News

FIRE RESTRICTIONS are scheduled to end later this month in Country Fire Authority (CFA) areas of Manningham and Nillumbuk.
A statement from the CFA said, in the latest Australian Seasonal Outlook, above average summer rainfall has led to a reduced bushfire risk for autumn.
These conditions have led to a reduced fire activity in both grasslands and forests this summer.
Victoria will continue to experience milder conditions and lower bushfire potential over the coming months.
CFA District 13’s Fire Danger Period will end at 1am on Monday, March 22 in the following Municipalities:

  • City of Knox
  • City of Manningham (CFA area)
  • City of Maroondah (CFA area)
  • Yarra Ranges Council (CFA area)

At 1am, on Monday, March 29, the Fire Danger Period (FDP) will end for CFA District 14, which includes the following Municipalities:

  • City of Melton
  • City of Wyndham
  • Shire of Nillumbik
  • City of Whittlesea
  • City of Hume
  • City of Banyule

CFA District 13 Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Colin Brown said the grass is too green in some areas within the District for fire to be sustained.

“Meanwhile other areas may see low intensity fire sustained with low flame heights and controlled with minimal effort,” he said.

A/ACFO Brown emphasised that while the FDP is coming to an end in some areas, it is still important to remain vigilant.

“We’re urging everyone to stay safe, whether you’re living in or travelling to high bushfire risk areas,” he said.

CFA District 14 Assistant Chief Fire Officer Christian Thorley also reminded people that even though the fire conditions are favourable, vigilance is still required.

“Please monitor the conditions on hot, dry and windy days, as we may still see some days of elevated fire risk,” he said.

While the Fire Danger Period will come to an end, it is still important that residents check the local conditions are safe for any burn-off they were considering undertaking.

“You must register your burn-offs, check weather conditions and follow local council laws and regulations.
“Registering your burn-off ensures that if somebody reports smoke, the incident will be cross-checked with the burn-off register, which will then prevent CFA crews wasting resources and showing up at your door,” AFCO Thorley said.

Landowners can now register their burn-off online at firepermits.vic.gov.au.
Burn-offs can also be registered by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs@esta.vic.gov.au.
When conducting burn-offs, remain alert and always have resources on hand to extinguish the fire.

Keep your burn off safe and legal

Check fire restrictions in your area and always register your burn at www.firepermits.vic.gov.au.
Check and monitor weather conditions — particularly wind.
To avoid unnecessary calls to emergency services, notify your neighbours beforehand.
Leave a three-metre fire break, free from flammable materials around the burn.
Have sufficient equipment and water to stop the fire spreading.
Never leave a burn-off unattended — stay for its entire duration.
If your burn-off gets out of control, call 000 immediately.

Featured image courtesy CFA Media

Information Warrandyte shuts up shop

INFORMATION WARRANDYTE closed its doors during the COVID lockdown, and now operator Doncare has decided not to continue operating from the Warrandyte Community Centre site.
Originally the Warrandyte Citizens Advice Bureau, the service commenced operations in 1986 in the Old Post Office and, since November 1991, has been situated at the Warrandyte Community Centre, operating as Information Warrandyte Inc.
In 2017, Information Warrandyte, in partnership with Doncare, commenced delivery of Emergency Relief services following discussions about the provision of local services in the Warrandyte area.
After suffering some significant hurdles in 2019, Information Warrandyte sought the support of Doncare to continue operating.
Doncare provided the following statement:

“Following lengthy discussions with Manningham Council, in March 2020 the Committee of Management agreed to wind-up Information Warrandyte’s Incorporated Association due to the lack of recurring funding.
At that time, with the support of the outgoing committee and subsequent funding from Manningham City Council, Doncare committed to not only continue the services offered from this site, but to expand and build a strong and robust connection to the Warrandyte community.
Of course, no-one could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic and its profound impact on the Australian economy and society.
Like many other Community Service Organisations, Doncare faced a wide range of sustainability-related implications as the impacts of COVID emerged.
The financial implications on our fundraising due to the temporary closure of the op shops and cessation of fund-raising events and initiatives has been detrimental to our income streams.
While the Op Shops have since reopened, due to a reduction in volunteers and the current economic crisis, the recovery to Doncare’s income has not eventuated, thus, to remain afloat Doncare has implemented cost-saving measures, including reducing its paid workforce from the top down.
Sadly, the stretch on Doncare’s resources has meant that we are not able to adequately resource a second site.
Therefore, with a very heavy heart, Doncare will not be operating from the Warrandyte Community Centre.
Doncare strives to provide innovative, high quality, person-centred services and we pride ourselves on developing initiatives that place the organisation in a robust position to respond to community demand in Warrandyte.
While our plans to deliver services from the Warrandyte Community Centre have been hampered by COVID-19, we continue to provide services to members of the Warrandyte community from MC2 in Doncaster.
Whether we are supporting socially isolated seniors with volunteer supported recreational activities, or paying their winter bills, helping disadvantaged kids get to school or to camp, providing counselling to teens or families, helping women and children escape family violence, or simply being a source of community connection, Doncare’s presence in Manningham, and particularly Warrandyte continues.”

Information Warrandyte has a long and proud history, and some volunteers had provided their valuable service for decades.
One volunteer, Joyce Wilks provided this reflection on the legacy of Information Warrandyte:
“It was run by a voluntary Committee of Management and at their peak they had as many as 38 volunteers.
Most Information Warrandyte volunteers completed a 50-hour accredited training course, and a few volunteers were also accredited to offer Tax Help for eligible low-income clients.
Many volunteers were very loyal, and even after moving away from Warrandyte they continued to come in weekly to do their shift.
Three volunteers put in over 30 years of service.
However modern technology and smart phones took a toll on Information Warrandyte with less visitors and clients needing their services, so the decision was made to disband after serving the Warrandyte community for 34 years.
A final get together was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic until March 2021 when many of the volunteers enjoyed catching up with each other at Petty’s Orchard for morning tea.”

