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NaNY Gallery off to a great start

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

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

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

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

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

Photo’s supplied

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Expect delays around Fitzsimons Lane construction blitz

**UPDATE 21/01/2022
Stage 1 works have now finished as part of the blitz, finishing five days ahead of schedule.

As of the morning of January 21, traffic can once again travel northbound from Templestowe to Eltham on Fitzsimons Lane with detours in place via Bolton Street for traffic travelling towards Eltham from Lower Plenty.
MRPV maintain Stage 2 works will finish on February 13, as per the December announcement.
For further details, read the story below.

WORKS ON THE Major Roads Project along Fitzsimons Lane are picking up during the school holidays, with plans for around-the-clock construction at the Main Road intersection from January 4 until February 13, 2022.
A statement from Major Roads Projects Victoria (MRPV) said upgrades to key intersections in Eltham and Templestowe are set to improve safety and traffic flow for the 60,000 people who drive through the area every day.
Continuous day and night works
From Tuesday, January 4 until February 13, 2022, construction will be occurring 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to complete six months of work in six weeks and upgrade the Main Road roundabout to traffic lights.
Major construction will occur during the school holidays while traffic volumes are reduced; however, intersection closures will result in significant delays throughout the area.
Works will include:

  • installation of new drainage and new pavement,
  • installation and placement of new kerb,
  • underground services and foundation installation for the new traffic signals and lighting,
  • installation of traffic signals and lighting, and
  • completion of new sections of footpaths and driveways for the new intersection.

MRPV said it would continue to work closely with residents, businesses and drivers to undertake these works safely and efficiently.
However, during major construction, there will be lengthy disruptions, detours, and lane closures, and significant delays when travelling through the area
Residents will be impacted by noise from equipment and machinery such as generators, excavators, trucks, vibrations, dust, and light from the work area.
Speeds will be reduced to 40km/h and traffic management will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The 901 buses will continue uninterrupted, and 902 buses will be given priority travel through the work area during major construction works, so the route is also unchanged.
The 513 will be detoured via Bridge and Bolton streets.
MRPV said it was working closely with emergency services to ensure that emergency access is maintained throughout this period.

Traffic changes
The construction impacts and planned traffic management will be broken into two stages.

Stage 1
From January 4, 2022, there will be significant delays throughout the area.
Where possible, MRPV recommends drivers seek alternative routes, avoiding the intersection during peak-hours and allowing an extra 30 minutes travel time.
One lane will remain open through the Main Road intersection for those heading south towards the city via Fitzsimons Lane from Eltham.
If you are coming from the city heading north towards Eltham or travelling between Lower Plenty and Eltham, a temporary detour via Bolton Street and Bridge Street will be in place.

Stage 2
The intersection will be reopened from January 26, 2022, to allow traffic movement towards Eltham from the city via Fitzsimons Lane.
Travel delays of up to 15 minutes are expected during this time, and detours will still be in place via Bolton Street for those travelling between Lower Plenty and Eltham.
Throughout this period, Souter Street and Jayson Avenue will be closed.
While the road is closed, Souter Street will have a temporary detour via Falkiner Street.
Jayson Avenue will be detoured via Homestead Road to Fitzsimons Lane.

Managing impacts
MRPV stated it would monitor noise, vibration and dust levels at all times to ensure these impacts are kept to a minimum.
If you have any noise concerns, please contact MRPV on 1800 105 105.

For more information, visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au/projects/mrpv/fitzsimons-lane-upgrade/roads/main-road

