Tag Archives: Warrandyte Diary 2020

Soul food: Josh Teskey and Ash Grunwald new collaborative project

DIARY REPORTER STEPHANIE CARAGLANIS recently sat down with Josh Teskey to discuss his new 8-Track Blues project with Ash Grunwald.
Titled Push The Blues Away, the album features raw blues instrumentation, combined with soulful and reflective lyricism.
Read on as Steph and Josh talk roots, inspiration and Josh’s pie of choice from the Warrandyte Bakery.
The Teskey Brothers are proud Warrandyte boys, so how did growing up in Warrandyte inspire you creatively?
Well, I think a big part of growing up in Warrandyte that inspired us was probably the music community around us.
I mean that was one of the biggest things, people like Chris Wilson and local Blues musicians, we were surrounded by Blues.
They have a thing for it in this area, it has influenced our music massively.

How would you describe the sound of Push The Blues Away to both new listeners and existing Teskey Brothers fans?

What we were doing growing up, prior to the release of the Teskey Brothers albums, in a live setting — it was more in that soul realm, a more raw sort of Blues thing.
We have always been very influenced by that and played a lot of that.
This project is a lot more along those lines, it is really back to basics Blues and there is nothing complicated about it.
There is not even really a rhythm section, it is just me and Ash on guitars, a bit of harmonica, stomp boxes — it is raw and almost a bit rough around the edges.
We just wanted to have some fun with it, so we did not want to get too complicated.
We did not spend heaps of time fixing little things up, you hear a little bit of laughing in the background, or there might not be the most perfect little vocal takes, sometimes.
We wanted it that way, it is almost kind of live sounding.
A lot of what we recorded was basically live in the room, every one of these tracks is just Ash and I playing through the song, what we put down that was it.
It is really raw, that is the way I would describe it.

I think that is a bit of a hidden gem, a lot of people do not really know there is a Blues scene hidden in Warrandyte.

That is right!
There are a lot of artists who live in and around here, more than we realise.
It is a special little thing.

I definitely noticed that!
Especially on Thinking ‘Bout Myself, you guys have the harmonicas, the claps which is really stripped down and different from what the Teskey Brothers usually produce, can we expect this stripped back instrumentation throughout the entire album?

Absolutely!
There are no drums, there is no bass guitar.
I just finished an album with the Teskey Brothers when we started this project, where we did a lot of production, strings sections and horns.
So this was really fun for us, we did not want to do a lot of production on this one, just made to be really fun and really easy. 

So you and Ash have collaborated previously on his track Ain’t My Problem, why did you decide to go all the way and collaborate on a full album together?

Well, it just kind of escalated you know?
One thing sort of led to another.
It began when he did that track with the Teskey Brothers, he sent us the song and we became the rhythm section on that tune he sent us.
A few months later he came out to our studio in Warrandyte to do a film clip, we were going to film a little thing of me and Ash having a jam together — I just had a harmonica and he had a guitar.
When you are filming things like this there is a lot of waiting around.
So we were waiting around, having a jam in the room, and got to talking, saying “ah wouldn’t it be great just to do an album like that one day?, just a guitar and a harmonica in a room and do some of that stuff we have always loved.”
Ash being the hustler that he is, gives me a call a couple of weeks later and says:
“Hey! Do you have any time? We should just do this!”
We did not really know what was going to come of it, it began by being together in the studio, I did not know if we were going to release it or just have a bit of a jam.
But he came out for a week and my brother, Sam, came out to the studio here.
Sam set up all the stuff, he also produced and recorded this thing as well, so he has been very involved in a lot of ways too.
As we got into it, I came in with a couple of songs I put together just a couple of days before.
Ash had a couple of songs he put together, then we thought of a couple of covers we were into, a couple of old Blues standards — and before we knew it, we had eight or nine songs sitting there ready to go.
And we were like “Man there is a whole album’s worth here”.
Before we knew it, Sam mixed it all together and our label, Ivy League Records said: “Yeah! We should release this.”
It was a very cruisy process and now we have got a whole album.

I really liked the music video you guys produced for Hungry Heart just that very cosy homemade video, it was very cute and organic.

It was really fun for us.
It was an appropriate video to do during isolation.It was more about working out what we could do, film a bit of our lives — as that is all we can do at the moment.
I think my favourite thing I have heard someone say about you is “When I close my eyes I hear Otis Redding and when I open them I see Thor”.
How do you feel about being compared a Marvel hero?
I love it!
People have been telling me I look like Chris Hemsworth for many years.
It was such a funny thing, Chris discovers our music, next thing I know I find myself at the Avengers premiere walking down with Liam and Chris.
It was very bizarre seeing how the Hollywood crew do it.

Do you and Ash share any musical influences and how did that influence this new project?

Well I think it is really appropriate for the Warrandyte Diary here.
Ash actually grew up in the same area as well, you know he was close by.
I actually grew up watching Ash!
When I was about 13/14, I used to watch Ash play sets out of the St Andrews pub.
I would be busking at the market with Sam; we would come up after the market, get some food over at the hotel there and Ash was always playing a set.
So I grew up watching Ash play Blues.
He was one of those influences in the area, which was really cool, alongside people like Geoff Achison and Chris Wilson.
About five years later, I am watching him play the Main Stage at Falls Festival.
In a big way he has influenced our music as well.
I tell him now we used to grow up watching him, because he discovered us independently.
We even did a gig in Northcote where we supported him, he did not remember that.
The Teskey Brothers were a support for him, and then when Ash found us to do a bit of work on his album he could not believe we into his music back in the day.
We are very closely connected in many ways.

That is a wholesome story.

He is a beautiful character, he is a lovely guy, and it has been a really nice fun project just to work with him and get to know him, he has a really great soul.

I feel like this is my most imperative question of the whole interview, what is your order at the famous Warrandyte Bakery?

Very nice!
Okay, I have been going down for years and I just love getting some croissants.
I usually get about five croissants on a Sunday.
If I am not doing that and I am just a bit hungry, and I want to get something, I love the veggie pie down there which is delicious!
I think it is far superior to the veggie pasty.
I also normally get a cheeky caramel slice, so a veggie pie and a caramel slice would be my first choice, ha ha!

A little bit of an unpopular opinion hey?

I feel like everyone goes for the beef pie and the vanilla slice.

That is a bit of a classic, I do love the classic beef as well.
But there is something about that veggie pie, and not a lot of people know about it!
It is a bit of an inside secret.

I love it, you are putting the veggie pie on the map single-handedly.

Absolutely!
Try it out Warrandyte, try it out.

Warrandyte Fire Brigade ready to roll

WARRANDYTE FIRE Brigade is rolling out of the station with a shiny new Field Command Vehicle (FCV), thanks to some generous support from the community.
Spokesperson for the brigade, Firefighter Jeff Watters told the Diary many businesses stepped up to help replace the eight-year-old 4WD.
“Warrandyte Fire Brigade owns this vehicle and our slip-on unit, they have been funded by very generous donation from the community.
“The FCV most recently received support from a lot of groups and businesses, including Warrandyte Community Bank, TJM Burwood, Tanami 4WD and Commercial, Australian Warning Systems, National Radios, Pedders Suspension and Brakes, Nunawading Toyota,  Auto Complex, Tyremax, Tiger Tyres Bayswater, Calgraphics, and Automobility”.
He said while the FCV was not a direct firefighting appliance, it is an important part of the brigade’s inventory.
“During the fire season it is used to lead Strike Teams wherever they might be needed.”
He said that it is also used during the year to take crew and equipment to where it is required, for things like training, community engagement, meetings, or for things like traffic control during incidents.
He said it was important to get a versatile vehicle to enable it to carry out the roles it needs to fill.
“We configure the vehicle for strike team usage where you have got three people in it for 12 hours a day, so it needs to be a comfortable vehicle, it also needs to be the scouting vehicle to guide where we can take tankers — so we need a 4WD, but we do not need a 4WD that can go anywhere, we just need to make sure it is safe to take a tanker there.
“Typically what we will do is, we will hold the tankers at the bottom of a hill and  send the FCV up there, and the FCV will go ‘yes this it traversable by trucks’, or ‘no it is not’, and so it tends to do a lot of those scouting things.
“It also has to be able to be away for extended periods of time, so it has got an onboard fridge, it has lots of power, it has radios, it needs to be a very versatile vehicle, and that is what it is.”
He said while initially the timing for the vehicle changeover seemed to be during an awkward time, it turned out to be beneficial.
“Our routine vehicle replacement program identified that this vehicle needed to be done now, but COVID-19 has actually helped us, because there have been lots of incentives with waiving of luxury car tax et cetera, and we have been able to get substantial discounts and help on this one.
“Our change over cost has been surprisingly low, to the point that we have actually optimised our community money spend, so it is a really nice new vehicle.
“This vehicle will be able to be kept for six or seven years and we can use it for our ongoing support of the community that supports us,” he said.

Words of wisdom from the river

LOCKDOWN had taken its toll.
Starved of words and stories but definitely not starved of calories, I found my letter tank empty.
A Scrabble board with no tiles.
Although it appeared my jar of clichés was overflowing.
Vacantly staring at my laptop, I am hoping a half page story would miraculously appear across my screen.
The only things less likely on my laptop were getting a virus, catching fire or getting smashed by massive hailstones from hell.
Oh, wait up.
Yeah, nah, it is 2020, that is probably going to happen.
Instead of wallowing in my own wordless stew, I wander out the back gate for a restorative stroll along the Yarra.
It starts with no more than a very low gentle whisper.
“I could help you.”
I glance around to see where the voice came from.
“Over here,” comes a gentle gurgle.
Perplexed I turn to the river.
“Yes, that is right.
“I have got some stories to tell you,” burbles the water flowing over a rapid.
Glancing around, I check for people in white coats waiting to haul me away.
“Why would I believe you?
“The EPA says you’re full of sh&%,” I reply.
And while that may be so, who am I to kick a gift horse in the mouth.
In fact, I thought the probability of me being able to kick anything post-COVID without pulling a hammy was statistically insignificant.
Pulling up my favourite rock to sit and ponder, I let river wisdom wash over me.
Literally.
High rainfall coupled with Upper Yarra Dam works has led to said rock being submerged.
So now not only am I conversing with a river, but I am doing so with a very wet bum.
“You know what?” asks the river.
“I love flowing past and people watching.
“Humans can be quite odd.
“Present company most certainly included.”
As one, myself, the Yarra and my soggy pants gaze at the opposite bank bearing witness to:

River Visitor Category 1

These visitors will only be observed during the day, mid-week and in packs of three to four couples.
They BYO picnic tables, chairs, automatically-refilling plastic red wine glasses and have empty shopping bags tied to the table — one for rubbish and one for recycling.
At least two, small, fluffy, white dogs will be observed comfortably snoozing in their owner’s laps, occasionally interrupted by outbursts of laughter and colourful language when the photo of the prized grandchild that they spent 20 minutes locating, magically disappears from the smartphone screen.
Never to be seen again.
Generally found in the perfectly scouted flat but shaded area, because after 70 plus years of the Aussie sun, these wily visitors are sick of spending half their superannuation at the dermatologist.

River Visitor Category 2

Turning up early afternoon on a sunny day post-exam, joyfully shedding school uniforms to run into the river, theses visitors will invariably live to regret their decision three hours later.
Calculating their departure to coincide with when they should have been leaving school, these TikTok Generation students hurriedly attempt to reapply crumpled filthy mud streaked dresses and school shirts over beet-red shoulders.
These “old enough to want independence but too young to realise potential consequences” mid-teens express horror on their sun-fried faces as they wonder how they can possibly explain losing a bra and one sock at school to their parents.