New hope

The good news is that all is not lost.
Manningham Council is actively working to re-establish a service for the Warrandyte Community.
Manningham Yarra Ward councillor, Carli Lange told the Diary:
“Many community groups would love to utilise the space and to work together for the benefit of the community.
“Manningham Council will conduct an expression of interest and looks to have a vital support facility for its community”.
Support services continue to be available from Doncare at their Doncaster facility at 687 Doncaster Road.
The Diary will keep across the issue and will provide updates on the reinstatement of welfare services for our community.

Your daily coffee — at what price?

IN EARLY FEBRUARY, café and restaurant workers in Adelaide’s Chinatown started protesting about wage theft and unfair working conditions.
The public protest was in response to a video recording of a young worker asking her boss to pay her what she was entitled to — the recording then shows an alleged assault between the worker and her employer.
Needless to say, it sparked the protests.
We have all heard about wage theft at some of our most well-known restaurants (and other large companies) in Melbourne, which led me to wonder — what is happening in our own backyard?
We use our consumer power to support businesses and industries doing the right thing — whether they use free-trade coffee, free-range eggs, or discounts when you bring your own cup.
But what about the more obvious issue of treating the often-young workers that serve us and make our coffees also ethically (and legally) by paying the right wage?
We all want to support our local businesses — there are 190 registered food businesses in Manningham.
Wouldn’t you prefer to support those businesses doing the right thing?

What is wage theft?

Wage theft is basically not being paid what you are entitled to as stipulated under your relevant industrial award.
It also includes underpaying penalty rates, superannuation, overtime and other entitlements.
Making unauthorised deductions from an employee’s pay is also considered wage theft.
It is a “practice” found in businesses big and small.
The practice is so extensive that it has become some kind of warped business model — a business model based on exploiting people — in particular our young and vulnerable people.
I spoke with Tim Kennedy, the National Secretary of the United Workers Union (which covers hospitality workers).
He said the problem is the norm in the hospitality sector — which employs mostly young people.
“What we found over a long period of time is that wage theft is not an aberration it’s a systemic operational tool.”
How has it become the norm?
Mr Kennedy said: “This was less of a problem about a generation ago — when unions had right of entry and could check that workplaces were doing the right thing.
“Once these rights were removed there were no checks.
“So no one’s been checking for a whole generation and that’s why we have the problems we have now.
“Now it’s a race to the bottom.
“We’ve seen what big businesses have done — they’ve set up systems to systematically steal wages from their employees.
“It’s a sophisticated well-resourced and super profitable system.”

Warrandyte is not immune

It is everywhere.
Sometimes — despite all the fresh air, wildlife and majestic gum trees — bad things happen in Warrandyte too, just like everywhere else in Melbourne and beyond.
The experiences of local young people shed a light on what has become the norm in Warrandyte and surrounding areas.
However, some Facebook users were shocked to even think that this could be happening in Warrandyte.
“I would expect they all pay the correct rate”, said one person.
“Is there any reason as to why you suspect they aren’t?”, asked another.
Even council expects businesses to be doing the right thing.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon said:
“We expect all businesses, including restaurants and cafés, to comply with the requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009, which include fairly paying employees at a rate no less than the national minimum wage.”
Despite expectations, wage theft is happening.
Meanwhile comments (public and private) were posted about young people’s experiences.
As one parent said:
“It is the norm it seems, to not have staff on the books and to pay below minimum wage.
There are also no penalty rates paid.”
And a young person wrote:
“I don’t want to say it publicly from fear of losing my job.
They don’t pay weekend or holiday rates, and don’t like it when we take breaks.
They didn’t pay me for my trial shift.”
And another young person said:
“I used to get paid $8 an hour.
People are in such denial that it would ever happen it Warrandyte.”
Even people with extensive hospitality experience have rarely worked for venues paying the award rates.
“I worked in Hospo for 15 years and I think I only got paid the legal wage at one café.
I worked in a few Warrandyte cafes and restaurants and all paid cash in hand and nowhere near the correct amount.
One Warrandyte café even paid me $11 an hour, but being 17 at the time, you don’t really think to report them or tell anyone.”
Fear of losing their job, not knowing what they should be paid, compounded with living in a small town makes standing up for yourself difficult.
And if you do ask questions, it has been people’s experience that their shifts have dried up.
Said one local: “If the employee does question pay or conditions, suddenly they have no more shifts as there are 20 other unsuspecting keen-as kids wanting a job; they just keep turning them over.”
And by another person, “Unfortunately I doubt very much will change as there are always so many kids trying to find work, that they’re easy to replace.”

What should a young person be paid?

Minimum wages are covered in the Hospitality Industry (General) Award.
There are different pay rates if you are 19 years or younger.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has a pay calculator so you can check what you should be getting.
Employers are allowed to pay you more than the minimum rates.
If I am under 16 and work as a casual at the “introductory level”, I should be getting $12.40 per hour for hours worked before 7pm, Monday to Friday (the evenings attract an additional $2.31 per hour), Saturday the rate is $14.88, Sunday it is $15.63, and public holidays $24.80.
If I am an adult, aged 20 years or older, then the introductory rate is $24.80, $29.76 on Saturdays, $34.72 on Sundays and $49.60 on public holidays.
The introductory level is for the first three months of employment — the absolute basic pay rate, otherwise the minimum rate for an adult employed as a casual (Level 1) is $25.51 ($20.41 if you are employed part- or full-time).
Thereafter, the rates increase depending on your age, your qualifications and the hours and days of the week that you work.
You can see how it can be confusing for young people — especially for a 16-year-old who is starting their first ever job.
And you should get paid for a “trial” shift.
“I worked countless trial shifts over 15 years of hospo jobs and never saw a single dollar for it.
“Hopefully times have changed now,” said one local person.
Unfortunately, things have not changed.

