Monthly Archives: October 2021

Macedon traders unsatisfied

MACEDON Square’s proposed streetscape upgrade has been in the works for over a year, with traders fighting to keep the centre functional and safe.
In August 2020, Manningham Council released two concept designs aiming to upgrade Macedon Square, one with an open space plan (Option B) and one without (Option A). Traders and community members identified several sore points in the proposed plans, leading Council to prolong consultation and work alongside community members to address these issues.
Four key areas were identified for improvement: parking, safety, accessibility, and other design features. “Consulting with the community is a top priority for Council,” Director City Planning and Community, Angelo Kourambas, told WD Bulletin.
Officers created a revised plan based on this feedback, which was endorsed by Council in its September 28 Ordinary Council Meeting.
However, traders in the centre are still left unsatisfied. Gary Cyganek, owner of Egons Bakery and representing the Macedon Square traders, spoke with WD Bulletin about the points of contention in the revised plan.
“All they’ve done is revise the plan we’ve rejected.
“We feel safety has been compromised,” he said. Although the revised concept design increases road widths along Macedon Road (5.6 metres) compared to prior plans, traders are unsettled by any narrowing of the road at all. Council will also install a 0.6m wide central traffic median to limit east/west car movements along Macedon Road. Traders are apprehensive about the prospective narrowing of the road, due to fears of potential safety hazards, increased collisions, and congestion.
“I think it’s still very dangerous on the road, which is our number one priority.
“By narrowing the road you’re putting people closer to moving vehicles when they’re loading and unloading their car.
“We know the feedback from our customers — they don’t like the congestion [in the centre] and this is going to make it worse.”
Mr Cyganek goes on to say the traders are not convinced the restructuring of the road will create any benefit to Macedon Square patrons and traders alike.
“We’re going to call for an independent TAC report because we feel we need to be shown that this will be best practice, because we just can’t see it.
“We feel this is not functional nor is it safe,” Mr Cyganek says.
In the September 2021 engagement report, Council re- surveyed the community, prompting individuals to choose between Option A, Option B or Option C.
19 per cent voted for Option A (without open space), 56 per cent voted for Option B (with open space) and 24 per cent voted for Option C (neither).
With majority community support for an open space concept, Council is now preparing to progress with the detail design phase of the project, with construction expected to commence in early 2023.
Mr Kourambas said Council will continue to engage with the community on the Macedon Square project.
“Council will continue to engage with traders during the detail design stage of the project in early 2022.
“This may include further investigation of other suggestions such as locations for new trolley bays, electric vehicle charging stations, car share spaces and smart waste bins,” says Mr Kourambas.

A new chapter for Zul and Café Z

CAFÉ Z, HAS BEEN an important part of the Research and broader Nillumbik community for more than 20 years. Owner Zulal “Zul” Rogers opened the café in June 8, 2001, converting it from the Nillumbik Country Café to Café Z with the aim of introducing the community to Turkish culinary culture.
But after two decades of introducing Research and the surrounding community to Köfte, Döner, Baklava, and Kahvalti, and being a general all-round community superstar, Zul has hung up her apron and handed the café over to new owners in late-September.
To mark this new chapter in her life, WD Bulletin spoke with Zul about the last 20 years.
Prior to owning Café Z, Zul ran a catering business from home, selling food at the Eltham Market and teaching Turkish cooking classes at the local Living and Learning Centre.
The balance between raising young children and running a small business from home was stressful, not being able to “call home, home” is one of the reasons why Zul decided to open Café Z.
“Everyone dreams of owning a café, but I had to work my butt off.”
The first five years were tough, and she initially struggled to attract customers to come and try Turkish cuisine. “Research was a very anglo area and I was introducing Middle Eastern Turkish cuisine, so I had to find the right balance to keep the customers happy”.
Zul found that her food was “accepted, and not accepted” with people making comments belittling the type of food she was making, such as falafel.
But, over time, the community discovered the delight of Turkish cuisine, and she watched her business grow.
It is nearly impossible to chart the journey of a business, especially a café, without mentioning the current pandemic. Like many, government restrictions meant Zul needed to pivot to keep Café Z afloat.
She did this by providing freshly cooked, packed foods, take away coffee, and a bright, positive attitude to everyone who came to her front door.
The community response was a true testament to how Zul has made an impact within the community, with regulars not only showing their support with their wallet.
“The number of bunches of flowers and cards we got from people saying thank you for getting us through COVID was just beautiful, touching and humbling.
“We were fortunate, very fortunate and lucky.”
Doing anything for 20 years is a long time, so WD Bulletin asked Zul what her favourite part was of owning a café. “Meeting beautiful people and customers who have become friends”.
Over time, Zul has developed a two-way relationship with her customers, from an “outpour of love and support for the café and staff ”, to customers bringing in fresh, home-grown lemons for her desserts.
Looking forward, Café Z continues under the stewardship of new owners Rosa and Paul, adding their own take on
Image supplied, Facebook
what regulars of Café Z have become accustomed to, and the new owners have her blessing.
As for Zul, she continues to provide Turkish cuisine and cooking classes under the banner of Hart & Sole Catering and is also looking forward to going back to school in 2022, with the aim to become a teacher and is looking forward to a change of pace from the stresses of running a café.
Zul would like to the thank the community of Nillumbik for the kindness and generosity over the years.
“It’s been a beautiful humbling experience and I’m glad they liked what I did, thank you, thank you, thank you”. Zul would also like to thank her four children, Jess, Dylan, Will and Hamish for their love and support over the years. We wish Zul and her family all the best for their future endeavours.

