Monthly Archives: December 2020

Soul food: Josh Teskey and Ash Grunwald new collaborative project

DIARY REPORTER STEPHANIE CARAGLANIS recently sat down with Josh Teskey to discuss his new 8-Track Blues project with Ash Grunwald.
Titled Push The Blues Away, the album features raw blues instrumentation, combined with soulful and reflective lyricism.
Read on as Steph and Josh talk roots, inspiration and Josh’s pie of choice from the Warrandyte Bakery.
The Teskey Brothers are proud Warrandyte boys, so how did growing up in Warrandyte inspire you creatively?
Well, I think a big part of growing up in Warrandyte that inspired us was probably the music community around us.
I mean that was one of the biggest things, people like Chris Wilson and local Blues musicians, we were surrounded by Blues.
They have a thing for it in this area, it has influenced our music massively.

How would you describe the sound of Push The Blues Away to both new listeners and existing Teskey Brothers fans?

What we were doing growing up, prior to the release of the Teskey Brothers albums, in a live setting — it was more in that soul realm, a more raw sort of Blues thing.
We have always been very influenced by that and played a lot of that.
This project is a lot more along those lines, it is really back to basics Blues and there is nothing complicated about it.
There is not even really a rhythm section, it is just me and Ash on guitars, a bit of harmonica, stomp boxes — it is raw and almost a bit rough around the edges.
We just wanted to have some fun with it, so we did not want to get too complicated.
We did not spend heaps of time fixing little things up, you hear a little bit of laughing in the background, or there might not be the most perfect little vocal takes, sometimes.
We wanted it that way, it is almost kind of live sounding.
A lot of what we recorded was basically live in the room, every one of these tracks is just Ash and I playing through the song, what we put down that was it.
It is really raw, that is the way I would describe it.

I think that is a bit of a hidden gem, a lot of people do not really know there is a Blues scene hidden in Warrandyte.

That is right!
There are a lot of artists who live in and around here, more than we realise.
It is a special little thing.

I definitely noticed that!
Especially on Thinking ‘Bout Myself, you guys have the harmonicas, the claps which is really stripped down and different from what the Teskey Brothers usually produce, can we expect this stripped back instrumentation throughout the entire album?

Absolutely!
There are no drums, there is no bass guitar.
I just finished an album with the Teskey Brothers when we started this project, where we did a lot of production, strings sections and horns.
So this was really fun for us, we did not want to do a lot of production on this one, just made to be really fun and really easy. 

So you and Ash have collaborated previously on his track Ain’t My Problem, why did you decide to go all the way and collaborate on a full album together?

Well, it just kind of escalated you know?
One thing sort of led to another.
It began when he did that track with the Teskey Brothers, he sent us the song and we became the rhythm section on that tune he sent us.
A few months later he came out to our studio in Warrandyte to do a film clip, we were going to film a little thing of me and Ash having a jam together — I just had a harmonica and he had a guitar.
When you are filming things like this there is a lot of waiting around.
So we were waiting around, having a jam in the room, and got to talking, saying “ah wouldn’t it be great just to do an album like that one day?, just a guitar and a harmonica in a room and do some of that stuff we have always loved.”
Ash being the hustler that he is, gives me a call a couple of weeks later and says:
“Hey! Do you have any time? We should just do this!”
We did not really know what was going to come of it, it began by being together in the studio, I did not know if we were going to release it or just have a bit of a jam.
But he came out for a week and my brother, Sam, came out to the studio here.
Sam set up all the stuff, he also produced and recorded this thing as well, so he has been very involved in a lot of ways too.
As we got into it, I came in with a couple of songs I put together just a couple of days before.
Ash had a couple of songs he put together, then we thought of a couple of covers we were into, a couple of old Blues standards — and before we knew it, we had eight or nine songs sitting there ready to go.
And we were like “Man there is a whole album’s worth here”.
Before we knew it, Sam mixed it all together and our label, Ivy League Records said: “Yeah! We should release this.”
It was a very cruisy process and now we have got a whole album.

I really liked the music video you guys produced for Hungry Heart just that very cosy homemade video, it was very cute and organic.

It was really fun for us.
It was an appropriate video to do during isolation.It was more about working out what we could do, film a bit of our lives — as that is all we can do at the moment.
I think my favourite thing I have heard someone say about you is “When I close my eyes I hear Otis Redding and when I open them I see Thor”.
How do you feel about being compared a Marvel hero?
I love it!
People have been telling me I look like Chris Hemsworth for many years.
It was such a funny thing, Chris discovers our music, next thing I know I find myself at the Avengers premiere walking down with Liam and Chris.
It was very bizarre seeing how the Hollywood crew do it.