River Visitor Category 3

Arriving anytime from 3pm onwards, the group will swell as members turn up one, two or three at a time.
At no time will the gender ratio be even.
This peculiarity will lead to constant peacock preening and galah screeching behaviour.
Muscles colourfully covered in ink will be strong enough to carry whole slabs of Great Northern, four packs of Spritzers and minimum chips to the river’s edge.
Once the final inflatable flamingo has been popped on a jagged rock our intrepid visitors are so exhausted, they can barely crawl back to their utes.
There is no way they could possibly pick up the empty bottles, shredded cardboard packaging or sad flattened flamingos before they float through the tunnel.

River Visitor Category 4

Abundant anytime during the day, any age, and every gender.
Characterised by active wear, a takeaway coffee in hand, phone in the other and dog lead in the… oh wait… dog somewhere in the general vicinity.
Outrage is genuine.
Shock is real.
WTF!
There they are walking along the river track minding their own and everyone else’s business when a snake has the audacity to cross their path.
Their path.
The path that has been put in smack bang, right in the snake’s territory, somewhere between their snake house and snake food.
Quick, someone call the snake catcher
Not the one that never wears a shirt.
The other one.
Now where has that sod gone?
I did not have time to get an out of focus photo to put on Facebook.

River Visitor Category 5

“These are my favourite river rats,” announces the river suddenly.
“Which ones?” I reply startled
“These three walking into the water now.
“I like to move rocks around and submerge trees to try and trick them into slipping and getting their school bags wet.
“Imagine their parents face when this lot have to pull dripping laptops and phones out.
“There would not be enough rice in the world to fix that mess.”
Quickly retreating towards my back gate, I whisper over my shoulder, “The only reason these three walk home through the river is because I told them I am way too busy and important to pick them up.
“Now raise your water level a little to slow them down.
“I need time to make it look like I am busy and important before they reach the back door.”

Clifford Green OAM: December 6, 1934 – December 4, 2020

IT IS WITH sadness that Warrandyte Diary marks the passing of our Founding Editor, Cliff Green.
Cliff established Warrandyte Diary in 1970 and guided the paper until his retirement in 2014.
There was much more to Cliff than his role at the Diary.
Cliff’s talent as a writer has blessed children with plays and books, television watchers with top rating shows and film audiences with classic screenplay, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
He wrote stories — not just of local, but of national importance.
Through them, one gets a sense of Cliff’s commitment to truth and fairness, his love of history and his determination to give Warrandyte its own unique voice.
The following will tell you a lot about Cliff Green’s earlier life as a writer.
What it will not tell you is how, as a newspaper man, he fought to stave off the bulldozers of over-zealous developers.
How he said “NO” again and again to those who would so easily erode Melbourne’s Green Wedge.
And how he let council officials know when their town plans — which might sit well in Doncaster — definitely did not suit Warrandyte.
Warrandyte is, as Cliff called it, “a special little place”.
Because he helped make it that way.
CHERIE MOSELEN has compiled this recollection of Cliff Green’s time at the Diary.

To accompany this story, I went looking for photos of Warrandyte Diary’s founder — hoping to find pictures from the “back when the Diary first started” days of the ‘70s.
I tried the obvious places: the office, historical society, Diary photographer Stephen Reynolds.
The lack of results should not have surprised me.
As I have come to learn, the Diary’s modest front man is happier behind the scenes.
One photo turned up, which I shared with a family member who posed this curious question: Cliff Green or 1930s bank robber Baby Face Nelson?
I jumped on the internet and sure enough… the same good crop of hair, the youthful, boyish face.
I could have used a photo of the notorious gangster and most would not be the wiser!
Both men “made headlines” too — although only one inspired a series of wanted posters.
Thankfully, the other started a newspaper.
He started small.
His contribution to the local community as an editor, and to the wider community as an Australian screenwriter, has been anything but.
Already creating little sketches from the age of 10, Cliff Green knew he wanted to be a writer.
However, he originally trained as a compositor, earning a Diploma of Printing at RMIT.
He did not enter the publishing trade after all — “too many highly qualified graphic designers about” — but went instead into primary teaching.
A bush romantic, Cliff longed for a rural posting and he soon got one, moving to a small town in the Mallee with wife Judy.
He recalls those 10 years in the country as some of the happiest of their lives.
The change also set the stage for his headway into writing.
“It was the ‘50s and I was teaching at a tiny school in Rainbow — less than 10 kids.
“I wrote an end of year play, Christmas at Boggy Creek,” Cliff said, “and showed it to a writer friend, David Martin, who suggested it was good enough for the ABC.
“I thought he meant radio as we did not have TV out there, so I adapted it and sent it off.”
A letter came back that it was unsuitable for radio, too visual, and would he like to adapt it for television instead.
With the help of the BBC’s How to Write for Television — or how NOT to write for TV, as Cliff fondly remembers it — he adapted his script and the ABC produced it as a secular Christmas story.
The fact that it was at least 40 minutes long also qualified him to join the newly minted (six-month old) Australian Writers’ Guild.
Many years later, the soon to be “ex” primary school teacher would become a vice- president and life member of the organisation, receiving the Richard Lane Award for service and dedication to the guild, in 1990.
In 1969, the Greens (now a young family) transferred to Warrandyte, ostensibly for Cliff to take up a teaching position.
However, he had been pinpointed earlier by the Education Department and ABC collaboration “Schools Broadcasting,” as a teacher with writing experience.
Cliff created 13, 20-minute dramas and social studies documentaries for their production team.
It would bring him a step closer to becoming a full-time writer.
“One of the producers, Jonathon Dawson, had gone across to Crawford Productions in Melbourne.
“He called me one day and said they were looking for writers.
“He wanted to send me out an audition kit,” Cliff said.
“I had to write a few scenes and an episode of Homicide.
“It must have gone alright because soon after Hector Crawford hired me as a staff writer.”
Cliff began contributing episodes to police dramas Homicide and Matlock.
He describes his three years with Crawford as “the best way to learn the trade” and respectfully refers to the influential radio and TV producer as the “father of Australian television drama”.
“You worked with everyone there, the camera crew and the production team — if needed, you rewrote on the spot.
“We were doing three cop shows a week, 48 weeks of the year, and every six weeks one of your episodes went to air,” he said.
Given the six-week turnaround, Cliff began working a lot from home.
It gave him the flexibility to respond to an appeal by the Warrandyte Community Youth Club for a newsletter.
He decided to expand the format, and in 1970 Warrandyte Diary was born.
“I do not know how I managed both jobs, but teaching helped provide me with the necessary discipline.
“I edited the first four Diary issues on my own and then experienced journalist Peter Lovett helped out,” he said.
Age columnist Bob Millington would also step in to help, managing the paper for seven years.
However, in 1974 when Cliff and Herald journalist Lee Tindale joined forces, the little paper struck gold.
“We were great colleagues.
“Lee was managing editor and co-editor at times, and sports editor right up until 2006 when he sadly passed away,” Cliff said.
“He was our page-two columnist and a marvellous sports writer.
“He would work and re-work each story until it shone like a polished gem.”
The Diary is financed solely through advertising.
Paid only as recently as the last few years, Cliff managed the paper alongside his scriptwriting work.
Some might be surprised to learn the extent of his reputation within the Australian film and television industry.
After going freelance at the end of 1971, Cliff wrote for such distinguished TV series as Rush, Power Without Glory and I Can Jump Puddles.
In 1975, he agreed to help out overcommitted playwright David Williamson, who had been signed to write the screenplay of Picnic at Hanging Rock but could not do it.
His haunting adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s novel went on to make cinematic history, anchoring the drama in the harbour of popularity as one of Australia’s top 10 movies of all time.
The landmark Australian film earned Cliff Green an Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Best Screenplay and a Best Writer nomination, U.S. Science Fiction Film Awards, bringing him international recognition.
In the film and television world, where only one in 10 projects ever get made, Cliff’s screenwriting star blazed like a supernova.
His credits include TV drama series such as Homicide, Matlock, Rush, Against The Wind, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, Mission: Impossible, Embassy, Stingers, Something In The Air, Blue Heelers and Marshall Law, among others.
He created two well-known TV mini-series: Marion and The Petrov Affair.
And adapted for television the work of Australian authors such as Henry Lawson, Alan Marshall, Frank Hardy and Norman Lindsay.
Later work includes the original screenplay for the prize-winning children’s TV film Boy Soldiers, and award-winning episodes of the highly successful ABC-TV series Phoenix and Janus.
In 1995, he created the critically acclaimed ABC-TV series Mercury.
A literary all rounder, his stage play Cop Out! was first presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company and was the Western Australian Theatre Company’s contribution to the Festival of Perth.
He also published three children’s books in his Riverboat Bill series, a novel Break Of Day, and a collection of short stories.
During his recollections, Cliff salutes others who shared his writer’s journey.
“I left Crawfords after a blue I had with Hector.
“He wanted me to take up a training role, but I had left teaching to write, so I said ‘no’ and essentially sacked myself.
“Still, Hector remained a great supporter over the years.
“He would ring me up whenever I had something on the ABC: ‘Good stuff fellow! Keep it up!’”
He warmly recalls a meeting with media personality David Frost (licensee of the English network, London Weekend) to discuss the making of Power Without Glory.
“I had suggested the book to the ABC, who started negotiations with Frank Hardy for the rights.
“David Frost was coming here to make Frost Over Australia.
“He did not know anything about Australia.
“So he bought a paperback at the airport because it had a map of Australia on it!
“That book was Power Without Glory.
“By the time he had finished it, he was asking for the rights,” Cliff said.
“So now two outfits wanted it.
“But Frank was clever, rather than creating a conflict he suggested a co-production.
“ABC writer Howard Griffiths and I met David Frost at a pub somewhere in Melbourne.
“He was terrific — ‘Just send me the drafts, otherwise it is your project.’
“Howard and I brought on more writers and it ended up with the best rating the ABC had ever had for drama, possibly for anything up to that point.”
Not once in our three-hour interview does Cliff mention the awards he has received.
I cite some of them here, not least because they reflect the tremendous variety within his work.
His TV quartet Marion and the plays End of Summer and Burn the Butterflies won a total of 17 industry awards.
He received the Australian Writers Guild major AWGIE for Marion in 1974 (eight AWGIE’s throughout his career).
A Best Writer nomination followed at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards in Hollywood, and AFI nominations in 1992 and 1995.
Boy Soldiers won the Liv Ullman Peace Prize at the 1990 Chicago International Festival of Children’s Films and was a finalist in the International Emmy Awards in 1991 (the first Australian drama to receive an Emmy nomination).
And his Janus episode Fit To Plead won a 1995 Australian Human Rights Award.
Clearly, Cliff Green is a successful writer.
However, donning the cap of a newspaper editor requires something more.
Meeting his editorial responsibilities sincerely — but not always submissively  — Cliff mapped the Diary into a landscape that reflects Warrandyte’s strong community character.
Of course, he did not do it alone.
Numerous volunteer editors, writers, photographers, artists and advertising managers helped him.
He also had a North Star — Cliff credits wife Judy as being the Diary’s moral compass.
“Judy does more than manage ‘out of the inbox’; sometimes I would get a bit excited about a story and she would caution me against publishing it,” he said.
Consequently, Diary readers have witnessed the celebration of their town through an editorship underpinned by solid community principles.
Protector of Warrandyte’s Village Identity?
Cliff is far too modest to assume this tag on the paper’s behalf.
But as someone who appreciates Warrandyte’s unique flavour and local efforts in trying to preserve it, I believe the Diary wears it well.
He does acknowledge the paper is “a part of Warrandyte”.
The attachment is stronger than that.
In fact, many locals think of the Diary a bit like the next-door neighbour who you can invite over for a cuppa.
One of Cliff’s subtle strengths as managing editor has been to foster this sense of accessibility, binding the paper to the community.
For a small-town, largely voluntary effort, the Diary is peerless in its sophistication.
Typically, Cliff plays down its many accolades, but says he is particularly proud of a Fire Awareness Award bestowed by Radio ABC Gippsland during a bad bushfire year.
He is also proud of the Diary’s role in nurturing journalist cadets: Clinton Grybas, Georgi Stickels and Sam Davies, among others.
In 2001, shortly before retiring from screenwriting, Cliff Green received a Centenary Medal “for service to the community”.
He accepted an OAM in 2009 for “service to the Australian film and television industry as a screenwriter and educator”. (The ‘educator’ component refers to teaching screenwriting for institutions like Victorian College of the Arts and RMIT University.)
And did I mention he was a founding member of the board of Film Victoria and founding vice-president of the Melbourne Writers Theatre?
He must have drunk a lot of coffee over those 50 years!
As a Diary contributor, I am most grateful Cliff decided to give local writers a voice in their community — not to mention the opportunity to practice their craft in a newspaper of the highest standard.
On a personal note, I am grateful he taught me the economy of “not using seven words when three will do”.
We miss you.

