Tag Archives: scott podmore

Diary is ‘Best Newspaper’ again!

For the third successive year the Warrandyte Diary has claimed the title as Best Newspaper at the Community Newspaper Association of Victoria (CNAV) annual awards.

Diary stalwart Jock Macneish and his wife Di attended the awards and almost wore out their shoes in walking up to collect them on behalf of the Diary.

“It was a fantastic night and we were thrilled to be involved in so many awards, whether it be as a winner or finalist,” Jock said. “It’s a fabulous result for all of Warrandyte.”

We managed to win four of the nine awards, including Best Newspaper (2014-15-16), Best Sports Reporting, Best Feature Story (Sammi Taylor’s investigation of Lyme Disease) and Best Photograph (Bill Hudson-McAuley’s wonderful photograph taken at Ron Day’s funeral). We also finished as finalists in another three including Best Editorial Comment (editor Scott Podmore’s close look at social media in the local community), Best Design and Layout, and Best History Story (Living in the ’50s).

So what did the independent judges say about our work? Read on:

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Best Newspaper – Winner 

Warrandyte Diary

This entry wins because of its all-round appeal, combining excellent hard news with great photographs, an engaging front page, features and coverage of grass-roots events. Particularly notable was its strong hard news coverage on issues where accurate, current information for residents was paramount: including stories on a VicRoads bridge proposal, a plan to extend the M80 Ring Road and a VCAT hearing on a proposed new petrol station. These stories were well-crafted, relevant and strong, admirably answering the five golden questions of journalism: who, what, where, when and why. Clearly the stories were also being chased and followed up, demonstrating a drive to actively hunt for the news and report it, not just re-print a press release. This entry also stood out for an excellent feature on socal media and a comment piece adding context to a controversial planning amendment. The ‘Our Living Treasure’ column is a wonderful idea, in this edition profiling a local potter, a piece that illuminated the region’s rural past with lyrical humour. A top-notch sports section completed the picture. With minor quibbles, page designs were good: photos were used well, and headlines and sub-headings were appropriate and well-written.  All stories were well-crafted and edited with care.  A great example of a community newspaper with both heart and teeth.


Best Design and Layout – Finalist

Warrandyte Diary

The name ‘diary’ and the masthead are a lovely feel for a community newsletter, obviously including as many local people as possible. This newsletter is packed full of great articles which are easy to find and read. It resembles a newspaper which would encourage readers to have a look. The front cover is engaging with its big type drawing the reader in. I think the community would keep this newsletter and come back and back to read more.


Best editorial comment – Finalist

Warrandyte Diary – Scott Podmore

Care and concern for a serious local issue, well researched, well written, balanced.  A detailed, comprehensive, serious look at an important issue.  Well done!


Best Sports Reporting – Winner

Warrandyte Diary

The winning entry stood out for a number of reasons.

The front page photograph is a cracker and I loved the headline and the use of colour in the headline. The short sharp introduction draws readers into the extensive finals coverage inside.

The Warrandyte Diary’s spread on the grand final Triple Treat inside is a great read and the pictures and layouts are clean and first rate.

I also loved the double page spread of celebratory pics combined with the top 10 highlights of the match. This was a really innovative idea. The coverage indicates the writers and photographers spent considerable time and effort covering the matches and its fantastic they got reactions and responses from the people involved. It’s all about our local people and community after all.

The Warrandyte Diary has also devoted loads of space to a wide array of other sports and local achievers.


Best history story – Finalist

Warrandyte Diary

‘Warrandyte in the 1950s’ by Bill Hudson-McAuley

This is a snapshot of a town at a particular time – Warrandyte in the 1950s. Bill describes the town and the shops and the home delivery men – the baker, the milkman, the iceman and the dunny man (who collected not delivered!) and just the simple pleasures of growing up in a country town where children were encouraged to make their own entertainment. Lovely story.


Best feature story – Winner

Warrandyte Diary

‘Living with Lyme disease’ by Sammi Taylor

The winner was clear cut.

This was an extremely well written piece of investigative journalism. It was sensitively handled, beautifully structured and whole article was a gripping read from the first word to the last. This very important story is about Lyme disease not being acknowledged as a medical condition in Australia and details the pain and anguish being experienced by several Warrandyte residents with Lyme-like symptoms. Excellent work Sammi.