Restrictions easing earlier

With Victoria set to hit its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target in the Roadmap nearly a week early, significant restrictions are set to be eased.
In a press conference on Sunday morning, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan has set Victoria on a hopeful path to opening while preserving the health system and ensuring Victorians can still get the healthcare they need when they need it most.
The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds, including hospitalisation rates and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.
With first dose vaccination rate at almost 90 per cent, Victoria will this week hit a significant milestone on the Roadmap, with 70 per cent of Victorians 16 years and over having received both their vaccine doses.
Because of this, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has determined that at 11:59pm on Thursday, October 21, Victoria will move forward in opening up and more restrictions will be eased.
With more than 3.5 million Victorians now fully vaccinated and having taken the necessary steps to protect themselves, their family, their friends and the entire community, Victoria is heading towards being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world.
Mr Andrews said he was proud of the work Victorians have done in stepping up and getting vaccinated.
“Victorians have sacrificed so much to protect their families, friends and the whole community from coronavirus – and have saved countless lives because of it.”
“The milestone we’re about to hit marks a new and hopeful path for the whole state – allowing businesses to reopen and Victorians to get back to things they love.”
These vaccination rates, in addition to revised Burnet modelling and lower than predicted length of stays in hospital mean further steps will be able to be taken at the 70 per cent double dose that were not previously outlined in the Roadmap, including visitors to the home and larger patron caps in certain businesses.
The Premier announced up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne.
He said to ensure this is done safely, it’s highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home.
Retail will not reopen until the next step in the roadmap, however hair and beauty salons are able to reopen for five fully-vaccinated patrons on October 22.

Metro Roadmap

In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15km travel radius will be lifted, however movement between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will only be allowed for permitted reasons.
This is to ensure Melburnians don’t spread the virus further into regional Victoria while the state pushes to the 80 per cent double vaccinated target.
Health Minister, Martin Foley said the rate at which Victorians have been getting vaccinated is “nothing short of incredible”, but, he said, if we want to ensure our health system isn’t overwhelmed and our hospitalisation rates aren’t too high as we open up, we need to keep that momentum going.
“Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment.”
People in metropolitan Melbourne must continue to work from home if they can.
Continuing from the rules that were rolled out last Friday, anyone on the authorised workers list is required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work on site.
Childcare will be open to children who are already attending, as well as children whose parents or guardians are fully vaccinated.
The return to school plan will also be brought forward in line with the rest of these settings, with the start of the staggered return of Grade 3 to Year 11 in metro Melbourne commencing on Friday 22 October.
The Premier said an easing of kids back to school after such a long time out of the classroom has been welcomed by parents and educators, especially for young children who have not had sufficient socialisation during home schooling.
Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be able to take place with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors subject to density limits and only if all attendees are fully vaccinated.
Or, if vaccination status is unknown, 10 people are permitted indoors for funerals, weddings and religious gatherings.
Most outdoor settings – outdoor cafes, cinemas, and physical recreation facilities like pools – will open with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those fully vaccinated.
Indoor settings like pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors with density limits, and only if all attendees – including workers – are fully vaccinated.
This is a higher cap than planned in the initial Roadmap and the change has been made after discussions between the sector and the public health team.
Large scale construction sites will increase to 100 percent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated.
Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.
The Premier said in terms of Halloween, he would expect a click-and-collect arrangement, encouraging trick or treaters not to enter properties and knock on doors, but for treats to be distributed from the driveway.
Announcements on events and other arrangements over summer will be announced over the coming weeks, which would include events such as Warrandyte Festival, the Pottery Expo and local theatre productions at the Mechanics Hall.