Jazz takes up residence in Hurstbridge

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

Next performance

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

Manningham Roads

Gathering the evidence to fix 5-Ways

A COLLISION IN September gave rise to renewed calls for safety improvements to be considered for the 5-Ways intersection in South Warrandyte.
The intersection of Ringwood- Warrandyte Road/Croydon Road/ Husseys Lane and Brumbys Road in Warrandyte South, known locally as 5-Ways, is a State controlled arterial road managed by the Department of Transport (DoT).
It has been the site of a number of vehicle crashes and incidents, with the most recent collision between a car and a truck seeing a young woman airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon said Council joins residents’ concerns about the ongoing risks associated with this intersection and are continuing to advocate to have this fixed.
“I know many of you have tried to have this situation improved for years and thank you for your ongoing commitment,” he said.
Prior to the Pandemic Lockdown, congestion at the intersection often saw drivers queuing for extended periods to exit Croydon Road during morning and evening peak time, a situation that is expected to return as we open up.
Manningham Council says it continues to urge DoT to undertake improvements.
“DoT tell us that they don’t have enough evidence to move this road work up their priority list,” a Council spokesperson said.
Council is urging people to help them by reporting their experiences at the notorious intersection.
Visit the Your Say Manningham website to provide details of your experiences of using 5-Ways, including any accidents or near misses that you have been involved in or witnessed, and Council will share this information with DoT to support its efforts in ensuring this dangerous intersection is fixed.
yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/5- ways.

Concept plans released for Jumping Creek Road

THE CONCEPT plans for the remainder of the Jumping Creek Road upgrade are now complete, with the detailed design process to be undertaken in late 2021 and works commencing in late 2022.
Council is planning to invest over $17.9M over five years to upgrade this major road that will see a reconstruction of the full length of the road from Ringwood-Warrandyte Road in Warrandyte to Homestead Road in Wonga Park.
Council says it will also advocate to the State and Federal Government for further funding for this road and associated detours.
Stage 1 of construction works were completed last year, and Council has now presented the concept plans for the remainder of the road upgrade.
Throughout the development of the concept plans, Council has obtained feedback from the community and worked closely with the Jumping Creek Road Community Reference Panel.
Outgoing Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon said that these concept plans were developed with the community and would be another step towards the upgrade of this important road.
“Manningham Council is proud to be another step closer to upgrading this road which will see safety improvements as well as increased vegetation, a mixed-use trail, wildlife protection measures, improved road useability and an upgrade to the township intersection and streetscape,” Cr Conlon said.
“We thank those who had input into the design of the concept plans and we look forward to commencing works on this important project.”
To be kept up-to-date with this project, please visit yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/ jumping-creek-road-upgrade.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Diary,
Can we trust an urban/suburban council with the upgrade of the last of our “undeveloped” street scapes and bushland remnants?
After Knees Road development which now looks a bit like an unclothed ex- lover, although are there trees to come for covering and shade?
Council should not let the same street scape designers loose on Jumping Creek Road; but they already have.
Stage one is a million-dollar, far-too- expensive-for-what-we-have-got waste, and a waste-land, with few “safety improvements”.
Stop now and rethink the treatment of stage two Jumping Creek Road Please!
Less concrete, roll over curbs, asphalt please, a thirty-centimetre strip of green for a footpath; come on?
It will be an unmaintainable dust bowl in summer, no space for pathways for walking, riding, horse riding, prams, kids etc. insensitive treatment of trees and treescape and no space for replacement of the carbon sinks destroyed and no space for replacement treescapes.
Concrete/concrete/concrete!
Does somebody in Council own a concrete batching plant?
More heat, more glare, more boring, less attractive, more likely to encourage speed away careless driving!
Expensive counter-productive!
Does anyone agree?

Bob Poppins
Wonga Park

New electoral boundaries

VICTORIA’S ELECTORAL Boundaries Commission (EBC) has released new State electoral boundaries to come into operation at the next State election in November 2022.

The EBC report, tabled in Parliament in October, includes the boundaries of each State district and region, and an explanation of how and why each change was made.

The EBC took account of the 127 written and 25 verbal submissions received from the Victorian community when preparing the final boundaries, which led to several key changes from the proposed boundaries.

The boundaries for Warrandyte have changed with the eastern boundary taking in more of Wonga Park uniting the electors of Park Orchards within Warrandyte District, while in the west, areas of Doncaster East have been incorporated into the district of Bulleen.

The Report noted that Warrandyte District was well under quota, at 10.69 per cent below the district average.

The Commission decided to extend Warrandyte District east to gain 4,091 electors in Chirnside Park from Evelyn District, south-east to gain 4,241 electors in Ringwood North and the remaining share of Park Orchards from Croydon District, and south to include 4,853 electors also in Ringwood North from Ringwood District.