The Editors, staff and contributors of the Diary send our condolences to Judy, their children, and the extended Green family.
Personal recollections of the extraordinary life of Cliff Green will be published in the February 2021 edition of the Dairy.

ISO mountain bike trails and tribulations

A YEAR OF ISO and a year of discovering the local mountain bike trails.
Warrandyte Mountain Bike Club (MTB3113) members will travel — far and wide — to test their skills and their bikes.
But not during ISO.
The 5km ring of steel and one-hour time limits meant riding had to be efficient and nearby.
Good thing we live in Warrandyte.
All well and good if you regularly ride the fire trails in the various pockets of State Park around Warrandyte.
Not so good if you are new to Warrandyte, connecting the dots can be tricky.
The signage is limited, nearly every track is called a “Bridle Trail”.
Unlike riding on rail trails, the Main Yarra Trail or other bike paths, there is at least a few signs (even though they still might require specialist geographical knowledge).
You only need to look to the Netherlands — the gurus of bike path signage — you cannot get lost there at all.
I digress, back to riding the hills in Warrandyte.
The State Park fire trails in Warrandyte are somewhat of a mystery.
I know there is always Google Maps, Strava, Trailforks and other online GPS mapping apps, but I like a good old map.
When I go to a new destination, I like to Google the local mountain bike club  — and check out their maps.
I do not really want to get lost out at Wombat State Forest or Warby-Ovens National Park.
We do not have a map of MTB trails in Warrandyte.
You cannot ride all the walking trails.
You need to know where you are allowed to ride.
Especially if you are starting out, or want to take your kids, or you are from “out of town”.
A nice little map — a map in town at our Warrandyte MTB trail head — a downloadable map on the MTB3113 website will, in my opinion , encourage more riding, and make sure you do not accidently find yourself struggling up “gut buster” or lost asking Colin for directions on Fourth Hill.
MTB3113 riders you have explored every corner of Warrandyte, you have created your favourite 5, 10, 15 and 20 kilometre routes, time for action.
Send us your favourite routes and with our expert team of cartographers and trail riders we will create those maps you’ve always wanted.
Send in your routes and loops to contact@warrandytemtb.com.au

Other MTB3113 news

Join the Facebook page to hear about local rides: www.facebook.com/groups/1464589467107634/
New jerseys available to purchase – pre order here:  www.warrandytemtb.com.au/shop/344/
Dirt Devils (weekly MTB skills for kids aged 8 to 14 years) has started up again under COVID-Safe protocols.
Led by qualified MTB coaches.

More information:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/events/80589/

Stay tuned for the Christmas social ride and BBQ.
If you are interested in joining our family friendly club this is a great way to meet everyone.
Kids and adult social ride, then BBQ, at Westerfolds Park.

More information:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/home/

Join MTB3113:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/registration/

 

Wild women

Two women

THIS STORY BEGINS somewhere around the middle of the last century.

One bright, spring day, two women alighted from the train at Ringwood station with the aim of walking and botanising their way to Warrandyte.

Although there were some rewarding Indigenous plant finds along the way,  it was when they finally reached the corner of Tindals Road and Warrandyte-Heidelberg Road, they found a hill top of extraordinary wildflower complexity.

Jean and Winifred bathed in the glorious richness of Indigenous plant biodiversity.

Jean Galbraith was a gardener, writer and long-time champion of Australian native plants.

When Jean’s book, Wildflowers of Victoria, appeared in 1950, it was the first accessible field guide published on Victorian flora.

Combining botanical knowledge with evocative descriptions, her writing skills made her field guides accessible (Encyclopaedia of Women and Leadership).

Winifred Waddell shared these interests and skills and co-wrote the book Wildflower Diary with Jean and Elizabeth Cochrane in 1976.

Jean and Winifred petitioned the local council with the assistance of local residents to buy the newly discovered site and set it up as a Wildflower Reserve.

Dorothy Rush assisted with raising funds to fence the Reserve.

I found the Tindals Road Wildflower Reserve in the early 1980s and spent many hours there identifying the wildflowers using my very worn-out copy of A field guide to the wild flowers of south-east Australia (1977) written by Jean Galbraith.

However, the Reserve was in a sad state, and threatened to be over-run with weeds.

Through the Friends of Warrandyte State Park, we petitioned the local Doncaster Council, and Val Polley and I met with the Engineer John Prince about getting some weed work done there.

I pointed out a cactus that I knew had been dumped in the reserve several years ago.

John responded wonderfully and decisively and soon had a botanical survey organised which was completed by Ecology Australia.

The report in particular noted the invasion of the Reserve by introduced weedy grasses, Quaking Grass and Panic Veldt Grass in particular, which were threatening the survival of its Orchid populations.

But which way forward from here?

Bushland management or ecological horticulture (where ecology meets horticulture) as it was becoming known, was in its infancy.

The first Course in Ecological Horticulture in Victoria was run in 1982 at Latrobe University.

It was only in the previous decade that National Parks managers had accepted that fire was an intrinsic part of management.

There was much to learn.

To be a practitioner of ecological horticulture, an enormous amount of knowledge is required.

For a start, there are the 400 or so plants that consist of the local Indigenous and introduced flora, their growth periods, flowering patterns, physiological dynamics, their response to weather and management actions.

What long term strategy does one employ to remove the weeds?, what tools, what techniques?

What planning and coordination skills are required for this new profession?

 

Enter another two women

Systematic observers of the natural environment the Bradley sisters, Eileen Burton Bradley and Joan Burton Bradley, observed in NSW during the 1960s attempts to control weeds by slashing and clearing resulted in rampant weed regrowth, and they formulated an alternative strategy.

The sisters were keen gardeners and hand-weeded where they walked, doing less than an hour a day and being careful to replace the bush litter which — they believed — contained the seedbank for new growth.

They waited for the bush to regenerate.

They developed the three principles of the Bradley method of bush regeneration: work outward from less infested to more seriously infested areas; minimise disturbance, and replace topsoil and litter; allow regeneration to set the pace of the work.

Selected hand-tools were the only implements permitted.

The Bradley’s opposed the use of chemicals and criticised the controlled-burning programme begun in 1971 by the State’s Forestry Commission (Australian Dictionary of Biography).

It’s one thing to have the basic principles of ecological horticulture, quite another to be able to look at a piece of bushland that is a complex matrix of the ecological functions of people, plants, soils, seeds, wind, weather, insects, fungi, birds, mammals and fire, and devise a strategy to heal the land and to be able to work on country and peel back the degradation that has occurred through weed invasion, tree clearance and neglect.

 

Then two Warrandyte women

Jane Pammer, a keen gardener had spent a year in Japan as a horticultural exchange student, before working in ecological horticulture with Save the Bush.

Then during the recession of the 1990s, lead a Green Corps Team through the L.E.A.P. employment programme at the then Doncaster and Templestowe Council.

Jane successfully applied for the permanent position in bushland management working with the Council in their Parks and Gardens Unit as Certified Gardener — Bush Regenerator.

Jane was managing the day to day work in the Manningham managed reserves: Warrandyte Walk, Tindals Wildflower Reserve, Zerbes Reserve, Mullum Stage 1, 100 Acres and others.

Jane began a systematic programme of weeding and observation keeping a diary of work completed in each site.

Jane’s tight control of ecological maintenance programmes, re-visiting each site on a 10 week rotational schedule, quality control and conscientious thoroughness, brought back the bushlands from the brink of oblivion, rescuing our priceless natural heritage.

Today, Tindals Road Wildflower Reserve is an absolute credit to Manningham.

This year in particular, it has produced an exceptional flowering display that has brought many people the simple and profound joy of bushland magic.

This was something that could hardly be imagined in 1985.

Manningham has been a civic leader in municipal environmental programmes over the past 25 years; with a range of integrated programmes to assist residents protect our natural heritage, as well as its own management of bushlands for which it has responsibility.

The ecological horticultural work along the Yarra River below the village called Warrandyte Walk, is the best example of environmental restoration of riparian (waterway) vegetation along the entire length of the Yarra River.

It is by far more successful than anything agencies or other shires or Councils have achieved.

Manningham should be extremely proud of that achievement.

It is also a tribute to Jane for her dedicated vision and skills.

In the most difficult of vegetative zones, they have produced a world class result.

Many walk past the native grasses and shrubs without actually appreciating the difficulties of the site and the vision and skill required to unearth and maintain its intrinsic qualities.

Sharon Mason was an intrinsic part of the bushland management journey with Jane. Sharon for most of this time has led a Bushland Maintenance Crew of skilled ecological gardeners to implement Jane’s programming and to join in the discussion, development and refinement of Jane’s programme of bushland rejuvenation.

Together, they implemented an incredibly successful operation.

Jean Galbraith put her money where her mind was and donated the land to establish the first wildflower sanctuary in Victoria in 1936, in Tyers, in the LaTrobe Valley — the first privately donated reserve in the State of Victoria.

The Latrobe Valley Field Naturalists recorded an extensive list of flora in the Reserve in 1967, but over time, many species were impacted by weed invasion and a loss of interest in maintaining the site.

This changed in 1999 when an enthusiastic group of residents in the Tyers township formed to resurrect the Reserve and highlight its botanical and historical significance.

Winifred was responsible for securing the first wildflower sanctuary at Tallarook, Victoria, in 1949.

Throughout her nearly 70 years of garden writing, Jean wrote about all aspects of garden-making but remained an indefatigable champion of Australian flora, ignoring fashions in plants, and like Winifred, Eileen, Joan, Jane and Sharon, kept working in the wild garden that she loved.

Painting the town red for cystic fibrosis

DID YOU NOTICE an unusual number of walkers and joggers, all dressed in red in Warrandyte on Sunday, 25 October?

It was hard to miss Team Gallop’s mass of 60 individuals and family groups from 15 local families who embarked on a mission to paint the town red!

Team Gallop embarked on their virtual Great Strides — a fun run and walk held every October — to raise awareness and funds for people living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Usually held around The Botanic Gardens (the Tan) in Melbourne, this year’s event was fully supported by many virtually, with participants registering and running their own event locally.

For the 60 or so members of Team Gallop, this entailed running the beautiful streets and trails of Warrandyte.

CF is the most common, life-limiting genetic condition affecting Australians, and currently 3,500 people in Australia are living with CF.

There is no cure yet, but advances in treatment and care are helping people to better manage their CF.

CF causes an abnormal build-up of thick and sticky mucus in the lungs, airways and digestive system.

Treatment requires intensive daily physiotherapy to clear the lungs and airways, countless medications and frequent hospitalisations.

Warrandyte resident Claire Jones has a direct connection to CF, through her son, Jack.

