Rye’s human monkey a Ninja knockout

Charlie Robbins is on top of the world after being crowned the 2019 Australian Ninja Warrior ‘furthest and fastest’ contestant.  Photos courtesy Nine Network

Charlie Robbins is on top of the world after being crowned the 2019 Australian Ninja Warrior ‘furthest and fastest’ contestant. Photos courtesy Nine Network

Somewhere near Rye back beach there’s a human monkey just hanging around. Hanging at the beach, at a mate’s place or at the gym or down the street. You might see him jumping off the rocks at the end of St Johns Wood Rd in Blairgowrie, or a bit farther down the Peninsula in Portsea playing a round of golf with his grandpa, Taffy, or in the clubhouse when the wind whips across the course and the light grows dim.

Charlie Robbins likes climbing high and going upside-down. This 20-year-old Rye resident has just come away with 100 grand after being crowned the 2019 Australian Ninja Warrior ‘furthest and fastest’ contestant, and the smell of physical televisual success is certainly sweet. He explains: “I’ve been doing gymnastics since I was in second grade and have always loved climbing, hanging and flipping my body. I’ve played a lot of sport, including cricket, basketball and footy too. My grandparents are golfers and I began playing with them when I was about 10 years old. That’s why I wore the golf outfit for Australian Ninja Warrior.

Charlie Robbins is on top of the world after being crowned the 2019 Australian Ninja Warrior ‘furthest and fastest’ contestant.  Photos courtesy Nine Network

Charlie Robbins is on top of the world after being crowned the 2019 Australian Ninja Warrior ‘furthest and fastest’ contestant. Photos courtesy Nine Network

“I’d applied for the second season of the show and didn’t get in, but this time there were a few of us from Rye who made it. It was a bit of a long process. You start off with an online application, then you have to send a video, do a phone interview and finally go through a fitness test, which is full of push-ups and burpees. It’s gruelling. We filmed the third season of the show from mid-November for three weeks last year. It’s not like it looks like on TV, that’s for sure. I was so nervous.”

Seems Rye breeds them strong and just a little bit ninja with a twist of ‘she’ll be right mate’ swagger. Charlie is laid-back yet determined. No fuss, yet happy to be on the ‘box’. He’ll be heading off to Europe with his mate, Zac, at the end of September to spend some of that prizemoney.

He continues: “It’s crazy, really. I remember standing at the first obstacle, the steps, thinking, ‘Man, they are so big!’ When you’re on the couch at home you think they look small and it will be easy, but it’s a different story once you get there and you’ve been waiting out back for a couple of hours for your turn. We played a lot of table tennis. I was shaking when I finally got to do my run at 1.30am, but having my family on the sidelines supporting me was fantastic. The whole crowd was amazing. The salmon ladder obstacle was my favourite and the doors were definitely the hardest. You’ve got to have really strong legs and I’ve got chicken legs.

“There were five of us from the Peninsula this season and I applied in a group of four. The best part was hanging out with the other contestants. I met so many cool people but none of us made it up the mega wall in the finals. It’s over 5m tall.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with the rest of the money yet. Wait and see.”

This gymnastics coach and golfing natural — he’s the club champion at Portsea Golf Club and plays off scratch — has plenty to occupy his time upon returning from Europe. He’ll be playing in the Portsea Open before taking off and he’ll be landing in Brisbane for another Australian Ninja Warrior competition in September post-trip. The beginning of November sees him in Perth for more ninja antics.

He concludes: “I’ll probably start playing more golf, I reckon. I stopped after I finished school and had a gap year but I’m keen to get out on the course again. And I’d love to be part of the next season of Australian Ninja Warrior if they’ll have me.”

Chicken legs and monkey business aside, this young man’s set to swing and do his thing. Ninja style. Australian Ninja Warrior screens on the Nine Network.

LIZ ROGERS

Young Community Ambassador takes on straws

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Lily is on a mission. She’s been walking up and down Main St in Mornington since spring last year speaking to businesses about their straw use. She’s encouraging them to change to paper or metal straws, or to simply remove straws from their venues completely. There’s been such a positive response that this environmental warrior, at just 11 years old, has been named the Young Community Ambassador for the Dolphin Institute. 

Her passion originated from a day at the beach with her father and sister. Lily noticed the large amount of plastic rubbish and disliked it intensely. And just like that, she wanted to make a change. Since then, she’s been working with the Dolphin Institute behind the scenes to not only keep our Peninsula clean, but to work towards protecting the marine life from our litter pollution. You just know she’s going places when the level-headed and mature pre-teen states: “Whenever I’m down at the beach I like to pick up rubbish, and I’d really love my friends to join in.”

Lily’s mother Eileen and father Andreas could not be more proud of their daughter’s passion as she strives to make Main St straw-free and speaks at meetings held by the Dolphin Institute about her mission.

“It’s going really well,” said Lily. “More and more shops are using paper or metal straws, or even no straws at all.  We’ve just been visiting each store and talking to them about what they use. Many have been interested in changing.”

So what’s the next goal for this determined youngster? “We want all of the shops to stop using straws. And then the Dolphin Institute and I will speak to the suppliers of the straws and ask them to stop making plastic ones, and make paper straws instead. Dolphins and all marine creatures are eating plastic straws and getting sick. They are polluting the planet and we can make a difference if we just stop.”

Lily’s a water-baby through and through, and when she’s not attending Year 5 at Mornington Park Primary School in the alternative learning section, Steiner, she’s surfing, snorkelling or stand up paddle boarding. She’s always in the water, and a highlight of hers was swimming with seals and stingrays, so of course swimming with dolphins is next on the agenda. Sea Shepherd and the Dolphin Institute serve as inspiration for the budding wildlife warrior, who hopes to become a marine biologist when she grows up.