Do you and Ash share any musical influences and how did that influence this new project?

Well I think it is really appropriate for the Warrandyte Diary here.
Ash actually grew up in the same area as well, you know he was close by.
I actually grew up watching Ash!
When I was about 13/14, I used to watch Ash play sets out of the St Andrews pub.
I would be busking at the market with Sam; we would come up after the market, get some food over at the hotel there and Ash was always playing a set.
So I grew up watching Ash play Blues.
He was one of those influences in the area, which was really cool, alongside people like Geoff Achison and Chris Wilson.
About five years later, I am watching him play the Main Stage at Falls Festival.
In a big way he has influenced our music as well.
I tell him now we used to grow up watching him, because he discovered us independently.
We even did a gig in Northcote where we supported him, he did not remember that.
The Teskey Brothers were a support for him, and then when Ash found us to do a bit of work on his album he could not believe we into his music back in the day.
We are very closely connected in many ways.

That is a wholesome story.

He is a beautiful character, he is a lovely guy, and it has been a really nice fun project just to work with him and get to know him, he has a really great soul.

I feel like this is my most imperative question of the whole interview, what is your order at the famous Warrandyte Bakery?

Very nice!
Okay, I have been going down for years and I just love getting some croissants.
I usually get about five croissants on a Sunday.
If I am not doing that and I am just a bit hungry, and I want to get something, I love the veggie pie down there which is delicious!
I think it is far superior to the veggie pasty.
I also normally get a cheeky caramel slice, so a veggie pie and a caramel slice would be my first choice, ha ha!

A little bit of an unpopular opinion hey?

I feel like everyone goes for the beef pie and the vanilla slice.

That is a bit of a classic, I do love the classic beef as well.
But there is something about that veggie pie, and not a lot of people know about it!
It is a bit of an inside secret.

I love it, you are putting the veggie pie on the map single-handedly.

Absolutely!
Try it out Warrandyte, try it out.

Warrandyte Fire Brigade ready to roll

WARRANDYTE FIRE Brigade is rolling out of the station with a shiny new Field Command Vehicle (FCV), thanks to some generous support from the community.
Spokesperson for the brigade, Firefighter Jeff Watters told the Diary many businesses stepped up to help replace the eight-year-old 4WD.
“Warrandyte Fire Brigade owns this vehicle and our slip-on unit, they have been funded by very generous donation from the community.
“The FCV most recently received support from a lot of groups and businesses, including Warrandyte Community Bank, TJM Burwood, Tanami 4WD and Commercial, Australian Warning Systems, National Radios, Pedders Suspension and Brakes, Nunawading Toyota,  Auto Complex, Tyremax, Tiger Tyres Bayswater, Calgraphics, and Automobility”.
He said while the FCV was not a direct firefighting appliance, it is an important part of the brigade’s inventory.
“During the fire season it is used to lead Strike Teams wherever they might be needed.”
He said that it is also used during the year to take crew and equipment to where it is required, for things like training, community engagement, meetings, or for things like traffic control during incidents.
He said it was important to get a versatile vehicle to enable it to carry out the roles it needs to fill.
“We configure the vehicle for strike team usage where you have got three people in it for 12 hours a day, so it needs to be a comfortable vehicle, it also needs to be the scouting vehicle to guide where we can take tankers — so we need a 4WD, but we do not need a 4WD that can go anywhere, we just need to make sure it is safe to take a tanker there.
“Typically what we will do is, we will hold the tankers at the bottom of a hill and  send the FCV up there, and the FCV will go ‘yes this it traversable by trucks’, or ‘no it is not’, and so it tends to do a lot of those scouting things.
“It also has to be able to be away for extended periods of time, so it has got an onboard fridge, it has lots of power, it has radios, it needs to be a very versatile vehicle, and that is what it is.”
He said while initially the timing for the vehicle changeover seemed to be during an awkward time, it turned out to be beneficial.
“Our routine vehicle replacement program identified that this vehicle needed to be done now, but COVID-19 has actually helped us, because there have been lots of incentives with waiving of luxury car tax et cetera, and we have been able to get substantial discounts and help on this one.
“Our change over cost has been surprisingly low, to the point that we have actually optimised our community money spend, so it is a really nice new vehicle.
“This vehicle will be able to be kept for six or seven years and we can use it for our ongoing support of the community that supports us,” he said.

