assuming we keep COVID-19 at bay.

February is looking like a busy time on the art scene with a major photography exhibition (see Page 19) as well as the Mechanics Institute Arts Association hosting an Arts Expo.

“Since March, the hall has been ‘silent’ and so we thought an Arts Expo would help Warrandyte celebrate the lifting of lockdown restrictions and a return to something approaching normal life,” said WMIAA Vice Chair, Ian Craig.

They are planning to host a weekend of artistic activities, promoting local artists, groups, and bands.

The event will include concerts, visual arts and pottery workshops, a community choir event, and the popular Repair Cafe workshop.

“The emphasis will be on the promotion of Warrandyte Arts and ‘getting involved’ in the free activities.”

Ian said subject to Government restrictions, they are aiming to run the Expo on February 19–21.

Local Elections declared


RESULTS FOR the Manningham and Nillumbik Local Elections are in.

With the pandemic forcing a 100 per cent postal election and concerns that Australia Post may not be able to process the volume of ballot packs, the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) ran a campaign encouraging voters to return their completed ballots as soon as possible.

Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately, said voters responded to the call and it is expected the turnout for the 2020 local elections will exceed the voter response to the 2016 elections.

“I am impressed by the rate of ballot returns compared with the same time in 2016.

“We are tracking above where we expected to be and are appreciative of the public’s response,” he said.

In 2016 an average of 72 per cent of people participated in the elections.

Mr Gately says the ballot return rate is expected to exceed the 75 per cent anticipated average return for this year’s elections.

“Our reminders have generated large call volumes and we’ve increased call centre staff in response,” he said.

In line with state government policy many local councils have moved to single councillor wards.

This election saw 298 separate elections held across Victoria and 2,187 candidates nominated.

In Nillumbik, 79 candidates were campaigning for one of nine ward seats whereas Manningham’s nine ward seats were being contested by 41 candidates.

With both Mannigham and Nillumbik now each representing as nine wards each with one councillor representing, the results are as follows:

 

Nillumbik: Blue Lake Ward, Councillor Richard Stockman; Bunjil Ward, Councillor Karen Egan; Edendale Ward, Councillor Natalie Duffy; Ellis Ward, Councillor Peter Perkins; Sugarloaf Ward, Councillor Ben Ramcharan; Swipers Gully Ward, Councillor Frances Eyre; Wingrove Ward, Councillor Geoff Paine,

 

Manningham: Bolin Ward, Councillor Geoff Gough; Currawong Ward, Councillor Andrew Conlon; Manna Ward, Councillor Tomas Lightbody; Tullamore Ward, Councillor Deirdre Diamante; Waldau Ward, Councillor Anna Chen; Ruffey Ward, Councillor Stephen Mayne; Schramm Ward, Councillor Laura Mayne; Westerfolds Ward, Councillor Michelle Kleinert; Yarra Ward, Councillor Carli Lange.

 

Celebrating community spirit


IF THERE is one thing that the townships of Warrandyte, North Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Park Orchards do well, it is community.

A big component of our community spirit is the efforts of volunteers, and Community Bank Warrandyte is once again honouring our community heroes with the Community Spirit Award.

In 2019, the award recipient was wildlife carer Maxine Rosewall who has spent more than 20 years rehabilitating injured wildlife from her home in North Warrandyte.

Our world has shrunk in 2020 and our everyday lives and habits have seen significant disruption.

But, throughout the pandemic, the communities of Warrandyte and its surrounds have maintained its connectivity, compassion and camaraderie.

To be Warrandytian means to be part of this community and you will be hard pressed to find a member of our community who has not donated their time, energy or expertise to a local cause, club or event.

Community Bank Warrandyte Director, Claire Jones, told the Diary how our altruistic nature contributes to Warrandyte being a special place and why the Community Spirit Award is an important signifier of these works.

“Warrandyte is a unique place to live and is incredibly special because of all the work so many in our community do voluntarily.

“I think the importance of this process is actually to acknowledge all the great work these volunteers do within and for our community, not only the recipient.

“And how having people like them around is such a great asset for our community,” she said.

Claire went on to discuss how Coronavirus affected how priorities changed and how local volunteers came through.

“People’s plans suddenly changed (almost overnight) during the pandemic.

“What was acceptable beforehand — sporting games, concerts, festivals with crowds, fundraising at a sausage sizzle suddenly became unacceptable.

“Volunteers and organisations had to pivot and change their plans and the way they operated.

“This required a lot of thought and extra work, which for volunteers, when they’re trying to maintain paid work — suddenly from home — with kids and partners there as well — trying to navigate different ways of interacting with their colleagues or fellow volunteers was a big ask.”

Despite the tough year, the community came out in force during the 2020 Community Spirit Award nomination period.

The nominees and their contributions are described below, then read on to discover who was crowned this year’s ultimate winner.

 

Nominee: Warrandyte Festival Committee

Nominated by Warrandyte Festival Committee member Phil Ashfield, for the ongoing efforts of the wholly volunteer run Festival Committee.

Phil added to his nomination how important it was to nominate the Festival Committee given the current crisis.

“While COVID-19 is currently restricting our ability to be able to put on a festival in the current environment, once things are back to normal, no other event will have the ability to bring the community back together just like the Warrandyte Festival will be able to.”

The Diary spoke with Warrandyte Festival Committee President Jamie Ferguson, who described the challenges of putting on the annual event and told us what the nomination means to him, and the rest of the committee.

“I think our biggest challenge each year is ensuring that we create a vibrant event that has all the traditional features that people love but also some new surprises.

“All these take so much input by the committee and many other community members.

“Each year there are new challenges…bushfires, huge rains, and the odd global pandemic.