Best Photograph – Winner

Warrandyte Diary

‘One Beautiful Day’ – Photographer: Bill Hudson-McAuley

This is a very moving photo taken under challenging circumstances.  In covering a funeral the photographer has to strike a balance between being respectful and being present, perhaps even intrusive, enough to tell the story.  Shot from a discrete position that demonstrates respect for the grieving family, tightly framed to remove unnecessary detail, and carefully timed to capture Kianie’s hand in a final farewell to her grandad, this is a quiet and very touching image.

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Gold adventures

What to do when the school holidays arrive and winter has the whole family shivering in its collective boots?

You head north, hit the east coast and soak up the sun in between theme parks, that’s what. But it’s not for the faint-hearted.

A Gold Coast adventure with theme parks on the agenda in a Griswald-style escape may be an oldie, but it’s certainly a goodie and the perfect way to elude the Victorian winter chill for a week or so. With five kids – aged 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 – stacked into a people mover, the good news is cabin fever only lasts in small doses, especially if you prepare, book and deliver properly, so the “are we there yets” are few and far between. This is how we did it…

First on the list is book flights and accommodation early. For a party of seven you’re crazy if you don’t, and one of the first things you should do is be registered for updates from low cost carriers Tiger, Jetstar and Virgin. Tiger was the winner for us as we got in early and managed to snag seven return airfares for under $1200. Next on the list was self-contained accommodation and the ultimate scenario was to have a venue right smack bang near all the action – in Helensvale – so a three bedroom cabin was locked and loaded at Gold Coast Holiday Park, but more about that later. For more visit Tiger Airways, Jetstar and Virgin websites to sign up to newsletters.

Book a people mover at DriveNow for the best deal. Yep, you can’t go past this website which is akin to Wotif in the world of car hire, and we bagged a big Hyundai Imax, an eight-seater, plenty of room for suitcases, aircon and auto for less than a grand for 10 days! The process is simple in that you search for people movers in desired location and eight or 10 options pop up with the best deals. We had wheels and there was a party going on in the cabin above them! A great website that’s easy to navigate, book quickly and be all sorted for transport while away. More drivenow.com.au

Gold Coast Holiday Park, a big kick-arse cabin with the works. You can either shell out and get a fancy hotel on the Goldie or you can lower your sights and get a home away from home in a more down to earth location like a modern caravan park – which are like mini resorts these days. GCHP is not just any holiday park, but a Big 4 holiday park and anyone who has stayed at one knows exactly what I mean: they’re the upper echelon for raising the bar in facilities and standards. Aside from a superb spacious cabin, with kitchenette, bunk beds, great lounge area and widescreen TV was the fact Gold Coast Holiday Park is an entertainment hub in its own right with an amazing pool and waterslide adjoining Nibbles Cafe, an upmarket camp kitchen, bike track, tennis court, outdoor cinema and loads more. But the piece de resistance? It’s literally five minutes by car to Movieworld or 10-15 minutes to Dreamworld! All the kids admitted a holiday spent entirely at this great park would be worth the trip to the Gold Coast alone. More goldcoast holidaypark.com.au

Brace yourself for the rides of your life. The instructions were clear from the kids: leave your fear of heights back in Victoria and strap yourself in. The best thing about staying at Gold Coast Holiday Park is they can offer the best multiple park ticket deals going – a must if you want to save some serious dollars. So with our stomachs flipped upside down, sideways and round and round multiple times over the next few days what were the highlights? The kids voted Dreamworld and Movieworld and their accompanying water parks as the best for all the action. Here are some rides that rattled our bones and insides: The Giant Drop, Wipeout, Shockwave, Superman ride, Scooby Doo Spooky rollercoaster, Arkham Asylum, the Batwing, and the Tower of Terror. Speaking of which, see inset for how we grown-ups were processing the Superman ride while our two blonde teenagers in front of us were already looking for something more dangerous! Of course, there’s plenty more features to explore and absorb, including a tiger cub being walked around the grounds at Dreamworld which is a cute surprise. More movieworld.com.au and dream world.com.au