What does it teach young people?

If we accept wage theft in our community, if we accept it as a “they all do it” business model, what are we teaching our young people?
That exploitation is ok.
If you say something, you will lose your job, you will ruin someone’s “business”, you won’t get a good reference.
Silence perpetuates exploitation.
Silence perpetuates injustice.
We teach our young people to be silent in their very first workplace, what will happen in other workplaces, at school, at university, in the family, and in their intimate relationships?
Do we want them to stay silent when things are not fair?
When they are being exploited?
When they are being controlled for fear of the consequences?
I suspect not.

What young people can do

The United Workers Union has developed tools for people in the hospitality industry.
Mr Kennedy said there are two tools available, the Hospo Voice Mobilise App and Fair Plate.
“The Mobilise App is a pay and conditions checker.
“So you can enter what you’re getting paid and see if you’re being paid correctly.
“The app was launched at the end of 2020 and we want young people to get on board,” Mr Kennedy said.
He said it is about empowering young people.
“The power imbalance makes it all the worse for young people.
“So the tools we have developed in Hospo Voice aim to educate young people about their rights in the workplace and how they can deal with that power imbalance.”
The other tool the UWU has set up is Fair Plate.
“On this website, and through the app, hospitality workers can rate places where they work as to whether they respect workers’ rights — it’s a reputational tool.”
He said you can also use this website to find places that are doing the right thing.
“If their first model of the workplace is exploiting you — and this is your first exposure to the job market — it’s a bad exposure.
“Hospo Voice is an advocacy and education initiative and we’re hoping that young people can take some agency through these online tools,” said Mr Kennedy.
Last year the Parliament of Victoria passed the Wage Theft Act (2020) (due to come into effect on 1 July, 2021.
Cr Conlon said Manningham Council is aware of the new Act.“We will work with the Victorian Government to communicate and promote the legislation among local businesses and networks in Manningham,” Cr Conlon said.
How effective will this Act be?
There are potential problems with the Federal Government’s response to this issue.
At the state level, having a criminal response to wage theft, as opposed to a civil response, requires a higher burden of proof.
Mr Kennedy said: “It remains to be seen if a Wage Theft Commission at a state level can be effective, but it is a clear indication from government that wage theft is a really big problem that needs a response.”
Let’s hope the new laws do make a real difference to the working lives of young people.
It is clear that it might cost businesses more to pay staff what they are entitled to, and therefore might cost customers more — paying a fair price for fairly paid work.
But the cost of not doing so — especially for our young workers — is far greater.

Links and resources

Download the Hospo Voice app and read their blog posts for more information:
www.hospovoice.org.au/
Fair Plate website – write a review of your workplace; see if your local café is listed as a fair place to work and eat: fairplate.org.au/
Link to the Fair Work Ombudsman to find out the rights and responsibilities of employers — especially for young workers and students: www.fairwork.gov.au/find-help-for/young-workers-and-students
Find out what the pay rate is using this Pay Calculator by the Fair Work Ombudsman:
calculate.fairwork.gov.au/FindYourAward
A guide for employers employing young people:
www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/best-practice-guides/an-employers-guide-to-employing-young-workers
The Wage Theft Act (2020) is available at:
www.legislation.vic.gov.au/as-made/acts/wage-theft-act-2020 or www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/vic/num_act/wta202021o2020153/

The superpowers of CFA women

HELD ANNUALLY on March 8, International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a century, with the event’s website claiming the first gatherings were held back in 1911.
The issues of the time were women’s right to work, vote and ending discrimination.
110 years on, while we still continue the fight for gender equality, there is much improvement to be celebrated…and the women of Warrandyte CFA are no exception.
Often referred to as a “bit of a boys’ club”, in fact CFA focuses on being inclusive, no matter the gender.
Currently, Warrandyte CFA has 10 female volunteers, the majority of whom regularly respond to emergency pages day-and-night, or provide active support in other ways.
Women bring the same firefighting and rescue skills as men, with some of Warrandyte’s female members taking on years of specialist training, qualifying them to manage a broader scope of roles during an emergency.
The brigade’s support roles are open to both men and women, and it is not the stereotypical mix you would expect, in fact our current secretary is a man.
The skill set women hold is expansive, with roles in training, recruitment, community education and officer positions.
A few are also CFA staff supporting other volunteer brigades around the state and can be called upon to perform extra duties during large-scale bushfire events and managing emergency warnings from the Incident Control Centres.
Warrandyte CFA recruited its first female firefighter in 1981 when the station moved to its current location on Harris Gully Road.
Prior to that, women who attempted to apply were rejected by the captain of the time; the cited reason being the old station had no female facilities.
According to former Captain, now Deputy Group Officer Shane Murphy, the introduction of women into the brigade promoted positive cultural changes.
“Member’s self-check behaviours and language evolved with female presence”, he said “as a result, more respectful attitudes were adopted towards everyone, not just the women”.
Reminiscing over his first house fire call in the early 80’s he said: “It was a female who was first through the door”.
1996 saw Warrandyte CFA elect its first female Lieutenant.
Kate Murphy, still a current member, was elected by her male and female peers and reflected on the time as “of complete support” and that “equality and diversity was encouraged”.
Since then, and still to this day, women have held several leadership roles at Warrandyte CFA, both in officer positions and within the Brigade Management Team.
It is not uncommon nowadays for women to be captain.
Females are afforded every opportunity within CFA, and it falls to the leadership to ensure members are seen for their capabilities, not their gender.
So, when will Warrandyte see its first female captain?
Mr Murphy said: “On the fireground, it is non-gendered — it is a team operating with a common focus — but if you’re looking for it, you see females everywhere”.
The path has been paved, but women must still demonstrate to our future generations, the importance of “she can be anything she wants”.
The women of Warrandyte CFA are doing this every day.
They strive to protect our community and we recognise the value they offer the brigade.
Volunteer firefighter, Louise Leone said: “I love it when you’re driving past in the truck or getting out at a job — and a little girl sees you.
“You watch her eyes open wide and she’s like ‘hey, she’s a girl like me!’
“It’s the best feeling!”
And therein lies the superpower of the women of Warrandyte CFA.

