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“Why not both?”

Libs to ditch rail plans in favour of health infrastructure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It certainly seems short-sighted.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council calls for better services in Manningham 

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

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

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

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

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

 Health Plan

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

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

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

Council endorses Manningham 2040 Strategy

WHAT’S IN IT FOR WARRANDYTE?

AT ITS JULY meeting, Manningham Council gave its final endorsement to the Manningham Liveable City Strategy 2040.
Council heard The Liveable City Strategy (LCS) sets out an aspirational 2040 vision that will help shape the municipality’s future over the next 20 years.
The Strategy is a high-level strategic urban design framework that provides direction on improving the liveability of Manningham.
The report contains six key directions to achieve this vision:

  • Vibrant Activity Centres
  • Thriving Employment
  • Housing Choice and Distinct Communities
  • Greening Our City
  • Sustainable Transport and Travel Mode Choice
  • Building Social and Cultural Connections

The LCS outlines plans for activity centres across the municipality, with two activity centres identified in Warrandyte – the Village and Goldfields, outlining areas for placemaking activities, improved pedestrian and cycling access, and better connections between the three precincts at Goldfields.
Pleasingly, the plan also outlines the plans to connect Warrandyte via a cycle path to the Main Yarra Trail.
Councillors received a report outlining the community engagement feedback received during the draft Liveable City Strategy 2040 consultation, which took place in late 2021.
Over 360 responses were received in various forms as part of the recent LCS consultation.
The report said the feedback was “broadly supportive” of the proposed future direction.
Key feedback identified the following top five priorities for the municipality’s activity centres:

  • Diverse shops and services
  • A night-time economy (evening dining and recreation)
  • Town square and a vibrant main street (including outdoor dining)
  • Tree-lined streets
  • Multi-storey or underground car parking to free up land for public space and mixed-use development.

The report stated that although the LCS outlines several actions, implementation of the LCS has already commenced in various forms.
For our community, the LCS outlines plans for Warrandyte Goldfields and Warrandyte Village; the survey was designed to ask for more qualitative feedback due to their peri-urban/rural characteristics.
The predominant feedback for these centres related to maintaining the area’s existing character, improving traffic congestion (especially along Yarra Street, Warrandyte), improving accessibility, and maintaining the natural environment.
Warrandyte Goldfield’s top priorities relate to creating a more cohesive and well-connected centre.
The Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Park Orchards survey was based on qualitative and quantitative questions.
The top priorities identified from the Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Park Orchards Neighbourhood Plan were:

  • Acknowledge that Manningham is located on the traditional homelands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people and celebrate connection to Country, including all waterways.
  • Develop a program to support public artwork at gateways, key public spaces, streetscapes near Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road bridge and an arts/cultural trail along the Yarra River.
  • Support attractions, recreational facilities and cultural interpretation material along the Yarra River.
  • Upgrade walking and cycling paths linking parks and regional open space, including; investigating an extension of the Main Yarra Trail by creating a shared trail along Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road to connect to Warrandyte Township in accordance with the Eastern Regional Trails Strategy; investigate future linear park expansion between Mullum Mullum Creek and Warrandyte River Reserve.
  • Protect and enhance the Green Wedge streetscapes by ensuring residential streets reflect a rural road character.

The report said feedback was generally supportive or neutral in creating a public realm masterplan for Warrandyte Village and Warrandyte Goldfields Activity Centres.
An overwhelming 90 per cent of respondents supported introducing stronger planning controls to prevent inappropriate development within the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ) and Low-Density Residential Zone (LDRZ) in the Green Wedge.
Warrandyte’s lowest ranking actions were around active/public transport and employment-related activities, along with promoting sustainable forms of tourism in the Green Wedge and supporting businesses within the Green Wedge through events and overnight stays.
Council Officers said they received multiple comments when they surveyed shoppers at Warrandyte Market about maintaining the existing atmosphere of Warrandyte Village, “leaving it as is,” and acknowledging that it is already a great place to shop and dine.
As well as comments around maintaining the existing natural environment surrounding Warrandyte Village:

Please leave it alone – it is busy enough; upgrading will just make it more crowded and degrade the bush areas – do not make us like a suburb; we are an urban edge village.”
“Continue to improve signage to acknowledge and reflect Wurundjeri/Woi Wurrung custodianship and heritage.”
“Sensitivity to our local spaces that are the last gateways of the green wedge must be treated with delicacy and care when looking at improving these spaces.”

However, the number one concern received at the Warrandyte Market was around the significant congestion along Yarra Street with cars backing up along Yarra Street/Warrandyte Road, at the roundabout, and over Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road bridge.
Therefore, the report noted that the LCS would be revised to support the feedback received and would: “Introduce upgrades to Yarra Street east of Whipstick Gully Road to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety and amenity, including additional or relocated crossings, a reduction in the speed limit, traffic calming measures, and shared pavement surface treatments.”
However, the report noted that Council does not own Yarra Street/Warrandyte Road, and therefore any improvements to the road would require a partnership approach between Council and VicRoads.
Warrandyte Goldfields also received comments about the centre’s layout and improving the pedestrian environment and amenity.
Council’s own Heritage Committee requested stronger heritage content for the Warrandyte Township Precinct proposals and across all of Manningham.
Councillors endorsed the LCS, except Cr Stephen Mayne, who had requested an extension of time to consider the 500-page report before voting on it.

Podium Finish for Abbey

CONGRATULATIONS to Abbey Caldwell our new Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist.
In a rough and tumble race 21-year-old Warrandyte athlete Abbey Caldwell ran the race of her life to finish third behind Tokyo Olympic Silver medallist Laura Muir in the Final of the Women’s 1500m.
Coming into the final 100m after being blocked early and behind the pack with little room to move Abbey ran from four-wide down the outside to finish strongly with a time of 4:04.79 and win her first international medal.
In a post-race interview with Channel 7, Abbey gave praise to her coach Gavin Burren and Team Caldwell who were watching from the stands.
“My support team have been unbelievable – Team Caldwell have been so good to me – I am just so grateful to have those people in my corner, and all my friends and family back home”.

For any queries on joining East Doncaster Little Athletics please contact Lisa Williams on: 0408 140 461.

