Nip problem possums in the bud

If possums are destroying your trees or they have a habit of making your home theirs, it might be time to seek some assistance from Nathan Walker. As the director of Tree Walkers and the head arborist, Nathan’s got 25 years of experience under his belt in the tree industry. From tending to emergency call-outs for fallen trees to difficult situations and removing large trees, he’s your go-to guy for problem possum deterrence as well.


Using possum guards, Tree Walkers can prevent possums from getting into your trees. Perspex is wrapped around the base of the trunk so they can’t climb up. Another technique used is to remove certain pathways that the possums use to travel, which includes pruning trees that form a bridge between other means of access such as fences, other trees and of course your roof. Often possums can damage trees so much that the health of the trees deteriorates if preventative measures aren’t taken.

For emergency call-outs, free quotes and advice, phone 0404 709 595 or 1300 MR TREE (1300 678 733).



T: 0404 709 595


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Pilot pollution project under way


The Mornington Peninsula will be part of a pilot program that sees EPA Victoria officers established within councils to counter issues of noise, dust, odour and waste management resulting from small to medium businesses. Known as Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE), these administrators will inform industry and community members on how to prevent, identify and resolve environmental issues with the aim of reducing outputs of relevant pollutants. 

The recruiting of OPLEs is under way and has already resulted in “reducing response times to reports and improved industry compliance”, says EPA chief executive Dr Cathy Wilkinson. “As well as responding to issues such as dust, noise and odour, which have the potential to greatly affect liveability, the OPLEs will also be a valuable part of EPA’s increased focus on preventing and identifying illegal stockpiling and disposal of waste.”

The pilot began in 2017 with 11 OPLEs across 13 council areas and will be expanded to include eight more OPLEs across a further 10 councils. The Mornington Peninsula Shire will be one of them thanks to a $3.4 million boost from the State Government. Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor David Gill said: “This project will assist in reducing problems including those arising from noise, dust, odour and waste management in small to medium businesses and will benefit many people on the Peninsula as well as protect our natural environment.” 

As great supporters of keeping our part of the world as clean and pristine as possible, Mornington Peninsula Magazine can’t wait to see the results. The pilot is currently being funded until June 2020.

Model has a mind to tackle mental health

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Pursuing a career in modelling had always been something that had interested Naomi Holt. It wasn’t until people started telling her that she should try it that she took a step towards the runway. At 15, her first validation occurred after finishing runner-up in a model search competition. From here, modelling was on and off, but she was forever striving ahead. Naomi has now modelled for Bonds, Cotton On, Target, Ozmozis, and Wanted Shoes, to list a few. The latter was an international campaign, which was a highlight for the 26-year-old.

The Mornington Peninsula-born and raised model has lived in Amsterdam and in Melbourne but always comes back to the Peninsula. A degree in marketing didn’t sit too well with Naomi because she knew it just wasn’t for her. It was time to soul-search. For a year and a half she fully embraced modelling. After reflecting that she enjoyed her psychology classes during high school, Naomi stepped into a university course in psychology. Having dyslexia, she knew it would be difficult with her learning disability — but Naomi believes “hard isn’t an excuse”. 

The course saw her study in Amsterdam for five months and graduate earlier this year. Before returning for her master’s degree, Naomi’s been traveling and combining her two worlds in an Instagram page and blog called Mind the Model. It’s a space where mental health, self-care and body celebration thrive. Psychology and modelling seem like very different fields, yet she’s amalgamated them perfectly to share not only her story but other women’s stories, from models to strong women sharing their mental health experiences.  

She’s a stunning woman with the kindest heart. Naomi’s giving back even more by volunteering at Jesuit Social Services as she completes one-on-one mentoring with kids leaving the statutory protection system. You’ll also find her working with the Leaving Care Program as she assists young adults to enter adulthood as they leave the system. As a survivor of domestic violence as a child, she’s flattered that she was asked to be an ambassador for the Polished Man Campaign this year. This movement is all about men and women painting one of their fingernails with nail polish to raise awareness of violence against children and to highlight that one child dies every five minutes as a result of domestic violence. 

You won’t be surprised when we tell you she’s got a five-year plan. Not only will she be a practising psychologist, but she’s envisions that Mind the Model will be a popular platform where people can speak openly about mental health and self-care. Planning to run workshops on self-care at schools is also high on the list because it’s something that isn’t taught in schools.