Regional Roadmap

In regional Victoria, indoor settings – like restaurants, cafes and gyms – will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated.
Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated.
If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people.
The next milestone in the Roadmap will be when Victoria hits the 80 per cent double dose vaccination target, which is predicted to be the first week of November.
It’s important to remember the more Victorians who get vaccinated, the sooner we will hit the next target and the more restrictions we can lift.
Mr Andrews encouraged Victorians to continue to book an appointment for a vaccination if they have still not received their first dose.
He said over the next week there are 52,465 first and second dose Pfizer appointments available, 6,244 first and second dose AstraZeneca appointments available and 15,477 first and second dose Moderna available.
Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their GP or pharmacist.
For more info on the Roadmap or to book a vaccination visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-settings.

Transformation close to home

Meeting with remarkable trees

REMARKABLE TREES is a monthly reflection on the old, the sacred, the mysterious and the poetic.
Although some of our travel distance restrictions have been lifted, when I first put pen to paper for this month’s tree, my best option was to stay close to home.
While wandering around the garden and contemplating on trees as a reflection of life, I noticed a large one previously very much taken for granted, like something you grew up with that became part of your furniture.
It is a Sweet Pittosporum (pittosporum undulatum).
Local from south-eastern Queensland to north-eastern Victoria, sweet pittosporum is considered a pest species in Manningham and neighbouring LGAs.
Despite this, the fine specimen on my parent’s property has been growing for 50 years now.
Over the years, all its offspring have been removed as they can spread rapidly via the digestive tracts of birds who enjoy its berries.
So what is it about sweet pittosporum that suits this particular time?
Adjusting to “COVID life” during the last two years and being a mindfulness meditation practitioner, there has been endless opportunity to reflect on my thoughts and attitude towards others.
Recently in group discussion, we agreed we have felt challenged by vax versus anti-vax, mask versus no mask, those who appear to throw caution to the wind and consequently initiate yet another lockdown, and more recently, protests spattered with anger and violence.
I am quick to disapprove initially, because like many, I am a bit fed up.
Following up with my friends however, I am startled.
Some of them have charged headlong down the conspiracy road.
Others insist on the dangers of vaccination and produce “evidence” to support this.
Some have been abusive because I chose to vaccinate while others who have well-considered their choices and taken responsibility for them could not have been more respectful of my own.
Certainly, life can deliver surprises.
In pondering with the latter friends, we ruminated on attitudes that seem to be manifesting in the world at large; the polarising divisiveness that omits a certain kind of poison into society that excludes all who differ in belief.
Hence my attention is drawn to sweet pittosporum.
Somewhere in my learning I adopted the belief that pittosporum was poisonous.
I believed it omitted a toxin that prevented other plants from growing. I thought the leaves were poisonous when in water, preventing all pond life from thriving.
In considering this, I realised I could have been wrong all along, and that what mattered was to find recent, well- presented, peer-reviewed research done by qualified people.
In pursuit of this, I find that sweet pittosporum indeed has a substance some other native plants don’t like, but has no more poison than any other tree that absorbs nutrition from soil such that nothing else can easily grow underneath it.
Instead, I find it is the protective shade of its dense, dark green canopy that discourages other plants from taking seed.
As a tree, it presents a conventional, storybook shape of being broader than it is tall.
It’s laurel-like leaves are thick, strong and glossy, and as it expands with the energy of spring, the tips manifest as swirls of bright, enthusiastic freshness.
While in bloom, it expresses a profusion of creamy, bell-shaped flowers that fill the breeze with the sweet, heady perfume.
The bees respond, and beckoned by curiosity, I lean into the hum of honey production and the busyness of the bee world in action.
Later in the month I can expect clusters of bright orange fruits that reveal a sticky red interior with black seeds — a food source for birds and mammals.
Far from being poisonous, it unfolds its benefit to others and proves to be as much a part of the bigger picture as any other tree.
So here is the interesting part.
Some authorities declared it as not noxious in Victoria while others state it is a significant environmental weed, which returns me to opinions that I’m sure most of us have had around all things COVID.
I’m guessing we all have opinions about who or what is noxious or significantly pesky in our society.
But come closer to home.
In asking me to check in, this fine- looking piece of sweet pittosporum garden furniture, makes me consider again and again what my own thoughts and actions create in the world.
In disapproving of those with different ideas, I run the risk of categorising them as a toxic pest and therefore unbeneficial to society.
In resisting them, I mirror the very resistance I disapprove of, thereby becoming complicit in the divisiveness I don’t want.
This supposedly-toxic tree on my home ground presents the challenge of our times; to question fully our opinions and reactions and to act with the utmost integrity, care and skilful means regarding our values and the society we want to create.

