Tag Archives: Quinton’s IGA

Which Way Warrandyte?

GOLDFIELDS Plaza, Colin Avenue, and Melbourne Hill Road shops could grow to up to four storeys according to Manningham Council’s new concept design for its Neighbourhood Activity Centres (NACs), which could help meet the municipality’s housing shortfall.

As the reality of significant population increase and a lack of housing/infrastructure to meet it looms across Australia, government at every level is looking at ways to deal with the short-term and long-term implications.

With the population in Manningham expected to increase to more than 140,000 in the next 12 years, Manningham is faced with the challenge of building 8,000 new homes to accommodate an additional 18,000 people.

One option the Council is investigating is the development of Neighbourhood Activity Centres (NACs) as a way of introducing additional housing in urban/suburban shopping centres.

Council has identified nine NACs:

  • Bulleen Plaza
  • Donburn
  • Doncaster East Village (Devon Plaza)
  • Jackson Court
  • Macedon Square/Plaza
  • Park Orchards
  • Templestowe Village
  • Tunstall Square
  • Warrandyte Goldfields

Manningham Mayor Carli Lange said: “We want to hear from the community on how we can best accommodate growth and development while ensuring that our activity centres and surrounding neighbourhoods maintain their liveability.

“If youÕre a resident, chances are you regularly visit at least one of our vibrant activity centres across the municipality.

“We want to ensure that they continue to provide desirable destinations for people to live, shop, work and play — offering a range of retail, office and business opportunities, housing, community and education facilities, said Cr Lange.

With the final endorsement of the Activity Centre Design Guidelines not happening until mid-2025, the initial stage of community consultation is via a survey on the project’s dedicated Your Say page.

The survey is open until June 16, and users of activity centres across Manningham are encouraged to participate.

However, as per the nature of these surveys, the questions are agree/disagree statements regarding the extent of aspects outlined in the Concept Designs, and any genuine feedback/impression about design concepts — within the survey — is limited to about 350 words.

The concept for the NACs covers objectives under six key themes: Building height, residential interface, architectural presentation, public realm, sustainability, and access and car parking.

Of particular note is the proposal to allow buildings of up to four storeys in the Goldfields precinct.

Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) President Terry Tovey said the Concept Design requires careful consideration.

“It shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand and could, if handled sensitively, help address the shortage of diverse and affordable accommodation in Warrandyte and Melbourne.

However, as with all planning matters, the devil is in the detail.

Firstly, what footprint are we talking about for this activity centre?

Beyond this, Council’s discussion paper identifies three other themes, including design quality, neighbourhood character, and housing choice, that is, diversity and affordability.

What capacity does Council really have to influence design quality?

What capacity does Council have to influence diversity and choice in housing?

Does Council have any useful role in ensuring that any development incorporates some social housing?

And how would Council ensure that the activity centre has some design coherence and liveability and does not end up as a barren, over-developed blight driven by private developer interests rather than community needs and interests?

European cities manage medium-density development that focuses on community amenity, and quality design.

That’s what we could aim for here, but I feel that is not what we will get.

The WCA intends to engage Council on all these issues and encourages everyone to read the discussion paper and to make their views known.

Manningham’s housing strategy to date has been thoughtful and strategic, and we should conduct a sensible dialogue with Council to assist it in meeting targets imposed by the State Government while protecting the neighbourhood character, amenity and special environmental qualities of Warrandyte.

Of course, what isn’t addressed in any of this is whether rapid population growth is in Melbourne’s or Australia’s best interests.”

It is also worth noting Park Orchards is also proposed to allow up to a maximum of four storeys in its NAC.

The Diary contacted Manningham Council for more specifics about the concept design for the Goldfields precinct, particularly the perceived impact that four storeys would have on amenity.

Manningham Council Director City Planning, Andrew McMaster, provided this response:

“Manningham Council recognises that each neighbourhood activity centre has its own unique and valued character.

They also play an important role in meeting a range of daily needs for our communities as places where people can meet and socialise.

The Design Concepts identify that Goldfields Plaza Shopping Centre in Warrandyte has the capacity to accommodate developments up to four storeys in height.

However, the height in areas where a new development is adjacent to an existing residential development will be lower to protect nearby amenity.

A key objective of the Design Concepts is that all built form is based on the principles of good design and sustainability.

These concepts build on the objectives of the Manningham Liveable City Strategy 2040, endorsed by Council in 2022.

Importantly, they also seek to protect the amenity of the area through a range of requirements, including:

  • maintaining sunlight to footpaths and the public realm
  • active frontages and awnings to provide weather protection
  • internal spaces that are usable, functional, and have a high degree of amenity.

The current consultation phase seeks community views on a range of Activity Centre Design Concepts.

Feedback received will help inform the preparation of the draft Activity Centre Design Guidelines, which will be exhibited in early 2025 for further community feedback.”

Be sure to have your say on the future of the Goldfields precinct at yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/activity-centre-design-guidelines.

Manningham Council’s Manningham Activity Centre Built Form and Context Analysis, March 2024, which is available to download from the Your Say page, details the specific footprint of each of these activity centres.

The value in shopping local

SUPERMARKETS have been in the news recently for the wrong reasons.
However, Warrandyte is fortunate to have an alternative to shopping with the major retailers.
Quinton’s IGA has been providing the staples of life in Warrandyte for 24 years and, in that time, has become a vital and integral part of the Warrandyte community.
Diary Editor Sandi Miller sat down with Quinton’s IGA Store Manager, Ken Barnes, and Assistant Manager, Hayley Farrugia, to discover what makes our IGA different.