The EBC said it also considered it appropriate to retain Warrandyte North within the district, “as the community ties of Warrandyte North tend to face south towards the locality of Warrandyte and its surrounds”.

These additions took the electorate over quota, but this was balanced by the loss of electors to Bulleen District, which brought Warrandyte District well within quota at 5.47 per cent above the district average.

The EBC is an independent statutory agency made up of the Chief Judge of the County Court, the Electoral Commissioner and the Surveyor General.

The Victorian Electoral Commission provides administrative and technical support to the EBC.

Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said he was pleased with the level of engagement in the process.

“Redivisions are a key part of Victoria’s electoral system, as they ensure fair representation and an equal voice for all voters in State elections,” Mr Gately said.

Comparing the existing boundaries with the new boundaries, a total of 910,384 electors (21.28 per cent of all electors) have been transferred to different districts.

The redivision has also replaced nine existing districts with nine new ones.

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Earlier this year, the augmented Electoral Commission for Victoria announced the outcome of its deliberations on the names and boundaries of the 39 Federal Electoral Divisions in Victoria.

The Hon. Justice Susan Kenny AM, the presiding member, thanked the individuals and organisations who contributed to the redistribution.

“All written objections and comments, as well as the information presented at the online inquiry, have been carefully considered in deciding the final names and boundaries,” Justice Kenny said.

The Division of Menzies covers Warrandyte and surrounds, and shares boundaries with the proposed Divisions of Casey, Chisholm, Deakin, Jagajaga, Kooyong and McEwen.

In 2025, the Division of Menzies is projected is 112,720 electors, which is less than the minimum number of projected electors required by the Electoral Act.

Menzies therefore had to gain at least 289 electors, or up to 8,485 electors, for it to fall within the permissible range for the maximum and minimum number of electors in an electoral division at the projection time.

The ECB has moved the southern boundary of Menzies to incorporate areas of Blackburn, Box Hill and Mitcham, while to the north areas of Kangaroo Ground, Research and Eltham will be folded into Jagajaga.

A small area of Warranwood will be incorporated into Deakin.

The changes were gazetted at the end of July, and the new boundaries will be used at the next Federal Election, which is due to be held before August 2022.

The full report and an interactive map of the new State electoral boundaries are now available to view on the EBC website ebc.vic.gov.au

The new Federal boundaries can be viewed on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website aec.gov.au.

The sky’s the limit for Doomsday Pilot

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

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

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

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

Macedon traders unsatisfied

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

A new chapter for Zul and Café Z

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

Restrictions easing earlier

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

Metro Roadmap

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

Regional Roadmap

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

Transformation close to home

Meeting with remarkable trees

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

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

Cricket returns to Warrandyte Reserve

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

Bloods stand ready to take the crease

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos: GREG WARREN

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     Growing opportunities for women’s and girls’ cricket

By SUSAN FOREMAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Girls Cricket team 2020/21

Our park gets a Woi Wurrung name

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

Recognising Lions

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

wonguim wilam park, Warrandyte

wonguim wilam park

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

 

A brief history of wonguim wilam

By VALERIE POLLEY
WARRANDYTE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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

WHS Newsletter December 1982

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

Riverside Rallies

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

Bridging the Yarra

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

Bridge Café

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

Kia-Ora and Taffy Jones residence

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

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

Big Build responds to community concerns

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

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

Fitzsimons Lane

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

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

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

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

Hurstbridge Line Duplication

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

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

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

North East Link

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

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

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

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

Earthquake update

A MAGINTUDE 6.0 Earthquake was felt across Victoria at 9:15am today, Wednesday September 22.
Geoscience Australia is reporting the epicentre was in Mansfield at a depth of 10 kilometres.
So far, there are minimal reports of damage or injury.

The Diary will continue to monitor Geoscience Australia and other information sources and update this story as necessary.