Jennah is captivated by the quiet presence of trees and is currently training to facilitate Forest Therapy.
If you have a favourite tree you’d like to share, please email her jennahmrose@outlook.com

Cricket returns to Warrandyte Reserve

CRICKET SEASON is fast approaching and Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) is ready to take to the crease.

Bloods stand ready to take the crease

THE TARGET HAS been set at 80 per cent double vaccination, the scoreboard is ticking over at a solid rate as the supply of shots increase, whatever happens from here, whenever we reach the required rate, Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) will be ready.
We are a long way from going back to sport, and life as we knew it.
But sporting clubs are planning and putting in place the necessary work to ensure that when we finally return to play, it is done correctly.
Speaking to the Diary, Greg Warren from the WCC has outlined the plan for the club moving forward.

“Cricket Victoria are in control of the return date for all the leagues,” said Greg.

While no exact date has been set, Greg says the club and Cricket Victoria are working towards a return to training and competition in November.
Cricket Victoria are aiming for the weekend of November 6/7, which is earmarked as the first weekend after the lockdown ends, assuming the state hits its 80 per cent target.
This would be the best-case scenario, but Greg says that the association have several contingency plans, and the club will comply with any additional guidelines.
WCC need to work with Manningham Council to have a return to play and train plan in place, and Greg says, with regards to compliance “we are advanced as we can be”.

“We have a COVID Plan, and a return to play plan.
“And a hospitality plan so we can use the clubrooms.
“We have the QR codes which are a way of life, we did alot of this last year so this time around it is not as challenging.”

With so much out of the control of the club, the focus turns to making sure those who want to play, can play.
The season, whenever it takes place, is shaping as one with a good player turnout.

“We are confident, as club player registration is going well, at this stage interest is as high as it has ever been.” Greg said.

Just having numbers is not enough for WCC, the goal is to make sure that everyone feels included and everyone can play, regardless of their situation. In what has been a tough time socially and financially, WCC is committed to its players and the community.

“If a player is having trouble with a job, struggling to pay fees, and they want to play cricket, our first priority is to get them playing cricket, the fees come second.
“That’s our investment, the players and the community”.

The biggest struggle this season will be ground space.
With eight senior teams as well as juniors, womens, and veterans, plus a general increase in playing numbers across the competition, having enough grounds to play on will loom as the main 2022 challenge.
It will be important that any ground available is in top condition, and at Warrandyte Reserve, that process is well underway.
The cricket wickets are uncovered and new run-ups with hybrid grass / synthetic are being installed on both the centre wicket and training nets.
Then later in the month a new wicket cover will go on the centre pitch; all in readiness for the season ahead.

Photos: GREG WARREN

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     Growing opportunities for women’s and girls’ cricket

By SUSAN FOREMAN

WOMEN’S CRICKET is growing in popularity across Australia and the world, and Warrandyte is no different.
Girls’ Coordinator, Michelle Heffernan said Warrandyte Cricket Club is excited to be welcoming two Junior Girls’ teams to the club this season.

“After last year’s team success, the girls are looking forward to getting back out onto the field.
“With more girls interested in playing we can provide more opportunities fielding both stage one and stage two teams for the season,” Michelle said.

Girls aged 7–17 will have the opportunity to play and beginners are welcome.
Junior Girls play for free for their first year, so it is a great way to try out a new sport.
WCC Women’s Social team are also looking forward to getting back on the ground and will be fielding a team in the brand new Inner East Social Women’s competition.
This T20 competition is played every second Sunday and, with eight teams registered, is becoming increasingly popular.
Sharon Lyons from Cricket Victoria said they are looking keenly at Victoria’s roadmap to see when play can begin.

“It is looking like being a great competition, we are very excited,” she told the Diary.

Michelle said it is a “fantastic way to have a hit and have some fun on a Sunday”.
It is free to join, thanks to Eastern Cricket Association and Box Hill Reporter League.

“We are always looking for new players in the girls’ and women’s teams and look forward to welcoming you to the Warrandyte Cricket Club,” said Michelle.

