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Local Heroes

OUR LOCAL Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigades have been working tirelessly over what has turned out to be a very long summer.

Commencing with support to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) in New South Wales in October, members of Warrandyte, South Warrandyte, North Warrandyte and Wonga Park have joined their firefighting colleagues around the country.

As discussed in the December Diary, there were members from all our local brigades deployed to New South Wales.

Since that time, the brigades have sent members to the conflagration in East Gippsland, the Victorian Alpine Fires, as well as several fires closer to home — in Plenty Gorge and Sunbury.

Most importantly, the brigades have retained a contingent back at the station to protect the local area as our summer kicks in.

The Diary sat down with a panel of volunteer officers and CFA station staff from our local brigades to discuss the events of a very busy summer.

2nd Lieutenant from Wonga Park, Luke Summerscales said the CFA has been busy since September, with bushfires in Queensland, New South Wales and now Victoria.

“The NSW deployments were full on, CFA had 50 trucks and 20 support vehicles all sent to NSW — and thousands of firefighters on the ground all at once,” he said.

He said it was fortunate that the CFA crews were released from the NSW fires when they were, just before Gippsland took off.

Warrandyte member and District Group Officer (DGO) for the Maroondah Group of brigades, Shane Murphy told the Diary that the group currently has  an ongoing commitment in Gippsland.

“We have had 20 rotations of crews that have gone through there since December 28.

“They have been a mixture of brigades from around here, either individually or as composite crews that have made up the strike teams,” he said.

He said the crews have been undertaking a range of duties, including firefighting and asset protection and have been fairly active during that period of time.

“Now on top of that, there were a number of strike teams that went out on more of a short haul, out for a day,” he said.

The brigades’ vehicles have been busy too.

South Warrandyte Tanker has been out on the fireground constantly since November 8.

The highest ranking volunteer at South Warrandyte, 1st Lieutenant Nathan McDonald told the Diary that the truck spent time in Grafton and Singleton.

The truck was on its way back home when fires in Batemans Bay caused it to be redeployed to the New South Wales South Coast, where it spent the remainder of the year.

After Batemans Bay, it made it back from there to Seymour where it received minor repairs by CFA mechanics before being delivered back to the station.

“We put in about five hours into cleaning the appliance, then it was back on-line for about 45 minutes before it got shanghaied up to Wangaratta to form up another strike team,” Lt McDonald said.

South Warrandyte Station Officer Peter Nolan said the tanker was originally crewed by a South Warrandyte crew in New South Wales, but when it came back it was used on about three or four Staff Strike Teams — one of South Warrandyte’s Station Officers plus a South Warrandyte volunteer, who is a staff member in Portland, were on it.

“We have a photo up there of him standing in front of the truck, miles away.”

South Warrandyte’s tanker has been used far and wide.

“It has racked up a few kilometres,” SO Nolan said.

Warrandyte Captain Adrian Mullens explains the trucks and the crews are two separate entities.

“The trucks can come from everywhere and once they have the trucks together, they become a resource,” he said.

DGO Murphy adds: “The groups of trucks that are sent away are always a similar configuration of trucks, all the trucks have similar capability, so if you are used to having a truck of a similar capacity then you will go away on a group of trucks that have a similar capacity — what name is on it doesn’t matter — it’s a red truck — it doesn’t even need to be red — if it is a truck that you have some crews and some knowledge with, then they make sure they have someone as strike team leader that can make sure that they have the right crews and resources and are going in the right direction.”

Warrandyte has made great use of its Slip-On appliance, which was purchased with the proceeds of the 2016 Fireball.

South Warrandyte’s brand-new Forward Control Vehicle, also purchased with thanks to Fireball has been at Buchan in East Gippsland as the Forward Control Vehicle.

“It only had 1,300kms on it.

The morning it went away we had it serviced at Yarra Valley Toyota.

“So a big thank you to Yarra Valley Toyota and a big thanks to Fireball,” said Lt McDonald.

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Images courtesy Wonga Park CFA

Deployments

North Warrandyte members have been deployed all over East Gippsland, from Buchan to Mallacoota with crews working five-day rotations — with one day’s travel to and from the fire and three days working on the fireground.

Some of our local firefighters were at Mallacoota on New Year’s Eve.

“They were very busy, saved a lot of houses,” Lt McDonald said.

“The foreshore caravan park had around 9,000 people so I think by the time they closed the road about 3,000 people had left and there were still about 5–6,000 people, and all the residents that had decided to stay and defend their property,” he said.

He said the crews had trigger points for the trucks to fall back into town.

“The triggers were hit pretty early on Tuesday morning, so all the crews fell back into the Mallacoota township.

North Warrandyte Captain, Trent Burris added: “They were told that it was going to be 24 hours before it got there and it came in 12”.

Lt McDonald said between about 8am until midday the crews were flat out, some working 36 hours straight.

“They were putting out house fires, spot fires, car fires, whatever was popping up where it was blowing into the town.

“They had a brief reprieve for about an hour and a half before it went through another area and popped out the back and started impacting more houses on the other side.

“They worked right through that day and into the following morning, just going around mopping up, and trying to put out any of the fires that were still burning that were impacting on further properties.

“A lot of good work was done in Mallacoota,” he said.

Wonga Park 1st Lieutenant Warren Aikman said he and his crew were deployed to the Buchan area.

“We worked on road clearing — on the road to McKillops Bridge — in addition to patrolling the fire line around Buchan and assisting local brigades and residents to eliminate hot spots and secure properties,” he said.

The volunteers from South Warrandyte have also been busy.

There have been three rotations of crew deployed on tankers, with some members working on the Forward Control Vehicle either as Driver or Assistant Strike Team Leader.

Members from South Warrandyte have been posted to East Gippsland since late December, working in Buchan, Bruthen and Mallacoota

“We had a combined crew with Wonga Park on the Tarneet Tanker in Mallacoota — trucks were from here, there and everywhere.

“Some crews were on Eltham Tanker, then Kangaroo Ground and Tarneet”.

Since their deployment to NSW, the Warrandyte brigade have been involved in fires at Plenty Gorge and were deployed to the fires around Banalla and Euroa.

Protecting home

Lt McDonald said that brigades have to be careful when deploying people to keep enough crews for local jobs and not to overtax brigade members.

However, he says having staff manning the station has aleviated this issue at his station somewhat.

“In years gone by you always had to consider, who am I going to send away and who am I going to have still at home to respond to local jobs because — you still have a duty of care for your own community,” he said.

Each of the brigades has sent around 15 members to the fires, which in most cases is around a half of their active volunteer firefighter contingent.

Captain Mullens said there is an impact to families and employers when CFA members need to be deployed, especially for self-employed members.

“For people who work in the public sector they have Emergency Services Leave, but for the guys that work for themselves …”

Lt McDonald adding that he and other members took annual leave to be able to volunteer for Strike Teams.

“At any one time if you send a crew away it is usually four or five people and then if you are trying to send a changeover crew as well — that is 10 people out of your brigade and that takes almost a third of your active members away, especially when you have come into a season when you have had NSW deployments in October, November, December and then we start hitting our fire season and people are getting back into work,” he said.

Overwhelming support

3rd Lieutenant Peter Cahill from North Warrandyte said there has been an “absolute plethora” of people expressing interest in volunteering.

The best avenue to register is to fill out the expression of interest form on the CFA’s website and that will be allocated to your closest brigade.

Captain Mullens acknowledges that it is a very emotional time and people are keen to pitch in.

However, the best course of action is let the dust settle.

“And if you are still interested in April then apply for a recruit course, which will be run later in the year”.

The danger is not over yet 

Captain Mullens advised residents to “get out and still clean up around your houses”.

Saying there will be a lot of new growth after the rainfall.

“February is traditionally our bad time of the year, and there is a lot of leaf litter around after the hailstorms the other day.

“There is a bit of a false sense of security now that the weather has cooled off, but it is far from over,” he said.

 

Storm clean up

Warrandyte was hard hit by Sunday’s hail storm, with hundreds of calls to SES with damage from gold-ball-sized hail to skylights, windows  and cars as well as flooding and damage from falling trees.

The hail also caused tree canopies to be “shredded” with huge amounts of leaf debris blanketing much of the area.

Once the warm weather return, this additional leaf litter will only add to the fuel for any potential bushfires, making the cleanup imperative.

Manningham Residents

Council have stepped up to assist with the removal of green waste, with Manningham Council sending out an army of street sweepers to clear the roadsides on Monday, and have also offered Manningham residents several ways to get rid of the extra leaf litter.

To make use of these offers you must provide proof of residency (any official document with your address on it).

1. Free garden waste drop off and extended opening hours

From Tuesday, January 21 to Saturday, January 25 Manningham residents impacted by the storm can drop off green waste free of charge to Manningham’s Garden waste centre at the corner of Blackburn Road and Websters Road, Templestowe.

Garden waste centre extended opening hours:
Tuesday, January 21 to Friday, January 24:
  • 6.00am to 8.00am
  • 12.00pm noon to 2.00pm
  • 5.00pm to 7.00pm.
Saturday January 25: 
  • 7.00am to 12.00pm noon.

2. Free skip bins to dispose of (green waste) storm debris

Free skip bins will be made available to Manningham residents wishing to dispose of storm debris (green waste only). The bins will be staffed by Council officers from 6.00am to 4.00pm each day from Wednesday, January 22. Please note: Council officers will not be able to assist residents to dispose of any waste.

Skip bin locations (green waste only):

3. Additional garden waste kerbside collection service

Storm affected residents can contact Council  have their garden waste bin collected this weekend. To opt in to the service simply contact the Manningham customer service team and book in your extra collection.

Please note that bin must be put out on the evening of Friday, January 24 and will be collected on either Saturday, January 25 or Sunday, January 26.

Nillumbik residents

Nillumbik Shire Council will arrange a second green waste bin pick up in the North Warrandyte area later in the week, details to follow.

A spokesperson from Nillumbik Council told the Diary, “Affected residents from these areas can use their green waste vouchers to dispose of their storm debris free of charge at the Nillumbik Recycling and Recovery Centre, 290 Yan Yean Rd, Plenty.

“If you have already used your three vouchers, you can access up to three additional vouchers”.

These vouchers are valid for a two-week period from Friday, January 24 to Monday, February 3.

The Recycling and Recovery Centre is open Friday-Monday, 8am-4pm.

You should bring your rates notice with you.

Warrandyte Men’s Shed

Cartoon by Jock Maceish

IN MAY 2017, the Diary first reported on Chris “Chewy” Padgham’s efforts to try and establish a Men’s Shed in Warrandyte.
Back then, Chewy spoke to the Diary about his motivation for this project.

“My objective, which is the objective of every Men’s Shed really, is to have a place where men can meet and talk and share their experiences and stuff and I think it will be a real great thing for Warrandyte.
I thought that [a Men’s Shed’] was a good opportunity to act as a catalyst and contribute something back to the community — there have been a lot of people talking about it but not a lot happening, so I thought I could get the ball rolling,” he said.

After two and a half years of work, it looks like Warrandyte is about to get its first Men’s Shed — of sorts.
On Wednesday, January 15, Chewy is opening Warrandyte Scout Hall and inviting men of all ages to come along and “meet, play cards, chat, and have a bite to eat”.

“We will continue to work towards establishing a Men’s Shed in a permanent location in Warrandyte”, said Chewy.
“But in the meantime the group can grow, undertake activities and pursue the interests of its members in a more nomadic style.”

Lions Club of Warrandyte have generously supplied packs of cards, board games and supplies for tea, coffee, and lunch.
In traditional Warrandytian fashion — where there’s a will, there’s a way — and although Warrandyte Men’s Shed may not have an official premises yet, Chewy is determined to bring the ethos, mental and sociological benefits of the scheme to local men, regardless

Warrandyte Men’s Shed begins at 10am on Wednesday, January 15 at the Warrandyte Scout Hall, Stiggants Reserve and will continue every Wednesday at 10am for the time being.

Bushfires: How can I help?

THE MEDIA COVERAGE around the bushfires currently raging around Australia is as intense and terrifying as the fires themselves — as well it should be.
Warrandyte and its surrounding communities have been lucky so far this season and many people want to know how they can help those in Victoria and beyond who have been impacted by the recent and ongoing bushfires.
But the number of groups asking for money, supplies or time is overwhelming and it can be daunting trying to decide who and how to help.
If you are suffering from analysis paralysis then this list is for you.

Five ways you can make a difference

1. Donate to the Bushfire Disaster Appeal

Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army have partnered to raise funds to assist all communities affected by bushfire in Australia.
Donations can be made through the appeals website or over the counter at a local Bendigo Community Bank branch.