Locals plea to save Apollo Park

THE APOLLO PARK Community is battling to save their identity and the public space around Civic Drive, Greensborough.
In recent years, the renovated playground, fitness centre, library, along with ample parking, has made the space very popular.
However, a $675M State Government initiative to build 10 community hospitals close to major growth areas across Victoria has identified Civic Drive as the preferred location for the Eltham area Community Hospital.“The Victorian Government is building community hospitals so families can have peace of mind that help is just around the corner when something is not quite right or when a loved one gets sick,” a Department of Health spokesperson told the WD Bulletin.While not against the idea of a new community hospital, residents around Apollo Park are concerned the choice to site the proposed community hospital at Civic Drive will take away existing parking, forcing facility users to spill out into local streets, or avoid the area completely.Apollo Parkway resident Kelly Farrow, told the WD Bulletin why her family moved to the area, and the concerns she and her three year old son Clyde have about the works and the impact it will have on the green spaces and congestion in the area.

“He [Clyde] loves playing at the Rainbow Snake park and running around on the sloped hill and amphitheatre, which will both be loomed and shaded over by the hospital and carpark.
He is genuinely really worried about it and keeps asking me how we will save the park.
We moved to Apollo Parkways from the inner-city two years ago and one reason was that open green space and facilities on Civic Drive.
Clyde will go to the Apollo Parkways Primary School in two years, which is directly opposite the hospital site.
Due to the steep roads around here, we will have to drive there, and I’m already worrying about where I’ll park to drop him off as I’ve seen (and got stuck in!) the insane bottlenecks during peak times.
You can’t even enter the IGA carpark from 3pm as it’s completely chokkas with parents, as is every road and
carpark around there.
As his mum, I’m really worried about the greatly increased traffic that will go in past the playpark and sports centre, and out past the library, as kids like Clyde are fast runners and are used to being able to tramp around this green area quite safely,” Kelly said.

WD Bulletin also spoke to community members Rosemary Burdett and Dr Svetlana Ryzhihk, who have been active in the fight to save Apollo Park.
“I’m just disappointed that the hospital is going to be built on all the parking that services the facilities in the area — the stadium, the library — and that parking is also used by the parents of Apollo Parkways Primary School.
“I don’t understand why they think they can take all of that parking and then leave none for the local people who have been accessing those facilities for decades.
“All those community hospitals are a terrific thing, nobody is arguing against it, it’s just the site,” says Ms Burdett.
Parking pains are exacerbated with the expansion of the fitness centre — now hosting regional matches and more training sessions, increasing the demand for parking space.
There are currently no guarantees of free parking, as Austin Health will be managing future parking pertaining to the hospital.
Locals fear that potential paid parking in the precinct could deter activity in the centre and create congestion in nearby streets.
“If you take away the parking, where are people going to park?
“People are either going to use local streets or they won’t use the stadium,” says Ms Burdett.
Dr Svetlana Ryzhihk, President of Friends of Apollo Parkways (FoAP), has gained immense community support with her Save Apollo Parklands Now petition, receiving over 1,300 signatures nearly reaching its goal of 1,500.
Dr Ryzhihk says the community is also concerned by the “non-existent” public transport access.
“Public transport access is non-existent.
“There are two bus stops one 500 metres away and one 600 metres away — the terrain is very steep, so for people with limited mobility that won’t be an option,” said Dr Ryzhihk.
The open space in Civic 0Drive has been well loved by its community — many locals utilising the space for picnics, gatherings and walks with furry friends.
“Putting in one more high use facility will kill the community.
“The community is asking Council not to sell the land,” says Dr Ryzhihk.
In the coming weeks Council will decide whether or not to sell — however, if the August 24 Nillumbik Ordinary Council Meeting is an indicator of things to come, regardless of the verdict, the fate of Apollo Park could already be sealed.
Cr Peter Perkins told the meeting:

“Council has not yet resolved a formal position on whether or not to sell the land.
It is important to note that if Council resolves not to sell the land to the State Government, the option of compulsory acquisition is still very open to it.
Council will consider all available information at the time before making any decision.”