For more details or to get in touch head to www.warrandytecc.com or email mheffernan1975@gmail.com

Girls Cricket team 2020/21

Our park gets a Woi Wurrung name

AT ITS SEPTEMBER meeting, Manningham Council voted to adopt the name wonguim wilam [pronounced “won-goom wil-lum”] as the official name of the park at the base of the Warrandyte Bridge.
Mayor of Manningham Cr Andrew Conlon said he thanked the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation for engaging in this process with Manningham.
“It is a great step in the right direction for us as Manningham as we move towards reconciliation.”
He said adopting a Woi Wurrung name for the park was a “historic moment for Manningham”, and he hoped that this would be the first of many places in Manningham to adopt a Woi Wurrung name.
“But more importantly I hope to maintain this great relationship we have with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Corporation,” Cr Conlon said.

Recognising Lions

Yarra Ward Councillor Carli Lange made a statement at the council meeting acknowledging the contribution Warrandyte Lions Club has made over the last 50 years.
She explained to the Diary:
“The Warrandyte Lions Club past and present members have been custodians of the former tennis courts for the last 45–48 years and have spent their time and resources caring for the local environment, maintenance and tennis courts.
The Warrandyte Lions Club [have said they] would like to take this opportunity to honour our Aboriginal people (past, present, and emerging) and take a leadership role in reconciliation, as we approach the official naming of what we have all known as Lions Park.
Lions Park has never been officially registered as a name, but is well known as Lions Park in the community and by Council because of the significant contribution the Warrandyte Lions Club has had within the park. Moving forward, the park precinct will be given a Woi-Wurrung name approved by the Woi-Wurrung Elders, highlighting our community’s commitment to reconciliation, and honouring our original owners of the land.
Significant signage will be placed throughout the park taking us on a journey of the monumental contribution The Lions Club have had and continue to have in the park, tennis courts, exercise equipment and maintenance of BBQ shelter and BBQs.
The Warrandyte Lions Club are
significant stakeholders in the past, present and future advancement of the park and should be honoured accordingly throughout the whole area.

wonguim wilam park, Warrandyte

wonguim wilam park

I look forward to continual consultation between Manningham
Council, the Warrandyte Lions Club, the Warrandyte Historical Society, and the Warrandyte Community Association on the care, future, and upgrade of the park, while ensuring this area honours all its custodians and future stakeholders”.
Following a unanimous vote, the Woi-Wurrung name was adopted for the park, including the area known as the Federation Playspace, with signage to be installed recognising the contributions made by Lions and other groups over the history of the site.

 

A brief history of wonguim wilam

By VALERIE POLLEY
WARRANDYTE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

THE NEW PARK development replacing the old tennis courts by the bridge has been a huge success and widely used.
It is about to receive a new name.
There are a few more steps to be undertaken before it becomes official, but the process is underway.
Manningham Council has worked with Aunty Doreen and the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, to approve the park’s name of wonguim wilam [pronounced “won-goom wil- lum”], which translates to Boomerang Place.
Wurundjeri’s Aunty Doreen provided the reason below for this name:
“Warrandyte Implement Making Pre‐contact food resources/areas where people continued to procure food.
Aboriginal people were seen making spears and boomerangs from tea tree in the vicinity of Trezise Street and Cemetery Road.”
Bill Onus, who was living in Epping, is recorded as giving boomerang demonstrations at the old Warrandyte cricket ground.
Two of these Boomerangs were given to Bill McCulloch (a local resident).
Bill Onus was born in the 1920s indicating that a possible date for the boomerang demonstrations could be anywhere between the 1940s–1960s.
This may also be the source of a miniature boomerang located at Pound Bend and held at the Parks Victoria office (AAV 7922‐560).
We have a boomerang purchased from an Aboriginal man (who we remember as Bill, so assume was Bill Onus) at the Recreation Reserve in the late 1960s.
It is the only one we have ever bought that actually returns when thrown.
Bill demonstrated the correct throw at the time, and it has been used quite a bit and is a bit battered — Polley Family.
Readers may be interested in the following item which is part of a series on Warrandyte Prehistory written by member/resident Lee Scott Virtue.
Lee has degrees in archaeology and history and ran her own archaeological consultancy business for a number of years.
This record contains historic language that may be considered outdated or offensive.
The original wording and content have been retained in the interests of research and historical data.

