Philanthropy, salad dressing and Paul Newman By Liz Rogers

Sue Home has lived in Red Hill South for about 30 years. She’s worked in the wine industry with her husband, had a public relations business, and loves playing bridge and mah-jong and pottering around in the garden. She’s also had dinner in New York with the actor, producer and philanthropist Joanne Woodward and her daughters.

She explains: “I was invited to celebrate the donation of $300 million world-wide by the Newman’s Own Foundation about six or seven years ago. The foundation is actually based in Westport, Connecticut, where Paul lived. We used to correspond by fax with each other back then. It was before email. I was the Australian representative of the foundation. There were originally three women in America and just me in Australia, and for the first nine years it was solely run by women. Of course, now there are staff right across the world, in the UK, NZ and Canada. Paul loved working with women. The event was fabulous, although very understated, but that’s what both Joanne and Paul were like. Paul used to say, ‘From salad dressings all blessings flow’. He always doubted his acting ability but he knew he was the best cook around. He began making his salad dressing in his kitchen with a mate and people would come from all around to taste it until he decided to go commercial. All profits were and continue to be donated. Within the first year he had $20,000 to allocate to Australia.”

Newman’s Own Foundation has just announced $1.5 million in donations for Australian-based charities in 2019, including a focus on regional youth. Sue continues: “Paul had an enduring passion for disadvantage kids. I learnt about philanthropy from him. Do you know what philanthropy means? Love of mankind. Putting the time and effort into other people and getting on with things. My parents were like that too. They believed in helping people. Paul used to give an amount to each staff member on their birthday, which they could donate to a charity of choice.”

This community-first woman retired from the Newman’s Own Foundation five years ago after 30 years’ commitment but remains active in an advisory role. Current Australian adviser Dimity Pinto says Sue is “an inspiration and has played a vital role in Paul Newman’s legacy in Australia”. When Sue retired she was given $250,000 to give to a charity of her choice and she chose the Lord Somers Camp, with which she’d had a long association. She asked them what their needs were and met them. She also helped start the not-for-profit Sisterworks program, which helps vulnerable migrant, asylum seeker and refugee women become financially independent. All from Red Hill South.

Now that’s philanthropy.

Passenger liner bound for war

It was fine, cool day as the men standing on Station Pier waited for their turn to board the three-funnelled, grey-painted liner moored in front of them. The ship must have seemed enormous to most of these young men of the Australian Army. The liner was the Empress of Canada, owned by Canadian Pacific Steamships. Ships of this line were rarely seen in Australian waters as their usual services were from Europe to Canada or Vancouver to the Far East. The advent of World War II, however, had required ships to transport troops to the war zones and almost all of the great British liners were withdrawn from their usual runs to become troopships.

The Empress of Canada departed from Melbourne early in the afternoon of Monday, May 6, 1940, and about 4pm joined a convoy consisting of some of the largest and most famous liners in the world. The other ships in this convoy, given the code number US3, had departed from Sydney the previous day and were joined by the Empress of Canada in Bass Strait. The letters ‘US’ did not refer to the United States but to Suez. Convoys from Suez, bound for Australia, used the letters ‘SU’, while ‘US’ was used for those bound the other way.

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Convoy US3 carried New Zealand troops as well as Australian. The Kiwis were aboard the liners Aquitania, Empress of Britain, Empress of Japan and Andes. Some Aussies were also in these ships but most were aboard either Queen Mary, Aquitania or Mauritania II. Between them the seven ships transported about 18,000 men — three times their peacetime passenger numbers.

Beginning her maiden voyage in 1922, the Empress of Canada operated a trans-Pacific service from Vancouver to Japan, Hong Kong and China until 1939. After being converted to a troopship she became one of the first ships to carry Australian troops to World War II. Her career as a troopship was brought to an end in March 1943 when she was sunk by an Italian submarine off the coast of Liberia, West Africa.


President, Peninsula Ship Society

T: Maurie Hutchinson 9787 5780

E: [email protected]

The Peninsula Ship Society meets at Hastings Yacht Club on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am. Visitors always welcome.

Face to face with a bearded lady By Kate Sears

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Bearded ladies aren’t a common sight, unless you’re a central bearded dragon. At five years old, Marley is almost a fully grown central bearded dragon from the Northern Territory. She’s 50cm in length, which is impressive when you consider that when she was four months old she would fit in the palm of her owner Adrian’s hand; now when she does this her tail goes right up his forearm.

She likes it hot, hot, hot, so Adrian keeps her tank at 32C with heated lights and special UVB lightbulbs that emit vitamin D, which is essential for her body to process her meals of pellets, crickets, super worms, lettuce, carrot and sweet fruits. Her desert-like abode is low maintenance and is situated in the centre of the family’s living area so she can keep tabs on her family, especially when they’re preparing her favourite treat — mango cheeks — in the kitchen, and she can swivel around to watch television with her family from the best seat in the house.

But why a central bearded dragon? With Adrian’s family regularly travelling, they required a low-maintenance animal that didn’t require a boarding kennel or regular feeding. That’s right. Lizards can survive a couple of weeks without food and they can even take care of themselves. While Adrian can only speak for his docile lady, he knows that they don’t bite, and they’re very well natured and great with his kids. Marley happily sits on her human siblings’ shoulders, or on a bean bag while she receives regular pats. She’s spoilt with regular outings and loves a good stroll around the house, where she searches for a dark corner and proceeds to have a nap. When it’s home time, Adrian simply walks around searching for her tail — she’s not the best at hide and seek.

Her favourite pastime is sunbaking on a rock, but her weekly bath comes a close second. Marley looks forward to her bath time as the soak helps her skin when it’s shedding and she even absorbs the water through her skin as she’s not good at keeping on top of her H20 intake. This smart little lady is even toilet trained. Adrian has noticed that the warm water relaxes her so much that she’ll reserve her toilet visit for the bath — yep, Adrian gets the lucky job of emptying the bath water quickly and giving her fresh new water. It could also be a ploy to get the water temperature topped up.