“Modelling has been amazing as it’s also allowed me to have a platform to have a voice and to use that voice in an interesting way,” Naomi says. “I don’t want it to stop. I’d love to become an ambassador for self-care, celebrating our bodies and caring for our mental health. Modelling is an exciting career, yet it doesn’t feed my soul enough.” 

With a freshly relaunched website, Naomi is offering a free seven-day challenge focused on celebrating your body and accepting who you are in an effort to reframe how you think. Visit and follow Naomi on Instagram @naomikholt and Mind the Model @mind_the_model


Relax in style with Soho and Bungalow

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It’s vintage coast with a little bit of luxe. If you aren’t into all white everything in your coastal home but still enjoy a casual environment, OZ Design Furniture Mornington’s vintage tropical-inspired collection is for you. You’ll find gorgeous palm trees, luxe additions and brown rattan styled to bring a unique living experience this season. 

Casual sofas such as Salotto, Soho or this season’s new Parchment sofa fit perfectly into this interior style. Add soft furnishings to instill comfort and practical design elements. OZ Design Furniture Mornington’s Bungalow range is perfect for this.
Build on your space with pieces of wall art reflective of vintage vibes and enjoy the relaxed aura it brings. Shop now at OZ Design Furniture Mornington. 


A: Showroom D4, Peninsula Home, 1128-1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington

T: 8560 1137


Graham Jones Design designs for life

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Nestled on a grassy hilltop, Bimbadeen overlooks a quiet valley and is a perfect balance of comfort and necessity. It fully engages in the exploration of the intimate response to landscape, preservation of site and the optimisation of views. This renovation designed by Graham Jones Design transformed a small, tired house into a great open and spacious home where vistas are now celebrated throughout the space. 

Entering Bimbadeen, you are hit with the realisation that you are somewhere truly special. With a focus on relaxed living, low maintenance and an ability to capture the landscape, the home is somewhere the owners can relax, unwind and eventually retire. 

Since its inception on the Mornington Peninsula more than 30 years ago, Graham Jones Design has been committed to creating unique, functional, sustainable, contemporary design, culminating in GJD earning more than 100 industry awards, including the prestigious Design Matters Design of the Year Award for a project right in the heart of the Peninsula.  

GJD’s approachable and friendly team will provide the utmost professional direction and guidance throughout your project. To have a chat about all things building design, phone 0477 394 864 or email [email protected] 


T: 0477 394 864 


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Heritage-listed Westerfield steeped in history

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The Mornington Peninsula is home to some diversely beautiful Victorian heritage-listed properties. Walter Burley Griffin’s Gumnuts Cottage circa 1920 was built as an early holiday house on Olivers Hill, while Westerfield, built by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1924 on 45ha, stands proudly in Robinsons Rd in Frankston South. 

Sir Russell was an extremely interesting man. He purchased Westerfield in 1920 as a rural retreat when it became popular for Melbourne’s prominent families to buy holiday houses on the Peninsula. The house was designed by ‘in vogue’ Melbourne architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear, who was at the forefront of the arts and craft movement, and still retains many original features. It has no corridors, unusually shaped rooms, and the floors, skirtings, architraves, doors and built-in furniture pieces are all constructed from stained timber. There is also a water tank built inside a timber tower rising from the centre of the roof. 

The grounds around this property are what really astound. Sir Russell had a thirst for knowledge and a wide range of interests, including carpentry, photography, forestry and arboriculture. He was also a motoring fanatic and was the first to drive from Melbourne to Adelaide. He loved botanical literature and campaigned assiduously for the preservation of forests, and it is here at Westerfield that we see his love of plants and natives really come into play. There’s a eucalypt paddock, a long formal garden with flowerbeds and a lily pond, and the subjects of many of Sir Russell’s original plantings, including a crab apple tree, roses, lilacs, and lemon, apple and pear trees, still stand today. The bushland around the magnificent house at the end of the long driveway is also considered to be an important wildlife corridor. 