No half measures on timeless tale

REVIEW

TWO THINGS will forever define Arthur Miller.
The first is his marriage with Marilyn Monroe, which for some overshadows the second: that Miller is considered one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century.
A View from the Bridge sits proudly among his string of works, such as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, staged and studied for their brilliant, insightful and timeless texts.
So much so that Miller was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life”. Warrandyte Theatre Company has presented Miller’s precious gift with an uncompromising flair.
The first thing that hits you is the beautiful staging, with the Brooklyn apartment building, the docks and the lawyer’s office blending seamlessly to support the action.
The seasoned principal cast grasped their characters by the horns and made mastering the iconic Brooklyn, and Italian accents look effortless.
Playing the narrator/lawyer Alfieri, WTC regular Don Nicholson was engaging and measured in his performance, leading the audience through the fateful events with a persona that exudes 1950s New York small-time lawyer, reminiscent of something from a Bogart film noir. Also, familiar faces on the Warrandyte stage, Tony Clayton and Simone Kiefer produced some powerful performances as Eddie and Beatrice.
The beauty of this text is the light and shade, explored deftly by Tony and Simone, hitting just the right notes at just the right time, Eddie’s anger and frustration were at times visceral, and Bea’s heartbreak at the deterioration of her family was likewise palpable.
Newcomers Kiera Edelstein and James Banger played Catherine and Rodolpho, whose romance enrages Catherine’s over-protective uncle Eddie.
Kiera expertly explored the light and shade of Catherine and her complex relationship with Eddie, while James’ Rodolpho as the new immigrant provided some much-needed laugh-out-loud moments amidst moments that made the audience audibly gasp.
Paul Wanis makes his Warrandyte debut as Marco, Rodolpho’s brother, who stands up to Eddie when he takes his objections to the young ones’ relationship too far.
His confrontation with Eddie at the close of act one could be considered among the most powerful performances to grace the Warrandyte stage in many years.
The supporting cast was a mixture of new and returning faces playing minor walk-on roles with as much thoughtfulness as the lead cast.
In these roles, David Tynan, Adrian Rice, Jack Stringer, Michael Swann, Lara King and Kerry Walsh provided a depth to the production that cannot be underestimated.
Director Grant Purdy staged this classic without compromise, there are no rough edges, and the innovative set design draws the audience into the action.
The audience cabaret seating has been retained for this production as a sensible COVID measure, but I, for one, find it lovely and hope it is kept in the future.
Opening night was sold out, and, as we go to print, tickets are getting scarce for the remainder of the run, so make sure to book yourself a seat for the final week at trybooking.com/BYZKR before it closes on August 13 – you don’t want to miss this one.

Coming up

The light and shade continue in the next production with Calendar Girls, at times titillating but with a sobering undercurrent, which hits the boards from September 23 for nine performances.
Then the much-anticipated return of The Follies in November. This year’s production is still forming, so if you want to be part of it, head to the writers’ meeting on August 19 or the “induction” in early October, both at the Mechanics’ Institute Hall.

What is 21st Century Warrandyte

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

Recent example: Taroona Avenue

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

Recent example: planning in North Warrandyte

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

Infrastructure core principles for Warrandyte

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

We are all in this together

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

Will Placemaking destroy Warrandyte’s spirit of place?

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

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

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Warrandyte Primary launches Reconciliation Action Plan

STUDENTS AND TEACHERS at Warrandyte Primary School were excited to officially launch their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) this
month.
The school community has been privileged throughout term two to work alongside Aboriginal Elder Arbup Peters and Kira Peters, who
both work for the Victorian Education Department.
Kira is the local Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO), as well as being a primary school teacher herself.
During a whole school assembly, Arbup welcomed everyone to country with a traditional Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung welcome.
He explained how important the welcome is to the Traditional Owners, as they welcome people to their land.
Parent Dione and ex-student Zara Veal attended and spoke during the assembly.
They were both involved in initiating the school’s RAP, which began three years ago when a Grade 5 student wanted to start the process of formally recognising the school’s plans and vision for reconciliation.
Students from the Junior School Council talked about the importance of reconciliation, acknowledging wrongdoing from the past and moving forward to create and develop positive relationships.
They explained how important it is to understand the role Traditional Owners have always had in looking after Country and their special
relationship with the land.
Performances by students of a song entitled Wominjeka, meaning “welcome”, and Kutju Australia, the National Anthem in Luritja, a language of First Nations People from the Northern Territory, was enjoyed by all.
Another visitor was Aunty Loraine, a Taungurung Elder who has written a book entitled Bijil Ba Wudhi Deberra, or Bijil and the Moths.
The story tells of a family going to the High Country during summer, trapping and roasting Bogong moths to eat.
The people used the stars to tell them when to go and Songlines to give directions, singing instructions as they travelled.
Aunty Loraine talked about some of her work developing language resources and preserving Aboriginal languages for present and future
generations.
One of the highlights for many attending was the performance by the world-renowned didgeridoo musician, Ganga Giri.
Ganga is a rhythmic didgeridoo virtuoso and percussionist, originally from Tasmania, whose passion and infectious energy had everyone joining in with animal actions and clapping rhythms.
Principal Nieta Manser concluded the assembly by saying how proud she is to be a part of this, especially to be present, as this was the first time we raised all three flags on our new flagpoles; Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Australian.
Scan the QR codes (right) to view Arbup’s moving Welcome to Country
and the Raising of the Three Flags and Dione and Zara’s speech on WPS’s commitment to Reconciliation.

Warrandyte local produces first book in Taungurung and English

Aunty Loraine with Matt Burns, CEO of the Taungurung Land and Waters Council

By CHEWY
LORAINE PADGHAM, a long time Warrandyte local, has written a children’s book in the Taungurung
language, with English translation.
The Taungurung people, of which Loraine is a member, live on and care for the land in central Victoria.
Their territory commences at the Great Dividing Range and encompasses the land on which the towns of Yea, Alexandra, Mansfield,
Kilmore and Broadford now stand.
Bijil Ba Wudhi Deberra (Bijil and the Moths) tells the story of a young Taungurung boy who accompanies his parents on their annual adventurous trip to the high plains in summer to participate in cultural activities, renew friendships with other clan members and to harvest Bogong moths.
The book had its first public reading at Warrandyte Primary School as part of their activities recognising and celebrating Aboriginal culture, where it was received with great interest from the children present.
The book includes a QR code that enables the reader to listen to the story read in Taungurung.
Copies of the book can be purchased from the Taungurung website,
taungurung.com.au