2. Give provisions to the CFA

Coldstream, Belgrave, Lilydale and Gruyere Fire Brigades are currently accepting donated provisions as part of their East Gippsland Bushfire Appeal.
Supplies will begin their journey to Bairnsdale and communities impacted by bushfire on Monday and locals who are looking to contribute have time this weekend to give what they can:

THESE ARE THE ITEMS DESPERATELY REQUIRED:
Long Life Milks / Breakfast Long Life Drinks
Cereals
Non perishable Can items.
Biscuits (Salada, Ritz, Cruskits etc)
Salt / Pepper / Sugar
Small Drink Bottles
Bottled Water
Pet Items – Especially Food, Leashes, Bowls, Bedding
Camp Chairs
Camping Beds
Sun hats
New Kids Thongs and Sandals
Toiletries – Shampoo/Cond, Deodorants
New Make up
New Brushes and Combs
Face Washes & good Towels
Moist Towelettes
Nappies
Tampons and Pads
Any Bedding, Doonas, Blankets or New Pillows (Please mark size on items)
Childrens Pyjamas
Packs of New Childrens Underpants and Socks (Boys or Girls)
Suitcases
Backpacks/handbags/purses
Zip-lock bags (all sizes)
Shopping bags (all sizes)
***STRICTLY NO 2 minute noodles, adult clothing, books or bbq’s – there is already an abundance donated.****
(source: Facebook)

Times and locations for donating:
Coldstream: Currently not accepting due to overwhelming community support and a lack of space.

Lilydale: Saturday, 10am–12pm and Sunday, 10am–11:30am.
Unit 1/100 Beresford road Opposite super soil and behind Melbourne heating.
Please enter from Hiltech place.
There will be a CFA vehicle on site helping to direct you

Gruyere: Saturday, 10am–12pm and Sunday, 10am–11:30am.
103 Killara Road — this is opposite the Gruyere fire station and next to the primary school.
There will be a CFA vehicle on site to direct you.

Belgrave: Saturday, 2pm–6pm and Sunday 10:30am–1:30pm.
4 Bayview Road, Belgrave.

3. Donate to Wildlife Victoria

Wildlife Victoria are currently seeking donations to provide support to Wildlife Shelters impacted by bushfire.
Donations will allow these shelters to repair fences, building and enclosures to continue to the work of caring for Australian wildlife.
Donations can be made through their website.

4. Share your space

Airbnb’s Open Homes program aims to provide free, temporary housing for those affected by bushfire in Victoria.
If you would like more information on how to get involved, visit their website.

5. Don’t become the next problem

The messages of preparation and planning are still relevant and people should continue to prepare their property, update their fire plan and follow-through when the weather, fire danger rating, total fire ban, etc. trigger you to leave.
With potentially still months of hot weather ahead of us, we should not let our guard down on the home front.
If you were not able to attend the Be Ready Warrandyte event held late last year, Eltham CFA will be running a Fire Ready Victoria meeting on Tuesday, January 14 at 7:30pm at 909 Main Road Eltham.
Ensure you understand the risks and know what to do in the event of an emergency.
To get the latest on the Plenty Fires there is a Community Readiness Meeting being held on Sunday, January 5 at the Plenty Hall.
Finally, remember if you do want to go camping in the bush, walking for the day or spend the weekend at the beach — be mindful of the fire danger rating, where the bushfires are, the weather and the current dangers (via the Vic Emergency app).
Smoke from bushfires across Australia are having a detrimental impact on air quality, the current advice is: if the visibility is less than 1.5kilometres limit your time outside.
Stay safe.

Recognising a selfless occupation

VOLUNTEERING is part of the fabric of Warrandyte.
In October the community voted on who they think should be the next recipient of the Community Spirit Award, an award sponsored by the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch in honour of outstanding volunteer work in the community.
Achieving 90 per cent of the vote, Maxine Rosewall, who runs a wildlife shelter out of her North Warrandyte home for Help for Wildlife (HFW), was presented with her award at Warrandyte Community Bank’s AGM.
Sue Kirwan, HFW manager and friend, had these words to say in her nomination for Maxine.
“Maxine has been a wildlife carer for more than 20 years.
“This is a voluntary role with no government funding.
“She rescues and rehabilitates wildlife with a special passion for birds of prey.
“All expenses come from her own pocket and she is on call 24/7.
“She is also an active member of Help for Wildlife a state-wide volunteer organisation and charity.
“Maxine has a strong sense of community and has also been a volunteer at other local charity groups.”
When asked to list three words to describe Maxine, Sue chose dedicated, ethical and compassionate.
After meeting Maxine, it is hard to disagree with Sue’s words.
When I first asked Maxine her  thoughts about winning the award, she seemed perplexed.
“Because it was two volunteers being voted on, I thought that was a bit odd because volunteers do what they do for a different thing.”
But, as Lance Ward, Managing Director of Warrandyte Community Bank, told me — it is because of this that Maxine is the ideal recipient for this award.
“Working in and for the community, our directors see first-hand the good work being undertaken by volunteers and as such our Board decided to acknowledge and celebrate those wonderful folk who demonstrate the values of Community Spirit.
“There are many unsung volunteers working quietly from their homes and within community groups and clubs, the Community Spirit Award was created to put a spotlight on those working behind the scenes.
“Maxine is a shining example of a volunteer who has worked tirelessly ‘above and beyond’ for many, many, years.”
Maxine has had a passion for wildlife since she was a little girl in Eltham, where she used to visit a local wildlife carer and artist who looked after wild birds.
“There was a lady there and birds would fly through her windows… I was always finding an excuse to go up that street to be invited in to have a look.
“I think my fascination with birds started there.”
In 1998, Maxine moved to North Warrandyte and, under the guidance of renowned wildlife carer Ninon Phillips, learnt how to look after wild birds and other wildlife.
Maxine joined Help for Wildlife after receiving her wildlife shelter permit and has an aviary set up on her North Warrandyte property where she rehabilitates birds.
But Maxine’s compassion for birds does not just come from a childhood passion.
Maxine had a career in aviation but had to give it up for medical reasons and said “because I was winged, I can help them get their wings back.”
But work as a wildlife rescuer is emotionally taxing and there are, unfortunately, more bad news stories than good.
Maxine recounted several experiences where the animals had been involved in road accidents, animal attacks (from domestic pets) and of birds who end up tangled in barbed wire fences.
“There are rules of what gets saved, they have to be viable – the eyes have to be open, the ears have to be up and it is really hard to tell someone ‘I know it is alive but the chances that they will not make it are very high’.
“So we have to deeply think about that and how it will affect the public, but all of this is because of the public,” she said.
She said that nature and society living in close proximity is a large part of why these animals come off second best.
Bushfire can also inflict extended suffering on Australia’s indigenous species.
“Two months after the Bunyip fires we were getting called by farmers to come down and assess some of the larger roos — they had obviously been burned two months before, but it takes that long for the infection to get up their legs and then they just can’t move, and then it goes to organ failure and it is quite a long, torturous death actually.
“So we would go down there every weekend for a few months there and that will never leave me.
“And they weren’t all big old ones, they were little ones too — but it’s the kindest thing to do.
“There is a lot of that in what you do.”
While there is some support for wildlife shelters, carers and rescuers — Maxine spoke about a compassion fatigue session she attended, run by Help for Wildlife, which allowed Maxine and her peers to “get some things off their chest”.
The job is often distressing for both the carers and the wildlife and the opportunities to vent are limited.
Which makes Maxine’s recognition even more significant.
She also spoke about the recent bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland and the devastating impact that has had on the koala population.
“The politics involved in the koalas getting all that money has put a lot of other groups out, but that money can set the reseeding of that area with the koalas for the next 25 years and that is a wonderful thing.
“If I lived up there and looked after another species there is no way I would be jealous or anything like that – it’s all in.”
She says she tries to avoid the politics.
“It’s also an area that has a lot of politics in it, but working on my own I never got to see that side — really — so much time and effort goes into [politicking], you could be doing something else that is beneficial.”
While Maxine’s work and attitude is inspiring, she recounts how she is also inspired by some of the random acts of human kindness she has witnessed.
From donations by locals to Help for Wildlife to the community of Doreen who rallied together, with help from the Doreen Produce shop who bought vital food and equipment to help farmers affected by the Bunyip bushfires.
Maxine dedicates her life to helping injured wildlife and making sure the other Help for Wildlife shelters around the State are OK.
She liaises with Sue Kirwan during the summer, keeping her informed on the fire danger rating and weather conditions.
Maxine offered her congratulations to co-finalist Louise Callaghan on her  nomination and wished her the best for her community projects, and gave thanks to the Warrandyte Community Bank and to Sue for her nomination.
Maxine does not expect recognition for her passion which is why she is fully deserving of this award.

Business Insyte: Ivory Hearing

Warrandyte Diary profiles the businesses at the heart of our community and the people behind those businesses.

This month we feature Shuey Lim from Ivory Hearing who has been looking after Warrandyte’s hearing for over five years.

If you would like your business featured on Business Insyte, send us an email for further information and pricing.

Stay in the know tomorrow

THURSDAY, November 21 is going to be hot and windy across Australia.

With temperatures staying in the high 20s overnight and the mercury rising to 37 before the cool change hits tomorrow afternoon, it is going to be a very hot and windy day across the state tomorrow.

The northwest of Victoria under Code Red condtions and everywhere else either Severe of Very High, in addition to this there are Total Fire Bans in place across the entire state.

With this in mind, there are a few things people need to be aware of tomorrow.

State Parks

Due to the weather, some State Parks are closed to the public.

If you decide to venture out, visit the Parks website to find out if the area you want to visit is open to the public.

Locally, Norman Reserve, Koornong Reserve, Jumping Creek Reserve, and Pound Bend will be closed tomorrow.

Although it will be hot and the river inviting please stay away from the these parks.

Last summer, cars parked on either side of Bradleys Lane prevented fire trucks from accessing Normans Reserve, which also doubles up as a filling point for the CFA.

There is ample parking in and around the Warrandyte township and a number of swimming spots along the river path in Warrandyte township.

Know what to do

There are a number of activities you cannot perform during a Total Fire Ban.

The CFA have a comprehensive website listing what you can and cannot do during a Total Fire Ban.

The Warrandyte Diary’s Fire Safety page and YouTube channel also contains a number of animations, made by Swinburne University Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media – Animation students, in collaboration with the CFA and Warrandyte Diary.

Stay across it all

Make sure you have the VicEmergency ap installed on your phone and local alert notifications set up.

Be Fire Ready

Protecting your horses from bushfire

LIVING IN A bushfire prone area means residents need to think ahead before the bushfire season begins.
This includes horse owners living in Warrandyte and surrounds.
On October 20, the South Warrandyte CFA held a Horses and Bushfire Information Session at the South Warrandyte Cricket Club.
Horse owners who attended were treated to a fascinating session about the myths and realities of dealing with horses in a bushfire situation.
The biggest takeaway from the session is how critical it is to prepare and have a plan for their safety before a fire happens.
Many believe horses panic in fires.
We quickly learned from Captain Sharon Merritt, Macclesfield CFA, this is not the case.
Horses are rarely stressed out by fire and can generally look after themselves if they have the right conditions.
Their natural instinct is to move as far from the fire as possible and then quickly seek burnt ground to survive.
If you have a horse in a bushfire prone area, it is imperative to have a designated safe place on your property.
Ideally this safe place would include a paddock that has been eaten out with enough room to gallop and minimal vegetation.
A large sand ménage without buildings or vegetation too close is also suitable.
Animals confined to stables or small yards may panic and hurt themselves trying to escape if the building catches fire.
Fences should be prepared so they can contain your horse even if a fire passes through.
Star pickets and a sight wire can be added to post and rail fencing.
A dam or water in a concrete tank or deep bath should be available so horses can seek relief from the heat and avoid dehydration after the fire has passed.
It is very likely you will not have access to your property for some time after a fire so access to shade and water can make a big difference.
Your property should have a Property Identification Code (PIC).
This is registered with the Department of Agriculture through the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR).
The code shows authorities horses are on your property and DEDJTR may be able to enter after the fire to check on their welfare.
If a Severe, Extreme or Code Red fire danger day is declared, move your horse into the designated safer paddock or area early.
Remove rugs and fly veils as these can burn and cause serious injuries.
If possible plait your horse’s tail polo style to keep it from catching fire.
Run through your plan and check everything is ready.
If your horse is not microchipped, put your phone number on your horse using spray paint or use event crayon so they can be identified.