Warrandyte Diary (WD): What is the Quinton’s IGA’s business model?
Ken Barnes (KB): Obviously, we’re part of the IGA family, which is part of Metcash, which, in essence, means Quinton’s IGA is part of a buying group.
This allows us, as a small family business, single entity store, to access the sort of pricing that the major supermarkets get.
But we’re not a franchise — that’s the big distinction — a lot of people will look at IGA as a franchise like a McDonald’s, but we’re not. IGA can’t come in here and specifically tell me what to do, but they give us the ability to access the bulk prices, which we can flow through to the local community.
We’re probably one of the largest single employers in Warrandyte, and we do take that with a great sense of pride, and there’s a bit of a responsibility to that, because we’re taking that generation, especially the young ones, starting them on a life journey of not only working but the bigger sense of the world.

WD: So what does that mean for local shoppers?
KB: “From our family to yours” — it’s not just a catchphrase; it’s our ethos — and we keep it local, where possible. At the moment, we have locally grown strawberries and plums.
We were getting local tomatoes until the storms came through and destroyed the hot houses — and some of the items we stock are from businesses with stalls at the Warrandyte Market, like PoppySmack and Jerry’s Burgers.
But we need to blend this with the national staples the consumer wants — like Tip Top bread and Pedigree dog food.
We go from being a small, local business to dealing with our larger suppliers, thinking “how do we think like Coles and Woolies but not act like Coles and Woolies”.

WD: Tell me about your relationship with your suppliers.
KB: With Metcash, there are things we have to do.
We have been doing a lot of work in the store over the last 12 months, which I know with some locals at times has generated some emotions, but it was about ensuring we had the right range.
The increase in the cost of living does not just impact households; it puts pressure on businesses, too. Interest rates go up for homeowners; they do for us, too.
We’ve got loans, we’ve got overdrafts, same as with rates, all that goes up, and we need to make sure we can make ends meet.
So, we either put prices up, look at ways of becoming more efficient, or negotiate with our suppliers to strengthen the relationship to get better pricing.
This could be in the way we buy stock — so volume — and means we may commit to purchasing more of one type of product to get a lower price, which we can then pass on to our customers and means we have access to products we may struggle to get if we were not part of IGA.
However, we also have upward of 100 direct suppliers — from mum and dad businesses to larger brands like Nudie Juice.
The main thing is, if a price increase comes from a supplier on a product, we see how we can minimise that through to the customer.
Unfortunately, sometimes we have no option, especially at the moment with anything wheat-related, so the bread has seen some large price rises over the last 12 months; we just have to pass that on.
But if it is things like our insurance or waste services, we will not put up the price of bananas or apples to offset that; we have to negotiate or use the IGA co-op effect to get a better deal.

WD: Tell me about the history of the supermarket and your relationship with the Warrandyte community.
Hayley Farrugia (HF): My stepdad Brian purchased the store in January 2000 — he had a big dream for the store.
When he passed away in 2008, Mum (Julie Quinton) stepped in and took over, and she wanted to carry on Brian’s dream.
But prior to stepping in and running the store, she had no retail experience, so she just wanted to come in and learn very quickly how everything operates, and she ran it from the eyes of a consumer.
I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve been able to get customer loyalty because we look at where things are from — even when I was a kid, Mum would only buy Australian and always read the nutrition labels.
Now, we can continue to build and grow with the solid foundations she and Brian created.
KB: Supporting the community is very much the DNA of independent stores.
Being relatively new to the store, the difference between here and other independent supermarkets is why they do these things.
Supporting the community at other stores is about gaining public recognition, whereas — partly due to the influence of Brian and Julie — we do it because we want to help; it’s about a community partnership, not necessarily community kudos.
HF: Like at Christmas, we donated to the local schools so the kids could make Christmas decorations for us.
That saves us going out and buying things made overseas — and the kids love it — it just brings in that community feel, and when the kids come in, they look for their things and show their parents, and it just generates a really lovely atmosphere.

Warrandyte IGA – Store Manager Ken Barnes and Assistant Store Manager Hayley Farrugia

WD: What is your point of difference from Coles and Woolworths?
KB: It’s an interesting question because it can be quite an emotional thing.
We can sit here saying, “We deliver better customer service,” and all the standard stuff.
But for me, I’ve worked across wholesale and retail, and I had my own store, and it comes down to the four walls, the people, and everything in there that make it the difference between what’s up the road.
We have a great community sense in the store.
When you come in, and you buy that product, and it is not just a commercial decision, we don’t say, “It’s not selling, so we will pull it”, we will keep it because you are coeliac, and that is the only product that meets that need, so we will keep it.
It’s all the little things that make a difference.
But first and foremost, it is our people that make the difference.
Julie leads that at the end of the day, she’s the one that has bred the culture, and we are just the caretakers.

