Featured

Connection in the community at wonguim wilam

Feature photo: Michelle Doran

WHAT A WONDERFUL evening in the green space of wonguim wilam with the opening of the Connection Photography Exhibition in Taffy’s Hut.
Many turned up to enjoy an evening of music, singing, and outstanding photography.
The fabulous singer Neeko, whose EP is How Deep started the evening and was followed by Ben Ackerley with Floyd on saxophone.
Councillor Carli Lange opened the exhibition, bringing the relevance of the theme to us with her beautiful words outlining different forms of connection.

“This photography exhibition reminds us of the importance of being connected to our environment and the wildlife that lives within it as well.
We see joining or being joined, the union connection.
We see influential means through whom one can become connected.
We see two or more people interacting with each other without judgment, known as nourishment connection.
We see Time Spent Connection, where connecting with someone or something doesn’t always have to include words — it’s actually about time spent in relatively close bonding.
We all know that connection matters no matter what example of connection we see.
Strong ties with family, friends and the community provide happiness, security, support, and a sense of purpose.
Being connected to others, the land and our spiritual being matters.”

The colour of the ominous-looking clouds remained a focus throughout the evening, but it turned out the weather worked perfectly in favour of the night, with the rain starting right on cue to move people quickly to the location of the dry space under the bridge, in time for the projection event.
This began with Bill McAuley’s Colours of your Soul, sung by Leslie Avril and accompanied by Ricky Ozimo.
Over 100 photos from all the talented photographers that submitted entries then appeared in the slide show, set to music by our favourite Warrandyte artists.
It really did bring people together, and the event was especially lovely in this tranquil setting, with the sound of the swollen river rushing by adding to the atmosphere.
This is the third photography exhibition in Taffy’s Hut, and many people who visit comment about how great it is to see it used for this purpose.
The current exhibition will remain until at least March next year, so if you didn’t get the chance to be at the opening, there is still plenty of time to drop in for a look.
Thanks to all who came and to those who helped make it happen.
Special thanks to Manningham Council Community Grants program.

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A river runs through it

RIVERS are an essential asset for all forms of life.
Humans use them for drinking water and food, business and recreation, and cultural heritage.
The water and the surrounding land are important ecosystems for indigenous plants and wildlife.
Starting near Mount Baw Baw and finishing in Port Phillip Bay, with a total length of 242 kilometres, the Yarra River touches the lives of people, plants and animals through the Yarra Ranges, the Yarra Valley and metropolitan Melbourne.
But 242 kilometres is a long way, and the river we see at Docklands can often feel a long way from the river we see at Warrandyte or Warburton.
To bring awareness and context to the lifeblood of Melbourne, Yarra Riverkeeper Association Chief Executive Officer and accomplished ultramarathon runner Karin Traeger recently ran “from source to mouth”.
Covering 280 kilometres over six days, she has explored the changing landscape of the Yarra river as it meanders from its source to the middle of Melbourne.
That journey, naturally, took Karin through Warrandyte and the Diary, met up with Karin and her entourage to talk about her adventure, which began in the Yarra Ranges beyond Reefton.

Photo: Hilary McAllister

“It’s a pretty, pristine area, really beautiful — lots of forests; pretty remote and isolated, but it’s a pretty nice place, you get to see lyre birds, lots of bush.”

Running 73km with friends from the source to the Reefton hotel, along access tracks and over Mount Horsfall, they took in views of the catchment.

“It was really nice to see the upper catchment, we can see how pristine it is, and it really puts into perspective the change of the river between the origin to what you see in the city.
“It’s such a nice place; it’s very green and lush and has lots of birds, and once you get to the city — it just changes a lot.”

From the Upper Yarra reservoir, Karin made her way down to Warburton, then followed the ranges to Wonga Park and Warrandyte via Healesville, but said that despite some challenging road sections — such as along the Melba Highway — it was interesting to watch the landscape around the river change.
The obvious question at this point is why?

“I’ve been running ultra-distances for the last six years, and I thought, how can I combine my passion for the environment — the river — and my passion for running?
“So, I thought it would be cool to join the whole river in just one run and show people that the same river in Warburton, or Warrandyte, is the same river that is going into the city — because a lot of people don’t seem to be able to connect the two together.
“I thought it would be a good, unique project that lots of people can connect with and use running as a way to advocate for a healthy river.”

The Diary asked Karin what had been her most disappointing and most amazing experience on her journey.

“We found some litter in really like remote places, and we couldn’t understand why people would do that, go out there and dump stuff.
“Why would you go out into the bush to enjoy it and then do that — leaving behind empty cans of beer or broken glass and stuff — it just doesn’t make any sense.
“That was a bit upsetting because it’s so hard to get the stuff out of there.
“We also got an idea of how invasive species affect the environment too; we saw lots of blackberry bushes, stuff like that.”

While some humans are causing environmental damage through littering, Karin said she has also seen a lot of the good that people are doing through their local community or “friends of” groups, volunteering to help restore and maintain the riverbanks and riverine landscape of the Yarra river and the creeks that feed it.
But volunteering doesn’t just mean getting your hands dirty; there may be other ways you can support a local environmental group.

“Some groups might even need help, like, setting up an Instagram page, or you can donate money or supplies and equipment; it doesn’t need to be big.
“Or if you see some rubbish, see if you can pick it up — even carrying one piece of rubbish out of the bush can make a big difference.”

Our lives have developed around the Yarra river, and as Karin has witnessed, the river and its surrounding environment change extensively from a little stream at the source to the vast mouth below the Westgate Bridge.
But it is all the same river, and to advocate for it, we need to be aware of it and actively engage in its protection.
Like Karin says, you don’t need to run an ultramarathon to understand and protect the river; you just need to be aware that whether you are in the heart of the city, at a swimming hole, or deep in the forests of the Yarra Ranges, it’s all the same river, and our impact in the environment affects it all.

New Fire Danger Ratings

THE NEW Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) is here, and it’s time for you to know what it means to us here in Warrandyte.
As of September 1, the whole of Australia has moved to a standardised fire warning system that is much easier to grasp and more efficient to act on.
While many of us clearly understand that on a Code Red day, Warrandyte will be a ghost town, it was in response to one of Australia’s largest surveys that it was clear that the old ratings system caused issues for many Australians.
Common concerns were that the previous system was confusing, that there were too many levels and that there was little understanding around the different ratings represented, especially towards the orange and red end of the wheel.
The result is a new AFDRS, backed by research, with significantly increased contributing data indicators and, most importantly, is more easily communicated.
The new rating system moves towards a pinwheel with the following four colours; each requiring some level of action.
In addition to this, there is the white bar across the bottom left (beneath the moderate rating) where the arrow can sit to indicate when no specific action is required.
Moderate: Plan and prepare
Most fires can be controlled.
High: Be ready to act
Fires can be dangerous.
Extreme: Take action now to protect life and property
Fires will spread quickly and be extremely dangerous.
Catastrophic: For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas
If a fire starts and takes hold, lives are likely to be lost.
These periods of low fire danger no longer require a rating and are covered by the general advice of being aware of potential fire hazards in the home and workplace.
What does that mean for Warrandyte?
Warrandyte CFA welcomes the clearer descriptions and encourages all residents to revisit their bushfire readiness plans to take into consideration the risks that come with our beautiful green wedge and to determine what your trigger points are under the new system for your family, animals, and neighbours.
Lieutenant Camren Jones is responsible for the Warrandyte Brigade’s bushfire preparedness strategies and said the new ratings would mean the Brigades and the general public can be better prepared and make more informed decisions during the Fire Danger Period.
“The Warrandyte community will still get the same fire trucks and the same service from our volunteers,” he said.
Standardising the rating system Australia-wide also means the rating means the same, whatever state lines you cross or environments you may find yourself in when you travel.
The current model has been in place since the 60s, and it stands to reason that science and research have come a long way since then.
The old system is based on forest fire and grass fire indexes.
In reality, there are many other variations in fuel and landscapes, including shrublands, woodlands, and more desert-like environments that are more common as you get closer to the outback.
The new system draws data from eight different fuel types to provide a more comprehensive analysis – but for the folks at home, it is fine-tuned to the four action indicators of the new pinwheel.
Speaking to the science behind the new system: “Warrandyte will not change much with a largely forest-based environment,” said Lt Jones.
“The current system was developed in Victoria in the 50s and 60s and largely suited the terrain of Warrandyte and its surrounds,” he said.
“However, now there is more accuracy, less ambiguity, and with 64 data points for each category rating (rather than the previous two), there is less confusion around when you should act.
“You may find Pound Bend, state parks and playgrounds closing with more clarity; the messaging will be easier to interpret,” he said.
He added that despite the wet weather, now is the best time to review your fire plan.
“Despite the wet seasons of recent times, this is a timely and critical reminder to the community that now is time to re-evaluate your bushfire plans,” he said.
Where can I find the new ratings?
Information on the new AFDRS can be found on CFA’s website.
Forecasts will appear via all the regular media and emergency service channels, with VIC Emergency being your go-to for real-time updates.
It is important to note that these channels are the best source of information about current conditions.
While many local brigades have social media pages or a direct phone number – your best source for the most up-to-date information are the state-wide communication channels.
How to learn more about the system?
If you’re like our Lt Jones and find the science behind the new system interesting, then you can go to www.afac.com.au.
If you don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty, visit www.emergency.vic.gov.au.
When will the road signs be updated?
Emergency Victoria has been tasked with the enormous undertaking of updating more than 3,000 signs state-wide.
While the local signs in the Warrandyte vicinity have not yet been updated, you can expect them to change sometime in the near future.
What do you need to do?
Warrandyte CFA encourages you to think about your preparedness plans, how they change with the new system, and to revise your triggers.
“We are asking all Warrandytians to familiarise themselves with the new rating system, be aware that some old signage may exist for a while, and not get confused by the differences.
“Most importantly, we want to make sure that every person, business, club and group, are making it a priority to review their preparedness plans to include the new AFDRS,” said Lt Jones.
Warrandyte CFA will soon commence their annual pre-summer training for the season ahead.
The brigade operates at an above-the-benchmark standard.
Members not only possess the minimum required skills but are also mandated to take on additional wildfire training, including entrapment exercises and hazardous tree training.
All members planning to participate in the summer season must undertake a pre-summer season practical challenge.
Always remember; if a fire starts near you, act immediately to protect your life.
Do not wait for a warning.