Westerfield is historically noteworthy because of its connection to Sir Russell, who was active in some of Australia’s biggest business undertakings, including the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. At the beginning of World War ll and with the help of the Federal Government, Sir Russell obtained seeds from England and cultivated crops of foxgloves, poppies, deadly nightshade, colchicum and henbane in South Frankston to replenish supplies, which had been cut off. The poppies grown at Westerfield filled all of Australia's morphine requirements until after the war. 

Sir Russell also belonged to the advisory committee for the botanic gardens. The Westerfield estate now encompasses 14ha. 

Closing the blinds at The Roman Empire

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And just like that, after more than 30 years of supplying high-quality blinds, drapery and bed heads, The Roman Empire is shutting up shop on Wednesday, October 16. Managing director Don Hailes grew the business into what it is today, with 30 staff who have become like a family.

As a teenager, Don owed his father money for rent. At the time he was a frustrated musician getting nowhere fast — just fast into debt. His father was in the retail blind business and offered Don the opportunity to assist him fitting blinds to pay him back. It was a task Don enjoyed, and from that day he’s never strayed from the industry. It was during his time working for his father that he was picking up some parts from a blind manufacturer one day and was offered a job. “I didn’t know when I said yes back then that it would have turned into all of this,” said Don. 

When asked to name the most rewarding moment of his career, Don said he couldn’t have answered that until a month ago. As a predominately wholesale business distributing all over the country to large companies such as Spotlight, the news spread fast about Don’s plans to close. His phones ran hot as he was inundated with lovely calls to say thank you for his quality customer service and products, along with “we’ll miss you” emails. And what followed was more calls to offer his staff jobs. With some of them having been with Don for 25 years, he was overwhelmed with joy that everyone who was after a new job had in fact received a job offer without even applying. The calls literally didn’t stop. It was testament to the business he’d developed, the staff he’d coached and the industry standards they’d established. 

“You see your work colleagues more than you see your own family. We are a family. It was difficult to announce the news and see their faces. But when we heard that everyone had been offered new positions, it affirmed to me that we’d been doing something right.” 

Don feels like a free man, yet he’s recently forgone his retirement plan for a larger role in his blind component business which isn’t nearly as demanding and can be completed “when I feel like it”. Hmmm, we’ll see — he just can’t get enough.

Mornington Peninsula Magazine wishes Don and his staff an enjoyable farewell celebration and all the best moving forward. 


Navigating aged care considerations

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Entering aged care can be a sensitive time with a lot to consider. It is important to keep personal requirements and preferences in focus to ensure that not only are your individual care needs met, but also that you will be happy, comfortable and feel safe in your new home.

It is recommended you visit and tour a selection of aged care facilities before making a decision — this will help determine if the facility is the right ‘fit’. The home should be focused on residents’ needs with the tour reflecting this by staff who take the time to understand what is important to you.

Food is central to life and plays an essential role in well-being and happiness, so ensure the meals are prepared fresh every day on site.

Even though you’re moving to a new home, you want to stay connected to the things that bring joy. You want a personalised lifestyle program to help you stay involved in your interests and also discover new ones. So observe what activities are occurring or planned on the day of the tour. 

A quality aged care provider will always be looking for ways to improve the delivery of care and for ways to enrich residents’ lives. Ask questions and seek information on what’s new and how the innovation helps.

Although moving into aged care is a significant life event, it need not be a daunting prospect. Many residents report an improvement to their quality of life once they have settled in and have a very full social life. If it’s time to take those first steps, move forward with the confidence of knowing your life may be about to change for the better. Call 1300 998 100 or visit to find out more.


A: 1 Wyuna St, Capel Sound

T: 1300 998 100


The appeal of apartment living at Greenways

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The Australian dream is to own your own home. But as we reach our formidable years, that family home can become a burden, with increased maintenance, high utilities costs and lots of unused space. 

Retirement living apartments can be a fantastic alternative.

Greenways Retirement Village, nestled among private landscaped gardens in Seaford, offers a range of living options with 122 homes in all. Many residents, both new and from within the village, have chosen apartment living. With 14 spacious apartments boasting private courtyards and views over neighbouring parklands, they can be an easy, low-maintenance, convenient and affordable way of joining the Greenways community and experiencing all the benefits of a thriving village life.