“We first made contact with Cystic Fibrosis Community Care when our son Jack was born with cystic fibrosis in 2007, and we participated in our first Great Strides event that year.

“It was originally held around Princess Park in the city and I remember Jack sitting in the pram enjoying the view while we ran and pushed him around the park,” she said.

Karin Knoester, Cystic Fibrosis Community Care CEO spoke about how important the Great Strides event is to the charity.

“Great Strides is one of our biggest fundraising events.

“It allows us to raise money for vital services and programs, advocacy and research for the 1,600 people living with cystic fibrosis in Victoria and New South Wales.

“As a not-for-profit charitable organisation, Cystic Fibrosis Community Care relies heavily on the generosity of the Victorian and NSW public, as well as private donors and philanthropic sources.

“Currently, only 20 per cent of our income is provided by various levels of government, which is why events like these are so important,” she said.

Great Strides is a family-friendly event and is a great way to bring people together.

It is also a good way to remind us that while CF can sometimes be a hidden illness, there is a lot constantly going on behind the scenes in terms of physiotherapy and tablets taken daily.

“What we take for granted — being able to go out for a walk or run — isn’t always easy for others,” said Claire.

2020 has certainly delivered its challenges, but one of the positives has been the great community we live in, which Claire says was reflected in the Great Strides event.

“We had the biggest number of participants in our team this year, even though it wasn’t a typical fun run event.”

So if you spotted a red t-shirt or two puffing and panting (or maybe some were gliding) around the streets of Warrandyte, it was all in aid of a great cause.

Team Gallop collectively ran and walked over 420 kilometres in one day as part of the Great Strides virtual event and Claire wanted to give special mention to Meleah Byth who completed her first half marathon, as part of the event.

Information about Great Strides and Cystic Fibrosis Community Care can be found via their website www.cfcc.org.au.

 

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Getting back on the beers

AFTER SEVEN months of lockdown, the Grand Hotel Warrandyte reopened its doors under the latest stage of COVID-19 restriction easings, on Saturday, October 31.

Manager Peter Appleby said that when they announced they would be opening, they were booked out for their first four days within 50 minutes.

“We went live on Thursday afternoon, then 50 minutes later we were fully booked for four sessions, for 70 people, and that is like that now until Monday week.”

Peter said that customer support and confidence is important.

“That people want to get back to normal living is great,” he said.

Peter said the whole lockdown was very frustrating with an uncertain roadmap out of restrictions and unviable limits put on customer caps.

“The build-up has been intense, where we got promised one thing and then had it taken away from us.”

On October 19, Premier Daniel Andrews was expected to announce the reopening of hospitality, but put a pause on the reopening when there was a surge in cases in North Western Melbourne.

This was reversed 24 hours later with a rapid reopening announced as the state reported zero cases for two days in a row, and blitzed through the targeted 14-day average daily case number of five.

Despite being able to open four days earlier, the Grand took their time getting their new outdoor space opened.

“We got 30 hours’ notice to pull it all together, it is just crazy… we have been working around the clock the last five days to be able to be open today.

“It is exciting that we can open, but the disappointing part is the capacity for inside space is quite challenging for us, where we are only allowed 10 people per room, maximum of two rooms.

“It is great that we have got 50 people in our beautiful outdoor space, but when it rains this afternoon, what are we going to do, send them all home?” he said.

Throughout the lockdown, Peter has been firm that the minimum number of patrons to be viable to open was 50, however, with a pre-COVID-19 capacity of 700, even that number is barely sufficient.

He said he was hoping for one person per four-square-meters inside.

“We are COVID Safe, we are ready to open and we can work to that — we manage people, we manage customers, we manage responsible service of alcohol — we are the heaviest regulated industry in Australia, let us manage COVID in a COVID-Safe manner.”

The pub will be using a QR Code for contact tracing, a questionnaire on arrival, as well as temperature checking.

As per the government guidelines, patrons can only consume food and drinks while seated.

The timing could not be better to launch the Grand’s newest outdoor space, a beer garden, which has replaced the drive through bottle shop.

Peter told the Diary since new management took over the pub in November 2012 they had had the idea of having an outdoor space.

“We started the job, and with COVID-19 restrictions coming into place, and with what we could open down the track, we thought let us pull the trigger and get it all ready for when we can open, because outside dining is obviously going to be around for a while.

“We are pretty happy with what the outcome is, although we are not finished,” he said.

He said they were working until 2am every night in the week leading up to the reopening to get the venue ready.

Helping with the reopening was local Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith who, as luck would have it, has an RSA qualification, so was able to pull the first beer.

“Good to see the pub back, it is a focal point for the community, and the hospitality sector has been hit really, really hard by the lockdowns.

“I think people are really keen to get out and back to seeing their friends and family and having a few drinks and socialising again, and if you are going to socialise in Warrandyte, there is no better place than the Grand Hotel,” Mr Smith told the Diary.

Peter is grateful for all the support he has received from the community since the pub closed its doors back in March.

“It has been wonderful; we have had a lot of messages of support.

“We did takeaway at the start, which was great, it was just great to see some faces, people need a pub, it is pretty important for people’s mental health — we saw a lot of people just come in for a chat, which is nice and people need that.

“As publicans we are a sounding board for a lot of people in so many ways; we reached out to a lot of our customers who perhaps needed us, just checking on them making sure they were doing ok.

“Of course the local support on social media has been fantastic, we were getting messages here and there, just random, ‘thinking of you guys’, and that just melts us you know, makes us feel wanted, needed and loved.

“Just as much as we love our community, it is nice that people love us,” he said.

Peter also reiterated the important role that the social environment the pub generates contributes to mental health.

“Getting staff back in to work has been very important for us.

“Mental health is a very important thing, and I know it is used a lot at the moment, but we have seen some people suffer, not just staff, but customers as well.

“Just to get the pub back for people to get the opportunity to come back to normal — well semi-normal — and get back some social skills, which people have sorely missed.”

The Diary spoke with some of the first customers through the doors who were all very eager to be back at their favourite local.

“We are super excited.”

“We have the first session and are back again on Tuesday as well.”

“Beautiful, can’t wait to get in there and get back on the beers.”

“Beer out of a glass, I can’t wait.”

Peter said booking for an outing to the pub was simple.

“You can book on our website, there is an easy to follow link on there.

“Also on Facebook and Instagram there is a link there as well, and it will bring up the slots that are available.

“Click on the link and put your booking in with a maximum booking size of 10.”

www.grandhotelwarrandyte.com.au

As of midnight Sunday, November 8, State Government increased the dining caps to 40 people indoors and 70 people outdoors.

 

Artists and art lovers rejoice

CONFINED TO their studios since March, local artists have not been idle.

Artists have spent their time wisely and creatively, producing a myriad of new works that they are now able to present to the public.

Many galleries are reopening and, while many home-based studios remain closed, there are several studios opening to the public.

Ona Henderson and Syd Tunn have kept with the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios tradition and are holding an “Open Studio by appointment”.

Ona told the Diary that, as they are classed as private retail their Creek House Studios is able to operate under COVID-19 guidelines.

“We are already having visitors in our afternoons and making times up until Christmas,” she said.

This will mark Syd and Ona’s 37th year holding an Open Studio.

Their original open studio concept, first held in 1983, grew into what became the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios program, which they hope will return next year.

Syd and Ona’s Creek House Studios, at the Corner of Henley and Oxley Roads, Bend Of Islands, is a cornucopia of artistic delights.

The couple produce a range of paintings drawings prints and art cards, using a range of media.

Bookings can be made by phoning 9712 0393 after 10am.

While it would normally be time for the rest of Nillumbik Artists Open Studios to open their doors, the home based artists have decided to create a gallery exhibition, as well as show their works on an online gallery site.

Program coordinator Annette Nobes said the committee decided “having thousands of people visiting dozens of studios across Nillumbik was not responsible”.

So they have cancelled this year’s event.

You can visit their expanded website to visit a virtual shop plus up-to-date information on studio happenings, events and opening times at artistsopenstudios.com.au

 

Nillumbik Artists at Gallery 7 six 5

Nillumbik Artists have combined for a rolling exhibition at Gallery 7 six 5.

Located at 765d Eltham-Yarra Glen Road, Watsons Creek, the new gallery run by artists Lisa Ferrari and Benny Archer opened its doors just as Coronavirus hit.

“We opened on June 6 and were open for five weeks before the Stage 4 Lockdown, which was devastating,” Benny told the Diary.

However, they are back with a vengeance and reopened to the public on October 30 with an exhibition of Benny’s works.

This has been followed by an exhibition of the Nillumbik Artists Open Studio.

Each weekend for six weekends, starting from November 6, they are showcasing the works of one of the Open Studio Zones.

“We set this gallery up to support local artists, there is such incredible talent in the Artisan Hills,” Benny said.

The first fortnight November 6—15 is dedicated to Zone A artists, focussing on artists from Eltham and Research, this includes potter Mary-Lou Pittard, painter Claire Dunstan, glass artist Jacquie Hacansson and horticultural potter Jack Latti.

November 20—29 will feature Zone B, centred on artists from Christmas Hills, St Andrews and Kangaroo Ground, including sculptor Tim Read, artists Syd and Ona, Nerina Lascelles, and Robyn Koiker, and the printmakers from Baldessen Press.

December 4—13 will feature Zone C artists from the Hurstbridge area such as metal sculptor Mel Rayski-Mati, artist Harry Z Hughes and artists from the Dunmoochin foundation.

Benny’s studio sits within the gallery space, so you can watch the artist at work as you browse the collections.

With the Dark Horse Café next door, it makes the perfect destination to explore your extended bubble and support local art.

 

Art on Yarra Street

Warrandyte township is also seeing a resumption of artistic spaces as well as a new pottery space.

Stonehouse Gallery reopened its doors to the public in late October.

Jenny Johns told the Diary they leapt into action as soon as the Premier announced the changes to opening dates.

“We opened last Tuesday [27 October] with all the new rules and regulations in place to keep our visitors and members safe,” Jenny said.

She said during the second closure their team worked hard behind the scenes keeping up with all the general requirements so that they would be ready to open.

“Members and our many talented consignment artists have been making good use of the time out and have created many new and exciting works for the gallery.

“With Christmas in a few weeks we are hoping that all our visitors will find a special hand-crafted gift for friends and family,” Jenny said.

The Stonehouse Gallery is open six days from 10:30am to 5pm, closed Mondays.

A new pop up pottery market is opening each weekend of November and December below the Sassafras Sweet Shop, in the space formerly occupied by Ratty and Moles.

Jane Annois said the pop-up gallery is a forerunner for a permanent gallery and pottery school which is planned to open in 2021.

Jane said she is also participating this month in the Australian Ceramics Open Studio program, an annual nationwide event that celebrates clay, community and creativity.

Hosted by The Australian Ceramics Association, made up of over 100 ceramics studios, potters open their doors to offer insight, practical demonstrations and the chance to take home a handmade piece.

Jane’s pottery studio will be open at 109 Kangaroo Ground Road from 10am – 5pm on November 20 – 21.

 

Great expectations

Looking to the future, there is a plethora of art coming our way, assuming we keep COVID-19 at bay.

February is looking like a busy time on the art scene with a major photography exhibition (see Page 19) as well as the Mechanics Institute Arts Association hosting an Arts Expo.

“Since March, the hall has been ‘silent’ and so we thought an Arts Expo would help Warrandyte celebrate the lifting of lockdown restrictions and a return to something approaching normal life,” said WMIAA Vice Chair, Ian Craig.

They are planning to host a weekend of artistic activities, promoting local artists, groups, and bands.

The event will include concerts, visual arts and pottery workshops, a community choir event, and the popular Repair Cafe workshop.

“The emphasis will be on the promotion of Warrandyte Arts and ‘getting involved’ in the free activities.”