Central bearded dragons are known to only flare out their beards when they’re scared. They simply puff their underneath jaw beard out and the spikes are quite evident. It makes them look really tough, yet Marley’s only been seen a few times a year flaring her spikes out — and it’s always been during her morning stretch. As a breed they’re easy to handle, with their little claws being used to climb or cling on to your clothing. Underneath they are rather smooth, and on the side and top there is lots skin and directional spines — yet, surprisingly, they are soft to touch.

“They’re all for show,” said Adrian. “Her gills aren’t sharp either. It’s just a way to look scary.”

And her most embarrassing moment? When Adrian’s children dressed her up in dolls’ clothes. If she wasn’t already reddish in colour you would have seen her blush!

Cosplay at Comic-Con

Photo: @robpho

Photo: @robpho

It’s that time of year again when television series fanatics, movie enthusiasts, comic-lovers, crazy gamers, creative cosplayers, and anime, book, and manga readers get their nerd on. Oz Comic-Con is the Australian sister event to the US’s Comic-Con and is graced with international and local actors, artists, cosplayers and fans alike. So if you’re in Melbourne on Saturday, June 8, or Sunday, June 9, and you find yourself on a tram next to Harry Potter or if Pikachu or Captain America walk past you on the street, you’ll know why. Kate Sears speaks to Safety Beach resident and university student Sam Moody, who at 24 is absolutely smashing the cosplay scene. We’ve also got a chance for you to win a double pass to the Melbourne Oz Comic-Con, which you don’t want to miss.

How did you first get into cosplay? 

I first got into cosplay back in 2015. I was actually talking to a close friend of mine about the idea of doing a trip to PAX. PAX is Australia's biggest gaming convention, very similar to Comic-Con. And she threw the idea of trying to dress up for it, so we both did our research and came back with costumes from the TV show Arrow. She went as the Black Canary and myself as the Green Arrow. And I guess you could say it's become more of a passion ever since.

Why do you do it?

I love being able to create and bring to life some of my favourite characters from movies, comics and even anime/manga. And over the years the costumes and/or props that go with them have become more and more intricate and harder to build, which keeps all of the excitement alive. I also do it because being able to meet everyone with the same passion, give children the biggest smiles imaginable, and collaborate with some amazing people just makes you so happy.

How long does it take to create a costume from start to finish? Who will your next cosplay be? 

How long is a piece of string? Ha ha. No, but in all honesty it does depend on a few variables. Having a job and going to university does shorten the amount of time I have to work on a costume. But for instance, my Green Lantern costume I did in just over a week. It goes from patterning, to shaping and cutting foam, to electronics and then finally painting. And then the same thing with my Bakugou, from the anime My Hero Academia. It took about two weeks, as sourcing some items like boots or clothing can be somewhat difficult. But with a costume like my next one still yet to come, Master Chief from the Halo game series, he has taken me well over a year. 3D printing parts take a lot of time to smooth out perfectly and finish off, but in the end it will be well worth it.

What’s your favourite movie/comic? 

Movie would have to be Captain America: Winter Soldier, followed closely by Avengers Infinity War. One with my favourite character of the MCU, Clearly. And the other is just one of the best movies to come out in the last 10 years. And I guess when it comes to comics, you can't really go past DC's Injustice series. The comics depict a world where if one bad thing were to happen to Superman and he did want to rule the world, that's how it would look, and Tom Taylor did an incredible job on those.

What does a day at Comic-Con look like for you? 

Well, when going to one of these conventions, staying with friends is the best way to do it. But that also means everyone is helping out everyone with each other’s costumes, wigs, jackets, capes, zips, armour . . . the list goes on. But this also means having to get up nice and early so that everyone is ready for the big day. Once there, it can take hours before we can even get into one building as most of the time we are getting stopped at the gate for photos and not being able to move. But this is why we do it. Having kids and families lining up to get photos with their favourites superheroes is so fulfilling, and it's great to see all the smiles on their faces too.

Who have you dressed up as?

Green Arrow, Bayek (Assassins Creed Origins), Green Lantern, Newt Scamander, Captain America, Owen (Jurrasic World), Bakugou (My Hero Academia) and Broly (Dragonball Super).

To see Sam’s builds, progress shots, and final cosplays, follow him on Instagram @sammmymcosplays, and if you see him at a convention, he’d love you to come up and say hello.

To go in the draw to win a double pass to the Melbourne Oz Comic-Con, make sure to visit our Facebook page @mornpenmag on Monday, May 13, and follow the steps on the competition post. Or visit to purchase your tickets before they sell out.

Councils back tracks to Langwarrin then on to Peninsula By Mike Hast

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Build the electric train line to Langwarrin, then full steam ahead to Hastings. That’s the call from Mornington Peninsula Shire and Frankston City Council in a joint letter to the State Government. They have asked the Government to get on with building stage 1 of the rail extension from Frankston to Langwarrin and then stage 2 to Hastings.

Both the Federal Government and Opposition have supported the Frankston-to-Baxter project for several years. However, the rail extension — with its many benefits — is not guaranteed. Extending the line requires both federal and state government funding. The Federal Government allocated $225 million for the project in last year’s Budget, approximately half the estimated cost of an extension to Langwarrin. Federal Labor has pledged to back that commitment if elected this month. However, while a preliminary cost-benefit study is currently under way, the State Government has yet to commit to the project. If the Government doesn’t back the project, it cannot go ahead.

With heavy rail reckoned to cost between $60 million and $100 million a kilometre, which includes an amount for removing level crossings, extending the line to Langwarrin at a cost of $450 million would be $86 million a kilometre for the 5.2km stretch. Building stage 2 from Langwarrin to Hastings, a distance of 17km, would cost a further $1.46 billion applying the same estimated rate.

Frankston Mayor Michael O’Reilly said stage 1 “of this vital public transport project would ease carparking congestion at Frankston station and will directly benefit (the) health and education precinct, which includes Frankston Hospital, Frankston Private Hospital, and Monash University Peninsula campus”.