Adjoining the community centre, Greenways’ apartments are a convenient gateway to everything on offer at the village. The hairdresser, podiatrist and doctor are all only a short stroll away. Why not dine at the popular Greenways village restaurant just nearby. And in winter, don’t worry about the cold and wet because you can make your way to the village lounge, library, fitness centre or computer room without heading outdoors. The community centre is the social hub of the village, where you can enjoy movie afternoons, mini-market days, indoor bowls, trivia, bingo and an endless choice of other activities all on your doorstep. 

At the same time, the apartment complex itself is private, secure and peaceful. So if you just want to relax in the comfort of your own home, that’s easy too.

Why not consider apartment living at Greenways now — apartments start from $267,500. Visit Greenways Retirement Village at 330 Frankston-Dandenong Rd, Seaford, or phone 9786 8679 or go to for more details.

Carter Grange offers peace of mind

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Carter Grange makes it easy to build your new custom home or dual occupancy by guiding you through its personalised process:

  • Design: Sit face-to-face with Carter Grange’s designers and town planning consultant.

  • Quote: Carter Grange provides full quotations throughout the design stage.

  • Town planning (if applicable on your build): Carter Grange will liaise directly with a planning consultant and council on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.

  • Build: Carter Grange’s experienced project managers will meet you on site every step of the build.

Carter Grange has been designing and building more than 150 homes a year in Melbourne’s best suburbs for over a decade. These individually designed homes are perfectly suited for the distinctive character of the Mornington Peninsula.  

Carter Grange provides a full end-to-end service. For more information, contact Carey on 0407 691 910; for general inquiries, call 1300 244 663.


A: 15 Compark Circuit, Mulgrave

T: 1300 244 663


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Frankston City strives for sustainability

Frankston City Mayor Michael O’Reilly visited St Jude’s Primary School in Langwarrin to congratulate the proud Mini Vinnies. From left to right, the children are Keira (grade 3), Lily (grade 3), Ryleigh (grade 3), Erica (grade five) and River (grade 6).

Frankston City Mayor Michael O’Reilly visited St Jude’s Primary School in Langwarrin to congratulate the proud Mini Vinnies. From left to right, the children are Keira (grade 3), Lily (grade 3), Ryleigh (grade 3), Erica (grade five) and River (grade 6).

It was a proud moment when a record number of environmentally friendly Frankston City programs were listed as finalists in this year’s Keep Victoria Beautiful Sustainable Cities 2019 Awards. This year, six projects were listed in the council category, and in the community award section five were listed.

Minie Vinnie’s recycling paper project at St Jude’s Primary School was recognised as a finalist in the community awards. The project involves a group of students collecting shredded paper, cardboard and paper scraps to be recycled weekly. St Jude’s science and sustainability co-ordinator, Helen Pepi, said the five star-rated sustainable school was “extremely thrilled” to be named as a finalist.
“Our students work hard to maintain our lovely native school grounds and take pride in trying to be sustainable in their everyday actions,” Helen said. “For every ton of paper, $110 goes to St Vincent de Paul. We have been able to reduce the costs of disposing of paper by about $1200 per year. This paper collection initiative is an action that helps our students to contribute and reach out to the needy people of Langwarrin and Frankston.”

Narelle Debenham’s Natured Kids program, which often features in Mornington Peninsula Magazine, was also listed in the community category for its ongoing environmental work. In addition, Kananook Creek Association was nominated for its Green Army Kananook Creek Restoration project, while Frankston Beach Association was listed for its foreshore rejuvenation initiatives.

Frankston City Council’s nominations include its Powering Up Local Communities project. This project includes 20 solar power systems and joined the online wildlife mapping tool and the Bay Friendly Business Project in the awards list. 

“This shows Frankston City is paving the way when it comes to sustainability and reducing our environmental impacts,” said Mayor Michael O’Reilly. “We need to continue on this path so that as a community we can make a difference.” 

Also in the council’s impressive list is the Frankston Dog Agility Park, the council’s popular Greening Our Future projects and the Frankston Regional Recycling and Recovery Centre. The Greening Our Future projects are particularly impressive because they actively educate residents on how to make a positive environmental difference. 

These awards focus on recognising positive actions taken by communities to boost their recycling and litter-prevention habits. An emphasis on protection of the environment, preserving heritage, initiating community action and leadership within environmental sustainability programs is what the awards acknowledge. 