If you have to move your horse

If your property is not safe for your horse to remain during a fire, have a plan to move them to a safer area if a Severe, Extreme or Code Red fire danger day is declared.
It is too late to move your horse if there is fire in the area and risks putting both you and your horse in danger.
Bushfires can travel fast, and traffic management points will be set up, closing roads.
Coming back for your horse during a fire is extremely dangerous.
Do not attempt to move horses that you are not responsible for.
The horse owner may have a fire plan in place and by interfering you could be putting the horse in danger, as well as yourself.
Check if you can move your horse to a neighbour’s property, the local racecourse, pony club or showgrounds.
You should check well in advance if these places are willing to take your horse and you may be required to stay with them.
Alternatively, talk to other horse owners and create a group plan.
If you agist your horse, talk to the agistment owner to find out what the bushfire plan is for their property.
If other horses will be using the same temporary safe area, ensure they are familiar with each other or can be kept safely apart.
After the fire has passed, it may be some time before you can check on your horse.
Check the area is safe, with no fallen power lines or trees likely to fall.
Watch for ash pits where tree roots have burned underground that can cause burns if stepped in.
Make sure fencing is intact and water sources are clean.
Move your horse from hot ground as soon as possible to avoid laminitis.
If you have done your prep work well, your horse is more likely to survive with minimal injuries.
Generally, horses that have been through a bushfire have some facial burns, swollen eyelids and hoof damage.
You might not be able to get a vet to your horse, so it can be useful to have some basic first aid at hand or a plan to get your horse to a vet.
Horses can do well in bushfires if their owners have a plan and prepare early, before a fire starts.

More information can be found at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/horses-and-bushfires

The whys and wherefores of bylaws: Fire preparation and vegetation management

By SANDI MILLER

WITH SUMMER approaching it is time to consider preparing your property for fire season.
The Diary spoke with Manningham and Nillumbik Councils about how to clean up your property but stay within the rules around vegetation management.
Angelo Kourambas, Manningham’s Director City Planning and Community said:
“Council strongly recommends that anyone looking to remove vegetation or trees on their property should contact Council before commencing any removal works”.
Nillumbik Council’s, Senior Communications Officer of Governance and Legal Services, Natalie Town likewise encourages residents “to think carefully about tree and vegetation removal and to contact Planning Services on 9433 3343 before doing so”.
Mr Kourambas said that cleaning up properties should form part of your fire plan.
“In the lead up to bushfire season residents should ensure they have an emergency plan ready and prepare their properties accordingly,” he said.
The CFA website has all the information residents need to prepare their property.
Council is urging all residents to prepare their property now and maintain it throughout summer.
Visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/how-to-prepare-your-property

Managing vegetation on your property 

Nillumbik, as the Green Wedge Shire, is known as the “lungs” of Melbourne.
“Our beautiful open spaces and natural treed environment, together with our friendly villages, add to the lifestyle of the Shire.
“While we like the environment surrounding us, bushfire safety is of paramount importance.
“Striking the right balance is essential,” Ms Town said.
Mr Kourambas said Manningham’s most valued features is the balance of city and country, with a range of urban areas surrounded by vast natural environment.
To protect this, he said residents are generally required to obtain a planning permit before vegetation can be removed.
Planning permits for vegetation removal are particularly important for residents living on a property with an: Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO), Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO), Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO), or Heritage Overlay (HO).
There are some exemptions to allow vegetation removal around a resident’s home and along certain fences without obtaining a permit.
For instance, along the front fence, private landowners can use the exemption on their property but cannot remove vegetation from the roadside as they are not the property owner.
Landowners must check there are no covenants or other legal agreements which are not covered by the exemptions.

Reducing fire risk 

Preparing your property all year round reduces the risk of stockpiled waste.
Fallen tree debris, grass, twigs and excess vegetation can dry out and become very flammable in the event of a bush or grass fire.
For this reason, both Councils recommend residents clear this kind of garden waste before the warm weather hits.
It is also important for residents to clear out their gutters frequently to ensure they’re free from leaves and sticks.
Having clean gutters may offer protection from an ember attack during a fire and greatly reduces risk of water entering a roof space during a storm.
For a detailed guide on landscaping for bushfire prone properties residents can view the CFA’s Landscaping for bushfire guide.

Abiding by the 10/30 or 10/50 rule

Following recommendations from the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission, the Victorian Government has made a number of changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions regarding vegetation removal.
It provides certain exemptions that may allow you to remove vegetation to create a defendable space around buildings used for accommodation, including associated outbuildings and boundary fences, without the need to obtain a planning permit.
Depending on whether your property is covered by the Bushfire Management Overlay planning scheme or not, will determine what you can remove.
When preparing properties for bushfire and considering the removal of vegetation, residents should check which of the 10/30 or 10/50 exemptions apply.
You are covered by the 10/30 rule, if there is no Bushfire Management Overlay on property.
It means you may remove trees up to 10m, or vegetation up to 30m, around existing building without a permit.
If a Bushfire Management Overlay exists on property, it means you are covered by the 10/50.
You may therefore remove trees up to 10m, and vegetation up to 50m, around existing building without a permit.
Buildings must be used for accommodation and have existed before September 2009.
Landowners must check there are no covenants or other legal agreements which are not covered by the exemptions.

How to dispose of green waste

Each year Manningham Council offers residents the option of:

  • Two household hard rubbish (waste) collections, or
  • Two household bundled garden waste (branches) collections, or
  • A combination of one hard rubbish (waste) collections and one bundled branches (garden waste) collection.

In addition to this, residents in bushfire prone areas are eligible for four complimentary green waste vouchers per year to help remove any excess garden waste from their properties.
In Nillumbik, residents can put their green waste in the 120-litre green waste bin which is collected weekly.
Residents can also deliver their green waste to Council’s Recycling and Recovery Centre at 290 Yan Yean Road, Yarrambat.
Property owners receive three green waste vouchers a year as part of their valuation and rates notice.
Property owners can pass these vouchers on to tenants to use.
Residents must bring their original or online rates notice to the Nillumbik Recycling and Recovery Centre.
Green waste vouchers provide flexibility to dispose of larger quantities of green waste at a convenient time.
One voucher is for one cubic metre of green waste, this a slightly heaped 6×4 sized trailer load.
Load size will be assessed by the attendant.
Green waste includes garden clippings, pruning, leaves and grass.
It must be clean and not contain processed wood such as treated pine, fence palings or untreated timber and must not include food waste.
For Manningham residents, green waste can be disposed of at the Manningham Garden Waste Centre at the corner of Websters and Blackburn Road, Templestowe.

The current and future voucher periods for 2019/20 are:

  • Sunday, October 6, 2019 to Sunday, December 22, 2019
  • Sunday, January 12, 2020 to Sunday, March 29, 2020
  • Sunday, April 5, 2020 to Sunday, June 28, 2020

For more information, including maximum trailer load sizes, visit: manningham.vic.gov.au/garden-waste-vouchers
Property owners, landlords and property managers can order new or additional bins for a property.
In Nillumbik, each property can have up to two green waste bins.
There is an upfront cost of $80 for an extra green bin with no additional annual collection charge.
If a tenant wishes to select an alternative option for their bins, they need to contact their landlord or property manager.

Get it done

Inspections will soon be conducted across both municipalities by Municipal Fire Prevention Officers to identify properties that may constitute a fire hazard.
If the property is not well maintained the owner will receive a Fire Prevention Notice requiring them to undertake works.
It is an offence to fail to comply with a Fire Prevention Notice.

Vacant land

To protect your neighbours, owners of vacant land are required to maintain the vegetation on their property during bushfire season by:

  • Removing any fallen and dead vegetation
  • Removing any fine fuels (anything less than 6mm in diameter e.g. twigs)
  • Creating separation between vegetation, buildings and fences by mowing and pruning vegetation.

If someone is concerned about a property with an excessive volume of fuel, they should contact Council.

Burning off 

Burning off in the open air is prohibited unless you have a valid permit issued by your Council.
In Manningham, residents who own, reside in, or manage a property greater in size than 2,500 square metres are eligible to apply for a permit to burn off green waste on their property.
Before applying for a permit to burn off green waste residents should know:

  • It is illegal to burn off during the fire danger period without a special permit.
  • Outside of the fire danger period it is illegal to burn off when the fire danger rating is very high or above.

Residents can apply for a permit via the Councils websites, either www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au or Manningham go to www.manningham.vic.gov.au/burning-off

In Nillumbik, burning off can occur from October 1 until the Fire Danger Period is declared by the CFA.
A permit is required to burn off in Nillumbik if your property is less than 1 acre (0.4 hectares) OR If you wish to burn off a large heap, a pile that occupies an area greater than 10 square metres or more than 25 cubic metres in volume.
If shade temperature exceeds 32 degrees Celsius or the wind speed exceeds 15kph, do not burn off.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to check the fire danger rating before they intend to burn.
Any burn off must be registered with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) on 1800 668 511 prior to commencement.
Further conditions apply to all permits and will be provided on approval of a permit.
Residents must read and be aware of all conditions prior to open air burning.
Residents may also contact the CFA to burn off their property for them.
For additional information on burning off residents can visit the CFA’s website: cfa.vic.gov.au/plan- prepare/burning-off

Fire danger period 

The Country Fire Authority is responsible for declaring the Fire Danger Period for each municipality at different times in the lead up to the fire season.
It depends on the amount of rain, grassland curing rate and other local conditions.
No fire danger period has been declared for Nillumbik yet but check with the CFA for updates.
www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/restrictions-during-the-fire-danger-period

Renters in fire prone areas 

Whether a person owns their property or rents, it is just as important to know their risks and have an emergency plan.
In regard to clearing vegetation, renters must adhere to Council conditions in the same way a property owner must.
If a person renting has concerns about the state of vegetation on their property, they should contact their real estate agent or landlord to discuss the matter directly.

 

Meet the Brigade at the Research CFA Open Day

By JOHN HUF

RESEARCH Fire Brigade will open its doors to the public on Saturday, November 30, 2019 as part of the 2019 CFA Open Day program.
Brigade members will be on hand on the day with a range of fire safety information and advice.
Fire Brigade Captain Neville Stewart said CFA Open Days were the perfect opportunity for brigades to show the community what they do to keep everyone safe and to deliver valuable fire safety messages.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our local community to meet the men and women who work hard to keep them safe from fire and help out in times of emergency,” he said.
“Anyone interested in joining CFA, whether as a firefighter or in a support role is also welcome to come along for a look and a chat.”
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said the open days are a great opportunity for people to find out how to best protect themselves, their family and property from fire this summer.
“A strong relationship between the community and emergency services is a crucial component in boosting community safety and greatly assists our members in their critical role of the protection of life and property.
“Now is the time to prepare your family and home in the lead up to summer and we’re here to help — members will be on hand to provide a range of fire safety information.”
Brigades throughout the state have opened their stations to their local communities as part of the CFA Open Day program since it started in 2011.
The day is an opportunity for all Victorians to learn more about what brigades do for the local community in a relaxed and friendly environment.
The Research Brigade Open Day will be held on Saturday, November 30 at the fire station in Research-Warrandyte Road from 10am to 12pm.

For information on this event and other events being held by brigades around Victoria, see cfa.vic.gov.au/whatson

 

“Are YOU Ready?” Bushfire Scenario

By DICK DAVIES

The Warrandyte Community Association’s ‘Be Ready Warrandyte’ campaign will be hosting a bushfire scenario on  Wednesday, November 27, from 7:00-9:00pm at the North Warrandyte Family Centre in Research Road, and all Warrandyte residents are urged to attend.
The emphasis is on the “Are YOU Ready?” with special attention to new neighbours and pets.
Community Emergency Management leaders will be on hand to answer questions about school shutdown, police activity, potential road closures etc. and the Bendigo Bank will provide advice on insurance.
The focus will be on North Warrandyte and Warrandyte, with Emergency Management Risk assessment and updates and a realistic scenario.
The last two bushfire forums were  information sessions at the Community Church which attracted about 250 people each time, but our feedback forms suggested that there was a perception that it was too Manningham oriented.
Consequently we are holding this one in the North Warrandyte Family Centre on Research Road.
It is however, a smaller venue and we plan to cater for an overflow in the North Warrandyte Fire Station with live projector and speaker feeds.
Parking is also limited so we advocate participants arrive early, car-share and utilise overflow parking in an adjacent paddock.
We plan to have a mini bus for those who don’t want to walk!
We urge everyone in the Warrandyte community to attend, especially new residents and those with pets.

Event Details:
“Are YOU Ready?”, Bushfire Scenario
Wednesday 27th November, 7:00–9:00pm
North Warrandyte Family Centre in Research Road.
RSVP info@warrandyte.org.au

Organised by the Warrandyte Community Association’s “Be Ready Warrandyte” campaign with the CFA, Nillumbik and Manningham Councils and local Emergency Services and supported by the Bendigo Bank Warrandyte Community Financial Services Limited.

Business Insyte: Keep Smiling Dentures

Warrandyte Diary profiles the businesses at the heart of our community and the people behind those businesses.