Community history goes under the hammer

THE FORMER South Warrandyte Fire Station in Brumbys Road, South Warrandyte, has been sold at auction.
The 756m² property was vacated in 2016 by the brigade upon the construction of their new premises in Falconer Road.
The site was initially put up for sale in March; however, following community outcry and accusations by Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith, that due process had not been followed, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) withdrew the property for sale so it could be offered to State Government agencies and local council as part of “first right of refusal” provisions.
A spokesperson for CFA said the property was put up to Council for “first right of refusal” in 2016 and therefore
were not obliged to offer it a second time.
However, after Mr Smith raised the issue in Parliament, they offered it a seond time.
Community groups such as Warrandyte Scouts, Warrandyte Men’s Shed and Warrandyte Neighbourhood House all showed interest in operating out of the premises — but it appears the highly restrictive overlays would have prevented these uses.
Mayor of Manningham, Cr Michelle Kleinert, told the Diary Council was eventually offered the property but turned it down.
“Even if Council was gifted the property, we would not have accepted it as there was no scope in the planning overlays to allow community use,” she said.
The property was listed as RCZ3, with an Environmental Significance Overlay, Bushfire Management Overlay, and a Heritage Overlay.
Potential uses for the property were listed as a dwelling, bed and breakfast, market, restaurant, farm, winery, or rural store, with the estate agent, Jellis Craig highlighting the potential restaurant use as “STCA” in their sales material.
The site was acquired in the 1960s by the brigade, and the current building was constructed by the community with community funds in the 1980s.
The station was made redundant when the CFA provided the brigade with a $6 million upgraded station in Falconer Road.
The CFA volunteers were joined by career staff, who later became Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV).
Mr Smith said he was disappointed the State Government did not try to keep the property in community hands.
He said he thought Council should have been given more opportunity to consider the options for the site.
“When it first got put on the market, clearly the proper process hadn’t been followed and there was limited time in the following weeks in the lead up to today’s sale.
“I think there should have been more opportunity for Council to consult with the community and come up with some options about what would be allowed.
“It is a community asset that I think should have remained in community hands; the government has been completely recalcitrant in not allowing the community to use it for so long.
“The community has asked on many occasions that it be used for community use, it is just incredibly disappointing that we have got to a
situation where a community built asset, that is loved by the residents and everyone that is associated with South Warrandyte CFA for so many years has moved into private hands.”
The CFA spokesperson said he understands the community connection to the site.
“In even the most modest of these sheds, they contain the commitments made by the members to the brigades — so much community history is bound up in these buildings.”
Former Captain of South Warrandyte CFA, Greg Kennedy, along with other former and present members of the brigade, attended the auction to say farewell to their old shed.
“Very disappointed that Manningham Council didn’t react quickly and promptly in securing a great asset for the community; it is now lost and gone,” he said.
The building was eventually sold to a car enthusiast who bought the property
for $980,000 (plus GST) to convert into a dwelling.
A friend of the purchaser told the Diary he particularly liked the property because of the large garage where he could house his many cars.

What do we want Warrandyte to be?

TALKING POINT

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

Iconic landscape and historic character

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

Premiere riverfront township

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

Carbon abatement in action

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

Winter Solstice time to celebrate our river

THE WINTER Solstice is often a time of curling up in front of a fire with a good book, or for some, it might be dancing naked in the forest.
For the Birrarung/Yarra Riverkeeper, Charlotte Sterrett, what better thing to do than take a swim in the Birrarung?
On a crisp winter’s day, Charlotte and a hardy crew, including the ABC’s Sammy J, took to her favourite swimming hole to celebrate the solstice and World Bathing Day.
She spoke to the Diary before taking a dip.“In the Southern Hemisphere, we get the cold end of the stick, but we are here to celebrate all that is good
and wonderful about the Birrarung/Yarra River.
“We are in North Warrandyte at my favourite swimming hole where I come with my family and friends in the summer and sometimes in the winter when my daughter wants to come and swim,” she said.
Charlotte said the good news is that the Riverkeepers Association was setting a target to have a swimmable Birarrung by 2030.
“We want to have a swimmable river from source to sea.
“At the moment, there are only certain parts of the river that you can swim in, Warrandyte being one of them.
She said swimming in Warrandyte after heavy rain is not recommended because of the pollution that enters the river, and when you get further downstream, the water quality gets worse and worse.
“In fact, when you get past Dights Falls, you are not allowed to swim, so we would like to see many changes to help the river become protected, healthy and loved so that everybody can swim in the river by 2030 — we think is achievable.”
She said the EPA measure the levels of E. coli, which is one of the indicators they use, so when those levels are too high, you are not allowed to swim — or they suggest that you don’t.
But other pollutants are coming into the river, polystyrene particularly further down stream, chemical pollution, a lot of sediment runoff,
fertilisers, and agricultural waste that end up in the river.
But she said there are plans to change all that.
“There is research being done, we have some of those people here today from Regen Melbourne and from the Yarra Yabbies who are here to have a swim here at this end of town so they can see what that is like, and then we can replicate that downstream with actual swimming pools — five of them.
“In Warrandyte, we are very lucky, in summer the river is a bit lower, and there are some beautiful rocks, and when you are sitting in the middle of that river, it is the best place on earth.
“We can swim here year-round, and we want that for everyone.”
She said the solstice swim was a huge success.
“We had so many people, and everyone loved it — the look on people’s faces was pure joy, but pure cold terror.”
Sammy J said all that was on his mind when he got the feeling back in the bottom half of his body was to perhaps
have a pie at the Warrandyte Bakery.

Local author tackles racism in sport

SPORT IS OFTEN considered the great equaliser.
Nelson Mandela remarked that “sport has the power to change the world.
“It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
The End of the Game is by Warrandyte-based author Michael Fiddian and explores this notion through the eyes of Tom Wallace and a small fictional country town called Duneldin.
It is September 1992, the whole town is enveloped in footy fever when the under 18s win through to the Grand Final – a feat not seen for 22 years.
Tom had only moved to Duneldin from Melbourne at the start of the year, and while he missed his friends and life back in the big city, joining the football club certainly helped him make friends and find a place.
One of the players in particular, Albert Edwards, was quick to strike up a friendship with Tom.
So when Albert is racially abused by some of the local parents, Tom is stunned and feels uneasy and unsure as to what to do and how to react, and despite all the celebrations in the lead up to the Grand Final, Tom is sure Albert has payback planned but has no idea what.
What is powerful about this story is that some 30 years after it is set, in 2022 the kind of racism that Albert faced is still very prevalent.
Author Michael Fiddian set the book in September 1992, three months after the Mabo Decision because “that (time) was meant to be the cusp of change.”
Throughout the book, Tom struggles to truly believe and understand how easily this kind of thing happens, and as readers we are challenged with issues of race that we may not realise exist all around us.
Tom is meant to be a bystander with a conscience, and the whole week in the build up to the game, he has inner turmoil as to what he should do and say, and how can he fix this.
Yet this is not something he can just fix and in the end the realisation is that he does not have any idea what it is really like.
As Michael Fiddian explains: “Albert realised he might win a battle but he is not going to win the war.
“Writing this (story) is trying to help win that war.”
This is a must read – footy fan, or not – the issues tackled in the book are ones that are not confined to the white lines on a Saturday, nor do they just exist between the four quarters.
They exist after the end of the game.
After the end of each and every game.
The End of the Game is published by Fairplay publishing and available as both paperback and ebook from fairplaypublishing.com.au or at good bookshops.