Words of wisdom from the river

LOCKDOWN had taken its toll.
Starved of words and stories but definitely not starved of calories, I found my letter tank empty.
A Scrabble board with no tiles.
Although it appeared my jar of clichés was overflowing.
Vacantly staring at my laptop, I am hoping a half page story would miraculously appear across my screen.
The only things less likely on my laptop were getting a virus, catching fire or getting smashed by massive hailstones from hell.
Oh, wait up.
Yeah, nah, it is 2020, that is probably going to happen.
Instead of wallowing in my own wordless stew, I wander out the back gate for a restorative stroll along the Yarra.
It starts with no more than a very low gentle whisper.
“I could help you.”
I glance around to see where the voice came from.
“Over here,” comes a gentle gurgle.
Perplexed I turn to the river.
“Yes, that is right.
“I have got some stories to tell you,” burbles the water flowing over a rapid.
Glancing around, I check for people in white coats waiting to haul me away.
“Why would I believe you?
“The EPA says you’re full of sh&%,” I reply.
And while that may be so, who am I to kick a gift horse in the mouth.
In fact, I thought the probability of me being able to kick anything post-COVID without pulling a hammy was statistically insignificant.
Pulling up my favourite rock to sit and ponder, I let river wisdom wash over me.
Literally.
High rainfall coupled with Upper Yarra Dam works has led to said rock being submerged.
So now not only am I conversing with a river, but I am doing so with a very wet bum.
“You know what?” asks the river.
“I love flowing past and people watching.
“Humans can be quite odd.
“Present company most certainly included.”
As one, myself, the Yarra and my soggy pants gaze at the opposite bank bearing witness to:

River Visitor Category 1

These visitors will only be observed during the day, mid-week and in packs of three to four couples.
They BYO picnic tables, chairs, automatically-refilling plastic red wine glasses and have empty shopping bags tied to the table — one for rubbish and one for recycling.
At least two, small, fluffy, white dogs will be observed comfortably snoozing in their owner’s laps, occasionally interrupted by outbursts of laughter and colourful language when the photo of the prized grandchild that they spent 20 minutes locating, magically disappears from the smartphone screen.
Never to be seen again.
Generally found in the perfectly scouted flat but shaded area, because after 70 plus years of the Aussie sun, these wily visitors are sick of spending half their superannuation at the dermatologist.

River Visitor Category 2

Turning up early afternoon on a sunny day post-exam, joyfully shedding school uniforms to run into the river, theses visitors will invariably live to regret their decision three hours later.
Calculating their departure to coincide with when they should have been leaving school, these TikTok Generation students hurriedly attempt to reapply crumpled filthy mud streaked dresses and school shirts over beet-red shoulders.
These “old enough to want independence but too young to realise potential consequences” mid-teens express horror on their sun-fried faces as they wonder how they can possibly explain losing a bra and one sock at school to their parents.

River Visitor Category 3

Arriving anytime from 3pm onwards, the group will swell as members turn up one, two or three at a time.
At no time will the gender ratio be even.
This peculiarity will lead to constant peacock preening and galah screeching behaviour.
Muscles colourfully covered in ink will be strong enough to carry whole slabs of Great Northern, four packs of Spritzers and minimum chips to the river’s edge.
Once the final inflatable flamingo has been popped on a jagged rock our intrepid visitors are so exhausted, they can barely crawl back to their utes.
There is no way they could possibly pick up the empty bottles, shredded cardboard packaging or sad flattened flamingos before they float through the tunnel.

River Visitor Category 4

Abundant anytime during the day, any age, and every gender.
Characterised by active wear, a takeaway coffee in hand, phone in the other and dog lead in the… oh wait… dog somewhere in the general vicinity.
Outrage is genuine.
Shock is real.
WTF!
There they are walking along the river track minding their own and everyone else’s business when a snake has the audacity to cross their path.
Their path.
The path that has been put in smack bang, right in the snake’s territory, somewhere between their snake house and snake food.
Quick, someone call the snake catcher
Not the one that never wears a shirt.
The other one.
Now where has that sod gone?
I did not have time to get an out of focus photo to put on Facebook.

River Visitor Category 5

“These are my favourite river rats,” announces the river suddenly.
“Which ones?” I reply startled
“These three walking into the water now.
“I like to move rocks around and submerge trees to try and trick them into slipping and getting their school bags wet.
“Imagine their parents face when this lot have to pull dripping laptops and phones out.
“There would not be enough rice in the world to fix that mess.”
Quickly retreating towards my back gate, I whisper over my shoulder, “The only reason these three walk home through the river is because I told them I am way too busy and important to pick them up.
“Now raise your water level a little to slow them down.
“I need time to make it look like I am busy and important before they reach the back door.”