“My message is that if we started it, we can end it. If everyone picks up just one piece of rubbish off the beach, it would make a difference. It’d be amazing. Every little bit counts.” 

KATE SEARS

Lawyer has a passion for social justice

Laura Elliott has just made the leap from the Mornington Peninsula to Sydney to continue her pro bono legal work. The 28-year-old studied at Toorak College and holds a Bachelor of Business (Management/Information Systems) and a Juris Doctor degree. Laura’s worked as a lawyer at DLA Piper for two and a half years before switching to a pro bono role in Sydney at the same firm. She spoke to Kate Sears during her teaching role at a university in Fiji.

How did you feel when you heard you’d been announced as one of the 10 finalists in the Lawyers’ Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards in the pro bono category? 

I was very shocked and extremely humbled. The awards are very competitive, so even to be considered was amazing — and especially in this category, which gave me a chance to share my message and form new connections in this field.

What has the journey to this moment entailed? 

I have always been passionate about social justice and human rights, even before beginning working as a lawyer. Whilst at university I volunteered at a legal clinic that provides advocacy and advice for people with disabilities who have faced discrimination in employment and education. I also undertook a substantial amount of research and had a paper published on the sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities in Australia, a practice that still occurs today. I became pretty heavily involved in pro bono work almost as soon as I began practising as a lawyer and haven't really stopped. Being able to use my skills to help others in the community is incredibly fulfilling and gives meaning to my work.

Did you always want to be a lawyer and work as a pro bono lawyer? 

Growing up I actually wanted to be a vet, but my tendency to pass out at the sight of blood was kind of a hindrance to that. I became interested in the law during my later high school years but honestly didn't have the confidence to jump straight into a law course at university. It took me a couple of years to work up the courage to apply for the LSAT but it is the best choice I ever made. I have definitely found my calling.

You’ve just moved to Sydney for a pro bono position. 

Yes, I am lucky enough to have moved from our Melbourne office, where I was practising in the intellectual property and technology field, to Sydney, where I have taken a role in our pro bono team full-time for a year. I'm so excited to further my skills and knowledge of this area of law and to do what I'm truly passionate about full-time. Moving to Sydney has been an overwhelming experience but also a great one — it feels like a new adventure, and also kind of like I'm on holidays all the time. I'm sure that will wear off eventually but I'm looking forward to exploring all Sydney has to offer.

What will you miss about the Mornington Peninsula? 

My family, the food, the wine and the lifestyle. 

What’s been your most rewarding experience so far? 

I was part of a team that assisted the Human Rights Law Centre in preparing submissions to intervene as amicus curiae in the High Court matter of Clubb v Edwards, regarding the constitutional validity of safe zone laws for abortion clinics. The High Court decision supported the validity of these laws, which prevent the intimidation and harassment of women outside abortion clinics. It was really fulfilling to help the team advocate such an important human rights issue, which has the potential to lead to widespread change.

What’s your five-year plan? 

To own a sausage dog. That's as far as I've got.

Is there anything else that you’d like to add? 

To anyone who is scared to take the leap, do it. Be brave and do it. Do what you are passionate about and the rest will work itself out.

Welcome to Rye’s World

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Kate Walker and her team reached out to us with this very heart-warming mission — to help create a beautiful world for Rye Johnson and his family. The KWD team is working with Peninsula residents Brooke and Rhys Johnson and their children Rye, Jed and newborn Bowie Bel to build their forever home. However, throughout the design process they’ve had to be mindful in making considerations for the Johnsons’ very special boy Rye. At just eight years old, he’s battling cerebral palsy and undiagnosed regression. He’s such a special soul, and unfortunately his condition has no diagnosis and therefore at the moment there is no cure. 

The local community and KWD have closely followed Rye’s life through his Instagram, @ryesworld_. KWD decided to join forces with the beautiful family to help them design a space that will cater to the whole family’s needs. So far, they’ve designed a separate wing that’s designated purely for Rye and his carers. In addition, it has wheelchair access and of course enough room for their growing family. And just like that, KWD is helping to bring all of the design elements together. 

KWD’s donation of design services has been supported by Carpet World, which has joined in as the supply partner to help make this house a wonderful sanctuary for the family, who ultimately spend a lot of time at home. KWD has been thrilled by the number of people approaching them and offering their services, including labour, products and advice free of charge. This got the design team thinking. It takes a village to raise a child, right? Especially one with special needs. So it also takes a village to build a home. So they’ve decided to put it out into the amazing Mornington Peninsula community and call for anyone who can add anything to support this family in achieving their dream. The house is currently nearing its plaster stage, so it’s the finishing touches that they require assistance with. So if there are any good Samaritans in the painting, decorating, furniture, soft furniture, paint supply or landscaping world who are moved by this story, please contact the KWD office, which will co-ordinate the trades. If you wish, your business can be shared on their social pages as well. 

KWD hopes to turn this house, where the budget has run out for things like furniture, artwork and a garden, into a finished home for the family. They look forward to helping the Johnson family realise their dream of building a safe, comfortable and beautiful home, and they’re thrilled to create an inspiring environment for Rye and his siblings. 

Mornington Peninsula Magazine and Erica McPherson have just announced that the named charity for their inaugural Glamorlicious event will be Rye’s World. The event will be held on Thursday, October 3, and everyone’s invited to glam up for a delicious lunch at the iconic Ranelagh Club in Mount Eliza. From noon until 4pm, the focus will be on glamour.  Expect some great raffles that will support Rye’s World. This fun day will be filled with heavily laden goodie bags and loads of prizes to be won and given away from our generous supporters.  Adrian Dickens from Circa Ad Jewels will present Diana, Princess of Wales – The Jewels Of A Modern-Day Princess. Grab the girls and get in quick to book your table because seats are limited to this event. There will also be top class entertainment from the inimitable Lady Fox. For tickets, please visit 

www.ticketebo.com.au/mornington-peninsula-magazine/glamorlicious-october-2019.html

A pool is the ultimate goal both for Rye’s therapy and enjoyment, so let’s rise to the challenge as a community and come together for this very special endeavour to help make this family’s home the best it can be.