The Screen Wars: How to stop it tearing your family apart

IT’S A WEDNESDAY night.
You have finally finished up work in the home office.
The kids have been home from school for an hour.
You stick your head in on teen number one; he’s in front of his computer with Discord chats on one screen and a fast-moving game he’s yelling at on another.
You check on teen number two, and it’s pretty much a mirror image, except she’s laughing at Tik Tok.
Your next shift has started without you, and you already feel like you’re on the losing side.
The Screen Wars: phones, tablets, laptops, PCs playing all the games, social media, funny videos, messaging services, school requirements and work access all in one.
The war started well before COVID, but let’s face it, COVID has bought it into starker focus.
The screens that allowed us to connect became our lifeline to work, school, friends, and entertainment.
We have all become so reliant on them that we have forgotten how to function with less.
So, how can we reduce their overuse without an all-out war?
This is a question I am so often asked by the parents of young people I see.
Our need for up-to-date information, especially during the lockdowns, was intense in recent years.
There were daily press briefings on rules, numbers, and the heartbreaking toll of deaths.
Each time we picked up the screen, there was a sense of “I know what I need to”.
We still need information but not as frequently.
Letting our icy grip loosen on the screens will take time and conscious choices by our families and us.
Don’t blame the kids, ourselves, or the screens.
They did the job, and they kept us going.
We were all so sick of seeing each other or pretending to be ok over lockdowns that it was easier to say, “ah, let them do it,” while we cosied up with Netflix or our friends on Facebook.
But now, like that partner you want to break up with and go back to being friends, our focus needs to change.
A big step is a family plan/contract that is built with input from everyone whilst calm.
It needs to be clear how long screens can be used over weekdays/weekends and maybe a day a month with no rules.
Where possible, get your young people to decide when they will use their allotted time.
You cannot ask anyone to go from eight hours a day to 30 mins.
There will be a complete family revolt.
Most importantly, you as the parents need to lead this by role modelling it.
Young people will quickly shut down if there is one rule for the grownups and one for them.
So, if there are no phones at the table, get a phone basket, and everyone pops theirs in.
If its no screens before school, then everyone needs to.
If rules get broken, the contract needs to have agreed consequences.
If people start slipping screens before school, turn Wi-Fi off for that period.
But don’t pull out heavy-handed consequences straight away.
We want to bring about the change gently, with love, with humour and with an understanding that this is not easy.
Decide on other things to help fill the time.
You can’t take away and leave a gaping time hole.
If your kids like a bit of sport, head down to the local basketball courts or football ground, get some exercise equipment or do yoga.
If your kids are more creative — get the art stuff out.
Get the cameras out and print out the best ones for the walls.
Music or podcasts — the non-screen silence can be unnerving for some at first.
Do home mani-pedis, facials, or hair treatments together.
Or solo ones like scented baths, et cetera.
Each person learns how to cook a new meal that they love.
Get them with their friends in person.
Make a firepit for fires with marshmallows.
If there are extra jobs around the house, they could make a few extra bucks out of — get them on those.
Ask your kids if there is a new skill they’d like to learn — car maintenance, carpentry, cake decoration; find a short course together.
Finally, we need to reteach ourselves and our kids how to be without constant screen attention.
This isn’t an overnight venture; it will take time and conscious awareness.
Talk to your young people over time about how they are going with it.
If they say it’s hard, then validate that it IS hard.
Share your experiences of what has and hasn’t worked for you.
It’s incredibly important to remain calm, collegial, and full of praise for the steps your family make in overcoming this issue.
Until next time folks!
Natalie Rinehart (B.A.Sci (Psych); Grad.Dip.App.Psych) is a Young Person & Family Counsellor/Life Coach
0425 735 106

Image: Pixabay

Gold Memorial roadworks

GOLD MEMORIAL Road will be closed to traffic on May 10 to install three speed humps.
Anyone planning to circumvent the Yarra Street gridlock should be aware that, for at least one day, this detour will not be available.
Rachelle Quattrocchi, Manningham Council’s Director of City Services said the road will be closed between 7am and 5pm while works are occurring.
“This should be one day only, depending on weather,” she said.
The road will be closed to traffic at Harris Gully Road and Husseys Lane.
“We intend to maintain access for local residents for the period of the works with some potential delays,” said Mc Quattrocchi.
She told the Diary, that access to the Gold Memorial carpark will be available at all times but the direction may change during the day depending on the speed hump being installed.
Traffic guidance will be on hand to direct as required.
Access for Emergency vehicles will be maintained.
She said the road is only closed to vehicular traffic.
“Pedestrians, cyclists and horses would be able to go through.”

Bring back that loving feeling

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

Nieta Manser appointed Principal at Warrandyte PS

STUDENTS, parents, and teachers alike were delighted when it was announced that Nieta Manser, the current Acting Principal at Warrandyte Primary School (WPS), is to be appointed as their substantive Principal.
After undergoing a formal recruitment process, School Council President, David Wells, announced the great news to the school community.
As the new Principal, Ms Manser will continue the work she has been undertaking since she took the Acting role at the beginning of 2021.
Nieta is a passionate educator and leader who uses her teaching and leadership experiences as the springboard for the work she undertakes at WPS.
She is a fervent believer in building a team of educators who excel; supporting staff as they become involved in new initiatives and Professional Development.
As an advocate for Literacy, when arriving at Warrandyte Primary at the beginning of 2021 as the Acting Principal, she began a campaign to get high-quality texts into the classroom for teachers and students to use during their Literacy block.
The drive was so successful the school was able to purchase over 150 books across all age groups.
These texts are known as “mentor texts” that can be used to teach reading and writing strategies to students as they learn what good readers and writers do.
The push for more books in the classroom is also part of a schoolwide shift to promoting student voice and agency in the classroom.
“Students should be able to read quality literature from texts of their choice when practising their reading goals and apply the strategies taught in the lesson,” said Nieta.
In 2020 Nieta joined the Northeast Victorian Regional office as an Education Improvement Leader for Inner East schools, working with
school leaders to build staff capacity to deliver improved student outcomes.
She brings with her all the knowledge that she gained in this role and has begun to drive an agenda that complements and builds on
the current practices at the school, including the application of the ten High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) that are proven to improve
student outcomes.
She regularly leads staff development and training, and has an ongoing commitment to creating a culture where students and teachers are all
working together towards excellence.
“Our new instructional model sets clear roles for the teacher, the student and the peers in the classroom and supports explicit teaching, student voice and differentiation,” said Nieta.
It is not just the pedagogical knowledge that Nieta is known for around the school.
Anyone working with her knows that she strongly believes that wellbeing and academia are equally important.
After two very disruptive years for students, families and teachers, this will continue to be a focus for Nieta as she becomes the substantive
principal.
“Recovery from a difficult time is a big consideration this year,” she said.
Having attended Warrandyte Primary School herself, Nieta says she is thrilled to be able to give back to the community that instilled a strong
sense of community in her.
“Warrandyte Primary has a strong history and connection to our broader community.
“In many ways, it still reminds me of how things were when I was a student here, but Warrandyte Primary is anything but the small country school I went to.
“Our teachers have a very strong pedagogical knowledge and are passionate about their students achieving positive outcomes,” said Nieta.
She believes the students get the best of both worlds at WPS.
“The open spaces, strong cross-age relationships and of course the iconic Bushband are all still here, but when the students are in the classroom, they get to work with their teachers towards achieving their learning goals,” said Nieta.
Dave Wells, President of the WPS School Council, congratulated Nieta on her appointment.
“Nieta is to be congratulated — she submitted an outstanding application and her interview with the council was a delight.”
“Of course, Nieta is well known to the school having been interim Principal throughout last year.
“We would like to thank her for the wonderful work to date and congratulate her on being appointed to the role.
Nieta, we are very proud of our school and proud to have you leading it,” he says.