Keep Smiling Dentures has been providing professional prosthetic treatment for over 20 years helping thousands of people smile and eat comfortably again with true confidence.

Their practice is located in a quiet tree lined street in the artistic leafy suburb of Warrandyte ensuring your visit to be private, confidential, and very relaxing in their warm professional bush setting.

The views from the dental chair are amazing, as soon as you sit down your instantly relaxed as you take in the serenity of Warrandyte’s tranquil environment.

If you need a mouth guard or any sort of denture work, why not shop local and visit Jacqueline at her clinic on Lorraine Avenue.

DiaryTV interviews: Bryan Dawe

MONTSALVAT Gallery is host to a new exhibition from satirist and artist Bryan Dawe.
Known predominantly for his work as foil to the late John Clarke on the ABC’s 7:30 Report, Bryan is also an accomplished artist, with this the 14th exhibition of his work.
The exhibition has been assembled by curator Krista McClelland, who has managed to combine several styles of Bryans work into a cohesive gestalt that feels right at home in the rustic surrounds of the Barn Gallery.
Bryan spoke to the Diary just prior to the opening of the exhibition, Interlude in Montsalvat’s Barn Gallery about his art, his satire and his love aff air with Morocco.
Bryan develops his pieces using iPad technology.
“I picked a few of the little apps that were around that did exactly what I wanted them to do … I just play really.
“On the iPad now, there are so many painting and drawing apps that weren’t available even when I did the Tangiers exhibition and now they are, and so you keep at it, and hope you don’t trip over the furniture on the way, and end
up with some work,” he said.
The musical theme of his many pieces in this exhibition took inspiration from Montsalvat’s Barn Gallery itself, after looking at the gallery’s grand piano he produced a series of musically themed pieces.
“I walked in the door here and that inspired me … I just went ‘yup, music’.
“My stuff is pretty regular, circus, theatre, abandoned buildings, and the music is part of it… the shape of the piano is beautiful, and the shape of the violin is beautiful and so that is not hard,” he said.
Montsalvat’s Gallery Curator, Christine Johnson opened the exhibition by applauding Bryan’s innovative technique.
“Working on an iPad, he draws freehand, paints and transforms his imagery on the virtual plane and brings the images to full realisation as exquisite and vivid pigment prints.
“By his combining the hand-drawn with the digital, Bryan has more or less created a whole new idiom for himself.
“These images have their roots in Bryan’s photographic works, which were themselves also transformed beyond ordinary reality using similar technical methods,” she said.
Bryan told the Diary he gets a different sort of pleasure from art than producing his many satirical performances.
“It doesn’t clash in any way because I am not trying to be satirical in any way — if any of them become satirical then it is by accident, more than design, ironic maybe, there is a bit of that going on with some of them, … it is almost the opposite of it — and it is a release from all the politics, which bores me senseless.”
He said he feels lucky to have his art as an outlet since his work producing political satire ended abruptly when his collaborator John Clarke passed away.
“Boredom is a strange thing, as John Clarke used to say, boredom is the driving force of all art, and if you are not doing one thing you have got to look around and make sure boredom is kept at bay.
“When John passed away that was the end of our thirty-year relationship and the end of me doing political satire on television.
“There was no one else I was ever going to work with, or wanted to work with, so I was incredibly lucky I was doing this [art] at the same time,” he
said.
When John passed away Bryan was able to escape to Morocco where he has been traveling to and from for over a decade.
“It began with a man called Sandy McHutchin who used to work at the ABC and did Australia Overnight, and he lives with his family in Fez permanently now, and they invited me when they came back to Australia to look after their house in Fez, and that started the romance with Morocco, and that was seven trips ago.
“I discovered Tangiers which I had been through two or three times but had never stopped because everyone said ‘oh don’t stay in Tangiers, it is a bit
like Marcelles’.
“Then one day, an Australian woman said to me, ‘do you know what, you need to go and stay in Tangiers for a while, because I think you and Tangiers
were made for each other’.
“And I got there, spent a week, fell in love with it and then met the art gallery owner who said have the exhibition.
“So I went there last year for five months and did some of this work, but that was where it began and it has just grown from there, but I do love
Tangiers particularly, partly because it is a port town.
“I grew up in a port town and I love port towns.
“[Tangiers] is like Marseille, I went to Marseille, I said ‘oh yes this is easy, this is Tangiers with French language’.”
Bryan started creating his artwork around 12 years ago.
“I had a brief break of about fi ve years in between, because I didn’t quite know where I wanted to take it all… and I was in Tangiers, and the night before I came back [to Australia] an art gallery owner said ‘oh you are coming back next year, do you want to have an exhibition’?
“I came back to Australia and put together an exhibition of work that was nothing like anything I had ever done
and that is what kickstarted these — I had three [exhibitions] last year and this one.”
Bryan also spoke recently as part of the Montsalvat Festival, with a talk entitled A Satirists Journey.
“It is a talk about where I started, and my influences.
“I was told I couldn’t do any of the things I ended up doing, and I suppose if that is a message in the talk it is never tell a young kid they can’t do
something.
“I was told I could never work on radio, could never be an actor, could never be a writer, didn’t even get to art — because I came from the wrong background — a working class background in Port Adelaide.”
“What happened is my father died when I was 15 and I left school because I was — boredom is not quite the word, it is way beyond there — and so I left.
“And that is when I was told I couldn’t do all these thing, so there was a farsighted genius in all this that was the career advisory offi cer and he told me
that I couldn’t do these things… and one of the great things that happened, is eventually I was asked to go back over to Adelaide to my high school and
speak at their hundredth [anniversary] celebrations.
“I said very naughtily to them, ‘good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am here despite you, not because of you’.
“The night went downhill from there — that is what the talk is about, and I talk about working with my characters Roly and Sonya Parks and my other
character Sir Murray Rivers, and of course John Clarke, so it covers a fair territory along the way.”
Bryan said that his life’s journey has been about exploring possibilities.
“Things happen and you go down that trail and see what happens and hope you get home without hurting yourself,” he said.

Interlude is at the Barn Gallery,Montsalvat until November 11.

Meet the artist: Saturday, November 9, 2–4 pm
Bryan will talk about his practice as an artist working in the digital realm.

Teskey Brothers run home slow

On August 2, The Teskey Brothers released their new album Run Home Slow.
Since we last spoke to The Teskeys, our Warrandyte boys have headlined their own world tour and played at the world renowned Splendour in The Grass festival.
Just recently, The Teskey Brothers also featured on the ABC’s The Set alongside Thelma Plum and Amy Shark.
Run Home Slow carries The Teskeys’ signature sound throughout while adding a new element to it.
This could be attributed to The Teskeys’ artistic growth as they spark the world’s interest, as well as the influential guidance that music producer and engineer Paul Butler offered the band in their latest album.
The guys have said that Butler’s presence in their Warrandyte home studio brought a new energy to the recording of the album, and described the producer as “invaluable”.
While still recording the album on tape to keep the authentic sound that illustrates their style, the guys and Butler have stepped up the complexity of the music, including many new exploratory sounds such as whistling combined with use of banjo and brass.
Run Home Slow progresses from slow mellow tunes like Carry You and San Francisco, to more upbeat and rich songs like Paint My Heart and Man of the Universe.
Some of my personal favourites, such as So Caught Up, also hold a bouncy integrity while flowing impossibly at the same time.
Since releasing Run Home Slow, Liam, Josh, Sam and Brendon have announced a world tour for the new album, touring Europe and United States in September.
Their Australian leg starts on November 1 at the Metro Theatre, Sydney.
The Teskey Brothers have been recognised globally, and have bloomed from their playing at the St. Andrews Hotel days to globetrotting and playing shows to fans of all kinds and nationalities.
Run Home Slow, along with their debut album, Half Mile Harvest, carries the bluesy and soul sound that the Stax era and 60s artists like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke possessed.
This sound has obviously been missed, as the Teskey Brothers develop their own take on it and have been recognised by countless radio stations, and even received praise from Chris Hemsworth.
It is clear, this awesome foursome have captured the attention of music lovers all over the world.
The Teskey Brothers, after having three sold out shows at the Forum in Melbourne, have added a fourth show for November 12 — so if you haven’t already, grab a ticket or two to support our Warrandyte boys!

Baldessin Studio – a legacy in pictures

THE BARN GALLERY and Residents Gallery at Montsalvat are both currently playing host to a collection of works created by a variety of artists at a remarkable studio nestled in the beautiful St Andrews bush.

The story

The Baldessin Studio was established and built in St Andrews in the 1970s by the artists George Baldessin and his wife, Tess Edwards.
The untimely death of George Baldessin (1939–1978) might have robbed art of one of its creative giants, however Baldessin’s legacy has only intensified.
Following George’s death Tess moved to Paris, in part to run away from her grief, and in part to work as an artist in her own right, without the pressure of the Baldessin name.
“By going overseas, nobody knew the name, and I changed my surname to my maiden name of Edwards,” she told the Diary.”
“I had also wanted to give my kids space, so they did not grow up as tragic figures who had lost their father, because when George died, in the art world it was huge, because he was so well known as an artist and a teacher at RMIT.
“During that time, George’s work, which had been in storage, was really not seen because there was no one was championing his posthumous career.
“I knew I had to come back to do the right thing by George, and so I girded my loins and put my own career on hold, and I came back here and moved into the house,” said Tess.
She returned after 17 years to a studio which was largely left as George had left it.
“It was almost like Miss Havisham’s wedding feast, with the garlands of cobwebs adorning every surface.
“George’s studio had always been somewhere where people dropped in — there was always somethings to do — it was a lot of work but there was always a lot of good will and collegiate spirit,” she said.
So, in 2001 Tess decided to open up the studio and called it Baldessin Press, in George’s memory.
The space is still dominated by his large-scale electric printing press, used with pride by many artists, and by his sculptures in the grounds.
“I didn’t know what form it would take, we started with a few etching workshops and then things went on when Silvi Glattauer came along and she was instrumental in getting it all together,” Tess said.
Since then, the studio has gone from strength to strength and in the last few years they have forged an alliance with the State Library.
“Two of their fellowships are now residencies with the Baldessin Studio, one is sponsored by Rick Amor, and the other is the Tate Adam’s memorial residency — sponsored by Morag Fraser — they are very prestigious,” said Tess.
They have also recently joined with Australian Galleries and Fox Galleries for two further residencies.
“Apart from that, we do workshops in all types of print making and photographic processes,” she said.

The exhibition

This exhibition is an exploration of George Baldessin’s legacy.
“Many people don’t understand what the history is” said Tess, explaining last year’s National Gallery of Victoria exhibition, Baldessin/ Whitely: Parallel Visions, put George’s posthumous career back on the map.
It was a perfect time for the Baldessin Press to delve deeper in to George’s legacy and for the artists following in his footsteps, to show their work.
The exhibition showcases 39 artists who have a connection to the Baldessin Press, including Rick Amor, Michael Leunig, Rob Hails, Lloyd Godman, Chris Ingham and Tess Edwards, and the works are as diverse as the artists who produce them.
Several stories are told via videos screened at the exhibition, one outlines the history of the studio itself, and there is a heart-warming story of five young men who studied at what is now the Monash University’s School of Pharmacy in 1915.
The men gave up their studies to fight in the Great War — and gave their lives in the process.
Curator of the exhibition Christine Johnson worked at the Baldessin Press to produce floral artworks to represent each of the soldiers, which were presented to each of the families of the fallen solders as they were presented with posthumous degrees a century on.
The exhibition is complemented by a selection of George’s own prints and by The Baldessin & Friends Commemorative Folio, which celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Studio’s operation as a not-for-profit organisation.
The folio brings together seven celebrated Australian artists — Rick Amor, GW Bot, Jock Clutterbuck, Michael Leunig, Jan Senbergs, Imants Tillers and John Wolseley — each of whom shares a personal connection to George Baldessin or to the Studio.

Baldessin Studios — The Story is on at Montsalvat, with works in the Residents Gallery on display until August 18 with the remainder of the exhibition on display in the Barn Gallery until September 15.