Follow the journey on Instagram @ryesworld_ and you can also contact Kate and her team at www.katewalkerdesign.com.au or phone 5974 1800.

Cataraqui tragedy was Australia’s Titanic

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Many believe that the sinking of the Titanic was the greatest maritime disaster of all time. In fact there have been almost 50 maritime disasters resulting in greater losses of life. Many of these were during wartime, but even in peacetime the loss of life when the Titanic sank was exceeded in at least four other disasters.

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Fortunately, the worst maritime disaster in Australian waters does not compare to the Titanic. While the Loch Ard tragedy is quite well known to Victorians, few have ever heard of the Cataraqui, which was wrecked some 30 years earlier when almost at the end of its passage to Melbourne. 

The Cataraqui was the last emigrant ship chartered to bring settlers to the Colony of Victoria under the bounty system, which paid a bonus for every person landed safely. She departed from Liverpool on April 20, 1845, with 362 emigrants. After an uneventful passage of 106 days, the vessel was approaching the Victorian coast. Strong winds and incessant rain was usual for a winter crossing of the Southern Ocean, but heavy clouds over the previous four days had made it impossible for the captain to fix his position using the sun or stars. By his calculations, on August 3 the Cataraqui was about 60 miles (96km) to the west of King Island and on a course to pass it safely to the north. In fact, he was much closer and headed for its southwest coast. 

About 7 o’clock that evening the captain prudently ordered his ship to be hove-to until dawn but was persuaded by the surgeon that the ship should reach Melbourne as soon as possible to gain the bounty for landing healthy passengers. Sail was therefore set again at 3am, but just an hour and a half later, in total darkness and ahead of a howling gale, the ship drove on to a reef. By dawn, 200 had died either by drowning or against the cruel rocks of the reef, and by the time the vessel disappeared under the waves late on the following day, a further 200 had perished. There were only nine survivors.

By Maurie Hutchinson

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.

Genghis can get a little bit cocky

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Genghis rules the roost, and he likes it that way. He’s a rising star, and at 19 there’s no stopping him now. No, really, sulphur-crested cockatoos can live to be 100 or so years old. His recent acting gig was in the XXXX beer commercial promoting Queensland Maroons State of Origin limited-edition cans. The comical advertisement included Maroons players training 10,000 sulphur-crested cockatoos to fly over NSW screeching: “Maroons!” 

On the day of filming, Genghis had to be quickly crate-trained because this diva was not getting on too well with his cast. This cheeky cockatoo likes to play games, and his cast mates were simply too professional to have fun with him on set. Between breaks in his dressing room, this defiant lad chose to ignore the bird trainer on set, so owners Sam and Chris Symons had to step in.

“He doesn’t know how to fly point to point on command yet, but he does like to play a game with Chris where he’ll swoop his head playfully,” said Sam. “So that’s how we got him doing what the director was after. The shot looks great, but Chris’s head didn’t fare too well.” 

The couple have had Genghis since he was a chick, and he was the first bird they owned together. Now at The Funky Farm in Hastings they’ve got about 250 animals — yes, they aren’t 100 per cent sure of the current head count. And can you blame them? They’ve got their hands full feeding, caring, training and housing all of their animals and keeping the cheeky Genghis under control. He’s cage-free and roams around the farm helping himself to copper wiring, which sends their electrician crazy and forces him to think of inventive ways in which to hide all of the wiring on site. The celebrity cockatoo’s human sister Ziva is a little cautious of the mischievous birdy yet is happy to play with the farm’s dingoes, so that shows you just how naughty this one can be.  Genghis’s diet consists of almonds, with no greens in sight, and hot chips when he can steal them. 

“He recognises the McDonald’s bag the minute you get out of the car,” said Sam. “You’ve got to get inside quickly. He generally has a flavour of the month to chew on, whether it’s a fence paling or a half wine barrel garden pot. He’s always destroying something.”

Not to be too cocky, but he’s also hung out with all of the celebrities at the Melbourne Cup a few years ago, and got a photo with Marcia Hines and Todd McKenney. When we last spoke to the minds behind The Funky Farm in 2017, we were told they’d be opening soon. However, the demands of Hollywood just keep getting in the way. The pair even spent three months filming Ride Like a Girl, so zoo life got a little hectic. They’ve just announced group bookings of a minimum of 10 people to get up close and personal with their zoo animals. For $40 per adult, $25 for under-16s, and free entry for those kiddies under three, you can have endless animal encounters and photo opportunities for birthday parties, school events and special needs groups. 

See Fluffy the crocodile, Hamish the highland cow, as well as pythons, dingoes, macaws and other Australian animals on Instagram and Facebook @thefunkyfarm. For further information and to meet the celebrity Genghis himself, visit www.thefunkyfarm.com.au or call 1300 FUNKYF.

KATE SEARS


Ollie draws it all

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Drawing was something that Ollie Mori was known for at primary school. In his words, he’s been avidly drawing since he was a “little lad”. From here he just continued drawing. He creates masterpieces under the name Seizure Art.

“I’m an epileptic. I can’t drive, and screens interfere with me as well. So drawing has always been a hobby of mine. I don’t think I’d draw as much if I didn’t have epilepsy. But I’m thankful for it at the same time. It’s a sick irony,” said Ollie. “So I sparingly use screen time. I scan my drawings and then play with them digitally as well.”