Ian said subject to Government restrictions, they are aiming to run the Expo on February 19–21.

Local Elections declared

RESULTS FOR the Manningham and Nillumbik Local Elections are in.

With the pandemic forcing a 100 per cent postal election and concerns that Australia Post may not be able to process the volume of ballot packs, the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) ran a campaign encouraging voters to return their completed ballots as soon as possible.

Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately, said voters responded to the call and it is expected the turnout for the 2020 local elections will exceed the voter response to the 2016 elections.

“I am impressed by the rate of ballot returns compared with the same time in 2016.

“We are tracking above where we expected to be and are appreciative of the public’s response,” he said.

In 2016 an average of 72 per cent of people participated in the elections.

Mr Gately says the ballot return rate is expected to exceed the 75 per cent anticipated average return for this year’s elections.

“Our reminders have generated large call volumes and we’ve increased call centre staff in response,” he said.

In line with state government policy many local councils have moved to single councillor wards.

This election saw 298 separate elections held across Victoria and 2,187 candidates nominated.

In Nillumbik, 79 candidates were campaigning for one of nine ward seats whereas Manningham’s nine ward seats were being contested by 41 candidates.

With both Mannigham and Nillumbik now each representing as nine wards each with one councillor representing, the results are as follows:

 

Nillumbik: Blue Lake Ward, Councillor Richard Stockman; Bunjil Ward, Councillor Karen Egan; Edendale Ward, Councillor Natalie Duffy; Ellis Ward, Councillor Peter Perkins; Sugarloaf Ward, Councillor Ben Ramcharan; Swipers Gully Ward, Councillor Frances Eyre; Wingrove Ward, Councillor Geoff Paine,

 

Manningham: Bolin Ward, Councillor Geoff Gough; Currawong Ward, Councillor Andrew Conlon; Manna Ward, Councillor Tomas Lightbody; Tullamore Ward, Councillor Deirdre Diamante; Waldau Ward, Councillor Anna Chen; Ruffey Ward, Councillor Stephen Mayne; Schramm Ward, Councillor Laura Mayne; Westerfolds Ward, Councillor Michelle Kleinert; Yarra Ward, Councillor Carli Lange.

 

Celebrating community spirit

IF THERE is one thing that the townships of Warrandyte, North Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Park Orchards do well, it is community.

A big component of our community spirit is the efforts of volunteers, and Community Bank Warrandyte is once again honouring our community heroes with the Community Spirit Award.

In 2019, the award recipient was wildlife carer Maxine Rosewall who has spent more than 20 years rehabilitating injured wildlife from her home in North Warrandyte.

Our world has shrunk in 2020 and our everyday lives and habits have seen significant disruption.

But, throughout the pandemic, the communities of Warrandyte and its surrounds have maintained its connectivity, compassion and camaraderie.

To be Warrandytian means to be part of this community and you will be hard pressed to find a member of our community who has not donated their time, energy or expertise to a local cause, club or event.

Community Bank Warrandyte Director, Claire Jones, told the Diary how our altruistic nature contributes to Warrandyte being a special place and why the Community Spirit Award is an important signifier of these works.

“Warrandyte is a unique place to live and is incredibly special because of all the work so many in our community do voluntarily.

“I think the importance of this process is actually to acknowledge all the great work these volunteers do within and for our community, not only the recipient.

“And how having people like them around is such a great asset for our community,” she said.

Claire went on to discuss how Coronavirus affected how priorities changed and how local volunteers came through.

“People’s plans suddenly changed (almost overnight) during the pandemic.

“What was acceptable beforehand — sporting games, concerts, festivals with crowds, fundraising at a sausage sizzle suddenly became unacceptable.

“Volunteers and organisations had to pivot and change their plans and the way they operated.

“This required a lot of thought and extra work, which for volunteers, when they’re trying to maintain paid work — suddenly from home — with kids and partners there as well — trying to navigate different ways of interacting with their colleagues or fellow volunteers was a big ask.”

Despite the tough year, the community came out in force during the 2020 Community Spirit Award nomination period.

The nominees and their contributions are described below, then read on to discover who was crowned this year’s ultimate winner.

 

Nominee: Warrandyte Festival Committee

Nominated by Warrandyte Festival Committee member Phil Ashfield, for the ongoing efforts of the wholly volunteer run Festival Committee.

Phil added to his nomination how important it was to nominate the Festival Committee given the current crisis.

“While COVID-19 is currently restricting our ability to be able to put on a festival in the current environment, once things are back to normal, no other event will have the ability to bring the community back together just like the Warrandyte Festival will be able to.”

The Diary spoke with Warrandyte Festival Committee President Jamie Ferguson, who described the challenges of putting on the annual event and told us what the nomination means to him, and the rest of the committee.

“I think our biggest challenge each year is ensuring that we create a vibrant event that has all the traditional features that people love but also some new surprises.

“All these take so much input by the committee and many other community members.

“Each year there are new challenges…bushfires, huge rains, and the odd global pandemic.

“While they all create some pretty difficult and unique circumstances I’m always so thankful for the way the committee comes together and sorts stuff out.

“It’s a great privilege to be nominated for an award like this.

“I see so many people doing extraordinary things in a volunteer capacity in our community…many without the same pay off at the end that the festival gives us,” he said.

 

Nominee: Dick Davies, on behalf of Warrandyte Community Association(WCA)

Dick Davies was nominated by current WCA President Carli Lange.

Dick has been the linchpin of many WCA projects including Be Ready Warrandyte, Warrandyte Riverside Market, the Creekside and Riverside retirement villages, as well as speaking for the WCA, and in turn the community, at Council, on both sides of the river.

As part of her submission, Carli wrote: “Dick Davies has been an outstanding and inspirational community leader in Warrandyte for many decades.

“He has worked selflessly on so many projects which have provided continuing benefit to the community, from the Be Ready Warrandyte fire preparedness program through to the establishment of the Retirement Housing in Co-operative and the Community Market.

“It is hard to think of anyone who has made a greater and such long-lasting contribution to the community.”

On receiving news of his nomination, Dick requested that his nomination be on behalf of the Warrandyte Community Association.

Dick told the Diary: “It’s all a bit embarrassing, but it is an opportunity to celebrate how much so many people do to make Warrandyte a vibrant community,” he said.

 

Nominee: Martin Rakuscek

Nominated by Greg Warren for his work with the Warrandyte Junior Cricket Club and Warrandyte Junior Football Club.

Working in Team Manager roles, Martin has been integral in expanding junior participation in cricket and footy.

In his nomination for Martin, Greg noted: “Martin was never a cricketer, but has two boys who are now playing in our Senior teams… and about three years ago we convinced him to ‘pull on the whites’ and play in our Father/Son side.

Like everything he does, he got involved and became a valuable member of the team and had a bit of fun (and he’s still playing !!!).

“Martin is extremely well liked and respected throughout our club and the broader community.

“He sets a tremendous example for all club members and his involvement at our club has ensured that we continue to grow, play sport in the right spirit and gain respect for our club in the community”.

Martin told the Diary what he enjoys most about volunteering at the sports club and what it means to be nominated.

“The best part of volunteering at both sports clubs is seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces when they meet up with their mates for training, and game day.

“Seeing them build life-long friendships outside of school and having fun is a great part of being part of the Warrandyte Community.

“Everyone here loves where they live, and enjoying the great outdoors whether that is playing outdoor sport or just walking along the Yarra river.

“Being nominated for the award was a surprise, as most of us volunteers don’t do this for awards.

“Giving time to such a great community provides its own rewards through the friends you make along the way, and seeing the kids grow up to be fine,” he said.

 

Nominee: Tim Dawson

Tim was nominated by Nigel Kelly for his role as a Sports Chaplain and Committee member for Park Orchards Football and Netball Club.

Nigel writes: “During his time there he has supported and provided welfare to the club’s players, club officials and supporters with great care and commitment.”

Tim spoke to the Diary about the importance of having a person, in a community, who you can turn to for support and advice.

“I believe it’s important that everyone, no matter what age or gender, has the opportunity to turn to someone other than their family if they face a crisis.

“Over the past five years, I’ve worked to build relationships with everyone who is connected to the club so that in a crisis they know that there is someone to turn to for help.

“Often this spreads into the community too.

“Matters that I try and help with and support extend to job hunting, stress, injury, being dropped from a team to mental health, depression and suicide.

“I also have the opportunity to influence leadership and training of the young players.

“I believe that no man, women or child should ever walk alone in this life and I truly hope that the little I do in my community makes a massive difference

“Park Orchards Football Netball Club is a wonderful place to be a part of, and has a fantastic set of core values and morals,” he said.

 

Nominee: Lisa Ryan

Nominated by Judith Lightfoot for her five to ten years of voluntary service.

“Lisa shows virtue of good citizenship.

“She has touched and enriched the lives of others, particularly those who are vulnerable or less able to help themselves.

“Lisa has shown ongoing initiative, leadership and dedication.

“She has devoted herself to sustained and selfless voluntary service and has earned the respect of her peers and become a role model in their field,” Judith wrote.

 

Nominee: James Harris

Nominated by Anderson’s Creek Primary School Principal Sue Dyos for his role as School Council President for the last four years.

Sue writes: “Having worked with many Presidents over the years, James certainly gives above and beyond the expected role and continues to both support and lead many school activities.

“Through his positivity, enthusiasm and leadership skills he continues to inspire, lead and promote community and connectedness within and beyond the ACPS school community.”

 

2020 Community Spirit Award Recipient

On November 9, in what would usually be a packed room at the Warrandyte Sporting Group complex — but due to COVID-19 was a little more discreet this year, Community Bank Warrandyte announced the recipient of this year’s award as … (envelope please)… The Warrandyte Festival Committee.

The Diary spoke with Jaime Ferguson, who spoke on behalf of the Festival Committee.

Jamie accepted the award, on behalf of the Festival Committee.

“Amazing! I’m very proud of our committee.

“We are extremely thankful for the support the Community Bank Warrandyte has provided us and many other local organisations over many years.

“We’re looking forward to putting on a special event next year in whatever capacity is possible and sharing celebrations for making it through this year with the whole community,” he said.

Arguably the community event of the year, Warrandyte Festival weekend sees Warrandyte and the surrounding townships at their best.

It’s delivery, the music, arts and events on offer draw thousands of people and even though it is organised by volunteers, the scale, efficiency and professionalism in planning are not compromised.

Festival is a time for celebration, for catching up with old friends, making new ones and seeing some ripper live music.

The Festival is, in many ways, the embodiment of volunteering in Warrandyte.

Fire season approaching — are you ready?

WITH A WET September seeing Warrandyte’s verdant gardens bursting with growth, compounded by COVID-19 travel restrictions and the closure of green waste facilities, preparing for the upcoming summer is going to be a challenge.

With council tip facilities remaining closed, Manningham Council is developing a way for residents to dispose of green waste in the lead up to the fire season.

Similar to the response following January’s hailstorm, a council spokesperson said that it is planning to roll out skips at strategic locations around the municipality.

Rachelle Quattrocchi, Director City Services told the Diary “Council will provide a series of garden waste disposal days throughout spring and early summer to assist residents in Manningham’s Bushfire Prone Areas to prepare for the summer fire season.”

She said portable skip bins will be provided across several locations in the Bushfire Prone Area over four weekends so residents can dispose of their garden waste and reduce fire hazard fuel loads on their private properties.

“An Eventbrite booking system will be available for residents to pre-book garden waste disposal across several weekends and locations in Manningham,” she said.

The garden waste disposal days will be held on Saturdays and Sundays on the weekends of November, 21–22, 28 –29, and December 5–6, 12–13.

Booking information and skip locations will be communicated to residents in the coming weeks at www.manningham.vic.gov.au and will be published in the Warrandyte Diary and WD Bulletin.