The great Warrandyte milk bar odyssey

IN THE 1960s, Yarra Street was a milk bar trail.
Amazingly enough, then, there were eight milk bars in Warrandyte, stretching from West End to Pigtail Hill at the East end of town.
Sadly, there are no milk bars here today, but plenty of cafes where you can sit down to a café latte and a plate of smashed avocado on sour dough.
L overs of Drumsticks, Choc Wedges, bags of chippies, liquorice allsorts, sherbet bombs, root beer and milkshakes were in business.
When it came to sugar addiction, we local kids were spoilt for choice.
The milk bar trail was blue heaven on a stick.
Sugar was not a dirty word in 1963!
The first stop at the Melbourne end of town was The Golden Gate.
Run by George and Voila Leek and family, the white building — with a sizeable car park out the front — housed a large and busy shop selling fruit and vegetables, a selection of newspapers and magazines, as well as the usual fare of ice creams, biscuits, lollies and other groceries.
The old building has been pulled down and today; Bocca Pizzeria occupies the site.
George also ran a green grocery home delivery service and drove fruit boxes full of produce to our homes once a week.
George would cheerfully park his truck at the bottom of our driveways and run the box of veggies up to our doors, then come inside and heave the box up onto our kitchen table.
He had time for a natter and a bit of local gossip, before driving on to the next customer’s house.
Locals from West End, Jack “The Hat” Williams and his wife Pat, also ran The Golden Gate in the late 60s.
Across the road was the White House at the recreation reserve.
Attached to the end of the large hall which comprised the White House reception venue was a little milk bar, which was always open on Saturdays.
Howard and Joyce Bensch ran the reception area during the week and Joyce manned the milk bar during Saturday’s football and cricket
matches.
She specialized in selling pies, pasties and sausage rolls from her pie warmer as well as the usual selection of ice cream, lollies and packets of chicken chips.
Before the Bensch family bought the business, well known character Alice Watson lived upstairs there.
The White House was sadly demolished in 1991 after serving the community for 150 years.
The next port of call was Dottie McKay’s milk bar opposite Stiggant Street.
The shop front is still there, but today it serves as a studio for reverse glass artist Bruce Jackson.
Dottie was an elderly eccentric spinster who was always polite to us local kids when we were sent down there to buy milk, cereal and boxes
of eggs.
She was none the wiser when some of the local kids would sneak around the back of the shop and pinch the empty soft drink bottles stacked in crates.
They would come around to the shop counter, cash the bottles in and buy choc wedges, chicken chips and bottles of Passiona, (a passion fruit flavoured soft drink) with the refund money.
After drinking them, these young entrepreneurs would bring back the soft drink bottles to cash in yet again!
A confirmed spinster, Dottie surprised the locals by marrying Fred Bawden Sr. when she was in her 60s.
They lived happily ever after.
Moving eastward along the trail you would eventually arrive at Dixon’s milk bar situated in the village where currently Now and Not Yet Cafe is serving café lattes.
Then the shop changed hands and became “McDonalds” long before the hamburger franchise came to Australia.
There was no red wigged clown running the show, instead the new proprietor, John McDonald quietly went about the business of serving
locals their pies, pasties, sandwiches and milk shakes and also selling the latest newspapers, books and magazines.
Many Warrandyte kids had their first job at McDonalds, selling and delivering the newspapers of the day: The Sun-News Pictorial, The Sunday Observer, The Herald, The Argus, The Truth and Women’s Day.
The McDonald paperboys would wander into the Grand Hotel and sell The Herald to the news hungry patrons.
Their famous catch cry, “Hee errrrald!” echoing down Yarra Street.
During the days of “early closing” laws, kids had to sell their papers before six o’clock, because, amazingly enough, the pub stopped serving
beer at 6pm right up until 1966 when licensing hours were extended.
Aggie Moore’s milk bar sat right next to the Mechanics’ Hall, which held a matinee movie session every Saturday.
During interval, the theatre crowd would swarm over to Aggie’s shop to swill down her specialty: lime or coke spiders.
The spider consisted of a tall glass full of soft drink with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream floating on top.
The concoction fizzed loudly as kids hurriedly sloshed them down before returning to the matinee.
Kids also bought Minties, Chocolate Frogs and Fantails to take back into the theatre with them.
And especially Jaffas.
The round orange, chocolate filled sweets were perfect for naughty kids to roll down the aisle during a Hopalong Cassidy feature.
Next on the trail was Bennett’s milk bar, right on the corner just past the Mechanics’ Institute Hall where the Sassafras Sweet Co. is now situated.
Mr and Mrs Bennett both worked behind the counter.
The large ice cream cone that advertised their wares still hangs off the front of the building today.
Next in line was Les Gilholm’s milk bar [Now Folk Art] that was situated opposite the bridge.
Les, a popular character, would enthusiastically sell us his specialty – iced pineapple.
He’d reach into a refrigerated canister with a huge soup ladle and pour the sweet-tasting yellow, icy liquid into a big chunky glass.
It was an exquisite way to quench our thirst on hot summer days, as we listened to Les’s amusing and teasing banter.
We ended our milk bar crawl at Selby Store at the eastern end of town.
The beautiful old historic stone building is now The Yarra Store.
It was the perfect place for local kids to get a hit of carbs before attacking
the bike track that ran around the swampy area beside the river.
All in all, the milk bar trail was a wonderland of chips, ice cream and chocolate treats and for us kids, a great way to spend our weekly
allowance, which in the mid 60s was about two dollars if we had generous parents and were willing to do the chores required to earn our weekly ‘salary’.
One wonders if our collective sweet tooth, not only helped keep these’eight milk bars in business, but also supported the nearby dental clinics in Ringwood!

Photos courtesy Warrandyte Historical Society

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Queen’s Birthday Honours for two local stalwarts

Congratulations to Jan Davies and Doug Seymour who have each been awarded an OAM in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.

Doug Seymour

Doug Seymour has been recognised for his work in the Warrandyte Community, most notably with the Warrandyte Community Association, where he has been on the central committee since 2012.

Doug was also a foundation member of the Warrandyte Environment League in 1970, where he served as President for more than six years.

Doug told the Diary he was surprised by the award, but said it was “much appreciated, as the nomination must have been put forward by some of the wonderful Warrandyte people I have worked with in the interests of sensitive planning and conservation values over the past 40 years”.

“We value our heritage bushland character and conservation values and you are never alone when the battle goes forward in this town,” he said.

More recently he has been on the committee of the Warrandyte Community Retirement Cooperative, which has been working to enable older Warrandyte residents the opportunity of staying within Warrandyte when the typical Warrandyte block becomes too much to maintain.

The cooperative built the award-winning Creekside retirement village, and are nearing completion of the new Riverside development in West End Road.

The honour has also recognised Doug’s tireless work for the community of Warrandyte on his work on numerous committees, including the WCA’s Be Ready Warrandyte campaign, which promoted fire safety throughout the community, as well as his volunteering with Friends of Warrandyte State Park, where he has been a member since its inception in 1982.

He has also been involved with the Warrandyte Historical Society since 1976, and managed the Warrandyte Organic Food Cooperative.

Jan Davies

Dr Janice Davies (B.Sc Hons, Grad Dip HRM, MBA, PhD) has been recognised for her considerable contribution both to health care throughout Australia and to her local community in Warrandyte over the last 40 years.

Jan Davies’ two faceted award acknowledges her generosity with her time with pro-bono and community activities, in addition to her considerable achievements in her professional life.

Health

As a leading innovator in the health sector in Australia, she has introduced “communities of practice” to clinicians around the country — helping health service leaders identify ways to improve the clinical services they deliver to patients.

Jan initiated innovative approaches to address educational, social and health inequalities in rural, disadvantaged and Indigenous communities.

She established the National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) in collaboration with Professor Chris Silagy AO and worked with Alzheimer’s Australia to introduce new programs designed to improve the care and design of services for people with Alzheimer’s.

Jan has an abiding commitment to protecting some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

Jan has also been actively involved in a national bullying prevention program, and in caring for and supporting victims of sexual assault.

One of her earliest projects, in the 1990s, was to head up and coordinate the establishment of the North- East Centre Against Sexual Assault (NECASA).

Community

The legacy of Jan’s volunteer work is enjoyed by the thousands of people who use the Warrandyte State Park, the Warrandyte Community Centre and our many cultural and social facilities.

Her passion for community health is seen in the many trekking tours she has organised, and her leadership of the Heart Foundation Walking Group.

Her enduring legacy in the Warrandyte community is her achievements as Co-Chair of the Warrandyte Environment League.

In this role, she spearheaded a campaign advocating for the State Government to purchase land in North Warrandyte now known as Koornong Reserve and was instrumental in convincing the then Eltham Council to purchase the environmentally sensitive Professors Hill land as a Council Reserve.

She also persuaded the then Doncaster and Eltham Councils to purchase vacant garage land in central Warrandyte as a site for a Community Centre.

The Warrandyte Community Centre was later developed by Manningham Council to house the community library, Warrandyte Diary, the Neighbourhood House and facilities to host many other community functions and activities.

VEC: Nillumbik Representation Review

Final report released

The Victorian Electoral Commission(VEC) have released their final report and recommendation for the Nillumbik Shire Representation Review.

The review, a process which takes place every 12 years, aims to ensure residents in municipalities are fairly represented by local council.

Over the course of the process, which began in April, a total of 157 public submissions were received by the VEC across the Preliminary Submission and Response Submission phases.

In its Preliminary Report, the VEC’s preferred option was a multi-councillor, three-ward structure which would have seen the distinct urban and rural areas covered under their own ward.

However, in the Final Report, the VEC has recommended the Shire retains its current representation structure of seven wards with one councillor per ward, a decision which will be welcomed by Council who have been submitting for the status quo since this process began.

Read our full analysis of the Nillumbik Representation Review in June’s Diary,  which will be available online on Monday.

Click here to read the Final Report.

Health and Safety

Prepare for flu season

By SANDI MILLER

THE STATE Government has launched a new campaign encouraging Victorians to get their flu shot ahead of winter and do their part to stop the spread of flu.
More than two million free vaccinations are expected to be administered before the flu season takes hold.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos says vaccination is safe, effective and it saves lives.
“You never forget the flu, so don’t forget your flu shot.
“Coming down with the flu is not like catching a cold.
“It hits you quickly and hard, and it can last for weeks — and for some people, it can be deadly.”
A horror flu season in 2017 saw more than 48,000 Victorians diagnosed with influenza.
That number fell to 11,612 cases last year, but flu diagnoses in 2019 are currently triple what they were compared with the same time last year.
Vaccinations are free for kids aged six months to less than five.
Pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Victorians with a chronic condition are also eligible for a free flu vaccination as part of the National Immunisation Program.
Victorians over the age of 65 are also covered and the vaccination can be obtained from your local GP.
Flu shots are also available at some pharmacies — without the need to visit a doctor.
Warrandyte Pharmacist, Chris Farmakis says the Terry White Chemmart at the Goldfields Shopping Centre has established a flu clinic to administer vaccinations.
The Terry White Chemmart website provides a booking service where you can schedule an appointment, or you can pop in for a walk-up consultation.
Go to terrywhitechemmart.com.au and click on Health Services to make your booking for a flu shot.
The vaccination costs $19.95 and it is administered on site.
Flu symptoms can include a sudden high fever, headache, body aches and feeling extremely weak or tired.
For children, the elderly or people with a weakened immune system, the flu can have devastating outcomes.
Mr Farmakis says the flu is very easy to catch, and good hygiene is imperative to avoid the disease.
“It is not merely passed on through coughing and sneezing, it hangs around — even on door handles it can survive up to eight hours, and then if you open the door it is on your hands. “It’s very easy to catch, but very easy to prevent by having a flu shot,” he said.
Anyone who thinks they have the flu should visit their doctor, a pharmacist, or call Nurse-On-Call on: 1300 60 60 24.

Electromagnetic Sleep Study, Participants sought

Nicole Bijlsma is a building biologist and CEO of the registered training organisation — Australian College of Environmental Studies based in Warrandyte.
She first became interested in environmental medicine following two events in her life: firstly working as a naturopath and acupuncturist she noticed many of her patients with asthma, allergies and chronic fatigue syndrome were sick following exposure to mould, electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and/or toxicants like pesticides in their home.
However it wasn’t until she moved into her home in Warrandyte, that she experienced insomnia and ten miscarriages which she believed arose from sleeping near the meter panel.
After relocating bedrooms, she subsequently gave birth to her twins (natural conception as she didn’t qualify for IVF) and spent the next two decades investigating the impact of hazards in the built environment.
In 1999 she established the college and the building biology industry in Australia and wrote the best seller — Healthy Home Healthy Family — now in its 3rd edition, which attracted numerous television and radio interviews.
Nicole lectures about environmental sensitivities at medical conferences both in Australia and abroad.
Nicole and her husband Mark, sold their home in Warrandyte to invest in a manufacturing facility in Bayswater to create the cleaning product range — Abode — specifically for people with chemical and skin sensitivities.
The products are sold in health food stores across Australia.
Nicole is also looking for couples who would be interested in taking part in a short study which studies the effects of electromagnetic fields on sleep.
If this is something you and your partner would be interested in, check out the details below:

Electromagnetic field sleep study. We need you!