WD: Cost of living crisis, so how can shopping locally help the community?
KB: Shopping locally gives us better buying power; it is a chicken and egg thing.
We cannot always compete with the large chains that are a 15-minute drive away.
They are a multi-billion-dollar, national business, and we are a small, family-run supermarket.
But by shopping locally, it keeps locals employed, it allows us to invest in more people, which ultimately gives better customer service, it enables us to invest back into the business, which helps us to lower costs, and it allows us to go to our suppliers and get the next tier pricing because a lot of it is based on volume.
All of that will flow back through to the customers.
HF: And the customers make it easier for us to do our jobs. I get about four to five hugs a week — just because — and I don’t think I could ever imagine walking into a big chain supermarket and hugging one of the employees randomly.
KB: There are people who come into the store; we know them by name; you know about their kids, you know about their grandkids.
Selling baked beans or bananas is just what we do, but knowing you can have that sort of impact, no amount of money can change that or make that any better.
I want to say, on behalf of the store, the family, and the whole team, a really big thank you to the Warrandyte community just for the way they make us feel. It is just a wonderful place to work, and that is down to the Warrandyte community.

Have a ball and support the CFA

FIREBALL is back!
Following the highly successful gala events in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and after two false starts in 2020 and 2021, Fireball will again come to life on Saturday, July 29.
The brainchild of Julie Quinton, Fireball was formed following the 2014 Flannery Court fires; Julie organised a small team of locals to recognise our CFA volunteers’ enormous commitment of time, effort, and personal risk.
Out of this intention, Fireball’s mantra was forged: to ease the burden of fundraising from volunteer firefighters.
CFA volunteers sacrifice a huge number of hours for our community.
They put their lives on the line. They often sacrifice their holidays, private/social lives, and family time in their CFA duty to the community.
They have been known to cook their own barbecue fundraisers, put on trivia nights, run raffles, letterbox drops and more, all in a bid to raise much-needed money to buy equipment to help protect our community.
They do this because they are committed to volunteering and keeping the community safe: they do not complain or seek recognition, and many of them are not comfortable with publicity.
To keep them safe in their endeavours and to enhance their community safeguarding, the Fireball Committee believes the whole community should take on some of the responsibility of fundraising for CFA services that serve us all.
This year’s event has been given an incredible kick start with the support of Bramleigh Estate Warrandyte; they have donated everything – the venue, the meals, their staff, and the drinks for the night.
This generous sponsorship significantly reduces the Fireball Committee’s need to call on the support of local businesses, many of whom have faced tough times over the past three years.
The committee knows other charity functions have been helped where possible, and Fireball intends to minimise the further impact on local traders as much as possible.
The owner of Bramleigh Estate, Mary-Anne McPherson, is passionate about “giving back” to the community, reaching out to the Fireball Committee to find out how she could contribute.
“The approach that Fireball has used in the past in ‘letting the Fireys get on and do what they do best while we, the community, do the fundraising for significant spends’ resonated with me,” Mary-Anne said.
She originally proposed this level of sponsorship for the 2020 event, and we are pleased to say she has stood by her commitment to support the cause still in 2023, even after her own business experienced significant impacts and closures over the last few years.
“It feels even more important now to be able to take some of the load off the local small businesses who are still recovering from the last few years by supporting Fireball in this way,” she said.
Historically, Fireball, with the support of our wonderful community, has raised between $60K and $80K in an evening; in 2023, Fireball aims to keep that momentum going to raise sufficient funds for essential firefighting equipment – for the same CFA brigades who also limited their fundraising activities over the last few years due to community impact.
Now it is time, and the Captains of the Greater Warrandyte CFAs consisting of North and South Warrandyte, Warrandyte, and Wonga Park, have determined that the broader community would benefit from the purchase of a much-needed light tanker to be housed at the Wonga Park station.
Money raised from Fireball 2023 will be delivered to the Greater Warrandyte CFAs to ensure they are able to purchase this more agile appliance suited to the local environment.
Tickets are on sale now for $220.
Buy your tickets on the Fireball website www.fireball.org.au.
Get in quick to be a part of the gala event of the year.

Melbourne locked-down once again

METROPOLITAN Melbourne braced for bad news on Wednesday, June 2 when the inevitable announcement came that they would have to endure another seven-days of lockdown.
The highly infectious “Kappa” variant of COVID-19 arrived in Melbourne via a hotel quarantine breach in South Australia, in early May.
In in the last week of May, the outbreak reached 60 cases, encompassing exposure sites numbering more than 350 across Melbourne and Regional Victoria.
Locally, there have been no reported cases in Warrandyte, although a burger bar in Doncaster Shoppingtown and a popular petrol station in East Doncaster were listed as exposure sites as part of the outbreak.
Following the announcement, Acting Premier James Merlino highlighted just how frighteningly contagious the Kappa is.
“To date, the approach has been to track the spread through friends, family and workmates.
“People spending time together for minutes and hours — not seconds.
“What we’re seeing now is something else — something even more serious. “At least one in 10 current cases have caught this virus from a stranger. “People brushing against each other in a small shop.
“Getting a take-away coffee from the same cafe.
“Being in the same place, at the same time for mere moments.
“Just walking past someone you’ve never met can mean the virus is jumping to a whole new network.
“And when you don’t know someone — you don’t know their name or where they live — you’re looking for one person in 6.6 million,” he said.
Local businesses, such as Warrandyte IGA and Grand Hotel Warrandyte were both impacted by the 2020 lockdowns, both financially and emotionally.
This latest lockdown is throwing new challenges at Melburnians on a daily basis, as we go to press, there are more than 70 active cases related to this latest outbreak and recent news that the Delta variant of COVID-19 — which is also highly infectious — has also been detected.
As we enter the final five days of the extended lockdown, health authorities race to link mystery cases in this outbreak.
For the local Warrandyte economy, lockdown is particularly hard.
Our bustling restaurant and café strewn high street is eerily quiet and new rules around the mandatory requirement to check in with the Government QR code system is causing additional queues at cafes and supermarket entrances.
It is now mandatory for all customer facing retail businesses to record whoever enters their premises, even if it is only for a few minutes — businesses can take paper records if a customer is unable to use the QR code system, and businesses who are found in breach of following the new mandatory QR code tracking rules could face a fine.