Breaking ground on trail extension

WORKS BEGAN ON Stage 2 of the Diamond Creek Trail extension following a ground-breaking ceremony on February 6.
Stage 2 of the trail extension will link Wattle Glen to Hurstbridge.
Once the Diamond Creek Trail is fully extended to Hurstbridge, the 5.5-kilometre trail extension will complete a 55-kilometre continuous trail from Hurstbridge to the CBD, incorporating the Main Yarra Trail from Eltham Lower Park.
The trail extension is primarily funded by the Victorian Government with $4M for Stage 1 through VicRoads’ Towards Zero initiative and Stage 2 utilising $5.1M from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Suburban Parks Program.
Nillumbik Shire Council also contributed approximately $5M to the project through land acquisition for the 14.4 hectares of land the trail is built on.
Once completed, the trail extension will have a concrete-paved path for pedestrians and cyclists and a separate, parallel natural-surface trail for horse riders.
In attendance at the ground-breaking were members of the community, Nillumbik Shire councillors, Member for Eltham Vicky Ward, Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green, and Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.
Nillumbik Shire Mayor, Peter Perkins commended the efforts of all those involved in the trail project.

“That the Diamond Creek Trail project is now well on the way to completion is a great result for our community and a credit to the efforts of others on their behalf – including the Victorian Government, Danielle Green MP the Member for Yan Yean, and Vicki Ward MP the Member for Eltham.
“Our community, in particular the efforts of our Regional Trails Advisory Group and Trailblazers Inc. are also to be commended.
“Their tireless advocacy and passion for this project has been integral to bringing us to where we are today.
“The trail is an important community asset, providing a fantastic outlet for physical activity and a safe transport connection between the urban parts of the Shire and our rural townships.
“Also critical, is that it will attract more visitors to our Shire, boosting our local tourism industry and other businesses,” he said.

Bunjil Ward Councillor Karen Egan said the commencement of Stage 2 works was a major development for not only the townships, but the Shire’s rural community.

“I’m very pleased that work is starting on the final stage of an infrastructure project that is of such critical importance to many sectors of our community, being a shared trail open to all,” said Cr Egan.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio spoke about the benefits to the local economy and the improved quality of life the trail will bring to the area.

“In the past year, many of us have rediscovered the simple pleasure of going for a walk, run or bike ride.
“Through projects like the Diamond Creek Trail extension, we’re giving people more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
“Construction of the trail extension will create as many as 100 jobs over 12 months and boost the local economy by attracting visitors to the trail and surrounding communities.”

Stage 1 of the trail extension, linking Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen is due to be completed and opened to the public in October 2021.

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Market under threat

THE ELTHAM Craft and Produce Market has been a staple of the Eltham community for 44 years but its future is now under threat.
Founded in 1978 along the driveway of the Living and Learning Centre on Main Road, the Eltham Craft and Produce Market has served as an outlet for locally and homemade crafts and produce.
I remember going to the market as a young boy, buying heat packs at the start of every winter with my parents and sister.
We would walk from home to the market and as you entered Alistair Knox Park, the aromas of the food trucks would draw you in.
Soon, aromas mixed with music, conversation and laughter — the sound of a happy and connected community.
These are memories that I hold dear to my heart, and now, it may all come to an end.
On Sunday, February 21, 2021, possibly the last Eltham Craft and Produce Market took place.
Following conversations with the Market organisers Bianca and Di, and Wingrove Ward Councillor, Geoff Paine, I learned the market is under threat of discontinuing due to the complicated process of obtaining licenses and the grounds to continue hosting the market.
The main issue revolves around having a committee properly in place and obtaining a permit to use the area behind Eltham Library.
The market has been using the location between Panther Place and Library Place since October of 2004, an area with great parking and easy accessibility for anyone to visit.
Both stall holders and market goers expressed their sadness over the potential discontinuation of the market and its end will have a long-lasting impact in the Eltham community.
Market organisers are asking Eltham residents and market goers to lobby the local community and market regulars to let Nillumbik Shire Council know that they want the market to stay.
The Warrandyte Diary and WD Bulletin will have further updates on this story as it develops.

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Groove on the Green

After a year of lockdown and isolation, February 6 saw Warrandyte emerge to remember its Year of Wonders, at a photo exhibition and live event held at Taffy’s hut at the newly opened Lion’s Park (see page 22 for a selection of the Year of Wonders photographs).

While the exhibition was a celebration of the wonderful creativity that abounds in our photographic artists, what was discovered over the course of the evening is the amazing potential for our new Village Green as a gathering space and place for all manner of purposes.

However, this Green may be short lived, as it is planned to be incorporated into an extended playground in Stage 2 of the site development.

Yarra Ward Councillor, Carli Lange attended the event and said, “it was clear — the vision for Lions Park upgrade had come to life”.

“The new, treasured and beneficial open space in front of Taffy Jones Hut has become a connection for all — families, groups, couples, individuals, everyone!

She said the grassed area between the playground and the Lions Park extension was a “Groove on the Green” — enjoyed by everyone.

She said the green had potential to be a picnic area, a game field, a social buzz and an audience arena.

She said many locals had spoken to her to say “thank-you” for this flat grass area to host presentations, speeches, entertainment, shows, rehearsals and galleries — a much needed connection point for all.

“Many locals said ‘Please, please, keep this new grass area — just as is — please keep it open, flat, grassed’,”Ms Lange said.

Warrandyte Resident Doreen Burge noted how well the new Green was utilised during the event, and said the extension of the playground, “seems very short-sighted given the possibilities for this lovely lawn and its proximity to the natural stage of Taffy’s Hut”.