The NightQuarter night markets in Helensvale are unmissable. When you’re not kicking back in the great facilities at Gold Coast Holiday Park or going nuts in the theme parks, this market experience is an absolute treat for both grown-ups and the kids. A hive of activity, there are more than 120 food trucks/stalls, micro-restaurants, bars, craftspeo- ple, musicians and other quirky points of interest in a real carnival atmosphere. Otherwise known as “shipping container city”, the concept is catching on all over Australia. The food is everything from tapas, oysters, BBQ ribs and Asian choices to cronuts, chocolate fountains, amazing icecreams and more. More nightquarter.com.au

Road to frustration

Road works, road jams and road rage seems to be running rife as traffic congestion issues continue in the heart of Warrandyte, north and south.

Among proposed bridge works, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are now having to deal with road works, sewerage works and power lines going underground in what has become a mighty mess for locals wanting to get anywhere in a hurry.

Meanwhile, as the Diary goes to press, James Lindsay, communications and stakeholder relations officer at VicRoads, advises VicRoads is organising an online survey to gather additional feedback on the bridge upgrade, in particular the T intersection north of the bridge.

When this survey is online, they will be advertising it on social media, the web page and will send emails to those who registered their interest previously.

Recently locals were given a chance to give feedback at the VicRoads website – while comments are now closed, you can read the feedback here vicroads.mysocialpinpoint. com/warrandyte#/marker/20819

Among many comments by local residents, here is a selection:

  • “We desperately need a zebra crossing from the river to the group of shops in Yarra St (just after the bridge near the toilets). People drive over the bridge and through the roundabout too quickly – Someone will be run over one day.”
  • “Bus interchange needs to be moved (right near the bridge). Sometimes 2-3 buses arrive and they block the roundabout in peak hour, meaning zero traffic flow in any direction.”
  • “It regularly takes me over 15 minutes to travel 1km, all due to the bottleneck at research road and the bridge. We need another crossing at the end of Bradley’s Lane.”
  • “The queue at morning rush hour trying to cross the bridge from north to south can take 30 minutes – etiquette system means those turning R from R-W Rd are turning illegally into KG Rd traffic.”
  • “Expanding bridge will not solve traffic congestion or help in a fire. Maybe a blue lane out of Warrandyte that is active in fire time. Upgrading the bridge will encourage idiots to stay to fight fires.”
  • “Will the foot bridge be completed before the bridge widening, I walk my dogs across the bridge frequently and would like this to remain possible during construction.”
  • The bridge is not the problem. Traffic coming from the township side of the road is terrible and banks back 1km to 2 km at peak hour which limits the traffic flow off the bridge at the roundabout.”
  • “Do not widen the bridge. This will only cause further congestion on the Ringwood-Warrandyte Road. Another separate bridge needs to be built across the Yarra river at Wonga Park or further out.”
  • “Traffic using Warrandyte Bridge in peak hour is not just local traffic – an additional bridge must be put in to deal with the volume which is only going to grow with further development.”
  • “I am not a truck driver but see truck traffic increasing on this road every year. Need to look at what is creating this and work to resolve it – not make it easier and quicker for more trucks!”

500 reasons to love our Diary

This edition marks No.500 for our much loved Warrandyte Diary, a newspaper keeping us informed on all community matters for almost 46 years. We ask some of the team to share their thoughts on what makes our paper so special.

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Cliff Green

Founder, former editor and Diary godfather

Is the Diary a great little paper because it has been created in Warrandyte, which is a great little place? Or is Warrandyte a great little place because it has the Diary? Both answers are correct.

The quarto-sized 12 pager was only a few issues old when Peter Lovett knocked on our front door: “Want a hand with that little paper you’ve started?”

Did I ever! “We’ll hunt up some real news and chuck the type around a bit,” he said. So began a seemingly endless stream of co-editors, associate editors, standby editors, replacement editors. Most of them professional journalists, all of them local stalwarts: Lee Tindale, Bob Millington, Mark Davis, Robert White; plus a huge army of volunteer writers, cartoonists, photographers and artists and especially our young cadets, who have learned the trade with us.

Warrandyte is rich with talented people; many of them have donated their skills to this paper.