Five reasons to leave home

Under the new lockdown rules, locals have to, once again, adhere to:

  • 10 kilometre radius
  • Some school students on remote learning
  • Limits on weddings and funerals
  • Playcentres, gyms, entertainment venues, hair and beauty and tourism closed.
  • Community sport cancelled
  • Restaurants and cafes restricted to take away service
  • Visitor restrictions on aged care facilities and hospitals

There are now five reasons to leave home; essential shopping, exercise (two hours maximum per day with one other person), care and caregiving, authorised work, and vaccination.
As of Friday, June 4, the lockdown of late May changed slightly — once again Melbourne and Regional Victoria (RV) were separated by rules and although the “ring of steel” has not been reinstated, retail businesses close to Melbourne are being asked to check IDs of all their customers to ensure people aren’t, effectively, breeching Melbourne quarantine.
Checking into the Government’s QR code system will now also be mandatory anyone who enters any retail premises for any duration, even if it is less than 15 minutes.
The Acting Premier acknowledged this was going to be tough, but stated it was necessary.
“No one wants to be here.
“And I know this news is tough for every Victorian, every family and every business in this state.
“But the Chief Health Officer has no choice but to give this advice.
“And the Government has no choice but to follow it.
“If we don’t, this thing will get away from us and people will die.
“No one wants to repeat last winter.
“To stop that from happening, we need every Victorian to follow the rules, to get tested and to get vaccinated when it’s your turn.
“We can do this, but we need to do it together,” he said.

Some good news

While we settle into the second week of lockdown, Years 11 and 12, as well as any student taking a Unit 3 / 4 VCE or VCAL subject have returned to the classroom at this most crucial time and some outdoor businesses, such as landscaping, gardening, painting, et cetera have been reclassified as “authorised” businesses for the extended lockdown.
The State Government has also added an additional $209 million to its business support package, raising the funding to nearly $450 million to support businesses impacted by the lockdown in the form of a series of grants.

New support package for businesses
The aptly named Circuit Breaker Business Support Package aims to help up to 90,000 businesses affected by the current lockdown.
However, there is a catch, one of the requirements for accessing the Business Costs Assistance Program funds is that the business must be registered for GST, as of May 27, 2021. As many businesses know, if your annual turnover is below $75,000 then registering for GST is optional.
Not-for-profits which have an annual turnover between $75,000 and $150,000 and meet the other grant requirements can also apply for the Business Costs Assistance Program. The package is divided into three initiatives:

  • Business Costs Assistance Program •
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
  • Support for events operators

In its original form, the package would see $190M funnelled into a second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program, offering grants of $2,500 for eligible businesses directly affected by the lockdown’s industry restrictions; this includes restaurants and cafes, event suppliers, accommodation providers, and non- essential retail.
A new round of the Licenced Hospitality Venue Fund will see $40.7M provided to businesses with a liquor license and food certificate, distributed in grants of $3,500 per premises.
With the extension of the lockdown and an additional $209M package, eligible businesses, who find themselves in a second week of lockdown will have access to additional funds.
Businesses which are still unable to open will be able to apply for a $5,000 grant while licenced hospitality venues applying for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund, who find themselves still unable to operate, will be able to apply for $7,000 per premises.
It is important to note, if you were unable to open for the first week of lockdown but are now able to operate, you will still be able to claim a share of the business support package, but only for the original amount.
For operators in the events industry who have been impacted financially by the lockdown, they will have access to a share of a $20M support scheme.
At the announcement, Mr Merlino said this new package will help businesses stay open in the long term. “The circuit-breaker action will keep Victorians safe and protect businesses and jobs — but we know it’s not easy shutting your doors and putting your plans on hold.
“This support will help businesses pay the bills and maintain their workforce as best they can, as we work together to get through this challenge,” he said.
Minister for Small Business, Jaala Pulford added: “small businesses are crucial to our economy and beyond dollar and cents, important contributors to local communities — we’re proud to stand with them and their workers.”

Emergency essentials in Warrandyte

Warrandyte Neighbourhood House is launching its new food relief service on Wednesday, June 9.
Any locals who are struggling to keep food on the table during the pandemic can collect an essentials hamper on Wednesdays, at Warrandyte Neighbourhood House, Webb Street, from June 9.
See story Page 14 for further details.

Eligible businesses can visit business.vic.gov.au/grants-and- programs/circuit-breaker-business- support-package for further information and to register for a share of the package — most grants opened for application on Thursday, June 3, and are open for three weeks.