The Sustainable Cities Awards ceremony will be held on September 6 at the Kensington Town Hall. For more information, visit

Experience the very best at Lulu

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Welcome to Lulu @ Miramar, one of Mornington’s most prestigious and luxurious accommodations catering specifically for couples or individuals expecting the very best in life.

The key objective has been to ensure that Lulu is as luxurious as possible. Every element within the apartment is of the highest standard. From bedding to kitchen amenities, from bespoke furniture to art, the primary aim has been luxury. Lulu is the first of its kind in Mornington and will deliver on the promise to make sure your stay is the most memorable ever.

Lulu is located in the iconic Miramar building, which was completed in 2019. It features contemporary architecture that is both stylish and complementary to its coastal surrounds. A private rooftop garden with barbecue facilities, vegie patches, sitting area, fire-pit and breathtaking views over Port Phillip Bay are truly unique attributes of this amazing offering.

The Mornington Peninsula has a magnificent coastline, exquisite wineries, fine dining and a wealth of nearby leisure activities, making it one of Australia’s most desirable coastal locations.

Whether it’s your wedding night or you want a romantic getaway in which to propose, Lulu @ Miramar will not disappoint. 

Enjoy truly privileged living at the exclusive Lulu @ Miramar, a seaside apartment that offers so much all in the one place.



T: 0423 525 130

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Complete caravan peace of mind


With spring here at last, many people’s thoughts will be turning to summer holidays and getting away from it all. But before you head off to explore our wide brown land, you’ll need to get your caravan checked and serviced.

Carac has been serving the caravanning community for more than 50 years. Owned by a Mount Eliza family and run by the same family for three generations, Carac is your one-stop shop for professional servicing, installations and repairs. Many people know Carac as a retail store, but a lot may be unaware this Dandenong South-based business has a fully equipped and professionally accredited workshop.  

Experts recommend a caravan service before any long trip, and every 10,000km or 12 months. Carac’s qualified technician will provide a full report after servicing, and if you’re about to buy a second-hand caravan or are selling your old one, Carac can also provide a pre-purchase or pre-sale inspection — giving you or your buyer peace of mind that the caravan is in optimal condition.

Carac also has an extensive range of heaters, airconditioners, awnings, matting, plumbing, electrical, gas fittings, solar, battery systems, braking systems, weight distribution solutions, caravan security, fridges and ovens, trailers and spare parts to name but a few.


A: 2 Zenith Rd, Dandenong South

T: 9794 7977



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Sagittarius presents a visual feast

M17, the Omega Nebula, is a glowing cloud of hydrogen gas easily visible through a small telescope. Photo by Steve Mohr

M17, the Omega Nebula, is a glowing cloud of hydrogen gas easily visible through a small telescope. Photo by Steve Mohr

With the rich regions of the constellation Sagittarius visible high in the sky, you can take your pick from a superb selection of binocular and telescope targets this month. If you have a small telescope, the Lagoon Nebula M8 makes a wonderful spectacle. The Omega Nebula M17 — a glowing cloud of hydrogen gas — is also a good sight through a small telescope, while the open star cluster M23 and the Sagittarius Star Cloud M24 are ideal binocular objects. 

Two interesting open clusters — the Butterfly Cluster M6 and the Ptolemy Cluster M7 — are nestled in the constellation of Scorpius, and both are visible to the naked eye. The “M-number” classifications refer to a set of 110 fuzzy-looking astronomical objects known as Messier objects, which were catalogued by the French astronomer Charles Messier.

On August 10 the moon will be close to Jupiter, which looks like the brightest star in the sky, and then on August 12 the moon appears close to Saturn to the naked eye. On August 15 we will see a full moon.

The Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society is excited to be again hosting VASTROC, the Victorian Astro Convention, on the weekend of August 10-11 during National Science Week. It will be held at the MPAS observatory at The Briars in Mount Martha and is open to all members of the public with a fascination about the universe, and this year the society's successful astrophotography workshop will be run in conjunction with this event. The convention will include workshops, talks, displays and interactive forums in a social atmosphere. Its broad theme will be the moon, in recognition of the recent 50-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. For more information, bookings and a map, visit the society’s website at

NERIDA LANGCAKE, Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society

Sustainable spring cleaning with Ovenu

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Spring is just around the corner, so why not get in early and give your oven, range hood, cooktop and barbecue a thorough post-winter clean for an early warm-weather gleam. 