“Why not both?”

Libs to ditch rail plans in favour of health infrastructure

THE VICTORIAN Liberal and National parties  have announced that if they win the November election, the $35 billion first stage of the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) would be shelved, with the funds to be diverted into the health system.
Opposition leader, Matthew Guy said in a press conference on August 17 that Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill stations would be put on hold until Victoria “can afford it”.
This also means an indefinite delay for the remaining stages of the project, including Doncaster station.
Minister for the Suburban Rail Loop and Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said in a statement:

“Victorians voted for this project, that will create thousands of jobs — and Matthew Guy has finally come clean: the Liberals will cut the Suburban Rail Loop.”

Ms Allan said major projects of this scale take time, like with the City Loop — discussions on that project began in 1929 and construction was only completed in 1981.
Ms Allan said our growing city now needs an orbital rail loop to give effect to the vision laid out in Plan Melbourne.
This means that even if the SRL stays on track it will not be ready for decades, but placing it on the back burner will almost guarantee it will not be completed in our lifetime.
M&N Bulletin asked both Mr Guy and Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith, what the Liberal Party would be doing to improve public transport in Manningham, and the associated local jobs, to make up for the loss of the SRL.
Mr Smith told M&N Bulletin the Victorian Liberal-National Party is committed to strengthening public transport options across Victoria — particularly for regional communities — and will have more to say on its “comprehensive plans” over the coming months.

“There is no short to medium term plan by the Andrews Government for public transport improvements in Manningham,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said the Liberal and Nationals’ plan to rebuild Victoria’s health system includes the construction or upgrade of 20 hospitals across Victoria — “delivering thousands of construction jobs and ongoing employment opportunities across these key sectors”.
He said it is “nonsense” to suggest that transport infrastructure jobs will be lost “without acknowledging the jobs created on hospital construction and upgrades, as well as the ongoing and broad-ranging health-related roles.”
He highlighted that the Andrews Government’s own documents indicate that services on the northern section of the planned rail line, from Box Hill to Reservoir, via Doncaster, would not commence until 2043/44, some 21 years away.

“There is currently no funding, no timeline, and no detailed plan for the northern section of the rail loop,” he said. 

Naomi Oakley, Labor Candidate for the Warrandyte electorate in the forthcoming State Election told M&N Bulletin the Andrews Labor Government has released a comprehensive Business and Investment Case and it shows that the SRL project stacks up.

“The SRL East project is underway and people in Warrandyte are incredibly enthusiastic about the overall project and how it will make their lives easier.
“I speak to people every day who love the vision in this project and know what it will bring to our suburbs,” she said.

Legislative Council Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP said he was “very disappointed” to see the Liberal-National Party take this stance. 

“It certainly seems short-sighted.” 

He said Melbourne’s population is continuing to grow, expecting to reach a population of nine million in 2056, the size of London today.
Mr Barton said the SRL is critical to the future liveability of Melbourne, and without it, the outer suburbs will continue to get the short end of the stick.
Mr Barton pointed to Doncaster to illustrate just how important the SRL is. 

“Doncaster is located in the City of Manningham, which is the only metropolitan municipality that is not connected to rail, relying solely on bus services.
This has resulted in overcrowded bus services, forced car ownership, high private vehicle usage, and extensive traffic congestion.
The City of Manningham has been waiting for over 130 years for rail services.
This is despite governments repeatedly proposing and promising rail for Doncaster for decades.
Residents are desperate to be better connected.
The SRL will be critical public transport infrastructure that will change the lives of those along the line, better connecting hospitals, universities, and retail.” 

Mr Barton fears that by not taking action to address connectivity issues now, Melburnians will be restricted to their cars for decades to come. 

“Monash, the biggest university in Australia, would be left without any prospect of a train station.
“We cannot let that happen — the SRL is an opportunity that must not be wasted.
“When I saw this announcement, I thought ‘why not both?’ — Victorians deserve a functioning and effective health care system and accessible public transport,” Mr Barton said. 

Ms Allan said the SRL – to be built in partnership with the Albanese Labor Government — will be a network that connects Victoria’s fastest-growing centres of jobs, tertiary education, a major hospital and research centres and the airport. 

“But it’s not just the Suburban Rail Loop — Matthew Guy also wants to scrap — he has also threatened the Andrews Labor Government’s Big Build Program that currently supports 50,000 workers,” she said.

Ms Allan said Level Crossing removals, road upgrades and train line works would all be at risk under the Liberals.

“He’s walking away from the transport connections that these projects deliver, the jobs they offer, and the wages that support Victorian families,” she said. 

Ms Allan said SRL East and SRL North will take around 606,000 car trips and 2.2 million vehicle kilometres off our roads every single day by 2056.
She said this will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other environmental benefits.
By 2056 it is anticipated there will be more than 230,000 daily extra public transport trips across Melbourne, and an additional 2.4 million walking or cycling trips each day.
Government figures suggest the SRL will deliver up to $58.7 billion in benefits to Victoria and will return up to $1.70 to the economy for every dollar spent.
On August 18, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), commissioned by Mr Guy, produced a report that estimated by 2053 costs for the completed rail project, Cheltenham to Werribee, could end up being more than double the initial government estimate of $50 billion.
But Premier Daniel Andrews  said “one sure way to make sure the SRL would cost more would be to scrap it, delay it, shelve it”.

Council calls for better services in Manningham 

Manningham Mayor Michelle Kleinert told M&N Bulletin, Council has always worked with the government of the day to improve public transport options for the Manningham community. 

“For years, we have advocated for a station in Doncaster and were incredibly disappointed that Doncaster was left out of Phase 1 of the Suburban Rail Loop.”

She said with Phase 2 of the SRL 30 years away, Council will continue to advocate for better public transport options to allow residents to travel to the CBD and major employment, health, education, and retail centres throughout Melbourne.

“Limited public transport options exacerbate Manningham’s lack of health services and tertiary education options — our young people and people needing to access health services deserve better,” Cr Kleinert said. 

With no rail option in sight, she said Council’s Transport Action Plan and draft advocacy priorities include several bus options, including an express bus route that mirrors the SRL alignment.

 Health Plan

Part of the Liberal National plan is to introduce an Infectious Diseases Response Centre.
Mr Smith said the centre would benefit Victorians across the state, including those in Manningham. “It will provide acute care to those in need and be a nation-leading training and research facility to protect communities from future infectious diseases.”
He said in the lead up to the November election, the Victorian Liberals and Nationals will be making further significant announcements about plans to fix the health crisis and ensure all Victorians can get the care they deserve. 

“We will build or upgrade at least 20 hospitals across Victoria — including hospitals in Melbourne’s east — and will have more to say over coming weeks and months,” he said. 

Mr Smith said to support and encourage greater public transport utilisation and as an important measure to attract, retain and reward of the healthcare workforce, the Victorian Liberals and Nationals will provide free public transport for more than 260,000 Victorian healthcare workers.

What is 21st Century Warrandyte

RECENT DISCUSSION in the pages of the Diary has focused attention on the question: What do we want Warrandyte to be?
That is, what do we want the physical character of Warrandyte to be?
Do we want to keep it as a low-density bushland suburb, semi-rural in parts, centred on the environment, the Yarra River, and its heritage connection to the gold rush days and local rock construction?
Or is this concept of Warrandyte one we should leave behind and face up to ever-spreading suburbia: growing population with more subdivision; grander houses; less open space; sacrificing the trees for more buildings; more concrete footpaths, curb and channel guttering – in other words, is it inevitable that Warrandyte should become more like a typical Melbourne suburb?
Or is there something in the middle?
What is your view of the future of Warrandyte?
The question isn’t just an abstract one.
It comes up when Council starts to address drainage, pedestrian safety, and road treatments.
It comes up when Council considers planning permits involving vegetation removal or what constitutes acceptable outbuildings associated with a dwelling.
It comes up in discussions about traffic flows and whether roads should be widened to accommodate more traffic to reduce traffic jams.
It comes up when landowners want to clear their block.

Recent example: Taroona Avenue

The proposal to build a shared pedestrian and bike path down Taroona Avenue sparked a strong reaction from residents over how tree removal, kerb and channel, removal of gravel shoulder used for parking and extensive underground drainage would impact the area’s visual amenity.
Council listened to community views, and we believe a less intrusive option that will still meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists is under consideration.

Recent example: planning in North Warrandyte

As other suburbs become concrete jungles with hard surfaces covering every square metre with almost no vegetation, keeping Warrandyte as a bush and garden suburb requires a constant effort to maintain the planning regulations.
For example, a recent application in North Warrandyte’s low-density residential zone sought to expand the outbuildings and hard surfaces well beyond that which could reasonably be associated with domestic housing.
This application sought the removal of significant amounts of vegetation along with commercial-sized shedding on top of an existing double garage and large shed, which was also proposed to be expanded.
Applications like this are really commercial in scale, masquerading as domestic.
The more this type of development is allowed, the more the residential neighbourhood character is progressively destroyed.