Nillumbik unveils pandemic recovery plan

 By SUSAN FOREMAN

AS WE ALL stand together during the ongoing battle with COVID-19, Nillumbik Shire Council has released a critical new “roadmap” to support the community in its recovery from the pandemic.
The Nillumbik Community Pandemic Recovery Plan 2021-22 was endorsed at last week’s Council meeting, just prior to the Shire going into its fourth lockdown in a bid to contain the latest outbreak of the virus.
The plan outlines Council’s initial response, along with the actions it will take to ensure the Nillumbik community can recover as restrictions continue to evolve and life shifts to a “COVID normal”.
The plan is based on four main themes which guide the recovery process:

  • Inclusion
  • Healthy Environments
  • Healthy Behaviours
  • Employment and Education

The plan’s actions span across several areas of Council, and will be supported by State and Federal Government initiatives, and those delivered by community organisations and local partners.
While this plan addresses the short to medium term approach to recovery, Council says it recognises there will be longer term pandemic impacts, which will be addressed through the Council Plan and Municipal Health & Wellbeing Plan.
Nillumbik Mayor Peter Perkins said Council’s approach throughout the pandemic had been comprehensive and collaborative, and would continue to be so.
“Collaboration is a key principle of any work we do, and is especially the case for pandemic recovery,” Cr Perkins said.
He said Council’s approach is reflected in this plan, which highlights
Council’s critical role in service delivery and in advocating to other levels of government on behalf of our community.
“It will be a critical roadmap as we, alongside our community, navigate what continues to be a highly volatile and unpredictable environment.”
Cr Perkins acknowledged the resilience and resourcefulness of the Nillumbik community, which has come to the fore on many occasions over the years, whether in the face of fire, flood or now, pandemic.
“Nevertheless, the challenges of the past 18 months have been like nothing we’ve previously experienced and have, not surprisingly, taken their toll,” he said.
“Council recognises that pandemic response, relief and recovery are all dynamic.
“Therefore, Council is committed to shift and adjust its approach where required, based on local need and the direction of the State Government.”
The plan was largely developed based on the survey results from the Together in Nillumbik survey, conducted last year with healthAbility, an independent, community health organisation.
To view the plan visit nillumbik.vic. gov.au/pandemic-recovery-plan

Keeping our community safe

By STEPHEN BENDLE

WE HAVE ALL heard a lot about vaccines lately.
They have been around since the late 18th century when used to fight smallpox.
There is a pretty strong push for all Australians to get the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they can.
Some in our community might choose not to; but to avoid future lockdowns, protect the vulnerable among us, ease the stress on our health system and enjoy the wonders of international travel again, we are being encouraged to line up and get the jab.
There are a million websites to review, but the Diary thought we would go straight to those in our community who know best, our doctors, starting with Dr Garth Cooze, GP at Warrandyte Medical Centre, just prior to the latest outbreak.
“It is understandable that some people are apprehensive about a vaccine which has not been around for a long time.
“It is important to note, when making decisions about COVID-19 vaccination, that the risks posed by the vaccinations are infinitesimally small and are by far outweighed by their inherent benefits.
“Vaccinations have been hailed by infectious disease experts as one of the safest forms of medicine.
“As we are heading into the winter months, we face a significant and very real threat in this country, as we have seen across Europe, of virus surge in the community again.
“This virus, as with most respiratory viruses, thrives during the colder months.
“In light of this, it is important not to be complacent — this pandemic, is still very real and we remain in a precarious position (notwithstanding Australia’s clear successes).
“Our principal exit strategy remains en-masse vaccination.
“I would urge people not to delay or be complacent with this.
“We encourage members of the community to get vaccinated, to protect ourselves, our families and also the wider community.
“This will pave the way to some sustainable semblance of normality.”
Dr Paul Proimos from Goldfields Family Medical Centre told the Diary their practice is proud to be part of the biggest vaccination rollout in Australian history.
He encouraged all locals to be vaccinated as soon as they can.
“Goldfields Medical Centre commenced their COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in April and are currently working through our waiting list.”
The Diary also asked one of Warrandyte’s most celebrated scientists, Professor Doug Hilton AO, who is the Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and Head of the Department of Medical Biology at the University of Melbourne.
Coincidentally, when we spoke to him, he had just received his first vaccine.
“For me, growing up in Warrandyte meant being looked after by the whole community, which was such a privilege.
“In 2021, by the far the best way we can look after everyone in our community is to get vaccinated.
“The vaccines against Sars-Cov-2 are among the safest and most effective vaccines ever developed.
“The side-effects that have been reported so prominently in the media are incredibly rare — much rarer than the side-effects of medicines we use routinely.
“Please get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible — through your GP or at a mass vaccination centre.
“Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines will reduce your likelihood of getting infected by Sars-Cov-2 and they will reduce the severity of illness if you are infected.
“A single dose of either vaccine is more than 80 per cent effective at preventing admission to hospital and preventing death from COVID-19.
“The second booster dose will greatly increase this protection.
“In addition, both vaccines greatly reduce the chance of passing the virus on to someone else.
“Vaccination is a win for you and a win for the community,” said Doug.
For further information about vaccines, where to get tested or current exposure sites, visit: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