The two councils disagree with the Department of Transport’s long-standing proposal to build train stabling at Baxter. “(We) are opposed to any stabling and maintenance facilities being located in valuable green wedge land or altering the Urban Growth Boundary and will work together with the Victorian Government on possible solutions.”

Mornington Mayor David Gill used the joint statement to continue the shire’s advocacy for more buses, saying 82 per cent of the Peninsula had no access to bus services. “In addition to investment in rail, the region is in desperate need of greater investment in bus services,” Cr Gill said. This included buses to meet existing and future trains.

The Committee for Greater Frankston, which has been actively advocating for the rail extension project, welcomed the two councils agreeing on the project staging. Chief executive Ginevra Hosking said strategically extending the line to Langwarrin and then continuing down the Peninsula had wide community support.

“The line should be electrified and duplicated to Langwarrin with trains running to metro timetable frequency,” Ms Hosking said. “There should be new stations, including one to service Frankston East, the hospital and Monash’s Peninsula campus, and one at Langwarrin with a 1000-plus space commuter carpark, and three grade separations — at Playne St, Moorooduc Highway, and Peninsula Link.

“Building to Langwarrin in the next four years is an important step in this vital infrastructure project. All plans for the future must strategically consider Mornington Peninsula’s total public transport requirements, including creating a system that allows young people especially to independently access schools, jobs and social activities.”

Mike Hast is a freelance writer for the Committee for Greater Frankston, and a former editor of Peninsula newspapers.

Pastoral care kicks goals on the Peninsula By Liz Rogers

Sean Mapleback’s a young bloke. He’s also mad on sport — especially footy. This 30-year-old pastor with The Salvation Army in Mornington was born and raised in the northern suburbs and moved down to Mornington six years ago, and he has been working with the Mornington Football and Netball Club for about four years looking out for what’s inside a player. Inside their heads. He gets the value of looking into what’s going on behind the goal posts and beneath the football jumpers. In the locker rooms and beyond the ground when the crowds have gone and a player is left to his or her own devices. 

For any of us who have picked up a newspaper or switched on the television over the past decade, you’d have to be pretty oblivious not to realise that mental health in sport — especially footy — has been a top discussion point. Sean explains: “I love the deep connection with the community this role brings. I am representing the church, but my role is not to Bible-bash but rather to provide care and support. I’m just a normal guy whose role is to be present for any care. To be an adviser. I’m at the club on Thursday nights during training and I attend game day to be present, but primarily to provide the chance to connect and build relationships with people.”

Sean is not a trained counsellor, but he has been trained in pastoral counselling with Sports Chaplaincy Australia. He continues: “I just happen to be a pastor who loves footy and believes in helping young people who might feel isolated. There’s lots of sporting clubs looking for pastoral care these days because they realise how important it is. I think there’s around 10 clubs on the Mornington Peninsula currently looking for chaplains. I’ve also been working on Saturday nights doing the Main St Salvos program creating a safe zone from 11pm until 3am for young adults who might need help. We offer free Chuppa Chups, water, thongs and phone charge. The footy club and other local businesses in the community contributed to help buy a van with the support of Mercedes Benz Mornington, and it’s out and about every Saturday night throughout summer.” 

Sean loves the deep connection his role as adviser and mate at the Mornington Football and Netball Club brings. As a great believer in the ‘it’s never too late to change your story’ adage, he says you can never underestimate what taking the time to have a coffee with someone can do — but he is a firm believer in referring any player on to professional healthcare providers. “Just because you’ve had one bad chapter doesn’t mean that your story is over.”

One mark at a time.

Isn’t he just marvellous? By Kate Sears

You’ve seen this face before. This multi-talented 21-year-old just can’t be stopped. Maverick Newman is set to do it all and we just can’t keep up. Since we last spoke with Maverick, he became the youngest person to receive six nominations for a Green Room Award, culminating in a win this year. 


While completing his Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, the Mount Martha artist wrote a successful one-man comedy about the struggles of a young man coming out in modern Australia. Maverick even became a key figure in the AFL’s Pride Game in 2017. He performs original songs about his own experience of being gay and growing up in a family of footballers — his brother is Carlton player Nic Newman. He was excited to make a difference by performing his progressive theatre piece to an audience that wasn’t necessarily exposed to it ordinarily in the hopes that they’d walk away a little more accepting of the LGBTQI community. 

“I performed to a community that bullied me. Now it was my turn to bully them,” laughs Maverick. “I’m joking, but I did get my message across in a very self-deprecating way.”

Recently, he’s decided to move away from crude yet hilarious, curse word-filled, outrageous and inappropriate shows just for a little bit so he can invite his grandma to his shows without them both feeling rather awkward. Grandson of the Year Award, anyone? Since following his passion for theatre from a young age and first writing a play in Year 12, it made sense that he would then dabble in producing, writing, marketing and singing in his own grandma-friendly production. Maverick says: “The more strings to your bow, the better.” 

So enter The Golden Age of Broadway. Staged at the Frankston Arts Centre last March, his production had the audience laughing, crying and humming along to the most memorable songs of the 20th century. It was a celebration of the show-stopping song and dance numbers of the golden age, from Gershwin to Kander and Ebb, Judy Garland to Gene Kelly. The cast performed hits from such musicals as Guys and Dolls, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, An American in Paris and many more. 

“You’ve got to invest in yourself in this industry, so I just hired myself,” says Maverick. “Growing up, a lot of my friends would say that I was so funny. To me, comedy came about because of necessity. It was my way to deal with my parents’ divorce.”

Not one to wait for something to just happen, he’s now hard at work on a play that’s more dramatic and macabre than comical. He believes that a good writer should be able to include both. After all, Maverick says, there is comedy in darkness, and vice-versa. 