50 years of Warrandyte Diary

AS THE DIARY celebrates its 50th birthday, we spoke with those who were there at the beginning.
Founding Editor Cliff Green, former Chief of Staff Jan Tindale (along with her late husband Lee), and Jock Macneish all had an immense contribution to the establishment of our community’s voice.
Earlier this year we had the opportunity to speak with Cliff and his wife Judy Green and then more recently with Jan and Jock.

Inception

Cliff was already a celebrated screenwriter and author, so we asked why he felt the need to start a newspaper.
“God knows why!” said Cliff.
“You would not believe it, it was because I wanted something to do here in Warrandyte.
“I could not understand why there was not [a paper] here and if there was going to be one, it had to be special.
“It had to be different because this was a special place.”
Judy reminded Cliff that it all started with the Youth Club.
Cliff said he volunteered on the Youth Club committee, because he had worked as a teacher and wanted to continue to work with young people.
Although, he said he had an ulterior motive.
“I wanted to start a newspaper, I did not tell anybody, I took on publicity officer for the Youth Club and started to report their material.
“We had to pay for it with something, so we decided to take advertising, so we started knocking on doors.”
Judy said Cliff first went to Peter McDougal’s office.
“He asked Peter if he would advertise   and then Ron Day came up, and Tom Kirkov,” said Judy.
“And suddenly we had the nucleus of a start,” added Cliff.
Cliff was approached by Peter Lovett, a Herald Sun sub-editor and sportswriter.
“He said ‘I will give you a hand with this paper’, so he came on as Sports Editor, and we were away.”
Cliff said the background to most of the early people who worked on the Diary was journalism.
“We had a lot of professional journalists coming and going on the paper.”
But Cliff also wanted an illustrator to join the team.
“I found out who this guy was that was doing these cartoons for the kinder, and it was Jock Macneish, and I went in and knocked on the door and told him what I wanted, and he said ‘alright I will be in that’, and away we went.
“Once I had Jock, I knew we had got ourselves one of the best press artists there was”.
Cliff said the first edition was 12 pages and they wanted to print 2,000 copies.
“I had been a printer, where I served my apprenticeship, he had started a little printery and I went to him; we had the typeset at Dudley King, which was the best typesetting found in Melbourne really good typesetters.
“The first issues looked really good, because they were designed by people who knew their business.”
Cliff said because the Diary was initially a fundraiser for the Youth Club, the kids were expected to letterbox.
“They folded it — to try and save money we did not get the printer to fold it, we took it flat, and the kids —after an issue or two, I started to see bundles of newspapers going down the Yarra, the kids were chucking them in the river, some of the kids were, so somebody said ‘oh you don’t need to distribute them, you put piles of them on shop counters, people will pick them up’ and they did, it worked beautifully”.
Jock said he was in awe of Cliff for his courage, in taking on the venture of producing a newspaper.
“I learnt a very important lesson from him, which was, if you have a bold dream and you are able to express it eloquently and passionately, whatever support you need sort of materialises out of the ether and he was able to recruit an absolutely huge number of volunteers that would do absolutely anything that he asked them to,” said Jock.