A symbol of community spirit and optimism

By JAMES POYNER

JOAN DENISION’S fence post Iso Chooks have returned to the streets of Eltham, Warrandyte, St Kilda, and beyond, as a symbol of community spirit.
Last year, Joan, who has a passion for art and fashion, began painting chicken characters on old fence palings.
These cheerful Iso Chooks became an overnight success and what started as a distraction for her street soon saw Joan painting thousands of Iso Chooks which now adorn gardens and shop fronts all over Eltham.
The Diary asked owners of Iso Chooks to send in pictures of their proudly placed pictoral poultry.
Marg and Michael Weston’s “Three Tenors” from the Woodridge area of Eltham told us a little about the journey their three Iso Chooks have been on.
“We are a very theatrical and musical family and love working in and attending the Opera.
We couldn’t resist calling our chooks The Three Tenors (they cost $10 each). Each of our four adult kids have an Iso Chook, so they are bringing smiles in St Kilda, East Malvern, Ivanhoe and Elizabeth Bay NSW.
Another was gifted to a dear friend in Windermere, Tasmania and is greatly loved down there!”
Joans Chooks are also being given to new Australian Citizens at Nillumbik Citizenship ceremonies.

Quinton’s IGA in the movies

WARRANDYTE’S Quinton’s SUPA IGA are the stars of a new short film which aims to inspire healthy, creative and affordable ways to feed the whole family.

Last month, Independent Grocer of Australia (IGA) chose Quinton’s to help launch the IGA Family Program and the new initiative is the subject of the IGA movie. Owner Julie Quinton — pictured with her children Hayley (left), Dale (right) and granddaughter Ocea, — says she is proud to be a part of such an exciting program.

“We want to create an even stronger community for all our customers and the IGA Family Program is a great way to help families with healthy recipes, creative activities and fun facts,” says Julie.

The film will become available towards the end of this month and the team at Quinton’s SUPA IGA can’t wait to show the community their on-screen talent.

Quinton’s SUPA IGA invite local families to sign up via family.iga.com.au and check out the new site which provides information on how to live in a happier and healthier Australia.

The Family Program offers a range of activities designed to encourage kids to be creative and imaginative as well as develop cooking skills.

The program also promotes educating children on where their food comes from to help foster a greater and healthier relationship with food. This category, known as the “Paddock to Plate”, will have regularly updated information and a newsletter to members who sign up.

Members will have the chance to win regular prizes and children up to the age of 13 will receive an exciting birthday gift from Quinton’s each year.

Julie says the store is proud to support a variety of local charities every day through the IGA Community Chest initiative which also funds local sporting teams and organisations through in-store purchases.

Quinton’s also supports the community through the Quinton’s Rewards Points program that donates a percentage of the money spent.

“We have a thriving local community with many families shopping each week at their local Quinton’s IGA,” Julie says.

Cookin’ up a storm

Quinton’s IGA hires a top gun chef to take the supermarket to new heights.

The supermarket industry has changed significantly over the past 20 years and sadly many family owned grocers have been snuffed out by the big chains and multinationals who dominate the Australian market.

So it is becoming quite rare for a supermarket such as Warrandyte’s very own family owned and run, Quinton’s IGA, to not only survive but thrive, powering on with innovation and, at times, with community faith-based risk and often leading the way in what is a very ruthless, cutthroat industry.

The ongoing success of Warrandyte’s family grocer is due to the quality and standards set by Quinton’s.

The philosophy is, “If it’s not good enough for our family’s dinner table, then it’s not good enough for our customer’s table.”

The drive to continually evolve and to keep up with trends is also a major factor in Quinton’s success. However, Quinton’s IGA is about to take our much loved family grocery store to a whole new level over the coming few months.

With the introduction of new head chef, Dave Cafarella, who is partnering with the Quinton’s team, bringing ‘big city’ convenience to Warrandyte, while still keeping our community uniqueness and country town friendliness.

Julie Quinton’s excitement over the development is infectious, as she reels off Chef Dave’s credentials.

“Dave has been head chef at Domaine Chandon, head chef at The Public Brewery, sous chef at Olivigna and head chef at the Lilydale General,” she told the Diary. “Along with his beautiful wife Bec and his two gorgeous little girls Mika 7 and Jaidah 4, Dave is now going to get some great family/work/life balance back into his life without his ‘cheffy’ nights working in restaurants. Dave is as excited as we are so it’s a win all around we think!”

It’s time for loyal locals to get excited. Quinton’s IGA has plans underway for a bigger new deli and a full chef’s kitchen, where Dave will have full reign over his new domain.

“We are going to make meal planning so incredibly simple for our customers,” Julie explains. “We will also be opening up on lots more fresh Australian seafood and ‘ready to cook – chef prepared’ meal ideas with the focus on health, Australian grown, ethical, vegan and un- processed foods.

“We are so excited and confident in our new direction – we know we’re going to hit the mark and we know our customers are going to love the changes.”

While big changes are afoot, it’s the little things that matter, too. The supermarket’s new deli will also carry a larger range and deliver slice on demand for all hams, salamis and prosciutto.

“The gourmet cheese range will also improve with the assistance of our Cheesemonger in training, my daughter Hayley,” Julie says with a smile.

“Another sensational addition to our Quinton’s staff has been our new liquor manager, Mark Hansford. Mark comes to us with great wine knowledge and will be only too pleased to help our customers select and advise on our wines. Be sure to look for Mark’s recommendations and special deals in the liquor department.”

Julie’s nous for not only survival but also progress is leading edge. She’s an award-winner, an inspirational leader in the IGA chain and many will agree the lifeblood for our community heartbeat on so many levels.

Community cook-ups, sports club support and Fireball sponsorship just a few to name off the cuff. There’s plenty more we could reference.