We came across Ollie at his first Oz Comic Con this year, where he had a stall to sell his sensational creations. From Avengers, Harry Potter, X-Men and Aladdin to Frozen, Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, Aquaman, Alice in Wonderland and Spider-Man — he’s got nearly all of the fandoms covered.  It was his second stall at such an event, after a successful stall at Supanova earlier this year. His folders of original pieces consisting of digital and traditional art had fans of anime and pop culture ecstatic and the artwork hung up on display had customers in awe of his talent. 

“Art is a part of you, so I don’t like to compare myself to others and get down,” said Ollie. “I’ve got heaps of styles under my belt and that’s what I’m proud of. I can do Disney, concept, comic, anime and more. I haven’t found my main style yet, but it’s fun to draw in different genres and styles. I like to draw what’s popular and experiment with new styles.”

Constantly connecting with like-minded people is what Ollie gets out of social media. He’s met so many great people through Instagram, Facebook groups, and conventions as well. The art community is where Ollie feels at home. He’s recently been approached by a business to be the head designer of its wands, an opportunity that Ollie has grabbed with both hands. So he’s taking a short break from his traditional Japanese calligraphy style anime and kung-fu drawings to create plenty of wands that are inspired by water. 

This Crib Point artist, illustrator and drawer previously completed a Bachelor of Illustration and Design at Chisholm and completes commissions as well. He’s working part-time and running a blog on YouTube too. Golly Ollie, you sure are busy! 

“You’ve got your style so embrace it; it’s individual to you,” said Ollie. “If you persist, you’ll improve.”

View his artwork on Instagram @seizure_art and watch his amazing time-lapses of his drawings on YouTube at Seizure Art.

KATE SEARS

Nat gives more and more

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Nat Amoore has come a long way since her time on her parents’ farm in Merricks North and school days at Toorak College in Mount Eliza — a surreal fact we’re sure hit home when she recently revisited Toorak College as part of her book tour for her first middle-grade novel Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire, published by Penguin Random House in June, with a second book due in 2020. The Sydney-based writer is passionate about encouraging kids to read, write and explore their own imaginations without boundaries. 

Nat’s career path is diverse and full of adventures. She is an accomplished entertainer and presenter for children as well, and it all began just three days after turning 18. She travelled to Indonesia for a trial period as a trapeze artist. There she was accepted, and stayed on as a trapeze artist and circus performer. This in a way fulfilled her childhood dream of joining the circus that she’d had during her time at Red Hill Primary School. She literally ran away and joined the circus. Thankfully, she had a natural talent for trapeze due to her water-ski pastime as a kid, so her time at the international resort chain Club Med lasted nine years. It was almost a decade-long gap year that saw her become the entertainment manager where she would write for stage performances, which ultimately ignited her storytelling career.

Back in Australia, Nat moved to Sydney to study film and TV production, but found writing for film and television in Australia frustrating and restrictive. She yearned for freedom without budget restraints. When she wrote, she could include anything she created without inflating costs, from fire-breathing dragons to elaborate action scenes with explosions and helicopters. 

In February 2018, Nat added a podcast to her extensive resume, called One More Page. With fellow writers Kate Simpson and Liz Ledden, she reviewed, interviewed and ultimately encouraged kids to get excited about books. They’ve reached 30,000 downloads and were even a finalist in the Best Newcomer category for the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards. The kid-lit podcast team were exhilarated to discover that kids were listening to their podcast in classrooms, both here and overseas. 

While Nat believes her internal age is 10, she successfully holds workshops, appears at events as a speaker and describes herself as an “all-round bucket of fun”. She’s even worked for Sony for five years, where she spent invaluable time with the likes of Delta Goodrem, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian. Here she added to her remarkable skillset by doing a bit of everything, including filming, directing, lighting and editing. She sees editing as a type of visual storytelling, and we think she’s spot-on. When we spoke, she’d just arrived in Queensland for the Children and Young Adult conference, where she was presenting. At this event in 2016, her debut middle-grade manuscript was awarded third place, and in 2017 she placed first and second in the Picture Book category and second in Chapter Books for younger readers. 

Her inspiration for her first novel came from a story she’d heard years ago about an American child being found with $20,000 in her locker. It was a concept that sat with her for a while. Nat first pitched the idea as a film script, but it didn’t get any funding. It just stuck with her. The character kept talking to her.  

“I really wanted to talk about the idea. It was fun and filled with excitement. I wanted to touch on the idea that kids can do the wrong thing but still be good people,” said Nat. “No one is defined by their mistakes. Don’t let mistakes get you down. I know that kids put a lot of pressure on themselves so I made the main character heavily flawed and likeable. She’s really a lot like me as a kid; I made so many errors. I just wanted to give everything a go.” 

Nat’s in the busy lane for now, with more school visits and workshops ahead of her. But she is also a proud role model for Books In Homes Australia, which provide books of choice to children living in remote, disadvantaged and low socio-economic circumstances. 

“I want kids to get excited about books and reading. I like to see the joy when they choose three books that will be their very own. From reading they increase their literacy skills, grow their emotional intelligence and gain empathy. I’m excited to be contributing and that I’m able to help.” 

That’s not the end of the story yet. Nat was also the recipient of the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Maurice Saxby Creative Development Program for 2018 and has completed multiple courses at the AWC and NSWWC. And finally, let’s add more to her resume. She was on Australian reality television show The Mole and played Fuzz the blue monster in the kids’ film Out From Under The Bed, which is now being developed into a TV series proposal — but that’s a story for the next chapter. 

“I’m meant to be telling stories, whatever it may be,” said Nat.

KATE SEARS

Buruli ulcer project considers mosquito control program

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Some areas of the Peninsula will be part of a mosquito control study being planned for later this year aimed at tackling the spread of the Buruli ulcer. While the study will include mosquito surveillance and trapping, residual harbourage spraying will be carried out on nature strips in some of the study areas to help reduce mosquito numbers. 