WHS Newsletter December 1982

This instalment will be devoted to some of the traditional Aboriginal activities observed in the Warrandyte area.
Whilst it seems most of the old cultural learnings were lost by the middle 1840s a number of traditional activities were observed in the area as late as the 1930s. Several oral traditions mention the presence of a number of clay ovens around Pound Bend and along other parts of the river.
Aborigines were observed baking magpies, ‘blackfellas’ bread and snakes and lizards in clay ovens situated under the original bridge across the Yarra.
The magpies were placed, complete with feathers, in the ovens and baked approximately an hour or until the feathers came free of the meat. Pieces of snakes and lizards were often mixed with the ‘bread’.
Bill McCulloch mentions seeing literally dozens of these mud ovens under and around the old bridge and witnessed a number of the above activities taking place on several occasions.
This appears to have been sometime between the late 1920s and early 1930s.
These activities were probably carried out by Aborigines visiting the area.
It was during this period when Healesville was finally closed down, leaving many Aborigines who refused to go to Lake Tyers to roam the area quite freely.
By this time also there appears to have been no permanent aboriginal
residents left in the area.
Native bread (or Blackfellow’s bread as it was known in colonial times) is a fungus Laccocephalum mylittae (formerly Polyporus mylittae).
It has a texture like closely pressed grains of cereal and was eaten by Aboriginal people.
Bill McCulloch (who died in 1987) was a long-time resident of Warrandyte.
He was the last mounted “postie” in Victoria as well as a gravedigger and a Trustee at the Anderson Creek Cemetery.
The following information has recently been sent to Manningham Council for possible signage for the new park.

Riverside Rallies

It was reported in the Evelyn Observer in 1912 that the Templestowe Shire Council had been successful in having the strip of Government land, including the tennis court up to the battery site, proclaimed a Recreation Reserve.
It was thought that, together with the river frontage, it would create a park, which would benefit both residents and visitors.
Over the decades their foresight has proven very true.
The tennis court mentioned was the first (east-west) tennis court built by Warrandyte Tennis Club volunteers in 1908, close to the river and the picturesque timber bridge.
Matches were soon being organised between adjoining clubs and improvements made with new planting and fencing planned.
However, over the early years the club’s activities waxed and waned according to demand and support and it was not until the later 1920s that the club began to flourish on a more permanent basis.
In 1934, catastrophic floods engulfed the court requiring much remedial work and then the Black Friday fires of 1939 literally melted the asphalt.
Yet the club recovered and continue to play on a new north-south concrete court even during the WWII years and the club continued to prosper.
The 1950s saw the area undergo considerable change with the replacement of the old bridge.
The court was resurfaced with asphalt in 1957.
A second court was added in 1961 and both surfaced with en-tous-cas in 1964 and a modest clubhouse built.
Then, in 1975 the Tennis Club moved to a new home at the recreation reserve where there were four courts and more room to grow.
The bridge tennis courts then fell into disrepair until the Warrandyte Lions Club took over their management in 1981.
The courts were made available for public hire (key to be collected from a nearby milk bar) and coaching classes held.
The Warrandyte Tennis Club could still access the courts when extra capacity was needed.
The Lions Club also provided barbecue facilities and parking and the Lions Park was well used.
However, as private tennis courts became more widely built, public use of the courts gradually declined, and the Lions Club eventually relinquished their management of the area.
From 2018 Manningham Council together with a Masterplan Community Reference Group worked on plans to replace the courts with an attractive riverside park.
Stage 1 was opened in 2020 to general acclaim.
Stage 2, upgrading the children’s play area, is currently underway.

Bridging the Yarra

This was the site of the third (and longest lasting) wooden bridge over the river.
Built in 1875 this was a strongly built, trussed wooden bridge on yellow box piles set into solid rock.
Its length was 308 feet (94 metres) and its height from the bed of the river 33 feet (about 10 metres).
The single-lane bridge provided a reliable link with the Caledonia Diggings and to other areas north of the river.
Over time the bridge withstood both fires and floods.
In the record floods of December 1934, water from the flooded Yarra River covered the bridge decking at one stage, with debris such as trees, cattle, and haystack, pressing down with the swollen water.
A collapse was thought imminent but the bridge managed to survive the intense pressure.
The old wooden bridge was greatly loved by the residents.
There were many stories about it, such as residents who, if challenged for being slow across, would leave their vehicle in the middle thus blocking traffic flow.
It was at the centre of the festivities when seeing in the New Year.
Being very picturesque, the old wooden bridge was painted by many well-known artists and photographed by others.
The well-loved bridge survived until 1955 when it was replaced by a solid two-lane concrete bridge, upgraded to three lanes wide in 2019.