She’s a leader, one who threads a community tapestry with her ability to make things happen and inspire others.

“We realise, for our continued survival and longevity in Warrandyte, we need to continually realign ourselves to be relevant in our customers’ busy lives as well as providing exceptional customer service and that’s what we are prepared to do,” Julie says.

Stay tuned for a revamped Quinton’s IGA with something big cooking in the kitchen.

Online shopping arrives

SHOPPERS in Warrandyte and surrounding suburbs now have the luxury of ordering their groceries online from Quinton’s SUPA IGA thanks to the installment of a cutting edge new ordering system.

By clicking into the easy to navigate site quintonssupaonline.com.au you can order all your groceries from the store and have them delivered to your door.

“We’re really excited about what we can now offer our loyal customers,” Quinton’s IGA manager Dale Farrugia told the Diary.

“It’s been a long-time coming, but it’s a really efficient system and we know a lot of locals are excited by it. Let’s face it, we live in busy times and by the time a person jumps in the car, drives to the supermarket, shops, drives home and unpacks, it can be anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half on average, so now they only have to spend 10-15 minutes on the computer or their smartphone and it’s all sorted.

“While we have a beaut system that works, all we ask is that residents have a little bit of patience as we fine tune it into a well-oiled machine.

“So far, so good, and we expect it to be a seamless process. We’ve already got people shopping online and they love it. Early days, though, we may be missing the occasional photo or an item is in the wrong section but ultimately it’s all up and running.”

And after test-driving the online ordering system designed for both your desktop and mobile (iPhone, iPad etc), I’m happy to report the experience is excellent. The site, created on the NoQ platform has slick design, is simple to use and everything is secure. Simply register and enter your details, and you’re ready to go.

“We have a support phone line available on the site and, of course, our staff are more than happy to take questions and help people.”

Delivery is Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

Orders must be in by 11.59pm the previous day. Minimum order delivery is $50 and there are four zone delivery areas going as far as Chirnside Park, Ringwood, Croydon Hills, Bend of Islands and Wonga Park, among others. See the site’s “delivery” page for more info.

Delivery is free for orders of $200 or more, while orders under that amount only incur fees ranging from $5 (Zone 1) to no more than $10 (Zone 4).

Visit: quintonssupaonline.com.au

Best in business

JULIE Quinton has some sound advice for business owners:

“You have got to be involved in your community in every aspect. You have got to be part of it, you have to get to know people and know what your customers want.”

Julie is the progressive owner of Quinton’s IGA in Warrandyte – and also the inaugural winner of the Manningham Business Excellence Awards, which return for a third time this year.

After losing her husband in August of 2007, Julie’s life changed in many ways. Brian Quinton bought the supermarket in 2000 and ran the business successfully for seven years.

Although Julie admits she was never inclined to run her own business, she felt compelled to continue her husband’s legacy.

“It’s been a real learning curve,” Julie says. “I had no aspirations before he passed away – now I do.”

After taking out first place in two categories at the 2013 Manningham Business Excellence Awards, including Manningham Business of the Year and Manningham Contribution to Community Business of the Year, Julie and her staff felt a great sense of pride and affirmation.

“When we won, that was the greatest reward and it felt like we were on the right track. It was a wonderful moment,” she recalls.

This year marks the third Manningham Business Excellence Awards, a joint initiative of the four Rotary clubs in Manningham; Doncaster East, Templestowe Village and Warrandyte Community Bank branches; Manningham Business and the Manningham Business Network.

The awards provide a platform for business owners to not only celebrate their success but to undertake a more detailed analysis of their business strengths and identify potential areas for improvement.

Event manager for the awards Liz Small says they are a great way for businesses to review their activity and an opportunity for businesses to look at their operations in a much deeper, analytical sense.

Tony Welsh, owner of H2Pro Plumbing and winner of the 2014 Manningham Business of the Year and Manningham Professional Services Business of the Year awards, believes the MBEA have helped his business move forward and plan more efficiently for the future.

“The Manningham Business Excellence Awards give you a chance to look at your business and its structure from the outside in and realise what you do have in place and what you need to put in place,” Tony told the Diary.

Recognising business achievements is important to Tony and although he regrets often being too busy to acknowledge his business’s success, the MBEA gave him the chance to do just that. Receiving recognition from others in the business industry, such as business coaches and marketing professionals on the awards judging panel, was especially gratifying, he explains.

Tony concedes running a business can sometimes be a “lonely road” because it can be difficult for owners to judge exactly how well everything is progressing. However, winning the awards pushed those feelings of uncertainty aside.

“It felt like the hard work had paid off and it was recognition that the business is moving forward,” Tony says.

Liz Small, of the MBEA, says while the awards provide an ideal opportunity for local businesses to showcase themselves and their achievements, one of the key criteria for nominees is the contribution they have made to the community.

“The key reason why they (the awards) were arranged was to recognise the businesses that give back to the community… that’s the big driving force behind the whole thing,” Liz says.

Quinton’s IGA aligns with that philosophy.

Julie says an important part of running her business is conducting forums with customers to determine what they like or dislike and what they want from the business.

“You need to work in your business and not just on it. Business owners cannot just do only what they want all the time,” she says.

The MBEA celebrate the point of difference offered by businesses and how that allows them to stand out from competitors. Both Julie and Tony share the philosophy that the quality of what they offer is foremost.