Many hands

Soon Cliff was joined by Lee Tindale, who worked as an associate editor of Truth newspaper.
“Truth was the biggest ratbag newspaper in Australia and Lee was the biggest ratbag journalist,” said Cliff.
Jan said when Cliff needed to step away from the Diary for other commitments, Lee was reluctant to take over any more work on the Diary.
“We had a meeting at the White House, which was a building next to the old football ground.
“I can remember Peter Lovett insisting on driving Lee home [from the city] that night because he did not want anything to do with the Diary, he said he had far too much to do as it was.
“They had many stops on the way home, Peter had to visit the Kew Cricket Club, where he was a member and have a few refreshment, I think the meeting started about 8pm, and Lee, until he died, said Peter held his hand up when they were looking for a new Editor.”
Jan and Lee ran the Diary for several years together, with Jan often doing a lot of the leg work.
“Any stories Lee would send me out to cover I had to do the ‘What Where Why’ questions and take a photo and Lee would write the story from that.
“Even with cricket and football, sport was his passion, he could write a cricket match from the scores and the time, all you had to do was write down the player’s name, the time he went out and what he made, and Lee would make the story.
“Much the same with football, most of the time he was there.
“Most of the time our stories were created from me doing that – and also Smokey Joe, we would sit down at night as a family, and the kids and he would ask what happened today, and you would find an awful lot of them were to do with the High School,” said Jan.
Cliff recalled Lee’s literary alter ego, Smokey Joe, fondly, however his column did tread a fine line sometimes.
“A brilliant creation but we had difficulty keeping us out of the courts and so on, but it was great stuff”.
“Smokey Joe, was keeping people honest, always very light-hearted,” said Jan.
Jock said the journalists loved volunteering at the Diary.
“They loved the Diary, they loved it with a passion, because it was absolute freedom.
“Cliff was a wonderful editor, trusted people endlessly, so the journalists just flocked to the newspaper.
“That was an interesting dynamic because there were professional journalists working with the Diary, they were able to help train the cadets in the subtle skills of journalists which are difficult to acquire in any other way, in those days you certainly could not go to journalism school.”
There were many volunteers, both professional and amateur, who emerged over the years to help out in the newsroom, many taking on the role of Editor for a time.
Sandy Burgoyne, Val Polley, Stephen Reynolds, Scott Podmore, Bob and Trish Millington, Ken Virtue, Jan Vagg and Judy McDonald have all played pivotal roles.
“David Wyman was a very good municipal affairs reporter,” recalls Cliff.
“You could thank David Wyman largely for what this place is now like, why it is zoned, why you cannot put up blocks of flats here and so on,” he said.
Jock said the Diary embraced the people of Warrandyte’s concern for their environment, in a major way.
“Those who saw the Diary as a propaganda machine for the green revolution totally misunderstood the fact that the Diary was representing the views of the people who read it, not pushing its views onto its people.
“That in a way meant that the Diary had the support of just about everybody in town, there was never any question as to whether the Diary was going to survive or not survive or be taken over by somebody else.
“I think the success of the Diary is measured in the conversations, I have had many times, with people of Warrandyte saying ‘do you know what they should put in the Diary, they should put this particular story in the Diary’, and it is the fact the people of Warrandyte have a right to say what is in the Diary; they do not phone up Mr Murdoch and say, this is what you should be putting in your paper – it is their paper, the Warrandyte Diary – it is Warrandyte’s paper.
“It is that sense of ownership that is fantastic,” said Jock.
He said in the early days there was a lot of discomfort felt by the local politicians.
“There were Council and State politicians who were horrified to find this ‘Roneo newsletter’ held such power, politically, in terms of people’s opinions.
“The major thrust in the early days was to either shut the thing down or to get some sort of measure of control over it: ‘Who is financing this operation?’
“When they discovered  that no one was financing it, and there was no way they could get any influence over it whatsoever, over a period of over ten years they started to change their tack and be a bit more open and considerate and courted the Diary, in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways to get the idea across that they were wonderful people doing a great job for the community, which was not always the case,” said Jock.
Young bloods
Cadet journalists, these days called “Junior Reporters”, have always been an important part of the Diary, with Cliff taking many early cadets under his wing.
Jock recalls: “Cliff had a passion, not so much for the world as it was, but what he could foresee coming into being, so his focus was always on the future, how the village could be improved, how the lives of the people could be enhanced, and how the skills the young cadets could learn and contribute and watching the young cadets grow from basically school children into mature capable journalists was just a joy”.
Some of the stand-out cadets who have been through the Diary’s newsroom are remembered fondly by Cliff:
“Clinton Grybas, he was fabulous – at 14 he was doing the sports pages, brilliantly.
“Rachel Baker became an ABC Cadet and succeeded and became the ABC representative in Adelaide.
“She was typical of the young people who came through,” said Cliff.

Spirit of community

The Diary has changed its appearance, it has changed its size, it has changed from black and white to colour.
But Jock Macneish said despite the outward change, what has not changed is that it is still the voice of Warrandyte.
“It still concerns itself with the lives and the business of the people that live in Warrandyte and it reflects and shows the people of Warrandyte who they are — who they are to one another and who they are to the world,” said Jock.
Cliff said he was proud of the fact that the Diary exists.
“That it survived, and it did well, and it caught the heart of the community.”
His advice to the current team at the Diary, and one that the current editors take to heart, is the importance of keeping the paper close to the community: “Not having a them and us, but very much an us”.

Thank you to Warrandyte for your support of the Diary for 50 years.
We look forward to entertaining and engaging you for the next 50 years – Eds.