Bridge Café

This was located at the village end of the bridge.
Various families ran the popular Bridge Café during the 1930s and 40s serving Devonshire Teas and refreshments to locals and visitors alike.
There were reports of weekend tourists sitting in a line of traffic while the single-track, wooden span bridge disgorged oncoming vehicles and children took advantage of delays to buy ice creams from the café.
The Bridge Café was sold, and the building removed to make way for the new concrete bridge in 1955.

Kia-Ora and Taffy Jones residence

The two other buildings located here were burnt down in the Black Friday Bushfires of 1939 that swept through Warrandyte.
The Kia-Ora Café dated from the early 1900s.
It grew and prospered under several proprietors over the decades, offering suppers, catering for celebrations and coach parties, afternoon teas, wedding breakfasts and generally catering for locals and visitors alike.
Taffy Jones took over the cafe and residence in the 1920s.
The ruins that remain on the site are all that survive of Taffy Jones residence.

This article first appeared in the Warrandyte Historical Society newsletter, September 2021.

Light at the end of lockdown: Back to school

REMOTE LEARNING has been a major component of schooling for students at all levels during the past 18 months.
For Year 12 students it has been especially stressful as not only do they have to deal with the stress of exams, but they have had to do it, via computer, in the isolation of their own home.
But with vaccination ramping up and the agreed National Plan now in effect, our students at the most critical part of their education journey can finally get back to the classroom.
With 70 per cent of the eligible adult population at least single dosed, our society has already begun to open up.
Note, these changes are in addition to children of authorised workers and vulnerable children who are already still participating in on-site learning. On October 5, Students sitting the GAT (General Achievement Test) will be able to do so in the classroom. This will be followed by on-site learning for VCE Unit 3/4, and final year VCAL and IB students on October 6.
From October 18, Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students will return to part-time on-site learning, with Prep on-site Monday — Wednesday, and Grade 1 and 2 students on-site Thursdays and Fridays.
When the eligible adult population reaches 70 per cent double vaccinated, which is expected to be around October 26, on-site learning will open up for all Primary and Secondary aged children — to some extent.
Phase B of the National Plan sees a continuation of existing arrangements plus:

  • Grades 3 and 4: on-site Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Grades 5 and 6: on-site Thursdays and Fridays
  • Year 7 students will be full time Monday to Friday
  • Year 8 and 9: on-site Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Year 10 students on-site Thursdays and Fridays
  • Year 11 students full time Monday to Friday

On around November 5, it is expected the eligible adult population will reach and pass its 80 per cent fully vaccinated target and all schooling will return to normal.

The three Vs of the education sector

In addition to the roadmap, Minister for Education, James Merlino announced the State Government’s three Vs for a safe return to school. The three Vs; ventilation, vaccination, and vital CovidSafe steps is part of a $190M+ initiative to provide schools with equipment needed to reduce the chances of Coronavirus spreading in our schools.
Mr Merlino said the introduction of air purification devices will help keep kids safe once they are back in the classroom.

“I know Victorian families can’t wait to see their kids back in the classroom — but we need to keep them safe once they’re there, and we’re delivering ventilation devices to prevent as much transmission on school sites as possible.
“With a roadmap in place to get all students back to school safely, we’ll make sure every single Victorian child is supported when they’re back in the classroom — whether that’s with their schoolwork or their wellbeing,” he said.

Term 4 will see 51,000 air purification devices rolled out to all government and low-fee non-government schools and installed in “high risk” areas such as staff rooms, hallways, music rooms, and “sick bays”.
Additionally, these schools will be entitled to a grant of up to $25,000 as part of the School Shade Grants Program, to create outdoor learning spaces.
In addition, State Government has mandated that all staff in schools and early childhood services will be required to have had their first dose of coronavirus vaccine by October 18, or have a booking within one-week of that date, and to be fully vaccinated by November 29.

Big Build responds to community concerns

FOLLOWING OUR coverage last month regarding community groups’ concerns over Big Build projects, several arms of the Major Transport infrastructure Authority that are overseeing the projects responded collectively to the concerns raised in the Diary.
A spokesperson for Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) told the Diary that the projects that incorporate Victoria’s Big Build: North East Link, Hurstbridge Line Duplication, the Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade, Suburban Rail Loop, and the Metro Tunnel, will all help locals get where they need to go safer and sooner, and community engagement always happens before major works begin.