The Department of Health told the WD Bulletin they are considering community views. “We’re continuing to work with Nillumbik Shire Council to ensure community views are heard around the preferred location for the Eltham area Community Hospital.” However, a report from a member of FoAP following a Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) information session on September 8 would suggest VHBA’s community engagement is as tokenistic as the engagement other community groups have experienced with Big Build projects, as reported in September’s Warrandyte Diary.
Of the 40+ questions submitted by FoAP at the information session, FoAP says many were not answered or VHBA provided answers that qualified community concern.
As a verdict draws near, the local community are adamant that they will not give up their fight to preserve Apollo Park.
“We can’t let anything else happen to this land, we’re trying our hardest,” says Dr Ryzhihk. Nillumbik has an online community feedback portal on its Participate website for the Eltham area Community Hospital project, which is open until September 26. Following this, Council plans to decide on whether or not to sell the land to VHBA at the October 26 Council Meeting.
To have your say, visit: participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/hospital
To learn more about the community concerns at Apollo Park visit: www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Apollo-ParkwaysInc-101202678897604
To learn more about the Community Hospital Program visit : www.vhba.vic.gov.au/health/community-based-care/ community-hospitals-program

Sawdust in his veins

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

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

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Photos courtesy: RYAN GASKETT

Classic Movies: The Day the Earth Stood Still

A MAN COMES down from the Heavens with a message of peace for all mankind.
He lives amongst us as a simple carpenter.
When the powers that be reject his message, he begins to perform miracles to get their attention.
The authorities become afraid and murder him.
An angel opens up the place where his body lies and on the third day he lives again.
He ascends back to the Heavens, promising to return again when the world is ready to hear his message.
Sound familiar?
That is in a nutshell the story of the Day the Earth Stood Still – perhaps made more relevant to more secular audiences when the visitor (Klaatu – Michael Rennie) comes down from the stars in a spaceship (more believable to some than an immaculate birth) and wants to address the United Nations with his message/warning that the world needs to come together to survive.
While he waits for his answer, he lives in boarding house under the name of John Carpenter (Get it? Lives amongst us as a carpenter?).
He befriends a widow, Helen Benson (Patricia Neal) and her son Bobby (Billy Gray).
His fearsome sidekick, a robot named Gort that speaks in tongues, is his Angel helper and waits on the spaceship until he is needed.
John Carpenter teaches Helen to speak the immortal words “Klaatu berada nikto” and instructs her to give the message to Gort in the event of anything happening to him.
The United Nations rejects his message of Peace and togetherness, so Klaatu warns that he will give them a demonstration of his powers at noon the following day.
And sure enough, right at that time, the power goes off around the world.
Well, that gets everyone’s attention and even the US military become afraid of him.
As he addresses the world, a nervous soldier panics at the sight of his next gift (we will never know) and Klaatu is shot dead and his body stored in a military warehouse.
Mary goes to an offline Gort and utters the message as she was taught.
Gort comes on line immediately, goes to the warehouse and rolls back the doors, emerging with Carpenter’s limp and lifeless body.
He takes him back to the spaceship and Klaatu emerges next day, hale and hearty.
He announces that the world is not yet ready to hear his message and we have all missed our chance, but if we’re good he promises to return one day when we need him most.
Then the spaceship takes off from the Whitehouse lawn and Klaatu ascends back into the Heavens.
This 1951 version of the film is one of the most seminal sci-fi stories of the canon.
The 2008 version starring Keanu Reeves has amazing special effects, but only a fraction of the impact of the low-budget 1951 story.
In fact, when the almighty powers of Klaatu are released in 1951, we are in a lift and see little of the chaos assumed to be going on outside, aside from a few stalled cars.
In 2008 we see it all, plus a raging and angry Klaatu, but somehow, we remain unchanged and disinclined to mend our ways.
Gort, the 1951 robot/angel of the story, has been listed as one of the top five giants of all time.
He is portrayed by Lock Martin, who was actually seven and a half feet tall.
At the time of making the film, the message of Peace was not popular with the government while it was engaged in war with Korea.
Robert Wise, who directed the film, said that it was virtually impossible to obtain any help from the military at that time in the way of tanks, artillery or even uniforms.
So soon after World War Two, peace was already a bad word.
The film begins with Klaatu’s spacecraft circling the earth at unbelievable speeds before landing on a baseball field in Washington, being tracked on WW2-style big table maps with tokens pushed along by long sticks.
With the recent release of the now-famous “tic-tac” UFO footage, the similarities in the accompanying soundtracks are quite marked.
What would happen if a spaceship landed on the lawn in front of Parliament House these days?
Would we immediately assume hostile aliens?
Or would it presage peace on earth?
How many aliens would end up on Manus Island?