Clifford Green OAM: December 6, 1934 – December 4, 2020

IT IS WITH sadness that Warrandyte Diary marks the passing of our Founding Editor, Cliff Green.
Cliff established Warrandyte Diary in 1970 and guided the paper until his retirement in 2014.
There was much more to Cliff than his role at the Diary.
Cliff’s talent as a writer has blessed children with plays and books, television watchers with top rating shows and film audiences with classic screenplay, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
He wrote stories — not just of local, but of national importance.
Through them, one gets a sense of Cliff’s commitment to truth and fairness, his love of history and his determination to give Warrandyte its own unique voice.
The following will tell you a lot about Cliff Green’s earlier life as a writer.
What it will not tell you is how, as a newspaper man, he fought to stave off the bulldozers of over-zealous developers.
How he said “NO” again and again to those who would so easily erode Melbourne’s Green Wedge.
And how he let council officials know when their town plans — which might sit well in Doncaster — definitely did not suit Warrandyte.
Warrandyte is, as Cliff called it, “a special little place”.
Because he helped make it that way.
CHERIE MOSELEN has compiled this recollection of Cliff Green’s time at the Diary.

To accompany this story, I went looking for photos of Warrandyte Diary’s founder — hoping to find pictures from the “back when the Diary first started” days of the ‘70s.
I tried the obvious places: the office, historical society, Diary photographer Stephen Reynolds.
The lack of results should not have surprised me.
As I have come to learn, the Diary’s modest front man is happier behind the scenes.
One photo turned up, which I shared with a family member who posed this curious question: Cliff Green or 1930s bank robber Baby Face Nelson?
I jumped on the internet and sure enough… the same good crop of hair, the youthful, boyish face.
I could have used a photo of the notorious gangster and most would not be the wiser!
Both men “made headlines” too — although only one inspired a series of wanted posters.
Thankfully, the other started a newspaper.
He started small.
His contribution to the local community as an editor, and to the wider community as an Australian screenwriter, has been anything but.
Already creating little sketches from the age of 10, Cliff Green knew he wanted to be a writer.
However, he originally trained as a compositor, earning a Diploma of Printing at RMIT.
He did not enter the publishing trade after all — “too many highly qualified graphic designers about” — but went instead into primary teaching.
A bush romantic, Cliff longed for a rural posting and he soon got one, moving to a small town in the Mallee with wife Judy.
He recalls those 10 years in the country as some of the happiest of their lives.
The change also set the stage for his headway into writing.
“It was the ‘50s and I was teaching at a tiny school in Rainbow — less than 10 kids.
“I wrote an end of year play, Christmas at Boggy Creek,” Cliff said, “and showed it to a writer friend, David Martin, who suggested it was good enough for the ABC.
“I thought he meant radio as we did not have TV out there, so I adapted it and sent it off.”
A letter came back that it was unsuitable for radio, too visual, and would he like to adapt it for television instead.
With the help of the BBC’s How to Write for Television — or how NOT to write for TV, as Cliff fondly remembers it — he adapted his script and the ABC produced it as a secular Christmas story.
The fact that it was at least 40 minutes long also qualified him to join the newly minted (six-month old) Australian Writers’ Guild.
Many years later, the soon to be “ex” primary school teacher would become a vice- president and life member of the organisation, receiving the Richard Lane Award for service and dedication to the guild, in 1990.
In 1969, the Greens (now a young family) transferred to Warrandyte, ostensibly for Cliff to take up a teaching position.
However, he had been pinpointed earlier by the Education Department and ABC collaboration “Schools Broadcasting,” as a teacher with writing experience.
Cliff created 13, 20-minute dramas and social studies documentaries for their production team.
It would bring him a step closer to becoming a full-time writer.
“One of the producers, Jonathon Dawson, had gone across to Crawford Productions in Melbourne.
“He called me one day and said they were looking for writers.
“He wanted to send me out an audition kit,” Cliff said.
“I had to write a few scenes and an episode of Homicide.
“It must have gone alright because soon after Hector Crawford hired me as a staff writer.”
Cliff began contributing episodes to police dramas Homicide and Matlock.
He describes his three years with Crawford as “the best way to learn the trade” and respectfully refers to the influential radio and TV producer as the “father of Australian television drama”.
“You worked with everyone there, the camera crew and the production team — if needed, you rewrote on the spot.
“We were doing three cop shows a week, 48 weeks of the year, and every six weeks one of your episodes went to air,” he said.
Given the six-week turnaround, Cliff began working a lot from home.
It gave him the flexibility to respond to an appeal by the Warrandyte Community Youth Club for a newsletter.
He decided to expand the format, and in 1970 Warrandyte Diary was born.
“I do not know how I managed both jobs, but teaching helped provide me with the necessary discipline.
“I edited the first four Diary issues on my own and then experienced journalist Peter Lovett helped out,” he said.
Age columnist Bob Millington would also step in to help, managing the paper for seven years.
However, in 1974 when Cliff and Herald journalist Lee Tindale joined forces, the little paper struck gold.
“We were great colleagues.
“Lee was managing editor and co-editor at times, and sports editor right up until 2006 when he sadly passed away,” Cliff said.
“He was our page-two columnist and a marvellous sports writer.
“He would work and re-work each story until it shone like a polished gem.”
The Diary is financed solely through advertising.
Paid only as recently as the last few years, Cliff managed the paper alongside his scriptwriting work.
Some might be surprised to learn the extent of his reputation within the Australian film and television industry.
After going freelance at the end of 1971, Cliff wrote for such distinguished TV series as Rush, Power Without Glory and I Can Jump Puddles.