Future remains uncertain for former South Warrandyte Fire Station

AS DISCUSSED in the March Warrandyte Diary, the future of the former CFA Station in Brumbys Road, South Warrandyte, is uncertain with the CFA putting the site up for auction.
Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith, pointed out the property is required to be offered to other government bodies, including Manningham Council, on a first-right-of-refusal basis, which had not happened.
The Diary understands that the auction has been postponed, and this first-right-of-refusal process has commenced.
Former South Warrandyte CFA Captain, Greg Kennedy acknowledges the CFA has made an investment in providing the new station in Falconer Road.
However, he notes the current fire station in Falconer Road has no different facilities than the FRV stations at Ringwood, Nunawading,
Croydon or Templestowe.
“The CFA has done nothing special with this facility.
CFA has a statutory obligation to provide the infrastructure, including buildings and equipment, to discharge its duties under the Act.
The CFA made the decision to upgrade the facilities at South Warrandyte to include career staff — this was simply the CFA undertaking the function that it has responsibility for.
There were no favours, nothing special, so there are no grounds for accolades.”
Mr Kennedy said the greater Warrandyte community appreciates the high bushfire risk level in this area, and the community support has been and continues to be significant.
Each of the brigades in the area — South Warrandyte, North Warrandyte, Warrandyte and Wonga Park — have over the years appealed to the
community for financial support.
“The community has been very generous, and I estimate that over the past 40 years, our community has provided at least $2 million to the
annual brigade appeals,” he said.
He said the level of support and commitment our community has towards their CFAs is exemplified by Fireball.
“In 2014, North Warrandyte brigade were raising funds to replace their ageing brigade owned tanker by holding a sausage sizzle outside
Quinton’s IGA on Saturday, February 8.
The next day a fire destroyed three houses in Warrandyte.
Julie Quinton was gobsmacked that the volunteers had to sell sausages to raise money to buy a fire truck.
Julie and a few colleagues then organised a one-night event, Fireball, which raised a little over $80,000 in the one night — to me, that’s a
community that gives.
North Warrandyte CFA was able to replace its truck.
Over the next three years, two more Fireball events were held, raising more than $80,000 on each occasion.
Warrandyte brigade replaced their ageing slip-on, and South Warrandyte replaced their FCV.
COVID came along and delayed Wonga Park’s opportunity to benefit to date.”
Local government and services clubs have also provided additional financial support to the Brigade.
He said the brigades used these funds to provide members with appropriate protective clothing in the earlier years, additional equipment,
including hoses and couplings, and additional appliances.
“The contribution has been significant and has saved the CFA financially,” Mr Kennedy said.
He said the Greater Warrandyte community has financially supported their CFA brigades with significant contributions over a very long period.
“It is now opportune for the CFA to return the favour,” he said.
As we go to print, Manningham Council has not been offered the property under the first-right-of-refusal provisions.
Lee Robson, Acting Director of Planning and Community, told the Diary: “While there has been recent discussion in the community around
the former CFA site in Warrandyte South, Council has not identified this location as a strategic site for community use.”
He said the site has a heritage overlay with very restrictive controls, but when Council receives notification, the property will be
considered.
Mayor of Manningham Michelle Kleinert said there are several issues that Council must consider, including potential users of the facility, what expenditure will Council need to undertake to bring the facility up to the required standard, and whether the potential user of the facility is willing and capable of making a financial contribution towards the necessary works.
Expressions of interest Mr Kennedy said now is the time for community groups interested in the property to come forward.
Let the Diary know if your community group could use the old South Warrandyte Fire Station, in what capacity, and whether you could make
a financial (or in-kind) contribution to the upkeep of the facility.
The Diary will collate details for the working group, headed up by Mr Kennedy, who will make a submission to Council.
Write to editor@warrandytediary.com.au to show your interest.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: re Brumbys Road Fire Station

The above property has recently been advertised for sale by the CFA.
The advertising of the same has made a few large assumptions about future use which conflict with current zoning and planning, but as a long-term resident of Warrandyte (20 plus years) and a long-term reader of the Warrandyte Diary, I would like to offer a comment as a first time contributor.
The Warrandyte Diary has a rich background of the history of the fire station at Warrandyte South over many years as I have read with interest.
I do not propose I know the full history, but I offer my thoughts and views to gauge if others within Warrandyte have similar thoughts, other ideas to what is a great locally owned and built asset that deserves to be utilised by those that built it.
By way of short history, the station was established thru the generosity and sweat of local Warrandyte people- the land was, thru a special council subdivision, donated for use as a fire station for the local CFA brigade, the construction was mostly thru donated labour and materials by Warrandyte south residents and CFA volunteers.
This was a community at its best.
With the growth and merger with the MFB to new facilities in Park Orchards, the site was deemed an engineering and research site for a few years.
The site was offered to council for other purposes of use to the community, but in my opinion the offer was confusing and lacked clarity and sadly any interested party, never ventured any further back in 2017-19 when it was offered.
The current sale process will see any funds put into a “special capital account” with the CFA/MFB according to the current property officer of the CFA.
My concern is if they are successful in achieving a possible windfall of $900,000 plus, will these funds be domiciled to the Warrandyte community or to the wider pool of CFA/MFB? I note the main CFA pumper truck is ten years old and as we have just finished donating for a fire support vehicle for Warrandyte South, could this money be directed/restricted to those and the area that made this CFA/MFB windfall happen?
I would not enjoy being involved again in a drive to fundraise for a support vehicle and equipment for one of Australia’s most highly rated fire zone’s, when our treasured local Warrandyte volunteers should have the best and newest equipment, but his “windfall” disappeared into the ethers of the combined CFA/MFB with unknown use or purpose.
As to a future use, I am sure if it was again offered to the local community as a re-purposed asset and location that the words local, community, involvement, have changed in the new COVID world, since a technically confusing offering back some 5-3 years ago.
We now live in a different world and such a significant asset built with local goodwill, has a future better than the real estate agent’s offering as a brewery etc!
My family and I would be prepared to offer up adjoining land for use as a community garden to assist a possible use as a not-for-profit community café/ artist display etc and in some way recognise the locals that gave and made the site a reality.

DONNA SMITH
Warrandyte South

Warrandyte Men’s Shed still homeless

[OPINION]
By CHRIS CHEWY PADGHAM
WARRANDYTE MEN’S SHED

AS SOME OF you may know, a group of men from the Warrandyte Community have been working to establish a Men’s Shed in Warrandyte.
A Men’s Shed is a men’s health initiative aimed at improving the mental and physical health of older men in our community through social
inclusion in an environment that is meaningful and comfortable for men.
The success of Men’s Sheds throughout Australia and abroad is a testament to the valuable contribution that they make to the welfare of the community in which they are present.
I have been working on the establishment of a Men’s Shed in Warrandyte for the last five years, and it is fair to say that everyone I have
spoken to agrees that it would be a magnificent asset for Warrandyte, including Manningham Councillors, and our State and Federal Members of Parliament.
There is one major obstacle in our progress: a suitable site to house it.
Imagine my pleasure when  it became apparent that the old South Warrandyte CFA building was available for Council to acquire.
It is fit for purpose and ideally located close to public transport.
However, Council’s current position on the old South Warrandyte Fire Station is: “the South Warrandyte Fire Station has not been identified
by Council as a strategic site for acquisition.”
And its position on finding an appropriate site for a Warrandyte Men’s Shed is: “work is being undertaken by officers to identify existing Council-owned land that may be suitable for community
focussed uses such as a Men’s Shed.”
For five years, I have heard that line.
It seems it takes the council a long time to identify their own land.
It is frustrating, but we will continue to meet at the Scout Hall, which is falling down because of council neglect.
I worked with the council to specify appropriate upgrades to address its glaring deficiencies.
That was completed in July 2021; the last informal word I had was that it might make it into the budget for 2023/2024.
I know councils like to think of themselves as businesses these days; a key performance indicator for them is the provision of appropriate and
well-maintained facilities to benefit the community.
From my perspective, Manningham Council is comprehensively failing Warrandyte on this KPI.

