Tag Archives: Nillumbik

New carer support in Warrandyte

WARRANDYTE has a new carers support group, which commenced Term 4 2023, serving the Manningham, Nillumbik, and Maroondah areas.
MyTime is a free group for parents and carers who have children under 18 years of age with a disability, chronic medical conditions, or other additional needs, including developmental delay.
There are over 40 MyTime groups in Victoria, funded by the Federal Government.
However, until now, those living in Manningham and Nillumbik would have had to have travelled to Doreen, Rosanna, or Box Hill for their nearest group.
The advantage of MyTime is there is a Play Leader to keep the children under school age engaged while parents and carers meet.
During the planning phase of this group, MyTime was aware of the need to find a venue with well-equipped indoor and outdoor play spaces as well as a gated outdoor area so that it was suitable for parents to bring their children along.
Warrandyte Community Church was the obvious place for MyTime to meet due to its amazing facilities that meet these requirements.
MyTime sessions in Warrandyte started back in October, and the group meets fortnightly during school terms.
Parents and carers have expressed how well-suited the play area is and how much their children enjoy coming. Kate Green, the Play Leader, has put together an amazing children’s program for each session.
Her background in educational programs and environmental science means that there is a strong focus on nature-based activities.
Kate is extremely adaptable and easily changes the session’s activity to meet the children’s abilities and interests if needed.
If the children prefer to play with the vast array of toys rather than do the planned activity, which often occurs, Kate adjusts the program accordingly.
While the children play, parents and carers meet over morning tea.
The group is for parents and carers who have children at school as well as those who bring younger children along.
Each MyTime session is different and tailored to meet the group’s needs.
Making bliss balls to take home in a beautifully presented gift box was a well-received activity by the group.
Another favourite session was a talk from Julia Ryan from William Ready.
Julia has a son who is autistic.
She spoke about her journey since her son’s diagnosis and how it led to her starting her online educational and sensory resources store.
The group resonated with Julia and her journey to the point that discussions continued after the end of the session.
This year will again be packed with lots of great activities and speakers designed to support carers in gaining relevant information to help them in their role and also give them some time to do something for themselves.
The group has also allowed parents and carers to connect and share ideas with others who understand the challenges of having a child with extra needs.
MyTime Warrandyte meets on alternate Friday mornings 9:30am–11:30am during school terms.
If you want more information regarding MyTime Warrandyte, contact suzanneb@mytimevic.com.au or visit www.mytime.net.au, but note that at the time of publication, the Warrandyte group is still in the process of being added to the website.

Rocking down memory lane

THE “TICE” were a 1970s cult band from Eltham and are famous for being the most famous band that you’ve never heard of.
Members of Reuben Tice recently got together and played two reunion gigs in Eltham and St Andrews.
Readers may not recognise the name, but the band played a part in the history of the iconic 70s band Skyhooks.
Officially called the Reuben Tice Memorial Band (named after an American engineer who died trying to invent a machine that de-wrinkled prunes — but that’s a whole other story), the band has been likened to a local version of the Grateful Dead — or perhaps the Rolling Stones.
Warrandyte-born songwriter Greg Macainsh and Elthamite Tony Williams formed Reuben Tice in 1969.
Guitarist Mark Smith joined the band in 1975 when he moved down from Sydney, but he told the M&N Bulletin the band first started around Montsalvat, with people such as Marcus Skipper in the line-up.
“The band used to get together at Montsalvat and jam together.”
They were also on the bill for the first Skyhooks concert in April 1973, which Macainsh was also songwriter and bass guitarist for, penning such classics as Balwyn Calling, Million Dollar Riff, Horror Movie, Ego is Not a Dirty Word, Women in Uniform, Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo) and Living in the ‘70s.
Reuben Tice vocalist Tony Williams joined Macainsh in Skyhooks in 1978 when Shirley Strachan left to pursue a television career.

Flash forward to 2023, and many of the faces remain the same, as the reunion line-up featured:

  • Tony Williams (Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica)
  • Mark Smith (Guitar)
  • Roger Davies (Guitar)
  • George Kirov (Bass)
  • Jamie Slagmolen (Cajon)