RMIT researchers seeking healthy adult couples who live in a detached house in the Eastern suburbs to participate in a study to find out if electromagnetic radiation affects sleep and brain function. You may be eligible if you are a healthy non-smoking adult, who sleeps well, aged between 18 and 55 and who is prepared to avoid digital devices at least one hour before bed for a 4 week period. Participants will receive a healthy home pack valued at $100, access to their sleep data and a free electromagnetic field assessment of their bedroom. If you  interested in participating, please call Nicole Bijlsma on 0417 310 002 or email info@aces.edu.au.

You can also download a copy of the sleep study participation form in advance from here.

 

DIGITAL HEALTH: TIPS FOR DETECTING SCAM EMAILS

By IAN CRAIG

WE OFTEN see news items in the popular media about people being scammed and defrauded out of thousands and sometime hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.

It was not until I witnessed this first hand — when a close member of my family was scammed — that I was able to comprehend not just how easy it is to be tricked but the extent of the emotional impact this can have on someone.
>According to government website Scamwatch , in 2018 there were 177,516 reporting cases of scams, 9.9 per cent of these involved the loss of money totalling $107,001,451.
That is a lot of money and these are just the figures for the ones that are reported, so who knows how many of these scams go unreported.
Top five scams for loss of money are investment scams, dating and romance, false billing, identity theft and hacking.
Billing scam emails seem to be the trend in scamming at the moment with my friends telling me they repeatedly receive emails claiming they have an unpaid invoice or bill.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) frequently post information about scams on their website and has this to say about false billing scams:
“Often a scam is disguised as an outstanding invoice to get the business to sign-up for unwanted advertising or office supplies.
Another common ploy involves sending invoices for the renewal of a non-existent domain name registration.
In some cases, false bills and invoices are followed-up with phone calls demanding payment or legal threats.”
Although I work in IT, I am not a safety online expert and I am not writing this article to scare everyone into going back to writing cheques and switching off their phones or computers — because I cannot work or play without them.
So why write about it?
The answer is simple, if we don’t talk about it and warn our friends and neighbours about the potential of a scam, the ‘scamsters’ will continue to take what doesn’t belong to them.
We are all familiar with the concept (like it or not) of the door to door salesperson who will knock on your door and try to sell you something — immediately we take a defensive approach, ascertain where they are from and do we trust them.
So, the point here is that the internet is like putting your front door in front of every person with something to sell or scam on a global scale.
With the right software, it is easy to send you an email, text message, phone call or some novel electronic message with some kind of hook, opportunity, link, attachment or instruction.
The ACCC’s Scamwatch website is a great place to educate yourself about current scams and I highly recommend you read their section on how to protect yourself against scammers.
But for now, here are some top tips on how to reduce your risk of being scammed while online.
Be alert to the fact that scams exist.
Know who you’re dealing with.
Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails — delete them.
Don’t respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access — hang up.
Be wary of unusual payment requests.
The site also has useful clues for spotting a fake document, email or dating profile.
My safety tip is to have a friend or family member who has your back when it comes to validating any online communication that you think is suspicious.
Or, if you have some experience and skills in this area then maybe you could offer your services to those in your circle.
Scammers often use fear and threat to get money out of us, which is why the billing scams are often used by scammers, so having someone who is able to look at the email objectively and is tech-savvy enough to be able to spot a scam or suspicious email can mean the difference between getting scammed or putting their email in the junk folder.

Priceless Community Crutches

By JOCK MACNEISH

LIKE ALL communities, the Warrandyte community is built on friendship, generosity, care and respect.

We don’t measure out these qualities in units like metres, dollars or litres.
We choose not to speak about how many units of kindness people display, or the exact width and breadth of their unselfishness.
But in Warrandyte there is something that symbolises and represents the care that people have for one another.
Surprisingly, it’s a pair of well-worn arm-crutches that, technically, belong to Adrian.
I say “technically” because the crutches are almost never at his place.
For more than a dozen years the crutches have been in continuous circulation around Warrandyte.
They have been “borrowed” by Adrian’s friends and neighbours to help them get back on their feet after various operations.
The crutches are once again back at my place, as I hobble around on my second knee replacement.
My first knee was replaced eight years ago and I’m pleased to report that the crutches are none the worse for wear.
I’m not sure the same could be said about my legs.
My wife Diana has had both her knees replaced, and yes, she also used the crutches to get back into her stride.
I know Jack and Jonathan were also restored to being upright citizens while hanging onto the crutches.
Warrandyte’s walking tracks bear the imprint of many steady journeys back to health, and those arm-crutches epitomise a spirit of generosity that pervades the place.
You can’t put a price on that.
Thank you Adrian.

Warrandyte Festival: Our favourite thing

By CHERIE MOSELEN

“Purple regalia and
monarchs’ proud faces,

Music and magic and billycart races,

Children’s cute costumes
all tied up with string,

These are a few
of our festival things…”

Warrandyte’s annual festival kicked off last month with popular evening events, Warrandyte Film Feast and Warrandyte Donvale Rotary Art Show.

The festival celebrated the town’s hallmark qualities over the weekend of March 22–24 via the theme “Stars of Warrandyte”.

Saturday’s trademark Grand Parade was filled with firefighters, councillors in classic cars, floats adorned
with superstars, theatre nuts blowing bubbles, community bank benefactors holding big cheques and
children cheering.

A star-studded cast came out with props and colourful costumes.

Sporting clubs, IGA apples, Ringwood RSL rat-a-tat-tatters, ultimate martial artists in full spin, Neighbourhood House knits, an old Dodge, a young Billycarter, Arty Farty umbrellas, the honourable Ryan Smith all fired up about Fireball…

Variety Bash “Benzey” — now there’s a star! Sixteen Variety Bashes throughout Australia, raising money for children’s charity.

Giant ducks, mountain bikes, Dylan’s trike (made at school from recycled materials), CFA pumpers, scouts getting about — and all this to the shout of Town Crier Ian Craig.

Commentators kept it entertaining, even trotting out a joke or two: “These ducks look like they have their eyes covered, but actually… they’re Peking ducks!”

Brave.

Rain made a half-hearted attempt to dampen enthusiasm but never really had a chance.

You see, for locals, nothing speaks to community pride more than Warrandyte Festival.

This year, the town clocked up 43 straight festival runs, thanks to a committed band of volunteers who continue to come up with ideas and the gusto to see them through.

A week earlier, organisers were told by Manningham Council that due to safe food-handling regulations, the Kid’s Market would not be able to sell baked goods — staples for these stalls, really, but rules are rules.

Families were notified and organisers feared the worst: dozens of disappointed children and parents, doing their buns and pulling out.

But, that is not the Warrandyte way.

A prize-winning number of stalls were registered — 70, in fact.

One young stallholder said it best: “We just ate all our cakes and made pet rocks instead!”

Kids’ Market organiser Grace Johnstone told the Diary that many interesting ideas were presented on the day, but it was “Warrandyte’s spirit of cooperation that was truly on show”.

Taking the cake, for mine, was a repurposed duck-race duck —complete with potted plant — “Hugh Quackman”.

Sunday’s Billycart Derby action drew a few choice words from parade monarch and motorcycle racing champ Cameron Donald, who helped out on the mike.

Cam’s commentary skills were tested — a minor stack, a false start and several finishes that looked too close to call — but he came through unscathed. Phew!

Meanwhile, on the Main Stage, the smooth countrified vocals of local performer Jo Pearson and the Pearl River Ramblers set up a further flow of excellence from Sydney’s alternative Country combo The April Family, dirtgirl and Mother Earth.

Fabulous Tom Petty/Fleetwood Mac and feisty Janis Joplin tributes followed on.

A day earlier, Riverbank Stage audiences had kept pace with drumming sensation African Star, before local bands Velvet Lounge and Riffmasters chilled things down to create a relaxed vibe.

In a new move, festival organisers brought Friday night’s three-hour Battle of the Bands (BOB) to the Main Stage on Saturday.

Applause for first-time festival volunteer Opal Gough.

It was a huge hit, giving young acts the opportunity to play primetime on a stage that has seen local bands like The Teskey Brothers and The Scrims go on to achieve success further afield.

Among others, bass player for The Teskeys, Brendon Love, stepped up as a Battle judge, offering the young players valuable feedback and advice.

Also helpful was Ben Dennis, (ex BOB organiser and manager of award-winning Australian electronic music duo Peking Duk) who generously produced 12 tickets to an upcoming Peking Duk concert as an event prize.

Ethical Decimal, a four-piece all-girl band from Castlemaine Secondary College, won the competition overall.

Gozleme, crepes, salted caramel ice cream, those little pancakes that everyone loves, a giant spring roll — I couldn’t decide among some fab food choices this year, so tried them all — in one afternoon.

A good thing St John’s Mobile CPR Learning Lab was on standby.

A lifesaving initiative to build resilience by training more people in CPR, 12-year-old visitor from Shepparton Tom Di Petta did the training:

“It was fun and the instructions were clear, I learned CPR in 10 minutes.”

Tom looked very keen to practice his newfound techniques, (at the time we spoke I was slowly sagging under the weight of Polish dumplings and lychee infused beer!)

Later, lighting genius Hugh McSpedden boosted the night sky and transformed trees around the Main Stage with creative images.

But, stars eventually fade from view.

And just like that, another Warrandyte Festival slipped by like a wet child on a giant water slide…

If you lost your mind over Hugh’s light show, the Information Caravan has it and some other things as well! Watches, hats, mats and multiple pieces of Tupperware with the name Carla Thompson on them: contact Carolyn on 0411 789 922 with lost property enquiries.

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Main Stage music medley

By IAN CRAIG

WHILE THE day started with the weather raining on our parade it ended with a twilight battle of the bands in Stiggants Reserve in what could only be described as a very pleasant and balmy evening.

Sitting in my favourite camping chair enjoying a pint of Kellybrook Ale, this sure was a good idea to hijack my wife Jo’s Warrandyte Diary assignment.

“You just keep working on your other writing assignments I will do this one for you,” says I, ha-ha, all part of my cunning plan.

With Greg Champion MC’ing the night and surrounded by three to four hundred fellow festivillians it was a pleasant night indeed.

As Greg Champion said to me when I asked him about the night, “The Battle of the Bands has brought more people in then our band … be young or die”.

Don’t take it personally Greg.

The competition started in the 80s with the back of a tray truck for the stage in the middle of the footy oval.

After a number of moves it has finally made it to the main stage and judging by the crowd it is there to stay.

The idea behind Battle of the Bands is that young aspiring musicians get a chance to demonstrate their creative “musicality” (I don’t know what that means but the judges told me that’s one of things they were looking for) in front of a good audience and the judges score them on the things that musically talented people look for in an up and coming band.

The judges are no slouches in this field with Fiona Steel (half of the indie folk duo GraceJean and session artist), Brendan Love (from Warrandyte’s own The Teskey Brothers), Joseph Dwyer (Moring After Girls), Fossa (Melbourne based Hip Hop Producer) and Kain Hardie (musician and music journalist).

Fiona told me she was, “looking for overall musicality, interaction with each other, interaction with crowd”.

I asked if it brought back memories for her.

“Yeah it does actually … I did a few of them when I was younger … it’s interesting being on the other side.”

Of course the audience got in on the act with the people’s award voted through the event page on Facebook.

Nice touch although there was a lot of voting happening before some of the acts even hit the stage, go friends.

Acts included Reborn Rebellion, Dead Pig, C-K-H, In The Works, Bleached and Blessed, Ethical Decimal, Suzi and Space Goats.

The winner of first prize (a full day of recording at Jet Studios) was Ethical Decimal, a young all female band from Castlemaine Secondary College.

Runners up were a young solo act, Suzi Yaghmoor from Mornington Peninsula and Dead Pig from Park Orchards.

First timer organiser Opal Gough, joined the Warrandyte Festival Committee in November last year.

“I think the kids were great,” said Opal, “they’ve pulled in an amazing crowd … that was really good support for them.”

Well done to Opal, her assistants and the committee for a great night, we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment and the beautiful evening.

 

Blast into Warrandyte’s past

By JAMES POYNER

Mine Tour

THE WEATHER was glorious for the Hanson’s annual Sunday afternoon Gold Mine Tour and a group of around 50 people made their way up to the top of Webb Street for this Festival highlight.

Entry to the tour is free, with a small donation requested to raise money for Oxfam’s Walk Against Want, which raises money to assist women in developing countries who have to walk tens of kilometres each day to fetch fresh water.

The tours have been running since 1978 and up until recently were run by John Hanson himself.

But 42 years is a long time to run Gold Mine tours and these days, John has passed the baton on to his children; Peter, Jenny and Christine.

But before we headed off on our tour with Jenny and Christine, John gave the group potted history of gold mining in Warrandyte and the popularity of the tour.

“Typical gold country has three different types of eucalypt, red box, long leaf box and red stringy bark and often if they saw those sorts of trees [the miners] would think there is gold in the area,” he said.