Warrandyte Historical Society made a submission to Council in December, saying the Stage 2 upgrade would: “result in an overdeveloped Park with insufficient space for simple activities, such as sitting or playing on an open grassed area”.

“We feel that an extension to the playground is unnecessary given the many new features of Stage 1 that can be utilised by older children.

“We are concerned that the open views to and across the river will be compromised by the addition of more play equipment.

“We feel the current grassed area is an asset to this new park and would be well-utilised by families and all age groups if it were to become a permanent feature.

“It would be disappointing to see this area covered with play equipment.”

Karen Mew who coordinates Pottery Co, which backs onto the space told the Diary they are planning a series of events in the area, including Indigenous talks and music events.

This grass area will be the start and part of many community events of Taffy’s Hut, but to do that we need to keep our green.

Ways to stay connected

THE BRAWL between the Australian Media and digital platforms, moderated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) through the News Media Bargaining Code turned an ugly corner this morning as Facebook pulled all Australian news content from their platform.

All content deemed “news” both domestically and internationally has been pulled from Australia and has also impacted pages such as Bureau of Meterology (BOM).

While mainstream media platforms have the budget and personnel to weather the storm and find alternative ways to connect to their audiences, small community publisher – such as the Warrandyte Diary are less fortunate.

For many, who have been adapting to an increasingly digital landscape, Facebook’s action sends them back to the dark ages.

Maybe this is a good thing.

Maybe this is a chance to get away from the dancing cat memes and incessant trolling, but Facebook’s action caught everyone off guard and media companies across Australia and now pivoting to reconnect with their audience.

Warrandyte Diary and WD Bulletin are still here and now has even more ways to keep you engaged, informed and up to date.

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We are actively working on more ways to connect digitally, so watch this space for exciting new announcements about ways to catch up on local content.

Council facilities during COVID restrictions

MANNINGHAM and Nillumbik Councils have advised a series of closures of council facilities, following the Victorian Government’s announcementof the return of Stage 4 COVID-19.
Essential services will continue, but the following council facilities will close to the public for the duration of the lockdown period unless otherwise specified:

Council Offices
Shire Offices in Civic Drive, Greensborough, and Manningham Civic Centre in Doncaster will be closed to the public.
However, both councils will be operating call centres during usual business hours.

Waste Disposal
Nillumbik’s The Recycling and Recovery Centre will be closed on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February but will reopen on Monday February 15 for essential workers.
The Reuse Shop will be closed for the entire lockdown.
Manningham’s Green Waste Centre has been closed indefinitely, but Green Waste Drop Off sessions planned for next weekend is still set to proceed.
Waste collection services including kerbside landfill, recycling and green waste collections will continue as normal as well as booked hard waste collections.

Sport and Leisure
All sports stadiums including Aquarina Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Eltham Leisure Centre, Mullum Mullum Stadium as well as outdoor basketball and netball courts, tennis and lawnbowls facilities golf courses, BMX tracks, and mini-golf courses are closed.
The Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre is already closed for redevelopment.
Playgrounds, skate parks, ovals, fields and parkland will remain open, including the Tom Kelly Athletics Track.
All community sport is cancelled for both training and competition.

Arts and Community Facilities
Edendale Community Environment Farm, but essential workers will continue to care for our animals.
Library branches including the mobile library and return chutes.
Members can continue to borrow from the eLibrary collection and place holds.
Facilities such as Manningham Art Gallery, Manningham Art Studios, Eltham Community Reception Centre, council operated halls, libraries and venues for hire, council buildings leased to community groups, are closed.
Eltham and Panton Hill Playhouses, except for children of essential workers.

Health Services
Maternal and Child Health Services will operate as usual, with the exception of first-time parent groups who will have a telehealth option.
Immunisations will continue with COVID-safe practices in place.
Services for older and vulnerable residents continue to operate.
Community transport will operate for medical and health-related appointment only.

More information
Residents and businesses can find more informaition regading council services and facilities via your Council’s websites nillumbik.vic.gov.au, or manningham.vic.gov.au.
For up-to-date information about the Victorian Government restrictions, go to the DHHS website.

Volunteers recognised in Community Awards

SOME WONDERFUL volunteers have been recognised in various Australia Day awards across the country.
Our own local volunteers were recognised in ceremonies held in Menzies, and in the electorate of Menzies, which incorporates Manningham.
Federal Member for Menzies, Kevin Andrews awarded 20 individuals for their contribution to their local communities.
“They are people who just selflessly go about their own quiet ways of contributing to the community —people who don’t seek recognition, but deserve recognition — and I believe this is an important day for us as a broader community to recognise those people who quietly build the community in which we live,” Mr Andrews said.
He said over the almost 20 years of holding the awards, there have been almost 1,200 people recognised.
The Menzies Awards also recognise community groups who enhance the lives of the people of Menzies.
“It is through those community groups that we are such a strong place, such a wonderful place to live, because of that unseen work that so many people do, which is the glue of the local community that we build together,” he said.
Cr Andrew Conlon, Mayor of Manningham, which makes up a large part of the Menzies electorate, said that it was wonderful to be able to express gratitude to those in the community who have selflessly served the greater good and have made a positive difference to someone else’s life.
Cr Conlon said they were “great examples of what it means to be an Australian”.
The individual awards went to; John Barnes, Steve Buys, Gee Wing Chung, Colleen Danaher, Ross Dawson, Zakir Fakhri, Malcolm Ferguson, Ila Franklin, Trish Hargreaves, Sue Hudson, Alston Jerome, Tony Louey, Adrian Mullins, David Ryan, Christian Sharkey, Liz Stewart, Stuart Steiner, Ron Twining, and Cheryl Watt.
The 2021 Community Organisation Award was presented to the Women’s Friendship Group, who was presented with an Australian Flag, which had previously hung at Parliament House in Canberra.