They were also joined by local musicians, country singer Leslie Avril and singer/songwriter Sharin Anderson.
The reunion gig was to celebrate the release of their four-CD box set Rolling The Tice — Songs From An Unmade Road (Reuben Tice 1969–1979), which includes a mix of live and studio recordings.
“A good friend of ours, disc jockey Maurice Hurry, took a great interest in the band over the years.
“He gathered together a whole lot of recordings and had them remastered, and this is the result,” said Mark.
Maurice told the M&N Bulletin he and music producer Marcell Borrack spent the pandemic compiling the recordings.
“It’s quite interesting as a piece of lost rock and roll archive with all these 60s and 70s musicians.
“It all started at Eltham High and Montsalvat — this art rock and roll culture — we have a lost heritage, from the last 30–40 years.
“Some of the band members moved on to Skyhooks, and this incredible archive was left behind, which I have finessed and remastered,” Maurice said.
Reuben Tice performed nine songs at the St Andrews reunion gig, including originals The Way It’s Played, I Couldn’t Get High, Rock Bottom Shuffle, Down The Road I Go, as well as covers The Weight (The Band) and Emergency (The Fabulous Thunderbirds).
Guitarist Mark Smith said the reunion concert was “lots of fun — we had a lot of our fanbase turn up at the St Andrews Hall”.
However, he said he doubted there would be another concert.
“Roger Davies is 76 now, and Vic, the original drummer, can’t play anymore because he has arthritis, and Greg Macainsh is now working as an Intellectual Property Lawyer in Queensland,” 
Lead vocalist Tony Williams has released a memoir, Touched by the Tice, outlining his time in Reuben Tice and later as the vocalist for Skyhooks.
Maurice said Rolling the Tice will be on Band Camp in the next few weeks, and video of the St Andrews concert  is available to watch on YouTube and an audio recording is in the process of being produced and will hopefully be released in the coming months.
Tony William’s book, Touched by the Tice, is available to purchase from Amazon or to borrow from Eltham Library.

Photos by BILL McAULEY

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Do you know this urn?

It’s not unusual for someone to inadvertently donate something of significant value to an Op Shop.
However in Warrandyte last week, an unknown person donated a number of items, one being an urn with someone’s ashes.
Warrandyte Police have made a number of enquiries to reunite the original custodians of the urn with their former loved one, with no success.
If you know of someone who may have misplaced someone, please call Warrandyte Police on 9844 3231.

Park upgrade coming to Ryans Reserve

RYANS RESERVE in Diamond Creek is set for a significant makeover after Nillumbik Council successfully secured $1.19 million in funding via the Victorian Government Growing Suburbs Fund.
Council is currently seeking feedback on the designs.
The Ryans Reserve Rejuvenation Project aims to provide recreational space, leisure, and sports opportunities for all ages and abilities.
The draft concept plans include landscaping, seating, exercise equipment, an accessible toilet, BBQ and shelter, playground equipment, a small stage suitable for community performances, and accessible pathways.
Nillumbik Mayor, Ben Ramcharan, said the upgrade will create a safe, accessible, and enjoyable community space.

“The design aims to provide something for everyone in the community to enjoy.
“It combines opportunities for physical play such as the new playground and soccer goals, as well as spaces to be enjoyed through passive play and social connection, such as a sensory play, quiet area and picnic shelters.”

Ellis Ward Councillor Peter Perkins said,

“I encourage you to share your ideas and feedback on the proposed plans to help shape this fantastic recreational space for Diamond Creek.”

See the draft concept plans and have your say by Sunday, August 20, at participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/ryans-reserve.

Fire Danger Period ends for Manningham and Nillumbik

THE COUNTRY Fire Authority (CFA) has announced that the Fire Danger Period (FDP) will finish at 1am on Tuesday, April 11, in the portions of the following municipalities not included in the area formerly known as the Metropolitan Fire District, as of June 30, 2020:

  • Knox City Council
  • Manningham City Council
  • Maroondah City Council
  • Mitchell Shire
  • Shire of Murrindindi
  • Nillumbik Shire Council
  • Whittlesea Council
  • Yarra Ranges Council

While restrictions are lifting in these areas, CFA still expects the grassfire risk to remain across the state in the coming months, so Victorians need to remain alert and prepared.
CFA North East Deputy Chief Officer Ross Sullivan said completion of harvest and more moderate weather conditions in the area has decreased fire risk, posing an appropriate opportunity to remove fire restrictions.

“Due to the cool, damp weather conditions we’re currently experiencing through autumn, and following consultation with our partner agencies, we feel it’s the right time to end the fire danger periods in these regions,” he said.
“It is, however, still possible for fires to start and cause significant damage, so landowners should remain vigilant and assess conditions ahead of fire use.
“We’re urging everyone to stay safe, whether you’re living in or travelling to high bushfire risk areas.
“Please monitor the conditions on hot, dry and windy days, as we may still see some days of elevated fire risk.”

The end of the FDP will allow some landowners to burn-off again.
However, residents must check that local conditions are safe before undertaking these activities.

“You must register your burn-offs, check the weather forecast and follow local council laws and regulations,” DCO Sullivan said.

Registering your burn-off ensures that if smoke or fire is reported, the incident is cross-checked with the register, which prevents firefighters from unnecessarily responding. When conducting burn-offs, remain alert and always have resources on hand to extinguish the fire.
Landowners can register their burn-off by calling 1800 668 511 or online at www.firepermits.vic.gov.au.
If possible, landowners should also notify their neighbours and others nearby who may be sensitive to smoke so they can take necessary precautions.

Keep your burn-off safe and legal

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

Tips for looking after your health when there is smoke can be found on Environmental Protection Authority Victoria’s website www.epa.vic.gov.au/for-community/environmental-information/air-quality/smoke/smoke-your-health.