“Our project teams have heard feedback from tens of thousands of local people, which has guided the designs of our projects from the start and led to meaningful improvements including more walking and cycling paths, better accessibility, and significant planting and landscaping.”
“We’ll continue to keep locals updated and seek community feedback as we build the transport infrastructure the north-east needs and deserves.”

Fitzsimons Lane

A statement regarding the Fitzsimons Lane project said there has been extensive engagement during planning and delivery of the Fitzsimons Lanes Upgrade project with over 1,000 pieces of feedback from community and stakeholder meetings, phone calls and written correspondence.
MITA had more than 560 conversations in person and over the phone with community members, more than 700 pieces of written feedback, meetings with the Eltham Community Action Group, and community information sessions.

“There have also been more than 9,000visitstoourprojectwebsite,”the statement said.

MITA’s statement said design changes in response to community feedback, announced in February 2020, have “already enabled the retention of approximately 150 trees and reduced the footprint of the Fitzsimons Lane and Main Road intersection by around 15 per cent while still delivering travel and safety improvements”.
The project changes included the removal of two traffic lanes from the Eltham approach and the removal of dedicated bus queue-jump lanes.
It said further options will continue to be considered as the project progresses.
“Through a series of careful design considerations, based on community feedback, the project will plant thousands more trees than the number that is needed to be removed to deliver this vital road improvement project,” the statement said.
MITA says an additional 6,000 indigenous trees will be planted under a new partnership between Major Road Projects Victoria and Rotary Club of Eltham, “meaning more than six new trees will be planted for every tree removed as part of the project”.
A network of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths will be delivered creating new active transport connections to the wider public transport network.
A major concern of the Eltham Community Action Group was the disregard of the alternative design for the intersection the group put forward during the consultation process.
Major Road Projects Victoria has said it has reviewed all design options, including one put forward by the Eltham Community Action Group to retain the roundabout at the intersection of Main Road and Fitzsimons Lane.
It has engaged multiple leading design consultants to assess this roundabout option, however it was found not to meet the safety and traffic performance requirements.

“The final design will make this critical link significantly better for all motorists, users of the smart bus routes, cyclists and pedestrians for decades to come, as well as improving emergency access and egress.
“The Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade project will continue to work with community to help create the new gateway into Eltham, ensuring the urban design captures the local sense of place,” the statement said.

Hurstbridge Line Duplication

The Hurstbridge Line Duplication received more than 1,000 pieces of feedback from the community from mid-2019 to August 2021, which helped shape the project designs
to have better accessibility and connections for passengers and locals.
Once this project is completed in 2022, around 2kms of track will have been duplicated between Greensborough and Montmorency and around 1.5kms between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen.

“The investment will deliver two modern stations and will enable more trains, more often, making commuting safer and easier.
“The community’s local knowledge, combined with engineering and urban planning expertise, will ensure we understand local issues and get the best outcomes,” the MITA statement said.

Part of recent community consultation has been around the upgrades to the Eltham train substation where a Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) is being constructed to protect the train substation from high voltage spikes.
The site upgrade will make it ready for bushfire protection technology, which is being installed on the electricity network.
The community was invited to have their say on the final colour and finish of the retaining wall.
A 50-vehicle carpark is to be built in Wattle Glen, there has been a portal established for feedback on that project at: engage.vic.gov.au/ car-park-upgrades-drouin-nng-ufg-and-yarraman/wattle-glen-station- car-park-planning-approvals- consultation.
Locals can stay up-to-date on further opportunities to have their say on Big Build projects, by visiting bigbuild.vic.gov.au/community.

North East Link

A statement from MITA regarding North East Link said it started talking to the community early and undertook a comprehensive Environment Effects Statement(EES) process.

“More than 15,000 pieces of community feedback over five years has helped to shape the project,” the statement said.
“More than 10,000 people have visited North East Link information sessions and our Watsonia Community Hub, and we’ve had thousands of conversations with local people and businesses.
“Our community liaison and business liaison groups include locals from a range of backgrounds including traders, local residents, sports clubs and schools.
“Locals will continue to help shape the plans for North East Link — we’re working with our preferred bidder to finalise the design for the project, ready to share details with the community and seek their input,” the statement continued.

MITA says a wide range of approaches and tools have been used to encourage public involvement in Big Build projects.
This has included public hearings as part of an EES process, face-to-face engagement, ongoing meetings with councils, online surveys, creation of Community Liaison Groups and Business Liaison Groups, workshops and community information sessions.

“Communities are at the heart of Victoria’s Big Build — we’re working with locals every step of the way as we plan, design and build the major transport projects that will transform travel in the north-east.”

October 2021

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