Across the 500 issues, and almost 46 years, this community has created something special.

Current editor Scott Podmore is expanding this legacy, developing a new frontier into the digital age and better integrating our financially essential advertisers into the community news pages.

Here’s to our next 500 issues!

Briony Bottarelli

Office manager and Diary gatekeeper

About 10 years ago I met Jan Tindale, wife of the infamous Lee Tindale, sports editor and voice behind “Smokey Joe”.

Lee had passed away, but I became friends with Jan. Rae Danks’ health was failing and she retired, so Jan suggested I might like to take on her position of handling administration and advertising at the Diary. The paper was struggling financially at the time and a great deal of satisfaction came with me being able to lift the coffers somewhat.

Having grown up in Warrandyte. I love the open spaces, the river I grew up with and learnt to swim in, the tall trees, the birds, nature itself – and of course, the community.

Working at the Diary has enabled me to become even more involved in the community and meeting more locals I hadn’t known before. I commenced working with Cliff Green who probably stayed longer than he may have wished, but was determined to keep this wonderful paper going. He was relieved when Scott Podmore came along and offered to take the job on. Scott has opened the paper up to a wider and younger part of the community with modern technology hitting the Diary (and me) big time. I work in the best office in Melbourne. I love what I do and I hope the Diary, the longest running tabloid in Australia, keeps running for a long time to come.

Jock Macneish

Cartoonist, Diary’s “Gandalf”

Do you keep a diary?

Does it describe what you’ve been doing, record your private thoughts, and chronicle your opinions on anything and every- thing?

I’ve been keeping a diary for the past 46 years. It’s called the Warrandyte Diary.

It’s not exactly private, but it does document the things I’ve been thinking about since December 1970.

In 4000 illustrations, spread over 500 editions, the Diary has published a guide of my somewhat oddball way of thinking about Warrandyte. It’s meant doing a lot of drawing, and a lot of thinking. But it’s a wonderful privilege to be able to share my story with Warrandyte people.

And as many Warrandyte people know, I’m a compulsive show-off, despite not having very much to show.

The Warrandyte Diary means that I have a great excuse to strut my stuff in front of the Diary readers, whether they like it or not. So far, nobody has yet demanded that I stop drawing cartoons about our town and it’s long-suffering citizens. I take it as a sign of grudging tolerance, if not actual acceptance.

Can’t wait to put it in my Dairy. Look out for it.

Scott Podmore

Diary chief and current flag bearer

“The essence of community, its heart and soul, is the non-monetary exchange of value; things we do and share because we care for others, and for the good of the place.”

They’re the wise words of Dee Hock, the same man who founded VISA credit card and a major in influencer on constructing thought-experiments about the nature of organisational management. It makes me think of the Diary, an important non-profit community newspaper with a big impact on its readers. Everyone cares about it. I took over this magical publication as editor when Cliff Green passed me the baton three years ago this month. Managing it has been, and is, challenging but rewarding. I think we keep most people happy and everyone looks forward to it coming out each month.

The Diary works so well because it’s a classic case of being produced by the people for the people. It provides us with a community heartbeat and unites our people, clubs, schools, businesses and service groups not only as a platform to bring you news, photographs, funnies, advice and much more by way of newspaper format, but also as a powerful voice when we need it.

What makes it really special is its people. The people care about the newspaper. The newspaper cares about its people. Long live the Diary.

Stephen Reynolds

Diary photographer and stalwart

Having spent the last 15 years photographing every aspect of Warrandyte for the Diary, whether it be the festival, monthly market, theatre productions, community forums, celebrated artists, ANZAC Day, the changing seasons, personalities, sport or just our cherished environment of the river and Australian bush, there is one thing that continually stands out to me as quite unique in a metropolis of four and a half million people.

While outsiders might classify us as “fringe suburbia” that one unique quality that both Warrandyte and the Diary espouse and re ect is “community”.

In our fast paced, ever changing world Warrandyte still retains a notably distinct, rural charm with a country feel that embraces our community organisations and diverse social fabric, be it
schools, sport, the CFA, churches or service clubs.