CareNet’s cup runneth over and that’s causing a problem

THE NEED FOR food relief is surging due to what CareNet founder Kellie Wishart calls an “imperfect storm”, but the local food relief charity says it cannot keep up with the demand because it lacks the warehouse space to enable it to meet demand.
She said that while Manningham and Nillumbik are one of the more affluent areas of Melbourne, with the rising cost of living and incomes not matching those rising costs, there is an increase in people coming into financial hardship and food insecurity.
“We have a lot of refugees and asylum seekers, and we have a lot of seniors, but with the interest rate rises, and the cost of living, the cost of utilities, the cost of food, it’s not a perfect storm, it’s an imperfect storm, of life being very expensive to make people’s basic needs,” Kellie told M&N Bulletin.
She said demand for food relief is growing at a concerning rate.

“We’re seeing even mortgage holders come to us and say they just can’t afford food at the moment — they need help — we’re seeing a new part of the community tipping into food relief for no other reason than the rising cost of living.”

As a result, Kellie’s charity, CareNet, has never been busier; she said CareNet has gone from moving 300 kilograms of food per fortnight in 2019, to now moving 3,000 kilograms a week.

“Our food mostly goes across Manningham, Banyule, and Nillumbik.”

She said food from CareNet gets distributed through agencies like Adjani Living and Learning, DonCare, Greenhills Neighbourhood House, Diamond Valley Community Support, Warrandyte Rotary Op Shop and United Minds.

“We also have a developing network of satellite pantries.
“Currently, we are at Warrandyte Neighbourhood House, Wonga Park Community Cottage and have a mobile pantry as well,” Kellie said.

She says she uses innovative ways of distributing food relief because CareNet recognises, particularly for people who don’t identify as needing social services or have never experienced this kind of hardship before, they find it very “shame-triggering” and embarrassing to walk into a food relief service and receive help.

“This is partly why we use models like the mobile pantry and the satellite pantries because they’re more discrete.”

CareNet is also developing a social enterprise around reducing food waste, but it will also increase food accessibility and affordability for the community.

“It’ll be like a shop model because food affordability is a really big thing, and we want to make that accessible to all people without triggering shame,” Kellie said.
“CareNet does three things, we provide innovative models of food relief to the community, we provide food rescue, and we build capacity through partnerships with the community by assisting other food relief agencies to source enough food to resource their programs.”

She said people need more than a bag of pasta and pasta sauce and baked beans; they want fruits and vegetables, they want dairy and meat — and that’s something that CareNet is able to provide.

“The Doncaster East and Templestowe Village branches of Bendigo Bank bought us a refrigerated van this year, which has been an incredible help and resource for us, and we use that to go out to local supermarkets and pick up their excess stock, to divert it from landfill and to resource food relief efforts.
“I tend to steer away from the term food waste because it sounds like it’s garbage.
“The truth is that a good portion of what we’re rescuing is actually just excess stock; sometimes we get whole boxes of produce that haven’t even been opened,” she said.

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However, Kellie says CareNet is struggling to meet the need, not because of a lack of food, but because they don’t have enough space to store it.

“We have had seven supermarkets reach out to us in the last four weeks, and we’ve not been able to take any of those opportunities.
“We’ve got the volunteers to pick it up, we’ve got the vehicle to pick it up, we’ve got the partners to be able to give it to, but it is the cold store — that is the constraining factor.
“The work is now of a scale that we need to move into a warehouse because we’re having eight to 10 pallets dropped per week at our front door,” Kellie said.|
“A very short-term solution for us would be to put a refrigerated container at the front of our building, but that would be only a very, very short-term solution because it still doesn’t help us with our ambient food storage.
“We have identified a property that would be perfect for us.
“We have seen it, we’ve identified it, but we cannot afford it.”

She said that applying for funding through grants takes time.

“We are faced with this issue right now because we knew we would outgrow this building within months”.

You can help Kellie has set up a GoFundMe page to accept donations to allow them to continue to provide food relief for everyone that needs it.
They have set a series of fundraising goals:

  • $30,000 to purchase a refrigerated container to increase cold storage
  • $80,000 to move into a warehouse
  • $125,000 will achieve the above, plus buy an electric pallet jack
  • $200,000 will achieve all of the above, plus launch a sustainability social enterprise store.
  • $360,000 achieves everything, plus gives security on a three-year lease.

To make a tax-deductible donation, go to: www.gofundme.com/f/save-food-feed-families.

Eltham Gateway sculpture revealed

A BOLD SCULPTURE with intricate detailing that plays with line, light and shadow has been announced as the public artwork to feature in the revitalised Eltham Gateway.
The sculpture has been created by Nillumbik artist Maureen Faye-Chauhan and celebrates the Shire’s unique bushland and the Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people.
Wurundjeri Elders have chosen the title for the sculpture, Gunga winhanga warr bundha ba winhanga warr djurring in traditional Woi Wurrung language, meaning “Take what you need and not what you greed”.
The artwork announcement comes as landscaping works started this week on the Eltham Gateway project, which will see both sides of Main Road rehabilitated and landscaped with significant plantings of native vegetation.
The project is a collaboration between Council, Major Road Projects Victoria, Eltham MP Vicki Ward, and community group The Southern Gateway Renewal Group. Made of weathering steel and measuring more than 2 metres tall and 5 metres wide, the sculpture will be located north of Main Road between the flower stand and the Diamond Creek Bridge.
Maureen said she is passionate about the bush.