Infrastructure core principles for Warrandyte

In discussions with Manningham Council officers, the Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) has floated a number of proposals around the question of how infrastructure works should be approached in Warrandyte.
Proposals have covered topics such as: What core principles should govern infrastructure works in Warrandyte?
How can Council engage in community consultation at the earliest possible design development stage instead of at the end of the process?
Can Council adopt a process of context-sensitive design for infrastructure works and adopt design guidelines and design treatments sensitive to neighbourhood character, environmental concerns, and historical features?
Local conservation stonemason James Charlwood and bushland expert Glenn Jameson have proposed several core principles that could be considered foundational for infrastructure works around our town.
To summarise and inspire, WCA believe new infrastructure projects in Warrandyte should: recognise, protect, and emulate Warrandyte’s historic character protect indigenous vegetation, and new planting should attempt to emulate the natural ecology, recognise that Warrandyte is the premier riverfront township and should enhance water quality, protect the banks of the river and its tributaries, and support the principle that slow water is good water, facilitate pedestrian safety and enjoyment, reduce fire risk by managing moisture and vegetation to reduce fuel load and hazard, foster storm abatement by slowing and retaining water to reduce storm impact and, foster sustainability by using natural materials instead of concrete wherever possible.
Concrete is one of the main contributors to global warming. It damages topsoil, the most fertile layer of the earth, and it creates hard surfaces, leading to runoff that can cause soil erosion, water pollution and flooding.
Natural materials reduce our carbon footprint and are reusable.
James has researched replacement stone suitable for high-stress applications such as kerbs and gutters, which is geologically and visually compatible with local Warrandyte stone.
He has a deep understanding of design and specification for the use of stone in civic applications.
Other local professionals such as retired civil engineers Maurice Burley and Doug Seymour have developed ideas around a context-sensitive design process and infrastructure treatments that are alternatives to the standard “concrete everything approach” typical of suburban infrastructure.
These will be explored in future articles.
We will also cover issues related to the health of the Yarra and how drainage treatments impact the river, creeks, and the natural environment.

We are all in this together

Warrandyte is a connected community, and if we are going to lobby government at all levels to create a 21st Century Warrandyte that genuinely represents its community, then the people that make up that community need to share their views.
The ideas presented in this opening article are just one set of ideas; whether you agree or disagree or have an alternative concept for Warrandyte, you need to tell us – so that, as the Environment League did in the 70s and 80s, the community is bound by a set of ideals that say “this is my home”.
Please get in touch with WCA via their website and send your thoughts and ideas to: editor@warrandytediary.com.au.

Will Placemaking destroy Warrandyte’s spirit of place?

By SANDI MILLER
MANNINGHAM Council has been busy around Warrandyte.
Council appears to be busily adapting our environment to a new modern aesthetic.
They call it “Placemaking”.
A new park and playground at the bridge, a newly landscaped garden behind the community centre, a new barbeque area at Warrandyte Reserve, and they proudly claim that we now have every road paved and seem to be working towards having every footpath concreted.
Wonderful, you might say.
But did they ask us?
As part of the Manningham 2040 Strategy, the council did in fact ask, and the feedback it received, and has recently endorsed, was “the key priorities/concerns for Warrandyte Village were about maintaining Warrandyte’s character, keeping it green and improving connection to the Yarra River and along Yarra Street.”
Instead, Council has rolled out infrastructure “upgrades” and “masterplans” with breathtaking regularity, sometimes giving consultation short shrift.
Even before the community consultation is completed on the Taroona Avenue shared path, they have excavated a new spoon drain installed a culvert beside the small oval, and installed a concrete barbeque area on what was once a green lawn.
At the Community Centre, at least one established eucalypt tree has been removed above and beyond the masterplan.
The footpath at the bottom of Webb Street was meant to be just that, a paved path – however, they seem to have cheekily taken the opportunity to install curb and channel gutters alongside the new path – and have conveniently forgotten to apply the promised colour treatment that was meant to allow it to blend into the surrounding landscape.
Since the last edition of the Diary went to print, the cement trucks have rolled in across the township, and there have been massive concrete pours at the Community Centre, Warrandyte Reserve, Stiggants Reserve, and wonguim wilam.
As we discuss what we want Warrandyte to be in this edition, it seems “what we are” has already been changed.
The Wurundjeri speak of tika lara, Spirit of Place.
Warrandyte has always had a strong tika lara, but Manningham Council has come in with Placemaking as if we don’t already have one. We HAVE a place – we ARE a place.
Placemaking could be the word of 2022, a high-concept bureaucratic buzzword born out of the depressing realisation – during lockdown – that Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs did not have a sense of place – or a place to be.
But does that make it a good fit for us, and is it justification to tame our Wild Warrandyte?

For additional coverage of this issue, see pages 3-7 of the August 2022 Warrandyte Diary

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What do we want Warrandyte to be?

TALKING POINT

JAMES CHARLWOOD is not only a Warrandyte local but an advocate for
retaining heritage through appropriate building.
He is Director of Cathedral Stone, a stonemason leading in the field of traditional stonemasonry and conservation.
He recently gave a talk on the subject as part of a series of talks organised by Warrandyte Historical Society; a recording of his talk can be found in the link at the bottom of this story.
Following his talk, the Diary reached out to Mr Charlwood to continue the conversation on what we want Warrandyte to be.
Mr Charlwood is passionate about using herit age techniques and materials sympathetic to that goal in all aspects, from what materials we use in our buildings to what our drainage systems look like and to avoid — what sometimes feels like — the inevitable Elthamisation of Warrandyte if we continue to let convenient, utilitarian, building practices run rampant in our town.
The Manningham Planning Scheme is under review, and while the public consultation has ended, it is still a great time to start discussing what Warrandyte is to us — its current, new and future residents.
Mr Charlwood has noted some key discussion points, which we have summarised below:

Iconic landscape and historic character

Less than an hour’s travel from Melbourne’s CBD, and even serviced by a direct buys route, the bush setting and proximity to wildlife and the river is a big draw.
So, why would we use planning policies and overlays which work against the natural environment, not with it?
Our township’s history lives in the walls of its buildings and the stones in its footpaths and is reflected in the trees, river and bush in which our houses sit.
Growing development pressure on our Warrandyte Township means we’ll lose Warrandyte as we know it.
We need to identify our unique Warrandyte character and adopt this into roadside landscapes and new buildings; through context-sensitive
design, using traditional and heritagesensitive materials, our town can evolve without losing its character.

Premiere riverfront township

By population and proximity to CBD,
Warrandyte is the number one riverfront township; there is no other.
Warrandyte’s community is responsible to all of Melbourne to be leaders in managing river water quality and river environs.
Concrete gutters and pipes treat water as a waste product and discharge polluted water into the river.
The solutions currently available to us seem to be either spoon drains or curband-channel, which are dangerous, and rubbish strewn or undesirable.
Water-sensitive drainage alternatives that mimic natural water-cycle systems would reduce stormwater runoff, and the risk of harmful pollutants and algae blooms impacting our natural environment.

Carbon abatement in action

Concrete production is one of the highest carbon-emitting activities; its product can only be used once.
Natural stone can be dug back up and repurposed.
State and Municipal engineers are addicted to concrete.
Examples include the rough handling and crude workmanship at the bridge bus stop stairs and the poor rendition of our civic landscape along Yarra Street (c. 2010).
Let’s get jingoistic about Warrandyte… or we will lose it!
The engineers are coming; let’s not Elthamise Warrandyte.
whsoc.org.au/foundation-stonepresentation

Heritage wrap

The June 2022 edition of Warrandyte Diary has several stories around the theme of heritage – in relation to construction, preservation and planning, these stories make up our feature article this month.
Feature photo: PAUL KELLY

Memorial Gardens embrace our spirit of place

By DON HUGHES

QUIETLY NESTLED in the heart of Warrandyte is a place of deep reflection, commemoration, and connection.
Warrandyte Memorial Gardens commemorate our fallen warriors.
Overlooking wonguim wilam and the Warrandyte bridge, the Gardens are a place to remember and reflect upon the tragedy of war.
Each Anzac Day, our community gathers to commemorate and pay their respects to our service personnel.
Daily, the Gardens also provide a place for individual reflection and respite; every community needs a special place like this.
Warrandyte RSL, as custodians of the site, are working actively to preserve the heritage and spirit of the Gardens, as well as maintain and upgrade the facilities for modern-day needs.
Warrandyte RSL President and current serving Army Engineer, David (Rhino) Ryan, highlighted that:

“The Gardens require significant upgrading to bring them into the 21st Century.
Many challenges face the steep site, hewn into the rocky riverside slopes of Warrandyte, where access is difficult for many.
Careful landscape engineering can tame and complement this special place”.

Gifted to the people of Warrandyte in perpetuity by surviving soldiers and grieving families of soldiers from WWI, the Memorial Gardens offers a sacred place for all.
Vietnam Veteran and Memorial Trustee, Lionel (Horrie) Aldenhoven, told the Diary:

“Dominating the Gardens, as a symbol of resilience and respect, stands an impressive stone tower.
“Built by local stonemasons early last century, it embodies the blood, sweat, and tears of a whole community within the stone and mortar joints — the heritage significance of this special place is obvious — it connects the whole community.
“As the current custodians, we must ensure it remains so”.

Manningham Council has previously provided much needed financial support to Warrandyte RSL, providing $25,000 in 2018 to facilitate vital structural repairs to the balcony section, which had become unsafe and was closed to the public. Yarra Ward Councillor Carli Lange reflects on the importance of the Memorial Gardens.