Captain Adrian Mullens
Warrandyte CFA

Captain Mullens has given over 36 years of volunteer service, including eight years as Captain and over 25 years as a senior officer in the CFA.
Captain Mullens has responded to and commanded numerous life-threating emergency situations resulting in the protection of life and property, including the Warrandyte Fire in 2014, for which Captain Mullens was the Incident Controller and successfully contained the fire, which had great potential of causing devastation across Warrandyte.
Adrian commenced with the CFA in 1984, has attended numerous fires throughout the state and indeed Australia, his strong and experienced leadership style ensures his crews are well able to protect the Menzies community.
Adrian told the Dairy he was humbled to accept this award, but stressed that it is a team effort, and the award acknowledged the work of the whole brigade.
“We have seen with the different leaders over the years, the brigade has got bigger and stronger — it is a matter of us working as a collective team,” he said.

WO1 David Ryan
Warrandyte RSL

David Ryan deployed as an active Regimental Sergeant Major with the Victorian Army engineers during the 2019/2020 bushfire crisis.
Utilising the experience gained in a 32-year career in Army Reserve including in East Timor, border protection operations and numerous exercises in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, he produced outstanding results, helping to coordinate relief operations for the Victorian community.
As President of the Warrandyte RSL for the last four years, David has excelled in providing remembrance and social activities for the Warrandyte and Menzies community.
Following the ceremony, David told the Diary he felt it was good to have people recognised for the contribution they do to the local community.
“But it is always humbling and hard to accept, but it is an honour to be recognised for the work you do over the years.”

Christian Sharkey
Wonga Park Scout Group

Christian joined Wonga Park Scouts as a volunteer in 2013, since this time he has been supporting young members actively encouraging them in their endeavours.
Christian assists with numerous activities, ensuring the smooth running of the group, does a great job in planning and running events for the Youth members, and often fills in for other leaders when they are not available.
Each year, Christian plans and leads the families in assisting at several local community activities including Anzac Day ceremonies, he provides significant time and commitment to the group.

Stuart Steiner
Wonga Park Scouts

Stuart joined Wonga Park Scouts as a volunteer in 2013.
During this time, he has worked tirelessly assisting young members mentoring them in a variety of different skills and knowledge.
He provides guidance and support to youth in reaching their potential.
Stuart is also instrumental in maintaining the scout hall, providing
significant time and commitment to the group.
Each year Stuart plans and leads several family hikes for the entire group ranging from day hikes to weeklong hikes.
He ensures all of the aspects of these hikes, from gear to transport, food and navigation all run smoothly.

Ron Twining
Templestowe RSL

A Templestowe resident for more than 30 years, Ron Twining has served as a Justice of the Peace in Manningham since 1983 and has attended to the needs of local residents for more than those three decades.
A former criminal investigation branch squad detective of Victoria Police, Ron is currently President of the Templestowe RSL and has conducted Anzac and Remembrance Day services for the past 18 years.
A much-loved neighbour and member of the local community Ron’s commitment to Manningham in many areas has been outstanding.
Spending 13 years in Victoria Police as a senior detective, he also made great contributions in commerce in 20 years as national general manager of an Australian transport company.
Ron has been a proud recipient of the Victoria Police Medal, the Australian National Service and Australian Defence Medal, and in 2017 he was the Manningham Citizen of the Year.

Cheryl Watt
Doncare

Cheryl’s connection with Doncare commenced close to 30 years ago when it was a much smaller organisation, in her typical capable style she looked after administration and finance.
As the organisation grew, she introduced the idea that in the better interest of Doncare, the growing complexity of the business required an accountant, Cheryl remained to support the accountant.
Close to 10 years ago, Cheryl made the transition to social support for seniors’ program and very quickly became integral in the many lives of Manningham seniors, arranging opportunities for them to enjoy hundreds of social activities, assisting them to make friends and avoid social isolation and loneliness.
She has an amazing ability to organise and run the programs, encourages the people around her, has an amazing sense of humour, and is a great listener.
Cheryl was not able to attend the Ceremony, but the award was accepted on her behalf.

Nillumbik awards

Nillumbik announced their Australia Day awards at a ceremony in Eltham on January 26.
Mayor Peter Perkins said the award recipients and their achievements — and those of others nominated — underlined a strong legacy of community service in Nillumbik.
“Today’s award recipients highlight the strength of commitment to helping others that exists in our community,” Cr Perkins said.
“While their ages and backgrounds may be diverse, this unwavering commitment to bettering the lives of those around them is the thread that draws them together.
“It is also a reflection of an attitude among the broader Nillumbik community.
“I congratulate and extend my heartfelt thanks to today’s award recipients — and to all those in our community who work so selflessly to help improve the lives of others.”
Cr Perkins said the theme of this year’s ceremony resonated strongly with the community.
“Today is an opportunity for us all to reflect, show respect and to celebrate as we are all part of the story – and this is especially so after the year we’ve just been through.

Josh Allen
Nillumbik’s 2021 Citizen of the Year

Through his work with the CFA as a member of the Diamond Creek Fire Brigade, Josh has been involved in the response and recovery from significant events including the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and the Christmas Day flash floods of 2011.
A member of the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek, Josh’s work in the community has been notable for his energy and enthusiasm, along with his ability to collaborate with various local groups and services, including the Men’s Shed, Lions Club and Diamond Creek Traders’ Association.
He was instrumental in securing the W-Class Tram, which now occupies such a prominent place in the new Diamond Creek Regional Playspace and operates as a community café.

Peter Talbot
Volunteer of the Year

An active member of Community and Volunteers of Eltham (CAVE) for 20 years, he has also been Liaison Officer for Eltham High School and Eltham Lions Club President.
Over this time, he has been tireless, despite his own health setbacks and challenges, in driving fundraising efforts for various important community causes.

Jan Aitken
Senior Citizen of the Year

Jan Aitken has been fundamental to the development and success of the Nillumbik Reconciliation Group.
For 13 years as President, she has worked to connect communities through passion, warmth and a commitment to Reconciliation.
Numerous other community organisations, including schools and individuals have also benefited from Jan’s dedication to giving over the years.