“Walking through the bush, it changes every day, you see the different forms of branches and rocks.
“It’s the exploration of form that has formed the basis of the artwork.
“The strongest idea that resonated with me for this project was working around the beautiful manna gums on site, exploring the significance of the trees for the Wurundjeri people,” she said.

The multi-dimensional twisted structure blends the shapes of the fallen twisted boughs of the manna gums, with that of a scarred tree form — created when First Nations people removed the bark for canoes, shields and other items.

“These acts did not destroy the tree, or the environment around it.
“The Wurundjeri idea that you take what you need and not what you greed is something we can all learn from,” Maureen says.

The artwork was realised through digital 3D modelling and will be made of 52 steel facets with linear cutouts allowing for a delicate play of light and shadow.
It is being fabricated at Alustain in Campbellfield, owned by another Nillumbik local, Brett Morrison. Once in place, the artwork will be illuminated at night with the opportunity to change colours for significant events.
Mayor Ben Ramcharan says the sculpture will become a contemporary landmark for the gateway to Eltham and the Green Wedge Shire.

“This unique piece really brings to life a key entrance to our Shire — public art that is easily accessible to our community is so important,” Cr Ramcharan says.
“The sculpture will provide us an opportunity to reflect on the ancient history of this land and the Traditional Owners as well as the environment that so many of us in Nillumbik hold so dear.”

Eltham MP Vicki Ward says, “The wonderful, organic, inclusive feel of this sculpture will really resonate with locals, and offers a real sense of arrival, of coming home, of being welcomed to Eltham.”
Maureen first began working with contemporary jewellery, then specialising in small sculptural forms.
This will be her biggest work yet.
Maureen’s works are in The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia, and have been included in exhibitions around the world.
ID Landscaping, formerly known as Indigenous Design Landscaping, has been engaged to complete the landscaping works.
Work has started on clearing weeds, the installation of fencing along the creek, and preparing the ground for pathways and boardwalks.
For project updates visit Nillumbik Council’s website: nillumbik.vic.gov.au/eltham-gateway.

Have your say on public transport

THE STATE Government is undertaking a major review of the bus network in Melbourne’s north and northeastern suburbs as part of a plan to develop a modern, faster, reliable and environmentally sustainable network for local communities.
The review will undertake online consultation with the communities spanning local government areas, including Manningham, Moreland, Darebin, Banyule and Hume, to understand current travel behaviours better.
Consultation is now underway following the launch of an online survey and will run until Sunday, October 16.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said the government is thoroughly examining how it can improve local bus services in growth areas, implement bus reform, improve accessibility, and deliver better outcomes for passengers.

“We are focused on delivering a modern, productive, environmentally sustainable bus network that increases the number of people choosing to take the bus.”

He said this engagement will give a better understanding of how people currently use their bus services and what would encourage them to use buses more — including where, when and how they would like to travel.
This information will help inform future planning for bus reform in these areas of Melbourne and provide insights and learnings that might be applied to other metropolitan or regional networks.
These areas were selected for their diverse transport profiles, including servicing major, business, retail and educational precincts such as Latrobe University’s Bundoora Campus.
These reviews are part of the implementation of Victoria’s Bus Plan, released in June 2021, which sets out how the Labor Government will shape the bus network in ways that increase the number of people choosing to take the bus by delivering simple, safe, reliable and comfortable journeys.
This includes examining new and innovative ways of delivering bus services, such as demand responsive services.
Network reform will be guided by four new bus network categories that clearly define a route’s role, purpose and function within a network.

Category 1 — Rapid Routes.
These are the high-speed networks, which deliver faster, more frequent services on strategic bus corridors with on-road priority, such as dedicated bus lanes, and a limited number of stops to ensure travel times are fast.

Category 2 — Connector Routes
Typically, these routes connect suburbs to key transport hubs, employment and education precincts, and shopping centres.

Category 3 — Local Routes
These are the local streets of our bus network, which provide local access to nearby shops and services and have a lower frequency and shorter span of hours.

Category 4 — School Routes
These routes meet the demand created mostly by high school students travelling to and from school.

Network innovations

The Zero Emission Bus Trial saw a $20 million Victorian Government investment, and all new buses will be zero emissions from 2025.
Demand Responsive Transport (FlexiRide) has been introduced in Croydon, Lilydale, Rowville and other locations across Victoria.
FlexiRide is an on-demand bus service with no fixed route and only operates when booked. Passengers can book a trip from a location near their home to be taken to a range of popular destinations, such as to make rail connections.
Rapid Running is being successfully trialled on Route 246 along Hoddle Street between Clifton Hill and Elsternwick, with plans for up to 10 more routes before the end of 2023.
The Rapid Running trial has no fixed timetable and a 10-minute “turn up and go” frequency between 7am and 7pm on weekdays.
This means buses will operate with the traffic along the route and no longer slow down or wait at bus stops if running ahead of schedule.