“The Warrandyte Memorial Gardens are a peaceful, sustainable, and inclusive space where we can celebrate life with its diverse culture, wildlife, and the natural environment.
“Warrandyte is resilient, and we can build on our community’s assets through inspiration and reflection, to provide quality public spaces that support health, happiness and wellbeing,” she said.

Local stonemason, James Charlwood told the Diary that careful consideration should be given to any works on the Memorial Gardens to maintain the integrity of the stonework.
Pointing to the redevelopment of the bus stop at the base of the gardens, “which was a miserable failure”, Mr Charlwood said that using the right stone and skilled stonemasons is vital.

“The revitalisation of the whole memorial precinct that myself, David Ryan and others have talked over is very much in need, with non-compliance of the pathways and lack of ramps, and the lack of a cohesive plan.
“It is an expensive exercise, but to have a well-formulated masterplan approach, particularly regarding stonework and hard landscaping, that adopts some principles and approaches that would then see it happen bit by bit eventually,” he said.

As always, careful collaboration and active consultation, engagement and education will be essential for any pathway forward which considers the whole social, spiritual, historical and physical environments of the site.


Riverbank works near completion at Taroona Reserve

By JAMES POYNER

CONTRACTORS have now completed major bank reconstruction works at Taroona Reserve, a Melbourne Water spokesperson attributed the works to “extensive recreational use which resulted in heavy erosion in the area”.
The spokesperson went on to outline the project.

“Works include the construction of a rock wall made from mudstone followed by planting a mix of grasses, shrubs and local canopy species.
Temporary fencing will also be installed to protect the plants while they grow.
The plants will be maintained over the coming years and will provide habitat and shade for the future.
This project, which is due to be completed in July 2022, will ensure recreational use can continue without further eroding the bank and causing more degradation to the existing vegetation, habitat values and water quality in the river itself.
The work is part of a larger capital works program, the Middle Yarra Habitat Improvement Project, which includes revegetation works and weed control at 13 locations along the Yarra River between Templestowe and Warrandyte.
Areas are selected in consultation with Parks Victoria, Manningham Council and Nillumbik Council as land managers along the Yarra from Templestowe to Warrandyte.”

Users of Taroona Reserve will note that the bulk of the works are complete, and the beach is again available for use.


Exploring our heritage foundations

By VALERIE POLLEY

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Photos: PAUL KELLY

A MOST APPRECIATIVE audience of some 50 people attended a recent talk held by the Warrandyte Historical Society, titled Foundation Stone, presented by James Charlwood of Cathedral Stone.
The newly renovated Federation Room at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte proved an ideal venue for James’ illustrated talk. He started by asking what heritage is before running through many photos of heritage buildings.
He proposed that heritage is both personal and accumulates across generations.
He argued it attaches to our place and to the detail of our township and the natural environment.
He suggested that heritage places are like children, unable to care for themselves and need us to look after them.
He covered the requirements of the Burra Charter with its guiding principles.
Using the restoration of a stone statue of Robbie Burns initially placed in the Camperdown Botanic Gardens and severely degraded over time, James showed that teams are necessary for this kind of work. It entails replacing like with like; it requires research for authenticity and craftsmanship using all the available skills and disciplines.
The photos of before and after the restoration demonstrated the level of detail required.
James then touched on the various themes of historical significance for the town. Indigenous heritage and bushland environment, people, gold mining, arts, stone, and Warrandyte’s place as one of the premier riverfront townships on the Yarra River (Birrarung).
James discussed a plan currently being compiled. This plan hopes to identify sources of similar stone as replacement stone given the local stone is no longer quarried; how and where to stockpile any remnant stone as buildings are demolished or renovated, and develop a policy for the use of the stone in the township.
James finished with a proposal for a draft set of core values for the town (a summary follows):

  • Maintain the township character, Care for the natural environment;
  • Preserve river health;
  • Encourage pedestrian amenity;
  • Deal with fire risk;
  • Manage storm abatement;
  • Work on sustainability.

James appealed to his audience to join with him and others working towards plans for the future.
His final slide showed several curb treatments in the town centre area.
It illustrated the various solutions over time (from bluestone and stone to concrete channelling) and highlighted the lack of a cohesive view for the future.
It inspired a great deal of conversation and debate over afternoon tea.
A recording of James’ talk can be viewed at : warrandytediary.com.au/community-collaborations
This story first appeared in the Warrandyte Historical Society newsletter and has been edited for this publication.


Planning review

MANNINGHAM Council is reviewing its Planning Scheme and is seeking community input.
Under the Planning and Environment Act 1982, the review is required by the local government every four years.
In particular, feedback is sought about:

  • What aspects of the Planning Scheme are working well?
  • What aspects of the Planning Scheme need improving?
  • What is missing from the Planning Scheme?

The Planning Scheme includes the following key themes:

  • Residential/neighbourhood character
  • Environment/rural areas
  • Activity Centres
  • Employment Heritage, arts, cultural and leisure
  • Transport and car parking

Manningham Mayor, Cr Michelle Kleinert, says,

“I encourage everyone in the community to get involved.
“Now is the time for your input to help shape our future directions for the planning scheme.
“Any proposed changes to the Planning Scheme require approval from the Minister for Planning.
“We will continue to advocate on behalf of our community to reflect their values and needs,” she said.

The community have until Monday, June 20, to submit feedback via: yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/planning-scheme-review.
Council has also scheduled a drop-in session at Manningham Civic Centre, 669 Doncaster Road, on Thursday, June 9, between 4pm and 7pm.
No other drop-in sessions have been scheduled at the time of writing.


Have your say:MP calls for road upgrade

MEMBER FOR Warrandyte, Ryan Smith stood up in State Parliament recently to speak on behalf of Warrandyte constituents asking for upgrades to Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road.

“As the major arterial for entering and exiting the township of Warrandyte from the west this road is in desperate need of upgrading.
The limited street lighting along the road is also concerning particularly with Warrandyte High School and local sporting grounds being in such close proximity and the cyclists on the road also face safety issues, due to the lack of lighting.”

He then asked the Department of Transport to complete an audit of the road quality and safety and undertake resultant works.
Does Mr Smith speak for the people of Warrandyte in asking for urbanisation of our rural road, which would fundamentally change the gateway to our township?
Let the Diary know.
Send your comments to editor@warrandytediary.com.au

Celebrating our volunteers

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER Week took place from May 16 to May 22, and this year’s theme was “Better together” – exploring how volunteering binds our communities and makes for a better society.
National Volunteer Week is a fantastic opportunity for government and communities to recognise its volunteer organisations and for those same organisations also to put themselves in the spotlight for a change.
So often, volunteers in the community go unnoticed as often the service they provide makes someone else the focus of the attention.
The Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) is one of these volunteer organisations in which the actions of its volunteers are often only highlighted as a response to tragedy.
As part of National Volunteer Week, communities across Australia were encouraged to participate in Wear Orange Wednesday on May 18 and use the hashtag #WOWDay and #ThankYouSES on Social Media as a way to thank and celebrate the work of SES Volunteers who serve their communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week through storm, flood, road crash rescue, and much more.
In recent years, the team that produces the Manningham & Nillumbik Bulletin and the Warrandyte Diary has witnessed and reported on the efforts of local SES teams who have assisted communities of the Yarra Valley and Ranges after severe storms and floods.
As part of WOW Day 2022, M&N Bulletin spoke with Manningham SES member Jen Selmore about what it means to be a member of Manningham SES and why she keeps turning out.

“We all have our reasons for joining Manningham SES as a volunteer — many along the similar lines of helping the community, giving back, learning new skills and supporting those in need.
“But why do we stay and dedicate so much time to a volunteer role?
“If you ask any SES units, they all have several members who have been there 10 years, 20 years, some even 30 years!
“We stay for our team, for the good we do that you can tangibly see out in the community, sometimes for the thrill and potential — there is nothing better than a successful result from a boating rescue or land search for a missing person.
“The specialised skills we are exposed to are incredible.
“It’s funny to think many of us started as complete novices — desk workers with somewhat low practical skills but with time, patience, lots of training, and ongoing practise, we are now capable chainsaw operators and can set up temporary repairs on your roof to stop rain getting in, and will search for you if you get lost during your hike or day out on the water, and have the skills to assist with other agencies to get successfully get you to safety.
“Being able to attend requests for assistance, especially during times of crisis, and actually first-hand seeing how you are directly helping someone is a feeling like no other,” she said.

M&N Bulletin thanks SES and other emergency agencies for the efforts of their volunteers in keeping communities safe.

“Better together” in Nillumbik

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In addition to Council’s many volunteers, thousands more people throughout the Shire contribute their time to a range of community groups, services, facilities, clubs, causes and organisations.
Mayor Frances Eyre said National Volunteer Week is a time to appreciate the selfless contributions of all our volunteers.

“Nillumbik benefits from high rates of volunteerism, which is a wonderful reflection on the sense of community that runs through our Shire.
“On behalf of Council, I’d like to thank, recognise, and celebrate the volunteers who do such great work in Nillumbik.
“From our L2P driving program through to Community Transport, Friends Groups, and In-Home Family Mentoring — to name just a few — our volunteer programs are broad-ranging and something we should all be truly proud of,” she said.

 

As part of National Volunteer Week, Nillumbik Council puts the spotlight on one volunteer and one organisation to highlight some of the volunteering that helps make the Shire a community.Linda Hagen is a volunteer with Council’s Community Transport team and helps out with the Social Support Group as a volunteer driver and group assistant.
Linda enjoys her volunteering roles and says what she loves most is “meeting people and hearing their stories about the area, and helping those who are vulnerable and lack transport options”.
She encourages others to explore volunteering and help make a difference.