Residents in North Warrandyte and Green Wedge areas of Nillumbik Shire, while unable to take their green waste to a transfer may be able to take advantage of the recent change in restrictions.

Under Step 2, sole traders such as garden maintenance are allowed to work, if they are working alone and outside. Although Nillumbik Shire transfer stations are currently closed to the public, the sites are open for commercial use, with a valid work permit.

With those on big blocks concerned about their inability to legally remove cleared vegetation, this — at least — may provide a short-term solution to help reduce the risk of bushfire damaging their property.

For those on properties able to burn off, the window of opportunity is closing, with the fire season having already started this time last year.

The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook indicates Victoria will have a “normal” fire season in 2020–21, however possible spring rainfall is likely to have an impact on fire potential in the lead up to and over summer.

The outlook, developed by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre with Bureau of Meteorology and relevant state fire and land managers, was released on August 31.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the outlook was an early indication of what Victoria could expect in the summer season and would be updated in November as predictions firm up.

“The severity of fires in the west half of the state will depend on several factors including the amount, location and timing of rain during spring and over summer,” he said.

Fast-running grassfires and fires in dry forests and woodlands are likely by late spring, depending on fire and weather conditions and dryness in grasslands.

“We have to stay home as much as possible at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions — why not use the time to clean up your property and make a plan on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer?” he said.

Across the state, six thousand more burn-offs were registered with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) between the start of May and the end of August.

CFA Acting Chief Officer Garry Cook said it was great news to see so many Victorians doing the right thing.

“More people are spending more time at home at the moment and if that means they are choosing to spend more time to clean up their properties before the bushfire season, that’s a good thing.”

Acting Chief Officer Cook said welcome rain in many parts of Victoria over the winter months meant a slight delay to the start of the fire season compared to recent years when the fire danger period started in early September in East Gippsland.

“The best way to defend your homes is to prepare before the fire danger period begins.

“This includes cleaning up your gardens, your gutters and removing flammable waste from your yards,” Acting Chief Officer Cook said.

“Many property owners dispose of this waste with a burn-off, but we also recommend people consider alternative methods such as mulching, chipping or taking green waste to a transfer station.”

The recent Australian seasonal bushfire outlook identified recent rains have led to a reduced risk of prolonged fire activity throughout spring, although shorter duration fires in grasslands, drier forests and woodlands are still likely to occur across the state.

Mr Cook reminded Victorians that even an average fire season in the state can be a bad one.

“Residents who want to conduct burn-offs on their private properties need to follow some basic rules such as checking the weather conditions, monitoring the wind, and following local council laws and regulations.

“It is important that as well as registering your burn-offs, you notify your neighbours that they may see smoke as false alarms take CFA firefighters away from real emergencies which can be very frustrating for our crews.”

By registering burn-offs, any reports of smoke or fire will be cross-checked with the burn-off register to avoid unnecessary response of fire services.

Landowners can register their burn-off with ESTA by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs@esta.vic.gov.au

Mr Cook said that when registering a burn-off by phone or email, people would be asked for basic information such as location, date, start and finish times, and what they intend to burn.

“The burn-off line is very easy to use — the operators are friendly, and prompt you by asking the key questions,” he said.

“When conducting burn-offs, remain alert and always have resources on hand to extinguish the fire.

“Check the weather, winds must be light and temperatures low.

“Make sure you have sufficient water on hand at all times and fully extinguish the burn once completed.

“Escaped burn-offs or those not conducted properly will result in you being liable for the consequences.”

Keep your burn-off safe and legal:

Check fire restrictions with your local council and register your burn -off on 1800 668 511.

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-off.

Have sufficient equipment and water to stop the fire spreading.

Never leave a burn-off unattended — stay for its entire duration.

If your burn-off gets out of control, call 000 immediately.

“You also need to plan and prepare for your safety so that you, and everyone in your household, know what to do on hot, dry, windy days when fires will start and spread quickly,” said Acting Chief Officer Cook.

For more information about preparing your property, go to cfa.vic.gov.au/prepare

 

Back in action before bushfire season

By DAVID HOGG

 

THE FIRE DANGER sign at the north end of the bridge has not worked for almost a year.

We were originally told in November last year that Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) were awaiting a part to repair the sign.

In January, we were advised by EMV that the sign could not be repaired safely at its current location due to safety issues with a new overhead high-voltage cable and that EMV were working with Nillumbik Council to determine a new location for the sign.

In May, we were advised that EMV was working closely with Nillumbik Council, the Country Fire Authority and the Department of Transport to identify the most appropriate location for a new Fire Danger Rating sign, and that once agreement has been reached between all parties, it would be relocated.

With the 2020/21 Fire Season only three to four weeks away we decided to follow up progress on this issue with EMV and Nillumbik Council.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp sent us an almost identical response to the one he provided in May, but with a slightly changed first paragraph that reads “EMV is committed to ensuring the Fire Danger Rating sign near the Warrandyte Bridge in North Warrandyte is operational prior to the 2020/21 fire danger period and works to rehabilitate and make the sign operational will commence shortly.”

He then continued to advise that EMV is working closely with Nillumbik Council, the Country Fire Authority and the Department of Transport to identify the most appropriate location for a new Fire Danger Rating sign.

When we queried this further we were advised that works are about to commence on the sign and that it will be repaired and operate again in the same place it is now, until such time as another site can be agreed.

Nillumbik Council has also confirmed that a contractor has been engaged and the sign will be repaired in its current position before the Fire Danger Period commences.

Deer session provides information but no solution

NILLUMBIK COUNCIL hosted a two-hour online webinar Deer Information Session on September 12 to address the continuing problem of wild Sambar deer causing considerable destruction in the shire.

A Council spokesperson has told the Diary “198 people booked a place at the deer webinar, with 270 people tuning in”.

This is a surprisingly high number, particularly as other household members not counted may have been watching as well, and perhaps indicates the seriousness of the deer problem in the Shire.

Kirsten Reedy and Michelle Hanslow from Nillumbik’s environment team provided a wealth of information on the origins, distribution and impacts of the various species of deer, but locals focussed on the Sambar species as being the ones causing most of the destruction in the Warrandyte area.

On hand were representatives from professional and sporting shooters to explain their positions, although none would be drawn on the costs involved or the local requirements for engaging them.

Increasing populations of deer in Nillumbik, in rural and suburban areas, are causing understandable concern for many residents.

These introduced animals are now widely regarded as pests, come into Nillumbik from the north and are heading south into the Warrandyte State Park.

The river is no barrier to them and they will happily swim across it.

The Diary has been following the problems these beasts are causing, and the subject was comprehensively covered by James Poyner in our June edition last year and covered the ongoing dissatisfaction with the State’s Draft Victorian Deer Management Strategy.

Nillumbik Shire Council has recently been successful in receiving two, one-year grants from the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Communities Environment Program to build the capacity of the local community to engage in targeted local area deer control options via delivery of educational programs related to deer management.

This webinar was one of the resulting initiatives; the other is the Collaborative Community Deer Action across Nillumbik project, details of which you can find on the Council website.

The latter project will involve a collaborative approach which might include; field days, workshops, practical demonstrations, citizen science activities, and site inspections.

Our attention was drawn to the Deer Scan website, which can be found at www.feralscan.org.au/deerscan/ which encourages residents to log deer sightings and has a downloadable app.

Feedback from North Warrandyte residents was that the session was full of good and useful information for those with little knowledge of the problems, but that those who had been battling the problems for a while found little practical advice on how to handle it.

Fencing to exclude deer is very expensive and causes problems to the natural flow of other native fauna particularly kangaroos and wallabies.

One North Warrandyte resident on a two-hectare block had tried to engage sporting shooters but fell foul of getting approval from police and agreement from some neighbours for them to operate on his property.

As he said “It only takes one person in five within earshot of a gun to refuse to agree and you can’t cull them; and in Warrandyte that pretty much means no shooting”.

His approach to professional shooters found that they were expensive, and it was not worth their while to look for one or two deer on a smaller block when they could cull tens of deer at a time on a larger rural farm block.

Another resident on a block over three hectares had engaged a professional shooter at a fee and he had culled four deer.

Certainly, it was clear that Council at this time is happy to provide advice, but not to financially subsidise any culling operations.

Groundhog Day as another truck comes to grief at the bridge

WARRANDYTE bridge was blocked for several hours on Tuesday, September 22, after a semi-trailer rolled on its side at the intersection of Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road and Research-Warrandyte Road.

A police spokesperson at the scene stated that the truck had apparently lost its brakes coming down the steep Research Road hill (Sloans Hill).

The driver tried to turn the speeding vehicle left into Kangaroo Ground Road, resulting in the semi-trailer rolling onto its side.

The driver of the semi was taken to hospital after receiving a heavy knock to the head.

No one else was injured at the accident and fortunately no cars were coming down Kangaroo Ground Road at the time of the accident.

The semi had crossed the southbound lane of Kangaroo Ground Road and ended up hard against the bank at the side of Kangaroo Ground Road.

Ben Ramcharan, candidate for Sugarloaf Ward in the forthcoming Nillumbik Council Election has been advocating for improved safety on this road since February, and says it is frustrating to see yet another incident which could easily have been fatal under different circumstances.

“This is now the fifth truck crash on the south side of Research-Warrandyte Road since November 2018.

“Fortunately, as the roads are quieter at the moment due to lockdown, nobody else was hit.

“My thoughts are with the truck driver who has gone through a very traumatic experience.”

Mr Ramcharan said he spoke with a resident on Research-Warrandyte Road who has had multiple cars lose control at Bradleys Lane and plough into his fence on Research-Warrandyte Road.

“One driver even crashed through his driveway.

“He said VicRoads were able to make improvements on the corner, which has solved the problem.

“This shows that safety improvements can make a difference and now that we’re seeing more crashes at the bottom of the hill, we need to ask the Department of Transport to take similar action,” he said.

Benita Quine, the mother of Ana Quine who was injured in a crash in January in the same spot is angry the intersection remains dangerous.

“This has to stop,” she said.

She said that the intersections at both ends of the bridge are a safety concern.

“Talking to others, and in my experience, plus witnessing other near misses — the pedestrian crossing at the Yarra Street end of the bridge is so dangerous!

“Drivers seem to be unaware of its purpose, myself and others have had to hold up a hand to say ‘I am crossing please stop,’” she said.

Mr Ramcharan agreed the incidents on Research-Warrandyte Road are part of a much larger problem with road safety in North Warrandyte, Research and Kangaroo Ground.

In a letter seen by the Diary, the Department of Transport indicated that they are working with their road safety partners to identify future improvements on Research-Warrandyte Road.

The letter also indicated that Nillumbik Council are planning to construct new footpaths on sections of Research-Warrandyte Road as part of its Getting to School Safely project.

“These projects will enhance pedestrian access and safety,” the letter said.

Mr Ramcharan said the incident on Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road in June, where a 29-year-old woman was killed, is “a sobering reminder of how important it is to address road safety across the board.

“This is about our safety and our families’ safety,” he said.

Running 1,300KM against family violence

By Jaime Noye

A group of 20 Warrandyte mums (and one bloke) banded together to run a total of 1,300 kilometres as part of a virtual challenge last month.

Runners and walkers alike were invited to participate in the 3rd annual Run Against Violence Virtual Team Challenge, a nationwide movement to raise awareness of family violence.

Run Against Violence (RAV) is a volunteer organisation whose purpose is to end the silence through starting constructive and comprehensive conversations around family violence.

Founder of the event, Kirrily Dear said “Our job is to engage the broader community in conversations about family violence, to reduce the stigma and isolation people who have lived with Domestic Family Violence feel”.

“When that stigma is removed people then share their story and reach out for help.

“We deliver awareness campaigns and community activities in order to create the platform for these conversations around family violence to be heard.”