New FlexiRide proposal for Greensborough

The State Government recently announced it will be establishing a FlexiRide bus service for the Greensborough area and are currently seeking community and commuter engagement so the Department of Transport (DOT) can better place the FlexiRide hubs.
The survey is open until October 23.
Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll said the Government is investing in buses for Banyule and Nillumbik.

“We are listening to the community on how we can improve services, improve accessibility and deliver better outcomes for all passengers,” he said.

The introduction of the new service would also require minor changes to bus routes in the Greensborough area.
Both Route 514 Glenroy — Eltham via Greensborough and Route 517 Northland — St Helena are planned to end at Greensborough, with the discontinued sections set to be replaced by the new FlexiRide service.
Route 518 Greensborough — St Helena West will also be replaced by FlexiRide, with locals able to take advantage of a more accessible service.
All other local bus services, including school specials, will remain unchanged.
For students who attend St Helena Secondary College, the Department of Transport will work towards a solution.
Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward encourages those who use buses in the Greensborough area to engage with this survey.

“We want to hear from the community about changes we are making to the local bus network to ensure locals can continue to get where they need to go easier than ever before,” she said.

Your chance to engage

Residents living or working in Manningham or the other municipalities under review can have their say about the bus network in their community by visiting engage.vic.gov.au/busreform.
For those interested in engaging in the Greensborough FlexiBus survey, visit engage.vic.gov.au/flexiridegreensborough.

Site announced for Community Hospital

THE STATE Government has again bewildered the community in its choice of a site for the Eltham Area Community Hospital.
Minister for Health Martin Foley and Member for Eltham Vicki Ward have announced that a government-owned parcel of land at 405 Ryans Road, Diamond Creek, will be home to the new multi-million-dollar facility.
While the new hospital will be a welcome asset to the community, the selection process for the site has been nothing short of contentious.
While many see a no-brainer option in the Nillumbik Council’s preferred site, the former Council Offices in Main Road Eltham, the government has dismissed the option out of hand, first attempting to acquire land in Apollo Park, at Civic Drive, Greensborough, much to the dismay of residents.
With Council agreeing with the community and blocking the land sale for Civic Drive in late 2021, the selection committee has now returned with the announcement of the Diamond Creek location.
Documents seen by M&N Bulletin obtained under FOI by Friends of Apollo Parkway note that the Ryans Road location was ranked eighth out of 12 potential sites, scoring just 53 out of 100, whereas the Main Road site scored 85.
There is concern already from the community regarding the Ryans Road site’s lack of connection to public transport and other township infrastructure, its proximity to powerlines, that it sits across a wildlife corridor, and provides a home to kangaroos and Gang Gang Cockatoos.
When asked by M&N Bulletin if Council were supportive of the announcement, a spokesperson for Nillumbik Council said:
“The Eltham Area Community Hospital is a Victorian Government project that is being undertaken by the Victorian Health Building Authority.
Nillumbik Shire Council has not been involved in the decision to locate the hospital in Diamond Creek.
We are still to gain a comprehensive understanding of the proposal and its impacts and therefore cannot comment further.
However, we will be advocating for the best possible outcome for our local community as a result of the proposed development including an efficient and safe road network, and ensuring amenity impacts are minimised.
Nillumbik Shire Council welcomes any boost to heath care services in the north-east region that will benefit our community.”
We asked Ms Ward about some of these concerns expressed, she told us a number of sites were considered against a broad criteria, with Ryans Road chosen after meeting that criteria, including its location which is close to a range of community facilities and links to
public transport.
“An ecological consultant will be undertaking a detailed survey of the Ryans Road site to provide advice on vegetation, wildlife and other ecological matters.
In response to questions about why the Main Road site was not considered, she said the old shire office site would require moving the protected Shillinglaw Trees, as well the sale of the kinder, memorial hall, and the senior citizens hall.
“There is also no guarantee Nillumbik would sell the site, as they refused to sell Apollo Parkways,” she said.
So it seems this is now a done deal.
To be operated by Austin Health, the Eltham area Community Hospital (interim name) will be a public hospital providing a range of day hospital and primary health care services, including unplanned urgent care, general medical and specialist appointments, day surgery and chronic disease management — what Ms Ward described as “a huge benefit for locals.”
She said the hospital’s strong links to specialists, community health and social support services will improve follow-up treatment and support for those requiring complex care.
Ms Ward said the Ryans Road site is close to a range of community facilities and services, including playgrounds, schools, and sporting facilities, and is serviced by several bus routes connecting to surrounding areas, including Eltham Station Greensborough, Diamond Creek and Hurstbridge.
“This location is a great outcome for our local community; it’ll mean we’ll be able to get a number of everyday health services close to home, without having to travel in traffic to the Austin or Northern Health,” Ms Ward said.
The new hospital is one of 10 new community hospitals in major growth areas, funded as part of a $675 million investment by the Labor Government.
Once complete, the 10 community hospitals will be able to treat at least 114,000 more urgent care patients and 55,000 dialysis treatments and enable more than 100,000 additional allied health sessions each year.
The Community Hospital Program will create an estimated 1,900 jobs during planning and construction and more than 1,000 healthcare jobs once completed.
Delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority, the designs for the community hospital will be released later this year when construction begins.
The project is due for completion in late 2024.