Ovenu technicians use an exclusive range of biodegradable, non-toxic, non-caustic products, which are good for you and the planet! They are completely safe for your appliances and your family, so you can enjoy creative cooking with chemical-free near-new ease all year round.

Ovenu owners Nathan and Kim know you can’t live without a functioning piece of equipment. That’s why their technicians are fast, reliable and professional, and separate the glass panels in your oven door for a seamless transparent shine. Now that’s complete peace of mind.

Clever Ovenu.


T: 1300 683 681


Design a space that invites and inspires

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Entertain in a relaxed flair with OZ Design Furniture Mornington. Boasting new season trends and collections, you’ll find what your home needs this autumn/winter. 

Bring natural shades and clean whites into your living environment with the Mango Creek dining table, Rita buffet and Belmont dining chairs. The intricate rattan style brings a homely warmth to this dining setting. Paired with the subtle whites and natural hues, these pieces are certainly inviting. 

Design a space that inspires and makes you feel like there is no place like home with OZ Design Furniture Mornington. Visit the team who will help you create a home you love. 


A: Showroom D4, Peninsula Home, 1132 Nepean Highway, Mornington

T: 8560 1137


Comfort, quality and design with an environmental commitment

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IMG is a Norwegian-based company that prides itself on creating beautiful furniture with an emphasis on comfort, functionality, quality and design innovation. The company’s design team ensures all IMG furniture is state-of-the-art, drawing inspiration from years of Scandinavian leadership. 

With a strong focus on quality control and quality assurance, IMG’s vertically integrated production facilities in Vietnam and Thailand produce all IMG products sold in Australia and worldwide, while the newly commissioned factory in Lithuania focuses on servicing the European IMG market.

You can find a refined yet practical design from IMG for every room in your home. The Nordic range is an example of IMG quality and value for money. It showcases all IMG has to offer in a chair: a reclining mechanism with frictionless adjustment; 360-degree swivel for effortless movement; adjustable headrest for ultimate head and neck support; and a free-standing footstool with an angled top for optimal leg support and better blood circulation. Designed from the inside out, the cold-cured foam cushioning encases the interior steel frame and zig-zag springs, allowing for body-friendly curvatures to be covered with glove-fitted upholstery. Every element of the chair’s design has been researched and engineered with a focus on both quality and comfort backed by a 10-year warranty on frame and moulded foam cushions.

IMG is not only committed to its customers but also to the environment on both a local and global scale. High-quality sustainable materials are carefully selected to ensure they stand the test of time and continuously deliver the utmost comfort and support synonymous with the IMG name. All manufacturing practices are closely monitored to ensure they create a healthier world for future generations — this is the IMG difference and the very core of IMG Comfort.

To truly discover what makes IMG furniture so special, please visit one of the IMG retailers. For further information about IMG furniture, please call 1300 IMG NORWAY or visit



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Design excellence on the Peninsula and beyond

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Since its inception on the Mornington Peninsula more than 30 years ago, Graham Jones Design has become one of the most prolific design offices of high-quality award-winning residences in Australia. GJD is passionate about connecting with the community, practising strong working relationships with builders, consultants and of course its clients throughout the Peninsula region and beyond.

It’s about providing a touch of excellence for every home GJD designs. A commitment to creating unique, functional, sustainable, contemporary design has seen GJD earn more than 100 industry awards, including the prestigious BDAV Design of the Year Award for a project right in the heart of the Peninsula.  

“Our homes celebrate design, but also improve and enhance our clients’ lives,” director Jarrett Drake said. “Clean lines with flowing, light-filled spaces are core to our beliefs, but the unmovable smile of a client who has seen their dreams brought to life is what keeps us believing in what we do.”

GJD’s approachable and friendly team will provide the utmost professional direction and guidance throughout your project. To have a chat about all things building design, phone 0477 394 864 or email [email protected] 


T: 0477 394 864 


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Heritage-listed lady a beaut!