“In some years, I had 200 people turn up, I borrowed a loud-hailer and off we went, but with 200 people, it was pretty slow.

“One year I decided to split it into two groups, 1pm and 3pm — 1pm 35 turned up, 3pm 150 turned up so I went back to just one time,” he said.

A short, bushy walk through the Hanson’s property and we reconvene at the top of Tunnel Street where Jenny begins the official tour.

Jenny explains there are two types of gold found in Warrandyte, alluvial gold and gold found in quartz seams.

Alluvial gold was panned in the creeks and the Yarra and our tour would involve a walk down the hill to Andersons Creek to visit the cairn where gold was first found in Warrandyte.

But before that, Jenny took us to Forth Hill Gold Mine where the group could get a feel for what it was like to be in one of these mines, even if nowadays, people can only walk 10 metres inside the old mine.

Jenny’s knowledge of the mine is impressive and it is enthralling to watch her map out the layout of the mine in the dirt.

A lot of this knowledge extends from previous decades, before the mine was closed to the public when she was able to explore the network of mines around Warrandyte.

With public safety paramount, access to the mines is prohibited and we have to use our imagination as Jenny imparts history and personal experience.

The second, and last, stop on our tour is to the Gold Memorial cairn, on Gold Memorial Road.

“This is the spot where they first found gold in Victoria, in 1851”.

An exciting statement and given the regions history with gold mining, really helps place Warrandyte in Australian history.

“Louis Michel came here with a party of four who were panning in this creek and found a few specks of gold…that then started the gold rush in Warrandyte.

“They had sections of the creek, it was tent city for about five kilometres, between here and what is now Ringwood.

To add an extra pinch of excitement to the tour, descendants of Louis Michel, his great-great-great-grand-daughter and her children were on the tour.

Living in Eltham, it is fascinating to see that Warrandyte’s gold history still maintains a local connection.

With the tour torch successfully handed to his children, it looks like the Gold Mine Tour will be around for the next 42 years, we only scratched the surface of Warrandyte’s mining history but with the knowledgeable Hanson’s at the helm, I look forward to learning more about the history of Warrandyte’s gold mines in years to come.

 

A tail-wagging success

By CLAIRE BLOOM

THE PET SHOW is a long standing fixture of the Warrandyte Festival.

I can’t recall exactly when it started, but I suspect I have MC’d this event for more than 30 years.

And a wonderful and heart warming number of decades it has been.

This year, we again had sponsorship from the Warrandyte Veterinary Clinic who provided some wonderful hampers for the prestigious Best in Show Award.

This year’s big winner being a gorgeous spoodle puppy named Monty.

Other prizes included the Most Unusual Pet, going to a pigeon pair of ferrets (oops maybe don’t mention the pigeons.)

The usual categories such as Dog Most Like its Owner (loved the couple of Wonder Women.) and Shaggiest and Waggiest dogs were lots of fun.

The Loudest Dog in Warrandyte was ear piercing and won by a most vocal fox terrier.

This little rascal’s name is suppressed in case the Dog Ranger gets any ideas.

Well, not really, but it was certainly a noisy little dog.

Of course, Best Trained Dog always excites our imagination, Big Boy Bosley seems to have a new trick each year, and was happy to play dead when his Mum shot him (with her index finger, of course).

Molly, another spoodle, was most attentive as her trainer placed a treat on both front paws, and waited for the command to eat.

I thought I might try this with my black lab, but it’s never going to happen.

Overall, lots of bragging rights as most dogs (and the ferrets) managed to excel at something, including Dog with the Most Appealing Eyes or Best Groomed Dog in Warrandyte.

A big thanks to Judges, WHS Principal Dr Stephen Parkin and Warrandyte Vet nurse, Kimberley and their assistants Mrs Suzanne Martin and Bree.

 

 

Council representation under review

THE VICTORIAN Electoral Commission (VEC) is conducting an Electoral Representation Review of Nillumbik Shire Council.

In this review, the VEC will look at Council elements such as the number of councillors, the number of wards,  where the wards are located and how many councillors represent each ward.

The VEC conduct this review of every Council in the state every 12 years.

Submissions for the Preliminary Report are being accepted until 5pm, Wednesday, March 13 and can be submitted to the VEC in writing or through their website.

VEC Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately AM is encouraging all Nillumbik Shire residents to get involved, as this review will determine how residents are represented by Council.

“The opportunity to have your say doesn’t come around too often, so it’s important to have a broad range of community members contributing to the shape of their local democracy.

“If you are interested in the future electoral structure of your local area, I encourage you to get involved.

“Public submissions are a vital part of the review process, providing valuable local knowledge and perspectives,” he said.

At the last review in 2008, the VEC report recommended the Shire reduce the number of Wards from nine to seven.

Council are vying to maintain the status quo, passing a motion at the February 26 Ordinary Meeting to submit to the VEC that it retains the seven single councillor ward structure.

The submission continues to summarise that current structure is “consistent with seven distinct geographical communities of interest”, that under a single councillor per ward, it is easy for that person to represent the diverse interests of the wards occupants and that under the current system “responsibility for an issue is less likely to be passed from one councillor to another”.

Yet, current submissions from residents do not support this view.

Vince Bagusauskas is submitting a multimember structure be introduced into the ward structure and proposes this would lead to members serving for the “greater good of the community” as “all have to consider all views”.

Narelle Campbell is submitting a proportional representational model, similar to the Federal Senate.

“The Senate model in Nillumbik would provide equal representation of urban and rural residents at council.

“This would go some way towards ensuring urban residents and landowners, and rural residents and landowners are fairly represented and their needs inform local priorities, decisions and laws”.

Local activist and former Greens candidate in the 2018 State election, Ben Ramcharan also supports the concept of proportional representation and is currently campaigning for Nillumbik residents to endorse the idea.

“Political views in Nillumbik are deeply divided between pro-environment and pro-development.

“Each election, the council seems to switch between the two points of view. This causes a lack of continuity, which is a big problem.”

“With proportional representation, there would be a greater diversity of voices and councillors would need to negotiate, as it would be very difficult for either side to get an absolute majority.

“This would result in proposals to council being more acceptable to both sides and less likely to get revoked.

“It would also mean less drastic changes at council elections, resulting in greater continuity for the shire,” he said.

With many shire residents complaining about the town vs country divide and community groups within the Green Wedge fighting with each other and council over ideological differences, the proportional representation model has promise, but is not a golden ticket.

Electoral boundaries, both within and without the Shire are driven — under State law — by the concept of maintaining a consistent voter/councillor ratio and with the population spread as it is within Nillumbik, there will always be more councillors in the more densely populated urban areas.

But this level of change is not part of the current VEC review, although the review offers a great platform to discuss this issue and maybe even begin working on a governing solution to bring about ideological and geographical balance.

“The biggest solvable issue for rural residents is that half of them are not currently represented by their local councillor because of the political divide in Nillumbik.

“Although proportional representation may not solve the problem of rural residents getting less councillors, what it will do is ensure that all rural residents are represented by at least one of their councillors,” said Mr Ramcharan.

If you are interested in posting a submission for the preliminary part of this review you can do it online via the VEC website, by email to: nillumbik.review@vec.vic.gov.au or via post to Victorian Electoral Commission Level 11, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000.

All submissions must contain your full name, address and contact number.

All submissions will be published on the VEC website or will be available for public inspection at the VEC office in Melbourne.

Following the preliminary submissions, a report will be published by the VEC and a window for submitting responses to this report will open.

The VEC review of Manningham Council is scheduled to take place before the 2020 Municipal Election but a date has not yet been announced.

Summer scorchers

Mid-summer means we are mid fire season, so staying safe is a must during the fire danger period. While parts of our community work hard to keep us safe and informed, others have been less than helpful. Explore the issue in this compilation of our hot-weather stories.

Be Aware in an Emergency

By COREY BLACKWELL

MANNINGHAM Council is set to launch a new Emergency Aware program which will empower local communities to prepare for the impacts of various emergency situations. 

The program, which will be delivered in partnership with emergency service organisations, will aim to help local residents develop home emergency plans, and work together so they can be better prepared for the effects of fires, floods, storms and other emergencies. 

Mayor Paula Puccini said that the support of the local emergency services partners and local residents was vital to the success of the initiative. 

“It’s great to see these organisations, the Council and local residents coming together to create a stronger and more resilient community,” Cr Puccini said.  

While Warrandyte’s natural beauty is among its best features, it also leaves our community especially vulnerable to bushfires, making the prospect of an emergency plan even more necessary. 

A recent report published by the SES shows that home emergency plans greatly reduce the impact of an emergency and help those affected recover quicker.

According to the report, taking the time to make a plan helps residents to “think clearly, have a greater sense of control and make better decisions when an emergency occurs.” 

With the aid of the program, Warrandyte’s locals will hopefully be relieved of some of the stresses that come with summer’s scorching heatwaves, knowing they are better equipped to handle potential bushfires. 

Cr Puccini said she encouraged all residents in fire or flood prone areas to get involved in the innovative pilot. 

“Emergencies affect the whole community.

“This program reinforces the importance of working together to plan and prepare for emergency events,” she said. 

The program will see the Council work together with emergency organisations, such as the CFA, MFB, Victoria Police, and the Red Cross, to help residents implement preventative strategies.

To find out more about the program and how to get involved call 9840 9333.

Fair weather fools

Hot weather brings tourists flocking to Warrandyte to engage in the age-old tradition of swimming at the Pound.

Not satisfied with having a dip under the bridge or at the tunnel, swimmers have been heading to more secluded areas of North Warrandyte.

The lack of infrastructure at these locations leads to visitors’ cars blocking roads and, dangerously, impeding access for emergency vehicles.

Cars impede emergency access to Normans Reserve

There were several high fire days in early January, and the North Warrandyte Fire Bridge reported major difficulty accessing Normans Reserve.

Captain of North Warrandyte CFA, Trent Burriss, told the Diary that there were many cars parked along the roadside. 

“We just squeezed through, I had to fold some mirrors in… there was also a car parked across the gate,” he said.

Despite Parks Victoria closing the parks, many visitors ignore the signage and park in no standing zones.

People just don’t care, they come from out of the area, I don’t think it is locals that are doing it, that is the hardest things.

But we get a few people fined and then those people don’t come back, and the next people who come down do it,” he said.

“If there is a fire in there, how are we going to put it out?”

He says the parks all along the river are having the same issues.

“Bradleys Lane, Laughing Waters, Koornong Cresent — we’ve had cars parked on blind corners, we could just squeeze the truck through — but it is a no standing zone, and down at the end there were cars parked in the turnaround — it is all clearly signed, I know Jimmy (Bolton) did a lot of work with that down in the Koornong.”

Capt. Burriss says there are more emergencies than just fire when swimming in the river.

“If they are down there swimming and they hurt themselves or they drown, the other emergency services need access as well.”

The Brigade took to social media to try and warn of the risks of blocking access.

“Nearly 80,000 people have seen that post — which is great.”

He thinks that a tow away zone may be a deterrent, however policing the hot-spots needs to be a priority.

 “Parks [Victoria] should be down in the parks telling people to move on — but who is going to listen to the guys in green, unless you have a blue uniform with a gun on your belt, that’s the only time they are going to listen to someone.”

Station Officer at the Warrandyte Police Station, Sergeant Stewart Henderson, said the local police have been patrolling regularly and, since the early January incident, “are pleased to report we haven’t come across any further instances”.

Capt. Burriss wants people who come to Warrandyte on Total Fire Ban days to exercise caution.

“I know they are trying to stay cool — but go to the beach or something — don’t come to one of the highest fire danger spots in the world,” he said.

Plan to survive

AS WE MARK the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires that devastated communities throughout our Green Wedge, CFA Captains are calling for better education for families in our bushfire-prone areas.

North Warrandyte Captain Trent Burriss told the Diary reaching new residents can be difficult.

“There have been lots of houses for sale, a lot of different people coming into the area — it is a different generation that are moving in now,” he said.

New residents come into the area and are unaware that summer in Warrandyte means being ever-vigilant against the threat of bushfire.

“Unfortunately we can only educate the people who want to be educated, but it doesn’t matter how hard you try,” Warrandyte CFA Captain Adrian Mullens told the Diary.

Capt. Mullens recounted a recent phone call with a resident who was unaware how to respond to a Total Fire Ban day.

“When this guy said ‘we have been here twelve months, my wife is the only one that drives and we have got five kids, how do we know if there is something happening?’; when you get phone calls like that it really makes you start wondering,” he said.

For the record, Capt. Mullens’s advice to his caller: “CFA recommends, on a bad day you make a conscious decision to leave the night before or first thing that morning, don’t wait around until you see smoke and flames, because that is too late”.

Capt. Mullens says a good idea is to educate the children first.