As one who attends, observes and photographs many of Warrandyte’s functions the enthusiasm, involvement and commitment of her community parallels that of the Diary where each month a band of dedicated contributors including journalists, artists, poets, cartoonists and photographers produce content that reinforces that very quality and have done since the first issue rolled off the press in 1970.

It is that contribution that reinforces the old saying “you only get out of something what you put into it” that for me makes the Warrandyte Diary an integral part of, and mirrors that very community. Congratulations to our Diary team and most importantly Warrandyte for supporting us for 500 monthly editions.

Val Polley

History writer, Diary legend

What the Diary means to me is its truly local news, views and issues – the stuff that binds a community together. There is little doubt in my mind that Warrandyte would not be, or look, the way it is without the Diary. It has provided ongoing support for events (think of the festival), campaigns (such as One Warrandyte, Be Ready Warrandyte), sports (those great pages in every issue) and people (too numerous to identify individually).

It has provided encouragement and opportunity to locals to find their voice through writing, photography and poetry.

Not only that; it’s been notable for mentoring new talent and journalistic skills among young aspiring journalists. It is also a wonderful example of volunteerism. Without many volunteers giving their time over the decades the Diary would not exist. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

Finally history, the Diary has provided 500 issues and over 40 years worth of documented Warrandyte history thus far – priceless.

Thank you Diary for the 500 issues that have been part of my life, I cannot imagine a Warrandyte without you. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement.

Safe on Social

If you hadn’t worked out already, social media remains for the most part an unharnessed minefield where reputations or businesses can be ruined and children can be harmed emotionally, mentally and even physically when all goes to plan for bullies or predators. Same goes for grown-ups, as we’ve all seen or experience on our own community Facebook pages. Talk with anyone and you’ll no doubt hear stories of abuse, bullying and threats that have touched the lives of adults as much as children. But help is at hand amid the gloom, as Diary editor SCOTT PODMORE catches up with a true expert in the field of social media policy, Kirra Pendergast, the founder and managing director of accredited consulting group Safe on Social: www.safeonsocial.com

At a time we’re all trying to get our heads around the best way to move forward and manage this ‘new way of life’, organisations like SoS couldn’t have come along soon enough and Kirra explains her own horrible first-hand experience as a victim which inspired her mission to make things “safe on social”.

SP: Thanks for talking to the Diary, Kirra, please tell us what Safe on Social is all about?

KP: The socialisation of the web means that every photo uploaded, every post commented on and every video shared on social media has the potential to compromise an organisation’s security and destroy years of community goodwill.

SoS focuses on teaching people how to use social media with awareness. The team at Safe on Social “SoS” have translated decades of experience in information security, privacy, risk management and business consulting into the social media realm. By implement- ing tools and training to enable safe usage of social media, we 
help organisations to continue to engage and grow their online communities whilst minimising risk. We provide specialist, real world experience based training to educate staff, students and their parents on personal risk management when using social media.

Late in 2015 we were honoured to be one of the first companies in Australia to be accredited by the new Office of the Commissioner of Children’s eSafety for our work in schools across Australia. We are based near Byron Bay and travel nationally.

SP: You’re obviously passionate about this whole initiative/ business for a very good reason. Would you like to share your own experience in the social media space?

KP: Let’s just say that after 18 months of constant bullying online about my looks, my weight and everything else in between, I have some great primary research! I am also dealing with the fact that I was recently informed that my bully had been posting on Instagram that there is someone trolling them and my bully has made the ridiculous assumption that it is me! When I think it might actually be my bully trying to gain sympathy. We are seeing that a lot in high school: bullies setting up fake accounts and bullying themselves to gain sympathy and deflect their terrible behaviour.

Adult online bullying is very
real, people say to switch off but 
it is very, very difficult as people who care about you will continue to send screenshots with “have you seen this”, for example. The bullying brought me to my knees; 
I barely left the house. I was in a very dark place and it is very easy to see why people take their own lives. After a 22-year Information Technology career predominantly focused in Information Security, 
I had already spent the last eight years working in social media security, privacy and risk mostly with large government departments and healthcare. So during this time I decided to fight back and re-focused my eight-year experience in this space and founded Safe on Social. I decided to focus on educating students first and foremost, in an effort to change the culture in a generation. I am now working with 36 schools in NSW and Queensland, state, private and Catholic, and we have a suite of online tools available to them as well as face to face classes.