In 1975, he agreed to help out overcommitted playwright David Williamson, who had been signed to write the screenplay of Picnic at Hanging Rock but could not do it.
His haunting adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s novel went on to make cinematic history, anchoring the drama in the harbour of popularity as one of Australia’s top 10 movies of all time.
The landmark Australian film earned Cliff Green an Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Best Screenplay and a Best Writer nomination, U.S. Science Fiction Film Awards, bringing him international recognition.
In the film and television world, where only one in 10 projects ever get made, Cliff’s screenwriting star blazed like a supernova.
His credits include TV drama series such as Homicide, Matlock, Rush, Against The Wind, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, Mission: Impossible, Embassy, Stingers, Something In The Air, Blue Heelers and Marshall Law, among others.
He created two well-known TV mini-series: Marion and The Petrov Affair.
And adapted for television the work of Australian authors such as Henry Lawson, Alan Marshall, Frank Hardy and Norman Lindsay.
Later work includes the original screenplay for the prize-winning children’s TV film Boy Soldiers, and award-winning episodes of the highly successful ABC-TV series Phoenix and Janus.
In 1995, he created the critically acclaimed ABC-TV series Mercury.
A literary all rounder, his stage play Cop Out! was first presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company and was the Western Australian Theatre Company’s contribution to the Festival of Perth.
He also published three children’s books in his Riverboat Bill series, a novel Break Of Day, and a collection of short stories.
During his recollections, Cliff salutes others who shared his writer’s journey.
“I left Crawfords after a blue I had with Hector.
“He wanted me to take up a training role, but I had left teaching to write, so I said ‘no’ and essentially sacked myself.
“Still, Hector remained a great supporter over the years.
“He would ring me up whenever I had something on the ABC: ‘Good stuff fellow! Keep it up!’”
He warmly recalls a meeting with media personality David Frost (licensee of the English network, London Weekend) to discuss the making of Power Without Glory.
“I had suggested the book to the ABC, who started negotiations with Frank Hardy for the rights.
“David Frost was coming here to make Frost Over Australia.
“He did not know anything about Australia.
“So he bought a paperback at the airport because it had a map of Australia on it!
“That book was Power Without Glory.
“By the time he had finished it, he was asking for the rights,” Cliff said.
“So now two outfits wanted it.
“But Frank was clever, rather than creating a conflict he suggested a co-production.
“ABC writer Howard Griffiths and I met David Frost at a pub somewhere in Melbourne.
“He was terrific — ‘Just send me the drafts, otherwise it is your project.’
“Howard and I brought on more writers and it ended up with the best rating the ABC had ever had for drama, possibly for anything up to that point.”
Not once in our three-hour interview does Cliff mention the awards he has received.
I cite some of them here, not least because they reflect the tremendous variety within his work.
His TV quartet Marion and the plays End of Summer and Burn the Butterflies won a total of 17 industry awards.
He received the Australian Writers Guild major AWGIE for Marion in 1974 (eight AWGIE’s throughout his career).
A Best Writer nomination followed at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards in Hollywood, and AFI nominations in 1992 and 1995.
Boy Soldiers won the Liv Ullman Peace Prize at the 1990 Chicago International Festival of Children’s Films and was a finalist in the International Emmy Awards in 1991 (the first Australian drama to receive an Emmy nomination).
And his Janus episode Fit To Plead won a 1995 Australian Human Rights Award.
Clearly, Cliff Green is a successful writer.
However, donning the cap of a newspaper editor requires something more.
Meeting his editorial responsibilities sincerely — but not always submissively  — Cliff mapped the Diary into a landscape that reflects Warrandyte’s strong community character.
Of course, he did not do it alone.
Numerous volunteer editors, writers, photographers, artists and advertising managers helped him.
He also had a North Star — Cliff credits wife Judy as being the Diary’s moral compass.
“Judy does more than manage ‘out of the inbox’; sometimes I would get a bit excited about a story and she would caution me against publishing it,” he said.
Consequently, Diary readers have witnessed the celebration of their town through an editorship underpinned by solid community principles.
Protector of Warrandyte’s Village Identity?
Cliff is far too modest to assume this tag on the paper’s behalf.
But as someone who appreciates Warrandyte’s unique flavour and local efforts in trying to preserve it, I believe the Diary wears it well.
He does acknowledge the paper is “a part of Warrandyte”.
The attachment is stronger than that.
In fact, many locals think of the Diary a bit like the next-door neighbour who you can invite over for a cuppa.
One of Cliff’s subtle strengths as managing editor has been to foster this sense of accessibility, binding the paper to the community.
For a small-town, largely voluntary effort, the Diary is peerless in its sophistication.
Typically, Cliff plays down its many accolades, but says he is particularly proud of a Fire Awareness Award bestowed by Radio ABC Gippsland during a bad bushfire year.
He is also proud of the Diary’s role in nurturing journalist cadets: Clinton Grybas, Georgi Stickels and Sam Davies, among others.
In 2001, shortly before retiring from screenwriting, Cliff Green received a Centenary Medal “for service to the community”.
He accepted an OAM in 2009 for “service to the Australian film and television industry as a screenwriter and educator”. (The ‘educator’ component refers to teaching screenwriting for institutions like Victorian College of the Arts and RMIT University.)
And did I mention he was a founding member of the board of Film Victoria and founding vice-president of the Melbourne Writers Theatre?
He must have drunk a lot of coffee over those 50 years!
As a Diary contributor, I am most grateful Cliff decided to give local writers a voice in their community — not to mention the opportunity to practice their craft in a newspaper of the highest standard.
On a personal note, I am grateful he taught me the economy of “not using seven words when three will do”.
We miss you.