“While they all create some pretty difficult and unique circumstances I’m always so thankful for the way the committee comes together and sorts stuff out.

“It’s a great privilege to be nominated for an award like this.

“I see so many people doing extraordinary things in a volunteer capacity in our community…many without the same pay off at the end that the festival gives us,” he said.

 

Nominee: Dick Davies, on behalf of Warrandyte Community Association(WCA)

Dick Davies was nominated by current WCA President Carli Lange.

Dick has been the linchpin of many WCA projects including Be Ready Warrandyte, Warrandyte Riverside Market, the Creekside and Riverside retirement villages, as well as speaking for the WCA, and in turn the community, at Council, on both sides of the river.

As part of her submission, Carli wrote: “Dick Davies has been an outstanding and inspirational community leader in Warrandyte for many decades.

“He has worked selflessly on so many projects which have provided continuing benefit to the community, from the Be Ready Warrandyte fire preparedness program through to the establishment of the Retirement Housing in Co-operative and the Community Market.

“It is hard to think of anyone who has made a greater and such long-lasting contribution to the community.”

On receiving news of his nomination, Dick requested that his nomination be on behalf of the Warrandyte Community Association.

Dick told the Diary: “It’s all a bit embarrassing, but it is an opportunity to celebrate how much so many people do to make Warrandyte a vibrant community,” he said.

 

Nominee: Martin Rakuscek

Nominated by Greg Warren for his work with the Warrandyte Junior Cricket Club and Warrandyte Junior Football Club.

Working in Team Manager roles, Martin has been integral in expanding junior participation in cricket and footy.

In his nomination for Martin, Greg noted: “Martin was never a cricketer, but has two boys who are now playing in our Senior teams… and about three years ago we convinced him to ‘pull on the whites’ and play in our Father/Son side.

Like everything he does, he got involved and became a valuable member of the team and had a bit of fun (and he’s still playing !!!).

“Martin is extremely well liked and respected throughout our club and the broader community.

“He sets a tremendous example for all club members and his involvement at our club has ensured that we continue to grow, play sport in the right spirit and gain respect for our club in the community”.

Martin told the Diary what he enjoys most about volunteering at the sports club and what it means to be nominated.

“The best part of volunteering at both sports clubs is seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces when they meet up with their mates for training, and game day.

“Seeing them build life-long friendships outside of school and having fun is a great part of being part of the Warrandyte Community.

“Everyone here loves where they live, and enjoying the great outdoors whether that is playing outdoor sport or just walking along the Yarra river.

“Being nominated for the award was a surprise, as most of us volunteers don’t do this for awards.

“Giving time to such a great community provides its own rewards through the friends you make along the way, and seeing the kids grow up to be fine,” he said.

 

Nominee: Tim Dawson

Tim was nominated by Nigel Kelly for his role as a Sports Chaplain and Committee member for Park Orchards Football and Netball Club.

Nigel writes: “During his time there he has supported and provided welfare to the club’s players, club officials and supporters with great care and commitment.”

Tim spoke to the Diary about the importance of having a person, in a community, who you can turn to for support and advice.

“I believe it’s important that everyone, no matter what age or gender, has the opportunity to turn to someone other than their family if they face a crisis.

“Over the past five years, I’ve worked to build relationships with everyone who is connected to the club so that in a crisis they know that there is someone to turn to for help.

“Often this spreads into the community too.

“Matters that I try and help with and support extend to job hunting, stress, injury, being dropped from a team to mental health, depression and suicide.

“I also have the opportunity to influence leadership and training of the young players.

“I believe that no man, women or child should ever walk alone in this life and I truly hope that the little I do in my community makes a massive difference

“Park Orchards Football Netball Club is a wonderful place to be a part of, and has a fantastic set of core values and morals,” he said.

 

Nominee: Lisa Ryan

Nominated by Judith Lightfoot for her five to ten years of voluntary service.

“Lisa shows virtue of good citizenship.

“She has touched and enriched the lives of others, particularly those who are vulnerable or less able to help themselves.

“Lisa has shown ongoing initiative, leadership and dedication.

“She has devoted herself to sustained and selfless voluntary service and has earned the respect of her peers and become a role model in their field,” Judith wrote.

 

Nominee: James Harris

Nominated by Anderson’s Creek Primary School Principal Sue Dyos for his role as School Council President for the last four years.

Sue writes: “Having worked with many Presidents over the years, James certainly gives above and beyond the expected role and continues to both support and lead many school activities.

“Through his positivity, enthusiasm and leadership skills he continues to inspire, lead and promote community and connectedness within and beyond the ACPS school community.”

 

2020 Community Spirit Award Recipient

On November 9, in what would usually be a packed room at the Warrandyte Sporting Group complex — but due to COVID-19 was a little more discreet this year, Community Bank Warrandyte announced the recipient of this year’s award as … (envelope please)… The Warrandyte Festival Committee.

The Diary spoke with Jaime Ferguson, who spoke on behalf of the Festival Committee.

Jamie accepted the award, on behalf of the Festival Committee.

“Amazing! I’m very proud of our committee.

“We are extremely thankful for the support the Community Bank Warrandyte has provided us and many other local organisations over many years.

“We’re looking forward to putting on a special event next year in whatever capacity is possible and sharing celebrations for making it through this year with the whole community,” he said.

Arguably the community event of the year, Warrandyte Festival weekend sees Warrandyte and the surrounding townships at their best.

It’s delivery, the music, arts and events on offer draw thousands of people and even though it is organised by volunteers, the scale, efficiency and professionalism in planning are not compromised.

Festival is a time for celebration, for catching up with old friends, making new ones and seeing some ripper live music.

The Festival is, in many ways, the embodiment of volunteering in Warrandyte.