“I have a personal belief that they should be targeting the primary schools, they did it years ago with the ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’… say from Grade 4 up you would have the ability to instil something into the kids — people probably do not get the time to do these things, but if the kids come home and say ‘what’s our fire plan?’, well that’s going to get Mum and Dad’s attention and that is a pretty good way of selling it — to educate the kids, who are going to educate the parents.”

Locals have also been called upon as volunteers for the CFA, but as Capt. Burriss said to the Diary, the brigades struggle to keep up with recruiting.

“The hardest thing is that, and they don’t have time to commit to the fire brigade, and we are a commuter suburb so people go out to work and they just come here to sleep because house prices are higher, meaning they have to work,” he said.

Local CFA brigades offer community education sessions throughout the year, you can also join your Community Fireguard group, and ensure you have a range of options for staying informed during the fire season, such as the Vic Emergency App, the CFA website, or listen to ABC 774 Local Radio for emergency broadcasts.

Check out the Be Ready Warrandyte website, warrandyte.org.au/fire, for tips on making a fire plan for your family.

People and power wilt in heatwave conditions

By DAVID HOGG

WITH WARRANDYTE experiencing many days of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius this January, Facebook has gone into meltdown with complaints about the heat, power outages and traffic delays.

Tuesday, January 15 was one such day and Warrandyte made the Channel 7 News on two fronts.

With the Fire Danger Rating for Central District classed as Severe and a Total Fire Ban in place, AusNet Services went ahead with an all-day planned power outage affecting around 500 residents to do remedial work in Aton Street and Osborne Road.

Affected residents, who had received prior notification, had realised that this was going to be a difficult day and had been phoning and writing to AusNet for a number of days beforehand asking them to reconsider and reschedule the work.

Jillian Garvey talked to AusNet on January 12 and was advised that it hadn’t been cancelled and would go ahead unless a Total Fire Ban was declared.

Meg Downie took to Facebook and wrote “AusNet are so uncooperative; we’ve had lots of ‘planned outages’ with some on very hot days and it isn’t fair to the frail and elderly who may not be able to go somewhere cooler.”

Despite the community uproar, the planned work did go ahead.

The Diary contacted AusNet Services for comment and Hugo Armstrong, Media and Communications Consultant in their Corporate Affairs section, provided the following statement:

AusNet Services’ Statement on January 15 Power Outage

In maintaining the safety and reliability of the electricity network, we are very sensitive to the need to balance the short term impact of maintenance or upgrade works with the long term interests of the community.

In very hot weather we normally review all planned works requiring customers to be taken off supply, to try to achieve this balance.

On Tuesday, January 15, (a declared Heat Health Day and Total Fire Ban day) approximately two thirds of all planned outages on our network were postponed.

The large planned outage affecting 446 customers in North Warrandyte needed to go ahead however, primarily because the work involved was bushfire mitigation work.

Safety regulations give us less discretion to re-schedule these kinds of works.

We thank affected customers for your patience and understanding.

These decisions are not taken lightly, and are made or reviewed at very senior levels within the company.

We remained mindful of the impact on customers (many of whom contacted us to express their concerns), and were able to complete the work (which included the replacement of three poles in Osborne Road, the installation of multiple bays of new overhead line, and some other works) and restore supply some two or three hours earlier than originally estimated.

The same afternoon a major accident occurred on the Fitzsimons Lane bridge between a bus and a 4WD, closing Fitzsimons Lane completely and causing massive traffic diversions in the area.

Again, hundreds of posts were made on social media, with local residents reporting traffic delays lasting hours on the eastbound approaches to Warrandyte.

A major complaint was traffic attempting, unsuccessfully, to take shortcuts through local streets.

Dianne Trenfield wrote “To all of those who try to jump six cars ahead of your fellow traffic jammers…..cutting up Blair St, Cemetery Rd, McCulloch Street and the cemetery end of Brackenbury St will get you nowhere; but we sure enjoy watching you find that out on your own.”

On Friday, January 25, another 40+ degree day with Severe Fire Danger and a Total Fire Ban, power outages hit Warrandyte and surrounding areas.

In the morning it was the turn of around 3,000 properties north of the river to lose power due to a fault, although this lasted less than an hour.

In the afternoon it was the turn of those south of the river experiencing one of the many load-shedding outages due to failure of supply against demand, and this lasted less than two hours.

Facebook was active with locals asking why our power infrastructure is so fragile, debating coal versus renewables versus nuclear, and

generally critical of State and Federal Governments; particularly as Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio had assured us earlier in the day that there would be no risk of blackouts.

This should serve as a warning to all residents that on hot days — and there may be plenty more to come this summer — we may find ourselves without power.

Everybody’s Fire Plan needs to take this into account.

Remember that a temperature forecast of 33C for Melbourne can mean a temperature approaching or exceeding 40C in Warrandyte.

And whilst some chose to vent their fury on social media, others sought cooler places such as shopping centres, cinemas or took a leisurely dip in the Yarra.

Fail safe

Warrandyte Fire Brigade have ensured they are able to remain operational in case of blackout, thanks to a generator purchased with a grant from the Warrandyte Community Bank.

The significant grant of $39,545 from the bank has allowed the brigade to install a 90kVA power plant to run the station in the case of a power outage.

Until the generator was installed, blackouts meant the firetrucks were trapped inside the station.

Captain Adrian Mullens told the Diary that the automatic doors can only be raised by the electric motor.

“Our engine bay doors are electric, so our pagers go and ‘boom’ the doors come up, if the power is out we can play around for ten minutes to try and get doors open,” he said.

The crew has to remove the door from its hinges to get the doors open.

“That adds significant time to our turnouts, and we are under a fair bit of pressure to get a truck out the door within four minutes,” he said.

The generator will now allow the station to remain fully functional during blackouts.

“If the power is to go off now within 10 seconds the generator starts up.

“A lot of places will only put in a relatively small generator, and you 

could only run a few lights, that thing runs the whole station and we have got a little bit up our sleeve”.

Capt. Mullens said that to have the ability to keep the station operational during prolonged blackouts was a major consideration.

“When we have members here waiting to go out on strike teams and the power goes out, we need to be able to continue to have power to run the doors, the radios and other appliances,” Capt. Mullens said.

In the event of a major incident power could be down for days or weeks, meaning that the station could become a lifeline for the community in the face of a Black Saturday level event.

“With the generator, we could continue to run the station as long as we can continue to supply fuel.

“The technology for solar and batteries to run three-phase is not there, so we felt the generator was the only way to go,” he said.

The last part of the installation is to put up a screen to help it blend into the surrounding landscape.

“That’s the way it comes from JCV — bright yellow — you can’t do much about that, but we will put up a fence to camouflage it.”

Despite the large outlay, Capt.Mullens says that he hopes there is no need for it.

“Hopefully it doesn’t get used,” he said.

Fresh approach to fire safety

THE DIARY have teamed up with Swinburne University and the CFA to produce a series of animated fire safety videos.

The resultant videos will be launched on the Diary’s website and social media channels, so watch out for them over the coming months.

http://warrandytediary.com.au/fire-safety/Our first video is up now, and explains the fire danger rating system.

Other videos talk about pet safety, preparing your property, using fire blankets, and fire safety for young children.

“We are blown away by the really out-of-the-box ideas these guys have come up with,” says CFA Region 13 Community Education Manager, Rohan Thornton.

Jaime Kroupa has lived in Warrandyte for around 15 years, and is one of the animation students at Swinburne University.

“It was great working with the Diary and CFA guys as ‘clients’ on our projects, it was great to have the feedback as we went along,” said Jaime.

She says being a Warrandyte resident gave her a better understanding of fire danger than some of her more urban cohort.

“I live only a couple of streets away from Flannery Court, and when the fire hit in 2014 I was at home, we expected the danger would be more in the bush areas around North Warrandyte, so we were a bit shocked when it happened so close to us,” she said. 

Jaime’s video was a stand-out amongst the nine videos produced for the Diary, and we look forward to showing you her work later in the year. 

She is still midway through her course, and she hopes she will finish in two years’ time with a Bachelor of Animation.

From there Jaime hopes to be able to work with some of the big Melbourne based animation studios, so she can work on feature films.

Investing in a “richer” community experience

WITH $400,000 returned to the community this year through grants and sponsorship for a vast array of community projects, Warrandyte Community Bank has now returned a mammoth $3.2million back to the community as it enters its 15th year of operation.

The bank’s commitment to “community” is pretty powerful; its goodness showcased every year via its Community Investment Program which sees up to 80 per cent of the Warrandyte Community Bank’s profit being directed straight to groups within the community in which we live.

As well as the annual grant and sponsorship program, Community Banks across Australia are committed to funding life saving Automatic External Defibrillators which will be installed in Warrandyte and surrounding suburbs in the coming months.

More than 100 guests were hosted at the banks AGM last month for the annual Community Investment Program presentation.

Members from local CFA’s, kinders and schools, sporting, environmental, arts, and community support groups, expressed words of real gratitude, reminding everyone in the room Warrandyte Community Bank is certainly “the better big bank!”.

Projects receiving a share of the $400,000 of community investment included:

Greater Warrandyte CFAs

In line with the bank’s yearly commitment of $50,000 to support the Greater Warrandyte Fire Brigades, this year was no exception.

Warrandyte CFA: Black Start Generator — $39,545

The installation of a Black Start Generator at Warrandyte’s CFA station is considered a vital piece of equipment.

In the event of a power outage the station needs to be operational.

Currently the doors to the station are required to be opened manually (involving the removal of security pins).

They are an occupational health and safety hazard, with potential risk of injury to personnel.

Once installed; in the event of a major emergency in the area, the station would be able to be used as a staging area thanks to the Black Start Generator.

Wonga Park Wizards Junior Football Club: lighting project — $50,000

The objective of the Wizards lighting project is to allow the community to make greater use of facilities all year round.

The Wonga Park Reserve is the sporting and recreation hub for the Wonga Park community.

Lighting on its top oval will allow users to continue to train and keep active during the winter months and will benefit the wider community, as the reserve will be able to be used for night time events.

Project spearhead Annette Felicissimo was thrilled upon hearing the news of the group’s successful application for funding.

“We were so honoured to be the recipients of a major grant and this will make an enormous difference to our community.

“Attending the evening was truly heart lifting, to hear about the projects in the community focused on inclusion and wellbeing,” she said.

 Spectrum Journeys Inc (SJI): Warrandyte SJI Outreach — $10,000

Spectrum Journeys aims to equip and empower Carers and Educators as they support children on the autism spectrum, to flourish.

This is achieved via a range of programs and projects including autism carer counselling, mentoring groups, dads groups, workshops and SJI’s very special blessing bag project.

Spectrum Journeys is passionate about seeing carers supported in their local area.

The Warrandyte Outreach programs will help local families with a child on the autism spectrum.

Run out of Warrandyte Community Church, services include an Advocacy and Mentoring program which equips carers with skills to advocate effectively and wisely in the kindergarten and primary school environment, as well as connect carers with peers who experience similar life circumstances.

Also on offer, will be a Parent Connect program, which works alongside mums who have a child newly diagnosed on the autism apectrum and to navigate mental health challenges, new routines, accessing support and self-care.

Part of Outreach will be accessible and heavily subsidized workshops for carers and educators with leading professionals including Hannah Gamble, a Paediatric Occupational Therapist who lives and practices in the Warrandyte area.

These workshops are a wonderful way to equip many people with strength based strategies for the home and classroom.

Both carer support and education are pillars of this project and are core services at Spectrum Journeys workshops.

Friends of Warrandyte State Park Inc.: Protection of FOWSP nursery  — $3,549

The Friends of Warrandyte State Park (FOWSP) plant nursery, located at the Warrandyte State Park is dependent on one old cement tank and water from the Yarra River to irrigate 60,000 plants a year, most of which are planted out from Warrandyte State Park to the Kinglake Conservation Link.

Water from the Yarra is pumped up to a concrete tank.

The 30 year old pump continually requires maintenance and when it breaks down it can take two to three days to repair, leaving the nursery without water.

This grant will enable the group to replace its old tank and fit a shade sail over the propagation area, providing a more congenial environment for volunteers all year round.

 

Following the presentations, Chairman Aaron Farr spoke of his pleasure on hearing about, the almost 60 different projects, benefitting members of a very diverse range of community groups.

“This year we are returning $400,000 in community contributions, representing 80 per cent of our profit.

“Our full suite of banking products are very competitive, imagine what could be achieved if more locals took them up,” he said.

 

Thanks to the support of its shareholders, branch staff, company board and most importantly its customers, the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank, Australia’s 5th largest bank, has been able to grow to be one of the biggest sources of community funding in the local area.

Drop into the branch at 144 Yarra St, to find out more.

COMMUNITY GRANTS. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION. THE BETTER BIG BANK!