Finn Deacey
Young Citizen of the Year

Over the past year Finn has balanced the completion of his Year 12 studies with his commitment to volunteering for a variety of community organisations.
These include the Eltham CFA, Nillumbik’s FreeZa Group, Nillumbik Unplugged and Eltham Life 3095.

The Rotary Club of Diamond Creek
Community Group of the Year

Despite all the challenges of 2020, the club managed to push ahead with a range of initiatives and projects to help those in need of support.
These included the Second Bite project (providing food to the disadvantaged) as well as a range of arts and education initiatives.

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Groove on the Green

AFTER A YEAR of lockdown and isolation, February 6 saw Warrandyte emerge to remember its Year of Wonders, at a photo exhibition and live event held at Taffy’s hut at the newly opened Lion’s Park (see page 22 for a selection of the Year of Wonders photographs).
While the exhibition was a celebration of the wonderful creativity that abounds in our photographic artists, what was discovered over the course of the evening is the amazing potential for our new Village Green as a gathering space and place for all manner of purposes.
However, this Green may be short lived, as it is planned to be incorporated into an extended playground in Stage 2 of the site development.
Yarra Ward Councillor, Carli Lange attended the event and said, “it was clear — the vision for Lions Park upgrade had come to life”.
“The new, treasured and beneficial open space in front of Taffy Jones Hut has become a connection for all — families, groups, couples, individuals, everyone!
She said the grassed area between the playground and the Lions Park extension was a “Groove on the Green” — enjoyed by everyone.
She said the green had potential to be a picnic area, a game field, a social buzz and an audience arena.
She said many locals had spoken to her to say “thank-you” for this flat grass area to host presentations, speeches, entertainment, shows, rehearsals and galleries — a much needed connection point for all.
“Many locals said ‘Please, please, keep this new grass area — just as is — please keep it open, flat, grassed’,” Ms Lange said.
Warrandyte Resident Doreen Burge noted how well the new Green was utilised during the event, and said the extension of the playground, “seems very short-sighted given the possibilities for this lovely lawn and its proximity to the natural stage of Taffy’s Hut”.
Warrandyte Historical Society made a submission to Council in December, saying the Stage 2 upgrade would: “result in an overdeveloped Park with insufficient space for simple activities, such as sitting or playing on an open grassed area”.
“We feel that an extension to the playground is unnecessary given the many new features of Stage 1 that can be utilised by older children.
“We are concerned that the open views to and across the river will be compromised by the addition of more play equipment.
“We feel the current grassed area is an asset to this new park and would be well-utilised by families and all age groups if it were to become a permanent feature.
“It would be disappointing to see this area covered with play equipment.”
Karen Mew who coordinates Pottery Co, which backs onto the space told the Diary they are planning a series of events in the area, including Indigenous talks and music events.
This grass area will be the start and part of many community events of Taffy’s Hut, but to do that we need to keep our green.

No flies on this young entrepreneur

WARRANDYTE teenager Jett Appleby (15) is taking the first steps in what
could be the beginnings of an entrepreneurial journey.
In December 2020, Jett launched Thebinsronus, a community focused bin-run enterprise in which, for a very modest fee, Jett will put your bins out, and bring them back in, every week.
The Diary sat down with Jett, at his home in Warrandyte, to talk about this new community service.
I started off by asking him what motivated him to start his venture.
“We’ve all got to start somewhere, it would be good to build up a portfolio,
future employers would probably like that.
“Plus if I feel good about myself, being able to get involved in the community and I make some cash along the way as well,” he said.
Jett also spoke about the other ideas he had.
“I thought about washing bins for a bit but I don’t think it is something I
want to do.
“I had some other ideas — like mowing the lawn, but that was immediately crossed off.
“There was mowing the lawns, there was washing bins, there was washing cars but this seemed the most suitable.”
The rolling hills and large blocks which characterise the Warrandyte landscape can often make the weekly walk to the street an arduous task and the community were invested in Jett’s service from the moment he pressed send on his first Facebook post.
“I think it was the night I posted the ad, about two hours after I posted.”
Jett’s client base, is still relatively small, covering about 12 streets at the bridge-end of town.
His business is still in its very early stages, and while there is no immediate plan to extend his operation, it would appear the demand is there.
“Most of the feedback I get is ‘expand to other areas’ because these are people who want the service in their area.
“But it takes time to expand and that is most of the feedback I really get.
“I don’t think I can expand to everyone, but you never know.”
Jett’s approach to this new venture is pragmatic and, after speaking to him, I come away with the impression that if this project was to not work out, he would simply move onto something else.
But Jett has taken the time to think about marketing and setting himself up as something more professional than the more common teenaged job enterprises.
“Thebinsronus, I am trying to brand it as one word, except to make it shorter we are using the letter r instead of the word ‘are’.
“I just want to seem a bit more professional.”
Father, David, also sees great potential in Jett’s enterprise.
“I am delighted to see that he has got this enterprise and I am very proud of him.
“I think it is great and the fact that he is getting out there and doing work is great, character building and providing a genuine service for a modest fee.
“I think it is a good idea, I can see it taking off it was done really professionally,” David said.
If you would like a break from the bin-run, and support community enterprise, get in contact with Jett via his Facebook page
facebook.com/thebinsr or via phone/text on: 0478 583 505

Construction to commence on Fitzsimons Lane intersections

DESPITE COMMUNITY objection, work is about to commence on redevelopment of the “Eltham Gateway”, the intersection of Fitzsimons Lane with Main Road in Eltham and Porter Street in Templestowe.
Contractors BMD Construction are setting up to begin construction on the Fitzsimons Lane Major Roads project.
The project will upgrade key intersections along Fitzsimons Lane to reduce congestion, improve safety and provide better walking and cycling connections for the 60,000 people who use it every day.
A statement from Major Roads Projects Victoria (MRPV) said that the roundabouts cause delays, which can create risks for all road users.