“The study will involve small areas within Rye, Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Tootgarook,” Mornington Peninsula Shire said in a statement. “These areas have been selected as they represent the highest risk associated with the active transmission areas of Buruli ulcer in the Mornington Peninsula.

“Mosquito control activities are still being planned but is likely to involve the application of a synthetic pyrethroid pesticide to nature strips through a process called residual harbourage spraying. Fogging will only be used if absolutely necessary and may not be required at all. Larvicide may be used in specific areas that are particularly suited to mosquito breeding.

“Synthetic pyrethroid pesticides have a long history of safe and effective use in mosquito control activities, both in Victoria and overseas.”

The statement said residents would be advised well in advance of the timing of mosquito control activities in their neighbourhood and given the opportunity to opt out should they not wish to be involved in the process. 

“The study is being informed with advice from public health physicians, medical entomologists, council staff and research partners.  A community consultation process is also being planned, and our approach will be further informed by these conversations.”

The program, part of the Beating Buruli in Victoria project, aims to disrupt the transmission of Buruli ulcer and lead to evidence-based policies and guidelines to help stop its spread. It’s being conducted through a partnership between the DHHS, the Doherty Institute, Barwon Health, Austin Health, CSIRO, Agribio, The University of Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula Shire.

For more information about the project, go to www2.health.vic.gov.au/beatingburuli 


Baluk Arts’ artist shines bright

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Lisa Waup’s art is equally diverse and dramatic, tender yet tough. She is a Gunditijmara and Torres Strait Islander woman who weaves her story and connection to Country proudly through found objects, natural materials and a passion for print, texture and form. Representing Mornington’s own Baluk Arts at the 13th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair from August 9-11, she chats to Mornington Peninsula Magazine about her spirit-infused work.   

What does it mean to you to be a Baluk Arts featured artist at the 13th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair?

It is a real honour. It is a wonderful way to show what Baluk Arts has to offer and the contemporary nature of our artists’ work. There are only two Aboriginal art centres in Victoria — Baluk Arts in Mornington and Gallery Kaiela in Shepparton — and there are well over 70 Aboriginal art centres being represented this year. We want to show what makes us unique. 

What work will you be showing?

My work will be screen-printed and stitched into tapa cloth protection shields. I sourced the tapa cloth from Papua New Guinea, which also details my connections to PNG. There’ll be some works on paper and jewellery using natural materials, including screen-printed kelp and woven earrings too.

Please describe your work — materials, techniques and practice. 

I use recycled and natural materials that I source from Country. I use feathers, bull kelp, found and given objects from family and friends such as bottle tops too. I’ve recently acquired old Public Transport Commission metal tags that I’ve turned into one-off painted jewellery pieces. My practice revolves greatly around family, connections to Country and my history. I gather a great deal of strength from how I have been brought up. My three beautiful children and the connections to my birth family are always expressed in my work. 

How does it represent your connection to Country and the state of our planet?

I consider myself a bit of a bowerbird. I am forever collecting objects and materials. Nature is amazing and discarded objects can be sculptural in their own right. I am saving them from landfill. 

What is it about weaving that you love so much?

It puts me into a meditative state. I am being guided by above when I create. I just put myself wholly into the piece to weave stories.

You’re also a photographer and printmaker. Can you tell us a bit about your partnership with Craft Victoria and Ingrid Verner?

I studied photography and printmaking at RMIT and still have a great respect and passion for the two mediums. I have drawn ever since I was a little girl, so printmaking is a wonderful medium for me. I was originally approached by Creative Victoria and Craft Victoria to see if I would be interested in creating a fashion collection in collaboration with Melbourne-based designer Verner. Craft’s Sarah Weston was also a driving force behind this collection, which was launched in 2017 for Melbourne Fashion Week — Global Indigenous Runway with great success. The designs featured my drawings from my visual diary and Ingrid Verner translated our combined stories perfectly. We will be releasing the second collection titled Journeys this year at Country to Couture at DAAF and also Melbourne Fashion Week. A part of this collection was also showcased last year at Hong Kong Business of Design Week.

Tell us about your role as curator.

I have been very fortunate to curate several exhibitions at Baluk Arts both nationally and internationally. My favourite exhibition/project thus far is Too-roo-dun, meaning ‘bunyip’ in Boonwurrung language. It was a project that was two years in the making and we worked with seven Aboriginal communities (including Baluk Arts) around Melbourne and Greater Melbourne. The exhibition is still showing in different galleries and at present is at Frankston Art Centre. The idea was for the bunyips to be seen in each of the council areas where they were made. Next year it will be Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association’s turn.

And finally, what’s next for Lisa Waup after the art fair?

After DAAF I have a few exhibitions to work towards and some exciting projects at Baluk Arts. It gives me much pleasure to work with the incredible community at Baluk Arts. We have some very talented artists here who are creating outstanding work.

LIZ ROGERS


Saddle down for horsing around

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You wouldn’t feel very special if your birthday was on the same day as everybody else’s, would you? Well, spare a thought for our elegant equine friends who share theirs — and no amount of whinnying can change it!

Nearly all breeds of pedigree horses celebrate their birthday on August 1 in the southern hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere it’s January 1. This may seem a bit strange, even downright unfair if you’re a handsome hoofed creature keen to shed your saddle for solo birthday shenanigans, but there is a reason for the standardisation and it has to do with the seasons. Apparently, a mare’s oestrus cycle begins with prolonged daylight, which usually happens at the beginning of September when the weather starts to warm up. This means mares who are bred successfully in early spring will have their foals the following August. A consistent date also helps with the organisation of horse events.

No matter what the reason, if you know a horse who deserves lots of kisses, giddy up. It’s time to celebrate the fact that we have them. Birthday or not.