 

Image courtety Victorian Health Building Authority

Fresh warnings on the dangers of picking wild mushrooms

WITH THE damp and cooler weather, fungi can, once again, be seen emerging from the ground in nearby parks and bushland.
While freshly picked, wild mushrooms are a delicious treat, Victorians are being warned not to trust apps that claim to identify poisonous mushrooms.
The cool and wet weather conditions make it a perfect growing season for Death Cap mushrooms and Yellow-staining mushrooms.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Angie Bone, urges people not to pick wild mushrooms in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

“While commercially sold mushrooms are safe to consume, it can be very difficult to distinguish between toxic and edible varieties of wild mushroom.
“There is a serious risk of misidentification when using mushroom-identifying apps, and there can be major consequences to your health of getting it wrong,” Dr Bone said.

Recent rain has been ideal for poisonous mushroom species to sprout in regional and metropolitan Victoria, and it’s important to avoid them.
The most dangerous variety is the Death Cap, which is found near deciduous trees such as oaks in Melbourne suburbs and rural areas.
Death Cap is a large mushroom with a greenish or yellowish cap and white gills and has a cup-shaped sac around the base of the stem.
Symptoms of poisoning by Death Cap can include stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea within hours of consumption, but organ failure can also occur 24–48 hours after ingestion.

“Consuming just a single Death Cap mushroom can result in liver failure and death, so if you are not an expert and certain of the species of mushroom, do not pick it or eat it,” she said.

The Yellow-staining mushroom turns yellow when a thumbnail bruises the cap or stem.
Symptoms experienced after consumption include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Dr Bone said anyone who becomes ill after eating mushrooms should seek urgent medical advice and, if possible, take samples of the whole mushroom for identification.
She said wild mushrooms ingested by pets can cause illness, ranging from gastroenteritis to severe life-threatening disease and death.
Parents and pet owners should be aware of mushrooms in gardens and parks frequented by children and domestic animals.

If you suspect you have consumed poisonous wild mushrooms, do not wait for symptoms to occur; seek medical attention immediately.
Contact the Victorian Poisons Information Centre immediately on 13 11 26 (24 hours a day, seven days a week, Australia wide).
If your pet has ingested a wild mushroom, you can call the free Animal Poisons Centre on 1300 869 738 for advice.

Celebrating our volunteers

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

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

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

“Better together” in Nillumbik

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

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

 

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

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

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

Volunteering in Manningham

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

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

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

Celebrating Neighbourhood House Week

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

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

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

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

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

Events in Nillumbik during Neighbourhood House Week

Diamond Creek

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

Eltham

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

Panton Hill

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

Exhibition a time capsule for the Shire

PUBLIC ART can tell a lot about a community; what it cherishes, what are its hopes and dreams, its fears, and its joys.
For more than 70 years, the Shire of Eltham, now Nillumbik, has collected works into its civic and public art collections.
A free exhibition at Montsalvat is showcasing significant works from across these collections and it offers a window to the past — how we saw ourselves then, and a mirror on the present — how we see ourselves now.
The exhibition, Local|Remix, opened in early April and runs until the end of May.
Opening the exhibition on behalf of Council, Deputy Mayor Cr Ben Ramcharan noted that the collection shows the history of the Shire over many years.

“It highlights the strong artistic heritage of our area here in Nillumbik and the contribution of artists across the Shire.
“It is interesting to see the contribution made over many years and how it has evolved from what it used to be to what it is today.
“The exhibition considers what is local and how we can connect through art and creativity and the importance of this to our Shire’s identity,” Cr Ramcharan said.

He said importantly the exhibition highlights the work of women artists.
Historically often overlooked in accolades, the contribution of women artists to the Shire is significant, and many works in the collection highlight their strong artistic practice.
In a direct response to a recent gender audit of the Nillumbik Shire Art Collection register and to promote the under-representation of women artists, he said this exhibition flips the statistics of the current collection and presents an exhibition featuring more than 60 per cent women artists. Cr Ramcharan also highlighted the Indigenous works that form part of the collection.

“We have some amazing local artists who are Indigenous, but when you look at the history of the works — when you go to the true history of what is now called Australia — a lot of that’s lost, so being able to foster that culture and keep it alive is incredibly important, and it’s a really powerful thing that we are actually able to do that here,” Cr Ramcharan said.

One of the most recent acquisitions in the Council’s collection is from an emerging Indigenous artist. Nicholas Currie says his piece, Scars and Bruises, reflects on his cultural identity.