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History. Mount Martha House has it in spades. Behind its weatherboard Federation Queen Anne façade and door-lined corridors leading to a wealth of wondrous story, this grand old dame has real class. Built in 1889-90 on the Mount Martha Estate subdivision and now the stomping ground for families, friends and community groups strengthening the ties that bind, the building was designed by well-known Melbourne architects Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy. It is now owned and managed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire. 

History buff, founder and manager of the Mount Martha House Historical Collection Gill Gordon, pictured, took Mornington Peninsula Magazine on a riveting tour of this gorgeous piece of historical real estate and we lived to tell the tale. “Yes, there are stories of ghosts ‘living’ here and things moving around, but Mount Martha House is so much more than that,” says Gill. “Over the years the building has had multiple uses. From its hotel beginnings to being used as a semi-private country club, training school for the RAAF and a WRAAC barrack, it’s seen a lot. There were around 100 rooms when it opened in 1890-91 (although some reports say it opened in 1889) and the first season was so popular there were another 25 rooms built soon after. 

“Owned by businessman Robert Watson from the Mount Martha Estate Property Company, Mount Martha House — then known as Mount Martha Hotel and Coffee Palace — was probably built in response to the temperance movement. It was a place of alcohol-free entertainment but it went bust after just 12 months. American circus performer William Trainor/Traynor was the first manager when it opened and he loved to play billiards. Colonial wine and billiard table licences were granted to the second proprietor, a Miss or Mr Mayes.”

There were many owners of Mount Martha House before it became a community centre in 1979 after the Mornington Peninsula Shire purchased it for educational purposes. At the turn of the last century, people would board ferries in Melbourne and pile into Rourke’s wagonettes at the Royal Hotel in Mornington once they had landed on solid ground to make their way to this treasured holiday spot. There were very few roads and lots of bushland back then, so fires were a common occurrence. One fire was started from the sparks of a copper out the back of the building. Another caused visitors to pile their luggage and bikes on to the road and run to the beach for shelter. 

Gill continues: “Women bathed at South Beach back then, while men swam on the other side of Watsons Rd. There was a windmill on South Beach too that provided fresh water to the visitors. In 1942, the house became the first RAAF officers’ training school and was known as the command centre from then onwards. There was force training on the beach, while the whole region from Craigie Rd to Hearn Rd and Nepean Highway to the beach was closed off. Eleanor Roosevelt came to visit her troops at Mount Martha House twice during World War II while staying at a private house on the Esplanade. The Women’s Royal Australian Army Corp purchased it in 1950 and that’s when more stories started to circulate.”

There used to be five huts out the back of Mount Martha House where the WRAAC girls stayed. Apparently there were many windows sliding up and down with girls and boys coming in and out. Room five was set alight ‘on purpose’ so the new CFA fire truck and the men who were operating it would have to come for a visit too. “There were many high jinks. The girls used to hang their underwear on the line and the boys would fly it up the flagpole,” laughs Gill. 

“There are so many wonderful stories about the house and region and that’s what motivates us — the volunteers at the Mount Martha House Historical Collection — to keep finding out more. We catalogue historical memorabilia and archives and are constantly researching. We also have a replica WRAAC bedroom display, offer history tours upon request and provide a historic audio trail.” 

Whether or not Henry the ghost keeps an eye on the place like some believe, Mount Martha House is brimming with life, laughter and special memories made for future generations to enjoy. Visit this special place filled with historical significance soon. Tours, including a visit to the onsite model railway, are on the last Wednesday of the month at 11am.

Find out more at


Farm gate fresh eggs to you

When you can’t have your own chickens laying eggs every day, then Somerville Egg Farm is the next best thing. Bringing you freshly laid eggs from the farm gate to you, the farm’s delicious eggs are packed daily and are hormone and antibiotic-free. 

Somerville Egg Farm chooks are fed an all-natural grain diet that’s free from animal protein. Their eggs are delivered to you in their freshest, most natural form with large and delicious golden yolks.

Customers are welcome to bring the kids to this family-friendly farm to see the chickens roaming free as well as goats, alpacas and emus. Also available for purchase are duck eggs and pre-bagged chicken manure, which is the perfect fertiliser for the keen gardener.


A: 220 Eramosa Rd West, Moorooduc 

T: 5977 5405 

Open: Monday-Friday 8am-4.30pm, Saturday 8am-12.30pm

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