Community history for sale

By SANDI MILLER
March 2022

PAST AND PRESENT members of the South Warrandyte Fire Brigade and other members of the broader Warrandyte community are dismayed as the Country Fire Authority has placed the old South Warrandyte fire station on Brumbys Road up for sale.
Greg Kennedy was a member of the South Warrandyte Fire Brigade for 36 years, holding the office of Captain on two occasions, Lieutenant at various levels on several occasions, and President, Secretary and Treasurer.
He said he was “disgusted” to see the former fire station in Brumbys Road advertised for sale.
“Whilst the CFA is undoubtedly the owner of the land and therefore entitled to dispose of the property and everything that is built upon the land, there is a moral obligation for the CFA to take fully into account the history of this site.”
Mr Kennedy provided the Diary with a background of the site; he said the land was acquired in 1954 for the token amount of 40 pounds from Mr Pridmore.
The Pridmore family was very grateful for the assistance of brigade members in searching for their young son, who had become lost in the area.
“It is unclear who provided the funding, but I have been reliably informed by members from that time that the brigade raised the necessary monies — not the CFA.”
After a delay of two years, a rural shed donated by a resident was erected on the site by the brigade members — no cost to the CFA.
In 1963, a building suitable to house an appliance was acquired by the brigade from a resident and erected, again by the brigade members.
Over several years, the shed was refurbished with additions of a meeting room and communications facility and eventually a brick façade.
The members sourced all the materials and provided all of the labour.
The brigade undertook the supply and erection of the shed at no cost to the CFA on the understanding that the brigade would be provided with an Austin tanker as soon as there was somewhere to house the appliance.
The CFA honoured the undertaking, and an Austin tanker arrived in 1963.
By the early 1980s, the facilities were inadequate.
The brigade approached the CFA and was advised that a new station was scheduled, but not for at least 10 years.
Under the leadership of Captain Les Dixon, the brigade went about designing a new station with assistance from a local architect who provided his service pro bono.
Additional land was required to house the new building.
The brigade negotiated on behalf of the CFA to acquire an additional parcel of land adjoining the existing site.
“I recollect that the CFA paid for the additional land, but the purchase price was well below market value — the only cost to date for the CFA,” said Mr Kennedy.
The CFA approved the plans and agreed to allow the brigade to construct the building provided the brigade met
all costs — and that is precisely what the brigade did.
The brigade went to the South Warrandyte community and, through various fundraising activities, raised a little over $100,000.
The brigade members then undertook the building of the station.
Working bees were held most evenings and every weekend, and all brigade members freely gave their time.
Local tradesmen — carpenters, electricians, roofers, cabinet makers — gave their time without payment.
Materials were donated by various residents who were involved in the building industry.
Corporates were encouraged to provide materials with plant hire company, Wreckair Ltd, providing all types of machinery weekend after weekend for no charge.
Mr Kennedy said the only other financial contribution made by the CFA was $30,000 to assist in the final fit-out of the station.
“This contribution was made very late in the building program and only after the then Chairman Mr O’Shea was embarrassed by what he found the brigade had achieved without any financial support from the CFA.
“To me and the many members and especially former members of the brigade, the fire station in Brumbys Road, holds a very special place in our hearts — we toiled long and hard both in fundraising and construction to provide ourselves and our community with a decent facility with virtually no financial assistance from the CFA.
“The facility was provided by our community, for our community.
“The CFA may own the land, but it can never own what has been built — it belongs to us.
“To simply have this facility placed on the open market for sale shows no understanding of the history and importance of the facility.
“For the CFA to expect to pocket $900,000+ with no recognition of what the community has contributed is a heartless act.
“This is a community facility, built and paid for by the community.
“Morally, it belongs to the community,” Mr Kennedy said.
Valerie Polley of the Warrandyte Historical Society (WHS) notes the site is protected under a historical significance overlay.
She told the Diary that the site is an important part of the town’s history.
“The Warrandyte Historical Society is concerned that this heritage- listed building could be lost to the community.
The fire station is listed as of local significance on Manningham’s Heritage Overlay (HO27).
It has strong links back into the community.
This building which dates to 1986/7, used brigade (community) raised funds and CFA volunteer labour.
It was listed due to its ‘elegant and sympathetic adaptation of an organic design approach to a public building’. The citation felt it contributed to a future design for rural public buildings rather than a colonial vernacular, and WHS agrees.
WHS considers it detrimental to lose yet another well-designed community asset when there are local demands for premises, including for a Men’s Shed, which is currently homeless.
That its heritage values could also be compromised is also a big consideration.
WHS is hopeful that any changes will not lead to the loss of the building’s heritage significance and contribution to the architectural heritage of Warrandyte.”
Mr Kennedy said that during the planning of the new station, when he was Captain of the brigade in 2014, he met with then Chief Officer, Ewan Ferguson, to discuss the future of the Brumbys Road site.
“I received an assurance that no decisions on the future of the station had been made and none would be made without further consultation with the brigade — I accepted the word of the Chief Officer.
“On May 24, 2016, I wrote to the newly appointed CEO, Lucinda Nolan seeking assurance that the disposal of the fire station would be handled with care and compassion, bearing in mind the history of how the facility was provided.
“I received a telephone call from Lucinda Nolan again advising that no decision had been made and a consultative process would be undertaken at the appropriate time.
“To my knowledge, neither of these commitments have been honoured.”
He said the CFA as the property owner, clearly has a right to dispose of the property, but there should be at least some compassion and understanding given to those who hold the facility dearly.
“There are retired members of the brigade who are very upset by the current actions of the CFA.”
Mr Kennedy said the decision to list the property without any consultation is “immoral, heartless and totally inconsiderate”.
He said he hopes the CFA will reconsider and is prepared to accept a peppercorn payment if the facility becomes a community centre.
“After all, the investment by the CFA is minimal, but the investment by the South Warrandyte community is enormous.
“I cannot believe the CFA who promote themselves as ‘WE ARE COMMUNITY’ can so heartlessly place this property on the market without any consideration of the community – what am I missing here?”
A CFA spokesperson told the Diary the Authority is not in a position to gift properties to other parties, nor retain or sell them at undervalued amounts.
“CFA and the Victorian Government made a significant investment of
more than $6m in the acquisition of land and construction of a new and modern fire station in 2015 to serve the community of South Warrandyte and neighbouring areas.
CFA has an obligation to utilise its assets in the best possible manner to support our volunteer brigades, and the sale of surplus stations is a significant contributor to our program of station refurbishments and replacements, which benefit all CFA volunteers and our local communities.”
Despite being placed with a real estate agent, the Diary has been told the former South Warrandyte station property has recently been resubmitted through the First Right of Refusal process, which gives state and local government entities, including the Manningham Council, the ability to express interest in the property and purchase from CFA at the Valuer General’s valuation.
This process takes around 60 days, and if there is no outcome from the process, CFA will relist the property for public auction.