“The more people get involved with volunteering, the better we can be,” she said.

Nillumbik Council also put on a special volunteer celebration event for the volunteering community; some photos from this event have been printed with this story.
You can read more about Nillumbik Shire Council’s Volunteer celebration event in June’s Warrandyte Diary.

Volunteering in Manningham

Manningham Council also held a volunteering appreciation event at the end of National Volunteer Week, and we will have more on that in June’s Warrandyte Diary.
Don Hughes volunteers for several community groups, including Warrandyte RSL, Warrandyte Historical Society and Warrandyte Scouts. He is a volunteer contributor for Warrandyte Diary and spoke to M&N Bulletin about being a volunteer.

“Many local groups have a diverse range of opportunities to volunteer.
From a young Joey scout who serves you a cuppa and a scone at the market, through the parent running out the water bottles at a footy match, to the volunteer bar staff at the RSL, the opportunities are broad.
Fundraising often underpins many of these groups.
Our Op shops capture much of the ‘tourist’ dollar that can be injected towards worthwhile community priorities.
Spectacular results can be achieved through volunteerism, such as our very own wonderfully run Warrandyte Festival.
Our volunteer Fire Fighters and Emergency Service volunteers work alongside career professionals providing an ultimate level of safety and protection for our community.
For many of us, available time is a huge issue.
However, much can be achieved by even the smallest offering of assistance.
There are innate rewards of satisfaction, coupled with the gift of learning and sharing knowledge in volunteering.
All of us can make a difference.”

There are opportunities to learn new skills and connect with your community through volunteering.
If you are inspired by this feature to volunteer but don’t know where to start, visit easternvolunteers.org.au which encourages and supports volunteering in the community in a range of areas including aged care, environmental, sporting and community organisations.
If you are part of an organisation desperate for more volunteers, contact us at M&N Bulletin to see how we can help spread the word.

Celebrating Neighbourhood House Week

WARRANDYTE Neighbourhood House is celebrated the start of Neighbourhood House Week 2022 with an exciting, free Community Morning Tea on Monday, May 9 at 11am and the whole community is invited.
Neighbourhood House Week, happening May 9–15 is a national initiative, which celebrates the role of over 1,000 neighbourhood houses in local communities across Australia.
Warrandyte Neighbourhood House is one of 400 in Victoria.

“We are super excited to be bringing our community together to celebrate what makes Warrandyte Neighbourhood House such a special place for so many locals,” Manager Lana Bedford said.
“It’s been a tough time with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are proud of everything we have done to make it a little easier for our community.
During lockdown the organisation launched a food relief program in partnership with CareNet and made welfare calls to our vulnerable participants who live alone, just to have a chat and make sure they were doing ok.
It was so important to us that no one felt completely isolated during such a difficult time.”

Lana said the morning tea would include a number of guest speakers including Hanh Tranh, from local Warrandyte business PoppySmack.
Hanh will share her stories and culture and will also demonstrate how to make delicious rice paper rolls.
Beautiful Zeus, the Diary’s very own Canine Correspondent, had also agreed to make a special appearance.
His owner Don will share how Zeus became a Service Dog.
Morning tea will be provided.
Nicole Battle, President of the national peak body Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association, said this year’s Neighbourhood House Week theme was about re-emerging and rebuilding a harmonious and resilient community after the lockdowns that saw so many Australians isolated.
Ms Battle said:

“I am so proud to lead such a resilient, responsive and adaptive sector, made up of so many selfless and hardworking individuals.
Neighbourhood and community houses and centres have truly demonstrated their weight in gold over the past two and a half years.
While so many other services closed during the lockdowns, Victorian neighbourhood houses stepped up.
Around 96 per cent of neighbourhood houses continued to deliver in varying capacities, and 60 per cent ran food relief programs, responding to a significant rise in demand.
Other services our houses provided included childcare, remote adult education, home deliveries, wellbeing calls, letterbox drops, online social gatherings, technology support and device hire.
Neighbourhood houses also played a valuable role during the rollout of the vaccine program, creating awareness and combating vaccine hesitancy.
Some even hosted pop-up vaccination sites at their premises to make the vaccine more accessible to vulnerable community members.
This Neighbourhood House Week we acknowledge this incredible effort and the staff, volunteers and community members who made it all happen.
However, now as we begin to re-emerge, we are looking to rebuild those strong social connections that many people lost, building a stronger, more resilient community than ever before.” 

Visit https://www.nhvic.org.au/nhw to find Neighbourhood House Week events near you.

Events in Nillumbik during Neighbourhood House Week

Diamond Creek

Thursday 12 May: 1-3pm: Launch of weekly drop in cuppa and games – FREE
Friday 13 May: 1pm: Restoration of “Welcome” mosaic + afternoon tea – FREE

Eltham

Tuesday 10 May and Thursday 12 May: 3.30-4pm: Cupcake decorating workshops for children – FREE
Wednesday 11 May: 10-11.30am: Macramé workshop – FREE
Wednesday 11 May: 3-3.30pm: Shared afternoon tea. Bring a plate and make new friends – FREE

Panton Hill

Tuesday 10 May: 11.30am-12.30pm: Build a clay cup/plate/bowl and enjoy lunch – FREE
Wednesday 11 May: 10am-2pm: Create a wellbeing garden and enjoy lunch and afternoon tea – FREE
Thursday 12 May: 9.30am-10.30am: Active Movers exercise class – FREE

Bring back that loving feeling

TRACY BARTRAM has a frypan she loves.
That love has lasted longer than her two marriages.
She has just renewed her vows with her frypan at the Warrandyte Repair Café.
“I was with my second husband 17 years, and I took the frypan when I left — I took the frypan when I left the first one — even though it was his best friend who gave it to us.”
There’s something about cast iron frypans — they get better with age.
She explained that even though the iron was still great, the handle was perished, so she couldn’t hold the pan straight.
“Where the handle went into the frypan itself, when I picked it up, it would swivel — that was dangerous, so I thought I’ll take it to the Repair
Café,” she said.
I had only been to the Repair Café once or twice before, and — full disclosure — the idea of going to a Repair Café filled me with anxiety.
“I live with anxiety, and I live with depression — I’m a recovering alcoholic — I can go into a room with thousands of people that need me to
entertain them or do a keynote — that’s my job —but if you ask me to go to a dinner party or make small talk with people, I have enormous trouble,” she said.
She considered the Ringwood Repair Café, but Tracy feels a real connection with Warrandyte having spent her happiest times in Warrandyte when her family first migrated to Australia.
“And because this was in the Mechanics’ Hall — and I know the Mechanics’ Hall — and because Warrandyte is my spiritual home — I
felt less anxious.
“The first time I went, I had something to repair and found Carol, who sews; she can fix anything.
“Then I was hanging on to this frypan pan over lockdown.
“When I walked in with it, it was like an old home week, because everyone was like ‘Tracy, how are you going,’
and I saw Carol and I saw Greg down the back and David the coordinator came, he said ‘what have we got today, Trace?’ and I said ‘well…’ and I showed him my frypan.
“I just love the whole process,” she said.
Tracy said three men were involved in repairing it.
“Dave came down with some washers, they took the handle off, and there was a guy called Jelle who had some wood putty, and they put that in.
“And then put another washer on the end and he said, ‘let it sit there for 24 hours, so it gets harder, and then you can use it’ — and I was just beside myself,” she said.
“It just makes me feel really happy to do that — and I’ve got my frypan back!
“The first thing I did was go home and re-season it and cook something — boom! I’m back in the game,” she said.
Tracy said the whole idea of “reduce and recycle” was a foreign concept when she was a child.
“I didn’t grow up with that — I’m a kid who grew up in the 70s where everything was thrown away.
“My parents had a giant bin in the kitchen, and everything went in that, bottles, cans, everything.”
She said she is glad things are now moving toward more sustainable practices.
The other item Tracy had repaired on that day was a pair of denim jeans.
Tracy had a pair of jeans she adored but were now just good for gardening,
so she brought them in to get a bit more life out of them and put a patch on them.
“I bumped into my friend Christie, and she came up to me and said, ‘I’ve just taken a pair of jeans to get shortened, and Carol’s going to use the denim offcuts from my jeans to fix your jeans’,” Tracy said.
“I just love the fact that everyone’s so excited when things are repaired — and I’ve seen people getting chargers for computers fixed, instead of them going into landfill — even the most mundane things can be brought back to life — the whole vibe is very Warrandyte.”
She said she is surprised that more people are not using this incredible resource we have in the Warrandyte Repair Café.
“And it doesn’t matter what it is, just take it down, because if they don’t have someone to fix it, they’ll say ‘leave it with us and come back next month’, Tracy said.”
The Repair Café is run by the Warrandyte Mechanics’ Institute Arts Association. It is open 10:30am–12:30pm on the first Sunday of every
month at the Mechanics’ Hall, corner of Yarra Street and Mitchell Avenue, Warrandyte.
The Repair Café is always looking for more fixers, so if you can help out, contact the Warrandyte Repair Café Co-ordinator, David Tynan, at
davidtyn@gmail.com.

Manningham’s new pet plan

HOW MANNINGHAM’S cats and dogs are managed over the next four years is in the final stages of review, with Council currently seeking community comment on its draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2022–2025.
Local Councils in Victoria must develop a fresh Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP) every four years under the Domestic Animal Act 1994.
The plan exclusively manages cats and dogs; other animals and livestock are managed under different legislation, such as the Livestock Management Act 2010.
In June 2021, Manningham Council began developing its latest DAMP.
At that time, Warrandyte Diary contacted local animal advocacy group Friends of Manningham Dogs and Cats (FOMDAC) about what they would like to see in the 2022–2025 DAMP.