To participate in the event, teams of up to 20 people were asked to run 1,300km in a 19-day challenge.

The goal was to travel the equivalent distance from Broken Hill to Sydney, starting August 30, 2020.

Local runner and run participant Michelle Chan said family violence is a significant problem in Australia.

“Our virtual run equates to 1.7 million steps.

“1.7 million is the estimated number of Australians who experienced physical abuse before the age of 15*,”she said.

Michelle is no stranger to a challenge.

You may have seen her in recent Diary editions running an Ultra Marathon of 50km in her backyard, or maybe you saw her last month dressed as a banana running around Warrandyte.

Michelle, for the second year running organised a local team to run the 1,300km in the Run Against Violence Virtual Team Challenge.

“With absolutely everything up in the air right now, having a goal to keep yourself active, is so important for our families and ourselves” said Michelle.

During the challenge, each member of the Warrandyte Mum Runners RAV team, ran within their 5km zones, uploading their daily distances online.

The team encouraged each other and regularly made two person running dates to motivate and keep each other on track, all the while adhering to the, then, one-hour-per-day restrictions for exercising.

Daily posts included images of where the team had been running, new local routes to be explored and the sunshining weather that began to emerge.

The daily activity ranged from family walks to others pushing as far as they could in the 60-minute limit, many striving for a PB.

That’s no mean feat in the hills of Warrandyte and Wonga Park!

Participants from the group cheered and encouraged each other to keep going.

With all-round virtual applause as each runner completed their individual kms.

One team member, Gen Stephens said “It’s the longest trip I’ve been on all year.

“Loved seeing everyone’s posts and running together/apart.

“What a wonderful bunch!”

Another team member, Maddy Wilson said “It was so lovely seeing everyone’s posts… feel like I need the next challenge to start to keep the motivation going!”

At the end of the 1,300km, Michelle praised the group.

“Together we contributed to the very important cause of raising awareness and preventing family violence.

“Thank you to everyone for being so positive and encouraging.

“This virtual challenge may be over, but we will still have our camaraderie,” she said.

Michelle is a champion for many local women to stay active, especially during these times of restrictions.

The Warrandyte Mum Runners RAV team are thankful Michelle was there to inspire and support each of them, to get out the door and take on a worthwhile challenge.

Information about the annual RAV challenge can be found via their website www.runagainstviolence.com.

*Sourced from ABS Personal Safety Survey 2016.

You made the tough decision to move on, what now?

By Aaron Farr

SEPARATION, divorce, matrimonial settlement.

No matter what term you use, taking the huge step to leave your spouse or accepting that they have left you is an emotionally stressful and unsettling time.

It is even more so if you don’t know which way to turn or who can help you.

It is a very lonely time.

From seeing this regularly, daily in fact, I can assure you that this is temporary and a whole new chapter of your life awaits you… but first, let’s face the matter head on and protect you — together.

There are a number of aspects of a separation when we look at it from a legal angle and I will cover some of these below.

But before I do, the most important thing is you and (if applicable) your children’s safety.

Sadly, following separation, it is not uncommon for raw emotion to get in the way of what should be an amicable arrangement.

Sometimes, this can end up in you or your family being concerned for their safety.

To be clear, there is nothing a lawyer can do to ensure your safety from an immediate perspective.

This is a police matter and they can assist you ensuring your safety and protection.

An Intervention Order is relevant here and is a court order usually applied for by the police on your behalf.

Unfortunately, this process is sometimes abused and you might find yourself on the receiving end of one.

Navigating the law and process of both applying for (either with the police or on your own) or receiving one is something a lawyer can assist with once the immediate safety concerns are dealt with.

An Interim Intervention Order may be put in place promptly and then the Final Intervention Order may be granted following a legal process.

An Intervention Order can affect you in a number of ways from a criminal record, reducing work prospects, suspending your firearms licence and having your firearms confiscated, and of course, it can affect your Family Law Matter.

The term divorce is thrown around in society as being used for any kind of finalisation of a marriage.

The first comment to make is that whether a couple are married or in a de-facto relationship, the legislation is essentially mirrored.

When dealing with a separation of a married couple, divorce (in a legal sense) is isolated to the divorce order which, without sounding insensitive, means you are not legally still married and you can now marry another person if you so wish.

This is completely separate to any financial or children’s matters.

When it comes to the process, we always advise parties to finalise the financial and/or children’s matters first as once a divorce order is granted, time limits commence which may affect your financial matters.

When dealing with any financial matters, you need to know what you would be entitled to if the matter were to progress to court.

I know…the dreaded word “court”.

At Rush & Hampshire, we do everything we can to keep you out of court as the legal and court fees will likely exceed the gap between the parties’ offers.

The vast majority of matters settle either between the parties or their lawyers.

In saying that, in some matters there is no other option than to issue proceedings but this is not done lightly and we clearly set out the possible costs involved.

Sometimes this is a strategic move but in some matters we must strap in for the long haul due to a difficult party.

Once you know what you would receive at court in a financial settlement, you will be equipped to negotiate, either yourself if you feel confident enough to, or alternatively, we can act on your behalf in this respect.

If your matter is in the vast majority then once negotiation has been completed between the parties, either with or without lawyers, and you have agreed on a settlement, we can assist you to draw up the appropriate paperwork.

In order to protect yourself moving forward, there are two ways you can settle your financial matters.

Firstly, if both parties have lawyers, a binding financial agreement may be drawn up.

There are strict rules on how these must be completed by the parties and it is important that the document and the process of executing it complies with legislation and case law to avoid it being open to an application to be set aside.

Secondly, and more commonly used either when neither of the parties are represented, one party is represented or both parties are represented, is consent orders.

Consent Orders are an application to the court with the orders the parties have agreed to be made.

The court will then ensure these comply with the legislation and case law and if approved, they are sealed in chambers.

This means there is no appearance or court hearing required.

It is important that the consent orders and application is drawn correctly to ensure there is compliance with the legislation to minimise the chance of it being rejected.

Children’s matters are completely separate.

The media and TV/movies may have you referring to this as custody.

A number of client’s prefer to keep the children’s matters separate from the financial settlement and either stick with the status quo or amicably work towards a mutual informal agreement.

Children’s matters can be addressed as part of the consent orders if the parties wish but similarly to if the parties cannot agree, there may be certain circumstances where the only option is to proceed to court.

Again, due to the costs involved, this is a last resort.

Regardless of whether you wish to address the children’s matters as part of your separation with solicitors or not, you need advice to ensure you understand what your rights are so you can proceed to obtain a just result.

The child’s or children’s best interests are paramount in all matters.

On a side note, you also need to be aware of the child support ramifications of your children’s arrangements.

Family Law is a very involved area of law and very distinct to all other areas.

Every matter is different and unique and therefore there is no “one size fits all”.

It is important you know your legal position and are guided through the practical aspects of your matter so you can get a just or good result.

 

At Rush & Hampshire Barristers & Solicitors, we generally meet with you for an initial consultation and then assist you moving forward based on your needs following discussing the options with you.

We tend to relate this to a smorgasbord; we present it and you choose which meal you want and then we can tailor it for you.

Rush & Hampshire Barristers & Solicitors are still available full time, working from home as most of us are of course, due to the current restrictions.

We can arrange a time to meet you via telephone or video conferencing.

Feel free to call us to see how we can help you.

If you wish to phone us and reach our voicemail, please leave a message as we are prompt in our responses.

Alternatively, you can send us an email but please include your phone number as we will need to call you to discuss your requirements.

Aaron Farr is the Principal Lawyer at Rush & Hampshire Barristers & Solicitors, 163 Yarra Street

Telephone: (03) 9844 4646

Email:
legal@rushandhampshire.com.au

A walk into Warrandyte’s history

MANNINGHAM CITY Council and Warrandyte Historical Society have installed another four historical plaques highlighting the rich history of the township.

Historical Society Secretary Valerie Polley said plaques were installed on the Warrandyte Mechanics Institute on the wall facing Yarra Street adjacent to the path leading to the outdoor area, on the front stone wall of the Old Fire Station, on the front wall of the Wine Hall, and on the right hand side of the stone retaining wall behind the War Memorial.

The plaques have been installed on historical buildings around Warrandyte and join another five, which were installed in 2017 at the Warrandyte Grand Hotel, Old Warrandyte Post Office (now museum), Warrandyte Bakery, Gospel Chapel (now Stonehouse Gallery) and the former Butcher’s Shop (now Riveresque).

The Historical Society provided the pictures and text and the council produced and installed the plaques.

The plaques tell the history of each building, providing residents and visitors an insight into the important history of the Warrandyte Township.

The owners and representatives of the properties were consulted on the placement of the plaques in a prominent position.

The new plaques add to the rich fabric of Warrandyte historical documentation and provide a COVID Safe friendly way for those interested to engage with and explore the history of Warrandyte township.

 

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Victoria prepares to vote

UNCERTAINTY around the October Local Council elections has been abated with the Minister for Local Government, Shaun Leane announcing on August 19, following advice from the Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton, the election can go ahead as planned on Saturday, October 24.

“As Minister for Local Government, I sought advice from the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office and Chief Health Officer as to how best to proceed while Victoria is in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“I also engaged with the local government sector to fully understand concerns regarding the impact of current restrictions in Victoria on campaigning, and relayed that I would act on advice from the Chief Health Officer.

“The Chief Health Officer has advised that October represents a period when risk is likely to be substantially lower than at present, and there are no compelling public health grounds for the elections to be delayed,” Mr Leane said.

This was reaffirmed by Professor Sutton at the September 6 Road Map Press Conference.

In a virtual press conference attended by the Diary, Victorian Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately said that he “welcomed the certainty that this announcement brings”.

He said the VEC has closely monitored Government advice in developing a COVIDSafe election plan.

The Plan puts additional measures in place to safely manage the Victorian local council elections being held by post this October.

Mr Gately has said postal voting is safe and of high integrity, and that the VEC is ready to respond to the changing environment.

“The situation remains dynamic and the VEC continues to actively monitor conditions and restrictions.

“Additional measures in place include increased distancing in election offices, limiting face-to-face contact, enforcing mask wearing where mandated by the Victorian Government, and moving operational activity online whenever possible,” he said.

The 2020 Victorian local elections will also be the first elections held under the Local Government Act 2020.

Under The Act, all election candidates are required to undertake mandatory training, regardless of whether they are new or an incumbent.

The training covers areas such as: how councils are run, election donation rules, councillor code of conduct, conflict of interest and what support is available to councillors.

Candidates will also have the opportunity to include a 300-word statement in the mailed-out ballot packs.

Councillors will also have to complete Councillor Induction Training within the first six months of taking office.

The 2020 Victorian council elections will be the State’s largest single election program, with a predicted 4.5 million voters and over 2,000 candidates participating in elections across 76 councils.

For the first time in Victoria, the local election will be the first to be held completely by postal vote, in 2016, 72 of the 78 Councils that held elections were by postal vote.

For 2020, 76 Councils will see their citizens, and ratepayers cast their vote, which is every Victorian Council excepting Whittlesea, Casey and South Gippsland, who are currently in administration.

In the change to council structure — with some Councils changing from multi-member to single-member wards — there will be 298 seats in contention across participating Councils.

With eight councils switching to single member wards, including Maroondah and Manningham, which will switch to nine, single councillor wards, the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) has stressed the importance of voters making sure they know what ward they will be voting for on October 24, as the ward names and their boundaries have changed.

Detailed information about the forthcoming election, at a local government level can be found on the VEC website.

The VEC is also encouraging voters to sign up for its VoterAlert sms and email service, which will provide those registered with prompts and other important information about the forthcoming election.

 

Dates for your diary

The enrolment deadline has now passed.