“The work shows pain — but it also shows healing — there is a mark left and a history there, but there is also a future that we know will be OK.
 “Normally, my practice is just about making and being present and acknowledging history and carrying on the traditions of my ancestors, and I am proud to continue making, creating and telling our story,” Mr Currie said.

Built-up by Council and the community over many years, the Nillumbik Art, Civic and Public Art collections now have around 600 works, many with strong connections to the local area and its artistic heritage.
Curator Angela Bailey told M&N Bulletin that the selection process was extremely difficult.

“When you’re choosing anything from such a broad range of works like this, 600 plus works — I just wanted to make it so that there were elements across the breadth of the collection, and more recent works too that people haven’t seen yet.”

In an interesting juxtaposition, she noted that the oldest piece on display was a work by the founder of the Cottles Bridge artists’ colony, Dunmoochin, Clifton Pugh, which is hung beside a 2022 acquisition from current Dunmoochin resident, Fionna Madigan.
The Nillumbik Shire Civic Collection presents intriguing insight into the history and heritage of both the Council and community, and this exhibition includes some fascinating artefacts. One of the highlights, the Tarcoola/Coolamon, is a gift from the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung to the Shire and is featured as part of this exhibition.
The exhibition is free and will run until Sunday, May 29, at the Barn Gallery at Montsalvat.

For details visit: nillumbik.vic.gov.au/local-remix

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Love Montsalvat

Coming up, Montsalvat will be presenting two jazz music concerts on Sunday, May 22 to raise funds to help build back from COVID impacts.
The Barn Gallery will play host to two live performances starting with Jackie Bornstein at 5pm.
Jackie Bornstein is one of Melbourne’s most captivating jazz, chanson and bossa nova singers, known for her rich tones and ability to get to the heart of a tune.
Performing alongside Jackie will be the world-class jazz pianist Mark Fitzgibbon.
Mark’s swinging touch and virtuosity is the reason why he’s one of the most in demand players in Australia.
Enjoy a light champagne supper and then hear piano maestro Joe Chindamo from 7pm.
Joe Chindamo is routinely described as one of the best jazz pianists in the world, though his art transcends jazz, having composed concertos, chamber music and film music.

Sunday, May 22
The Barn Gallery
5pm: Jackie Bornstein
6:15: light champagne supper
7pm: Joe Chindamo
Event concludes at 8pm
Book online via Trybooking or tickets are available at the door.

Jazz takes up residence in Hurstbridge

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

Next performance

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

The sky’s the limit for Doomsday Pilot

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

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

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

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

A new chapter for Zul and Café Z

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

Writers set sights on the Nillumbik Prize

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

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

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

Judges

Alan Marshall Short Story Prize:

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

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

Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing – Poetry:

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

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

Its 17th year

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

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

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

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

Doggie doo and cat curfews

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

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

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

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

10 issues of community concern have been highlighted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council pushes back against Christmas Hills land sale

THE NILLUMBIK Council meeting in April considered a request by Melbourne Water to make amendments to the Nillumbik Planning Scheme to facilitate the sale of land in Christmas Hills.
As the Diary reported during the community consultation phase in 2018, Melbourne Water has determined the proposed Watsons Creek Water Catchment is not necessary and so is seeking to subdivide and sell off the land that has been set aside for that project.
In its Land Use Survey, Melbourne Water divided the land into 43 parcels, which they seek to dispose of following rezoning, of which 22 lots would be below the minimum subdivision size in the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ).
Melbourne Water has indicated it is also seeking to provide controls on lots under the minimum lot size and with significant vegetation/bushfire constraints to prevent future development.
Council is looking to ensure the undersized blocks are unable to be built on in the future.
However, Cr Karen Egan noted that some people who purchased land in the last land sale were caught by a similar provision, when they purchased the land expecting to build their dream home in paradise, but then discovered they were unable to obtain a building permit.
She advocated for a community education program around the sale to ensure no one gets caught like that again.
Councillors met with Melbourne Water representatives in March for a briefing about the requested changes to the planning scheme.
The briefing raised several points including traditional owners’ rights, bushfire management, inappropriately sized blocks, and the future of the Mechanics Institute and tennis courts.
In a letter to Council on March 31, Melbourne Water said the Mechanics Hall and the tennis courts are currently within Public Use Zone 1 (PUZ1).

“This zone cannot be retained on the land due to the surplus nature of the land with respect to Melbourne Water’s ownership.
An alternate zone is required.”

The letter said the community has indicated a desire to retain both the Mechanics Institute Hall and the tennis courts as publicly available assets.

“Melbourne Water has proposed to facilitate this through the Masterplan and rezoning which supports Council purchase and ownership of this land through application of the PUZ6 (Local Government).
However, if Council are unable to purchase the land an alternate zoning (not a public land zone) will be required that still facilitates use by the community.”