A life of Lyme By Liz Rogers

Imagine this. Feeling like there are things tapping beneath your skin. Or not being able to swallow. Or feeling so fatigued that you can’t get out of bed after a night of frightening fevers and tremors. Well, Mount Eliza resident Maddeline Young doesn’t have to. She’s been living this exhausting and terrifying way of life since 2006. 


Initially Maddeline thought she had a bad dose of the flu. She was wrong. She explains: “Lyme disease — think Bell’s palsy, chronic burning skin, heart palpitations, digestive issues and food intolerances, vertigo and malaria symptoms. The problem is I had it in my body for seven years before I was diagnosed in 2013, and now it is chronic. You contract Lyme disease through a tick bite. I think it happened while I was visiting China in 2006. I got bitten by something on my nose, which went puffy and red. I got extremely fatigued and got flu symptoms a week or two after. On the bus tour they nicknamed me ‘Rudolph’ and we had a laugh at my nose. When I returned back to Melbourne I continued to get many different symptoms. Every day there was something different.”

Maddeline’s life was good before Lyme arrived. A career in fashion and styling including owning/operating a fashion retail space in Bay St, Brighton, and accessory buying overseas. Sculpting. Creating. Now she’s lucky to be able to walk around the corner with her husband Jeff.  She continues: “I’ll never forget the day I was at Southland with Jeff and I couldn’t even lift the smallest of shopping bags. On a bad day I have to stay at home and my world is spinning and my brain is a fog, but on a good day I can do mild exercise and some shopping. I am also working part-time two days a week now.”

Learning to say goodbye to the old Maddeline has been one of the hardest things for this 50-something mum of one. It’s been difficult for her family too. There’ve been multiple trips overseas searching for answers, treatments in Cyprus, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, internasal laser treatment, intravenous vitamin C, and also multiple treatments and medications in Munich. Getting sick can be expensive. She continues: “The treatments in Munich have helped and I’m taking less medications than I was before, but we have spent so much money on trying to find a solution. There is more known about Lyme disease in Europe. If it is detected early and treated with antibiotics, the outcome can be good. Unfortunately, if undetected it becomes very problematic. There are other pathogens that can be transmitted through the tick bite as well, which lead to other complications.”

Named after a small coastal town in Connecticut where some pediatric arthritis cases were found in 1975, there is more known about Lyme disease and co-infections in Europe and it is unrecognised here in Australia. Maddeline concludes: “This disease is like Russian roulette. We have no idea how many people in Australia have it because health officials don’t collect statistics as yet. It needs to change. You know it is real when you are lying there feeling your brain move inside your head and your son tells you ‘Mum! You smell like something dead’ when he bends down to kiss me goodbye. That’s scary because last night I felt like I was dying.”

Imagine that.

For more information on Maddeline’s story, go to fightinglymemywaymyjourney on Facebook or contact the Lyme Disease Association of Australia. See

The Price is right By Liz Rogers

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Kayden Price has got it. Whatever it is. The camera just loves this 11-year-old Mount Eliza boy who has been in front of it since he was six months old. Born in the US to an American father and a Mornington Peninsula girl, Kayden knows how to work the proverbial room. His most recent foray into televisual success is the story-based Westpac Bank ad about family separation where you see him crawling beneath a coastal home in search of lights and gazing out to sea with big brown eyes. You can see why Ford Modelling Agency took him on at such an early age. His mum Jodi explains: “Kayden was born in Chicago. We came back to Melbourne when he was two years old to be with my family. I grew up in Mount Eliza. When we were in the States he did lots of catalogue and online work. He just took to it and it came so easily for him. He just loves it. Whenever he does a job, I just sit back and watch him do his magic. I leave it up to him.”

And magic it is. If you’ve ever been involved in the performing arts you just know when someone has that special something. Kayden does. This Piscean water-baby redefines what it means to be a natural. Jodi continues: “He’s signed with a Sydney modelling agency now, but really wants to work for Disney and Nickelodeon in America, so it’s time to look for an acting agency too. He’s working with a dialect coach to fine-tune his American accent. It’s funny. He speaks Australian with me and American with his dad, Ron. When he’s not working on commercials, videos or doing catalogue work, he’s like any other Grade 6 kid at Mount Eliza Primary School. He loves soccer, swimming, tennis and bike-riding. And of course, playing video games and listening to music. Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars are on his playlist.”

Kayden’s curriculum vitae is impressive for someone so young. He’s worked with Usain Bolt and Sally Pearson for the Coles School for Sports program, been the principal in a Sony/BMG music video, is in the Melbourne-based Gangster Dreaming web/TV series currently in production in Footscray and Melbourne, and a Taltz Pharmaceutical commercial now screening in the US. He’s also modelled for Target, Ross, Michaels, Kohls and JC Penny. 

Jodi concludes: “Academy Award-nominated director Garth Davis, who directed the Westpac Bank ad, believes Kayden’s got the potential to go further. It’s very exciting to see where he will go next. It’s been a really positive experience for him and helped develop his confidence. His younger brother, Kian’dre, is also signed with a modelling agency.”

I suppose it’s in the blood. This natural ease on the silver screen. We’ll see. Keep your eyes peeled for this young local model, actor and dancing pre-teen who loves to crack a joke. A sense of humour will certainly be an advantage in navigating the world of film and television. His infectious smile won’t hurt either.

Right on, Mr Price. 

Training and motherhood a balancing act for Paralympian

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Paralympian triathlete, keynote speaker, psychologist, mother and wife Kate Doughty speaks with Kate Sears about her goals for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and welcoming her first child, Henrik.

We saw you won your first two races post-pregnancy. How did you train differently this time?
I recently won Oceania Championships and the first world cup of the season. It was a nice feeling. I am still not back at full training load yet post-pregnancy, so the results so far are an exciting insight into the lead-up to Tokyo 2020. Training can be quite different these days, as I am breastfeeding so my training revolves around Henrik's feeds and sleep time, and when my husband, Jarle, is home.  I try to train with my squad (Elotik Pro Triathlon) as much as I can, but at the moment I do what works for Henrik and his routine. I travel an hour to get to squad swim sessions, and my bike, run and gym training sessions are around the Peninsula or at home. 