“People travelling along Fitzsimons Lane will benefit from better and safer journeys travelling through these upgraded intersections.”

Local activists, Eltham Community Action Group (ECAG) have been vocal in their objection to the project.
The group has tied red ribbons around each of the trees earmarked for destruction.
They presented the State Government with a 2,900-signature petition against the project, calling the works an unnecessary overkill, which will see “hundreds” of trees removed in the process.

“A massive, signalised intersection (the three roads having 10, 8 and 8 lanes at the lights) will form an area of bitumen and concrete roughly the size of the MCG oval and destroy forever our iconic entrance to the Green Wedge Shire,” they said in a statement.

ECAG said they commissioned and presented their own alternative design that would keep the roundabout and many of the trees, but despite agreeing it was as effective as the official designs, MRPV rejected the compromise.
The statement from MRPV said following community consultation last year it removed two traffic lanes from the Eltham approach.

“We have also removed the bus priority lanes from all approaches to reduce the footprint of the Main Road and Fitzsimons Lane intersection.
“This change has reduced the number of trees that will be impacted, whilst ensuring the community and road users will still benefit from reduced congestion and improved safety.”

A construction worker who is working on the project told the WD Bulletin that he is concerned that lack of communications with the public by MRPV will see construction workers potentially come into conflict with protesters when tree removal begins.
ECAG is urging anyone with concerns about the project to visit elthamaction.org.au and write to their local member.
More information about the project plans from MRPV can be found at roadprojects.vic.gov.au/projects/fitzsimons-lane-upgrade

Running into 2021

Photo: Gavid D Andrew Photographer

WARRANDYTE’S celebrated community running event, Run Warrandyte, is toeing the line for a celebration of sport, health, and community as the event committee makes final preparations for its 10th anniversary run.
Preparation for this event is a year-long process and the uncertainty of Coronavirus restrictions has made planning for 2021 trickier than usual, but the Run Warrandyte Committee has sculpted an event to allow walkers, joggers and runners, of all abilities, to celebrate Warrandyte’s bush setting and the spirit of community in a COVID-Safe way.
Run Warrandyte committee representative, Michelle Bean, spoke to WD Bulletin about the challenges and changes to this year’s event.

“COVID created a challenge to our committee this year, as we had to come up with an event that would fit in with restrictions and also be flexible and adjustable to any potential lockdowns we might be back in on the February 28.
“We feel we have created something that fits those requirements,” she said.

Currently set to occur on Sunday, February 28, the event will be capped at 500 participants with an option to switch to a 30-day virtual option if Melbourne or Victoria is forced into another lockdown.
Michelle also notes a number of other, significant changes which will ensure this year’s event remains COVID-Safe:

  • No on the day registrations.
  • Separate start and finish lines.
  • Staggered start times (every 15 minutes).
  • No event village
  • No spectators

COVID-Safe measures such as hand sanitising stations, COVID Marshalls and face masks will also be a feature of the 2021 event, but Michelle says this will not take away from the fun of the day.

“We still plan to create a fun, community event, where our runners can run their favourite distances and receive their free 10-year celebration medal and backpack.
“We will also have spot prizes and goodies provided by some great local businesses and as always appreciate our sponsors: Charlie Bins, Warrandyte Ringwood Osteo’s, IGA, Harding Swift Caravan Services, The Grand Hotel and Project Clothing.
“We are excited to also announce a new 21km event and interest in this has been strong.
“This is alongside the regular 2.2km, 5km, 10km and 15km distances,” she said.

Staying hydrated and COVID-Safe

One of the biggest challenges for event organisers, and event caterers is how to provide food and drink in a convenient but COVID-Safe way.
Staying hydrated while exercising is important, and with high temperatures a distinct possibility for February 28, ensuring participants have access to water is vital.
The simplest method is to provide disposable, sealed containers, like bottled water, but this adds unnecessary waste to the environment and goes against Run Warrandyte’s mission to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Michelle told WD Bulletin Run Warrandyte has secured a partnership deal with a Victorian based company, who will provide water in containers made from plants.

“We are excited to announce our event partnership with the eco-friendly company Just Water.
“Just Water takes Spring Water that is sourced from Mt Warranheip in Ballarat, Victoria and packages it in plant based, eco-friendly cartons, made by Tetra Pak.
“The packaging materials and processes result in 75 per cent less harmful emissions, primarily C02, compared to a standard PET plastic bottle.
“The design of the carton was created to remain flat until it is filled with water, meaning Tetra Pak use only one truck to transport the cartons, compared to the same number of plastic bottles needing 13 trucks.
“Just Water and Tetra Pak will be providing water on course and at the finish line in 2021 to keep our event COVID-Safe for our runners.
“Being an eco-friendly event is super important to us and with this in mind, we feel Just Water and Run Warrandyte are a great fit,” she said.

Visit the Run Warrandyte website for more event details and to enter the 2021 event.

Soul food: Josh Teskey and Ash Grunwald new collaborative project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is a wholesome story.

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

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

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

A little bit of an unpopular opinion hey?

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

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

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

Absolutely!
Try it out Warrandyte, try it out.

Warrandyte Fire Brigade ready to roll

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

50 years of Warrandyte Diary

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

Inception

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

Many hands

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

Spirit of community

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

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

Getting back on the beers

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

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

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

Peter said that customer support and confidence is important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We are super excited.”

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

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

“Beer out of a glass, I can’t wait.”

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

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

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

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

www.grandhotelwarrandyte.com.au

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

 

Artists and art lovers rejoice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So they have cancelled this year’s event.

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

 

Nillumbik Artists at Gallery 7 six 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Art on Yarra Street

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Great expectations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Elections declared

RESULTS FOR the Manningham and Nillumbik Local Elections are in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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