“I don’t think you could compare our produce to the larger supermarket chains. Our quality is superior and exceptional,” Julie says.

Tony says competitive pricing is something he considers, but he measures his business more on the quality of service provided and how the customers respond to that service.

“We always try to go beyond the call of duty and over deliver. We aim to give that ‘wow’ factor.”

Naturally, two successful business owners such as Julie Quinton and Tony Welsh know that running a business is not possible without commitment, energy and, most of all, passion.

“You can’t go into business half-heartedly. You have got to have a passion for what you do and always aim to be one of the best in your profession,” Tony says.

Julie’s passion stems from a significant personal experience and adds another dimension to her perspective on running her business.

“I’m not driven by money, it’s not my passion. My passion is Brian’s legacy. I focus on my staff and what we provide to our community and I truly believe that has been the secret to our success,” she says.

Julie and Tony believe the future for businesses in Warrandyte is bright, especially given the community’s willingness to support local business. “I think as long as you try and run your business to the best of your ability and do so with integrity, you’ll definitely succeed,” Julie says.

Businesses operating within Manningham or servicing suburbs within the municipality are encouraged to nominate themselves for the 2015 Manningham Business Excellence Awards. The awards breakfast launch will be held on Tuesday July 28 at the Manningham Function Centre. There will be an opportunity to hear from past award winners and how the Manningham Business Excellence Awards have benefitted their business.

For more information visit www.manninghambea.com.au

Five For Friday (April 17) in Warrandyte

What’s happening in Warrandyte and surrounds? Here’s five things to stir the senses and your interest …

1. Bloods’ first home game for the season at our beautiful Warrandyte Reserve and the sensational new facilities. Get up in the grand stand, buy a beer and a Bloods burger from Bucky and his team and enjoy a great game as the Red & White do battle with Ferntree Gully all day in the U19s, Reserves and seniors

2. Nillumbik Youth Festival will be a hive of activity on Sunday from 11am to 4pm at Edendale Farm on Gaston Rd in Eltham. Let’s party, kids!

3.  Free plants – Stoney Creek and Yarra Restoration Group ask you to join them at a free BBQ to hear their plans and help them restore the reserve at the Boulevard in North Warrandyte. Saturday (tomorrow) at 4pm. Contact Gill on 0403 051 766

4. Don’t forget your copy of the latest edition of the Warrandyte Diary, it’s a corker, 40 pages packed with fun stuff, news, around the home page, travel stories, sport, food, school, community issues and loads more. Available at various pick up points, mainly Quinton’s IGA.

5. Give Sue a hug at Quinton’s IGA in the coming week and say congratulations on 20 years of great work and for her big friendly smile at our local supermarket. She’s a little ripper!

Five For Friday (Easter)

What’s happening in Warrandyte? Here’s our weekly Five for Friday.

1. Happy Easter everyone! don’t forget to nab your last minute Easter Eggs from Warrandyte Lollies & Treats, Cocoa Moon and Quinton’s IGA. Or any other local shop stocking the chocky eggs. Shop local!

2. Warrandyte Community Market is on Saturday April 4. All sorts of clothes, crafts, homemade cakes and jams, flowers and plants, and glorious food from Phil’s Burgers to Harry Hoo’s dim sims, the poffertjes ladies and more.

3. The footy is back! Well, the big stuff, anyway. Who’s it going to be? The Hawks again? The Swans? Or a suprise packet this year – maybe the Tigers, Kangas, Pies, Doggies, Cats or Blues? No better time to chomp on those Easter Eggs than Easter Sunday and Monday while watching the footy on TV.

4. Blatant plug for a loyal Diary advertiser – Concrete Booking Agency, concrete where and when you need it! Give the lads a call on 1300 266 278

5. Gown & Posy Fashion Parade on Thursday April 9 upstairs at The Grand Hotel in Warrandyte. All ticket sales will go to all Warrandyte fire stations excluding booking fee. Lots of fantastic raffle prizes, all money from the raffle will also go to the CFA. Say a big thank you and lets show them that we care by attending the fashion parade for a fun Girls Night Out! All tickets are $30 Buy your tickets online at: http://trybooking.com/HTDF

Five For Friday (March 13)

1. For goodness sake don’t walk under a ladder and trip over a black cat! It’s Friday the 13th! But Saturday offers a much sweeter proposition with the Strawberry Fair at St Anne’s in Park Orchards, so grab your slap bands and dive into the giant superslide, trackless train, cha cha and more. Oh yeah, and there’ll be strawberry treats galore.

2. Warrandyte RSL is rocking up a storm tonight from 8pm with Rodeo Clowns, while the Grand Hotel will be pumping to the tunes of Peter Grant.

3. Warranwood Art Show is on all weekend at Oak Hall at the Melbourne Rudolph Steiner School in Wonga Rd from 10am-4pm – unmissable. Some fantastic art on display and for sale, visit www.warrandwoodartshow.com.au for more info.

4. BLATANT PLUG for a loyal Diary advertiser – Billanook College is offering student led tour of the campus on Thursday from 10.30am, so RSVP by contacting the registrar on 9724 1179.

5. The flags are up, the program is in the Diary available online and at Quinton’s IGA, and excitement is at bursting point. Yes, save your money, your appetite and your energy for the greatest annual festival on the planet next weekend – the Warrandyte Festival!