LIZ ROGERS

Special day for all special dads

As we all prepare to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, September 1, we thought we’d delve into the origins of this special day. In the ruins of ancient Babylon, historians discovered that nearly 4000 years ago a young boy called Elmesu might well have created the first Father’s Day card when he carved a message to his dad on a tablet made out of clay. Elmesu wished his father good health and a long life.

Modern Father’s Day celebrations originated in the US and became a tradition that spread throughout the world. In 1909, 27-year-old Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, from Spokane, Washington, was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon and pondered that if there was a day to honour mothers, then why not one for fathers? Sonora’s mother had died during childbirth when Sonora was 16 and her father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, raised her and her siblings with much love and care. Sonora was inspired by Anna Jarvis’s struggle to promote Mother’s Day, so she began a rigorous campaign to celebrate Father’s Day in the US. The Spokane Ministerial Association and the local YMCA supported her cause so much that Spokane celebrated its first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. It gained popularity all over US and it came to be celebrated across the world.

As to why Father’s Day is celebrated on a different date in Australia, well, scholars are divided on this. But as long as you treat your dad extra-special on Father’s Day, we think it’ll be OK. 


Applications sought for community grants

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Community and not-for-profit groups have been invited to apply for Mornington Peninsula Shire community grants. The Shire’s community grants program supports projects, programs and services that identify a community need and contributes to the building of stronger and more creative communities. 

There are five types of grants that groups can apply for:

Creative community grants assist community and non-profit groups interested in initiating arts and cultural activities and programs with public outcomes;

Community placemaking grants support community-led initiatives that align to the placemaking criteria and the council’s strategic goals;

Community support grants provide funding for a wide range of projects that contribute to improving the health and well-being of the community;

Flexi grants, which remain open for the year until funds are spent, provide an opportunity for community groups needing a small amount of money to start a new project, purchase small equipment, train volunteers or host a small community activity; and,

Youth encouragement grants, which also remain open for the year until funds are spent, provide support for individuals under 18 years of age who are competing nationally or internationally in a variety of fields.

Applications close on Friday, August 16. For more information or to apply, email [email protected], phone 5950 1425 or visit mornpen.vic.gov.au/grants

Clint goes Wowee Zowee on Main St

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Oi! Someone’s back in town, bringing a pounding sound and old-school groove with him. Something For Kate drummer Clint Hyndman is ready to rock with a new bar bursting with grunge, grunt and late-night classic cocktails. Wowee Zowee — named after a Pavement album — will have a jukebox and southern-style staples such as fried chicken created by current Paringa Estate head chef Simon Tarlington too. But let’s go back a bit first.

Clint and his Something For Kate cohort Paul Dempsey are both ex-Padua boys. Clint grew up in Rosebud out the back of an old milk bar called Martins Corner on Boneo Rd; he moved to Mount Martha with his family about three years ago after a stint in town and has never looked back. Very happy to be bumping into friends at Bentons Square and Mount Martha Village with his wife, Lis, and their three kids Milo, Sonny and baby Birdie in tow, this Mornington Peninsula boy likes where he lives and lives the lifestyle well. 

He explains: “I moved up to town at 19 when Paul and I started the band. Then I moved back to Balnarring for a while and back to town before finally settling in Mount Martha. I remember entering the Battle of the Bands at Padua when we were in Year 12 and we lost to a bunch of Year 9s. That was pretty devastating, but we were signed to Silverchair’s label Sony within six months of being in Melbourne. That was 1994. Right place, right time and Paul has always written great songs. The hard work just paid off and we are still great mates. Stephanie Ashworth (another band member) is also one of my closest friends. It’s a tight-knit group. We are just about to head up to Byron Bay to record our seventh album. The days of touring non-stop through the States and Europe have slowed right down these days. We try to stick to doing weekend gigs because we’ve got families, but I still love doing it as much as I did when we first started out.”

Clint is a man of action. Want to be in a band? Do it. Want to open a bar? Do it. He’s been running his Yellow Bird Café in Windsor for the past 12 years and thought why not keep with the theme and open something a bit closer to home. He was playing Tuesday night tennis in Mornington and overheard something that fuelled the flame — Backyard Bar at 37 Main St was up for lease. Ripper! He continues: “I’d been looking for a space for a while. Of course, I’ve taken a bit too much on with recording, Yellow Bird and now this, but I’m really looking forward to it. I love being behind a bar. Cam Marshall (Garagiste winery), Craig Baum, who runs a bar fabrication and hire company, and Simon are on board. There’ll be room for about 80 people, the music will consist of ‘60s and ‘70s rock’n’roll vibe plus there’s a courtyard. Should have it open by September.”

They say that life swings in roundabouts. Clint laughs: “I was 14 when I started playing the drums in the back room of that milk bar on Boneo Rd. My old bedroom is a Thirsty Camel now. I loved growing up in Rosebud. We used to hang out at the Peninsula Surf Centre, Rye skateboard park and jump on the bus to Sorrento back beach. I never surfed because the water was too cold for me, but I loved to skate. Still do a bit of it now my two boys are into it. You just can’t beat the lifestyle here, and the golfing is great. Lots of people who’ve been away have come back to the Peninsula and I don’t mind the travelling up and down to town. It’s well worth it.”

Now 43, this dad, drummer and bar owner is pretty happy with where he’s landed. Watch out for Wowee Zowee and you will be too.

LIZ ROGERS

Claire unearths her career in music

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Since graduating from John Paul College in Frankston, Claire Mooney’s schedule has been a blur of music as she’s nurtured her skills in editing, programming, presenting and listening to new songs by upcoming artists. At 22, she’s already got an impressive CV, including a festival booking for Groovin The Moo, executive producer of The Hoist at SYN, volunteering at film and music festivals, and working as the co-ordinator at Grid Series and music director at 1700. Kate Sears speaks to Claire about her current position as an Australian music producer at Triple J Unearthed.