“FOMDAC would like to see cat curfews explored, especially in environmentally sensitive areas.
It is now rare to see dogs roaming in the streets, and we would like to see owners confine their cats to their own backyards.
It would be sensible for owners to keep their cats indoors/confined at night (we must protect our local flora and fauna).
We would like to see plans to safely assist residents in evacuating their animals in an emergency.”

In their statement, FOMDAC went on to talk about the need for more off-lead dog areas and better access to poo bins for dog owners.

“FOMDAC would also like to see more poo bins along walking trails.
Aranga Reserve has been a great success and a model which other councils have followed.
FOMDAC believes there is a need for more secure off-leash parks similar to Aranga.”

Talking points in the proposed DAMP include a 12-month pilot for a 24-hour cat curfew, a review of the number of dog waste bins, and investigations into fenced, dog off-leash areas east of the Mullum Mullum Creek.
The 29-page draft DAMP is available to read on Council’s Your Say website, which also includes a feedback form; anyone with a vested interest in the welfare of cats and dogs, in Manningham, over the next four years is encouraged to read the draft plan and supply any relevant feedback before April 12.
According to local government data, 10,410 dogs and 4,155 cats are registered in Manningham, which is an increase from data collected in 2019/20.
Visit yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/damp to have your say on this important issue.

Planned burn in Warrandyte

UPDATED: Thursday March 24

FOREST FIRE Management Victoria (FFMVic) will be conducting a planned burn at Pigtail Track in Warrandyte State Park this Saturday, March 26.

This 10.9 hectare bushfire risk reduction burn is on the eastern edge of Warrandyte State Park.

Walking tracks in Warrandyte State Park in and near the burn area will be closed to the public, smoke will be visible in the area and FFMVic are expecting the smoke to move towards the south Saturday morning, then towards the north and north east later in the day, which will mean it may be smoky in Warrandyte township and could drift towards houses as the wind changes.

See map for burn area.

If there is visible smoke in the area it is advisable to close doors and windows and take any necessary health precautions.

Map courtesy FFMVic

Stay informed about planned burning

Sign up forautomated notifications about planned burns near you at Planned Burns Victoria www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns
Visit www.ffm.vic.gov.au
Call the VicEmergency Hotline on freecall 1800 226 226
Download the Vic Emergency app to see the location of ignited burns.
Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can contact the VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.

Run Warrandyte: the tale of the trail

THAT INTERIM period where the cricket season is winding down and the footy season hasn’t quite started yet means only one thing for our local running community; it is time — once again — to lace up those runners and tackle the Run Warrandyte fun run.
This is the second year of the 21km course option, and the allure of a half-marathon and any excuse to run the picturesque riverside trial in Pound Bend saw me two-for-two with the 21km distance.
For those who do not know, the 5km–21km distances are one to four laps of a course that takes runners up Everard Drive and onto the Tank Track, before a sweeping downhill section to the walking track, then the hard slog up to Third Street, before following West End Road back down to the Sports Pavilion and the start/ finish.
With its placement at the beginning of March, often bushfires, dehydration, and snakes are your biggest worry.
But, the recent, unusual weather and the brief soaking the township received the previous day, the course and conditions were cool and damp, making for some fast single trail through the lush, green forest alongside a flowing Yarra River.
Four laps of this course has you out there for a long time, but starting first and finishing after all the other distances had been completed meant I managed to see most of the other distance runners out on the course.
From 5km to 21km, young kids to seasoned recreational runners, everyone was smiling and just enjoying being out in Warrandyte’s bush environment.
Hats off to the community of volunteers who gave up a sleep-in on a Sunday morning to guide and cheer the runners around the course.
With a little over 100 metres of elevation per lap, the 21km event accumulates between 400 and 450 metres (depending on your smartwatch) of elevation over the four laps, which makes this course fun but challenging at any distance.
The atmosphere around the event village was electric, and kudos to the organisers who have designed a course where the buzz of onlookers and the activities in the event village invigorates and motivates you to go another lap.
I can say with certainty that the Run Warrandyte fun run has matured into an excellent community event, and I am looking forward to taking on its challenging hills and trails in 2023.
I hope they don’t add any more laps; I might not be able to help myself.

For all of this year’s results visit: https://www.runwarrandyte.com/

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NaNY Gallery off to a great start

THE NEW NaNY art gallery in the main street of Warrandyte has been an instant hit with locals and visitors alike.
Located inside the Now and Not Yet café and featuring local artist Jacinta Payne’s work as the first exhibition, the feedback to the gallery has been extremely positive.
Seven of Jacinta’s paintings have been snapped up by eager purchasers.
The next exhibition will be of North Warrandyte artist Tori Swedosh’s work. Entitled Can you see the beauty in it? this exhibition will feature works of mixed media, paintings, and sculptures.
“It all started by taking photos of mud”, said Tori.

“I’m a member of an awesome Facebook page called Warrandyte Nature.
“There are gorgeous photos of all the amazing birds, animals, flowers and sunsets around this beautiful place where I live in northeastern Melbourne.
“It was lockdown, and we were all confined to a 5km radius of our homes.
“I was meditating one morning down by the Yarra, and as I opened my eyes, I found myself looking at sloppy, mushy mud and some strands of grass that were growing out of it.
“It struck me then how we mostly don’t even notice the beauty of the earth beneath us.
“It’s easy to appreciate a great photo of a kangaroo, a wombat or an Eastern Rosella. “But dirt and leaves? I posted some photos on the page where a very funny conversation ensued. “’What is it?’, ‘Is there a snake?’.
“My response: ‘Nope. Just mud.’
“It made me laugh.
“Then I started to notice the exquisite quality of the fine details around me.
“A feather stuck in some leaves, bark from various trees, shadows and reflections.
“It’s endless if you dive into the minutiae of nature; the closer you look, the more detail you can find.
“It’s really quite wonderful.
“And it’s awesome to know that we are connected to all things and everyone.”

Nillumbik Council has provided a grant for the exhibition through their Nillumbik Artist in Own Residence program.
This program has been developed to commission opportunities for local creatives to create for, or with, community from their own unique art spaces.
Tori’s work has been produced in her home studio in North Warrandyte.
The exhibition opening night is on Sunday, February 6, from 5pm to 7pm.
The gallery will be set up as an immersive experience of the Warrandyte forests.
Wine and canapes will be served.
Other upcoming Exhibitions are as follows, with the opening night to be held from 5pm to 7pm on the dates below:

  • Kim Charbonneau, from April 3, 2022.
  • Myra Carter, from June 5, 2022.
  • Bronwyn Elmore, from August 7, 2022.

To stay informed of future exhibitions and events at NaNY Gallery follow their Facebook page at fb.me/NaNYGalleryWarrandyte.

Photo’s supplied

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Jazz takes up residence in Hurstbridge

IT WAS ALMOST like the “old days” at the launch of the Hurstbridge Jazz Club on Friday, December 10.
For a few hours, patrons could forget about lockdowns and all the restrictions endured due to the pesky pandemic and enjoy some world- class jazz.
Of course, there was still the COVID check-in process to do (effortlessly managed by the organisers), but the buzz of excitement from both the audience and performers was palpable.
Joy would be how I would describe the feeling in the room — joy and awe that such top-notch music was being delivered so close to home. Following an incredibly tough two years for the creative industry, it was an exciting night for musicians and music lovers alike.
With the continued uncertainty around the globe as we emerge from COVID, musicians’ opportunity to perform in their own community is more important than ever.
The club was launched by the Kimba Griffith Quintet, who are musicians at the top of their game.
Equally impressive were the young musicians who performed as special guests.
Jazz, I am told, is often a divisive genre — you either love it or hate it.
The audience was a mixed bag; yes, there were some seasoned jazz lovers in the room, but there were just as many people experiencing this type of music for the first time, and I would say that “love it” was the vibe for the night.
The music was divine, energetic, and foot tappingly addictive.
The musicians were masters of their craft, visibly delighted to be performing again and even more so in their own community.
And then there was the venue — the Anglers Club in Cherry Tree Road, Hurstbridge, is a tiny building you could be forgiven for never noticing.
Yet, it has been there for over 50 years.
Once a Guides’ hall, it is now a converted black box theatre managed by Eltham Arts Council, also the setting for the regular Comedy at The Anglers sessions.
This unique venue is intimate and interesting. Patrons are seated at cafe tables or on comfy couches with coffee tables.
There are candles, the odd red velvet curtain, a house piano, and a small, excellently lit stage.
Bring Your Own is the go, although a generous platter was also provided for those who forgot to bring any nibbles.
The venture was a huge success, led by local musician Ryan Griffith and supported by a Nillumbik Community Fund arts and culture grant.
Ryan said the idea for the club came about due to the impact the pandemic had on live music performance.
“Everything, all gigs, stopped or were cancelled. “I have many professional jazz musician friends who live in the area who were naturally in the same boat, so I thought wouldn’t it be great to bring some live jazz to our local area and foster a scene here for local players of all ages.
“We have some of Australia’s finest jazz musicians living in Nillumbik.
“Traditionally they wouldn’t play much around town because they are always touring or playing city clubs.
“Hopefully this jazz club will provide a dedicated place for jazz in Nillumbik,” he said.
Ryan went on to speak about the club’s mission to foster younger jazz artists and will feature an up-and-coming jazz musician at each event. “They are incredibly talented and I know that our audience on December 10 loved our young artists as much as they did the feature band,” he said.
Three hours whizzed by.
The interaction between the band and the audience was a bonus, being refreshingly humorous and engaging.
The stories behind the songs and personal reflections were all part of the performance.
You get the sense that this is just the start of something special.
And at just $20 a ticket, it is not only a very affordable night out but one that doesn’t require a trek into the city.
The Anglers Club is destined to become a hidden gem in Nillumbik’s cultural repertoire.
Due to the size of the venue, tickets are limited, so book soon for the next event in January 2022.