How does it feel to be the first Australian para-triathlete to return to the ITU (International Triathlon Union) circuit after having a baby?

Pretty surreal. I love being back racing though and being part of the team. I missed it a lot when I was pregnant, and I am even more excited to have Henrik and Jarle there with me at races and training. They keep me motivated. 

How long have you been training for triathlon?

Ironically, I used to represent Australia in equestrian and rode horses for over 20 years. I have only been in triathlon since late 2014, so I was a late starter. I loved swimming as a kid but chose the equestrian path early on. After losing my mum in 2010 to a tragic battle with breast cancer, I also nearly lost my horse to travel illness at the World Equestrian Games two months prior. I was struggling emotionally and I went through a period of grief and significant change. With the loss of my mother I also lost my passion for equestrian, as my mother played a big part in my equestrian career. The equestrian property where I was living and training was sold, so I was feeling quite lost. My whole life I had direction, and for the first time I didn't. I wanted to get my health back on track and most importantly I wanted to feel better mentally. Exercise was my path to happiness, and ultimately this led me to give triathlon a go and I have never looked back. 

How do you juggle parenting alongside your two careers?

I have a super-supportive husband. Our son always comes first over triathlon, but at the moment we are making it all work. It certainly is a team effort. My coach, Danielle Stefano (Elotik Pro Triathlon), also is super-supportive and helps out with watching Henrik during a training session if needed. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home with my current role in culture and inclusion at Get Skilled Access at the moment, and flexibility allows me to be most productive. 

How does your work as a psychologist complement your athletic career?
It probably gives me more insight into thought processes and how they can positively or negatively influence our own actions, and ultimately performance. The mind is so powerful, and mental training is just as important as physical training. I work with a sports psychologist myself. Even though I may have more insight into psychology and mindset, it doesn't mean I don't have to work on my own. 

What was your experience of the 2016 Rio Paralympics?

After narrowly missing out on Beijing and London Paralympics in equestrian, it was so surreal to be going to Rio Paralympics in triathlon after less than two years in the sport. It was a dream come true.

How did you get into public speaking?

I have often been asked to share my story — being born without a right hand, my achievements and hardships to date — but ultimately to motivate and inspire others. It’s always an honour, but often sometimes difficult to be quite candid. However, I feel so honoured to help others achieve their own goals, and if sharing my story does that, then that’s a positive. I also share insight from a psychological perspective, specifically growth mindset, stepping outside our comfort zone, fear and anxiety, and the benefits mindfulness and adversarial growth on performance and achievement. 

Kate is seeking collaborations and sponsors who want to join her journey. You can also follow Kate’s path to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Instagram at @katedoughty01.

Josh decides cold feet need 2 Pairs Each By Liz Rogers

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Who knows what made Josh Berry the way he is. “He just likes helping people in need,” says mum Jane. “We were walking through the city one afternoon when he was nine years old and he was startled by the amount of homeless people living on the streets. He didn’t know how to react, whether to give them money, pretend they weren’t there. He was quite upset. When we got home he went online to find that there were 23,000 homeless people in Victoria at the time. He did a bit of research on what the majority of homeless people wanted most and that was to be safe and warm. He also found out that many of them are given coats but had freezing feet. That’s how he came up with the idea of sock donation.”

Josh Berry looks like any other regular 13-year-old Mount Eliza kid. He’s a member of the Mount Eliza Junior Fire Brigade and has just joined the Australian Air Force cadets. He’s also home-schooled. But there’s certainly something different about this youngster that sets him apart from the regular lad about town. He likes helping those who are less fortunate than he is, and once he sets a target he doesn’t stop.

Jane continues: “When he decided to start collecting socks he thought you can’t just give someone one pair of socks because what would they do while they were washing them? His aim was to give every homeless person in Victoria two pairs of new warm socks, but I said: ‘Let’s just start off with a target of 100 and see what happens.’ He’s up to 23,590 socks now — all this from making up a flyer on the computer and dropping it into local letterboxes. He wasn’t allowed to put them in letterboxes marked ‘no junk mail’ though!”

Josh began handing out socks to those in need when he and his family helped serve food to the homeless in Frankston, St Kilda and Dandenong, but he had a couple of experiences where he felt a little unsafe, so now the socks are distributed through organisations that supply homeless people with clothing and essentials. The Mount Eliza community has been incredibly supportive, and he’s even had socks donated from interstate and Germany. 

“We are very proud of Josh. He used to help out with the Reading Out Of Poverty program and does sail-ability at Lake Lysterfield on Friday mornings with disabled people. He was also nominated for the Victorian Young Achievers Award last year for 2 Pairs Each.”

Who knows what’s next for this compassionate young man, but in the meantime if you’d like to buy some socks and donate them to this very worthy cause, log on to to see how.

From place to contemporary space By Liz Rogers

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So, what is contemporary jewellery anyway? Artistically enamoured and curatorial busy bird Emily McCulloch Childs explains it as a genre that is created from a connection to place, cultural background and meaning. Six years on from founding the Indigenous Jewellery Project based on the Mornington Peninsula, this self-confessed contemporary jewellery addict has learnt to make her own jewellery from the best along the way — thanks to contemporary jeweller Melinda Young, with whom she works — and is excited about the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island contemporary jewellery.

As a passionate admirer of Indigenous art and craft, Emily is keen to support, promote and revel in the wealth of Indigenous talent we have in Australia. She explains: “This skill set is in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people’s DNA. It doesn’t matter which kind of workshop we do through IJP, artists pick up new skills so quickly. I’d always admired jewellery from the Top End maybe because of my connection with Aboriginal art (Everywhen Artspace) or just because it’s beautiful. There was a seminal exhibition called Art on a String, which was touring in 1999/2000. It consisted of necklaces created by artists living in Central Australia and Arnhem Land, including those made from shark vertebrae. I began collecting Indigenous jewellery then, but many of the necklaces I gathered broke because the human hair tradition had been replaced by more fragile wool, elastic and fishing line in creating work for sale. I began to think about how I could help Indigenous jewellers maintain their traditions while upskilling techniques at the same time. That’s where it all started.”