Promises broken on CFA Shed

RYAN SMITH MP
Member for Warrandyte
[OPINION]

I RECENTLY raised a very important issue in State Parliament regarding the former South Warrandyte CFA station on Brumbys Road.
The former station has recently been listed for sale for close to $1 million, an exorbitant mark-up from the Manningham council evaluation of $120,000 in 2017.
I have been campaigning with local community groups for the past six years for the government to allow the community use of the building, ever since the multimillion- dollar integrated station in South Warrandyte was completed.
Every time that I have raised this issue with the government, I have been told that the station continues “…to meet internal needs and will do so for the foreseeable future — there are no immediate plans for the CFA to vacate or dispose of these premises.”
Locals I have spoken with have been rightly angered by this response as the station has stood largely empty over the last six years.
In April 2021, the acting Minister for Emergency Services wrote to me stating that : “Should the CFA determine in the future that the site is no longer needed, there will be an opportunity for the local council to purchase the property for community purposes.”
Four months later, in August, the minister wrote again stating that, if the land was deemed surplus by the CFA, it must be offered through a First Right of Refusal process to Victorian government departments as well as to local government, whilst again reiterating that the CFA still require the South Warrandyte station for the foreseeable future.
Through conversations with Manningham Council and volunteer CFA members, it appears there has been no offering of the former station for community use as promised by the government.
It has become apparent that the government’s only vision for community assets is to try to sell them in order to fill the bottomless black hole of state debt.
This is just another example of the difference between what this government says and what they do.
Each Minister I have written to was aware of the various community organisations that would have been interested in using the space, including a permanent base for the Warrandyte Men’s Shed, the Warrandyte Scouts, or a dedicated ambulance station for the Warrandyte area or even for the volunteers at South Warrandyte to return home.
This is another disappointing result for the communities of the Warrandyte electorate, who have continued to be let down by this government.
I will be pursuing this matter further to ensure that all proper processes were followed by the government.
If they have not, my community will be made aware that this government continues to ignore community needs and expectations.
I have asked the Minister to withdraw the station from the market and gift it to Manningham Council for community use or at least — at the very least — offer the property at a properly valued price as was promised.
I will continue to keep the community updated on any developments.

Disruptions continue for Fitzsimons Lane upgrade

MAJOR ROADS Projects Victoria (MRPV) continues the works on the Fitzsimons Lane upgrade.
CONSTRUCTION teams are about to embark on another roadworks blitz, completing six months of work in seven weeks.
They will be transforming the Fitzsimons Lane/Porter Street roundabout into an traffic light-controlled intersection.
Residents are advised that the Porter Street/Fitzsimons Lane intersection on the eastern (Warrandyte/Donvale)
side of the road will be closed from April 26 for the seven-week period, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
From April 26, until May 14, there will be no access to eastern end of Porter Street.
Traffic Diversions will be in place, taking diverted traffic along Williamsons Road, Foote Street, Blackburn Road, and Warrandyte
Road.
Major Roads are advising there may be delays of up to 20 minutes for road users in this area during works.
There will also be no access to Hawtin Street from Porter Street; this street will be local access only.
Entry to Water Tunnel Car Wash, MarketPlace Fresh, Templestowe Reserve and BlueCross Silverwood will be from the Warrandyte side of the road closure.
Local bus route 905 is also likely to be affected by these works, the Diary and M&N Bulletin will have additional information about how this service is impacted closer to the time.

Lane closures
Lane closures have been in effect from Sunday, March 6, as works are undertaken to complete drainage works and build up the road along Williamsons Road and Fitzsimons Lane between Atkinson Street and Westerfolds Park, and on Porter Street — west of the roundabout if you are driving towards Templestowe Village.
During this time, there are lane closures and speed limits are reduced to 40km/h on Porter Street.
Construction crews will be in place Monday to Friday from 6am to 5pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 7am to 5pm.

Nightworks
There will also be some nights works from Sunday to Friday, between 6pm and 5am each night.
Traffic management will be in place to guide road users through the area. Access to businesses and residences will be maintained during these works.
Crews will be relocating powerlines underground.
The installation of new drainage and construction of pavement will continue in the centre medians of
Williamsons Road, either side of the Foote Street intersection.
As crews work to relocate overhead powerlines underground, there will be boring and trenching on Foote Street, west of the intersection.
One end of Glendale Avenue will be closed, with lane closures continuing across the Foote Street intersection.
There will also be trench and bore works around the southwest corner of Williamsons Road and Foote Street.

Main Road completion works
Following on from its major construction campaign, crews will be tidying up around the Main Road/ Fitzsimons Lane intersection and finishing off work on medians and the Fitzsimons Lane retaining wall.
There will be minor traffic management in place for the ongoing safety of drivers and workers.

Porter Street road surfacing
Heading into the final stage of works to upgrade the Porter Street roundabout to traffic lights, crews will continue to prepare the road surface for the signalised intersection.
Over the next three months, lane closures and changed traffic conditions will continue on all legs of the intersection as the new pavement is built and new drainage is installed throughout the area.
MRPV said it will notify directly impacted residents regarding nightworks.

Planned burn in Warrandyte

UPDATED: Thursday March 24

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

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

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

See map for burn area.