What’s your journey been like to get you to your current position?

It's been an absolute blast. I look back on the last few years and feel so grateful. I'm very lucky to have found something I’m really passionate about so early. At one point I was volunteering and producing a daily show at SYN, interning at a record label, doing PR for Live Below The Line through the Oaktree foundation while also studying and working a part-time job. Looking back, I was determined to learn as much as I could and those experiences led to where and who I am today. 

What’s a day in your world like?

My daily routine involves listening to all the songs that get uploaded to triplejUnearthed.com. We get sent about 500-1000 songs a week. I also get involved with reviewing songs, programming Unearthed radio, presenting TOPS, sharing advice with upcoming artists, updating the website, editing, making playlists, helping judge competitions like Unearthed High and recommending songs to Triple J music programmers and presenters.

Did you always know you wanted to be a music producer?

Never. I honestly didn't even know what a music producer was. When I was 16 I discovered my love for radio through Dom Alessio, who hosted Home & Hosed on Triple J at the time. I was then introduced to the world of SYN, a youth community radio station. I couldn't believe I could be 16 and on the radio. I did my training and got involved with presenting and producing. I went out to shows, I volunteered, I interned and just filled my life up with music. I realised very quickly that all I wanted to do was give artists a platform to share their art and music.

What’s been your most memorable experience in the music industry?

Working at Triple J, definitely. I'm so grateful that I get to work with a very talented team of legends, meeting musicians and all kinds of people from around Australia. I love presenting TOPS each week, and being a part of surprising last year’s Unearthed High winner Kian in Castlemaine was so heart-warming. Programming Unearthed radio in general and on days like International Women's Day where we get to play kick-ass women for an entire day is really special too. I also love the collaborations we do across all our music networks (Triple J, Unearthed and Double J) to bring things like Dream Festival alive. I also got to meet rock stars Jack White and Mark Ronson this year. Insane. But the biggest and most memorable part of my job is listening to an artist’s first-ever upload to Triple J Unearthed and then six months down the track seeing them tour and sell out shows across the country, or being added to Triple J and being played nationally, or taking out Unearthed High.

Who are your favourite artists and what’s your favourite song at the moment?

Right now I’m listening to a lot of Dulcie, Kaiit, Gordon Koang, Pinkish Blu, Noah Dillon, Kult Kyss, Miiesha, Mambali, Tasman Keith and Pridelands, to name a few. I’ve had Sampa The Great’s OMG on repeat today. I can’t get the chorus out of my head.


From empty paddocks to economic engine room

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Carrum Downs Industrial Estate is now regarded by many experts as one of Victoria’s most successful and prestigious technology precincts. You see its modern factories when you drive south along Peninsula Link, the Tempur mattress factory one of the more prominent.

Carrum Downs has been jumping for many years, changing from paddocks to a bustling, world-leading industrial precinct. It is jobs that have driven the prosperity and growth of the suburb and contributed to the well-being of the whole region. The industrial estate is home to a wide range of businesses, including food and beverage manufacturing, packaging, industrial and residential construction products, recycling, vehicle manufacturing, professional services and more. This is the best place in the region to get a job, skilled or unskilled.

Famous names and brands abound. There’s Orgran, now an international brand of allergy-friendly foods made by Roma Foods that also sells pasta to Italy. Remedy Kombucha is a booming business started by a young couple and is cashing in on a growing demand for healthy drinks — in this case a fermented, slightly alcoholic tea. Sarah and Emmet Condon moved their young family from Red Hill to New York City last year to crack the US market. There’s Replas, a world leader in making goods from recycled plastic. Tempur also is world-famous. It sells mattresses made from NASA space technology and makes beds at its new factory.

The industrial estate had humble beginnings in 1987 after sections of rural land were rezoned for industry and the first business was set up in Aster Ave — Chocolate Grove, which continues to operate. The estate grew slowly at first, but the pace picked up in 2008 when the EastLink tollway opened. It connected Carrum Downs to central Melbourne and the eastern suburbs. Businesses jumped in at a rapid rate. Peninsula Link gave the 285ha precinct another boost in 2013.

In just over 30 years the estate has become full. The last allotments of a 40-block tranche in Colemans Rd are expected to sell by the end of the year. The first 10 blocks of this parcel of about 7.5ha have already been snapped up by businesses with adjacent or nearby premises. This was before selling agent Nichols Crowder — which is located in the estate — started its marketing campaign.

And this has become a concern for Frankston Council, estate businesses that want to expand and the others who would like to join them. Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking said Carrum Downs had become an “irreplaceable enclave of innovative, job-dense, hi-tech manufacturing”, and that the urban growth boundary could be expanded north to allow the estate to grow. “This will mean new jobs in our region. Also, unless more land is released, we risk losing some of our major employers and with them hundreds of jobs.”

Ms Hosking said the council was partway through creating a green wedge management plan, aiming to balance commercial and environmental needs. “The council is investigating where new industrial land can be made available. If additional land was released for industrial purposes, landowners who benefited can fund environmental enhancements of green wedge land, including restitution of expended quarries and revegetation of wildlife corridors.

“We believe that Frankston’s green wedge spaces should be doing more — doing more for the environment, doing more for employment, and doing more as safe, accessible community parklands.”

Next issue: Cool businesses in Carrum Downs

MIKE HAST

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

Escape to the motion of the ocean

Fingal Beach.

Fingal Beach.

Take the wheel and steer along Boneo Rd from Flinders to Cape Schanck for wild, oceanic walks. On the outskirts of Flinders is our easiest walk to The Blowhole beneath Elephant Rock, while next door is a short 600m walk along Tea Tree Creek to Cairns Bay. Rolling hills lead to a lesser-known beach, home to a giant sand-hill and a majestic rock pool.