Luritja artist Alison Napurrula Multa Pantjiti told Emily that traditionally “jewellery is our central art practice”. Now partnering with the Australian Design Centre, Australian National University and Craft ACT Craft + Design Centre, exhibiting at Artisan in Queensland and gaining funding from the Australia Council and the Australian Government Indigenous Languages and Arts Program, IJP will be leaping into the Melbourne Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial entitled Radiant Pavilion, running from September 7-15. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists’ work will be exhibited in the Nicholas Building alongside contemporary jeweller and sculptor Anna Varendorff’s work. As curator of this IJP exhibition, Emily will also speak on IJP at a symposium. She continues: “This is very exciting. It’s a big deal. Indigenous contemporary jewellers are merging ancient and modern skills to create wearable art created out of sustainable materials such as seed and shell beads, shark vertebrae, leaves and bark, as well as metals. We have done 11 workshops since we began and had children aged six right through to elders participating. Most IJP workshops are provided on country and run from five to 10 days. We often set up studio on the floor and make. I love it.”  

As Australia’s first and only national Indigenous contemporary jewellery project, IJP aims to provide a “presence of Indigenous jewellers within the Australian contemporary jewellery context and a contemporary jewellery presence within the Aboriginal art context”, says Emily. Whether it’s a magnificent Emily Beckley pendant worn by brides or a Matilda Nona eucalyptus ring crafted in silver, the fruits of IJP’s labour are certainly wildly evocative, varied and here to stay. 

Born from a sense of place and fired into a contemporary creative space for all to see. 

Saving turtle eggs nest by nest By Liz Rogers

Hansi Wegner has had a passion for nature ever since he can remember. Growing up on the Mornington Peninsula and now living in Mount Martha, this father of four who has moved from carpentry to house construction to boardwalk and playground creation has finally landed with both feet firmly on the ground at Devilbend Natural Features Reserve, where his mantra has become wildlife preservation. 

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Hansi explains: “My involvement with Devilbend started prior to 2012 and it being opened to the public with a monthly visit to the 1005ha reserve to assist in carrying out a bird count with my son, who is passionate about our feathered friends.  It was then 18 months ago I found myself having a lot more free time and started going to Devilbend to help a friend, Marnie, with the Friends of Daangean  group she organises. I then began an ambassador program in late 2017, which involves a couple of schools coming out to the reserve to learn about and see things they won’t see anywhere else. 

“It was while doing a frog census with the ambassadors that revealed a glimpse of a ‘dug up’ nest on the foreshore. It didn’t look right but it was definitely a turtle nest. When I first saw the turtle nest I thought it was a one-off, but in November last year it became evident that there were more. It was time to investigate further.” 

And investigate he did — but first some interesting notes about the reserve, which has significant cultural and environmental importance. As an essential element of country to the Boonwurrung/Bunurong people, the Devilbend Natural Features Reserve in Graydens Rd, Moorooduc, has one of the largest inland bodies of water on the Peninsula and thus a huge shoreline. It is also home to hectares of native and non-native vegetation. Hansi is working closely with turtle ecologists and returns once a week to map the reserve for the eastern long-neck turtle nests, but the job is huge and requires a great deal of people power to really understand just how many turtles are successful in having their young. Volunteers from the public also come out to help every fortnight, and young adults from Bunjilwarra have also been assisting Hansi with monitoring. 

Hansi continues: “Foxes raid the nests each laying season. They also leave scats (poo) behind to mark their territory so they know where to come back for more. Turtles usually lay their eggs in spring after a rain event, and laying is generally site-specific. Two hundred and twenty fox-raided nests have been found since we began mapping the reserve. We’ve also found that there are two to 10 eggs on average per nest. That’s a lot of baby eastern long-neck turtles not making it to the water. Approximately 90-95 per cent of the eggs are being mainly raided by foxes. At the moment we have three nests with eggs in them that haven’t hatched. We’ve covered these with mesh that is kept in place with pegs since gaining permission from Parks Victoria, who have been 100 per cent supportive. This method has been successful in helping save the Murray River turtle, which is listed as threatened.”

If you’d like to know more about this project, call Hansi on 0432 307 634 and get involved in saving some long-necked adorable ancient critters. One nest at a time.

Two peas in a pod By Liz Rogers


Twins. Identical. Hazel Rae and Murphy Joy. Two young ladies of loveliness. They arrived seven minutes apart. The first girl head-down and ready to rock. The second in breech position with her feet first. Cripes! With 20 medical staff in the birthing suite at Frankston Hospital because of a high-risk shared-placenta pregnancy, which meant extra-special care for mum and bubs, the owner of Mornington’s Commonfolk cafe, Sam Keck, and his wonder-woman wife Eliza welcomed their girls into the world on March 7. Naturally.

Sam explains: “And we’ve already talked about having more children! I’m tempted to go back again because I’m loving fatherhood. We were as prepared as we could be. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I think being small-business owners put us in good stead. Things are always out of control and you’ve got to deal with issues as they happen. Small business owners make good twin parents.”


Sam’s dad was an identical twin, although identical twins are not genetic — they result from one fertilised egg randomly splitting in two, so there’s no familial link there. These first-time parents of two peas in a pod have just celebrated their seven-year anniversary and have already established a flexible feeding/sleeping schedule that seems to be working swimmingly. Sam continues: “I’ve been involved in a number of other cafes and start-ups before opening Commonfolk so I know about hard work. This is the first time I’ve taken personal leave in six years and am really enjoying the time with Eliza and the girls. Yes, we’re not getting as much sleep as we used to and I’m on about five or six coffees a day, but it’s fantastic. I’m trying to convince Eliza to bring them into work every day when I’m there, which should be easy as we live close by. I’ve already got about 30 staff who have put their hands up for babysitting. It’s going to take a whole village to raise these girls.”