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

Map courtesy FFMVic

Stay informed about planned burning

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

Breaking Biases on International Women’s Day

MANNINGHAM Council was host to an International Women’s Day Morning Tea adopting the theme of #BreaktheBias.
The free event was held on March 8 in Manningham’s recently refurbished Function Centre and included a presentation and a lively panel discussion facilitated by TV and radio presenter Shelley Ware.
Shelley was joined by Asherly Bradac (disability advocate / Manningham Disability Advisory Committee), Varvara Ioannou (Food For Thought Network), Sally Goldner (Founding member of Transgender Victoria) and Aunty Irene Norman (Mullum Mullum Gathering Place).
The 2022 #BreaktheBias campaign seeks to create a gender equal world that is free of bias, discrimination and stereotypes.
Manningham Councillor Laura Mayne said that as a local council in 2022 they aim to achieve gender equality in every policy they do.
“We have just recently established a gender committee, which I am a part of, and it’s a really big action — also in gender diversity we have just established a new LGBTIQA+ diversity action plan.
“We are also undertaking a gender audit and considering our staff and operations, which is something we are continuously reviewing,” she said.
Guest speaker Aunty Irene Norman, a proud Wailwan woman and a Mullum Mullum Elder, said that breaking the bias means teaching
people — from going into schools and talking to the children and educating the teachers — is the first step to seeing change.
“One of the first things we say to teachers is, there is no such thing as a bad question, people are very uncomfortable about asking questions to first peoples of this country — gender bias, women’s issues, men’s issues, acceptance issues — don’t be frightened to ask is the biggest thing we teach them.
“How are you ever going to learn if you don’t ask questions, how are people going to learn if we don’t teach them?” she said.
Panellist Sally Goldner, an LGBTIQA+ diversity educator and founding member of Transgender Victoria, said transgender people
are not being represented at the higher levels.
“I feel mistrustful to people in positions of power because I feel trans people were often spoken for and spoken about without our consent and in ways we shouldn’t be talked about,” she said.
Ms Goldner said the value of curiosity and being open to learning is essential to breaking the bias.
“I hope we get to the point where International Women’s Day is celebrated with just the positives and we don’t have to talk about the
negatives,” she said.
Asherly Bradac single mother of four children, all living with disability and additional needs, said breaking the bias is looking within
ourselves and to understand what our own biases are — “it doesn’t take a genius or a degree to be kind.”
Facilitator of the event Shelley Ware, who has over 20 years’ experience in the media as a radio and television presenter on both
local and national AFL football news shows, said that although she has literally lived bias her whole career, we are now seeing more
women talking about AFL and having different conversations.
Aunty Irene Norman finished off the #BreaktheBias International Women’s Day discussion panel by saying: “It doesn’t matter who is biased against you, don’t hide — show yourself and your abilities, be yourself, hold your head up high and look people in the eye.”

Scotty wows them in Beijing

WARRANDYTE’S own snowboarding legend has been pipped at the post in his run for a Gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
He was a favourite for Gold after recently bringing home the goods from the X-Games in January.
James entered the final in second position and was hopeful of taking the top honour.
After a stumble on the first run put him in 10th position, a blistering second run, with a score of 92.5 gave him the lead going into the all- important final run.
“We are lost for words right now, but we knew that was going to be an improvement — forget the rest, we have the best with Scotty James,” the lead commentator said.
When he couldn’t best it in his final run, it was down to the final competitor, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano as the only one who could beat him for the prize.
Scotty still had gold in his sights, while spectators held their breath as the Japanese rider pulled out a spectacular performance and snatching the Gold with a 96.0.
James now adds an Olympic Silver medal to the Bronze he took home from Pyeong Chang in 2018 and says he has his sights set for Gold in Milan to complete the set.
He farewelled his long-time rival, Shaun White, for whom these games are his swansong.
In a post-event interview with Channel 7, James said: “I have had such a great time here in Beijing.
“This has been such a special Winter Games.
“This guy [White] is very, very special”.
He labelled White the Greatest of All Time.
“To Shaun, obviously huge respect to him — the guy is the GOAT… it’s been incredible to be here with you.
White then praised James’ silver- medal-winning run: “Crushed it! I was seeing the switch back doubles to the deck … I was like, come on!
“You are just crushing them effortlessly — to see you throwing down is just awesome.”
Then Warrandyte’s hero asked his rival for support in his campaign to compete in 2026, saying: “If you have the time, I have one more medal I need — if you want to help.”
White laughed as he replied: “I will back you!”
And rest assured, so will Warrandyte.

Students show their support for a local hero
By CLAIRE LAMBERT
WARRANDYTE PRIMARY School (WPS) sports teacher Sally Freemantle was thrilled when Channel 7 contacted her, asking students at WPS to be filmed showing their support of snowboarder Scotty James in the Winter Olympics.
Students were eager to get behind this and excitedly prepared banners and streamers to wave to remind Scotty that his hometown was behind him every step of the way to Olympic glory!
Photographs of the students made it to the official Australian Olympic Team Facebook Page and appeared on the Channel 7 coverage of the Winter
Olympics and Sunrise.
It was a fantastic experience that all students enjoyed being a part of and a great introduction for most of our students to the sport of Snowboarding.

A fresh look for Park Orchards mural

AS PART OF the Park Orchards Recovery Wall project, as reported in February M&N Bulletin, the community, through Park Orchards Learning Centre’s Nature in Art group, has given Pauline Brooke’s village map a fresh coat of paint, and a mural depicting local flora and fauna.
The Diary spoke with members of the Nature in Art group about the project.
Terry Napier, the founder of the Nature in Art group, said their goal was to represent the nature of Park Orchards on the wall.
“Our main theme in Nature in Art is to remind people of the beauty of nature and what we are losing rapidly, so we hope the mural is going to be a constant reminder.
“We have had so much reaction to it including all the little kids from school coming home, and that’s been tremendous,” he said.
The idea was presented to the Nature in Art group via local “dabbler” and Nature in Art member Anne Gibson who was approached by the Park Orchards Lions Club when they decided to give Pauline Brooke’s map a touch-up.
“Trevor from the Lions Club said ‘we’re redoing the map which Pauline Brooke did years and years ago, do you want to do something on the rest of the wall?’.
“I just thought it would be a nice community project, get the Nature in Art students from the Community House involved.
“I thought we would depict the 100 Acres.
“All of that is pretty close to my heart, all the mess we’re making of our environment,” she said.
The mural took a little over three- and-a-half weeks to paint.
Anne and the group usually paint with watercolours, but for this project they had to use housepaint, which Anne explained was a challenge all on its own.
“I had to pick out a red, white, blue, green, yellow and black.
“Because they are not primary colours — because they are made up of other colours — mixing them was a real challenge.
“We had a bit of fun with this, some strange colours,” she said.
The Park Orchards Nature in Art group is the second biggest group of its kind outside the Botanical Gardens.
The addition of the animals to the town map breathe new life and new meaning into a long-standing town feature, and the mural’s message “tread lightly and care for country” is a fitting reminder we need to look after our environment, as well as our community.

Come and try: Nature in Art
Where: Park Orchards Learning Centre, 572 Park Road
When: Saturday, March 19, 9:30am–3:30pm
Info: Inspired by the Park Orchards mural, always wanted to try your hand at this great art form? This is a great opportunity to work with the wonderful Terry Napier. Be introduced to the world of botanical art using pencil and watercolour. In this intensive one day “Come and Try” workshop you will be guided in:
– An overview of botanical and natural history art
– Sketching and illustrating techniques
– Principles of composition
– Watercolour techniques, dry brush and wet on wet
This is particularly designed for people who wish to learn more about natural history art and who are interested in continuing in our term classes.
Cost of course includes notes and drawings to guide you. Bring your own pencils, sketch pad, however you will have access to our class set of brushes, paints and watercolour paper. Course cost: $100.
**To assist us in planning, we appreciate you enrolling 7 days prior to start date**
To book visit www.parkorchards.org.au
Pictured: Margaret Napier, Terry Napier, Deborah McNeil, Graham Pilley and Anne Gibson
Photo: James Poyner