The Editors, staff and contributors of the Diary send our condolences to Judy, their children, and the extended Green family.
Personal recollections of the extraordinary life of Cliff Green will be published in the February 2021 edition of the Dairy.

ISO mountain bike trails and tribulations

A YEAR OF ISO and a year of discovering the local mountain bike trails.
Warrandyte Mountain Bike Club (MTB3113) members will travel — far and wide — to test their skills and their bikes.
But not during ISO.
The 5km ring of steel and one-hour time limits meant riding had to be efficient and nearby.
Good thing we live in Warrandyte.
All well and good if you regularly ride the fire trails in the various pockets of State Park around Warrandyte.
Not so good if you are new to Warrandyte, connecting the dots can be tricky.
The signage is limited, nearly every track is called a “Bridle Trail”.
Unlike riding on rail trails, the Main Yarra Trail or other bike paths, there is at least a few signs (even though they still might require specialist geographical knowledge).
You only need to look to the Netherlands — the gurus of bike path signage — you cannot get lost there at all.
I digress, back to riding the hills in Warrandyte.
The State Park fire trails in Warrandyte are somewhat of a mystery.
I know there is always Google Maps, Strava, Trailforks and other online GPS mapping apps, but I like a good old map.
When I go to a new destination, I like to Google the local mountain bike club  — and check out their maps.
I do not really want to get lost out at Wombat State Forest or Warby-Ovens National Park.
We do not have a map of MTB trails in Warrandyte.
You cannot ride all the walking trails.
You need to know where you are allowed to ride.
Especially if you are starting out, or want to take your kids, or you are from “out of town”.
A nice little map — a map in town at our Warrandyte MTB trail head — a downloadable map on the MTB3113 website will, in my opinion , encourage more riding, and make sure you do not accidently find yourself struggling up “gut buster” or lost asking Colin for directions on Fourth Hill.
MTB3113 riders you have explored every corner of Warrandyte, you have created your favourite 5, 10, 15 and 20 kilometre routes, time for action.
Send us your favourite routes and with our expert team of cartographers and trail riders we will create those maps you’ve always wanted.
Send in your routes and loops to contact@warrandytemtb.com.au

Other MTB3113 news

Join the Facebook page to hear about local rides: www.facebook.com/groups/1464589467107634/
New jerseys available to purchase – pre order here:  www.warrandytemtb.com.au/shop/344/
Dirt Devils (weekly MTB skills for kids aged 8 to 14 years) has started up again under COVID-Safe protocols.
Led by qualified MTB coaches.

More information:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/events/80589/

Stay tuned for the Christmas social ride and BBQ.
If you are interested in joining our family friendly club this is a great way to meet everyone.
Kids and adult social ride, then BBQ, at Westerfolds Park.

More information:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/home/

Join MTB3113:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/registration/