Giving birth naturally to twins is no mean feat, especially if there’s a breech baby involved. Twelve hours of labour later and Sam says his admiration for Eliza’s strength and determination is endless. He concludes: “Because the girls shared a placenta and there was the risk of complications like twin-to-twin infusion, both Hazel and Murphy had their own physician and midwife. I am amazed at how Eliza did it. She’s breast-feeding both of them now too. Just so amazing. Hazel and Murphy’s welfare will always be top priority.”

Mornington Peninsula Magazine congratulates this Peninsula-born-and-bred guy and his wife living the not-so-common family life.

Comedic ecstasy arrives in Frankston

Photo by: Nicole Cleary

Photo by: Nicole Cleary

Fly with Double Denim to comedic euphoria as two dynamic characters hit the Frankston Arts Centre stage for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. The award-winning act combines the chemistry and flair of singer-comedian Michelle Brasier (Aunty Donna’s 1999) and dancer-comedian Laura Frew (choreographer, Fringe Wives Club). Notably in 2018 they won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director’s Choice Award and the Sydney International Comedy Festival Best Newcomer Award.

Michelle’s childhood in theatre presented creative barriers but, finding satisfaction within the “funny roles”, she soon developed her direction. Writing cabaret in between work, Michelle later found success within the comedy group Aunty Donna, whose tour for their sixth web series The Album mixed comedy with music. “I did lots of musicals as a kid but it’s less creative than you’d imagine, and you have to do the exact same thing every night,” she says. “Having the chance to combine music and comedy live was such a thrill.” 

In 2014, Michelle and Laura first worked together in a comedy troupe. By 2017, Double Denim had debuted and has since taken their awkward silliness to Berlin, New Zealand and Edinburgh to headline Late ’n’ Live at the Gilded Balloon. 

Their sketch, A Very Fancy Dinner Party, traverses the expectations of growing up set within the penultimate episode of a reality cooking show, where layered storylines explore everything from incontinence to Botox.

Almost 800,000 people will visit the comedy festival’s estimated 600 shows. Meanwhile, here in Frankston, the May 5 roadshow’s smorgasbord will feature Double Denim, Georgie Carroll, Lloyd Langford (UK) and Pat McCaffri, with MC Tom Cashman. 

Roadshow producer Kylie Mitchell says: “You can expect a lot of laughs, sketch, songs, nurse jokes, and of course some political humour.”

Tickets are available from the Frankston Arts Centre. 


An athletics legend comes to Alexandra Park

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It’s 1939 and a young railway clerk from Ballarat is lining up in the 20th heat of the world’s richest footrace — The Stawell Gift. A race that has become famous throughout the land and attracts competitors from all over the Commonwealth as well as huge crowds to the otherwise sleepy country town of Stawell.

Len Sprague, the Ballarat Flyer, was up against one of the hottest favourites for the race in years, a New South Welshman by the name of R.C Auswild. No one in the 22,000-strong crowd at Central Park that day gave the young Sprague any hope of progressing past his heat; all the attention was on Auswild and so too the money. A late betting plunge saw Auswild’s odds shorten to unbackable favouritism, and the predicted speed of his victory would be matched by the bookmakers silly enough to take on the red-hot favourite as they bolted from the bookies ring in a hasty exit.

But nobody told the young man Sprague he was racing for the minor placings.

Sprague caused the biggest boilover of the day by holding off the favourite to win his heat with the loudest cheers coming from the bookmakers. He went on to win the Gift over 130 yards and did it under duress, suffering from fallen arches on both feet that required extensive bandaging before each race, and then went on to win the 75-yard Sprint Handicap to prove his Gift win was no fluke. 

In 1941, Sprague set a world record time of 21.1 seconds for the 220-yard Steward’s Purse at the Stawell Gift meeting before serving his time in the RAAF as a Sergeant Instructor. In 1946 this future Stawell Gift Hall of Famer was invited to participate in one of the biggest athletics carnivals the Mornington Peninsula had ever seen to be held at Alexandra Park. He accepted and the peninsula was abuzz with excitement.

The town of Mornington and the organising committee went all out to make sure that Alexandra Park would be a fitting venue to stage a race pitting the Australian Professional Runners Champion, Sprague, winner of the Stawell and Port Fairy gifts and many more, against the best young athletes the region had to offer. The main race of the day was to be The Mornington Gift with a first prize purse of £52 making it one of the richest foot races of its day, enough to attract runners from all corners of the state and country.

The whole peninsula community got behind the organising committee headed by Mornington Football Club President Mr A.C. Campbell with advertisements placed in the Frankston and Mornington Standard newspapers. The winner’s sash donated by Mr J.H Livock of Main St would be presented by the shire President and member for Toorak, Cr R. B. Hamilton M.L.A and his wife.

Five thousand people were expected to attend the big day, with provisions for more than 2000 cars being made at Alexandra Park in what one scribe of the time described as “one of the greatest events in Mornington’s history” and “the most splendid advertisement the seaside town has undertaken.”

The Athletics Carnival held on Boxing Day of 1945 at Alexandra Park Mornington was a big deal for the region. A chance to show the rest of the state that the Mornington Peninsula was not just a backwater but a thriving community capable of organising and holding major events. And the day did not disappoint.

History will show that the great champion Len Sprague won the blue-ribbon event of the day - the Mornington Gift - by a whisker from O’Brien with unnamed runner just a heartbeat behind. Other events on the card included the Beleura and Peninsula Handicap, the Mt Martha Mile and the 180 yards Hurdle. The Victorian Ex-Servicemen’s Brass Band played and everyone had a great time, with the possible exception of the bookies as on this occasion, the favourite won the day.

Small business with a big vision

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Consultative and collaborative in its approach, Town Planning & Co seeks to deliver positive planning outcomes in every project. This approachable and professional business offers a suite of professional planning services spanning the lifecycle of the planning process, from project vision through to decision and VCAT advocacy. 