Next performance

January edition of Hurstbridge Jazz Club featuring the Gideon Brazil Quintet and The Forbidden Groove.
7–10pm, Friday, January 21, 2022.
Anglers Club, 31 Cherry Tree Rd, Hurstbridge, Tickets: www.trybooking.com/events/ landing?eid=848960&

Meet our new Yarra Riverkeeper

Photo: Bill McAuley

WHEN CHARLOTTE Sterrett came to Australia at the age of 19, she fell in love with the Yarra River.
She has now been appointed its keeper.
Melbourne’s “upside-down river” is a unique ecosystem that brings nature, culture, and people together.
It wends its way 242 kilometres from near Mt Baw Baw, through the Yarra Valley and finishes in the Port Phillip Bay.
It is an important part of Warrandyte’s identity.
This is why the Diary is delighted that Warrandyte resident, Charlotte takes up her mantle as Melbourne’s third Yarra Riverkeeper in January.
Working with the Yarra Riverkeepers Association (YRKA), she will continue her lifelong work as an advocate for the environment. Warrandyte Diary caught up with Charlotte following the announcement of her appointment.

WD: Firstly, what is a Riverkeeper?
CS:
The Riverkeeper, along with the Birrarung Council is there to be a voice for the Birrarung — a voice for the Yarra — to tell the story of the river from source to sea.
There are lots of stories there, historical stories, stories of now, stories of people and all the creatures.
And to educate people about the problems facing the Birrarung, which we know are litter, pollution from chemical waste, unsustainable development, water flow, and climate change — to educate people about those issues but also work together on the solutions.
There are lots of people who use the river and are involved with the river. There are 16 Councils that the river runs through, plus Melbourne Water. But this role is very much about educating people about those problems and working on the solutions together.
The YRKA also does a lot of the clean-up work as well as work with community groups to clean up the river.
The Association has done a lot of research on the types of plastic pollution — polystyrene balls being the number one — and then there are about eight regeneration sites along the river, including Westerfolds, where YRKA does that regeneration work. So, my role as Riverkeeper is to really talk about all the things that the organisation is doing, and connect people with the river, whether they are a politician or local community group, school, or local council.
I will be the third Yarra Riverkeeper, Ian Penrose was the inaugural one, he used to live on my street, and started the Yarra Riverkeepers Association as a volunteer group, and then Andrew Kelly took over about six years ago. YRKA CEO Warwick Leeson is also from Warrandyte, he became involved a couple of years after it started. Warrandyte has got some amazing people.

WD: Why is the Yarra special to you?
CS:
When I first came to Australia I found the Australian environment very different to the English countryside. When I first came to Warrandyte, doing some volunteer work with a local Landcare group, it was on Hamilton Road near where I live now, I remember seeing the river and it was so different, the colours, the smells, the trees, just the natural environment was so different, so captivating.
Nature sometimes does this — it makes you feel a different way, it makes you feel calm and peaceful and relaxed, I love being surrounded by nature, and I remember thinking at the time I really wanted to live here. I love being on the river canoeing, I do that quite a lot, and we are very fortunate in Warrandyte that we can swim in the river, which you don’t get to do farther downstream.
You can be at the waterhole down near the end of our street, you feel like you are really out in the bush in a big way, and you can really feel why the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people see the river as part of their identity.
I would love for other people to feel that way too, that they really see the river as part of their identity.

WD: What was your journey to this point?
CS: I used to work in outdoor education for schools and that was part of the journey, I used to take kids out into the bush canoeing, rafting, lots of bushwalking, some rock climbing, so I have always liked nature.
I then worked with Oxfam in southern Africa, and very soon after that, I became interested in Climate Change. I have been working in International Development for about 17 years.
I have worked in about 20 countries worldwide including lots of countries in the Pacific.
My most recent role was working with World Vision providing support to countries that are trying to adapt to Climate Change.
Locally, I have been with Warrandyte Climate Action Now (Warrandyte CAN), and Osborne Peninsular Landcare Group.
This role helps me combine all these roles that I love – working on environmental issues, working with local communities, working on solutions, and advocating for the right kinds of solutions, that are good for people and the planet.
I guess COVID has shaken things up a bit and I decided I would like to do something more local.
I think being at home has really helped me reconnect with the area and the Yarra has been somewhere that has really helped lots of people, and myself included, to get through the various lockdowns.
I have really come to appreciate it, which is why I want to do this work. We are very lucky in Warrandyte to have the river right there.

WD: What are you looking forward to in this role?
CS: I am excited to learn more about the work that is happening to protect not only the Birrarung but the other waterways that come into the Birrarung, like the Maribyrnong, there is a Riverkeeper for that river too, and a Port Phillip Bay Keeper.
In fact, in Australia, there are about seven waterway keepers and over 300 around the world, so I am really interested to learn about what are the issues that all these people have been working on with their communities.
The river to me is like a living breathing entity, the lifeblood of Melbourne, so it is a real honour to speak for the river.
Since it was announced I was the riverkeeper, people have contacted me out of the blue like a lady up in Millgrove talking about the regeneration work they are doing alongside the river, and Port Phillip Eco Centre spoke to me about the things they are doing at the mouth of the river.
I have worked a lot internationally on some of the international transboundary issues like the Mekong or the Brahmaputra that comes off the Himalayas, and now I get to work on this river, so it doesn’t feel like a job, it is something I would do anyway, so I am very excited about that.
I will be working with the government as well, there is a whole bunch of Yarra River planning controls and a Strategic Plan, including a 50-year Community Vision.
I’ll be working with Government and Melbourne Water to implement that, but also hold them to account.
As well as working with the Birrarung Council and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Corporation.
I am really excited about working with First Nations people.
I have worked with First Nations groups overseas, so to be able to do that in Melbourne is fantastic.
I look forward to educating people in a way that they learn more about the river and the river’s history — and it is a fascinating history, especially since white man came and really changed it, diverted it, it is a very different river downstream than it used to be.

WD: What can we all do to help the Yarra?
CS: Looking after the river is everyone’s responsibility, I might have the title of the Yarra Riverkeeper, but we are all riverkeepers.
We love the river, we love where we live, and it is our responsibility to look after it.
It is a personal responsibility to treat the river with respect, not dropping litter and not polluting the river, but it is also talking to people about the issues that face the river.
I think we are very lucky in Warrandyte that we have quite a strong community that has been able to keep the character of Warrandyte alive for a long period of time.
But urban development along the river corridor is a big issue, obviously closer to the city we see more of this issue.
Until recently, Warrandyte had septic running into the river, and there are fertilisers running into the river from people’s gardens, and broader issues of Climate Change, and people becoming educated about the impacts of Climate Change on water flow — the river doesn’t have enough flow for it to be fully healthy — so people recognising that and talking to local and state government about those issues.
One thing that has been interesting during COVID was that people have been more connected to their local environment.
It is important that we don’t take these areas of natural beauty for granted.
The Yarra/Birrarung provides 70 per cent of Melbourne’s drinking water, so while people might see their river as being a brown river, they might not realise the catchment provides our drinking water, so we need to protect that.

WD: What is your favourite part of the river?
CS: I have a couple of favourite spots, at the bottom of Osborne Road, just off the path on the right-hand side, just below one of the rapids, where Jumping Creek comes out, you can swim there, depending on the river level, I love going down there.
Not far from there is a beautiful spot with a massive rock that in the morning gets all the sun on it and the whole side lights up with beautiful orange light and it is just glorious.

The sky’s the limit for Doomsday Pilot

Winners of Rockfest 2021, Eltham Festival Battle of the bands 2020, Doomsday Pilot is a four-piece heavy rock band formed at Templestowe College, made up of group members Pablo Benzon Tuke (Vocals), Skyte O’Malley (Guitar), Gus Foletta (Bass), and Halley Simpson (Drums). Making a name for themselves, and starting to work the pub circuit, the Diary’s KIERAN PETRIK-BRUCE sat down with the group to discuss everything Doomsday Pilot.

How was the band in its current iteration formed?
Halley: Back in the midst of 2019, around mid-year, we were placed in a music performance class. It was just Skyte and me in that class, everyone was forming groups and whatnot, and I think we were the last ones.
Skyte: The nerds!
Halley: And we just looked at each other and were like, hey, you want to play together? Sure. Then we were thinking, who plays bass? I think Gus played bass a few times.
Gus: I never had, you were wrong, but it didn’t matter.
I originally joined as a guitarist but then Skyte was better so I was like, ok, I’ll pick up bass then.
Halley: Pablo was a more recent addition
Pablo: They had another vocalist.
Halley: But they changed schools, which made it hard.
Pablo: Skyte and I have known each other for a while, so when he didn’t have a vocalist, it took him a while, but eventually he texted me, “do you want to do vocals for us”?