Melbourne Water then suggested the Mechanics’ Institute Hall should come within Rural Conservation zoning as the property is privately owned.
At the April Council meeting, representatives from Christmas Hills Landcare, CFA and other groups used public question time to request Council meet with them about the land sale and the impacts on the existing community.
Mayor Peter Perkins advised the groups that Council would indeed facilitate a future meeting with the Christmas Hills community representatives.
Deliberations were then made at the April Ordinary Council Meeting regarding Council’s role within the divestment.
Sugarloaf Ward Councillor, Ben Ramcharan moved a motion rejecting the proposed amendments to the planning scheme.
“We know the land is going to be sold, it has to be sold, that is a fact and what we need to do is work with the Community, Melbourne Water, and the Land Planning Service to limit the impact of this on the local environment and local community,” Cr Ramcharan said.
The tennis courts were built using bushfire relief funding and are very well valued by the Christmas Hills community, and are managed by a committee of management and run as a not-for-profit.
“It is about the community meeting together in a community space,” said Cr Ramcharan.
A spokesperson for the Christmas Hills community, David Evans said the tennis courts are already managed by the Mechanic’s Hall committee, and their hope is the courts could be incorporated into a title that includes the hall.
“The courts could not be gifted to the committee as it is a private entity, so we hope that the Council could be some sort of intermediary in that respect.
The Council officer’s report noted Melbourne Water’s proposal would cause a huge impost on council in facilitating often complex planning applications, be a financial burden on council with an increased population requiring additional infrastructure, such as roads, and highlighted the additional work that CFA will need to undertake in mitigation works.
Council unanimously voted on a three-point motion.

That Council:

  • Does not support the proposed amendment to the Nillumbik Planning Scheme by Melbourne Water to facilitate the divestment of its land at Christmas Hills in its current form for the reasons identified in this report.
  • Authorises the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning and local MPs requesting that the Christmas Hills Tennis Courts be retained by Melbourne Water or gifted to Council in order to protect it as a valuable community asset.
  • Directs officers to work with councillors and the Christmas Hills community to prepare a submission to the future Government Land Planning Service Advisory Committee process in consideration of the proposed amendment.

The motion will, in effect, remove Council from overseeing the planning scheme amendment and will see them only as a submitter to the Government Land Planning Service Advisory Committee (GLPSAC).
However, Council has agreed to advocate on behalf of the Christmas Hills Community during any future consultation.
Doug Evans told the Diary the community was happy that the Council chose not to support Melbourne Water’s proposal.
“We hope we can find a position both Council and the community can support and speak together with one voice when GLPSAC have their submission phase.”

Diamond Creek Regional Playspace officially opened

AFTER 10 years in the planning, the Diamond Creek Regional Playspace has been officially opened.
Member for Yan Yean, Danielle Green opened the playspace on behalf of Local Government Minister Shaun Leane, cutting the ribbon with Nillumbik Mayor Peter Perkins, Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward and Nillumbik Councillors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in early March.
The 2020 School Captains and leaders of Diamond Creek, Diamond Creek East, Wattle Glen and Sacred Heart Diamond Creek Primary Schools also assisted in the ribbon cutting ceremony and plaque reveal.
Mayor, Cr Peter Perkins said the playspace, which references Diamond Creek’s gold mining history, has already proven to be one of the most popular playgrounds in Melbourne’s northeast since its completion late last year.

“The playspace has really helped to put Diamond Creek on the map, and people are travelling from across Melbourne to experience what we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy in our own backyard.
“More than 10 years in the making, this project has revitalised an underutilised area of the Diamond Creek Reserve, and will be enjoyed by families local and from afar, for generations to come,” said Cr Perkins

The $2.5 million playspace was funded by the Victorian Government through the Growing Suburbs Fund, and Cr Perkins thanked the Victorian Government, Danielle Green and Eltham MP Vicki Ward for their support in making a long-term vision for the area a reality.

“This is one of many local infrastructure projects across the Shire — including the extension of the Diamond Creek Trail to Hurstbridge, the new Diamond Creek Netball Pavilion and the Marngrook Oval Pavilion — that have been made possible by Victorian Government support, which has totalled $35 million since 2017,” Cr Perkins said.

A key attraction of the playspace, the Tram Café, was also opened by Danielle Green, Vicki Ward, Cr Perkins and members of the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek.
The Diamond Creek Rotary Tram Project saw a retired W-Class Yarra tram from the Victorian Government beautifully restored and transformed into a café with the support of Nillumbik Shire Council, sponsors including Plenty Valley Financial Services (Bendigo Bank) and many other members of the community.
The playspace has been a huge collaboration with many other community groups.
The Diamond Valley Lions raised almost $24,000 to provide the two popular barbecue shelters and another $36,000 for the fitness stations, while Diamond Creek Men’s Shed built the nesting boxes that have been placed in trees in the reserve.
The Diamond Creek Labyrinth in the reserve off Watkins Street, was also completed as part of the playspace project.
The Labyrinth, which was initiated by OM:NI (Older Men, New Ideas) Diamond Creek, provides visitors with the opportunity for meditation and quiet reflection while following the stone path into the centre and out again.
For more information on the playspace, go to nillumbik.vic.gov.au/diamond-creek-playspace

Images courtesy Nillumbik Shire Council

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