Town Planning & Co’s clients benefit from the positive working relationships with project architects, building designers and all relevant external consultants covering land survey, arboriculture, ecology, traffic management, heritage, landscape design, urban design, acoustics, and planning law.

Town Planning & Co is a 2019 corporate partner of the Mornington Yacht Club and sponsor of the 2019 BITE Conference.

Founder Melinda Ryan is on a mission to empower the community on planning-related matters. Committed to knowledge sharing, Melinda regularly facilitates planning-related workshops and information sessions targeted to real estate agents and budding developers. 

Melinda is also chairwoman of the Attitude for Books Foundation, a champion of the Main St Salvos project and a participant in the 2019 Coast Trek challenge raising awareness for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Melinda invites you to connect via Instagram @townplanningco


A: 435 Nepean Highway, Frankston

T: 8765 2455



Defy gravity with Peninsula Grammar


You are invited to attend Peninsula Grammar’s senior years production of Wicked — the untold story of the witches of Oz — with performances at the Frankston Arts Centre on Friday, May 31, from 7pm; Saturday, June 1, from 7pm; and Sunday, June 2, from 1pm. 

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba.

Following an encounter with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroad and their lives take very different paths. Glinda's unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power while Elphaba's determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have an unexpected and shocking consequence for her future.

Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. A story for all ages, Wicked will change everything you thought you knew about The Wizard of Oz.

Peninsula Grammar’s head of theatrical productions, Mrs Melinda Slade, said: “In this production we discover there are many versions of the truth, that good and evil aren’t just black and white — or in this case green and blonde — and that looks can be deceiving. This is Broadway’s highest-grossing production and there is good reason — Wicked is epic, it’s magical and it tells a story that touches everybody. We don’t want you to miss it, so please join us at the Frankston Arts Centre as we defy gravity!”  

To book your tickets for this incredible production, please visit the Frankston Arts Centre box office online via Tickets are $35 adult, $25 student/concession (GST inclusive). This production is suitable for all ages.

Businesses sign up for war on waste

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Frankston City businesses have been praised for their waste management practices and prevention of waste and litter. Mayor Michael O’Reilly said the council worked with the EPA and 3199 Frankston Beach Patrol to engage businesses in the city centre to help each reduce their impact on the environment. 

“More than 200 local businesses were engaged through our Bay Friendly Businesses program, with the assistance of the Victorian Government,” Cr O’Reilly said. “It’s great to see so many businesses taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment.”

Cr O’Reilly said Eeny Meeny, Breathe Hair, Bendigo Bank, Trims Restaurant, Australian Red Cross and Drummond Golf also signed a Voluntary Code of Practice and pledged to implement additional improvement actions. Eeny Meeny, Breathe Hair and Bendigo Bank were recognised as Bay Friendly Businesses for meeting all the required actions in the code. 

Some of the waste-reducing measures businesses took included no longer distributing plastic bags; replacing disposable plastic straws with paper ones; dropping off waste oil to an oil recycler; introducing a recycling collection; pledging to replace some items with equivalent items made from recycled materials; and collecting compostable items such as non-recyclable paper towels and coffee grounds for home composting.

“These actions help to protect our environment into the future,” Cr O’Reilly said. “Sharing these achievements could help inspire other businesses to take similar steps to reduce waste or better manage waste.”

Distance no barrier to students’ friendship By Ainsley Paton

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Several weeks ago, my family and I had the pleasure of hosting a Canadian exchange student, Sofia, in our Mount Eliza home and showing her around Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Sofia is from Quebec, the French-speaking part of Canada, and is in her last year of high school. She didn’t know anyone who had been to Australia, but having seen pictures of our white sandy beaches, towering cities and stunning bushland she knew she had to go. 

Coming from a Canadian winter to an Australian summer was a culture shock. Like many people who have never been here, she imagined it would be 40C every day, kangaroos would be wandering around the backyard, and everyone would be a surfer. She was delighted that wherever you go on the Peninsula you’re only a short drive from the beach, and although we visited many beaches such as Mills, Mothers, Frankston, and Canadian Bay, Mount Martha was her No.1. “It had beautiful beach boxes, not a lot of people running around, the water was very clear, and the sunset was incredible.”

During her five weeks with us, she attended school with me at Woodleigh and participated in all my classes. Sofia noted differences between our school and hers, such as how much more relaxed it is here and “how many trees there are!”. Before school started back and on weekends we went to such destinations such as Chadstone, The 1000 Steps, Phillip Island, Bushrangers Bay, Arthurs Seat, Peninsula Hot Springs and of course Bunnings. On her last day of school we also went up to the reserve and farm at the back of school to feed kangaroos and emus and play with the friendly goats. Although I had visited the majority of these places before, I was able to view where I lived through a different lens, and it made me realise how lucky we are to be living in an area where a short drive one way takes you to the bustling city centre, and the other way to serene bushland overlooking the bay. 

We were both surprised at how close we became and how quickly you become comfortable with someone you’ve never met before from the other side of the world. Spending 24 hours all day, every day, with someone for a whole month really fast-tracks the bond. 

Sofia told me that during her time here she learnt that while on exchange you can’t hold back. “You have to go for the things that scare you and do it. Face your fears, socialise, make friends. The best times were all spent totally out of my comfort zone. It made me realise how many things you can miss out on if you don’t just jump in.”

She said she would absolutely recommend the exchange program to anyone who had the opportunity. It may be scary, “but it makes you see the world from another angle, and it makes you see how different things are in another country, and you get to meet people from so far away, and it just makes you want to go back as soon as you leave”.

Sofia said that if she had to give advice to anyone going on exchange, she would say: “It will probably only happen once in your life, so you absolutely do not want to have any regrets. So do everything.”

Ainsley Paton is a Year 10 student at Woodleigh School and completed work experience with us at Mornington Peninsula Magazine.

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