The next big milestone is the candidate nomination period which occurs between Thursday, September 17 and 12pm on Tuesday, September 22.

Eligible candidates wishing to nominate should visit the VEC website for further information on procedures and the required pre-nomination training.

Those who do qualify and choose to nominate will need to present at their municipality’s election office — by appointment — during the nomination period.

Ballot packs will be mailed out between October 6 and October 8, delivered via Australia Post.

Voters have until 6pm on October 23 to return their ballot paper, either posted before this date and time, or hand delivered to their municipality’s election office.

Election declarations are expected to take place before Friday, November 13, the deadline for declaration was extended to accommodate for COVID-Safe work practices for VEC counting staff.

Memoirs of a local councillor

BY SOPHY GALBALLY

WHEN I WAS first elected as Councillor in the Mullum Mullum ward, I felt proud and full of gratitude for the many people in the community who trusted me as their representative and advocate.

I remember that first day in the council chambers, my name plate, the officialdom, the other eight councillors, all with big personalities.

I asked myself “How did I get here?” I had a Talking Heads song recycling in my head!

It was not long before my head was full of facts and figures.

Newly appointed councillors are thrown into many strategic briefing sessions to help us get up to speed about what council does and how it does it.

That includes how decisions are made about how much to spend on roads, rubbish, open spaces, sport and activity centres.

At first, the cynic in me saw it as indoctrination by the “system”, with fellow councillors posturing to portray themselves as all-knowing.

I was determined to not become a part of the machine, and to stay true to those who elected me.

I noticed early that council had a distinct city vs country mentality in its approach to just about everything.

I am not referring only to trees!

There was a strong push for curb and channel and drainage schemes which did not entertain alternative options.

Business as usual was the motto. 

Readers of the Diary will most likely be aware of the magnitude of the battle for Melbourne Hill Road (MHR).

If it were not for the residents’ strong opposition to the drainage scheme (a seven-year fight), this area of Warrandyte would look like a suburban estate with no character and no mature trees.

My advocacy for MHR was my longest running battle.

The final result is also due to the efforts and collective knowledge of the residents who never gave up.

The MHR residents’ stand against council on this drainage scheme created benefits that flowed to all the residents of Manningham.

Their win effectively removed the Special Rates and Charges as a means for Council to proceed with works, and then charge residents.

So, if you happen to bump into a resident from Melbourne Hill Road, do not forget to thank them.

When the day comes that a drainage scheme is coming your way, you will not have to pay for it, because your rates are already paying for it!

There is a big lesson here.

When you have difficulty with council, approach your ward councillor and ask for their support.

Hopefully you have elected a person who is sympathetic and feisty enough to battle for you.

I loved being a councillor most when I could advocate for community groups and help individuals and families navigate the web of council rules, regulations and permits.

Communication from council is often dry and “official” and I often saw letters to residents which gave cool legalistic responses to issues that affect families in very emotional ways.

For instance, a brother and sister in Warrandyte wanted to subdivide five acres of inherited land into two lots.

Council had refused the application for two years and it was not clear why.

The residents asked for my assistance.

At a meeting with senior executives at the Council, the Officers said they had not approved of the line of division because the line was not front and centre.

I suggested they look at the site as Warrandyte has many dips and slopes and perhaps the siblings were trying to ensure they both had equal amount of usable land.

The result was that the application was quickly approved.

Two happy families finally able to enjoy their property.

Another example of advocacy concerned a senior citizen who lived alone on an acre in Park Orchards.

Due to council graveling the road and subsequent rain, a lot of gravel entered her driveway and garden, and also under her house.

Her pleas to council to remove it came with the response, “We cannot do work on private property”.

 

Bloods see change at the top end

By JOSH HUNTLY

WARRANDYTE Football Club is on the hunt for a new Senior Coach and President after Anthony McGregor and Jason Smith parted ways with the Bloods.

McGregor joined the club in 2018, and last season guided the senior side to their first finals series since the premiership winning year back in 2015.

He took the side from 11th to 3rd and an 11–7 record in the space of a season.

The club released a statement on his departure on August 7:

“The Warrandyte Football Club would like to formally announce that it will be seeking applicants for the senior coaching role for the 2021 season and beyond.

We are most appreciative of, and would like to thank, Anthony for all his hard work since joining to the club in 2018 and we wish him well with his future endeavours.

The club will now start the process of finding a suitable replacement to guide our talented playing group.”

The decision to re-open the senior coaching role has seen a task force made up of committee members and senior players begin the search for Warrandyte’s next coach.

Just four days after McGregor’s departure, first-year President Jason Smith stepped down from his role, with a statement from the club committee outlining the reasons for his departure.

“The committee of the WFC regretfully announces that Jason Smith has stepped down as Club President with immediate effect.

The role of the Club President is a pivotal one.

Jason had been reflecting on his position and felt that he no longer had the energy or capacity with his business and personal commitments to fully commit to the role.

That being the case he has made the difficult decision to resign.

The committee of the WFC would like to extend our sincere thanks to Jason for the work he has put into the role since his appointment.”

The Reserves and U19s roles remain unchanged, with the club announcing that Wayne Dalton and Clint Wheatley have been re-appointed respectfully.

Dalton joined the club this season after previously coaching at Scoresby Football Club, while Wheatley moved from the Reserves role into the U19s role to take charge of the young Bloods coming through the ranks.

Wheatley coached the U19s to their last flag in 2015.

Artist, Miner & Sapper: Penleigh Boyd

A CALL FROM the Editor of the Warrandyte Diary — startled me.

Still in my lockdown slumber, I soon reflected on the message intently.

“There is a mistake on the honour board at the RSL.
“T. Penleigh-Boyd” is not accurate.

It should be Theodore Penleigh Boyd, with no hyphen!
He prefered to be known as just “Penleigh Boyd”.

He is one of Australia’s noted landscape painters.”

Accepting responsibility for this dilemma; I was inspired to make good the mistake and seek out the deeper story.

When the Editor also mentioned that Penleigh was a senior member of the Boyd artistic dynasty, she casually included that he was an Australian Army Engineer (Sapper) in WWI.

As a current day sapper, my guilt went into overdrive.

How had I not heard of him?

This needed further research.

A man who combined two of Warrandyte’s great heritages — Mining and Art.

The current President of the Warrandyte RSL is also a sapper — David (Rhino) Ryan — who comes from a plumbing background.

Who is a Sapper?

A “sap” is a trench, dug usually in a zig zag alignment, to safely approach a fortification (such as a castle) to then undermine it, collapse it and allow the infantry access.

One who digs saps, is therefore called a sapper.

Modern day sappers’ clear obstacles (landmines, wire etc) and also provide engineering services (water, power, construction etc).

Well knowing the reputation of the renowned Warrandyte architect, educator and social commentator, Robin Boyd, I never made the connection that he was Penleigh’s son.

Also, I personally know Linda Noke and Andrew Sisson who live in The Robins on Warrandyte-Kangaroo Ground Road, but still I did not know that Penleigh was a WWI Sapper.

His reputation as an artist has been chronicled as equal to that of Arthur Streeton.

The Artist and “The Robins”

Theodore Penleigh Boyd (1890–1923) was a noted landscape painter born in Westbury, Wiltshire, England to parents who were both successful painters.

Before WWI he became a successful and profitable artist, travelling to Europe where he married Edith Anderson (1880–1961), before purchasing about 14 acres in the township of Warrandyte sloping steeply down to the Yarra River, to the north of the bridge, to establish the family seat — The Robins — occupying it in 1914.

Linda and Andrew, the current owners of The Robins, hosted a Robin Boyd Foundation open day on 15 May 2011.

The Foundation described its architectural and artistic heritage:

“At this time a flourishing community of artists began to settle around the township.

Chosen for its natural beauty, Penleigh designed and built a single-storey cottage with a generous attic that was broadly Tudor — with a crooked terracotta gabled roof, bay windows and cross-beamed ceilings.

The ground floor walls were constructed of earth mixed with concrete, an early example of in-situ concrete, and possibly one of the first examples of reinforced concrete being used to build a house in Australia!

The biographer Brenda Niall describes that:

“…. the style of the house and the physical and emotional energy that went into its building express the contradictions of Penleigh’s personality.

Venturesome and self-reliant, he carved his own space out of the Warrandyte bush, but the style he chose for the house was quaint, nostalgic and very English.” (Niall, The Boyd’s, 2002)

Mining

Penleigh Boyd (service number 5) enlisted as a Sapper in November 1915 into the newly formed Australian Mining Corps.

Soon he was promoted to Sergeant and joined a special Australian Army Engineer unit; the Australian Electrical and Mechanical Mining and Boring Company.

Jocularly called by the Diggers, the “Alphabet Company” because of its abbreviation — AE&MM&B Coy!

This unit had the responsibility of providing and maintaining the equipment required to light, ventilate and de-water the extensive tunnel and dug-out systems along the entire length of the Western front.

The unit deservedly earned many plaudits for the support it provided to all Imperial Forces.

Sergeant Boyd detailed lorry drivers and the distribution of stores and equipment.

Other Sapper units at the time included; Field, Mounted, Signals, Submarine Mining, Works & Fortifications (Fortress), Railway, Training & Survey (McNicoll, History of the Royal Australian Engineers 1902–1919, Volume 2, Making and Breaking, Canberra, 1979).

Underground warfare, or mining and tunnelling, is little known to most, but was prolific during WWI — particularly on the Western Front.

Throughout history tunnelling has been used by Sappers of all nations to breach enemy fortifications.

Traditionally, undermining castles.

A more modern example would include the infamous Viet Cong tunnels of Vietnam.

As one of Australia’s earliest deployed artists into France, he took the opportunity to become an unofficial war artist capturing impressions and images of a place, period and situation that otherwise would have gone unrecorded.

As a Sapper on the ground, he had a unique vantage point to record daily life on the Western Front.

Many of his drawings were published in his wonderful book, Salvage (P. Boyd, British Australasian, London, 1918).

Penleigh was badly gassed in Ypres in 1917 then invalided to England.

He repatriated home aboard the Euripides in 1918 to continue his painting and living in The Robins.

He suffered permanent lung damage but continued his artistic work with unabated energy including assisting fellow returned soldiers.

The Drunken Lion Tamer (The First Warrandyte Festival?)

The current owners of The Robins, Linda, a Project Manager constructing Victorian Police Stations, and Andrew, a School Teacher at Eltham Primary, share their favourite Penleigh Boyd story as reported in the Argus (Jan 1921) and digitised by the State Library of Victoria:

“As President of the Warrandyte branch of the Returned Soldiers’ League, Mr Penleigh Boyd, in order to build a soldiers’ institute, persuaded his neighbours to hold a week-long fete.

With their assistance, he transformed the glen at the foot of the bridge into a veritable fairy dell!

The pathway from the main road to the glen, were artistically illuminated with festoons of Chinese lanterns — all the way to the banks of the Yarra.

In the moonlight, with the reflection from the lights, the river appeared as if it were a stream of silver.

Hidden amongst the trees were gaily decorated stalls who did a roaring trade.

Food, drinks, dancing, fireworks and music along with many other attractions, entertained a multitude of residents from the whole district.

The proprietor of the travelling circus, reported to the local constabulary that; the Lion Tamer, who had a drinking problem, was missing.

All cafes and the hotel were searched in vain, finally, the Lion Tamer was found in the cage with the lion and lioness!

All three lying fast asleep!

The searchers tried to arouse the trio but were met with noisy and frightening protests!

They were permitted to sleep on.

After 8 hours the Lion Tamer awoke, patted the lions, adorned his cape, and then proceeded home to his wife for breakfast!”

Penleigh sold The Robins in 1922 but tragically died in a car accident at Warrigal in 1923.

Robin Boyd was 4 years old at the time.

His wife, Edith, lived until 1961.

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