SP: Kirra, what do you believe are the main things people forget when it comes to social behaviour/common courtesy when tucked away behind the safety of keyboards?

KP: Common courtesy, respect and manners. My grandmother always used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Behind a keyboard there is very little accountability as the law is yet to catch up. I tried to take out a Personal Violence Protection Order when my bully repeatedly threatened me online and the judge refused, calling that facet that the threats were being made through social media “journalistic and vexatious”. I was being stalked and was very scared.

SP: That’s terrible. And no one is untouchable, would you say? It clearly can affect everyone from small children up to celebrities, businesses, sportsmen and every- day people?


KP: Correct. Everyone is vulnerable. I am seeing an enormous rise in anxiety issues in teens. There has been a phenomenal rise in students getting their parents to call the school and ask to excuse their child from public speaking, for example, as they suffer from anxiety. I could almost guarantee that this anxiety, in a lot of cases, is caused by the constant worry about being filmed on Snapchat or photographed while they are doing their speech and openly criticised on social media platforms by other students.

That is a real concern. Most schools try and ban smartphone usage in class but it still happens. Teachers are targets as well.

SP: OK then, for a school or business, in a nutshell what would you recommend as the bare essential requirements for social media policy and/or safety protocols?

KP: A robust social media policy is a must in small businesses. Most bigger businesses and government agencies have them, however, they are often out of date and need to be reviewed by an expert in the field. It protects them and their staff.

Schools should consider guidelines to support the state government policies in place to cover such things as contractors taking photos of students when they are on the campus and posting them and to make sure that staff and students really do understand what can and should not be shared on social media to respect the privacy of others and protect the wellbeing of students.

Ongoing education is key. Parents need to step up and realise that a teacher can not also be a parent. They bought their child a smartphone so they should take the responsibility to guide them in how they can and can’t use it. You wouldn’t hand your 13-year-old the keys to a car and let them drive down a busy highway without les- sons would you?

Parents should also stick to their guns and respect the fact that there are age restrictions on social media platforms for a reason. I see a load of kids under the age of 13 (the age requirement) on Instagram, for example. Parents think it is OK if they have their account set to private, always worried about people looking at their kids, but often forgetting they can’t monitor 24×7 what their kids are looking at. Take, for example, a 10-year-old girl who loves cats typing in #pussy on Instagram. Guess what she is going to see?

SP: Our own Warrandyte Facebook pages can be a complete disaster at times with some really hurtful and damaging content being posted. There’s an argument about freedom of speech, of course, but I’ve seen businesses almost get mauled to death and have talked to people who have been seriously affected. What are your thoughts?

KP: Freedom of speech is all well and good, but administrators of pages need to realise that in the eyes of the law they are considered the publisher of every comment on that page. So if someone is threatening or defaming someone in any comment or post – they are just as liable as the person who posted it.

SP: Is there anything else you’d like to say about the topic?

KP: One thing I really want to point out to your readers is that we post photos of our kids online all the time and then we complain that they don’t respect their own privacy. We have shared their photos of everything they are doing without their permission for years! No wonder they have no respect for privacy and massively over share everything they are doing online.

The horse has bolted – we cannot stop our children from using social media. Everyone under the age of 15 now has never known a world without social media. We need to catch up and realise that this is the primary communication channel for them. Their phone is their social brain and they can not manage their social life without it. We need to teach them how to use social media with awareness, respect their privacy and understand per- sonal risk.

We (safeonsocial.com) have a range of solutions that can help and is available to schools and through P&C associations where we donate a percentage of the cost back to the school for fundraising.

SP: Speaking of schools, I hear there’s been an interesting development regarding school holidays. Is it true social media may even affect your insurance claims when it comes to being robbed?

KP: Yes, believe it or not that’s correct. When you’re posting photos that clearly state you’re away you’re effectively advertising the fact that no one’s home and there- fore opens the door to be robbed. It’s likely that insurance companies could deny claims for break and enter if you’re not there. That’s a big one to think about, so if you want to post photos do it when you get home. The crooks can see from photo maps where you live on Instagram.

For more info visit the website www.safeonsocial.com