Hugging the rugged coastline is Bushrangers Bay, with a picturesque outlook from the banksia-clad contrasting cliffs. Featuring in Where the Wild Things Are, this gem gets its name from bloodied bushrangers Henry Bradley and Patrick O’Connor. In 1853, after escaping Van Diemen’s Land deceitfully on the schooner they had taken hostage, the two rowed their whaling boat to the shore.

Strewn like a thousand diamonds, the ocean meets a secluded, sandy beach at the 2.5km walk’s conclusion. With birds singing and the odd kangaroo bounding, it’s as though you are listening to nature’s playlist. A small creek crossing at the beach has many scurrying across before wandering to the Instagram-famous rock pools.

Turning left along Cape Schanck Rd from Boneo Rd leads to the iconic, 1859-built Cape Schanck lighthouse and the 350m ‘stairway to Heaven’, providing several lookouts over the brooding Bass Strait from the southernmost tip of the Mornington Peninsula. Tours of the heritage lighthouse, which was Australia’s first with stone stairs, are available.

Leaving this tourist hotspot and arriving at the nearby Fingal carpark, you’ll feel like a mountain goat meandering down the dense and steep 2km track to Fingal Beach. Two lookouts take in a roaring point break and Gunnamatta from afar. On return, the picnic facilities are prime for a snack, or for the eager you can walk kilometres to Gunnamatta. 

CAMERON HOWE

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Demystifying the digital universe

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John Westbury, from the Balnarring Bowls and Social Club, knows how important it is to be tech-savvy these days. As an older Australian, he has come across many stories about how life can become increasingly difficult when the digital world looms larger than life. Then there’s the scammers. 

The Federal Government’s Be Connected E Safety program offers free courses on all things ‘connected’ to the internet and the devices you use to log on to it. The Balnarring Bowls and Social Club ran a workshop on July 29 for older Australians on how to use laptops and desktop computers, android and Apple phones and tablets, and the safety issues that ensue. 

John explains: “We hope we might be able to run another one in 2019 and again next year, because many older Australians need help and reassurance when using these devices. The event ran from 10am until 2pm, with another hour devoted to any other questions or help attendees needed, and we provided a great free lunch, tea and coffee. People without devices sat next to those who did and helped each other. There were also a series of PowerPoint presentations. The event was an initiative between Bowls Australia and Be Connected and is important because if you don’t understand how to use these devices then you are left behind.”

There are also lots of people around the globe who like to take advantage of those who are less educated on the ways of the digital universe too.

If you know an older Australian who might need some help with understanding the ins and outs of cyber city and its tools, then log on to www.beconnected.esafety.gov.au to find out more about this pivotal program. Keep your eyes peeled for free Be Connected events closer to home too.

LIZ ROGERS


eBikes — the next big thing

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With winter almost behind us and spring on the way, now is the perfect time to consider getting on a bike. The Peninsula’s oldest bicycle store, Peninsula Star Cycles in Frankston should be your first point of call, be it for a new bike or to get your current bike serviced in the fully equipped workshop.

Store manager John Billing says that for those who struggle with hills or aren’t too sure if they have the stamina, an electric bike — or eBike, as they are also known — might be a perfect option to get out and explore on two wheels. “The great thing about eBikes is that you still get the health benefits of a normal bike.”

John also warns people to be careful of cheaper non-compliant eBikes on the market. “Many people aren’t fully aware of the legalities and as such quite often purchase bikes which by law classify as a motorcycle, meaning they not only need to be registered, but the rider needs a motorcycle licence. To be legally classified as an eBike, the motor needs to only function whilst you are pedalling, so no throttles of any description, and it also has to cut out at 25km/h. Of course, you can still pedal faster if you wish. The eBikes we sell are fully compliant with law to be classified as an eBike, meaning no registration or licence is required.”

Open seven days for your convenience, Peninsula Star Cycles has a great range of bikes to choose from, including electric hybrid and mountain bikes, as well as a huge selection of traditional hybrid, mountain, road, BMX and children’s bikes. Pop in and see the team today or visit the website at www.peninsulastarcycles.com.au

PENINSULA STAR CYCLES

A: 48 Playne St, Frankston

T: 9783 2266

W: www.peninsulastarcycles.com.au 

FB: PeninsulaStarCycles

INSTA: peninsulastarcycles

TWITTER: CyclePeninsula


It’s a nice day for a wild wedding

With so many wedding traditions, it got us thinking where they originated from. So we picked the quirkiest ones to explore.

Did you know that the term ‘best man’ dates back to the times when Scotsmen would kidnap their future brides? The friends of the groom would all attempt an ‘abduction’, and the friend who succeeded was acclaimed to be the best man. We’re pretty glad the best man’s role nowadays is to plan the buck’s night and support the groom — minus abducting his future Mrs. 

And at the altar, the groom would always stand on the bride’s right side so his right hand —or rather, his sword hand — would be free to fight and defend himself from a jealous rival. It sounds like a very violent “I object!” moment to us, and we can’t help but wonder what would happen if the groom was left-handed. 

The Irish would take a hen that was about to lay an egg and tie it to the wedding bed to ensure fertility. Now there’s an interesting bed buddy. At ancient Roman wedding ceremonies, the wedding would be finalised by the breaking of a cake made from wheat or barely over the bride’s head as a symbol of good fortune. It sounds cute, but the earliest known recipe for a British wedding cake, also known as a bride’s pye, was a mixture of cockscombs, lamb’s testicles, sweetbreads, oysters and spices. Yeah, we’ll be sticking to the modern-day traditional fruit cake with white icing, thank you very much.

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