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Run Warrandyte: Runners take your mark

GET YOUR diaries out and dust off your runners.
The team at Run Warrandyte have been busy as bees preparing for next year’s event and we are super proud to announce that Run Warrandyte 2022 will be held on Sunday, March 6.
All your favourite running events will be back in 2022, including the 2.5km, 5km, 10km, 15km and we will also see the return of the kid’s sprint — let’s get real, who doesn’t love a lolly bag.
We can honestly say that there is an event for everyone, whatever your age or your fitness level and with such a fabulous response to our newest event, we are thrilled to announce that the “tough as old boots” 21km will be back, catering for the hard-core runners and the daredevils in our community.
2022 will see the return of the Runner’s Village featuring sponsors, local businesses, entertainment and a selection of food and beverage options.
We sadly missed the Village in 2021 due to Coronavirus restrictions, but we are ever hopeful that 2022 will see a brighter outcome for community events, not to mention we love seeing your smiling, hot, sweaty, faces enjoying the post-run vibe and reliving how many times you ran up the Pound Road hill.
We will be reaching out for interest as the year progresses, so keep an eye on our socials if you would like to be involved in the Village.
Warrandyte Tips and Trails articles and our RW22 Runners Profile will also be a feature on social media this year, so we encourage the community to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and also sign up for newsletters via our webpage for all your Run Warrandyte information.
Lastly, we can’t run this event without the amazing sponsorship of community business and the brilliant donations we receive every year, so again we sincerely thank you guys for your support.
Our 2021 amazing sponsors included:
The Grand Hotel, Quinton’s IGA, Ringwood Warrandyte Osteo, Swift Caravans, Charlie Bins, Johnson Reimer, Long Life Health Care, Just Water, Oxygen8 and of course our major sponsor the Community Bank Warrandyte.
We are always looking for sponsorship, so if your business would like to come on board, we would love to have you.
Registration will open in September, so stay tuned.

To find out more, find Run Warrandyte on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website runwarrandyte.com

Writers set sights on the Nillumbik Prize

ENTRIES ARE open for the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing.
Now is the time to start writing those unwritten short stories and poems.
Nillumbik Council has announced that entries for the 2022 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing (NPCW) are now open, and on top of the glory of winning the prestigious award, there is $18,000 available in prizes.
The NPCW is awarded every two years and builds on the Shire’s strong tradition of supporting contemporary Australian writing.
In 2022 prizes will be awarded for:

  • Best short stories — with open, local and youth categories
  • Best poems — also with open, local and youth categories

In addition, there will also be a Mayor’s Award.
The prestigious Alan Marshall Short Story Award will be awarded to the open winner in the short story category.
The Alan Marshall Short Story Award has been an important fixture on the Australian literary calendar since 1985 and celebrates one of the giants of the local literary scene.
And speaking of prestigious, the judges for this year’s awards have also been announced with some high calibre names on the judging panel:

Judges

Alan Marshall Short Story Prize:

Tim Richards is a Melbourne- based writer, script consultant and screenwriting teacher.
He is the author of three story collections.
His latest book is Approximate Life: The Prince and Other Stories

Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne-based writer and academic.
She has written fiction and non- fiction for a number of publications including Westerly, Meanjin, Review of Australian Fiction and the Shuffle anthology.

Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing – Poetry:

Cassandra Atherton is an international expert on the prose poetry form and an award-winning prose poet.
Cassandra has authored and edited over 30 critical and creative books and has been invited to edit 12 special editions of leading refereed journals.

Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl; Ghost River, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.
In 2021, Tony will publish two new books; a poetry collection Whisper Songs, and a new book of short stories Dark As Last Night

Its 17th year

Nillumbik Mayor Peter Perkins said the Australian renowned and highly regarded prize is now into its 17th year.

“This prestigious award showcases excellence in contemporary writing and celebrates Nillumbik’s culturally rich artistic community.
“Council is proudly a strong supporter of all art forms, support that is especially important as we continue to mitigate the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cr Perkins said.

The best writing in local, open, youth and poetry categories from the Nillumbik Prize will be published in an anthology and celebrated at a special event next year.

Entries close Sunday, November 7. For more information and to enter visit nillumbik.vic.gov.au/NPCW

Doggie doo and cat curfews

THE DOCUMENT which outlines how Nillumbik residents and businesses manage their cats and dogs for the next four years has reached the next phase of public consultation.
Nillumbik’s draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 (DAMP) is on display with Council requesting feedback until September 22.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, every Victorian council is required to plan how it deals with its cats and dogs.
Council received more than 860 submissions from the public earlier this year about the management of cats and dogs in the Shire, collected at pop-up consultations in the community and via the Participate Nillumbik website.
Mayor Peter Perkins thanked everyone who made a submission to inform the draft, and said he hopes to see plenty of community submissions on the draft plan.

“To have more than 800 responses to the DAMP survey is reflective of how important pets are to our community.
“The consultation that has now kicked off is asking for your thoughts on the draft plan.
“You can quickly and easily provide feedback and let us know if you think anything else should be covered in the draft,” he said.

During the August 24 Ordinary Council Meeting, Councillors Natalie Duffy and Ben Ramcharan spoke to the motion.

“Education is key and that is one of the messages we have heard and what we have been trying to do as a council in coming up with this plan, “ said Cr Duffy.
“It is looking at how we can educate about responsible pet ownership and that seems to be the highest level of importance for the community.”

10 issues of community concern have been highlighted:

  • Dog owners not picking up excrement after their pets.
  • Dogs off leash when in on-leash areas.
  • Cats outside of property at night- time after curfew.
  • Dogs with owners far away/absent in parks and reserves.
  • Dogs barking for long periods of time.
  • Cats preying on wildlife.
  • Cats causing a nuisance to resident’s properties.
  • Cats that appear unowned.
  • Residents unaware of services the
  • Community Safety Department provides to the community, such as where the pet registration funds are spent each year and the cat trapping program.
  • Residents unaware of how to find on and off-leash areas in their community.

During the Council meeting, Councillors spoke specifically around the issues of dog poop and cat curfews.
Cr Duffy spoke to the unpleasantness of finding un-scooped dog poo and the frustration experienced by responsible dog owners.

“Most dog owners do scoop their pooch but there are many that don’t, which makes it really unpleasant for those of us who either step in it, dodge it, or are left to clean up the mess.
“It makes it really uncomfortable for those dog owners who do do the right thing as well so that would be my call to the community to make the effort to pick up your dog poo,” Cr Duffy said.

The DAMP outlines how, without any Local Laws in place around responsible pet ownership, it intends to use education through social media, printed materials, pet events and park patrols to inform and encourage responsible pet ownership.
Cr Ramcharan spoke about a proposed cat curfew.
The DAMP suggests a 22.5 hour cat curfew, which would run from 7:30am to 6am.
During these times, cats would be confined to their owners’ properties, although if a cat is found roaming the streets outside the curfew, it can be trapped if the resident “objects to the cat being on their property”.

The DAMP reports that a number of communities within the Green Wedge areas were in favour of a 24- hour cat curfew — including North Warrandyte, Bend of Islands and Christmas Hills, which Cr Ramcharan spoke to.

“A lot of submitters were in favour of that, and it would be a win for our wildlife, although I do understand that many people do have concerns with that,” he said.

There are many issues and procedures covered in the draft DAMP and Nillumbik residents are encouraged to read the plan and make sure they have their say on how our cats and dogs are treated, in Nillumbik, for the next four years.

The draft DAMP, its accompanying consultation finding report and the mechanism for submitting a written submission responding to the draft DAMP is available at participate. nillumbik.vic.gov.au/damp