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How has being at the same school together helped the music?
G: I don’t know if it would have worked if we weren’t at the same school
H: Obviously access, the facilities the music program has is unreal, a professional-standard recording studio we have access to whenever we can.
P: I think the way it was organised it’s very supportive, if you’ve got a lot of passion the music program will just kind of let you pursue that, even if that meant you sitting in the music room all lunchtime, every lunchtime.
Who are your musical influences?
G: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Royal Blood made me want to play bass.
S: Very into The White Stripes, Royal Blood, and Jeff Buckley is very important in expanding the more complicated parts of my writing that isn’t just power chords.
H: Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, really anything influenced by Dave Grohls drumming.
P: I sort of picked up singing, with early 2000s pop-punk so Panic! At The Disco, Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance.
Now the singing I’m doing sounds a lot like Jeff Buckley, but I’ve never listened to Jeff Buckley!
How did you get the name Doomsday Pilot?
H: We basically had a sheet of random song names and album names and we simply pieced them together Doomsday Pilot and we were like, damn, that’s a pretty epic name. It doesn’t have any real relevant meaning behind it. Also, the fact that it’s really easy to find on Google and streaming services as no other artists run by that name.
How did it feel to win at Rockfest?
H: We were absolutely off the walls when the winners were announced! We were incredibly doubtful as to whether we could win just due to the great number of artists that entered and at such a high standard. It’s a confidence booster, if we get this music to the right people, yeah, they will appreciate it for what it is, and we can get results like that.
P: Yeah, it was a nice confidence booster
G: It feels like a bit of an ego booster, but I don’t want it to be!
H:Wellhe(Gus)gotnominatedforbest bass player as well.
And you only picked up the bass two years ago?
G: Yeah about that long.
Over lockdowns, have you picked up any new instruments, or played around with any new sounds you might incorporate?
S: Saxophone Solo!
P: I want to play some piano.
H: Pablo is a bit of a freak on the piano, so imagine we would be incorporating some of that.
G: And more Cowbell!
Is the progression of the sound something discussed, something you’re trying to do?
S: It just sort of happens, it gets very boring if you do the same thing over and over again.
P: I think the way the band kind of works, everyone is in the band because the other band mates want them to do whatever their thing is.
So what’s next, anything new and exciting brewing?
S: Well, we are working on an EP, four tracks and we are in the final stages.
P: Most of these we have had for ages.
S: We just want to get them out, we hope within a month.
H: I would hope by the end of the year.

For those wanting to hear Doomsday Pilot’s newer music before their EP drops, the tracks are a part of their current set list, and with lockdown ending the group hope to have a few gigs in November.
Keep a lookout on their Facebook and Instagram Pages for upcoming event details.

Sawdust in his veins

RYAN GASKETT HAS spent the last 10 years with the smell of sawdust and two stroke in his nostrils.
The filmmaker has been filming chainsaw artist Leigh Conkie since 2012 for the feature length documentary Leigh, which will have its premiere screening at ACMI in December.
Ryan first met the iconic Eltham artist while at film school.
He said he had always loved looking at the sculptor’s “outdoor gallery”, which is a feature of everyone’s commute along Eltham’s Main Road, so he jumped at the chance to interview him.
“We had to make a short documentary, and I chose to do stories from the neighbourhood, and a friend introduced me to his neighbour, and I interviewed him for two hours and made a 10-minute documentary about him,” he told WD Bulletin.
Ryan said the initial short film could not do the chainsaw artist justice, as there was so much more he wanted to tell about Leigh, so the initial interview was the first of many filming sessions they had over several years.
In late 2014, Ryan filmed Leigh sculpting a female asylum seeker holding a baby.
Then, Ryan said, they did a late-night installation of the work on the lawn of The Age’s then headquarters in Collins Street, Melbourne.
Within hours, security guards had removed the sculpture, but the installation had made its point — raising awareness of refugee issues and generating thousands of “Likes” online.
While Leigh Conkie is known around Eltham for his chainsaw art, Ryan said the film is not really about that, it is about the man behind the artist.
“He’s had a pretty hard life, he was abused as a child, had been in a major car accident, and he was in a pretty down place”.
Ryan said at one stage, Leigh lost the passion for his art and was just producing playground features for the money.
The bulk of the film was recorded between 2014 and 2016, when Leigh made the decision to turn his life around.
“He was going through a pretty low point in his life at the time, and he decided to give himself a goal and go to Japan to climb Mount Fuji,” he said.
Ryan said while that was a pretty “out there” thing to do, anyone who knew Leigh thought it was totally something that he would do.
“I actually have the moment he made the decision to do it on camera, he made his mind up while we were in the middle of an interview,” the filmmaker said.
From then, he stopped drinking and started running and working out and eating healthy — although he wouldn’t give up the cigarettes.
Ryan said it was a big deal for Leigh to attempt something as big as climbing Mt Fuji, because at the time he could barely walk to the local 7Eleven.
But Ryan was there with Leigh every step of the way, documenting the long road to his health and his art.
Originally crowd sourced through Pozible, the filmmaker managed to get a host of local collaboration on the film, including local composer Charly Harrison scoring the documentary, and including music from the Teskey Brothers, and Gotye.
The film was originally due to be premiered in October, but due to COVID, the screening has been moved to December, and has already sold out.
A second ACMI screening in February has just been announced, and if you get in quick, tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

‘Leigh’ – Documentary Trailer from Ava Grace Productions on Vimeo.

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Photos courtesy: RYAN GASKETT

A Woi-wurrung name for our park

THE UPGRADED park and land along the Yarra River in Warrandyte, locally known as Lions Park, will be given an official Woi-wurrung name to reflect the language, culture and heritage of the local Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people.
Once endorsed by Council at its September meeting, the park will be officially named wonguim wilam.
Following earlier consultation with key stakeholders, Manningham Council met with the Warrandyte Lions Club and Masterplan Community Reference Group, who showed support to adopt a Woi-wurrung name for the park.
Council has worked with Aunty Doreen and the Wurundjeri Woi- wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, who has provided the park name of “wonguim wilam” [pronounced “won-goom willum”], which means “boomerang place”.
Manningham Mayor Cr Andrew Conlon said Council’s commitment to reconciliation is underpinned by respect for the rich and complex nature of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung culture and heritage and thanked the Warrandyte Lions Club for taking up this important opportunity in reconciliation.

“While Council has committed to creating equity, equality and building relationships, and is close to finalising our Reconciliation Action Plan, reconciliation requires a commitment from the whole community,” he said.
“The Lions Club has shown their willingness to be a community leader by supporting this name change.”

In the coming weeks the precinct will officially adopt the Woi-wurrung name approved by the Wurundjeri Woi- wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, honouring the original owners of the land.

“We would like to thank past and present members of the Warrandyte Lions Club of the last 40-plus years for maintaining the park and the tennis courts, as well as contributing $45,000 towards the latest exercise equipment,” Cr Conlon said.

Warrandyte Lions Club President David Englefield said it was an honour to look after the park and provide a much loved gathering space for the community over the last four decades.

“The Lions Club has always been looking to make a difference and improve the lives of the Warrandyte people and others in our community,” he said.
“Reconciliation is important and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Council and with due consultation, provide leadership in honouring First Nations communities.”

Works on the playspace upgrade are anticipated to begin early next year and completed by mid-2022.
The completed upgrade of the park will feature significant signage taking visitors on a journey through its history and the involvement of the Warrandyte Lions Club.
Manningham will continue to work with the Warrandyte Lions Club on recognising their contributions on a plaque and interpretive signage.
Manningham will continue to work with the Warrandyte Lions Club, Warrandyte Historical Society and the Warrandyte Community Association on the maintenance of the park to ensure it honours its past and present custodians.
An official naming ceremony is planned to be held when COVID restrictions allow.

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Lions Park “Taffy’s Green” set to stay

CONSTRUCTION IS set to commence on the Lions Park upgrade along the Warrandyte River Reserve, following Manningham Council being awarded a $300,000 grant as part of the Victorian State Government’s Local Parks Program. Manningham Mayor Cr Andrew Conlon said Manningham was successful in securing the maximum value of the grant per project from the Government’s $10 million program, and works are anticipated to begin early next year. At the end of 2020, Manningham consulted with the community on the concept plan for a new play space as part of the park’s upgrades. When the completed Stage 1 works were unveiled at the start of 2021, there were many that attended the highly successful Year of Wonders exhibition at the site who asked Council to retain the grassy area adjacent to Taffy’s Hut and happily, this has now been incorporated in the amended plans. Council said results showed there was a good level of support for the new play space, designed to connect children with nature and offer play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities.
“Thank you to everyone who provided feedback. “We’ve reviewed these and have adjusted the final plan,” Cr Conlon said. Overall, the community were in favour of the concept’s direction, including the natural look and feel of the space. However, Cr Conlon said there was large support for the existing grass space to remain, which required planners to reduce the size of the play space.
Changes to the final design include:
• retention of the open grass space
• reduced number of picnic tables
• smaller footprint on the main structure
• one less spinner.
The stage two upgrade includes:
• full play space design and upgrade
• new shelter, drinking fountain,
BBQ, picnic area to accompany the play space
• new art piece with an indigenous focus and community art piece.
“The successful grant application will enable us to make the necessary amendments and carry out the works, improving the amenity of the park,” said Cr Conlon. Works on the upgrade of the play space are anticipated to begin early 2022 and to be completed by June 2022. The existing play space will be completely removed for the duration of works. Council says the new upgrades will expand the existing play-space and aims to further connect the community with the natural habitat of Warrandyte. The play space is inspired by the animal crossing structure completed in Stage 1, and gives children the impression of moving among the trees like native animals. It will feature play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities. In addition, the ceramic leaves produced at the Warrandyte Pottery Expo have now been installed along the Warrandyte River Reserve. During the 2021 Warrandyte Pottery Expo, Warrandyte ceramic artist Jane Annois and Clay Talk at Montsalvat led a children’s art activity in creating these colourful “leaves” representing leaves from the local area. Landscaper, Crafted Landscape has now installed the new art element along the path edging by the new shelter under the bridge. Stage 2 works are anticipated to be completed in mid-2022.
The final plan is now available on: yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/lions-park.